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Second Highest Shelf Vittles: 5.17.98-6.10.98

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  • 6/10
    • Wow my ISP actually wasn't lagged up, an' business is STILL slow so I slacked off an' played durin' th' day today. ;) Had a fun game hosted by th' Doominator who now as a JOE goes by th' name SiuChau. Th' Screenshot of th' Day comes from that game, taken by Death_Crib after a lil' TNT accident he had. Hmm apparently he runs Outlaws in 640x480; hope he's got a Voodoo2! Anyhow as you kin see from th' stats at th' time I was playin' Sanchez vs 3 Mary's an' gettin' whupped big time! I gotta practice with dynamite more, hehe. You'll also notice that "Rookiemon" seems to be doing well; this was actually Swifty in disguise, the first time I believe I've had th' honor of gettin' beat by this pro player. He did better than th' numbers show 'cause he joined after th' game was well underway.
    • I noticed a couple days ago that Tribal has redesigned his KAP Hideout, a very popular level repository site especially among Zone players. Still you'd better get there early in th' day because his server only allows him to transfer 35 MB (I think that's what it was) per day. Hmm he'd be able to serve out a lot more maps if he got rid of that big midi although I admit I've heard worse.
    • DOOMy (aka SiuChau, but I like "DOOMy" better) has in th' past taken a gander at th' seamy underbelly of some of the Outlaws datafiles an' thus knows precisely how th' weapons stack up in concrete terms. He gave me all this info in th' followin' chat session, which you should read through although I've added the specific bits to th' appropriate weapon and character pages.

      DOOMy weapon chat log

      [JOE_SiuChau] well
      [JOE_SiuChau] I can tell you right now
      [JOE_SiuChau] it's kinda short. :)
      [Paleface--] oho
      [JOE_SiuChau] Very short
      [JOE_SiuChau] Pistol:
      [JOE_SiuChau] Doc and Spit pistol have the same damaging
      [JOE_SiuChau] and secondary fire for them are more
      powerful than
      [JOE_SiuChau] primary fire.
      [Paleface--] i'll be darn
      [JOE_SiuChau] While every other's pistol damaging power
      are the same
      [JOE_SiuChau] for both mode
      [JOE_SiuChau] they got better secondary mode.
      [JOE_SiuChau] kills in 4 hits
      [JOE_SiuChau] primary mode in 5 hits
      [Paleface--] ??
      [Paleface--] thought you said they were same?
      [JOE_SiuChau] Yep
      [JOE_SiuChau] for doc, spit, 4 hits kill in sec mode
      [JOE_SiuChau] and 5 hits kills in pri mode
      [JOE_SiuChau] for all others, it took 5 hits in both
      [Paleface--] oh okay
      [JOE_SiuChau] Talk about range
      [JOE_SiuChau] Feather's pistol have the best range
      [Paleface--] gosh
      [JOE_SiuChau] talk about accuracy
      [JOE_SiuChau] Most of them are the same
      [Paleface--] sanchez
      [JOE_SiuChau] except James.
      [JOE_SiuChau] well
      [Paleface--] hehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] the value for them are the same actually
      but no james.
      [Paleface--] his stinks!
      [JOE_SiuChau] stinks hell alot more than other pistols.
      [JOE_SiuChau] hehhehehhe
      [Paleface--] ;[
      [JOE_SiuChau] And pri mode firing of pistol is more
      accurate and longer range if you don't know.
      [JOE_SiuChau] secondary more spreading.
      [Paleface--] right
      [JOE_SiuChau] talks about rifle
      [JOE_SiuChau] best aim is James, of course.
      [Paleface--] yay!
      [JOE_SiuChau] best range is James too
      [JOE_SiuChau] Only JAMES can use scope mode as far as
      non-scope mode!
      [Paleface--] really? I heard it was Bob...
      [JOE_SiuChau] Other players' scope mode is
      [JOE_SiuChau] as short as gatling only.
      [JOE_SiuChau] or a bit shorter than gatling's range
      [Paleface--] I'll be darned, that's odd
      [JOE_SiuChau] Well, BOB does have
      [JOE_SiuChau] the second longest range of rifle
      [JOE_SiuChau] while all others are the same
      [JOE_SiuChau] but the scoped mode are very short and
      useless for other players except james.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Because you don't need scope at the range
      you can use scope. :(
      [JOE_SiuChau] So, don't get a scope on hhehehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] Only james can use scope well
      [JOE_SiuChau] the game handle scoped mode and non scoped
      mode as different weapons actually.
      [Paleface--] huh
      [JOE_SiuChau] while all other weapons accuracy affected
      by your energy state
      [JOE_SiuChau] scoped rifle is always dead center.
      [JOE_SiuChau] and no auto aim.
      [Paleface--] yah
      [JOE_SiuChau] so you gotta rely on yourself
      [JOE_SiuChau] and if you are super accurate
      [JOE_SiuChau] , you can get EVERY HIT on your marks
      [JOE_SiuChau] but only with James.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Other's scoped mode is very short ranged.
      [Paleface--] how strange!
      [JOE_SiuChau] Talk about shotgun, nothing special.
      [JOE_SiuChau] all are the same.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Even the mary's one.
      [Paleface--] BOOM BOOM BOOM hehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] with a decent seperation
      [JOE_SiuChau] you can kill mary even within 1 shot
      [JOE_SiuChau] about 1.5 bodies' distance.
      [JOE_SiuChau] don't go too close.
      [JOE_SiuChau] and too far
      [Paleface--] do you know diffs in fire and reload
      [JOE_SiuChau] the deadly zone is strict.
      [JOE_SiuChau] well
      [JOE_SiuChau] Reload speed only affect
      [JOE_SiuChau] pistol
      [JOE_SiuChau] that's why you can reload so fast with
      [Paleface--] aha
      [JOE_SiuChau] others weapons are the same.
      [JOE_SiuChau] now about DB shotgun
      [JOE_SiuChau] DB shotgun have 10 pellets for both barrel
      [JOE_SiuChau] while single have 6
      [JOE_SiuChau] I mean normal shotgun got 6 pellets
      [JOE_SiuChau] per shell
      [Paleface--] huh
      [JOE_SiuChau] but 5 for DB per shell
      [Paleface--] oh okay
      [JOE_SiuChau] but the TOTAL damage done on DB is the
      same as the TOTAL damage done on single barrel.
      [JOE_SiuChau] You can do 1 shot kill with DB too
      [JOE_SiuChau] but you can't do any better damage with DB
      [JOE_SiuChau] The difference between DB and SB (single
      [Paleface--] huh really? but maybe better CHANCE of
      doing more damage?
      [JOE_SiuChau] are the range and spread.
      [JOE_SiuChau] DB has lesser spread and longer range.
      [JOE_SiuChau] likely to score more pellets in mid range.
      [JOE_SiuChau] about sawoff.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Well, around 21 to 32 pellets.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Didn't remember the number well
      [JOE_SiuChau] because I don't use it.
      [JOE_SiuChau] ah
      [JOE_SiuChau] You know?
      [Paleface--] heh nope
      [JOE_SiuChau] Reload in DB 1 barrel and 2 barrels
      actually are about
      [JOE_SiuChau] the same delay
      [JOE_SiuChau] so, ALWAYS FIRE AT 2 BARRELS and reload at
      2 barrels.
      [Paleface--] huh
      [JOE_SiuChau] about the same delay, not the same.
      [JOE_SiuChau] single still  a little bit faster.
      [Paleface--] right
      [JOE_SiuChau] I mean loading 1 shell in DB is only a
      little bit faster than 2 shells.
      [Paleface--] gotcha
      [JOE_SiuChau] Now, talk about knife
      [JOE_SiuChau] something must be mentioned
      [JOE_SiuChau] Mary's punch (heavy one) is EXACTLY as
      powerful as a stab of knife.
      [Paleface--] oho
      [JOE_SiuChau] while the fast punch is more than a half
      of knife's damage but faster than knife's stab alot
      [Paleface--] ahhh
      [JOE_SiuChau] Mary is terrible!
      [Paleface--] yep
      [JOE_SiuChau] Knife throw can turn your
      [Paleface--] body
      [JOE_SiuChau] opponent's position with 180 degree.
      [Paleface--] 180? oo
      [JOE_SiuChau] while damage power is very little.
      [JOE_SiuChau] Yes.
      [JOE_SiuChau] So, don't throw it
      [JOE_SiuChau] when they are having their back on you!
      [Paleface--] hehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] they will see you and fire immediately. :)
      [JOE_SiuChau] talk about TNT
      [JOE_SiuChau] more TNT have more exploding range
      [JOE_SiuChau] but the growth seems stopped at
      [JOE_SiuChau] 3 TNT
      [Paleface--] huh didn't even know it got bigger
      [JOE_SiuChau] more than 3 TNT don't do much about range
      [JOE_SiuChau] but only damage multiplying.
      [JOE_SiuChau] About gatling.....
      [JOE_SiuChau] a good thing to do against gatling in
      large area
      [JOE_SiuChau] is get outta it's range and use rifle to
      kill the user.
      [JOE_SiuChau] I have tried that in Bourdon Street many
      [JOE_SiuChau] They all said "HOW COME YOU SURVIVED 100
      [JOE_SiuChau] or
      [Paleface--] aha hehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] "GATLING SUCKS!"
      [JOE_SiuChau] well
      [JOE_SiuChau] they definitely don't know the gatling
      range is not
      [JOE_SiuChau] no match with the rifle. hehehhehe
      [Paleface--] they deserve what they gat hehe
      [JOE_SiuChau] ya
      [JOE_SiuChau] so place it closer to the warfield.
      [JOE_SiuChau] that's all for my knowledge.
  • 6/9
    • Okay know how I posted a couple probs with Outlaws under Win98 on th' file page? Well I got word that a patch ta fix th' problem with joinin' multiplayer Outlaws matches is undergoin' final testin' now an' that th' middle mouse button thing MAY have been an isolated incident. So if yer hellbent on "upgrading" to '98 then I guess there's nothin' stoppin' ya, or there won't be soon. Me, I'm hopin' I kin hold out 'til NT 5. ;p
    • Yee-haw! New levels are comin' outta th' woodwork faster'n you kin say "termites" an' it's already time fer another level roundup. Git along, lil' dogies!
      • MILitary Prison - This is pretty impressive work by PeaceMaker considerin' it's his first level an' all. Very distinctive look an' feel of a solid, iron prison block. Get a load of it in th' Screenshot of th' Day. However what ya see there is about all there is to it: very small and monotonous, quickly gets stale. This'd make a good section of a larger map an' in fact mebbe that's th' case here (see th' post after th' level roundup).
      • OP Tower of Power - Oh boy! Credits say by Vesuvio & Smo! Wow! Been a long time since we had a new Smo level ta drool over. I was very excited about this one an' now that I've seen it I'm quite disappointed. Basically it's as big an' ugly as its name. Txt file says it was designed to be fair for all characters, but basically it's so big an' boxy that it'll favor those who are handy with a rifle. There's ugly and even sloppy texturing, no use of lighting whatsoever and very feeble sound implementation. It isn't BAD, but certainly not what I was looking forward to from a level with th' name of th' creator of such great levels as "S. S. Smo" and "Castle Smo." But now that I look at th' credits I see Smo is listed as only doing "sectoring." Well come ta think of it, it did seem ta have smooth fps. Sigh.
      • Shackz - A decent one from Pitbullet. Five buildings in a good sized valley, connected by watery underground tunnels. Prob I really have with this (besides all that damn swimmin') is that there's only one way up to th' roofs, an' then only one way from there to th' roof of th' farthest buildin' that has a gat, medbags, rifle, rifle ammo an' pistols. So basically if ya make it up there yer pretty much home free as ya kin easily defend th' long, difficult path to yer position.
      • Subzero - Mortal Kombaaaat! Oh wait it ain't THAT Subzero. But it is all kinda bluish, at least outdoors. Sort of big and plain but not bad at all from Harvester aka Gas.
    • Raf has an amibitious level-makin' project goin' on an' he needs yer help! Here's what he says:
      MIL_RAF is beginning to make a 6 mission campaign. He needs some people to build him some buildings, so he can cut the production time of building the campaign. He needs all types of buildings from houses to shops, hotels and banks. There is no need to texture the buildings as all textures are lost when he copies and pastes the sectors. If you wish to help MIL_RAF he would like you to e-mail him at [removed]. A progress report can bee seen on his page at www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~cryer/MIL.htm.

