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Tuesday, Jun 27, 2000


Private Wars Q&A

Public Wars, the official fan site for Private Wars, has posted a Q&A with lead designer Sergey Titov compiled from their message board. Sergey briefly explains some of the features in this upcoming tactical combat game by TS Group, and has also issued a statement on the online nature of the game.

Evening Screenshots

  • Metal Fatigue
    Second Look: Metal Fatigue on GamePro offers six new screenshots of Zono's 3D real-time strategy game that will be winging its way onto store shelves shortly.
  • Fallout: Tactics
    Computer Games Online has posted a brief preview of Fallout: Tactics that includes a few new screenshots of the turn-based strategy game by Interplay.
  • Icewind Dale
    A pair of new Icewind Dale screenshots on GA-RPG mark the gilding of the isometric role-playing game, also by Interplay.

Call To Power II Preview

Call To Power II Impressions on GameSpot is a brief preview of the turn-based strategy sequel by Activision. Included with the overview of the new features and enchancements are ten new screenshots.

Arcanum Interview

Newly opened Dimensions of Arcanum has conducted an interview with Troika's Leonard Boyarsky, talking about their isometric RPG Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura that is due for a September release. Leonard explains the skill system, the editor that will ship with the game, and other features, and there are also a few new screenshots.

Diablo II Patch

Even before the game has appeared on store shelves, Blizzard has released a version 1.01 patch for Diablo II (thanks Stomped). The patch fixes a whole list of major and minor bugs, and can also be applied via the auto-update feature through (once you have the game, of course).

Half-Life Tomorrow

Valve Software's Doug Lombardi sent along word that they will be releasing version patches for Half-Life tomorrow at 2:00 PM EDT (11:00 AM PDT). Here is the announcement, which includes information on the changes the new version will bring:

Valve will release HL Update tomorrow at 11 am PST. The update includes improvements for graphic card issues, connection problems, game rules exploit problems, as well as resource and performance issues. Players can update their version via Half-Life's Auto Update feature or traditional download.

Starship Troopers Preview

Gamecenter has posted a preview of Starship Troopers looking ahead to the 3D real-time strategy game by Blue Tongue and MicroProse. The article is illustrated by familiar screenshots, but gives a good overview of what's in store, and includes quotes from producer Tom Zahorik.

Half-Life API

Valve Announces New Persistent API for Half-Life on Gamecenter descibes a new API for Half-Life that will allow developers to create mods that store persistent data for each player, allowing "a whole new generation of mods, even an online RPG mod of sorts." The technolgy has been dubbed the Valve Player Persistence API, and the article contains examples and quotes by Valve's Gabe Newell on its possible uses. Futher details on the VPP API are to be released soon.

Sacrifice Update

An update to the official Sacrifice site reveals an additional three Stratos Servants, completing this group of characters in Shiny's 3D action/strategy hybrid from which the first six were unveiled yesterday (story).

MechWarrior 4 & Loose Cannon Movies

At the start of E3 last month, Microsoft's E3 website was updated with info, screenshots and a streaming movie trailer for several games, including MechWarrior 4: Vengeance and Loose Cannon (story). The streaming trailers turned out to be a bit flakey, and they have now been replaced with regular AVI's, so if you were unable to view them (as I was), head on over and check them out.

Shadow of Reality Screenshot

Justin Meisse, skinner at Nevolution, has posted a new screenshot of Shadows of Reality on the Skindom message board. The shot depicts the player in their upcoming 3D action role-playing game that is being built with the Unreal engine.

Terminus Patches

Vicarious Visions has released version 1.2 patches for Terminus, available for both demo and retail editions for Windows, Linux and Mac. The patches add GameRanger support and fix the gauntlet docking bug in all editions, as well as fixing issues specific to each of the three platforms. Terminus is the 4X space sim that arrived on store shelves today. The Windows demo at AVault has also been updated to version 1.2, as has the Mac demo at MacGameFiles.

