Newer News

June 26, 1997
Bad news for id again
11:39 PM EDT
Sandy Petersen has left id Software. I'm not joking here. Read the story here on GamesMania. Because I doubt this news blurb will stay where it is and it is short, I'll quote it.

id Software has lost yet another talent, as Sandy Petersen - who was a Doom, Doom II and Quake designer - has left id to work for Ensemble Studios as a game designer.

id CEO Todd Hollenshead confirmed the June 16 departure, without adding any further comment. However, Petersen tells Gamesmania that the split "was amicable" and adds that he's "enthusiastic about working at Ensemble." (He started this past Monday, June 23.) While at id, Petersen designed 20 of Doom's 27 levels (and wrote the manual), 17 of Doom II's 32 levels (and wrote the manual) and Episode 4 of Quake (and the manual). Petersen joins a number of other former id-sters - including John Romero and Mike Wilson - who have found greener pastures in the gaming industry.

After a short rest, Petersen has jumped right into the development of Ensemble's second game - a fantasy title involving adventure and magic spells - that will hopefully be ready for the '98 holiday season.

It is so unfortunate to hear that. I hope his Quake 2 level work doesn't need to be dumped out. Whatever Sandy does, I wish him well, I loved his work in all the id games. I hope id software does alright without him. I have to thank Prophet for informing me. [Slipgate]

QuakeCon 97 continued
10:59 PM EDT
Monolith (a QuakeMania and QuakeCon guy) sent a mail to Prophet to be distributed to news pages, a sort of QuakeCon press release. I'll just quote it, and explain that up until now they weren't sure as to location and asked us to stay tuned. Now they know the location, read on.

The QuakeCon 97 final location has been selected. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Plano, TX, located 15 minutes from Downtown Dallas. Visit the QuakeCon 97 page ( for more details and a phone number to make hotel room reservations. The main site is over 5,000 sq. ft.; that's where the DM Tournament, Workshops and the demonstrations by gaming companies will be held at. There is also a separate room for movie presentations, including ADV Films' ( JapanAnime features, films by Forbidden Books ( and "Rangers Gone Bad 3" by the Rangers ( The pre-registration will be available soon.

Go to for more QuakeCon news. Now I need to practice a lot to avoid getting publically humiliated :). I'm alright but I'm not Thresh. [Slipgate]

QuakeCon 97
10:56 PM EDT
Well, I've had an amazing hour. As it turns out, the ops of Undernet #quake2 are invited to QuakeCon '97 with VIP status. That includes me. Truly incredible. I am planning on going following this bit of news. Go to for information. Who else is going with VIP status? EFNet #quake, #quakeed, and #trinity ops. Anyways, I got the A-OK from the QuakeCon guys before publically mentioning this....... by the way, if you reading this page are an undernet #quake2 op, then you are invited too, just like me. I feel obligated to advertise QuakeCon now, so I put the button on the left frame (the banner would totally swallow the news page). [Slipgate]

10:06 PM EDT
I have two corrections to post. Firstly, I reported Pandemonium as being Rotwang's site, when it really is my old friend Garebear's. Sorry for that mixup, thanks to Rotwang for correcting me. Also, according to Petra, I printed a bit of news today she had printed already yesterday (curse my stupidity eh?). All good now. [Slipgate]

Nite looking for a little help
9:21 PM EDT
My original partner in crime on this page, Nite, needs a little CGI or Java (whatever will help pull this off) help for a project he's doing. You programmers should read the following, which is his description of what he needs done. By the way, this is for his own pet project he started (the reason he is on leave from the Fault Line right now), and the project's name is 3Dx (no, it is not about 3dfx boards). The page will finally be unveiled Saturday night on Undernet #quake2 (not sure of the exact time but I think its 7 pm EDT, will find out and post a definitive statement of when before hand). Anyways, as I was saying, here is his dilemma.

I'm just putting the finishing touches to the design of 3Dx. Because of the amount of news that we will be putting up, an old news section will require alot of maintainance. I'm no CGI expert, but I was wondering if this would be possible -

June 22nd goes by, quite alot of news is put up.
June 23rd comes. The June 22nd page is saved as a xxxxxx.htm file (for example, 000001.htm). On the sidebar, a CGI script lists the last fortnight, so viewers can easily choose June 22nd's news. June 23rd passes... this is then saved as 000002.htm, and is added to the quick-list sidebar.

October 15th passes. Saved as xxxxxx.htm. The quick-list sidebar lists October 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
October 16th passes.... saved as xxxxxx.htm... quicklist shows October 16, 15, 14... to October 3.
All that without having to continuously change the sidebar every day.

Would something like that be possible? If it is, maybe a back-catalogue could be used, which will be a page with the FULL listing of all days, automatically updated. I would do this myself, but the only programming I can do is into a CD player. I hope you can help me in my quest, it will be another unique feature for 3Dx. Hell, I'll even give you a mention on the page! =).

