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Brian Goble
Monolith | Company | Nov 18 1998, 19:17:12 (ET) | goble@lith.com

*** Monolith Production's Finger Server

User name: goble
Plan modified: Wed Nov 18 19:00:06 1998

11/18/98

I'm back! :)

The Shogo patch was released just a few hours after
I got back! I know we were a couple days late, but
although this was supposed to be mainly a multi-
player patch, we ended up throwing in a bunch more
single player stuff too. We actually ended up doing
a lot more than we originally planned--but I think
it was well worth the extra effort! Thanks to
everyone who provided us with feedback, bug reports,
helped us test the patch, and generally supported us
by sending positive vibes our way. We really
appreciate your patience as well. :)

I almost forgot about a cool Blood2 feature that is
available in both the demo and the full version.
Here's the scoop for...

Adding Custom Blood2 Sounds!!!

I set things up in Blood2 (full and demo) such that
even the non-modder can easily add a few custom sounds
for The Chosen characters. Here's all you gotta do:

Create a folder in your Blood2 install directory
called "Custom" (full version does this for you).

Make a sub-folder under "Custom" called "Caleb" (or
"Gabriella", "Ishmael" or "Ophelia"). Note that the
demo only supports Caleb.

Under the "Caleb" folder (or "Gabriella", "Ishmael"
or "Ophelia"), you can then make one or more of the
following sub-folders:

Idle
BigGib
Pain
Kill
Death
Burning
Powerup
Spawn
Suicide
Weapon
Taunt
Jump

Each of the above folders is a sound "group". Stick as
many .WAV files as you want (any format) in one or more
of the folders. If a folder is empty, the game will
use the regular game sounds. If a folder has .WAV
files inside, it will randomly pick from these sounds
instead!

For the demo, you need to specify "-rez custom" on
the command-line. You can have the demo launcher
automatically do this by adding it in the advanced
options (be sure to check the "Always specify..."
check box).

Hope that all makes sense. Enjoy! :)

11/12/98

I will be out of the office until Wednesday
November 18th. They're gonna hafta release
the Shogo patch without me! :)

The Shogo patch is looking awesome. We did
some testing with a few external people tonight
and everyone seems to love all the new server
options and the new DM levels! (there's 8
new ones, I think) I think the game is running
even faster with the new tcpip driver.

We made the "short" list for the Blood2 patch
that will be available right around the time
Blood2 hits the stores. There's a few things
we want to tweak and I think we have some
ideas for a few more speed optimizations.
After that, will be putting all the new internet
multiplayer code in for a multiplayer patch.

I played a little Gruntz multiplayer with the
Gruntz demo today. It was a blast! I saw
the Gruntz box art during lunch and it's coming
along really well.

Remember, if you send me an email and I don't
respond...it's not cuz I'm ignoring you, it's
cuz I'm out of the office until 11/18. Bye! :)
11/6/98

Lot's of game news...

Blood2 has gone Gold and the game is awesome!
Everything really came together in the last few
weeks! I finally played through the whole thing
and the story is really cool (and gory) and it
is definitely a ton of fun.

We made some great optimizations that really
improved performance and the level designers
worked their magic with the in-game cutscenes
once again. This game is bursting at the seams
with content...I think the CD has less than 9
meg of free space! Now that's a lot of content!

As promised, I rebuilt the Blood2 demo using all
the new code. Jace has been doing some tests
and the new build of the demo is WAY faster.
Plus, it has all the new mouse tweaks that make
it "feel" better. QA is currently pounding on
the demo...so it should be available any day now.
Stay tuned! :)

Shogo has got some new goodies too. The patch
is coming along well. Mike and Stephens added
some cool new multiplayer options to LithTech
and Shogo and I recently updated the ShogoSrv and
Shogo wizards to make many of them available to
the user. I won't explain what they all are right
now (most of them are self-explanatory) but take
a look at one of the new options dialogs:

http://users.lith.com/~goble/jpgs/options.jpg

The world/day/night/skycolor stuff that Mike added
is awesome, BTW. :)

Gruntz is in it's very final stages and should be
going Gold on Monday! The team has been fine-tuning
some of the puzzles and perfecting the multiplayer
gameplay. I haven't been able to play one of the
more recent builds...but I'm looking forward to it
now that I have a little more free time. The intro
movie is still one of the best we've ever done IMO.

