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  Wednesday, Jul 4, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
Today We Celebrate Our Independance Day
- Posted 10:03 AM By WaRMaN
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It was 225 years ago that we defeated England and democracy was born! So today while you are grilling up the food, and plastering the sky with fireworks, take a minute and think about how much we appreciate the little things that wouldn't be possible without our forefathers. Then fire up the "super-computer" and FRAG! Happy Independance day everyone :)
  Thursday, Jul 5, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
Quake 4?
- Posted 1:21 PM By WaRMaN
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Yesterday, ID software's press release agency released the following statement: "NEW GAMES FROM ID SOFTWARE. QUAKECON 2001 AUG. 9 - 12 -- MESQUITE, TEXAS." So are we to believe that Quake 4 will be previewed at the next Quakecon?
AoE II :The Conquerors Patch
- Posted 9:08 PM By Kagato
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Sir Raven caught this and passed it on to me, but for all you Age of Empires II: The Conquerors players, Ensemble Studios has recently released a new patch. There have been some play balance adjustments made as well as Custom Random maps that have been released through the past year. Some other enhancement are:
  • Farms can be queued to 40
  • Fish traps now provide food at a faster rate, about equal to shore fish
  • All archery range units (except hand-cannoneers) now do +1 additional damage to spearman-line units
  • Camels are now as quick to train as spearmen
  • Viking Berserks now move as fast as pikemen
  • Celtic Woad Raiders now move faster (they run faster than Eagle Warriors who lack Squires)
  • Bombard Cannons do +80 additional damage to buildings
  • There's WAY to many changes to list them all, just head on over here to get a full listing.
    WWII Online Updates
    - Posted 9:13 PM By Kagato
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    The World War II Online website has been updated with word that they are working on finalizing the features/fixes list and schedule, and in a few days they plan on posting a 'road map' "taking us to the 30 day trial and into pay for play...". There is also news that the folks at Cornered Rat Software are busy at work on version a 1.20 patch that will include "a thing or two (they) haven't announced," as well as word on a new test server they are running.
    Dungeon Siege Interview
    - Posted 9:17 PM By Kagato
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    The folks over at GameSpot have a new interview with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games talking about none other than their upcoming action RPG Dungeon Siege. Chris discusses how the game's unique skill system allows you to create custom character classes (and how this affects the gameplay), the importance of environmental effects in the game world and other topics. He also talks briefly about the game's multiplayer modes, which include a full run through the entire game, a specific multiplayer world and a "short game" that is significantly shorter than the regular campaign. Accompanying the interview are three new screenshots. Two words "Diablo2 Killer" - nuff said!
    Source: GameSpot
      Friday, Jul 6, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    SoF Patch v1.07
    - Posted 9:18 PM By Kagato
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    A new patch for Soldier of Fortune (Raven Software) has been released over at FilePlanet. The patch updates the game to v1.07 (you are required to have v1.06 installed) and weighs in at 1.9MB. What's it fix? Read on:
  • No longer generates configsheet.cpp
  • Removed WON
  • Added GameSpy
  • Fixed a few minor issues with dm_flags
  • Diablo II : LoD Rune Guide
    - Posted 9:28 PM By Kagato
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    For those folks who have been dumping all their available time into playing Diablo2: LoD, the fine folks over at Planet Diablo have posted a guide that's sure to please. Head on over and read their guide to mixing and matching Runed items to create powerful artifacts. On a side note, there's been a post on the BattleNet forums relating to Runes that you may wanna watch out for:
    We are currently investigating an issue in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, where Rune Word items dropped to the ground can morph into other items. We are working on a fix for this, though until then we urge players who have Rune Word items to avoid dropping them within a game. If you wish to trade the item to another player, we suggest using the trade window.
    'Nuff said, now get back in the game!
    Source: Planet Diablo
    Windows XP RC1 : A Gamers Perspective
    - Posted 9:46 PM By Kagato
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    For those of you curious about what Windows XP will mean to gaming community, GamePC has posted a review of Windows XP Release Candidate 1 and compared it to Microsoft's current crop of O/S's. Will it be on your upgrade list? Here's a snip:
    Besides this, we really like XP. After messing around with a few previous builds, Windows XP looks and feels like a very solid operating system. It's got the stability of Windows 2000, a cool OSX-like graphical feel, and oogles of native hardware and software support. While it's not quite ready for full-on server/workstation/home deployment yet, it's safe to say that by the time they launch, XP will be the most advanced operating system on the planet. We like.
    If M$ would remove the activation portion of the product, I would actually purchase (*GASP*) a copy when it ships. I've never been the Microsoft fan, but this thing really impresses me.
    Source: Game PC
      Saturday, Jul 7, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    GeForce3 - Full Speed Ahead!
    - Posted 7:33 AM By Kagato
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    X-Bit Labs has an article posted on performing some voltage tweaking to your GeForce3 video card to get the most out of your $400+ beauty. While not exactly game related, it is a cool read for those of you who enjoy getting every last drop of performance out of your machine (Kids don't try this at home!>.
    Source: X-Bit Labs
    Judge Dredd - Coming To A Shooter Near You
    - Posted 7:44 AM By Kagato
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    The guys over at Voodoo Extreme have posted their interview with Jason Kingsley , co-founder of Rebellion, discussing Dredd vs. Death, their upcoming action game based on the comic book series from 2000AD. They cover the details that are known or can be revealed about the game during its early stages of development, including the as-yet unformed storyline, the proprietary engine it will use (saying to "Expect a hell of a leap forward for the engine"), some gameplay specifics, and more.
    Source: Voodoo Extreme
    AMD vs Intel Developer Battle
    - Posted 7:59 AM By Kagato
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    Perhaps one of the most aggrivating questions to answer these days when purchasing/upgrading your machine is paper or...err AMD or Intel? Which is gonna help me more with todays games? Wouldn't it be nice to know what the developers who are making the games think on this topic, being they are writing the codebase to run on the hardware? Voodoo Extreme has posted some feedback they have received from both John Carmack (iD Software) and Tim Sweeney (Epic Games) on the subject. I hope we can expect to see more updates on this topic, would be nice to see a pro/con type of setup between the two chips.
    Source: Voodoo Extreme
    Windows XP Activation Process
    - Posted 8:55 AM By Kagato
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    There's plenty of confusion over the whole Activation Process that Microsoft has deemed necessary in the upcoming release of Windows XP, which has created rumors and an overall confusion among users on what it will and won't allow them to do. To help combat some of the misconceptions and balogne people have towards this process, Microsoft has updated their XP FAQ with new information. Here's a portion of what's new
    Will Product Activation allow me to upgrade my hardware?

