Archived News:

Tuesday, Oct 12, 2004 National Gumbo Day (USA)

Chrome: SpecForce Announced

Techland sends along the brief announcement, or perhaps pre-announcement, that work is underway on a follow-up to Chrome, their science fiction first-person shooter:
Techland has announced the release of its new product - Chrome: SpecForce.
The game will be a futuristic tactical shooter with a plot connected to already known Chrome. Game development has been underway for some time now, but all that is known so far is that the game will be using a modernized Chrome Engine.

Ships Ahoy - SuperPower 2

DreamCatcher announces the North American availability of SuperPower 2, the strategy sequel that helps you get in touch with your inner megalomaniac. Here's a bit:
In SuperPower 2 regular citizens are given Presidential powers as they seek world domination, but in order to be successful, players will need intelligence, political-savvy and a touch of shrewdness. Digital dictators will build up their own countries and increase influence in the broader world while competing against a sophisticated A.I. They will also have to master economic sanctions, political alliances, and military actions to wage battles. The craftiest gamers are able to fine-tune each country’s performance, from creating or breaking treaties, to making strategic decisions in particular military conflicts.

SuperPower 2 is developed by Canadian studio, GolemLabs, whose original SuperPower sold more than 200,000 units. The game has an ESRB rating of ‘T’ for Teen in North America and “3+ PEGI” in Europe. This title will begin shipping to European retailers on October 27th.

Kong Approaches

Ubisoft announces plans for a King Kong game "on all platforms" (Commodore 64 owners rejoice), set for release next holiday season along with the Peter Jackson monster movie remake upon which it will be based:
SAN FRANCISCO – October 12, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest interactive video game publishers, and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group today announced plans to release an interactive game based on Universal Pictures’ upcoming motion picture adventure, King Kong. The game will be available worldwide on all platforms at the beginning of the holiday season in conjunction with the December 14, 2005 theatrical release of the movie.

Triple Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) brings his sweeping cinematic vision to the iconic story of the gigantic ape-monster captured in the wild and brought to civilization where he meets his tragic fate. Jackson assumes directing, producing and co-screenwriting duties and surrounds himself with a list of superlative filmmaking and acting talents.

Working very closely with Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films, Ubisoft’s prized Beyond Good & Evil development team and award-winning Montreal studio - some of the interactive game industry’s most creative designers - are creating a game in their Montpellier studio in the South of France that will reflect the visual interpretation, character dynamics and dramatic narrative of Jackson's epic film.

Serge Hascoet, Executive Director, Worldwide Content Strategy for Ubisoft stated: “Through this creative association, Ubisoft shows its growing dedication to bringing intense emotions inspired by the movie industry to interactive games. In the King Kong game, players will be able to experience all the power, drama and emotion of the film thanks to the interactive possibilities provided by the game.”

“I’m really enjoying the collaboration with these artists, and all the creative possibilities we’re discovering,” said Peter Jackson. “By working closely with the development team, Ubisoft is enabling me to help shape the kind of gaming experience that I will be proud to associate with this new version of King Kong, a story that began my life-long love of film.”

Act of War Testing

Atari's Betatests.net is now accepting sign-ups from those interested in beta testing Act of War: Direct Action, Eugen System's "near-future military strategy experience." Word is: "Act of War™: Direct Action takes you through a frightening and believable reality filled with suspense, international intrigue and geopolitical military conflict, wrapped in a top-quality strategy gaming experience." Thanks Frans.

New Painkiller Demo

The promised third single-player demo for Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell is now available, offering a sample of People Can Fly's first-person shooter, updated through the latest version of the game engine. The updated demo is a 181 MB download, available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, ActionTrip, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, Filerush (torrent), FileShack (registration required), Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot DLX (registration required), JustGamers, Worthplaying. Here's the deal: "The demo features the latest version of the PAIN Engine and with it, the latest enhancements from the 1.35 update. In the popular 'Military Base' level, players will enjoy effects such as heat and haze distortion, light blooms, per pixel specular mapping, new shader effects and tweaks for the latest video cards. All in all, a mere taste of what the PAIN Engine will offer in the expansion pack, Painkiller: Battle out of Hell."

GTR Demo

Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines, as a playable demo for GTR is now available, offering the chance to test-drive the upcoming racing simulator from SimBin. The 215 MB download is available on this pop-up page on the official GTR Website and mirrored on 3D Gamers, 4Players.de, Boomtown (registration required), FileFront, Filerush (torrent), Gameguru Mania, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. Here's the official description:
GTR’s official demo provides the opportunity to try both the pick-up-and-play Arcade Mode as well as Semi-Pro Mode for the more experienced user. Now everybody can improve their skills at the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Lister’s Storm supercar (GT class) and Morgan’s unique Aero 8 (NGT class).

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in GTR is groundbreaking in the racing genre – your opponents will attempt to pass and re-pass you, pressure you into making mistakes and even make mistakes themselves. In the demo you are able to race against up to 19 AI opponents with no time limits.

