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Tuesday, May 23, 2000

  

Spanish/Italian UT 420 Released

Epic has released the Spanish/Italian version of the Unreal Tournament 420 patch (here's a local copy). This patch is identical to the one released yesterday (story) but is for Spanish and Italian users.

FAKK2 Chat Log

Ritualistic has posted an edited chat log from last night's IRC session with The Levelord. The log features all kinds of FAKK2 information, and this being Levelord, lots of other topics as well.

FAKK2 Interview

As promised, the second part of NextGame.it's interview with members of Ritual's FAKK2 team is online. This second installment features questions about the game's weapons, NPCs and AI as well as some questions about non-FAKK2 subjects, such as upcoming technologies. Like the first installment, it is available in your choice of either English or Italian.

Todd Hollenshead Interview

A new interview with id Software's Todd Hollenshead is up at AGN in Real Video format, in both low and high bandwidth versions. In addition, they also have two clips of gameplay footage from Team Arena, the Quake III Arena add-on from id, one featuring general gameplay footage, and one featuring a look at the Kamikaze which is available in both low and high bandwidth versions. Naturally a Real, or compatible player is required to view these.

Republic Interview

French gaming site Joystick has conducted an interview with Demis Hassabis, CEO of Elixir Studios, the company behind the upcoming strategy game Republic: the Revolution. The interview text is in French, although there is a Real Audio version available that is entirely in English (and if you really want to, you could always have it translated by Babel Fish for that goofy muddled effect).

Thief Interview

The Oxygen Tank has conducted an interview with Steven Pearsall and Tim Stellmach, the producer and lead designer at Looking Glass on the Thief games. The interview covers the development of the games, looking at the various influences on their plots and art direction, as well as the design process itself.

Lionhead's PC Future Clarification

PC Zone UK has gotten a clarification from Lionhead designer Peter Molyneux regarding his recent statement that their next game after Black & White would be made for next-generation consoles (story). According to their news post, the game will be primarily developed for consoles, but a PC port will be contracted out to a separate company. Here's an excerpt:

The biggest misconception about his E3 statement was that Lionhead is to abandon the PC entirely. What actually seems to be the case is that the company's focus is shifting. "Lionhead intends to produce its next games for a next generation console," he explains. "I definitely hope to see many future Lionhead games on the PC though. We are not abandoning it, but we are saying that it will take a little longer for PC versions to come out."

Daikatana in Stores

Our own Blue called from a Software Etc. where he has just purchased a copy of Daikatana, and we have received other reports from around the country that it has been appearing on store shelves, so if you pre-ordered a copy, chances are it's ready for you to pick up as we speak (or should be later today, anyway).

Deus Ex Update

The official Deus Ex site has been updated with four new screenshots and a desktop wallpaper image (thanks MagicBoy). The site makes extreme use of Macromedia Flash (with no non-Flash option) so proceed only if you have the plugin installed.

Thief 2 Walkthrough

The Gamers Press has updated their walkthrough for Thief 2: The Metal Age, and it now features missions 10 - 12, as well as their previous mission guides and their "ten commandments" (some basic thieving tips for beginners). Each mission guide contains a walkthrough on the expert setting and has the locations of all of the level's many secrets.

MDK2 Update

AVault has posted an update from BioWare's Greg Zeschuk, talking about the current status of the PC version of MDK2. While the game is gold (story), Greg talks about why they took extra time to work on the PC version even after the Dreamcast version was complete and on store shelves. They have also posted nine new high-resolution screenshots from the game, which were taken on a GeForce using transform and lighting. MDK, as everyone knows, stands for My Dirty Kinsman.

New Coliseum 2

Version 1.7 of the Lithium-style Coliseum 2 mod for Quake III Arena has been released. This version (which is described by the author as being the last release) is backwards compatible with earlier versions, provided the server isn't set as pure.