    Yes, Product Activation does allow users to upgrade their hardware. One of the forms of piracy that Product Activation guards against is hard disk imaging. Not all forms of hard disk imaging are illegal. However, by forcing the copied software to be reactivated, Product Activation will prevent a pirate from copying data from one PCís hard drive to anotherís to illegally run the software on two PCs. It does this by comparing the hardware on which it was activated to the hardware on which it is now being booted. If the hardware is substantially different, then reactivation is required. If it is the same or similar, then the software will continue to work. Users who upgrade their PCís hardware substantially may be asked to reactivate. Reactivation is easy and can be completed by contacting Microsoft to obtain another confirmation ID.
    Personally I think Microsoft would benefit from removing this "feature", as I can see issues arising from the average home user, bringing a rise in calls to those of us working in the IT/Helpdesk field.
    PS2 Hard Drive Announcement
    - Posted 9:06 AM By Kagato
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    Sony has announced details on their hard drive for PS2 (in Japan, anyway). It's listed at $150, which puts the PS/2+Hard Drive at around $400 (after rumored PS2 price cuts). I imagine this is in anticipation for the battle to come between themselves and Microsoft's X-Box (*yawn*). The article also has info about the keyboard, mouse, and network adapters that will someday also be tethered to PS2s around the world.
      Sunday, Jul 8, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Eternal Arena v4.7
    - Posted 8:04 AM By Kagato
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    The official Eternal Arena web site has been updated with the release of the latest version (v4.7) of their popular mod for Quake 3. This newest release adds another game mode ("Carnage") as well as a few new features and fixes. Dig it:
  • Slight change to the background menu gfx
  • bugfix - Deaths on scoreboard removed, until I can fix them
  • bugfix - Rocket Duel starting ammo now 30
  • bugfix - Quadwhore random spawning in other gamemodes
  • New weapons configuration screen
  • Carnage gamemode - excessive blood and gibs, and big explosions
  • Low Grav gamemode replaced by Carnage
  • New gfx and snd packs by Fusion
  • New pre-defined game configs, ready to launch from ingame
  • Some old options removed
  • Demos put on setup menu
  • What are you waiting for soldier! Get over there today and download.
    SoF v1.07 Issues
    - Posted 8:08 AM By Kagato
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    Planet SoF has posted up word that Raven is working on a new patch for Soldier of Fortune. Seems that a few problems have popped up with the original release of the v1.07 patch, and Raven's Rick Johnson is currently working on getting these problems fixed and an updated patch released.
    Epic Interview - Daneil Vogel
    - Posted 8:15 AM By Kagato
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    Orpheus from VoodooExtreme has posted a Q&A session with Daniel Vogel of Epic Games, who you may remember used to work at Loki and did the UT OpenGL port. Well, Epic seemed to like his work so much they hired him! It's always nice to find what developers think about various systems, and at one point they discuss DirectX vs OpenGL, here's a snip:
    Voodoo Extreme -- DirectX or OpenGL? The age old Question....

    Personally I prefer OpenGL because it's not tied to the Windows operating system, but D3D8 has come a long way since D3D7 and if Microsoft continues this trend, D3D9 will be very nice. I just wish they had a real specification instead of the current fuzzy documentation. D3D8 also still has some issues I can't believe they didn't notice or care about, but it is largely usable. Changes to OpenGL (unlike with D3D) have to be thought through more carefully as breaking compatibility is not a viable option for OpenGL's Architectural Review Board (ARB), so it usually takes them longer to implement features into the core API. I tend to prefer the extension mechanism OpenGL uses over the D3D approach of changing the API drastically. It allows IHVs (independent hardware vendors, e.g. ATI or NVIDIA) to fully expose their functionality and provides a test bed for usability and feasibility before it finds its way into the core API. But this can create issues with intellectual property as seen with the OpenGL equivalent of vertex shaders.

    As you can see I'm largely torn when it comes to my API of choice on Windows. But in the end it's not the API you choose that will determine how good or bad your game looks - it's what you do with it ;-)

    Source: Voodoo Extreme
      Monday, Jul 9, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    NWN Preview
    - Posted 7:52 AM By Kagato
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    PC Zone UK has posted a new preview of NeverWinter Nights, the cool upcoming AD&Dragons themed 3D RPG from BioWare and Black Isle Studios. They include some pics from the game, and a some Q&A with one of the developers, here's a snip:
    Imagine a dungeon created by a player from the ground up. Imagine a team of 'real' players entering the dungeon and playing through the adventure while the dungeon's creator (the dungeon master) follows their every move, changing things within the game world according to what the players do in the game environment. Imagine the enormous potential to totally screw them up at every turn (if you're that way inclined) or to help them along if they get stuck in a certain part of the dungeon. You may think creating a detailed environment with a realistic landscape, puzzles and challenging monsters would take an absolute age and a degree in programming.
    I imagine we'll see more and more of these as we get closer to the game being released.
    Source: PC Zone UK
    New SoF Beta Patch
    - Posted 3:21 PM By Kagato
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    Raven's Rick Johnson has updated his .plan with word of the release of a new v1.07f beta patch for Soldier of Fortune. From the horses' mouth:
    Well, unfortunately, the SoF 1.07 patch that was released on Friday had a crash bug in it. You should download the 1.07f Beta patch. You will need to re-install 1.06 first, then apply this patch. From all of the reports that I've read on our message board, this clears up all issues. Make sure that when you are in the main menu, that the version in the lower right says 1.07f