      MIL_RAF will acknowledge you in the credits

      There! Now go help 'im out!

  • 6/8
    • Blech, Monday. Not too much to report fer ya... here's a new Screenshot of th' Day, this one's from StanJr. Seems his gang leader Red_Dragon was takin' some pics of th' boys, but Stan got bored, had some TNT in hand and voila! A brilliant screenshot is born.
      HEY! I need more screenshots, so why don't you take one and send it to me? Don't fergit ta read through th' lil' guideline section on th' file page first.
    • Good ol' DOOMINATOR has been takin' time out of his insanely hectic test schedule to do some research on modems an' lag an' stuff. He found this pretty interesting article on the whole concept of lag, even talks about lag in relation to th' speed of light an' all kinds of other funky stuff.
    • If yer still bored go download that new version of Kali (v1.46, 2326k) that came out a few days back. Doesn't do anythin' much fer Outlaws, although it does fix that screenwrap toggle which is pretty darn nice. An' it'll keep yer modem happy fer a lil' while. ;)
  • 6/7
    • Woo hoo finally got ta play fer once last night. There seem to be more an' more people in th' Kali Outlaws server all th' time; it's been a while since I had ta look elsewhere to find people to play with. Still I couldn't help noticin' that th' new way of playin' Outlaws Winsock tcp/ip games through Kali's Game window has yet ta catch on. Can't see why not as it's really quite simple an' saves ya from havin' ta remember IP numbers, havin' ta open an' close Kali all th' time an' from havin' ta leave Kali chat open to tell players about yer game. It's plain winsock tcp/ip, doesn't lag any more than normal. An' it's easy: ya just host or join through th' Kali Game window, doin' everything else as usual only joiners leave th' IP number field open; Kali keeps track of th' IP number for ya. Damnit, it's cool! Well fer a full, in depth discussion see th' new Kali section of th' domain page.
    • The Dip by Twobitt is a great level fer Kill th' Fool with the Chicken! Fer some reason lots of players think they don't like KFC games, but I've always kinda been partial ta snatchin' up a chicken an' hidin' in a corner with it... err... anyhow I like KFC damnit. An' "The Dip" has all these lil' corridors an' hidey-holes ta stow away in with yer feathered friend... get four or five players in there, it's a blast. Played it last night with Death Crib, Skeeter an' DarkDragon, had a blast. Well literally since I was playin' as Sanchez hehe, that lil' guy rocks in close quarters! An' he's great fer CTF 'cause ya kin get pursuers off yer case by droppin' a few sticks of TNT here an' there. ;)
    • Well Wildarms finally tracked me down with a lil' help from fishin' Mental. An' yes he put a good whuppin' on me, mercifully cut short by th' host Mental crashin'. Whew. An' jus' so he wouldn't feel inclined ta hunt me down with his whole "Apocalypse Riders" crew I added 'em ta th' posse page. Don't hurt me boys, I bleed easily. Oh yeah Wildarms whupped on me in the Barn, a good small deathmatch map from Raf. Dang, not much ammo or health in there, woe was me!
    • The Screenshot of the Day is another one showin' th' result of mixin' sleep deprivation, lots of beer (that's a guess) and too much TNT fer Slaters_dog and Twobitt. This one's kinda neat -- darn me if Bob Graham doesn't do a fine Mary Poppins impression.
    • So you've read through all this an' still hafta find some way ta kill some time before yer ISP smooths out enough ta play Outlaws? Well then check out Tiny Twerp's The Timid West. It's only one page but takes a long time ta load, so it should keep ya occupied fer a bit.
  • 6/6
    • UPDATE: Hey jus' noticed that a new version of Kali has surfaced, v1.46. Doesn't do much fer Outlaws Kali play but you should have th' latest version ta ensure full compatibility with other players. Not on th' Kali web page yet but ya kin get it off their server anyhow:
      Kali 1.46 (2326K)
    • The Screenshot of the Day is a shot of the cute little horsey in Raf's new level, "Barn." He's cut off the legs of his "Spider" level which I reviewed jus' a few days ago an' left jus' th' central building and rather attractive pond. It's now a very good map for small, intense deathmatch action! I especially like the detail: note in the screenshot for instance the hay in the horse's feeder and the trough in which I was standing to take the shot (maybe that's why th' horse sounded so upset). And can you spot the hidden knife in this shot? Raf's actually tucked items in a number of cleverly hidden nooks... a neat lil' map. And yes, for a limited time you can download it off my server right here.
    • Hey you know you wanna get in yer own Screenshot of th' Day. So go read over how ta do it on my file page an' get me some pics!
    • Well if you've been following along for a while you'll remember that long essay on lag sent in by th' Doominator (check stale vittles, it's big ya can't miss it). Basically he pointed out that Outlaws uses a very effective method of dealing with internet lag, which is that you can shoot whatever you can see on your screen, even if because of lag your opponent is no longer actually there. This lets the game run as smoothly as your computer can go, without having to wait for responses from other players. It also favors the attacker because while you can shoot what you see, in cases of nasty lag the defender has to try to anticipate the attacker's moves and dodge BEFORE he sees the attacker move, because when lag is bad it takes a while for the attacker's moves to reach the defender. This is why in badly lagging games you may get into a fight with someone, kill them without taking a scratch and then as you're leaving the scene suddenly you take a bunch of hits and die: your opponent's shots finally caught up with the lag.

