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    Archive for September, 2000


    Saturday, September 30, 2000

    This is Ridiculous... - Hobbes @ 8:12 pm PST
    As a member of GS, I must say that this whole 3-day notice thing was a bad fault on GameFan. 3 days to find a new server? That is so hard to do it's not even funny. I am disappointed in GameFan and their host as well. Well, we will work on getting a new server up ASAP. Until then, make sure to keep checking the domain to see if we are back up.

    Server Shut down - Falcon @ 9:02 am PST
    Well you've probably read shiva's post by now, but I feel I should add in my 2 cents.
    Everyone here at GS is more than annoyed at the events that have occured and the manner in which GFN has handled them.
    Basically we have been given 3 days notice that the network will be shut down, and told to get a mirror of the site before then. Now when you actually see the size of GS, weighing in at 500MB and 7000+ files this is no easy task.
    Unfortunately we have nowhere near enough time to find a new network before the closure and therefore we will be down for an unknown period of time, possibly up to 2 weeks. Please check the domain every couple of days as we will work on getting back to our feet ASAP.
    Meanwhile any emails to me should be directed to falcon@polar.icestorm.net

    Starcraft Trigger Map of the Month - Hobbes @ 12:32 am PST
    If you recall, a month ago, Blizzard official stopped the Starcraft Map of the Week series so they could move on to bigger and better projects, but they did promise to continue maps with the Starcraft Trigger Map of the Month. Here is the first one:

    The newest Starcraft Trigger Map of the Month is entitled Trade Masters . It is a 128x192 map using the ice tileset and is designed for 4-6 players in 'use map settings' mode.

    Urgent Press Release from Transmatter Inc.

    "With the creation of the Gluon-B21 Teleportation System two years ago, many high-ranking military officials believed that they had finally found the ultimate way to reinforce distant armies across the vastness of space. The initial excitement turned to disappointment, however, when members of the 33rd Infantry Battalion proceeded to randomly and spontaneously combust on the battlefield after utilizing the device. The B21 system was quickly shelved for an extensive re-evaluation. Now, after four years of strenuous work and testing, I am proud to announce the vastly improved Muon-B22 Teleportation System is finally ready for live field trials. We are confident in the safety and reliability of the system, and I believe we are seeing the dawn of a new era in military science."


    - Dr. Ulani Tirano - Head Scientist, Transmatter Inc.

    You can download the map here.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    GameSurge to be Shut Down - shiva @ 3:37 pm PST
    Enclosed is a portion of the email that both Falcon and I recieved at around 6 in the morning EST today:

    RE: Courtesy Hosting Services

    Dear GameFan Network Associate:

    We regret to inform you that Express.com will no longer be offering the courtesy of hosting services to its GameFan Network Associates. We have found that this service can no longer be supported under our business model, and we will do whatever we can within reason to facilitate any transitional requirements.

    The timing for this is as soon as possible, and is to occur no later than Monday, October 2, 2000. To be clear, any GameFan Network Associate site that has not been moved off Genuity s servers by 11:59 PM October 2nd will effectively be shut down, so it is critical that you take independent action to retrieve and independently procure hosting provider for your site(s).

    What this effectively means is GameFan is closing down their entire network, and leaving 40 gamesites without a host, without proper notice, or with any reguard for proper business procedure. Needless to say, neither Falcon or myself are overly pleased with this, especially with the fact that they haven't even given us proper notification under the terms of our contract. The fact that they waited till the last minute, and then proceeded to give us and all the other sites their notice, over the weekend, means that the vast majority of the sites affected will not be able to find a new home to keep operating, and quite a few will never return.

    This came as a total surprise to us, as I would have thought that at the very least, we would be notified as to the terms of our contract, and not by a form email with less than 4 days notice. I have no idea why this has happened, but I will express my disapointment on both the way the server was closed down, and the unprofessional manner in the way it was done. In all my life as a businessman, and that counts over 20 years, I have NEVER EVER had something as unprofessional as this happen.

    When Falcon and I agreed to become part of this network, we were both overjoyed to be part of a well known and respected operation as GameFan. We now leave with a bitter taste, as our time with GFN has been nothing but one problem after another. I have no doubt that Falcon, who has had to deal with them directly over our time here, will be more than happy to detail some of the things.

    To show you as a example of how unprofessional of a manner this entire network was, I only have to point you to our forum page, which I.E. 5.5 users will find quite funny. Look at the "ad banner" that they sent us last week. This is a small, but common thing that both Falcon and I have had to put up with. (For those of you who can't see it, instead of the banner displaying just the ad, the banner also displays the GFN site logo, with only 1/3 the ad showing in the corner. It looks terrible, and I was gonna write to them to try and get it fixed, which could have taken weeks, but now, it shines as a example of their hopelessness)

    As to what's gonna happen now? I really can not tell you. I put in 10 hour days, for 4 months, to get this site back up and running. I wish to see that the effort I have made, and the effort of the incredible staff here, will not go in vain. If we manage to find a new home, we will announce it on the major independant sites, so check gamespy, blue's news, etc. We still have our domain, so every once in a while type www.gamesurge.com.

    As to our network, we are trying to find new homes as well. shivaSite, my own site, will move back to tripod. here is the old site location for shivaSite. I will start work on loading a new site in, and also, I may update the GameSurge situation as well.

    I hope everything will work out, this is a great site, and it deserves to be around. Thanks to all of you readers over the last couple of years, on behalf of GameSurge, Ancient Nation, and shivaSite.

    I am asking that all comments be left in the GameSurge Board in our forum.

    Red Alert 2 - VulTure @ 3:03 pm PST
    GameSpy has put up a preview of Red Alert 2. It's sounding very positive!

    Moments into the first match, the speed and intensity of Red Alert 2 became apparent; The game moves considerably faster than the original, putting you into the fray only minutes after starting. Having most recently played Age of Kings, the speed difference was disorienting at first, but then exciting once I became accustomed to it. The building stages of the game go by very quickly, and the first battles occur very soon after the game starts. In keeing with a trend in real-time strategy games, much of the focus is taken off resource gathering and city-building. For many RTS fans this is a welcome change, as it gives us the ability to get into the action more quickly, making for more condensed and heart-pumping battles.

    Thursday, September 28, 2000

    Diablo II MP3 of the Week - Hobbes @ 9:44 pm PST
    The newest MP3 of the week is entitled "Kurast." It is now available for download. The MP3 originates from the Kurast Docks in Act III, it's one the random songs you may hear while fighting in the jungle.

    You can visit Blizzard's MP3 collection here.


    "Kurast" for PC (4.74 MB).
    "Kurast" for Mac (4.74 MB).

    Baldur's Gate II Walk-Through - VulTure @ 8:27 am PST
    The Daily Radar has put up part 1 of their Baldur's Gate II Walk-Through. This chapter focuses on chapter 1 of the game. This is a step-by-step guide, so if you are really stuck, go check it out.

    Sony PlayStation 2 Delayed - VulTure @ 8:16 am PST
    It sounds like the arrival of the Playstation 2 may get delayed for awhile. Well, actually, not all of them...On October 26th, Sony had planned on releasing 1 million units, but they have to scale back to about half of that, because of component shortages.

    Post Mortem: Soldier of Fortune - VulTure @ 7:57 am PST
    Gamasutra explains what went right and what went wrong with Soldier of Fortune. One of the things that went right...

    "One of the most important pluses for SoF was the team's experience and familiarity with the Quake technology. Raven has been using id Software's technology since its early days of Heretic and Hexen. This familiarity allowed us to experiment, create, and use tools that vastly sped up the game's development."

    And, one of the things that went wrong...

    "Unfocused design. The single most damaging problem during SoF's early development was that the original game lacked a truly focused design. We knew what the fundamentals of the game would be, but we did not have the specifics that we needed to create a solid, cohesive product. The game's overall story changed five times before it was finalized - at one point we had even changed the basic game concept to a team-based tactical shooter, similar to Rainbow Six."

    3dfx interview - VulTure @ 7:51 am PST
    Bubba "Gump" Wolford, PR for 3dfx, lays the smack down for VoodooExtreme. He talks about quite a few things, including, their acquisition of Gigapixel, multiple chips on their cards, and their T-Buffer.

    Voodoo Extreme -- Any status on the Voodoo5 6000? We get the impression that nVidia launched the GeForce 2 Ultra, at the $500 price tag, to compete directly with the 6000; with it's launch coming out prior to the 6000, does this change any of the 6000's plans/price/features?

    3dfx -- Nothing Nivida does will change what we are doing with the 6000. What is clear is that they missed their product cycle. This is the third regurgitation of GeForce! It was our belief that a product cycle meant introducing a new product. How many times Nvidia expect the consumer to buy the same product?

    Now that Nvidia has missed the product cycle with NV20, we plan to forge ahead. The Voodoo5 6000 is still a 4 chip, 512-bit interface monster with 128MB of RAM and over 10.6 GB of memory bandwidth. It will regain the hands-down performance crown for us.

    Interview with The Level Designers - VulTure @ 7:40 am PST
    Fragland has put up part 3 of their series, Interview with The Level Designers. This episode has them interviewing, Mike "Oz" Schulenberg, designer of Star Trek Voyager Elite Force over at Raven Software, and Warren Marshall, Professional Nuisance over at Epic Games. Here, they both answer what brought them into the gaming industry...

    Mike: I used to build levels in my spare time when I wasn't busy delivering pizza. Eventually I started sending them to companies that were looking for designers, and doing interviews and stuff...but nothing really panned out until I sent some stuff to Raven.

    Warren: I got lucky and got some contract work with Glen Dahlgren doing level design on the initial Wheel of Time game concept. After a while, he offered me a full time position and that was that.


    Quake III: Team Arena - VulTure @ 7:25 am PST
    Quake3World has opened up a section devoted to Quake III: Team Arena. Anything that you ever wanted to know about this upcoming mod is up there now, including the different game modes, power ups, weapons, maps, and some great screenshots!

    Soldier of Fortune Gold goes gold - VulTure @ 7:21 am PST
    The Soldier of Fortune Center has word that Soldier of Fortune Gold has been finished. This add-on is free if you own the original game, but will also be sold in stores if you don't. There is a huge list of new features that can be viewed over at SOFCenter.

    New Editorial - - shiva @ 12:22 am PST
    Ninja has written a new editorial/article, on the Arizona Challenge, a massive Lan/tournament held a couple of weeks back. Here's part of the article:

    The Arizona event, in any case, was merely a precursor of things to come. Thanks very much in part to the ALL and dedicated gamers, Arizona enjoys a very active LAN and gaming scene, not including Indian gaming. In any case, the ALL is a talented group, but truly, it could be anywhere. As the ALL grows, it is a model for other regional groups. As Dan told me, the ALL is even looking for LLC status, and planning on doing at least an annual event and semi-annual ones like the AZC2000. They will serve as a sort of focal point for gaming in Arizona. For January of 2001 they're planning another large event with Battletop, but this time with more sponsors, and hopefully, more media coverage. We can only hope that this is the future, with gaming becoming even more social. I truly hope it is. And I suppose this means I have an excuse to revamp this old machine as my LAN rig. Unless Jedi Mind Trick wants to give his away?
    Great report, which you can read right here.

    As another little note, our content has been lacking a bit the last little while. That will change, as I have 3 other pieces to add to the site, once I edit them and convert them over. I will be releasing them once a day, as I have personal matters to attend to at the present moment.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2000

    Red Alert II Screens - VulTure @ 8:11 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up some new screens of Red Alert II. From the looks of these screenshots, this game is looking like a "must-have" game.

    Diablo II Expansion - VulTure @ 8:02 am PST
    The Diablo II expansion pack, scheduled for release in the first half of 2001, has been previewed on CGO. "The expansion adds two new character classes, a bunch of new items, and a fifth act. Act V, directly following the events in Diablo II, is set in the Barbarian Highlands of the north and features six full quests. You discover that Baal, the last of the Prime Evils, and his entourage of ne'er do wells are still alive and searching for the Worldstone that protects the whole of the mortal plane from the forces of Hell. He's trying to corrupt it in order to take over the world, and you learn that the Barbarians are there to protect this stone."

    Wizardry 8 First Look - VulTure @ 8:00 am PST
    RPGPlanet takes a first look at Wizardry 8, from Sir-tech Canada. Here's a look at the plot...

    "Wizardry 8 picks up where Wizardry VII ended. The Dark Savant has fled with the powerful artifact for creating life known as the Astral Dominae to the planet Dominus, the original home of the Astral Dominae and the mysterious Cosmic Lords who made it. A world of low-tech civilizations, the high-tech T'Rang and Umpani races have come seeking the Astral Dominae. They're not the only ones in pursuit either as your party has also chased the Dark Savant to this world. Here on the world of Dominus, you must compete with the two other powers searching for the Dark Savant, not to mention dealing with the evil guy himself. On Dominus, many old mysteries will be solved, plot threads will be wound up, and long-hidden secrets from the last Wizardry trilogy will be revealed to the player, or so Sirtech Canada has promised."

    The game will offer eight different endings, four different beginnings, and a full 3D engine. The release date is not known at this point.

    Interview with The Level Designers - VulTure @ 7:53 am PST
    Fragland has put up part 2 of their Interview with The Level Designers series. This episode features Dave Halsted, level designer over at Human Head Studio's, and Scott Dalton from Legend Entertainment.

    Interview with the Queen of Quake - VulTure @ 7:49 am PST
    The Domain of Games has put up an interview with the "Queen of Quake" Kornelia. If you don't know who she is, check this out...

    Kornelia has won numerous competitions, including the All Female Quake Tournament, Queen of the Hill, Rocket Arena Tournament, and Solider of fortune Quake Tourney. Quake 3 being the male dominated sport that it is, the fact that these accomplishments are only paralleled by Thresh himself make her story that more remarkable. Of course, let us not forget that Kornelia is from Budapest, and didn't move to America until she was 16. She didn't even play games until she was 18.

    Now, that you know...Here is Kornelia talking about Thresh's retirement...

    I wish he kept competing but I know that he can't do both run a business and play at tournaments at the same time. He's a nice guy so I was happy that he was the one that became "the guy to beat". (There are a lot of top players with big heads.) I, like everyone else, were always a step below him. He's a natural and his matches was very fun to watch.

    Heart of Winter - VulTure @ 7:33 am PST
    If you missed this, check it out now! Ice Winds of Dale has put up an interview with Jason Manley of Black Isle Studios. Jason talks about the upcoming expansion pack to Icewind Dale...

    What sort of new features will we see (and what about an auto-pause on enemy spotting)?

    The resolution will be 800x600 which will bring out all the lost details of the new art in Heart of Winter as well as enhance the previous art from Icewind Dale. There will be drop away panels for the interface allowing you to see more of the game itself. We have added gem bags and scroll cases to make inventory management very easy. We have improved pathfinding as well. I havent heard anything about an auto pause function.


    Screens - Falcon @ 1:56 am PST
    Eidos has released 10 new Anachronox screenshots and we have posted them for easy viewing. View them here:

    GA-Strategy has been updated with new screenshots, final box artwork, and 3D Quicktime screenshots from Shiny's upcoming real-time strategy hybrid, Sacrifice. More here:

    GA-Source has been updated with new screenshots from Human Head Studios' upcoming Unreal powered action/adventure game, Rune.

    Developer Funcom sent GA-RPG new screenshots from their upcoming sci-fi massively multiplayer role-playing game, Anarchy Online.

    GA-RPG has been updated with details and screenshots from Dinamic's upcoming online adventure role-playing game, The Prison.

    GameSpy has just posted 3 exclusive Blair Witch Vol 2 images and also 8 new screens from the final of Zeus: Master of Olympus from Sierra.

  • 1:
  • 2:

    GA-Strategy has been updated with the first details and screenshots from Microids' yet-to-be-announced 3D sci-fi real-time strategy game, Times of Conflict.

    CS Article - Falcon @ 1:45 am PST
    Actiontrip have something special lined up for ya today, folks! It's an in-depth, 4-page look at Counter-Strike (full of nasty gibs, and action-packed screenshots), reflecting on the reasons behind the mod's enormous success.

    Looking Glass Studios Follow up - Falcon @ 1:33 am PST
    Gamespy had a lot of former Looking Glass people and their friends contact us about our first "Where are They Now" article that they decided to compile a part 2. Today's installment is at http://www.gamespy.com/articles/september00/lgpeeps2/

    BG2 First Impressions - Falcon @ 1:24 am PST
    Baldur's Gate II First Impressions Part 1

    Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn arrived on store shelves last Thursday in many locations. While I had played the preview build rather extensively - about 45 hours with my main party plus another 15 trying a couple of the new character classes - I was still very eager to check out the final version, and the later chapters. I thought I'd share some of my initial impressions to this point, with further updates over the next few days.

    Quake3 Linux Server Setup - Falcon @ 1:22 am PST
    For any of you Linux newbies out there wanting to get your Quake up and running on your 133t new linux server, here is a Quake3 Linux Server Setup Guide for the novice Linux user.

    4x4 Trophy Announced - Falcon @ 1:17 am PST
    GA-Source has details and new screenshots from Channel 42 and Clevers Development's upcoming rally-style off-road racer, 4x4 Trophy.

    Hitman Demo Review - Falcon @ 1:13 am PST
    Today on 3DActionPlanet: Oh, the life of a hitman. You're constantly on the run from the law, and you're pretty sure that around every corner is someone waiting to do a hit on you, but such is the life of a mercenary.

    Hitman: Codename 47 has a great premise; unfortunately, the control of your character in the demo is extremely awkward. Third-person shooters have always been criticized as being difficult to control and lacking in the natural feel of a first-person game, but generally the character becomes fairly easy to manipulate after a while. I didn't find this to be
    the case in Hitman 47.

    Strifeshadow Interview - Falcon @ 1:11 am PST
    GA-Strategy interviews Lead Developer Martin Snyder, to find out more details about the upcoming multiplayer real-time strategy game, Strifeshadow - 4 new screenshots included.

    Could you briefly describe Strifeshadow? Who is this game being designed for?
    Strifeshadow is a multiplayer RTS game designed for both the casual and competitive multiplayer RTS gamer. People that liked games like Starcraft and Myth, whether they played for fun with friends or try to make a living winning tournaments will definitely enjoy the Strifeshadow experience.

    Red Alert2 Parties - Falcon @ 12:48 am PST
    GameSpy has learned that Westwood is holding red Alert 2 parties in Seattle, Los Angeles and Mequon, Wisconsin, where 100 fans will be given the chance to play the game before it hits the shelves. Check out the full news at http://www.gamespy.com/news

    Shockwave.com Fall Lineup - Falcon @ 12:46 am PST
    SHOCKWAVE.COM PRESENTS NEW FALL LINEUP

    Compaq to Sponsor Tim Burton's Animated Series "Stainboy"; Other Games, Music, and First Online Store to Debut

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - September 26, 2000 - shockwave.com today announced its new fall lineup, including Tim Burton's animated series "Stainboy." Stainboy, sponsored by Compaq, Inc, is the centerpiece of a new season of content. Additional fall content includes the highly-addictive game, BLiX; a Shockwave Single from Madonna; and episode 4 of "Radiskull and Devil Doll," with accompanying merchandise in shockwave.com's first online store. All these properties and products debut at http://www.shockwave.com.

    "shockwave.com is setting the standard for online entertainment networks by providing amazing content from all types of artists, both famous and undiscovered," said Lawrence Levy, CEO and President of shockwave.com. "We're excited to showcase this new generation of media properties that leverage interactivity, community and other unique qualities of the Internet, and to launch our first e-commerce initiative."

    New shockwave.com Shows

    New shows for fall include Tim Burton's "Stainboy," which features music by Danny Elfman. Stainboy episodes exist in the larger context of "The World of Stainboy" which include trading cards, greeting cards, interactive games, and other content designed and created by Burton himself.

    Noted for his directorial efforts on "Batman," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Sleepy Hollow," Tim Burton created, wrote, and directed the "Stainboy" series exclusively for shockwave.com. Stainboy, a character from Burton's book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories will be brought to animated life on the Internet by Flinch Studio, an Internet entertainment and design studio specializing in Macromedia Flash™ animation. The "Stainboy" series and "The World of Stainboy" will debut on the site later today.

    The fourth episode of the hit series "Radiskull and Devil Doll," created and produced by shockwave.com's own Joe Sparks, also debuts later today with new episodes appearing monthly.

    New shockwave.com Games

    shockwave.com is proud to offer BLiX as its standout fall game. BLiX combines techno music and ambient sound with an addictive puzzle design and rave-like aesthetic. Named after the astronaut BLiX, the game is deceptively simple, as players use skill and strategy to ricochet pong-like balls into a cup before time runs out. Winner of the Best Audio at the Game Developers Conference's 2000 Independent Games Festival, BLiX was designed and produced by the New York City-based gameLab exclusively for shockwave.com. The first 100 levels will be released this October, with hundreds more levels expected to appear on the site in coming weeks.


    New shockwave.com Puzzles

    Don Rubin and Steve Ryan have joined the shockwave.com team to bring their award-winning puzzling talent to the Internet. Ryan is well-known for his puzzle books (including Brain Busters, Pencil Puzzlers and Test Your Puzzle IQ), his Copley News Service Features, which have appeared for more than 25 years and his television game shows where he has been the rebus creator for "Classic Concentration" and co-creator on the hit show "Blockbusters," both for NBC. Rubin has become famous as the author of "The Real Puzzle," a syndicated puzzle column that has appeared in more than 300 publications, and as the author of eight books of challenging puzzles such as Brainstorms, Think Tank, and Those Incredible Puzzles. Both have signed on to create original and exclusive interactive puzzles that feature community-based puzzling and interactive-style brain teasers which will be available by early 2001.

    New shockwave.com Music

    Madonna's Shockwave Single™ "Music" debuted at http://www.shockwave.com last week, simultaneously with the release of her new album. Shockwave Singles are a new visual format that combines the impact of full-screen Macromedia Flash™ animation and MP3 audio compression. Shockwave Singles available on the site include songs from Chuck D's Confrontation Camp, Phish, Todd Rundgren, Tsar, and the upcoming singles "Cornerstore" from Dogstar's debut album which features Keanu Reeves on bass and "Squat" from De La Soul with the Beastie Boys.

    First shockwave.com Online Store

    The first online store from shockwave.com debuts today with branded "Radiskull & Devil Doll" merchandise. The highlight of the offerings is the plush "Devil Doll" which is available for $11.95. Other goods include t-shirts, hats, biker-style wallets and keychains. Users can connect to the online store from banners throughout the site, and also at the end of the fourth episode of "Radiskull & Devil Doll." This merchandise is only available at shockwave.com.


    About shockwave.com

    shockwave.com, Inc. is a leading Internet entertainment destination committed to providing the best interactive experience on the Web. shockwave.com features cutting-edge games, animation, music and creativity applications. In partnership with major entertainment companies and Web distribution and technology leaders, shockwave.com also offers artists and publishers a new and powerful distribution model.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2000

    Quake 3 v125 - VulTure @ 8:31 am PST
    Over at the 'Shack is a story about the new patch for Quake 3, version 1.25. id's Todd Hollenshead talks about it, and says that this release is a beta release only.

    We want to reiterate that 1.25 is a beta release. We're looking for feedback from those people who don't mind providing it. We will be addressing many of the issues that have been reported over the last few days, and are planning another beta point release in the very near future.

    So for everyone having problems, rest assured that they will get all of the problems fixed!

    Sacrifice FSAA Comparison Screenshots - VulTure @ 8:09 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up a page that shows off the game Sacrifice. In each set of screens, they put a standard screen up against a screen that was taken with 4x FSAA (Full-Screen Anti-Aliasing) turned on. I need a new video card! The 4x FSAA shots look much smoother, with no jaggies!

    Rogue Interview - VulTure @ 8:07 am PST
    VGames has Rogue CEO, Barrett “Bear” Alexander, talking about American McGee’s Alice. Here a quick bite...

    VG: Why Alice in Wonder Land?

    BA: Well, this is what American and Electronic Arts had available, and to be quite frank, we really liked the idea from the first time we heard about it. So, obviously, there was much mutual excitement about the title and we're thrilled to get to work on something that really allows us to show off our creative prowess. And, since I have the forum here, I have to say that I can't believe the talent that we assembled here over the past year and half, we have got the TEAM of TEAMS, these guys are amazingly talented.

    WinME article - Falcon @ 8:02 am PST
    Speedy 3D has just kicked up an article entitled Me and WindowsME. In this article they take you through their experiences with Microsoft's Windows Millennium Edition, Installation, Stability, and speed all in one article.

    WindowsME at first glance offers almost nothing new over last year's Win98SE. The interface remains the same, 16bit code is still present (though minimized even more), and it still crashes. So what does WindowsME have over Win98SE? Not much, but it still is enough to constitute an upgrade.

    Interview with The Level Designers - VulTure @ 8:03 am PST
    Fragland has put up part 1 of an interview with "The Level Designers." In this part they talk to Harvey "Witchboy" Smith from Ion Storm, lead designer on Deus Ex, and James Parkman, level designer at Legend Entertainment, currently occupied with Unreal 2. Here they are talking about their favorite games to make maps for...

    James : I have a soft spot for Quake 2 mapping, as it's where I got my start.

    Harvey : Deus Ex. The challenge of creating detailed real-world environments was huge. Also, providing for 'multiple solutions to all problems' was a really interesting undertaking.

    Midtown Madness 2 Preview - Falcon @ 7:55 am PST
    This weekend's big preview on EuroGamer takes a hands-on look at a beta of Microsoft's urban racer "Midtown Madness 2". Can it live up to the reputation of the original?

    "The graphics do look slightly improved, though the interface is pretty much identical. Thanks to advances in hardware the developers can now afford to use higher quality textures, and the difference does show (particularly on the non-player vehicles in the game, which are now endowed with a lovely range of textures), but I thought more could have been done to the actual building models, which just look like bland geometric shapes."

    NVIDIA News - Falcon @ 7:38 am PST
    NVIDIA has issued the following press release:

    NVIDIA Is Named One of Silicon Valley's Fastest-Growing Technology Companies

    SANTA CLARA, CA — September 22, 2000 — NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that the company has been named to Deloitte & Touche's prestigious "Fast 50" Program for Silicon Valley, a ranking of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the area. Rankings are based on the percentage of growth in revenues during the five-year period from 1995 to 1999.

    NVIDIA's co-founder, president, and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, credits the company's impressive revenue growth over the past five years to NVIDIA's extraordinary people, commitment to build a great company, and intense focus on excellence. Huang states, "We are extremely proud of this recognition. Being one of the 50 fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley underscores our focus and drive to be one of the most influential technology companies in the world."

    "Today, there are more than 22,000 technology companies in the United States, many of whom are going after the same domestic and worldwide markets. The Fast 50 winners for Silicon Valley have proven that they can compete successfully by consistently delivering technological wonders. We at Deloitte & Touche commend NVIDIA for having the vision and determination to become one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in Silicon Valley," says Roy Avondet, partner in charge of Technology & Communications for Northern California, at Deloitte & Touche in San Jose, CA.

    To qualify for the Fast 50, companies must have had operating revenues of at least $50,000 in 1995 and $1,000,000 in 1999, must be public or private companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, and be "technology companies" defined as companies that produce technology, manufacture a technology product, or devote a high percentage of effort to research and development of technology.

    Winners of the 21 regional Fast 50 programs in the United States are automatically entered in the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 program, which ranks the nation's top 500 fastest-growing technology companies. For more information on the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 or Fast 500 programs, visit www.fast500.com.

    About NVIDIA
    The computing industry recognizes NVIDIA as the global leader in advanced graphics processing technology, honoring the company with the most graphics awards in the history of the PC industry. PC OEMs, add-in card manufacturers, system builders, and consumer electronics companies worldwide choose NVIDIA GPUs as the core component of their graphics processing solutions. NVIDIA GPUs are used by large corporations, small- to medium-sized businesses, and home-based consumers. NVIDIA graphics processors deliver superior performance and crisp visual quality for PC-based applications such as manufacturing, science, e-business, entertainment, and education. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.nvidia.com.

    About Deloitte & Touche
    Deloitte & Touche, one of the nation's leading professional services firms, provides assurance and advisory, tax and management consulting services through 30,000 people in more than 100 U.S. cities. Deloitte & Touche is part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a global leader in professional services with more than 90,000 people in over 130 countries. Deloitte & Touche refers to Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLC and related entities. For additional information, please visit Deloitte & Touche's web site at www.us.deloitte.com.
    ###

    SF 1.5 - Falcon @ 6:56 am PST
    Strike Force 1.50 has been released. This patch fixes a number of issues. It also has many new features. Here are a few things included.

    -Weapons tweaked for better ROF and accuracy
    -Some details tweaked to make lag better online
    -New sounds for some weapons
    -Police scanner sounds at inv select
    -Flash grenades
    -New reward system at end round score
    1)Win purple heart
    2)Win Gold Star for best player per round
    -New anti-tk code
    -New skins

    Head over to the site for all the changes and details -

    Additionally an Elite Force Server Setup has been uploaded for all those new admins out there. Read it at http://www.admincentral.net/sp_efserversetupbasic.cfm

    Mech4 Stress Test - Falcon @ 6:51 am PST
    MECHWARRIOR 4: VENGEANCE PUBLIC MULTIPLAYER STRESS TEST STARTS TONIGHT

    Microsoft today announced that a downloadable multiplayer test version of MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, the highly anticipated sequel being developed by Microsoft's FASA Interactive group, will be available later tonight at http://www.microsoft.com/games/mechwarrior4/. The public multiplayer "stress test" commences tonight and will run until November 7. MechWarrior 4 weaves heart-pounding BattleMech action with the continuing drama and unfolding storyline of the perpetual BattleTech universe.

    The MechWarrior 4 public "stress test" is a multiplayer-only test platform. The download includes four of the 21 'Mechs included in the game, as well as one of the 26 multiplayer maps that will be available in the retail version. In the test download, the 'MechLab is fully functional, allowing players to create many variations of the four 'Mechs provided. The multiplayer options and game types in the download provides gamers with many different types of games, including Attrition (play for points), Destruction (play for kills), King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, and Steal the Beacon. Additionally, both individual and team play is enabled in the MechWarrior 4 public "stress test." To download the MechWarrior test version later tonight, go to: http://www.microsoft.com/mechwarrior4/

    In MechWarrior 4: Vengeance gamers command an awesomely armed 40-foot tall, 80-ton, 90-mile per hour war machine across the remote battlefields of a hostile world. Instead of desolate, sparsely populated battlefields, MechWarrior 4 takes place in a rich and dynamic universe inhabited by armed allies, noncombatants and deadly antagonists. High-energy lasers pierce the night; rockets flare with blazing fire; and buildings and vehicles crumble into smoldering rubble. Day missions, night missions, fog, rain, snow, blizzards and lightning provide atmosphere and add to the intensity and realism.

