Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2000

Alliance Q3A CTF

The Alliance Games website has the release of version 1.0 of the Alliance CTF mod for Quake III Arena, available as a self-installer for Windows, or as a zip file for other platforms. They've posted an extensive new help page with loads of info on Alliance and CTF in general, giving you something to read while downloading the approximately 50 MB file.

TRIBES 2 Interview

Dynamix' Dave Georgeson is interviewed on Sharky Extreme, talking about TRIBES 2. The interview covers a lot of ground, and Dave talks about the single player side of the game as well as the engine and the all-important multiplayer (which he says should be able to support up to 64 players at a time).

Starship Troopers Preview

PC.IGN has a new preview of Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy up this evening, looking at this upcoming squad-based RTS game. So little had been heard about the game that many considered it to have been canceled, but apparently it's back on track (complete with a new 3D engine) and scheduled for release in September. And just in case you needed proof that the game exists, there are some new shots for you to examine.

Soldier of Fortune Interview

A new interview with Raven level designer Greg Barr is up at Rust. Greg discusses his work on Soldier of Fortune, as well as level design in general, explaining how he goes about creating a level, complete with some advice for aspiring game designers.

Voyager Crewmen

PC.IGN has posted another two characters in their ongoing look at the members of the Hazard Team in Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. Today's members are Chell and Lester William Foster, and they have character sheets and screenshots for both of them.

Nod (Vampire) SDK Released

Nihilistic has released the Nod SDK, their tools package for Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption. The package includes the Embrace level editor (with documentation), the full Java game source, the engine file specs, a template editor, a Direct3D model viewer and a plugin for Maya that exports into the .mll file format. Thanks TheMasquerade.org, who have it available on 3D Downloads.com.

Star Trek: Armada SOD FAQ

Activision has released the Star Trek: Armada SOD FAQ and Sample for download, providing more help and examples of modifying objects in their recently released space-based RTS. As with the earlier tools release (story), this is an unsupported beta release.

Pool of Radiance II Screenshots

The official Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor gallery has been updated with six new screenshots (the top two rows) offering new scenes from the isometric role-playing game being crafted at Stormfront Studios.

Halo Shot

A new screenshot from Bungie's Halo is up at IMG Magazine (thanks Shugashack, by way of Stomped). While the game is currently only confirmed as an Xbox title, hopefully the decision will be made to bring it to other platforms as well. Update: turns out this shot was actually posted on Gamecenter a while back.

MDK2 Walkthrough

Interplay's official MDK2 site has been updated with a walkthrough for the eighth level in the game. Walkthroughs for levels 4-7 are still available on their site as well, and they promise another one next week.

Voyager Q&A

VoyagerEliteForce.com has conducted a new Q&A with Kenn Hoekstra, Raven's project administrator on Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. The questions deal with the voice acting process, the player movement speed, and other Voyager topics, as well as this bit regarding the contents of the forthcoming demo:
The demo will feature approximately six single player levels and 2 multiplayer levels. There will be four weapons in the single player levels and maybe 1 or 2 more in the multiplayer levels. Multiplayer will be strictly deathmatch (or free for all) and will feature some of the usable items that appear in the multiplayer for the full version. The main cast and crew plus a few extra characters will be available multiplayer characters for DM. The demo will be approximately 120MB in size and will feature Bot support.

Blair Witch Project Shots

Eight new screenshots from The Blair Witch Project: Volume 1 - Rustin Parr are up at Israeli gaming site VGames. The site does have text in Hebrew, so your browser may not display it correctly or prompt you to download an international font pack.

Halo Petition

As Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie no longer guarantees Halo will appear on any platform but the Xbox (story), a petition has started up to show them how much support there is from PC gamers. Bungie's company line is that the development team hasn't made a decision on non-Xbox versions yet, so this may actually help influence them.

Instagib Heretic II Released

Grins Place has posted the first release of the Instagib mod for Heretic II. If you've ever played the mod for either Unreal Tournament or Quake III Arena, you know what to expect - no health, no ammo, just a solitary weapon that gets a one-shot kill every time.

