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Wednesday, Jul 21, 1999

  

Rogue Spear Demo Soon

A report on RainbowSix.Net quotes Wendy from the Red Storm Entertainment PR department as saying that a playable demo of Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear should be available in "roughly three weeks" (about when my Mortyr demo download will end).

On MacQ3Test

id's Graeme Devine updated his .plan with a reassurance for Mac users that the missing version 1.07 of Mac Q3Test is not forgotten:

Mac Users! We're not ignoring you, we're just having a slight technical problem with the Macintosh build right now. BTW, I'm in love with that new iBook! When they ship that's going to be /the/ portable.

id Texas Monthly Article

The online version of Earth Quake from August 99 Texas Monthly is now available, offering a web-based read of the article about id Software in the print Texas Monthly mentioned yesterday (story). Thanks Redwood. The article asks: "Who cares about a violent computer game created in Mesquite?" following with their own answer: "The whole wired world." The article discusses id, progress on Quake III Arena, and the controversy over violent games.

Mortyr Interview

There's an interview with Andrzej Wilewski on Damage Gaming talking with the project director from Mirage Media about Mortyr, the time-travelling World War II shooter with the just released demo. Some time facts: the short Q&A should take less than two minutes to read, in it we learn that Mortyr took three years to make, and according to my browser, the just-released Mortyr demo (story), will take me another 45 hours to download.

Wheel of Time Preview & Shots

The Unreal Universe Wheel of Time Lore page has gone live, with a preview of Legend's upcoming Unreal-engine action/strategy game, with five new screenshots for visual flavor.

Mortyr Demo Released

As promised earlier (story) the playable demo of Mortyr is now available on the Mortyr Website and Mirage.com.pl (looks like my time zone conversion was right after all). Thanks Ryan. It may be a tough download, but we'll get a copy up as soon as we can.

New ZDoom Test

A new version 118test8 of ZDoom is out, offering the latest build of this version of Doom ported to Win32.

BeOS Quake II FAQ

The beGamer - Quake2 for BeOS FAQ is online with help for those having problems with the BeOS Q2 port. The FAQ is quite short, but covers supported video cards, and does offer a couple of helpful tips. Thanks Christopher Heschong.

Soldier of Fortune Chat & More

Raven's William "Phoebus" Mull updated his .plan with mention of some print props for upcoming Raven games, an online chat with Soldier of Fortune programmers John Scott and Nathan Albury, and an upcoming version of ArghRad that supports Heretic II. Here's the whole deal (in Phoeb's trademark font, no less):

Be sure to pick up this month's (September 1999) issue of Computer Gaming World (hardcopy gaming mag) - Soldier of Fortune and Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force have been named 'Hot 100' upcoming games!

John Scott and Nathan Albury, Programmers on Soldier of Fortune, will be doing the IRC chat thing, answering some of your questions, this Thursday at 7pm cst/8pm est in #gamedesign on irc.3dnet.net. Head to Rust for more info!

Speaking of Rust, they mentioned (by way of PlanetKingPin), that a future release of ArghRad is planned to support Heretic II! ArghRad (by Tim Wright) is a modified version of id's lighting utility for Quake II, giving maps much more of a curve-y appearance. If you want to know more about it, check out Radiosityland!

Q3Test 1.07 GameSpy & PingTool Filters

A couple more filters have shown up in the BlueTower mail bin to help find servers that have upgraded to the new Q3Test 1.07. This set of GameSpy tabs sent along by DeathIncarnate includes separate files to filter servers playing both TeamPlay and Tournament mode when using GameSpy 3D, and this PingTool filter from George will return any server running the new version when using PingTool. As noted on the pages, the tabs are zipped in spite of their infinitesimal size (which actually is bloated by the zipping process), because the zip format files are less likely to adversely impact your browsers delicate digestive tract than those nasty raw filters (i.e., they're easier to download this way).

Experience Updates

There is a new development update online for WXP's upcoming first-person shooter Experience, the Experience Development Update on GA-Source and Experience Development Update #2 on Voodoo Extreme are each the same update, in which WXP's Patrick Moynihan talks about the game's DirectX 7.0 enhancements, physics tweaks, character animations, and more, though the VE update has an extra plug for the Sci Fi channel's special about loony's favorite current release, The Blair Witch Project.

Halo Movie & Screenshots

GameSpot's Bungie Unveils Halo has ten new screenshots from Halo Bungie's just-announced (story) action game, and, in spite of what loony said about the gameplay movie from today's keynote speech not being released, a 12.8 MB movie of gameplay in QuickTime format. None of this stuff is directly off a computer, Micheal from GameSpot tells me the screenshots and movie were all taken from the video feed during the keynote.

