Archived News:

Thursday, Apr 22, 1999 Happy Earth Day

Anachronox Preview

Watching Anachronox is the name of a new Anachronox preview over at GameSpot. The preview has a bunch of new images (after a couple of old ones...trust me, they're there) and a description of the battle sequences. Here's the dirt on those:
The battle sequences appear similar in style to Square's Final Fantasy VII and Chrono Trigger, but instead of transporting the characters into another setting, the fight stays in the normal environment. The attack menu is currently icon based and rotates around the character when called up.

Starsiege GameGuide

GameSpot has posted a GameGuide for Dynamix' mech title Starsiege that covers the title's single player and multiplayer scenarios, and even has some general non-spoiler tips for those of you who just want a teeny bit of help.

His Lordship

Two bits of Levelord related well...lunacy for you today: first up, there's an interview with his 'lo-ness over at The Hive, with some thoughts on the recent mission pack Wages of Sin, and a heartfelt confession about his first love: programming? If you're looking for something a bit more...visceral, Hexagon sends word that Ritualistic has released a 2-6 player Sin DM level by the 'lord. Here's the details, straight from the creator's mouth:

For my favorite webpage Ritualistic.com, here is my latest SiN deathmatch level called "Keefer" (still think about `cha, Marge;). It is a small level and it was first published by one of my favorite game magazines, PC Games, in their April 1999 issue. It is with gratious permission that it is being made public now ;)

Deep Space Nine Preview

Trekkies rejoice! Computer Games Online has a preview of the Unreal engine Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, showing the first (to the best of my knowledge at least) look at this third-person game developed by The Collective. Move aside Lara, this game lets you play as either Sisko, Worf, or Kira. Ooh yeah.

Mail Bag

Due to the overwhelming number of letters we've gotten about the Colorado shootings, I've slapped up a special edition of our Mail Bag for your reading pleasure, with your feedback. Head over there and check out what your fellow Blue's readers have to say about it.

Killer Tank Demo

ElectroTECH's FTP directory has the new playable Killer Tank Demo (as four files: KTApr99.exe, KTApr99.r00 - KTApr99.r02). Here's the deal on KT, according to ElectroTECH:

'Killer Tank' is a fast and furious 'gore and fun' 3D-accelerated game featuring destructive tank action in a number of diverse photorealistic environments. The title is developed by ElectroTECH's 'Alter Ego' team since September '98, and is due to release end-Q3 '99 by a yet unnamed publisher. The first technological demo of 'Killer Tank' spread over WWW in December '98 enjoyed a very warm welcome from the web gaming community. It had but the only major fault, though excusable for that early stage of development, namely the lack of real gameplay challenge. The current work progress demo is set to improve this. Some basic modules of the program - enemies' AI and pathfinding, physics and destruction effects, Direct 3D and EAX support - are still in works. So, this is NOT an official pre-release demo, and should not be taken as such. Our only aim at this pre-Alpha stage is to show a bit of gameplay as it is conceived in the final version. Download the demo and enjoy. Your comments are appreciated (please address to: nataly@electrotech.ru, cc: landa@electrotech.ru).

ftp.home.electrotech.ru/users/eltech Files: KTApr99.exe, KTApr99.r00 - KTApr99.r02 (self-extracting archive in 4 parts) The new demo features one single-player mission, one new weapons, new enemies, and some nice visual effects. System requirements: P-200 MMX or higher, 32 Mb RAM, ca. 50 Mb HD space, Sound, Mouse, Windows '95, Windows'98, NT. Important! The program requires a 3dfx-compatible card: Voodoo 1-2, or Banshee. It is not tested on Voodoo 3 yet, but most probably it will work OK. Riva, ATI, Matrox, S3 and other Direct 3D boards are NOT supported in this version. Aiming modes: You can try two different control types / aiming modes - 'strife' and 'direct'. By entering console command (to change aiming mode during gameplay): 1) press ~ key (tilda, console activation); 2) type 'aimmode 1' or 'aimmode 0'; 3) press Enter.

