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Sixteenth Highest Shelf Vittles: 10.19.99-2.11.00

Back to Stale Vittles
 
Friday 2/11/00
 
An Oze to Single Player
     More an' more people have been writing in to say they'd love to see more single-player maps come out. And more map-makers are fessin' up to workin' on 'em like Oze: he passed along the URL to his little site where, if you go to the single-player section, you'll find three screenshots of a level he's workin' on called "Bent River."
 
Save Savior's Ladder
     Okay that's not quite the news. Savior wants to let people know that he's wantin' ta add a news section to his popular Outlaws Ladder site, so—oh wait he's already got a News section, okay so he wants more! More news! More maps! Muhahahaahaa! Ahem oh uhh he also wanted to mention that the ladder is doin' great, full with 30 people and 35 matches played so far. Who's on top? Go check the site! :P Oh one more thing, he could use some help keeping the ladder up to date, if yer innerested head on over an' give him a jingle.
 
Young Guns Taunts
     Strife wrote in to tell me about the brand new Young Guns Taunt Pack he made for y'all. That would be .wav files from the Young Guns movie(s?) that you kin use to make fun of yer fellow gunslingers in Outlaws. It's in my "temp" directory so get it while it's hot. He's gonna have another pack soon so keep an eye out for that.
 
More Luvin' for the Petition
     Geez, how many small gaming news sites are there, and how many does salmoides have the goods on? Pretty darn near all of 'em as far as I kin tell, he's got coolinfo to post news about the Sequel Petition back on the 10th under the heading "Interesting Game Petition." Well I dunno 'bout you but if I read that headline I'd be sold on it in a second. :P Darn nice of 'em ta post about it though. :)
 
LiL Map for Ya
     That guy who never signs his emails or his maps, Ki_ll_er, sent another new map of his, LiL. Why is it called that? I've no idea. It's actually a kinda largish rectangular valley with a number of sniping areas along the sides, some pools of water and err yeah. Texturing is kinda patchy in spots and framerate looking over the valley from the sides may not be the bestest, but admit it you just want to download it anyway because the name is so cute, right?
 
Outlaws Clan Ladder Screen Shot
     That's "screen shot," two words, not "screenshot." What's th' diff? Well a "screenshot" is a digitally captured graphic taken of the display on a computer by a program on that same computer, like when I use Hypersnap-DX running in the background to take screenshots of new levels as I run them in Outlaws. But a "screen shot," well now, that's a scanned photograph of a computer screen. Which is just what Outlaw sent in, a camera photo of his soon to hit the web "Outlaws Clan Ladder" site running on his monitor. Whoa. Dig it.
 
Help Out Pinkster's Mod
     mrpink announced he is working on a "super duper deluxe mod" and that this thing is going to be so cool, so out of control that he could actually use some help with it in the map-making area. So if you think you can whip out some pretty darn tough single-player AND multiplayer maps, well you go send some mail to [removed].
 

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Wednesday 2/9/00
 
The Wire is Cut
     Well this is a bit of a shock: Blackthorn has decided to discontinue his irregular online community page, The Wire. Here's what he mailed me:
I've suspended operations over at The Wire for the time being. It has been some time since I have found myself invigorated by the project, and while the submissions for what would have been Issue #15 have been both plentiful and of high quality, I feel that the overall direction of the site is not what I had imagined from the outset. Presently, it is my intention to resume operations if and when I find myself as enthused as I was in September. I appreciate the support your site has consistently provided in this connection, and wish you continued success in the future.
     Gosh. Well, I don't think you can really keep a fine webmaster like Blackthorn down, I'm sure sooner or later he'll start getting that itch to monkey around with something. He is happily leaving the site up so you can still peruse all 15 past issues of the Wire and check out the "Hardware Comparison Table" he compiled, a large table of players' system configurations. Interesting stuff there: a lot of Voodoo3s but still plenty of 2s, and some pretty beefy CPUs in general. It's funny to look at those and then to think that today I found our project Art Lead cursing his work system, a Pentium Pro, which is actually below our game's minimum system spec. Ouch. For some reason they stick the artists with the crappiest systems. :P
     Anyhow if you haven't been for a while go check it out, mail Blackthorn and tell him you love him, or just bask in the comfortable tones of that nice soothing background. The Wire is out, but not down.
 
Single-Player Sleepy
     I've been getting a number of responses from LawMakers regarding SillySally's plea the other day for more single-player maps. GoJo wrote me to say he's mulling the idea over. Manco wrote me yesterday to remind me that he and Chet are about halfway done with a 4 map single-player series that they're going to call "The Big Heist," promising puzzles galore—look for that in a month or two. And then today Sleepy wrote me to declare that he's decided to combine three or four of his past unpublished multiplayer maps into a single-player mission. He's new a single-player so it may take a little learning on his part, but he sent along some shots from areas he means to include, check 'em out: shot 1 and shot 2.
 
The Petition in the News
     I dunno what he's slippin' people but salmoides has got another game news site to post a bit about the Sequel Petition: PCGamers.net has a brief mention on this page. Hooray! The petition is going to be quite a bit larger when I get around to doing my next update of signatures... might get that in sometime this weekend.
 

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Monday 2/7/00
 
Do It For Sistah
     Beignet really REALLY wants people to write in to her "Go Ask Sistah!" advice column. Why should you do it? Well you'll have a spankin' good time, to say the least. Go check out her site now, you'll find a current "Ask Sistah" in which she helps out a confused chap who's found he likes to play Outlaws... while dressing as a woman. Ohhh boy... well, if you have a problem like that I guess it probably couldn't do much more damage to "Ask Sistah."
 
Who's "King of the Hill?"
     GoJo sent in the new map that he and Lindow have been workin' on for quite some time now, King of the Hill. This is a big boy (530K) but, if yer lookin' fer somethin' really new and different ta spice up yer Outlaws life, well worth th' download.
     What's takin' up all that room? Hmm custom art, textures, sounds and objects mostly. In fact in many ways it feels like an entirely different, professional game—yer out on a desert isle surrounded by a sparkling sea (how they actually made it sparkle I'd like to know) with four little beach houses arranged around a tall hill with a little castle on top surrounded by a hedge. It's designed of course for KFC play but it ain't a chicken, it's a... well I'll let you find out. Let's just say that the pickup sound is fantastic, as is the amazing thing that graces your screen when you actually end the game. Far out. It's a complex, radial map so framerates aren't always the highest, and the strict symmetrically radial structure may leave few surprises for DM and CTF (except that now instead of getting to the top and not being able to leave the hedge, as in KFC, you can't get in at all) but darn it you ain't a real contemporary OL multiplayer fan unless you at least give this baby a look-see. Check out the screenshot while it downloads.
 
Savior Wins IRC Tourney
     Kohna let me know that Savior emerged the champion of the first #Outlaws_Players IRC channel 1 on 1 tourney of the new millenium. Congrats to Savior! All the bracket results and info on the tourney, held every Sunday, can be found on the official #Outlaws_Players Tourney site.
 
Just Screamy
     TwistedTweak says "I am now working on a new character for a series of three maps based on parts one two and three of scream here is the ever so loved ghost face..." and he sent me a little picture from the character file in progress so uh here he is.
 
"House2," "LilRock" and "Gringos" Maps
     Whoa is this enough new maps to keep you busy or what? Umm I think his nick is Killer sent me his new map, House2. You are gonna want to avoid playing this map on a 3dfx card (or with a Glide wrapper) because of some pretty serious glitches that show up... Otherwise seems like a decent map, I like some of his freestanding buildings with nice sniping posts on the roofs.
     BossMan has been mighty busy lately and hmm if this map is based on some other map that I'm not recognizing I'm gonna scream but anyhow his new map is LilRock. A big flat valley with a couple pancake-flat buildings, a corral and hidden snipey type ledges around the outside. Pretty basic, high framerates, there you go.
     Got Gringos over at Outlaws Gang Busters. Nice texture and lighting work, the buildings around this tall valley are kind of laid out in unusual ways inside. More sniping spots around than you can shake a stick at. With the buildings and ledges around a big valley it reminds me a lot of "Helltown." Always hated Helltown, but this looks better.
 
Demand for Single-Player Maps
     SillySally0 wrote an eloquent letter about why mapmakers should think about doing more single-player maps. Now I'll let Sally's letter do th' talkin', just let me add that if you think about numbers, offline vs online Outlaws fans have got to have the advantage by at least 10 to 1, probably more like 100 to 1... of course, how many of these would know/have access to download maps cuts the number down quite a bit, but still there's probably a good audience there. Ahh heck let me shut up and paste:
    Since I have been playing outlaws 1 1/2 years it seems to me there is just not enough of those great map makers out there making enough single player or historical mission maps. We all cant play the zone all the time and since most of us players have mastered the CD game and not to mention all the single and historic maps that are on your site. Approximately 10 levels. I find it to be frustrating that these great maps makers don't release more of these types of maps. Since you are the main hub for the outlaws maybe you could put out a challenge to the map makers out there to send in more SP & HM maps.
     I think the best single player maps out there is WADDY GANG and TACO SAGA. These are true single player maps. Well thanks for letting me vent on you. For those of us out there that need our outlaws fix but cant always go to the zone these maps would be a refreshing way to keep our skills and attention to the game. Besides without a challenge what fun is it to play anyway........
 

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Saturday 2/5/00
 
Sunday 1-on-1 IRC Tourney
     Whoops! Kohna sent me this earlier in the week but I err misplaced it:
The mIRC Outlaws are bringing back one on one tourneys in the #Outlaws_players for the Outlaws community to enjoy. This Sunday we will host a tournament with a maximum of 16 contestants just like the old days. I have posted a tourney website for all to obtain information about the tourney and to assist them in getting to mIRC. The site is located at http://www.outlaws.simplenet.com.
     So g'wan and show up tomorrow. For more on the tourney including the start time (2PM CST, but you gotta get there an hour early if you wanna participate) etc check out that site (note I'm optimistically assuming they will re-label the direct link to my map archive as I've asked them too :p):
 
Outlaws Tourney on the Undernet
Info and all the downloads you need to get in on the one-on-one Sunday ladder action in the #Outlaws_Players IRC channel, in an easy-to-browse format by Kohna.

 
Work on the Outlaws Clan Ladder
     Arrowsmith is working on a "Outlaws Clan Ladder" site which he expects to finish in a week or so. This site will feature Team vs Team and Gang vs Gang matches. He's looking for folks to join the OCL web team and help with keeping the site up to date. HTML and web scripting experience preferred. Deadeyephil is already on-board so you know it'll be a quality operation. Interested? Mail Arrowsmith.
 
Dwelling on It
     Silent Chiefy sent me his new map, Dwelling. A nice looking CTF map of the "two forts at opposite ends of a canyon" type but stylishly done, with a canyon that bends in a U shape and nifty low-ceilinged cliff dwellings for forts. Pretty simple, but effective. Check'um out the shot.
 
New Kali Too
     Besides IRC, Outlaws also hang out in Kali. Karrde wrote in to let me know that Kali v1.99e is up on Kali's ftp server. You can snag the upgrade from 1.99d (358K) here or the full program (2960K) here.
 

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Thursday 2/3/00
 
Sequel Petition Explosion
     Hey! I thought I was pretty much done with the Sequel Petition; I mean, I'd sent it off to Lucasarts and sure there would be more signatures as weeks went by, but nothing more than maybe an update needed every month or so. Boy was I wrong!
     First of all I should tell ya that, though I didn't expect it, I did indeed hear back from the publisher at LEC to whom I had sent the 1,188 signature strong petition. While he didn't say anything about this I know from past experience that LEC is kinda touchy about interacting directly with the fans so I'm not gonna print his name but I'll print the very nice letter he wrote because as I see it it wasn't just to me, but to everyone who had a hand in the petition:
Thanks for forwarding this to me - it's great to see such enthusiasm still out there for Outlaws! It's one of our favorite games internally also. Whilst we're always looking at our product line to see what would make sense to sequel, we don't have any definite plans for Outlaws right now. But, you never know!
 
Thanks again
     And he signed with his first name, nice personal touch there. :) So yeah very mum as always on any projects down the line but now we know for sure that the petition didn't just get auto-forwarded to ye olde LEC email trashcan, and that at least one person there has taken the time to look at it. :)
     But you know, I have a feeling I might be mailing our friendly LEC producer again in a couple months, just to say hey, take another look at the petition! Why? Well, consider the fact that I got nearly 60 signatures on it just today. =) To what do we owe this sudden surge of popularity? I'd say definitely to salmoides, either his never say die attitude or his connections, or both. Anyhow, he mailed me and said he'd spread the word to "a few editors" and that so far at least GA-Source and womengamers.com have posted news items with links to the petition! Man, some people just have a knack for getting results, I tell ya. So a big thanks to sal and to those two publications and if anybody else reading this wants to go ahead and pass the word around to any other news sites you think may be interested, well don't let me stop ya. :)
     By the way, if you ARE one of those just joining in on the whole OL thing by coming here, welcome! Maybe you played the demo a long time ago and somehow missed out on the full game until now? Well fret not, you can still find Outlaws for sale in lots of places, in fact on the handy CNET Outlaws Shopping Guide I see that Buy.com has it for under $15! So for less than it costs to get a haircut at most places you could be shootin' it out online with some of the most ruffinest, toughinest and gosh darn fun-lovin'est rawhides on the Internet. Sound good? Darn tootin'!
 
Quake Mods Want In on the Action
     Also got two mails from authors of Half-Life mods with Western themes who want to point out other avenues of Old West first-person action. Of course they can't hold a candle to Outlaws but variety, as they say, is the slice of life, or something along those lines I can'tquiteremembernow...
     Phil Daniels wrote:
I would like to draw to the attention of the Outlaws fans that visit your site that a product is well into development set in the same period and in the same genre. "Wanted! The Half Life Western Pack" is set for commercial release later this year and is a follow up to our acclaimed "Redemption" product. Naturally we wish this product to be the very best that it can be and would welcome input from all fans of Outlaws. Constructive comments, direction, likes/dislikes etc are all welcome. Perhaps these could be pooled and sifted and sent as one.....maybe we could even layout an interview based on these suggestions, the product etc...... Be a shame to waste the opportunity to make it the very best for all.....
 
Best Regards
     Thanks Phil. Here are yer official links: Maverick Developments and Wanted! The Half-Life Western Pack.
     Then b!ll of IceQuake Production wrote in:
I just saw the petition on your site for an outlaws sequel. So I decided to send you this e-mail.. IceQuake Production is currently working on a western multyplayer tc for half-life. Ok, its not outlaws 2 or something but its a great western with some of outlaws weapons :) So be sure to check our western tc site, Tombstone.
 
