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Friday, September 11, 1998

Trespasser Video  [8:06 PM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault PC Release List has posted a new movie showing off Dreamworks Entertainment's upcoming Trespasser. The clip, in .AVI format, is about 18 MB, and apparently runs a mere 11 seconds. Thanks Trespasser Central.

Rainbow Six Patch  [7:53 PM EDT]
The patches page on the Rainbow Six has a new version 1.02 Rainbow Six patch. Thanks Rainbow 6 Retreat. Here's the poop:

This is the 1.02 patch for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. It will properly update Rainbow Six versions 1.00 and 1.01.

This patch file does not replace the Voxware.zip release of Monday, August 24th. If you are planning on using voice communications in multiplayer, and have not already done so, you will need to download and install that file separately.

1.02 is not multiplayer compatible with 1.01 and 1.00. You will get an error message if you try to connect to a version that is incompatible with your version.

If you have installed any third-party mods that update your data files, this patch may fail to install. Re-install your game from the CD, then reapply this patch.

Rainbow Six RSB Editor  [7:53 PM EDT]
The RSB Editor page contains the first editor for Rainbow Six image files designed as a tool for Rainbow Six players to "create their own mods, create new skins for their Elements, and eventually create new textures for their addon maps."

New A3D Vortex Drivers  [7:53 PM EDT]
The Aureal A3D Interactive Drivers page has new Vortex Windows 95/98 drivers for A3D-based sound cards. Thanks Syncope.

Solaris Quake II 3.19  [5:53 PM EDT]
Zoid updated his .plan with the announcement of the Solaris ports of Quake II 3.19:

Quake2 3.19 Solaris Dedicated Server Release --------------------------------------------

I've released the server ports of Quake2 3.19 for Sun Solaris based systems (both Sparc and X86). They are available at:

q2ded-3.19-i386-sun-solaris2.5.1.tar.Z
Quake2 for Solaris x86 2.5.1 Systems or later.

q2ded-3.19-sparc-sun-solaris2.5.1.tar.Z
Quake2 for Solaris Sparc 2.5.1 Systems or later.

Sin Editing Resource  [5:53 PM EDT]
Ritual's Charlie Wiederhold updated his .plan with an enthusiastic post about The Node, a Sin editing site.

STB VELOCITY4400 Drivers  [5:53 PM EDT]
New version 1.31 Windows drivers for the TNT-based STB VELOCITY 4400 are up on the VELOCITY 4400 Drivers page. Though it's not mentioned on the site, I'm told by STB that these are considered final (non-beta) drivers. I also now have a BIOS flasher to set my 4400 to the proper clock speeds, and will post updated benchmarks when I've got them completed.

Giants Screenshots  [3:52 PM EDT]
Planet Moon Studios has posted some new screenshots of Giants, the upcoming multiplayer game from the team that created MDK.

Wicked3D Follow-up (Again)  [1:50 PM EDT]
Yay! The Wicked3D Support Drivers page notes that the new drivers have been pulled, mentioning some tweaks that were required. There is no mention of the cheating (story and story) at all, but I'm just happy enough that they addressed the issue quickly (I spoke with Craig from Wicked3D and he said a fuller statement will be forthcoming).

AllStar2  [12:41 PM EDT]
The Allstar2 page has posted version 1.0 of AllStar2, the Quake II version of All-Star CTF. AllStar2 provides original levels, an integrated server that allows for easy game set-up, and a unified client that allows the same client to join any one of the supported CTFs, including Threewave (Zoid's), Weapons Factory, ThunderWalker, eVolution CTF, Expert CTF, L-Fire CTF, Lasermine CTF, NIQ CTF, and UNR Clanwar.

Wicked3D Follow-up  [12:41 PM EDT]
I'm still hacked off at the Wicked3D folks for their X-Ray drivers dealie (story), and judging from the response in my mailbox, I'm not alone (and onethumb has updated his .plan on the subject, as well). Let me suggest that if this pisses you off as much as it does me, you drop them a line over at products&sales@wicked3d.com (thanks Steve Lewis), and politely let them know what you think of promoting cheating (feel free to tell 'em Blue sent you). Maybe there's even some way to get them to remove this feature (I wonder if it's even possible for them to make it so the current drivers no longer work in the future).

Anachronox Interview, Chat  [12:41 PM EDT]
There's also a brief Tom Hall interview on GamerzEdge, and also tonight is the monthly Anachro-Chat, an online IRC session with the game's development team (thanks StormTroopers). The action begins at 8:00 PM Central Daylight time, and you can join in either by pointing an IRC client at www.ionstorm.com and joining #ion, or by visiting the ION site with a java-capable web-browser, and following the links.

Ground Zero Available  [12:41 PM EDT]
I've received a couple of reports that the Quake II mission pack, Ground Zero, is now available in some stores (a day early).

LAN Article  [12:41 PM EDT]
There's a small article in the Houston Chronicle (a very Quake-friendly paper) that mentions the Houston LAN scene, and Greenlee's Gib-O-Rama Lan Party in particular (a fair opportunity to point out a long-needed update to the LAN parties page will happen over the next day or two). Thanks Joe Adkison.

UK Tourney  [12:41 PM EDT]
Quakeadelica! is a UK-based tourney on WirePlay sponsored by AMD to determine a local champ to fly to the US to take on Thresh in a challenge match.

Fiber Cut  [12:41 PM EDT]
Internet users in the Southeast US are likely to experience connectivity problems to due to a fiber break. I'm saddened to report not Bubbah and a backhoe, but a train wreck involving a passenger train that caused the problem.

Blade Movie  [6:46 AM EDT]
Pete's Hardware Domain has posted a QuickTime movie showing off the Blade game from which they recently posted screenshots.

Carmageddon II Shots  [6:46 AM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Gallery: Carmageddon II.

New Lithium II  [6:46 AM EDT]
Version 1.21 of the Lithium II Mod for Quake II fixes a problem that popped up with Quake II 3.19 where the haste rune and safety shield were showing up red instead of yellow due to the different way that 3.19 handles yellow entity shells.

Sharky Dementia  [6:46 AM EDT]
The Daily Dementia offers a conversation with Alex "Sharky" Ross (in a show that is now twice as what TC described as its ideal running time). RealWazmo required.

Unreal Win95 FAQ  [5:49 AM EDT]
GT Interactive's Unreal Win95 FAQ has been updated, with the primary changes coming to the "Error Messages" and "Multiplayer" sections (this makes three Unreal FAQs, I think I said there were two the other day). Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Starsiege Tribes AVI, Shots  [5:49 AM EDT]
Starsiege Tribes Players has posted a new AVI (just 400 KB), showing off the first good look at their female skin (as they put it, buying the farm) from Dynamix's upcoming Starsiege Tribes. Thanks Billy at VE. Also, Game Post has some new Tribes screenshots up.

CTF Bible  [5:49 AM EDT]
The latest strategy guide up on Gamer's Extreme is the GX CTF Bible, the gospel on capturing the flag in Quake II according to Thresh and Nemisis.

TF2 Interview  [5:49 AM EDT]
CF TF has posted an Interview with TyR, level designer for TeamFortress Software, talking about TF2.

Wicked3D Drivers (& Rant)  [5:49 AM EDT]
New version 2.5 of the drivers for the Voodoo2-based Wicked3D are available. I saw that on the Classy Glasses page (dedicated to H3D glasses) while checking out their WickedVision Combo giveaway for their logo contest (artsy-types might want to check that one out).

