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Thursday, July 31, 1997
Quake 2 DLL chat
10:49 PM EDT
Got this info from Prophet: Dave Dynerman (Anarchy) has set up some IRC channels for people to converse about the security issues of Quake2's DLL Format.

Channel Topics and servers, as well as more info on Quake2 Dll's can be found at WM_QUAKE2. Thanks Prophet! Slipgate

Paul Jaquays Interview
10:28 PM EDT
Paul Jaquays, the id designer, was interviewed by The Quake Workshop. Here is the interview. Slipgate

Nebula redesign
10:24 PM EDT
The Nebula has been redesigned with far less/next to no Java this time. Thanks to both Jon Ruff of the Nebula and Prophet for telling me. Slipgate

Paul Steed .plan update
10:22 PM EDT
Sorry folks for not keeping the page in better upkeep (update-wise) today, I was first busy in lots of stuff, then helping out with the QSPY interview I've mentioned before, then doing other stuff for Quake2.com. Believe me, I think when you see what Quake2.com has coming for it you'll shrug off not having gotten updated one day on time. Anyways, catching up on my news of the day, Paul Steed made a .plan update about the progress of Quake 2. Thanks to Rotwang for informing me. Here it is:

Since you can access past plan postage on the usual places who post it, I'm only including the last post prior to the one I'm updating from now on. This will of course save space and make for faster downloads, etc., etc.

Saw Michael Hadwin's post and I have to say "BUT THEY WERE HERE FIRST!" Truly those ADV guys ROCK! They gave me all kinds of cool stuff as well before swaggering over to Ritual. Unfortunately our id momma over here (Donna J) caught me and Twillits fast forwarding through one particularly graphic teenage-lesbian-slut-being-raped-by-a-many-tentacled-demon-through-every-orifice scene from one of the NINE videos they graciously gave me. I'll plug them again: ADV is fucking cool!

Speaking of chicks I finished up the cyborg version of the crackwhore and she anxiously awaits Adrian's ministrations. Once he textures her maybe Xian will put her up ala the crackwhore. I also started animating the female player character. In her idle frame she's crouched down into an aggressive position with a weapon and when she's idle for too long she straightens, putting one hand on her hip and hoisting the gun up placing the butt of it on her other hip. Turned out pretty cool. I gave her body armor/chest plating so her breast are large but don't sway. The plate look doesn't make her look cartoony, though just well endow...er armored. I gave her big boots and knee pads, but left the rest of her in a form-fitted kevlar bodysuit which shows off some abs of steel and a shapely and very fine ass. This baby's definitely got back!

Speaking of which, I have to say that women in general rule! Even though we're basically different species co-habitating on the same planet, I am such a hopeless philogynist. All those curves. Mmmm, mmm, MMM. Sorry. I went to Hooters today and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor last Saturday which featured hundreds of brightly-colored bikinis filled with (mostly adolescent) voluptuousness.

Ah well back to the FUCKING grind. Gotta keep puttin' the finishing touches on the weapons (you should really dig the cartridge-feed action on the rocket and grenade launcher). The levels look outstanding as well. Boy this is a cool project to work on. I can't wait for you all's reactions when you play it.


Poor guy :). Slipgate

Window info
2:40 PM EDT
Because I've gotten the question as to whether see-through breakable windows will be in Quake 2 (see-through but a surface actually there and such), I asked Paul Steed about it. Here's his reply.

Yes we will have see-through windows (i.e. transparent brushes). Adrian and Kevin have done some dirty, grimy stained glass textures that are very cool. Indestructible versions of the windows will be integral to any in-game scripted cinematics ala the Rangers movies. These will help us by allowing the player to watch a scripted action without interfering. Although we are currently discussing the content and scope of the scripted sequences, they will most likely be helpful (e.g. give the player clues about attributes of levels to come or locations of weapons/ammo/health caches.) Bottom line is that yes we will have windows. I'm assuming they will be breakable but I may be incorrect.


So, that answers most of your questions, folks! I'm thankful to Paul for the quick reply (less than 24 hours). Slipgate

Quake 2 preview repeat
2:38 PM EDT
I mentioned this Quake 2 preview before, and interestingly got word of it from Prophet again. It is a good and complete write up, so in case you haven't seen it, check it out. Slipgate

QSPY interview
2:36 PM EDT
Once again, remember that Nigel has an interview with the QSPY guys about QSPY and Quake 2 tonight at 8 pm EDT. Hurry with your questions or they won't get asked! Mail them to him, not me. A link to mail Nigel is here. I will put the transcript of the interview up when Nigel permits me after it is over. Slipgate

July 30, 1997
I goofed
10:29 PM EDT
Joe Treager pointed out that the Hosted Sites link in the left frame doesn't work. I know... I just haven't had time (literally) to finish up little things here and there lately. It'll be remedied soon. I also apologize to referring to Joe as Mark before, it must be a relative of his because its on the same e-mail address. Slipgate

Quake 2 test version
10:17 PM EDT
I have been getting several requests. They range from:

A) Receiving a full mailing address from someone with a request to send them the Quake 2 beta version.
B) Receving an e-mail from some one asking me to put the beta version available for download on my page, "because a lot of people want it".
C) People saying the beta is out, and when I tell them it isn't, acting all superior to me and saying "Oh yes it is!"

