The Haus

Friday, December 8, 2000

New Mech4 Demo

Daily Radar got their hands on a new demo of MechWarrior 4 (68.7). It includes four mechs and allows you to play in instant action mode, but no multiplayer. It requires a PII-400, 64M RAM, and a 3D card. Of course, if I know the MechWarrior series, you'll need a lot more than that to get it to play decently. Thanks Blue.

New Threewave Site

The new Threewave site is officially open for business. Threewave (headed by Zoid) came up with the first Capture-the-Flag mod for any game with its QuakeWorld version. Plans include coming out with a new Threewave Quake III CTF map pack (yes!) as well as creating standard map packs with the very best Q3A CTF maps on the Net. All of the maps will be Team Arena-ready and support the new power-ups and gametypes. This, ladies and germs, is beyond cool.

Carmack on Linux

id's John Carmack made a post on Slashdot giving The Official Position on why they chose not to have the Linux binary on the Quake III: Team Arena CD.:
We are going to continue to support linux in future products, but unfortunately it doesn't look like a strong business case can be made for it. The mac version outsold the linux version by quite a bit, and even that didn't hit 5% of the windows sales. Mac versions are still valid business cases, because the support is way easier than on either windows or linux platforms, and the sales numbers amount to something noticeable.

There is no way that a linux box will hit the shelf at the same time and have the same price as a windows box, assuming the publisher is making a maximum effort for the windows box. If this is truly a gating factor, linux boxed games just won't succeed.

Loki wants to get away from making games "convertable" between platforms, to force linux players to buy the linux boxes. I have issues with this. Not making executable binaries available online sucks. I hate binary patches, and requiring either patches from different versions, or the installation of all previous patches. Just releasing a new executable is so much easier.

Our options from here are to move towards a hybrid CD and pay Loki for official support (which makes linux support look like an expense, rather than a benefit), make a hybrid CD but leave the linux version in an "unsupported" directory, or just make unsupported linux executables available online like we used to.

It is going to be quite some time before DOOM ships, so we can't say anything definitive at this point.
Thanks Blue's News.

Case in point: when The Master and I bought an extra copy of Q3A to run a dedicated server with bots, we had two options. We could try to find an online dealer that had it and pay $49 for it or we could go to Best Buy or some such place and pay $25 (on sale) for the Win32 version and download the binary. Since we are on a tight budget, it was a no-brainer. As much as I want to support shrink-wrapped versions of Linux games, my pocketbook can't justify the cost difference.

NOLF Patch Released

As promised, Monolith has released a patch for No One Lives Forever. The patch is 6.44M and fixes a whole slew of bugs. You can find a list of said fixes in the NOLF Team .plan. Thanks Blue.

TradeWars Brought to the Web

Back in the day, J.t.Qbe and I played a healthy (or maybe unhealthy?) amount of the BBS door game "TradeWars". Apparently someone got all nostalgic and decided to make a web-based, open-source version of the game called BlackNova Traders. I want to check it out further, but it is being thoroughly Slashdotted at the moment. Now that I think about it, I may even have a registered version of the original on a floppy somewhere. Finding it would be another issue :)

J.t.Qbe comments: How 'bout it, A.T.? Tradewars at The Haus?

A.T. Hun comments: I'd be up for it. We'll have to revisit it once the software is more stable. Brings back memories, doesn't it?

The Master comments: If there's a way to control the server, and it's configurable, I'll be happy to run it for ya :-)

Thursday, December 7, 2000

Q3:TA Gold!

id's Robert Duffy updated his .plan with the long-awaited news that Quake III: Team Arena has officially gone gold! Here's the rest of the story:
Team Arena is Gold. :-)

Some other things coming down the pipe from us in the near future.

Source code was made available earlier today to MOD authors so they can prepare their mods to be compatible with the 1.27 point release. This will help get everyone up on the same rev of the game at the same time. The point release ( 1.27 ) will be released a day or two before Team Arena hits shelves

As soon as Team Arena is on shelves, full tool source code will be released as well as new executables and I beleive Graeme will be releasing the ROQ compiler as well. These are all good things. I am going to get Timothee and the GTKRadiant crew tool source in a day or so, so they can prepare that flavor of the editor and tools for the masses.

The official combined game source will be released during the same time period as the tools. This will be the integrated Q3A and TA source base.
id's Todd Hollenshead also updated his .plan with a bit more information on Q3:TA's goldness:
We expect that it may begin showing up at shops like EB and Babbages as early as Friday the 15th. It may take a bit longer for stores like Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. to get it in. You should check with your local retailer to see if/when they will be getting their supply in.
. . .
We're still working on Mac and Linux, but Demos for those (as well as binaries) should be available "soon".
One word: GIMME!

Mozilla .6 Released

The Mozilla open-source web browser team has released Mozilla .6, a milestone on the Netscape 6 code branch. Basically it is Netscape 6 without all the AOL bloatware and numerous bug fixes that should have been made in the first place :) If you are using Mozilla already, you can probably pass on this release. If you were pushing off trying Netscape 6 because of all the AOL garbage, you might want to try this one out. Check out the Mozilla roadmap for information on how this release relates to the Mozilla trunk. Thanks Slashdot, which actually announced this milestone when it was released instead of a month before.

In a related story, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) issued a press release praising Netscape 6/Mozilla as "the most standards-compliant browser the Web has yet seen". Kudos to the Mozilla team! Now fix those remaining TABLE bugs!


Let me file an official "stuff that sucks" comment: taking your 2 year old son to the emergency room sucks. But at least he's all better now :-)

I'm still loving the Alice demo. Need to play it through again and write a review, but I can state my opinion right up front: rock. Buy this game! I know I will the first time it goes on a percent off sale at Best Buy (no affiliation, yadda, yadda).

A.T. Hun comments: My problem today isn't as bad as a sick two-year-old, but it is probably more annoying. I've been leaving my computer on 24/7 because it gets so cold in my office. I got up this morning and tried to reboot Win98, but after six tries and six Explorer GPFs (or just plain lock-ups) I gave up and booted to Linux. I'm glad I've got Linux installed for a number of reasons, but particularly for those days when Win98 is being profoundly stupid.

Past Two Days' News

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