Archived News:

Monday, Oct 01, 2001

Q3A Mac OSX Update

id Software's Graeme Devine belatedly updated his .plan on the occasion of the Mac OSX patch for Quake III Arena and Team Arena that was released earlier today (story). Here is what he has to say:
The installer for Mac OS X Quake 3 1.30 went up this morning. Been a super busy day so sorry for the lack of plan file update.

Generally, of course, I advise upgrading to 10.1 for everyone asap. Those with a Powerbook and desktop machines with PCI Rage 128 cards will need at least 10.0.4 to play due to a bug in OpenGL on earlier versions.

Under 10.1 this version will always go faster than the Classic build on the same machine.

Armada II Interview

Armada Universe has cornered artist Mark Graham for a conversation about Star Trek: Armada II, the space-based RTS under construction at Mad Doc Software. Mark talks about his background in architecture and his previous projects, work on Armada II in general and the Borg race in particular, and the proverbial more.

Galactic Battlegrounds Update

There is a brief development update on Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds at fansite GalacticBattles.com, in which project director Garry Gaber offers the latest on this isometric RTS by LucasArts. Garry briefly reflects on last Friday's demo (story) and says they "are now in the last couple days of beta before entering the final Quality Assurance trials," meaning "if everything goes smoothly, this puppy should be in stores sometime shortly before Thanksgiving." The final release date has not yet been determined though.

Harbinger Development Report

There's a Harbinger Development Report #3 on RPG Vault penned by Andy Muir lead programmer at Silverback Entertainment saying "the rest of the apes here are banging away on our next milestone." He describes much of what those apes are up to giving specifics about things like drop items, sound code, the scripting system, enemy bosses, and more. They also have word that the third playable character, the Culibine, is in the game, and included with the update are screenshots of her in action.

Empire Earth Beta Patches

Although not yet noted on the official beta testing site, Stainless Steel Studios has released new patches for the ongoing beta test of Empire Earth, available for download from Sierra's ftp server. There's a version 0.0.1.2 to 0.0.1.3 patch clocking in at 10.9 MB as well as a generic v0.0.1.3 patch that upgrades all previous versions and weighs in at 28.0 MB.

Shogun Expansion Patches Revisited

If you needed one of the Shogun: Warlord Edition and Mongol Invasion expansion patches released last Friday that turned out to be corrupt (story), then you can now head over to the Shogun Total War Downloads page as all version 1.01 beta patches are now in working order. As before, the list of changes is available here.

Zero-G Marines Q&A, Shots, & Update

There's a Zero-G Marines Q&A on Zero-G Station discussing a bit of progress on this upcoming sci fi-themed first-person shooter, talking about the game's engine, storyline, AI, multiplayer modes, and more. In addition, they have posted a batch of new screenshots. Thanks HomeLan Fed, where they have a brief update on progress, saying: "The development team has recently expanded in the last couple of weeks with several new team members hired to work on the shooter, which combines elements of space sims and FPS games."

Afternoon Screenshots

  • AvP 2
    As is their way, AvPNews.com offers up five new Aliens Vs. Predator 2 screenshots, showing more from the three-way first-person shooter sequel by Monolith.
  • Zorro
    German site PCPointer.de has posted three new The Shadow of Zorro screenshots and a concept image, all illustrating this third-person swashbuckling action adventure by In Utero.
  • Age of Mythology
    Like every Monday, Ensemble Studios has released a single new Age of Mythology screenshot, featuring a new scene in their upcoming 3D real-time strategy game.
  • WarCraft III
    Not to be left behind, Blizzard likewise offers up a single new screenshot of WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos, their 3D role-playing RTS in development.
  • Europe Universalis II
    Another regular appearance in these round-ups is Europa Universalis II, for which the official site features a new pair of screenshots illustrating Paradox' historical strategy game.
  • Mimesis Online
    There are seven new Mimesis Online screenshots on fansite Mimesis Portal, showing off the futuristic MMORPG by Tannhauser Gate (thanks GameSpyDaily).
  • Shadows of Luclin
    Another trio of EverQuest: Shadows of Luclin screenshots is online at everquest casters realm, featuring more characters in Verant's upcoming MMORPG expansion (thanks Grimlock).

Morrowind Delayed?

Morrowind delayed on GameSpot is a news story announcing the delay of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, saying the upcoming RPG "most likely won't arrive in stores this holiday season." The reason for the question mark in our headline is that this report is based on an updated e-tailer release date, which have historically been somewhat unreliable indicators of when to expect any game. Neither we nor GameSpot have been able to get an official response from Bethesda Softworks about this. The GameSpot story does point out that: "Online retailer EBGames has updated its release date for the game to March 2002 from its previous release date this November, and other online retailers have extended their estimated release dates for both the PC and Xbox versions of the game."

