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Saturday, Aug 15, 2009

  

LucasArts Announcement Coming?

LucasArts Tweets that we can expect to hear more about a new internal intellectual property they are developing on September 10, which is when an interview on the topic will be posted on Gametrailers. Here's the mysterious word: "Our Prez just Finished an interview w/ @Gametrailers. Discussed new internal LucasArts IP. Tune in Sept 10 to hear whats [sic] up!"

F.E.A.R. 2 Slo-mo PC Plans

The new "slo-mo deathmatch" gameplay mode for F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is bound for the PC edition of Monolith's shooter sequel, we can now confirm. When the Reborn DLC for F.E.A.R. 2 was announced, the Windows edition of the game went unmentioned, but we were later able to confirm it is PC bound as well (though this will be after the DLC's console release on September 3). The upcoming slo-mo deathmatch mode is to be part of a patch separate from the DLC, however, and we have only just been able to verify that this patch is also coming to Windows. The catch is that while the new gameplay mode requires the patch, it also requires the Reborn DLC, so PC gamers interested in the new content and game mode can take comfort that they are coming, though it is not clear just when.

CoD World at War PC Pack & Patch Plans

The Call of Duty: World at War Forums have a status report from Treyarch on the PC edition of the third map pack for the World War II shooter sequel saying it will be released with an upcoming version 1.6 patch (thanks VG247). Here's word:

As with the previous two Map Packs, Map Pack 3 will indeed be coming to the PC – the team is hard at work on it and I’ll let you know when it’s in test.

As such, there will be a Patch 1.6 as well, which will address some additional game issues. When I have details on what else will be included in the patch I will be sure to post them.

We appreciate your patience as always, and look forward to its release as much as you do!

Bethesda: No Current Elder Scrolls 5 Plans, MMO? Maybe

There are Todd Howard keynote highlights from QuakeCon 2009 on Big Download recapping what the Bethesda Softworks executive director had to say at the show. Todd says they are currently working on their "next big game," which they are not discussing further, and that Bethesda is done making Fallout 3 DLC, though the third-party DLC Fallout 3: New Vegas is expected next year. As for the Elder Scrolls series, Howard says there are no current plans for Elder Scrolls 5, but when asked about an Elder Scrolls MMOG he said "there's always a chance," though they indicate this was said "in jest." Thanks Kotaku. On a related note, though Big Download says the comment about the Elder Scrolls MMOG was in jest, the Trademark sleuths at superannuation have a list of domains that currently resolve to Bethesda's name server at ns1.zenimax.com:

elderscrollsmmo.com
elderscrollsmmo.net
elderscrollsmmog.com
elderscrollsmmog.net
elderscrollsonline.com
elderscrollsonline.net
theelderscrollsmmo.com
theelderscrollsmmo.net
theelderscrollsmmog.com
theelderscrollsmmog.net
theelderscrollsonline.net

Mythos Closed Beta Registration

A new Mythos Website is online, offering a tease as well as a closed beta test registration form for the MMOG that ceased beta testing when developer Flagship Studios closed. This seems to indicate that HanbitSoft's plans to reboot the hack-and-slash MMORPG are taking shape, though no real details are provided. Thanks Massively.

Serious Sam HD Trailer

There's a new Serious Sam HD "Exclusive Epic Trailer" on GameTrailers.com with a look at the upcoming Serious Sam remake that will feature state-of-the-art graphics. The clip highlights the complicated story behind the first person shooter, which involves blowing up everything in sight as quickly as possible, a fun reminder of just how over-the-top Serious Same gameplay is.

On the Demise of Gamecock

Gamecock acquisition goes south on Joystiq is a lengthy article endeavoring to untangle the complicated story of the purchase of the Gamecock Media Group by SouthPeak in October of last year. The aftermath of that acquisition lead to ruthless negotiations over reduced payment to vendors, which provoked layoffs at Cyan among other things. There are explanations from Gamecock cofounder Mike Wilson (now of Devolver) of how this and other post-acquisition events unfolded, refuting the perception allegedly spread by SouthPeak that Gamecock's upper management just took the money and ran: "We have all worked in this industry for a long time, and continue to work in it, and it's hard enough to do the right thing in this business when your competition is bigger and almost universally more cutthroat in its practices, without someone taking your legs out in verbal conversations behind closed doors." The article also includes a full interview on the topic with Mike Wilson.

New Dead Wake Demo

The Dead Wake Website now offers a new version 0.9.8 demo for this community-developed zombie horror/survival game, saying the full release is approaching. The new version adds new weapons, new zombies, and a new map. The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Steam ARMA II Patch

Steam News announces a hotfix is automatically available for the Steam edition of ARMA II, Bohemia Interactive's military shooter sequel. Here's what the update does: "Fixed an objective impossible to complete in the campaign mission Badlands."

