Begin Document---------------------------------------------------- (Part 1 of 2) XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXX X XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX `XXX 'XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX ### # # ### ### # # # # ### # ### ## # # ### ## # ## # # # ### ### ### # # # ## ### FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST PART 1 =-=-= Unofficial Mechwarrior II FAQ Part 1 (of 2): What is the game like??? compiled by Will Day Version 2.0 8/9/95 This is a Frequently Asked Questions list compiled for the new game _Mechwarrior II_ from Activision. We were lucky to have several members of the MW2 programming team posting to the newsgroups and answering questions, so many of the answers you see here come directly from them. The FAQ is split into two parts: Part 1: a re-hash of the Pre-release FAQ, providing mostly descriptions of the game. This would be most useful for those who haven't bought the game yet, and want to know "What is it like???" Part 2: addresses specific topics relating to playing the game, like cheats, bugs, and general questions of the type "How do I do _this_ in the game???" =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Revision history 2.0 8/9/95 - Reorganized Pre-release version into a Post-release version, split into two parts =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Table of Contents Section 1: Basic Information 1.1 Can you give me a brief description of the game? 1.2 Is the game Clan vs. Clan, or Clan vs Inner Sphere? 1.3 Is the game released on floppies or CD? 1.4 What are the minimum requirements? 1.5 Is the game out yet? Is it delayed again? 1.6 How much does the game cost? 1.7 How linear is the plot-line in the game? Is it replayable? 1.8 How many missions are there? 1.9 How much disk space is required? 1.10 Is there a difficulty setting? 1.11 How close is it to FASA's boardgame? 1.12 How big is the manual? 1.13 How much BattleTech historial background is covered in the game? Section 2: Simulation Details 2.1 What mechs are in the game? 2.2 What weapons do the mechs have? 2.3 Is heat an element in the game? 2.4 Are there jumpjets? 2.5 How is damage taken on my mech? 2.6 Is there indirect fire? 2.7 Is there CASE or MASC? 2.8 Are the Clans' Rules of Engagement (ROE) followed in the game? 2.9 Can I design my own mechs? 2.10 Can I design my own missions? 2.11 Can I torso-twist? 2.12 Does the torso tilt up/down? 2.13 How are the controls set up? 2.14 Is there a damage indicator for enemy mechs? 2.15 Why is there no cockpit shown in the screen shots? 2.16 Can I target and shoot off specific parts of enemy mechs? 2.17 Are Clan targetting computers implemented? 2.18 Is physical combat (DFA, punch, kick) allowed? 2.19 Is there multiplayer support? 2.20 Do I fight missions alone or in a team? 2.21 Is there a VCR recorder/playback feature? 2.22 What features had to be left out of the game? 2.23 Do missile spreads appear as one or many missiles? 2.24 How is fire-control handled? 2.25 Pulse Lasers! Do I get to-hit modifiers? 2.26 What happens when I eject? 2.27 How fast is the action? Section 3: Hardware Support 3.1 What sound cards will the game support? 3.2 What kind of joysticks does it support? 3.3 What about 3-D headsets? 3.4 Will MW2 support any of the graphics accelerator cards? 3.5 What speed modem is required? Section 4: World Elements 4.1 Are there ? 4.2 I heard there were bridges; is that true? 4.3 What kind of terrain is in the game? 4.4 Can I get on the hills and mountains like I could in MW 1? 4.5 Can I cool my mech off in water? 4.6 Is there fire and smoke in the game? 4.7 All these vehicles are nice, but can we drive 'em? Section 5: Graphics 5.1 What resolutions does the game support? 5.2 What resolution will I be able to reasonably use? 5.3 What kind of graphics does it use? Is there texture mapping? 5.4 How do the detail of the 'mechs compare to Earthsiege? 5.5 Are the quicktime movies on the web site intro or sim footage? 5.6 Why are the movies not simulator footage? 5.7 Can I reduce the screen-size to improve frame rate? Section 6: Extras 6.1 Are there cheat codes we can use in the game? 6.2 Will there be a demo/shareware version? 6.3 How big will the demo be? 6.4 What add-ons are planned? 6.5 Will Activision be doing a future Mechwarrior game? 6.6 I'm a CLANNER! I want to invade the Inner Sphere! Section 7: Operating Systems 7.1 Does MW2 run under Windows 95? 7.2 Does MW2 run under OS/2? 7.3 Will there be a port of the game? 7.4 Will there be an upgrade path from the DOS version to Win95/NT? 7.5 Any plans for MW2 on Sony's Playstation? Section 8: Inside Info 8.1 What machines/configurarations were used for testing? 8.2 What programming platforms did you use to write the game? 8.3 How does MW2 compare to Virtual Worlds' BattleTech Centers? 8.4 What's taken so long? Section 9: Miscellaneous 9.1 Where can I read about MW2 in the magazine press? 9.2 Can I be a beta tester? 9.3 How do I get a job at Activision as president, CEO, and supreme ruler? 9.4 What about a MW2 movie? Section 10: Net References 10.1 What Activision people involved with Mechwarrior are on the net? 10.2 Where do Activision-Mechwarrior people usually read and/or post? 10.3 On what ftp sites can I find Mechwarrior II info? 10.4 What web pages are there about Mechwarrior II? =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 1: Basic Information 1.1 Can you give me a brief description of the game? From: madcat@cybernetx.net (Phelan Wolf) Date: Mon, 19 Jun 95 01:53:15 EDT [From promotional material sent to retailers:] "At the beginning of Mechwarrior II, a player can choose to join one of two Clans, the Wolf Clan or the Jade Falcon Clan. Featuring approximately 50 distinct missions, the game allows the player to experience different battle sequences depending upon his choice of Clan. After joining a Clan, the player is transported via full-screen, full-motion video sequences to the Clan Hall where he learns about the history of his Clan, receives his briefing, debriefing and training instructions, custom configures his Mech squadron and custom arms his BattleMech. After receiving his orders, he begins his career as a Mechwarrior." From: http://www.activision.com/mech/home.html Date: now The year is 3057. The Clans have suffered a dishonorable defeat against the combined forces of the Inner Sphere during the Battle of Tukayyid. The Clans reluctantly agree to honor a cease-fire treaty that prohibits another invasion of Terran space for fifteen years. Remaining true to their word, they retreat to their conquered worlds. But their loss at Tukayyid has changed the Clans forever. Never again will they underestimate their Inner Sphere opponents, nor will they look at each other in the same way. They now blame each other and begin infighting to regain their lost honor. The fierce fighting leads to a series of inter clan battles and an aggressive race to gain supremacy and become the most powerful Clan. Inside futuristic two-legged war machines called BattleMechs (R), Clan MechWarriors (R) battle on the terrains of the Inner Sphere. Clan members also compete in arena-style trials of combat to advance in rank and Mech weight class. Members of Clan Jade Falcon, the Crusaders, want to take Terra by force as is their right according to the Remembrance. Clan Wolf, on the other hand, see things differently. They, representing the Warden view, want to protect Terra from the terrible ravages of war. The coveted goal of a 'Mech (R) pilot is to become Khan, or leader of the Clan, through excellence on the battlefield and respect for tradition and honor. 1.2 Is the game Clan vs. Clan, or Clan vs Inner Sphere? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:35:30 GMT The storyline is exclusively clan vs. clan, in the post-invasion period. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The game is based on the Trial of Refusal between Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon, as depicted in the novel "Bred for War" by Michael Stackpole. You can choose to fight on either side. 1.3 Is the game released on floppies or CD? From: Tim Morten Date: 23 Jun 1995 19:55:12 GMT CD only. 1.4 What are the minimum requirements? From: Josh Resnick (jresnick@activision.com) via AOL posted by jtilocca@nyc.pipeline.com (John Tilocca) Date: 20 May 1995 16:40:09 -0400 The min. config will be a 486 66, 8MB RAM, 2xsped cd rom, SB16 or compatible, local bus video, and 25MB HD space available. Believe me, we would love to lower the threshold, but in order to enjoy the game to its fullest, we want you to be able to have lots of the bells and whistles, including, most importantly, a decent frame rate. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT 486-66, local bus video, 8MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The minimum system requirements as listed in the manual are: - IBM PC or 100% compatible - 486DX2/66 MHz processor - 8 MB RAM (7 MB of free extended memory) - Double-speed CD-ROM drive (300k/sec transfer rate) - Hard disk drive with 30MB of uncompress space available - VESA local bus (VLB) or PCI video - 256 color SVGA (640x480) - MS-DOS 6.0 - 100% Microsoft-compatible mouse and driver - 100% Sound Blaster-compatible sound card (digital and FM/MIDI audio) - Dedicated game card highly recommended for joysticks 1.5 Is the game out yet? Is it delayed again? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The game shipped from Activision's manufacturing plant on Monday, July 24, and began showing up in stores the next day. 1.6 How much does the game cost? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Suggested retail price is $59.95. 1.7 How linear is the plot-line in the game? Is it replayable? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 22:59:34 GMT Each missions in MechWarrior II does have a plot that is conveyed in its briefing. Some, but not all, are limited by time. Stratgegy plays a major part in how long the missions take to get through. If you only pursue your manditory objectives, and run from all mechs that attack you, you can probably get through quickly. Of course your honor points wouldn't be very high... From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:21:27 GMT There is a carreer mode and an instant action mode. In carreer mode, you gain rank as you progress through missions, and after finishing the missions from the point of view of one clan, you can go back and play through a whole new set of missions as a member of the opposing clan. In instant action mode, you just play on a mission by mission basis; no rank, no carreer. From: Tim Morten Date: 29 Jun 1995 08:38:11 GMT The career missions for each clan are linear. The battle progresses regardless of the performance of one MechWarrior... (although you wouldn't know it if you are defeated ). [Also, you can't choose your missions], they're assigned to you. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 22:20:37 GMT In MechWarrior II, there are two ways to play the game. The first is as a member of one of two clans: Jade Falcon or Wolf. In this mode, you are assigned missions and progress through a carreer path. Each mission will probably require more than one try to succeed. Once you have succeeded in one clan, you can go back and play through a career in the other (they have completely different mission sets). There is also an instant action screen that allows you to choose from a pool of missions and play at your leisure (sounds like this might be more what you're looking for). I hope this sounds like it might have some replayability, but if you have some suggestions of how to improve the replayability in addition to these things, definitely send me some e-mail. We'd very much like to create a game that keeps you interested. 1.8 How many missions are there? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Between the carreer missions and the Instant Action missions, there are nearly sixty. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:10:55 GMT 58 single player missions, 10-15 head-to-head missions From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 There are 6 training missions, about 16 missions in each clan career, ten different terrains for Instant Action missions, and 3 terrains for head-to-head play. 1.9 How much disk space is required? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jun 1995 01:58:38 GMT Much of the game uses resources on the CD, but we do copy a large resource file to your hard drive. We expect this to consume over 30MB of hard disk space. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The game offers three sizes of hard-drive installs: 30mb (minimum), 43 (recommended), 105 (full). 1.10 Is there a difficulty setting? From: Tim Morten Date: 1 Jul 1995 08:44:38 GMT MechWarrior II has difficulty levels (Easy, Medium, Hard) also. These allow you to progress through a carreer, wheras the cheats (invulnerability, no heat tracking, unlimited ammo) will prevent you from getting enough honor points to finish the game. 1.11 How close is it to FASA's boardgame? From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 22:12:30 GMT We follow the BTech Compendium fairly closely. The only discrepancies come from the inherent differences between a turn-based environment and a real-time simulator. 