Newer News

Wednesday, September 3, 1997
My Old Address - Dyno
My old address at is now up for grabs, kinda. Gamer's Alliance would like to host another Quake2 site in it's place. I thought about just looking at all the Quake2 sites and mailing the ones I like about moving to GA, but I thought I might miss out on something big or someone new. Gamer's Alliance only hosts one site for each particular game, so there's no competition, and it always seems like much more of an honor that way as well. Also, we just moved to a new server which gives us much better options for CGI and things like that. If you are interested in moving to, send me some mail at, thanks!

Gamespot Poll - Dyno
Yeah, everybody is having polls these days, not that there's anything wrong with it, I like them. I thought bootnet already had this one though, anyways, here it is. This is voting for what will most likely be Quake's successor, thanks to GFKiller for sending these in.

5. Hexen 2 (5%)
4. Unreal (8%)
3. Jedi Knight
2. Duke Nukem Fourever (16%)
1. Quake 2 (38%)
Obviously Quake2 won, who would be suprised. What would expect to be ultimately better than Quake, some other game, or it's sequal? Come on people, this is common knowledge. Oh well, these little polls are still damn fun! To me having Quake2 is just like having a new CD, I still listen to the old ones. Just because I have the newest Rage Against the Machine CD doesn't mean I won't listen to the old one. Ok, enough blabbing and plugging my favorite band for tonight.

Redwood interview redux - Slipgate
I'm updating from campus, and I'd just like to say I'm a little disappointed with what some people are submitting as "questions" to Redwood. Some questions are really great, but some of them are going to have to be taken out prior to the interview. First of all, these questions are for Redwood to answer, not the guys running the interview, and "Why interview Redwood?" is an example of a question that shouldn't be posted there because its not Redwood's job to answer that. Also, some of the purely disgusting and insulting things people first put up as questions are really nasty, and are going to be edited out. The Undernet #idSoftware folks are conducting a serious interview, please submit actual questions you have for Redwood. Go to and submit a question if your interested.

On the topic of news.... updates will be after I get home, or done by Dyno today.

Wampey's Censuses - Dyno
Wampey's was updated, there's results to the tournament questions of last time, and some new Q2 questions this time.

Hexen 2 info - Slipgate
Just thought I'd mention that on HexenWorld Rick Johnson of Raven described exactly the rules of how experience levels go in Hexen 2, including explaining what King of the Hill is.

Brian Hook benchmarks - Slipgate
Wow, I've missed quite a bit of Brian Hook's .plan-age. Of course, they are meant to be read in order from the first one he made to the last one, so this quoting job will look like a reverse of the way it is in the .plan.

September 2, 1997

While I'm waiting for all my source to rebuild, I thought I'd do another small update.


- Number Nine Ticket To Ride Imagine 128

We don't have one, #9 doesn't return our e-mails, and from what we've heard it's nothing to get excited about. If I get one and test it, I'll let you know.

- Matrox Mystique, Millenium, and Millenium 2

Um, no.

- S3 Virge

Um, no.

- TriTech Pyramid3D

I can't comment on their hardware, however I can say that our attitude towards the Pyramid3D is one of apathy. We have a board with drivers, and we have chosen not to concentrate time supporting or testing with their board at this time. Draw your own conclusions.

- Oak

If they get us an OpenGL driver and board, we're willing to go with it.


Several people asked about a BeOS port, and I wasn't going to worry too much about it. However today I got a message from someone at Be asking us if we were interested in a port, and John and I discussed this and decided it was something interesting.

While Be itself doesn't knock us dead technically, the fact that it supports OpenGL is a pretty big plus, so we're willing to support them. Just so there's no suspense, here are our list of implementations and their relative priorities:

- Win32 x86

Duh. This is what we're working on full-time.

- Win32 AXP

We've reached a good waypoint with the DEC Alpha port, and probably won't worry about it until Q2TEST's release is imminent. I'm responsible for this.

- Rhapsody

John is handling this one and doing it whenever he finds the time. It's about the same priority as the Win32 AXP port -- they're both important for different reasons. Rhapsody demonstrates our portability to a radically different OS; Win32 AXP demonstrates our portability to non-Intel CPUs.


This will likely be the result of a collaboration between SGI and id, and will probably involve having an SGI engineer on-site for a week or so to get things up and running. This is important to us because SGI is the premiere OpenGL platform, and it's just damn cool to know that out there are SGI Onyx2 InfiniteReality platforms that are running GLQuake. We want the same thing for Quake2.

- Linux x86

Zoid is handling this, and this is his biggest porting priority. We have lots of Linux fans and we want to support them, and Linux also has a pretty solid OpenGL presence.

- BeOS

We'd like to see BeOS supported after Zoid gets done with the Linux x86 port, since BeOS is yet another radically different OS and also runs on multiple CPUs (PPC and x86). Also, BeOS supports OpenGL, and we give preference to platforms with good OpenGL support.

- Linux (other)

Just as an existence proof Zoid is going to port Quake2 to all the other Linux implementations out there and see how well that works.

- Unix (other)

HP, IBM, etc. are probably going to contact us or Zoid about Unix ports in the future, and we're not opposed to these, but we're not allocating time for them until they become an issue.

- OS/2

Only if IBM does all the work.