I'd like to award the gang at Wicked3D my losers of the month (at least) award for adding an "X-Ray glasses" option to their driver (here's the driver's features page). I've seen people create cheats with a callous disregard for their impact on games, but for a video card vendor to try and sell cards based on their ability to help you cheat just sucks. Argh!

STB TNT NT Drivers  [5:49 AM EDT]
The VELOCITY 4400 Drivers has new beta NT drivers for the VELOCITY 4400. Thanks Andrew.

Intel740 Drivers  [5:49 AM EDT]
This Intel Software and Drivers page has new Intel740 Windows drivers. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

FPS at ECTS  [5:49 AM EDT]
PlanetQuake ECTS Coverage looks at what was shown of the upcoming crop of first-person shooters at the recently completed ECTS, looking at Half-Life, Shogo, Klingon Honor Guard and PlayStation Quake II.

BotS Maps  [5:49 AM EDT]
Four new Battle of the Sexes maps are available on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page offering

Linux Weapons Factory  [5:49 AM EDT]
The Linux port of version 3.1 of The Weapons Factory for Quake2 is now available. It has been tested with 3.19 and has no readily apparent problems. On the subject of the Weapons Factory mod, The Bind has posted a new Weapons Factory Enhancement CFG pack that includes several configs that cover the bases of all the mod's classes and how to get started.

Quake II Stats  [5:49 AM EDT]
The Champions League for Quake (alternate site) offers a database of statistics polled from live Quake II servers, offering player rankings, info on popular mods, maps, etc., regardless of whether the servers polled are part of the league or not (sounds a bit like the old Quebec Barf QuakeWorld rankings).

Raven Programming Update  [5:49 AM EDT]
Raven's Jake Simpson made another Heretic II Programming update in his .plan. Also, Rick Johnson updated his .plan, among other things, giving the status of some of his programming projects:

Hexen World: Yeah, I know about this one too... Once I get the final QW source update from Zoid, I'll merge that in and put it out. Pending any huge mistakes in the release, that will probably be it for HW. The source the progs.dat will be released at that time, along with Siege.

Heretic 2: DS (Designer Script) is going really well. Designers have been able to do some really cool stuff with the in-game cinematics and a few other tricks here and there. You should be able to pick up the language with no problem. SoF will also use the same language, though it will be more evolved, both internally and externally (when the public wants changes for the scripting after it is released in Heretic2). The graphics in this game are just awesome. Beta is this tuesday for them.

SoF: It is slowly coming together. In a month, we'll be in great shape, as a lot of the major pieces will be coming together. We have a gaggle of designers currently on the project, so the maps are looking awesome. Eric Turman and Scott Rice are away this week out to CA doing some art things. Let's just say: a whole ton of animation frames. More about that later.

Out of the Blue  [5:49 AM EDT]
As someone who has driven with 3D Realms' Chris Johnson, I just have to say that while his contention that "Traffic tickets suck" from his most recent .plan update may be true in general, it is also likely true that the threat of those tickets may be the only thing keeping the rest of us alive when Chris is behind the wheel.

Thursday, September 10, 1998

Ritual Shooters  [6:54 PM EDT]
Tonight on Shooters we will entertain guests from Ritual Entertainment (or vice versa), as we'll be joined by sound dude Zack Belica, designer Tom "ParadoX" Mustaine, and Don "onethumb" MacAskill to talk about... yup, Sin. Everything kicks off live at 8:00 PM Eastern this evening, RealDealie required.

HGII & Barrage Shots  [6:54 PM EDT]
Word from Voodoo Unlimited Power is they've posted some new screenshots from Barrage and Heavy Gear II.

Linux Quake II 3.19a  [5:53 PM EDT]
Zoid updated his .plan with the confession that he omitted an essential object file in the Linux builds of Quake II 3.19 resulting an a version 3.19a release:

Damn, I hate it when I screw up.

I missed including an object file in the gamei386.so for the 3.19 Linux builds. This results in a server crash if a spectator tries to go into camera mode. The server will die with an unresolved symbol (GetChaseTarget) since I forgot to link the camera code in. Sorry.

This requires rebuilding the kit. I've put together new 3.19a set of builds. The only change is a relink to include the missing object. This doesn't affect players much, but does affect people running servers.

New kits:

quake2-3.19a-2.i386.rpm
Quake2 for i386 libc5 Systems (RedHat 4.x, Slackware, et al.) in RPM format.

quake2-3.19a-glibc-2.i386.rpm
Quake2 for i386 glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in RPM format.

quake2-3.19a-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 for i386 libc5 Systems (RedHat 4.x, Slackware, et al.) in TAR format.

quake2-3.19a-glibc-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 for i386 glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in TAR format.

q2ded-3.19a-glibc-2.alpha.rpm
Quake2 Dedicated Server for alpha glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in RPM format.

q2ded-3.19a-glibc-alpha-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 Dedicated Server for alpha glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in TAR format.

New Paul Steed Quake II Model  [5:53 PM EDT]
The Chaos! Comics Quake II Contest page has a new plug-in player model by id artist Paul Steed (with tweaks and animation by Jade Moffat and skins by Alan "Party Crasher" Yen) called Lady Death. The model is a teaser for their upcoming contest, and they are also conducting a sound pak contest for the model in conjunction with the BodyShop.

Brian Hook Quake III TNT Clarification  [1:34 PM EDT]
A .plan update from Brian Hook clarifies the post he made earlier (story) about comparisons to TNT's Quake III Arena performance:

This is why I hate plan updates. I do an update, then I get 7000 e-mails asking me questions. Okay, clarification: performance comparisons so far have NO included Banshee (due to lack of drivers) or V2 SLI (since we don't have a board near our test machine).

Secret Ops Episode 3  [1:27 PM EDT]
Wing Commander Secret Ops episode 3, is online. Thanks XenoPhage. Secret Ops is a free episodic installment in the Wing Commander series.

FreeSpace Server Update  [1:09 PM EDT]
A new version 1.03.01 of the Descent FreeSpace Standalone Game Server is available from Volition Inc. This update is only for dedicated servers: The plan is to make updates to the multiplayer game available through the dedicated server .EXE in between updates to the full game. On that front, word is that version 1.04 of FreeSpace is still on the way.

Half-Life Screenshots  [11:17 AM EDT]
There are two new Half-Life screenshots on Level Alpha Half-Life News, one showing off a new energy beam effects, and the other a first person shot from Gordon's POV as he fires at  a rappelling (and repelling for that matter) trooper.

PERMEDIA 3 Previews  [11:17 AM EDT]
AGN3D's PERMEDIA 3 Preview is online, and Kert's Page has an article about the PERMEDIA 3's graphic pipeline, and another covering Hardware texture management.

New QW FvF Arena  [11:17 AM EDT]
Version 4.30 of Future versus Fantasy QuakeWorld is out on FvF QW Headquarters, offering both single class, and multi-class, one-on-one arena play. Thanks Prophet.

Quake II Mailing List  [11:17 AM EDT]
A new mailing list for the discussion of Quake II in the Charlotte, NC area is now running. You can sign-up though the HeadStrong Project page and selecting Quake II Charlotte from the drop-down menu.

