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Monday, Dec 06, 2004


New C&C: Red Alert Game

We received a couple of forwarded copies of a note EA is apparently sending out to old school C&C fans (thanks ASLayerAODsk and kelmar5), revealing that the dream of a continuation of the Red Alert series is at hand. Here's the deal:

Hi everyone,
I hope everyone is enjoying one of the best years ever for PC gaming.

On the eve of one of our own major releases, The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™, the one thing we've grown to understand is how important the community - our most loyal supporters - is for industry. This started back in our days at Westwood where the community for our games has always been a big priority. We understand that you are the most important and influential group for us and we are constantly amazed at the amount of talent used to create quality assets and mods.

Having said that, we have a MAJOR announcement to make and we are making it exclusively to our long time C&C fans. This announcement is not going out to the press and it won't appear on the EA website or anywhere else online. We are very proud to announce that the team that brought you Command & Conquer™ Red Alert 2™, Command & Conquer™ Yuri's Revenge™, and Command & Conquer™ Generals has officially started work on our next project set in the Red Alert universe!

As I mentioned, we're very proud to ship what we feel is one of the best RTS games ever released. Most of you have probably heard of The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ which hits stores this week. We've introduced some really innovative features and gameplay mechanics, which you should definitely check out when you get a chance. You will also see a major enhancement to the Sage graphics engine we originally created for Command & Conquer Generals. Expect us to leverage and continue to evolve this powerful engine as we start work on our new Command & Conquer game.

Thanks again for all your support over the years. This entire team is incredibly excited to work on the next Command & Conquer chapter. Look for an official announcement soon and have a wonderful holiday.

Mark Skaggs
VP and Executive Producer
Electronic Arts

Evening Q&A

  • UFO Aftershock
    UFO Aftershock Q&A on talks with ALTAR Interactive's Jiri Rydl about their strategy game sequel: "One of the most important changes made in the battlefield is the ability to go inside buildings. You can for instance climb on the roof and sniper aliens below or barricade your squad inside an abandoned factory and defend your position from attacking creatures. There is also much wider opportunity to change tactical situation by destroying environment like cars or walls. You can blow up a wall with an alien behind it in UFO: Aftershock! I believe the missions won’t be boring for the players this time."

Nexus - The Jupiter Incident German Patch

A new German patch for Nexus - The Jupiter Incident is now available, updating this edition of the space combat game to version 1.01. The patch is a 22 MB download, available on 3D Gamers.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

SÖLDNER Add-on, Beta

The Official SÖLDNER: Secret Wars Website offers news of plans for an add-on for SÖLDNER: Secret Wars, Wings Simulations' first-person shooter, while also announcing that they will begin accepting applications this week for entree into the expansion's closed beta testing (thanks Frans). No details whatsoever are provided about the add-on, though they do offer age and system requirements for testers: Age of 18, Broadband Internet Connection, 2 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM and a GeForce 3 equivalent video card.

Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth Ships

'The Lord of the Rings' Fans Rise Up! EA Ships The Lord of The Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth has news that the Real-Time Strategy game based on the Lord of the Rings movies is now available in stores. Here's a bit:

Choose your army! Gondor, Rohan, Mordor and Isengard are available and awaiting your command. Each with their own distinct heroes, strengths, and weaknesses, the battle for Middle-earth has commenced and players must lead their chosen army to victory. Prepare for war by creating offensive and defensive strategies set in the memorable battle locations taken straight from the big screen. The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth brings the stunning visuals and sounds of the films directly to the PC with extensive use of the movie's digital assets, film clips musical score, and voiceover from the real actors.

Updated UT2K4 EULA

Epic Games has released an updated End-User License Agreement (EULA) for Unreal Tournament 2004. The new agreement has updated cheating rules and Divx & OC3 license information. Included is word for those who make modifications that they are now free to make use of the assets from prior Unreal Games:

We just LOVE the idea of you using and distributing content from any prior Epic Games, Unreal franchise game in Unreal Tournament 2004 Mod. Therefore we grant you a license to use to use content any prior Epic Games Unreal franchise game in Unreal Tournament 2004 Mods. For the sake of clarity you will not gain any ownership whatsoever in any Epic content nor can you use any Epic content outside the scope of the rights granted here. Any attempt to do so will bring about the wrath of our attorneys.

Euro City of Heroes Beta Sign-ups Soon

The European City of Heroes Website has news that sign-ups will begin soon to beta test the European edition of City of Heroes, NCsoft's superhero MMORPG. This is to keep folks informed since their "over-zealous PR agency" jumped the gun announcing that sign-ups would begin today. Word is: "However, I can tell you right now, with a prevailing wind, all the luck in the world and providing everyone joins their hands together and chants “I believe in Beta” then you’ll be able to put in your application for a Beta Test place this week."

