Archived News:

Saturday, Sep 17, 2005

Red Shark 2 Demo

A Red Shark 2 demo is now available, as the Games Convention press demo from G5's alternate-history World War II helicopter sequel is now released to the public. The game lets you do combat in two different missions in your choice of three helicopters. The 140 MB download is available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Quake II as an MMOG

alphaWorks OptimalGrid Overview has middleware code to operate Quake II as an MMOG, the latest fruits of efforts at IBM to facilitate games, in this case Quake II, on a grid of servers (story). Here's what they sent along about this:
OptimalGrid is a self-contained middleware designed for developers to create grid-enabled parallel applications without themselves becoming experts in grid or high-performance computing (article). The Linux compatible middleware now includes automatic distribution and provisioning on to Grid nodes. See how the first release of Quake II was made massively multi-player by running on a Grid. Get modified Quake II from Sourceforge to run with OptimalGrid and let the massive Grid games begin.

Site Seeing

The RF Online Website is online as home to Codemasters' upcoming edition of John Fogerty and CCR's MMORPG. The site also offers newsletter signups along with info on the game and the first look at the westernized edition of the game in a prologue video "combining stunning in-game visuals with beautifully rendered sequences." The video is on this downloads page (registration required) and mirrored on 3D Gamers, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Saturday Matinee

There are a million mutant stories in the Marvel universe, and we may get a movie for each of them before development of X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse is complete. Another four clips from Raven's upcoming superhero sequel are now available on 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, GameSpot, and Worthplaying. Also, there's another movie from The Movies, showing off more of Lionhead's upcoming cinema simulation. The clip can be found on 3D Gamers, FileFront,, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Saturday Q&As

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II
    The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II Q&A on GameSpot features Mike Verdu answering fan-submitted questions about the upcoming strategy sequel: "We're creating a bigger, richer, deeper Lord of the Rings strategy game that will immerse you, transport you, and enchant you as you experience the Middle-earth you've never seen. You'll fight epic battles in new places with new armies led by new heroes. You'll experience unprecedented depth of strategy with innovative RTS features that combine creativity and strategy. You'll see Middle-earth like never before with visuals that hit a new bar."
  • Dungeon Siege II
    IGN's Dungeon Siege II Post-Mortem Q&A offers a postmortem with Chris Taylor on Gas Powered Games' RPG sequel: "The original design doc evolved as the game was developed, and in the end, we came pretty darn close. The thing is, just implementing something from a design doc is a small part of the game development process, much more of it happens in the overall consciousness of the team…many people on the team, I am sure, had things they wanted to accomplish (as is the case on every project), but will have to wait until an expansion pack, or another version to bring those ideas to life."
  • Tycoon City: New York
    The Tycoon City: New York Q&A on Boomtown gets down to business with Paul Howarth of Deep Red Games about their upcoming mogul simulator: "We wanted to give players as much freedom of movement in the Story mode as possible without time or mission constraints, that’s why there’s no in-game timer ticking down while you’re desperately trying to complete an objective with the dreaded ‘Game Over’ screen looming large if you fail. Even though there are a set number of objectives the player must complete in order for them to progress to the next district in the game they can tackle those objectives in any order they choose and take as much time as they like with them."
  • Phantasy Star Online
    GameSpy's Phantasy Star Universe Q&A talks with Sega at the TGS about the upcoming Phantasy Star game: "The biggest difference between PSO and PSU is that PSU puts a lot of emphasis on the story. It's a very story-based RPG. What we did was go back to the roots of what makes a great RPG, and listened to the fans. We first wanted to drill down on the story and use that as a foundation, and as a result you will get to experience over 40 hours of a robust, extensive offline mode. On top of that, PSU offers an online mode. The biggest difference between PSO and PSU in online mode is the lobby setup. In PSU, you now have an unlimited amount of space called a city. It's not just a lobby anymore; it's an entire city we built up."
  • Simulations
    SimHQ's Developers Roundtable - The Future of Simulations - Part 5 concludes this feature that's allowed several simulation developers to sound off about the future of the genre.
  • Getting Up
    The Marc Ecko's Contents Under Pressure Q&A on Game Chronicles discusses the upcoming graffiti game with its namesake designer: "This is not a graffiti simulator; it is about making graf as integral to the story development as the characters themselves. We went to great lengths to make this a rich graffiti experience, bringing in over 60 well-known artists to help create 1,000+ art assets that can be unlocked, added to your blackbook and placed throughout the game. We also have six legendary writers, from Cope 2 to T-Kid, who lent their voices and likenesses to the game and who serve as mentors to Trane, teaching him various tools and techniques in order to advance his skills from a toy, or beginner, to All City King. "
  • Vanguard
    The Q&A with Darrin McPherson on Vanguard at Ten Ton Hammer talks about the Paladin class in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Sigil's MMORPG: "As a protective fighter, the Paladin will be on equal footing with the Warrior, Inquisitor and the Dread Knight when it comes to tanking abilities. At that point the classes diverge into more specialized niches. The Paladin’s secondary jobs are group based buffs and heals. The Paladin also has access to Gifts of Virtue and gains Virtue Points that govern their use. Gifts of Virtue are powerful spells with varying effects – The Paladin’s first Gift of Virtue is (predictably) Lay on Hands, a powerful, instant cast heal."
  • Horizons
    The Horizons Q&A on Ten Ton Hammer talks with Jason Murdick of Tulga Games about their MMORPG: "Horizons is in a state of improvement right now. Over the last eight to ten months we’ve been working hard to fix bugs, complete some of the things we have said would be in long ago, and establish a foundation on which new players to the game would enjoy themselves, while attempting to add content for the long-term players to keep them coming back."
  • Keepsake
    An Exclusive Q&A With Yves Bordeleau, President of Wicked Studios, Re "Keepsake" on AdventureDot@RPGDot and RPG Vault's Keepsake Q&A - Part 1 with Yves Bordeleau and Bruno Parenteau each discuss the upcoming RPG.