I don't mean to be rude to these people, and I haven't mentioned any names for their sake. Quite simply, the beta version isn't out. It hasn't even been illegally leaked. It is *not* out. Also, I do not have the beta version, so I don't have any ability of mailing it to anyone or putting it up for download (which would be illegal, by the way). As for people who say "the test is out!" I have realized that a "fake" test is circulating as a joke, that somebody made. I have on more than one ocassion spoken to a person who says that they do in fact have it and they know it works, they are just "missing" a file and can't run it. The only Quake 2 beta version that is out is a fake one made as a joke because someone knew people would go crazy over it. I'm not the only one getting annoyed at this. I am not upset at people who do A or B, because they just have a misunderstanding. C, I'm not happy at all with.

American McGee Q&A
10:01 PM EDT
American McGee answers some questions about Quake 2 on Quake Editing News. I'm hesitant to actually quote this, but since it can most likely get lost in the old news there very soon I guess I will. Thanks to Rotwang for pointing this out to me. I noticed the Stomped Quake 2 site The Sentinel went ahead and quoted it. If I upset PQ by doing this, I apologize in advance. Here is Plucky, talking to American McGee:

Q: have you guys settled on required hardware yet?

A: For the game? No. For the editor you would be wise to own a GL card that allows you to do desktop GL. NT is the OS of choice for us, but since the editor is win32 you could run it under 95. You would also do well with at least 64mb of ram, and a GL card with tons of texture memory wouldn't hurt. Of course, you don't need any of this stuff if you don't mind editing maps with an editor that moves like a snail. Bottom line, if you are serious about making maps and you want to use the best editor in the world, wait till the QE4 code is released and get yourself a pimp-ass machine like the one described above.

Q: are the textures gonna be contained within the new bsp files? if not, how are new textures gonna be used in levels?

A:Textures will NOT be contained in the BSP file in Quake2. You would have to ask John the second question.

(-plucky: i'm gonna hafta send john an email now i guess :)

Q: are you sticking with the .pak file format?

A: I do not believe so. I would go ask John but he is in a meeting right now.

(-plucky: looks like i have two things to ask him about)

Q: how much more time-consuming is vis to run on the larger maps?

A: Much more. But this is not really because of the tools. This mainly has to do with the way that we are creating our maps now.

Q: what is the average size (brush/entity count) and compile time of the q2 maps?

A: Well, brush counts have more than doubled. The map I am working on right at this moment contains over 3000 brushes... and it's not finished yet. Number of entities remains about the same... maybe a little more than in Quake maps. Compile time has gone way up, but this is directly related to the complexity of our maps. We are currently using an SGI Origin 2000 with 16 r10k processors, and 512mb of ram to BSP our maps. (When I say "bsp our maps" I mean the entire process of bsp, vis, light) An average BSP takes anywhere from 15 minutes to over 3 hours. Depends on the map. The map I am working on is relatively small in total floor space, but contains complex machines and tons of detail. It takes about 2 hours to BSP the entire thing.

Q: do you know when the qe4 editor source is going to be released?

A: Well, this is something that John has talked about for a long time now. In my opinion we should get Quake 2 out the door before we bother releasing the new tools. I think that the source may be released with the game, or around the same time. But it may never be released... we'll just have to wait and see.

That will shed some light on things. By the way, keep in mind that the machine he mentioned isn't for *playing* the game. They say currently that a P90 with 16 MB of RAM will be enough (thought I'd insert that because I've been getting questions about that). Slipgate

Brian's second update of day
9:51 PM EDT
Brian Hook made another .plan update today about technical stuff with translucency (hope I spelled that right). Thanks to Rotwang for the info. Here it is quoted:

One more comment on stipple -- if two transparent objects overlap each other and you're using stipple, one will disappear completely since the stipple pattern is aligned in screen space. This is apparent when rendering a translucent sprite (e.g. rocket blast) over a window; in our case, windows are always rendered last and thus the window overwrites the sprite since they're on the same stipple grid.

To counter this I introduced a "stipple polarity" that is even for alpha surfaces (water, windows, etc.) and odd for sprites (explosions). This means that sprites and windows/water can overlap correctly, but windows/water won't overlap each other very well, which is actually better behaviour than if we offset the stipple grid for windows differently than that for water. In the latter case water+windows would become completely opaque, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

I *think* Brian has answered a question I recently saw on both the messageboard and through e-mail. I have been asked if there would be "windows" in Quake 2 that actually have a "surface" there (like glass) that you can semi-see through (see through it but at the same time know that *something* is there). I can't be sure, so I'll probably e-mail this question along to Paul Steed or Kevin Cloud. Hopefully one of them will be willing to reply to me. Stay tuned. Slipgate

Brian's correction
5:46 PM EDT
Brian Hook updated his .plan about his .plan update from yesterday (he made a mistake).

