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Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005

  

Sawyer Throws Down the Gauntlet

J.E. Sawyer off Gauntlet Seven Sorrows on GameSpot has news that former Black Isle designer J.E. Sawyer is no longer working at Midway on Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows, following the recent departure of John Romero from that same project (story). Word from Midway is that the game is still on track for release this fall, and as for Sawyer, he is to reunite with Feargus Urquhart at Obsidian Entertainment to work on Neverwinter Nights 2.

Pariah Patch

A new patch for Pariah is now available, updating Digital Extremes' first-person shooter to version 1.03. The 25 MB download is available on The Groove Games Website and mirrored on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, games xtreme, and Worthplaying.

Dear Diaries

The Serious Sam II Dev Diary Part #1 on Gamer's Hell is written by Roman Ribaric, CEO of Croteam, discussing their upcoming shooter sequel, describing the challenges of creating the engine concurrently with the game. Also, IGN Fable The Lost Chapters Diary offers a guide on being a ladies man in Lionhead's upcoming RPG, courtesy of Creative Director Dene Carter.

The Late Show

A movie for GUN shows off Neversoft's upcoming wild western shooter that was recently announced for PCs as well as consoles. The clip comes in two resolutions one or more of which can be found on 3D Gamers, FilePlanet (registration required), Gamespot, and Worthplaying. Also, the Fable: The Lost Chapters Trailer is now up on IGN showing off the additions to the RPG that will part of the upcoming follow-up. Also a new Huxley movie offers a documentary-style clip to give a feel for Webzen's upcoming MMOFPS game. The clip is a 24 MB download, available on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying. Finally, a new Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie gives a look at the upcoming adaptation, Hogwarts and all. The movie is on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

Evening Q&As

  • SpecForce
    SpecForce Challenges Gamers to be the Ultimate Special Forces Operative on GameZone and the Chrome SpecForce Q&A on Gameguru Mania each talk with Kacper Michalski of Techland about their shooter sequel: "SpecForce tells a story of different events than Chrome did. We don't deal with a solitary mercenary, supported by a computer and security expert, as was the case in Chrome, but with the future's special forces. Throughout most of the game you cooperate with your partner, callsign 'Pointer', and rebel units. I wouldn't want to disclose too many details about the plot, though. You'll find more information about the basic differences between Chrome and SpecForce in the following questions."
  • Auto Assault
    Getting On The Road on Eurogamer is a Q&A with Scott Brown about NetDevil's upcoming MMORPG: "You are right that looking into the future of where technology will be is always a bit of a gamble. However, connectivity was not part of what we were concerned about. Even though users today have much better connections than years ago, you really can not make a game that requires tons of bandwidth as any number multiplied by thousands of users is very big. The goal is to try and keep bandwidth as low as possible. We looked ahead in 2001 and decided that we could expect users to have pixel shader video cards, lots of RAM and the CPU power to do full physics simulation."
  • GUN
    Loading the GUN with Neversoft on Computer and Video Games is a Q&A about the upcoming western-themed shooter with Activision's Yale Miller: "It has the detail and feel of a first-person shooter. It's that kind of gameplay rather than a dumb action game with auto-targeting. You can strafe through areas, take cover and target whoever and wherever you want. But we've also got a big, strong storyline and that real action game excitement."
  • Game Art
    RPG Vault's Game Art Group Q&A, Part 1 talks with three game artists about their work, talking with Theron Benson of FASA Studios; Gene Kohler, currently with Ensemble, and Michael Cahill, presently of Sigil Games.

Site Seeing

A new Armed Assault Product Page is online for Bohemia Interactive Studios' upcoming military shooter. The site includes a half-dozen screenshots, four of which are new. Thanks Frans.

Evening Previews

TotalGaming.net Expands

TotalGaming.net Delivers PC Games Electronically announces the second phase of Stardock's TotalGaming.net service is live, offering no DRM digital distribution of Stardock's and others' games.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

The pooches had a fine old time visiting their friend the vet today... Hudson's tooth extraction is healing properly, and we got her latest test results which were all as they should be. Gunnar indeed has infections in each eye, so I have some goop to apply to his eyes for the coming week. This is actually the good news, since it means this isn't one of the more serious eye problems to which poodles can be prone. In the meantime he looks amusingly like a stoner with his blazing red peepers.

