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Tuesday, Apr 13, 1999


Spec Ops II Site

Zombie's Spec Ops2: Green Berets site is now online offering the official source of news and information about the sequel to Spec Ops that's due fourth quarter this year. Thanks SpecOps.Org.


Starsiege TRIBES Players site has the release of the development tools for Starsiege TRIBES on their Multimedia and Downloads page. Thanks [Inq]Colosus. Here's the skinny on the release from the page:

Below is the link to download the TRIBES tool kit. Please be aware that this is a non-supported release; in other words, we give you these tools "as is", use at your own risk. This is by no means a required download, that is, this is not a patch. It's a collection of tools and utilities that we used to create objects and missions for TRIBES. If you aren't interested in creating your own missions, or customizing the graphics in the game, don't bother downloading this. For a listing of the tools included in this package, along with short descriptions of their functions, please examine the readme file before downloading.


The ClanRing Mod Development site has a new version 5.00 of the classic ClanRing CRMod++ for classic Quake. Thanks X-racer. The new version adds even more features to assist the civil operation of a server, including running commentary in observer modes, Autopause (matches can be automatically paused when someone disconnects), and full ghost restoration when match is paused (weapons, health, position, etc.).

Daikatana Interviews

Daikatana Nation posted a Q&A with John Romero in their Sunday news talking a bit about Daikatana, mentioning that by using .mp3 compression for voices and music, the game would now be shipping on one CD. The Q&A acknowledges the possible CPU impact of this, pointing out that MMX will help. Thanks GA-Source. Also, Planet Daikatana interviews Mike 'Tarix' Montague about his work as "Programming Bitch-boy" for Daikatana (hey, sometimes you have to lure the talent by offering fancy titles).

Spooky Doings

Thriller Chillers on GameSpot UK is a piece that looks ahead at some horror games (as opposed to horrible ones), profiling Vampire- The Masquerade ­ Redemption, Werewolf- The Apocalypse ­ Heart Of The Gaia, and Nocturne. Also, there's a Werewolf : The Apocalypse Preview on PC Paradox looking at this Unreal-engine game.


GT Not Ending U.S. Distribution

The Adrenaline Vault News is reporting that "According to GT Interactive, news that it will cease its U.S. distribution operations is false" (story). The report goes on to say "Instead, the company has outsourced the day-to-day mechanics of its distribution center, which means the people putting things in boxes are no longer hired by GT; this part of the process has been turned over to a vendor."

Unreal 224 This Week?

A post on the Epic MegaBoard by Mark Rein gives word that the Unreal 224 patch is due sometime later this week (making the promise twice as intriguing as the more generic "in two weeks" that often means "when it's done"). Here's the quote spotted by Voodoo Extreme where Billy has also posted a new screenshot showing "Epic's Tim Sweeney, at work on Unreal Tournament" showing his programming tools in action. Here's the quote from Mark Rein on the release:

Chaostar--> Better D3D support won't be coming in time for 224 but it should be coming at some point after that.

As Gavin found out, if you're using TNT, make sure you get the MOST RECENT DETONATOR DRIVERS for the best possible performance. Gavin noticed this for the current version 220 D3D support but having the latest drivers will be even more important when 224 comes out later this week.

Lawsuit Update

Can Media Make a Killer? is the name of an article on Wired news that covers the parents vs. game/porn/movie companies lawsuit (thanks devilbunny). The article has quotes from some baffled people in the industry, and adds Xatrix's Redneck Rampage to the list of offending games (see story 1, story 2). The piece offers some reassurance, however:

Experts say that the suit will be thrown out of court. "This is a very tough case to fight," said Eugene Volkoh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. "It has virtually no chance."

Starsiege Demo Soon

The Starsiege development status page was updated with details regarding the soon to be released demo of this first person mech-er...HERC game:

The demo is finished and is almost ready for distribution. It should be released sometime this week. The Demo consists of the four training missions and the first two missions in the human campaign. It will be around 52 MB to download. There will be no multiplayer in this demo.

Thanks Datumplane. If you're like me and totally baffled as to what the heck a "Datumplane" is, by the way, they've been kind enough to set up a page for screwballs like us.

