The Haus

Friday, March 8, 2002

Jaquays Leaves id

Paul Jaquays updated his .plan to announce that today is his last day at id Software. He has accepted a position at Ensemble Studios. Apparently making first-person shooters has burned him out. Best of luck to Paul in his future endeavors!

J.t.Qbe comments: Heh--PLAYING first-person shooters has burned me out. Even cool stuff like "No One Lives Forever", "Deus Ex", and (heaven forbid) "Voyager: Elite Force" leaves me cold. I suppose I'm not too surprised about this news--after all, Jaquays' background is in RPG design--pen and paper RPGs, I mean (anyone else old enough to remember that?).

Star Wars Guitars

Guitar manufacturer Fernandes has teamed up with LucasFilm to design Star Wars-themed guitars. The perfect gift for the Star Wars fan who has everything. Or something. The Retrorocket ones are interesting, but they also list at $1300. What they REALLY need is a guitar in the shape of a B-Wing. Thanks Slashdot.

Thursday, March 7, 2002

New NVIDIA Linux Drivers

NVIDIA has released version 1.0-2802 of their drivers for Linux. The biggest two changes in these new drivers are support for the GeForce4 family of cards and the addition of anisotropic filtering. They seem to give me a big of a framerate boost in general. Anisotropic filtering is pretty amazing. I set it to the highest level with the command:

export __GL_DEFAULT_LOG_ANISO=3

I dropped from almost 120 fps to 73 on the "four" demo but only from 70 to 60 on the UpsetChaps demo 2. Basically anisotropic filtering makes the textures towards the horizon seem much more clear. The difference was immediately obvious to me. Obviously, it comes with a pretty stiff performance penalty. I plan on testing it at various levels with and without antialiasing. Yes, I like my GeForce3 Ti200 :) Thanks HardOCP.

UPDATE! Wow! People talk alot about antialiasing, but in my book anisotropic filtering has a far greater visual impact. Using the "maximum" setting on mpterra1 in Quake III: Team Arena is stunning. Of course, my framerates also drop to nearly unplayable levels at 1024x768 with seven bots. I found this page on NVNews in their GeForce3 preview that shows the effects of anisotropic filtering. Most impressive.

Fox Slams the SSSCA

Fox News, of all places, has an editorial slamming Senator Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) and his SSSCA that would place content controls on everything and virtually eliminate "fair use" of copyrighted materials. The "Senator from Disney" indeed! Here's a snip:
"Keep your grubby laws off my computer" sounds like a pretty good slogan, and it's one that Republicans could use against Democrats nationwide. A few smart Democrats, like Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia, realize this. As Boucher puts it, these companies are "seeking to use their copyright not just to obtain fair compensation but in effect to exercise complete dominance and total control of the copyrighted work...I have told the heads of the major labels I think this is a major mistake that will engender a major public backlash." Unfortunately, Boucher seems to be a voice in the wilderness within the Democratic Party, which has forged a symbiotic relationship with the entertainment industries over the past few decades.
Read it. It's a bit vitriolic in places, but the points made are excellent. Thanks Slashdot.

<OP-ED>I have to say that I can't understand the author's amazement that this is a Democrat proposing this legislation. The Democratic party has always been in favor of legislating everyone into oblivion. The Republicans are the ones who want a more "hands-off" government (almost to a ridiculous extreme sometimes). The SSSCA seems to fit in perfectly with the Democrat's agenda.</OP-ED>

JKII Transcript

Raven's James Monroe updated his .plan with a link to the transcript of their March 1 developer chat for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Yes, I will be buying this game.

Pondering the Imponderable

J.t. was talking about his time killers. I've just gotten one of mine back: Diablo II. I decided to try a Paladin again. For some reason, I keep being drawn to this class. After a bunch of Druids, I was looking for a change of pace. At any rate, I've got my latest incarnation, SirRobin, up to the 20th level. I just finished Act II and made very short work of Duriel using Thorns and Zeal. I'm intending him to be an Avenger (i.e. using Vengeance as his primary attack). At this point, the multiple attacks of Zeal are better and use less mana than Vengeance. In a few skill points, that all should change.

Might & Magic IX Coming Soon!

For the last few months 3DO has projected a March release for Might & Magic IX, the latest and (hopefully) greatest M&M game (which is supposed to be using the Lithtech engine, for those of you who care about that kind of qrap). To be really ambitious, they've also projected a March release date for Heroes of Might & Magic IV, their turn-based strategy series. Gone Gold got word today that the final release candidates of both games have gone for final testing, putting them on track to be released this month. Hooray! My work productivity is doomed. Being a telecommuter is a double-edged sword.

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