Anyone who can help Nite should e-mail him at also e-mail him if you are interested in what 3Dx is about (I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to divulge so I'll avoid saying anything). Slipgate

Calling Santan
9:18 PM EDT
I'd like to apologize to Santan (Rotwang's little brother) about a piece of news he sent me not being credited to him. By the time I got to the letter, Petra had updated about the same information when she saw it on Redwood's Quake page. Sorry man! [Slipgate]

Quake 2 pictures
9:17 PM EDT
The Quake 2 pictures on Quake 2 Channel (which are here also by the way, right below) have been mirrored on Thanks to Prophet for that. [Slipgate]

Attention viewers
9:16 PM EDT
Although this is somewhat "understood" I'd like a screenshot from my 30,000 visitor. Just thought I'd mention it so you knew :). [Slipgate]

Pandemonium moves
9:15 PM EDT
My good old informant Rotwang has a page called Pandemonium. It recently took up Petra's offer of hosting on Quake Factor I mentioned some time back. The new url is I can safely say his site is very good. [Slipgate]

More Quake 2 screenshots
5:53 PM EDT
I'm in a rush since I gotta go somewhere, but there are 12 new screenshots at this page. For some reason Prophet said they were exclusive to the Quake 2 channel...... but the original source is that page. Here are the twelve shots.

In addition, the page has a couple of sound effects from Quake 2.... here you go with those:

Submachine gun

That's all for now. I have to thank |alert| from Undernet #quake2, Prophet, and Prestige of the Quake 2 Channel. See you later. [Slipgate]

Interesting stuff
4:39 PM EDT
The green weapon below is the rotating chain gun according to Lithium. I got that from the Quake 2 Channel site. When you shoot it, the portion you see would rotate clockwise (from our perspective). It would basically rittle the enemy to shreds. Thanks a lot Lithium. And thanks also to Prestige of the Quake 2 Channel. I'm a little surprised that Lithium didn't mail me though? [Slipgate]

Planetquake mistake
4:03 PM EDT
The day of the Quake 2 meet, Fragmaster of Planetquake incorrectly wrote in the news that a Quake 2 TEST was going to be on undernet #quake2 that night. Not quite, and Planetquake has since been corrected in the mistake. Sorry folks, but read the Quake 2 test info below, and yes, the test will be available to everyone, not just a select few. [Slipgate]

Quake 2 test info
3:55 PM EDT
sCary got some info from American McGee on Quake 2's test, although I don't think it is anything new. Go to the Shuga Shack for that. Also, this little portion of the sixth Tokay (American McGee) visit to undernet #quake2 (the sixth visit under my logs section) seemed to be of enough interest to some news pages to quote, so I'll quote it too.

[tokay] rit: we will be releasing a beta of the game that contains the first 3 levels...
[Slipgate] tokay, when is that beta
[tokay] rit: but there is no date set
[Slipgate] the first 3 levels of the game?
[Slipgate] or just 3 some levels
[tokay] slip: first three levels
[tokay] it will be a test to see how the engine runs on everyone's machines
[tokay] kinda like the qtest thing, yes

Now that's out of the way, what piece of news is next? :) [Slipgate]

Don't worry about system requirements
3:35 PM EDT
I got this mail from ddodson (don't bother with the mail link actually, he has trouble receiving e-mail). Here is what he had to say.

It's me again...the one with the e-mail address that you couldn't reply to ( I still don't know what is up with my e-mail. I don't have internet access at home, so I have to use it at work.
Anyway, I was wondering, after all this frickin' hype and talk about the video cards, P266's, 64MEG of RAM (I am exaggerating a little), that it's gonna take to run the GL version of Quake2, if my little P133 with a Diamond Monster and 32MEG of RAM is gonna make GL Quake2 any fun? I have seen so much stuff I am confused. I think you are the most reliable scource on the net about Quake2 and stuff, so maybe you can find out if GL Quake2 will rock or suck on my system which I mentioned above? I think I speak for a lot of people who are wondering about this, but they don't know how or are too scared to ask. If you can't reply to my e-mail address, could you put a reply up on the Faultline like you so graciouslly did with my last question? A lot of people would like to see it anyway, and it may answer a lot of questions.

Dan (Quakefreak) Dodson

Let me settle everyone down on this issue. The current Quake 2 minimum requirements are set at a Pentium 90 with 16 megabytes of RAM. Anything above that is just great, and if you have a 3dfx card, even better, you can run in GL mode. As for people without 3dfx cards, here's a quote from Paul Steed's plan regarding that: Also, to quote Adrian "Viper-Man" Carmack, "Our game looks BETTER without GL." This bold statement is made because of how crisp his textures look and the lack of mesh fluctuation in the non-accelerated Q2. But at the same time GL mode will have cool features to make it worthwhile too of course. [Slipgate]

A little blurb I missed
3:31 PM EDT
I was reading older news on Redwood's Quake page when I saw this blurb I missed (I really wish people had mentioned this to me). Anyways, I read on Redwood's page that James Wilkinson asked John Carmack if Quake 2 would support Monster Sound or other high end sound boards. This is the reply he got.

