The Haus

Tuesday, January 18, 2000


What do you get when you combine George Lucas' epic saga with James Cameron's 18 hour drama of life, love, and big ol' boats? You get TIE-Tanic, of course! Find out what REALLY happened to the Titanic. Download the movie--you'll like it. Thanks Slashdot.

NHL 2000 Roster Update

NHL2000 Online is still borked (no new content since mid-November) so I missed this little tidbit. EA Sports has released a new roster update for NHL 2000 on January 3. EA's FTP server is still dead, but I finally found the update on NHL Wishlist. Thanks guys!

Newer Beta UT D3D Renderer

There has been a new Direct3D Renderer posted on the Unreal Technology page. This fixes some minor bugs in yesterday's beta release (story).

Transmeta and Crusoe

According to this article on ZDNet, Transmeta will be announcing their Crusoe Processors ("world's first family of software-based smart microprocessors.") Wednesday. Transmeta is the home of Linus Torvalds and Dave Taylor (formerly of id). Dave Taylor used to talk about his ideas for processors in his old Crack Dot Com .plans. I guess he got himself noticed :-)


The folks at Square8 (who are also the developers of Webdog) are putting together a new system called Modwatch, which will be able to search, categorize, store, and download mod's for Quake3 and UT. This is a rather exciting development, especially since it dovetails with yesterdays story on Q3A possibly implementing a mod server type system for mod download and install.

Monday, January 17, 2000

Updated DE Mutators

Digital Extremes has released an updated version of their mutator pack. This pack installs correctly now, so you don't have to edit your UnrealTournament.ini file. It requires the 405B patch. Thanks PlanetUnreal.

As an aside, someone at Digital Extremes really needs to look at their site in Netscape. It looks like, um, all kinds of text mashed together.

Improve Your Ping

My man, Vengor (aka the guy who is going to give The Haus a major speed boost), gave me this link containing various Win95/98 tweaks to get the most out of your modem. He reports a substantial drop in Unreal Tournament pings and general speed improvements. If you have a modem, check it out. I'm going to try out some of the tips myself and report back.

More QVM vs. DLLs

Now that the id Quake III Arena source code has been released several sites (including Shugashack and Barry's World) have posted compiled DLLs to run instead of the QVMs. It does give a speed-up and that's all fine and good, except that a) I'm not sure I trust people just giving me DLLs to run and b) They definitely won't work with future mods (and I'm not sure about pure servers). Is it worth it? Not for me, but I realize that rarely is my opinion in the majority :)

UT Beta D3D Renderer

The Unreal Technology page was updated with news of a beta Direct3D renderer you can try if you are having problems with D3D in Unreal Tournament. Here's the scoop:
We are testing a new beta of UT's DirectX7 D3D rendering interface DLL. People experiencing problems in D3D mode may want to help test it, keep in mind this is an unsupported, largely untested beta. In particular, this should allow you to run UT on certain combinations of GeForce-based cards and drivers for which the original DLL crashes shortly after 'precaching'. To install, backup the d3ddrv.dll that's in your UT system folder and replace it with this file. Feedback welcome at

Point Release news

Robert Duffy updated his .plan with word on the upcoming Q3A point release, and some comments about the QVM vs DLL debate. Here ya go:
We will be releasing a point release within a week that addresses the fs_game problem that exists in the current executable. This problem forces clients to start with the same fs_game parameter as the server. It does not affect normal game play but keeps the server from specifying which "game" directory to use. This is a bug. Mod authors do not have to wait for the fs_game patch to get started as the code will be the same either way on their end.

There are two other basic issues for mods that have come up:

  1. DLL use for mods

    Our position on DLL use for mods is that it is a bad thing. DLL's are not multi-os compatible and they pose a much greater security risk than qvm's. Note, I did not say that qvm's are totally secure, they are not, but they are definately more secure than DLL's. DLL's are for debugging only and qvm's are the only official supported way to produce and distribute a mod. Period.

  2. Auto-downloading

    We are currently exploring several options for auto-downloading. There will support at some level for mod surfing and downloading. This support is geared towards the "mod" type of add-on as opposed to downloading maps or models ( or skins ). The goal is to not consume server bandwidth for downloads but push the bandwidth use to some sort of a dedicated "mod" server or something.

Graeme Devine .plan update

Graeme Devine updated his .plan on the availability of the 'bot documentation for Q3A, and some associated commentary on the whole QVM vs. DLL debate. Here's the .plan:
Mr Elusive just put together some bot editing documents, the file is available on our ftp server:

We've been following the whole DLL vs. VM debates, and id is firmly on the side of using VMs for game mods. We will be addressing the "auto swap" VM depending on which server you go to quickly (this was a bug) but I think we will be strict on saying that people should use VMs over DLL files. The next executable release will probably have a warning screen come up that you will need to agree to and click through if the game is about to load a DLL.


Okay, I'm gonna go off on something that has been bothering me since the Q3 source was released. Why the heck does every single mod author out there feel it's their obligation in life to compile the DLLs instead of using the QVM?

I personally think that the QVM allows a LOT of new programmers a shot at making a mod for Q3. This harks back to the days of QuakeWorld where a programmer didn't need a $1,000 compiler to properly build a mod. Good grief, people, 2-8 fps is NOT that important unless you're getting < 25-30 fps anyways, and if your fps is that low your system specs are pushing the requirements of Q3A anyway!

Carmack did this for a lot of good reasons. You don't have to wait for a (name O/S here) guru to target your code over to some system you don't own. You don't have to worry about some lamer using the .dll to hack your system. And, most importantly, you don't have to be bloody rich to compile your mod.

Give QVM a chance, huh? In the end, I think you'll appreciate it.

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