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Ninth Highest Shelf Vittles: 12.28.98-1.14.99

Thursday 1/14/99
  • Win98 -- Need Ping 400 or Less?
         Whew I got a LOT of feedback on th' Win98 join problem. Sort of difficult to make sense of it all together but I think it all pretty much boils down to a very concise observation by PeaceMaker
    My win 98 was a full install not the upgrade. I believe the cutoff for joining any games with the os is a ping of 400. I have tried to join games that had a ping of 401 and have no luck at all but the ping can be 399 and i can get in fairly easily. Sometimes the ping before the host launches will be below 400 but i cannot get, so I immediately try again at least up to 3 times and I can usually make it if its gonna let me in. Also I dont seem to have any problems joining games in progress unless the game has been going on for quite a while.
         As I said the other mails more or less substantiated this... so mebbe 400 is indeed th' cutoff point. If some others could try to duplicate that that'd be great. Also Gojo had a good point, that even people with Win95 outta get th' 2.01 patch jus' to ensure maximum compatibility with ev'rybody else -- I've been runnin' it fer quite some time an' haven't seen it cause any trouble in 95, so go get it from my demos and patches page.
         Thanks to all th' other folks who wrote in, including KingFu an' Nighty... thanks fer th' umm "manly" advice there Nighty. :P
  • Quaint Fix Coming Soon
         Hagen wants folks ta know that he's found out about a glitch in his recent "Quaint" map an' will have a fixed version out soon, possibly by tomorrow. Hagen actually jumped into a Quaint match I was hosting last weekend an' I err "found" th' hard way 'though he already knew about it. Basically if ya fall through th' lil' cabin roof you end up in some serious 70's psychodelic out-of-level stuff. Yeep. I feel no real need to relive what lil' of th' 70's I remember... otherwise Quaint is a great map with a real unique natural curve feeling, can't wait fer th' new version.
  • New Maps, Previews Later
         Got three new maps but no real time ta dig through 'em myself now. I uploaded 'em to th' server an' you'll find 'em in th' newmaps directory if ya can't wait fer my lil' previews in th' next news update. I did however find time ta scan in today's cartoon.
    * * *
Wednesday 1/13/99
  • Take the Duck's Outlaws Poll
         Mallard has made a lil' poll at his site (in the "Babble" section click the "Outlaws questionnaire" image) where ya kin put in yer vote fer favorite character, favorite level an' other stuff like yer connect and computer hardware. This poll's gonna last 'til th' end of January when he'll stick all th' responses together an' give us a picture of ourselves. Won't that be neat? Yes, it will darnit! But only if we all take part, so get on over there an' do yer bit! He's also got a great news section so don't miss that part while yer there. :)
  • Mr_Slack Joins a Game with Win98
         Something of a triumph there. Here's what he sent me after I posted my own experience with joining Outlaws games under Win98 yesterday (you did read that, right?):
    there has been one instance in which I could join a game. Sleepy suggested that I try joining a game of his with no one but him in it. He has a very excellent ping (probably because he has cable or some equivilant), and I was able to get in. Unfortunately I got disconnected from my isp, and had to re-join, but by that time there were already other people in the game and I couldnt get in. Sleepy tried it one more time, and the first time I tried to join his ping was around 410, and I didnt make it in, got sent back to the main menu. the second time the ping was about 380, and I got in.
         Well that pretty much goes along with my findings from yesterday too. Now I wonder if a ping of 400 is th' cutoff? Ya can't really test that in th' Zone 'cause it skips right past that Outlaws screen that shows th' host ping... mebbe some of ya with '98 could try ta nail that down (I really don't wanna hafta stay late at work again! :P) An' if yer too lazy ta read through yesterday's post ya kin see th' meat of it, in the form of four handy guidelines, under the 2.01 patch link on the demos and patches page.
  • Passing on Word from The Man
         In my case, The Man would by Dyno, webmaster of Gamer's Alliance, the fine folks that host this here lil' site fer me. Anyhoo they've been plannin' this big gala surprise thing fer a while an' ta getcha ta check it out they want ya ta know that on th' 15th, that's THIS FRIDAY, they'll be givin' away $12,000 worth of games, computer hardware and oh yes T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts. Well you know there's nothing I need more in mid-January than T-shirts... ;) But unfortunately I think I'm barred from entering since I'm part'a th' system, so what I want you ta do is to go to their giveaway page and find out what's gonna be happenin' so when Friday rolls around you'll be all ready ta go over there an' nab all th' prizes you kin get, then send me a T-shirt or two ta keep me warm!
  • Fallsdown and Beignet up to New Web Naughtiness
         Yeah, I knew after their Outraws: A Criminal Enterprise of the Wit and Wisdom Gang page that these two would turn out ta be big troublemakers... well sure as shootin' it appears that they do indeed have a new scheme up their sleeve in th' form of an Outlaws tabloid. Shocking! Check out a preview of th' first issue's cover. Pretty good stuff, looks surprisingly high quality fer a scandal rag though I think they've got that bedwetting/TNT-throwing thing all wrong... I hope! Gosh mebbe I'd better read that article when it comes out... better be soon... :o Guess ta take my mind off th' wait fer a bit I'll put up today's cartoon -- this one reminds me of a few posse leaders I've met. ;)

    * * *
Tuesday 1/12/99
  • The Joys of Windows 98
         Stayed late at work ta see how I would do playin' multiplayer Outlaws under Win98. My usual machine was undergoin' some retrofittin' so I hadda settle fer a P2 400 with a Quantum Obsidian. Could only max out at 370 frames per second in 640x480. Darn! ;)
         Anyhoo I did indeed have trouble joinin' Outlaws games when runnin' Windows 98. In th' Zone I tried about 8 games an' only got into 2 -- one in which all the players were still in th' Outlaws game lobby, an' th' other which had only one player who was also runnin' Win 98. Mos' of th' time Outlaws would jus' crash -- usually locking up at th' "Connecting" screen. Th' first time tried ta join that second game I eventually got into th' game crashed back to th' desktop. And then in the game my movement was jerky as all heck -- ahh th' good ol' Zone.
         I fared much better in Kali an' IRC, got into a game in each on th' first try. So hmm... well from that an' askin' people, I got some guidelines fer successful Outlaws joining under Win 98. You won't necessarily have to satisfy all, or any, of these conditions to get into a game, but they seem to help your chances quite a bit:
    1. Don't try to join a game in progress. Join at the very beginning while the players are still in the Outlaws lobby. If possible join before the other players.
    2. Look for hosts with low pings.
    3. Look for hosts who are also running Windows 98.
    4. Avoid joining a game through the Zone's automated interface -- Winsock IP games are much more reliable and you won't crash trying to get in.

         Thanks to Jeeba, KoHna an' Tuff_Texan fer their help when I was tryin' ta figger out what to try. :) Fer future reference this list has been added right below th' 2.01 patch link on th' demos and patches page. If anybody has any more insight on th' matter, please do let me know.
  • Get Rid of That Darn ScanDisk
         Ya know how you always hafta wade through that darn bluescreen Scandisk program every time ya crash an' reboot? Has that thing ever done anything for you but waste yer time? Well I've had that thing disabled ferever, kind'a fergot how I did it but I stumbled across an easy way ta do it on a message board (or somewhere, I fergit) today.
         In yer C: drive's root directory there's a file called "Msdos.sys" that you kin open up with a text editor like Notepad. First though right-click it, select "Properties" from the pop-up menu and uncheck the "Read-only" box in the file's Properties window. Then open it up in your text editor. Under the second section, "[Options]" you'll see a line that says "AutoScan=1." Jus' change that one to a zero, save th' file, go back into the file properties and recheck "Read Only" an' you'll never hafta deal with that darn Scandisk again! Th' only potential downside is that if ya crash a lot while doin' a lot of memory hungry tasks you'll find that yer windows "Temp" directory will start ta fill up with junk -- jus' go through an' trash it ev'ry once in a while after a clean boot.
  • Beig Wants Your Face
         Well err mebbe I'd better jus' paste in what she sent me:
    If any outlaws out there would like their pics included with those already up in the Madame Beig's 3d interactive Saloon in Active Worlds - they can send their pics to [removed] also.. any funny wave files would be appreciated :)
         Ahh who kin resist that sweet smiley? You'll find out all ya need ta know about Beig's 3D Outlaws homestead over at her homepage.
  • Visit "The Craziest Outlaws on the Zone"
         Well they mus' be pretty darn... crazy. Anyhow I jus' found their web site:
    Crazy Outlaws Clan
    Not to be confused with th' COC gang, apparently. Very simple but rather minimalistically elegant site with th' gang members' names, posse rules an' a few handy links.

         Not that exciting but hey it's a slow news day. Oh yeah yer probably waitin' fer today's cartoon.

    * * *
Monday 1/11/99
  • The Complete Gringo Trilogy
         Runaway Jim has jus' finished up th' final chapter in his multiplayer "Gringo" trilogy: Gringo Gorge. This one actually takes place in th' same area as th' first, Gringo Pass, but at some time either before or after, I'm not sure... you kin' figger it out by readin' th' story that's included in th' full 3-level Gringo download, Trilogy which has Gringo Pass, Gringo Station and of course the most recent, Gringo Gorge.
         Gorge in my mind returns to th' rocky, cave-riddled cliffs of the first installment -- the second, Gringo Station, was a bit too open an' rifley fer my tastes. Gorge trumps the first in sheer size and in the perfect layout of the jumps; although the level is very large you can get across it by a few fast jumps between the small rocky mesas, but you have to make these jumps jus' right. This makes navigating the map a real challenge, and in fact the real key to victory will lie with those who learn what combination of jumps and drops will get them from one point to another most quickly. A great lookin' map, this goes right on my "must host" list. Here's a bunch'a screenshots: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3. A fittingly grand finale to a great episode in Outlaws level design, congratulations Jim!
  • Tricks Badger-Style
         Well that headline doesn't tell ya much does it? Badger had a lil' tip ta let ya use yer medkits automatically in Outlaws with th' help of a gamepad:
    I play outlaws with a gamepad, but i never touch it. I have the "use"-key on fire. Sounds strange? Not if you have "auto-fire" on. If you get hit by a bullet and have medbags they "refill" your health automaticly. Very handy when in a big rumble...
         Pretty darn tricky there Badger. I dunno how many of ya have a gamepad, much less one with auto-fire, but hey some of ya might. I dunno if this's a great idea all th' time 'cause there are times ya wanna save a medkit ta get a reg'lar health kit instead, but could come in handy in rough spots. Anyhow I added it to th' Tips and Tricks page.
  • A Dubious Anniversary and That Win98 Bug
         Sharp-eyed reader Lando242 pointed out that it was exactly one year two days ago since Lucasarts last updated the official Lucasarts Outlaws site. Lando suggests that doesn't particularly bode well fer a sequel an' I'd hafta agree with that, as if we didn't have enough evidence already.
         One update I know a lotta folks would love ta see would be a real fix fer th' problem people runnin' Windows 98 have in joining multiplayer games. They kin host jus' fine, but as far as I understand can only join games very rarely and only if the ping is quite low.
         Well it seems ta me th' problem lies somewhere in how Win98 handles higher pings. I don't think it's really an incompatible internet driver because otherwise people wouldn't be able to join ever and certainly wouldn't be able to host games with Win95 players. That's a guess... anyhow I got Win98 at work so it occured ta me that I could try takin' a look into th' matter personally, though I imagine that some folks out there have already done quite a bit of strugglin' with this problem. If ya know somethin' that may help Win98 users to join games, lemme know. So far I've heard of avoiding high pings and removing WebTV support, though th' latter sounds like an unlikely fix.
         Of course how could I end the day without the daily western themed cartoon from my desk calendar: here 'tis.

