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New LvL Map Reviews
by mayhemm @ [09:30 PM] November 30 2001

LvL Q3A has updated his site with four new map reviews for Q3A.  Here's what they're featuring today:
  • Black Shining Leather by Geit (DM/Tourney 2-5 player)
  • Bouncin 'Tween Da Boxen by BadMonkey (DM 3-6 player)
  • Bridging the Gap by Hr.O (Space DM 3-8 player)
  • Fast Baby by *papri-K* (Space Tourney 2 player)
Hit LvL Q3A to check out the new maps and give him a hollar from us!!

RTCW Review @ Gamespy
by mayhemm @ [09:26 PM] November 30 2001

Activision's Return to Castle Wolfenstein--in the never ending saga of media over saturation has been reviewed by the folks at GameSpy. Read it right here, if you ahhhh :-/ still haven't made up your mind..or you want some motivation to beg for the money to buy it :P

Wanna Railbalooza?
by mayhemm @ [09:20 PM] November 30 2001

Does anyone here remember Railbalooza?  Well I do...  Railbalooza was a map pack released for Q2 which featured levels designed for fast and furious railgun-only play.  If you've never played rail only Q2 or Q3, then I can understand.  Well, since Q2 is dead and gone but to CS peeps (:P) and the hardcore Q2 lovers (hint:  they suck at Q3 :P ), and most peeps are getting damn tired of DM17, the same team that created Railbalooza has decided to start another effort to spice up Q3 rail with a Railbalooza Q3 map pack.  The only problem is they need coders to help them.  If you're interested or want to find out more, then give them a hollar right here.

UI Enhanced Q3 1.1
by mayhemm @ [09:13 PM] November 30 2001

Ian "HypoThermia" Jefferies from Code3arena and UI Enhanced has given us a shout that he has made the newest version (1.1) of his nifty little mod, UI Enhanced version for Quake 3, available for your use.  What does it do? This mod adds to and improves the user interface of Quake 3, providing map rotation setup, improved model selection, and more powerful in game menus. UI Enhanced aims to improve the setup of single player and LAN party games, map and bot management, and the setup of dedicated servers by script creation.  So there it is....straight from his mouth :). BTW he's also released the source code for the 1.0 version, which has already been added to Threewave CTF, Corven's Eternal Arena, and Jailbreak:POW mods.  Find out more about this mod right here.

Kevin Cloud .plan Update/Wolf Tidbit
by mayhemm @ [09:05 PM] November 30 2001

iDSoftware's Kevin Cloud has updated his .plan with a few bits on Return to Castle Wolfenstein--and since I don't wanna mess with tradition :P here's the whole shebang cut'n'paste just for you:
Wanted to make a quick update on Wolf. I've noticed some online buzz about new mp maps for Wolf. We'll be releasing the multiplayer demo with a new checkpoint only map called Trenchtoast. Trenchtoast will also be posted for use with the full game as well. We're staggering the testing so the singleplayer demo will be released first. Expect the multiplayer demo to be out within the next few weeks.
Just to let everyone know, we will be releasing source for the mod teams. It will take some time to pull this together and currently both teams are working on the demos. This will hopefully be released later in December.

We had issues with fog working properly on the Matrox cards with gl_extension on. Matrox has been great about this and is revising their drivers to better support Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Matrox users should expect a good performance improvement on Wolf single and multiplayer when this is released.

The online comments have been great, but I think the game clock has caused some confusion in several reviews. This is because the game clock isn't accurately reflecting the actual play time. Depending on how often you save, we found the time reported by the game clock to be anywhere from 25% to 50% of the actual play time ( time in your seat ). For future reference it would be more accurate to not rely on the game clock for actual play time statistics.

Finally, we expect the German version of Wolf to be released sooner than mid-December as reported earlier this week. There was a small problem with the manual that required a reprint. On a related note, unlike previous id titles, the localized versions of Wolf are completely translated, including translated dialog, menus and text. This was a large coordinated effort from Activision. They did a great job.

That's it for now. Back to DOOM.


Unlagged Quake3 + Alternate Fire
by mayhemm @ [08:11 PM] November 29 2001

Neil "haste" Toronto from the Alternate Fire site--and the Unlagged Q3 mod--has sent us a shout that he has integrated his nifty lil' UnlaggedQ3 code (so the HPBs can't have an excuse for sucking at Quake :P) into the Alternate Fire Mod.  Now don't go crazy looking for it right now; he says it will be released around December 10th.  Read about this announcement and other news from him right here.

RTCW New MP Maps Soon
by mayhemm @ [08:23 PM] November 28 2001

Ahhh... Here's an interesting post I just saw on Captured.com.  Sorry for the blatant rip,  I gotta play sum UrbanTerror :P
id's Christian Antkow made this comment on Shacknews, talking about some Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer maps that Nerve completed, but didn't make it into the game:
Heh, actually, Nerve finished a bunch of maps, but some of them didn't make it into the retail release. Plans are currently to release those maps at some point in the not-so-distant-future.
If you like mp_destruction, there is another great map they did named "Trench Toast" that's a blast to play... I'd love to see that map released.


Alliance Interview/Review @Gameingeye
by mayhemm @ [08:28 PM] November 28 2001

Gameingeye (:-/) has posted an interview/review of the just released version 3.0 of the Q3mod, Alliance.  Check it out here.

Syndicate Arena Lube
by mayhemm @ [08:15 PM] November 28 2001

Whelp.  After 19 days of no updating, the Syndicate Arena peeps have posted some new screenshots of their upcoming Q3TC of the same name.  What??  You don't know what Syndicate Arena is?  Well here's a cut'n'paste to get ya up to speed:
...we bring the action of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars to the Quake III Arena engine....Weapons:...
  • Hands
  • Handgun
  • Shotgun
  • Pulse Laser
  • Minigun
  • Guassgun
  • Flamethrower
  • Medical Kit
Hmmm... I think I'll shorten this really huge FAQ by saying that they have 4 exciting new gameplay modes, plus some extra features built into their TC.  Of course, you don't have to take my word, go ahead and visit them--and check out their in-game shots--right here

RTCW Review @ Gamespot
by mayhemm @ [08:02 PM] November 28 2001

Speaking of rTCW (d@mn!! I think that's all I've been posting lately!) Gamespot has posted a review for you who still haven't decided to buy the game.  Of course you can visit some of their other features in regards to this, lately, very hot game.  Read it here.

