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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Göran Persson, vår statsminister

Here's some humorous audio clips with Göran Persson, Sweden's prime minister. You'll probably need to understand swedish to find these funny.
Göran Persson - Sveriges statsminister talar ut
Göran Perssons blog "Göran tänker"

Games are best viewed in mono...

... and when they're released for free. The reason for me making this post is... I don't know, it's freeware, download and enjoy god dammit... also, they got more freeware on their site...

Download Mono v1.02 (zip)
BinaryZoo - Mono
The Game Creators Newsletter

Sony has infected over 200 million homes

I wrote the day before yesterday that Sony Playstation 2 had 83,390,000 units sold worldwide, apparently, that was false and today Sony reports that Playstation 2 has passed the 100 million barrier, the same as the predecessor Playstation.

Playstation 2 pass 100 million barrier
Playstation 3 Controller Explained (gif)

Firefox 1.5 is officially released!

Download Firefox 1.5 (English)
Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Release Notes

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What does that © symbol mean in this old book?

With alternative distribution increasing in popularity by every day that goes by, Ernest Adams takes the question about copyright and publishes a interesting article about it on Gamasutra. Ernest Adams is a known freelance game designer, lecturer and a author that writes about game development and the industry, parts of his work is used in our education.

Warren Spector, the creator of System Shock, Thief and Deus Ex, is currently working on a new project using the source engine and will distribute it through Valves Steam service. Also, we've seen MMORPG being distributed with ingame ads and/or by taking payment for services around the game and not for the game itself.

In my opinion, this is currently going in the right direction and my wish is to one day make a game that will be be as widely spread as possible, and I only want to earn enough for food, rent and so I can start working on the next game.

The End of Copyright

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mr. Crawford has joined the party

As you may see, we have a new contributer to my site, the person behind the world famous blog Calle Starfighter. So let's all be nice to him and wish him welcome, even though he writes like crap. But seriously, welcome aboard Calle.

Calle has previously been mentioned in:
The salmon of doubt
Todays recipe

And barely spotted in:
Halloween poem (Syntethic stars)

Next-gen; big difference?

King Kong, published for both the Xbox and the 360:

Kameo was originally meant to come out on the Xbox, but Rare changed their minds and remade it for the 360:

And while on the topic of the 360: A thorough explanation of the TrueSkill ranking system used in Xbox Live, from Microsoft Research.

Update sponsored by Dopefish:
Another screen comparison between the Xbox and Xbox 360

Kameo was actually originally being developed for the Gamecube and rumors say the game was even planned for the N64.
Gamecube version of the game, shown at E3 2001

I wonder if there's some underlying thougth behind the skin color change of the main character...

Kameo: Elements of Power, E3 2001 Preview

Firefox 1.5 RC2, an unofficial release?

"Although that the new version is not annoused yet, you can still download it from Mozilla's main ftpsite, So be sure to get your favorite browser updated."
- Danne, nov 17, Easy come easy go
Swedish Users
English Users

Update: It is announced under the project site, with alpha, beta and release candidate builds.
Mozilla Firefox Project

It's snowing!

And thus the first snow came this year... mixed with the garbage that's raining from our balcony, guess some crows or something must have ripped the bags apart...

Note: You can barely see the snow flakes in the picture above, may post another one later.

Game biz advice

You may be like me, and want to one day work in the game industry. Then you would probably be interested in reading every tip and advice you can find about how to get into the industry. Check out the link below for some interesting reading.
Thanks to The Muffin Man for the tip
Game biz advice

Microsoft tries the same market strategy again?

Microsoft's new gaming console Xbox 360 was released last week and currently the sales are soaring this close to the holiday, where a fatso in red clothes gets stuck in your chimney. But does Microsoft really earn money for every console sold? Xbox is known to be sold cheaper than the production cost, with a loss of $125 per unit. The reason for this is to gain market shares and instead earn the income through game sales and licensing.