    Players can command 21 different 'Mechs, seven of which have never been seen on the battlefield. 'Mechs can be customized with brand-new weapons, armor and sensors including the devastating Long-Tom artillery piece. Each 'Mech and MechWarrior exhibits unique strengths and weaknesses, so gamers must carefully evaluate each mission and plan accordingly. MechWarrior 4: Vengeance also includes a variety of new and compelling multiplayer features, including those designed specifically to support networked multiplay in the BattleTech Universe. For the first time, players will be able to create their own missions, host their own MechWarrior servers, and participate in missions cooperatively. MechWarrior 4 will also include full support for Internet play, with matchmaking available on Zone.com

    Monday, September 25, 2000

    Serious Sam - VulTure @ 8:17 am PST
    Croteam has word that their upcoming game, Serious Sam, will have a multiplayer test in mid-October, or will they? From the team...

    Since we are getting quite good with respect to deadlines for the final release, I won't allow network code to be rushed more than necessary just for the network test. I want to have it tested internaly and to fix as much things we can find ourselves before we hand it out to you people. I know you all want to get your hands on the multiplayer version, but I will also assume that you would better want it later, than bugged. In other words, you can expect that the public network test won't be out as soon as Roman would like it to be. That is, unless he comes with some very hard and sharp argument. :)

    Baldur's Gate 2 - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    Check here for new cheat codes for the just released Baldur's Gate 2! Now there is a way to add new gold to your inventory!

    Tribes 2 Slippage - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    According to the Avault, it looks like Tribes 2 might be slipping from it's fall release date. The design team is requesting a longer beta period from Sierra and if this is granted, they will have more time to polish up the game, but it will push back the release date.

    Unreal Tournament Interview - VulTure @ 7:55 am PST
    Peter Clark, vice president of production at Secret Level studios talks to GameSpy about the conversion of Unreal Tournament from the PC to the Dreamcast...

    GameSpy: What are the major differences between the original PC UT and the Dreamcast version?

    Peter Clark: The Dreamcast version is remarkably similar to the PC version. It looks, sounds, and plays just like the PC, although the DC controller definitely changes the way you play. If you have a DC keyboard and mouse, it feels exactly like playing on a PC. Due to memory limitations we weren't able to include all the game modes from the PC version so we chose the two most popular modes, Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.

    Tribes 2 Interview - VulTure @ 7:50 am PST
    MGON has put up an interview with Dave Georgeson, the Producer of Tribes 2. Here is Dave commenting on what kind of reaction he would like to see from the gaming community...

    In the order that I think I'll see their reactions:
    1) The web community. Do they like it? Do they see it as a major advance?
    2) Vehicles. Do they find them useful? Do they adapt tactics to use them?
    3) Game size. The game has the capacity to host very large games. It will take folks a while to adapt their tactics accordingly and embrace that capablity. But I'm really looking forward to seeing the game evolve as that occurs.

    Q3a point release - Recoil @ 2:09 am PST
    quote from omircon

    I was mucking about in Quake III Arena with Point Release 1.25, and I thought, hmmm I might use /devmap so I can change the camera angle and see my mutate bodies... Once I got bored with that and wanted to toy around with the BFG, I typed in /give all, and whats this? 3 extra icons in the weapon select menu? (with black boxes to signify the icons etc. aren't there) Hmmm... the expansion pack has 3 new weapons... Co-incidence? I think not... Turns out these are the Nailgun, the Prox Launcher and the Chaingun respectively... They don't actually work and you can't see them... because the art isn't present.. but you can select them and 'use' them....

    if you would like to see some screenies, download the zip file from here
    Can anyone confirm this? Is it true that our beloved Chaingun from Quake 2 will make a re-appearance?, though ain't the standard machine gun enough?

    Community Links Page - shiva @ 2:01 am PST
    GameSurge is pleased to announce that our Community Links Page is now up and in operation. The new program we are using is unique, by the fact that not only can you add your own link, but now, you can rate the individual sites.

    The GameSurge Community Pages features multiple categories, a easy to use system to add your own links, or to view others, and a simple but effective rating system, where you can vote from a scale of one to ten on your opinion of other websites.

    Any comments on the Community Pages or suggestions on new categories can be sent directly to me at shiva@gamesurge.com, I will be happy to hear them.

    Sunday, September 24, 2000

    Starcraft 1.08 - Hobbes @ 9:19 pm PST
    Well, it's about time. No official word from Blizzard yet, but they have been hinting at it in the Battle.net forums. I received word from a Blizzard insider-friend of mine that Blizzard is constructing Starcraft 1.08 for Starcraft and Brood War. It will include one new unit for the Terran and Protoss, but no new units for the Zerg. Although there is no new unit for the Zerg, there is going to be some unit upgrades that are unknown (a speculated upgrade of Hydralisk damage from 10 to 12, making them killer?). Stay tuned for further information.

    New Poll - Falcon @ 12:22 am PST
    Thanks to those who voted in our last poll, the statistics will help us to provide more directed content int he future. Our latest poll is, "What system would you like to be playing in one year?" Answers include the upcoming Xbox and GB Advanced.

    Results of previous poll:
    How old are you?

    <16         96    33.68 %

    16-18     67     23.51%

    19-24      55     19.30%

    25-30      30     10.53%

    31-40      21     7.37%

    40+         16    5.61 %

    TOTAL   285   100.00 %

    Horizons Interview - Falcon @ 12:14 am PST
    With the recent addition of several new developer's to the Horizons team, many people have been confused a bit on what exactly their roles are. I managed to sit down with Eric Speier, lead musical composer for Horizons, and talk about his career and his current job with Artifact Entertainment.
    You can find out all you ever wanted to know about Eric at http://www.horizonsvault.com/thegame/devs/eric.shtml

    Elite Force Walkthrough - Falcon @ 12:09 am PST
    Holodeck 5, a Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force fan site, is proud to present its complete single player walkthrough for Elite Force. It is available at http://www.3dactionplanet.com/eliteforce/walk/This walkthrough is part of a "sneak peek" at the rest of the site, which will be opening to the public very soon. In the meantime, gamers can get help on some of the game's trickier points.

    TDR 2000 Review - Falcon @ 12:09 am PST
    OK, so you can't run over human pedestrians any more... It's green, mutated zombies now, but what the hell, it's still fun! TDR 2000; ring any bells? More here:


    Spiderman, Giga Wing Review - Falcon @ 12:03 am PST
    GameCritics.com review Spiderman, taking on the much anticipated game based on the Marvel comic legend.

    "The end product is probably the truest portrayal of an interactive Spider-Man adventure that has ever been made. Where as previous Spider-Man licensed games were nothing more than glorified Final Fight clones, this interpretation has removed the usual 2-D limitations and created a large 3-D world for Spider-Man to explore and make real use of his special abilities. Just like in his comics and TV shows, Spider-Man can scale walls and crawl along ceilings, shoot his web at enemies and lift and toss heavy objects at enemies."
    Ben and Dale of GameCritics.com give Capcom's newest arcade shooter a play-through and put their respective opinions in a new review.
    "The generically titled Giga Wing -- an overhead perspective, vertically scrolling airplane shoot-fest -- is another console release in the same vein as Strider 2. Once again, Capcom is responsible (in this case I would call them the guilty party), only this time Sega's Dreamcast is the target. Both games are straight-up translations of the semi-popular arcade titles of the same names. The difference here is that while there was no shortage of action in Strider 2, the game was controlled and had a definite pace. It had a sensibility. Giga Wing, on the other hand, is the perfect example of the floodgates left wide open. It's no-holds-barred constant chaos -- action gone awry -- and it gets tiresome quickly."

    Gamespy Arcade News - Falcon @ 12:05 am PST
    GameSpy Industries proudly announces that its new online gaming software, GameSpy Arcade, now offers online multiplayer support for five of the biggest titles to hit the market this year: Midtown Madness 2, Sanity: Aiken's Artifact, Crimson Skies, Deer Hunter 4 and Baldur's Gate II. As an added bonus, purchasers of Baldur's Gate II will find that the game comes bundled with the Arcade software, immediately plugging them into Arcade's multiplayer game launching capabilities and connecting them to the Webby Award-winning GameSpy Network of gaming content sites.
    Players looking to use Arcade to make their online play easier and more fun can download the Arcade software for free from the Arcade web site at: http://www.gamespyarcade.com/download/

    Having already announced bundling and support for Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force and the upgraded beta test version of 4 x 4 Evolution, Arcade pushes itself into its biggest week ever by supporting this crop of games. Now, players of the world's most popular gaming titles will find the fun they've been looking for with the Arcade software, which provides quick and easy server browsing and game launching, moderated chat, instant messaging, and the revolutionary PlayerSpy tool, which allows players to keep track of where and when their friends are playing games online. And
    with the bundling of Arcade on both Elite Force and Baldur's Gate II, millions of gamers will now have access to the best gaming tools and content on the Web.

    Xbox news - Falcon @ 12:02 am PST
    GameSpy has just learned that both EA and Square are signing up to develop games for the Xbox. Read all about it here


    Max Payne Preview - Falcon @ 12:02 am PST
    IntelGAMER.com posted a Preview of GODGames up and coming action hit, Max Payne.

    "To set the mood for the game, which takes place in New York City, Remedy Entertainment sent six brave souls to the big apple itself to get some screenshots and a feel of what New York City was really like. The team traveled throughout various regions of NYC including Brooklyn, Central Park, Harlem and a few ex-crack houses, taking pictures and recording on video anything that seized to impress their likings (typical tourists). When they returned home they estimated that they took more then 5,000 pictures and over 10 hours of video during their stay. The pictures/videos would be their key in making one of the most realistically detailed game levels ever, using real textures, locations, and sounds straight from the New York City streets..."

    Saturday, September 23, 2000

    Terminus Review - Falcon @ 11:57 pm PST
    BarrysWorld`s MikeyBear launches himself into the inky void for the latest BW review article, this time onboard Terminus, the Space Opera Elite `em up by Vicarious Visions.

    `.......Ok let’s not leave a trail of unbeaten bushes in our wake here ­ Terminus is a very heavily …shall we say "influenced" titled. It unashamedly dips (and mean I dips ….real deeply) into the pots owned by TVs Babylon5 and games such as Elite. To Babylon 5 it owes the flight engine (also a nod in the direction of Sir Isaac Newton), the visual style and ship designs, and a large lump of the plot that runs through the game, and to Elite it owes its gameplay and "ethos"........`

    Logitech Mouseman Wheel Review - Falcon @ 11:52 pm PST
    New today on EuroGamer is a review of Logitech's optical mouse, the Logitech MouseMan Wheel, certainly one of the funkiest looking rodents we've seen. Does it work as well as it looks?

    "While I have been a firm believer in Microsoft's own optical Intellimice up until now, a recent accident involving a sticky beverage rendered my lovely white rodent wholly unusable, and when it came to picking up a replacement, I decided it might be
    nice to investigate new avenues. After a little research it came to light that Logitech were launching their own brand of optical mice, and since I've long preferred the shapely curves of their rodents, I flung half a ton at them for a mouse and priority shipping and got myself setup."

    Mac Diablo II Patch 1.03c Now Available - Hobbes @ 11:47 pm PST
    Simply connect to Battle.net to download the patch. If you have trouble patching from Battle.net, you can also download it from Blizzard's FTP site. For more information on the Patch go here(Mac only patch).

    Livin' Large Review - Falcon @ 11:30 pm PST
    XLaming.com recently took a look at the new Sims expansion pack "Livin' Large" Is this a new way for Maxis to cash in on one of the best selling games of the times? Or perhaps it is truely good addon? Check out the review to find out more!

    "I proceeded to click on max speed and watch in dismay as my once civilised sims turn into rabid animals wallowing about in their own mess begging to get some rest/food/bath. It was shocking yet very funny. Yes you did read that correctly! For some reason I found the sight of two sims turn into a revolting mess rather amusing. I do remember cackling as one of the sims called for a pizza in a desperate attempt to get some food. In response to this I removed the phone and laughed as the pizza man arrived but had no means to deliver the pizza. At this point I dubbed the residence I had created ‘The House Of Death’. After a few more minutes of this one of the sims died, and the reaper appeared on que."

    Fallout Tactics Weapons - Falcon @ 11:24 pm PST
    Vault13.net have just updated their unofficial Fallout Tactics weapons list with a bunch of new weapons. Most of the weapons don't seem to have names, since we couldn't see them in the screenshots.


    Confused Members list - shiva @ 4:05 pm PST
    As much as I enjoy getting 20 emails a day praising the products of hair loss prevention, I'm getting just a little fed up with all of this.

    So I decided to do something about it. If you look REAL carefully, just below our last affiliate, you will see a small area that's clickable.

    For all you mouse impared people out there, here's a proper link. Yeap. It's our new "mailing list", and it's so active, I had to display 200 members randomly, just so I could be sure they would be "seen". Hell, we have millions of members, all named Nancy.

    So check out our Confused Members List, I know a few spiders that won't be in a little while. :)

    The Forum - VulTure @ 12:09 pm PST
    Since the forum has been fixed...

    Everyone, go back into it now, and sign up.

    Let the posting begin...

    GreenMarine's Developer Corner: Volume II - VulTure @ 12:00 pm PST
    In part two of GreenMarine's article on game development, he tackles the issue from a programmer's point of view.

    So how does the game development process work on the inside? For a programmer, the project begins early. While the level designers and artists are working on concepts, background, and design, the programming team is researching and building the game framework. Even for a game like Unreal Tournament, which was built out of the Unreal codebase, there is a lot of early support programming. Old subsystems might be weeded out and rewritten and the basic organization for the project's code appears.

    Quake III Problems - VulTure @ 11:55 am PST
    The new release of the Quake III patch, has caused all of the mods for the game to fail. According to id Software's Robert Duffy..."1.25 contains new encryption code, anti-cheat code, pure server code, and runs with a new net protocol. It also adds quite a few mod requested system calls and functionality. It was never intended to be compatible with current mods. This was NOT mentioned in the readme and that was an oversight."

    This is one of the reactions from the mod community..."Not having the source until days later when an uncompatible update is released, hurts our mods and frustrates users that upgrade assuming they can play a mod and find they have to downgrade to play a mod again."

    To get more info on this problem, check out GameSpy!

    Julie Strain Interview - VulTure @ 11:51 am PST
    Julie Strain, star of FAKK2, gives an interview to the Arm Chair Empire. Here they ask her about her involvement in the FAKK2 project...

    "Well, it was conceptualized by my husband, Kevin Eastman, many years ago. We’ve been married five years so we’ve lived, breathed, faxed, phone called, contracted, flew around the world and just, you know, breathed every f---in’ cell of life into the character, movie and, you know. Then you deal with all the toy lines and people creating stuff like that."

    Future Developments in Online Games - VulTure @ 11:44 am PST
    Raph Koster, lead designer and programmer for Ultima Online, gives his take on the whole online gaming world...

    I want to make online games for the same reason that people want to keep playing them: to touch people, to find new things to conquer, and to leave a mark on the world. I want to make games people argue about, that make them discuss philosophy or art or culture. And I bet that's what the future brings us: online games that matter. If someone asked me what it was that made people play Ultima Online, that's what I'd answer: because it matters to them. And that's my challenge to all of you: to find some way to make this medium matter, so that it gets the audience that it deserves: my cousins in Ohio and everyone else. There's a bottom-line reason to do it-it's a large market-but there's also the reason that we are likely in this industry making this kind of game-which is hard, damn hard-because we love them. And we want others to love them too.

    Quake III 1.25 Released - VulTure @ 11:36 am PST
    OK, everyone, stop what you are doing and go and get this right now. The Quake III point release, version 1.25, is out! You can grab the files either here, or here!

    For a complete list of changes in this release, check out Graeme Devine's .plan file update.

    Sacrifice Beta Signups - VulTure @ 11:29 am PST
    From GameSpot, comes word of the opening up of the Sacrifice beta test. There are only 5 slots open, but these 5 slots will be chosen at random, and are only being accepted this weekend, so go there now and sign up!

    Classic CTF - VulTure @ 11:25 am PST
    Over at Classic CTF comes word of the release of this mod for Quake III. This is an attempt to bring the classic feel of the original Quake CTF to Quake 3, and from the sounds of it, they did just that!

    Red Alert 2 - Recoil @ 7:39 am PST
    According to an article by PC Zone UK, Red Alert 2 will be shipping in the US on 26th October, with worldwide distribution to begin on the 28th October.
    Source: http://www.pczone.co.uk

    Forum Problems - shiva @ 1:19 am PST
    There are days you just wish you don't get out of bed. And then there are days you wish you didn't get out of bed early.
    As soon as I got up (And yes, I do sleep) I got a frantic message, telling me of problems with the board. To be honest, the board was totally messed up. After 2 hours of trying to correct the problem, and things getting even worse, I was forced to make a decision. I had to delete the entire board, and start all over again from scratch.
    I'm still not sure what the problem actually was, but it pointed to a few things, so I made sure with this board that they will not be present. The problem itself was caused by a combination of problems, to the best of my knowledge.

    1. I loaded in a special program, that would have improved the performance of the board, and allowed us to use the board for news postings. At the time, that program stated it was clearly compatable with all versions of UB2K, but much to my horror, and after I deleted everything, it turned out it wasn't so compatible. Still, I should have left well enough alone.
    2. I believe I also had either a server failure, or a ISP failure in the middle of a upload.
    3. And lastly, my own knowledge of UB and CGI is lacking to say the least. There was no actual operating instructions with this program, and though I do know a small bit on CGI, I am certainly not by any means that good. The truth is, if I didn't do the CGI, we at GameSurge wouldn't have any CGI at all. There's no one else, so it falls on my shoulders.

    In other words, I may have made a mistake. Loading that new program was a big one, so now, I have to pay for it.
    The data was corrupt. Even the posts and database were showing the same problems. And despite my best efforts, including re-loading portions of the program, it just didn't fix.
    It was getting to the point that you couldn't post at all, so the only way I knew how to be sure to fix it, was to delete the entire board, and the database, and start fresh.

    So, everyone's post is gone, and so are the registered members. I'm truly sorry for this, and it's a bad mistake, but I tell myself that at least it happened now, and not when the board gets very popular.

    Till then, I will correct some small stuff (Don't worry, it's minor, and within my capabilities) and just keep the forum as is.

    I have also just left one board for each section, as it really isn't needed to have multiple boards, at least till there's a need for them. So start posting again, and when enough people post on a system or subject, I will create a new board.

    You can find the latest "version" of our forum right here.

    Friday, September 22, 2000

    UltraGaming Forum wants members - Thundra @ 7:19 pm PST
    Niteshade asked me to do this for him, and i, behaving according to the international rules of staff relations, am posting to help out.
    They have recently opened their forum and like any forum want people to go there and drop a line, so why don't you do that? Now that you registered in our forum, why don't you register at Ultra Gaming? I know i did....

    ICQ 2000b is released. - Recoil @ 8:45 am PST
    ICQ have now moved ICQ 2000 into the beta stage, from the alpha stage. This new version/build incorporates a real time voice chat, which is an imporvement from previous versions. This new feature is powered by net2phone. Also it has some other little features like sms messages.

    download it from http://www.icq.com/download/

    A side note - Falcon @ 8:26 am PST
    I am currently in the middle of upgrading my system, part by part in fact. As a result my computer will be periodically down and occasiaonally very unstable... as a result of that I will be unable to do much more than check ICQ and email and periodically post news until it is all settled so do not be alarmed if the posting of submitted news or reply to emails takes a couple of days longer than usual.

    Return to Wolfenstein Interview - VulTure @ 8:27 am PST
    JeffK at SomethingAwful.com hosts an "interview" with Drew and Greg of Gray Matter Studios. They are currently working on Return to Wolfenstein, based on the Quake III engine. Be careful, though, you may need your Babelfish to get through this interview!

    Screens - Falcon @ 8:20 am PST
    GA-Source has been updated with 9 new screenshots from Planet Moon's upcoming action/strategy title, Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

    GA-Strategy has been updated with a set of desktop images and MP3 from Shiny's upcoming real-time strategy hybrid, Sacrifice.

    What's the Creature of the Week you ask? Simply put, it's a short animation of a creature who dwells within the world of Atriana! Sometimes small, sometimes large, and always interesting. This week's animation is definately on the LARGE side! Follow the link below to view this week's animation.

    RPG Vault has another new feature this evening, a gallery showing off Harbinger, the upcoming science fiction-themed action RPG from Silverback Games.

    Currently in development at Silverback Entertainment, Harbinger is an action RPG set on a huge spaceship. It will allow you to play as a human, a robot or an alien creature called a Culibine, the last of her race. The game promises a unique playing experience with each character plus features such as a non-linear story that is advanced through the player's actions, real-time combat and sharp 3D graphics in 800x600 resolution. We present a look at a dozen scenes from the game in our new Harbinger Gallery.

    EuroGamer has another batch of eye candy for you today, in the form of sixteen (count 'em!) brand new screenshots, hot off the presses, of "Arthur's Knights". Another 3D adventure game from Cryo Interactive, this one is based around the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

    GA-Source has been updated with 9 new EuroGamer has another dose of eye candy for you today, in the form of a second batch of eight exclusive new screenshots of "Odyssey", Cryo's adventure game which mixes impressive painted backdrops and real time 3D characters.

    GA-Source has learned that the Russian language version of NMG's first-person shooter, Hired Team: Trial, has gone gold and that an expansion pack is already in development. Info an screenshots available here:

    GA-Source has been updated with new screenshots from Digital Illusion's upcoming first-person wargame, Battlefield 1942.

    Dueling Designers: Alan Willard and Cliff Bleszinski - Falcon @ 8:12 am PST
    Cliff Bleszinski and Alan Willard of Epic Games are well known for their work on Unreal and Unreal Tournament. They're also polar opposites. On a recent visit, Kazi Wren interviewed the two on everything from making great mods to who 0wns the other! They also chat about cars, good level design, Mods, and wanting to deathmatch against a few id Software guys.

    3DActionPlanet: What's this I hear about you guys hiding weird stuff on each other's computers?

    Alan: Cliff thinks gay porn is a good thing to hide on someone else's system... I prefer to see it splashed all over his Windows desktop, preferably in Active Desktop mode!

    Cliff: Alan keeps "claiming" that I'm putting links to NAMBLA sites in his web browser, but I don't know what he's talking about.

    Diablo II Bugs - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    DiabloII.net has a huge update on all of the bugs that have been reported in Diablo II. This list also includes the effects that the new patch, 1.03, had on the game.

    Crimson Skies Trial Version - Falcon @ 7:55 am PST
    CRIMSON SKIES TRIAL VERSION AVAILABLE FRIDAY

    New Episode of Crimson Skies Action Theater Also Debuts

    Microsoft today announced that the downloadable trial version for Crimson Skies, a new action/adventure game for the PC, will be available for download on Friday, September 22, at http://www.microsoft.com/games/crimsonskies/. On Friday, gamers will also be able to tune in for the latest Crimson Skies Action Theater episode, a serial radio drama that tells the story of the game's dashing air pirate, Nathan Zachary, and his cohorts, the Fortune Hunters. Crimson Skies combines the heart-pumping action of air combat with the swashbuckling feel of an Errol Flynn adventure movie.

    The Crimson Skies trial version features two single-player missions as well as a multiplayer Death Match in the skies over Hawaii. In the single-player missions, gamers can take part in aerial dog-fighting, battle treacherous air pirates, and join the hunt for buried treasure in the South Pacific. The Death Match option allows players to fly one of four tricked-out planes, with multiplayer matchmaking for up to eight air pirates available for free* on Zone.com (http://www.zone.com).

    Crimson Skies Action Theater is debuting a new radio drama every week through October 5. Gamers are encouraged to tune in to hear the latest high-flying adventure, as Nathan Zachary and fellow air pirates hunt for riches and glory. This week's episode is The Tesla Codex, Part Two. What mystery lies beneath the coded message Nathan has uncovered in the seedy pirate city of Skyhaven? Could The Fortune Hunters end up suffering the same fate as the famed missing scientist who is responsible for the letter?

    In Crimson Skies players fly fast and low in a game reminiscent of a classic Hollywood tale, where dastardly enemies menace, evil plots abound, and a bevy of femme fatales awaits. As the handsome and daring air pirate Nathan Zachary, players take to skies filled with treacherous privateers, tricked-out fighter planes and giant aircraft-carrier zeppelins. Amid an ever-changing political landscape, Zachary and his notorious band of air pirates, the Fortune Hunters, have become the free agents in a fight for control of the skies.

    The game transports players to an alternate-reality 1937. The United States has been struck by the crushing blows of the Great Depression, the Great War and Prohibition, resulting in mounting isolationism. The once-budding road and railway system has been destroyed, leaving the skies as the only means of transport and commerce. Militias in the North, South, East and West have formed rival independent nations in a fight for air supremacy. It is an era where swing may be king but pilots rule, a world where the guns are bigger, the planes faster and the adventures more daring -- the world of Crimson Skies.

    Crimson Skies is available in stores everywhere for an estimated retail price of $49.95. For more information on the game, go to the official Crimson Skies Web site at: http://www.microsoft.com/games/crimsonskies/
    *Connect-time charges may apply.

    Another classic game arrives - VulTure @ 7:56 am PST
    The Adrenaline Vault has word of Frogger2 by Hasbro. The original update of this game arrived in 1997, and it sold millions. Now, he's back, along with his girlfriend, Lillie Frog.

    ...Frogger returns to foil Swampy the Crocodile and rescue the innocent baby frogs that Swampy has taken hostage. To help him on his quest, Frogger has recruited his girlfriend, Lillie Frog.

    To catch Swampy and save the frog babies, Frogger and Lillie use their improved superhop, power-croak and bug-seeking tongue powers. Swampy’s Revenge takes Frogger through a 10-chapter game story, including levels that play out in deep space, ancient pyramids and science laboratories. Frogger 2 also presents players with a variety of action gaming options that are new to the sequel: Players can choose to take the role of Frogger, Lillie or other amphibian characters. They can also choose all-new multiplayer action for up to four players.

    Galaga!!! - VulTure @ 7:52 am PST
    How many of you have dumped tons of quarters into one of those old Galaga machines? I know I have...Well, now Hasbro Interactive has decided to take the game and update a bit...

    ": Galaga is one of the great classics of the arcade, and Hasbro is bringing it to a new generation of gamers in a faithful rendition that should appeal to casual users as well as long-time scrolling shooter fans. Just to hear those familiar blips and bleeps in full-blown stereo and to see old enemies looping across the screen in 3D will be worth the price of admission for die-hard fans. Updating the arcade monuments of a former era requires equal parts technical expertise and an understanding of the reasons the game was great in the first place. Judging from the beta, someone at Hasbro slipped the equivalent of their college tuition through the slot of a Galaga machine. The sounds, game mechanics, graphics and addictive qualities echo the machine’s simple glories, while the addition of missions and 3D graphics give the product enough fresh content to appeal to newer casual gamers."

    MechCommander2 Preview - Falcon @ 7:47 am PST
    In their usual style ActionTrip have a preview of MechCommander 2 all good and ready for ya! All you need to do is, grease up, grab that bottle of Viagra, and get to work! Read it at http://www.actiontrip.com/previews/mechcommander2.phtml

    Gameapy Olympics: Hardware - Falcon @ 7:45 am PST
    GameSpy continues its Olympics with a look at Hardware. Our medals go to the best hardware released so far this year, with medals also going to the Best Value. Check it out at http://www.gamespy.com/articles/september00/olyhardware/

    Far Gate - Falcon @ 7:44 am PST
    Microids (Lighthouse Media) has issued the following press release:

    FAR GATE: A RACE AGAINST TIME
    Expanding RTS into a new experience for gamers


    Far Gate, winner of the ‘2000 Independent Games Festival Audience Choice Award’, is a strategy combat game that chronicles a future conflict that has cost millions of lives. Now, the continued existence of life as we know it lies in your hands.

    An international release from games publisher, Microids, and developed by Super X, Far Gate is an exciting and atmospheric race against time. Building space stations and amassing your own fleet of traders and warriors you hope to defend Earth’s colonists against a Universal alien threat - and discover the true nature of the Imperial Navy’s mission at Proxima.

    The game takes you on a white-knuckle ride across the Galaxy through inter-linked Wormholes into another space and time, where only your strategic skills and fast reactions can save you and the colonists you protect. Played out within a truly massive setting that spans tens of solar systems containing literally thousands of objects, Far Gate is an epic tale of courage and determination.

    Far Gate begins where games like Homeworld and StarFleet Armada left off - in terms of interface, visuals, and gameplay - raising the stakes as the next generation of 3D RTS titles, and expanding the genre into a new experience for gamers. Even the alien enemy has been created using Microids’ own proprietary geometry warping algorithm, giving it a fluid, organic feel. Each mission takes place in a unique solar system filled with true-to-life celestial wonders - stars, planets, moons, nebulae, asteroid belts, wormholes, spatial anomalies, etc, all physically modelled in an entirely dynamic system. A typical mission may span millions of light years, involve some several HUNDRED spacecraft and last over two hours!

    Far Gate will have strong appeal to real-time strategy fans of games, with all the core elements of RTS games extended into an almost infinite space setting controlled via a simple, intuitive interface.


    The game features:


    · Distinctive state-of-the-art visual effects

    · Fast-paced action that keeps the game moving, with the ability to watch the action from a 1st person perspective

    · Scalable 3D Engine that supports low-end PC’s whilst taking advantage of the very latest features in high-end machines (bump mapping, detail mapping, texture compression, hardware Transform-and-Lighting, etc)

    · Easy to use and innovative full 3D Interface

    · Dynamic 3D battlefield with massive solar systems containing thousands of objects

    · Advanced physics Engine giving smooth, realistic motion to every object in the game

    · Engaging, cinematic single-player storyline with 30 missions set in solar systems across the galaxy

    · 2-6 player Multiplayer via LAN, modem, or Internet

    · 3 Unique Races, with 25 distinctive units each, including 2 alien races unlike anything seen in any 3D space game before!

    Far Gate is simply an awesome game to watch and to play. Never before has a real-time strategy title been so immersive, sucking the player right into the middle of an epic space adventure.

    Minimum Requirements:

    O/S: Windows 95, 98, 2000 Professional, or Millenium

    CPU: Pentium II 233 Mhz

    32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM

    Video Card: 4 MB Direct3D-compatible

    Audio Card: DirectSound-compatible

    Input Devices: Keyboard and Mouse


    Multiplayer:

    28.8K modem or Null Modem cable for head-to-head play

    Internet Connection for 2-6 players

    Crunch mode at Epic - VulTure @ 7:43 am PST
    Epic is starting to kick into high gear, as they try and finish the Playstation2 port of Unreal Tournament. There are some behind-the-scenes pictures of all of the guys at work, so now's your chance to see how programmers look under pressure!

    Gaming is Life column - Falcon @ 7:44 am PST
    Today on StrategyPlanet, NikNak interviews actual construction types to get their stance on the legitimacy of the life of a peon in his article entitled "Workers of the Game Unite!"

