A companion to the TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ that provides up-to-date
news about the TRON 2.0 gaming community and TRON in general.





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Servers Back Online

By TronFAQ on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 9:58 PM
My servers are back online. There have been numerous changes made to the server settings and map rotations. The most important change, is that custom maps have been added to the LC server.

Here are the set-ups of each server . . .


LC Server

Settings

Number of teams: 7
Team size: 1
Opponent cycle type: Light Cycle
Game speed: Extreme
Max trail length: Normal
Total races: 7
Total points: 0 (Unlimited)
Total time: 0 (Unlimited)
Max ping allowed: 320
Derez point value: 4
Self-Derez point value: -2
Win race point value: 10
Powerups: All

Map rotation

LC_01S01
LC_01S02
LC_01S03
LC_02S03
LC_03S01
LC_03S02
LC_03S03
LC_04S02
LC_04S03
Alantis - LC Map Pack 3
Deathtrap - LC Map Pack 3
TripleDeck X - LC Map Pack 4
Bebo's Fishin' Hole - LC Map Pack 4
Micro - LC Map Pack 4
Fubar - LC Map Pack 4
Port 27888 - LC Map Pack 5
Super Tron Bros. 2 - LC Map Pack 5
Terminal - LC Map Pack 5
Home - VMan Home


DA Server

Settings

Number of teams: 8
Team size: 1
Friendly fire: Yes
Spectator discs: No
Allow auto aim: No
Points per match: 3
Match time: 10
Matches won limit: 5
Time limit: 30
Games per map: 1
Max ping allowed: 0 (Unlimited)
Air control: 70%

Map rotation

DISCARENA01
DISCARENA02
DISCARENA03
DISCARENA04
DISCARENA05
Ring - DSO Map Pack
Disc - DSO Map Pack
Rebound - DSO Map Pack
Rhomboid - DSO Map Pack
Tetra - DSO Map Pack
Coliseum - DSO Map Pack
I/O Hub - DA Map Pack 1


DM Server

Settings

Max programs: 8
Allow auto aim: No
Derez limit: 30
Time limit: 20
Games per map: 1
Max ping allowed: 0 (Unlimited)
Air control: 80%
Run speed: 130

Map rotation

CTB2 - CTB TDM and CTB Update
DM-02
DM-01
DM-03
TankGrid-01A - DM Map Pack 1
Oldskool - DM Map Pack 1
Prankster Bit Alley - DM Map Pack 1
Morsmap - DM Map Pack 2
DM-1.5A - DM Map Pack 2
PartyGrid - DM Map Pack 1
I/O Error - DM Map Pack 1
Black - DM Map Pack 1
Hover - DSO Map Pack



There wasn't as much participation in the polls as I'd hoped, and the difference between less popular and more popular maps sometimes only differed by one or two votes. Which made it difficult to decide on the map rotations. I will likely change the lineup again, from time to time. So if a favorite map of yours isn't in the list, it may show up in the future.

I also took into account the nicely (and not so nicely) given feedback, about the server settings. Hopefully the new settings will be more to everyone's liking, though I know one can never please everybody. If there are any problems with the new settings, I'll make further adjustments.

During this downtime, I took the opportunity to do some experimentation with various server settings and set-ups. In the process, I made something of a shocking discovery. Which I'll tell all of you about, tomorrow.
 

Servers Offline Feb. 26th and 27th

By TronFAQ on Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 1:50 AM
I'm taking down my servers for a couple of days, in order to help promote people playing in Kluwolf's Light Cycle tournament: which is being held on the 26th and 27th. Not sure if the two days will end up being necessary, but I will wait until the 28th before I bring my servers back online.

The latest information from Kluwolf, has the tournament starting today at 8PM (20:00) Pacific time in North America. He will be releasing a special map pack that is meant to be used on his GameGrid.org LC servers. It will contain a brand new custom map in it, to help stir up the competition a little. Keep an eye out on the various TRON message boards tonight, for details on where to get this new map pack.

Remember that there are prizes to be won, in this tournament! So get out there, and participate!

See you back on the grid again, on Tuesday the 28th.
 

New TDM Screenshots

By TronFAQ on Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 5:34 PM
Xistence has just updated his blog, to feature many new screenshots of The Digital Messiah.

He says the screens are actually representative of older versions of the levels, and many things have been updated since then. But even so, the screenshots are absolutely stunning. One can only wonder, what the finished product will be like.
 

An Interview With Mor And Load

By TronFAQ on Friday, February 24, 2006 at 7:30 PM

Today, I'm posting an interview I did with Mor.Evil-1 and Load"*",8,1. You may know them for their Derez maps, and as senior members of the LDSO clan: who founded the LDSO web site and have great skill at Derez in Multiplayer.


FAQ: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? Where do you come from, and what are your interests/hobbies (aside from TRON)?

Mor: Okay, let's see . . . I live in a creepy old crypt, located in a dark, damp, quiet place in the middle of L.A. Hmm, hobbies . . . well, I have an extensive background in special effects make-up (even have a college degree in it) and it has been a life-long goal of mine to work on a mainstream feature film, as one of the key make-up artists. Up until now, it's been independent and student films. I enjoy Designing, Creating, and Performing in haunted houses, and have created many since I was like 10 years old. In my spare time I like to paint high-end models; draw and paint; play console and PC games; go to the Disneyland resort with my pals; collect rare Haunted Mansion, Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars, Sci-Fi, etc. movie collectables; but most of all, hang out with my niece and nephew!

Load: I grew up and have lived in the sunny parts of Los Angeles. I like playing video games (of course), building computers, going to Disneyland, playing softball, and watching sports.


FAQ: How did you two meet, and become friends?

Mor: Let's see, how did Load and I meet. Over 10 years ago, Load and I worked at Universal Studios. Through mutual friends, we would hang out on our breaks and after work, and chat about many Sci-Fi/Movie/Comic related things. And, well . . . the rest is history, as they say.

Load: Same story as Mor's. We worked at Universal Studios together, and would talk about Sci-Fi, video games, you name it . . .


FAQ: When was the first time each of you heard about, or saw, TRON? Did you see the movie, or play the arcade game, first? Did you own any of the Atari or Intellivision TRON games?