R.I.P.: 'Wuthering' actress Fitzgerald dead.

Just for the Links of it! Thanks Mike Martinez, Ant, and EvilToast.
Play Time: Mini Bet on Soldier.
Pimp My Worm.
Stories: US police pursue girl over stone. Thanks Firingsquad.
Unorthodox Chess From an Odd Mind and Chess vs. Chess960 A PC's View.
The Smurfs Turn CG Animated.
Science! China to send pig sperm to space. Thanks Space Captain. Science marches on.
Mind May Affect Machines.
Light bulb that lasts more than a decade.
Auction: Death Star Subwoofer.
Follow-up: Engineers still chase shuttle fix.

Ships Ahoy - FlatOut

Empire Interactive announces that FlatOut, BugBear Entertainment's racing game, is now available in North America for PC, Xbox, and PS2:

SAN FRANCISCO – July 19, 2005 – Get ready to chuck everything you learned in driver’s ed out the window… Empire Interactive, a U.K. computer games developer and publisher, today announced that FlatOut is now available at retail outlets nationwide for PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and the PC.

FlatOut brings racing mayhem to a new level with 36 challenging tracks, fully destructible environments, 16 fully upgradeable cars and six death-defying bonus events. Anything destroyed or altered stays a part of the race – broken fences, free rolling tires, and even mangled parts of cars are left scattered around the track, increasing the carnage with every lap. Drivers will even be thrown from crashing cars!

The chaos continues off the classic track in three destruction derby arenas, three head-on collision dirt tracks and six outrageous “Rag Doll Olympics” bonus games that utilize driver ejection to the fullest.

Developed by Bugbear Entertainment, and distributed by Vivendi Universal Games in the U.S., FlatOut carries a suggested retail price of $49.99 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions and $39.99 for the PC version. For more information and to experience the rush of FlatOut first hand, visit: http://www.flatoutgame.com.

Dungeon Siege II Gold

Gas Powered Games announces that Dungeon Siege II is gold, and that the action/RPG sequel is due in stores on August 16:

Adventurers Called to Arms as Dungeon Siege II Goes Gold

Microsoft Game Studios and Gas Powered Games today announced that Dungeon Siege II, the ambitious sequel to Chris Taylor’s best-selling, award-winning action role-playing game (RPG) Dungeon Siege, has gone gold. Gamers will once again journey to the beautiful fantasy land of Aranna on August 16, 2005, when Dungeon Siege II charges onto store shelves with a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Dungeon Siege II casts players into a land deeply scarred by civil war, where they will lead an elite battle party against a vicious marauder hell-bent on bringing the world under his control, no matter the cost. Dungeon Siege II raises the bar for action-RPGs by introducing a deeper storyline, an extensive quest system and a new AI system creating more challenging and cunning foes.

Developed exclusively for Windows XP, Dungeon Siege II promises to delight RPG fans with a cutting-edge 3D engine, intense real-time combat against monstrous foes and cooperative multiplayer support. Visit the official Dungeon Siege II website at http://www.dungeonsiege.com, then pre-order the game at select retailers and receive a bonus Dungeon Siege II comic book!

25 to Life Delayed

This Eidos Interactive Downloads Page has changed its description for 25 to Life calling is "the hottest game of Fall 2005" after previously touting its hotness as due in summer. This corresponds with a recent change to the game's product page that now lists October as the life-of-crime game's release date. Thanks Frans.

Diver: Deep Water Adventures Announced

Russian developer Biart Company announces they are at work on a deep sea diving simulator titled Diver: Deep Water Adventures. The project now has English and Russian homepages that outline the project and its hunt for a publisher. Here's word:

The depths of world ocean have been always attracting a man, as if embraces of a fatal beauty. Thousands dare-devils sent on a meeting to adventures. Attracted by treasures of the sunken ships, the mysterious nature, and the legends.

