E3 Interview with Mythic's Adam Gershowitz
talks with the Associate Art
Director on Warhammer Online about the upcoming fantasy-themed MMORPG. Topics
include the name change from Mythic to EA Mythic and back again, the content
that was cut from the game, and details on what players should expect from the
project when it launches. The conversation was recorded, so you can choose to
read it or listen to it, or both, if that floats your boat. Meanwhile, there's
an open letter from
Mark Jacobs on the Vault Network Forums
where the Mythic GM discusses
today's announcement of a September 18 release date for the project. He
discusses the date, subscription pricing, and when the NDA for beta testers will
lift, as well as the portions reproduced below, which covers the various
editions of the game, open beta testing, and how they interrelate. He also
mentions a Preview Weekend, which could possibly end up including some folks who
haven't already pre-purchased the game:
3) Regarding the pre-order,
Collector’s Edition and the Standard Edition, I’m pleased to announce that we
will be holding a special “Preview Weekend” in addition to the normal Open Beta.
Those people who pre-ordered the CE will be given priority entrance into the PW.
You will need to download the client (of course) from one of several download
options, none of which will require any additional payment of any kind. Once the
CE buyers have had their chance to register and download the client, we will
allow our Closed Beta testers into the PW as well. We would like to have around
100K people load testing and playing the game so depending on how many CE
purchasers sign up for this, we will invite other people into the PW as well.
4) Regarding the pre-order, Collector’s Edition and the Standard Edition, we are
extending the Head Start for the pre-order CE (not the SE) buyers by at least an
additional day as an added thank you for buying our CE. Just as with the PW, no
additional fee will be required to play in our Head Start.
5) Regarding the pre-order, Collector’s Edition and the Standard Edition, we are
pleased to announce that we will also be inviting our pre-order CE buyers into
our Closed Beta test starting next week. There will still be some hardware spec
requirements (but they are much lower than our current requirements) since we
are still in Closed Beta but we expect that the vast majority of our PO CE
buyers will meet the lowered requirements. We gotten a lot of feedback from the
community on this point over the last few weeks asking for this and we are now
going to make it happen.
6) Regarding the start of OB, we are still working out all the details and when
we are 100% locked into a date, we will be happy to confirm it unequivocally. As
the history of MMOs has shown, a bad OB can hurt both the long-term and the
short-term the success of a game just as surely as a great OB can help the game
succeed and we need to make sure that we are ready for OB on the day it begins.
The id Software
Interview on AtomicGamer
is another conversation with Tim Willits at
QuakeCon, offering thoughts from id's Creative Director (but not one of the
company's co-founders as stated in the article) on a variety of topics.
One of those is how Rage
will differ on each of its three target
platforms: "But each system will play to its strengths and as we get closer to
shipping the big thing you'll notice between the 3 systems is the multiplayer,
how they handle, the tracking, the friends, and then we'll make some adjustments
to the PC version just because with the keyboard and mouse you have a bit more
accuracy. But really, we're trying to do it all at the same and trying to make a
fun game for all of the platforms. That's something new for us but so far we've
Garrett Young talks Quantum of Solace on
chats with the executive producer on Treyarch's upcoming James Bond
game, discussing the participation of actors from the Bond movies, previous
James Bond games, the inclusion of scenes from Casino Royale, portraying the
recent rebooted Bond character, and more.
Going Rogue on The Escapist
offers commentary from a number of independent
developers on the topic of their independence, delving into their motivations.
Respondents include Steven Peeler of Soldak
, Chris Evans of
Outside the Box Software
Andy Schatz of Pocketwatch Games
Steve Taylor of Wahoo Studios
, and our buddy
Cliff Harris of Positech Games
is now out of
closed beta testing, offering an open beta of this "overlay" utility that allows
IM, music, web-browsing, and a number of other functions to be accessed from
within games. Many gamers would rather run fewer background processes while
games are running, but this can probably serve certain situations pretty well.
Okay, other issues I'm aware of with the new site are accessing user settings
and the weird stray text on the post a message screen. If there's anything else
going wrong on the user end, I'm not aware of it.
has word that Turner Broadcasting is seeking a
buyer for GameTap
, Turner's free and
subscriber online game service. This revelation appeared in Turner's second
quarter earning results, which also "mentioned an $18 million noncash impairment
attributed to the sale of GameTap." As of now no potential buyers have been
(thanks Mike Martinez) got the following optimistic statement from Turner: "There is
considerable marketplace interest in the GameTap business and brand," said a
Turner spokesperson of the pending sale. "We are considering various strategic
options, but have reached no final agreement as yet. When there is a resolution,
we will announce it."