Endless Ages Revealed

Endless Ages Revealed on The Adrenaline Vault has word of an upcoming online game that's shooting for an April 2002 debut "following close to 36 months of development." More information and screenshots can be found on the official site, and here's how they describe the game:
Endless Ages can be described as an ambitious potpourri of game elements including first-person shooters, tactical combat offerings, air combat sims, and RPGs, all combined in an attempt to create a compelling world in which users can dwell and do battle. The project is the invention of the lead designer and programmer of a little-remembered shooter called Evil Core, and is being developed at the hand of four principal team members in their Altamonte Springs, Florida quarters... Endless Ages is to old school determination and garage band spirit what EverQuest and other major online titles are to commercial excess.

Rogue Lives: Joins United Developers

United Developers Officially Announced: Adds Rogue Entertainment as Affiliate Company is a press release announcing the formation of a new Dallas based development and publishing company called United Developers, founded by Ron Dimant and Mark Dochtermann. Included in the release is word that Rogue has signed on with the new outfit, the first indication of life we've seen in a while from the Rogues. Here's what the release has to say about this:
United Developers also announced today that Rogue Entertainment, which developed the critically acclaimed American McGee's Alice for the PC and Quake II for the N64, has joined the company, further demonstrating United Developers ongoing commitment to increasing its already growing stable of video game companies, which include, MumboJumbo, Inertia and MacPlay.

Anarchy Online Story to Begin

A new daily update to the Anarchy Online website has word that by the end of this month, the storyline portion of Anarchy Online will be getting underway, as it's slated to start October 31 and "ends with a bang next May." According to the novel-length update: "The first Anarchy Online novel – Prophet Without Honour – will be published on October 15th." According to the update, portions of what this will all entail will be revealed this Friday (October 5) when "Funcom launches the Anarchy Online story portal, a completely new section of the AO community site." Thanks Dr. Del.

GeForce Titanium

NVIDIA Extends Technology Lead With the Introduction of the GeForce Titanium Series and NVIDIA GeForce Titanium Series of GPUs Selected by Top PC and Add-In-Card OEMS are a couple of press releases with news about NVIDIA's latest and greatest video cards. Here's a bit from the first announcement:
The new GeForce Titanium series consists of three new products:

-- GeForce3 Ti 500 -- The GeForce3 Ti 500 is the world's fastest, feature rich GPU and the flagship product of NVIDIA's desktop graphics family. The GeForce3 Ti 500 offers unparalleled anti-aliasing performance, 3.8 billion anti-aliased samples per second, and introduces groundbreaking new 3D graphics features to the desktop PC.
-- GeForce3 Ti 200 -- The GeForce2 Ti is the first DirectX 8 GPU targeted at the performance mainstream market. By delivering 2.8 billion anti-aliased samples per second, the GeForce3 Ti 200 brings high-performance 3D graphics and state-of-the-art image quality to the performance-minded consumer.
-- GeForce2 Ti -- GeForce2 Ti redefines graphics performance for mainstream computers by delivering 1 billion pixels/sec. rendering power and delivering a groundbreaking 6.4GB/sec. of bandwidth for the mainstream consumer.

Freedom Force Interview

Freedom Force Interview on GamesDomain talking with Irrational Games' Ken Levine about progress on their upcoming superhero game. Topics include the similarities and differences between Freedom and previous Irrational efforts, the reason for following a linear storyline, Ken's feelings about the "mythic" qualities of the silver age comics from which FF draws its inspiration, the reason they did not go the licensed property route with this game, how the change in publishers from Crave to EA has impacted the project, the willingness to buck the superhero game "curse," and more. Included are five new screenshots.

Mafia Diaries

The Developer's Diary Page on the Mafia: The City Of Lost Heaven website has a pair of new updates concerning the latest news in the creation of this upcoming third-person adventure game from Illusion Softworks. The first of the new updates from Mafia's lead designer Daniel Vávra follows their previous pattern of posting an older journal entry after it has already appeared in a print magazine. Dated August 10, the update has word that they have most of the game's graphics completed, word on progress on a racing-oriented mini-game that will be included, and a tale of some derring-do they underwent to take some photos for their sky textures. That update caps with "Long live summer," which brings us jarringly to the present, and an entry with today's date sadly acknowledging that "Summer is over." This present day update details what they are doing to get the game to the Alpha stage, which involves some serious crunch time where the folks doing scripting for missions "often work 40 hours in one go without any sleep, and spend their weekends at work," and the programmers getting "only a couple of hours of sleep a day for the last few weeks." The update goes on to describe how this is paying off in the results seen in the portions of the game that are now playable, and proceeds to discuss efforts to attract a professional playwright to help with the game's plotline, which have escalated to a search for a film director. The update concludes with a referent to the WTC attacks that indicates this latest diary was probably written right around September 11.

Desert Storm Movie

The SCi Downloads page now offers a new "promotional" movie of Conflict: Desert Storm for download, showing off this 3D tactical shooter for PC and PS2 in the works at Pivital Games. The movie requires a modest 4.9 MB download in Bink format, and sports more than a minute of in-game footage demonstrating the various situations you'll encounter as well as some of the weapons you'll wield in the game, most notably the sniper rifle.