Quake II 3.19 Redux  [5:02 AM EDT]
As noted in Disruptor's follow-up to his original Q2 3.19 post (story), the version of Quake II 3.19 originally posted did not include the pak2.pak file with the visible weapons. Here's Quake II 3.19 with VWep support (2.4 MB), and here are the VWep files separately (1.7 MB), though it is noted that if you updated the 3.18 beta, you do not need to update your VWEP files. Also now available is the full Quake II 3.19 installer with the DM maps (10.6 MB), and the full 3.19 including the DM maps and CTF (15.8 MB).

Quake II 3.19 Linux  [5:02 AM EDT]
An update to Zoid's .plan gives the lowdown on the Linux Quake II releases, along with word on the 3Dfx OpenGL miniport for Linux:

Quake2 3.19 for Linux has been released. This release features support for two different OpenGL drivers: the 3DFX OGL Miniport (which has been ported to Linux) and glX based OpenGL implementations. The 3DFX Miniport works by preloading the new lib3dfxgl.so library before the Mesa 3-D library gets loaded. The new ref_glx.so rendering shared object handles glX implementations.

I'd like to get feedback on the new rendering modes. Lemme know if glX works with other GL implementations than Mesa 3-D, and how much of a difference using the 3DFX Miniport (lib3dfxgl.so) over the Mesa 3-D stuff makes for you.

I don't have multitexture working with the lib3dfxgl.so yet on multi-texel cards (such as the VooDoo2), but I'm working on it and hope to have it ready for a next release.

Quake2 dedicated servers for Solaris Sparc and Solaris x86 will be forthcoming probably tomorrow.

Here's the release files:

quake2-3.19-1.i386.rpm
Quake2 for i386 libc5 Systems (RedHat 4.x, Slackware, et al.) in RPM format.

quake2-3.19-glibc-1.i386.rpm
Quake2 for i386 glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in RPM format.

quake2-3.19-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 for i386 libc5 Systems (RedHat 4.x, Slackware, et al.) in TAR format.

quake2-3.19-glibc-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 for i386 glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in TAR format.

q2ded-3.19-glibc-1.alpha.rpm
Quake2 Dedicated Server for alpha glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in RPM format.

q2ded-3.19-glibc-alpha-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz
Quake2 Dedicated Server for alpha glibc (libc6) Systems (RedHat 5.x, et al.) in TAR format.

Brian Hook on TNT and Quake III  [5:02 AM EDT]
Brian Hook made a .plan update pointing out, upon the implementation of multitexture support, at the moment, the RIVA TNT is the champ of the current crop of accelerators being tested with Quake III Arena.

TNT Unreal  [5:02 AM EDT]
Razor at Planet RIVA sends along the following clarification on Unreal TNT OpenGL support:

The Riva TNT works with all of the OpenGL patches that I've released except the most recent one. The reason for this is that I introduced a bug that I am now working on with nVidia. A version that works optimally with the TNT should be released this week.

Tim Sweeney on Unreal Patch Status  [5:02 AM EDT]
Tim Sweeney updated his Unreal Technology page with a description of the feature creep that's delayed the eagerly awaited Unreal patch, calling it "really close." Thanks Apache at PlanetUnreal.

Carmack on Dual-Processor Q2 & Q3  [5:02 AM EDT]
John Carmack made a .plan update talking about an experiment he took on the road to adding dual-processor support to Quake III Arena that attempted to add dual-processor support on the API level (so Quake II and Quake-engine games could take advantage of multiple processors right now). He came up with some discouraging results, and it sounds like dual-processor support will not happen until Quake III Arena. It's a lengthy update that recounts a 20% speed loss in the first version of the .dll, followed by optimizations that ended up gaining too little to be worth pursuing, writing in conclusion:

Too much effort for what looks like a reletively minor speedup. I'm giving up on this aproach, and going back to explicit threading in the renderer so I can make most of the communicated data implicit.

Oh well. It was amusing work, and I learned a few things along the way.

Peter Molyneaux Chat  [5:02 AM EDT]
Jon passes along word of an online chat this evening with designer Peter Molyneux on 3Dnet at 7:00 PM Eastern (Daylight) time:

There will be a chat with Peter Molyneux on the 3Dnet IRC Network on the #Lionhead channel this Thurs at 7 PM EST time. Some servers to connect to are: irc.planetquake.com, ritual.3dnet.net, telefragged.3dnet.net

Shogo2?  [5:02 AM EDT]
Monolith's Jason Hall made a lengthy update to his .plan on several topics, including today's .planned release of a Get Medieval! Demo and the game's full level editor; an upcoming Caleb player patch for GM! for Blood fans; lots of Shogo enthusiasm, and at the very end, a mention that info will be forthcoming about a possibility of Shogo2. Speaking of Shogo, LithTimes has posted four new Shogo shots, and is planning on posting more on a daily basis.

Amoeba Interview  [5:02 AM EDT]
An interview with Jonathan "Nelno the Amoeba" Wright on the Daikatana Cabana talks to the man behind the AI in ION's upcoming Daikatana about the recently implemented sidekicks the game will offer.

Made in the Shade (Blood2) Interview  [5:02 AM EDT]
Talking nasty with Monolith's Jay Wilson (Blood2) on Voodoo Extreme. Thanks Chernomyrdin.

New ATI GL Minidriver  [5:02 AM EDT]
A new RAGE PRO TURBO Beta Windows 95/98 OpenGL ICD (Version: Lonsdale b37x,) is now available from ATI, offering a full ICD with 3DNow! optimizations and support for DirectX 6.0 (which is required). Thanks Zordon.

BattleZone IAS Patch  [5:02 AM EDT]
The Extreme Audio Reality page has an Interactive Around-Sound patch for BattleZone. I don't know if computer games cause violence, but I'm pretty sure music like that page's does.

Half-Life Preview  [5:02 AM EDT]
Contaminated.net has scanned in a four-page preview from Sierra's InterAction Magazine.

Ninja Quake II  [5:02 AM EDT]
Ninja Quake II is a CTF mod that adds martial arts to Quake II with eight new weapons: Fists, Boomerangs, Claws, Swords, Spears, Pole Axes, Mallets and Chainsaws.

Quake II Kick  [5:02 AM EDT]
Q2 Kick is a new Quake II soccer modification. Thanks HAMMER. Keeek!

QuakeBoarding  [5:02 AM EDT]
The first release of QuakeBoarding, offering a marriage between snowboarding and Quake, is now available. Don't forget your insulated flak jacket.

Sharky Gets Tilted  [5:02 AM EDT]
Sharky reviews the Microsoft SideWinder Freestyle Pro checking out this tiltable game controller.

Out of the Blue  [5:02 AM EDT]
Ended up napping away after visiting Dr. Toothy (he sends his regards, and a reminder to floss, BTW), so some of today's news is catch up from last night. Here's the oddball link of the day, Star Park - Oh My God! You've Killed Kenobi!!!! (thanks James "Distortion" Boswell). "Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals, I'm living proof" - Darth Vader.

BEEFCAKE!

Wednesday, September 9, 1998

Quake II 3.19  [6:34 PM EDT]
Quake II 3.19 is up on id's FTP Site. Here's the poop from Disruptor's .plan:

We've put up the Quake 2 v3.19 update patch on our FTP site.

I'll be sure to make the *-full (DM Maps)and *-full-ctf (DM Maps + CTF) releases available later on this eveing and *nix releases should follow soon after.