Gearbox Site

The official Gearbox Software site is online, a haven in cyberspace for the ex-sailors from Rebel Boat Rocker who are now working on the official Half-Life add-on, "Opposing Force." There's also a bit of news there, as their talent page lists Mike "Giggler" Wardwell (recently of Ritual Entertainment), as one of their level designers. Thanks Jobe.

IE Security Fix

Microsoft Patches Bevy of IE Bugs is the name of a piece on News.com (thanks Von) that points out that Microsoft has released a new patch for both Internet Explorer 4 & 5, fixing a number of security flaws. The article also mentions that there's a forthcoming patch that fixes still other security exploits that should be out soon.

Vampire Screens

GA-Source has posted three new screenshots from Nihilistic's upcoming 3rd person RPG slash n' hack dealie, Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption. You may recall that the team working on this has an impressive background, including work on Jedi Knight, Descent, Starcraft and the Quake (1) mission pack: Dissolution of Eternity. "They were nihilists, man...they kept saying they believed in nothing."

Aliens vs. Predator Trailer

Tactic sends word that a trailer for Fox Interactive's Aliens vs. Predator has appeared on the official site. This is the trailer that has been airing in theaters, and he points out that, "this is not the poor quality copy that was filmed in a theater going around but the real deal." Swing by there and snag the 20 meg zipped Quicktime movie.

Quake Toys Update

A special version of the ReSaurus newsletter went out this morning, pointing us Quake toy fans to their updated Quake Toys page. Hop over to the Quake II: Upgrade 1.5 section to check out images of all the new versions of the Quake II toys, which like their predecessors are extremely detailed, and totally badass. In case you missed it, here's a link to yesterday's story regarding the future of the toy line, including ReSaurus' plans for Quake III: Arena toys.

PowerVR Delay Story Untrue

Beyond 3D sends along a quote they obtained from D.Harold from VideoLogic saying the report on the EETimes mentioned here earlier (story) is not accurate. Here is the explanation of the error:

In regard to the EETimes: it is indeed a mistake. An NEC spokesperson in Japan did discuss the PowerVR 250 with them which is the chip on the Neon 250 from VideoLogic which has a shipping date of June. Unfortunately, they then went on to discuss NEC's plans for future PowerVR parts in the second half of this year and the two dates became confused, resulting in the published story.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

Wages of Sin Server & Source

2015's General WarT sends along the version 1.04 server patch (as well as the source code) for their official Sin mission pack, Wages of Sin. Here's a local copy of the patch (789 KB), as well as a local copy of the server source (803 KB), as well as mirrors. Here's the word on the new version:

Here it is, the unawaited, yet still cool WOS 1.04 server patch. This adds some spiffy new things from Sin 1.04 such as reduced weapon latency and client-side death messages, as well as adding a bit of it's own with Message of the Day support for multiplayer servers and the necessary handful of misc. code tweaks.

If that's not spiffy enough for ya, then here's the long awaited WOS 1.04 source code as well. The first time in history that a new game patch is released along with its source code at the same time! :-o I think it might also be the first official add-on patch ever, but I'm not sure on that one.

Sony Wins Another Round Versus Connectix

In the ongoing story about the trials of emulators in the courts, Sony Scores Against Connectix is a Next-Generation Online article announcing that Sony, who had previously been awarded a temporary restraining order against Connectix preventing them from using certain software from developing a Windows version of their PlayStation emulator, has won another round in their legal battle (thanks Hostage). According to the article, a San Francisco Federal District Court has issued a temporary restraining order forcing Connectix to suspend shipments of its PlayStation emulator, Virtual Game Station, currently available for G3 Macs, though the decision apparently does not apply to units that Connectix has already shipped. While fighting this decision, Connectix says it will continue marketing the product already on shelves, while developing improved versions, and continuing to develop the Windows version of VGS.

