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Friday, October 2, 1998                        Shogo Demo  -  Shogo Preview

10 Questions for Levelord  [9:13 PM EDT]
False Dot Com has an interview with Ritual's Levelord in 10 questions format.

Ground Zero Guide  [9:13 PM EDT]
There's a Quake II Ground Zero Secret Guide on Welcome to Gamesmania. Thanks Frans at 3D Gamers.

Battlefield Communicator  [9:13 PM EDT]
Beta 4 of Battlefield Communicator, designed to bring real-time voice communication to many online games, is now available. The new version offers a new interface, improved performance, and some new features. Beta 4 is not backwards compatible with beta 3.

Dreamcast Rumor Just a Dream  [1:29 PM EDT]
The response from id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead to my question about the rumor that id was planning on developing for the Dreamcast (story) reveals the rumor to be quite false:

"Not a single ounce of truth in it. We've has some discussion with Sega about what DreamCast will be, but I personally don't expect to see it in the U.S. until Christmas 1999. Also, it would be very unusual for us to take on console development completely internally. As you know, that's not what we do best. Making the most action-packed, fastest, most-playable, Internet-friendly games for the PC (with a touch of violence ;) is our bread-and-butter and we have no plans on moving away from that for the foreseeable future."

John Romero Interview  [1:29 PM EDT]
There's a John Romero Interview on Pels Interactive, like their recent interview with Paul Steed, done in an amusing free-association style.

Threewave CTF Level Pack  [1:29 PM EDT]
Zoid updated his .plan with some reminiscences of his own on two years of Threewave, based on my misty ramblings from earlier (story). He also makes the announcement that he has plans to assemble an official Threewave CTF level pack. No time frame on that project is given.

Rendition ICD  [1:29 PM EDT]
Beta 3a of the Rendition OpenGL ICD is up on the Rendition - Software Downloads page. Thanks Frans at 3D Gamers. The new release fixes some AMD 3DNow! bugs from beta 3.

More Ground Zero, Half-Life OEM Reviewage  [1:29 PM EDT]
A Quake II Ground Zero is up on Gamesmania. Thanks again Frans at 3D Gamers. Also ZaMoose's OEM Review is up on HalfLife.Org looking at Half-Life: Day One.

Cheap Voodoo2  [1:29 PM EDT]
The STB Systems page has an announcement that they have cut prices on the 12MB Voodoo2-based Black Magic boards to $149.00 (US), with no rebates required.

Competition Rankings  [1:29 PM EDT]
Ravage.Net now offers free automated rankings for 1on1, Clanmatch, CTF and RA2 matches for Quake, Quake2, Unreal, and Sin. They are using a system developed by 3D Action Challenge which has been tracking rankings for European players for a couple of years now.

DreamCast Quake III Arena?  [4:57 AM EDT]
This article on SEGA X gives some grist from the rumor mill (from what they call a reliable source), that id Software has signed on as a developer for Sega's upcoming Dreamcast console system. Thanks Brandon Suzuki. Being a rumor, the article is speculative, here's some speculation:

"...This deal includes 3 games for Dreamcast, which will all have online multiplayer features. 1 of which may indeed be Quake Arena! The last two games are being kept in complete secrecy.

"The boys from the Quake Arena Design team will be getting development kits for Dreamcast very soon, leading to an even better expectation of a DC version. Speaking of which, the DC version will easily be the best seen on any format, and there has even been consideration given to allow the ability to Dreamcast Quakers to play the game on any PC Quake Area server. Think how brilliant that would be!"

New Weapons Factory and MOCK  [4:57 AM EDT]
The Weapons Factory for Quake2 page has a pair of tidbits: Version 3.2 of the Weapons Factory CTF mod is out adding a bunch of new features, including a new sentry model, new graphics and sounds, standard logging (for programs like GibStats), IP banning, team balance settings (great option, I just played a CTF game with one like that: teams with too many players cannot pick up enemy flag), location damage (head, body, legs) to sniper rifle, and more. Also new from the blue collar types working at the ol' factory is MOCK1, the Mod Construction Kit, planned as a way to easily create user defined player classes for the mod (for custom use -- the WF mod is not adding custom classes to the "stock" mod).

Action Quake2 Update  [4:57 AM EDT]
There's an updated server-only version 1.0c of Action Quake2 available, fixing some bugs (I suspect the date on the update is wrong, since it is the same as was for version 1.0b). Thanks Lord Vader ("I find your lack of faith... disturbing.").

Reviews: Rainbow Six, Ground Zero  [4:57 AM EDT]
OGR reviews Rainbow Six (thanks Frans at 3D Gamers), and GameCenter reviews the Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero.

Intel Does Linux  [4:57 AM EDT]
Intel, Netscape take stake in little software firm tells the tale of Intel's and Netscape's investment in RedHat, one of the distributors of Linux. Thanks Grendel and Kevin Hawkinson.

Chaos Modeling Contest Goes International  [4:57 AM EDT]
The rules for the Chaos Comics Quake II Modeling Contest (announced recently) have been amended to allow international entries (though the random drawing is still only open to North American residents).

Creative Versus Aureal  [4:57 AM EDT]
Creative vs. Aureal is a GameCenter article that further analyses Creative's new lawsuit, offering quotes from both sides of the dispute.

Voodoo2 Versus Voodoo2  [4:57 AM EDT]
Games.net's Voodoo II Shoot-Out is a guide to the complete current crop. Thanks Prophet.

Shogo Demo Released  [3:39 AM EDT]
The playable demo of Shogo Mobile Armor Division has been released, as promised, right around the stroke of Midnight  PDT on PlanetShogo (where there's a complete list of mirrors). Here's a local copy of the Shogo Mobile Armor Division demo (39.8 MB) on GamesNET FTP.

