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Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006

  

NetDevil's Toy MMORPG

NetDevil Working on MMO For Major Toy Company on Kotaku has scant details on plans for a new MMORPG from NetDevil for what's described as a "major toy company." The only other detail of note being revealed at this time is the project's emphasis on in-game crafting. The indications they've received also touch on plans to put tools in the hands of the general public to create maps and other in-game content. LEGO? Play Dough? GI Joe? Who knows.

Armed Assault PAL Content

505 Games and Bohemia Interactive announce plans to include exclusive content for the European edition of Armed Assault when the military shooter is release in PAL territories on February 16:

London, 20th December 2006 - 505 Games and Bohemia Interactive are today delighted to reveal that the PAL(1) release of the eagerly awaited combat simulation ArmA: Armed Assault will feature exclusive weapons, vehicles and mission content when released for PC on February 16th, 2007.

“We are really pleased to be able to enhance the ArmA experience with this excellent exclusive content for the game’s February launch”, said Marek Spanel, Project Lead at BIS. “Offering such exciting new features before the game has even launched is Bohemia’s way of showing our appreciation of the dedicated ArmA fan community and to reward gamers’ patience as the game readies for release.”

Lucky European gamers will experience a wealth of exciting exclusive features when ArmA: Armed Assault blasts into stores, including:

· Two new aircraft: take to the skies in the fearsome Su-34 Fighter and Su-34 Bomber
· Two new motorbikes: powerful “hogs of war” for both sides of the battle with the TT650 and the M1030 military motorcycles
· Four new weapons: the Russian rifle AKS74PSO; another Russian favourite the KSVK; the giant US-designed M107 and US rifle variant the M16A4

The PAL version of ArmA: Armed Assault will also launch with an exclusive new mission called “Blood, Sweat and Tears”. This assignment sees players cast as either special operative Cpt. Mike Lambert or Pvt. Rich Angelo in an open-ended scenario that takes place on one very long morning on the bloody battlefields of Sahrani.

ArmA: Armed Assault, published by 505 Games and developed by Bohemia Interactive, is scheduled for release for PC on February 16th.

Updated DropTeam Demo

The DropTeam Public Test Page (thanks Frans) now offers an updated sample of Battlefront's vehicular combat game, with the Windows, Mac, and Linux editions of the demo all in the same download. Word is: "This release only allows you to play 1 of the game's many scenarios. The full version of the game includes dozens of scenarios and planets to fight on with more available for free by download update."

The Ship - Now Boarding

Steam News has word that Steam preloads are now underway for this weekend's free preview of The Ship, Outlerlight's seafaring mystery game. Word is:

From Dec 22, 2006 through Dec 26, 2006 Outerlight's debut title, The Ship, will be made available for a Free Weekend trial via Steam. This free trial allows gamers to experience the innovative multiplayer gaming that Gamespot.com calls, "...off the wall and innovative." Outerlight is also offering a $5 discount for those who purchase the full product any time during the free weekend and the week that follows.

2006 Games of the Year, Part 2

The Best Games and Worst Games of 2006 on GameSpot is online, though most of the winners have not been posted yet: They have a schedule up on when all the results will be revealed.

Site Seeing

A new Freak Out - Extreme Freeride Website is online, dedicated to the upcoming extreme freestyle skiing game. The site offers screenshots, as well as a movie trailer, which is also mirrored on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Worthplaying.

The Late Show

A new The Shield movie shows off the upcoming PC edition of the game based on the crime-ridden television series of the same name. The clip is available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, and Worthplaying. Also, a new DUSK-12 movie showing off ORION design's upcoming futuristic first-person shooter can be found on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. Finally, Romero Announces New Game on Kotaku links to a YouTube clip in which The Romero waxes on about Severity, the game project just announced by the CPL, where John serves as chairman of the advisory board.

Evening Q&As

  • Doug Lowenstein
    Doug Lowenstein, going the distance on GameSpot is a Q&A with the outgoing president of the ESA: "Once I formally start a new job I will not be working for ESA and will not have a formal relationship with them. That said, if my successor wants my input... for as long as anybody wants to ask me my opinion or to tap into whatever institutional or historical knowledge I have, I'm more than happy to share that with anybody and anyone who wants to talk about it."
  • inXile Entertainment
    The inXile Entertainment Update on FiringSquad talks with Brian Fargo about their upcoming console plans, and his take on talk of a Fallout MMORPG: "I don't know what they are smoking in France but it must be illegal."

Evening Previews

  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar on RPG Vault.
  • Tortuga: Two Treasures on GameSpot.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Legal Briefs

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

MrsBlue is making a batch of her very highly regarded brownies to bring into work, and the smell is getting to be so intoxicating I feel like I'm in the chocolate version of a crack den.

Addictive Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Stories: Mount St. Helens Erupts, Spewing Steam, Ash Into Washington State Sky.
Italy issues new code to stop ultra-skinny models.
Science!: Sudoku anyone? Limber brain keeps seniors sharp.
Bard boosts brain, researchers say.
Media: White Christmas.

