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Friday, Feb 11, 2000

  

Romero Q&A

Sailor Scout's Gaming Center has posted a brief Q&A with John Romero, with a few questions related to the movie released on Incite Games yesterday (story). While brief, the questions are better than most, dealing with such issues as how the sidekicks are controlled, and how to enable the console.

Diablo II Preview

GameFan recently made a trip down to Blizzard's offices, and they've posted a hands-on preview of Diablo II based on what they saw and played there. The author is a big fan of the original Diablo, so it's full of stuff that fans will appreciate.

New Aureal Drivers

Aureal has released new drivers for A3D based cards (thanks Groltz). These drivers feature support for A3D 3.0, and there are also A2D drivers available for enabling A3D 3.0 audio support on non-3D cards as well.

More Screenshots

A collection of images for your evening viewing pleasure:

New wHeretic

The latest version 0.5a build 7 of wHeretic is now available for download. This release adds looping sounds, removes vissprite and visplane limits, and fixes display code and a couple other problems in the Win32 port of Raven's classic fantasy shooter.

Windows 2000: 63,000 Bugs?

According to this story on ZDNet, Windows 2000, which ships next Thursday the 17th, contains 63,000 bugs in this initial release. Their source on the story is an internal Microsoft memo, which says that 28,000 of these are likely to be "real" problems. Microsoft was quick to defend the OS, saying that 750,000 testers agreed that it was ready for prime time, but knowing previous releases from the company, you may want to wait before upgrading.

Dark Sector Announced

Voodoo Extreme has posted Digital Extreme's announcement that they are working on Dark Sector - a new massively multiplayer persistent world action game, based on the Unreal Tournament engine. They've also posted some preliminary concept artwork. Here's an excerpt from the full release (available on their news page):

London, Canada, Feb. 11, 2000 – Leading computer game developer Digital Extremes announces its follow-up to the critically acclaimed Unreal: Tournament. Dark Sector is the next step in the first person action gaming experience by blending the intense action elements of Unreal: Tournament with the scope and character evolution of a persistent online universe.

Dark Sector is set in the wake of world devastation, where survivors are scattered throughout the solar system in a vast crumbling network of outposts and space stations. Anarchy reigns as violent factions wage war over limited resources. The remnants of world government have sanctioned bounty hunting in a desperate attempt to control the growing chaos.

Players carve out their destiny in a violent struggle for fortune and fame. Begin your career as a bounty hunter tracking your target from Mars to the moons of Jupiter and then face off in an ice mine on Europa. Or choose the darker path by hunting the law-abiding citizens around you; build an infamous reputation as an assassin, while the growing price on your head turns your own friends against you.

Additional key features of Dark Sector:

Players can band together in formal syndicates, seeking to invade and occupy the multitude of resource fortresses in the game world.

Challenge Arenas where players can hold grudge matches, wager on matching your skills against others, compete in team battles and ladder matches.

An advanced Unreal: Tournament engine featuring a new hardware-only renderer exploiting the latest advances in graphics technology such as T&L, skeletal deformation, multi-texturing, inverse-kinematics, advanced surface lighting and a myriad of other improvements.

Space flight gameplay will allow players to travel between space stations and engage in gut wrenching dog fights.

Dark Sector is an evolving game where new elements are regularly introduced after the game’s debut, enriching and expanding the game experience.

New GLQuake

Version 1.12 of the Unofficial GLQuake Project's GLQuake has been released. This new version adds a new "Weapon Flash Lighting" and "r_shadows" controls to the options menu, underwater fog, and linear interpolation in addition to other changes. Both the executable and source are available for download on the Unofficial GLQuake Project's web site.

Delta Force 2 Interview

AGN3D has posted a brief interview with NovaLogic's Dan Bennett, talking to him about their recent announcement that the US Marines will be using their game Delta Force 2 for training purposes. The interview is actually a transcript of one of their shows, which of course is accessible from their archives.

Carnivores 2 Interview

Also new on AGN3D is another transcript, this one of an interview with WizardWorks' Michael Gjere, talking about their dino-hunting first person shooter Carnivores 2. Like the interview above, the original show is available in their archives.

Unreal II at E3

Word on Stomped's E3 Page is that Unreal II will possibly be making an appearance in one of those 'by appointment' backroom showings at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Though most readers who attend the show who will be unlikely to be able to demonstrate the requisite 'leetness to get in to view a backroom showing, it is the first indication we've had that the game is this far along in development.

Tiberian Sun: Firestorm Interview

GameSpot UK has posted an interview on Tiberian Sun: Firestorm, the upcoming expansion pack to Westwood's real-time strategy affair, talking to lead producer Rade Stojsavljevic about the storyline, new features, and more. This will be the only expansion pack, as they "will be concentrating on the next C&C game after Firestorm is released."

