Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 28, 2000

Bungie's Third Game?

GameSpot has posted a news story that attempts to piece together clues dropped by Bungie CEO Alex Seropian as to the nature of their third game. According to them, the new game is a real-time strategy game that may or may not be a new Myth title. While their third game may in fact turn out to be an RTS, Take Two acquired the rights to the Myth franchise, and has already stated that they are planning a new game (or games, in fact), so it would seem unlikely that both companies were working on expanding the series. Also, Bungie's Jason Jones has stated on several occasions that Halo developed out of technology that was supposed to be used for their next-generation Myth terrain engine, suggesting that while a new Myth game may have been in the works, it may have been put aside when Halo started development.

Alice Preview

PC.IGN kicks off their three day look at American McGee's Alice with today's preview, focusing on the characters and weapons in the game. For each character and weapon there is a detailed description, along with an image that's not in-game per se, but still uses the in-game models (instead of being pre-rendered or conceptual artwork). Some of these look familiar, but there are more than a few new images as well.

More Voyager Characters

Another edition of PC.IGN's continuing look at the various characters in Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force is online, looking at Juliet Jurot and Telsia Caitlin Murphy. Like their previous installments, there are new screenshots and character sheets for each member of the team.

Shadowbane Movie

The E3 Shadowbane trailer has been released, and is available for download at GameSpot. The movie clocks in at just under a minute and a half, and features both in-game and cinematic footage from this massively multiplayer RPG. It's available in several formats, both streaming and downloadable, and in a number of different sizes to accommodate your bandwidth.

Age of Empires II: Conquerors Preview

Also new on GameSpot this evening, is the third piece of their five-part preview of Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. This installment focuses on the Spanish empire, with new concept artwork and in-game screenshots in addition to details galore.

Evening Screenshots

TRIBES 2 Q&A

A new Q&A with Dynamix' Dave Georgeson is up at Fragzone.se, talking with him about some detailed gameplay issues in TRIBES 2. Dave explains that dogfights are indeed possible with their new vehicles and goes into detail on their new turrets (which now come in indoor and outdoor varieties) as well as map sizes and the new Siege mission type.

Starfleet Command II Diary

Starfleet Universe has posted a new edition of their Starfleet Command Volume II diary. This installment takes the form of a FAQ, with Taldren's Josh Morris answering 21 common questions fans have had regarding this upcoming space-sim.

Eye on Dreamcast?

While console ports for all of ION Storm's games have been talked about in the past, no real confirmation has ever been issued regarding the Dreamcast. However, it would appear that ION is getting ready to move into console territory, as according to a new listing on their jobs page, they are hiring a Dreamcast programmer. This could mean a DC port of Anachronox, Daikatana or Deus Ex is in the works, or it may even be a hint at John Romero's next game, which he has said may be for a console system and not the PC (story).

Horizons Interview

Artifact Entertainment's James Jones and David Allen are interviewed on Horizons Vault, talking about the current status of Horizons, their massively multiplayer RPG, which is in danger of being canceled unless they find a publisher in the very near future (story). Due to the timing of the interview, the questions deal with their financial situation rather than being game-specific.

Horrific Q&A

A new edition of Machnima.com's Ask the Experts column is online, featuring questions about horror game design answered by Headfirst Productions' Andrew Brazier, members of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer development team at The Collective and former id Software level designer (and author of the original Call of Cthulhu pen and paper RPG) Sandy Petersen.

Gateway Leaves Nihilistic

Stomped has posted a letter they received from Steve "Gateway" Tietze, where he announces that he has left Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption developers Nihilistic to pursue other opportunities in the gaming industry. Steve can be reached via e-mail at gateway@tietze.com and he says he will be taking on contract work.

New Windows 2000 V3 Drivers

Hot on the heels of the new Voodoo 5 drivers (see below) comes new Windows 2000 drivers for the Voodoo 3 2000 and 3000. These drivers (which likewise are classified as beta and unsupported) fix issues with Prince of Persia 3D, a nasty crash issue with Half-Life, some miscellaneous OpenGL issues with Homeworld and other game-specific problems.