There is an Alpha version of v3.19 available which we have marked as a beta because it has not been extensively tested. Mileage may vary.

...q2-319-x86.exe
...q2-319-axp-beta.zip

Here's what's changed;

- Updated VWEP models
- Fixed sound config strings getting out of sync on loadgame. This caused the wrong sound to be played.
- Fixed a bug in ref_soft that caused the menu system's bottom of screen help text not to be displayed
- Added a missing Rogue DM option
- "Water surfing" that was present in 3.17 has been fixed (holding jump while on the surface of water let you swim at full speed).
- Environment maps (env) are now autodownloaded (if allow_download_maps is set).
- Spectator support added. A new cvar is built into the client, "spectator" Setting it to value other than "0" will allow you join a game as a spectator. While in spectator mode, you can press the attack button to enter a chasecam mode and follow other players. Using the inventory keys (by default the left and right square brackets) you can switch between players in the game while using the chasecam. You may enter and leave spectator mode while connected. Doing so resets your score to zero.
***The new spectator support requires a new game.dll and may not work for user mods until they update their code. The default game.dll that comes with 3.19 supports chasecam as well as the new included Xatrix game.dll.
- Fixed it so that when a model defaults to male/grunt (don't have the necessary model or skin for the player), VWep support is still enabled.
- New console command for players, "playerlist". This will cause the server to give you a text list of the players on the server, including their connect time, score, ping and spectator status. This is handy if not
everyone fits on the scoreboard on busy servers.
- New cvar for the game.dll: spectator_password. If set to a value (other
than "none"), users must set their spectator variable to this value in order to join the server as a spectator. This password is independant of the normal user password.
- New cvar for the game.dll: maxspectators (defaults to 4). This value is
not seperate from maxclients (a spectator is still a client).
- New cvar for the game.dll: sv_maplist. This can be set to a list of map
names that the server should autorotate through, rather than using the
nextmap set in the actual map files themselves. For example: set sv_maplist "base1 q2dm1 q2dm3 fact3" will cause the server to rotate through those maps.
***This requires a game.dll update and will not work with user mods until they update their code.
- A new facility has been added to ClientConnect() in the game.dll to allow the game.dll to pass a message back to the user for the reason of disallowing a connection. It is done by setting a key of "rejmsg" in the passed userinfo.
For example:
Info_SetValueforKey(userinfo, "rejmsg", "Password required or incorrect.");
- The server cvar, password, may be set to "none" to clear the password. This is needed because rcon can not set a blank password.
- New server cvar: sv_airaccelerate. This controls the optional air acceleration facility. The default value is 0, which disables air control. The usual value to replicate the air control seen in the original Quake and later versions of Quakeworld is 10. 10 allows for much more
air control (as was seen in 3.15). This value is ignored in single player and coop.
- Fixed NoSuchFrame/BAD_MODELTYPE errors when doing a vid_restart while
connected.
- NoSuchFrame errors now include model name to assist in debugging user mods.
- Fixed the remote status query response (ServerInfo) to not include error  messages and be more consistent.

Shogo Previews  [6:34 PM EDT]
Computer Games Online's Shogo Mobile Armor Division preview and GameSpot's Preview of Shogo Mobile Armor Division are both online. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Half-Life OEM Ships?  [1:46 PM EDT]
A post on Computer Games Online suggests they have word that the OEM edition of Half-Life has been shipped to manufacture. According to their blurb, the hardware bundles it is slated be included with are for Diamond’s Monster Sound MX300, Guillemot International’s Maxi Gamer Phoenix (Voodoo Banshee), and ThrustMaster’s FragMaster Joystick (coincidentally previewed here). Thanks ZaMoose at HalfLife.Org.

Quake II CTF Map Pack  [1:33 PM EDT]
A CTF map pack I got word on a few days ago has finally cleared the incoming folder, and is available here on cd-rom.com (approx. 17 MB). Thanks cOWGOd and Quake2.com for the updated link, and for this Quake 2 Capture the Flag Expansion Pak page with screenshots and a description of the project.

Collegiate Gaming League  [12:19 PM EDT]
The HEAT Collegiate Internet Gaming League is a new free online multiplayer gaming league specifically for college and university students, offering the chance to represent their schools in national online multi-player gaming tournaments. Thanks Prophet.

KHG Preview  [12:19 PM EDT]
OGR previews Klingon Honor Guard looking at MicroProse's upcoming Unreal engine game.

Code on the Cob  [12:19 PM EDT]
The second edition of loonygames' Code on the Cob continues Chris "Kiwidog" Hargrove's (3D Realms) quest to teach some principles of game programming in regular installments, and help you program a simple game along the way.

Unreal FAQ  [11:20 AM EDT]
An update to one of the two (by last count) unofficial Unreal FAQs (the PlanetUnreal edition) brings it up to version 0.99.4 adding a considerable chunk of info, since the last update was in May. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Lithium Mod II  [11:20 AM EDT]
Version 1.20 of the Lithium II Mod for Quake II is now available, offering integrated CTF support.

Romero Interview  [11:20 AM EDT]
The Texas Twenty profile of John Romero is now online offering a look at the profile that provided the "death shot" in its print edition (the photo is different in the online profile). There is also a form to offer your own question for John that will apparently be passed along. Thanks Tinky-Winky.

Team Evolve Interview  [11:20 AM EDT]
A Bodyshop interview with Team Evolve, taken from the IRC confab the other evening, is up on Sound Off's Page talking to the team about their upcoming Zaero add-on for Quake II.

MechWarrior III Shots  [11:20 AM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Gallery of MechWarrior III offers some first look at the sequel to the game I liked to call "Quake-Ludes."

Newer Action Quake II  [4:46 AM EDT]
The Action Quake2 page has version 0.99 available already to stomp out the bugs introduced along with the new teamplay modes. The new release is a server-only fix (yeah, I know I originally said that about the 0.98 release, but this time it's even true).

Zaero Manual  [4:46 AM EDT]
The Zaero Manual is online, giving a pre-release look at the documentation for Team Evolve's upcoming Quake II add-on.

Blade Screens (X2)  [4:46 AM EDT]
There are a bunch of new Blade the Vampire Hunter screenshots on the Zero Gravity Blade page. The shots give a look at this upcoming game (engine unspecified) based, I'm told, more on the old comic than the movie (though he was a vampire slayer back in  the Gene Colon days) . Thanks John Callaham. Meanwhile, there are some exclusive Blade shots on Pete's Hardware Domain showing off a completely different game, also called Blade, this one from Gremlin (shots look pretty cool).

Trespasser Preview  [4:46 AM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault previews Trespasser, and also I see on Billy's they have an interview with Seamus Blackley.

Descent III Update  [4:46 AM EDT]
Jason Leighton and Kevin Bentley at Outrage updated their developer notes talking about Direct3D and OpenGL support (touching on an advantage Glide offers over D3D in complex geometry rendering) and Descent III multiplayer modes (including modem support where you can simulate the 'net by specifying packets per second), respectively. Thanks Deep Space.

Secret Ops Strategies  [4:46 AM EDT]
The Secret Ops Strategy Guide on 3DGaming.Net has been updated with hints and tips to cover the second episode of Origin's free Wing Commander game.

LMPC Update  [4:46 AM EDT]
Version 3.2.1 of The Little Movie Processing Centre is available, hot on the heels of version 3.2.0 which had a showstopper bug that made it almost unusable for DEM format files.

