Archived News:

Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006

SiN Episodes: Emergence Patch

Steam News has word on the release of the promised patch for SiN Episodes: Emergence, addressing several bugs and adding three new arena mode maps. The patch is available automatically via Steam.

Evening Q&As

  • Star Wars Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
    Computer Games Online's Forces of Corruption Q&A Part 2 continues this discussion of the upcoming Star Wars RTS sequel: "We tried to engineer the new worlds to be unique and offer different battlefield situations. One example of this would be Felucia, a lush world covered in unique fungus-like foliage and creatures. Though the environment looks pretty, it can be very harmful to infantry as the plant life will protect itself. Though deadly for the attacker, this works very well for the defending player/owner of the world."
  • Madden 07
    Madden 07 executive producer talks about the next iteration of a legendary franchise on GameZone kicks around some ideas about the next installment in the Madden series with executive producer Dale Jackson: "We have ourselves as competition and the gaming community makes sure to push us pretty hard as well. We always want to create the best game we can. The NFL License allows us to do this through a much closer relationship with them. We have better access to players, coaches, NFL Films, and content from other NFL properties that would never be available to us without this deal. That access helps us create deeper and more authentic games every year."
  • The Ship
    Game Interviews' The Ship Q&A discusses the Source-engine mystery game with Outerlight's Chris Peck: "We have some really cool ideas for The Ship 2, but it depends on how far we develop the Ship 1 first. We’d like to add more roles, such as guard and passenger. More locations could be good, like a train, hotel, or island. Allowing the ships to go between ports was a nice idea. Then there’s the whole idea of setting it in space, potentially with Alien Species to play as and to hunt. Could be pretty cool I think! What needs does a slug beast have?"
  • Exteel
    The Exteel Q&A on FiringSquad talks with Team Beam designer Sang-In Lee about Exteel, their coming MMO mecha action game: "The robot types are separated into three categories: basic, mid-sized and speed oriented. Each robot (or Mechanaught as we are calling them in North America) consists of a head, core (upper torso), arms, legs, and jetpack. By equipping different parts, players are able to create a wide variety of visually distinctive robots with very different combat styles. The right combinations and practice will allow players to employ a winning strategy."
  • RAN Online
    MMORPG.COM's RAN Online Q&A chats up PB Kim, lead designer on Minn Communications' MMORPG: "We are providing various types of event, such as Double EXP, Double Item Drop Rate sort of events you may generally seen from other MMORPG. Moreover we provide unique events, for instance, a localized event which includes mythic heroes or animals in the game by each local festive day schedule. Recently we have arranged a server for Battle Loyal Type competition event and finished testing. We are continuously looking for more joyful events to satisfy our users. Please give us your cool ideas for new events."
  • Fury
    The Lords of the Dead - Q&A with the Fury Dev Team discusses Fury, the upcoming competitive online RPG: "Ladders are great. Fury is going to support a large number of ladders ranking individuals, guilds and realms. One of the design team's goals is to ensure we have ladders that recognize both skill and volume. This ensures that both small roll group type guilds and very large uber guilds are both recognized for their achievements."

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

Into the Black

All hail, well, hail. We had a small storm and the heat has abated considerably.

All Hail Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Play: The Cyborg Name Decoder. Thanks michelle. Here's me.
Stories: Anti-penny, pro-rounding bill introduced in Congress.
Media: Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager (episode 1). Thanks Kenn.
X-Office Space-Men 3 - A Mashup Trailer.
I'm a Pepper!

Clive Barker's Jericho Revealed

Horror veteran Barker game for 'Jericho' thriller is a Hollywood Reporter story (thanks Shacknews) revealing development of Clive Barker's Jericho, an M-rated title in the works at Codemasters in collaboration with the author slated for release late next year on PCs and "next-generation" consoles:
Barker said he is "involved every step of the way," exchanging drawings and story ideas with Codemasters.

"I don't want to give too much away just yet, but the concept is that somewhere in northern Africa there is a walled city which is not just a walled city but walls within walls within walls," Barker said. "It's like Russian dolls, spaces within each other, and trapped inside each space is a slice of time where the warriors of good have gone against ultimate evil and have lost."

It's that fourth dimension that makes Jericho more than a maze. The first battles encountered on the quest are against relatively modern imprisoned soldiers, while further in are World War I infantrymen, Crusaders and other warriors, each drawn from an earlier historical era than the last. "Some are evil, some are not, and you have to make up your own mind," Barker said.

"It becomes a more primal experience as well, because the means of combat become more crude and the people become in a way simpler," he said. "I think the player is going to get quite a series of spectacles because they get closer to something that makes the devil look like Pollyanna."

Half-Life 2 Portal Movie

A new Half-Life 2: Episode Two movie shows off the Portal game that will be part of the Episode Two release. The clip is available in two resolutions, mirrors can be found on 3D Downloads, 3D Gamers, Computer Games, Filecloud, FileFront, Gameguru Mania, GameSpot, and Worthplaying.