      Why am I mentioning this again? Well I the following in the "Multiplayer FAQ" on jediknight.net:

      However, whenever you fight an enemy, your computer receives that personís packets as quickly as it can, and vise-versa. Then, your computer updates your opponentís position on the screen as soon as it receives the packet. However, this is not your opponentís true position, because it takes time for the packet to travel from their computer to yours. Letís just call it a "ghost". This "ghost" will react to getting hit, however you will do no actual damage.

      Well then how does your opponent hit you, and how do you hit him? The secret to this is that only the clientís computer checks for damage. So, if it APPEARS to your computer that your opponent hit you with a lightsaber swing, you will take damage. Ditto for your adversary.

      This system has itís goods and bads. The good thing is, you are never surprised by getting hit, because only your computer records damage. So, if you get killed by a Repeater blast, it is likely you saw it coming and could have moved.

      On the bad side, it is hard to hit your opponents. You really have to spray an area in hopes that you can hit them, or use explosive weaponry. The better your ping is between you and your opponent, the easier it is to hit them.

      Whew! Pretty lame eh? I guess LEC figgered they had ta use that method with JK 'cause most of th' guns shoot visible projectiles, an' if they had used Outlaws' method that would have resulted in shots appearing to miss you but then registering as hits. In Outlaws shots don't travel visibly, they are invisible an' pretty much instantaeous jus' like bullets should be. So in this sense Outlaws' great lag-handling method is made possible by the very nature of the weapons used in the game. But even with JediKnight's defender-favoring method, JK's is still better than that of Quake 2 or Unreal, which really require dedicated servers in your own city to run playable games. Say it loud an' say it proud: Outlaws has the best lag-handling capability of any first-person shooter!

