Archived News:

Friday, Jun 15, 2001

Legends of Might and Magic Demo Patch

3DO has released a small patch for the Legends of Might and Magic demo of last April. The 554 KB download insures that the demo, which expires after today, continues to be playable in the future. The full game should be arriving on store shelves around this time too (or perhaps already has, but as always it's best to call ahead in case of doubt).

World War II Online Q&A

World War II Online launch Q&A on GameSpot corners Rodney Hodge of Playnet about the massively multiplayer action/sim by Cornered Rat got off to a rocky start last week. Rodney talks about the problems the game initially experienced, the efforts spent on addressing them, the upcoming patch, the number of players that already registered for the game, and a few other topics. And in related news, another couple posts on the official announcement forum also keep players abreast of the next patch, and other upcoming changes.

Evening Screenshots

Half-Life Dreamcast Cancelled

Shortly after Half-Life: Blue Shift, the standalone Barney episode originally planned for inclusion in the Dreamcast port of Half-Life (story), reached store shelves, Sierra On-Line announces that this Dreamcast port is now cancelled altogether. Here is the brief statement we received:
Sierra regrets the cancellation of Half-Life for the Dreamcast due to changing market conditions.
And in related news, there is a quick Q&A with Randy Pitchford on Hangar 16, in which the Gearbox Software lead designer reflects on the just-released PC version of Blue Shift (thanks GameSpyDaily).

Age of Mythology Video

GameSpot has another of their E3 videos online this evening, this time looking at Ensemble Studios' Age of Mythology. Like all the other videos in this series it contains ShakyCam footage of the game being demonstrated at E3.

Combat Mission 2 Interview

Also new at GameSpot is a Combat Mission 2 interview, talking with Charles Moylan of Big Time Software about their upcoming 3D strategy game. Charles explains how this game improves on the original, and he also provides some information on the campaign, the various units that will be at your disposal and more.

TechnoMage Demo

GameSpot UK has posted an English demo of TechnoMage, the top-down 3D action-RPG by German developers Sunflowers that previously could be examined only via the German demo of last April (story). This new demo clocks in at a hefty 105.1 MB but still contains the same missions as the much smaller German one.

Fighting Legends Q&A

A new Q&A with Dale Lullo, the director of business development at Maximum Charisma Studios is up at Massive Multiplayer.org. Dale talks about their upcoming massively multiplayer title Fighting Legends, explaining what will separate it from the other massively multiplayer titles out there, the game's character development system and more.

The All-Seeing Eye Released

After two years of development (with no public release), The All-Seeing Eye, a server browser for the Quake series, Unreal Tournament, TRIBES 2, Serious Sam and other games, has been released. The browser contains a number of features, including data compression (for faster server refreshing), a buddy tracker, automatic updates and more.

Ghost Recon Q&A and Shots

There is a quick interview on Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon at Computer and Video Games, quizzing Red Storm lead designer Brian Upton about their upcoming tactical shooter. Brian talks about the differences and similarities between this game and their previous Rainbow Six games, the improvements to the game interface and multiplayer, the Xbox version, and more. Some new screenshots (along with a few familiar ones) are also included.

Operation Flashpoint Movie

Belgian site SpelletjesGarnaal has posted a new movie trailer of Operation Flashpoint, the 3D tactical action shooter by Bohemia Interactive that will be released in Europe next week. The movie is fairly dark but offers a minute and a half of in-game footage in streaming Windows Media Player format. Additionally, they have posted a collections of photos from the Codemasters press event launching the game. Thanks Salvia for the tip. Update: AndOne from Coldwar Flashpoint sends word that this movie was released last month as the UK Trailer on the official site (but we don't seem to have mentioned it at the time), so you can also get it as a 14 MB AVI download.

Age of Discovery Debunked

AVault is reporting that the Age of Discovery story that appeared earlier this morning (story) was based on a misunderstanding at German magazine PC Games. They quote a representative for Ensemble who says the article in question was written while they were still negotiating with Microsoft, which was when the game was known as RTS III. He also says that they are "“looking forward to doing another AOE game" but that this is not "seriously being looked at right now."

C&C Renegade Q&A

Stomped has conducted a Q&A with Westwood Studios' Dan Cermak, talking with him about their upcoming first person shooter Command & Conquer Renegade. Dan talks about their internally-developed 3D engine that powers the game as well as what will separate it from the other first person shooters out there.

Rewolf Q&A

A new Q&A with Herb Flower of Rewolf Software is up at Voodoo Extreme. Herb talks about the reaction their TC turned retail game Gunman received from the gaming community, and he also talks briefly about what's next for the company, saying that he would like Rewolf to work on graphics exclusively, and not make another full game for awhile.

Age of Discovery Revealed?

Daily Telefrag and French site Ouare Games are reporting that the latest issue of the German magazine PC Games has a blurb about Age of Discovery, the third game in the Age of Empires series from Ensemble Studios. The game supposedly will use the impressive Age of Mythology engine, and will be released in 2003. For those looking for more information, the official PC Games site has a slightly larger version of the cover image.

