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|Friday, July 3, 1998 Quake II 3.17 Released|
id's Alpha Server [8:26 PM EDT]
Voodoo Extreme has word from Brian Hook that id's alpha server is online at alpha2.idsoftware.com running 3.17.
QERadiant Quake Arena
Update [8:26 PM EDT]
An update to the QERadiant page talks about changes to the one-time official Quake 3 editor, turned official Quake Arena level editor describes changes to the program to allow for editing curved surfaces. There is also word there of a source split, that mention ION Storm as one of the parties with code in the project (I have no clue what that's all about). There is also a brief outline of many current video cards and their ability to run QERadiant. Thanks Jason Spears.
Quake/Quake II Demo Play [8:26 PM EDT]
Version 2.0 of Demoplay the program that allows you top view demos in Quake, QuakeWorld, and Quake II by simply double-clicking the .dem or .dm2 file in Windows95/98. The program also provides several "remote control" commands for governing the playback of the demos.
Quake II NIQ [8:26 PM EDT]
NIQ Mods for Quake II has a new version 1.7 of NIQ, the Quake II mod that removes all the weapons form the game and then has the server assign the same weapon to every player, for an interesting variation on deathmatch.
H3D Voodoo Drivers [8:26 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends word of an update to the H3D Entertainment News page giving an update on the updated version of Glide that will support H3D stereo glasses support natively on the Voodoo2.
100 Player Action [4:01 PM EDT]
This from the ST Weapons Factory, news of 100 player Quake II action in the works:
100 MAN MARCH TONIGHT!
ST Weapons Factory is having a 100 player party tonight (July 3rd) at 9:00pm Eastern Standard [sic] Time. We will be attempting to pack the BeeLine server (184.108.40.206:27910) with 100 Players. Read this page for installation instructions. Visit the News page for the latest information.
Tectonic [4:01 PM EDT]
Version 1.9 of the Tectonic Multi Mod Quake II Launcher is out.
Pure3D Review [4:01 PM EDT]
Another one: Processed News reviews the Pure3D II.
BC3K Patch [4:01 PM EDT]
The Galcomm News Network has a version 1.07D patch for BattleCruiser 3000 AD (this is not for the free version).
Free Unreal with Mplayer
Plus Account [1:25
This page on Mplayer's site describes an offer where subscribers to a year of their "Plus" service ($39.95 US) will get a registered copy of Unreal for free.
Shadow Warrior Add-on [1:25 PM EDT]
We had a Doom engine story today, so how about a Build engine release as well? Twin Dragon For Shadow Warrior is an add-on that was apparently originally designed as a commercial product, but has been released for free over at the Level Infinity LLC Website after the publishing deal fell through.
Corrections [1:25 PM EDT - Updated]
Seems I have the brain flu today and just keep screwing up. Here's a running tally of today's blunders to help clear up any confusion I've caused (or if you're just having fun scoring along at home). I referred to the Reckoning instead of Ground Zero in my original posting about the preview on PC Gamer (story). And it turns out about half of the local links in earlier posts on the Q2 3.17 release (below) were messed up. Sorry for the sloppiness, it was all easily avoidable. Also, I added Out of the Blue at the bottom of the news.
Requiem Shots [11:49 AM EDT]
Four new screenshots of Requiem Wrath of the Fallen are up, showing off 3do's moody looking first person game in-progress.
Ground Zero Preview [11:49 AM EDT]
PCGamer has a preview of Quake II: Ground Zero, Rogue Entertainment's upcoming Quake II mission pack. Looks like this was posted a couple of days ago, thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme for the word. (Sorry, I said the Reckoning when I posted this at first, doh!).
Updated Quake II Console
Commands List [11:49
On the release of Quake II version 3.17, The Console has already updated their list of console commands.
New Quake II Lithium II [11:49 AM EDT]
Version Lithium II Mod for Quake II is out. The new release fixes some bugs from version 1.06 and includes support for the Lithium Master Server. The master server currently allows for a multi-server chat feature, and other features will be added in the future.
MSNBC John Romero
Article [11:49 AM
Still the name of the game industry Doom designer Romero scores again with Daikatana is an MSNBC article on John Romero, ION and Daikatana. I would say this is not an article targeted at readers of this page, but for a much broader audience. Thanks Mike.
New PERMEDIA2 NT Drivers [11:49 AM EDT]
3Dlabs Drivers and Demos page has new version 2.11-0504 Windows NT drivers for PERMEDIA2-based cards. Thanks GL Gamers Resource.
ServeQ2 [11:49 AM EDT]
ServeQ2 v2.0 is out. This Quake 2 v3.15+ front-end supports Lithium II, LMCTF 3.1x, Freeze Tag v1.5 and Battle of the Sexes v2.9.x.
Quake II Scene Builder [11:49 AM EDT]
Version 1.6 of Quake II Scene Builder is out. QSB, as the name implies, is a full featured program that allows you to stage "scenes" with Quake II models. The new release offers bug fixes, and a bunch of new features including support for visual weapons, JPEG and TGA format support, improved shadows, and much more.
SkinED [11:49 AM EDT]
Version 038 of SkinED is out. Having nothing to do with the guys who threw a chair a Geraldo, SkinED is a Quake II and Unreal skin editing and creation utility. Thanks Prophet.
Optimize Your Oak [11:49 AM EDT]
Bot Epidemic Bot Resource Center has posted an Oak II Bot route optimizer called Optimise (would be optimize where I live, but the program does the same thing no matter how you colour, err, color it). The program is said to greatly improve Oak II routes, and run amazingly fast, to boot. Thanks Prophet.
Quantum3D Tour [11:49 AM EDT]
The Pseudo/AGN Hardware Show (yep, RealPlayer required) takes a tour of Quantum3D to look at their high-end graphics and arcade offerings.
Boom32 [11:49 AM EDT]
A Win32 port of Boom, TeamTNT's Doom project, is up on Doomworld. Thanks Prophet (who clearly hit the Cocoa Puffs this morning).
mIRC Quake Auto-Away
Script [11:49 AM
Q_Check - an mIRC Plug-in will display an informative (customizable) message when you are playing in a game (thanks Scott A. Smith). Here's an example of the script's output:
deth is Auto-Away: ( Q2 lithium @ 127.0.0.1:27500 ) [Since 9:00pm]
II 3.17 [4:59 AM
Quake II version 3.17 is out. Here's the skinny from Disruptor's .plan:
A few new releases this morning.
.../q2-317-x86.exe - local copy (631 KB)
.../q2-317-x86-full.exe - local copy (9.0 MB)
.../q2-317-x86-full-ctf.exe - local copy (14.0 MB) [link fixed now, sorry]
.../q2-317-axp.zip - local copy (951 KB)
.../q2-317-axp-full.zip - local copy (9.1 MB)
.../q2ded-317-axp-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz - local copy (537 KB)
.../q2ded-317-i386-sun-solaris2.5.1.tar.gz - local copy (510 KB)
.../q2ded-317-sparc-sun-solaris2.0.tar.gz - local copy (500 KB)
.../quake2-317-i386-unknown-linux2.0.tar.gz - local copy (1.0 MB)
Changes for 3.17
- added sanity checks before calling atan2 with divisors of 0. This was accidentally working on Intel chips, but caused crashes on DEC Alpha AXP port.
- updated QUAKE2.DSW and QUAKE2.DSP file to support DEC Alpha
- Autodownloading is now DISABLED by DEFAULT. It must be enabled by typing 'allow_download 1' at the console, or using the download options menu in Multiplayer/PlayerSetup/Download Options
- Server demos now include a svc_serverdata block at the beginning with the attractloop byte set to '2' to indicate server demo (byte before gamedir in the svc_serverdata block). This allows easy identification of serverrecorded demos (serverrecord demos are only for demo editors, they can not be played back in Quake2 without being first edited).
