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Mailbag
February 16, 2000

Letters are (occasionally) edited for spelling errors , and may contain profanity.
This section contains normal correspondence as well as letters submitted to the MailBag.
Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

What ever happened to...

Previous Mailbags
August 17, 2000
May 24, 2000
May 4, 2000
April 19, 2000
February 23, 2000
February 16, 2000
February 9, 2000
January 26, 2000
January 19, 2000

January 12, 2000
January 3, 2000
December 22, 1999
December 16, 1999
December 9, 1999
November 11, 1999
November 3, 1999
September 29, 1999
September 9, 1999
August 18, 1999
July 28, 1999
July 20, 1999
July 13, 1999
July 6, 1999
June 30, 1999
June 23, 1999
June 15, 1999
June 8, 1999
June 1, 1999
May 24, 1999
May 2, 1999
April 25, 1999
April 22, 1999
April 18, 1999
April 14, 1999
April 11, 1999
April 4, 1999
February 1, 1999
January 6, 1999

From: Thomas Fisher
Subject: What ever happened to Max Pane?

Hi,

Just curious, what ever happened to Max Pane? , I haven't heard diddley about the game from Remedy Studios in well over 5 months. Is this another example of vaporware ?

Tom Fisher

As far as I know, the game is still very much in development, but is under the same press blackout as Duke Nukem Forever. It may appear at this year's E3, but only in the form of a pre-recorded video loop.

Can anyone help this guy?

From: James Hall
Subject: Quake1 map util

Hey I'm sending this into the mailbag with hopes that it'll be posted and
someone will know what I'm talking about,

A couple of years ago I found neat little Quake 1 Map util. You would make a bitmap in a paint program (IIRC it required Paint Shop Pro to be able to use it right) and you could run a util on this bitmap and it would produce a level based after it. It was kinda like the old Wolf3d level editor; you draw a few rooms in the bitmap and run this on it and it produces a level that only has 1 floor, and all the walls are at 90 degree angles.. Kinda hard to explain.

If anyone has the foggiest idea of what program I'm talking about, email me at nullsmack@hotmail.com

I plan on using that program to try and make a Quake1 level of my house, but that program will just be my "rough draft", I'm going to edit it's output with a "normal" Quake1 level editor :P

We are legion, for we are many.

From: Noah Keen
Subject: Online gaming numbers?

Hey Blue,

I'm trying to figure out a rough estimate of how many online gamers are out there. Like everyone, players of all FPS and games like EQ and Ultima Online. I'm made an estimate of well over a million but my idiot marketing prof disagrees (oh ya, this is for a marketing project thang ). Do you have any stats or know where I can get them to prove this guy wrong.

Thanks,
Noah

I'm not sure how many players there are in those massively multiplayer games, although I've heard figures of about 200,000 thrown around. At this strange hour (early morning on a Wednesday) there are over 7,000 people playing first person shooters (according to GameSpy's stats page, that is).

Uh...kill loony?

From: Bass2496 (BaS)
Subject: Blues Clues

Do you ever report news on the popular television show Blues Clues? My children have been visiting your website for weeks and have been telling me they want to, "kill loony." I am concerned that your website is having a negative influence on my children. This is very similar to the Teletubbies game my children play on a website called New Grounds.

A very concerned parent.
Stephen

I'm not sure what troubles me most about this - that somone is actually reading this page looking for Blue's Clues info (how much could there possibly be?) or the fact that there could very well be a legion of toddlers out there screaming for my blood.

(And they say games make you violent!)

Brotherhood of arms.

From: Tanner Bonig
Subject: Killing my friends brought us all closer together.

It's the first day of college and we all were unknowns when one brave soul started passing around a q2 disc. Now I am living with the 3 guys I was killing that first day, and still hang out with the others. Killing people in Quake 2 created some life time friendships.

Tanner

I made quite a few friends back in my college days through video games. When Duke Nukem 3D was first released, several of us made so much noise that we just sort of attracted people - many of whom became great friends with us.

The MDK legacy.

From: Diragor
Subject: MDK, as everyone knows, stands for...