As many of you know there are only a few cheat codes
in the Blood2 demo. I think a few of them are known.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a cheat code to skip
to the second level so you could watch the cool intro
cinematic again? Do you think there might be a cheat
code in there to do this? Wouldn't that be SUPER? I
think it would be SUPER. But if there wasn't, my only
response would be: "ZUG". As in "ZUG" (just something
I say occasionally).

Have fun... ;)

11/2/98

The full version of Blood2 could go Gold any hour
now! We are so close! We have made so much progress
over the past few days. With Mike's help, we made
some significant speed improvements as well as
reduced the memory overhead. The low and medium
detail settings will now make a much bigger/better
impact on the speed of the game--even high detail is
running a lot smoother!

It's kind of funny how some of the best improvements
and optimizations always find their way into a game
at the very last second. The Blood2 demo is already
out there, and it doesn't have all of these great
improvements. So, we will most likely release an
updated demo (and/or patch file) that includes all
this great new stuff. If things go smoothly, we
can probably have it ready a few days after the full
version officially goes gold. :)

I just finished playing through the entire full
version of Blood2 (using cheats, of course) and the
game is absolutely incredible. As a programmer,
you often play only a few of the levels, or even
a single test level where you test all your new
code--so you rarely get to see all the levels. But,
since we are so close to going Gold, I needed to
help verify that you can get all the way through
the game--poor me. :)

I think most of you already know that I hate spiders.
Yes, Blood2 made me yell a few times...there are
some really spooky levels that were getting to me
at 2am last night...the sounds and music didn't help
either. Plus, now there's creatures in there that
are worse than the spiders! Ack!

We're going to try to put out another *ALPHA* version
of the Shogo patch to help get more feedback. I've
been focused on Blood2 this past week, but I hear
things are still going well. I should have more info
in a couple of days.



10/30/98

The Blood2 Demo will be released tonight at 9pm
pacific time! Check out http://www.blood2.com
and http://www.the-chosen.com for more info!

The demo is another hefty one...weighing in at a
gory 36 Meg. It's got 2 levels, 6 weapons, some
good baddies, and even a few cheat codes--but I'm
not telling what they are... :)

The full version of Blood2 is oh-so-close to being
done and it is looking really good...the in-game
cinematics are awesome! Being able to play any
one of The Chosen characters is really cool too.

After Blood2 ships, I'll take a quick break and
then add all of the new Shogo multiplayer options
into the wizards. Mike and I are hoping to add
some cool new connection features too.

Enjoy the Blood2 demo! :)


10/24/98

I just sent out a build of the Blood2 demo to the
whole team! I am still waiting on a couple of level
tweaks from billv and one more splash screen from
gforce...but it's getting really close now. The
second level's intro cinematic is incredible!

The zip file for the Blood2 demo is probably going
to be right around 34 Meg. Look for it early this
coming week! :)

If you don't have Shogo or the Shogo demo, grab it
now so that you can make sure your 3D card's driver
is working properly with DirectX6. LithTech uses
all the new 3D features in DirectX6, so a driver
update is usually required (gee, I feel like I've
typed that before)

We are learning tons from the alpha of the Shogo
patch we released! I played in a bunch of big games
last night and it was a blast! There were also some
server issues (hey, that's why it's an alpha :) and
I am going to have to make some tweaks to ShogoSrv.

Mike and I talked about some network code changes
we can make that will help fix a bunch of the current
issues. I will be helping out as much as I can but
my number one priority right now is Blood2. :)

I've seen mostly positive feedback regarding the
alpha patch's affect on Shogo single-player. The
AI tends to kick your butt during cinematics on the
harder difficulty settings...but other than that,
I haven't heard anything too major. If you've been
playing Shogo single-player with the alpha version
of the patch, please send us some feedback! :)



10/23/98

I'm back on the late night schedule...so you know
we're in full-tilt crunch mode over here. :)

Blood2 is looking incredible! This game is so
bloody and gory, yet it can be so darn funny at
times too! There is so much awesome dialog in
the game! Not too mention max gibbage! :)

The Blood2 demo is actually almost done. The
hardest part has been deciding which weapons to
put in. I really started to like some of them
and it's hard to decide what to do. Part of me
wants to put them in the demo because they are
so awesome...and part of me thinks we shouldn't
spoil all of the fun in the full version.
Decisions Decisions...

