The Haus

Wednesday, December 8, 1999

Daikatana Un-Gold?

Evil Avatar is reporting that Eidos rejected the gold master of Daikatana and the game is in danger of missing Christmas. In which case, ION Storm had better be ready to kiss their rears goodbye. Here's a clip:
I also called some of the overworked guys at Eidos and they don't deny that the release canidate of Daikatana has been rejected and they said that the Daikatana team would be "burning the midnight oil and working on Christmas Eve if necessary" to get the game out before Christmas.
Chris O'Brien over at Voodoo Extreme sent an email to Brian Kemp, Eidos' "marketing guru," asking for clarification. Here's the Q&A:
Chris O'Brien: Any chance we could get a confirm/deny on this report?

Brian Kemp: Sorry Chris, can't do either. We're still pushing for Xmas here in the States. European dates are usually a bit different than US ones, and from what I've noticed, they're usually a bit later.
The Master comments: Bwahahahahaha! Here's all the comment I need :-)

Graeme Devine .plan update

Graeme Devine updated his .plan with a warning:
Cracked servers are no longer listed through the master. We're tracking these servers. We know your IP address, so if you have one running, I strongly suggest you take it down immediately.
Ummmm . . . DON'T YOU IDIOTS THINK ID ALREADY THOUGHT OF THIS?!? id didn't decide to do key protection on a whim. My guess? Unless you block all announcement packets coming from the server (which takes it RIGHT OFF THE NET) you're not gonna hide from id. There ARE no other master servers folks. Deal with it.


Todd Hollenshead posted a couple of messages in this thread on the Quake3World forums regarding Quake 3's Capture-the-Flag. Here's a couple o' snips:
Countering this [that Q3A CTF is much faster that Q2] is the fact that players (flag carriers) are more vulnerable to attack. No more autodoc+200armor+powerarmor+250cells = I AM A ONE MAN CAPTURE MACHINE! type stuff (and incidentally, no more powerup races for the doc and pain amp). Even with 200 armor and 200 health and a medkit, two people with RL's can beat the flag out of you pretty quickly. And of course on CTF3 and CTF4 you can be knocked into the void or the hellfog - and it doesn't matter how powered up you are - and the flag gets returned.
Even if Q3 CTF totally sucked (which I doubt it will) this alone would make it worthwhile. CTF is a team thing, not a "one man wrecking crew" thing.
The scoreboard stuff definitely will get fixed, and not just for CTF because people run off the scoreboard in games with a large number of players. This is a known issue.
Thank heavens. I never understood why they used such a huge font with so much space in between the lines.
The "forcejoin" option needs to be implemented, I agree, because you just can't count on people to even up the teams on their own. For some reason people always want to be on the winning team (I just can't figure out why ;-) I actually thought this was in. There is a way to bandaid this until it's implemented, however, with callvote because you can boot players that overload one team or the other.
People are so incredibly lame with this. Heaven forbid that we have to try hard to win!

Right now, I can't offer much more along the lines of commentary. But, I will have my copy of Q3A within four hours! Rapture! Expect a full run-down to be forthcoming.

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Intellectual Capital

Just discovered Intellectual Capital from a link on Jerry Pournelle's website (Chaos Manor). Check out some of these articles:

UT: CPU Limited?

I can't remember where I read it, but somewhere I read that Unreal Tournament was CPU-limited, so no matter what resolution you run at, you'll get essentially the same number of frames-per-second. My initial reaction was "yeah, right." Then I tried running the UT demo on my TNT at 1024x768 instead of my usual 640x480. All I can say is "WOW!" I did indeed get just about the same fps. Amazing. Try it yourself!

The Master comments: I think this is a combination of three things. Procedureal texturing, UnrealScript interpretation, and DirectX. UT isn't nearly as optimized as Q3A in the rendering pipeline since they support 3 different rendering models, none of which have anything to do with the others.

Q3A and Character Size

I've seen a couple of sites and a couple of reviews mention that, because the Q3A characters are different sizes, some are easier to hit than others. Actually, the bounding box is the same for them all. It doesn't matter if you are Tank Jr. or Orbb, you're "target" is the same size.