New GXMod

A new version (1.8) of the Gamer's Extreme tournament mod is available, fixing the map rotation bug, as well as other minor problems. The mod is server side only, and available in Win32 and Linux flavors.

Gore Update

4D Rulers' Gore site has been spiffed-up with a whole new look, and has a short update on the news page about the state of the deathmatch demo, which will not make the April 15 release they had hoped for:

We're putting in the final touches on the new web site, hope everyone likes it. The AMP networking code is almost finished, so we can begin integrating Gore soon. We will not make the April 15th release on the deathmatch test, but will give you an idea on how its progressing: The maps are coming along good, the weapons models and skins are done, it's just a matter of putting it all together and tuning it in for gameplay. The 24 bit color OpenGL version is almost finished, so we can start delivering the eye candy soon:)

Wheel of Time Update, Screenshot

The Wheel of Time site has a new development update giving the status of this upcoming Unreal-engine game along with a new screenshot, which shows off the user-interface, which the update describes as "seems to be kicking in."

Realistic Ops

Computer Games Online's Realistic Ops: The Sequel is a new article that declares "Once more unto the breach dear friends!" the piece looks at several new and upcoming games and add-ons with an emphasis on tactics: Rainbow Six: Eagle Watch, Spec Ops 2: The Green Berets, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, TeamFortress2, Navy SEALs and more (as of this writing, the article seems to trail off on the first page, however).

Mortyr Preview

There's a Mortyr preview on PC Paradox looking at this upcoming game that puts you in the role of Sebastian Mortyr (somewhere between Thomas Magnum and Frank Cannon on the armament-name continuum) who must do combat in World War II and in the year 2093 A.D.

Loose Cannon Previews

Autocombat's Loose Cannon Preview offers some new screenshots from Digital Anvil's upcoming car combat game. Also, there's a Loose Cannon preview on GameSpot UK with a brief hands-on look at the game. Here's a quote on what's new and cool from GSUK:

Since we last spoke to lead designer Tony Zurovec, the team has been concentrating on making the driving physics as realistic as possible, and developing the 12 countryside areas, and nine ­ impeccably detailed ­ cities. These now include pedestrians, a working police force and realistic traffic. There are 15 customisable vehicles, and you can steal other cars, repair and upgrade them ­ yes, they do take frequent and visible damage. As the screenshots show, it's coming on a treat.

Hardware Bits

Enough bits for a byte here: Sharky Extreme's NVIDIA roadmap asks: "TNT3 Ready?" in a piece that talks about the NV10, and speaking of SE and NVIDIA, Clockspeeds Clear as Mud is another Sharky Extreme article talking about the difficulty pinning down what speed the TNT2 will be running at when it debuts at retail. Tweak3D's Hard Drive Tweak Guide has been updated. Gamer's Depot's Voodoo3 - TNT2 First Look is up. Finally, Intel and AMD Slash Prices is a GameCenter piece reprinting a article on CPU price cuts.


The Q2Admin Workbench has version 1.1 of this Quake II mod that adds extra administration features to any other mod. Some of Q2Admin's features are Z-Bot detection (multiple ways to detect users including commonly hacked Z-Bots), advanced banning (IP and nick), including exclude and include banning, sub-net user limiting, passwords on nicks, etc., advanced logging, and more.


Have you entered our name the two guys in this picture contest yet? (Who says all the creative ideas for contests are taken?) Remember there is an actual prize, but it's all for fun... please, no wagering =]



  • Do geeks need to go to college is a Salon Technology article spotted on Slashdot that discusses the oft-debated question of whether a degree is an asset in the world of high tech. As loonyboi points out, you need a Religion degree to join the editorial staff at Blue's News (well, at least we're one for one so far)...
  • The XingMP3 Player is now available, from the folks that have brought so many other similar xings in the past. Also, Creative cranks up MP3 player announces the Nomad, Creative Labs' entry into the porta-mp3 player market that comes in 32 MB and 64 MB versions...
  • The Flagship is now online to "(serve) the Quake2 Capture the Flag community by offering a broad selection of resources under one banner," with an interesting spaceship interface...
  • Birdman's Lair, home of all things SpaceOrb has a modified version of their Half-Life SpOrb patch that's been modified into three different versions of TeamFortress Classic SpaceOrb patch...

