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Friday, Aug 13, 1999


Q3Test Server Browser Tip

id's Graeme Devine made a brief .plan update with a quick tip to help find specific game types in Q3Test using the internal server browser:

BTW. You can search for Q3A Internet Servers using the keywords "ffa", "tourney", "deathmatch", "team" and "tournament" in the Internet game browser screen to only show specific types of maps.

Wheel of Time Preview

GameCenter has posted a new preview of Wheel of Time, complete with quotes from Legend's Glen Dhalgren. There are also some new screenshots, which show off more than just the gorgeous architecture (let's face it, it's great, but there's only so many times you can see the same cathedral). There's even an introduction to the world of Robert Jordan, for those of you who haven't read the novels.

Xtreme Release

PlanetStarsiege has released the Xtreme map pack for Starsiege: TRIBES, a collection of maps originally planned for the Starsiege: TRIBES Extreme version that will be in stores this fall. These were not, however, made internally by Dynamix: they were created by an independent group. There are also a few screenshots available that show off the impressive architechture in the maps. Likewise, those can be found at PS.

New CounterStrike Beta

A new version (beta 2) of the anti-terrorist mod CounterStrike for Half-Life has been released. This version contains the following changes:

- Three new guns added : (Sig SG-552 Commando , AK-47 , Desert Eagle)
- Added silencers to the USP .45 Tactical and the Colt M4A1
- Added a round timer which shows how much time is left in the round
- Added team scores which shows how many rounds a team has won
- Added Night Vision Goggles
- Added new entity for mappers to use (info_hostage_rescue)
- Optimized all the models for lower r_speeds!
- Ability to assign keys to all of the commands from the controls menu (courtesy of cannelbrae of Gunman project)

More on Quake III Bus Tour

The Quake 3 Arena Bus Tour page has been updated with a schedule for the Texas leg of the bus tour, which will bring a giant LAN on wheels to various stores, campuses, and more across the southwest USA. Also, The Quake 3 Arena Bus Tour is Coming to CompUSA! announces the CompUSA site, with a schedule of stops at their stores (thanks theta).

Unreal 226 Status

PlanetUnreal has posted a quote they received from Epic's Tim Sweeney regarding the status of the next Unreal patch. Here are the details:

Yes, there will be another Unreal 1 patch, with the latest Direct3D code (big improvements), network code and server performance improvements. I don't have a date though...we're going through a lot of testing/tweaking on UT now. The Unreal 1 patch might be synch'ed up with the UT demo.

More Alice

The Burpfish Network (the Burpfish lives?) has posted two new concept art pieces from American McGee's Alice, one of which features the title character (which bears little resemblance to the John Tenniel image so many of us are familiar with) and the other depicts some demented scenery.

Linux Q3Test 1.08

TRIBES Freeze Update

Dynamix' Mitch Shaw updated his .plan with a massive update on the status of his "Freeze" mission type for Starsiege: TRIBES that he's been working on. Here's an excerpt, as the list of changes is far to large to fit on this here news page:

Wow, I think the Freeze mission type is almost ready to be released! It looks like my server didn't crash at all last night.... I'm getting all teary, it's like the first time your baby sleeps the night through. *sniff* Thanks for the comments and suggestions people have given me on how to improve the game.

There are a few more minor points I want to fix as well as some gameplay issues I'm still undecided on....I'm a little torn whether or not to implement a change that a few people have suggested: when a team is all frozen, both teams respawn instead of just the frozen one. This would prevent people from camping out at respawn spots and freezing people as soon as they appear, which can obviously get pretty boring for the frozen people. Thoughts?

Work on Alice

Rogue's Won Choi updated his .plan (well, actually just about everyone at Rogue updated their .plans) with word that they're looking to hire a new 3D artist/animator to work on their new project, American McGee's Alice. Full details are available on their new website in the "employment" section.

New Rogue Site

Rogue's Patrick Magruder updated his .plan with word that the official Rogue Entertainment website has undergone a spiffy redesign. The site now features tutorials such as "Designing Textures the N64 Way" by Rich Fleider, and also this official press release for American McGee's Alice that I couldn't help but notice:

It's Friday the 13th, Welcome to Wonderland

Electronic Arts Announces American McGee's Alice

Following weeks of rumors spawned by an Electronic Arts-hosted Web site,, EA today officially announced American McGee's Alice, a dark and twisted 3D-action adaptation of Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland. In conjunction with the announcement, EA launched the first phase of the official Alice Web Experience site at The site features a sinister Cheshire Cat who will reveal information on the upcoming game through weekly riddles over the next several months.