    * * *
Sunday 1/10/99
  • Cheating, Contrition and a Fix
         Well as ya may have heard it's been found recently that some LawMakers put out levels with a trick that let the host, if he had certain files, get weapons the other players couldn't get. Obviously something like that is going to be discovered sooner or later... anyhow I had a conversation with Metallica las' night in Kali, seems th' whole thing started with his "Rampage" map which he made a year ago an' which recently found it's way into the mainstream Outlaws channels. Metallica is extremely apologetic about th' whole thing, he seems genuinely sorry for what he did an' I think this thing will be a good growing experience for him.
         He's put up a page here on which he apologizes for everything and has a zip called itms.zip which when unzipped into your Outlaws directory will make sure you have access to all the weapons in the maps created with that cheat. The maps affected are his "Rampage" and Marshall's "Tunes" and "Silva." Some webmasters seem inclined to delete these maps from their sites entirely but I don't think that's gonna help all that much at this late date. I'm going to leave them up and simply insert the fix files into the levels as was already done with "Tunes." Of course ta be on th' safe side ya outta probably jus' not play these maps, they aren't that good anyhow. Oh by th' way I think th' itms.zip was created by sleuthful Martone who seems to be sending it around under the file name missing.zip -- it's th' same thing. Good work by Martone to uncover this whole mess.
  • Make the Most of Your Mouse
         This came out of me gettin' innerested in a few questions asked by lefranco on the Outlaws Newsgroup. Here's what I added to th' "Fun with the Outlaws Registry Keys" section of the Tips and Tricks Page:
    Double-Bind Yer Mouse Buttons
    Setting two keyboard functions to th' same key doesn't seem to work -- Outlaws only does one of them. However, you CAN set more than one function to your mouse inputs! Instead of th' "Keys" folder, go into th' one called "MOUSE" an' observe th' available keys (addin' more doesn't work, I tried ;)). You'll see a bunch of string values -- these are the ones that show up in your Outlaws mouse Options screen. Notice that most have a value of "4294967295" for "Sel:" -- the equivalent of a null setting. Yer left mouse is Sel 1, right mouse is Sel 2 an' middle mouse (if ya got one) is Sel 4.
    Now fer th' fun part. If ya want ya kin set multiple strings to th' same Sel value. Fer instance if ya set Reload, Jump an' Map to Sel 2, when you right-click you'll reload, jump and pop yer map up. Okay that's not a very handy combination but I'm sure there are some control freaks out there who kin come up with useful ones!
         Kind'a neat eh? I dunno if I'll be doin' any multiple bindings but mebbe some of ya might be so inclined. ;)
  • Shoot Up Kodia's House
         He wants you to! Why else would he have made a new map called Home in which he tries to re-create his home in Outlaws terms? Some nice interior modelling here, solid lookin' map with good framerate. Kind'a looks boxy but hey I guess his house could actually look boxy. :P A real problem would be all th' chicken's flappin' around with add ta data you hafta exchange with th' other players. Took some screenshots, check 'em out (that chicken was attacking me, I swear!): shot 1, shot 2, shot 3.
  • Higster Changes Site AGAIN
         Well I dunno if many people outside his gang care, but Cyberdemon let me know that Higster has changed his site yet again, going back to the official MIL gang page after a brief stint as the home of the "Texas Rangers." Man, it is hard ta keep up with posse changes... which is why my posse page is pretty much hopelessly outta date, though StanJr did tip me off ta th' fact that Red_Dragon's longtime HSS gang has disbanded with Red joinin' th' every-growing JOE group. Sheez.
  • What th' Heck is Goin' On?
         Relax, I jus' made a lil' adjustment to th' site menu -- it's SUPPOSED ta look silvery. Boy I can't really explain this though: I got well over 500 hits yesterday on this page. That's my all-time record, th' hits have jus' been comin' like crazy th' past two days an' I got no idea why. If yer a new reader here lemme know what brought ya here so suddenly, alright?
         Well of course it COULD be my daily scans of my January calendar with its western-themed cartoons... nahhh, I bet it's my witty repartee with myself. Hmm... ohhh yeah I'd better get today's cartoon in. ;)

    * * *
Saturday 1/9/99
  • Cheaters Beware
         Got this warnin' from Darlin':
    I was asked by OGB_Martone to inform you of this as he did me, we have cheater maps out there one example is the map Tunes by COD_Marshall, and I just started to like his maps, but anyway in his .lab file there is a dreaprev.itm,as you know modified weapon, but what is missing is the greaprev.itm and the ireaprev.itm so the only people like COD_Marshall can get the modified weapon as well as who ever he gave the right version too, can get this weapon attached is a fixed version of Tunes with all the files required to acess the modified weapon thanks to OGB_Martone having to threaten to announce it in the Main chat in Outlaws on the zone he willingly gave up the files...same goes for the map Sniper map where only the host can get the one shot rifle, cause you need more files and the map Rampage from what I was informed of...Just thought I would enlighten you a little bit on what we have found so far he said there was one one map but could not remember the name off hand and will let you know. I have taken the levels Sniper and Rampage off my site until they get fixed...
         Well if that ain't th' mos' low down, yellow bellied thing I ever did see! It's funny too 'cause I was jus' tellin' Mallard how it was my unnerstandin' that LawMakers could include a file in their maps to check an' make sure players weren't tryin' ta get in with hacked player files... well this's a case of th' map itself bein' hacked with. Good thing Martone caught him an' called him out on this.
         Not really sure what these people think they're gettin' away with. After all Outlaws is a pretty tight-knit community an' you ARE gonna get caught if ya pull somethin' like this. Ya wanna cheat, go do it in Quake there are a lot more suckers. ;P
         I was thinkin' fer a while I'd jus' leave th' ol' maps in my archive an' change their file name and add a warning into the zip or somethin' but then I thought nahh that's too much damn trouble, I'll jus' erase 'em 'cause nobody should (or would want to) play them anyhow. Oh and here is the FULLLY stocked version of Tunes fer those that fer some reason still wanna play it.
  • Rocket Arena? No No, TNT Arena!
         What would I do without Darlin' sendin' me levels? Well I guess I'd hafta go out lookin' fer 'em an' that'd interfere with my master plan of becoming a fat lazy bastard. ;) She sent me over another one, TNT Arena by newcomer AR3S (catchy name there man). I didn't expect a whole lot from this after readin' th' name an' all but was quite pleasantly surprised to find an entirely original, perfectly made map inside! Easier to show than tell so check out the screenshot -- see yer basically in a big mysterious stadium with nothin' but knives an' lots and lots and lots of TNT! =D Th' floor slopes down into th' central "death pit" though there is an elixer down there fer th' brave -- of course more'n likely yer gonna get blown down there pretty frequently. Looks like a blast, literally, can't wait ta try this one.
  • Those Crazy Command Line Codes and a Cheat Too
         Remember how I was askin' about command-line codes fer Outlaws? Well johan posted th' followin' response on th' Outlaws Newsgroup:
    This is from the lawmaker help file:
    Launching custom levels
    To launch the level you created "Publish" the level and put the LAB file in your Outlaws directory (that's where it's created by default) and then start Outlaws as
    Where LEVELNAME is the name of your level. In case Outlaws can't load the level you created, use this command line:
    OLWIN /df outlaws.log LEVELNAME.LVT
    This will create a log (file outlaws.log) of Outlaws work that is helpful in finding what's wrong with your level
         Well that's nice ta know, eh? I tried it out, works like a charm an' ya get ta skip all th' menus an' stuff... not helpful fer multiplayer or nuthin' but hey, it's somethin'.
         Oh yeah I was also thinkin' there was some kind'a helpful statistical type cheat code that could help folks makin' maps -- well I looked it up, it's OLPOLYS. Shows a lotta potentially informative stuff fer mapmakers tryin' ta get rid of slow spots on their maps. OLMEMORY may be handy too.
  • A Mental Work-Over
         That crazy guy Mental let me know he jus' reworked his site, MENTALTOWN -- note th' new URL too, ya gotta love that oh-so-net-friendly Tonganese government. Look, here's a picture of their oh-so-happy King. Yay! Oh yeah anyhow Mental's site looks really nice now, check it out -- he's got pictures of well known Outlaws players, info on his good buddies an' lots of new stuff besides.
  • Children To Be Banned From Bullfights?
         Well at least they'll still be able to watch them on TV... anyhow let's see what was I goin'ta ramble about today? Hmm... spent most'a today catchin' up on bills, letters, etc etc -- all th' happy detritus of modern life. Whoopee! Oh yeah I also checked my lil' site access logs -- seems almost 400 people stopped by yesterday! Wow... that's at least twice what I usually get, can't figger what happened. Not that I'm complainin', mind ya. Oh mebbe they're comin' by ta see th' daily "Far Out" Western cartoon... here's today's. Gee an' I jus' might make it in fer some actual play time tonight... keep an' eye out in Kali or jus' check my IP address (found as always on th' left side of this page under th' menu). I'm kind'a itchin' ta have a 3 on 3 CTF match in ay-suc's immense masterpiece CTF Circle.
         Hmm now this is odd... seems that sometime after I scanned that cartoon th' scanner also captured another scan... after extensive image processing I was able to make out what seems to be a slightly menacing, perspective-distorted face. Now who could that be??