Free Knight Online Follow-up

Major MMORPG Knight Online Announces Official U.S. Launch and Revolutionary 'Free2play' With Unlimited Playing Time (thanks Frans) has further details on the recently announced plan to offer access to the Knight Online MMORPG (story). Word is: "Both existing and new players will have complete access to all the current features of the game as well as all future updates and expansion packages. For die-hard fans of Knight Online who wish to further enrich their experience, Knight Online offers Premium and Ultra Premium option for higher hit rates, increased player abilities, access to special weapons, and many other benefits."

Morning Q&As

  • Pirates!'s Pirates! Q&A (thanks Frans) talks with Sid Meier about his just-released Pirates! remake as well as what else is going on at Firaxis: "Dinosaurs was a cool idea, but we just couldn't find a way to make it really fun. We've got a bunch of great game ideas that we want to bring to life over the next several years. Right now we're working on finishing up Pirates! for the Xbox, we're developing Civilization IV and we've got a couple other games in development that we'll tell you about soon."
  • Dark & Light
    The Dark and Light Q&A #2 on MM Hell talks with Stephane Quilichini, lead designer on the upcoming MMORPG: "An open beta is unlikely because we have such a massive database of beta testers already registered. We hope our fans will keep following our beta test (and other) news, especially in December."
  • Ashen Empires
    There's an Ashen Empires Q&A on HomeLAN Fed talks with Bill "Show me the" Money of Iron Will Games about the recently announced plan for them to take over operations of Ashen Empires: "Over the next 6 months we intend Ashen Empires to be the premier value-brand MMO. We will continue to add content and features to bring the game to the level that surpasses our competition (right now I would say Ultima Online is still the king of lower-end machine spec’d MMO’s). We also want to take some risks and experiment with some new types of gameplay. For example we have been working out plans for a new type of game server that is a month-long, winner take all, perma-death and accelerated experience competition."
  • The Universal
    There are Universal Q&As on Gamers Infos and Experience Gaming each talking with Steve Fenton about the upcoming indie MMORPG. This is from the former: "In terms of the overall progression of the game... at the moment, we are totally unfunded. All game development, website development, hosting etc is done in our spare time and paid for by the development team and donations from players. As we develop the game further and grow the player base we'd hope to attract interest from a financial backer - maybe a software publisher, independent investor or an ISP - so we can concentrate on full-time development of new features - in particular, the tools and content that'll make it easier for players to own their own world in the universe. The game is, and always will be, free to play; but we plan to sell worlds (servers) in the future, probably for a monthly subscription, once we have built all the support systems etc to provide a proper service."
  • Guild Wars
    The latest Guild Wars Fansite Friday on TenTonHammer offers the latest weekly Q&A on the topic of Guild Wars, ArenaNet's upcoming MMORPG.
  • Seth Able Robinson
    DIY Games' Sitdown With Seth Able Robinson talks with the programmer behind the BBS Door game Legend Of The Red Dragon as well as titles like Teenage Lawnmower, Dungeon Scroll, and Dink Smallwood.
  • Year in Review
    HomeLAN Fed's Jim Brown Q&A talks with the multi-talented individual about his third career (he's already the NFL's second all-time leading rusher and Godfather of Soul) at Epic Games and his thoughts on this year in gaming.

Morning Preview

  • Lock On: Modern Air Combat (v1.1) Flaming Cliffs on SimHQ.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Game Guidance

There's a Templar Guide on TenTonHammer offering class-specific tips for EverQuest II.

Monday Game Reviews

Monday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Remember I joked how it may have been an act of cruelty to watch the Giants game with the older Smurf when we were babysitting? Well obviously it was, and yesterday I got a phone call from him because he was in tears over the outcome of the game... it will take him a while to learn that losing is part of the game in sports. Of course I was in tears too, so I'm probably not the one to teach this lesson.

Links of the Day: Half Life 2 deathmatch bug screenshots. Thanks Spawnflagger.
Stories of the Day: Internet Connects Strangers in Cyber Suicide Pacts. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Museum unveils replica of new dinosaur. I didn't know there still were new dinosaurs!
Science!: Icelandic Tin Bath Could Give Earthquake Warnings.
Cell-Tower Emission Risks Probed.
Does shampoo pose risk to pregnant women?
Media of the Day: Coyote in the TNT Shack (Looney Tunes reference). Thanks Dagok.
Auction of the Day: SMALL BAG OF TOENAILS AND FINGERNAILS Charity. Thanks Jagman.
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.

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