Archived News:

Monday, Jul 20, 2009 Anniversary of First Moonwalk (1969)

id Linux Port Plans

LinuxGames relates an exchange a reader of theirs had with id Software Technical Director John Carmack over plans for Linux ports of future id games (thanks Ant). Linux Wolfenstein is "unlikely," as it is being developed by Raven, and though id has been a longtime supporter of Linux, there are "no firm plans" for Linux RAGE or DOOM 4, "but it certainly isn't off the table." The reason for the uncertainty isn't that his code is less portable, but that OpenGL support is becoming less practical:
Wolfenstein is pretty unlikely, since it was developed at Raven, and published by Activision. There are no firm plans for linux ports of the idTech 5 titles, but it certainly isn’t off the table. I don’t think it will be very difficult to get them running on the binary nvidia drivers, but bringing them up to functionality and acceptable performance on other OpenGL drivers would probably be a more significant undertaking than we could afford.

No PC Dante's Inferno

Electronic Arts has confirmed growing suspicions that Dante's Inferno is not heading to the PC, reports Big Download. EA's statement on the topic is short and to the point: "When Dante's Inferno was originally announced in December, we attached no platforms to the project. When we came out with a first look for press in February we announced 360/PS3 and then in April we announced PSP. We never announced a PC SKU nor are there plans for any." On a related note, EA today announced a six issue comic mini-series based on the game, with the first issue to debut at Comic Con that will employ the talents of Diego Latorre and Christos Gage. Comic Con will also feature the premiere of the trailer for the direct-to-DVD animated feature that will be released at the same time as the game.

East India Company Preorders

GamersGate and Steam now offer the snarky Pirate Bay free DLC preorder bonus Paradox Interactive announced last week for East India Company, the upcoming naval RTS game. The game us currently scheduled for release on July 28 (though Steam says July 31).

Evening Previews

  • Aion on IGN.UK.
  • Alien Breed Evolution on Eurogamer.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 on GameSpy.
  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues on IGN.
  • Need for Speed SHIFT on IGN.
  • Singularity on Hooked Gamers.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- Republic Heroes on IGN.

Evening Screenshot

New Fallout 3 Weapon & Perk

MTV Multiplayer has word from Jeff Gardiner of Bethesda Softworks on new weapons and a new perk to be added to Fallout 3 in the upcoming Mothership Zeta DLC for the post-apocalyptic action/RPG. The mission-specific perk is called Xenotech Expert. Word is: "It increases the damage you do with alien weapons, including the Alien Blaster if the player had found that in the wasteland." And here's what Jeff told them about new weapons:
Mothership Zeta is full of the most high tech weaponry in the game. It includes a Shock Baton for melee fighters, multiple new firearms including an Alien Atomizer, a pistol, and the Alien Disintegrator, a new rifle. There's also a new grenade type, a Cryo Grenade, which freezes enemies for a short period of time. On top of that there are new unique weapons, and a new heavy weapon.

Valve on Community Funding

A Gabe Newell Interview on Good Game is a video conversation with Valve's managing director as well as John Cook and Jason Holtman. The conversation with Gabe has him recounting the history of how Valve got started back at the very beginning and also includes an interesting take on piracy representing under-served customers and how copy-protection is a step in the wrong direction. A topic highlighted by Kotaku is Gabe discussing the idea that there may be a way to develop games with the community investment, rather than publisher funding. It seems the community does this when buying games, but Gabe is talking more about up-front money and how it may help with the creative end. He says:
One of the areas that I am personally super interested in right now is how we can do financing from the community. So right now, what typically happens is you have this budget, it needs to be huge, it has to be ten million to thirty million dollars; it has to be all available at the beginning of the project. And then there's a huge amount of risk associated with those dollars so all the game decisions have to be incredibly conservative.

What I think would be much better would be if the community could finance the games. In other words, ‘Hey, I really like this idea that you have and I'll be an early investor in that.' In venture capital there's a concept that your best investors are your customers, because they have 'secondary gain.' If you are successful they not only want a return on their money, but they're incredibly happy if you actually make a great game that they get to play. It would be really great if we could evolve Steam in a way that made it possible so that a developer could say, you know, 'if you want this game to start moving forward, here's the sort of 'seed round',' were people can sort of opt-in and say 'I'll pay thirty dollars and I own a piece of this game going forward.'