Out of the Blue

John Cash dropped a line to point out his shock (which I share) that any discussion of geek diets could leave the John Cash Diet unmentioned (yesterday's etc.). Here is the JC diet, originally posted in his .plan on March 14, 1997. I can personally verify the results of this, but of course I (and I'm sure Cash) will take no responsibility for any future obesity, bypass operations and the like resulting from following the diet.

Several readers were quick to point out that Miroslav Satan, the hockey player in yesterday's Link du Jour actually pronounces his name Shay-tan, clearly none of them familiar with Young Frankenstein, where I recall a similar deception (it's Frank-en-shteen!). Andy Blender points out that in a startling turn of events, both The Sporting News Miroslav Satan listing and ESPN's Miroslav Satan listing both also use number 666. please excuse me now, I have to go exorcise my hockey puck.

Link of the Day: Step By Step - How to destroy your computer. Thanks James Boswell.

Monday, Apr 12, 1999

New QuArK

The Official QuArK Homepage has the version 5.9 of the Quake Army Knife editor, which seems to be a non-beta version. Thanks Fist. To find the new release, go to Armin's news page, rather than the downloads page.

Lawsuit Follow-up

AVault has published a story about the lawsuit being brought by the parents of victims in the 1997 Kentucky high school tragedy (see story), featuring court documents they've obtained that shed some light on what companies are being mentioned. Here's an excerpt:

According to court documents obtained by the Adrenaline Vault, the defendants include Apogee Software, id Software, GT Interactive, Sega of America, Atari Corporation, Acclaim Entertainment, Interplay Productions, Midway Home Entertainment, Nintendo of America, Activision, Sony Computer Entertainment, Capcom Entertainment, Eidos Interactive and Squaresoft. The complaint contends these companies produced and supplied games that made the violence “pleasurable and attractive” and disconnected the savageness from natural consequences. In addition, the plaintiffs claim the games taught Carneal to point and shoot in a fashion that made him an “extraordinarily effective killer.”

I contacted id Software's Todd Hollenshead for a clarification, and he did tell me that they have not been served with a lawsuit as of yet, but mentioned that if that happens he won't be able to speak about pending litigation. We'll keep you updated as this develops...


A handful of interviews for your enjoyment this evening...first up, Computer Gaming Review has a quick Q&A with Rick Overman, director and lead programmer on Dynamix's other Starsiege title, the well-named...well, Starsiege. The Q&A deals with the status of the first Starsiege patch, which according to Rick will be released sometime in about a week, assuming it clears QA on time. If you're into Wing Commander, swing by WCNews for their latest Chris Roberts interview in Real Audio format. It's a bit on the large size (a big ol' 8 meg!) but it deals with Roberts' new game Starlancer, as well as the Wing Commander movie. Lastly, GuruTech has a quick Q&A with George Broussard of 3DRealms regarding their recent announcement that they won't be showing anything at E3 this year (see story).

More on MDK2 Multiplayer

Bioware's David Chan e-mailed us regarding the multiplayer (or lack thereof) in MDK2, in response to the feeling conveyed in the now pulled GA-Source Q&A (see story):

Just to let you know that "MDK2" does not lack multiplayer. Saying a game "lacks multiplayer" implies that a game isn't whole unless it supports it. MDK2 was never intended to be multiplayer and that stance has not changed from day one. The focus is to make a cool single player game.

I understand that the gaming community, especially the Quake fans, all think that single player only is a death sentence. I would have to disagree. Half-Life and Thief are perfect examples of really solid single player games. If Half Life didn't have multiplayer I wouldn't have missed truth be told.

Don't get me wrong, I love multiplayer games, that's why I worked for 2 years putting on Fragapalooza here in Canada. I think that it is important to realize that there are distinctions between the categories and that is a good thing for all gamers. I am really looking forward to Q3 so I can kick some office butt :)

This of course, comes as no suprise to any MDK fans, who will recall that the original MDK was a single player title from day-one as well.