- New options for setting texture formats in ref_gl:
gl_texturealphamode: default, GL_RGBA, GL_RGBA8, GL_RGB5_A1, GL_RGBA4, GL_RGBA2 gl_texturesolidmode: default, GL_RGB, GL_RGB8, GL_RGB5, GL_RGB4, GL_R3_G3_B2, GL_RGB2 (SGI only)
- Player movement during Air acceleration changed to reflect more real-world physics while airborne.
- Fixed a bug when riding trains that caused drift in a southwest direction (Thanks to Jim Dose at Ritual for pointing this one out).
- Linux: Now correctly reports out of memory rather than segfaulting (mmap returns (void *)-1 and not NULL on error).
- Fixed autodownloading to not create paths for files that can't be downloaded (this was creating many empty directories in baseq2/players).
- When downloading a file from a server that doesn't have it, the message is now "Server does not have this file" rather than "File not found."
- Fixed some coop keys in 3.15 weren't being handled correctly (pyramid key).
- Highbits are now stripped from console when using condump
- Restored support for gl_modulate in multiplayer play
- Fixed it so that players with a model/skin you don't have aren't checked for on disk more than once.
- Fixed it so sounds played for PPMs that default to male are only checked on disk once.
- Byte ordering/portability fixes in cinematics, PCX and other file handling.
- Client state during static image cinematic (PCX image) so that client can continue to next unit.
- Fixed it so that dedicated coop servers no longer get stuck at victory.pcx, if a server is in coop mode, hitting a button at the victory.pcx screen while cause the server to restart at base1
- Fixed infinite grenade bug
- Fixed autodownloading to actually download sounds and console pics
- Fixed autodownload to not create empty directories for files not on the server.
- Added customized client downloading. cvars are the same as the server side:
allow_download - global download on/off
allow_download_players - players download on/off
allow_download_models - models download on/off
allow_download_sounds - sounds download on/off
allow_download_maps - maps download on/off
They can also be (more easily) set with a new Download Options menu accessible in Multiplayer/Player Setup/Download Options
- Changed checksumming code to be more portable and faster. The checksum in 3.15 was seriously broken. This change makes 3.17 incompatible with previous servers.
- Fixed player 'warping' present in 3.15 (this was an artifact of the hyperblaster optimizations).
- Fixed the autodownload in 3.15 so that stuff like skins for models are downloaded as well as pics.
New Pure3d II Drivers [4:59 PM EDT]
New Win95/98 drivers and WinNT drivers for the Canopus Pure3D II are up on the Canopus site. Thanks Drethis. Also, here's Purified3D's Pure3D II LX SLI Review, and here's a Canopus Pure 3D II LX Review @ AGN3D.COM.
Out of the Blue
Today kicks off the old Independence Day weekend here in the States, I hope everyone has a safe and happy celebration. I'm just gonna just raise the blast guards on the Blue Tower and ride out the explosions myself. Not sure if the holiday here will make for an even lighter than usual news weekend, or if the 3.17 release will spur some action. Hey, here's an image of the day (thanks Midnight) that bootNET cooked up to commemorate Microsoft poneying up $5 mil (or in this case, let's say five Bills) for the Internet Explorer moniker, but it could also be a frightening glimpse of the future of paper currency when MS and other corporations finally completely take over, like in RollerBall.
|Thursday, July 2, 1998|
Shooters [6:50 PM EDT - Updated]
I'm off to the show. Tonight on Shooters, the RealAudio program formerly known as QuakeCast, our guests are Brian Bruning, 3Dfx Interactive Developer Relations Manager, and Raven's Dan Freed, Project Administrator for Heretic II. Everything starts at 8:00 PM Eastern.
New ATI 3D Rage Pro
Drivers [6:50 PM
There are new (as of June 30) version 5.20 (build 4.10.2411) Win95/98 drivers on the ATI 3D Rage Pro Display Drivers page. According to the Pretender, who passed this news along, these drivers help boost your GL Quake/Quake II framerates.
Banshee [6:50 PM EDT]
A Games Domain Review of the Voodoo Banshee (actually it seems to be more of a hands-off preview), offers some approximate framerates (thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme):
Let's face it, we could debate the merits of SGRAM over SDRAM till we were blue in the face; what we really want to know is how the Banshee shapes up running games! Andy Keane, vice-president of marketing for 3Dfx, showed us a few top-notch 3D games running through a Banshee on a PII-400 and, for the most part, things were pretty impressive. Forsaken achieved an average framerate around 60fps, whilst Incoming and Unreal both clocked in slightly slower with averages around 55fps. The slowest framerate I saw was for Incoming at 28fps, but Andy insisted that the 3Dfx engineers were aiming for a final Banshee performance no slower than 40fps. So, it's slower compared to a Voodoo2, but it's still shifting
Half-Life Interview [4:52 PM EDT]
An interview with Valve's Greg Coomer up on Halflife.net talking to him about his work on the art in Half-Life.
Tom on the Xeon [2:15 PM EDT]
Tom's Hardware Guide has posted Tom's impressions of the new Intel Pentium II Xeon Processor. The most pertinent info for gamers about this pricey, server-oriented CPU is probably the Quake II timedemo, which shows a 400 MHz Xeon providing the exact same framerate as a 400 MHz "standard" Pentium II under Windows 95. Here's the conclusion:
One thing is clear, the Pentium II Xeon processor is NOT made for the masses. The design of the Xeon is focussed on multi-processing and multi-threaded applications, so that workstations can see a benefit of average probably about 10-15% over a Pentium II system, whilst Xeon servers will be able to really rock the boat. I am waiting for workstation benchmarks and then I will see if the investment of a Xeon over a Pentium II system makes sense to me at workstation level. I don't doubt that high performance servers will greatly benefit from the Xeon though, as long as all those bugs get sorted out.
Bounty Hunter Demo [1:12 PM EDT]
A demo of Bounty Hunter, found on The Adrenaline Vault PC Release List. is kind of a combo of 2D and 3D game which also paradoxically offers a combination of 3D enhanced eye-candy with some less impressive graphics (it's described as an "early demo"). Gameplay involves a hover-car equipped with weapons, and, of course, stuff to use them on. Here's a local copy of the Bounty Hunter demo (2.3 MB) which is pretty small and simple if you want to check it out yourself.
Unreal Internet Lag
Follow-ups [12:21 PM
An update to Unreal.epicgames.com gives an update on the effects of the beta Unreal patch released yesterday (story) with more tips to try to help with lag (thanks PlanetUnreal):
Internet multiplayer tips: Feedback on the Internet patch has ranged all over the board. Most players see an improvement, some report play is now decent on 28.8K modems, and some report still seeing multi-second lag. The consensus is that we still have to strive to do better...so, that's what we'll do. In the meantime, for people with 28.8K - 64K connections, if you are still seeing major lag, please try this. Go into Advanced Options / Networking / TCPIP Network Driver, and set your "ByteLimit" as follows:
For 28.8K modems, first try 2500. If you still get ÜberLag, try backing down to 2200. If that fails, try 2000. Some modems and ISP connections get significantly better bandwidth than others. For 56K modems, try 3000. If that fails, then try 3500 then 2000.
And Tim Sweeney posted a tip on the Epic MegaBoard for those who continue to have problems:
Can I have some volunteers with connections of 64K or slower who are still seeing major lag, try this with the latest patch:
1. Go into "Advanced Options" / "Networking" / "TCPIP Network Driver" and hit the "Reset to defaults" button to wipe out any custom settings that might affect the results.
