Archived News:

Thursday, Jul 31, 2003

Game Movies

A new Lords of EverQuest Movie is now available, showing off the upcoming RTS game based on SOE's addictive MMORPG. The 21 MB MPEG-format movie runs a bit over two minutes, and mirrors can be found on 3D Gamers and Happy Puppy (registration required). There's a new Dragon vs. Thanesford video on Wish Vault that represents "the first in a long series of videos that explore the world of Wish!" The 640x480 Windows Media Player movie is about a 9 MB download. Also, Horizons Vault's Movies and Trailers Page now features a video taped at last week's GenCon festivities showing off some gameplay in Horizons as demonstrated by Artifact's Dave Bowman. The 11 minute movie is in Windows Media Player format as an approximately 30 MB download. Finally, there's a Black 9 trailer on GameSpot offering a "Peak ahead to the year 2080" in this upcoming PC and Xbox science fiction RPG.

Evening Q&A

  • Star Wars KOTOR
    Star Wars KOTOR Q&A on Gamer's Hell talks with BioWare's Casey Hudson and Teresa Cotesta about the upcoming PC version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Force-powered RPG.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death
    There's a Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death Q&A on Computer and Video Games talks with Jason Kingsley of Rebellion about the upcoming 200AD comics-based shooter.
  • Joan of Arc
    GameZone's Joan of Arc Q&A tracks down Trevor Chan of Enlight Software to discuss Joan of Arc, their upcoming action-oriented RTS with some RPG elements based on the life of the famed French heroine. They discuss gameplay, the mix of genres, historical accuracy, and more.
  • Lionheart
    RPG Vault's Lionheart Team Q&A #17 asks the following group question of the team at Reflexive about their imminent RPG: "What are some enjoyable, interesting, special or otherwise noteworthy things - items, characters, places, events, quests or whatever - off the game's critical path that you're willing to talk about?"
  • Asheron's Call
    MMORPGDot's Asheron's Call Q&A chats with Jessica Mulligan about the future of the MMORPG.
  • Lord British
    Ad Personam with Richard "Lord British" Garriott on RPGDot gets personal with the man behind Ultima and Tabula Rasa.

Updated TRON 2.0 Demo Plans

Exclusive Tron 2.0 demo tomorrow on GameSpot is the report of their plans to host an updated version of the demo for Monolith's shooter/movie sequel tomorrow. The new demo adds a brief tutorial and some solo play to the multiplayer action of the first demo. The file is a 202 MB download, which will be available to users with a free registration as well as their paying subscribers.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Half-Life 2 Undelayed

After many sketchy confirmations and denials of the report that Half-Life 2 has been delayed from its planned September 30 release date (story), BeyondHalflife.com has a report up quoting Amy Farris, PR director at Vivendi Universal as saying "Valve is still working toward the Sept. 30 ship date." This reassurance still seems to leave a shadow of a doubt about this ("working toward") but a further report on HomeLAN Fed quotes the same Ms. Farris as calling reports that the game was delayed "a miscommunication."

H-L Natural Selection Client

Following the preparatory release of the Natural Selection dedicated server (story), the version 2.0 client for the Natural Selection modification for Half-Life is now available. The Natural Selection Homepage offers a list of mirrors for the 119 MB update, along with word that: "The Kharaa presence has been detected. Repeat: the Kharaa presence has been detected. Somewhere onboard the aliens have already begun to breed. We have just received notice that a Frontiersmen response craft will be docking in moments. They represent the height of small squad technology, and the peak of modern military training -- but even so, the outcome cannot be predicted. We expect the fighting to be intense, and the casualties high."

NVIDIA Linux Drivers

NVIDIA's Linux Display Driver Page (thanks Jacek Fedoryñski) features downloads of a new Version: 1.0-4496 Linux display driver for NVIDIA video cards. The new release adds bug fixes, GeForce FX 5900 support, support for Active Stereo + TwinView, initial support for APM power management, improved OpenGL performance when rendering to multiple buffers, and more.

