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Tuesday, Jan 14, 2003

  

Counter-Strike 1.6 Changes

A post on Shacknews has listed some of the changes found in the official change list from the version 1.6 of Counter-Strike scheduled for release on Thursday (story). Among the changes are the two new rifles, the addition of the riot shield, tweaks, widescreen monitor support, and more.

Purge Patch

The Purge Website has details on the new version 1.3.4 patch for the Purge open beta, superceding the patch from yesterday, which turns out to have been prematurely released with a few problems. The new patch contains the proper DLLs to replace the erroneous ones in the prior patch, and includes some further balance tweaks as well. The file is mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileShack (registration required), and Worthplaying.

C&C Generals Boxing Match

This Press Release from EA announces the plan to market Command & Conquer Generals with three different box covers commemorating the three opposing sides in the upcoming C&C RTS game, the United States, China, and the terrorist Global Liberation Army. Word is the non-U.S. boxes are limited editions which will only be produced for the initial run, and that all three boxes can be lined up to form a continuous image (though one would have to be particularly fanatical to buy three copies to achieve this effect).

Unreal II Gold

Infogrames sends along the announcement that Unreal II: The Awakening, Legend Entertainment's single-player sequel to Epic's science fiction first-person shooter, has gone gold. Word on availability is that it should be in North American stores during the first week in February.

WarCraft III Expansion?

WarCraftIII.Net has a report up quoting a tease in GameNOW magazine about an upcoming scoop in sister publication Computer Gaming World that will reveal plans for a WarCraft III expansion called WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. The magazine with the details on this should be out in early February, with subscribers to receive their copies before it appears on newsstands.

Rise of Nations Previews

The Rise of Nations: Nation Profile #7 on GameSpy is the latest installment in their continuing series of profiles of the 18 nations of Rise of Nations, this time discussing the Turks and the Inca. They offer an overview of each nation, going on to describe each nation's role in gameplay. Likewise, there is a preview based on playing with an early build of this RTS game on The Wargamer giving their detailed impressions of gameplay. Finally, there is an article based on attending the Rise of Nations Fanstock event on Rise of Nations Heaven describing the event as well as their impressions of the game.

Galactic Civilizations Preview

The Galactic Civilizations Preview on AVault discusses progress on Stardock's upcoming turn-based strategy remake of the turn-based strategy game that was originally programmed for OS/2. They discuss how the remake places greater emphasis on the non-combat aspects of gameplay than the original, the prominence of exploration compared with other 4X games, resources, different species to be found in the galaxy, technology, unit production, trade goods, diplomacy, planned multiplayer features, and more.

Morning Q&As

  • Kreed
    Action Vault's Kreed Q&A #1 is a bit of a mashed-up Q&A with the team at Burut working on this upcoming FPS, asking the following question: "What are one or two of your favorite enemies in Kreed, and what are your reasons for choosing them?"
  • Vietcong
    HomeLan Fed's Vietcong Q&A chats with Pterodon's Jarek Kolar about their upcoming game set in the Vietnam War. Topics include the idea and story behind gameplay, levels and settings, weapons, OGEs, the engine, working with Illusion Softworks, mod support, and more.
  • No Name War
    The No Name War Q&A on Worthplaying chats with Marcel Neamtu about this upcoming project that combines RPG and RTS elements. They discuss the team, the story, the game engine, sounds, mod support, races, resources, linearity, and more.
  • Horizons
    The first installment of Horizons Vault's Ask Artifact Entertainment series is online, subjecting the developers at Artifact Entertainment at work on this upcoming MMORPG to a batch of reader-submitted questions.
  • Temple of Elemental Evil
    The Temple of Elemental Evil Q&A on RPG Codex talks with Tim Cain about plans to bring this D&D module to the computer, discussing the reasons for picking this module, reducing the dungeon crawl element, pay balance, ethical decisions, the advantages of keeping gameplay turn-based, and more.
  • Worlds at War 2050
    HomeLan Fed's Worlds At War 2050 Q&A introduces us to this upcoming MMORPG that uses the Torque engine by conversing with Thomas Oliver Jr. of Game-Arena Interactive about the project. They discuss the game's story, character classes, weapons, vehicles, UGEs, OS support, and more.