This bit has always cracked me up in the news items, so I just wasted a few minutes (at work, of course) collecting all of them I could find in the archives. Here they are for the amusement of the mailbag readers:

MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Missy Does Kayak....
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Dangerous Kangaroo.
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Mamoun's Downtown Knishes.
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Darling Klementine....
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for More Danish Kabobs....
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Mysterious Dog Kidnappings. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Missiles Don't Kill
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Mahogany Door Knobs. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Moles Dig KISS. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Dang Kleptomania. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Damn Kids....
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Daughter Karen. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for More Donkey Kong. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Dreamcast Kicks (butt). ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Mac Daddy Kids. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Matt Damon's Kidney. ...
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Melons Don't Keep.
MDK, of course, stands for Moshe Dayan's Kishkas....
MDK, of course, stands for Mentally Deranged Kittens....
MDK, of course, stands for My Dog's Kibble....
MDK, of course, stands for Miles Davis' Karma....
MDK, of course, stands for Musty, Damp, and Kold....
MDK, of course, stands for Merry Danny Kaye....
MDK, of course, stands for Meshuganah Damn Kids(!)....
MDK, of course, stands for Mildly Distinguished Kellogg....
MDK, of course, stands for something or other... unless of course it doesn't....
MDK, of course, stands for Missing Dumb Komment....
MDK of course, stands for Marlena Deitrich's Knockwurst.
MDK of course stands for Mighty Ducks and something that starts with a "K."
MDK, btw, of course, stands for margarine, donuts, and kerosene
MDK (which as everyone knows stands for My Darn Knee). ...
MDK (which as everyone knows stands for "Max, Dr. Hawkins, and Kurt")...
MDK, which of course, stands for Mom Doesn't Know....
MDK stands for "meek dumb kittens"....
MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Men Don't Knit. ...
MDK, which, as we've pointed out before, stands for Math Don't Kompute....
MDK, which of course stands for Mulder Digs Kolchak.
MDK, which, as everyone should know, stands for Mild Detergent Kleanser.
MDK which, as we all know, stands for My Daft Kaleidoscope...
MDK which, as we all know, stands for My Dodgy Knee.
MDK, as is common knowledge, stands for Mutual Denial Knock-down....
MDK which, of course, stands for My Destructive Keyboard....

On daylight savings time...

From: Alex Carr
Subject: Day Light Savings time!

Hey Blue,
As far as daylight savings goes, it seems that the Japanese are a step ahead of us North Americans. After WW2, the Japanese decided that they were too set in their daily ways and that changing the time would disturb their body schedule. Waking up everyday at 7 and doing the same thing for a few months, then changing is difficult. They then got rid of DLS and haven't used it since.

still gaming in Japan,

-Alex "Dritzen" Carr

Love them tech support e-mails...

From: mopap
Subject: BGate

This doesn't seem to me to be the type of news you post, but I have to try. I have a system w/a geforce card, and am trying to play Baldur's Gate. The game crashes when cut scenes are played. Once in a while, I, with some praying and luck, managed to get thru a few cut scene movies--never w/o crashing at least a few times--

Anyway, I came to a point where the game simply wouldn't proceed b/c the of the movie crashing. I tried and research the problem for a work around, looking to websites and newsgroups and interplay's bbs. And unfourtunately all I found was ppl that have a vid card with nvidia chipsets have had exactly the same problem for months. Interplay's troubleshooting website doesn't address this issue tho the prob has been around since last year.

I've made appeals to interplay and bioware. Nothing yet. I also made a point to tell nvidia how interplay is making their product look.

I guess the "news" here is simple. Nvidia owners should NOT buy Baldur's Gate. The game simply doesn't work w/the latest tech. Inasmuch as Blue's is a respectable website, I'm sure you can put out a couple of feelers and confirm this.

Ultimately, I write hoping a post to Blue's can help out us poor nvidia chumps, to shake up Interplay a little. B/c they sure aren't listening to me or the posts that I, and others, make to their bbs.

Whatever the case, I look forward to you guys keeping up the site. It's my "home" at home and at work.

Peace.

Try downloading the latest version of the Windows Media Player. I'm not 100% sure, but chances are that Baldur's Gate uses DirectX for its cutscenes, and it's possible that you are using an out-of-date version of the media player (it's happened to me several times).

Again with the Blue's Clues...

