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Some of you may remember the character model I was building for Doom 3 called 'Bob' (and again the really low poly version that was animated and used in the Unreal 3 style cubemap demo der_ton, rich_is_board and myself put together a while back) . Well I've got a little update for Bobs fans. He's now ingame and in a medieval/gothic themed test map to suit. I had some help from a couple of guys (Bullet, Lunaran and der_ton from D3W.org) to figure out some animation and ragdoll teething problems which got sorted, there are still some issues but the basic character behaviour works OK.
"Here's looking at you kid". With a working ragdoll in place Bob faces you without needing to do a full turn.
As has been mentioned in previous news items about Bob, everything is been done in Blender 3D using der_tons MD5 animated mesh exporter and DocHoliday's USM-ase exporter (see the 'prepping models for Doom 3' tutorial). The mapobjects you'll see in the screenshots are exported brushwork which is then worked on and exported back out as ASE from Blender. It's also been used, to good effect, in rendering out the normal maps for use with bump mapping the textures rather than using the photoshop plugin from nVidia (which does have it's uses).
For more info pop over to the quake3bits forums and take a look at the screenshots which are in 'widescreen' format by the way so if you're curious about what Doom 3 is like running under widescreen mode have a look... Read more about Bob and see some shots >>
A recents news item at PC Pro.co.uk has enough interest for gamers of all types to be aware of...
Sophos is warning of a Trojan virus designed to attack players of an online role-playing game.
The Trojan horse, LegMir-Y, targets players of Lineage, an online fantasy game of witchcraft and war, by harvesting usernames, passwords and other data from players.
As gamers generally tend to play more than one 'type' of game it's worth taking note of this. Although not neccesaily a wide spread problem in terms of infections it is a very public face of a growing trend of gamers being the targets of malicious code which isn't just an AIMBOT..!
If you're online for any significant length of time you should at least be using a firewall and / or virus scanner of some description. PCPro article >>
That's right, we're getting close so all the hellions are coming out of the closet to offer various exclusive interviews, this time it's the turn of Computer & Video Games (CVG)
Can you tell us a little bit about how the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack begins?
Tim Willits: Basically the mission pack kicks off two years after Doom 3. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but at the end of Doom 3 you use the SoulCube to close the portal between hell and Mars, then you're airlifted from the planet along with any plans to continue research on the planet. The UAC covers it all up as an industrial accident.
There's mention of the in the works Doom 3 movie as well, which they seem very happy about... so go have a read of the article. CVG interview>>
The team behind the Doom 3 mod 'Hell on Earth' have called it quits after being in production for a number of months. Below is part of the official comment on the reasons why. Full quote can be read on their website. There's also some screenshots of art work and ingame levels that are well worth a look, it's certainly had the quality quota in place.
"There are various reasons for this. Many of our members left because they simply didnt have the time anymore needed for the project. Others just lost interest in Doom 3. Let me say that Doom 3 probably has the best mod developing tools available, but also has a really small community, compared to other games, like Half Life 2 or Unreal Tournament 2004. From the Beginnings of this mod, we suffered a constant lack of talent in several fields of development, especially mappers and animators."
This is another blow to the Doom 3 community, or so some would have us beleave. But as has been commented on here, there are more than likely a few mods being worked on behind the scenes that we won't get to know about until some sort of full beta release, so all is possibly not lost and Doom 3 is still going strong albeit as a smaller community the Half Life 2, Unreal Tournament or even Far Cry. Hell on Earth website >> Discussing the implications of another mod collapse >>
I've just added a 'live' chat app to the site too allow you to talk to each other and get quick answers to game related questions that don't appear on the site. It uses Macromedias flash so you'll need to have the plugin installed, but that's all, you don't need to install anything else to start using the app straight away. ICQ flash chat >>
It doesn't appear that you can get the app delivered to you on CD (as you can with the other versions of XSi) so if 200MB is too much of a strain for your dialup connection then simply wait for it to appear on the covermount CD of a 3D magazine in your local newsagents.
Also it's pointed out on the website that if you already have the learning editions of XSi the modtool kits won't work with those versions.
The files are only available from two locations at the moment and both require membership (which is free) although FilePlanet has a 'queue' system in place that means waiting a good few minutes before downloading begins (wait time depends on time of day when accessing the files).