Linux Wolf Out, OSX...Still Coming..
by mayhemm @ [07:57 PM] November 28 2001

According to Christian Antkow's .plan update iDSoftware has released the linux version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.  As for the Mac OSX version of the game---here's a clip from his .plan file:
I've been testing the OSX server at xian-osx.idsoftware.com that Graeme built, and it seems pretty darn stable, so hopefully that will be released in the very near future as well.
Here's the link for the linux build.

New WFA Maps @ WFDirect
by mayhemm @ [07:48 PM] November 27 2001

Weapons Factory Direct has been updated with two new WFA maps for you to to play if you're tired of that same ol' DM17. The maps are 'Torrential' by D-Man, and a new beta map called 'The Rock' by LS. D-Man.  Go get em..

12 New Wallpapers @The Wall
by mayhemm @ [07:38 PM] November 27 2001

That site which posts user-created Q3 wallpapers--and posts all it's text in Spanish--has updated their site with 12 new wallpapers for you to peruse.  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about Quake the Wall: the site with NOW up to 516 wallpapers including some very-racy-ones (I'm not gonna post any samples, I'd go to jail :P )  Check them out.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein European News
by mayhemm @ [07:10 PM] November 27 2001

I didn't know this, but now that I do, I'm sure all of you peeps from across the ocean are reading all of the Wolfenstein news and reviews with growing frustration, because it wasn't in your stores yet.  Well..... Todd Hollenshead from iDSoftware has updated his .plan file with news about Wolfenstein shelf availability.  He also talks about the availability (or lack thereof) of a Mac port of this hot@$$ Q3-engine powered game.  Here's the whole shebang, cuz it's so short:
Latest Wolf European release date info!

Return to Castle Wolfenstein should be on shelves across Europe (except for
Spain and Italy) by this coming Friday.  Spain and Italy will get theirs
the following Friday.  I'm still waiting on info for Asia/Pacific.

Other news:

Mac is still "soon" (i.e., before Christmas) and the Linux binary release is
"sooner".  So don't harass Timo and Graeme too much - they're working hard.
So there ya go.  Go to the store....and it should be there.

Global Crisis
by mayhemm @ [08:20 PM] November 26 2001

There's a new mod (TC?) in town, and it's called Global Crisis, from our gaming bruthas from across the Sea (Germany.)  It's the latest two team realism/terrorism modification for Q3A.  Woahh!! Before you dismiss it as the latest CS, Q3UT2, etc clone read on good fellas.  With 12 real-world weapons, and 3 gameplay options (Hostage rescue, Espionage, Bomb target, and one, curiously named Be careful,) and some pretty ambitious models, Global Crisis looks to be very ambitious.  Read about it right here.

Alliance 3.0!!
by mayhemm @ [08:08 PM] November 26 2001

Here ya go Alliance FrEAkZ!!  As promised, the Alliance peeps have released the newest version of their mod.  Here is is.

FrantiQ??!!
by mayhemm @ [07:58 PM] November 26 2001

Heh, just saw this on Planetquake.  There is a mod, which has been lurking around called FrantiQ.  Since I can't make heads or tails from their FAQ, go ahead and visit them and tell me what they're all about! :P

Team Shambler Shambles Into the Sunset
by mayhemm @ [07:49 PM] November 26 2001

This doesn't surprise me at all, because I don't remember the last time I've posted news about this site.  Teamshambler has closed their doors.  Ahhh life goes that way.  Read the page right here.

GBA DOOM
by mayhemm @ [07:39 PM] November 26 2001

Well... this is a new one.  Eurogamer has posted a review of the Gameboy Advance version of the game that turned the world upside down, DOOM.  They seem to give a mixed review.  Here's a clip of what they said:
id Software have a reputation for pushing the latest graphics technology to the limit. Take Doom, for example. When it first came out I had a 12Mhz 386, and to get the game to run smoothly I had to reduce the area of the screen which it actually rendered to the size of a credit card. Flash forward to 2001. Doom has arrived on the GameBoy Advance, and some things never change - the game is still pushing technology to the very limit, the picture is still the size of a credit card, and the hardware is still struggling to keep up.
Read the rest of it right here (tho I think that most of you who have the GBA, already have DOOM.)

Eternal Arena Beta Release
by awoq @ [08:52 PM] November 25 2001

A new Public Beta 3 of Eternal Arena and Eternal Team Arena graces the internet today. The new beta has been released with two new gameplay modes (Survival and Hunted) and a small game menu change. Check them both out at the Eternal Arena site!

Alliance Interview @Homelan
by mayhemm @ [01:12 PM] November 24 2001

Homelan has posted an interview with Mr. White of the Alliance Q3 mod team, who are itching to release version 3.0 of the mod on Monday. They talk about this upcoming version, going over their decision to create it, the decision to eliminate some of the features, their goals in creating the new features, the bot AI, the new game mode, new maps, and more.  No cut'n'paste needed peeps (d@mn now, I'm getting really lazy now ;P) just go read it.

Maldravia Q3 Interview@ Planetquake
by mayhemm @ [01:06 PM] November 24 2001

Those fine fellows behind the newest Q3 mod with the funny name, MaldraviaQ3, took some time recently and sat down with Planetquake for a little interview about their teamplay mod, wherein you can battle as a warrior--or a god.  Here's a little of what they had to say:
Pappy: Tell us a bit about the project.

J_Lucius: Maldavria is an extensive teamplay modification for Quake III Arena. You take on the role as a warrior fighting for your race and it's God. Devine items known as Artifacts gives your God the power to permanently destroy the opposing races souls; naturally through the use of his worshippers: you. Gameplay is divided in two phases where you fight for Artifact Control in one and try to destroy as many souls as possible in the other, known as Zen'Devol.