- misc others

Other ports are "to be determined". I can say right now that there is NO WAY we're going to do a DOS version! An Amiga version is probably out of the question (before you flood me with e-mails, I LIKE the Amiga), as are Atari ST versions and other oddball legacy computers.
After that .plan update, he made this one later that day (this one's actually short :) ):

September 2, 1997 (part 2)

Okay, I normally don't just go off and say "hey, buy this product", since we're not in the business of product endorsement, but there is one product in particular that has been SO good that I have to recommend to anyone doing Win32 development of any type: BoundsChecker. BoundsChecker by NuMega software ( is a debugging tool that tells you when you're dangling pointers, not freeing memory, trashing memory, reading uninitialized memory, passing incorrect args to Win32 API functions, etc. etc. It is AMAZINGLY useful, and has found at least three really really ugly bugs for us in the past couple of weeks. Some of these bugs have been so insidiously subtle that it would have taken a VERY long time to hunt them down.

BoundsChecker: buy it, use it, love it.

Anyone who sees that cheezy VRGQuake floating around -- uh, I know nothing about it. Don't ask me about it, it's not one of our products, and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.
He updated today again, twice. Below is the first update he made today.

September 3, 1997 (early AM)

Can you believe that with all these plan updates I still manage to get a normal day's work done? We did a merge, I fixed some bugs, I spent hours working on e-mail and talking on the phone about OpenGL extension issues, and started implementing some new tweaks in the GL code. Today was mostly a non-coding day, but I still got a lot done and learned a lot of interesting stuff. Tomorrow I should get a ton of real coding done.

NOTE: The RIVA128 cracking problems are NOT the same as what you see on 3Dfx. The problems with 3Dfx are not 3Dfx problems at all, they're Quake problems, specifically T-junction issues. The cracks we're seeing on RIVA are BIG GAPING GNARLY CRACKS BETWEEN POLYGONS. These problems do NOT manifest themselves on other graphics adapters.

Oh, saw -- mother of God, people like that EXIST?

Damn, things with hardware just keep getting better and better. Rendition has sent me a new set of drivers that GREATLY increased their performance. Not only that, but according to them their driver also syncs to vertical retrace, which means that both the RIVA128 and V2200 sync to vertical retrace, thus making comparisons to 3Dfx's no-sync numbers not particularly meaningful anymore. Note that I remove "old driver" scores after another table reprint, so the old PCX2 numbers have been ditched.

The new table is:

Chipset P5/200MMX(32MB) P2/266(128MB)

3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1, nosync 33.8 33.9
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0, nosync 30.2 30.3
NEC PowerVR PCX2, nosync 29.1 31.3
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1 27.2 27.3
Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=1 26.3 27.0
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0 24.4 (forgot to run test)
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=1 24.0 32.2
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=0 23.9 32.1
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=1, 800x600 (didn't bother) 25.7

Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=1 (old dvrs) 19.0 19.4
Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=0 (old dvrs) 18.8 19.2
3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=1 18.6 19.2
3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=0 18.6 19.2
WinQuake (software only) 13.5 12.6


Rendition is the most full featured of all the boards, including possessing the ability to address up to 16MB of RAM. Their MCD looks pretty good, and it even ran the Quake level editor! There was some confusion on our part since we thought we had an 8MB board, and it turns out we only have a 4MB board.

The basic conclusion is that you won't be going wrong with the V2200, Voodoo, or RIVA128 (assuming the latter fixes the cracking-between-polygons problem we've seen -- if that isn't fixed, we simply can't recommend it to anyone since that really takes away from any game experience). As we become more sophisticated with what we're doing with geometry and textures our tolerance for sloppy rasterization rules diminishes greatly.

Right now we're extremely excited about Rendition's new hardware, and we can't wait to see what they do with a Win95 OpenGL driver. And both RIVA128 and V2200 have lots of room for performance improvements when they go to a full ICD driver model. And the RIVA is posting phenomenal numbers on a P2/266, even at 800x600.

The RIVA is CPU limited, and their performance will depend largely on the speed of the system CPU. The PCX2 and Voodoo are fill limited, and thus the choice of CPU (beyond a certain point) is largely irrelevant. The V2200 is, well, driver-limited -- their drivers effectively replace the microcode in their hardware, so they're sort of hardware limited, but their hardware limits can be removed by better drivers. I think the V2200 might get a bit faster with newer driver updates.

The PowerVR is still a good bargain, but we can't say it's the best, even with its impressive numbers, because they aren't syncing and there are visible artifacts as a result -- when we get a driver with triple-buffering enabled, then the situation with hardware may change radically yet again.

An important thing to keep in mind is that 3Dfx is still the safe bet -- good performance and Voodoo works on Win95 and WinNT. Unless you're running NT, the V2200 and RIVA128 numbers are largely irrelevant. And unless you're running Win95, the PCX2 numbers are largely irrelevant. And you lose colored lighting on PCX2 (but for the price...yowza!).

The Permedia2, while showing some pretty lackluster numbers right now, promises to get much faster after we implement support for paletted textures. Assuming that they support the new paletted texture extensions that SGI and other PC IHVs will be proposing soon. You still don't get colored lighting on the Permedia.

All in all, the next couple of months are going to make the world of 3D hardware accelerated games much more interesting.

Of course, I'll be mighty surprised if 3Dfx doesn't up the ante once again very soon.
And finally, here's his most recent .plan update:

September 3, 1997 (early AM part 2)

The fun never stops!

