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Wednesday, Apr 14, 1999

  

I'82 Intro

The Interstate '82 intro movie has been posted on GameSpot (thanks Auto Combat). This AVI is the "opening credit sequence from Interstate '82 which reveals its main characters (including Taurus and Groove from I'76), and offers a taste of the synth tunes you'll hear in the game. Note this movie contains no real gameplay footage."

Mouse Bites and Other Glitches

I just posted a new and improved Blue's News Mouse Resource Page with updated links. Seems the GamesNet FTP server that's been so kindly hosting the related files has gone away, so I apologize if you've had trouble with those downloads in the past few days. Also the full disk drive we experienced here this afternoon caused a small BlueTracker spasm: it's back on line, but a couple of .plans that haven't been updated have shown up as new, including John Carmack's and Jason Hall's. Sorry about the confusion.

qED3

The qED3 Homepage has a new version 3.0 update for this level editor for Quake engine games, which adds support for Half-Life editing. The update will only work on version 2.0 or later, and will not patch qED1. Thanks unitool [cM].

Game Movies

Updated. A new Diablo II movie is out, with a first look at the new Paladin character in action (thanks DiabloII.net). The 19 MB download is available locally, as well as from Blizzard's FTP server, so swing by our download page to get it. We're working out a couple of glitches on the FTP server, but as soon as they're fixed we should have local copies of some other recent files up ASAP. Update: One of the files we're having trouble uploading is now available elsewhere, as PCBlitZ.com has posted a new move from Acclaim showing off gameplay from their upcoming third-person Voodoo extravaganza, Shadow Man, in both large and small varieties.

SoF Shirt Offer

Phoebus sends word that Raven is offering Soldier of Fortune T-Shirts for sale for a limited time, if you want a memento of this upcoming game like the ones to be distributed at E3. Details on this limited time offer are up on Soldier-of-Fortune.com.

Amen Interview

GuruTech interviews Greg MacMartin, lead designer on Amen, Cavedog's upcoming first-person shooter.

New ICQ

The Tucows Network has a new build 1701 of beta 2.15 of ICQ 99a. Thanks Michael Work.

On The Quake III Arena Test

id Software's Graeme "Zaphod" Devine updated his .plan with word on the release of the test version of Quake III Arena, which he says is "getting closer." Here's the word (ooh, more pop culture: The Matrix... I'm unstoppable!):

We're getting closer to releasing the test version of Quake 3 Arena. It's worth going over our expectations from the test vs. the world's expectations from the test. I appreciate all the voice mails, faxes, and emails with suggestions, death threats, and comments, and I do read each and every one of them. I try to respond to a lot of them, but obviously I can't respond to them all.

At this point, we still have no release date on the test. We're testing builds here and at Activision and continuing to go through cycles. As soon as feedback from both internal testing and our testers at Activision dies down, we'll be ready, but while this is providing heavy reports, as it still is today, we're still not ready to come out with the public test.

There will be two maps in the test; these maps will also be in the final product. The feedback we're looking for is specific to the technology in the test. We're pretty happy with the design, and feedback on things like weapon switch times, models, gibs, and so forth are not things we'll pay as much attention to as real issues with the technology. We're looking closely at modem, ISDN, and cable play to see how our new network code works, and how that works when a bunch of different connections are playing together on the same server. We're anxious to gauge server load and use with the maps we have to see how the server works under heavy use, and to make sure we've got a lot of the new client/server communication working reliably and securely.

That said, we do and will watch you play, read the message boards, and try to gauge feedback. But the main thing to remember is that this is a test technology build, not a demo, there will be a demo, we plan on a demo, but this is a test. A lot of you will want to wait on the demo rather than playing the test.

The test will be on all three platforms, Mac, Linux and Win32. We're still working on minimum and recommended specs. There are no bots in the test. We do plan on revving the test once it's out at regular intervals to get fixes out there.

There is no spoon.

TRIBES Administrator

A new version 0.94 of the TRIBES Administrator program is up on Tribes.de. This is a GUI Telnet program for Starsiege Tribes to allow easy remote administration of a server. New features are BanList editing, a Mission/Map editor (change the map with only one click), and more, and the new release also clears up some bugs.

Free Lara!

GameSpot UK has a news bit on that new Tomb Raider freebie that's coming soon, including their announcement that they'll have an exclusive one-level demo available for download on April 22. For those Lara fans out there who aren't satisfied with the free add-on or her upcoming commercial debut (see story), you'll be pleased to know that wheels are turning on that much talked about, and even more delayed Tomb Raider movie. Here's the news, care of Dark Horizons:

At last, things are moving on the film adaption of one of the decades most famous computer games. Variety reports that Paramount has put the adenture flick on the fast track, with plans to make it their big film release during Summer 2000. Paramount won the rights to turn the project into a feature film last year, with various writers developing scripts - none of which have caught their eye, till now. Scribe Steven de Souza ("Street Fighter") submitted a draft which Paramount snapped up right away and has deemed it ready for development, with Director Stephen Herek ("Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Mr. Holland's Opus") very likely to helm it. No word on who'll be playing the buxom Lara Croft as yet, but you can bet when it is announced the Net will go wild.

