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Sunday, Sep 07, 2008

  

Warhammer Online Beta Opens

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Website has news that the beta test for Mythic's imminent MMORPG is now open to all applicants in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. According to the Warhammer Online Beta Page they have received nearly 900,000 applications so far, and word is: "The Open Beta will be level capped and content restricted. You will be allowed to choose any of the game's 20 unique careers and advance through rank 20. You will also be free to explore and battle across Tiers 1 and 2 of each army's homeland. Please note that any characters created during the Open Beta will NOT carry over into the live game as they will be wiped from the servers." Thanks Massively. Update: Though it says "open beta," this is currently still only available for closed beta participants and preorder customers at this time. Also, The European Warhammer Online Website has word that registration for European applicants is temporarily unavailable due to server maintenance. Thanks Ant.

Spore Debuts in North America

As noted in last week's Spore shipping announcement (story), the global rollout of the life simulation is now complete, as the game should be appearing in North American stores today. On related notes, there's a post-release Spore interview on Shacknews talking with Morgan Roarty about how the game's design evolved over the course of development and an interview with Will Wright on MTV Multiplayer getting the game's designer's reaction to early reviews, and learning about his personal playing style.

Multiple Spore Accounts Issue?

A thread on EA's UK Spore Support Forum explores an issue with account creation in EA's just-released life simulation. Users are having difficulty creating more than one account for Spore, even though the manual states: "you may have multiple Spore accounts for each installation of the game." There are differing opinions about what EA is actually promising with that statement, with some suggesting that this may still require purchase of another copy of the game for a new CD key, with others feeling they are being deprived of a promised feature. According to one post one EA support rep said they were escalating this question to their supervisor, suggesting even EA support is not clear on how this should work. Thanks Stemot.

Carmack: PC "A Unique Platform"

There's a John Carmack Q&A on Computer and Video Games talking about Quake Live and related topics in an interview that also gets responses from id executive producer Marty Stratton. No conversation with the id Software Technical Director is complete these days without asking his thoughts on the uncertain state of PC gaming, and this one prompts an answer saying that developers need to appreciate "the PC as a unique platform rather than a gaming machine that happens to be in your den rather than your living room." He goes on to explain: "The traditional big-budget, media-rich, single-player type games like we used to make at id Software through to Doom 3, all that really has to be done cross-platform on the consoles now, to basically cover the development expenses for something like that. But the PC still has huge success stories, with things like The Sims 2 and World of Warcraft, which have been bigger successes than any console game has ever been, or possibly ever could be in the near future. At the end of the day, you have to look at the PC as a platform with its own strengths and weaknesses."

Xbox 360 RROD Explained

Xbox 360 defects: an inside history of Microsoft’s video game console woes on VentureBeat is an extremely in-depth article by Dean Takahashi looking at the hardware problems on the Xbox 360 that result in the notorious "red ring of death." The article offers a pretty scathing look at Microsoft's approach to the situation, saying they were well aware of hardware issues before launch, but were too intent on beating the competition to the market to address them properly, instead counting on their ability to improve upon the design as they went along, but failing to allocate enough resources to properly do this. This prompts a quote from an anonymous veteran manufacturing executive saying: “Fundamentally, their thinking shows that they are a software company at heart. They put something out and figure they can fix it with the next patch or come up with a bug fix." The article talks about the extent of these hardware problems, and Microsoft's extreme resistance to admitting to the problem, and even now Takahashi says he contacted MS for comment on 35 specific points from the article, and received a statement in reply saying: "This topic has already been covered extensively in the media. This new story repeats old information, and contains rumors and innuendo from anonymous sources, attempting to create a new sensational angle, and is highly irresponsible." Thanks Mike Martinez and Gizmodo.

4D Rulers' Casual Proposition

This 4D Rulers Press Release announces a new plan for the independent developer to cease attempting to compete with AAA developers in the first-person shooter genre and to turn their focus towards casual gaming. They outline a proposal to create Gore Arcade, a simple top-down shooter based on the Gore universe. 4D Rulers is seeking a relatively modest investment to create this game, and proposing a generous royalty arrangement they say should net a 400% return.

Jumpgate Evolution Movie

Gametrailers has a Jumpgate Evolution movie from PAX 2008 showing off some dogfighting in an asteroid field from NetDevil's upcoming space MMOG remake. Thanks Massively.

Op Ed

Q&A Roundup

Sunday Preview

Consolidation

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Sunday Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Tackle footballl is back, as today is opening day for most of the NFL. This is why Thursday games like the Giants played this week bug me, by Sunday it already feels like your team has the week off. Of course it was pretty sweet having sole possession of the best record in the entire league, even if that only lasted three days.

R.I.P.: Silent movie star Page dies at 98.

Kickoff Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Treasure Box. Thanks Digg.
Bloons Tower Defense 3. Thanks Neatorama.
Links: Top Ten Most Destructive Dog Breeds. Thanks Digg.
Story: Police hunt high-speed skateboard outlaw (video).
Science: Shun meat, says UN climate chief.
Spacecraft flies by remote asteroid, camera stops.
Study- heavy mental effort leads to much bigger meals. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Downhill skateboarding at INSANE speeds. Scarier than the German one above.
Ejection Seats in Slow Motion.
dsPIC Ball & Plate with touchscreen and servomotors. Thanks Flying Penguin.
Follow-ups: Hubble Repair Mission Will Be Extremely Complex.



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