Rune Preview

Eurogamer.net has posted a new preview of Rune, Human Head's third person action game of drunken Viking bloodlust. The preview is based on a demo they received during GOD's recent European tour, and features some new screenshots from the game.

Soldier Previews

A detailed preview of Soldier, the upcoming third person action game based on the film starring Kurt Russel, is up at AVault. The preview is hands-on, and features the author's impressions of the game and new screenshots. Also, eight new shots from the game are up at Eurogamer.net, taken from their preview copy on a GeForce II GTS with full-scene anti-aliasing enabled.

Dark Reign 2 Gold

GameSpy has confirmed that Dark Reign 2, Pandemic's 3D RTS title, has gone gold. According to their news report, the game will ship on June 27th for a simultaneous worldwide release.

Dzip Released

The Quake Done Quick team, masters of all things demo-related, have released, Dzip, a new utility that claims to compress Quake demo files (.dem) far better than ZIP or other compression programs, without losing any data. The 136k download is available on their site, and should be of particular interest for those out there with enormous deathmatch demos (like those from LAN parties, for example).

Empire Earth Movie

In what they promise is the first in a good old-fashioned movie trilogy, Empire Earth NetCenter has posted a movie trailer for Empire Earth, the upcoming multi-millenium spanning strategy game by Stainless Steel Studios. The movie features in-game footage from the Stone Age through the Industrial age and runs for a minute and a half in Bink format.

New Half-Life Goldeneye

Version beta 1.5 of the Goldeneye mod for Half-Life has been released, and is available for download at its official site. This release aligns the mod with Half-Life 1.1 and adds a bunch of new features and other changes, such as new weapons, a new map, a spectator mode, and lots more. It's a full install, so you need to delete your Goldeneye folder before upgrading.

JHeretic Client/Server Test

Jaakko Keränen has released the first client/server test version of his Doomsday engine, currently working only with JHeretic but available for download, oddly enough, on the JHexen site. This being a early beta, reading the included dtest.txt file before using it is important.

Psycho Crunch

A new article at GameSpy.com looks at the crunch mode currently underway at Third Law, the developers of KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child, as the game nears completion. The piece features quotes from different members of the design team talking about their hectic schedules and the pressure they are under to finish the game.

Giants Preview

A new preview of Giants: Citizen Kabuto is up at ActionTrip.com. The preview is loaded with images (although some look familiar) and has a hands-on report of the game's multiplayer experience. Some of the images feature the ever-popular (and topless) Sea Reapers, so parental discretion is advised.

Crimson Skies CGI Shots

Sim Arena has posted 13 new screenshots from Crimson Skies, the upcoming aerial action game from FASA Interactive and Microsoft. The shots depict the game's pre-rendered cut scenes, and show off a number of different aircraft.

The Story of id

E-tailer CheckOut.com has an article up chronicling the history of id Software. The article focuses mainly on how id helped create the first person shooter, first with Wolfenstein 3D, and then with the Doom and Quake games, with very little mention of their pre-Wolf3D games.

Timeline Shots

According to AVault, Timeline, the first adventure game from Michael Chrichton's Timeline Computer Entertainment company, will be published by Eidos Interactive. In addition to the announcement they also have seven new screenshots from the game, which appears to be played in the first person.

Sanity Interview

Fox Interactive's Gary Sheinwald and Monolith's Garrett Price and Kevin Lambert are all interviewed on Voodoo Extreme, talking about the LithTech engine title Sanity (which will be entering its beta phase shortly). The questions are all fairly general, with explanations of what the game is, and how the single player will function.

Vampire Walkthrough

Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption fan-site The Masquerade.org has written a full walkthrough of the game. It's short, but if you're stuck in the single player game, this should be able to help you along without giving away too much of the game (although it is laden with spoilers galore).