    * * *
Friday 1/8/99
  • Quaint Map from Hagen
         That title jus' wrote itself! Hagen sent me his latest map, Quaint. As th' title may indicate it's a rather small, good lookin' map. Really captures a unique outdoor feel an' has a kinda crazy brown sky -- the overall feeling is strangely intense. Also some very nice modelling touches here. I'm not too sure about some of th' item placement, may be a bit too many weapons scattered around but I'm definitely gonna hafta give this one a shot! You, meanwhile, can check out the screenshots: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3.
  • Oops! Bit of a Battle Blunder
         Sheesh with over 500 maps it's gettin' hard ta keep track... well that's no excuse but it's all I got. Ya know how I put up that "Battle" map by Magzl th' other day? Well it turns out there's already a map with th' same "battle.zip" filename, Battle Creek by Frenchie. So I renamed Magzl's "Battle" to battl.zip. Pretty confusin', eh? :P
  • Get Some Virtual Beig
         Beignet has quickly expanded her site by addin' on a large page called Madame Beignet's 3D Saloon in Active Worlds. This Active Worlds thing seems to be a popular virtual world accessible over th' Internet where you kin stake out a virtual plot an' build yer own custom (virtual) dreamhouse. Beig has made quite a pad fer herself, complete with fountains, fireworks, a forest and, of course, a saloon among other things. You can download the software and check it out yerself, of jus' peruse th' many screenshots she's got. Quite an amazing amount of stuff here ta make outlaws feel right at home.
  • Go to the Picture Show
         Ben Huxtable, aka Crazy Cockroach, has made his very first site an' wouldn't ya know it's fer all us Outlaws types:
    Ben's Outlaws Character/Picture Pages
    Sort of a pictorial tour of th' characters you'll meet in th' game. He's got pictures of all th' multiplayer characters an' single-player bosses plus Outlaws imagery he's collected from around th' web. Now normally I'd be none too happy with a fella takin' my pictures an' puttin' 'em on his site, but he does it kind'a like an art museum an' he give credit (when he remembers where he got it) so I figger it's alright. In fact it's kinda fun seein' all these pictures together.

         Mebbe it's jus' that nice calm blue background, I dunno but I liked it. ;)
  • Outlaws Looks Super on Diamond's Banshee
         As ya may know Outlaws requires a lil' special driver addition (to be found on my Outlaws Video Comparison page) ta come out lookin' jus' like it should on a 3Dfx Banshee card. That is, on most of 'em. I got this mail from a fella named Jim Wood:
    I was reading some of the stuff on the Banshee. I just god a Monster Fusion and had the same stuff in Outlaws (black dyna., etc...). Just on a whim, I downloaded the BIOS flash, Driver updates, and such from www.diamondmm.com and ALL of the quirks in Outlaws left.
    Everything looks like it should and the play is great. I don't know if this helps on the Creative, but it's a go on Diamond's card.
         Hey that's pretty cool, kind'a wish I had a Monster Fusion now. Well actually it don't matter that much what with th' lil' custom file ya kin stick in yer Outlaws directory to rememdy th' problem, but it's kind'a nice not ta hafta resort ta hacks.
  • Bank Robbery A Popular Omaha Pastime
         Yes, that random headline is yer tip that I'm about ta do some ramblin' of my own...
         I've been thinkin' lately that one'a th' reasons I like Outlaws so much is 'cause of it's real human feeling. Th' characters aren't aliens or monsters, they're people. An' not jus' that: they're individuals. In a modern gaming market mostly populated by gothic cyber-soldiers, robots, cyborgs, mutants, military men or who knows what, Outlaws' denizens are jus' folks. They aren't nameless soldiers in some army or other, faceless killing machines. They're human with little quirks an' foibles all their own. Mebbe that's why I enjoy playin' 'em so much, 'cause I kin identify with 'em. Call me crazy but I jus' don't get too innerested in th' life of yer average G.I. Joe with the large chin, bulging biceps and superduper raygun almost as big as himself.
         'Course what kind'a made me write about this now was seein' that Quake Arena (or Quake III) movie. All my lil' hipster coworkers were almost literally droolin' at th' mouth... but ta me it jus' seemed like th' same soulless dark gothic/industrial sci-fi pseudo-militaristic stuff. No sense of character, or place, of real, human, life. But ooo shiny spinning rayguns. Yay.
         Well it's pretty much destined to be a huge hit so I guess I jus' dunno what I'm talkin' about. Anyhow, here's today's cartoon, somethin' else with simple yet engaging human feeling. *sob*

    * * *
Thursday 1/7/99
  • Party With Beignet
         But remember she is not JUST a party girl... ;) Just keep that in mind when you check out her site:
    The Party Artist
    This would be Beignet's eclectic page. Th' first thing you'll notice are th' many happy photos of this cheerful (but pretty deadly) Cajun Outlaw. If ya kin get past that you'll also find some levels ta download an', best of all, custom taunt packs fer spicin' up yer online gunfights.

  • Outlaws: Shame of LucasArts?
         Of course none of us think so, but I noticed in a big article over on Gamespot (linked from th' main page of LEC's site too, so it's pretty much officially endorsed) that after droolin' over with praise about many fine LEC games Outlaws only gets one mention an' it ain't too rosy:
    The first person shooter Outlaws received favorable reviews, but didn't come close to the success of Dark Forces or the subsequent Jedi Knight.
         Well poo! It also didn't happen ta have a huge built-in following like those StarWars titles, an' LEC didn't do much ta draw in a large audience. Heck I've talked with a member of th' Outlaws design team who was pretty darned unhappy with th' company's promotional effort on th' game an' I sure can't blame him.
         Then again I dunno about net sales an' all, but take a look at where some of these games are today. Lookin' over at th' Zone I see 58 people playin' Outlaws (it's kinda late at night) an' 197 playin' Jedi Knight. Well sure that's not nearly as many but hey it's still a pretty darn good amount, 'specially compared to other games in there... LEC's X-Wing vs TIE Fighter has 59 players. Was THAT game counted as one of th' black sheep of th' company? Nope... yet today they seem to have about th' same size audience, at least at this moment in th' Zone -- a spurious sampling at best I know, but hey whaddaya want a marketing report? ;P
  • Those Lost Command Line Codes
         This came up in a post on th' Outlaws newsgroup: are there command-line options for Outlaws? Well I think I remember one: "-noclump" which was some kind of internet optimization (having to do with how packets are sent) that turned out ta not help much or somethin'. Command line options work like this: you would go to a Win95 DOS prompt, or whatever an' do somethin' like:
         olwin.exe -noclump

    Now I'll jus' betcha anythin' there are more command line options fer th' game, we jus' don't know 'em. Fer instance I was playin' around guessin' an' if I added "-v" th' command would crash, then if I added "-v x" where x was some string of characters th' game would start to load, THEN crash. Neat innit? Well if somebody out there jus' happens ta somehow know some'a these codes, do be a dear an' share with th' rest of us! :)
         Oh hey I scanned it then almost fergot ta get it in, today's Western cartoon.

    * * *
Wednesday 1/6/99
  • A New Outlaws Review?!?
         This is kinda odd -- noticed that Intelligamer.com put up an Outlaws game review last month. Only err a year an' a half or so late. Hmm... well it could be this's a new site an' they jus' liked Outlaws so much they hadda get a review up. Pretty well written anyhow aside from a small number of errors Outlaws vets will notice.
  • Burn Your CDs
         Well the Outlaws "No CD" crack has been out fer almost since th' game came out... I haven't posted it here before 'cause I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. Well now that my darn CD player has decided not ta play CDs anymore (and th' clutch went out on my car today, oh JOY!) I kin see how not havin' ta stick th' CD inta yer drive when ya wanna boot up Outlaws would be a handy thing. I suppose people could also use it ta pirate th' game but over 1.5 years after its release I think th' main issue is jus' ta make it easy as possible fer people ta play.
         I'm not gonna post th' file here 'cause it's technically illegal but I got a link to th' site it's on (actually there are multiple versions fer all versions of Outlaws) on th' other useful files page. I tried it in NT ('cause that's where I edit th' site an' I'd like ta be able ta play audio CDs while I do it) but it didn't work so I figger it's a Win9x thing only. Be sure ta read th' ".nfo" file fer info on it 'cause ya gotta follow some funky directions ta get it workin' an' 'cause it causes some trouble with th' game, particularly single-player. I'm not gonna install it in Win95 'cause I don' wanna lose some'a that stuff but if ya find yerself swappin' discs a lot jus' ta play online you'll prob'ly find th' crack quite useful.
  • Win95 1.3 Dialup -- A Bit Better?
         GA_Reaper has been testin' out th' Windows 95 Dialup Networking 1.3 update available over at Microsoft's Site. Nothin' ta get excited about apparently, here's what he came up with:
    Well, better late than never on a responce to the 1.3 dial-up upgradfe thingy. I have tried it out in Outlaws (both IP and Zone) as well as in Rainbow Six (zone only) and in general surfing. I have also used both my ISP connections to test it.(Cybersouth and BellSouth). I have found that it does seem to give a SLIGHT boost to downloads of pages. Zip files of maps etc. DO seem to D/l a bit faster too. As far as in Games.... I found no improvement in the game play. The same pings in the zone, the same lag in certain games, etc. In Rainbow6 and Outlaws I found no improvement. On regular surfing around the net, I found only a slight improvement. So in my opinion, It's not really worth the time or Agrivation to download, dig out the Windows 95 cd, and install it. On systems with only a 33.6k modem there may be a better improvement, but not enough on a 56k modem to bother with. The 1.3 Dial-up update did however seem to increase my game connections, and playing after I reinstalled PPP-Boost on top of it. So if ya want a slight improvement in your game connections on dial-up connections, then you would be better off going with just the PPP-Boost file. Lots less headaches too... Microsoft does mention on the download page for the Dial-up update, that for it to work to it's full potential... Your server also has to update to support the features that it offers and to give it maximum effect.. That could mean that it could be better or worse.. Who Knows..
         Thanks Reaper! Well there ya have it, if ya haven't downloaded it yet it don't look like there's a whole lotta reason to.
         Oh this jus' in, BTJustice says that
    DUN 1.3 has been out for a few months (I think before Windows '98 came out) and Winsock 2 has been out for almost a year. When I was running Windows '95, I had them installed and did notice things worked better when I had a 33.6 USR modem. With DUN 1.2 and Winsock 2, I was connecting usually at 28.8 and 31.2. With DUN 1.3 and Winsock 2, I was connecting usually at 33.6 and 31.2 occasionally.
         So there's somebody with a slower modem who saw a definite benefit. Yay!
  • Mad_Matt has Graphic Mess in Gutter
         Sounds fun eh? Mad_Matt doesn't have a 3Dfx card an' is gettin' nasty vertical breaks in th' textures in Templar's recent Gutter map. Well my guess izzat his graphics card is bein' overworked by all th' custom textures in this very large map, but I'm not sure on that. Take a look at some screenshots he's taken here an' give him a helpin' hand if ya got an idea on what th' trouble may be.
  • Fallsdown's Favorite Far $ide
         Geez, imagine what I'm thinkin' when I get an e-mail today from a Gary Lar$on. Busted by the Man! Hehe well actually it turned out ta be from a DIFFERENT Gary Lar$on on a totally unrelated issue. Pretty weird...
         Image juggler Fallsdown sent me off his favorite Western Far $ide, check it out right here. Hehe yah that's a good one! :) An' of course here's today's strip scanned from th' daily calendar.
  • Forced Virginity Tests Banned
         Jus' a lil' random headline there since I couldn't think of a good one -- that's a REAL headline, damnit. Anyhow got two new maps here. My pimp (an' I mean that in a good way) Darlin' sent me over Battle by Magzl, his first an' yeah it's kinda big an' blocky but not what you would call bad, here's a shot. Then Marshall sent me his latest, My Town which is kind'a flat but has lots of nice trees an' things outdoors, see here.
         Oops jus' found another one, Turok's Moat over at KaReFree's. Rather nice lookin' CTF-style map, only down side I noticed was that there's only one way out of each of th' two castle forts. They look pretty neat though, check one out in th' screenshot.