War Dogs Revealed

The news section on the Flash-y Quicksilver Website reveals development of War Dogs, described as a "high concept genre-breaking platoon-based tactical action game," in which players control up to 30 soldiers at a time. The game is built upon the framework of Full Spectrum Leader, and described features include innovative AI, solo and multiplayer support, PC and console support, and "more action than ever before outside of a shooter." Thanks GameGossip and Frans.

Ships Ahoy - FIFA Soccer 2005

EA Kicks Off FIFA Soccer 2005 (thanks Frans) announces the release of the latest installment in the soccer/football series. The game is available for the PC, Xbox, PS2, GameCube, and GBA, with word that a mobile phone version is also now in the works.

New 3DRealms Game?

A comment on a story on Game Matters on original games (thanks GameGossip and HomeLAN Fed) has a quote from 3DRealms' Scott Miller that indicates they've got another game in the works other than Duke Nukem Forever. Here's the whole deal for now:
Id is now working on an original project, and although we're known for Duke, we also helped bring Max Payne to the market, and we're currently working on an unannounced original game, too.

Game Movies

The LucasArts KOTOR II Page (thanks Frans), now offers a new gameplay movie from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords, showing off another planet from the upcoming sci-fi) RPG sequel. The new clip, a 2 MB download, shows off the planet Korriban, and the accompanying description outlines this world's role in the Star Wars universe. Also, the final cinematic trailer for Restricted Area is now available, promoting Master Creating's upcoming role-playing game. The 10 MB download debuts on Gamer's Hell.

Trial by Wildfire

A demo/trial version of Wildfire is now available, offering the chance to check out Cat Daddy's and Global Star's fire-fighting strategy game (that has nothing, as far as we know, with the Michael Martin Murphey ballad). The trial version includes the full game, which can be played freely for an hour before continued play will require the online purchase of a license key. The 231 MB download is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot DLX (registration required), and Worthplaying. Come on, sing along with me: "She comes down from Yellow Mountain... On a dark, flat land she rides..."

Morning Q&As

  • Bioshock
    The BioShock Q&A on IGN talks with Irrational's Ken Levine about their just-announced role-playing game: "BioShock has absolutely no relation to the System Shock series in terms of the intellectual property, characters, settings etc. However, it is inspired by the open-ended design principles pioneered by Looking Glass. Irrational is dedicated to maintaining that tradition. BioShock is also being created by the majority of the team who created System Shock 2 and many of the games which helped inspire it."
  • Troika
    The Troika Q&A Part One on GameBanshee talks with Leonard Boyarsky about their yet untitled upcoming post-apocalyptic RPG: "We’re very early in the dev cycle for the new game, and right now we’re just working on the engine basics that we’d need for any RPG we’d make with this engine, whether it be a traditional Fallout style RPG or a more action oriented title. We have a few ideas for the name, but until we secure the rights to it we can’t reveal what it is."

Morning Previews

  • Children of the Nile on IGN.
  • EverQuest II on IGN.

Morning Screenshots

Competitions

The Unreal Tournament Website has the Make Something Unreal Contest Phase 4 Finalists in the category of Assault Maps. Also: Video Gamers Step Into Spotlight and World gaming triumph for UK team, each on the World Cyber Games championships (thanks Mike Martinez).

Game & Mod Development

Game Design Blogs Part I is a blog that offers an outline of some other blogs dedicated to game design and development that may serve as useful resources for others with game development aspirations.

Help Wanted

The Futrix Studios Jobs Page outlines several job openings at this newly formed developer to contribute to their upcoming first-person shooter. Futrix is now the home of former Ritual designer Thearrel "Kiltron" McKinney.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I have myself a bit of a tummy-ache this morning. I guess working through it makes up for at least one of the times in my childhood when I made one of these up in order to get out of going to school.

Link of the Day: Sims Torture Blog. Thanks Devicer. Contains foul language and simulated cruelty.
Story of the Day: Orgies are the way to ease social tensions, claims US judge. Thanks Ihya.
Police: Man staged robbery to impress wife. Thanks Bunko.
Teen found alive after 8 days in wrecked car.
Science!: People Are Human-Bacteria Hybrid.
Women 'better at holding drink'. See: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Emory chemists develop bacteria that may help decaffeinate coffee.
Images of the Day: APOD 2004 October 7 - Moon Lightning. Thanks Enahs.
Trekkie Space Badge. Thanks Ant.
Auctions of the Day: Half Life CounterStrike Cute Toys Figure Set. Thanks a-ron.
Boy's eBay con nets £45,000.
Follow-ups: DNA Pioneer Defends Stem Cell Research.
Star Wars Kid cameo in Tony Hawk game. Thanks Donovan.
U.S. Shuttles May Resume ISS Flights in May.
Thanks Mike Martinez.
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