The warriors in Maldavria are equipped with futuristic weapons and ancient magic... an odd mix that I think we managed to pull off quite well. we changed almost everything in the game, adding hundreds of new textures, models, skins, sounds, effects and more. Codewise we implemented entire systems to deal with spell casting, character creation and experience levels among other things. One of the goals were to achieve very high replay value and with the ability to create your own character by choosing attribute levels, spells and weapons, I think we achieved that goal. The thought was that you should be able to get an RPG-kind of feeling when playing, without losing the charm of just jumping in to a game and play for thirty minutes or so. Sort of a Mini-RPG system if you will.
Catch the rest of it right here.

RTCW First Impressions @ Gamespot
by mayhemm @ [12:59 PM] November 24 2001

For those of you who are still not sure whether you want to plunk down your hard-earned 50 bucks to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Gamespot has posted a little first-impressions article to help you make up your mind.  Here's a little clip from the article:
Even though Return to Castle Wolfenstein went gold only last week, it's already in most software stores throughout California. Since receiving the game early this week, we've been playing through Wolfenstein's single-player campaign as well as its multiplayer component. Both modes are equally as robust: The single-player campaign appears to be long, and the game's many levels are all complex and interactive enough to keep you constantly occupied with all of their many details. On the other hand, the multiplayer component of Wolfenstein has three distinct modes of play, along with what may be the most well-executed class-based system since the original Team Fortress. Most fans of the game should be familiar with Wolfenstein's multiplayer component if they've played id Software's recent release of the beach-invasion multiplayer level. Interestingly, that level is the only one of the nine included multiplayer maps that isn't a modified version of a single-player level. The id Software master server is already up and running, and there are dozens of servers hosting online games, many of which are completely full.
Read the rest of it and check out sum screenies right here.

RTCW Music Samples from Bill Brown
by mayhemm @ [01:08 PM] November 23 2001

Bill Brown, the musical maestro behind the music of Return to Castle Wolfenstein has posted some music samples from the game on his site.  All in all, there are seven clips, including the music from the rTCW intro movie.  Go grab 'em and get rid of those annoying MS even sounds :P

Alliance Wallpaper
by mayhemm @ [12:42 PM] November 23 2001

Wallpaper junkeeZ rejoice!  Alliance Games, as a promotion of their 26 Nov release of Alliance 3.0, has released a new wallpaper showing their Titan model.  Go grab it!

Indigestion and JKII Screenies
by mayhemm @ [12:38 PM] November 23 2001

Uhhh, Burp!!  Another Thanksgiving brings another week of turkey and stuffing leftovers  and I hope you had a very good one.  Of course most of us are now gonna be forced to run off all of those calories we gained yesterday to keep from getting fat =)  The first post-Thanksgiving--errr, post of some new Jedi Knight II shots comes from our friends at Gamespydaily.  Wow!  This game is looking better and better.  I'm convinced that there isn't anyone better at showing the beauty of the Quake3 engine than Raven Software.  Anyhoo, check 'em out, here they are.

misc Blurbs and Other S*** (stuff :P )
by mayhemm @ [07:08 PM] November 21 2001

Whelp...  Tonight's the eve of the day when we all take our pet turkey, cut it's head off, and make leftovers for next week ;P  I just wanted to let ya guys (and gals) know that we all wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Please reflect on every good thing you have on this day, and be thankful for the peeps who can't eat Turkey, because they're making sure you can..

The Pros and Cons of Clans
by mayhemm @ [07:04 PM] November 21 2001

3DActionPlanet has posted an editorial called "The Pros and Cons of Clans" and it's a pretty interesting read.  Here's a lil' snip to get ya whet:
It is a rare occurrence these days to play any game on the internet and not see someone without a “tag” next to their nickname. Typically these tags or combination of letters, numbers and sometimes symbols refer to the group or organization the person plays for. But what do they all mean? What benefit does a gamer receive by having a tag before their name?

If we needed a way to define these tags or clan names, one could simply look up the word “clan” in a dictionary. Even more basic would be to say a clan is a group or organization of people that have come together to work or fight for a common goal. But, all things considered, does being in a clan really improve your performance, or does it take away from the game a part, which you have already learned to enjoy? There is no right or wrong answer to those questions, though surely the forum will prove otherwise.
IMHO, clans are a way for a person to meet another person who thinks and plays games the same way he or she does.  I have met many good peeps and have made good friends (some of whom I've known now for over 5 years) and belong to a very stable clan of---errr mature peeps ;P  Of course there are many butthead clans around as well.  Anyways here's the article.

Alliance Gameplay Movie Available
by mayhemm @ [06:53 PM] November 21 2001

The Alliance website has mad a gameplay movie (from version 3.0) available for peeps who haven't yet downloaded and played their mod of the same name.  Here it is.

Kevin Cloud Interview @ Homelan
by mayhemm @ [06:50 PM] November 21 2001

Speaking of rTCW, Homelan has posted an interview with iDSoftware's Kevin Cloud about that game and also some other things.  Here's a clip:
HomeLAN - Obviously, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a much more complex game than Wolfenstein 3D. Was the id conscious of keeping the game as fun and addicting as the original yet still be able to be accepted by a modern gaming audience?

Kevin Cloud
- That’s why id decided to work with Gray Matter. We wanted to see that same adrenaline pumping excitement as the original, built into a richly detailed universe. Gray Matter did a great job of capturing the “essence” and “attitude” of the original game, while creating a game with a compelling story, interesting characters, great AI and animation, and phenomenal detail – all elements that make it stand on it’s own as a great game. There are the nods back to the original, like the turkey-dinners, suits or armor, treasure, and secrets, but make no mistake about it – RTCW is as complex and robust as modern video games get.
They even throw in a few nice screenshots.  Go check it out!