New Zappy

Zappy has released version 1.12 of his eponymous mod for Quake III Arena. The mod adds instagib style gameplay with smart rockets and the ability to teleport targets, and this new version adds some HUD and cosmetic changes in addition other enhancements and fixes.

Ground Control Gold

Martin Walfisz of Massive Entertainment sends along news about Ground Control, Massive's upcoming multiplayer strategy title. The simple message offers perhaps the two nicest words a developer can hear other than 'free beer,' saying that: "We're gold." No word yet on exactly when the game is expected on store shelves.

OSX Q3A Next Week

A post called Quake 3 Arena for OS X coming next week, says developer on MacCentral (thanks Eric Cherry) quotes some USENET posts by id Software's Graeme Devine saying "We'll probably release the OS X client next week." Word on the OSX build, being developed in conjunction with Omni Development, is it is faster than the OS 9 build because of the "cool OS," which boosts performance "about 10fps faster on a 500mhz G4." In addition to the news on the new Mac client, the report also gives reason to hope there will be an OSX release of the Q3A editing tools, quoting Graeme as saying: "I'm going to basically try and get the editor up and running in OS X. There's a number of reasons why OS X is easier to develop for over OS 9, but the main reason for Id is that OS X has its roots in NeXTSTEP, and we used to use a lot of that."

Steel Beasts Demo

The Shrapnel Home Page has the release of a playable demo of Steel Beasts, which they describe as: "The ultimate in modern tank simulations designed and tested by tankers from all over the globe." In spite of the ambitious promise that: "This design effort goes further than any before to accurately model real world conditions and tactics," they also say that efforts have been made to avoid overwhelming novices with "a zillion key combinations and an overwhelming interface." Word on the 21 MB demo is that it is limited to one mission, a limited editor, and the full set of tutorials from the full game.

Mondo E3

Mondo Evolva

There is an Evolva gallery on Well Rounded Entertainment with a staggering 112 screenshots from this upcoming action title. About the only thing more unusual than the sheer volume of shots (all said to be new), is the manner in which they are posted: with 112 thumbnails all on one page! The shots show off both the single-player and multiplayer aspects of the game.

Summoner Interview

GameSpy.com interviews Volition talking with an unnamed person or persons from Volition about Summoner, their upcoming RPG, getting the full rundown on the game from soup to nuts.

Screenshots

There are a bunch of new Republic: The Revolution screenshots on GA-Strategy showing off this upcoming strategy game where your goal is to "build up a nationwide faction powerful enough to oust the President and rule the Republic of Novistrana." Rounding out this batch of GA-Shots are these EVE screenshots on GA-Source show off a massively multi-player space combat game entitled, EVE: The Second Genesis, currently in the works from Crowd Control Productions, an Iceland-based developer.

Evil Dead Preview

There is an Evil Dead Hail To The King preview on GameSpot UK giving the lowdown on plans for this upcoming kick-Ash horror game. In addition to the preview of the game based on the Sam Raimi (I could have sworn it was George (no relation) Romero) cult classics, they also have a new Evil Dead-Hail To The King PC Screenshot Gallery, and some Evil Dead- Hail To The King Movies showing models from the game in a few small AVIs.

Tech Bits

Firearms Half-Life Patch

The Firearms Half-Life page has word of a quick fix on the heels of the version 1.2 release (story) comes a small version 1.2a patch, available for both the Linux and the Windows version of the mod. The only word on the patch is that it "fixes crashes."

TRIBES 2 Music (Mötley Crüe) Interview

There's a Mötley Crüe interview on PC.IGN.Com talking with a couple of members of the hair band about their work on the soundtrack for the upcoming TRIBES 2 and Little Mermaid 2 (they are definitely working on at least one of those sequels). In addition to discussing the upcoming sequel to Starsiege TRIBES, they find out a little of what the band's been up to lately, and their formula for avoiding the need for a comeback: "I think it’s a pretty simple thing: if you don’t go anywhere, you’re still here."