    There were several reasons why QA didn't catch this bug, even though it was blatant when the patch was released to the public. It is one of those bugs which is difficult to find in QA, given that they don't have the dynamics of people on the internet nor the sheer amount of people. I do apologize for this incident, and hopefully we'll find a better approach in the future, such as a limited beta release.
    Those of you hosed by the original patch, should definately pick this new patch up.
    Dragon's Lair 3D
    - Posted 3:26 PM By Kagato
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    Dragonstone Software, in cooperation with CGE, will be debuting their upcoming Dragon's Lair 3-D at this year's Classic Gaming Expo. Here's a bit more on the upcoming title:
    The games' creators have formed Dragon's Lair LLC. as well as Dragonstone Software, a development house ready to bring out top quality software titles for the PC, Mac, PS2, and X-Box platforms. Dragon's Lair 3-D will be the first release and players will again assume the role of the brave knight, Dirk the Daring, as he fights to save princess Daphne. "With our current 3-D technology, we can give the player complete control over Dirk, with the ability to fully explore the castle in his quest to rescue the princess," states Rick Dyer, one of the creators of the original Dragon's Lair game. "In Dragon's Lair 3-D we take the player on an adventurous trek via a technically innovative 3-D game that will impress both the reminiscing and modern hard core gamer."
    Don't know about you, but I spent plenty of hard earned jack on this game as a kid, I can only imagine what a new version with today's hardware will do!
      Tuesday, Jul 10, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Shattered Galaxy Preview
    - Posted 7:08 AM By Kagato
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    PC.IGN has posted a preview for Shattered Galaxy, the upcoming massively multiplayer strategy game by Nexon. Here's a snip:
    When attacking a territory, players will have 20 minutes in order to win the territory by capturing Points of Contention. These are circular disks set around the maps that a ground unit must sit on for 30 second in order to capture it. Once all of these have been captured the day has been won and you can notch another win up for the good guys. A planet map will be up and available showing what battles are around for you to join. Once you click on one, you'll receive a notice whether you'll actually be able to join the fray or not. The battle commander (highest tactical rating in the battle) on the field will have that choice.
    Looks to have more of a typical RealTime Strategy interface to it (ala Starcraft, etc.)
    Source: PC.IGN
    Throne of Darkness
    - Posted 7:20 AM By Kagato
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    RPG Vault has posted their Week 5 installment for Throne of Darkness, a samurai-themed action RPG from Click Entertainment. There's discussion this time around, about the games' Tactics controls, along with eight new screen shots. What exactly is the game about?:
    Japanese mythology and fast-paced action make Throne of Darkness a must-have title for action-oriented RPG fans. Ben Haas and Doron Gartner, founders of Click Entertainment and Diablo team alumni, have taken action-oriented role-playing to a new level, invigorating the genre with a new visual style, groundbreaking multiplayer capability, and advanced martial tactics.
    Looks to be one hell of a game, if you're into the Diablo II styled genre of game.
    Source: RPG Vault
    Empire Earth Preview
    - Posted 7:27 AM By Kagato
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    PC Gameplay has slapped up a preview of Empire Earth, the history spanning RTS from Rick Goodman and Stainless Steel Studios. Here's a snip:
    Empire Earth is a few months away from being finished but it has all the ingredients of a hit. In September we should see how the multiplayer mode fares with its 300-plus units. But we have good reason to be confident. Rick Goodman, who was involved in the development of Age Of Empires, and his team are working hard to ensure that the game is balanced with celebrated Starcraft and Age Of Empires players providing help and advice. It all adds up to a game that could be a huge smash when it's released.
    The game definately has some slick graphics, it could be a real contender in the RTS market.
    Source: PC Gameplay
    B&W Patch Finally Released
    - Posted 3:08 PM By Kagato
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    The official Black & White web site has updated with word of the release of the official patch (v1.100) for Lionhead's Black & White. Weighing in at 8.94MB, the update performs the following:
    Black & White Patch v1.1 Readme 14th May 2001

    The following problems have been identified and fixed.

    1. Your Creature occasionally locked up and could not be moved via the leash.
    2. On Land Five your Creature is cursed by the enemy. The problem which led to this curse being transferred with that Creature into the Multiplayer game has been fixed.
    3. The few cases of Internet log-in problems, whereby an Incorrect Password message has been returned despite the password being valid has been fixed.
    4. Two save game bugs which occasionally caused a crash.
    5. Creature occasionally forgot learnt info when moving between lands.
    You know you want it, go grab it now!
      Wednesday, Jul 11, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    HL & CS Patches Due Today
    - Posted 8:17 AM By Kagato
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    Valve software has announced that Half-Life v1.1.0.7 and Counter-Strike Retail v1.0.0.2 patches will be released today at 11:00AM Pacific. The Half-Life patch will weigh in at around 15 megs, while the CS update is right around 19 megs. Here's the scoop:
    This update includes:

  • Deathmatch Classic
  • New Automatic update system
  • Fixed GL texture binding problem (white skin bug)
  • Optimized model drawing
  • Keep an eye on their site for the release.
    Next-Gen Consoles - A Developers View
    - Posted 8:29 AM By Kagato
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    Many people in the gaming industry know Brian Hook (programmer formerly who worked for id Software and Verant), well, VoodooExtreme has finally posted a new Ask Brian Hook column. In today's update, Hook tackles a question on next-gen consoles (or consoles, in general: which one is the best) here's a portion of his lengthy response:
    If you has asked me 6 months ago, I think I would have been firmly of the belief that X-Box had a real serious shot. After talking to publishers, other developers and journalists, I'm beginning to think that X-Box has a pretty grim future. I may venture out far enough on a limb to say that X-Box is flat out going to fail in the marketplace.

    X-Box aficionados point to its high powered graphics chipset, hard drive, broadband and other nice technical goodies as evidence of its superiority, but much like the AMD vs. Intel battles, who is "best" doesn't necessarily determine who wins.

    The problem is that the vast majority of console gamers don't buy a console for the hardware, they buy it for the software. Remember that consoles are consumer devices: maybe 1/10 of 1% (if that) of PSX owners can tell you the CPU that powers it. They just don't care.
    It's a nice little read and definately gives you a little to think about when planning your next console purchase.
    Source: Voodoo Extreme
    Max Payne Multi-Player?
    - Posted 3:13 PM By Kagato
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    Max Payne was originally supposed to have multiplayer support, unfortunately that was removed so that the developers could focus on creating a more immersive single player experience. So the question on everybody's mind now is "Will they eventually add it in a patch?" Not according to Remedy's Peter Hajba:
    Multiplayer patch? Um, no.

    The game is officially marketed as a single player game. Sticking In Some Net Code™ won't make it any better. M'kay?

    Shall I repeat in a couple of hours? ;)