Neverwinter Nights 2 Delay

Atari announces the release of Neverwinter Nights 2 is delayed, and the D&D RPG sequel is now due in October of this year:
“Given the sheer size and scope of Neverwinter Nights 2 and its 50 to 60-hour single player campaign, it was decided to move the global release date of Neverwinter Nights 2 out a month to late October. This extra time is invaluable as it allows fine tuning and polishing of both the single and multiplayer experiences to ultimately deliver a game that exceeds the tremendous expectations of the Neverwinter Nights fanbase.”

Ships Ahoy - WarPath

Groove Games announces that WarPath is shipping to stores, and Digital Extremes' first-person shooter is now available in North America:
“Pariah” Developers Bring Classic FPS Action to the PC and Xbox

TORONTO, ON – JULY 18, 2006 – Groove Games, a global interactive entertainment software publisher, today announced that WarPath, their sci-fi, first-person shooter, has shipped to retail stores throughout North America for the PC and Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Developed by Pariah creators, Digital Extremes, WarPath is rated T for Teen by the ESRB, and is available for $29.99 for the Xbox and $19.99 for PC.

“For gamers who enjoy the action-packed experience of classic first-person shooters, WarPath is a game for them,” said Michael Haines, Groove Games’ COO. “Frantically paced and infused with the spirit of fierce competition, WarPath delivers endless hours of multiplayer action and also features an immersive single-player story mode.”

Set on Kaladi, a beautiful and resource-rich planet on the edge of the universe, WarPath pits three races with conflicting agendas against one another for control of territory and technology. After joining a race, players engage in battle utilizing sci-fi weaponry and vehicles to gain complete dominion over the planet. Players can go head-to-head against AI in the robust single-player mode, or challenge friends online via four multiplayer modes.

For more information on WarPath please visit

Loki Delayed

The Loki Product Section reveals that Cyanide Studios' hack-and-slash RPG will be hacking and slashing its way into stores a bit later than expected (thanks Frans). The release date on the site that formerly listed September 2006 now reads Q4 2006.

SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm Announced

JoWooD announces SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm, an expansion for the RTS/RPG hybrid SpellForce 2 – Shadow Wars due this winter:
Expansion Pack for Popular RPG/RTS PC Game

Liezen, Austria (July, 18 2006), Publisher JoWooD Productions presents SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm, the eagerly awaited extension to the award-wining PC Game SpellForce 2 – Shadow Wars. SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm offers more of the original’s entertaining and seamless blend of RTS and RPG gameplay. The expansion pack will be released in Winter 2006.

“With international ratings of over 90 percent, SpellForce 2 has received great success since its launch this spring,” said Amelie Clement, senior brand manager, JoWooD Productions. “SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm is the perfect extension to the popular series. We are convinced that this new part of SpellForce, which awakes the most dreaded creatures, will be a very special highlight for the community and will guarantee many hours of game fun.”

SpellForce 2 – Dragon Storm takes players through a fascinating and exciting challenge as they fight for the magical portals, which seem to be the only connection between the shattered islands of Eo. During the search for the font, which could replace the dwindling energy and save the magical portals, the player recovers old runes and amazing traces of the most powerful creatures of the past: dragons…

Experience the ultimate battle when dragons wage a war!

Gold - Universal Combat: Special Edition, Demo Released

3000AD announces that Universal Combat: Special Edition is gold, and that both the retail and digitally distributed versions of the compilation of Universal Combat, Universal Combat Gold, and Universal Combat A World Apart will be available next month. There is also a Universal Combat: Special Edition demo on the Battlecruiser Online Downloads Page, where there is also a small utility to create a version of the demo for owners of Universal Combat: A World Apart.

Final Fantasy XI II Denial

Square-Enix Address Final Fantasy XI Sequel Talk follows up on reports that a sequel to Final Fantasy XI is in the works (story). According to Square-Enix these reports actually refer to a previously announced original MMORPG (story), and they are currently undecided about the online future of the Final Fantasy series.

Guild Wars: Nightfall Details, PvP Event

This Guild Wars Press Release has details on the next chapter in Guild Wars, which will go by the recently revealed title Nightfall (story). Here's word on the add-on, and plans for a PvP event at the end of this month:
July 18, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) — ArenaNet®, developer of the world's leading subscription-free online roleplaying games Guild Wars® and Guild Wars FactionsTM, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today the title of the next game in the award-winning franchise, Guild Wars NightfallTM. Further, Guild Wars Nightfall has entered the beta testing stage and Guild Wars players worldwide are invited to participate in an exclusive, first-look player-versus-player (PVP) event, July 28 — 30, 2006.

During the PVP Preview Event, both Guild Wars and Guild Wars Factions® players will get a first look at Guild Wars Nightfall, and will be able to try out the two new professions being introduced in the game; the Dervish, a scythe-wielding holy warrior, and the Paragon, guardian angel of the Elonian people. In addition to testing out the new professions and arenas, players will also be able to compete for items that will be exchangeable for a variety of rewards throughout the weekend event.