Being produced and directed by EA's American McGee, one of the top level designers at id Software for years, the game will put the player in the role of a tough and cunning Alice, reborn to handle the challenges of a hostile Wonderland. Alice will feature both a single-player action/adventure story line, developed by Dallas-based Rogue Entertainment, and innovative multiplayer functionality which will be lead by McGee's Redwood City development team. Cutting-edge 3D technology, strange and familiar characters and intricately crafted environments will bring the creepy, twisted and organic world of American McGee's Alice to PCs in late 2000.

Linux Unreal Interview

LinuxGames has conducted an interview with Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart of Epic, talking about his experiences porting Unreal to Linux (thanks PlanetUnreal).

New Kingpin Beta

A new beta patch for Kingpin (version 1.19b) is available for download at the Kingpin beta site (thanks Thomas Guggisberg). This version fixes an "undisclosed exploit" and is considered a 1.20 release candidate.

Alice News

As promised yesterday, the official site for American McGee's Alice has gone live, complete with oddball riddles, one creepy chesire cat, and flash galore. Also of note is AVault's Alice story, which has posted the first concept art available from the game. Alice is a third person action game being developed by Rogue Entertainment and Electronic Arts, utilizing the Quake III: Arena engine, and based on Lewis Carroll's Alice books.

All the Dragons That are Fit to Print

Game Theory The Feel of Cinema, but a Game at Heart is a NY Times article (free subscription required) that discusses the cinematic feel of Psygnosis and Surreal's upcoming third-person action game. Saw that on Drakan.Net.

No QCon Demo Fix-Q3Demo Soon?

id's Graeme Devine sent along an email to follow-up on the recent report that it was possible that some fix would be released that would allow the viewing of the demos of the matches recorded at QuakeCon '99. Here's the mail saying that unfortunately, this is not meant to be, though the good news is, it sounds like this is partially because such progress is being made towards completing the project:

No there will not be a special update for playing back the QuakeCon levels. We're in pretty much the final push now to get this thing out the door and we've started to make CD images etc. to test out the game, so another test is looking doubtful. I expect the next update will be the full demo, followed in very short order by the game itself.

Well Knock Us Over With a Feather!

Ritual's Levelord updated his .plan with the joyous announcement that he's upgrading himself from a humble "I" to a humble "we," offering news his engagement. No one in this business holds a warmer place in our hearts than the humble 'lord, and we want to be among the first to wish him all the best. I just hope this doesn't mean the end of the Dick stories...

SoF Interview

Raven's Kenn Hoekstra sends word that Unpaid Gamers Online has posted a new interview with him, as well as three new exclusive screenshots from Soldier of Fortune.

Polish Mortyr Gold

Several places (including GASource and Gone Gold, where I spotted it first) are reporting that the Polish version of Mortyr has gone gold and will be in stores on August 25th. As there still is no US or European distributor, there is no release date set for those territories as of yet.

Voodoo Drivers

3dfx has released new beta drivers for Voodoo2 and Voodoo3 cards to run under the Mac OS (thanks 3DFiles). Remember that these are beta drivers, so read their stern warning before downloading. Quantum3D has also released new drivers for their Obsidian X -24 SLI Voodoo 2 card. Thanks Sting, who also says, " it's about freakin' time, too!"

Nocturne Characters

Saw on Voodoo Extreme that Terminal Reality has updated their Nocturne site with new character animations showing off the good, the bad, and the ugly from the upcoming oogie horror game, Nocturne.

Gearbox Interview

GameLinks interviews Landon Montgomery talking to one of the cogs at Gearbox software about Gearbox' upcoming Half-Life add-on, Opposing Force.

Drakan Gore Feature & Contest

A post on the The Adrenaline Vault News describes a feature in Psygnosis' imminent dragon-riding action game, Drakan: Order of the Flame, that will enable parents to restrict the level of graphic violence with a lockout that's protected by password. The Adrenaline Vault also has word on a search for the dragon on the web Drakan contest dealie (snappy summary, eh?).

