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Matrox Parhelia Reef Demo – The Best DirectX 8 Benchmark Ever?
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  Wednesday, Jan 2, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
Game Designer Career
- Posted 4:40 PM By Kagato
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CG Online has part two of Kenn Hoekstra's breaking into the gaming biz article, So You Want to be a Game Designer?. Kenn explores such topics as the departments involved in making your favorite games, including game designer, art, design, programming, and sound department (and you thought there was some poor soul who did it all armed only with an ample suppy of Mountain Dew and a deadline). Snip:
As you can see, there's much more to working at a game company than sitting around and playing games all day. Each position requires a unique skill set and educational background. If you're interested in making games, you should have a pretty good idea of what kinds of jobs are available at your average game company. You just need to decide which position is best suited to your talents, develop the necessary skills and go for it.
For those of you who missed it, the first installment can be found here.
Source: CG Online
 
Doom Legacy v1.32 Beta4
- Posted 4:46 PM By Kagato
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The popular Doom source port, Doom Legacy, has a new release today, bringing it up to version 1.32b4. What exactly is Doom Legacy? In a word (blatant file_id.diz rip):
OpenGL/3dfx, True 3D-Floors, FraggleScript, Join in game, SVGA, translucency, freelook, advanced setup, 32 players, 3d collisions, jump, transparent water, crosshairs, autorun, SKINS, teamplay, and more...
Sometimes you just have to wonder how much free time people have!

 
Internet File Sharing and Trojans
- Posted 4:53 PM By Kagato
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Anbody who's into sharing files (MP3, avi, etc.) over the internet should take note of this interesting C|Net News story the popular file-sharing programs Grokster and Limeware both bring privacy timebombs. Apparently some experts have found malicious software bundled with them:
A pair of popular file-sharing programs have become privacy time bombs, according to computer experts.

Antivirus company Symantec last week reported the presence of malicious software bundled with Grokster and Limewire, two popular file-swapping downloads. The code evidently does not damage computers, but it surreptitiously sends personal information such as user ID names and the Internet address of computers to another Web address.

Advertising software called "Clicktilluwin" that comes bundled with the file-swapping programs is infected with a Trojan horse program called "W32.DlDer," Symantec said.

Although unrelated advertising programs are routinely bundled with free file-swapping programs--and have prompted some consumer criticism in the past--this appears to be the first time one of them has been infected by outside malicious software.
Word to the wise, beware of spying eyes.
 
  Thursday, Jan 3, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
Coming Soon - Black & White : Creature Island
- Posted 4:58 PM By Kagato
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The official Black and White : Creature Isle site, Lionhead's upcoming expansion to Black and White, has been updated with a word on its official release date. Due on the store shelves by January 18th (that's 2002), the expansion brings with it the following:
  • Bring your Black & White Creature to a completely new land, where he'll face Trials, foes and tests like never before. If he's got it in him, and if you're good enough as well, he'll make it into the fabled, coveted Brotherhood. From that moment on, he'll be different. He'll have more power. He'll be an elite, and whether you keep playing with him on the Creature Isle or take him on-line, everyone will know what he has become.

  • Use your Creature to find and train a new Creature pet of his own. You'll both have to rear him and decide what you wish to teach him, and what sort of Creature he'll grow up to be. And if you look after him well, you'll be rewarded.

  • Battle with a massive number of Creatures. Not only can you enter into frenzied combat with the whole range of Creatures on the Creature Isle, but you will see new fighting styles and use special moves and powers.

  • Find love. For the first time you'll have the chance to meet the female Creature of your dreams. Your Creature might be smitten with her, but will she feel the same way about him? That depends.

  • Tackle some of the most fun Trials you'll ever experience. Play games, take on fiendish puzzles of mind and might, win bonus games and even play various sports.
  • Hey, can't be all bad when you get to go bowling.
     
    Graphics Over Gameplay
    - Posted 5:03 PM By Kagato
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    Interesting editorial over at 3DActionPlanet which is entitled "Are Graphics Replacing Gameplay?", in which they tackle the trend these days wherein games are more of an eyecandy fest rather than giving a good gameplay. Snip:
    The fact is, all successful game developers are simply part of a business. The goal of most any company, after providing a product, of course, is to make a profit. It is, then, in the best interest of the companies producing these games to produce the flashier and better selling games. Companies cannot capitulate to a minority demographic of their audience and, in turn, shun the mainstream gamer. If the greater mass wants a game that focuses on graphic content rather than game play, it is for corporate success that the producers of those games must create graphically inclined games. Because it is in the best interest of the companies, it should also be in the best interest of the community. I think it can be agreed that the next step for producers in their work is compromise.
    Mmmm, eyecandy.
    Source: 3DActionPlanet
     
    Your Server Browser
    - Posted 8:56 PM By WaRMaN
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    I would like to hear from you all on which server browser you use to find the games you play on-line. Post your comments by clicking the comments link to the right there, and I will post the results Monday. Provide links to your favorite server browser so I can check out the ones I don't have :) Happy fraggin!
     