We have a couple high end sound boards, but I doubt we will code to them directly.

We might allow another company to write a sound dll for q2 before release, but it is too early to tell.

John Carmack

Again, my appreciation to Redwood. [Slipgate]

6 new screenshots
1:15 PM EDT
Ironically, has 6 Quake 2 screenshots they got at E3 in their coverage of other games. Thanks to Wrey Martinson of Meccaworld Quake 2 and Prestige of the Quake 2 channel (links are on my links page) for helping me acquire these. I've put them here and on my screenshots page.

Those screenshots are really incredible. Misc. fact about me: I have a Quake 2 screenshot as my Windows background. [Slipgate]

Plan updates
12:29 PM EDT
Couple of plan updates I am behind on. Here is John Carmack's plan update from last night.

Jun 25:

We got the new processors running in our big compute server today. We are now running 16 180mhz r10000 processors in an origin2000. Six months ago, that would have been on the list of the top 500 supercomputing systems in the world. I bet they weren't expecting many game companies. :)

Some comparative timings (in seconds):

mips = 180 mhz R10000, 1meg secondary cache
intel = 200 mhz ppro, 512k secondary cache
alpha = 433 mhz 21164a, 2meg secondary cache

qvis3 on cashspace:

cpus mips intel alpha
---- ---- ---- ----
1 608 905 470
2 309 459
3 208 308
4 158 233
8 81
12 57
16 43

(14 to 1 scalability on 16 cpus, and that's including the IO!)

The timings vary somewhat on other tools -- qrad3 stresses the main memory a lot harder, and the intel system doesn't scale as well, but I have found these times to be fairly representative. Alpha is almost twice as fast as intel, and mips is in between.

None of these processors are absolutely top of the line -- you can get 195 mhz r10k with 4meg L2, 300 mhz PII, and 600 mhz 21164a. Because my codes are highly scalable, we were better off buing more processors at a lower price, rather than the absolute fastest available.

Some comments on the cost of speed:

A 4 cpu pentium pro with plenty of memory can be had for around $20k from bargain integrators. Most of our Quake licensees have one of these.

For about $60k you can get a 4 cpu, 466 mhz alphaserver 4100. Ion Storm has one of these, and it is twice as fast as a quad intel, and a bit faster than six of our mips processors.

That level of performance is where you run into a wall in terms of cost.

To go beyond that with intel processors, you need to go to one of the "enterprise" systems from sequent, data general, ncr, tandem, etc. There are several 8 and 16 processor systems available, and the NUMA systems from sequent and DG theoretically scale to very large numbers of CPUS (32+). The prices are totally fucked. Up to $40k PER CPU! Absolutely stupid.

The only larger alpha systems are the 8200/8400 series from dec, which go up to 12 processors at around $30k per cpu. We almost bought an 8400 over a year ago when there was talk of being able to run NT on it.

Other options are the high end sun servers (but sparc's aren't much faster than intel) and the convex/hp systems (which wasn't shipping when we purchased).

We settled on the SGI origin systems because it ran my codes well, is scalable to very large numbers of processors (128), and the cost was only about $20k per cpu. We can also add Infinite Reality graphics systems if we want to.

Within a couple years, I'm sure that someone will make a plug-in SCI board for intel systems, and you will be able to cobble together NUMA systems for under $10k a cpu, but right now the SGI is the most suitable thing for us.

I have been asked a few times if Quake will ever use multiple processors. You can allways run a dedicated server on one cpu and connect to it to gain some benefit, but that's not very convenient, doesn't help much, and is useless for internet play.

It's waaaay down on the priority list, but I have a cool scheme that would let me make multiple copies of the software rendering dll and frame pipeline the renderers. Response is cut by half and the frame rate would double for two cpus, but pipelining more than a frame would be a bad idea (you would get lag on your own system).

I wouldn't count on it, but some day I might take a break from serious work and hack it in.

There is no convenient way to use multiple processors with the hardware accelerated versions, accept to run the server on a seperate cpu.

That will probably be an issue that needs to be addressed in the lifespan of the next generation technology. Eventually people are going to start sticking multiple cpus (or multiple thread issue systems sharing resources) on a single chip, and it will become a consumer level item. I'm looking forward to it.

Here is John Cash's plan update, which includes a mention of our Quake 2 meet two days ago.

Did the IRC thing last night. Someday somebody needs to sit down and make IRC actually work. What a mess. Despite all the technological wonders we were subjected to, we managed to get a few questions answered.