I did lobby hard for the assault rifle because
I really like that one (I think I can hear Shade
yelling in the other building as I give out more
info without telling him) The DeathRay is just
so awesome now...is it going in the demo? I'm
not telling. :P

The alpha version of the Shogo patch is right on
schedule (don't you just love us :) and should
be available tomorrow evening! I couldn't resist
and jumped into a few of the bigger multiplayer
games (using GameSpy, which makes it sooo easy
now). I could not really tell who had the fast
connections and who had the slow ones. But, with
16 people playing, there wasn't a lot of time to
think about it. :)

Mike and I just coded in some ping info into
ShogoSrv and we also send it to GameSpy now.
Stephens said he played through a bunch of the
single player levels and only encountered some
minor problems. It's still an alpha version of
the patch, however, so I'm sure there are still
some problems. Be sure to read the readme!



10/20/98

Both Shogo and Rage of Mages are in stores!
Buy a copy today! http://store.lith.com

Shogo is doing great but we're still busting
our bunz working on making it even better.
The patch is coming along well and I'm really
hoping we can have it out *before* the November
15th deadline! Mike is adding more player
info stuff (ping times, connect time, etc.)
so I will add that to ShogoSrv soon. My todo
list is growing, but Blood2 has priority for
me currently. Read on...

Over the weekend, I some how volunteered
myself to lead the task of putting together
the Blood2 demo. That's right, there will be
an awesome Blood2 demo coming your way soon!
Should be out early next week at the latest.
(once I get something into QA's hands, I'll
have a better idea--it could be sooner)

This wouldn't be so bad except that we're
also going to be putting together the gold
master CD for the full version of Blood2 this
weekend as well! There's Blood everywhere!

Now that I've been programming on Blood2 for
a little while, I am totally blown away by
the fact that we are putting out two AAA
game titles within a few short weeks of each
other. The more I work with LithTech, the
more I am convinced that there's going to be
a lot more cool games using it in the future.

I've been trying to help out the tech support
guys by keeping up on the forums. Actually,
I've gotten kind of addicted to the forums
lately. I try to help people when I can and
I've gotten a bunch of emails saying "thanks!",
"you guys rock!", etc. etc. and I just wanted
to say that those emails mean a lot to me. We
know our products aren't perfect but we really
do try to help people and continue to improve
our games. Your support is very much
appreciated. We also listen to feedback from
other gamers...so don't be shy! :)





10/13/98

Rage of Mages is out! This game is incredible.
Check it out at: http://www.rageofmages.com

Then, buy a copy at: http://store.lith.com :)

Shogo is doing pretty darn well. We're getting
some really good reviews and there's less than a
week until it hits the stores!

I've got about a dozen items to do for the Shogo
patch that we're working on. Most of them are
minor tweaks to the launcher and some new options
to the stand-alone server (tractor beam stuff,
run speed adjustments, etc.)

In my last plan update, I mentioned that the
GameSpy support was in, but I forgot to give a
big "thanx!" to the GameSpy guys! Supporting
GameSpy was actually pretty darn easy--by I did
have a few questions and they were always quick
to respond with helpful info. Thanks again
guys! :)

I put in a bunch of the voice sounds into Blood2
for the four "chosen" characters. The "taunts"
are awesome. You can also customize the various
sound groups with your own wave files if you
like--this made Rick *really* happy.





10/7/98

The Shogo demo is out! In general, people seem
to really be enjoying it. There are a few small
problems, of course--but we are taking care of
those issues as quickly as we can.

I've been spending most of my time on answering
questions on the Shogo forums and helping out
on Blood2. Thanks to Stephens, I can now be
even more helpful as a member of the (elite)
Blood2 engineering team. :)

Blood2 is really moving along now--we're in full
super-duper-extra-deluxe-twin-turbo-intercooled
crunch mode. Wasn't I just here...oh wait, that
was Shogo.

Blood2 is really interesting because it's a LithTech
game (which is impressive in itself, that LithTech
can release a second game a month or so after the
release of it's first game) yet it has a totally
different atmosphere. This game has actually scared
me a couple of times already. And those spiders!
I hate spiders! They freak me out! But, they're
in Blood2 and I had to test some AI stuff...so I
had to "man it" and deal with the spiders. Life
is rough sometimes. :)

Rage of Mages will be in stores on October 12th and
Shogo hits the shelves on the 19th. This is a
really exciting time for Monolith and I can't wait
to see how our games do! Thanks to everyone out
there for all there support! :)

Last week, I finished up GameSpy support for both
Shogo and Blood2. Blood2 will ship with GameSpy
support out-of-the-box and the new stand-alone Shogo
server will be ready for downloading on Shogo's
release date. People seem to really like the
multiplayer setup wizard in Shogo...which makes me
happy since I was a little worried about how that
would be received by other gamers.

