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Friday, September 18, 1998

New OpenGL Unreal Patch  [9:38 PM EDT]
The Rendition website has a new version of the OpenGL patch for Unreal. The patch allows for OpenGL Unreal on certain video cards, including Rendition V2x00 boards. Thanks Björn's 3D World. Here's a local copy (279 KB) on GamesNET FTP.

Heretic II Screenshots  [9:38 PM EDT]
Activision's Heretic II page has some new screenshots from Raven's upcoming third-person Heretic sequel. The hi-res 1024x768 shots are of Ssithra, amphibian creatures that inhabit a hidden city in the game.

New Quark  [9:38 PM EDT]
Version 5.0.c3 of the QuArK level editor for Quake, Quake II, etc., is up on The Official Quake Army Knife Homepage. Thanks Ian "smegHEAD" Marks of the Multi-Arena Headquarters.

Kingpin Screenshots  [4:27 PM EDT]
PC Accelerator Online has posted some new screenshots from Kingpin, Xatrix's upcoming Quake II engine game. These four shots are a from the 20 they will publish in their four page preview in their October issue (print). They'll correct this no doubt, bit as of this writing they are calling these the "The very first screenshots ever seen by the public eye," but actually Xatrix posted some Kingpin Screenshots this week (story).

Outcast Screenshots  [4:04 PM EDT]
Outcast Central has nine screenshots, four of them brand-new, showing off Outcast for our "'plagued-by-polygons' eyes."

New Registered GameSpy  [4:04 PM EDT]
The GameSpy 3D website has a new version 2.03 of GameSpy available for registered users only. The two main new features of the update are support for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and the Unreal multiplayer patch, neither of which is yet available. Thanks Redwood.

Max Payne Engine  [2:08 PM EDT]
There's an article on GameSpot titled Max Payne Engine Uncloaked that looks at the engine in Remedy Entertainment/3D Realms' upcoming third-person John Woo style shoot-em-up. The article talks about the hardware-only nature of the engine, why they are not yet focusing on licensing this technology, and the editing tools that will ship with the game.

Viper 330 NT Drivers  [2:08 PM EDT]
The Diamond Multimedia Viper V330 Drivers page has new version 4.00.1381.0301g Windows NT drivers for the Viper 300. Thanks Denis Moeller.

WarMod  [10:50 AM EDT]
Version 2.0 of the WarMod is now available. WarMod is a class-based teamplay mod for Quake II where you can play as a Soldier, Sniper, Gunner, Miner, Supporter, Commander, Recon, or Artillerist.

Quote of the Day  [10:50 AM EDT]
From an EasyComputing interview with Scott Adams. Thanks Kahn (who "tasks" me). Here's the quotation from the creator of Dilbert:

I rarely play computer games much because of time constraints. I wish I had more time for that sort of thing. When my generation retires, I guess we'll play Quake instead of shuffleboard. I'm looking forward to it.

Shogo a Go-Go  [4:35 AM EDT]
LithTimes and PlanetShogo each have new screenshots from Shogo, including a couple on PlanetShogo showing of the software rendered version of the game. There's also a Planet Shogo feature interview with Monolith Programmer Mike Dussault that talks about creating Shogo mods.

Updated Creed Demo  [4:35 AM EDT]
An updated version of the playable demo of Insomnia Entertainment's The Creed offers a more user-friendly installer and six new missions for this 3D action/adventure game.

An Angel by any Other Name  [4:35 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme points out that 3DO has renamed Requiem: Wrath of the Fallen, which will now be known as Requiem: Avenging Angel.

Corrinne Yu Profile  [4:35 AM EDT]
GameGirlz.Com's Weekly Women Spotlight looks at ION Storm's Director of Advanced Technology Corrinne Yu.

Quake III Arena FAQ  [4:35 AM EDT]
The unofficial Quake III Arena FAQ is now up to version 0.03.

Banshee Giveaway  [4:35 AM EDT]
Be The First To Own Voodoo Banshee declares the 3Dfx contest page that offers the chance to do just that. Thanks ankst.

Battle for the Rodman Launcher  [4:35 AM EDT]
Quake2 Basketball. 'Nuff said. Thanks rufees.

Conference Kill  [4:35 AM EDT]
Conference Kill 1.03 is the new release of this communication proxy for Quake II that allows you to play sound macros to communicate with your teammates while playing any Quake II mod (or standard deathmatch).

English Q-Start  [4:35 AM EDT]
Word on the German-language MagixX page is that version 1.90 of Q-Start, their shareware Quake front-end, can now be switched to us English, or as they put it, "So, heute Nacht ( spätestens jedoch morgen frueh ) werde ich Q-Start V 1.90 ins Netz stellen !" The new version also apparently allows for DosQuake play over TCP/IP (I originally wrote Doom there, but was confused).

Viper 550 Review  [4:35 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme's Diamond Viper 550 review is up. looking at Diamond's TNT offering.

House of the Dead Review  [4:35 AM EDT]
Also from the house (tank?) that Sharky built, Sharky Extreme's House of the Dead review looks at the PC version of this arcade shooter.

RIVA TNT FFVII PC Problem Solved  [4:35 AM EDT]
Riva Arena sends along a fix discovered by Seth that will get Final Fantasy VII working on RIVA TNT cards until a new patch is available (said to be soon). Here's the lowdown on what to mess with in your registry if you're feeling bold (don't write me with problems -- presuming you ever get your email working again):

"If you go into your registry via regedit, then go into "Hkey_Local_Machine", then into "Software", then into "Nvidia Corporation", then "Riva TNT", then "Direct3D", then modify the variable called "TexelAlignment" to be 0, not 3 or 7 or whathever it is. Just right click on it, and select "Modify", enter a 0 then you're done, you don't even have to restart, and it should work. You need to have the Riva patch installed and activated as well. This should eliminate the lines where the textures don't overlap correctly, it works great with my STB Velocity 4400"

Vortex2 versus Live! Revisited  [4:35 AM EDT]
Tony Garcia sends along a newsgroup posting from Creative Labs' Dylan Rhodes refuting the recent Vortex2 versus Live! comparison (story). The post is in response to a participant saying the chart was 90% inaccurate. Here's Dylan's reply:

Closer to 50%, but you're correct. Thanks to everybody who's pointed this out. We'll address this in the morning.