UT and the BBC

The following slightly offbeat request for some custom UT work comes from the BBC, Austin Power's favorite media giant:

BBC TV (British Broadcasting Corporation) are currently looking for talented (probably UK- based) Unreal Tournament mod developers, mappers, coders and graphic artists for a forthcoming primetime BBC2 entertainment show. This will involve the design and development of a celebrity based version of UT with enhancements to convey the excitement of a UT game over to a TV audience.

For further information please contact bleeding.thumbs@bbc.co.uk.

Quake III Assault

The Assault page has a new version of the Assault mod for Quake III Arena. According to the team, "the objective of this mod is to force teams to attack in large groups...When a team caps, instead of getting a point, Assault Mode starts (where) the other team has to touch the flag to abort. After half the time the defending team gets a point and if they withstand the entire Assault, they get another two points."

Descent 3 Assault

It's like deja vu all over again: The Assault page has the debut beta release of the Assault mod for Descent 3. Assault is a teamplay mod where each team has a base to defend, while they simultaneously attempt to destroy their opponent's base (bases consist of structures like reactors and buildings).

Editing Stuff

Machinima Watched Quick on Machinima.com is the third and final part of Anthony Bailey's "investigation into timescales and Machinima" for those interested in making game films.

The Mod Squads

There's an Interview with Cliffe at Cold-ice.com talking with one of the creators of the Counter-Strike mod for Half-Life (he displays his delight at the Q&A by interspersing full sentences among his one-word replies). Also, Rocket Arena's Meet the Mappers Volume 1: talks with Ra3 map author big0nes. Finally, Sharky Extreme's Spicing up Unreal Tournament takes a look at a few UT mods currently in development.

Competitions

Planet Daikatana is holding a contest where they will give away a copy of the Prima DK strategy guide signed by Killcreek and Romero, a Daikatana Headband signed by Romero, and the Killcreek PCXL issue personally autographed to you by Killcreek for the first five people that send pictures in showing them holding the retail copies of Daikatana. Also, the Post E3 Craptacular Giveaway Contest on GameCritics.com looks to give away a bunch of E3 swag, including a Star Trek Voyager Elite Force flyer autographed by Kate Mulgrew.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

This is right around the second anniversary of the appearance of the original Unreal on store shelves. Suggested celebration is to set a pair of Skaarj on fire and then blow them out before the room starts to smell, but feel free to improvise if this violates local fire codes.

Link of the Day: Star Wars Origins. Thanks Ant. Far Out Space Nuts! I was sure no one else in the universe besides me remembered that one.
Story of the Day: Musical chairs 'too violent' (BBC News). Thanks Jim McCauley. What's left?

Monday, May 22, 2000 Happy Victoria Day (Canada)

New Legends Info

A thread called Any Questions on the New-Legends.Net Forums has an answer from Infinite Machine's Justin Chin giving a bunch of details about what's planned for inclusion in New Legends, I.M.'s upcoming Unreal-engine first-person shooter. The post talks about how the game will likely ship with just basic multiplayer elements and contain at least 20 hours of single player gameplay, discusses the "friggin huge" levels, the camera system., and more.

Daikatana Movie

The game will be in stores any day now, but incite.com has released a new movie featuring footage from Daikatana. The movie is available as a small (3.5 MB) or large (10.5 MB) MPEG file, and the footage is from some of the later levels in the game.

Joe Siegler Interview

The Mushroom's Legit Section has posted another one of their 20 question interviews, this time featuring 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler. If you're looking for new information about Duke Forever don't bother, but Joe talks about life at 3DR, his thoughts on the gaming industry (and recent games) and of course, what it's like to be the original voice of Duke Nukem (in Duke Nukem II, Joe says two words).

Psycho Trailer

The trailer from KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child that was shown at this year's E3 Expo is available over at GOD's Psycho Circus site as either a Quicktime or Real Video file.