Raven Interviews

A pair of Raven interviews: There's an interview with Raven's Kenn Hoekstra on Computer Gaming Review talking briefly about Raven's upcoming projects, Soldier of Fortune, Star Trek: Voyager, and their mysterious "third project," as well as stuff like .plan files. Also, there's an interview with Michael Raymond-Judy on Sailor Scouts GC in a lengthier conversation with this Raven level designer about his work.

Cliffy B Q&A

The Hive interviews Cliff Bleszinski briefly talking to the Epic designer about Unreal Tournament and the like.

AM Hardware Bits

  • PVR Delayed Again! NEC delays rollout of 3-D graphics chip is the announcement the "Design glitches will delay NEC Corp.'s introduction of a 3-D graphics processor based on VideoLogic Ltd.'s second-generation PowerVR architecture until late summer, marking the second delay in the chip's production in a year." Thanks Billy "PowerPR" Wilson.
  • Mr. Natural's Hardware page has a new version of the Win98 power users VMM32 driver "fix" that some claim boosts video performance. Thanks DemoNews.
  • The Diamond FireGL1 Review on Fast Graphics looks at this new high-end accelerator from Diamond Multimedia with a 256-bit data bus and dual-CPU support.
  • RIVA 3D has posted some big (1152x864) TNT2 screenshots from Expendable.

IAS News

Something I missed on the Extreme Audio Reality page earlier this month is a new version 1.55 of their Extreme Audio Reality (EAR, get it?) interactive surround sound program. The update is minor, but word is that Aureal A3D users should grab the latest version (since the component now recognizes the 2.05 a3d.dll). Thanks Gareth Davies. I also see details on the page about their plans to create an EAR patch to add surround-sound to WinDoom.

Webdog

The Webdog site now has a page up where gaming websites can apply to be tracked by this desktop app that, well, tracks gaming websites, as well as .plan updates. There's also a version 1.07 update there that fixes a couple of minor things, but they didn't even announce it, so it's obviously pretty minor. Finally, for Webdog (right, not WebDog) fans, there's a Webdog Preview on BetaBites talking to Richard "BagPuss, err Bagpuss" Smith about the project.

Level Of Detail Stuff

Nihilistic's Lead Programmer Rob "Innerloop" Huebner updated his .plan with word on their experiments with continuous level of detail technology, which he describes as "pretty painless," encouraging other developers who haven't taken the LOD plunge yet to do so.

On the Colorado Shootings

It Starts Action Games Blamed for Violence is a Mining Company article that brings together some of the known information about the gaming interests of the alleged shooters in the Colorado school shooting, offering the opportunity to post feedback to their messageboards. Speaking of feedback on this situation, the mail has been pouring in on the subject, so we'll probably compile another special edition of the MailBag with selected responses on this.

Competitions

All you iconoclasts entering the Icon Contest, please make sure you've taken note of the updated rules below. Thanks.
  • Clan League.com is taking sign-ups for Tribes and Jedi Knight Sabers one-on-one leagues, the Clan World Tournament is now accepting registration for their Half-Life three-on-three Tournament, to be held on Saturday May 1, and A TRIBES five-on-five CTF tournament that will be held tomorrow. Also, Clan Ladder.com is running a bunch of ladders in different action games.
  • The results of Shrubfest '98 are up giving the outcome of their Q2CTF season. Ni!
  • Icon Contest: Here are the updated (as of Tuesday) rules to our IE5 Icon Contest: It turns out that the IE5 icon can be 32x32 under some circumstances (blame loony for making me think my original 32x32 posting was wrong), so it causes a bit of a change in the rules. We'll award a prize for both the best 16x16 and the best 32x32 .ico format icon. Entries go to contest@bluesnews.com.

Reviews

Just one this morning: Computer Games Online reviews Wages of Sin.

etc.