Todd H.'s .plan Update
by mayhemm @ [06:32 PM] November 21 2001

Wow... These iD guys are going crazy lately with .plan updates! =)  This time Todd Hollenshead has updated his one with a few notes on online feedback after the release of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.  Here it is:
  • The suggested retail price, as indicated in Activsion's press release this morning for the regular paper box is US $49.99 and that is what most retailers should be charging.  If you're in Canada, the exchange rate comes into play.  The Collectors Tin box is priced about $10 higher because it's more expensive to make and comes with the sew-on patch and poster.  Duffy tells me that CompUSA in Mesquite has the paper box and they are currently being sold for the SRP of $49.99.
  • You should really take some time to take in the surroundings of the game.  You can blow through most of it with guns blazing if that's your style (the game allows for it), but you may miss a fair amount of the depth of the game.  When you're confronted with a situation, think about the alternative approaches before rushing in and shooting everything and you'll be rewarded.
  • Make effective use of the crouch, walk, and lean left/right keys.  They are basically required if you want to be able to make it through the game on the highest skill setting (unless you have 5up3r M4d 5kiLLz).

    Return to playing! ;-)
     
So there ya go =)

Grame Devine's .plan update
by mayhemm @ [06:20 PM] November 20 2001

Well, well, well... Tsk, Tsk.  Didn't I tell you not to go downloading your warez copies of Return to Castle Wolfenstein?  HEH.  Graeme Devine of iDSoftware has updated his plan with news about RTCW's piracy protection.  Here's the whole thing:
As we see cdkeys being distributed over the Internet those keys are being added
to our ban list.  It is very important to not share your own cdkey with anyone
else.

If you've been playing for a while, get disconnected from your modem, and want
to rejoin, you can rejoin the exact server you were on only.  Because your IP
address has changed, you'll need to wait for the key lease to timeout before you
can join another server.  The timeout period is 5 minutes.

Wolf uses the same cdkey generation technology as Q3A.  THERE HAS NOT BEEN ONE
SINGLE HACK on this system.  Many so-called cdkey generators are in fact virus
attacks that steal your own good cdkey, or worse, corrupt your files.
 
So there ya go.  Let the guys make their money will ya?

Jedi Outcast Chat Event Tonight!
by mayhemm @ [06:16 PM] November 20 2001

Just saw this on GamingGroove..  The Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast website has announced that there will be a chat event tonight at 6pm PST.  Not only will Jedi Knight II Producer Brett Tosti from LucasArts participate, but also Keven Shilder and Steve Raffel, Project Leads at Raven Software will come too.  The chat room opens at 5pm PST (8pm for us East Coast punkZ :P ) and you need to register to get in on the action.  Read the announcement.

An Aside:  If you were like me and a longtime fan of VoodooExtreme....and you were wondering where the h3ll Billy 'Wicked' Wilson went, well now you know.  Give him a visit (he's still the smart@$$ we've all grown to love :P) right here.

The All-Seeing Eye V1.6
by mayhemm @ [08:40 PM] November 19 2001

If you can't stand Gamespy and other server browsers, then you may be glad to know that UDPSoft has released version 1.6 of their server browser, The All-Seeing Eye.  Go grab it.

Maldravia Q3 Beta1
by mayhemm @ [08:36 PM] November 19 2001

It's the new mod with the funny name!!  Seriously... :-/  If you remember me posting about this mod, Maldravia Quake3 last week, then you will be glad to know that they have released beta1 of their TC.  Try it out.  I wish them the best of luck.

New Map Review @Q3Center
by mayhemm @ [08:31 PM] November 19 2001

Q3Center has posted a new maps review for your viewing pleasure.  The subject of this review is a lil' map called Kiss of Death, by Jax_Gator. Here's a little cut'n'paste to get ya whet:
... I only saw two new textures in the PK3 file, one which is a flag with an eye, which is used throughout the map, and another floor texture which I did not see used at all. The map is flawless in that it does not have any bugs ... or at least from what I have inspected...
Check out the rest of it right here.

SOF2 MP
by mayhemm @ [08:24 PM] November 19 2001

Seems as if there was a controversy about the availability of multiplayer in RavenSoft's upcoming SOF2.  According to this press release, there isn't, but you CTF junkeeZ might get pissed; Raven is only shipping SOF2 with dM and tdM out of the box.  Read it right here.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Shelf Availability
by mayhemm @ [08:07 PM] November 19 2001

All of you guys (and gals :-/) waiting on Return to Castle Wolfenstein  to show up at your favorite store, or any store for that matter are gonna get a kick outta this.  Todd Hollenshead (the iDSoftware bizz guy) has updated his .plan with some store shelve availability info.  Here is his short list of stores which will have the game for sale tomorrow:
  • CompUSA
  • Best Buy
  • EB (USA)
  • Gamestop
  • EB (Canada)
Also he goes on to state--errr--bleh!!--oh here's a cut'n'paste :-D
If you pre-ordered the Tin, I think those should be available tomorrow in the locations listed above, but you may want to call ahead to make sure.  If you didn't order a Tin, but would like to pick one up, I understand that a limited number may make their way to store shelves.  I'm guessing that any available Tin boxes will disappear as soon as they hit the shelves. The official strategy guide from Prima should be available this coming Friday, and they've done a really nice job on this one.  If you've been following the news about Wolf, you know that there are a ton of secrets and easter eggs in the game not to mention the various tactical approaches you can take to a given scenario and the guide will take you through all of that. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you on the servers tomorrow!  Schnell! Schnell!
Go get it folks--and no, leave your sharing proggies out of it :P

Alliance 3.0 Release Date
by awoq @ [01:08 PM] November 19 2001

Today the Alliance team has sent word that their newest release, Alliance 3.0, will be on November 26th.
Here is what they had to say:
We've been working our butts off over the past several months and it's finally paid off. Alliance 3.0 will be released on November 26th. This new version is truly the ultimate Teamplay and DM experience for Quake III Arena. There are three modes of play, new gametypes, new weapons, new player models, new maps and much, much more. Not to mention the AI for the bots is simply amazing.
Check out the Alliance site for more info and an in-depth preview of Alliance 3.0 over on their features page.

