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Friday, October 23, 1998           Heretic II Demo   Quake II 3.20 Beta (Local Copies)

Heretic II Demo Patch  [11:18 PM EDT]
This page has the patch to remove the time limit from the Heretic II Demo.

Heretic II Demo & KHG Server Lists  [11:18 PM EDT]
Active Heretic II Demo Servers at the Quake Domain is [deicide]'s timely (as usual) effort at filling the need for server lists, and servers can be added through this page. Also newly opened by my buddy the evil genius is an Active Klingon Honor Guards Servers list.

New PingTool  [11:18 PM EDT]
Version 2.3 Beta 2 of PingTool is out, offering support for none other than the Heretic II Demo.

H2 Demo Fix, Commands, Various Issues  [11:18 PM EDT]
Here's a quickie list of console commands from the Heretic II demo from jaron. Raven's Jake Simpson has some known issues from the Heretic II Demo in his .plan. Josh Weier's .plan solicits comments on player control, and other suggestions. His email is jweier@mail.ravensoft.com. Marcus Whitlock's .plan offers a primer on the use of client side prediction. John "Slaine" Scott's .plan has a workaround if you're having RIVA 128 or TNT problems: type "vid_xpos 0" and "vid_ypos 0" at the console. Rick Johnson's .plan has a link to download a new version of GameSpy lite only if you're having a problem where it crashes for you within a short time of running it. Finally, Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends word of an announcement on the H3D Entertainment News page about a known issue with their stereo glasses and the demo they're working on.

Tomb Raider III Demo in November  [11:18 PM EDT]
PC.IGN.COM is announcing they will have the demo for Tomb Raider III as an exclusive dealie next month. Thanks John Bergerud.

Spec Ops RTB Released  [6:16 PM EDT]
Zombie has announced the release of Spec Ops: RangerTeam Bravo, the expansion pack for Spec Ops (required), which adds a whole new single payer scenario, and also adds cooperative and competitive multiplayer play over a LAN or the Internet. Thanks Prophet.

ZBot Detector  [6:16 PM EDT]
The United Quake Servers Administration has released their own ZBot detector and kicker program. Membership in the UQSA is not required to download and use the program. It was originally announced that this would woork with any mod, but due to a change in Quake II 3.20, this is no longer the case.

Heretic II Demo Save Tip, More on the Demo  [6:16 PM EDT]
A tip from Sparhawk[TMG] for the Heretic II demo is that if you bring down the console and type "save (save game name)" you can save your game. To load it, type "load (save game name)." Easy as pie. Speaking of demos, the demo has a demo feature, check out this film (shiift-click to download) id's John Cash sent along of an amusing bit of combat he did with a chicken (copy it to base\demos\chicken.hd2 and do "demomap chicken.hd2"). Funny stuff. More on the demo is in Brian Pelletier's .plan file:

The Demo consists of 2 levels of the game. The first level, and 11th level of the game, plus 2 deathmatch levels and a training level to get you accustumed to the player controls. Most of your configs will work for movement but there are 2 more buttons you need. An "action", and a "creep" key. The final version of the game will have double tap configures and hotkey confugures; so you can put together all kind of speacial moves easily. I have a double tap for back flip and when I am being chased there is nothing more rewarding than quickly back-flipping over my chaser and now I can attack them from behind. That is just 1 example of many cool moves you can do. There is definately more combat statagey going on in Heretic II.

The Demo is only a little sampling of what Heretic II has to offer. If you like it now or don't like it; keep in mind there is plenty more coming. You still haven't seen the other 3 weapons and their powerups or the 3 other defensive spells. That's "9" new spells yet to be seen! Deathmatch will be AWESOME!!! The single player game will be just as fun. There are 8 different area looks with all their own texture sets and fantastic creatures. The cinematic scene that you saw in the demo was just the first scene that sets up the unfolding story. There are over 10 more cinematic scenes like that throughout the game.

Quake II Editing Tutorials Zipped  [6:16 PM EDT]
Due to popular demand, Rust has the over 200 Quake II editing tutorials that they've accumulated available in one zip for download.

GibStats II RTS  [6:16 PM EDT]
GibStats II version 2.4 RTS is now available, now offering real-time stats (RTS) from this Quake II deathmatch stat analysis program.

3D Realms V-Tour  [6:16 PM EDT]
The 3D Realms Virtual Tour is back online, offering a Java/Javascript tour around their offices. Please knock before you look in the bathroom stalls.

Wicked3D Drivers  [6:16 PM EDT]
Wicked3D Drivers page has new version 2.8 Windows 95/98 drivers for the Wicked3D. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Shogo Patch at 10:00 PM Pacific  [4:11 PM EDT]
Undaunted by the hazards of making such predictions, Monolith has announced the alpha Shogo patch will be available tonight at 10:00 PM. The announcement I received had no time zone, but PlanetShogo is reporting it to be 10:00 PM Pacific time. Here's the big ole announcement:

Dying to play a really hot Shogo deathmatch? The waiting is over! Get your hands on the Alpha version of the Shogo: Mobile Armor Division multiplayer point release. The Alpha patch will be available for download tonight starting at 10 p.m. from http://www.planetshogo.com and http://www.shogo-mad.com/patch/n=7000. Multiplayer servers can be located by using GameSpy, the multiplayer gaming and server support service which is included on your Shogo CD. If you think Shogo rocks in Single-player, you ain’t seen nothin yet! The Alpha patch will IMMEDIATELY improve the performance of your Shogo multiplayer games. Be warned, however. This patch is only an Alpha, which means it remains incomplete and may destabilize single-player games. The complete, finallized patch will still be released, as promised, on November 15th.

"The Alpha patch will allow die-hard fans to begin playing Shogo multiplayer NOW with no more waiting." says Monolith CEO Jason Hall. "Releasing this patch is also Monolith’s way of proving to everyone that great multiplay is our number one priority right now. We want gamers to know that we are the kind of company that delivers on the promise of excellent multiplayer."

If at any point you wish to un-install the alpha patch and bring your copy of Shogo back down to the original v1.0 (for example, the alpha patch disrupts single-player stability) you can do so easily with the simple patch un-installer, also available at the locations above.

Once you’ve played a new multiplayer game, send your feedback on the patch directly to the Shogo team at http://www.shogo-mad.com/patch/bugreport.asp/n=7001.

Heretic II Demo Patch Status  [4:11 PM EDT]
Here's a .plan update from Raven programmer John Scott on the status of a Heretic II Demo patch, and word on which Glide versions work best with the demo:

There has been mention of a demo patch. However, Activision now seem to have changed their minds. I think the status of a demo patch is "undefined".

A word on Glide versions : Activision testers were reporting instability on systems with older versions of Glide. Updating them to certain versions fixed this.

Card Version reqd
Voodoo 1 2.43
Voodoo 2 2.53
Voodoo Rush 2.45
Voodoo Banshee 2.60

Chaos DM  [4:11 PM EDT]
Version 1.1 of Chaos DM for Quake II is out on Chaotic Dreams, newly relocated to PQ. It is announced that this is one of the mods on id's upcoming Extremities pack.

Heretic II Networking  [3:46 PM EDT]
Rick Johnson's update frenzy continues with a list of thank yous in his .plan and word on the networking for the final version of the game:

Networking will be addressed further for the final release. The client prediction seems to be working well (good job to Marcus and Gil), though we are going to put some more limits in (sounds mainly). As with anything, real networking situations provide a lot of useful info.

Anachronox Interview  [3:46 PM EDT]
Anachronically Correct interviews Jay "Fross" Hosfelt (Jumping Jay Hosfelt?), modeler / animator on ION's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG, Anachronox in a piece entitled interview is entitled "Jay Hosfelt Vs. The 13th Arm."

CPU Price Cuts Correction  [3:30 PM EDT]
Intel AMD to cut prices next week recounts the details of the previously announced price cuts for CPUs that are due in a couple of days. Thanks Necromancer. Here are some new wholesale prices: PII-450 ~$560,and Celeron 333 ~$159 and  a retail price for the K6-2 400 ~$269, which I originally mistakenly said was.a wholesale price as well (don't know why they're doing an apples to oranges comparison, it seems like a tactless time to point out that Intel is an investor in CNET), thanks SpeeD for pointing the wholesale/retail thing out). Here's a quote:

Intel's cuts, set for October 25, will reduce prices on its Xeon processors for servers and workstations as well as its desktop Pentium II and Celeron lines, said numerous sources. AMD will follow the next day with reductions that will keep its K6-2 and K6 processor lines at 25 percent below the price of Intel chips running at the same speed.