X-COM Interview

A new interview with members of Microprose's X-COM: Alliance team is up at Telefragged. The interview covers a lot of ground, including a look at some of the game's newer features, including this bit regarding their new speech system for your AI driven teammates:

...each trooper has over 200 lines of autonomous speech that cover everything from running out of ammo in a firefight to mourning over the loss of a fellow trooper. Characters will tell you when they are tired and then bitch at you if you don’t give them a break. They’ll get frustrated at their own mistakes and can become panicked when they’re outnumbered. They’ll even chat amongst each other! Each character has his or her own voice, personality, and in some cases, accent.

Serious Sam Shots

GA-Source has received some new screenshots from CroTeam's upcoming first person shooter Serious Sam, along with word that the game's demo will be released a week from tomorrow. Serious Sam runs on an original engine, and they say the demo will contain a single level with six weapons and eleven enemies.

Unreal Tournament 420 Released

Epic has released Unreal Tournament version 420 (here's a local copy with mirrors). In addition to the new game patch (which features improved Direct3D support), this update contains the first public release of the new UnrealEd 2.0 editor (developed by Legend). Here's a list of changes from the readme file:

Version 420 is completely network compatible with all previous public releases of UT (versions 400, 402, 405b, and 413).

Bug fixes
- fixed actorlinecheck() crash
- fixed findrandomdest()
- fixed D3D driver - combined best performance with widest compatibility of previous iterations, improved Voodoo 4 D3D support
- fixed installer problem with certain directory structures
- fixed security holes with ServerRestartGame() SwitchLevel() and SwitchCoopLevel()
- removed ability to use bad skins
- fixed ADDINI for editing .ini files for patch and umod installation

New features (thanks to Legend)
- New editor! - note that the editor is still called unrealed.exe
- various other under the covers features and fixes merged in by Mark Poesch of Legend

Vampire Media

The newly unveiled Vampire Vault has released a new AVI movie from Vampire: the Masquerade - Redemption that shows the Christof character being "embraced" to become a vampire. In addition, they also have a new gallery of multiplayer screenshots, that show off the game's character creation system.

Earth 2150 Gold

According to a news update by AVault, the US version of Earth 2150 has gone gold (the international version has been available for some time now), and will be in stores on June 2nd. In celebration of the news, they have posted 12 new screenshots from this 3D strategy game.

WoT International Patches Released

Legend's Craig Lafferty updated his .plan with word that due to the longer-than-expected wait at GT International's QA department, he has released the internernational Wheel of Time patches on their official site, along with a new DLL file that should improve framerates for Direct3D users. Here's the scoop:

Six weeks ago I sent the Wheel of Time International patches off to GT International for testing. Good thing I didn't hold my breath. I think at this point it is safe to assume the patches AND GT testing have been sucked into a black hole or time void.... So, we have decided to just release the patches and call them "beta". I don't for see any problems, they just haven't had the GT seal of approval stamped on them.. So, if you have the Wheel of Time (a non-us version) you can grab the German or "other" International patche from the official Wheel of Time site (http://www.wheeloftime.com). They are linked via Glen's update (under Current Wot News). Also, we released a new d3ddrv.dll file that is also available from the WOT site that should give D3D users a boost in both Image quality and framerate. (Your milage may vary)

If you do run into any problems, please email me at clafferty@legendent.com and let me know.

Starfleet Command II Interview

XtremeNetwork.com has conducted an interview with Erik Bethke, the senior designer and CEO at Taldren, the company behind the original Starfleet Command and its upcoming sequel, the appropriately titled Starfleet Command Volume II. The interview covers both games, with some questions dealing with the success of the original, as well as lots of questions about the sequel, including ones that deal with the multiplayer, its extensibility, and various gameplay features.