Mor: Ahh, I like this question. For myself, TRON has been a part of my life since its early creation. Growing up, I had a pal that lived across the street from me, who had a family friend that worked on TRON. So, from time to time, he would bring home some dailies for us to check out. At the time, we thought it was dumb -- because there were no real effects yet, and it just looked like dudes in tights throwing frisbees. But as time went on, the dailies got better and . . . well, the film grew on all of us. So, guess I should say that I saw the film first.

I did have Deadly Discs of TRON on my Atari Heavy-Sixer-2600. But a couple of years ago we moved, and my lovely sister decided to take my Atari out of my room: and sell it at a garage sale they had -- without me -- while I was at work, for 20 bucks. So I don't have that any more. =(

I used to love playing the TRON arcade machine (still do in fact), and I really liked the booth-style upright Discs of TRON arcade game. That was awesome!

Load: I never saw TRON in the theater. It was always that cool movie my friends and I would see on TV, on a Saturday afternoon. Our local arcade never had the game. The only place that had it where I could play, was Disneyland. So I played it about once a year, when my family would go there. I had an Intellivision but never had the TRON game, so sad.


FAQ: When did you guys first find out about TRON 2.0? Was it one of the demos? If you played one of the demos, what was it like back then? Was it really popular? And what did you think of the finished game, when you finally bought it?

Mor: Let's see . . . Load was actually the one that found out, shared with me that BVG was going to release a new version of the TRON game, and sent me the Disc Arena demo the first day it was released. Ahhh, the demo days. Now those were some good times! At first, there was only the Corrupted DA level. And from what I can remember, there were a fair amount of players back then. In fact, there were times you were looking for a free server: if you can believe that. So yes, the demo was rather popular for a fair amount of time. Many of the people that played the demos were pretty cool. In fact, Xistence was just one of the many people that Load and I used to play under our original names, back then.

As for the finished game. Well, Load and I didn't get the game until around December, the year it was released. We were pretty hard-core demo players up to that point. When we did get the game . . . all I can say is "wow". TRON 2.0 is still, in my opinion, a very eye-candy friendly game. I flew through the game, in like 3 days. That's how much I liked it. And I played the Single Player again after I finished it, immediately the next day. When I have free time -- it's sad I know -- I still start a new game and hack through it for fun, just to see all the great levels.

Load: I found out about TRON 2.0 from TRON-Sector. I was looking to see if a sequel was being made, and learned about the game coming out soon. The day the demo came out, I downloaded it and passed it on to Mor. I guess that changed our lives, LOL. The demo was popular. I actually remember seeing double-digit servers. The finished game was great. Mor bought it first, so I copied it and played the game. I eventually bought the game to play online with him.


FAQ: When did you form the original LD? What made you decide to form a TRON game clan? Have you been part of any game clans before that? Who were the first members of LD, aside from yourselves?

Mor: Living Dead started, back with the release of the first DA demo. Living so close to the BVG servers, I would host games and list the server as: Living Dead. When BVG released the Derez update (DM), Load and I were all over it. By that point, we were so tired of Light Cycles (LC) and Disc Arena (DA), that we really needed the new gameplay. With the -- at time -- popularity of the DM grid, there started to rise TRON based teams/clans. TRON clans existed since the first day of the demos, but Load and I never gave it much thought. Due to the fact there were a few not so nice players out there.

Load and I had played together for so long though, that I decided to one day just add a tag to my name -- like so: Mor.Evil-1 [LD] -- mainly to advertise my little Living Dead Server. And it stuck. The very same day, CPU created their clan and I had a run-in with them. But not the type you may be thinking. Okay, pay attention, because here is a very little known fact that I have never shared . . .

So I started to play the day away, and CPU came on the grid. They saw me with the LD tag, and asked what it meant. So I shared the info with them. They then told me what their tag stood for, and were asking players to join up on their team. My tag really meant nothing at that point, so they asked if I would join CPU. In fact, I later had a brief meeting with CPU's co-leader Diabolical-NYC. He proceeded to tell me in our meeting, that he had hoped to catch me before I had a tag, because he wanted me to be the co-leader of CPU. I, of course, thanked him for the offer: but was well on the way of creating my own team, and turned him down.

Another little known fact about CPU, is I actually had -- and for most part, still have -- a decent rapport with Diabolic, and we always remained informed to a certain degree on the grid happenings.

Now don't get me wrong here. CPU and LD were, and by most accounts are, still bitter rivals. I had no foreknowledge of the crap they pulled. Just that between NYC and myself, we had a mutual respect for one another. And from time to time we could meet in private, and discuss things leader to leader regarding each other's players, if any stepped out of line. I guess you could say it was both a blessing and a curse.

So after I turned down CPU, I called Load and asked if he wanted to co-lead and be in LD. He was like "cool", and that was that.

Regarding previous clans. For myself, nope. First online clan ever.

The first members . . . well, the first official member was Mero. Man, back in the day we used to beat the shit out of each other. And there is just no other way to put it. After many a fragfest, we started to chat a bit and got to know each other a bit better. We decided to ask him to join, and that was that. The next members were: Darkfader, then you FAQ, and then Commander X. Comm X was a player that Mero knew and he seemed okay. However he was the youngest player on the team, and after a short amount of time he just seemed to de-rezz off the grid, and that was the end of him.

So to break it down, the original "fab five" of the team were: Mor, Load, Mero, Dark, FAQ, and Comm X.

Load: Mor started LD one day to promote the Living Dead server. It's what he called the server on his computer, since he likes zombies so much. There were all these clans, so we thought: what the hell, why not make our own. I remember Mero being the next member, and then FAQ and Darkfader.


FAQ: How did the merger of the LD and DSO clans come about? What prompted the decision? And what made you decide to go ahead with opening the LDSO web site?

Mor: Well, Load and I had played with X forever. His clan shared all the same ideals we did. To be honest, the merger was just a long time coming. I had taken an interest in DEdit, and X has many of the best looking maps around. We had been chatting on and off the grid about map making, and he liked many of the ideas I had. So, after getting to know one another better -- and during many the late night DEdit tutorial chats -- X brought up merging the teams. It sounded like a great idea, and we both agreed to put it to a team vote on both sides. There were no objections, so we merged and became LDSO.

