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Friday, Oct 07, 2011

  

id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms

Kotaku asks the musical question "Why Was The PC Launch of Rage Such A "Cluster!@#$"?," getting answers from id on the topic, who express frustration with problems that were largely caused by driver issues. Along the way they also address how the game being designed for consoles holds back the PC edition. "You can choose to design a game around the specs of a high-end PC and make console versions that fail to hit the design point, or design around the specs of the consoles and have a high-end PC provide incremental quality improvements," John Carmack tells them. "We chose the latter." He also bluntly addresses why this makes sense for id (emphasis Kotaku's):

"We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games," Carmack added. "That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it. Nowadays most of the quality of a game comes from the development effort put into it, not the technology it runs on. A game built with a tenth the resources on a platform 10 times as powerful would be an inferior product in almost all cases."

Diablo II Ladder Reset This Month

Battle.net has word on plans to reset the ladders for Diablo II, Blizzard's action/RPG sequel (thanks S.TODD). Here's word:

We will be resetting the Diablo II ladder the morning of October 25.

We anticipate all Diablo II realms to be down for approximately six hours during the reset. More specific information on realm availability on the day of the reset will be posted in the Battle.net Status forum. When the ladder is reset all existing ladder characters will be converted to non-ladder. All characters and items being converted to non-ladder will remain intact, but once converted these characters will no longer have access to ladder content such as creating ladder-only rune words. For more information on ladder characters please visit the Arreat Summit Realm Character Types page: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/basics/charactertypes.shtml

Source Engine in a Browser

TojiCode shows off the source engine running in a browser using WebGL, showing a Team Fortress 2 level, though this isn't actually playable. Word is: "I stressed for a little while about fixing some of the remaining issues before posting anything (like getting water rendering) but in the end I decided that the demo serves it's purpose in that it shows that we can push a lot of geometry for a complex scene and still run at the speeds that realtime games require. Beyond that, however, I won't be able to make use of the format for any other projects and at this point I want to start working on something that is actually playable, not just looks pretty. As such, spending any further time on the format isn't practical." Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Trailer

A new 'redemption' trailer from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sets the story for the upcoming continuation of the Call of Duty series of military first-persons shooters. The action-packed clip is mostly cinematics, but some gameplay sneaks in here and there. Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Trailer

A new trailer called "Inside Reckoning: Narrative Design" kicks off a new series of trailers looking at development of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the upcoming RPG from Big Huge Games and 38 Studios. Here's the deal: "In this video series, we'll take a closer look at a variety of development aspects, such as design, cinematics, and music. Our first video is all about Narrative Design, and features members of the Big Huge Games Narrative Design team (Lead Narrative Designer Erik J. Caponi, and Narrative Designers Andrew Auseon and Tom Murphy). Join us as they talk about their roles, how they shape the world of Amalur, and share stories about how visionary author R. A. Salvatore’s involvement has enriched the Reckoning team’s creative direction."

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has a new "choose your side" trailer showing off a face-off between the Jedi Knight and Bounty Hunter classes in BioWare's upcoming MMORPG. Here's word: "In 'Choose Your Side,' members of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ development team debate the merits of the various in-game classes to see who will truly reign supreme. In the first installment in this four-part series, the noble Jedi Knight squares off against the nefarious Bounty Hunter. In support of the Jedi Knight is Senior Writer Hall Hood and Designer Austin Peckenpaugh, while Senior System Designer Pete Warner and Writer Randy Begel defend the Bounty Hunter."

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle now includes SpaceChem.

  • Activision Mix on GOG.com. Save up to 50%.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Cogs on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Crysis on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • Deus Ex- Human Revolution on GameStop Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution Augmented Edition on GameStop Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Dungeon Defenders on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Haegemonia - Legion of Iron on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Digital Premium Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 25%.
  • World in Conflict Gold Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Cast of "The Princess Bride" reunited after 24 years. Thanks Ant. Inconceivable!

AMD/ATI Catalyst Preview Driver for BF3 & RAGE

A new AMD Catalyst 11.10 Preview Driver Version 2 is now available, offering owners of AMD/ATI GPU-based graphics cards improvements and fixes for DICE's Battlefield 3 open beta and id Software's just-released RAGE (thanks LittleMe). They offer downloads for Windows Vista and Windows XP, and the following list of fixes:

  • Improves performance in Battlefield 3 Open Beta release for both non-Anti-Aliasing and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on single GPU configurations using the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products.
  • Improves performance in Battlefield 3 Open Beta release for both non-Anti-Aliasing and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on AMD CrossFire™ configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products.
  • Improves performance in Rage on single GPU configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000, AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series and AMD Radeon HD 4000 series of products.
  • Reduces intermittent crashing seen loading levels in Rage
  • Resolves flickering of NPCs in Rage
  • Enables automatic Vsync for Rage
  • Enables support for AMD Eyefinity 5x1 display (portrait and landscape) configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 series of products.
  • AMD Vision Engine Control Center: User Interface enhancements have been implemented for the AMD CrossfireX™, GPU AMD Overdrive™ and Information Center pages.

