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Tuesday, Feb 29, 2000

  

RTS Previews

Two new real-time strategy previews have been posted this evening...the first one is up at Gamecenter, where they call Earth 2150, "far more polished and immersive than any RTS in recent memory" based on the beta build they received. Naturally there's a handful of screenshots up along side the preview. Also, Future Gamer has posted a preview of Dogs of War, the game described as, "Cannon Fodder meets Unreal meets Hidden and Dangerous." If that makes no sense, there are some new screenshots to help clarify things.

Psycho Movie

incitegames has released a new MPEG movie featuring in-game footage from KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child, Third Law Interactive's upcoming LithTech engine game of massive carnage and wild makeup. The film features footage from the same demonstration levels that have been shown many times before, so it may seem familiar to you.

Age of Wonders Patch

The official Age of Wonders site has been updated with a version 1.35 patch for the retail version of Triumph and Epic's fantasy strategy game. Thanks Gone Gold. This release fixes some rare crashes, improves the automatic combat calculations involving archers and fixes some minor balance issues. The complete list of changes can be viewed here.

Revenant International Patches

Cinematix has released more international editions of the Revenant version 1.2e patch, now offering German, French and Italian downloads of the patch, which was released in US and Korean editions last week (story). Thanks RPG Vault.

Still More Screenshots

A collection of images for your evening viewing pleasure:

Arcanum Preview

GameSpot has posted a preview of Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, an upcoming isometric role-playing game by Troika Games, a new company founded by developers that have the designs of Fallout and Fallout 2 under their belts while still at Interplay. A boatload of new screenshots illustrate the industrial fantasy world on offer.

Harvey Smith Interview

Hot on the heels of their Bob White interview (story), XQ's Interview with Harvey "Witchboy" Smith grills the ION Storm lead designer of Deus Ex, their upcoming 3D action RPG, in ten questions, nine of which are answered into varying degrees of detail.

Parsec Demo

As promised, a new self-running demo of Parsec is now available for download at the official site in Windows and Mac versions, with the Linux version promised for tomorrow. The 18MB download runs for over 11 minutes, and shows a lot of in-game footage from this upcoming, non-commercial space combat title.

Klingon Academy Demo

As announced in this forum post, Interplay has released the playable demo of Star Trek: Klingon Academy (82.4 MB) for download on their ftp server, as well as on the Star Trek: Continuum.

Dino Update

A new update to Sid's Dino Diaries has been posted at Firaxis' web site, and it features a brief update from Sid Meier, as well as a slightly more detailed update by one of the other designers, explaining the current design phase of Sid Meier's Dinosaurs (working title). Along with the update are several new concept art pieces, showing some of the species of dinos that may be in the game.

New GLSetup Released

A new version of GLSetup, the program that checks your PC and automatically installs the right OpenGL drivers for your hardware, has been released and is available for download at its official site. This new version (Beta 1.0.0.113) adds new drivers for 3dfx, Matrox, NVIDIA, ATI and S3 cards, and adds support for the latest chipsets as well.

Direct Rocket Damage Released

Direct Rocket Damage is the name of a new mod for QuakeWorld, that divides DM3 into six separate arenas for 1 on 1 matches where the only way to cause damage is via a direct rocket blast. The mod and source code are available for download at the official DRD site.

C&C: Tiberian Sun Patches

Westwood has released version 2.02 patches for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, available for direct download or via the auto-update feature in the game (thanks Ant). The list of changes includes improvements to online play, better support for the Firestorm expansion pack, and more, and a complete list is posted on Generation Renegade.

Evil Islands Update

RPG Vault has posted a quick Q&A on the development status of Evil Islands, a 3D role-playing strategy game under construction at Russian company Nival, who recently opened their Evil Islands website for the game, complete with screenshots and several rolling demos.

MDK 2 Chat

If you've got questions for BioWare's MDK 2 team, they'll be taking part in an IRC chat tomorrow, so swing by #vault on irc.vaultnetwork.com at 6:00 PM PST and ask away (thanks MDK2.com). MDK, as everyone knows, stands for Meteor Dust Kills.