Hitman Interview

Not content with giving you the whole talk now, GameSpot UK has posted the first part of a Q&A on Hitman: Codename 47, quizzing IO Interactive director Janos Flösser about their upcoming third-person assassination game, along with a few new screenshots.

Counter-Strike Server Update

There are new Counter-Strike server updates as a Win32 .dll and a Linux .so for testing on the Counter-Strike forums (thanks CS-Nation via Stomped). The updates are for server admins only, fix several bugs, and are compatible with other 6.5 servers unlike the 6.6 public beta earlier this week (story).

Dark Reign 2 Media

More Dark Reign 2 news today, as Activision's official site has been updated with three new screenshots as well as a new movie trailer, entitled Desert Storm. The movie features 45 seconds of frantic in-game action for a mere 3.3 MB download.

Kingdom Under Fire Screenshots

Daily Radar adds this morning's barrage of RTS news with a set of new Kingdom Under Fire screenshots from the isometric real-time strategy game with role-playing elements, currently under construction at Korean developers Phantagram.

10Six Patch

There is a new patch for 10Six on the official site, bringing this massively multiplayer action RTS to build 3495. New versions of the full client software are also available.

Fallout: Tactics Shots

GA-Strategy has posted two new screenshots of Fallout: Tactics - Brotherhood of Steel along with comments by designer Chris Taylor on this isometric tactical combat game by Micro Forte. While Fallout: Tactics is set in the Fallout universe of its RPG predecessors, it will offer only a few role-playing elements in an otherwise turn-based strategy system.

Giants Update and Movies

An update on the official Giants: Citizen Kabuto site has producer Shawn Jacoby talking about ESRB ratings and audio work on Planet Moon's upcoming third-person action game. There is also a pair of new movies showing off some giant action (and appetite to match) from Kabuto.

Star Trek: New Worlds Vehicle

Also new at Interplay is an addition to the Star Trek: New Worlds vehicles page, showing off a Klingon Shuttle in screenshots and a short movie clip.

ID4 Online Shots

GA-Source caught up with Matt Firor, producer at Centropolis Interactive, to talk about ID4 Online and post a pair of new screenshots. Independence Day Online is the online-only space combat shooter that is going into closed beta today (story).

Ground Control Q&A

There is a quick Q&A with Martin Walfisz online at Stomped, in which the Massive Entertainment prez talks about the response to their just-released 3D action RTS Ground Control, and hints at their plans for the future, which include the release of new multiplayer maps (but no new unit types).

Dark Reign 2 Shots

GameSpot UK's Dark Reign 2 week rolls on with another nine new screenshots from Pandemic's 3D real-time strategy game, along with a look at the resource building and management aspects of the game.

Black & White Movie

The movie festival at The Citadel comes to a close with their final Black & White movie, in which Lionhead's head lion Peter Molyneux is filmed playing through the "Sick Brother" challenge in his 3D god-playing game, in a trailer that runs for three and a half minutes.

Chatting Away

Baldur's Gate Chronicles will be holding an official Icewind Dale chat with Black Isle Studios on Thursday, June 22, at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT). Connect to IRC server planetquake.gamesnet.net, port 6667, channel #baldursgate to participate in the fun. Also, OmegaProject.net is organizing another pair of Star Trek chats today on IRC server irc.omegaproject.net. The Star Trek: Invasion chat kicks off at 7:00 PM EDT (midnight GMT) in channel #invasion, and the Klingon Academy chat starts at 9:00 PM EDT (2:00 AM GMT) in channel #ka. You can also use their Java-based web interface.

Valve's New Engine

Playnow's Josh 'Borg' Holmes recently visited Valve Software's offices, and he's posted an article with details on the trip. While Josh was shown Team Fortress 2 in its current incarnation (which continues the extensive modifications to Quake engine started in Half-Life), he managed to confirm that when its released, the game will be using an all new, internally-developed engine. Here's an excerpt with some vague details on the technology:
The truth is, however, that Team Fortress 2 won't be released this summer, although this has little to do with a lack of progress on game design, level design, feature implementation or artwork. What is holding further development of TF2 is that Valve are currently building a new engine to drive TF2, and have been doing so for a number of months. As far as Robin Walker is concerned, this new engine will allow them to do things with TF2 they otherwise couldn't have.