I have to admit that I can't imagine what Mark could possibly have been thinking when he posted that. He, of all people, should have caught all the inaccuracies and should have had the wisdom to either correct them before posting it, or at least warned his users that he was posting incorrect information.

Out of the Blue  [4:35 AM EDT]
Today is the second anniversary of the QuakeWorld launch event that marked the debut of the QuakeCast, and the first ever article by Fargo, later to gain fame and infamy as lieutenant bastage. That event was my first experience of its sort, and will probably always stand as my favorite.

Thursday, September 17, 1998

Shooters  [6:50 PM EDT]
Tonight on Shooters we will have Sgt. Hulka and David Spell of TeamEvolve to hear about their upcoming Quake II add-on, Zaero. The show airs live at 8:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer required.

Deus Ex Diary  [6:50 PM EDT]
GamePen's Deus Ex Designer Journal has an update from Witchboy about ION Storm's upcoming Unreal-engine RPG.

Wally Texture Editor  [6:50 PM EDT]
Wally's Home has beta 1.23 of the Wally texture editor. Thanks o//FIX\\o.

WC Secret Ops Episode 4  [1:30 PM EDT]
The fourth episode  (663 KB)  in the free weekly Wing Commander Secret Ops series is available. Thanks Chris Gurney. Remember that the episodes cannot be played without the main engine (112 MB) and you must also register online.

56K at 56K  [12:01 PM EDT]
Modems expected to get slight speed boost is a CNN article that announces plans to change US telecom rules to allow actual 56 kb/sec downstream operation on 56K modems, adding a bit o' bandwidth, while simultaneously eliminating the need for those asterisks explaining the 53 kb speed limit. Of course, line conditions still prevent most users from approaching these theoretical download limits, and his does not alter the upload speed limit which is unchanged from its 33.6 kb maximum. Thanks Darkstarr.

QWar2  [11:29 AM EDT]
QWar2 beta 2.5 for Quake II is out on the Shadowgate website "fixing the Medic bugs, adding Power Core repairing with the Technician, and play-balancing a number of other monsters."

TeamFortress2 Preview  [11:29 AM EDT]
UK Fortress Newsdesk has a preview of Teamfortress2 from the recent showing at ECTS. The preview offers insights from TFS' Robin Walker.

On 3DNow! V2x00 and Voodoo2 Support  [11:29 AM EDT]
The 3DNow! NOW Page has word form 3Dfx that Voodoo2 drivers will be available in October, as well as word from Rendition (via Björn's 3D World) on the status of 3DNow! support for their V2x00 chipset:

The 3D now support was supposed to be incorporated a long time ago. Do you have any info when we might see a new release with it in?

Since we are fill bound on the V2K, 3D Now support doesn't add a whole lot, particularly on games like Quake. Other geometry intensive apps can show a big difference though. So people aren't missing out on much.

Like the Dx6 driver, the real work to take advantage of 3D Now is being done in the RRedline's OpenGL driver - and a lot of this work is being ported back to the V2K.

That being said - I heard today that we are almost ready to submit a Beta 3 V2K ICD to QA for testing that does have 3D Now support. It may be through test within a week, or perhaps longer.

Playboy Quake II  [11:29 AM EDT]
PlayboyOnline Compete has an article on Quake II touching on the sexism female players experience (no word on whether the problem in this case has to do with the outfit she's wearing in the illustration). Thanks Irritant#9 (I received this one before, but could never get through to the site--too many people reading the articles over there).

I'82 and Slave Zero Movies  [11:29 AM EDT]
A couple of movie trailers from yesterday, the complete intro to Interstate '82 (13.1 MB), found on 3DFiles.com, and a Slave Zero movie (3.7 MB), also snagged form 3DFiles.com.

Another Rainbow Six Review  [11:29 AM EDT]
GameCenter reviews Rainbow Six. Thanks Phoenix_X.

Duking it out in Court  [5:21 AM EDT]
This 9th Circuit Court case details a recent decision in a lawsuit/countersuit dealie between MicroStar and FormGen over MicroStar's sale of CDs with Duke Nukem maps. As Patrick Lewis, who sent this news along points out, the Judge's opinion, which at one point refers to Duke as a "very cool" game (did they get the right judge for this case, or what?) offers some funny quotes:

"Duke Nukem routinely vanquishes Octabrain and the Pro-tozoid Slimer. But what about the dreaded Micro Star?"

"Duke Nukem's world is made up of aliens, radioac-tive slime and freezer weapons--clearly fantasies, even by Los Angeles standards."

Daikatana Chat  [5:21 AM EDT]
There's a Daikatana chat tonight at 8:00 PM Central time. You can join the live chat with an IRC client by using www.ionstorm.com as the server, and joining channel #ion, or by simply visiting the ION Storm site and hitting the "Live Chat" button.

Heavy Gear II Chat  [5:21 AM EDT]
Also on the chat front is a live conference with the Heavy Gear II design team. The festivities kick off at 8:30 PM Eastern through IRC on server chat.talkcity.com port 6667 channel #onlinegameschat, or by accessing this IRC Chat page. Thanks Prophet.