Prototype 2 Combat Trailer

A new trailer from Prototype 2 highlights the fluid, shape-shifting combat in the open-world action sequel, in which the combat from the original Prototype "is truly enhanced and sharpened to an all-new level." Here's word:

As Sgt. James Heller, players will be able to truly master combat while roaming through PROTOTYPE 2's open-world New York Zero (NYZ). New combat moves such as the Tactical Dodge allow players to jump over and avoid incoming enemy attacks and places them in the perfect position for an immediate counter attack. Our vicious dismemberment system allows players to cut off enemy arms and legs (and heads) which alters and slows down enemies, allowing players to get a better visual read on attacking foes, and thusly get out of the way. Heller's new Shield provides both offensive and defensive abilities allowing players to interrupt and stagger incoming enemy attacks, and additionally deflect incoming rockets right back to their sender, or off to other nearby enemies.

Performing a backflip over an incoming Brawler, then deflecting an RPG up to take out a looming attack chopper never felt so good!

Continue here to read the full story.

Space Marine Exterminatus DLC This Month

THQ Insider reveals an October 25th release date for the Exterminatus co-op DLC for Warhammer 40:000: Space Marine:

The Exterminatus DLC for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is to be released on the 25th October, for 360, PS3 and PC!

This DLC is free, and adds the Exterminatus mode: four-player online co-op, set on either Assault on Hab Center Andreas or Escape from Kalkys Facility and featuring Space Marines versus Orks and Chaos Space Marines.

Performance in co-op will add to players’ multiplayer rankings, while perks which have been unlocked in multiplayer can also be used in this mode too.

Red Orchestra 2 - State of the Game; Stats Reset Plans

Tripwire Interactive offers a "state of the game" update about Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, saying the first-person shooter sequel earned more revenue within two days of launching than its predecessor earned in it five years on the market. They also discuss what they admit was a rough launch, and what's been done since then to help smooth things out, saying that having addressed issues with the stats system, they plan a global stats reset, a double XP period over the next few weeks, and a new "B4 Reset" award. Here's word:

By most business measures Red Orchestra 2 has been a smashing success for Tripwire Interactive. Within 2 days of the launch of the game it had surpassed the lifetime revenue of the original Red Orchestra that has been selling for over 5 years. The pre-sales and launch week sales of the game broke all company records, even beating out our hit game Killing Floor by a three-fold margin. But for all of this success we've not done as well as we would have liked in the most important area to us - the happiness of all of our customers. To put it bluntly, the game had a rough launch. We've been working diligently since launch to get these issues sorted and have made great progress fixing issues with matchmaking, VOIP, and stability as well as improving performance. The final major area that we've been working on is stats, player progression and ranking.

We have now fixed all of the major issues with the stats system and released an update yesterday to address these issues. Due to the problems with stats and players either earning stats and achievements that they didn't actually earn or earning stats at many times the intended rate, we are going to have to do a global reset of all stats for the game. This means all achievements, stats and player progression will be rolled back as if all players were new. This was not an easy decision for us to make, but one we felt we needed to do to preserve the integrity of the stats and ranking system, and to provide all of the players the best experience with the game over the long term. Knowing that there are people that have been playing the game for a few weeks now and will lose the stats for that time we are going to provide a special bonus to all players. For the next few weeks all players will earn double experience in Red Orchestra 2. This means if a player plays the game during the double experience period they will quickly get their experience up to where they would have been had these issues never existed. Additionally, we are going to give those playing the game during the double experience period a special achievement called "In B4 Reset". Right now this is just an achievement, but we're going to be looking at ways to give special rewards to the players that have this achievement in the future.

Thank you to all of the players that have made Red Orchestra 2 a hit so far. We've got a lot of exciting things in store with free content coming for the game so stay tuned over the coming weeks for more news on that front!

BF3 Caspian Border Testing; Open Beta Issues

Battlelog has word that more widespread testing of the Caspian Border map will be part of the Battlefield 3 beta this weekend as they stress-test the servers for 64-player games (thanks PC Gamer). Also, the Battlefield Blog outlines the top 10 issues DICE is encountering in open beta testing of their upcoming military shooter sequel. Here's the list, straight from the home office in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

  1. Squad issues: Cannot play with friends within same squad, squads get split up onto opposite teams, etc.
    There will be improved squad functionality in the retail game (including but not limited to): the ability to create squads prior to launching into a game, sticking with your squad when joining a game and continuing together through future games (If team balance on the server allows it), inviting friends to a squad and changing squads once in game.
  2. Regarding additional Open Beta content and fixes/patches for consoles, including PlayStation 3 issues with chat and party systems
    While we would like to patch the Open Beta, DICE is currently focusing its available resources on polishing the retail game.
  3. Will DICE have enough time to iron out everything by release?
    Please see General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson's blog post regarding this question.
  4. Can we have ability to change settings/options before deployment into match on PC?
    The ability to modify your settings via the deploy screen has been added into the retail game. Continue here to read the full story.

