The Haus

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Star Wars: Obi-Wan

JediNet scanned an ad from the latest LucasArts Company Store magazine for the upcoming first-person shooter called Obi-Wan. The game was announced quite some time ago, but nothing has been said about it since. You can see a large version (210K) of the ad here and a smaller version (56K) here. Mmmm, fighting destroyer droids with a lightsaber. I can see that. Hopefully LucasArts will reveal some more information on this game soon.

Thanks JediKnight.Net for the scoop.

Linux UT Open Source

Epic's Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart, the target of venemous pro-Linux email recently, updated his .plan with news that parts of the Linux version of Unreal Tournament will be open sourced! Here's a sniff:
I have permission from Tim to open source certain parts of the engine for the purposes of improving Linux support. What I would like to do is make available the code I have written for Glide, Mesa, input, and audio. I would appreciate Linux programmers taking the time to submit improvements to me at I will look into putting up a webpage for this and perhaps a discussion forum. Please email me your input or ideas.
OK, Linux folk, here's your chance to show off your skillz!

Q3Demo Information

Graeme Devine updated his .plan with news on the status of the non-test Quake III Arena Demo. Here's the scoop:
I'm working on updating the full demo today. We'll bash on it a bit and get it out there over the next few days. Once it's out there I'll be updating the cdkey authorize server to the final version. Unfortunately this is not compatible with the demo test, so you'll need to upgrade to either the full version of Q3A (woo hoo!) or download the new demo.
Hopefully there will be a patch so we don't have to download 50-odd megs again.

Something to Do on a Rainy Day

Are ya bored? Do ya like to vote? Looking for something to do on a rainy day (thankfully we're getting rain for the first time in 1.5 months)? Then head over to WorldCharts and vote for The Haus as your favorite website! Ok, so I know that it is pretty lame and basically a desperate plea for attention. But hey, what could be more fun than stuffing a ballot box? Just ask the folks in Chicago!

GeForce 32-Bit Slowdown

One of the big gripes I've heard about the GeForce is that it takes a big performance hit at 32-bit color. I never really knew why until Anand gave the answer in this page of his review of the Savage 2000.
The Savage 2000, in spite of its 155MHz memory clock, managed to outpace the GeForce 256 in the memory bandwidth dependent 32-bit color tests. The reason behind this is because the current Savage 2000 drivers only support a 16-bit Z-Buffer while the GeForce 256 is using a 32-bit Z-Buffer in this test. The 32-bit Z-Buffer used on the GeForce eats up some of that precious memory bandwidth while offering a small improvement in visual quality and thus the Savage 2000 comes out ahead. You can't really penalize S3 here because the sacrifice in visual quality is minimal for a decent gain in performance.
I don't know if there is a way to use a 16-bit Z-Buffer in 32-bit color with the GeForce or if that's determined by the hardware. Whatever the case, that explains the slowdown.

World's Smallest Transistor

Those crazy folks at UC-Berkley stopped smoking banana peels long enough to come up with an amazing new transistor that is 10x smaller than those currently in use. Here's the goods:
The FinFET has a 18-nanometer-long gate, about the width of 100 atoms. It is not visible to the naked eye but can be viewed with a scanning electron microscope. Hu hopes to cut this length by half in future work.

"But what we've actually produced is already 10 times shorter than what industry is now using," he said.
Yes, you read right, kids, 100 atoms across. Or as we Northern Wisconsinites would say, "It's real teensy." Here's the best part:
The prototype was successfully fabricated last July and shows good performance characteristics, Hu said. No patent has been taken on the device.

"We made the decision not to patent," Hu said. "We want the widest possible usage. We hope this becomes a mainstream transistor structure in the future."
Technology marches on! Of course, we're getting to the point now that we're about to run into the brick wall of physics, but this new technology should last a while anyway. Thanks Slashdot.

Q3A ISP Switch

Everything must have gone very smoothly for id's ISP change this morning. I just jumped on the EZ-Net server for a second and the authorization went without a hitch. Frag on!

UT Server Info

The Unreal Technology Page has been updated with important news for people converting their Unreal Tournament Demo servers to servers for the full-blown product. Here's the skinny:
Server administrators - please do not run full version of UT with the .ini files from the demo version. It causes everyone to have a messed up skin. To fix this problem without replacing your .ini files, make sure the [Engine.GameEngine] section of the .ini has the following ServerPackages lines:


New Q3A Renders

Blue has posted new rendered images from Quake III Arena, showing your tier four and tier five opponents. As usual, these are JPGs, but tomorrow he will post the original TGAs for download.

Monday, November 22, 1999

New Master .Plan

I've posted a new Master .plan. Warning: Not for the easily depressed :-) I'm actually going someplace more upbeat with this, but I need to hit the bottom first (kinda like Empire Strikes Back)

Linux UT released

The Linux version UT binaries have been released on Fileplanet. These will allow a Linux user to play UT using the commercial Win32 CD.

New Quantus' Qorner!

Just when you thought it was safe to visit The Haus, we get some more (gasp) original content! (pause for wild, sustained applause) Our own Quantus has updated his Qorner with a little ditty entitled Wallet and Mind Overload! If you've ever stood in a store with two shrink-wrapped boxes in your hands, trying to decide which one to choose (and if you will need any new hardware to support your choice), Quantus feels your pain.

John Carmack .plan update

John Carmack updated his .plan with some post-Q3A thoughts. Gotta love that. Check it:
d:>mkdir research


I am very happy with how Q3 turned out. Probably more than any game we have done before, it's final form was very close to its initial envisioning.

I will be getting all the Q3 code we are going to release together over the next week or so. I will write some overview documentation to give a little context, and since you can do game mods without needing a commercial compiler now, I will write a brief step-by-stepto modifying the game code.

