Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005

Game Movies

The X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse Website introduces two more characters, Cyclops and Lady Deathstrike, offering screenshots and wallpapers for each and a gameplay video of the former. Also, a new Law & Order Criminal Intent movie is online, showing off the upcoming television-inspired crime and punishment game. The clip is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying. Finally, the Buka Entertainment Website now features a new gameplay trailer showing off Hard Truck Tycoon (thanks Frans).

Ships Ahoy - Falcon 4.0: Allied Force

This Lead Pursuit Press Release announces the availability of Falcon 4.0: Allied Force, the latest version of the combat flight simulator with similar longevity to the F-16 fighter upon which it is based. Word is:
Falcon 4.0: Allied Force, the successor of Falcon 4.0, is an advanced F-16 combat flight simulator for the PC. The player takes on the role of a pilot flying a multitude of missions in either the Balkans Theater of Operations or the Korean Theater of Operations in a fully dynamic, evolving war.

Evening Q&As

  • Fahrenheit
    Turning Up The Heat on Eurogamer is a Q&A with David Cage of Quantic Dream about Fahrenheit, their upcoming thriller game that's also known as Indigo Prophecy: "Fahrenheit is the real title of the game. It refers to a very important character in the game: cold. The game was renamed "Indigo Prophecy" by Atari for the US. I guess they were concerned that some people may get confused with Michael Moore's movie "Fahrenheit 9/11". This is definitely not the title I would have chosen…"
  • Star Wars: Empire at War
    The Star Wars: Empire at War Q&A on Gamer's Hell talks with Dave Silverstein, assistant producer on the upcoming Star Wars RTS game: "Having worked on the C&C and Red Alert series has been of tremendous help with developing Star Wars: Empire at War. First, it allows Petroglyph to avoid repeating mistakes or taking the wrong approach to solving a problem since they’ve already dealt with the issue before and know what works and what doesn't. Secondly, developing Empire at War let them start afresh without having to deal with legacy code. This combination of game development experience combined with the freedom to create the game from scratch is very powerful. And, most importantly, Petroglyph is passionate about RTS gaming and greatly enjoys Star Wars. Combined, these serve to mold the development for Empire at War."
  • Hero's Journey
    MMORPG.COM's Hero's Journey Q&A #2 chats with Erick Slick of Simutronics about development on their MMORPG: "Our research told us people wanted to be able to play together with their friends as much as possible, regardless of level. So, we’ve developed something that allows players to play together without worrying as much about differences in their levels. This unique approach sets HJ apart from the way MMORPGs usually handle level advancement and grouping. The formula for how we accomplish this is still one of our closely guarded secrets. The basic idea, though, involves dynamically adjusting the challenges to the composition of the groups and a mechanism for bridging level differences within a group by normalizing the effective level of each character (within certain parameters and limitations)."
  • Irth Online
    RPG Vault's Irth Online Team Q&A #3 pulls some answers out of Magic Hat about their upcoming MMORPG, inquiring about enjoyable moments in play testing, and proudest personal contributions to the game.
  • Fate
    The Fate Q&A on RPGDot talks with Travis Baldree about WildTangent's RPG: "The main goals were to make a fun game that was easily accessible, replayable, and surprisingly deep (for my market) in under 6 months. I also wanted to push as far beyond the expectations for a 20 dollar downloadable game as possible, to see if I could make it really stand out. I think we hit the mark - so far the response has been great. Players have been having fun, and are replaying the game, and we even have a little mod community springing up."
  • Cartoon Racer
    Enter the world of light and entertaining online racing with Cartoon Racer talks with OnGameNet about their upcoming multiplayer racing game that will allow you to get in touch with your inner Dick Dastardly.

Evening Previews

Galley Battles Announced

This Shrapnel Games Press Release announces Galley Battles: From Salamis to Actium, "an exciting turn-based computer game covering the very early days of naval warfare." Here's a bit:
Rubio and lead artist Ruben Zubillaga), Galley Battles: From Salamis to Actium is expected to ship summer of 2006 and will be available for the Windows and Linux operating systems. It will also be the first multi-lingual game published by Shrapnel, with gamers being able to play in either English, Spanish, or Catalan.

Galley Battles: From Salamis to Actium is classic hex and turn based wargaming while taking advantage of everything a computer can offer a wargamer. Scale-wise each hex represents 50 meters, a turn will be about five minutes, and each ship will be represented individually. Maps can be as big as 512 x 512 hexes, and battles can involve as many as five hundred ships!

Evening Screenshots

etc, etc.

Into the Black

I've pondered it for so long... when the title came to me, I figured I had to give it at least one try.

