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Friday, Mar 06, 2009

  

On Game AI

How AI in Games Works on bit-tech.net is an article helping the layman better understand good Artificial Intelligence. Ever had an NPC run into a wall or shoot you in the back? Of course you have, so you already understand Artificial Stupidity. The article looks at the tech behind recent releases Empire: Total War and F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin to help understand the alternative.

Sacred 2 PhysX Movie

PC Games Hardware has video showing new PhysX effects being created for Sacred 2, showing the new goodies. Word is: "Good news for all Geforce users: According to Nvidia Sacred 2 will run much smoother, even when the additional effects are activated."

ARMA 2 Movie

The ARMA 2 Official Website has a new faction video from Bohemia Interactive Studios' upcoming military shooter sequel, profiling the Russians. Word is: "Russian Armed Forces consists of highly experienced, professional soldiers, equipped with modern weaponry and technology. This combination together with almost limitless resources makes the Russian Army a deadly opponent and quite possibly the strongest military presence in the Chernarus region. Explore the drills, the state of the art warfare equipment and enormous offensive potential of one of the most powerful armies on Earth. Is such a limitless power the final deciding factor for a small country chained to the threat of an upcoming civil war?"

Evening Previews

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic on the Official Blog. "Creating the Polluted World of Hutta."

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

It Came from CeBIT 2009, Part 1

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Into the B

Wonderfully Help Fund Aaaaa!

Dejobaan Games announces a half-off sale for The Wonderful End of the World, offering a $9.99 price for the game they call "A joyous trek around the Earth to gather everything you can before it's eaten by a giant fish head." They are looking to raise capital to help fund development of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity the base-jumping game they announced earlier this year. Word is: "Dejobaan now plans to use the proceeds from Wonderful to fund development of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!, due out in Q3 2009. While the new title has generated the most buzz of any of their games, most gamers' comments demanded that they update the aesthetics to somewhere post-1997. The studio therefore intends to split Wonderful's sales evenly between graphics, gameplay, and grande espressos." A playable demo for The Wonderful End of the World is available.

New EA & Crytek Trademarks

Kotaku notes that Electronic Arts has applied to trademark "Visceral Games", suggesting this will be a new label or studio, though their plans for Visceral are unclear. Also unclear is the purpose of this trademark application by Crytek for "Warface" (including a logo) that's noted on Destructoid by way of superannuation. Presumably we'll learn more in good time, but meanwhile feel free to speculate wildly.

I Am Alive Dead to Darkworks

Development of I Am Alive has been pulled away from French developer Darkworks and the survival game will be completed by Ubisoft Shanghai, the internal studio that has collaborated with Darkworks on the title over the past couple of years. This seems related to the game's recently announced delay to 2010, as the move is being made "in order to respect the new launch date for this ambitious title, and Darkworks having other obligations." Ubisoft is nonetheless complementary towards the developer: "The team at Darkworks has respected its contractual obligations on the project and will be a part of the success of the game when it launches." Thanks GamesIndustry.biz.

On Gold Farming

UK paper The Guardian has an interesting article on the gold farming business in China, which they estimate to be up to a £700m a year industry employing some 400,000 Asian workers to generate and sell currency for MMORPGs. The article describes working conditions that range from livable to pretty dire, and the reasons gold farming has become a major industry. They also examine the motivations of the players who purchase virtual currency from such sources. The article concludes by touching on the obvious question of whether an industry based on paying for goods to be used in a video game is equipped to cope with the current tough economic climate. Thanks Ant and Boing Boing.

Activision & LucasArts Re-up

GamesIndustry.biz has word that LucasArts has renewed its deal with Activision to distribute games in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The article notes that Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was the best-selling Star Wars title of all time, in spite of mediocre reviews. The next game to be released through this partnership will be Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings, due this June.

Morning Consolidation

H.A.W.X Interview

There's a Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X interview on Student Life talking with Shane Bierwith about the upcoming aerial combat game. The conversation covers the game's more accessible approach than a full flight simulator, but they also discuss ways of achieving a more realistic experience: "There are also settings in the game where you can switch...to expert mode, and it’s more of a realistic, simulator-type experience. I’m not going to say that this is a flight simulator, because that’s not what it is, but if you use a flight stick, if you change the settings to expert mode [and] if you play in the cockpit, all these different elements will definitely give you more of a simulation experience. We don’t want to count out the hard-core guys, because I think they’d love this game as much as newcomers would." Thanks Chris.

Op Ed

CNET - Why video game developer acquisitions scare me?
"If we consider Hollywood -- the model to which the video game industry is always compared -- it doesn't take long before we realize that it's dominated by a handful of studios that effectively control a large percentage of the industry, while the independent studios are left trying to defy the percentages and get their innovative and artistic films to the masses. Since most fail, it's the big studios that enjoy profits as the independents try to find some way to stay alive."

Edge Online - Why China, Brazil, and Poland Matter.
"Emerging market countries like China, Brazil, and Poland, with large, expanding populations, are slowly accelerating the development of their broadband Internet infrastructure. As Internet-access technology becomes more readily available, so too will the opportunities for online media production, particularly highly-accessible, browser-based casual games."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I'm sure I don't have to tell most of you The Watchmen movie opens today, and I am quite eager to see it. I probably won't go today, though, as I have plans this evening, so it will be a bad day to steal a couple of hours for a movie trip too. I'll do my best to catch it over the weekend, though, and there's even a chance that MrsBlue will overcome her hatred of movie theaters to attend with me.

Who Watches the Links?: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Exploit. Thanks Jay is Games.
Glassworks. Thanks Jay is Games.
Gears.
Links: Celebrity video games we want.
Top 10 Most Embarrassing Video Game Cartoons of All Time.
World's First Amphibious Lamborghini.
Stories: SAfrican couple drives 170km with spitting cobra in car. Thanks Roger.
Business Booming at 'Breastaurants'- Cheap Food, Beer and Sexy Women. Thanks brother19.
Science: NASA Gets Ready To Launch Discovery.
Filmmaker plans -Eyeborg- eye-socket camera. Thanks dakslf.
Media: Facebook Is An MMORPG.
Baby Misspeaks. NSFW?
The Crevasse - Making of 3D Street Art. Thanks Bob.



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