I'm looking forward to what comes out of the community with Q3.

The rough outline of what I am going to be working on now:

We will be supporting Q3 for quite some time. Any problems we have will get fixed, and some new features my sneak in.

I have two rendering technologies that I intend to write research engines for.

I am going to spend some time on computer vision problems. I think the cheap little web cams have some interesting possibilities.

I am going to explore some possibilities with generalizing 3D game engines into more powerful environments with broader uses. I think that a lot of trends are coming to the point where a "cyberspace" as it is often imagined is begining to be feasible.

I am going to spend more time on some Free Software projects. I have been stealing a few hours here and there to work on the matrox glx project for a while now, and it has been pretty rewarding. People with an interest in the guts of a 3D driver might want to look at the project archives at The web pages aren't very up to date, but the mailing list covers somegood techie information.


The good folks over at Björn3D posted this Reuters news article saying that NVIDIA is buying up DDRAM like it is going out of style. Here's the goods:
The world's largest dynamic random access memory (DRAM) maker Hyundai Electronics Industries Co said on Monday it has agreed to supply one million double data rate (DDR) synchronous DRAM chips to U.S.-based NVIDIA Corp NVDA this year.

"The first deliveries of DDR SDRAMs are being shipped to NVIDIA Corporation and will be used to support their industry-leading high performance graphics processors," Hyundai said in a statement.

A DDR DRAM, also known as double-speed DRAM, provides double the data transfer speed of a regular synchronous DRAM chip.

The chips are mostly used in high-end graphics cards requiring a faster data transfer speed.

Hyundai said it expected to reach an additional deal next year with the Santa Clara, California-based graphics processor developer to supply 1.5 million units of the chips per month.
It seems like those GeForce DDR boards won't be in such low supply as we may originally have thought.

UT Release Party

Don't forget PlanetUnreal's webcast of the Unreal Tournament release party! To take part in the fun, you'll need to download RadioSpy and WinAmp. They will also be giving away all kinds of goodies to people on their IRC server. Check the link above for all the details!

No More Shogo

Well, kids, last night Shogo was officially uninstalled from my system. I haven't played it in a long time and the disk space could be put to better use. Sadly, the cheating and lag issues were never addressed by Monolith which pretty much destroyed any online longevity the game might have enjoyed. I'd slam Lith for bailing out on Shogo prematurely, but what's the point?

The Haus of Shogo will remain online, but will no longer be updated. To be honest, there's been nothing much to update for the past six months anyway. I'm in the process of reforming my Shogo-MAD, The Old Married Guys [RIP], into a Quake III Arena / Unreal Tournament clan. More news on that as situations warrant.

id switching ISPs-Q3ADT Down

Christian "Xian" Antkow updated his .plan to indicate an outage from id's system tonight for an ISP switch. Check it:
Nov.22.1999 @ 4:17pm

We're going to be off the net at 4am on the 23rd (read: In about 12 hours) for an ISP switchover. No ETA on how long we'll be down. Just a heads up in advance to let you know all the demotest clients will fail authentication as a result of our outage.


ToddH on Q3A Availability

id's CEO, Todd Hollenshead, updated his .plan on when to expect Quake III Arena on shelves. Here's the scoop:
Thanks for the mountain of congratulatory email. As of this very moment, I don't have a confirmed shelf date or availability date from 1-800 idgames. I'll post that information here just as soon as I get confirmed dates for you guys and girls. As John indicated, it may be a few extra days before we get confirmation on Linux and Mac due primarily to logistics.
My guess is that you will see Q3A on your local software purveyors' shelves next week or the week after--at least in the United States, anyway.


loonyboi sent email to id's David "Zoid" Kirsch asking for information on Capture-the-Flag in Quake III Arena. Here's loony's summary:
Fans will be pleased to know that there are four CTF maps included in the game right out of the box, and they are accessible from the game's menu system. As for the bots, they do play CTF, using the commands listed in the Demo Test. For those wondering, there are no plans at this time to release a CTF enabled version of the Quake III demo.
Nothing terribly new there. I am a little disappointed that there will only be four CTF maps included. I'm sure the mod community will take care of that shortly.

Update! Along these same lines, sCary gives us the final count on the maps to be included with Q3A:
26 DM maps: Q3DM0-Q3DM19, Q3Tourney1-Q3Tourney6,
4 CTF maps: Q3CTF1-Q3CTF4.

Sharky Gets Annihilated

OK, so Q3A is gold. Now you need a new video card to display that sucker in all its 32-bit glory. The answer may very well be the Creative Labs 3D Blaster Annihilator. Sharky puts the board through its paces in his own inimitable style. Two words: Me want!

Q3A Opponents Shots TGAs

As promised, Blue has posted the original TGAs of the Q3A opponents shots he posted in JPG form yesterday. You can snag those bad-boys here (1.5M).

Pondering the Imponderable

What a terrible night to get tired early! Oh well, at least The Master was still up to report the glorious news of Q3A's goldenness. I would assume, then, that there will soon be a new non-test demo released. Hopefully there will be a patch for those of us with the DemoTest. I also assume that there will be a formal announcement of Q3A going gold soon, including the day we should see it in stores.

Oh, and did anyone notice beside me that UT and Q3A went gold before Daikatana? Remember Daikatana?

More Q3A Character Renderings

Redwood has posted a whopping great six more Q3A character renderings. Include in this bunch are my man Doom (I like Redwood's comments on this one: "He's back and he can aim vertically now!"), Hunter, Keel, Sorlag, Patriot, and Uriel. Check them out!

John Carmack .plan update

John Carmack updated his .plan today with another worklog. Boy, he just doesn't get excited about little things like his game going gold :-)

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