Archived News:

Friday, Dec 21, 2001

Medal of Honor MP Movies

Electronic Arts sends along a pair of new Medal of Honor: Allied Assault team-based multi-player movies, showing off a hitherto unseen level set in the town of Remagen ("Herr Feldmarschall, if orders won wars, we wouldn't now be fighting with our backs against the Rhine, we'd be dancing at the London Savoy!"). The first movie of 4.4 MB offers 37 seconds of action while the second movie of 3.6 MB clocks in at half a minute (QuickTime required). EA also includes a list of the other multiplayer maps in 2015's now-gold first-person shooter, as well as a reminder that they will be releasing a single-player demo called the Nebelwerfer Hunt the second week of January.

Friday Screenshots

  • Iron Storm
    There is a brief look at Iron Storm on French site Play France that you may like to digest via Babel Fish, or you can just look at the four new screenshots of this alternate history World War I first-person shooter by 4X Studio (thanks GameSpyDaily)
  • PlanetSide
    After a long hiatus, Sony Online has released five new PlanetSide screenshots, offering new scenes in their upcoming massively multiplayer FPS (thanks Voodoo Extreme).
  • Age of Mythology
    Ensemble Studios has issued five new Age of Mythology screenshots, featuring a holiday flavor of their upcoming 3D real-time strategy game.
  • Grandia II
    There a whopping 104 new Grandia II screenshots on GameScreenshots, showing off both the PC and PS2 versions of this console RPG by Game Arts.
  • Cossacks Expansion
    Adrenaline Vault has posted three new Cossacks: the Art of War screenshots, depicting a few more scenes in the isometric RTS expansion by GSC Game World.
  • Cultures 2
    A square nine new Cultures 2 screenshots are up on BonusWeb, revealing more from the management strategy sequel in the works at Funatics.
  • Mimesis Online
    The official Mimesis Online site serves up a dozen new screenshots of this sci-fi MMORPG being beta tested at Tannhauser Gate.
  • Project Entropia
    The recent flurry of Project Entropia screenshots continues today on AVault, Gamer's Pulse, and XGR which have each posted the typical trio of images from MindArk's upcoming futuristic MMORPG.

Gorasul Patches

Silver Style has released new English and German patches for Gorasul, updating their recent isometric RPG to version 1.04. The 2.2 MB downloads include a handful of bug fixes, a few gameplay changes, and an updated copy protection version, as listed in the included Readme file.

Comanche 4 Updated Demo

The new files just keep on coming this week, as NovaLogic has now released an updated demo of Comanche 4, offering both a single- and a multi-player taste of their recent action-oriented chopper sim. The 60.6 MB download contains a new single-player mission called Silver Strike (that wasn't in the original demo) along with a multiplayer level titled Cityscape that can be played on NovaWorld with up to 16 rotorheads.

Quake II Source Code

As he seemingly does every alternate year, id Software's John Carmack has released the source code of an older engine, for an update to his .plan announces the availability of the Quake II source code as an early Christmas present. Here is the scoop:
The Quake 2 source code is now available for download, licensed under the GPL.

ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/source/quake2.zip

As with previous source code releases, the game data remains under the original copyright and license, and cannot be freely distributed. If you create a true total conversion, you can give (or sell) a complete package away, as long as you abide by the GPL source code license. If your projects use the original Quake 2 media, the media must come from a normal, purchased copy of the game.

I'm sure I will catch some flack about increased cheating after the source release, but there are plenty of Q2 cheats already out there, so you are already in the position of having to trust the other players to a degree. The problem is really only solvable by relying on the community to police itself, because it is a fundamentally unwinnable technical battle to make a completely cheat proof game of this type. Play with your friends.
Update: We now have a local copy with mirrors of the 1.4 MB download.

Q3A / TA Linux v1.31 Patch

As promised yesterday, id Software has now released the Linux version 1.31 patch for Quake III Arena and Team Arena for download from its ftp server. It's a 27.1 MB download that fixes a sound crash and some incompatibilities, a Driver Info crash and a few minor issues, as well as adding a quake3.xpm icon, and we now have a local copy with mirrors online.