Speaking of answering questions... JudgeCal threatened, I mean talked, me into doing QuakeCast tomorrow. So go ahead and get those questions ready. And DO NOT ask when QTEST2 is coming; the answer is when we're ready.

Our SGI Origin upgrade just got installed today. We now have 16 R10Ks! That puppy can really crank through the BSPs. Of course the map guys have all gone insane with their Quake2 maps, so we're probably just breaking even on time per level.

Thanks for all the good feedback at, from, and about E3. Thresh is an alien; I'm sure of it.

This plan update was from yesterday (I'm backlogged) and the QuakeCast he mentions is today.

American McGee lost his idol, I feel for him. I'd quote it here but I have no time to do that :). Sorry American. Thanks for coming to the meet.

Brian Hook updated his plan early today. Here you go:

June 26, 1997 (early AM)

Holee shit.

We got the PCX2 up and running, and it WORKS! Not only does it work, it's FAST! On our reference platform (P5/200 w/ MMX, 32MB RAM), we get the following performance numbers (TIMEDEMO DEMO1, no status bar, no console, best of 2 runs):
CARD 512x384 640x480 800x600

Diamond Monster3D 36.4fps 26.2fps N/A NEC/VideoLogic PCX2 26.1fps 22.4fps 18.1fps

It's no Voodoo Killer at this stage, but it's within spitting distance, and that is WAY more than any other accelerator on this planet can say.

As CPU speed gets faster, I'm pretty sure the PCX2 will scale better than the Voodoo, since the PCX2 is hurt pretty badly by triangle setup. It's entirely possible that a PCX2 would be faster than a 3Dfx in something like a Pentium2/266MHz. I plan on setting up a small lab in Sandy's former office to get a feel for how different hardware accelerators scale with CPU.

The PCX2 has several distinct advantages over its competitors. For starters, it runs at pretty high resolutions like 800x600. It also is a pretty inexpensive card (if pricing trends follow that of PCX1). It doesn't require a pass-through cable. And it will run in a window. It supports real per-pixel MIP mapping. All in all, it's a pretty amazing board for GLQuake and Quake2.

All is not perfect in PowerVR land, however. There were some minor glitches in the PCX2, and the lack of src*dst blending will hamper its ability to support colored lighting in Quake2. Also, keep in mind that while catching up to the Voodoo (almost) is an impressive feat, it's not enough to make you a world leader, especially given that 3Dfx is moving forward at least as fast as the rest of the industry. I expect 3Dfx' next generation of technology to soundly dish out some whoop-ass to the rest of the 3D accelerator manufacturers out there, but at least it's nice to know that 3Dfx finally has a reason to almost worry.

Which is good for all of us, since competition is a good thing (unless, of course, you're the one getting whooped upon).

On a related note, these performance numbers are without implementing any of the extension type mechanisms I've babbled about recently. If we do something to make particle systems and multi-pass rendering go faster, it should benefit everyone. 3Dfx and PowerVR will both benefit from these types of extensions tremendously, especially the PowerVR.

Finally, I'd like to say that we are willing to work with hardware vendors that don't suck. NEC/VideoLogic and, specifically, their OpenGL driver engineer, have done a tremendous job with their driver, showing a lot of creativity and dedication to getting GLQuake running on their hardware. We appreciate it when an IHV takes the time to make an id product look good, and if they've done a good job (such as 3Dfx and PowerVR), we reciprocate as much as possible, which typically involves doing enhancements that improve visual quality and/or performance on their accelerator.

So in all likelihood we'll be looking at those extension issues a little closer in the upcoming weeks.

Having two consumer graphics boards that are already checked out for GLQuake and Quake2 REALLY makes me feel good. My target is at least four consumer boards for Christmas release, and I've already got two, with at least four more to evaluate (3DLabs Permedia2, Rendition V2200, ATI Rage Pro, and NVidia RIVA128).

Tomorrow I'll get a Permedia 2 and will hopefully be able to comment on its performance too, assuming 3DLabs allows me.

Oh, a quick note about test systems. Yes, a P5/200MMX isn't really "average" for many people, but by Christmas I'm expecting it to sort of be the average machine that someone who just bought a system will have. A more reasonable "average" machine is likely to a be a P5/133 or a P5/166, but I don't have one of those lying around.

Our low-end will be a P90 w/ 16MB, 32MB if you use OpenGL. Our mid-range test machine will be that P5/200MMX w/ 32MB. Our high-end test machine hasn't shown up yet, but will likely be a Pentium II 266MHz (which will be a lot cheaper by Christmas).

Some definitions:
"Low-end" means the minimum system we'd expect someone to use. Usually a system that was the best you could buy about two to three years ago.

"Mid-range" means a system likely to have been purchased within about a year of the release of our game.

"High-end" means a system that would have been bought within about two months of release of our game.

So don't panic if you have a P5/120, Quake2 will run alright on it. But if you have a Pentium II/300MHz, Quake2 will absolutely ROCK!