Hands on Turok: Rage Wars

IGN64 has had a chance to test out an early build of Acclaim's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Rage Wars, the Quake III: Arena and Unreal Tournament-style Turok game for the N64. While this is exclusively a console game, it does have a pretty extensive list of features. Here's a list of most of them (for a full list, check out the preview):

  • Four multiplayer modes: Bloodlust, team Bloodlust, Frag Tag and Capture the Flag.
  • Play and unlock 14 different characters and mission trees.
  • Frag Fest Mode -- players are given specific requirements to meet in order to proceed (you are the Fireborn, achieve five frags -- and you only have a shotgun).
  • 19 Ranks to achieve.
  • 25 player skins to unlock.
  • 50 medals to attain.
  • 17 Playable characters: choose from Turok, Adon, Raptor, Mites, etc.
  • Computer Bot AI allows for up to six-on-one action.
  • Bot customization (choose character, skill level and team).
  • Innovative weapon selection screen allows players to customize their arsenal and play with weapons they like.
  • Save and load up to four players per Rage Wars game save.Your friends don't need to own a Nintendo 64 to play and save their stats.
  • Four brand new "Bot-boss" characters.
  • 16 weapons including the scorpion launcher, shotgun, crossbow, inflator and one secret cerebral bore killer.
  • Universal power-up pick-up gives players one of 13 different abilities including invisibility, stone skin and force empathy.
  • 36 unique multiplayer maps.

In other Acclaim console news, the N64 version of Shadowman has gone gold and will be shipping soon, with the PC version expected to go gold in the near future.

Halo Video

ZDNet has posted Steve Jobs' keynote address from the MacWorld Expo in both Real Video and Microsoft Media Player formats (although oddly enough, not Streaming Quicktime). Skip forward to about 41 minutes to check out the introduction by Jason Jones, co-founder of Bungie, followed by the first ever public showing of Halo, the game that has floored me twice now. Regarding a higher quality version: when I asked a Bungie representative, I was told that because this particular movie doesn't feature any shooting (at Apple's request), they're going to make a separate trailer that is more accurate of the game's action. Look for that sometime within the next two weeks or so. Also worth seeing on the stream by the way, is Noah Wylie's appearance on stage playing Steve Jobs at the opening, as well as the introduction of the iBook, Apple's consumer laptop with wireless LAN capabilities.

As one last Halo note, the astute boys at the Myth Townhall have noticed that if you look carefully in the background of the Halo logo, you'll see a very faint version of the Marathon logo. Hmmm...

MDK2 Preview

Dreamcast.ign.com has posted a hands on preview of BioWare's MDK 2 (thanks Frederik). The preview is reasonably in depth, and illustrated with new screenshots, as well as new video footage from the game. As everyone knows, MDK stands for "meek dumb kittens".

Win Halo D3D Only

As he heads back from MacWorld, loonyboi sends word that he's learned a small previously-unrevealed tidbit about Bungie's just-announced Halo (story). The Windows version will not support OpenGL, but will be D3D-only. Nothing to stop the presses about, but it's not mentioned in the release, so I thought I'd pass it along, since it also gives a chance to provide a description of the game, which is a third-person squad-based action game, Jason says to "think TRIBES meets Tomb Raider."

Unreal Tournament Preview

Today's required Unreal Tourney preview (just joking -- see this week's MailBag) is a Hands On UT Preview on GameSpot UK that says "on this initial showing, Tournament may well be capable of giving ID's behemoth Quake III: Arena, a run for its money."

ReDeMpTiOn Bot

A new version 1.10 of the ReDeMpTiOn bot for Sin is now available. The sole change is that this AI playmate for Sin is now up-to-date with the latest changes to SiNMod so it can use the r_arena.cfg information to turn weapons on and off in Rocket Arena games.

Screenshots

There are new Tomb Raider Last Revelation Screen Shots on GamePen. There are some Independence War Deluxe Edition Screenshots on PC Paradox showing off the new version of this space strategy game that will offer a new mission. Also, GA-Source has some new FvFRedemption Screenshots and Q&A about this upcoming Genesis3D engine sequel to the classic Quake RPG mod, and ole Potty Mouth has posted another new LithTech2 screenshot on Voodoo Extreme.

Mortyr Demo Time Correction

Mortyr.Net sends word that I messed up my GMT to EDT time conversion by failing to account for daylight time in the blurb about the Mortyr demo (story). To sum up, the Mortyr demo slated for release tonight at 0.00 GMT should be available at around 8:00 EDT if the release goes off as planned (I've changed the time listed in the earlier story to minimize further confusion).

