Archived News:

Monday, Dec 17, 2001

Miscellaneous Patches

Trailing the other languages a bit (story), there is now a German version 1.03 patch for Etherlords, as before including three new multiplayer maps along with various other improvements and bug fixes. Magitech Corp. has released a new patch for Takeda, updating their war game to version 1.0 (thanks FilePlanet, which has a mirror here). And some Battle Realms news: the official French site serves up the French Battlepack 1 version 1.02 patch (as well as the French demo), the official Spanish site likewise offers the v1.02 patch in that particular language (but no demo), while for completeness sake the Italian Ubi Soft site features the Italian playable demo (but in turn no patch).

Age of Mythology Interview

Age of Mythology Interview on is the second, but more comprehensive, conversation with Ensemble Studios lead designer Bruce Shelley today, discussing the delay in Age of Mythology's release that was announced earlier today (story). Bruce goes into more detail about the project's current state and the reasons that it will be taking more time, possible effects of their acquisition by Microsoft, their inability to commit to minimum system requirements just yet, the complexity of the development process, and more.

Monday Screenshots

  • Sea Dogs II
    Akella has released half a dozen new, high-res Sea Dogs II screenshots, offering more scenes in their upcoming 3D naval RPG sequel.
  • Bridge Commander
    As happens somewhat irregularly, the official Star Trek: Bridge Commander site serves up four new screenshots of Totally Games' space sim, and they've also added the previously released movie trailer (story).
  • Medal of Honor
    A dozen new Medal of Honor: Allied Assault screenshots accompany a very brief look at 2015's first-person shooter on GamePro.

Age of Wonders II Preview

The second Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne preview today comes by way of, again looking ahead to this turn-based fantasy strategy game in the works at Triumph Studios. The article is based on a demonstration they received from associate producer Brandon Rose and developer Josh Farley, and examines the campaign and mission structure, the empire building features, the use of magical energy, the improved graphics and enhanced multiplayer, and the proverbial more. The included screenshots are by now familiar though.

On Delaying The Age of Mythology

GameSpot's Age of Mythology delay details talks with Ensemble Studios' Bruce Shelley about progress on Age of Mythology, and the reasons behind the delay in the RTS announced earlier today (story). Shelley expresses confidence that the game will make its new target of September 2002, with the primary reason for the schedule change given as delays completing the game's single-player campaign "since several elements such as art and other game systems must be completed..."

Aliens Vs. Predator 2 Patch, Maps

Sierra has released a new patch for Aliens Vs. Predator 2, available for download from their patch ftp server and main ftp server, updating the three-way first-person shooter by Monolith to version This 5.0 MB release includes a handful of general gameplay fixes and over a dozen multiplayer improvements. Additionally, a 12.6 MB multiplayer map update 1 is also available from the patch ftp server and main ftp server, adding four new Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch/Hunt/Survivor maps, four new Evac maps, and a pair of new Overrun maps to the game. It requires that you first upgrade to v1.0.9.3.

Another Kevin Cloud Q&A

It's pretty safe to say we've never posted news of two Kevin Cloud Q&As in one day, but today's second Kevin Cloud Interview in online, this one on PC Game Central. Topics with the longtime id artist include his role at the company, their feelings about the reception Return to Castle Wolfenstein has gotten, what the future holds for the Wolfenstein franchise, the likelihood this will include sequels and mission packs, how making a game with the involvement of three developers went, planned features they were unable to implement, and more.

Age of Wonders II Preview

GameSpot's Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne Preview starts off by describing their main issues with the original Age of Wonders, going on to point out the sequel to the empire building RPG addresses these while leaving most of the original's gameplay intact. The article goes on to describe how gameplay in the sequel picks up where the original leaves off, the quest that will be your main concern in the game, how it is divided into sub-missions, the changes that have added depth compared with the original, the point at which you begin building, the role of magical influence, the game's 12 races, and more. Included are 15 new screenshots and 13 new concept images.

Black Moon Chronicles Q&A

The Black Moon Chronicles Q&A #2 on RPG Vault takes a look at this upcoming MMORPG based on the French series of graphic novels J'ai rompu mon coude (no, wait, that means "I broke my elbow." Oh well...) via an interview with senior designer Jean Carrières. Their acquaintance with the complex originations of the source material is better than mine (as is their French), as is demonstrated by the introductory paragraph, and the Q&A goes on to cover subjects like the appeal of this series, what lead to the adaptation, their familiarity with the property prior to this project, the advantages and disadvantages of creating a game based on established locales, the role in the game of the characters from the series, the four factions, and more.

New GameSpy 3D

Although not yet noted on the official site, a new version 2.56 of the GameSpy 3D server browser is now available for registered users from this direct download link (1.88 MB) as well as from FilePlanet (registration required). According to the accompanying GameSpyDaily story it adds support for Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault demo, Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, Aliens Vs. Predator 2 and the Serious Sam: the Second Encounter demo, along with other changes.

Wizardry 8 Q&A

Wizardry 8 Q&A on GameSpot gets a hold of Sirtech's Linda Currie to discuss their recently released first-person role-playing game. Linda talks about the game's reception, the difficulties they experienced in releasing it, the chances of it gaining a wider distribution, the status of their other projects before they had to be abandoned, and more.