Aliens vs. Predator Box Shots

The Aliens vs. Predator Network has a bunch of new images of the box art to AvP, showing off not one, not two, but six different boxes. Looks like Fox Interactive's trying to give Unreal a run for its money here...I shudder to think of how many boxes SegaSoft's 10six is going to end up with. :)

Soldier of Fortune Update

Marcus Whitlock updated his .plan with some more skinny on Raven's upcoming Soldier of Fortune:

Yummy Soldier Of Fortune stuff

Yikes... a whopping two months since my last update... still working on stuff for Soldier Of Fortune. Just about finished porting the weapon and inventory system across into the player.dll so that all the player view-weapon animations and sequences (fire, reload, muzzle flashes etc. Hmm... the whole dang shop actually!) are predicted and animate much, much nicer under laggy net conditions than the original Quake2 player view-weapons. Course, all this stuff will be customizable, being in a separate dll and all that. Muchos kudos to Gil for creating Ghoul!

Also decided I'm going to stay with Raven... after condiering everything... this had to be the coolest place in the world to work... [at least for normal people like us anyway, i.e. those of us who aren't porn stars, rock stars or movie stars with babes and cash coming out of the upholstery :)].

Heavy Gear II Preview

Beyond 3D's Heavy Gear II preview offers a look ahead at this upcoming giant robot game from Activision offering a couple of new screenshots and some commentary from the game's producer Dave Georgeson.

Afternoon Hardware Bits

3DFiles.Com has posted a new version of APK 3dFx Tuning Engine 2000++ adding full Voodoo III capabilities to this 3dfx tweak utility. HardOCP has posted some results from playing around with (and of course overclocking) a TNT2, though it's warned this is not a production board. Also, on the Mp3 front, Microsoft Internet Music Format To Challenge IBM talks of a new standard that will allow music downloads theoretically without piracy. There's a new version of Winamp that should pop up soon supporting this dealie. The IBM part of that story in reference to IBM Enlists RealNetworks In Online Music Race, which reports "IBM said on Monday it had enlisted online multimedia company RealNetworks to help its bid to create a universal standard for sending music over the Internet." Thanks Phil Pierotti. Also in the world of legal battles, U.S. Court of Appeals Rules for AMD in Patent Dispute With Altera. Thanks GA-Source. Finally, Voodoo Extreme has posted some news on how Voodoo3 owners can beta test the new 3dfx OpenGL ICD:

In anticipation of our public release of an OpenGL ICD for the Voodoo3 family of cards, 3dfx is allowing a small number of beta testers access to a beta ICD driver. This beta ICD is for the sole purpose of evaluating our OpenGL functionality on individual or corporate OpenGL programming projects. It is not available for evaluation of public applications or games (as we're doing that testing ourselves at 3dfx.) The beta ICD made available will not include full performance enhancements as this beta program is designed solely as a test of functionality.

To be considered for the 3dfx beta OpenGL ICD program, please send an email to devprogram@3dfx.com with "Beta OpenGL ICD request" in the header. The email must contain the following complete information:

1) Full contact information of the individual including email address, shipping address, phone/fax, and company information if relevant.

2) Brief description of your OpenGL programming projects that you will be testing and providing feedback on.

3) Version of Voodoo3 card that you will be testing with.

Valid requests for inclusion in the beta ICD program will be followed up with a 3dfx NDA and beta ICD agreement. The beta ICD program participant must fax back and agree to the terms of both the NDA and beta agreement prior to being sent the beta ICD driver.

Starsiege Demo Released

GameCenter has premiered the Starsiege (vanilla, not Starsiege: TRIBES) demo in Gigex format, so it's an 87k download followed by a 52 meg download. Here are the details:

The demo features two single-player campaign missions along with four training missions to get you up to speed. It also features a mission recorder, full customization of the controls, and save-game options. Other features include native Glide compatibility, shell audio, and OpenGL compatibility for RIVA TNT cards.

Screenshots

There are half a dozen new SEED Screenshots on GA-Source along with a short update on the status of this upcoming shooter from HumanSoft saying, while they are still seeking a publisher, beta testing should begin in August, and the game will be complete in October. Also, Andrea from Matrox sent over a screenshot from Rage's upcoming Expendable, that shows a still shot of some impressive looking water using environmental bumpmapping. Here's the shot:

Expendable Shot

Werewolf Interview

PlanetUnreal has posted an interview with Travis Williams, the Executive Producer of ASC Games' upcoming Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

Lee Jackson Interview

The audio-oriented Redchurch.com has a new interview up with 3D Realms' Lee Jackson talking about his work creating game music and sound effects.

Quantum3D Announcement

Quantum3D Introduces New Product Configurations Featuring Pentium III & Voodoo3 at ITEC `99 is the announcement on some new products based on 3dfx technology from Quantum3D that include an integrated V3/Pentium III product and a line of Voodoo3 accelerators that will be available through the Quantum3D web store. Thanks Sharky.