    • Woo time ta go drag my pale butt outside an' see if I kin get a tan. Hopefully I'll finally have a chance ta play fer once this week late tonight. :)
  • 6/5
    • Okay yesterday ya got a chart of th' rifle accuracy of all six Outlaws characters. Today ya get a pistol accuracy chart, th' result of firin' 36 bullets from each character's pistol at a target a set distance away. Anderson, who kicked butt on th' rifle chart, is all over th' screen with th' pistol. Bob Graham is next worst, Doc Death an' Two Feathers are about th' same, Bloody Mary a bit better, an' Sanchez th' most accurate of all. Of course this jus' measures accuracy, not range, firin' speed or auto-aim capability. Fer future reference this'll be at th' bottom of th' pistol page.
    • Outlaws Gang Busters webmaster Martone has put lazy webmasters like me ta shame by kickin' out a smooth jimmy of a level: "neighbors." Hard ta believe this is his very first map, it looks wonderful and has lovely balance and construction, great for teams and CTF. Two ranches next to each other in separate valleys with 3 tunnels in between, an' keep an eye out fer lots of hidden goodies. Fer a limited time ya kin get this map from my server right here.
    • Th' Screenshot of the Day provided courtesy of Mr_Slack (no NOT Slack the level maker guy) poses an excruciating moral dilemna: two popularly despised public figures have th' drop on ya, an' you've only got one bullet left in yer pistol (don'tcha hate when that happens?). Who do you shoot?? Personally I'd hafta go fer th' fella on th' right as, I think, th' greater of two evils.
    • Redemption has spit-shined his Unforgiving Outlaws Site so it all looks jus' great. He's also added a new page with some, err... colorful graphics.
    • Wildarms has also been workin' hard to spiff up his Apocalypse Riders' Home Page. Looks pretty keen now an' he's added more stuff like newbie tips and records of his 1 on 1 battles. Ooo he beat Bio an' Zeus an' now he wants ta play me? Yikes!
    • My sponsor's site seems ta be overloaded a lot lately. If ya hit that pop up banner (an' I hope ya do :)) an' get some kinda server error message, jus' try again after a lil' bit. Yer clicks keep my bread on th' table!
  • 6/4
    • Got somethin' new for ya. This here chart shows actual dispersion patterns of 36 rifle shots by each character. I jus' wanted ta see how they looked next to each other. Of course we all knew Anderson was better than anyone else with a rifle, but WOW mebbe I didn't realize he was that much better. Anyhow check it out fer yerself; in future ya kin find it at th' bottom of th' rifle page. Tomorrow: pistol!
    • The latest Screenshot of the Day comes to us courtesy of KaReFree an' his image-editing program. WARNING: contains a happy, smiling Outlaws webmaster.
      If you got a shot you wanna show, read over th' simple guidelines on th' file page ta find out how ta get yerself in th' Screenshot of the Day.
    • That's all dang it! If yer bored click on my pop-up banner, that'll keep ya busy fer a few seconds.
  • 6/3
    • Myyy goodness folks are jus' crankin' out th' levels these days. Time fer a lil' roundup...
      • Duel - Dueling map with way too much ammo and misaligned box textures. No text file, think it was by Slack.
      • Hole - This one's kind of interesting if you like bottomless pits. Nice wind sound though. No text file, Slack again?
      • Labyrinth - Not really too maze-like. Deep pits and impossibly high structures and cliffs. No text file = Slack's handiwork?
      • Lucasville - One-street town with pretty bizzare architecture. Dunno where Scott comes from but I ain't never seen buildings like these. A couple rough spots too.
      • mill3 (tribute to Bio and Swifty) - Looks like someone figgered they'd kiss up ta Swifty an' BioXid by slappin' their wanted posters on another conversion of th' top part of th' single-player mill level.
      • Nest - Everyone loves chickens but on multiplayer maps they cause LAG. Too bad 'cause this is Slack's (?) best effort so far, gettin' closer ta realism though he still ain't botherin' ta align his box textures.
      • QOT farm - Not a bad lil' map except for th' 30 chickens runnin' around. Good luck with lag on this one. Little_Doc's pond is cute.
      • Slack - Gee who made this? Large building in the middle of a large sandy valley, lots of barrel and box fortifications. Better pack yer rifle.
      • Spider - Some very fine modelling on the unique central building but I think Raf got a little carried away with his idea with the name (check your map) and could have paid more attention to making it a fun map; all th' lil' side nodes slow down game play an' make it tough ta find each other.
      • Turb - By Slack? VERY cool ambient sound, feels like yer in an active mine or somethin'. But once ya get used to it you'll notice th' map's rather flat and disjointed.
      • Shelter - Oo jtmason got this rather nifty lil' map ta me right before th' deadline. A house in a small canyon with dark tunnels around it. Make sure ya got yer lantern handy. Lots of health items layin' around so if yer smart ya kin hold out a long time.
    • Th' Screenshot of the Day comes from th' "Wit and Wisdom" gang's resident image-processing fiend, Fallsdown. It's... umm... laden with meaning, I'm sure. 8o
      If you got some weird Outlaws imaging hankerin's of yer own, why not send in yer own picture ta be Screenshot of the Day? Jus' follow th' simple guidelines on th' file page.
    • Wildarms added a Tips page to his AR gang page with some really thorough survival tips for the most popular maps, lil' bits on his favorite players an' tips fer gettin' th' best configuration outta Outlaws. It's all a pretty good read even if English ain't his first language (gosh I shure am glad English is th' language of th' net, otherwise I'd be SOL).
    • OooOo that two-week-old salsa from dinner last night doesn't seem ta have taken a likin' ta my stomach lining. 8{ Just thought I'd share.
    • Now we're in fer it... Harmonica has folded up his "Comancheros" posse an' signed on with "Savage Twins" Mental an' Diky ta form th' "Savage Trio." Bad news fer them other fellers in th' Zone, hehe. I see Diky has updated th' St section of his fine site.
  • 6/2
    • Played a long game with Webby an' sos on that great new map by Templar, Bourbon St. MAN, that is one dangerous street. We were all usin' Anderson an' since my habit is ta run around like a maniac lookin' fer somethin' ta shoot (bottles, people, cow skulls, chickens, whatever) I got gunned down quite a bit at first while tryin' ta cross th' street by them sneaky snipers hidin' in th' buildin's. Then I was runnin' inta gatling gun ambushes an' everything. Ooo, messy. What a cool map that is.
      Let's see did I have a point...? Hmm... uh... Oh yeah. We found out a few things about launchin' games through Kali:
      • Everyone hasta have th' same Kali version. Timestalker couldn't join a couple games 'cause we all had 1.45 while he had 1.43. :(
      • When yer in th' lil' pre-launch chat window be sure ya got th' lil' "Ready to Launch" box checked or th' host won't be able to start th' game.
      Those tips have been added ta my step by step instructions fer launchin' Outlaws Winsock tcp/ip games through Kali. All that junk's on th' domain page.
    • It's a bird! It's a plane! It's, it's... No, it ain't. Th' latest Screenshot of the Day doesn't show a certain Man of Steel flyin' high over th' "Prairie." Nope, that's jus' Slaters_dog foolin' about with explosives again. Seems he an' Twobitt had a lil' too much time an' dynamite on their hands. Nice hang time, good form, moderate degree of difficulty... I give him an 8.5 on that one.
      You wanna send in yer own shots fer th' POOS Screenshot of the Day? It's fun! I think. Well anyhow if yer innerested check out th' simple guidelines on th' file page.
    • Wildarms has put a stylesheet-free version of his menu page up on th' AR Home Page fer th' browsin' convenience of those folks like me who are too scared ta install IE 4.
    • Raf of th' MIL gang sent in a whole heapload of Outlaws sequel ideas. That's an' innerestin' idea about dog fightin' he's got there... hmm.
  • 6/1
    • Th' latest Screenshot of the Day ain't from Outlaws. *gasp* No, it's a shot of me practicin' my social skills in Law of the West, an ol' Commodore 64 game. That's right, I said Commodore 64. Why am I botherin' with it? 'Cause it's a darn fun game, that's why, an' it's got more sarcastic "Western" drawlin' than ya kin shake a pitchfork at. AND because thanks ta a C64 emulator called Frodo you kin now play this game on yer big shiny PC.
      Basically yer th' sheriff of a lil' Western town an' yer task is ta survive ta sunset. On yer daily rounds you'll run inta a whole slew of characters determined ta make this difficult, an' a few who may help ya if ya take th' right tone with 'em in conversation. If ya say th' wrong thing some of 'em'll whip out a piece an' blast away at ya, so watch yer tongue an' keep yer hand near yer gunbelt.
      Not only is this game a blast, but I think it jus' may help a few of th', err, "socially-challenged" get in some much needed practice with social interaction. Also now that I think of it this may be th' game that I got th' idea fer th' "pistol-dueling mode" that I'd like ta see in an Outlaws sequel. This game's a blast, so go get it on th' file page, waaaay down at th' very bottom.
    • Hey, you kin send me yer own screenshot that could become th' POOS Screenshot of the Day! There're a few simple guidelines I need ya ta follow, find that on th' file page. Then send in yer screenshots!
  • 5/31
