Name: Robert A. Duffy
I've had a lot of requests for info on the terrain stuff that Todd mentions in his plan and which is visible in the demo movie.
Several things are going on with the terrain stuff. There have been quite a few updates and enhancements made to the engine for TA but the engine has always been quite capable of the triangle counts necessary for terrain.
Jim did some amazing work that allows the terrain brush conversion along the other support necessary to do the texture blending etc. The size capabilities are quite vast. The old restraints in the editor were +/- 4096, the new restraints are +/- 131072. Now there would be some pretty substantial floating point precision errors seeing that distance but the fact is you can make HUGE maps. As long as you have valleys and canyons or buildings etc. you can do some truly amazing things. John pointed out that people will possible run into surface count limitations and so on but this should not be much of an issue.
As far as FPS issues go, the map with the large gothic looking castles runs about as fast as many of TA's indoor maps, not all of them but based on how they work they are not too hard on system performance.
To give an idea on size, the largest q3a map is tiny compared to the smallest terrain map in TA and that map itself easily fits inside the center section of the largest terrain map in TA. And to put that in persepctive, that map looks like a postage stamp in the +/- 128K area.
The playground just got a lot bigger.
Team Arena / Point Release
Team Arena frame-rate
Team Arena is using more visual effects than Q3A from a map, texture and shader perspective. We are looking at things to make sure that the hit on frame-rate is not too drastic. I've seen reports that frame-rate "feels pretty much just like Q3A" to "it was drastically slower". We will take a look and see where and when we are losing FPS.
Team Arena Mod Capabilities
Team Arena is going to offer some unprecedented capabilities to mod teams. The UI is entirely scripted ( the menu system, in-game system and HUD ) and you can attach videos anywhere in the UI, on the HUD, in maps, anywhere. The sound system pages things in and out as necessary so you are not limited to just a hand full of sounds. You can easily script full inventory systems, purchase systems, pretty much anything you can think of. This in addition to the voice/order system. There are also a couple of BIG things we are saving for the retail release, which kick things up another notch or two as far as overall capabilities go.
Quake III Arena has always offered the most capable, technically sound, and best looking game platform around, and now that we have added a whole host of new functionality ( much of it at mod team requests ) mod teams will have in their hands the most complete game production toolkit ever and some really cool toys to play with. They are going to have the ability to produce a complete ass kicking, commercial company spooking, single/multiplayer player game experience. I am looking forward to seeing what people do with the all the new stuff.
Team Arena Order System
If you are not the team leader, the in-game orders menu is not allowing you to change your status, this is a bug. You can accomplish this by binding keys to nextTeamMember and nextOrder. These can be bound in the normal or in-game UI. nextTeamMember works by cycling the selected player on your hud or a list of your team ( up to 5 ). If you cycle to yourself, then use the nextOrder bind you can cycle through the available tasks.
If you are the leader, you can suggest orders to teammates the same way or you can cycle to the entire team and then choose an order. If you are commanding bots, they will change their status, with human teammates, they have to set their own orders based on your suggestion.
If you are given a suggestion by the team leader if you press the confirmOrder bind it will change your task automatically and the leader will see and hear and audio/visual response. If you press the denyOrder bind you will deny the order visually.
As a side note, there are specific animations for confirm ( yes ), deny ( no ), and also for when a leader gives an order.
There are several task binds, all available in the menu system under Setup | Controls | Orders from the main menu and under Controls | Orders in the ingame menu.
Bots will remember their last order if they decide to do something critical, like follow you if you have the flag or try to get your flag back if the enemy has it. Once that task is over they will go back to what they were doing.
You can also do team specific votes, such as voting for a new leader. All of this is available in the in-game menu system.
Point Release / Mods
The final point release should heading out soon. We need to do a bit of testing on things but it should be heading out of here in the near future. I recently set up a mailing list for mod teams to discuss code, etc and based on how busy I have been with Team Arena I have not had much time to devote to it. I have a pile of about 80 e-mails from mod authors wanting to join, I should get to that in the next day or so. I plan to try and get source to the mod teams that have releases pending on the point release a bit early so they can have their mods ready to go when the final point release hits.