Screen Shootin'

A bunch of screenshots for you on this Monday afternoon...Insomnia Software has updated their site with some new (pre-alpha) images from Decay, their freaky-realistic first person shooter (thanks Rasgueado). Also, Derek Smart has posted some new shots from Battlecruiser 3020 AD over on the BC3K page, complete with the first ever shot of the redesigned interface. If you're not sick of screenshots yet, swing by GameSpot UK for a new System Shock 2 gallery, featuring new screens from Looking Glass' new title.

id Sued by Parents?

According to this Yahoo! news bit, the parents of three students killed in a Kentucky high school shooting spree by a 14 year old freshman are possibly naming id amongst the responsible parties in this horrible incident. Here's the scoop:

The parents today announced their intent to file a $130 million lawsuit against two Internet porn sites, several computer game companies and the makers and distributors of the 1995 Leonardo DiCaprio film "The Basketball Diaries."

The suit will be filed in U.S. District Court later today, lawyers said.

"We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry. We intend to hurt sex porn sites" on the Internet, said Jack Thompson, one of the parents' lawyers.

The lawsuit claims that confessed shooter Michael Carneal, a 14-year-old freshman at Heath High School at the time of the Dec. 1, 1997, shootings, was influenced by the violence in "The Basketball Diaries" and by several violent computer games such as "Doom," "Quake," and "Mortal Combat."

Back on Track

As promised, the fine folks at Pair were able to help us with the corrupted database this morning, so the BlueTracker is back online bringing you the best laid .plans of mice and men (though hopefully with the DB problems fixed, they won't so oft go awry).

Mortyr Screenshots

GamesZone previews Mortyr with a German language preview of Interactive Magic's upcoming World War II shooter (literal translations, as always, available through AltaVista). The piece contains screenshots, including the first shots I've seen of what combat looks like when you return from the past to your own time (in the game) of 2093.

Todd Hollenshead Interview

More multilingual madness, as Pa-Hom.Com interviews Todd Hollenshead (in English) talking to the id Software CEO in a Q&A which has also been translated into Spanish.

Daikatana Interview

Daikatana HeadQuarters has posted an interview with Justin "Logic" Randall, talking to the ION Storm programmer about his work on Daikatana.

MDK2 Interview (Updated)

Interview mania continues, as the MDK2 Q&A on GA-Source talks with Greg Zeschuk, president and joint-CEO of BioWare Corp., about the planned lack of multi-player support for MDK2. Update: this story has been removed from GA-Source.

New loonygames

It's a new week, and a new issue of loonygames. Here's the rundown of what's appearing throughout the week:

  • Totally Tribal: Jason "loonyboi" Bergman sits down with Mark Frohmayer for this talk about all things Tribes. Featuring bits about Tribes 2, what the singleplayer version of Tribes would have been like, why there aren't any AI driven bots, and more! [Monday]
  • Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez checks out StarCraft: Brood War! [Tuesday] Also look for Jason "loonyboi" Bergman's look at StarCraft in The Bargain Bin! [Thursday]
  • From the Mouth of Madness: Photoshop for webmasters...part deux! [Monday]
  • User Friendly: Continuing this week, the ever popular Star Wars parody! [DAILY!]
  • PLUS: A pair of Penny Arcades [Wednesday, Friday], Code on the Cob [Wednesday], Pad Happy does Silent Hill [Thursday], do it yourself space scenes in Painting on Polygons [Wednesday] and lots more! And then some more, because we just cough up content, baby.

BeQuake 2 in June?

According to this article on ZDNET, the long awaited BeOS version 4.1 has been cancelled (aww...) in favor of version 4.5 which will be released in June. One of the features BeOS fans have been waiting desperately for is hardware accelerated OpenGL, which has been holding back any major game development on the platform. To reassure BeOS users, the article also says, "in addition, a Be version of Quake 2 will ship shortly after its release." Also, Reid sends along word that BeQuake 2 is being demonstrated at the BeDeveloper Conference, as mentioned in this BeNews story.