      Friday, Jan 4, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    USB 2.0 On Windows XP
    - Posted 7:58 AM By Kagato
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    The rumors that Microsoft would not be supporting USB 2.0 under WinXP (and Win2K for that matter) appear to be false based on this accouncement by Microsoft.Snip:
    Over the past two years, Microsoft has been working with industry partners on the USB 2.0 project. We are pleased to announce that USB 2.0 drivers will be available for Microsoft® Windows® XP through Windows Update early in 2002. USB 2.0 driver support for Windows 2000 is still under development, and will be available later in the first quarter of 2002.
    What do those who already have USB 2.0 compliant devices and controllers do? Head on over to LittleWhiteDog and snag a copy of the USB 2.0 patch, while it's still there.
     
    Unreal Tournament II Revealed
    - Posted 8:11 AM By Kagato
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    The Belgian site JIM.be has posted the full press kit for Unreal Tournament II. Included in the post is a fact sheet listing the game's features, along with sizable collections of concept art and screenshots. Snip:
    The ultimate in first-person action returns! Developed by Digital Extremes, Unreal Tournament II is the sequel to the mind-blowing, award-winning action of Unreal Tournament.

    Features that made the original unforgettable return and new innovative game play, graphics and technology make the sequel a sure-fire hit. Unreal Tournament II uses the latest Unreal technology by Epic Games, combining a brilliant single player experience with an unparalleled multi-player component. Players will be able to play through a series of matches in the single player mode against computer-controlled opponents (bots) or play online against human-controlled adversaries. Both single-player and online aspects of the game will be rich with content and gameplay options, giving the player a wide range of first person action experiences.
    Time will tell on wether it'll be a "too little too late" or "Where can I get my copy?!" game.
     
    Tweak XP v1.25 Released
    - Posted 8:26 AM By Kagato
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    Want to make sure you have your WindowsXP installation running at it's full potential? Snag a copy of Tweak XP v1.25. Here's what's new and improved:

  • New tweak to disable the Windows XP CD Burning feature.
  • fixing a problem with the detection of the screen resolution.
  • fixing a problem with one of the startmenu tweaks.
  • fixing some problems with the 'Save' function of the system-folder feature.
  • improved CPU detection (better support for Intel P4 CPUs).
  • changes to the Pop-Up Blocker logfile feature.
  • changes to the zip-repair feature.
  • updated language files.
  • lots of internal changes and improvements.
  • If you're not into tweaking, go about your normal business.
     
    Warcraft III Beta Testers Needed
    - Posted 3:24 PM By Kagato
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    Be sure to mark you're calendar for January 7th (Monday) as Blizzard will open up a 24hour sign-up to allow for the picking of 5,000 players to Beta Test their upcoming Warcraft III : Reign of Chaos.
    The beta signup is scheduled for a 24-hour period on www.blizzard.com, beginning on Monday, January 7th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). and ending on Tuesday, January 8th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). Following the registration period, we will randomly select 5,000 testers based on a variety of system configurations and locations. Please note that multiple submissions will result in disqualification.
    The clock starts...now!
     
      Tuesday, Jan 8, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Warcraft III Beta Now Open
    - Posted 7:15 AM By Kagato
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    Just a reminder in case you forgot or missed the post on it, Blizzard is now accepting beta applications to test out their upcoming RTS, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. According to this beta page, they are not taking people on a first-come and will be picking 5,000 beta testers at random from the pool of qualified applicants. Note, you have to download an script file which pulls your hardware info (guess they don't want PII/450 users saying that they have a P4/2.0Ghz). More info can be found in the Warcraft III beta FAQ.
     