Halo Announced

loonyboi just called in from MacWorld (where he's "on assignment"), with word that Bungie has finally announced their super-secret upcoming project, Halo at Steve Jobs' keynote address. The official Halo website has the first tidbits on the game, which is being developed for simultaneous release for both Windows and the Mac. loony got to see Halo earlier this year, and has been bursting at the seems to talk about it since then (but was under threat of death), because the demonstration (on a Mac) blew him away. The Press Release describes the game in detail, and I'll clip a piece below, as well as snagging the screenshot from the site, because it indeed, looks that cool. Here goes:

With no levels or breaks in gameplay, Halo gives players complete freedom of movement over open terrain. Vast outdoor vistas, complete with flora, fauna, weather and celestial events, are complemented with indoor environments of comparable detail and complexity. A universal physics model and persistent objects make events in this world utterly convincing. In this open environment, gameplay is not linear but unfolds in response to the player's actions.

Halo screenshot

Here's more from the release:

The player is a military recon unit of the human race's fledgling planetary empire. Pursued by alien warships to a massive and ancient ring construct deep in the void, the player must single-handedly improvise a guerilla war over land, sea and air, using the arsenals and vehicles of three distinct cultures. Using everything from composite swords to orbital bombardment, driving everything from giant tanks to agile combat aircraft, players wage intense warfare over and under the surface of this world.

The epic single-player game is complemented by a role-based, cooperative multiplayer team game. Playing the humans or the aliens, players will use entirely different skills, strategies, vehicles and weapons to compete in a variety of game types. Three players might take the roles of driver, shotgun and rear gunner of a light, fast all-terrain vehicle, roaring and bouncing over uneven ground toward the enemy fortress, ducking under a hail of fire from alien aircraft screaming overhead. Halo's multiplayer game will be an experience that is as much lived as played.

Mortyr Demo Tonight

Mirage Media sends word that a demo of Mortyr, the embattled World War II shooter whose publishing status is still up in the air, will be released at 0.00 GMT (8:00 PM EDT) this evening. Here's word from Mirage PR Manager Radoslaw Walczyk on the planned demo release, as well as what's currently known of the status of the game's international distribution:

I'm sure everyone knows Mortyr and all the rumors about the publisher, content of the game (symbols, violence). After few weeks of silence, when we were waiting the future publisher of the game, we decided to publish Internet demo. During this time we have changed many things (you can check the list at www.mortyr.com.pl/press/)like new levels, new graphic features, increased speed etc. You can see new look of Mortyr in our demo which will be available at 0.00 GMT on following sites:

www.mortyr.net
www.mirage.com.pl
www.mortyr.com.pl

This demo can be found only on Internet. No magazine will have permission to covermount it. Later in couple days we will publish another demo, bigger and containing more features, with permission to put it on cover CDs.

In about 2 weeks Polish version of Mortyr will be ready to sell. We still don't know the release date for Europe and US.

If you have some questions or comments about the demo or the game itself, mail us: mortyr@mirage.com.pl or radek@mirage.com.pl

Messiah Release Date

Voodoo Extreme has posted a report from Shiny's Scott Herrington with planned release dates for Shiny's upcoming Messiah, as well as a demo. Here's the poop:

We've been working hard trying to figure out the schedules for Messiah and we finally came up with one that everyone is happy with:

Late August: Preview tour
Mid October: Demo released
November 15: Full game released


So, that's why you haven't heard anything from us for a while. Whoo Hooo! Messiah has a firm release date!!!! Sound the bells, alert the media, strike up the band!!!

System Shock 2 Shots & Date

Looking Glass Technologies official System Shock 2 site has been updated with a bunch of new screenshots from the upcoming sequel to the classic sci-fi RPG. Thanks again VE and SShock2.com, where they have the new shots mirrored. The top of the page now also proclaims:

Shodan returns in 21 days X hours and X minutes -
Prepare to be shocked on August 12, 1999.

Q3Test Dedicated Server Follow-up

Dr. Chmod of the 5 Assed Monkey server (where often I've played myself -- that's a tough name to resist) sends along an easier solution to the problem reported earlier with running a Q3Test dedicated server after upgrading to version 1.07 from 1.06. Rather than a full reinstall as suggested earlier (story), the good doctor says that deleting the server's "q3config.cfg" file will cause the program to build a new one when you start the dedicated server, obviously a much easier fix than the 33 MB download.

