The Haus

Saturday, September 14, 2002

NFL Week #2 Picks

Eeyore and I got off to a so-so start. I was 9-7 last week, she was 7-9. At least my fantasy team, The Fightin' Wombats, won! Here's to better things this week! Here are my picks: Bears, Colts, Titans, Lions, Patriots, Packers, Browns, Chiefs, Bucs, Seahawks, Rams, Chargers, Vikings, 49ers, Steelers, Eagles.

The Master comments: Eeyore's picks: Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs, Jets, Cowboys, Rams, Broncos, Steelers, Browns, Packers, Dolphins, Ravens, Cardinals, Bills, Chargers, Eagles

UT2K3 Benchmarks in Linux

With the help of Ryan "icculus" Gordon on the UT2K3 Linux mailing list, I managed to get benchmarks working in the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo in Linux. Here are the steps:

  1. Edit the batch files in the Benchmark directory where you installed the demo. For example, I saved the botmatch-citadel.bat file as and edited it so it contains the following:
    ../ut2003_demo ctf-citadel?spectatoronly=true?numbots=12?quickstart=true -benchmark -seconds=77 -exec=../Benchmark/Stuff/botmatchexec.txt $1
    From that you should be able to figure out how to alter any of the other batch files. Just change the slashes and have it point to ../ut2003_demo instead of ..Systemut2003. I also changed the %1 at the end to $1 so you can pass command line arguments to it.
  2. Type this command to add the necessary directories: mkdir -p $HOME/.ut2003/Benchmark/Results
  3. Go to the Benchmark directory where you installed the demo (the default is /usr/local/games/ut2003_demo/Benchmark) and run ./
  4. When the benchmark is done, the result will be written in $HOME/.ut2003/Benchmark/Results

My results are quite a bit slower than in Windows. In the Citadel botmatch I got 25.2 fps (33.1 in Windows) and in the Citadel flyby I got 48.9 (63.9 in Windows). I assume the main culprit is the difference between the OpenGL and D3D renderers. With so many variables, it's hard to say for sure. Those benchmarks were run at 1024x768x32 with all the options cranked. Dropping down to 800x600 gave me slightly better results than Windows at 1024x768.

icculus also noted that typing stat fps in the console will display your fps as you are playing. That should work in both the Linux and Windows versions of the game.

UPDATE! I found out that there is actually an OpenGL renderer in the Windows demo (check your UT2003.ini file if you are interested). With that renderer, I got 43.6 fps on the Citadel flyby and 24.2 on the botmatch. Besides being much slower, the OpenGL renderer also displayed a bunch of graphical weirdness, such as flashing textures. Therefore, it seems that the renderer is the main culprit. However, I also found out that the botmatches are different in Linux and Windows. Epic's Daniel Vogel made this post on the UT2K3 Linux mailing list:

Botmatches are OS/compiler dependent. Try the flybys.

Thus, the botmatches won't give a true Windows vs. Linux comparison. Nevertheless, it is clear that the OpenGL renderer is significantly slower than the Direct3D one--not that that's a big surprise. That's basically what Epic's been saying from the beginning.

The Making of UT2K3 for Linux

Linux Games posted an interesting article on how Unreal Tournament 2003 was ported to Linux. It also gives some information on which video cards and drivers will work with the demo. Unfortunately, right now only NVIDIA-based cards work because only their drivers support the GL_EXT_texture_compresion_s3tc OpenGL extension. Epic is working with ATi and others to get their drivers up to snuff. Ryan "icculus" Gordon has set up a Bugzilla database and mailing list for information on the Linux client and server.

I've only played with the demo in Linux a little bit. It does seem to be a tad slower than the Windows version, but I haven't gotten the benchmarking to work in Linux to prove it. In Windows I got 64 fps on the Citadel flyby and 33 fps on the Citadel botmatch. Mind you, this is at 1024x768x32 with all the options cranked.

The only problem that I've had with the Linux version is that I can't seem to control the volume of the music. A minor annoyance. I did notice, however, that Epic is using Ogg Vorbis for all their music files. Very cool!

Friday, September 13, 2002

UT2K3 Demo Released!

According to the Shack the UT2K3 demo is scheduled to be released tonight. I'm sure the mirrors will be absolutely buried, but we'll try to get links up as they show up.

UPDATE! by A.T. Hun Tbe demo has hit the 'Net! A complete list of mirrors is available on the Unreal Tournament 2003 website. The demo weighs in at 97.72M. Good luck downloading it! Both the Windows and Linux versions are now available.

A.T. Hun comments: I just played one level with four bots. The game played very smooth at 1024x768x32 with all the options cranked on my Athlon XP 1800+ and GeForce3 Ti200. The action seems to be a lot faster and more frenetic than the original game. It also took care of my biggest gripe with the first UT--I found it very hard to tell when I was being hit. That's no problem in UT2K3, the sounds and screen flash make it painfully obvious that you're hurtin'. With one game of deathmatch under my belt, I'm very impressed. Now for that Linux version . . .

NWN Linux Client Update

Bioware updated their Linux client page for Neverwinter Nights with more screenshots and a progress report. Here's what they had to say:

Overall, the Linux Client is progressing nicely. We've managed to get a lot of the basics working and have a fairly functional client up and running. There haven't been many really major issues, and the fact that the Linux Server has already been done has certainly helped (the support libraries for networking, resource management, etc. were already working). We're currently looking at issues with sound, as well as a few input and graphical problems that we are confident can be resolved. Finally, there are also various other issues that need to be fixed up.


CNN Tech has an article on a robotic Indiana Jones, that is being used to explore the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Neat stuff, I hope they make a TV special out of it.

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