    "NikNak: Okay. ... Let's say you're job site is the location of an unexpected major battle. You are told to continue the construction even while military units fire at each other all around -

    Walter: You don't even have to go any further. I'm gone and my crew is gone. I ain't under any obligation to continue working in an unsafe environment. "


    The article is available here:

    NHL 2001 Demo - Falcon @ 7:42 am PST
    SportPlanet hosted site, the NHL Wishlist has the premier download for EA Sports' NHL 2001 demo. Based on our experiences with the final code of this game, it's much improved over last season and well worth the
    download! More info here:

    Tribes II - VulTure @ 7:40 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up some new screenshots of Tribes II. According to them, the game is still set for a fall release, so I guess we'll have to wait just a little while longer.

    Fileplanet Mirrors - Falcon @ 7:33 am PST
    FilePlanet is now mirroring the Gunlok demo by Rebellion. This is a action/strategy title where you play Gunlok, a member of the Advanced Special Forces Group. In a state of the are 3D environment, manipulate members that you pick up along the way to help your battle against "The Corporation".

    FilePlanet is mirroring the NASCAR Heat Patch v1.1e. This new patch adds more realism to car damage, a bug fix in the "Victory with 43 Cars at Daytona" race, and some other game changes. Multiplayer bugs have also been fixed and more graphics cards will have the option to select the 1024x768 resolution.

    FilePlanet is now mirroring the demo Cultures by THQ. With vibrant landscapes and colourful characters, maintain your civilization through effective resource management, prosperous trading, and discovery. Build a thriving economy and powerful military to lead your culture to success.

    FilePlanet is mirroring Sirtech Canada's recently-released movie of their upcoming RPG title, Wizardry 8. The file can be found at http://fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=50184.

    You are a hitman, and it is your job - no, your life, to kill. With weapons ranging from machineguns to sniper rifles to piano wires, you are alive to get your job done. Hitman Demo

    Four GameSpy Arcade skins are now available on FilePlanet! Now users can customize Arcade with new Counter-Strike, Elite Force, and Wizard Works skins to enhance their Arcade experience. The first user-made skin for Arcade is also available: DooSPY, by David "DooBall".

    CounterStrike

    Elite Force

    Wizard Works

    DooSPY

    Red Alert 2 - VulTure @ 7:35 am PST
    Westwood has released some new movies for Red Alert 2, and they also give a short interview on the Daily Radar, explaining the whole movie process.

    Storytelling handbook - Falcon @ 7:28 am PST
    This week Vampire Vault has the final installment of The Complete Storytelling Handbook, articles aimed at the Vampire Storytelling and role-playing community. This week Mr. Clark wraps up this series by talking
    about the basics of producing frightening experiences in Part 8 - Horror.

    For the final instalment of The Complete Storytellers Handbook, I have chosen a topic near and dear to my heart... horror. Running a horror chronicle involves much more than simply tossing in a few zombies, some screaming victims, and a spattering of blood. These ingredients certainly set your chronicle on par with the latest slasher movie and its requisite sequels, but when was the last time you were truly frightened by a slasher movie? If you're going to call it a horror chronicle, you may as well make it horrific. Now step inside, if you dare, and glimpse the secrets that will have your players shaking at their desks in fright...

    RPG Vault Updates - Falcon @ 7:23 am PST
    RPG Vault has an interview on online worlds with Raph Koster of Verant Austin, the and latest segment in their weekly Baldur's Gate II feature.

    Raph Koster Interview
    Earlier today, we learned that Verant Austin is developing a Star Wars online world. There's still no further information to be had about the project, but we had an opportunity to talk with Raph Koster, Creative Director of Verant Austin, about online gaming in general. Raph is a leading authority on and spokesperson for online worlds so there is a lot of interesting information and opinions to be found in our lengthy and thought-provoking interview.

    Baldur's Gate II Elements of the Week
    Leading up to the release of Baldur's Gate II tomorrow, BioWare and Black Isle have been kind enough to let us introduce some of the game's NPCs, monsters and spells in our regular Baldur's Gate II Elements Of The Week feature. Today, we meet Anomen and look at Rakshasas and the Cacofiend spell.

    Stomped contacts XBox developers - Falcon @ 7:19 am PST
    Since there are a ton of PC and first person shooter game developers announced as working on Xbox titles, Stomped decided to contact a number of them to find out why they are support the upcoming Microsoft gaming console. You can check out comments from id, Epic, Volition and Legend with more forthcoming at http://www.stomped.com/shared/nsystem/comments/7608_1_page_1.php

    In further news Stomped just talked with a represenative from Activision who stated that dispite an appearence by Star Trek Voyager : Elite Force in Microsoft's Xbox presentation movie today, the game is NOT CONFIRMED as an Xbox title. We continue to collect developers reponses to the Xbox announcements athttp://www.stomped.com/shared/nsystem/comments/7608_1_page_1.php

    Monolith CEO Jason Hall has an interesting revelation as to his company's Xbox plans. Read his brief comments at http://www.stomped.com/shared/nsystem/comments/7656_1_page_1.php

    Army Men : Operation Meltdown review - Falcon @ 7:19 am PST
    EuroGamer ventures back into green plastic soldier territory today to see if the latest "Army Men" title from 3DO, "Operation Meltdown", is any better than its lacklustre predecessors...

    "One neat idea that the developers have incorporated into the game is the inclusion of Green soldiers which are not under your control. For example, on one sortie I found several Green soldiers
    lying on the ground behind a wall, being bombarded with all sorts of gunfire by a group of the Tan army. After they fell under my hail of bullets, the other Green soldiers got up and helped me out in my mission for a while, until they either got killed or wandered off. In fact, you will often see little mini-battles which are occurring outside of your control, but which you can choose to help in - this makes you feel like you are actually part of a war, rather than a one man
    suicide mission."

    Dogfighter Updates - Falcon @ 7:16 am PST
    FEATURES
    Logitech WingMan Force 3D Review (9-20-00) An examination of Logitech's latest Force Feedback joystick.

    Combat Flight Simulator 2 Interview (9-17-00)

    A reprint of a quick Question and Answer session by Jon Gunnar World of CFS2! Online with Microsoft's Tucker Hatfield, Product Manager for CFS2.

    Battle of Britain Anniversary Airshow ­ Duxford (9-14-00) A review of the excellent airshow from Duxford, England that included twenty Spitfires and three Hurricanes airborne at once!

    XBox News - Falcon @ 7:15 am PST
    My apologies for not posting this earlier, but here it is if you missed it previously:

    WORLD'S BEST GAME COMPANIES RALLY AROUND MICROSOFT XBOX

    Microsoft Celebrates Announcement by Unveiling Fresh, Exhilarating Xbox Logo

    SAN FRANCISCO - Sept. 20, 2000 - Many of the world's top game developers and publishers today demonstrated the momentum that is building around the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s future-generation video game console, Xbox, by announcing their intent to create and publish games for the new games platform. More than 150 companies from around the world - including Activision Inc., Bandai Co. Ltd., Capcom Co. Ltd., Eidos Interactive Ltd., Hudson Soft Co. Ltd, Infogrames, Konami Corp., Midway Home Entertainment Inc., Namco Limited, Sierra Studios and THQ - pledged their support a full year ahead of the Xbox launch.

    Microsoft celebrated the announcement in San Francisco by showcasing action-packed Xbox games already under development and unveiling a new, futuristic logo. The announcement took place hours before the start of the Tokyo Game Show, which begins Sept. 22 in Japan, where more Xbox publisher announcements are forthcoming.


    "The best game developers are flocking to Xbox earlier and in greater numbers than they have with any previous gaming system," said Robbie Bach, senior vice president of the Games Division and chief Xbox officer (CXO) at Microsoft. "This massive list of high-quality developers gives gamers an indication of the super-exciting games they can expect on Xbox. It also demonstrates the excitement within the gaming industry for Xbox."

    Today's announcement is the latest in a series of momentum-building events solidifying industry support for Xbox. Game companies are supporting the platform because its future-generation technology will allow them to realize their creative visions for games. Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled the names of 18 development studios - including Lionhead Satellites and Stormfront Studios - that will create exclusive Xbox content under the Microsoft label.

    "If gamers think Xbox couldn't get any more exciting, they better hold on," Bach said. "We have several additional announcements in the works that will excite them even more. Gamers haven't seen anything yet."

    Along with announcing the supporting game companies, Microsoft today unveiled the Xbox logo. The three-dimensional logo was designed to exude three key messages: powerful technology, an exhilarating experience and fresh, inventive gameplay. When combined, these elements make for the ultimate gaming experience.

    "We wanted the logo to convey the newness and excitement of Xbox - to let gamers know they will enter a new world," said John O'Rourke, director of
    Xbox marketing at Microsoft. "One pack of skateboarders who recently saw the logo said they wanted to plaster it on their boards. That's what I call acceptance."

    About Xbox

    Scheduled for release in fall 2001, Xbox (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft's future-generation video game console that delivers superior graphics, better audio and the most intense, action-packed gaming experiences available. All this is possible because Xbox has at least three times the graphics performance of the newest generation of game consoles. Features will include a 733MHz CPU, a custom-designed graphics chip capable of processing more than 1 trillion operations per second, an 8GB hard drive, 64 MB of total memory, a 3-D audio processor with 64 audio channels, and broadband connectivity for online game play. Xbox uses familiar architecture and DirectX® development tools so game developers will be able to create better games faster.

    Pentium IV Preview - Falcon @ 7:03 am PST
    EuroGamer takes a quick look at Intel's Pentium 4 processor today, based on what we saw of it at ECTS a few weeks back.

    "So what of the Pentium 4? Overlooked by almost everyone, the Intel Pentium 4 occupied a low key 'pod' on the Intel stand, demonstrating unremarkable looking software. Despite the look and feel of the software being shown on this, Intel's newest and possibly greatest CPU, the demos being shown were impressive enough, although more on a technical level than a visual one."

    XBox News. - Recoil @ 6:34 am PST
    PlanetXbox is pleased to present the complete list of confirmed developers
    for the Xbox! We have compiled the information in our developers section,
    and contains every developer that has pledges support to the Microsoft
    console!

    Get the full report here

    Comp! - Recoil @ 6:27 am PST
    Over at Gaming Era they are runniing a competition to win a copy of either Heavy Metal FAKK 2 or KISS : Psycho Circus. All you have to do to enter, is to answer a few questions over here

    Thursday, September 21, 2000

    Diablo II MP3 of the Week - Hobbes @ 10:07 pm PST
    The newest MP3 of the week is entitled "Jungle." The selected MP3 is from Act III, in the Jungle area (d'oh). It is now available for download.

    You can visit Blizzard's MP3 collection here.


    "Jungle" for PC (6.82 MB).
    "Jungle" for Mac (6.82 MB).

    Besy Buy Sucks @$$ - the_culture @ 3:57 pm PST
    Yes they do. And I don't understand why their service sucks so bad. I understand how it does. It's because they hired the most god-awful, braindead bafoons on the face of the planet. Case in point: I walk in one day to look at the new Compaq iPaq handheld. This kid, who looks 14 and who's balls haven't even dropped, asks if I need help. I ask him a few questions and he says he doesn't know because he normally "doesn't work this department." He says he works in the computer department. Ok.

    I visit the computer department several days later and there he is: hoping around like a little bunny rabbit. He asks me if I need help and I say, "Yeah. Do you have any GeForce 2 cards in?" I know hey because I checked earlier. He gives me a look that says "What in tar-nation is a GeForce2?" Whatever...

    BestBuy isn't the only one suffering from incompetency. I get it at Staples, Circuit City, etc. Even the smaller chains, which take pride in service and the local economy (and on average have a lower turnover rate with employees), are suffering from this disease. I went in to the local Human Computer and this fool tries to tell me that the best video card out there is the Ati Rage Fury Pro. Wake up, nancy-boy.

    You see? You see what were up against people? It's time we stand up to the idiots that inhabit our world. It's high time we start educating ourselves (and the populace) on what's really going on in the tech world. And no more reheated burgers at Burger King; no more wrong orders at Taco Bell; and ah... well I forgot what this whole post was about. Have a good day.

    Microsoft announces sweeping support for Xbox - VulTure @ 9:05 am PST
    According to this story over at WinInfo, Microsoft has announced that the world's top developers will now be supporting the X-box. Here's a partial list...Activision, Capcom, Eidos, Konami, Midway, and Namco. To see all of the currently confirmed companies, check out Planetxbox.

    Monster Hard Drives - VulTure @ 8:13 am PST
    Everyone should have one of these. Tom's Hardware takes a look at the DiamondMax 80 from Maxtor. With broadband becoming more and more common, these monster drives are becoming more necessary, especially when you are downloading all of those mp3's and movie files!

    FAKK2 CTF - VulTure @ 8:02 am PST
    According to this press release on FAKKYOU.com, a capture the flag mod is in the works for Heavy Metal: FAKK2. The mod seems like standard CTF, but there is a new multi-use weapon that should greatly enhance play. The release date for the mod is set for Fall/Winter 2000.

    Voodoo 5 5500 AGP - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    The Tech-Report has put up a review of the Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. This seems to be coming a bit late, since the card has been out for a while now, but it is a very in depth review.

    The Voodoo 5 5500 is a fascinating, complex piece of technology, and we'd be hard pressed not to appreciate its merits. The V5 is a huge step forward for 3dfx, bringing them up to par on a whole raft of features, and advancing the state of the art with the T-buffer's cinematic effects and anti-aliasing abilities. With solid drivers in Win9x and Win2K, impressive stability in our extensive testing, and no hint of an incompatibility with any of our test hardware, the V5 is a good choice in video cards. Despite seemingly brutal competition in this market over the past few years, only a few companies have consistently been able to produce products that aren't either fundamentally flawed or tripped up by bad drivers. The Voodoo 5 5500 AGP is already a very solid product.

    This review looks at every aspect of this card, so if there is anything you want to know about it, check it out!

    John Carmack: Knee Deep in the Voodoo - VulTure @ 7:55 am PST
    Well, today is the last day of the John Carmack interview over at VoodooExtreme. This time around he talks about many different things, including the possibility of a test for Doom III, similar to Q3Test for Quake 3...

    There will certainly be a test. I am a firm believer in the benefits to the final product of doing that.

    Q3Test was released too far ahead of the commercial product. The game engine was nearly ready to ship, but the bot code was still completely unresolved, and wound up causing the real ship date to be much later than expected. We will probably try to have a test for the next product much closer to full beta time.

    Don't hold your breath.

    Here he talks about his favorite Arcade and console games...

    Hmmm. If I had to pick a number one for each, it would probably be the arcade Super Mario Brothers and the original Sonic the Hedgehog.on genesis. I took a job at a pizza parlor when I was fifteen in part because they had a SMB machine.

    I loved most of the classic arcade games. The direct-acting feel of the controls on the old games is almost lost in arcades today, with all of the vaguely-working gun games and the fighting games with their time dependent blind control sequences.

    NHL 2001Demo - VulTure @ 7:41 am PST
    NHL 2001 is an extremely realistic looking game that looks very sweet as you can see here, so run right now and get the just released demo...

    Dungeon Siege Interview - VulTure @ 7:38 am PST
    Chris Taylor, lead designer on Dungeon Siege, takes some time out to give a short interview. Here's a quote from him, explaining why Dungeon Siege is so cool...

    We think it will be cool because it allows the Player an unprecedented amount of freedom and flexibility in the way they play Action RPG's. For example, the Player can have anywhere from one to ten characters in their party. They can develop each character freely and are not tied to a character class system which limits each character's development. The world engine technology is state-of-the-art and has no loading screens after the game starts… never again will Player's feel jolted as they are pulled from the game waiting for a new level to load.

    For some incredible screenshots of this game, check out the Dungeon Siege homepage!

    Interview with Valve Software - VulTure @ 7:30 am PST
    TacSim has put up an interview with Yahn Bernier of Valve Software, where he talks about many things including the fact that they are recoding a complete new engine for Team Fortress 2 and how that will affect the release date...

    Shouldn’t effect the release date at all since we have never announced a release date and because, quite honestly, we’d rather make the game great than try to hit any kind of target release date.

    Here he talks about the Commander class in the game...

    The Commander is actually taking on a really key role in the TF2 game design. We internally describe the entire game as "First Person Strategy," with the strategy moniker coming from the increased usefulness of the Commander class.

    And finally, the secret behind Valve...

    The company mission has been to hire the best people, give them the tools and environment to succeed, eliminate most of the constraints from their thinking, and see what happens. The only thing that’s suspect is how many of the Valve families have had babies in the last year. That’s truly frightening (to me at least).

    Wednesday, September 20, 2000

    Where are all the great games? - the_culture @ 1:38 pm PST
    Have you played a game this year that you would consider great? I haven't. Granted, I haven't played every single game, but I have played quite a few. I've played The Sims and it's expansion pack Livin' Large. I liked it... for about three days. It's a little too tedious for me. My wife loves that game, along with The Conquerors, official expansion for Age of Kings.

    I also had the pleasure of playing Deus Ex, a first-person RPG based on the Unreal engine. The game possessed good pacing, an involving story, and three of the shortest and disappointing endings I've ever had the mis-pleasure of experiencing. How can a team of their caliber create such an engaging game and have it end in 3 seconds?

    Besides those two (which I expected to be good), I was surprised by three demos this year. The first one wasn't really a demo, more of a technology test. I'm talking about Serious Sam. Talk about a pure adrenaline rush! This game brought back the good old days of Doom I & II. If you have a higher end PC and have not tried this test, do yourself a favor and download it.

    The next surprise came to me by way of a genre I previously had no interest in: Star Trek. The demo I'm referring is Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. I was delighted to fine this demo to be absolutely fun. Great graphics (thanks to the Quake III engine), nice voice work, and impressive weapons. Pick this demo up!

    Third on the list is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. I'll admit that I had no inclination to download this demo, not until a friend of mine did and showed me. Then I was hooked! This fairly small (28 meg) demo can be had here.

    From everything I've played, I'd say that Thief 2: The Metal Age is by far the best experience this year.

    I'm telling you people, where are the great games? FAKK2: Awesome graphics, boring gameplay. No One Lives Forever (Demo version): Good graphics, hilarious cut-scenes, muddy controls. Daikatana: Bucket of llama dung! Final Fantasy VIII: Written by and for 12-year-olds. Dialogue on par with Mickey and the Beanstalk. Force Commander: Horrible game mechanics. I love Star Wars, but this was wretched. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine: Just as bad as the Tomb Raider series. KISS: Psycho Circus: Uninspiring. : They call this a game? SWAT 3: Not bad, but I liked Rogue Spear better.

    Now there are a few titles I haven't tried (I don't have unlimited time to play free games just handed to me). I'm aware of a few titles out there that are receiving rave reviews: MDK2, Icewind Dale, Motorcross Madness 2,

    Tony Hawk 2 and Elite Force should be out by the time you read this. Serious Sam is still several months away. Besides these games though, I have not played a truly great game this year. Baldur's Gate II should be out tomorrow, and I hope Tony Hawk 2 and Elite Force live up to their potential.

    Listed below are the games I'm looking forward to, the ones that really stand out:

  • TRIBES 2
  • Halo
  • Big World: Citizen Zero
  • Ultima World Online: Origin
  • Duke Nukem Forever
  • Obi-Wan
  • Black & White
  • Dungeon Siege
  • Red Fraction

  • Please visit our new Message Boards and let me know what games you thought really stood out and what you're looking forward to.

    John Carmack: Knee Deep in the Voodoo - VulTure @ 8:07 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has tossed up part 2 of their interview with John Carmack. Here is a quick bite about Doom3...

    Voodoo Extremist Chris Rhinehart; Human Head Studios -- From what I've read, Doom3 is intended to have a strong single-player experience. What do you anticipate to be the biggest design hurdles to overcome while creating Doom3, as opposed to designing a title intended primarly for multiplayer?

    John Carmack -- We sort of went into Q3 thinking that the multi-player only focus was going to make the game design easier. It turned out that the lack of any good unifying concept left the level designers and artists without a good focal point, and there was more meandering around that we cared for. The hardest thing is deciding what to focus on, because DOOM meant different things to different people. We have decided to make the single player game story experience the primary focus, but many people would argue that DOOM was more about the multi-player.

    Some of John's answers get slightly technical, as can be expected from him, so be sure to bring your translation manual!

    A new online gaming site - VulTure @ 8:02 am PST
    According to this story, Juno will be teaming up with the iEntertainment Network, to offer online games. The games will range from traditional and parlor games to multiplayer simulation games. Juno and iEN will share the revenue from these games, that will supported by, of course, advertising.

    GeForce2 Ultra Preview - VulTure @ 7:59 am PST
    Computer Games Online has put up a preview of the new GeForce2 Ultra from nVidia. This card has a lot of amazing features going for it. The clockspeed has been sped up from 200 MHz to 250 MHz, the engine can now push out 25 million triangles per second, and the chip can crank out exactly one billion dual-textured pixels per second. This is higher than ANY card out on the market today. In testing, the card pushed out 53 frames per second at 1600x1200 resolution! The only problem is the price. The card is set to be priced at about $500 when it is released, but, if you want ultimate power, this may be the card for you!

    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force - VulTure @ 7:44 am PST
    The Daily Radar has given some high praise to the new Star Trek game, Voyager: Elite Force. This game was developed by Raven using the Quake 3 engine, and they have done some amazing things with it, including use of curves and a lot of textures! There are a couple of good screenshots to check out, here, here, and here!

    If you want to try a demo of the game, click here!

    Warrior Kings Preview - VulTure @ 7:34 am PST
    If you haven't yet heard if Warrior Kings, you will be very soon. It is a new real-time strategy game, that is in full 3D! It is being developed by Black Cactus, and will be published by Sierra sometime early next year! Here is a bit of the story line...

    Warrior Kings takes place in a medieval fantasy world of magic and mayhem. Players will take control of a new kingdom that has been created from the rubble of a once dominant realm. As the new leader, it will fall on players shoulders to go forth and unite the fragmented kingdoms under one flag and one purpose and become the ultimate warrior king. In order to complete this rather large task, you will need to first attend to business at home and get your own territory settled and defended.

    Of course, it will support multiplayer up to eight people. There are, also, a couple of screenshots up that should be seen.

    Red Alert 2 Preview - VulTure @ 7:23 am PST
    The 'Radar has put up a new preview of Red Alert 2, with a couple of new screenshots that should be seen.

    The single-player campaign in RA2 features an invasion by those dastardly communists against us hard-working, god-fearing 'Mericans. Just as in the original Red Alert, you will be able to play as either the Allies or the Soviets throughout the game's two dozen single-player scenarios. Get ready for massive tank battles in front of the Pentagon, suicidal parachute drops into Manhattan and guerilla fighting through the streets of Paris.

    The game is set to be released in October, so start saving those pennies, it's starting to look like a must-buy!

    Site Changes, and more Forum news - shiva @ 3:13 am PST
    Just a brief note, but I have been working on some minor site work the last few hours. I'm sure you have noticed that the links in the header of each post has been changed, to now point to our UltraBoard forum.

    Also, speaking of which, the forum progress is now close to completion, as I have squashed a couple bugs, and changed the appearance to match the site colors. Some more minor things will be added shortly as well. Meanwhile, why don't you post something? (Note: You don't have to register to fully use our forum)

    In the next little while, more changes will be made to this site, which I will be posting here as I go along. Expect some major cleanup of certain pages, and also, some new stuff will come online soon. Gonna be a fun month, with trying to move, running this site, and getting shivaSite back up. Oops, let the cat out of the bag there...

    Williams Pinball Sold? - shiva @ 2:45 am PST
    It has been reported in the newsgroup rec.games.pinball by Kyle Wren that a private collector, Gene Cunningham has purchased the rights to Williams Pinball, which also includes the Bally name. For those not "in the know" about the situation, WMS Industries shut down their pinball division (the Williams/Bally line) in October of 1999. Williams/Bally were responsible for some of the best games to be made in the last decade, including Twilight Zone, Black Knight, The Addams Family, Medieval Madness, etc. Since the shutdown, parts for existing Williams/Bally games have dried up, and the game from the remaining manufacturer Sega/Stern (Striker Xtreme) hasn't lived up to the quality of Williams.

    Gene Cunningham started a new company - the Illinois Pinball Company - with plans on releasing games using Capcom pinball technology, which he had already purchased. This news below can only mean good things for fans of Williams/Bally pinball.

    Foreword: I specifically asked Mr. Cunningham if it was cool to spread this around yet. He stated he is legally bound to not disclose the
    terms of the arrangement until things are final, but I was free to share anything he told me on the 'net. Since this would appear to fall into the category of "very good news", I am doing just that.

    Gene Cunningham purchased the complete remains of the WMS pinball division Friday. Rights, parts stock, everything. They will be moving everything to Bloomington and sorting through things for a couple of
    months, but here is what he said we could expect in the future:

    - Although he owns the rights (and prototypes of games 3 and 4), he is not interested in going further with the PB2K platform. He would be willing to license the rights if anyone else did.

    - Expect the situation with parts to improve once they get settled in. He was talking about re-runs of ancient stuff like KISS playfields, let alone the newer games that have had parts go NLA. Sounds like his
    intention is to take care of the collectors, so can we maybe stop the current buying frenzy/hoarding that is going on?? Pretty please?

    - Expect re-runs of older classic games, and recent classic games, although all will bear the "Bally" label regardless. There will also be some new game development later on down the line.

    - "Pool Player" will still be released, but later on this year. I didn't think to ask him if it will be an IPB or Bally game.

    Very nice guy. We met him at the Indianapolis auction. I wish him all the best.

    A lot of posts on the newsgroups, including whether this is actually true or not, but there has been some speculation on what, if true, will Mr. Cunningham do with Williams. The general consensus is he will start reproducing parts for some of the "classic" machines, as there is a very large market for them. Also, "gold" versions of some of the pinball games may be released as well, with Medieval Madness, and Xenon being mentioned.

    Some other interesting news for Pinball fans have come about, including the possible names for the unreleased Pinball 2000 series. The Games were to be called Wizard Blocks, which was almost complete, and a new PLAYBOY pinball, no doubt to time with Playboy's 50th anniversary. It has been stated though that these 2 games will not be produced, because it costs millions to develop a new game and even more for a new system, so it is cheaper to buy up existing operating systems and release games that were already on the drawing board first.

    Mr. Wren also reported that with the sale of Williams, it will also includes the website Pinball.com. There has been NO official statement by either Williams or Mr. Cunningham on the possible sale, but we at GameSurge will keep you updated when more news comes out.
    [Various sources were used for this news article]

    Tuesday, September 19, 2000

    Xbox Interview - VulTure @ 7:51 am PST
    GameSpot has scored an interview with Microsoft Xbox guru J. Allard. In the interview he talks a lot about the games that might be arriving on the console. Here is one of the interesting ones...

    There has been some great stuff - one I can tell you about was this guy talked to me about a racing game, so I said what's the hook? He said Germany. I said, "What's the point? There are plenty of racing games where you can race on the German circuits." Then he said, "No I mean all of Germany, the whole country." I said, "How are you going to fit all that on 64 meg?" and he said, "I'm not, it will be on 500 meg, I'm going to shove it on the hard drive and I can stream the whole thing as one continuous level." I thought, son of a gun, I talked about what we are going to put it on the hard drive and people are coming up with some crazy ideas. A lot of the concepts that are kicking around are going to result in some cool, innovative stuff.

    John Carmack: Knee Deep in the Voodoo - VulTure @ 7:49 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up part 1 of an interview with 'da man, himself, John Carmack. In the interview, John talks about Doom III, id Software, technology, and whatever else they can fit in. Here's a snip...

    Voodoo Extreme -- Id traditionally provides the fastest engine out there for the game types that it does. Bearing in mind that Doom3 is going to be far more single player focussed, is there any change in focus from making the engine the fastest it can be, to more of a designer / content friendly environment - bearing in mind that probably 75% of a single player content is designer built?

    [John Carmack] -- Yes. I am spending a huge amount of graphics horsepower to allow the engine to be flexible in ways that game engines have never been before. It is a little scary to drop down from the ultra-high frame rates we are used to with Q3, but I firmly believe that the power of the new engine will enable a whole new level of game content.

    I am hoping that the absolute top-of-the-line system available when the game ships will be capable of running it with all features enabled and anti-aliasing on at 60hz, but even the fastest cards of today are going to have to run at fairly low resolutions to get decent frame rates. Many will choose to drop a feature or two to get some speed back, but they still won't be able to get near 60hz.

    Remember, the game won't ship for a long time yet, and today's cards will seem a bit quaint by then.

    Violence in the Senate - VulTure @ 7:41 am PST
    There was a debate in the Senate recently about the violence in video games, and what they should do about it. Here were some of the things heard from the floor...

    "My bill would prevent this senseless violence with more V-Chip technology," "Limiting access to handguns will curb the violence in our society," "Canada doesn't have the problems that we have because they have a law like the Safe Harbor law I've proposed," "I propose we declare media violence obscene and pass laws against it."

    However, it sounds like the video game industry was able to slip past the Senators because of two reasons...

    One, the senators and their staffs weren't very hip to the world of video games. Since the attention paid to thoroughly violent titles like Night Trap and Mortal Kombat in the mid-1990s, there's been no particular violent video game that has been in the spotlight. The recent first-person shooter, Soldier of Fortune, might come close since it was banned in British Columbia, but Soldier of Fortune as a game has been nowhere near as popular or widespread as Eminem's albums.

    Two, being a young industry, video games were the last of the three popular media to develop any kind of parental advisory or rating system. Accordingly, their system is the most comprehensive and thorough. The criticisms leveled at the ratings systems for the other industries had been largely resolved by the ESRB (The Entertainment Software Rating Board).

    Night Trap? Mortal Kombat? I think that the people that are in Washington should do a little research before they condemn a whole industry for games that were released in the mid-1990s. Maybe they should update themselves a bit?

    Alone in the Dark gets delayed - VulTure @ 7:37 am PST
    According to Gamers.com, Infogrames is pushing back the release date of Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare. Here are their reasons...

    "Although the Darkworks team has created all the assets and already secured a very impressive technology breakthrough on the PlayStation version, like flashlight technology, dynamic audio, stunning visuals, and a fast-paced combat section," Wiebke Vallentin of Infogrames public relations said, "We really wanted to make sure that we deliver a fabulous, fun game that meets the high expectations for this major franchise." Darkworks will use the extra time to fine-tune the AI, camera movement, and sounds.

    Vallentin added, "We wanted Darkworks to be able to put their focus and energy on the Dreamcast and PlayStation versions so that they are as strong as they can be, and with Spiral House bringing their expertise to the PC version, we can expect an excellent outcome for the PC version."

    Rune Interview - VulTure @ 7:32 am PST
    Jeff DeWitt, animator for Human Head Studios, talks to Stomped about their upcoming game, Rune.

