4D Realms - Archived News
Saturday - 06 February 2016
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Well, I finally got around to starting the major redesign I've been wanting to undertake for quite a while now. As you can see I've changed the primary colors and updated the layout. I've also started jettisoning the advertisements. Go poke around (keeping in mind that some pages may not be updated right away - but I'm working on it!) and see how you like it. Please note that you may need to hit your browser's "Refresh"/"Reload" button to load the changes.
If you come across any broken links please let me know right away by going to the Contact page. The broken link(s) will probably be fixed automatically as the rest of the site gets updated, but in case it's broken because I missed something or fucked it up by accident I need to be told. Thanks and happy browsing!
Sunday - 17 January 2016
Okay, so you might have watched the Carolina Panthers make the Seattle Seahawks look like a High School Junior Varsity team (dagnabbit!) today. Missed opportunities and poor first-half play did the 'Hawks in. At least fans can't complain about bad officiating or poor playing conditions (except maybe for the field, itself, but I doubt that was that much of a factor). No, the Seahawks were simply outmatched by a team that went 15-1 in the regular season and had plenty of rest plus the homefield advantage that comes with being the #1 seed.
So I decided to finish polishing up my latest DM level for Unreal Tournament 3, ready it for publishing, and I posted it today (just a few minutes ago, in fact). I got it up on the Unreal Depot here and posted it in the Epic Games Forums. If you're one of the three people out there still playing UT3, take a look and if it strikes your fancy, download and play it today!
Friday - 01 January 2016
Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is even better than your 2015 was (assuming your 2015 was at least satisfactory). As a quick New Year's gift I have decided to let you take a gander at a screenshot of the new DM level I'm currently building for UT3. Click on the thumbnail below to see the full-size image (yes, that is the editor orientation widget in the bottom left corner - this is a screenshot from the editor).
Thursday - 24 December 2015
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Festivus, Happy Holidays, Happy "whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-celebrate" you marvelous human beings! Personally, I take some of the early pagan Soltice rituals (bringing a live tree in the house, decorating with bright colors and lights, holly, mistletoe, etc.) and combine the gift-giving ritual with the later industrialized-nation rituals of (sometimes excessive) commercialism and materialism. Yay, me!
Anyway, also remember
that the Earth's axial tilt is the real "Reason for the Season" and celebrate the lengthening of the days (an increase in the amount of daylight per day) after the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Want to have some fun? Think about the fact that a bunch of these Winter Soltice rituals celebrating the return of the sun after the darkest part of the year are also celebrated in the southern hemisphere (thanks to their commandeering and spread by the Christian religion), where it's actually Summer and they're currently enjoying the longest days of the year!
And now I leave you with a wonderful quote for this holiday season (the season of giving):
"So, ministers say that they teach charity. This is natural. They live on alms. All beggars teach that others should give."
- Robert G Ingersoll
Wednesday - 09 September 2015
I was working on a VCTF level for Unreal Tournament 3 when I got waylaid by an idea for a new CTF level. I created a couple of small castle keeps facing each other across a long courtyard and threw in a couple back alleys for extra access. The level is called CTF-AnkalaKeeps and is available for download now in the Unreal Depot.
I also updated the Unreal Depot logo. I used the new UT logo from the upcoming UT4 and threw in a frame from UT3, giving it an "old film" appearance to indicate the age of UT3. I have also added a link to allow you to get involved with Unreal Tournament 4 right now!
Saturday - 28 March 2015
I have completed a new DeathMatch level for Unreal Tournament 3 and have posted it in the Unreal Depot. While I have always tried to do my best to keep the flow of the gameplay in mind while designing a level, this is the first one where I kept the movement foremost throughout the design process. I actually ignored texturing, lighting, and detail elements while building this one so that I could concentrate exclusively on the gameplay. I had the level layout pretty much complete and bot-tested before I ever even thought about texturing, much less adding details and decorations. I did throw a skydome and water mesh outside the play area early on just to avoid the "hall-of-mirrors" effect you get when playtesting with an open additive-level and nothing blocking the build grid from view. Other than that all the view outside was left alone, too, until after the level was complete from a gameplay standpoint. I hope you find the result as much of an improvement over some of my previous levels as I do.
Wednesday - 28 January 2015
While going through old stuff in my \Publish folder I came across the old Gloryroad Soapbox blog and found a little gem that my dad wrote back in 2008 called "Bullshots". It has a lot of stuff about the Presidential campaign between Obama and McCain. It also has other random musings about current events in 2008 America. I got such a kick out of it while reading it again that I just had to share it. Besides, some of it is still pretty relevant today.
Wednesday - 21 January 2015 (update)
I have finally zipped and uploaded my latest CTF level for Unreal Tournament. I actually finished it last June and just never got around to publishing it online.
It's called CTF-Grit and can be downloaded from the Unreal Depot.
Wednesday - 21 January 2015
It was brought to my attention by my older daughter (thanks, Tori!) that I had a spelling error in "The Broken Watch" on the fiction page. I corrected it and then thought, "Why am I duplicating the PDF files in HTML, then including a link to download the PDF file? Why not just show the PDF file in the first place?" So I have changed it to do just that.
I also fixed the quarter-inch paragraph indents on "Afraid of the Dark" and "Chun", increasing them to a half inch to match the rest. You may need to refresh after loading them to see the changes.
I also want to brag a little about my younger daughter scoring me a keepsake item. She and I both like the band Girl on Fire. She and my wife went to their last show, but I didn't get home from work until after they had to leave, so I couldn't go. My daughter brought me home a copy of their CD "Not Broken". We already had it, but she told me to open it and look. Inside is written "To: Jack" and it's signed by vocalist Austin Held and guitarist Nicholas Wiggins! Thanks, Jaci!
Monday - 19 January 2015
Welcome to the new 4D Realms. There are still some areas under construction, so if you fall into a pit just click your back button or come back to the main page.
There also may be some links that are wonky or don't work as expected. I'll fix them as soon as possible. Again, just click your back button or come back to the main page. You also may just need to refresh the page.
As you can see - if you were familiar with the old site - I have pretty well left the Unreal Depot as it was. I may update it some time in the future, but it had fairly recently undergone an update and I'm pretty happy with the way it looks right now. Plus, with the new hosting service, it was incredibly easy (and there was no extra charge) to create a subdomain for it: unrealdepot.4drealms.com.
I have also created a subdomain for my music, making it easier to share the URL with friends and family who may want to just check out what I've been doing musically. That page can be found in the menu at the top, or by going to music.4drealms.com. Of course, unlike the Unreal Depot, the music page usually has the main top menu above it and won't when visited via the subdomain. I'm not worried, if you click the "Back to 4D Realms" link it loads the complete site, anyway.
I'm also looking at possibly adding a forum here - it would certainly make it easy to send me a message and for my reply to be made public so everyone can learn from it. Not that I'm a font of information, but if someone has a question which others may ask, why not make the answer available to all? I also might incorporate game level uploads into it. That would definitely make it easier for other designers to post their levels here. If I do add a forum, I'll be sure to create a subdomain for it, too. I'm pretty certain you can guess what that subdomain would be.
Anyway, go take a look around. Hopefully I'll be maintaining this site better than I did the last one.