May 24,1999 -- Previous Mailbag

Letters are edited for spelling errors only, and may contain profanity. Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

Who cares about Q3, anyway?

From: Andy Slack
Subject: Q3A

Does anybody think that Q3A will really be all that good of a game? Personally, I don't think so. Now that there are so many game developers out there, it takes something really revolutionary, like Half-Life or Tribes, to really get our attention. Q3 is guaranteed that attention, too, because of id's legacy but Q3 is not going to be anything revolutionary game-wise. Sure, it will look better, play better, sound better, etc, but it won't really be a better as a game.

Do I mind? Not really.

Here's why: the Q3 engine is remarkable. id and Carmack have always designed and developed the best engines, and this one is no different. Carmack doesn't sacrifice performance for looks, but that doesn't mean that looks are unimportant. Gameplay is smooth and framerates are decent on most hardware. I'll buy Q3. And then I'll wait for all the mods to come out. This includes games that have licensed the Q3 engine, like FAKK2. id will profit from sales on Q3 and on licensing Q3. Other developers will profit by not having to spend time developing a whole new engine and getting to focus on their game instead. Gamers will profit with all the cool releases that Q3 will spawn. I even include non-Q3 engine games as 'Q3-spawn' since they're being released as direct competition to Q3. The hype generated by Q3 is driving non-Q3 game (and game engine) developers to a higher standard, even if Q3 doesn't measure up to the hype. It's a win-win-win situation. Now all we have to do is wait until their done.

Andy Slack -- 'Dante'

Make your own witty comment here.

From: Brian Short
Subject: Q3

Would anyone recommend getting Q3 and playing it over a P400/VOODOO 2/56 modem?

I think the more important question would be would anyone not recommend playing it on a p400/Voodoo 2 system. The modem's a problem, though. Sell everything you own but your computer, and get a T1. Then you'll be sitting in a gutter playing Quake 3 the way it was meant to be played.

Saving Private Graeme?

From: Casey Barton
Subject: id's abuse of Graeme Devine

From "zaphod.cfg" embedded within qtest3's pak0.pk3:
seta r_lastValidRenderer "RIVA 128/RIVA 128 ZX (AGP)"

That's right. The guy is the design lead at the best (and richest, per capita) 3D gaming company on earth, and they GAVE HIM A RIVA 128. That counts as cruel and unusual in my books. I wonder if a petition would help? John Carmack has stated in the past though, that user petitions don't influence his decisions. Hmmm...

Casey Barton (a guy)


From: Ogrebunny
Subject: Blame

Reading through all these letters of people defending their love of video games, about how they are not responsible for the actions of the children involved in the shooting, I have noticed a trend that seems to emerge in many of the responses.

In condemning the media's blanket statements that video games cause killers, many gamers are instead responding with their own statement that is just as general as the original: the parents of the killers are at fault.

While it very well may be the case that the parents may not have been the most attentive or loving parents, or may have not have gotten help the children may have needed, it does not necessarily mean it is their fault. A parent could be loving, nurturing, and helpful, yet their son/daughter could still have been a murderer.

How can one look at what caused them to kill, and only look at their family and personal lives, and not the social aspects. High Schools, or any other social situation, are the source of very strong influences. How many times have you said something to someone without any regard to their feelings, or how it will affect them? While many people may be quick to blame the parents of the children, it may have just been the children's peers who drove them to what they did, although who would want to admit that the innocents were a cause? There were many times in High School that I wanted to kill someone, and although I didn't, if I had, it would not have been my parents fault. I felt trapped, isolated from my peers, and I felt I "didn't fit in." If I had decided to go through with that, I could have gotten a gun, and it wouldn't have been from my parents. Where, then, would the blame be placed? It wasn't until I developed a sense of my own individuality that these urges went away. My parents couldn't help me develop that. They influenced it, but how I came about realizing who I am was a personal act.