As it turns out, according to someone at 3Dfx, Diamond Monster3D boards are run at 57MHz by default if you use their install tools. Since Diamond M3D boards account for the vast majority of 3Dfx boards, I allowed this one example of upclocking into the tests by doing a SET SST_GRXCLK=57 to see the effect on performance. In theory, performance should go up by about 14%, and in practice it went up by around 10%. Not bad. This does put yet another new spin on things.

Damn, where were these driver updates a week ago?

I've now removed the 3Dfx no-sync numbers, since everyone else is syncing to vertical retrace and there's no easy of disabling it on other hardware to get a feel for true performance. I've removed the GL_ZTRICK=0 numbers in order to make things clearer -- the only one that it was affect performance on was 3Dfx, and by and large people don't set GL_ZTRICK to 0 anyway.

We may have Quake2 benchmark numbers by next week.

So the NEW table follows. In the new compressed format, it simply shows that there is no clear winner, and that each board has its own merits. My previous summaries are still true, but in this format it's easy to see that RIVA128 is the best on a P2/266, 3Dfx is the best overall, and that Rendition V2200 is the best overall if you need 2D/3D. So none of those three outright suck, and they each have their strengths.

And I'm giddy about this. Man, the RIVA128 is so CPU limited that it runs faster at 800x600 on a P2/266 than at 640x480 on a P5/200. That's just weird.

Chipset P5/200MMX(32MB) P2/266(128MB)

3Dfx Voodoo, 57Mhz 30.0* 30.0
NEC PowerVR PCX2 29.1# 31.3#
3Dfx Voodoo, 50MHz 27.2 27.3
Rendition V2200 26.3 27.0
NVidia RIVA128 24.0 32.2*

NVidia RIVA128 @ 800x600 (didn't bother) 25.7

3DLabs Permedia2 18.6 19.2

WinQuake (software only) 13.5 12.6

* denotes fastest on that CPU
# denotes no syncing to retrace, so it's going to be ugly
Scarecrow's Quake 2 buttons - Slipgate
Scarecrow (of Scarecrow's Quake buttons) is making a major update to the site, and he's also planning on starting a Quake 2 buttons site. Thanks to The Void for the info.

Quake 2 sounds mod - Slipgate
Hahahahha. On The Void, I saw that somebody had taken the fake Quake 2 sounds released some time back and actually compiled them into a little Quake modification so that it uses those sounds instead. Go to the modification's homepage here.

Lighting Info - Dyno
Ken Alverson just sent in some replies John Carmack had to his lighting questions, here's the message:

>I know you're busy, so I'll make it quick:

>1) Will your radiosity lighting take into account reflection colors?
>IE would a white wall next to a red floor would cause the wall to be
>tinged red near the bottom?

Yes, it does do that, but it is a pretty subtle effect. You can tell if you shine really bright lights onto very color saturated surfaces near white floors, though.

>2) Your plan mentions dynamic lights can be colored and even
>negative...can they be both? (Negative red lights?)

Yes, but the calmping at 0 makes it a little weird.

John Carmack
Tuesday, September 2, 1997
PC Gamer shot of day out - Slipgate
So they did take Labor day off :). The shot of the day is up in the screenshots area. Thanks to Jon Ruff of The Nebula for telling me.

Redwood banner - Slipgate
My link to the Redwood banner was a little broken :). It's fixed now.

Brian Hook .plan updates - Slipgate
Later on yesterday Brian Hook wrote an addendum to his performance numbers from yesterday.

September 1, 1997 (part 2)

Okay, yet another quick addendum to the performance figures.

1. As some of you noticed, the RIVA 128's performance scaled up quite a bit better from the P5/200 to the P2/266. This is pretty remarkable, actually, and we're not sure why. It's pretty obvious that the RIVA 128 is not fill limited, however this "scalability" actually indicates to me a very poorly optimized driver. So I guess this is good news in a way -- if they optimize their drivers more then they should get much faster even on the slower CPU.

2. Since it was apparent that the RIVA128 wasn't fill limited, I ran the benchmark at 800x600 to see what I could get, and what I got was pretty damn impressive: 25.7fps. I've updated the August 31 table to reflect this.

3. I was running outdated PowerVR drivers, and not only that, I was running them in "compatibility" mode. When I updated the drivers the performance went WAY up. I've updated the table also, but these new drivers put things in a whole new light. Unfortunately the new PowerVR drivers do front buffer rendering, so there's very visible tearing. I've been told that they'll be doing triple buffering fairly soon, which should give them the same performance we're seeing now but without the flashing/tearing artifacts we're seeing.

As you'll see with the new table, tweaking your drivers can really make a difference if you're not hardware limited. Right now I believe that we're seeing the maximum performance possible from Voodoo and PCX2 -- tests with the latter bear this out, as we tried going to 800x600 and performance dropped proportionally. The RIVA128 has a LOT of room for improvement.

Have I mentioned I'm still impressed as hell that the Voodoo is STILL the pimp?