Disciples II Diary

Holy diary deja vu, Batman! GameSpot's Disciples II: Dark Prophecy Designer Diary #13 is online, offering their second developer journal of the evening. This installment is authored by Danny Belanger, lead designer on Strategy First's upcoming sequel to the turn-based strategy of Disciples: Sacred Lands. In contrast to the preceding diary (following story) about a project's origins, this entry is written with but a month remaining in Dark Prophecy's development cycle, so the subject at hand is the madness of crunch time, describing the detailed tweaking and bug fixing that's going into the completion of the game, while describing his efforts at still keeping the big picture in focus.

Bridge Commander Diary

GameSpot's Star Trek Bridge Commander Designer Diary #1 is by Totally Games programmer David Litwin kicking off a series chronicling the development of this upcoming Trekkie space combat simulator. In this journal David describes the process of entering the alternate universe of Star Trek, as they had previously made a specialty of Star Wars games, how they came up with the idea for the game, their determination to do something that remains true to the license, the formation of the team, their attention to detail in creating the bridge, character interaction, and recreating the scope of the Star Trek universe. Included are three new screenshots.

Jumpgate Goes to the NetDevil

A post on the NetDevil Website (thanks Planet Jumpgate) follows up on recent speculation about a change in the game's status (story) by announcing that NetDevil, developer of the massively multiplayer space simulation, has regained control of the game's North American publishing rights from 3DO. Word is they will be using PayPal as their exclusive partner in collecting subscription fees, and while the game can still be found in stores and at store.3do.com, they will also be announcing a new distribution scheme in February. They will also be crediting all existing subscriptions of the game with 10 free days.

Myth III Mac Gold & Demo

There's a new Macintosh Myth III Demo on MacGameFiles offering a chance for OS X or OS 9 users to experience the Wolf Age first-hand. The good news for those who enjoy the experience is found in the accompanying story on Inside Mac Games, where there's word that Myth III for the Mac is now gold, though there's not specific date for the game's availability.

Warcraft III Beta Sign-ups Soon

Blizzard sends along a press release announcing plans to select some beta testers for Warcraft III, their upcoming RTS sequel, as well as a bit of holiday cheer. Here's the word:
Beginning Monday evening, January 7th, individuals residing in the United States or Canada will have the opportunity to register for their chance to be one of 5,000 players chosen to play-test Warcraft III®: Reign of Chaos™. These players will be the first to experience the new Real-Time Strategy Game from Blizzard. The beta signup is scheduled for a 24-hour period on www.blizzard.com, beginning on Monday, January 7th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). and ending on Tuesday, January 8th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). Following the registration period, we will randomly select 5,000 testers based on a variety of system configurations and locations. Please note that multiple submissions will result in disqualification.

The beta, which will be playable only over Battle.net, will give selected testers a chance to play all four races -- Humans, Orcs, Night Elves and Undead. Each race is armed with unique units, magical abilities, and impressive weapons designed to aid them in combat as they renew their struggle for dominance. For more information on Warcraft III, please visit http://www.blizzard.com/war3/

Blizzard Holiday Wallpaper
Blizzard Entertainment wishes you the happiest of holidays. Enjoy these two new holiday wallpapers.

Wolfenstein Map Redux

As the installer variant of the Trench Toast map for Return to Castle Wolfenstein (story) doesn't work if the game was installed in a non-standard way (e.g. a dedicated server set-up), Activision sends along a ZIP-file version (3.3 MB) which allows you to simply extract the necessary files to your Wolfenstein directory, regardless of original install process or install location.

Soldier of Fortune II Q&A

There's a Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Pipeline Preview on GamesDomain offering a look at the upcoming Quake III engine sequel by first taking a look at the original SoF, offering comparisons between the gameplay this type of shooter provides and other FPS games, and going on to describe how the next generation Soldier of Fortune II continues this heritage, while improving upon areas like the plotline, character development, and the artificial intelligence. The article proceeds to interweave multiple quotes from Raven's John Zuk discussing these various improvements, describing other games they've taken cues from, some of the new technology they've created, like their random terrain generator, and their updated GHOUL 2 rendering system, and some details about the recently-announced multiplayer modes.

AvP2 International Patches

Monolith has released international patches for Aliens Vs. Predator 2, available for download from Sierra's patch ftp server, that update the German, French, Italian and Spanish editions of their three-way first-person shooter to version 1.0.9.3, like the English one last Monday (story). As before, the 5 MB downloads include a handful of general gameplay fixes and over a dozen multiplayer improvements.