Summoner Update

It's a Tuesday, so it's time for another update to the official Summoner site, where a new PS2 screenshot of the week shows off a Death spell effect. Also, a new soundtrack MP3 entitled "Return to Lenele" is now available on the downloads page.


A new version 1.15b of Q3COMP is now available, adding cheat prevention by way of a client / server authentication process, among other new features and bug fixes. The mod is no longer server-side only, so server admins and players alike need to apply it in order to use its competition and match play features.

Digital Extremes & 3D Realms Chats

The Digital Extremes site has word of an IRC chat tonight at 9:30 EDT (6:30 PDT) where several members of the DE team will participate to talk about Dark Sector, their upcoming massively multiplayer first-person shooter that is being built upon the Unreal Tournament engine. Connect to server on channel #DigitalExtremes to participate in the fun. Also, we posted the first announcement a week ago (story), so a reminder that 3D Realms will be joining in a chat tonight at 7:00 EDT seems useful. The chat will be moderated, so check MadOnion for details to participate.

GameSpy Arcade Released

After a seemingly endless internal beta phase, GameSpy Arcade 1.0 has been released. GSA is a new program (not an upgrade to the GameSpy server browser) that features instant messaging, integrated chat, and matchmaking support for over 100 games including Age of Empires, Aliens vs. Predator and Starlancer (not to mention the GameSpy standards like Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament and Half-Life).

New Strike Force

Beta version 1.26 of the Strike Force mod for Unreal Tournament has been released. This new version contains new weapons, skins and other changes, and is a small download as the new levels will be released later this week in separate map packs. Danke, who have a German mirror up.

Vampire Update

Nihilistic's Rob Huebner made a gigantic update to his .plan with details on the upcoming patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, as well as word that they will be releasing not one, but two demos of the game sometime next week and details on the next release of their Nod SDK (which will contain the level source .MAP files for people to play with). Here's an excerpt with a rundown of the new features in the patch that is in final QA testing at Activision:

The final submission of the patch is going out to Activision today. This is the patch that addresses the issues that Ray posted about earlier on the boards, but just by way of summary:

- Save anywhere, named save slots, warnings on overwriting autosaves
- Pause during combat to issue orders or adjust inventory, disciplines, etc. (this looks really cool BTW - because you still have full camera control while the particles and effects are all paused, very matrix-esque)
- Bug fixes (of course)
- Tweaked AI use of disciplines a bit based on user feedback
- Improved collision-avoidance and pathfinding issues based on feedback
- Improvements to make the game more modifiable (changes to how files are
found and opened at startup, mainly, easier to add templates and skins)
- Difficulty tweaked in a few key areas

For MP:

- Much lower bandwidth usage for MP games on modems
- New Storyteller abilities:
- Rename characters in the game at will
- Change player generation and humanity stats
- Move NPCs between locations
- Better performance with load-balancing on chat servers, etc.

These are the main points, there are a lot of more minor tweaks throughout the game. Most of the changes were based on user feedback on our web site and bug reports submitted to Activision's customer support folks.

Hitman Interview

Dutch site has conducted an interview on Hitman: Codename 47, talking to IO Interactive animator Jens Peter Kurup about their upcoming 3D action game. Jens explains the choice of the third-person perspective, the use of realistic weapons, and other topics. The interview is part of a Dutch preview of the game that is of interest if you can read the language (as Babel Fish offers no help there), but also appears to include a few new screenshots.

Gothic Screenshots

There are a dozen or so new screenshots of Gothic on RPGVault, showing off new scenes from the 3D action RPG being crafted by Piranha Bytes for a Summer release. The shots illustrate the fantasy world and its inhabitants, as well as a few spell effects.

Red Faction Shots

Computer and Video Games News has posted twenty new screenshots of Red Faction, the upcoming first-person shooter from Volition that sports the deformable terrain engine Geo-Mod (thanks Stomped). The shots appear to be taken from the E3 demo, so the areas are familiar, but at least the angles are new.