Quake II LiteStep Theme  [5:21 AM EDT]
Red2's Quake2 LiteStep Theme offers a Q2 related wharf , taskbar, popup menu, desktop wallpaper, and a few icons.

Rainbow Six Review  [5:21 AM EDT]
There's a Rainbow Six review on GameSpot. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

SPECTRA Benchmarks  [5:21 AM EDT]
The Canopus SPECTRA 2500 Benchmarks on RivaRave offer performance numbers on this TNT based board, including several experiments in overclocking.

Vortex 2 versus Live!  [5:21 AM EDT]
This Vortex 2 vs Live! chart on 3DsoundSurge (prepared by A3D) gives a feature comparison between the A3D's upcoming Vortex2 and Creative Labs' SoundBlaster Live! Thanks Don "WarDog" French.

Build a CPU Temp Sensor  [5:21 AM EDT]
Building a Temperature Sensor Using a Thermistor is a Harware.Net that describes a little home computer improvement for all you PC Bob Villas.

Out of the Blue  [5:21 AM EDT]
I never mentioned that the fine fellows over at Cyrellis3D (they're like sons to me, at least until the DNA tests come back) have joined that fine fellow Sharky over at Sharky Extreme, which means the news over there is going to be more saucy than ever. Or is that spicy?.... Anyway, best of luck to the happy threesome.

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

Messiah-Rama  [9:37 PM EDT]
There is a shot on MessiahPress of one of the game's weapons in their weapons feature, an interview with Scott Herrington, Shiny PR dude, and a new character feature.

Ground Zero Review  [9:37 PM EDT]
GameOver - Quake 2 Ground Zero Mission Pack review is up.

Intel Developers Forum Report  [9:37 PM EDT]
Tom's Hardware Guide's Intel Developer Forum 1998 report is up offering a look at what they're revealing about their next generation CPUs. Saw that on Redwood's.

Max Payne Preview  [7:44 PM EDT]
A Max Payne Preview on Voodoo Unlimited Power based on a hands-on look at ECTS in London.

More on the Unreal Hunting Game  [1:01 PM EDT]
ASC Games Pulls Out the Big Guns This Fall With TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter is the press release officially announcing TNN Pro Hunter from ASC Games, the Unreal-engine hunting game (and yes, TNN stands for the Nashville Network -- wild stuff, eh?. Here's  a screenshot showing that this isn't your father's hunting game (please don't shoot the doggie).

tnn0005.jpg (97067 bytes)

Wyrm 2  [12:13 PM EDT]
A new version Alpha 6 of Wyrm 2 for Quake II is out, offering several new weapons and options for multiplayer like IP banning, weapon banning, etc.

New Matrox G200 Drivers  [12:13 PM EDT]
The Matrox MGA-G200 Windows 95 and Windows 98 drivers page has new version 4.10.01.4240 drivers for MGA-G200-based cards. Thanks RabidDawg.

DC Con Survey  [12:13 PM EDT]
There's a DC-Con 5 Interest Survey to help in the planning of the fifth DC-Con LAN event.

Action Quake2  [11:48 AM EDT]
The Action Quake2 page has version 1.0 of Action Quake2, the mod that makes Quake even more like an action movie than it already is. Here's a local copy of the client installer (6.0 MB), and the client zip (6.0 MB). The new client, described as "quite possibly the final" version, is only available as a full install, not as an upgrade.

Shogo Preview  [11:48 AM EDT]
As mentioned in Jason Hall's .plan update about Shogo going gold, VE's "Sweet-Ass" Shogo Mobile Armor Division Preview is up giving Billy's hands-on impressions.

Savage Arena Preview  [11:48 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme's Savage Arena preview is up describing a game that creates a futuristic bloodsport that sounds almost as violent as American Football (or the spectators in Soccer, err, I mean "real Football," eh Sharky?).

Voodoo2 SLI Cooler Review  [11:48 AM EDT]
Tweak3D reviews the TennMax Stealth V2 cooler.

Shogo Gold  [4:25 AM EDT]
Jason Hall just sent word (even before updating his .plan) that Shogo is indeed Gold (ready for duplication). Mike Dussault's .plan has his feelings on the subject:

Shogo is done! After almost 2.5 years, I can say with confidence that it was well worth it. It's an awesome game I'm proud to have been a part of. I think people will be very impressed by all the cool shit in there. We almost have too much to fill the CD (we're at 98% capacity!)

There's a huge article in this month's Game Developer that John Jack wrote that gives some pretty gory details on all the things we went through. By all reason, we should all just be rotted shells of human beings but everyone is pretty ecstatic and dying to work on the next title. It's great to know that we couldn't have learned everything a harder way and that we won't make the same mistakes ever again. I can't even imagine what our next game will be like.

The game and the engine totally exceeded any expectations I had for them when we started. We have some hefty plans for Lithtech 2 and I can't wait to get started on it, but for the next few months I'm kind of in limbo, helping out with Blood 2, doing patches for Shogo, and researching stuff for Lithtech 2.

Also, Prophet points out that the Preorder Shogo page is up, and I see on VE that PlanetShogo is online from the folks who brought us PlanetEveryothergame, already offering a few interviews with the Shogo team. As mentioned Monday (story) the game should be on store shelves by October 19.

The Varginha Incident Shipping  [4:25 AM EDT]
Moondog sends word that The Varginha Incident, the Brazilian 3D action title based on a "true" UFO incident, is now shipping.

Heavy Gear II Designer Diary  [4:25 AM EDT]
The first installment of GameSpot's Designer Diary for Heavy Gear II is up, offering some insights from Dave White, Lead Designer. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Unreal Chat  [4:25 AM EDT]
World Opponent Network now offers a live Unreal-related chat area using a Java applet.