Playstation 2 (81,390,000 units sold) managed to excessively win the last console war and the Xbox (19,900,000 units sold) came just above the Gamecube (18,030,000) in second place. According to Forbes, the Xbox division has lost $4 billion (10% of Microsofts total sales) in four years, and they "only" tied with Gamecube with roughly 17 percent of the console market (not counting handhelds of course). A research by iSuppli shows that this time Microsoft will take a $126 hit for every Xbox 360 sold, but this time, they are first to market and ready for the christmas sales.

I think all three companies are using great strategy for this console war, with Microsoft getting ahead of the competition, stealing market shares before the Playstation 3 is released spring 2006, currently the leader in the market that stole the E3 show this year. Revolution rumored to come june 15 2006, taking itself outside of the competition by having a price tag lower than both PS3 and Xbox360, and a new controller that forces developers to create innovative games for the console.

Total Worldwide Console Hardware Sales
NES: 61,780,000
Sega Master System: 13,000,000
Nintendo Gameboy: 118,420,000 (possibly includes color?)
Sega Game Gear: 8,650,000

NEC Turbografx 16: 2,500,000 (est.)
Sega Mega Drive (Genesis): 30,750,000
(Sega CD): 2,500,000 (North America)
(Sega 32X): 50,000-200,000 (est.)
Nintendo SNES: 49,020,000

Atari Jaguar: 10,000 (est.)

Nintendo Virtual Boy: 770,000

Panasonic 3DO:* 700,000 (est.)
Sony Playstation: 100,000,000
Sega Saturn: 9,260,000
Nintendo 64: 32,930,000

Game Boy Advance / GBA SP: 65,740,000
Nokia N-Gage: 1,300,000

Sega Dreamcast: 10,600,000
Sony Playstation 2: 81,390,000
Microsoft Xbox: 19,900,000
Nintendo Gamecube: 18,030,000

Nintendo DS: 2,840,000
Sony PSP: 510,000
* Panasonic never released any sales figures for the 3DO

Also, I recommend to read Forbes article about Microsoft's Midlife Crisis, unrelated to this except for the figures on the Xbox loss.

Microsoft's Red-Ink Game (Xbox 360, 2005)
Will Xbox drain Microsoft? (Xbox, 2001)
Microsoft's Midlife Crisis
Total Worldwide Console Hardware Sales
Hack-a-day, Xbox 360 Impressions

Need exercise?

Combine a exercise machine with a bike steer and add a couple of buttons, then connect it to the USB, then you'll get a Game runner. Play FPS games while walking or running on the band in hope to give you the exercise you otherwise would've lost by sitting in a comfortable chair. It works with all mouse and keyboard compatible games. Currently waiting for patent before mass production.

GameRunner
Counter-strike movie demo (mov)
Quake movie demo (mov)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Optimus Keyboard

Optimus keyboard is just a prototype for the worlds first keyboard to use OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) on every key. This means that every key can be customized instantly and even animate on the keyboard. It will come with a SDK so that everyone who buys it can customize it to their favourite application or game.

Quake 3 layout to the left, and Photoshop layout to the right.

They are currently waiting for the patent to go through, but are hoping for it to be released sometime during 2006. It will support every language layout possible and every OS (even if it's only going to be default state). Also, it will cost less than a good mobile phone (whatever that means).

The only try for a customizable keyboard before was Zboard (500SEK), the one that you needed to buy overlays (250SEK) for each game/program you wanted to use with it. This means if you only want to play two games the cost is already up in 1000SEK which you could buy a Logitech diNovo Cordless Keyboard for. This means if the pricing for the optimus keyboard is right, they could knock out every competition on the market. Zboard should start worrying.

Optimus Keyboard

Tic-Tac goes Ping-Pong

This most be the most ingenious clock ever, hanging a game of Pong on the wall, with the time showing as the score. Every minute the right player scores one point, and every hour the left player scores one point. I can imagine myself just sitting and staring at this clock for hours, I wish they'll release it to the market.

