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Rick Johnson
Raven | Ld. Programmer | Sep 25 2000, 12:31:49 (ET) | rjohnson@ravensoft.com

Name: Rick Johnson
Email: rjohnson@mail.ravensoft.com
Description: Ld. Programmer / Network Admin
Project: SoF
Nickname: Superfly
Web Page: Rick's Web Site TurtleCam! mEATwagon Cult
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9/25/2000
There is an email going around that reads as follows. This email is completely FAKE.
Raven is actually running the key authentication server for Elite Force, not GameSpy or Activision.
It is extremely RARE that anyone would ever ask for your CD Key, so always verify
where the reply email is going to (as it should be @RAVENSOFT.COM). Remember that
we DO NOT KNOW what key you may have gotten with the game, nor do we have access to any
product registration information that might have your email address, so unless you approach us with
an issue, we would never be contacting you in this manner. Here's the fake email. Feel free to
spam the email address below :)


While studying Gamespy statistics, we noticed that your Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Cd-Key was being used by
another user. This means that either your Cd-Key is genuine or the other users'.
In such cases we inform both parties of the situation and the party that can
prove that the Cd-Key was obtained by legal means, (that is the game was legally
purchased), will get to keep the Gamespy account and therefore will be able to
have multiplayer capability. The party that will not be able to prove Cd-Keys'
validity will be denied of such multiplayer services. To fully prove that the
Cd-Key was obtained by legal means must submit the folliwing information to us.
* Store name where the game was purchased.
* Date of purchase.
* First and Last names
* Valid Cd-Key, that is located on the product itself.

If the above criteria proves to be valid. The party using illegal Cd-Key will be
suspended without notice.
If we do not get a reply from you within 24 hours, both parties will be
suspended for a month until we get the reply.

SUBMIT THE INFORMATION VIA E-MAIL IN ANY FORMAT TO:

activision@representative.com.com
- Thank you for your cooperation,
- Activision Representative, Steve Shtotland.


6/14/2000
SoF V1.05 is being uploaded to various SoF sites now. You MUST upgrade from V1.03
(as 1.04 was a beta and I didn't want to make a history patch to include that
version).

SoF SDK V1.1 will be released tomorrow. Sorry, I'm exhausted after getting back
from my trip (having seen many Johns' in the Texas area...)

6/12/2000
Thanks to everyone who responded to the C++ question. It seems that when you
have multiple functions with the same name in a class, and then inherit that
class, you lose that inheritence of that given function. This is done as a
protective measure (no idea who they are protecting me from). The easiest way
to get around this is to add:
using ClassA::Set;
inside of ClassB's definition.

SoF 1.05 Patch and SDK will be released late Wednesday afternoon. Technically, it
is all ready to go, but I will be away from the office for the next 48 hours,
so I don't want to release this until I get back, in case something bad happens.

This patch mainly adds the Pure server option. Some other issues have been
addressed as well as some things that weren't originally included in 1.04
(mainly the EAX and A3D sound improvements). The patch is under 2 megs in size
and will require you to upgrade from 1.03. Network and Save Games are not
compatibile between these versions (as we are preparing for the next thing
we are working on).


6/7/2000
C++ Question!!! Given the following code:

class ClassA
{
public:
ClassA(void) { }

virtual void Set(int a, int b, int c, int d, int e) { }
virtual void Set(int a, char *b) { }
};

class ClassB : public ClassA
{
public:
ClassB(void) { }

virtual void Set(int a, char *b) { }
};

void ClassTest(void)
{
ClassB *new_one;

new_one = new ClassB;
new_one->Set(10, 20, 30, 40, 50);
}

I will receive this error with MS VC++ 6.0 SP3:
error C2660: 'Set' : function does not take 5 parameters

Possible changes to the code to get it to compile include:
ClassA *new_one;
or
new_one->ClassA::Set(10, 20, 30, 40, 50);
or adding this to ClassB
virtual void Set(int a, int b, int c, int d, int e) { ClassA::Set(a,b,c,d,e); }

I'm theorizing that there is the possibility of ambiguity by doing something like
this, but I wasn't able to come up with any real examples. Anyone have any ideas?