2. Go into "Join Game" and choose your Internet speed. Be conservative (choose 28.8K unless you know you have a 56K or 64K connection).
3. Connect to a known-good server (such as WON).
4. On the console, type "RATE 20", which limits your frame rate to 20 fps.
5. Try playing for at least 5 minutes.
6. If the lag is reasonable -> Try increasing the rate slightly (i.e. RATE 25)got go back to step 3.
7. If you experience huge lag -> Try decreasing the rate (i.e. RATE 15) and go back to step 1.
Then post your results here. I'd like to know your modem/isdn connection speed (28.8, 33.6, 56, 64), and the highest RATE setting you found that works well for you.
Rainbow Six Interview [11:02 AM EDT]
Though it sounds like some multi-cultural children's show, far from it, Rainbow Six is the title of an upcoming 3D action/strategy title based on the work of techno-thriller author Tom Clancy. Combat Simulations Rainbow Six interview talks with this upcoming game's producer Carl Schnurr about what to expect from this game that looks like it will emphasize realism and tactics.
Bear Sighting [10:41 AM EDT]
The Bear Surfaces reports GameSpot, who have tracked down id's erstwhile Ursa, Barrett "Bear" Alexander. The article, which goes on to explain that details about Bear's new game-related business will forthcoming, gives this on his departure from id:
While keeping mum on the juiciest parts (all in due time he assured us), Alexander revealed that he had "been working on his own business for quite some time," and that his "heart wasn't into being at id" anymore.
Alexander did say that id remains "one of the best companies that could ever be," but that "it was time for me to be doing my own thing."
MacUnreal Update [10:31 AM EDT]
The Westlake Interactive page has an update on the status of Unreal for the Macintosh (thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance). Here's the scoop:
Beta 4 of Unreal went out to testers today, this is the version that will be shown at MacWorld NY next week. Memory requirements have been tamed a bit, and many bugs are being squashed. We're concentrating on network play and more opimizations over the next couple weeks. We're still hoping to get any patches that come out for the PC integrated into the Mac before we ship.
Sujoy Returns Again [10:31 AM EDT]
Sujoy Roy (or is it just Sujoy now?) dropped a line to mention he's re-launched his eponymous domain, Sujoy.com. Though last time we visited the site, it had fallen and couldn't get up, becoming one of those "sideways" sites, it has now resumed its full and upright position (at least until mouse doohickey manufacturers create the horizontal scroll wheel ). The site features UK-based Quake/Quake II news and tips from Sujoy, noted for his deathmatch prowess.
Sin Screenshot [9:40 AM EDT]
Missed this yesterday, there's a new screenshot from Ritual's upcoming Sin on GameGirlz (thanks Prophet).
miroMEDIA HiScore2 3D [5:01 AM EDT]
VoodooNation's miroMEDIA HiScore2 3D review is up taking a look at this suped-up Voodoo2 card with two Voodoo2 chips, and 12 MB RAM (so only 4MB texture RAM) that sounds awfully impressive. According to this review this beast supports 1600x1200 SLI mode. Seeming to contradict this, I just read the following on AGN3D yesterday from 3Dfx's Brian Bruning:
Voodoo 2 is based on the same core 3D engine of Voodoo Graphics which also has a limitation of 1024x768. This restriction has been lifted in Banshee. Although the massive power of SLI is not always exposed through older and even some current games, developers have been working with it long enough to account for the power in many late '98 and '99 games.
QBS2 [5:01 AM EDT]
An update to the QBS page announces that headlines from Blue's News will be carried in QBS2, due for release July 11. This will allow you to see the latest headlines from this page in the new version of this Win95/98 system tray utility dealie. Pretty neat, huh?
RBR Asks [5:01 AM EDT]
In a twist on the "Ask (whomever)" columns, is the new RBR Asks section on BoatRocker.com which passes along questions from the developers at Rebel Boat Rocker to the readers rather than vice versa.
Out of the Blue [5:01 AM EDT]
Shortly after my Out of the Blue comments yesterday the first email arrived intrigued at the idea of Blue's News t-shirts, which I found pretty amusing. When they kept coming I realized I had opened a can of worms. Well, now that I've lost track of the number of messages in the deluge (and they're still coming in) talking of what a good idea it is, I guess I should do a little investigating to see what would be involved. It's really amazing to see the enthusiasm for such an idea (staggering, actually), and it would be fun, I'm just not sure it's practical to handle distributing them (it's not like I have a mailroom). I'll have to ponder this a bit.
|Wednesday, July 1, 1998 Happy Canada Day, eh?|
More on the Savage 3D [11:09 PM EDT]
Next-Gen has their own article up with their own first look at the S3 Savage 3D along with some more benchmarks, including a demonstration of the cards advantages under unusually heavy texture loads.
Open Letter to John
Carmack [10:44 PM
His email apparently not working(?) Neal Ulen has posted an Open Letter to John Carmack on AGN3D called "What I Want in a 3D Shooter."
Professor Thresh [10:44 PM EDT]
The Q2 1on1 League news page has word that Thresh, a participant in the league, will be offering public Quake II training on a "very huge server." Thanks cHiLdSpLaY.
Q2FE [10:44 PM EDT]
Version 3.0 of the Q2FE is out. This front-end for Quake II servers is shareware, with an evaluation version available.
New QW Master [9:34 PM EDT]
There is a new QuakeWorld Master server located in Australia, running at:
Rendition FFVII Fix [9:34 PM EDT]
Björn's 3D World has a small CFG file that's a fix for Rendition accelerators running the Final Fantasy VII PC demo.
Savage3D Performance [9:34 PM EDT]
This bootNet article on the S3 Savage 3D (thanks (Bryan Del Rizzo) has some benchmarks from a PII-400 that are said to be from "early silicon:"
|Turok: Dinosaur Hunter||800x600||68.6fps|
No Public Half-Life Beta
Testing [6:41 PM
Enigma sends word that though their sign-up page still has Half-Life listed as an example of the Action category, the entry page to the Sierra Beta Test Server has been updated with the following message:
If you're here to sign up to test Half-Life we have some bad news. The report in PC Gamer was false, and they are removing it from their web site. We are not looking for any beta testers for Half-Life.
GC Heretic II Preview
Errata [4:38 PM EDT]
Phoebus passes along word of a post on Activision's Heretic II Page from Raven's Dan Freed correcting some errors in GameCenter's Heretic II preview (story)
Game Center posted a Heretic II preview and I wanted to clarify a couple of the facts (all of which are going to be fixed in the article thanks to Bill Meyer):
The serpent riders are not returning in any form. They are not responsible for the plague, and don't appear in the game at all.
There is only 1 melee weapon, not two. You can attack in several different fashions with that one weapon.
There are two mana types, offensive and defensive that power your spells. The mana doesn't affect your health at all. There are also several other types of ammo that power your weapons (like the Hellstaff, and the Bow of the Ancients).
New Win 95/98
[1:13 PM EDT]
New Windows 95/98 drivers for Sound Blaster 16/32/AWE32/AWE64 cards are up on Creative Labs' FTP site. The new drivers add Win 98 support and fix "the default midi device not selected in multimedia applet problem." Thanks SaiKotic.
Unreal FOV Command [12:42 PM EDT]
I saw on Unreal.Org that a Tim Sweeney post to the Epic MegaBoard points out that the new Unreal patch (story) includes a FOV (Field of View/Vision), or zoom, command (e.g., "FOV 60").
