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Friday, November 6, 1998

B2 Gold, New Demo Soon, Shogo PR-Nine Days  [5:02 PM EST]
Monolith CEO Jason Hall updated his .plan with the latest word from them, leading off with the news that Blood2 is officially gold (off to manufacture, and therefore, due in stores soon), and they plan on releasing a newer, better optimized Blood2 demo. There's also word on the Shogo Point Release (multiplayer patch), which he says will be released in nine days. Here's an excerpt from the lengthy post (the full post also discusses user Shogo art, and asks "what in your opinion can Monolith do to help Shogo continue to sell well and gain more and more strong product interest that is capable of going well outside of the core-gaming market?"):

Blood 2 is now much better optimized n' stuff and is now GOLD. GT has it and they are now "doing what they do" with it! Expect it in the stores very soon.

Now that Blood 2 is gold, we are planning on re-releasing the more optimized demo. All that is really left for the new demo is for it to be tested (I'm installing it now - whoo hoo!). As soon as it passes all testing, we will make it available for the people who are interested! People who played the original Blood 2 demo and had speed/mouse/bug issues should be much happier with the new one.Once again, thank you all for your helpful input! This newer demo will also be a better gauge to determine how fast the final version of B2 will run on your system!

On to Shogo stuff:

The Shogo Multiplayer Point Release (SMPR) is right on track for the Nov. 15th deadline! It is looking fantastic and we are really excited about it. The final 1.1 patch will bring you some "client-side-goodness" for sure. Interestly enough, I've noticed a couple of things that are really cool with the upcoming patch...

1.) There is current "uncomfirmed and secret" plan to release some awesome custom made deathmatch only levels with the patch! Kick Ass! I hope that those levels make it in!

2.) There seems to have been quite a few options added to the ShogoServer stuff. One option in particular comes to mind... ramming damage ...No ROACHES in the HOUSE, for those that can't stand "roaching"...heh

The shogo tools are being worked on / documented as we speak. We could just release them *as is* but we want to make them as useful as possible before we let them out. Yes, we are still going to give the world the game tools and source so not to worry. With the release of this stuff you are going to be able to MOD the hell out of Shogo. Also, GT has green lighted the release of Blood 2's source and tools as well, so when both games have all their stuff out there you are seriously going to be in "CONTENT CITY". It is hard for me to actually communicate how much MOD/TC power you are going to have in your hands. I can't wait to see what the community does with this stuff!

Anyway, right after we release the SMPR, we will be finalizing the STSR (Shogo Tools and Source Release), and should be able to get it to you VERY SOON thereafter. And when Monolith says VERY SOON, it is a real VERY SOON! :)

New Requiem Powers  [5:02 PM EST]
Hell on Earth has posted some news on some new Angelic powers that are being added to Cyclone Studios' upcoming Requiem: Avenging Angel, including Apocalypse, and Exorcist (which from the sound of it, has nothing to do with Linda Blair/pea soup-type exorcisms at all).

Doom2 Tourney Results  [5:02 PM EST]
Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford updated his .plan with some thoughts on the Doom2 All-Star tourney. Here are the final results (all four of these players were in amazing form, Natas in particular, is death incarnate):

1. Mark "Natas" Fletcher [ION]
2. Rob "Psychology" Heironimus [RBR]
3. Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford [RBR]
4. Sverre "Sverre" Kvernmo [ION]

Sin Load Times  [2:57 PM EST]
Ritual's Scott Alden updated his .plan with a tip that can help shorten those interminable map load times after the first time a map is loaded with a couple of console commands. It definitely made a big difference when I tried it, just don't let the lack of a status screen throw you off (for a second I thought my machine crashed). Here's the lowdown:


If you want to increase your times for loading quick saves type these commands at the console before you start a game:

developer 1
set flushmap 0

This speeds up "quick" loads i.e. when you already have the map loaded. Dying in the game isn't as painful now :-)

By setting developer to 1, it will not draw the status bar, so you won't get to see in between level information. This will save you about 20 or so seconds of loading time on just about any map. You will probably also see some warnings printed out since developer provides verbose information about what's going on in the game.

"flushmap" was used to explicitly free maps after they are already loaded for development purposes.

These fixes will be incorporated into the first patch and these commands should help in the meantime. The status bar has been optimized as to not take up as much time, and flushmap will explicitly be set to 0.

There's also word in onethumb's .plan about a Sin tourney where the winner can walk away with $500.

Play KHG Maps in Unreal  [1:18 PM EST]
A way to play maps from MicroProse's Unreal-engine Klingon honor Guard in Unreal with the KHG weapons comes in this tip sent along by moonglum:

I figured out a way to play Klingon Honor Guard maps in unreal, complete with Unreal blaster & KHG weaponry/tiles... Here goes:
1. Copy the sfx files from KHG's sound folder to Unreal's.
2. Copy all the texture files from KHG's texture folder to Unreal's.
3. Copy the 4 files named Klingon.* from the system directory of KHG to Unreal's system folder.
4. Run the map.
You may want to make backups of your Unreal texture files, as I believe some of them are overwritten. This is a nifty little trick, and actually goes to show how cool some of the future Unreal things will be. Perhaps someone could write a program where you wouldn't have to copy these file (i.e.: it would pull them from the correct folder when you run the map, sort of like a front end for the unreal engine...)

Permedia 2 Drivers  [1:18 PM EST]
3Dlabs' Permedia Driver Download Page has new version 2105-0359 Permedia 2 Win95/Win98 drivers. Thanks BetaNews.

PingTool  [7:37 AM EST]
Version 2.3 of PingTool is now available. This non-beta release of this server browser program offers updated Sin support to cover changes in the Sin protocols since the demo, Automatic server source updating, updated Unreal support, an "all games" option, and more. Thanks Phantom_309.

N64 Quake II Shots  [6:50 AM EST]
N64.IGN.COM has updated their N64 Quake II preview with the first screenshots of Quake II running on an N64. Thanks Manpreet Jagpal.

Billy Zelsnack Interview  [6:38 AM EST]
A Billy Zelsnack Interview on JQuake talks to Rebel Boat Rocker's lead programmer about game design, and how he has used Java in the upcoming RBR1 engine (Prax War).

Stephen Patterson Interview  [6:38 AM EST]
Part one of Action Xtreme's interview with Stephen Patterson from Psygnosis talks about their upcoming Drakan: Order of the Flame.

Vigilance Review  [6:38 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault reviews Vigilance, looking at SegaSoft's new shooter.

Tribes Preview  [6:38 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault previews Starsiege Tribes taking a look ahead at this massive outdoor multiplayer shooter that focuses on teamplay.

High Resolution Sin  [6:38 AM EST]
Sean Segal requested info on how to get Sin to display in 1024x768 resolution, pointing out that using that setting actually gave him a 960x720 resolution. After checking and realizing he was right (at least it works the same way on my system), I found I could get 1024X768 by picking the next highest setting, 1152x864.

AnachroChat  [6:38 AM EST]
Tonight is the monthly chat with the developers of ION Storm's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG, Anachronox. The chat can be accessed through The ION Storm site by hitting the "live chat" button, or by pointing your IRC client at and entering the channel #ion. The festivities begin at 8:00 PM Central time.