    Summoner Patch v1.40
    - Posted 7:19 AM By Kagato
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    There's a new patch out for Volition's RPG Summoner, bringing it up to version 1.40, weighing in at 1.6MB. The latest update fixes the following:
  • Fixed multiplayer bug where player would lose skill, hit, and ability points in the swamp exterior.
  • Tightened up multiplayer combat so that client side hits and chains work more accurately.
  • Tightened up mutiplayer combat so that monster should no longer stand in place and take combat hits from a player without fighting back.
  • Fixed multiplayer summon crashes (aka the blue imp crash).
  • Armor that is removed on a mutliplayer player is now properly registered across all machines. Before, a client could remove armor and it would only be noticable on that player's machine.
  • Weapon animations should now be playing correctly for all players and all weapon types.
  • Fixed mouse laziness on certain D3D cards.
  • The level limit restriction has been changed from 10 to 99.
  • Other various fixes.
  • End of line...
     
    Games Becoming Mostly Pointless?
    - Posted 7:24 AM By Kagato
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    EuroGamer.com has an editorial titled Mostly Pointless, in which the author goes blasting the current crop of massively multiplayer RPGs for being empty levelling treadmills. The frustrated author also takes a few swipes at the titles in development, for hopping on the bandwagon without having anything fundamentally different to offer.
    It doesn't help that the current crop of MMRPGs are mostly bland, shallow and ultimately futile. The only connection they have with more convential role-playing games is that you can run around killing monsters, gaining experience points and raising your stats.

    Unfortunately that's about all you can do, as developers seem to have lost track of what a role-playing game is all about. There is no story, no role-playing, no exploration, no character development and no real sense of progression beyond the race to reach the next level and raise your stats. And when you do reach the next level all it means is that you can go out and kill some slightly more powerful monsters, earn more experience points and go up another level. To quote Denis Leary, "Have we turned into gerbils? People are paying money to walk up invisible steps over and over again."
    Being that several titles mentioned are rather popular in sales and online player numbers, his words may be falling on deaf ears. I sorta agree with his point, but at the same time, I just can't pull myself away from EverQuest.
    Source: EuroGamer
     
    Battlecruiser Millenium XP1 Update Info
    - Posted 7:27 AM By Kagato
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    The official BCM website has been updated with news that the XP1 release for Battlecruiser Millennium is out of pre-production and into full development. This pack is scheduled for a Summer 2002 release and will include a slew of new enhancements and features. Here's a partial list on the new additions/enhancements:
    Graphical Enhancements:

    Brand new graphics kernel engine. Better lighting, shadows, reflection, pixel+vertex shaders etc.
    Progressive scene LOD (should help with performance during massive fleet battles).
    Support for texture compression.
    Decals support for falling snow, rain, blood and objects impacting water while on terrain.
    Decals support for progressive damage on units (multi-texturing).
    Volumetric fogging (for during snow and rain storms).
    Particle dust for units moving on terrain.
    Skeleton animations for character models.
    Implement planetary terrain grass, vegetation etc (already supported in the engine).
    Support for volumetric space weather areas (nebulae, space storms etc).
    This list has been cut short due to it's length, if you wanna see a full listing, head on over here.
     
    RtCW Joins Anti-Cheat Movement
    - Posted 2:16 PM By WaRMaN
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    This past weekend, Even Balance Inc. (aka Punkbuster) was contracted by ID software to integrate it's "anti-cheat" software into Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RtCW). There will be a "brief" beta test, and then the program will go into effect. The cost, of course, is free to the end-user, and will be a separate and optional addition for server admins. Isn't it just sad that they have to do this in the first place?
     
      Thursday, Jan 10, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    FIBER CUT!!!
    - Posted 11:08 AM By Squirre1
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    I would like to apologize for the down time yesterday. Some where in our great 50 states some construction company decided they wanted to drill through the fiber lines that linked my host provider to the internet backbone. We are now up and functioning and everything is OK.

    Squirre1
     
      Saturday, Jan 12, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Lunar For The PC Cancelled
    - Posted 8:57 AM By Kagato
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    Console RPG fans may be saddened to know that according to this news post over at RPG Gamer noting that Working Designs has decided to halt production on Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete for the PC due to the shear number of fixes, patches, changes and testing. Supposedly stability was the main problem, and since they were unable to arrive at a version that was bug-free enough for their standards, they're throwing in the towel, though they are planning a limited re-release of the game for PlayStation (aren't you glad that the PS2 plays old games?).
     