In the game you should plunge into underwater life and accomplish the enormous quantity of unforgettable tasks. Nevertheless, to earn for living with diving, you'll be able just after graduating from the courses and becoming the professional diver. Special attention in game is given to the reality. Any underwater mission represents a real place and event. For example, in one task you will have to moor in passage Kattegat for searching and rising of the documents from the sunken submarine of the Second World War.

Game is positioned as trustworthy diving simulator which will be interesting not only for fans of immersion to the depths of the seas and the ocean, but also for the people who have little in common with this pastime.

Features:
* Complex diving simulator
* Mix of strategy / action
* Dive worldwide
* 2 types of game: arcade and simulator
* System of training and video courses
* Opportunity of research of the real sunken ships
* More than 15 real dive-sites
* Unlimited number of locations
* Real equipment
* Treasures lifting
* Hunting for huge sea predators
* Clever and heartless competitors
* Opportunity of an underwater photo
* Night and day time diving

Appearance of the project on PC is planned for the end of 2005.

PC GUN Plans

There's a new Gun PC Preview on IGN with a look at Neversoft's upcoming wild western-themed shooter, offering the first indications that a PC edition of the project is in the works. Here's a bit on the game:

A Western shooter mixing first- and third-person viewpoints, this simplistically entitled game is far from a simple shooter in chaps and a holster. The early demo we witnessed in San Francisco last month is a bloody and gruesome action-adventure title, in which Neversoft is intent on capturing the wild nature of the American West in the late 19th Century.

Morning Q&As

  • Bet on Soldier
    Gamecloud's Bet on Soldier Q&A is a talk with Roman Vincent of Kylotonn about their upcoming shooter: "The idea of Bet on Soldier came from our previous game Iron Storm, where the soldiers were valued on the sock exchange. We started from that idea, and began to work on the project with many of the ideas that we couldn't realize in our first game. We wanted to create an entirely new game idea by creating the betting system, the context of the war, the B.o.S programme... and many more things that came up during the development of the game."
  • City of Villains
    IGN's City of Villains Q&A discusses Cryptic's upcoming MMORPG expansion with Sean Fish, senior designer on the project: "Signature villains are characters who play some role in the history of the game. Lord Recluse for example, is the leader of Arachnos which is the faction that currently holds power in the Rogue Isles. Lord Recluse has invited or enticed many villains to the Isles, but only a few have risen to his inner cadre. Ghost Widow, Black Scorpion, Captain Mako and Scirocco have all been tested against other rising villains and each other. They have each shown that they have what it takes to survive within Arachnos."
  • Diabolique
    The Diabolique: License To Sin Q&A on Game Chronicles is a conversation with Pawel Miechowski about Metropolis Software's upcoming devilish action game: "Firstly – Dark has an ability of using all weapons and gadgets in two ways. First way is regular "normal” one ;) when a pistol or a rifle is for shooting and so it is with other things (bombs, grenades and spy gadgets). Second way is when Dark uses the stuff in magical mode. Every gun with a little help from magic becomes a truly devilish gun and it has different attributes. Night vision binoculars used in magical way show which characters are human and who is an angel, but of course you can use binoculars also in normal mode. Secondly – Dark has spy skills like fighting hand-to-hand, and devil skills like turning into a ghost or absorbing souls from enemies. All this is brought together with simple intuitive controls. Moreover – this duality influenced the gameplay making it varied and totally cool! You can be an agent, but if you like you can become a devil!"
  • Dreamfall
    Gamecloud's Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Q&A discusses Funcom's upcoming adventure game sequel with Jørgen Tharaldsen: "Through mixing the classic adventure and modern action mechanics with a strong story, believable characters, fantastic graphics, strong music and exotic locations we aim to take you along on an epic journey of exploration and adventure. On your way you will face thrills, horrors, laughs, sorrows, adrenaline rush and other emotions. We are aiming to deliver an extremely varied gaming experience with lots of different challenges to overcome."
  • Al Lowe
    Playing Catch-Up: Al Lowe on Gamasutra is an article-format Q&A with the designer of the Leisure Suit Larry series about what he is up to lately.