Slight correction and clarification to yesterday's plan update.

For starters, I goofed and printed particle times in software on a Pentium/90 and in hardware on a PPro/200! Oooops. The actual numbers should be about 8ms/frame for software on a PPro/200 and about 20ms/frame on PPro/200 w/ 3Dfx and about 40ms/frame w/ Realizm. These are all at 640x480. So sorry about the confusion.

So a particle drawing extension (hi Chris!) is still a good idea, but I haven't gotten around to specing out the extension.

I've also received a lot of mail about inline asm, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about it some more.

Some more comments/advantages of using the inline asm include:

- you can use the C preprocessor
- you can put a bunch of asm statements inside a single asm block a la:

mov eax, value
mov ebx, value
add eax, ebx

- you can intersperse C and asm:
value = 10;
mov eax, value
mov ebx, value
add eax, ebx

printf( "blah" );

HOWEVER, I would NOT recommend mixing C and asm in the same function. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice, it's a kind of evil you've never read about.

- I'm using Microsoft Visual C++ 4.2, for those of you wondering
- According to some e-mail I received, MSVC 5 supports MMX instructions
- I'm unclear when an LEA is necessary vs. a MOV to load a pointer value into a register. I just haven't gotten around to experimenting with this, but this is definitely something you need to watch out for -- sometimes when you think you're updating what a pointer's target you're in fact only updating the pointer's target ADDRESS!

Thanks to Steve Silvas for letting me know about the update. Slipgate

So far, so good
5:45 PM EDT
Disruptor updated his .plan about his progress with work on Quake 2. Here's what he had to say:

Got two more monsters coded into the game last night, and I did a bit more work on my last map. I think I can safely say, I've set a new record for the longest vistime on any single map.

12.6 hours spent just in VIS on our Origin 2000 machine.

Whoa, that's a long time for such a fast machine. Slipgate

John Carmack updates .plan
4:56 PM EDT
John Carmack updated his plan, thanks to Nite for telling me. Incredible news in this plan. (200 players sound nice?)

quake2 +set maxclients 200


The stage is set for ultra-large servers. Imagine everyone at QuakeCon in one gigantic level! A single T1 could run 80 internet players if it wasn't doing anything else, a switched ethernet should be able to run as many as we are ever likely to have together in one place.

There will be a number of issues that will need to be resolved when this becomes a reality, but the fundamentals are there.

There will probably be issues with UDP packet dropping at the ethernet card level that will need to be worked around with a seperate qued thread.

Quake 2 isn't as cpu intensive as QuakeWorld, but I'm not sure even a Pentium-II 300 could run 200 users. An alpha 21264 could certainly deal with it, though.

The new .bsp format has greatly increased size limits, but you could still make a map that hits them. The first one to be hit will probably be 64k brush sides. Ten thousand brushes can make a really big level if you don't make it incredibly detailed. Loading a monster map like that will probably take over a minute, and require 32+ megs of ram.

I should probably make an option for death messages to only be multicast to people that are in the potentially hearable set, otherwise death messages would dominate the bandwidth.

Everyone should start thinking about interesting rules for huge games. A QuakeArmies dll has immense potential. Enemy lines, conquering teritory, multiple clan bases, etc.

Cooperating servers will be possible with modified dlls, but I probably won't include any specific code for it in the default game.dll.

One word. Wow. Slipgate

Rotating brush info
4:00 PM EDT
Chris Spencer sent me the following e-mail exchange between him and John Carmack on the subject of rotating brushes. Many thanks to Chris for the info (and to John of course).

> Will rotating brushes be allowed to rotate on all axis (axes?
> axises?). Can that rotation, once set, be changed by, say, an event
> trigger?

The engine will automatically rotate only on cardinal axis, but you can change the rotational velocity to anything you want, or even modify it every frame.

John Carmack

Cardinal axes are the basic fundamental axes (like cardinal directions are North, South, West, East, and the aptly named inbetweens). Slipgate

Quake 2 new page
3:57 PM EDT
I was asked by Pretzel to mention his Quake 2 page, which I haven't seen myself because I get a "Server has no DNS entry" error on trying to go there. Maybe the server is just down right now. In any case, try the link out. Slipgate

Gibbing, it's gibbing already!
3:51 PM EDT
American McGee made the following two plan updates (the more recent is above the older one) regarding how to actually pronounce the word (Gib with a G or a J sound). According to id and the source of where they got the word, it is Gib with a J sound. Here's the plannage to prove it all.

American first said about the subject:

As far as I know, the word "Gib" was invented here at id during the DOOM days. At first it was how we referred to the little chunks of meat that we left laying around the level in order to add atmosphere to a level. The editor included all types of "Gib". The editor entities were created by John Carmack and John Romero. I am pretty sure that Romero was the inventor of the word, and I know for a fact that he (and everyone else at id) pronounces it "Jib", not "Gib".