Prey for Features  [4:25 AM EDT]
The Prey Portal Wish List offers a place to post the features you pray will be included in Prey, and first-person shooters in general.

New PowerStrip  [4:25 AM EDT]
Version 2.26 of PowerStrip, the video card/monitor utility, is now available, further enhancing the program's NT Banshee support. Thanks Chris at BetaNews.Com.

RTIME Interview  [4:25 AM EDT]
There's an interview with Glen Van Datta of RTIME on Game-Interviews.Com. RTIME is the multiplayer internet gaming technology to be used in upcoming titles like the Spec Ops add-on and Turok2.

AMD Interview  [4:25 AM EDT]
There's an Interview With Keith Galocy of AMD on the AMD Zone.

PGL Brackets  [4:25 AM EDT]
Speaking of AMD, the AMD Professional Gamers' League brackets have been posted. Thanks immortal. Also, Frans at 3D Action Gamers points out this PC.IGN.COM article on another AMD tourney, this one touring some Texas Universities.

Pure3D SLI Giveaway  [4:25 AM EDT]
Purified3D's Pure3D II SLI Contest offers a Voodoo2 SLI setup in the form of a Pure 3D II and a Pure 3D II LX for one of those who can answer five Canopus-related questions.

SoundWorks Review  [4:25 AM EDT]
The Cambridge SoundWorks MicroWorks AVault Hardware Review tries to aid in answering the question of whether a $249.00 set of computer speakers is worth it.

PlayStation Rainbow Six  [4:25 AM EDT]
A story on PSX.IGN.COM reports a PlayStation version of Rainbow Six is in the works, slated to be available in March, 1999. Thanks QuakeStation.

etc.  [4:25 AM EDT]
Output of beta 1.02 of The REAL Stat Machine is now online, and beta testers are still being accepted to help test this Quake II stat program ... Doomworld has tips on setting up ZDoom to connect a TCP/IP{ game through ICQ ... There's a Half-Life 3DNow! petition up,and they haven't even said they wouldn't support it! Thanks {UC}Narc ... The Q2PMP page has program posted that allows you to place interactive models on a webpage...

Out of the Blue  [4:25 AM EDT]
Stuff the Warning Label Said Not to Do Web Page. Please don't try this at home (looks like we busted this site already... oh well). Oh yeah, separated a something or other: The new Diamond Rio and the "old" Diamond Rio. Thanks Dakota Smith.

Tuesday, September 15, 1998

Ground Zero Mod Support  [11:40 PM EDT]
Jim Molinets updated his .plan again, adding a fifth item to his .plan update from earlier (story) clarifying the state of Ground Zero mod support, mentioning bots in particular:

5) As of right now, Ground Zero does not support any of the other Mods available. In particular, 'Bots. We do plan on releasing support code later, but it is up to the 'Bot author to decide if the are going to 'Ground Zero' thier creation. The code will be released at a later time and until then, your best bet for 'Bot support is to contact the author of the 'Bot and ask them to support Ground Zero.

Thanks again for all the great mail. I've spent most of my day answering all of you, so if I haven't replied back yet, don't worry, I will, but I just have to get through the rest.

More from Brian Hook on TNT  [11:40 PM EDT]
Brian Hook updated his .plan with news of performance improvements on his Quake III Arena TNT testing:

Just realized today that the optimization test I've been running for Q3 had its texturemode set to trilinear (GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR) instead of bilinear mip-mapped (GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST). Reran some of the benchmarks, TNT got yet faster, thoroughly smoking the competition by an even wider margin. Ouch.

The NVidia RivaTNT is the ultimate 2D/3D accelerator. For raw performance the V2 SLI configuration is still going to be faster (modulo driver performance issues), but for most situations the RivaTNT is just simply the best board on the market. S3 Savage3D and Intel i740 still continue to impress given their respective price points.

Messiah Shots  [11:40 PM EDT]
The newly opened MessiahPress has posted some info on one of the baddies you will encounter in Shiny's upcoming Messiah in their characters section, and they plan on unveiling a new creature per day.

Blood2 Screenshots, FAQ  [11:40 PM EDT]
There are a couple of new Blood2 screenshots on Tha Blood Shack, and there is also an update to their Blood2 FAQ.

Katmai versus 3DNow!  [11:40 PM EDT]
Intel's new multimedia chip may have edge on AMD's -- but not by much is a ZDNet article that looks at the multimedia instructions in Intel's upcoming Katmai Pentium II processors compared to AMD's 3DNow! instructions already available in the K6-2. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Rogue Squadron Shots  [11:40 PM EDT]
Some new screenshots have been added to the Sneak Preview of Rogue Squadron on LEC's page. Thanks JediKnight.Net.

Quake II Ground Zero Update  [5:01 PM EDT]
With Rogue's Quake II Mission Pack, Ground Zero in stores, Jim Molinets updated his .plan with a few items related to the pack. He also mentions that Zor has been hired by Ritual to help with the Sin crunch (though I recall them saying they wouldn't be getting someone from the outside to replace Giggler). Here's the update:

We're getting a ton of positive mail from everyone about Ground Zero, thanks to you all. We're glad that you like the new additions and that it seems like the new DM toys are working out great. Just a couple of little info tidbits that will probably help to avoid some confusion.

1) Almost all of the new additions for DM can be turned on/off via the DM flags menu in the multiplayer setup. The Anti-Matter Bomb, Spheres and Mines can all be changed there. The only thing that you cannot turn on/off are the new weapons. But hey, why would you want to do that anyway? ;)

2) If you are playing DM, and it seems like you are not able to get to all of the 14 new maps, it may because we looped the DM maps a little differently to try and help everyone out. rdm1-5 is the 'small-medium' loop and rdm6-14 is the 'medium-large' loop. We decided to separate those so that based on users, it's easier to find people in the levels. (Hint: If you are playing with one other person, you probably don't want to use the rdm6-14 loop.) Hope that's not confusing. All of the single players levels are looped consecutively, so don't worry about those.