    * * *
Tuesday 1/5/99
  • A Glide Wrapper and More to Follow
         Well once started this thing may develop rapidly, at least we can hope. Noticed over on Khalid Shaikh's Glide Underground that he had a link up to a "Glide Wrapper" or program that let's you run Glide-only games (such a one as Outlaws) on any D3D compatible video card. The wrapper is called GliD3D made by one Let.
         Of course I got all excited an' downloaded it an' tested it on my home system with Outlaws and... it didn't work. Not to be daunted I toted it off to work today and tested it on a computer with a TNT... still didn't work. Dang. Anyhow if you got a hankerin' give it a shot. You jus' unzip it to yer Outlaws directory, run th' executable file an' make sure yer D3D card is selected. Then load up the Outlaws video configuration utility, select "3Dfx Glide 2.3" and away you go. What happened for me was that a big D3D splash screen with th' author's name would come up instead of th' normal Glide 3Dfx logo, but then th' game quit abruptly back ta Windows. Apparently this wrapper works with a few games, but I guess Outlaws ain't on of 'em. :(
         Still things seem to be moving along an' it may not be long now. In fact Khalid is saying he'll be releasing his somewhat unfinished wrapper this weekend. Will be innerestin' ta see how that one does!
  • The Far $ide of the Wild West
         A couple days late this year I ran out an' grabbed my daily Far_$ide calendar, ya know th' one where you get ta look at a Gary_Lar$on "Far_$ide" cartoon each day, sort of a nice way ta start off in th' mornin'. -- Interesting note about Mr. Lar$on, it seems that I went ta high school with his daughter (he lives somewhere out in this neck 'o th' woods) but didn't know it until a friend told me who her dad was later. "Ohhh, she was THAT Lar$on" I think I said...).
         Anyhow this year it's going in monthly themes an' wouldn't ya know it January's theme is Western cartoons. So I figger here I got a new western cartoon each day, plus a scanner, plus a daily-updated web site... hmmm. ;)
         Obviously I'm a few days behind so I gotta catch up. Here goes: Intro, Jan 1st, Jan 2nd, Jan 3rd, Jan 4th, Jan 5th. Enjoy! :)
  • "Local Bar," "Seedhouse 2" and "Lucasville 4.0"
         What are those? New maps, of course. They're jus' comin' out at breakneck speed these days!
         Gas sent me his latest, Local Bar. Done in th' "unbroken horizon" mode made popular by Slaters_dog's excellent Cactus Flat, Local Bar sort of expands upon the theme with four good sized buildings in th' middle of an open plain. Doesn't quite have th' effortless style of Slater's, in fact parts seem ta me a bit forced, but not a bad map by any means. As in most "horizon" style maps a good rifle comes in mighty handy, check out th' flatness in this screenshot.
         Darlin' sent me Picante's Seedhouse (v.2). THIS one is very reminiscent of TwoBitt's The Dip! though rather more dim and cramped in th' inside an' less carefully broken up on the outside. Check out a few screenshots: shot 1 and shot 2.
         DrDeath2 has his latest available at his site, Lucasville 4. In case ya fergot Lucasville was his first map an' well ya kin pretty much see it in th' rather odd way th' buildings look. This version smoothes it out an' fixes up some glitches that appeared in Glide mode. Fast framerates in this odd lil' town, here's a screenshot ta remind ya a bit. Doc's also redone th' "Character" section on his site which makes fer a darn interestin' read, go check that out.
  • Just Ducky
         Okay so my titles have lacked a lil' "pizazz" lately. :P Darnit I gotta work now, don't have all day ta come up with witty titles. Anyhow I found this site last night, jus' before Mallard mailed me about it today -- must be good karma or somethin':
    Mallard's Corner
    Ya kin kinda tell it's gonna be good when th' stylish splash page sez "This page may (and will) contain obscene, naughty, evil and FUN material." No lie there -- well okay, mebbe I'm thick skinned but I didn't find anythin' obscene in this very fast, attractive site. I DID find DAILY NEWS, level reviews and a very helpful tweak guide. Mallard is putting a great deal of creative time into keeping his site current and it has definitely paid off.

         So as ya might see I love this site. Even if he does have some differing opinions -- in fact that's prob'ly why I like it so much. Fer instance he gives Coonhound Holler 2 a very bad review because "Holler 1 is a super map, and deserves a better sequal." Well who said it was a sequel? It's a NEW VERSION, somethin' good map makers do ta fix things that turn up in their maps. If that causes probs with folks who try to join an' have incompatible versions well I guess they should stay a bit more up ta date... an' mebbe they should use a chat interface that allows file transfers. :P Hehe. Oh yeah an' I mus' rebut his news of a couple days back, my system is NOT "super weaked" fer Outlaws, Half-Life simply doesn't detect my Banshee. Anyhow I'm really jus' goin' on so long 'cause I got such a kick outta this site, I'm gonna be checkin' this one frequently as Mallard seems to have made a commitment to updating it on a very regular basis. :)
  • Win95 Dialup 1.3 and Winsock 2.0
         GA_Reaper let me know that he's gonna be testin' out Microsoft's latest version of their Dial-up Networking for Windows 95, 1.3. If you wanna try it out too go get it from their site. I don't expect much out of it, personally, but you dialup folks lemme know if somethin' stands out.
         Reaper reminded me that ya kin also get Winsock version 2.0 from their site now too. Well I tried Winsock 2 out some time back an' can't say I saw a difference, but again you might be brave (or desperate) enough ta give it a shot yerself. Me, I'm kind'a th' "if it ain't broke, don't download an update from Microsoft" variety... :P

    * * *
Monday 1/4/99
  • Quick USB Update for Windows 95 OSR 2.0
         Very short on time so I'll jus' slap this up like I promised yesterday. More news but will hafta wait 'til tomorrow, an' if ya don't get an email reply from me jus' yet don't take it personal, I haven't had time ta reply ta anyone. Anyhow here's what's been added at th' other helpful files page:
    USB Support for Windows 95 (880k) Windows 95 OSR 2.0
    by me from files included on some Win95 OSR 2 CDs
    Some Win95 OSR 2 CDs have these files hidden away in a folder called "other\usb" but some don't have them at all. You'll know if yers does if it says "With USB Support" on the face of the CD underneath the large "Windows 95" title. This requires the OSR 2.0 version of Windows 95 and upgrades it to version 2.1. To check if you have OSR 2.0, right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties." In the window that appears you should see a long ID number, if the last characters are "950B" then you have OSR 2.0. To install just unzip these files somewhere and run the executable file. ScanDisk will run automatically and check your hard drives for errors -- be sure to fix any errors found because otherwise the update will not install. Once installed you should have full USB support.

