Archived News:

Thursday, Jan 17, 2002

Incoming Forces Site

Rage Software has launched its official Incoming Forces site, showcasing their upcoming 3D action game. The Flash-only site offers impressions of the game's environments, overviews of the human and alien forces that populate them as well as the weapons they have at their disposal, and some downloadable media like ten new screenshots, wallpapers and screensavers, and more.

(MMO)RPG Q&As

There is a brief Darkfall Q&A on House`O Spank quizzing producer/lead designer Claus Grovdal at Norwegian studio Raxorwax about their upcoming fantasy MMORPG. Topics include what kind of objects players can create, their spell system and more. Also, Interview with Mike Biddlecombe on PlanetDungeonSiege is a brief conversation with the Gas Powered Games programmer about his work on the upcoming 3D role-playing game Dungeon Siege, as well as a few personal topics.

Thursday Screenshots

  • Ghost Recon Add-On
    Ubi Soft sends along four new, high-res screenshots of the Ghost Recon Mission Pack, the tactical shooter expansion in development at Red Storm Entertainment.
  • Team Factor
    EuroGamer has captured their latest batch of six new Team Factor screenshots off their press build of this team-based tactical shooter that is nearing completion at 7FX.
  • O.R.B.
    While still under construction, the official O.R.B. site has nonetheless been updated with seven new screenshots of the space-based RTS currently docking at Strategy First (thanks Esprit-ORB).

C&C Renegade Mania

C&C Renegade Designer Diary, pt. 6 has gone up at PC.IGN.com, and this sixth installment is penned by senior producer Sean Decker, who talks about his responsibilities on Westwood's upcoming first- and third-person action game. Apparently this diary was intended to the third installment so it estimates the game would have gone gold in early January, which obviously didn't happen. Elsewhere, Renegade Xtreme has recently added parts two and three to their coverage of the beta test, focusing on their impressions of the weapons and vehicles, respectively. And lastly, the official site has details on the Be-A-Renegade tour where they'll take the game around to five U.S. cities.

Morrowind Q&A

Morrowind Developer Q&A #16 on RPG Vault continues this seemingly endless series of one question/many answer Q&As with the team at Bethesda Softworks currently at work on the upcoming installment in the Elder Scrolls series. Titled "Off the beaten path," today's installment asks "Please describe a location, item, monster or some other game element that is not on the critical path, but that you consider especially interesting, intriguing or enjoyable." The respondents are project leader Todd Howard, artists Noah Berry and Mark Bullock, designer Mark Nelson, lead designer Ken Rolston, programmer Matt Picioccio, and art director Mike Wagner.

Farscape Preview

GameSpot's Farscape Preview takes a look at this upcoming isometric-view RPG based on the cult-hit science fiction television show of the same name. The article describes the new alien races and creatures that have been created especially for this game, those that will be familiar from the program, the point in the Farscape continuity when the game occurs, the storyline, the interface, inventory, the puzzles that will be interspersed with the action, how the characters you select for each mission impact your chances at success, and more. Included are five new screenshots.

Betty Bad Demo

There is a Betty Bad Offline Demo on FilePlanet (registration required), offering a chance to try out this browser-based 3D action game by WildTangent that was designed by former id artist Paul Steed. The demo is a 16.9 MB download, but it's not clear what the browser requirements are.

New jHexen

A second beta version of jHexen, Jaakko Keränen's port of the public source code of Raven's class-based first-person action game, is now available. As before, this is a non-optimized debug build, and this release contains a variety of changes, including an improved KickStart, multiplayer fixes, a crash fix, and more.

HoMM4 Preview

There is a brief but hands-on preview of Heroes of Might and Magic IV on GameSpot, looking ahead to the turn-based strategy sequel by New World Computing and 3DO by way of a recent press build. The article offers impressions of the revamped overview maps and interface, the enhanced graphics, the new combat system and more, all of which is illustrated by no fewer than 38 new screenshots.

Shadowbane Beta Begins

Ubi Soft sends along a brief announcement that the official North American closed beta test of Shadowbane has kicked off, which is apparently the third phase in the beta program for this fantasy MMORPG by Wolfpack Studios. Accompanying the announcement is a pair of new screenshots, widely varying in resolution, and the official site has been updated with five new screenshots as well.

