Saturday, May 15, 1999
Microsft Midtown Madness - Brian
Microsoft's driving game, Midtown Madness, was another show-stealer. It's not really a racing game in that the mode we played actually let you drive around an entire city. There's no place you can't go -- it's a free-for-all with no concequences (in that paticular mode, other modes discussed below). You get to choose from a ton of cars (and other vehicles like a city bus and a semi-truck). They had everything set up with their force-feedback steering wheels and pedals. The booth was crowded the whole time (what else can you expect with a kick-arse arcade that's free!?).

The other modes (which weren't being shown) include a regular race mode and a capture-the-flag type mode kindof like Cops and Robbers.

If you want to check out some screenshots of the action, check out this preview.
Vampire Questions From E3 - Brian
Here are the answers to the questions posted on the message board:
Will a level editor be released with the game?
Yes. Nihilistic programmed their own engine, but actually licensed id software's level editor, QERadiant, but modified it for Vampire. They will release their version of QERadiant with the game.

If I were planning on editing levels for Vampire, what level editor should I be learning now to give me practice?

How are models for the game created? With 3D Studio Max?
Models can be created with 3D Studio Max, as well as other modeling programs, but a converter is used to change them into a format that can be used by Vampire. No word yet on whether their converter will be released with the game, but we will ask.

How long does it take to BSP (or otherwise compile an average sized level)?
Probably about as long as a similar sized Quake/Quake2 level, but no official word. We will ask on this as well.

What is the air speed of a ladened swallow?
I don't know the exact speed, but the environment created in Vampire is so detailed that you can actually watch the damn swallows flying around the city.

What is the average level size (as compared to a JK level)?
The levels in Vampire aren't quite like other games. You switch areas kind of like in Half-Life, but they are actually at logical places (rather than in the middle of a hallway, you enter a building or leave a town). The game seems very NON-linear, so you can backtrack into areas that you've already left. Ray Gresko let on that there will be over 100 different area's in the game. They aren't as long as JK levels but they are way more involved, and there are more of them, so the game is ultra-long.
We have a ton more info to post, but we don't have the time at E3 to write it all up. We will give a full report when we get back to our own computers. However, we can still get questions answered, so be sure to leave them on the message board.
Lucasarts - Brian
We tried a couple of times to get into the Lucasarts booth, but they brushed us off. After that, we talked to some people that know the LEC folks. They said LEC wasn't showing the new game nor anything else new. That said, we actually had the opportunity to try to get into LEC, but we turned down the opportunity due to all the kick-arse stuff going on at other booths.

It was actually very difficult to understand LEC's position on things. Every other game developer had their programmers, level designers, etc, out on the floor talking to everyone. LEC, however, was locked up in the back corner of the show (actually, a different building than all the other PC developers) behind doors with a big, black "by appointment only" sign.

Pod Racer was being shown at the Nintendo booth (and according to LEC, Don "Aristotle" Crew was down there [which turned out to be a BS answer to get us to leave them alone]). It looked pretty cool, nothing really special though. It is sure to catch a lot of market due to the new movies, but there's nothing new or revolutionary about it.

We couldn't find a booth showing off The Phantom Menace, so we really don't have anything to report on it.
E3 photos - EvanC
From Ramen:
I finally got those pics uploaded, captioned and thumbnailed. Head on over to E3 to see em in a tour, or here (the day 1 link) to see the thumbs for Day 1. I'm gonna sleep now... have to wake up in 4 hours.
Friday, May 14, 1999
E3 Rocks! - Brian
Okay people, old boy Captain Ramen, Alexei Novikov, Mangore Kiramin and myself are having a killer time here at E3. The absolute best thing we've seen so far is Vampire, The Masquerade. I had a chance to have a couple of conversations with Ray Gresko and Yves Borkmans regarding their new game, the development of Jedi Knight/Sith, and other things. I actually got hooked up with the Vampire Role-Playing book. That said, I am looking for questions that you guys would like to have me ask them. If you have any questions you would like asked, leave them on the discussion board.
Vampire: The Masquerade - Brian
As I said above, Vampire is the absolute best game we've seen so far. The environments and architecture are incredible. Also as I mentioned above, I had a chance to talk to Ray Gresko. We asked him about everything we could think of. Here is some of what we know so far. The editor they use, and are going to release with the game, is QERadiant, the level editor id software used for quake 1 and 2. So, if you want to get started with Vampire editing, you can download it and give it a try. The editor works the same, even though they are using a completely new engine.