    Beefcake! No?! BeefQuake!
    - Posted 9:01 AM By Kagato
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    Still in the mood for some old Quake2 based mods? If so, the second public release of BeefQuake is now available for download. New features in this latest release include:
  • Based on Q2 3.21 source
  • RScript - Texture rendering scripts
  • Ability to use .cin cinematic files as textures
  • Vertex arrays in use in some areas of the renderer
  • Continuous frame export (dumps a screenshot every frame to /gamename/animdump)
  • GeForce3 enhanced water-warp (reverts to old waterwarp if texture shaders are not supported)
  • Texture Compression ('gl_ext_texture_compression 1' at the console, disabled by default)
  • Replaced missing texture image
  • JPEG image file support
  • Texture loading
  • Screenshots in JPEG format
  • Dismissed soldier!
     
    RtCW Patch Due Monday
    - Posted 9:04 AM By Kagato
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    For those of you who were expecting to download the bew patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein yesterday, you may have noticed that even today it's still not there and that is because Activision announced it would be delayed until Monday. Apparently some issues cropped up during testing and they are wanting a few more days to update and test the changes. Here's the latest from Claw: "The Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.1 multiplayer patch that was originally scheduled to be released late this week will be available on Monday. We had a minor issue with the update installer which we have fixed and are now testing. This is a multiplayer only patch (does not affect single player at all), and will be compatible with the original 1.0 version of the game."
     
      Monday, Jan 14, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Activision Nabs Grey Matter Studio
    - Posted 9:35 AM By Kagato
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    According to this press release, announced today by Activision announced today, they have aquired 60% equity interest in Gray Matter Interactive Studios. If for some reason the name doesn't ring a bell, Grey Mater is creative mind and author of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Kingpin. This acquisition combined with Activision's Raven Software studios definatly will put them at the forefront of first-person action game development.
     
    Weapons Factory Arena v3.3
    - Posted 9:43 AM By Kagato
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    There's a new update to Weapons Factory Arena for Quake III, bringing it up to version 3.3. New features include:
  • Upgraded in-game menus and visuals
  • New effects using a particle generation engine
  • Improved game play and class balance
  • Improved security in the form of server voting and cheat protection
  • Customized communication system that lets clans create and use their own sounds in the radio system
  • Improved stock radio messages usable by all players
  • New maps (20 in total!) for players to master
  • If you wanna skip the reading, you can grab the update right here.
     
      Tuesday, Jan 15, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    ICQ Security Update
    - Posted 4:16 PM By Kagato
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    Ok, it's no game, but plenty of you folks use ICQ and may want to know that a new ICQ version (v2001b) is now available. Normally this isn't news worthy, but the creators are urging users to upgrade, to plug a security hole that was recently found in the instant messenger software. Apparently some of the voice, video, or games features were susceptible to malicious code being executed after being overflowed. *sigh* If they would just stop with the bloatware and focus on a MESSENGER application, this wouldn't be an issue.
     
    Metroid Prime Preview
    - Posted 4:36 PM By Kagato
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    Don't know if this excites any of you as much as it does me, but there's a preview posted over at IGN Cube on the upcoming Metroid Prime being released for the Nintendo GameCube. An interesting factoid about this upcoming title is that Nintendo is not developing this game themselves, rather the development is by Texas-based Retro Studios. Included are screenshots and even a little movie showing what can be expected from this updated classic. If you own a GameCube, this looks to be one to buy for sure:
    Metroid Prime is a first-person adventure. Most of the play takes place in a 3D first-person view a la GoldenEye 007, Turok or Perfect Dark. Retro has taken the style one step further by incorporating a visor view so that players feel as if they are looking directly out of Samus' helmet. To this degree, the view is angled and riddled with various energy and weapon bars, not to mention a centered target circle and more. It's all very futuristic, stylized and likewise very on par with what one might imagine Samus sees. It's clear that Retro's artists are very talented. But the programming team is no slouch either -- footage of Metroid Prime shows off some silky smooth 60 frames per second action.
    At long last, a follow-up to the age-old-classic Metroid!
    Source: IGN Cube
     
      Wednesday, Jan 16, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Microsoft's Grand XBox Scheme
    - Posted 10:37 PM By Kagato
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    C|Net News has posted an article discussing the potential future Microsoft has planned for the XBox gaming system, and how it may spawn an upcoming entertainment hub:
    Microsoft plans to transform its new Xbox game console into a general home device that handles everything from e-mail to video recording, according to analysts who follow the company.

    Prudential Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann released a report Tuesday, stating that HomeStation, a multifunction consumer appliance that has been the subject of rumor and speculation for several months, is real and could dramatically change the PC market.