  • BioWare's Schedule Gets Busier is a Next-Gen piece talking with BioWare founder Dr Ray Muzyka about the imminent Baldur's Gate add-on "Tales of the Sword Coast," as well as MDK2...
  • The five new companies that will be allowed to register new Internet domains were named yesterday, as expected, AOL was one of them. The whole story is up on News.com. After a test period 29 other registrars will be authorized...
  • The Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications sends word of telecom.eu.org, the homepage of what has become a coordinated European Telecommunications Boycott involving the participation of ten countries planned for June 6...
  • Talking To G.O.D. (the Gathering of developers headlines just write themselves) is a photo-illustrated GameSpot piece profiling g.o.d.'s creators (let the theologians work on that a while) talking about the company's formation...

Out of the Blue

Back on a more normal schedule again here (or normal for the Blue Tower). Got a couple of things cranking along, as I mentioned above, we'll probably post a MailBag later today with reactions to the mentions in the news about the gaming interests of the alleged shooters in the Colorado school tragedy. On a lighter note, Wade Bowmer passes along word there have been some posts that have gone a bit awry of the HTML standard here recently because I forgot to show loonyboi a trick to make sure the yellow quoted text is coded properly, so for those keeping score at home (likely Opera users), can note the change.

Link of the Day: The Earth Day 1999 Website. Hug a tree today.

Wednesday, Apr 21, 1999

Doom on MSNBC

Reports are coming in from all over the place with news that Doom is repeatedly being mentioned on MSNBC when talking about yesterday's Colorado School shooting (see our earlier story for the "proof" that the suspected shooters were Doom players). Mike C wrote in saying that he heard one reporter say that the kids may have thought they were playing a "real life game of Doom," while other reports have pointed out that in game footage was being shown. Also, it has been brought to light that one of the alleged shooters ran, of all things, a site on AOL devoted to Doom mods.

Descent 3 Demo Released

pc.ign.com has posted a brand new demo from Descent 3 for your downloading pleasure. The 36 meg download does feature multiplayer, for those itchin' to try it out. According to the developers, "[the] Descent 3 Demo 2 is a one-level demo of Descent 3 that we've created to give everyone a taste of all the great stuff we've done since we released the original Descent 3 Demo last year." So there you have it.

GDC Video

Nihilistic's Steve "Gateway" Tietze updated his .plan with word that he's posted some video footage taken from the recent Game Developer's Conference in Real media format. The video shows off a number of different games, a lot of various images from different booths at the show, and even has a glimpse at a really wacky webmaster. Here's the scoop:
Well I put some of my Game Developer Conf video I took this year of the show online. I encoded it with Real Player.. you will need the latest version of G2.

Its just some bits and pieces of the expo floor showing
off some games and hw.

I'm looking for mirrors to support the load on the servers I have right now. I will keep these up for a day
or so so email me if you want to mirror it on your site as well.

I also have a 50 meg mpg of this if like better quality video :)

here are 2 mirrors for it right now..

http://lazy.accessus.net/~gateway/carp.ra
http://www.trebel.org/gateway/testVMHB.ra

Doom in the School

Several readers have written in reporting having seen televised news reports showing the Doom logo on something visible through clear bags containing materials said to be related to the suspected shooters in the Colorado School shooting yesterday that left 15 dead. Now u238|Malleus points out that the second picture under the It looks like a war zone headline on the School cleared of bombs, investigators enter story on CNN Interactive does indeed show what appear to be a pair of books, each with the Doom logo on the cover, in bags being removed from the home of Eric Harris, one of the alleged shooters in the tragedy. There is no word yet of what connection anyone is drawing between these materials and this case.

More on Half-Life Mods

Two bit of editing news: Qoole.gamedesign.net has posted a new set of entities for TeamFortress Classic editing with Qoole. Also, Valve's Harry Teasley sends word of an IRC chat about Half-Life mod making tomorrow night (April 22) at 5:00 PM Pacific Time, in #halflife.org on irc.gamesnet.net. Here's the skinny:

"Half-Life MOD and Level Development Chat"

Talk to the developers of Half-Life and get answers to your questions on the SDK, and building MODs. This chat is a great opportunity for serious developers to have all their questions answered.