    • Today's lead news item is a new, improved Dial-Up Networking setting for ya. That's right, messin' about with those lil' check boxes an' registry settin's can make a whole helluva lotta difference in yer laggin' on th' net. An' since lag in multiplayer Outlaws gets ya killed, this really is a matter of life or death! So, th' new thing has ta do with a better way ta set yer internet data compression fer less lag in Outlaws, an' you'll find it as th' new Step #2 in the "Optimize your Dial-Up Networking Settings" section of th' fabulous file page. Quit laggin', go get it!
    • Today's Screenshot of the Day (submitted by me, surprisingly enough) is a shot of "Bourbon St," a new level by Templar. I tried ta capture some feelin' of th' awesome size an' variety of this map in th' shot but I think I still failed ta do it justice; this shot only shows one of th' two streets, an' none of th' back alleys, basements, rooftops or extremely detailed interiors of all the buildings in this fully realized town. Town! Heck, it's more of a full-fledged CITY. We have never seen this kind of scope and breadth of vision in an Outlaws map before. Added a fawning review to th' level page, an' fer a limited time ya kin get th' level off'a my server right here.
    • Got a brand spankin' new site for ya, Redemption's Unforgiving Outlaws Site. Still lots of tweakin' to be done to it but ya kin already see that it's packed full'a attitude as only Redemption could dish it up. He's decided he's sick of posses (useta be CAN_Unforgiven) an' he ain't takin' nothin' from nobody. Lots of custom graphics, opinions an' links. Fun stuff. An' he had a whole bunch'a links ta sites I'd never seen before, like "COC's site," "The ESP Home Page," "The Mobster's Outlaws Page," "Strider's Outlaws Page," "Dons Hideout," "The Official QOT Outlaws Site," "The SIRs Hideout" and "The Voodoo Hideout." Phew! All'a those have bin added ta th' big-ass link list.
    • Tomorrow: Law of the West! That's right, this great ol' game with more balls than ya kin stand ta see has been resurrected thanks ta modern-day software emulation. I'll have all th' files an' step-by-step instructions ya need ta experience this sassy, action packed Old West adventure! If only it had multiplay...
  • 5/30
    • O-tay time fer that new feature: it's the POOS Screenshot of the Day. As often as once a day I'll be showin' a different screenshot of somethin' Outlaws-related. Fer instance ta start us off, today's screenshot is from a lil' deathmatch I had with sos (aka "Light Fighter") an' Webby (aka "Josey Wales"). There're a couple innerestin' things about it. One, it captures th' instant when sos was shootin' at Webby an' Webby was shootin' at sos: ya kin see th' barrel flash of sos's gun an' th' dust on th' cliff wall at right kicked up by Webby's missed shot. Then, if ya look close at th' part right above th' tip of my rifle barrel you'll notice that there's a lil part of th' screen that's magnified (which is why part of sos's back appears ta be missin'). This was a momentary bug that occurred; after I toggled my rifle scope off, th' magnification remained fer a bit. Weird eh?
      Okay now I want your screenshots. That's right, I'll post yer shot here in all it's glory alongside yer name. But first ya gotta follow th' simple guidelines: check 'em out about 2/3rds of th' way down th' file page.
    • Yet another problem reported with Outlaws under Windows 98: no middle button support for 3 button mice. Got this off the Outlaws newsgroup. I'm cataloging Win98 probs at the top of the file page.
    • Some folks usin' IE 4 have reported a JavaScript error with my pop-up banner console that returns the error "No such interface supported." This is due to a bug in certain configurations of IE 4.0. Fer more info an' how to FIX it, check out the "Sleuthing the IE Window Bug" article on CNET's BUILDER.COM.
  • 5/29
    • This is what we've been waiting for! Kali has always been my preferred interface fer arrangin' Internet Outlaws matches but until NOW th' only way ta let people know about yer match was ta leave Kali chat open with an "away" message containin' yer IP address. Th' problem with that was that in very rare circumstances th' open chat could add lag to yer game. Well thanks to Kali man Jay Cotton there's now a better way ta do things: you can host and join Outlaws Winsock tcp/ip games right through Kali, closing chat automatically when you enter the game but leaving a notice behind so other people can find th' game. You'll find all th' details on that an' th' exclusive word from Mr. Cotton himself in th' completely revamped Kali section of th' domain page. Thanks ta sos, .44Mag, Webby, Timestalker, Backpacker an' I think a few other people I'm fergettin' fer helpin' me test this. But special credit goes ta Dirty Dingus, who popped inta my Kali-launched winsock game completely outta th' blue when nobody else could figger out how ta join. This is THE way to play Outlaws, folks! Ya got a great chat interface, easy launchin' an' joinin' of games an' all without that darn Zone lag an' resource hoggin'. YESSSS!
    • Oh yeah added Dirty Dingus ta th' player list.
    • Bill Gates is tryin' ta kill Outlaws! How? By puttin' in some kinda "bug" in Windows 98 that prevents Win98 users from joinin' Outlaws winsock tcp/ip games. They kin host jus' fine, but tryin' ta join will boot 'em back ta th' Outlaws main menu. Yet another reason ta avoid 98 ;p. If ya must have 98 (why??) then th' only known solution is ta install Win95 an' Outlaws on a separate partition, creatin' a dual-boot system. Fer future reference this is posted at th' top of my file page. Thanks yet again ta Webby fer th' scoop.
    • Does anyone know where I kin find a PC version of an' ol' game called Law of the West? My gal Big Nose Kate had it waaay back in th' day on her ol' Apple IIc or whatever. I fergit who made it but it was, quite frankly, the best game ever until Outlaws came along. You got ta mosey all around this lil' western town exchangin' hot lead an' hotter words with th' local sheriff, deputies, hoodlums, women of ill repute an' jus' about every type of varmit th' ol' West had ta offer. There has GOT ta be an' ol' DOS version of this game but darnied if I kin find it. It's so old I could probably distribute it off'a this site if I could jus' track down a copy.
    • Y'know how a few days back I mentioned that it's lookin' like AOL wants ta buy out Mirablis' popular freeware ICQ messaging utility? Well DirtyDon found a popular site where you can make yer vote heard. Check it out.
    • More goodies ta come this weekend, I hope:
      • TOMORROW: Should be able ta get ta that long-awaited new feature where you'll get ta show YOUR stuff ta one an' all.
      • SUNDAY: Got a new Dial-Up Networking setting that I've been testin' with very pleasant results in general lag reduction that I'll fill ya in on.
    • Yes, this is THE place for th' latest word in th' Outlaws world. If you got somethin' Outlaws-related that ya think people should know about lemme know an' chances are I'll post it up on this here site. An' in th' meantime if ya get somethin' outta this page give that pop-up banner a click every time ya stop by, darnit!
  • 5/28
    • Found out that those wacky MGL video drivers, th' ones that offer better Outlaws performance than DirectPlay on most machines without 3dfx cards, were made by Scitech. Actually MGL is a whole entire graphics library, havin' somethin' ta do with Open GL an' all kinds of complicated stuff. Hmm so come ta think of it, mebbe th' folks who told me MGL didn't do much fer 'em didn't have Open GL installed? I know it didn't come with older versions of Windows 95. Well that's all supposition on my part an' I really don't know a whole lot about this really technical stuff. If yer innerested, check out Scitech's MGL page. Oh yeah an' my lil' info about MGL fer Outlaws is on my file page.
    • Mental wanted y'all ta know that he's gone an' updated his site, MENTALTOWN, with some shiny new graphics, more real-life photos of Outlaws players an' other assorted goodies.
    • Finally got through to Welcome to Venice Beach, th' "Venice Beach Boys'" site, so that's been added ta th' link list fer yer browsin' pleasure.
    • Oh that new feature I was gonna roll out? Looks like that'll hafta wait 'til tomorrow, hehe.
    • Yeah I know ya hate it already but it seems a pop-up console is th' only way ta remind some people ta click that darned banner. I jus' checked th' figures an' it seems that while a FEW lovely people were loggin' on an' hittin' it multiple times a day, =D MOST of you varmits were fergettin' ta click it when ya came by (myself included, eheh). :{ Anyhow I tried ta make it tidy, so th' console disappears after th' banner is clicked an' th' sponsor's page loads in a new window. Also, don't worry about browsin' th' site an' comin' back ta this page 'cause it won't pop up another console if one is open already. Ta make up fer th' increased download of that banner I took off some junky text an' a couple tiny bullet pictures from th' bottom of this page an' chopped about 5k off th' logo by compressin' it more, so this page should load at least as fast, if not faster, than it useta.
  • 5/27
    • Ktoomba corrected an error on my player page where I gave KainX credit for foundin' th' short-lived BAM (Bad-Ass Mexicans) posse, which was a group of fellas who all used Sanchez a while back. BAM was actually founded by Sanchez-lovers Buckshot, skyblade, Ktoomba and Drako. Thanks fer settin' me straight on that one Kt.
    • There are JOE's everywhere nowadays; can't pop inta Kali without runnin' inta a whole mess of 'em. Well their old time founder DirtyDon gave me th' definitive scoop on th' state of his posse's affairs which is reflected in th' updated listin' on th' posse page.
    • Whoops! DirtyDon wanted ta clear up th' post I made a couple days back with a screenshot of a level in development called "Jailbreak!" Don is jus' a tester, all th' real credit goes out ta his fellow JOE DeanWermer. Hope we kin see that level out soon!
    • MIL_Raf tells me he's workin' on a new level in th' shape of a spider. Ooo, creepy!