ModTools won't run or install to a HDD that uses FAT32 partitions (Windows 98 basically), it needs to be installed to a NTFS HDD (Windows XP/2000). If you've saved the *.exe installer to a FAT32 drive and try to install from there it will give you an invalid drive error, simply move the exe file to an NTFS drive and run the installer again, it should then work.
Linux is supported but no version is available for use as of the time of writing.
Softimage have released a mod specific version of their 3D modelling, animation and rendering application, XSi, to cater for the modding community. Although only HL2 is supported atm - using a similar system to gmaxs gamepacks - it looks like more are on the cards. There's extensive information and tutorials about using XSi on the XSi website, so you should be able to get up an running relatively quickly. What's more, it's FREE..! download XSi ModTool >>
Well it had to happen..! After finding out that Doom 3 can be played in windescreen I took at look at another favourate, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, to see what that does.
The good news is the developers were kind enough to add a 'widescreen' option into the main system settings menu. The bad news is that it won't run correctly in fullscreen so you'll need to drop into windowed mode. You can do this from the games menu or a quick shortcut is to press Alt+Return when in fullscreen, this toggles between full and windowed mode (you *might* get a wierd error onscreen if you do this whilst looking at the mission start/briefing screen - if that happens you'll need to restart).
As with playing Doom 3 like this you may want to drop your monitor resolution down a tad to the closest approximate size to widescreen so it fills more of the monitors available visual space.
At a guess I'd say you could do this with any Quake 3 powered game, that would include Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, both of which should be capable of being played in wide screen in a similar way to the above.
The team behind Hexen : Edge of Chaos have just released some gameplay footage of their Doom 3 mod in production. It's a 42MB .avi file that give you a walk through of one of their maps showing weapons, a new monster, items and environment details (which looks a little sparse at the moment but it is early days yet). Included in the movie is the rather nice looking gravity g.. er, telekenisis weapon which you can use to pick up enemies..! It's certainly worth a look if you can manage the bandwidth. Edge of Chaos website >> Download movie from PCGamemods.com >>
Gamespy, ever the peeps with red coloured telephone hotline into the id offices, have posted an article about the upcoming Doom 3 expansion Resurrection of Evil (PC). They've included quite a bit of info about the story, the new weapons and monsters along side a couple of new ingame shots. It's probably still a little light on the ground with info than Doom 3 fans would like but it's an interesting read none-the-less... go take a look. Resurrection of Eevil @ Gamespy >>
This is all about 'TCs' - Total Conversions, not the basic script hacks that have been floating around for a while but totally new content and new gameplay based on the Doom 3 engine one particular mod to watch is 'The Dark mod'; a subtle retelling of the 'Thief' FPS stealth games.
There's no downloadable game yet but they recently released a movie of what's to come and it looks very promising, some stunning character model shots are shown in the vid. It's a 10MB+ download so it'll take a while on 56k but it's certainly worth a look. You'll need the xvid codec and/or DivX player to see this. Link to forum topic discussing the project >> Watch the darkmod video >>
The tools to allow you to create maps and modifications to Pacific Assault are now available from their website. It looks like you need to have Microsofts .NET v1.1 installed in order for it all to work correctly. For further info and various download links check the following page. Pacific Assault tools
Thanks to killmachine over at Doom3world.org I recently found out you can indeed play through Doom 3 (and just about any other game infact if it has support for this) in WideScreen (16:9 & 16:10) ratio. It's a slightly narrower window than full cinemascope which has a 2.35:1 ratio - generally what DVD films run at - but it's pretty good none-the-less. Details to do this are below.
This only works in windowed mode by the way (a 'window' open/running on your desktop), so you may want to manually reduce your desktop size to suit the mode you've got WS to run at; it won't work in full screen becasue of the way monitors work. It doesn't seem to effect performance too much either if you use a screensize relative to what you normally would be using.
the settings below approximate the 16:9 aspect ratio of widescreen
We'll be trying out a slightly different index page layout this year to see how that goes. Hopefully it should mean the time taken to load the index page is as short as possible. In order to do this news items will consist of 'snippets' of info which will then link to the 2005 archive page and more comprehensive listings about each item.
Anyway we'll see how it goes.