New Windows 2000 V5 Drivers

3dfx has released new Windows 2000 drivers (numbered 1.00.00 Beta) for their Voodoo 5 AGP card. These are beta drivers, and so they come with 3dfx' typically scary warning about how they are completely unsupported. Thanks 3D Spotlight for the tip.

MDK2 Walkthrough

The latest installment of the MDK2 walkthrough at Interplay's official site is online, offering frustrated gamers help with level 9. And of course, if you haven't gotten that far yet, walkthroughs for levels 4-8 are also available.

Blade Screenshots

Blade-Universe has posted a set of Blade screenshots for download, featuring three scenes from Rebel Act's third-person melee combat game, each captured with full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) turned on and off. The shots were taken on a GeForce in 32-bit color, and they add that "performance is only reduced by about 5% (contrary to other games, which can take up to 50%)."

Voyager LCARS Shots

Two new screenshots from Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force are up at VoygerEliteForce.com, showing off the game's LCARS menu system (that's Library Computer Access and Retrieval System for non Trekkies). Alongside the images are detailed descriptions from project administrator Kenn Hoekstra, who explains that using the menus you can access information about the weapons and view space maps in addition to the usual single and multiplayer options.

Work on a Q3A Engine Game

Bullfrog's Steve Murray sends along word that they are looking to hire level designers for, "a console conversion of a high profile game based on the Quake 3 engine." Your guess is as good as mine as to what the game is, but here are the details for those that are interested:
We're looking for level designers that want to work the standard deal: long hours, lots of glory and...paid too.

Bullfrog is currently looking for level designers available to work in the Southeast London area to join a team performing a console conversion of a high profile game based on the Quake 3 engine. Aspiring applicants should reply via email to Stephen Murray (smurray@ea.com). Please send a resume, but no map files unless specifically requested. If you have something available online, please point me to it.

Horizons in Jeopardy?

Artifact Entertainment has made an update to their official site with word that Horizons, their ambitious massively multiplayer RPG, is in jeopardy of closing down due to lack of funding (thanks David "Anselan" Brender). Here's an excerpt from the large update:
It is with both hope and regret that I inform the gaming community of the serious problem that has arisen in relation to the HORIZONS project. As you know, HORIZONS was supposed to be a privately funded project; the problem is that the funding has fallen through, and the project is now facing extinction.

We have been in talks with a publisher for close to two months now and have just been informed that it's going to take them even longer to make their 'decision', and the problem is that we cannot last during this amount of time (we have already been privately and personally funding HORIZONS for the past 9 months). At this time, we have a team of roughly 20 people; many of them industry professionals that are migrating from other companies to work on HORIZONS. This team will fall apart and be disbanded over the next few weeks unless something is done.

As far as I can tell, the only way that HORIZONS will be bailed out is if somebody acts quickly and works with us to make this amazing project a reality with the proper financial support (millions of dollars). We have the people, the talent, the design & concept, and even more importantly, the drive and ability to make this project a reality. We are only interested in working with those who will not waste our time and are interested in making things happen instead of talking about it.

Half-Life International Patches

As expected, Valve Software has also released international version 1.1.0.1 patches for Half-Life for download from Sierra's ftp server. They are available in the usual German, French, Italian, Spanish and Korean editions as both the upgrade from 1.1.0.0 and the full 1.1.0.1 update, but until the Half-Life support page is updated, you'll have to go by filename to find the patch you need. A mirror of all files is available at 3D Action Gamers, where the files are clearly labeled.

I'm Going In Shots

I'm Going In fan-site ProjectIGI.com has opened their screenshots archive, which features a collection of 128 images from this upcoming FPS game, some of which are brand new and exclusive to the site.

DarQuest Released

CheckOut's Chris Jensen has released a new multiplayer chronicle for Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, titled DarQuest. The site says the mod is a, "perfect adventure for beginning Story Tellers and shows what players can create using the tools included with the game."

New Sacrifice God

Shiny's official Sacrifice site has been updated with another look at one of the various gods in the game. This time it's Pyro, the lord of fire, and there are new concept images of the character, along with a new in-game screenshot of his realm.

