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Tuesday, Aug 08, 2000


Ritual Interview

A new interview with Ritual CEO Ron Dimant is up at The Corporation. The interview is quite entertaining, with Ron commenting on the development of Heavy Metal: FAKK2, the Mac port of Sin, Mac gaming in general, Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie, and lots more.

Smart Q&A has conducted a brief Q&A with the always outspoken Derek Smart, the man best known around these parts as the creator of Battlecruiser 3000 AD. The Q&A deals with 3000 AD's upcoming Project ABC (that title is a codename only) which will be powered by Croteam's Serious Sam engine.

BioWare Interview

BioWare producers Ben Smedstad and Trent Oster are interviewed on Enfused, talking about their upcoming RPGs Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, as well as their thoughts on the industry and the company's success with their previous titles. We reported this morning that Ben had left BioWare (story), so naturally this interview was conducted prior to his departure.

New Weapons Factory Arena

Version 1.1 of Weapons Factory Arena, the popular Quake III Arena mod, has been released. The patch is available in many forms, including individual patches for Windows, Linux and Mac users, as well as a special update for those that received version 1.0 on the PC Gamer CD, and contains many new gameplay tweaks as well as a pair of requested features.

FAQs & Guides

  • Shogun
    GameSpot Game Guides has posted their in-depth Shogun: Total War guide, making every effort to help you prevent having to commit hara-kiri after playing this recently released 3D RTS. As usual, the guide can be browsed online for free or downloaded as a PDF for a little under six bucks.
  • New Doom
    On the other hand, the new Doom game is still a long way off, but DoomWorld has already posted a preliminary, Unofficial Doom 3 FAQ, compiling what is currently known or speculated about into one place.
  • Deus Ex
    The busy bees at GameFAQs have posted two updated Deus Ex FAQ/Walkthroughs to guide you through ION Storm's acclaimed 3D action RPG.
  • Diablo II
    Also on GameFAQs are several updated FAQs and guides for Diablo II, offering assistance with the amazingly popular isometric RPG by Blizzard.
  • MOO3
    A Talent For War reports the release of this Master of Orion III FAQ on MOO3 @ The Atrium, answering any questions you may have about this upcoming turn-based strategy game set in space.

Startopia Preview

PC.IGN has posted a new preview of Startopia this evening. The preview contains a generous helping of new gameplay details (including info on each of the game's various races) as well as a number of new screenshots.

Evening Screenshots

Elite Force Diary

There is a new Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force Designer Diary on GameRush, with lead designer Chris Foster talking about his early years at Raven, the start of the Elite Force project, how they came up with the idea of making the Hazard Team the focus of the game, and how development is now culminating in the dreaded crunch-time.

Dark Reign 2 Map

It's a Tuesday, so Pandemic Studios has released a new multiplayer map for Dark Reign 2, and this week's offering is a two player map called '2slimey', quite appropriately set in the Sewers world.

More Alice Music

A new MP3 featuring music from the soundtrack to American McGee's Alice is up at Gamecenter. The soundtrack is by former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna, and is a different song than the one released a few weeks ago at Daily Radar (story).

Ground Control Map

Massive Entertainment level designer Niklas Larsson has released another new Ground Control map, available for download at Ground Control Center. This release is a single-player map where you have to "sneak into an OND camp and rescue held prisoners."

Afternoon Screenshots

Multiplayer RPG Q&As

A trio of massively multiplayer RPG Q&As are online for your reading enjoyment: Glide Underground interviews David Allen, talking with the CEO of Artifact Entertainment about their ambitious title Horizons. Also, several members of the Caeron3000 development team are interviewed on RPG Vault, while GameSurge chats with members of the Dark Zion team at Wombat Games.

New Powerpillz

The first non-beta release of Powerpillz for Quake III Arena is now available, bringing the mod to the always welcome version 1.0. This new version contains a ton of gameplay tweaks, bug fixes and changes over the last public beta.

New Alliance CTF

Version 1.2 of the Alliance CTF mod for Quake III Arena has been released. This new version contains a number of bug fixes and gameplay tweaks, and is available for download as a full install executable or a manual install ZIP file.

Project ABC Q&A

Derek Smart, the outspoken head of 3000 AD, is interviewed on AVault, talking about the game known as Project ABC which was just announced yesterday (story). Derek explains the decision to license the Serious Sam engine from Croteam before the game is actually complete, and says that the game is not a new chapter in the Battlecruiser saga, nor is it a first person shooter.