For those of you without older .plan access, here is the new table:

Chipset P5/200MMX(32MB) P2/266(128MB)

3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1, nosync 33.8 33.9
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0, nosync 30.2 30.3
NEC PowerVR PCX2 (new drivers) 29.1 31.3
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1 27.2 27.3
3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0 24.4 (forgot to run test)
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=1 24.0 32.2
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=0 23.9 32.1
NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=1, 800x600 (didn't bother) 25.7
NEC PowerVR PCX2 (old drivers) 23.1 24.5
Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=1 19.0 19.4
Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=0 18.8 19.2
3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=1 18.6 19.2
3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=0 18.6 19.2
WinQuake (software only) 13.5 12.6
Here's a .plan update he did today, where, although reluctantly, he gives his suggestions on what card to buy (in different suggestions):

September 2, 1997 (early AM)

Dammit all, I hate giving out "buying recommendations", but people INSIST on asking me over and over what board to get, even though I keep telling people to get a Voodoo-based board as the "safe bet". So, let me state this once and for all and hopefully people will get the message:

- the 3Dfx Voodoo currently has very good performance, very good features, and it coexists reasonably well with existing video cards. It supports the portion of OpenGL we need for GLQuake, GLQuakeWorld, and Quake2. It's blazingly fast, even if long in the tooth. It's not that expensive anymore. It works with NT and Win95. Canopus has a 4MB texture version. It's VERY difficult to go wrong with the 3Dfx Voodoo. So unless you meet the following criteria, I'd say go with the Voodoo (Righteous 3D, Obsidian, Flash 3D, Canopus, whatever). And no, I do NOT mean Voodoo Rush -- I haven't tested it yet so I can't offer an opinion on it one way or the other.

Okay, so when should you NOT get a Voodoo?

Get a PowerVR PCX2 board (Matrox has one) if
- you already have a 2D accelerator
- you don't care about WinNT support and plan on using Win95 exclusively
- you're willing to give up high quality colored lighting with Quake2
- a full OpenGL driver isn't that important to you
- you wanna save fifty or so bucks over a Voodoo based board

Get a RIVA128 board (STB, etc.) if
- you do NOT have a 2D accelerator and want a fast 2D/3D board
- you don't care about Win95 OpenGL support in the next few months
- you don't care about Win95 hardware accelerated Quake2 in the next few months
- a full OpenGL driver (under NT) is important to you today
- you can live with 4MB of framebuffer

Get a Permedia2 board if
- you do NOT have a 2D accelerator and want an okay 2D/3D board
- you need OpenGL support under both Win95 and WinNT TODAY
- you need 8MB of framebuffer
- you're willing to give up high quality colored lighting with Quake2

I'm withholding final opinions on V2200, ATI Rage Pro, and Intel i740 until I have production boards with good drivers in my hands.

That's it, that's all the advice I can dispense until I do more tests, which I swear to all my pagan gods I will not do until we have Quake2 test suite.

Then again, my pagan gods are used to me lying, so I figure I'll likely run a few more tests as I get better drivers and newer boards. Hopefully, though, a Quake2 TIMEDEMO will be available in another week or two.

Oh, before I forget to mention it, we're still working on OpenGL extensions with SGI and a bunch of hardware vendors. In order of priority to us:

- wglGet/SetDeviceGammaRamp for screen flashes. This will help level performance, especially during death matches. This will be an extension that only makes sense for some hardware. It should help a lot with anyone with a full GDI/Win32/3D accelerator, and it will also help with 3Dfx.

- glColorTableEXT revved up and/or extended to support a single global texture palette. This will allow us to use 8-bit paletted textures on hardware that supports paletted textures, including 3Dfx, Permedia2, and some others. This gives us faster texture download performance (good for deathmatch), and this may make a pretty significant difference in performance for Permedia2.

- wglSwapIntervalEXT so that we can control frame rate very tightly, although I still need to talk to John about this one. This should be trivial to add though.

- EXT_point_parameters for particle rendering. This will probably only make a big difference for deathmatch performance, but it should be a reasonable performance boost across the board.

- multitexture support. This will help out rendering in the world, but it's our lowest priority since not many hardware accelerators support it. Not only that, but it would require the most effort on our part and on the part of IHVs to implement.

All of these extensions will be optional -- if an IHV wants to support an extension, then they can just do it and we'll use it if it's there. The nice thing about this is that an IHV that spends the time to do the extensions and optimize for them will tangibly see their TIMEDEMO scores increase, and so there should be a positive feedback loop established. Given two relatively equal hardware accelerators, the one that implements our supported extensions should soundly kick the other accelerator's ass.

Jesus, and I thought this was going to be a short plan update....
Disruptor .plan update - Slipgate
This is the .plan update that Disruptor made earlier today when he was upset at us... not sure why I quoted it since I've already mentioned what the gist was before, but I just thought I would. Here you go:

I REALLY hate it when people rip off the GFX in my .planfiles and use it on their pages without asking first, much less not even giving id credit for creating the graphics...

/me goes back to work
PC Gamer take off Labor day? - Slipgate
It looks as though PC Gamer didn't put a shot up yesterday. Maybe they take Labor day off. In any case, I guess we can expect a shot later today. In the meanwhile, I've added the spinning Quake 2 symbol to the screenshots area. (Which is going to get a fresh empty first page the next time there is an addition to it, its gotten bloated enough for one page of the area).

Little Quake 2 symbol - Slipgate
Rob Packard sent this cool animated Quake 2 logo:

Redwood interview - Slipgate
The Undernet #idsoftware folks who interviewed Brian Hook so perfectly just a few days ago have already slated an interview with Redwood for September 9th. I've decided to be in support of this interview, like I was with the Brian Hook interview, hence the banner. Go to the Undernet #idSoftware page ( to find out about how you can watch, ask questions, and to also submit questions before hand.

