King Of The Hill Released
Network Briefs for 2/11
PQ Poll
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Quake Date: February 11, 1998

King Of The Hill Released
I'm proud to announce the debut of this most excellent mod team here at Planet Quake: Orange Smoothie Productions, who released their first mod today, King of the Hill. Their webmaster, Scott 'Spudman' Woodward summarizes this exciting new gameplay variant as follows:

King of the Hill is the only mod where everyone is trying to get to the same place you are. The idea is simple: find the "hill" and rack up time defending it. Whoever has accumulated the most time by the end of the level is crowned the "King of the Hill".

KOTH effectively turns a game of offense into a fast paced game of defense. Fragging others becomes the means to the players' end: removing everyone else from the hill. KOTH accomplishes what is rarely seen in deathmatch play: large masses of people converging on a single spot. This leads to comic events and wildly paranoid fighting. Just imagine yourself on the hill with a constant supply of new people rushing at you like rats *climbing* a sinking ship.

The King of the Hill version 1.0 release pack contains the server side KOTH gamex86.dll and 6 intense maps.

The guys over at OSP not only have an excellent web site done, but they've got a killer set of levels designed already and are hosting a level design contest right now, on the look out for more quality works.

Mark my words, I predict KotH will be right up there as one of the top Quake II mods to play in the future.

CTF2 Inside Info
Head on over to The Reservoir for some approved inside info on Zoid's official CTF for Quake II, by someone who's had the chance to see it at last weekends's Respawn LAN party in Canada. This detailed report definately needs to be checked out by all CTF fans. More CTF news can of course always be found on Captured.Com.

Sword of Ares Shareware Out
Classic Quake Conversion, Sword of Ares (formerly known as CyberDawn) has now been released as shareware. A Quake II version is being considered, so drop the developers a note if you're interested.

- joost

Site Moves
5thD, a design group that is "Dedicated to Design, Developement, Debugging and Deathmatching" (see? 5 d's?), has moved to PQ. They've already got a few utilites and such for you to check out, and they're sure to do some more cool stuff in the future. Also moving in is Q2Utils, which is dedicated to Quake II utilites. Q2Utils has Quake II utility news, reviews, and more.

- Fragmaster

New Ion Storm newsletter
The February edition of Ion Storm's newsletter is now available for your perusal. This month's issue offers an interview with graphics pimp Bryan Pritchard, part two of the article by William Haskins titled The Game Within the Game: How to Break Into the Computer Gaming Industry, and is topped off with a virtual tour of the new Ion Storm penthouse which they call an office. You can judge for yourself.

While you're in the neighborhood, you can also check out some more details about Ion Storm's licensing of the Unreal engine. Thanks Prophet.

Creative bursts on the 3D card scene
It appears that Creative Technology, Ltd., perhaps best known for the Sound Blaster audio cards, is wanting to make its presence known in the 3D accelerator market. Creative is aiming to beat other companies to the punch by shipping the 3D Blaster using the Voodoo2 graphics chipset at the end of this month. Available in 8 MB and 12 MB flavors, the 3D Blaster Voodoo2 boasts a performance of more than three times the speed found in current Voodoo Graphics chipset cards. If that doesn't have you drooling, you can check out even more 3D Blaster details at http://www.soundblaster.com.

- Xcalibur

GT Feels the Wrath of g.o.d.
Mike Wilson, the former id/IonStorm employee turned almighty deity of videogame distribution has responded to the criticisms GTInteractive representitives had been making (as reported on GameAddict:

"By the middle of this year we'll have more cash on hand than GT, more good developers, and a much better understanding of what a good product is and who our customers are.The only thing we'll be missing, I suppose, is a single-digit stock price and an insider trading lawsuit"

Wilson has already said that even with no revenue what so ever, the deals he's already made will keep g.o.d. alive through the millennium. No word has come forward as of yet if burnt offerings were required in these deals...but I wouldn't rule out the possibility. ;)

Yowza, that's a lot of screenshots
The site formerly known as N64.com has posted a new Quake64 preview, featuring a wopping 30 screenshots. Yowza. There's also a couple of Quicktime movies available for your viewing pleasure, as let's face it...a still image can only be so entertaining. Quake64, if you haven't been following its development, is the Nintendo 64 port of the game, featuring two-player multiplayer deathmatch via a split-screen, and cool beans enhancements to the engine like colored lighting.

Network Briefs for 2/11
I tells ya...there's just too much stuff to put here at once! Oh the pressure.