Linux Heretic II Demo  [2:21 PM EDT]
Dark Wind sends along on getting the demo to work under the Wine:

Just thought I'd let you know that the Heretic 2 demo runs in Wine (Windows Emu) on Linux just perfect. Although a little on the slow side because I could only get it to use software mode, everything works.

It just complains about the wrong version of Glide. (Linux Glide is only up to 2.40b, while Heretic 2 wants 2.43)

IE4 Security Fix  [2:21 PM EDT]
The Internet Explorer Security page has word on fix for the "Dotless IP Address" issue in Internet Explorer 4. Thanks BetaNews.Com.

Heretic II Demo Schtuff  [1:03 PM EDT]
From .plans. The last update from Rick Johnson gives the (small) known issue report, including the good news that you will not have to re-download the demo to fix the demo expiration date (a patched .dll will be available).

GameSpot may be incorrectly reporting that you need a 3d card to run Heretic2. This is incorrect, as the demo does include a software renderer.

Save games were disabled for the demo as a last minute problem crept up, and we didn't have enough time to fully research and eliminate it in time.

Before everyone explodes into thinking that they'll have to re-download the entire demo because of the expiration problem, the fix for that particular problem will only be a replacement file for your quake2.dll which will be very small.

If you are having trouble starting Heretic2 in hardware mode for 3dfx, make sure you have the latest glide drivers installed.

Bug reports and suggestions can be sent to heretic2bugs@mail.ravensoft.com Don't expect a response if we get flooded with email.

Shogo Master Server  [1:03 PM EDT]
ShogoServ - The Alternative Shogo Master Server List is up and running. If you're operating a Shogo server you can post it there, and if you're looking for a game, you can just dig up an IP, or this page can serve as a server list for server browsers. A new beta 7 of Qtracker is expected over the weekend to take advantage of this (Qtracker author Ron Mercer is part of this project).

Tim Sweeney Interview  [1:03 PM EDT]
Voodoo Extreme has an interview with Epic's meat-popsicle and code-p1mp Tim Sweeney (can you tell that's Billy's description?). Billy even let Brian Hook take a five minute break from writing GrandMasterB columns to contribute a few of the questions (those would be the ones that ask about technology and not hookers). Tim's Unreal Tech page is updated as well, but it's with a couple of tidbits that were already noted here.

Blood2 Demo, Shogo Patch Update  [1:03 PM EDT]
Brian "Scorpio" Goble updated his .plan with the status of the Blood2 demo, due for release next week sometime, and the alpha Shogo multiplayer patch, still on schedule for release this evening sometime. In the update are comments on GameSpy support and what weapons will be included in the Blood2 demo.

Duality Screenshots  [1:03 PM EDT]
Sharky Extreme's Duality First Glimpse offers some screenshots from Duality, an upcoming first-person shooter from Double Aught Inc.

Banshee Showdown  [1:03 PM EDT]
There's a Diamond Monster Fusion review on FastGraphics that offers a comparison to other Banshee-based boards. also on the scream like a banshee front, Billy at VE passes along word that the unofficial 3Dfx Banshee Game FAQ has been updated with the latest word on compatibility issues and the like.

DSL Consensus  [1:03 PM EDT]
A preliminary consensus on DSL standards has been reached, raising hopes that adoption of the high-speed digital networking technology will not be as bogged down in standards negotiations as other recent such battles, like the endless debate over 56K standards.

Space Bunnies Gold  [1:03 PM EDT]
One of the more bizarre titles at E3 this year (at least as far as marketing), the Tomb Raider inspired third person action game Space Bunnies Must Die is now gold, and will be in stores soon. You have been warned. Thanks Prophet.

Local Crack  [1:03 PM EDT]
The Golgotha source (story, and story) is hard to reach with Crack dot Com's server being hammered pretty hard. The crack-heads have put out the call for mirrors, and as soon as I can get a copy I'll post it.

Heretic II Demo Released  [3:36 AM EDT]
Well, All Heretic's Day turned out to be All Heretic's Eve, but the eagerly anticipated playable Heretic II demo from Raven and Activision is now available from ZDNet Software Library, since GameSpot has the exclusive yadda yadda. Thanks mast. PlanetQuake Download Center has the list of Hexenworld mirrors, and the Heretic 2 Download Mirrors (thanks Buke) is a list of alternate sites, though of course, use the unknown ones at your own risk. Here's a note from the GameSpot Heretic II Download page that indicates a problem with the demo (and their caps lock) that will keep me from uploading a local copy until the fixed version is released sometime later today:

EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS VERSION OF THE DEMO UNFORTUNATELY HAS A COPY PROTECTION LEFT IN IT, MEANING THAT THIS DEMO WILL EXPIRE ON NOVEMBER 1, 1998. ACTIVISION IS WORKING TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM AND WE WILL HAVE THE CORRECTED VERSION AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOADING THE AFTERNOON OF FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23.

Interstate '82 Shot  [2:03 AM EDT]
Here's a screenshot from the eighties-fied Interstate '82, the upcoming sequel to Interstate '76 (thanks Charlie at Activision). Finally we understand why you might want to break the golden rule and get out of the car, as Taurus performs a textbook car-jacking:

jack.jpg (90592 bytes)

Crack Falls Down  [2:03 AM EDT]
The official announcement that Dave Taylor mentioned in an earlier .plan update of what's up with Crack and the Golgotha source has worked its way through the net. On the subject of the source, a later .plan update points out, "To those of you grabbing the source, you only need golgotha_src.zip to get started. Also, we goofed on the music name, it's "Helsinki, Finland", not "Helsinki, Sweden". *blush*" Here's the whole sad tale, told in good spirits:

WHAT: Crack dot Com is closing its doors.

WHY: Ran out of cash.

REALLY WHY: Lot of reasons, but then again, there are a lot of reasons that we got as far as we did. I think the killer reason, though, was that Golgotha was compared by publishers primarily to Battlezone and Uprising, and those titles sold really poorly.

WHAT NOW?: Now we file articles of dissolution w/ the secretary of state, and we file bankruptcy.

IS THAT IT?!: No.

WHAT ELSE?: We're releasing the Golgotha source code, and data to the public domain.

HELL YES! WHERE'S THE SOURCE CODE?: I want to personally thank everyone who supported & rooted for us. That was really nice of you.

YEAH YEAH, BLAH BLAH, WHERE'S THE SOURCE?: I want to apologize to the fans and business partners we've let down.

BOO HOO! WE CARE. OUT WITH IT!: Thanks for your patience. The source & data can be found at http://www.crack.com/golgotha_release. And of course, the ex-Crack developers are up to new & interesting things which you can follow at the web site.

WAIT A MINUTE. IS THIS STUFF FREE BECAUSE IT SUCKS?: No. Even if you thought the code sucked, there are 15 gorgeous pieces of music, 100 cool sound effects, and over 2000 hi-resolution textures. But trust me, even the code is cool. It's an ultra-modular outdoor 3D engine, and it does WAY more than Battlezone or Uprising even came close to. Check out the features page. You should definitely check it out if you've ever wanted a public domain, competetive, outdoor 3D engine.

THANKS!: Welcome. Have a happy.

Unreal Manager  [2:03 AM EDT]
The server edition of Unreal Manager (UMan) is available, offering a utility for server admins to configure and start Unreal Servers with the options and configurations they choose.

JPA Benchmarks  [2:03 AM EDT]
The new set of Jon Peddie Associates GameGauge Benchmarks compare the S3 Savage 3D, the Matrox MGA-G200, the Intel740, the RIVA TNT and the Voodoo2. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

etc.  [2:03 AM EDT]
Thresh's Frontline has Thresh's reflections on his recent jaunt to the UK for Quakeadelica (thanks SS|huz) ... WinZip 7.0 SR-1 (thanks BetaNews). In addition to the recent User Friendly run, Quake appeared in yesterday's "Buckles." Thanks Gredd and Red-Five ... The new PlanetQuake Dear Mynx is up, mature audiences advised ... The lefties config on The Bind is "completed" ...

Out of the Blue  [2:03 AM EDT]
Rumors abound abut the imminent demise of the SubSpace servers run by Virgin Interactive Entertainment, since SubSpace was not one of the titles involved the recent acquisition of several VIE properties by Electronic Arts (here's a GameSpot story on the subject). This reminds to thank id Software for their distribution of the software to run your own Quake server, which drastically accelerated the progress of free play over the Internet. I wonder how many more games would still be asking players to pay hourly or monthly fees if it were not for that instead of all the planned games where it's play for free (as well as all the (now) free online services). This has the added benefit of protection against server disappearance, there will be Quake servers as long as there is enough interest among the community, they don't rely on a company to run them. BTW, I'm told the server software is included on the SubSpace CD (thanks subspace.warzone.com), but there is no directory software, so maybe this is a project the GameSpy, PingTool, Qtracker, and QHunter authors of the world can help out on (if my ramble on free servers applies less, it was still a point, perhaps an obvious one, I wanted to make). "Real world" story of the day: Spooky teleportation study brings future closer (thanks Pat McCormick). In addition to being a cool Star Trek sort of story, it contains some of the damnedest gee-whiz science mumbo-jumbo.

