Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 30, 1999

New Voodoo 3 Drivers

3dfx has released new drivers for their Voodoo 3 cards. This version fixes the desktop corruption problems and adds updated OpenGL support. The drivers are available with or without DirectX 7, as it is required to use them.

D3Edit Updated

After a false start this weekend, a new version 1.0 of D3Edit, the Descent 3 editor, has been posted on GameEdit.com. This version comes with the Descent 3: Mercenaries expansion pack, and is now available on the net with the blessing of Outrage.

SWAT3 Intro Movie

Although not yet reflected on the SWAT 3: Close Quarters Battle movies page, Sierra Studios has released the intro movie from their tactical squad action game for download (19 MB), running for 44 seconds at 640x480 resolution.

SiN CTF Servers

Ritual's Mark Dochterman updated his .plan with news that their CTF servers for SiN and the mission pack Wages of SiN are back up and running, as well as congratulations to Epic on Unreal Tournament. Here is the CTF part:
Ritual CTF Servers

debugctf and sinctf are both back up and running.
- Sinctf is just running standard Sin CTF.
- Debugctf is running Wages of Sin CTF.

If you have any requests (map exclusions, that sort of thing) please let me know. Enjoy.

Urban Chaos Preview

GameProWorld has posted a brief preview of Urban Chaos, the third person action adventure by Mucky Foot that officially went gold today and should be in stores around December 10.

Hidden & Dangerous: Devil's Bridge Screenshots

Suppressive Fire has posted four screenshots of Hidden & Dangerous: Devil's Bridge (called Fight for Freedom in Europe), the upcoming expansion pack for Illusion Softworks' tactical squad action game. Thanks SpecForce.net.

New OpenGL DooM Legacy

A new beta 15 of OpenGL DooM Legacy has been released, which adds better dynamic lighting and fixes several bugs. Static lighting, which had been removed in the previous beta, is back, and dynamic lighting now also works in splitscreen mode.

Daikatana Month

Ion Storm's Daily Informant has news about the start of Daikatana month, their four-week look at John Romero's game that is due out in stores in December. Each week will focus on a different episode of the game, looking at environments, characters and weapons, and today it all kicks off with the weapons in Episode 1. Also on the Daily Informant is a reminder that the next Daikatana Chat will be at 8 PM CST this Thursday, December 2, featuring sound designers Stan Neuvo and Darren Walsh.

Vampire Interview

Lair of the Vampire has posted an interview with Nihilistic's Ray Gresko about their upcoming 3D action RPG, Vampire: the Masquerade - Redemption. Here is a quote about striking the balance between the action and the role-playing side:
Bryionak: There's always a kind of struggle between gamers preferring the traditional roleplaying and those guys who love the action. Does combat play a big role in the game?

Ray: We've weighted the combat and storytelling within the game fairly evenly, so there's something for each type of gamer. The flexibility of the vampire license is very multifaceted, and multiplayer chronicles can be entirely focused on either end of the spectrum. It's our guess that some hardcore players will mostly stand around in an area posturing and plotting with eachother, and othewise engaging in some heady roleplaying, while the action buffs will push the combative powers the Kindred posess to the limits, with a more action-oriented feel.

New Creative Mini GL

Creative Labs has posted a new Mini-GL driver for Quake engine games (thanks Voodoo Extreme). The driver, which is intended for their 3D Blaster Voodoo 2 and Banshee cards, now supports Quake III version 1.09, and has the unique feature of supporting 512x512 textures on a 3dfx chipset.

PS2 Rate Plus

TweakFiles has posted a new program called PS2 Rate Plus. From the creator of the original PS2 Rate (a program that jacks up the sampling rate of the PS/2 port in Windows), it's a new Windows utility that does the same thing as the original, but now adds a full installer/uninstaller package and other minor enhancements.

More on Unreal Tournament Afterlife

Tim Sweeney made another update to Epic's Unreal technology page, addressing suggestions and questions he received in response to his first update earlier today. Topics include rewriting UnrealScript, Unreal's game framework, and using other languages as a model for their next scripting language. Here is a bit more about the next-generation engine:
One of the big things we're planning for the next-generation engine is splitting these concepts (lighting, physics, sound, AI) into separate objects. Then an actor contains a reference to a lighting object, a physics object, and so on. We will supply base lighting and physics objects, but you can create new ones by subclassing the existing ones. This way you can add cool new lighting effects that require new variables without modifying the Actor class. This approach also eliminates all of the huge lighting and physics enumarations; instead of enumerations for light types and physics modes, there will be a class. This means you're no longer limited to the hardcoded list of lighting and physics modes we thought of, you can add new ones by creating new lighting and physics classes.

This approach, of breaking up a big object into smaller components, can be applied in many other areas of the engine, for example the user-interface framework (to make controls more extensible); the rendering code (so the set of basic rendering primitives becomes extensible); and even the script compiler (so new language features can be added).

Unreal Tournament Interview

GameFan has posted another interview with a Digital Extremes developer, Dave Ewing, who designed the Assault-Overlord and DM-Morpheus levels in Unreal Tournament, among others, as well as creating sound effects in Unreal and its sequel.

American McGee Interview

RPOV has posted a brief interview with American McGee, talking to the designer about his work on the upcoming Quake III Arena engine title, American McGee's Alice. As the game is still very early in its development cycle, he doesn't say much, but he does drop this little hint (guesses anyone?):
Well, we're not saying *too* much about the product just yet.Until we get a lot closer to completion we're actually going to keep a lot under our hat...wait till you find out who's doing the music ;)

UT on FreeBSD

Brian "Doctor Schwa" Kelly sends word that he's posted directions for running an Unreal Tournament server under FreeBSD using Linux emulation at this site. He'll be keeping it up to date as well, so you FreeBSD nuts be sure to check it out.