Out of the Blue  [4:46 AM EDT]
From Chris Johnson (Vertigo)'s .plan file: Standards war tilting in favor of DVD as execs see hard road ahead for Divx makes it sound like must pay TV is on the rocks. I'll me out a while in the afternoon at Dr. Toothy (so if Unreal II or Quake III comes out at 3:00 PM, I'm scooped). Happy belated birthday to Rebel Boat Rocker Billy Zelsnack and Valve designer Brett Johnson.

Tuesday, September 8, 1998

Half-Life Screenshots  [11:12 PM EDT]
Dark Portal Map Database has a couple of new Half-Life screenshots up. Thanks Twisted Half-Life.

More TNT  [11:12 PM EDT]
Here's a Canopus Spectra 2500 review on Anand's from Sunday. Also, Billy and Sharky have each posted some TNT stuff, Sharky checking out the Canopus SPECTRA 2500 on "lower-end" machines (his definition), while Billy posted some benchmarks of his own for the VELOCITY 4400, but was hitting the Pina Coladas, 'cause he left V-Sync on for the Voodoo2 tests. Look for updated benchmarks in a bit, as soon as he fixes that.

New Qtracker  [6:11 PM EDT]
The Qtracker Homepage has beta 4 of version 2.2 of Qtracker, apparently an "Against my better judgment" release. The new version of this server browser adds the Sin Demo to the list of games it supports. Thanks Lynx.

TeamFortress Interview  [6:11 PM EDT]
An interview with Ian Caughley on PlanetFortress talks to TeamFortress Software's biz guy about the early days of TF.

i740-Triangle Champ  [6:11 PM EDT]
Brian Hook made an update to his .plan, a rarity for him since he now has his column on Voodoo Extreme. The update mentions the Intel740 was the surprising leader in his recent comparison of triangle throughput on the current crop of 3D accelerators, though he adds "However, with sufficient tuning I'm sure the other drivers will catch up in short time."

New Genesis 3D Engine Beta  [5:39 PM EDT]
The second beta of the Genesis 3D Engine SDK is now available, offering the first release of their physics system. Here's the word on the new release:

Beta 2 includes the first release of our physics system. You can build rigid bodies, connect them with joints and specify their properties in our editor.

Source code to the latest version of GTest is included with the SDK. All you need is Visual C++ and you can modify it to build you own deathmatch game.

Genesis3D is a free 3D engine. Make your own games and pay no licensing fee and no royalty. We want to build the best 3D engine and make it free for everyone. Please visit the forums on our web site and give us your feedback.

But remember, please keep the Genesis device out of Kahn's hands at all costs...

Jake Hughes Interview  [5:39 PM EDT]
Bomb.NeT goes head to head with Jake "Strider" Hughes in an interview that discusses both Daikatana and Anachronox.

Beta STB VELOCITY 4400 (TNT) Drivers  [3:35 PM EDT]
New version 1.26 Windows 95/98 drivers for the TNT-based STB VELOCITY 4400 are now available. Thanks Randy Perry. The drivers are described as an unsupported beta, but I'm told they fix several of the glitches with the versions that the cards shipped with (no word yet on a BIOS update).

Conference Kill  [3:35 PM EDT]
The CK Home Page has a beta of a Quake II proxy that allows private point to point voice and text messaging going to your teammates (sounds like the type of thing that will revolutionize serious teamplay).

Braveheart  [3:35 PM EDT]
They can take away your 3D accelerator, but they cannot take... your FREEDOM! Drop your kilt and grab your sword (huh?), because a newly announced game from Eidos Interactive based on the Braveheart movie is on the way, offering quite a playing map, as "Using satellite terrain mapping and fractal technology, every square mile of Scotland and Northern England is faithfully reproduced." It sounds like a spin on an RTS-type game, but it's hard to tell from this screenshot:

Battle2.jpg (36767 bytes)
The battle by the fabled "White Windows Cursor Tree"

Daikatana Sidekick Screenshots  [1:09 PM EDT]
Even as I posted the following blurb about the Daikatana sidekicks, my mailbox was humming, as Tricia at Eidos passes along some screenshots showing the team in action:

e1_02.jpg (31969 bytes) e2_01.jpg (30909 bytes) e3_01.jpg (35983 bytes) e4_01.jpg (43592 bytes)

For fidelity fans, here's a zip of the uncompressed bitmaps (1.7 MB).

Daikatana Sidekicks In  [12:58 PM EDT]
A story on OGR reports that the artificially-intelligent sidekicks for Daikatana have been implemented into the game bringing one of the game's most interesting-sounding planned features, teammates that actually help accomplish your missions, closer to reality.

Shogo Shots  [12:58 PM EDT]
There are three more new Shogo screenshots on 3DNews.Net.

Creed Demo  [12:58 PM EDT]
A playable demo of an action game called The Creed from Insomnia Entertainment and EA up on The Adrenaline Vault PC Release List. The demo, which offers 3D acceleration, weighs in at 36+ MB.

Voodoo2 Roundup  [12:58 PM EDT]
A Voodoo II roundup @ Fast Graphics gives comparisons between 12 different Voodoo2-based boards (and a Banshee), covering four different SLI combinations.

Half-Life Interview, Shots  [12:13 PM EDT]
A GameSpot ECTS Interview with Gabe Newell talks to Valve's Managing Director about Half-Life, and well as a GameSpot ECTS Gallery of  Half-Life that offers a dozen new screenshots (a few are familiar looking, but some quite spectacular).

Max Payne Screenshots  [12:13 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Gallery Max Payne has some action shots from this very cool looking (high on my personal "most anticipated list") upcoming third-person shooter from Remedy/3D Realms.

Descent III Screenshots  [12:13 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Gallery Descent III has a few new screenshots of Interplay's upcoming installment in the Descent series, as well as an ECTS Preview of Descent III.

Predator Quake  [12:13 PM EDT]
The Predator & Prey page has version 0.95 of Predator Quake, a class based Quake II modification based on a manhunt versus an invisible predator (any litigious lawyers reading this are hereby commanded to self-destruct within five seconds).

K6- 2 Banshee Support  [12:13 PM EDT]
3Dfx Interactive to Optimize Voodoo2 and Voodoo Banshee Drivers For 3DNow! Technology is the announcement of 3DNow! support for the Voodoo Banshee. Thanks 3 Fingers.

New Action Quake2 - Updated  [5:39 AM EDT]
Version .98 of Action Quake2 is now available as bot a client and server update (I originally mistakenly wrote it was a server-only update, thanks Slade for the correction. In addition to several gameplay tweaks, the new main feature of the latest release of this popular Quake II mod is a teamplay mode, in the vein of "last man standing" and Rocket Arena, that keeps dead players from respawning until each round is over. Thanks Cail.

Quake II Toys  [5:26 AM EDT]
Quake Rocks! is the charged-up title of a preview from The Raving Toy Maniac looking at the upcoming Quake II figurines from ReSaurus. (I wrote a post about this the other day, but it was one of those lost in my corrupted update after my system crash, so I've lost the name of the kind soul who originally sent this in, but thanks to loonyboi for the reminder). The sculptures they've created to mold these toys look so cool I have to post a couple of shots:

mmarine_small.jpg (2652 bytes) blade_small.jpg (2028 bytes)

John Carmack on the TNT  [4:34 AM EDT]
John Carmack updated his .plan talking about the upsides of his new RIVA TNT. Interestingly, it also turns out that if he's not a card counter, he's close enough for the casino's tastes that it got him tossed from a Vegas casino. Here's the TNT part:

I just got a production TNT board installed in my Dolch today.

