mphq via IRC

Yesterday I entered a new dimension of my participating observation inside the MP-modding community: I for the first time entered the chatroom of MPHQ. For this I use my expired shareware-version of mIRC, which still works flawlessly – nobody knows why. GutBomb and some others were present, but they talked Mac-related, so I hadn’t too much to contribute. but from the conversation it became clear, that at least gutBomb remembers me and who i am.

Today I entered the chatroom again. Ildu and some others were there. One called himself Fruehshoppen aka JCDenton999 aka TheHunted—he at once asked me if I was German. I said “Ja”. So he opened another channel for us two and we could merrily chat away in German, which we did for 1h 1min without idling. Topics ranged from information on private background, LS5, New Dawn, and modding (especially mapping) in general. Parallel to this conversation we chatted with the others in MPHQ’s main-channel. Ildu also seems to know who I am—maybe he has followed the link in my sig which leads to Ethno::log.

Fruehshoppen pointed me to his private and hidden website where beautiful screenshots of his Hacienda-map for MI::NewDawn are to be seen. And he runs the Max Payne Zone (MPZ), an Austrian fanpage, pendant to MPA and MPHQ. There news on MP and MP modding really pop up regularly—what can’t be said about MPHQ :o(

There’s news about Lightsaber, too. It seems that my shuttle-screenshots really impressed him. [all news on Lightsaber at MPZ]

Even I learned something new—I did know that Wook thought about switching engine to DoomIII, but I didn’t know that it was a matter of fact. And I didn’t know that there was something about it on the Lightsaber homepage. So I checked it, and really there was the news, posted by LordHelmet. That’s all he updated on the page since ages. There aren’t any new screenshots or such. Helmet is a lazy guy, I guess.

Btw till today LS4 has been downloaded over 10.000 times!


modders’ breath

AP carries a story on gamemodding with a more than positive conclusion: “Still, Lombardi said, mods like Counter-Strike show that anyone with the skills can make it big in the gaming industry.
‘They are the guys that are going to be making the great games of tomorrow,’ he said. ‘Gaming is still in the frontier days, there’s still a chance for someone to put something together in a garage.'”



Neo wrote in the MPHQ-forum:

[Thu Jan 23, 2003 6:03 am]
“hmm.. so the MP community is barly in the puberty..”
Thats pretty funny, but its a good thing becuase if there are all these mappers at a young age then there will be a lot of damn good older one’s in a couple of years Personally i wish to be a pro. I am pursuing it iam already on the right track. So if you keep with it and edit for as many games as you can do so with out making complete crap, then you should build up some good experience. I have used about 4 different editors and become literate with most of them. (Worldcraft, Lithtech, Radient, MaxED)
Keep With it!
I am Neo

A direct hint towards my theory of the modding-community as a self-organising training place for wannabe professionals (not meant ironical).
    In order to help Neo and others I made a categorized list of MaxEd tutorials and posted them in the thread, Neo had started:

All right, I don’t want to embarass anyone, but as the same questions pop up again and again (and as there’s no searchable database of forum-information here anymore, eh GutBomb?) I made an overview of MaxEd-tutorials scattered all over the net. I (almost) stuck to MaxEd related stuff only and left out animation tutorials and the like. I tried to put the links in categories and in an order. So you’re well off, if you start at the top of the list. All the links below are working — I just tested them a moment ago.
MaxEd Basics
MaxEd concepts for newbies — The very first tutorial everyone should read. Really, really basic, not offering a cooking-recipe, but a true understanding of the underlying principles.< Getting started Basic Room Creating and Playing a Simple Custom Level in Max Payne MaxEd Lighting
Lighting in MaxEd
Adding lighting
MaxEd Dynamic Content
Creating doors
Falling Wall
Trip Wire
FSM messages in MaxEd
Another FSM messages in MaxEd
Setting up enemy AI
Max Payne Cinematics
Cinematic Cutscenes in Max Payne
Making Cut-scenes In Max Payne
Max Payne compiling
Maddieman’s Tutorial on RASMaker
Compiling level to playable mod
Another Compiling level to playable mod
Using RasMaker and Compiling Maps
Making a New Weapon
ActorFX Tutorial
Collected Information
A collection of various MaxEd tutorials translated from german—Ranging from absolutely basic to some topics not found in the official Remedy tutorials, but worthwhile to know.
The 3dRealms forums — the biggest resource of indepth MP-modding/editing;f=18
And of course the official Remedy tutorials
The official Remedy tutorials as a downloadable help-file
[Thu Jan 23, 2003 11:09 am]