Best Regards
     Here's yer linky-dink: Tombstone, A Western TC for Half-Life.
     Notice how they both ended with "Best Regards?" Coincidence? Hmmm... if I were paranoid, I might be suspicious. ;)
 
Nowayout Yanked, More from BossMan
     Karrde and Gryphon both mailed to alert me that the "nowayout" map I posted yesterday from BossMan was, in fact, just a modified version of Desert House. Booooo! So I pulled it from my ftp site. Now today BossMan sent me Repair at Night, a "Pattern Repair" with a night motif. Now of course KJBD Hideout is also Repair at night, and much expanded to boot, but anyhow since they're both taken from LEC's level I guess it should be fair to post. Sheesh. ;P
 
Doc Ring's Hospital
     Sounds kinda scary but actually Doc Ring's Hospital is just a new map from Outlaw and MikeDaKid made in honor of RingNeck who is a real life doctor. Made for CTF, this one covers about three huge, largely windowless floors of wide mazelike corridors and small dead-end rooms. Can't say I fancy it just running around in it but the symmetrical (or whatever) construction of the floors should make for very balanced CTF play. Or you could play a big DM, but keep in mind this place is BIG.
     Well that's about all I got time for tonight folks. A couple more things still in the box but they'll just have to wait. Oh and I am again about two days behind in my email so if you don't hear back right away, don't take it personally—I'm late gettin' back to everyone. :P
 

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Wednesday 2/2/00
 
Two New Maps
     Have a lot more stuff for ya but not going to get to it tonight... I really need to stop showing up at work feeling like a zombie. So for tonight we'll just do the stuff that should get out quick, ie the two new maps.
     Flopur sent in Yippee!, a map that will definitely have you seeing stars. It's a pretty small, enclosed arena map with a lot of pointy edges... ahh heck, just look at this aerial shot.
     BossMan sent in Nowayout. I like the strong basic layout here of the hacienda in the middle of a good sized desert canyon, very solid stuff. A bit rough in terms of texturing and item placement but you know, that comes with time. Check out the bridge in the shot.
 

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Tuesday 2/1/00
 
tehC by ????
     Hrmm uhhh well let's just say that LawMakers don't always get along like peas and carrots. A certain someone (whose name has already been revealed on at least one other site) sent me a map called tehC. Now this person was I think a bit unhappy with my mini preview of their last map, though actually I was pretty much positive about it, and also has a beef with the perceived popularity of simple "quickie" maps like GoJo's "Paper Bag" and uhh maybe certain maps by a certain other author whose name has four letters in it.
     And you know what? Poke my eye with a sharp stick but I DO like it. It's simple, fast, loose... a CTF type map with two bases at the ends of a long narrow canyon, but the canyon has a kink in it with a cool rocky bridge going across between. Maybe some idea ARE best done quickly. Ahh heck too much moral dilemna stuff for me, best just roll out the screenshot.
 
Sequel Petition Sent to Lucasarts
     Sent the Outlaws Sequel Petition off to Lucasarts on Sunday. Why Sunday? Uhh well... it was Time. Of course just after I realized it was Time Slack-Jawed Pete called unexpectedly to say the Super Bowl was starting... he wasn't s'posed to be back until later that night and was gonna tape it so we'd watch it then (yeah I know taping the Super Bowl is lame, but Pete's something of a snowboarding fiend these days and couldn't resist the call of the mountain that morning) so I had what you might call pressure suddenly and ended up missing the first quarter of the Super Bowl (of COURSE I also had to stop by the supermarket to get some chips on the way over) but uh where was I..? OH yeah so a big time crunch was suddenly upon me to deliver this thing and I just hope that what I managed to come up with lives up to the trust of the 1,188 people who had signed the petition at that point.
     The petition was so big in fact that I had to send it in two parts. Here's what I wrote at the beginning of the first part:
Dear Sir,
     The long list of names and comments below is the result of a simple petition for a sequel to your company's game "Outlaws" held on my Outlaws fan page at http://paleface.net/petition.html. Although the site is not connected with any gaming network and the petition did not receive coverage on any other gaming news sites we were able to collect 1,188 signatures in about five months, all from dedicated Outlaws fans who would be first in line to buy another Outlaws game if one should ever appear. Because of the great length of the list of signatures I am sending the petition in two parts; the second should arrive immediately after this first one.
     I have sent this list to you to show you the dedicated following your game still holds even after nearly three years and to encourage you, should the opportunity arise, to consider making a follow-up to this unique and wonderful game. Every one of the 1,188 people below eagerly await it. If you would like to contact any of them you will find this same list with email hyperlinks at the web address above. In fact as I write this the petition is still on-going and will continue until Lucasarts can satisfy this widespread craving for another game in this genre that you have singlehandedly created. Thank you for your time, your consideration and most of all, your games.
     Not the best mebbe but I think following it up with 1,188 names and comments probably smoothed over any small verbal blunders on my part. :)
     I haven't had a reply and I don't expect one; the purpose here was to influence LEC to think about doing another Outlaws game, not for me to get some sort of personal reply from a producer. So... it's been sent. I still have the petition up, don't really see a need to stop it now so yes you can still sign up, let's see how big it gets as time goes on.
     One last thing: even if LEC DID decide to green light an OL sequel at this point, it could be up to six months before the developers were free to start the project, then what a year and a half to two years of development time. Trust me on this, you can't rush a good game. So we can't expect to see anything soon. I know in a way it may seem that our effort has gone into a big dark hole but we've done what we could and I think the final petition is pretty darn impressive—it certainly got a lot bigger than I'd anticipated.
 
Outlaws Around the Web
     BTJustice is still campaigning full steam to get more attention for Outlaws over on CNET. If you haven't registered your two bits on their Outlaws User Opinions page, go join the 48 folks who already have. CNET of course is the site that gave Outlaws a score of 6/10 when it first came out, so BT may be bent on a little well-meaning revenge. ;)
     Savior has restarted his Savior's Outlaws Ladder after a long hiatus. Go fight fer th' right to sit pretty on that top rung! Grrr!
     GodZilla sent along the news that Badger was the winner of the second "Guess the Levels" contest over on the BOC Posse Site. The third contest has just started up, here's your chance to show how much you know OL by guessing the names of levels based solely on a single screenshot. Not for the casual fan, that's for sure!
 

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Sunday 1/30/00
 
SIO Site Bigger, Badder
     Greenhead mailed to let me know that his SIO Outlaws Site is now bigger and badder than ever, with a message board and over 600 maps for download from a separate fast server. Something to do during that dreaded Super Bowl halftime show!
 
More Outlaws Bash 2000 Details
     Beignet is madly working away to make the second annual "Outlaws Bash 2000" party the best ever! Well okay so it's just the second one but considering the first was such a success, she's got her work cut out for her. Here's what she sent me:
    Right now we have about 25 that I know are definately coming.. and a good bit of tentatives as well :) (who knows if everyone will show.. but.. good thing about new orleans.. ya can have a handful or alot of people and always have a great time ;)
     Don't know if ya were planning on coming for the OL bash 2000 in New Orleans on Aug 4, 5, 6.. but if ya were .. Here's some info! :) (let me know if ya comin :)
     Right now.. we have the hotel picked out.. 79.00 per nite (weeeeee :)Very good location.. very nice hotel.. also a historical landmark built in early 1800's by the Baron Pontalba Its the Historic French Market Inn www.frenchmarketinn.com.
     When you make your reservations (do it soon.. ya can always cancel if ya need to) Ask for reservations for the Historic French Market inn.. and to speak to Jesse (if possible) tell him you're one of Susan Pierce's party and want to be in the same area of the hotel (no problem if they cant get ya close.. hehe hotel only has 98 rooms ;)
     Their reservation number (its toll free) is on their webpage (the url I just gave) YOu need to book for Aug 4, 5 (leaving on the 6th unless ya decide to spend longer time in New Orleans :)
     the shuttle from the airport to French Quarter is only 10.00 one way :)
     hehe hope that helps.. more info in a bit :)
 

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Wednesday 1/26/00
 
Crosshair Crosshair
     Yee-up as anticipated, Oze coughed up his other two new crosshairs today. :) The first one is kind of a high-contrast large crosshair with diagonal aiming lines that reminds me of a spider web. Definitely won't have to search for the middle of the screen with that baby up there. The second one is a "laser" pointer—basically a big red dot, like the single-pixel one I made a while back except, well, a lot fatter. Quick reminder on how these work, just extract the "croshair.nwx" file into your Outlaws directory and voila! All done. These are in my temporary folder so grab 'em now if ya want 'em.
 

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Tuesday 1/25/00
 
Win2k and OL, Continued
     Well I asked for it and I got it, feedback on how Outlaws works under Windows 2000.
     Cia_Bpi said:
    I've installed Windows 2000 RC2, and wundered out to the zone, and guess what, it did it the first time i tried it :
- Installed OL, patch 1.0, 2.0 and 2.01
- I didn't setup my Voodoo3 - 2000 in OL ( just used the standard one )
- Joined a game that someone started up for me ( didn't see the LAT indication in the zone, which means LAT > 1000 )
- blew the other guy away
     I know, it was not a very good sight ( without glide ), but i had no problems to connect ( using Cable modem ). The only problem encountered was that i was lagging like hell to the others, but it didn't stop me from blasting them away .... lol .... but baicly, it should work fine ( and even better with glide, directX, .... )
     Also, connection to the zone was a lot more stable, and i had a lot more trouble with 98 ( 2nd edition ) then with Win2000.
     Then, Karrde had some feedback of his own:
    Well, I thought I'd get my two cents in... I've been playing with Windows 2000 professional (rc 2195 I think it is... well whatever Microsoft called the version that is their goldmaster copy :). Anyway, one of my first thoughts was to test Outlaws with it, and that I did. Now, im not sure if the join bug is still an issue, in fact I believe it is, its just that lately I have been able to connect a bit better, therefore I dont have constant problems. The one major problem I did have with win2k is that for some reason I can not back space any character fields i.e.: my nick names, chat lobby, game name etc. What I did do to change my name resulted with registry editing. However, I dont think this is a Win2k problem only, since I had the same problem when I was playing around with NT4 sp6.
    Currently my biggest gripe is that there are no official drivers for my voodoo3, so hacking up nt4 drivers will work, but when they fail... everything becomes exciting.
    Oh, hehe I guess I didn't say that Outlaws DOES work under win2k with minimal problems. Since I'm a Kali regular, I obviously tested NT5 under tcp/ip Winsock, then to be fair I gave Zone a test as well. Zone went fine, as I expected it would, until in the middle of a game something died, or I lost connection... I don't remember exactly now, but I ended up ending Outlaws in that task manager, as well as zone, then a fresh reboot. Upon my next visit to Highnoon I joined a game, then as soon as OL launched Windows blue screened with a NTOSsomething something (it did not look pretty) error occurred, which forced the computer to reboot and return to windows as if nothing had happened. I joined a game again, and again Windows blue screened.
    In conclusion, Outlaws does run with certain circumstances. However people should be forewarned that the video drivers are not stable at this point for it, and maybe 3dfx will release NT5 drivers shortly. Concerning the "non backspaceable characters" I would assume this is a problem on my end, and not the fault of win2k.
     Actually I get the same no-backspacing deal in WinNT that Karrde does, so that ISN'T just on his machine.
 
The Crosshair from Oze
     Follow the Yellow Brick Ro—oh whoops, wrong Oz. :P Oze sent along a new crosshair for y'all to play along with, noting that it was inspired by Blackthorn pointing out that he couldn't see his crosshair very well in Oze's "River Side" map. Actually Oze thought he'd sent me three hairs but I only got one so uhh may be a few more in the next couple of days. :P This one is kind of a stripey square box thing, interesting. That's in my temporary directory so get it while it's there, matey. Of course, only wimps and people who want to actually hit their target on the first shot use crosshairs, but that's just my stubborn side talking again... Me, I like to bracket my prey with a couple wild—err... WARNING shots first before I take 'em down, more sporting dontcha know. :P
 

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Monday 1/24/00
 
Win2k Good or Bad for Outlaws
     Hmm. Still haven't heard a lot on how OL works under Win2k—specifically if it works at all, and if it still suffers from the Win98 "join bug." Apocalyspo_Joe (now there's a name with some style) says that he's got Win2k at work and it's been working great with OL on a 33.6 modem—he can join games with pings over 400 that he never could when he was running Win98 on the same machine. In contrast, Chet couldn't get OL working at all on his pre-release version on Win2k. Then again, he can't get it to work now that he's gone back to Win98 either (hard drive too full or something) so hmm not sure what to think of that. Need more feedback on this I guess.
 
Virus Scanners Beat Win98 Join Bug?
     sshep sent along this odd-sounding tidbit:
I noticed something that from what I have read from others no one else has. I know with our old hard drive (just got a new one, and haven't put any of these on yet) that when BOK_Dad and I left our virus scanners open in the task bar at the bottom we could join games almost 100% of the games we tryied to join when we were there when the host launched. So if you have them open from start up, keep em open, it worked for us. Dad said something about them scanning the other persons computer real fast or something while connecting and without them open it had a harder time to scan them and that was why we got time outs in connectin.
     So... err... hmm. Weird.
 
New Maps "Los Cazadores," "Wadi"
     Sonic55 sent in his new map called Los Cazadores which according to Babelfish means "The Hunters." Wooooo. I guess the Hunters like CTF because this map is set up in the "two forts facing each other from opposite ends of a big valley with lots of tunnels between" motif. It's mostly a nice looking map with detailed guard towers and stuff but all the stuctures out in the open make for some pretty low framerates in many area, and at least one turret has a really funky 3dfx problem when you get inside (so don't get inside would be the answer there). Lacks running sounds too, unfortunately. Here's a shot.
     Besides that odd Win98 solution above, sshep sent along a new map of his, Wadi (not to be confused with BigDogCH's "Waddy" posse maps). He says this one contains parts from a lot of his other maps like "campout" and "blue jeans" (he doesn't seem to like capitalization) but to tell ya th' truth you'd be hard pressed to spot much of anything in this map. It's just real dark. There's a campfire on a ledge and lanterns in the small cramped cabin but other than that this little round canyon ranch scene is darn close to pitch black. Makes for a good change of pace, I'll give you that. Just make sure to take a lot of lantern oil with you.
 
Back in the Badhabits
     Beignet lit a few fires in my inbox and danced around them gleefully. She let me know about her "Sistahs of No Mercy" (SNM) posse in which she and a bunch of other gals wreak havoc around the Zone. She mentioned that at her Outlaws Web-Zine you can mail in questions to the Sistahs (is it getting hot in here?) and uh they'll answer them, or something. Whew.
     Oh AND she's got a whole column on the first page about the "Outlaws Bash 2000" which will be in New Orleans August 4th-6th. I guess you can go down there and find out why it's called the "Big Easy." :P
 
Outlaws MP3 Remix
     Bart Klepka wrote to say that he's done up a remix of Clint Bajakian's Ennio-Morriconesque "Anna's Theme" track from the Outlaws soundtrack. Very extensively remixed, too, with something of a techno-style heavy bass beat. Different but very well done, you can pick this up along with other remixed game music at Bart's site.
 
Sites Go Round and Round
     Truffle let me know that his SBD Posse Site has relocated to a new URL. And he still wants people to send him maps and news, so get on over.
     Danger has returned with his very own URL, www.dangerzone.net. Great to have this fine site back in action and now with 200MB of web space to blow it is ready to kick some major booty. Whoa!
 