Half-Life 1.1.0.1 Released

Valve has released the version 1.1.0.1 patch for Half-Life. This upgrade fixes a number of bugs and exploits, and is also available via the game's auto-update system. Here are links to our local copies (with mirrors) for each the various client and server files:

Diablo II Ships

Blizzard has announced that Diablo II has shipped to retailers worldwide. In many places the game is on shelves already (although most won't have it until tomorrow) and people that pre-ordered their copies from EBWorld or other online retailers should be receiving them today or tomorrow. Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

Pentium 4 Announced

In a move that should surprise...well, nobody, Intel has announced the Pentium 4 processor, which will be shipping in the second half of this year. The Pentium 4 is the final name for the processors that were code-named "Willamette" and is their next full consumer level CPU (thanks chadb).

More Vampire

Nihilistic's Rob Huebner made an update to his .plan, answering some common questions about the upcoming patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption that were sent in after his update yesterday (story) as well as announcing that they are now hiring for their next project. Here's what he has to say:
Got a few questions in email after the last update, figured I'd post them here:

- The new patch should not break old save game files, so no need to start over in the SP game
- An additional Storyteller feature that was added I forgot to mention: the ability to re-position objects after they are placed and also the ability to remove all placed objects (or very nearly all, we may have missed one or two, there are too damn many).
- The patch size is about 2MB (800k of actual patch data, the rest is the self-extractor and patch application itself). This might grow a bit as the localized data is added, however.
- There will be a single patch released for all languages.
- The save-anywhere feature is accessed via the ESC menu just like LOAD.
- The pause feature is accessed via the "pause" key.
- The issue with the 5-button Microsoft mouse is fixed in the patch.

Also, we are starting phone interviews and stuff for open positions here for our next project. If you're a programmer, designer, or artist (and are kick-ass at your job, naturally) send some stuff to "jobs@nihilistic.com". Full-time on-site only, please! There's just no subtitute for working on a small, efficient, talented team so why not give it a shot, you won't regret it. We're planning to add just 3-4 people total to bring the head count here to like 15, and will continue to focus on only one triple-A title at a time. If you sent stuff earlier during crunch mode, feel free to re-send it to that alias if you're still available. Thanks.

Echelon Site

Continuing today's trend, Bethesda Softworks has opened the official Echelon website for business (thanks GA-Source). The site features lots of info and some new screenshots and concept art of the combat flight sim that is being developed by Russian companies Madia and Buka.

Icewind Dale Preview

GameSpot UK is the latest site to post a hands-on Icewind Dale preview in the time between this isometric RPG going gold and appearing on store shelves. Naturally, a gallery of new screenshots is featured as well.

Blue Byte Sites

German developer Blue Byte has opened their new Blue Byte Game Channel site, featuring sections for the three games they are currently working on: the 3D action adventure Dragon's Lair 3D, the 3D turn-based strategy game Battle Isle: the Andosia War, and the isometric RTS Settlers IV. Of particular note are the new Dragon's Lair 3D and Battle Isle screenshots, and a short Dragon's Lair 3D trailer.

Savage Q&A

A new Q&A with Savage Entertainment's Tim Morten is up at ActionTrip. If the name doesn't ring any bells, it's because the company, which is made up of former Mechwarrior and Heavy Gear designers, has been working in secret for the last two years on a new 3D engine. While they haven't announced anything beyond their Sabertooth 3D engine, Tim gives some hints as to what the game may be, suggesting that, "it would fall between a combat-simulator and a first-person shooter." The game is planned for PC as well as the Playstation 2 and Xbox consoles, and ActionTrip has several screenshots from the engine's prototype levels.

Battle Isle Interview

The first part of Daily Telefrag's interview with David Durcak is online, talking with the head of development at Cauldron about Battle Isle: The Andosia War, the fourth game in the Battle Isle series. This installment of the interview talks about the game's multiplayer, their resource management, weather conditions and more.

Rainbow Six: Covert Ops Site

Red Storm has opened their Rainbow Six: Covert Operations Essentials site for business, offering information and screenshots of the standalone expansion pack that will include nine new levels, as well as "an insider's look at the world of covert operations."