John Carmack's .plan Update
by mayhemm @ [07:35 PM] November 18 2001

HEH, John Carmack made a .plan update today.  Instead of juicing it down for you (and because I feel facetious ;)  I'm gonna smack that whole thing (book?) up here for you to read.  Get ready, it's kinda long :-/  :
Driver optimizations have been discussed a lot lately because of the quake3
name checking in ATI's recent drivers, so I am going to lay out my
position on the subject.

There are many driver optimizations that are pure improvements in all cases,
with no negative effects.  The difficult decisions come up when it comes to
"trades" of various kinds, where a change will give an increase in
performance, but at a cost.

Relative performance trades.  Part of being a driver writer is being able to
say "I don't care if stippled, anti-aliased points with texturing go slow",
and optimizing accordingly.  Some hardware features, like caches and
hierarchical buffers, may be advantages on some apps, and disadvantages on
others.  Command buffer sizes often tune differently for different
applications.

Quality trades.  There is a small amount of wiggle room in the specs for pixel
level variability, and some performance gains can be had by leaning towards
the minimums.  Most quality trades would actually be conformance trades,
because the results are not exactly conformant, but they still do "roughly"
the right thing from a visual standpoint.  Compressing textures automatically,
avoiding blending of very faint transparent pixels, using a 16 bit depth
buffer, etc.  A good application will allow the user to make most of these
choices directly, but there is good call for having driver preference panels
to enable these types of changes on naive applications.  Many drivers now
allow you to quality trade in an opposite manner -- slowing application
performance by turning on anti-aliasing or anisotropic texture filtering.

Conformance trades.  Most conformance trades that happen with drivers are
unintentional, where the slower, more general fallback case just didn't get
called when it was supposed to, because the driver didn't check for a certain
combination to exit some specially optimized path.  However, there are
optimizations that can give performance improvements in ways that make it
impossible to remain conformant.  For example, a driver could choose to skip
storing of a color value before it is passed on to the hardware, which would
save a few cycles, but make it impossible to correctly answer
glGetFloatv( GL_CURRENT_COLOR, buffer ).

Normally, driver writers will just pick their priorities and make the trades,
but sometimes there will be a desire to make different trades in different
circumstances, so as to get the best of both worlds.

Explicit application hints are a nice way to offer different performance
characteristics, but that requires cooperation from the application, so it
doesn't help in an ongoing benchmark battle.  OpenGL's glHint() call is the
right thought, but not really set up as flexibly as you would like.  Explicit
extensions are probably the right way to expose performance trades, but it
isn't clear to me that any conformant trade will be a big enough difference
to add code for.

End-user selectable optimizations.  Put a selection option in the driver
properties window to allow the user to choose which application class they
would like to be favored in some way.  This has been done many times, and is a
reasonable way to do things.  Most users would never touch the setting, so
some applications may be slightly faster or slower than in their "optimal
benchmark mode".

Attempt to guess the application from app names, window strings, etc.  Drivers
are sometimes forced to do this to work around bugs in established software,
and occasionally they will try to use this as a cue for certain optimizations.

My positions:

Making any automatic optimization based on a benchmark name is wrong.  It
subverts the purpose of benchmarking, which is to gauge how a similar class of
applications will perform on a tested configuration, not just how the single
application chosen as representative performs.

It is never acceptable to have the driver automatically make a conformance
tradeoff, even if they are positive that it won't make any difference.  The
reason is that applications evolve, and there is no guarantee that a future
release won't have different assumptions, causing the upgrade to misbehave.
We have seen this in practice with Quake3 and derivatives, where  vendors
assumed something about what may or may not be enabled during a compiled
vertex array call.  Most of these are just mistakes, or, occasionally,
laziness.

Allowing a driver to present a non-conformant option for the user to select is
an interesting question.  I know that as a developer, I would get hate mail
from users when a point release breaks on their whiz-bang optimized driver,
just like I do with overclocked CPUs, and I would get the same "but it works
with everything else!" response when I tell them to put it back to normal.  On
the other hand, being able to tweak around with that sort of think is fun for
technically inclined users.  I lean towards frowning on it, because it is a
slippery slope from there down in to "cheating drivers" of the see-through-
walls variety.

Quality trades are here to stay, with anti-aliasing, anisotropic texture
filtering, and other options being positive trades that a user can make, and
allowing various texture memory optimizations can be a very nice thing for a
user trying to get some games to work well.  However, it is still important
that it start from a completely conformant state by default.  This is one area
where application naming can be used reasonably by the driver, to maintain
user selected per-application modifiers.

I'm not fanatical on any of this, because the overriding purpose of software
is to be useful, rather than correct, but the days of game-specific mini-
drivers that can just barely cut it are past, and we should demand more from
the remaining vendors.

Also, excessive optimization is the cause of quite a bit of ill user
experience with computers.  Byzantine code paths extract costs as long as they
exist, not just as they are written.
 
So there ya go!!

New Skins And More For Q3Fortress
by awoq @ [06:09 PM] November 18 2001

The Q3Fortress team has updated their site with two screenshots of their new and fully skinned Flametrooper and Soldier player-models. Also available are two new wallpapers for the new skins.
Check those out along with some updated news about how the mod is coming along at the Q3Fortress site!

New Mod Nearing Beta
by awoq @ [08:25 PM] November 17 2001

Miss the days of single player action in Quake games? You wont have to wait much longer since The Dark Conjunction team has been working hard and furiously on putting together a new mod that will offer monsters and plenty of single player action in Quake 3. I'm not quite sure when they will get this mod available but you can check out the screenshots and other news on The Dark Conjunction site!

Send In Your Screenshots!!!
by awoq @ [11:50 PM] November 15 2001

Since the news is slow today it gives us a chance to PiMp our Picture of the Day program dealie on the right. We need lots more of your screenshots so we can show them off!