The Art of War Preview

There is a brief but hands-on preview of Cossacks: the Art of War on Games Domain, looking ahead to the isometric RTS expansion by GSC Game World that is already available in a few European countries. Based on a beta build, the article describes how the add-on "follows the standard expansion design philosophy of more, bigger, better" but also how it tries to surpass the standard with a few extras. The preview is illustrated with nine new screenshots, and there are three new screenshots on Stomped as well.

CloakNT Movie

The official Chaser site serves up a new CloakNT technology video, demonstrating the engine that powers this sci-fi first-person shooter under construction at Cauldron. The 30.4 MB download offers over four minutes of high-resolution Windows Media Player footage that shows off the various features and effects that the engine supports and which you'll likely find to be employed in the game. Update: As the official site has slowed down noticably, we now have a local copy with mirrors online.

Medal of Honor Movies

As is their way, GameSpot has recently taken their Medal of Honor: Allied Assault press build for a spin, and captured a whopping dozen new movies from 2015's imminent WWII shooter. The clips require between 7 and 13 MB to download in MPEG format, are also available in streaming formats, and offer about a minute of gameplay footage each from a variety of missions in the game. Thanks dedgecko for the tip.

Age of Mythology Delayed

This press release from Microsoft announces that Age of Mythology, the upcoming RTS game from Ensemble Studios that previously listed Spring 2002 as its planned release date, is now slated for a September 2002 release. The P.R. does not acknowledge this as a delay, so naturally no explanation for the schedule change is offered. Also, the Ensemble Age of Mythology Website has been revamped for the occasion, while the un-revamped Microsoft AoM site offers a new AoM gameplay trailer for the price of a 14.5 MB download.

Endangered Species Extinct

A post on PlanetCrap by 3D Realms' Scott Miller has word that Duke Nukem: Endangered species, a Duke Nukem hunting game that was to have been made by Action Forms, has been cancelled (thanks Shacknews). According to Scott's post:
This was a game we had to give to our publisher in order to get a very sweet deal in another area. We've since talked them out of it.

Kevin Cloud Q&A

There's a new Kevin Cloud Interview on the Dteam 3d Design Guild Website where they catch up with the id Software artist/co-owner to see what information they can pry out of him. Along the way they discuss such topics as the projects to which Kevin has contributed, the origins of his self-described pragmatic style, whether creating a new DOOM game faces any limitations because it's a sequel, the dangers of over-analyzing games as you create them, his description of the perfect gaming experience, and more.

Atma Q&A

HomeLan Fed's Atma Q&A talks with Shawn Maynard of Vinayak Computer Entertainment about Atma, their upcoming adventure game based on Indian mythology that will use the latest version of the Unreal engine. Topics include the origins of their company, the idea behind Atma, what will set Atma apart from other graphical adventure games, the storyline, the player's role, character interaction, new features in the Unreal Warfare version of the Unreal engine that will power the game, how they are altering the engine for their game, puzzles, when the game will be released, plans for a demo, and more.

City of Heroes Q&A

A Look Behind City of Heroes on ESCMAG features a Q&A with Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios to discuss City of Heroes, their upcoming superhero MMORPG. The discussion covers topics like the game's storyline, the inclusion of story arcs, the comics from which they are drawing inspiration, the creation process for a new hero, customization of powers, between battle activities, whether battles will alter the landscape, and more.

MoH Demo Blood

On the heels of the petition to add blood effects to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (story) Medal of Honor Allied Assault @ PCGAMERS.NET has posted a patch that replaces the gray smoke that bodies emit when shot in the Medal of Honor demo with red smoke (blood).

Tech Bits

New RailArena

A new beta 4 of the RailArena modification for Quake III Arena is now available, offering custom maps, a grappling hook, and Unlagged code. There is no upgrade version for previous betas because the entire mod has been rewritten from scratch.

Game Guidance

The Single-Player Walkthrough on PlanetWolfenstein is now complete through all seven of the game's missions, start-to-finish. There is also a Return to Castle Wolfenstein weapon FAQ (in German) on

The Mod Squads

The Annihilation Website has a new video trailer that runs about a minute long to show off features of the upcoming beta 2 of this Quake III Arena modification.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Another of those signs of the season is upon us, as we've busted out our holiday logo (thanks, as always, to art ace Walter "2" Costinak). There's just a week remaining for those shopping with a Christmas deadline, but we're pretty set here at the BlueTower, because MrsBlue always does a tremendous job of accumulating gifts in advance of the shopping crunch, picking up items here and there prior to the shopping season, and making good use of things like catalogs and online ordering. This does, however, lead to one of the odder aspects of our annual holiday experience, which is her regularly-scheduled declaration that we need to do make a last-minute trip to pick up the odd gift or two and wrapping paper (of all things). So with our shopping already complete, we nonetheless headed off for the shopping mall on Saturday, arguably the busiest shopping day of the season. Of course I've tried explaining that this does a bit to defeat the beauty of all that preparation, but after all these years, I'm sort of resigned to the situation.

Story of the Day: D'oh! University offers 'Simpsons' studies. Thanks Frottage.
Bonus Story: Ambulance plea to beat timewasters. Thanks Adrian Jackson.
Media of the Day: Shotgun Case Mod on Windows Media Player required.

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