The Haus

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Serious Sam SE 1.07 Patch

Croteam has released the 1.07 patch for Serious Sam: Second Edition. The file is not yet on Croteam's site. The above is a link to Seriously!, a Serious Sam fan site on ye olde Gamespy network. That page has a complete list of fixes, which includes a new skeletal animation system. One minor caveat, the patch breaks network compatibility so servers and clients will need to upgrade. Also please note that this patch is for the U.S. version only. International patches will be coming soon. Thanks VE.

New Half-Life Dedicated Servers

Blue got word that Valve has released new dedicated servers for Half-Life in anticipation of the new client release tomorrow. The new versions are for Windows and for Linux. They are available as a ~9M patch or as a ~112M full install.

New NVIDIA Windows Drivers

NVIDIA has released "new" 28.32 Detonator XP drivers for the various flavors of Windows (9x, ME, NT, 2K, XP). I put new in quotes because they seem to be the same as the previously released 28.32s, just with WHQL certification. Thanks Shacknews.

UPDATE! I found out that these drivers cause Jedi Knight II to lock up on my system while playing the demo (both with and without timedemo 1). I'm back to the old 21.83s, the only drivers that have worked correctly with every game I've tried on my GeForce 3 Ti200.

JKII in WineX

I downloaded Transgaming's WineX from CVS, compiled, and installed it. The compilation and installation went rather smoothly (the tools/wineinstall script automated the whole process). I fired up Jedi Knight II which I already had installed on my Windows 98 partition. The game runs much better than I expected. There are some minor "hitches" every so often. For some reason, my framerate is capped at 50fps so it's hard to make a direct comparison. The level loads take slightly longer. I probably wouldn't need to reboot to play anymore, but for online playing the extra fps would probably be better. Hopefully I can figure out how to get rid of that 50 fps cap.

UPDATE! I was in the middle of a multiplayer game with four bots. I hit "esc" to bring up the menu and pause the game. When I came back, my box was almost locked up. The music was looping and the hard drive thrashing. I tried to do a ctrl-alt-F2 to log in and kill the process, but the drive was thrashing so much the login timed out. When I tried to return to X, my box locked up. Also, a timedemo in Win98 gives 63.4 fps, but in WineX it is 47.7. The WineX number is no doubt crippled by the aforementioned fps lock. So while it works, it is a bit flakier. I think more memory probably wouldn't hurt either.

Morrowind Gold

It's official: Morrowind has gone gold and will be out soon! The official news is here, but the official site is rather bogged down now. You can also read the news at Voodoo Extreme. Projected release is early May--next week? I hope so! I think I'll be taking some vacation time real soon. . .

PHP 4.2.0 Released

The PHP Group has announced the release of PHP 4.2.0 on their website. The full changelog is here. This is a major security release, making massive changes to how PHP handles form variables and other submission-based data.

RPG Goodness

RPGdot has published its own review of Might & Magic IX, giving it a score of 85% where most other sites give it a score in the mid 60s. The difference: RPGdot focuses strictly on RPGs rather than all types of games, and it's run by M&M fans. Overall it's a pretty fair review. I really, really need to give this game a try.

Morrowind previews have been popping up all over the place lately, and so far it's looking like Morrowind is going to be all it's cracked up to be. I've been waiting for this one since Daggerfall, but without a lot of expectation, but now I'm really starting to look forward to getting it! Good previews at RPGdot, Gone Gold, and RPG Vault, with some interesting developer Q&A too (sorry about the ads at RPG Vault).

Another good current RPG is Gothic. I fired it up for a while the other night and enjoyed simply wandering around the gameworld looking at the scenery.

Freelancer Preview posted a brief preview of Freelancer, the upcoming space combat game from Digital Anvil. While the article is rather short, the author attempts to show how Freelancer may become the Diablo II of space sims. Whether that's a good or bad thing is rather subjective. I'm more interested in the massive, living universe they are trying to create. Thanks Evil Avatar.

The Master comments: This is the kind of game I've been waiting most of my gaming life for. I hope it delivers on the promises. Otherwise, I might have to sit down and write it myself :-/ (not that I haven't been meaning to do that for years . . .)

Blackley Interview

GameSpot posted an interview with Seamus Blackley about his recent decision to resign from work on the X-Box for Microsoft (story). It appears that it wasn't concerns over the X-Box's sales as it was the desire to make games that led to his resignation. Thanks Blue.

Monday, April 22, 2002

SoF2 MP Test Cvars

Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with a link to this page which lists some handy cvars for people trying out the Soldier of Fortune II multiplayer test.

Microsoft Targets School Districts

The M$ Inquisitors are at it again. This time, they are bringing the hammer down on a number of Oregon and Washington school districts. Here's what the author feels might be the rationale behind the timing of these threatened audits:
Ah, but wait. Microsoft has an offer it thinks you can't refuse, if only to avoid the audit: the vaunted Microsoft School Agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, a school or district simply counts its computers and pays Microsoft somewhere in the neighborhood of $42 per machine for one systemwide annual license.

. . .

But Microsoft has put a new spin on the agreement, requiring an "institution-wide commitment." That means the district must include in its count not only the PCs, but all the iMacs and Power Macs that might conceivably use Windows software.

What would it cost Portland Public Schools, which is already facing a $36 million shortfall, to sign that Microsoft School Agreement?

"A rough number? $500,000," Robinson said, "which translates, roughly, into 10 teaching positions."
I hope any teachers who wax poetic about the "incredible educational discounts" Microsoft offers will remember that they are agreeing to subject themselves to this sort of manhandling. Remember, there are alternatives. Thanks Slashdot.

JKII: JO Tools Released

Raven's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with the news that the editing tools have been released for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. There's a list of mirror sites in the update. There is also this rebuke for people getting a certain error in JKII multiplayer:
If you're getting the CL_ParsePacketEntities error in JK2 multiplayer, it's likely because you are using the cracked executable. That's the only instance we've seen the error. Shame on you. ;)

X-Box Co-Creator Leaves M$

Yahoo is reporting that Seamus Blackley, the co-creator of the X-Box gaming console, has resigned from Microsoft to "pursue other opportunities." Here's a snip:
The news comes just days after Microsoft said it would miss its fiscal year-end sales target for the Xbox by as much as 40 percent, a shortfall it blamed on weak sales. Those weak sales led to deep price cut in Europe and Australia last week.
You mean they didn't sell as many X-Boxes as expected because sales were weak? You don't say! :) Thanks Evil Avatar.

SoF II MP Test Quick Look

I decided to fire up the Solider of Fortune II multiplayer test (story) and give it a spin this morning. The only bug I noticed (which is somewhat annoying) is that you can't actually sort the servers in the server browser by ping time. It rearranges the order, but doesn't actually put them in order. I played a little infiltration mode (think Unreal Tournament's assault mode or CounterStrike). The graphics were very smooth even cranked up with eight players. I had a 100ms ping but noticed no lagginess. The sounds are very nice and crisp as well. Basically it looks like if you liked the original SoF, you are going to like SoF II even more.

The only gameplay gripe I had is one that I quite often have with shooters. There is very little feedback (especially aurally) indicating I've been hit. I think it would just require some getting used to. I'm not a big fan of the whole CounterStrike thing, so infiltration mode doesn't do much for me. But I would think that CS fans would find it very pleasing.

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
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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