Well, my big compile is done and I have all the new
Blood2 resourdces...gonna check out some new stuff
now...




10/1/98

Yes! We are still on target for releasing
the Shogo Demo at 12:01am (west coast time)
on Friday (so basically, late Thursday night).

I just finished playing what very may well
be the final Shogo demo. We only had to
make a few tweaks to it this week so QA will
hopefully give us the green light on Thursday
afternoon.

The Shogo demo has two playable levels--one
mecha and one on-foot. About 1/3 of the
weapons are available and there's tons of
stuff to blow up and you'll also get a taste
of how the story gets conveyed and how the
NPC interaction works. It's really quite
awesome and Shogo never ceases to impress
me whenever I play. I wish more of my code
was in there. :)

The demo is 39.8 Meg and it does include
some music so you will get to hear how IMA
works (dynamic music based on what's going
on in the game). It really is an awesome
audio addition to a game. I think you'll
really like it.

Blood2 is also coming along really well.
I've been helping out on some programming
odds-and-ends now that we are getting closer
to completion. GameSpy support (this goes
for Shogo too) is so very close to being
done. I just one or two more things to
iron out. The GameSpy guys are great and
have been really helpful.

Ok, I managed to sneak in a few vehicle
updates for those who care. Here's a quick
summary and some links...

A local shop now has a dyno so I gave it a
spin and pumped out 287.6hp at the rear
wheels! This equates to around 335ish hp
at the flywheel (stock is 255). Ignition
amplifier is next. Check out some pics
and vids at:

http://www.users.lith.com/~goble/rx7/dyno.html

I've had the micron pipe on the motorcycle
for a couple months now and I finally made
the "after" video. I also took a couple
more pictures of my new gear. This stuff
is now on my web site. Check it out at:

http://www.users.lith.com/~goble/goof/index.html

Oh yeah, I updated the credits for Blood2
today and the winning "one-liners" from the
contest are a combination of "hilarious"
and "totally awesome"! :)


9/24/98

Wowzers! The buzz on the net and the
gaming mags is that Shogo is a mega hit!
I don't disagree either. :) I am really
impressed with this game and can't wait
for it to hit the shelves!

Check out what the Quake/2 lovers had to
say about Shogo after seeing it and playing
it themselves:

http://www.planetquake.com/reviews/shogopg1.shtm
http://www.planetshogo.com/features/testify.shtm

I am almost finished with adding GameSpy
support into both Shogo and Blood2 (in the
stand-alone servers). This is going to be
really cool and was actually fairly easy
to add. I set things up so all of our
future games can support GameSpy with only
a few lines of code. :)

Starting tomorrow I am 97% on Blood2. Yeah,
management has fallen to about 3% of my time.
but fortunately, everyone has too much work to
do to really need anything or be causing any
problems. :)

Tobez got a new motorcycle jacket today...and
I rode in as well...so we cruised the strip a
couple times today. The dual Micron pipes
sounded real good. :)

Played the NeedForSpeed3 demo briefly today.
Hmmm...



9/13/98

Practically the entire company is busting bunz on
Gruntz, Blood2, and Shogo. All of our sleep schedules
are completely screwed up and our diets have definitely
fallen below FDA standards I'm sure.

However, the games are looking and playing awesome and
that's what's important, right? :)

I built the stand-alone server for Blood2 and now
multiplayer BloodBaths have become a nightly ritual.

Get Medieval continues to get more great reviews.
Check out the review AND interview (with yours truly)
on Gamer's Alliance:


http://www.gagames.com/news/interviews/getmedieval.html

http://www.gagames.com/games/reviews/getmedieval.html

Lastly, I just wanted to say that we all really
appreciate all the great emails we've been receiving
recently, supporting us in our efforts to put the
finishing touches on our upcoming games. So far, no
one has had to go to the hospital--although Bouwman
is clearly losing his mind. Thanks again for all
your support! :)


9/10/98

No sleep and my neck is killing me. But Shogo
is looking incredible and I'm even getting started
on some Blood2 gramming.

Gruntz is going to be done in a few days...but they
don't seem to need much from me these dayz. :)

We released the Get Medieval demo and the editor
today. The editor is kind of "pre-release" because
we plan on making a bigger help file and releasing
more template levels for each dungeon set. However,
the editor is fairly easy to use--so I think we'll
be seeing some cool new GM levels very soon. :)

There was an interesting article in this month's
PC Gamer magazine on Monolith. Check it out if you
haven't already.