The riva-128 was a troublesome part. It scored well on benchmarks, but it had some pretty broken aspects to it, and I never reccomended it (you are better off with an intel I740).

There aren't any troublesome aspects to TNT. Its just great. Good work, Nvidia.

In terms of raw speed, a 16 bit color multitexture app (like quake / quake 2) should still run a bit faster on a voodoo2, and an SLI voodoo2 should be faster for all 16 bit color rendering, but TNT has a lot of other things going for it:

32 bit color and 24 bit z buffers. They cost speed, but it is usually a better quality tradeoff to go one resolution lower but with twice the color depth.

More flexible multitexture combine modes. Voodoo can use its multitexture for diffuse lightmaps, but not for the specular lightmaps we offer in QuakeArena. If you want shiny surfaces, voodoo winds up leaving half of its texturing power unused (you can still run with diffuse lightmaps for max speed).

Stencil buffers. There aren't any apps that use it yet, but stencil allows you to do a lot of neat tricks.

More texture memory. Even more than it seems (16 vs 8 or 12), because all of the TNT's memory can be used without restrictions. Texture swapping is the voodoo's biggest problem.

3D in desktop applications. There is enough memory that you don't have to worry about window and desktop size limits, even at 1280*1024 true color resolution.

Better OpenGL ICD. 3dfx will probably do something about that, though.

This is the shape of 3D boards to come. Professional graphics level rendering quality with great performance at a consumer price.

We will be releasing preliminary QuakeArena benchmarks on all the new boards in a few weeks. Quake 2 is still a very good benchmark for moderate polygon counts, so our test scenes for QA involve very high polygon counts, which stresses driver quality a lot more. There are a few surprises in the current timings...

Benchmarks  [4:34 AM EDT]
Couple of changes to the 3D Benchmarks page: the numbers for the VELOCITY 4400 are down until I get a BIOS update to test it at its new specified clock speed. To make up for the loss, however, brand new RIVA TNT numbers for the Canopus Spectra 2500 are up in their place (BIOS update and all).

Descent III Interview  [4:34 AM EDT]
A Descent III Interview @3dgw speaks with Matt Toschlog, President of Outrage Entertainment and lead programmer on their upcoming Descent III about the game.

3D Game Compatibility Chart  [4:34 AM EDT]
An update to Carten's 3D-Game-Compatibility brings the number of games listed to over 445, along with info on 3D API and hardware compatibility.

LavaCam  [4:34 AM EDT]
Version 1.09 of the LavaCam for Quake 2 is now out. LC is a camera client that follows Quake II DM action from fixed points like intermission points or deathmatch span spots. The new version adds Eraser Bot support.

HyperQuake  [4:34 AM EDT]
Beta 3 of the HyperQuake Quake II mod is up on the HyperTeam Development page, offering Eraser bot support, laser trip mines, weapon banning, and seven new maps.

Eraser Bot Launcher  [4:34 AM EDT]
Version 2.54 of the Eraser Bot Launcher is out.

Deathmatch Database  [4:34 AM EDT]
A change in the way the database works over at the DeathMatch Database has improved the speed of searches many times over, making looking for an opponent easier than ever.

Rainbow Six Review  [4:34 AM EDT]
The Battlezone Games Network reviews Rainbow Six.

From ECTS  [4:34 AM EDT]
Some photos from ECTS are up on Ritualistic. Also, the Daily Dementia for September 8 talks with Maarten (aka Hexagon) of Ritualistic live from the ECTS in London. Subjects covered include Daikatana, and Messiah.

LIGA  [4:34 AM EDT]
The types of problems online tournaments are subject to are amply evident in the brouhaha over at Liga.Net, where a bunch of participants have left over disputes over fair play and league administration. The problems center around an incident where Immortal was asked to leave the league for allegedly cheating (the subject of considerable debate, as his accuser, Liga commissioner Kimble, is likewise being accused of cheating himself). The many messages on the subject have spilled over into the Gamers Extreme Message board.

Winamp  [4:34 AM EDT]
The Winamp Homepage has version 2.0 of Winamp, the non-gaming related, but fairly indispensable MP3 player. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Out of the Blue  [4:34 AM EDT]
Thanks for the kind words on the counter hitting 20 million (eventually, it had one of its breakdowns right at the moment of truth), the fact that all 20 of you like this site enough to have visited a million times apiece (or something like that) is truly touching (all kidding aside, I hope you all know how much the tremendous support this site has always received means to me). Every time someone has asked about my plans for the counter on the occasion of it rolling over, I say I want to take it down, but invariably the reaction comes telling me to leave it up. It just starts to seem like Jerry Seinfeld's rumination on why McDonalds is still counting burgers sold after a certain point.

Monday, September 7, 1998  --   Happy Labor Day (US), Labour Day (Canada)

Kingpin Screenshots  [8:12 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Preview of Kingpin takes a look at Xarix's upcoming Quake II engine game, and GameSpot ECTS Gallery Kingpin shows off some screenshots. Thanks foolkiller. The Kingpin... that explains why my Spidey sense has been tingling to beat the band!

Paradox Q&A  [8:12 PM EDT]
New on The LAN Scene are Q&A sessions with Tom Mustaine of Ritual and Doug Lombardi of Sierra.

Blood2 Screenshots  [8:12 PM EDT]
LithTimes has posted a couple of new Blood2 screenshots. There's also a new Shogo poster and screenshot on Voodoo Extreme.

Sinister - Sin Level Editor  [3:04 PM EDT]
The first public release of Sinister - a level editor for Sin, Version 1.0, is now available. While the shareware Doom and Quake and the Quake II demo all specify that you cannot make add-on levels (making that only legal on the registered versions), I have found no such reference in the Sin Demo documentation (I went so far as to re-download it to see if there is a EULA on installation), which came as a surprise to me. Here's a work-around they've posted for an error the editor, based on QE4, can generate:

If anyone gets a gl error when running the program, just close the program and relaunch it and be sure you have done everything in the readme.txt file.

Also, FearTech Unlimited Productions has recently posted beta 1.2 of SinStart, a Sin Demo launcher.

Messiah Update  [3:04 PM EDT]
MessiahUniverse has posted some new character information from Shiny's upcoming messiah, as well as a shot of one of the weapons from the game.

Weapons Factory 3.1  [2:05 PM EDT]
Version 3.1 of Weapons Factory for Quake II is out. This server-side only update to this class-based Quake II mod adds autozoom and laser targeting options for sniper rifle and enhances its accuracy; improves the sentry gun interface; adds a tranquilizer dart for the spy; and adds class specific ammo limits. NT and Solaris versions are up, with the Linux version to be available in a day or two.

Max Payne Preview  [2:05 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS News previews Max Payne reporting on the rolling demo shown at the show in London.

PVRSG  [2:05 PM EDT]
Also from GameSpot ECTS News is a report that PVRSG-based video cards should be available by this December, including a version with no TV-out capabilities.