Half-Life 1.1.0.1 Available

We won't be posting local copies until 2:00 EDT (11:00 PDT) out of respect for Valve's embargo, but if you can't wait, the full Half-Life version 1.1.0.1 patch is now available from Sierra's FTP, along with the patch to update from version 1.1 (direct FTP links). We're not entirely sure ourselves why the files are up now, and the server is likely to be slow as molasses, but if you can't wait, there they are. Update: the files were pulled (thanks awoq), and we are now back on track for the previously announced 2:00 EDT release. Also note that you won't be able to use the new version (if you did get a copy) until the master server has been updated to authenticate it.

There Can be...Quite a Few

Kalisto Entertainment (the folk behind Nightmare Creatures) have announced that they have acquired the rights to make games based on the Highlander TV and movie series. The first game will be a massively multiplayer adventure game, and no details are available beyond that the game will be playable by "thousands of gamers" simultaneously. Thanks to Stomped's John Callaham for the tip.

Kat Burglar Preview

Big Kid paid a visit to Australian developers Krome Studios to look at their upcoming games, including the 3D action adventure Kat Burglar. The game is still early in development, but the article describes its premise and characters, and includes a few new screenshots.

Deus Ex Interview

Deus Ex scriptwriter Sheldon Pacotti is interviewed on GamePen this morning. Sheldon discusses the scriptwriting process, explaining what his duties were on the game and how it differs from writing a novel or screenplay.

Voyager Q&A

A new Q&A with Raven artist Les Dorscheid is up at Stomped, talking with him about his work on Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. Les explains what it's like to be an artist working with the Star Trek franchise, and he talks briefly about the enemies and weapons in the game.

Psycho Circus Movies

Italian site Multiplayer.it has posted a pair of KISS: Psycho Circus movies, featuring new in-game footage (without sound) from the first-person shooter in development at Third Law. The movies were filmed from a computer screen during Gathering of Developers' European press tour, and include the first footage that I can recall of the sniper mode, as well as some frantic action with a bunch of the game's enemies.

Another Eidos Suitor

Well Rounded Entertainment is reporting that Ubi Soft may be the latest company interested in purchasing Eidos Interactive. Shares of the company have been rising on the Paris Stock Exchange, and they have confirmed that they are, "in the early stages of discussions which may or may not lead to an offer for the whole of the issued share capital of Eidos." Other companies still being mentioned are Havas (parent company of Blizzard and Sierra) and of course, Microsoft.

Wizards and Warriors Preview

Computer Games Online previews Wizards and Warriors is a look ahead to the 3D role-playing game being crafted at Heuristic Park and Activision, based on a playable build. The article covers the game's features, as well as comparing them with other RPG series, and naturally comes with a bunch of new screenshots.

Homeworld: Cataclysm Previews

Adrenaline Vault has posted a preview of Homeworld: Cataclysm, examining a recent build of the space-based RTS by Barking Dog, and going over the changes and improvements in this sequel. Elsewhere, BrokenPixel previews Homeworld: Cataclysm offers a similar treatment, notable for the two dozen or so screenshots that accompany it.

3DRealms & PlanetMoon Chat Logs

There's an edited log of pc.ign.com's chat with PlanetMoon Studios on PlanetMoon Central recapping the online chat with the folks currently at work putting together Giants: Citizen Kabuto, the upcoming third-person action game where you can live life large (as a giant), small (as a Meccaryn), or nude (as a sea reaper). The log covers a wide variety of topics from user mods, to the latest release date (fourth quarter this year), where Kabuto is a citizen of ("he's a citizen unto himself"), and the inevitable more. Also, there's an edited 3DRealms chat log on DukeCentral.com from last night's MadOnion chat session. In this chat we learn of possible plans for the Duke3D source code release (now that the Build-engine code has been released) after DNF is out, licensing questions, OpenGL support, system requirements, and a whole lot more.

Black & White Interview

GameSpy.com interviews Jamie Durrant of Lionhead Studios talking about progress on Black & White, their upcoming strategy/RPG where you play your very own deity. In the conversation we learn that the game has reached its alpha stage, and most of the questions center on what portions of the game are complete, and what's still being worked on or worked out.

Shadows of Reality Interview

RPG Planet interviews Nevolution, talking with the team currently at work on Shadows of Reality, an upcoming RPG based on the Unreal Tournament engine. The Q&A discusses the nature of the project (which is still seeking a publisher), their switch from the LithTech engine, the game's planned cyberpunk theme, and more. In addition to the interview there are six new screenshots.

