The Haus

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

LucasArts MPEGs

Daily Radar has posted MPEG movies of gameplay from the seven new games that LucasArts showed at E3. I'm downloading the Obi-Wan ones now, but it's going to take a while. Thanks Jedi

Romero Interview

Games Domain UK posted an interview with ION Storm's John Romero, the designer behind Daikatana. They discuss tidal wave of bad publicity that the Daikatana demo got and why the game wasn't being shown at E3. Thanks Blue.

Outlook Gets Secure

There's a new page up in the Microsoft Office Update area for an Outlook Security Update that will correct some of the major issues with attachment security in Outlook. Boy, I thought Microsoft didn't think this was a big deal. Took them a week to get over themselves. I guess antitrust must be changing their viewpoint.

Heh, sure it does :-)

Daikatana Rumor Du Jour

I haven't posted any sweet Daikatana gossip in oh, what, days now. This one's particularly juicy. The rumors are floating about that no gaming magazine or website are getting review copies of Daikatana. Not PC Gamer, not anybody. Here's Evil Avatar's take on the whole situation:
I have a buddy who works for a print magazine who shared with me the same rumor, that Eidos was holding back sending out Gold CD's to any of the online & print magazines in hopes that the full version of the game will be on store shelves before anyone has a chance to give it a poor review. Since this is now the 2nd time I've seen the same rumor, I thought it was worth sharing. You draw your own conclusions . . . isn't it a little odd that not even has a copy of the full version of Daikatana?
You can read the rest of this at Evil Avatar's site This wouldn't surprise me in the least, given how everyone (including yours truly) ripped the demo. It's pretty sad if it's true. I would hope that everyone who is thinking about buying this game would download the demo before they drop their cold, hard cash on it.

I know that J is laughing about this because I talked about buying Daikatana on general principle if I could get it for $29. That was before the demo came out. That's how convinced I was that it would be at least a good game. Caveat emptor.

History today

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

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