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Hacked By BaKo && illuzion! g0t-root pwnedd you!!!!!!!!!

Paroled!2/24/02

I regret to inform you that The Big House will no longer be posting reviews. My work and real life has escalated to such a point where I only barely have the time to play games, to say nothing about reviewing them. This will not come as a shock to most of you—I’m sure regular readers have noticed the pace of reviews has consistently slowed since I’ve gotten out of school and entered the working world. I won’t say that I am closing the site, however-- I have very much enjoyed running TBH for the past 2.5 years, and who knows, I may be back if my schedule clears and I find something I’d like to review. Consider it a parole—just because I’ve gone on my way right now doesn’t mean I won’t get hauled back at some point in the future.

I’m gonna miss reviewing. There was always something that just looked right about a newly posted featured review shot, and it was always incomprehensibly cool to go to a Quake site in East Trashcanistan and finding that the only three words in English on the page are a link to TBH. (only the French bothered to translate it, LOL). My only regret is that I have a firmly entrenched guilt reflex that kicks in when the site hasn’t been updated—that should be fun to try and shake.

Some final admin points—First, watch for a goodbye interview with Pappy-R over on PQ. Next, the Featured Review spot will now randomly post any of the great maps that have been seen there in the past. The last of the Cellblock Packs are up—both large paks plus the top ten packs. Some users are still having problems with the medium and large packs, but the small and top ten are fine. When I get back in April I'll hunt down the problem for those other two.

It took months, but I’ve also transferred all the Q3 downloads and texture files to fileplanet. This may annoy some, but the FP links will always be live. Better that than someone else’s speedy local link that doesn’t work a week from now. However, I have posted the author’s local mirror wherever possible. I was also hoping to review Killer’s Fistful of Steel, but I just ran out of time. It’s a damn good tourney map—clearly in the A-range somewhere. Go get it.

Too many people leave the community in a bad way. They storm out in a huff, drop off the face of the earth without explanation, or belittle the on-line gaming scene and announce none of it was worth their time. I’m going to try and do the opposite. Thanks to everyone who continued to visit The Big House since we opened—those who left comments (good or bad), mentioned the site to their friends or on other forums, and kept coming back. This project has been great fun to manage, is something I’m very proud of, and has exceeded my every expectation. But without the visitors it probably wouldn’t have meant much at all. So thanks.

Some specific thanks for people who really made a difference. First and foremost is my l33t buddy Martin “Killer” Kilcoyne, who volunteered to code the site as you now see it, and has been indispensable in keeping it running along the way. I’m going to nominate him for sainthood. Second, thanks to Pappy-R and all the folks at PQ for hosting and promoting me. There also many mappers and other personalities in #tf who were kind enough to give me a peek into their maps in the beta phase, helped with alc3dm1, solicited my opinions and feedback, or let me review their maps. There are too many to list, and I don’t want to single out some over others. You know who you are—you r0x0r. And finally, all my reviewing colleagues—Paul from MPQ, Jeff from the Ramshackle, Tigger-On from Lvl, and Glock from QIC…you guys got me into this business because you made it look easy. ;)

So anyway—best regards to all. Keep playing custom maps, and score that last frag for me.

Signing off,
--Alcatraz
[email protected]
24 February 2002

One for the 10-spot2/18/02

This has to be some kind of record-- two reviews in two days. And today's update is a doozie-- Charon's Liquid Carbon is given the once over, and comes out the other side with a glowing grade and a spot in the top-ten (plus a berth in the Q3_cellblock_medium). As if that wasn't enough, also check the textures section for the map's palette.

IMPORTANT BLUNDER ON MY PART: I screwed up the .zip file paths in the two Q3 cellblocks. If you've downloaded them, please do so again. Apologies to all (especially those with slow connections)-- and thanks to CPM guru xfoo for spotting my boneheaded error.

I'll be out of town until later in the week, expect the remainder of the map packs and possibly at least one more review immediately upon my return.
Stay tuned.

Packs are back, again2/17/02

Two new map packs are up-- the Cellblock_medium sets for both Q2 and Q3. I'll say it again for the record (because there seems to be some confusion)-- these are the maps that I look forward to DM'ing on...the ones that elicit an evil cackle out of me when they appear unexpectedly appear in the rotation. Some are new, some are old, but I think all still play well in their own delightful ways. Feel free to use them for whatever purpose or design you normally enjoy, but bear in mind they were selected on the basis of their merit at deathmatch games.

Also up is a new review (shock!) Reservoir Dog's Epoch. A great map in the fine tradition of Egyptian-themed maps.

I've got at least one more review coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Packing it in2/14/02

There's gonna be some changes around the 'house in the coming days, and the first of these are-- mappacks!

I've pulled together packs organized by player loads--small, medium, and large--as well as the inevitable top ten pack. The first ones are up the cellblock_small sets-- both for Q3 and Q2! The rest will be proudly posted one by one on their spiffy new page over the next week or so. It's a nice way to economize on pk3 files and clean those cluttered baseq3 folders-- to say nothing about being a great "plug and play" map rotation.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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