The Haus

Friday, December 10, 1999

UT Mod Information

Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart made a bloody huge update to the Unreal Technology page. He shows you how to use the tools that ship with UT to build modifications, along with links for more help.

Q3A Map Reference

Zoid sent sCary this Q3A Map Cheat-Sheet with the screenshot, filename (Q3DM* or Q3CTF*), and map name. This will be a very handy reference until I get those levels burned into my cerebral cortex.

Review of Grossman's Book on MSNBC

MSNBC's Steven Kent reviews the book written by David Grossman, the man every first-person-shooter fan loves to hate. Here's a snip:
Stop Teaching Our Children to Kill, a new book describing the dangers of video games by Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman, a former Army Ranger who taught classes at West Point, is the intellectual equivalent of the computer game Doom. Grossman spends most of the book running around wildly shooting accusations at video games and the companies that make them, never stopping to examine the full ramifications of what he is saying and completely ignoring the facts when they get in his way.
I think that pretty much sums it up. Check out the rest of the article, it's a good read. I promise that this is the last thing I will post about Grossman. I think his 15 minutes are just about up.

Q3A Bots: Update!

I just received a return email from id's Kevin Cloud about the problem with certain punctuation marks in your name causing the Q3A bots to ignore your commands (see story). Here's what he had to say:
I appreciate you working on this for us. I tried it out and sure enough it is repeatable. This will be fixed in the next release.
Gives you that warm and squishy feeling inside, doesn't it? :)

John Romero .plan update

John Romero updated his .plan today with his birthday wishes for Doom.
It was six short years ago, down to the hour. I remember staying up the last 30 hours doing exhaustive testing before Jay Wilbur uploaded the shareware version of DOOM to the University of Wisconsin's FTP site. We couldn't get in -- too many people were sitting on the site, waiting for our upload. The target directory was full of bogus files with names like and, but finally we got the sysop to up the connect limit to 250 and we barely got in. Afterthat upload, things changed.

I remember the crazy lockup bug we had the day before -- if DOOM sat running for too long, it would just lock up. Turned out to be a valuethat was being incremented by the 140-tic-per-second timer function that was wrapping around (it takes a very long time for a LONG to wrap, even at 140-tics-per-second, but this one was uninitialized so it took even less time). So, we finished it up and sent it out, just knowing everyonewould have a lot of fun with it. Happy Birthday, DOOM.
A.T. Hun comments: That's nice, John. Now get Daikatana finished!

Graeme Devine .plan Update

id's Graeme Devine updated his .plan with news of the upcoming Q3A tools release, a point update (read: patch), and cracking down on crackers. Here's a sniff:
We're looking to get the tools out there very soon for creating Q3A modifications. We'll probably do a point release on the product before we release anything, and we've been busy writing (gosh) documentation for the editor, shaders, etc. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys do with Q3A!

We're now cracking down on people using key generators. We stop accepting input for a period of time from addresses that spam different keys to the authentication server. I see a lot of people running key generators right now; I've yet to see a single one make a correct key.

Daikatana: Today or Bust?

Evil Avatar pointed me to this news blurb from yesterday on IGNPC. Here's the skinny:
While investigating continuing rumors that Eidos had refused the initial Daikatana build, IGNPC managed to get in touch with sources close to the project who were able to help shed a little light on the continuing saga of the game's development. These sources revealed to us that yesterday, Ion Storm was given 24 hours to deliver a solid build to Eidos or face the reality of a missed holiday ship date. These sources were unable to confirm or deny the rumors that this deadline was the result of an initial product refusal.

While Eidos' public relations department is still telling us that the company is, "still working on a December release," it seems likely that Daikatana won't find its way into stores until sometime next year. As usual, keep an eye on IGNPC for more details as soon as they become available.
Stop me if you couldn't see this one coming down Main Street. Once again, you have to file this in the "unsubstantiated rumor" category but it certainly makes sense, given recent events and the fact that Christmas is a scant 15 days away . . .

New Q3A CTF Maps?

sCary is reporting that id is testing some new CTF maps (by Zoid and Disruptor), and he provides this screenshot of PingTool as proof. This would be too sweet! I can actually command the bots now and there will be more maps to command them on. Rapture!

Are the Q3A Bots Ignoring You?

They sure were ignoring me! Every time I tried to fire up a game of teamplay deathmatch or CTF, the bots would not listen to any of my commands! I checked the Quake 3 World forums (an excellent source of info, BTW) and found a thread entitled Bots that misbehave??!! One person posted that restoring the defaults did the trick, so I set out to find out which setting was the culprit. Fortunately, it didn't take me to long. Here's my answer, as posted on the above thread:
I've found the answer! Your name determines whether or not the bots will listen to you! I found out that the bots would listen to me fine if my name was (without quotes) "ATHun", "AT Hun", or "A T Hun". They will ignore me if my name is "A.T. Hun" or "ATHun /THP/". If there are periods or slashes in your name, the bots ignore you! Commas seem to work fine as do brackets [].

Since the I was using the name "A.T. Hun" and a previous poster was using "J.Frost" (I assume), the bots were ignoring us because of the periods in our names. "/lp/thankless" was being ignored because of the slashes. There may be other punctuation that causes problems, but I didn't play with it much.
There you have it. Are the bots ignoring you? Remove the punctuation from your name! Now if I could just get someone to explain to me why cg_crosshairHealth "1" isn't working . . .

Thursday, December 9, 1999

Bot commands

Tim Willits of id updated his .plan with a BUNCH of comments on the email he's receiving RE: Q3A, and he had a post on bot commands I thought was REALLY cool. Here it is (for the rest, check his .plan):
I have noticed that people don't fully understand the power of our bots.