    Come on. Single player games can give you something that you can't do in multiplayer. You get to be a Special Hero™ who kicks the collective butt of loads of bad guys. In multiplayer deathmatches and team games, everyone wants to be the Special Hero™. Alas, in reality, you'll just get a couple of frags while the hyperactive Red Bull drinker in the other side of the globe captures the flag twice (and frags you 10 times along the way as you spawn in the way of his rocket every time).
    Get your hard earned cash out, Max Payne will be in stores in a few short weeks!
      Thursday, Jul 12, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Counter-Strike v1.3
    - Posted 7:34 AM By Kagato
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    Nothing set in stone when it comes to a release date for CS v1.3, but the Counter-Strike homepage has a quick little blurb about it:
    Keep in mind that there will be no CS mod 1.2, it will go right to 1.3. CS Mod 1.3 and CS Retail will be out in a few weeks, if not longer. Remember that these are the patches that will incorporate Valve's new Voice Communication technology and multicast spectator.
    Guess that means it won't be out before next weeks GameDay.
    Game Voice Update
    - Posted 7:42 AM By Kagato
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    Quick bit of update news for those of you how use the Microsoft Game Voice system (allows you to talk to other people on the internet in-game). Microsoft has released v1.5 of the Game Voice software package with a filesize of approx 800kb. Listed improvements are :
  • This update should install cleanly over previous versions, however, if you run into difficulties, you may want to uninstall your previous version of Game Voice and then re-install Game Voice from your version 1.0 CD before applying the Game Voice 1.5 update
  • DirectX 8 is required for Game Voice 1.5
  • If you are experiencing problems connecting to a peer-to-peer chat session from behind a NAT, you may wish to install the DirectX 8.1 public beta. Read more about this issue
  • World War II Online Update
    - Posted 7:48 AM By Kagato
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    The World War II Online website has been updated with a progress report on the upcoming version 1.20 patch. The update includes a detailed list of these bug fixes and other tweaks, check it:
    Grenades and satchels are working, and debug there seems to be going well so far. We are also testing the initial scoring systems. Kills, damage, vehicle types etc. This is where we need to do a lot of testing prior to delivery to the closed beta team. Although we want to get this patch out ASAP, we also want it to be solid and well-tested. We have to ride the wire on this, as I am sure we could test for a long time. There are a lot of little fixes in this update as well, some stuff that isnít on the big radar but we were able to get to.
    I personally have not yet had the chance to play this game, looks to be quite fun though.
    Tactical Ops Beta2 Today
    - Posted 8:08 AM By Kagato
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    The Tactical Ops Team has noted that Beta 2 of their popular Unreal Tournament modification is scheduled for release later today (4:00pm EST). Weighing in at approx 105 MB, there will be versions for Linux, Mac, UMOD, and Windows. Here's the info:
    Beta 2 introduces tons of new features into Tactical Ops, as well as many highly anticipated maps like Monastery, Titanic, Scope, and Verdon. Seven new weapons will be added, as well as the new smoke grenades.
    They're also having a IRC Party, you can join them at irc.gamesnet.net in #tacticalops, so be sure to read their IRC rules.
    AMD Palomino Performance Preview
    - Posted 10:07 AM By PC_Creature
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    Over at FiringSquad they have got a hold of the Palomino chips which have been delayed to Desktop PC's. They give the run down on how the new chips preform and differences between Intel's and AMD's chips. I know that there has been other reviews and previews out there but this I find the most in depth.

    Click Here to read the full story.
    3D Chip Round Up.
    - Posted 8:50 PM By PC_Creature
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    ExtremeTech has posted a great article on all the current major graphic cards. They run the graphics cards all through a series of benchmarks and give in depth rating of the goods and bads of each. Great article and great site, go check it out.
      Friday, Jul 13, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    NetHack : Falcon's Eye
    - Posted 8:30 AM By Kagato
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    NetHack, the mere mention of this game brings back memories for many people. Surprisingly enough this game still continues to be developed. The graphically enhanced version of NetHack, NetHack: Falcon's Eye for Linux is now also available. There's still continuing support for Win32 systems as well. Here's the info as posted on the Falcon's Eye homepage:
    NetHack is one of the oldest computer role-playing games still played and developed. The latest version of the game, NetHack 3.3.1, was released in August 2000.
    Some players may dislike the game's character-based graphics. Newer versions of NetHack feature tile-based, somewhat prettier graphics, but I decided to go even further. Thus, I decided to create a new, graphics-intensive look for NetHack.

    Falcon's Eye is a mouse-driven interface for NetHack that enhances the visuals, audio and accessibility of the game, yet retains all the original gameplay and game features. Take a look at some screenshots.
    Check it out today.
    Drive Storage : Hitting A Wall
    - Posted 8:39 AM By Kagato
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    According to this story at Enterprise Systems, the end is coming to substantial storage growth. Check it:
    For the first time in recent memory, all of the leading manufacturers in the highly competitive field of magnetic disk drives agree on something. Unfortunately, it isnít good news. With current technology and materials, we will soon witness the end of 120 percent per year improvements in disk drive areal density. Areal density refers to the number of bits that can be stored on a square inch of disk media. It appears, we hit the wall at 150 gigabits per square inch (150 Gb/in2). With current disk density growth rates, that will happen within the next three to five years.
    Now I'm sure you're thinking "What about other types of drives and technologies?":
    Unfortunately, new drive designs and read/write techniques -- including thermally-assisted drives, perpendicular recording, and an assortment of near- and far-field technologies -- are about a decade off. A lot of research shows promise and some technologies have been demonstrated under laboratory conditions, but most insiders agree that it will take many years to bring products to market based on these new designs.
    I have an issue filling 150GB as it is, do I really need to worry what happens in three years? I guess Microsoft may answer that with their next OS after XP - 20GB install anyone?
    Kodak vs Microsoft
    - Posted 8:48 AM By Kagato
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    For those of you still in the dissolutioned state that Microsoft isn't acting like a monopoly, this Wall Street Journal article (reprinted at ZDNet) ought to be required reading. It's the story of Kodak's cooperation with Microsoft on developing a standard for making digital cameras talk to computers, and how Microsoft repaid Kodak for its cooperation. It's a new variation on what is now a very old theme:
    Kodak's story offers a snapshot of a now-familiar tale in the software business. Despite the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, which was partly upheld and partly reversed by a U.S. Court of Appeals last week, the software giant continues to use its monopoly operating-system software as a lever to pry its way into new businesses.
    I more than understand about a company having to invent new ways to broaden it's horizon, but too much time is wasted on stuff like this, they should worry more about O/S stability and speed. Microsoft seems to be growing the mentality that they need to develop everything for everybody, what features they see fit are what you get.
    Boomslang Owners
    - Posted 3:02 PM By Kagato
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    For those of you who own a Razer Boomslang, read on, there's bad news to report:
    Unfortunately, kšrna LLC, the parent company of Razer, had a funding commitment fall through and has exhausted all cash resources. Therefore, effective July 9th, we must discontinue providing customer and technical support, as well as warranty service.
    We can only hope a new source of funding is found so that they can continue to provide all the support they need on these wonderful products.
      Saturday, Jul 14, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Aliens vs Predator 2 : Official Site
    - Posted 7:23 AM By Kagato
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    The page boss, the page! Sierra Studios has launched its Official Aliens vs Predator 2 website, the upcoming LithTech engined sequel by Monolith Studios. You can also get more on the upcoming title by reading VoodooExtreme's recent interview with producer David Stalker.

