Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003 Armistice/Veterans/Remembrance Day

Game Movies

Six new high resolution Deus Ex: Invisible War movies are now available on Gamer's Hell, showing off ION Storm's upcoming RPG sequel. The files range from 8 to 17 MB in size. Also, a new Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna trailer is now online showing off Gas Powered Games' and Mad Doc Software's now-gold stand-alone RPG expansion. The 12 MB trailer is available from 3D Gamers and FilePlanet (registration required). Legends of Aranna is expected in North America tomorrow.

TRON 2.0 Patch

A patch for TRON 2.0 is now available to update the game to version 1.040 while adding three new maps to Monolith's sci-fi first-person shooter. The 19 MB update is the patch released last week (story) for WinXP, with some issues in the original version now corrected. The file is available from the TRON Downloads Page and mirrored on 3D Gamers. This patch is not multiplayer compatible with the earlier one, so all users are encouraged to upgrade. Meanwhile, since this patch is, surprisingly, for WinXP only, a version that's unofficially repackaged to work under other versions of Windows is available from TRON 2.0 Files.

Hobbit Patch

A new version 1.2 patch for The Hobbit is online, addressing several crashing bugs in the just released game based on the adventures of J.R.R. Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins. The 23 MB update also addresses some other issues, while tweaking the interface and some water puzzles. The file is up on Sierra's FTP (direct link), and mirrored on 3D Gamers and Worthplaying.

Dear Diaries

Action Vault's Kuma War Developer Diary #2 is written by Kuma director of game development Dante Anderson who talks (actually admittedly complains) about the process of making movies, as they shoot some of the newsfeed-type footage that will help present the story in Kuma War. Weird factoid of the day is that I worked with Tad Low (the game's newscaster) at VH-1 many, many moons ago. Also, RPG Vault's Wish Diary #1 is online, in which Wish producer "James C. Moffet, IV comments on developer Mutable Realms' aspiration to create a sticky online world."

Evening Q&As

  • DX: Invisible War
    The Warren Spector Q&A, Part Two on Computer And Video Games concludes their conversation with the ION Storm designer (thanks Frans). They go into detail about game balance, multiple solutions to in-game problems, AI, DX3 plans (story), and comparisons with The Miyamoto.
  • Face of Mankind
    The Face of Mankind Q&A on Gamer's Hell talks with Dirk "GrimReapa" Behrend, chief GM on Duplex Systems' upcoming MMORPG. They discuss the game, the art of being a game master, and plans to add more GMs going forward.
  • Castle Strike
    The Castle Strike Q&A on Gamer's Hell talks with Burkhard Ratheiser of Related Designs and Joerg Becker, Jr. of Data Becker to learn more about Castle Strike, their upcoming medieval 3D RTS game. Topics include the game's story, theme, how castle construction will work, combat, graphics, multiplayer support, and more.
  • Atriarch
    Atriarch Vault's Weekly Mini-Q&A #1 is a two question Q&A that reintroduces Atriarch, and clarifies the recently concluded quiet period in the game's development.
  • Etrom
    GameZone's Etrom: The Astral Essence Q&A talks with Fabio Belsanti, lead designer on this upcoming RPG in the works at P.M. Studios. They learn what can be revealed about the game, which is being developed concurrently with a pen-and-paper variant.

Evening Screenshots

Fair Strike Strikes Russian Gold

The G5 Software Website (thanks Frans) has news about Fair Strike, G5 Software's helicopter action game: "Russian version of Fair Strike has gone Gold and will appear in stores across Russia on November 13. Fair Strike is published in Russian Federation by Buka Entertainment."

H-L Day of Defeat Patch Plans

Valve sends along word of plans to release a beta update for Day of Defeat this week. Here's word on plans to patch the Half-Life World War II modification:
Day of Defeat 1.1 Beta Available Via Steam This Week
Day of Defeat 1.1 is in the final stages of development and will be available for wide beta testing via Steam later this week. The team-based multiplayer game sends players into Axis vs. Allies battles set in Western Europe during WWII. Version 1.1 adds enhanced animation through the incorporation of Valve's nine-way blending system. DoD 1.1 also includes new maps plus a host of tweaks and fixes. For more information visit www.dayofdefeat.com or www.steampowered.com.

New Jedi Academy Servers

To accompany the new version 1.01 of Jedi Knight (story), updated versions of the dedicated servers for the Star Wars shooter are now likewise available. Either version 1.011 server requires the full game, with the 400 KB Windows dedicated server available from 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Gamehelper; while the 1.4 MB Linux server is available from 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, and Gamehelper. Update: As noted in James Monroe's .plan, server admins "also need the 'assets3.pk3' from the retail patch installed on your server else people trying to connect will get client/server mismatch errors."

Gold - D2: Rise of the Elves

This press release from Strategy First announces that Rise of the Elves, the latest stand-alone expansion for Disciples II, is gold, and expected to appear in stores on November 20. Here's a bit:
Disciples II: Rise of the Elves is a milestone in the Disciples universe. For the first time, Disciples fans will be able to play as the elder Elven race as they struggle to reclaim their forests from the four primary forces in Nevendaar. Driven by an unpredictable god who urges them to battle, the Elves begin a massive march towards their fate.