Oak Bot 2! - Slipgate
I was dropped a line by one of the authors of the popular Oak Bot, and he said that he and the other author, Hendo, have decided to continue for Quake 2 and have posted an initial site for Oak II. He added, "We believe we are the first Quake2 bot project" and as far as I know, he's right. Here's the Oak II page.

DLL site gone - Slipgate
Quake 2 DLLs Archives&News, the DLL site had before, has been removed. They didn't meet up to the caliber we had requested of them, had an incomplete tutorial and features, and hadn't updated the site in a long time either. We are currently looking for a good site that will cover and explain how to program DLLs so that people who want to code for Quake 2 can start learning what they need to know to accomplish just that.

Transparent water - Slipgate
Minister sent an e-mail to John Carmack on the topic of transparent water. He asked if transparent water would be available in normal and GL mode in Quake 2, like it is with Hexen 2. John's reply was "Yes, the software renderer also has transparent water." Thanks to Minister for mailing me.

Quake 2 Realm news - Slipgate
The page Quake 2 Realm is being sporadically updated right now because of the schedules of the two maintainers, Minister and Jest. Minister has school and Jest is getting his computer fixed, but they say to not worry, that the site will be regularly updated again soon and have a great new layout.

Sheep vs. Crackwhore - Slipgate
My buddy Nite wrote an article for the Quake 2 Times. "Sheep vs. Crackwhore." Check it out. Thanks to the Prophet of Quake news.

Apologies - Slipgate
I want to apologize to Disruptor, and to id Software as a whole, for using the spinning Quake 2 logo .gif they released without first asking their permission.

I goofed majorly, not only not asking them but not running Hanif's suggestion by Blitz and Dyno before putting it to use.

Disruptor WAS referring to when he updated his .plan today (which I can't easily do a quoting job of right now since I'm on a telnet terminal on my school campus). I'd like to say that if you look at the bottom of the news page, you'll find the standardized message: Quake, Quake 2, and the stylized Q are registered trademarks of id Software, inc. I've had that statement there for months now. In any case, Disruptor is right that I should have asked first.

Hopefully Disruptor and id as a whole can accept my apology for infringing on their work. Thanks to all the people (John Galt, pRy, and several people who e-mailed me) for asking if he meant me or letting me know about the .plan update.

I've pulled down the graphic. It looked sorta cool but cluttered the menu a bit.

There's more news to be had, but I can't efficiently report on it from here, I should be home in an hour or two and I'll update again then.

Monday, September 1, 1997
Forgot to mention - Slipgate
Earlier when Disruptor updated his .plan, he included this cool new animated GIF file. Here it is:

Hanif suggested putting it up in the upper left corner of the site, where Blue keeps his flaming Q made by Sujoy. It was a pretty nifty idea so I decided to go for it. We'll see how the opinions roll in, whether you mind it being there or not. It's a small graphic so it shouldn't be that bad. Thanks to Hanif for the idea.

Correction - Slipgate
When I mentioned the Quake 2 kickoff LAN party, I said he had 300 hubs. Little mistake on my part. He said he had the capacity to handle 300 people already, not 300 hubs :). Sorry, I was sleepy at the time. Because the quick link goes there, I've added this update to that original update. It should still be a cool LAN party if he gets the aid he needs.

Page move - Slipgate
The page Quake 2 Press has moved to It's a pretty good page.

FAQ links - Slipgate
It's humurous to find that some people still have an old copy of the Quake 2 FAQ from June. Wow, that's old. Remember that since I'm now maintainer of it the latest released version can always be gotten here on with this link or the Quake 2 FAQ link in the left frame. New version coming soon, by the way. Very soon. Back to work :).

Pure 3D - Slipgate
I saw earlier that Blue mentioned the Pure 3D accelerator card. After reading Zashin's review on the GLDojo, I went to the website for the card ( and saw that of course they were raving about their card. I found it interesting though that there was an essay contest where you could write a 200 or less word essay on why you want a Pure 3D, and the writers of the 5 best essays will get Pure 3D cards free. I've been working on my essay since then :). Go read Zanshin's or Blue's reviews of them and visit the website to find out more.

DaChronix - Slipgate
I mentioned this Doom 2 level my friend made some time back. I'd request you to please read the page we set up for it. Take a look at the text file and the screenshots, download and try the level, and e-mail my friend your opinions on what was good or bad, not just "its cool". The full "scoop" is on the linked page. I realize this is a Quake 2 site, but I consider this a favor to my friend. This "DaChronix page" will only be up a little while. If you guys try out the level and send in your feedback, I'll consider it as a favor to us.

Project :) - Slipgate
As anyone who went to The Nebula knows, there's a project I'm involved in.... well, I'll just quote Jonathan Ruff on this:

I would like to take a moment in order to let everyone know that a team with an UNDISCLOSED name is currently working on an exciting "project" (can't let you in on the secretive project unless you become a member). We need a few good people for the following jobs that still need to be filled:

  • 2 coders
  • 1 mapper

    And if you just so happen to extremely talented in some other creative field such as art, modeling, or music feel free to contact me as well.

    The current members of this "project" include:

  • Slipgate AKA Ismail Saeed (of as a coder
  • Nite AKA Darryl Ashton (of as a joe of all trades
  • Tatter_D AKA Michael Anzulovic (who made the first Quake grappling hook)
  • Orca3D AKA Peter Lewyllie (Excellent modeller)
  • Chris Pern (Excellent sketch and computer artist)
  • And myself (Jonathan Ruff, mapper, and man of all trades).