AM Tech Bits

  • This WickedGL dealie on Wicked3D's site is described by 3DFiles, who sent the link along, as an "enhanced mini client driver for Quake3 Test and Quake2 engine-based games for Voodoo Banshee, Voodoo2, and Voodoo3 cards. WickedGL will provide you with significant performance and quality improvements over standard mini-gl drivers, especially in Quake3 Test."
  • ASUS has posted a new AGP-V3400/V3800 Win9x driver v2.09 beta 1 updating their TNT/TNT2 release of the other day. Thanks AGN3D.
  • WinFast 3D S320II Ultra Windows 2000 Driver (direct link) Thanks BetaNews.
  • There are supposedly new Voodoo3 drivers on the 3dfx site, but it's been down steadily since we received the report.
  • Corrinne Yu's .plan update make Hulk's brain hurt! Hulk smash!

Kevin Cloud on Q3A Custom Textures

Quake III Nation has a reply from id Software's Kevin Cloud to their query about how custom textures will be handled in Quake III Arena, which is basically the same as in Quake II, in a separate .pak file (*though he points out the textures are in the standard .tga format rather than Q2's proprietary .wal format). The post also mentions "shaders files," which are "short scripts that define the properties of a surface or brush content as it appears and functions in the game."

Mark Rein Interview

There's a Mark Rein Interview on the Beauty of Madness with the ever extra-vigilant Andrew Smith posing some questions to Epic's PR guy, asking about illegal beta reviews, patches, and what's new in Unreal Tournament.

Quake II Neuralbot

The Neuralbot page has the first release of what's described as "an automated Quake2 deathmatch opponent(bot) that uses an artificial neural network to control its actions and a genetic algorithm to train its neural network." Thanks Ozh. According to the site, "The bot is basically totally autonomous; that is no pre-programmed behaviours are included in its AI code." The first version of the code allows anyone who wants to train a bot to do so. The caveat is: "it learns, but not particularly well. I'm talking about hours of training for a simple 'turn and shoot at opponent' behaviour - if you're lucky." Exciting stuff nonetheless.

On Bungie & Take 2

A "Q & A by Bungie Software Regarding its Distribution and Investment Agreements with Take 2 Interactive" showed up in the mailbox here at the BlueTower as a follow-up to yesterday's big Bungie/Take 2 announcement (story), and the following answer seemed worth passing along in case there were any Bungie fans concerned about what this all means:

Q: How will the responsibilities for development, publishing and distribution be divided between the companies?

A: In North America, Bungie will remain developer and publisher for all PC and Macintosh-based product, and handle all publishing responsibilities, such as sales, marketing, packaging, and public relations. Bungie will distribute its products through Take 2's distribution network and Take 2 will handle all logistics related to distribution. Bungie and Take 2 will together handle all publishing functions in Europe and Australia, using Take 2's very experienced staff.

Be a Nihilist

Nihilistic's Rob "Innerloop" Huebner updated his .plan with word on how you can join the Nihilists at Nihilistic* as a "Gameplay Technician" (admitting they just made the term up). Here's the deal on the gig:

Gameplay Technician (yes, we just made that up..)

Nihilistic is looking for a driven and creative individual to join the Vampire team as a Gameplay Technician. The role involves working with the game's scripting language and data resources to create the coolest gameplay possible. This is where the "rubber meets the road" in terms of gameplay sequencing, scripting, combat and Discipline effects, etc.Also involves some level design, object placement, and AI tuning work.

We're looking for someone that will go nuts with the dark toy-box of capabilities the Nod Engine offers and help to bring Vampire to a never-before-seen level of interactivity and fun. If you are located in the Bay Area, have some basic experience in programming C or Java, love games, and are enthusiastic about having a key role on a major entertainment title, then we'd like to talk to you!

Please, Bay Area residents (that can commute to Novato) only should apply. A history of work experience in the gaming industry is a plus, but not required.

This is currently a full-time, temporary position, but could lead to continued employment if your work rocks and you don't piss us off too much. :)

Email resumes to with subject line 'Gameplay Tech'.

