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Vol. 2, Issue 11
February 11, 2000

The MailBag

Issue 2.11

Comments by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman



He did play a mod!

Subject: lonnyboi is forgetful

This is for loonyboi,

After having read your opinion on mods, I read this funny little comment at the bottom:

"But personally speaking, I think I'll stick to deathmatch and CTF."

Hmmm, CTF...wasn't that...a mod? ummm it wasn't packaged with Quake 1 as I recall, a little team called threewave, and some guy..oh what was his name....err Zoid? oh yeah, that's right, CTF is practically BETTER than DM..wow, so much for the mod theory.

hehe, j/k I understand your p.o.v. most mods are junk, but without searching all the crap we'd have never found that one gold nugget (CTF).


Gotta agree with Dana...you're busted, loony.

[Editor's note: actually, I never cared for Quake CTF (still don't, in fact). And I of course, admit that good ideas come from mods, but it took Starsiege: TRIBES to actually get me to like CTF.]

I love my Guiness. So there.

Subject: freespace2

u suck big time, freespace 2 is awesome and u pretty much said its mediocre, no, you are right u are alcoholic overweight losers grrrr

Oh my, did you all ever miss Paul Steed...


I just read that diatribe, er...well, that "review of the reviewers". For the most part, I agree with what Paul had to say. I don't feel that there was as much open disgust that I have for some of the reviewers, as I have for them. First and foremost, apples to apples and oranges to oranges, since UT and Q3a are in the same general area, they are compared together...in fact, both of them are even stacked up against Half-Life and even StarSiege: Tribes. There are levels of quality here that just aren't in the same category. Each development team listed their goals and intents for their respective projects and mostly accomplished them.

Break it down:

* Half-Life - engine based on the original Quake/Quakeworld engine with extensive refinements. Valve took a game engine that was 1+ years in development, and enhanced it. OOB (out of the box) it still needed serious enough patches to the foundation to get the netcode working (decals) or else Multiplayer capability was going to be shot. Other than that, as a single player story game, it kicked mucho @$$. Development teams goal was to make the best multiplayer game, bar none.

* Tribes - this engine was on it's own, but had a year or so behind it before it was kicked out to the masses. Dynamic extension of wide open expanses and support for indoors. Nice change of pace, and even the netcode didn't suck too badly. Characters and objects in game are static though. Not a whole lot of difference there.

* Unreal - new engine at the time, and 200 polys to the fore-front with dynamic rendered backgrounds. Gawds! This scene kicked totally all over Q2, since the whole thing was great to look at. Netcode bit the big one, and the coders scurried back to quickly hammer out fixes and patches...from which was born...

* Unreal Tournament - same engine but with all the fixes and patches built in...oh, ok not all the fixes and patches. But most of them were worked out. Bot design has been brought to a new high, although they had to reach down low to get it, since the ReaperBot was a cheating mofo (ok...I'm a little bitter, but I still think I can kick that thing's @$$ ^_^ ). So what's the total development for this gem? Well, U [1+] + UT [2+] = more than 3 years in the making. I would think that there had better be something else in the box other than deathmatch. I just can't help to wonder how often Epic is kicking themselves for not putting a CD protection on the disc like Q3a had on theirs (Activision). Development teams goal was to build a quake killer. Um, but last stats indicate that U/UT have a long way to go. In fact, according to the statistics from The CLQ, even Kingpin has more happening than Unreal combined for total minutes played and total number of servers. See attachment...numbers are directly from The CLQ, poplular servers page, current as of the moment that I write this.

* Quake 3: Arena - Technically and graphically, the most advanced polygon-pushing-rendered-hardware-accelerated game currently available. This engine was created from scratch in the matter of a year, and OOB didn't need any netcode enhancements, nor any patches that fundamentally changed the engine...just the gameplay or user interface usability. The development team didn't say they were going to build an Unreal killer or a Q2 killer, they said that they were going to build the best graphics/game engine. They froze their list of things to put into the game, and didn't continually add to the list like other developers just to make a few more gamers happy. They created a game that is cross platform compatible--meaning it runs on more machines, more processors, more operating systems than any game out there. And for every player you meet on the internet, your guaranteed to be meeting someone who has the balls to actually buy a game to play, rather than be a fux0r and leech it off someone else, while taking money out of the pockets of the developers and distributors who are trying to survive.

So far, just looking at the debates that have started since last year, it just shows that quantity seems to be more valuable than quality. Quantity of what's in the box, and what someone gets for free instantly, rather than quality. Games happen to be the one of the largest factors for pushing the computer performance envelope, since there are very few business apps that actually require 1 GHz of processing power, or over 10 Mbps of bandwidth.

Yeah, obviously I'm biased, but I'm pissed off in so many ways at magazines where Q3a gets rated lower than Tomb Raider (a brand new engine versus an aging single player game engine...ack! ), and so many things about Q3a are dismissed as being trivial and handed out from an uncaring company. When people get hit with the future, they don't realize what it is. Besides, even on my latest overclocked 458 MHz-Geforce-powered machine, Unreal still needs things turned off to be playable, and it still gives me headaches after 10 minutes of play....on the other hand, I can play Q3a all night long and not even feel it...except for not blinking...which makes my eyes hurt... :)

Randy Abulon / GameTraveler

Check it at http://www.gametraveler.com/



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