Evening Reading Links! Thanks Mike Martinez, Ant, and EvilToast.
Play Time: Legend of the Green Dragon.
Links: Google Earth. Thanks Scatterblak.
Astromech.net.
Stories: Somebody's sure to notice this... Thanks ASLayerAODsk.
Keeping It (Un)real.
Irish Man Fails to Set World Bee Record.
Science! Deep Impact.
Roadmap to unravelling autism revealed.
Image: Blue's News Glued. Thanks Jim.
Media: Pulp Fiction in 30 Seconds (and reenacted by bunnies). Thanks Sharon.

BlizzCon Festival Announced

The Blizzard Entertainment Website has details on BlizzCon™, the very first Blizzard convention. Here's word:
Blizzard Entertainment®, Inc. is proud to announce the very first Blizzard Convention, to take place on October 28 & 29 in Orange County, California. BlizzCon™ is a celebration of our Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises and the players who have helped make them so popular around the world. Attendees can look forward to a variety of events, including participating in question and answer panels with the developers of World of Warcraft® and StarCraft: Ghost™, playing Blizzard games live with friends, and watching the world's best Warcraft III and StarCraft pro-gamers compete in the BlizzCon Invitational tournament. Further details and information about ticket sales will be posted in the days ahead on www.blizzard.com.

WHAT: BlizzCon will be an ideal event for gamers from around the world to meet each other, participate in live Q&A's with Blizzard developers, and share their passion for their favorite Blizzard games. WHO: Gamers who enjoy playing any of the games developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

WHERE: Orange County, California. Exact location to be announced at a later date.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, 2005. The event begins at 8 a.m. PDT on both days.

AMD Sues Intel

AMD Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel reports an antitrust lawsuit filed by Advanced Micro Devices versus Intel:
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel Corp., accusing its market-dominating competitor of forcing customers into exclusive deals to keep them from buying AMD microprocessors.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleges Intel has bullied 38 companies, including large-scale computer-makers, wholesale distributors and retailers, to secure a monopoly in the highly competitive x86 microprocessor market.

The microprocessors run the Microsoft Windows, Solaris and Linux families of operating systems. Santa Clara-based Intel's current market share of x86 microprocessors is about 80 percent of worldwide sales by unit volume and 90 percent by revenue.

"Everywhere in the world, customers deserve freedom of choice and the benefits of innovation — and these are being stolen away in the microprocessor market," said Hector Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of the Sunnyvale-based AMD.

He added that "people from Osaka to Frankfurt to Chicago pay the price in cash every day for Intel's monopoly abuses."

An Intel representative could not be reached before business hours Tuesday.

Ships Ahoy - Fantastic Four

Fantastic 4 Video Game Premieres at Retail Stores Nationwide (thanks Frans) has word that the game based on the imminent movie based on "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" is now hitting stores:
SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Marvel's first family of Super Heroes is taking the video game world by storm with the release of Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI - News) Fantastic 4, which is currently available in retail stores nationwide. Based on Twentieth Century Fox's highly anticipated "Fantastic 4" feature film, the team-based action adventure game lets players take on the role of Marvel Super Heroes, Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and Ben Grimm/The Thing and master each character's powers -- stretching, invisibility, shooting fire and leveling superhuman attacks -- to overcome the evil Doctor Doom.
"Fantastic 4 lets gamers relive the action and excitement of one of the summer's most anticipated films, from the plot to the locations to the actors," said Kathy Vrabeck, president, Activision Publishing. "Players also experience more than the film in a completely original storyline that expands the Super Heroes' universe through exclusive game missions and environments."

Site Seeing

A new Pacific Storm Website is online, dedicated to Lesta Studios' upcoming World War II game (thanks GameSpot and Mike Martinez). The site includes info and a collection of screenshots. Also, a new Blitzkrieg II Website is online (thanks Frans), though it offers the same basic content as the old Blitzkrieg Website.

Another Sin II Puzzle

LegionPharma (thanks Jackson) has a new press release online, offering another puzzle teasing what we are assuming is an eventual announcement of Sin II. In addition to the press release, the site also now lists a new job opening which will likewise provide a challenge for you cryptography skills.