    So there ya have it, full USB support in Win95. It kinda gets my goat that one of Microsoft's selling points for Win98 is "USB Support!" when they've had it in 95 but jus' chose not ta tell people about it much. You can't get that update from their website an' th' Win95 installer doesn't tell you if it's on yer CD. Tech support is a whole lot easier when ya got a nice monopoly.... ;P

    * * *
Sunday 1/3/99
  • Disfunctional Game of the Year
         Spent a good deal of today playing Half-Life on two dif'rent computers. Well okay actually I didn't really do much of any playing -- couldn't really get th' darn thing workin'.
         This is really startin' ta cheese me off. I've seen 1/2Life runnin' on 4 computers now an' on all 4 it had MAJOR video problems. I ain't no idiot -- it do test games for a living after all and these systems were all running th' latest drivers, standards configs, etc etc. 1/2Life jus' wouldn't run right -- an' I guess what's really annoyin' me here izzat this is th' game that's pretty much bein' universally acclaimed as th' game of th' year.
         On two fast systems with TNTs th' game would crash after going to the menu screen while in the game. One of these systems was Big Nose Kate's -- she was jus' happy ta have th' game runnin' THAT well after several days of tryin' evr'ythin' we could think of ta get it goin'. Finally got it so that if she set her desktop in th' same resolution that she ran th' game an' ran th' game in D3D mode without goin' to th' options menus it wouldn't crash too often. A real triumph there.
         Today on my brother's p2 233 w/ Riva 128 an' Voodoo card it ran -- halfway. It couldn't figger out how to run on th' voodoo card at all. On th' Riva 128 it ran okay, but so bright an' washed out even with gamma all th' way down that it pretty much looked like a happy cartoon.
         Then finally this evenin' on my computer, p2 333 w/ Banshee an' 128 MB RAM it ran great -- in software mode. Couldn't get th' darn thing ta recognize my Banshee even with all th' latest drivers, patches, "GL minidrivers", checkin' th' online forums fer bug reports an' fixes an' so forth. Happy happy joy joy.
         So why am I bitchin' about this? Well darnit, this is s'posed ta be THE BEST game, many say of all time, an' in fact it did look pretty neat when runnin' briefly on Kate's computer but GEEEZ it doesn't seem to run right very often. I guess th' issue here that's irkin' me izzat th' quality of product that's gettin' shovelled onto th' market is gradually gettin' worse an' worse. Sure, Valve spent 4 years developing th' AI an' graphics an' stuff... but they sure could'a spent a lil' more time checkin' ta see if it'd run on people's systems. Tweakin' an' technical support fer Quake-engine games has pretty much become a cottage industry.
         These games got that oh-soo-nifty console thingy that let's you see th' game's underwear -- well ya know, that's great, but I'd rather be able ta play th' game without havin' ta learn a whole programmin' language jus' ta get it runnin'. I want to play without having to hack. Hacking is fun -- once I've gotten thoroughly familiar with th' game.
         Game of the Year. Mebbe when it runs, I dunno. ;P It's th' mos' frustrating time I've had with a game since the good ol' DOS days. An' heck mos' DOS games were pretty damn solid. Half-Life pops up a link to a video card support page whenever you try ta switch renderers or resolutions. THAT is not somethin' you wanna be seein' in a finished product.
  • More Fun with Tech Support: Win98 Join Bug and DialUp Networking 1.3 for Win95
         Well that outta be about enough ranting fer one day... though I'm still kind'a peeved that somebody jus' had th' temerity ta call me "nice" (don't worry I won't tell 'em it was you Nighty). ;P And my heretofore trusty $100 dollar cheap-ass chair has gone an' decided to break itself. Urge to kill... rising... ;O
         BTJustice posted on th' Outlaws Newsgroup that ya kin fix that problem with not bein' able ta join multiplayer games when runnin' Outlaws in Win98 by doin' two things: Uninstalling "WebTV" and avoiding games with pings over 500. Somebody with Win98 lemme know if that does th' trick -- if so I'll put it on th' Dial-Up Configuration Page.
         I also noticed yesterday that Microsoft has gone an' come out with version 1.3 of Win95 Dial-Up Networking -- you kin go download th' "upgrade" at their site. Supposed ta make dialup connections faster, better, shinier blah blah blah, somebody with a dialup connect lemme know how it works, will ya?
  • Four More Maps
         Darlin' sent me THREE new maps an' Outlaw sent in his latest. Here's a quick run-down:
         Barn 3D 2 by Marshall has a bunch of lil' changes to make it go down smoother. Kinda still on th' flat side, definitely pack a rifle. Watch out here comes th' screenshot.
         Drag by Monkey def'nitely looks like his first map, an' it is. Relatively solid but a bit on th' crude side... I'm sure he'll be gettin' better an' better with each map. Screenshot.
         Test1 sounds and pretty much looks like an unfinished, though intriguing map. Very long and deep with a big valley, canyon an' train track goin' through past a station. Impressive feeling of scale here (screenshot) but a good many rough spots too (screenshot).
         Foothills by Outlaw presents a few new twists on a Capture The Flag type map. A smooth streamlined touch here keeps framerates pretty darn high but there are plenty of strategic touches to keep ya busy as ya try ta get over to th' other guys' base. Outdoors type thing with tunnels, a subterranean river and so forth, looks pretty fun. Took some screenshots: shot 1, shot 2, shot 3.
  • GA_Reaper Spit-Shines Site
         Damn it's gettin' late an' I couldn't think up an amusing headline. Anyhow GA_Reaper has touched up his Outlaws Crypt, adding some pages, cleaning things up an' generally makin' a nice page even better. If ya haven't seen it before, now's th' time ta check it out, especially his custom Outlaws taunt packs.
  • The Finale
         Well after two weeks off I gotta get up an' go back ta work tomorrow. :P D-oh! Oh well at least I'll be gettin' more money... so I kin buy a NEW cheap-ass chair, I guess. Aaargh! Oh yeah StanJr dropped by ta say that th' lil' "LiteGuns" hack that I made an' which you'll find on my Other Useful Files page bought him 5 or 10 more frames per second which I guess means he'll be more of a steamroller than ever... hooray? He complained a bit about lack of crosshairs when usin' th' rifle scope -- but man, who th' heck uses th' rifle scope in multiplayer anyhow?!? ;) Anyway I'm too lazy ta put it in so there. Besides I think I'll have a new lil' "hack", courtesy of M$, fer some of you with Win95 tomorrow...

    * * *
Saturday 1/2/99
  • Insert Clever Title Here
         Maaan, how did we end up with this weird tradition where the first real day of our new year is spent in a horrible stupor? Yeeesh. %{
         Th' only feedback I've got on this new news format has been someone who said "it's a bit odd." Hrmm... well heck I guess I got no interest in bein' normal anyhow. An' hey it could be worse, I mean I how would ya have liked it if I made it give ya diaper rash? Wouldn't like that at all, would'ya? Damn right. :P
         I wanna thank a reader known only as lefranco who let me know that th' proper French translation fer Paleface is "Visage pale". I feel much better knowin' th' proper term... now why didn't I learn that sometime during my roughly six years of French classes? Fat lot of good they did!
  • Nighty Gives Up The Goods
         Ohhh boy I'm gonna get in trouble fer THAT headline. ;) What I should'a prob'ly said was somethin' like "New Map From Templar Sent in by Nighty" but that jus' didn't have th' right pizzazz -- an' ya know this site is ALL about pizzazz. Jeez I jus' spell-checked that an' I actually spelled it wrong, like it's even a WORD or somethin'. Pizazz. There.
         Okay okay back on track... th' map Nighty sent in from Templar goes by th' name of Gutter. Sounds pretty, doesn't it? Well actually it is -- in fact it's stunning. Like his masterful Bourbon Street, "Gutter" features a large urban setting, this time Mexico City. And man, you thought his rendering of old New Orleans was big... Mexico City makes th' "Big Easy" look dinky.
         Besides th' scope, to help capture this environment Templar has packed this map with a TON of new textures and some new objects as well. Every bit of it looks completely unique, like no Outlaws map you've seen before. Parts of the city may seem a bit blocky but for darn good reason -- in all of this new map I didn't find a single spot with bad framerates. An incredible work of craftsmanship from th' master. I'm kind'a stupefied by it all right now so I'm gonna let th' pictures do th' rest of th' talkin':
         Shot 1, shot 2, shot 3, shot 4, shot 5, shot 6, shot 7 and shot 8!
  • More on Kali/Zone/IRC
         Yep, you knew it was comin'! First cia_bpi wanted ta clarify some things, here's th' main thing:

         - Gang - Posse : i learned this game thanks to the posse's SyN, OGB, LJP, AR, RR, ... and lots off other like them, friendly, helpfull and always ready to wup my ass. The gangs i refered to in the mail are the one's that flood the zone at this moment. More Try-out games than other in the zone. They are anoying and hop in and out of games, faster than Sanchez can reload his guns. It's this type of gangs that take the fun out off the game, they are the rude ones, and run away from a good fight.
         Then th' good Mr. Slack had some words:

