The Haus

Monday, February 21, 2000

Booooring, Booooring!

OK, so I was out of town for the day and what did I miss? Nothing! Just as well. The haze from my recent illness is lifting so I can hopefully (and thankfully) get back to business as usual. I plopped down a good chunk of change this afternoon for a copy of Sams' Red Hat Linux: Unleashed. My first book, O'Reilly's Learning Red Hat Linux, is an excellent beginner's guide. It doesn't pretend to be exhaustive, and it isn't. Unleashed is one of those hernia-causing books that should keep me in reference material for quite some time. Both books are highly recommended. Special thanks go to J.t.Qbe for the book suggestions.

Counterbattery fire

Well, I hope Jason Hall has his shield up, 'cause here comes some SERIOUS artillary fire. Tim Sweeney updated the Unreal Technology Page with some commentary on the Jason Hall interview in my earlier posting (story). Here's a snip for good measure:
Jason's Claim: Competing with us at this point is going to be extremely expensive and most of our "competitors" aren't specifically focused on engine licensing.

Tim's Response: There are two sides to Epic's business: game development and licensing. It's just the same with Monolith; they have their game subsidiary and their licensing subsidiary. Jason is CEO of both divisions, correct, Jason? So if Monolith were to exit the game business to focus only on licensing, then Jason's claim of singular focus would be legitimate. But, as it is, it's just baseless posturing. We both make games and engines.

The primary difference isn't focus, it's that Epic has a successful track record of shipping products in both markets, while Monolith has a spotty record with their own LithTech games and no track record yet shipping licensed games.

Therefore, Jason claims that track record is unimportant. But, isn't that a ludicrous and untenable position? Let's try to pitch it: "trust us and license our huge, complex 100,000-line piece of software -- even though our lead programmer left, and the two projects we attempted with it yielded a dud and a sub-150K seller. And don't worry about track record; the fact that Unreal sold a million isn't any indication that their engine is more suitable for developing hit games".

Yeah, whatever. The poetic justice is that any developer who buys into that philosophy, has to live with its ramifications.

CliffyB on the UT Bonus

VoodooExtreme has posted a brief interview with Epic's Cliff Bleszinski on the forthcoming Unreal Tournament bonus pack. Nothing frightfully new, except I think we can expect it quite soon. How's that for specifics?

The Truth will set you Free

Ahh, Monolith finally admits why they didn't support their games. RPOV has posted an interview with Jason Hall which indicates how strongly Monolith intends to be an engine company instead of a game company. So, why didn't Monolith support their games, and the community that purchased them? Because they weren't important! So keep this in mind when purchasing ANYTHING from Monolith in the future:
...With LithTech, our licensees are the top priority. Nothing else comes before them, period. The engine licensing business has evolved into a technology AND service oriented business, where as you know, in order to be successful, the customer always has to come first. And for LithTech, the licensee always does.
Thanks go out to Blue for this one :-)

The Master comments: I have to admit-after thinking this one over my bias against Monolith is influencing my post. Since Monolith has spun off engine development to another wholely-owned subsidiary, there may not be a problem with this licensee vs. customer policy. HOWEVER, that will only be true if a) LithTech treats Monolith as nothing more than another customer/licensee, b) Monolith is a game company, not an engine company, and c) LithTech does not share any of Monolith's programming team. Otherwise the conflict of interest will force any game released by Monolith in the future into the same dreary state as Blood and Shogo.

Sunday, February 20, 2000

PHP 4.0 beta 4 release

The Zend team has finished up and released PHP 4.0 beta 4. According to the mailing release to the beta team, the new version is to be the last beta in the PHP 4 development. This is quite cool. After I have evaluated the new release myself, I will be updating the Haus to beta 4.

Point Release comments

Robert Duffy updated his .plan with a bunch of comments on the point release for Q3A. Here's the .plan:
Point Release Stuff

There was a lot of new functionality added in the latest point release, primarily centered around mod development support. We are still sifting through all the feedback e-mail but here are some problems and solutions based on what we have found so far.
  1. If you are are not seeing the new "Mods" menu, it is likely that you are running something that replaces the UI. ArenaSpy and several other mods have their own UI DLL's or QVM's so you will not be able to see the point release UI. This can be remedied by removing any extra UI mods. This can also cause a problem with auto-download in that if you connect to a server that sends you something, you cannot see the download progress because the UI your using does not support it. The download is working but you just see "Awaiting gamestate" (because your not using the new UI). If you see partial files in baseq3 or an fs_game path this is what happened. Again, using the UI that comes with the point release solves this problem.
  2. If you have chosen a 3rd party model or skin, you CAN still connect to and play on pure servers. The caveat being that you will temporarily revert to Sarge. This works just like it always has.
  3. If you are using a cracked executable, you will no longer be able to connect to pure servers. "You ruined the game, I cannot cheat anymore!" is not a valid complaint.

    A.T. Hun comments: YES! Lamers, be gone!

  4. If you are not able to join a server and you get an "unpure" client message, it is likely that you are loading content from an invalid PK3 file, loading DLL's for gameplay or loading content outside of PK3 files. If you have modified any of the official PK3 files this will also cause you to not be able to connect to pure servers. The other case in which I have seen this is if the server was set to pure and not restarted. I am still looking into this one.
  5. I have seen reports of non-pure clients not getting kicked fully and remaining semi-connected. I have be unable to duplicate this problem. If you have details on this please forward them to me.
  6. If you cannot see a 3rd party model, I have tracked this down to the method which it was zipped. It appears that some zip programs do not store directory names as individual entries in the zip files. I use Winzip and it works fine.
  7. You can use 3rd party UI's to launch games and connect to pure servers. Once you have connected to a pure server, the client will reload the UI based on what the server flags is ok. This will explain running a new UI (like ArenaSpy), playing on a pure server, exiting back to the menu and ArenaSpy is gone.
  8. There have been a couple of reports of not being able to load nn number of maps, others have reported no problems. We load around 2500 maps from the development directory here and with that and locally I have not been able to duplicate this issue. And no, there are not 2500 maps we did not release.. these are largely successive numbered versions of the same maps.
If you have any information that could help identify a problem or an exact set of reproduction steps for unpure clients not getting fully kicked or not being able to load maps from baseq3, please forward the information to me at

And for those of you wanting to try out that new Mod menu, I highly suggest HeadHunters or Fists of Fury those along with many others are Very Cool.

Dell's GeForce+

According to Sharky Extreme, Dell to sell exclusive NVIDIA GeForce256 with 64mb DDR SDRAM. According to the article, Dell will only have exclusive rights to this board for a month or so.

Now, this could be really cool, but I want to see some real 3rd party benchmarks before I get too excited.

A.T. Hun comments: /me drools

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