I also anticipate finally getting all the tool source out very soon as well. This has been a long time coming but will be worth it as it contains some new functionaly required for some of the new stuff. As far as Q3Radiant goes, I would excpect Timothee and crew to have the new features necessary implemented in GtkRadiant shortly after our release. Graeme is also going to release the roq encoder around that time so things will be nice and complete.
Mods for Quake 3 Arena will require a recompile for use with 1.25 and above as we have added in a lot of mod requested features which added trap calls and changed the event system a bit. I'll get the source posted asap so all the teams can get their new cuts up. Look for it in a day or two. This executable is essentially the same executable as Team Arena so once mods are up under 1.25 they will run fine under Team Arena as well.
Game source for 1.17 is up. Tool source is pending as we are a little busy at the moment. It MIGHT make it tonight before I head home.
I've updated the Macintosh 1.17 point release. Two things happened with it.
1. The installer seemed to expire between when I started it ( about a week ago, been running since ) and when I built the Mac install. Some people had issues running it getting an unregistered installation. I'm not sure why everyone did not see the problem ( it worked fine on several Mac's here ;-) In any event, we re-registered it and anyone who had those problems should not see them anymore.
2. There was a frame rate drop on Macintoshes, again only on a percentage of them which has been addressed.
In other news, new game source for 1.17 should be out sometime this weekend, and I am hoping to get the tool source out at the same time.
We have just released a new point release for Quake 3 Arena, version 1.17.
This patch fixes a fairly serious security flaw in Quake 3 Arena. Internet
Security Systems identified the flaw and notified us with reproduction
details as well as an overview of the exploit. The basic nature of the
exploit is that malicious server operators could overwrite any file on a
client system. This type of thing is always possible with DLL based mods
( which is why we strongly recommend VM based mods ) but with this exploit,
it was possible within the VM system.
To help facilitate a rapid transition to the new codebase we have also
bumped the network protocol version. This means 1.17 is not network
compatibile with any prior version.
The install also includes all 3 PK3 files, because the original "pak1.pk3"
was not included in the final 1.16 release for Mac and Win32 builds. This
will address some pure server connection issues. You will have to have all 3
pak files present to connect to a pure server.
In addition to this security fix, we have also fixed the following:
- Callvote to single player game type causes the server to crash.
- Crash in bot initialization on some systems.
There is an update to the tools out on our ftp. It contains new executables for Q3Radiant, Q3Map, Q3Data, and the TexTool plugin. It is very hot off the presses so use at your own risk. The change log will be quite large and is not yet included but I wanted to get this out so people could start taking advantage of new plugins. Many thanks go out to Timothee Besset, The Curry Team, David Hyde, Jason Spencer, Jan Paul ( Mr. Elusive ), Eutectic, Maj, Paul Jaquays, and everyone taking part in the ongoing Radiant and Plugin department. The Gensurf and Curry plugins look fantastic as does the upcoming MGS plugin from Timothee.
Some words of caution, brush primitives "should" work fine but they are as always subject to change. They are required for the new grouping to work, but I would not use them or the new grouping yet as both are very much under construction.
The filename is "Q3ToolSetup_Mar172000.exe"
The game source for 1.16n is available on our ftp and should be appearing on mirrors soon. As with the previous source release this is a Win32 installation.
The code should be compilable into vm's without Visual C headers this time around so lcc (included) is all you need.
The 1.16 point release is done. It should start appearing on mirrors soon, in all three flavors. The release also contains the original player models done way back when for Xian, Carmack, Hellrot, Paul Jaquays, Willits, and Brandon James ( now at Rogue ). These are included in the PK3 file. Available separately are the Max files for each as well.
There were only a few changes between 1.16m and 1.16n, the readme details what was changed. I should get the code bundled up and out within a few days as well.