Thursday, October 22, 1998         Quake II 3.20 Beta  All Heretics Day

Local Quake II Betas  [11:54 PM EDT]
This page has the local copies of the various versions of the Quake II 3.20 beta released earlier (story). It took a while to post these because I'm having a connection problem between me, id Software, and GamesNET (the latter should make it an adventure getting the Heretic II demo up when it arrives).

Golgotha Source Code  [8:41 PM EDT]
Jonathan Clark's birthday .plan update (happy 25th!) talks of his post-Crack dot Com plans for his next project, as well as announcing the release of all the materials from Golgotha, the action/strategy tank game Crack was working on before going under (the update also provides some insights into the business of making games). Info on the source code release is up on the Golgotha source code page, and you should address questions on this to golgotha_source@usa.net (Must have GOLG in the subject line).

Rainbow Six Patch  [8:41 PM EDT]
The Rainbow Six Patches page has a version 1.03a patch for R6, also available on Rainbow Six UK and the Adrenaline Vault. Thanks Voodoo Extreme. Here's the skinny:

Patch 1.03a is not a major patch. It was created primarily to resolve certain technical problems with non-English versions of Rainbow Six and addresses few single or multiplayer issues.

A more comprehensive patch is currently in development and will be released sometime mid to late November.

Before downloading, view the Readme

Download Sites:
r6103afull.exe - for any prior version
r6103amini.exe - for those with 1.03
Voxware.zip

Slave Zero Shooters -- New Time  [5:53 PM EDT]
Last week I mentioned the imminent time slot change for Shooters, and it's in effect for this week, when the live show will air at its new time of 7:00 PM Eastern (just in time to get some clearance from that Heretic II Demo release). Tonight's show will feature a conversation with the team from Accolade working on Slave Zero. Again, the festivities kick off at 7:00 PM Eastern time. RealDealie required.

VELOCITY 4400 Drivers  [5:40 PM EDT]
The VELOCITY 4400 Drivers page has new beta version 1.42 Windows 95/98 drivers for the TNT-based VELOCITY 4400.

Quake II 3.20 Beta  [4:29 PM EDT]
id's Christian "Disruptor" Antkow updated his .plan with word on the beta release(s) of a beta of Quake II version 3.20. Here's the skinny:

Some beta releases this afternoon;

q2-3.20beta-x86.exe
q2ded-3.20beta-glibc-5.alpha.rpm
q2ded-3.20beta-glibc-alpha-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
quake2-3.20beta-5.i386.rpm
quake2-3.20beta-glibc-5.i386.rpm
quake2-3.20beta-glibc-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
quake2-3.20beta-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz

Solaris versions are forthcoming.

Here's the contents of the 3.20_Changes.txt for your perusal.

**NOTE: Please note that 3.20 is a beta release. This is an interim release to allow wide testing of the new patch.

3.20 will fully interoperate with 3.19 servers. You will lose previous save games when upgrading with this patch, however.

We encourage testing of this new patch. Please send any bug reports directly to Zoid at zoid@idsoftware.com

The remainder of the update covers what's changed from the previous release.

Heretic II DM Tonight, Screenshot  [4:02 PM EDT]
Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word that he and his cohorts will be playing Heretic II demo deathmatch tonight, with word on server-browser support and stuff like that on the approximately 35 MB demo:

And! I'll be playing tonight. Biessman, Kramer, and I have our own team, called the Meat Wagon! You'll know us by our outlandish and outrageous cool names! hehe

Oh, yeah, Heretic2.

We will be running both an id style master server here (master.ravensoft.com) as well as support for GameSpy's master server. The H2 demo will include a Heretic2 GameSpyLite version.

PingTool, QHunter, and EGN will be having Heretic2 support shortly as well.

We will probably also be hosting a game on master.ravensoft.com and maybe on equalizer.ravensoft.com. Equalizer is a slower test machine in my office, and I may not support a game with more than 8 players on that one.

Demo will be approx 35 megs. Don't know what time it will be out today.

Also, Raven Archive's Heretic 2 Board is now up and running, and there's also more on the demo in Brian Raffel's .plan, as well as Jon "Shifty" Zuk's .plan. Finally (for now), Phoebus sent along an H2 screenshot to post that's damn cool:

htic2-5.jpg (715026 bytes)

Nolan Bushnell Chat  [4:02 PM EDT]
There is an online chat tonight with seminal computer game guru Nolan Bushnell, Pong inventor and founder of Atari. The chat is a Gamespot TV dealie, and their (free) virtual places chat software is required. Thanks Mediaphiles. The action takes place at 5:00 PM Eastern time, yep, 8:00 PM Eastern (we moved Shooters just in the nick of time).

Drakan Video Preview  [4:02 PM EDT]
Drakan preview on GameSpot TV (RealPlayer required). Thanks again Mediaphiles.

Voodoo2 Versus TNT  [4:02 PM EDT]
There's a RIVA TNT vs. Voodoo 2 Shoot-Out up on GameCenter that tries to determine "Who is the king of 3D graphics?"

System Shock 2 FAQ  [1:38 PM EDT]
The first unofficial System Shock 2 Frequently Asked Questions (SS2FAQ) is up at Through the Looking Glass trying to distill all available knowledge about SS2.

Daikatana, Hired Guns Previews  [1:38 PM EDT]
There's a Hired Guns preview looking at Psygnosis' upcoming Unreal-engine shooter, and a Daikatana preview giving the same treatment to ION's upcoming Quake II-engine extravaganza, both up on PC.IGN.COM. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Sinners Found, Shooters Pimpage  [1:38 PM EDT]
A man with a plan if there ever was one, Don "onethumb" MacAskill, updated his .plan again with word that the Seven Deadly Sin testers have been selected, and a little pimpage for Shooters tonight (story) which I'll reproduce here (thanks Don, the check's in the mail):

Shooters (formerly known as QuakeCast) will have some killer designers from Accolade tonight, chatting about Slave Zero. If you've got the time, I highly recommend listening... The game looks awesome, and a number of lists from E3 put it in their top 10.

This is also the game I worked on over at Accolade in the early stages before leaving to come to Ritual, so I do have the inside scoop... And it rocks. :)

Sin DM Level  [12:13 PM EDT]
Forgot to mention this yesterday, TerraFusion has posted the first user-created Sin level, a deathmatch level by Hexagon from (appropriately enough) Ritualistic. I haven't checked it out yet, but Hexagon's post indicates it was released prematurely, but as he puts it, "hey its the first released user level right?" Right. It is recommended you "play it with 2 players or not at all."

Keys2  [12:13 PM EDT]
Version 1.91, called the final version of Keys2 is now available. Keys2 is a Quake II DM and CTF mod that scatters keys throughout the levels that can give various enhanced abilities to the player who picks one up. The new version offers Eraser bot support and ZBot detection and "correction."

NT Service Pack 4 Sites  [12:13 PM EDT]
Because it's hard to even get into the page to see what sites are available to download the new Windows NT service pack, Josh "TookyCat" Straub sent along a few direct FTP links in case they'll help:

Intel x86 Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 (32,767,904 bytes)

Trespasser Initial Impressions  [11:15 AM EDT]
OGR's Trespasser: Initial Impressions are up after taking an exclusive look at a silver master of the game. The opinions of this offbeat game are worth a read, and here's a bit I want to snip about the game's hardware requirements:

Downsides? The game is an absolute hardware hog - if you don't have a Pentium 2 class machine, don't bother. The software rendering looks great, but a good voodoo2 or TNT or something will speed things up and smooth out the texture maps for an overall better effect. I played on a P2-266 with a single 12MB Voodoo2 and it got a bit choppy with a lot of objects around, but the slow feeling was mostly just due to the movement speed. I also played on a P2-450 with a Riva TNT, and it remained smooth at all times.

Heretic II Demo Tonight  [10:30 AM EDT]
A reminder that today is "All Heretics Day" when the Heretic II playable demo will be released. This story from yesterday has the details on the release party.

Multiplayer Shogo Movie  [10:30 AM EDT]
As mentioned in Jason Hall's .plan, PlanetShogo has a QuickTime move up showing off multiplayer play using an alpha version of the upcoming patch (due tomorrow). Unfortunately the video is capped at 15 FPS, so it may be difficult to tell the smoothness of the gameplay.