When Christian started working here he would say "Gib". After much beating and torture I have convinced him that he was wrong. If you find yourself having a hard time saying "Jib" then please whack yourself in the head a few times and try again.

American added this later:

**Ugrent update to the Gib-Jib Debate**

The TRUE inventor of the word "Gib" turns out to be Adrian Carmack, who explains as follows:

"Gib is short for gibblet. Gibblets are guts of a chicken. I first heard a friend of mine use the term. Once I started working at id, I would call the guts I drew "gibs"."

Thanks Adrian. Now we can all sleep a little easier.

I think I'll say jib from now on :). Slipgate

Quake 2 system requirements
3:47 PM EDT
I've gotten a couple questions recently about Quake 2's system requirements. The current minimum requirements they are stating are a P90 with 16 mb of RAM. I will let you know if that changes, when it does. Slipgate

Interesting Quakeweek article
3:42 PM EDT
My buddy Crash of Single Player Quake (no link since its in progress of moving) wrote a Quakeweek article, and also made the two graphics that go with it. It's rather funny. I guess it's a good thing that we can now joke about the id vs. Epic war without it exploding again. Slipgate

Thoughts on new layout
3:40 PM EDT
I've gotten some good feedback on my layout questions. I've decided to set up a site survey soon that makes sure user feedback dictates any layout change. More on that later. Slipgate

July 29, 1997
QSPY interview?
11:53 PM EDT
Nigel (my old #quake2 buddy and the maker of the last and best logo the Fault Line had) is doing an interview with the members of Team QSPY, asking Quake 2 and QSPY questions. He wants you to mail him questions you'd like to see asked. The interview is on the 31st, so hurry up with sending those questions! Slipgate

Brian Hook .plan update 2
11:45 PM EDT
Brian Hook has made his second plan update of the day. Thanks go to Rotwang for informing me. Here it is quoted:

Just tested the performance of particle rendering. Particle performance on OpenGL is pretty, um, sucky. On a Pentium Pro 200 we're seeing about 30-40ms/frame being consumed for particle rendering on Realizm, and about 20ms/frame being consumed on 3Dfx.

In software, the C-only path is about 18-19ms/frame, and the optimized routine I just did in assembly gets about 12-13ms/frame (30+% increase in performance). I could spend another day tweaking it some more and maybe eke out another 5%, but that simply isn't worth it.

It's getting close to time to specing out the particle drawing extension for OpenGL. I think that even a basic set of speedups should garner 25-50% better performance -- hell, having to do only 1/3rd the transforms would help, and in the case of PowerVR and 3Dfx they could even optimize their triangle setup (although this may not be worth it since it would mean bypassing SGL/Glide).

Doing a glDrawParticlesQUAKE extension won't help that much with timedemo or single player performance, since particles don't consume that much time in those types of games. But with deathmatch play, particle rendering is going to consume a SHIT load of time. With the rail gun, explosions, rocket trails, blaster trails, and sparks, I could see our particle buffer being full for lengthy periods of time (the buffer holds 4K particles right now, and we aren't that anxious to crank it up).

Proof of Quake 2's actual completion: They are dealing with details they didn't deal with before as a final cleanup. Slipgate

The Sentinel arrives at Stomped
11:45 PM EDT
Stomped has now gotten a Quake 2 division known as the Sentinel. This page is run by Prestige, formerly of the Quake 2 channel. Thanks to both Prestige and Prophet for informing me of this. Slipgate

id vs. Epic late story
9:10 PM EDT
There's a GameCenter story about the recent id vs. Epic .plan war, although it is a tad late. Thanks to the man Prophet for telling me that. Actually, he mentioned the Deathmatch 4 thing (see update immediately before this) but I forgot to thank him there. Sorry bud! Slipgate

Deathmatch 4 final mention
8:50 PM EDT
This will be my last news posting about Deathmatch 4.0 aside from maybe .plan quoting, unless something really big happens. Saw over on PlanetQuake that CurMo reproduced Deathmatch 4.0 (based on what he saw on Inferno). There are Quake and Quakeworld versions. Slipgate

Our own fingers!
8:48 PM EDT
Previously, we used the finger script of Patrick Cupka of The Void with permission. However, in order to make sure that visitors and subsites have everything they need, we have gotten a copy of Patrick's CGI from him and now store it locally, so we basically have our own finger script, thanks to Patrick Cupka of the great news site The Void. Slipgate

Brian Hook .plan update
8:47 PM EDT
Thanks to Rotwang for letting me know about this Brian Hook .plan update. Be advised, it is quite technical, including sample code.

Spent last night and a little bit of today working on the assemblified version of the particle drawing code. It should be a lot faster now, but we won't know until we do some comprehensive benchmarking on it, which hopefully will occur within the next day or two.

I used inline assembly for the whole thing, and it seems to work quite well. You get access to static and global variables very cleanly, including structure definitions. No more need for .INC files and stressing over your C struct declarations having the same offset values that your ASM modules are expecting.