Petra didn't want to quote Brian's June 24 plan update, but here I go jumping on the gun with an attempt :).

June 24, 1997 (early AM)

Oh for crying out loud. I just did a Deja News on "id software" and "OpenGL" and was just recently made aware of the brouhaha over my .plan and whether "OpenGL has what it takes for games."

I'm going to say this slowly and with small words so those of you who Don't Get It will hopefully have some glimmer of recognition flicker through your small but thick skulls.

Okay, first off, let's establish that OpenGL has its share of problems. These are growing pains. It's normal. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that Direct3D and OpenGL _on the PC_ are at roughly parallel points in their evolution.

Let us also assume that they have roughly the same amount of driver support committment from IHVs. Okay, big assumption, but bear with me.

What I am saying is _assume that they are functionally equivalent_, which is also a rather big assumption. If we do this, the question becomes very simple: why support one over the other?

Well, I'm sure you folks know by now that I think OpenGL is easier to use. I would daresay that most people agree. So that's a pretty big plus. OpenGL _does_ have an extension mechanism, and this tangibly becomes important as I'll relate in a second. Finally, OpenGL is portable as hell, and this is cool.

As for extensions...

Let me put this in concrete terms -- without these extensions, some IHVs would be really really hurting when it comes to Quake2. And this isn't necessarily limited to the software we're doing -- other people will have similar issues arise that can easily be worked around if the vehicle is present.

For example, our particle systems are currently rendered with independent triangles, and this is a royal bitch on just about any system (and would be a performance hog on Direct3D also, so this isn't an OpenGL specific problem, but the solution IS specific to OpenGL). It would be really neat if we could, say, tell a driver to render a particle system that we define, and it just does The Right Thing -- i.e. whatever makes it give the right output and also gives the best performance for that hardware.

This is impossible to do with Direct3D.

This is possible with OpenGL.

Can you see where I'm taking you?

Okay, let's take another example -- multitexture. SGI has a nice proposal that I happen to like. We'd like to use it. SGI can hand that proposal to an IHV, and we get a turnaround of about 7 days. Now, I've heard rumors of a multitexture thing for Direct3D for almost a year now, but it isn't part of DX5, and when is DX6 going to ship?

Okay, so if we really need multitexture (which is very nice for our hardware rendering), we'd be screwed with Direct3D. Pure and simple.

Now you see why being dependent on Microsoft for shipping our products isn't a Good Idea. Particle systems and multiple texture maps are vital technologies to us, and if we were relying on Microsoft to push this stuff through, we'd be sitting on our asses this Christmas instead of shipping a game.

Are we getting the picture now? Are we understanding why OpenGL is just so damn nifty it's hard to ignore?

Okay, now let's move on to the subject of tools. All of our level editors and miscellaneous texture mapping tools are done with OpenGL. This allows us to edit and modify them quickly and, more importantly, allows us to run on NT. If we used Direct3D, we'd all be using Win95, and this is just not my idea of a good operating system for development. WinNT does NOT have Direct3D with hardware acceleration on it. That's a pretty big problem.

For tool development, OpenGL is vastly superior to Direct3D simply because of its ease of use and the plethora of high end workstations that support it. This ties into the theme of portability -- we can write a nice tool using OpenGL and with minimal hassle have it portable between SGI, Win32, and Linux. We license our tools and engines to select partners, and it's nice when we can tell them "Sure, you can use our stuff on any of these platforms." That's just plain cool from a technology standpoint.

In THEORY OpenGL is portable -- in practice, it has a ways to go simply because the drivers are flaky (just like D3D's). In THEORY Direct3D is NOT portable. This means tools and games we write that use Direct3D are NOT portable to other platforms, locking us into the world of Microsoft. I'm sure Bill loves this, but we and millions like us don't relish that thought.

And I'm not just talking portable tools. Quake2 is going to rock. Hard. It's an amazingly kick ass game, and I haven't felt this good about a product since I worked on Voodoo at 3Dfx, which is saying a lot.

And what I really love is that tens of thousands of people using SGI, Linux, and whatever else we find with OpenGL support will get hardware accelerated Quake2 support. If Apple supports OpenGL (which they really really should), then they would automagically get Quake2 on that system.

If we were using Direct3D, Quake2 would probably be available only on Win95. Hell, NT users wouldn't even get it. How sucky is that?

OpenGL allows us to deploy our software to as many varied platforms as possible with minimal hassle. This is fundamentally sound both in terms of business sense and in terms of pure technical coolness.

Now the disclaimer:

That said, we have NOT ruled out supporting Direct3D. Yes, it has improved, but right now it simply is not a part of our mission or priority list. WE'RE NOT STUPID. If OpenGL's position in the PC becomes untenable, common bloody sense indicates we'd need to use Direct3D. BUT THAT TIME IS NOT HERE. OpenGL works. We prefer it. We give preferential treatment to IHVs that support it, and this counts for a lot in this world.