    This is truly an incredible project, so don't miss the chance to join, that is if you're qualified to fill any of the needed positions.

    Please, be advised this is a serious project that will require a lot of work and effort, but it'll be fun and worth it. If interested, e-mail me at Please include a sample of your work or a location where an example of your work can be found.
  • Nebula redesign - Slipgate
    The Nebula has completed a sharp redesign. It really looks quite good. Thanks to the Prophet of Quake news for letting me know.

    Brian Hook benchmarks - Slipgate
    Brian Hook did the performance benchmarks he described before, and he's put up the numbers he got and his own little commentary for each of the cards he tested. Here's what he had to say:

    August 31, 1997

    As promised, I reran the benchmark numbers. To be perfectly clear, this is what I'm doing:

    GLQUAKE 0.93
    640x480, fullscreen, 16bpp
    -lm_4 for the Permedia2
    no status bar or console
    WinNT 4 SP3 for all but PowerVR PCX2
    Win95 OSR2 for PowerVR PCX2
    -nosound on the P2/266
    sound enabled on the P5/200

    Now for the results:

    Chipset P5/200MMX(32MB) P2/266(128MB)

    3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1, nosync 33.8 33.9
    3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0, nosync 30.2 30.3
    3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=1 27.2 27.3
    3Dfx Voodoo, GL_ZTRICK=0 24.4 (forgot to run test)
    NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=1 24.0 32.2
    NVidia RIVA128, GL_ZTRICK=0 23.9 32.1
    NEC PowerVR PCX2 23.1 24.5
    Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=1 19.0 19.4
    Rendition V2200, GL_ZTRICK=0 18.8 19.2
    3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=1 18.6 19.2
    3DLabs Permedia2, GL_ZTRICK=0 18.6 19.2
    WinQuake (software only) 13.5 12.6

    As always, post-game commentary by moi.

    - 3Dfx Voodoo -

    The undisputed king for longer than I can remember, the Voodoo is still holding its own against the various contenders to the throne. The best indication of performance is with "nosync", since even though the Voodoo syncs to vblank by default, none of the MCD-based accelerators (RIVA128, V2200) do, so it would be unfair to compare the Voodoo w/ sync enabled against any MCD based board.

    The main things going against the Voodoo are the typical -- lack of texture memory, a maximum texture size of 256x256, and the fact that it's a 3D-only accelerator. It's also a 16-bit board through and through, meaning we can only get a 16-bit framebuffer and 16-bit Z-buffer and 16-bit textures.

    However, it has all the features we think are important, including support for colored lighting in Quake2 and per-pixel MIP mapping.

    - 3Dfx Voodoo Rush -

    Okay, just to address this once and for all -- we don't have a Voodoo Rush here, and from what we've heard it isn't something we'll miss. So no numbers for the Voodoo Rush. Sorry.

    - NVidia RIVA128 -

    Man, this is one studly board. It has some architectural limitations we're not fond of, however it's the first non-3Dfx accelerator that runs Quake2 (for the most part). It has some disturbing problems though. For starters, the max of 4MB really cramps your style when trying to do hi-res stuff. Also, we noticed some cracks between adjoining polygons, and that REALLY has us scared, since that may be a problem with their hardware (they do onboard triangle setup) that can't be fixed. That would be REALLY BAD for them.

    However, they support our colored lighting model, which is cool and gives them an advantage over Permedia2 and PCX2. The RIVA128's driver is missing the implementation of glTexSubImage2D, which we need for dynamic lights.

    The RIVA128 won't be able to run our level editor because of the lack of memory, which really really sucks.

    This uses an MCD based driver therefore I assume when they get a full OpenGL driver (ICD) happening that their performance will go up considerably.

    - NEC PowerVR PCX2 -

    Good performance at a great price. Hard to beat if you can't afford a Voodoo and if you're willing to give up colored lighting in Quake2 then you can save fifty bucks and go with the PCX2. Also, no annoying pass-through cable. But you do lose WinNT support with the PCX2, so you NT-fans out there may need to go with the Voodoo. Other than the Voodoo this is the only board out of this pack that offers per-pixel MIP mapping.

    Other nice things about the PowerVR PCX2 include optional support for 24bpp rendering and the ability to render at 800x600 or even 1024x768. And they don't really have a Z-buffer (that's why there were no numbers for GL_ZTRICK) but they essentially have a very high resolution virtual Z-buffer.

    - Rendition V2200 -

    This is a competent board, unfortunately the performance was quite a bit lower than we had hoped. We're assuming that this is a driver optimization issue, but we're not 100% sure at this point what the cause of the lackluster performance is. The V2200 also ran Quake2 completely and successfully, and they even implemented glTexSubImage2D so that dynamic lights were working.

    Other things I like about the V2200 is that it supports LOTS of memory, like 16MB and stuff. A 16MB V2200 would be an AWESOME professional board and wouldn't cost that much compared to a "real" professional graphics accelerator.

    This uses an MCD based driver therefore I assume when they get a full OpenGL driver (ICD) happening that their performance will go up considerably.

    Currently their driver does not support MIP mapping, however they have plans to implement per-polygon MIP mapping soon which will improve both the appearance and performance with their driver.