Out of the Blue  [4:57 AM EDT]
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the day the first-ever story about Threewave Capture the Flag appeared anywhere, right here on Blue's News. It really seems like the "old days" when I recall it because I was on a trip to Virginia at the time, updating on a monochrome 486SX laptop using a flaky 14.4 AOL connection. I can still remember receiving the email from Zoid that had such a strong hook (reproduced in authentic Quake Rag text):

So, I was up this morning at six AM (don't ask) and I ran QSpy. I took a look at about 300 servers. To my surprise, almost all of them were empty, *except* mine and a friend of mine who runs my patches. They were both half full.

What is this I thought?

Capture the Flag.

I think it's safe to say that he did not know what all this would all lead to at the time... I certainly didn't. Happy Anniversary Zoid.

Thursday, October 1, 1998          Shooters - Shogo Preview - Unreal 2.17 - New Sin Demo - Sin Demo patch

Shooters  [6:58 PM EDT]
Tonight on Shooters, we will be talking with designer Scott "Cornboy" Youngblood, lead programmer Mark Frohnmayer, and possibly project leader Tim Gift from Dynamix about their upcoming first-person teamplay game, Starsiege Tribes. The action kicks off live at 8:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer, or equivalent, required.

New Matrox Beta Unreal D3D Patch  [6:58 PM EDT]
Tammy from Matrox sends along an updated beta D3D patch for G200 based cards (61 KB). Here's the skinny on the patch, and a reminder about their contest:

This updated beta patch has added features including 32-bit color, tri-linear filtering and triple-buffering. Please note that endusers should use this patch with the 4.26 beta driver available on the Matrox public website. Also, don't forget that the Unreal/Matrox contest is still on and open to anyone interested in downloading the beta patch. Once registered users are eligible for one of six Matrox/Unreal prize packages valued at over $300. Prize packages include a Matrox Mystique G200 (8MB), Microsoft Sidewinder® Precision Pro Joystick, Unreal T-shirt, Unreal hat, Unreal mouse pad and Unreal poster. Don't miss out!

SoundBlaster PCI128 EAX Support  [6:13 PM EDT]
This is not noted on the Creative Labs page, but it turns out one of the features of the new SoundBlaster PCI128 drivers released here earlier (story) is their support for Creative's Environmental Audio (EAX) extensions in software, for what I'm told is a "teeny" CPU hit. EAX is an extension to the DirectSound 3D API that games can incorporate to create 3D environmental audio effects (supported in hardware on the Sound Blaster Live!).

Populous: The Beginning Demo  [6:13 PM EDT]
GameCenter has a 19.1 MB playable demo of Populous: The Beginning. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. This sequel to demotes you to Shaman from what I recall is your position in the original Populous as a god (though your most godlike ability at the time was the feared Landscape Architecture).

Tomb Raider Movie Script  [6:13 PM EDT]
A review of the script for the planned Tomb Raider movie is on Dark Horizons (thanks [QcK]Dim) and also on Ain't It Cool News (thanks Kiwi Man). Each site has the same review which contains minor spoilers, and complains that "This is a really bad script."

3D Blaster Voodoo2 Drivers  [4:57 PM EDT]
New "September 30th Release Candidate" 3D Blaster Voodoo2 Drivers for Windows 95/98 are now available from Creative Labs. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

SoundBlaster 16/32/64 & PCI128 Drivers  [4:55 PM EDT]
New revision 15 full duplex SoundBlaster 16/32/AWE Drivers for Windows 95/98 are up on the Creative Labs FTP site, along with new standalone Windows 95/98 drivers for the SB PCI128.

FreeSpace Update  [4:06 PM EDT]
Version 1.04 of Descent FreeSpace is out, available on the Game Updates Page on the Volition site, or via the "Auto Update" function within the game. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. In addition to the client update, the planned Parallax Online wipe on all FreeSpace pilot records is complete (since PXO will no longer accept stats from versions earlier than 1.04), and there is also a new Player Rankings Chart up. Finally, there is also an updated version 1.04 of the dedicated server program available.

New Beta Matrox G200 Drivers  [4:06 PM EDT]
The Matrox MGA-G200 Windows 95 and Windows 98 drivers page has new beta version 4.26 Windows95/98 drivers for Matrox G200-based video cards. Thanks Dave M.

New Real-World Benchmarks  [3:55 PM EDT]
Real-World Graphics Performance Benchmarks (RWB) is a new set of benchmarks using actual game demos (like 3D GameGauge) to test system performance (a bit over a 100 MB download). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

WC Secret Ops Episode Six  [1:44 PM EDT]
The sixth installment of Secret Ops, the Wing Commander game being distributed in free weekly installments, is out on the Wing Commander: Secret Ops page. Thanks Visokey.

Blue's Shogo Preview  [12:31 PM EDT]
With the Shogo demo set for release tonight/tomorrow just after the stroke of midnight Pacific time (PlanetShogo confusingly lists the release time as Midnight EST, it should be PDT), it seems like a good time to fess up my Shogo preview. The preview is based on a day spent playing the single-player version of the game a couple of weeks ago (since I haven't seen the demo, I don't know what relevance it has there). The preview thing is still a bit new to me, and my goal is to avoid the calorie free press release re-hashes that I see from time-to-time, so feedback on this article is particularly welcome to help me tell if I've succeeded in making it worthwhile. Spoilers are in the eye of the beholder, but I've made efforts to make this preview spoiler-free. Here's my preview of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division.

loony's Half-Life Preview  [12:31 PM EDT]
loonygames' Top Shelf has loony's look at the Half-Life OEM demo, Day One.

Delta Force Demo Again  [11:25 AM EDT]
The playable demo Delta Force is indeed out (mentioned in this story), running a shade over 20 MB. Here's the AVault's download page for the demo. Thanks Mindfazr for the download link, and thanks ZANDAI for pointing out this demo is from the CD in the current PC Accelerator Magazine (coincidentally just heavily praised in Scott Miller's .plan). Here's a local copy of the Delta Force demo (19.5 MB) on GamesNET FTP.

