Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2003

Ships Ahoy - Robin Hood & Warrior Kings: Battles

Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown Ships on GameSpot (thanks Frans) has news that both the PC and the PS2 versions of the action/strategy revival has shipped to stores. Also, Warrior Kings Battles Ships is the press release announcing that Empire Interactive's latest installment in this RTS series has shipped in North America. Here's a bit: "Warrior Kings: Battles comes complete with a full skirmish mode, boasting a proficiency of computer AI not yet seen in an RTS product. AI Generals build a functioning economy, offensive/defensive armies, correctly control formations, and intelligently probe your defenses, looking for your weak points. AI Diplomacy, a major new feature, makes you think you are playing a human opponent(s), giving a new depth to single and multiplayer Internet gaming."

Max Payne 2 Q&A

The Max Payne 2 Q&A on Shacknews talks with Remedy Entertainment's Petri Järvilehto and Sam Lake about the upcoming shooter sequel featuring the fall of Max Payne and some mushy stuff (a love story). After emphasizing their focus on gameplay, they provide an answer to the question about engine upgrades: "The radiosity lighting has been completely re-written, we got rid of all of the old AI code and took the AI to a new level of sophistication, and the texture resolutions and polycounts have been boosted to lot higher levels. All of the skins are now using DX shaders (so yes, light reflects properly on the eyes) which makes a world of difference on the lighting if you have the hardware that can take advantage of it. Also, we’ve taken the particle systems much further."

ATI RADEON & Half-Life 2

ATI introduces RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT, demonstrating industry leadership once again (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing ATI's latest, including word on the promised Half-Life 2 bundle, even if the game did not make its planned release date, as word is purchasers of these cards will get a copy of Half-Life 2 "when the game ships." ATI and Valve Team up to Showcase the best of 3D Gaming has more on this, including quotes from Valve, like the following:
"ATI has been a great partner on the engineering front. Our work with ATI has enabled DirectX 9 functionality that wouldn't have been possible with any other company," said Gabe Newell, Founder and Managing Director, Valve. "ATI's hardware gives our customers the best experience with our software. So we've chosen to extend our relationship to include marketing initiatives that will showcase both Half-Life 2 and RADEON products."

Bard's Tale Revisited

This press release announces the formation of inXile entertainment, marking the return of Brian Fargo to gaming, as he plans to revive his classic Bard's Tale RPG franchise. There is a preview of the new project on GameSpy, and here's a bit from the press release:
Brian Fargo, considered one of the early architects of the multi-billion dollar interactive entertainment industry, has returned to the world of gaming with a new company dedicated to bringing quality video games to the market. inXile entertainment's first title is based on one of the most highly successful original computer role-playing games (RPG) and number one hit, The Bard's Tale®. inXile will satisfy the original game's cult-like fans, who have generated a decade of frenzied rumors and web petitions, by creating a modern interpretation of the classic genre for next generation console gaming platforms and the PC. The name of the title will be The Bard's Tale worldwide (the final name is undetermined for the United States, pending trademark proceedings).

Halo PC & Patch Released

Microsoft sends word that Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC has hit store shelves across the United States. On the heels of this announcement, a patch is available, updating the PC version of Bungie's first-person shooter to version 1.01. The patch is 3.6 MB, available from 3D Gamers, Boomtown, Computer Games Online, Fappin, FileFront,, Gameplex, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Game Movies

Ships Ahoy - American Conquest: Fight Back

This press release has news that American Conquest: Fight Back, the stand-alone expansion for American Conquest, has shipped to stores. Here's word on the RTS gameplay the add-on offers:
The epic battle for early America resumes with the latest expansion pack, "American Conquest: Fight Back." Three centuries of war continue with even more frantic combat and more desperate power struggles raging across the continents of North and South America. The Spanish sound an attack on the Yucatan amidst Mayan and Aztec resistance, while the Germans put their efforts into finding the legendary "El Dorado." The Pontiac Uprising ends in a terrifying bloodbath between Native Americans and the British, and the Russians will do anything to conquer Alaska. Players can now re-live American history, and decide the fate of the New World with "American Conquest: Fight Back."

Space Colony Gold

Firefly Studios sends word that Space Colony is gold. Here's the entirety of the announcement:
Firefly Studios and Gathering Announce Space Colony Has Gone Gold

Colony Activated! Gathering, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), announced today that Space Colony, the much anticipated personality sims-style strategy PC game has gone gold. Developed by Firefly Studios, the masterminds behind the wildly successful Stronghold series, Space Colony is set to ship nationwide October 14, 2003.

In Space Colony, players are challenged to build and establish a colony, manage a motley crew of 20 operatives and defend the bases from attacking aliens, all while trying to make a profit.

Navy SEALs WoMD Demo

A demo for Navy SEALs: Weapons of Mass destruction is now available, a sample of ValuSoft's special forces shooter with the topical title. The demo is playable for 60 minutes, after which time the purchase of a license key will allow further play. The 90 MB demo can be found on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell and Worthplaying.

Afternoon Q&As

Afternoon Previews

Afternoon Screenshots

Game Development & Mods

A new version 3.9.68 of the MultiEx Commander game resource extraction utility is now available.

Help Wanted

The "company" section on the Reflexive Entertainment Website now lists some openings they are looking to fill for artists, programmers, and senior programmers.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

As it turns out, Half-Life 2 not being released is one of my lesser problems of the day. I started out finding a virus on my computer, ended up with a busted network connection after removing it, and now have a semi-hosed Win2K install on my work machine. It took a good bit of doing to get the LAN happening enough to transfer my work across it, and, oh yeah, somewhere along the way I managed to bust a tooth (on a pumpkin seed of all things), so I have an emergency trip to Dr. Toothy to contend with tonight after I get all caught up. Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Play Time: RSVP. Thanks Jesse Adams.
Link of the Day: New Diablo 2 Expansion Lord of the Dance.
Story of the Day: World's oldest man dies at 114.
Science!: Paging Dr. Robot Machine helps doctors with patients.
Taking the Oceans' Pulse, With Help From Robot Subs (registration required).
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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