The Haus

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

More Q3A Character Shots

Redwood has posted more of his collection of characters that will appear in Quake III Arena. In this installment, he gives you: Hossman, Lucy, and Phobos. As usual, you can see the complete list here.

All Better?

Whew! Does that feel better? We got ourselves a server reboot so the finger tracker seems to be back in working order (hopefully for good this time). Nice to have everything functional again.

Update: Ack, ack, ack! The dates are borked! Grrrr.

Update #2: The scheduler is back up. Life is good.

Q3A: Pure Gold

Blue's News is reporting that they received word from Activision--Quake III Arena is officially gold! Expect to see it at your local software dealer on December 12.

CTF: Q3A vs. UT

Both Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament will come with Capture-the-Flag support right out of the box. This is a testiment to the longevity and good old fashioned fun of Zoid's creation. Will Q3A's or UT's implementation of CTF be better? Gamespy takes a preliminary look at UT's CTF and Q3A's CTF, as explained by two of the men behind them, Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski and David "Zoid" Kirsch, respectively.

I personally applaud the decision of both companies to eliminate the grappling hook. I think that it helps emphasize teamplay and keeps one person from dominating a match with grapple skillz alone. I haven't played UT CTF online, but I have played against five bots in 3v3 CTF and it is a lot of fun. The bots really know how to play CTF! I look forward to doing the same thing in the full version of Q3A soon.

Graeme Devine .Plan Update

id's Graeme Devine updated his .plan with the following bit of news:
Activision has asked to test the full authorize server, so it's now up and running. I can quite understand this. I'm working to get the full demo out the door as quick as possible.
1) I guess that means that Activision hasn't started copying Q3A yet. 2) Hopefully the demo will be out soon (before I leave for Thanksgiving tomorrow noonish?).

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.

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