Many of the things were a natural fit. LD had a red team color, DSO was blue: mix the two colors and you get purple. Clan tags, LD and DSO merge together to become LDSO. And so on. It's just been a great fit, and many great friendships have come out of it!

As for the web site. The site, in many respects, has always been there. We had decided early on, to open a free forum so the team could have a place to hang out, chat, and do whatever. The original forums were not so great: but they were free, so we used them. When Load and I opened our shirt biz, we needed a place to host a web site for us, to be able to sell our stuff. So Load split some stuff up, and then we were able to also open a more "real" team based site. In time, it has grown to what it is today: with a nice phpBB board, the ability to make maps available for download, and so on.

Load: Same answer as Mor. =)


FAQ: What TRON 2.0 maps have you guys made? What was the reception to them like, when they were released?

Mor: Well I will let Load talk about his maps, I have a few under my disc:

MorsMap
DM-1.5A
DM-2.5A
DM-2.5B
Mors-TankGrid-01A
Mors-PartyGrid
DM-1,2,3 Ladder maps
To Be Released: CityGrid

How were they received? For the most part, players seemed to like them. MorsMap, TankGrid, PartyGrid, and the soon-to-be-released City map, are my original works. Some people gave me a hard time, regarding my re-workings of the retail maps. I never tried to pass them off as my own work, only that I used them to learn how to work with the DEdit program. I tested many new effects on them, as well as textures, and opened many new areas to explore on them that I had always wanted to reach and look at. I passed the reworked DM maps to persons on the team, and we had so much fun with them -- and with their encouragement -- I decided to release them to the general public, for play.

Take them as you will. They did take time to make, and people just take for granted that they don't, sometimes. Which in actuality is a nice compliment, because it means the map looks retail enough for them to not think anything of it. There are not a lot of DM maps out there, so even a retextured retail map adds some new flavor to the abandoned grid.

I am very proud of MorsMap, Tank Grid, PartyGrid, and especially my upcoming City map. My only regret is that I got into the map making a bit too late, as TRON 2.0 really started to vapor out, just as I got the hang of things.

Load: Load's Prankster Bit (PBit) Alley. People liked it. Of course, it falls under the "it's cool for about a week" category. That's about the lifespan of a map in TRON 2.0, after the boom died off.


FAQ: Both of you went to the El Capitan showing of TRON in L.A., a couple of years ago. What was it like, seeing TRON on the big screen again? Was the film print in good condition? And what did you think of the event itself? Was it well done, or could it have been better?

Mor: TRON at the El Cap was fun. Disney tends to throw up their older films in-between the new blockbusters, so you can even catch Roger Rabbit on an off day, if you're lucky. TRON tends to make a regular rotation, from time to time. You just have to keep up on the listings. The last time we went, it was for the 20th Anniversary: and they were promoting the new game, merchandise, and had some minor props from the film. They did release an all new digitally restored print, just like what you get on the DVD. So the film looked fantastic for its age. We went on a Wednesday for a matinee, so there really were not that many people there. Which is nice, when you're going down to Hollywood.

As with all things, yes there could have been more. You always want more to look at. TRON is one of those films that does tend to fall in the "forgotten bin" timeline of filmmaking, and there is just not a lot of stuff about it floating out there any more. Today when films are made, much more thought does seem to go into what a studio does with the props and costumes, compared to back then. So Load and I agreed, that we were happy they had anything to show. And what helps is the die-hard fans out there, that help contribute props and memorabilia, so there are more things to see.

They did have an extra cool display downstairs with 4 linked TRON 2.0 Light Cycle computers. They consisted of an LC fiberglass body, with extra cool super-huge flat screens, and a decent keyboard and mouse, to try out the game. We decided to take a chance, and see if they were hooked up for LAN capability . . . and lo-and-behold, they were! Up until we got in there, it was dead. All of the PCs were hooked up to demo the SP game. But by the time we were done with the LAN set-up: all the PCs had people playing, and we were getting our daily TRON fix in no time at all.

In all, the event was fun. And any time you can see TRON on the big screen, is worth it.

Load: The El Capitan was cool. I finally got to see TRON on the big screen. It was awesome. There had to be 12 people in the theater, not bad for a Wednesday afternoon. The memorabilia displays were okay. They had the dress Yori wore in the deleted scene. The big display had a bunch of old 80's items, as well as new stuff. It looked like someone's home collection of TRON stuff. Downstairs, they had 4 Light Cycle computers hooked up. It was fun putting them in LAN mode, and playing DM. A couple of other dudes got on there, but we kicked their asses! There was also a big statue of Mercury, with a rope guarding it. We went behind the rope.


FAQ: What do you think of the current state of affairs, on the TRON 2.0 scene? How do you feel about BVG's lack of support?

Mor: The state of TRON 2.0 . . . well it's no surprise, that the grids are dead nowadays. Even in TRON 2.0's heyday, there really were only about 20-30 main players on, most of the day. It's sad to see the game in such dire straits, when it has such potential to be more than it currently is. I feel that if things continue to remain unchanged, that TRON will find its place amongst the vaporware bin all too soon. In many respects, it seems to already have. Also, it seems that the apparent lack of players on the grid: is from the fact that many of the new and old TRON players are creating new maps. (Which is a very true and sad statement. Custom maps driving away players? Sad, sad, sad. - FAQ) Hopefully new materials will all be released around the same time, and TRON will explode again. One can hope, right?

There are many things I could say about BVG. It's sad, but true, that they squeaked their few bucks out of the game and have moved on. In their eyes, they feel the game did what was needed: and that was to help cross-promote the 20th Anniversary release of the TRON DVD, which it did. At least they were able to get solid voice talent from the original film for the game. What's really sad, is the game sets things up for a sequel. One that looks like it will never happen. Your petition is going in the right direction. I have some ideas of my own, and soon I will share them. Aside from making a sign and standing in front of the studio every day, I'm not sure BVG will ever take notice of our efforts. But again, one can hope!

