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Fourth Highest Shelf Vittles: 7.9.98-8.8.98

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  • 8/8

    • Added this to th' bottom of th'strategy page:

      Don't Let Outlaws Make You a Limp-Wristed Sissy!

      It almost happened ta me once, no lie. Mebbe it's jus' 'cause I got small hands or somethin' but at one time I almost had ta give up Outlaws 'cause constant playin' had given me a nagging pain in my left wrist, th' one that stays sort of hunched over th' keyboard while playing. I wouldn't'a thought that my wrists would be in danger seein' as how I scooped ice-cream fer 2 years at Baskin Robbins durin' high school an' did Aikido wrist exercises fer about 6 years (heck I still do 'em). But before I realized it my wrist got in a pretty bad way.

      I think what really caused th' problem was that I had set th' USE key on th' spacebar so I could pump medkits easily in a firefight. But it turned out that stretchin' my thumb back ta be in position ta use th' space bar, an' holdin' it there fer hours on end really caused some kind of nasty tendon pain in my wrist. It got so bad I couldn't give a thumbs up, and a jump-shot caused an extremely painful twinge on my follow-through. It sucked. It really really sucked.

      Now you probably won't have quite as bad a time as I did, but I'll bet that after long games yer wrist often feels like hell. Well here's what I've done ta fix my problem...

      First I reprogrammed my Outlaws key layout so that I don't hafta use my thumb for anything in th' game. Now I have th' USE key on th' Q key that I kin reach easily with my lil' pinky (secondary fire is on my middle mouse button). My thumb jus' kinda chills out while I play.

      Next I went an' got me a nice ergonomic keyboard, an Acer "Future" keyboard -- you kin read all about it here on Acer's page. Got mine fer jus' $60 by drivin' out to an Acer distributor near Seattle. :) Works great even if it does look kinda like a big green butt with cursor keys around th'... well anyhow it looks weird. I also find it a bit tricky goin' back ta usin' normal keyboards, but fer typin' an' game playin' it's great (except fer some lame games where you can't reprogram th' controls, th' cursor key layout an' detached numeric keypad can make things awkward).

      Finally, I got me a squeeze toy. No it's not a rubber ducky (those are cool though). Actually it's jus' a big bouncy ball I had layin' around that's jus' th' right size ta palm in my hand an' squeeze: like this! This sounds funny I know but it stretches an' strengthens th' tendons in my wrist that get all cramped up durin' long Outlaws games. Works like a charm. Actually there are like commercial hand squeeze things that you kin buy, but this works great fer me.

      Yes this is really pretty hardcore geek stuff, chances are you don't play frequently enough ta have this problem. But if you do notice yer wrist feelin' kinda stiff or sore, you might wanna take some precautions.

    • That rascally DeanWermer is up to some new tricks with his latest map Showdown. Here's what he has ta say about it:

      When you start you have no weapons and ammo. This is not a true player hack, however. I found another way to pull out the weapons. I can imagine a whole set of new levels without weapons like:

      1. A "Most dangerous game level" with a sawed off that takes a long time to regenerate and lots of hiding places. The person without the gun would have to be clever to avoid getting blasted.
      2. A boxing level, with a ring.
      3. Levels built around one weapon, ie "knife fight" or "pistoleros"

      We could denote these levels with the code "LJ" for longjohns since that's all you start with :)
      For anyone else that wants to make a LJ level, all you have to do is add the following line to the end of the ITM file for your level:
      INT FLAGS 3
      That's it!

      So anyhow Showdown is basically a modified Sanctuary where you start out with no weapons. Now th' only problem I see with this "LJ" idea is that Bloody Mary is MUCH better with her fists than any of th' other characters an' would have a big advantage at th' start.

      Dean wanted me ta be sure ta give credit ta Laggy Luke fer pioneering this technique in his map "Survival" which is simply "Wilderness" with no starting weapons.

      Actually I'm personally gettin' tired of Mary in general, especially on small maps. I've been in lots of games lately on a small map where a player will start out with Doc Death or someone else, then leave th' game an' come back with Bloody Mary jus' so they kin' kick some butt.

      Sure there was a time when I used Mary. But I got tired of her -- she's jus' too damn tough, like a freakin' freight train or somethin'. With her shotgun, durability an' ammo she takes less skill than any other character. I guess that's why so many players like her. I don't mind her on larger maps where her shotgun an' fists can be countered with long range fire, but on small maps she's really irritating.

  • 8/7

    • Be sure ya read th' big thing from yesterday about managing yer lag in laggy games by waiting a few seconds before trying to respawn!

    • "Scott's Outlaws Page" has moved an' been reborn as DrDeath2's Outlaws Site. And hey he's got workin' Outlaws surveys so go vote fer yer favorite Outlaw stuff. Oh yeah he also expects ta get th' next installment of his "Marshall Adventures" single-player saga out sometime this very month.

    • Thanks ta sharp-eyed Chief Whoop-Ass who saw that old Outlaws rumor surface on Gamepen. Actually they seem to treat at as news but then sort of have fun debunking it. It's funny too because it's like a game of "telephone" where th' message changes as it's whispered ear to ear...

    • KaReFree posted a good deal of info on gettin' DirectX 6 fer different versions of Windows 98. I'm still amazed that DX 6 is almost half the size of DX 5! A more efficient sequel from Microsoft? Who would'a thunk it?

    • I heard from DeadEye Phil who got USWest's DSL service installed a couple days ago. BUT... he can't use it fer online gaming! Somethin' ta do with his ISP not havin' all th' right hardware... well I sure hope I kin play Outlaws over DSL when mine comes in -- called USWest ta check an' they didn't think there should be a problem. Only 30-odd days left, damnit!

      Actually come ta think of it I DIDN'T hafta call them; they called me again this morning:

      He: Hello Mr. Face, this is Charles with US West.
      Me: Uhh... [still groggy from being woken up by th' damn phone]
      He: I'm calling to see if you're interested getting our new high speed digital subscriber line internet service....
      Me: Yeah. But you guys already called me about this two days ago.

      Somehow they'd fergotten... not exactly reassuring. But they had this offer fer a free digital modem an' network card if you signed up by midnight tonight, so I guess they wanted ta be sure they'd gotten ta me with that. But then again there's still a $110 setup fee. ;p

  • 8/6

    I discovered somethin' real important about managing lag in laggy games last night. Well mebbe it wasn't so much a discovery as me finally takin' th' time to observe what was going on. With th' help of th' lil' Dial-Up Connection Meter from my file page I confirmed that no data uploadin' takes place when yer dead. UNLESS YOU TALK.

    See fer a long time now, mebbe ever since my lag got bad (heh) I've had th' habit of sayin' somethin' when I die, an' then hittin' th' respawn key immediately. THIS IS EXACTLY the WRONG thing to do in laggy games. So my big mouth was basically 'causin' much of my severe lag woes. Here's a replica of what I've posted at th' top of th' Lag section on th' strategy page:

    Don't try to respawn immediately in laggy games!

    You'll be in lots of games with a good deal of lag; it's pretty unavoidable. Outlaws kin handle lag very well but after a certain point th' game becomes unplayable. However, unplayable lag IS generally avoidable. Th' best way to keep lag from gettin' outta control is to wait a few seconds before tryin' to respawn after you die.

    I know that every pore of you is screaming to get back in there an' extract bloody vengeance from yer enemy's dastardly hide, but hittin' th' respawn key (usually SPACE or ENTER) right after you die may actually take LONGER than waiting a few seconds (2 to 4 should suffice im most cases) before trying to respawn.

    Why? Because really bad lag is frequently a result of just too much data comin' in fer yer modem ta keep up with. Or rather, your modem WOULD be able to keep up with it, if you weren't moving and thus sending data OUT at the same time. When you're running and shooting, especially in matches with lots of players, sometimes all the data can't fit through th' modem at once. It starts to accumulate, sort of piling up on both sides of the connection. As this continues you get farther and farther behind the dataflow, and your lag gets worse and worse.

    Now, if you stopped moving and did nothing, your modem wouldn't hafta upload and would be able to focus all it's bandwidth on catching up on the incoming data stream. Of course doing nothing will get you killed surprisingly quickly in Outlaws. But if you're ALREADY DEAD, they can't kill ya, can they?

    You may have noticed in laggy games that after you hit the button to respawn, the game seems to freeze up for a while, longer in games with more lag -- I've counted respawn lags of 10 seconds or more. During this time you can sometimes hear sounds from the area around you, but your screen remains frozen.

    What's happening? Basically your modem fell behind while you were alive and uploading/downloading simultaneously. When you die, data upload stops -- th' other players aren't updated on yer position or facing, because, well, yer dead. Now yer modem has a chance ta catch up with th' dataflow. BUT if you try to come back in BEFORE yer modem catches up, you start uploading again, the dataflow lags again, and it takes time fer yer signals ta get through ta th' host ta let you restart.