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Thursday 1/20/00
 
Raptor Investigates Win98 Problem
     Geez after a couple slow weeks news has just been pouring in this week... phew... I was kinda' likin' th' more laid back pace we had goin' there fer a while. ;)
     Raptor recently "upgraded" to Win98 and has of course become concerned about the famed "Win98 Join Problem" where folks with Win98 can't join some Outlaws games. Since I'm still feeling lazy (and I've still got to get to the grocery store tonight or I'll have no milk for my oatmeal tomorrow morning, and you just know how much THAT sucks) I'll just pull the old cut'n'paste action on this big guy:
I decided first to consult LEC as I not so sure they were aware of the problem, I think they beleived they fixed all the win98 probs with the 2.1 ptach. Anyway I wrote them an email, describing the problem and saying how wide spread it was.
     Sooo today I get back my reply.. a nice long one, mostly its the basic stuff make sure you got the right patch, etc etc but there are a few interesting points I thought I'd mention to you. Can send you the whole email if your interested.
     Firstly, they seem to be aware of the prob as shown in this statement... "There appears to be a compatibility issue with the game and the new version of Winsock (2.0) that is installed with Windows 98. We recently released a 2.0.1 update (at ftp://ftp.lucasarts.com/patches/pc/olupd201.exe) to address this problem, but we are currently receiving feedback from some Windows 98 users who are still unable to join some multiplayer Outlaws games, more specifically on the Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com)."
     Also they suggested this possible fix for such... "If a user upgrades Win95 to Win98, in Add/Remove programs they can restore the Winsock 1.1 configuration, and that seems to help. Clean installs and OEMs with Win98 do not have this option though."
     I've done a fresh install of 98 so I can't try this one, was hopping you could post it for someone else to try.
     Then there is a whole lot of simple things like, uninstall webtv, turn off auto detect for your cd, don't have to many programs running like icq etc. But he ends with the following...
     "We are currently researching this issue to see if it can be corrected, though in most cases the above suggestions have resolved this problem for most users of Windows 98, especially the installation of an updated version of DirectX. I would suggest that you periodically monitor our website regarding this game, to see if there are any further updates released to address this problem with Outlaws and the Zone, using Windows 98."
     So the good news, what this email is about, is that they are aware of the problem and are looking in to it. I'm going to write back in more technical detail so hopefully we can solve this one.
     Aha well that is a little bit of good news. Of course here we are on the verge of Window 2000 and who the heck knows how THAT will do with Outlaws. Actually I guess I could snag a pre-release copy and check BUT I really don't want to go screwing up my OS just this minute. :P
 
Swift Arrow on Copyright Law
     In connection with my little tirade the other day about people using other folks' maps as a base without permission, Swift Arrow looked up articles of the U. S. Copyright law. Here's some of what he found, I guess:
"Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright."
 
"Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. 17 U.S.C. 102(a)."
     So there. Oh he also happened to mention that he has been workin' on his Outlaws Depot site, doing daily news updates and other great stuff like that. Quite a fine site he's built up there, head on over and give it a look-see.
 
IP Game Chat at SBD
     Truffle wrote to say that he's added a chat page to his SBD Gang site where you can go to arrange IP Outlaws games if you ain't got nowhere else to do it. Isn't that sweet? Oh he also wants people to sign his guestbook. Why am I such a sucker for shameless plugs? I'd better get some sleep. Oh wait gotta go get groceries first. Dangit! :P
 

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Wednesday 1/19/00
 
Ride 'Em Cowboy
     Johnny Zombie sent me a new map dedicated to his "Horsemen" posse, Hmn Horse Co. & Livery Emporium. Sort of a peanut-shaped canyon (well, very roughly) with a barn/stable in one half and a ranch house in the other, separated by a small pond. Lots of secret tunnels in the surrounding cliffs. Pretty good looking map with just one tiny 3dfx error that he hasn't been able to track down, not having a Voodoo card himself.
 
Happy With the TNT2
     Related to yesterday's post, Nowhere Man sent me his thoughts on his experience running Outlaws on a TNT2 card:
On a further note about the CL Unified Drivers, I purchased A CL 3D Blaster TNT2 Ultra for Christmas, ( or was it Santa? ), and It is simply AMAZING! I have it clocked up to the hilt with their Overclock Util. and it is running rock solid Stabile! It is one of the finest Video cards I've ever had the pleasure of using, (Though not installing), It just blows everything out of the water. I have an AMD K62-400mm with 64 MEG RAM and using the unifed driver pushing 32 bit color to it, Outlaws runs a cool average of 150 FPS at 640x480! My advice, drop 3DFX and run as fast as you possibly can to your nearest store and buy this card! A note, they say it will not install on the FIC PA-2013 motherboard, but I found a way. CL tech support has my solution. But I would reallly look at one of these cards before buying 3DFX, I did, I bought the 3D Blaster. There are no bugs when running Outlaws through unified also. Thought Id pass on my $.02 worth.
     Now of course these days the latest and greatest from nVidia would be a GeForce card, haven't heard from anyone running Outlaws on one of those babies. Hmm Slack-Jawed Pete just got one, I may have to see if I can get Outlaws runnin' on it when I go over there this weekend.
 
Trooper Hits the Web Again
     Trooper just can't sit still when it comes to a web site; he's just revamped his site yet again, now calling it Trooper's Outlaws Center. Very nice layout to the page and the whole idea is that he wants news, he wants YOUR news so mail it to him and see it miraculously appear in print on the site. He doesn't really say what kind of news he's looking to collect so I'd say that means pretty much anything Outlaws related should work. So got some news? Then drop by his place and tell him what's up.
 

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Tuesday 1/18/00
 
Get Out with Outnet
     I'd heard a rumor of this a few days ago but didn't believe in my wildest dreams that it could be THIS good, but it is. lindow just sent me Outnet v1.0B, his custom made utility for automatically hosting and joining Outlaws IP games through the popular freeware mIRC Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. Run mIRC, join an Outlaws channel (most notably #outlaws_players on the Undernet), launch the Outnet script and you're literally a few mouse clicks away from joining the hottest Outlaws action in town. Faster, easier and more reliable than the Zone. If you've held off trying Outlaws via IRC before because it took too much typing (slacker) then this is your dream come true. And if you've never tried IRC, now you got no excuse hombré. Gosh knows I don't get in to #outlaws_players as much as I should (when I DO get a chance to play OL these days I tend to slum it up in my own hosted game ;) but I can tell you this: Outnet is going to remain installed on my computer for as long as I play Outlaws.
 
USM Again
     Or not. There used (or still is for all I know) to be a gang called USM. Now there's a new gang USMarshalls but I think they're different, anyhow they have a different site. Dan (aka Chapdog) sent along the URL of this site made by Angua and her brother:
 
USMarshalls
Small but pretty decent posse site. Info on the members, some of their favorite maps for download and a bit of a news section

 
Posse Rumors from Tweak
     Tweak sent me the following that is way too confusing for me so I'll just post it, guess I'm in a generous mood tonight:
Well if ya havnt heard latly but the LMP clan has broke up and Desperado one of the fearless leaders has went to ANV and me Machine (a.k.a. Tweak) a co-leader has decided to start a new clan and i would like you to say that the 2nd i command is up for grabes: Its a contest whoever can make up the name i like best (person can be good or not) will be co-leader BUT if i can come up with something to top it they will not enter the clan, posse ,gang etc.... without a tryout.
Tweak
P.s. tell em to find me on the zone as TwiztedTweak or tell em to E-mail me with answers thanks
P.s.s. i Have started on a series called Malice its gonna be a CTF series but to make it good its gonna be what i call a MOD New guns and characters
     There now you know what I know. Interested, incensed or bored parties can contact Tweak at [removed].
 
Driver Goodness for TNT2s
     I've got one of these at work, darn good cards. Actually I just helped Slack-Jawed Pete install his new GeForce card which, after reinstalling Windows after the Asus drivers screwed things up royally, runs great on the nVidia reference drivers. Oh but I digress, here's the word I got for TNT2 owners from Palerider:
I just downloaded the NEW Nvidia drivers for the TNT2 Ultra (I think it's the detonator series) and they reaaaaaaaaaaally speed up the video card in the Direct 3d mode. Best of all, these Nvidia drivers work with the Creative Labs Unified Drivers so Outlaws runs in Glide mode.
To be honest, I'm not sure if the Unified Drivers are needed with the new Detonator drivers for glide emulation, but since it works, I ain't fixin' it.
Frame rate flies waaaaaaaaaaay up and no graphical glitches like funky TNT or crap like that.
     Well kiss my grits, that is good news for those who have decided to stray from the 3dfx camp. I must say that if I weren't such an Outlaws fan I would have done so as well but as it is I'll be one of the first to blow a wad of cash on a Voodoo5 when they hit the streets.
 
I Hate Being a Map Cop
     It really is shocking to me how much this has been happening lately but again tonight I crack open a new map someone sends me to find that it is based on an old map that apparently they think nobody will remember. Well folks I do remember; I don't catch every one but I do catch most of them and those that I don't catch get caught by someone else and, once reported to me, get deleted from my map archive. I do not post maps that plagiarize other maps so please don't send them to me because it is very insulting, not just to me but to the original map authors and to everyone who looks forward to original material from my site. ;P
 

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Monday 1/17/00
 
Sequel Petition Updated
     Updated the Outlaws Sequel Petition, now has well over 1100 signatures. :) People have begun to ask me when I am gonna submit the darn thing and I'll have to check to be sure but I think in another week or two SO if you haven't signed on yet, or know some Outlaws-lovin' folks who would want to sign it if they knew about it, it's time ta get movin', hey?
 

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Saturday 1/15/00
 
"King of the Hill" Sketches
     lindow sent me some level-design storyboards for the "King of the Hill" map that he and GoJo are workin' on. Actually these look like some kind of line-drawing conversion of screenshots or something, they match so closely with the alpha version of the map the GoJo just sent me. Wow, if the alpha is any indication at all, everyone is in for a REAL treat with this map. Amazing, fantastically original stuff. Well these lil' storyboards will have to do for now: board 1, board 2 and board 3.
 
Trooper Updates Site
     Trooper wrote in to say that he's updated his site with lots of various goodies. The background looks a little funny now but it does appear that there's some new stuff to check out. Hey actually he had a new map that I didn't have, you can get that below but you really should check his site out too!
 
Three New Maps
     Truffle sent me a link to his new map Dead Horse Point. Sound scenic eh? Well actually it is, I was surprised by how high he was able to keep framerates with all the little buildings and ponds and fences he's packed in to this little desert ranch. Check out them cacti too! Here's the shot.
     BossMan sent me his new map named after his TR posse, Train Robbers' Club. It's a large twilight canyon with sniping ledges at opposite sides covering a large building surrounded by a moat in the middle. Fairly simple but framerates are high, check the shot.
     And the map I swiped from Trooper's site was ReMud, a remake of Gas' "Mud" map by Warrior (with permission, I gather). Looks like he's retextured the level and added in a watery underground passage underneath. Not sure this'd really draw Mud fans away from the original but I guess it makes for some variety; here's the shot.
 
BossMan's Site
     In addition to the new map above, BossMan sent me the URL of his new posse site:
 
Train Robbers
Java and multimedia heavy production by BossMan but it really does sound like a train is screaming through your room when you load up the opening page so I guess that's worth something. Pretty good selection of maps to download as well as some files and a fairly attractive interface.

     Well that's the news. Looks like I have the afternoon free here so I may as well spend it catching up on playing some of the newer (eheh or not so new by now) maps that I haven't gotten around to checkin' out yet. It's been quite some time since I've seen real action so if yer around, drop on by Pale's Place and shoot me up some.
 

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Wednesday 1/12/00
 
Whoa
     Jeez it's been a while eh? Man... well despite what a few folks might think on The Outlaws Message Board, my crappy updating lately has nothin' ta do with any state of the Outlaws community, or with me playin' some other game or somethin'. Shame on you fer thinkin' that! :P Basically something has come along that is simply claiming most of whatever free time I usually have left in a day. Something more important to me than video games you say? Strange but true. Go figure... Anyhoo I just wanted to head off the gloom and doomers out there who always seem to like talking about the world going to hell in a handbasket, and so forth.
 
OzE Moves to New Digs
     OzE switched over to a new site, darn him. Can't people sit still for 10 seconds? Sheez. Oh here's the new one:
 
OzE's Outlaws Site
He makes some levels and the site is kind of cute. Loads fast, easy to navigate.

 
Preview Shots From Johnny Zombie
     Johnny Zombie (or JZombie or whatever the heck he goes by these days) sent me some preview screenies of a level he's working on, to be called "Hmn Horse Co. & Livery Emporium." Here are the shots, pretty crazy stuff I think you'll agree: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3.
 
Mallard Site-ings
     Mallard sent me a tantalizing mail about giving his Saddlebag site which has been dormant for some months now a new lease on life. In fact if you head on over there you'll catch a bit of his plan of action, hopefully it won't be long now before he swings back in to full gear. :)
 
Wire Me Baby
     Blackthorn sent word of the latest edition of his Wire newsletter, this time featuring guest editor Gryph. Hmm... darn thing doesn't want to load up now... *kick kick* doh well I'll have to rely on old memory here, let's see there was a lot of email from Outlaws over the holidays, heartwarming stuff there, uh stuff about hardware and gameplay, yeah, more sniping between a few folks who can't seem to get along, ya know, the usual. Oh yeah 'kay it loaded up, yeah I was pretty much remembering correctly. Hmm Gryph had sworn he'd blow the doors off the thing, not sure I'm seeing that here... oh well, still a good read ya know.
 
Boogie-Oogie-Oogie With Gas
     Gas is one guy who keeps swearing off LawMaker, then coming right back with another kick-ass map. His latest calls itself Boogie and I must say it really lays the funk down in classic deathmatch-on-the-farm style action, with a crispy snow coating. You dig? Then chew on this fat shot, daddy-O. :d
 

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Tuesday 1/4/00
 
Mystical At Last
     Last1Stndin sent me his new map The Mystical Fortress a while back. I delayed uploadin' it 'cause his original text file didn't mention the name of the author of the level it uses as a base: Marshall's "Tunes." Well Last1 obliged me and supplied a modified .txt so here we are. A very nice looking level, of course not completely new but check out what he's done with this old building, for instance: screenshot. Neat.
     Something needs to be said though about the volume of unacceptable maps I am receiving these days. "The Mystical Fortress" represents the best case scenario: an innocent lack of credit in the .txt file that the author remedies when it is pointed out. Still, I shouldn't have to be the one to point this stuff out. And it does get worse: yesterday I received a map clearly based on an extremely old level that had the nerve to try to pass itself off as a "new level from scratch." Jeez people, give me some credit here. :P And then today I get not one but three "levels" that aren't zipped up, and don't have all the needed files sent along with them. Argh! This kind of thing didn't used to happen... perhaps my general indulgence has given some people the wrong idea. :P
 
Site for Sore Eyes?
     Uh someone who didn't bother to give their nickname mailed me this new site URL:
 
SC: South Cowboyz
Java and animation laden ugly affair with no real compelling content.

 
Revised Maps from SnotENoze
     SnotENoze sent me versions 1.1 of two of his recent maps: Big Hole 1.1 and Gotcha 1.1. Here's the new bit: "If you read the .txt files that were included with the original releases you may have noticed that I mentioned some errors that were displayed when these maps were played on a 2D card. With the assistance of SBD_Truffle these errors were corrected, so that those players without a 3D card no longer have to deal with the disappearing sections of porch roofs. Also in Paleface's review of "Gotcha" he mentioned that the map was a little dark. I reset the ambient light values in all the sectors of this map to a higher value to correct this fault."
 

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Monday 1/3/00
 
Well You Can Go To...
     Hmm we're off to a toasty start in the new millenium. Cozymeerkat sent me the URL of his new posse site. Warm up to the
 
Posse From Hell
Pretty basic page for this fiery posse. But you gotta love the flaming background.

 
Guess Them Levels
     Godzilla wrote in to tell me several things. First of all, Hoss is the talented winner of his BOC Posse site's first "Guess the Levels" contest seein' as how Hoss correctly guessed the names of 7 out of 8 levels just by lookin' at a dinky lil' screenshot of each one. The next "Guess the Levels" contest starts... err... started yesterday (I've been a bit behind on news here) so git goin' on those guesses! Remember, the luck winner receives a custom made CD with over 800 Outlaws levels on it!
 
Run Faster By Pressin' More?
     The Unforgiven dashed off a note that he's found that if you set two buttons to the Run function and then hold both of them, you run faster than normal but also tire faster. This sounds like the hidden "Run Very Fast" command that you can enable by fiddling with yer registry settings, but this way you don't have to. I guess?
 