ESA Departure Confirmed

ESA boss confirms departure on GameSpot confirms recent reports of Doug Lowenstein's resignation as president of the Entertainment Software Association (story), where he'd held the top spot since the trade organization was formed some 12 years ago. Lowenstein confirmed the move in a letter to more than 50 individuals in the industry, saying he is "launching a start-up trade group in the investment industry." They also say industry sources have indicated that Robbie Bach of Microsoft will assume the duties of ESA president while the search for Lowenstein's replacement continues.

Battlefield 2142 Patch

The promised patch for Battlefield 2142 is now available, updating EA/DICE's military shooter sequel to version 1.10. The patch and the corresponding Windows and Linux unranked servers are available on the Battlefield Franchise Website where word is "This update continues to fine tune the game while addressing many issues." The read me has all the details.

On Games for Windows

Games for Windows Vista how the new brand & OS will change PC gaming on Joystiq offers an updated preview of the new Games for Windows initiative, attempting, with limited success, to sort out what GFW represents besides a marketing slogan. Based on a tour of the program by Marketing Director Kevin Unangst and PR Manager Michael Wolf, they describe interoperability with Xbox 360 games via "Live Anywhere," how PCs will get numerical ratings to gauge how well they can play games, and what qualifies a game for the GFW logo. The conclusion they draw, however, is that it is difficult to draw conclusions about all this:

It's a risk. The Games for Windows strategy is on the verge of being schizophrenic. Can the cumbersome PC gaming experience really be simplified down to a console scheme? There are just too many freedoms and variations that exist in the PC universe to accurately interpret the PC as "the console that everybody already owns." It's not that simple. So is GFW a trick? Is Microsoft trying to lure back some of the consumers that were lost when Xbox was launched (an initiative that cannibalized PC gaming sales by design)?

The answer, like the Games For Windows vision, is not so clear. But there is most certainly the opportunity for Microsoft to create something very special. A cross-platform community where you and I can jump from Xbox to PC to our cell phones seamlessly. Anywhere.

2006 Games of the Year, Part 1

GameSpy's Game of the Year 2006 Listing kicks off the end of year award season with their PC games of the year. A recap of all the winners is on this page, with Company of Heroes taking the top spot and Half-Life 2: Episode One taking the honor as best PC action game.

Morning Q&A

  • Age of Conan
    The Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Q&A on ActionTrip talks with Gaute Godager about Funcom's upcoming barbaric MMORPG: "Focus on the community has been important for us since the beginning. We've always had a very close relationship with our Anarchy Online fan base, and we have several community representatives that work towards both these players and the people following the development of Age of Conan. The community is absolutely essential when it comes to MMOs, and we strongly believe in letting future and current players take part in the whole process of creating a game. We've been listening so much to the community of Age of Conan, that we've even changed elements in the game because of their feedback. One example is the renaming of classes, something we did based on feedback we received on the forums. We have a strong affinity to the people in our community, and we're doing everything we can in order to keep them with us and satisfy their needs."
  • Riot Games
    The Riot Games Q&A on FiringSquad talks with Marc Merrill, probing, unsuccessfully, for details about this start-up's debut project: "While I unfortunately can’t get into details at the moment, I can tell you that the game will buck some trends in the industry for a variety of compelling reasons and that we think gamers will appreciate our approach and love the product."

Morning Previews

Wildlife Park 2 Patch

The Deep Silver Forums offer a new patch for Wildlife Park 2, updating the theme park sequel to version 1.11. No details on the changes offered in the patch are provided. Thanks Frans.

Total War Mod Tool

As noted on The Total War Community Blog (thanks Frans) now offers a public version of CAS Exporter, Creative Assembly's in-house model and animation exporter for Rome: Total War and Medieval II: Total War. The download can be found on TotalWar.com, where word is: "The CA exporter can be used by modders to export custom created units, siege, props and animations for the Rome: Totalwar engine. It can also be used to export custom strategy map models and unit/siege animations for Medieval2: Totalwar."

Morning Legal Briefs

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Gatherings & Competitions

Game & Mod Development

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

Had a fine old time with my pals last night, as we accomplished the trifecta of eating, drinking, and making merry. I guess I didn't have too good a time, though, as the hangover I had picked out for this morning was never delivered (not that you'll hear me complaining).

R.I.P.: Yogi Bear's co-creator dies at 95.

Merry Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link of the Morning: What happens to your body if you drink a Coke right now?
Science!: Many of the 'ADD generation' say no to meds (registration required). Remind me to tell my own Ritalin story some day.
First nano-welds herald new era of electronics.
Alcohol may offer protection against arthritis.
Media: If Programmers Built Planes.
Breakdancer Smashes Face.
Top Gear - Playing Darts with Cars.
Follow-up: Troublesome space station solar array stowed at last.



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