    Then once you do restart, yer laggin' worse than ever. Data continues to pile up on both sides of yer modem bottleneck, and yer lag gets worse and worse until the game becomes unplayable.

    So the simple solution is just to wait a few seconds after dying before trying to respawn. This gives your modem time to catch up with the dataflow so that when you restart you won't have any accumulated lag. How long you need to wait depends on how laggy the game is to begin with -- you'll know you didn't wait long enough if the screen freezes up for a significant period after hitting the respawn button. Next time you die, wait a little longer.

    Also, if you simply MUST say something when you're dead (and I often can't resist the temptation to make some kind of remark to lessen the humiliation of my death, something especially witty like "ow") be sure to wait for a while after sending the message. This is because the message has to upload, thus interrupting your modem's catch-up process momentarily.

    • Okay I hope you read that. Well on with th' rest of th' show... oh yeah I promised I'd tell ya 'bout that popular, knowledge-filled Outlaws editing message board. Well it's over at Darkjedi.com, home of th' creators of LawMaker, th' Outlaws map editor. Th' Lawmaker board is right here ta be precise. Tons of really technical stuff; if that's yer bag you'll have a field day! Get in an' chat it up with all yer friendly neighborhood Outlaws mapmakers.

    • I cleaned up th' level page a bit, weedin' out some levels that I once thought were neat but now realize I jus' don't have much inclination to play on or that I now realize have problems, like th' lag-addin' chickens in th' otherwise excellent "El Trencho."

    • Some corrections from yesterday: Raf's "DejaNews" Outlaws message board thing is FREE. Not that I said it wasn't, but that may have sounded implied. An' HDSL's max transfer is 8 MegaBITS per second, not MegaBYTES. Thanks ta Doominator fer pointin' that one out, an' thanks ta th' confused ladies at USWest tech support fer confirmin' it fer me (eventually). Since there are 8 bits in a byte I guess 8 megabit transfer is equal to 1 megabyte per second. Cable modems kin actually go up ta 30 Mbps (megabits per second) but that's only on downloads, an' only if yer neighbors aren't hoggin' yer bandwidth.

    • Dave Jumper's an Outlaw with a problem, mebbe you kin help:

      I WAS running fine. Since I last played on the net, I exchanged my K-Flex rockwell modem for a PCI Lucent v.90. I also upgraded from DirectX 5.2 to DirectX 6. Microsoft also updated some of my networking "stuff". I have Outlaws version 2.01 and run under Win '95.

      What is now happening is this. I join or host a TCPIP game. The game is going along fine, very little lag. All of a sudden *while shooting at someone), the game locks, goes to a black screen, then the PC reboots. No error message or anything, it just reboots.

      Do you have any idea which if any of the recent changes I made may be causing this? It tends to make people not want me in a game.

      I suggested that it may be a problem with his Winsock installation; I think I had a similar symptom at one point but reinstalling the MS Winsock 2.0 upgrade seemed ta fix it. Anyhow if you have any helpful comments fer Dave send 'em along ta [removed].

    • SmellyRoach has gone an' made a THIRD Outlaws web site, this one's th' DPW Homepage, his new posse's site. Very fast, attractive and informative. It's gettin' hard fer me ta keep my link list up ta date with this guy... ;)

  • 8/5

    Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

    • Yessssssss! I know you may be used ta gettin' a fat dose of spleen here everyday, but today, well, I'm real happy. Hell, I wasn't even gonna do an' update today, figgered I'd slack, but one good thing after th' other has come along an' I jus' gotta share. =)

      Okay so th' main thing is that, come September 10th, my laggin' is a thing of th' past. I got a phone call this morning, th' beginnin' went somethin' like this:

      He: Hello Mr. Face, this is Thomas with US West.
      Me: ... [fear grips me; US West is my local phone company an' they extract a big chunk'a change from me every damn month]
      He: I'm calling to see if you're interested getting our new high speed digital subscriber line internet service....
      Me: YES! er... Yes, yes I am....

      So ta make a long story short I'm gettin' DSL service installed on th' 10th of September, if they show up on time an' don't find anythin' terribly wrong with my studio's wiring (fingers crossed). You may have heard of ADSL, or "Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line." Well that's one DSL flavor; it has faster upload speeds and slower download speeds, hence th' "asymmetric" bit. My particular flavor will be HDSL, or "High data rate Digital Subscribe Line" which can upload AND download at up to 7 megabytes per second. Seems I'm close enough ta th' "Central Office" to get up ta th' 7Mbps rate, but that costs a lot; I'm jus' goin' fer th' 256kbps rate.

      Since HDSL lines can do data and fax or voice at th' same time I get ta drop my second line. I also hafta switch to a DSL-compatible ISP (uswest.net) but all in all my monthly cost only goes up by $15-20, and I get a dedicated connection at more than 5 times my current maximum modem speed, with far greater reliability.

      Damn this is gonna KICK ASS! Hell I'll be able ta do stuff like leave Kali open with a new map offered in an "/away" message while I host a large game on that map and run a RealVideo streaming download all at th' same time without even gettin' CLOSE ta maxin' out my bandwidth. YeeeeEEEE-HAW!!

      Oh er where was I? Ah yes if yer in a US West area you might check here ta see if DSL will be available in yer area. Ya do hafta be within 15,000 feet of a "Central Office;" fer instance poor ol' Big Nose Kate who lives jus' a few miles from me can't get DSL at her house. :( So if yer check comes up positive, be sure ta give 'em a call at th' number on th' page an' have 'em check ta make sure...

      Now since I'll be gettin' a new ISP, this page will move if I do indeed get DSL installed. I'll also have a different e-mail address an' so forth. Won't know what these'll be until th' switch but my current ISP SHOULD be able to handle forwarding me fer a while so you'll be able ta track me down.

      Dang I dunno how I'll be able ta stand th' wait fer a whole month!

    • More good news! Big_Z, who was havin' some trouble with Outlaws freezing up while his hard-drive whirred away, got things straightened out. He wanted me ta thank all those who pitched in ta help him out on his behalf, but he says it pretty well himself:

      I fixed my OL problem. It involved alot of reformating and reinstalling. But i got rid of Win98 and now OL works fine. I think my problem was Win98, becuase i was also having troubles with Kali, but its all working fine now under Win95. I wanted to thank you for helping out with my problem. And perhaps you could post a general thank-you to all those who emailed me with suggestions.

      Yay Z! Looks like gettin' rid of 98 has been fixin' things fer people.

    • More good news! Raf's been so busy with his Outlaws Editing Guild that he's considerin' removin' his MIL Gang Page. Why issat good news? 'Cause then he'd be able to spend more time cookin' up cool new Outlaws stuff with th' Guild! An' he may also move th' OEG to a more convenient, Geocities server. All this MIGHT happen this weekend.

      Oh yeah an' he's dished me up a sneak peak of somethin' th' OEG's workin' on: here's a shot of a cozy shadow-casting fireplace in a dark room. Get out those marshmallows!

      Oh I almost fergot, he's ALSO made a little discussion forum newsgroup thingy fer Outlaws editing conversations on DejaNews although you hafta register with DejaNews first. Actually there's already an Outlaws discussion board fer LawMakers that seems quite popular... ehh I'll cover that tomorrow mebbe.

    • This's good news if you caught a computer virus, from SmellyRoach:

      this news prolly aint worth a penny....but i got a nasty virus the other day from some outlaw related files...called the Stealth Virus...ya might just wanna put on the files list, "a virus scanner" the one i got it at: http://www.avp.com.

      Stick it to that nasty Stealth Virus!

  • 8/4

    • Gee this is kinda like Windows 95 an' 98: I like th' first version of ay_suc's excellent "Fort Remix" better'n th' second version. What's th' difference? Well so far as I kin tell (an' I played a pretty long game in th' second version last night with Webby, S.O.S. an' Mr_Slack) th' differences between th' two amount ta changes in th' stream/bridge area outside th' fort.

      In th' latest version there's an AI boss across th' broken bridge. AI characters will add latency to multiplayer maps because their data has to be transferred between everyone just as if they were another player. So our four player game had, in effect, the lag of a five player game. Oh you kin get a lil' glimpse of 'im here.

      Now in th' first version there's no dude over there. Thus, the first version is less laggy. But perhaps equally important, at least ta me 'cause I thought it was a real cool touch, was th' modelling of th' stream in th' canyon below. It's subtle an' hard ta make out in a static shot like this but in 3dfx both th' surface of th' water AND th' stream bed are semi-transparent. This means that you kin see th' moving, global sky/cloud texture through th' bottom of th' stream. Sounds weird but with a voodoo card it adds this fantastic, magical shimmery sheen to th' water. Unreal eat yer heart out.

