Archived News:

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

John Carmack: Cool, Yes, OS, No

An article called idOS on 3AG (thanks quitedown and Billy Rosewood) offers what they call "confirmation" of the project id Software lead programmer John Carmack is working on, saying that, in their words: "id’s next ‘big’ project, and what Carmack has been working on for the past few months, is a whole new operating system. Dubbed the idOS, will be an open source, gaming specific OS supporting OpenGL." The article goes into some detail about the plan, but no source is cited, so I wrote Mr. Carmack and asked if such an OS was actually something he was considering, or was already working on. While not revealing anything of his next project's nature, his short reply certainly seems to leave little room for much of the article's speculation to be accurate:
What I am working on is very cool, but it certainly isn't an operating system...

New Server Watch

Just by dumb luck I noticed this story didn't get posted when I wrote it up yesterday, so here goes, better late than never: A new version 2.0.5 of the Server Watch utility is now available. This is a system tray utility that can automatically ping a game server and display the number of players on the server in the tray. Version 2.0 added new features like a new interface, new servers, new network code, buddy support, players and rules support, console administration, and more, and the most recent version 2.0.5 release promises to fix problems with Half-Life and Window2000.

Xbox Boost

A report called X-Box CPU Upgraded confirms that the CPU in Microsoft's upcoming console system (which they now tell us should actually be written "Xbox") has been upgraded before it's been released from the 600 MHz CPU previously announced, to a 733 MHz unit. According to the report, MS "now it claims the system is capable of 1.2 trillion operations per second."

Black & White Movie

The official Black & White website is online, as well as separate Black & White pages, all dedicated to Black & White, the upcoming RPG where you play a god from Lionhead Studios. Additionally has posted the Black & White gameplay movie that was shown on the E3 floor at this year's show on FilePlanet so you can download it and check it out from the comfort of your own home. In keeping with the theme of many of the downloads related to the show, this is another bandwidth strainer, weighing in at 42 MB.

Soldier of Fortune Q&A

A brief Q&A with Raven's Eric Biessman is up at SoFOperations' Modcentral, talking to him about their ongoing support for the Soldier of Fortune mod community, as well as a bit about his work on Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, and the possibility of SoF 2 (no decision has been made yet).

Oral Commands in Klingon Academy

Now here's a bit of news us Star Trek geeks will love...Interplay has announced that they are partnering with Game Commander developers Mindmaker to enable voice-commands in their upcoming space sim Star Trek: Klingon Academy. Using Game Commander, gamers will actually be able to bark out commands to their crew, just like in the movies and television series. The press release mentions Interplay's plans to mail out a CD to Star Trek fans, featuring a playable demo of the game and a trial version of Game Commander with preset commands for the game in "a direct mail piece to Star Trek fans during the first week of May 2000." So keep an eye on that mailbox.

Deus Ex Preview

A new, extensive preview of ION Storm's Deus Ex is up at AVault (thanks Purge). The preview is very much hands-on, as the author played through a beta version of the full game, and is extremely detailed, featuring loads of gameplay information, as well as new screenshots.

Apache Havoc Demo

It doesn't seem to be mentioned on the Razorworks website, but there's an Apache Havoc: Comanche Hokum demo on linked from Razorworks. The demo offers a playable preview of this helicopter simulation that is part of a planned series of such sims that are intended to be able to interconnect. The demo requires Direct3D, and some bandwidth, since it's an 80 MB download.

Klingon Academy Preview

There's a Star Trek: Klingon Academy preview on Sci-fi Gaming with some hands-on impressions from playing a press build of this upcoming space action game. Included are hands-on impressions, comparisons to Starfleet Academy, and some new screenshots.

Majesty Add-on & Zero G Marines Announced

Zero-G Marines in Development on GA-Source is the announcement of a new tactical first-person shooter in development at Strategy First set in outer space, said to offer support for 16 players in multiplayer mode. Also new on the horizon is Majesty-The Northern Expansion, announced in a post called Majesty Expansion Pack Announced, New Screenshots on GA-Strategy, which offers a description of the upcoming expansion pack Majesty, Hasbro Interactive's RTS, saying it will add "all new epic quests, enemies, and magic spells."

More Screenshots

Scott Miller Interview

There is an interview with Scott Miller on talking with the one of the partners at 3D Realms. The short Q&A includes the requisite examination of the 'Apogee Model,' including word that 3D Realms will "always use this model," talks about the low-profile Duke Nukem Forever and Max Payne have been keeping lately, and compares the PC market to the console market.

Gore Interview

There's a Joel Huenink interview on Fragland catching up on progress on Gore, the upcoming gory first-person shooter from 4D Rulers. The Q&A gets background on Gore's plot, discusses working in a family business, violence, interactivity, and more. Included are a pair of new in-game screenshots.

Dreamcast Half-Life Video

Fortress Center has released a movie that was shown at E3 from the Dreamcast version of Half-Life. While it was indeed shown under the moniker of "Half-Life for Dreamcast" we were able to confirm at the show that the footage in the movie contains none of the new features in the Dreamcast port, nor was it recorded off of the Dreamcast hardware. What is depicted in this movie was taken from a PC, but is said to resemble what the finished product will look like.