Load: I think TRON is now a cult classic, that only a handful of players really cherish. Obviously, compared to mainstream games, we have no players. But the few that still play, make the game special. BVG really dropped the ball. I think that TRON 2.0 was BVG's way of testing game-making. They got to make a game, see what it was like, and now can move on to something else. Too bad TRON was Disney's video game guinea pig.


FAQ: Tell us about Fraglesstees.

Mor and Load: Back in late 2002, early 2003, we came up with an idea to print a design we had drawn together. We called around, and found a place that could print the designs for us: which we wore around town as a joke between us.

Well, pretty much everywhere we went, people would ask: "Hey, where did you get that? It's cool." This happened so much, that after many talks -- and with a little help from some previous schooling -- we created Fraglesstees.com: Gaming Tees for the masses.

It's been doing well so far, but neither of us are able to retire from the profits. It's proven to be a nice side biz, and great fun as well. We have sold our shirts all over, from computer shows to street fairs. In fact, many of our customers are overseas, so you can say Fraglesstees are seen world wide. We also make screen-printing available to the public, which has shown to be equally profitable. Anyone who is interested, just needs to send an e-mail, and we will reply with a free quote.

Someday we hope to be able to distribute our designs to stores worldwide, but right now we're happy to start small and work our way up.


I'd like to thank Mor and Load for agreeing to do this interview. Please take the opportunity to visit the LDSO and Fraglesstees sites, to find out more about the clan and about Mor and Load's clothing line for gamers.

Next time: TheReelTodd.

 

Just How Well Did TRON 2.0 Do, Anyway?

By TronFAQ at 1:19 AM
Over on TRON-Sector, I saw a news item for an interview with Landry Walker and Eric Jones about the upcoming TRON comic. Landry is the writer on the comic.

I made mental notes on a couple of interesting points I wanted to comment on, as I read through the interview. Here they are.

First off, the article author makes the statement: "Tron recently resurfaced as the Tron 2.0 video game available for X-Box and PC to unexpected success."

Really? That's news to me. As much as I wish it was true, this sounds like typical marketing speak in denial mode, that was fed to the author. That statement is, unfortunately, not true. Or else, we would already have had an expansion or new TRON game, a long time ago. And the comic wouldn't have gone through development hell for so long.

But then . . . we have to consider the difference between what you and I, and Disney, consider a "success". Unfortunately, I don't have exact sales figures for TRON 2.0 on the PC. Disney has chosen to keep that to themselves. My best guess is that it was a "moderate" success and sold around 100,000 copies at most. Which to some game publishers, would be great numbers. The game Painkiller sold about that many copies, and the publisher deemed that a success. Then an expansion pack was developed and released. Meanwhile, to Disney those numbers were a "failure". They probably expected to sell at least 500,000 copies.

Again, I don't know exactly how well it sold. I wish I did. But obviously Disney dropped TRON like a hot potato for a while, because the numbers from the game weren't "good enough". As someone wrote in a comment in the TRON 2.0 Petition, Disney/BVG didn't have the balls to stick by their product and see it through the rough times. The comic has been their boldest move in the last two years, if you don't count Kingdom Hearts 2.

Landry, at one point, says: "When the game Tron 2.0 came out, there was a bit of an outcry. Where was the MCP? Why had it not reappeared? There seems to be a desire in the entertainment industry to demand repetition."

Landry has also told me the same thing, in discussions on the TRON-Sector message boards. Apparently, people at comic conventions told him they were disappointed that the characters in TRON 2.0 didn't look "enough" like their original counterparts in the film. So, in other words, they were expecting "TRON the movie" as a game. Not an updated version. I suppose the misleading "sneak peek" ad on the TRON 20th Anniversary DVD didn't help. It was ambiguous, and probably lead other people into thinking there was going to be a film sequel. Not a game.

Therefore, people were left thinking: "Oh, it's not a movie and it's not even like the original film, so forget it." So it would seem, anyway. Which really surprises me. I thought the whole point about TRON, why it resonated so much with certain people, is precisely because it was bold and different.

And there's a difference between doing a respectful update to the original, or doing a cash-in. To me, TRON 2.0 for PC and Mac were respectful of the film at all times. The characters -- while certainly different -- still echoed their predecessors' appearances closely. The game levels -- while updated with new concepts and more detailed in appearance -- still retained the classic, neon glow you would expect. The music -- while in large part not Wendy Carlos' score -- fits perfectly for a TRON world. It was a bold update to TRON, but Monolith balanced the fine line between homage and new styling extremely well. How anyone could not be happy with the way the game turned out . . . you've got me.

On the other hand, what was done to TRON 2.0: Killer App on the Xbox in Multiplayer, is a perfect example of Disney/BVG trying to cash-in: with no regard for the subject matter at all. The Doom/Halo style helmets and grunge band style music from Breaking Benjamin, absolutely did not fit with TRON at all. BVG execs must have sat up really late at night, thinking up these wonderful ideas that didn't even come close to being respectful of the property. Rather, they simply had dollar signs in their eyes. If it's like Halo, it will sell!

Well, guess what . . . it didn't.

Thankfully, I have every confidence in Landry and the team at SLG working on the new comic. Which should be coming out in April. The interviews I've read, and discussions I've had, demonstrate to me that they are being completely respectful to TRON. Though again, there will be updates and changes from what went on in the film.

Let's just hope this time, for TRON's sake, the comic is a "big" success. Or else Disney will drop the potato again.
 

An Interview With Xistence

By TronFAQ on Monday, February 20, 2006 at 12:53 AM
Recently, I did an interview with Xistence. You may know him for his Disc Arena maps, his Ancient Disc mod, and as a senior member of the LDSO clan who has great skill at Disc Arena in Multiplayer.

This is the first of a series of interviews I'm doing, with people in the TRON community who I think deserve to be recognized for their efforts, and should be in the spotlight. Look forward to more interviews, in the coming weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, enjoy reading this first interview.


FAQ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you come from, and what are your interests/hobbies (aside from TRON)?

X: Well I'm 31 years old, born in Germany and still living here. My interests are broadly based. But in most cases they are creatively oriented: Artwork, Design, making music, writing stories, poems and a book, doing programming, and developing programs and games.

FAQ: I (and I would suspect many others) consider you to be a very talented artist. Did you take any formal training? Is there anywhere that people can see your work, outside of TRON 2.0?