For example, you could do:

typedef struct
float x, y, z;
} vector;

vector a, b;

__declspec( naked ) void DotAB( void )
__asm fld dword ptr [a.x]
__asm fmul dword ptr [b.x]
__asm fld dword ptr [a.y]
__asm fmul dword ptr [b.y]
__asm fld dword ptr [a.z]
__asm fmul dword ptr [b.z]
__asm fxch st(2)
__asm faddp st(1), st
__asm faddp st(1), st
__asm fstp result
__asm ret

Note that the above code isn't tested, so don't go cutting and pasting and blaming me for any bugs!

Anyway, point being that the structure declarations carry over straight into the inline asm with no muss and no fuss.

One thing you can't do is jump to a label that is out of scope. This means you can't do:

void blah( void )
__asm jmp thingy

void foo( void )
__asm ret

Because "thingy" is in a different scope than "blah()". This may be solvable but it's not a big enough issue that I'm going to worry about.

A note about optimization -- it's VERY easy to get bogged down when writing asm code with stupid details in places that don't matter. It becomes a matter of habit to do things like watch for pairing, AGIs, 16-bit prefix stalls, etc. when looking at code, and you can easily get sucked in optimizing code that is rarely executed (e.g. loop setup code).

So before wasting time optimizing something (and making it potentially quite a bit uglier and more difficult to debug), make sure it's worth it!

Case in point: I use a function pointer to draw the pixel for the alpha blended particle pixels. At first blush this seems astronomically stupid (and after benchmarking it may BE astronomically stupid), but when you get down to it it actually is only about 20% of the overall clocks being spent to draw a pixel.

The CALL/RET pair is like 5 cycles -- not bad at all. And since there's no stack frame to setup or fix, or registers to save, or whatever, it "just works", which is always a good thing.

The alternative would have been to have self-modifying code (fixup the JMP target) or to replicate tons of code and inline the pixel blending stuff, neither of which are conducive to stable code.

The other thing I did was remove a bunch of unrolled code that special cases 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, and 4x4 particle sizes. Having this huge chunk of code saved us from doing:

__asm dec ecx
__asm jnz top_of_horiz_loop
__asm dec edx
__asm jnz top_of_vert_loop

Along with some PUSH/POP pairs. Um, not worth it.

So now I have some pretty tight assemblified particle rendering code that is A.) easy to understand B.) pretty fast (I think) and C.) very easy to debug and maintain. I could make it a little faster at the expense of A.) and C.), and unless we think it's going to make a HUGE difference, I don't think I want to bother.

I am still getting the impression that Quake 2 is code-wise basically done, and that they are just optimizing now. Slipgate

100,000 visitors soon
8:46 PM EDT
We're fast approaching our 100,000th visitor, and I want to emphasize that whoever hits it to PLEASE take a screen shot and send it back to me. As we get closer, we'll post another reminder. Thanks! Slipgate

tin's Quake 2 nutshell shuts down
4:34 PM EDT
Tin has decided to shut down his page, the Quake 2 nutshell. It's too bad, we'll miss him. Slipgate

Wampey's Census Quake 2 question
4:13 PM EDT
Thanks to Matt Farley for letting us know that Wampey's Census has been updated. One of the questions is, "Do you like the story for Quake 2?". I answered yes. (As for my other answers, well, that's private). I'm interested in seeing what the turnout on this question is when the results get posted. Slipgate

3Dx Quake 2 messageboard
4:04 PM EDT
3Dx has added a Quake 2 messageboard to its Quake 2 section, go check it out. While your at it, read the funny QuakeCast spoof, QuakeCost, and become a sheep raider! (Maybe you better go over there to understand) Slipgate

CGW request answered (in a way)
4:00 PM EDT
Michael Mullin of Gamespot replied to my request regarding Computer Gaming World (click here to read it). According to him, CGW posts stuff online after it has hit the news stand (if you subscribe you've already got it though). He also says that the article will be up online on Tuesday (I'm assuming he means next Teusday). We can go check it out then. I'll keep my eyes peeled. Slipgate

Sorry, Spam
3:22 PM EDT
I was reading over my page update about the #quake2 page redesign (click here to see it) and I realized what a prick I sound like talking about Spam. I'd like to apologize for demeaning him with speaking as if I could do so much better or something. Slipgate

Brian Hook .plan update
3:20 PM EDT
Brian Hook made the following update to his plan (which, oddly, the quick finger services haven't noticed yet).

July 28, 1997

Spent today getting stippled translucency to work. I haven't tested its performance vs. the table based "real" translucency, but in theory it should have at least 2x the performance because only half the number of pixels will be rendered. Hell, with 25/33% transparency, only 1/4th the pixels need to be rendered. And stippling has the added perk of not requiring a read from the backbuffer.

The down side to stippled alpha is that it's, well, pretty butt ugly. If you're running a high res desktop with a smallish window then it looks just fine, but if you're running low-res, it looks like the complete and utter Hell of White Noise.