Or you can snail-mail them to:

Nihilistic Software, Inc.
1 Commercial Blvd. Suite 101
Novato, CA 94949


Version 1.1 of TRIBEStat is out, updating this tool for TRIBES server administrators. This release adds some new bug fixes, plus a few improvements "such as better admin to admin talking." Thanks Datumplane::Starsiege.

OpenGL Doom & Heretic

Kokak's Heretic Page has version 0.9 of Kokak's frequently updated beta OpenGL port of Heretic. Also, OpenGL DooM Legacy page has OpenGL DooM Legacy v1.29 beta 3. Both programs are OpenGL Win32 ports of the publicly available source code for each game. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.


Out of the Blue

Today I spent the afternoon with my mom, the beloved MommaBlue, who made the a new breakthrough in my family's occasional participation in this here website, as she handed me the NY Times, asking if I'd seen the article on QuakeCon. I hadn't, and so I called loony, who looked it up on the website and posted it (story), definitely the first specific news story ever posted on this site where the credit could have been thanks mom.

Link of the Day: Thieves Steal 26,417 Gallons Of Brandy. Thanks DNapalm. Round up the usual suspects (they can't have gotten far!).
* Pop Culture Game (experimental new format) "...his girlfriend gave up her toe!"

Thursday, Aug 12, 1999

Alice Teaser

Apache sends word he's posted a message on VE sent along by EA about their plans to unveil a bit more about their upcoming Quake III-engine game, Alice, tomorrow, on the occasion of Friday the 13th:

'tis Friday 13th on the date on the wall,
And light's growing dim at the end of the hall.
The clock has expired, the windows are locked.
Now Jack is undead, and he's out of his box.

You visited once to my world of absurd,
Come visit again if you have half a nerve.

Yet More QuakeCon

Redwood's QuakeCon 1999 Wrap-up is up with big Red's write-up on the proceedings, along with a bunch of photos (including one where I stood on a step and tip-toes where I was sure I'd come out taller than both Red and loony, but I just barely edged loony, if that). Stomped also is home to Paul Steed's QuakeCon 1999 Wrap-up, complete with the id Software 3D artist/modeler's account of the event, which saw him serve as mac-daddy to a bevy of booth babes. Also now online is GameGirlz - Quake Con '99 Diary as well, also illustrated with photos.

TFC Level Bounty

Sierra just sent along word that they're offering a bounty for TeamFortress Classic levels that will be included with Gearbox' upcoming Half-Life add-on, Opposing Force. In addition to being part of a commercial release, the level authors will earn $1,000 (from my Doom level making days I think that's about .25˘ an hour, but a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks!). Here's the deal:

Bounty Offered for New Team Fortress Classic™ Levels Three User-made Levels to be Included in Half-Life: Opposing Force™

Bellevue, WA (August 12, 1999) - Sierra Studios today announced that it is now accepting new Team Fortress Classic (TFC) levels for inclusion in Half-Life: Opposing Force (Op For), the official game expansion for Valve's award-winning 3D action thriller.

To enter, users go to and then follow the directions for submitting their TFC levels at the following URL: Then, a panel of judges from Valve and Gearbox Software will select three winning levels for inclusion in the official game expansion. In addition to being listed in the game credits, each of the winning level editors will earn $1,000 for their work.

"The amount of high-quality content being created for Half-Life and TFC by the mod community and other amateur developers is incredible," says Gabe Newell co-founder and managing director of Valve. "We hope this effort will help spawn the creation of even more great content and give exposure to the people creating it."

"Many of the most renowned designers started out by making mods and custom levels for popular commercial games," says Randy Pitchford, director and chief designer of Gearbox Software. "We feel it's very important to give the most talented designers from the community a chance to have their creations showcased. And, we feel this is yet another great component of Half-Life: Opposing Force."

Half-Life Patch Status

Sort of the same report of non-news, but if you were wondering about that Half-Life patch that was originally possibly going to be released Sunday, and then around now, HalfLife Dot Org is reporting that Jenni from Valve told them "It's looking like it won't be out for a few more days yet." So that's the story on that.

Sigmund Bot

The Bot Epidemic is reporting that Rich's Project Warehouse has the release of a new Quake bot called the Sigmund Bot that plays both coop and deathmatch. The source code is also available. If you are really a fan of bots in first-person shooters, or a Duke3D fan, for that matter, you may be interested in another post they made yesterday about how to activate the undocumented bots in the 'Atomic Edition' of Duke3D.