      Th' only down side, an' probably th' reason that he changed it, is that because of th' way he had to do this effect if you fall in th' water you get stuck (looks somethin' like this). But even without that yer stuck in th' bottom of th' gorge anyway, so what's th' diff? You kin always have someone blow ya up or, as a last resort, use th' dreaded suicide cheat. I'm sure people jus' bitched about it so he changed it... which is too damn bad 'cause it is probably th' spiffiest damn effect I've seen LawMaker pull off.

      So, less laggy an' better lookin'; I'd go with th' first version of "Fort Remix" over th' second version. But then again I'm jus' silly.

    • Found some new sites (well not new but they didn't feel like tellin' me about 'em, so that means their new ta me damnit) over on KaReFree's an' Stadel's pages.

      So let's see we got Grifter and Taco Incorperated (sic), a tandem site fer these two lawmakers. Actually it looks like it's really Grifter's site seein' how he's th' webmaster an' Taco already has a fine site of his own but ahh who cares, this's a refreshingly designed site with maps, gossip, taunt packs an' more goodies.

      Then there's Dachsy's Outlaws Shack, another site made by a level-makin' Outlaw. Actually this's jus' another mirror fer KaReFree's monopolistic OLMAPS level distribution scheme, but hey it's pretty functional. An' there'a this eyeball that looks at you. Yeah.

      Lastly we come to th' Snake Posse's Hideout. This'n takes quite some time ta load, but th' fat graphics are actually pretty attractive so if yer lookin' fer eye candy (not necessarily original eye candy) then you might not mind th' wait. Also info on th' gang, quite a few levels ta download, blahblahblah. They tried ta do some funky font stuff but th' font's didn't work right fer me (probably because I already have different versions of th' fonts installed). Sort of yer typical posse site with heftier graphics.

  • 8/3

    • You know how sometimes you kin kinda lock up after tryin' ta type somethin' in th' chat window? Well th' Doominator, never one ta shy away from danger, has tackled this problem:

      Well, I have encountered many people that have their machine locked up during messaging in the play, or when choosing menu. Before you try to reset, press ALL your mouse buttons. This kind of SOFT-LOCKUP is induced by one of your mouse key signal is stucked, especially often when you are using a 3 button mouse, and you try to do something like messaging or menu choosing. By pressing all mouse buttons again, you release the lock.

      Actually when this kinda thing happens to me (usually when I try to say somethin' when I'm dead) I've found that what works is ta task-switch out fer a sec by hittin' ALT+TAB, then when I pop back inta th' game I have mouse control back. Voila!

    • Well DirectX 6 is out, you kin' grab it here (MS hasn't updated their site links yet). It's neat 'cause DX 5 was 5.6 MB but DX 6 weighs in at jus' 3.58. Oh that link is jus' ta th' English version page. Oh yeah apparently this is also only meant fer Win95, so you Win98 victims're outta luck fer th' moment. ;D Anyhow I installed it an' tried it with Outlaws, seems ta run same as ever. Did a speed comparison test in th' DirectDraw software renderer but didn't see any diff in Outlaws; you should probably be usin' th' MGL drivers anyway if ya don't have a Voodoo card -- see th' file page fer more on that. Oh yeah I most'a this info from Voodoo Extreme.

    • Well Fallsdown didn't think it was Shot of th' Day material, but what does he know? His latest visual feast relates ta that mouse-cleaning tip I came up with a few days back. Falls says:

      My cat uses my large mouse pad to sleep on when I'm not around...and sometimes while I'm trying to play Outlaws so regular cleaning is a must.

    • So here's another cleaning tip: clean yer screen! It's probably covered with dust, oil, dirt, spittle, blood and what-have-you. Outlaws looks a lot nicer when runnin' on a clean screen... okay well if ya want a real Old West feel you might leave dirt around th' edges.

    • SmellyRoach, master of The No Name Gang Hideout, has been bitten by th' webmasterin' bug again an' come up with his very own Smelly's Outlaws Page, a jolly lil' page where he's got his opinions various Outlaws matters, some help fer beginners an' a pretty scary picture of himself, among other things. Hmm on th' NNG page it says he jus' resigned from th' gang, go figger.

  • 8/1

    • I've been gettin' a lot more complaints from people unable to join games with Windows 98. Again, LEC thinks this is a prob with th' Winsock verion 98 uses; see th' previous day's first post.

    • I think I was havin' my own Winsock trouble... was crashin' after about 15 seconds into a game. At least I hope it was my Winsock an' not a problem with th' crackheads in Kali. ;) Well so I wimped out an' installed Winsock 2.0. This time though it's th' REAL Winsock 2.0, NOT th' beta version that I was usin' previously. If yer usin' th' beta I'd suggest downloadin' th' final version from Microsoft. Still dunno if 2.0 is worse than 1.1 fer Outlaws, but it DOES lower my ping times by about 5 to 10 ms on my 56k Sportster.

    • Hey here's a tip you'll thank me for: Clean your mouse! Those lil' rollers on th' mouse balls get coated with gunk real quick from playin' mouse-intensive games like Outlaws. Jus' pop yer mouse ball out an' take a Q-tip or even yer fingernail (eww gross hehe but hey it's jus' gunk, right?) an' get that crud off'a th' rollers. It's much easier ta aim without gunked up gears, lemme tell ya.

    • Well I knew it would happen: jus' a few weeks after he announced his Outlaws retirement Doominator has been spotted 'round Kali. Nice ta see this top gunslinger back in th' saddle. Good Outlaws never die, they just lag out momentarily.

    • Lemme clear this up 'cause some people seemed worried: there is NO "Bad" ping list. I'm stickin' with jus' "Good" fer now, 'cause anyone can seem like they have a bad connection with me if there are other laggers in th' game. So no "Bad," alright?

    • You may wanna make sure yer "Mixer Channel Count" is set ta th' lowest settin' in yer "Advanced" Outlaws sound settings. May not improve lags but hey it couldn't hurt!

    • Dicky's Best of the West Outlaws Tourney is comin' along nicely, although a FEW DEADBEATS haven't been keepin' on schedule with their matches. So if yer in it, get goin'! I see good ol' StanJr won his first non-forfeit match; way ta go Stan! Oh yeah Stan has a lil' somethin' he wants ta say on his Gunslinger Gang Page although I don't share all of his sentiments...

    • A fellow gunslinger named Big_Z is havin' a lil' trouble in Outlaws. This is different than th' Win98 game joinin' bug, so read over what he sent me an' see if you have any ideas fer him:

      I am having some problems with outlaws. It was working fine, but i had to reinstall it, and now it won't run. OL will load normally, and the intro movies will run fine, but when it starts to load the level everything slows to a snails pace. It takes about 10-15 minutes to acutally load the level, and any keypress takes at least 5-10 min to execute.
      example: I started the game, and once the level strarted loading i went upstairs, ate supper, and came back down. THe level was loaded. but when i tried moving, nothing happend it was like it was frozen, but the harddrive light was flickering like crazy. So i pressed the excape key... and about 5 min later the menu popped up. So i went through the keystrokes to exit OL, but i grew so impatient that i ended up rebooting.

      have you experienced anything like this before? I tried reisntalling, tried the game with and without the patches... no luck. I figgered i would ask you for some help becuase you have a wide knowledge base, and alot of ppl see your site, so maybe you would know something.

      Also... this is the first time its happened to me. This also happened to a game called Warlords III. That game worked fine, but then it suddenly started doing this "slo-mo" thingy. To this day, neither games work.

      Here are my system specs:

      AMD K6-166 (overclocked to 188)
      48mb EDO RAM
      3 hdds

      • C: 1.08g IBM Primary Master approx. 300mb free
      • D: 2.6g Fujitsu (U/DMA) Primary Slave approx. 1.8g free
      • E: 560mb Western Digital Secondary Master approx. 400mb free
      • F: 100mb Partion of drive C: (dedicated for Virtual Memory)
      CDROM (G:) BTC 24x (U/DMA) Secondary Slave
      ATI 2mb Mach 64 Video card
      Diamond Monster 3D
      Soundblaster AWE32
      3Com 3C509 Network card (RJ-45 and AUI jacks)
      Diamond SupraExpress K56Flex Internal Modem

      Misc. All drivers and firmwares are current. this computer is Peer-to-Peer networked with another computer Running Windows 98 :(

      Well thats about it.... if you need anymore information, just ask. I'll appreciate any help you can give me.


      Good luck Z! If you got any idea what his problem might be, why dontcha be a pal an' help him out.

    • When I saw a new level out by ay_suc I jus' had ta grab it, considerin' th' amazing modelling of his two previous efforts, "Tarnation" and "Fort Remix." And let's face it, Night/Dark/Stormy is drop-dead gorgeous. Wonderful attention to lighting, texturing and modelling (not ta mention ambient sounds) really makes you feel like yer in an' old spooky castle. Check out th' cool vampire effects here.