Some of the things that stand out are the architecture, the amazing lighting (dynamic shadows on all the characters and models), and the amazing level of detail (LOD) system. Basically, a model's polygon/face count goes down as you get farther away from them, which frees up system resources for the things that are closer.

He also talked about bump-mapping a lot of their textures to increase the detail. Stuff like wood carved arches over doorways and the actual doors themselves will actually look 3d (rather than just a texture painted on them).

The game is very story-oriented, even more than JK. It has an incredible amount of recorded conversations, as well as a complete hour of new music. The story is based around different clans of vampires. To stay alive, you must drink blood. You can actually lure peasants and other people into alleyways so the guards can't see you. You can't, however, drink all their blood, or your humanity will drop below an acceptable level.

Captain Ramen snapped a whole bunch of shots, we'll try to get them scanned in later tonight and post them over at the Outpost D-34's @E3 page.
While the cats are away... More on Obi-Wan - Kedri
Usually I leave the news gathering to rest of the guys, but I just couldn't pass up posting this little nugget I found on GameSpot about Obi-Wan, the next game following the DF/JK tradition. Here's what they had to say:
You play a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in this game, and presumably you will learn force powers and lightsaber techniques as you travel to various locales in the Episode I universe. Some of the environments we saw were a desert world that reminded us of Tatooine, as well as the populated world of Coruscant, and the palace in Naboo.