Competitions  [6:38 AM EST]
Word out of Gamers.Com (the site formerly known as Gamers Extreme) is that Thresh will be at the 3Dfx booth at Comdex in Las Vegas November 18 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, playing attendees on a first-come, first-served basis with several Diamond mega-monster SLI set-ups to be awarded as prizes. Also, The North-European Clan League is underway and Genocide4 is now accepting sign-ups.

Banshee Overclocker  [6:38 AM EST]
3Dfx Voodoo Banshee Control is a Banshee overclocker/control panel dealie to satisfy your need for more speed. Thanks overclocked Billy Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

etc.  [6:38 AM EST]
The ZoidCam. Nope, no BlueCam in the works, sorry, no scratch that, I'm not sorry (and you shouldn't be either) ... Word from The Console is that all the reference materials contained therein on the workings of console commands are now covered under the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License Version 2 ...

Out of the Blue  [6:38 AM EST]
Intermittent problems hitting this site over the last week should clear up now, a techie problem where the old server would interfere with the new one has been corrected. Poking through the news archive I noticed today is the second anniversary of the announcement that Todd Hollenshead was taking over as CEO of id Software, and the first anniversary of Fargo taking over as the whatever he is at PlanetQuake (raise your Bawls today in honor of them). Just when I revealed a formatting trick to notice the quotes I shift gears and remove the format. Parens and itals aside, yesterday's Quote was indeed from Looney Tunes ("Open sesame!"). Also, huge thanks to 'JinXter' who has been helping with some startlingly detailed proof reading to catch typos on this page lately. Finally, best wishes and a get well soon to frequent contributor Ant, who is recovering from surgery.

Thursday, November 5, 1998     John Carmack's FRAG2 Talk on Shooters

Tomb Raider III Demo  [9:22 PM EST]
PC.IGN.COM has the playable Tomb Raider III demo here as what I was told was an exclusive download dealie (though there doesn't seem to be any mention of the exclusivity there).

MX300 Review, D3D Half-Life  [9:17 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Diamond MX300 review takes a look at thisVortex2 based sound card, and mentions a bit about the D3D version of Half-Life Day One along the way:

On a side note, this was our first chance to try out the Direct3D version of Half-Life, and we're happy to report that it looked almost identical to the OpenGL version. No wonder the game took so long to finish, the Direct3D port over is flawless, and fast as well. Half-Life will absolutely be the number one selling title this holiday season, I'd bet MY…er….I mean SHARKY'S LIFE on it.

Three Team CTF  [9:17 PM EST]
The 3TCTF Homepage has version 1.0 of their three team CTF. The first release of this Quake II teamplay mod includes a Linux version, as well as a green flag.

Heavy Gear II Demo Delayed Again  [5:32 PM EST]
The Heavy Gear II demo originally slated for release earlier in the week, and then rescheduled for today has been delayed again. Here's the announcement from Activision's Heavy Gear II page:

The multiplayer bug that has been delaying release has been a pesky one, which has taken longer than expected to fix. The update from Production is that it has now been fixed, and our QA Department is currently performing a final compatibility sweep of the demo. Despite our best forecasts earlier in the week, the demo will not be out today. Whether release occurs tomorrow or later depends on what QA finds in its sweep. We are very close!

We remain committed to bringing the demo out as soon as possible, but not before. As Dave Georgeson (Producer of HGII) has said, the production team is not willing to let any demo go out until the playability, connectability, and reliability of the game are solid enough that it's fun to play.

Please bear with us a little longer. We are all VERY excited about this demo, and we sincerely believe the end result will be worth the wait!

Sincerely, The Heavy Gear II Team

P.S. The dates of the contest drawings (see link) will be moved according to the demo's actual release, so that the contest lasts a full week from the release. Please refer to the contest page for the final, updated dates once the demo is posted.

The VELOCITY 4400 Drivers has added another new BIOS to the four that were posted yesterday, adding a version 1.1 BIOS for the AGP version of the VELOCITY 4400 with no TV out. The new BIOS is said to improve the performance of the memory on the V4400.

Sin Bug FAQ  [4:48 PM EST]
There's a short compilation of bugs and fixes for Sin in the Ritualistic SiN Bug FAQ.

Sin CD Tip  [2:12 PM EST]
onethumb has been typing his lone digit off, as he's updated his .plan again with word of a bug in the Sin auto-loader that plays the game entirely from CD. You should start the game from the menu instead, and game performance (load times in particular) should drastically improve.

Red Hat Declines Linux Quake  [1:53 PM EST]
Red Hat not Interested in Publishing Id Games is an article on Slashdot.Org that describes an exchange between John Carmack and Bob Young at Red Hat Publishing that reveals id Software was interested in having Red Hat publish the Linux versions of the Quake family. Influences on Red Hat's decision to decline the offer are described as an interest in publishing more "serious" products than games, and their policy of distributing open source code rather than compiled binaries. Thanks Bill Lynch.

Sin Review  [1:53 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Sin review is online already.

Tribes Pics  [1:53 PM EST]
Starsiege Tribes Players page has been updated with all the October daily screenshots, some of which offer first looks at the flying scouts and personnel carriers, as well as various other gadgets. Thanks Schnoz's Starsiege Universe

Weapons Factory  [1:53 PM EST]
Version 3.3a of The Weapons Factory for Quake II is now available, offering new features like ZBot detection, a new knife weapon for the spy, a remote camera, and laser guided napalm rockets. Also included in 3.3 are new player skins and enhanced graphics. Versions are available for NT, Linux and Solaris.

Descent 3 Movie  [1:53 PM EST]
There's a Descent 3 trailer in .AVI format up on 3DFiles.Com showing off gameplay from Interplay's upcoming flying shooter.

More on Sin & SBLive!  [1:53 PM EST]
Don "onethumb" MacAskill's .plan has more info on the SBLive! problem with Sin with variations on the solution if you're still having a problem.

Dr. Feelgood  [1:53 PM EST]
A couple of readers have asked about the sparse Out of the Blue's the last couple of days. I was avoiding mentioning the dentist trip I made this week because I thought I could overcome its effects unnoticed, but clearly the painkillers have slowed me down a bit, so I wanted to mention what was up if you were wondering. No sympathy please, it's not that biggie (besides, I do have the pain killers). Just wanted to fess up to my slowness as the fog lifts.

John Carmack's Talk on Shooters  [4:39 AM EST]
Tonight on Shooters, the weekly foray into the present and future of action gaming, we will air part one of the talk John Carmack gave at the FRAG2 on Quake III Arena. Part two, which includes the Q&A session, will air next week. The show starts at 7:00 PM Eastern time, and will, of course, be available thereafter in the archives. RealPlayer, or reasonable facsimile thereof, required.

Heavy Gear Demo Preview Movie  [4:39 AM EST]
Phoebus, who is celebrating his first anniversary at Activision, sends word of a Heavy Gear II movie showing off gameplay from the playable demo, originally promised for release earlier in the week, and now slated for release later today:

Here is something to whet your appetite: a new movie showing gameplay from the demo itself. The .avi has clips of both multiplayer missions: outer space, and swamp terrain. Meanwhile, the team is working feverishly to polish off the demo. Please stay tuned! You can also view the movie as a Real file, in both high and low bandwidth formats.