      However, after runnin' though it I was a bit disappointed. Sure it looks great an' everythin' but, well... it seems stunted somehow. Especially compared to th' over-th'-top multilevel layouts of his previous maps, "Night/Dark/Stormy" is just a bit flat. There are cool stairways and doors hinting of other levels but they're all dead ends. Fake. And while you can see ramparts and a courtyard far below out the windows (check this out) you can't get out there and say drop TNT down on people like they useta do with boiling oil.

      Now it's interesting that in th' readme he thanks people fer helpin' him make th' level smaller. Hmm. Well I'd say why try to make a big level small? This one has "grandiose" written all over it -- it's simply not "small" in any sense of th' term, so why try to make it somethin' it ain't? Well shucks anyhow it's still some great-lookin' work from a LawMaker who just burst on th' scene.

  • 7/30

    • 'Parently th' problems with Outlaws in th' Zone under Win98 continue, even after th' 2.0.1 patch. Got this from Zoner mopjockey... he wrote LEC tech support with this:

      PROBLEM: After installing win98 and the outlaws 2.01 patch.I'm unable to join Outlaws games on Microsofts "Zone".I had no problem until I installed win98.

      An' they wrote back with this reply:

      Hi: Thanks for your message. What type of game is it that you're playing, and what map is selected? What happens if you try a different type of game or a different map, or if you or a different player hosts the game?

      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 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 on the Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone (www.zone.com).

      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.

      Here are some other general suggestions that we have received from Microsoft:

      Run TRACERT. Run a tracert to the one(s) lagging. Look at the times. Look for times of 750ms+, *'s that replace times, or timeouts altogether. Tracerts run to the Zone are useless when attempting to diagnose retail game performance other than for Ultracorps and Fighter Ace.

      Close open programs. What programs are running in the background? ICQ, etc? Disable system agent, etc. All require the system to run in the background.

      Disable CD auto insert notification. If a CD is in the tray, disable the auto insert notification. Causes the system to read and update what the system shows as what CD is in the drive.

      Uninstall WebTV. Running Win98 and have WebTV installed? Uninstall WebTV by double clicking on My Computer, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, the Windows Setup tab. Uncheck the box WebTV, click Apply, then OK. Restart the PC.

      We are currently researching this issue to see if it can be corrected. 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.

      Thanks, Eric / LucasArts Technical Support

      Well, hope that helps some of ya. Lemme know how it works out fer ya if ya try it. Of course, you COULD always ditch th' Zone an' use Kali or IRC, as some of you have done already.

    • Hmm well now I got my own problem. See, I've been usin' Winsock 2.0 fer th' most part for quite some time. Once in a while I've wondered if it was responsible fer my lags in Outlaws, but when I'd remove it an' go back to 1.1 I'd still hit some lags. Of course mebbe those were jus' normal lags... An' besides Outlaws was designed ta run under 1.1 since 2.0 wasn't around when it first came out.

      So after readin' th' above letter I decided ta remove th' Winsock 2.0 (yet again). But now, err... I can't seem ta get anywhere. I kin get a connection, but no data transfer... awww HELL. An' I really wanted ta play tonight, too. I hate Win95. Guess it's a bit better'n 98 though. You poor bastards.

    • Just fer th' hell of it I tested ta see whether or nor removing 3dfx texture smoothing for Outlaws would speed up framerates. Nope. That was pretty simple.

    • Well Slack got impatient, wanted me ta review "Mentaltown" th' level he made in honor of Mental with th' help of fellow SWE Doc. Well it's a pretty nice lil' level. A three building town in a steep valley, with an outhouse on th' side (gotta have one of those, dontcha know). Pretty fast framerates, streamlined multilevel design. Could use some lighting but hey most of you probably don't care about that. Should make a good dueling map 'cause it's very stingy with weapons, ammo an' items. Oh yeah here's a shot of mainstreet -- I got bored in there all by myself.

    • Ehh well back ta Win95 ta try ta get my damn DialUp workin' fer once. Of course th' last time I tried ta get rid of Winsock 2.0 th' damn OS refused ta boot back up... ;p

  • 7/29

    • Ahhhhhhhhhhh yeah, now THAT's more like it! Got th' Sportster back from my brother, whew. Want ya all ta know I had to go through Hell to get it. Yes, this was mebbe th' closest experience I've had to th' classic depiction of Hell in my life...

      First I hafta get over ta my brother's apartment. Normally it's like a three minute drive. This time he'd asked me to pop by th' grocery store an' bring along an onion an' a tomato (yes he eats healthy). Store's two blocks from his place, on th' way, not a problem. In fact I was happy to cruise around because it's in th' 90's here in Seattle, an' at least drivin' I kin get a breeze. What I didn't count on were the hundreds of police suddenly infesting his entire neighborhood.

      Some kind of freakin' parade, or somethin'... I wanna know WHAT KIND OF FOOL stands out in th' sun on a 90 degree plus day watching some sweaty people toddle slowly down th' street? Well I guess I learned th' answer to that question today... so anyhow th' parade started up a few blocks across my path. So I have ta detour mebbe five blocks, through clogged residential streets with no sidewalks. Annoyin', but at least I reach th' store.

      Now out of th' store I see I'm gonna hafta go around th' "back way" ta my brother's apartment 'cause th' parade has closed off th' street I normally go down ta reach his place. So okay I can handle that... except that now th' street that I have to cross to get to his place, which is right on th' other side, is blocked off too. Seems th' parade has sorta trapped me in an L-shape surroundin' th' store.

      Arg. So more detour, and... no that street's blocked too... and that one... hey UP YERS buddy... damnit! Well ta make a long story short it ended up bein' a 40 block detour, through side-streets packed with pissed-off, sweaty people. And the setting sun in my eyes. I hate that.

      Finally I get there. It's still very hot in his apartment even with all th' windows open. In fact they're kinda makin' things worse, 'cause workers are retarring th' roof of th' building across th' street. Ahh, nothin' like th' scent of warm tar on a hot day. My brother mentions he's dizzy, but can't smell the tar anymore. Fear grips me.

      Turns out I'm invited ta dinner. Which normally would be great, but tonight it's leftover rice with beans. And there's nothin' on TV (what, you expect us to TALK durin' dinner?!?) except an old Sinatra movie. One of the bad ones. Bing Crosby leading Frank, Dino and Sammy in an unspirited rendition of "Look Out for Mr. Booze." I start to feel faint. Meanwhile sirens, shouts and firecrackers or gunshots continually sound from outside.

      On the way home, I have to stop as a dazed bicyclist, having just picked himself up from a near run in with a car, winds haphazardly across my path. Well that's rough, buddy. As soon as there's room I hit the accelerator. Strange to say, I feel somewhat elated.

      I got my modem back.

    • Well if yer still readin', let's see if we got any real news. Hmmm... nope, not really. A few things behind th' scenes but whoopS those're hush hush. Well if you liked yesterday's screenshot yer sure ta enjoy today's also, 'cause it's another instant Fallsdown classic. Seems with everyone an' their uncle makin' levels these days, Falls got bit by th' LawMaker bug too. But on his first map, he's havin' some trouble gettin' everything aligned...

    • Hey Diky's Best of the West tourney is really heating up, an' you kin follow along with all th' matches on th' excellent site he's made. Hell this site's easier ta read an' more comprehensive than th' damn World Cup web site. Makes me kinda nauseous jus' thinkin' about how much time Diky mus' be spendin' on it... ahh, th' love. Or mebbe th' tar fumes got ta me worse'n I thought.

  • 7/28

    • Nutters. Still hittin' same lag with th' 33.6. Guess I'd better go snatch th' Sportster back from my brother before he becomes too attached to it. I dunno if yer lag is like mine... what happens mostly is that I'll die way after somebody probably actually shot me, and then subsequent shots will kinda rock my corpse around in a pretty undignified manner. I hate that. Then, of course, it'll take ferever an' a day ta respawn...

      Well since it ain't th' modem, an' however I configure my Dialup Networkin' doesn't make a difference, and because in some games I DON'T lag even with lots of people, an' since I keep careful watch over my ISP connection ta make sure it ain't gone bad, I think th' only cause fer this lag that's left is th' people I play with. I'm stuck way up here in Seattle and most of th' folks I play with are at LEAST one or two thousand miles away. That's gonna bring ya some lag from time ta time no matter how ya slice it.