From: JCopperberg
Subject: blue

Man, I thought you were a dog....sorry

Woof.

The AntiELVIS returns!

From: theAntiELVIS
Subject: English for game developers

Okay, they've finally driven me mad.

TO ALL GAME DEVELOPERS:

The word "technology" is inappropriate when referring to programming techniques. The ability to lithographically etch molecule-sized switches onto a sliver of silicon is a technology. The chips, computers, etc. that come from this are products of that technology. Jeez, everytime you guys write a new loop you dub it a "technology" - it's not. It's a technique, or, if you REALLY have to, you can call it a system (although that is technically incorrect, as well).

Likewise with words like "scalable" - you guys are always using this in place of "compatible". Scalability refers to the ability to take a small, efficient program or database, and turn it into a huge, fat, bloated, MicroSoft-like program or database, without re-writing the original code-base. It can also refer to cross-platform development. Making your nifty new renderer work on all the different video cards is making it compatible with all those cards.

And, also, there is the word "interface" - MS and COM are responsible for the abuse of this one. Originally, interface referred to the junction-point of two dissiimilar systems - especially an analog system hooked to a digital system. Calling the object definition an "interface" is like calling MS Office "automation". If you didn't actually have to type things into Word, THAT would be "automation". If the properties of a program object were somehow populated by, say, a wheat harvester, THAT would be an "interface".

Okay - get back to work.

-theAntiELVIS-

Self deprecating humor?

From: Jason Wilson
Subject: Interesting Tidbit

Just for the record: I am an exchange student from America currently in
Germany. The gamers here who can read English and who were fortunate enough to stumble upon your site, consider it to be THE resource for gaming news. Just thought you might want to know. I certainly thought that it was cool that they had been reading the same stuff I had for the past year or so. Anyway, just something that I found pretty amusing and that others might to:

There is a new Internet Ad Banner for Daikatana running on EBWorld.com. It
has some kind of monster in the background, the Daikatana logo, and then it proudly proclaims "Time is not on your side".

Schattenjaeger (Shadow Hunter in German)

More Driver!

From: Raymond Hofs
Subject: Driver 2 / GT Interactive

Dear Bluenews,

Since I have played Driver on the PC, I am awaiting the next episode.

At the end of Driver there was a clear sign that the upcoming version would take place in European cities.

Up until now I was not able to get some new informtion regarding a sequel.

Could you be so kind to inform me if something is under development or not,

Thanks a lot

There is indeed a sequel to Driver in the works. I'm not 100% positive that there's a PC version planned, but I do know for a fact that it will appear on the Playstation 2 (and most likely the PC as well).

More on that TRIBES 2 key...

From: Brian
Subject: Tribes 2

I'm reading this crap about Tribes 2, and it's really making me angry. So what if my little brother plays Tribes 2 on my computer when I'm gone? I have no way of changing the name so it displays something else. As far as I know, software licenses say that you can't install the program on more than one computer, they never say that no more than one PERSON can use it. Why not just use the same thing as Quake 3? Every person has a CD-KEY, but you can change your name whenever you want.

Brian

Ow, my hands.

From: leg Less
Subject: razer == carpal tunnel torture device

Loony said, "Mine doesn't creak, but it is an ergonomic nightmare. For someone like me, that's on the virge of getting carpal-tunnel syndrome, that's not a good thing."

I agree 100%. The sensitivity of the ball ... um ... I mean the DPI was awesome, and the buttons nearly clicked themselves. But man, no mouse I've ever used (and believe me, I've used 'em all) hurts my hand as much as that damn torture device.

The reason I love the Logitech Mouseman (shameless plug) is that it fits my hand, and vice versa. It's like a comfy pair of shoes. That razer thing requires undue effort on my part to maintain enough contact with the mouse to control it. I have to grip it from the sides.

I wish ... a lot of things. Mostly that someone would get on the stick and design a mouse for the thousands of us walking wounded; geeks with computer-induced hand/wrist problems.

legLess

I'm a huge Logitech fan myself...I use their Gaming Mouse on my games PC, and the Mouseman + on my server. My main computer, however, uses that Microsoft Intelimouse Explorer. It's the first Microsoft mouse I've ever actually enjoyed using.

