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Archived News:

Monday, Jul 12, 1999

New Mod List

A new version of Mod List, a mod-browsing program for Unreal, TRIBES, Quake 2, Kingpin, Half-Life, and other games has been released, and is available for download.

Contest Results

At long last, I've posted the results of our fifth Test Your Game Knowledge Contest. It took over 400 entries, but we finally have a winner (two, in fact!). So hop over there and see if you won (chances are you didn't). And hey...just because we feel sorry for all of you who lost, we've started another contest. So research the answers, and head over there to enter. And of course, both of these pages have that Tiny Print™ that so many of you like so much.

New (Giant) Outcast Demo

GamesMania Germany has posted a new Outcast Demo that weighs in at a whopping 138 MB. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers, who sends along the following explanation of the new demo of Infogrames' action title, along with word of a stripped down version he's posted in the 3D Gamers' Archive:

GamesMania Germany posted a giant 138 MB demo of the Shamazaar level of Outcast

As far as I can tell without actually downloading it over my modem for the next 18 hours or so ;) , this demo is in English.

Unfortunately, they included a full DirectX6 install (all languages). I've rezipped the demo without it, bringing it down to a mere 116 MB :) This also provides two US based ftp servers, as GamesMania's ftp is not very speedy across the big pond.

PM Tech Bits

A new PowerStrip and HyperSnap leading off this evening's bits:
  • A new version 2.51.05 of the PowerStrip uber-control utility for video cards and monitors under Windows is now available from Entech Taiwan. Thanks Tweak3D.
  • The full version 3.42.00 of the HyperSnap screen capture utility for Windows 95/NT is now available for download. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.
  • AMD has updated their 3DNow! Technology Partners list that shows current and future games that support 3DNow! technology. Thanks AMD Zone, where they say S3 has told them are probably going to have Athlon (K7) support in upcoming drivers, and they have also posted a quote from Derek at NVIDIA saying he "believes" the new NVIDIA drivers already have Athlon support.
  • Word is the post this morning (story) about the 2.08 NVIDIA drivers is incorrect, and they do, in fact, work on original TNT cards. Thanks Morgan. Sorry for the confusion.

MDK2 Diary

An update by Greg Zeschuk to the MDK 2 Design diary on MDK2.Com gives word of a hectic couple of weeks for the design team, talking about the completion of the engine and a corresponding newfound emphasis on tweaking gameplay, describing the addition of "funny segues," as well as the Doctor's items and inventory. the update goes on to describe rounding into the in-house testing of quality assurance. MDK, of course, stands for something or other... unless of course it doesn't.

GameSpy 2.13

The GameSpy 3D News page has word of the release of GameSpy shareware version 2.13. The new version of this Internet multiplayer server-browser adds support for Kingpin, Drakan, and Descent 3, and fixes a couple of bugs with v2.12 (which was only available for registered users).

Call for User TRIBES Missions

Dynamix just sent along a press release announcing their hunt for user-created missions for Starsiege TRIBES. Here's part of the release, and here's the full release, which includes some of the legal details, including word that "ALL entries become the property of Dynamix™."

Eugene, OR - (July 12, 1999) - Think you've got the TRIBES™ Mission Editor down pat and you've created that fast-paced mission with awesome gameplay? Here's your chance to put your hard work to the test. The TRIBES™ Development Team at Dynamix is geared up and ready to collect entries in the first ever TRIBES™ "Open Call". To help get the creative juices flowing, the TRIBES™ Team has reserved a few positions for those high quality user-created missions to appear in the upcoming release of TRIBES™ Extreme. The superior user-created missions selected will get game credit for their mission in TRIBES™ Extreme plus other additional prizes to be named at a later date.

While TRIBES™ Extreme significantly enhances the multiplayer online experience, it also adds "whatever you need to know" about how to play TRIBES in its entirely new single-player campaign against computer opponents. Jeff Tunnell, executive director of TRIBES™ Extreme and founder of Dynamix said it best, "TRIBES has taken the online world by storm, but many action gamers hesitate to jump online without perfecting their skills. TRIBES™ Extreme gives them an incredibly fun campaign to cut their teeth on - and team missions so they can form a squad and practice their match skills. We want everyone to see how fun and easy it is to be an online warrior."