      So I come to my FINAL SOLUTION: THE LIST. I've been mullin' this over fer a while an' now it looks like it's my only recourse -- basically I'm gonna have a sheet of paper with two columns: "GOOD" and "BAD." If I'm in a game with four or more people an' we ain't hittin' bad lag, those folks' names go in th' "GOOD" column. On th' flip side, if I'm in a nasty lagged game those names go in th' "BAD" column. Now anybody who ends up with their name in th' "GOOD" column won't be put in th' "BAD" column even if I'm in another game with them that lags bad, 'cause I was in at least one good, non-lagged game with 'em so I know we've got a decent connection an' th' bad lag was probably 'caused by th' other players.

      NO I'm not goin' to publish th' list, it'll be fer my own reference so I know what games to play in if I have a choice. It doesn't mean th' players are good or bad themselves, just that I have a bad connection with them. And it won't really be relevant fer anyone else, unless ya happen ta live in Seattle an' use th' same Internet backbone as me (in which case you have my sympathy).

    • Oh let's see what else is there... oh yeah web surfin' Skeeter noticed that Kali has got their latest version updates up on their ftp server. You kin get th' latest 1.51 version or, if you have already have version 1.31 or later you kin jus' download a lil' patch instead of havin' ta grab th' whole 2.3 MB file. All those goodies (an' more) are sittin' here:

    • You know I finally got a look at what ISDN web surfin' is like today. It's, uhh, pretty darn fast. Goshdurnit when are they gonna get cable modems out here!?!

    • Our fine Shot of th' Day comes YET AGAIN from that shady character, Fallsdown. If you wondered what those Outlaws do after their done shootin' th' stuffin' outta each other, wonder no more...

    • Doc has been real busy redesigning his Quest Outlaw Team site. Looks real snazzy. In Internet Explorer, that is. Don't try it in Netscape 'cause it'll grind yer entire computer to a halt. Ick. But if ya do get in there you'll find some very nice design, cool Outlaws pics an' lots of levels ta download, as well as load an' loads of other jun- er.. stuff.

  • 7/27

    • Yeah I'm back. Fer th' last couple days I've been havin' modem fun... first I was tryin' ta find somethin' ta cure my lag in Outlaws. All I really found were horror stories about Sportsters; I have a Sportster 56k. Well I did -- I swapped it fer my brother's generic Texas Instruments-made 33.6 modem. Hope this'll work better fer Outlaws... seems okay so far although I was in one 8 player game that was laggy as hell, but then again I don't think I was th' worst lagger there. ;p

      You know I think one thing is that certain characters are more difficult to use under lag than others. Or at least certain weapons. Fer instance in this eight player game I started with Sanchez, and had a real hard time killin' anyone with my pistol. TNT wasn't workin' so hot either. There were at least 3 Mary's in there an' fer th' most part they were doin' real well -- mebbe one shotgun blast uploads more efficiently than six pistol shots? Well anyhow I came back as Two Feathers an' lag-knifed people all over -- that worked pretty well. ;)

      Somethin' that's been worryin' me fer a while is that if I'm in a game and switch back to Kali and hit the sword button to see people on the server (chat is closed) it shows me with a ping of like 8000 if I've just been runnin' around an' shootin' people. Now that seems bad, but mebbe it's just 'cause th' pings from Kali aren't really goin' through too good when I try to bounce one off th' server an' back ta me... I dunno. Hmm. Mebbe somebody could try it out fer themselves an' lemme know what they come up with.

    • Speakin' of high pings, level master Templar has decided ta pretty much retire from Outlaws play, except mebbe fer one on ones. He's got ISDN an' apparently just has HUGE lag problems in Outlaws, probs he doesn't have as much in other games like Quake. That kinda bites.

    • There's a new Kali out, version 1.51. Doesn't seem ta be on Kali's ftp server, but I found a copy here:

      Kali 1.51 2.3M 2441k

      Don't seem to be any major changes fer us Outlaws but it don't hurt ta have th' latest version. An' c'mon, admit it, you like downloadin' large files jus' ta put that bandwidth ta use, dont'cha?

      I see people are FINALLY catchin' on ta startin' Outlaws games with th' Kali launch thingy. 'Bout freakin' time.

    • Mr_Slack hasn't been slackin', turns out he's just been away workin' on a web site fer his new Dsylixec Cobwoys posse. Still a few rough edges but it's lookin' pret-tey darn good. And hey, he's th' only guy in th' posse so go easy on 'im!

    • Ehh there was some other stuff but it's been two days an' I fergot about it.... oh wait somethin's comin'... Slaters_dog... new secure version of... "Prairie"... oh yeah... Cutter... new version... of umm "Texas." YEah. Oh yeah an' that ay_suc who made th' extravagant "Fort Remix?" He's actually better known as Ninja of Outlaws Gang Busters. Apparently that crazy "Tarnation" map wasn't meant fer release, just got inta th' wrong hands an' you know th' rest... ah an' there's a new version of Fort Remix with a few fixes. Gosh I guess it all came back.

  • 7/24

    • Jimminy Christmas there are a lotta levels comin' out now. 2 or 3 new maps rear their heads every day! Of course most of 'em suck, an' they're startin' ta fill my harddrive up at an alarming pace. So look, level makers, I admire yer tacklin' LawMaker, but don't just churn out levels fer th' sake of some kind of fame or glory. Take yer time an' do it right! After all yer name is gonna be associated with yer production, so shouldn't you do yer best an' only release it when yer sure it's as good as you kin make it? What's th' freakin' rush?

      Most of all, think about WHY anybody would want to play your level. Does it have something unique and compelling to offer? There are literally hundreds of Outlaws levels out there now, so it ain't like we're starved fer maps ta play on... will anybody be playin' yer map a week from now? Is there any point in releasing it other than to get yer name on a few web sites and to give level reviewers somethin' ta do?

      Well let's see... there's a semi-interesting one called Falloff set on a narrow height with modified "concussion rifles" (stolen from Templar's TheHill, I think) that you use to knock people off to their doom.

      Can't say I expected much at first from "Fort Remix" by ay_suc. I mean do we really need another version of the Fort? Well, I'm convinced now that yes we did. If you thought the Fort was big, well, umm... you'll discover that everything's relative. THIS is big; he's totally reworked th' Fort, added another story, tons of additional spaces and underground caves and lots of inspired design work like some drop-dead gorgeous lighting effects, check 'em out:
      here and here and here and here
      There's probably enough stuff here for 5 good sized maps, and it's all bloody freakin' brilliant. Okay, except for those purple "paintball" splatters on some of the dark textures. But who th' hell cares. You'd better round up at least 5 or 6 people for this one, because it is HUGE, and very, very good.

      I love breakin' windows an' bottles and there are tons of both in Frantville. Nice buildings, decent layout but way too many items. And what's with th' magic dirt floor in th' jail?

      Outlaws Square by Katarn10 has a modified rifle that fires three-round automatic bursts and sounds like a submachine gun. Kinda neat although th' rest of th' map doesn't do much fer me.

      Spook Canyon by Cutter is very inventive and stylish, mebbe a bit repetitive though.

      As in his Fort Remix, the level of detail in ay_suc's Tarnation is astounding. This is the most mazelike and convoluted map I've ever seen! Not as polished as Fort Remix, and the extreme detail of the rock formations causes very spotty framerates even on my P2 233 with 3dfx. Th' other prob with this one is that without th' overall guiding structure that he had with the Fort, it jus' gets plain confusing.

      Oh and if yer inta single player at ALL, you gotta pick up The Riverboat Oakstar by Oakstar. Fantastic level design on a huge luxury riverboat. The really great thing about it, besides the nice level of difficulty and the large amounts of baddies to blast, is that it appears very open-ended while invariably guiding you along to the final confrontation. Top notch!

  • 7/23

    • Well boys an' girls I know there's a lot of shoddy "reporting" on Internet game sites, but this about takes th' cake. Browsing over at Voodoo Extreme I was pretty damn shocked to read th' first headline: "OutLaws2." Whoa, say what? Then I read on, and find they're just parroting a news blit that appeared at CNET's Gamecenter. Now come ta think of it Gamecenter tends ta make a few questionable statements from time ta time... anyhow I guess I was a slow news day or somethin' over there, an' they were diggin' around in their e-mail drawers an' found a post sent in to 'em by "Mike" back in April. Well I'd bet you anything that this "Mike" is th' same source quoted some time back over on Outlaws Players 'cause th' timing coincides an' it says th' same thing: Lucasarts workin' on th' cut scene animation fer Outlaws 2, playable dance hall girl, maps and characters from Outlaws cross-compatible, free dedicated multiplayer server. Suuuuuuuure. This is an old rumor, folks (see Moldy Vittles, startin' at 4/21) with absolutely NO reliable sources to back it up. I'm kinda shocked that Gamecenter and VE touched it in th' first place.