Stippled alpha will likely be off by default, but it will be controllable via the video options menu and also by a cvar ("r_stipplealpha") for those folks that can live with the slightly degraded image quality in exchange for a possibly hefty performance boost.

Oh, stippled translucency is only available in the software renderer. Most good hardware doesn't see a significant performance boost from stippling.

I'm beginning to go back and optimize other chunks of code now. I still need to add stipple support to the sprite and Alias model renderers, but before I do that I'm going to see about optimizing our particle renderer, since particle rendering looks like it may become a serious performance issue, especially if we have 4000 particles in the world at a time (we regularly see this, since we're particle crazy these days).

We're starting to lean away from dedicated .ASM files and instead move to using inline assembly. Here are some reasons we like inline asm:

- don't need MASM
- don't need to do this Custom Build bullshit in MSVC
- compiler handles parameters, return values, etc. automagically
- when using __declspec( naked ) you are in charge of EVERYTHING

There are some downsides to inline asm, including:

- compiler dependency
- inability to precisely control alignment
- difficulty doing weird stuff like self-modifying code, etc.
- turns off optimizer for functions with inline asm

We'll see how the inline asm thing turns out.

It seems from Brian's talk that like the levels, the code is basically in done form, just getting optimized. (Which is good news) Slipgate

#Quake2 page
11:55 AM EDT
Spam has redesigned the
Undernet #quake2 page a bit. I've been looking at it and I think I know a really great total redesign that would suit this page. It is low on my priority list of tasks right now though. Slipgate

Kevin Cloud clarifies release date
11:41 AM EDT
Kevin Cloud, the artist for id Software, saw my request for clarification about Quake 2's release date. I'd like to thank him very much for the letter, which follows below:

I read your request for clarification on the release date of Quake 2. Actually, Quake 2 could ship for Christmas and ship on November 18. The term Christmas release covers a broad period of time ranging from about October till a week prior to Christmas.

Sorry I cannot be more specific. However, given the complexity and size of Quake 2, the final implementation, clean up, and testing of the game is going to take longer than with prior id releases. Therefore, speculation as to the exact date of the game's release is simply guess work.

With that said, we are committed to get Quake 2 finished for Christmas and feel that it is a reasonable deadline given our current development status.

Kevin Cloud

Thanks again for the letter Kevin, it *finally* clears up some speculation on Quake 2's release date. Slipgate

Computer Gaming World issue
11:39 AM EDT
I'm still seeking out an online version of the Computer Gaming World and scanned copies of the 2 new screenshots... if you have the issue and can get me scanned copies of the two new screenshots, please do. Also, is there anywhere I can find the article online (I tried CGW's website). I'm thinking Yahoo but I never can find specific press stuff I'm looking for on them. Help is appreciated.

Site changes
11:35 AM EDT
Sorry for the unrelated post, but this is something I'm wondering about. I'm starting to re-evaluate some of my current layout ideas, for example, the idea of a timestamp is good, but once another update has been made after it, what is the point of the timestamp sitting on the previous updates? I may stop using timestamps on updates and just have a thing at the top saying "Last update on <date> at <time>". That and the fact I sign my updates seems unnecessary. Maybe I should make a site survey about what you think you like and what you don't think you like.... in any case, send me feedback on said aspects of the layout or any other site aspects, I read all my e-mail and reply to next to all of it. Slipgate

Disruptor plan update
11:27 AM EDT
Disruptor updated his plan with information about Deathmatch 4 (which was a very interesting method of play :) ) and Quake 2 map work (good news here). Here is what he had to say:

I've pretty much finished all my map work for Q2 (architecturally anyway), and now I'm working with John Cash in getting all the remaining game code implemented and working (monster code, weapon code, etc...) It'll be refreshing to work with standard C code in a real development environment instead of QC for a change =)

I've also recieved a number of e-mails about DM 4.0 rules. Alot of people like it for the simple "carnage factor" and yet others don't like it. That's why it's called an "option". You don't have to run it if you don't want to, but it's mindless fun once in a while. Still going through and tweaking the odd rule here and there.

On another note, someone sent me e-mail with regard to a deathmatch mod called FairDM.

"Hi. I released a patch called "FairDM" a few days ago. (about 4 or 5) In it you had all weapons and unlimited ammo (sound familiar ). I know this sounds crazy, but I can't help myself from asking you to mention me in your next plan for having the same idea. OK, that's all Mr Crazy has to say :).


It's funny how two people can think so alike.

1:16am... My night is just starting... /me goes back to work.