6/1/2000
If anyone knows how to contact Elvis, please let me know immediately :)

SoF V1.05 patch will go into limited QA tomorrow - should be out shortly, but won't give any specific
dates. This patch will mainly include a Pure server option and a few other minor fixes (EAX and
A3D sound issues). Once the patch is available, the game source code will be made available.
Several of us are working on the next thing for SoF, which is why 1.05 didn't have too many
major things changed to it. Before you throw a fuss, don't worry...

4/21/2000
The SoF V1.04 BETA patch will be out shortly. Unfortunately, there was a last minute problem patching
the main PAK file, so I had to remove those changes as well as the EAX changes (which required new data).
RTPatch seems to crash on Win98 machines when I included that PAK file - I have to wait until Monday to
get technical support from the people who make RTPatch.

Remember that this version is a beta patch. It mainly addresses DM server crashes. We haven't done that
much testing on this yet.

This is the included readme file with the patch:

SoF V1.04
April 20, 2000
--------------
* Fixed crash in EAX sound code when playing old sounds
* Fixed crash in DM when getting killed by standing over a flaming body
* Fixed crash in DM for Arsenal caused by weapon switching / inventory bug
* Added a check for invalided saved game files in the menu code
* Changed the "Error during Initialization" dialog to report the specific error
* Added view height change for MOF
* Fixed a bug in detection of remote IP address for systems with multiple IPs
* Circumvented W2K bug in SetProcessWorkingSetSize(). This call would basically
not allow various GL implementations to initialize under W2K. Removed the call
to that function.
* Re-organized CD copy protection
* Made it so that the winsock error WSAECONNRESET doesn't drop you to the console
during DM server browsing
* Fixed problem where people had difficulty connecting to servers
* Fixed an issue with spectator mode
* Fixed an overflow issue with demo playback
* Fixed CTF issue with force join
* Added "ainame" worldspawn over-ride to specify the enemy set for user mods
* Added a "-nostart" command line option, so that dedicated servers won't
automatically start dedicated.cfg
* Fixed irqctf1 where players could get in bad spots
* Fixed scripting problem in KOS3 where killing the helicopter
* EAX performance optimizations
* Server Browers updates info when bringing up the status of a particular server
* Automatic account login for dedicated servers
* Clients connecting to dedicated servers no longer need a CD

Note: This patch should be considered BETA software and has not been fully tested.
You should re-install the game if you need to return to V1.03.

Also included in this version is a DLL from Creative Labs. This emulates EAX2.0 on any
card that supports EAX1.0. This would include SB PCI cards, Vortex2 cards, and older
Sensura based cards. To install this feature, run the batch file in the SoF directory
called "installeax.bat"



BTW, I hear that congratulations will soon be in order! Don't ask, you'll find out...

3/28/2000
You can download the inital version of the SoF SDK at SoF News.
This SDK contains a version of Radiant for SoF, the BSP utilities, scripting compiler, ghoul exporter,
documentation, and the original map and script files for the first level of the game (the New York Subway).

3/27/2000
Looks like SoF will start to appear in stores either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. This should be a
world-wide release. Be extremely careful when purchasing your version of SoF, as one is full violence, and
the other is low violence (the Tactical version) so that you don't pick the wrong version.

Most likely, within the next few days, I will be releasing part of the SoF SDK. The initial version of the
SDK will include a version of Radiant that we modified for SoF, the bsp utilities, script compiler,
and possibly one of the production maps in its original form (we have yet to decide this).

3/14/2000
SoF has officially been baked, sliced, and served! Be sure to vote for me as the Cook!