DNF & Prey Not at E3

This week's editorial on GameSlice covers a few bases, offering a new screenshot of Sven Technology's Multi-Resolution Geometry, the new modeling tech being used in Duke Nukem Forever. There is also the revelation there that Duke Forever and Prey will both be no-shows at this year's E3 (May, in Los Angeles), as part of what the article describes as a movement away from programming demos specifically for shows like E3. Here's a quote:

However there is starting to be a backlash against the need for an "E3 demo" for well established game franchises. Take, for example, the fact that both Duke Nukem Forever and Prey from 3D Realms will be no where on the show floor. And they won't be in a back room or on videotape either. 3D Realms' made the decision to forgo the madness of E3 a few weeks ago. Although this news will surely cause speculation about the current status of these projects,it exemplifies the latest thinking on trade shows: Only show something unless it's just about to ship or going to blow everyone away.

TRIBES Weapon Skinning

There's a TRIBES Weapon Skinning article up on PlanetStarSiege giving the skinny on how to skin weapons in the game with new textures.

OneThumb Interview

10 Questions With SamHell interviews Don "OneThumb" MacAskill talking to Ritual's digitally impaired one about work and play.

Hardware Bits

Morning bits that don't byte: Beyond 3D 22 bits color Follow-Up Part 2 has more on this 22-bit rendering dealie of 3dfx'. Also, "So hart, jeder Zahnarztbohrer würde an uns verzweifeln!" declares the new German language version of HardOCP. To segue, the original HardOCP (and perhaps the translation already, as well), also has word on a program they've posted that allows software control over the clock speed of ASUS P2 mobos, similar to ABit's SoftMenu dealie. Finally, I see on VE there are Voodoo 3 2000 overclocking results on Blitz3D.

Fishman's Q2 DM Mod

Fishman's DM Mod is a server side only Quake II modification featuring an off-hand (Lithium II-style) grappling hook, a flashlight, sunshine, laser-mines, as well as new grenades and a new hyper-blaster. Available on Fishman's DM page (the Spanish language page has 10 screenshots).

King of the Server

QFL Home Page has the release of their King of the Server mod, a server-only Quake II enhancement that "adds an RPG feeling to Quake II." To play this mod you must create a password upon joining the server so your persistent information can be retrieved when you re-join.


The Rogues' Gallery is a repository for Quake II players unaffiliated with clans to find competitions. Speaking of rogues galleries, also, as promised yesterday, here's today's identify the photo contest:

who.jpg (403343 bytes)

Think you know? Send your guess to, and a random entry from the correct guesses will even win a prize (unnamed to avoid giving hints). We'll stop accepting entries at Midnight EDT Friday night/Saturday morning. No purchase necessary, void anywhere it will cause a hassle.



  • Diet Tips of Programming Stars is a humor piece in National Game Review offering theoretical health food tips from id's John Carmack (pork rinds and cheese), ION's John Romero ("two words: Corn Nuts"), and even Mario's papa Shigeru Miyamoto ("the 'Monster Burger' combo from Hardee's"). Thanks batou. ("Coming Soon! Sex Tips from Top Programmers!")...
  • Another short Half-Life story has been added to the collection on Twisted Half-Life...
  • Holy Cacodemons Batman! The Doom engine lives on in the Batman Doom 32 level TC featuring the caped crusader (thanks da prowsta), and Billy at Voodoo Extreme points out that Kokak's Heretic Page has a new version 0.08 of GLHeretic...

Out of the Blue

Thanks Casey "a guy" Barton for sending along some JavaScript code a while back (loony inspired me to check it out yesterday) that clears the "search!" box when you click in the box, and puts it back if you click outside it when it's empty. Neat stuff, I'm hopeful it won't cause any problems on anyone's browsers (JavaScript isn't supposed to, but we've already experienced otherwise here in the past). Fixing the BlueTracker has been waiting on Monday morning to get someone at our host to look at a database for us, hopefully the end is in sight for this glitch. Speaking of glitches, about the last known Blammo bugs have been squashed, fixing some remaining cosmetic problems (no more "0"s padding single digit dates or the AM hours, and the midnight hour now displays as "12" instead of "00"), so if any things like that remain, please pass along word, since I am not aware of them.

Link of the Day: Miroslav Satan is a player for the Buffalo Sabres. As Matthew Rorie pointed out when he sent this along, "I would think the lord of the underworld would average at least a point a game." Proving someone with a sense of humor/irony is paying attention over at CNN-SI, Mr. Satan's URL in the database is indeed .../hockey/nhl/players/666/ (cue Twilight Zone music).

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