1.12 How big is the manual? From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 19:24:20 GMT The manual is currently weighing in at 63 pages. It includes descriptions of the mech's system, specs for the mechs included in the game, and loads of information on how to pilot them. 1.13 How much BattleTech historial background is covered in the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:49:01 GMT You can definitely play the game without knowing the background; it just adds to the experience if you're familiar with the universe. There is a lot of background available in the Clan Archives, as well as from an optional button in the mission briefing/debriefing. MechWarrior II extends the story of the BattleTech universe past anything written previously, so it is interesting to know the significance of the infighting and the various alliances between clans. We don't give a huge history, but there is a lot of background about what it means to be in a clan and the honor codes, etc. that they follow. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 2: Simulation Details 2.1 What mechs are in the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 30 Jun 1995 17:09:14 GMT I am keeping alist of suggested mechs for the add-on. Mechs that will be in the initial release are: DireWolf, Firemoth, Gargoyle, HellBringer, Jenner, KitFox, MadDog, Marauder, Nova, RifleMan, StormCrow, Summoner, TimberWolf, WarHammer, WarHawk We'll be soliciting more input on desired mechs and any other oversights after we get the first version out the door. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 Additionally, cheat codes allow the use of the BattleMaster, Tarantula, and Elemental in instant action play. 2.2 What weapons do the mechs have? From: Tim Morten Date: 23 Jun 1995 19:45:49 GMT ER PPC ER Laser (Large, Medium, Small) Pulse Laser (Large, Medium, Small) LB 2-X AC, LB 5-X AC, LB 10-X AC, LB 20-X AC Ultra AC/2, Ultra AC/5, Ultra AC/10, Ultra AC/20 LRM5, LRM10, LRM15, LRM20 SRM2, SRM4, SRM6 Streak SRM2, Streak SRM4, Streak SRM6 Machine Gun Gauss Rifle 2.3 Is heat an element in the game? From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Heat is an important feature. Heat will cause the mech to commence autoshutdown and could result in the explosion of internal ammo. Players will have the option of turning this feature off, but at a price.... From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:45:27 GMT The heat system will automatically shutdown once a certain level has benn reached, although this can be overriddem. There is a cumulative heat indicator as well as a dh/dt indicator in the HUD. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 13 Jun 1995 03:29:22 GMT There is no difference in the calculation used for enemy mechs than the calculation we use for the player's mech. They are equally succeptible to heat shut-down. 2.4 Are there jumpjets? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 16 Apr 1995 01:15:41 GMT We're currently adding more controls for a jumping mech, so you can thrust left/right/forward/back. Also, the moment you leave the ground (via jump jets, stepping off a cliff, building, etc), a small "Down View" window opens on your HUD. From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Jump jets are quite versatile. Jump jets can be used to initiate quick turns on the ground. Players will be able to change their flight path in mid air to "reverse", "sidestep" left and right, and accelerate forward. Players can also use jump jets to boost their ground speed. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:45:27 GMT Jump jets are totally controllable in mid-air. You can thrust in any direction once airborne. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 04:28:48 GMT Jump jets are a major part of MechWarrior II. You can shoot down at angles to the limit of where your targetting reticle reaches the edge of your display (no point in shooting if you can't see where you're aiming). 2.5 How is damage taken on my mech? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 10 May 1995 18:04:40 GMT At this point, there is no falling down/getting up. Getting slammed by a lot of missiles will shake you up and spin you around, but you'll stay on your feet. Same with collisions. On that same line, if you get a leg blown off, it's game over. No hopping about like a Triffid. You can still lose both arms and keep fighting, tho (assuming you have weapons in your torso). From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jun 1995 05:17:09 GMT Your eyepoint gets jostled, but your mech does not physically get moved back (mechs have an awful lot of weight to hold them down). 2.6 Is there indirect fire? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:45:27 GMT I'm sorry to say indirect fire is not part of the game. 2.7 Is there CASE or MASC? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 02:25:00 GMT Don't worry, CASE has not been overlooked, nor has MASC. 2.8 Are the Clans' Rules of Engagement (ROE) followed in the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:49:54 GMT Rules of Engagement were a topic of much debate during the design of MechWarrior II. The enemy mechs do obey RoE in almost all cases. As for the player, that's up to you . From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:25:02 GMT In almost all occasions, enemy mechs stick follow the honor code. This is up to the designer of each mission, but for the most part you will find the enemies to follow RoE. Your honor points are cumulative. 2.9 Can I design my own mechs? From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Players will be able to customize their Mechs in the Design Lab before embarking on missions (ie., swapping engines, adding/subtacting heat sinks, assigning armor/criticals, changing weapon types, etc.) From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 02:25:00 GMT MechWarrior II's design plant conforms to the FASA guidelines, and does allow different engines and internal armor structure. Some of the more esoteric weaponry and equipment will not appear until the 'Missions & Technology' add-on disk is released later this year. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:41:48 GMT There is a custom mech plant in the game that allows you to configure any of the chassis we've provided as per the rules of the BattleTech compendium (FASA 1690). From: hullett@girtab.usc.edu (Aardvark Dreams) Date: 30 Jun 1995 05:40:13 -0700 You can't build mechs from scratch, but you can fully customize the mechs in the game. Pretty much everything is configurable: weapons, armor, jumpjets, heat sinks, engines, etc. Putting together the right mech is going to be a matter of life in some of these missions! 2.10 Can I design my own missions? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT No. We are considering making this a part of the 'Missions & Technology' add-on disk that will ship later this year. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:28:08 GMT The main release won't have a level editor, but this is somthing we're considering for the add-on. 2.11 Can I torso-twist? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Apr 1995 05:37:04 GMT Unfortunately, the torso turning in MW2 is limited to 90 degrees, same as the board game. I LOVED being able to turn 360 at the Virtual World simulators, but I was over-ruled. :( From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 04:28:48 GMT Yes. MechWarrior II has 180 degrees of torso turn (not 360 though). We found this to be perfect for circular battles, while not as disorienting as letting you face backwards while walking forwards. You can of course walk in reverse if you want to shoot in one direction and walk in another. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 10:32:37 GMT Yes. You can turn 90 degrees in both directions off center. 2.12 Does the torso tilt up/down? From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:35:43 GMT MechWarrior II allows torso tilt in excess of 45 degrees up and down. 2.13 How are the controls set up? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Apr 1995 05:42:07 GMT Control systems are currently being completely reworked (this is a source of much heated debate on the Mech team). What we are trying to come up with is the optimal DEFAULT setup. Whatever we settle on, the controls will be about 95% configurable by the user. The biggest bone of contention seems to be the proper use of the joystick. Should it control your mech or your torso? Should your torso lead your turns? Should your targeting reticle be free-floating? These are all issues that we'll be settling in the next couple of weeks, now that we have a freely configurable version of the game to play. We'll all figure out what we like, and come up with a system. 2.14 Is there a damage indicator for enemy mechs? From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT In the game we have a display in which players can view targeted Mechs in either wireframe or texture mapped. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 04:28:48 GMT Mech sections are blackened in real-time as they are damaged. Also, there is a small display window on the lower left that displays the currently targetted object in 3D wireframe (animating). The wireframe is colored according to the damage of each piece. 2.15 Why is there no cockpit shown in the screen shots? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 23:18:36 GMT We upgraded to a fully virtual 3D cockpit. It is no longer a 2D bitmap slapped on top of the screen image. 2.16 Can I target and shoot off specific parts of enemy mechs? From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Arms, legs, head and torso can be individually targeted, but fatal blows to any part other than the arms will cause the Mech to explode. Arms can be blown off and the Mech will still be able to function From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 23:18:36 GMT You can shoot off individual arms or legs. Damage is tracked by location, just as in the pen & paper BattleTech. 2.17 Are Clan targetting computers implemented? From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:54:58 GMT The whole targetting computer concept was a difficult one for us. We opted to have a very good level of targetting that is standard in all clan mechs without any price in tonnage and weight (beyond that incurred by sensors). We will include our interpretation of the clan targetting computer as an optional piece of equipment in the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 29 Jun 1995 09:32:02 GMT We discussed having a 'leading' reticle at length. We may include this in our version of the clan targetting computer for the add-on, but the current targetting system brackets your target and expects you to learn what sort of leading is appropriate. 2.18 Is physical combat (DFA, punch, kick) allowed? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 16 Apr 1995 01:10:43 GMT No kicking or punching in MW2. Death From Above jumpjet attacks are fair game, as are Japanese battle cries, foul language, and dirty looks. From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 16 Apr 1995 01:15:41 GMT If you've got a mech with jumpjets, you can do a DFA. EXPERT PILOTS ONLY!! Actually hitting a moving mech on the ground is EXTREMELY difficult. We're currently adding more controls for a jumping mech, so you can thrust left/right/forward/back. Also, the moment you leave the ground (via jump jets, stepping off a cliff, building, etc), a small "Down View" window opens on your HUD. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 22:40:37 GMT Although punching and kicking aren't supported per se, damage from collision is part of the game, and jump-jetting into people is a viable way to cause damage. DFA is supported. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:30:22 GMT You can DFA by jumping off cliffs or by using jump-jets. This takes some skill, but it is definitely supported. Physical attacks are supported in that ramming another mech causes damage, however there is no specific support for kicking and punching. From: Tim Morten Date: 7 Jul 1995 09:14:06 GMT We'll definitely be debating this as we design the add-on. It adds a little complexity to our animations, but personally, I think it would add a lot to gameplay. 2.19 Is there multiplayer support? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:35:30 GMT The initial release of MechWarrior II will include a demo of modem and network play. The only limitation of the demo is that we're using someone else's modem and network package at the moment. We're not happy with it's quality, and as a result we're going to release an inexpensive network/modem add-on pack later this year with our own code and a bunch of missions designed specifically for multiplayer play. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 13 Jun 1995 03:32:38 GMT The initial version of MechWarrior II will include a demo of our modem and net play. This means both will be one-on-one, and will have a limited number of missions. Before the end of the year we will be releasing an inexpensive add-on that supplements the multiplayer ability to at least 8 player and has a number of multiplayer missions. The primary reason for this decision was to not risk missing our ship date because of the multiplayer code. Likewise, we didn't want to ship second-rate communications drivers. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 02:28:02 GMT IPX support for head-to-head play will be in the initial release as a demo of the forthcoming network add-on which will expand the IPX functionality to at least 8 players, and will add the possibility of TCP/IP. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 22:35:10 GMT We are shipping with head to head support for modems and IPX networks in the initial release. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:16:44 GMT The network add-on is scheduled to be out before Christmas (meaning in early November). It is a big priority for us, and actually it's my head-to-head all day. From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 01:39:06 GMT That will be possible in the netowrk add-on disk later this year. The initial release has head-to-head networking. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 22:56:53 GMT I fear I've caused some confusion. Here's the scoop: there are three playable version of MechWarrior 2 that are about to be released. - Downloadable Demo (available as soon as our test department says we're done) supports: 4 single player missions, 4 head-to-head missions, 3 mechs, minimal shell. - In-store Demo (available July 24th) supports: 4 single player missions, 4 head-to-head missions, 3 mechs, larger shell with some movies. - Retail Version (available July 24th) supports: 58 single player missions, 10-15 head-to-head missions, 15 mechs, full shell careers, instant action, a mech design lab and lots of movies. In the past, I have referred to the head-to-head functionality in the main release as a demo of our forthcoming 8 player add-on. This is the case, but I think I misled you into thinking that it was a seperate from the release. The head-to-head in the main release is only a demo in the sense that it doesn't allow 8 players and doesn't have cooperatvie mode. These are features that won't be implemented until the add-on. Sorry for the confusion (I confuse myself sometimes too ). From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:10:55 GMT The head-to-head in the main release is only a demo in the sense that it doesn't allow 8 players and doesn't have cooperatvie mode. These are features that won't be implemented until the multiplayer add-on, which is due later this year at a very low price point. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:34:26 GMT After we ship the main release the team will be splitting up to work on various projects including: Multiplayer add-on - Expands the head-to-head play in the initial release to accomidate 8 players. - Specially designed missions for multiplayer play. - Allows for cooperative campaigns. - Possible support for TCP/IP. From: goffman@rain.org (Scott Goffman) Date: 15 Jul 95 05:45:29 GMT Just to clarify that: If you buy the game, you get a one-on-one net and modem play demo in which you can use ALL the mechs from the full game as well as your own designs. If you DON'T buy the game, you can still download the public demo, which will have a very limited number of mechs. 2.20 Do I fight missions alone or in a team? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Some missions will have you by yourself, but as you gain experience, you will soon start leading one to two other mechs into battle. They will be intelligent mechs, able to work on their own, or you can direct them. You can order them to attack a selected target, disengage, guard a location, retreat, or follow you (probably more by the time we ship). 2.21 Is there a VCR recorder/playback feature? From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 01:52:45 GMT This is in the works for the add-on disk. (And I'll probably be the one stuck programming it. ) 2.22 What features had to be left out of the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 10:32:37 GMT Our initial wish list was huge, so it's hard to say what qualifies as 'cut', and what things were just too ambitious to begin with. The things we didn't do that I wish we could have are: VCR-mode mission play back, partially submerging mechs in water, high polygon forests. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:41:48 GMT There are a few more esoteric technologies that are not in the mech plant (TAG, Artemis, etc), that will likely be available in the Missions & Technologies add-on, which is due out before Christmas. 2.23 Do missile spreads appear as one or many missiles? From: hullett@alcor.usc.edu (Aardvark Dreams) Date: 30 Jun 1995 05:49:41 -0700 A srm 6 fires six missiles, lrm 20 fires 20 missles, etc. We also have streak missles that will lock onto their target. From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 19:18:12 GMT We actually model geometry for each missile and track it's collision in three-space with other objects. When it strikes a mech, there is an impact damage to the part of the mech that it struck. Then there is splash damage from the explosion that is applied to any piece in a fixed radius of the explosion [including other mechs]. 2.24 How is fire-control handled? From: Tim Morten Date: 1 Jul 1995 09:29:55 GMT You can group weapons in any combinations you like and simultaneously fire them or individually fire each weapon in the group. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 There are three firegroups (TICs) that can be fired independently, and each weapon can be assigned to any one of the three groups. 2.25 Pulse Lasers! Do I get to-hit modifiers? From: Tim Morten Date: 1 Jul 1995 08:59:33 GMT No; aiming is totally up to the player. Their damage and range is according to the FASA guidelines, but since MW2 is a simulator, there is no concept of hit-modifiers besides your own skill. 2.26 What happens when I eject? From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:56:25 GMT You see the battlefield from ejection-pod perspective, and then you are returned to the shell after you top out. 2.27 How fast is the action? From: Tim Morten Date: 7 Jul 1995 09:03:23 GMT Tough question. I'd say that once you're in a combat situation, things are definitely hectic. Some mechs (FireMoth for instance) have top speeds that are quite fast. Additionally, speed is affected by the gravity of the world, so on a small moon... I think the balance is in how much lead time you have to spotting an enemy. Your radar in MW2 can be zoomed out so that you can see an enemy as far away as 4km. This gives enough lead time to plan your defense, and to prepare to dispatch your starmates. I have to say though; there will be times when you have to act without a lot of forethought. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 3: Hardware Support 3.1 What sound cards does the game support? From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:31:22 GMT MechWarrior II has native support for the following soundcards: Ensoniq SoundScape Creative Labs AWE-32 Creative Labs Soundblaster Family General MIDI via an MPU-401 compatible port Gravis UltraSound MediaVision Pro Audio Spectrum Family ESS 688 Roland RAP-10 Roland MT-32 via an MPU-401 compatible port Ad Lib Gold Ad Lib Music Synthesizer Card Any OPL-FM3 based card Tandy 3-voice IBM speaker (my personal favorite) From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Ensoniq SoundScape, Gravis UltraSound, Creative Labs AWE-32, Creative Labs Soundblaster family, MediaVision ProAudioSpectrum family, General MIDI via MPU-401, Roland MT-32 via MPU-401, Roland RAP-10, Ad-Lib Gold, Ad-Lib Music Synthesizer Card, ESS 688. 3.2 What kind of joysticks does it support? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT All of our development stations at Activision have full Thrustmaster systems: Joystick, throttle, rudder pedals. Torso twisting is strongly encouraged for taking out enemy mechs. MWII also supports a wide range of other joysticks; pretty much anything that's close to standard. It also supports the VictorMaxx CyberMaxx Head-Mounted Display, if you're into pounding headaches. :) From: madcat@cybernetx.net (Phelan Wolf) Date: Mon, 19 Jun 95 01:53:15 EDT [On the promotional videotape:] Josh [Resnick, producer] also explains to good effect how the game will use just about any joystick/control scheme, and the footage shows both (what looks like the) Thrustmaster Rudder Pedals (being used to control torso twist), a Flightstick Pro, and some sort of "virtual" head gear/head-set (being used to "look around" the virtual cockpit of a Madcat. Note: The virtual cockpit effect, left and right "sides" of the canopy, is very impressive, IMO. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:21:58 GMT You are correct about MechWarrior II supporting ThrustMaster FCS, WCS, and RCS. I have all three connected to my system right now as a matter of fact. I would also recommend the FlightStick joystick and rudder pedals; very smooth. And if you're REALLY looking to spend some moeny, we also support the Virtual I/O head-mounted display with head tracking in the renderred cockpit. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The manual lists Supported Input Devices as: Standard two-button joysticks; CH Flightstick and ProPedals; Thrustmaster flight, weapons and rudder control systems; Thrustmaster F-16 Flightstick; Gravis gamepad and Phoenix joystick; Virtual I/O i-glasses; Suncom Technologies SFX gamepad; Microsoft Sidewinder joystick 3.3 What about 3-D headsets? From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 16:49:32 GMT The Virtual I/O headset is a stereo sound, head-tracking, 180,000 pixel display. Using its mouse driver, you can look freely around the interior of the mech's cockpit as you pilot it. I have to say, there are some limitations to head-tracking technology that can get frustrating. The home position, or the position where you turn your head to see the center, can get thrown off by looking up sharply or down sharply. I think they are using something like a carpenter's level to figure out the angle. Anyway, after playing for a while, you wind up facing another direction than when you started. That aside, if you learn how to use it, the head mounted display REALLY makes you feel like you're in the cockpit. I've use Virtual I/O, VFX/1, and CyberMaxx (they all work with MechWarrior II, although the CyberMaxx doesn't have a mouse driver yet, so I haven't tried its head tracking). The Virtual I/O is the Fries Electronics has it, or you could call Virtual I/O at 206-382-7410. A lot of money though . 3.4 Will MW2 support any of the graphics accelerator cards? From: Tim Morten Date: 25 Jun 1995 05:15:27 GMT With 3D hardware accelerator cards coming out, you might find MechWarrior II supporting some of them. Several boards promise to offer hundreds of thousands of perspective-mapped polygons per second, as well as fog and spectral highlights in hardware. Z-buffering, filtered maps, etc. 3.5 What speed modem is required? From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 19:24:20 GMT 9600bps is required (we send about 9200 bits per second). This is the same throughput we use for the network version, so there's no sacrifice playing head-to-head. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 4: World Elements 4.1 Are there ? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Trucks are in the game now. Some are stationary targets you can blow up just for the sheer fun of it; others will be moving in convoy, and you'll have to intercept or guard them, depending on the mission. Aerotech fighters are still a maybe. Already in the game are dropships, helicopters, elementals, gun turrets, and a monorail. From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 10 May 1995 18:04:40 GMT LOTS of gun turrets. Some on buildings, some in cliff walls, some on tanks. From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 10 May 1995 18:04:40 GMT There are dropships, primarily used as mission objectives (i.e., make it to the dropship to pull off of a planet, destroy the enemy dropship, etc). I don't believe there are any aerospace fighters in the game at this point, but there are helicopters. From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT In addition to Mechs, players will be able to engage aerial gunships, tanks, turrets, personnel carriers and other intelligent game things. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 12 Jun 1995 19:45:27 GMT Elementals, tanks, and aero are in select missions. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT There are a variety of tanks, hover vehicles, planes, and even dropships in the varios missions. 4.2 I heard there were bridges; is that true? From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 00:15:44 GMT Yes. 4.3 What kind of terrain is in the game? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Terrain is a major part of MWII. Hills/mountains that you can hide behind, climb up onto, run around, etc. are very useful, both for you and your enemies. The AI mechs love to come popping over the top of a mountain and raining fire down on your noggin. Some missions will be mostly flatlands with a few mountains here and there; others will be all rolling terrain; others will be canyon missions. From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT In the missions, players will be able to fully interact with (climb over, through, under, etc.) buildings in urban settings, rolling hills, craters, canyons, mesas, ice chasms -- basically any type of natural terrain EXCEPT water and trees/vegetation. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Mountains, cities, canyons, ice worlds, craters, tunnels, mesas... Due to technical limitations, [water and forests] will not be part of the game. From: Tim Morten Date: 7 Jul 1995 09:14:06 GMT If we do a version of MW2 for a hardware accelerated 3D card (not in any way insinuating or otherwise hinting that we might do such a thing), we would have the necessary performace boost to incorporate [water and forest] environment types. ;) From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The ten terrains listed in the Instant Action mode are: mesa desert, sparse urban, canyon, ice plains, rolling hills, ice desert, cratered vacuum, rocky highland, enclosed arena, and enclosed trial area. 4.4 Can I get on the hills and mountains like I could in MW 1? From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 00:15:44 GMT Yes, all of our terrain can be walked on. It's not just there to look pretty. 4.5 Can I cool my mech off in water? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 22:40:37 GMT [Graphics algoithm described; see question 5.3] For this reason, we are unable to effectively render mechs partially submerged in water. I very much wish we could have done this, but it is a technical limitation that can only be gotten around at the cost of game performance. 