Mark Rein on Xbox

Daily Radar interviews Mark Rein of Epic Games, giving him the third degree on one of the hot interrogation topics of late, their plans for Xbox support. In the Q&A we learn that Epic seems to be keeping a higher priority on PC projects, saying "It's too early to know the answer to that question" when asked about Unreal II on the Xbox, while going on to say this about PC support:
We like the PC. We're good at exploiting it, and our last two games (UT and Unreal) have been very successful on PC. We would be stupid to walk away from the platform we know and love, a platform that is consistently evolving and allowing us to stretch further and further. We have no problem with people shifting their focus away from the PC or watering their PC product down to the lowest common denominator -- it just leaves more opportunity for us!

Morning Screenshots

Tech Bits

Quake II Wyrms 2000

The Wyrm 2 World of Destruction website has a completely revised version of the class-based Wyrms 2 mod for Quake II, now re-dubbed Wyrms 2000. The new release offers eight new weapons (bringing the total in the mod to 39), a new ammo type, leper Q2 support, and more. Word is due to the use of Leper Q2, this is no longer PPM (plug-in player model) compatible, but does contain full VWep support for visible weapons.

The Mod Squads

GameSpy.com's Half-Life Mods article offers a look at hot current and upcoming modifications for Half-Life. Similarly, Daily Radar's mod week continues with an interview with Valve's Robin Walker, who certainly knows a lot about the subject, since he was one of the authors of the seminal TeamFortress Quake mod before joining on with Valve. Finally, there's an SAS Mod Interview on In The Trenches looking ahead at another Half-Life project in the works.

Editing Stuff

The Vavoom source port has a new home at Raven-Games. This is a bit of a source code salad, as it uses bits from the code for Doom, Heretic, Hexen, "and even uses a little bit from the Quake source." Supported platforms are DOS, Windows and Linux. Also, there is now a tutorial index on claudec's Lair of Q3A outlining all the available lessons they have posted on creating and editing maps for Quake III Arena.

Competitions

Word is the attendees of the Shafted LAN event this weekend in Australia's Latrobe University will not be shafted at all, because Motorola has agreed to pay 50% of everyone's entry fee, reducing the cost of getting in from $30 to $15. Also, the evil geniuses at Old Man Murray are holding a contest giving away copies of LDA's Tread Marks in conjunction with a high score (and/or PhotoShop editing) contest on their LDA-created game, Crate Master. Finally, the Liquid Fusion LAN Party Los Angeles California is accepting sign-ups, the shindig is just a couple of weeks off, and registration for the Quake 3 Arena 5 on 5 Deathmatch Tournament begins on Monday.

Guides and Walkthroughs

FragPipe.com's CS_Italy Tricks shows off some tricks of the trade that can be pulled off in the latest version of Counter-Strike for Half-Life.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Don't worry about the future, it always arrives soon enough: As you probably couldn't help noticing, the big story of the day on Monday was the First Step of Human Gene Map Finished announcement. I thought I heard all there was to this in the deluge that day, but loonyboi points out a note I missed at first: "It would fit on a DVD." Wow, that certainly brings new meaning to the concept of Saving Private Ryan. I am just a caveman, so this view of the future scares me, I'm a little more comfortable with Jetsons-style innovation, like the car in a suitcase, or perhaps the Link of the Day that follows...

Link of the Day: LG Electronics' Internet Digital DIOS Refrigerator. An odd glimpse at the future. What did George Carlin say? "Nail two things together that have never been attached to each other before, and some schmuck will buy it from you!" Something like that. Thanks Jay H. Edson.
Bonus Link: BUYGAMES.COM - The Game Superstore. Featuring "Quake 3- Arena Elete" for sale. Thanks Travis McPherson. If their decidedly non-'leet spell-checker is bad, their proofreader is worse, as they describe the game as "Fueled by a radically modified version of the Unreal 3D engine." Wow!
Story of the Day: "We Are at a Good Point to Pass This Off", says Genome Scientists (MoonApples.Com). Thanks Louis Chyp Sineni, who points out it's a bit subtle, but the Jeff Goldblum quotes are worth the price of admission, and besides, it connects so well to today's OotB.

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