KISS Shots

Six new screenshots from KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child are up at AVault, along with a detailed features list. The game is supposed to be released on the PC late next month and for Dreamcast in September.

Sanity Reports

Nuclear Winter Gaming Network has written a preview of Monolith's Sanity, which is based on the current multiplayer beta test, with a rundown of the various features and the author's impressions of the game. Also, GA-RPG has 12 new screenshots taken from their copy of the beta, showing off some of the various spell effects.

Return to Wolfenstein Preview

GameSpot TV has posted a preview of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Gray Matter Studios' upcoming Quake III Arena engine sequel to id Software's classic Wolf 3D. The preview features a streaming video with footage of both Wolfenstein games (but not the original 2D ones that inspired them) and comments by producer Drew Markham. In addition, they have a full 20 minute interview with Markham up, in which he talks about the history of the FPS genre, the original Wolf 3D, the game's plot, and lots more.

Jagged Alliance Interview

Jagged Alliance 3: In search of Currie and Luger on GamesDomain is an interview with Sir-Tech's lead designer on Jagged Alliance 2, Ian Currie, who talks about this acclaimed turn-based strategy game that was released last year, the upcoming expansion pack that is still looking for a publisher, and of course about the sequel. Jagged Alliance 3 will feature a 3D environment and is being designed with multiplayer in mind, but few other details are revealed as the game is still early in development.

Crimson Skies Preview

GamePen has posted a hands-on preview of Crimson Skies, looking ahead to the action flyer by Zipper Interactive that takes place in a fantasy 1930's universe. The article covers this concept, the missions and gameplay, as well as the engine and the multiplayer features, and offers a handful of new screenshots.

Reznor on Doom

There is an article at about Nine Inch Nails musician Trent Reznor, asking him about what software he uses to compose music and edit videos (surprise: it's all Apple's). The eye-opening part is that he mentions that he's been speaking with John Carmack about scoring the soundtrack for id's next Doom game (thanks jwsimms). Here's the quote, which makes it sound like he's pretty much agreed to do it:

Then he confides that he’s been talking to John Carmack about scoring the music for a new version of Doom. “I would do something like that mainly because it’s a hobby of mine, I appreciate the technology, and it’s fun to work outside Nine Inch Nails once in a while.”

“Quake was fun because they didn’t want hard-rock goofy music going through the game,” explains Reznor, “it was all about atmosphere at the time.”

3rd World Interview has conducted an interview on 3rd World, a new multiplayer space sim that is being developed by XYZ Team. Programmer Vitomir Jevremovic explains the concept of the game, which mixes role-playing elements with the space combat, likening it to the venerable Elite, and the first four screenshots show off more from the universe they're creating.

Blair Witch: Rustin Parr Preview

Hand-On Blair Witch Rustin Parr on GA-Source relates their experiences with a playable build of the upcoming horror action adventure by Terminal Reality, which is being built upon the Nocturne engine. The article describes the improvements made in that department, among other topics, and comes with an even dozen new screenshots.

Resident Evil: Nemesis Movies

There are three movie clips of Resident Evil: Nemesis on, offering the first in-game and cutscene footage from the third-person zombie romp that is being ported from the Playstation version by Capcom.

Homeworld: Cataclysm Preview

Games Domain has posted a brief preview of Homeworld: Cataclysm, the space-based RTS sequel from Barking Dog. As it's based on a beta build of the game, the article also includes a dozen new screenshots.

Raven Interview

Stomped interviews Chris Foster talking with Raven Software's lead designer on Star Trek: Voyager--Elite Force. The Q&A covers mostly familiar ground, discussing the challenges of recreating a familiar environment, plans for release of a level editor, and stuff like that, though the final question asking his favorite moment from the game left Chris practically at a loss for words.