The media itself may be as much of a cause in all of this as anyone else. People get shot. The media both covers and escalates it, plastering the names of the murderers and their deeds all over the TV, radio, newspapers internet, etc. People know who you are. Some people who are teetering on the edge of 'sanity' may see this as an escape from being the unknown, unnoticed geek, and as a way to be known not only by your peers, but also by the world.

While although video games may not have taught these children the skills necessary to kill (I couldn't hit anything with a gun if it weren't controlled by a mouse and a keyboard), it may have added to the child's desire to kill, perverting his sense of reality. I don't mean to condemn video games with that, I am an avid gamer with no murders in my past, yet it may have been a factor leading to their actions.

I don't agree that video games were the sole cause of the recent happenings, but I refuse to discount them as something that may have led to their behavior. I don't believe that the parents were the sole cause of what happened either. While although these MAY have been the only driving factor behind their actions, it is more likely that a combination of every aspect of the child's life, from personal to social, played a part in what they did. Blaming the parents has become just another easy way of clearing the blame from one thing, and passing it off onto another.


Watch out for that -

From: David W. Odom
Subject: Falling off

I know exactly what you mean about falling off and taking shots at the underside of the level. I do that actually more than I care to admit. ;)

Well, what do ya expect with a Pentium 133 and Monster I video card. ;)


David W. Odom

Oh sure...blame your computer. I blame my parents for not teaching me better deathmatch skills. :)

From: John Bacho (cygnus-x1)
Subject: longest yard / falling

I find myself doing the same thing.. firing straight up when i fall off into space..

the day i actually kill someone with one of those shots.. is the day i quit playin quake.

-john bacho- cygnus-x1-

That's a bit rash. I don't know about you, but the day I actually kill someone with one of those shots is the day I put $6000 on a one-on-one between me and Thresh. Bring it on, baby.

(For the record, I think my chances of hitting someone with one of those shots is probably better than my ever getting a single frag on Thresh.)


From: Jason Spears
Subject: OotB - The Longest Yard

Yes, I take plummeting potshots. :) Especially in cases where I am still above the plane of the playing area, I'll try to rail somebody. If I ever do I'm sure it will be good for an "Impressive" at least.


I don't think you'll get one for that...if anyone from id's reading this: that so needs to be put in. :)

Oooh! Oooh! Storytime!

From: Philip Mayes
Subject: Out of the Blue

hey there, your post inspired me to share this little story :)

you see, i'm a quite a bit better than the locals here at quake3 and it's hard to get them to play a game with me. anyway, i finally convinced this guy to play with me and we chose the longest yard cos' it's the most fun level and he felt he could at least knock me off the edge a few times even if he couldn't kill me.

so anyway! i was totally destroying him and pulling of some wicked mid-air rocket hits and all sorts and i could see he was getting pissed off (this was a lot of luck as opposed to skill here i might add) but finally as i was bouncing back from the railgun platform he shotgunned me off into space :) and like yourself, i couldn't help but let a rail off back up at the platform. the thing was, this guy was so impressed at knocking me off that he came and peered over the edge to watch me die - and got a rail in the >face! he screamed at his monitor, threw the mouse away and walked out.

so don't give up hope - you might hit someone yet :)

(aka PorkBelly)

Chat whaaat?

From: Stephen Toulouse
Subject: The Longest Yard

Yes! When knocked off the edge I find myself doing the same thing! One time I did actually hit someone on my way down. I cannot be sure, but it looked like either they had been knocked off, or were on their way in the air toward the railgun spot. My shot hit them just as they launched. It popped them up higher in the air and it looked to me before I died that they landed just fine on the platform near the red armor.

I think I deserve negative points for that one. In my futile attempt to kill someone on my way down, I think I saved them.

"Chat Rapist: A person who kills a Q3 player with the chat icon over their head"

Can I be you for a day?

From: Gabe
Subject: Star Wars

Your claim of the "geek hall of fame" of being at the theatre that Good Morning America and The Daily Show is nothing compared to the theatre I saw Phantom in.