    • Pacoloco brought ta my attention a new site he's made that's jus' packed full'a beans: The Official New Age Outlaws Homepage which has been added ta my link list fer yer future reference.
    • Well ya may've noticed that after th' last update th' level page had jus' gotten waaay too big, over 100k of HTML, an' at th' rate levels are poppin' up (seems like almost one a day!) it's jus' too big a pain ta keep puttin' up reviews of 'em all, 'specially since th' vast majority of 'em are painful ta look at. So I made a somewhat tough decision an' cut it down by about 70%: from now on I'm only gonna list reviews of th' maps I really like. Who wants ta read about lame levels anyhow? So if it ain't there, it ain't one-a my faves.
    • Fer a similar reason I had ta break up th' Stale Vittles page with th' old news on it into two pages: Stale an' th' new (or is that old) Moldy Vittles. Sounds enticin' don't it? Hey, it's old but if ya haven't read it then it's still news ta you. ;p
    • Th' lil' 5 volt/watt/whatever coolin' fan that I had puttied on ta th' side'a my 3dfx board finally croaked. I had been havin' ta open th' case an' give it a lil' twirl ta get it goin' every time I powered on but yesterday even that failed ta start 'er up. Waah! Guess I'm jus' gonna be runnin' a lil' hotter now 'cause there ain't no way I'm gonna stop overclockin' my voodoo. What's overclockin' ya ask? Jus' one of th' performance-enhancin' tweaks ya kin make ta yer AUTOEXEC.bat file that'll crank up yer voodoo's performance, sometimes by close ta 100 percent. See my ol' Outlaws Video Comparison fer th' full guide ta gettin' yer 3dfx optimized for Outlaws.
  • 5/26
    • Weeded out a bunch of dead wood from th' link list an' added "Red News," "Posseboy's Outlaws Page," "WAR_Sticky's Page" an' th' excellent "The Wild Bunch."
    • Ran inta BioXid in Kali an' we had an amiable chat where we both decided ta mind our p's an' q's. Bio confirmed th' breakup of MAD, referrin' to it as "good news."
    • Both Saxster an' Weekman have retired from active webmaster duty on their sites but have left 'em up fer people ta visit. It's a shame ta see Sax go; his was th' first site I ever downloaded a level from. Thanks fer all th' goodies Sax!
    • Red_Dragon had some kinda news flash... lessee... oh YEAH his HSS posse is currently lookin' fer fresh meat er recruits. If yer innerested head on down ta Red's Outlaws Page an' fill out an' application.
  • 5/25
    • POOS got th' most hits it ever has yesterday! Yay! I suspect that was due ta all th' great folks out there who came by ta click my sponsor banner (see that "click" link above) an' I jus wanna say I love ya all! =D I'm gonna do th' best I can ta keep bringin' ya innerestin' Outlaws stuff on a continuous basis. Lemme remind ya again that this site would be nothin' without you, an' I rely on all of you to send me th' latest word on happenin's in th' Outlaws world, big or small. Send it ta me an' if it's of value to others I'll post it! Oh an' this week I'm gonna be rollin' out a new feature that I'll need YOUR help on. It's gonna be fun so keep an eye out fer it.
    • Gonna e-mail Jay Cotton of Kali today an' advise him that this weekend's testing only confirmed what I've said all along on my domain page, which is that for Outlaws tcp/ip play, DirectPlay sucks an' Winsock is th' way ta go. In my latest test with five players under DirectPlay my screen kept stuttering along, literally freezing up! Ewww. So hopefully this means that Joe an' co. will look inta th' possibility of addin' Winsock support fer Outlaws ta their TCP Game Browser, lettin' us post games without havin' ta leave chat open (although I STILL maintain that chat doesn't perceptibly affect game lag).
    • Finally brought th' level list up ta date, addin' over 30 level reviews. But ya know of all th' levels only one really grabbed me: "The Dip!" by Twobitt. These Aussie level makers (th' other bein' Slaters_dog) make maps with a sense of a real place like nobody else; they must have some real-life "Outback" locations ta draw inspiration from. I think "The Dip!" is so awesome that fer a limited time I'll let ya download it off'a my server right here.
    • DirtyDon dished me off a beta version of a new map he's workin' on with Lawmaker smith DeanWermer called "Jailbreak." This one is lookin' hot; basically it's emulatin' "Jailbreak!" from Quake II. Set in a big prison an' made fer teams, when ya die ya respawn in a locked cell an' hafta wait fer yer buddies ta bust ya out! Haven't seen anything like this in Outlaws so far. I didn't ask permission an' th' moral dilemma is tearin' me up inside but here's a sneak peak screenshot.
    • Added Fallsdown, Badd, Skeeter an' Sleepy ta th' player list.
    • Th' Dickster went an' updated his site with a page chock full of spiffy art havin' ta do with his new "Savage Twin" duo. Lemme whip out that URL... oh here it is.
  • 5/24
    • Hey! Don't fergit ta give my sponsor banner a click. Confused? See yesterday's Vittles or jus' click that "click" link up above. Do it fer th' kids!
    • I don't use it myself anymore (got irritatin') but word is that Mirablis' popular ICQ messaging service is gonna get snapped up by AOL. Ecch! Thanks ta DirtyDon fer lettin' me know. Let's see do I have that URL layin' around... oh yeah check th' ZDNet article fer more on that.
    • Added "Stadel's Outlaws Page" ta th' link list. I tell ya, posse names are gettin' weirder all th' time...
    • Did some Winsock vs DirectPlay testin' with Timestalker, Fallsdown, Red_Dragon an' DOS**Dragon las' night. Hope ta get some more done tonight. Oh yeah added DOS ta th' player page.
    • Red tells me that th' formidable MAD posse has disbanded. Wonder what will become of all those good players?
    • Ugh, didn't get any level reviewin' done yesterday 'cause Outlaws kept crashin' in NT (which is where I do all my testin' an' reviewin'). Why? 'Cause th' latest NT Soundblaster driver appears ta be incompatible with Outlaws an' even with DirectSound ta some extent. Took me all day an' many, many reboots 'fore I figgered that out an' put th' ol' driver back. D-ar!
  • 5/23
    • Hot dang! Fer th' last few days I've been insanely jealous of th' fellers at "#Outlaws_players" 'cause they went an' got a sponsor fer their fine site. Well I finally managed ta get me that sponsor too. Yes, I've well an' truly sold out this time! See that "click" link up above? That goes ta a page with a lil' banner ad ('cause I didn't wanna clutter up this page), an' each click on that banner gets me 20 cents ta continue workin' on this site! 20 beans may not sound like much but if y'all help me out it should really help me pay my rent. So please, I'm beggin' ya, I've got no shame, hep' a poor web designer out by clickin' that banner every time ya come by. :D Thank ya!
    • Hopin' ta make some headway on about 40 new levels I hafta review, includin' one jus' sent ta me today by level-master Twobitt. Should be able ta get through all'a those this weekend.
    • Gonna try ta make it ta Kali late tonight ta conduct some comparison tests that'll help Jay an' th' friendly folks at Kali support Outlaws even better. So come along an' join in!
    • I'm gonna save ya at least $7 right now: DON'T SEE GODZILLA! It's really incredibly awful an' I ain't gonna hang out with my "friends" who dragged me off ta see it fer th' whole rest of th' weekend, darn 'em!
  • 5/21
    • UPDATE: Whoops. Darn, looks like I won't make it ta Kali tomorrow night. Arg arg arg.
    • Lots of innerestin' stuff goin' on. Th' most innerestin' has got ta be developments with Kali. As I reported a number of days ago th' latest Kali beta (1.45) added Outlaws Directplay support to their TCP game browser, a handy service that lets you post games without having to leave chat open and that makes it easy for people to join. Th' big disappointment was that it doesn't support Winsock play which most Outlaws have found ta be less laggy than DirectPlay. Well I've since had th' pleasure of correspondin' a lil' bit with THE MAN at Kali, Jay Cotton himself. Dunno where th' guy finds th' time ta respond ta me but he tells me they're lookin' into Winsock support as well as other things like displayin' more game info. In th' mean time I'm gonna be comparin' lag between DirectPlay an' Winsock, hopefully starting tomorrow evening so if ya wanna help Jay an' th' folks at Kali improve their Outlaws support keep an eye open fer me in Kali tomorrow night. Hmmm there's always th' chance that one of my RL so-called friends may monopolize my time but if I can't make it I'll post that here. Also if ya do any comparative testin' on yer own lemme know whatcha find.
    • DirtyDon sends word of a new gaming service at def-con.net. Apparently there are some plans to add Outlaws support, runnin' Outlaws games off of a dedicated T3 server. I'd say wait an' see 'cause it's a pay service, but ya can sign up now as a beta tester fer free. Don sez ta check his name if ya go ta sign up. Of course, if th' DOOMINATOR is right about Outlaws passin' info between each an' every player then what th' host is runnin' on really doesn't matter THAT much beyond a certain point 'cause other people's lag to each other will still slow down th' game. Guess we'll hafta wait an' see, eh?
    • Methinks I've found an improvement on CRIME's dialup network configuration (on th' file page). So far it lowers my pings ta my ISP by around 5-10 ms; if comparative testin' shows a definite benefit fer Outlaws play I'll be sure ta let'ch'all know (don'cha love apostrophes?).
    • Added th' first French player, Laurent, ta th' player list.
  • 5/20
    • I had a question fer th' Doominator... in his essay on th' nature of Outlaws TCP/IP play that I posted a couple days ago, he alluded to th' fact that in a multiplayer match information is exchanged between each an' every player. I asked fer clarification an' got this reply:

      It's exchanging data to EVERYONE.... That's costing alot of bandwidth. What's the HOST overhead to the normal players are just the items placement, respawning and the scores. In the CTF game and KFC game, the HOST also responsible for keeping the location of the flag and the chicken. So, sometimes in CTF game, if you are having lag with the host, you can't get the flag up. In other games, the host's duties aren't that much.

      I guess I'd always assumed that info is only exchanged between th' player an' th' host, but if it does work DOOMy's way that'd explain a whole lot... like why I lag so bad when playin' with people from th' East Coast, 'cause I'm accumulatin' lag from each an' every player so even though my ping ta th' host may not be too bad, all th' pings to all th' players combine ta form one nasty lag fer lil' Paleface.

    • DOOMer also pointed me in th' direction of th' "Chattin' Diky" page on "Th' Dickster's Outlaws Page" in which, amongst a whole lotta news mostly about Outlaws in th' Zone, th' Dikster's posted a lil' table tabulatin' th' system specs of various top Outlaws which he accompanies with an article on how hardware effects Outlaws gameplay. Get ta that over on th' link list, it's a good read.
  • 5/19
    • Lagged around in a bunch of games last night... my ISP was droppin' packets until after midnight darn it! But even once that cleared up I still hit lag... there are a few players in Kali who I always seem ta lag with, even some that aren't from, say, Australia. It is SO tempting to start compiling a Lagger List; of course I'd be th' first name on it. ;p Well, even if ya don't think ya lag, PLEASE check out th' section on th' file page about optimizin' yer network connection fer Outlaws. Do it fer me, do it fer yerself, do it fer everyone you play with. They'll love ya for it!
    • That king of run-on sentences, StanJR, seems to be takin' his new webmasterin' duties very seriously. Havin' started up his own "Gunslinger Gang Page" an' taken over map postin' duties from th' semi-retired ArcherAce he's kinda shocked ta find that people don't send him their maps. So if ya make a level send it off ta Stan; he'll post it fer ya no matter how lame it is. ;] Oh yeah he's also expandin' th' site a bit, already put up a sorta stream-of-consciousness article on lag. Super Duper! Find all that an' more on th' ever-lovin' link list.
    • Speakin' of maps, there are jus' tons an' tons of levels comin' out nowadays an' I know I'm behind in puttin' up lil' reviews. Sheesh I must'a downloaded like 40 new maps yesterday! Well I should have a bit of free time comin' up so we'll see if I kin catch up on this unstemmed tide; jus' hope they don't all suck.
  • 5/18
    • Nobody can model an angled wooden plank quite like Slaters_dog. Dissatisfied with what he saw as some patches of bad framerates in his excellent level "Abandoned" he's reworked it into a larger, faster map called "Cowboys." Fantastic level in both 3dfx and software modes. Hmm... well I don't normally do this but this map is so new it might be hard ta find, so fer a limited time ya kin get it right here.
  • 5/17
    • Added "Badd's Outlaws page" to th' link list, thanks ta th' ever informative Fryster. Badd had a link ta th' "Sudden Death Gang" site so's I added that in too.
    • Whoops! Taz moved th' "Rough Riders" site back ta th' ol' URL 'cause th' new server was too slow. They're still lookin' fer a new host though with more room (fer all their maps?).
    • Th' DOOMINATOR sent in two big mutha' posts in which he discusses th' mechanics of net play in Outlaws as compared to other online games. Lots of innerestin' insights in these, though th' first one's a bit emotional, but then again DOOMy's an emotional fella. Pull up a chair an' get comfy, this's a big long read.

      Part #1

      I must say I have encountered too many players like Scott in my taste who thought quake and quake2 are the best or ONLY lag handling example. Damn. How many times have I explained out there in other areas like 3D shooter area that Quake does employ the suckest algorithm I have ever seen? And those loyal quakers would never realize that there is something much better in the world which handle the SAME quantity of delay. But other game companies never seems to realize that and still follow the trend of Quake and Quake2. Sigh..... and People's visions do so. More Sigh.... Everytime I talked about lag-handling algorithm, the only word and example they can think of is QUAKE! Suck!

      You see? Lag is always there, but it affects not the same if you handle it in different way. As in 3D shooter, the most important thing is you should be able to shoot at something like you did in single player, so you can practise offline and employ your offline skill to online. And 3D shooters are aggressive game. The lag handling algorithm should benefit attackers while most of the players inside is attacking rather than defensing. Quake's lag handling engine (and most of the other MAJORITY 3D shooter out there, like Jedi Knight, Quake2.... etc.) employs a defensive-benefitting lag handling algorithm that you cannot shoot at what you see, it's just a shadow. You won't register your hit but you can dodge at what you see because what hit you at your own screen is registering damage. Warbirds and Outlaws employ a different philosophy here. Being a fighter simulation and a considering 3d shooter, they employ attacker-benefitting algorithm which worked the best in reality. You just need to aim at something you see on your screen and if you hit as you see, you register the hit! You can't dodge something just you see in the screen though, for those bullets flying toward you was delayed when showing on your screen. You may still got hit even you dodged the bullets you saw on your screen. But so what? There are plenty spaces around for you to dodge, but not plenty windows for you to hit your opponent, so the attacker-benefitting algorithm worked. In firing, it just work as offline play, in dodging fire, you need to do your action a bit earlier before you see your enemy's gun blazing.

      I have been able to play happily with people who got 1000 ms delay in Warbirds and 700 to 800 ms delay in Outlaws. Of course, their packet lossing rate is low, that's the condition.

      The problem here is, Quake and Quake 2 can't be played well once the ping got over 140 ms in my taste and 250 ms for most of the players out there. How about Outlaws? It can be played still at 700 ms without much whinning and complains. Warbirds? Without packet loss, it can withstand 1200ms delay. The lag is there, but the way to handle it is the most important.

      Part #2

      There was quite a time since the first lag handling engine has been establish. There are also many generations about them too. Here is a review and I would state which one I prefer to BattleZone. Each one will have their Pros and Cons.

      1st Generation: (old games before 1994 including DOOM)

      at this generation, the engines running on both machine wait for the same packet to be updated and to be received to go on the next step in the game, which result in terrible game play. The sequence is like this

      Computer A: I send "1".
      Computer B: I received "1".
      Computer B: I acknowledged "1".
      Computer A: I received the acknowledged "1".
      Both go on the next step.