    Richard Doherty, president of research firm The Envisioneering Group, said in an interview that based on briefings with Microsoft and its suppliers, he believes a version of the HomeStation will be on the market by this fall.

    Microsoft representatives declined to comment on the HomeStation reports.
    And people scoff at the idea that Microsoft wants to own the world, or at least play a role in every aspect as we know it.
    Source: C|Net
     
      Friday, Jan 18, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Typing Space Harrier
    - Posted 7:35 AM By Kagato
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    Many console junkies will remember a game released by Sega last year called "Typing of the Dead", which was basically House of the Dead where you typed your way through the game, rather than firing with a gun. Well, according to Eurogamer, Sega is working on another of these keyboard games, this time based off of the old arcade classic Space Harrier, and titling it, Typing Space Harrier (duh!).
     
    Diablo II - US East Realm Issues
    - Posted 7:39 AM By Kagato
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    Looks as through the Battle.net network status page has been updated with news of a possible problem occuring on the Diablo II US East realm where characters gain levels out of the blue and other stuff:
    We are currently investigating problems with the Diablo II US East realm. We are aware of characters suddenly becoming much higher in level and, at times failing to create games with realm characters. We do not have an estimate on when these problems will be fixed, but we'll update this forum as more information becomes available.
    Now who would complain to Blizzard that they suddenly gained a few unearned levels?
     
    Get Your Degree In Gaming
    - Posted 7:43 AM By Kagato
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    Here's an enrollment that I could enjoy spending years of college on! According to this report over at The Adrenaline Vault, The Art Institutes International at San Francisco is offering a new Game Art & Design bachelor's degree. Word:
    A new class of budding game designers started hitting the books, easels, and computer screens this month as part of a new Game Art & Design bachelor’s degree program at The Art Institutes International at San Francisco. Students in the program study art fundamentals, 3D modeling, animation, texturing, scripting, and other aspects of game level design. Courses include Storytelling, 3D Character Animation, 3D Modeling, Life Drawing, Interface Design for Games and Interactive Game Prototyping as well as a variety of general education courses.
    I am like soooo there!
     
    Counter-Strike v1.4 Details
    - Posted 7:47 AM By Kagato
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    The gents over at CS-Nation have posted some new information on the upcoming version 1.4 release of Counter-Strike (if you don't know what that is, go back under the rock from which you came). Here's what's coming in the new release:
    Had a chance to play with the 1.4 Beta, and it's got some pretty cool new additions so far. The bodies now STAY when shot for the duration of the round. Bunny hopping has been removed completly by causing a player to move really really slow when the jump continuously. At first every time you jump it made you slow/stagger for a sec, but Valve apparently has that fixed and will be upgrading it for us soon (not true, the fix was a laggy feeling. slow landing remains -rizzuh). Lastly, they have integrated the spec cam and 1st person view into the dead viewing options which is really cool, and have drastically FIXED the hitboxes to I'd say 95% accuracy now. (Still a small one by the head they are working on)
    I'd be happy to see a reduction in hacks that people can use, the game has become so boring due to this. (Ooh, headshot through the wall, thanks!)
    Source: CS-Nation
     
      Monday, Jan 21, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Q3 Networking Made Easy
    - Posted 7:35 AM By Kagato
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    UKGamer has posted an article entitled "Q3 Networking made easy", in which they break down workings behind Quake3 networking, dispelling a few common misconceptions, "explaining exactly what timenudge actually does, and just how arQon's famous '50ms code' makes Q3 all that much better". Snip:
    Consider a single client joining a server, or at a map_restart. At that instant, the server sends the client a packet of information called a snapshot. This packet includes the position of each entity on the map that your client can see, and it's current velocity, i.e. it's speed and resultant direction. At this point, the client stores this information and does nothing with it, despite the real world obviously continuing on and the entities moving across the map.