I would like to officially thank a bunch of people who have helped out with SoF that weren't on the project:

Tim Wright: For letting us use the ArghRad source code
Todd Lawson: For helping me get the SOCKS5 proxy code working
Matt Craighead, NVidia, for various suggestions and optimizations
Keith Galocy and Scott Shumate, 3dfx, for their assistance with driver issues
Micah Mason, Aureal, for the A3D coding
Keith Charley, Creative Labs, for the EAX coding


3/13/2000
Waiting around, twiddling your thumbs can yield some interesting results. Take for example, these screen shots
for Midget of Fortune: Pic 1 and Pic 2

Actually, there is a server side option which controls the player model's scaling. Yes, this is a joke, but it
is kinda neat. Makes DM extremely hard. This one's for you, TomServo!

*** UPDATE ***

Unofficially, SoF has been baked to a light GOLD! We are code released! Masters have been sent off to duplication.
Technically, the head of QA has to sign off on the paper work tomorrow to make it official, but we are done!
All 5 versions (US Full Violence, US Low Violence, UK Full, French Full, and German Low) have made it
through QA. At this time, we are not aware when it will hit the stores, other than it will be this month.

*** ***


3/10/2000
Better go wash your hands; dinner's just about ready. Something's smelling really good coming from the oven!

2/24/2000
For almost a year now, I haven't done any ION Storm or Daikatana Bashing, BUT:

This message thread where The Romero talks about
the only SP FPS to ship with CTF

Come on! Last I checked, Daikatana hasn't shipped. And besides, who says SoF won't beat Daikatana out the
door? SoF has almost as many CTF maps (7) as Daikatana has DM maps total (10) :)

2/22/2000
We've released the patch for the SoF Demo. This patch mainly represent things we felt were important to
fix or adjust in the demo, but only if we could easily merge it back into the demo codebase (as the main
game has changed considerably). Below represents my crude notes of items we addressed. Most of these
items were QA'd through the low-violence demo release (for the UK), but as a whole, this has not been
QA'd. You can still connect to servers running the original version, but you may notice view height
discrepencies (such as when you crouch, you're practically eating dirt). This is only a problem if the
server has not been patch.

The patch is available at SoF News. It is slightly
over 1 meg. Feel free to mirror.

SoF Demo 0.57 Changes
---------------------
-Run speed for DM in menus
-LAN Only option in multiplayer config
-No rocket launcher dm flag in menus
-Scoreboard display / sorting problem fixed
-Fixed obit filter cvar problem
-Current map name in info list
-Dedicated console talking is now in purple
-Remote IP determination
-Fixed SOCKS5 support
-Added "exit" command to console (in addition to "quit")
-Remove cl_nodelta cvar
-Player height raised
-Fix for going to the web pages for NT
-Player corpses are shootable after respawning
-Added no_won cvar (for LAN only play)
-Chase cam for spectator works better now
-A3D bug fixes and upgrade to 3.0
-Fix for random crash
-Fix for Invisible players in DM
-Added g_movescale
-DM flag for no rocket launchers
-Added sv_suicidepenality
-Crash fix for default sound / a3d in multi-player
-Smoother movement for spectator
-Fix for public server checkbox not working
-Longer delay for intermission and only fire button to move on
-New sniper rifle behavior
-Blood fixes

2/20/2000
So what do developers do at 2:00AM after putting in a 16 hour day? We Play King of the Hill!
Jersey "Back Stabber" Hughes was quoted as saying "Cheap shots are the only way I could get him [Rick] off
of the Hill!" I tackled Matt "Pummel Me" Pinkston, who was severely injured. The paramedics were heard saying,
"Wussssss". Eric "Baby" Biessman couldn't handle Matt and Pat "Strong-Arm" Lipo, as he was
thrown from the hill.

2/15/2000
Am I the only one wondering what America / our culture has become? Specifically, this show on FOX tonight
"Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire?". If you aren't familiar with the this show, 50 women are competiting
to marry some multi-millionaire whom they have never met. Basically, the women want his money, and he'll
probably pick the prettiest one. Has our society really become this shallow?

Now, onto something game related. This whole discussion about licensing engines and all of that. Someone please
tell me what a "Game Operating System" is? Most of my experience with licensed engines are with the Quake
series. Generally, we are given a complete drop of their development system (code, tools, assets), and we
go from there.