TeamFortress2 Interview [11:05 AM EDT]
The TF2 Workshop has a Q&A with Robin Walker of TeamFortress Software giving some details from the upcoming TeamFortress2. The interview mentions that the reason screenshots of TF2 are not out is because the modelers at Valve will not be doing models for TF2 until their work on Half-Life is complete.
The Biz: Activision
Acquires Head Games
[10:16 AM EDT]
This press release announces that Activision has acquired Head Games Publishing, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the big A (thanks Chris Day of 3D Portal). Interestingly, Head Games has run afoul of id Software (currently published by Activision) in the past for publishing non-authorized Quake add-ons, like those listed on this page.
Unreal Beta Patch
[9:06 AM EDT]
Unreal.epicgames.com/ has posted beta build 209 of Unreal, offering many fixes, including the first pass at the eagerly-awaited changes to Internet play (thanks Apache). Here's a local copy (1.2 MB) thanks to GamesNET FTP, and the skinny on the patch straight from Epic:
To install a patch: Download it. Run WinZip to extract the files. Exract the files into your c:\Unreal\System directory, replacing the existing versions of the files. If you've installed Unreal into a directory other than c:\Unreal, then extract the files into the System subdirectory off of your custom Unreal directory.
Warning: Patches designated as "Public Betas" have not undergone rigorous internal testing and are for enthusiasts who are comfortable using experimental software. After the patches have settled down into a stable new version, an official (non-beta) release will be made.
Version 209 Public Beta (Download It)
- Significantly improved Internet performance on 28.8K and 56K connections. The should fix the uber-lag problem for most players, and improve performance on 28.8K-56K modem connections. Performance is still far from silky smooth, but this should get most people up and running with somewhat-decent performance. We'll be doing a lot more optimizing, playing, and tweaking of the Internet code over the coming weeks.
- 3dfx Voodoo Rush: Now supported in beta form. Still some known problems with resolution switching.
- Cyrix processors: Fixed Unreal crashing at startup giving an "InitEngine" error message.
- Aureal 3D audio: Fixed sound effects repeating and skipping.
- Creative Labs SB3D audio: Now supported in beta form. 4-speaker panning and other cool effects.
- Network play: You can now download multiple package files (.unr, .utx, .uax, etc) when entering a server. Previously, only the .unr file could be downloaded, then the connect attempt aborted.
- Dedicated server: The CD is no longer required in the drive to launch a dedicated server.
- Dedicated server: The "IpDrv" package is now server-side only, so it is not version-checked against clients.
- Dedicated server: Supports multiple UnrealServers per machine.
- Windows: Fixed not being able to click on .unr map files to launch them from long-filename directories.
- Windows NT: Switching in and out of 3dfx mode multiple times now works.
- UnrealEd: Fixed "Full rebuild" giving bogus error message in UnrealScript #always directive.
And here are some additional notes about what they're working on:
Public Beta follow-on notes: We just had a really great ad-hoc deathmatch session on World Opponent Network from 5AM-6AM (that's late-night for us). A big gang showed up, including CliffyB, Mark Rein, Olento, BEG, and Evil Bill. 28.8K and 33.6K performance is much better. There were some performance anomalies I'm looking into now. We saw some intermittent lag during firefights on large open areas. I've already tracked down the root of that problem. Also, the server fizzled after taking about two hours of beating. Still, the new patch is a significant improvement, and with each coming update we'll get closer and closer to the ideal. For now, servers should probably set a player limit of 10-12 to prevent slowdown. However, a Pentium II should be able to serve two simultaneous 12-player games (two instances of Unreal.exe running).
Things We're Working On
- UnrealEd fixes: I'm working on a new UnrealEd installer for people who are experiencing the "runtime errors" when trying to start UnrealEd.
- OpenGL: It's up and running internally on a few 3d cards, and is undergoing some changes to boost performance. It turns out that we need to change Unreal's hardware rendering strategy a bit to get performance up on the Riva 128 and i740, and that work is in progress now. This is looking like a week or two (still) before public beta.
- 3dfx: Voodoo2 multitexturing is up and running experimentally...should be ready for public consumption at the same time as the OpenGL support.
- We're still preparing the shareware version (no news on release date yet). We're waiting for Internet play to be in really good shape for the shareware.
- My general strategy here is to address the most significant issues first (internet play, opengl support, significant bugs) and then move on to the less critical "tweaking" type improvements that users have been requesting.
Everyone's patience is appreciated.
II Preview [2:34
GameCenter's Sneak Peek at Heretic II: Corvus Is on Fire! is a Heretic II preview offering some screenshots. Thanks CiDcO at Stormtroopers.
Gossip Pages [2:34 AM EDT]
Today's GameSlice editorial looks at gaming gossip sites.
Q2 1-on-1 League Ups the
Ante [2:34 AM EDT]
The newly formed Q2 1on1 League has announced a prize of a $10,000 computer system for the first player to successfully defend the top spot on the ladder for 30 matches.
BattleZone Ladder [2:34 AM EDT]
The BattleZone Ladder has relocated, and is always looking for new participants.
Quake II Eraser
Front-End [2:34 AM
Industry News has posted version 3.5 of the Eraser Front-end, mostly featuring bug fixes.
Voice Comm [2:34 AM EDT]
Battlefield Communicator is a product meant to bring real-time voice communication to multiplayer gaming, even when the game doesn't natively support it. They are now accepting application for their expanded beta program, so if screaming lag at your opponents instead of typing it sounds like your idea of fun, you may want to look into this one (of course I jest--this could rock if it works well). System requirements are a P166, 32MB RAM, DirectX 5.x+, 33.6 modem, a microphone, and a full-duplex sound card.
Out of the Blue [2:34 AM EDT]
At the end of last year, as Quake II was imminent, I asked Walter |2| Costinak about replacing the venerable classic Quake Blue's News logo. Since the site had expanded in scope, my idea was not to make a Quake II logo, but to create an image that was not tied to any one game. It seems however, that most who haven't assumed the guy in the logo is me, have assumed him to be "the Quake guy" (it's probably the tattoo). So, when Walter cooked up the Skaarj logo idea it was as a fun way to celebrate Unreal's release, but intended to be temporary So when I took down the Unreal-ified version of the logo yesterday, it was not to signify anything about Unreal, but rather to return to the "generic logo, in order to: a) head off the situation where every time a new game was released, a new character would be added to the logo, and b) leave me in a position where I would need to go to the game companies and ask their permission to use my own logo should I want to create Blue's News t-shirts (or designer jeans, or something) in the future. Since I don't really like contributing to polarization, and this change in logos represented something political to some, until I decide what to do about all this, I think I may just alternate them randomly to keep people guessing.
|Tuesday, June 30, 1998|
Heretic II RealVideo [9:05 PM EDT]
RealPlayer format conversions of the Heretic II video released earlier are up on the Activision site in high-bandwidth, and low-bandwidth versions. Thanks Adam 'Bakshra' Krumbein.
Win an Obsidian2 [9:05 PM EDT]
A CompUSA trivia contest linked on this page (here is the contest page directly) is offering either a Quantum3D S-12 graphics board or a Quantum3D X-24 graphics board as a prize. Thanks to Billy at Voodoo Extreme.
Matrox Unified Drivers [9:05 PM EDT]
Beta 4.11 of the Unified Windows 95/98 drivers for the Matrox Productiva G100, the Mystique series, and the Millennium series (including G200-based cards) are up on this driver downloads page. Thanks |nForMeR-uPeNN.
K6-2 3D Now! Drivers
Delayed [7:38 PM
Billy at Voodoo Extreme noticed that AMD's Quake2 drivers page has an update that the 3D Now! drivers for Quake II are delayed:
Quake II(TM) Update Coming July 6th!