Are You His Friend?
     Ahh the beauty of the world wide web... Zeurdoos has updated his web site with a new page of his Outlaws-playin' friends. Awww.... I don't have this site on my link list, just his OL levels page, 'cause it ain't strictly just Outlaws per se, but the friends page is so uh yeah.
 
dmpond Map
     Warrior sent along his new map, dmpond that he developed from a base made by OzE. Pretty simple map with one building in a canyon, little lake at one end. Textures look pretty good I guess, mebbe got a bit too frisky with scattering items everywhere. Couldn't hurt to take a look at it.
 
Fake Games Are Funny
     salmoides sent along a link to a GameCenter article called Top 10 Games You'll Never See which takes a look at some hilarious game concepts that probably will never see the light of day for reasons involving the law and general good taste. Hilarious, check it out!
     Whoa, can't believe I got through all the news. Haven't got started replyin' ta any email yet though so bear with me if ya did write, I won't fergit ya!
 

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Friday 12/31/99
 
Happy New Year!
     Whee! Well it ain't New Years here yet but by the time you read this you'll probably be in the next century. How is it? Hope everyone has a safe and happy millenium celebration. :)
     I've updated the Outlaws Sequel Petition for the occasion and am happy to report that we topped 1000 signatures, in fact we're close to 1100. Ted Willis is the lucky cowpoke who got signature 1000 on there, coining the immortal phrase "Updated version is a must have." I'm not sure I think a sequel is a must have, but it would probably be pretty cool. :) I'm still takin' signatures on th' petition so don't let th' fact that we're in a new year stop ya from addin' yer name.
 
River Side by OzE
     OzE sent in a new map, River Side. He was hopin' to get it out in Christmas day but err with my turnaround time in the holidays here that jus' didn't happen. Better late than never... It's a nice lookin', perpendicularly symmetrical map, if that makes sense. :P Done in the view-to-the-horizon mode this one sports a bunch of custom stuff including actual snowfall which really does look neat—sparse, but neat. Framerates get a bit low aboveground in a couple spots due to all the obstacles but really not too bad. Underground sports a pool with some really nasty sharks that basically eat you alive almost immediately. Ouch. Not sure how they'd affect lag but they probably add a tad to the bandwidth. All in all a nice map with interesting custom touches. Here's a shot.
 
News Sites for the New Year
     viseurHS sent me the URL of his all-French posse site, and I found a link to a site I didn't have on their link page.
 
The French Gang
Fun site for an all French posse. Nice use of frames, backgrounds and Javascript buttons provides an enjoyable way to browse info on the gang, screenshots from their best matches and some info on the game. Best thing? Seeing screenshots of the French version of Outlaws!
Creature9's Outlaw Page
Hmm Outlaws and hamsters, together at last. Kinda cute, anyway. Not a whole lot else on this individual Outlaw site though his comments on his OL friends make for a good read.

 
Gettin' That Third Button
     Karrde has done some registry hacking to get Outlaws to recognize the third mouse button on his Microsoft Explorer Mouse. Typically most new mice that are up to date with DirectInput don't have trouble gettin' th' third button to function in OL, but if yer havin' trouble you might wanna check out the detailed instructions on his site. Probably should also mention that I have some three button mouse drivers on my Other Useful Files page though these don't seem to work for everyone.
 
More Sites!
     Whoops! More sites, wow. Thanks to Sebastiaan Cassé and Hawk for sendin' in their site URLs:
 
Clan Dutchy
Not a tremendous amount of stuff at this posse site, yet, though they do have some (large) attractive graphics and a very good "favorite maps" section.
Hawk's Nest
Site currently in the works by Hawk. First page has a very nice, legible news format. Still to come are tips, links, character info, maps and info on his CBO posse.

     A few updates as well: Danger let me know that his site is down but you can still access his LawMaker Message Board and smac has done up a massive update to the already huge CBO site, be sure to check that one out!
 
Big Hole by SnotENoze
     SnotENoze (now there's a colorful name) sent in his latest work, Big Hole. This is quite a doozy of a map! The first thing you'll notice is his innovative border—rather than using huge canyon walls or an infinite horizon to hem in his map he's used large, sloping hills that look great and really do capture an in-the-valley feeling. The texturing seems unusually rich and attractive and the interiors sport an amazing amount of detail. Only slight knock is that there are a couple points around the perimeter of the farmhouses where framerates drop a bit but really only a couple. Very fine looking map indeed. :) Check out them thar hills in this shot.
 

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Tuesday 12/28/99
 
News Backlog Growing
     Uh-oh. Well I have a few minutes here so I'm gonna try to get in as many of the news items I have straining the sides of my mailbox as I can. Hope ya's all had a Merry Christmas, mine went pretty darn well I must say and thanks to all who wished me well. :)
     Hmm what more can I add here... well updates will probably remain fairly spotty through the new year, after that who knows. I'm trying to adopt a news style that leans more towards witty brevity but of course you can see how well that is working, can't you? :P Oh I know what I can mention, I haven't updated the Outlaws Sequel Petition yet but I can say for sure that we have passed the 1000 signature mark. In fact we blew it away—so no more chance to score the coveted 1000th spot, but if you check in now you do stand a decent chance of being #1100, I guess. :)
 
Trooper Marches On
     Trooper has moved on from his Elite League ladder to a more general OL page. Also found a link there to yet another site by Mista Man, oh and then OzE sent me a link as well:
 
Trooper's Outlaws Page
Tips, news, links and a decent map selection all in a quick-loading, attractive layout. What more can one ask for?
Mista's Shotgun Shop
News, level tips, map reviews and a selection for download plus other tasty tidbits in an elegant, efficient format. Very well put together.
OzE's Outlaws Site
Hmm uh well semi-daily news feed on this one-pager, may be more later. Loads fast, nice lookin' logo.

 
Moose Has New Ranch
     Moose sent me a new version of his "Ranch" map, Moose's Ranch v. 2—I took the liberty of altering the file name to keep it distinct from the first version. He says "i have just re-done my Mranch map as to increase the fps and stuff and hopefully make it a better map alround :0) please would you post it onto your site and ask people to e-mail me if they find anything wrong etc. (and yes, i still couldnt texture the top step!!!!!)" Okay! Well I couldn't really tell at a glance what was new so I'll have to take his word for it, if you wanna know what I thought of this first version why'n't'cha use my lil' search function below the lefthand menu, that's what it's there for ya know. :P
     Ooo that's all th' time I got for today. Way behind on my mail, don't take it personal if'n I don't get back to ya b'fore th' millenium strikes...
 

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Tuesday 12/21/99
 
Be 1000th Signature on Sequel Petition!
     I updated the Outlaws Sequel Petition yesterday (but didn't get it posted until today) and the grand total came to 987 signatures so far! :) Now that doesn't count the ones that came in today, but that was less than 13 so if you go sign that baby now, assuming that you haven't already, you just might be forever enshrined as the 1000th signee. I'm not really sure why that's a good thing, but it sure sounds cool, doesn't it?
 
Like Lambs to the...
     Kurt Vonnegut sent in his latest work... oh no wait, that's "Slaughterhouse-Five." Oops, my bad. What I meant to say was that sshep is back in the LawMaker swing of things with an eye towards updating his older maps, so he's begun by giving us Slaughter House 2. Ahh, so festive, don'tcha think? Actually it's a very tidy slaughterhouse with nary a speck of any kind of blood or entrails anywhere to be seen, and quite a bit brighter indoors than the first version. He's also done quite a bit to tidy up the conveyor belt in an effort to distance this one from what he refers to as its "lag infested" predecessor. Well, I liked the looks of the first one anyway and this one looks better yet. Here's a shot.
 
Succulent Holiday Giblets
     Well, looking at the busy week ahead I can only warn y'all that this could be my last chance at a real update until Christmas madness has passed us by. On the plus side, Big Nose Kate is riding in to town tomorrow for the holidays, woohoo!
     So a few choice morsels to leave you with. Hagen tells me that he's revamped and relocated his Aussie Outlaws Site, he's got some nice formatting changes and, most importantly, a return to his bubbly daily updates. Yahoo! And hmm I guess I'll leave you with this: a certain young LawMaker who wishes to remain anonymous tipped me off to the fact that he and Spidy have come up with a method of stopping water "bobbers:" a shark! Yep, you can pick up a shark to add to your maps over at ANV_Spidy's Outlaw Planet. Yikes! Might just want to stay out of the water entirely...
     Oh almost forgot to wish everyone a very
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 

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Monday 12/20/99
 
Danger Wire
     Short stuff today. :) Danger lemme know that the machine gun that was missin' from Spidy's site yesterday is now there fer yer downloadin', LawMakin' pleasure, and the he's updated the look of his own site to something much more elegant and attractive than what it once was. ;)
     Noticed over at Outlaws Gang Busters that there's a new ish of The Wire out. While not revolutionary [;)] it makes, as always, for an interesting read—among other things, this time around there's a copy of the transcript of the Zone chat with OL designer/programmer Steve Shaw that went down quite a while back. Ya know, I could swear I useta have a copy of that thing on this site somewhere but in my infinite *snicker* wisdom I seem to have either removed it for some reason or forgotten where it went. :P Good thing the Wire's around, that's all I can say.
 
Gamecenter Cheats Outlaws
     BTJustice is not a guy you want to rile up, 'cause he don't back down easy. He's been goin' on about gettin' folks to put down their opinion of Outlaws at CNET's Outlaws Opinion Page for some time now (up to 22 user reviews currently :). But he ain't gonna let CNET off with just a shellacking of user opinion. He pointed me over to the original CNET review of Outlaws in which their reviewer gives it a 4 out of 10, dissing the graphics, level design and "thin, one-note atmosphere." Hmm. Oh but that's not what BT had to point out, rather it's that in the two dinky included screenshots you can clearly see that the reviewer was using the unlimited ammo cheat code. Boy, now that's what I call good thorough playtesting, eh? :P
 

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Sunday 12/19/99
 
"Outside," "A CTF Christmas" Maps
     Ducky22 sent me his very first map, Outside. Basically a big square canyon with a gat barrel bunker in the middle and a funny tiling sky. Also oddly enough music began playing from my second CD when I loaded the level, huh.
     Truffle sent in a festive map called A CTF Christmas. Aww... just what you loved one wants this holiday season, don't you think? ;) "The flags were nestled, all snug in their bases..." Anyhow it's a fairly familiar layout with a long canyon with a hill in the middle and two bridges going across the width, one at each end—think it may have been Gas who came up with that general CTF scheme a while back. (?) But this one has snow, snowmen and a big Christmas tree in each base. Gawrsh. Here's a tree shot for ya. Hmm, don't see any presents under there yet...
 
Outlaws Planet updated, Chet's Site
     Danger wrote to let me know that Spidy and his son WildGunz have been addin' loads of new stuff for you to play with at ANV_Spidy's Outlaws Planet. I see they got a bunch of new textures there and a good deal of props. There's also supposed to be a new weapon, a submachinegun, but the download link seems to be broken at the moment.
     That site also has a link to a site that's new to me:
 
Chet's Outlaws Place
Irregular layout and pretty image/animation heavy, but probably the first place to look for the prolific Chet's latest map.

 

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Thursday 12/16/99
 
"Trapped" in "----------"
     Dang I know I shouldn't combine map names in a news title like that but it's so hard to resist sometimes, and I'm so weak. ;D
     Outlaw sent me a map by his fellow Death Rider posse member Blazin45 called Trapped. Just basically a flat, pointy oblong valley with lots of plants and barrels scattered around to obscure vision and stuff. But the texturing on the canyon walls is nice and framerates are, of course, quite good.
     Whoops! Had another map to post but going to have to check on some of the source material... argh. :P
 
Western MP3 From Doominator
     The Doominator (aka "CHAN Lancelot") is really takin' his MIDI composing seriously these days and man does it show. He's come out with a new piece called Phenda's Theme (after a character in a sword and sorcery story of his) that is really worth a listen. It's Western in the tradition of Ennio Morricone's tracks in Sergio Leone's classic "Fistful" spaghetti westerns, but he does take it in a direction all his own. And the choral work is stupendous, hard to believe he conjures up those voices via computer! Check it out. And if you like it, you can find more of his MP3s here.
 
A Lil' Page For Ya
    
Mike's Outlaws Page
Okay, it's really hard to rate a site that is THIS barebones, but author MikeDaKid does say that it is under construction. On the plus side it is very fast, easy to read, has a nice background color and a few levels to download. More to come soon, hopefully.

 

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Wednesday 12/15/99
 
Your Port is Showing
     GoJo thought you internet types might be interested in Shields UP! -- Internet Connection Security Analysis. This page will scan your computer over the internet, if you want it to, to illustrate just how vulnerable your system is to hackers. It also tells you what you can do to protect yourself. Pretty amazing what people can do to your system over your own internet connection—this page is worth a good look.
 
NWX and PCX LawMaker Tutorials
     GoJo's been a busy man of late—amazing what the guy can get done when he's stuck at home sick. I'd say "get well soon" but gee, he's being so productive... ;) Check out his LawMaker School site for his two new tutorials, one on making custom NWX files and one showing how to do custom PCX files. Very groovy stuff and, as you would expect from good ol' GoJ, easy to read and copiously illustrated. :)
 
Other Sites Do Stuff
     Two brand new sites, one kinda new one:
 
The Ultimate Guide for Sanchez Players
Text-based two-pager by SilverZ. First page is largely self-aggrandizing, as is the second, but at least there are some good tips for using Sanchez effectively on the second page.
Swift_Arrow's Unofficial Outlaws Site
Not complete yet but lots of good info here such as daily news, play tips and evaluations of characters and weapons in a very fast loading, bare-bones interface.
Karrde's Web Page
A funny looking page with some personality not to mention frequently updated news, weekly Outlaws polls and a self-confessed cheesy DHTML Outlaws game (which only works on recent versions of IE, doh!). It all adds up to a fun, friendly Outlaws site.

     Oh yes, and BTJustice pointed out that there are now 15 user-submitted opinions on Outlaws posted over on shopper.gamecenter.com's Outlaws Opinion Page. Now if one of those is yours, well done. If they ain't... well, let us not speak of it. :P
 

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Monday 12/13/99
 
"Guess the Levels" Contest at BOC
     GodZilla lemme know about a nifty contest he's put together on his BOC Posse site:
I have started a "Guess the levels" contest. Whomever can guess the most levels from 8 screencaps wins a CD with all the levels i have collected (817 to date...). This will be a monthly contest.
     Whoa, havin' all th' levels to tote around on a CD-ROM would be pretty darn handy! He went on to add that he hopes he hasn't made this first month's contest too easy... well, I can name a few of 'em right off, but some of 'em ain't so obvious to me, but mebbe you know yer maps better'n I do—go check it out!
 
More "Diminished Mine"
     Stuckshot sent in a new version of his latest map: Diminished Mine 2. Says he's sealed off the outer area so you can't get past the fence, and has added a bit more ammo. So there you go, if you didn't like folks rustlin' th' cattle out there in th' distance, now ya should be happy.
 