I would certainly like to see Unreal from a license point of view. If for nothing else, to see how their
approach is to a major engine compared to id's.

2/8/2000
Check out the latest SoF DM Team character set, The Meat Wagon at Evil Avatar's site!

2/4/2000
At some point in the near future, I'll be releasing a patch for the SoF demo to address some of the issues
that have come. A few of the more popular items / fixes that will be include in the patch are:
* Raised player height
* g_movescale cvar to scale the multiplayer move speed
* A3D sound updated to 3.0, fixed some crash issues / speed
* Fix for Default Sound / A3D crash in certain multiplayer circumstances
* Fix for invisible players in DM
* Better spectator movement
* and a bunch of other things

The demo code is still very separate from the main product now, so that we are only bringing over select
changes. No ETA on when I'll release this demo patch (a 'non-violent' demo is being QA'd with these
changes, so I'll see if anything further comes back), but I will be updating the Raven servers later
this evening.

1/25/2000
Whomever said we don't listen...

Based upon feedback of the DM players, we are going to add a cvar which controls (on the server) how fast
movement rates are. So you can scale down the movement rates to whatever rate you desire. Few other things
we are going to add: cvar to allow you to set a frag penality if you kill yourself and a dm flag to say that
you only want bullet weapons in a level.

Sometime this evening, I'll bring up a demo server with the slower movement rates, so that you can judge it
for yourself.

--- Update ---
I set up 3 servers here.
Raven-Speed-0.60 - player speed set at 60%
Raven-Speed-0.70 - player speed set at 70%
Raven-Speed-0.75 - player speed set at 75%

This is completely setable by the server operator, so in the end, you can pick whatever speed you desire...

1/24/2000
SoF Demo News

The demo can be downloaded from GameSpot. It is 95.1 megs.

Quick Note about Drivers:
If you play SoF on 3dfx hardware, you may experience a few driver bugs. On the DX7 Beta drivers, when the screen flashes
to indicate you are hit, you may get random colors. Other cards / drivers may experience complete texturing problems (though
SoF should disable those features in Gl which cause these problems). NOTE that these bugs are within the 3dfx
GL drivers themselves, and are NOT SoF bugs!
3dfx is aware of these bugs, but I'm not sure when they will be able to
address them.

--- Update ---
With the demo being out now, we would love to hear your Comments. Either Positive or Negative, just
be descriptive, as one line comments don't really help us too much. For general questions, comments, etc, go to the SoF Message Board
on that page.

1/22/2000
SoF Demo News

The Demo will be officially released Monday. It got delayed until then mainly because QA
found another crash bug Thursday (in the same function, ironically, but different area). Friday, I
decided I wanted to try and address a 3dfx driver related bug. On certain drivers (kinda a mix of
processor and OS), texturing would completely screw up. I changed the code so that on 3dfx, the game
would not enable a specific rendering feature. This took a bit to QA today (to track down a related
problem that got by me). I just got done talking to Mike Denny, who is in charge of QA for SoF.
We have their blessing to release the demo (finally)... But because of "outside influences" it was
decided to hold up until Monday.

Just to give you a brief rundown of the Demo features:
4 single player maps (a tutorial level, 2 full playable levels, plus a cinematic level)
2 deathmatch maps
12 different deathmatch models / skins representing 3 teams
In game server browsing
and a ton of custom options (including custom game settings (such as disabling spawning))

The demo will weigh in at a hefty 95 megs, but should fit on zip disk.

1/19/2000
SoF Demo News

The Demo is currently in final release testing (i.e. a 2nd QA group who has never touched the product before
hammers on it for a day). They came across one crash bug, which we've identified and corrected. They
are now verifying the fix. The demo would have been out tonight or early Thursday morning if it wasn't
for this last minute bug. In other words, very soon... Bake me an SoF!