Zoid Chat & Robert Duffy Log

PlanetQuake will be hosting an IRC chat with Dave "Zoid" Kirsch of id Software, author of Threewave CTF for Quake, Quake II, and Quake III Arena. The festivities kick off at 7:00 PM PST tonight in channel #PlanetQuake of irc.gamesnet.net 6667. Also, the log of last night's chat with Robert Duffy is now available for your perusal at PlanetQuake as well.

New Q3LA

There is a new build 023 of Quake 3 Log Analyzer (Q3LA) available, offering a new output design, improved performance, new output options, funname support, and fixing some crash bugs.

Starlancer Screenshots

GameSpot UK has thrown up on of their famed galleries, posting 20 new screenshots of Starlancer to show off more deep space action from the upcoming space combat sim by Warthog and Digital Anvil.

DarkStone Patch

As expected for some time (thanks Matthias), Delphine has released a new patch for DarkStone on the official site. The version 1.0.5 patch comes in US and European editions, and adds a new "Legend" difficulty mode, makes some changes to character and monster behaviour, and has some multiplayer fixes. Also available is a download of some new quests, called "Journey in Uma," and word is, the "quest editor will be available soon with the next patch 1.0.6."

Cavedog No More

AVault is reporting that in GT Interactive's quarterly results is word that Cavedog, an internal development house at GT (and the people behind the Total Annihilation titles and the recently cancelled shooter Amen: The Awakening) has been closed down as part of their reorganization. There's no word as of yet how (if at all) this will affect Cavedog's unpublished titles or their Boneyards online network.

New D3Edit

A new version of D3Edit, the Descent 3 level editor, has been released (thanks Descent3D). Also released, is the source code, although they're using CVS version control software to track changes, so it's anonymous, read-only access. Details are available on the D3Edit source code page.

Dark Reign 2 Preview

Dark Reign 2 Impressions at GameSpot is a brief preview of the 3D action RTS currently being prepared at Pandemic Studios for a Summer release. Besides a written update of the game's development status, there is also a visual update in the form of nine new screenshots.

Aquarius Preview

GA-Strategy has posted a preview of Aquarius, a new 3D action/strategy game by developer Jack in the Box that should be released towards the end of the year. As the title implies, water plays an important role in this game, if only in the way it is graphically realized on your screen, and the engine also sports features like real-life physics, environmental sound, and full multiplayer support.

Thief II Screenshots

The official Thief II: the Metal Age site has put five new screenshots into rotation from Looking Glass stealthy action game sequel (thanks VoodooExtreme), although I recognize at least one image from earlier previews.

Deus Ex Interview

Unreal Universe Interviews Bob White talking with the ION Storm designer about progress on Deus Ex, the upcoming Unreal-engine non-shooter formerly known by the working title "Shooter," which according to the intro "should be going gold within the next month." One question addresses the likelihood of hitting their planned release date, bluntly saying "Ion Storm has a bad reputation with keeping to release dates," which inspired the following response: "The Austin group has a sense of drive and purpose unprecedented in the company. We will make our dates."

Half-Life Patch Plans

Further word from Valve about the upcoming version 1.0.1.6 Half-Life patch mentioned last week (story) is that it's expected to be made available this Tuesday (February 15) at about 1:00 PM EST. The patch to update version 1.0.1.3 will be about 7 MB.

Tech Bits

Werewolf Update

A post called Some Information about Werewolf on the ASC Games Bulletin Board gives the status on the game from Travis Williams, a former member of the Werewolf: The Apocalypse-Heart of Gaia development team (now with Interplay). Thanks RPGvault.ign.com. The update gives the state of the game following the announcement that ASC was continuing its involvement (story), which apparently is not the case. To make it easy, PaxTravis finishes his own lengthy post with a summary of what we've learned:

So in case you don’t like to read long posts….

Werewolf is still in development.
Werewolf was looking GOOD when I left it.
Dreamforge is still working on the title.
ASC is gonna be around but in what “form” I dunno.
Yes Take Two looked at the title but I am not sure if it’s a fit for them.
I have no idea what these developments mean as they pertain to release dates.
Travis Williams is now at Interplay in Sunny Cali (YES!)
Richard Rosado is now at Rockstar Games in New York City

Devil Inside

There are 15 new Devil Inside Screenshots on GA-Source showing off loads of gameplay from this upcoming 3D action/adventure from the author of the Alone in the Dark series. Here's the description of the game from the blurb accompanying the shots: "Take one part Nocturne, one part Running Man, and throw in a little twist of the weirdness French developers are known for... and you get a really strange game by the name of - Devil Inside."