4.6 Is there fire and smoke in the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:50:55 GMT Many buildings do catch fire when they are destroyed, but it doesn't spread. Likewise, explosions cause some smoke, but it is not much of a factor in LOS. 4.7 All these vehicles are nice, but can we drive 'em? From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jun 1995 05:52:13 GMT With the cheat keys . Did I mention elementals? =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 5: Graphics 5.1 What resolutions does the game support? From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Low res is 320x200 and hi res is 640x480 -- full screen. Users with 486's might not be able to achieve an acceptable frame rate when playing hi res, but hi res on the Pentiums rock! From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 22:02:25 GMT The shell is all 640x480 (shots available at www.activision.com). The sim can run up to 1280x1024, depending on your CPU. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Supported resolutions will be: 320x200, 640x480, and 1024x768. Higher resolution modes require faster processors. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The non-simulation shell always runs at 640x480, and the simulation can run at 320x200, 640x480, and 1024x768. 5.2 What resolution will I be able to reasonably use? From: Tim Morten Date: 21 Jun 1995 08:13:10 GMT The game runs very nicely on a 486-100. The only feature that really craves more computing power is the high-resolution mode. 640x480 plays fine on my Pentium-90, but 1024x768 and 1280x1024 make me want a faster machine (that's an awful lot of pixels!). I think the rule of thumb is: the faster your CPU, the better everything runs. (Except for MechWarrior I... every try running that on a Pentium?) From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:28:08 GMT [on a 486-50] probably best to stick to 320x200; I choose frame-rate over resolution any time. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:38:46 GMT I play 640x480 all the time on my Pentium-90; I don't have frame-rate statistics, but it runs quite well. 1024x768 is too slow for my liking on my P90. I'd suggest the faster Pentiums or a P6 for that. From: Tim Morten Date: 1 Jul 1995 09:09:01 GMT I don't have frame-rate statistics, but a 486-80 will run 320x200 very smoothely. I would not recommend running 640x480 on this configuration though; I consider the base for 640x480 to be a Pentium-90. 5.3 What kind of graphics does it use? Is there texture mapping? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 18 Jun 1995 22:40:37 GMT MechWarrior II, as with Doom and Descent before it, uses an algorithm called 'Painter's algorithm'. This is a very fast way to draw polygons that enables us to bring real-time 3D to PC's. This algorithm has the limitation that polygons can not inter-penetrate each other and be sorted properly. For this reason, we are unable to effectively render mechs partially submerged in water. I very much wish we could have done this, but it is a technical limitation that can only be gotten around at the cost of game performance. From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 00:15:44 GMT Yes. We alternately texture map, goraud shade, and flat shade our terrain geometry for a variety of feels to each planet. 5.4 How do the detail of the 'mechs compare to Earthsiege? From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 00:15:44 GMT EarthSiege did a very nice job mapping their mechs. Our mechs also have specific face mapping. 5.5 Are the quicktime movies on the web site intro or sim footage? From: Tim Morten Date: 21 Jun 1995 04:13:40 GMT The movies were all taken from our intro movies. 5.6 Why are the movies not simulator footage? From: Tim Morten Date: 21 Jun 1995 08:30:45 GMT That's our fine marketting department for you. They love to show the SGI rederred stuff so much, they forget the heart of the game is the simulator. The footage for that video was done for Winter CES (last January), so don't go getting disappointed yet. I realize there will always be some people who were expecting us to pull off film-quality graphics on a PC, but for the most part, I don't think we'll disappoint you. We push around more polygons than any game to date on the PC. 5.7 Can I reduce the screen-size to improve frame rate? From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:04:28 GMT We have a number of performance options, but scaling the image is not one of them. We implemented this, but we found that because your HUD (heads-up-display) is blitted around the edges of the screen, we had to spend time blanking the black border. Thus, we really didn't get an increase in frame-rate. If we were willing to shrink the cockpit displays as well, this would buy some frame-rate, but the trouble then is that you have trouble reading important information. We decided that the other detail options were better to focus on, and we have implemented a number of these. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 6: Extras 6.1 Are there cheat codes we can use in the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 01:48:28 GMT There are loads of cheats in MechWarrior II. I'll be posting some after the game is released. I can't even get through Doom II without cheating. From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 16:42:29 GMT Aha, you figured one of them out already! From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jun 1995 05:52:13 GMT With the cheat keys . Did I mention elementals? From: Tim Morten Date: 1 Jul 1995 08:44:38 GMT The cheats (invulnerability, no heat tracking, unlimited ammo) will prevent you from getting enough honor points to finish the game. 6.2 Will there be a demo/shareware version? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Yes. Current plans call for releasing a one-on-one version of the game as shareware/PD. It will support both modem and network play. It will ONLY support one-on-one; no more than that. It probably will not be released until just before ship time From: Josh Resnick via email posted by eastham@dseg.ti.com Date: Date: 9 Jun 1995 18:11:17 GMT Unfortunately, we don't have much time to focus on a demo. While we have something that would be a lot of fun to play at this point, it would still take up too much of our resources (expecially in test) to release a proper demo. We're hopeful we can send something out a couple of weeks before ship, but please don't hold me to that. Worse case, we'll release a retail and net demo either alongside the main SKU or a few weeks afterward. From: Tim Morten Date: 18 Jun 1995 23:42:22 GMT The shareware version and the demo are exactly the same thing. They both conatin the ability to play head-to-head. The main release of course also has the ability to go head to head, but we won't offer 8 players and specific network missions until the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 10:14:42 GMT I just submitted the design document for the demo to the director, so we should start putting it together next week. I expect that it will be out before the end of the month. It looks like the demo will have a handful of missions and mechs, playable both head-to-head and stand-alone. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT The demo that is floating around now is over a year old. There will be a new one available in the next few weeks. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:10:55 GMT Downloadable Demo (available as soon as our test department says we're done) supports: 4 single player missions, 4 head-to-head missions, 3 mechs, minimal shell. In-store Demo (available July 24th) supports: 4 single player missions, 4 head-to-head missions, 3 mechs, larger shell with some movies. From: Tim Morten Date: 18 Jul 1995 01:32:59 GMT The new demo of MechWarrior II will be available next week. We've modified it slightly; it is going to have: - 3 head-to-head missions (modem or IPX/Netbios network) - 2 single player missions - 4 mechs chassis to choose from I'll be posting when it is available. 6.3 How big will the demo be? From: dkamins@course1.harvard.edu (Daniel Kamins) Date: 25 Jun 1995 03:32:42 GMT We're trying to squeeze as much game play, as many mechs, and as many missions as possible, as well as network and modem head-to-head battle onto as few floppies as we can! We are shooting for two or three floppies (3MB or so), which should be an excellent balance between features and download time, and give a good idea of what the full game will be. 6.4 What add-ons are planned? From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:34:26 GMT After we ship the main release the team will be splitting up to work on various projects including: Missions & Technologies add-on - New story, new mechs, new missions, more equipment options. - Also, possibly an enhanced mech editor and possibly a level editor. Multiplayer add-on - Expands the head-to-head play in the initial release to accomidate 8 players. - Specially designed missions for multiplayer play. - Allows for cooperative campaigns. - Possible support for TCP/IP. Windows 95/NT port - Support for Windows sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. - Multi-threading. PowerMacintosh port - Support for Mac sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. Foriegn Language versions - Translations into several languages and who knows where else MW2 will show up. A game console? A hardware accelerated 3D graphic card? You just never know... From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:56:25 GMT Narc beacons are slated for the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 08:30:38 GMT The NetMech version this October will have around 10 new missions for multiplayer, and the 'Missions & Technology' add-on this Christmas will have around 15 new single player missions. In the mean time, we'll be releasing a mission editor sometime around October. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 07:42:04 GMT There will be: October: - NetMech - Level Editor November: - Win 95 version (discounted upgrade to DOS users) - Add-on #1 Jan/Feb: - Add-on #2 6.5 Will Activision be doing a future Mechwarrior game? From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 21:07:06 GMT I wish we could do MechWarrior III. I'm afraid the 'Missions & Technologies' add-on will be the last BattleTech product from Activision. FASA has teamed up with Spectrum Holobyte. I am hopeful that FASA will reconsider and let the MechWarrior II team put out a sequel when they hear from people who have played the game, but we'll have to wait and see on that one. From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 16:39:31 GMT I don't have e-mail addresses at FASA, but after people have had a chance to play the game, perhaps FASA will let us continue the series. In the mean time, we will do some good add-ons that focus on filling out more aspects of the BattleTech universe and fixing any problems that people notice. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT I'm sorry to say that FASA has teamed up with another game company for future BattleTech products. I'm hopeful that enough people will enjoy MechWarrior II for FASA to consider letting Activision do a sequel. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:38:46 GMT Actually FASA is involved in a lawsuit with Dynamix over EarthSiege. We have a very good relationship with FASA. Although we may apply our 3D technology to other games, they won't have anything to do with fighting robots. 6.6 I'm a CLANNER! I want to invade the Inner Sphere! From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 19:14:53 GMT Going back in time to the inner sphere invasion has been a popular request. We're considering waays we might work this into the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:56:25 GMT This seems to be the number one request, so I have a feeling that's the way we'll go. We have to have some design meetings next month to kick off the add-on, so we won't be deciding for sure until then. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 7: Operating Systems 7.1 Will MW2 run under Windows 95? From: Tim Morten Date: 18 Jun 1995 23:48:42 GMT We've tested MechWarrior II on Windows 95, and it runs fine in a full-screen DOS box. However, the Windows 95 version will add the ability to run in a Window, and also multi-threading. On a single processor machine, performance should be nearly identical to the DOS CD-ROM version. 7.2 Will MW2 run under OS/2? From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 16:29:36 GMT MechWarrior II is a DOS4GW application. I haven't tried it personally under OS/2, but this is something our test department will be doing. I'll post the results when I know them. 7.3 Will there be a port of the game? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 16 Jun 1995 02:06:18 GMT You asked about a non-mac PowerPC version. We will support Windows NT, which runs nicely on PowerPC's. This will be part of the Win95/WinNT version of the game that ships later this year. OS/2 has a lot of loyal followers, but the regrettable fact is that there is not a big enough game market for OS/2 to rationalize budgetting a port. Perhaps this will change over the next year, but in the mean time Windows 95/Windows NT is going to be our focus. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 16 Jun 1995 09:34:39 GMT There will be a Mac-OS PowerPC version of MechWarrior II available later in the year. From: Tim Morten Date: 25 Jun 1995 05:15:27 GMT We will be releasing a Windows 95/NT port later this year. My personal goal is to get this version running on both SGI/MIPS R4x000 machines as well as DEC Alpha machines. This version would be multi-threaded, and therefore capable of utilizing multiple processors. (I spent a summer at Microsoft working on Windows NT, so this is a bit of a pet project of mine.) From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 22:28:50 GMT It's my understanding that there will be a coupon for a discounted upgrade to the Windows 95/NT version in the box with the DOS version. We'd release them simultaneously if we could; we just don't have the resources to complete both at the same time. Incidentally, multi-threading won't buy you anything unless you have multiple processors, so functionality-wise, the only difference between the DOS and Win 95/NT version is the host operating system. It's not like you're getting a lesser product if buy the initial release. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:34:26 GMT After we ship the main release the team will be splitting up to work on various projects including: Windows 95/NT port - Support for Windows sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. - Multi-threading. PowerMacintosh port - Support for Mac sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:42:55 GMT We won't be starting on the PowerMac port until after the initial release. We're hopeful that we can finish before the end of the year, but if we hit any technical snags, it could take until January or February. Sorry to keep you waiting. I'd rather set a realistic timeframe than create disappointment over missed release dates (not that the MechWarrior team has had any experience with that .) 7.4 Will there be an upgrade path from the DOS version to Win95/NT? From: Tim Morten Date: 23 Jun 1995 19:40:11 GMT Yes. People who purchase the original product will not have to pay for a completely new copy for Windows. Pricing for the upgrade has not yet been determined, but it will be considerably less than the full price. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:46:02 GMT The Win95 version will be discounted to registered owners of the DOS version. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:55:52 GMT MW2 for Win95 (discounted upgrade for registered users of DOS version) will definitely take advantage of accelerated blitting. It isn't determined yet whether we'll support 3D acceleration, but I hope so . 7.5 Any plans for MW2 on Sony's Playstation? From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 20:54:02 GMT I'm hopeful that Activision will decide to port MEchWarrior II to a console such as the PlayStation. If this were done, it would be modified somewhat to make it more arcade-like. One note about the PlayStation though: although it has a very good ability to push around flat-shaded polygons, it's texture mapping abilities are inferior to what we can do on a Pentium-90 with 16 megabytes of RAM. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 8: Inside Info 8.1 What machines/configurarations were used for testing? From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:28:08 GMT The testers have everything from 486-50 computers (not officially supported) to Pentium 120's. We test on as many machines as possible, and there are a number of people areound the country beta testing as well. I have a 486-66 and a Pentium-90. 8.2 What programming platforms did you use to write the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:41:48 GMT Oh no, now you've done it. Given me an excuse to ramble endlessly that is . We started using Borland's 16-bit real mode compiler, but about a year ago myself and another programmer here converted the program to use Watcom's 32-bit protected mode compiler (that is actually part of the reason we had to delay shipping). The game is written in a mixture of C and assembly for optimum speed. 8.3 How does MW2 compare to Virtual Worlds' BattleTech Centers? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 23:07:04 GMT MechWarrior II is a bit more technologically advanced in that we texture map, have jump-jet, and have terrain that you can walk on. However, Virtual World supports 8 player games, something we will not do until later this year in a network add-on pack. In defense of Virtual World, they have some new pods coming out that take advantage of hardware acceleration that have phenominal graphics. They will be pushing the envelope again soon. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:28:08 GMT I have played a lot of Virtual World BattleTech. I enjoy the competition a great deal. Their technology is somewhat behind ours, but they will soon release new pods that look to have fantastic graphics. 8.4 What's taken so long? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Oof. This is a tough one. There are many factors that have led MW2 to this state. Here are a few: a) over-eager PR people hyping a game that was not even close to being done. This led to forced promises of release dates that were IMPOSSIBLE to make. b) lack of a design. There was no clear direction for the first year and a half on the game, and no solid style. c) Featuritis: A disease that often afflicts game developers, causing them to want to keep adding more and more features to a game, rather than debugging and shipping what they already have. d) Morale. As they fell further and further behind schedule, the programmers and artists felt less and less inclined to produce. This led to departures. The fact is that not ONE of the original mech team members was ever fired by Activision. They all left of their own accord to go to other companies. I'm sure the Activision management has no interest in dispelling this particular myth. :) From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 22:02:25 GMT The code for MechWarrior was never 'scrapped.' It was converted to protected mode so we could access more memory. We have been developing non-stop for 3 years (and trust me, I'm tired ). From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT We had to convert the engine to protected mode before we could even begin to design missions. Protected mode allowed us to access all available memory in a computer rather than just 640k. In the words of that lame wine commoercial: 'We will serve no wine before its time.' On July 24th, it's time. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 9: Miscellaneous 9.1 Where can I read about MW2 in the magazine press? From: goffman@rain.org () Date: 17 Jun 1995 06:22:15 GMT If you like 'Mech artwork, check out the July issue of Computer Gaming World (cover and article), the July issue of Wired (article), and the August issue of Strategy Plus (cover and article). From: Brian Jacobosky Date: 23 Jun 1995 00:55:45 GMT The July issue of Computer Gaming World has a feature article on MechWarrior 2. The article is reasonably thorough in explaining the story behind the game and does an okay job of describing the game play itself. From: goffman@rain.org (Scott Goffman) Date: 24 Jun 1995 05:42:53 GMT For other MW2 related stuff, check out the latest Wired magazine, as well as the August issue of Strategy Plus. 9.2 Can I be a beta tester? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT This is the most common question I've gotten. I'm sorry to say that, as far as know, we do not need any more beta testers. We have an enormous in-house testing department, as well as plenty of outside volunteers. So please don't ask. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Thank you very much for your interest, but unfortunately the program has already filled up. 9.3 How do I get a job at Activision as president, CEO, and supreme ruler? From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT Send a resume and cover letter to Human Resources, Activision, 11601 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90025 9.4 What about a MW2 movie? From: eastham@dseg.ti.com (Gary Eastham) Date: 29 Jun 1995 13:33:19 GMT Multiple screen plays have been submitted to New Line Productions. Supposedly, the lawyers are now doing their thing (whatever that would be...). =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 10: Net References 10.1 What Activision MW2 team members are on the net? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I've seen the following Activision people post to the newsgroups, or had their names/addresses mentioned by other Activision posters. Josh Resnick (Producer) jresnick@activision.com (Production: Producer) Tim Morten, programmer tmorten@activision.com 72623.467@compuserve.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Scott Goffman 3-D Animator Activision Studios Los Angeles, CA goffman@rain.org OR sgoffman@activision.com (Art: Shell Stills and Animations) (Packaging and Promotional Materials: Additional Cover Art) Ken Maxwell Hullett Associate Game Designer MechWarrior 2 hullett@usc.edu khullett@activision.com (Production: Associate Game Designer) Sean Vesce, lead designer sean_vesce@activision.com (Production: Lead Game Designer) Dan Kamins dkamins@course2.harvard.edu (Programming: Programming Interns) John Keating, enemy logic john_keating@activision.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) J.J. Franzen, 3D geometry & mech designer jfranzen@activision.com (Art: 3-D Simulation Models and Animations) John Mamais On-Line Rep actsearch@aol.com From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jun 1995 02:33:38 GMT Several member of the MechWarrior II team have also agreed to respond to e-mails from anyone with questions. We're in the last few weeks of production, so be patient with us in terms of replies. We will try to answer every e-mail though. game logic - tmorten@activision.com -- THAT'S ME! enemy logic - john_keating@activision.com movies and still art - sgoffman@activision.com level designer - sean_vesce@activision.com 3D geometry & mech designer - jfranzen@activision.com 10.2 Where do MW2 team members usually read and/or post? USENET newsgroups: rec.games.mecha comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action alt.games.mechwarrior2 alt.mechwarrior2 CompuServe Game Publishers B Forum, Activision section America Online's Activision area 10.3 On what ftp sites can I find Mechwarrior II info? Screen shots from the game: ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/btech/incoming/ Filenames: SIM*.GIF, MW2SIM*.GIF Screen shots, quicktime files, and FAQ: ftp://rom.oit.gatech.edu/pub/mw2/ 10.4 What web pages are there about Mechwarrior II? Activision's Official Mechwarrior II web page http://www.activision.com/mech/home.html Gamewave's MW2 Pre-release Info http://wantree.com.au/gamewave/m2.html This FAQ, screen shots, and quicktime movies http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/mw2/ (Part 2 of 2) The Unofficial, XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXX X XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX `XXX 'XXXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX ### # # ### ### # # # # ### # ### ## # # ### ## # ## # # # ### ### ### # # # ## ### FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST PART 1 =-=-= Unofficial Mechwarrior II FAQ Part 2 (of 2): Playing the game!!! compiled by Will Day Version 2.0 8/9/95 This is a Frequently Asked Questions list compiled for the new game _Mechwarrior II_ from Activision. We were lucky to have several members of the MW2 programming team posting to the newsgroups and answering questions, so many of the answers you see here come directly from them. The FAQ is split into two parts: Part 1: a re-hash of the Pre-release FAQ, providing mostly descriptions of the game. This would be most useful for those who haven't bought the game yet, and want to know "What is it like???" Part 2: addresses specific topics relating to playing the game, like cheats, bugs, and general questions of the type "How do I do _this_ in the game???" =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Revision history 2.0 8/9/95 - Reorganized Pre-release version into a Post-release version, split into two parts =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Table of Contents Section 1: The Game Shell 1.1 Why doesn't Alpha Attack use his PPCs on the 2nd enemy mech in the intro? 1.2 How many cut-scenes are there? 1.3 Can I read the greyed out information in the Archive Holoprojector? 1.4 Can I change the name of my custom mechs from "User variant #X"? 1.5 Nice music; what was used to create it? 1.6 What music in the game is GMIDI, and what is from the CD? 1.7 Can I listen to a different CD during missions? 1.8 Can I play the game without the CD in the drive? Section 2: Cheats and Codes and Neat Things 2.1 What cheat codes are there? 2.2 I can't get the Enzo cheat to work. 2.3 It won't let me use the BattleMaster. 2.4 How do I modify the cheat mechs (Elemental, Tarantula, Battlemaster)? 2.5 What other easter-eggs are in the game? Section 3: Control Configuration 3.1 How do I get my 2-joystick setup to work? 3.2 I assigned a key to a function, and now it's performing TWO functions! 3.3 Pressing the "firegroup-2" key also centers my torso. - Or, the FireGroup-2 doesn't work from my Thrustmaster. 3.4 The jumpjet rotate keys don't work on my FLCS. 3.5 I'd really like a key to move to the next weapon group. 3.6 Why does the torso always center itself when controlled with a joystick? - Or, why is it so hard to aim with the joystick? Section 4: The Simulation 4.1 The mech won't ever come to a complete stop. 4.2 If I have no ammo, do I have to worry about overheating? 4.3 Sometimes my jumpjets don't lift me up at all. 4.4 Why do the enemy mechs pick on me specifically? 4.5 Why is my right torso/arm ALWAYS the first thing to be destroyed? 4.6 Does the enemy AI have a sense of self preservation? 