More on Mis-Matched SLI  [2:05 PM EDT]
Chris Connolly of Planet Hardware sends along the following on the earlier story about running mis-matched Voodoo2 boards in SLI mode:

In fact, you don't even need some hacked glide2x.dll to get this to run, you can get Voodoo SLI to work with different board brands AND different ram configurations, if both boards are running the latest 3dfx Voodoo2 reference drivers (available from 3dfx's page). It will detect both boards as "Voodoo2 3D Accelerators", detect SLI in the Voodoo2 panel in your display controls, and allow you to play games up to 1024x768 - As of right now, I have two different Voodoo2 boards, a 12 MB board, along with an 8 MB board as the secondary, and SLI works perfectly, I'm running Q2 in 1024 at around 60-70 FPS.

New Unreal OpenGL  [12:16 PM EDT]
An updated version D of the Unreal OpenGL minidriver is up on the Rendition website. Here's a local copy (277 KB) on GamesNET FTP. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers

More on Half-Life OEM  [12:16 PM EDT]
Contaminated.net has a follow-up from Valve's Mike Harrington clarifying that the OEM version of Half-Life does not mean a public demo (as mentioned in yesterday's story), but is, in fact, a version to be bundled with hardware (video cards, etc.). Lisa from Valve sent me a follow-up to make sure the reasons for this are clear:

By now you've probably already seen Mike's post but let me reiterate: the OEM version of Half-Life is intended for hardward manufacturers to bundle with their hardware (OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer btw). It's standard practice for OEMs to make decisions on the software they will bundle MANY months in advance of it actually hitting store shelves, which is why we needed to deliver this version in advance of the retail product. While we do not control when these manufacturers will actually ship HL along with their hardware, it should be AFTER the full retail product ships, now slated for late October.

There were two reason for making the OEM announcement: 1) to let everyone know that we're not just sitting on our thumbs, since finishing this milestone gets us a LOT closer to shipping the final product and 2) to let the larger PC community, particularly hardware manufacturers, know that we (actually, Sierra) have this program if they are interested in taking part. Sounds like something got lost in the translation somewhere! Hope this clarifies.

Duke Loony  [12:16 PM EDT]
The third issue of loonygames (already unashamedly calling itself "the best damn gaming magazine online"), offers a look ahead at Duke Nukem Forever. Kicking things off is George Broussard Gets Annihilated, an interview with Duke Nukem's boss conducted by the total annihilator, Chris Taylor. They're also running a contest giving away a signed copy of Duke Nukem 3D and a Duke action figure. The rest of this issue will, as usual, be updated in daily installments over the coming week.

Action Quake2 Map Pack  [12:16 PM EDT]
The map-pack page on Action Q2 Map Depot has "Directors Cut," an official map pack for AQ2, as decided by popular vote.

New Daikatana Screenshots  [12:16 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS Gallery Daikatana offers some new screenshots. Thanks TC at the MeccaWorld.

X-Wing Alliance  [12:16 PM EDT]
LucasArts announces X-Wing Alliance, a new Space Sim from LucasArts. Details are on LucasGames, and screenshots are up on AGN3D and OGR. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

New Unreal Engine Game  [12:16 PM EDT]
Word on Unreal Nation from Mark Rein is that Psynosis (not MicroProse as originally reported) has licensed the Unreal engine for a remake of an old Amiga game called Hired Guns (thanks Billy at VE). Here's a quote:

Psynosis announced and demonstrated Hired Guns, an ultra-futuristic gamed based on an old Amiga hit in which you control three mercenaries trying to put an end to a reign of terror. What's cool about Hired Guns is, as was with the original Amiga version, you deal with a quad-split screen where your character and the mercenaries you control are all shown on one screen - you can also go full screen if you want. What's different is that in the original the four screens were essentially slide shows and in this game they're in Unreal Engine-rendered real-time 3D glory.

Mod Tutorials  [12:16 PM EDT]
The new Qdevels Web Board includes several forums on the art of modifying Quake II, including some new tutorials.

Quake Voice  [12:16 PM EDT]
The QuakeVoice project continues, beta 14 is said to offer recognizable, if not always understandable voices, in this quest to add real-time voice communications to Quake II multiplayer.

Mismatched Voodoo2 SLI?  [12:16 PM EDT]
AGN3D has a post up detailing how it's possible to use a version of the glide2x.dll they have posted to use Voodoo2 cards from two different manufacturers together in SLI mode (provided they have the same RAM configuration), which normally doesn't work. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

RIVA 128 Tweaks  [12:16 PM EDT]
DanTech's Tweaking Games for RIVA 128 cards is now indexed to easily find the game you seek to tweak. Also, the RIVA 128 tweak guide now has "a super-duper image quality autoexec for Quake II."

More Demo Analysis  [12:16 PM EDT]
From the makers of the recently announce Q2 Demo analyzer, the Q2DA - Homepage now also has Quake and QuakeWorld versions of the program to derive statistics from game demos.

LMPC, Quake Demo Specs Updated  [12:16 PM EDT]
And more on demos: Version 3.2.0 of The Little Movie Processing Centre is out, offering extensive bug fixes to this demo utility that supports every demo format in the universe, including Doom,
Doom II, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife LMP files; rudimentary support for Duke Nukem 3D and Redneck Rampage DMO files, as well as support for Quake DEM files, QuakeWorld QWD files and Quake II DM2 files (client and server recorded) are supported. No word on PMD (Pac-Man demo) support, but I'm sure where there's a will....

Also, The unofficial DEM format description has been updated, or perhaps downdated is a better word in this case, as the incomplete documentation of the Hexen II format has been removed. Finally, The unofficial QWD format description is now updated to be current through QuakeWorld version 2.30.

Out of the Blue  [12:16 PM EDT]
Slept in today... Labor Day? Sounds like you ought to work harder, not take it easy....

Sunday, September 6, 1998

Mail Call  [5:34 PM EDT]
The MailBag's up, finishing off (I believe) a couple of lengthy threads, including the framerate versus human perception stuff, the PingPlotter versus the Internet thread, and, of course, sodas versus sodas (and teeth!).

Diablo II 3D  [5:34 PM EDT]
GameSpot ECTS News reports Diablo II Goes 3D, describing the surprise announcement that Diablo's sequel will offer 3D support to its 2D engine, which will improve framerates, add transparency, translucency and of course, colored lighting for cards using a 3Dfx chipset (though 3D acceleration will not be required to play). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Half-Life in October -- Demo Sooner?  [12:54 PM EDT]
An article called Half-Life Release Confirmed on GameSpot UK has word out ECTS, apparently straight from Valve's Gabe Newell, that half-Life will be shipping in October,. calling that a "firm" release date. Thanks DErAileD at Twisted Half-Life. Also, a post on Valveworld based on a conversation at ECTS offers the following on the availability of the OEM version of the game (though there is an assumption there that this is a public demo, which the OEM name contradicts, more on this to come, I imagine). Here's the quote:

According to Robin and a Sierra employee of my acquaintance, they hope to have Half-Life out within 4 weeks (this ties in with the rumours) and the OEM version in a week. The OEM will be around 25% of the whole game so in other words, plenty to keep people busy until the start of October.

Painrift Patch  [12:54 PM EDT]
A patch for RMD Software's recently released Painrift mod for Quake II as a full installer, or a patch for previous versions. Also now available are custom tabs to find Painrift servers using PingTool or GameSpy. The new release is just bug fixes, with no appreciable gameplay differences from the original release.