Don't Be It
     DrDeath2 popped in to my Pale's Place game today and found that although I'd set it on a Tag game, people were acting like it was a KFC game; that is, they were trying to STAY "it" rather than trying to tag another player. And the final stats didn't look so good when I rebooted this evening... geez. People, the idea in Tag is that the person with the LOWEST time wins. So, if you do get tagged you want to tag someone else as quickly as possible. I set the game on Tag again so here's yer chance to get it right... :P
 

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Sunday 12/12/99
 
"Diminished Mine" Map
     Stuckshot sent me his first published map, Diminished Mine. Here's what he said about it:
This is my first map... I worked triple time with LawTutor before even making one... I hope this shows... I took 2 designs, and 1 texture from other maps, but with first permission from the makers. There are some thing I learned incorperated into this map. In the basement, it starts off dark, but there are 2 light switvhes, (one in the basement, and one somewhere else)... they turn lights on in the basement, and make it bright. each one works for half the basement. The light in front of the stove, and under the lamp in the mine flash, like real light flickers... The Cow and horse die. )Thanks again to _Picante for the use of these). Umm, And there is also a new #4 gun, which is by Spidy... He made it, and was so kind to let me use it. There are 3 in the map, so u gotta get 'em... I didn't really have any help makin this map, but there is someone who taught me waht i know, in a hurry too..
     It's a big map, really big if you count the huge outer area where you can run for what seems like miles before coming to the border fence, and even then you can shoot the cows out on the horizon. Yes, the cows die and they are pretty neat. There are in fact a lot of nice detail touches here, with interesting lighting and attractive texture work. The construction is very solid though I think the overall layout could be focused a tad. But it's hard to believe that this is someone's first map, gosh. Here's a shot.
 
Hooliganism
     Outlaws player Jamie Redknapp sent me the link to his new posse site:
 
The English Hooligans
Soccer-themed site of a posse whose members name themselves after famous English club football players. Strange stuff as you might expect, but you gotta love that nice green pitch backdrop. Fast loading, easy to navigate, catchy theme... all go together to make one fine posse site.

 
Losermodems
     salmoides pointed me to a article on Winmodems at firingsquad.com. Actually I should have come up with a better summary there, it's more of a comparison of 3Com's new "Gaming Modem" with ye old cheapo software "Winmodems." Like most firingsquad articles it's about twice as long as it should be, but could be interesting reading. Hope none of you are unfortunate to be stuck with a Winmodem. :P
 

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Saturday 12/11/99
 
"Way Station," "Ghost Hill" Maps
     manco sent along his new map, Way Station which he intended to represent a station along the route of the Pony Express. It's a building in the middle of the field type map like Pattern Repair, with good framerates and nice attention to lighting indoors. The white fence around the perimeter looks a little unusual but it does give the map a distinctive appearance. Here's a shot.
     GoJo has finished up the map he's been hard at work on for quite some time, Ghost Hill - Kohna's Den. As always, GoJo pushes LawMaker to the limits, this time delving in to special effects with disappearing objects (ie the ghost), techniques to show huge vistas and uses for massive textures. Custom textures, sounds and props account for the huge size of this map, 679K, but he sure puts them to good use and the vertical, cliff-based layout is really unique. I like the size, too: just right for a medium-sized deathmatch. If you can stand the download I'm sure you'll like this one. Check some shots: shot 1, shot 2, shot 3 and shot 4. I didn't take a shot of th' ghost himself, don't wanna spoil it for ya. ;)
 
BT Says "Support Outlaws at C|NET"
     BTJustice is campaigning to get everybody, and this means you, to fill in yer opinion on Outlaws over at the Outlaws gamer review page on C|Net's Gamecenter.com. They don't post 'em right away (which is why mine ain't there yet) but hey, why not support the game and share yer love at the same time?
 
Sax and Gryph in Hot Web Action
     Good news for yer Outlaws websurfin' this holiday season: oldtimers Saxster and Gryphon have both hit the 'net with new web stuff.
     Saxster's Outlaws Hideout is, of course, one of the oldest and most popular OL sites around and although he isn't updating it on a regular basis these days, he has got his popular Q&A Forum up and running again, so you've got another place to go talk OL with the world.
     Gryphon's Outlaws Surf Shack has been dormant for two months but is now back to serving up steaming hot dishes of Outlaws news and uhh stuff as only the unflappable Gryphon can. Stop by regularly, it's a lot of fun. :)
 

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Thursday 12/9/99
 
Argh!
     Oh boy. First it's my site, now my DSL is acting really flaky. Hope I can get this update done before it chokes up again...
 
Site Stuff
     Doc tells me that he's moved his Quest Outlaws Team posse site and streamlined it in the process.
     Gryphon dropped a note to declare that as guest editor of issue 14 of Blackthorn's The Wire he is determined to make it the best issue ever, no matter what the cost. Yikes! Well that's still two issues away, something to look forward to next year. :)
 
Oh the Holidays
     Hmm guess that's all th' "news" for now. I'm a bit nervous about keeping up over the holidays, what with all you punks out of school and tooling around with Outlaws stuff all day while I get let's see two big days off out of the whole deal. Jealous? You bet. At least I've almost got my shopping done. Then it's on to the cards, hoo boy... :P
     Oh hey if you never caught "Run Lola Run" when it was in theatres, go rent it. Darn good movie, even if it is in German—subtitles, gotta love 'em.
 

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Tuesday 12/7/99
 
Argh!
     Couldn't upload yesterday as my provider was moving their datacenter. Doh. So all the stuff after this was supposed to be up yesterday. But hey if you haven't read it yet, it's still news to you! :)
 
Another Wire
     Blackthorn has whipped up another ish of his fantabulous Outlaws mag The Wire. Issue #12, to be specific. Now I don't wanna sound spoiled or nothin', but mebbe th' Wire could use a shot in the arm... It's a great read, as always, but sort of the same things: arguments about performance, about posses and announcements of new sites. Though I should note there are some very funny "lists" in there this issue, those are good. So what am I complaining about... dunno, just felt like being a malcontent tonight. This is what happens to me on days when there's only one news item. ;)
 
Another News Item
     Hark! Another news item. Well not really, just more of me complaining. The site is really slow right now, apparently it was even down completely earlier today. So I'm checking and... AHA! My hosts, pair.com, moved their datacenter today. You can follow minute by minute news of the move here. Thrillsville! Hmm the page says they're all done but the site is slow as a hog in summer so I'd say they're still working out some "issues." ;P
 
Dig In To Glide, Free!
     Who else here hates 3dfx's new web site? Major blech. But luckily you can now avoid that mess by moseying over to their new Linux site where you can check out their Glide Open Source announcement. Seems that they've opened up their previously proprietary Glide graphics library to free modification by hackers everywhere, yahoo! Probably won't mean a whole lot for Outlaws anytime in the near future but like I said it's a slow news day. I also find it interesting how the "gamer-oriented" 3dfx main site is total crap Java/Style-Sheet design whereas the "professional" Linux site is nice clean HTML. :P
 

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Sunday 12/5/99
 
Explore Chet's "Pyramid 3"
     Chet sent me his latest tomb raiding multiplayer map, Pyramid 3. A very impressive map with a full-scale pyramid with a complete exterior and extensive, sometimes maze-like tunnel system inside where he makes very clever use of lighting and custom props. Check out the shots: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3.
 
Give Your Opinion of Outlaws on C|Net
     BTJustice pointed out that in addition to having a list of places to buy Outlaws online, C|Net also has a page where you can give your opinion of Outlaws. BT's is the only one there so far, why don't we see what we can do to remedy that situation?
 
Site Stuffings
     Truffle let me know that he's given his Silent But Deadly posse site a makeover, lookin' good there. Doc has given his Zone Players Database site a festive holiday look, and let me know that over 100 Outlaws players have got themselves listed in this handy directory.
     GodZilla sent me the URL of his new posse site:
 
BOC Outlaws Posse Home Page
Gorgeous site on a 800x600 or higher screen. Webmaster GodZilla has put it all in here: tips on just about everything you need to know to become a master gunslinger, info on the "Boothill Outlaw Clan," maps and links, all in a sumptuous framed black interface.

 

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Thursday 12/2/99
 
More Idears
     Gee I probably shouldn't post notices of these additions on the front page here because it seems to encourage more ideas and I may end up with a gargantuan page soon, but anyhow I added ideas to the sequel page from Clint Cartright and bigdogch. Clint's is actually more like a mini-novella than just an idea, makes fer a fun read. :)
 

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Wednesday 12/1/99
 
"Gotcha" Multiplayer
     Totally swiped this one from Outlaws Gang Busters: Snot_E_Noze's new map Gotcha. This is a fine looking map along the lines of Pattern Repair with a multilevel building in the middle of a large corral type enclosure. The building in question is a large house with a fascinating amount of interior detail—I mean that a lot of effort plainly went in to making furniture and textures look just right for a large ranch house. There's even a sort of storage section on one side and a dark, dirty basement. Here's a shot of the basement and a shot of the building exterior. Notice the roof you can run around on. What a swell house, even if it is a bit dark. :)
 
Dig In To Six-Shooter
     Unusual bit of news, this... Raf pointed out that although the web site for "Six-Shooter Studios," a startup outfit at one time claiming to be developing a western shooter based on the Lithtech engine, has been down for quite some time, their FTP site is still there. Lots of folders... kind of unlikely that anything interesting is in there, but who knows?
     Oh, don't usually announce these on the first page, but what the heck—added some ideas from OzE to the sequel ideas page.
 

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Tuesday 11/30/99
 
Sequel Petition Close to 900
     Updated the Outlaws Sequel Petition (shortcut link always under the logo on this page). Thought I had us up to 900 signatures even but then found someone who sent twice. :P So only 899 so far, not too shabby I guess. Of course we're shootin' for th' big 1000, got about a month left, no time to waste!
 

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Monday 11/29/99
 
A Coyote's Sequel Idea
     Haven't had any new stuff to add to the sequel ideas page for quite some time now but Tucson Coyote has broken the drought with a pretty involved plotline for a sequel featuring many of our old friends (and enemies). Fun stuff to think about, go check it out (new stuff is at the bottom of the list).
 
A League of Your Own
     Trooper's been running his Elite League ladder for a while and it's been so successful that he's thinking of creating a second league. His working name is "The All League" and it would be an open league for those wanting to fight their way up in to the Elite League. Or something like that. So go visit his page and let him know what you think of the idea.
 

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Sunday 11/28/99
 
Chow Down on Leftovers
     Mmmm, turkey sandwiches... :d As you can see I'm a bit behind in gettin' th' news out so I'll hustle through it as best I can, startin' with th' new maps.
     Johnny Zombie shared out his new map, Deadwood Canyon. A symmetrical two-fort style CTF map this one, I like the way the three attack paths cross each other, should keep things plenty interesting. A bit shady in the sandy canyons though the texturing looks pretty good.
     Moose sent in Moose Ranch with the following disclaimer:
i have just finished a new map called moose's ranch which i was hoping you could put onto your site and perhaps ask people to send me their suggestions on how to make it better (i know the top step is un-textured but i couldn't fix it!)
     You can mail the Moose at [removed]. It's a big wide map with an extensive (dark) tunnel system below, rifles will dominate the open fields above. Some texturing glitches in there, framerates okay.
 
WAC Flashed
     "Whoop Ass Crew" members Docolero and Dirty O'Lero have completely redone the venerable WAC City site, creating a veritable multimedia extravaganza with extensive use of Flash stuff. Very high bandwidth, a good deal of stuff not in yet but the main menu alone is worth a look.
 
Outlaws TV
     Well, almost. Dude tipped me off to this article on ZDNet on first-person shooters that's accompanied by a 3.5 minute Realplayer format video segment which includes a very brief interview with Outlaws programmer/designer Stephen Shaw and a quick glimpse of gameplay from Outlaws, hooray. Sort of interesting to see but the actual show content is old news to anyone and I warn you, the host is incredibly irritating. :P
 
Registry Hard, Win98 Easy
     Regarding my recent tip on using Regedit to clear out programs that may be loading unnecessarily with Windows, the intrepid Truffle pointed out that folks with Win98 have a nice handy utility that will do the same thing without the potential mess that may come from dinking around in regedit: "win98 users you can go to run and type msconfig and click startup and edit stuff there." Thanks Truff!
 
Taunt Tactics
     My taunts page covers how to use audio taunts in Outlaws, but Superjay has a specific tactical implementation of taunting that he'd like to share:
1. Run ta where they caint see ya.
2. Open up tha text window (alt + y) then type in hit.wav (er bmhit.wav if ya's got mary)
3. Type in yer character's 2 letter 'breviation (ex. JA fer james BO fer bob...) and "die"; like jadie fer james and tack on a .wav at tha end an' hit enter fer the sound.("jadie.wav" fer james) Once again... If yas got mary, it'll be bmdie.wav... ol' hag sounds like a duck!
     When ya put 'er all togher, ya get the sound of a hit and a death. so that guy thinks yer dead cuz a lag now... so when he comes 'round that corner lookin' fer ya dropped ammo real un suspectin' like an reloadin, load 'im up with some buckshot. And everyone thought lag wern't gud fer nuttin'!
     Pret-ty darn sneaky there SuperJ!
 

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Thursday 11/25/99
 
Stuff Yerself on New Maps
     Gadzooks I dunno how I'm gonna have room for turkey after all these new maps, better cut a few extra notches in the belt... Oh hey by th' way if yer sittin' around with the "fam" all bloated and happy, why not see if they wanna get in on the Outlaws Sequel Petition? Those of you payin' attention will note that I've moved the petition shortcut link to just under my logo, bein' as how we're closin' in on th' end of the petition period—and oh-so-close to 1000 signatures!
     Flopur sent down Muddy Ditches v2. This one looks a lot like his first Muddy Ditches arena but he's taken the roofs off of the buildings, to raise framerates a bit I guess or just open the thing up more. Also feels a bit like gravity is a tad lower than normal, kind of a glidey feeling in there.
     MadWithGunz sent along two maps both based closely on levels from the N64 game Goldeneye: Goldeneye Stack and Goldeneye Archive. I've never played Goldeneye much so I can't vouch for how close they are to that game. :P Stack is an extremely confusing indoor multilevel maze—I got lost even running around with my map open. The walk-through walls and lack of running sounds doesn't help, though at least he's marked the walls you can run through with a slightly brighter shade. Still way too tough to figger out for a simple guy like me with no patience. ;) Archive is much the same, though a lot smaller and without the indications for the walk-through parts of the walls.
     Truffle threw down Demolition Ranch, a smallish medium sized ranch with lots of TNT sprinkled around. Looks nice and I like TNT, though I wonder if the constantly-respawning sticks everywhere might not add a bit to lag. Probably not much. Here's a screenshot.
     Whoops. There was gonna be another map but ran in to some trouble with the custom textures... guess we'll see that in a few days, hopefully.
     Chet mentioned that his just-released map "Shroud" was left intentionally unfinished so that someone who cares to can finish up the texturing, item placement and so forth. So uh if you want to tidy up for Chet I guess yer welcome to it.
 
Run Lean and Mean
     You all know how much I love mucking around in my registry. Well here's a good tip for possibly improving your system performance that I picked up from a programmer at work. Run regedit (Start menu/Run..., enter "regedit" and hit OK) and open up this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. You'll see the programs that Window loads when yer desktop boots up. I found that I actually had something from my old Quantum Raven Banshee loading up in there—didn't seem to be screwing up my system, but probably lengthened the time it took to boot, so I deleted it. Anyhow, I'd only mess with that stuff if you know what'cher doin'.
 
Thanksgiving Dish
     Beignet can't resist causin' trouble, even on a holiday. She done wrote up a top ten "Turkey" list on her Webzine that makes for a festive read. She also sent along a lil' holiday cartoon fer yer amusement. Ain't she a sweetums? :)
     And just fer those who can't get enough of that holiday spirit, Arrowsmith sent along another ASCII art masterpiece. Dig in!
 
