Archived News:

Friday, Aug 22, 2008

Red Alert 3 Beta Opens

Red Alert 3 Beta Page on FilePlanet is now offering Red Alert 3 beta signups for all FilePlanet users, not just paid subscribers. If you're interested time is of the essence, as word is: "This event is a first come first served, limited access beta and keys will go fast so sign up immediately!"

Project Origin Delayed

Project Origin is now expected in the first quarter of 2009, a delay from its previously planned release later this year, reports IGN. They learned of the setback during a demo of Monolith's sequel to the horror-themed first-person shooter F.E.A.R., but no reason was supplied.

On Revamping WoW Graphics

The World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Interview on Eurogamer is another conversation from the Leipzig show with designer Tom Chilton and producer J. Allen Brack about the upcoming WoW expansion. They talk about new graphics options in the expansion, but when asked about how to entirely replace an aging graphics engine in an MMORPG, they point out that both Ultima Online and EverQuest created new graphics engines that some users refused to adopt because of performance drop-offs and other issues. In spite of that, Brack admits that they will "probably" need a "graphical update from the ground up at some point," and he is "positive we'll talk about it next expansion." Thanks IncGamers.

Diablo III Interviews

The Diablo III Interview on Boomtown recaps a sit-down at the Leipzig Games Conference with Jay Wilson, lead designer on Diablo III. They discuss progress on Blizzard's eagerly anticipated action/RPG sequel, at one point describing how they have scrapped the artwork in Act I several times and started over, and Jay also once again addresses controversy over the game's color palette. There's also Diablo III Interview on Eurogamer also talking with Wilson, who gives an interesting and frank assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of previous Diablo games ("I felt that as a role-playing game, it really sold itself short, and as an action game, it really sold itself short. What it did right was the addiction, the drops."), and how the new game will improve upon those shortcomings.

Evening Preview

♪♫ Intermission ♫♪

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black


C&C3 State of the Union

The C&C Support Forums have a post from community manager APOC with a "state of the union" for community members concerned about EA's commitment to Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and the Kane's Wrath expansion. Finalizing Red Alert 3 is currently in focus, but he says "my heart is still engraved in C&C 3 and Kane's Wrath and I am working equally as hard on the prospect of our next patch and the SDK." The MOD SDK situation is a good news, bad news deal, as while he is "working early on our RA3 MOD SDK," but for C&C3 he says "the MOD SDK situation is looking increasingly dire due to technical reasons, but I am exercising every option." He also says the "recent patch 1.01 has barely been out a few weeks" and that they don't want to upset the balance of the current ladder season as reasons for forestalling a the next patch for the game, but reaffirms their commitment to an update: "I understand the desires of having a new patch soon and the SDK asap, but I want you guys to know neither is forgotten, its simply a busy time these past couple of weeks especially with Red Alert 3, but I assure you I am working on all the above for C&C 3 and KW to the best that I can internally and with my strong army of volunteers." Thanks Ant and Planet Command & Conquer.

Ships Ahoy - Tank Universal

Meridian 4 announces that Tank Universal is now available, as this independently-developed "Tron-like" armored combat game is on several sites like Steam and Direct2Drive for online purchase and download for $9.99 USD. The game features 20 levels "of highly addictive and intense tank battles," though "some missions require you to leave the safety of your tank and explore the world on foot." The Tank Universal homepage offers more details as well as a playable demo (story).

DICE: BF Heroes "Already Released"

There's a Ben Cousins Q&A on talking with the executive producer on Battlefield Heroes about DICE's subscription-free multiplayer shooter. Topics include how they've scaled battles back to 16 players (they will look at expanding this to 64 over time), what they've learned from beta testing, appealing to less hardcore players, and more. Most interesting is a bit highlighted in a separate post about the game's release plans, as Ben says there is not going to be a dramatic launch of the game one day, but rather the closed beta will continue to expand to the point that "every hardcore gamer in the world will probably be able to get a key if they want to - it would just be within a closed beta so that we can control the size of it to a degree." To that end, he takes issue with the idea that the game is delayed from its summer release, saying "Actually, we're in the closed beta already, so the game is already out and you can't delay a game that's already been released and already been played by people." He describes social networking features to be added over the course of the beta, and on whether the game will miss out on not having a big splashy "release," he calls Heroes "a modern web product" in the vein of Facebook or Wikipedia, which did not have big launch moments, saying "These things grow over time and become enormous by the network effect rather than having to rely on traditional marketing methods, where obviously you bank of all your money in a particular three-week period and try and get in front of everybody. We've got the luxury of using the internet to spread the word about it - not relying on that critical period of communication about the game."