    Stomped: Rune looks like it will have a mix of human and monster enemies. Can you describe some of the enemies the player will encounter in the single player game?

    DeWitt: Well we have the Snowbeast. He’s the cuddly white Wendell looking thing that you might have seen in a few screenshots. He’s cute but sometimes he bites. I wouldn’t recommend letting him do this to you, and if he does just smack him on the nose. There are also goblins, they can be trouble too. And don’t forget about the undead warriors, they don’t smell very good (bad breath).

    Morrowind Interview - VulTure @ 7:27 am PST
    RPGdot has conducted a brief interview with GT Noonan, Lead Level Designer on Morrowind, the third game in the Elder Scrolls series. Here he is talking about their current progress in the game...

    We arent that far behind. Walking the terrain and different environments is the only real way to make sure things work right and are heading in the right direction. Having an up and running prototype is what we aimed for very early on so that we could more easily test certain aspects, and then carry them on to the next level.

    There is also a great screenshot of the level editor that they use for creating the game. It has an image of a sewer level that has to be seen!

    Panzer General III - VulTure @ 7:18 am PST
    SSI has put up a demo download for Panzer General III, that weighs in at 39mb. Here is the sales pitch from the website, to help convince you to click the download button...

    SSI's Panzer General Series is one of the most successful operational wargame franchises of all time.From its initial launch in 1994 to the present, the Panzer General name has promised consumers a fun, accessible, and addictive strategy wargaming experience. The look and feel of the series evolved over the years and in 1999 the game went into a full 3-D graphics mode with a leader-based gaming system.

    While the core 3D engine is the same as the 3D Assault release of 1999, the graphics have been enhanced in order to improve gamelplay. In addition, the number of scenarios have been increased and now feature 4 exciting new campaigns. You can battle your way to Berlin as the Soviets or march to Moscow as the Germans. WWII is stil the backdrop but the action unfolds in the bitter fighting for control of the easter front.

    Heavy Metal Multiplayer - Raven @ 6:44 am PST
    First I heard about this game; Gamespot has just put up a short article, detailing Heavy Gear Multiplayer. This article is based on a forum post made on Ritualistic. Its a short article so I'll just copy and paste the interesting stuff:

    "Ritual's Mark Dochtermann has revealed that the Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 developer is working on a downloadable multiplayer add-on to the game, which is based on the comic magazine and the cult animated movie. In a post to the forum on the fan site Ritualistic, Dochtermann said that the multiplayer add-on will be ready in about four weeks. In addition, Ritual plans to release the multiplayer source code for use by community mod makers. An external group is already working on a CTF mod for F.A.K.K. 2.
    Multiplayer support may help address the complaint of some reviewers that the game is too short. F.A.K.K. 2's combat mechanics are quite different from many action games, as they incorporate a balance of ranged and melee weapons and let players wield two weapons simultaneously. Watch GameSpot News for further information on the add-on as it nears release next month."


    New Allegiance Patch - Raven @ 6:46 am PST
    Shadow Server has just put up this new patch. Allegiance is a popular online space sim game developed by Mircosoft. Heres a list of bugs fixed by the new patch:

    Players with failed connections are cleaned out more efficiently.

    Docked players no longer inundated with heavy server message traffic.

    Drones no longer message players redundantly.
    More efficient DPlay parameters.

    Numerous back-end server modifications for efficient packet management.

    Top three client crashguard report bugs fixed.


    Head over here to get your hands on this patch.

    Diablo2 scam and music - Raven @ 6:42 am PST
    The official Diablo 2 website -run by Blizzard- has been updated with a brand new MP3 of the week. This weeks tune is entitled "Docks". Sounds pretty good you can download it here.

    Also Diabloii.net has just updated their website with a new Battle.net scam that most online D2 users should be aware of. This scam allows people to get your character username and password. View it here.

    Baldurs Gate 2 Review - Raven @ 6:41 am PST
    So who isn't looking forward to becoming addicted to Baldurs Game II: The Shadow of Amn. Voodoo-Extreme certainly is. In their latest review VE have nothing but praise for the latest RPG title from Bioware. Shadow of Amn, is the sequal to the original award winning RPG, Baldurs Gate. This review is indepth, and give a great wrap for BG2. Heres a little chunk to wet your appitite:

    "Each chapter in Baldur's Gate II can be completed in different ways, as there are several different plot twists; routes players can travel to proceed on to new areas in the realm. While there are some major events a player cannot avoid, but in many cases you can play game true to your player's alignment. For instance good players may assume the role of a Harper, evil doers may become slavers, and neutral players can walk the fine line between good and evil, as balance governs the universe. These little plot twists and turns not only add flavor to the story, but a large level of replayability to the game. Ideally, Baldur's Gate II can be enjoyed on several different philosophic dimensions, depending on how you choose. Not everyone craves to walk the path of the righteous…Many paths are for the taking in the Shadows of Amn, and many different character classes and kits are available to walk down them."

    Monday, September 18, 2000

    Anarchy Online Preview - the_culture @ 10:01 am PST
    German gaming site Zocks has a preview of Anarchy Online. The preview is in german, but there appears to be a couple of new shots.

    PrBoom - VulTure @ 8:30 am PST
    A new version of PrBoom has been released to the masses. If you don't know what this is, check this out...

    PrBoom is the culmination of years of work by various people and projects on the Doom source code. PrBoom includes work from all of the following projects: Original Doom source release Without id Software releasing the source code to Doom in the first place, we couldn't be here. And one mustn't forget Bernd Kreimeier who prepared the source for release.
    DosDoom The first serious Doom port, got things working enough for other projects to spawn from it. Also continued to provide a lot of innovative ideas for other ports.
    Boom This project gave a complete overhaul to the Doom engine, one it badly needed. All of Doom's infamous bugs and limitations were fixed. Many new features which fitted nicely into the engine were added, including a better line types system, translucency, friction and wind types, and much more.
    PrBoom Brought Boom to Windows, and made large improvements to the graphics: first higher resolutions, later OpenGL rendering.
    MBF This continuation of the Boom project, by Lee Killough, did huge amounts of debugging and other improvements, as well as adding more natural features in the way that Boom had done. There were also some special features like Doom beta emulation, and friendly monsters.
    LxDoom Initially just a Linux port of Boom, it went on to become a portable POSIX Doom port, with further compatibility improvements and debugging.
    lSDLDoom This port of LxDoom to SDL brought the Windows and Linux development back together. It just makes you wish we'd had SDL when the Doom source first came out

    There is a HUGE list of features in this port, which you can check out here!

    Counter-Strike Bots - VulTure @ 8:07 am PST
    Hot on the heels of the new updates for Counter-Strike, comes word of some updates of some of the bots for the mod. NNbot v0.6 is up, as well as BobaBot Version 2.1.

    Both bots have a whole list of new features, so be sure grab them.

    Game Editing Tools - VulTure @ 7:56 am PST
    Some new tools have been put up for two games recently...On the FAKK YOU page, there are some editing tools for Heavy Metal: FAKK2, and on the Kiss Psycho Circus page, there are editing tools for that game!

    GameSurge Forum Up! - shiva @ 3:34 am PST
    After numerious delays, and quite a bit of bitching on my part, GameSurge is pleased to announce that we have our new UltraBoard Forum up. Though there is still a little bit of work to do, mostly cosmetic, the forum is working fine, and ready for posts.

    I used the same system as most of the top commercial sites, the Ultraboard 2000 boards for our forum. This is a very powerful board, capable of both public and private boards, and this will be used for GameSurge and our network sites as well. We also will "host" other website's boards as well in the future, so if you need a top of the line message board system, you can Email us for details.

    I also wish to apologize to our viewers about the delays in getting this board up. To be honest, I got so fed up with waiting, I decided to just do it myself, as opposed to the previous GameSurge boards, which were having some problems. I've set everything to standard settings, and will be working on changes off and on for a while, but as I noted earlier, the UltraBoard is fully operational.

    Actually, I'm annoyed, because I was waiting around for the other forum to be set up properly, and this Forum is a piece of cake for me to setup, as I have installed this message board system a few times already. In other words, I should have just done it myself a lot earlier than now.

    Anyway, I have just created a single message board for GameSurge at the moment, but no doubt, there will be a couple of new boards soon, when everyone starts posting.

    The forum is for YOU, so if you have any questions, comments, or rants, now you have a place to express your opinion. Please note: You do not have to be a member to use this forum, but I have restricted some words from being used. I don't need to tell you which ones, right? :)

    We at GameSurge always value your opinion, and we hope to hear from you soon.
    Source: GameSurge Forum

    Sunday, September 17, 2000

    Homeworld Thoughts - Issue Two - Thundra @ 6:18 pm PST
    This is the second issue of "Homeworld Thoughts". I now expect to make it a regular "section" at Homeworld Nation. I hope you will be pleased with the article as it talks about HW:C and the polemic situation of the games releases beeing so much later in some continents.

    Here's a bit:

    "I'm Portuguese. I heard that Homeworld Cataclysm is only going to be released here in Europe in the last days of September. I find that a bit unfair 'cause that's about a month later than the original release day across the ocean. As I read somewhere : "What does the US have that we don't?". Perhaps most of the game publishers...".

    Siluro GF256 GTS Review - Falcon @ 6:00 pm PST
    PC hardware has just posted a review of Siluro GF256 GTS. This Abit latest GeForceII GTS based card with 64Mb and TV-out. You can find inside overclocking and performance tests using Quake III Arena, SpecViewPerf and 3D Mark 2000 under both Windows98 SE and Windows2000. They found that Siluro GF256 GTS is a redoubtable player on nVidia cards market.

    Strike Force Job Opening - Falcon @ 5:57 pm PST
    Xtreme Gaming (producers of Strike Force) is looking for someone that can join their ranks. Take any of their 3D models, animate them and import them into the UT code. They need someone with experience that will need no training.

    Contact Optimizer about the postion and benefits here -

    GA Diplomacy/Pirates Moon Support - Falcon @ 5:36 pm PST
    GameSpy Industries is pleased to announce that it’s revolutionary new online gaming software, GameSpy Arcade, now supports multiplayer gaming for two new titles from Hasbro Interactive / MicroProse: Diplomacy, the game of international intrigue, and Pirate's Moon, an expansion pack for the popular MechWarrior 3 game.

    Players will now find that they can launch and join multiplayer sessions of both games from GameSpy Arcade, which already offers support for dozens of peer-to-peer and dedicated server games. And, thanks to the software's wide array of features, Arcade makes it easier than ever before for fans of MechWarrior and Diplomacy to keep track of and talk to their gaming buddies, find their favorite servers and play variations or modifications of the games.

    If you're a MechWarrior 3 or Diplomacy player, and you haven't already grabbed Arcade, why not do it now? With support for all your favorite multiplayer games (from Age of Empires and to Quake), exclusive daily events like developer chats and gaming contests, and features that will make your gaming experience more fun all around, Arcade is THE way to get in the game. Download it now for free from: http://www.gamespyarcade.com.

    Tribes 2 screens and movies - VulTure @ 11:38 am PST
    Tribes2Players has word of some new screenshots for Tribes 2. They also have a link to a video over at GamersInside!

    NHL 2001 has gone gold - VulTure @ 11:34 am PST
    According to GoneGold.com, NHL 2001 is finally finished. Catch the scoop, right here!

    Jake Simpson talks about hardware - VulTure @ 11:26 am PST
    Jake Simpson, programmer for Raven, gives his impressions of future gaming hardware. Here he is talking about what he is most excited about...

    I'd have to say that I'm most excited to see where common broadband access will take us. In the short term we all have our little road maps of what we think is coming, but really and truly I believe the broadband killer app has yet to appear. Digital TV isn't it, and while I'm in the games industry I'm not sure that games themselves will be at, at least not in the form that we are currently enjoying them.

    I would have to agree with him. Once broadband becomes more mainstream, things will advance much more quickly. I am one of those people still suffering on a modem connection, but within two weeks, I should finally have my DSL line...(If Covad comes through!!) I am keeping my fingers crossed!

    Does Windows ME really suck? - VulTure @ 11:20 am PST
    Some stories are coming in about the upgrade hassles that are happening with Windows ME. Here is one example...

    Some consumers attempting the upgrade reported application failures, mostly related to DOS or third-party networking applications. Others reported the need to re-install drivers for external devices, such as CD-ReWritable drives...A technical support person for a major modem maker, who requested anonymity, said his company expected problems with Windows Me compatibility. Many of his company's existing Windows 95 and 98 drivers work fine with Windows Me -- that is, if customers know enough to circumvent questions about signed versions of the drivers -- but his company's Universal Serial Bus drivers didn't work at all with Windows Me.

    Personally, I have already done upgrades from Win98 to WinME and haven't seen any problems. As a matter of fact, all of the systems that I have upgraded seem to be running smoother and much faster. If I see any problems, everybody reading this will be the first to know!

    Interview with Volition - VulTure @ 11:18 am PST
    PlanetDescent has put up an interview with Mike Kulas. Mike is the president of Volition software, creators of FreeSpace, and was also the creator of Decent I and II. Here he is talking about how they built FreeSpace...

    We largely started from scratch. There was a little bit of Descent code, but it was more a matter of pulling in small pieces for specific purposes. We didn't start with the whole Descent code base and turn it into FreeSpace.

    In this clip, he is talking about his new role-playing game Summoner, and the possibility of Descent4...

    An RPG is what the majority of the company wanted to do next. When we were nearing completion on FreeSpace, I asked everyone what they wanted to work on. I told people we'd be starting on Descent 4 and a new project. The type of new project that got the most interest was a fantasy role-playing game. We never have actually thought of ourselves as a shooter company...We're doing the same thing we did with Descent and FreeSpace—we're trying to create the best game we know how. I think Red Faction is going to be a great and original game. People who are looking for something that continues the Descent story or Descent-style gameplay will be disappointed.

    Am I worried about alienating loyal Descent fans? Yes. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't choose. In our case, making Descent 4 the game we wanted isn't, and wasn't, an option. I hope those fans will give Red Faction a look. I have no doubt it will be a great game. Whether it will be the kind of game they want to play is up to them. I hope there will be a free demo on the PC so they'll get to make an informed choice...It seems very unlikely that we'll work on a Descent title.


    DVD Easter Eggs - VulTure @ 11:05 am PST
    Time to crank up your favorite DVD movie again! A list of known Easter eggs has been put up about a whole variety of movies.

    Some DVD discs contain hidden features that are more or less easy to find. Well, some are rather obvious, but others are quite a tricky beast. On this page we want to help you find some of the so called “Easter Eggs” on currently available discs so that you, too, can take a look at those special features the publishers are hiding there.

    Thanks to Blue for this one!

    Diablo II Review - VulTure @ 11:02 am PST
    This time, it's Speedy3D that puts up their review. If you still haven't been convinced into buying this Blizzard cash-cow, maybe this is the review that will finally do it for you.

    "...Diablo 2 still remains a highly entertaining affair, there's that right mixture of gameplay that actually makes the task of finding new weapons and items and progressing level by level in general exciting, appealing to both newbies and Diablo fans alike."

    id Software update - VulTure @ 10:58 am PST
    id Software is planning on doing some routine maintenance on their DNS servers and routers. According to Xian, this should NOT affect the Quake 3 master server, because the router will not be brought down until later in the week. Only the DNS server will be worked on today.

    Saturday, September 16, 2000

    Quake III Arena - VulTure @ 12:04 pm PST
    Dreamcast IGN has put up a preview of Quake III Arena. From the sounds of the article, the game is coming along perfect!

    Aimed and leveled at an October release, Quake III Arena looks ready to blow up here in a few weeks, and completely redefine what multi-player FPS gaming means to console gamers.

    Counter-Strike 7.1 beta - VulTure @ 11:55 am PST
    Finally...some excellent news for everyone. Counter-Strike 7.1 has been released. Here are the new features in this version...

    - fixed de_vegas crashing
    - tweaked burst fire accuracy system
    - slightly improved vehicle code
    - included missing skies (for cs_arabstreets, de_train)
    - fixed mp_timelimit bug
    - added APC to cs_siege
    - new server variable, "mp_maxrounds X" {X = maximum number of rounds to be played on a map, if X = 0, then maps will rotate based on mp_timelimit}
    - fixed crosshairs {They now expand regardless of lag}
    - fixed player heights {Player's POV is now representative of the third person player model}
    - fixed shotgun not showing up in VGUI menus in as_ maps for CTs
    - included new death icon for headshots

    This version is for clients and servers, so everyone should get it now!! Also, the patch from 7.0 to 7.1 is 3.93megs, but the full version is 68.9megs.

    Harbinger screenshots - VulTure @ 11:53 am PST
    RPGPlanet has gotten their hands on some exclusive screenshots of Harbinger. This game is a "sci-fi action / role-playing game that places you in the bowels of a massive prison spaceship where your goal is to get out alive." Be sure to check these out!

    Red Faction Preview - VulTure @ 11:48 am PST
    Red Faction is previewed over at IGNPS2. Here is a bit of the storyline...

    You take on the role of Parker, leader of a paramilitary union faction on Mars, where hundreds of workers are dying of accidents and disease in the Ultor corporation's mines. The time is right for a rebellion and the war against Ultor spreads from the underground mines up to the planet's surface and into the corporation's orbiting headquarters. Watch out that you don't deform the outer hulls of the satellite space stations. Other characters in the game include Gryphon, an Ultor corporate executive, Hendrix, a killer programmer who hasn't quite decided whose team he's on, and Masako, a hired assassin who appears to see the forest through the trees. You'll have a lot of time to get to know them all, since the game is 20 levels big, and just for the single-player experience, it provides 20-25 hours of play.

    They also talk about the new GEO-MOD feature in the game...

    While Descent is remembered for its six degrees of freedom, the ability to move and rotate about all three axes, Red Faction, if its execution lives up to its promise, should be remembered for Geo-Mod, short for Geometric Modification, an engine that enables realtime 3D environment deformation. In practical terms, you can blow up just about everything.

    Or put holes in it, or knock it over, or shove it in one direction or another, or perhaps even carve your initials in it. Nearly every feature of the environment can register the effects of damage in realtime, and not just by swapping in little bullet-hole textures, but by realistically changing shape, often in drastic ways.

    Metal Gear Interview - VulTure @ 11:44 am PST
    GameSpy gets a chance to talk to Peter Connelly, Program Manager for Metal Gear Solid. He talks about the what they did when they ported the game from the Playstation to the PC.

    The PC version that we are releasing is modeled on the Playstation Integral version. Integral was not released here in the US and so PC players will get to experience this version for the first time.

    We have enhanced the display and graphics capabilities of the game to really show Snake and his adventures in a totally new light. Users can view the game with 3D acceleration, and resolutions up to 1024 * 768. This greatly enhances the sharpness and clarity of the game.

    In one package, we are offering the complete game plus all the VR missions. This allows users immense hours of gameplay opportunity on the PC.

    Strategic Commander Review - Falcon @ 7:55 am PST
    The latest BarrysWorld review is now live at http://www.barrysworld.com/news/reviews/sc
    In this latest article MikeyBear places a firm but friendly paw on the newest in the Sidewinder range of gaming peripherals from Microsoft, the Strategic Commander. Here`s a quote

    "...Looking like a crossbreeding experiment between a Cybernetic 31st century armadillo, a bald hedgehog and a squashed joystick, the Strategic Commander is specifically designed to assist the RTS player (although it’s by no means limited to the genre)...."

    Toby Ragaini Interview - Falcon @ 7:57 am PST
    RPG Vault have scored a rare chat with Monolith's Toby Ragaini, former Lead Designer of Asheron's Call

    Late last month, Monolith revealed that Toby Ragaini, former Lead Designer of Asheron's Call, had joined the company and was working on an unannounced project. We knew he wouldn't be able to talk about his new game yet, but when Monolith granted us a rare interview, we jumped at the chance to ask about him and online gaming in general.

    Win2k Article - Falcon @ 7:48 am PST
    Gamer's Nexus tech guru, Firestorm takes a look at how Microsoft's newest OS and how it will affect the games we play and to what extent. He details performance of both Win2k and Win98 on Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. He's also taken the time to provide thorough benchmarks of both operating systems with 3D Mark 2000. Should you upgrade to 2000 or stick with what you've got? Come take a look at the facts before you decide.
    Windows 2000 vs. Windows 98 -

    "Windows 2000 was built off the NT technology, with Windows 98 features in mind. The NT OS was tweaked and upgraded, with added features like web integration and plug-and-play, all with a Win98 feel to it. But NT was never a gaming OS, but a business OS. However, Windows 2000 attempts to close this gap. So the only true way to find out is to benchmark the hell out of it."

    JA2 to Linux - Falcon @ 7:47 am PST
    We also chat with TribSoft about Jagged Alliance 2, the game they ported to Linux that just went gold. Find out about what it takes to port a game to Linux at http://www.gamespy.com/interviews/september00/ja_linux

    Seraphim Interview - Falcon @ 7:48 am PST
    It's hard to imagine the company that made a Beavis and Butthead game would go on to make Septerra Core, a futuristic RPG that received rave reviews. 3DActionPlanet talked to Valkyrie Studios about their upcoming third-person action game, Seraphim. It uses the Unreal Tournament engine.

    3DActionPlanet: Seraphim obviously takes place in a vast outdoor world, and while UT does feature some large areas like this, how extensive will the modifications be to the engine that you'll need to make in order to adapt it to Seraphim's needs?

    Valkyrie: Obviously one of the things about the Unreal engine that we are excited about is Epic's continuing commitment to improvements, and this includes the new terrain/outdoor technology they are working on. We are looking forward to working together with Epic's new technology and taking it even further for Seraphim's own specific needs.

    Track and Field - Falcon @ 7:37 am PST
    Microsoft today announced the launch of Track and Field, a free* browser-enabled game on Zone.com (http://www.zone.com). Can't make it to Sydney? Don't worry, Zone.com puts all the track and field events at gamer's fingertips! Gamers are invited to see if they can be the Marion Jones of Zone.com's Track and Field, as they go for the gold in six events. Scores will be uploaded to Zone.com, so players will be able to follow the competition and see who grabs the top spot on the podium. (National anthem not included.)

    Created by Redmond-based developer WildTangent (http://www.wildtangent.com), gamers can compete in the high jump, long jump, javelin and hammer throw, as well as the 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles. The free, downloadable game requires a 3D accelerator to run.

    Track and Field joins two other browser-enabled games on Zone.com, Adrenaline by Toyota and Driveway Road Rally. Also created by WildTangent, Driveway Road Rally takes gamers on a nostalgic trip back to the 1950s and the golden age of automobiles. Players race such classic cars as a rag-top sedan, a cherry-red pick-up truck or every rebel's favorite -- the hot rod! For more racing excitement, Zone.com offers Tacoma Adrenaline, a heart-pounding, single-player driving experience that puts gamers behind of the wheel of a Tacoma 4x4, navigating sharp curves and winding turns at breakneck speeds. Zone.com's browser-enabled games require a small download, but a Zone.com membership is not necessary to access the games.

    For more details on Track and Field, visit: http://www.zone.com/tracknfield/

    No One lives Forever News - Falcon @ 7:28 am PST
    Are you in a band that rocks?  Fox Interactive and Indiespace.com are giving you the chance of a lifetime to have your band's music heard all over the world.  You could have your music put on the 2nd CD of Fox's Highly-anticipated spy-based, first person shooter computer game- No One Lives Forever due out this winter.  All you have to do is upload your groups' best 1960's inspired songs at indiespace.com and let others hear and vote on your music.  This audition runs through Sept. 28th... so start jammin'!

    EA Racing PR - Falcon @ 7:25 am PST
    Greetings Motor City and Need For Speed fans,

    It has been entirely too long since you've last heard from us, and we deeply apologize for that. Motor City has gone through a lot of modification, and we just wanted to make sure the facts about the game were nailed down before we passed them on to you. This has finally been achieved, so we're pleased to share some exciting information with you.

    Motor City is an online-only game, renamed Motor City Online (MCO). We know there's been a lot of debate about this decision. We also know that there were issues in the online space with NFS 4 & 5. But we are striving to break new territory with our games and reach PC racers and car enthusiasts to an extent that we've never been able to before. We have been challenged to create a great online racing and community experience and we acknowledge that online represents a vast future for gaming. Launching MCO early next year on Electronic Arts' new online gaming network (EA.com) will allow us to take major steps
    in this direction - and that prospect is really exciting to us. We hope that you will share our excitement and take MCO for a free test drive later this fall and assess the experience for yourself.

    Taking the experience well beyond a single player game, Motor City Online is designed to be a bustling, gear-head haven which blends the line between game play and community; between the gaming experience
    and involvement of your friends. The game features cool hot-rodder hangouts for your online persona, near limitless car customization, sanctioned racing, street racing and arcade style driving.

    Here are some additional details about the current direction of the game:

    · Several single-player online play options.
    · Loads of online competitions, contests, and great prizes.
    · Amazing cars, deep car customization and beautiful racing worlds,
    plus a new section of arcade game play features.
    · The ability to create your own online personas and build up their cash inventory and reputations in the MCO world.
    · Run car clubs, fix up old cars, sell their custom paint jobs, and much more!
    · Tear up the streets in pro races, street challenges, and arcade driving events.
    · The game will track your cash, cars, racing history, and very importantly, your reputation.
    · Trick out your cars choosing from thousands of authentic styling and performance parts.
    · Customize your personas, their garage, the appearance of their cars, and their club insignias.
    · Trade cars and parts with other players and swap items for Motor City money.

    We are hard at work on the final touches of a fully featured Motor City Online web site, that will let you stay informed about the evolution of the game, and allow you to provide us with valuable feedback as we approach the launch of the game. As soon as this site
    is available for viewing we will contact you.

    As the game continues to evolve, and the time is right, we hope that you will be interested in getting involved first-hand. It is obvious to us that you will play a major role in making Motor City an online success. Also, keep an eye out for more information about the upcoming launch of EA.com, as well as changes coming to the beta racing service, EA Racing.

    Friday, September 15, 2000

    Atriarch Wallpaper - the_culture @ 10:19 am PST
    Atriarch Stratics has a few cool looking wallpapers for all you Artiarch fans. They come in 1024x768, 800x600, and 640x480. They're well done, but not as good as the one I'm using. =)

    Trainz Update - the_culture @ 9:41 am PST
    The official site for Trainz was given an overhaul today. They updated the look, added some new content, and have an up-to-date FAQ. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read this...

    What is Trainz?
    What are trains to you? In Trainz, you can build your own train experience. You have the freedom to create, run and control a virtual train world right there on your home PC.

    First Release:
    Collect unique 3D locomotives and rolling stock
    Layout your own tracks
    Drive from cab view or third person perspective

    Down the Track:
    Maintain your locos and rolling stock
    Run your rail system - shunt, dispatch and manage
    Share online and run your Trainz with other collectors

    As you can see, the Trainz project is modular. We will be releasing these modules over time and each will integrate with each other.

    The model prices are ridiculously low, indeed many items are free, and Auran's innovative compression utility makes them small enough in file size to be made available for download from the Trainz Web site.


    Check out the FAQ and their interview with Auran 3D Artist Rob Shaw.

    Anarchy Online Interview - the_culture @ 9:22 am PST
    AODaily posted their interview with Tommy Strand regarding the combat system implemented in Anarchy Online.

    03. How will the switching of weapons be handled? Is it automatic when changing from ranged to melee combat? Is there a delay when changing weapons?

    The delay for changing weapons changes with the level of the weapon. It also varies with different weapons. Most weapons have an equip delay as well as a delay to fire and recharge. These delays are used to balance the effectiveness between melee and range among other things. There is no automatic changing of weapons.

    Kornelia Interview - VulTure @ 7:53 am PST
    Playboy has put up an interview with Kornelia Takacs. She is now one of the top Quake players in the world. She has won four professional tournaments and will be appearing at Frag 4 later this month. Here she is talking about why she likes Quake so much...

    I think the biggest reason I like Quake is because I'm a very competitive person and it gives me a great chance to play tough matches without having to travel far. I can play people all over the western states from home when I have time to hop on my PC. Then I can travel to major gaming tournaments and compare my skills with those of a thousand other gamers there to do the same. My main game at first was Quake I; I took a break during Quake II because the gameplay was too slow for my taste, but I like Quake III a lot and play it competitively.

    There are also several movies on the site ranging from her introducing her equipment to watching her take on some 'bots' in Quake 3.

    Creative Labs boycotts CeBIT computer show - VulTure @ 7:42 am PST
    It looks like the CeBIT show in Germany will have to go on without Creative Labs this year. The show is banning any mp3 related technology, and so Creative decided to "ban" them. Of course, CeBIT countered by saying that is was Creative's problem. They, apparently, had a loud, flashy booth at last years show, and this was deemed inappropriate. They wanted Creative at a smaller show, but Creative wasn't havin' any of that!

    Source: FiringSquad

    Windows ME - VulTure @ 7:37 am PST
    If you missed the webcast yesterday over at Microsoft, you can go there now to read all about the next big money maker for MS. There is a lot of information on the site for those of you thinking about upgrading, including quite a few independent reviews.

    Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 - VulTure @ 7:29 am PST
    Well, good news for all of you Command and Conquer fans! Westwood has announced that Red Alert 2 will ship on the 24th of October, and will be in stores within a day or two of that date!

    Source: IGNPC

    NHL 2001 - VulTure @ 7:24 am PST
    IGNPC has released some new screenshots of NHL2001. The game is set to be released on September 26th, so go and grab these shots now.

    Ask Tim Sweeney - VulTure @ 7:21 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up their monthly "Ask Tim Sweeney" column. One of the questions that they ask is how being a celebrity has affected his life...

    If this is fame, it's certainly the best kind of fame to have: you can turn it off simply by turning your computer off! It's definitely confined to the web. Nobody has ever walked up and recognized me in real life, or even at trade shows like E3 (without looking at my name badge first).

    Oil Price Apology - shiva @ 12:24 am PST
    Anyone who drives a car will know that gasoline prices have risen to a alarming level. Recently, British Petroleum have issued a brief statement regarding their prices, and their ovious concern. You can find their "statement" right here. :)
    Source: Retrogames

    New Unreal Tournament Online Tournament - shiva @ 12:11 am PST
    Got this in my email from our friends at Twin Galaxies about a new online Tournament featuring Epic Game's Unreal Tournament. Here's the press release:

    "Twin Galaxies, the Official World Referee and Scorekeeper for the Interactive Entertainment industry, today announced that the Twin Galaxies Electronic Gamers League (TGEGL) has organized its first online tournament, offering $2000 in cash prizes to the top 6 winners. Infogrames' online gaming hit, Unreal Tournament, developed by Epic Games, is the first of a series of six free tournaments offered to gamers, kicking off on September 25th. Future tournament series titles include Rogue Spear, Counter-Strike, Quake 3 Arena and Team Fortress Classic.