WarCraft III & Frozen Throne Patches

The Blizzard Entertainment Technical Support Site (thanks Frans) now offers downloads of a new version 1.12 patch for WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and a new version 1.12 patch for WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. The updates implement balance changes, and word is that custom save games and replays recorded with earlier versions will not work after applying the patches.

Gothic II Add-on Site

A bit in advance of its own projected August 1 launch date, a preliminary Gothic II: Die Nacht des Raben Website (thanks Tiscali Games) is now online, offering some detail (in German) about the upcoming add-on for Gothic II, Piranha Bytes' RPG. The title seems to translate to "Night of the Raven" (here's a Babel Fish link), but there's not much there in the way of details, other than a projected release date for the add-on of "when it's done," a projected release date for a demo of "if it's done," and a few screenshots showing off gameplay.

3rd Party Half-Life Security Patch

Company patches flaws in 'Half-Life' game (thanks Mike Martinez) has word that PivX Solutions, who previously identified security issues in GameSpy (story) and Unreal Tournament 2003 (story) has identified "three high-risk buffer-overflow vulnerabilities" in Half-Life that "make players' computers and the 30,000 servers that run the game susceptible to a denial-of-service attack." According to the report, PivX made their findings available to Valve in April, and were told Valve was working on a patch. After more than 100 days (more than triple the accepted 30 day period to allow them to patch it themselves), the PivX Solutions Website now offers a patch called "Preparation V(alve) Digital Ointment" to salve and solve the problem with the Half-Life server. We've contacted Valve for a response on this, and harbor the suspicion that the new Half-Life dedicated server (story) already address these security issues.

Ghost Master Euro Patch

This Empire Interactive Products Page now offers downloads of a new patch to update the European edition (though it's marked as a UK patch) of this haunting strategy game. The update is a 17 MB download. Thanks Frans.

Spartan Announced

Slitherine Strategies announces plans for Spartan, which will offer "Engrossing turn based strategy that builds on the success of Legion & Chariots of War." The game has been in production for six months, but no release details other than "2004" are available. Here's a bit: "Over 2000 years ago there was a city called Sparta. The city had only two purposes – to train for war and to fight the wars she trained for. Over time Sparta became renowned for having the strongest, fastest, bravest and most deadly fighters in the known world. They were the Spartaites and were feared by all. With these warriors Sparta carved out an Empire for itself – ‘Lakedaimon’. However, it was soon to find that its reign was not to be unopposed and other great cities were rising to the fore; Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Macedonia and not to forget the threat from the east – the massive Persian Empire."

Dangerous Waters Announced

Sonalysts (Sub Command and Jane's Fleet Command) has revealed plans for Dangerous Waters (working title), with a release tentatively scheduled for Q2 2004. Here's what they are revealing at this time: "In the Air, on the Surface, and the Depths below... 'Dangerous Waters' will allow the player to control platforms from all arenas of modern Naval Combat. The focus will still be primarily on ASW and ASuW warfare, but unlike our previous titles which have challenged the player to take control of the world's most lethal submarines, he will now take command of various platforms above, below and on the ocean's surface..."

SimCity 4 Deluxe Announced

EA Announces Plans For SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition (thanks Frans) has word on plans for an edition of the city planning sequel that will include the Rush Hour add-on along with the original game. SimCity 4 Deluxe is planned for a September release.

Knights of Honor Site

The official Knights of Honor Website is now online, offering bilingual info on this upcoming "unique Empire Conquering Simulation." There is a bit of content there to get things started, with the promise of more to come. In other new game news, TDK Mediactive Europe sends word that: "The PC version of World Racing will come out in September 2003 with one more track than the Xbox version already available."

Game Movies - TRON 2.0 Trailer

The TRON 2.0 Trailer on IGN offers a look at Monolith's upcoming shooter that follows up on the cult sci-fi movie. The downloadable clip requires a subscription, but there is also a freely available streaming version. The Lock On: Modern Air Combat Website now offers downloads of a three-plus minute video showing off gameplay from the beta of the upcoming jet flight simulator. The movie is a 32 MB download, and there's a mirror on Gamer's Hell and NWSGaming. Thanks Frans.