Note: To provide a higher quality release, AMD has extended the testing cycle to July 6th, at which time the download updates will be available
Daikatana Music [7:01 PM EDT]
There's a complete Daikatana tune in the downloads section of Daikatana.com in both RealAudio and .MP3 formats. Here's the scoop from ION's Site:
IONs Infernal Master of Noise Will Loconto tells us that the tune is from E3M1 and is entitled Plague Village. It is set in "a small Norwegian village that has been struck by a plague, killing most of the inhabitants. Death hangs in the air as you trudge through the snow encountering plague victims, driven to insanity, as well as many other monsters."
BTW, speaking of ION's site, the reason for their recent webmaster wanted listing becomes evident, as William Haskins' .plan bids a fond fondue to departing Web-dude/skull crusher Noel "Shadow" Stephens, as today was his last day.
Half-Life Not Delayed [6:43 PM EDT]
There is a post on GameSpot News called No Delays on Half-Life that says they've confirmed with Gabe Newell that, in spite of reports otherwise, they still feel on track for a release this summer.
Gore Chat, Raven
Interview [6:43 PM
A log of last night's chat with 3D Rulers about their upcoming Gore is up on Gamer's Alliance. Also, there's an interview with level designer Greg Barr, recently hired by Raven Software, up on the newly re-launched Lotus Look.
More on Bear's Departure [6:29 PM EDT]
Redwood posted a reply from id CEO Todd Hollenshead to his inquiry about Bear's departure (story):
We're sad to say that Barrett Alexander, id's Director of Business Development, has left the company to pursue other opportunities. We consider Barrett a good friend of id and the entire team wishes him well in his future endeavors.
CEO id Software
King of the Hill for
Quake II [6:29 PM
Version 1.2b of Quake II King of the Hill is up on the Orange Smoothie Productions page. the new release offers a map from each of the four winners of their KOTH map-design contest, and thee maps by the Orange Smoothie team. The new version also fixes the 3dfx sky rotation problem in koth1, and updates the map rotation to include the new levels.
Thriller 3D Drivers [6:29 PM EDT]
Version 0.85.3596 of the Windows 95/98 drivers for the Hercules Thriller 3D are up on the Thriller 3D Driver Library. This driver release requires Thriller 3D BIOS version 1.04.141 or later, also available on that page. Thanks Fuego.
Future versus Fantasy
Update [6:29 PM EDT]
Hap sends word that the Future versus Fantasy registered-users website is gone, so over the next two days, he will re-enter all registered users' accounts to the new Registered Website at fvf.warzone.com/registered/. His reward for everyone's patience will be a new version, FvF 4.2, both shareware and registered, to be released within the next couple of weeks, featuring "a huge list of fan requested changes." The final note he passes along is that FvF QuakeWorld is no longer an official product, and is supported by an external development team lead by Mazurka at fvfqw.warzone.com/.
Heretic II Site [5:16 PM EDT]
Activision's Official Heretic II page is up, offering more "news from the source."
3D Enhanced BattleZone
Demo [5:06 PM EDT]
A new playable demo of BattleZone that features Direct3D support (up to 1024x768) has been released. Here's the Gamer's Alliance page for the demo (it was Lorien that passed along this news), 3Dfx Mania's page. as always complete with a list of mirrors, and finally, a local copy (27.0 MB), thanks to GamesNET FTP.
More from the Gurus [3:10 PM EDT]
The second part of GameSpot UK's Gaming Gurus Feature is up offering thoughts on gameplay from such gurus as Christopher Weaver, Roberta Williams, Peter Molyneux, Scott Miller, Tom Hall, David Perry, Todd Porter, and Gavin Rummery.
Leaves id [2:40
Without public notice as of yet, it's been learned that Barrett "Bear" Alexander has left id Software. Here's the scoop straight from Redwood's:
BitchX posted on Gaminginsider that Barrett "Bear" Alexander is no longer with id Software. I wrote to see what was up and got this auto-reply.
If you are not yet aware, I am no longer with id Software.
If you are writing for Biz related stuff, please send your email to:
Todd Hollenshead email@example.com
If you are writing for PR related matters of any kind, do NOT write to Todd, instead please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the id Software PR Bat Phone at 214.665.1326
Heretic II Q&A and
There's a Q&A session with Raven's Brian Pelletier talking about Heretic II up on GameSlice. The discussion covers H2's planned emphasis on action over RPG elements, and also offers five new screenshots. Also there's a new GameSlice editorial up talking about the decline in cross-platform releases in the gaming world. Additionally, having finished the upload, here's a local copy of the Heretic II AVI (40 MB) released in the wee hours (this looks awfully cool).
GamesDomain Rants Again [10:18 AM EDT]
Of id and ego: part deux is another GamesDomain rant that, like its predecessor, rants some about id, and also reacts to reactions to part one of the article with references to id's fans fanaticism (apparently those who disagree with him are blinded by loyalty). Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers.
Don't Doubt Max Payne [10:18 AM EDT]
Petri Järvilehto's .plan addresses some doubts he's seen expressed over whether the Max Payne videos from E3 were showing actual in-game effects. Those who are doubting clearly did not read the reactions of the many (myself included) who saw the actual game running in the back-room demonstration, because almost every one of those reports raved about these effects. They are real, and they are some of the best I've ever seen in a computer game.
Competitions: Q2 1-on-1
League, PaintBall Map Hunt
[10:18 AM EDT]
The Q2 1on1 League, just getting underway, apparently has the organizational involvement of Tom of Tom's Hardware, Dennis "Thresh" Fong, and Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs, who sent along this news. According to 3 Fingers, first prize will end up being an Obsidian2 Voodoo2 board from Quantum3D. Also, a Paintball II Map Design Contest is up looking for maps for the Quake II sequel to the popular PaintBall mod.
New Q2 Eraser Bot
Launcher [10:18 AM
Version 2.0 of the Quake II Eraser Bot Launcher is out.
UK Q2 Mailing List [10:18 AM EDT]
Here's the homepage of a new Quake II mailing list meant specifically for those in the UK.
Trespasser Video [10:18 AM EDT]
Among the extras on the Win98 distribution CD is a short AVI showing off Trespasser (thanks Minus0). The clip can be found under the \cdsample\videos subdirectory, named trespass.mpg.
II AVI [4:22 AM
A 41 MB Heretic II trailer, in .AVI format is up on Activision's FTP sites, both East, and West. This is the movie I thought would be posted here following up on the two smaller ones posted here a couple of weeks ago. The plan was to simultaneously post a leaner RealPlayer version for folks on modem connects, but the movie is out, so it will have to follow (hopefully that can be made quickly: I've already sent a message to JUDGECAL about it). Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers.
Quake II Superheroes [4:22 AM EDT]
Version 1.0 of Quake II Superheroes is out, the first non-beta release of the Q2 sequel to the quite popular mod that gives every player super-powers, though no capes. Thanks Pipe of Quake2 Pipeline.
Wheel of Time [4:22 AM EDT]
Legend has rolled out their weekly update to their Wheel of Time page which includes the announcement that they've played the first in-house multiplayer games of their upcoming Unreal-engine RPG, and offering a few new screenshots. There's also an Adrenaline Vault feature on Wheel of Time. Thanks to the lab-meister, Steve Funkadooda.
RIVA TNT [4:22 AM EDT]
Voodoo Extreme has Billy's impressions of the RIVA TNT from his recent opportunity to see one in action.
Level Design Interview [4:22 AM EDT]
DaPak author Dennis "headshot" Kaltwasser, is interviewed on TerraFusion talking about level design, or as they put it: "He discusses r_speeds, vertical level design, and Viagra."