3) If you have any problems, please let us know. We want to help as much as possible. If you do, you can talk with Activison, or contact us directly at: info@rogue-ent.com

4) We WANT comments about the pack. Please tell us what you like, don't like, ect. You are the people that we make the games for, so what do YOU want to see? If you're writing about comments, please use this for the subject heading: Ground Zero Comments

On an unrelated note, yes, Berenger Fish has traded his Pirate Hat for a Ritual Mask. Our best wishes to Berenger at his new home and also to all our friends at Ritual during crunch time. Good luck and don't forget our free copies of Sin. :)

New Kingpin Screenshots  [4:19 PM EDT]
There are some new Kingpin Screenshots on the Xatrix Entertainment page offering more of a look at this upcoming Quake II engine gangsta game.

RSB Utils Shell - Rainbow Six Editor  [4:19 PM EDT]
The newly relocated RSB Page has posted an RSB Utils shell containing the latest version of the RSB image editor for Rainbow Six. Also available is the source code for the image editor.

Worldcraft Pro Info and Shots  [4:19 PM EDT]
According to a page up on Gamer's Alliance with Worldcraft Pro Info and Shots, the "pro" version of Worldcraft is a retail version of the editor that supports editing levels for Quake II and Hexen II (and Half-Life), while Worldcraft "lite" will be included in with Half-Life, and will support Half-Life levels only.

HGII Production Update  [4:19 PM EDT]
A Production Team page update on the Heavy Gear II site, to quote Phoebus, discusses "such "Stealthy" topics as Passive vs. Active Radar, Line-of-Sight, Tactical Map Interface, and Radar Profiles."

ICR Results  [4:19 PM EDT]
Write-ups of the recently completed Invite Capture Ring Q2CTF tourney are online, and demos of the finals where Clan Tull defeated Clan Crayola can be found on the Asylum. Thanks Forrest.

Hab-12  [10:46 AM EDT]
There is info, some new screenshots, and a movie in .MPG format from an upcoming third-person adventure game called Hab-12 on the RatLoop page. The team behind this game is formed from members of Team Epochalypse, creators of last year's Malice for Quake.

More Paul Steed Loonyness  [10:46 AM EDT]
Dangerous Curves Ahead is the title of the next installment in Paul Steed's Thinking Outside the Box column on loonygames. The new article covers how he did the reverse Hannibal Lecktor, putting the skin onto a woman (3D model).

Witchdoctor Drivers  [10:46 AM EDT]
Billy at VE says the drivers on the Witchdoctor I and II  Software Updates page are new. These drivers allow you to run Voodoo and Voodoo2 cards from any manufacturer with Canopus' drivers when using a Total3D 128DX, and the SPECTRA 2500 (when available).

Sonic Impact Review  [10:46 AM EDT]
There's a review of the Diamond Sonic Impact S70 up on HARDgame.Com.

On the Biz of the Game Biz  [10:46 AM EDT]
Second Hand Smoke: Show Me the Money. Please is a column on Gamasutra that talks of the costs involved in making a computer game, and the consequent difficulty in making a profit. I'm told by one person in the industry that this on a lot of counts is a pretty accurate description of the way the system works, which should be sobering news for would-be developers.

3D Mark '99 Interview  [10:46 AM EDT]
Pete's Hardware Domain has a 3D Mark '99 Q&A session talking to the makers of Final reality about their upcoming 3D benchmark.

Clan Central  [10:46 AM EDT]
Clan Central has added StarCraft, WarGames, Rainbow Six, and Dune 2000 to the roster of games supported by their clan database.

Ragnarok Returns - Double Dose of Q2 Stats  [10:46 AM EDT]
The Loki's Minions Capture the Flag page has word of the return of Ragnarok, the planned LM CTF tourney extravaganza. The league will be tracked by The Real Stat Machine, a LMCTF-centric statistics program. also on the stats from, version 1.06a of Fragstats, the QuakeWorld, Quake II stat program is now available, described as a maintenance release.

Funny Pages  [10:46 AM EDT]
Quake II in User Friendly today. Thanks Blake.

Out of the Blue  [10:46 AM EDT]
The non-news-type content around here (articles and such) come in fits and spurts, and right now there are a bunch of things on deck that should come pretty rapidly, though I'm not sure if that qualifies a s a fit or a spurt (a spurt I imagine).

A few folks pointed out that the Rio press release (story), only claims "digital quality," not CD quality when saying 32 MB holds an hour of music (even though I even made the mistake of putting "CD quality" in quotes in my reference). Scrawner points out there's a band already named "Diamond Rio" which makes this an interesting trademark issue. Also, crash points to a list of planned similar products, and I agree with the assessment he sends along: None of these flash memory products seem nearly as compelling as the players that play .MP3s from a CD... 650 MB of music at 1 MB/minute, now you're talking.

Monday, September 14, 1998

New DEMentED 2  [10:09 PM EDT]
Version 0.990 of the DEMentED 2 editor for Quake II demos is now available. The new release offers compatibility with Quake II 3.17 and 3.19.

Thresh and Hook on Quake vs. Quake II  [9:37 PM EDT]
Thresh's Frontline column has what's described as "part 2.5" of Thresh's editorial about Quake versus Quake II that includes feedback from id's Brian Hook on some of the points raised in the previous installments in this series, including a very clear explanation if the impact of the famed 10 Hz Quake II sampling rate.