Tim Sweeney Q&A & Unreal Demo Making

Cached News has posted a short Q&A with Epic programmer Tim Sweeney based on some email exchanges about the Unreal and UT server console and making demos. Also on the demo subject, they've posted instructions on how to record demos while playing Unreal both when you are playing over the Internet, and when you aren't.

Q3Test 1.07 Dedicated Server Fix

Update: This story offers a better workaround for this problem than the reinstallation described below.
Original Story: Daniel Kinney sends word that after updating Q3Test 1.06 to 1.07, he could no longer launch a dedicated server. I don't know if this is a universal problem but if it's one you share, he offers a solution that worked for him: Download the full 33 MB 1.07 installer, completely delete version 1.06, and install 1.07 from scratch.

Local Linux Q3Test

As promised yesterday, here are local copies of the Linux binaries for Q3Test. Here's the tar.gz version, and the RPM installer version, each about 33 MB.

Splinter

The Stromlo Entertainment site is just now live with the first information about Splinter, a new 3D flying shooter from Electronic Arts that looks to be sort of in the mold of Descent. The site has the first press release about the game, as well as some images and trailers.

Gore Interview

3drage.com interviews Joel Huenink, lead developer on 4DRulers' upcoming shooter, Gore in which you play Lt. Jack Fielding, "a combat experienced marine sent to the past to stop the aliens from extracting the earth's ore." In the Q&A we learn that, while the game will indeed be gory, the name "Gore" refers to the battle with the Gorothians over the ore.

Blade Interview

Before It's Done interviews Juan Diaz-Bustamante discussing the progress on Blade, an upcoming game described as an action title with strong touches of RPG and adventure with the CEO of Rebel Act Studios. According to the Q&A, the game will be in beta in September/October, and a demo should be available before the game is in stores.

Mortyr Shots

There are some new Mortyr screenshots on MagixX from the third release candidate of this upcoming WWII shooter (hopefully upcoming, the game's publishing status has yet to be publicly finalized).

SWAT 3 Movie

PC.IGN.com's preview of SWAT 3: Close-Quarters Battle has been updated with over 25 new screenshots, as well as a new 8 MB movie showing off gameplay in QuickTime format.

AM Tech Bits

New ASUS 3800 drivers among other things:

Q3Test Guide Updates

Q3Test Deluxe Taser Edition Tweak Guide has been updated with screenshots to show the visual differences between video cards, though (as they warn) be sure not to get too caught up comparing the TNT/V2 benchmarks, since they were run on different systems. The Abuse site has been updated with a discussion of the Q3 SMP results they posted yesterday. Finally, not to be outdone, Oxygen Tank's Q3Tourney guide has been updated as well.

NetGamesUSA & QuakeCon

The QuakeCon 99 site has word up that the stat-happy folks at NetGamesUSA will be participating in QuakeCon (now less than three weeks away) to help automate the first official tournament for Quake III Arena (Q3Test). This press release describes the plan, which will include a complete post-event archive of scores, statistics, and demos from every tournament game played to be made available on NetGames USA's web site.

Vampire Preview

Thresh's FiringSquad's Vampire: The Masquerade Preview is up, looking at Nihilistic's upcoming third-person action/adventure game where the more you suck, the better you are.

DarkStone Preview

Beta Bites' Darkstone Preview takes a look ahead at this upcoming Diablo-style action/RPG offering hands-on evaluation of the game, as well as a dozen new screenshots.

New Paintball II

The Digital Paint site has version 1.51 of Digital Paint Paintball II for Quake II. The full download is 20 MB, and offers all the maps models, etc., for the mod. Also available is a 4 MB patch to update any version from beta 5.5 up. Thanks jitspoe.

Contests

More Previews

Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

loonyboi is currently writing Sandy Petersen's name 100 times on the blackboard, Bart Simpson style, to ensure he doesn't misspell it, as he did again yesterday (sorry Sandy -- thanks Jacek Fedoryński for the heads-up). I can't be too mean to him, however, since I will be relying on him to keep the ship on course here over the coming weekend as we gear up to visit the Blue-in-Laws in the land of 10,000 lakes. I also can't be too mean to him because I have the habit of making errors repeatedly myself, it was only during the day yesterday that I realized that it's Q3Test, and not Q3ATest. Duh.

Link of the Day: More on the moon "hoax," as Culture News from Wired News asks "Man on Moon or Pie in Sky?" talking to some who claim the moonshots were faked, including the theory that the flights were impossible since radiation from the sun is so high that the astronauts would have burned up in space (also known as the Fantastic Four Theory). Thanks .andall.



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