On Unreal Tournament  [4:39 AM EST]
There's a statement up on PlanetUnreal from Epic's Mark Rein to try and shed some light, or actually cast some doubt, on the speculation about the nature of their upcoming project based on the title, Unreal Tournament, that slipped out in a recent GT Interactive Press Release:

Unfortunately I can't engage the gossip caused by the GT financial press release. They obviously made a big mistake in using the name of an unannounced product in their press release but I can't reverse that now.
When we're ready to announce what Unreal Tournament is then we'll announce it. That will probably be in 4-6 weeks. Until then I'm sure we'll have to endure a lot of inaccurate speculation as to what the product is based solely on what people think they can figure out from two simple words in a press release. Oh well, these things happen.

Gabe Newell Interview  [4:39 AM EST]
The Q&A part of PC Gamer Online's interactive interview with Gabe Newell is up, with Valve's Managing director answering questions about Half-Life submitted by readers. According to the interview, the game is on track for a Thanksgiving (November 26) release. Thanks PorkBelly.

Cliffy B Interview  [4:39 AM EST]
Part three of Action Xtreme's interview with Cliff Bleszinski is now online, the final installment in the conversation.

Sin SBLive! Fix  [4:39 AM EST]
The Ritual Entertainment page offers a solution for sound problems with Sin using a SoundBlaster Live!. Thanks Tripps. I had the SBLive! problem, and this fixed it for me. Here's the scoop:

THIS JUST IN: Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! Issues can be fixed with the following:

Download the new SBLive! drivers from Creative's Site. They are about 2 weeks old. Make sure Environmental Sound is set to OFF in the Live! control panel. Turn the sound in Sin to Low Quality, Max Compatibility, and 3D Off.

This is apparently the fix that Activision Customer Support is giving people who call in, so it should work great.

There is another fix on Voodoo Extreme from Billy who says the above fix doesn't work for him, but the one he posted (a bit of a kludge, unfortunately), does. Here goes:

On the Live you want to turn off Environmental Sound or turn the Direct Sound acceleration down -- to turn the acceleration down go to your multimedia properties, under playback - advanced properties, kick that acceleration mofo down one notch and try it, if it doesn't work, one more notch until you hit Basic. This probably isn't the fix that you're looking for, but it does work and at least lets you hear stuff (which is a huge plus after not having sound). Also turn off 3D sound in the Sin control panel.

BladeMatch  [4:39 AM EST]
DmBlade, the first BladeMatch level for Heretic II is now available. BladeMatch is a melee only form of deathmatch that offers blade and heal shrines on the map, but no weapons. Hassaan Chop!

On Crack's Demise  [4:39 AM EST]
Last weeks' loonygames' Guest Editorial is by Jonathan Clark, one of the owners of Crack dot Com, talking about the reasons for the company's demise. Jonathan's .plan also mentions the Life After Crack page offering info about what's going on with the ex-crackheads after the shutdown, with some email they've received posted as well.

John Romero in Rolling Stone  [4:39 AM EST]
John Romero adds to his impressive history of great press as he is featured in Rolling Stone #800 (November 26, 1998). Thanks Methane.. John has also been profiled in Time Magazine, and was recently named one of the 101 most influential people in entertainment by Entertainment Weekly. Wow!

Rancor  [4:39 AM EST]
Version 0.93b2 of Rancor is now available with changes to the in-eyes view and the HUD. This Quake II competition modification offers some unique features like real-time weapon hit percentages and original chasecams. There is also a Rancor discussion board available to discuss the mod.

Q2-Start  [4:39 AM EST]
An updated version 1.0 of Q2-Start is up on the Q-Start & Q2Start page offering a new layout for this Quake II front-end, as well as a few new features and a solitary bug-fix. Thanks MagixX.

FvF Mailing List  [4:39 AM EST]
There is now a Future versus Fantasy Mailing List to talk about all the present and future variations on Freeform Interactive's Quake mod, and it's future as their upcoming "Multiverse Development Engine" RPG, OpenFvF.

Funny Papers  [4:39 AM EST]
No, not the kind of funny papers Cheech and Chong made an album about, but the first of the comics featuring Quake II is up on the Buckles page, as the website runs two weeks behind the newspaper strip. Thanks Gredd.

IE5 Beta  [4:39 AM EST]
Internet Explorer 5 Beta 2. Thanks Snicker.

Out of the Blue  [4:39 AM EST]
Is the term Beta web-browser redundant?

Wednesday, November 4, 1998

Requiem Trailer  [9:17 PM EST]
A new trailer showing off in-game action from Cyclone Studios' upcoming shooter Requiem: Avenging Angel is up on Hell on Earth in larger (AVI) and smaller (MPG) formats.

AMEN Shots  [9:17 PM EST]
There are three new full size screenshots (the thumbnails were previously released) from AMEN: The Awakening, the upcoming shoot-em-up from CaveDog up on CaveNews.

John Jack Interview  [9:17 PM EST]
Monolith's John Jack is interviewed on Gamer's Alliance in an in-depth conversation talking mostly about Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and being a game publisher.

Shogo Cat Attack  [9:17 PM EST]
Monolith's Craig Hubbard updated his .plan with word on a deathmatch Easter egg in Shogo involving the dreaded squeaky toy:

Okay, time to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. In case you haven't noticed yet, the squeaky toy does a special kind of emotional damage in multiplayer games. Peg somebody enough times and you'll hurt their feelings and make them cry. When somebody's crying, they're vulnerable. Cheer them up with a nice toasty TOW missile. :)

Unreal Log Parser  [9:17 PM EST]
Aeon's Unreal Page, a German Unreal server page, has the first release of AUus, a Windows 95 Unreal deathmatch log parser that can generate an HTML stats page.

Delta Force Review  [9:17 PM EST]
OGR reviews Delta Force calling this first-person shooter commando game one of the best action games of the year, even though, as they put it, it "isn't 3D accelerated, takes place almost entirely outdoors and doesn't offer a single power-up." Thanks CiDcO at StormTroopers.

Slave Zero Preview  [9:17 PM EST]
PC.IGN.COM previews Slave-Zero, Accolades upcoming game of giant robot combat.

New L-Fire CTF  [9:17 PM EST]
Version 1.0 of the cool L-Fire CTF for Quake II has been released. In addition to bug-fixes, the new edition includes Rocket Arena Overtime, Sudden Death Overtime, Level start countdown, ZBot detection, Full support for Quake2s built-in VWep, Server-side rate limiting, Reduced hyperblaster lag, and Match admin elections. Thanks Worlock.

STB VELOCITY 4400 Drivers, BIOS  [9:17 PM EST]
There are new WHQL certified Windows 95/98 drivers for the TNT-based STB VELOCITY 4400 on the VELOCITY 4400 Drivers page. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. There are also four new version 1.1 BIOS Flashers, with separate files for AGP NTSC, PCI NTSC, AGP PAL, and PCI NTSC.

3D Round-up  [9:17 PM EST]
3D's Explosive New Screamers is an article up on Games.Net looking at the current crop of 3D accelerators. Thanks again Billy at Voodoo Extreme

Unreal Arena?  [12:30 PM EST]
An announcement on Next-Generation Online offers details on Epic's upcoming project, a game called Unreal Tournament, which sounds like it's focused on multiplayer. Thanks loony. Here are the sketchy details from NGO:

In a statement regarding earnings GT revealed two choice news tidbits that had not yet been announced.

The first, and certainly biggest, is Unreal Tournament, a title that, according to the release, is scheduled for an early 1999 release. While there were no details on this heretofore unannounced product, we're fairly certain from the name that it's going to be a multiplayer only title like Quake III.