NVIDIA plans on launching patches on August 12 to enable its GeForce 8-series
and later graphics cards to run PhysX physics modeling on the GPU. Presumably an
NDA about this expired today, as there are new previews of this new
PhysX support on several sites, offering background, hands-on impressions, and
benchmarks. You can find these previews on
, and The Tech
. Here's a summary of the situation from the latter preview:
August 12, Nvidia will release new graphics drivers that will allow owners of
most GeForce 8, GeForce 9, and GeForce GTX 200-series cards to use PhysX
acceleration without spending a dime. Along with the drivers will come a
downloadable PhysX software pack containing free Unreal Tournament 3 maps, the
full version of NetDevil's Warmonger, a couple of Nvidia demos, and sneak peeks
at Object Software's Metal Knight Zero and Nurien Software's Nurien
social-networking service. Nvidia provided us with early access to the pack, and
we've been testing it over the past couple of days.
Rockstar Games Announces
Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC
for release this November, confirming
strong suspicions that a PC edition of the open world action game was on
Grand Theft Auto IV will be arriving on the PC on November 18th
and 21st in North America and Europe, respectively
“We are very excited to be releasing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV,”
said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “The whole team is dedicated to
bringing an amazing gaming experience to the PC. The game looks and plays
beautifully on PC and we can’t wait for people to play it.”
Developed by series creator Rockstar North and set in Liberty City, the latest
installment in the enormously successful Grand Theft Auto series features a
painstakingly detailed and life-like city for players to explore; a rich,
immersive narrative experience; an original soundtrack highlighting the cultural
eclecticism of Liberty City; and newly expanded multiplayer just for the PC.
For more information please visit:
The Project RPB
teaser countdown (story
expired, and now reveals a new Risen
, which consists of a teaser image, and maddeningly, another countdown
timer for Piranha Bytes upcoming RPG (thanks mocib). The World of Piranha site
has be supplanted by the World of Risen page
which is entirely in German, but besides offering a
, really only seems to be selling t-shirts at the
moment anyway. The countdown currently stands at about two weeks, so more time
will probably pass before we get real details on the new RPG project from the
folks behind the Gothic series. Update:
The following press release
offers a bit more, and confirms more information on the game will be released at
the Leipzig Games
that will kick off on August 20, coinciding with the end of that
Deep Silver, the video game label of Koch Media, a leading
producer and distributor of digital entertainment products, and the Piranha
Bytes team announce the name of their joint role-play project: Risen.
With Risen, Piranha Bytes introduces a fresh, new setting. The game’s
protagonist is shipwrecked after a storm and finds himself on a mysterious
island. An active volcano dominates the scene. Ancient temple ruins have
recently risen from the ground, and bizarre creatures infest the island.
″Piranha Bytes have already proven their enormous talent for creating both
enthralling and profound role-playing worlds. With Risen, the team presents a
new exciting scenario providing a great variety of adventures, which will keep
players glued in front of their monitors.″ says Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, Managing
Director of Koch Media.
Further information about Risen will be presented at the Games Convention.
The new teaser site provides a close up of the glowing volcano. A newsletter
provides readers with the latest news. The website is located at:
The working title of Risen has been ″Project RPB″.
RTS developer Massive Entertainment is apparently being shopped around, as
reveals more potential fallout from the formation of
Activision Blizzard as
the newly merged giant assesses its roster of games and developers
learned of the situation while speaking with Martin Walfisz at the Develop
conference, where the Massive Entertainment president and founder told them:
"Apparently they didn’t want an RTS studio in Europe, and to be honest we would
have loved to have worked with Activision, but we’re pretty confident in our
capabilities and there are not many studios that can match our quality."
Complicating the situation is that Activision Blizzard owns the World in
intellectual property as well, and while Massive is currently
working on the Soviet Assault expansion for the RTS game, it is possible
that the IP could be sold off in a separate transaction:
won’t publish [Soviet Assault], no,” said Walfisz. “That’s part of the whole
situation now. In theory they could sell World in Conflict separately from
Massive. I think that any buyer would like to make sure it goes together, but we
don’t own it. Activision owns it, so that’s their call.”
While options are opening for the developer, the company is now effectively in
limbo. Walfisz was confident, though, that Massive will pull through.
“I think that right now everyone is in ‘wait and see’ mode and just want to know
what the future holds,” he said.
EA Prepares for War and Announces Ship Date for Warhammer Online: Age of
announces September 18 as the day of reckoning for
. This means Mythic's fantasy themed MMORPG will be available a few days earlier than
indicated by a recent rumor (story
), and they note, "WAR will be
the first MMORPG to launch servers simultaneously in North America, Europe, and
Oceania." The announcement outlines bonuses that can still be earned by
preordering and subscription plans in addition to a straight monthly $14.99 fee.