Raven Interview  [10:30 AM EDT]
The final interview in the series of conversations with the developers of Heretic II is up at Hexen2.com just in time for the demo's release tonight. The final installment talks with programmer Mike "Cosmos" Gummelt.

Blood2 Images  [10:30 AM EDT]
With other sites posting daily screenshots from Blood2, the Blood 2 The Chosen site's weekly vision has become more like a monthly thing, but there's a new one up there this week. Speaking of the daily shots, as we watch Tha Blood Shack struggle to post all their shots before Blood3 becomes newsworthy, are now considering posting two shots a day, in the meantime, they have a hi-res shot up.

I-War Patch  [10:30 AM EDT]
An official version 1.21 patch to address issues with Independence War/I-War that were fixed in an unofficial patch last week is available on this page. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. The new patch also adds support for some previously unsupported joysticks.

On Her*tic II De*thmatch  [10:30 AM EDT]
Can you tell Raven's Pat Lipo is e*cited? Here's his latest .plan (Raven's Nate Albury has similar sentiments in his .plan:

Just finishing up the last few details on the Heretic II demo. People have been deathmatching all night. I'll tell you right now: This game f*cking rocks. You are going to just sh*t your pants when you play it for the first time.

Assassin Quake  [10:30 AM EDT]
The latest, (and probably final) version of Assassin Quake, Lee Harvey's favorite classic Quake mod is now available, with word from the team that their next project will wait until they get their own engine.

Quake II Hand Grenade Guide  [10:30 AM EDT]
Ian's Great Stuff (100% Great Stuff) has the first guide I've seen to the art of war using hand thrown grenades in Quake II, giving full instructions on their use ("First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less..."). Thanks Doover.

Blade Preview, Shogo Review  [10:30 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme's Blade Preview takes a look at an upcoming action/RPG from Rebel Act Studios. Also, Amer takes a look at Shogo: MAD in Sharky Extreme's Shogo review.

Deer Avenger  [10:30 AM EDT]
CD-ROM Domain Press Releases announces, Deer Avenger! Thanks Steve Strickland by way of The Adrenaline Vault). Here goes:

NEW YORK, October 21, 1998 -- Bambi has had enough of looking down the barrel of your shotgun. Bucking the “Hunter” trend, now the deer is the hunter in Deer Avenger from Simon & Schuster Interactive and Cendant Software. Written by Brian McCann, staff writer for the Emmy(R)-nominated Late Night with Conan O’Brien Show, this CD-ROM game for the PC will be available in mid-November.

Taking place in one of three deer-friendly states - West Virginia, Connecticut and Minnesota, Deer Avenger takes players to the deep woods in search of the illusive big- bellied deer hunter. Using weapons just like the big boys - an M-16 (gives the hunters a taste of their own medicine), slingshot (ammo consists of hard and soft deer pellets) or bazooka (it’s time to stop kidding around) you lure hunters into the open to blow ‘em away.

Luring those pesky hunters out into the open won’t be easy. Being the smart buck you are, you’ll have:

* More than a dozen genuine hunter calls, including “Free Beer Here” and “Help, I’m naked and I have a pizza”

Out of the Blue  [10:30 AM EDT]
Happy birthday Dr. Timothy Leary (R.I.P.) Speaking of birthdays, I missed mentioning that the 19th was the one year anniversary of the release of Q2test.

Wednesday, October 21, 1998

Alpha Shogo Patch Friday  [10:22 PM EDT]
The Shogo Mobile Armor Division Forum has word that an alpha release of the Point Release patch for Shogo should be out Friday. Thanks Bones. Here's a post that covers the essential bases from Monolith's Brian "Scorpio" Goble:

Unfortunately, they left out one important piece of info...the version of the patch we are talking about releasling on Friday is an *ALPHA* version. The internet play is awesome--but it's not totally finished and/or bug-free yet. There are also tweaks we're making to the single-player game as well. :)

Turok2 Date  [10:04 PM EDT]
The Turok Cave is reporting the release date of Turok2: Seeds of Evil as November 18.

UQSA  [10:04 PM EDT]
The United Quake Servers Administration is a forum for server admins to share information related to their calling. In addition to helping deal with problem users and negative incidents, the forum can also help new server operators with questions they may have.

Heretic II Interview, FAQ, Shot  [9:23 PM EDT]
Today's GameTime on the All Games Network features an interview with Dan Freed talking about Heretic II. RealPlayer required. Also on the busy Heretic II front, on the newly christened Hereticii.com there's a new H2 screenshot, and the The Official Heretic II FAQ has been updated to version 0.2.

Quake Poll 2 Results  [9:23 PM EDT]
Methos Quake has posted the results of their "Ultimate Quake Poll 2."

Wheel of Time Shots  [9:23 PM EDT]
There are a half-dozen new Wheel of Time screenshots on Voodoo: Unlimited Power.

FRAG2 Update  [9:23 PM EDT]
What's promised as the final pre-event announcement from The FRAG 2 high command has arrived, with the latest round of tourney prizes (including a PII-400) and sponsorships; an increase in the number of participants in the MotorHead racing tourney; an update to the Schedule Section showing the various workshops; a list of game company presentations, including showings of Starsiege Tribes, Half-Life, Heretic II, Blood 2, and a Sin competition; and word on the event's sCary moderator.

Monster Fusion Drivers  [9:23 PM EDT]
There are new version 4.10.01.0206 drivers for the Voodoo Banshee-based Monster Fusion on Diamond's FTP Site, as well as a new OpenGL mini-driver for Quake and Quake II engine games. Thanks Jason.

Trespasser Date-O-Rama  [6:42 PM EDT]
The Trespasser Team page on the Trespasser site has been updated with the latest in a series of release dates for the Lost World inspired dinosaur action game. Thanks Trespasser Central. Here's the quote:

It’s is official... Trespasser ships October 27th, 1998. It will be hit shelves throughout the week.

Crush Depth  [6:42 PM EDT]
Version 1.0F of the Crush Depth mod for Quake II, that puts you in command of a submarine, is up on the 4th Dimension Interactive page offering additional player class "goodies" and better multiplayer support.

Sin Flooding  [6:42 PM EDT]
Ritual's Don MacAskill updated his .plan again, the man with one thumb and many updates is up to his opposable digit in requests to be one of the seven sinners to beta test the game, and needs no more volunteers.

PERMEDIA2 Drivers  [6:42 PM EDT]
The 3Dlabs PERMEDIA Driver Download Page has new Windows NT 4.0 drivers dated October 20 and new Windows 95/98 drivers dated October 19. Thanks Peter Mack.

Windows NT Service Pack 4  [1:55 PM EDT]
Microsoft Releases Service Pack 4.0 for Windows NT Workstation 4.0 And Windows NT Server 4.0, yep the eagerly-awaited service pack 4 for windows NT 4.0. Chris BTuttle and BetaNews.Com. Here's word from the release on where to find the release:

The Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 is available for free download at ...default.asp   (connect-time charges may apply). In addition, Service Pack 4.0 is available directly from Microsoft for $19.95 (including shipping and handling). For more information on the updates included in Service Pack 4.0, please see the "What's New in Service Pack 4.0" document.

Heretic II Demo Release Party  [1:35 PM EDT]
There's a Heretic II demo release party slated for tomorrow night hosted by Activision and HereticII.com (not to be confused with Heretic2.Com). Here's the poop sent along by Phoebus:

To celebrate the release of Activision/Raven's Heretic II, HereticII.com will be hosting an online release party in #heretic2 on 3DNet IRC tomorrow, so drop in any time before 6:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Central/9:00pm Eastern. Don't be surprised if the Raven team shows up, they've been given the royal invite to join in the festivities and might be on hand to answer some questions and experience the day with us. Features of the site include Richard "Sat" Connery's Official Heretic II FAQ, The Official Heretic II Webring, and to kick things off, a tag-team interview with the Heretic II Design Team.

More Heretic II Interviews  [1:35 PM EDT]
Hexen2.com has posted two more interviews with members of Raven's Heretic II team, today talking to Josh Weier and Marcus Whitlock, with one more conversation, with programmer Mike "Cosmos" Gummelt to be posted tomorrow, when the heretic II demo is scheduled for release.

Core Screenshots  [1:35 PM EDT]
Orangegames News has posted some new screenshots from their upcoming third-person action game called Core.

Phaser Frag  [1:35 PM EDT]
Version 0.95 of Phaser Frag, fourth place finisher in PCGamer's recent Quake II mod competition is now available. The new release of this three team CTF mod offers support for Threewave CTF maps, new sounds, bug fixes, and a simplified scoring system.