      You may already think about what will happen if a computer is slower than another computer? Ok, the whole multiplayer game will be following the slowest machine's speed plus the slowest modem speed to proceed. THIS SUCKS!

      Pros: Truely consistency in the game. Every packet, every step is taken sychronized!

      Cons: Not a good lag handling engine for there are too much variaty out there for different machines and different modems, even the noise level (including anything which made packet loss) makes the game unplayble on the net.

      2nd generation: Descent, Jedi Knight

      It can be played through TCP/IP finally! Wow! What a good start? The engine works by doing the work on your own machine with your own machine speed. By understanding that TRUE consistency over the net is just a dream talk, it took a step farther from consistency to playability.

      People can move at their local machine speed, fire at their local machine speed but what you see on your screen is not what you can hit. If you hit your opponent's ship, most of the time you didn't damaged him in his side! In order to register damage, you need to GUESS the actual position of his ship in HIS COMPUTER. You need to hit him on HIS screen which is not showing the same of your screen due to net delay.

      Computer A: SENT: I fired.
      Computer B: RECEIVED: Computer A fired.
      Computer B: PROCESS: The fire doesn't hit.
      Computer B: SENT: You didn't hit!
      Computer A: RECEIVED: I didn't hit!
      Computer A: User: DAMN! I shot 1000 ROUNDS THROUGH YOUR SHIP ALREADY!

      Pros: People can finally play on their local machine speed and no need to be slowered to the slowest machine's speed in the multiplayer game.

      Cons: People need to guess something they don't see and varied alot from time to time: NET LAG! in order to hit!

      3rd Generation: Duke Nukem 3D

      Now, this is MUCH BETTER (in Duke's tone). With the concept behind 2nd generation engine that you play on your local speed, you can also hit at the thing you see in your screen.

      Computer A: Hit computer B
      Computer A: SENT: I hit you already.
      Computer B: RECEIVED: Computer A hit me.
      Computer B: PROCESS: Calculate damage.
      Computer B: SENT: I'm dead!
      Computer A: RECEIVED: Computer B is dead!

      Duke's engine has been a genre breaking one in my opinion, but it still has some bugs. If the difference of the machines' speed in the multiplayer game is too big, it will got synchronizing error.

      Pros: People finally able to employ ALL OF THEIR OFFLINE skill due to the game actually run like local games. They can move, shoot at what they see.

      Cons: People may found their opponent dies a bit slower than they should be... like 1 sec after being hit or 0.5 sec after being hit due to the need of waiting for the response through the net. Or dying by some thought-to-be-dodged rockets.

      4th generation: Quake

      Nahhh.... this SUCKS! SUCKS! SUCKS! All your movement, actions were sent to the server before you can actually doing them. id software wants CONSISTENCY, FULLY SYNCHRONIZED. Sorry, they aren't exist except the 1st generation engine. What happens then? Your skill will be banished from the net due to the connection speed you have isn't instant!

      Computer A: SENT: I go forward.
      Server: RECEIVED: Computer A goes forward.
      Server: SENT: Permitted.
      Computer A: RECEIVED: I am permitted to go forward.
      Computer A: PROCESS: I actually going forward NOW.
      Damn! Every, I mean EVERY actions need to be submit and that's hell alot of lag!

      Pros: Seems to be able to handle 16 players even with 28800 modem. Nothing else is good!

      Cons: Unplayable, as John Romero admitted that they designed the game for T1 at first because they are all hooked up with T1 to the internet and expect the majority of gameplayers would move up to T1 soon.

      5th generation:

      Warbirds, the online flight sim which handle more than 130 players from ALL AROUND THE WORLD in the same arena! and Outlaws, an old west 3d shooter which is the most realistic one from Lucasarts and can be played overseas without complains about lag

      Obviously, this is the best engine I have seen. I strongly recommend this engine for any multiplayer games, though the benefit would be varied from the type of game, but it is certainly good.

      Basically based on 3rd generation engine, that's "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU CAN HIT, WHAT YOU HIT IS WHAT YOU DAMAGED" type engine. It added some goodies which worth a new generation:

      1. It has real time physics built in the game to predict your opponents' movement between packets arrive. That means you will be able to see their SMOOTH action, with packets arriving to confirm their actual position at that time and with real time physics model to smoothen their intermediate movement.
      2. Debugged the problem Duke Nukem 3D has that no matter how big is the difference between the machine's speed or connection speed, it can be handled.

      There are some customized difference in Warbirds' engine.

      1. It can handle 1200 ms delay due to the game nature is flight sim that instant reaction aren't as fast as 3D shooter.
      2. It updates the closer enemies first, then distant enemies!
      3. It updates the enemies first, then friendlies.
      4. It features real time voice communication!
      5. all I'm talking about what 130+ players, world around people engagement, voice communication were all done by just a 9600 baud modem!
      6. This is a server mode algorithm which you need to connect to their main server which is a very very fast machine (like ultra sparc with hell alot of memory.. .from some insider info, they seems add 1 MB ram for each player capacity, so I guess there maybe more than 130 mb ram in their servers).

      For Outlaws:

      1. This is a more casual version of the engine which employ PPP mode. No serious server is needed.
      2. With everybody using 33.6k modem, the game can run with 4 players mode without noticible latency.
      3. With everybody using 56k modem, the game can run with 6 players mode without noticible latency.
      4. It requires the players to have more BANDWIDTH in order to play in a more player game due to it's PPP mode connection that everyone is sending his data to EVERY player out there and receiving data from EVERY player out there.
      5. It can handle the delay at around 500ms to 900ms without strange things happening in case with low packet loss rate.

      The reason I suggest this engine for Battlezone and all other games are that I actually played those engines for a long period of time. This engine, though has it's own weakness (every one has, right? Just the matter if that's important or not), the weakness can be withstand and the advantages cannot be done by other types of engine.

      To hit someone, the solution of the guns is relative small to avoid someone's attack. So, this engine, being attacker-advantaged, is good for games like flight sims, 3d shooter and more importantly, BATTLEZONE. In contrary to the next generation engine I will introduce: The Quake 2 Engine and Descent engine that you need to aim at what you don't see but dodge at what you see, this engine enable you to aim at what you see but dodge at what you don't see.

      Why this attacker-advantaged philosophy turned out as better than defensive-advantaged philosophy? As I mentioned before, the gun solution for each attack is relative small compare with to ruin your opponent gun solution. So, benefitting the attacker would actually balancing the game play rather than benefitting the ALREADY very advantaged defender who got plenty of places to run around.

      Pros: You can shoot at what you see on your screen, and if you hit, you really hit him. No need to guess the lag, no need to guess where to shoot. Just do your deflection shooting based on physic, not on net lag. You can also see smooth motions of your opponent too..

      Warbirds: In addition, you only need a 9600 modem!

      Outlaws: You can play with good players overseas on the net without much lag EFFECT finally.

      Cons: People you shot may die a bit later, as in 3rd generation engine, and you need to pre-dodge your enemies fire rather than dodging them when you see them for that you may already got shot up!.

      6th generation engine: Quake2

      It's an improvement from Quake and Quakeworld engine, while actually being the same as Descent Engine, it employs server mode rather than Descent's PPP mode and your gun firing action must be submitted to the server before being processed by your own machine. That's all the difference.

      Pros: Able to handle large amount of players depends on the server's ability. Allowing you to dodge at what you see.

      Cons: You can't shoot at what you see, even can't shoot at when you want to due to delay of submittion and permittion of your firing action by the server.

      Ok, I'm very longwinded, I know.

      DOOMINATOR the DARK Knight

      Yep, yer even longer-winded than I am DOOMy. That mus' be why I like postin' yer stuff. ; ]

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