    Deus Ex 2 Preview
    - Posted 7:35 AM By Kagato
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    PC.ign has posted a preview of Deus Ex 2 (ION Storm Austin), the Unreal Warfare-engined sequel to Deus Ex. Included in the article they list a couple of game level shots as well as some concept art to the game. Read on:
    The game will use the Unreal Warfare technology. Epic's code was also the basis of the first game. The designers and programmers (most of whom are Deus Ex alumnae) are already familiar with how the previous Epic engine works. Making the leap to the new technology obviously requires an adjustment -- even more so considering how heavily the developers have modified the code already to include significant lighting and AI improvements -- but the team is confident that the actual production of the game will benefit from the team's familiarity with the engine. The use of the versatile new Unreal engine is also a further concession to the game's proposed cross-platform development.

    Source: PC.IGN
      Sunday, Jul 15, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Max Payne = Gold
    - Posted 2:09 PM By Kagato
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    That's right boys and girls, get your money ready because Max Payne has gone gold as of July 15th, according to Remedy Intertainment's website (which simply states "GOLD"). The Payne is expected to hit stores very early next month.
    Civilization 3 Preview
    - Posted 2:19 PM By Kagato
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    MGON's Civilization 3 preview is online, based on their impressions from E3. The article dives into various aspects of gameplay, including the inclusion of new ways to reign supreme other than flat-out winning the space race (i.e. he who has the most toys doesn't always win). "How does one do this?" you ask, well there's the diplomatic route or the use of economic warfare, and even a cultural win victory condition. They seem quite excited at the prospects for the game, saying it is near the top of their 'to die for' list.
    Source: MGON
      Monday, Jul 16, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    MS Flight Sim 2000 Add-On
    - Posted 8:51 AM By Kagato
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    For those of you into the flight-sim games, Private Pilot Training is scheduled for release today, an add-on to Abacus Publishing's Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000. The add-on lets you train in an authentic flight training atmosphere putting you through the rigors and paces of real-world flight training, much like what a professional pilot would have to.
    Max Payne Q&A
    - Posted 8:57 AM By Kagato
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    Now that everybody knows Max Payne has gone gold, what do you do in the meantime until it hits the shelves? How about an interview with 3DRealms' Scott Miller, thanks to the guys over at Voodoo Extreme. They cover the possibility of an add-on for Payne, what the atmosphere at 3DRealms is like, now that Payne is finished, and just about everything else we could come up with in regards to the big Payne gold news from yesterday. Here's a tad from the Interview:
    Voodoo Extreme -- Early reports are that Max Payne is around a 12 hour game, which for today's market seems fairly average (NOLF took me 16 hours to win, Elite Force took 6, etc.) how much replay value does the game have, and do you think that 12 hours is really long enough to satisfy people?

    Scott Miller -- For most players Max will be 12-20 hours, depending on their skill level. But, even if this sounds short to someone, these are high-quality hours, because the game is rich in detail and interactivity. Plus, there are secrets that will only be discovered by being very thorough and keen-eyed.

    Once the game has been completed, a new, more difficult skill level is made available, plus something even more exciting: A mode we call, New York Minute. In this mode itís a race against time because each level starts with a countdown timer of one minute, with an extra eight seconds earned per killed thug. Thereís no time to think in this modeĖitís all instinct, and itís the most tense gameplay Iíve experienced in a long time, probably since DOOM.

    Finally, with all the tools Remedy is releasing (their entire set, including their breakthru-easy level editor, particle effects editor, character editor, and several more) weíre expecting new mods and levels available soon. In fact, to get the ball rolling, Remedy will release a few mods of their own soon after release.
    Pure sweetness.
      Tuesday, Jul 17, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Robot Wars
    - Posted 7:54 AM By Kagato
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    You knew it had to happen soon or later, there's news out that Climax and BBC Multimediawill be teaming up to create a PC & PS2 version of the game based on the popular BBC television show, Robot Wars. The game is told to feature:
  • A wide array of pre-defined robots modelled on those featured in the TV series, including Chaos 2, Big Cheese and Panic Attack.
  • The famous, ludicrously over-armed house robots - Shunt, Dead Metal, Matilda, Sergeant Bash and Sir Killalot.
    The ability to build your own robots: you can specify the basic design, size and weight and the type of weapon carried - flippers, spikes, flame throwers, hammers, crushers, saws, axes and many more!
  • Multiple gaming modes including Sumo, Slalom, Gauntlet plus the ultimate knockout competition - can you become Robot Wars champion?
  • Look for the title somewhere in November.
    World War II Online Update
    - Posted 8:00 AM By Kagato
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    A new 1.2.0 Dev Update on the official World War II Online site has the latest goings-on with respect to the improvements being worked on by Cornered Rat Software for their massively multiplayer action sim. A variety of issues is addressed, including incompatibilities with existing version 112 maps, in-game vehicle limiting which will not yet be implemented in the upcoming patch, disabling "alt-tab" functionality, and more.
      Wednesday, Jul 18, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Baldur's Gate II Patch
    - Posted 7:39 AM By Kagato
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    Players of Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn running Win2K & WinXP will be happy to learn that BioWare has released the v.23037 English Update. The patch fixes the "NPC X appears busy bug associated with Win2K and WinXP."
    The Sims Online Interview
    - Posted 7:49 AM By Kagato
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    Sim Network Gaming has posted an interview with Maxis' Jenna Chalmers regarding The Sims Online. Here's a snip:
    SNG Ľ The launch of TheSims Online will likely create a gigantic internet community of users of TheSims to interact and showcase their architectural talents. What controls will be in place to moderate the community, allowing it to be suitable for all ages of players?

    Jenna Ľ The focus of TheSims Online is to allow players to control their one experience, not necessarily to make it suitable for all ages [TheSims is currently rated ďTĒ for Teen]. One example of this, players will have ability to remove some or all player-created content from what they experience [Maxis-created content is substituted]. Additionally, players will be able to report to EA about anything that breaks our Terms of Service and EA will take the appropriate measures [e.g., removing the offending content].

    Source: Sim Network Gaming
      Thursday, Jul 19, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Max Payne And Win2K/ XP
    - Posted 7:20 AM By Kagato
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    These days, there's quite a few of you who run Win2K on your machine (and for some others like me, XP) and are curious as to what games will run under your O/S. According to this post over at the 3DRealms forums Max Payne shouldn't be an issue, according to Remedy's Sami V.:
    Max runs happily on Windows 2000 and Windows XP and even supports the XP's "Switch User while leaving all your software open" features (unofficially since XP isn't out yet).

