The Haus

Friday, December 3, 1999

Q3Demo Is Out!

The official Quake 3 Arena demo page has been updated with the link for the full non-test Q3A Demo! You can download it here (48,908,140 bytes). Pack a lunch. Or two.

Please note that this is only the Win32 version. The Linux and Mac versions will be following in the next couple of days.

Update! Other mirrors include: Blue's News, 3D Action Gamers, Adrenaline Vault, and the mirrors that are FilePlanet.

Björn3D on the Voodoo4/5, Part 2

Björn3D has posted the second part of their Voodoo4/5 article. It's a pretty interesting read. Make sure you also check some minor errata from the article too.

In my mind, the biggest question surrounding the Voodoo4/5 is neither what kind of performance hit to expect with the T-Buffer effects nor is it concern over the lack of T&L. The $100,000 question is: will 3dfx be able to make a decent OpenGL driver? Heaven help them if the cards won't work well with Quake III.

Christian Antkow .plan Update

id's Christian Antkow updated his .plan with news of Q3Demo's release and more piracy issues. Here's a snip:
Q3ADemo.exe for Win32 has been uploaded to Sandpiper. I'm waiting for a callback from their NOC to verify that replication has been started. It should hopefully be live sometime before 1pm CST if all goes well.

12/02/99 04:27p 48,908,140 Q3ADemo.exe

On another note, I thought it important to address a security issue with your Quake 3 config files for the commercial release.

When you enter your CD Key, we store it in q3config.cfg in the cl_cdkey cvar. Unencrypted. Please treat your retail config files as you would the alarm code to your house, or the PIN number on your bank card. If you must send your configs to someone, please make sure to edit out the "set cl_cdkey xxx..." line.
Riddle me this, Batman, why would they implement a CD-Key but not encrypt the key? I can see a mess coming from this . . .

Graeme Devine .plan update

Major Graeme Devine .plan update-including news that Q3A Demo is final! and some of his personal views on the piracy issue and Q3A. Please read the .plan (as soon as Webdog posts it that is) for the full update.
The demo has gone final and will be available through Sandpiper in a few hours.

I've gotten a lot of feedback from people regarding the use of authentication servers.

Yes, John Carmack has a nice car from his hard work, but unfortunately software piracy has become such a serious issue that we need to use schemes such as CD keys to protect our future sales. Games cost large sums of money to make and market, and if you want to have software developers continue to develop games then piracy, understanding it, and addressing it, needs to be part of the development process.
So with computers we're stuck with freedom, which isn't all that bad. How many of us (Linux crowd hush please) run 100% piracy free machines? Does occasional use count? If I only used it once to repartition my drive do I have to pay for Partition Magic?Isn't Winzip part of Microsoft?
Is piracy of id products the only way the community has prospered, grown and sustained itself all these years? It's true a certain number of you will always pirate a game and never make thepurchase. But a whole bunch of you are raving, fanatical loyal id fans with money in one hand and EB on speed dial in the other to see if Q3A is in stock.
So yes. Use a SOCKS server (we will authenticate multiple CD Keys off a single IP), open up those ports on your firewall (you can resolve and just use that IP address), but please don't belie our intentions.

Q3A Review

Redwood has posted a whopping great Quake III Arena review (the first of about a trillion that will appear on the 'Net soon). Included is the silly background story (as if), tons of screenshots, and Redwood's own inimitable commentary.

One thing I was particularly happy to read about was the fact that there is now a "Team Commands" menu for the basic bot teamplay commands. That's much easier than typing like a maniac for 10 minutes to get your bots going before the game can begin. Hopefully the full Q3Demo will sport this feature too. One thing he mentioned was that two human players could spectate and control teams of bots, turning it into a 3D strategy game.

Q3A Character Screenshots

sCary has posted in-game screenshots of every character in Quake III Arena. He also says that people are emailing him that Q3A is showing up all over the US. Go get it!

Thursday, December 2, 1999

ToddH .plan, Part Deux

id's Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan again with news of the availability of Quake 3 Arena for Linux.
We have just announced with Loki Software (our Linux distributor) that we should be on shelves by December 27th in the limited edition tin box.

Shogo and the New SB Live! Drivers

I downloaded and installed the new SoundBlaster Live! drivers (see Tuesday's news for the scoop), which theoretically improves 3D sound in Shogo. I reinstalled Shogo to find out if the 3D sound really was improved. It is, by quite a bit. The reverb sounds much better and not so muddy anymore.

Unfortunately, Shogo's 3D sound support still causes sounds to disappear in the distance too quickly. As a result, it's hard to hear people firing at you unless a) they are right behind you, or b) the missile / bullet / whatever is about to hit you in the head. That's really only an issue in multiplayer though. I may just have to play some single player again to test it out some more. Just when I think I get Shogo off my hard drive for good . . .

ToddH .plan Update

Todd Hollenshead (id's CEO) updated his .plan with news on Quake 3 Arena's availability.
Shelf date update (Windows version only)!

Q3A was shipped today and you should expect Babbages and EB to have it as early as tomorrow (I think they may have paid extra for expedited shipping). Please understand that not all of these stores may actuall stock the game on shelves tomorrow and some of them may already be "sold out" due to the huge pre-order response (in fact, Q3A is #1 for these stores before even hitting the shelves). CompUSA, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. are all getting copies as well, but they probably won't show up on shelves before the "official" US date of December 5th.
Time to start sharpening those credit cards!

Linux install (The Haus/Linux)

I'm pursuing an experimental version of The Haus ported to Linux. Why? Because I like pain :-) Want to watch me flail about in the process? Check out my Linux Setup Log!

Graeme Devine .plan update

Graeme Devine updated his .plan with news on the correct ports to "unfirewall", and info on the upcoming full Demo (cool!):
In preparation for the full release.

The motd/master/auth servers run on ports 27950, 27951, 27952. The default game server is on port 27960. If you're firewalled against these ports you'll need to get unfirewalled to play the game. If we work on the servers from now on we'll notify the community and schedule the maintenance for the slowest period of the day currently around 6am Dallas time).

We have what we consider a "gold" build of the demo. We're putting it through the final push of QA at Activision before releasing it since this build is going to be more or less prevalent throughout the known universe.
A.T. adds: Gimme, gimme, gimme!

Stomped Q3A Poll

Stomped is running a poll asking the musical question, "What is your favorite Quake III Arena character model?" At this moment, leading the pack with over 18% of the vote is Doom (the Doom marine). Somewhat surprisingly, Crash (the female Doom marine) is second with over 10% of the vote. Most surprisingly, Klesk hasn't even gotten 4% of the vote!

More on Tribes Extreme

PlanetStarSiege interviewed Dynamix' Nels Bruckner on the cancellation of Tribes Extreme, the material that will be released from it, and the future plans for Tribes 2. No word on if it will be called "Tribes 2: Electric Boogaloo".

Broken PIIIs

ZDNet is reporting that certain "Coppermine" Pentium III processors have a bug that will cause a PC not to boot every time the power switch is hit. Dell has frozen shipments of its OptiPlex desktops until the problem is solved. First RAMBUS, now this. Thanks Ars Technica.

The Master comments: It amazes me to see Intel sliding down the Microsoft testing system path. Hey, we use our customers as beta testers, and we even get away with it!

Q3A Screenshot Bonanza

With Quake 3 Arena hitting shelves in some places today and everywhere in the USA by Sunday, there's been a veritable bevy of screenshots posted. Blue shows off your opponents on the last two tiers. sCary went nuts and posted screenshots of every level in the game. Redwood got into the act with shots from several levels. Finally, Barry's World shows Crash taking a swim.

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