Well, not much else is going on...just been working
a ton...Shogo, then Blood2, then relax.


8/27/98

Get Medieval is out! The game is getting great
reviews! It's fun! It's funny! It's fast! Buy
a copy today! :)

We're in super-duper-extra-crunch mode on Shogo.
Things are really coming together. We're feature
complete now so we're focusing on bugs, balancing,
and tweaks.

My efforts on the network interface and stand-alone
server are almost done. I'll still help out with
playtesting and bug fixes...but I'm getting ready
to dive into Blood2 stuff in a couple of days.

The Blood2 team is working just as hard as the Shogo
team. Basically, the whole company is working like
crazy trying to get our games out to the world. It's
a lot of work...but it's worth it. :)

The Gruntz team has been working incredible hours as
well and I think we've really got a unique game on
our handz.

After Blood2, the late nights should end and I can
take a breather. (you've probably noticed that I
haven't been talking about car stuff lately...no time
right now :|

It's really exciting that Get Medieval is out and
doing well. I hope you go out and buy it and have
as much fun playing GM as we had making it. We want
to keep making great games for everyone to play! :)

Gotta fix a ShogoSrv bug now... :)


8/27/98

Get Medieval is out! The game is getting great
reviews! It's fun! It's funny! It's fast! Buy
a copy today! :)

We're in super-duper-extra-crunch mode on Shogo.
Things are really coming together. We're feature
complete now so we're focusing on bugs, balancing,
and tweaks.

My efforts on the network interface and stand-alone
server are almost done. I'll still help out with
playtesting and bug fixes...but I'm getting ready
to dive into Blood2 stuff in a couple of days.

The Blood2 team is working just as hard as the Shogo
team. Basically, the whole company is working like
crazy trying to get our games out to the world. It's
a lot of work...but it's worth it. :)

The Gruntz team has been working incredible hours as
well and I think we've really got a unique game on
our handz.

After Blood2, the late nights should end and I can
take a breather. (you've probably noticed that I
haven't been talking about car stuff lately...no time
right now :|

It's really exciting that Get Medieval is out and
doing well. I hope you go out and buy it and have
as much fun playing GM as we had making it. We want
to keep making great games for everyone to play! :)

Gotta fix a ShogoSrv bug now... :)


8/15/98

Still working on network stuff for Shogo. The game
is so awesome. We're shooting for having a really
good build for Monday. I've got the stand-alone
server working and now I'm working on adding support
for DirectPlayLobby--it's almost working. I'll be
on Portal a bunch so logon and say "hi"! :)

We released a beta build of Gruntz to the company
yesterday. The game just needs a little tweaking
and balancing and the remaining final sounds and it
should be done! There was this really interesting
bug that kevin, tobez, and blong were hunting down
for a few hours. It turned out to be a really subtle
bug relating to multiplayer out-of-syncs and timing
when starting a level. It turned out that all they
need to do was read the WAP manual and they would
have quickly...oh wait, there is no WAP manual. Well,
they added some really good debugging aids so if any
other out-of-syncs pop up, they should be able to find
them instantly. :)

In less than 3 weeks, "Get Medieval" should be on
the shelves! I can't wait! We added a "reviews"
section to the GM site...so check out what the
reviewers are saying (summary: fast funny fun) :)

http://www.getmedieval.com


Well, I gotta get back to work on Shogo...wait, what's
that over the horizon...it's Blood2! :)
Monolith...
NOLF Team 01/25
Jason Hall 06/25
AvP2 Team 04/5
Andy Mattingly 02/27
Karen Burger 02/27
John Jack 02/27
Brian Goble 05/4
Bill Vandervoort 05/4
Jeremy Blackman 08/4
Mike Dussault 01/29
Kevin Lambert 08/23
Israel Evans 05/10
Paul Renault 03/24
Aaron St. John 03/10
Spencer Maiers 03/5
Rick Winter 02/18
Benny Kee 02/18
Jay Wilson 02/10
Brian Long 01/29
Paul Butterfield 01/29
Kevin Kilstrom 01/29
Joel Reiff 01/26
Craig Hubbard 01/10
Scott Schlegel 01/5
Kevin Stephens 01/4
Peter Arisman 11/12
Nick Newhard 11/12
Toby Gladwell 11/12
Nathan Hendrickson 11/12
Matthew Allen 11/12
Matt Saettler 11/12
Greg Kettell 11/12
Eric Kohler 11/12
Brian Waite 11/12
Brennon Reid 11/12
Brad Pendleton 11/12
Ben Coleman 11/12
 

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