Messiah Interview  [12:54 PM EDT]
GameSpot's ECTS Preview of Messiah offers a conversation what Dave Perry, of the Happy Shiny People about Shiny's upcoming Messiah, a third-person game that puts you behind the wheel of a suped-up cherub. Thanks TC at MeccaWorld.

Savage 3D Review  [12:54 PM EDT]
Kert's Page examines S3's Savage 3D in a six page review.

Thresh Analysis  [12:54 PM EDT]
Thresh vs. Quake2 II is a blurb on Exscape.Com that responds to some of Thresh's criticisms of Quake II (story). Thanks Philip Dhingra.

Quake Banner Exchange  [12:54 PM EDT]
This Quake Banner Rotation page describes a banner swap program for Quake-related pages to help cross-promote with other such sites.

Make Your Quake  [5:53 AM EDT]
Make Your Quake! is a fascinating concept for a mod: MYQ is class-based QuakeWorld multiplayer TC where players can design their own class, which is password protected for private use.

NightHunters  [5:53 AM EDT]
Beta 1.3 of the Night Hunters Quake II mod is now available fixing what are described as "pretty major" bugs. Though it sounds made for Karl Kolchak, this one is actually more suited to Arnold, as it pits a Predators against Marines.

Mortyr (and Pistols)  [5:53 AM EDT]
A Mortyr preview on 3D-Unlimited does not offer a hands-on perspective on this upcoming first-person shooter being created in Poland, but does have nine new screenshots, two pieces of concept art, as well as an overview of the plot.

Rainbow Six Review  [5:53 AM EDT]
GamePen Review's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six in an enthusiastic write-up.

TNT Schtuff  [5:53 AM EDT]
There's a Canopus SPECTRA 2500 - AVault Hardware Preview, and there's a Canopus SPECTRA 2500 review on  RivaRave and this one on Cyrellis3D. It is not specified if the card's BIOS has been updated with the new settings on these except for the Cyrellis article, where it was (though the Avault piece is using what I know to be the latest drivers, mentioned by version number), but NVIDIA has lowered the spec on the RIVA TNT so that it now runs with a 90 MHz memory clock. I've been playing with the Spectra (oops, SPECTRA) myself, and the latest round of drivers and BIOS upgrade (or downgrade) greatly increases the stability of the card, clearing up a almost every one of the glitches and crashes I was experiencing with the last set available for the STB VELOCITY  4400 (which are based on an earlier set of reference drivers). I don't know what impact the BIOS change has on performance, however. I will update the benchmarks page with SPECTRA numbers when I have them. I do believe drivers from STB based on the new reference drivers will be available soon.

Video Utils Bonanza  [5:53 AM EDT]
The bgr software page has updated versions of TweakIt for Voodoo/Voodoo 2Direct3DGlide, a TweakIt BETA Build, and the Matrox Overclocking Utility. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

DirectX 6 Interview  [5:53 AM EDT]
MSDN Online offers "A Look at DirectX 6.0" interviewing DirectX Chief Jay Torborg and Group Program Manager Mark Kenworthy. Thanks Chris at BetaNews.Com.

3DNow! FAQ  [5:53 AM EDT]
Version 1.0 of the Unofficial 3DNow! FAQ is online answering all those Q's you keep A'ing so darned F about AMD's K6-2 chipset. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Q-Start  [5:53 AM EDT]
Version 1.82 of Q-Start is up on the German-language MagixX page (the program can now toggle into English mode).

BotS Maps  [5:53 AM EDT]
Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page has posted four new maps for the Battle of the Sexes Quake II mod.

Competitions  [5:53 AM EDT]
The Team Fortress World Domination tourney is heading into the home stretch of its inaugural season, and is looking for clans to sign up for season two. Also, the voting is tallied, and the DM levels for The FRAG 2 (Dallas, Halloween), have been determined to be The Edge (Q2DM1), Reckless Abandon (match1), and The Frag Pipe (Q2DM3). Finally, Gamers Depot is giving away five Real3D Starfighter boards over the coarse of the next five weeks..

Out of the Blue  [5:53 AM EDT]
I got lots of interesting feedback about the editorial on loony's, thanks to everyone who wrote in... Most respondents were heartily in favor of more in the future, but there are still concerns I have (raised by just two who wrote in) about issues this raises, so I'm going to give this a lot of thought. I'll probably post some of that feedback in next week's MailBag (this week's, to be posted today, is already pretty full, since I failed to post one last week in my preparing to leave town.

Oh yeah, just for fun: Customized JavaScript insults (warning, strong language) on JavaScript DESTINATION - P121. Thanks Andrew.

Saturday, September 5, 1998

Unreal FAQ  [11:36 PM EDT]
An updated version 0.4 of the Unreal Kingdom's Unreal FAQ is online.

Deus Ex Interview  [11:36 PM EDT]
There's an interview with Harvey "Witchboy" Smith, the Design Team Leader for Deus Ex on PlanetUnreal..

Monster 3D II Drivers  [11:36 PM EDT]
Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D Drivers has new version 4.10.01.0203 Monster 3D II Windows 95 drivers. Thanks Brother Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Pongo OGL  [11:36 PM EDT]
This one is too priceless to pass up, especially on a slow weekend: Billy put word up on Voodoo Extreme that Pongo OGL (Bucky Ball) is out. 3D accelerated Pong. Woo!

Quake Versus Quake II Part II  [1:08 PM EDT]
Thresh's Frontline Quake versus Quake II Part II is up with more of Thresh's thoughts on the debate, including a clarification for those who've assumed he hates Quake II.

Pro Hunter Interview  [1:08 PM EDT]
PlanetUnreal has posted an interview with Travis Williams, Executive Producer at ASC PC Games talking about the just announced TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter, a hunting game using the Unreal engine.

KHG Preview  [1:08 PM EDT]
There's a preview of Klingon Honor Guard PC.IGN.COM that looks at a beta copy of this Unreal-engine Star Trek game. Also, IGN is running a Klingon Trivia Game from Microprose offering over two grand worth of prizes every week. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Heretic II Preview  [1:08 PM EDT]
The Games Domain Preview of Heretic II is a look at a pre-alpha of the game. Thanks again to Frans at 3D Action Gamers. I gave them a hard time about calling this a review, but apparently it's a preview and the section it's in is called Game's Domain Reviews.

Assimilation  [1:08 PM EDT]
Resistance is Futile declared the Assimilation page (any guesses where they're hosted?), describing their recently released Quake II mod where the object is to assimilate all enemy players. Here's a feature list quoted from their page: Rankings system, Streak Counters, Dynamic Lighting, Changing Times of Day, Insult Kills, Glowing Shells, Supports custom skins, Up to four teams, Total Server Control, Total DM map support, Fantastic Gameplay, Fun for a girl or a boy!!!!

PERMEDIA 3 Sneak Peek  [1:08 PM EDT]
Frontline has posted a sneak peek at 3Dlabs' PERMEDIA 3.

UKAL Q2 Tourney  [1:08 PM EDT]
The UK Apocalypse League offers a Quake II competition for two player teams in the United Kingdom, no low ping players allowed.

Out of the Blue  [1:08 PM EDT]
Had a machine crash that actually wiped out a whole news update today: the first time that's ever happened to me in over two years of daily updates (I relentlessly save my work, but this time I ended up with a corrupted file when I rebooted, so I needed to start from scratch). I know I lost at least one story in there dangit....

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