Send in your shots to potd@www.q3arena.com so we can show the world what real Quake is all about!

Castle Wolfenstein Gold!
by awoq @ [11:26 PM] November 14 2001

id Software's Todd Hollenshead Updated his .plan today with news that Castle Wolfenstein has gone gold and will be available November 20th. Here is what he had to say about it:
WoooHOOOO! Wolf is golden indeed. Congrats to Gray Matter, Activision and Nerve for all of the hard work they have put in over the last 2+ years we've been working on this game.

If you're interested in the sweet collectors' tin boxes (that come with a cool poster and a sew-on Wolf logo patch) I think you can still get those through the various pre-order programs at Best Buy (blue), Gamestop/Babbages (silver) and EB (black) while supplies last (these may go quickly now).

It looks like people will actually be able to pick up copies early next week in many places and after Thanksgiving most everywhere in the U.S. The international versions will follow very shortly behind due to increased manufacturing time and shipping logistics, but I'm guessing there will be world-wide availabilty by the first of December.

I don't know when we will have them for sale direcly from id, but retail will definitely have the initial availability. I'll post direct-sale information as soon as I have it.

No date yet on the Mac version, but it's coming soon (not gold yet, though). We don't have plans to sell Linux in retail, but Timothee has done great work on the downloadable binaries so far, and I expect that to continue.

**Special note to our German fans: buy as soon as they come out and avoid the "rush" ;-) I know you guys know what I mean...


TribalCTF Update
by mayhemm @ [08:41 PM] November 14 2001

The TribalCTF site has been updated with some new news for you to peruse, and a pic of a cool, new weapon they have added to the game.  Here's some other things:
  • Tribal will be featured on the disk and mag of PC-Gamer UK.
  • Bot support is showing good improvement. They are already playing an enjoyable game.
  • More info on their progress.
Give 'em a hollar.

Todd H. Interview @ Ausgamers
by mayhemm @ [08:31 PM] November 14 2001

Ausgamers has posted an interview with iDSoftware's Biz-Guy Todd Hollenshead which talks about rTCW (uhhh Return to Castle Wolfenstein).  Here are the three parts of it:

SOF2 Release Date?
by mayhemm @ [08:26 PM] November 14 2001

Speaking of SOF2.... According to Captured.com (who got their info  from a 3rd party--dont' we all??!!) Activision has set a release date of next February.  So save up your pennies kiddies!!  It's a coming!!  Now I have to figure out how I'm gonna get money outta mah girl!

Dark Conjunction
by mayhemm @ [08:22 PM] November 14 2001

NIce!  I have to admit, that the Q3 Mods and TCs keep on popping up left and right!!  I just saw on Gamespydaily a story about a Q3TC called Dark Conjunction (leave the english teacher out of it :P)  It's looking pretty sweet, so I'll go ahead and get ya whet with a cut'n'paste:
The Dark Conjunction will be a true Q3 Single-Player Total Conversion. Everything will be replaced in order to create a new gaming experience.

The game's ambient will be a fusion between fantasy and apocalyptic reality. There will be a strong story that will unfold as the player progresses through the game. This is not the kind of conversion emphasized in "realism". We won't give out story details until the game starts to shape up. We don't want to ruin the experience of playing The Dark Conjunction.

Not only will TDC have the characteristics of a Single-Player game, but also it will include many enhancements to the Q3 code. We won't give out these until they are completed. You'll see new features come out, as the project grows larger
Go ahead and check it out.  Seems like they've already done a lot of work with new, creative models and maps.  Go here.

Q3UT Weapons Guide @ESportsAmerica
by mayhemm @ [08:15 PM] November 14 2001

If you're the guy (or gal :-/) who's been the recipient of one too many sniper shots in UrbanTerror from yours truly =) then you may want to study this Q3UT2 weapons guide which has been posted at E-Sports America.  Good luck >:-P

SOF2 Pre-Order from EB Games
by mayhemm @ [07:58 PM] November 14 2001

Just to let ya know--and I know there are quite a few :-/ (understatement?) of you out there--if you're anxiously waiting on SOF2 to go gold and you want to be one of the first peeps to get it, you can go ahead and pre-order the game from EB Games.  Check it out.

Generations Arena Preview @ 3DActionPlanet
by mayhemm @ [07:31 PM] November 13 2001

3dActionPlanet has a little review out of the Q3 mod called Generations Arena.  If you haven't been following the mod scene lately, Generations Arena is the Q3 mod which attempts to blend the gameplay and models of all of the iDSoftware FPSs that have come out since 1990.  It's a pretty interesting article (3DActionPlanet seems like like it hehe), and it should give you an idea on whether you want to try Generations Arena or not.  Read it here.

Maldravia Q3 Preview @ Planetquake3.net
by mayhemm @ [07:17 PM] November 13 2001

Wow.  Roger "q30cool" LaMarca has sent word that Planetquake3.net (no not that Planetquake) has posted a mod preview of  Maldravia Quake3.  If you've never heard of it, don't worry, I haven't either.  Here's a little something from their FAQ to get us all up ta speed:
Maldavria is a modification of Quake III Arena...Prepare to enter a world where hi-tech and fantasy meets in a unique mix of action. In Maldavria the Melazin race faces the evil Garaehl in a battle to destroy each other. With gods at their sides the only way to destroy eachother is to control the devine (sic) items known as Artifacts.
Create your own character and fight for your race with futuristic weapons, ancient magic and deadly traps at your disposal!
Large Scale Hi-Tech & Fantasy Warfare awaits you...
Hmmmm, well that sounds pretty ambitious.  If you go check out the preview you will see over 21 screenshots and more of an explanation of what this mod is all about.  Good reading, and worth your time just to see what they've cooked up already.  Read it here.