The kinds of questions appropriate for this chat:

- How does the MOD browser work?
- What's the difference between the standard and professional SDK?
- How does TFC replace the HUD graphics? - Can I sell my MOD?
- What is in the next update of Worldcraft?

More Gearbox

GA-Source interviews Randy Pitchford of Gearbox software about their upcoming Half-Life: Opposing Force. According to the Q&A, they are about 20% through the project, and they expect it to be available in October.

Rob Gee Interview

QuakeCity Gaming Network interviews Rob Gee talking to the Raven's Rob Gee about their upcoming Star Trek: Voyager game.

Starsiege Q&A

Computer Gaming Review has posted a short Q&A with Dynamix programmer Rick Overman talking a bit about the new 1.002 patch, what's down the road, and about progress on the editor.

TF Manual Translations

Valve has created versions of their Teamfortress Classic Guides translated into English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The new files are now available on Planetfortress.

Half-Life News

Two bits about Half-Life this afternoon for you...first up is an interview with Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford over on AVault about their new Half-Life mission pack Opposing Force, which he says will be shown at E3. Also, ModCentral posted this bit from Harry Teasley, regarding Valve's desire to show off HL mods at E3:
Sierra Studios would like to extend the opportunity to all mod teams to showcase their Half-Life add-on at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry's largest trade show, this May 12th through 15th in Los Angeles, CA. Sierra is looking for professional-quality mods of any type, so here's a rare opportunity to display your skill and creativity before the entire computer and video game industry.

Add-ons chosen for the show will be shown on the show floor on PCs specifically designated for these demos and will be included on a special CD distributed to the gaming press. This is an incredible opportunity for add-on teams to make themselves known to the industry professionals. If you wish to be considered for inclusion in the Sierra Studios E3 Half-Life presentation, send your mod or ftp information to het3@valvesoftware.com no later than May 10, 1999.

Regards,
Harry Teasley

Quake III Arena Toys

News and Pictures from the Raving Toy Maniac already has news up about plans for Quake III Arena action figures from ReSaurus, as well as an update on the stat of the Quake figures (thanks Steve Lawson). Here's the update:

The eternally busy gang at ReSaurus has just announced, via their new ReSaurus Newsletter, that their next all-new series of Quake figures will be based on the upcoming id Software release Quake III: Arena!

There are four figures planned for the new series, including a new Male Marine named Sarge, Slash, a female cyborg, the alien champion known as Klesk (pictured, from the game) and Sleeg a heavily armored alien.

Subscribers to the ReSaurus Newsletter were given a special sneak peek at the control art for the Klesk figure. Want to see it? All you have to do is sign up for the Newsletter right here!

So, what about the figures based on the original Quake game announced at Toy Fair? ReSaurus plans to release many of those items, including the nearly completed Shambler, in the future (possibly as exclusives for their in-progress Collectors Club). As always stayed tuned to the ReSaurus website, as well as right here, for the latest news!

It's a Quake world, baby! Are you ready?

BTW, there's a specific request on the Q3A toy concept art described above that it is not for republication, so you'll have to get the newsletter if you want it. Also, the ReSaurus Newswire has word of an "upgrade" to their Quake II figures (though as far as I know no patch or point release will be available for existing users). There will be changes to some existing figures, adding some new features, and some cultural diversity: "Four brand new characters will include Marine Viper - a solid African-American fighting machine; Female Marine Lotus - a seductive, Asian warrior; an imposing Tank Commander; and an even creepier Iron Maiden. All four figures feature "upgraded" heads, accessories and paint schemes."

Bleem Ships

The bleem! site has word that the first CDs of this PlayStation emulator for the PC have arrived and are ready to ship. Thanks McCheese (who apparently lost his bid for re-election as Mayor). A comment on the site makes it sound like there's a chapter in the Bleem (bleem!?) saga that's yet to be revealed: "we don't have much time to explain the delay right now, but once we get your orders out the door, we'll tell you the whole story ... and it's an ugly one!"