    - 3DLabs Permedia2 -

    The Permedia2 didn't have the best performance, however it runs both the game and the editor successfully (albeit the former without colored lighting). It supports memory configurations up to 8MB, which is nice -- I wouldn't recommend that you purchase a 4MB Permedia2.

    They are ICD based so they should have a lot of lee way when it comes to optimizing their driver. Also, at their request I ran with a "Sub-buffers" set to 8, but that didn't seem to make a difference with performance.

    They have a glaring bug in their driver that will prevent people from running Quake2 in fullscreen mode, at least until they fix their drivers. The specific bug, for you techies, is that you cannot call ChangeDisplaySettings after you've done a wglCreateContext.

    Lack of any form of MIP mapping is a killer with this chipset. They should at least implement per-polygon MIP mapping to both improve performance and make the really disgusting aliasing problems go away.

    - ATI Rage Pro -

    I opted not to publish results for the ATI Rage Pro since their driver was having, um, "issues". When I get drivers that are more stable I'll post results then. Right now the results are not really encouraging, however in their defense they did run both the game and the editor. As a matter of fact they support the colored lighting blending mode we need and glTexSubImage2D for dynamic lights.

    - Conclusion -

    This is a pretty good batch of boards, and it's obvious that things have improved a WHOLE lot in the past three months. By Christmas there should be at least three boards good enough to run Quake2 that support OpenGL under Win95: 3Dfx Voodoo, 3DLabs Permedia2, and PowerVR PCX2. Under NT we have support from Rendition and NVidia, and I expect both of these companies to release full OpenGL drivers for Win95 in the future (unless Microsoft descends on them like a pack of angry weasels, which I'm fairly certain will happen since Microsoft largely consists of angry weasels).

    Correlating these results to Quake2 should be fairly straightforward. The major thing that may affect future performance is our support for 8-bit paletted textures. This will help 3Dfx a bit, and should definitely help Permedia2 and Rendition V2200 a LOT. I believe it's irrelevant for RIVA128 since I've heard they don't support paletted textures (which is fine by me).

    Okay, no more performance updates until we have a performance test suite for Quake2 working, which will hopefully be in a couple of weeks. And at that time hopefully we'll have new drivers from everyone. Things should only be getting faster from here on out.
    Sunday, August 31, 1997
    Quake 2 kickoff LAN party - Slipgate
    Basher of the WU-Tang clan let me know that he's planning a LAN party to kick off Quake 2's release in Ohio. He says he already has 300 hubs to work with, but he needs people to help him make everything click and make it a good event. Also, he's looking for sponsors such as id or whoever else is willing to help support it. E-mail him at Thanks. Update: In my stupidity, I said 300 hubs. He has capacity to handle 300 people, not 300 hubs.

    Calling Manuel Aguilar - Slipgate
    Manual Aguilar sent me a letter, to which I replied. However, the reply wasn't able to get delivered (it bounced back) so I thought I'd put my reply up here for him to see the answer to his question.

    > I know there are ont any exact dates but do you think Quake II will be
    > out by November? The date is not important but the month, because I'm
    > planning my trip to the US depending on the Quake ship date. And do
    > you know which stores will be the ones to have first?

    Like you said, no certain dates. We can't say for sure it'll be out by November.

    Maybe November or December, that's as good as we know yet.

    Stores like Sofware Etc. will likely have it first.

    Slipgate - AKA Ismail Saeed
    Weekly stuff - Slipgate
    I forgot to mention before that The Sentinel runs weekly polls. The idea is that if you have an idea for a poll, you e-mail Prestige with what you think would be a cool poll idea. If he uses your idea he'll credit it to you. Right now its running a poll on whether Quake 2 should have a flash screen like DOOM did. Previous poll results can be seen on this page. On the subject of interesting side stuff like polls and stuff, I'd appreciate suggestions on what would be good additions to this site. Not exactly the same as other sites because that would be ripping their good ideas, but I'd like suggestions on cool new features you'd like to see. The quest for the perfect site isn't over yet :).

    Old log answers big question - Slipgate
    I was looking through the log of American McGee's second appearance on Undernet #quake2 on IRC and I found this quote. People have been wondering if because of the aliens and robotic monsters in Quake 2 whether the amount of blood will be less or something. Here's the old quote I found:

    <ZenTroN> tokay, ya guys going to improve the gore aspect in quake2? like add more gibs etc..?
    <tokay> zen: yes, things are pretty bloody right now... they might get even more bloody
    Hope that answers folks' questions about the gore in Quake 2.

    To messageboard users - Slipgate
    I made a post on the messageboard to this effect, and I thought I'd make a post to the news as well. Basically, I'd like opinions on how you think the messageboard should look. Some people have commented they get tired of the amount of red there is, for example. Send me your suggestions on how the messageboard should look and I'll take and put into effect all the suggestions you send in that I can. Thanks.

    Webrings - Slipgate
    I made this post to the messageboard and I thought that it would reach an even wider audience if I put it here, so I'll quote myself. Please do e-mail me with your opinion. Here you go:

    I've been thinking about the Quake 2 web and clan rings recently.

    Quake has so many different webrings for different topics (the CTF ring, the player's ring, the female player's ring, the clan ring, etc. etc.)