Pong clock
Pong clock trailer (mov)
Pong clock trailer (filefront mirror)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Incoming graphics and processors

Intels new chips will be dual core 65nm parts featuring EM64T, VT, EIST, and XD.
  • EM64T adds 64-bit support and is the Intel equivalent of AMD64.
  • VT stands for Virtualization Technology and provides hardware level support for running multiple OSes concurrently on a single computer.
  • EIST or Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, allows the processors to throttle down to lower clock speeds and voltages when idle and thus conserve power.
  • XD provides some protection against buffer overflow attacks, again matching up to AMD's NX (No-eXecute) technology.
With Geforce 7800 GTX 512 coming in the month change, Nvidia claims it to be 33% faster than Geforce 7800 GTX (256) due to faster memory (850mhz, 1.7ghz effective) and core clock (550mhz) speeds.

ATI R580 codenamed Rodin is rumored to be working and tested in-house since july this year, and is expected to be released in the early 2006. Although it's still manufactured using a 90nm technology, rumors says it may be up to 3 times faster than the R520 (Radeon X1800). ATI is also planning a transfer to 80nm technology with the low- and mid-segment chips RV560, RV505 and RV535, due for a release in late Q2 2006.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

F.E.A.R. SDK and Dedicated Server

A little more than a month since the game hit the shelves, Monolith now releases the dedicated server and SDK, so people now can host their own servers and create mods to the game. I'm looking forward to see if anyone can make something similiar as They Hunger was for Half-Life.

F.E.A.R. SDK
F.E.A.R. Dedicated Server
F.E.A.R. Review

Thinking in C++

I'm not a fan of books in html format, but one thing I'm a fan of is free stuff. Haven't read anything from this one yet, but I'll give it a look tomorrow.
Thanks to Shithole2000 for the tip

Thinking in C++ 2nd Edition Volume 1 (zip)
Thinking in C++ 2nd Edition Volume 2 (zip)

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

I was just informed that the supposed to be retail expansion to Return to Castle Wolfenstein is freeware (and have been that for quite some time now, why haven't anyone told me?). The project was cancelled but Activision was nice enough to release the multiplayer part of the game for free.

Activision and Id Software announced during E3 2005 that Splash Damage are working on Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Based on Enemy Territory, but imrpoved in every way possible, you'll take the side of either Earth Defense Force or The Strogg. The game will be built using a heavily modified version of the Doom 3 engine (Quake 4?), but it still manages to look interesting (Doom 3 was not). We'll know for sure if the game is any good when it's released sometime 2006.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Full v2.55 (exe) 257 MB
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Patch 2.60 (exe) 5 MB
Quake Wars Trailer

Ageia PhysX in February?

Ageia PhysX is a processor for expansion cards that will process realistic physics in-game, taking the load off the CPU and GPU. The chip will support:
  • Universal collision detection
  • Finite element analysis
  • Soft body dynamics
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Hair simulation
  • Clothing simulation
  • Rag dolls
  • Vehicles
ASUS is the primary manufactorer of PhysX cards and they state that the cards have been ready for release for quite some time now, they are just delaying the release until some games support them. Among some of the games that will have support for PhysX is Warhammer 40,000 MMO, City of Villains, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and games built on Unreal Engine 3 or the Reality Engine.

Ageia
ASUS Ageia PhysX Due in February
Flight hangar destruction demo (avi)

Warsow, Liero Xtreme and eQuake

Warsow is a free open source 3D first person shooter, built using the Quake 2 engine. Focused on fast-paced action with lots of trick jumping and eSport in general. In my opinion, one of the best multiplayer FPS games since Quakeworld. Some of the tricks that you can do is different kinds of bunny jumping, wall jump, dodge jump, dashing and ramp sliding. Combine this with stylish celshading graphics, balanced maps and weapons. There you have it!

