The Haus

Monday, May 15, 2000

Sweeney Sets the Record Straight

Billy "Wicked" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme fired off an email to Epic's engine guru, Tim Sweeney, regarding the whole "dropping OpenGL fiasco". Here's his rather direct reply:
Someone was smoking crack at E3, either Brandon or the dude who interviewed him. Here is our API strategy.

First of all, for future Unreal Tournament patches, all API's that are now supporting will remain in there.

For the next generation engine, we're tossing out the software renderer and all single-vendor API's. On Windows, we'll be supporting Direct3D as our primary API because the driver performance and stability is better, and OpenGL as our secondary API. On Linux and Mac, OpenGL will be our primary API. On PlayStation 2, we go directly to Sony's hardware.

That's all; there will more Glide or MeTaL or software rendering in our next-generation engine. Just Direct3D and OpenGL.
I assume in that last sentence he means "there will be no more". It sounds like Sweeney needs to have a little chat with GreenMarine :) All told this is good news, and makes a lot more sense then what had been reported before.

Pondering the Imponderable

I've seen a couple of E3 previews of 3dfx' V5-6000, their $600, four processor, 128M monstrousity. The performance is, of course, amazing. It does beg the question though: who can justify spending as much for a video card as some semi-capable complete systems? As I was tinkering inside of my case the other day, I thought to myself that even if I wanted a V5-6000, and if the cash fairy came by and gave me the dough to buy one, I'd have to get (among other things) a new case because mine wouldn't be big enough! I wonder if the card doubles as a space heater . . .

The Master comments: Heh-you'd have to do the "strap a box fan on that case" maneuver to cool that sucker. Course, we all need a million BTUs generated by our video cards, don't we?

Privateer Impressions and Overview

A Talent for War has posted a brief preview and the E3 fact sheet for Privateer. The more I hear about this game, the more it sounds like Elite 2000--which would be a Good Thing (tMS). Thanks Blue.

E3 Wrap-Ups

Everybody and their daschund are updating their .plans, recalling the joys, thrills, and general depravity that is E3. If you are interested (for some heretofore unknown reason) in finding out how total strangers have fun, hop on over to Webdog and go nuts.

3dfx and the Mac

This bit of Yahoo tech news has 3dfx criticizing Apple for insisting on shipping ATi Rage 128s with PowerMacs instead of Voodoo5s.
"What's clear today is that Apple stubbornly insists on shipping the Rage 128 in every PowerMac ordered," he [3dfx' Bryan Speece, head of Mac marketing] wrote. "And that produces a very un-level playing field for any third-party vendor and their users. Instead of getting an option to configure his new system with a V5 rather than a Rage 128 for a modest price delta users are forced to eat a Rage 128. Apple then apparently feels that same user should go pay upwards of $300 for a 3dfx V5 at a retailer. And, frankly, retailers aren't thrilled about carrying a Mac AGP card when Apple's pre-filling all those AGP slots anyway."
Umm, news flash, 3dfx. You just announced that there WOULD be AGP Voodoo5s for Macs and there are no Voodoo5s of any kind for sale at all! So Apple should offer a card that they just found out about which doesn't even exist yet? Curiouser and curiouser. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

More on Future Unreal Ports

Blue's News had a follow-up interview to help clarify some of the issues regarding Epic's decision to drop OpenGL support in future versions of the Unreal engine. Here's a snip:
Blue: So there will definitely be Mac and Linux versions of Unreal II and your super-secret next game?

That's certainly the plan. We've done Mac ports of the last two games, and even won Macworld game of the year, so why would we stop at this point? We have a healthy customer base and the full support of the fine folks over at Apple.

Blue: And Linux?

Same thing, we invested all this time and energy into Linux, why would we stop now? It's vitally important to the server community.
Blue really had to press him on Linux, and even then he only mentioned it as being important for servers (where OpenGL is a non-issue). It will be interesting to see if Epic hires someone like Loki to do a Linux port. Time will tell.

Something Awful E3 Wrap Up

Judging from everything I've heard about E3, there can be nothing more apropos than a Something Awful E3 Wrap Up. Get Lowtax' impressions of such not-to-be-missed games as "Nomads of Klanth", "The S.A.R.A.C. Project", "Rumble in the Void", and other games that no one will ever (thankfully) play and how he was stood up Activision.

More Obi-Wan Previews

Well-Rounded Entertainment posted a preview of Episode I: Obi-Wan as did LucasGames (although the Well-Rounded one is more informative, even though they mention battling "druids" at one point). Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

GreenMarine Clears the Air

Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart updated his .plan with clarification on the reports flying around various news sites that Epic is dropping support for Linux and Mac, which is not true. They are dropping support for multiple graphics APIs in their engines.

What I think this will translate to is a delay of ports to other platforms since they will all need to be rewritten for each specific port instead of using APIs that are portable to other platforms. Personally, I think Epic got burnt by the triple API in their UT product and are trying to condense down API support, much like id did with their OpenGL-only decision.

A.T. Hun comments: It's not like Epic had a big commitment to Linux in the first place. GreenMarine slapped something together and then made the project (mostly) open source. I can't really picture GreenMarine writing an OpenGL renderer just for Linux. Unless they get some third party like Loki to do it, I can't imagine that a whole lot of effort will be thrown into a Linux port of the next engine.

History today

Sunday, May 14, 2000

History today

For those who wonder about these little blurbs: one of the things I have always wanted to do was develop a history database online for history junkies like me. I'm gonna crank it out when I get some free time, but this allows me to build up some notes for when I get the DB online.

The End of the World

If Daikatana going gold wasn't enough to make you repent, this definitely will. The Detroit Tigers, the worst team in baseball, just completed a three game sweep of the New York Yankees. OK, so it's off topic. Sue me. I know my fellow Haus'ers J.t.Qbe and Wraith will enjoy this.

More and Napster

This article on ISP-Planet (yep, there's a Planet for everything on the 'Net) talks about the recent legal wranglings between the RIAA on the one side and and Napster on the other. The author makes an excellent point, which I was not clever enough to think of in my diatribe on the whole MP3 situation:
Record companies and the RIAA should learn the hard lesson now, before companies like figure out how to set up their own labels and negotiate directly with recording artists.
Boy, if that would happen, the RIAA would be cut out of the picture altogether. I hope for their sakes that one of them has a fully functioning brain cell and embraces MP3 while there still is time. Thanks Linux Today.

E3 Games

In case you care (and I know you don't) here are the upcoming games the interest me the most. A few days ago (story) I mentioned that the only upcoming games of interest to me were Quake III: Team Arena and Episode I: Obi-Wan. After reading more previews than one man has a right to, my list has expanded. Here is my revised list in order of interest:
  1. Digital Anvil's Freelancer
  2. LucasArts' Episode I: Obi-Wan
  3. Gray Matter's Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  4. id's Quake III: Team Arena
Just what I need, more games :) I'm REALLY intrigued by Freelancer. If it ends up living up to 1/2 the hype, it should be an amazing game.

Unreal Info

loonyboi posted a couple of interesting Unreal Engine notes. The first is regarding Unreal's next generation engine which will be dumping Glide and OpenGL in favor of Direct3D. This will obviously make Linux and Mac ports much harder in the future.

Secondly they confirm that an Unreal Tournament add-on is in the works. It will be a "a cyberpunk style adventure with a focus on teamplay". I heard about this yesterday but I wanted to get some confirmation before posting it.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
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