Ships Ahoy-Real War

Simon & Schuster Interactive Ships Real War is the press release announcing that Real War, an RTS game based on a project originally created for the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now shipping to retail outlets. In addition to word of the game's imminent availability, S&S Interactive also sends word that an updated demo version of the game should be available "soon."

Q3A/TA v1.30 Mac OSX Patch

As expected, id Software has now released the Mac OSX patch for Quake III Arena and Team Arena version 1.30 for download from their ftp server. We also have a local copy with a few more mirrors of the 26.7 MB download.

Mystery of the Druids Q&A

Who are these Druids, and why are they hugging our trees? This is one of the questions that will not be answered in the Mystery of the Druids Interview on BonusWeb, but it does cover lots of detail about this adventure game as it discusses it with Tobias Schachte of House of Tales. Topics covered include the founding of this German development company (this is a Czech gaming site, but the conversation is translated into English), the reasons for the Druid theme in their debut game, the ability to play as multiple heroes, the two eras in which the game is set, the advantages of using a 3D engine, going on to discuss some specifics about what the interviewer feels are some of the game's good points and bad points ("Do I smell? I smell home cooking!").

Camelot Preview

There's a Dark Age of Camelot Preview on Gamexperts.com based on playing with beta 4 of the upcoming medieval MMORPG. The preview offers loads of gameplay impressions, basically reading like a review of the beta. On a related note, there are also some new DAoC screenshots on WORTHPLAYING.

Condition Zero Interview

There's a Randy Pitchford Interview on MGON talking with the head honcho at Gearbox Software about Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, their upcoming game that will add a single-player component to the multiplayer madness of Half-Life. Topics covered include a bit on the complicated origins of the project (which at one point was to be created by Rogue Entertainment), what the single-player component will consist of, the impact of the need to accommodate single-player play on map design, AI, changes to the multiplayer component, and more.

Empire Earth Interview

HomeLan Fed's Empire Earth Interview talks with lead designer Rick Goodman and designer/writer Stefan Arnold of Stainless Steel Studios about progress on their upcoming era-spanning RTS game. Topics covered include how the ongoing beta test is progressing, the game's broad historical scope, their goals for Empire Earth gameplay, the contribution of the skilled RTS players they've brought in to check out the game, whether the game could be used to teach history, the possibility of sponsored EE tournaments, and more.

Op.Flashpoint Standalone Server

The downloads page on Codemasters' Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis site now offers the standalone server for Bohemia Interactive's soldier sim for download. This 1.3 MB file requires version 1.20 of the full game and allows you to run multiplayer games without having the CD-ROM in the drive.

Empire Earth Movie

There is a new Empire Earth movie on fansite Empire Earth France, once again showing off the 3D real-time strategy game being beta tested at Stainless Steel Studios. This fourth movie takes place in the Roman Epoch and features a minute and a half of in-game action in RealPlayer format. On a related note, there are also some new Empire Earth screenshots on Voodoo Extreme.

Open Letter to the Doom/Quake Community

Archive situation at cdrom.com is an open letter to the Doom and Quake communities from Ty Halderman and our own Frans P. de Vries, who have for years been voluntarily maintaining the idgames archive on cdrom.com. They recently lost access to these DOOM and Quake archives, and the open letter outlines both why, and what they are attempting to do about it. Here's how the letter caps off: "Rest assured that we have now, as we have had for years of volunteer efforts, the best interests of the id Software community in mind. We may ask for some assistance from other members of the community as we finalize our plans, and appreciate your patience in the meantime."

Tech Bits

Game Guidance

PlanetDiablo's Diablo II Armor Database is now complete. The Help and Support Network is online, though they are seeking help updating their site as they look to provide help with your game-related problems.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • There's a Hellchick model for Q3A on polycount created by Paul Steed, Ken Scott, and Doc Rob. This is a perfect likeness of its inspiration, Caryn 'Hellchick' Law (now of Activision), unless of course you want to quibble about the goat horns and legs. But she is well-endowed and topless, which counts for a lot with Steed, among others of us...
  • Speaking of models, the jDoom website has the release of model pack #1 for this modification of the DOOM source code...
  • A note on the PingTool website signals the end of the operational life of this server-browser utility. Thanks [VB]Suicidal...
  • Word on the Unofficial Hidden-and-Dangerous website has word that Tomas Pluharik lead game designer on Hidden & Dangerous 2, has left the Illusion Softworks team...

Out of the Blue

It's not that the gaming news stops over the weekend, it slows down, which offers a little break from the week's hectic pace, but boy is it rough on link of the day type material. Maybe it's for the best, some of the stuff that ends up the LoD is probably a little much to deal with on a Monday morning, but, on the other hand, one might consider that getting the week off on the right foot. Anyway, here's the measly linkage for the day:

Wild Science: Are You Wearing Your Cell Phone?

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