Video Games Killed the Board Game Star  [1:35 PM EDT]
ION's Rich "Zdim" Carlson, a gamer's gamer, updated his .plan with a pointer to an article on Happy Puppy called I Dreamt I Saw Charles Roberts Last Night that talks of the future and the past of one of the all-time great board game companies, Avalon Hill, upon the announcement of their purchase by Hasbro.

TeamFortress 2.9 QW  [9:40 AM EDT]
The newly relocated Team Fortress Home (not to be confused with the TeamFortress Software home) has version 2.9 of TeamFortress for QuakeWorld. The new release if server-only, so client's needn't download anything, but you can check out what's changed in the version info.

Hemorrhaging Blood2 Shots  [9:40 AM EDT]
As I mentioned yesterday, Tha Blood Shack is acquiring new Blood2 screenshots faster than they can post them, posting what was shot seven of ten yesterday, but today's shot is eight of 12.

Linux Shogo Server  [6:08 AM EDT]
Solar Eclipse, whose motto is any port in a storm, has posted an email from Monolith's Mike Dussault confirming that there will indeed be a Linux dedicated server for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and other ports as well. Cool news since there are so many beefy Linux and other non-Wintel machines available to those who would run servers.

Connectivity Connection  [6:08 AM EDT]
How to Beat the Bandwidth Blues is today's ZDNet Anchor Desk column, discussing high-speed 'net connection options that may help you find the way to become that LPB you always dreamed of being.

Action Quake2  [5:00 AM EDT]
Version 1.1 beta 2 of Action Quake2 is now available as a server-only upgrade, fixing a bunch of bugs that could crash the game and tweaking some features. Games are described as smoother as some of the server fame functions have been tweaked as well, and servers now use less CPU. Thanks LrdVaderX.

Hell Cows  [5:00 AM EDT]
Oddities has posted version 0.5 of one hell of an odd deathmatch mod for Unreal called Hell Cows. Players in Hell Cows are Nali cows, and of course for practice, there are CowBots. How psyched is Chef?

Prey Editorial  [5:00 AM EDT]
There's a GameSlice Editorial up editorializing on the state of Prey in light of the shake-up to the team announced last week.

If You Can't Stand The Heat  [5:00 AM EDT]
Thermalnet.com is re-launching today. I don't know what that means, but I do know that in the meantime it looks like a great resource for detailed info on CPU cooling units of all shapes and sizes.

Out of the Blue  [5:00 AM EDT]
Finally got around to trying that Sonique .mp3 player. How cool is that little thing, huh? I love that nutty interface, I give it two thumbs up. On the .mp3 front, here's a petition about that Diamond Rio thing that's being held back by a restraining order (thanks Dark Wind). On a similarly contentious front, happy DVD Week.

Tuesday, October 20, 1998

New Generations  [8:51 PM EDT]
A new version .92a of the coolio Generations Quake 2 Mod is out, offering a few fixes such as IP banning. Thanks LrdVaderX.

Sinners Wanted  [8:51 PM EDT]
onethumb is rolling today with a column up, and now his second .plan update of the day, this time detailing Ritual's need for some Sinners for beta testing:

-[ The Seven Deadly Sinners ]-

How would you like to come over and help us playtest Sin? If you live in or around Dallas, Texas you're invited to come give us your feedback. This offer is only open to people who aren't in the industry (other area developers have been over before, we want to give our fans a shot).

We need 7 hardcore gamers. If you're hardcore and have the time to sit down and play with Sin for about 3 hours this week, send me email ASAP.

In the event that I get flooded with requests, we're looking for people who eat, sleep, and breath games. So make sure you convince me that you truly are hardcore. :)

I'll reply with email to those who are selected, and include all the details. If you tell us you're coming, and then don't show, we'll publicly ridicule you. If you do come, however, we'll stick you in the game.

We wish we could let more of our fans come over, but we're hot and heavy in developement and don't want too much distraction.

This is a way for us to to get some feedback as well as say thanks to our fans by letting them get a sneak peek at the game.

I'll try to reply to everyone, but if I get flooded with mail and you don't hear back, then we already filled up. Sorry.

More on the Blood2 Demo  [8:51 PM EDT]
Jay "Shade" Wilson updated his .plan with details on the Blood2 demo, expected to be released next week sometime. Here's an excerpt:

The demo will include 2 single player levels, about a half dozen creatures, around 8 weapons, Caleb as the playable character, and a few other surprises. It will feature most of our gameplay features, like guns akimbo, hit location, and limb loss. We're still speculating on what the creatures and weapons will be, so again, don't ask. :) It will be a good mix, though.

The demo will not include multiplayer or save/load. This is to cut down on the demo size and testing (so we can get it to you sooner). We will most likely release a multiplayer demo after the game is completed.

The demo's minimum requirements will be similar to the game's requirements, a P166 with 32 megs of ram. A D3D compatible accelerator is highly recommended. The demo will most likely run a little slower than the final game, only because of the lack of last minute optimizations that the final game will receive. The demo size is un-determined at this point, but you can count on it being at least as big as the Shogo demo (40 megs), and possibly bigger.

Newer Lithium II for Quake II  [7:48 PM EDT]
The Lithium II Mod for Quake II page has version 1.23a of the mod fixing a bunch of snafus with the release of version 1.23 earlier (story).

Sin Release Update  [6:10 PM EDT]
Don "onethumb" MacAskill updated his .plan with few bits, including a brief interview he conducted with himself offering some Q&A on the state of Sin. Here's the release date update:

-[ Sin Release on Day XX? ]-

The flood of rumors and whatnot has increased a ton in the last two days. I'm getting flooded with ICQ and mail asking about Sin's release, so here's an update.

Q: Are we done yet?
A: Nope, not quite yet. We're in heavy bug-and-play testing.

Q: Are you going to be done soon?
A: We certainly hope so. It's getting close.

Q: When's the release date?
A: We don't have one. "When it's done."

Q: How about a good guess?
A: Sorry, but software developement isn't an exact science. We could be sure it was going to go gold in a matter of minutes, only to uncover a bug that puts us back another two days. When we finish, you'll know.

Please don't email me or anyone else on the team asking about anything covered here, we need all the time we can get just to finish up. Lots of "When will it be done" email doesn't help, since we have no answer to give.

Sites like EBWorld and AVault have no idea what they're talking about with their release dates, since we don't either. :)

We really appreciate all of our fans and their growing excitement as we get close. You guys make it all worth it.

Half-Life by Thanksgiving  [4:56 PM EDT]
According to a release passed along by Lorien at Gamer's Alliance, Sierra Studios is promising Half-Life in stores by Thanksgiving (as already noted once today, November 26 this year). Here's the poop:

BELLEVUE, WA - October 20, 1998 - Sierra Studios announced today their upcoming 3D action thriller, Half-Life, one of the most anticipated titles of 1998, will be in stores by Thanksgiving weekend. The game will go gold later this month, and retail outlets will start seeing the game in mid-November, just in time for the busiest buying weekend of the year. Pre-orders have given the heads of corporate offices within Cendant Software all indications that Half-Life will be the biggest product launch of 1998 for the company.

loonygames Issue Nine  [4:56 PM EDT]
Our own beloved loonygames rolls into issue nine with the usual bumper crop of content. Here's the lowdown from Loon-in-Chief loonyboi:

False Dot Com Issue Three  [4:56 PM EDT]
The third issue of False Dot Com is underway, offering a new Digitally Challenged column by Ritual's Don "onethumb" MacAskill on why he is tired of regular deathmatch. Word from the Falsies is that Ritual will be conducting some manner of Sin release party through them, so stay tuned for details on that.

Gore Weapon Update  [4:56 PM EDT]
The 4D Rulers' News page has a report up on the way weapons will be rendered in the game, having just received that portion of the code from Slam Software (it's their engine). Weapons you view in your hands will be the same models you pick up and see in other player's hands, a technique not used in any current shooters as far as I know. I do believe this is the way weapon rendering will be handled in both Quake III Arena, and Prey.

Perspective on the Third-Person Perspective  [4:56 PM EDT]
3rd Person: The Next Perspective is an OGR article on the upcoming crop of third-person shooters. Thanks Filth at Raven Archives. Examined in the piece are Tomb Raider (including before-and-after shots on Lara's recent breast reduction), MDK, Excalibur 2555 AD (called "the worst Tomb Raider clone ever"), Spec Ops, Die by the Sword, and on into the future of more Lara, Drakan, (shudder Space Bunnies Must Die., Heretic II and Max Payne.

Shogo Multiplayer Report  [1:18 PM EDT]
There's a report up on PlanetShogo about the multiplayer patch, based on playing with a beta of the patch over the Internet. Though the author of the report was on a T1, he quotes a friend who tested it on a 28.8 modem who says it was st0nking, which I think is a good thing from the context.