[ Mary Nash with a turkey platter ]
By Arrowsmith 25/11/99

         .-""""-._.'|
        /     '.|   |
       /        |   /
      |      -= |  /|     (
      |         |/`< )     )  (
      ;       -=|  _|          )
       \        \  /        ____ /)
        '._ _.-""-.<      .'    `\/)
          / /      \     / _   .'`/|
       _ / |        '-._( __\ (__/_/=,
      ( \|  \      -=/  /--;==========`
    ._,;'\==='-,..__/__/__.'
   `'--/,/     || '  \
      / |  /   ||  '  \
      \/  .    ||      ;
       /   \   ||      :
      /   /    ||      |
     |  .      ||      |
     /         '=------|
    / '    ;      ;   ;|
   `-.___.___.___.___._/


 

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Tuesday 11/23/99
 
Watch What You Patch
     I've been conversatin' a bit lately with BigDogCH who's been somewhat bummed out with problems trying to join the game, or even any Outlaws game at all. After lots of digging we seem to have determined this: it looks as if there is a version of Outlaws, probably the very first boxes with the "Handful of Missions" stickers on the front, that had a slightly screwed-up olwin.exe file on them. This was one of the reasons for the 2.01 patch. However while the 2.01 patch would fix the problem by replacing the olwin.exe, it will not allow itself to be installed because it does not detect version 2.0 as installed.
     How can ya tell if you have this screwy version? Well first it would'a come from a box with a "Handful of Missions" sticker on it, and was probably bought over a year ago—new copies come fully upgraded to 2.01 already. But of course the main tip-off is that you can't join in the Zone because it tells you you need version 2.0, even though your version IS 2.0 out of the box, and the 2.01 patch won't install either.
     If this sounds familiar, here's how you make sure you got the bum version. Stick in yer Outlaws CD #1 an' look in the root directory: there should be a readme.txt there that starts out like this:
LucasArts Entertainment Co.
O U T L A W S version 2.0
8/14/97
     Now, if that is at the top of yer readme.txt, browse in to the "Outlaws" directory on the CD, right-click on olwin.exe and select "Properties." Click on the "Version" tab and see what it says at the top for "File version." If it says "2.0.1" then you have the most recent retail version and you should be in good shape. If it says "1.1.1" then you probably do have the screwy version.
     What to do in this case? BigDog says that while you can install 2.0 over your 2.0 retail install, that will screw things up—he believes this is what rendered him unable to play multiplayer at all. So I came up with a registry hack to tell OL that is IS version 2.0, so that the 2.01 patch will install and you can play multiplayer again. Here's what I had BigDog try, and it appears to have done the trick for him:
  1. Install off of your "Handful" CD.
  2. Go to Start Menu/Run... and enter "regedit" without the quotes. Press OK.
  3. Regedit should run in a window. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\LucasArts Entertainment Company\Outlaws\v1.0\ and double click on the string value called "Version" in the right-hand panel.
  4. In the Edit String window that appears, make sure the value data is 2.0. If it says 1.1, change it to 2.0 and click the OK button.
  5. Right-click on the "Outlaws" key in the left-hand panel (under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\LucasArts Entertainment Company) and choose New > Key from the popup menu. Name the key "v2.0" without the quotes.
  6. Run the 2.01 patch.
  7. If it installs, try logging on to the Zone.
     As always, try this at'cher own risk (reassuring, ain't I?). If ya do have th' screwy version an' ya try this out, lemme know how it goes. BigDog's advice, with which I can't help but agree, is to say to heck with it and go find yerself a shiny new 2.01 retail version—if yer lookin' fer a place to buy online, this page at GameCenter has a pretty long list of places you can find it at, besides the LEC online store I suppose.
 
Duck Duck Rock
     Snagged Chet's new map Shroud over at Outlaws Gang Busters. This one's goin' in my "temp" folder so get it quick here if you want it, though I think it will stick around at OGB. Oh, it's goin' in there 'cause it's so big, 643k—this is due to the 6 custom character files in there. Frankly I wish they weren't there 'cause it's a fine map with absolutely amazing framerates considering the open construction of the building and the surrounding fence which complicates the view—Chet has worked some magic with his use of sectors here. The building is small but offers lots of nifty surfaces to run and climb on, looks very nice and should make a great small DM map. Here's a shot.
     So what about the custom characters? Well they look like the normal characters in every respect—until someone ducks. At that point they turn into a rock, stump, canteen or box of shotgun shells, depending on which character they chose. This is sorta interesting... a worthy experiment, I guess. Just wish it didn't hafta make the map file so darn big.
 
Gaskar the Kid
     Today is Billy the Kid's birthday... or the anniversary of the same day in 1859, anyhow, accordin' to Gaskar. He's got a lot more info on Billy linked from his site, why'nt you go check that out? Oho he's also got some more dish on "Shroud" so now you know you oughta get on over there.
 
The Long Road Home
     Johnny Zombie is workin' on a single-player map these days. He says that in this one "you're gonna be Dr. Death, trying to get out of Hell to get revenge on The Marshall." Yikes. Here's a shot. Nifty lighting effect, eh? He's just started so it will be a while 'fore you see this one... Oh, and if any helpful LawMakin' types know how to END a single-player mission, Johnny could use a tip—email him at [removed].
 

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Monday 11/22/99
 
Double Date
     No, not me out on the town—look at the date! Guess that only happens uh once every eleven years or so, mostly. Cool. Oh wait, it also pretty much happened eleven days ago. Hmm at least I noticed it the second time around. :P
 
Elite Page
     Notorious wrote in with the URL of his gang's upcoming page:
 
The Elite Homepage
Shockingly gorgeous graphics by Savior and very solid layout by Notorious make for one dandy of a nice lookin' site. Not much here yet aside from the eye-candy, but the menu indicates plans in the works.

 
Karrde Gets GoJo'd
     Karrde has shot up his page with a new update consisting of news straight from the LawMaker's mouth about GoJo's upcoming map, "Ghost Hill," and two amazing shots of the custom-texture-draped architecture. Man-o-man. You have gotta see those... GoJo actually sent 'em to a bunch'a webslingers, but Karrde beat me to th' punch. ;) Karrde tops it all off with a poll on how much yer lookin' forward to this upcoming map that GoJo is working so hard to promote (and doing a darn good job if I say so myself).
 

* * *

 
Sunday 11/21/99
 
GoJo's Mystery Revealed
     GoJo has revealed the secret behind the sleight-of-Lawmaker that he showed a week ago in this screenshot. It has to do with the lighting, or lack thereof, over the doorway. You can check out the full answer in the thread on the OGB's Outlaws Message Board.
 

* * *

 
Saturday 11/20/99
 
The Zone Players Database Wants You
     Doc has officially launched his Zone Players Database site, already got loads of folks listed in there. Go sign up, everybody's doin' it! Or just go to scam the lowdown on all those mysterious folks you play with day in an' day out.
 
CTF Tips from Horsemen
     DBull sends word that the Horsemen posse site now has a page with tips for achieving brilliant success in the often confusing world of Outlaws CTF play. I know CTF still kind'a intimidates me—I think it's that whole thing with having to try followin' a plan, or somethin'—so this is a mighty handy page to get started on.
 
A Mysterious Win98 Fix
     Ever since BigDogCH changed from Win95 to Win98SE he's had huge problems joining Outlaws games, even outside the Zone. His buddy, RAM53, also has 98SE but does not have trouble joining games. So they came up with the idea of copying RAM's olwin.exe file over to BigDog's computer and guess what, BigDog can now join TCP/IP Outlaws games, if not Zone ones. The strange thing is that the olwin files seemed to be exactly the same, same size and everything. Both were based from retail 2.0 CDs upgraded to 2.01. Where the difference lies, who knows, but BigDog suggests that those having trouble joining games under 98 try grabbing the olwin.exe file from a fellow 98 user who isn't having the same trouble.
     As sort of a side note, it came out of my discussion with BigDog that there are two versions of the "Handful of Missions" retail version: the original 2.0 version that can still be upgraded with the 2.01 patch, and the most recent 2.0.1 version that does not need the patch—in fact if you try running the patch it tells you it won't do it 'cause there's no need. You can tell which version you have (remember, this is only for those who have the retail box with the "Handful of Missions" sticker on the front) by browsing the "Outlaws" directory of the first CD, right-clicking on "olwin.exe" and selecting "Properties" from the pop-up menu. In the window that comes up, click the "Version" tab. If your "File version" says "1.1.1" then you have the older Handful retail that does need the 2.01 patch. If the file version is 2.0.1, you've already got version 2.01 as soon as you install the game, no patching required. Any copy you pick up from a reputable store these days should be 2.0.1, though as far as I know there's no way to tell it apart from the older 1.1.1 by the box.
 
Atlantis? No, OLCity
     Truffle sent in his latest map, OLCity. Pretty offbeat design here with a lil' town and something like a farm with a baseball diamond, long canyon ledges and then a long lake with underwater buildings in it and two narrow bridges crossing overhead. I dunno, just check the screenshot. Vanishing canyon walls made it a bit confusing, and you can see how underwater from certain positions opaque water walls appear, but overall it seems to be fairly solid. Framerates drop facing back from the far ends of the lake which isn't surprising considering all the buildings down there. Pretty funky swimming around inside building—remember that one level in Duke Nukem? Well it's kinda like that. ;)
 

* * *

 
Thursday 11/18/99
 
A Pair of Sequels
     No, not a sequel to Outlaws, but two sequels to Outlaws maps. :P
     JZombie (he's shortened his name, I think this is the Hollywood version now ;) sent along Outlaws 2 - The Sequel!, sequel of course to his previous "Outlaws - The Movie!" map which was set in a movie theater where you could cross through the screen and enter the western scene. The sequel literally expands upon the first by turning the theater into a multiplex which is now showing a film which seems to be inspired by a certain scary movie of the past summer: a tent, dark night, river, stick figures... you gettin' this yet? The question is as with any sequel, does this one stand on its own or is it just a cheap attempt to squeeze more out of an old idea? Well I'd say more of the second than the first, the added-on lobby is even pretty rough looking. But I think fans of the first will enjoy this expansion of the franchise. ;) Here's a shot from inside the new movie.
     Now this is a little unusual, a new map and its sequel arriving at the very same time! Last1Stndin sent over his new one Bar Fight and the sequel, Barfite2. Both these maps are over 500k due to all the modified files, mostly modified WWII weapons from "Guadalcanal" and various props from "OZ Hotel" (note that both these maps give permission to reuse the items, and Last1 gives credit to authors Slaters_dog and Raptor in his text files). They share the same layout, a town or farm arranged around a large oblong sink-hole, and seem to differ only in the types of modified weapons you find within. The layout is wide open and, with the hole in the middle, does not lend itself to decent framerates. Here's a shot. In the end all the custom stuff is great but in these maps becomes a bit of a mish-mash, may be fun for a few matches. Oh since the maps are so large they are in my "temp" directory, grab 'em now 'cause I gotta remove 'em in a few days to make room.
 
Outlaws in Linux
     Mr. Slack hasn't been seen in Outlaws circles for some time now but he hasn't been slackin', actually, it seems he's been delving in to the mysterious world of the powerful freeware operating system Linux (a free verion of Unix). And he comes back with some exciting news for you highbrow "hacker" types out there—Outlaws runs on Linux using Wine, a Linux program that lets you run Windows in a Unix-based platform. To prove it he sent along some screen grabs of OL running in a Window on his Linux desktop: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3.
     He's fairly certain that you could run OL full-screen in Linux on a 3dfx card since there are Glide drivers for Linux, though he hasn't yet tried them out. He's also planning on giving network OL a shot through Linux. Now if those things work, there jus' might be a lotta Linux converts popping up in the OL community. :)
 
Help Map Making Message Board
     Danger wants mapmakin' types in the know to head on over to his Map Making Message Board to see if ya kin help out a few LawMakers in need of expert advice. So why not head on over an' share some'a that LawMaker know-how you got stored up?
 

* * *

 
Wednesday 11/17/99
 
"Rimfire Ranch" from Nowhere Man
     Yep, I'm just too tired to come up with a snappy title at this point—I have gotta lay off the sugary deserts, when that stuff wears off I'm just done for. :P Anyhoo, Nowhere Man sent in his latest map, Rimfire Ranch, a big Texas ranch at night with crickets and err lots of cattle. Nice big place with multiple buildings, for the most part the framerate holds up nicely. You can jump the fence and run around outside with the cows, but through very careful construction you can not jump back OVER the fence again, you'll have to run around to the gate—and depending where you went out, that can be quite a hike. Way outside the ranch the framerate drops as you look back, but only dirty snipers are gonna be goin' out there anyhow... Check the screenshot.
 
WireWire
     Boy that was a feeble title... Blackthorn sent me the word that issue #11 of his wild online talk-show type Outlaws page, The Wire, is now up and causing tabloid editors considerable consternation. Let's see this ish goes heavy on the posse mudslinging, with some hardware bickering thrown in for good measure. In fact 'thorn has kicked off a new feature, the "Hardware Comparison Table," where he's compiling a list of everyone's computer hardware—quite a project I'd say, esp. once everyone starts upgrading and wants to change their listing hehe.
     Oh and just to make me happy some boys from CB4 try to get mad at me for the low rating I gave their site—funny, 'cause I actually upgraded their rating last night when I spent nearly an hour looking through my Outlaws site links. Now I'm tempted to lower it back down ;) but darn those new buttons of theirs are fun... Happily though I did find a good number of "dead" sites that I was able to weed off the list and the page should load up a tad faster now. If'n you ever come across a link there to a page that is now missing—not one that just never loads up, but one where the server actually tells you the page is no longer available—let me know, I like to keep the link list as up to date as possible.
 
Indy Custom Levels Illegal?
     If you follow the general gaming scene you may know that Lucasarts just released a demo for their upcoming "Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine" (or whatever) game. I tried it out and frankly I was quite disappointed with the controls. I mean, third-person exploring games aren't really my thing but man, Indy is just hard to move around. And you can turn on mouselook but it ends up making you walk back and forth when you're just trying to look around, and good luck navigating the menus with the mouse. ;P
     Anyhow I brought this up b'cause Raptor sent me the following:
Just read this at the Dark Jedi's "general discussion area" msg board:
" Just Got Indy... And it looks like the license agreement doesn't allow anykind of addons whatsoever. And I quote "You may not: ... (2) modify or prepare derivative workds of the software; ... (5) design or distribute unauthorized levels; or (6) reverse engineer, decompile or dissasemble the Software."
So much of new Indy levels :-(
Time to play :-) "
That was from some guy called Blue Ghost
Looks like LEC are shooting themselves in the foot again. I've always said the main reason that outlaws is still played is becaise of the new levels and level maker. Most other compaines know this and actually provide a level editor with the game. I don't know how they can survive with such restrictive policies, that star war's name must be worth a hell of a lot.
     Well, yeah that does kind of suck, if you look at it in one way. But come to think of it, they don't define there what an "unauthorized" level is—I think they may just be trying to prevent people from making new levels and then billing it in retail as an official add-on. Anyhow, as far as I can tell Indy is single-player only so there probably won't be a big editing community, esp considering that there's no level editor yet—not that there ever is for an LEC game. Actually since Indy uses a modified Jedi Knight engine, mebbe th' Jedi Knight editor can be converted... oh well now I'm just rambling, darn sugar lows...
 