LithTech 3.1 Announced

As noted in this press release, LithTech, Inc. has announced that they have shipped version 3.1 of their LithTech Development System to their engine licensees. There don't seem to be too many whizbang graphical enhancements in this version, but the press release mentions that it contains full Maya support, 3D Studio Max 4 skin support, support for DirectX 8 sound and more. Thanks Digital Silence for the tip. Update: More details on this version can be found in Jason Hall's .plan update.

Tropico Diary

Inside the Sausage Factory on CG Online is the online version of a design diary for Tropico penned by Pop Top's Phil Steinmeyer that originally appeared in the June print issue of Computer Games Magazine (the way the article opens saying "Today is March 18, 2001" is sort of a dead giveaway). Written after a period of over two months where Phil got a single day off (it's amazing that developers send back articles rather than letter bombs to game publications at points like that), the diary discusses getting through crunch time in finishing up work on the island dictator simulation, as it was written a few weeks before the game was to go gold. Topics include various aspects of dealing with the crunch, and offers up a couple of amusing (and probably frighteningly true) rules that govern the subject of scheduling: "1) The project always takes two months longer than expected. 2) Rule #1 is true even if you take it into account when creating the schedule."

Throne of Bhaal Preview

Skating in just under the wire is a Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal Preview on RPG Vault with a look ahead at the upcoming add-on for Baldur's Gate II that just went gold yesterday (story). Included are impressions of Throne of Bhaal after extensive hands-on play, along with a dozen new screenshots.

Tech Bits

New TRIBES 2 Lego

A new beta version 1.3 of the LEGO System for TRIBES 2 is now available. This is admittedly a rushed version that was pumped out to restore compatibility with the new version 23115 TRIBES 2 patch. The page also has word of a multiplayer server running the new version.

Game Guidance

The UpsetChaps TRIBES 2 Guide has been updated to reflect changes in TRIBES 2 version 23115. Also, a couple of new questions and their corresponding answers have been added to the Anarchy Online FAQ along with a whole new section called Practical Information which offers information on Purchasing, Payment and Shipping ("we're gonna ship 'em out a whole new door!").

Editing Stuff

Seriously! has posted the version 1.02 SDK from Serious Sam on FilePlanet as a 3.8 MB download as well as a list of changes from v1.00c to v1.02. They have also posted a tutorial on creating realistic rain in Serious Sam. Also, the Quark website has an updated Half-Life data add-on that now includes support for Blue Shift, Deathmatch Classic, and Half-Life Rally.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • GodGames sends word that at the upcoming CPL fourth anniversary event they will be awarding the "Doug Myres Substance Award" named for the late G.O.D. co-founder to recognize "a member of the industry whose integrity, solid character and influence reaches beyond the business and makes a significantly positive impact in the gaming community."...
  • PC Gameplay's Lara Croft Week rolls along with brief interviews of the guy who plays a "would-be adversary to Lara Croft" and the guy who plays "Lara's geeky tech boy" (now there's a credit) in the Tomb Raider movie. Likewise, this GameSpot article also has quotes from the cast, and details about the flick...
  • Cheats ruin fun for online game firms (MSNBC). Thanks Darren...
  • Atari set to rule again on MCV. Thanks Ant...
  • The Spoils of War on CBS News is an article describing the war currently being waged in the Congo "to control a mineral used to make the computer games through which Western teenagers fight make-believe battles." Thanks Paul...
  • We've received several reports that Half-Life: Blue Shift is arriving in stores, but as always it's best to call ahead...

Out of the Blue

Missed mentioning a holiday yesterday, as it was Flag Day here in the US. I guess it's not too surprising that this one doesn't get the notice of some other holidays, since nobody gets the day off, and observing the holiday apparently consists of displaying the American Flag, which, while appropriate on most all other national holidays, seems to be all there is to this one. Anyway, happy belated Flag Day to all, and thanks to WingNut_666 for the reminder about it. And here's one more entry to those we file under the irony/coincidence file (known to some as the file of stuff that delays getting down to the link of the day), I'll have you know that I am actually a descendant of Betsy Ross, who, according to a legend some still adhere to, was the seamstress for the original stars and stripes.

Also, "How dare you make a math mistake when a bunch of code monkeys read your page," is the tongue-in-cheek, but not unfair word from code monkey Randy Pitchford, one of many to point out my square-headed error in trying to cube a number yesterday (subsequently fixed)... I promise to use a calculator next time.

Today's Time Eater: Kick-ups by Liam O'Donnell. Thanks Bombesei.
Link of the Day: Matrix SE (thanks Dan Leadbetter). Celebrating our 100th Matrix send-up (give or take).
Story of the Day: Homer Simpson's Phrase in Dictionary (AP). Thanks Alex and the following one million readers who sent this in. Wait... you mean it wasn't a word before? Doh!
Bonus Story: Web Site Offers Madonna Concert Ticket -- for Sex (Reuters). Thanks Patrick Steele.
Media of the Day: This page has photos of a homemade mech (looks like a Gundam dealie). Something related to this may have been posted here already, as it looks familiar. Thanks Digital Silence.
Weird Science: Ant chemical shows promise as treatment for Alzheimer's (Cornell Chronicle). Thanks Ant (who else?).
Wild Science: NASA selects candidates for 2007 mission to Mars (CNN). Thanks again Ant.

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