OpenGL is better than Direct3D. Period. But this doesn't guarantee its victory, not by a longshot. Hell, there's a good chance that Microsoft will bury OpenGL in the same pit they hid Bob and MSX, and that's something we have to be prepared to face.

But you know what? Id software has, since its inception, been a leader in the game industry. DOOM was one of the first mass market games to use "ModeY" and a 32-bit DOS extender and triple buffering and networking and etc. etc. We're taking somewhat of a gamble by going against the grain and supporting OpenGL instead of Direct3D -- and I think Quake2 will more than validate this choice.

There is nothing so beautifully irrefutable as proof-by-existence.

id software did not get where it is today by meekly observing trends and going with them. Id software got where it is today by doing what needed to be done, even if it went against conventional wisdom. I came to id software because I knew that John Carmack would always Do the Right Thing. If I had gone to a big game house, especially a publically traded one, I'd've been subjected to the many "Big Game House" syndromes, including "We gotta ship this quarter to make our numbers", "We can't piss off Microsoft", and "Everyone else is doing this kind of game, so we should too!"

I consider one of my luckiest things in life to be working for a programmer who drives a Ferrari F40 -- in other words, someone who "gets it" both technically and fiscally. id is not going to tilt at windmills into Chapter 11. I am confident of this.

And for those of you assholes quoting me out of context and/or extrapolating convenient hypotheses out of my .plans, knock it off.

Let me say this very simply and very clearly:

OpenGL is not perfect, but it is far far better than the alternative.

And I'm not spouting this from theory. Unlike many others, I've actually written Direct3D code. I've actually written Glide code (hell, I architected Glide and wrote its first implementation). I've worked on OpenGL implementations (SGI Cosmo OpenGL). I've written applications using Direct3D and OpenGL. I know whereof I speak. So I'm not telling you that OpenGL is better IN THEORY. I'm telling you flat out that OpenGL is better IN PRACTICE.

Good night.

That wasn't so hard.... I finished html-izing that in 1 minute.

Here are both Paul Steed plan updates I missed out on before. Read June 24 before you read June 25.

For those of you who thought I was an asshole in my post yesterday you are absolutely correct. I kicked a poor guy when he was down and it was low. I am such a jerk.

Would you people please accept my words as they are intended? When you play football you look across the line and you yell all kinds of taunts at the competition. ITS PART OF THE GAME. As long as it doesn't get personal, then after the game nobody even remembers what shit was said to who. That was what I mistakenly thought I was doing. We are all in a pretty tough race (developers) and the competition makes it that much more exciting. If anyone out there doesn't think this genre _especially_ isn't intensely competitive, then you are deluding yourself. Whether I come out and talk shit and be viewed as an ass or someone else hides their jibes and quips behind clever pseudo-flattering commentary or stupid pseudo-intellectual quotes, it doesn't matter. Talking trash is talking trash. I'm still new to this global audience it seems who intently watches and reads our soap opera industry. So forgive me if I don't take the candy-coated, sugar-plum pathway. Mistakenly I thought it was a free country and I could say what the fuck I wanted to in MY plan. I just write this stuff. OTHER PEOPLE POST IT. If you can find it please send me the Internet Guide to Professionalism and Ettiquette When Writing One's .Plan File so I know what I can and can't say.

Far from being vindictive, I thought I was having fun in my rambling. I blow off steam and vent. Just because members of the media and the audience have selective amnesia when remembering who talks shit to who and when doesn't mean that I have to follow suit. If someone talks shit to me I talk shit right back because that's the spirit of the exchange. Also I don't mention names and I don't attack anyone personally. I am just talking no-substance bullshit in between gushing love for my very cool job. or trying to be somewhat didactic. If the opposition psyches you out then it is your fault not theirs. Besides, after E3 I thinks its pretty apparent I don't even need to talk smack or psych anyone out any more.

BTW Dude, stop sounding so bitter and misaligned. After all you got hired on at a pretty cool company anyway. Make the best of it.
Sorry I've taken so long with this latest installment of my unbiased thoughts on life, love and kicking the living shit out of the competition. But I thought I'd wait for the E3 dust to settle before voicing my view on the past week.

First I am very flattered and honored by all the compliments we've received about the weapons and the monsters. I heard people were walking around shaking their heads and drumming their fingers like the hands in the machine gun's idle frames. Just to let you know, those fingers were just nubs completely unattached to the hand. As far as that goes, all the weapons are pretty whacked on the side you never see (to conserve faces). John's particle effect on the rail gun was UNBELIEVABLE.
That is the coolest effect I have ever seen on a weapon in our genre (or any other, really). I just finished up the grenade toss animation and I think you'll love the part where the right hand flips the monster off after lobbing the pineapple. We will have about 12 to 13 weapons when Quakes done. BTW, I DID have this really cool idea for a weapon. Why not make this razor-sharp, over-sized DIME as a throwing weapon. After all, design-wise it is a superior concept. But then I thought, NAH...that's small-time. Giant QUARTERS are the only way to go! I'll let you know what Kevin & Adrian say when I er...pitch it to them.