Wolfenstein MP Demo, Map

As promised last night, the Return to Castle Wolfenstein multi-player demo has now been released, and we have a local copy with mirrors of the 66.3 MB download online. This demo contains the Beach Assault map familiar from the test demos, as well as the new Checkpoint map called "Trench Toast." The latter is also available separately as a 3.9 MB download for owners of the full game, again from our local copy with mirrors. Update: A no-install ZIP-file version of the map is now also available for folks having difficulty applying the installer.

DarkSpace Lifts Off

DarkSpace MMOG goes pay for play is a press release from Playnet with word that DarkSpace, their massively multiplayer space game, has left the beta testing phase as of today, and now requires a $9.95 monthly subscription to play. As before, the DarkSpace client, which offers both a tutorial and a demo mode, is still available as a free download.

Might & Magic IX Q&A

There's a Might and Magic IX Interview on To The Game catching up with some of the folks at 3DO at work on the upcoming RPG sequel. Topics include the opportunities provided by switching to the LithTech engine, the daily schedule NPCs will follow, the game's basic plot, the four races, skills, the new magic system, equipment, and more. Included with the article is a batch of a dozen new screenshots.

AquaNox 2 AquaNot?

A story in German on Gamepax.de (here's the crude Babel Fish translation) offers what is starting to seem like the obligatory follow-up to a CVG story, as they have more on the report from yesterday on Computer and Video Games (story) on plans for an AquaNox sequel, where JoWood refutes that the game is in development, though the use of the word "official" (or at least the German equivalent) leaves open the possibility the sequel is actually in development, and they are just not prepared to officially announce it yet.

AquaNox Patches, Maps

Massive Development has released new patches for AquaNox, updating the English and German editions of their underwater 3D action game to version 1.17. This 3.7 MB release brings a framerate improvement, an AI bug fix, some multiplayer enhancements (resulting in v1.17 not being compatible with older versions), and a few gameplay tweaks. Additionally, a new map pack is available which clocks in at 33.5 MB and includes four new multiplayer levels, two each of the CTF and DM/TDM variety.

Red Faction German Patch

Slightly trailing behind the North American and French editions (story), Volition has now also released the German version 1.20 patch for Red Faction via the auto-updater and as a manual download. As before, it "removes a bug in the file loading code. This bug has allowed people to run mod-like cheats without going through the usual mod detection."

Jedi Outcast Q&A

There's a Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Interview on PCShooter.com talking with Brett Tosti from LucasArts about their upcoming shooter that is either the third installment in the Dark Forces series or the second in the Jedi Knight series (depending on your accounting methodology). The discussion covers his role in the game's production, familiar characters that will populate the game, a bit on Jedi trickery (these are not the 'droids you're looking for), multiplayer support, feedback from the game's initial showings, how they plan to appeal to those who aren't Star Wars fans, and more.

World War II Online Patch

Cornered Rat sends word of a new patch for World War II Online, available from the auto-updater and as a 19.5 MB manual patch which upgrades their massively multiplayer 3D war game to version 1.50. This release offers a number of gameplay changes, graphics improvements, new units and objects, bug fixes, and more. Complete details are available in the readme and their updated online manual (Adobe Acrobat required).

Your Fate is in their Hands

HomeLan Fed's Torc Interactive Interview talks with Mark Cullen of Torc Interactive, the Irish developer at work on Fate, an upcoming first-person shooter. Topics include the origins of the company, the idea behind their debut game, their proprietary engine, their tech demo, enemies, weapons, and more. Also, there's an article titled The Making of Torc TechDemo on CFXweb which is written by Torc's Dermot Gallager.

Morning Previews

  • Disciples 2 Preview
    The Armchair Empire Previews Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy offering positive impressions of a pre-beta version of Strategy First's upcoming turn-based strategy game, in spite of any shortcomings resulting from its unfinished nature.
  • Medal of Honor Preview
    There is a Medal of Honor: Allied Assault preview on gamesweb in their native German (as always, a rough translation can be coaxed out of Babel Fish) giving hands-on impressions of the press build of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, the now-gold Quake III engine combat game.
  • Diggles
    GamePen's Diggles Preview offers hand-on impressions of this oddball upcoming strategy game that sounds like a cross between Creatures, Settlers, and the Sims, saying "Diggles may be the surprise hit of 2002."

