Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006

World War II Tank Commander Demo

A new WWII Tank Commander trial/demo is now available, offering the chance to try out Sylum Entertainment's arcade armored combat game. The trial only works for free for 20 minutes, after which time further play will require unlocking the game with a key code, which can be purchased online. The download is available on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Gold - Barrow Hill

Shadow Tor Studios announces that Barrow Hill is gold, and the adventure title is available to pre-order from the official website. Word is: "Barrow Hill: The eerie Cornish landscape is brought to life like never before. Arriving during the Autumn Equinox you have one night to unravel a sinister story. Explore the well-trodden pathways across the land, seek clues in almost forgotten shrines and experience the ancient force which exists in the standing stone monument known as Barrow Hill."

Site Seeing

The official WarPath Website is now online (thanks Frans). The Flash site offers a home to the upcoming science fiction shooter with screenshots, the trailer, and game information.

Dear Diary

RPG Vault's The Chronicles of Spellborn Diary #7 is online, offering further insights into Spellborn International's MMORPG through the words of a character playing the game.

Evening Q&As

  • The Godfather
    The Godfather Q&A on Worthplaying offers another conversation about the upcoming mob movie game: "Each class has a set of discrete advantages and disadvantages depending on the task at hand. Since we're using a full Havok simulation for our vehicle physics, each feels distinctly different depending on it basic stats - wheel base, acceleration curve, wheel friction, and mass. For example while the sportier coupes and roadsters have quicker acceleration and top speed, they require more finesse and driver attention to navigate tight turns at high speeds, and can't sustain nearly as much damage."
  • Guild Wars: Factions
    The ArenaNet Q&A on Guild Wars Player Journals discusses new Guild Wars classes with the developer of the MMORPG: "Yes, those who own both campaigns—Guild Wars (original Prophecies campaign) and Guild Wars Factions—can create Assassins and Ritualists who are able to play in both cooperative and PvP modes in Tyria and Cantha. They then can create a character with a birthplace in either land. That is, you may choose to start on the continent of Tyria, or on the continent of Cantha. Once a character is ascended, he or she can travel between the continents via boat. And existing characters can be recast, for those with both campaigns, to have as a secondary the Ritualist or Assassin profession."
  • CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder
    The Frag Dolls Website offers a podcast with a CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder audio interview that runs for about 12 minutes, discussing the game with executive producer Tony Van.

Control Monger Patch

The second patch in a few days for Control Monger is now available, updating the freeware first-person shooter to version 1.006. The update is available on the Control Monger Files Page and details can be found at the end of the Patch List thread on their forums. Thanks Frans.

Onimusha 3 Patch

This Ubisoft Downloads Page offers a new patch for the European edition of Onimusha 3, updating the PC DVD edition of the fantasy-themed action/adventure set in medieval Japan to version 1.1. Thanks Frans.

Evening Preview

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Finally fixed that toilet that wouldn't stop running. I'm actually no longer worried about the float valve dying again... after replacing it three times, I am actually getting pretty good at the fix (though I still have no idea why only this toilet out of the three in the house keeps doing this).

Fixed Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link: Snubster. Thanks John.
Story: Falling sword kills Florida teen.
Dictionary aims to rescue the zoozoo, other words. How else to become a logodaedalus?
Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped. Janice Soprano strikes again.
Science!: Global wind energy capacity seen tripling by 2014.
Mighty mice for sale -- mighty expensive at least.
Media: Ak-47 Pong.
Waltopia: Walt's Last Film. Thanks Boing Boing. EPCOT: "When every other place is booked."
Follow-up: 'Tourist' pays €17m to go into space. Though police have warned him to stay on the planet.

Gold - Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45

Valve announces that Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 will be available via Steam one week from today:
Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 Available via Steam on March 14

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, the WWII online action game from Tripwire Interactive, will be available via Steam on March 14, 2006 at 11 am PST. The game is currently available for pre-purchase and pre-load via Steam, and those who pre-purchase the game will receive a 10% instant discount off the $24.95 price. For more information or to pre-purchase the game, visit www.steampowered.com

Two New Call of Duty Sequels?

Next Call of Duty leaked Modern Warfare tackles terrorists on Joystiq (thanks Mike Martinez) has what are purported to be details on the next two Call of Duty games, quoting an unnamed "reliable source." According to the story, there are plans in the works for another game set in World War II focused on the Normandy breakout campaign, and a game they are calling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The rumor as they are reporting it has the two games being released for PC and consoles just months apart from each other, with the modern combat game, set in the trendy world of counterterrorism, being developed by series originator Infinity Ward.