The Chris Taylors Speak

A pair of conversations with a pair of Chris Taylors, as interviews Chris Taylor of Interplay to discuss progress on Fallout: Tactics (thanks Meanwhile, DungeonSiege.Org has posted answers from Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games to reader-submitted questions from their forums about his current project, Dungeon Siege, the upcoming 3D action/RPG.

Cleopatra Q&A

GA-Strategy interviews Alex Xander Rodberg talking with the brand manager at Impressions Games about progress on Cleopatra, their upcoming asp-kicking (sorry, couldn't resist) add-on for Pharaoh, the city construction strategy game that tries to disprove those old adages about not building your house on a foundation of sand.

Tech Bits

Ultima Worlds Online: Origin Chat

An online chat session on UO2Vault is planned for tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at 8:00 PM EDT. The chat will cover Ultima Worlds Online: Origin, the confusingly-renamed upcoming sequel to Ultima Online. The topic of the evening will be skill trees.

Diablo II Dates

DiabloII.Net has posted a press release updating the street date for most locations as June 30, an update to previous reports that put the date as the 28th or 29th. Meanwhile, BigKid games reports that Diablo II should be on OZ store shelves on July 7, along with other down under release info, including word on a new distribution deal for Havas Interactive AU.

Q3A Focal Point

End Time Mod Productions has the debut beta release of Focal Point, a teamplay modification for Quake III Arena. With the ambitious goal of offering "a new focus in the same manner that CTF was to Quake 1," the mod offers one or more "focal points" on the map, objects that will add to your score for every second you possess them. With no bases or similar areas to offer refuge, the mod takes on a fast-pased, free-flowing style of play.

New Q_Check

A new version 2.00 of the Q_Check mIRC auto-away plug-in script for GameSpy is now available, offering a similar function for mIRC users as the latest registered version of GameSpy does for ICQ users (notifying the world where you are when you're off playing). The program also offers support for the csDoom Wizard front-end.


Make an Offer's Eidos contest offers the opportunity to win a chance to beat John Romero at his own game at Daikatana deathmatch, which will take place on a houseboat near Austin Texas. Gilligan's Island fans be warned that the all-expense paid trip includes a "three hour tour" on the boat. Meanwhile, Battlelink Net has details up about the upcoming UT Con East 2000 event. Finally, Teamplay.Net's Battle of the Lands is a planned all-star Unreal Tournament CTF competition that will pit the best of the US versus the best of Canada.

The Mod Squads

Daily Radar's Mod Week is underway, kicking off with a look at one of the least obscure mods available, Valve's TeamFortress Classic for Half-Life. Word on the Q3Fortress website is that part of the Team Assault team has merged into their project, meaning the latter project looks finished, while the former, hopefully, will now progress sooner. PlanetQ3F has an interview up on the subject with the leaders of each team. has new screenshot up from the Half-Life World H-L mod. UK Clanzone interviews the UT SWAT team.

Editing Stuff

A new article called Making a Single Player Mission on Ground Control Headquarters offers step-by-step instructions on how to create your own single-player levels in Ground Control. The tutorial offers tips on everything from setting up the editor, to scripting the level objectives. osX has posted a comprehensive UnrealEd reference section for both Windows and Mac users, and they also have a new page of tools for Mac UnrealEd users as a one stop shop for Unreal editing on the Mac. Thanks PlanetUnreal.

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Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

A couple of birthdays: Sunday was Valve Software's Steve "Wedge" Bond's birthday, and yesterday the birthday of Corrinne Yu (formerly of ION Storm, programming at 3DRealms last we heard from her). Our best wishes to both (please save us some cake).

Link of the Day: Are you a Badass? A great test on the subject. Thanks Wayne.
Bonus Link: The Keanu Report. Investigating possible satanic connections, though I can't imagine the ultimate evil actually admitting to be a meathead, which Keanu has already done. Thanks David Mueller.

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