    • Now here's some REAL news. This comes from Grifter, and I have StanJr ta thank fer helpin' me doublecheck it: THROWN KNIVES DO NOT KILL! Oh sure yer victim may die from a thrown knife hit, but it won't register as a kill on th' kill list. In fact there's no aural or visual indication of the death other than the fact that th' victim silently keels over. Now I wanna know if this is intentional, a bug, or just a problem with th' game engine? Oh yeah Stan's a HyperSnappin' fiend, here's a pic of me throwin' a knife at him (I'm yellow 'cause I used a cheat to get lots of knives) and here's Stan blasting me into orbit with a shotgun. Ouchy.

    • Speakin' of Grifter, we spent an' hour or two last night blowin' each other up in his nifty new level, "Sinkhole." Basically it's, well, it's a big hole in' th' ground in a sort of round arena style with little sort of arcades on two sides. Sounds odd but it's a VERY fun map fer small deathmatches. Oh yeah Duster helped make it too. Here's a shot me gettin' a lil' too frisky with th' TNT-- see that's Grifter in th' far distance gettin' his sombrero blown off. Well I like this level so much fer a while you kin get it right here.

    • Whoops that credit fer th' "Trigger Mortis" thing (or is it Triggor well who cares) should'a gone ta Timestalker. Thanks ta Fallsdown fer clearin' my memory up fer me.

    • I hear there are "Big Doins" afoot in th' arena of cutting-edge LawMaker design... stay tuned.

  • 7/22

    • Time fer another Kali rant. I see that launchin' games through Kali so that people kin find an' join th' game in progess has yet ta catch on amongst Kali regulars, who seem a pretty superstitious lot, in general. ;p Look, it doesn't add lag, damnIt!

      *Sigh*... hard ta teach old dogs new tricks. Well if that's still too complicated fer ya, how about this: when goin' ta host or join a regular IP game, use th' Kali launch bar Outlaws icon ta load up Outlaws. Why? Fer one thing, because it's a very easy way to load Outlaws. An' it'll shut down chat automatically so ya don't gotta worry about chat lag.

      But th' main reason ta do it is ta support th' Kali Outlaws community. When ya load Outlaws with th' Kali Outlaws icon (to get that icon you gotta have Kali scan fer games ta find it, of course) chat shuts down but yer still listed in th' Outlaws server's game list, only with "OlWin" instead of "Kali95" next ta yer name. This lets people know that yer around an' playin' Outlaws, an' that you'll probably be back in chat sometime.

      This is IMPORTANT because often what happens is everyone in Kali leaves th' chat to go play, an' people who then pop inta th' chat channel get th' impression that nobody ever goes there. Th' more folks people see logged into th' Kali server, th' more they'll want to stick around and get a game goin'.

      So do it fer th' team! It's easy, painless, lagless, and oh so user-friendly. It's what I'm gonna do when I go to play a regular IP game outta Kali from now on.

    • A big bully has been loitering around Kali fer th' past few weeks. Actually "his" name is TheBigThug an' you'll probably see him in th' player list when you log into the Outlaws server. Word is he's some kind of monitor -- what he's monitoring, and whether he's a human or some kinda bot, I'm not sure; I've never seen him say or do anything myself. I tried swearin' up a storm once ta test, but got no response. ;) Hopefully he's there ta keep losers from usin' th' Outlaws server ta host other games, like some MechWarrior punks have been doin' lately. So if ya see him, say hi.

    • Th' Shot of th' Day comes to us from StanJr. Mischievous Stan's invented this lil' nasty way ta kill people, dubbed "Trigger Mortis." Basically it involves a good helpin' of shotgun on a laggy gatling gunner. Players usin' th' gat can't move along th' ground but they CAN get launched through th' air by an explosion or shotgun blast. Stan invented this move at MY expense (since I lag oh-so-well); I was th' first known case of Trigger Mortis (I think Fallsdown may have come up with that name).

      So why's it called Trigger Mortis? Well here's what happened: I had whipped out th' gatling gun on th' slope of a mesa in "Monument Valley." While I was shootin' at someone else (and missin' of course) Stan charged up an' shot a few loads of buckshot into me. Well since I was laggin' it took th' buckshot a second ta reach me... I died from th' first hit, but th' subsequent hits kept bouncin' my laggin' corpse along th' side of th' mesa. All th' while my finger was locked on th' gat trigger, firin' away - thus you see th' clever pun was made when I mentioned that "rigor mortis" had set in rather quickly.

      In today's shot Stan has induced a particularly nasty case of Trigger Mortis on poor StarLight; that's him you see airborn in th' distance. Needless to say th' malady is invariably fatal.

    • Damnit, this sucks. It's like in th' 90's here in Seattle today so I decide ta go get my first Slurpee of th' summer. Well what freakish flavors does my local 7-11 have? Coke (nah), Pina Colada (ewww), Cherry (I don't think so) and SURGE. Well none of th' others ticked my fancy so I got SURGE which I'd never tried, although of course I've seen those annoyin' "citrus surge loaded with 'carbos'" commercials. Well SURGE pretty much sucks, at least as far as Slurpees are concerned. What th' heck happened to th' good old flavors like watermelon, orange, and blue raspberry? Arrrrgh! Now I'm on a sugar low an' jus' kinda cranky, with this nasty aftertaste in my mouth. ;p Th' only SURGE is gonna be th' one comin' outta... whoops almost fergot this is a family site.

  • 7/21

    • May not have time fer a full update later so I'm doin' a quickie now 'cause I found out somethin' important about Outlaws lag last night. You know how I had recommended usin' software data compression rather than hardware in yer Dialup Network settings? Well, while it's better fer say web browsing, software doesn't compress squat in Outlaws multiplayer sessions. I dunno if it's because th' CPU is overloaded and can't compress fast enough or because of th' particular type of data Outlaws exchanges, but you definitely want to DISABLE software compression by UNCHECKING "Enable Software Compression" under the "Server Types" tab of your dialup connection's Properties (see screenshot) and ENABLE hardware compression by CHECKING the "Compress Data" box under "Advanced Connection Settings" (see screenshot; that "s32=98" bit in the "Extra Settings" field disables x2 and v90 on my USR Sportster).

      I found this out usin' this little program:

      Dial-Up Connection Meter 1.02B (28k)

      This is an old freeware version that you probably can't get elsewhere these days of a little utility that makes a graph of yer modem's data transfer so you kin see what's really goin' on. I had this runnin' while playin' Outlaws last night; when I was usin' software compression th' graph levelled off at about 3 K/s, meanin' that I was hittin' my transfer limit and thus losin' subsequent packets. When I switched to hardware compression th' graph was all jagged, spiking way above 3 K/s and also dipping below: this means that data was being compressed (seen in the higher transfer rate spikes) and I wasn't constantly dropping packets.

      Oh also that pinger/tracer UOTrace MAY interfere with Outlaws' internet data transfer. Not SURE yet but ta be safe you might wanna close it before playing a multiplayer match. It's still very handy fer checkin' yer connection to Outlaws hosts and to yer ISP though. That's on th' file page.

      So that's th' good news so far. I've reorganized most of th' Dial-Up Connection stuff on th' file page 'cause I think most if it is at best useless fer Outlaws, and at worse detrimental to Outlaws Internet play... I'll be addin' more things as I'm able to get definite tests done, so stay tuned.

  • 7/20

    • Oog! Spent all day yesterday (okay, all day aside from th' beach barbecue) wrestling with Win95. Ta make a long sad story short I decided ta try resettin' my Dialup installation since limiting my connect speed didn't seem to help my lag woes. So I remove Dial Up Networking, hit OK to reboot... and it wouldn't. Blue screen fatal error every time I tried ta boot up. Well 5 attempted Win95 installations later I finally got it ta boot, although fer th' life of me I still don't know what th' heck was goin' on. Ugh! So now we'll see if good ol' Winsock 1.1 does anythin' fer me.

    • DeadAllready tells me that he tried th' Outlaws MGL video drivers (see th' file page) but didn't see any framerate improvement over th' default DirectDraw ones until he installed OpenGL on his system -- then framerates improved dramatically. Since Scitech boasts their MGL has "full screen OpenGL API support" this might be an indication that you HAVE to have OpenGL installed on your system to see a framerate improvement with th' MGL drivers. Most pre-OSR 2 versions of Windows 95 didn't include OpenGL, so if you don't have it you kin get it here. If you didn't see any improvement when tryin' out th' MGL drivers before, install OpenGL an' try again, an' be sure ta lemme know how it works fer ya.

    • Diky has used his pull, moxie, silver tongue or whatever ta round up 20 of th' toughest Outlaws in existence ta test their mettle in a series of 1 on 1 battles ta find out once an' fer all who's th' mightiest gunslinger. It was invitation only; don't feel bad, I wasn't invited either! Heh whew, that would'a been messy. Diky isn't includin' himself in th' competition either but I SAY that it won't be a valid championship unless he plays th' winner! Anyhow he has of course whipped together a mighty fine web site, Best of the West where ya kin see who's in it, read th' rules an' follow along with th' competition. So at least fer a while these nasty cowpokes'll be shootin' at each other rather than at th' rest of us!