The noble Elves rule their people from elaborate fortresses within the trees. They adorn themselves with ornate armor and prefer councils or negotiations to conflict. Their queen is a just leader, preferring the path of peace for her kind. The noble Elves owe much to the Empire…

Batfish Closes, Captain Scarlet Dead

There's a Captain Scarlet and Batfish Update on the Batfish Studios Forums (thanks HomeLAN Fed) with the sad news that they are closing their doors, and that Captain Scarlet: Retaliation, their RTS game based on the classic Gerry Anderson SuperMarionation TV series, is cancelled. Somewhat ironically, this announcement comes just days after a revived version of the series was announced (story). Of course, the crimson captain's most memorable trait was being able to return from even the most fatal looking death scene, so fans of the series will probably not easily give up hope. Here's a bit with the news:
Batfish Studios
The Batfish Studios office closed on 15th October, having completed the release candidate for Captain Scarlet. The reasons for the office closing are unrelated to Captain Scarlet, the team did not have a suitable project and in the current climate it wasn't possible to continue working speculatively.

Captain Scarlet
The release candidate of the final game and two demos were delivered to our publisher Digital Workshop on the 15th October. However, I was informed on 7th November that they will not be publishing the game.

I would to like to thank everyone here for their support, I can assure you that we are as disappointed as you are but both companies have tried to come up with a workable solution and failed.

Pre-Orders
If you have pre-ordered the game, Digital Workshop should be contacting you regarding your order.

Uru Demo

A demo version of Uru: Ages Beyond Myst is now available, offering the chance to try out the new fully 3D follow-up to the classic slide show Myst games. No details are available about the content of the 109 MB demo, which is available via the streaming services of Gigex, mirrored on 3D Gamers, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, Gamer's Hell, IGN, and Loadedinc (registration required).

Ships Ahoy: The Hobbit

Vivendi Universal Games Ships The Hobbit Video Game Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Literary Masterpiece (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing the availability of the game based on the Tolkien classic that paves the way for the Lord of the Ring trilogy (though it wasn't technically a prequel, as the release describes it). Here's word: "Featuring stunning graphics, The Hobbit showcases deep action/combat systems combined with the best elements of stealth, role-playing and puzzle solving. Players will lead the brave Bilbo Baggins on an epic journey throughout the mythical world of Middle-earth(TM) to ultimately confront Smaug the Dragon. The Hobbit is available on PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube(TM) (developed by Inevitable Entertainment); Game Boy® Advance video game system (developed by Saffire) and PC (developed by Amaze Entertainment)."

Mafia Patches

New patches in various languages are now available for Mafia, updating Illusion Softworks' game of this thing of ours to version 1.2, though no details about what's new or changed are provided. The English patch is mirrored on 3D Gamers, GameCenter.cz, and Gamer's Hell; the German version is mirrored on 3D Gamers, GameCenter.cz, and Gamer's Hell; the French version is mirrored on 3D Gamers and Gamer's Hell; while the Italian, Spanish, Czech, and Polish versions of the patch are also mirrored on 3D Gamers. Each patch is 17.4 MB.

Morning Q&As

  • Armed & Dangerous
    The Armed & Dangerous Q&A on Games Domain (thanks Frans) is a conversation with Aaron Loeb, the one-time web monkey who is the producer on Armed & Dangerous, the third-person shooter in the works at Planet Moon Studios and LucasArts. They discuss the partnership between the two companies, the idea behind the game, the story, humorous elements, and more. The Q&A is accompanied by an Armed & Dangerous Movie.
  • FF vs. The Third Reich
    There's a Ken Levine Interview on GMR reproducing a print article (thanks HomeLAN Fed) talking with the top dog at Irrational Games about Freedom Force versus the Third Reich, their upcoming World War II-themed superhero game.
  • Warhammer Online
    MMORPGDot's Warhammer Online Q&A catches up with Robin Dews, General Manager of Warhammer Online Ltd., to discuss progress on the upcoming MMOG based on the Warhammer table-top games.
  • Supremacy
    HomeLAN Fed's Supremacy Q&A chats with Nikita Mikros of Black Hammer Game to discuss Supremacy: Four Paths to Power, their recently unveiled strategy game. They discuss the game's inspiration, storyline, universe, free-form gameplay, graphics, multiplayer support, and more.

Morning Previews

RC Squad Land Machines Movie

An RC Squad Land Machines demo is now available, showing of the upcoming mini car racing simulation. The movie demonstrates over a minute of action on one of the game's off-road tracks. The file can be downloaded from the into3d website or a mirror on 3D Gamers and Gamer's Hell.

Morning Screenshots

Competitions

Registration is underway for the CPL's Summer 2004 Extreme Championship, which features a $100,000 Half-Life Counter-Strike Tournament and a $70,000 Halo|PC CPL-Assault Tournament.

Game Development & Mods

Hidden Agenda is a project that looks to add "stealth" middle school teaching to video games, with a $25,000 prize for the top entry in their competition.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is Veteran's Day here in the U.S., formerly Armistice Day, and presumably still that in other parts of the world (commemorating the end of World War I for you whippersnappers). Serving your country in this way is so often a thankless task, so here's a hats off to you vets.

Play Time: Backlash. Thanks markus friedl.
Links of the Day: Half-Park. Thanks lochwinnoch. You killed Barney! You bastards!
JP Brown's Serious LEGO. Thanks Todd Davis.
IO2 Technology Revolutionary Interactive Heliospace Free-Space Display. Thanks Adam.
Stories of the Day: Porn Mag Sales Going Limp.
Science!: 'Dark Matter' Forms Ghost Universe That Mirrors Our Own, New Theory Shows. Thanks Warren Ransom.
(1) Does Science Matter & (2) Is War Our Biological Destiny & (3) Will Humans Ever Visit Mars (registration required)?
Using Baby Teeth as a Geiger Counter (registration required).
Images of the Day: Bender's Benders.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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