Some days ago I bought a book on 3dsmax4—which came with a trial-version of it—and am reading in it since, simultaneously fooling around with the application itself. The book is in German and its subtitle reads “Grundlagen und Praxis der 3D-Visualisierung und -Animation”. The book really features what its title promises. I’m astonished about the complexity and possibilities of professional software like 3ds. If this isn’t capable of producing art, I don’t know what on earth actually is.
    Wook didn’t reply to my last e-mail yet. I’ve sent it on Thursday 16. Yesterday I saw a post of him in the now nuked forums. It showed two screenies of the newest feature he had pulled of with the MPengine: An enemy who is in ‘stealth-mode’, nearly invisible. It looks just beautiful, but I’m not sure yet how to integrate it into the storyline I’m writing for the Lightsaber-TC. But somewhere I’ve read that the Sith actually had developed some cloaking-technology for spacecraft. So the feature Wook has cooked up fits. Furthermore he had written (in the nuked forums) that he for the first time had managed to put a character from 3ds into Max Payne—he meant the cloaked TIE-pilot. It seemed to be quite a hassle to get the vertices assigned in Remedy’s ActorFX.
    Interesting aspects which hit my brain in the last time:—it seems that the builders of professional software implicitly tolerate the use of pirated software in modding-communities and the like. Maybe I can verify this when I do interviews with representants of the software-corporations. My guess is: It’s tolerated because 1) there’s no economic damage done 2) to prosecute this kind of software-piracy would be too much of an act. And the prospects towards a substantial result are not very promising. 3) most important: The next generation of 3D-visualizing-professional already learns the usage of the software. Example: One of the guys out of a modding-community makes it into a career as a 3d-illustrator, modeller, or animator. While modding he already has learned to put 3dsmax to good use. Which program will he be using in his professional career? Additionally: His employers won’t have the hassle to teach him—he already taught himself. Instruction costs substantially decrease. The benefits of ‘open-piracy’. (c;



Catastrophy! The Beavises’n’Buttheads which constitute the staff of MPHQ have nuked all the forums clear! I’m not whining after my postcount (which still was a poor 200 and something), but I’m somewhat shocked about the loss of this big piece of MP-modding-community history. Now I see what a fault it was not to regularly write into this diary as I had envisioned. Now I’ve got to discipline myself and do this diary properly.
On the other hand the incidence was a lesson in how-the-Internet-works. And it even may offer a new chance. All of the registered users of MPHQ have to reregister now. I already did so some moments ago. Now I’m #91 in the memberlist. 94 members so far—before the wipe-clean MPHQ hat some 6600+ registered users which had posted a total of 118.000+ articles (all from my memory). Now I can start-over with my fieldwork as one of the ‘earliest members’ of the MPHQ-community … if that ‘is something’ is more than questionable.
    After having reregistered I immediately ‘beefed up’ my profile and added a signature-image and an avatar [note the faulty compression]. The signature-pic I’ve hosted at Ethno::log, the avatar I uploaded directly to MPHQ.


wookies chat, too

Today I chatted via IRC for the first time since ages. Crazy of Max Payne Area (MPA), a German fanpage, wanted to do an interview with Wook and me on the Lightsaber mod. So Wook and me showed up there, but Crazy didn’t. It was for the first time that the two of us ‘spoke’ to each other in real time—we ‘talked’ for 49mins without idling. Mostly about Lightsaber of course, about MaxEd’s pecularities, and about the problems to keep a modding-team together.


visual jack in

“A half century of artificial-sight research has succeeded. And now this blind man can see,” reports Wired with an impressive, well written story about an american laboratory, which is working with cameras that bring vision directly by cables into the brain of a blind man:

From a few steps closer, I see that the wires plug into Patient Alpha’s head like a pair of headphones plug into a stereo. The actual connection is metallic and circular, like a common washer. So seamless is the integration that the skin appears to simply stop being skin and start being steel.
    “It’s called a percutaneous pedestal,” Dobelle tells me.
    All I can do is stare. The man has computer jacks sunk into both sides of his skull.

As a sidenote, just for the spice, here’s some Neuromancer (from where ‘to jack in’ comes) nostalgia:

The counters that fronted the booths displayed hundreds of slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon mounted under oblong transparent bubbles on squares of white card-board. Molly went to the seventh booth along the south wall. Behind the counter a boy with a shaven head stared vacantly into space, a dozen spikes of microsoft protruding from the socket behind his ear. (Gibson 1984: chpt 4)

GIBSON, WILLIAM FORD. 1984. Neuromancer. New York: Penguin.
via entry at ethno::log


Forarea, a bavaria-based, interdisciplinary community of about 200 scientists, concerned with the understanding of ‘other cultures’, has launched a computer game called Xenophilia [=”the liking of the other”]. The game’s aim is to mediate an understanding of people who were socialized in cultures different from the ‘western’ one. Children and teenagers are to be reached by the game’s message. Xenophilia was presented at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair and instantaneously was awarded the Giga-Maus, a german software award. Two versions of Xenophilia are available: One for everyone and one specially designed for the use in schools.


unix history

Not only gamer- or modding-communities are very conscious of the history of technology, but it seems to me that ‘online culture’ in general is—Éric Lévénez maintains a Unix History website, featuring “a simplified diagram of unix history. There are numerous derivative systems not listed in this chart, maybe 10 times more! In the recent past, many electronic companies had their own unix releases. This diagram is only the tip of an iceberg, with a penguin on it ;-).” For your convenience he stores several printable formats of his unix family tree for download … in case you still are searching for an appropriate poster to put on your office’s walls.