M3D II Head Fake  [9:04 PM EDT]
I'm told the Monster 3D II drivers mentioned earlier are actually not new, This is not the first time there's been confusion over discrepancies between dates on the drivers on Diamond's European site and their American site, so I should know better by now. Sorry about that.

Daikatana Music Interview  [8:22 PM EDT]
There's an interview with ION Storm's Will Loconto on the Daikatana Cabana talking about he music in ION's upcoming Daikatana.

MP3 Player Follow-ups  [8:22 PM EDT]
I was wondering about this when reading the Rio release earlier (story), and an email from Owen Davies spurs me to mention that if you do the math on this Rio dealie, their "digital quality" MP3's look like they weigh in at approximately half the just under one MB per minute that typical .mp3's achieve, so it is possible that there is more quality loss in this format than in a typical .MP3. Also, Wurzle points out that this product already exists as the MPMAN available through the Winamp Homepage, which looks like it uses standard compression on .MP3s, though it costs more ($299.00 for the 32 MB model and $499.00 for the 64 MB model).

New Forsaken Levels  [4:55 PM EDT]
Three new "official" multiplayer levels for Forsaken are available on The Gaming Krib.

Intel Price Cuts  [4:55 PM EDT]
As predicted by the pundits, Intel cuts chip prices up to 34 percent is the announcement of price cuts announced today by the big I on everything below the top of the line PII-450. Thanks Redwood (whose site has been down all weekend due to problems with Stomped).

Shogo Not Gold (Yet) -- In Stores Oct 19  [3:16 PM EDT]
There are many differing reports on when Shogo: Mobile Armor Division will go Gold (all programming completed and off to manufacturing), including a report on OGR that it will definitely go Gold today. I buzzed Jason Hall at Monolith to ask his assistance in cutting through the fog, and he told me was that it is not Gold as of now, but that the game is feature complete, and they are in the midst of furiously play-testing to polish off any bugs that remain. The game may go Gold as soon as today, and no later than Wednesday, putting the game on store shelves no later than October 19, and possibly sooner. Jason warns that if you are hopped up to get Shogo right away, you should pre-order it, as the early shipments to stores will be pretty limited.

Starsiege Tribes Preview  [3:16 PM EDT]
OGR's preview of Starsiege Tribes is online.

VELOCITY 4400 Diver Fix  [2:46 PM EDT]
The STB VELOCITY 4400 drivers page has a fixed zip of the version 1.31 Windows 95/98 drivers released Friday (story) which had a problem with the self-extracting installer (story).

Epic Modeler Wanted  [2:17 PM EDT]
Epic's Cliff Bleszinski updated his .plan with word that Epic is looking for a 3D modeler.

Descent 3 Preview Rebuttal  [2:17 PM EDT]
Deep Space has a post from Luke at Outrage pointing out the inaccuracies in the Descent 3 Preview on Bomb.net mentioned earlier (story). Thanks Bill.

Diamond's MP3 Player  [2:17 PM EDT]
Diamond Multimedia announces Rio PMP300, a portable music player to store and play-back up to sixty minutes of digital music in .MP3 format. The $199.95 Rio is 3½" x 2½" and just over a half-inch thick, and weighs only 2.4 ounces. It stores music in 32 MB flash memory, and can encode tracks from your own CDs or from the perfectly legal (*cough*) MP3 library your computer.

Ground Zero Editing Support  [1:25 PM EDT]
The Forge, the official Worldcraft editing site, has files available to allow level editing and creation of levels for the Quake II: Ground Zero.mission pack. In addition to files to allow this in Worldcraft, there are QE4/QERadiant files available as well.

More on Celeron Overclocking  [1:25 PM EDT]
There is a post up on Anand's agreeing with the assessment of the OverClocker's Comparison Page (mentioned in conjunction with the ZDNet overlocking article (story)), saying that these reports of non-overclockable Celeron processors are "a hoax." Thanks Travis Lytle.

Creed Custom Missions  [10:12 AM EDT]
The Creed page has a mission importer and some custom missions for the recently released Creed demo.

Ground Zero Review  [10:12 AM EDT]
There's a Ground Zero Review, looking at the second Quake II mission pack, up on Computer Action Games at The Mining Co..

Descent 3 Preview & Interview  [10:12 AM EDT]
There's a Descent 3 Preview on Bomb.Net based on the showing at ECTS. There is also an interview there about Descent 3 with Gavin Glover of Interplay.

Banshee Review  [10:12 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme reviews the Maxigamer Phoenix, a Voodoo Banshee-based video card.

SPECTRA 2500 Review  [10:12 AM EDT]
Here's Canopus SPECTRA 2500 HARDgame.Com Review looking at Canopus' TNT offering..

Q2 3.19 3DNow! Follow-up  [3:15 AM EDT]
Turns out the unofficial 3DNow! patch for Quake II 3.19 mentioned yesterday (story) is actually a repackaged copy of the 3.17 patch, along with instructions (as noted in the past) on how to them work with the latest version. Thanks cthulhu [vTx].

TNT Variables  [3:15 AM EDT]
This page on Planet RIVA gives a list of Windows registry keys that can be used to change the operation of the RIVA TNT. There is also a new version of PowerStrip on EnTech Taiwan (thanks Planet RIVA) that adds the TNT to the list of video cards it can tweak and over-clock.

Clock Ticking on Overclocking?  [3:15 AM EDT]
The end of the free PC upgrade? Intel to pull the plug on overclocking is a ZDNet article talking of Intel's plans to curtail the ability to overclock CPUs, with some speed-limited Celerons already shipping, and the possibilities that AMD will follow suit. Thanks Maverick. There's also a rant on the OverClocker's Comparison Page explaining why this will not be the case.