NYC in the house, baby.

From: Dmitry
Subject: Question

I am sorry if this email is nothing but a bother to you guys at Blues news but I was really not sure who else to address this question to.

I am a programmer and an avid gamer, and I would love to find a company in NYC that makes games to make a start for a possible career for my self in the gaming industry, but it just seems like there is no company in NYC that actually develops games at any level.

So my question to you guys is, is there a company big or small in this large city that develops games, maybe you guys could make a post on your site and see what people have to say about it. Iím sure there has to be something

Thanks a lot for reading.

Dmitry.

There are a few publishers with offices here in NY, along with a number of publicity houses, but as for developers...there ain't much. Rockstar Games is the only one that comes to mind...and in fact, they are somewhat of a NY institution despite being a relatively new developer, thanks to their legendary parties (one was written up in the New Yorker!).

I've heard rumors of a Brooklyn-based development house, but I've yet to see any proof of this. :)

You're welcome.

From: Peter Sessions
Subject: Javacript fix

Thanks for listening to my suggestion and implementing the javascript fix focusing on the news frame. Blue's is easier to read than ever.

But you're still not plugging Old Man Murray enough!

Peter Sessions

We don't? But I read Old Man Murray every day! Actually, it was just yesterday that I was reading Old Man Murray, and I thought, 'gee, this Old Man Murray is great. Way better than everything else I've ever read. Truly, this Old Man Murray is the greatest site that has ever been.' All this talk about Old Man Murray is getting to me...I think I'll go enjoy some of that Old Man Murray brand of humor.

Well, that's a relief.

From: indiv
Subject: MDK

That mailbag letter must have just had a typo.. the "MDK stands for" thing is not getting old. Just wanted to clear up the confusion.

indiv

You gotta be kidding me.

From: Tim Gemma
Subject: Id Promotes Piracy

There's been a lot of discussion over Id's controversial Quake3 CD key. They cite the loss of revenue due to pirating as the cause, and they are perfectly justified. Software copying is quite widespread and results in a lot of money lost because many people would rather get for free something they would be willing (though not entirely thrilled) to pay for.

My problem is that Quake3 is basically a blank slate for mod others. There's very little new or exciting about the game itself, just the engine. This isn't a problem for me, per se. The mod community has kept Quake2 alive and kicking for all this time, and its doing the same for other games like Half-Life. My problem is with the game developers who turn a blind eye to the piracy required to keep the mod community alive. Have you ever heard a professional modeler talk about anything other than 3D Studio MAX? Rarely. Did you notice that Paul Steed's LoonyGames articles deal only with 3D Studio in their tutorials? The message is clear: 3D Studio MAX by Kinetix is the app to use for mod makers who need custom models. We get this from both the mod community and game developers themselves.

Do you have $3,500 to spend on a single program? I don't. My wife would leave me dead in a ditch somewhere if I tried that. So is mod authoring supposed to be a past-time for only the rich? Please! We all know that a lot of these guys are high-school or college students doing this for fun or experience. How many of them own a licensed copy of 3D Studio MAX? One in ten? One in a hundred? One in a thousand? The demand of the mod community has made 3DS one of the hottest graphics warez next to Adobe Photoshop. And why? Because these commercial game developers, so dependent upon the mod community to keep their titles alive and invigorated, don't make available many of the tools needed to make a good modification. See, they can afford a copy of the hottest 3D app, so why would they need to develop one from scratch? The result, though, is a mod author is stuck paying through the nose, breaking the law, or scratching his ass.

And Id complains about a lost $50 here and there? How do they think Kinetix feels?

-- Gunslinger

Listen dude, if you want to warez the software, suit yourself. But at least accept the fact that you're stealing it...don't try and justify it with this ridiculous logic.

Decaf. It's a lifestyle choice.

From: Stresskiller
Subject: aaarrrghh i hate it i hate it i hate it ihate some

Will people stop using the word kudos. I hate it lots (i saw it in some of your mailbag letters) and its bad and sucks. Stop it now!!!!!!!

I don't think I've ever used the word "kudos" in my entire life. :)

As for the letters here, people can feel free to use whatever words they like - except those really bad ones. Yeah, you know which ones...no, not that, the other one.

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