         I just have to say that the #Outlaws_player channel has some of the nicest players I've seen anywhere. I only show up there maybe once every couple of months, and it seems like there is almost always someone there who remembers me, or if there isn't, they still treat me nicely. There are nice people in Kali and the Zone too, but I think I'm gonna need to start taking motion sickness pills so I can handle all that text jumpin' all over the place! And I think Kali is the best because I get to use all those cool annoying fonts...
         Yes it's true, annoying fonts rock! ;)
  • Coonhound Holler Version 2!
         Mad dog levelmaker GoJo has been fussin' over his great map an' updated it to Coonhound Holler v2. Very subtle changes only a nitpicky guy like GoJ would make ta make it a bit faster, smoother an' brighter, but that's what makes him a top-notch mapmaker (and here you thought it was just his effervescent personality). In case you need a few reminders of what a fantastic map CH is, here are a couple'a reminders: shot 1 and shot 2.
  • ShotgunMc Unloads Both Barrels
         ShotgunMc jus' got back from vacation an' unloaded not one, not one-an-a-half, but TWO new maps:
         Dead or Alive! is a multiplayer version of th' Marshal's Office from th' original Historical Missions. This has already been done, fer instance in Laggy Luke's Wanted but ShotgunMc has made a bunch of changes all his own. He's got some AI guys in th' jail cells which may add to lag a lil' bit (at least until you kill 'em hehe). Here's a couple'a shots: shot 1 and shot 2.
         Snowman's Land is, well, an icy, snowy place. This looks like a great map, can't wait ta play it! It's got two snowbound cabins, an icy bowl-shaped valley with slippery slopes, and a frozen waterfall (!) among other great touches, all nice and frosty looking thanks to Shotgun's cool snowy trees and Black Adder's custom snow texture. Here are some frosty shots: shot 1, shot 2 and shot 3. BrrrRrrr!
  • ANOTHER Free UK ISP, OET Gets New Look
         Raf tells me there's yet another ISP offering free Internet access in the UK, Free-Online.net. Gadzooks, all these free ISPs are gonna make things pretty tough fer th' reg'lar pay types! But ya can't get much better'n free... Oh an' check Raf's site (the Outlaws Editing Team) if ya like Java 'cause it's been reformatted with a Java menu an' stuff.
  • KaReFree Moves Cavern
         Not really sure why but KaReFree has moved his main page to outlaws.joc.com.my/main.htm. Other than his URL bein' a bit longer I can't really see anythin' dif'rent but I guess he changed SOMEthin'. :P
    * * *
Thursday 12/31/98
  • Outlaws in Direct3D?!?
         We all know ya only get graphic acceleration in Outlaws if ya plunked out th' pesos fer a 3Dfx Voodoo-brand graphic card. Time was when 3Dfx's cards were top of th' line, so th' fact that other cards couldn't do squat fer Outlaws didn't matter much to most people. Well folks that day is gone, been gone fer a while now. Th' exceptions prove th' rule: th' developers of recently released games that shipped supporting only 3Dfx's proprietary Glide API, like Unreal and Starseige: Tribes are hustlin' ta come out with Direct3D or OpenGL patches lickety-split before they lose too many sales.
         3Dfx is losin' ground to its rivals... most people have other kinds of accelerators, or if they don't now they soon will. Chances are slim that folks will bother leavin' their old Voodoo card in so that they kin still play Glide-only games like Outlaws. Where does this leave Outlaws? With possibly a short future.
         Outlaws is too good a game to go down with 3Dfx's sinking ship. Until recently LEC's Outlaws site was still promising a Direct3D patch. Well that's not gonna happen, but mebbe somethin' bigger will. A young Canadian programmer named Khalid Shaikh just put up a site called Glide Underground. Khalid has been workin' on a "Glide Wrapper": a driver to make Glide-only games run on non-3Dfx card through Direct3D. Not surprisingly 3Dfx has been givin' him a major hassle about this -- they don't wanna let go of their dying monopoly.
         Well they may have to -- Khalid's been gettin' a lot of support. If you know programming or some other way to help him with this project, go get in touch with him. He's distributing the current unfinished Glide Wrapper source code to those who ask him politely by e-mail.
         Here on th' home front I would like ta hear from any of ya who might be able ta hack a .dll or two. Since Outlaws got 3dfx-compatibility through a patch it may make a prime test case for a Glide Wrapper. If this came through then ya wouldn't hafta buy a 3Dfx card ta enjoy video acceleration in Outlaws 'cause it'd work on yer TNT, MG200, Riva128 or Rage whatever th' heck ya had. An' with larger hardware compatibility we'd see a huge influx of new players who would finally give Outlaws a chance. Get excited! Get involved. We kin make this happen!
  • Free ISPs in the US and UK!
         Thaaat's right kiddies, it seems th' latest wave is givin' out dial-up Internet access for FREE. How kin that be possible? Well it's kinda like Hotmail or somethin', it's paid through advertising. If you kin deal with a lil' ad on yer desktop when ya connect, you kin get on th' Internet fer free through at least two companies: NetZero in th' US an' Freeserve in th' UK. Now I know Brits gotta pay fer local calls anyhow so it ain't completely free, but NetZero has THREE 56k dial-up numbers jus' in Seattle alone an' hundreds more across th' continental United States. I dialed all three numbers an' got no busy signals at all. Looks like a very sweet deal folks. If somebody's actually tried it, lemme know how it went, okay?
  • Damn th' Graphs, Let th' Good Times Roll!
         I jus' noticed how my news is kinda hard ta skim through... I guess it's neat that people hafta read it all ta find stuff but let's face it attention spans are dropping by th' minute these days. So I'm breakin' out this new news interface fer th' New Year... err.. a day early. My present to you; no returns, but lemme know if ya like it, hate it, don't care, whatever... I guess now we'll wait an' see if certain other Outlaws sites ape this new layout. ;) I would'a done somethin' like this sooner but I hadn't thought of a relatively simple way of doin' it... I don't wanna hafta go outta my way or nothin' jus' ta make lil' titles, ya see. :P
         Anyhow I was gonna be doin' graphs fer rate-of-fire of dif'rent weapons, like I already did with th' gatling gun graph on my Outlaws Video Comparison page. Doominator suggested th' testing method: find an area with th' framerate you want, type "oljtf" an' fire fer a set period of time. My test time was a minute. At the end of that time check the number of shots fired in the "oljtf" info display an' subtract whatever it was before you started firin'. Voila, you jus' got a bullets per minute figger fer that gun. 'Course this doesn't take into accound reloadin' an' all that, which I think would tend to minimize rate-of-fire dif'rences, but oh well who cares?
         I think mebbe two people care, an' neither one is me. So I decided screw it, they all say th' same thing anyhow -- if ya got 60 fps yer within' 90% of yer max firin' speed, 95% at 90 fps. If ya still wanna see all th' test results I came up with, have fun decipherin' my notes. Mind th' handwriting, it sucks. ;) I DID bother ta redo th' gat graph with more th' newer, more accurate data -- graph looks smoother now. Woo-hoo.
         Oh yeah I also put my reg'lar logo back in place of that Sanchez Claus picture. If ya miss it, jus' click that link. Now enough'a that junk, on with th' REAL news!
  • Marshall Finds Site, Goes Nuts
         Well a bit of an exaggeration there, perhaps. It seems like compulsive level-maker COD_Marshall jus' discovered my lil' site here an' he promptly started sendin' me all kinds of stuff. He sent me one map I've had fer a while, but another I didn't: Silva -- I think that's his name or somethin'. Anyhow jus' a lil' ranchhouse in a canyon with waterfall, campfire an' so forth --oh, an' yer ev'ryday fun lil' invisible gatling gun nest. ;P Could use a bit of texture stitching in places but looks pretty nice, here's a screenshot. I don't like hidden gatling gun bunkers at all but I guess some people do 'cause I keep seein' 'em around. Blech!
  • GoJo Goes Undercover in IRC, Finds Nice People
         Well th' debate on where ta play never dies... I'd say play ev'rywhere an' decide fer yerself where you wanna do yer shootin'. GoJo has been in IRC an' other venues a long time. Once in th' Zone he heard a remark about how folks in IRC weren't too friendly with newcomers so he decided ta test this out by goin' undercover:

         A while back, you may remember, I sent a message to one of the newshounds (Sling?) about the whole IRC/Zone thing. I pretty much praised IRC. Shortly after that, while playing in the Zone, I heard a comment not unlike Beig's regarding her visit there.
         Well, I thought, why not test the waters. I signed into IRC using a different name. I did my best to sound like someone who had finally made it in, after frustrating downloads, etc. I played a couple of games with a great variety of players. Open arms, very friendly.
         In order to really give them a test, I made a comment something like, "Geez, I just heard some of the same kind of whining, I hear on the Zone."
         Even this provocation resulted in only a mild reproof from one player. All he said was, "Maybe it's you?" Hehe, very succinct and really quite eloquent. I hesitate to tell who, but leave it be said that he is one of the cool dudes I find on IRC.
         I wonder if people think we are unfriendly because we say nothing? If so, let me warn that unlike Kali, most of us stay hooked up to IRC even when playing. One thing some of us have been doing lately is changing our nick to indicate that we are not really there. I use GoJoAway or GoJoPlay. Kohna uses SIR_KoPla. We are limited to 9 characters. I hope this trend catches on.
         Well me too, con'sarn it! Getcher butts outta yer normal rut an' go shoot it out with new folks once in a while!
  • DrDeath2 Invents New Outlaws Multiplayer Interface, Makes Fun of Mary Users
         Hey I hadda hype this up somehow, right? DrDeath2 has spruced up his site with a new layout and an imaginative an' pretty darn funny rendering of his "dream" Outlaws online program, kind of a cross between Kali an' IRC -- he's even managed to capture th' hilarious antics of everyday Outlaws chat. ;) Pretty darn funny, go check it out. I like that "permanent game" feature too, quite a breakthrough!
  • Year About to End, Studies Show
         That's th' rumour anyhow. Dangit now I'm gonna hafta 'member ta put '99 'stead of '98 on things... ahh heck mebbe I won't, see who notices. :P Guess I'll see y'all next year! An' remember if yer out tonight be extra careful 'cause some people will be extra dumb. My New Year's resolution is ta spend less time doin' graphs. :P
    * * *
  • 12/30

    • All this fuss about framerates lately got me ta thinkin'.. th' end result is I whipped up a lil' hack designed ta boost framerates fer those in desperate need. This's been added to th' newly-renamed other helpful files page:

      LiteGuns (1.34 MB)
      by Me
      If yer really desperate ta squeeze ev'ry last frame per second out of yer system fer Outlaws ya might jus' love this hack. LiteGuns replaces Outlaws' normal weapon images with a single blank pixel. You won't be able to see your guns in yer hand, or yer hand fer that matter, but you might get a framerate boost of around 10-20% when firing yer weapons. Also because the replacement images are smaller than the regular files Outlaws should load faster and take up slightly less system resources. Personally I like th' guns too much ta play without seein' 'em but some folks, especially those on slower systems, may get enough of a performance boost to make the sacrifice worthwhile. Fer more info check out th' readme or dig this screenshot which reveals the startling true shape of Outlaws' rifle scope, visible when usin' LiteGuns.

      So if ya mus' get that las' ounce of performance outta yer ol' system, give LiteGuns a shot. If ya wanna get yer guns back it's easy to uninstall (see the readme). Muchos thanks to ZZZ-Sleepy, O_Gunslinger, _Dude_ and dr. quickdraw fer helpin' me make sure this didn't cause any compatibility trouble in multiplayer.