It will also make it more scalable across a wider range of system specifications, both capable of delivering superior graphics on high end systems, whilst also making it possible to play on low end computers. It's not another re-tooling of the Quake engine - it's a completely new beast. When I asked what it could do, the answer was something along the lines of 'A more appropriate question might be to ask what can't it do? The idea is to make sure it can do everything we need it to.' Existing content will be further enhanced by the new engine, and not only will it make new features possible, it will make old features work better than they ever have before.

UWO: Origin Preview

The preview of Ultima Worlds Online: Origin that recently appeared in PC Gamer is now online at Daily Radar. This was the first detailed account of the game, and it features a number of screenshots which were taken from the original source - not scanned in from the magazine. Oddly enough, the preview was written before the name change, so it still says Ultima Online 2.

New AUI

Version 1.4 of Advanced UI for Quake III Arena has been released. AUI replaces the Q3A user interface with one that makes it easier to start new games and add bots. This new version adds compatibility with the 1.17 release, and also sorts out, "a few niggles."

Tech Bits

Horizons Q&A

Horizons Vault has this week's edition of their Ask Artifact Entertainment column on-line, featuring reader-submitted questions answered by the Horizons development team. This week's questions deal with the engine and the gameplay in this massively multiplayer RPG, including the oddball question, "can a Giant toss a Dwarf into a lake?"

Linux Q3A Server Tutorial

Yesterday's tutorial on installing Quake III Arena for Linux was so popular, that Q3Xtreme.net has written a follow-up, explaining how to start a Linux dedicated Q3A server. Like the tutorial yesterday, it's step by step and features all the commands you'll need to know to get a server up and running.

Shattered Galaxy Q&A

Nuclear Winter Gaming Network has conducted a Q&A with Kevin Saunders, a developer at Nexon, talking about the retail version of their upcoming massively multiplayer RTS game Shattered Galaxy (a beta version is already available on their web site).

Q3A Claustrophobopolis

Digital 1 has released not one, but two versions of Claustrophobopolis for Quake III Arena. For those that need a reminder, Claustrophobopolis was DM2 in the original Quake, and is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the all-time great deathmatch levels. There are two versions: one that is a straight recreation, and one that incorporates many of the Q3A innovations from the original game (such as jump pads).

Editing Stuff

If you're looking for help learning the ropes of Quake III Arena mod creation, check out the tutorial index at claudec's Lair of Quake 3 Arena Level Design, which now features 55 tutorials from around the web, all organized by category. Also, for you code monkeys out there, GamaSutra has an article up titled, More AI in Less Processor Time: 'Egocentric' AI which deals with optimizing AI code.

Competitions

According to this article at The Korea Herald, electronics giant Samsung is going to be starting a professional gaming team to compete in Quake and Starcraft tournaments (thanks Bodi). Also, Battle-Fields.com is giving away some Tachyon: The Fringe swag in their latest contest.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Fruit of the loon

Well, today is the day Blue returns from his vacation, so you'll be seeing Out of the Blue here again as of tomorrow morning. It's been fun, but instead of working the next few evenings, I plan on grabbing a few dozen pints, finishing Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, playing Perfect Dark and seeing Chicken Run.

Story of the Day: Microsoft-tied groups report ‘weird’ incidents (thanks Whapper).
Image of the Day:
The chainsaw that acted as the model for the weapon in Doom. Am I the only one that finds the concept of Tom Hall with a chainsaw frightening to no end?
Auction of the Day: The Mach 5 from Speed Racer. I can only imagine Blue is kicking himself for not waiting before buying that car (thanks Troy Fisher).
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