Gore Screenshot

Joel Huenink from 4D Rulers sends word that he's updated the Gore Images page with a new 24-bit color OpenGL screenshot depicting the medieval past setting from their upcoming first-person shooter, Gore.

Shock Chat Log has posted the chat log from last night's chat with Irrational Games' Ken Levine. Irrational Games developed System Shock 2, which is now on store shelves, and sucking up my free time.

Take Two Buys Into Bungie

Take Two Interactive has purchased a 19.9% (let's just call it 20, okay?) stake in Bungie Software, as reflected in this press release. Bungie is best known for their Marathon series of FPS games, the Myth series of RTS games, and of course their two products currently in development, Oni and Halo. The press release goes on to say that Take Two's Jack of All Games subsidiary (a games distributor) will have exclusive rights to four upcoming games: Oni, Halo, and two more undisclosed products.

Starsiege Patch Soon

Dynamix' Rick Overman updated his .plan with a status update on the next update for their giant robot game Starsiege. Here are the details:

Starsiege Patch 1.004 left the building this afternoon for final approval. If all goes well it could be posted as early as tomorrow, but monday might be more realistic.

This will be a simultaneous US, UK patch release.Win2000 installer patch is in the final phases of testing and should also be posted sometime next week.

Battlezone 2 Shot, Report

Strategy Planet's Battlezone 2 Center has posted this week's Battlezone 2 shot of the week, as released by Pandemic Studios. Also of note, is that Pandemic has posted a new insider report on their site, featuring Jack Davis, the guy who takes all these screenshots (not the Mad Magazine artist), talking about how he does it.

Ground Zero Registration

Registration is now open for Ground Zero, the CPL event taking place here in sunny NYC (thanks Redwood). As there is a limited ammount of space, all attendees must register. The event takes place from Thursday, September 9, 1999 through Sunday, September 12, and while it isn't taking place in a hotel (as opposed to many other recent LAN parties), they will be posting a list of hotels with discounted rates at some point in the next couple of days.

Halo Interview

IMG Magazine has posted an interview with Bungie's co-founder, and code jockey behind Halo's impressive engine, Jason Jones. The interview's a good one, as Jason answers several good questions, including ones about the engine's origin (it was supposed to be the next-generation Myth terrain system), as well as this one that helps explain why it looks so damn good:

One of the reasons it looks so good is multipass texturing. Every major object in the Halo world has at least two texture maps, and many have several more. For example, the alien hover vehicle seen in the keynote trailer has four maps, a base color map, specular map for lighting effects, a "dirt" map for the scuffs, burns and pitting that objects in a real battlefield might have, and a per-pixel reflection map for varying levels of reflectivity from shiny objects.

Shogo Servfixr

PlanetShogo has posted a new version of the server-side cheat protector titled Servfixr. This version corrects a problem ping reporting, as well as adding a new spectator mode.

Soldier of Fortune Preview

3D Action Planet has posted a preview of Raven's Soldier of Fortune, complete with new screenshots, background on the game (including info on their mercenary consultant), info on their GHOUL modelling system, and quotes from Kenn Hoekstra.

QuakeCon in the Times

Today's edition of the New York Times contains an article titled, "Peace and Love at the Quake Tournament" (also available on line) which talks about last weekend's QuakeCon '99 gathering. The article is a good reflection of the general feel at the event, which was full of shiny happy people. It also contains quotes from John Carmack, and mentions numerous people from the community, including Rix, Kornelia, and more.

Rogue Spear Interview

SimHQ has posted an interview with Carl Schnurr, producer on Red Storm Entertainment's Rogue Spear (thanks Rogue Spear Retreat). Carl talks largely about the changes they've implemented to the game since it's predecessor (Rainbow Six), and the piece is illustrated with screenshots galore.