Deep Space Nine Site Live

Simon & Schuster Interactive has launched their official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen site, which features screenshots, conceptual artwork, gameplay movies (in both Quicktime and AVI formats) and even MP3 music from this upcoming third person Unreal engine title.

PM Tech Bits

An early start, a load of bits, and a new Outlook security patch for "I Love You" style attacks, all combine to inspire a return of the PM bits:

John Romero Interview

GamesDomain had a brief chat with John Romero at last weekend's E3 Expo, and they have posted their discussion in an article-format interview. John talks about the reception Daikatana has been getting, says he has no regrets about the title's development, and that he is eager to read the reviews of the full version of the game.

Soldier of Fortune 3DS Files

Raven has released the 3D Studio Max files for Soldier of Fortune, that allow users to manipulate the game's GHOUL character system (thanks talltim). Let it be said up front, these files are gi-normous, clocking in at 2.7 GB (yes, GB) when uncompressed, so only download if you've got the bandwidth/drive space.

Empire Earth Preview

A new preview of Empire Earth, an upcoming RTS game from the creator of Age of Empires, has been posted at GameSpot UK. The preview features a look at the game's plot and design (complete with screenshots), and tomorrow they promise a full Q&A as well as more screenshots.

New Kquery

Version 1.5p+ of Kquery, a server querying program for Quake III Arena, Quake II, UT and other games, has been released. This new version adds support for Half-Life and Counterstrike, and at 253 KB is a pretty small download.

Epilogue Interview

GA-Strategy has interviewed Team Sigma's Daan Nusman and Marcus de Jong, talking to the lead programmer and game artist about their work on the upcoming 3D strategy title Epilogue. They talk in detail about the game's engine, as well as how the game will stand out amongst the other titles in this overcrowded genre.

Away Team Interview has posted a new interview with Reflexive Entertainment's John Price, talking to the producer about the upcoming isometric tactical strategy game Star Trek: Away Team. There are lots of game details in here, including some specifics on weapons, as well as word that your entire team doesn't have to survive in order to complete a mission (which should please those that have a tendency to use team members as human shields in games like this).

More E3

The Rift Shots

Three new screenshots from The Rift, Thrushwave's upcoming space-themed 3D RTS game, are up at GameSurge, offering a brief glimpse at the special effects the game's engine is capable of.

Submarine Titans Q&A

Gamers Press has conducted a Q&A with Raaj Menon, managing director at Ellipse Studios on their RTS game Submarine Titans. Raaj talks about the world of international game development (Ellipse is located in Australia) as well as some game-specific info about Submarine Titans, including an explanation of their multiplayer support (which features support for 8 combatants and up to 16 spectators).

Soldier of Fortune Chat

Planet Soldier of Fortune sends word they are holding an online chat session with members of the Soldier of Fortune development team at Raven. The shindig is Thursday, May 18, at 8:00 PM EDT (5:00 PM PDT) in #sof on Among those in attendance will be Kevin Long, Dan Kramer, Scott McNutt, John Scott, Jarrod Showers, Eric Turman, and Keith Fuller.

Ground Control Screenshots

There are a pair of new Ground Control screenshots on The Oxygen Tank showing off more gameplay from Ground Control, Massive Entertainment's upcoming action/strategy game. Both shots are set in the desert, with one an overhead of some tank and plane formations, and the other offering a close-up view of a tank.

Tech Bits

Editing Stuff

For movie makers, Plunging the Synch on is the second part of Anthony Bailey's investigation into timescales and Machinima, which "delves into AV synchronisation issues." Also, this Strata page has the Strata 3D program, used to create Myst, among other things, is now available for free download (or for $40 in a deluxe package). Thanks


The UT InstaGib League Home has info on the newly-opened Unreal Tournament InstaGib league. Also, the Cybernetic Productions site has a follow-up on the story about those bankers working at getting paid to play Quake (story) with details on the matches and photos from the get-together.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

In the same way divers need to surface slowly to avoid "the bends," I am slowly detoxing from the events at E3. Yesterday I had strobe lights flashing, and the stereo and TV both going full volume all day. Today, I turned the sound down a notch, and within a couple of days I'll probably be almost comfortable again in a silent room. I'd describe the process for weaning myself off of the constant presence of booth models, but MrsBlue might be reading. =]

Link of the Day: Q3A Wassup. Flash required. Thanks DarkNova. From the page: "I figured I better do this before the whole concept gets way overdone...Or am I already too late?" The obvious response is "True... true," but heck, we posted a whole pile of these already that are far less topical than Q3A.
Bonus Link: The Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie Homepage. Thanks Psyci Tariani.
Story of the Day: Net not as interconnected as you think (ZDNet) reports: "The Web's most extensive mapping project ever shows that despite what we may think the Internet remains a one-way street." Thanks Ant.

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