    After a set amount of time, the default being 50 milliseconds, (though this can be changed as I'll explain later) the server sends the client another snapshot, with updated information for each entity. At this point, the client then interpolates the information from the two snaps. In essence, it looks at where each entity was in the first packet, where it is in the second packet, and then draws a path across the map for each. It does this using a simple expression of movement against time, referencing time elapsed at the point the renderer calls for each frame to be drawn against the time stamps in the two snapshots themselves. This gives it an idea of how far through this movement described by the two snapshots the entity should be, relative to how long it is now after the last snapshot was received. This is why, despite only receiving 20 snapshots of information a second, that the client is capable of rendering any number of frames per second the user wishes. Remember however, this movement has of course already happened relative to real time. As each frame is rendered and time passes, the game world obviously moves on, but the client is oblivious of this until the next snapshot is received, when the process starts over.
    It's a tad long, but an interesting read if you've always wondered how some of the stuff actually works.
    Source: UKGamer
     
      Wednesday, Jan 23, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Gateway Joins EverQuest
    - Posted 7:51 AM By Kagato
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    According to this article at C|Net News, it appears that computer manufacturer Gateway has allied itself with both Sony Online Entertainment and their massively multiplayer role-playing game Everquest and Intel to sell computer systems optimized EverQuest gameplay. When customers buy one of the two "EverQuest" packages, they also receive several months of free playtime. Snip:

    Under the promotion, customers who buy a Gateway PC with an Intel Pentium 4 processor and one of two versions of packaged "EverQuest" software will receive several months of free access to the game's online service. "EverQuest" players pay monthly subscription fees of about $10 to access the game's online world. The promotion makes more than marketing sense, as the newest version of the fantasy role-playing game is one of the most resource-intensive pieces of commercial software yet released.

    For "EverQuest: The Shadows of Luclin" to run at its peak performance, Sony recommends a PC with at least 512MB of memory, a Pentium III chip and a graphics card with 32MB of memory. To reach those standards, Gateway customers must pay more than $1,000 for a custom-configured PC.
    Best Buy starts selling Alienware, Gateway starts selling EverQuest, it's a sign of the end of the world I tell 'ya!
     
    Modem Tweakage Under Windows XP
    - Posted 7:54 AM By Kagato
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    I'm sure there's some of you that have upgraded to Windows XP but unfortunately live in an area still unserviced by either a cable or DSL provider and are forced to use Dial-Up. Well, good news because the gang over at 3DSpotlight have posted a new Windows XP modem tweak guide. As they describe it: "3D Spotlight's WinXP Modem Tweak Guide will take you through optimizing the performance, reliability & security of your Dial-up connection in Windows XP as well as several other misc. tips". Give 'er a try and see what happens.
    Source: 3DSpotlight
     
    Another Diablo II Exploit Bites The Dust
    - Posted 7:57 AM By Kagato
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    Blizzard's Battle.net Network Status Page has been updated with word that the team has identified and fixed the recent item duplication exploit that had been causing massive amounts of lag for honest players during play. As a result of the massive duplication hacks, the Diablo II realms are experiencing stability issues. Blizzard will be working to restore realm stability as soon as possible.Snip:
    The latest item duplication exploit that occurred over the last several days has been stopped. The lag that has been seen over the last several days on the Diablo II realms was a result of the massive user duplication efforts.

    Currently Diablo II realms are very unstable due to the effects of duplicate items upon the servers. We are working to fix this instability as quickly as possible. Also, we have fixed crashes involving Druids wearing items totaling +13 to all skills, and a bug with +20 to wereform when switched to that wereform.
    I've never minded the fact that people will always try to cheat, but the fact that in this case it interfered with those who choose not to just sucks!
     
    Legion Update
    - Posted 8:08 AM By Kagato
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    Iain McNeil of Slitherine Software sends word that added some updates to their Legion (an upcoming PC Strategy game) website with:

  • New units for the tribal and Greek nations posted with mini screenshots.
  • Scenario 3 - the Roman invasion of Britannia is described in detail, listing all the nations that will take part and the historical background on these nations.
  • An overview of the strategic AI and how it uses diplomacy has been added.

    What is Legion about exactly? Well, in their own words:
    Legion is the working title for a revolutionary strategy game based in ancient Rome. At the strategic level the player controls vast armies and must carve an Empire from the assortment of tribes and city states that occupied ancient Italy and France. At the tactical level the player must position their armies to take advantage of terrain and make use of the best formations, to ensure victory. Do you have what it takes to become the next Emperor?

    Our aim is to base the game on historical events and peoples, but it is first and foremost a game. This means that at times we have to bend the truth a little or compress time so events and people from slightly disparate times are brought together for a more interesting setting and the best gameplay. Historically many people have ideas about what happened in ancient Rome, but there are many areas that are grey and nobody really knows the full history. This means the small diversions we have taken from accepted history may actually be true rather than the commonly accepted ideas! We're convinced most of you will not be able to tell the difference between real history and our slightly modified version - unless you're a professor of history of course and in that case we can only apologise!
    Included throughout the pages are screen shots of the various units at your command. Look for this title sometime in Spring 2002.
     