ShadowWatch Preview

GameSpot UK has posted a new hands-on preview of ShadowWatch, RedStorm's upcoming strategy/RPG title. The preview is fairly detailed, and features a number of new screenshots.

O.R.B. Site Launched

Strategy First's official O.R.B. site has gone live, featuring lots of info on the gameplay, races and missions from this upcoming RTS game, as well as a downloadable movie, a ship gallery, and plenty of screenshots (thanks GA-Strategy).

Valve Q&A

AVault fired off some questions to Valve Software's Gabe Newell about their technology plans, after the recent announcement that they had hired Mike Dussault, the former lead programmer on the LithTech engine (story). Here's an excerpt where Gabe directly responds to the question of whether or not they will continue to license an engine, or produce their own from scratch after Team Fortress 2 is completed (which uses id Software's Quake technology):

We are investing a lot in technology, but our strategy is not changing. We are still deciding what we want to achieve in our future games, determining if it stands to reason to license or develop the technology, and going from there. In terms of people, we are always going to try to convince the best people in the industry that Valve is a good place for them to be for the long haul.

SWAT 3: Battle Plan Shots

Also new at AVault this morning are two new screenshots from SWAT 3: Battle Plan, the upcoming multiplayer add-on for SWAT 3. The add-on will add six new missions and support up to 10 players simultaneously. It is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2000.

Devil Inside Movies

A new gameplay movie and trailer from Devil Inside have been posted at GameSpot UK (both in MPEG format), featuring lots of new footage of this scary action/adventure game from the creator of Alone in the Dark. In other DI news, the official English language site for the game has gone live, and features some preliminary info on the game (a full FAQ is coming soon) as well as a rather large screenshots gallery.

Martian Gothic Preview

PC.IGN.com has posted a preview of Martian Gothic: Unification, a horror adventure game in the vein of Alone in the Dark which puts you into the shoes of polygonal characters moving around 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. A whole bunch of new, thumbnail-free images are available to browse the world Creative Reality and TalonSoft are crafting.

Star Trek: Armada Screenshot

The official Star Trek: Armada site has been updated with a new screenshot of the week, showing off a battle scene in Activision's upcoming space-based RTS that entered closed beta yesterday.

On Dreamcast Half-Life

FGNOnline has posted a quote from Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford regarding the control scheme for their upcoming Dreamcast port of Half-Life. As there's no mouse and keyboard available (at least, not for most people, anyway) they've had to be a little creative. Here's what he had to say:

"Control is only a tricky issue for those of us who are used to a keyboard and mouse configuration on the PC," says Pitchford. "Luckily, Dreamcast already has PC like interface available. But, for those that would like to play the game using the Dreamcast controller, it's designed very well to handle this kind of game.

"We've got an analog stick and two analog levers for aiming and movement and plenty of buttons for the digital functions. A default configuration will be provided that should be very good, but I'll also want to see an option to customize the controller should players want to experiment with a more personalized control scheme."

Terminal Reality Interview

3D Action Planet has posted an interview with Terminal Reality's Fletcher Dunn, talking to the programmer about his work on Nocturne and the upcoming Blair Witch Project, as well as how he got into the industry, and his thoughts on the eventual apocalypse.

FAKK2 Q&A & Screenshots

GA-Source's Heavy Metal FAKK2 interview talks with Robert Atkins, Scott Alden, and the Levelord of Ritual Entertainment about progress on Heavy Metal FAKK2, Ritual's upcoming Quake III-engine movie-tie-in action game. In addition to the developer Q&A, which discusses things like the game's third-person viewpoint, its plot, and gameplay, the page also offers up three new FAKK2 screenshots, as well as some familiar shots.

Bob White Interview

XQ interviews Bob White talking with the leader of the design team at work on Deus Ex, ION Storm's upcoming Unreal-engine action/RPG. The 10 question Q&A covers progress on the game, thankfully not playing up to the question about "problems that the government would have with Deus Ex."

Tech Bits

More Screenshots

There's a new Forts screenshot on GA-Strategy showing Magic Lantern Playware's newly-announced upcoming LithTech-engine action/strategy title. Also, there are 20 Rally Championship 200 screenshots on Gamerspoint Network.