Morning Q&As

  • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
    There's an in-house Q&A on the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter Website (thanks Frans) and the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter Q&A on Computer and Video Games each discussing the upcoming third installment in the Ghost Recon series with producer Mathieu Girard: ""In the PC version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter we will develop the tactical aspect further than in the other versions, because this approach best fits this platform and we know that all Ghost Recon fans are expecting to be able to plan their team's actions on the battlefield. That's why we are implementing exclusive features for the Tactical Map of the game. With this tool, the planning phase can now happen at any time in the game (at least when you're safe enough!). That also means that you'll be able to change your plans if things do not go as planned, just like real soldiers do. We feel this is an ideal balance between strategy and improvisation. Also the PC version will provide many other improvements and tweaks to make it fit the expectations of our audience."
  • TOCA Race Driver 3
    The TOCA Race Driver 3 Q&A on Boomtown is a chat with Gavin Raeburn about the next installment in the racing series: "The damage for the engine is one area we've improved in RD3. The water and oil simulation is more realistic, and now the radiators can blow, engine overheat, etc. We've also done some work on improving the aerodynamics and downforce model relating to the damage. For instance, losng [sic] a wing is a serious thing when you're in a high-downforce open-wheeler, and not so much in a hatchback."
  • rFactor
    The rFactor Website (thanks Frans) now features a new in-house Q&A on the upcoming racing simulator: "The multiplayer code is very good in my opinion. It is the vanilla client and server model that has been around for years, but I think it is the best way to run racing games and allows for server-side processing protections. rFactor does a lot of verifications to ensure that the racing is fair that would not be as trustable with a different model."
  • Monster Madness
    Prodigious Gaming's Monster Madness Q&A and Gamecloud's Monster Madness Q&A each talk with Jeremy Stieglitz of Artificial Studios about their upcoming Reality engine top-down action game: "Monster Madness is intended to have a "pick up and play" design. That is, you don't need to be an expert sniper to play the game, or necessarily be a master of circle strafing. While the game supports a wide-range of skill levels on increasing difficulty levels, its control scheme and presentation are meant to be as accessible as possible and support intuitive multiplayer. We felt a top-down perspective best suited that approach, and supports good cooperative play without having to split the screen."
  • Distribution
    Gamecloud's Distribution Revolution Q&A kicks off a series on game distribution by talking with Doug Lombardi of Valve about the ever-changing world of game distribution: "There's no doubt that consoles account for a huge part of the total gaming platform. However predictions that the Windows gaming platform is on the verge of extinction are usually based on reports of retail sales and do not account for any of the many other revenue streams available from PC-MMRPG subscription fees, Steam sales, OEM sales, etc."

Game Movies

A new movie showing off The Godfather is online, showing off the upcoming game based on the gangster films. The clip is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, and GameSpot. Also, a Voodoo Nights trailer is online, showing off Mindware Studios' upcoming third-person shooter. The clip is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Tiscali Games, and Worthplaying.

LEGO Star Wars Video Issue

Agent_X7 sends along a warning for NVIDIA users who have upgraded to the latest drivers required by Battlefield 2 that they are impeding their ability to play LEGO Star Wars. Here is the explanation he received from Eidos technical support:
If you are running an Nvidia video card with the latest driver version (77.72), then Lego Star Wars will crash with the "Failed to create d3d device" error. You will need to download and install the previous Nvidia driver to run this game. The link below will take you to the download page for Nvidia's previous driver version 71.89. Download it and install it per the instructions on the download page. Click the link :Driver Installation Hints Document". Once you have installed the 71.89 version, Lego Star Wars should run.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

The Mod Squads

The Samurai Legends Official Homepage has a producer's letter with the latest on development of this upcoming multiplayer third-person modification for Half-Life 2. The update describes the response to the project's first public showing and plans to kick off closed beta testing this week.

Game Guidance

RPG Vault's World of Warcraft Tips #30 is back with more kibitzing for Blizzard's MMORPG, offering an outline of the Deadmines dungeon and suggestions for arming your rogue.

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

The epic saga of my office air conditioner, like any good epic saga, continues. The odd 240V plug on this air conditioner contains a breaker similar to those GFCI plugs on things that are used outdoors, but rather than tripping on ground circuit faults, this is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. This AFCI is something I have never heard of before, and though I have been able to find info on these devices on the web, the electrician had never heard of one before either. The reason we asked the electrician about this is because it is repeatedly tripping, so he visited yesterday, and couldn't find anything. He suggests we call the manufacturer to determine if there is a problem with the breaker itself, but the more I read about these devices, the more I grow concerned that the electrician hasn't even heard of them, nor was he familiar with the reason for their existence (it is estimated that such devices could prevent some 40,000 fires a year). Apparently an AFCI repeatedly tripping indicates some faulty wiring, so this is a cause for genuine concern. It's just not clear how to proceed... we may just need a new electrician.

R.I.P.: Voices behind Tigger, Piglet die.

Tripping the Links! Thanks Mike Martinez, Ant, and EvilToast.
Play Time: Yellow Snow. Thanks Kevin.
Tessellate!!
Stories of the Day: Man: Flesh-eating aliens were chasing me when I caused fatal car crash. Beating even the Twinkie defense.
Hot enough for ya?
Bogus spy convicted for kidnap and theft.
Science! Regular vitamin C does not prevent colds.
Many Americans believe cancer myths, survey finds.
Classic Wimbledon hides high-tech gadgets.
Media of the Day: King Kong Trailer.
Follow-ups: Remembrance of Things Future - The Mystery of Time (registration required).
Space Ring Could Combat Global Warming.
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