Last week we reported that Epic would be making an announcement in 4-6 weeks of a project it had been developing since Unreal's release in May. While it seems likely that this project is Unreal Tournament, Epic VP Mark Rein refused to comment for the story.

According to GT, a release will come out shortly (within the next couple of weeks) for the project. A GT spokerperson told us that the title is in development at Epic and that "people will be pretty excited about it."

Carmack at PGL  [12:30 PM EST]
John Carmack will be answering questions about Quake III Arena at the AMD PGL Championships in San Francisco on November 14 at 2:45 Pacific time. They are now accepting suggestions for questions to pose. Here's the lowdown from TEN's Garth Chouteau:

John Carmack, co-founder, owner, and lead programmer of id Software, will appear in person on Nov. 14th, for the third and final day of the AMD PGL Championships being held at Club-i in San Francisco. He's not just there to witness the deciding matches in both the 1-on-1 (Quake II) and Teamplay (4-on-4 Quake clans) categories featuring id games.

From 2:45 to 3:30 (Pacific Time), he'll also be fielding questions and suggestions regarding the development of the much-anticipated Quake III Arena. *But here's the best part: you don't have to attend the PGL Season 3 Championships to ask Carmack a question! Simply send your question(s) or suggestion(s) to : "" by Monday, Nov. 9th -- the best ones will be answered by JC at the PGL event. Since the event will be covered via live Webcast, you can see Carmack respond to your email even if you're sitting at your PC 3,000 miles away!

Be sure the Subject of your email reads "Carmack Question/Suggestion" and include your full real name and preferred screen name, so we can credit you 'on the air' !

Whole Experience Interview  [12:30 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme interviews the Whole Experience team about their upcoming 3D first-person shooter.

Pimpage  [12:30 PM EST]
PC Accelerator is running a poll on the main page asking what sites you frequent (other than theirs), and since this site is listed as one of the options it seems like a good idea to try and shake out the vote to make sure I don't get crushed too badly in there (thanks Marvin Daniels). It's all good either way, all the choices offered are worth a vote. Also, do I have to come right out and ask for votes in the WorldCharts Foundation poll? I guess I just did, huh? Thanks for your support (PQ is breathing down my neck for crying out loud!).

Quake III Arena First Look  [5:10 AM EST]
A few of us got to stop by id to check out the progress on Quake III Arena this weekend, and I managed to summarize my impressions in this Blue's News First Look at Quake III Arena. Redwood's impressions of Q3A are up as well (not surprisingly we cover many, but not all, of the same bases).

CliffyB Interview Part II  [5:10 AM EST]
Part two of Action Xtreme's interview with Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski, talks about level design, Unreal, and cat scanning, with part three promised tomorrow.

Zor and Peace  [5:10 AM EST]
There's an interview with Berenger "Zor" Fish up on Ritualistic talking to the level designer about his new job at Ritual, as well as his old one at Rogue.

Tribes Interview Today  [5:10 AM EST]
Schnoz's Starsiege Universe sends word of an online interview with Dave Moore, a programmer on Dynamix's upcoming Starsiege Tribes today:

In a continuing series entitled "Meet the Dev Team", Dave Moore, a programmer for Tribes, will subject himself to a series of questions fired at him by us, the players (or rather, soon to be). Look for Dave today (Wednesday) on the #tribes channel on Undernet on IRC. It starts at 5pm PST/8pm EST.

FRAG2 Reports  [5:10 AM EST]
Stepto.Com visits the Frag2 offers StepTo's pictures and accounts of the event. Also, loonyboi's Frag 2 Diary (part 2) is up (here's part one).

Quake II Max Plug-in  [5:10 AM EST]
The first version of QTiP, The Quake II Transport Plugin for 3D Studio Max, is now available, promising an easier way to make models for Quake II.

Barrage Review  [5:10 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault Reviews Barrage looking at Mango Grits' flying shooter, comparing it more to games like Terminal Velocity than to Incoming.

NT Vortex Drivers  [5:10 AM EST]
Aureal A3D Interactive Drivers has new version 1.16 Vortex Windows NT 4.0 drivers. Thanks Gary7.

Out of the Blue  [5:10 AM EST]
Sneaked a Lou Reed quote in here yesterday (kudos to David Parke for getting it).

Tuesday, November 3, 1998

Quake III Arena Impressions  [11:58 PM EST]
Redwood has posted his impressions of seeing Quake III Arena up at id this weekend. Since I'm almost through writing and editing my own impressions of the same, I'm not going to read Red's piece until I'm done to avoid being influenced. I'll post my impressions in a bit.

SBLive! NT Drivers  [10:51 PM EST]
There are new Windows NT drivers on the Sound Blaster Live! page (NT drivers were posted the other day and then pulled). Thanks 3DFiles.Com.

Sin in Stores?  [10:26 PM EST]
I've received several emails from readers in the US saying they've found Sin available in their local Software stores. It seems surprisingly early, but it's possible the game is out in some areas already.

Trespasser Interview, Patch Plans  [10:26 PM EST]
There's an interview with Brady Bell of Dreamworks Interactive on talking about Trespasser focusing mostly on topics like negative reviews and steep system requirements. Here's the answer to the question of whether a patch is in the works:

Yes. We'll have an executable patch out in about two weeks. We've tightened up the jumping, sped the player-character up a bit, fixed some cheats, make the keypads easier to use.. stuff like that. After that, we'll look at doing a data patch to address tightening up combat in some areas, updated audio collisions, plant floating objects, etc.

Werewolf Update  [10:26 PM EST]
On the occasion of the full moon, the Werewolf The Apocalypse page has a new monthly update, offering Developer Biographies, Concept Art, and Desktop Art.

Half-Life Sneak Peek  [8:28 PM EST]
GameCenter's Sneak Peek at Half-Life is up offering new screenshots and some exclusive info about the weapons in Valve's upcoming shooter as well as some details on multiplayer play.

Heretic II Voodoo2 Performance  [8:28 PM EST]
Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with a performance tip for Voodoo2 users with the Heretic II Demo:

Performance Tip for Heretic2!

If you have a VooDoo2 card, try setting gl_ext_palettedtexture to 0 Make sure you either do this on the command line prior to startup or do a vid_restart right afterwards. You may see a performance  increase of 50%

This should be automatically detected in the final version.

Spec Ops RTB Patches  [8:28 PM EST]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends word of new patches on Zombie's Spec Ops Ranger Team Bravo FTP directory.

ParseIt  [8:28 PM EST]
An updated version 1.2 of ParseIt is available, adding the ability to process massive log files to this Quake II log analyzer, as well as a speed boost.

3D Mark Results  [8:28 PM EST] has posted user submissions of results using 3D Mark 99, listing the Top 20 3DMark Scores for 640 x 480, 16 bit color and Top 20 3DMark Scores for 800 x 600, 16 bit color.

New 3DBlaster Banshee Drivers - Pure3D II Delays  [8:28 PM EST]
The Creative Tech Lab Drivers page has new Windows 95/98 drivers for the 3D Blaster Banshee. Thanks PhreakE from Voodoo Extreme. Also, word on Purified 3D is that the Glide 3.0/DirectX 6.0 drivers for the Pure3D II/Pure3D II LX will be delayed a few more weeks.

Worldcraft FGD Wizard  [8:28 PM EST] has a program called FGD++ which is a wizard that allows mod authors to easily create FGDs for use with Worldcraft without requiring knowledge of the FGD format.