    While on the subject, the game has an option to enable/disable task switching (Alt-Tab, Ctrl-Esc etc). It's disabled by default. Mod makers etc probably want to run the game in a window while taskswitching to check documentation etc, but a lot of end-users were accidentally pressing Alt-Tab and ended up on the desktop. Duh.
    Nice that they actually make Alt-Tabin' an option, beats having to pull the Window key off your keyboard at Gameday!
    Eve : The Second Genesis - Update
    - Posted 7:55 AM By Kagato
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    The official web site for EVE: The Second Genesis has been updated with a new EVE Peek of the Week. What's the game about? Here's a blatant rip from the site:
    EVE: The Second Genesis, is a massively multiplayer, online, persistent world game. perhaps even too real to be called a game, but definitely more fun than reality. Played on the Net, it takes place in a world that is alive and kicking every day, every hour. Players are spaceship captains cruising around the universe, trading, fighting and communicating with other players.
    Beta testing begins before the end of 2001.
    Sounds like a giant, graphical version of Tradewars (those who used to BBS should know the name).
    Project EGO - Q&A
    - Posted 8:04 AM By Kagato
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    The gents over at EGO Maniacs have posted their interview with with Dean Carter of Big Blue Box discusssing the development of their Xbox RPG, Project EGO. Here's a snip:
    Black and White was a game that promised us the ability of total freedom; while it was a close shot, there were a few things we were not able to do. Project Ego has promised us the same thing. How close to total freedom will this game be? (i.e. Will you be able to interact with any and all objects; will you be able to trip innocent children walking down the street?)

    Nope. You won't be able to trip children as you walk down the street. You will be able to slap them. You won't be able to slash a feather pillow and make a nest of feathers and do chicken impressions. You will be able to poison a well and make everyone sick. However much a game claims to allow 'total' freedom, developers have to program things and draw things and animate things. All we can do is allow the player to do everything we can think of that could be considered fun with those 'building blocks'. We're not going to allow the player to move every single finger of the hero individually with a bunch of joystick combos, or stick a leg out so it trips a kid due to our brilliant physics system. That's moving very much toward the Trespasser end of the dev-model. Bad. Ego is going to allow people to do more than they could imagine, but nothing is infinite.
    While you're over there, be sure to check out some of the game screenshots. Looks to be one sweet RPG, I hope they port to the PC or PS2.
    Source: EGO Maniacs
    DivX v4.0 Beta
    - Posted 10:16 AM By Kagato
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    For those of you with DivX encoded movies, there's a new version (4.0 Beta) of the codec available for download. What's it fix, here's the info:
    So what's new in DivX 4.0 (Beta)? Well, it's completely re-written to improve performance and visual quality. The code base is different from all earlier versions, including the open-source OpenDivX codec. Some new features:

  • Improved decoder performance
  • Higher encoding performance, almost 4 times faster than previous version
  • Multipass encoding and 2 different variable bit rate modes
  • Improved visual quality
  • Highly scalable codec from 16x16 pixels to 1920x1280 pixels (i.e. HDTV). All even integer dimensions are acceptable.
  • Support for popular encoding/editing applications
  • Plays all DivXTM content
  • Be sure to grab your copy today!
      Friday, Jul 20, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Darkspace - Open Beta
    - Posted 9:44 AM By Kagato
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    PaleStar has announced that DarkSpace (perviously known as Battle Isle: DarkSpace under the Blue Byte label) is now in open beta. The coolest thing outta the whole deal is that you can run your own servers! Here's the info:
    Palestar, Inc. today launched its online-only title into an Open Beta. Previously only available for private beta testing through another Game Channel, it's now available to all from Palestar

    During its final testing interested gamers can now download the client and play DarkSpace over the Internet with thousands of other players for free. Additionally, for the first time players are allowed to run their own servers. To start playing head over to http://www.palestar.com to download the new client now.

    Command your own capital ship and immerse yourself in the 3D universe of DarkSpace. Scouts are nimble and quick, while the transport is necessary for capturing new planets. The engineering ship can enhance and even build defenses for captured planets to protect it from enemy bombardment. The possibilities are endless, as DarkSpace is truly a never-ending game. Code and data updates are downloaded automatically and seamlessly every time you connect to play DarkSpace.

    Palestar is looking to partner with a new publisher for its title. The title is nearly complete for publishing online. All business inquiries should be directed to Palestar at publish@palestar.com.
    Is it just me or is this genre seeing alot of new upcoming titles?
    Netscape v4.78
    - Posted 9:51 AM By Kagato
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    For those not yet assimilated by Microsoft's IE, a new version of Netscape Communicator has been released, briging it up to v4.78. Direct Links : Base Insall or Full Install
    BattleCruiser 3000AC - Free Download
    - Posted 10:00 AM By Kagato
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    Derek Smart has released BattleCruiser 3000AD v2.09 over at FilePlanet(registration required), and best of all, it's free! Here's the scoop:
    Almost 10 years in the making with millions of dollars spent on research and development of advanced technologies, Battlecruiser 3000AD is the only space flight sim that gives you everything you expect in the genre and more. Using advanced technologies in areas of artificial intelligence and accelerated 3Dfx graphics, Battlecruiser 3000AD adds enhanced gameplay to provide you with total immersion like no other game in the genre can. This is no short term shooter. This is an advanced simulation with unmatched replay value.
    Weighing in at 134MB, you get the original BC3K v2.08 retail game (with v2.09 patch), Map Pak add-on, BC3K Game Development System, all cheats, and the original script sources for all scenarios.
      Sunday, Jul 22, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Win A Copy of Max Payne
    - Posted 2:56 PM By Kagato
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    3D Realms is giving away some Max Payne for the winer of it's camera caption contest which is a group photo of the team at Remedy after the game went gold last weekend. Let loose those floodgates of humor, it's an easy way to save $50 at the store!.
    Preview of The Underworld : Crime Does Pay
    - Posted 3:05 PM By Kagato
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    Computer Games Online has posted up a first look at The Underworld: Crime Does Pay, the upcoming title from Phoenix Entertainment. The game boasts a mix of the best features of a RTS game, a FPS, and an RPG all rolled up into the ultimate gaming experience. Here's a snip:
    Set in The City, a hypothetical modern metropolis, Underworld puts you in charge of an organized crime syndicate. On a strategic level, using an aerial view of The City, you position your henchmen, run your criminal activities, and monitor the actions of the police and your competitors. At any time, you can jump into the body of a henchman and take over yourself. At that point the game transitions to a first-person shooter-style presentation, where you can duke it out with rival thugs and take more direct control of your actions.
    Looking for more info? Head on over to the game's official web site which includes more info as well as some screenshots.
    Source: Computer Games Online
      Monday, Jul 23, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Warcraft III - Not In This Years Stocking
    - Posted 10:15 PM By Kagato
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    Well, for those of you who've been hoping that Jolly 'ol Saint Nick would be bringing you a copy of Warcraft III for Christmas, put those dreams to rest. Here's the bad news from Blizzard, as posted on Battle.net:
    Over the past few weeks, it has become apparent that Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos will not be complete for release by the end of 2001. Our development team is hard at work finalizing the product and we look forward to bringing you an outstanding, real-time strategy game in 2002.