* * *

 
Tuesday 11/16/99
 
Voodoo's 4 & 5 Announced
     3dfx officially unveiled the specs for its upcoming Voodoo 4 and Voodoo 5 boards on Monday. Of course since Outlaws is Glide-accelerated only we're all interested in what 3dfx has on the burner. These new boards use a new version of the Voodoo hardware that lets 3dfx pile nearly as many chips as they want on a single board to multiply the polygon fillrate to ridiculous amounts. I'm not gonna to into the numbers, you can find that on their site, but it does look like running Outlaws at 800x600 with full-screen antialiasing may very likely be happening next spring. Woo!
     Of course there's an ongoing debate amongst those with nothing better to do (I include myself here) about the relative merits of upcoming cards from 3dfx and nVidia. 3dfx is touting their antialiasing and fill rate while nVidia is shouting right and left about their ability to do vertex transformations and dynamic lighting in hardware. We'll see the benchmarks when the boards are out, but I find it interesting that 3dfx, which up to now has been behind on image quality, is now bragging about the image quality of their next boards (what with the antialiasing and "T-Buffer" effects) whereas nVidia, who in the past has run a huge "IQ" ("Image Quality") campaign, is now telling everyone how their hardware T&L will boost framerates, even at the cost of a little image quality since hardware lighting tends to show artifacts that software lighting does not.
     Oh, almost forgot to mention an interesting development today. Turns out that the power requirements for the upcoming Voodoo cards are so high that they will require their own external power sources. Yipe. Here's a shot from VoodooExtreme of a Voodoo 5 6000 and its power supply—note also the quad processor chips. Geez.
 
Webbin's
     Not one but three new sites have surfaced today:
 
SyN Homepage
Uh, there's a nice graphic of Batman crashing through a flaming window and that's pretty much it. Webmaster essix promises more Syndicate posse stuff to come shortly.
Mista Man's Cavern
Fast, easy to read, news, some maps, top players lists and so forth.
Zone Players Database
Beginning of an ambitious site by Doc which aims to form the definitive list of all Outlaws Zone players and posses through an interface ripped straight from Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone.

     Doc's registration or signup interface isn't done yet but for now he wants to encourage people to get the ZPD off to a rip-roarin' start by emailing him your name and posse and even a picture of yourself if you got one. Send to [removed].
 
A LawMaker Poser from GoJo
     Well I'm way out of my depth here, but all you LawMakin' types should have some fun with this. GoJo has sent along a mysterious screenshot from his work-in-progress map called "Ghost Hill." He says:
    I have another innovation, howsomever, it looks so natural, ya may not be able to even see it. Hehe, two questions: What makes this screenshot unique, and if ya get that one, how the heck did I do it.
    No it isn't the smoke, that's old news.
    By the by, I dumped the cabin up top. It's now a clearing in the woods with a couple of rocks to hide behind. I figgered that any idjit would try to live closer to the water, and that's a mean hill to be luggin a bucket around. I just made a separate cleft cave that had been modified with a wall to keep out the chill. There's a natural chimney in there.
    Anyway, who's got the good eyes. :-)
     Man I don't even know what I'm lookin' at here. Somethin' funny with the light, but I don't think that's what he means... Well don't tell me, you should probably email GoJo.
 

* * *

 
Sunday 11/14/99
 
Sequel Petition Update
     Did a big update to the Outlaws Sequel Petition, now over 800 signatures on the darn thing, woohoo! Closin' in on 1000 at a good rate.
 
I'm Not This Bad, Really
     Sheesh this has happened two weeks in a row now I think, me not getting in an update between Wednesday and Sunday. And both times I would'a been able to do an update Thursday, but there was just no news so I took a lil' holiday... then Friday/Saturday come around and *bango* news floods in like mad, and me out an' about unable to update. So what I'm tryin' ta say here is that I didn't really miss three days, just two. Yeah yeah excuses excuses... :P
 
Vodka Boom
     Yes you know what with glasnost and exchange rates and all that... oh no wait wait, this is just about two new maps, not the potato happy juice. :p
     Eastwood sent me his latest, the "specially for CTF" Boom. The title derives from the author's penchant for going heavy on the TNT, something that as a shameless Sanchez buff I can't say I don't appreciate. The layout here is very nice, simple but effective with insanely high framerates: I hit 500 fps looking at a wall, which I think is a first for me (previously had just been looking at sky in a few maps). On the down side, the staircases scream for texture stitching and there are at least 4 AI characters. The moving, mooing cow skulls are kinda neat but they will add to lag and that's always a factor, especially for CTF. And I wasn't too pleased when that darn demonic poodle killed me. ;P
     The late SilverZ, now known as Imp sent me a brand new map by himself and Eddwood dedicated to his old posse, Vodka. I was pleasantly surprised by this map: it's one of the most impressive that I've seen in some time now, seems to hit back to that nice dusty Old West feel that a lot of mapmakers seem to have forgotten these days. A small deathmatcher this one, with an interestingly shaped building in a small canyon accompanied by a dark passage up to a sniping ledge. There are numerous nice spots to chuck TNT from and the looping layout will keep things moving nicely. Framerate does drop up on the sniping ledge but darn it, I ain't gonna shed no tears that th' varmit snipin' at me is shootin' a tad slow. :P Here's the shot from the ledge.
 
Scary Preview Pics
     Some sort of post-Halloween obsession with the afterlife going on here...
     GoJo sent me a shot from his work-in-progress map dubbed "Ghost Hill." Check it out, a lovely view of a valley and the horizon draped in scads of custom textures—just dig those distant mountains! I wish he'd a sent a screenie of the ghost character he's making (which is now apparently functional, disappears when it gets close to ya) but I guess it's probably best not to spoil the surprise.
     Chet sent me a bunch'a shots from his upcoming map, "Pyramid 3." Chet useta crank out maps like a maniac but he's takin' his time on this one an' I do think it is paying off by the look of these shots: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3. Pretty darn dark, but oh-so atmospheric, don't you think?
 
Site Stuff
     Danger sent me the URL of his new site:
 
Danger's Outlaws Page
Much of th' layout of this here page reminds me a lot of a certain other Outlaws site but I think there's just about enough new stuff here to get away with it. A very complete site featuring, among other things, files, level reviews, a posse name list, strategy tips and tricks (har), an image gallery, message boards and a LawMaker section.

     Truffle sends word that he's got a poll asking which OL site has the best news coverage. I wanted to spam the vote (muhahah) but I couldn't quite find the poll over on his SBD Clan site. I'm sure it's there somewhere though... so uh go find it.
     salmoides tipped me off to GameDictionary.com, a site that's collecting definitions for all th' complex language of today's PC gaming industry. Do you know what "MFD" stands for? Better go find out.
 

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Wednesday 11/10/99
 
Santo Bajo Framerates, Palohombre!
     Oh gosh Babelfish is just too much fun, makes you think you can speak other languages without going to school...
     But I digress. Johnny Zombie is on a tear lately, today givin' us another new map, Santa Sangre which means holy blood or Santa blood or something... err... anyway he says it's from a film.
     This map illustrates a classic problem of CTF design with the Outlaws engine, which is that the natural urge is to put everything facing in to the middle but this causes dramatic drops in framerate. I hit low 20's in this map and that is really bad for my machine. It looks nice with big towering bases in opposite corners and little ponds and pits and open structures in between but I think the framerate hit is way too much, for me anyhow. Check the screenshot.
 
Your Default Texture is Showing
     Truffle sent me this screenshot showing, gasp, a default texture in the "Civil War" historical mission. Oh me, oh my, the world is coming to an end or something. Sure he probably cheated to get that shot but jeez, I'm just crushed...
 
Frags and Freud
     Yes, you can do more than just whup someone really bad online, you can completely break them if you play your cards right. Well, that's part of what I think I gleaned from this Gamasutra article on the psychology of multiplayer games. Doesn't mention OL per se (that's Latin, I think it means "for Pete's sake" :P) but heck, use some imagination. Thanks to Dude fer th' link.
 

* * *

 
Tuesday 11/9/99
 
O Won't You Lag With Me
     That lovable undead LawMaker Johnny Zombie has a new map for y'all, Lago. Surprisingly enough this isn't just named after the slang term for internet latency but rather for the mining town from the movie "High Plains Drifter." Man, a little culture there for us, rather shocking. Th' map is big, real big, an' th' buildings are big too in a sorta simple blocky way, though the big mansion has quite a buncha rooms to explore. There are a few rough edges here and there, the framerate drops at one end of the valley and the huge dark cavernous underground area may come close to boring you to tears, but it does have th' makin's of a solid map.
     Here's fun, listen for the nice crunching sound your ribs make if you manage to wedge yourself in just right behind the mansion's staircase. Ouch! Oh yah and here's the screenshot.
 
Oklahoma Outlaws Role Call
     EasyTarget has word of big doin's in his neighborhood. Give a listen:
a few of us Oklahoma boys are gonna meet up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this saturday at Fred's Code West club/bar, just wonderin if ya might mention it on you site, maybe some other folks might wanna show up too you can put my email [removed] for anyone with questions
     Yessir, if you live out that way (and perhaps are over 21) you now have no excuse fer stayin' home Saturday night. :P And he didn't specifically mention it, but I'll bet ladies are more than welcome as well (jus' tryin' ta help here ;).
 
DarkJedi Board Reverts to Type
     The official LawMaker message board at DarkJedi.com has been switched back to the good plain ol' indented inline format. They'd toyed around with one of them slick new systems where you hafta register first in order to post and can't see the replies to a post until you go to the post's page, which is kinda weak, but now it's back in the free-range form we all know and love. Thanks to GoJo for the tip-off and of course thanks to the original LawMaker Stealth fer going back to the old board format.
 

* * *

 
Monday 11/8/99
 
"Lawmaker"
     Har is this confusing enough for ya? Eastwood sent me a map made by himself and Kevorkian in LawMaker called Lawmaker. But that ain't all—it shows up in yer map list as "zigzag." Yeah, go figger that one out an' then come back and explain it ta me.
     The readme says this'un is based on the LawMaker tutorial level, not that I'd know or nothin'. It is pretty basic and sparse in detail but really I guess it's got all ya need for a good game, an' it's pretty roomy. I like the texture choices but stitching is another story, as usual... :P Ah and can you find the very hard to spot 3dfx error? Betcha can't! Well don't spend too long looking, people will start to talk... Oh! Here's a screenshot.
 
Whither Shall I Kali?
     The Kali Outlaws chat server was sort'a up an' down fer th' past few days, apparently. It was down las' night when I checked, but seems to be back up now. Sheesh, hope it's settled back down. Thanks to tipsters Truffle, Karrde and Sleepy fer th' info (I'm out of it these days, don't'cha know... terrible...).
 
Walmart Sells Outlaws Cheap
     Washi sends word that he jus' picked up Outlaws at his local (I assume...) Walmart super-duper store for a meager ten-spot. Now there's a bargain! Wow... think of all the fun you get to have these days for just ten bucks, amazin'.
     Speakin' of Walmart, you may have them to thank for smaller PC game boxes as early as this holiday season. See, Walmart doesn't like big PC game boxes—darn things take up too much shelf space! An' since th' big "W" is such a sales dynamo, game publishers will be dutifully slicing sizes off future game boxes... you just wait an' see. :P
 

* * *

 
Sunday 11/7/99
 
Uh Oh
     It's a darn good thing the news doesn't stop just b'cause I do. Been a while since my last update, shame on me. ;) All this means is that I got a lotta catchin' up ta do so here goes...
 
Five New Maps
     Bet you thought you wouldn't have nothin' new ta try out today, didn'cha? Haw!
     Merl sent in his second map, Frenchburg. Sounds pretty hoity-toity, no? Well actually it isn't very fancy, can't say I'd rave about the texturing or what-not, but I kinda like how the layout has some playful parts and makes good use of a vertical progression of ledges to keep things interesting. Roughly symmetrical layout also seems to keep CTF in mind though I didn't check the flag positions. Anyhow, looks kinda fun, check the screenshot.
     Mullyvan sent along two new maps, Grass Land and Water Bunkers. Water Bunkers is an arena-type CTF-symmetrical thingy with nice desert texturing but I think the 3dfx problems with the pool of water in the middle are gonna be a bit of a turn off for many. Framerates lookin' over said pool get pretty low also which is unfortunate as that is the central focus of the map. As for Grass Lands, I found the textures here very attractive, the grasslands look pretty darn spiffy (shot). The texture alignment could use some work, and there are a couple very small places with slight 3dfx errors or low fps, but in general a very solid map—anti-bobber fanatics won't like the river but :P to them.
     Sleepy continues the madness with Do or Die 3 (I guess he chose "Do" the first two times, eh? ;). This is I guess what you could call an arena-style CTF map, if that makes sense. Textures look good, framerates are ridiculously high and there's a nifty bridge in the middle. Lookin' good (shot).
     Finally, Truffle sent along his latest, Coyote Gulch. Pretty big town here on both sides of a river with a lot of variety in the buildings. Framerates drop pretty good at either end because of all the architectural detail in one big area, but it looks pretty nice. Oh yeah there's also a "trick" one-way invisible wall with a gatling gun hidden behind it, gee I love those. :P I do like the exploding cannonball ammo items though. :) Who wants a screenshot?
 
Wired Up
     Hmm methinks I've used that title before... well I can't remember for sure so I'll just pretend that I haven't. Blackthorn let me know that the latest issue of his Outlaws gossip rag The Wire has hit the net. Issue #10 has... oh heck I'm not going to blow it, you just go check it out. And you know, scientists have proven that The Wire _is_ 50% more fun than a barrel of monkeys, unless the monkeys have kazoos (sorry monkeys).
 
Arrowsmith Guns Sound Pack
     Arrowsmith (I loved that album of his) tells me that he's got a sound pack here with lots of nifty shootin' sounds (AK47, M60 etc) that LawMakers kin use in their levels to replace the normal Outlaws gun firing sounds. Guess it's over a meg or so of goodness... download now 'cause he's not sure how long it'll stay up there.
 
Outlaws Big News
     Hmm well okay so it's just being compared to a certain Quake II mod, but there's a GameCenter article that mentions Outlaws, hooray! Yoda passed along that tidbit of news.
 
More Web Happenin's
     Eddie just updated the Violent Outcasts posse site, he didn't say exactly how but there seem to be at least a bunch'a strategy guides that I don't think were there before. Pretty nice lookin' site, go check it out.
     Karrde has a new web-poll for everyone to weigh in their opinion on over at his web page. You know you like this democratic stuff, it's easier than voting in local politics! :P
     Finally, snagged a new posse site URL off of the latest Wire:
 
CB4
Very stylish (big) graphics, absolutely no content as far as I can see. Uh.

 

* * *

 
Wednesday 11/3/99
 
Outlaws for Sale
     BTJustice is nearly always POed about somethin', it seems—part of his charm, you could say. At any rate his peeve o' the day is people who are always asking "where can I buy Outlaws" on the newsgroup and such when it really isn't that hard to find at all. For instance he sent me this URL which is a page having an index of some good Outlaws buys on the web, starting as low as $14.67. Not too shabby at all... so if you need a copy, or a second copy, or want to get the new "Handful of Missions" version that comes with the patches built in, go check this out.
 

* * *

 
Tuesday 11/2/99
 
"Cool," "Hamilton" Maps
     guackamoly sent me a new map, Cool. Gee and this right after we got one called "Cold"... are people getting a bit too caught up in the whole winter thing or what? Brr... well guack said in his mail that he has "worked vewy hard on dis" map but hmm I dunno, basically just two big irregular rooms, one with dozens of crates of TNT and one with a bunch of gatling guns, and missing textures on the doorway between the two. :P
     Eastwood sent in his latest, Hamilton. Pretty offbeat one here... you can't really see it in the screenshot but this is set in a roughly circular valley with lots of items strewn about and VERY low gravity, and if you walk in to those blue-walled alcoves you find that you are somehow suddenly underwater. Hmm... well, a couple of pretty weird maps today—probably a result of too much caffeine on Monday or something.
 