Neverwinter Nights Article

A new article at Games looks back at the original massively multiplayer Neverwinter Nights (which was a mainstay on AOL for years) and ahead to the upcoming NWN RPG from BioWare. The piece contains quotes from BioWare communications manager Brad Grier along with "Snake", a hard-core fan of the original game.

More Q&As

GamersEd's Week in Our Worlds rolls on with today's pair of Q&As. Raven's Mike Schulenberg and Valve's Jeff Lane are in the hot seat today, with each explaining what it is that they do at their respective companies, and how they got there.

FAKK2 Patch Soon

Ritual's Mark Dochtermann made a brief .plan update with word that they will be releasing a patch for Heavy Metal: FAKK2 this weekend, along with a request for anyone experiencing crashes to contact him. Here's what he has to say:

Thanks for everyone purchasing Heavy Metal FAKK 2. I hope everyone out there enjoys the heck out of it. As is often the case with software development, we have had reports of lockups and crashes on exit with certain machine configurations. We are working very hard to solve these problems so that everyone can enjoy the game. We will have a patch out for the game this weekend. If you are experiencing any lockup or exit problems with FAKK 2, and live in the DFW area, please email me. Of course every system we tested the game on before shipping it did not exhibit any of these problems.

Summoner Interview

Volition's Anoop Shekar is interviewed on CombatWorld, talking about their upcoming RPG Summoner, the various members of their team, and more. According to Anoop, the game is "80 - 90% complete."

Catch the Chicken Released

The first public release of Catch the Chicken for Quake III Arena is now available (thanks Chris Jones). The mod is described as "a cleverly disguised alien ploy to destroy the universe, or a silly mod for Quake 3" and contains both standard and teamplay variations. This first release is numbered version 1.43 Alpha.

Bleeding Thumbs Interview

A brief interview with BBC producer Jon Riley is up at Wireplay, talking with him about Bleeding Thumbs, the deathmatch gameshow that they will be unveiling this Fall. Jon talks about what they're attempting to accomplish with the show, and also says that they are looking into releasing their custom Unreal Tournament mod to the general public.

More Elite Force Shots

In case you missed the plethora of shots posted around the web these last few days, GameSpot UK has 18 new shots from Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, taken from their beta copy of the game.

Battle Realms Preview

Also on GameSpot UK this afternoon is a new preview of Battle Realms, the upcoming strategy game from Crave and Liquid Entertainment. This being GameSpot UK, there are of course new screenshots, although there are only four.

TRIBES 2 Server Details

Dynamix' Dave Georgeson made a post to Sierra's official TRIBES 2 forum with some preliminary server system requirements for their upcoming open beta program (thanks James). Here are the details:

We're going to be accepting applications for Tribes 2 Beta Servers at the same time that we take apps for beta testers. (And, in fact, on the same web-based form.)

The requirements for a T2 server will be high so that performance during beta is not an issue. Requirements will be LOWER THAN THIS in the released version, so don't panic.

Here are the BETA requirements for a dedicated testing server, if you are interested:

-- broadband network connection (not a modem)
-- CPU speed 600 MHz or greater
-- 256 MB of RAM or greater
-- dedicated server (i.e. you cannot play the game on the machine.)
-- the machine must be running 24/7 during the beta test

Those folks that run dedicated servers during beta are a shoe-in for "authorized" sites after release. "Authorized" sites will get perks. I'm not sure what those will be yet, but they'll get 'em.

Elite Force Shots

A whopping 15 new screenshots from Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, Raven's nearly complete Quake III Arena engine title are up at Sci-Fi Gaming, taken from their beta copy of the full game. The shots were taken on a GeForce with full scene anti-aliasing enabled.

Throne of Darkness Shots

If last night's barrage of screenshots from Throne of Darkness wasn't enough for you, be sure to check out the 12 new shots on GA-Source, taken from their early alpha build of the game.

On NiN Doom Score

AMD Zone's Jeff Tom attended QuakeCon over the weekend, and caught up with John Carmack to ask a question about Trent Reznor's possible involvement with the Doom 3 soundtrack (thanks Fabian and SeemsLikeSalvation). Here's what Carmack had to say:

After the crowd had left, I asked John Carmack what the status of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Doom 3 was. Apparently, Trent very much wants to do the music for Doom 3. Carmack added that a title soundtrack would also be something they might do for Doom 3, such as done with Quake III, as well as an opening theme like the Quake II introduction sequence. The music should be more ambient as well than id’s two previous games, Quake II and Quake III. All those who are worried about not being able to hear enemies in the game can breathe a sigh of relief, as this will also not be an issue with Doom 3’s music.