Ages of Athiria Update

The first Ages of Athiria newsletter is now online at the official site for this fantasy MMORPG in production at Elysian Productions (thanks RPG Vault). This first installment has information on how players and guilds can run the villages and cities they inhabit, there is a new screenshot, and an in-house interview caps off the proceedings, discussing some of the game's features in more depth.

Return to Console Wolfenstein

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Confirmed For Xbox on PlanetXbox has word that Return to Castle Wolfenstein is set to invade both the Xbox and Playstation 2 console systems. The ports are to be done by Raster Productions, with id Software carefully overlooking the process, just as they supervised the creation of the original game by Gray Matter and Nerve. No source is offered for the press release, nor does it list any projected release dates.

Army Men RTS Preview

GameSpot UK's Army Men RTS Preview looks at this cleverly-named upcoming game that combines the loveable insanity of 3DO's Army Men series with the world of real-time strategy gaming. The preview looks at the origins of the little green men's gaming days, offers the outline of the story for this new installment, and goes on to describe gameplay that involves invading a house with your miniature troops, while doing combat with the opposing tan troops, as well as the area's insects, who seem to want to bug even plastic people. They also account for the game's resource management, the units and vehicles, controls and interface, and more. The whole shebang is accompanied by 20 new screenshots.

Operation Flashpoint Patch, Server

The official Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis site serves up a new patch and dedicated server for the tactical shooter by Bohemia Interactive. This version 1.42 release mainly addresses about a dozen bugs and also includes a few other minor improvements, as listed on the Readme page, and the 6.2 MB patch requires version 1.30 or later while the 1.2 MB server download requires the version 1.40 server distribution. Update: Their ftp server is fairly slow, but there are mirrors of both files on 3D Gamers.

Medal of Honor Packaging, Specs

EA's Medal of Honor Allied Assault to Debut with New Packaging for PC Games is the press release announcing that when Medal of Honor: Allied Assault appears in stores next week, it will also mark the debut of a new standardized box size for games which requires less space on retail shelves, allows for the display of more boxes with the covers facing outward, and is more environmentally friendly. In another note related to the imminent release of this Quake III-engine WW2 shooter, the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault website has been updated with a list of the game's system requirements, including a list of supported 3D chipsets.

C&C Renegade Movies

Westwood has released another pair of Command & Conquer Renegade movies, available for download from their ftp server here (9.2 MB) and here (9.9 MB). The movies each run for about a minute in MPEG format, offering gameplay footage on the topics of "Multiplayer C&C mode" and "Humm-Vee Assault."

Disciples II Collector's Edition

Strategy First send along a press release announcing the Disciples II Collector's Edition, which will ship on January 24 alongside the regular edition of their turn-based strategy game. Word is the Collector's Edition includes "a one-of-a-kind card game, developed by the lead designer of the Disciples series and 5 additional 'elite' scenarios."

Lord Blackthorn's Diary

GameSpy.com Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge Developer Diary Volume 3 is online, written by Rick "Stellerex" Hall who discusses expanding the UO universe and collaborating with Todd McFarlane, famed comic artist, action figure creator, and owner of the world's most overpriced baseball. The main thrust of the diary is to discuss the delicate task of evolving a game while it's being played, discussing what the partnership with McFarlane productions has contributed to this process.

Cratered Q&A

HomeLan Fed's Cratered Interview talks with some of the folks at Furious Entertainment about progress on Cratered, their upcoming post apocalyptic naval game set on a "massive, surreal world of fast paced action and strategy where you command futuristic ships of incomprehensible power and speed." The Q&A discusses the formation of their company, the idea behind the game, levels and settings, ships, weapons and items, enemies, other gameplay features, their engine, multiplayer modes, future plans, and more.

Warlords Battlecry II Preview

GamePen's Warlords Battlecry II Preview is online, offering hands-on impressions of a beta version of the upcoming follow-up to the RTS branch of the normally turn-based Warlords series. The article discusses sequel's superior graphics to its predecessor, and goes on to describe gameplay involving your hero character conquering the 67 other territories on the game map, the simplicity of gameplay, environmental effects, how newbie-friendly the game is, and more.

