Archived News:

Friday, Mar 07, 2008

New Crysis SDK

Crymod Modding Portal follows on the new Crysis patch with the release of a new version 2.1 of the modification SDK for Crytek's first-person shooter. Word is:
The Mod SDK v1.2 is the second release and includes the highly anticipated game source code of Crysis. With this code it is possible to implement your own functionalities and brand new features into the game and share it with the community.

In addition we also re-worked the installer to fix some problems and to make the whole installation process more comfortable to you. We also implemented the Softimage|XSI Mod Tool as separate zipped file that comes with example assets for you to work with.

Top 50 Developers

The Top 50 Developers' Countdown on Game Developer Research offers a "ranking of the top 50 developers in the areas of sales figures, releases, and average review scores, along with the full set of results from our survey of over 700 anonymous Game Developer- and Gamasutra.com-reading industry professionals." Gamasutra correlates the top 20 in a concise list that features more than a few surprises:
1. Nintendo Kyoto (Brain Age, Wii Play)
2. Infinity Ward (Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
3. Blizzard Entertainment (World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade)
4. Electronic Arts Canada (FIFA Soccer 08, NBA Street: Homecourt)
5. Valve (Portal, Team Fortress 2)
6. Konami Japan Studio (Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer, Dance Dance Revolution Universe)
7. Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank Future)
8. Capcom Osaka Studio (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, Monster Hunter Freedom)
9. Electronic Arts Tiburon (Madden NFL 08, NASCAR 08)
10. BioWare Edmonton (Mass Effect, Jade Empire: Special Edition)
11. Bungie Studios (Halo 3)
12. Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin's Creed, Naruto: Rise Of A Ninja)
13. 2K Boston [& Australia] (BioShock)
14. Harmonix (Rock Band)
15. Bandai Namco Tokyo (Ace Combat 6: Fires Of Liberation, Beautiful Katamari)
16. Square Enix Tokyo (Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, Front Mission DS)
17. Game Freak (Pokemon Diamond/Pearl)
18. Epic Games (Unreal Tournament 3, Gears Of War PC)
19. Hudson Soft (Mario Party 8, Mario Party DS)
20. Neversoft (Guitar Hero III, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground)

Half-Life 2 DIPRIP

The DIPRIP Website features the debut release of this Half-Life 2 modification, called a demo, along with a dedicated server for this Twisted Metal-inspired project. They have a teaser trailer to show off DIPRIP gameplay. Thanks Mod DB.

Evening Q&As

  • Project Origin
    Project Origin Details on IGN is a Q&A with John Mulkey on Monolith's F.E.A.R. follow-up, saying the game will offer the right mix of chocolate and peanut butter: "We will continue to present a nice blend. Too much of any one thing, even a good thing, starts to wear thin if there is nothing to change things up. So it is not so much that it will be more action or more horror, it will be that the nature of both of those elements are ramped up in intensity."
  • The Agency
    The MMO Gamer's The Agency Interview goes undercover at GCD to chat with Kevin O’Hara, lead designer on SOE's upcoming espionage-themed MMORPG.
  • The Witcher
    The Witcher Q&A on GameBanshee chats with Tom Ohle, Katarzyna Kuczynska, and Mateusz Kanik about the upcoming enhanced edition of CD Projekt's action/RPG, discussing the game's surprising success and exploring the possibility The Witcher will be ported to consoles.
  • StarCraft II
    The StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 32 is titled "ScreenCraft," as it offers some annotated screenshots from the upcoming RTS sequel, along with another batch of questions and answers. Thanks Blizzplanet.
  • Online Worlds
    RPG Vault's Online Worlds Roundtable #16 - Part 6 is a new installment in this series on the state of the art in online gaming.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Beatles engineer Smith dies at 85.

Engineered Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Insurgo.
Prehistoric 2.
Link of the Evening: The "Great Satan" Case Mod.
Stories: Microsoft CEO may save Sonics. Defenders! Defenders! Defenders!
What on earth is 42? The comments are more on target than the article.
Man buried alive saved by air trapped in his hat.
Image: Sorry Dogs, Beer Robots are a Man's New Best Friend.
Science!: Doritos to blast outer space residents with advertising. A proud moment for humanity.
Astronauts to Build Robot in Space.
Media: Geek Porn.
How to Save on Admission Prices. Thanks Digg.

Gold - Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath

Electronic Arts is bringing the baldy back, as they announce Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath is gold, and the real-time strategy expansion is due in stores on March 26, bringing with it access to the beta testing for Command & Conquer Red Alert 3:
Thirteen new story-driven missions, six new diverse sub-factions, powerful, game changing epic-units and the golden ticket to experience the most anticipated RTS game of the year in the Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 beta – what more could a Command & Conquer fanatic ask for?

Well, the wait is almost over. Today, Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath has officially gone gold – players will be returning to the Third Tiberium War on March 26th! With a storyline that spans over two decades, Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath features over 30 minutes of new high-definition live-action movies starring an all-new Hollywood cast including Natasha Henstridge (Species), Carl Lumbly (Alias) and, of course, Joe Kucan as the titular icon, Kane.

“Kane’s Wrath gives us a great opportunity to fill some holes in the storyline from Tiberium Wars that our fans have been clamoring to uncover,” said Jim Vessella, lead producer on the title. The team is confident Kane’s Wrath will deliver the trademark fast, fluid and fun gameplay of all C&C games, much like its predecessor, the best-selling RTS of 2007* and widely-acclaimed** Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars.

“We know the community’s going to have a blast playing the game and we can’t wait to see how players utilize the new epic-units and other toys from the six new sub-factions.”

Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath will also be coming to the Xbox 360 this summer, featuring an all new radial interface that continues to further evolve the console RTS experience. As a standalone title that doesn’t require Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, the 360 version will also feature the all-new “Kane’s Challenge”, an Xbox 360 exclusive single player mode that pits the player against a terrifying gauntlet of sub-faction opponents.

For more information about Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath or the Command & Conquer series, please visit the official site at www.CommandAndConquer.com. Furthermore, those looking to take a trip down memory lane can check out the C&C series’ library of live-action cutscenes from practically all of the classic Command & Conquer games at www.cncmovies.com.

And be sure to check out the latest news about C&C 3: Kane’s Wrath, C&C Red Alert 3, and all things Command & Conquer on C&C’s own dedicated online programming, Command & Conquer TV www.CommandAndConquer.com.

* Data according to NPD Group
** Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars was recently named Best Strategy Game of 2007 by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and 1Up.com

KOTOR MMO Rumors Resurface

Possible Star Wars KOTOR MMO Evidence Surfaces on 1Up reports they've seen a script from a "tipster" for a purported Star Wars online game, refueling the speculative fires that an MMO game based on Knights of the Old Republic is in the works. 1up seems to find the tone of what they've seen to be authentic, but LucasArts had no comment on their speculation.

Windows LIVE Marketplace Coming

The Kevin Unangst Interview on Eurogamer talks with the senior global director of Microsoft's Games for Windows program. Topics include a restatement of the point that PC game sales are healthier in markets outside North America, how the whole DirectX 10 revolution is going, and user criticisms of the Games for Windows LIVE service. He feels that LIVE derision is mostly based on the misconception that users are being forced to pay for gold memberships, which are only required for the service's two-game cross-platform support, saying: "Our challenge is to be clear on the message we're not charging for Games for Windows Live." He goes on to describe plans to enhance the value of these gold memberships by creating a Windows variant on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace:
You can be confident we want to enable things like digital distribution, the ability to do downloadable content for games - that's a direction we're definitely headed in. We don't have anything specific to announce in terms of timeframes right now.

Ships Ahoy - Galactic Command Echo Squad SE

GamersGate now offers the debut installment in Galactic Command Echo Squad SE, the episodic addition to 3000AD's space combat series:
New York, USA (March 7, 2008) - Leading PC digital distribution platform GamersGate announced today that much awaited Galactic Command Echo Squad SE – Episode 1 is now live and available for direct download.

Galactic Command – Echo Squad SE features exciting and deeply engaging gameplay which takes space combat fans old and young back to the early days of the genre. As the wing leader of an elite squad of combat pilots, the player takes part in an engaging storyline in mankind's battle for survival and supremacy.

With ground breaking graphics, AI and gameplay (single and multiplayer) technologies, a large seamless space and planetary game world, advanced shader model 2.0 visuals and professional audio from awarding winning Somatone and Soundrama studios, Galactic Command – Echo Squad SE takes gamers to the edge and back.

UK Shadowgrounds Survivor Plans

Meridian 4 announces plans to bring the top-down shooter gameplay of Shadowgrounds Survivor in the UK sometime in April or May:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada – March 7, 2008 – Meridian4 (http://www.meridian4.com) and Frozenbyte are pleased to announced that they have signed an agreement to publish the critically acclaimed, top-down shooter; Shadowgrounds Survivor in the UK.

After much success in North America, both with fans of the game and the press, giving it an average rating of over 80%, Shadowgrounds Survivor will be available to the many UK fans in April/May.

“We are thrilled to get this great game over to the UK market. Many of the UK press have already played and reviewed Shadowgrounds Survivor and had nothing but high praise for the game.” said Andy Sher, CEO at Meridian4, “We know that Shadowgrounds Survivor will be a huge success with the UK fans.”

Game Industry Map 2.0

Version 2.0 of David Perry's Game Industry Map is live, an updated version of this social-networking, wiki-based, buzzwordy, 2.0-style resource. Here's part of the introductory message from Dave: "It seems almost an essential tool when job hunting, to be able to easily see which companies related to the video games industry are in your area. The same goes for finding colleagues or visiting developers, at some point we can all use this resource. We appreciate any help you can give to make this database more accurate."

Steroidal Site Seeing

A whole boatload of sites (thanks Gamer's Hell). And you can fit a lot of sites in a boat:

Ghost in the Sheet Q&A

The Jan Kavan Q&A on Adventure Classic Gaming talks with the indie designer about Ghost in the Sheet, the supernatural adventure game from Cardboard Box Entertainment. They discuss the game's premise, point-and-click adventures, the addition of a retail boxed version to their distribution plans, and more.

Morning Screenshots

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I spotted some roadkill yesterday that was simultaneously saddening, thrilling, and frightening. The sad part is obvious, I am an animal lover and don't like seeing victimized critters. The thrilling part was because this was a wolf, something I had never seen before in our area, and even in its lifeless state this was a magnificent beast. I guess that makes the scary part obvious too, as wolves are, well, dangerous (no, really), and in particular don't take kindly to competition from other canines, making them a danger to pets, even if they are superheroes, like Hudson the wonder dog and the Gunnar-man. Hopefully the wolves are sticking to their own neck of the woods.

Wolfy Links!: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Tetris - Incompatible visions.
Link of the Morning: Five useless lessons taught by video games.
Stories: Black pups face doggie discrimination. Gunnar-man is black as coal.
A Man’s 6-Pack Can Serve as His Castle. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: The Earth and Moon as Seen from Mars. Thanks Jim.
Media: The Big Lebowski: The Duding short version. The dudeness...
Street Fighter Japan Vs USA.
Big Train - Evil Hypnotist Can Stop You Craving Cigarettes.
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