CAVE Quake II  [11:25 AM EDT]
CAVE Quake II is not a TC based on Clan of the Cave Bear (or even Ringo's classic, Caveman), but rather a project to demonstrate what Quake II would be like on a state-of-the-art CAVE projection-based VR system. Not a true Quake II client, this was written from scratch for the CAVE, a system which provides real-time viewer-centered head-tracked perspective with a large angle of view, interactive control, and stereo display in a 10' x 10' x 9' "cube" with images projected onto three walls and the floor. Estimated pricetag on the CAVE is $1 Million.

More Benchmarks  [5:26 AM EDT]
I added scores for the Matrox G200 on a PII-233 to the 3D benchmarks page. I've also added scores for the new QuakeWorld overkill demo for the Matrox and the Voodoo2 on both the PII-400 and the PII-233 (I'll add the TNT scores when I swap the cards in to run them). Also, Ryan Pream sends along some config settings to help the image quality on the G200 without idgamma that worked pretty well (these were not used to run the benchmarks):

set gl_modulate "2.5"
set intensity "2.7"
set gl_texturemode GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR
set gl_polyblend "0"
set gl_ztrick "1"
set gl_round_down "1"

Matrox Overclocker  [5:26 AM EDT]
Speaking of Matrox, a new version 2.0.0 of the Matrox Overclock utility is out, offering the opportunity to void the warranty on the whole range of Matrox cards. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Delta Force Demo  [5:26 AM EDT]
Word from Special Agent Cash is that Cash's Fresh 3D has what is apparently a playable demo of NovaLogic's upcoming anti-terrorist game, Delta Force. I take this all on faith because the site's been down for me, so I haven't been able to check it out.

Ground Zero Secret Level  [5:26 AM EDT]
3D Gamers Edge has instructions on how to find a secret level in the Ground Zero Quake II mission pack.

Half-Life Day One Review  [5:26 AM EDT]
There's a new Half-Life Day One Review on Contaminated.net.

TeamFortress Box Vote  [5:26 AM EDT]
PlanetFortress has opened up the ballot box to take ballots on the box:  The box for Valve/TFS's upcoming TeamFortress add-on for Valve's upcoming Half-Life. There are two examples of cover art for the box, and the one that gets the most votes will be the one that's used.

Drakan Preview  [5:26 AM EDT]
Next Generation Online's Drakan Order of the Flame Preview also has a couple of screenshots from this upcoming game that features combat while riding flying dragons (you can make good money putting the saddles on the dragons, btw). Also, there's a Binky-ized (RealPlayer) version of the recent Drakan Movie on AGN3D.

SoundBlaster NT Drivers  [5:26 AM EDT]
The Creative Labs FTP site has new Windows NT 4.0 drivers for the Sound Blaster 16 / 32 / AWE32 / AWE64. Thanks SaiKotic.

Telefragged  [5:26 AM EDT]
The telefraggers over at Telefragged tell me that some gremlins have been at their hardware which is why you may be having trouble accessing them or their hosted sites for the past couple of days, but this should all be straightened out shortly.

Out of the Blue  [5:26 AM EDT]
I'll post my Shogo Preview later today giving my impressions from my visit to Monolith a couple of weeks ago. Oh yeah, it was War Games yesterday, and GhostBusters the day before: as was pointed out by a few readers, neither particularly obscure (the GB quote is an all-time favorite), but they're just for a smile, it's not a competition. Please, no wagering.

Wednesday, September 30, 1998          Unreal 2.17 - Updated Sin Demo - Sin Demo patch

Descent 3 Demo Date  [11:09 PM EDT]
A post by Jason Leighton to the Descent BB gives word on the availability of a Descent 3 demo by Christmas, with the game to follow within a couple of months. Thanks Deep Space. Here's the quote:

We're working on a demo, and it will be out before Christmas. It will contain 1 single player and 1 multiplayer level.

The full version will follow within 2 months afterwards.

Heretic II Update, Screenshots  [8:34 PM EDT]
Activision's Heretic II Site has an update from Raven's Dan Freed on the bad guys that will be found in Heretic II, as well as a pair of new screenshots showing off a new "staff effect." This shot shows off the lighting effect especially nicely (conveniently not thumbnailed for those seeking surprises in the game).

AnachroDealie Part 3  [8:34 PM EDT]
The ION Storm site has part three of the primer on their upcoming Quake II engine RPG Anachronox.

3D Sound Round-up  [8:34 PM EDT]
Sound in the Third Dimension is a GameCenter look at 3D sound cards current and future, including an exclusive preview of Vortex 2 and Half-Life using A3D 2.0 support, as well as hands-on testing of Creative's Sound Blaster Live, and "a close look at the sound API wars."

Creative Sues Aureal  [8:34 PM EDT]
Speaking of the sound API wars, they're heating up as Creative Files False Advertising and Other Claims Against Aureal. Thanks John Blake. Here's the bulk of the statement:

The lawsuit relates to a series of misstatements made by Aureal concerning Creative's Sound Blaster Live! product and related technology. The lawsuit, which seeks injunctive relief and damages, was filed on September 30, 1998. The lawsuit is separate from -- but involves some of the same products as -- a patent case filed by Creative Technology against Aureal last February. That patent case against Aureal is still pending.

"Creative should not be required to police Aureal or its public statements to ensure their honesty,'' said John Danforth, vice president and general counsel at Creative Labs. ``However, with its series of objective misstatements about Creative's shipping products, Aureal has simply gone too far.

"This is not a case of a simple product spec that has been misstated or misunderstood," Danforth continued. "Neither is this simply a case of a competitor's excessive enthusiasm about its own promised (but not yet delivered) specs. Rather this case arises because of a series of inexcusable misstatements through which Aureal attempts to compare its own not-yet-shipping product against a shipping product of Creative -- a product whose specifications and capabilities are public and bear no resemblance to Aureal's repeated misstatements. We are confident that we will prevail in this matter."