Quake II RamBot  [6:13 PM EST]
Version 0.48 of the RamBot for Quake II is available on RamBot's Pit. The latest release of this artificial deathmatch opponent offers speed improvements, improved wandering, better weapon selection, and more.

Updated Mouse Rate Checker  [6:13 PM EST]
Oliver Tscherwitschke sent along an updated version 1.1a of his program to check the sampling rate of a PS/2 mouse (7 KB), which adds a function to tell your average sample rate. I've added this to the quickie mouse resources page I put up today, along with a couple of other things that came in since it went up: some new links, and a guide to the care and feeding of a precise mousing surface.

Rainbow Six Randomizer  [5:30 PM EST]
A new version 1.7 of Warchest For Rainbow 6, the mission randomizer program, is available. The update is described as adding several new features, as well as some bug fixes.

Q2Config  [5:30 PM EST]
Version 1.0.1 of Q2Config is out adding some features and fixing some bugs in this Quake II front-end.

PGL Interview  [5:30 PM EST]
Stepto.Com talks to Garth Chouteau interviewing  the Press Manager for the PGL touching on subjects like Cheating, T.E.N., and the CPL.

Intro to LithTech  [5:30 PM EST]
An Introduction to the Lithtech Engine is the first in a series of mod tutorials/discussions for Shogo on  PlanetShogo.

TR3 Preview  [5:30 PM EST]
OGR previews Tomb Raider 3. Thanks Redwood.

Mouse Resource Page  [11:03 AM EST]
I received a tip on how to get the Windows NT mouse sampling fix to work for IntelliMouse users who were having a problem, so I put together a quickie mouse resources page to consolidate the files and info from the sampling issue, and to provide links to other mouse resources. The tip on WinNT sampling with the IntelliMouse is there, and other mouse wisdom is welcome, as are corrections.

John Carmack on Q3A Architecture  [6:38 AM EST]
John Carmack's .plan has an update on what he describes as the most significant portion of his talk at the FRAG2. The update is huge, here's an excerpt on how the issues he's discussing impact code portability and potential for cheating:

Related both issues is client side cheating. Certain cheats are easy to do if you can hack the code, so the server will need to verify which code the client is running. With multiple ported versions, it wouldn't be possible to do any binary verification.

If we were willing to wed ourselves completely to the windows platform, we might have pushed ahead with some attempt at binary verification of dlls, but I ruled that option out. I want QuakeArena running on every platform that has hardware accelerated OpenGL and an internet connection.

The only real solution to these problems is to use an interpreted language like Quake 1 did. I have reached the conclusion that the benefits of a standard language outweigh the benefits of a custom language for our purposes. I would not go back and extend QC, because tThat stretches the effort from simply system and interpreter design to include language design, and there is already plenty to do.

I had been working under the assumption that Java was the right way to go, but recently I reached a better conclusion.

The programming language for QuakeArena mods is interpreted ANSI C. (well, I am dropping the double data type, but otherwise it should be pretty conformant)


The tools necessary for building mods will all be freely available: a modified version of LCC and a new program called q3asm. LCC is a wonderful project -- a cross platform, cross compiling ANSI C compiler done in under 20K lines of code. Anyone interested in compilers should pick up a copy of "A retargetable C compiler: design and implementation" by Fraser and Hanson.


The drawback is performance. It will probably perform somewhat like QC. Most of the heavy lifting is still done in the builtin functions for path tracing and world sampling, but you could still hurt yourself by looping over tons of objects every frame. Yes, this does mean more load on servers, but I am making some improvements in other parts that I hope will balance things to about the way Q2 was on previous generation hardware.

There is also the amusing avenue of writing hand tuned virtual assembly assembly language for critical functions...

I think this is The Right Thing.

John Carmack's Talk on Shooters  [6:38 AM EST]
On this week's Shooters we will air a video presentation of the talk John Carmack gave at the FRAG2 about Quake III Arena and related topics. The presentation will be uncut, with part two of the talk to air the following week. The show will air this Thursday at 7:00 PM Eastern time, and in the archive thereafter. After the two part Carmack talk, on November 19 our guest will be id Software's Paul Steed, and we will also post the RealPlayer video of the talk he gave at the FRAG2 on the models in Quake III Arena (see next story for more on that).

More on Carmack & Steed's FRAG2 Talks  [6:38 AM EST]
On the same subjects, LinuxGames has a post up talking about the platform independence for mods in Quake III Arena based on some of John Carmack's comments at the FRAG2 (like the .plan update above). Also, The Q2PMP has a report from the FRAG2 about the models in Quake III Arena from Paul Steed's talk, going over the portions where he discusses how the models are actually built as well as a lot of general player model info.

Newer Blood2 Demo & Shogo Patch Soon  [6:38 AM EST]
A multiplayer Blood2 demo, a newer version of the single player Blood2 demo to offer some speed and feel improvements over the original, as well as a newer Alpha Shogo patch are all in the works over at Monolith high command (thanks Apache at Monolith's Brian Goble's .plan has an update on these subjects, mentioning the Blood2 update may be available as a patch, rather than a full download, and will be out "a few days after the full version officially goes gold. :)," which he says could be "any hour now!" Monolith CEO Jason Hall's .plan also has word on the optimizations recently added to Blood2, and the updated demo, and also addresses the potential for anger at a second large download. Finally, Blood2 project leader Jay "Shade" Wilson updated his .plan with more on all of this. Shade's update is huge, giving word on where to send bug reports (, and addressing some of the concerns he's received, touching on Speed, Mouselook, Mouse Sensitivity, Crash bugs, Limb Loss (lack thereof), Blood (not enough), and The levels are "too techie." Here's the conclusion where he talks about what's in the works:

***New, Improved, Blood 2 Demo***

Yes, we will be releasing a new and improved Blood 2 demo, mainly so people can see the speed improvements. The details are undecided at this point, but we will probably release it shortly after the game goes gold.

***Multiplayer Demo***

For those who only play multiplayer, yes, we will be releasing a multiplayer demo. We won't release it until we get the updated net code that Shogo is testing out and integrate it into B2's code, which will be the Blood 2 point release, which should arrive in late November, early December at the latest.

***Blood 2 Final***

No, we haven't gone gold yet, but we are very close. We've frozen all content and are trying to work out the last of the bugs. That's all I'll say for now. :)

NT PS/2 Mouse Rate Revisited  [6:38 AM EST]
A follow-up on the post from yesterday about a fix that allows you to set a PS/2 mouse under Windows NT to a higher sampling rate, I've received a couple of letters confirming that this does work, though g1zm0 sends a warning to have NT4 SP4 installed, or you risk a B.S.O.D. (Blue Screen O' Death) at startup. To recap, this replacement system file for NT (31 KB) by Espen Blikstad should allow the changes made with the WinNT PS/2 Mouse Rate adjuster to take effect, which can be verified using the Mouse Rate Checker utility. Squeak!

New Qizmo  [6:38 AM EST]
A new version 2.51 of Qizmo is available, fixing some bugs in this shareware QuakeWorld proxy program, and adding support for dynamic IP's and versions of the QWCL hacked with the polyblend hack.

3D Realms Diary  [6:38 AM EST]
A Weekend To Remember is an article by 3D Portal's Chris Day recapping his FRAG2 experience, recounting a visit to 3DRealms to check on the progress of Duke Nukem forever.