4.7 When I press 'm' to recenter the torso to the legs, why does it jerk? Section 5: Problems 5.1 I don't get music in the game. 5.2 The CD only works in first slot of my multidisk CD drive. 5.3 The game crashes, and I get page frame errors. 5.4 I get a "critical write error on drive c:" 5.5 The game keeps locking up when I'm calibrating my joysticks. 5.6 How much memory can the game make use of? 5.7 How can I improve the speed of the game? Section 6: Complaints 6.1 Why do the stars only have 3 mechs? They're supposed to be _five_. 6.2 I'm limited to only 10 weapons on a mech? 6.3 The mechs don't fall down when they lose a leg. 6.4 Why is the ER PPC shorter range than the ER Large Laser? Section 7: Network and Multiplayer-Gaming 7.1 Do I need more than one copy of the game to multiplay? 7.2 Will the full network version directly support IPX, rather than requiring NetBios? 7.3 Can I netplay between the demo and full version? Section 8: Extras 8.1 Where's the DEMO? Is it OUT YET?? 8.2 I never saw the canyon wall that was shown in one of the screen shots. Did I miss something? 8.3 The computer has a nice voice. 8.4 What machines/configurarations were used for testing? 8.5 What programming platforms did you use to write the game? 8.6 The credits mention"Special thanks to...Tim Morten (for the Second Coming)". 8.7 What's taken so long? Section 9: The Future 9.1 Is there a level editor? Or, What add-ons are planned? 9.1 Will the M&T disk work with the NetMech add-on? 9.1 I'm a CLANNER! I want to invade the Inner Sphere! 9.1 Will there be a port of the game? 9.1 Will there be an upgrade path from the DOS version to Win95/NT? Other versions - Win95 9.1 Any plans for MW2 on Sony's Playstation? 9.1 Will Activision be doing a future Mechwarrior game? 9.1 What about a MW2 movie? Section 10: Net References 10.1 What Activision people involved with Mechwarrior are on the net? 10.2 Where do Activision-Mechwarrior people usually read and/or post? 10.3 On what ftp sites can I find Mechwarrior II info? 10.4 What web pages are there about Mechwarrior II? =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 1: The Game Shell 1.1 Why doesn't Alpha Attack use his PPCs on the 2nd enemy mech in the intro? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I dunno. Maybe, ah, maybe he took splash damage from the explosion of his starmate. Yeah, that's the ticket. And, ah, it took out his PPC's. Okay, yeah. 1.2 How many cut-scenes are there? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 There are a total of five cut-scenes: the main intro, the two clan intros, and the two clan endings. 1.3 Can I read the greyed out information in the Archive Holoprojector? From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jul 1995 07:00:39 GMT I actually didn't notice the greyed out entries until I read a post earlier today. I guess we'll have to fill them out in the add-on! 1.4 Can I change the name of my custom mechs from "User variant #X"? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 You can change the name: (a) when you first create the custom mech; (b) by clicking customize again, in which case it'll be save _in addition to_ the previously-named mech. I also have a little DOS command line utility that'll show or set the variant name. It's at: http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/mw2/mekname.zip ftp://rom.oit.gatech.edu/pub/mw2/mekname.zip 1.5 Nice music; what was used to create it? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:32:08 GMT It was a Roland JV series rack mount. 1.6 What music in the game is GMIDI, and what is from the CD? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I've never really made any definite determination, but I believe that the mission music is spooled from the CD, whereas music in the shell is GMIDI. At least, the Trials/IA setup screen plays GMIDI music. 1.7 Can I listen to a different CD during missions? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 08:17:54 GMT Yes; our testers did this all the time. 1.8 Can I play the game without the CD in the drive? From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jul 1995 03:29:23 GMT The game expects to play CD-audio off the CD. Several other assets, including the training instructor's voice, are not copied by the full installation. The game looks to the CD to find these things. It will not run without them. From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 09:41:22 GMT Even with the full install, much of the art for the shell is read explicitly off the CD. Also, there are 26 tracks of CD audio that the game expects to find on the CD. Sorry; we actually meant it when we said 2X CD-ROM required! Seriously though, I do apologize for the inconvenience. The CD-audio can't reside on a hard-drive, so we designed on the assumption we'd always have access to the CD as a repository for art as well. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 06:50:04 GMT MechWarrior 2 expects to play CD audio off of your CD drive (not MIDI or digitized audio, real CD-audio you can listen to in your stereo's CD player). Also, it expects to play the 40MB plus movie sequences from the CD. Also, it expects to find a number of other art resources on the CD. In short, no. Sorry! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 2: Cheats and Codes and Neat Things 2.1 What cheat codes are there? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 These codes work in the simulation, by holding down CTRL-ALT-SHIFT and typing: blorb Toggle invulnerability cia Toggle unlimited ammo coldmiser Toggle heat tracking hangaround Toggle mission time-limit flygirl Add jumpjets to mech mightymouse Toggle infinite Jumpjet juice gankem Destroy targeted mech enolagay Explode an atom bomb (killing everything?) michelin Toggle bounding spheres on debris and mech parts tinkerbell View battle from free-floating camera. Turn off with "c". ctrl-left to turn left ctrl-right to turn right ctrl-up to increase altitude ctrl-down to decrease altitude z to move forward shift-z to move backwards front Toggles mini-front-view, shown in place of mini-rear-view xray Enhanced imaging with see-through. Turn off with "w". dorcs view the MW2 Sim Programmer Dorcs Web pages icanthackit End mission successfully idkfa End mission as a failure zmak Toggles Time expansion (?) meepmeep Time compression key enabled (?) unmeepmeep Time compression key disabled (?) lairdo "ATTENTION ENEMIES: Don't mess with the blimp." (?) dei "F E I R". (?) (Maybe Michael Douglas knows what this does.) sh*t "Freebirth vulgarity will not be tolerated!" f*ck "Freebirth vulgarity will not be tolerated!" These codes work in the Trials of Grievance instant-action missions, by changing your name in Star Config to: Calvin Adds Elemental between Dire Wolf and Fire Moth (1 of 3) Hobbes Adds Tarantula between Elemental and Fire Moth (2 of 3) Enzo Adds Battlemaster IIC between Tarantula and Fire Moth (3 of 3) This code works in the campaigns, by registering with the name: FREEBIRTHTOAD Lets you pick and play any of the 16 missions 2.2 I can't get the Enzo cheat to work. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 It only works in the Trials of Grievance, not in the Wolf or JF campaigns. Be sure the E is capitalized. 2.3 It won't let me use the BattleMaster. From: morgan@sneezy.cc.utexas.edu (Matt Morgan) From: morgan@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Steve Chauvin) Date: 8 Aug 1995 20:41:43 -0500 Someone was in a hurry at ship-time at Activision, and made 2 careless mistakes. To fix the battlemaster problem: In file MW2.PRJ -- change byte at offset 3206200 from 0x0B to 0x11 and change byte at offset 3206752 from 0x0B to 0x11 Someone converted to decimal when they shouldn't have ;) In file MW2SHELL.EXE -- Search for string "btllmstr" and replace with "bttlmstr" That should do it, it did for me. Please use this mech's powers for good and not evil. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I was able to get the BattleMaster to work with only the string change to MW2SHELL.EXE as described above, at offset 537782. From: louish@mhv.net (Louis C. Hendricks) Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 02:30:39 GMT I threw together some code I had lying around to patch the right bytes in both files that need fixing. You can get it at my web page: http://www.computer.net/~louish/bttlmstr.zip 2.4 How do I modify the cheat mechs (Elemental, Tarantula, Battlemaster)? From: Shane Hudson Date: 8 Aug 1995 16:39:26 GMT You have to USE an elemental in a ToG/Mission first. When you return to the builder screen, you will be able to modify the elemental. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 It IS possible to get the Customize button on the Elemental, Battlemaster, and Tarantula without having to go into a mission. I haven't worked out all the variables, but what appeared to work for me was: (after applying the Enzo cheat, and going to the IA screen) - pick a mech you can customize - go to the mech lab (ie click on the mech outline) - exit back to the IA screen - pick the elemental (or BM or Tar) - go to the mech lab again, and you should be able to customize Sometimes I had to go down two or three mechs into the list (ie the Jenner) because sometimes when I'd just choose the Firemoth, I'd go into the mech lab and be unable to customize _it_. 2.5 What other easter-eggs are in the game? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 In the archive holoprojector, some of the periods after the heading numbers are buttons. Click on them and you'll a few interesting screens. Check both clans. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 3: Control Configuration 3.1 How do I get my 2-joystick setup to work? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The "CH Flightstick Pro" joystick input option will allow you to assign the rudders (X-axis of joy2) and the throttle (Y-axis of joy2) to game functions. I'd also suggest: (1) _DE-SELECT_ "2-button" joystick. This is very important, as the two will conflict with each other and you'll get some screwy results. (2) Delete all the calibration files (*.cal) in the mech2 directory. Then, the next time you enter the simulation it'll ask you to recalibrate. Having old or spurious calibration files seemed to cause hanging during calibration on several occasions. (3) Remove the FSPro-specific controls from the custom config, for instance "hat-right". I did this just to make sure it didn't try to interpret any of my "normal" buttons as those special FSPro inputs. 3.2 I assigned a key to a function, and now it's performing TWO functions! From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 The config screen allows you to assign _four_ different inputs/keys to the same function. Click on "Primary Config" to cycle through the four pages of assignments. It could well be that the key is assigned to perform that extra function on one of the secondary-quartinery config pages. 3.3 Pressing the "firegroup-2" key also centers my torso. - Or, the FireGroup-2 doesn't work from my Thrustmaster. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I got around this problem by changing the custom config have firegroup-2 be (-) on the keypad, rather than (/) on the keypad. Then, sending "KP-" from the FLCS worked also. 3.4 The jumpjet rotate keys don't work on my FLCS. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 It seems to have some problem with the concept of the "grey" keys, or something. I redefined the custom config to use j/k/-/= to be left/right/down/up. And of course, deleted - and + from controlling the throttle. From: aslagle@mindspring.com (Adam Slagle) Date: Wed, 9 Aug 1995 16:38:27 -0400 The solution is to use RAW keyboard scan codes....with the RAW codes MW2 can't guess wrong about which INS or PGDown key you're pressing. (by the way, the scan codes are all in back of the manual.) One line of my .B50 file looks like this: BTN H3L /P RAW (#E0 #70) /R RAW (#F0 #E0 #70) rem JUMP LATERAL LEFT (I think that those are the right scan codes....I don't have my new .B50 file on this machine....) 3.5 I'd really like a key to move to the next weapon group. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 Although it doesn't appear to be documented anywhere, the apostrophe key (') will move to the first weapon of the next group, without firing anything. 3.6 Why does the torso always center itself when controlled with a joystick? - Or, why is it so hard to aim with the joystick? From: willday@rom.oit.gatech.edu (Will Day) Date: 27 Jul 1995 09:50:38 -0400 It's tying the torso _directly_ to the stick axis (centering the torso when the stick centers), rather than interpreting the stick movement as delta-change in movement. From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jul 1995 04:08:14 GMT MechWarrior 2 uses the joystick in a unique way. Rather than just reading 'left' or 'right' from the joystick and adding up values, MW2 turns your torso to the exact coordinates the joystick transmits (much like using a mouse). This technique allows for more precise aiming, and lets you hold your joystick in position to stay aimed. From: Will Day Date: 29 Jul 1995 16:41:41 -0400 See, I read it differently. To me, this technique requires more difficult aiming, because it forces me to hold my joystick in position to stay aimed. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 07:14:37 GMT Sorry you're unhappy with the joystick autocentering; this is not a bug. I recommend using a mouse if you don't like the feel of joystick play. I understand that you are very unhappy about this, however many users are using joysticks and prefer autocentering. We also had specific requests for autocentering in the design phase. I really wish we could make everyone happy; I'll certainly look into offering both choices. However I am familiar enough with our joystick code to know that this is not trivial addition. From: Will Day Date: 31 Jul 1995 11:19:17 -0400 Not a bug, just a poor design decision. I tried using the mouse for torso control and targeting, and it worked like a dream. Why is wanting the same level of targeting control with the _joystick_ such a far-fetched concept?!? Besides, suggesting I use the mouse rather than the joystick for torso/targeting is, at best, an inadequate solution. My two hands are already engaged with the joystick and throttle, and reaching for the mouse during battle will get me killed. Interpreting the joystick in a delta-change manner isn't a non-standard method of control. (1) The chassis movement is done this way. (2) Both EarthSiege and VWE control their torsos in this manner, with no forced-centering. In any case, now you're getting specific requests for non-autocentering. Providing a choice for the gamer sounds like it's in order. From: "Tim Morten" Date: 3 Aug 1995 22:59:12 -0800 We are now actively looking at making the centering optional based on yours and others suggestions. It pains me to hear frustrated users . From: Will Day Date: 7 Aug 1995 00:01:14 -0400 It pains me to be frustrated, too. :-) I hope this does indeed make it to a patch. I would suggest anyone else who would like this fixed to send a note to Tim (tmorten@activision.com) to show as much support as possible for a patch. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 4: The Simulation 4.1 The mech won't ever come to a complete stop. From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jul 1995 05:29:01 GMT If you turn, the mech automatically powers up to enable motion (otherwise you could only turn torso while standing still). From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 If you're standing still, and cause any left/right movement on the joystick, the mech will speed up to about 10kph or so for a couple of seconds, and then drop back down to 0, assuming you stop moving the stick. :) Also, if there's noise in your joystick card, it could be registering left/right movement to the game, in which case you'll always be slightly turning, and moving. 4.2 If I have no ammo, do I have to worry about overheating? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 09:22:44 GMT If things get warm enough, you should eventually suffer pilot death. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 If you stay overheated for long enough, your mech _will_ explode, regardless of ammo. 4.3 Sometimes my jumpjets don't lift me up at all. From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 07:50:52 GMT Some planets have such high gravity that you can't get off the ground. 4.4 Why do the enemy mechs pick on me specifically? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 04:56:31 GMT They target the leader of the star. 4.5 Why is my right torso/arm ALWAYS the first thing to be destroyed? From: khill@cts.com (Kevin Hill) Date: Tue, 8 Aug 1995 17:08:10 GMT I sent a message to Tim Morton the other day about the frequent (read always) destruction of a mechs right arm. He said that they are working on it and the technical explanation was because there was a problem with the random number generator. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 An obvious suggestion to get around this until a patch is released is to always use customized mechs that have NO weapons, ammo, or critical systems in the right torso/arm. Place everything in the left/center torsos and arm, and anything you can fit in the legs. You rarely get hit in the legs. :) 4.6 Does the enemy AI have a sense of self preservation? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 03:35:31 GMT Yes; they will either flee or kamikaze if they have lost all weapons. 4.7 When I press 'm' to recenter the torso to the legs, why does it jerk? From: levram@engin.umich.edu (Michael Hardy) Date: 9 Aug 1995 17:14:43 GMT The legs are re-centering while your walking, so the legs have to turn while the torso re-centers, several times for the full re center. Press "C" for external view to see what's going on. It makes much more sense than what you see in the cockpit. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 5: Problems 5.1 I don't get music in the game. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 Most of the game music is spooled directly off the CD, as regular (redbook) audio. You'll only hear the music if you have the CD wired to a speaker in some manner. (1) With most of the recent sound cards, you can connect the CDROM drive to the sound card via an internal cable. (2) Or, you might be able to run a cable from the head-phones jack on the front of the drive into an input jack on the back of the sound card, if your card has one. (3) Plug headphones or speakers into the CDROM drive's headphone jack. Also, if you connect your CDROM audio into your sound card, be sure to check any mixer settings on the card, and make sure the CD-in is set to a reasonable volume. For instance, on my SB Pro, the CD-in volume defaults to 0, and I have to raise the level at bootup time. 5.2 The CD only works in first slot of my multidisk CD drive. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:03:56 GMT We query the Microsoft CD extensions for the CD-ROM drive. It only reports back one letter, and that's the first drive. Sorry; I hope it's not a major inconvenience. 5.3 The game crashes, and I get page frame errors. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 Try booting your machine without an expanded memory manager like QEMM or EMM386 loaded. The game doesn't need one to run, and it's also been known to slow the game down a little bit. 5.4 I get a "critical write error on drive c:" From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 06:36:41 GMT Turn off SMARTDRV. 5.5 The game keeps locking up when I'm calibrating my joysticks. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I had problems with calibrate locking up on me many times. I did three things to help alleviate this: - Delete all the *.CAL files in the mech2 directory. When you enter the sim next time it'll ask you to recalibrate. - Make sure you only have one joystick type defined, as they tend to conflict with each other. For instance don't have "2-button joystick" and "Flightstick" both selected. - Boot up with a very minimized setup, long enough to calibrate the sticks, and then return to your normal boot setup 5.6 How much memory can the game make use of? From: Tim Morten Date: 27 Jul 1995 03:58:15 GMT RAM will provide a marginal improvement in frame rate, as less things will have to be swapped in and out at run time. Anything past 12MB has no benefit. None of the missions has more than 12MB total, so anything above won't really get used. 5.7 How can I improve the speed of the game? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 Some ideas are: In the game: (1) Run at a lower resolution (2) Turn off details in the Combat Variables screen (3) Turn off the enemy damage display (4) Use a larger installation on the hard drive, so it doesn't have to load as much from the CDROM drive. In software: (5) Load as little as possible in autoexec.bat and config.sys (6) Use smartdrv to cache your HD. (7) Use smartdrv to cache your CDROM drive. Be sure smartdrv loads _after_ MSCDEX in your autoexec. (8) Don't load an expanded memory manager (EMM) like QEMM and EMM386. Despite what some of the documentation says, the game does not require EMM. You'll often get faster performance without it. (9) Load UniVBE. In some cases it includes a newer and better VESA driver than what comes on your video card. You can get it from SciTech software (http://www.scitechsoft.com/) at: ftp://ftp.scitechsoft.com/uvbe51a.zip (10) Get a copy of video benchmark programs like VidTest and 3D-Bench to see how your system rates. They're available at: http://www.dfw.net/~sdw/3dbench.zip ftp://oak.oakland.edu/SimTel/msdos/screen/vidspd40.zip In hardware: (11) Get a faster processor. :) (12) Get a faster video card. PCI is best, VLB next, with at least 2meg onboard. Some good choices might be Matrox Millenium, cards based on the ARK2000 chipset like the Hercules Stingray 64, cards based on the ET4000/wp32 chipset, and cards based on the S3 968 chipset like the Diamond Stealth 64 VRAM (NOT the Viper!) Check out the benchmarks for some of these cards at: http://www.dfw.net/~sdw/bench.html (13) Get at least 16meg RAM. Use EDO memory if you can. (14) Get a recent PCI motherboard without VLB. Having the VLB slows down the PCI. In addition, some older VLB-PCI boards had the PCI bus wired incorrectly, and were slowed down even more. Early OPTi pentium chipsets also had performance problems. (15) Optimize settings in your motherboard's BIOS. Be careful not to screw anything up, or put your machine in state where it won't even boot. :O Read comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips for some information. Also check out: http://www.dfw.net/~sdw/bios.html http://www.metronet.com/~rcollins/mrbios =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 6: Complaints 6.1 Why do the stars only have 3 mechs? They're supposed to be _five_. From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 09:14:06 GMT We wanted to ensure performance on 486 computers. The add-on will allow 5 mech stars. 6.2 I'm limited to only 10 weapons on a mech? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 08:14:09 GMT The add-on will address this limitation. 6.3 The mechs don't fall down when they lose a leg. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 04:05:59 GMT We may do this in the add-on; it's a bit more complicated since we have to worry about falling on hills. 6.4 Why is the ER PPC shorter range than the ER Large Laser? From: opus@marconi.ih.att.com (Robin Kim) Date: Mon, 7 Aug 1995 16:40:22 GMT Despite what the game manual says, the ER PPC in actual play has a range of 1.25 km. You can tell because the retical will turn red as a target enters this range. I have hit and damage targets this far away. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 7: Network and Multiplayer-Gaming 7.1 Do I need more than one copy of the game to multiplay? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 03:57:02 GMT The current demo (on the game CD) requires two disks. However, the full version of NetMech (coming this October), will support up to 8 players with only one CD. 7.2 Will the full network version directly support IPX, rather than requiring NetBios? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 04:45:42 GMT IPX will be the norm for the full NetMech version. TCP/IP will be available in the Windows 95 version this Christmas. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 07:44:17 GMT The current demo require NetBios running on top of IPX. The real NetMech version due this October will support IPX and (presumably) Kali. 7.3 Can I netplay between the demo and full version? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 08:14:09 GMT No mixing I'm afraid. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 8: Extras 8.1 Where's the DEMO? Is it OUT YET?? From: Tim Morten Date: 25 Jul 1995 05:20:55 GMT We are still in the process of trimming down MechWarrior 2's hefty 30MB worth of art resources into a reasonable size for the downloadable demo. Thank you to all those who have taken the time to flame me for not having the demo out; trust me: it's not my fault . I want everyone to like my game! In any event, the director of the game says we will definitely get the demo out this week. I apologize for the delays, and I encourage everyone to go check out the game, WHICH SHIPPED TODAY!!! I'll be posting here and everywhere else I can think of when the demo is available, so hang in there. In the mean time, see if you can't grab a few minutes on your local software store's computer. From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 It's not out yet, we're still waiting. And no, that "mw2demo2.zip" file you found on an ftp site is not the new demo, it's the one from a year ago - check the file dates. 8.2 I never saw the canyon wall that was shown in one of the screen shots. Did I miss something? From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 09:38:21 GMT The canyon wall got cut because it was too slow on 486 machines. It might show up in the add-on if we do any Pentium specific stuff. 8.3 The computer has a nice voice. From: goffman@rain.org (Scott Goffman) Date: 5 Aug 95 05:28:00 GMT BTW, for those who are wondering about the woman who did the computer voice in Mech2: Yes, she is as good looking as she sounds. :) 8.4 What machines/configurarations were used for testing? From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:28:08 GMT The testers have everything from 486-50 computers (not officially supported) to Pentium 120's. We test on as many machines as possible, and there are a number of people areound the country beta testing as well. I have a 486-66 and a Pentium-90. 8.5 What programming platforms did you use to write the game? From: Tim Morten Date: 20 Jun 1995 23:41:48 GMT Oh no, now you've done it. Given me an excuse to ramble endlessly that is . We started using Borland's 16-bit real mode compiler, but about a year ago myself and another programmer here converted the program to use Watcom's 32-bit protected mode compiler (that is actually part of the reason we had to delay shipping). The game is written in a mixture of C and assembly for optimum speed. 