Assorted Web Snibbets
     People keep updating their web sites and stuff, what's up with that? ;)
     Trooper has started the ladder competition off at his Elite League site with a system where you can vote for maps to play on, or something. What the heck is up with the flashing menu is what I want to know... but go check out the ladder action too.
     Ah and an ambitious (and much needed) site started up by Spidey:
 
ANV Spidey
A site providing new textures, props and such for LawMakers, not to mention tips and support files, is a great idea. Only a small handful of textures in the correct format to download at the moment, hopefully this will change as Spidey continues his efforts on the site.

 
OpenGlide Wrapper Glide in OpenGL?
     salmoides sent me word of a new "Glide wrapper" by a guy named Derek Edwards that you can find at this page on glideunderground.com. Basically the same idea as the "XGL200" wrapper I have on my helpful files page, ie letting you run games meant only for 3dfx cards on your non-3dfx card (like say a TNT), except that this is supposed to run Glide games through OpenGL rather than Direct3D. According to Derek's own comments on the page the wrapper is still kinda buggy and he may not be working on it until next spring, but may be worth giving this a shot in Outlaws if you find yourself with a card that doesn't like running Outlaws in Glide or through the XGL200 wrapper.
 
Boo Two
     I was pretty happy with myself for managing to make that ASCII pumpkin on Halloween, thought I was pretty bad-ass there fer a minute or so. :P Then along comes Arrowsmith with his own spooky offering that makes mine look like an anemic protozoan... ah well, back to the text editor for me... Enjoy:
 
 
-=[ The Crow ]=-  10/99

                      __  __
                    /_ _^^_ _\
               _____|________|______
              `=====.'""""""'.=====`
                   / /a    /a \   .-.
                  |     /\     | <"  )
                  \            /  /  \
     .`\,         _'. \/\/\/ .'_  \ \_\  ./,'
    '-.\\'-------'  \`------'/  '--""---'//.-'
 ###'.-'/________    \/""""\/    ________\'-.'###
     '/`         \      :       /         `\`
                  |            |
                  \     :      |
                  |            \
                  \_____:_____ /
                   [I=I=[_]I=I]
                  /    |       \
                 /     |_       \
                /       /\       \
               /       /##\       \
               |     ,/ ## \,     |
                \    \  ##  /    /
                 \    \ ## /    /
                  \    \##/    /
   By  Arrowsmith  \   /\/\   /
                 __,\_/X##X\_/.__
                 '.'/|\\XX//|\'.`
                  '/'|.\##/,|`\'
                        ##
                        ##
                        ##
                     \  ## /     /
            \ ,    \  \\##// , / /,   /.
     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

* * *

 
Sunday 10/31/99
 
Boo!
     Wh-ell, no real news t'day. Added a posse to the posse list (STH, thanks to GermanTank) but that's 'bout all I got fer ya. Guess everyone must be either buzzed on candy or recovering from partying last night, hehe. Y'all were dressed up as yer favorite Outlaw, right? I know lots of ya guys have been waitin' fer an excuse to dress up as Mary... now let us never speak of that again.
     So slow news day means cheap web stunts... hey, I gotta keep up my "skills" somehow ya know. :P
 
___||___
/            \
|  @\   /©  |
|      A      |
|  wVvvvvVw  |
\_________/
 
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

* * *

 
Saturday 10/30/99
 
Out in the Cold
     Truffle was kind enough to send me the latest map from LawMaker Slim, called Cold. Lots of big caves in short icy cliffs around a frigid pool. The ice texture gets kinda monotonous here and all in all the construction gets a tad repetitive, the object layout a bit strewn-aboutish, the constant icy baths a bit tiring. But ya know, it does kind'a feel cold. Here's a shot illustrating why it isn't a hot idea to place tall sprites on ledges in front of pools of water.
 
Out and About
     Hoss pointed out on Outlaws Gang Busters that Gaskar is really doing a bunch of neat stuff on his site, with map previews, reviews and updated news. Go get you some.
 
New Voodoo3 Drivers...
     Whoop-tee-doo, they don't seem to do anything better or worse as far as Outlaws is concerned. Thanks to salmoides fer his fearless driver-related fact-finding. Guess I'll install 'em anyhow if I get bored or somethin'... they're at 3dfx.com you know.
     Wow, pretty low-energy posts today, even for me. Gee and staying up 'til 6 am or so seemed like such a good idea at the time... :p
 

* * *

 
Thursday 10/28/99
 
Why Play Outlaws When You Got Quake 2
     Pie thought it worth pointing out that there's a new "western" themed mod for Quake 2 around these days called Gunslinger. I actually noticed this a week or so ago when it was "mod of the week" on PlanetQuake—gee and PQ hosts their page too, what a coincidence... Anyhow looks fairly decent for a freeware mod and Pie says that the couple of maps that are out now are pretty good. It still beats the heck out of me why you would really want to play Q2 for your Western fix when you have Outlaws but hey, I guess options are good.
 

* * *

 
Wednesday 10/27/99
 
Four Maps At Once
     Man, I thought the summer gush of multiple maps in one day was behind us and here I get not two, not three, but four new maps in one day. Whew!
     MikeDaKid led off the rush with LilTown2, follow-up to his earlier map. Basically just a minor revision, most notably adding a waterfall and another building. Framerates seem to have improved, or mebbe I jus' remember this wrong, but anyhow I couldn't really find any low spots. Item placement remains a little dense for my taste in such a small map but hey, you aren't likely to run outta ammo this way. Looks like a pleasant improvement to a solid deathmatch map.
     Johnny Zombie clocked in next with Outlaws - The Movie. This is a very unique lil' map where you actually go through the silver screen, starting in a movie theatre watching a western and then crossing through the screen into the movie itself. A beautiful transition, enhanced by a great spot sound effect... The contrast between the neat, dark theater and the bright, rocky canyon beyond is extremely well done, with great layout and texturing all around. A small map but what a job he did with it. Here's a screenshot (literally, it's a shot facing the "screen" inside the theater ;).
     BigDogCH sent along two more maps named after his Outlaws gang, Waddy Barn and Waddy Fort. Both are quite distinctive: Barn is a large barn in a to-the-horizon desert complete with grain silo and wagon whose complex, irregular, freestanding multistory layout reminds me of "The Dip" while Fort looks like LEC's "Fort" in a way, but much smaller as you can look across the entire interior from atop the walls. I rather liked the surprising layout in Barn but Fort seemed a bit squarish and slow with a number of dead-end or hard to access areas. Fort also has an unusual feature—a jail cage with items inside and no apparent way in—I think you may have to spawn in there. It's interesting, that's for sure. There are areas where I'm not too keen on the texture choices in both maps, mostly in Fort, and also areas of low framerates in both maps, at a distance from the main building in Barn and looking across the complex in Fort. Still, both do have unusual elements in them that are well worth checking out. Here's a Barn shot and a Fort shot.
 

* * *

 
Tuesday 10/26/99
 
...And Polar Bears Are Armor
     Such runs part of the readme file for Sleepy's latest map, Polar 2. Just wait until you find out what the penguins do... This map is just chock-full of crazy wildlife, from the hoot owl high up in his rocky nest to the surprising giant sturgeon lurking in his underwater abode, plus a number of other wacky surprises. All this makes for some fun exploring, but how's the gameplay?
     Pretty interesting in its own right. This being an artic map there are some slippy-slidey ice ramps to zip down, some frigid pools to brave, a rather exhausting number of icy stairs to climb and plenty of large snowfields to battle in. All told a very large, spread-out map. Framerate gets a wee bit on the low side in parts of the main clearing but hey, you try telling that to Mr. Polar Bear. :P And as long as you have say four or more people in here you should have plenty of body heat going on to keep you warm. Oh wait shoot almost forgot the screenshot.
 

* * *

 
Monday 10/25/99
 
Big an' Lazy
     No this isn't about me, it's about a new map sent in by manco (aka tuco), Lazy T. Now I learned in my last trip to Montana that a "lazy" letter denotes a certain cattle brand, so a "lazy T" could be a T shaped brand that leans to one side, and the "Lazy T Ranch" would be the ranch that uses that brand on their cows. Isn't that nice?
     Anyhow what about the map you ask? Well mebbe th' size also reminded me of Montana, 'cause this thing is big an' open. It's deserty and sandy, which isn't really like Montana, but there's a big ranch house, which is like Montana. Oh man I'm confused. And do you like outhouses? Well this ranch has not one but TWO lil' out-back boudoirs to serve your every need no matter where on the ranch you may find yourself when nature calls. Hot dang!
     Seriously though this is a really gorgeous big map, with a moody overcast sky, big rangy buildings and sloping, sandy side walls with slanting ledges that dainty-footed snipers can use to their advantage. The downside of the large open area and the detailed buildings is that framerates are on the low side of things in much of the outdoors, though still playable. Rifles will DEFINITELY carry the day in this baby. You may want to check the screenshot before you dive in.
 
IE Upgrading Hijinks
     Now you steady readers know that I'll be deep in the cold cold ground before I voluntarily install Internet Explorer 4 or above on my home machine. But an interesting upgrade conundrum came up recently at work that I thought might entertain you for a fleeting moment.
     For compatibility testing we had to set up a machine with the first version of Windows 95, ie Win95a. Win95a came with Internet Explorer 2, quite a dinosaur of a browser by any standards. IE 2 takes you to msn.com's "Welcome" page by default.
     The problem begins there. Microsoft has since "enhanced" the msn welcome page to the point where it just plain won't load in IE 2. Happily though the page that comes up telling you that it's time to upgrade your browser provides a handy link to the IE 5 download site. Ah, now we're set, right?
     Wrongo. The IE 5 download page also fails to load in IE 2. Oh dear! Have we hit the end of Microsoft's shortsighted software trail? Oh but wait, we're saved! There's a little link to "Microsoft support" at the bottom of the error page, inviting us to visit them if we're having trouble. Well we certainly are, so let's click it. Nice to be back on track....
     Oh dear look at that, another page that won't load for us. Hmm, what do you know there's a "Microsoft support" link at the bottom of this page... well, mebbe THIS one will work... oh... took me right back to itself. Maybe if I click it a THIRD time?... no... right back again... uhhhh... I think I'll go download Netscape so that I can download IE. ;P
 
Ads Be Gone
     No not mine, that would take me too long to re-write the page layouts and besides I think they cheer up this dull old site. But anyhow if you're sick of waiting for banner ads to load on your 9600 baud modem, does the Siemens Corporation ever have the solution for you! Their freeware Web Washer utility filters your web downloads and wipes out all ad scripts, thus essentially completely deleting ads from the pages you download. Works like a dang charm I must say. In fact I'd be running the thing right now, except that it takes up about 3 MB of RAM which in my estimation is jus' a bit on the steep side, 'specially since download time for ad banners isn't a huge deal for my DSL connection. But, if you got a real slow connect, or just HATE ads with a passion, this is the web utility of your dreams... but you'll set it to disable filtering for paleface.net, right? Fellas?
 

* * *

 
Sunday 10/24/99
 
Lock the Door Upon Thyself
     GoJo has whipped up a tutorial on making functional doors in LawMaker over at his LawMakin' School. He got the info fer Making Locking Doors from Chet_R1 and turned the whole thing into a step-by-step guide with screenshots that is so thorough and well written, even I can almost follow along with it. Those of you hot on makin' single-player maps would do real well to go check out this here lesson.
 

* * *

 
Saturday 10/23/99
 
That Mesozoic Feeling
     Young Rat sent me what I think is his first map, PresAura (short for "Prehistoric Aura"). Pretty good stuff, does a fine job of making you feel like you are in some kind of "Land Before Time" type of valley, through both the selection of rock texture, variety of caves and another subtle clue. I'm not sure that I go for the nasty acid pit or the ledge that kills you instantly when you step foot on it, and the lighting is a bit rough underground, but aside from these semi-picky issues and some areas of clumpy item placement, this is a pretty good map with impressive framerates given the variety of rock formations in the valley. No dinos left to shoot but you could always try playing as Bob, he's pretty old and crusty. ;)
 
Wired Up
     Wow, looks like there's no end of ideas in sight for clever titles with "Wire" in them which is good because Blackthorn's regular user-contributed newsletter and gossip sheet by that name shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. He's just scratched up Wire Issue #9 featuring, of course, all the great squabbling and back-stabbing that you've come to love, as well as some frighteningly amusing jokes. You will like it, yes you will!
 

* * *

 
Thursday 10/21/99
 
The Beig is Back
     Beignet sent around a mail to let me know that she's got her computer back online and has posted a long-awaited update to her faboo Wit and Wisdom Web-Zine. In this understandably emotional installment mature readers will enjoy learning about the etiquette of eating cajun "Po'boy" sandwiches among, of course, many other unexpected things. ;)
 

* * *

 
Wednesday 10/20/99
 
Trooper's 1 on 1 Ladder
     Trooper has made a new site—the guy just can't stop making new Outlaws sites it seems. ;) Good to see him at work again:
 
The Elite League
Quick loading, easy to navigate 1 on 1 ladder site. Not a whole lot here as yet but webmaster Trooper promises daily updates to keep the ladder action fresh.

 
Flatlands Goes WWII
     Machine sent me his second version of Flatlands. The main change over the first is the inclusion of Raptor and Slaters_dog's WWII weapons—man that Tommy gun is nifty. Nice to see another WWII map out there, though the disappearing tree thing in Flatlands still weirds me out a bit.
 
"Wanted" Western Mod for Half-Life
     Well this isn't Outlaws news exactly, but those who liked the "Wanted" Q2 Western mod will be happy to hear that Maverick Productions is making a Half-Life mod of the same name. Details can be found at the Wanted site, such as this character model screenshot. Thanks to Dude fer th' tip.
 

* * *

 
Tuesday 10/19/99
 
Talk is Cheap
     ...and thank goodness. ;) Anyhoo things have been a lil' unusual lately on the OL news front, more "so and so said this" than new maps and such. Mebbe it's 'cause of the old back-to-school thing or somethin', I dunno. Heck, I'm gettin' a lil' restless 'cause it's been a while since I put in some quality playin' time of my own, keep hopin' fer a nice open weekend afternoon/evening to come along... blah. :P
     Haven't had a whole lotta time free lately and when I have had a lil' snippet of time I'm usually lookin' to jus' kinda relax, been playin' some single-player stuff on and off: "Re-Volt" is a really fun RC racing game, makes for a nice bouncy pick-me-up, I've also been getting in some quality time with the ol' Game Boy Color—dang but that thing comes in handy on coast-to-coast plane trips! Also jus' picked up a GBC Camera to PC cable so I kin now upload those grainy lil' black an' white photos to my computer—heh mebbe I'll get a lil' "PaleCam" feature goin' if I kin get some compromisin' photos of Slack-Jawed Pete or something'. ;)
     Karrde wants people to know that contrary to what I posted yesterday, he has been using Windows 98 Second Edition without any problems in either Kali or the Zone. He points out that SE has a good number of bug fixes in it and a bunch of OS updates to boot, and that he doesn't know anyone with SE who has run into trouble.
     Well hey that's good to hear, guess I'd only been hearing the horror stories rather than the success stories. I do know that SE causes problems with some games on some hardware configurations but as long as your system still runs with Outlaws on it, what more do you really need? Of course I still use Win95 without any trouble (and lower system requirements ;) but as we all know I'm a weird old crank. :6
     Oh what the heck, here's a "PaleCam" shot fer ya—cringe at a way too close up view of my cooking skills. 8o
 

* * *

 
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