Many thanks to Fmellish of Quake 2 cheese, because I had checked the .plans and seen nothing new and was about to upload my update when he told me that Disruptor had just updated. I would have missed this news till later without him :). Slipgate

July 28, 1997
9:45 PM EDT
Once again, I have to squash the rumor of a Hexen 2 beta test copy sitting on Quake2.com..... I have no idea where this rumor is from but there *is* no Hexen 2 beta on Quake2.com, in any directory or any subsite anywhere. Sorry, that's all :). Slipgate

DeathMatch 4 addendum
9:40 PM EDT
I forgot to mention that in deathmatch 4.0, you start with all the weapons and unlimited ammo... otherwise everything I listed below is correct. Deathmatch 4 was pretty nutty... although I had tons of lag. It's nice as a novelty option but I wouldn't use this for my usual DMing. I'd like to get a Quake port of this to show my friends though, although I'm sure they wouldn't like it :). Anyways..... was a fun game with a lot of people I recognized from the Quake community or IRC... I updated my .plan about it during the match for no reason in particular..... oh and by the way, I won't be updating my .plan again in a while because I have new plans for what I'm going to use it for..... stay tuned. Slipgate

DeathMatch 4
8:25 PM EDT
American McGee and Disruptor have both been commenting a lot lately on deathmatch 4.0, which is planned as a new novelty option for Quakeworld and Quake 2. Deathmatch 4.0 is a different type of deathmatch from modes 1, 2, and 3 (1 and 2 are standard to Quake, 3 is something the user community came up with). Deathmatch 4 is intended as a novelty option, you don't need to play it in deathmatch 4 mode. Deathmatch 4 is still in experimental testing, you can try it out and see what you think is good or bad about it and e-mail Disruptor your suggestions or opinion. In order to try it out, be sure to have and install the maps from the latest Deathpack and then go to the Quakeworld server inferno.idsoftware.com.

The rules in Deathmatch 4.0 so far are (some of these were originally added, some were added later by American or Disruptor from their talks on it or user feedback):

  • You start with 250 health.
  • You start with 200 red armour.
  • Every time you pick up an enemies pack, you get 10 additional health.
  • For obvious reasons, weapons and ammo do not spawn.
  • If you pick up enough packs to attain 300+ health, you automatically attain a free "Bonus Invulnerability" *AND* "Bonus Oct" (Quad damage, except 8 instead of 4 times the damage). You lose all your cells during the duration, and when it wears off, you regain your cells, and are reduced to 100 health and no armour.
  • When you pick up a Quad, you lose all your armour, lose your cells but you do *8 TIMES* (OctaPower) as much damage. When it wears off, you regain your cells, and are reduced again to 0 armour.
  • The grenade launcher fires every 1.5 seconds and you lose 2 health points for each grenade you fire.

    If there are any further rules I'm not aware of, e-mail me. Disruptor says the following about deathmatch 4.0:

    (Oh, and incase you are wondering WTF I am doing this, well, if it works out we'll have a similar idea for a deathmatch mode in Quake II. Doing this as a proof of concept)

    By the way folks, if you don't like Deathmatch 4, don't worry, you don't have to play it in Quakeworld and Quake 2, its only if you want to. Anyways, I haven't had a chance yet to try DM4, so I'll be jumping on inferno.idsoftware.com now to try it out. If you see me there, be advised that skill-wise I'm OK..... I'm not Thresh and I'm not "PLAYER", I'm somewhere inbetween :). The reason I'm trying it out is a) to see what its like and play some deathmatch! b) So I also can send in feedback, considering this method of play is being considered as an option for Quake 2. Slipgate

    Is id changing release date?
    8:10 PM EDT
    id has stood by the release date of December in time for Christmas for a while. However there are now reports (not direct from id however) that it will come out earlier then that. Mark Treager sent me the following mail about it:

    Yesterday, I went to Electronics Boutique and asked the release from id, they said Nov. 18. Also I read it in Computer Gaming World Sept 97 issue 158.

    Perhaps if id could clarify this like they did with the music thing, that would be great. Slipgate

    Paul Steed plan update
    8:07 PM EDT
    Rotwang informed me of Paul Steed's plan update for today. Before reading, you should read this list of Paul Steed's new vocabulary:

    - "chuck" as in..."Chuck you motherchucker!"
    - "asp" as in "Kiss my asp, Chuckface!"
    - "pushy" as in "Dude, you are such a chuckin' pushy"
    - "chit" as in "Eat chit and die, you asp-kissing chucker"
    - "ditch" as in "Man, you are such a son of a ditch"

    That said, here's his plan update.

    Well I need to go into a semi-crunch mode to get the rest of the animations AND cinematics done so I probably won't post for a while. I know. How will you bear it?

    Now, however, I would like to say two words: "Page 92". That is the page number in the latest issue of CGW which starts a post-E3 article entitled, "The Big One". It says stuff like "Without a doubt, it was the game of the show" and, "...id's latest masterpiece will be so good...(blah, blah, blah)". Basically the write-up was very, very, very flattering and even objective in its praise. I mean the completely cool, "sunshine up the asp" kind of flattery that has to make anyone involved with Quake2 smile a huge chit-eating grin.

    As you may have noticed of late, aside from the myscha bashing I did last week, I've backed off telling you all how badly Quake 2 will beat the chucking chit out of everyone foolish enough to go against us (except Hexen2 which is like a sister product) this Christmas. The reason for this is that as much as I like to talk chit, I would much rather let my actions speak for me. This isn't because I'm afraid the effort won't live up to the hype, it's because I find no honor in kicking the chit out of children, women, the elderly or pushies who start a fight by throwing a little slap out there, get hit so hard that all their relatives feel the blow, and roll over like some ditch canine baring their throat for you to rip out if you so desire. Nah a conflict is like sex: it has to be a participation sport. We've won. Game over.

