Subject: mini-Loscon 97.52 AAR

Well, I really must say that this one was a very good success! Instead of feeling all bummed out that it's over I feel pretty inspired by the action we experienced this weekend. In fact As soon as Kurt left (at midnight sunday!), Nat wanted to play some more! Anyway....

Technical issues:
The first thing we did was buy an 8 port hub with 1 BNC connector and 9 RJ45 connectors. for like $69, This immediately eliminated all network issues that we we're experiencing last time. The only other technical issue of the weekend was that we had to set up a TCP/IP LAN for Q2 because it doesn't take IPX! (WTF?) anyway, Kurt and I had it figures out in about an hour, so after that it was no problem. (see appendix 1. setting up a TCP Lan.) All 8 machines connected fine.

The following software was tested..
1. Epic 40k Final liberation. This is sort of a future version of East Front (not as detailed) with very cool movie custcenes and intro. Has MP support.
2. Great Battles of Hannibal. Solid sequel to the GBOH Alexander game.
3. Steel Panthers 3. Took a quick look at this, looks nice. units are now platoons instead of individual vehicles and squads.
4. Star Trek Fleet Academy. Awesome movies, ship simulator looks pretty good. It's on five cds!
5. Microsoft Crt Precision Racing demo. Works on a Lan too.
Quake 2!
Kurt's comments: "Quake2 is obviously a must-BUY. The 3d graphics are kick-you-behind-the-eyes good and the levels are very intricate and highly detailed. Frame rates were astounding despite the sheer number of models in each level. The death scenes of each enemy are impressive and you have the ability, with a nicely aimed shot, to decapitate some opponents. Depending on the "level of death damage" the bad guys can get a last shot off at you. Very nicely done. It kept us amused constantly throughout the weekend. There are a large number of levels embedded in the file and Quark was able to display them quite well. Also included in the pak file are the configs of various people at id. We did a major amount of config tweaking, most of it actually working...(g) We have a weapon switching alias that excludes the cheesy lower weapons that only get in the way when you are in a fight. When I get home (or if Los beats me to it) I will send you the weasel.cfg file that I use. The crash course in Q2 (3am each night) really helped out my learning curve switching to the WASD setup."

I would add that the sound is the best of any game, immersive 3d with excellent ricochet effects too. We played this almost exclusively. until 4am every night. Everyone was doing pretty well and head levels that they came out on top. Weasel lairs abound and Kurts's not easy to wrinkle out! I particularly liked the "base" levels, and the Space station with low G. Very cool. All the weapons are cool, especially the one shot one kill rail gun. That's like being the great white hunter in Africa with an 8 gauge and a charging Rhino. Reload is slow so make that one shot count.
We had 6 players going at one point. The audio tracks are good, but most are a little too invasive for regular game player. Also Q2 actually has a story behind it with an awesome intro and cutscenes.

It seems to me that Jonathon (Dr. Chud) is becoming a real force to be reckoned with! All weekend long you could hear forlorn frustrated cries of "Doctor Chud!" from victims. Then when I went up and watched him play he's not even using strafing! When he gets converted over to a modern set up he'll be ultra dangerous. He also has this hoping jumping aggressive mortal combat type of close in fight that's not easy to deal with. Plus he has incredible perseverance.
Greg also ramped up pretty quick to become a real danger, and was leading on a few levels. Very dangerous with heavy weapons.
Natalie, I'm happy to say, is back. We we're able to "manage" Miles sufficiently for her to get in a lot of quakeage. She's regained her quake and should be back to dominance by next con.
Ze was having a hell of a time, and after leaving we discovered that he didn't have mouse look on OR jumping enabled. Sorry Ze! Incidentally we also created a generic config for everyone.
Mike: How dare you vomit all over the tradition of the Loscon by no showing!
Rob: Showed up. played, and is getting the hang of it.

Other stuff:
1. Food:
Went to Glenwoods, went to Dunkin Donuts, Got ribs from Joe Grates BBQ across the street. Very good.

2. Beverage:
We did not consume any RC's we are saving these precious items for full blown Loscons. We did have a case of Cream, Root Beer, and Sarsaparilla. Yum!

3. Video. I recorded a whopping 6 hours of Q2 deathmatch on my VCR through my Pure3d video output. It came out real nice. I will distill it down to a best of 30 minutes.

4. Did a lot of net Quake 2 through Gamespy also, whenever there wasn't a LAN game going on.

Things we didn't do:
1. We didn't make another Deathmatch audio Cd.
2. No flying
3. No interfacing with the outside world (sorry Bob and Todd)
4. No Tyler

Well it was a great time. It's a shame that we had open machines all weekend but at least we had everyone playing on 3d cards! (I haven't installed that Riva 128 yet). Unfortunately, regular Quake now seems like a distant memory of an old arcade game. It's going to be hard playing TF until TF2 comes up! The Q2 deathmatch experience is really something to behold! See you all mid January for the next one!

Appendix 1. Setting up a TCP lan.
1. Go to Control Panel, network, and add a new protocol to your ethernet card: Microsoft TCP/IP
2. FOr the TCP/Ethernet card binding select properties and then go to DNS servers. Set it so you assign an IP address. Put your own IP address in there. (I used my birthday with an identifier on the end of each machine. ( etc etc)
3. Restart., run winipcfg to check if it's working.
Note that when you log onto the internet, the computer will reassign your IP to whatever your ISP sez it should be. When you log off, it will reassign the IP back to your local IP.

Note: We weren't able to play local quake on any machine that was logged onto the net, you had to log off first, but we didn't really screw with it too much to figure it out and documentation IS very scarce on Q2 stuff still.

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