The TRIBES™ Development Team will begin taking submissions on July 12, 1999. All submissions must meet the following mission entry and art specifications. Users may also enter their own skin sets. Each of the 17 bitmaps, including armor skins, team logos for buildings and doors, flags, and so forth must be modified, sized appropriately, and remapped to the correct palettes - in other words, everything should be ready to just drop into the game. Users who have their skins used in the game will be given credit for them. All submissions must be zipped and available to us at the player's own site. Mission files and skin-related art files should be in separate zip files. A SHORT text file that may point out a neat mission feature may be appropriate in certain circumstances. For more information on the TRIBES™ Extreme Open Call or to submit an entry, go to www.tribesplayers.com.

Xtreme Tribes Splits TRIBES Extreme

An update to the Xtreme Tribes homepage announces that the makers of this TRIBES mod, who were supposed to participate with Dynamix in the production of the upcoming TRIBES Extreme (the sequel to Starsiege TRIBES that will be released prior to TRIBES 2), will no longer participate in that project. Instead, their latest news update gives word they plan on releasing their work to the public free-of-charge. The update on the page includes a couple of new Xtreme Tribes screenshots, as well as word on how interested folks can assist with their project.

Nocturne Shots

There are nine new Nocturne screenshots on The Adrenaline Vault are taken from a recent build of Terminal Reality’s upcoming third-person action/adventure game, Nocturne. The shots demonstrate the "extraordinary shadowing effects that are being implemented" in the game, which they say is "due this Halloween."

SWAT 3 Shots

SWAT3.com has been updated with some new screenshots showing off some anti-terrorist action in this upcoming third-person game of police action. Thanks again TacticalPlanet.

Rice to Go

Raven's Scott Rice updated his .plan with word on his upcoming departure from Raven Software (thanks yet again TacticalPlanet). Here's the poop on his plans, which he says will not impact the release of Soldier of Fortune, since their scheduled alpha date is August 1:

I haven't updated my finger in awhile. We've been so busy on SoF. Everything is coming along great. The art for the game is nearly complete!

Unfortunately, I must announce my departure from Raven come August 1st. I've decided to pursue my film career in Austin, Texas. This will in no way hurt Soldier of Fortune as our art alpha date is August 1st. Almost all of our work, barring tweaks, will be done by that date. I want to say that the Soldier of Fortune team is the best group of people I've ever had the privilege of working with. I will miss Raven very much. I also want to thank the guys at House of Moves, our motion capture house in L.A., who were a joy to work with as well.

Joe Koberstein, a tremendous leader in the art department, will take over my responsibilities for the last weeks of the project. Eric Turman will continue his outstanding work as Senior Animator. As work dwindles, most everyone else will move on to Star Trek.

Keep your eye on Soldier of Fortune, everyone. I think the industry is in for a nice surprise come October!

Kingpin FAQ

The Kingpin FAQ on Planet Kingpin has been updated to version 0.8 upon the addition of a few new questions, and their corresponding answers, about Xatrix' newly released gangsta game. Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

Shadow Man Preview

GameSpot UK's Shadow Man Preview is up with a look at Acclaim's upcoming third-person Voodoo game based on the Shadow Man comics. Thanks again Frans at 3D Action Gamers. Included with the preview is a Shadow Man gallery with eight new screenshots.

Mac GameRanger

Version 1.0 of GameRanger, the first release of a new Mac gaming utility is now available, calling itself "the revolution of Macintosh gaming." Created by QuakeFinder's Scott Kevill, here's the scoop on GameRanger:

No longer are Mac gamers relegated to second-rate status with PC-centric online multiplayer services- now, they have one of their own. Using GameRanger, Mac gamers now have their own way of finding other gamers to compete against and trade info with.

GameRanger provides a completely customized Macintosh-friendly environment for players to meet worthy opponents, organize and play games, discuss strategies, and exchange tricks and ideas. Persistent player accounts, profiles, chat rooms, game rooms, audio voice chat, paging, server lists and powerful filtering are just a handful of the features GameRanger offers.

Right out of the gate, GameRanger offers support for 11 popular multiplayer Mac games: Civilization II Gold, Dark Vengeance, FutureCop: L.A.P.D., Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Quake 1, Quake 2, Quake 3, QuakeWorld, Railroad Tycoon 2, Unreal and Warcraft II.