X: First of all, thanks for that compliment. And no, I never took any form of training . . . except for training myself. I practised and kept trying for a really long time. Everything I do these days, is based upon all the errors I made in the past: a learning experience that taught me how to do things correctly now. And about other samples of my work: currently my site is down. As it wasn't visited so much, there isn't pressure on me to rebuild it in a hurry. My site will be back, but my main focus is on The Digital Messiah these days. So the site re-design has to wait a bit. Then you'll also be able to see other (and unknown) work from me.

FAQ: When was the first time you heard about, or saw, TRON? Did you see the movie, or play the arcade game, first?

X: I saw the movie when I was a child. And as I'm a bit like a "freak", it impressed me very much. Some might know what I mean, when I say that I always wanted to experience TRON for real. Not just as a film.

FAQ: When did you first find out about TRON 2.0? Was it one of the demos? And what did you think of the finished game?

X: I thought that it couldn't be possible: but when the game TRON 2.0 was released, it was a step closer to that experience. So no question for me, that I had to own this game. And it's the reason why I've stuck with this game, since the first demo was released. Personally -- for me -- the story of TRON was always a kind of milestone in creating something really new, as it defined a completely new genre.

FAQ: When did you form the original DSO? What made you decide to form a TRON game clan? Have you been part of any game clans before that? Who were the first members of DSO, aside from yourself?

X: I formed DSO shortly after the full game was released, and my intention to form up a clan was the same as it is for most clans: you find people who are on the same "wavelength" as you. And as you get to know them over time, you eventually decide to take this form of friendship to a new level: a clan. Yes, I was in a clan shortly before I formed my own. It was the PD-Clan. But when interests and ideals start to become too different, it's better to go separate ways. This is the most diplomatic way for me. The real first members of DSO were Simanator and Nicola, aside from myself.

FAQ: I've already asked Mor.Evil-1 and Load"*",8,1 the same question, but I'd like to hear things from your perspective as well. How did the merger of the LD and DSO clans come about? What prompted the decision?

X: As I already stated in the answer before, the intention to do the merger is the same as why you sometimes form a clan: friendship. I met some LD members a long time ago, Mor.Evil-1 was the first. Soon, I realized we had the same perspective about the game. The ideas -- and the vision -- of how to bring respect and creativity into the community. There was no question that we should merge, because we weren't able to see a reason to stay separated.

FAQ: In addition to the more "traditional" artwork that you do, you are known for your breathtaking TRON 2.0 maps. You did a large number of Disc Arena maps, as well as a few Derez. Many (including myself) consider these maps to be as good -- if not better -- than the Multiplayer maps that came with the game. Where did you find the inspiration when creating these maps, and how long did it take you to make them? You did all the geometry in DEdit, correct? Rather than using a commercial 3-D package? That's remarkable.

X: Well, this may sound really self-confident: but inspiration for me is like breathing for others. You don't think about what you want to do. You just "do it". I've spent a lot of my life, living with this personal philosophy. I walk through the world with my eyes wide open: but also with my mind wide open. I see something inspirational in nearly every object, situation, or person. I have around 4,000 sketches on nearly every subject, and I'm working on a completely fictional world. (Some know about it, it's called Kenauer.) And I still haven't reached my limit, with my inspiration.

Making a map takes differing amounts of time, and is based on planning. Some of my "quickshots" (e.g. DA-BS-Disc) just take a few days. Others, a month or two. My current project, TDM: a year now. It's related to the time I have, and how precise my planning is.


Yes, all geometry was built in DEdit. I experimented with 3DSMax a few times after the tools were released, but found that the export feature was too inefficient for me. So I stuck with DEdit, alone. In the meantime I have discovered enough tricks, to create what I want.

FAQ: What do you think of the current state of affairs, on the TRON 2.0 scene? You and I are both part of a group of people interested in creating projects for TRON 2.0, called the TCDG (Tron Community Developer Group). We make our home on the Boxhat web site. There are several members, most of whom also happen to belong to LDSO. We tried very hard to get BVG to release more editing materials to the modding community, but there were strings attached and in the end we were rebuffed. How do you feel about BVG's lack of support?

X: Well, nothing lasts forever. I'm one of those people, who is hardened and realistic enough to realize this and take things for what they are. But TRON is more than just this game. Fans are still around, sticking with this story since the release of the film. So I'm not worried about a possible end of the whole TRON community itself.

About the game. Well, you'll notice different problems in every game that is created to attract a social group, a community. You have "good" and "bad" people. It only becomes a real problem if a community is too small, to compensate for the "bad" things. And here, the support from the publisher's side is important. In the case of BVG, there was no real support at all. Which doesn't really surprise me. BVG is, like most companies, only interested in making money. On the one hand, I can understand this. But on the other hand, I think entertainment should only be handled by those interested in doing entertainment. Not profit. It's the death of entertainment, in most cases. So I'm not really surprised or disappointed, about the lack of support from BVG. I anticipated this, and it's the reason why I have always followed my own path.

FAQ: Are there any future projects we can look forward to, from you? TRON 2.0, or otherwise? Such as The Digital Messiah Single (and Multi) Player mission expansion? Or your Kenauer MMORPG concept? Can you tell us a bit about them, and when they might be released?

X: Well, I currently have several projects "in the fire", trying to manage them based on the time which is left to me from my job. The biggest project I've been working on for the last few years, is my Kenauer concept. Its main goal is "creating a fictional world which is as detailed as possible". A side-benefit, would be that I can create a MMORPG out of this content. The release of this MMORPG is an absolute unknown, because I cannot do everything on my own. It would need too much time, for myself to learn all the stuff to do it.

Another project is an API called ENV, a kind of virtual environment/desktop: which can be used by other programmers and users for an unlimited amount of things. A release date or more precise information can't be given at this point, based on many different reasons.

The last important project is The Digital Messiah. It's a so-called "total conversion", so it's a completely new game. Not just a mod or a few new maps. It contains a complete story -- written by myself -- which is multi-threaded, very deep, and atmospheric (so I hope); with new Single Player and (if everything runs fine) new Multiplayer. Aside from that, I'll try to put in docs, tutorials, and other content: which should help those interested in working with the Lithtech engine. The story of TDM itself is not related in any form to TRON, but it does have something to do with a digital universe.