Morning Q&As

Half-Life Dedicated Server

A new version 1.1.1.1d of the Half-Life dedicated server beta is available for Windows and Linux. Both versions are found on 3D Gamers and Gamer's Hell, the Windows version is up on Computer Games Online and the Linux version is on Computer Games Online.

Morning Previews

Colin McRae 3.0 Patch

This Codemasters Downloads Page now offers an 11 MB patch for the rally racing game, described like this: "This upgrade fixes some of the known issues with the final release of the game. A full fix list is included in the readme. Some force feedback problems and known crashes have now been resolved." The patch is mirrored on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and NWSGaming.

Morning Screenshots

Consolidation

CNN.com - New PlayStation goes wireless (thanks Neill Glancy). One of Tom Clancy's operatives sends word that the Xbox version of Ghost Recon: Island Thunder has gone gold. Tapwave has released more about the gaming capabilities of their upcoming Zodiac hand-held, including this: "With the Zodiac, users will be able to game with the first-ever analog controller (joystick) found on a handheld device, listen to music using the Zodiac MP3 functionality, watch videos (AVI, MPEG 1, MPEG4, QuickTime, etc…), view photos, and manage their life using one product wrapped up in a light, ergo-centric package. The product also includes the latest ATI Imageon graphic accelerator, Bluetooth for multiplayer gaming and wireless functionality, stereo speakers, and dual expansion slots that provide support for SD Cards, multimedia cards, and SDIO peripherals. The Zodiac will be available for pre-orders starting mid September, 2003, at www.tapwave.com and will ship in October, 2003."

New Battle Mech

A new version 1.1 of the Battle Mech game that uses the public Quake engine has been released, and can be found on Best of the Void. The new release addresses a couple of bugs and adds a new camera feature. They are also offering downloads of a pair of new maps.

The Mod Squads

The Natural Selection 2.0 Q&A on Gamer's Hell talks with Ned Pyle about the upcoming update to the Natural Selection modification for Half-Life. There's an Ultima VIII: Exile Fact Sheet on Ultima@RPGDot outlining what to expect from the NWN mod that's planning on recreating the gameplay of Ultima VIII.

Game Guidance

A new SpellForce - The Order of Dawn FAQ has been launched. Also, the America's Army Mac FAQ (Jack) is now online. Thanks Frans.

Game Development & Mods

The Dteam is recruiting new members. Also, The Neverwinter Vault Tutorials Page now offers "an 11 part course on how to script for Neverwinter Nights in their video 'viewlet' format in an effort to make scripting as easy as possible."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Lulu, our little doggie houseguest, has taken three days to learn to run up and down the stairs here (she's an apartment dog, so this is about the only place she encounters them). I thought her morning barking was jarring when she was downstairs, but now that she can do it in my ear... wow! I'm sorry, did you says something? I can't hear you... hello? Hello?

R.I.P.: Rock 'n' roll pioneer Sam Phillips, discoverer of Elvis, dead at 80.

Play Time: White Trash IQ Test. Thanks Jim Chaney. I only got 12.
Links of the Day: 404 Doodoo Error. Thanks Nehalem.
Higher Primates Can Program After VB.NET Training. Thanks frag.machine.
Refusing help, woman gives birth aboard Train. Thanks Dave Mack.
Stories of the Day: Web savvy can improve college chances.
Missing 1913 Liberty Head nickel resurfaces.
Wild Science: Ozone Layer Is Improving, According to Monitors (registration required).
Top of sky is receding We may be pushing the stratosphere away. You win some...
Genetically modified food: Far less scary than it used to be.
Cyborg Liberation Front. Thanks William Haskins.
Weird Science: Sunlight used to emulate laser for surgery. The magnifying glass method.
Australian koalas are on the pill.
The 'eccentric man' who moves big rocks.
Auction of the Day: Slashdot: Sci-Fi Memorabilia To Ogle And - Or Buy.
Follow-ups: Missouri Supreme Court sends Twist comic book case back to trial.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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