PingTool ZBotCheck Filter  [1:18 PM EDT]
The PingTool page has a filter available for their server-browser to check for servers running WhiteFang's ZBotCheck modification.

Shaft Does Gaming  [12:53 PM EDT]
Watch yo' mouth! Crystal Dynamics has announced that Richard Roundtree (Shaft, Shaft in Africa, and Shaft's Big Score).has signed to star as the voice of Akuji in "the voodoo action-adventure Akuji the Heartless" Thanks Prophet. The game is due this December, and is actually a Playstation only title, but I wanted to report it anyway, cause I'm talking 'bout Shaft. Can you dig it?

Heretic II Interviews  [10:14 AM EDT]
Two more of the interviews with the gang at Raven discussing Heretic II are up on Hexen2.com, talking to Jon Zuk and Rick Johnson.

Want Ads  [10:14 AM EDT]
The long missing Want Ads make their humble return, as separate Help Wanted and Help Offered sections. The first incarnation of this section was a roaring success at helping folks get jobs in the game business, and I have high hopes that Want Ads: The Next Generation will be as successful.

Assault Troopers for Quake II  [10:14 AM EDT]
Version 0.70 of Assault Troopers is now available, a Quake II mod that's described as a cross between Capture the Flag and TeamFortress.

Shogo FAQ  [9:02 AM EDT]
Voodoo Extreme has posted an unofficial Shogo FAQ of sorts that covers topics like networking, sound, rendering, an nearly all the console commands. Also, Billy's screenshots of the day are from Private Wars.

Newer ZBotCheck, Lithium II  [9:02 AM EDT]
The Lithium II Mod for Quake II page has an updated version 1.01 of WhiteFang's ZBotCheck program, now improved to prevent the rare, but possible, "false positive" reports from the first version. Also, the new bot detection code has been integrated into a new version 1.23 of the original Lithium II mod, which also offers a fix for the scoreboard bug.

Blood2 Demo Next Week  [9:02 AM EDT]
Monolith's Brian "Scorpio" Goble updated his .plan with word on what he's up to, and the update includes a bit on the status of a playable demo of their next LithTech game, Blood2. Brian says the demo should be out "early next week at the latest." Here goes:

Over the weekend, I some how volunteered myself to lead the task of putting together the Blood2 demo. That's right, there will be an awesome Blood2 demo coming your way soon! Should be out early next week at the latest. (once I get something into QA's hands, I'll have a better idea--it could be sooner)

Blood2 Full Before Thanksgiving  [9:02 AM EDT]
Monolith's Jay Wilson, project lead on Blood2, also updated his .plan with some thoughts on the state of the game (which is now in beta), saying it will be gold soon, and will be out well before Thanksgiving (November 26 to those outside the U.S.). Here's some of that:

Blood 2 is officially in Beta testing. Actually it's been in testing for awhile, but as of last Wednesday we locked the code and are now concentrating on bug fixes, game balancing, and optimizations. Gold is not too far off! You'll definitely be playing B2 well before Thanksgiving. :)

The levels are all in place. Bill, Ben, and myself are working on tweaking and adding details, and really crunching to get all the scipted cut scenes in. The levels are looking really good, with a broad variety of environments, and good atmosphere. I actually creeped myself out in one of my levels. :)

By the way, if this has tweaked at your thirst for Blood (down Vlad!), Tha Blood Shack has now posted number six of what are now ten daily Blood2 screenshots (that's right, they're getting new ones in faster than they can post the old ones.

More on Sin Editing  [9:02 AM EDT]
Charlie Wiederhold updated his .plan with more on the SinED material released yesterday (story), and his own version of the pop culture quote game (I finally get to play along -- Bachman Turner Overdrive!). Here's a quote

We released the tools to Sin earlier today (without too much hoopla or fanfare). They let you do anything you want with Sin that is within the bounds of the demo (any weapons, monsters, blah blah blah). So go make some DM maps in the short time you have left before the full version of Sin is done and in your hands.

Go check out Ritualistic and The Node for places to grab them: http://www.ritualistic.com/node   http://www.ritualistic.com

You know there was a time when a post on Blue's News was considered enough hoopla for anyone...

MX300 (Vortex2) FAQ  [9:02 AM EDT]
The Unofficial MX300 FAQ on 3DsoundSurge gives a little Q&A on Diamond's upcoming soundcard based on A3D's next-generation chipset.

Out of the Blue  [9:02 AM EDT]
A lot of yesterday got lost as I diddled with hardware, though this project is going to prevent hardware diddling from interfering with news posts in the future because I now have a separate machine in the Blue Labs just for testing stuff and benchmarks (should have done that a while ago). This has the delicious result of knocking the posting of the want ads back a day (I relish in it because I deserve having even so safe a promise thrown back in my face long after learning they are so dangerous--whenever I say when anything will happen it's the kiss of death).

Monday, October 19, 1998

Win Carmack's Ferrari (Or Part Of It)  [11:26 PM EDT]
Latest word out of The FRAG 2 HQ is that the winner of the CPL Quake II deathmatch tourney will win a piston from John Carmack's Ferrari (presumably one of those he has victimized, as Mr. C. is the worst abuser of pistons since Larry Bird retired). The piston will be specially engraved, and would leave the winner just a few thousand more tourney wins shy of a full car. There's also a clarification up on the FRAG2 page that Quake 2 Battleground will be the program used to organize the Quake II matches.

idGamma  [11:26 PM EDT]
the idGamma Home Page has version 2.0 of idGamma, the utility to brighten the appearance of Quake-engine games on certain video cards. The new release supports the Sin demo and offers a new interface with online help. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Linux Unreal?  [11:26 PM EDT]
LinuxGames has an unconfirmed report of someone running Unreal under Linux using Wine 981018, offering a screenshot as proof. Thanks Jason "idealego" Keddie.

WoT Screenshots  [11:26 PM EDT]
The latest weekly update to The Wheel of Time page talks of entering the most intensive part of the game's development cycle, and offers a couple of new screenshots of this upcoming Unreal-engine RPG. Thanks Tal Rhen.

Ground Zero Review  [11:26 PM EDT]
PC.IGN.COM reviews Quake II: Ground Zero saying "The Quake legacy continues with this satisfying, if not dazzling new mission pack." Thanks Dave at Voodoo Unlimited Power.

Jason Hall Interview  [11:26 PM EDT]
GameTime on the All Games Network has a RealPlayer interview with Monolith CEO Jason Hall available as Video, Audio, or Download. Thanks Mediaphiles.net, the MeccaWorld's latest place to go bang a gong.

Descent 3 Interview  [11:26 PM EDT]
Descent 3 Shoots For The Top talks to Matt Toschlog, chief of Outrage and project leader on Descent 3, as well as grabbing comments from Chris Pfeiffer, Mark Dinse, and Jason Leighton, also of the development team.

Anachronox Input  [11:26 PM EDT]
The Stratics Anachronox DevBoard is accepting suggestions for ION Storm's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG Anachronox that will be read by the development team.

Interact with Gabe Newell  [8:32 PM EDT]
The next interactive interview from PC Gamer Online will be with Valve top dog Gabe Newell, so they are again soliciting suggestions for questions.

Unreal Networking Update  [8:32 PM EDT]
Tim Sweeney updated his Unreal Technology page with the latest on his efforts to improve Unreal's Internet performance, saying the latest round of changes improve upstream bandwidth efficiency by 25% and downstream by 35%. Thanks Joel Hunter.

Ninja Quake II  [8:32 PM EDT]
The Single Player/Coop/Deathmatch Edition of Ninja Quake II is now available. The new release includes the two newest weapons (a flail and a shield), a female ninja model, and an 'only allow ninjas in this game' cvar. There is also a Ninja Q2 DM server at at 208.28.187.228. Info on the server can be found at Lord Tofu's Kingdom.

Quake II Front-End  [8:32 PM EDT]
The final release of version 3.0 of the Quake II Front-end (Q2FE) is out, a shareware program with a $15.00 registration fee.

Shogo PCX2 Fixes  [8:32 PM EDT]
Monolith programmer Mike Dussault's .plan points the way to Bob's Planet which offers workarounds and tips for getting Shogo: Mobile Armor Division working on a PowerVR PCX2 accelerator.

SinED & Tools for Sin Demo  [3:53 PM EDT]
The Node, the Sin editing site on Ritualistic has posted the first release of SinED (down at the bottom of the page), Ritual's Sin level editor, as well as qbsp3, qvis3 and qrad3, a basic entity definition file, and a few textures. This version will only work with the Sin demo.