On C&C4 Tiberium and More

C&C4 - The Big Questions Answered on Tiberium Universe has thoughts on Command & Conquer 4 from Mike "BigMike" Glosecki, executive producer on the RTS sequel (not to mention role model/bad ass). He discuss the controversy over the game's move online, saying this was "so that we could better support the community with a live team much like MMOs." He also addresses concerns that Tiberium itself is being phased out of the C&C universe:

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Tiberium itself. I know a lot of you are wondering why you haven’t seen that much of it in the screenshots that we've released to date. Rest assured that Tiberium is in the world as it would really be hard to make a Tiberium universe game without everyone’s favorite green proton lattice. If you view our announcement trailer you can actually see how much Tiberium has devastated Manchester in 2062 by filling in the country side and even consuming many of the buildings in the city itself. The screens that we have released show some of the areas in the world that have been terra-formed through GDI's alliance with Kane (OMG!) which is why you don't see a lot of Tiberium in them. In our future screenshots, you will see some of the areas that are still being ravaged by Tiberium and have not been fully reclaimed.

RAGE Interviews

There's a RAGE QuakeCon Interview video on GameSpot where id's Tim Willits and Matt Hooper introduce their new IP. Tim calls the gameplay in RAGE "open but directed," and describes what that means. There's also a RAGE video interview on GameTrailers.com where Tim "Tom" Willits discusses how id has expanded its horizons for their new shooter, adding vehicular combat and racing to the mix. He also discusses the power of their Tech 5 engine in creating more varied environments, including open vistas and landscapes, saying "no more will you find, you know, the same space station levels over and over again." The game's various factions are also discussed, as Tim describes how the players success will involve interacting with the population of their post-apocalyptic world. He also says they can "see the light at the end of the tunnel" of development, offering a new variant on their classic "when it's done" release date, saying RAGE will be available, "when it's fun, and when it's over the top." There's also an interview clip about QuakeCon 2009 that hears briefly from Pete Hines, Todd Hollenshead, and Marty Stratton. Other QuakeCon clips on GT include an Overview, the BYOC Area, the Exhibit Area, Gamer Interviews, gamers, and the GT500 Unveiling.

New BF1942 Eve of Destruction

The Eve of Destruction Website now features a new version 1.50 of the Eve of Destruction modification for Battlefield 1942 (if we recall the original numbering scheme for the Vietnam War mod, this means it is 150% complete). The new version adds loads of new content, and the site has videos, screenshots, and information on all that's been added. Thanks Ant and Planet Battlefield.

Op Ed

Digital Foundry - Media Manipulation: the "Bullshot" phenomenon.
The usual process is to capture an in-game scene then internally re-render it at a higher resolution, then scale down. It's still a game-engine shot, and it's usually supplied at the game's actual resolution, but it looks more natural, less artificial and blocky: good for making your games look decent in the press of the era, and with a change of camera perspective, and some additional effects, the game visuals themselves can be blown up large for full-page artwork, packshots and marketing use. To this day, the basic principles have not really changed much at all, we just get to see more interesting variations of the technique at work. The real difference these days is in the fact that seemingly everyone is perfectly happy to release screenshots and sometimes even complete video trailers, that sometimes feature very little actual gameplay.

GameTopius - Why "Casual" and "Hardcore" are already obsolete.
The underlying problem in this whole labeling issue is that you simply cannot lump people into such strict groups and expect that everyone will figure out who belongs on what side. No matter what we do, labels will never go away, so should we not at least try to find something that is much broader so that we, or at least marketing, won’t be constantly insulting their demographics?

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Previews

Saturday Screenshots

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Mobilization

Metaverse

Legal Briefs

Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

As QuakeCon rolls along, we notice it was 13 years ago this week that the Dallas gaming scene went wild, as it was August 12, 1996 when we learned that much of the original Prey team and Levelord had quit en masse from 3D Realms to form Hipnotic Interactive, which became Ritual Entertainment, while Tom Hall rejoined John Romero at Dream Design, which became ION Storm.

Hipnotic Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Cube Colossus. Thanks Jay is Games.
Agony: The Portal.
Target Barbarossa.
Link: 10 Video Game Movies That Really Aren't So Bad. Actually most of them really are.
Stories: Might Olyphant Be Back for Hitman 2?
Camp Sundown shines with the New York Yankees in the Bronx.
Science: Antarctic glacier 'thinning fast'.
How to use math to choose a wife.
In China, DNA tests on kids ID genetic gifts, careers. Thanks Slashdot. Like astronaut?
Media: Bikini Cinema Doing Star Wars now. Thanks dakslf.
Regis Meets Borat.
Little Kid Demonstrates How to Parallel Park.



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