Out of the Blue [10:18 AM EDT]
The humorous twist on my Win98 VXD problems with USB support is that this is apparently a side-effect of faulty routines in the upgrade from Win95 that do not copy all the pertinent VXD's from the CD. MS's site is too hammered right now to see if there's a link to a knowledge-base answer on this, but if I find a reference to a work-around for this that doesn't involve a clean Win98 install, I will post it here.
|Monday, June 29, 1998|
Matrox G200 [10:07 PM EDT]
The Matrox Users' Resource Centre has posted a 1600x1200 Quake II screenshot from a Matrox G200 board they've gotten their hands on. GameCenter has gotten their hands on a G200 as well,and have posted their Matrox Mystique G200 review. They provide benchmarks that show the card approaching, but not quite achieving the performance of a single 12MB Voodoo2 running Turok (D3D). An interesting note from this review is that at this point there is no announced PCI version of this 2X AGP card.
Freeze Tag [10:07 PM EDT]
Here's a False.com Freeze Tag review looking at PQ's mod of the week, FreezeTag for Quake II.
Xeon [10:07 PM EDT]
Here's some aftermath of today's Xeon launch: Intel Unveiling Xeon Chip For Servers (Reuters), Intel Introduces New Pentium II Xeon Processor to Achieve Unmatched Performance Levels for Servers and Workstations (BusinessWire), Intel cuts prices on mobile Pentium II unveils Xeon (Reuters), Intel chip out amid problems (CNet), Intel takes wraps off high-performance Xeon , and Faster Xeon spurs workstation vendors (both InfoWorld).
Legal Beat: AT&T
versus MS on NT Source
[10:07 PM EDT]
You read right: AT&T, Microsoft heading to court over NT source code (InfoWorld).
Daikatana Interview [9:10 PM EDT]
There's an interview with Daikatana lead artist Bryan Pritchard on ION's newly redesigned Daikatana.com. Thanks CiDcO at Stormtroopers. Also, speaking of ION's web efforts, William Haskins' .plan has word that ION is looking for a top-notch web guy (or presumably, gal), so email him if you think you are the real deal. Maybe you can help work out the problem with the tiny type for Navigator users in articles like the interview. =]
Quake II: Ground Zero
Screenshots [6:46 PM
GameSpot has a feature up on Quake II: Ground Zero that looks at Rogue Entertainment's upcoming Quake II mission pack in words, and with eight screenshots showing off new weapons and enemies.
The Rumor/Opinion Scene [6:36 PM EDT]
This week's PlanetQuake Featured Editorial is on the recent crop of rumor/opinion pages, as is this Matthias Worch .plan update.
The Unreal Saga [6:36 PM EDT]
Reality Rises is the third, and final, segment in Geoff Keighley's extensive GameSpot feature on the making of Unreal. In addition to completing the detailed story of the game's development, this installment also talks of Epic's plans for their own Unreal add-on pack, and also reveals that it is in the works that "The Unreal engine will be employed in the [next] title from Oddworld Inhabitants, [which will] follow Abe's Exxodus."
Jedi Knight/MotS Editor [5:14 PM EDT]
Version 0.8 of JED, the premier level editor for Jedi Knight and Mysteries of the Sith has been released by Team Code Alliance. The update includes many enhancements and fixes, and no longer requires OpenGL for Win95 to operate. All the details on this, and all things JK, can be found on JediKnight.Net.
Sin's Boss Bosses [5:14 PM EDT]
Mike "CHAOS" Werckle's .plan has a bit on his animation exploits on Sin's Bosses, Eon and Peon, calling Peon "definitely the most ferocious boss that I have ever animated," and declaring all the models and animation projects he's working on to be on-time, and that they will be ready long before the ECTS.
Patch [5:14 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends word of a Voodoo2 patch for Carmageddon on the Pedestrian Precinct.
Gore Chat Reminder [3:58 PM EDT]
A reminder that the online chat with 4D rulers about their upcoming shooter, Gore, will take place this evening at 6:00 PM Central Time (7:00 Eastern) in EFNet IRC #GaGames.com. Attending the chat will be 4D Rulers' ruler, Joel Huenink, and Acy Stapp from Slam Software to answer questions about the AMP engine that Gore is designed around.
More Unreal Tweaking [2:34 PM EDT]
An Epic MegaBoard post by Mark Rein gives some more skinny on how to squeeze the most possible frames out of Unreal. Thanks Aaron Benzick.
Viper 330 Drivers [2:34 PM EDT]
New divers for the Diamond Viper 300 accelerator are up on Diamond Multimedia VIPER V330 Drivers download page in both AGP and PCI flavors (looks like they were posted Friday, but I'm told that they were posted today with the worng date-thanks Thump). Thanks Guillaume "Haakonsen" Plourde. Both sets of drivers note that they offer improved performance and FULL OpenGL ICD support, with this additional note for the AGP drivers: "(over 37 FPS per/sec in Quake IITM - Pentium II 300)."
New QuArK [2:34 PM EDT]
Beta 5.0.b7 of QuArK, the Quake Army Knife all-purposed editing tool is now available. Thanks Charles Benton.
Gurus On Gaming [2:34 PM EDT]
A Gaming Gurus Feature on GameSpot UK talks with Christopher Weaver, Peter Molyneux, Scott Miller, David Perry, and Todd Porter about the game industry and its history.
Max Payne Development
Update [2:34 PM EDT]
The Max Payne website has a new development update online describing Max as a "story-driven action game" and giving a feel for how the flow of the story will work.
Xenocracy [2:34 PM EDT]
3dfx Mania sends word of a demo of a new space sim called Xenocracy they've posted here. Here's the scoop:
XENOCRACY is a space flight combat game on the cutting edge of combat design. Set within an accurately represented Solar System, you will pit sophisticated space fighters and bombers against human fleets, pirates and swarms of ravenous aliens. As the planetary superpowers skirmish amongst themselves, you must fight to maintain the peace and battle an implacable menace that threatens to destroy mankind!
Unreal Release Party
Update [2:34 PM EDT]
Process's Unreal Release party recap is now online at Processed News.
SpecOps OpenGL Patch [10:01 AM EDT] - [Updated 2:34 PM EDT]
SpecOps.Org has the 45 MB OpenGL patch for Spec Ops available for download. Remember this is a beta patch that will break 3Dfx support, so you may want to keep two copies of the game on your system, or be prepared to reinstall the game, or, of course, wait for a non-beta version of the patch if all that makes you nervous. Here's 3dfx Mania's page of mirrors, and here's a local copy (45.0 MB) thanks to GamesNET FTP.
TeamFortrtess2 Interview [9:41 AM EDT]
There's an interview with Brian "Midori" Green a level designer who will be making maps for TeamFortress II up on the Clan Braveheart Home Page. Thanks Contaminated by way of Voodoo Extreme.
Just for Fun [9:41 AM EDT]
Here's a Quake/Win98 funny. Thanks Ant. Also, I got at least a dozen responses to the comment Out of the Blue about the hat on the guy in the "about" window in the new mIRC, saying it was not a Quake hat, but a Tasmanian Devil hat (dunno how it's so certain on that little photo, but okay). Also, Chris Danek points out typing "arnie" at that "about" screen is a small Easter egg, or lizard egg, or something.
Shogo Update [4:10 AM EDT]
The Shogo Mobile Armor Division site has posted Shogo Team Update #3 which focuses on the level design team and offers a bunch of screenshots, and an especially cool weekly screenshot showing off some natural looking rolling terrain. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.