    • Th' Shot of th' Day comes again from image-manipulatin' Fallsdown, this is one he sent me a while back called "Cheap Date." Err... whatareya tryin' ta say, Falls? Good thing Beig hasn't seen this one... ;)

  • 7/18

    • Well! Got to check out Slaters_dog's new map, Monument Valley and it is a STUNNER! Wow! This place is vast: we're talkin' Grand Canyon here, only with much better framerates. ;) The way th' mesas tower over you just has to be experienced. Now you might be thinkin' that this is a rifleman's dream map, and in many ways it is, but there are also many little nooks tucked away in these canyons hiding some very tangible rewards. Awesome, literally awesome.

    • Learned this from DeathCrib a while back and fergot about it 'til now: you kin put a hyperlink to a Kali-launched Outlaws game in the Kali chat window by typing "game://hostname" without the quotes, where "hostname" is the precise name of game-hosting player. So since my exact handle is "Paleface--" someone could fer instance put up a link to my Sanctuary deathmatch by typing something like

      hey join game://Paleface-- Sanc DM

      which would appear in the chat window something like

      hey join game://Paleface-- Sanc DM

      depending, of course, on their default chat font. Then people could click the blue link and be shunted off directly to th' game! Oh th' "Sanc DM" isn't needed, it's just an example of how you can throw in a little description to let people know what they're in for.

      This is also handy for you when you're hosting a game and trying to get people to join, because while yer game appears in th' Kali Game Window people don't always have that window expanded and thus won't see it, but you kin direct 'em to it with this method. Does Kali kick some booty or what? Fer complete details on playin' Outlaws through Kali see th' domain page.

    • I've heard people mention this a couple times now, and Outlaw_DR has been tryin' ta tackle a problem with joinin' Outlaw games in th' Zone under Win98, even with th' new 2.01 patch installed:

      I've heard people griping because they upgrade to win 98 and can't play Outlaws on the zone. This is what happens: They get the connecting screen, then connected, and I think loading level, then it goes to the credits screen and dumps them out of the game. So... I upgraded to Win 98 and hehe... having the same prob. I'm gonna work on it, and see if I can figure this out.

      Then he did some checkin' an' got back ta me:

      I found that people running P2 chips have very few problems compared to us poor people with P 166's and less... also, even the guys with the P2's have problems connecting to a game if there is a bad connect. go figure. But, they have the same symptoms... they get the connecting screen, then connected, loading level, then it goes to the credits screen and boots them out. I got a game going with 3 other people who were using Win 98. 2 of them had P2 chips.. me and the other guy had p166's. When I hosted, it booted everyone out 'cept me of course. Then one of them with a P333 hosted and everyone made it in.

      Pretty darned weird if ya ask me. Frankly I blame Microsoft -- Lucasarts did everything they needed to to make Outlaws work in th' Zone, and then MS comes out with Win98 which somehow screws th' whole thing up! LEC already patched the initial problem, but now apparently there's ANOTHER bug in th' system!

      Well I see two ways ta go fer you Zoners left out in th' cold: (1) Bitch as much as you can to th' Zone Monitors and e-mail the Zone and Lucasarts or (2) Go play in Kali or IRC! I say boycott that damn bug-ridden Zone. And fer those of you thinkin' about givin' MS $ fer their supposed Windows 98 "upgrade," I'd think again.

  • 7/17

    • Good ol' Hoss dropped by ta say that he's solved his 56k Outlaws blues by droppin' his connect speed down ta 33.6. Well you know, I've tried that before a couple times, and while once it seemed to help, other times it didn't. HOWEVER I never really put it to a thorough test, and Hoss swears by it. Well it goes against all I hold holy but... I guess I'll try it out fer a good week or two, so next time ya see me I jus' may be comin' at ya on a 33,333 connect. Actually what I'm gonna try first is simply disabling x2 by usin' th' modem code I got off'a this good 56k site Hoss threw my way: 56k = v.Unreliable. Seeya in th' slow lane!

    • Lord help us but some people seem ta be takin' inspiration from my site design. There're a growin' number of these pale imitations - heh sorry I couldn't resist. No really they're some fine sites, like KaReFree's, Stadel's, Unforgiven's and Quest Outlaws Team ("posse" section; okay let's be frank he literally cut and pasted that from my link page). Actually these are some of my favorite sites, so what's my point here? Hmm... ummm... I fergit. Guess I just wanted to use that pale imitation pun. ;)

    • You know everyone, myself included, wishes LEC would make a sequel... but just think, even if they did it might stink. I can just see th' inspired project directory trying to get th' point across to th programmers:

      PD: Okay, this game has to have the same fluid controls as the first one. It has to feel the same, really smooth and responsive, okay?
      Programmer, taking notes: hmm note: throw in more lense flares, larger explosions to impress PD.

    • Level makin' Slack has this news:

      Meself and SWE_Doc is making Mentaldocs lvl. So far it looks great I must say. Ive had some problems with texturing boxes....as ya might now...haha. But SWE_Doc as a rock on making them look as they should. The lvl itself aint finished enough to make a screenshot on....but I can tell ya that its gonna be great......its small with almost no health at all. A well, a barn, a saloon and a warehouse of somekind. Its a mexican town....and all characters should work ok although its a damn small lvl. We think that the lvl is gonna be a blast.

      Well not sure what all that means but it sounds positive. You GO boys!

    • Yes! Slaters_dog's new level, "Monument Valley," is here! Actually, it's right here. No time ta review it now, but ALL his maps kick so much ass that I'm sure this one's a killer! Plus he knows I'd fly down to Australia an' whup 'im if he gave me a stinker! Get it and have a good weekend!

    • Whoops we're not done. Because you asked, nay, DEMANDED it, here's a picture of me. Yes, that really is me wearin' nothin' but shades, a cowboy hat, and shorts while proudly sportin' my trusty corncob pipe in good ol' St. Louis. Look out, I'm about to draw my smokewagon an' give out some hurtin'. Gee I wasn't so pale back then. ;)

  • 7/16

    • Even though th' Doominator has retired from multiplayer Outlaws, he still cares. Aww... he sent me th' old single-player level "Homestead" by Donald C. Sielke that I had somehow overlooked all these months, even though it's on a few popular map sites. Kinda funky, this one -- very creative design but a few glitchy spots, and not very many people to shoot. Here's a shot; check out that crazy tree. Kinda grinds framerates to a halt but heck it looks cool.

    • Raf sent word that th' boys of th' Outlaws Editing Team have some new screenshots up showin' two upcoming projects. There's a single-player map by TJ_Hoenecke (who REALLY needs a good nickname) that's based on Alexei Novikov's "Return of the Medicine Man" with new sections swiped from such popular maps as Dodge City Parish, Road House, Bob's Home, Sanctuary Hotel, Homestead, and Twitt's Mines. Whew; it's lookin' like a biggy. Then there's a multiplayer map by Sticky an' Strobe with what looks like a motorcyle gang. Hmm.

    • It's so nice that there are other sites out there collectin' news fer me now. ;) Saw over on KaReFree's that Taco's got a new version of his WinAmp skin over at his Mexican Canteena. You know... sure th' old one looks a lil' more polished, but I dunno I think I may like th' old one a bit better. More crunchy somehow. Well I'll jus' hafta mess about with 'em an see... why don't you go get 'em an' figger it out fer yerself?

    • About that thing on lag with 6 people I posted a few days ago... Shadow popped by ta say that if someone's losin' packets, they'll be th' first ta feel th' problem, seein' warpiness and generally bein' unable ta hit people. Yeah in fact that useta happen ta me a lot. So mebbe my problem comes from my download bandwidth pre-empting my upload, so my shots don't UPLOAD to my opponent in th' first place? Not sure what I could do if that's th' case. I've messed with my FIFO buffers with no real change. Hmm. Aww hell who knows... all I know is that with more than 4 people, lag generally ensues and it isn't just me who starts havin' trouble.

  • 7/15

    • Damnit no time today. Here's a sneak peak at th' level Slaters_dog is workin' on, off'a an idea by Cutter. Basically it started as sort of a combination of Cutter's "Texas" and "Two Feather's Rock" maps and took off from there. Ta be called "Monument Valley," and may be out as early as tomorrow! Oh boy!