Cliff B Interview  [6:38 AM EST]
Part one of Action Xtreme's interview with Cliff Bleszinski is up talking to the Epic designer on a wide variety of topics.

id Demo Analyzer  [6:38 AM EST]
The Demo Analysis Homepage has a new version 0.99 of the id Demo Analyzer (IDDA), which outputs stats from demos recorded in Quake, Quake II and QuakeWorld.

On Video Violence  [6:38 AM EST]
Does shoot-'em-up software lead to aggressive behavior? is an article on CNN that suggests offering your children Myst and Riven as computer game alternatives (I'd sooner have 'em watch Barney). Thanks DBC. ("These are the days of video violence...")

sCary Future  [6:38 AM EST]
Congrats to sCary, who has announced he will be joining the gaming startup being founded by Charlie Brown, Gary McTaggart, Jack "morbid" Mathews, and Mike "giggler" Wardwell shortly to be their project manager.

Scary Billy  [6:38 AM EST]
3DGN The Pimping Hour profiles Billy (or Willy as they call him) from Voodoo Extreme.

Mail's In  [6:38 AM EST]
This week's better late than never edition of the MailBag is up, offering reader responses on such topics as Unreal bashing, camping in France, a cry for coop, system requirements, and by far the most entertaining chapter in the endless FPS thread.

Out of the Blue  [6:38 AM EST]
Image of the day part one is a retouched photo of John Romero being skewered by Hiro Polishmoto at the FRAG2. So far no websites have posted news stories of the Romero's death based on the photo. I.O.D. part two is a cool Duke Nukem render from this page that also offers a couple of other beauties (thanks Videotron).

Monday, November 2, 1998

Trespasser Demo  [10:25 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault PC Release List has the playable demo of Dreamworks Interactive's Trespasser as a 30 MB download. Thanks Sven Viking at Atomic Half-Life.

Heavy Gear II Demo Delay  [10:25 PM EST]
Activision's Heavy Gear II page has word of the delay on the release demo previously promised for this evening. Thanks spyderbilt. Here's the news:

Demo status update: the Heavy Gear II team are currently putting the final polish on the demo. . .there are still a few finishing touches we'd like to improve before it releases, and so we'll be holding onto it a little while longer. Our apologies for the delay to those who have waited, and thanks to everyone for being patient - we think you'll ultimately be glad we held onto it, because the end result will be that much better. The demo has been getting some of the best scores from beta testers we've seen here at Activision - we think the end result deserves to be as good as we can make it!

The "Gear Pilot Recruitment Week" prize giveaway dates have likewise been shifted back a few days, to give everyone more time to enter. Please refer to the contest page for the new dates of the giveaways, and for details on how to enter via e-registration.

Thanks everyone for your patience, and please check back later this week!

Half-Life Box Art  [10:25 PM EST]
HalfLife.Org has posted scans of the box art from Half-Life.

Unreal 219  [7:19 PM EST]
Tim Sweeney's Unreal Technology page has been updated with news of Unreal 219. Thanks Randy Perry. Here's a local copy (2.1 MB) on GamesNET FTP. Here's the scoop:

It's now available for download HERE. The Epic Deathmatch servers will be shut down for the night, to provide more bandwidth for downloads.

The testing is going well

Ok, ok, you can stop now, that's enough testers. :) Server performance has definitely improved since I last benchmarked it. My dual-processor Pentium II-300 is serving a 20-player game, copying 600 megs across the network, and running a 3dfx Unreal client at 800x600. The server is keeping up a steady 15 fps. I have more optimizations planned, though.

On my 28.8K connection, gameplay has remained pretty smooth until I get into a firefight with 5-6 people, at which point the movement of other players starts to become unsmooth. We should be able to improve this significantly further in 200, with two protocol improvements. First, I'll be improving the scheme for managing temporary objects like projectiles, which should reduce their bandwidth usage by aroune 30%. Second, Steve Polge and I working out a new variable priority predictor/corrector scheme for transmitting the movement of other players.

Testing 219

I have an Unreal 219 server up and running at unreal:// in case a few people want to help test. You can join in and play with 218; it's fully compatible. 219 should be available soon, unless new bugs are discovered.

Disruptor Interview  [5:02 PM EST]
There's a short interview with id Software's Christian "Disruptor" Antkow up on Pels Interactive, in a cool finish the sentence format.

This Week in loonygames  [5:02 PM EST]
Here's the schedule for postings on this week's issue 11 of loonygames:

Fall(?) Previews  [5:02 PM EST]
GameCenter's Fall Harvest offers previews of what they call the ten most highly anticipated titles of Fall, oddly picking Daikatana (not due until early 1999) as one of the ten, while omitting Sin, which just went gold. Thanks Valeyard.

Roger Wilco  [4:01 PM EST]
Roger Wilco is a new program to allow four-way real-time voice communication in computer games if you have a supported full-duplex sound card. The sound quality described as the equivalent of a CB radio, and the program takes up so little bandwidth they say you can even use it with a 28.8 modem. I haven't tried it myself, but have a report from my bro RedAnt that it worked on his 56K modem connection just fine. Thanks RedAnt and Andrew Smith for word on this. The program is in beta, so you must supply your email to register, and they say a version that supports ten players at once is in the works. Here's the poop from their page:

Roger Wilco is a stand-alone application that allows you and your friends to talk to each other while playing multiplayer online games. It works with most existing games such as Quake II, DIABLO, and StarCraft, and does not require subscriptions or dedicated servers. Indeed, it works with 28.8K modems, because thats what a lot of people have! It seems to be part of the game, and lets you talk to friends and enemies instead of typing messages.

PS/2 Mouse Sampling on NT Fix?  [1:16 PM EST]
Although there's a registry setting in Windows NT for mouse sampling rate, experimentation with the Mouse Rate Checker seems to indicate that adjusting it manually, or with the PS2 Mouse Rate NT utility, does not actually change the rate at which your PS/2 mouse samples (the Win95/98 version works fine). Now Espen Blikstad sends along a replacement system file for NT (31 KB) that he says will allow rate changing on PS/2 mice under NT (caution - this is untested by me). Here's the explanation:

I have built a new version of i8042prt.sys for Windows NT which uses the SampleRate value in the registry. With this update it is possible to use the PS2RATE utility to adjust the samplerate.

Sin at the FRAG2  [1:16 PM EST]
There's an article recounting the Sin talk at The Frag 2 up on Ritualistic.

RiX FRAG2 Champ  [1:16 PM EST]
Doh. I forgot to mention the outcome of the FRAG2 Quake II tourney, which crowned Dan "RiX" Hammans the winner after he beat Makaveli 8-5 in the finals. Here's a local demo of the final match (1.1 MB) snagged from the Cyberathlete Professional League page. Here are the final standings:

FRAG 2 Winners:
1. RiX
2. Makaveli
3. Immortal
4. Resonance
5. Unholy
6. Leprechaun

ServerConfigMOD  [1:16 PM EST]
A new version of ServerConfigMOD for Quake II is now available. The new release offers ZBot detection, notification, logging and automatic booting along other new features like server throttling, dynamic name banning, player connect/disconnect logging, cloaking options, and more. A Linux version is promised soon.

John Romero Interview  [11:58 AM EST]
Action Xtreme interviews John Romero in part two of a short conversation about his career in gaming.