The Guild Wars Nightfall PVP Preview event will kick off on Friday, July 28 at 12:01am PDT and will continue through Sunday, July 30 at 11:59pm PST.

Final Fantasy XI II

Final Fantasy XI Sequel in Development on IGN reports (by way of Nikkei Net) development of a Final Fantasy XI sequel for Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows Vista. Word is:
Further details were not provided (including whether or not the sequel is a direct follow-up to the adventures of Vana'diel).

Square Enix has previously shown trailers for a next-generation MMORPG engine without actually announcing a final product based around the engine. It's unclear if the FFXI sequel is going to be the game to use the new engine, or if Square Enix has another title in development.
Update: Square-Enix has subsequently denied this report (story).

Gary Grigsby’s World at War: A World Divided Announced

Matrix Games announces Gary Grigsby’s World at War: A World Divided, sequel to the World War II turn-based grand strategy game. Here's a bit on the project, which currently carries no release date:
Gary Grigsby’s World at War: A World Divided will take this design to the next level, adding espionage, code-breaking, variable political events, unit experience and neutral country diplomacy. These changes vastly affect the dynamics of play and add entire new layers to the grand strategy mix of the original. Players will have to learn to be more flexible with their tactics, facing more important decisions on these new fronts.

SiN Episodes Patch Plans

The SiN Episodes Website has word to expect a new patch for SiN Episodes: Emergence "sometime this week." The patch will include various changes and bug-fixes, as well as a trio of new arena mode maps. The story includes screenshots showing off the new maps.

Titan Quest Patch Plans

The Vault Network Forums (thanks Titan Quest Vault and Voodoo Extreme) outline known issues with Titan Quest, describing plans for the next patch for Iron Lore's action/RPG. They promise an update soon to project a schedule for the patch's release, and offer possible workarounds for a couple of issues in the meantime.

Morning Q&As

  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online
    The Pirates of the Caribbean Online Q&A on Worthplaying is an in-house Q&A about the upcoming MMO PotC game: "The biggest difference between this game and other MMOs is that the pirate-themed world we are designing will feature some supernatural elements that are unique to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: defending your ship from sea monsters, fighting skeleton pirates, and casting voodoo spells. We will also include the classic pirate activities: epic sea battles, searching for buried treasure, playing dice and cards, and carousing in towns."
  • Combat Mission Campaigns
    The Battlefront Q&A on Armchair General Magazine talks with Martin van Balkom about a variety of topics, including their continuation of the Combat Mission series: "Combat Mission Campaigns is also still in development after three years under the lead design of Bruce Poon. As you know, CMC will provide a strategic layer to our Combat Mission Barbarossa to Berlin game. After losing a key member of the team, work is now going at full speed again. I don’t want to predict any release, though, but progress is steady, especially in how CMC will interface with CMBB’s tactical game."

Morning Previews

  • Dark Messiah of Might & Magic on gameSlave and HEXUS.
  • Dawn of War: Dark Crusade on IGN. The Tau Military.

Morning Screenshots

Updated Take Command SDK

MadMinute Games is now serving up an updated version of the SDK for Take Command: 2nd Manassas, their Civil War strategy sequel. This collection of resources for modification authors is available in both English and German editions. Thanks Frans.

The Mod Squads

The Half-Life: Nightwatch modification has announced the cancellation of their project. More details are in this development diary. Thanks Ant and Planet Half-Life.

Gatherings & Competitions

G4 To Scale Back G-Phoria Game Awards Show? Bringing their style more in line with their substance.

Help Wanted

The Flagship Studios Website (thanks Frans) advertises a new opening they seek to fill for a game programmer. Flagship's offices are located in San Francisco, CA. Also, Irrational Games has posted a new opening for a Community Manager, a full-time contract position in Quincy, MA.

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I hadn't considered this yet, but the paper this morning points out with energy demand spiking because of the million degree heat, blackouts are a very real possibility, hopefully it won't come to that, especially with a couple of heat-related fatalities already reported. News reports say a cold front could make its way into our area this evening offering a break from the heat, though of course that could also lead to kitten-sized hailstones. So I guess with the rest of the country likely to stay hot the remainder of the week, heat waves in Europe, and another Indonesian tsunami, we've actually got it a lot better than most.

R.I.P.: Mike Hammer creator Mickey Spillane dies.

Melting Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Link: Something Awful's Bad Splash Screen Roundup. Thanks Digg.
Bert Race 2004.
The Pong Hat.
Stories: Arrested Development Movie? Thanks Stritch.
Re-inventing HotWheels.
Fasten seatbelts! RV owners don blindfolds at rally.
Science!: Carbon dioxide's great underground escape in doubt.
The Boy Who Sees with Sound. Thanks Digg.
From Good Hygiene Comes Bad Allergies. Thanks Digg.
Media: Duhduhdihduh DUH DUHDUHDUH - Venture Brothers.
The fastest clip you'll ever see.
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