    "The Twin Galaxies Electronic Gamers League is very excited to kick-off its inaugural series," said Jeff Gross, TGEGL Commissioner. "We have selected the hottest online games for this first round and in the future we plan to offer a wider variety of games and larger prizes. We will also be holding a series of live tournaments in the upcoming year. This is just the beginning."

    For further information and to enter this tournament, log on to http://www.twingalaxies.com where you can sign-up now."

    Twin Galaxies has been keeping scores for the world of video game and pinball playing since 1982 and still organizes the contests, enforces the rules, maintains the records, and crowns the champions on console, PC, and arcade titles.

    Thursday, September 14, 2000

    New GLSetup - MaD-HaTTeR @ 6:38 pm PST
    A new version of GLSetup has just been released on its official site, bringing the program version up to 1.0.0.116. This new release add's support for 3dfx's Voodoo 5 along with ATI's Rage 128 Pro and Radeon. It also updates the drivers for a pile of other cards. And of course it fixs the occasional bug or two. You can grab it right here. You can also check out the release notes right here.

    Midtown Madness 2 Goes Gold - VulTure @ 4:19 pm PST
    This time it's Midtown Madness 2 from Microsoft. This is being reported by GA-Source.

    Ultima X - VulTure @ 4:15 pm PST
    Another petition is up for people that want Ultima X to be released. Since Richard "Lord British" Garriot left Origin, it looks like there will be no more Ultimas. So, go now and sign up, to help bring it back.

    Baldur's Gate II is Gold! - VulTure @ 4:07 pm PST
    It's official. Baldur's Gate II has gone gold. Now just a little more time before it hits the stores. It is also your last chance to get the the limited Collector's Edition, so check it out here if you want a copy.

    Serious Sam Questions - VulTure @ 4:02 pm PST
    Shinkweb puts up a couple of questions that they were able to get the Croteam, developers of Serious Sam, to answer. Here they are talking about mod support...

    We are going for strong mod support, so we'll provide SESDK (Serious Engine Software Development Kit) which includes tools, docs and some examples. We'll definitely release SESDK freely. I am certain that they'll be included inside the Serious Sam box, which will cost around $20. So, you'll get nice value if you buy it.

    Giants Week - VulTure @ 3:51 pm PST
    GamePulse has all the information that you ever wanted about Giants, and much more. Starting with the introduction to the game, they move on to a graphics/engine interview with Tim Williams (Creative Director), Bob Stevenson (Co Art/Design Director), Nick Bruty (CO Art/Design Director), and Scott Guest (Principal Software Engineer). They then move on to the Race/Creature interview, an overview of the Mecs, and finally a look at Citizen Kabuto.

    Dark Age Of Camelot Infobits - the_culture @ 11:04 am PST
    Four members of the development team for Dark Age of Camelot posted more than a few comments regarding "Group spells," "Equipment changes," "Combat," among others. You can read these updates over at CamelotVault.

    Project Entropia Chat Log - the_culture @ 10:47 am PST
    XRGaming posted their chat with the members of MindArk. They talk about their in-development MMORPG, Project Entropia.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2000

    Project Entropia Interview - the_culture @ 10:40 am PST
    RPGVault had the chance to chat with Communications Manager Patric Sundström, discussing many aspects of their current game in development, Project Entropia. The huge two-page interviews covers many subjects and includes 5 new screenshots.

    Jonric: Will weapons play a major role in Project Entropia? What are you willing to reveal about them at this time?

    Patric Sundström: Weapons will play an important role if you want to live out in the wilderness. You would need something to defend yourself if you came across some monster, robot or mutant. There will be different types of weapons, like, traditional close combat weapons, laser, shock and plasma weapons as well as electric and projectile versions. Then there will be a number of different weapons of each sort. There will also be a couple of not some common weapons as well as even a few totally unique weapons on Calypso. Details about weapons will be posted on the Project Entropia website this autumn.

    Anarchy Online Preview - the_culture @ 9:56 am PST
    British game site The Playing Fields posted their preview of the sci-fi MMORPG Anarchy Online. They feel as most who have seen this game in action: very excited. Nothing new here but still enoyable, especially for those not too familiar with the premise.

    Anarchy Online has a lot of promise, and while being in early stages of development, is still addictive and enjoyable. You can overlook the problems you find here and there, and some of the features that are currently finicky (Targeting can be a problem when you're trying to click on a two pixel high creature at long distance while it's moving) while being able to enjoy those features that are in place, like the beautiful weather effects and the effect of the two suns on shadows. You could do no wrong to take a look at this future hit.

    Unreal Tech Q&A - VulTure @ 8:30 am PST
    'Da man behind Unreal, Tim Sweeney, gives some insight into the new technology going into the Unreal engine.

    UTO: It is wonderful what you have done to your engine over the past few months. From what you have shown us the engine can now handle an awesome amount of polys at once. In the demo that was released, it is obvious that the surrounding mountains are a texture. Just how many polys can your engine currently handle with this new technology?

    Tim: In that terrain, the most complex part of the level has about 100,000 polys in view and is running at 25 fps on a GeForce 1. It's still really early though; it will get radically better in the next 6 months as we get into hardcore development of our next game. The reason behind the movie was just to show that, yeah, the Unreal engine will be able to do some cool outdoor stuff.


    Unreal Tournament - VulTure @ 8:18 am PST
    As soon as the Playstation2 lands in the US, Epic Games will release Unreal Tournament for it. Here are some incredible screenshots from the game, that will probably get me standing in line waiting for it!

    Giants! - VulTure @ 8:11 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up the next set of Giants screenshots, check 'em out here.

    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force - VulTure @ 8:11 am PST
    Over at IGNPC they give their first impressions of Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, and it is sounding great!

    The graphics look even better than the last build, and you'll see the Quake III engine shine under Raven's art and programming. Sound effects are authentic to Star Trek (both old and new school), and most of the voices from the show also play a prominent part in the game as well. The Borg ship in particular really gives you the opportunity to explore the hallways and air-ducts of a Borg ship like you've always dreamed of… well, I've dreamed of. I'm not scared, I can admit it -- I love Star Trek. I just don't like most of the episodes.

    The game has been incredible so far, and I hope that it holds up as I get deeper into it. I can't think of a more successful translation of the Star Trek franchise yet, and fan or not, gamers everywhere look like they have another shooter hit on their hands.

    Inside Red Faction Level Design - VulTure @ 7:46 am PST
    FGN Online recently spoke to producer Rob Loftus about Red Faction level design.

    "The level designers really need to think about the fact that the player can shoot through a wall, but they have to think about where the player can go because normally in a FPS game it's very linear in terms of where you can go. To a certain extent we still have to, because our game is very story driven, but the level designers need to think about what areas are destructible, to what degree, and to how that fits into solving puzzles...The new technology makes things a little more time consuming and a little more difficult."

    Tribes 2 Beta News - VulTure @ 7:42 am PST
    Sometime this week, the finalists in the Tribes 2 beta test will be contacted. According to this story, Sierra has made it's decision on beta testers, and because of the volume of entries, they have increased the number of testers from 1000 to 1200!

    They Hunger 1 & 2 - VulTure @ 7:38 am PST
    They Hunger, an awesome single-player mod for Half-Life has been recently updated. This update includes both They Hunger 1 and They Hunger 2, and was created by master map designer Neil Manke. Up on the site are all of the maps that Neil has created for PC Gamer.

    Bill Roper Interview - VulTure @ 7:34 am PST
    WarcraftIII.net has put up an interview with Blizzard producer, Bill Roper. Bill talks a lot about Warcraft III, and he even throws in some information about the Diablo II expansion pack.

    WarCraftIII.Net: Do you expect the Expansion Pack to ship before WarCraft III?

    Bill: Yeah, definitely. The thing that helped us with the Expansion Pack was that when we were doing the play balancing in the local beta and the localisation that was all very programmer intensive and not art intensive, so we were able to peel off a lot of the artists and have them start creating artwork for the expansion. So we got a nice head start on the X-Pack. Normally, in the past, as with Brood War for example, we didn't even start that until StarCraft was completely done. We were able to get a head start with the DII Expansion art-wise and concept-wise so I would expect that to be out first half of next year and then War III out in the second half.

    Twin Galaxies Puts their World Record Game Database Up. - shiva @ 1:30 am PST
    Dating from games released in 1977, Twin Galaxies has become the source for game world records. Now, they have put their video game world record database online.
    Here's their latest press release:

    "The high-score database containing the official world records for video game and pinball playing is now available on the Internet as a free reference source.

    It can be found by clicking on SEARCH SCORES at: http://www.twingalaxies.com.

    This body of information is essentially the statistical history of video game and pinball playing from 1977 to present and has already been used in
    years past as a reference source by many news agencies and Hollywood producers, including the Guinness
    Book of World Records, ABC-TV's That's Incredible and Jeopardy, the TV game show. In the forthcoming months, this data will be supplemented with 15,000 further high scores which represent the new world records on today's current game titles.

    For more information, contact emma@twingalaxies.com."

    Walter Day is also known for his book, Twin Galaxies’ Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records, (ISBN 1887472-25-8, $19.95 U.S.) a 984 page book containing 12,416 scores from players in 31 different countries collected between the years 1981-1997. I have a copy, not only is it a great resource, but there's some great stories as well. You can order the book here.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    Blair Witch Project 1 Gone Gold - MaD-HaTTeR @ 7:08 pm PST
    Thats right, the word is out that Blair Witch Project Volume 1: Rustin Parr has gone gold, and will be landing in a store near you on September 27th. This is the first of three planned volumes coming from Terminal Reality.

    Blair Witch Project 1 Gone Gold - MaD-HaTTeR @ 7:08 pm PST
    Thats right, the word is out that Blair Witch Project Volume 1: Rustin Parr has gone gold, and will be landing in a store near you on September 27th. This is the first of three planned volumes coming from Terminal Reality.

    New Warcraft III screenies - Recoil @ 5:08 pm PST
    Blizzard Entertainment has released some new screenshots of the up comming Warcraft III. Check is out here

    New Neocron Shots - the_culture @ 4:09 pm PST
    There are three of them over at Neocron Central, all depicting the architecture of the game. Neocron is a sci-fi MMORPG being developed by Reakktor Media.

    Myst III: Exile Update - the_culture @ 12:32 pm PST
    The official page for Myst III: Exile updated their Gallery and their Links page.

    ARX Interview - the_culture @ 12:27 pm PST
    GA-RPG posted their First Look at Arkane Studios' current project, ARX. The game is a first-person RPG with very large and detailed maps. Some of the feature to be included are:

  • Fantasy setting
  • Unique spellcasting system
  • In-house real-time engine
  • 32 bit graphics
  • Progressive meshes for NPC’s and monsters
  • Highly detailed monsters with large textures and 1500 polygons
  • Real time physics and breakable objects
  • Level based character advancement
  • Amazing AI, thanks to a flexible script language the allows complex behaviors for NPC’s
  • 3D sound

  • Check the official site for futher information.

    Dark Age Of Camelot Update - the_culture @ 11:42 am PST
    Mythic Entertainment updated their official page with new details surrounding the world architecture used in the game.

    Mythic revealed today that Dark Age of Camelot features a unique world architecture that almost completely removes the need for players to "zone" between game areas. The new system has "Regions" that are made up of huge areas of the game -- inside which players will not have to wait to zone, as in other online RPGs. Instead, the player moves inside a "bubble" that keeps track of all monsters and other characters near the player. As the player moves around, the bubble continually refreshes itself by loading in new objects, monsters, and players that come in contact with the edges of the bubble. In essence, it is like playing EverQuest and being able to see and move across zone borders into other zones.

    To give an idea of the size of the Regions, each Realm's territory consists of two regions, allowing players to adventure for hours without ever having to wait for the game to load a new zone. The regions correspond to a "home area" and a "frontier area" of each Realm's territory. The home area is where low to mid level characters will cooperatively group and fight to gain levels. The frontier region consists of tougher high level areas where players go on high level quests and to engage in PvP combat against players from other Realms.


    For more info on this MMORPG in development, visit the official page.

    New Atriarch .MOV - the_culture @ 11:07 am PST
    The Atriarch Vault just posted a 2.21 MB quicktime movie of a new creature called Shardaan.

    New Archaean Messageboard Addition - the_culture @ 11:00 am PST
    The official site for Archaean updated their page saying:

    "This one invites you all to help us with our research! We need a whole lot of information to truthfully portray a virtual fantasy world.

    All links, booktips, pictures, architecture designs and information in general helps us a great deal, so we don't have to wade through the massive ocean of the net and libraries each day! Thank you for all the help!"


    You can learn more about this MOW (Massive Online World) in development by reading through the Info section.

    Anarchy Online Preview - the_culture @ 10:42 am PST
    I noticed over at the AOVault that Happy Puppy posted a very positive preview of Anarchy Online, one of the better looking and sounding MMORPG in development.

    Another MindArk Press Release - the_culture @ 10:03 am PST
    Press-Release happy MindArk released another one stating the re-opening of their web site for Project Entropia. In full glory:

    MindArk


    Press Release

    MindArk AB
    Magasinsgatan 3
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Patric Sundström, Communications
    Tel: +46 31 136 736
    Fax +46 31 136 016
    press@mindark.com

    For your game editor and for game users

    MindArk launches new Project Entropia web site

    Gothenburg, Sweden, September 13 – MindArk, the Internet experience company, today launched their new Project Entropia web site. Project Entropia is a massive multi-user virtual world, designed for more than one million simultaneous users. Project Entropia stands out from role-playing games due to its versatility. An Avatar, designed by the user, represents each user. Access to Project Entropia will be for free; downloaded over the Internet or as freely distributed CDs via magazines and journals, as well as via game-sites.

    The new site outlines the eagerly expected launch of Project Entropia, which MindArk says will be in the first half of next year. Huge efforts have been afforded in order to gain graphics and artistic quality. The highly improved graphics give Project Entropia a level of realism which has earlier not been reached. A user can develop own skills or design own equipment, or buy these from another user or on a market, for real money. Buying is possible, for real
    cash, which will make a fast progress towards proficiency possible.

    The money in Project Entropia is convertible to any major currency in the real world. Even the monsters will carry things of value, or cash. This gives the chance to become one of the first generation of
    professional cyber game or bounty hunters. “We believe that the next generation of online games must satisfy much higher demands on realism in the virtual world than currently offered. Project Entropia represents the next generation of high quality online games. The screen-shots available on the Project
    Entropia web site show this. With the next update of the site we plan to also show Avatars in motion”, says Daniel Sevo, leader of the graphics development team.
    Project Entropia is dynamically laid out, to allow for dynamic allocation of space corresponding to the number of users at each point in time, as well as to their preferences. Project Entropia has different zones: some where the same type of rules apply as in the real world, and some where the law of the jungle apply. Every user active in the Project Entropia virtual world will participate in the same world. In order to make this possible without lag, local servers will be placed in each country. These local servers will be connected in a global network, including server
    clusters.

    The version of the Project Entropia web site launched today is the first step towards a complete integration of the web site into the virtual world, says Thommie Astorsson, head of the web development team. The first step towards the users is the introduction of a community and a discussion forum. This will enhance communication between prospective users, and will assist us in the fine-tuning of the virtual world towards the needs and wishes of the future users.
    The software developed for Project Entropia is highly modularized, which means that future upgrades are uncomplicated, and that all aspects of the universe like skills, attributes, etc., earned by an Avatar, can be maintained. The programme drivers behind Project
    Entropia are in-house developed systems, and the 3D engine is licensed from NetImmerse. By initially targeting the high end of the game users, and by utilizing new technology such as continuous level
    of detail, mesh deformation, inverse kinematics, texture compression, and the like, Project Entropia will satisfy much higher demands on visual realism than what has hitherto been associated with online
    games.

    Project Entropia (Click Here) is a virtual second universe developed by MindArk, the Internet experience company. Further improvements of the web site will be introduced shortly.

    MindArk (Click Here) develops Internet technology solutions. With novel applications in the experience and entertainment sector, in browser infrastructure, and in massively parallel simultaneous active user presence on the Internet, MindArk is expanding the new
    universe.

    No One Lives Forever - VulTure @ 8:19 am PST
    Over at 3DActionPlanet, Hellchick has taken a look at No One Lives Forever. Here is a bit from Hellchick...

    "I recommend the download to everyone, and would stress that the lite version is probably better for those without the bandwidth or the patience for the larger one - however, the larger demo is the one with the fantastic 'falling from the sky' level, and you'll miss out on that one. Otherwise, the music is the only other thing missing from the lite version...After playing the demo...it's now one of the games I most look forward to playing. While the large size of the demo strikes me as odd given what's in it, NOLF's game play is really something that shouldn't be missed. If you can handle the file size, then grab this demo today."

    Dave Perry Interview - VulTure @ 8:16 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up a great interview with Shiny Entertainment's Dave Perry. He is the behind-the-scenes force for Sacrifice, a 3D real-time strategy game.

    Voodoo Extreme -- What do you see as the next quantum leap for games is? AI, some visual jump, what?

    Dave Perry -- The next 'obvious' step is speech both in and out of games. Another 'obvious' step is the continued improvement of characters. (Blinking, breathing, eyes moving, tongue, teeth, clothing, hair etc...)

    I think the most exciting big jump is giving video game characters common sense. This along with warm endering characters will make them fun to actually hang out with. They will also know tactics and have memory, probably saving your butt more than once, even helping your brain solve problems. The goal is to make you enjoy in-game characters instead of them just blocking the damn staircase when you want to go up it. I reckon one reason that there is violence in games is because the characters you have to play with are so damn dumb! I still have a lot of research to do in this area, but it all seems completely possible now.

    Multi-booting Windows OS's - VulTure @ 8:09 am PST
    If you are currently running a consumer version of Windows (95/98/ME) and want to be able to load on one of the business OS's (NT/2000), check out this article on Ars Technica. The key, as pointed out in the article, is to load one of the consumer versions first, then load up the business version on top.

    Giants screenshots - VulTure @ 8:02 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up some huge screenshots of the game, Giants. These are huge 1600x1200 shots, and they have to be seen to be believed!

    Steel Panthers World At War v4.0 Released - VulTure @ 7:54 am PST
    Matrix Games has released Steel Panthers World At War. Here is the press release from their website...

    Matrix Games (http://www.matrixgames.com) announced today it has release Steel Panthers World at War has v4.0. Steel Panthers World At War is based on the Steel Panthers game series designed by Gary Grigsby and Keith Brors for SSI. Each turn is several minutes, scaled at about 50 yards per hex and individual vehicle/squad units. The game is a native Windows application for enhanced stability and system compatibility, with enhanced stereo .wav based sounds, new graphics, new terrain, new Op Fire rules, online Internet play and a greatly enhanced combat system. Daniel Heath of Media Relations said "Its been a long hard but enjoyable haul. We are very proud of this release and the Internet play feature"

    They also have a great set of screenshots up at their site, if you want a peek at the game.

    Battle Realms Preview - VulTure @ 7:51 am PST
    According to this preview on Computer Games Online, Battle Realms is not an real-time strategy game, it is a real-time economy game. Whatever they call it, this game should ROCK. Be sure to check out the incredible screenshots at the site.

    "The bulk of games that RTSers are playing these days are really more RTEs," explains game designer Ed del Castillio, "They're really not real-time strategy, they're real-time economy. If you play a lot of production-based games that are called RTSs nowadays, you'll realize that 900f the warfare occurs at the production level: if you out-produce your opponent, you win. That's how it works. All the strategies you read about and all the strategies you explore, a good 75% to 800f them are about how to make your peasants more efficient. We believe there's real opportunity to put combat back out onto the battlefield."

    Baldur's Gate II Preview - VulTure @ 7:42 am PST
    Beta Bites takes a look at Baldur's Gate II, and they have given it the "YeeHaw!!! Award!"

    Bioware has come across with the much needed improvements in the graphics and resolution size. Although not 3D accelerated, it goes to show you that a game doesn't require the fanciest of hardware to be a great game. The music ambiance just adds to the mix of the dark, dungeons or combat for the day. Scripting for NPC's, was given full attention, and not short-changed. The ability to import characters from previous games or to multiplayer is one handy feature...Without a doubt, I would expect Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn to garner as many awards as Baldur's Gate. It is massive, and it will be money well spent for the amount of gameplay time involved.

    Kevin Lambert Interview - Falcon @ 3:46 am PST
    Stomped talks to Monolith's Kevin Lambert as the lead designer of Sanity: Aiken's Artifact talks about the origins of the game, what players can expect in the full version, and even some hints on what he would like to see in a sequel. Check out the exclusive interview at http://www.stomped.com/published/jcal0_1_1.html

    Kingdom Under Fire - Falcon @ 3:44 am PST
    Interested in hearing about a strategy title that somehow has managed to merge gameplay elements from both Diablo and Warcraft? Sound crazy? Well check out the Kingdom Under Fire firstlook on StrategyPlanet for more details.

    Battletop Tourney Coverage - Falcon @ 3:43 am PST
    EuroGamer has now posted its full coverage of last weekend's Battletop tournament at the Millenium Dome in London. Included are detailed reports on the finals of the FIFA 2000, Starcraft, Age of Empires II, Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 clan competitions, as well as a whole host of photographs taken at the event, showing the venue, some of the competitors, some of the hangers-on, and the lovely Jo Guest and Jordan, who were on hand to give out the prizes and generally look pretty.

    "Korean based company BattleTop chose the Dome as the venue for their debut British event, running a large computer games tourney there which covered Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and Starcraft, as well as Age of Empires II and soccer game FIFA 2000. Up for grabs was a total of around £30,000 in prize money, making this the largest event of its kind held in the UK so far."

    Magelords Interview - Falcon @ 3:44 am PST
    Gamer's Nexus recently had the opportunity to chat with two members of the Kinesoft development team working on the upcoming RTS title, Magelords. We posed a few questions to Jason Minor, 2d/3d artist and co-designer, and T. Ray Isaac, Art Director for Magelords and got some very interesting answers.

    "GNx: Given the competitive nature of RTS genre, What facets of Magelords do you think will help to distinguish it from the pack - game play elements,
    graphics, etc?

    Jason minor: What distinguishes Magelords from the RTS genre is, that it doesn't hold to any predefined genre. Magelords incorporates many different elements from many different genres, as well as adding some new twist of our own. We are creating a new genre.

    T.Ray Isaac: of course being the Art Director I think the art is going to set us apart. We have some really talented and determined team. We want to give the
    player something totally new."

    Superbike 2001 Demo - Falcon @ 3:43 am PST
    The finest motorbike racing sim series in its class continues its tradition of excellence with Superbike 2001, published by EA Sports. FilePlanet has a demo of the game at http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=49899.

    Sydney Games 2k Review - Falcon @ 3:42 am PST
    Actiontrip have slapped up a review of Sydney Olympic Games 2000, and let me tell you... ...it isn't going to win any medals at ATrip!


    Caeron 3k SS - Falcon @ 3:41 am PST
    TheMagique Productions site has been updated with a new Pic of the Week. The shot is called "Ancient Secret" and depicts a group of humans who have discovered an ancient secret left behind by an earlier civilization. A dark and forboding cave is perhaps the entrance to an underground city of the ancients.

    MS Flight Sim 2k add on - Falcon @ 3:24 am PST
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    WILCO'S '767 PILOT IN COMMAND' FOCUSES ON FLIGHT EMERGENCIES
    Heart-Stopping New Microsoft Flight Sim Add-On Spotlights Failure Training from Tire Blowouts to Engine Fires; Adventures Test What You've Learned

    DROGENBOS, BELGIUM (September 11, 2000) - Fair warning, armchair flyers:
    Wilco Publishing's soon-to-be-released 767 Pilot in Command is not for the faint of heart. The new add-on to Microsoft Flight Simulator gives desktop pilots a series of nerve-wracking lessons in the art of managing predicaments ranging from tire blowouts, locked gears and windshear to electrical failure, cabin depressurization and engine trouble. No airliners go down in flames, but Wilco has turned up the heat in the interest of showing simmers what real pilots face when they're wrestling with more than 300,000 pounds of crippled metal.

    Building on original new gauges and panel details designed by active 767 co-pilot Eric Ernst and co-developers Laurent Crenier and Wade Chafe, 767 Pilot in Command begins with step-by-step training in flying the widely used twin-aisle twinjet. The pilot, copilot and onboard instructor verbally interact as they go through each stage of flight, from cockpit preparations to pre-takeoff, post-takeoff, cruise, descent, pre-landing and after-landing procedures. The virtual plane is empty (as it is throughout the sim), and the training is followed by a flight with full ATC chat.

    Then comes the real excitement - if you enjoy having your heart in your throat. You can select from a menu of failure scenarios and go through the motions of taming your airborne tiger. What do you do when you're halfway to your cruising altitude and your right engine suddenly grinds to a halt? What about when your hydraulic system goes on the fritz? Inquiring simmers want to know - and 767 Pilot in Command has the answers.

    After you've mastered the checklist for each emergency during short flights with predictable failures that you've chosen yourself, you move on to a series of 30- to 45-minute adventures where any malfunction that is now in your repertoire can occur at any time. Replicating the Prof Checks that real-life pilots must go through to retain their licenses, these adventures over both U.S. and European terrain test your reflexes as well as your knowledge. The pressure's on: it's time to show your stuff.

    For the first time, 767 Pilot in Command offers interactivity between the flight panel and the adventure. If red warning lights are flashing, for example, you can hear the instructor saying, "Captain, we have a failure on board, we need to follow the Engine Fire checklist." If your flight panel indicates that an engine has failed, the instructor will announce that "It's time to go to an alternate airport."

    For those who prefer a calmer flying experience or for days when you don't want to be reminded of your last close encounter with airborne calamity, the sim can also be flown without any failures, with all normal procedures of the 767 faithfully recreated.

    The cockpit features realistic 3D effects including dimensional buttons and shadows, with multiple inside perspectives. Exteriors are also highly detailed, with multiple livery options. The sim also comes with a complete flight training manual, developed by an active co-pilot, that outlines regular flight checklists as well as emergency procedures for each failure scenario covered.

    Scheduled for pre-Christmas release, 767 Pilot in Command will be a packaged add-on selling for $39 (MSRP). Minimum system requirements will include a Pentium 300 MHz and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000.
    Find out more at wilcopub.com

    Bigworld News - Falcon @ 3:19 am PST
    Bigworld Vault PR:
    Designed on the foundation of proprietary server technology that can theoretically handle hundreds of thousands of players in a single gameworld, BigWorld: Citizen Zero is a project with the potential to will re-define the scope and meaning of so-called "massively multiplayer" online gaming. The existence of the game became known about a year ago, but until very recently, relatively little else was known about it. In part, this was because it is being developed in Australia, away from the North American media spotlight. However, it is also true that the team at Micro Forte chose to take a low-key approach until they felt they were ready to present their game properly.

    Two weeks ago, in our first BigWorld interview, we met the core team and received an extensive overview of the game. Last week, we followed up with a second interview in which the main topics were the game’s underlying technology, the player character and the character development system. This week, we have the chance to learn about some other vital areas as we look into quests, items, combat and more in a lengthy BigWorld: Citizen Zero Interview #3 with Producer Steve Wang, Lead Writer Camille Scaysbrook and Designer Paul McInnes.

    Ask AE - Falcon @ 3:17 am PST
    Ask AE returns for it's 17th week with more great information straight from David Allen himself! This week David answers a whole slew of questions covering ships, houses, guilds, and much more!

    You can find this week's Ask AE here:

    Win a V5 5500 - Falcon @ 3:12 am PST
    - SimHQ.com Contest: Do you have a mission, race or gaming session that stands out? Enter their "There I was ..." story contest for the chance to win a V5 5500 AGP video card from 3dfx. Click here for rules and more
    information.

    Grand Prix 3 Review - Falcon @ 3:12 am PST
    Today's review on EuroGamer takes a look at Geoff Crammond's motor racing masterpiece "Grand Prix 3".

    "Each car has been lovingly recreated in line with the 1998 data Geoff Crammond and his team were supplied with. Any physical alterations to the chassis since then have not been included - in a way this is the key to GP3's success; once the data was selected no alterations or updates were made to it, and as a result this is the most perfect depiction of the 1998 Grand Prix season ever seen."

    Descent Editorial - Falcon @ 3:10 am PST
    Today on 3DActionPlanet is an editorial by Silencer on why the sometimes overlooked Descent series was a breath of fresh air in an industry rife with look-alike first-person shooters:

    "By combining the thrill of a FPS game with the 360-degree physics of a flight sim, Parallax created the mine-crawling Descent. Many gamers were sucked in by Descent's non-stop vertigo-inducing action; however, others couldn't stand the gameplay (or the motion sickness), thus sparking a somewhat notorious feud as to whether the game was good or not."

    Mod Article - Falcon @ 3:09 am PST
    Article: "Where Have All The Original Mods Gone?"

    CitizenC has written an editorial about the lack of variety in mods being developed. Every single game that is 'modable' has, or has in development, TF-style mods, realism mods, excessive mods.. the list goes on and on. The editorial discusses this, and brings up a few interesting points.

    Monday, September 11, 2000

    2 Interviews, 2 Previews & A Mouthful Of Flem - the_culture @ 1:23 pm PST
    Yes, I'm still getting over the flu. shiva has been a sweetheart (gay overtones inserted intentionally), recommending Fisherman's Friend throat Lozenges and Canada Dry's Ginger Ale. Whatever-

  • GameSpot UK posted a preview of Star Trek: Elite Force, focusing primarily on CTF.
  • BadKarma.net has a preview of Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy. They include 9 screenshots as well.
  • AVault conducted and interview with the development team behind Hidden & Danderous 2.
  • "Big" news for you BigWorld fans (including myself). BigWorld Vault posted interview #3, discussing quests, items and combat. Interview #1 is an entensive overview of the game. Interview #2 covers the underlying technology and character development. Great reads for anyone interested in this ambitious game.
  • MindArk Chat - the_culture @ 9:43 am PST
    Patric over at MindArk dropped me a reminder that they will have a chat on Teusday regarding Project Entropia.

    Entropia Global News
    Monday 11 September 2000

    On Tuesday, 12 September, Crossroads Gaming Network is hosting an IRC chat with MindArk.
    Patric Sundstrom and Andres Berg will be present and there is the possibly of a surprise guest or two.
    That chat will take place at 9pm EST (1am European Standard Time).
    The chat will be held at irc.sorcery.net #entropia
    You can connect to Sorcery.net by using the irc.sorcery.net server at port
    6667.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Patric Sundstrom
    MindArk

    Starfleet Command II Q&A - VulTure @ 8:29 am PST
    GameSpot has a question and answer session with Joshua Morris of Taldren. The demo is nearly ready, and there is a form that you can use to sign up for the beta test.

    Basically you are playing two different games when you play the metaverse. The strategic map will hold potentially thousands of players moving around a large map looking for an encounter. When players or AI ships meet, they are transported to a briefing before fighting a battle in our traditional tactical game. When the battle is over or all the ships have exited, you are transported back to the strategic map, and the results are shown on how you affected the universe.