QW LAN Master Server  [11:58 AM EST]
An updated version of the QuakeWorld Master Browser, which acts as a Master Server in an Intranet or LAN is now available. The new release no longer is restricted on the Intranet IP addresses used.

ParseIt  [11:58 AM EST]
The first version of ParseIt is now available. ParseIt is a log parser that produces deathmatch statistics for a variety of games, including Quake, Quake II, and the Sin Demo.

Euro Skin Pack  [11:58 AM EST]
The Strange Creeping Souls clan has released a new Quake II skin pack of European clan skins (around 10 MB worth) on this page.

KHG Review  [11:58 AM EST]
3DGaming.Net's Klingon Honor Guard Review is online, taking a look at MicroProse's Unreal-engine game set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe.

3D Blaster PCI Drivers  [11:58 AM EST]
Creative Lab's FTP site has new Windows 95/98 drivers for the 3D Blaster PCI. Thanks BetaNews. The updated drivers enable multiple monitor support under Windows 98.

Sound Off  [11:58 AM EST]
Sound Off at HARDgame.Com is a new offshoot of their Group Therapy section where they excerpt and summarize some of the rumblings from USENET's hardware newsgroups to give a sense of the topics creating the most buzz. The new section, as suggested by the name, deals with the latest in the growing field of sound hardware, concentrating mostly on speaker and PCI sound card choices.

Mod List - Weapons Factory Interview  [11:58 AM EST]
Sluggo's Mod Central has a Monday Morning Interview up with Gregg Reno of Weapons Factory Software talking about their mod. Also new on M.C. is The Index, the first pass at a comprehensive database of modification projects.

3D WinBench 99  [4:55 AM EST]
3D WinBench home page has the release of 3D WinBench 99, described as a program that "measures the performance of a PC's 3D subsystem, which includes the Direct3D software, the monitor, the graphics adapter, the graphics driver, and the bus used to carry information from the graphics adapter to and from the processor subsystem." The program does not work for Windows NT, and checks in at over 70 MB(!). Thanks Voodoo Extreme. Also on the ZDNet showroom for the new model year is Audio WinBench 99, offering a benchmarks to "measure CPU usage, hardware voices, 3D positioning, and more."

More Heretic II Console Commands  [4:55 AM EST]
Overlord's been working overtime on his listing of Heretic II Console Commands, presented here in all its increasing comprehensive glory.

Half-Life Level Five Page  [3:22 AM EST]
RadioActive Software has opened up their Half-Life Level 5 page giving a brief outline of the add-on's plot for solo play, and word on their plans for a teamplay mod called Frag the Scientist:

Frag the Scientist- Oh sure, playing against opponents that shoot back is great, but what about fragging scientists?!

In this game, players are divided into two teams: Soldiers and Scientists.

The soldiers goal is to waste the scientists in the level, while the scientists goal is to make a break for the exits, and get out of the area.

Sounds easy, right? The scientists are fodder, and the Soldiers will eat them alive...unless the scientists get the HEV suits on. Then it's assbeating time.

Gore Screenshots  [3:22 AM EST]
The 4D Rulers page has two new screenshots of their upcoming shooter, Gore. The shots show off a graveyard level (a Halloween theme) in software rendering mode.

Heretic II Demo Date Dealie  [3:22 AM EST]
Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with a reminder that the first version of the Heretic II demo had an expiration feature, so if you are now receiving Unauthorized Access problems when running the demo you need to download and install the patch that will fix this.

John Carmack's FRAG2 Talk  [3:22 AM EST]
If you're wondering where coverage of John Carmack's FRAG2 talk is, the ace Pseudo crew filmed the event, so rather than risking me messing up anything in the translation, in a couple of days there will be a RealPlayer version up to view for yourself.

QuakeWorld Polyblend Patch  [3:22 AM EST]
Suami's Site has a patch up for QuakeWorld 2.30 created by kenzeh called the Software QuakeWorld Polyblend Remover. This performs the same function as the gl_polyblend switch in GL Quake, which allows you to turn off the murky wavy water.

Wrath  [3:22 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Wrath glimpse has some screenshots of a game Sharky calls a cross between Quake and Tomb Raider (the hero looks like Elvis to me).

Trespasser Review  [3:22 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault Reviews Trespasser giving the Lost World dinosaur adventure but two stars (out of five).

Conversions Forums  [3:22 AM EST]
The Forum Centre on Conversions.Net has some new messageboards up to promote the exchange of information on conversions, technical help, as well as help wanted and offered ads. I'm sure it will be fixed soon, but as of this writing, the link to the forums on their menu is broken, but the forums can be reached here.

Competitions  [3:22 AM EST]
Quake Invitational League (QIL2 The Second Coming) is getting underway, they have an area where you can vote on what clans you feel should be invited to this four-on-four invite-only QuakeWorld competition. Also, The Online Gaming League has added a high-ping division to its female Quake II one-on-one ladder.

Dragon 3000  [3:22 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Gainward Dragon 3000 review takes a look at a bargain-priced 12 MB Voodoo2 card from a large Taiwanese manufacturer that is not very well known in western markets.

Out of the Blue  [3:22 AM EST]
Apparently Doom featured somehow in last night's Chips '99 special (a Ponch versus John deathmatch perhaps?). Thanks Aunt Beru...A new version of Voodoo Lights is out (though not a lot has changed), thanks Billy...I'm quite flattered to be the subject of an article in The Mushroom, a truly inspired game news parody site (adult content), based on The Onion. The article asks "What happens when we replace Blue's preffered [sic] drink, BAWLS, with Pepsi One?" The results they describe are a pretty accurate description of the likely outcome of such an occurrence. Thanks Jon Blow...Yesterday's quote game: SpaceBalls, a chip shot, but topical and fun, which are the key factors.

Sunday, November 1, 1998

Half-Life Add-on  [11:42 AM EST]
RadioActive Software has quietly announced they are working on a Half-Life add-on. There aren't a lot of details available yet, but there's a brief outline in this press release I found on VE:

Bloomington, Indiana- RadioActive Software is proud to announce this Halloween, that we have begun work on a Half-Life expansion, tentatively titled "Half Life: Level 5".

In Level 5, you play Sara Wilson, a British-born Pathogen/Toxin expert, trained by the U.S. army to contain and identify possible threats to soldiers.

Level five begins at nearly the same time that Half-Life does, presenting a different take on the various events that occur. However, Level Five will feature new levels and possibly new enemies as well.

Half Life: Level Five is being developed by RadioActive Software, a software developer based in Bloomington, Indiana. RAS is also busy on it's first original game, Conflict.

Valve Interview  [11:42 AM EST]
There's an interview with Valve's Harry Teasley on PC Arena talking about Half-Life.

Seed  [11:42 AM EST]
The Seed Home Page offers some new info on their upcoming third-person 3D shooter that uses a first-person perspective, but tries to maintain the control feel of console games by making your full body visible (no word on placement of the health meter).

FRAG2 Coverage  [11:42 AM EST]
Here's Avault's Live FRAG2 Coverage, here's Frag dot Com FRAG2 Coverage. Today's finalists in the Quake II Tourney are RiX and Makaveli.

BattleField Communicator  [11:42 AM EST]
The non-beta release of Battlefield Communicator, the game-independent real-time voice communication add-on is scheduled for tonight at 11:59 PM Eastern time. A shareware version of the program will be available that works for 15 minute periods.

