Archived News:

Thursday, Jun 10, 2004

Half-Life 2 Source Theft Arrests

Valve Software sends word that arrests have been made internationally in the highly publicized theft of source code for Half-Life 2 (story), their eagerly anticipated first-person shooter sequel:
Online Community Tracks Down Hackers

June, 10 2004 – Arrests have been made in several countries related to the break-in to Valve’s network, theft of the Half-Life 2 source code, and release of the source code on the Internet.

“Within a few days of the announcement of the break-in, the online gaming community had tracked down those involved,” said Gabe Newell, Valve’s CEO. “It was extraordinary to watch how quickly and how cleverly gamers were able to unravel what are traditionally unsolvable problems for law enforcement related to this kind of cyber-crime.”

Thousands of tips were received related to the criminal activities, with a core group of people who were able to analyze and backtrack from these clues. Subsequent to these individuals being identified, Valve has been working with various national authorities to prepare cases against those involved, leading to these arrests.

“It was very uplifting to see how the community rallied and tracked these people down. Everyone here at Valve is once again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community,” added Mr. Newell.

Ships Ahoy - Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon

CDV sends word that Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon has shipped to stores, and the real-time strategy stand-alone expansion should now be available:
CARY, NC – June 10, 2004 – CDV Software Entertainment, one of the leading German publishers and distributors of gaming software, today announced today announced that “Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon” for the PC is now available in stores. A stand-alone expansion pack to 2003’s hit World War II real-time strategy title “Blitzkrieg,” the game features a campaign centered around the historical figure General Erwin Rommel.

About “BLITZKRIEG: BURNING HORIZON”
The official stand-alone expansion, “Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon” immerses you into even more high-powered battles of World War II. Offering a huge 18-mission campaign, you will be able to fight famous battles in Ardennes, El Alamein, Normandy and many more historical locations.

Features:

* Campaign with 18 brand-new missions: Rommel’s most famous battles, including Ardennes, Tripoli, Tobruk, El Alamein, Sicily, Normandy
* Thrilling new single missions, including Singapore, Burma and Narvik/Norway
* 56 new units, including Chi Ha and Pz IV H tanks, Zero, Blenheim and Vickers Vildebeest planes, Afrika Korps, US marines and Australian infantry
* Better AI: The enemy seeks weak defense spots, doesn’t send recon planes at the beginning, clears minefields, etc.
* Wide range of mission objectives like airborne assaults, evacuations, covert ops, defense, counter attacks
* All missions are designed - no random maps
* New buildings, terrains and objects

For more information, visit the website at www.cdv-blitzkrieg.com

On the TRIBES Vengeance Beta

A forum thread on the TribalWar Forums offers details on plans for TRIBES Vengeance closed beta testing, describing the process, and pimping pre-orders as the way to raise your chances of participation from 1% to 100%:
Closed beta is simply a small link from "no beta" to the "open beta". We're using it to iron out major issues, and get the game to the level of stability required before starting open beta. There are certain issues you simply don't want to try to fix while 50,000 people are bitching that they can't play. Closed beta will let us fix all of those early.

Closed beta will be very small. We've had over 10,000 people register for the beta so far, and there doesn't seem to be a slowdown in sight. We will have less than 250 total openings in the closed beta until the Tribal-Wars LAN in late July. Of those, I've already filled about 100, which leaves 150 for those of you who are still hoping to get in. With my current database, that gives you less than a 1.5% chance of being selected. By the end of the week I estimate that your chances will go down to well below 1%.

However, if you want to take part in the beta there is a way you can have a 100% chance of getting in. Go to your local EBGames, or GameStop and pre-order (Marweas did it at Software Etc for $5) and then register for the Tribal-Wars LAN. Bring your receipt and you'll get a beta CD and you'll be in. I highly suggest that you do this now, because once the T-Ws spots fill up you won't have any way to get into the beta.

Morning Q&As

  • Call of Duty
    The Call of Duty Q&A on FileFront talks with Vince Zampella of Infinity Ward discussing how Call of Duty turned out and about plans to expand the World War II shooter franchise going forward.
  • Sigil Games
    OGR interview with Sigil President soon announces plans to sit down with Brad McQuaid of Sigil Games for a streaming audio interview live this evening at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

Dear Diaries

The Bard's Tale Developer Diary Vol. IV on GameSpy is written by inXile lead engineer John Alvardo, answering the proverbial musical question, as he "tells us tales of crafting the karaoke ball that bounces from word to word during the music for The Bard's Tale." Also, RPG Vault's The Fall - Last Days of Gaia Diary #4 is online, authored by Jan Jordan art director on the following topic: "How did the look of Silver Style's post-apocalyptic RPG come about?"

Morning Previews

UT2004 FragOps

The Frag.Ops Website now features the new version 1.36 of the FragOps modification for Unreal Tournament 2004. Word on the new release is that there are known issues remaining, and bugs should be reported in the bug forums, and a patch is expected shortly.

Competitions

CS-Nation is now running a Condition Zero card drawing, awarding some trading cards from Ritual Entertainment for the Counter-Strike game, including some with autographs from the developers.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Sure enough, temperatures hit about a million degrees around here yesterday. Among other things, I am seriously considering checking out Gila Window Films, a product to address this recommended by Enahs (there are just a few small attic-type windows up here, but any little bit helps). Even then the AC up here will clearly remain a few BTUs shy of what's required... at one point yesterday I started seeing mirages.

Links of the Day: Amazon.com Customer Reviews: Henckels Birch Cutting Board. Thanks Mister Wight.
Stories of the Day: Holsters recalled for causing guns to fire accidentally.
Now, currency for extra-terrestrial trade.
Should Doctors Help With Executions? No Easy Ethical Answer (registration required).
Science!: Embryos Yield New Stem Cell Lines.
Research: Brain genes start to slow at 40.
Riemann hypothesis proved?
Follow-ups: Risky descent planned for Mars crater.
Thanks Mike Martinez
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