The Haus

Thursday, August 19, 1999

Björn's 3D World Dumps Rendition

In the "knock me over with a feather" department, I visited Björn's 3D World and saw that as of the 17th it is no longer a Rendition-only site, but a nVidia site. Here's a clip from his announcement:
As of today this site is no longer Rendition specific but instead has it's focus on NVidia's cool products. Rendition fans won't get forgotten of course as I intend to keep links to drivers as well as report when new stuff comes out. However the main focus now is NVidia.
Back when The Master and I both owned Rendition Verite 2100-based video cards (Diamond Stealth II S220), Björn's site was the place for Rendition news. I guess he got as sick as we did of waiting for them to produce usable drivers or a new chip.

I'm glad to see that he is now nVidia-specific (although he will still report any Rendition news that may trickle down the pipe), especially since The Master and I both have TNT-based cards (Creative's TNT Blaster PCI and AGP, respectively). If you own a nVidia card, I strongly suggest you add Björn's 3D World to your bookmarks.

UT Chat Postponed

Just saw on Blue's that the Avault chat with the Unreal Tournament team has been postponed until next Thursday, August 26.

UT Demo

Billy and the boyz at VE have posted a blurb from Epic's Brandon Reinhart regarding the demo of Unreal Tournament:
Regarding a demo: We will release a demo split off of the gold version of the game. We don't want to worry about patching a demo and we want a demo to be as bug free as possible.

This means that a demo will be available by the time (if not before) UT hits store shelves.
I, for one, plan on downloading this bad boy as soon as possible after it comes out. I'm really interested to see how it will run. If it runs as well as Q3Test does, it would be very interesting indeed.

UT HTTP Interface

There's an interview on PlanetUnreal with Jack Porter, on the new Unreal Tournament HTTP remote admin interface. Two words. Kick Ass. I hope this idea goes into more client-server games, since it's an incredibly easy and efficient way to admin a server.

Wednesday, August 18, 1999

Episode I: Obi-Wan

I saw on JediKnight.Net that LucasArts' new first-person shooter entitled Episode I: Obi-Wan will be released some time in the first half of 2000. Obi-Wan was announced at E3, but information on it has been extremely limited. You will be able to visit the locales from Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Hopefully LucasArts will release some more information on it soon. For a game that will be released in less than a year, they've been really tight-lipped about it.

GameFan TNT Comment

GameFan has an interview with Epic's Mark Rein about their upcoming Unreal Tournament. One question really puzzled me:
GameFan: With the TNT2's poor texture management, do you think it can handle Unreal Tournament as well as the Voodoo 3 line up of graphic cards?

Mark Rein: With our latest D3D improvements, optimizations and a wizard which helps ensure you configure UT correctly for the card you have, TNT and TNT2 can handle things just fine, even in 32bit.
I would like clarification on exactly what is wrong with the TNT2's texture management. GameFan throws this out like it's a well-known fact without any support.

Unreal's problem with TNTs and other non-3dfx hardware is that they were trying to force a Glide engine to do D3D and OpenGL. My Unreal OpenGL framerates (on my TNT) are still significantly slower (> 25% slower) in Unreal than in Q3Test. I guess I have difficulty understanding why id has no problems with the TNTs but Epic can't seem to get it done. Must be the TNT's fault. That's it. Yeah.

The Master comments: Yeah, that's it :-) No, actually-the texture management on the TNT is poor. If you're trying to manage textures like Glide does. Glide uses a completely proprietary and custom-designed algorithm to manage it's texture caches, which works real well for 3dfx. But, hey, TNT ain't 3dfx. It's better :-)

BitBoys OY(!) Interview

An interview with the people behind the newly reannounced Glaze3D processor has been posted on The Tech Zone. Interesting article, but I wouldn't count on anything yet. BitBoys has been promising something since '97, and they haven't come anywhere near delivering yet. If they had silicon, I might buy into the hype some more.

Ah, heck, I'm happy enough with my Creative Riva TNT anyways :-)

A.T. adds: You'll have to forgive me if I'm very doubtful about Bitboys Oy. Given the problems that 3dfx had with some Voodoo3 silicon (and they have experience in this area), I find it extremely hard to believe that a company that has never put out a single chip is going to be able to deliver the goods. I won't even get into drivers . . .

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