  •   Thursday, Jan 24, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Loki Closing Shop
    - Posted 12:47 PM By Kagato
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    Linux gamers won't be fond of this news, but according to this story on Slash-Dot, Linux game developer Loki Software has closed its doors. The article points to a leaked email on F*ckedCompany.com, in which president Scott Draeker says that January 31 will be the last business day of the company and how retailers should handle Loki products at this point. NoUnixGames4You!
     
    Medal Of Honor Allied Assault Mod
    - Posted 1:00 PM By Kagato
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    There's a brand new Medal of Honor:Allied Assault mod that has been released that adds considerably more blood and gore to the game (more is better!). Here's the beef:

    Another mod released by Ceskins here - He did an 'enhanced' blood mod (the other blood mods just change the dust puff color from beige to red). When shot, blood actually squirts out of the bodies and leaves blood on surfaces as decals. The 'dust puff' is also changed to a blood color. It's pretty good.
    How often is a game not violent enough that somebody goes back to add more?
     
      Friday, Jan 25, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Aces High 1.08 Patch 7
    - Posted 2:58 PM By Kagato
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    According to this announcement in the Aces High BBS, the folks over at HiTech Creationshave made Patch 7 for Aces High 1.08 available for download. Snip:
    Patch 7 is now available for download. This latest patch changes our minimum requirements to DirectX 8 instead of DirectX 7. If you receive a sound error trying to start Aces High after the patch, that means that you had DX7 installed and will have to upgrade to 8 or 8.1.
    We are extremely sorry that those of you affected were not forewarned of this change. It was a miscommunication on our end and we sincerely hope that it doesn't cause much inconvenience. Thanks for your understanding.
    For those who have never heard of the game, Aces High is a WW2 themed online war sim that allows players to "fly a multitude of aircraft types, players can also man vehicles, boats, amphibs, gun batteries, and ships." Also of note is that the game can now be ordered on CD.

     
    Breed Preview
    - Posted 3:03 PM By Kagato
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    Ferrago.co.uk has kicked up a whoppin' three page preview of Brat Design's upcoming team-based shooter, Breed. Now this just sounds sweet:
    The Mercury game engine will afford players the ability to launch small strikes from outer space and travel through the atmosphere to the earth’s surface, opening up a multitude of options in terms of gameplay. Players will be able to go about a particular task in a variety of ways, adding to the title’s replay value, and the proprietary gameplay kernel will allow for simultaneous battles to occur in both space and on earth.
    Screenshots are of course included, but you can always find more on the official homepage.
    Source: Ferrago.co.uk
     
      Monday, Jan 28, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Tropico Expansion Paradise Island Coming
    - Posted 6:50 PM By Kagato
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    This one goes out to the sim player in all of 'ya. PopTop Software has announced that Paradise Island will be released on February 5, the expansion for the dictator sim Tropico. What's new? How about this:
    As an all-powerful dictator, each player of "Tropico" manipulates resources to create his own thriving Caribbean paradise, while lining his personal Swiss bank account. The "Paradise Island" expansion pack features new scenarios, people, vehicles and buildings to increase the power of El Presidente and intensify his lust for power.

    With the expansion pack, the disastrous effects of tropical weather force players to bow to Mother Nature’s will. Her fury abounds in the form of hurricanes and tropical storms, hoof and mouth disease and red tide. These disasters translate into both economic and human losses. Fragile buildings crumble, including homes, docks and bunkhouses. Crops are lost and morale decreases. As El Presidente, the player must restore the island’s beauty and the people’s faith in him.
    El Presidente also orders you to go see the five new screenshots showing off some of the expansion.
     
    Time To Update Your Rig?
    - Posted 6:55 PM By Kagato
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    Although not quite game related, good news for those who've been thinking about upgrading their aging PC. According to C|Net, Intel and AMD have cut prices on their desktop CPUs between 14 and 19 percent. Which chips and how much? On Intel
    This time, Intel's cuts take care of lower-priced systems. The largest change lowers the price of the 1.6GHz Pentium 4 by 18 percent, from $163 to $133. The 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz Pentium 4 also cost $133. The 1.6GHz chip now also costs less than all of Intel's desktop Pentium III processors up to 1.2GHz.