Staff Are Team Bondi's Largest Creditors

The creative staff behind L.A. Noire comprise the majority of creditors waiting for repayment from insolvent developer Team Bondi, reports GamesIndustry.biz (registration required). They quote the legal documents relating to the company's liquidation showing that 40 creditors are owed more than $1.4 AUD, and the staff are owned most of this, ranging from $1600 and $99,000. They also not that studio boss Brendan McNamara is also owed more than $102,000, while one of the few business still owed money is motion capture firm Depth Analysis, which was also co-founded by McNamara. Word is: "With the company being liquidated it's increasingly unlikely that staff will be repaid any significant percentage of the outstanding amount."

Chucky Game Plans

There's word on playtribune.com about TikGames's plans for a Windows PC and console game based on the Child's Play series of horror movies based on the Chucky doll/serial killer. Word is: is will be a stealth game where players will decide how many of their enemies will survive. "We’re proud to be able to bring a fan-favorite movie character, such as Chucky, to gaming platforms," says Alex Tikman Co Founder and Vice President of Publishing for TikGames. "Fans have been asking for a Chucky game for years and, soon, gamers around the world will be able to enjoy highly-entertaining, interactive, downright gory experiences with this brand." Thanks Computer and Video Games.

Bill Russell Sues EA and NCAA

Retired Boston Celtics center Bill Russell is suing Electronic Arts and the National Collegiate Athletic Association in U.S. District Court for using his likeness without his consent in a "Tournament of Legends" feature in EA's NCAA basketball game, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The 77 year-old Russell, a two-time NCAA champion, 11-time NBA champion; and five-time MVP, seeks a court order blocking further sale of the videos and video games, disgorgement of profits from the games, as well as unspecified damages. Thanks Gamasutra.

Gone Gold - Data Jammers: FastForward

The Digital Eel Website notes that Data Jammers: FastForward is gold, and word is the retro arcade game will be released soon along with a three-level playable demo. Here's a gameplay trailer and a trailer, and here's word on what is the indie developer's tenth anniversary game:

Data Jammers: FastForward is a continuously moving three dimensional driving and destruction game set within a retro wireframe world of impossible race tracks. Prowl twisting bitstreams amidst bizarre geometrical environments enhanced by otherworldly soundscapes as your nimble avatar encounters more dangerous denizens, hazards and boss guardians along the way!

Features include:

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Alpenföhn Triglav CPU-Kühler on Technic3D. In German.
  • ARCTIC MC001-E Entertainment Center Barebone HTPC on Mad Shrimps.
  • ASRock A75 Extreme 6 and A55 Pro 3 Motherboard on PureOC.
  • ASUS 20- ET2011AUKB-B006E All-In-One PC on HotHardware.
  • BIOSTAR TA75A+ Socket FM1 Motherboard with LIano A8-3850 on OCWORKBENCH.
  • Coolit Domino A.L.C. CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
  • Corsair H100 Liquid Cooling on Guru3D.
  • Enermax Platimax 850W PSU on techPowerUp.
  • GIGABYTE GA-A75M-UD2H Socket FM1 mATX Motherboard on Futurelooks.
  • Gigabyte Z68XP-UD5 LGA 1155 Motherboard on Hardware Canucks.
  • HP EliteBook 8460p Notebook on TechSpot Reviews.
  • Kingston Wi-Drive 16GB Wireless Flash Storage for iOS Devices on TweakTown.
  • Lian Li PC-U6 Case on techPowerUp.
  • QNAP Turbo NAS TS-1079 Pro on TweakTown.
  • Rosewill Lightning 1300W Gaming Modular PSU on Bjorn3D.com.
  • NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller on TechwareLabs.
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 FleX Edition 2GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server on Overclockers Club.
  • VisionTek Ultimate Performance 1866Mhz DDR3 on Benchmark Reviews.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Okay, I had a huge techie problem yesterday based on failure to notice a power cord separated from a power brick. I definitely need to take a deep breath the next time I troubleshoot something or I'm going to have to fire myself as my own tech support staff.

Techie Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Skull Hunter - Level Pack.
WarLight.
Strip Solitaire.
Stories: Boeing settles suit over cabin air safety. Even though it is "safe."
Woof! Meet Sausage, Athens' riot dog. Thanks brother19.
Science: Scientists use cloning to make human stem cells.
More energy than expected from Crab supernova: study.
Ridiculed Work Led to Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Images: The 15 Best Staged Splash Mountain Photos. Thanks Neatorama.
Chia Pet.
Knocktor Knocktor.
Media: Labyrinth Champion.
Rottweiler Rescues Chihuahua From Coyote.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Funny Tweets.
TheChronicleHerald.ca.



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