The game uses a new 3D engine, although the early footage looks only marginally better than Jedi Knight's graphics. Motion capturing is being used for Obi-Wan's extensive moves, which include several twisting backflips and different lightsaber attacks. The only enemies we saw in the video of the game were various droids, including the long-snouted STAP droids and transforming battle droids from the trailer.
Obi-Wan is slated for a late fall/early winter release.
New 3dO: - Kedri
Author: SpaceBoy
Description: : This zip contains two X-Wing 3dos. One is landed, the other is in flight. This 3do should work in in either Jedi Knight or Mots and in any colormap.
New 3dO: - Kedri
Author: IRN_Baker_JKD
Description: : This is a circular pillar for use in MP/SP add-on levels. It can be used for architecture and a nice place for FF powerups. The 3do works for default.cmp but it includes the .jed file and specific instructions so it can be retextured for the desired cmp or for MotS.
Thursday, May 13, 1999
Obi-Wan - Slug
Following in their tradition of not-too-creative names, Lucas Arts has announced "Obi-Wan", the prequel based first person shooter! I knew LEC wouldn't let us down! Here's the skinny (stolen from
Well Rounded Entertainment is at the E3 show and LucasArts has just announced a new software title tying into Ep. 1. Star Wars: Episode One Obi-Wan is a first person game where you assume the role (in the same vein as Jedi Knight).
God bless those boys over at LEC..
Is that a saber in your pocket? - Kedri
Ancient Jedi sent in something a little different from the usual 3do's and levels that cross my mailbox. It's a saber pack for JK, containing a total of 31 sabers. There's two versions available: for those who've got BFP2 and for those who don't. Setup instructions look pretty straightforward, but e-mail him if you get stumped. Thanks for sending in the files, Ancient.
Wednesday, May 12, 1999
Etc. - Brian
I apologize for my lack of updates today (thanks to everyone who has updated, though). I've been getting ready for E3. It's about 6:30 PM Pacific, off to pick up master-editor Mangore Kiramin for the show. Expect full reports which will be announced here. On another note, my trip to Mississippi has been cancelled (that's a good thing). Off to L.A.
Rainbow Six Screens - Slug
The Rainbow Six TC has released screenshots of their upcoming project, so head on over and check 'em out..
JkEdit 2.09/1.46 - Slug
New versions of JkEdit available at the JkEdit Homepage.
Version 2.09/1.46 of JkEdit contain some new features:
  • The Create Light function has been improved
Version 2.09/1.46 of JkEdit contains a few bug fixes:
  • The KEY section of the JKL files was not generated correctly
Level Update - Slug
Rob has updated his level, Spice Storage Facility, to fix a few bugs with 3dos.
Rogue Squadron CTF 1.1 - Slug
Tazz has informed us that his mod, Rogue Squadron CTF has been updated to version 1.1 and will be released soon. The update includes a few changes and bug fixes.
Mechanics of the Force Level Feature - Ryan
The Admiral's Command Chamber has updated with new screenshots and level information for the "Mechanics of the Force" level feature. Stop by the site to check out this new content, and also to see if you could be visitor number 50,000!
New 3dO: - Kedri
Author: Space Boy
Description: : An A-Wing 3do, for use in any colormap, in either JK or MotS. Includes both a landed and in-flight version of the ship.
New MotS Single Player Level: Dark Ties - Kedri
File: Dark Ties
Author: Milhouse
Screenshots: Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2
Description: You must infiltrate a small Imperial Monitoring Outpost and steal the data disc from the outpost memory banks. The Outpost has a similar layout to Level 1 from Dark Forces. This is because I always liked that level, plus I'm trying to give the level a Dark Forces feel. In this level you're no Jedi, just your typical, everyday rebel. Don't worry however: if I ever manage to complete further levels, they'll be entirely original.
Tuesday, May 11, 1999
New MotS Multiplayer Level: Island Outpost - Brian
File: Island Outpost
Author: David McHale
Screenshots: No Screenshots
Description: This is a small - medium sized multiplayer level set on a desert island in the middle of an Ocean. The island is a fully 3D affair and is in no way flat, like you'd expect from this type of level. The level is Ideal for snipers as there are many hills and mountains to shoot from. There are also a load of caves and lots of places to hide which makes it all the more interesting!
Episode 1 Games - Slug
Mole sends word that LEC has announced the release of The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer to manufacturing, due out on shelves the week of May 17. Some of you may also have seen ads for the games in our ad banner. Cool looking stuff (well, ok, so episode 1 racer looks a bit tame), so go check it out.. Personally, I'll wait for the demos..
Updated Levels - Slug
Merlin has updated his levels, Final Battle: Lethal Edition, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi: Final Battle. Vader now fights, and has more health..
New Level: MotS Multiplayer: 435 Headquarters - Staff
File: 435 Headquarters
Author: Deuce_435
Screenshots: Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2
Description: A series of multiplayer missions based around the headquarters of Clan 435. This includes single-player-style missions in multiplayer designed for either team play or a race (trust me it's fun).
Lost Fortress Screenshots at the Command Chamber - Ryan
The Admiral's Command Chamber has posted new screenshots and a status update for one of the site's featured levels, "The Lost Fortress." Expect some new level reviews to be posted later this week, in addition to your daily dose of single player gaming news. Be sure to visit the site frequently so you can be visitor 50,000!
New MotS 3dO: - Kedri
Author: Milhouse
Description: MotS: This is a 3do for MotS of a Nebulon B Frigate. The 3do was originally by David McHale but I resized and retextured it with his permission.
New Jedi Knight 3dO: - Kedri
Author: Milhouse
Description: Jedi Knight: These are two 3dos for Jedi Knight of Imperial Patrol Boats (like the ones in Rogue Squadron). One has a rear turret and the other doesn't.
[Screenshot] [Screenshot2]
New Level: MotS Deathmatch: Caverns - Staff
File: Caverns
Author: Nightmare
Screenshots: Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2
Description: The name says it all: it's a cavern. But not just any cavern. I spent a great deal of time practicing my "rock" technique to ensure a convincing environment. A little large for a one-on-one. All the weapons are there, except the conc, and I used a cog to move the other heavy stuff around, making it difficult to get to. Go frag a friend. Reviews Jedi Knight Levels - Brian
PC Gamer Online has released a section of their site dedicated to Jedi Knight Level Reviews. Here is the post of the levels section of PC Gamer online:
You've been asking for this area for a long time, and it's finally here: Levels for one of the most popular games of all time, Jedi Knight. Either Jeff Walters or Brian Lozier reviewed each of the levels; both Brian and Jeff have been involved with the Jedi Knight community for a long while, so if they say a level rocks, you know it rocks.
Etc. - Brian
Yes, I started this date a little bit early, but I had to fire it off before I went to work (midshift = 11pm - 7am). In other news: E3 plans are going well, Captain Ramen from the Outpost, Mangore Kiramin formerly of Saberworks, old friend of mine named Rob, Alexei Novikov, and Aristotle of will all be attending. Expect full reports -- after that though, I leave on another trip to Mississippi - only for a week or so, I'm sure the other news people can stay on top of everything.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Kedri, the little-known Massassi staff member. He posts most of the levels we get here, but since we don't have specific logins for our levels script yet, he doesn't get his name posted.