Ghost Recon Patch Soon

Ubi Soft sent us a note that a patch for Ghost Recon, the recent squad-based tactical shooter by Red Storm, is expected soon (but no date was mentioned), and GhostRecon.nl has now posted an overview of the changes in this release. Among them are weapon and equipment tweaks, interface enhancements, graphics and sound improvements, multiplayer and AI changes, bug fixes and more. Update: Ubi Soft clarified that the patch can be expected "at the end of January 2002."

Worminology

There's a Team 17 Q&A on Computer and Video Games talking with Martyn Brown of Team 17, the folks behind the madcap Worms franchise. Topics include their growth from their origins as an Amiga developer, why they are so obsessed with worms, whether they're a "one-trick-pony" with all this worms stuff, whether they are sick of the little squirmers yet, Worm's Blast, cross-platform worming, opinions on consoles, their recent overlapping GBA releases, the British sense of humor the Worms series displays, and more.

Renegade Chat Today

The Command & Conquer: Renegade Website has word that today at 8:00 PM EST Westwood's C&C community team will be hosting a chat featuring Executive Producer Dan "DanC" Cermak to answer questions about progress on the game and get a status report on the ongoing field test of Renegade’s Command & Conquer multiplayer mode. Word is: "As an added bonus, three Renegade multiplay beta slots have been made available and will given away during the chat. The lucky recipients will be able to participate in the multiplayer madness for the remainder of the test period." To participate, head over to their website around 7:45 PM EST to access their java chat client. They also have details posted about plans to take the Renegade beta on a tour of five gaming centers in the US.

Dungeon Q&A

There's a Dungeon Interview on Voodoo Extreme talking with Noah Decter-Jackson of Complex Games about their upcoming RPG that is being created under the generic working title "Dungeon." The conversation covers the background of the company and this project, some nuts-and-bolts of game mechanics, and significant detail about the storyline and gameworld.

Tech Bits

Consolidation

GameSpot's Deus Ex Media Index has four new movies showing off gameplay from the upcoming PS2 Deus Ex game, and there are also a batch of 34 new Deus Ex: The Conspiracy screenshots to accompany the flicks. There's also a Deus Ex: The Conspiracy preview on ps2.ign.com with some impressions of the upcoming PS2 DX game along with 10 new screenshots and a pair poof gameplay movies. Also, there's a Final Fantasy XI Preview on GameSpot.

Console Reviews: Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) on TFH Gaming and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PS2) on GamePen.

New Ultimate Regular Quake Patch

The Quake Info Pool has a new version 1.06a of their Ultimate Regular Quake Patch, which attempts to iron out any remaining bugs or irregularities in the original Quake. The new version addresses a problem that would stop the game just prior to the ultimate battle with the big shrub Shub.

Game Guidance

Manny's MoHAA performance tweaking guide on AlliedAssault.com is online, offering tips on increasing performance, console commands, and troubleshooting in 2015's Quake III engine first-person shooter.

Game Development & Mods

The Nival Interactive Files Page offers downloads of a tool to allow users to create their own balance modification for Evil Islands. The Elder Scrolls Morrowind Preview on Games Domain offers yet another look ahead at TES Construction Set, the editor that's being used to create the upcoming RPG sequel that will be bundled with the game when it ships. Against Realism on GRACELESSLAND is theAntiELVIS' latest diatribe about game design, although he admits it may be a bit incomprehensible.

The Mod Squads

There's an interview with Fragmented and Diablone on ELiTeD talking about the HL Rally modification for Half-Life.

Help Wanted

Human Head Studios has announced that they are looking to hire some Quake III Arena level designers. Familiarity with the Quake III engine and the QERadient editor is required.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

In spite of some weather here in the northeastern US, the BlueJet is out on the tarmac getting outfitted for a cross-country flight. I'll depart in the wee hours tomorrow, and will be returning Saturday evening, and while I should be able to do the Saturday morning update remotely, the burden of tomorrow morning's first update will fall on Frans. Now I want you to treat the substitute teacher the same as you would me... so get those spitballs ready! =]

Play Time: Lord Of The Rings Personality Test. Thanks Frottage. I'm Samwise Gamgee and Frans is Frodo Baggins.
Story of the Day: Brain Surgeon Operates on Wrong Side of Man's Head. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Bonus Story: Town Fends Off Tumbleweed Invasion. Thanks again theAntiELVIS.

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