Quake II FragStain Beta [3:43 AM EDT]
Frag Stain Quake II PLUS Paintball is looking for some beta testers to pound out some bugs, so head over and contact WarZone if you're interested
WitchDoctor Review [3:43 AM EDT]
Anand's Hardware Tech Page reviews the Total3D 128D WitchDoctor. Thanks Purified3D.
Pay for Play Editorial [3:43 AM EDT]
What We Wish Developers Would Do is a GameGirlz Editor's Note that discusses the pay to play world of commercial online gaming services. Speaking of the Girlz of Gaming, Aurora & Trillian are TC's special victims on today's Daily Dementia.
MailBag [3:43 AM EDT]
A couple of letters in the MailBag: a reader taking the recent TNT-bashing article (story) to task, and Dry Vermouth pointing out that just because his disclaimer says he can make stuff up (from this story), doesn't mean he does, and talking a little bit about the phenomenon of anonymous opinion sites.
Out of the Blue [3:43 AM EDT]
On the occasion of the 16 millionth visit on the counter here I want to thank everyone for the tremendous support shown for this site. I mentioned last time this came up that that 16M mark had a bit if significance: Since the 8 millionth visitor was recorded on January 1, that makes as many visits recorded here in the first half of 1998 as in the over year-and-a-half preceding it. GamesNET should take some credit for helping more traffic reach here, their hardware and administration have lead to a stretch of solid uptime unprecedented in the time this site has been running. Okay enough of that...interesting note of the day comes from Brett Young who asks if the new author's photo in mIRC look like he's wearing a Quake cap (I would have to say it does).
|Sunday, June 28, 1998|
Unreal Patch(es) Status [11:24 PM EDT]
Saw on Unreal Nation that a Mark Rein post to the Epic MegaBoard gives the status of the patches to fix Unreal 'net play and add OpenGL and Direct3D support. Here's a quote from a lengthier post (I tried to edit it down, as I'm sure the UN guys did, but it's pretty info filled):
What can I say folks? We definitely goofed on our estimates on both of these issues (internet multiplayer patch and OpenGL). We didn't set out to give anyone false information, these missed estimates were just victims of circumstances beyond our control.
When GT insisted their foreign language versions were more important than the internet multiplayer patch we had little choice but to agree. They spent millions of dollars acquiring and marketing Unreal and had a right to ship it into these countries (where internet play is of little or no concern) before grey market imports destroyed the marketplace and customers lost interest in the product. Americans tend to think they're the big PC game market but they're not anymore. Foreign sales for a game like Unreal now account for significantly MORE than 50% of total game revenue. Outside the USA the biggest countries in terms of sales don't even speak English. We ran into all kinds of snags with the translations and the job of building one single international version for ALL countries took a lot longer than we had anticipated. It was difficult to coordinate testing in 5 or 6 different countries and trapping all the little translation errors that we had been given. It was something that definitely should have been done BEFORE we released Unreal but it wasn't. We are certainly learning lessons to be applied to our next major game release.
OpenGL was another complete can of worms. Several manufacturers who claimed to have perfectly working drivers found those drivers failing under the load of Unreal. It seems Unreal pushes OpenGL harder than any previous application they had tested with and things thought to be up the task weren't. Don't confuse the full OpenGL situation with the Quake and Quake2 Mini-GL drivers - they're not the same thing. We've also made our share of mistakes in this area including one major problem in the polygon drawing order that goes against what the majority of OpenGL drivers expect you to do. This is something that will get fixed shortly after the internet multiplayer patch is released and hopefully we'll get back on track with OpenGL. Our D3D partner has been amazingly silent (because they're probably waiting for the polygon ordering change too) so there's no progress to report on that side.
Now here come some more wildly inaccurate estimates. Don't take them as gospel, only as guidelines. After days and days of back and forth testing the international stuff appears to be on it's way to getting solved. That doesn't mean it will be done in the next 2-4 days but it doesn't mean it won't be either. It certainly looks likely that the first internet multiplayer patch will arrive within the next 7 days. It won't be the last patch either. After this first patch is done Tim will spend a few days on OpenGL and other issues while gathering feedback from the internet multiplayer patch. If we feel we've solved the internet play enough that we're confident in proceeding with the server-side patch (which will improve internet play a lot further) then we'll move on to completing the shareware version. It's possible that we may release a server-side patch to coincide with the shareware version but it will probably only be to address some things we did wrong that cause Gamespy to hiccup and the full server-side patch will come a bit later.
There's something I want you guys to understand about the shareware version and why it's not out yet: We have been sitting on thousands of copies of Unreal that we bought from GT to sell to our shareware customers. Why are we doing this? Because we feel that making Unreal more playable on the internet for the vast majority of players is more important than selling those copies now and making money for Epic. Likewise we are holding back the release of the shareware (the main marketing vehicle for our direct sales efforts) until the improved internet play has been released and successfully improves on the current situation. Some may say that we're only doing that because we think it wouldn't sell without the improved internet play but let me remind you that we figure over 70% of the people who will play the shareware will probably not even try internet play. For most of the world internet access inexpensive enough to spend time playing games like Unreal is still a dream. More than half of GT's initial unit orders came from countries that are still dreaming this dream and a lot of our shareware business will come from these places too. So we're sacrificing a lot of potential non-internet playing sales to show our customers how serious we are about multiplayer over the internet and how much we value their patience. I don't know how many of your can appreciate this situation or even care about it. It was tough decision for me to make but has the full backing of the company principles at Epic and Digital Extremes. We are not some big rich publisher who can afford to be sitting on inventory nor have we seen any money yet from the huge success of Unreal beyond our original royalty advances. Other than shareware revenues the development team likely won't see any royalties from Unreal until October or November so holding the shareware release is a lot more significant to us than you probably think.
Quake II W.A.R. Mod [11:24 PM EDT]
The W.A.R mod for Quake II is out adding teamplay-specific features including three scoring modes, an experimental ranking system, prematch, remote administration, auto-team, team-lock, team-balancing, persistent data between map-changes and more. the source is included, because the author would like to see some of these options in other teamplay mods.
Half-Life Preview [11:24 PM EDT]
GamesMania's Sneak Peek at Half Life. Thanks Billy at VE.
Unreal Launch Party
Report [9:18 PM EDT]
PlanetUnreal has a report up from the GamesCon Unreal launch party in Toronto this weekend.
Unreal LaserSight [9:05 PM EDT]
Portal has got a new Unreal modification up that adds a LaserSight that's not just a simple mod to one of the weapons, but an item that comes complete with model, textures and an inventory icon so it can be placed in a level to be picked up (it works with all the weapons).
Hab-12 Screenshots [8:57 PM EDT]
There are some neat screenshots on Gamer's Alliance from a game called Hab-12, a 3D action adventure game using the Twilight 3D 3DGE game engine. The game is in the works from Ratloop, part of the team that created Malice for Quake.
Moves [8:57 PM EDT]
The GM Hardware/Software Forum Message Board has relocated to a new permanent home.
Could if be? Yes, another! My sources deep within Stomped tell me their new site The Gaming Enquirer is the latest in the trend of anonymous gaming pages with intermittent bold-faced type. The site comes complete with the requisite intriguing disclaimer that: "this site is provided for amusement purposes only. In no way is it, or anything contained within, represented to be fact." Similarly worded disclaimers appear on BitchX's page and The Texas Martini Foundation. Does that mean these guys can just make stuff up? Wow...
Quake Tourney [8:57 PM EDT]
The ]TAO[ Clan is hosting a three round, double-elimination Quake Tournament to be held July 17-19.