Unlagged Q3 1.0!!
by mayhemm @ [07:01 PM] November 13 2001

Well... He says it's a day late, but that's OK....  I was busy moving and playing UrbanTerror anyways =-O  What am I talking about?  I'm talking about Neil Toronto and that nifty little mod he PiMpZ, Unlagged Quake3!  The mod that lets LPBs play as if they had a fat pipe is now grown up to version 1.0.  Rather than saying any thing which would muddle up Neil's message, I'll just post a cut'n'paste of the whole announcement:
It's a day late, but it's here.  The file is currently available for download on FilePlanet for all the server admins that either want to update their Unlagged server or run one for the first time.

There's a slight change to the feel of it (especially for LPB's), so server admins will want to update right away and let people get used to it.  It only takes a few minutes to update a server (unzip the ZIP file - the configuration hasn't changed at all), and it only takes a few minutes to get used to the new feel.  It's a lot easier than getting used to not leading your rail shots in the first place. :)

Any mod authors who want to get this into their code now (and not have to wait for me to put up a tutorial on Code 3 Arena) can email me and I'll be happy to send them the changed files and instructions.
Read all about it right here.

New Jailbreak Map Pack
by awoq @ [12:05 AM] November 13 2001

It's time to run over and grab the latest Jailbreak: Prisoners of War map pack! The new pack contains 18 new maps that are a mix of new and old Jailbreak maps and some classic maps from Prisoner of War. Get more details and the download on the Jailbreak site.

Terror Quake 3 Update
by awoq @ [10:57 PM] November 10 2001

With a new site, new webmaster and some new coders, the Terror Quake 3 site has been updated with some new screenshots of Filtertyp's map. News on their page is there will be 3 gametypes in the upcoming beta 1. Check it out at the Terror Quake 3 site!

8 New Maps @ ..::LVL
by awoq @ [12:31 PM] November 09 2001

What site has 1064 Quake 3 levels and reviews and is always adding more? The answer to all of your level grabbing needs is ..::LVL.
Yesterday the site added 8 new levels to its database and continues to offer the most comprehensive list of maps on the net. Check out ..::LVL and grab them yourself!

Map Center On The Move
by awoq @ [05:03 PM] November 08 2001

id Software's Paul Jaquays updated his .plan with the news that AstroCreep's Level Editing site, MapCenter has moved.

If you are looking for a good map resource center then you will want to check out MapCenter.

Here is what Paul had to say:
If you are are regular visitor to MapCenter, AstroCreep's Level Editing site, take note that it has moved. You can now find the main site page at http://mapcenter.digitalarenas.com/. You won't find the old site or the accompanying forums on Telefragged any more, as the whole MapCenter site has been evicted and deleted.

If you were participating in the MapCenter Texture Challenge #1, stay the course and complete them. Depending on how long it takes for the forums to get up and going again, I may extend the deadline a bit.


New WFA beta Out
by mayhemm @ [08:37 PM] November 06 2001

Weapons Factory Arena has released beta 3.1c of their popular class based teamplay mod for Quake 3. Of course, heh, if you're afraid of running beta files, heh, then you may want to be safe and play what you have :P You can grab it right here.

Navy Seals Update
by mayhemm @ [08:40 PM] November 06 2001

The Navy Seals website has been updated. They've got a new forum and also thirty new screenshots from the game itself. Now if they will only release the d@mn thing!! Read about it right here.

SOF2 News!
by mayhemm @ [08:25 PM] November 06 2001

Ben Geisler, programmer for Raven Software, has update his .plan file with a good bit of information to update us all on the status of Soldier Of Fortune2:
In the words of the immortal Hannibal from A-Team: "I love it when a plan comes together!" ;) There's nothing that compares to playing the game you helped make, the AI helped code, and having it kick your ass. Sure, it's kinda bothersome when you're trying to debug something and suddenly the guy throws your own grenade back at you, blowing you to bits. Then you've got to wait for the level to reload. But in the meantime you're somewhere between a feeling of elation and utter amazement that your plan actually worked.
So....there ya go!

'Tis the Season to Be Jolly...and Poor @ Gamespot
by mayhemm @ [08:05 PM] November 06 2001

Gamespot has come out with their weekly editorial (well it's supposed to be weekly, isn't it?? :-/) Gamespotting.  In one of their op/eds, they don't talk about iD-related news, but they talk about something that is near and dear to us.  "In 'Tis the Season to Be Jolly...and Poor," Craig Beers talks about the rash of up-coming holiday games and our money--or lack thereof.  Of course this may be iD related because of the many iD-engine based games slated to be released during the next few months.  All in all, it's pretty good reading.  Check it out right here.

Unlagged Quake3 Beta 2
by mayhemm @ [09:05 PM] November 05 2001

If you've been waiting for this announcement, then this will be good news indeed.  Neil Toronto from Alternate Fire (another mod :p) sends word that they have released beta2 of their internet lag killer, Unlagged Quake3.  Here are a list of improvements and bug fixes:
  • bounding boxes no longer lag a bit behind players (so this will feel different, but right
  • also removed apparent 350ms ping limit) - players no longer get stuck inside other players
  • new g_unlaggedVersion variable, which is sent in the server info string (good for monitors like Q3Plug)
  • message dumped to every client's console when they connectservers now report themselves as running the "unlagged" mod
  • a few coding changes and refactoring that you probably don't care too much about :)
According to Mr. Toronto, there are plenty of new servers on which to try this mod out.  If you don't have a high speed ISP in your area and you're tired of peeps like me =) ripping you up all the time then this mod may be well worth the download.  Read more about it--or just grab it--right here

RTCW MPTest Linux Out and MacOSX Soon
by mayhemm @ [08:56 PM] November 05 2001

Good News™ for you MacHeads and Linux FrEaKZ!!  In multiple .plan updates Robert Duffy and Graeme Devine of..... :-/ IdSoftware both announced the availability and availability status of both linux and Max OSX builds of the 2nd Wolfenstein Multiplayer demo.  Actually the linux version is out (grab it here) and the Mac version is coming soon.  If you've been, errrrr preoccupied, then you may want to find out about RTCW by visiting this link.