You could say I'm trying to implement all the ideas I envisioned, thanks to inspiration from TRON. All my answers to the questions asked, if you saw the film TRON or played TRON 2.0. Questions like: how is a digital universe created, where is it, how can a program exist, and how does it live in this digital universe. Plus much more. Don't think that I'm trying to make a plain, bad, modified copy of TRON. I really put a lot of effort into creating something new. I'm one of the biggest fans of TRON, so I would never harm the intellectual creation of Steve Lisberger. More than that, I will dedicate my creation to him, due to the respect I have for his great story. There is no release date for now, because I can't really plan the time for this project.

All I can say is: A.S.A.P. :)



I'd like to thank Xistence for agreeing to do this interview with me. In the meantime -- since the interview took place -- he has created his own new blog to document the progress on TDM. You can visit his blog by clicking HERE, or on the link to the right.
 

Server Map Polls

By TronFAQ on Friday, February 17, 2006 at 2:24 AM
I want to find out which custom maps you'd like to see on each server: Light Cycles, Disc Arena, and Derez (or Death Match).

I'd also like to find out which of the retail Light Cycle maps you'd like me to take out of the map rotation for the LC server. I know that not all of the maps are everyone's favorite.

I'm planning to add custom maps to the LC server soon. They will be added to the end of the list, so the retail maps will all be back-to-back. That way, you can play for a long stretch without getting kicked off.

I already know now that this is going to be an unpopular decision. Why it's such a big deal to download and install the custom maps . . . I don't know. Unless you live in a country where they charge for bandwidth used or you're on dialup, I don't see what the excuse is. Is it because you think the custom maps are bad? Because you haven't got the layouts memorized, and the playing field between vets and noobs is suddenly leveled?

For the Mac players out there, I feel your pain. But, I already know that custom maps can work on the Mac too. If someone would just work with me on it, I'm sure we could figure out exactly what needs to be done. If I had access to a Mac: you can bet I already would have figured it out.

Anyway, please vote in the polls. And if you really feel that you don't want custom maps on the LC server, leave me a comment. But unless I see a lot of comments screaming "No!", I'm going to go through with it. There are some good custom maps out there, you know?

To see all the maps out there, with descriptions and screenshots together: click the following links.




May 9th Update: The polls have been closed, due to the fact that the servers have shut down recently. If I decide to bring back the servers at some point, the results of these polls will be taken into account. Thanks to everyone who voted!
 

What Is TCDG?

By TronFAQ at 1:35 AM
Some of you might be wondering just what TCDG stands for. You've probably seen it when looking at the file downloads. Well, it represents two things.

  • It's short for TRON Community Developer Group. It's a group of people who were interested in modding TRON 2.0, who got together to share knowledge and resources. We made our home on the site called Boxhat (now gone). TCDG members have put out a fair number of the mods and maps out there.

  • It's also a new type of mod, created by Xistence. It has a big advantage over normal mods. TCDG mods don't require anyone else you're playing with online, to have the same mod. Normal mods require everyone to have the same mod on their computer while playing together online.

So, for example, if you install the Ancient Disc TCDG Version mod you will get an old-style disc that looks and sounds just like the one in the TRON movie. This disc shows up in both Single and Multiplayer. If you go online to play, you don't have to worry about everybody else having the Ancient Disc. That's the beauty of a TCDG mod. With a normal mod, either you have to disable it or everyone else has to have it.

The only (minor) drawback is that TCDG mods are permanently in effect unless you rename the new "tcdg" folder that appears inside your TRON 2.0 directory. If you, say, rename it to "_tcdg" the mods will be disabled until you rename it back to the way it was. Not much in the way of drawbacks, is there?

 

New Servers Are Up

By TronFAQ on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 3:09 AM
I've started some new TRON 2.0 servers as of today. One for each game mode. I've run servers intermittently before, but while the DayenTech servers were still active: it was pretty pointless to keep them going. Now that they're gone (but hopefully not for good), it makes sense again.

I don't have a T1 line like Dayen did, but I have a good upstream speed and at least there are servers on the North American East coast now. So players in the East and/or in Europe, can try them out. People playing each other across the ocean, should have pings that almost equal out. Instead of being lopsided, when everyone connects to BVG's servers.

Bear with me as I gain experience with tweaking and configuring the servers. I can't guarantee they'll be online 24/7, but I'll try to keep them up as much as possible. If you have suggestions to make about what maps you'd like to see, or what settings you prefer: add a comment to this post using the link below.

For now, the LC server is strictly running retail maps (ones that came with the game), until I figure out what map rotation to settle on. There are so many custom LC maps, it's hard to decide which ones to put in.

For the DA and DM servers, they are both running a mix of retail and custom maps. The retail maps are all back-to-back, so there will be a long stretch before players get the "boot". Then there will be a long stretch of custom maps, mostly from LDSO members. And finally, the cycle repeats.

I'm open to suggestions about what settings and maps to put on each server. But one thing I'm not open to, is telling me to remove the custom maps. I'm tired of people making excuses about why it's so hard, or such a pain, to install custom maps. And all these perfectly great maps go to waste. So, you got that? Custom maps stay.

You don't like it? Tough. Go play on the other servers, then. At least I put all the retail maps next to each other in rotation, so there's a good long stretch before you get kicked.

Screenshot of REZ Handler

I just posted a great big list of all the files, together in one place. So all the maps are in one easy to find spot. And REZ Handler makes it easy to install and manage the maps. If you have any excuses (unless you pay for bandwidth used), then you're just being lazy. Okay, rant over now.
 

All TRON 2.0 Files In One Place

By TronFAQ on Monday, February 13, 2006 at 8:29 PM
All files are for the PC Version of the game, unless otherwise noted.

If you own a newer Intel Mac,
read this article about how to play the game on OSX 10.5 (Leopard) or later.

For better descriptions, screenshots, and additional help with these files: visit my
Unofficial FAQ.


Last Updated 03/04/13


Essential Files

Here is a list of the must-have files for the PC Version of TRON 2.0. The remainder of the files listed on this page are optional.