VELOCITY 128 Drivers
The VELOCITY 128 Drivers page has new drivers for STB's RIVA 128-based adapter. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Ground Zero Review  [4:57 PM EDT]
OGR reviews Ground Zero, the Quake II mission pack from Rogue. Danke to Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Raven's Star Trek Game  [1:34 PM EDT]
To boldly go where no man (or split-infinitive) has gone before, the cat is out of the bag on ProjectX, Raven's long-secret project to develop their next game. As revealed in Rick Johnson's .plan, the beans are spilled in a GameSpot article talking about Activision's acquisition of a license to make Star Trek games. Though its engine is yet to be revealed, the game will be based on the upcoming movie, Star Trek: Insurrection. Here's a quote:

Lasky has his work cut out for him. He and the 80 or so staffers of the studio operations and the 50 or so staffers at Activision's Madison, Wisconsin, location (otherwise known as Raven Software) will get game making under way ASAP. The first title to come out of the new agreement will be a PC title based on the upcoming Paramount holiday release, Star Trek: Insurrection.

Matrox G200 D3D Wrapper  [12:21 PM EDT]
With their OpenGL ICD delayed until November, Matrox has released a new D3D Wrapper for Matrox G200-based video cards on Matrox Users'  Resource Centre. Here's a local copy of the Matrox G200 D3D Wrapper for Quake/Quake II (143 KB). The new wrapper fixes some corrupted texture problems.

Matrox G200 Benchmarks  [12:21 PM EDT]
The new wrapper (above) is not a performance tweak, but rather fixes some corrupted textures, which is a relief to me since I have some recently completed benchmarks on a Mystique G200 now added to the 3D benchmarks page that I won't have to discard. The scores are on the PII-400 system, and I'll post PII-233 scores soon. The D3D wrapper is obviously a bit of a hack to tide users over until the ICD (due in November), but Matrox is not forthcoming with any speculation over what kind of performance improvement an ICD will make. The visuals on the card are amazing in D3D and Windows in particular (a joy for a 1600x1200 pig like myself), and the performance quite strong. Unfortunately, as for Quake and Quake II, besides sub-par performance, the visual quality is crappy using the wrapper, suffering from overall darkness (understandable since GLQuake and Quake II's brightness seemed tuned to the 3Dfx: this is addressable through idgamma), as well as other problems like bad aliasing on lighting effects (huge stair-stepped edges on things like BFG blasts) in Quake II, and in Quake, and odd situation where the background is practically black, and the players appear all aglow as if they're draped in fullbright textures, with even wackier intermittent problems with the lighting effects. This is a really good 2D/3D combo card, but with the current drivers it is not a great option for Quake/Quake II.

MP3-O-Rama  [12:21 PM EDT]
Non-gaming: Winamp version 2.02 is out, fixing the skipping problem that's plagued the program since version 2.0 (thanks   Ant). Also, the other day marked the release of a new .mp3 player called Sonique: I've been meaning to check it out before mentioning it, but being sick, at this rate that won't be until Sonique II comes out.

Trespasser Imminent  [5:21 AM EDT]
In the new edition of loonygames' Beaker's Bent, Rich "Beaker" Wyckoff, game designer at DreamWorks Interactive, says that Trespasser, their upcoming Dinosaur shooter (sorta), is almost done. Here's the short, but intriguing quote from Beaker:

"We're 1.5 weeks away from the near-certain release of Trespasser"

Trespasser Hi-Res Shots  [5:21 AM EDT]
Also, for your Trespassing pleasure, there are five "sporty" high-resolution Trespasser screenshots on Sharky Extreme.

Half-Life Day One Review  [5:03 AM EDT]
VE's Half-Life Day One review with a saucy, spicy look at the OEM demo of Valve's tasty upcoming Half-Life. At least I think it's new because he didn't date it (just a joke, it's new, Billy is always riding GameSpot for that).

Updated Urban Assault Demo  [5:03 AM EDT]
An updated version of the Urban Assault Demo is up on Games Domain. as Billy at Voodoo Extreme who sent this along points out, there's no word of what the update entails.

Newer Qtracker  [4:12 AM EDT]
Beta 6 of Qtracker 2.2 is out, fixing Jedi Knight/Mysteries of the Sith support, which ended up broken in the recent beta 5 release of this server browsing program.

Night Hunters  [4:12 AM EDT]
Version 1.41 of Night Hunters is available, another Quake II mod with a variant on the predator & prey theme (too soon to abuse another Predator reference).

Coven Quake/Quake II DM Packs  [4:12 AM EDT]
The newly relocated The Coven page has an updated preview version of their Disposable Heroes mod. The previews are deathmatch packs for both Quake and Quake II, with the Q2 version including the full release of their MAD Rocket mod for Quake II, now including nuclear weapons ("how about a nice game of chess?").

Demo Analysis  [4:12 AM EDT]
The Demo Analysis Homepage has a program called the id Demo Analyzer that supports demos from Q1/QW ClanRing, QW Painkeep, Q2 CTF by Zoid, Q2 Lithium, Q2 Rocket Arena 2, and the Q2 mission pack #1, the Reckoning by Xatrix. Support for the Rogue mission pack, Ground Zero, will be added soon.

Action Quake Story  [4:12 AM EDT]
PC Games Mod Files Volume III takes a look at Action Quake2. Thank Ant.

On the Heretic II Demo  [4:12 AM EDT]
Raven programmer Jake Simpson updated his .plan with a few details on the upcoming Heretic II demo that was recently announced:

Heretic II Demo. The week of Oct 18th I believe. I'd just like to take this opportunity to point out to the gaming fraternity in general that the important bit of that sentence is "THE WEEK OF". This demo - which I might point out I'm responsible for, on the programming side, Pat Lipo has enough to do getting the product ready to ship without worrying about the Demo too - will be released that week when we satisfied it is honed as much as can be. That does not guarantee it will be available on the 18th.. just sometime in the week following. Now we are busting our butts to make sure this *is* done for the 18th, but with the nature of testing and nasty insidious bugs cropping up, I'm sure everyone out there involved in games in virtually any capacity will recognise the need for this disclaimer.

On the other hand, stuff is shaping up nicely here. We are getting regular bug reports from the testers at Activision, which we are assidiously tracking down. Death match is getting more fun (oops.. more of that aggrandisment there.. gotta watch that :)), as well as tighter. Client prediction is getting tested more rigorously, as is single game play. We ran into some problems with the A3D sound stuff, but according to Aureal, these will be dealt with on the next code drop from them.