Any problems with the release ( or the game in general ) need to be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, this will ensure the issues get added to our bug database and looked at.
The Mod scene is pretty much exploding, I have a very long list of Mods to look at and play. A few issues have come up that are centered around Mod coding and requested features.
-Config files. The q3config.cfg file IS propogated to each mod directory as a set of defaults. If you want to use mod specific configurations, just use a yourmodname.cfg file and execute it at load time and save it out when appropriate.
-Server side DLL support for pure servers. This would allow pure servers to load DLL's on the server side only while keeping the clients pure. This will likely be possible in a future release.
-Client identification. Cheating is obviously a big issue. It seems that some people just cannot get over the fact that they suck at the game and have to cheat to try and make up for it :-) This along with abusive players has caused quite a few requests for the ability to generate a unique user ID based on the end users CD Key. This would allow servers to ban troublesome players or habitual cheaters. This method would not compromise the CD Key in any way but would provide a unique string that would identify a particular user irrespective of their user name, ip address and so on. Our current thought process is to implement a system very similar to caller ID. This would allow a server to be setup to accept only clients that provide their ID or accept all ( anonymous ) clients. Clients would be able to specify whether or not to provide their ID or be anonymous. Any feedback on this is welcome ( This is NOT in the game at this time but is under consideration )
There should be a new release of the tools available within a few days as well. The editor is still undergoing quite a few changes but I want to get it out so people can work around the nVidia stipple slow down and take advantage of the new plugins that are about to hit the streets. Tool feedback still needs to go to email@example.com
A new point release beta is out and on the FTP. We anticipate removing the beta tag in the very near future. We have been doing a lot of testing on connection issues, cheat preventions, auto-downloading as well as running a lot of the new mods through it. Things look good, some of the mods heading our way look fantastic!
This also contains a CTF version of Q3Tourney6 which is tons of fun for 2 on 2 CTF.
One key thing is that when connecting to a pure server both sides will have to be using the latest point release as we updated the pak2.pk3. This is not much of an issue once this version propogates a bit but it is something to keep in mind.
There are 3 issues of note with this version ( 2 of them Linux only )
- ZFree errors, on some Linux systems you may see ZFree allocation errors. This happens mostly when fiddling with the mouse etc. during map loads. We are looking into this ( as is Loki ).
- Mods directory does not show mods ( Linux only )
- Starting a team game with bots does not automatically assign the player ( you ) to a team.
As before, please forward bug and other information to firstname.lastname@example.org
New executables for the point release beta are on the FTP.
-Zombie/Ghost unpure clients no longer remain connected.
-Recursive File System error corrected when running mods with logfile set to 1
-The Auto-download rate is controlled by 'sv_maxRate', specify this value in bytes per second. The maximum band rate caps out around 25K per second.
Point Release Stuff
There was a lot of new functionality added in the latest point release, primarily centered around mod development support. We are still sifting through all the feedback e-mail but here are some problems and solutions based on what we have found so far.
1. If you are are not seeing the new "Mods" menu, it is likely that you are running something that replaces the UI. ArenaSpy and several other mods have their own UI DLL's or QVM's so you will not be able to see the point release UI. This can be remedied by removing any extra UI mods. This can also cause a problem with auto-download in that if you connect to a server that sends you something, you cannot see the download progress because the UI your using does not support it. The download is working but you just see "Awaiting gamestate" ( because your not using the new UI ). If you see partial files in baseq3 or an fs_game path this is what happened. Again, using the UI that comes with the point release solves this problem.
2. If you have chosen a 3rd party model or skin, you CAN still connect to and play on pure servers. The caveat being that you will temporarily revert to Sarge. This works just like it always has.
3. If you are using a cracked executable, you will no longer be able to connect to pure servers. "You ruined the game, I cannot cheat anymore!" is not a valid complaint.
4. If you are not able to join a server and you get an "unpure" client message, it is likely that you are loading content from an invalid PK3 file, loading DLL's for gameplay or loading content outside of PK3 files. If you have modified any of the official PK3 files this will also cause you to not be able to connect to pure servers. The other case in which I have seen this is if the server was set to pure and not restarted. I am still looking into this one.