Prince of Persia: Dancing on the Ceiling

Eurogamer reports from the Leipzig Games Convention on a new maneuver being added to the repertoire of acrobatics in the upcoming Prince of Persia game. They have given the Prince an ability to run across ceilings, not actually sticking Spider-Man style, but rather with a little assistance, though not as much as Spider-Pig, as the player must find the proper rhythm to grab elements of the roof to make this work, similar to other jumping mechanics in the game. Level designer Michael MacIntyre is quoted saying: "With this new move, our level designers had all the tools they needed to create acrobatic sequences that can use pretty much every surface in the game."

Nordic Games Formed; Wants to be "IKEA" of Games

MCV reports that Scandinavian game distributor Game Outlet has moved into the game publishing space, forming a new subsidiary Nordic Games. The publisher will focus on casual and mid-priced games for the PS2, Wii, DS and PC to start, but will look to evolve past that in the future, and word is it already has five projects in development across 11 different SKUs. Nordic Games says "with the huge expansion of the market we feel it is the right time to enter the publishing business," and that they are looking to emulate the success of some countrymen, though hopefully this doesn't mean users will have to assemble the games themselves: "Being Swedish, we have adopted the IKEA philosophy, which means every product we do will aim to give consumers great quality and value, at tremendous prices."

DigitalLife Expo Cancelled

CNET reports the cancellation of this year's DigitalLife Expo, Ziff Davis Media's New York City-based trade show, though one of the execs in charge is quoted saying "Hopefully, a bigger and stronger DigitalLife will return in 2009." Poor economic conditions are cited as the reason for the cancellation, though the article points out the show has had a difficult time emerging from the shadow of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and was coming off a fairly disappointing show last year. Thanks Joystiq.

Boxed Birth of America 2

Matrix Games is now offering sales of Birth of America 2: Wars in America 1750-1815, the turn-based wargame sequel that has been available digitally from developer AGEOD for a couple of weeks now (story). Matrix is also offering the game for digital download, but for a relatively small premium ($10.00 in the US), they will also ship a boxed copy.

New World in Conflict Editor Plans has news about a new version 1.2 of WicEd is on the way for World in Conflict, which will offer "lots of new features to make your maps even better." They outline a handful of new features and enhancements, and offer this overview: "The new WicEd update adds lots of new features to the tool, including new editors for the bloom and mood systems, new sleeker interface solutions and a brand new resolution editor." The new version is said to be "coming soon."

NecroVisioN Cinematic

A new cinematic trailer for NecroVisioN conveys the mood of The Farm 51's upcoming Painkiller-engine supernatural first-person shooter that is set during World War I. The movie is posted on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Postal 3 Video Interview

Games32's Postal 3 Interview (NSFW) talks with Vince Desi of Running With Scissors about the shooter sequel. The clip uses the mic on the camcorder, complicated by the interviewer's accent and the ambient noise of the game demo that accompanies the conversation, but Vince manages to come through pretty well. Gameplay is also shown in second-hand ShakyCam footage of the running game demo, but the bright lighting in the room makes for fairly washed-out, flickery footage.

Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason Movie

A new Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason movie offers a look at the first-person horror game in the works at Ukrainian developer Action Forms. The clip demonstrates a number of the game's spooky environments and a bit of melee combat. You can find this movie on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell. and MyGameTrailers.

Safety Dance

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

The work is about to begin on the new sidewalks I recently mentioned we're getting, and we are pleased at the prospect of replacing our broken walkway. However, now that backhoe is parked right outside our house, where it will probably be for a week, which may be too much strain on my willpower, as I've had a lifelong fascination with the prospect of "borrowing" every piece of earth-moving equipment I ever see in such an unattended state.

Tempting Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Putt Base. Thanks Jay is Games.
Links: More Half-Life Crossword Fun.
DIY Case Mods - Suitcase turned into PC.
Stories: Stargate Atlantis Has Been Axed.
'World's Greatest Dad' gets 3-20 years in prison. Beyond creepy. Thanks jimnms.
The Philippines' MILF rebels. Thanks Pete.
Science: Dogs have a sense of right and wrong. Thanks Digg.
Oil Workers Discover Saber-Toothed Fossils. Thanks brother19.
Twisted Physics: Paging Professor Frodo. Thanks
Images: The Official DOOM Comic Book From '96.
New Max Payne Posters.
Media: Most Painful Madden Glitch Ever. Gross, man.
1988 MIT Virus: Propagation and Media Speculation.
Wonder Woman Locks Her Keys In The Jet.
Follow-ups: Lawsuit seeks EPA pesticide data. Regarding bee die-offs.
Report: Hacker Uncovers Proof Chinese Gymnast Is Underage. Thanks brother19.
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