For those that are looking :- The Red Rain is back. This is a fun weapon, and looks much better in a real 3D world. The Chicken is back. Lots of fun for everyone. We are talking about implementing a super chicken too.. We'll see how that flies :) (that was a bad pun, even for me..) Maceballs return too.. two different versions of them, powered up and not so. Very tricky in deathmatch those. The Phoenix Bow also returns. Some nice eye candy there.. as well as a damn powerful weapon in the right hands.

We all still have stacks of bugs to fix here, but it is coming together now.. the finished product is in sight, and the 'flavor' of the game is definitely there.

I had a nose at SOF the other day. Some really nice stuff being developed there. Wonderful levels, and some nice weapon stuff shaping up. Definitely something to watch for I think. And not played for laughs either, its all in deadly ernest.

Heretic II Suggestion Box & IRC  [4:12 AM EDT]
More Heretic II: A Heretic2.Com Forum is up taking suggestions for Heretic II that will be forwarded to the guys at Raven. Also, there's now an "official" channel (#heretic2) in 3DNet IRC devoted to Raven's upcoming third-person shooter.

More AnachroPrimer  [4:12 AM EDT]
The ION Storm site has the second part of their week-long Anachronox primer. The new section adds a look at three of the game's main characters. Thanks CiDcO at Stormtroopers.

Ground Zero and 3DNow!  [4:12 AM EDT]
3dimensional 128 has instructions on getting the AMD 3DNow! Quake II drivers working with the Quake II mission pack, Ground Zero.

Quantum's Banshee  [4:12 AM EDT]
Sharky Extreme's Quantum3d Raven review looks at Q3D's upcoming Voodoo Banshee-based board. The article offers commentary, and a load of benchmarks, in nigh useless graphical format.

Pixel Pushing  [4:12 AM EDT]
CPU Madness takes a look at computer graphics starting at the ground floor, with a history of the pixel.

Out of the Blue
Oh wow am I ever sick now, cold and flu season is definitely here, and I've bagged my limit for flu. On the subject, a cure for the common cold? Thanks topaz. Please, save any get well sympathies, I'll be fine, I'm sure there are a lot more folks out there that can use it more than me.

Tuesday, September 29, 1998          Unreal 2.17 - Updated Sin Demo - Sin Demo patch

New Requiem Movies  [3:13 PM EDT]
Hell on Earth has posted three new movies showing off combat from Requiem: Avenging Angel, the upcoming theological sci-fi shooter from 3DO/Cyclone Studios.

Soldier of Fortune  [3:13 PM EDT]
PCGames has posted an article about Soldier of Fortune, Raven's upcoming Quake II-engine game based on every mercenary's favorite magazine. Thanks the Raven Archives.

New SBLive! Beta DS3D Drivers  [2:53 PM EDT]
The Sound Blaster Live! downloads page has a new beta driver to allow up to 32 simultaneous hardware-accelerated DirectSound 3D streams. Thanks Randy Perry, who says: "The new patch sounds fantastic in Unreal! It kicks more ass than Jackie Chan on a mule skinner team!"

Carmageddon 2 Movie  [2:05 PM EDT]
There's a new Carmageddon movie in AVI format up on Pedestrian Precinct showing off the "ghost pedestrian" power up.

Savage3D Reference Drivers  [2:05 PM EDT]
According to Amer at Sharky Extreme, these Savage3D reference drivers are new (I can't find them on the S3 website).

Overclocking the Savage3D & Banshee  [2:05 PM EDT]
There's an article on Overclocking S3 Savage3D and 3Dfx Banshee on the Fast Graphics site.

SkinView Patch  [2:05 PM EDT]
A patch for the SkinView Mod, to hide the HUD icons so that artists and modelers using this Quake II mod can have an unobstructed view of their work.

Frag2 Location  [10:39 AM EDT]
The FRAG 2 page has announced the location of the FRAG2 tourney/event in Dallas as the Hyatt Regency Dallas, where there are 100 rooms reserved at a deep discount. You can place reservations for the event, slated to run Oct 30-Nov 1, starting this afternoon. here's the hotel info:

Hyatt Regency Dallas
214-651-1234
300 Reunion Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75207

Unreal-Engine Werewolf: The Apocalypse Game  [10:18 AM EDT]
This press release offers the announcement of a new Unreal-engine game from the folks working on the TNN Outdoor Hunter game. The new project is based on White Wolf Game Studio's pen-and-paper RPG, Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Thanks Gamer's Alliance. Here's a quote:

Get ready to howl at your PC because ASC Games has signed a licensing agreement with White Wolf Game Studio to bring the award-winning pen and paper role-playing game (RPG), Werewolf: The Apocalypse, to life using Epic MegaGames' phenomenal Unreal(TM) 3D technology. Slated to ravage retail shelves fourth quarter 1999, Werewolf: The Apocalypse will be a first to third person action / adventure game based upon White Wolf's apocalyptic Werewolf universe. The game promises to combine action-packed gameplay with all of the dark, atmospheric personality of the hugely successful RPG series. Werewolf: The Apocalypse is being developed by DreamForge Intertainment, the same studio responsible for ASC Games' critically acclaimed Sanitarium and its highly anticipated hunting simulation, TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter, which also utilizes the Unreal engine.

Levelord Interview Revisited  [10:01 AM EDT]
The Pit's Levelord Interview went online at the beginning of this month, but the server has been down ever since, so the interview has been inaccessible since. It's back up now, offering the chance to read a conversation between this Irish level design site, and this Irish level designer.