1/17/2000
With the demo being extremely close to being released, followed by the full game, I'm looking for feedback
in this area. Currently, you need to have a copy of 3DS MAX 2.0 in order to create GHOUL models.
This may be of inconvience to some people, so I've left in support for Quake2 models. This code
hasn't been used in well over a 16 months, and may not even work with all of our networking changes.
Should I leave in Quake2 model support? Is that worth-while for MOD makers? Or should I remove it
and go on with life? Or if someone has done a Quake3 model viewer for the Quake1 source code, should
that be placed in? (given the author gives me permission, as I just can't plop in Q3A source code
into our project). Send me an email with your thoughts. Please put a subject of "Q2M", so that my
filter will move it into a folder for me.

1/10/2000
For all of those who are interested in the whole Violence and Video Games issue, please particpate in
this Vote!

1/6/2000
With the release of the Quake 1 source code, it has been asked about the possibility of Hexen2 / Hexenworld
source code being released. Since a version of Hexen2 was just recently released to some Asian markets
a month ago, at this time we cannot release the source code. This is not saying that we will never
release the source code, but currently, the timing is not appropriate for us to do so.

Update:
Check out this SoF MP review! SoF went into limited
public beta testing of the demo today. Probably going to be putting up a big comparison chart of what
the SoF Engine has versus other engines tomorrow...

1/5/2000
If anyone knows how to update a .DLL that is always in use by NT, I would appreciate the feedback.
Speficially, I want to update the imagehlp.dll on our NT machines to the latest version, but since
the OS always has it in use by the time you log in, you can't update it.

Update:
Some people got me pointed in the right direction, so I did some more searching on Microsoft's help sight
and discovered this program called inuse. Seems to be a win32 console app which calls MoveFileEx().
Thanks everyone!

12/28/99
I received this SPAM email today. I think I'll phone in my Master in Computer Gaming Science degree today!

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and the admiration of all.

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universities based on your present knowledge
and life experience.

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diplomas available in the field of your choice.

No one is turned down.

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CALL NOW to receive your diploma
within days!!!


12/19/99
Just a note, that all of those "Previews with hands on copy" are using the Razer OEM version, which is about
3 months old. No one outside of Raven has seen the full version yet... and especially with all of the
changes we've been making.

12/15/99
Well, I got a whole ton of responses over the IPX. About 65% of the people said to drop IPX. People who
wanted IPX in were mainly those who run LAN parties a lot and find IPX easier to configure and get going.
So with that, SoF will support IPX. I brought over the bug fixes I did for Heretic2 and we'll do some
testing on it to make sure it works. So once the demo is released, please let me know if there are
any issues with IPX that need to be addressed for the final game...

There's no announced date yet for the demo (learned that lesson from the past...) but once we complete it
and get it QA'd, we'll pick a date for it to be released...

12/13/99
We're getting close to putting out a public demo of SoF. While we are busy working on that, along with
finishing up the main game, we've also been working hard on networking and various DM games / modes.
My question to everyone is, how important is IPX support? Does anyone really use this anymore (i.e.
can we drop support for it in SoF)? Let me know...

11/29/99
You know, it has been more than 6 months since BitchX has last updated? I'm sure I can
speak for Jack Mathews in saying that he'll truely miss her! I'm still kinda curious on what
happened to her. Anyone know?

11/24/99
Hope all of you have a good Thanks Giving... I'm going to be taking a little break from the Hectic work
schedule of SoF and play a little Unreal Tournament and some Warcraft, maybe even a little Doom 2.

11/15/99
For those of you who have "acquired" a version of the OEM, you may have noticed rendering glitches with the
fog. This is because the source of the version you "acquired" it from was mucking around with console
variables and saved them in a bad state. To fix this, you should either delete the config.cfg file
in the user directory where you "installed" the game, or edit the config.cfg file, and change the
following console variables to these values:

set gl_fogmode "0"
set gl_offsetunits "0.0"
set gl_offsetfactor "-1.0"

Also, please Email us your comments about the OEM (praise, criticism, likes, dislikes, etc)
so that we can take your feedback to improve the final game.