As far as E3 goes I wasn't surprised OR disappointed by the results. We kicked butt. Didn't anyone believe me? So I wasn't surprised that Q2 rocked E3. I also wasn't surprised by the quality of most of the QUAKE engine games. I have to admit that I didn't expect the predicted disappointer to be so damn disappointing. I guess it DOES seem logical that throwing more people at a project would yield a more substantial and substantive result. Seems. Mathematically three people working seven straight 15-hour days prior to the show shouldn't really be able to compete with say 35 people working five straight 12-hour days. Hmm. Go figure. Oh well. Guess other factors may be involved as well.

A thought on E3 marketing: "DON'T SHOW YOUR STUFF IF IT BLOWS!" Another thought: "RUNNING GAMES ON TECHNOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR AND ADVANCED SYSTEMS IS NOT CHEATING!" its called BUSINESS. Today at this point in our industry using hardware-acceleration is the smartest thing to do when trying to get a WOW out of people. Choosing NOT to show your game with hardware acceleration is just plain STUPID and should result in someone being FIRED. Also, to quote Adrian "Viper-Man" Carmack, "Our game looks BETTER without GL." This bold statement is made because of how crisp his textures look and the lack of mesh fluctuation in the non-accelerated Q2. The colored lighting, true-color environment mapping, particle effects, shadows, reflections, light radiosity and other GL-only features, however, definitely make the $150 accelerator cards a worth-while purchase (4MB card on a 64MB RAM SYSTEM, BTW).

So anyhow, I didn't go to E3 (Kevin and Adrian tried to make me, but I declined since I just got back from a 3D Design conference in the oh-so-culturally-aware San Francisco, AND I'm going to SIGGRAPH in August if the game progress lets me). Seems it went well for the 3D action shooter genre which is good news for all of us fans and developers alike. I hope the last week did, however, illustrate a very important point to you all. Campaigns of massive DIS- information; slobbering, sycophantic propaganda; tons of ill-thought excuses; and most especially blatant, out-and-out FUCKING LIES will not sell a game. Talent, dedication and hard work will. This is not ego. This is id.

Quite a hubbub was caused over his plan file :). And rightly so. Well, that's "total finger updates" for the day. [Slipgate]

Two new Quake 2 pages
12:23 PM EDT
I feel so bad, "killing two birds with one stone" but I'm so mail backlogged I have to mention these two together. Go to Jest's Quake 2 page and tin's Quake 2 Nutshell. Thanks to the maintainers of those sites for dropping me a line. Funny thing is tin's Quake 2 Nutshell moved by the time I got to the letter, but I found the new address :). [Slipgate]

eXscape Quake 2 preview
12:21 PM EDT
eXscape features a preview on Quake 2, click here to get to it. Thanks to the man, Prophet. [Slipgate]

The Squirrel speaketh
12:16 PM EDT
Brian "Squirrel" Eiserloh updated his plan sometime recently with his impression of Quake 2. I have to thank Rotwang for that news, and apologize for taking so long to get to it (I'm mail backlogged here). Here is what he said:

Quake2 was rock solid. The models and animations were way cool, and once the AI gets put in (it wasn't in the E3 demo) I'll be very anxious to see it in action and compare with Daikatana's (Nelno rules). Looks to be a rockin' single-player game (definitely way better than Quake in that respect, and better looking). I would have really liked to have seen it on a non-accelerated system, though; just about all the Quake-like games were demoing in GL only.

By the way, Brian is in the company Ion Storm (just in case you didn't know who he was). [Slipgate]

Quakemania E3 photos
12:14 PM EDT
It's taken me time to get to this, but Quakemania has photos from E3 up at this page since PoLish and Monolith went there. Thanks to Prophet. [Slipgate]

June 25, 1997
P200MMX as an "average"?? erk..
11:10 PM EDT
Thanks again to Rotwang, my personal news p1mp, for pointing out that Hook updated his plan about video cards in Q2:

(Hi Chris)

Sorry, no ranting today, just techie shit.

Okay, the lesson for today is that there are a heap of potential problems
when doing multiple contexts. The bug that was causing the Blue Screen
of Pain on the Intergraph Realizm turned out to be a bug in my code (which
I assumed). The semantics of wglShareLists sharing multiple texture objects
between rendering contexts are not very rigidly defined (at least that I could
find). What was happening was that I was creating texture objects and sharing
them, but then when rendering with another context I would modify the texture
objects in various ways (like deleting them) while they were still bound to
another context (even though they weren't being used). You can NOT do this,
which I was unaware of, but in my defense, a driver should REALLY watch for
this kind of thing, and ANY type of Blue Screen is unacceptable, even if the
bug is in the application.