    Our goal at Blizzard is to make the best games possible. This means that we will not release a game until it's ready. While we could release an inferior product to meet a specific date, we instead choose to polish our games until they meet the superior quality that we know Blizzard gamers and our development teams expect.

    We firmly believe that this additional development time will prove invaluable, ensuring that Warcraft III will expand upon the legendary gameplay experience previously found in the critically acclaimed Warcraft series.

    Announcements regarding further details and specifics of the Warcraft III beta test will be released in the near future. We encourage you to check our official website at www.blizzard.com for updates, and as always, we thank you for your continued support.
    Let's hope it ends up being worth the wait!
    Worms : Blast
    - Posted 10:27 PM By Kagato
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    Worms Blast, the long-rumored 3D installment in the long running wacky series of Worms games is expected sometime around Autumn 2001. The game's official unveiling comes on the occasion of Ubi Soft's announcement that they have obtained world-wide rights to publish the game for PC, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance and GameCube systems. In addition to the change from 2D to 3D, Worms Blast will also be the first real-time iteration in what has been up to now a turn-based series. Gaming Age has a quick write-up on it as well as several renders from the game.
      Tuesday, Jul 24, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    75GB Solid-State Flash Disk
    - Posted 7:09 PM By Kagato
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    Need extreme amounts of storage space with access times unheard of in todays drive market? Then the folks over at BiTMicro Networks have one heck of a product for you. It's basically a solid state (no moving parts) SCSI based HDD, here's some of the heavenly specs:
  • Access Time - <48 usec (yes, microseconds, not milliseconds)
  • Random I/O Rate - 9,500 IOPS
  • Operating System Independent
  • Random Sustained R/W rates - >34 MB/sec
  • Up to 75.7GB storage
  • Solid State/Non-Volatile
  • 1500 Gs Operating Shock
  • MTBF - 2 Million Hours
  • Industry Standard SCSI Interface
  • There's no mention of price, so you can expect the 'ol "If you can afford it you don't need to ask".
    Startopia Cheats
    - Posted 7:12 PM By Kagato
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    So you're really into Mucky Foot's StarTopia, but find it a bit too challenging? You'll be thrilled to know that they've unleashed a few of cheats for the game. There are cheats to speed up the game, enable the Scuzzer Cam and enable the Speccy effect. You can find all the cheating goodness here.
      Wednesday, Jul 25, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Payne in Stores - Theater Near You?
    - Posted 9:46 PM By Kagato
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    For those of you who already have your hands on Max Payne, read the manual, there's an interesting tidbit included:
    Oh, and don't worry, you'll be seeing more of Max in the future. Dimension Films and Collision Entertainment are teaming up to make a feature film based on Max Payne, and further adventures of this character are already in the works.
    I sure hope it's true, I'm still bummed there hasn't been a Duke Nukem yet.
    Sony Developing Linux On PS2?
    - Posted 9:50 PM By Kagato
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    Sony has put up a survey about releasing the PS2 Linux kit in the United States. Sony is looking to gauge the interest in PS2 Linux, head on over and give 'em you say on the issue. Sony says that the survey in no way obligates them to release the Linux kit, nor does it obligate users to purchase it, should it be released (your mission should you choose to accept it). I think it'll be great to see how long it takes for somebody to put Linux on the XBox when it's released.
    Lord Of The Rings : Coming To You Live From EA
    - Posted 9:56 PM By Kagato
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    EA (that's Electronic Arts for those of you who haven't heard the name in awhile) has secured the rights to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and make games based off New Line Cinema's upcoming movie. Here's the news:
    New Line Cinema reignited the craze for the works of novelist J.R.R. Tolkien with its highly anticipated Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, set for December release. The film is the first of three that will be released each year through 2003, with a cumulative budget of $270 million. Sources close to the matter say that EA will announce only that it has secured rights, but will say later what kind of game it will make and when it will release it.

    The deal is a coup for Redwood City, California-based EA because it's a backdoor way for the game publisher to tap into one of the most valuable game properties of all time. More than 100 million fans have read Tolkien's novels since they were published in the 1930s. The novels inspired the Dungeons & Dragons style of role-playing games that today account for 20 percent of all game sales. The movies have been hyped for months, thanks to New Line's strategy of marketing the film on fan Web sites. Millions of people have downloaded trailers for the first movie even though it's months away from release.
    Good or bad, it's a done deal.
      Thursday, Jul 26, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    Stick Fighting Online
    - Posted 5:40 PM By Kagato
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    What do you get when you mix stick fighting animation with a arcade gun-style game? Well, you get something like this, an online Flash based game that simply rocks. Head on over today before everyone sucks the bandwidth from this fine gaming pleasure.
    DivX 4.0 Beta2
    - Posted 7:15 PM By Kagato
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    For those of you who need it, DivX v4.0 Beta2 (the last release on 7/19 was Beta1)has been released. What's new for the new beta? Well, here's a listing of bugs they've squashed:
  • DivX DirectShow filter was not working on Windows NT 4.0
  • Encoding was broken at very high bitrates. You would receive a scrambled picture if you tried to encode either in quality-based VBR at quality level >=95% or in two-pass VBR at bitrates roughly higher than 1500-2000 kbps
  • Decoder was crashing in some cases on Pentium II/Celeron machines (a few SSE instructions were accidentally put into MMX YUV->RGB conversion routines)
  • Decoder was crashing with postprocessing level 6 or 7 and 16*N < height <= 16*N+8
  • Fixed one obscure DivX 3.x decoder incompatibility issue
  • DivX decoder filter was crashing when used by BSPlayer
  • There was a parameter in encoder settings called "crispness" in configuration dialog and "frame dropping" in help file. It caused a lot of confusion
  • The help file section on postprocessing contained two similar paragraphs, written slightly differently
  • The Codec's "About" dialog box showed an unreadable character after the word "DivX." On machines with Russian installed, it is a "™" sign, but many machines don't have Russian fonts :-)
  • Added brightness, contrast and saturation sliders
  • Encoder now stores its settings in the registry
  •   Friday, Jul 27, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    MWGL CPL Qualifier
    - Posted 11:56 AM By Squirre1
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    We are getting closer to openning up our registration for the CPL Qualifier. The Qualifier will be in late Oct. with the date yet to be determined, but we are targeting the last weekend. We will also be posting a list of local hotel that will be able to assist with accomodations. We should also be announcing our big name sponsor for this event at the time registration is openned.