I saw the 10:40pm show may 19th at the Pacific Cinema in Corte Madera, just north of San Francisco. George Lucas saw the 7:30 showing. I was in the front of the line, and we all saw Lucas leave the theatre a minute or so before the movie actually ended, walking out with his youngest son. Everyone clapped respectfully.

We saw Phantom in the same movie theatre that George Lucas himself chose to see the movie -- out of any theatre in the entire country. so THERE =)


Jeez...all there was when I saw it was a freak in full Darth Maul garb (the guy hadn't seen the movie yet! Why dress up as a character you know nothing about, anyway?).

A Blast from the past.*

From: Chris Danek
Subject: back in the good old days we had real news like this! :)

I know you guys might be busy with the q3a stuff, and this probably doesn't qualify as news, but I thought you (blue) might get a kick out of it, looni, you might, too.

Blues Deathmatch Strategy Page. Including such fantastic sections as: The Dance of Death, Door Kung Fu, The Juice Cycle and the Stop-N-Drop.

Buy your copy today!



I remember totally rocks, doesn't it? Old school Blue's fans will definitely get a kick out of this link, by the way:

Brings back memories, don't it? :)

I coulda been a contender.

From: Iain Elliott
Subject: Raging Bull

has anyone else commented that the guy in the background of that Soldier of Fortune screen shot looks like DeNero from Raging Bull?

Nope, you're the first. Give this man a No-Prize!


From: golemB
Subject: for the mailbag

1) I forget, what is the specific email address for the mailbag and/or news items? Can you clearly indicate that on the mailbag / news pages for those who are forgetful like me, or new?

2) GLSETUP for Q3Test... Ohmygod it's 20+ megs to download?!? And it's on the same sites as Q3T mirrors, so... Even downloading it from campus T1 lines onto a ZIP disks (to feed my modem-starved machine) takes forever! What's up with that? Why do I need to download 20MB of drivers for two dozen cards just so I can get the drivers for MY card (which will probably be exactly the same as the ones I already have (Detonator), or worse since they're Q3T specific hacks)?!? Unfortunately I can't help iD Software by reporting graphics bugs unless I go to all the trouble to download this monster, since they don't want reports unless I have installed GLSETUP like some kinda newbie or something. This borders on G. Lucas's arrogance on insisting on specific sound standards for the new StarWars movie to the point that only FOUR theaters in New York City are showing it...

Ahem, yes. My point? MAKE SEPARATE DOWNLOADS FOR GLSETUP SPECIFIC TO CARDS! That way savvy users can download for just 1.5 hours, not 8. Better yet, make a downloadable "stub" (like the IE5 downloader) which checks hardware briefly, then auto-downloads the appropriate files, so that even newbies can't screw it up.


1) is a suitable mailing address for the mailbag.

2) Wouldn't splitting it into card-specific downloads defeat the purpose?

College: it ain't just for drinking anymore.

From: Stockemer
Subject: Q3A & College relationship

Lets see

Average Gamer = College Age
Average College = Access to high speed net connection
Average Finals = Close to over if not already
Average Student = Go Home
Average Home = Modem Connection
Average OS = Win32


So all these college guys prolly have a few linux or mac nuts that have shown them q3test over the high speed net connection and college, and that high speed net connection gets taken away as they have to go home right before the win32 q3test comes out.....


-st0ck're telling me? At first I was all psyched, since they released it after my finals were done, but then I realized that I was about to loose my T1. Now here I am, with a taste for Q3Test, and doomed (no pun intended) to use a modem (well, at least for the next week, until my aDSL line gets installed...but that's still not the same).

Almost makes me wish I hadn't passed all my finals. Almost.

The Benny Hill fans emerge.

From: MaX|Yago
Subject: ASSUME and Benny Hill

I recall the term "When you assume you make an ass out of you and me" was also used in the "Benny Hill Show". I'm not sure if Benny came before or after the Odd Couple, but any man that was found in a cabin, dead by a heart attack and surrounded by sixteen 18 year-olds deserves some credit.


Dickens said, "The law is [sic] a ass." But hey...hey he wasn't found with sixteen 18 year-olds, so what did he know, anyway?