11/12/99
Download the long awaited SoF AVI! It's about 24 megs...

11/6/99
So you're waiting for the SoF AVI? Well, here's something to wet your appetitie. This
Song was an impromptu recording by the actor that plays John Mullins in
SoF. This was just a little fun thing that Chia-Chin Lee had him record. This isn't actually
going to be included in the game... Enjoy!

Please note that this song is intended for mature audiences. Parental discretion is advised.

11/3/99
The comments about playing it for a brief try were not directed towards the avault article at all.
The article as a whole is very fair, and actually is very favorable towards SoF. The reviewer
did play the OEM extensively and walked away not fully liking our difficulty settings. That's fine, and
this is already address for the final product. What frustrates developers the most is when
people dislike options without either trying it or just playing it "for a bit". Most of the time,
features will grow upon you.

--------

I hate it when people make assumptions about games prior to ever playing it or just giving it a brief
try. Open up your minds, otherwise you'll be stuck with the same game play forever :)

The guys respawn... They spawn out of logical places where more enemies would naturally flow in.
They also respawn based upon the amount of "noise" you are generating. If you use louder weapons,
you'll attract more attention to yourself. Quieter weapons, you'll attract less attention, and you
won't see as many people.

Limited saves... It does add very much to the realism. People were skeptical here, but turned out it that
it made you in the game more "mortal" and tightened up your senses.

But, having said that, one option which did NOT make it into the OEM is a customizable difficulty setting,
where you can control the number of saves (or unlimited), no respawning, AI difficulty, etc. So if you
don't like our defaults for the standard difficulties presented to you, you can always do your own custom
settings. This was always planned since day 1. I'm a big fan of limited saves, but there will always be
people with different tastes...

11/1/99
** Big SoF News **

There is going to be a Linux port of both the client and server. Unfortunately, because of the
lateness of this decision, it will not be ready by the time the game ships, but will be available
to download as soon as it is available (hopefully within a month of release).

We have completed a major AVI and will be releasing it very soon.

---

Little clarification, is that I guess the Linux version will be a separate retail product.


10/30/99
Happy Halloween!

Check out what the Avault had to say about their hands on experience with SoF at the Frag3.
It is at the 1:00PM Time in the article. Sounds like they only played the first level though...

Monday I should have some important news about SoF...

10/27/99
We're just about to go gold on one of the OEM versions of SoF (for Razer Mice).
This version contains 4 Single Player levels. This is by far, Raven's best game ever. Finishing the full
game is just around the corner.

Limited beta testing will probably start next week for SoF DM. With the SP OEM out the door, most of us
can concentrate on DM.

During the low times in the last few weeks, a few of us here have been playing zDoom and the mega.wad.
I forgot how much fun these levels were, and just getting back to some classic doom DM.
Raven...
James Monroe 12/9
Zachary Quarles 04/20
Rick Johnson 09/24
Bobby Duncanson 08/24
Pat Lipo 07/10
Kenn Hoekstra 07/8
Brian Shubat 04/19
Scott McNutt 03/19
Mike Renner 03/19
Kevin Long 03/19
Kim Lathrop 03/19
Jarod Showers 03/19
Ben Geisler 03/19
Robert Love 03/19
Mike Gummelt 03/19
Jon Zuk 03/19
Matt Pinkston 03/19
Chris Foster 03/19
Jim Hughes 05/23
Bryan Dube 05/23
Clem Samson-Samuel 05/23
Rob Gee 05/23
Mike Schulenberg 05/23
Brian Pelletier 05/23
John Scott 05/23
Marcus Whitlock 05/23
Eric Turman 03/1
Dan Kramer 03/1
Eric Biessman 03/1
Brian Raffel 03/1
M. Raymond-Judy 03/1
Jake Simpson 08/16
Mike Crowns 03/12
Chia Chin Lee 03/12
Josh Weier 03/12
Jeremy Statz 03/12
Jeff Lampo 03/12
Nathan Albury 01/15
William Mull 11/27
Steve Stringer 05/20
 

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