FAKK2 Interview

Here's some more FAKK2 news for you this afternoon: Italian games site NextGame.it has conducted an interview with several different members of Ritual's Heavy Metal: FAKK2 team. The interview will be run in two parts, and this first installment covers some background info about the game (the license, the story, etc.) as well as some details on their system requirements and how they have modified the Quake III Arena engine. This being an Italian site, you can read the interview in your choice of either English or Italian.

More FAKK2 Q&A

FAKK YOU! the colorfully named Heavy Metal: FAKK2 fan site, has posted the second, and last part of their Q&A with Ritual's resident sound and music man, Zak Belica. These last few questions deal with the type of music the game's soundtrack will be comprised of, as well as whether or not they will be using any songs from the Heavy Metal 2000 movie (it doesn't look likely due to rights issues).

Alone in the Dark Media

GameSpot UK has released nine concept art pieces and two Quicktime movies from Alone in the Dark 4. One of the movies is described as a "making of Alone in the Dark" piece, while the other is a trailer for the game.

Soldier of Fortune Diary

SoFCenter has posed a new edition of their Soldier of Fortune Development Diary, featuring programmer Keith Fuller explaining how much of the original Quake II engine they used, and what they changed (complete with a detailed list of the various engine components).

UnrealScript Q&A

The April 2000 edition of ChessMess.com's UnrealScript Q&A is online. Like each previous installment, this issue is comprised of the tons of topics brought up in the UnrealScript mailing list, complete with plenty of code samples for mod authors.

TRIBES 2 Screenshots

There are three new TRIBES 2 screenshots on Tribes Station, a newly-opened TRIBES fan site. I noticed there that Tribes Universe posted a short Q&A with Dynamix' Dave Georgeson talking about the gameplay seen in the TRIBES 2 movie from E3, talking a lot about how the game's new vehicles will be handled, and also, Fragtopia has posted a scanned copy of the TRIBES 2 poster.

Tech Bits

New GameSpy2mIrc

A new version 2.3 of GameSpy2mIrc is now available, updating this script that can update your IRC cohorts as to your status when you use GameSpy 3D to join a multiplayer game, useful for helping friends and clanmates to find the game you're in, or of course, just to be able to chatter to the channel while you are away.

New Gwrap

A new version 0.5 of the Gwrap PERL Linux server wrapper is now available. A server running under Gwrap will automatically restart after failing. Gwrap is based on the inspiration of Qwrap and Q3Wrap, which served the same function for Quake and Quake III Arena servers, respectively, but has been rewritten from the ground up to support any game server running under Linux.

Competitions

A week remains in sign-ups for Counter-Strike Assembly, planned as "the largest gathering of Counter-Strike players in the US," this 100 player tournament/LAN party slated for May 27-28 in San Francisco, though there are also plans for participation from remote LAN locations. Also, the Magic Clan Tournament is a Quake II tourney looking for another couple of entrants. Finally, the next edition of the Pro Quake Players Challenge on GamersHome is gearing up, allowing those following the upcoming Teamplay/ Double Team tourney to predict winners of the tournament, like the deathmatch version of Rotisserie baseball.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The latest trend in spam seems to be aimed at avoiding being filtered out based on the sender's address, I now have a couple of solicitation emails in my inbox that have my own address as the sender. Funny, I don't recall sending out any get rich quick schemes... I wonder if I should complain to my ISP and see if I can get myself in trouble? Speaking of spam and related annoyances, someone wrote in the other day asking why our site was generating external pop-up banner ads (called interstitials by those who keep track of the official names for annoyances). My initial response was to suggest this was generated by exiting some previous porn site or something, but I have learned since then that a glitch at UGO high command accidentally pumped a few of these down the line over the course of a couple of days last week. Our apologies for that: Rest assured, this was accidental... we have some sort of "over my dead body" clause when it comes to interstitials.

Link of the Day: Spud Server (building a potato powered web). Thanks Ant, Brendan Reville, and Slashdot.
Bonus Link: DeadRoses.Com (Over the Hill Birthday Gifts). Thanks Muad.



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