Age of Empires III to Expand

"Age of Empires III" Expansion Pack to Storm Windows PCs in 2006 on Shacknews is the press release announcing plans for a yet unnamed expansion for Age of Empires III planned for release this fall:
Newest Addition to Best-Selling Franchise Introduces Playable Native American Civilizations in a Fight for Control of the Americas

The incredible momentum behind ”Age of Empires III” continues as Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios announced their plans for delivering an expansion pack to gamers in 2006.

The new expansion pack will build off of the exciting real-time-strategy gameplay of “Age of Empires III,” providing players with the ability to lead one of three proud Native American civilizations, including the Iroquois Confederation, to expand their empire and fight for control of the Americas.

The expansion pack, which is due on store shelves in the Fall of 2006, will provide new ways to play and win, introducing new gameplay elements and content including new civilizations, a new single player campaign, Home City enhancements and additional maps and units. Additional content will be added to all existing European civilizations as well.

Zoo Tycoon 2 Expansions

The World's Most Exotic Animals Join the 'Zoo Tycoon 2' Family in 2006 (thanks Frans) announces plans for three expansions for Zoo Tycoon 2, the first of which is due in May, and the last of which will only be available digitally:
REDMOND, Wash., March 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Africa aficionados, Jurassic fanatics and aquatic admirers alike have cause for celebration as Microsoft Game Studios today confirmed the upcoming releases of "Zoo Tycoon® 2: African Adventure" and "Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania®" E10+ rated expansion packs, and downloadable "Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack" for Windows®, also E10+ rated, developed by Blue Fang Games LLC.
...
"Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure," available in May 2006, will allow virtual zookeepers to adopt and care for 20 new African animals from eight biomes, such as the adorable meerkat or the endangered Ethiopian wolf. Gamers of all ages can customize their dream zoo with dozens of new buildings, objects and gift items, including the full desert theme pack.
...
"Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania" expansion pack and downloadable "Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger Pack" will further expand the "Zoo Tycoon 2" experience later this year by introducing entirely new scenarios and themes. With a single click of a mouse, players will soon be able to transport the world's most unique animal species into their homes.

Glory of the Roman Empire Announced

Hail Caesar! CDV and Enlight to Co-publish Glory of the Roman Empire (thanks Frans) is the press release announcing plans for an upcoming empire-building game in the works at Haemimont Games. Enlight and Haemimont previously teamed-up on Nemesis of the Roman Empire, so while it is not mentioned in the announcement, this title may be a sequel or otherwise related to that previous game. Word is:
CDV Software Entertainment USA has signed an agreement with Enlight Software to co-publish the empire-building title, Glory of the Roman Empire. The game, in development for PC by Haemimont Games, is scheduled to ship to North American retail outlets in June.

Glory of the Roman Empire is an empire-building simulation set during the height of the glorious Roman Empire. In the game, the player assumes the roles of city planner, governor and military leader. Successful players will need planning skills, economic savvy and -- should those fail -- military might. Glory of the Roman Empire will challenge gamers to grow a small village into a thriving community through trade with neighbors, while also expanding and defending its borders through more militaristic means. Players will need to focus on the physical and emotional health of the citizenry, as villagers age and mature under strong leadership, contributing to the development of more advanced societies and larger cities. More than 30 missions based in 11 historically inspired towns will immerse players in the historical aspects of the Roman Empire.

Gothic III Delayed

A Press Release on ToTheGame has an updated release date for Gothic III, the RPG sequel in the works at Piranha Bytes. Word on the German edition of the game is that it's now due in September 2006. Since the English edition is unlikely to arrive before the German edition, this seems to represent a delay for the English edition, which Aspyr previously announced as due first quarter of this year (story).

City Life in NA

CDV Software Entertainment (thanks Frans) announces plans to release City Life in North America:
March 1, 2006 – CDV Software Entertainment USA today announced a publishing agreement with Monte Cristo to release the English language version of City Life in North America. City Life, in development by Monte Cristo, is a city builder that gives players the opportunity to build and manage a modern day metropolis in a fully 3D world. In the game, players will make decisions that will affect the lives of millions of citizens, for better or worse. CDV will ship City Life this summer.

GalCiv 2 Patch

The Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Website has word that a new version 1.0X update is now available automatically via the game's internal update function. There is also another update on their website further describing the game's unexpected success at retail. Thanks Frans.