5. I have seen reports of non-pure clients not getting kicked fully and remaining semi-connected. I have be unable to duplicate this problem. If you have details on this please forward them to me.
6. If you cannot see a 3rd party model, I have tracked this down to the method which it was zipped. It appears that some zip programs do not store directory names as individual entries in the zip files. I use Winzip and it works fine.
7. You can use 3rd party UI's to launch games and connect to pure servers. Once you have connected to a pure server, the client will reload the UI based on what the server flags is ok. This will explain running a new UI ( like ArenaSpy ), playing on a pure server, exiting back to the menu and ArenaSpy is gone.
8. There have been a couple of reports of not being able to load nn number of maps, others have reported no problems. We load around 2500 maps from the development directory here and with that and locally I have not been able to duplicate this issue. And no, there are not 2500 maps we did not release.. these are largely successive numbered versions of the same maps.
If you have any information that could help identify a problem or an exact set of reproduction steps for unpure clients not getting fully kicked or not being able to load maps from baseq3, please forward the information to me at email@example.com.
And for those of you wanting to try out that new Mod menu, I highly suggest HeadHunters or Fists of Fury those along with many others are Very Cool.
Q3A 1.16i Beta is now on our ftp site. This is a small executable only patch that enhances security. It is available in three flavors, Win32 ( a .zip file ), Linux ( a .gz ) and Macintosh ( a self extracting archive ).
The point release is now available on our ftp site. It is marked as a beta as there are a lot of functionality changes and we have a finite number of machines and scenarios we can test with. The included readme contains a lot of information, please review it. The release is available for all three platforms, Win32, Macintosh, and Linux.
If you encounter problems or bugs, please e-mail them to me at "firstname.lastname@example.org"
The point release is still in progress. We are addressing several things, among them auto downloading, mod support, cheating, and a few other things. It is moving into testing now and should be done "soon".
One area that we are working hard to improve on is releasing things for all three platforms at the same time. As we have still not released the final point releases for the Macintosh or Linux based systems, the new point release will be available in all three flavors at the same time.
We will be releasing a point release within a week that addresses the fs_game problem that exists in the current executable. This problem forces clients to start with the same fs_game parameter as the server. It does not affect normal game play but keeps the server from specifying which "game" directory to use. This is a bug. Mod authors do not have to wait for the fs_game patch to get started as the code will be the same either way on their end.
There are two other basic issues for mods that have come up:
1. DLL use for mods
Our position on DLL use for mods is that it is a bad thing. DLL's are not multi-os compatible and they pose a much greater security risk than qvm's. Note, I did not say that qvm's are totally secure, they are not, but they are definately more secure than DLL's. DLL's are for debugging only and qvm's are the only official supported way to produce and distribute a mod. Period.
We are currently exploring several options for auto-downloading. There will support at some level for mod surfing and downloading. This support is geared towards the "mod" type of add-on as opposed to downloading maps or models ( or skins ). The goal is to not consume server bandwidth for downloads but push the bandwidth use to some sort of a dedicated "mod" server or something.
The game source is out. It should start appearing on mirrors soon. It is in idstuffquake3source and named "Q3AGameSource.exe"
There is a "How to make a mod" text file included which shows the very basics of building the source for debugging ( Win32, Visual C++ ) and building the vms for distributing mods. It also shows steps to get your mod to run with the engine.
PLEASE NOTE: The game source MUST BE INSTALLED in quake3 off of whatever drive you like. This is so the batch files and the lcc compiler can find all the right stuff for building vm's.
The tool source and video compressor will be out next week. This will include source q3data, q3map, q3asm, q3radiant, our version of lcc and the executable for the video compressor.
The Point Release ( Win32 version ) is out. It should start appearing on mirrors soon.
