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URL: http://www.loonygames.com/content/2.11/mailbag/

 

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).

-Dana

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...

Anyway,

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

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Subject: Reviews are important <dammit>

I haven't read any negative review of Quake 3 to date.. I have however read reviews which often compare Q3 and UT, giving UT much better scores for gameplay value. As for these reviews and reviewers being worthless (TOTB article), I would have to disagree. Perhaps to a developer they are, but to your average gamer with 60 bucks to spend at a time with so many *good* games coming out, those reviews written by gamers who have played the games are important. Without those reviews, your forced to guess or read reviews in a magazine (when the magazine runs a 2 page ad after the review making you *wonder* if those extra review points were paid for and if the game is as good as they write).

[TOTB] "... But come on. You know as well as I do too often making a review is more about making the reviewer famous and the site popular than making an accurate, useful observation on the product being reviewed."

A website or umm... 'reviewer elite' is still going to get the same amount of hits if the review is bad or good. If people WANT to read that site's opinion on a specific game they will. It doesn't matter if the game scored a 1% or 100%, the same people will read it, the site will get the same hits...

... and we gamers will just have a few more opinions and views on a game before we plunk down way too much money for them :)

'Rora

Subject: <no subject>

If your going to work on a game, the spirit of gaming needs to show it. If your working hard to the point where you hate it, its going to show in the game.

The best of the best of people show that "Caring about your work" works.

Paul McCartney put Care into his music, see where it put him. Ok, well you may think his music 'sucks", that can be just your confrontational ways. Just conjecture. I can role play that. Q3A has definately a lot of work behind it, but without the caring, it can be no better than the quick mods and maps a newbie throws together. It takes skill to map, code, build a game like Q3A, and to do it right. The game took 4-5 months longer to make than Q2? that should make it a better quality game.

Perhaps you shouldnt listen to reviewers, but they give you a feedback about the game, and treading boards is another way to get feedback, good, bad or ugly. An artist will paint and the viewers will muse, that is what the result is. They aren't the artist or know the tools to do so, but they will know what they like or not.

Have you seen the movie Man On The Moon? Its about Andy Kaufman. It also has an underlying statement about performer/audience relationships. A must see.

-dinwitty-l

While I don’t think anyone could argue that id does not care about Quake 3: Arena, dinwitty has a point. When this many reviewers all say the same thing, maybe there’s some truth to it?

Ultimately, a review is opinion, and we all have our own opinions. Good reviews or bad, they’re read just the same. In fact, the smartest thing when looking into games is to read both a good and bad review of a game (assuming you can find one of each). Get the full picture, then make up your own mind.

  - Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman may possibly be the world's worst Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings player. She still loves it, though.


 

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