Site Seeing

As noted in this announcement, the Iron Warriors: T72 Tank Command Website is online. Word is: "On the official Iron Warriors: T72 Tank Command web pages you will find all the information about this ambitious title. Vehicle information, background story and screenshots are all included as well as access to our moderated Iron Warriors community forums. Members of the forums will get all the news and stories first including the as yet unannounced additional content for the European retail boxed edition!"

Morning Q&As

  • SiN Episodes
    GameDaily's SiN Emergence Q&A chats up Ritual's Tom Mustaine and Levelord about their upcoming shooter sequel: "Finally, let's remember the shareware model used by game developers not so long ago. It was actually an episodic delivery paradigm. With shareware, we would release the first episode, usually before the completed game was finished. Then the full game would be released, which usually was the second and third episodes. These would then, if the game was successful, be followed by a series of add-on packs, each of which to be called another episode. For the most part, this is very similar to the episodic delivery of a game that we are starting with SiN Episodes." Thanks Frans.
  • Star Trek Legacy
    The Star Trek Legacy Q&A on Star Trek Gamers (thanks Mandy) talks with Mad Doc Software's Dr. Ian Lane Davis and Bethesda Softworks' Pete Hines about the upcoming Trekkie game: "The core MP battles are map-based, although we currently have multiple multiplayer modes in development. One such mode is Tug-Of-War, which will span multiple maps and allow a player’s fleet to persist across multiple skirmishes and across multiple systems. In individual multiplayer maps, players will have a slew of options and win conditions to set, creating endless possibilities."
  • Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
    The Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Q&A on Gameplay Monthly talks with Brad Wardell of Stardock about their space strategy sequel: "Originally there was going to be Galactic Civilizations and then Galactic Federations and then Galactic Tyrants. GalFed was/is going to be an RTS version in the GalCiv universe and GalTyrant was/is going to be an action oriented game with RPG elements. But after GalCiv1 and how hard it is to build momentum for a 'franchise', we decided that we wanted to try to do GalCiv as a trilogy. One where players didn't need to play the previous ones but where each could stand alone on its own."
  • LEGO: Star Wars II
    The LEGO Star Wars II Q&A on The Armchair Empire talks with assistant producer Jeffrey Gullett about the toy/Star Wars homage sequel: "Puzzle solving is definitely a big part of LEGO Star Wars II. This time around, you can expect to find a whole new crop of puzzles that we’re aiming to make more dynamic and complex, without necessarily making them more difficult. We want to make the puzzles more interactive and offer more things for the player to do, especially when playing co-op with another player."
  • Dusktreaders
    Ten Ton Hammer's Dusktreaders Q&A talks with Erk Hyrkas about Dusktreaders, the gothic-themed MMORPG currently in beta testing: "I believe many players (I don’t know if I could say “most”) prefer to play in short bursts – maybe 30 minutes or so and then have the option of hopping off. I don’t believe players like feeling that they need to set aside their whole evening or whole day just to play the game. Being able to make reasonable accomplishments in the 30 minutes before you drive to work in the morning or the 30 minutes before bed at night makes the game more accessible to a larger audience."

SWG Changes?

Future Plans for SWG? on Slashdot has hints that SOE may be considering a rollback or other changes in Star Wars Galaxies, though the article on which the story is based has been basically axed over non-disclosure agreement issues. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Morning Previews

Game & Mod Development

Bigfoot Gets Big Funding. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Out of the Blue

We had a sad experience over the weekend, as I was responsible for my first bit of road kill. Clearly there is some luck involved in this along with careful driving, as I can all-too-well recall from my previous such trauma where I had no chance to avoid clipping a dog that managed to appear on the Major Deegan Expressway. This time was a bird, and while that dog almost certainly survived our accident, the bird almost certainly did not... he hit the windshield hard enough to leave feathers. There was not even a split-second to react... this was just inevitable, so I can only hope for the luck to avoid such incidents in the future.

R.I.P.: Christopher Reeve's Widow Dies at Age 44.

Road Kill Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Science!: Attention Surplus? Re-examining a Disorder (registration required).
For Hospital Menus, Overdue Surgery (registration required).
Image: Cassini-Huygens Multimedia-Images. Thanks Jim.
Media: X-Men: The Last Stand.
Too Much Boost.
Professional Choreography.
Follow-up: SpaceX building reusable crew capsule. Thanks Jim.
Teh Funny: UserFriendly.
FoxTrot.
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