Here's a bit:
FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hot on the heels of
spectacular showings at E3 and Comic-Con, Mythic Entertainment, an Electronic
Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) studio, today announced that fans will be able to enter
the gritty fantasy world of Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ (WAR) on
September 18th, 2008 when the highly-anticipated MMORPG goes live. After three
years in development by Virginia-based Mythic Entertainment, WAR will open its
North American, European and Oceanic servers and offer players a variety of
flexible subscription options. Gamers who pre-order WAR in North American will
enjoy special benefits including open beta admission, a live game head start,
and bonus in-game items.
Based on Games Workshop’s epic and longstanding tabletop fantasy war game, WAR
is a unique MMORPG that features revolutionary Realm vs. Realm™ (RvR) gameplay
that will immerse players in a world of perpetual conflict for years to come.
WAR has been recognized for its unique play style that appeals to novice MMO
players while offering incredible depth for more seasoned players.
exclusive World of Warcraft
mount that can be earned via their
Recruit-A-Friend program (thanks
). Complete details on the program can be found in the
, and here's the summary from their website:
the new Recruit-A-Friend program you can earn an exclusive Zhevra mount, receive
a FREE month of game time, and gain access to other exciting in-game benefits.
From the moment your friend creates a character and starts playing you’ll both
earn triple the experience when grouped together and have the ability to summon
one another from anywhere in the world. Also, for every two levels of experience
your friend earns, they can grant one level of experience to one of your
Battlefront.com announces Theatre of War 2: North Africa 1943
, and offers up
the first screenshots and videos from the World War II strategy sequel in the
works at 1C that is said to be "scheduled to be completed near the end of this
year." The media and game info can be found on
the game's official
, and here's a bit:
The game presents more than 40 types of
different vehicles, new types of units, improved graphics and sound, a new
advanced visual system that considers observation angle and smoke screens,
combat inside buildings and hand-to-hand fighting, a brand new interface,
improved soldier AI, and an improved infantry damage system. Special attention
is being devoted to multiplayer and user created missions.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
Coming To North America This Fall
reaffirms the autumn release date
announced with the sports sequel (story
), and offers some detail
on the game, like so:
Slated for a fall 2008 release Pro Evolution Soccer
2009 combines the attention to detail that has been the series’ hallmark with
extensive new additions that are certain to cement the franchise’s reputation as
the world’s definitive soccer title for any format.
Known by millions of fans for its superior gameplay and incredible realism, PES
2009 will further bridge the gap between PES and the real thing. The game has
undergone a stunning graphical update to ensure its players look more like their
real-life counterparts. Similarly, all-new options allow users to tailor the
game to their own tastes, while new stylish moves, innovative control schemes
and key online elements further the realism.
Spacetime Studios Website
) has some unfortunate news about layoffs at the indie developer at
work on Blackstar
, a science-fiction MMORPG:
Our company has been
entirely self-funded the for the last six months while we tried to find a
publishing deal for ‘Blackstar.’ Throughout this period we have held onto our
pre-production development team because, honestly, we think they are the best of
the best. We have been shopping Blackstar around but - right now, at least – the
concept of a SciFi space/ground IP has proven to be a challenge. Our studio
cannot survive at its current burn rate without a publishing deal, so we face a
necessary (though very difficult and painful) decision. We are scaling down from
thirty-two down to sixteen folks in the hopes of developing a pitch, a prototype
and another publishing deal.
We will be letting some very good folks go. They will receive extended benefits
and we will be doing everything we can to help them land on their feet again. We
consider these people to be the cream of the crop, so if you are looking to
staff up your team please drop us a line at
John Carmack Interview: The Godfather of Frag's Plan to Save PC Gaming on
is their chat with the id Software Technical Director as well as
Creative Director Tim Willits. The part about saving PC gaming seems a reference
to Quake Live, and a number of other questions cut to core issues of PC gaming
today, including the impact of piracy, cross-platform development, DirectX and
at 60Hz, the next DOOM
at 30Hz, and more.
A new version 1.55 beta of the
Fistful of Frags
western-themed modification for Half-Life 2
available. Word is: "Here comes a new beta, this one is meant to fix and tweak
core parts of our gameplay. The result is a faster and funner game we hope, but
still preserving the realism characteristic of Fistful of Frags."
Half of the forum posting issue I mentioned is cleared up, so there's just one
detail to fix after our sever move (right now if you are posting the first post
to a story, the "post a comment" screen doesn't show up until you hit the "new
comment" button). Other than that, everything seems to be working normally. Once
again, please feel free to bring any glitchy behavior to my attention. Thanks!