The bots in Quake 3 represent some of the most advanced bots in any game today. Our bots are capable of understanding and performing well over 50 different commands in the team deathmatch and CTF.

Using combinations of commands, it's probably well over that. The in-game menu only represents a extremely small set of commands which bots understand. They are the BASIC commands. For a more complete list check out the "bot commands" document in your Quake 3 start menu. Here are some examples of the things you can do with bots.

[Grunt and visor patrol from rl to rg for 5 mins]

Grunt and Visor will patrol from the rocket launcher to the railgun for 5minutes.

Or you can group them in teams and give team commands

[Grunt and visor are in team beta]
[Beta defend quad forever]

Grunt and visor will team up and defend the quad for the entire game.

If you are lost have grunt help you

[grunt lead the way]
[grunt get the plasma]

Grunt will find you, and then lead you to the plasma gun. If you get out of his view he will come back for you.

Experiment with the commands, set up a skirmish with the bots in a team game and have some fun.

Also, try chatting with the bots about anything, see what they will say. Our bots have approximately 200 pages of chats are responses. They might surprise you.

Daikatana Never Was Gold, But Soon?

As if things couldn't get any wackier over at ION Storm, Billy W. at VoodooExtreme sent email to John Romero himself about the status of Daikatana. Here's Billy's summary:
Regardless of anything that you may have seen (or hell, even kind of what we hinted at in a post late yesterday), I just spoke with Ion's John Romero regarding the release of Daikatana and apparently they have not sent out a gold master candidate that was rejected -- he went on to say "we're very close to creating our first one" (almost redundant there, but if they haven't created their first one yet, I think it's safe to say that they haven't actually sent one out yet). So, all sounds good still, maybe we'll see a gold announcement soon. Thanks for clearing the air John!
Soooooo, all the rumors about Daikatana being gold were apparently false, thus there was no gold master for Eidos to reject. The long and the short? Christmas is about two weeks away and Daikatana still isn't gold.

UT 402 version issues

It appears that the version 402 UT patches that made it to the web were not meant for distribution (then, please tell me, how did they get there?) and have been superceeded by revision 402A.
The initial Linux 402 patch was not meant for distribution. It did not contain an important fix for a problem with ngWorldStats crashes. The new 402A patch contains this fix and should be distributed. The Linux 402A patch can be installed over any previous version of Linux UT, including the old 402. Please download this patch. Server operators: the 402A patch fixes problems with servers crashing when ngWorldStats is enabled. There will be no 402A patch for Windows as the problem was Linux specific. Thank you.
You can find UT updates on the Unreal Technology Page. Thanks Blue.

CD Key warning from id

Update: Todd made an addendum to his earlier plan with the following:
Update on so-called KeyGen programs: These don't work. Trust me. The math isjust astronomical. They are Trojan Horse virus programs that will steal your (working) CD Key and email it off to some anonymous account or do something worse. They are getting passed around the Net and IRC. Please be wary.
Original Posting: Well, it looks like people are being taken in by the "This is id-send us your CD key" emails. Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan with the following warning:
Be smart. Do NOT send your CD Key to anyone. We will NOT contact you EVER asking for you to send us your key without you contacting us first. You should treat your CD Key like a credit card or your social security number andkeep it private.
My question is: Don't people recognize these scams? Or is this all 8-year-olds? Good grief . . .

Creative vs. Aureal

There is a VERY interesting article on Vortex of Sound. The article discusses the lawsuit Creative brought against Aureal over supposed "patent infringement" in the Vortex chipset. If you ask me, I think this is a case of a spoiled brat not wanting to give up all their attention when the new baby arrives. Creative needs a good competitor in the sound market, and Aureal is a competitor by God. Otherwise we'd still be buying ISA sound cards from Creative at $300 a pop. I hope Aureal wins. Creative is too much of a monopoly in the sound card market anyway.

Unreal Tournament 402 patch release

The Unreal Technolog page has the patch for Unreal Tournament to version 402. The Win32 version is 3.4mb, and the Linux is 2.0mb. If you've got UT, be sure to download these patches-I see a lot of performance improvements in the list of changes.
Bug fixes:
  • D3D detection works properly
  • Fixed NT crash on exit
  • removed log warnings for players ghosting out of the level
  • fixed saving last start spot for players
  • timemessage sounds play correctly if viewing another player
  • don't allow spaces in names when using console name or setname commands
  • suicide can now end overtime of tied game
  • fixed stuck animation if killed while coming out of feign death
  • no connect time on team scoreboards in single player
  • attach decals in post begin play when zone is properly set
  • fixed player sounds appearing to change location when using 3d sound
  • turn fog off by default for D3D - was causing texture thrashing w/ D3D drivers
  • fixed CTF-coret alternate path problems
  • fixed guided warhead blowing up if no client response with 300 msec after spawning
  • players can no longer switch to illegal team if server is full and force team balance set
  • fixed bots not always playing take hit sounds
  • don't kill spectators in the pressure chamber!!! The Master comments: Hehehe
Server performance improvements:

I didn't include this list-the major jist of it is a reduction of network traffic and memory consumption

New features:
  • Cache.ini file records all packages in your cache (whatever packages are auto-downloaded from servers)
  • added flesh hit sound to bullets
  • automatic path builder (documented in updated UT_AI.htm)
  • postnetbeginplay() called for actors spawned on network clients
  • Pawns use PostNetBeginPlay() to make sure they have a valid skin and mesh
  • improved D3D texture pool allocation when world and actor texture detail is medium
  • Pawns add momentum to velocity after effects of damage mutator
  • Optional package downloading implemented. The Master comments: This is cool-especially since it makes it easy to mod your server and allow players to grab the mod without using a webserver/FTP

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