    With Quake 2 we are plugging clans into the Quake 2 clanring and EVERYTHING else into the webring. I don't know if this is the best way to continue doing this. I mean, how useful would it be if all the Quake pages out there were in the "Quake web ring?" It wouldn't have the specific breakdown of topics the Quake webrings have. In the Quake 2 ring, you don't know what to expect next, a news page or screenshots or what. But in rings like the CTF ring, you have a general idea and your scoping out sites following that idea.

    Because of this I've wondered if it might be better to scrap the Quake 2 webring and replace it with several webrings with more specific divisions.

    I've been kicking around this idea for a while, I'd like any opinions anyone has to offer on this.
    Quake 2 FAQ news - Slipgate
    Yes, a new version is coming up. I'm grateful for all the compliments and all the information people have suggested I include and stuff. I've been working on the next version of the FAQ, and it will be an immense improvement over this version with far more up to date info and a couple of other little things :). Look for it soon..... I'm caught between that, this page, school work and Hexen 2 DM right now :).

    Little slow eh? - Slipgate
    TE-VorpalKreep was our 150,000 hitter :). He sent us a screenshot but it must have gotten a bit funked out in the send because it looks like its been sliced in two and the two pieces have been misaligned. Hmm..... If he resent the shot we'd gladly post it. Oh, and about the title, that's because I was slow to post this.

    dReams - Slipgate
    My buddy Nite at 3Dx is also starting a page called dReams there. The scoop from the man himself:

    I am starting a page which will (hopefully) be a massive archive of ideas for TCs, mods, addons, etc. for any future 3D game, also including Quake. If you have any ideas floating around that you would like to see used in a TC/mod/whatever, please email me at and tell me so.
    Thanks to the Prophet of Quake news for letting me know (as well as Nite himself).

    Cough! Gasp! Let me go! - Slipgate
    Well, my buddy Nite over at 3Dx, who made a funny spoof of QuakeCast called QuakeCost, has done it again. Go over to 3Dx to read QuakeCost 2, including an interview with me :). While your at it, check out the first QuakeCost and the other cool news and stuff 3Dx has to offer. Thanks to the Prophet of Quake news for letting me know.

    Quake 2 mailing list - Slipgate
    This week's edition of the Quake 2 mailing list has gone out. If your subscribed you should have it by now. This edition promises cool things like interviews and such to be in future editions. You can either sign up at The Nebula or The Sentinel. I highly recommend it, its just a letter a week, with a news recap and other cool things.

    Nebula redesign - Slipgate
    Apparently The Nebula is being redesigned, which is why it shows up as a blank page right now. Thanks to the folks at the Nebula for informing me.

    Finger service changeover - Slipgate
    It seems id has changed finger services again. Unfortunately it looks like some of the .plan's have reverted to an earlier state (Kevin Cloud's included).

    Thanks for the VI help - Slipgate
    I received many e-mails with VI help. Thanks to Russell "Fatty McGoo" Morris of WM_Quake2, Doug Wild, and Jonas Ransjö for their help so far.

    First cosmetic change complete - Slipgate
    Hope you like the new smaller less obnoxious font size and the "relevant recent bits of news" thing towards the top. The quest for the perfect layout continues.

    Kevin Cloud finger link - Slipgate
    Almost forgot to mention (but you've probably seen) that I've added a finger link to Kevin Cloud since he now uses his .plan (and uses it well :) ).

    Brian Hook .plan update - Slipgate
    Thanks to Hanif for reminding me, that yesterday after (during?) the interview Brian Hook made a .plan update of some technical significance. He made another one today about his open letter to Dave Perry of Shiny recently. But, on to the Quake 2 news, here's yesterday's:

    August 29, 1997 (part 2)

    DEC Alpha port was completed in record time. I made sure everything was working on the x86 side of things, closed down MSVC on my workstation, went over to the Alpha and brought up MSVC on it. I loaded up the projects, created new project configurations for them for DEC Alpha, recompiled, and by and large shit just worked.


    There was one place where I had changed the x86 asm and hadn't updated the C-only version, but that was fixed with a search-and-replace.

    So Porting Stage 1 is complete. Hopefully John will be able to port the software renderer to Rhapsody this weekend, verifying that our ref architecture is valid.

    At this point the renderer is largely feature complete. There's one more feature that Cash wants me to add that I'll probably do this weekend, then from this point on it's optimization, clean up, and bug fixes in the renderer.

    I can't give performance numbers for the DEC Alpha yet since we don't really have a good benchmarking suite.

    Once again folks, if I don't say it in my plan, then assume that I either don't want to say something or I can't because of NDA issues. Someone asked me what the "issues" were that I was facing with the Rage Pro and Rendition V2200, and as anyone who has read my .plans for more than a day will know, if I CAN say something then I WILL. Terse plans are NOT something that I am notorious for! :-)

    Send me e-mail if you want clarification, but don't expect special treatment with an "inside scoop" just because you e-mail me privately. I've had people ask me for the beta OpenGL drivers for RIVA, etc. and that's just uncool.
    Illuminati TC update - Slipgate
    Illuminati Quake 2 TC page has been updated with info that the leader of the project has left due to school and other unforseeable circumstances. The "second in command" Jester has now taken over the TC and will continue it. Sorry to the Illuminati guys for taking so long to print this news, just been busy with a lot of stuff around the the site.

    Princess Diana (not Quake 2) - Slipgate
    Let us have a moment of silence for Princess Diana, who died from the car accident that was recently on the news.

    Older News

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