    Dual-Processor boards - VulTure @ 8:19 am PST
    If you need a new project to work on, or you are tired of your aging system, check out Tom's Hardware. They've put up a new article on dual-processor boards, specifically, the MSI 694D Pro and the Tyan Tiger 133. These boards work GREAT with Quake3!

    New LichTech game - VulTure @ 8:11 am PST
    Some shots have been put up from an unannounced and unnamed game from Monolith. The shots are looking very sweet, so you may want to check 'em out, here and here.

    EverQuest: Scars of Velious - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    Computer Games Online has just put up a new preview of the upcoming expansion pack to EverQuest, Scars of Velious. Here is the storyline...

    Velious is being designed for players of level 30 and above. One of the first goals you will face to "win through" will be the Coldain Dwarves. These dwarves have long been out of touch with their ancestors who live in the rest of Norrath. As such, don't expect them to be friendly to dwarven player characters. Thurgadin is the Coldain fortress city. It's a maze of twists and turns that lead to bridges ingeniously suspended by ice or snowy ramparts or large open rooms where the dwarven king and his retinue will await.

    After the Coldain Dwarves, you will eventually work your way into the zones that contain the Frost and Storm Giants. These Giants are the enemies of the Dwarves, so may be able to raise your faction with the Giants (i.e. make them like you better) by killing Dwarves (or Dragons). Ultimately, you may be able to bind yourself to the city of the Storm Giants so that you'll be able to return from death to this point. From the Giants you will continue on to face the Dragons. These are likely to be the mightiest creatures in Velious, but again you have the opportunity to raise faction with the Dragons by killing Giants, so the potential to walk unscathed among the mighty serpents does exist. There are of course many other zones on Velious populated with other creatures dire and dangerous, but the Dwarves, Giants, and Dragons are the main players in the power struggle for Velious.

    Game Interfaces - VulTure @ 7:45 am PST
    Well, yeah, game front-ends do matter. They are your link into the game. GameSpy proves it (umm, I think?) in a recent article called Features Without Interface! The author focuses on the ups and downs of Diablo II for the article.

    The interface is so simple that it does not allow the player to choose which types of skeletons to create. The upside is the simplicity. The downside is the lack of strategic control.

    Unreal Engine Followup - VulTure @ 7:34 am PST
    VoodooExtreme talked to Unreal programmer, Tim Sweeney, about the new technologies that they are putting into the Unreal engine. Some of the outdoor shots on the page have to be seen to be believed. This is hot on the heels of the recent announcements here on GameSurge, and over at VoodooExtreme.

    Sunday, September 10, 2000

    Quake3 video card roundup - VulTure @ 7:55 pm PST
    The FiringSquad has put up a shootout between the latest batch of 3D video cards and how they compare on Quake3. In this round, they compare the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500, the ATI Radeon 64 MB, the NVIDIA GeForce2 Ultra, and the NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS.

    FAKK2 Tweak Guide - VulTure @ 7:52 pm PST
    Tweak3d has put up an article geared towards speeding up Heavy Metal: FAKK2. If you are playing this game, you have to check out this guide.

    Diablo II Multiplayer - VulTure @ 7:47 pm PST
    PlanetDiablo has put up the last part of a five part article aimed at Diablo II multiplayer. In this part they talk about Software Developer's Kits and mods for the game.

    These mods are so important, since otherwise, most of the Action genre games would have provided only the Deathmatch and Capture the Flag game types (with the exception of Unreal Tournament). Half-Life, for example, had an incredible and revolutionary single-player experience, but surely its popularity would have died out without Team-Fortress Classic and Counterstrike. Quake III's popularity would most likely have decayed quickly without the huge list of mods available, with well-known examples such as Rocket Arena 3 and Weapons Factory Arena.

    Since the current game types (cooperative or Player versus Player) that are available in Diablo II become quite repetitive, modifications could be a wonderful thing to have. We aren't stating that Diablo II is a poor-quality game, instead that it could be improved with the variety that more game types would provide. Teams of fans could create many new game types, and it would surely keep Diablo II popular for much longer than it will without mods.

    I would have to agree with that one. Without mods, the Half-Lifes and Quakes would not be as popular as they are today!

    George B. On DNF's Unreal Engine - MaD-HaTTeR @ 5:04 pm PST
    While cruising the 3DRealm's Message Boards, i found a spicy post from 3DR's big man, George Broussard concerning DNF's Unreal Engine. Dig it:

    Some points:
    1) We've had skeletal/motion capture/facial animation for over a year. We aren't doing 40 bones in the face, but then again DNF will be out a couple years before this next gen stuff ships.

    2) Landscape is cool. We had our own landscape engine capable of ten's of thousands of polys at 50 fps a long time ago. They are about the simplest rendering engines to write. We decided a bit ago that merging that tech into Unreal for DNF was beyond the scope of this game. Same goes for adding in Epic's stuff (which looks sweet). Added to which, Epic's new tech is targetting hardware that won't be commonplace (a majority of the market) for 2 years.

    3) Bear in mind that all next-gen games (using GeForce 2's and T&L as a base) will look this good. It's the next logical step. The hardware let's you move an order of magnitude up from rendering 10,000 polys at 30-50fps to 100,000 polys. It's the nature of the hardware. But games that do this are a couple of years off. They will have to wait until everyone has a GeForce 2 or better as the low end card.

    So, yeah it all looks amazing, but the thing to remember is that it's not near term stuff.

    George Broussard, 3D Realms

    He Lives! - the_culture @ 2:20 pm PST
    Well, it's Sunday afternoon, football is on, I'm finally getting over the flu, and... I had a LAN party last night. There were only three of us on a D-Link 5 port switch, but we had lots of fun playing Rogue Spear and Urban Ops.

    Now, let's get down to business:

  • Caeron 3000 posted their latest Pic of the Week, a scene where three humans discover a mysterious sign and a secret cave.
  • I don't remember missing this (maybe their page was just updated) but the official UWO:O site made a few updates to their pages. The FAQ section contains four new questions; 2 new in-game shots were added in the Downloads section (though I was unable to pull them up); and comments from Rick Holtrop (ORIGIN Designer) in the Team Comments section.
  • Graeme Devine Interview - MaD-HaTTeR @ 2:01 pm PST
    The 2nd id software employee interview today comes straight from GameSpy.com. They have held an interview with Graeme Devine. The interview isnt exactly focused on id's current projects, but more focuses on Graeme's past games (7th Guest and Pole Position), as well as misc. stuff about his life. Check it out right here. Snippage for your optical pleasure:

    GameSpy: Let's start with the good dirt. Back in April of 1999 you told PlanetQuake readers the terrible story of how you'd been expelled from school because of your work on the ports for Atari's Pole Position when you were 16. Was this your start in the video game industry? And whatever happened with that, were you reinstated after the school had a sit in? And what IS the story of how you were the downfall of Activision UK from Joan Collins' bedroom in Knightsbridge, London? I believe the rumor is that you were programming from her bedroom. Care to elaborate, or should we let the readers reinterpret the word "programming" on their own?

    Devine: I was actually in the industry for a few years before Atari. I started working in the late '70s on the TRS-80 and moved on from there. Activision UK had its headquarters in what was used to be her apartment. I worked in what used to be her bedroom, and I spent many a night there all night!

    Todd Hollenshead Interview - MaD-HaTTeR @ 12:41 pm PST
    Well, i think its time all you kids found out how to break through that $5 Cyber-Sitter software your mom put on your family computer, because playboy.com now has an interview up with id Software's head man (no pun intended) Todd Hollenshead. You can check it out right here. Dig the snippage:

    VG: Why has Quake become such a phenomenon?

    TH: I could get real philosophical on this subject, but I think the answer is more straightforward: It was the right form of entertainment at the right time. PC games had come into their own, and the Internet was really starting to take off. Quake was the first real-time, true 3D action game, and you could play deathmatch over the Internet, so it took advantage of the convergence of a couple of significant trends. Mix that with the unprecedented level of customization that we allowed players, and you get something that millions of people enjoy.

    We allow the players to modify almost any aspect of the game that you can imagine, and that helps keep the game fresh and adds replay value. Quake is more than four years old, which is ancient in game years, but it still has an active and loyal user community.

    Win ME Review - MaD-HaTTeR @ 12:28 pm PST
    Sure, Windows isnt the best OS out there, but you just cant deny that Window's 2 latest installments, Win2k and WinME, havent been complete garbage. In to reinforce that claim, Gaming In 3D, has just slapped up a new review on Microsoft's Windows ME. Check it out right here. And of course, the clippage:

    Something I gradually noticed was the lack of crashes. Nothing "Windows98-ish" crashed, at all. No Invalid Page Fault, general protection, or kernel errors. When RealPlayer 8 Plus closed, it had an error. It simply corrected me in being more careful with the application. This is not to say that M.E. is perfect; it is not, but the general stability has improved. No Blue Screens Of Death have appeared so far, and the only programs to close were Microsoft's own Internet Explorer 5.5 and Outlook Express. Some things never change :)

    Saturday, September 09, 2000

    Voodoo4! - VulTure @ 7:56 pm PST
    According to this article on Tech-GODS, the Voodoo4 has been spotted in stores already. Finally, some new hardware from 3dfx!!!

    Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 Level Design - VulTure @ 7:47 pm PST
    Do you want to learn how to edit the levels and scripts in Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2? Well, a new site has opened up, just for you! Thanks to VoodooExtreme for this one!

    Evil Dead Screenshots - VulTure @ 7:36 pm PST
    The Evil Dead website has put up some new screens of the upcoming game based on the Evil Dead series of movies. Here are some of the features in the game...

    - Ash voice-over provided by Bruce Campbell
    - True to the film gameplay: gore, suspense, and traditional Campbell humor
    - Fully upgradeable, classic Evil Dead weapons: the axe, boomsticks, chainsaws and more
    - Exclusive Combat Feature: Ash moves and attacks with left and right-handed weapons simultaneously--more freedom of movement than ever before!
    - Over 20 enemies: original undeads combined with recognizable Evil Dead deadites
    - All the familiar Evil Dead environments: the cabin, the cellar, the bridge and other favorites
    - Compelling story-line continues the ongoing saga of Ash and the Necronomicon
    - In-game cutscenes and pre-rendered sequences allow the story to unfold

    Dress up as Alice contest 2 - VulTure @ 7:25 pm PST
    I think we could all use a brand new, shiny Voodoo5 5500! All you have to do is dress up as any character in the game, American McGee's Alice, and you could win. The photos need to be scanned and sent in to Stomped. The only requirement is that the photos have to be outside. Stomped has also put up the photos from the first contest.

    No One Lives Forever "Lite" - Falcon @ 8:29 am PST
    To help the less fortunate folks without broadband internet access, Monolith has released a "light" version of their No One Lives Forever Technology Demo. It only contains the Morocco level that is in the full sized demo. People can grab the file from Stomped's FTP server.

    No One Lives Forever Technology Demo Light:

    Here is a snip from the readme:

    The demo includes one sample level from the retail version of the game. If you enjoy this level, you may want to get the full demo which contains this level plus a training level and two additional levels from the retail version of the game.

    In order to keep the size of the demo as low as possible, we are not able to include the full variety of voices and sounds which will be included in the full game. In addition, the small version of the demo does not include any music from the game, although the full version of the demo does contain music.

    Fileplanet is mirroring the same file, here is what they had to say:
    This version includes only one level and does not contain either the music or the full variety of voices and sounds found within the game. The result is a demo that is 60 megs smaller than its larger cousin. The file can be downloaded at http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=49736.

    UT PSX Gameplay Movie - Falcon @ 8:23 am PST
    Infogrames has released the first gameplay movie of Unreal Tournament running on PlayStation 2. Included in the movie is a first look at the four-player split-screen action.

    The movie can be found on PlanetPS2 and is 5 megs.

    Screens - Falcon @ 8:25 am PST
    GA-Strategy has been updated with 10 new screenshots from Shiny's upcoming real-time strategy hybrid, Sacrifice.

    Eight fresh new screenshots from Shiny's Sacrifice are
    now available on Games Xtreme.
    "Sacrifice is Shiny Entertainment's upcoming, multiplayer 3D real time strategy game. The visuals are absolutely amazing, especially if you have the seen the preview videos, and here are some brand new screenshots released today."

    GA-RPG has been updated with new screenshots from Click Entertainment's upcoming action/RPG, Throne of Darkness.

    New The Outforce Screenshots GA-Strategy has been updated with new screenshots from O3 Games' upcoming real-time space strategy game, The Outforce.

    GameSpy has just posted 5 exclusive GC: Dark Conspiracy screens from Sierra.

    GA-RPG has been updated with new nine screenshots, that feature a variety of evironments and spells, from BioWare's upcoming RPG, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

    Sorcerer's Place has been updated with plenty of screenshots and impressions on playing the Sorcerer class in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

    Strike Force Updates - Falcon @ 8:11 am PST
    Part 2 of Strike Force 1.40 will be released this weekend. Part 2 will feature more TeamDM maps as
    well as a new game type - last man standing.

    They are also hard at work on the 1.40 patch. They want to get comments and suggestions from the public on what they want changed. You can find the link to our forum on their front page.

    Site redesigns - Falcon @ 8:07 am PST
    From Rush3d:

    I just wanted you to know of a few reviews we just got up to help with out re-launch.
    We have a review of the following:

    Corsairs 128MB Cas2 PC133 memory

    Palm OS based Handspring Visor

    But is that all? I think not, we are also working on a review of Chrono Cross the long awaited sequel to Chrono Trigger. Also keep looking at our site as we will soon have a review of the AMD Duron 750 up. We had it since last Tuesday but unfortunately our Motherboard didn't arrive until yesterday. I look forward to working with you all once again.

    Well after over 2 years with the same green & brushed metal design (yes, it was a strange combo :) we`ve finally launched our redesigned website. Check out the new look BW webby at http://www.barrysworld.com

    The website arrives as we are expanding our offered games outside of the FPS genre, with the hosting of Planetarion (www.planetarion.com), a web browser based strategy game, and A Talent for War, the premier space sim site on the Net. Expect a lot more new stuff from BW soon!

    ECTS News - Falcon @ 8:06 am PST
    Speedy 3D has posted up a bunch of new previews from what we saw at this Year's ECTS. Here's a list of previews we did all complete with screenshots:

    - Main Show Page:
    - Tribes 2 (no shots):

    - Incoming Forces (just shots):,/A>

    -
    Red Faction:

    - PowerVR Kyro:

    - GameBoy Advanced:

    - Playstation 2:

    - Psone:

    - Shots of the show floor:


    EuroGamer has today posted its unofficial ECTS Awards, picking out the Best Games (console, hand-held and PC) and Best Publishers (console and PC) of the show, as well as Best Hardware, Best Stand, and several special mentions.

    Games and hardware mentioned in the feature include - Black & White, Sacrifice, B17, Metal Gear Solid 2, Midnight Club, Smuggler's Run, Kurukuru Kururin, Mario Kart Advance, Donkey Kong Country, Gunlok, Giants, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Zelda : Majora's Mask, 3dfx Voodoo 5 6000, NVIDIA GeForce 2 Ultra, Erotica Island, and Sheep.

    Cheating Test - Falcon @ 8:00 am PST
    This week's Action Gaming Test at 3DActionPlanet is all about cheat codes. See how you stack up when you take their test on cheating: http://www.3dactionplanet.com/features/agt/agt31/


    D2 Multi-Player Article - Falcon @ 4:56 am PST
    Planetdiablo have an in-depth, comprehensive article on multi-player in the Diablo series.
    Part I covers a short history of multi-player gaming, an in-depth view of what Diablo and Diablo II have to offer (cooperative and PvP), the features that Diablo II added to the cooperative/hostile system, and discusses a certain lacking that the series has.


    BG2 Preview - Falcon @ 4:18 am PST
    Actiontrip.com have a preview of Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn available from: http://www.actiontrip.com/previews/baldursgate2shadowsofamn.phtml

    The story in Baldur's Gate II shows a lot of progression… So much so, that it should, by all accounts totally immerse the players. Characters interact with their worlds and other characters to make the role-playing aspects as compelling, and satisfying as possible.

    Abit KT7 Review - Falcon @ 4:13 am PST
    At PC Hardware there is a new review covering Abit KT7. For tests it have been used a Duron 750, a 800 Mhz Thunderbird and a Thunderbird 1.1Ghz. The benchmarks include Quake III, Content Creation WinStone 2000 and SYSMark 2000 under Windows 98 SE and Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack I. For users pleasure these CPUs were unlocked and overclocked using both multiplier and FSB techniques.

    HL: Blue Shift on PC - Falcon @ 4:13 am PST
    Stomped got a brief replay from Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford about whether their new single player adventure for the Dreamcast version of Half-Life, Blue Shift, will be released for the PC. Check out his answer at http://www.stomped.com/news/comments/968363531,72242,.html


    Create a skin for Gamespy Arcade - Falcon @ 4:08 am PST
    heres the word from Gamespy regarding Gamespy Arcade:

    There's more than one way to skin an Arcade. And GameSpy is leaving up to the users of the Arcade software, which enables multiplayer gaming for peer-to-peer and dedicated server games, to show us just how many ways it can be done. To that end, we've released an updated version of our guide to creating "skins" for Arcade. The new document may be downloaded from
    the Arcade Web site's skinning page.

    We released our first guide to skinning the original design of GameSpy Arcade a few weeks ago with the aim of soliciting new designs from our community of users that, at some point in the immediate future, everyone will be able to download and use. Because, let's face it, as great as we think our original skin is, we realize you might want something different. Well, Arcade is flexible like that.

    After we released Beta 5 of the software, however, the skin's overall layout changed, requiring a few modifications to the skinning guide. So we chained our graphics designer to his desk, ran an i.v. of Mountain Dew into his arm, and hey, presto! We now present a new guide for you mad skinners to consume.

    Uploads of new skins are also being accepted right now, and will be evaluated and released to the public by the Arcade Team in a short while.

    Arcanity Interview - Falcon @ 4:09 am PST
    Newly re-named from its original moniker of Cataclysm, Arcanity is a fantasy-based online world set several hundred years in the future, in a medieval world. The game is the first to be developed by Brick House Trading. RPGVault recently had occasion to ask some questions of the company's two founders in an interesting Arcanity Interview.

    Infestation Review - Falcon @ 4:08 am PST
    XLGaming.com
    recently took a look at Ubisoft's Space shootem'up Infestation. The game looks like a promising fun time from UK developer Frontier Developments, but is it? Come take a look as we tear the game apart and reassemble it into a review.

    "Aliens eh? What ya gonna do with them? If they’re not eating people’s brains they’re trying to take over/blow up/eat our planet. At least that’s what we’re told by a vast majority of games that feature extra terrestrial beings. Infestation, the latest offering from Frontier Developments via Ubisoft, features some of these very antisocial aliens all of which must be eradicated to save mankind from certain doom. Want to know more? Well then read on and see what ‘Infestation’ is all about in our terribly thorough review written in true ‘XL Gaming’ style [You’re fired -Ed]"
    Check out the full review here.

    Q&A: Shrapnel: Urban Warfare 2025 - Falcon @ 4:07 am PST
    GA-Source has been updated with a Q&A with Executive Producer and Designer John Williamson, talking about the upcoming LithTech powered tactical shooter, Shrapnel: Urban Warfare 2025.

    Everything about FPS part 2 - Falcon @ 4:06 am PST
    Last week on 3DActionPlanet, game developers shared some valuable lessons gleaned from hours spent playing first-person shooters. In the haunting sequel, they've sorted through the more than 500 letters sent in and tracked down a few more developers to share the teachings of the almighty frag! Read more here:

    And finally, Volition Inc.'s Mike Breault, writer for Red Faction, had a lessons of his own:
    "If you want to get far in life, fire a really big weapon at your feet."

    Sanity Review - Falcon @ 3:57 am PST
    GameSpy takes a look at Monolith's new action adventure Sanity and come back fairly impressed. Check out the details at http://www.gamespy.com/reviews/september00/sanity/

    Arcatera Review - Falcon @ 3:56 am PST
    Today's review on EuroGamer takes a look at "Arcatera : The Dark Brotherhood", an ambitious but sadly flawed role-playing adventure game from German developers Westka.

    "Upon starting the game there is no clue as to what you are meant to be doing. All you know is that you are in the town of Senora. Each new game is started off mysteriously with a selection of pre-rendered cutscenes which set the ball rolling, and show the player why they are going to be fighting against the secretive "Black Sun" cult. For the first portion of the game, you spend most of your time trying to deduce whether or not the Black Sun actually exists. Therefore, you are left trekking the nearby village asking everyone you can find if they have heard of the cult, and whether or not they believe in it."

    KISS: Psycho Circus Review - Falcon @ 3:43 am PST
    In their latest feature games xtreme have posted a review of Third Law's First Person Shooter, Kiss: Psycho Circus. Giving it a respectable score of 75% they thought that it was a good buy and an excellent Doom clone.

    "I thought the sound was a real failure - the first glaring mistake being a general lack of Kiss music. There were snippets here and there - one amusing interlude of "God gave rock and roll to you" in a cathedral level sticks out, and another where a whole room full of baddies do a dance routine before attacking - but, and it’s a big but, the rest of the music is just sub-par game music. The music could have made this game so much better - a real missed opportunity on the developers part."

    NVIDIA Interview - Falcon @ 3:38 am PST
    This week's big interview on EuroGamer is with Alan Tiquet, the European Marketing Director of NVIDIA. They spoke to him at the recent ECTS trade show in London to find out more about how NVIDIA have got to the top of the graphics card industry, and how they plan to stay there. The result is a fascinating insight into how NVIDIA works, and what they have planned for us over the next couple of years.
    The interview covers the GeForce 2 Ultra, NVIDIA's big plans for the GeForce 2 MX, the NV20 and beyond, memory bandwidth, the rapid six month product cycle, and the recently released Detonator 3 drivers amongst other topics...

    "We have three design teams. Each of those design teams has a slot allocated, one every six months. You have Fall 2000, you have Spring 2001, and you have Fall 2001. And so you have to reach this window, and if you miss it .. this guy is going to take over, and you are going to lose your job."

    "The company works that way. We have objectives within the company, every six months we bring something out. What it means, when they design a product, the first .. the only objective is to get it in on time. You cannot say, "Oh we are going to be three months, four months late" - it's not going to work. If they cannot reach the window with all the specifications they have, they cut the specification to make sure it meets the window."

    Baldur's Gate II Preview - Falcon @ 3:36 am PST
    RPG Vault has another new feature today, a preview of the eagerly awaited Baldur's Gate II.

    As Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn nears release, expectations are high. Recently, we received a preview build consisting of something less than the first half of the game. Based on more than 60 hours of hands-on gameplay, we take a look ahead to what players can expect in our in-depth Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn Preview.

    Unreal Technology Movie - Falcon @ 3:27 am PST
    Epic Games released a two-minute .mpg movie trailer showcasing the amazing new features appearing in the new Unreal Technology. FilePlanet has it,
    at http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=49801.
    Epic sent over the media kit for the new engine features, including a 41 MB movie and 18 screenshots.
    PlanetUnreal.com have included descriptions and different image formats to get the most out of it. Check out the feature page with all the details at: http://planetunreal.com/features/tech/

    Hardware Drunken Buyers Guide - Falcon @ 3:27 am PST
    Hardnews has just kicked up their first Hardnews Drunken Buyer's Guide!

    "Case - 3dcool.com Tornado 1000 w/ 300w PS -- $190 Sure, it's expensive, but it's worth it. This case has maneuvering space to spare, 4 meaty fans cranking out 172 cubic meters of airflow/minute, and ost importantly to a drunk person) THUMB-SCREWS! It's easy to take apart nd put back together, even if you are dangerously under the influence."
    Relevant links:
    Hardnews Drunken Buyer's Guide:
    Hardnews:
    I will warn you all in advance that there IS some swearing on this page, because that's the kind of thing drunk people do.

    Friday, September 08, 2000

    Obi-Wan Interview - the_culture @ 4:01 pm PST
    Continuing their week-long series, Stomped posted another interview with the development team behind Obi-Wan. This time they talk with two level designers: Kevin Schmitt, lead level designer, and Ryan Kaufman, level designer and story and script contributor.

    Stomped:What is your single favorite moment in the game?

    Kaufman: There's currently a glyph that Obi-Wan can do which is very sneaky and probably not very honorable from a Jedi standpoint. He quickly drops down and sweeps the saber out with his wrist, cutting his hapless victim off at the ankles. It's a whole lot of fun. Also, most of the acrobatics and jumping stunts are in, so you can forward-flip and roll up to an enemy, who's just totally confused by these physics-defying Force leaps, and whack him on the head before he knows what's going on. It's a pretty good approximation of the wild choreography from the Maul versus Qui-Gon versus Obi-Wan fight, and it's also a whole lotta fun for the whole family.

    And the coolest part is, there's MORE animation to come!

    Schmitt: Honestly, its the saber combat. I have been reading a lot of posts about the glyphs and how they will be difficult to master these. Let me tell you this, it is not that hard to master, and when you do, they create some really satisfying moments in the game. I was watching one the LDs play his level and he was rushed by some Sith Agents. They started taunting him and before one agent had time to finish his taunt, he had executed a glyph that made Obi lunge his saber into the agents chest cutting his taunt off quick.

    MindArk Press Release - the_culture @ 12:09 pm PST
    This was dropped in my mailbox Wednesday but I forgot to post it. I've been sick lately with a really nasty chest cold (or flu). If anyone knows of a good way to fight this, send me an email. Anyway...

    MindArk, developers of the MMORPG Project Entropia, released a Press Release concerning their project, it's future, and their current plans for us consumers. Here's the entire release:

    MindArk


    Press Release

    MindArk AB
    Magasinsgatan 3
    Göteborg, Sweden
    Patric Sundström, Communications
    Tel: +46 31 136 736
    Fax +46 31 136 016
    Email


    Swedish Web company launches spearhead technology for "unlimited" global consumer market

    Gothenburg, Sweden, September 6 - MindArk, the Internet experience company, today announced a revolutionary way of experiencing the Internet. Instead of looking at pictures, users will enter the picture, and experience a new world from within. This gives a level of realism which has hitherto not been
    achieved. Multiple users participate in a common world, where they may make commercial deals, adventure and gamble, or just meet.

    This high-tech Internet application has a huge market potential. The function which sets the MindArk second universe apart from existing systems is a proprietary money handling system which allows the use of real money also in the virtual world. Access to the second universe will be for free.


    A new level of interaction

    Millions of Internet users from all around the world will be able to enter free of charge a four dimensional universe currently in the final development stages. MindArk expects to make the on-line universe available to users in the first half of 2001. From the users' point of view, the "second universe" may be experienced as a four-dimensional browser.

    Jan Welter, head of the MindArk development team:

    - Today the Internet is a rather boring place filled with two-dimensional presentations like text, pictures, chat, etc. We intend to change all that, to make the Internet into a four-dimensional universe. One will, for example, have the feeling that one is walking down a street filled with interesting shops, bars, etc, where one can meet other people, do one'sshopping, or why not venture out into the wilderness to explore or adventure with one's friends.


    Cybermoney, fully convertible!

    MindArk said the second universe, Project Entropia, will be governed by an extensive set of rules familiar to on-line gamers and role game players which will govern actions and possibilities. The economy system of Project Entropia is unique and subject to patent application. The cash to be handled in Project Entropia is real and convertible to any major currency of the real world. As MindArk has solved the issue of handling money in the virtual world and to transfer money from the virtual to the real world, they are
    able to offer access to the new universe at no cost.


    An additional dimension

    MindArk expects Project Entropia to result in a quick move from today's two-dimensional Internet browsers presenting flat facts to four-dimensional browsers immersing the users, and making them interact with each other. As the new Internet universe will be easy to use due to its intuitive approach, venturing into it will become very popular.

    The initial version of Project Entropia will be directed towards present on-line gamers, as these are used to advanced graphical applications, and used to a 3D-perspective. The first version to be launched in the first half of 2001 will be directed towards such advanced users.


    A USD 2,500 billion market

    Assessments of the total available market indicate a demand for this type of application corresponding to 2,500 billion $ (2,500,000,000,000 $) in three years time. While the largest market is in the US followed by Europe, a major and growing market for the new Internet universe will be in the Far East, due to Internet usage development there. The development announced today places MindArk on top of this dynamic market, the company said.

    MindArk President Benny Iggland:

    - Our strategy is to provide an Internet infrastructure which is on the technological forefront and which can be provided at a very low cost. Project Entropia will attract millions of users, bring them ease of use and convenience. For MindArk, this product will bring access to a highly interesting cash flow. Our business model is based on add-on services to the
    users. If the number of users is high enough, this provides a large enough market. Due to this, we can provide the basic infrastructure at no additional cost.


    Free access

    Rather than developing competing four dimensional universe browsers, future competitors may use the infrastructure developed by MindArk for free. The
    cost for the system will be covered by fees charged for use of resources in the universe, and for value adding services.

    MindArk (www.mindark.com) develops Internet technology solutions. With novel applications in the experience and entertainment sector, in browser infrastructure, and in massively parallel simultaneous active user presence on the Internet, MindArk is expanding the new universe.


    If you would like know more about this bold undertaking, visit MindArk's HomePage and the official Project Entropia page.

    Half-Life: Counter-Strike - VulTure @ 8:24 am PST
    GameSpy has scored some new screenshots from the popular Half-Life mod, Counter-Strike. These shots are from the upcoming retail version of the mod. Just remember that this mod will still be free for download.

    Paul Jaquays Interview - VulTure @ 8:05 am PST
    Paul Jaquays of id Software takes the time to answer some questions on The Mean Arena. He talks about many things, including what it takes to win over a developer for a job.

    First, let them know you exist and without being a nuisance, get to know some of the people who work at the company (Developers are more likely to hire people they know) you want to join some day. Second, show them you've got the kind of over-the-top raw talent combined with trained skills that just can't be ignored. Third, give them an idea that you are an adaptable team player and can work both well and hard in a team setting. Be confident, but not arrogant. There's room for arrogance in this business, but not when you're the new guy trying to break in.

    Serious Sam screens - VulTure @ 7:56 am PST
    If you are dying to see more of Serious Sam, go to VoodooExtreme. They've put up two new screenshots. They also have word that a new demo of the game will be out later this month. If you haven't tried the original demo, grab it here!

    Anarchy Online - VulTure @ 7:56 am PST
    Do you need something new in your online games? Well, Funcom has put together a new online RPG, Anarchy Online, that should help. This game is set in a more futuristic time, 29,475 AD. You'll also never run out of things to do in the game. Funcom put in a new feature called "Auto Content" that will generate new game areas and content on request!

    Another Diablo II Preview - VulTure @ 7:46 am PST
    Here is the Daily Radar's take on the upcoming Diablo II expansion pack. They talk a lot about the new chapter.