New Eternal Arena
by awoq @ [11:09 PM] November 03 2001

Twice today, the Eternal Arena 5 team has released betas bringing the mod to Public Beta 2.1. with support for Team Arena. Things changed in this new version are:
- You can duel with the Nailgun, Proximity Launcher & Chaingun
- Full Load gameGuided & Homing Rocket Type selection added to gamemodes menu
- Airfrag & Telefrag Rail Type selection added to gamemodes menu
- Fix - gamemodes selected not keeping between matches
- Some new gameconfigs to play withmode now includes the 3 new Team Arena weapons too
Get the latest download and find out more at the Eternal Arena site.

Another MOHAA Preview
by mayhemm @ [09:05 PM] November 02 2001

Bleh!!  Some news here, but I didn't really want to hear it again.  The game that I have been salivating over, MOHAA (Medal of Honor:  Allied Assault) is actually planned to be released next February instead of this month, as EA originally projected.  The good news is that we may be able to play a demo version of this Q3A-engined game in late December :-)  Now that my whine is officially out of the way, I can tell you that Gamespy.com has posted a review of this much anticipated, up-coming game, which is being developed by 2015.  Of course there are the obligatory samples of eye-candy to get ya whet.  It's a pretty good article.  Read it right here.

UrbanTerror Interview @ Clan_Darkside
by mayhemm @ [08:12 PM] November 01 2001

Speaking of UrbanTerror, Clan-Darkside has posted an interview with Oswald of the UrbanTerror team.  In a nutshell they talk about the increasing popularity of the mod, what to expect in Beta 2.4 and Beta 3, and some more things you can find out right here.  Hopefully they can fix the range of the M4, which is too far, in my experience, than the real M4 carbine's range.

The Future of Quake3 @ Captured
by mayhemm @ [08:05 PM] November 01 2001

f4nt0m45 from Captured has posted an editorial entitled, "Leave a Dying Horse to Suffer, or Put It To Rest," which takes a speculative (and pessimistic) look at the future of Quake 3. Here's a cut'n'paste:
Now we're sitting here, playing Q3A two years after it's release. Now we all know (or at least you should) that Quake 4 is in the works and will take us back to the Stroggos environment. The thing I'm wondering is if Q3 will survive until then. I love Q3A to death, and I'll still be around playing, but with games like the new Doom, Unreal 2, and Soldier of Fortune 2 on the horizon, will Q4 really even hold up a small candle? The New Doom will be huge, and we all know this. Unreal 2 looks so amazingly slick, I can't imagine missing out on it. SoF 2, beautiful, `nuff said. All three of these games, with the exception of SoF maybe, have quite a nice sized, happy community still kicking for them.
All in all it's a pretty good read.  IMHO default Q3 was left behind over a year ago.  I actually play UrbanTerror as my main mod, and haven't played default Q3 since the first instagib mod was released.  Read the rest of the article/editorial right here.

RTCW and Activision Promo
by mayhemm @ [07:35 PM] November 01 2001

Just saw this on Captured.com.  Seems like Activision is ramping up their media blitz before the release of their very-much-anticipated shooter, Return to Castle Wolfenstein.  Here's a clip from the press release:
Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI - news) has teamed with Maxim magazine and Hollywood Records on a million dollar, multi-media promotional campaign to support the launch of id Software's PC game Return to Castle Wolfenstein(TM). One component of the campaign includes the bundling of more than 1 million promotional interactive CD-ROMs with the December issue of Maxim magazine, marking the first time ever that the magazine has included a multimedia or audio disc. The cross-promotional, interactive CD features the ``Behind Enemy Lines: The Making of Return to Castle Wolfenstein'' featurette, Girls of Castle Wolfenstein screensaver, a music video and tracks from Hollywood Records' recording artists -- Simon Says and Third Strike and Mammoth Records' recording artists -- The Full Nine and Fu Manchu, and much more.
The promotional disks will have lotsa goodies (ie eye candy, "the making of" stuff, etc.) and the promotions will give peeps the chance to win their own Alienware PC gaming system.  If you wanna know more about this read the rest of the press release right here.

DOOMed2Frag Beta 3
by mayhemm @ [07:34 PM] November 01 2001

Well.. heheh looks like it's time to wash my car! ;-)  The guys at the 3DPlayground have finally finally updated their Doomed2Frag page with an announcement that they have released beta 3 of their mod called :-/ Doomed2Frag.  If the lag between news updates about this mod was too much for you, then here's a cut'n'paste to get ya up ta speed:
D2F (DOOMED2FRAG) is a Quake3 mod designed with the purpose of bringing the adrenaline pumping, visceral experience of DOOM2 Deathmatch to Quake3 with a few nods to features from more recent games.
Here's a list of changes/features added since the last version was released:
  • Fully 1.29 compatible Fixes getting stuck in walls bugs and other issues/bugs
  •  A little more air control New spread system for both the SSG and SG Self knockback with the RL modified to allow more physics tricks
  •  Other weapon damages and aspects tweaked as well Flame Thrower sets people on fire now Option to replace Flamer with Chaingun at all Flamer spawn points
  • Other minor stuff
Of course these aren't the only things that make this mod unique over vanilla Quake3, but you're gonna have to visit them right here to get tha juice!  Now if you will excuse me, I have to go wash my car. ;-P

Lack of Community @ Gamespot
by mayhemm @ [07:21 PM] November 01 2001

Don't look now but Gamespot has again come out with the newest edition of their gaming editorial series, Gamespotting.  One of the stories in this additions is a little blurb on why (in my opinion) consoles will never replace PC gaming.  It focuses on two games which share both a PC and console platform, Quake3 and UT.  Here's a little cut'n'paste from the article called "Lack of Community:"
When I first heard that Quake III: Arena and Unreal Tournament would be ported to the Dreamcast, I was skeptical about their success. I'm not even going to get into control schemes and toned-down graphics. They are completely irrelevant to what I'm going to say.... Well, here I am back to Quake III, just like some of you requested. Anyway, I don't think these multiplayer FPS games had a chance because of one thing: lack of community.
Read the rest of this right here.




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