    Intel also trimmed the prices of its Pentium 4 chips at 1.7GHz, 1.8GHz and 1.9GHz by between 12 percent and 16 percent. The new prices for those chips are $163, $193 and $214, respectively.
    And with AMD:

    The company dropped the 1900+ chip by 14 percent, from $269 to $231; the 1800+ by 16 percent, from $223 to $188; and the 1700+ by 17 percent, from $190 to $157. The largest price move, 19 percent, saw AMD lop the 1600+ chip from $160 to $130.

    AMD also cut prices of its Duron chip by up to 17 percent. It dropped the price of the new 1.3GHz Duron by 13 percent from $118 to $103. The 1.2GHz Duron was pared by 14 percent from $103 to $89, with the 17 percent cut coming on the 1.1GHz, which dropped from $89 to $74. The 1GHz Duron dropped by 7 percent to $69.
    Nothing like saving some hard earned jack!
     
    "My Party" Worm
    - Posted 7:01 PM By Kagato
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    *SIGH* Can we not go a week without a new worm going around on the web? The least that these script-kiddies could do is something creative instead of the usual auto-email forwarder. In this round, we have the "My Party" worm which spreads by "infiltrating popular email software Microsoft Windows Address Book and Outlook Express Database" *GASP*.
    The virus arrives as an email with the subject line ``new photos from my party!'' It contains an innocuous looking file attachment called www.myparty.yahoo.com.

    A message in the body of the email reads: ``Hello! My party... It was absolutely amazing! I have attached my web page with new photos! If you can please make color prints of my photos. Thanks!'
    End of line...
     
      Wednesday, Jan 30, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Linux Coming To A PS2 Near You
    - Posted 3:40 PM By Kagato
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    Penguin fans, gurus, and fanatics unite!
    Sony
    has announced today that they will be selling Linux OS kits in the coming months, allowing folks to run Linux applications on the PlayStation 2 gaming console. Contents will include:
  • Internal hard disk drive for PlayStation 2 (HDD) with 40 GB capacity
  • Network Adaptor (Ethernet) (for PlayStation 2) with 100 Base T Ethernet interface
  • Linux Kernel version 2.2.1 (with USB device support)
  • "Linux (for PlayStation 2)" Version 1.0 software distribution on two DVDs
  • gcc 2.95.2 and glibc 2.2.2 with VU assemblers
  • XFree86 3.3.6 with PlayStation 2 GS support
  • Computer monitor adaptor (for PlayStation 2) (with audio connectors)
  • USB Keyboard and mouse (for PlayStation 2)
  • Expect to pay about $299 for a kit here in the US. With broadband connectivity, can you say cheap server farm?
     
      Thursday, Jan 31, 2002 Report News | Archive | Top  
    TacOps UT Heading For Retail
    - Posted 11:03 AM By Kagato
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    According to this interview with Infogrames producer Rafael Curulla, they ahve apparently picked up the rights to publish the popular Unreal Tournament mod Tactical Ops: Assault On Terror. Snip:
    GameSpyDaily: Why did Infogrames decide to pursue Tactical Ops for commercial release?

    Rafael: Infogrames noticed the developers of Tactical Ops several months ago. We were pretty amazed by the work they had already completed, the changes they had implemented to improve their game and the way they handled the Unreal engine. We decided to pursue a commercial relationship because we saw a lot of potential in this game as a stand-alone experience.

    We felt that by spending some time on Tac Ops to fix the bugs, add new content, and polish the game we would have a great retail product. We feel there are a lot of gamers out there who have not experienced Tac Ops and by making a retail version we can introduce them to this great game. In addition, by working with Kamehan we are able to bring Tac Ops to a level of quality that wouldn’t be possible unless it was going to be a stand-alone, retail product.
    I'm sure some would wonder why pay for it when you can download it for free? You'll have to remember there are still those who have no choice but dial-up for Internet, and downloading a 200+ MB file just isn't an option on 56k!
    Source: GameSpyDaily
     
    PlayStaion 3 In the Pipeworks
    - Posted 11:07 AM By Kagato
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    Interesting little blurb over at Core Magazine who is reporting that Sony's chief technical officer Shinichi Okamoto recently spoke out and told sources about possible plans for a Playstation 3 that will "revolutionize" console gaming (i.e. games that are not only eye candy, but actually have play control). Apparently the new technology behind the system is called "CELL" which, although is still in the design stages (chalkboard), is getting the support from Toshiba and IBM. Sony plans to have the technology completed in 2005. I'm thinking they'll have this thing computing as fast as the human brain!
     
     
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