Battlezone IAS Patch Update  [9:17 AM EDT]
Word from the man from E.A.R. Extreme Audio Reality is that the latest IAS patch from Battlezone does not contain the latest fixes from Activision. Here's the lowdown:

The most current version of Battlezone is the 1.4 patch available from Activision, not the EAR 1.5 patch. the 1.4 update contains critical video code updates that are not a part of the ear version. We ask that you download and install version 1.4 from Activision which will effectively remove the ear 1.5 patch. Activision can not offer technical support for any version higher then 1.4

EAR will be releasing an IAS upgrade for 1.4 in the next few weeks. In till then any one wishing to use 1.5 should direct all tech support questions to support@earsound.com

Updated Drakan Preview  [9:17 AM EDT]
An updated version of PC.IGN.COM's Drakan preview adds new screenshots and sketches to this look ahead at this action came that will offer airborne Dragon combat as well as land-based play. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Unreal Beta 2.17  [7:36 AM EDT]
The Unreal Updates & Patches page has a new version 2.17 patch for Unreal. Thanks Martin Edelius at Unreal Nation. Here's a local copy (1.9 MB) on GamesNET FTP. Here's the word from Tim Sweeney from his Unreal Technology page:

Report bugs to this email address: unreal217@epicgames.com. If you're experiencing a crash, please attach a copy of your log file: \Unreal\System\Unreal.log to help us troubleshoot.

Unreal & GameSpy  [7:36 AM EDT]
There's word on PlanetUnreal on how to get public unreal servers listed by GameSpy:

Anyone running an unreal server should note that there are two steps to having your server listed on the GameSpy Unreal Master Server. Open the advanced options dialog manager, and select Networking --> Master Server Uplink. You will see 4 options, 2 of which need to be modified from the default:

1.Set DoUplink = True
2.Set MasterServerAddress = master0.gamespy.com (or unreal.gamespy.com)

Tribes AVI  [7:36 AM EDT]
The Starsiege Tribes Players page has a short AVI up showing off the game's female player. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Chaos Comics Quake II Contest  [7:36 AM EDT]
Chaos! Comics Rocks Quake II is the new 3D modeling contest that offers over $8,000 in prizes, including prizes in a random drawing for non-modeling types. Open to North American residents only.

g.o.d. - All Things Considered  [7:36 AM EDT]
Gathering of Developers appeared on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday. Here's a RealAudio link. Thanks Monte Fisher and Adam Frey.

L.O.D. - Some Things Considered  [7:36 AM EDT]
There's an interview with Vicarious Visions' Henry Kropf. on Station Terminus that focuses mostly on L.O.D. (level of detail) modeling.

Rainbow Six Review  [7:36 AM EDT]
3DGaming.Net's Rainbow Six Review.

New Eraser Bot Shell  [7:36 AM EDT]
The Eraser Bot Shell page has a new version of EBS, which supports the RocketBot and Ultrabot, in addition to straight Eraser support    .

New FreeSpace Today - Expansion Pack Gold  [7:36 AM EDT]
According to the Volition Inc. page, version 1.04 of Descent FreeSpace will be released "very soon," perhaps as soon as today. Thanks Matthew Rorie. Also, there's word on the page that the Silent Threat expansion disk for FreeSpace is gold, and should be available soon.

Out of the Blue  [7:36 AM EDT]
Been fighting a cold since last week, but it's a bit worse today rather than better (please no get wells, it's no biggie, just making my excuses for a slow start this morning). I've got a preview all set to post, I'm just waiting on some final fact checking before posting it. Link of the day (sorry, no movie quote today, yet at least) is this funny satire of my site. Thanks Tron.

Monday, September 28, 1998          Updated Sin Demo - Sin Demo patch - Unreal 2.16

Heretic II Demo Date  [10:06 PM EDT]
The Heretic II Page has word from Heretic II project lead Brian Pelletier on the availability of a Heretic II demo:

We have been diligently working here at Raven to finish Heretic II. The entire team has put forth great effort to make an extraordinary game. We are in our last stage of development...bug hunting, game testing, balancing, basically trying to make this game our best yet and as fun as possible. I am happy to announce that we will be releasing a playable demo of the game the week of October 18th. The demo will include the 1st level of the game (Silverspring Docks) and the 11th level (The Canyon), along with 2 deathmatch levels. We hope you enjoy the demo. You'll be able to see first hand what 3rd person action is really all about. Get ready for the full version in November!

Also, Heretic2.Com has a couple of new Heretic II screenshots up.. Finally, John "Slain" Scott updated his .plan with the latest on video card support in Heretic II :

3d card support is going extremely well, we are looking to support as many cards as possible. Unfortunately, the D3D wrapper isn`t up to the rigors of Heretic 2. This is by no means a complete or definitive list and is subject to change at any time (blah blah..........)

If your card isn`t mentioned below, then we don`t have one. If you send us a card and a gl driver, I will see what I can do. We are currently beta, so time is rapidly running out.

If requested, I will keep this list updated.

Definitely supported (altho a few are a little slow) -

Voodoo 1
Voodoo 2
Voodoo Rush
nVidia 128
nVidia 128ZX
nVidia TNT
I740
Verite 2200
ATI Rage Pro
Permedia 2

Have issues with (namely lack of GL driver)

Millenium G200

Definitely not supported -

Power VR 1 Verite 1000

Ground Zero Help  [9:46 PM EDT]
Rogue's Patrick Magruder updated his .plan with help for problems a few are having with Ground Zero, their Quake II mission pack:

A continuation on tech support with Ground Zero (and other Quake II extensions)

One problem we've heard some reports of is entities not showing up, working incorrectly, or other strange behavior that makes little sense. This is likely caused by a gamex86.dll file in your Quake II directory. There should NOT be a gamex86.dll file there. If there is, most likely what happened is that some mod you installed didn't install correctly, for whatever reason. This won't happen to you if you're running one of the official mission packs (thanks to the installer), but it could happen to you if you're running one of the many popular add-ons.

This could also happen if you're running an older Linux version .. the early versions were compiled with the wrong dll included (not really a dll on Linux, but hey). Get the latest version, it shoud clear things up.

Another one is having problems with the keyboard configuration in Ground Zero. To fix it, type the following into the console (hit the ` key to get the console window).

For those of you viewing this in a web browser .. Here's the link to our web page: Rogue's Main Page

.. and directly to our support page: Rogue's Support Page

Duke Deal  [9:46 PM EDT]
The Apogee/3D Realms Site has word on how PlayStation owners can get a Duke Nukem action figure from GT Interactive for pre-ordering the upcoming PSX game, Duke Nukem, Time to Kill.