    • Continuing on the framerate them, Doominator *sigh* came up with a good method for testing rate-of-fire changes with framerates for other weapons besides jus' th' gatling gun, soooo I spent a bunch of time today sittin' here with my stopwatch an' pen, firing off literally tens of thousands of Outlaws rounds. Well it's painfully apparent that I ain't gonna get th' graphs done today so hopefully I'll have 'em done in tomorrow's update. An' this BETTER be th' last of it, doggonit *grumble grumble*... :P

    • Always playful (but NOT a partygirl, durnit!) Beignet saw cia_bpi's comments on th' various places you kin play Outlaws online an' jus' hadda let ev'ryone know what she thinks. Kind'a tempting to put this in her trademark fat red italics but I'm gonna restrain myself:

      I was reading the section on the Outlaws playing arena comparisons and thought I'd add my own 2 cents worth (i'd add more.. but hey.. Christmas just passed, you know? :)
      As you know, I started off in Kali along with the other waws
      Kali has a great group of people.. very closeknit.. a fun place to play. As cia_bpi pointed out we do mainly play by ip there and not through kali itself - basically kali ends up being a nice "mirc" type setup where you can send the map levels to each other instantly .. leave away messages and such. I think one of the major drawbacks to kali is the lack of players. You can usually find people to play in the evening hours but even so you end up playing the same people again and again - which is fun - but if you want to improve your skills you need to play with a greater variety of players.
      I visited the outlaws channel there several times. I didnt find the atmosphere very friendly and it was very hard to get into a game for me. I think you know I'm a fairly friendly person - but the atmosphere there was hard for me to get used to. I may still give it another try - hate giving up :)
      When we first went to kali - I tried zone... and didnt like it one bit because of the lag, the amount of people.. the rapidfire of the chat - made it a bit hard to get used to. Besides, we were having so much fun in Kali - I didnt want to leave that safe haven .
      Later.. because of some uncomfortable circumstances in Kali (the very closeknit nature makes it rough if there is some infighting :) we went to zone.. and were really welcomed with open arms... The first gang to welcome us were the OGB , a great friendly fun gang and since then we've made zone our home.
      What helped was doing ip games while in zone - no need for lag ... if you can play ip games on kali... why not on zone?
      There is ALWAYS a game going no matter what time of day or night. My playing has improved tremendously while playing all these different outlaws who have such different styles and techniques. I've found many friendly folks.. and new friends there . Sure they do have many more newbies and some troublemakers as well - but the majority of players there help to monitor any troublemakers and support new players as well by being helpful to them.
      On the negative side for zone - one thing I miss is the variety of maps we used to play in Kali. Zone tends to play the same maps - sanctuary, repair, fort, bunkers and mud. We are working at trying to get more new maps through ip games. The thing Kali has over zone is the ability to send files through the chat room , mirc style. Also, if you play ip there.. you cant leave a message giving your ip out. Of course, you may not want to :) as there is so many players there.. ip games get overcrowded very fast!
      So, while zone itself can be laggy... there is no reason that cant be overcome by playing ip games there as you do on Kali. And as long as you are friendly and courteous there is no reason you cant make friends while on zone.
      Anyhow.. there ya have it .. my two cents worth :)

      That's definitely true, what makes' th' Zone a decent place ta play is all th' friendly folks you'll find there.

      About Kali -- well actually I was in there today an' there was a good deal of traffic. Th' thing with Kali izzat people drop in all th' time, but often ev'ryone'll be in a game so it looks empty an' th' person goes elsewhere. This is beginning to frustrate me... I always leave an "/away" message when I'm hosting a game so people will see something's going on. Back in "the old days" of Kali you would pop into the channel and see two or three "/away" messages with game IP addresses.

      But laggers looking for an easy scapegoat started blaming their lag on people leaving Kali open while they were in a game, an' folks who do leave messages up often get flamed now by misguided anti-lag advocates. Look folks -- Kali's chat takes up just a few bytes per second even when it's busy -- there's NO way leaving Kali chat open can increase your lag!

      I jus' don't see any reason at all to play in Kali if you don't let people know you have a game going -- you might as well be playing on a LAN for all th' good yer doin' other Outlaws. If yer system is somehow so weak that leavin' Kali open is gonna lag you up, you got no damn business hostin' an Outlaws match in th' first place! An' you sure as hell got no business hostin' in Kali if yer not gonna let newcomers know where yer game is --- EVEN IF IT'S FULL! Kali usually ISN'T empty but because people don't leave /away messages and don't launch Outlaws through Kali it LOOKS empty and this drives people away. I am SICK of goin' into Kali, findin' nobody there an' then after a couple minutes of waiting seeing a bunch of people come into the channel, saying "good game!" to each other and talking about the fun match they were just in THAT NOBODY ELSE COULD PLAY IN! That's jus' downright rude people.

      Well I got a lil' worked up there -- hehe been a while since I got this steamed here, but ev'ry time I've seen someone say "Kali is nice but there's never anyone there" I jus' get more an' more pissed off about it. It's not their fault, it's th' damn Kali regulars who live in their own little private world -- perhaps not consciously, but actually, as a result of not leavin' a simple lil' message up. Jus' make that lil' effort folks an' you'll find you'll never lack fer Outlaws in Kali.

    • O-kay life goes on aside from my ranting (how insulting!). ;) The always wonderful Darlin' sent a new level my way, Tunes by COD_Marshall. A quite nice lookin' lil' map with a small two-storey house in a rectangular clearing. I might worry that it'd be too easy to blockade th' buildin's lone entry with th' gat on th' second floor, but I hmmm... actually that is a bit of a problem. I dunno, mebbe I'll hafta play a match here an' see. Oh yeah don't fergit th' screenshot.

    • Whoops, Beignet had more stuff ta unload! Here 'tis:

      Also.. would you pass on my thanks to Stan Jr. for his apology - it's very nice to have fences mended. We played with him last night on zone and really enjoyed the games we had . Thank you also for printing it :)
      another thought on using FRIENDLY FIRE
      I've thought that using Friendly Fire sounds all well and good.. and its great for players like doc, sanchez, mary and 2feathers.. but VERY unfair to anyone who uses James. :)
      These guys are all in fighting close... Poor James is out there sniping from a distance :) and there are the docs , mary's , sanchez's of his team rabidly popping in and out, up and down in front of his victims at the worst times while he is trying to snipe!!! GRRrrrrrrrrrr! :) hehe So, whenever someone has suggested friendly fire ... I prefer not to.. but if they insist.. let them remember not to jump in the way of James... because I wont be responsible for shooting them :)
      Beignet :)

      Gosh I'm such a sucker fer these Cajun girls. Well Beig may have a point, but personally I ALWAYS host with friendly fire on... hehe I hate gettin' sniped an' anythin' ta discourage indiscriminate snipers from shootin' my fanny is okay by me! Ooo I'm gonna get it good if I ever team with Beig again hehee...

    • Mad level-maker Gas slapped a shiny new logo on his nifty site. I see he's also lookin' fer a texture-type person to help make him a sign fer his next map, go drop him a line if yer innerested in helpin' out. :)

  • 12/29

    • Noticed over at Outlaws Gang Busters that Martone mentioned my testin' of th' gatling gun was all well an' good, but th' other weapons are probably affected in differing degrees by changes in framerate. Well that's prob'ly true. I tested jus' th' gatling gun fer a couple reasons:

      1. It's th' fastest firing gun (aside from mebbe Sanchez's pistol) so its rate of fire should be affected more than the others by framerate change. I would guess that at any point where yer firin' th' gat at near full speed (ie 60 fps or more) yer prob'ly gonna be doin' at least as well with th' other weapons.
      2. Th' gat was th' only gun for which I could come up with a semi-reliable test. Since I have to use a handheld stopwatch for the testing, each time I also have to hit a keyboard key during the test I'm opening the test result up to more inaccuracy. With th' gat test all I hadda do was hold down th' fire button an' stop th' watch when th' ammo ran out. Other guns can't fire off anywhere near 100 rounds without running out of ammo and having to manually reload; trying to time reliable rate-of-fire changes, where the changes are in small fractions of a second, on something like th' pistol would be pretty darn near impossible -- well, at least pretty inaccurate. The gat numbers were by far the most reliable I could come up with.

      So there you have it. Based on th' gat test I'm pretty confident that rate-of-fire levels off past 90 frames-per-second with every weapon. Likewise with movement and so forth. I suppose if you need precise numbers fer each individual activity you could be doin' in Outlaws this topic is still gonna worry ya.

    • Wildarms has finished up a lil' site, pretty much a dual personal Outlaws site fer him an' fellow Outlaws DirtyGirl:

      Wildarms & DirtyGirl
      Name sounds kinda sketchy but this is actually a very nice lookin' site. Not much here other than results of th' two players' Outlaws matches, but loads fast an' looks good.

    • Darlin' is a real sweetie. Not only does she keep sendin' me new maps, she doesn't even want me ta feel like I hafta thank her. Well I do anyhow. :) This time she's tossed me Cutter's Gila Springs 2.0. Here's all that's changed in this update, accordin' ta th' readme:

      Just one quick fix from version 1 : although the map tested quite well in three games before I released it, a subsequent problem arose with players sniping from the experts sign upon respawning This in itself does not concern me but I found if you're playing "Mary" or Sanchez, you have no real defense with short range weapons and it wasn't much fun having to run up to one of the hotel rooms if you were outside to grab a rifle. So, added added a rifle in the store.

      Heh well I play Sanchez most of th' time an' MAN, ya sure DO get sniped a lot in mos' maps. But it all pays off when ya get in a good throw an' blow up a sniper with a well-flung stick of TNT. ;)

    • Kind'a gettin' way less done, Outlaws-wise, than I was hopin' to. Well I guess I went an' did some other Outlaws stuff over th' past couple'a days but I STILL haven't played through all th' recent maps I wanna get through... not ta mention learnin' LawMaker. I guess I know what my New Year's resolution'll be now. ;)

      Sheesh an' spent a good deal of th' day tryin' ta help Big Nose Kate get her shiny new Half-Life game workin'. Seems it isn't takin' a shine to her Canopus TNT fer some reason. What a fine game. Poor girl's tearin' her hair out... she outta jus' try ol' reliable Outlaws fer a bit but she's one'a those that're fascinated by new stuff even if it doesn't work too well yet. Ah well... oh yeah what I meant ta be sayin' was that I'll be hostin' some games in Kali a lil' later tonight, love ta have ya come by an' use my carcass as a target. Keep an eye out fer my "/away" messages in Kali or jus' try me at my same ol' IP address -- as usual it's posted up th' page a lil' below th' lefthand menu.

  • 12/28

    • Yikes. After about two and a half days I have one MEGA update to get through today. First though let's take time out to remember a player who's suddenly no longer with us. StanJr sent me this:

      Well celebration [after Stan's successful tourney, more on that later] was quickly dampened once TRU_Player told me that a long time zone outlaws player died at the Age of 40 on christmas eve due to a heart attack while driving he swerved into on coming traffic... Barry was always a great guy to play with and alot of fun... Barry will be missed through out the OL community its a time to drop your guns and pray for his family as they go through this hard time. Since i hosted the tourney tonight and just found out afterwards i am going to dedicate this tourney to him and his family and friends we lost a great player... WE WILL MISS U BARRY!!!!

      Amen Stan. I think sometimes folks get so caught up in lil' things that they forget th' important stuff... that life is precious, basically. Let's all take some time to remember that, and try to keep that thought with us as we go about our daily lives. Stan tells me Barry made a level a while back, HiW, so have a game on it in his memory. :\

    • Geez... come to think of it I saw "It's a Wonderful Life" all the way through for the FIRST time in my life late in the evening on Christmas. It may be somewhat corny if you think about it too hard, but man that's a powerful film. If you've never actually watched it, do it sometime.