New Blitz Engine

ACID REIGN - Homepage of the Blitz Engine has a new version 0.4a of the Blitz engine available for download. The new release of this freeware 3D engine is said to be "a demonstration of the new dynamic shadowing routines with filtering." Other new features include a console system and resolution changing options. Special features currently supported in the Blitz engine include LOD beziers, Spherical Volume Fog, Multitexturing, B-Spline Motion, Log Window, Wrapped Textures, Particle Smoke, Weapons System, RGB Dynamic Lighting, Portal Rendering, Soft Shadows, Direct Draw Support, Direct Input Support, 32-bit RGBA Textures, Translucent Surfaces, Reflective Surfaces, Animated Textures, Collision Detection, Point Particles, Triangle Particles, Mouse Input, Keyboard Input, Dynamic Soft Shadows, Console System, Hierarchical Objects, and Corona's + Lens Flare.

New Wally

Wally's Home has a new version 1.40 beta of this texture editing program, along with a belated Fourth of July greeting. The new Wally offers a new WaterDrop blending tool as well as a few bug fixes.

TRIBES WC Converter Today

Dynamix' Nels Bruckner updated his .plan with word that they plan on releasing the Worldcraft converter sometime today (hopefully), as well as making their formal call for user-submitted levels for inclusion in the upcoming TRIBES Extreme. We'll let you know when these things happen.

Monolith Not Being Sued

Monolith's Jason Hall updated his .plan debunking the rumor that they were being sued by "another company" over their upcoming LithTech 2 game No One Lives Forever, as well as a general update on the game's progress:
Apparently, there seem to be some rumors on the street that Monolith has been sued by another company over our upcoming first person action game code-named "No One Lives Forever..."

These rumors are false. End of discussion.

One thing that is awesome is that I have noticed that the experienced gamer can certainly discern that NOLF is still very early in development and it is constantly undergoing continuous design changes and content refinements. He/she realize that the final lines for this game have not been drawn, which is why I have had a lot of people ask me about this and ask "What the heck??"

Oh well. Anyway, know this -

The core goals we have for the gameplay always remain at the center of what we are doing, but there are still many things that are up in the air. The gameplay is feeling awesome and you can bet your bippy that we’re totally excited about the game and working really hard on development as we speak.

Another day, another rumor...
In other Monolith news, GASource has posted a new screenshot from Sanity, showing off their LithTech powered isometric action game.

Oni Preview

GameSpot UK has posted a preview of Bungie's upcoming Lara Croft meets Tekken 3 - with really big guns game, Oni, complete with a bunch of screenshots in case that makes no sense to you whatsoever.

Spec Ops 2 Shot

TacticalPlanet has posted a new Special Ops 2 screenshot as their Pic of the Day (in the upper-right hand corner). Their new run of shots o' the day are showing off some of the weapons from Zombie's upcoming game of tactics and action, and this one seems to be of the radio (that's what it says, it's a bit dark).

On Q3ATest Bug Reporting

id Software's Tim Willits updated his .plan with a description of how to make a helpful bug report for the next version of Q3ATest, which he mentions will require a whole new download, due to the nature of the bug fixes. Here's the update, which includes a little p1mpage to pay off a deathmatch loss:

As you have heard, we are working on releasing another version of the test. This new version of the test will require you to download all of the data again. Many of you might not immediately see this as a good thing, but it is!!! This gives me the opportunity to make some minor bug fixes to Q3test1. If there is anything in the map that you feel is a "bug" please drop me an email and I'll try to fix it before the next test release.

Examples of some good bug fix suggestions:

1. Sometimes when I round the corner out of the rocketlauncher room towards the plasma room I see a vis error at the top of the steps.
2. I get stuck when I back into the corner on the left side of the steps leading up towards the rocketlauncher in the courtyard.

Examples of some bad bug fix suggestions that I DON"T want you to email me:

1. This map plays nothing like Q3test2 and it basically sucks.
2. Make it more like the Edge, that's my favorite map!!
3. I can't believe you put two rocketlaunchers in the map.You are dumb!!

Thanks again for everyone's feedback on the test and the levels.

Tim Willits

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Personal note:

A few weeks ago Joe Rogan, (actor/comedy) from the television show "News Radio", paid a visit to the id offices. During a smack talking who can kick who's ass I told him that if he beats me in a 1 on 1 that I would I mention my defeat in my next .plan update. I lost by a point so there I go..... Him and his comic sidekick Chris McGuire are currently touring the country performing live stand-up comedy. The show is very funny and I recommend seeing them if they are in your town.