    The new chapter can only be accessed by playing all the way through the original game. In other words, you don't see the new land until Diablo has been killed. If you have a character who has already slain Diablo, you'll be all set and ready to simply jump into the new chapter once you have it installed...The Barbarian Highlands seems to be a cruel and unforgiving place. The character is basically chasing Baal up a craggy mountainside throughout much of the chapter, and the farther he goes, the rockier and more desolate the landscape will become. Baal leaves lots of his demon buddies behind as he scales toward the Worldstone, giving the new chapter a very wartorn appearance. Players will have to keep moving constantly, as there are demonic catapults and siege towers that will zero in on their positions and launch magical gouts of fire and gas at every opportunity.

    Diablo II Expansion: Lord of Destruction - VulTure @ 7:44 am PST
    PCIGN has a preview of the upcoming Diablo II expansion pack, Lord of Destruction. If you haven't heard yet, here is what you get. The expansion adds in new environments, items, monsters, and weapons, and most important, it adds in two new classes - The Assassin and the Druid. Up on the site are also some movies that were taken at the ECTS.

    Thursday, September 07, 2000

    New Shogun patch released - Raven @ 6:07 pm PST
    Well took a while, but now EA have released V1.11 of their new patch for Shogun: Total War. The new patch is meant to address game balancing issues, improved AI, and afew little bug fixes. Heres a list of patch details.

    Sacrifice Screenshots - Raven @ 5:59 pm PST
    I'm looking forward to this game. Head over to gamepost.com to see these 13 new screenshots of Sacrifice. Sacrifice, a game developed by Shiny Entertainment, is a Medievil wizards and warriors type game, that has gotten alot of attention.

    Here is a sample screenshot
    Screenshot Thumb

    AURAN Jet Interview - the_culture @ 3:07 pm PST
    I missed this one yesterday. The official AURAN site has an interview with AURAN CEO Greg Lane. In it they discuss his plans for the beta (which should be happening soon) and who the product is targeted for. There's even a picture of the round-looking man. :)

    Who do you think will want to use AURAN Jet?
    Jet is really a technology to support independent game developers. We see that there will be two main groups of programmers that will get serious benefit from Jet. These are:

    1) C++ programmers wanting to get into the interactive entertainment industry. These programmers may be students, or business programmers with some great game ideas. Jet will certainly make it easier for these developers to get into this industry.

    2) The other main group are C++ programmers, already in the entertainment industry, with aspirations to develop their own game. For those that don’t have the capital to spend time on their own research and development, Jet will outsource the R&D and help them get to the all-important EPOC quickly and cheaply, in order to attract a publisher.

    Obi-Wan Interview - the_culture @ 2:53 pm PST
    Stomped posted their interview with Lead Programmer Kevin Bruner. It's a short Q&A but some there are a few nice details regarding the Tanis engine. Here's a piece regarding the AI:

    Stomped: Character AI is becoming more and more important in action games. What kinds of things will the enemies be able to do in the single-player version of the game?

    Bruner: We have two programmers dedicated to A.I. exclusively. The A.I. controls the characters through a "virtual keyboard/mouse" that produces the same input a human player would, so everything Obi can do is available to the A.I. programmers. This is allows for some great hand to hand combat! The enemies range from battle droids (which are kind of fodder) to skilled saber-wielding Sith agents, force powers and all! One of the more interesting aspects of the AI is it's designed to interact with each other, as well as Obi. So Battle Droids will walk around and take civilian hostages. Civilians run away from battle droids and try to find a place to hide. These behaviors don't need to be scripted, so it makes the world feel much more alive, rather than feel like a bunch of bad guys waiting for a Jedi to show up.

    Crazy Hardware - VulTure @ 12:57 pm PST
    Wow, did you ever want to have your very own supercomputer? Well, now you can! Ebay has a Cray C90 Supercomputer on sale! The current price is $44,500.69, and the auction is set to close tomorrow, so make sure you get in on this one right now!! There have already been 12 bids, this one is HOT! Thanks to the Register for this one!

    Heavy Metal: Fakk 2 Future - VulTure @ 12:40 pm PST
    Well, the folks over at FGN Online had a chance to talk to Ritual Entertainment's Robert Atkins about the future of the game. Here is something that I'm sure you've been waiting to hear...

    Fans of Fakk 2 can soon look forward to a Deathmatch Download, enabling players to enjoy thrills of a good fragging. "Since Fakk 2 shipped, it has done really well and we're now working on getting the deathmatch code up and running. This will be released in late September or early October as a free download to people who bought the game. It will feature standard deathmatch modes as well as a rocket arena game."

    Previews! - VulTure @ 12:34 pm PST
    There are a couple of new previews that you may want to check out! Let's get it going...

    Avault had put up Pool of Radiance. This is a three-parter, so be sure to check back!

    GameSpot has C & C: Red Alert 2. This game is starting to look very slick! They have their usual batch of screenshots up also, so be sure to take a peek!

    Upcoming First Person Shooters - VulTure @ 12:20 pm PST
    3DAction Planet has taken a look at the upcoming shooters for this year. Hellchick and Thrrrpptt! take a look at Clive Barker's Undying, Gore, Starsiege: Tribes 2, Serious Sam, I'm Going In, Red Faction, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. From some of the reports that I've been hearing, though, a couple of these probably won't make it this year, especially Serious Sam, and Wolfenstein.

    Random Map Scripts for the Age of Empires II - VulTure @ 8:25 am PST
    Ensemble Studios is going to start releasing a Custom Designed Random Map every two weeks for you to download. The first map is Capricious, and is available now!

    Blade of Darkness Screens - VulTure @ 8:24 am PST
    GameSpot has received some new screenshots from the upcoming action game, Blade of Darkness. Check 'em out, right here!

    Jet Fighter IV Preview - VulTure @ 8:16 am PST
    The Daily Radar takes a looks at Jet Fighter IV. This new version is looking very sweet!

    "The first thing we noticed when we fired it up was the impressive realism of the terrain. Jet sims are meant to be played at 5,000 feet and above, and from those heights the ground looks almost photo real...The 30 single-player missions will then require you to master not only air-to-air combat, but air-to-ground attacks, evasive maneuvers, carrier landings, wingman support and all the other elements of an epic air war."

    Ars Recommended Systems - VulTure @ 7:57 am PST
    If you are in the market to build a new system, you have to check out the Ars Technica Recommended Systems. They give suggestions on three different levels. They have the God Box for $5681, for those without financial limits, the Hot Rod for $1725, a midline system, and the Budget Box for $947, for those of us on a limited spending budget!

    Panzer General III: Scorched Earth - VulTure @ 7:45 am PST
    Beta Bites has put up a preview of the new Panzer General game, Scorched Earth. This is the fourth game in the series, and it is based on the PGIII: 3D Assault engine. The graphics and 3D effects have been enhanced for this version.

    Jane Jenson Interview - VulTure @ 7:37 am PST
    Jane Jenson, creator of the Gabriel Knight games, answers a few questions for VoodooExtreme. One of the things she mentions is the new novels she has written.

    Voodoo Extreme: Looking at your website, I was shocked to discover that in addition to being two great games, the first two Gabriel Knight Mysteries, "Sins of the Fathers" and it's sequel "The Beast Within", became gothic mystery novels...

    Jane Jensen: I was disappointed in the shelf life of games. Many don't last on the market longer than a year. Plus, many people simply don't play games. So I thought the novelizations would be a good way to extend the life of the story and perhaps expand the audience.

    HEAT.NET is gone! - VulTure @ 7:34 am PST
    HEAT.NET is set to officially close it's doors on October 31, 2000. Sega is taking the service in a new direction.

    As circumstances change, new directions recommend themselves, and we at SEGA have come to see that offering a more comprehensive service is the best option for us all. We have been working hard to build an excellent new online gaming experience for you. We would like to invite you to join the growing community at SegaNet and enjoy a quality connection for gameplay among other benefits.

    Tribes 2 Interview - VulTure @ 7:27 am PST
    Dave Georgeson of Dynamix gives a quick interview on Tribes 2. He talks a lot about gameplay issues, including weapons, vehicles and the water elements in the game.

    PSS: Certain maps will supposedly feature terrain too rugged for vehicles. How will this work? Will vehicles hit invisible lines once the slope gets too steep? Or will they lose power attempting to climb it? If players have a good running start, can they drive up a vertical wall if it is sloped at the bottom?

    DG: Vehicles can't climb slopes that are steeper than a specified angle. They'll simply start to lose traction and slide back down if they hit that angle. However, if they can get a big enough head of steam up, they may be able to overcome that angle...for a bit anyway. But no way can they get up a vertical wall.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2000

    Commandos II Interview - VulTure @ 10:12 am PST
    The DailyRadar sat down to talk to Project Leader Gonzo Suarez about the sequel to Commandos. This game is apparently NOT a sequel, but a whole new name.

    "...Commandos II is a new game and not a sequel. The engine and the whole programming are totally new. Although it continues to be a strategy game, now the tactics can be developed in much bigger fields and with more viewpoints, and in the interior of buildings -- amongst other new features. The storyline continues to be about incursions and missions made by a group of allied commandos during the Second World War."

    Battle Realms Screens and Art - VulTure @ 10:05 am PST
    GameSpot has put up some new screenshots and artwork from Battle Realms. The game is a real-time strategy game set in a mythical land modeled after ancient Japan.

    The screenshots all look great and are very detailed. Be sure to check them out!

    Baldur's Gate II Diary - VulTure @ 9:36 am PST
    Greg Zeschuk, co-executive producer of Baldur's Gate II, gives an inside look at the game and keeps you up to date on the current progress of the game.

    You're probably wondering what has been improved in Baldur's Gate II. The answer is quite simple--everything! We set out to make a game that was a worthy sequel, not a game that was a quick knock off without any gameplay advances. We worked on every element of Baldur's Gate II to make it stronger than the original BG. The graphics are lavish, the story is compelling, the multiplayer is engaging, and the depth is unfathomable. Motivating us to make Baldur's Gate II as good as it could be can be attributed to Black Isle. Not only because they are our publisher, but also because they've made some really awesome games in the last couple years using our BioWare Infinity Engine that raised the RPG bar.

    Seraphim Interview - Falcon @ 8:10 am PST
    3D News has posted an interview with Valkyrie Studios on their recently announced game, Seraphim.

    From the screenshots and movies I have seen, it seems incredible that you are using the Unreal Tournament Engine. Have you made any additions/enhancements to the engine to suit the overall goal of Seraphim?

    We have already started playing with and modifying the Unreal engine to make it do what we want for
    eraphim. That's obviously going to go even further the deeper we get into the project. Overall, we've found the engine to be amazingly adaptable, making it easy to work with, yet without compromising on performance

    Amazons & Aliens Demo - VulTure @ 8:08 am PST
    3dfxGamers has a demo of Amazons & Aliens, that you may want to download.

    Aliens & Amazons is a strategy/resource management game in the spirit of Civilization and WarCraft. Unique to Aliens & Amazons is the imaginative alien world, lighthearted bent and breathtaking graphics. Amazons & Aliens is not always about plundering and pillaging your neighbors (though it could be). Players can enjoy outsmarting, negotiating and trading to take control of the planet or you can brutally conquer your enemies.

    Voodoo5 6k - Falcon @ 8:07 am PST
    Fresh up on EuroGamer is a big two page preview of 3dfx's big four processor graphics card - the Voodoo 5 6000. We got a hands-on demonstration of the card in 3dfx's "back room" at the ECTS trade show in London today, and you can find our full report on the experience (along with a few tasty 1024x768 photographs of the huge card) here -

    "The first thing to note about the card is that it is big. Very big. In fact it's about a foot long, carries four processors (each with its own fan), and features 128Mb of memory to support them. Not only that, but it needs its own external power supply to feed it the electricity that all those chips need. Called "Voodoo Volts", the adapter is itself an impressively chunky piece of hardware, pumping out 50W. It's really a ridiculous card, but no doubt the sheer size and brute force of it will win it fans in the hardcore community. "

    RA2 News - Falcon @ 8:03 am PST
    (A bit late, but if you haven't seen it yet)

    COMMAND & CONQUER RED ALERT 2 COLLECTOR'S EDITION ANNOUNCED

    Fans Who Pre-Order Will Get Limited Edition of Highly Anticipated Sequel

    LAS VEGAS, NV, September 4, 2000 - Westwood Studios(tm) today announced the limited edition Command & Conquer(tm) Red Alert(tm) 2 Collector's Edition,
    available only by pre-ordering through Babbage's, Electronics Boutique and from the Electronic Arts order line.

    The Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 Collector's Edition includes:

    EXCLUSIVE DVD
    This DVD is the definitive collector's item for the Red Alert fan. Peruse never before seen art from the game and behind the scenes footage. Watch re-mastered cut scenes in the quality that only DVD can deliver, featuring the beautiful Kari Wuhrer (Sliders, Beverly Hills 90210). A professionally edited documentary gives you an unprecedented inside look into the making of Red Alert 2.

    HAND-CRAFTED PEWTER FIGURINE
    Exclusive custom designed pewter figure to set on you desk and keep you company during those Red Alert all-nighters. Included in each Red Alert 2 Collector's Edition is either the Soviet Tesla Trooper or the Allied Chrono Legionnaire.

    ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MUSIC CD
    14 tracks of Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 music allow you to take the thrill of a Tesla Coil charging on the road.

    Sequentially numbered game boxes that make this a collectable piece of Command & Conquer history. Only a limited number of the collector's edition will be minted, so fans should order early.

    Gamers can order online at www.eastore.ea.com or call toll free at 877-EA
    GAMES (877-324-2637). Red Alert 2 can also be ordered from Babbage's at
    www.gamestop.com and from Electronics Boutique at
    www.ebworld.com .

    Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 gives player an onslaught of new units, tactics and strategies. As in the original, gamers can choose to lead Soviet or Allied forces. Soviet commanders will invade North America and try to claim it for mother Russia. Allied commanders will fight to push back the invaders and save liberty.

    Both sides are well-armed with conventional weapons and experimental technology. The Soviets can engage in psychic warfare, wield nuclear weapons and fry all they survey with Tesla technology. Allied forces can teleport with chrono technology, conduct covert operations with the help of gap generators, and rain down lightening bolts through weather control. Supporting these high-powered, advanced weapons are massive conventional forces, including armies, air power and navies.

    Red Alert 2 will feature enhanced Local Area Network and Internet play. Players can engage in fierce combat over a LAN and battle via the Internet and Westwood Online(sm). A built-in worldwide ranking system allows players to track their victories and defeats against other Internet gamers. The Worldwide Domination mode let's players compete in an ongoing war for global control.


    More information about Red Alert 2 can be found at www.westwood.com.

    RPG's Suck! - VulTure @ 8:06 am PST
    Hey, it wasn't me, honest! The folks over at GameSpy have put up an article about Why RPG's Suck! The article is actually very funny, because it comes from someone who is not very good at role-playing games, in the first place!

    Restore an old Monitor - Falcon @ 8:00 am PST
    Speedy 3D has just kicked up an article on restoring your old old monitors to their pristine condition to make them work like new, here's a bit from the article:

    Garage sales have been the home of many old monitors, while two-three years old; it's hard not to find a use for a good working monitor. Giving it to a friend, donating it, selling it, or even using it for your self. While most monitors found at a garage sale may not be in peek performance, they can be juiced up to work like new.

    Caeron 3000 News - Falcon @ 8:01 am PST
    A new pic of the week has been posted at http://www.magiqueproductions.com/caeron3000/screen9.htm

    Also, all alpha test slots have been filled and no new applications are being accepted.

    MAC Cube - VulTure @ 8:00 am PST
    After seeing this at the 'Shack, I had to put it up! It looks like the guys over at HardOCP found a use for the new MAC Cubes...

    Arena.net Interview - Falcon @ 7:54 am PST
    Pat Wyatt, Mike O'Brien and Jeff Strain were the leads of the three development teams at Blizzard. In addition, some of their other joint credits include Battle.net, the multiplayer and network code for mega-hits Diablo, WarCraft II and StarCraft, and the 3D rendering engine for the upcoming WarCraft III. In our new interview, Pat Wyatt tells about their new company's innovative plans for Internet gaming and publishing. Read it here:

    The state of hardware - VulTure @ 7:48 am PST
    Can't get enough of that hardware stuff? Well, Ars Technica has put up a new "state of hardware." Now, you can check out all of the latest and greatest hardware, and figure out what to buy next to beef up that gaming rig.

    Gamespy3D Update - Falcon @ 7:46 am PST
    The latest shareware version of GameSpy 3D is now available from FilePlanet!

    Version 2.22 adds support for nine new games, including Third Law's KISS: Psycho Circus.
    KISS: Psycho Circus
    Sanity
    Terminus
    Buckmasters Deer Hunting
    Rocky Mountain Trophy Hunter 3
    High Impact Paintball
    LaserArena
    RallyMasters
    Birdhunter: Wild Wings Edition

    Among other new features are ICQ integration (tell your buddies where you're playing in your away message), Roger Wilco support (join Roger Wilco servers automatically at launch of game) and much faster GameSpy Network source updates (thanks to some new compression routines).

    KISS Psycho Circus Chat - Falcon @ 7:46 am PST
    You wanna rock ‘n’ roll all night? Frag every day? Yeah, we thought so.

    And GameSpy Arcade, already the gamer’s party paradise, is ready to help you really get down this Thursday -- September 7 -- at 4 p.m. PST, when we present a special chat with the developers of KISS: Psycho Circus. Several members of the ThirdLaw Interactive team will be on hand to answer questions and generally discuss Psycho Circus with fans and players of the game, giving them the sort of “inside access” that they can’t get anywhere else.

    This event builds upon an already solid relationship between GameSpy and Psycho Circus’s developers, and furthers GameSpy’s goal of
    improving every user’s online gaming experience. Last week, GameSpy announced Arcade’s support of the Psycho Circus multiplayer patch, enabling the game’s players to go head-to-head against one another with unrivaled ease. Now, we’re bringing the game’s developers into Arcade to interact directly with Psycho Circus players, helping them tear into the game and understand its design like never before.

    To participate in the chat, users will need to download the latest version of Arcade, software that supports multiplayer use of both dedicated server games like Psycho Circus, Quake and
    Half-Life, as well as peer-to-peer games like Age of Empires. They can grab the software for free at the GameSpy Arcade Web site. Once Arcade has been installed, the user will then simply need to jump into the KISS: Psycho Circus chat room / staging area in the Arcade software at 4 p.m. PST, 7 p.m. (EST) to take part in the discussion. And of course, anyone with a copy of the game installed may at any time leave the chat to start up their own game of Psycho Circus with other people in the room..

    GameSpy Arcade: why game anywhere else?

    Myst III: Exile Preview - VulTure @ 7:40 am PST
    Another upcoming cash-cow, Myst III: Exile, has been previewed over at Computer Games Online.

    "In Myst, if you remember the basic concept, when you went to an age, you sort of had to finish that age before you were able to link out again. So you were therefore stuck on that age until you solved it. We've tried to open that up a little more where you will be able to go to a variety of ages, but you'll also be able to leave them and go from age to age even if you haven't solved one completely. There will be a lot more nonlinear feel in terms of being able to go to whatever ages you want and finish them in whatever order you want."

    Warcraft III Goodness - VulTure @ 7:35 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has posted some screenshots from one of the most anticipated games in a long time, Warcraft III. This also looks to be a huge money-maker for Blizzard when it arrives, just like Diablo II was.

    Sneak Peeks - VulTure @ 7:27 am PST
    PCGameWorld has taken a quick peek into two upcoming games. Here is a quick bite from each of them...

    Midtown Madness 2

    The overall atmosphere of these cities is exceptional. Realistic sound effects abound, and the traffic AI remains credible. Cut somebody off at an intersection, and he'll screech to a halt and lay on the horn to let you know about it. As in the original, the physics modeling is terrific, with power slides, driving on two wheels, and teeth-rattling handbrake 180s. The learning curve seems well-paced, too; missions that feel impossible at first will gradually become easier as you master the handling.

    Tribes 2 Q&A w/ Dave Georgeson

    PC Gameworld: I have found the biggest bane of existence in the Tribes public server universe is inventory station. The problem is one at a time can use them, which leads to a barrage of "Hurry up with that station!" or impatient 'disc'ers'. For Tribes 2, have you improved access to these stations?

    Dave Georgeson: They are "inventory pads" now. You access a favorites menu *before* you step onto the pad (you can't actually access the menu while you are ON the pad), and pick the equipment you want. Then, at any time, you can step onto a pad and get that inventory setup. You can save up to 10 favorites as presets and can access any of those with hotkeys. We're considering allowing more than 10 favorites. Anyway, the setup is MUCH faster and completely eliminates line-ups because people *must* select before arriving at the station.

    Each game also has a series of screenshots that you may want to check out, here and here.


    MS Golf 2001 Out - Falcon @ 3:33 am PST
    IT'S TEE TIME! MICROSOFT GOLF 2001 SPOTTED ON STORE SHELVES

    Microsoft today announced that Golf 2001 has started to appear on store shelves. There have been several reports of its availability at locations throughout the United States, and full domestic distribution is expected by early September. Microsoft Golf 2001 is the easiest way to enjoy a fun round of golf on the PC.

    Microsoft Golf 2001's easy-to-use features get players into the game quickly. There are lessons to teach players how to aim, swing, putt, and more. The one-click Easy Swing interface makes it simple for beginners to hit that perfect shot every time. Golf 2001 also keeps the challenge fresh with a variety of game and course options. Seven unique courses allow players to experience different course layouts and terrain. With eight different golfer animations as well as ten different types of games, beginner PC golfers will find variety and challenge with every click of the mouse. Microsoft Golf 2001 is based on Links LS technology, the best-selling golf sim of all-time.

    Microsoft offers golf gamers two compelling titles this year: Links 2001 and Microsoft Golf 2001. Designed for different segments of the golf market, the games complement each other by broadening the PC golf experience to include both the new and seasoned golfer. Microsoft Golf 2001 is designed with the new PC golfer in mind, with easy-to-use features and a one-click Easy Swing interface. Links 2001 is targeted at the serious PC golfer who wants an in-depth golf experience and appreciates a wide range of features, including the ability to expand his/her course library. With an all-new graphics engine and the addition of the Arnold Palmer Course Designer, Links 2001 features the most significant upgrade to the series in over a decade.

    Microsoft Golf 2001 has an estimated street price of US$19.95. To learn more about the game, go to: http://www.microsoft.com/games/golf2001/

    Q2 Tourney - Falcon @ 3:25 am PST
    Sign-ups for Stomped's STP Quake 2 1v1 Online Tournament - Season 1 have begun at http://quake2.stomped.com. Prizes are planned, including a GeForce 2 video card and various Stomped goodies. Deadline to sign up by is 22 Sep 00!

    Sega.net to Start Thursday - shiva @ 2:11 am PST
    From WILLIAM SCHIFFMANN of Associated Press:

    A year ago, Sega Dreamcast became the first home video game system with a modem inside. Beginning this week, Sega will let people use the modem the way it was envisioned: to play games on a special Internet network built exclusively for them.

    The SegaNet service debuting Thursday will let players go head-to-head online and chat about their games _ complete with trash talk, if desired. Until now, the modem's main advantage was just that it could be used to download enhancements to Sega games.

    ``The consumer wants a sense of revelry, he wants something unexpected,'' said Charles Bellfield, Sega's director of marketing communications. ``SegaNet gives it to him.''

    SegaNet also gives the company a big head start on industry leader Sony and No. 2 Nintendo in the online video game market. Sony's powerful PlayStation 2, due to reach stores Oct. 26, won't come with a modem at first, although Sony says it will begin installing them next year. The Nintendo GameCube will come with a modem, but isn't due to launch until a year later. Also planned for next year is Microsoft Corp.'s X-Box, an Internet-ready device presented as a pure game machine, but also plays video disks.

    Only Sega appears ready with a games-only network.

    Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo's vice president for corporate affairs, said Nintendo designs ``products for the mass consumer,'' while Sega is working with a niche market of young players who enjoy online competition. ``We're pretty hard-pressed to find any company making money'' on online gaming, she said.

    Sony did not return calls seeking comment on SegaNet.

    At the launch, only NFL 2K1, a football game, will be playable on SegaNet. However, Sega promises that 10 to 12 games will be available by fall, including Quake III Arena, a new version of the gory first-person shooting game, and Phantasy Star Online, a science-fiction role-playing game. A SegaNet subscription is $21.95 a month. Players who sign up for 18 months will get a $150 rebate from Sega, which covers the new, reduced price of the Dreamcast console.

    Sega will also throw in the keyboard that will let players chat with opponents. Later, a tiny microphone plugged into the Dreamcast controller will let gamers speak to the people they're playing with. One key advantage of SegaNet is that it bypasses a standard Internet service provider (ISP) in favor of a faster, narrow-band service dedicated only to SegaNet. Plug your Dreamcast into a standard telephone jack to log on, and you share Sega's servers only with other gamers.

    Computer users will be able to take advantage of the online game experience via their own ISPs, as can Dreamcast owners who choose not to sign up for SegaNet. But Sega says the connection won't be as fast as SegaNet, since its servers are used for nothing else.

    Sega said Friday that 52,000 people had signed up for SegaNet, but with 2.1 million Dreamcast consoles in American homes, the company believes there are plenty of potential customers.

    ``I think Sega is really trying to distinguish itself as the only company with a narrow band capability built in,'' said David Cole, an industry analyst with SFC Intelligence in San Diego. ``If people really use the online feature on a regular basis, Sega will have a real compelling reason for them to buy a Dreamcast.''

    Added Jim Cordeira, editor of Gaming Age magazine: ``From a gamer's standpoint, it's a definite plus, providing all goes well technically and they can get as many companies as possible to include Internet options in their games.''

    And the moral of the story is: If you are going to cut and paste a article, at least steal it from the best source possible. :)

    A Slight Case of being Busy - shiva @ 2:00 am PST
    Okay, so all the content is done, and everyone is waiting for what I have planned to do next. Well, as much as I would hate to disappoint my loyal following, but I have the task of informing everyone that I am to... busy. I know this may come as quite a shock to all you card carrying members of the shiva army, but alas, it's true.

    Yes, I do have my limits, and I do have a lot on my plate at the moment. I am presently working on a new project, which I have referred to as the SSP. (shiva's special project) After the months of hard work on getting two very large sites combined into one, I feel I deserve the break, and this is something I wanted to do since June of last year. I think a lot of people who have known me since that time will be very happy about this, but then, quite a few more may not be, at least if I have something to say about it at least. There, that should be enough hints.

    I guess I'm through playing with other people's minds, (working on the theory that they have one that is) but it's something of a tradition. (Damn, another hint, bad shiva. BAD shiva)

    I should mention the other main reason I guess, it's a little thing, and not as important as this website.

    I'm moving. To another city. With a wife, and a child, and I have less than 4 weeks to get it all done, and I haven't the slightest idea where we will move too yet. This is only a slight bother opposed to the fact that I will have to be without internet access for a little while. But stiffen up, it will be a short absense, and I will end up with something that causes shudders down the backbones of all our enemies (i.e. StarCraft websites)...

    I WILL HAVE CABLE!!!!

    The onslaught will start soon....

    New Diablo 2 Review - shiva @ 1:42 am PST
    To the computer reviewWe now have 2 separate reviews of Diablo 2, and the new second opinion of Diablo 2 is now out, this time written by Suetekh. Does this game stand up after a couple of months? Suetekh gives you his impressions, and a list of his pet peeves as well! Here's a bit from the review:.

    "On to the game. It’s been done a billion times before, and is probably being done a billion more times at this very moment, so I won’t bore you with the minor details, and aspects of gameplay. There are whole websites devoted to such things. Instead, I will just give you an honest opinion of how good this game is... and it’s damn good. I think we all know the stories about guys and hairy palms, right? Well, now that the game IS actually out, I have played semi-consistently for about a week, and now I get jealous of the clean looks of an ewok. That’s from Star Wars for all of those ignorant to the wonders of the series. Anyway, I’m forced to wonder if this affliction is restricted to male gamers. Guys, check your girlfriends. "
    As you can tell, this is a review with a slight case of a sense of humor, and since I'm a little twisted myself, I couldn't resist putting this comment up... :)
    Here's another, more serious portion of the review:
    "The only other glaring problem with Diablo II is the “poor” graphics. The graphics have taken an enormous amount of flack from snotty-nosed reviewers like myself, but everyone has their own opinion on them, and here’s mine. Personally, I feel that anyone who comments on the lack of graphics in Diablo II is missing the whole picture. If they would just open their eyes, they would see a world of wonderful graphics all around them. The architecture in Diablo II is realism in all its glory (since it was designed by an actual architect) and said architecture’s decorations are nothing short of stunning. The best example of this can be found in act 2. The crypts are beautifully decorated with hieroglyphics and ancient paintings, while the palaces are equally intricate and elaborate in their decoration. I may go to Hell for saying this, but Hell is no less aesthetically pleasing. In between mashing venom lords and corpse spitters, I have often found myself admiring not only my bloody handy work, but also the amazing environment that surrounds me."
    You can find this review directly here, or, you can go to our reviews page for this and other reviews.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2000

    Caeron 3000 Pic Of The Week - the_culture @ 1:09 pm PST
    The official site posted their latest Pic of the Week depicting three Haukeens hiding in the brush.

    Baldur's Gate II Going-Ons - the_culture @ 11:01 am PST
    GameSpot UK posted a quick Q&A with Dr. Ray Mukyka of BioWare. The mini interview includes 4 screenshots.

    BarrysWorld posted a small preview which includes new screenshots and some concept art.

    Auran Update - the_culture @ 9:56 am PST
    Auran, developers of the Dark Reign engine and currently developing Harn: Bloodline, updated their official site. They are looking for 2D and 3D artists to join their team. Take a look at the careers page if you're interested. Also, they have posted an interview with Rob Shaw, a memeber of the Trainz project.

    Anarchy Online Screens - the_culture @ 9:31 am PST
    This was missed yesterday but the official site updated their screenshot section with 6 new shots of the sci-fi MMORPG currently in limited beta testing.

    The Michael Jordan of gaming - VulTure @ 9:02 am PST
    Dennis "Thresh" Fong, Quake player extraordinaire, has decided to retire from professional gaming so that he can concentrate on developing his website, Gamers.com. He recently received $11.5 million in venture capital, and has partnered up with AltaVista, to try and become the premier gateway for internet gaming.

    Diablo II Expansion - VulTure @ 8:48 am PST
    If you are so hooked on Diablo II, that you still need more, even after finishing the game, there is good news for you. Blizzard is working on an expansion pack for the game. It is slated to arrive in the first half of 2001. Here are some of the features...