DirectX 6.0 for NT - Not  [2:32 PM EDT]
Apparently the files on the Microsoft DirectX Media 6.0 run time page are not the long awaited DirectX 6.0 for Windows NT 4.0, as opposed to what I, and a lot of the excited people mailing me may have thought. Here's a clarification from Derek Piasecki:

Sorry to spoil the joy, but MS has not released Direct X 6.0 for NT. The file you refer to is Direct X Media, which is not the same as Direct X Foundation (what most people think of when you talk about Direct X).

Thresh Interview(s)  [2:01 PM EDT]
Thresh and Blood and the shorter Thresh at Quakeadelica are titles of two interviews with Thresh on GameSpot UK that took place at that recent Quakeadelica competition.

George Broussard Interview  [9:35 AM EDT]
George Broussard is interviewed on GameSpot UK as part of their Duke Week dealie. The conversation is about Duke Nukem Forever, talking about the switch to the Unreal engine, and a few other aspects of the upcoming game.

Heretic II Interview Fest  [9:35 AM EDT]
Hexen2.com has a 10 question interview with Jeremy Terata Statz level designer for Raven on Heretic II (and now Soldier of fortune). Several more intrerviews will be spoted there over the next couple of days in anticoipation of the demo release this Thursday ("All Heretic's Day").

Brian Hook on 3D Cards  [9:35 AM EDT]
The latest GrandMaster B on Voodoo Extreme is tasty, spicy, and saucy all rolled into one, as id programmer Brian Hook runs through the current crop of 2D/3D combo accelerators giving pros and cons on each, as well as recomendations, ranging from the perennial whipping boy, the ATI RAGE Pro ("Comes in most systems. Wish it would die. Would not buy this, ever") to the recommended TNT ("The only accelerator I'd put in a new system (along with a Voodoo2 if I needed to run games) if price was no object. To be honest, at $179, this is half the price of a 4MB ATI or S3 968 board four years ago, so there's no excuse (IMO) to buy anything else but.").

Drakan, Blood2 Screenshots  [9:35 AM EDT]
Tha Blood Shack beat Billy ot the Blood2 screenshot post, putting up shot five of what are now seven total shots (they're mmultiplying!). Undaunted, Billy took a different tack, and has a few shots of Surreal Software's upcoming adventuire game Drakan on Voodoo Extreme.

Shogo Patch, Blood2 Update  [9:35 AM EDT]
Monolith CEO Jason Hall updated his .plan with his excitement over the state of the multiplayer patch,m as well as his excitement level over what he sees in Blood2. Here's what he had to say about Internet play with the Shogo patch:

I tested out various ping times while connected to the server over my modem ranging from 50ms to 300ms, and although you can obviously feel a difference between a 50 and 300 ping in any game, you can't really tell a difference in lag between a 300 ping in Shogo and a 300 ping in Quake 2 3.19!!! So I think we are there! Not bad for a first pass! OF course we'll still improve it...

Competitions  [9:35 AM EDT]
An SLI setup with 12MB STB BlackMagic Voodoo2 cards will be given way each month fro the next three months in a drawing held on Gamer's Depot. What's the deal on the Benelux Quake2 Contest? You got me, the page is all Dutch.

Shogo RIVA Workaround: Fighting the Fog of War  [2:39 AM EDT]
Monolith programmer Mike Dussault updated his .plan with a workaround for a fog bug that appears using a RIVA TNT accelerator (and possibly the RIVA 128 as well). Here goes:

Here's a bug people have found. In the Dock 17 mission on the TNT (maybe the 128), the level shows up all blue. There will be a fix for this in the first Shogo patch, but to get around it for now, check the 'Disable Fog' option in the launcher (under the Advanced tab).

All blue... why would you want to change that?   =D

More Quake II BattleGround  [2:39 AM EDT]
Version 1.26 of Quake II BattleGround is now out, scant hours after the release of version 1.25.

Q2Start & QuickStart Updates  [2:39 AM EDT]
Version 1.01 of Q2Start, the Quake II version of Q-Start is out, hot on the heels of version 1.00, fixing a problem using the front-end to launch a dedicated server. Thanks MagixX. Likewise, Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard 2.28 revision 2 is out, taking a second shot at fixing the problem revision 1 was supposed to fix, a bug that does not like when your executable is named something other than Quake2.exe.

CPU Article  [2:39 AM EDT]
This Planet Hardware CPU Article takes an overview of the next wave of processors.

CrushDepth Interview  [2:39 AM EDT]
There's an interview with the CrushDepth Team on Sluggo's Mod Central, talking about the submarine Quake II mod.

DWANGO Eulogy  [2:39 AM EDT]
XGN Editorial - Cybrid on DWANGO called Internet Killed the Gaming Star gives a bit on the rise and fall of one of the original multiplayer online services.

Heretic II Funny  [2:39 AM EDT]
With just days remaining until the planned release of the playable Heretic II demo, and two weeks before they plan on going gold with the full game, Raven's Rick Johnson shows that the pressure either is, or isn't getting to him by offering up a tongue-in-cheek .plan update announcing a switch to the Unreal engine. Needless to say (but here goes anyway), this is a gag.

MailBag Follow-up  [2:39 AM EDT]
I pulled a letter from yesterday's MailBag, that was written before the announcement that authors of mods included in Quake II Extremities would indeed be compensated for their work (the letter questioned that).

Out of the Blue  [2:39 AM EDT]
The Help Wanted/Help Offered ads will go up sometime today (please don't send in any offers/requests until it goes up, so you can check out the updated instructions for doing so). Quote Note: SnowCrash yesterday was a gimme.

Sunday, October 18, 1998

MailBag  [10:16 PM EDT]
Mail's in, as MrCoffee has brewed up the latest MailBag. In this week's edition of going postal, reactions to the id Quake II Extremities announcement, the Thrill Kill killing, more on Quake III Arena, the Prey departures, Unreal's raw deal, a response to a recent Q3A article, and of course, more FPS.

EAX Shogo Interview  [9:01 PM EDT]
There's a Games Unleashed Shogo Mobile Armor Division Page on the SBLive! site offering a short interview with Guy Whitmore, Director of Audio and Lead Composer for Shogo and James Ackley, Lead Sound Designer for Shogo talking about the game's use of environmental audio and EAX as well as music and PC audio. Thanks CiKoTiC.

Deus Ex Art  [9:01 PM EDT]
There's some Deus Ex art from ION's upcoming Unreal engine RPG up on Sharky Extreme. Also up on SE is a Skywell Magic 3D Sound review looking at another Vortex-based PCI sound card.

Quake II BattleGround - ZBot Detection  [9:01 PM EDT]
Version 1.25 of Quake II BattleGround, adding "Lithium II-like ZBot detection" but using homegrown code," is now available.

RivCTF - Bot Detection  [9:01 PM EDT]
Also adding bot detection is the new version 1.02.50 of RivCTF, a modified Threewave CTF for Quake II.

Skin Proggie  [9:01 PM EDT]
Here's the homepage of an Md2 Utility, an OpenGL viewer for models in Quake II's native format.

Texture Proggie  [9:01 PM EDT]
Texl v2.0 is available, described as a 'noisy' seamless texture generator written in Java to add realism to textures.

EraserULTRA  [9:01 PM EDT]
Version 0.27 of Eraser Ultra is now available, offering a bunch of other mods and features piled into one steroidal Eraser bot mod (including still more bot detection).

Whoops - PGL Finalists Correction  [9:01 PM EDT]
A correction, RB-Ren, one of the season three PGL finalists, was also a finalist for season two, contrary to what I wrote earlier  (story) about there being no repeat finalists. Thanks Spyke (and others) for straightening me out.

Half-Life Interviews  [10:18 AM EDT]
Valveworld's Chuck Jones Interview talks to the Valve artist (not to be confused with the Warner Brother animation genius) about his work on Half-Life. Also, Infected life has an interview with Valve's Harry Teasley.

Blood2 Screenshots  [10:18 AM EDT]
More Blood2 screenshot news: Shot four of six is up on Tha Blood Shack as they continue to turn a half-dozen shots into a week's worth of news. Also, there are a pair of Blood2 images on Infected life, some new Blood2 shots on LithTimes, and in a late breaking story, there are no new Blood2 shots on Voodoo Extreme.

Quake II Keys2  [10:18 AM EDT]
Version 1.90 of Keys2 is now available (only the Win32 flavor at the moment). New to this version is Eraser Bot support and an optional camera modification. Thanks BadPeon.

Uprising2 Preview, Shots  [10:18 AM EDT]
Zero Point previews Uprising 2 looking at this upcoming action/strategy game from cyclone Studios, offering 15 new Screenshots.

Akolyte Interview, Feature  [10:18 AM EDT]
The Akolyte Feature on 3DGaming.Net offers a preview, screenshots and an interview with developer Steve Chen to give the lowdown on Revenant's upcoming action/adventure title.