GameSpy: GameSpy webmaster, uh...me, has put out a call to all you Quake, Quake 2, and Hexen II mod authors out there! If you've made a multiplayer mod and a custom GameSpy tab, drop by the site and find out what you need to do.

Baldur's Gate: Well, I just spent about an hour going through all the stuff over at BGC, and let me tell you...this game's gonna rule. If you've got the time (and I mean that!) stop by and read through the tons, and I mean tons of info over there. You'll become a convert too.

3DPortal: Rather than actually tell you what those insane gents over at the 'portal have been up to...I thought I'd share this little image with you:

monkey.gif (34779 bytes)

If you want to know what the heck this has to do with 3DRealms (or if it does at all, for that matter), you're just going to have to stop by and check it out.

Ritualistic: Ritualistic, in their continuing tradition of breaking news first, is reporting that the Gruber-Engine, is indeed different than the Uber-Engine. It would appear that Ritual employee Charlie Wiederhold has a bit too much time on his hands. Stop by for that story, and cheezy amature pr0n.

- loonyboi

Prefab contest updated
The prefab contest being held by Eldermage Entertainment has busted out with new prizes, sponsors, and a new category. There are now two, count 'em two Diamond Monster 3D or Diamond Viper V330 cards up for grabs for first place, with 2nd place raking in a cool $50, and they're even throwing in a few registered Qoole CD's for 3rd. The original prefab category is still Quake/Quake II/Hexen II, but now you can also score prizes for the best prefabs made for the Tsunamitech Random Map Generator. For more info, check out the contest page.

Sitewatch (Updated)

- Xcalibur

In Other News...
Lots of this news comes courtesy of Prophet.

There's a Reaper/Omicron bot contest going on over at Masters of Disaster... The LinQuake logo contest has moved on to the voting stage... Gaming Nexus has posted their Action Awards... Orange 2 v1.8 is out... The Brat Pack has an interview with sCary... OQNM 3 beta 2 has been released...

- Void

Quake Date: February 10, 1998

Calling all level designers!
Legend Entertainment, the guys behind Wheel of Time, a strategy/action game using the Unreal technology, are on the lookout for full-time on-site and free-lance remote level designers (a little FYI for those of you considering the full-time position, they're located in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C.). Previous experience in 3D game design (like Quake, Quake2, etc.) is a must. Add to that some previous industry experience and you might wanna start pricing airline tickets.

If this sounds like something you been waitin' for, then whip up a quick resume, polish off some of those levels, and send them in to Legend. If you wanna do a little more investigation before jumping off the deep end, you can check out some screenshots of Wheel of Time here.

- Xcalibur

PQ Poll
PQ Poll has been updated with last week's results and brand new questions. Results from last week include some of those controversial PGL questions, so you'll want to check those out. Question topics this week include the Eraser virus, Trinity, the BFG, and... hey... a poll question about the poll (confusing, eh?). Go vote.

- Fragmaster

Valentines with Mynx
Mynx is preparing a stupendous Valentines Dear Mynx and needs your assistance (witness this heartfelt plea):

Please send me your most memorable valentine's day experience - happy, scary, pathetic, whatever - or advice on making this valentine's day one to remember.
Remember kids, she's under deadline, so pour out those memories and get 'em in, asap! Send 'em to Mynx@planetquake.com.

- Bastard

First Look At Rocket Arena 2 Maps
If you're getting sick of RA2 on normal id maps, get ready for your mouth to water... crt has posted a whole bunch of pics of Rocket Arena 2 maps on Rocket Arena's Screenshots page. And, if I do say so myself, they are extremely impressive. Here's a couple samples:

 

Head over to the Rocket Arena page and check out the rest.

- Void

New Sonic Mayhem Track
The music gods over at Sonic Mayhem (who will be at the <pimp> BeatDown </pimp> this weekend) have updated their website with two nice little items:

  • A new track in .mp3 format available for download
  • An indepth synopsis/tour of how they produced their tracks for Quake2
I understand from Sascha "Buzzfunk" Dikicyan that they will be announcing another high profile project soon.... perhaps we'll get a sneak preview at the BBD?

- Bastard

Ion Storm Licenses Unreal Engine
Well, the headline sorta says it all. Ion Storm is going to license Epic's Unreal technology for an upcoming and as yet un-named first-person game. A 1998 release date was set for the product (but call me skeptical--it's February and Unreal isn't even out yet!) Ion Storm has something like 5 games in development right now and, to date, no releases; they're really banking on the success of their first couple titles! On the other hand, they've got some of the best talent in the industry. As they say -- stay tuned!