Industry Movements

A post on Stomped follows-up on the recent news that a few members of the Anachronox team had left ION Storm (story and story) with more on what new companies some of those folks have landed with. According to the report, Seneca Menard, versatile level designer, modeler, and texture artist on the Anachronox project, has joined id Software as "an all-around artist who can also do level design," and that former Anachronox artist Lee Dotson is now at Rogue helping finish up Alice. On a similar topic, a post on RPGvault has word that Ben Smedstad, producer for Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, has departed BioWare. Word is "the reasons for the departure and his future goals remain unknown." Update: The Stomped story (and therefore we) reported that one-time Anach lead artist Lee Perry has joined Retro Studios, current home to one-time id contract programmer Zoid and GameSpy programmer and former 3dfxer/Ritual Killer, Jack "morbid" Mathews, but Lee contacted us to let us know that this was not accurate, but that he is currently considering such a position.

Beau Anderson Interview

FAKK˛Central Interviews Beau "Grue" Anderson talking with the artist behind the skins in Heavy Metal FAKK2, which of course left the responsibility on his shoulders that these skins would be up to the inspiration of the original Julie Strain (inspirational is a great word to describe her, too). The conversation briefly covers Beau's beginnings at Ritual, and then launches into questions about his contributions to Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2.

Kenn Hoekstra Interview

PlayNOW! interviews Kenn Hoekstra accessing the accessible Raven Software project administrator in a conversation centered around Star Trek: Voyager-Elite Force, talking about what to expect from the Quake III-engine shooter, and discussing some of what is found in the game's demo.

Rustin Parr Interview

eUniverse's Blair Witch Volume 1 Interview talks with Jeff Mills Terminal Reality's executive producer on one of the upcoming Blair Witch Project games that will use the Nocturne engine, talking about the plot and gameplay from Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr.

Morning Screenshots

Dreamcast Q3A Preview

GameSpot previews Quake III Arena for the Dreamcast offering "more than 50 shots, a video interview, new footage of the Dreamcast version of Quake III Arena, and (a) full preview" looking ahead at the upcoming console port. Included in the video clips are an interview with id's Graeme Devine, talking about the port, and a couple of clips of footage of the game in action on the Dreamcast, one showing deathmatch, and the other CTF.

Try Before you Buy

The Fallen Free Online Test on GameSpot UK News announces Simon & Schuster's plans to make Star Trek DS9: The Fallen and DS9: Dominion Wars, two of their upcoming Trekkie games, available for a free limited time test period. Calling it a try before you buy program, rather than shareware, more details are in this press release.

Tech Bits

Rocket Arena 3 Server Fix

The Rocket Arena website has news of a version 1.1 fix for the recently released Quake III Arena version of Rocket Arena. The patch, which is required for server operators only, "fixes a number of issues from the initial release and should give us a stable platform to build future features on." Again, clients do not need to download this release.

Vampire Key Warning

Syco from PlanetVampire sends word of a post to the Nihilistic Bulletin Boards that warns of a scam where someone posing as an official of Blizzard has been sending emails requesting verification of CD keys for Vampire: The Masquerade-Redemption. As is usually the case when its a story like this, the mails are fakes, and no one from Activision or Nihilistic (much less Blizzard, who are unconnected with the game) are actually requesting keys, this is just a scam to steal them.


The CPL Announces First Ever Female Cash Tournament is the press release with details of an upcoming gender-specific competition at The FRAG 4 this fall. Also, registration is underway for The Ritual 2000, slated for the end of this month in Orange Park, FL.

The Mod Squads

ModNation's Mission to Mars interview talks with the team behind the upcoming Mission to Mars modification that will create Half-Life gameplay inspired by the movie considered to be one of the all time classics (no wait, that was Citizen Kane).

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Wow, just when you are worried you may not have anything goofy enough to say (I keep a brick by my computer to klunk myself with when this sort of idiot's block arises), rescue comes in the form of a trivial tidbit via email. Thanks Chris Morris at WRE for pointing out that today is actor Donny Most's birthday, the man who portrayed Ralph Malph is 47 years old today (sit on it Potsie, you're no spring chicken yourself).

Story of the Day: Harrison Ford Rescues Hiker. Thanks devicer.

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