Archived News:

Friday, Apr 27, 2007 Happy King's Day (Netherlands)

Blizzard's Next-Gen MMO?

This Blizzard Entertainment Employment Opportunities Page indicates that Blizzard is seeking an engine programmer to lead a team "focused on next-generation massively multiplayer online games." GameDaily BIZ contacted Blizzard about this, but the developer is remaining tight lipped for now, saying they are "not ready to reveal any new projects at this time," but that they do indeed "have multiple unannounced projects in development and are exploring various options for the future of our franchises."

Lineage III Code Stolen?

GameDaily BIZ reports that the source code for Lineage II may have been stolen, and that the code for NCsoft's upcoming MMORPG sequel may have actually been sold to an unspecified competing developer. According to the story, ex-NCsoft employees are suspects in the case:
The Seoul Metropolitan Police reported on Wednesday that seven former NCsoft employees are suspects in the case. The group left the developer in February and soon after allowed an unnamed Japanese company to review the software while interviewing with them. Authorities suspect that they may have sold and copied the game code during the demonstration.

This is apparently not an isolated incident at NCsoft. These ex-employees at the Korean firm are also suspected of leaking the program design of Lineage III last September, either by portable disk or email. Industry insiders and police stated that the problem stems from an "internal management problem." After a senior game developer was fired for poor leadership skills, a majority of his 90-member team left with him.

The potential damage was estimated by a NCsoft spokesman at over 1 trillion won ($1 billion). This is accounting for the fact that sales of Lineage I and II have exceeded 1.5 trillion won ($1.5 billion).

Pacific Storm Vista Patch

The Pacific Storm Website now offers downloads of a new patch to bring the World War II action/RTS hybrid to version 1.4. Word is: "A new patch is now available for Pacific Storm, which enables support for the game under 32-bit editions of Windows Vista. Along with Vista support, the patch fixes various gameplay issues."

City Life: World Edition Vista Patch

The City Life: World Edition Website serves up a new patch for this urban planning game, like the patch in the story above, this one also adds Vista compatibility: "A new patch is available today for City Life: World Edition. The new patch allows the game to function on computers using the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista."

Site Seeing

Transformers: The Game Website is online, as home to the game based on Traveller’s Tales' upcoming movie featuring the giant cleverly disguised robots. Word is: "Starting tonight fans can log on to http://www.transformersgame.com to get the latest news and information on the highly anticipated game, as well as sign up as an AUTOBOTS or DECEPTICONS character and join forces with a global team vying for prizes, exclusive access to game information and control over Earth."

Evening Q&As

  • Hellgate: London
    The Hellgate: London Q&A on 1Up talks with Flagship about their upcoming action/RPG: "Yeah, exactly right. A lot of the feeling of Diablo came from the fact that we did Diablo, so that feeling is just kind of the way that we make games. That feeling just kind of permeates Hellgate because we did that, then we design the same way, we code the same way, the way that we control the games -- we try to keep things simple and a lot of our design and balance philosophies are still there. A lot of people will play Hellgate and will get that kind of feeling that it is very similar to Diablo, but yet it's very different to its new interface and it's 3D and all that kind of stuff. So it's kind of an updated version of that, set in the future with guns and stuff. But, still, at that core it feels a little bit like Diablo."
  • Warhammer Online
    GameSpy's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Q&A talks with Mythic's Mark Jacobs about the decision to delay the upcoming Warhammer MMORPG: "The simple answer is that we have decided to invest more time in development to create the best game possible. In the past we've talked about launching in the fall of 2007 -- now we're targeting early 2008. We have decided to take a few additional months to make sure the game is polished, unforgettable and glorious. That was my promise to Games Workshop when I signed the deal and I intend to keep it."
  • CellFactor: Revolution
    The CellFactor: Revolution Q&A on Shacknews talks with Adrian Jones about the upcoming PhysX-powered shooter: "The idea for CellFactor happened before I joined the team. CellFactor was sort of a discovery that happened at a trade show. PhysX was integrated almost overnight by Jeremy Stieglitz [at Artificial Studios], the guy who wrote the engine and the game's lead designer. He pitched the idea to Ageia, who saw the game running, and it looked just fantastic. Prior to that, CellFactor: Revolution had been an idea that the guys had been kicking around for a while. They designed all of the concepts, and they'd been working together over the Internet. It was a classic sort of guys just getting together over the Internet, kicking a game idea back and forth, between programmers, artists and designers all over the world."

