Archived News:

Monday, Sep 20, 2004

Dear Diaries

A new Brothers in Arms Developer's Diary kicks off a new series of journals on Gearbox Software's upcoming World War II shooter. The debut entry is written by Jeff Wofford, project manager on the game, who discusses the real story behind the action in BiA, the sounds of battle, a console trigger feature, and a bit on their squad AI. Also, the UO: Samurai Empire Diary on GameSpy is on 'The Virtue of Honor' as "Evilmantis describes how the Ultima Online expansion came to add a new virtue to the Ultima universe."

Warcraft III Manual Patches

The promised downloadable versions of the new version 1.17 Warcraft III patch are now available. The Reign of Chaos patch for the various language editions of the game can be found on this Blizzard Entertainment Technical Support Page, while the assorted corresponding version 1.17 Frozen Throne patches can be found on this Blizzard Entertainment Technical Support Page. The English patches are mirrored on 3D Gamers as Blizzard's FTP seems bogged down at the moment.

Evening Previews

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Delayed

Ubisoft sends word that the release of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is delayed until March 2005 to allow for simultaneous release across all platforms:
San Francisco, California - September 20, 2004 - Ubisoft announces today that it has decided to release all platform versions of the highly anticipated Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Chaos Theory™ simultaneously in March 2005. This will allow players on Xbox®, PlayStation®2, GameCube™ and PC to discover at the same time the latest blockbuster from the Splinter Cell® brand, whose quality will be over the top as a result of the additional development time.

Warcraft III Patch now features the release of a new auto-update for Warcraft III, updating Blizzard's RTS game to version 1.17. Word on the new version is: "It contains many bug fixes and balance changes, but also adds a few new features and two new neutral Heroes! To download the patch, simply connect to Your download will begin automatically. For those who wish for an alternate method of downloading, we will post the standalone version of this patch on our FTP site as soon as it becomes available. For more information on the patch, go here."

Codename Panzers Patches

The English and Czech editions of the new version 1.09 patch for Codename Panzers are each now available (thanks Frans). Here word in the notes accompanying the Czech version. Okay, I'm kidding... here is the English note: "This patch version 1.09 repairs problems in multiplayer mode and also prevents cheating while playing online. A corresponding 'corrupt' message will appear should an attempt to cheat be made."

Dark Horizons: Lore Patches

The Dark Horizons: Lore Players Site Downloads Page has new version 1.12 patch for the Windows and MaxOS versions of the persistent world mecha game. Likewise, this page, offers downloads of the updated 1.12 version of the Dark Horizons: Lore demo. Thanks Frans.

Kohan II Demo

As promised last week (story) the demo for Kohan II: Kings of War is now available. As was announced, there's some sort of weasel-deal in place that makes this a FilePlanet (registration required) exclusive for the time being, but the sample of TimeGate's RTS sequel should be distributed freely (as any self-respecting demo should be) in a couple of days.

Valve versus Sierra

Valve vs. Vivendi Universal dogfight heats up in US District Court on GameSpot (thanks Democritus) reveals some details of a behind-the-scenes legal battle between Valve and Sierra (now part of VU Games) over Half-Life and Half-Life 2 that's been brewing for several years now. The article picks through details of a recent court filing by Valve that reveals the current state of the litigation, which has its next court date on October 8, though an actual trial is not scheduled until March 21, 2005. Included are disputes over what role Steam is to take in the game's distribution and who actually holds rights to the Half-Life intellectual property. Here's a segment that summarizes some of this:
In court filings, Sierra/VUG says that the current distribution of Half-Life 2 via Steam exceeds the scope of the current software publishing agreement between the two parties. It is apparently seeking the court's assistance in compelling Valve not to use Steam as an avenue of distribution.

On Friday, when asked if Valve was remained intent on making Half-Life 2 available to gamers via Steam, regardless of what was determined on October 8, Lombardi replied, "Yes."

Interestingly, and in spite of the ongoing legal dispute, Sierra/VUG still wants to work with Valve in the future and is asking the court via filings to force Valve to work with it on whatever is next in the development pipeline. It asks the court, in filings, "for a declaration that Sierra and VUG have the right to a fourth engine license pursuant to the terms of...the 2001 Agreement."

According to Lombardi, "We're going to meet the obligations of our current agreement."

Kult Gold

Project Three Interactive (thanks Frans) announces that Kult: Heretic Kingdoms is gold, and that 3D People's and International Hobo's fantasy RPG should be shipping to European stores on October 1. Word is: "‘Kult: Heretic Kingdoms’ combines accessible hack & slash gameplay with an engaging adventure storyline, perfect for fans of the RPG genre. The game features game mechanics for healing and character customization that set the game apart from others in the genre – easy to learn, yet rewarding to master."

Ships Ahoy - Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War

THQ Ships Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War has shipped, and Relic Entertainment's real-time strategy game based on Games Workshop's table-top series should be invading stores around the world at this very moment. Here's a bit:
In Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, players are provided the opportunity to command four highly unique races, including Humanity's finest - the Space Marines, the villainous traitors of man - the Chaos Space Marines, the savage beasts - the Orks, or the psychic and technologically advanced alien warriors - the Eldar. With each race it is vital to master their distinct abilities, weapons, and tech tree to eradicate the enemy and rule the known universe.

BioWare/Unreal Engine Q&A

HomeLAN Fed's BioWare UnrealEngine3 Q&A discusses the recent announcement that the Canadian developer is working on an Unreal-engine game (story) with joint-CEOs Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka:
All of our games are quite different yet they’re very similar in many respects – there is a core RPG layer which permits strong storytelling, character interactions, exploration and character progression. We’re currently building an RPG layer for Unreal Engine 3 to ensure that this title will have all of the great features that BioWare games are known for: a compelling story, entertaining character interactions and exploration, and strong character development aspects, and Epic has actually expressed interest in talking with us about the licensure of that RPG layer, which we own.

Morning Previews

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War on Xequted.

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Wow -- the Giants pulled off something yesterday... seven takeaways on defense is more than theft, it's grand larceny (of course it's also usually good for more than 20 points too, so it's not all good news here, but I'll take it).

Meanwhile, I had neglected mowing a lower portion of the lawn for a while before the recent hurricane-related downpours hit. Man! Once grass hits a certain height, I think you may actually be able to see it grow in the rain... I've got a section of lawn where the grass is now as tall as Hudson the wonder dog (and it's not like she's a cocker spaniel).

Links of the Day: Strong Bad Email #114. Thanks Ant.
Story of the Day: Search for the Perfect U.S. Swimming Hole.
Science!: Radical Antarctic telescope 'would outdo Hubble'.
Auction of the Day: Carmack's Ferrari Testarossa. Thanks Not the 328 Thresh won.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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