QW Master Server Browser  [11:42 AM EST]
The QuakeWorld Master Browser is available, for Intranet use. Though the author says "I guess there is not really much to explain," let's indulge in a little explaining anyway:

This program is a QuakeWorld Master Browser for intranet use only. I guess there is not really much to explain, just configure your QW server to register and send a heartbeat to the master browser. (e.g. "setmaster") You can use GameSpy to get a list of all registered servers. Please read the GameSpy documentation how you should add a new master browser.

Currently, this version is restricted to, so you can only use this program on your intranet. If you want to use other intranet numbers, just let me know, and I will add them.

Rail Only Pak  [11:42 AM EST]
The Railbalooza Project has a pak of multiplayer maps designed for RailGun only fights.

RA2 Tourney  [11:42 AM EST]
The War Zone League is a new competition that currently supports Rocket Arena 2, Capture the Flag, and Quake 2 Deathmatch, with plans to add more mods in the future.

MaxiGamer Drivers  [11:42 AM EST]
The Maxi drivers and demos page has new Windows 95/98 drivers for the Banshee-based Maxi Gamer Phoenix (both AGP and PCI ). Thanks banshee.

On Rendering  [11:42 AM EST]
Software vs Hardware Rendering and the Future of both is a new article up on AnandTech that discusses, well, Software vs Hardware Rendering and the Future of both. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Out of the Blue  [11:42 AM EST]
Image of the day is me getting my just deserts from Hiro Polishmoto ("I see your schwartz is as big as mine."). I actually made it past the first round in that All-Star Doom tourney, but managed to take my two losses in the double-elim dealie in a royal manbeating from DuvalMagic from RBR and John Romero, ironic since I threatened to practice to regain lost skill and crush him this year (as I said before, my mouth wrote a check that my mouse couldn't cash). That certainly wasn't for lack of support: I actually broke down laughing in the middle of the match a couple of times as the small crowd started chanting BLUE! BLUE! BLUE! (try and maintain your composure while that's going on). Even a rooting section didn't help. Last year: 50-22 on Map07, this year 50-24 on Map01. No promises about practicing for next year, John (but don't rule it out either). John seems a bit dubious about my return challenge to him in Rocket Arena 2. I forgot to mention the oddball Max Smart reference someone actually caught the other day (wow!). I'll be heading back to the BlueTower sometime this evening, it's possible that the next update will be after midnight. Oh, yeah (to finish an amazingly self-indulgent OotB), Happy Birthday Mama Blue.

Saturday, October 31, 1998       Boo! Happy Halloween!

Sin Gold Contest  [1:03 PM EST]
Ritualistic, Rituual, and Activision are holding a giveaway on the occasion of Sin going gold (story), offering a couple of jumbo Sin display boxes autographed by the entire development team at Ritual.

Heretic II DM Map  [1:03 PM EST] has posted DMSKELTER, the first user-created DM map  for the Heretic II Demo.

LithTech FAQ  [1:03 PM EST]
The LithTech FAQ on Voodoo Extreme has been updated with some more info on the occasion of the Blood2 demo release. There's also a there is a print friendly version. Word in a couple of emails I've received says some of the cheat codes for Blood2 are tghe same as those for Shogo.

Genesis 3D Front-end  [1:03 PM EST]
Genetic 1 Entertainment page has specifications on the "ATLANTIS" engine, A VB 6.0 Interface for The Genesis3D engine that supports all G3D functions.

Blood 2 Demo  [4:55 AM EST]
As promised, the playable Blood 2 demo is out. This demo of Monolith's upcoming horror-oriented LithTech shooter is single player only, offering two large maps. A full list of mirrors for the demo is up on the Blood 2 The Chosen page, and here's a local copy of the Blood2 Demo (36 MB) on GamesNET FTP. Brian Goble updated his .plan prior to the release with a Blood2/Shogo update:

The demo is another hefty one...weighing in at a gory 36 Meg. It's got 2 levels, 6 weapons, some good baddies, and even a few cheat codes--but I'm not telling what they are... :)

The full version of Blood2 is oh-so-close to being done and it is looking really good...the in-game cinematics are awesome! Being able to play any one of The Chosen characters is really cool too.

After Blood2 ships, I'll take a quick break and then add all of the new Shogo multiplayer options into the wizards. Mike and I are hoping to add some cool new connection features too.

Half-Life Gold by Tomorrow?  [4:55 AM EST]
A blurb on Next-Generation Online titled Half-Life's Golden Promise quotes a Sierra spokesman as saying Half-Life will go gold by tomorrow, and will be in stores by Thanksgiving weekend, (November 28-29), as well as word on a pre-order t-shirt dealie. Thanks Brandon Suzuki.

Shogo Sound Fix  [4:55 AM EST]
Monolith's Jeremy Blackman updated his .plan with word of a sound bug in the Shogo alpha patch, that may require this replacement sound .dll (100 KB), up in a local copy as per Jeremy's suggestion. Here's the poop:

There was a bug in the Shogo alpha patch involving the SoftSnd.dll sound module. If you have been unable to initialize sound, snag the replacement from:

Be warned; that's my personal machine and a) I've put limits on the FTP load, and b) if it gets pounded into the ground under downloads, I'll be highly annoyed. :)

Hopefully it'll be mirrored to Blues and Planetshogo and whatnot soon. :)

Starsiege Movie  [4:55 AM EST]
GameSpot's Starsiege Download page has a new 3 minute trailer for Dynamix's upcoming Starsiege (the related, yet different Starsiege Tribes is one of the titles on display down here at the FRAG2). The AVI format movie is available in 8.0 MB, 12.2 MB, and 24.6 MB sizes.Schnoz's Starsiege Universe Site.

Giants Interview  [4:55 AM EST]
GameCenter's Sneak Peek at Giants offers a conversation with Nick Bruty, president of Planet Moon Studios about this upcoming action game that believes size matters.

Aerotic Software  [4:55 AM EST]
Aerotic Software's Homepage is now online. A.S. is developing a commercial add-on for Half-Life as well as working on Encomium, described as a next-generation 3D engine, that will be used in several upcoming games.

Editing Quake Levels for Sin  [4:55 AM EST]
An update to The Node offers what's described as a "crude but effective" technique for loading Quake and Quake II maps into SinED.

Expert Quake 3.0  [4:55 AM EST]
Expert Quake version 3.0 is now available. New features supported in the new version are Vwep, Observers w/chasecam, Ammo regeneration option, New pogo, Carrier kill bonus (proportional to time carrier has survived), New alternate restore system, New powerups with new effects, Enhanced obituary system, Gibstats support including Capture the Flag scoring, Floodprot, ZBot detection, Entity map loading for playing on single player and DM levels, Level scripting enhancements, Individual weapon removal, and a Game pause feature for admins. There are also some feature tweaks and bug fixes.

Out of the Blue  [4:55 AM EST]
Yesterday's double quote: Raising Arizona and, in honor of the season, SCTV's Count Floyd (thanks Randy Perry for the photo, we'll call that the image of the day). It's hard to believe this is the same Dallas I visited a couple of months ago, it's less than 100 degrees, and you can actually walk without stepping on crickets. The layout here at the FRAG2 is amazing, I'm eager to hear some estimates on the number of attendees and computers... I would have to say it's easily ass much as a boatload... easily the largest such event I've ever seen.

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