The Haus

Tuesday, December 28, 1999

Gamespot Q3A Guide

Gamespot Has whipped up a big ol' guide to Quake III Arena, much like their Unreal Tournament guide (story). Once again, you can buy it in PDF format, but I don't know why you'd want to. Thanks Frans.

Shaded Released

Quake3World is reporting that Shaded, a utility to assist in the creation of Quake III Arena shader files has been released. If you are an aspiring map maker, check this one out.

Open Sourcing Linux UT

Brandon Reinhart updated his .plan with more news on open-sourcing parts of the Unreal Tournament Linux port. Here's a taste:
I'm back from visting relatives and I've been rolling on the Linux open source stuff. I've got my project approved with Source Forge. Once I get everything set up, I'll announce the URL but I'm sure the sneaky will be able to find the page.

I've chosen the Artistic License. I feel that it allows mod developers a lot of freedom with the open code, while not putting Epic into any weird positions with the undisclosed part of the engine.

I plan on open sourcing the following libraries:

Profoundly Bad Christmas Music has posted a link to this Christmas song that's so bad it's absolutely hysterical. It's a little ditty called R2D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It's off a 1980 album called (no, I'm not making this up) Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album. The vocals are by none other than Jon Bon Jovi. It's a 2.25M MP3 and definitely worth the download.

More on Quake 1 Cheating

Well kids, John Carmack's solution to the Quake 1 hacking problem (story) has gotten the open-source community's undies in a collective bundle. Eric Raymond, an "expert in these things", wrote a diatribe called The case of quake cheats which was slapped up on Slashdot. Here's a snip that I have real problems with:
I think one major lesson is simple. It's this: if you want a really secure system, you can't trade away security to get performance. Quake makes this trade by sending anticipatory information for the client to cache in order to lower its update rate . . . [I]t may have been a necessary choice under the constraints for which Quake was designed, but it violates the first rule of good security design: minimum disclosure.
Well DUH! Quake servers are by no means the same as webservers (he makes a comparison to Apache in his article). Tradeoffs like this in the fluctuating world of Internet latency are necessary to get a game that is remotely playable especially at the time that QuakeWorld first came out. Minimum disclosure = unplayability. Then everyone loses.
Fortunately, the aim-bot cheat is also much less interesting from a general security point of view. It's hard to imagine anything but a twitch game in which the client user can cheat effectively by altering the millisecond-level timing of command packets. So the real lesson of both cheats may be that a closed-source program like Carmack's hypothetical secured program launcher is indeed a good idea for security -- but only if you're a hyperadrenalized space marine on a shooting spree.
Once again, the author shows his ignorance of the situation. Aim-bot cheats are one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) bane of online gaming, especially in Quake II. None of the author's solutions can deal with this situation. The basic premise of his whole article is "if Quake were open source from the beginning none of this would have happened." Unfortunately, he can't seem to tell the difference between security vs. performance in an e-commerce site and in an online game.

Monday, December 27, 1999


The unofficial Q3A FAQ has been updated with more Quake III-related goodies. Check it out! Thanks Blue.

Sorry About the Mess

When we rebooted the server that The Haus is on, our database got corrupted. If you tried to access the site earlier this evening and got an error message, that's why. Everything seems much better now. Sorry for the carnage.

Quake 1 coding

Found this via indirect reference on the Webdog page. There's a site on Planetquake called QER (Quake Engine Resources). If what the community has done to Doom can be done to QW, we may see a SERIOUS resurgence in the QW community :-)

Initial Thoughts on the Full Version of UT

Here's a couple of brain-droppings (apologies to George Carlin) I've had since getting the full version of Unreal Tournament for Christmas:

New T1!

Well, kids, I just got an email back from Jeff at EZ-Net (our gracious host), so I can announce it officially. EZ-Net added another T1 through Sprint (the other one is through Times-Warner)! Hopefully this will mean that there will always be two possible ways for traffic to get here through Chicago, eliminating some of the downtime we've had recently because of upstream problems with T-W. My surfing / downloading / game playing has been much snappier lately to boot. Yes, EZ-Net rules.

Steed animations posted

casManG's has posted the .bip animation files for Klesk, Hunter, and Visor. Steed supplied these to Cas-which was very cool of him. BTW: Cas has a pretty slick looking site :-).

Followup on Q1 cheating

I saw a John Carmack followup on Slashdot on the whole cheating issue now that the Q1 source has been released. Hey, folks, cheating in Q1 is already an issue. Q2 is pretty much rampant with it. I'm sure Q3A will be too. Until somebody decides to sue the cheaters out of their parent's cashflow (or their own, depending on age) it's gonna keep happening. Suck. Suck suck suck.

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