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

The Hell in Vietnam Revealed

The Hell in Vietnam Product Section reveals development of a new game from CITY Interactive based on the controversial war in Southeast Asia (thanks Gamer's Hell). There is a gameplay movie on the downloads page and screenshots revealing the game to be a first-person shooter, and while a majority of the information offered is a narrative from a participant in the war, there is also a brief feature list:
        • Become an officer of the US Army and participate in one of its most bloody conflicts.
        • 8 highly playable missions, giving you many hours of great entertainment.
        • Detailed models of the US Army weaponry from 1968: M16 A1 assault rifle, M14 semiautomatic rifle, M79 CAW grenade launcher etc.
        • Equally detailed models of the weapons used by the Vietnamese army: AK-47 assault rifle, PPsh 41 automatic, RPG-7 rocket launcher etc.
        • Various military equipment for both sides of the conflict - PBR patrol boats, Huey and Mi-4 helicopters, BRDM armoured scout cars, and even F-4 Phantom planes.

Deprived Revealed

The Diesel Games Website is online as home to this newly formed developer (thanks FiringSquad), and revealing their debut project, Deprived, a PC and Xbox 360 survival/horror first-person shooter that will feature state of the art ear candy:
A survival horror first person shooter designed to showcase the AstoundSound audio technology in realtime virtual environments. AstoundSound is an amazing new audio technology from GenAudio that allows more immersive soundscapes - changing the way you hear and play video games.

Happy Birthday Guild Wars

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the launch of Guild Wars, and to mark the occasion, The Guild Wars Second Birthday Celebration will offer some special events for players of ArenaNet's online RPG. Word is:
Guild Wars players, who will be celebrating the franchise’s two-year anniversary this weekend, have a lot to look forward to. To celebrate the second anniversary of Guild Wars this weekend, players will be treated to a variety of in-game activities including fireworks, games, and special prizes. Not to mention brand new birthday mini-pets for each character when he or she reaches the two-year milestone.

Warren Spector Q&A

PC Zone votes Deus Ex the best PC game ever, which includes quotes from Warren Spector, who offers insights into what it was like to be part of ION Storm during its stormy run: "Working for Ion Storm was a best of times/worst of times situation. The guys in Dallas were shouting 'suck it down,' to the world (both figuratively and literally) and their high profile allowed the Austin office, where DX was made, to fly under the radar of our funding/publishing partner, Eidos. But I'd be lying if I said we didn't suffer some psychic pain every time some magazine would publish all of our emails or some writer would talk about the marble inlaid floors, the ship parties for games that wouldn't ship for years or an ad would appear threatening to make someone someone's bitch. And, as great as it was working with Eidos most of the time back then, you don't want to know how many times I was pressured to 'just make a shooter...'"

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Morning Consolidation

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon 11 years ago today when MrsBlue and I exchanged our vows in the pocket of urbanized nature that is Central Park. We'll celebrate our anniversary tonight with a quiet dinner at a nearby bistro, where we will reflect on how lucky we are to continue to find our life together to be so enjoyable after all these years.

Anniversary Links! Thanks Ant.
Play: Cursor Love Bunny. Thanks User Friendly. Complete with MIDI Satie.
Stories: Saudi tribe holds camel beauty pageant.
Science!: Hacking Your Body's Bacteria for Better Health. Hackteria.
Tricky spelling drains the brain.
Rapid-fire 'spark plug' may bring fusion power closer.
Image: Joe Pogan’s Mechanical Sculptures.
Media: The Greatest Inventor.
Peeing On An Electric Fence. Don't wizz on the electric fence!
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