Painkeep for Quake III

Stomped has learned that Team Evolve is working on a project that is codenamed, "Painkeep 2025" for Quake III Arena, to be released sometime in 2000. There are no details beyond the name, but those who remember the original Painkeep will no doubt be pleased by this news.

New Æstats

The Æstats Page has a new version 4.30 of this log parser for 3D shooters. The new version adds support for the latest versions of Quake III Arena with improved log parsing, Counter Strike Beta 4 support (in v4.29), and other fixes. Also released is Æstats Mutator 4.22, a Mutator for Unreal Tournament that generates log files with detailed frag information.

Final Fantasy VIII Preview

GameSpot UK has posted a hands-on preview of SquareSoft's upcoming PC port of Final Fantasy VIII, which is based on a fully playable build of the game they received. In typical GameSpot UK fashion, there's also a gallery with a ton of new screenshots.

Omikron 2 Confirmed

FGNOnline has confirmed with French developer Quantic Dream that they are in the early stages of design on Omikron 2, the sequel to this year's Omikron: The Nomad Soul. They say that they're looking to get musician David Bowie back for a second time, in addition to other artists.

Nox Interview

GameRush has posted an interview with Bryan Hansen, a game designer on Westwood Studios' Nox, an isometric action/adventure title which according to Hansen, is "feature complete and now in alpha testing."

After Unreal Tournament

Epic's lead programmer Tim Sweeney has updated their technology page with a long account of what is up for him after the completion of Unreal Tournament. While the next engine will have a completely new renderer, the R&D Notes mainly focus on the next-generation successor to UnrealScript, exploring various issues with programming languages. As with all R&D, the update is rather technical in nature, but here's how it kicks off:
I've been working on early research and development on a new engine, mainly focusing on the next-generation successor to UnrealScript for now. It's great fun to be back doing some blue-sky tech experimentation now, having been in crunch mode for basically the last two-and-a-half years: first it was "we must finish Unreal", then "we must fix the network code and Direct3D", then "we must finish Unreal Tournament".

The next engine will contain more new code than old; we'll have a 100% new renderer optimized for year 2000 hardware; we'll have a massively enhanced game and networking framework; and an all-new editor. But for now, the new scripting language seems like the best starting point, so that's what I'm focusing on now.

Nox Movies

While not yet reflected on their Nox page, Westwood has released eleven short movies on their ftp site, showing off in-game footage of their upcoming isometric action/RPG. Two new soundtracks are available for download as well.

Wheel of Time Interview

Ultimate Gaming Online interviews Glen Dahlgren, discussing Wheel of Time with the game's designer. The Q&A discusses how the game meets the expectations he had going into the project, a couple of "we'll sees" to the possibilities of various ports, and talk of "rough plans right now for an expansion, and potentially, a sequel."

Psycho of the Week

PsychoNews, the official fansite for KISS Psycho Circus The Nightmare Child, has posted their newest "freak of the week" showing off monsters from this upcoming LithTech-powered shooter from Third Law Interactive. The new shot is of the Stump, "perched atop a building stalking his latest prey" (don't ask me how they know it is a he).

Ultima IX Ascension Stuff

Origin's Ultima IX Ascension page gives word on an upcoming patch and official FAQ (thanks Ultima IX Horizons). Also, The Bard of Trinsic's Ultima IX Walkthrough and Ultima IX Ascension Universe have hints and spoilers that can help you if you are stuck in the latest version of Origin's RPG.

Tech Bits

LTK for AQ2

Simultaneous with the CGF for Action Quake2 release yesterday, is a new version 1.10 of the Licensed To Kill bot for Action Quake2. Word is the new CGF and the new LTK "both support some sweet fog code," and the LTK release also now includes the latest source code for the bot.

Jumbot for Half-Life

A new version 0.96 of The Jumbot is now available. The new release of this AI opponent for Half-Life is to address a single bug that could cause bots to scale against walls and not see or hear enemies.

UT Skin Making

Epic's Shane Caudle has posted a pair of grid maps on the Unreal Tournament Skins page to aid all you would-be Buffalo Bobs in the design of new skins for the models in Unreal Tournament. There is also a quick rundown on Skin making, and the promise of more grid maps in the future. Thanks Painful Detail, where they have also posted the files for download.

Swag Alert

Word is the Mad Catz Site will unveil their new website today, and will be giving away loads of free stuff every day for the next 12 days in a 12 days of Christmas dealie. Last time they did this they gave out 100 Panther XL's in under two minutes, so perhaps this time they'll be looking to set some new records.

Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well it is certainly nice to be back in the friendly confines of the Blue Tower after an extended Thanksgiving weekend, I hope all that celebrated (or those who didn't, for that matter) had as nice a time as I did. As it turns out, work continued apace on server stuff over the weekend, and the current ETA for the return of the CGI scripts here is mid-afternoon tomorrow. In the meantime, as always, whatever patience you can muster for the portions of the site that are currently not working (.plan updates, messageboards, LAN Party listings, etc.) is certainly appreciated.

Link of the Day: Your Home for Physical Immortality on the Web. Similar to a past LoD, their new book is Why Die? A Beginner’s Guide to Living Forever (I'm holding out for Immortality for Dummies, myself). Thanks Larry Hastings.
Story of the Day: Web pioneer recommends license to drive online. Thanks Jeff Bruner.
Icky Story of the Day: Starbucks sued over alleged crushed penis. It doesn't get any less unpleasant as you read, so stop there if it ooogs you out. I don't really go for this one, but there were so many that sent this in (Brian Fiete being the first), that we'll just have to call it the mandate of the people. All I can say is ouch.

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