AnachroEditing

A post to the ION Storm BB about the Anachronox Game maker gives word on plans for a proprietary (AnachroSnax-powered?) editor to be included with ION's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG, Anachronox. Thanks Apache.

Giants Interview & Screenshots

GameLinks interviews Tim Williams talking with the creative director at PlanetMoon Studios about their upcoming action extravaganza that places you in the role of one of three alien races that are hostile to each other, Giants: Citizen Kabuto (what, you were expecting maybe Aliens versus Predator?). The Q&A discusses progress on the game, and is sprinkled with eight new screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

Nerf Arena Blast Preview

PlanetUnreal's Nerf Arena Blast preview is online, giving a hands-on look ahead at this upcoming Unreal-engine game that replaces all those explosive weapons of mass destructiuon with nice politically correct, and furniture safe, Nerf (no doubt either , , ™, or perhaps all three) guns.

Deep Space Nine Screenshots

The new Star Trek Deep Space Nine Screenshots on GA-Source give a half-dozen looks at this upcoming third-person game based on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series that uses the Unreal engine.

Kingpin Q&A - Xatrix Update

Killjoy's has posted a short, three-question Q&A with Xatrix programmer Ryan "Ridah" Feltrin, that mostly covers fruitless ground (like are there problems with the Voodoo RUSH? A: No.), but one answer about bot support also seems to indicate that all or part of the Kingpin team is staying together for another project. here's the quote:

No, unfortunately we are due to start a new project in a few days, and that's not enough time. Kingpin has a very capable navigation system built-in, however, so building a bot from the existing AI routines (once the source is released) would be a relatively simple task (maybe a few weeks hard work).

Equinox

Equinox is not a horse-riding modification for Anachronox, rather it's a new 3D engine in-progress that plans to support many state-of-the-art features. The first demo release is available on 3DFiles for download. This version 0.1 supports the following features:

  • Motion blur
  • True quadratic bezier surfaces with level of detail (lod)
  • Colored volumetric fog
  • Support for Quake II models (.md2) with frame interpolation
  • Support for Quake I map (.bsp)
  • Support for 3dfx and Glide 3.0
  • Completely written in C
  • And more...

MacQuake 2 Server Browser

L4Q2, a Java based MacQuake 2 server browser has left the beta stage, and version 1.0 is available for download. The freeware browser requires the Macintosh Java Runtime 2.1 libraries, and now features the ability to filter five different game types, including Action Quake.

Mark Rein Interview

Italian site Games on Line has posted an interview with Epic Games' PR guy, Mark Rein. The interview is available in both English and Italian language versions.

Exist Interview

This week's edition of 10 Questions With SamHell interviews Mike Fricker, "the one man army" behind the upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter called Exist.

Mike Wilson Interview

The Adrenaline Vault interviews Mike Wilson getting the CEO of the Gathering of Developers' opinions on the consolidation issue that's the subject of the AVault's current editorial (discussing recent consolidation in the gaming business and what it means to consumers). The interview goes on to "present a glance at the flip side of the consolidation coin."

PSX2 Unreal

The Adrenaline Vault News is reporting on plans to begin development on an Unreal port for the PlayStation 2. Here is part of the report, which goes on to say there are no plans for a PSX2 port of Unreal Tournament.

Sweeney says Epic has the PlayStation documentation from Sony and has signed an agreement to obtain a development system, which should happen soon. This, combined with continuing development on the Unreal Tournament engine, will provide them to start the process of porting their technology to the upcoming machine. Interestingly, Sweeney says there will be benefits as well as tradeoffs. “The PSX2 is very capable technically of running Unreal engine games, though there will be some tradeoffs, such as lower resolution textures, since memory, especially video memory, is more limited. On the plus side, there will be higher polygon counts,” he clarified.

Their plan is to bring the Unreal Tournament engine up to speed for the console while remaining binary compatible with the PC version, which is useful for both development and running game servers. Imagine a 3D game that enables both PC and PSX2 gamers to battle it out on the same servers, once and for all determining which system is superior. Until they have a development system in their hands, though, Epic is doing research and development on the PC side, including getting skeletal animation up and running, and porting the server to Linux using the GNU-EGCS compiler, which will expedite progress on the PSX2 since it uses the same compiler.