Sudden Strike 2 Unveiled

After an detail-devoid announcement earlier this week (story), CDV has now unveiled more information on Sudden Strike 2, the isometric real-time strategy sequel in development at Fireglow Studios, as well as the first pair of screenshots. Here is an excerpt from the announcement, which specifies a slightly narrower release window of Quarter 2 of 2002:
Set in World War II, Sudden Strike is a tactical war game with authentic historical background and compelling gameplay. This time round players can control Russian, British, American, German and Japanese forces with historical reference and accuracy throughout. Each side will have their own realistically modelled vehicles and troops as well as a new damage model to provide an even greater emphasis on realism.

Breed Site

Also from CDV comes the news that the official Breed site has opened its virtual doors for the public, showcasing the upcoming hybrid 3D action game by Brat Designs. The site sports plenty of information on the game's features, weapons and units, a dozen mostly new screenshots and some wallpapers, a FAQ, and more.

Civ III Chat & Mac Civ III Gold

A post on the Apolyton CS Forums has word that Civilization III for the Macintosh has gone gold and was completed "in time to have it for sale at Macworld." Also, the Apolyton Civilization Java Chat Room will play host to an IRC session with Jeff Morris to discuss Civilization III, the festivities get underway at 2:00 PM EST, and those using a traditional IRC client can participate by joining the #Apolyton channel on the DALnet network.

Star Wars Movie/Game/Movie

An update to the Star Wars Galaxies Official Site has a detailed mocap recap, as they offer a description of the process of doing a motion capture session for animations in Star Wars Galaxies, the upcoming Jedi-friendly MMORPG. The article is illustrated by several photos, and describes the process of capturing actions ranging from standing around idly to light saber dueling (though they don't confess to whether they made the universal "woosh woosh" noises while pretending to wield their saber, as I'm sure we all have done).

Tech Bits

New Sven Co-op

After a very lengthy development cycle, a new Beta 2.0 of the Sven Co-op mod for Half-Life is now available. As before, the main feature of this modification is to add cooperative multiplayer play to Half-Life, and the new beta also provides some major gameplay changes, which include a pair of new monsters, a person medikit, new maps, improved versions of the previous maps, fixed support for Valve single-player maps, and more.

Competitions

There's a CPL interview on CS-Nation talking with CPL founder Angel Munoz and new CPL commissioner Frank Nuccio about the past, present, and future of The CPL.

Game Development & Mods

Along with the new Myth III patch (story), the MumboJumbo website also now offers downloads of Vengeance, the Myth III editing utility, which can be used along with the included source code to create new maps and mods for the game. Also, PlanetMoon Central has a new version 0.05 of the GiantsEdit utility, also available on its own homepage. Finally, the Bohemia Interactive Studio Editing Page has an updated scripting commands file, presumably updated through the new version 1.40 (the accompanying note says version 1.30, but that would seem to be a cut-n-paste error).

Help Wanted

The Swingin' Ape Studios website has several job openings listed, "looking for talented, creative game developers to join us in making exciting, high-profile titles for the Playstation 2, X-Box, and PC platforms." Likewise, the structurestudios.com jobs page has word of openings at this "business-to-business company that designs three-dimensional renderings of proposed structures using the Unreal engine."

Game Reviews

Other Previews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A forum post by indiv points out that my little narrative yesterday sounds a bit like a classic adventure game. I guess this is why they never made BlueZork:

>N
North. You can't go that way.
>S
South. You stumble down the stairs.
>E
East. You feel a warm wet sensation around your feet.
>Light on
You flick the light switch and room is illuminated. You are standing in the kitchen. You can't help but notice you are also standing in a puddle of dog pee.
>Take all.
Coffee maker, taken. Cuisinart, taken. Light switch, how do you expect me to take that? Piddle puddle, how do you expect me to take that?
>Clean puddle
With what?
>Kill puddle
With what?
>Kill puddle with Cuisinart.
How do you expect me to kill a puddle with a Cuisinart?
>Kill puddle with light
The light is now off. It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Link of the Day: Brains4Zombies.com Brains. Thanks [MoE] ^ZuLu^.
Story of the Day: Web sites offer vintage tech gifts for geeks. Thanks Jamie Fullerton.

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