Ground Control Stuff

There is a Ground Control interview on PC Arena talking with Massive Entertainment about progress on Ground Control, Major Tom's favorite upcoming game. Comparing the game's futuristic tactical gameplay to a cross between the Homeworld and Myth, the Q&A covers how GC stacks up to other RTS titles, design decisions, AI, the game's interface, and more. The Ground Control preview on incite also looks ahead at the game, and offers some new screenshots, as well.

Pure Q3A

The first beta release of the Pure mod for Quake III Arena is now available. Pure offers several modifications aimed at CTF games, though it's pointed out that it can be used for deathmatch, as well. Pure reintroduces the four techs/runes familiar from Threewave CTF, a grappling hook, the Pure scoring system, Quake 1 underwater lightning gun discharge effect, and more. All the options can be toggled on or off to the server operator's preference.

CTF/e for UT

A new version 2.28 of CTF/e, a capture the flag modification for Unreal Tournament can be found on The House that SiN Built (in spite of the name, this is indeed a UT mod). The new release adds Bonus Pack Support, improves the scoring system, adds random map progression, fixes some minor bugs with bots, and more.

Editing Stuff

Quake3mods.net has posted an email exchange with id Software's Paul Jaquays on adding lightning to Quake III Arena maps. There's a Tutorial for getting a player model mesh from MAX 2.5 to Q3 on polycount written by Paul Steed. The article is listed as part one of "not sure yet," and should serve as a companion piece to his ongoing series on loonygames.

Competitions

The Cyberathlete Professional League has announced new qualifying centers in Ontario, Canada, and Bellevue, Washington. Also, Reality @ Recess.com has word of another qualifying even for the upcoming $100,000 Razer CPL tournament that will take place in North Olmsted, Ohio on March 12. Also, The Iron Glove League's new Counter-Strike Division gets underway a week from Wednesday. Finally, Quad Damage-News has word of an upcoming Wages of Sin tournament that offers each player on the winning team a signed copy of Sin and Wages of Sin, with an official Sin T-shirt signed by Levelord for each player going to the second place finishers. Word is the Levelord himself will also be participating in some manner of "Kick the Levelord Around" feature.

Reviews

etc.

  • In the vein of yesterday's blurb on the Webpuppy release (story), this webpage has the release of a Blue's News headlines ticker program that uses the shareware coolticker to update you with the latest headlines here (though I can't figure out how to display them myself)...
  • Painful Detail has posted six new UT voice packs and two new player models...
  • There is an ICQ sound scheme on Wantree GamesWorld that changes the annoying default ICQ sounds to a Q3A sound-scheme, which I imagine might get a bit annoying itself after a while, but your mileage may vary...
  • Starting today, the Gamestock 2000 website will be host to updates on MS' gaming extravaganza, just getting underway. There will be a Gamestock-oriented MSN Gaming Zone Chat starting today at 8:00 PM EST (5:00 PM PST)...
  • The new list of top selling PC entertainment software is up on GameDAILY with Q3A re-entering the chart at #7 (ever wonder if they do this stuff with a dartboard?), UT dropping to #12, and Nox entering at #4. The new Mac chart is up as well with Alpha Centauri entering at #5...

Out of the Blue

Happy leap day, or whatever it is you call this extra day every four years (this really seems like a kludgy patch... I think it's time for calendar 2.0). David Chase points out we are around the one-year anniversary of the leak of the IHV test of Q3A (now that seems like some time that flew!). To continue (and/or flog) the recent television theme: There is a new public service announcement that runs occasionally in these parts to promote the upcoming US Census. The spot features kids running around to the strains of the bugged-out electronic version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony from A Clockwork Orange. Needless to say, it is just about impossible to make any association with this music other than the film's ultra-violence, which of course is actually a twist on a major point in the plot (how's that for life imitating art?). It seems a bit pointless to ask "what were they thinking" when discussing the actions of a government, but this one really does make one wonder.

Link of the Day: The Tesla Coil Page. Thanks Freek aka Maniac. Filled with AVI-format movies of these ultra-cool "toys" in action.
Story of the Day: Scientists Create Half-Human, Half-Silicon Chip. Thanks EvilToast.



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