Dawn Of War II Patch Beta Ends

The Dawn Of War II Website announces the conclusion of beta testing for the upcoming "There is Only War" patch for Relic's Warhammer 40K RTS sequel. Word is the test has been successful, though they also indicate the patch will include bug fixes and balance updates that weren't tested, for some reason:
The beta has been successful due to the overwhelming amount of community feedback and support. We have received hundreds of balance suggestions, numerous bug reports, and countless suggestions to undoubtedly make Dawn of War II a stronger, deeper, and more balanced game.

The full release of ‘There is Only War’ will be out soon. In addition to the new content and balance updates included with the beta, the full release of ‘There is Only War’ is coming with even more bug fixes and balance updates.

RAGE Web Updated

The week four update (conceptually, not real-time) update is now live on After the Impact, the high concept web home to RAGE, id Software's upcoming shooter. Even more of the image on the site is interactive for your zooming and magnifying pleasure.

Paradox Sale [Updated]

Paradox Interactive Announces a week-long 50% off sale on digital distribution of all their titles this week, in celebration of the completion of their first-decade in the business. GamersGate already has their sale prices up, and presumably other sites will follow shortly. Update: The sale is now on Steam as well.

C&C4 Info, Screenshots

Command and Conquer Files has information about Command and Conquer 4 and screenshot scans of the coming RTS sequel from the new issue of French gaming magazine PC Jeux. The information includes a few gameplay details and word that the FMV cut scenes "won't consist of much asinine babbling" in front of blue screens. As said, the shots are scans from the magazine, but APOC tweeted this, so any copyright questions can be directed at him.

Dyack on Gameplay vs Story

Dyack- ‘Dominance of gameplay will recede’ on Develop reflect comments in a Develop keynote address by Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack, who feels a shift in games from being dominated by technology and gameplay towards a more narrative focus is underway. He makes an analogy to the early days of cinema, where movies had little narrative focus, depicting scenes like putting out fires and feeding babies that gave way to a more story-oriented approach. Our initial tendency is to disagree, as this seems to ignore the interactive aspect of games that's not present in movies (idiots talking to the screen aside), but Denis seems to think the correlation is there, saying, "if you want to follow the history of film – if videogames follow that similar history, the dominance of gameplay will start to recede."

Bizarre Price Tag

Develop has word that the ultimate price tag for Activision's acquisition of Bizarre Creations could rise to above $107 million if certain performance milestones are reached. Apparently the deal began with a $67.4 million cash payment, but that another $40 million in bonuses could be on the way, depending on the success of Blur.

Op Ed

Gameplayer - Do or Die for id Software.
Well there is no doubt that it is time to deliver. We need to see id Tech 5 in full swing. We need to see genuine gameplay footage of the still in development RAGE and the announced but secretive Doom 4. We need to hear of other developers jumping at the chance to get in on its exciting new middleware. We need hope. And you get bet your original sealed box copy of Doom that new owner Zenimax will expect to see results, and see ‘em soon. Because with new stable-mate kicking goals with Elder Scrolls IV and Fallout 3, id are at serious risk of running a distant second at its new home, and furthermore, of watching a whole generation of gamers come and go without ever knowing the true awesomeness of id.

Gamasutra - Why The Keyboard Is PC Gaming's Secret Weapon. Thanks Ant and Slashdot.
In the name of saving your fingers a stretch, the same button for jump can also be used to climb ladders, run across walls, and cling to ledges. The confines of the controller dictate how the game plays, on a fundamental level, and it's producing some wonderfully inventive ways of interacting with your games. The opposite, however, is true of the PC. With over 100 keys to choose from (back of the box quotation right there), the possibilities are near endless, if you start to think of shift and control functions altering the purpose of keys. It means that, when the developers start to make their game, they don't have to worry about the limitations of the interface, knowing that, if all else fails, they can always assign the compass to K, even if that's a bit of a stretch to all but the pianists. The keyboard is the friend of ambition, and ArmA 2 is the testament to that, in all its surrealist, broken glory.

Morning Previews

  • StarCraft II on IGN.

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

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