[Babylon 5]

Nathan Mates' Personal Info Pages

Nathan Mates's .plan Archives

Plan Archives from August 1999.

Login name: nathan    			In real life: Nathan Mates
Directory: /home/nathan             	Shell: /bin/tcsh
Job: Network Programmer, Battlezone 2, developed by Pandemic Studios http://www.pandemicstudios.com , published by Activision http://www.activision.com [Note: in this, I am *NOT* speaking officially for either of those, I'm only speaking for myself.]

8/27/99: BZ2 Demo is out! See ftp://download.intel.com/home/club/bziidemo.exe [Will probably be mirrored as time goes by]

Note: this is kinda a hack to get things working, so I'd put this info under *UNSUPPORTED* for now. If it works for you, great. If not, wait for the next demo.

In talking with our lead programmer, you just need a few lines in the input config file. In the demo, there should be a file 'bzinput_user.cfg' in the addon directory. [If not, bind a function or two, and it should be auto-writen out] Open up that file, and tack on these lines:

// -- snip

// bind joystick-specific controls
BindAnalog("steer", "!JoystickX");
BindAnalog("pitch", "JoystickY");
BindAnalog("strafe", "JoystickRZ");
BindAnalog("throttle", "!JoystickZ");
BindDiscrete("jump", "Joystick3");
BindDiscrete("weapon_fire", "Joystick1");
BindDiscrete("weapon_special", "Joystick4");
BindDiscrete("weapon_next", "Joystick2");
// -- snip

You may need to comment out (with //s) the other lines for the same functions that already existed; I'm not sure on this. Once again, I'd say this is UNSUPPORTED for now.

--- later

Someone on the BZ2 message boards asked re group management in the demo. The readme file doesn't have these commands listed, but they're in the demo:

To unify like groups (e.g. the 2 squads of 2 mortar bikes), select one group (e.g. F2) then control-F1 will put all 4 mortar bikes into the F1 group. Dissimilar unit types can not be unified.

To split a group, or individually select/control members, when you have no groups selected, open it up with control, e.g. control-F1. That'll let you select a unit, and issue commands, or reassign them to another group (with control-F#).


And also:

> I can't figure out how to switch mini-map to show the entire level
'R' (or 'r'), no 's.


8/19/99: Having just won 2 games of Windows98 solitaire in a row (design flaw: game is *over* when no cards are upside down; I shouldn't have to double-click them all to the top), I wonder about the odds of winning that game. I've played other Solitaire games on computers where winning 1 game in 50 was an achievement. Is the MS solitaire game biased towards the player, and other ones using true shuffle, or something else?

I sense a conspiracy. :)

8/18/99: News has broken elsewhere, so just drop by http://www.intel.com/home/club/battlezone2.htm

8/17/99: From the better-late-than-never dept, Josh Resnick forwarded on to Pandemic some E3 (1999) awards from another site listing both Dark Reign 2 and Battlezone 2:

Oh yeah, and a few Windows98 annoyances that I wonder if anyone's got a solution for-- or at least takes note so that they don't make the same mistakes I did...

- Win98's "updater" lets you install this "critical update notifier" program, which checks every day for patches to Win98. Kinda useful, it seems. But, if you ever say "notify me later" to it, and a fwe minutes later manually go to the updates and install them, it *keeps* saying (every day) that there are uninstalled critical updates. I had to boot to DOS and forcibly delete off that program from my machine at home to get some sanity, and now my computers at work are suffering from the same problems. Anyone have a solution other than "Microsoft fubar'd another thing"?

- On one of my machines here at work, I set the screen colors to white text on a dark blue background-- that's easier on the eyes, especially after a few hours. Most applications respect that-- Explorer, DevStudio, etc. But, some idiot decided to make IE4 respect *half* of my choices: I get white text. On a white background. If I hilight things, it flips it to dark blue text on white, which is the proper inversion. [Actually, it tends to do this for about half of the text, the rest being black on white.] I've posted here and elsewhere that I have no love for InternetExploder, and use Lynx and/or Opera as my main browsers. But, MS DevStudio (the compiler and development environment for BZ2) uses (and *requires* -- get the Justice Dept in on this) IE4 to display all of the help and reference info for Win32. So, I gotta use it sometimes, and this color bug is annoying.

- Devstudio 6.x quirk for any programmers out there-- DevStudio has a search button and field up top that brings up a dialog: what to search for, what directories, etc. However, that box tends to use whatever your mouse was last over or something as its default field for a new search-- if I search once, then search again (e.g. searching for same string but modifying case sensitivity), what to search for is different. Any way to make that dang string STAY THE SAME all the time, and only be editable from within that dialog box.

8/14/99: System Shock 2 is damn cool. Bought it on Friday, played quite a bit so far. Excellent atmosphere, music, plot, voice acting. Not a hyperactive FPS, but a lot more of a thinker's game.

[And a bit later: there is a demo of SS2 out on all the usual sites, so if you're curious as to how it plays, take a peek at it. I fully recommend and support using demos to make up your mind about games without risk, waiting for reviews, or any illegality.]

8/1/99: Here's something I recently wrote on the BZ2 message boards [see http://www.pandemicstudios.com/bzii/ ] about my participation there, threads, etc... it might get read more often from here as well:

--- snip

By the way, it *IS* possible for you folks to start new threads here on the message boards; you do *NOT* have to take an existing one and send it in fifty directions. I *do* read every message posted here, in every thread; don't presume that a thread in which I've been spotted before is the best place to get an answer to a different subject.

Obviously, I don't respond to every posting, even those specifically asking for me. Sometimes, I honestly have no clue (e.g. release dates). Sometimes, I'm not the most qualified person, and am hoping someone else at Pandemic answers. Sometimes, I choose for whatever reason not to answer-- hardware advocacy wars, overly rude or pushy postings, or I'm just too tired at the moment. I'm here on my spare time, trying to be helpful, without spilling the whole can of worms.

--- snip

And, for those of you who do have questions about BZ2, it's best to ask them there on the message boards, where it might already have been asked & answered (use the 'search' features first), and if it is a new question, many can see and appreciate any response.