FvF Genesis Engine Screenshots  [10:18 AM EDT]
The FvF Multiverse ("THE METAVERSE IS A DANGEROUS PLACE; HOW'S YOUR SECURITY?") has some screenshots of the player model for their upcoming FvF game using the Genesis 3D engine.

BotJohnny  [10:18 AM EDT]
Version 2.00 of BotJohnny, the Bot front-end program, is out of beta, and available for download on the BotJohnny Home Page. Version 2.0 offers what are described as a "ridiculous number of new features since the last full version." B.J. includes KeyBind 1.00 (also available separately), a binding and alias editor (now featuring an undo feature).

Overlay WinGlide  [10:18 AM EDT]
Overlay WinGlide v0.97 is up on Chris' WinGlide Page. The new release of this Voodoo in a window dealie offers support for triple buffered overlays (can improve performance over the double buffered overlay option from the previous version of Overlay WinGlide).

KHG Banshee Fix -- SB PCI Fix Too  [10:18 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends along a fix for Klingon Honor Guard on a Voodoo Banshee (61 KB) cooked up by James Finlan ( cHodAX ). This is an unofficial fix, untested by me, so use at your own risk. Also, SnowLeps.AoT passes along the tip that the SBLive! fix for Klingon Honor Guard (story) will also fix a similar problem on SB PCI64 (and presumably PCI128) cards.

Number Nine Revolution IV  [10:18 AM EDT]
Number Nine Revolution IV review on Fast Graphics has a look at the upcoming "Ticket to Ride" powered 3D accelerator from the unassuming Number Nine (most companies would have named themselves #1), comparing it to the Matrox G200, NVIDIA TNT, Voodoo Banshee and S3 Savage3D.

Config Page  [10:18 AM EDT]
Joe Manio's Config Page has tips and instructions on working out your Quake II config guide, as well as some "celebrity" configs.

Competitions  [10:18 AM EDT]
The PGL Quake II finalists for season 3 have been determined, they are immortal, Thresh, Pharoah_, Lord-187, K9-Masta, noname-99, RB-Ren, and nem_ccm (no season 2 finalists qualified). Thanks fido_7. Also, the Alex Quake II 2-on-2 league is underway, offering high-ping and low-ping divisions.

Net Pioneer Passes Away  [10:18 AM EDT]
Internet pioneer Jon Postel dies at 55 marks the passing of the man once referred to by The Economist as "god" of the Internet to complications following heart surgery. Thanks Andrew Smith.

Think and Do  [10:18 AM EDT]
GameSpot's GSAT (The GameSpot Aptitude Test) is up to add some school-like stress to your fun and games (complete with graphics depicting those #2 pencil test forms).

Out of the Blue  [10:18 AM EDT]
Yah, slipped a (newt-sized) Python  quote in yesterday, not sure if that counts... To heck with the bluegrass music sites, how about Blue News, dedicated to following cop television shows in obsessive detail (yeah, they probably can't figure this site out either)... go figure. Thanks JaGa.

Saturday, October 17, 1998

Blood2 Shots  [1:09 PM EDT]
As threatened, Tha Blood Shack is bleeding Blood2 screenshots with another new one today, and more promised over the coming days.

Non-Playable Revenant Demo, Lara Movie  [1:09 PM EDT]
Some viewing for a Saturday afternoon, Eidos has released a pair of new movies showing off upcoming games, a 14 MB non-interactive demo of Revenant (9 MB zipped) showing off their fantasy/RPG-type game (they call the game "dark," but this movie was almost uselessly dark on my system, though maybe it's just me), and an MPG of Lara Croft in what seems like a (French) send-up of a Paul Hogan/Isuzu-style car commercial. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers. Here's a local copy of the Lara Ad (2.3 MB), and a (dark) local copy of the Revenant AVI (9.3 MB) courtesy of GamesNET's breath-freshening FTP.

ZBot Check  [11:48 AM EDT]
More on ZBot combat from Matt "WhiteFang" Ayres is up on the Lithium II Mod for Quake II page. ZBotCheck is a drop in utility that can be used with other mods (source isn't included "for obvious reasons") to help detect and kick users of aim bots. Thanks GoG.

Updated Kick Engine Demo  [11:48 AM EDT]
An updated KICK game engine demo is now available. Here's the poop on the new release from the main programmer, Martin Barlow:

We are pleased to announce a new version of the KICK tech demo. Mouse support has been added, performance is improved by about 25%, a few bug fixes and a much, much better demonstration of the the realtime shadows. You now start off in a room with no light, a door opens, the light comes flooding through. Seeing is believing. A 80K patch is available from the last version or the complete download is 3.7MEGS. The next version released will include a proper mini level, have spotlights and volumetric liquid will finally be shown. We're also doing an option screen to allow support of video modes up to 1600*1200 and to customize the mouse and joystick. This will be released in 2 weeks time. We're also getting good support from video card companies who looked at the last demo and support should be much better in the next release. We just need a few TNT's now and we're sorted.

Dave Perry Interview  [11:48 AM EDT]
Next-Generation Online interviews Shiny's Little Terror, talking to Dave Perry, Shiny prez, about Messiah, and other happy shiny stuff.

Daikatana Screenshots  [11:48 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme has taken the latest ION Storm EPK and turned into HTML magic, as they've posted a load of Daikatana Shots in what Billy lovingly calls Sharky's daily reach-around.

Quake FrogBot  [11:48 AM EDT]
The Metropolis FrogBot homepage has the latest release of the one bot for classic Quake that remains in production, version 0.12 of the FrogBot ("I got better..."). The new release offers many fixes and enhancements, and the source code is included.

Newer Urban DM  [11:48 AM EDT]
The Urban Software Main Base has an updated version 1.02 of the Urban DM mod for Quake II which fixes a bunch of bugs that showed up in the 1.01 release.

Hired Guns  [11:48 AM EDT]
The Hired Guns page has been updated with new information on this upcoming action game based on the Unreal engine that uses four (count 'em) points of view in the game.Thanks Dave "Yellow 5" Lepore. If you're having trouble keeping tabs of all the Unreal Licensees, this PlanetUnreal page has a running list (compiled by Yellow 5, as well) that details the known projects.

Rendition Reference Drivers  [11:48 AM EDT]
I don't see them on the Rendition Software Download page, but Renaddiction has a link to what they say are new WHQL certified reference drivers available from Rendition.

Ph.D in TeamFortress  [11:48 AM EDT]
PlanetFortress has an intriguing story up on a study being conducted at the University of Canberra on the subject of cooperative multiplayer gaming communities, specifically TeamFortress. TF players can participate by filling out a short survey. "Fosters, Australian for Beer... TeamFortress, Australian for College."  =]

John Romero Interview  [4:26 AM EDT]
Here's a short John Romero interview that talks mainly about Doom. Thanks CiDcO at StormTroopers.

CPL Interview  [4:26 AM EDT]
Stepto.Com talks to Angel Munoz, the main mogul over at NewWorld.Com (AVault) about his role as President of the CPL, the upcoming FRAG2 event, and things along that vein including a "previously unannounced CPL tournament in January called Extreme Annihilation."

KHG Cheat Codes  [4:26 AM EDT]
There are Klingon Honor Guard cheat codes on AGN Cheats. Remember though, cheating is without honor.

KHG Sporb  [4:26 AM EDT]
Also on the KHG front, this page has instructions and files available to get a SpaceOrb 360 working with MicroProse's newly released game.

Quakeadelica Demos  [4:26 AM EDT]
Demos and commentary about the UK Quakeadelica Thresh challenge dealie are up on PlanetQuake's Quakeadelica Coverage. Thanks cHiLdSpLaY.

Win Used Stuff  [4:26 AM EDT]
Win 32 megs of SDRAM and Unreal in another Game Asylum used stuff giveaway.

Netscape 4.5  [4:26 AM EDT]
Netscape Communicator 4.5 is out of beta and available on Netscape's FTP site. Thanks Ant. For those keeping score at home, Navigator, previously ahead of Explorer in the version number race by a slim 4.07-4.01 margin, now leads by almost half a version, but don't count Microsoft out, as they are capable of stunning scoring spurts, like the 90-some point jumps for Office and Windows when the whole Win95 thing happened.

Out of the Blue  [4:26 AM EDT]
Congrats to Matt Sefton and his wife Angela, who gave birth to Charlotte, a 6 lb 4 oz bouncing BSP. Ooops, stop reading this Matt, time for another feeding. Speaking of birthdays, I never did wish PlanetQuake well on the occasion of their turning two, so congrats to them too. I wonder what their terrible twos will be like?

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