Rantage: WorldNet Acquires 2AM Gaming
[Editorial commentary:]

2AM Games has just signed on a big deal with AT&T Worldnet. According to the press release, the two companies "have agreed to make available 2AM games at a discounted rate for AT&T WorldNet Service customers. 2AM and AT&T will co-brand the game content offered, which will include all currently released 2AM games, as well as any 2AM games released during the contractual relationship." And then the clincher: "Four proprietary 2AM games will be available on the new service tanding [sic] reliability."

So, if you're like me, first you want to know who 2AM is. They've been making online multiplayer games for a while--Games available to the net at large, the kind you download off the net to play. Mostly strategy-oriented games. Apparently they didn't have enough revenue to sustain continued development and had to sell themselves into the WorldNet service; why else would you limit your audience by guaranteeing one Internet provider "exclusive" games? Maybe I could see such a deal working out with an AOL, who has over 9 million subscribers, but Worldnet pulls in under two million people. It's a shame to see a company sell out its future development like that.

Meanwhile, I can't figure out what AT&T Worldnet is gaining. Games are a selling point to the consumer, yes. But has anyone reading this heard of Alliance and Defense? Or The Invisible Hand? Probably not. Nor is Backgammon or Chess a selling point given that Internet Gaming Zone already has a popular service offering those games to the net at large for free. I'll tell you what AT&T could do to get gamers to subscribe to WorldNet: Imagine if every dialup on their entire network was running a Quake or Quake II server. Anyone using a WorldNet account would get a terrific ping from their local provider! A far more tasty deal to Joe Gamer, in my opinion.

I just hate to see promising amateur developers fall into the corporate trap... almost as much as I hate to see suits who just don't understand the mindset of the online gamer. Email Feedback if you disagree...

- Fargo

Network Briefs for 2/10
Hey, these are actually running at a somewhat sane hour for a change...go fig. Between the Oscars announcement this morning, and some network trouble here at the 'planet, what can I say...don't worry, it's not like i'm sleeping or anything. :)

Captured.com: A bunch of briefs from Captured this morning...word comes down that there's a whole new custom level for CTFDoom available right this second for your download...also a new version of the TWCreeper server is out, fixing some bugs, and adding some features...plus tons of news regarding all kinds of CTF variants (who knew there were this many?).

Dark Reign: The DRC has tons of great stuff available for your viewing consumption this morning...including a DR Map Viewer, lots of news about the upcoming DR expansion pack, and even 20 bonus levels by the Dark Reign team available to download. By the way, if you like the Dark Reign Chronicles, be sure to check out the Baldur's Gate Chronicles...it's a whole different game, but with the same level of quality you've come to expect from DRC.

Battlegrounds: Battlegrounds has added a whole new section to their already impressive library of information...this time devoted to the recently released Diablo expansion pack, Hellfire. Hellfire features new characters, quests, spells, and tons more, so if you're even mildly interested, drop by BG and get the scoop.

HexenWorld: HW has lots of news regarding the immenant HexenIIWorld, as well as news about the upcoming mission pack...including info about the end boss, which according to Mike (CHAOS) Werckle is "certainly the most kick-ass boss I have done to date". Yow. Drop by and get all the ghastly details.

- loonyboi

Qspawn 1.59 Released
Version 1.59 of QSpawn is available from the QSpawn page. This is a front-end program for Quake and Quake II. The new version allows you to output a batch file with your configuration.

Quake II DeathMatch Bible
Head over to Gamers Extreme if you're interested in the final installment of their Quake II DeathMatch Bible, written in part by Thresh (the Quake I champion of the Americas.) Lots of great info for slaughtering your opponent, written by a master of the art! You might also want to peek at their new message boards while you're at it. Where else can you go for some DeathMatch Strategy? Well, right here on planetQuake! Check out the Quake II DeathMatch BootCamp for additional tips, strategies, configurations, and more. Oh Fargo, again with the shameless self-promotion. Will it ever stop?

LavaBall II Model Screen Shot
The crew over at LavaBall is hard at work on a Quake II conversion of their ass-kicking Quake I mod. If you're interested in following the development, check out this new player model of the skater. He's a bad, bad man.