Patches and Utilities

  • TRON 2.0 Demo - 202.7 MB
    This is the final "Gold" TRON 2.0 demo that Monolith released, with both Single Player and Multiplayer content. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8. If you don't already own TRON 2.0 and want to find out if it's any good, then try out this demo. But it doesn't really do justice to the full game. This demo is for PC owners only. No Mac demo was ever released. The demo version will not allow you to play online together with people who have the full version of the game.

  • Unofficial TRON 2.0 PC v1.042 Patch - Mirror 1 - 46 MB
    Unofficial TRON 2.0 PC v1.042 Patch - Mirror 2
    Unofficial v1.042 English Patch, that improves on the Official one. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8. You will not be able to play Multiplayer online without this patch! Note that all your older Single Player saved games will become useless, and you will have to start over!
    (download the Killer App Mod to change the Unofficial Patch to Français/Deutsch/Italiano/Español)

  • How do I install and use the Multiplayer Fix?
  • TRON 2.0 Mutiplayer Fix v1.0 - Mirror 1 - 6.9 MB
    Gamespy has ended support for TRON 2.0, so if you still want to play Multiplayer you will need to download this fix! Tested on XP/Vista/7/8, and should also work on 98/Me/2000.
    (requires you to install v1.042 Patch first!)

  • TRON 2.0 Mac OSX 10.4 Patch - Mirror 1 - 259 KB
    TRON 2.0 Mac OSX 10.4 Patch - Mirror 2
    Mac Version OSX 10.4 (Tiger) Patch, that fixes the problems with the game not installing on Tiger and rejecting a valid serial number (CD key). Go HERE for a workaround that allows the game to run on OSX 10.5 (Leopard) or later.

  • REZ Handler v1.3 - Mirror 1 - 2.8 MB
    REZ Handler v1.3 - Mirror 2
    Can install Maps and Mods for you, and lets you disable maps of your choice if you go over the .REZ file limit of the game. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8.

  • REZ Handler 2.0 Preview - 3.1 MB
    Pre-Alpha preview Build 001 version of REZ Handler 2.0, with all features disabled except for the Server List. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8. Due to Gamespy no longer listing TRON 2.0 servers, the Server List function is now useless. REZ Handler 2.0 is only kept here as a novelty and insight into a project that “might have been”.

  • 3D-Analyze - Mirror 1 - 953 KB
    3D-Analyze - Mirror 2
    A program that allows you to bypass the Transform and Lighting (aka T&L or TnL) check, if your video card doesn't meet the game's minimum hardware requirements. The game may run slowly as a result, but at least it will run. Find out how to use it, HERE. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP.

  • Game Booster - Approx. 5.5 MB
    A free utility that lets you shut down unneeded tasks and services, to help improve your game performance. Works on 2000/XP/Vista/7/8.

  • Radeon Pro - Approx. 2.3 MB
    Free utility that allows you to control anti-aliasing, vsync, and many other settings on ATI/AMD video cards to improve the visuals or performance of your games. Works on XP/Vista/7/8.

  • Nvidia Inspector - Approx. 209 KB
    Free utility that allows you to control anti-aliasing, vsync, and many other settings on Nvidia video cards to improve the visuals or performance of your games. Works on XP/Vista/7/8.

  • Game Save Manager - Approx. 9.8 MB
    Free program that lets you back up saved games from titles like TRON 2.0, TRON Evolution, and many others. Works on XP/Vista/7/8.

  • IZArc - 3.6 MB
    Free utility that can extract files from .ZIP, .RAR, .7Z, and other compression formats. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8.

  • Stuffit Expander - Approx. 30 MB
    Free utility for the Mac that can extract files from .ZIP, .RAR, and other compression formats.


Recent Light Cycle Multiplayer Map releases

This section is meant so that you can download any recent Light Cycle map releases, without having to download the entire Complete Map Pack just to get a few new maps when you already have them all. However, if you don't have any maps at all yet, then download the Complete Map Pack instead.


Recent Disc Arena Multiplayer Map releases

This section is meant so that you can download any recent Disc Arena map releases, without having to download the entire Complete Map Pack just to get a few new maps when you already have them all. However, if you don't have any maps at all yet, then download the Complete Map Pack instead.


Recent Derez Multiplayer Map releases

This section is meant so that you can download any recent Derez map releases, without having to download the entire Complete Map Pack just to get a few new maps when you already have them all. However, if you don't have any maps at all yet, then download the Complete Map Pack instead.


Multiplayer Mods


Single Player Mods


Map Editing

  • TRON 2.0 Self-Installing Editing Tools v1.2a - Mirror 1 - 170 MB
    Tools installer works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8. ResEdit component of WinREZ LT Studio only works on 2000/XP/Vista/7/8. It's recommended to do a Custom install of WinREZ and not choose ResEdit as part of the install. Use XN Resource Editor instead. If using a 64-bit version of Windows, do not install the Shell Extensions feature of WinREZ.
    (includes Prefabs, tutorial videos, .LTA Model Exporter Script for Blender, WinREZ LT Studio, XN Resource Editor)

  • Game Extractor Basic - Approx. 3.3 MB
    A program that lets you open existing .REZ files and extract their contents, using a friendly GUI. This is a Java-based program that is especially useful to Mac owners (but also works on the PC), as it has some of the same functionality as WinRez LT.

  • .DXF/.STL to Lithtech .LTA World Format Converter - 4 MB
    Converts .DXF/.STL format geometry to Lithtech .LTA world geometry (used by TRON 2.0), to help create maps/levels in DEdit. Free modelling programs such as Blender can export to both the .DXF and .STL formats. Works on 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8.

Many thanks to LDSO for currently hosting some of these files, and dev0.de for hosting them in the past!
 

Things We Can Look Forward To

By TronFAQ on Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 6:55 PM
Let's take a break from the negative thoughts now, and focus on the positive for a moment.

There are still several things we, as players of the game, can look forward to in the coming weeks and months ahead.


Techromancer and Zook_One are making new Multiplayer maps. Yes, imagine that. I don't have any preview screenshots for Techro's map, but here are some shots that Zook recently posted. (Remember that these are early shots.)