    Seriously. In the end I feel that Quake2 will be the best action game this side of Doom or Quake you've ever played, and definitely one of the best games you'll ever play for a long time to come. Quake 2 will completely raise the bar and the stakes in the action genre and eventually all of gaming. This CGW article simply rocks as it tells you why.

    Read it and glimpse the future.

    Read it and finally understand that there has always been and always will be only one true "Quake Killer". It's called Quake 2. With all the turmoil and all the changes at id think about that.

    We are here to stay.

    We are here to rule.


    It should be noted that Paul wanted folks to know to take his .plan updates with a grain of salt, they are mostly meant for humor and sometimes a little bit of education. Slipgate

    What is GameGL?
    7:36 PM EDT
    Another tidbit from Redwood, apparently Intergraph made this press release which includes a mention of GameGL. Chris Spencer e-mailed John Carmack asking what GameGL is. This was John's reply:

    GameGL is 3DFX's gl implementation for rush (I think). It is more complete than the quake min-driver, but still doesn't pass all the conformance tests.

    John Carmack

    Again, thanks to Redwood for that news. Slipgate

    Quake 2 sky speed
    7:33 PM EDT
    I nearly missed this, but I found out on Redwood's page that Redwood e-mailed John Carmack regarding sky in GLQuake (since GLQuake is slown down considerably by areas with lots of sky). John Carmack said "The new sky method makes skies faster than ceilings...". This isn't to say that ceilings will go slowly in Quake 2, just that handling areas with lots of sky has improved speed-wise, which is a Good ThingTM, as Mynx would say. Time to start making that all out door level ;). Slipgate

    Computer Gaming World request
    7:24 PM EDT
    In Computer Gaming World's latest issue, there is a multi-page thing on Quake 2, which includes screenshots (mostly old, but there are two new ones). If you could either find an online version of the article and screenshots or scan me the article and screenshots if you have the issue, that would be great. Thanks YIPPEE and MorphMan for both telling me. Slipgate

    Mailing list goes down in flames
    3:06 PM EDT
    Well, I guess that ends that. The mailing list has proved too excessive a bandwith burden to Quake2.com. As for the original idea of weekly news recaps, the old news here could be read, and our messageboard is doing great as a discussion forum. That leaves nothing for the mailing list but needlessly melting Quake2.com. We've axed the mailing list, because it was either that or have this domain die. Never fear, the messageboard and news will always be here, and a lot of other cool stuff is in store for Quake2.com soon. Slipgate

    Spam is back?
    3:02 PM EDT
    I spoke to Spam about his recent updates and his original role on Quake2.com and other stuff, he's been coming up with an idea for a subsite we'll probably be hosting soon, and he'll probably get involved in the subsite(s) and not really get involved with the front page much if any. Slipgate

    My QCon Report
    2:14 PM EDT
    Welp, I was gonna wait till I had my pics developed until I posted this but my QuakeCon Summery is up and you can read it here. Spam

    Quake2 Sound
    2:02 PM EDT
    American McGee made a few things clear about sound in Quake2 in his .plan
    There seems to be some talk in the Quake community regarding the Quake 2 music and who might be working on it. I'd like to let you guys in on what's going on in the music area, and set some things straight.

    Sure thing:
    The majority of the music in Quake 2 is being done by Sascha Dikiciyan and his partner. These are the two guys who did the "Methods of Destruction" CD for Quake. You can find their homepage at: http://www.cyber-age.com/qcdmain.html. They will be contributing as many tracks as possible, hopefully allowing us to have at least one track of music per level or level group.

    Possible things:
    Sony records is interested in doing a compilation CD to which you would play Quake 2. Most of the songs on this CD would be previously released material from bands on Sony labels that we here at id enjoy listening to. There is also a chance that there would be one track on this CD done especially for Quake 2.

    This CD would be a separate product that you would purchase to listen to while playing Quake 2, driving your car, etc. Basically this product would have no connection to id aside from the Quake 2 logo and an id "stamp of approval".

    The guy most likely to record the special Quake 2 track is Ozzy Ozbourne. He has shown interest in this project and might also do the player sounds (death, pain, etc...) From what I understand Ozzy is very interested in this and chances are that all will go well... but this is the music industry, and things could just go nowhere. We'll have to wait and see.

    Trent Reznor has also sent word to me that he may be interested in doing some music for Quake 2. Again, this may or may not happen, but I am going to try my hardest to make it happen again.

    For now you can be assured that even without the contributions of Trent and Ozzy the Quake 2 sound track is going to kick ass. The music that Sascha and his partner have been contributing is nothing less than amazing. But if things go as planned we could end up with a game soundtrack unlike any other done before.

    Cross your fingers.


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