AM Tech Bits

Some more of those nutty NVIDIA drivers (that always pop up on OEM sites first) leading off this morning's bits:

Descent 3 Strategy Guide

The Adrenaline Vault's Descent 3 Strategy Guide describes itself as the "largest, most comprehensive and most accurate source of information on one of the greatest games of all time, Interplay's Descent 3." If all that hasn't got you dizzy, you can check out their guide, which offers both multiplayer strategies and a single-player walkthrough.

Q3ATest Weapons Guide

While not a full strategy guide like the above, the Oxygen Tank's weapons guide for v1.05 Q3test offers an excellent overview of the armaments in the current version of Q3ATest, offering extensive tips on each weapon's effective use, along with a bit of history as well.

Treadmarks Interview

Speedy 3D interviews Seumas McNally talking about Treadmarks, the upcoming tank racing game, in part one of a two-part interview.

Planescape Torment Interview

GA-RPG's Planescape Torment Interview talks with Guido Henkel of Black Isle Studios about their upcoming isometric-view RPG Planescape: Torment, which uses the same engine as Baldur's Gate.

BattleCruiser Update

A few tidbits from the outer-space world of BattleCruiser. Derek Smart has added some BC3020AD screenshots "including all new surface units as well as the first ever shots of the newly refurbished GALCOM HQ starstation, complete with its manual docking bay (like the Battlecruiser)." Also, an update to the Galcom News Network page gives a development update on BC3020AD which basically explains the lack of updates lately. Also now up there is some BattleCruiser Strike Pak add-on news, which says, "Development on this first person add-on for BC:3020AD due out next year, is coming along fine."

TechnoConnection

TechnoConnection has added a feature to their useful IP listing service that now allows users of the service to exchange instant messages as well, which could make it useful for launching games using a listen server and making sure your buddies can find it.

AQ: Espionage

The Action Quake developer's Team has posted AQ:Espionage version 3.3, a new release of their scripted teamplay mod for Action Quake2. The new release adds a number of bug fixes, new scenarios, and new features, including server commands for scenario selection, map voting, custom weapon loadouts, periodic respawns,optimized weapon sounds, and more.

QuickStart & More Sloshy News

The newly relocated Sloshy Software page has the new version 2.40 of Quick Start - "Eraser Bot Wizard." The new release of this Quake II Eraser bot front-end is planned as the 'final' version (but if bugs arise, patches will be released). The new version only comes in a full install, and addresses a Friendly Fire DM Flag bug, and adds a few other changes. Those Sloshy folks have also updated their ongoing review of all Action Quake2 maps, and speaking of AQ2, they have also released an Action Quake2 Demo Pack containing 16 demos "showing off cool jumps, cool ways to kill people, and some other cool Action Quake2 related items." Finally, updated word on their latest project, The Swapper," is also available, including a couple of new screenshots.

Competitions

  • The newly opened Panther XL Website is celebrating their grand-opening by giving away 100 (that's right, one hundred) Panther XL joysticks as of 1:00 PM Pacific time today. As they put it, this is "Getting ready for Quake 3's next test release with advanced controller support!!"
  • New Jersey Quake is accepting sign-ups for a 100 person, four day LAN party/BBQ held on Labor Day Weekend.

etc.

  • Richard Smith updated his .plan with word that the on-again-off-again Webdog project is off again, and all the files and source have been deleted (not sure what happened there, there's not much else he has to say), though word is their .plan tracker will continue as always. Thanks Oxygen Tank...
  • This Introduction to the Console on I.Am-Half-Life helps you learn that the Half-Life console is your friend...
  • Boum's Q2 Box has a new version 0.7 release of their Insult-Q-Matic program, which serves up random taunts to your opponents in Quake II, and now, Q3ATest games...
  • Cries From The Other Side, an Editorial on 3D Action Planet by the irrepressible Andrew Smith, this time responding to recent comments from Brandon Reinhart and Mark Rein about illegal reviews of Unreal Tournament...

Out of the Blue

Spent yesterday with Gramma Blue: The eldest of the Blue clan wishes you all well (to the extent to which she understands who you all are). A little movie skinny comes from The Sunday Telegraph (by way of Dark Horizons by way of Ant), where they report "Keanu returns in double deal" talking of plans to create two sequels for The Matrix, which was apparently conceived as a trilogy from the start (go figure).

Link of the Day: This Onion Article. Thanks General WarT'. Warning: the article uses the "s" word more than an Eddie Murphy concert, but I'm hoping you can handle it.

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