Dragonshard MP Demo Opens

Fileplanet's Dragonshard Website now has word that the multiplayer demo for Dragonshard has opened up, and a paid FilePlanet subscription is no longer required to participate. A FP registration is what's required to sample Liquid's upcoming D&D real-time strategy game.

Site Seeing

The official Dofus Website has relaunched in place of the teaser site for this upcoming MMORPG (thanks Frans). The Flash site offers English and French homes to the game, and includes sign-ups for the game's open beta test.

Morning Preview

  • City of Villains on IGN.

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

The Mod Squads

Silver sends along an outline of what is being done by mod groups to keep the classic Wing Commander series one step ahead of the Kilrathi. He does a good job of summing things up, so I'm just going to quote him here:

The Privateer Remake, previously reported here on Blue's News (story), has forked not once, but twice. The project, now headquartered at sourceforge has just released version 1.2, after the development oriented 1.1 release. It introduces changes that bring the feel somewhat closer to the original. But those changes were not enough for 2 other groups which have taken the openly available sources and made their own versions, as reported on by the German website.

The progressive group, Wing Commander Universe, has added spaceships stories and starsystems from many other Wing Commander sagas into a blended universe, whereas the reactive group, named the Privateer Gemini Gold Edition, has obliterated any options that the remake added over the 1993 classic and narrowed the focus and depth to capture the original experience better. The clash has brought gaming purists head to head with the tinkering hackers, illustrating the strong memories and feelings that are still evoked by the 11 year old classic.

Help Wanted

Hero's Journey Website puts out the call for Game Masters for Simultronics' MMORPG. Thanks Wynder.

Game Guidance

Game & Mod Development

Op Ed

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

  • Creative GigaWorks Progamer G500 Speakers on GDHardware.
  • ECS KN1 Extreme (1.0f) nForce4 Ultra ATX Motherboard on Futurelooks.
  • Gigabyte 3D Aurora Enthusiast Computer Case on TweakTown.
  • Gigabyte GV-RX80L256V Radeon X800XL Video Card on Gruntville.
  • Hiper Type-R 580W PSU on PimpRig.
  • HP Photosmart M22 Digital Camera on TrustedReviews.
  • Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse on GamerGod.
  • MPeye HTS-200 - MP3 Player on TrustedReviews.
  • Mushkin 1GB XP3500 2-2-2 Redline Memory on Hi-Techreviews.
  • Samsung SC-X105L 6 in 1 Extreme Sports Digital Camcorder on Futurelooks.
  • Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H1 Digital Camera on Designtechnica.
  • Sunbeamtech Pro Series Illuminated Keyboard & Blueflame Illuminated Mouse on 3DXtreme.
  • Thecus N4100 IP Storage Appliance on HEXUS.net.
  • ThermalRock Eclipse Mid-Tower Case on bigbruin.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Got a trip to Dr. Doggy this morning... Hudson the wonder dog is getting a follow-up to make sure everything looks okay with her recently extracted tooth. Gunnar the super buddy, meanwhile, has got some serious gunk in his eyes, so we are bringing him in as well to see if he has conjunctivitis, or what. He's such a smart little dude I wouldn't put it past him to be rubbing Carmex in his eyes like John Cusack in Runaway Jury just to come along for the ride.

R.I.P.: Vietnam-Era Commander Westmoreland Dies.

Link Eye! Thanks Mike Martinez, Ant, and EvilToast.
Play Time: Bloomin' Gardens.
Links: The Tale of the Worst MMORPG Ever.
Stories: Tired of Prying Off Stickers Tattooed Fruit Is on the Way (registration required).
Pigeons pig out on junk food trash.
Science! Dark Chocolate Isn't a Health Food, but . . . (registration required).
Ice base on skis wins Antarctic competition.
Robots replace child jockeys in UAE camel race.
Media: Movie Theatre Pranks.
Follow-up: Mad cow ban on Canada lifted.



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