Console News

Here's some console related news for you all on this slow news day...several places are reporting (here's PSX.IGN's report) that the PlayStation 2 (or whatever it winds up being called) will ship in Japan on January 23, 2000 (that's 1-23, get it?) and retail for a price of about $390. Turok: Rage Wars has been getting a great deal of press of late, with a hands on preview popping up at IGN64, and the official site having gone live. Rage Wars, you may recall, is Acclaim's Turok game that uses a gameplay format similar to that of Quake III: Arena, or Unreal Tournament. A PC version is not planned. Acclaim also announced recently that they will in fact be making a Turok 3 for release in 2000. Currently it is planned for release on the N64, with no word on a PC or Dreamcast version as of yet. Lastly, Acclaim's Shadow Man (which recently went gold for the N64 and PC) will be ported to the Dreamcast, as reflected in this Next-Generation Online story.

SS2 Navy Character

Following up on the "OSA" character details that were released a few days back (story), EA has sent out a press release that details the "Navy" character from the game. System Shock 2 has shipped, and is in store shelves now.

Drakan Shots

CNET Gamecenter's Drakan Order of the Flame Game Grabs has some new screenshots from Surreal and Psygnosis' third-person dragon-riding action game, due in stores next week (the 20th).

Sega Split

Sega Elevates Kezuka to Top Post of North American Operations is a press release saying that "SegaŽ of America, Inc. announced this afternoon that Toshiro Kezuka has been named vice-chairman and chief operating officer of the company, effective immediately. Kezuka succeeds Bernard Stolar. Effective Aug. 11, 1999, Bernard Stolar is no longer with Sega of America, Inc. It is Sega's policy not to comment on personnel decisions." Sega, Stolar Split reports Next-Generation Online in their story on the subject, discussing the shakeup that removes the architect of the Dreamcast launch (and the launch of the PlayStation) has been replaced less than one month before the Dreamcast's launch.

GenCon Coverage

Gamecenter's GenCon '99 Wrap-Up gives their retrospective on this past weekend's gaming festivities in Milwaukee, WI. Also, the Glide Underground's GenCon report covers the event on a day-by-day basis. In the intro to the GC piece they point out that a mere 162 fans attended the first GenCon Game Fair over 30 years ago, and now it's North America's single largest gaming convention.

Max Payne Screenshots

To celebrate their grand opening, Head Trauma, dedicated to hitting you upside the head with news and goodies related to Remedy Entertainment's upcoming Max Payne, has posted a pair of new screenshots from this upcoming John Woo-inspired third-person action thriller.

CliffyB Chat

MacGamer's Ledge and World Without Borders are holding an online chat session this evening with Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski, currently hard at work on Unreal Tournament. The chat is at 7:00 PM Pacific/10:00 PM Eastern. You must register beforehand for a free login/password and are warned to try to arrive early, since the session may completely fill up.

Spec Ops 2 Interview

The Hive interviews John E. Williamson of Zombie Studios, talking with he co-producer/designer of SpecOps 2: Green Berets about progress on this sequel their seminal tactical shooter.

Still More QuakeCon

MGON's QuakeCon '99 coverage is up with pictures, descriptions, and accounts of the festivities at this year's Texas LAN extravaganza.

AM Tech Bits


In this week's MailBag we have... last week's MailBag, which just never got posted until now in the chaos surrounding QuakeCon. In our old & new collection of epistles we find the real dirt on the fish-eye effect and HALO; scholarly analyses of an over-used cliche, an over-rated novel, and an over-hyped movie; folks terribly unimpressed by doves and third-person games, and folks terribly impressed with The Blue's News Effect and "Large & Realistic Anuses" (as I think it's safe to say any normal person would be). All that and more, if you can believe it, await in this week's MailBag.


3d Wars Diamond Viper 770 Giveaway is underway, giving away one of these TNT2-Ultra cards. You can enter once a day all week for the drawing.



Out of the Blue

The way loony talks about the System Shock 2 demo, I am worried that when the full game shows up, I might have to send him off to rehab, but as long as he steers clear of that Everquest (video crack), I guess he'll be okay. Relating to yesterday's OotB, today looks to be Ritual's third birthday, so happy anniversary to all you ritual killers, glad to see you're out of your terrible twos.

Link of the Day: Kansas Board Votes To Bar Evolution From Classroom. Thanks Damion Schubert. That sound you hear is Clarence Darrow spinning in his grave.
Bonus Link: Drowned man awakens in Alexandria morgue. More real news of the day. Thanks Drews (first of many to send this one).

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