New Crush Depth  [9:46 PM EDT]
The 4th Dimension Interactive page has version 1.0D of the Crush Depth mod for Quake II, the mod that incorporates submarine combat.

Sin Benchmark Demo  [4:17 PM EDT]
3 Fingers sends along the latest from his house o' benchmarks, a new Sin demo to allow comparisons across systems, since the previous demo for this effect, killer.dm2 no longer works on the updated demo. Here's rocket.dm2 (68 KB) for the new Sin demo.

Anachronox Primer  [4:17 PM EDT]
The ION Storm site has part one of their primer on their upcoming Quake II engine RPG Anachronox.

Descent 3 Developers Notes  [4:17 PM EDT]
Matt Long's Developer's Notes have an update about some Descent 3 modeling projects, including the end boss, some human models, a ground-based tank that sounds cool. Thanks Deep Space.

Starsiege Tribes Preview  [1:17 PM EDT]
Computer Games Online's Starsiege Tribes preview is up, looking ahead at Dynamix's upcoming massive first-person multiplayer game. Thanks AGN3D.

Unreal Beta Patch Notes  [5:25 AM EDT]
Tim Sweeney's Unreal Technology page has a follow-up on the version 2.16 beta patch release (story). Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers. Here's the skinny:

Beta 216 Follow-On Notes

A big thanks to everyone who has been trying out the patch and providing feedback. People have reported several problems with the patch that I'm going to fix over the next few days:

If you've encountered any problems with the patch that are not mentioned here, please email bug reports to unreal213@epicgames.com.

Here is a cool UnrealScript mod that provides framework for mouse- and window-based user interfaces within Unreal: http://unreal.smoo.net/AWT.

New Qtracker  [5:25 AM EDT]
The Qtracker Homepage has version 2.2 beta 5 of this server browsing program, which offers a few fixes, and updated version 2.16 Unreal support, allowing for UDP queries of Unreal servers.

Sin FAQ  [5:25 AM EDT]
An update to the Sin FAQ on Ritualistic brings it up to speed with the new demo release. Thanks to the out-of-control Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

loonygames  [5:25 AM EDT]
Here's the poop on the new issue six of loonygames, as always, to be posted throughout the week (according to loony's nefarious schedule):

Quake II Keys2  [5:25 AM EDT]
Version 1.83 of Keys2 is out. This Quake II mod offers a bunch of customizable features, including "keys" which last from one to five minutes, which offer special powers to the keyholder ("Many Subs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of a Sloar that day, I can tell you").

Holy Wars  [5:25 AM EDT]
Version 2.1 of Holy Wars for Quake 2 is now available with a bunch of new features, including the llama parameter (too many negative frags and you can't shoot anymore). Thanks Nazz Nomad.

Xtreme Quake II  [5:25 AM EDT]
Version 1.00 of Xtreme Quake II is out. The first non-beta release of this Quake II mod offers many new features in addition to squashing all known bugs (except the Lasersight accuracy bug)

Action Quake2 Fix  [5:25 AM EDT]
There's a server-only version 1.0b of Action Quake2 that offers a few bug fixes. Thanks Bartender (hic!).

Unreal 2.16 3DNow! Benchmarks  [5:25 AM EDT]
The 3DNow! NOW Page has AMD K6-2 benchmarks using the new beta 2.16 Unreal patch.

3D Editorial  [5:25 AM EDT]
There's an Editorial on the Adrenaline Vault running down the "list of contenders in the upcoming 3D brawl," giving a more complete list of games than the recent GameCenter article. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

I'82 Preview  [5:25 AM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault Previews Interstate '82. Whatever happened to "never get out of the car"? Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

New Wally  [5:25 AM EDT]
Papa's got a brand-new Wally, as version 1.24 of this Quake II-friendly texture editing program is now available.

G200 Cooler  [5:25 AM EDT]
There's a TennMax Lasagna G200 Cooler Review on HPC Hardware Guide checking out the version of this cooling fan made for Matrox's latest boards.

Midnight Madness TF Tourney  [5:25 AM EDT]
Junction's Midnight Madness is a TeamFortress tourney that may live up to the madness part of the name, but does not actually play their games at midnight.

Out of the Blue  [5:25 AM EDT]
Bizzaro blue sighting of the day (week, month?) is this line of children's clothing (35 KB). Well, beats the hell out of that clueless blue (looks green to me) dog on Nickelodeon. Thanks to Jon L. Berry for the photo.

Sunday, September 27, 1998  -- Download the Updated Sin Demo

Local Unreal Patch  [4:12 PM EDT]
The modem at Epic is getting pounded pretty hard, so it took a while to get the new patch (next story), but after a few hours downloading and a few minutes uploading, here's a local copy of the beta 2.16 Unreal patch (1.9 MB) on GamesNET FTP.

New Unreal Patch  [10:48 AM EDT]
Tim  Sweeney sent along word of the availability of the new beta 2.16 patch for Unreal, available here. The new patch offers "Improved play on low-bandwidth connections (still not the ultimate, but it's a step in the right direction)" and "Better, faster GameSpy support." Here's word he sent along about the servers running the new version up at Epic:

We currently have two public deathmatch servers, set to rotate through all the maps, at Epic:

unreal://www.epicgames.com/   unreal://208.212.53.39/

And here's word from his Unreal Technology page on what the deal is with the new version:

The new patch is available for download here, along with a summary of improvements and known problems. While this version contains a lot of fixes and better infrastructure, the low-bandwidth Internet play still isn't where we want it to be. Bandwidth usage is improved by about 20% over version 209.

Levels, gameplay mods, and networking should be nearly 100% compatible between all existing Unreal patches (200 through 216). Server administrators should upgrade to 216 immediately, because it's much more stable than previous versions, uses 1/3rd the memory, and supports the new server querying interface.