QBS News Tracking Page [8:07 PM EDT]
While work progresses on an updated QBS2, the QBS page now has a news tracking page that shows the time that loads of gaming sites were last updated.
Euro Skin Pack [8:07 PM EDT]
Strange Creeping Souls are looking to compile a skin pack of Quake II skins from European clans. Email skins to [SCS] XapHoraX.
Beta Testing [2:51 PM EDT] - [Updated 8:07 PM]
There's a Sierra On-Line beta sign-up page that is taking sign-ups for those who hope to be among those selected to beta test upcoming Sierra releases, and Half-Life is listed as one of the examples in the "Action" category (thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme). (Update) Uther Pendragon points out that unfortunately, sign-ups are for US citizens only.
Rocket Arena Pack [2:11 PM EDT]
Tigger-oN's Quake and Quake2 levels has the bouncy tiger's Rocket Arena (1) map pack that consists of five arenas optimized for speed along with five accompanying waiting areas that are optimized for "fun."
New QVoice [11:34 AM EDT]
Beta 11 of QuakeVoice, the project that's bringing real time voice communications to Quake II is out. Thanks Prophet. The new release hopes to fix most of the problems that caused sounds to not transmit, as well as clearing up the client hanging on exit problem.
Solaris Action Quake 2 [11:34 AM EDT]
Solar Eclipse dedicated to sun conversions (get it?) has a new SPARC version of Action Quake 2 available for download. Thanks Prophet.
Non-Game Releases [11:34 AM EDT]
Many readers here on the windows platform use one or both of these: Version 1.92 of Winamp (.mp3 player) is out, though the server is currently pretty swamped (thanks Randy Perry). Also, version 5.4 of the mIRC IRC chat client is out (thanks SuShii).
Q2 LMCTF Beta [3:27 AM EDT]
Public beta testing of Loki's Minions CTF version 4.0 (the Tournament addition) for Quake II has begun on the Nachos.Net CTF server. Links to the beta pak and other instructions are on the Nachos website, but be aware that if you want the final version when available, you will also have to download it again, because there will be changes from the beta. Also, on the Flag Noise! LMCTF Radio Sound Addons page is a brand new Reservoir Dogs radio sound pack for LMCTF (hmm, wouldn't the Reservoir Dogs radio sounds be Steven Wright introing 70's tunes?).
Quake/Quake II Tourneys [3:27 AM EDT]
Armageddon Tournament is a four-on-four and five-on-five Clan Arena competition for QuakeWorld. Also, Quake Clan Tournaments has no listings yet, but will post tourneys that are sent in.
CPL Interview [3:27 AM EDT]
The Happy Puppy Radio Show interviews Newworld.com CEO Angel Munoz about the CPL. Thanks Prophet.
Unreal Review [3:27 AM EDT]
Games Domain reviews Unreal.
Wallpaper [3:27 AM EDT]
Also, Twisted Half-Life has an images scanned from the August PC Games as a wallpaper. Also The 3Dpalette.Com Wallpaper Emporium is a new site that is a repository of wallpaper.
Out of the Blue
I got lots of mail from readers who are similarly suffering with the kind of Win98 NTKERN.VXD problems I mentioned yesterday Out of the Blue, asking what I did to solve them. I'm sure this will be a disappointment to the many experiencing headaches with the new headache-free USB port, but all I did was disable the USB controller in the device manager, and I was good to go. So I didn't really solve the problem, I'm just hiding from it.
|Saturday, June 27, 1998|
Activision on Quake
Arena [10:36 PM EDT]
A post on Fastest Game News Online (thanks Chris Day at 3D Portal) gives a statement by an Activision spokesperson that Quake Arena single player would contain surprises not yet hinted about:
An Activision spokesperson has confirmed that the company has signed publishing deals for Quake Arena - though the game might not be what everyone's expecting. According to the spokesperson Carmack's plan files don't give the whole story. Surprises are expected with the single player aspect of the game, which isn't to be ignored.
PGL Quake All-Star Demos [10:36 PM EDT]
The PGL has posted the demos from the Quake All-Star matches at E3. Thresh, B2 and Unholy did not record demos, but demos from rest of both sides (Team 1: Gollum, Thorn, Kornelia, Reptile and Team 2: Thresh, B2, Unholy, Dmann) are online. Team 1 won both matches, by scores of 91 - 59 and 117 - 52.
a Bomb? [10:36
3D Over-Time an editorial site on Voodoo Extreme has a piece up about RIVA TNT that is of the opinion that the evidence suggests NVIDIA's upcoming accelerator may only match Voodoo2 performance, rather than surpass by 2-3X as has been speculated.
Voodoo FAQ [10:36 PM EDT]
An updated version of this unofficial 3Dfx Voodoo and Voodoo 2 FAQ is up (saw that on Spire The Unreal Walkthrough from the next story).
Unreal Walkthroughs [10:36 PM EDT]
Spire The Unreal Walkthrough has now got a walk-through with screenshots up for every dang level in the game except ISV-Kran Decks 3 and 2 if you want help past the sticky spots. The site is now a combination of Spire and Blob's Unreal walk-through sites.
Spec Ops Patch Status [10:36 PM EDT]
DeathBoy KoASP at SPEC OPS Tactical Operations Command sends word that the next Spec Ops patch is due July 3, supporting custom inventories. Additionally, the long-awaited (and apparently huge, at forty-something megs) OpenGL patch is going to be out very soon now, perhaps even before the July 3 update.
Anti-Pro-Rocket? [10:36 PM EDT]
PlanetQuake's Featured Editorial discusses the what's old is new again approach of the retro-rocket mod, Pro-Rocket, discussing the thinking such a mod represents.
Oak Bot Beta Tester
The Oak II page has word that the beta testers the next version of the Oak II bot for Quake II will be the 10 people who submit the best reviews critiquing a current bot.
Descent FreeSpace Review [10:36 PM EDT]
Gamer's Alliance reviews Descent Freespace.
Gore Chat [3:27 AM EDT]
Gamer's Alliance is holding a Gore chat, no not a snooze-fest with the US Vice President, but an online Q&A with 4D Rulers' president Joel Huenink on their upcoming game gore. here's the scoop:
"We are extremly proud to announce that Joel Huenink, Lead Developer and President of 4D Rulers, and Acy Stapp of Slam Software, will be going on-line Monday, June 29 at 4pm Pacific (7pm Eastern/6pm Central) to talk about the upcoming 3D action shooter Gore and the 3D engine, AMP, which is being used to create Gore.
The chat session will be hosted by us on the IRC Efnet, channel #GaGames.com. An archive of this chat session will be available June 30 here on GaGames.
Quake II Catch the
Chicken [3:27 AM
Version 1.0 of Catch the Chicken, a partial conversion for Quake II is out (there's a review on 7¾ Review Page). Thanks Ant.
5-on-5 Q2 CTF Tourney [3:27 AM EDT]
Clan Bash, a five-on-five Quake II Capture the Flag tournament, is open for registration. They're looking to sign up about 30 clans.
Out of the Blue
Off for the day to visit Grandma Blue. We'll do some shopping, grab some grub, and then it's a few hard deathmatches (grandma kicks ass, but she's a camper). I'll be back in the Blue Tower later tonight to update, and hopefully finish off my battle with my computer. On that subject, thanks to janx for pointing out the NTKERN.VXD that I was crashing on had to do with USB support. He replied so quickly to my little post asking about it yesterday at around 3:00 AM. that I was able to fix it and remove the post within about five minutes of making it. Anyway, (for the many who asked what the solution would eventually be, as they were having shutdown crashes of their own, it seems the upshot of my problem was that unhappy USB VXD, and some Advanced Power Management woes. Back tonight.
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