Quake II Mod Stats  [3:15 AM EDT]
This Q2 Mod Stats page statistically breaks out which Quake II mods are played on how many servers, giving percentages of servers and players.

Unreal DM Tourney  [3:15 AM EDT]
The Unreal Zone is holding a one-on-one Unreal DM tourney, offering a 12MB Voodoo2 as a prize.

Quake Editing - MGS  [3:15 AM EDT]
A new version of MGS is now available. MGS is a utility to add features to Quake BSP editors (but is not a standalone level editor itself). Thanks Kevin Ha.

Jedi Editing - Jed  [3:15 AM EDT]
Listen to a story of a program named Jed, which has nothing to do with mountaineers, but rather a new release of the premiere level editor for Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith, now available on the The Jedi Knight Outpost. The new version offers a bunch of new features, including an undo feature.

R6 Editing - RSB  [3:15 AM EDT]
An updated version 1.3 of the RSB Editor is available. The new version of this utility to edit the graphics in Rainbow Six is fixed to the character's colors now look right.

Out of the Blue  [3:15 AM EDT]
Brain off-line... rebooting...

Sunday, September 13, 1998

Half-Life Day One Q&A  [6:15 PM EDT]
I get a lot of questions asking what's the deal with this Half-Life: Day One (AKA the OEM version) that recently went gold. Valve's Managing director Gabe Newell was willing to be subjected to another interrogation, so here's a brief Q&A with Gabe Newell on Half-Life Day One. Here's his answer to the question about when to expect them to be finished with the full game:

Getting Day One out the door meant we had to get to shipping quality on everything in the engine except multiplayer, which is good. The models and animations are pretty much done except for tweaking. The levels are all in playtesting. Direct3D is running well. We've been through configuration testing.

Our biggest risk right now is getting multiplayer fully implemented and robust enough for a real world deployment. Right now we're looking at having everything pretty much done by the first of October. Leaving time for surprises, bug fixes, and lots and lots of playtesting, we're looking at the end of October for the game to be out.

New BattleField Communicator  [5:39 PM EDT]
Beta 3 of Battlefield Communicator, the program that allows real-time voice communication in any multiplayer game, is now available (thanks Spof's WarBirds News). The new beta fixes several bugs, and extends the expiration date ahead to October 2 (beta 2 will expire September 14). DirectX 6.0 required.

New RA2 Bot  [2:21 PM EDT]
Version 0.78 of the RocketBot, the Rocket Arena 2 playing version of the Eraser Bot for Quake II, is up on the Rocket Arena page. Thanks Sal 'sluggo' Accardo.

Blood2 Update  [2:21 PM EDT]
The Blood 2 The Chosen page has posted their weekly update #15 (week is a relative term, Week 14 was August 17). The new update by producer Rick Raymo talks about violence in games and describes features of Blood that will remain in the sequel. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Rainbow Six Patch Patch  [4:28 AM EDT]
A patch for the Rainbow Six patch is up on the Rainbow Six website. Version 1.02 of Rainbow Six generated an error when launching a multiplayer server from the command line (thanks RoadRunnerSix), so version 1.02a is available as a mini-patch for those who already installed the 1.02 patch (404 KB), and as a full patch for version 1.01 and 1.0 (1.8 MB).

Quake II 3.19 3DNow!  [4:28 AM EDT]
The System Informational Website has what seems to be an unofficial version of the 3DNow! mini-driver for Quake II updated for Q2 3.19. Thanks Jeff Tom of AMD Zone. Also, there is a new 3DNow section on VoodooNation.

Gore Shot  [4:28 AM EDT]
The 4D Rulers page has a new shot of a monster called the Drone from their upcoming first-person shooter, Gore. The shot shows off the work of their new artist, Chris Holden, most recently of the Zaero Quake II add-on.

AMEN Screens  [4:28 AM EDT]
CaveNews has posted two screenshots form CaveDog's upcoming shooter, AMEN: The Awakening that were scanned form a recent print issue of PC Gamer.

Benchmarks  [4:28 AM EDT]
I flashed the BIOS on the TNT-based VELOCITY 4400 to the proper speeds (I've received a few queries about this -- this is not required for boards that were purchased retail), and re-added benchmarks for it to the 3D Benchmarks page. Despite what I'm told about each diverging from the reference drivers, the results of the two TNT-based boards, the STB, and the Canopus SPECTRA are fairly similar, with each board edging the other by a frame or two on certain tests.

VELOCITY Driver Issue  [4:28 AM EDT]
There's a problem with the VELOCITY 4400 drivers released by STB Friday (story), as executing the self-extractor results in several files that are zero bytes in length. Chronos sends along a workaround that will fix this, however: Simply unzip the extractor using WinZip, rather than executing it, and the files unzip properly.

Hardware Message Board  [4:28 AM EDT]
The Shark Tank Message Board is a new hardware forum on Sharky Extreme.

RA2 Map Contest  [4:28 AM EDT]
the deadline for submissions to the Rocket Arena 2 Map Contest has been extended until September 20.

Communicator  [4:28 AM EDT]
Netscape Communicator 4.5 PR2 is up on Netscape's FTP site. Thanks absolut.

Out of the Blue  [4:28 AM EDT]
The feedback on the question of whether it is appropriate to post links to reviews of demos was interesting and varied. A large majority of respondents feel that with ever-larger demos, that it is appropriate to be forewarned before a lengthy download. There were, however, several responses that focus on the point that concerns me, that a free demo is easy enough for all to judge, and it's a real shame if someone ends up passing on a good game based on a bad review. If no one had to worry about connect charges, I'd just say download 'em while you sleep and decide for yourself, but since online time and non-local calls are a factor for some, it really does seem like I've been making a mistake in designating reviews of demos as non-newsworthy.