The patch also includes the latest version of GameSpy Lite. We've been working closely with the GameSpy team, and Unreal is finally interoperating pretty well with it. There will be more to come in the future. Visit the GameSpy page for more information about the full version of GameSpy, and other games that are supported.

New FreezeTag  [10:48 AM EDT]
A new version 1.74 patch is up on the newly redesigned Freeze Tag page. Among the new features of this Quake II mod that allows you to freeze your opponents and drag them into cold storage (or conversely go off in heat-miser mode and thaw your frosty teammates) is a new grappling hook. Also now available is the mod's source code.

AMEN Development Journal  [10:48 AM EDT]
The second edition of the Amen Development Journal is up with an update from screenwriter Christopher Null on CaveDog's upcoming shooter. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

New Trespasser Shots  [10:48 AM EDT]
New Trespasser Shots on Sharky Extreme, some of them showing off  Dinosaurs and stuff.

Delta Force Preview  [10:48 AM EDT]
PC.IGN.COM previews Delta Force, the upcoming anti-terrorist game from NovaLogic.  Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

350 MHz AMD Patch  [10:48 AM EDT]
350MHz fix for K6-2 up on HPC Hardware Guide that allows stable operation of a K6 processor at 350 MHz under Windows 95 (apparently system stability at that speed \is not a problem under Win98 or NT).

Out of the Blue  [10:48 AM EDT]
Yes mud and bic razors! Judging from my mail, there's no reference too obscure for you all -- no wonder I have so much fun doing this...

Saturday, September 26, 1998

Shogo Demo October 2 (Updated)  [11:19 PM EDT - Update]
Here's the updated word from PlanetShogo on the Shogo demo that will be out this Friday, that offers a few more details than the original announcement:

Monolith and the PlanetQuake Network have teamed up to bring you the exclusive release of a playable Shogo demo, this Friday, Oct. 2nd at 12:01 AM, right here at PlanetShogo. Fans all across the Net will be able to download it here first.

A couple of details about the demo:

People are advised to have the latest video drivers available and 3Dfx owners should download the new reference drivers from 3Dfx.com.

New Genesis Engine SDK  [7:30 PM EDT]
Beta 2.1 of the Genesis 3D Engine Software Developers Kit is now available. Here's the poop:

Beta 2.1 of the Genesis3D SDK is ready! You can download it from our web site at http://www.genesis3d.com.

2.1 contains a lot of enhancements and bug fixes that were requested by the user community. We also added an actor previewing tool that lets you preview animations outside of the engine. Source code to the actor preview tool will be available soon (free, of course).

Fixes include: The Glide MIP-mapping bug is fixed. If you had trouble with the previous beta running Glide download this one. Various editor fixes and improvements are in. Code cleanup in Gtest (especially for people who want to modify the multiplayer code).

As always, 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 the free 3D engine. Make your own games and pay no licensing fee and no royalty.

New Rendition OpenGL ICD  [7:30 PM EDT]
The Rendition Software Download page has beta 3 of the OpenGL installable client driver for V2x00 video cards. Thanks Geoff Stafford and Chris Miller. This release includes AMD K6-2 support, and offers "performance and stability fixes."

Generations  [7:30 PM EDT]
Version 0.91 of the Generations Quake 2 Mod is out, fixing "a couple of hundred bugs."

New NIQ for Quake II  [7:30 PM EDT]
The NIQ Mods for Quake II page has version 1.92 of NIQ, which stands for "No Item Quake" (the server determines what items the players have, and all players are given the same arsenal, which rotates).

Mark Rein Interview  [7:30 PM EDT]
Planet RIVA has an interview with Epic's Mark Rein about Unreal.

Requiem: Avenging Angel Delay  [11:44 AM EDT]
The release of 3DO/Cyclone Studio's upcoming 3D shooter, Requiem: Avenging Angel will be delayed until January 1999, rather than the planned release this fall, according to a report on Hell on Earth.

Solution for Sin Patch Problems  [5:46 AM EDT]
Ritual's Matthias Worch sent along a solution (this rinky 6 KB cfgs.zip) to hopefully solve the problems some are having installing the Sin demo patch released last night (story):

unfortunatly activision made a patch that requires ALL original files to be in their original state, otherwise the patch won't work at all. a lot of ppl add their own stuff to the autoexec.cfg, of course, so the whole (11MB) patch won't be applied because of that one stupid little file :(

Download http://www.ritualistic.com/files/cfgs.zip, copy all files into the BASE directory before you patch and try again. we hope that fixes the problems.

Predator Quake II Mod  [5:46 AM EDT]
The Predator & Prey page has version 0.97 of Predator Quake, which pits one against many... but who is the hunter, and who is the hunted? (Pretty snappy, huh? I cooked that up myself). Bic razors and mud not included.

Paul Steed Interview  [5:46 AM EDT]
Pels Interactive has posted a Paul Steed interview, talking with id's 3D modeler in a free-association session.

Thief, Terminus Interviews  [5:46 AM EDT]
Game-Interviews.com has their conversation with Greg LoPiccolo of Looking Glass Studios talking about their upcoming first-person action/adventure, Thief: The Dark Project. Also, PCM&E Feature/Interview with Karthik Bala on Terminus talks about this upcoming space combat game and offers some screenshots.

FreeSpace Story Contest  [5:46 AM EDT]
Interplay is holding a Descent: FreeSpace story writing contest, among the prizes, a copy of Descent 3 (when available). Thanks Deep Space.

etc.  [5:46 AM EDT]
Semmel's UnrealED Seite (German) ... The Wing Commander CIC Secret Ops Guide, thanks Evna 'Hadrian' Adnams ... Happy belated birthday to Walter |2| Costinak, thanks Puck ...

Out of the Blue  [5:46 AM EDT]
Honey, Levelord shrunk the Blades! The new Spry DM level in the updated Sin demo is a total trip, extremely well done, but that's why he's da lord (just watch out for all the falling damage). The PC Gamer Online Movies section is crack-addled enough that it's a bit frightening (the last two are the "best" ones). Bobby Duncanson is the Steven Wright of gaming (or something like that)..

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