  • 7/14

    • Okay since writing that blurb about DrDeath2's single-player mission yesterday I've gotten 3 mails sayin' addin' missions like that is real easy. Now, I never said it was hard, did I? Just neat, and I'd never seen it before. Oh yeah DrDeath2 didn't need Taco's help with that part, just with some door stuff.
    • Someone who's even workin' on a new set of single-player adventures even inadvertently guided me to LawMaker creator Alexei Novikov's old "Return of the Medicine Man" single player adventure, which adds itself not into your Historical Missions menu but into the Main Game menu (that is, it creates one, kinda). Alexei game out with this almost a year ago, dunno how I've managed to neglect it all this time. Level isn't that stunning looking but there are lots of neat little interactive bits, like th' part where you git trapped in a basement - check it out in th' Shot of th' Day. You kin get this map off'a Alexei's server here.
    • If yer playin' in Kali you should get th' Outlaws 2.01 update, because Kali gets confused a bit with different game versions and doesn't seem ta like lettin' 2.0 people inta 2.01 games. So go get it off'a my file page, it's nice an' small.
    • Well I got inta Kali last night an' lagged all over. I think I've figgered this out now: I get whupped in large (5 or 6 player) games because I've got a 56k modem. It's kinda odd, but th' vast majority of people have got slow modems, mostly 33.6, some 28.8s, but very few 56ks. Here's what's goin' on, I think:

      In a game with 5 or 6 players, those with 28.8s or 33.6s will start to drop packets when th' goin' gets rough - that is, when a lot of data is being transferred, like when everyone starts runnin' an' shootin', their modems won't be able to download all th' data quickly enough ta keep up. Lag ensues.

      Now me with my 56k modem, I'm downloadin' okay without droppin' packets. Say me an' Mr. 28.8 get in a gunfight. We both shoot at each other, dodgin' around. Our computers calculate that we each hit each other, and try to upload that information to th' other person's computer so damage can be calculated.

      BUT Mr. 28.8's modem is too slow ta handle all th' game data comin' in at once. Some packets get stuck in a line, some don't ever get in th' door at all. So say we each unloaded 6 pistol shots into each other. Mr. 28.8's droppin' packets like they're goin' outta style, an' only 4 of th' "I hit you" packets from my computer get through. He's still alive.

      Meanwhile his six bullet hit packets wing their way over to my computer. I'm not droppin' packets, so they all register as hits. I die. Since Mr. 28.8 is laggin' pretty hard, he may not even feel some of th' hits until I'm six feet under.

      So I think from now on I'm gonna limit my games ta 4 players, unless I know everyone's got at least a 33.6, in which case I'll take 5, or a 56.6, in which case I could do 6 people. Otherwise th' laggers'll slaughter me. ;p

  • 7/13

    • Hola Compadres! A shiny new donkey goes to the man who brings me the head of General Montoya before the start of the rainy season... er... by which of course I mean it's time ta look over some new levels. Umm, yeah. In a tribute to laziness I'm only gonna mention th' ones that tickle my fancy.

      • You know that with a name like "Ponderosa" a great deal of thought has gone into a map. Good first effort by Hoss, lots of secret areas and some great ideas here although definitely not fer th' framerate challenged.
      • "The Hill No Mods" is just what it sounds like, a version of Templar's excellent "The Hill" map without th' modified weapons. This one's fer th' purists, I suppose. Still, a damn fine map. Damn fine.
      • "Hole" is a damn fine lookin', unique map. If only th' author hadn't used, oh, 10 times too many items as they should have. Looks neat though; here, take a gander.
      • I like th' tremendous interior detail of "House" but th' chicken an' invisible sniping ledge dampen my enthusiasm quite a bit. Kinda cramped inside too - don't try this one if yer claustrophobic.
      • Accordin' to th' readme file "Two Feather's Rock" is jus' a preliminary section of a soon-to-be-released level called "Monument Valley" made by Slaters_dog based on a concept by Cutter. Well this big-ass tiered mesa looks very promising. See? Quite imposing!
      • Nice lighting work in frit3's lil' "LOA" map (named after th' author's posse I guess). I dig that big hole in th' ground -- too bad about th' minor 3dfx problems around it. Pretty slick design otherwise.
      • Katarn10 has a new version of his "MOBster Island" out that seems ta fix th' 3dfx problems. Still kinda funny lookin'... anyhow he's stuck some modified rifles in here, and a cannon that you can load and shoot (sorta). Weird stuff.
      • Now we come ta some really interesting stuff. DrDeath2 has made a single-player level, "Marshall Adventures Part 1." Now that's rare enough in itself, but th' neat thing with this is that after unzipping it into yer Outlaws directory it appears on th' list of Historical Missions! I believe he got Taco's help with that. Th' adventure itself is pretty odd -- there are a couple guys that can kill you with one shot, not to mention th' numerous buggy or just plain weird bits all over this little map. Still it's kinda fun, and definitely th' best thing ta come along since th' 2.0 patch fer those fiendin' fer more single-player action. Hopefully we'll be seein' many more Historical Missions comin' out now... although there ain't too much room on th' Historical Mission list fer more selections, so I guess you'll jus' hafta be real picky about which ones you install.

    • Tribal has redesigned his Kap Hideout. Less filling AND tastes great. Th' only prob I have with it is that in my browser th' text about th' new levels is th' same color as th' background. Kinda hard ta read. Darn FrontPage!

  • 7/12

    • Ooo just gonna get in under th' line here... okay so I confess I spent all day eating pancakes and watchin' France kick th' snot out of Brazil. That was a bit of a surprise, although if yer name is Zinedine Zidane I guess you deserve to kick some booty. Brazil should'a put Pele in, damnit! Umm let's see there are tons of new levels out and I'll hafta get a look at some of 'em pretty darn soon. All I got fer ya today is another fine production from Fallsdown who seems to be havin' some fun at my expense. Yeah I haven't got ta play Outlaws in a while... poop!

  • 7/11

    • Whoops, where did yesterday's update go?? Dang it must'a got lost in th' upload... ;) Well today is a day of CONFUSING NAMES. Be warned... :0

    • Went down ta th' local SchlockBuster with th' idea of rentin' "Fistful of Dynamite" (also known as "Duck, You Sucker" apparently) but they didn't have it! Aaaarrrgh. An' what's with this $3.50 to rent a movie? Damnit, I remember back before SchlockBuster came along you could go down ta th' local video store an' rent a new release fer one dollar! AND you got free popcorn ta boot! Sheez.

    • Diky (or is it Jigsaw, damnit?) sends word that his "Savage Trio" ("St" gang) has welcomed th' formidable Mirage ta their ranks. Now that they're a foursome they can't decide what th' "t" in their gang's "St" prefix stands for. Let's see, how's about "Things?" Or mebbe Turkeys, Thieves, Titmice, Typists, Tigers, Tightwads or Twinkies? Tricksters? Hmm. Well you kin probably come up with some better suggestions yerself, so let 'em know if ya do it sounds like they need help. ;D

    • Apparently there's some kinda stir about that "Junction 2" level that Slack made, modified from Shifty's original "Junction" map. Hmm well part of th' problem may be that there actually was a "2.0" version of th' original map... Anyhow as far as I kin tell Slack is perfectly free ta make his own modifications ta th' map. Here's what it says in th' "junction.txt" that comes with Shifty's "junction20s.zip":

      Authors may use this level as a base to build additional levels.

      You MAY distribute this level, provided you include this file, with no modifications. You may distribute this file in any electronic format (BBS, Diskette, CD, etc) as long as you include this file intact.

      Now, what Slack FERGOT ta do was ta include a readme with his version of th' map, givin' credit ta th' original author. Not that that was technically required by th' statement in th' junction.txt, but it would'a been th' considerate thing ta do. However, I notice that Slack hasn't been in th' habit of puttin' readme's in any of his level packs, so it's not like he did it ta spite anyone. AND he did give th' author notice as best he could before releasing it but apparently Shifty didn't bother ta reply. Which means he did not DENY permission. And since th' readme gives permission ta modify th' map, Slack was well within his rights to release th' level. So lay off! If you don't like it, don't play it. ;p

    • Oh by th' way I see that CERTAIN sites are distributin' Slack's Junction 2 as "Junction, version 2" which is incorrect, damnit! SHIFTY made a version 2 of his original "Junction." Slack's map is "Junction 2, version 1." Names, names, what's in a name...

    • Th' Shot of th' Day comes from Mr_Slack (no relation ta Slack, mind ya). He couldn't get into th' game, and he can't see why 'cause apparently he had an' excellent ping. ;)

  • 7/9

    • No news is good news, right? Well at least fer me it is 'cause I get ta be a little lazy. One fella who hasn't been lazy lately is Fallsdown -- he keeps churnin' out great Outlaws images one after th' other. His latest, "Underwhere", is th' Shot of th' Day. Sez Falls:

      Ever have that dream where you go to school in your underwear or pajamas? Well I bet the same happens to outlaw types as well. As evidenced by this screen shot captured using a special dream capture device I downloaded from the net.

      Oh hey don't fergit that you too kin have yer pic up here in lights as th' Shot of th' Day. Just foller th' simple instructions on th' file page.

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