8.6 The credits mention "Special thanks to...Tim Morten (for the Second Coming)". From: goffman@rain.org (Scott Goffman) Date: 27 Jul 95 17:21:05 GMT Tim was instrumental in convincing Activision to NOT cancel the project after the first production team fell apart. In fact, the game would most likely not exist if he had not stepped in at a crucial time. 8.7 What's taken so long? From: Scott Goffman c/o umbles@mcl.ucsb.edu (Sergio Martin) Date: 18 Mar 1995 08:06:32 GMT Oof. This is a tough one. There are many factors that have led MW2 to this state. Here are a few: a) over-eager PR people hyping a game that was not even close to being done. This led to forced promises of release dates that were IMPOSSIBLE to make. b) lack of a design. There was no clear direction for the first year and a half on the game, and no solid style. c) Featuritis: A disease that often afflicts game developers, causing them to want to keep adding more and more features to a game, rather than debugging and shipping what they already have. d) Morale. As they fell further and further behind schedule, the programmers and artists felt less and less inclined to produce. This led to departures. The fact is that not ONE of the original mech team members was ever fired by Activision. They all left of their own accord to go to other companies. I'm sure the Activision management has no interest in dispelling this particular myth. :) From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 14 Jun 1995 22:02:25 GMT The code for MechWarrior was never 'scrapped.' It was converted to protected mode so we could access more memory. We have been developing non-stop for 3 years (and trust me, I'm tired ). From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT We had to convert the engine to protected mode before we could even begin to design missions. Protected mode allowed us to access all available memory in a computer rather than just 640k. In the words of that lame wine commoercial: 'We will serve no wine before its time.' On July 24th, it's time. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 9: The Future 9.1 Is there a level editor? Or, What add-ons are planned? From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:34:26 GMT After we ship the main release the team will be splitting up to work on various projects including: Missions & Technologies add-on - New story, new mechs, new missions, more equipment options. - Also, possibly an enhanced mech editor and possibly a level editor. Multiplayer add-on - Expands the head-to-head play in the initial release to accomidate 8 players. - Specially designed missions for multiplayer play. - Allows for cooperative campaigns. - Possible support for TCP/IP. Windows 95/NT port - Support for Windows sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. - Multi-threading. PowerMacintosh port - Support for Mac sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. Foriegn Language versions - Translations into several languages and who knows where else MW2 will show up. A game console? A hardware accelerated 3D graphic card? You just never know... From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:56:25 GMT Narc beacons are slated for the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jul 1995 08:30:38 GMT The NetMech version this October will have around 10 new missions for multiplayer, and the 'Missions & Technology' add-on this Christmas will have around 15 new single player missions. In the mean time, we'll be releasing a mission editor sometime around October. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 07:42:04 GMT There will be: October: - NetMech - Level Editor November: - Win 95 version (discounted upgrade to DOS users) - Add-on #1 Jan/Feb: - Add-on #2 9.1 Will the M&T disk work with the NetMech add-on? From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:23:13 GMT Undecided as of yet. 9.1 I'm a CLANNER! I want to invade the Inner Sphere! From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 19:14:53 GMT Going back in time to the inner sphere invasion has been a popular request. We're considering waays we might work this into the add-on. From: Tim Morten Date: 6 Jul 1995 03:56:25 GMT This seems to be the number one request, so I have a feeling that's the way we'll go. We have to have some design meetings next month to kick off the add-on, so we won't be deciding for sure until then. 9.1 Will there be a port of the game? From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 16 Jun 1995 02:06:18 GMT You asked about a non-mac PowerPC version. We will support Windows NT, which runs nicely on PowerPC's. This will be part of the Win95/WinNT version of the game that ships later this year. OS/2 has a lot of loyal followers, but the regrettable fact is that there is not a big enough game market for OS/2 to rationalize budgetting a port. Perhaps this will change over the next year, but in the mean time Windows 95/Windows NT is going to be our focus. From: Tim Morten <72623.467@CompuServe.COM> Date: 16 Jun 1995 09:34:39 GMT There will be a Mac-OS PowerPC version of MechWarrior II available later in the year. From: Tim Morten Date: 25 Jun 1995 05:15:27 GMT We will be releasing a Windows 95/NT port later this year. My personal goal is to get this version running on both SGI/MIPS R4x000 machines as well as DEC Alpha machines. This version would be multi-threaded, and therefore capable of utilizing multiple processors. (I spent a summer at Microsoft working on Windows NT, so this is a bit of a pet project of mine.) From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 22:28:50 GMT It's my understanding that there will be a coupon for a discounted upgrade to the Windows 95/NT version in the box with the DOS version. We'd release them simultaneously if we could; we just don't have the resources to complete both at the same time. Incidentally, multi-threading won't buy you anything unless you have multiple processors, so functionality-wise, the only difference between the DOS and Win 95/NT version is the host operating system. It's not like you're getting a lesser product if buy the initial release. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:34:26 GMT After we ship the main release the team will be splitting up to work on various projects including: Windows 95/NT port - Support for Windows sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. - Multi-threading. PowerMacintosh port - Support for Mac sound cards and video drivers. - Ability to run in a scaleable window. From: Tim Morten Date: 2 Jul 1995 23:42:55 GMT We won't be starting on the PowerMac port until after the initial release. We're hopeful that we can finish before the end of the year, but if we hit any technical snags, it could take until January or February. Sorry to keep you waiting. I'd rather set a realistic timeframe than create disappointment over missed release dates (not that the MechWarrior team has had any experience with that .) 9.1 Will there be an upgrade path from the DOS version to Win95/NT? From: Tim Morten Date: 23 Jun 1995 19:40:11 GMT Yes. People who purchase the original product will not have to pay for a completely new copy for Windows. Pricing for the upgrade has not yet been determined, but it will be considerably less than the full price. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:46:02 GMT The Win95 version will be discounted to registered owners of the DOS version. From: Tim Morten Date: 31 Jul 1995 05:55:52 GMT MW2 for Win95 (discounted upgrade for registered users of DOS version) will definitely take advantage of accelerated blitting. It isn't determined yet whether we'll support 3D acceleration, but I hope so . 9.1 Any plans for MW2 on Sony's Playstation? From: Tim Morten Date: 4 Jul 1995 20:54:02 GMT I'm hopeful that Activision will decide to port MEchWarrior II to a console such as the PlayStation. If this were done, it would be modified somewhat to make it more arcade-like. One note about the PlayStation though: although it has a very good ability to push around flat-shaded polygons, it's texture mapping abilities are inferior to what we can do on a Pentium-90 with 16 megabytes of RAM. 9.1 Will Activision be doing a future Mechwarrior game? From: Tim Morten Date: 19 Jun 1995 21:07:06 GMT I wish we could do MechWarrior III. I'm afraid the 'Missions & Technologies' add-on will be the last BattleTech product from Activision. FASA has teamed up with Spectrum Holobyte. I am hopeful that FASA will reconsider and let the MechWarrior II team put out a sequel when they hear from people who have played the game, but we'll have to wait and see on that one. From: Tim Morten Date: 22 Jun 1995 16:39:31 GMT I don't have e-mail addresses at FASA, but after people have had a chance to play the game, perhaps FASA will let us continue the series. In the mean time, we will do some good add-ons that focus on filling out more aspects of the BattleTech universe and fixing any problems that people notice. From: Tim Morten Date: 24 Jun 1995 07:23:31 GMT I'm sorry to say that FASA has teamed up with another game company for future BattleTech products. I'm hopeful that enough people will enjoy MechWarrior II for FASA to consider letting Activision do a sequel. From: Tim Morten Date: 26 Jun 1995 06:38:46 GMT Actually FASA is involved in a lawsuit with Dynamix over EarthSiege. We have a very good relationship with FASA. Although we may apply our 3D technology to other games, they won't have anything to do with fighting robots. 9.1 What about a MW2 movie? From: eastham@dseg.ti.com (Gary Eastham) Date: 29 Jun 1995 13:33:19 GMT Multiple screen plays have been submitted to New Line Productions. Supposedly, the lawyers are now doing their thing (whatever that would be...). =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Section 10: Net References 10.1 What Activision people involved with Mechwarrior are on the net? From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 I've seen the following Activision people post to the newsgroups, or had their names/addresses mentioned by other Activision posters. Josh Resnick (Producer) jresnick@activision.com (Production: Producer) Tim Morten, programmer tmorten@activision.com 72623.467@compuserve.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Scott Goffman 3-D Animator Activision Studios Los Angeles, CA goffman@rain.org OR sgoffman@activision.com (Art: Shell Stills and Animations) (Packaging and Promotional Materials: Additional Cover Art) Ken Maxwell Hullett Associate Game Designer MechWarrior 2 hullett@usc.edu khullett@activision.com (Production: Associate Game Designers) Sean Vesce, lead designer sean_vesce@activision.com (Production: Lead Game Designer) Dan Kamins dkamins@course2.harvard.edu (Programming: Programming Interns) John Keating, enemy logic john_keating@activision.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) (Audio: Voice-Over Talent) J.J. Franzen, 3D geometry & mech designer jfranzen@activision.com (Art: 3-D Simulation Models and Animations) John Mamais On-Line Rep actsearch@aol.com From: Tim Morten Date: 28 Jun 1995 02:33:38 GMT Several member of the MechWarrior II team have also agreed to respond to e-mails from anyone with questions. We're in the last few weeks of production, so be patient with us in terms of replies. We will try to answer every e-mail though. game logic - tmorten@activision.com -- THAT'S ME! enemy logic - john_keating@activision.com movies and still art - sgoffman@activision.com level designer - sean_vesce@activision.com 3D geometry & mech designer - jfranzen@activision.com From: Will Day Date: 9 Aug 1995 10:06:28 -0400 These members of the team included their email address on the Dorcs Web Pages: John A. Clarke 75022.43@compuserve.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Michael H. Douglas mdouglas@activision.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Scott Etherton s.etherton@genie.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Sverre H. Huseby sverrhu@ifif.uio.no Wrote the 'gifsave' routines used in the game Dan Kamins dkamins@husc.harvard.edu (Programming: Programming Interns) Wrote the netdemo network shell John Keating marshall1@aol.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) Tim Morten tmorten@activision.com (Programming: Simulation Programmers) David White dwhite@activision.com (Production: Associate Game Designers) (Programming: Additional Programming) 10.2 Where do Activision-Mechwarrior people usually read and/or post? USENET newsgroups: rec.games.mecha comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action alt.games.mechwarrior2 alt.mechwarrior2 CompuServe Game Publishers B Forum, Activision section America Online's Activision area 10.3 On what ftp sites can I find Mechwarrior II info? Screen shots from the game: ftp://ftp.csua.berkeley.edu/pub/btech/incoming/ Filenames: SIM*.GIF, MW2SIM*.GIF Screen shots, quicktime files, and FAQ: ftp://rom.oit.gatech.edu/pub/mw2/ 10.4 What web pages are there about Mechwarrior II? Activision's Official Mechwarrior II web page http://www.activision.com/mech/home.html Gamewave's MW2 Pre-release Info http://wantree.com.au/gamewave/m2.html This FAQ, screen shots, and quicktime movies http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/mw2/ Lou's Mech Warrior Info Page http://www.computer.net/~louish/mech.html ______________________________________________________________________________ Will Day http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/ =-> Mechwarrior 2 FAQ: http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/mw2/ <-= The thunder of their BattleMech's feet, the lightning - From their weapons, and the blood spilled in their name Created the Clan Spirit - The Remembrance, Passage 98, Verse 24, Lines 13-15 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2 Comment: http://rom.oit.gatech.edu/~willday/pubkey.asc iQCVAwUBMCqE0RDHlOdPw2ZdAQHKegP8Cgz17EVzabZPJOWFOl0QoJDG4/gUc4dt C9bEyNO6zN4Y/ElpMQy3N0jUNhaKnc92cmBIMcExkFPfzXSf07ZeG7mXuP+zDvu+ 7QMYX5v+8dqokFcwbJDALct2Gsb48WBLDxmy5Xn6wjISS9pa7DrZ75KG7/p44yyV JW3J4GKUf3A= =cWl9 -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----