- Fargo

BattleZone = 3d Action and RTS
As part of the BattleZone beta test I've been playing quite a bit and I can say that it's the first time I've seen my dream come true: 3d action combined with Real Time Strategy - done really well. Activision has put up a really nice website where you can find a playable demo and some cool insight into the game. You can learn more at this forum here on PQ. One Caveat - I haven't played the multiplayer yet... so keep your fingers crossed.

- Bastard

OGR New Look and Top 50
OGR (Online Gaming Review) has a new look ... what do you think? Personally, the background pattern gives me a headache while I'm waiting for the page to load. Actually, it looks like one of those pictures where you cross your eyes and you can see something in 3D? But I'm just having fun. As always, they've got some decent content. Check out the Top 50 Games of All Time. I'll spoil it for you: Quake was number 6, and Quake II was number 18. Doom was number one! At this rate, Trinity will be 36. Oh, and if you're like me, you're only now just getting into CaveDog's Total Annihilation. OGR has an awesome strategy guide for TA composed mostly of input from players like you and me. Good stuff.

QERadiant News and Contest!
Lots of great news on the QERadiant site. First, check out their great new look! Then, when you're done oohing and aaahing, be sure not to miss their "Best of the Net" level design contest, where you could win a Permedia 2-based video card courtesy of Texas Instruments. Hot Damn!

- Fargo

PQ offline due to Smurf Attack
The best part about the above headline is that I'm not making it up. BBN Planet is dealing with some sort of denial of service attack causing PQ to be unavailable for almost 7 hours - from 2am to 9am PST. Our apologies! We have a second T3 going into UUNET this month, which will mean that the Marauding smurfs(tm) will need to divide forces and attack both UUNET and BBN Planet to bring us down. We'll keep you posted.

- Bastard

Maps and more maps...
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly after Quake II's release we started to see some awesome Quake II maps from the level design community. Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I seem to remember that shortly after the original Quake was released we had to put up with several months of "maps that suck" before the gems came out. Not so with Quake II! Talon's Strike has five new levels reviewed. While you're waiting for the point release, "The Strogg Downfall" and "Red Penitentiary" are great ways to while away the time in Quake II single player. Meanwhile, on the development front, Quality Control Central has some screenshots of a work in progress that looks promising. Thumbs up to all the amateur level designers up there!

- Fargo

BeatDown Approaching
Ah the hype! The Splendor! The Hilarity that is the The BeatDown. It's our monthly LAN Party here at the Mighty Planet and this one is special for a few reasons:

  • Dave "Zoid" Kirsch is flying in for what we hope is an inaugural 50 player Quake2 ctf match.
  • We have purchased several large bullhorns
  • Tournament winner's Bag of chips is now 10lbs.
  • We're abandoning realvideo in favor of the DoubleBarreled WebCam(tm) once again so if you were unable to make the pilgrimage to the PQ offices in sunny (soggy?)Southern Cal feel free to join in on the fun over the web. Check it all out on the Zany BeatDown Page. PlanetQuake, the only website that will get in your face with a bullhorn at 4am and then again at 5am, and once more at 6am.

    - Bastard

    Games Domain Reviews
    Prophet passes word that GamesDomain has a bevvy of reviews and previews: BattleZone (I've been toying with a beta of this one myself--it looks to be a wild blend of a first-person mechanized combat simulator and a real-time strategy game so far!), The Interstate 76 Nitro Pack (despite the title it's my understanding that this will be a stand-alone product, so you won't need the original game to bring on the funk), Seven Kingdoms and a second opinion, Pete Sampras Tennis 97 (Some Sports I just can't see translating into video games -- Tennis? Oh, and do athlete licenses really help sell a game? It could be "Ed Splonovik from Des Moines Tennis 97," and if it was a good game, I'd buy it.)

    Navy Seals News and Lt. Dan Maps
    A couple of quick updates on what's happening at the Planet:
    Over at The Navy Seals page, there's an update stating that Maverick has started work on a QuakeWorld version of Navy Seals. Seals is a great patch that adds realistic modern weapons to the original Quake engine, as well as enemy AI that ducks and rolls--some really terrific stuff! It'll be interesting to see how much longer Quake I development continues. (Although, hey, they're still making stuff for Doom...)

    Meanwhile, Lt. Dan's Single Player Quake has two new maps up for review. Lt. Dan is one of the newer sites to come aboard PQ -- if you aren't familiar with it, the idea is that you, the educated gamer, can rate maps from the comfort of your own home while picking you ears in your boxer shorts. Then you can find out which maps players like the most -- power to the people, baby!

    - Fargo

    QuakeFinger Updates
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    PQ Site Updates
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