Summoner Diary & Preview

Summoner Thursday! on PC.IGN.Com offers chapter five of the designer diaries for Summoner, Volition's upcoming 3D RPG. The new update gets "the dirt" from Lead Level Designer Mitri Vanichtheeranont on "The Duties of a Level Designer." Also, Computer Games Online previews Summoner looking at the game with a bunch of screenshots and quotes from the developers.

Strategy Guides

Raise your rank on UT GlobalStats gives a ten point list of tips specifically geared towards legitimately raising your ngWorldStats for Unreal Tournament rank. Ingava's Quake III Arena Strategy Guide #3 offers tips for success on Q3DM3. Ultimazone.ch's Game Guide to Quake III Arena offers Q3A tips in German (here's AltaVista Translations if German's not your thing).

Licensing Ecstasy

You may not be able to buy happiness, but you can license Ecstasy, as Infogrames North America's Ecstasy Engine, which is the technology that underlies their recently released Slave Zero, is now available for third-party licensing. Those interested in more details can email Matt Powers.

Screenshots

There are some new Ruins of Kunark screenshots on incitegames showing images from Verant Interactive's upcoming EverQuest expansion pack. Also, the Star Trek Armada site has been updated with still more new screenshots from Interplay's upcoming Trekkie RTS, these showing off Cardassian cruisers in battle. Thanks Tymetodie. Speaking of space, there are three more new Starlancer screenshots on Wewp! Entertainment showing off this upcoming space combat game from Microsoft, Digital Anvil, and Warthog.

New Q3Log

The version of the day of Q3Log is version 0.95b beta, another rapid-fire release to this Quake III Arena log parser that now supports spaces in names in the HTML and fixes a problem displaying the logo in HTML game displays. They're not through yet, as word is a version 0.95c will be along pretty rapidly as well, to add improved HTML pages, including colored (or "coloured" as they would say) names. The release is expected to follow an accompanying new version of Q3LA.

OverDrive Quake

A new version 1.5 of OverDrive Quake for Quake III Arena is now available, adding the Big Freakin' Nuke weapon to replace the BFG and some other new tweaks on fixes to this mod that adds a flamethrower, changes many weapon damage values, and adds an off-hand grappling hook.

Reviews

etc.

  • The Sims website has a set of free downloadable objects that can be imported into your game, including a set of five character skins, a set of new lights for their homes, a (reportedly VERY loose) slot machine, as well as some Maxis designed mansions...
  • Court Rules for Software Maker announces that Connectix' Sony emulation software did not violate Sony's copyright, according to a federal appeals court...
  • Those in Europe interested in Razer's Boomslang mouse may want to check out the XSReality-Razer Store where they are available with lower shipping costs and shorter ship times for those on the continent and in the UK....
  • Video Game Tracker has been launched as the gaming equivalent of the DVD Collection Tracker, created by the same folks....

Out of the Blue

Well, since "it's always something," Nana Rosannadanna would have been disappointed if there didn't turn out to be at least a little "something" about the JavaScript solution to the frames focus dealie mentioned in this space yesterday. Apparently the script is working as it theoretically should, and not causing indigestion for decaffeinated browsers (the big fear), but a side-effect of the script's intended purpose, which is to bring the news page into focus, that is at issue. Apparently on some browsers for some users the new script will cause your browser to pop into focus on your desktop after the page loads if you navigate to this page and then switch to another application (this does not happen to me). If it turns out to be a huge problem it can be addressed, but it seems the way the new code makes the news more easily scrollable generated a lot of positive feedback, and only a few mentions of this problem. One mail that mentioned this pointed out this is an annoying quality we now share with the HotMail site, and another called it "rude," though another note said they still preferred the change in spite of this problem. Please feel free to send in your thoughts on this, or post a message.

I forgot to mention that someone indeed came up with the perfect phrase for those orphaned network wires behind so many computers on so many LANs I mentioned the other day... Wayne posted a message to the messageboards calling them "netsam" (as in flotsam and jetsam). I knew I could've continued wracking my brain and still not come up with something as good as one already being used, and I was certainly right. Netsam it is. Thanks again Wayne.

Link of the Day: Crash Test Dumbass, a Crash Test Dummies simulator. The web-based version uses Flash, but there are desktop versions for the Mac and PC for download. Thanks Ant.
Story of the Day: Cops Bust Man Armed With Sex Toy "apparently thinking the clerk was not taking him seriously, Vetters allegedly grabbed a sex toy, known as a 'vibrating tongue,' off a display rack and waved it at the clerk." Thanks Buclerpp.



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