Liero Xtreme can closest be compared to Worms in real-time with online multiplayer support. A great community with lots of maps and mods. You'll always find lots of people playing Liero Xtreme online, so its a good quick play game, just start it up and join a game and play until you get tired of it.

eQuake is a Quakeworld package, with the FuhQuake client, configs, maps, lights and extra textures, fully setup so its ready to play. This includes Quakeworld, so you don't need to have anything except for this installer. The best multiplayer of all time, and still is.

eQuake
Warsow
Liero Xtreme
eQuake v1.01b Build 557 Win32 (exe)
Warsow 0.072 Alpha Win32 (zip)
Liero Xtreme v0.56b Pack 1.7 (zip)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pro-gaming, Fatal1ty vs Vo0

Cyberathletic Pro League World Tour Finals in Painkiller was decided tonight, with one winner that took home the first prize of 150,000$. I won't spoil the movie by saying who won, but I must say that the finals was truly intense. Definetly worth a watch.

Download the match with commentary (torrent) 523 MB

The day the wall walkers fell from the sky

World Environment
  • Players should no longer be able to walk on steep terrain.
World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.9.0 Notes

Twins Drown While Dad Plays Video Game

This might be the saddest story GamePolitics has ever covered.

Toledo's Channel 13 News reports that a 24-year-old man has plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the drowning deaths of his 10-month-old twins. Gregg Kleinmark of Fostoria, Ohio left the babies in a bathtub for at least a half-hour while played an unspecified video game and caught a smoke.

The man's wife, Rachael Kleinmark, has since filed for divorce and obtained a protection order against her husband. Gregg Kleinmark, wracked by guilt and remorse, has tried to commit suicide twice since the deaths of the twins. He told Channel 13 he visits their graves every day.

"I messed up and it's going to haunt me for the rest of my life," he said.

Kleinmark will be sentenced in January.
- Game Politics, 2005-11-22
Game politics

I don't pay to see movies

Me and some class mates saw Harry Potter: The goblet of fire yesterday. We were considering to download it and watch it, but in the end we decided to go to the cinema and see it there. We had to pay 85SEK (around 10$) for each one of us, and it wasn't even the premiere. And on top of that, it was very very cold outside that evening. The movie was ok to watch and had some nice effects, but nothing more than that. It did not exceed expectations and the ending was sugar sweet as usual.

So today I've decided to honour free movies (don't have any money left this month anyway). If you're a Trekkie (Marcus, William?), you may be glad about todays movie. It's the most viewed finnish movie to todays date, with over 3 million views in less than 2 months, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning. Available for free on the internet, a fan project by a group of finnish students and other amateur film makers. Seven years in the making, so let's hope that it was worth it.

Download the trailer (avi)
Download the movie (torrent) 541 MB
Download swedish subtitles (srt)
Download english subtitles (srt)

Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
Free online 'Star Trek' spoof is top Finnish film

Monday, November 21, 2005

More free music, Video Game Pianist

  1. Super Mario Brothers 1
  2. Super Mario Brothers 2 and Super Mario Brothers 3
  3. Super Mario World 1
  4. Super Mario World 1
  5. The Legend of Zelda
  6. Zelda: A link to the past
  7. Zelda: Ocarina of time
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog 1
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  10. Earthworm Jim—Banjo Race
  11. Halo 2—Main Theme (Mjolnir Mix)
  12. Final Fantasy VI—Kefka
  13. Final Fantasy VI—Celes
  14. Final Fantasy VI—Kids Run Through the City Corner
  15. Final Fantasy VII—Prelude
  16. Final Fantasy VII—Cid’s Theme
  17. Final Fantasy VIII—Balamb Garden
  18. Final Fantasy IX—Melodies of Life
  19. Final Fantasy IX—Ending Theme
  20. Final Fantasy X—Away to Zanarkand
  21. Final Fantasy X—Silence Before the Storm
  22. Final Fantasy X—Ending Theme
  23. Final Fantasy X—Suteki da Ne (Isn’t it Beautiful?)
  24. Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor
  25. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor—Presto
Video game pianist.zip
Video game pianist videos

Chuck Norris ate your neighbors

"Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants."

"Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, Chuck met all three bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK's head exploded out of sheer amazement."

Top thirty facts about Chuck Norris

The things you don't know about

The making of Scarlet Monestary
Jeff Kaplan guided tour through Karazhan