UT Patch

Gamefan has a list of all the fixes and changes in the forthcoming 401(c) patch for Unreal Tournament. The patch is in final testing and should be out shortly. Isn't 401(c) a tax shelter?

Quake III for Linux: Gold!

Linux Quake is reporting that Quake III Arena for Linux has gone gold. If you ordered a copy, it should be in your grubby little hands within a week. Show your support, Linux heads--the industry is watching . . .

Thanks Blue's News.

Microprose Alameda Closing

According to Anthony Chiang's .plan update, one of Microprose's two studios (the Spectrum Holobyte studio) is closing. Spectrum was the maker of Falcon for the Mac, Tetris (American version), Falcon 3, Star Trek: A Final Unity, and Top Gun: Fire at Will (along with many others). I do hope that the other Microprose studio carries on the fine tradition of the Master of Orion series. I would hate to see that license die.

Microprose and Atari all all a part of the massive Hasbro Interactive game empire. It is incredibly difficult for me to deal with the reality of formerly huge game companies like Microprose and Atari as dinky parts of a board-game manufacturer. How the wheel turns . . .

Q3A! Mine, mine, mine!

Thanks to Mrs. The Master (aka Eeyore), The Master has a copy of Q3A and I will have one by Thursday. Expect many bots to be whacked. If Santa Claus reads his list correctly, I should have Unreal Tourney soon too.

The Master comments: Admit it, A.T., you just like being able to blame us for purchasing this for you without you knowing. Kinda like when I got my new SB: Live :-)

3dfx OpenGL Support

The Reverend pointed me to this quote from the recently released Glide FAQ (on Glide's Open Source status and other issues):
Voodoo3 can not run OpenGL as fast as Glide. How will you compensate for this in the future?

This is dependent on the application, however future OpenGL drivers from 3dfx will access the hardware directly and have higher performance characteristics than our current OpenGL drivers which are layered on top of Glide. Our plan is to optimize our OpenGL implementation such that it will run as fast if not faster(depending on the application) than Glide.
No wonder 3dfx OpenGL is so slow since it is essentially a wrapper! Yikes! It would certainly be a major step forward if 3dfx could produce a high-quality OpenGL ICD. More power to them.

The Master comments: Lets see if they can deliver first :-)

Grossman Interview

Stomped has an interview with David Grossman, a big anti-violence "expert" who has borne the brunt of many flames in the gaming community. He makes some valid points (I don't think six-year-olds should be playing first-person-shooters either!), but his final comments are very disturbing to me:
Is it worth ONE life for all the kids in America to be able to play violent video games? Every major medical and scientific body says the price is MUCH more than just ONE life. REAL lives, with real families, dead. No reset button. Dead. No extra lives. DEAD. Even if all these medical and scientific experts MIGHT BE WRONG, is THAT a risk with taking?
This is the real danger in Grossman and people like him. This comment is fascist, pure and simple. We need to remove anything from the people that could possibly endanger them because they are too stupid to know the difference. Shall we eliminate the freedom of the press or freedom of speech because someone could conceivably be libelous or slanderous? Shall we eliminate the freedom of religion because some religious "extremists" may get carried away? While I may agree with him on points, his overall argument is very dangerous.

This is the same arguement that neo-prohibitionists bring up all the time. Think how many drunk-drivers, drunk-driving-related deaths, and problems with alcoholism we could eliminate if only alcohol were illegal! Instead of dealing with the people who are the sources of the problems, we make every adult who has a beer on Friday night a criminal.

I'd also like to know why when a white kid shoots up a school, it's an unbelievable, unexplainable tragedy. When a black kid shoots another, it barely gets mentioned. Why is that?

The Master comments: Personally, I think it's because society for some seriously SCREWED UP reason has decided that black people shooting each other is normal. And white people shooting anyone isn't. That's such exquisite BS, but that's the image most people carry around. And TV/Media/Movies don't exactly try to rectify that situation either. Update: I do need to qualify all of this with "American people" since this typically ISN'T the attitude outside the U.S.

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