Tim Sweeney on Voodoo3, Unreal Performance

Epic's Tim Sweeney made an update to the Unreal Technology page talking of his positive impressions of running a Voodoo3 with the Unreal 224 beta (there are problems running Unreal 220 on the V3). Thanks Apache at Computer Gaming Review. Tim also slips word in there of some sort of performance enhancement in the works (it seems unrelated to the Voodoo3 comments):

Unreal 224 performance is also being helped by some new lighting optimizations, and a major new engine feature, which Erik de Neve (Unreal optimization and algorithmic texture guru) has been working on. But I'm not allowed to talk about that since Mark Rein is writing a press release about it now.

Quake II 64 Screenshots

N64.IGN.COM's new Quake II 64 Preview is up, offering a brand-new account from some hands-on time with this Nintendo 64 port of the game, offering a whole load of shots along the way, including some showing off the split screen deathmatch views, both for two and for four players (remember, no camping).

Deus Ex Music

ION Storm's Bob White made a post to a Music and sound effects thread on the ION Storm BB talking about the music and sound effects in ION's upcoming Deus Ex (thanks again Apache). Here's the content of the two updates (woo, Blues Brothers in the pop culture quiz!):

Music and sound effects are being spear headed by Stan Neuvo. Stan is a great sound guy with an excellent ear for the job. He formerly worked with a lot of us at Origin and we were pleased then and more so now with what he has given us for Deus Ex.

We plan to use both types of music in our games...Country and Western....

We are trying still to find the "right" music style for the game. Once we get that nailed down we will probably look at whether it will be dynamic or not. Several of us would like to see a heavy duty techno sound (something along the lines of Prodigy) Others see some modern electronic as a good choice (something like Patrick O'Hearn does).

The sounds are realistic. We are getting effects from all over and trying to stay away form canned effects. On the NYC streets you here the horns honking, traffic rushing by, the squeals of the subway trains, barking dogs, crying babies, people yelling...basically the whole gambit.

...

A quick adindum to my previous post on music in order to clarify something. The music will have to carry the mood of the game and some of those listed probably wouldn't.

We want to make sure there there is ambient music to match the scene and mood. Maybe something of an Asian flavor in Hong Kong. Something moody and dark in the gehttos of New York.

MailBag: Lawsuit Feedback

The news of the parents v. game/porn/movie companies lawsuit (story1, story2, story3) inspired a flood of reader responses, and it seemed like a topic worthy of a special mid-week edition of the MailBag entirely on the subject of the lawsuit.

Morning Hardware Bits

Ars Technica's Behind the Benchmarks looks at "SPEC, GFLOPS, MIPS et al" in a piece by their resident CPU guru looking at what makes a good benchmark, what makes a bad benchmark, and discusses the make-up of some of the more common benchmarks. SciTech, the medical school behind the famed Display Doctor software, has announced: "QNX and BeOS Support Coming Soon." Thanks DemoNews. The Tweaks at Tweak3D have updated their Modem Tweaking Guide. Finally, Tech Zone's Poor Person's Upgrade turns "an old P233 into a 458Mhz screamer. All for a net cost of just $200!"

Assimilation Q2 Mod

The Assimilation page has a new version 2.5 R2 of the Assimilation Quake II mod replacing the old version 2.5 R2 (trying to figure out why they didn't increment the version, like resistance, is futile). The update addresses crashing problems and should reduce lag for most players.

Tread Editor

The Prospect Vector site has a new version 1.01 patch for the Tread level editor, which fixes a bug that caused Tread to crash when loading some model files.

Competitions

Reviews

etc.

  • If you think the twisted folks over at Twisted Half-Life were going literature crazy (as opposed to literally crazy) before, then it's time their commitment got them committed, as they've posted the first four chapters of an unofficial Half-Life novel! The part completed so far represents about a quarter of the final dealie, and they heartily vouch for its quality (I haven't been able to read it yet, since I've been having trouble dragging it into the bathroom where such reading is conducted)...
  • If your favorite site in the Critical Mass empire is down at the moment, it may be because of a hardware failure over there that has resulted in some lost data. Things should get back up to speed pretty quickly, though apparently some sites may seem a little musty as they reappear, since they're being restored from an older backup...
  • All the results of the 1999 Quake Movie Oscars have been posted on The Quake Movie Library...
  • Yesterday's User Friendly asks, is Quake III Arena porn, and today's cartoon follows the Q3A theme as well...

Out of the Blue

To finish off the odd subject of Buffalo Sabres hockey player Miroslav Satan's devilish name (last couple of Out of the Blues), several readers (ColdFire was the first) point out that: "In Islam, Satan is called Shaytan," so the pronunciation becomes an even thinner veil, eh? Alright, it's all just in fun, but... entry 666 in three different hockey databases?

Link of the Day: The Illustrated Guide To Breaking Your Computer. A follow-up to yesterday's LoD since a picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks devilbunny.



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