Early screenshots from Zook_One's Derez map




Meatsack and new partner Win3K are working on the next chapter of the User Error Single Player mission for TRON 2.0. Which, at last report, is approximately 1/3 complete. You can download the first chapter from HERE, and you can use REZ Handler to install it.

Screenshot from User Error


Xistence is continuing his work on The Digital Messiah Single and Multiplayer expansion project. Unfortunately, I don't have any screenshots to show you at this time. But trust me, this is going to blow everyone away when it's done. You can find out more about TDM in an upcoming interview I did with him.


For myself, I've got many projects in the works. Some are a long way off, if ever. Others are ones that I'm currently working on, albeit at a snail's pace. Current projects are: updating the Unofficial FAQ by (hopefully) the end of February; a (very) small Single Player Mod; a Skin Remix Mod that will combine three existing Multiplayer Mods, plus add some nice new touches; and REZ Handler 2.0 is my biggest project, it will be a huge upgrade to the previous versions when it's done. And I mean huge. It's a complete rewrite and redesign, from the ground up. Unfortunately, progress on it is slower than I anticipated it to be.


Finally, Kluwolf is holding a Light Cycle tournament on February 26th and/or 27th, with prizes to be won. You can find out more about the tournament, by visiting his GameGrid site.

 

Quote Of The Day

By TronFAQ at 6:44 PM
I found this comment, recently added to the TRON 2.0 Petition.

Tron 2.0's website was truly the best game support website I've encountered and I've been doing this for 15 years. I think it is a crime that the site be unavailable in it's original form or at least available as a client page replacing links to ftp resources hosted by BVG or by volunteers or fans. I never did get resolution for my technical support isse that prevented the game from running with SP2 on WinXP Pro - unless sound was totally and utterly disabled. Still my favorite game - what a shame BVG had the balls to see the project through only to lose the balls and drop support and deveopement for it.

Thanks, Brian. That quote made my day.
 

A Typical E-mail Received By TronFAQ

By TronFAQ on Friday, February 10, 2006 at 2:56 PM

Okay, I lied. I'm talking about myself. But it's for a good reason. (At least I'm not talking about shaving . . . yet.)

About a week ago, I received an e-mail. One that read like countless ones before it, that I've received over the last couple of years. Out of courtesy, I'm going to keep the sender's identity anonymous, of course. But the following passage from the e-mail is quoted verbatim. I have not edited it in any way.

when the demo was released, a gamer friend of mine pointed me at it and told me how awesome it was going to be. I downloaded it, tried it, and thought it was pretty stupid. I told him so. He bugged me a bit about it, but I had zero interest in the thing to begin with, and the demo left me cold. So a couple weeks ago, I'm walking through a bargain store and I see it sitting on the shelf, cheap. Real cheap. I wasn't playing anything else at the time, so I figured I'd give it a rip, maybe kill an hour or two on a slow after. The next night, I starting talking to this friend on IRC, and I'm like, "WHOA DUDE THIS GAME IS AWESOME," which of course he thought was pretty funny, and then, "MAN THIS IS GREAT WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME HOW GREAT THIS WAS?" which I don't think he found quiet so amusing.

From all the e-mails I have received, the following observations can be made:

  1. Many people still have no idea this game exists.
  2. If they did know about it, they were turned off by lack of polish in the Multiplayer demos.
  3. Said people did not hesitate to buy the game at a lower price than was originally asked. At $20 or less, it was an impulse buy with no questions asked. Obviously few companies would sell a game this cheap when new, but a more reasonable price is a large factor in the purchasing decision.
  4. Upon trying the game out, they discovered the demos to be misleading and the actual game far better than they expected.

Food for thought. Maybe next time (if there ever is a next time), BVG can try a little harder to get the word out about about one of their games. And while they're at it, maybe they can get some customer service too.

By the way, don't be shy with your opinions out there. See the comments link under each post I make? Click on it, and feel free to say whatever is on your mind.

Even if it's about shaving . . .

 

DayenTech Shuts Down Servers Indefinitely

By TronFAQ on Thursday, February 09, 2006 at 12:50 AM
It is with regret, that I post the first newsworthy item on this site. DayenTech is shutting down all of his game servers, including the ones for TRON 2.0.

Back in the days when the PGB server was still around and being run by Suspect, at first I couldn't understand why these new "DayenTech" servers were so popular. It wasn't until later that I realized why . . . his pings and bandwidth were amazing, thanks to having a T1 line!

After Suspect's server disappeared for good, Dayen's servers just kept on going. They ran almost 24/7 for the better part of 2 full years! No one showed as much tenacity and dedication when running TRON 2.0 game servers, as did Dayen. I don't think even BVG (the game's publisher) could claim the same steady, consistent uptime over those years, that Dayen could.

The shutting down of Dayen's servers will leave a huge void on the game grid. Dayen, on behalf of the TRON 2.0 community: I can't thank you enough for your dedication, generosity, and willingness to listen to the players. Few other server operators would have had the patience to listen to everyone's requests.

We will miss you.
 

Welcome To TRON 2.0 News

By TronFAQ at 12:17 AM
Welcome to what I hope will become your first stop for TRON 2.0 News.

Why did I start this blog? I thought it might be a good idea to create a site where I could quickly post updates about the TRON community between updates of my TRON 2.0 Unofficial FAQ. It takes me weeks, or sometimes even months, before I update the FAQ. In the meantime, interesting events or newly released projects may occur on which players may be missing out.

Yeah, there may not exactly be a lot of exciting news to report about the TRON 2.0 scene. But when it happens, I'll report it here. If you have any news you'd like to pass along, be it about something related to the game (such as a map you plan to release) or just a general TRON related news item, feel free to contact me by clicking the link on the right side of the page.

I won't just talk about the game. Sometimes if something else interesting comes along, I might post about it. It may not even have to do with TRON. One thing you can be sure of, is that I won't talk about myself, unless it's about one of my game projects. I hate blogs that ramble on -- about how someone woke up, shaved, ate breakfast, and all other manner of useless crap no one wants to hear about -- just as much as you do!

Please bear with the site, as I become accustomed to customizing the Blogger template. Over time, I plan to give the site's appearance much more of a TRON feel.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by and hope you find this site useful!