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[News Archive]

Firingsquad Review Again - Friday, September 3

Because of the backlash from their other Tiberium Sun review The Firingsquad have done a new revew apologising for some of the remarks they made about the game.

Here are both of them. You choose which one you like.

Review 1
Review 2

New Tiberian Sun Map Editor - Friday, September 3

Camelot Systems are well known for the Starcraft Editing Utilities, now they are expanding into TS. They are desiging a new map editor for TS. So for those of you who dont like the current one. I suggest you check this out.

Head over there by clicking here!

G. Devine.plan update again!!- Friday, September 3

GD has updated his .plan again aswell... Here it is :)

I see a lot of people are playing with nude reptiles!

We are not doing a Matrix game. When we finish Q3A we'll start on the next project. We will try and fit the words "welcome to my underground lair" into the next game, mostly because we think Steed would be good at making fembots.

Okay, that's more of a suggestion than a truth. We'll probably do something completely different based on stories of the Quake 3 Bus and the Nevada desert.

Atleased it isnt as big as JC's !

John Carmack .plan update again!!- Friday, September 3

JC has updated his .plan file for the second day in concession. Some interesting fact about the New Mac G4 System. Here it is...

I have been getting a lot of requests for commentary on two subjects lately:

Nvidia's new geometry accelerated card with the funny name.

It is fast. Very, very fast. It has the highest fill rate of any card we have ever tested, has improved image quality over TNT2, and it gives timedemo scores 40% faster than the next closest score with extremely raw beta drivers.

The throughput will definately improve even more as their drivers mature.

For max framerates in OpenGL games, this card is going to be very hard to beat.

Q3's target of about 10,000 triangles a frame doesn't stress this card at all. If you want more polygons out of Q3, you can do:

_lodBias -2 // don't use lower detail models r_subdivisions 1
// lots more triangles in curves r_lodCurveError 10000
// don't drop curve rows for a long time

I haven't looked at the stencil shadow stuff in a long time, but it gives the largest increase in triangle use (and a lot of fill rate as well):

cg_shadows 2 // turn on stencil shadows // (if you have a stencil buffer)

Apple's new G4 systems.

The initial systems are just G4 processors in basically the same systems as the current G3. There will be some speedup in the normal C code from the faster floating point unit, and the Apple OpenGL has AltiVec optimizations, so framerates will improve somewhat. The limiting factor is going to be the fill rate on the rage128 and the bandwidth of the 66mhz pci bus and processor to main memory writes.

The later G4 systems with the new memory controller and AGP will have better performance, but probably still limited by the new 3D card.

After Apple gets all their driver tuning done, it will be interesting to try running timedemos at low resolution to factor the fill rate out. Apple has a shot at having the best non-geometry accelerated throughput, but it will still be tough to overcome a K7 with an extra hundred or so mhz.

On a purely technical note, AltiVec is more flexible for computation than intel or AMD's extensions (trinary ops), but intel style write combining is better for filling command buffers than the G4's memory streaming operations.


Tiberium Sun Review!!!- Thursday, September 2 have a nice review of TS heres an extract!

"Consistancy is the prevailing theme in Tiberian Sun. Graphics are more or less the same thing we have become used to with the C&C series. Units are sharp and colourful (maybe even too colourful... some of the infantry look like they just popped out of a Saturday morning cartoon) and as always with C&C games, you will have no problem distinguishing between the different types of units. I found the buildings to be particularly well drawn and you can certainly tell some time and effort was put into the artwork. I really liked the city landscapes and it would have been nice to see more urban combat. Imagine battling through narrow streets, ducking behind buildings for cover, snipers on the rooftops... something to keep in mind for the sequel. Some other special effects like the ion storm and meteor showers add to the overall game package and if you pay close attention you will notice it actually gets darker at night. Cutscenes have been given a significant upgrade. As usual you are treated to short movies between levels that keep the story moving along. You should recognize a few familiar hollywood faces in the mix although luckily for old C&C fans the script is still campy as hell and everyone talks like they have a pickle up their ass. Ahhh home sweet home... "

Go read the whole
thing here!

Carmack Worklog update!!!- Thursday, September 2

JC has updated his worklog... Heres the update.

* save 2.5 megs by reworking shader allocation
* save 1 meg by not double buffering backend if not smp
* convert all tr. arrays into pointers
* don't allocate as many snapshotentities when non dedicated
* new shader option: deformvertex move [x] [y] [z] [waveform]
* stackable deformvertex
* reduced lightning damage by 10%
* light emit from two sided surfaces
* reduced starting machinegun ammo in teamplay to 50 from 100

Go to his .plan by clicking

Devine .plan update!!!- Thursday, September 2

GD had updated his .plan... Here is the update in full!

Some of you have commented on the master server being a bit odd right now. It's actually running just fine, it's just responding to queries for protocol 41, which is not entirely compatible with protocol 40. Only servers with people on there will actually show up. You can force showing the empty servers with the keyword "empty", but this isn't so useful since in 1.08 you can't combine that with game types (e.g. you can't say "empty tourney"). For completeness's sake, you can also say "full". But heck, if you type in "nude reptiles", you can scan that too and get exactly zip.

All of this is of course fixed in the new test and browsing gametypes, keywords, and so forth is easier than ever. You'll swoon. Trust me.

For those of you, and there's a bunch of you, who believe that our previous efforts had better network support than 1.08, we've set up servers here for you to get side to side experiences. Go try them and let me know.

Q3test 1.05 -
Q3test 1.08 -
Quake 2 version 3.20 -
QuakeWorld version 2.30 -
Quake version 1.09 -

We're pretty confident you'll be seeing things our way pdq.

Eric, our in house live human, bet Tim that he couldn't make a fun map in under an hour. Tim, being Tim, took him up (the exact nature of what was bet remains somewhat fuzzy, but it may have involved lunch). Forty-five minutes later we had "fun", which has remained interestingly addictive throughout the last week to the entire company (of course, listening to Tim tell this story, it's down to thirty-five minutes while he had no power, and the mouse was disconnected from his machine).

The lesson from all this is either that Tim really values something fuzzy to do with lunch, or that Quake 3 is so darn cool you can toss together maps in less than an hour. Okay, maybe knowing what Tim knows helps, so we're going to dissect his brain for science and get him working as our own personal AI (John swears it's possible) churning out 24 levels a day 24/7 until some odd Y2K bug causes him to make every telephone in the world ring at once. Oh wait, that was Lawnmower Man.

Now thats a big read!!

End of News :)