    - Two new character classes (the Assassin and the Druid) each with 30 unique skills/spells
    - One new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands
    - Many new monster types, including bosses and uniques
    - Interactive environments such as siege towers and fortified battlements
    - Thousands of new weapons, armor and magical items, including class-specific quest items
    - New recipes for the Horadric Cube
    - Increased Stash Size

    Sanity: Aiken's Artifact Review - VulTure @ 8:31 am PST
    VoodooExtreme has put up a review of Sanity: Aiken's Artifact. This game is based on the LithTech engine, and was developed by Monolith. These are the same people that developed Blood II: The Chosen.

    "In a world where man has unlocked the very power of the mind, Ice-T stars as Special Agent Cain, an elite member of the National Psionic Control (DNPC). With human beings wielding almost magical mental abilities roaming the planet, not all of these demi-gods have their fellow man's best interests in mind. That's where you come in…"

    Alice Preview - VulTure @ 8:16 am PST
    A dark site for a dark game, holds a short Q&A session with American McGee about his new game, Alice.

    trinitee: So far the music for Alice has been impressive. What was it that made you decide Chris Vrenna was the guy for the job? Also, on somewhat of a sidenote, are they planning on releasing any more mp3's before the game is released?

    American: Chris and I actually met while I was working on Quake. His involvement with this project stems directly from that relationship. His musical talent is perfectly suited to the type of sound that we're trying to get on the Alice soundtrack. The work he's doing is really helping to bring the whole Alice experience to life. I believe that one more mp3 *might* be released before the game comes out. The music has actually been evolving a lot since Chris first started work on it... the tracks he's creating now sound very different from what was released to the public.

    There are also some screenshots up in their gallery.

    Developers Corner - VulTure @ 8:01 am PST
    GameSpy has put up an article that you should read if you are interested in breaking into the gaming industry. Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart gives some 'behind-the-scenes' advice that may help you out!

    Tribes 2 Preview - VulTure @ 7:50 am PST
    GameSpot has put up a preview of Tribes 2, where they talk about a couple of things that have been enhanced in the game. The biggest change seems to be the collision detection system. There are also many new special effects and environmental details.

    Sunday, September 03, 2000

    Fargate screens - shiva @ 1:16 am PST
    We recieved a couple of new screenshots for the upcoming computer game, Fargate. Even though we only got 2 of them, they are excusives, so you can view them right here.

    Both of the screenshots should give you a good idea why this is a game I'm looking forward to personally. This looks to be a very good game indeed...

    Sunday, September 03, 2000

    XBox News - Falcon @ 5:39 am PST
    MICROSOFT ASSEMBLES TOP DEVELOPMENT TALENT TO CREATE GAMES FOR XBOX

    Peter Molyneux's Lionhead Satellites, Universal Interactive Studios, Stormfront Studios, Kodiak Interactive Software Studios, Totally Games and Others Sign On To Create Xbox Games Under the Microsoft Label

    LONDON - Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed some of the best game development talent to create exclusive content for the Xbox video game console under the Microsoft® label. Microsoft unveiled a list of 18 development studios, including United Kingdom-based Lionhead Satellites, prior to the opening of the annual European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) in London.

    "By providing the industry's best game developers with Xbox's future-generation technology and familiar tools today, Microsoft is ensuring intense, action-packed Xbox experiences for gamers at launch," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "As always, we will work closely with our development partners to provide them with the resources and support they need to create a broad portfolio of great Xbox games for Microsoft."

    With the first wave of developer tools just released, Xbox is rapidly gaining popularity among leading game designers. Xbox is slated for a worldwide release in fall 2001.

    "Lionhead is committed to creating games that push the boundaries of creativity and technology," said Peter Molyneux, president and founder of Lionhead Satellites. "As a game developer, the PC has always been the platform of choice due to its ability to provide the best tools and technology to work with. We have elected to develop content for Xbox for two key reasons: its revolutionary technology is the best to come to market, and Xbox is the only game console based on an architecture we are already familiar with, which allows us to focus on what we do best - bring
    our creative visions to life."

    In addition to Lionhead Satellites, Microsoft has enlisted the expertise of several U.S. and European development studios to create Xbox titles. These
    include Stormfront Studios, creator of the popular "NASCAR" series and "Madden Football" games published by Electronic Arts Inc.; Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc., best known for the "WCW Mayhem" series published by Electronic Arts; Totally Games Inc., founded by industry veteran Lawrence Holland (creator of the best-selling "X-Wing" series for LucasArts Entertainment Co.); Rainbow Studios, renowned for the "Motocross Madness®" titles; and Universal Interactive Studios, which has had great
    success on the console to date with character-based games such as "Crash Bandicoot" and "Spyro the Dragon."

    The list of development studios creating Xbox content under the Microsoft label include the following:
    · Lionhead Satellites
    · Universal Interactive Studios
    · Stormfront Studios
    · Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc.
    · Totally Games
    · Rainbow Studios
    · Artificial Mind and Movement
    · Boss Game Studios
    · Climax Group
    · Digital Illusions
    · High Voltage Software
    · KnowWonder Digital MediaWorks
    · Meyer/Glass Interactive
    · Pipeworks Software Inc.
    · Pseudo Interactive Inc.
    · Tremor Entertainment
    · VR×1 Entertainment

    In addition to allying with independent development studios, Microsoft also intends to continue to expand its internal pool of development talent across all game genres. The recent acquisition of Bungie Software Corp. increased Microsoft's internal games group to more than 700 designers, programmers, testers and producers.
    Over the next few months, Microsoft expects to announce additional details on its Xbox titles currently in development as well as other developer alliances.

    About Microsoft Games
    Microsoft's Games Division is recognized as one of the world's leading games businesses in four key areas: PC and Xbox game development and publishing, Zone.com, SideWinder® game devices, and Xbox video game console. Microsoft games developed and published for the PC and Xbox platforms target hard-core gamers and casual players. Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) is the Internet's largest game site, and SideWinder is the best-selling brand of game devices in the world. Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game machine scheduled to ship fall 2001.

    Additionally PlanetXbox.com has learned some additional details regarding the Lionhead Satellites developing for Xbox. Black & White is NOT currently confirmed
    as an Xbox title but two other titles are in development. Check out PlanetXbox.com for more information.

    Valve Interview - Falcon @ 5:35 am PST
    Frag-energy.com posted a interview with Yahn Bernier, Valve's software engineer. The interview features questions about the new improvcode (hl 1.1.0.0) and about the HL MOD community.ements to the Hl
    You can read the article here.

    Chris Taylor Interview - Falcon @ 5:27 am PST
    Vault13.net have put up a little (LARGE!) interview with Chris Taylor of 14 degrees East on the topic of the up-coming Fallout Tactics. Here's a piece:

    "JC: You stated that the SPECIAL system has been brought over from the two previous Fallout games. Have there been many modifications to it? More traits or skills?

    CT: New skills, new perks, new traits and some old stuff removed (not much mind you, but somethings that just don't lend themselves to Tactics or no longer have an interface to affect, like Empathy or Gekko Skinning). Two new skills: piloting (for vehicles) and demolitions (for traps). Race-specific perks and traits, which I won't spoil. The SPECIAL system now incorporates race information into the system, so Super Mutants are treated like a human, with some modifications, instead of a monster."

    Strike Force 1.4 - Falcon @ 5:26 am PST
    Xtreme Gaming is proud to announce the release of Strike Force Beta 1.40, a team-based tactical total conversion for Unreal Tournament. The newest beta of SF incorporates a host of new features, including:

    Weapons:
    - New Weapons - Fragmentation grenades and the Benelli M1 Tactical 12-Gauge shotgun join the already formidable Strike Force arsenal, bringing the total up to 10!
    - New Weapons Features - Older weapons have been carefully tweaked and rebalanced, changing rate of fire and accuracy on some weapons, and new features added, such as a new crosshairs and adjustable zoom, for a more satisfying player experience.
    - New Weapon Sounds - Our guns now have the "oomph" that you demanded; machine guns chatter, sniper rifles boom and grenades thunder!
    - New Weapon Inventory features - The inventory has a whole new layout, weapons and clips models in the inventory have been redone, and weapons may now be carried in the backpack.
    - New skins - the Colt M4 skin has been updated and player arm and hand models have been completely redone.

    Gameplay:
    - Pulse rate - this revolutionary feature adds a whole new dimension to 3d action gaming. Your pulse changes depending on your character's levels of activity and damage taken, effecting not only your speed, but your accuracy and endurance.
    - Blood trails - Players now bleed when hit depending on wound and severity, without lagging servers. Hunt your prey and finish what you started!
    - New Bot AI - Our incredible new AI features the most realistic bots of any mod out there. Bots take cover, provide supporting fire and hide, allowing players a exciting gaming experience on- or offline.
    - New Skins - Skins for player's faces have been updated, making characters more threatening.
    - Improved Loadout Time - 15 seconds are allowed for loadout in the first round, 10 in the subsquent rounds, and teams can now confirm by hitting Escape to get on with the game.
    - New Strike Force Voices - Send voice commands out to your team and auto-taunt your opponents with our new voice system.
    - Death Messages - Get the credit you deserve with new kill notices and messages!

    Maps
    - 21 Maps in all - SF 1.40 features 10 new maps from our team, as well as 11 of our older maps have been tweaked to perfection.
    - New bot pathing - Masterful bot pathing means bots can now perfectly navigate the maps and play them (as well) or better than you can!
    - Map matching - 140 is added to all maps so as to prevent map version mismatches.

    Download it from here:

    Screenshots - Falcon @ 5:25 am PST
    Fox Interactive have just released 5 new Buffy the
    Vampire Slayer screenshots.

    GA-Strategy has been updated with three new screenshots from Taldren's upcoming space-naval simulation sequel, Starfleet Command Volume II -Empires at War.

    EuroGamer has some eye candy for you today in the form of eight exclusive new screenshots of Microsoft's Flight Combat Simulator 2, taken from a beta version of the game. All of the shots were taken on a GeForce 2 graphics card at 800x600 in 32 bit colour, with full-scene anti-aliasing enabled.

    All the following from Gamepy, available from this here:
    4x4 EVO (8) - Terminal Reality & GOD Games
    Arcanum (8) - Troika Games & Sierra Studios
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (5) - Fox Interactive
    Deer Hunter 4 (10) - Wizard Works
    Dirt Track Racing: Sprint Cars (7) - Wizard Works
    Empire Earth (4) - Stainless Steel Studios & Sierra Studios
    Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (3) - 14 Degrees East & Interplay
    Giants: Citizen Kabuto (4) - Planet Moon & Interplay
    Gunman (2) - Rewolf
    Hitman (6) - IO Interactive & Eidos Interactive
    Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns (12) - TimeGate Studios
    Majesty: The Northern Expansion (6) - Cyberlore Studios & Microprose
    NASCAR Racing 4 (2) - Papyrus & Sierra Studios
    Neverwinter Nights (5) - Black Isle Studios & Interplay
    Rally Masters (4) - Infogrames
    Sacrifice (7) - Shiny & Interplay
    Stunt GP (5) - Team 17 & Infogrames
    Sanity: Aiken's Artifact (7) - Monolith & Fox Interactive
    Timeline (5) - Eidos Interactive
    Tomb Raider: Chronicles (8) - Core Design & Eidos Interactive
    Tribes 2 (3) - Dynamix & Sierra Studios
    Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year (3) - GT Interactive & Epic & Infogrames

    PlanetPS2.com has posted two brand new pieces of Metal Gear Solid 2 concept art. Be sure to give them a look!

    GameSpy has posted five new shots from American McGee's Alice.

    The last of Bigworld Vault's first series of screenshots and concept artwork. Today's concept artwork features a female Cybrid player character. As for the screenshot, this shot was taken in DeMannon's Ladder.

    From Eurogamer:

    Anachronox - 10 new shots, several character renders, and a pair of concept sketches *

    Championship Manager 00/01 Season - 10 new shots

    Chicken Run - 10 new shots

    Gangsters 2 : Vendetta - 12 new shots

    Hitman : Codename 47 - 10 new shots

    Project Eden - 16 new shots

    Project IGI / I'm Going In - 7 new shots and some concept art

    Resident Evil 3 : Nemesis - 10 shots of the PC version

    Startopia - 11 new shots and lots of concept art

    Three Kingdoms - 8 new shots and some renders

    Tomb Raider Chronicles - 16 new shots

    Beta version of Combat Flight Simulator 2. Once again they were taken on a GeForce 2 at 800x600x32 with FSAA on.

    RPGPlanet have four new screenshots from Neverwinter Nights, including an impressive lightning strike on a chicken.

    GA-RPG has been updated with nine new screenshots from Silver Style's upcoming fantasy role-playing game, Gorasul: Lost-Souls.

    Digital Anvil sent GA-Source four new screenshots from their upcoming futuristic bounty hunter FPS/driving sim, Loose Cannon.

    GA-Strategy has been updated with nine new screenshots from THQ/Funatics' recently announced resource-management God-sim, Cultures.

    The UO2 Vault presents the latest in a series of exclusive fansite screenshots of Origin. This week's shot depicts a fight between a female in kinetic armor and an orc.

    XLGaming.com Reopens - Falcon @ 5:09 am PST
    Here is their official release:

    After the long haul of three months we have finally reopened our doors to the public. Today as of 5:41 AM EST XLGaming.com, a general gaming site is open for business. With a new layout and a kicking new staff we are ready for it all. To start off with on this opening day we have posted up a review of Icewind Dale,/a>, Grand Prix 3, and a review of X-Tension. If that wasn't enough for one day we also have a 10 question Q&A about Sacrifice. We talked with Paul Varney (Primary Scenery Artist) and Eric Flannum (Lead Designer) from Shiny about the game. We covered most of the basic getting to know the game questions. We also have posted up five new screenshots of Sacrifice with the Q&A for your viewing pleasure.
    We hope you will all enjoy the upcoming time we have as much as we will. See you all in the future.

    CS Officially Announced - Falcon @ 5:04 am PST
    Half-Life: Counter-Strike Announced -- Friday, September 1, 2000
    Sierra and Valve have officially announced Half-Life: Counter-Strike today. Here's the press release:

    SIERRA STUDIOS AND VALVE ANNOUNCE HALF-LIFE: COUNTER-STRIKE
    New Team-Based PC Game Featuring Several Top Half-Life MODs
    Bellevue, WA (August 31, 2000) - Sierra Studios(tm) and Valve L.L.C. today announced Half-Life: Counter-Strike, the largest multiplayer game offering in one commercial product, combining all the elements of the Half-Life online universe with new single- and multiplayer content. Half-Life: Counter-Strike is a stand-alone PC game due to ship this fall with all of Valve's multiplayer content, three of the top MODs for Half-Life, and the #1 played online action game*, Counter-Strike.
    "Half-Life's online community is growing at a rate of over 500% per year -Counter-Strike is a key part of our strategy to sustain that growth moving forward," said Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve L.L.C. "In addition to offering the number one online action game as a stand-alone product, Half-Life: Counter-Strike delivers all our online games in one package to gamers who have not tried any of these leading online action games."

    In development by the Counter-Strike Team in conjunction with Valve, Half-Life: Counter-Strike casts players as a member of either a terrorist or counter-terrorist team. Each team has unique weapons and capabilities. The game is played in a variety of scenarios with varying objectives, including rescue missions, assassination, bomb diffusion, and more. More information on Counter-Strike can be found through the official Web site at http://www.counter-strike.net/.

    In addition to Counter-Strike, the entire Half-Life online experience is available within this package including, Half-Life multiplayer, Team Fortress Classic, and Half-Life: Opposing Force multiplayer. And finally, three new MODs, created by some of the top-level designers within the Half-Life community, are also featured. More information on Half-Life and its MODs can be found at www.gameoftheyear.com.

    Founded in 1996, Valve develops entertainment software. Half-Life is Valve's debut title. Since its release in November 1998, Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year Awards from publications that include PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and CNET's Gamecenter and has sold over 2 million units worldwide on the PC. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at www.valvesoftware.com.

    Sierra On-Line, Inc. (www.sierra.com) is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is a division of Havas Interactive, a global leader in interactive content, and is one of the world's largest publishers of education, entertainment and home productivity software. Its divisions, Blizzard Entertainment(r), Coktel, Knowledge Adventure(r), Sierra(tm) and Flipside.com(tm) are famous for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles. Havas has operations in the US and in Europe and is a subsidiary of the French publishing house Havas, part of Vivendi Communications. *According to the leader board on www.gamespy.com ###

    Cs.net wants to make it very clear, however, that you will still be able to download Counter-Strike for free from their web site. This standalone version is only for those who don't want to buy Half-Life, and only want CS (at a slightly lower price). Once again, CS will continue to be free and downloaded from this web site.

    Space Rescue - Falcon @ 4:58 am PST
    Title: Space Rescue
    Description: Welcome aboard! We've just received a distress call from our deep space science station, the Argonaut. They've encountered an asteroid field and are in big trouble! The ship's hull has been breached and it's crew is spilling into the ravages of space! Your mission is to save these helpless lives. Your years at the Space Rescue Academy assure us that you are the right person for the job. Your ship is equipped with a heavy blaster capable of vaporizing the largest of asteroids. You'll need it to get through the field and retrieve the stranded crew. Once they're in, bring them back to the rescue base where we can look after their health. Good luck, and be sure to watch for enemy craft. This sector is notorious for UFO sightings..
    Short Desc: Blast your way through asteroids and enemy UFOs to save a stranded crew of astronauts!
    Developer: Gameday
    Publisher: Gameday
    Genre: Arcade
    Type: Shareware
    Release Date: 8/29/00
    Platform: Windows9x
    API: DirectX 7.0
    Download Size: 9.1 MB
    Download: http://www.gamedayonline.com/SpaceRescue/SpaceRescue.htm
    Requirements: P-200, 8 Meg RAM, 29 Meg Diskspace
    Website: www.gamedayonline.com

    Gamespy Updates - Falcon @ 4:52 am PST
    The pplz at Gamespy have been busy lately, with this to say:

    GameSpy.com is proud to announce its new look! Easier navigation, more features and news and a cleaner, easier to read design. But still the same edgy and informative GameSpy content you have come to appreciate. Find out more about the redesign at http://www.gamespy.com/news/september00/welcome/

    In honor of our launch we have:

    A preview of the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 2 for the PS2 from Konami. We have concept art and the E3 movie, as well as screenshots. Check it out at http://www.gamespy.com/previews/september00/mgs2/

    We also launch a Sacrifice beta contest with lots of prizes and a chance to be a beta tester for Shiny's upcoming action/RPG title. Shiny has kicked up exclusive concept art and will be giving away signed art and original concept art. We are kicking in a GeForce 2 card, sound systems and even an MP3 player from Creative. Find out all about it at http://www.gamespy.com/contests/september00/sacrificebeta/

    We also have contacted numerous publishers and developers and have come away with 125 new screen shots from more than 20 different titles, including Sanity, Sacrifice, Tribes 2, Fallout Tactics, Hitman, Tomb Raider 5 and even plenty of Sports titles. Check out the list at

    And finally, we have Planet Fargo talking about his attempt to infiltrate the seamy side of software in the pirates den: http://www.gamespy.com/fargo/september00/pirates/

    BG2 Preview - Falcon @ 4:49 am PST
    Shadows of Amn is the eagerly anticipated sequel to the very popular Baldur's Gate and let's you once again party with Minsc and Boo. Learn why the mystical lands of Amn have throughly enchanted Kyote in today's
    preview.

    Perhaps the most fascinating sort of quests are those that arise from your party members, such as an enemy in their past or a friend in their present asking for help, for example. And as if NPC-related quests weren't enough, there are also a large number of class-specific quests

    FPS Lessons - Falcon @ 4:46 am PST
    The guys behind our favorite games ­ Tom Hall, Kenn Hoekstra, Cliff Bleszinski, and more ­ bring you some valuable life lessons gleaned from the many hours of playing first-person shooters. Scary thought, isn't it?
    More here

    HW Cataclysm Orders - Falcon @ 4:47 am PST
    (A couple of days late.. but here is the PR)
    HOMEWORLD CATACLYSM UPDATE

    SIERRA.COM NOW ACCEPTING ORDERS FOR HOMEWORLD: CATACLYSM

    Real-time strategy gamers everywhere, rejoice! Homeworld: Cataclysm, the next episode in the Homeworld universe, has been completed. The gold master disc left via courier from Sierra's Bellevue headquarters Wednesday morning for immediate replication.

    The Sierra.com online store is now accepting orders for Homeworld: Cataclysm online at http://www.sierra.com/store/quicksheet?SKU=71096

    Orders will be filled in the order they are received. Orders will begin to arrive as soon as the week of September 11th. We recommend our two day delivery option to ensure quicker delivery.

    Simcity3k for Linux - Falcon @ 4:42 am PST
    Loki Entertainment is developing Sim City 3000 Unlimited for the Linux platform, and to give everyone a taste of what to expect, they've released a nice, large demo. This demo allows players to play through at most ten years of the 'Tutorial on getting started' scenario. Saved games and most disasters have been disabled for this demo. The file is located on FilePlanet at http://www.fileplanet.com/index.asp?file=49590.

    AirFix Dogfighter Preview - Falcon @ 4:38 am PST
    Actiontrip have written a preview of Paradox Entertainment's upcoming Arcade Flight Sim, AirFix Dogfighter.

    The game story is as follows: all airplane models come alive when parents of the boy, who is their owner, isn't at home, creating absolute chaos in the house. The models are divided in two sides, Axis & Allies, and are all of WWII origin.

    Dues Ex Review - Falcon @ 4:32 am PST
    Speedy 3D have just posted up a review of Ion Storm's good game, Deus Ex. Overall this game kicked some major booty receiving a score of 9/10.

    In terms of Single player enjoyment Deus Ex is unbeatable; the plot is rock solid and just as interesting to solve, X-Files fans would love it even more for it's futuristic setting and conspiracy theory plot. Ion Storm has done a exceptional job at a enjoyable singe player experience at times where most companies are making online only products like Quake 3: Arena and Unreal Tournament. A must buy for anyone who enjoyed System Shock 2 and who can overcome Deus Ex's few glitches, Single player games are alive and well.

    Dues Ex AGT - Falcon @ 4:27 am PST
    An excellent cross between an RPG, adventure and first-person shooter, Deus Ex owns much to System Shock 2 and Thief 2. Now, remember: trust no one! Get to clicking and test your knowledge.

    HL: Valve Mod Focus - Falcon @ 4:29 am PST
    Today on Planet Half-Life: Valve Mod Focus
    Ever since the release of Quake, mods have been at the heart of the communities which have grown up around our favorite action games. But as the hobby continues to increase in popularity, it has become more and more difficult for new developers who want to try their hand at mod making to become involved in it. In their continuing effort to help combat just that problem, Valve Software has written an article for Planet Half-Life offering several great pieces of advice to mod developers, and provided the community with design sketches for four excellent mods for Half-Life to help show mod makers just how much room their is for new ideas in the mod scene.

    HL Pro MOD Interview - Falcon @ 4:28 am PST
    Frag-energy.com posted a interview with Surreal, head of the Half-life Pro MOD.
    The interview features questions about the past, present and future of Half-life Pro.

    "Half-life Pro, a MOD which easily separates it's self from most of the other MODs. So what makes Half-life Pro so special ? Half-life Pro doesn't add any new models, maps, guns to Half-life. It adds new features, an improved HUD, new gameplay modes and some nice server admin functions. I'll asked Surreal all it liked to know about him and his new MOD; Half-life Pro."

    ECTS 2000 - Falcon @ 4:19 am PST
    ECTS 2000 doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but EA got things off to an early start with their "Show B4 The Show", a massive party at their luxurious UK headquarters in Chertsey.
    For the full low down on the event, including photos and some quick comments on Black & White, Red Alert 2, Sanity, and No One Lives Forever, check Eurogamer's ECTS diary!
    They will be updating the ECTS diary every day throughout the show with all the latest buzz and gossip, as well as links to all our coverage of the show - news, previews and screenshots.
    They also currently have a sneak peek at what we can expect from the show, including a look at who isn't at the show as well as a pick of the games and hardware which will be there to check out over the next few days.

    Win Vanguard Bandits Stuff - Falcon @ 4:17 am PST
    Gamethrust.com is holding a trivia contest in which you can win Vanguard bandits Merchandise, heres how it works:

    This is how the contest works, the winners will be chosen at Random from the entire list of entries, but heres the catch. The more answers you get right, the better chance you have of winning. For example if you get 1-5 answers correct, you get one point or one entry into the hat, 6-12 answers right you get 2 points. Anything above 12 correct answers gets you 2 points into the hat. When the contest ends we will calculate the points and add them all to a random drawing.

    Saturday, September 02, 2000

    Diablo II Expansion Pack Announced - Recoil @ 7:05 am PST

    Now to complement the release of Diablo II, Blizzard has announced the release
    of the expansion pack, which is due to be on the shelves. More details see here



    Key features include:

    Two new character classes (the Assassin and the Druid) each with 30 unique
    skills/spells, One new act set in the Barbarian Highlands, Ability to play
    the new character classes through the original four acts of Diablo II, Many
    new monster types, including bosses and uniques, Interactive environments
    such as siege towers and fortified battlements, Thousands of new weapons,
    armor and magical items, including class-specific quest items, New recipes
    for the Horadric Cube, Increased storage space in the stash.



    Friday, September 01, 2000

    Big World Screenshot & Concept Art - the_culture @ 11:47 am PST
    Big World Vault posted a new screenshot and a concept art of the MMORPG in development, Big World. Personally, this is one of the better looking MMORPGs in development, and I'm really looking forward to this one. If you want to know more, check out the official site.

    Preview Overload - the_culture @ 11:18 am PST
    Apparently, gaming sites have not grown weary of previewing the snot out of Baldur's Gate II. There are three previews of BG2 out on the web:

  • RPGPlanet
  • AVault
  • Computer Games Online

    LucasArts' Demolition Characters - the_culture @ 10:15 am PST
    LucasArts posted their latest Ask the Team question.

    Star Wars Demolition
    In Demolition, can you tell me which vehicles can be chosen and what characters are driving them?

    We’re still finalizing which characters will be available from the beginning, but the list of characters and vehicles in the game is pretty much set: Wade Vox - X-34 Landspeeder, Tamtel Skreej (aka Lando Calrissian) - Desert Skiff, Quaaga - AAT Battle Tank, Pugwis - Podracer, Wittin - Remote Controlled STAP w/Battle Droid, Aurra Sing - Swoop, Boba Fett - Rocket Pack, General Otto - AT-ST, Malikili - Rancor, Tia and Ghia - Snowspeeder. Some of these will not be immediately available to the player, although they may be in the arena fighting against you. There are also 3 hidden characters that will each have a unique vehicle.

    Anarchy Online Interview - the_culture @ 10:03 am PST
    AnarchyOnline.com posted a Q&A with Funcom Customer Service Manager Tor André Wigmostad. They discuss how the beta is progressing, the next phase of beta testing, and a few personal questions.

    Q: Will the game be released with all the playfields, or will you add more playfields all the way through the 4 year storyline? More planets maybe?

    A: Playfields and content will be added all the way through the storyline. We see during the test now that the gameworld is bigger than we thought. It takes a lot of time to run through and explore everything in the playfields. So we don't think it will be necessary to add more planets in addition to Rubi-Ka.

    Counter-Strike - VulTure @ 8:40 am PST
    Well, OK, it's only for server admins, but here it is anyways...Also, at the Counter-Strike website, is the official announcement of CS going on sale. Within the package, you'll also get Half-Life multiplayer, Team Fortress Classic, and Half-Life: Opposing Force multiplayer. There is also word from the designers that the mod will still be freely available for download.

    "We want to make it very clear, however, that you will still be able to download Counter-Strike for free from our web site. This standalone version is only for those who don't want to buy Half-Life, and only want CS (at a slightly lower price). Once again, CS will continue to be free and downloaded from this web site."

    Sacrifice Beta Test - VulTure @ 8:22 am PST
    I just noticed on GameSpy, that the signup sheet for Sacrifice is now ready. They are also offering prizes to anyone that signs up. The prizes include...

    - Creative Annihilator 2 video card with GeForce 2 chip
    - Creative Nomad II mp3 player
    - Creative Sound Blaster Live X-Gamer and speakers
    - Creative Sound Blaster Live Platinum and speakers

    Also, the top beta tester get some prizes also...

    - One framed movie-style poster for Sacrifice (2.5 by 3 feet), signed by the whole development team
    - Ten pieces of signed original Sacrifice artwork (original pencil/pen/color)

    Morrowind Preview - VulTure @ 8:12 am PST
    GameSpot has put up a preview of the next game in Bethesda Softwork's Elder Scroll series...Morrowind. For those of you that played the Arena and Daggerfall games, you'll want to check this out. If you haven't, now's the time to dive into these games.

    The developers are building the game to last. Beyond the cutting-edge graphics, the gameplay is virtually endless, and you can develop characters long after you have completed the main quests and storylines. In addition, the construction kit lets you easily create and modify quests, and you can build and add areas to the gameplay world to allow limitless adventuring. You can save these modifications in the form of plug-ins, which you can easily share with other players.

    There are also 29 screenshots, for those of you that need something more visual.

    New screenshots - VulTure @ 8:06 am PST
    There were a bunch of new screenshots posted around the 'net, that I think I should share...

    X-COM: Enforcer, Superbike 2001, Tribes 2, Severance: Blade of Darkness, and American McGee's Alice.

    Blade of Darkness - VulTure @ 7:56 am PST
    GameSpot has put up it's first impressions of a new action-RPG, Blade of Darkness, that is being developed by Spanish company, Rebel Act. This game uses a brand new engine that brings some new levels of detail to this genre.

    "The 3D graphics in the game are good, but the two things that make the game really stand out are the dynamic lighting and the gory combat. The game supports full dynamic lighting and shadows. Characters can pick up torches and carry them, causing accurate, flickering shadows to spread across the floors and walls. The torch can be thrown across the room, causing shadows to realistically dart and disappear as the light source leaves the area. In addition, torches can be used to set barrels and chests on fire.

    In combat, enemies can be bludgeoned and slashed, causing increasing amounts of blood to spurt forth and pool on the ground. Limbs can be severed and picked up for use as a melee weapon or hurled across the room as a missile weapon. The player character suffers visible damage as well, gradually becoming more bruised and bloody as the combat takes its toll."


    Rune website is live - VulTure @ 7:47 am PST
    The Human Head Studios website has word that the official site for their game, Rune, is now open. This is the site to go to for everything that you ever wanted to know about Rune. There are some new screenshots on the site, to help celebrate the opening.

    Sacrifice beta test - VulTure @ 7:39 am PST
    The official Sacrifice site has word of a beta test that will be starting today. If you want to get in on this, go and check this out. The information is not yet up as I write this, but keep checking throughout the day for updates.

    Strike Force Beta - VulTure @ 7:31 am PST
    A new beta of the Strike Force total conversion for Unreal Tournament is now out. There are a lot of new features including new weapons and sounds, new skins, new Bot AI, and 10 new maps. The mod, at 104MB, is available for Win32, with Linux and MAC coming soon.


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