    • Okay, back to the daily news grind -- life does go on, that's the amazing thing. Mark Lütkefend made a small update to his "Banshee-Voodoo2 Setup" program which let's you run Outlaws in 800x600 on those cards, bringing it up to Version 1.1a (178k). The only change is to have "standard" as the default for the "3dfx settings" selection since the "all options" setting gives no real visual benefit but makes fer a nasty performance hit.

      Newsgroup stud salmoides tells me that he tried ta use th' utility ta run OL in 800x600 on his Voodoo (1) card with no luck. D-oh well... not that big a loss anyhow since 800x600 doesn't really run that fast on Banshee cards even.

    • I braved traffic, th' elements an' tons of rabid shoppers to track down a p2 333. Had a few anxious moments flashing the BIOS on my Asus P2L97 motherboard in order to get it working with the new processor but all went smoothly an' here I am, typin' away at 333 mHz. ;)

      Wuz kind'a disappointed by th' relative lack of improvement in OL framerates. Went up a bit on th' low end in SOME spots but many views I tested showed no improvement whatsoever over my P2 233.

      A few notes on th' 333. First of all it's got a 512k L2 cache. I didn't really know too much about what benefit processor caching gave before but I sure do now; I can see a BIG improvement over th' cache from my 233. For instance I can now be in an Outlaws game, quit out, tweak a few things, start OL back up an' get into th' game with almost literally NO load time because all th' game execution data and commands come right out of th' cache. Very very nice, makes me happy that I didn't get a Celeron since they have a max cache of 128k. Can't overclock this 333 but I didn't plan to anyhow.

    • So anyhow not much of a fps improvement in Outlaws. Disappointed, I stayed up waaay too late last night lookin' fer SOME kind of positive to get out of this fer you guys. Well I'm happy to say I found two things to improve yer Outlaws experience if you have a Banshee (one should work on a Voodoo2 also). Most of th' stuff below can be found on my pretty heavily updated Outlaws Video Comparison page, but I'll go through it here so you'll know what's new. Read on...

      • Since I didn't see a whole lotta improvement in fps goin' from a 233 to a 333 I guessed that th' Banshee was pretty much maxed out on a Pentium 2 in Outlaws. Reading through Bill's Workshop I noticed that he says, with no guarantees, that ya SHOULD be able ta overclock yer Banshee ta 110 mHz with no heat or stability problems. So, desperate fer anything positive I gave that a try an' I'm happy ta say I noticed a nice 5-10% increase in framerates with no stability problems YET -- do this AT YOUR OWN RISK. :P Easily done with a lil' beaut' of a utility known as th' "Banshee Control Panel", you'll find th' link fer it on my OL Video Comp page in th' reorganized "Banshee Tweaks" section. It does indeed seem that th' Banshee is topping out on even low-end Pentium 2's... I guess we'll hafta wait fer th' Voodoo3 ta see a big jump in Outlaws framerates.

      • Second, I messed with all th' settings both in th' "Banshee Control Panel" utility and in Outlaws' "Advanced" Glide video configuration window. While I didn't find anything ta further improve framerates without significant loss of image quality, I'm happy ta say I DID stumble upon a lil' tweak that should greatly improve yer OL experience if ya got a Banshee (an' mebbe a Voodoo2, I don't have one to test with).

        Run the config program olcfg.exe that's in yer Outlaws directory. The "Outlaws Driver Configuration" window appears. Make sure "3Dfx Glide 2.3" is highlighted under "Diplay Drivers" -- you DO have th' latest Outlaws patches an' drivers fer yer Banshee installed, right? Then hit the "Advanced" button in th' lower left to pop up the "Configuring 3Dfx Glide 2.3" window. If you haven't messed with yer settings yet, all options should be checked except for "Maintain resolution of large textures," "Maintain resolution of large sprites" and "Maintain all sprite directions."

        The first two don't offer any real improvement in visual quality but they DO hit yer framerate pretty hard so there's no reason to enable them. But here's th' good part. "Maintain all sprite directions" is disabled by default because loading all sprite info would break th' 2 MB texture limitation of Voodoo (1) cards. But hey if ya got a Banshee ya got a ton of texture RAM so that's no longer a problem! So check the box and hit "Accept" to close that window, then "OK" to close the Outlaws Driver Config program.

        Now load up Outlaws an' get into a game. Watch characters move around. Notice anything? How about this -- you can see them in more than 4 facings! See, "Maintain all sprite directions" saves texture RAM by only loading the front, back, and side views of characters -- so you only ever see them from 4 directions. But all th' character sprites actually have 8 views -- the 4 cardinal directions plus 4 in-between facings. So now characters rotate in 45-degree increments rather than 90-degree chunks; it's now twice as easy to tell if someone is aimin' atcha! Pretty darn handy if ya ask me. :) And hey check this out, horses (and probably cows too) have something like 16 facings -- here's a screenshot showing 3 sides of a horse you probably haven't seen before. ;)

    • Okay well there's one video issue left that I kin think of ta tackle: this whole issue of hardware vs game performance. I've seen some rather incredible claims lately about how folks with very high framerates kin move much faster than those with lower framerates. Well there was a lot of arguin' about this but nothin' in th' way of actual hard numbers to decide th' issue. So a couple nights ago I sat around with a stopwatch an' my Outlaws cheat codes, testing my rate of fire with a gatling gun at framerates ranging from 1.5 to 220 frames per second.

      What I found will, I hope, put an end to some of these far-out claims of super-speed. The following can be found near the bottom of my Video page in a section called "Why Are Higher Framerates Better?" Basically I took a ton of times, averaged 'em down an' condensed them into this graph which shows how that rate of bullets per second fired from the gatling gun changes as framerates increase.

      Most people will probably be seeing framerates between 10 and 90 fps. If ya look at th' graph you'll see that bullets per second, or bps, stays between about 7.25 and 9.75 through that range; an increase of about 34% in fire rate -- pretty darn impressive.

      However, the percentage increase goes way down as you start comparing higher framerates. For instance, you only get a 5% bps increase between 60 and 100 frames per second. In fact bps pretty much levels out past 90 frames per second; someone with 300 frames per second would see no advantage over someone with 90 fps and only 5% over someone with 60 fps. For this reason I configure my video settings to stay over 60 even in rough firefights on ornate maps. Once you can stay over 60 yer on an equal footing with the fastest computers out there... so then ya got no easy excuse fer gettin' whupped. :P

    • Okay back to stuff from StanJr (who is, of course, The Man). Stan hosted his first tourney this past weekend an' it seems it had some interesting moments:

      What a blunder hehehe i had 22 teams most in zone once i got the teams drawn from the hat it was ok then went to play my game and zone crashed so most nobody came back was funny got knocked to 8 teams real quick. they went pretty dern good... but the tourney was a joke good thing was i won my first tourney ever i feel good about that was (BMG)Kodia and (BMG)StanleyJr vs OGB_Martrone and OZ_Supfull was a good battle played at bearcave kinda kewl how that map came up with the brackets maps played were war path abandon indiana then bearcave. so we went in there and game stayed close all the way to the end nobody had more then a 2 kill lead well it came down to business with it tied even up at 21 i through a stick of dyno into a room where other sticks layed and got both of them was really actually ended up 23 to 21 then supfull killed kodia and i killed martrone so it was 24 22 then martrone got me again and kodia nailed supfull and we won really exciting but i will have to define how i do this sucker again hehe..

      Well hey practice makes perfect, I'm sure Stan's next tourney'll go a lot smoother. Ya know mebbe ya kin tell when a tourney works out by when th' organizer DOESN'T win. ;)

      Stan also had a lil' public apology:

      Ok back about 2 months ago in kali there was a fight between me and the WAWS were i was a complete asshole.. I would like to make a public apology to them... There is no real true way to say this so im going to say it since we all know about me bein a trouble maker pickin fights and stuff with other people which has given me a bad boy resemblence around OL... So i would like to say im sorry to all the WAWS for the trouble that i have caused them and would like to make peace with them and would like to continue to play games in zone and kali and try to continue a friendship with them... Well thats it sorry WAWS for being a complete asshole..

      Gotta say that's pretty mature of Stan, I'm pretty impressed... well okay except for the swear words. But then again Stan jus' wouldn't be Stan without that lil' edge he's got. At least he's learnin' not ta hit people with it all th' time. ;)

    • Th' varmit known as cia_bpi (and no that's not a posse prefix!) had some things ta get off his chest about his OL multiplayer experience to date, here's th' juicy bits (a chunk about Stan's tourney at th' end):

      Now that i have access to the 3 major gaming zones for OL, i want to have the following off my chest :
      The Gaming Zone : Unforntunately, most players are here. The zone is laggy and ruled by the newbee's and the gangs : it's been 30 games or so when i had a descent game here : the best players are divided into different gangs, that mostly play themself in privat games. Lately, if i join one that isn't privat, i'm asked to make room for one of theirs, or they just leave the room, starting up one somewhere else. if i join a non-gang game, im lagged out of the game, the host bailes out after 5 kills or so, i end up in a team play of 3/2 vs me, or i'm faced with a GOD-mode playing newbee. Apparently, the only way i will have a descent game here is if i join one of the gangs, but i'm not inclined to do so ( i rather stop playing ).
      mIrc : Probably the best place to play the game : good players and good attidutes, latest levels are send to you, you can join beta-testing etc. etc. The only thing they lack is players. You have to be patient for a game, and there's no a lot of choice.
      Kali : They claim to be the major gaming zone site, but even less players seen here than on mIrc. According to you, Pale, people don't announce their games, nor do they use the Kali engine to start it up. So why the hell are the using Kali for, beside the privat games ??? But on the other hand i ran into you and had the best games on the internet yet. Apparently, it's an all American story, or i'm too stupid to find the players and the games here ( prob this must be the case ). To keep it short, i don't understand why people use Kali.
      Finaly, i wnat to give tribute to Stanley, who tried to join all the platforms in one tournament. Maybe there is still hope for OL. Too bad it didn't work out this time, but if he needs help the next time, i want to help him in any way i can.

      Boy cia_bpi dishes it out pretty good don't he? ;)

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