Dear Diaries has an open letter from Andrew Prokhorov with a status report on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, GSC Game World's long-in-development first-person shooter. Also, the F.E.A.R. Designer Diary #1 on GameSpot is titled "A Study of Smart AI, Part I" as told by the Monolith Staff. Finally, RPG Vault's RF Online Peek #4 is online, as "Publisher Codemasters' Michael Rowland tells us about a central focus of play in CCR's game, the combat element."

FF XI to Expand Again

Final Fantasy XI expands again on GameSpot has word from the Tokyo Games Show on plans for a third Final Fantasy XI expansion, though details on the add-on for Square-Enix's MMORPG are scant at this point:
Treasures of Aht Urhgan will be the third expansion for the game following Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia. It's unclear at the moment which platforms Treasures of Aht Urhgan is expected to be on and when, but considering that cross-platform versions of Final Fantasy XI are compatible with the same servers, a simultaneous release is likely. Such was the case with the game's most recent expansion, Chains of Promathia.

Saturday Previews

  • Age Of Empires III on IGN. Saved from falling between the cracks by Frans.
  • American Conquest: Divided Nation on IGN.
  • Bad Day L.A. on IGN.
  • Black & White 2 on Yahoo! Video Games.
  • Blitzkrieg II on GameShark.
  • Cold War on GameShark.
  • Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion on IGN. Faction Feature; The Sassanids.

UC: A World Apart Patch

This BATTLECRUISER Online Downloads Page now offers downloads of a new patch for Universal combat: A World Apart, updating 3000AD's latest UC game to version 1.00.06. The UCAWA Version Control File outlines what's changed.

Saturday Screenshots

Half-Life 2 Dystiopia Demo Patch

The Dystopia Website has a patch for the demo version of this Half-Life 2 modification, addressing some bugs. There is a new Windows client along with new Windows and Linux servers.

Help Wanted

The Flying Lab Software Jobs Page now has a listing for a Mission Designer for Pirates of the Burning Sea, their upcoming MMORPG.

Saturday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It's the damn ripple effect. Or the butterfly effect. Or something. Anyway, I managed to get caught after midnight again. Let's do the time warp again!...

Overnight Links: Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Stories: When You're Fighting, You're Family.
Man breaks record for watching TV. Thanks j.c.f. A proud day.
California bans school junk food.
Science: Study Attributes Stronger Storms to Warmer Seas (registration required).
Cassini Probe Spies Spokes in Saturn's Rings. Something has to hold them up!
Portugal to build world's largest solar power station.
Images: Something Awful's Doctored Movie and TV Shows.
Follow-ups: More strong Katrina-like hurricanes reported.
Global warming 'past the point of no return'. Thanks Filekutter and Slashdot.
White House Backs NASA Plan for Vehicles (registration required).
Nobel winners urge educators to back evolution.
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