Saturday, September 12, 1998

Quake to Unreal BSP Converter  [1:55 PM EDT]
Jeff "Pointdexter" Preshing sends along Bsp2t3d (11 KB), his Quake BSP to Unreal brush conversion utility. Does it work? Hell if I know (but it sounds intriguing). Here's a bit on that subject from the read me:

It does dm4, dm3 and Hipdm1 for sure. But you may find that UnrealEd gives you error messages when you try to work with the brushes from other Quake maps. In this case, all you can do is cry like a little girl. The problem lies in the fact that UnrealEd makes no promises to work with brushes having more than 500 faces; in fact it says so when you try to import them. Nevertheless, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Try using different import options, try intersecting the brush with a cube to divide the brush in half, maybe you'll find a way. You never know, but don't get your hopes up.

AnachroChat Log  [1:55 PM EDT]
The AnachroLog of last night's Anachronox Chat is up on Anachronically Correct interviews section on StormTroopers.

New Wicked3D Drivers  [12:17 PM EDT]
New version 2.6 Wicked3D Windows 95/98 Drivers are now available for Metabyte's Voodoo2-based boards. What I failed to note amidst the sound a fury yesterday (see next note) is the fact that these drivers offer some amazing new features, including the ability to achieve higher resolutions in Quake II (1024x6-hundred something for one board, and 1024x1024 in SLI), offers a D3D over-ride to provide unsupported high resolutions to D3D apps, and the ability to team a Wicked3D with another Voodoo2 from any manufacturer, allowing you to take advantage of the above features.

X-Ray Cheat Follow-up  [12:17 PM EDT]
If you missed it yesterday, the stink du Jour was over a feature in the 2.5 drivers that allowed users to see through walls (story, story, and story). I received a ton of mail supporting the mini-campaign against he cheat. I also got a single letter, also supportive, that additionally offered some valid criticism of the vehement tone of my posts on the subject. I mentioned this to Craig from Wicked3D, offering apologies for going over the top. Interestingly, while I agreed with the criticism of my posts (cheating is a hot-button topic for me, and I'll admit it got me going like few things would), Craig said he would probably have done the same thing in my shoes, even confessing that the vehement nature of the reaction may have contributed to how rapidly they pulled the drivers. The X-Ray feature was developed by the engineers in their efforts to add cool features to the drivers (a laudable effort in general), and while they want to continue to add all the goodies they can, they also plan to work out a way to avoid crossing the line of the community's best interests in the future, perhaps running new features past a few weenies like myself who will flag those that are questionable.

Blue's News, dancing along that fine line between responsible follow-up and beating a dead horse whenever possible.

Half-Life Interviews, Preview  [12:17 PM EDT]
There are a pair of conversations with folks from Valve up on Wavelength Half-Life Editing, with an interview with Chuck Jones, and an interview with Doug Wood each talking mostly about Half-Life editing. There is also a Half-Life Preview on the yet-to-be-opened Gamer's Reality that offers a new screenshot.

Descent 3 Development Notes  [12:17 PM EDT]
An update to Outrage's Christopher Pfeiffer's developers notes gives the latest on Descent III from the game's senior programmer, talking about individuality being as strong a factor in programming enemy AI as quality is. Thanks Deep Space.

Shogo Preview  [12:17 PM EDT]
Here's GameCenter's Sneak Peek of Shogo Mobile Armor Division. The preview includes print and audio interviews with Monolith CEO Jason Hall.

Vivo Videos  [12:17 PM EDT]
Jeremy at AGN3D has Binky-ized some recent video releases, creating low-bandwidth versions of the Blade movie, the Trespasser movie, and the Daikatana movie.

Starsiege Tribes Pic Archive  [12:17 PM EDT]
An archive of the Starsiege Tribes The Pic of the Day from July and August is now up on the Starsiege Tribes Players page. Thanks Schnoz's Starsiege Universe.

X-Com Alliance FAQ  [12:17 PM EDT]
The Unofficial X-COM Alliance FAQ & Strategy Guide looks ahead at the upcoming Unreal-engine installment in the X-Com series.

Thief Preview  [12:17 PM EDT]
Gamer's Alliance preview of Thief The Dark Project takes a look ahead at this action/adventure title from Looking Glass.

DM Guide  [12:17 PM EDT]
An update to The DM Guide adds a (thin) new section on Unreal mods and a section covering several online gaming utilities.

BotJohnny 2.0  [12:17 PM EDT]
A beta version of BotJohnny 2.0 is up on the BotJohnny Home Page, offering a front-end for just about every Quake II bot.

Inside TeamEvolve  [12:17 PM EDT]
Sgt. Hulka, AKA Robert E. Waring, sends word of an interview with Robert E. Waring (AKA Sgt. Hulka) as TeamEvolve profiles TeamEvolve in Inside Team Evolve.

Phoebus Interview  [12:17 PM EDT]
loonygames' Community Profile of Phoebus is up, offering the first interview with the web-dood for so many of Activision's games (Sin, Heretic II, Heavy Gear II, Interstate '82).

Out of the Blue  [12:17 PM EDT]
It's a jungle out there, new game-related sites springing up every day, and a subsequent deluge of previews. The standard I'm now applying to previews is to link write-ups when the author has actually had an opportunity to play the game hands-on. There are more and more press releases being regurgitated as previews, and I don't see the value of that. The standard to apply to reviews is a little tougher to define, but I try to link most of them when they're timely. The question of the day, is, are reviews of publicly available demos are newsworthy, or is the idea to let everyone judge for themselves? (The x-factor being how big a download some of them are.) Feedback is welcome.

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