The three primary fixes in this version over the 2nd beta are:
-crash when bots chat on dedicated servers
-crash when bots chat under linux
-bots no longer "keep" trying to score after they respawn if they died carrying the flag
The 2nd Point Release Beta (version 1.15b) for Quake III Arena is out. It should start appearing on mirrors soon. This version contains several bug fixes and should go final within a day or so. The source should be available shortly after that ( within a few days ). Per usual, all dates and time frames are subject to change.
-Control menu works properly
-Pure server connection notification
-2D Armor icon appears properly
-.arena files are accumulated properly across pk3 files
-A few other smallish fixes
I have placed a new install for the tools on the ftp site. Our ftp gets hammered but it should show up mirrored pretty quick as well.
There are quite a few changes, see the readme for a list.
This release contains new content or updates for the following:
-Q3Radiant, this is named 'Q3Radiant_181.exe'. This will allow you to revert to the older version in case there are unforeseen problems.
-Q3Map, some fixes.
-Q3Data, see the Modeling manual which was put together by Paul Steed and Paul Jaquays.
-Model_manual_ps.doc, the above mentioned model manual.
-bspc - see the included text file for changes.
-Museum.map, Museum.shader - A map done by Kenneth Scott to illustrate a wide variety of shader effects. Cool stuff.
-MapMedia.pk3 - additional content required by the museum
The museum takes quite a while to light when running Q3Map on it. Be patient :-)
I should be releasing an update to the editor soon. There are a few outright crashes I have fixed and I am looking into some other issues. If you are seeing stability problems, it is more than likely a driver issue. I am doing what I can to get these resolved.
We are seeing quite a few reports of fullbright levels when you preview new levels in the game. If you are having this problem can you drop an e-mail to email@example.com along with your video configuration and whether or not bringing the console down solves the problem ( press ~ to bring down the console and see if the level lights ).
We will also be re-releasing the .shader files soon. The .shader files in the shipping PK3 and the ones I included in baseq3/scripts include a lot of unused ( and in many cases non-functional ) shaders that are left over from the entire project. We are going to trim that down to the actual shaders used in the game.
'q3data.exe' will also be in the update which will allow you to convert ASE's to MD3's. This should help getting new player and map models in the mods.
A small update. To build a map, q3map requires that 'quake' exists somewhere in the path. It uses this to derive the base path to figure out where to find things. What this means is that if you installed Quake III Arena ( and the tools ) to 'c:q3' then q3map will fail with a < SetQdirFromPath: no 'quake' in C:/Q3/baseq3/maps/unnamed.map > error. I realize this can be somewhat of a pain but it is the way the tools work ( it is also the way the tools have always worked ).
If you installed the game and the tools to the default or the name you chose has quake in it then this will not apply to you. If you installed to a path that does NOT have 'quake' in the name you will need to rename it to get q3map to work properly.
The editor and tools are now available, the install can be found at ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/quake3/tools/q3toolsetup.exe. They should also appear on Quake3World soon.
The readme contains a LOT of information, make sure you peruse through it after installation. You MUST install the tools to the same path as Quake III Arena. This will allow the editor to just work ( or it should ). If you installed Quake III Arena to c:Program FilesQuake III Arena then make sure you install the tools to c:Program FilesQuake III Arena
These are unsupported tools. Even so, you may e-mail questions and problems to firstname.lastname@example.org. I cannot guarantee a reply or a fix but I will try to address major issues.
The source code for the editor, q3map, related tools and the game will be available soon. I do not have an ETA yet but it should be in the not too distant future.
As far as hardware required to run the editor, here is how testing went for us. All testing was performed on a P2-300 with 64 mb of ram and Win98. Testing was done with the GLSetup drivers in most cases, but we grabbed the latest reference drivers if problems showed up. NT 4.0 will probably provide different results. I will be working with the vendors to try and get the problems worked out with the drivers and/or the editor.
TNT1 - Runs well.
TNT2 - Runs very well.
GeForce 256 - Smokes :-)
Riva 128zx - Runs ok, slow but usable.