    If you have any questions before the registration opens, please send a email to Brian Gleason.

    As of right now, the 5 participants of the winning team will receive roundtrip airfair and an Auto-Berth to the CPL $150,000 Championship Finals in December. We are investigating further prizes, but are yet to be determined at this time....
    NT 4.0 SP6a Security Rollup Package
    - Posted 1:40 PM By Kagato
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    For those of you who still run NT 4.0,Microsoft has released a Security Rollup Package that includes the functionality from all security patches released for Windows NT 4.0 since the release of Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a (SP6a). This small, comprehensive rollup of post-SP6a fixes provides an easier mechanism for managing the rollout of security fixes. Applying the SRP does not change the encryption level of your computer.

    If you add optional services, you must reapply the Windows NT 4.0 service pack and then the SRP.
      Saturday, Jul 28, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    MWGL Forums
    - Posted 10:19 AM By Squirre1
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    The MWGL Website is soon going to be openning our new forums section. Hopefully it will be a little easier for people to navigate. If there is anything you would like to see added to it, please let us know by sending a email to the WebMaster. For now you can check out the new forums at http://www.mwgl.org/forums.


      Monday, Jul 30, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    An RTS Named Legion
    - Posted 12:00 PM By Kagato
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    UK Developer Slitherine Software has announced Legion, an RTS with 3D terrain set in the days of ancient Rome. Here's some info on the game:
    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?

  • Large game areas based on real ancient maps.
  • More than 20 sides
  • Up to 20 unique AI opponents
  • Diplomacy
  • Huge, realistic battles featuring hundreds of troops
  • Combat model based on historical data
  • Uniforms and weapons based on historical data
  • 3D battlefields that affect the combat model
  • Four different resources types--iron, wood, cloth, and food
  • Detailed economics
  • Low minimum machine requirements
  • Can you say massive? And you thought a round of 'ol Axis & Allies took awhile to play.
    World War II Online : Patch v1.21
    - Posted 5:11 PM By Kagato
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    Play.net's Chris Sherland hit the World War II Online forums today with a list of things they are currently working on that will be fixed/updated in the 1.21 patch. Here's a list:
    -Fixed a "side-switch at despawn" bug that allowed you spawn as a French soldier, for example, at a facility that changes to German ownership before you despawn. You were able to select a German vehicle as a French soldier when you respawn in this example, and also chat to the Germans while you were French.

    -Added a pop-up message to inform players when their base has been captured. This message displays when you shift esc back to your spawn origin IF that facility has been captured.

    -Added code to prevent infantry from riding enemy vehicles.
    More complete data can be found at the official site, so hit the link above for the dirty little details.
      Tuesday, Jul 31, 2001 Report News | Archive | Top  
    - Posted 7:07 AM By Kagato
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    A public beta of UnrealGod, a interesting mod for Unreal Tournament which turns it into a cooperative roleplaying game. The modification allows one player to be a GameMaster, while the rest partake of an adventure (can you say D&D). Of course there's a lot more to this mod than that. You can learn about the first module called Black Nali by hitting the site.
    Quake III Arena Update
    - Posted 7:11 AM By Kagato
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    id Software's Robert Duffy updated his .plan with information on the status of Quake III Arena, including the news that they are currently testing a new patch to correct problems with the previous release. Here's the news:
    We have made the fixes we wanted to make to the latest version, including having the proper pak files in the full installer. We did not make any input code changes between 1.29f and 1.29g, but we did link with a different version of Directx ti get NT Sound functioning properly. This fixed NT 4.0 sound but produced an FPS loss on some systems and changed the way input was working as well which allowed in_mouse == -1 to work like some folks like but causes mouse wheel problems under some versions of Intellipoint. We have since done the following:

    -Re-linked to a later version of DirectX.
    -Set Directx up to use sound compatible with Directx 3
    -Made one small tweak to the input code which allows in_mouse to function correctly when set to -1 ( old sensitivity ) this should make both input camps happy.
    -Fixed a potential server crash.

    We are testing this now and should release it in the am.
    Hopefully by the "am" he means sometime today (July 31st).
    Anarchy Online : A New Dimension
    - Posted 7:15 AM By Kagato
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    FunCom, the company behind Anarchy Online, has announced that the 2nd Dimension is now up and online. Here's the info:
    The second dimension of Anarchy Online is now online and playable. When you start up the client you will be able to choose what dimension you want to play on. This dimension was brought up due to the amount of people wanting to play Anarchy. We saw that we were not able to handle everyone on one server and had to expand the world.

    Rubi-Ka 2 is an exact replica of the world you know as Rubi-Ka. It contains the same playfields and the same NPC's. The only difference is that players are able to choose from two different dimensions when logging on. If you are new to Anarchy Online, we suggest that you start to create your characters on the Rubi-Ka 2 dimension, as the load here is not as big as on Rubi-Ka 1. As we speak, you have to have different characters on each dimension, but later there will be an opportunity to travel between the current dimensions.

    Funcom will continue to support a total of eight characters per account accross all dimensions.

    We hope that you enjoy this new dimension.
    Ars Technica Final Fantasy Movie Q&A
    - Posted 7:20 AM By Kagato
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    Ars Technica has posted a Q&A with Square about their recently released movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The interview focuses on the technical side of developing the movie and offers some pretty heavy data on how much work was required to get it off the ground. Here's a snip:
    Could you give us a few more details on exactly how and why the various types of hardware and software hardware are being used, and what their roles are in the production process described above? For instance, what's the role of Linux in the production process? What parts of the work are done on the Octanes, and what parts on the SGI 2000s?

    Troy: All the artists have SGI Octanes on their desks (some have two!). That's the main platform for day-to-day work, which is done w/ Maya. Maya is the modeling and animation software, and the interface for setting up all the lighting. Some rendering is done w/ the Maya renderer (mostly effects shots, e.g. explosions), but the majority of the rendering is done w/ Pixar's RenderMan. The Onyxes are used for compositing, and as a platform for our preview system, which lets the artists review full-res playback of long sequences of the movie, spooled on a (very fast) RAID array. The 16-cpu Origin 2000s are primarily used for batch-processing MTOR jobs, which is the Maya-To-Renderman conversion. (This generates .rib files, which are rendered on Linux machines; more on that in a moment.) We also have a number of Origin 200 servers, which are mostly used as disk servers, or to host the backup systems. We have a number of NetApp file servers, that provide most of the disk storage (approx. 4TB of primary disk space). The renderfarm consists primarily of ~1000 Linux machines (PIII, custom-built, rack mounted), running Red Hat 6.2. These machines do all the RenderMan renders, as well as a number of other tasks.
    Mmmmmm, renderfarm.


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