Harbinger Preview

The Harbinger Preview on GameSpot offers impressions of this upcoming RPG in the works at Silverback Entertainment. They discuss the unusual science fiction setting of what is essentially a hack-and-slash type game in the vein of Diablo, the surprisingly complex plot and story, the setting on the spaceship Harbinger, character types, the influence of race, quests, and more.

Morning Screenshots

Red Faction II Goes X-Platform

THQ Announces Red Faction II for GameCube, Xbox, and PC is the announcement that the formerly PS2-only shooter sequel will be making its way to the other console systems as well as the PC. Word is the ports will be available in March of this year, and that the PC and Xbox versions are being done by THQ's Outrage studio, and "will include increased texture resolution, and exclusive multiplayer maps and character models." The first cross-platform screenshots from the game can be found on Tiscali Games.

Tech Bits

Competitions

The Cyberathlete Professional League has opened up registration for both the tournaments and the BYOC portion of their upcoming Summer 2003 Event, scheduled to take place in Dallas, Texas from Wednesday, July 30 to Sunday, August 3.

Game Development & Mods

The Art Institute of California has announced that scholarships are now being offered for their game development program. "Application requirements for these scholarships include an essay, letter of recommendation, samples of artwork, high school transcript and other program-specific support materials as outlined in the entry form. The deadline to enter is April 30, 2003."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • MobileMaxx Aluminum Hard Drive Racks and Cartridges (in video) on 3dGameMan.
  • Plextor PlexWriter 48/24/48A CD-RW on Sound Card Central.
  • Sapphire 9700 Pro Ultimate Video Card on RIVA 3D.
  • Seagate Barracuda SATA V Hard Drive on Explosive Labs.
  • SiS Xabre600 Graphics Chipset on x-bit labs.
  • Tyan Tiger i7500 S2722GNN Dual Xeon Motherboard on PCStats.com.

etc.

  • Rebel vs Thug on Machinima.com is a music video that is made using the Quake II engine...
  • The FireFly Studios Website has a new Flash teaser for their next project, which has a science fiction theme...
  • LaserSquad.co.uk has word that the retail boxed version of Laser Squad Nemesis is likely to be released around September of this year...
  • GameSpy.com offers a look at the ten finalists from the upcoming fifth annual Independent Games Festival...
  • The Adrenaline Vault quotes a couple of forum posts about Duke Nukem Forever System specs, drawing the obvious conclusion that no conclusions about these posts should yet be drawn...

Out of the Blue

Well I've already had my adventure for today. Some crazed barking by Hudson the wonder dog alerted me to a couple of dogs that were wandering around the street outside the BlueTower. Luckily their owners had their address and phone number on their tags, so after getting no answer on the phone, I looked up their address on MapQuest and trotted them over there. Aided by a helpful neighbor I was able to get the wayward pooches back into the house (gotta love suburban home security), and hopefully everything is as it should be. Sorry for stealing time from this update for that, but running around in this especially frigid weather with cars driving about is certainly not how I would want my dog spending the day, so I'm glad I was able to help these cute little mutts out.

Link of the Day: You are my friend Blue! Works with any name, in case you're feeling a bit overwrought. Thanks PMD.
Stories of the Day: City bans smelly people from buses. Thanks Zaq.
Fight with computer brings SWAT team. Thanks Frottage.
Did the Chinese discover America? Thanks Jamie Fullerton.
Wild Science: Military robots well trained for war. Thanks brother19.
RFID tags Big Brother in small packages. Thanks Mike Martinez.
Media of the Day: Shirts and skins. Thanks EvilToast.
Auction of the Day: Satisfaction of helping someone! Thanks Ed.



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