Thanks to Intergraph for hunting down the bug -- these guys are giving us some
kick ass support.

I have a new test system today, a P5/200MMX with 32MB of RAM. This is going to
be somewhere right above the "average" system we're targeting. This particular
machine is loaded right now with a Diamond Monster3D, a Tri-Tech Pyramid3D, a
PowerVR PCX2, and an S3 Trio968. ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

The amazing thing is that this beast RUNS. With a daisy-chained pass through
cable at that.

I can NOT comment on the Tri-Tech because of NDA issues, so please don't ask
me about it.

I will compare the output and performance of the 3Dfx and PCX2 when I get a

Okay, I just bought a P5/133, I'm gonna go sit in a corner and cry now. ;) [Petra]

Carmack letters
5:58 PM EDT
Carmack has responded to two e-mails of major interest lately (at least to me :) ).

Chris Spencer e-mailed John Carmack, got a reply, and forwarded it along to me. Many thanks to him for forwarding it to me. Here is his letter (quoted with > signs) and John Carmack's reply (following that).

> I have heard reports that instead of having light entities, that
> light is simply one of the attributes of a texture. If this is
> true, what if the texture is attached to a moving brush (like a
> func_train or a rotating brush)? Would the light move along with
> the texture? This doesn't seem likely unless you are going to 100%
> dynamic lighting.

You are correct, moving walls do not emit light.

(we also still support light entities)

John Carmack

The next letter of interest I have to credit to's news section. Here you go:

> label each surface with a type (eg. wood, metal) so that you can
> optionally play different sounds when something impacts it. For
> example a shotgun blast, or a nail from a nailgun. Perhaps even a
> player landing on the floor from a great height.

We are doing it!

John Carmack

The first one seems typical of the Quake engine, the second one makes me happy because I've wanted there to be "different materials" in 3d games for a while now. Slipgate

Like the new webmaster?
5:50 PM EDT
For those of you who noticed and those of you who didn't, yes, Petra of Clan PMS is helping me with the page now. Nite isn't gone, but he'll be away a while and she's helping me for a bit :). In case you are wondering why the heck she would help me. Well, back when I was on a mindspring address, it was her stepbrother who had given me that webspace (coincidence!). Also, she is incredibly nice and well, offered! She prefers to be called Petra and not Petra-PMS :). And yes, this does mean I'll be signing updates again. [Slipgate]

Edited Meet Log
3:11 PM EDT
Here's an edited log of the #quake2 meeting from last night from Aphelion. Thanks to Redwood. [Petra]

Hook visits #quake2 once more
11:10 AM EDT
Yawn. Q_Wolf was kind enough to e-mail me a log of Hook's appearance on #quake2 this morning. Here it is. I'll have a parsed/edited one soon. =) [Petra]

Carmack on Sound
1:49 AM EDT
Yes, I am a late-night animal. Anyway, John Carmack was emailed regarding the support of high end sound cards in Quake 2. Here was his response:

We have a couple high end sound boards, but I doubt we will code to them directly.

We might allow another company to write a sound dll for q2 before release, but it is too early to tell.

John Carmack

If you listen hard enough, you can hear all of the new owners of Monster Sound boards... *thwack* ;)... thanks Redwood!! [Petra]

June 24, 1997
Steed updates .plan
11:43 PM EDT
Paul Steed made a .plan update with a number of comments about Quake 2, E3, and the business world. It is another gigantic plan update, please link here. Thanks to Rotwang. [Petra]

Hook Explains Direct3D Dillema
11:04 PM EDT
Brian Hook, infamous Quake 2 programmer, made a .plan update regarding id's use of OpenGL and Direct3D. It's of obscene length, far too long for me to print here. Enjoy. [Petra]

New Webmaster ;)
11:01 PM EDT
Hello hello. =) I'm Petra, the new Fault Line co-webmaster. It will be an honor serving you. Enjoy the flight... [Petra]

Quake 2 Meet over
9:27 PM EDT
The Quake 2 meet is finished at last. Here is the log of the meet... please be advised that it is both long, and there is some profanity, and it was quite a crazy situation (we blew up several Undernet servers by overloading them). I haven't edited this log in the slightest because I'd be old and gray by the time I finished.... the meet went on for more than 1 hour. Anyone who sent me an /msg or anything is showing up here... everything and anything. Paul Jaquays, Christian Antkow, John Cash, and American McGee ALL made appearances... and pretty soon they all abandoned us except Cash. (They had to, given the load)

To those of you who came, I'm sorry if I seemed very impolite or upset you, I was VERY busy trying to keep peace and order, administrate the channel, and directing the questions people were sending to the id guys. I did the best I could and paid attention to each individual as much as I could. Sorry if I had to shortchange you but I did the best I could.

Older news

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