AM Hardware Bits

Gabe Newell Interview

The Hive interviews Gabe Newell talking to Valve's Managing Director about Half-Life and its follow-ups. Here is a quote on the subject of the newly announced official add-on from GearBox:

Newell: We knew the guys at Gearbox. Doug Wood here at Valve was actually one of the founders of Rebel Boat Rockers. Charlie Brown and Gary McTaggert had been doing some consulting with RBR on Prax Wars shortly before coming to Valve. So we had a lot of confidence in their team, and we were excited by the ideas they came up with for creating a complementary experience for Half-Life.

Return of the FragPipe

Put down your crack pipe and hit the Frag Pipe, Nihilistic's Steve "Magicman" Thoms updated his .plan

Can't wait for Quake3? Tired of midair railing 5 of your friends simultaneously? Need something fresh and exciting to occupy the time between refreshing your ftp sites checking for Q3:Arena? Well, I have the answer for ya...a brand spanking new Quake DM level.

Ok, it's not exactly brand new, but it's new to Quake. My second level converted from Quake2 to Quake, The Frag Pipe.

Get it here:

ftp.cdrom.com/pub/idgames2/levels/deathmatch/p-r/q1_q2dm3.zip

And, in case you haven't seen it, my first conversion to Quake, The Edge (released about 4 months ago), can be found in that same directory:

ftp.cdrom.com/pub/idgames2/levels/deathmatch/p-r/q1_q2dm1.zip

New QStat

A new beta version 2.3a of QStat the Quake server status program is now out. This program that can generate a live webpage for a game server now offers complete Half-Life support (players and server rules), Half-Life master server, TRIBES servers, TRIBES master servers, Shogo, Hex player colors, Several new template variables, bug fixes and more.

New QuickStart

Sloshy Software Inc. has a new version 2.39 of the QuickStart Eraser Bot wizard that fixes a few bugs in this front-end to this Quake II bot.

Competitions

  • GameStats's Spring Cleaning Contest offers you the chance to win a lot of the clutter from someone's office, which include unclaimed prizes from previous contests.
  • Icon Contest Amended: Here are the updated (as of yesterday) rules to our IE5 Icon Contest: It turns out that the IE5 icon can be 32x32 under some circumstances (blame loony for making me think my original 32x32 posting was wrong), so it causes a bit of a change in our Icon contest. We'll award a prize for both the best 16x16 and the best 32x32 Icon. Also, it turns out the better format is .ico format (blame me for that one -- I'll be sure to run the next contest through more rigorous quality assurance before posting it). Thanks Red-Death for the clarification about the icons, as well as the helpful link to WinFiles.com Windows 95-98 Icon Editing Tools. Sorry about the messiness. I will convert any .bmps we've already received to .ico files, and of course, anyone who wants to redo their own and resubmit it is welcome. Entries go to contest@bluesnews.com.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Contradicting my comment yesterday, today was another late start. I had a trip to Dr. Drill yesterday, and, though it turns out I still have a wisdom tooth extraction in the near future, for the most part, this marks an end to the work we had set out to do, ending the over year-long saga of my choppers. While I thought that with loony in place to cover my absence yesterday I could get away with this trip without comment, it turns out the pain-killer thing knocked me out last night, so even this last trip goes on record, but I guess it's only appropriate to share the news that this is over with those who have been subjected to my tales of dental woe all this time. If I had any idea this morning would have been impacted, I'd have had loony make this the first day he tried his loony hand at the morning update, certainly one of the ideas behind his presence is for just such an eventuality.

Link of the Day: Someone wrote asking why no links to one of Levelord's favorites, Old Man Murray Game Reviews. No, they're not very nice to Levelord, they're not very nice to a lot of people (including me), but it's pretty damn funny stuff.

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