ATI Rage 128 - Runs very well.
ATI Rage Pro - Runs sort of, not usable.
S3 Savage 4 - Editor crashes.
Matrox G200 - Editor crashes.
Matrox G400 - Editor crashes.
3DFX Banshee - Ran the editor. No grid in XY Window but appeared ok otherwise.
3DFX Voodoo3 - Ran the editor. No grid in XY Window but appeared ok otherwise.
Intel i740 - Ran very well.
The readme has a list of the latest changes.
A couple of things. First, things look like they are still good to go on getting the editor and map building tools out early next week. I am shooting for Tuesday sometime but that can change based on a variety of things. In any event it should be soon. Secondly, the editor and shader manuals will not be available right then but will follow shortly after. The shader manual probably within a few days of the tool release, the editor manual a bit after that.
At this point, the tools should ship with three sample maps ( all from the game ) and the additional shader textures and "mapobject" models required to build those three maps. The maps represent a nice cross section of shader and entity functionality for everyone to digest.
We have been using a P2-300 running Win98 with a variety of cards for testing. To produce a production level map ( full vis and -extra light ) it takes 36 minutes for Q3DM1. Fast vis and normal light takes about 4 minutes on the same map. That should give some idea on requirements but your results will vary.
As always, everything here is subject to change ( timing and content ) but this is the current plan and I do not foresee any changes.
Recent changes to the tools.
-Project info dialog sucks less
-Properly handle long path names ( embedded spaces mainly ) when calling q3map.
-Better bsp execution, output is piped to dos window and console
-Q2/Q3 Pref handling works
-Better defaults all around
-Better window resizing, defer'd decision to default to floating window resizing.
-Fixed crash on loading new projects
-Seperated block allocator and actual size allocator to reduce memory overhead
-Failed textures only try to load once
-Failed MD3's only try to load once
-Cleaned up shader loading
-Editor loads without requiring information from the user the first time ( assuming it was installed in the right place )
-Fixed case comparision problems with some PK3 file contents
-Fixed allocation bug when cleaning out PK3 files on project reload
-Fixed MD3 load failure
-Add bspc to bsp list
-Finish GL card testing
-Fix MD3 path load from dialog ( misc_model attach )
-Decide on multiple PAK files ( multiple PK3's work fine )
-Mirroring curves needs to invert the texturing as well
-Mirroring embedded models needs to work properly
-Need default layout for floating window mode ( sticky windows as well maybe )
-New artwork into install
The editor and map building tools should be available in about a week. This will include a prebuilt editor, q3map, and additional support files to get you going with map design and construction. There will also be some sample maps and shader examples.
I'm in the process of running the editor against various GL configurations and making sure it runs well on Win98 machines. I'll post a list of confirmed GL setups that I found to work, with the release. If it runs on a driver set installed by GLSetup I'll call it good.
The tool and game source will follow sometime after this release. A few things still need done in that area but it should follow reasonably soon after the binaries.
The "about a week" time frame estimate is just that. An estimate.
Recent changes to the tools.
-Plugins can now load files from pk3 files ( transparent to the plugin )
-Shaders can now load from pk3 files
-Failed shaders no longer load a "notexture" image
-Shaders are loaded from shaderlist.txt instead of *.shader
-Shader texture loading is deferred based on All, Common or None rules. New Pref based on this.
-Models can now load from pk3 files
-Fixed Win98 Copy/Paste bug
-Fixed Win98 BSP execution bug
-q3map supports 'Quake...anything...' instead of just Quake2 or Quake3 as a base
-Lib'd several things to make code sharing a bit easier
-Finalize Q2/Q3 pref handling
-Auto window resizing, default to floating window mode
-Project info dialog sucks
-Only try loading MD3's once per session
-Verify no maps path is ok ( auto create paths )
-Set default tex window scale to 50%
-Auto fill prefs if can find quake3.exe and baseq3
-Add bot bsp option to bsp choices
-Run all paths through a path cleaner
-GL compatibility testing per driver set as required
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