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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Studio 4°C - Genius Party

I'm a great fan of Studio 4°C, and their next anthology Genius Party seems to become overwhelmingly impressive. The credits for those involved include works such as Escaflowne, Mind Game, Kid's Story, The Count of Monte Cristo, Magnetic Rose, Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo to just name a few.

By taking a quick peek at my list of favourite animations, you should somewhat understand how exalted I am about this project. It's going to be released July 1st in Japan, and the world premiere will be held in Washington sometime around February 2008, in connection with the Japanese art and media festival.

GENIUS PARTY VOL.1
  • Genius Party (Opening) by Atsuko Fukushima


  • Shanghai Dragon (was Space-Time Wars) by Shoji Kawamori


  • Deathtic 4 by Shinji Kimura


  • Doorbell by Yoji Fukuyama


  • Limit Cycle by Hideki Futamura


  • Happy Machine (was Dream Machine) by Masaaki Yuasa


  • Baby Blue by Shinichiro Watanabe

GENIUS PARTY VOL.2
  • Gala (was Nayorani) by Mahiro Maeda


  • Tojin Kit by Tatsuyuki Tanaka


  • Wanwa, the Puppy by Shinya Ohira


  • Dimension Bomb by Koji Morimoto


  • Moon Drive by Kazuto Nakazawa


  • Le Manchot Mélomane by Nicolas de Crécy


  • [Untitled] by Hiro Yamagata

[4°C] Nouveau site de Genius Party
[4°C] Genius Party : Nouvelles infos
Studio 4°C - Amazing Nuts!

Fully interactive, persistent and dynamic world

"They’ve managed to create a level of immersion unparalleled in gaming; an almost complete, dynamic world; and created an emotional connection with its characters with absolutely no graphics at all."
---
"Before playing your first game, you have to create the world. Most randomly generated worlds in current games run a quick process and usually within thirty seconds or so one is up and running.

Not so with Dwarf Fortress. Creating an initial world can take up to fifteen minutes or more. Remember, this is a game that uses ASCII graphics…and it can take up to fifteen minutes…on current-day processors. This world is huge.

Whenever was there a game that named close to every landmark above ground and below, populated it with thousands of creatures that each lived persistent lives, created a multi-civilized world history complete with back story, had dynamic weather with fronts and humidity, used a multi-currency economic system, and presented a rich ecosystem of seasons and wildlife?"
Mr. Spector, Your Next-Gen is Here
Bay 12 Games: Dwarf Fortress
The Dwarf Fortress Wiki

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Anticipated games coming in June 2007

Mass Effect
US Release - June 5th
EU Release - June 22nd

The Darkness
US Release - June 25th
EU Release - June 29th

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Phat Patch

-= v1.0001 March 26, 2007 =-
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Patch Release Notes


-*Important Installation information*-

There are different versions of the patch for the different SKU's released worldwide and for the Digital Distribution version.
After installing the patch, you will still be able to play multiplayer games across the different SKUs, but it is very important that you install the correct patch for your SKU.

If you live in the USA please download and install

stk-US-10001.exe

If you live in the rest of the world please download and install

stk-WW-10001.exe

If you purchased your copy through the Direct Download service, please download and install

stk-DD-10001.exe



Saved Games

Please note that Saved games from previous versions will NOT work with the patch.
After installing this patch, please go to "C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDocumentsSTALKER-SHOCsavedgames" and make sure any saves that were created prior to installing the patch are deleted.
You will need to make sure that hidden folders are visible on the view tab of the folder options menu.



Connectivity

After installing the patch, please note the version number that has been added to the bottom left corner of the Main Menu screen.
You will only be able to connect to servers hosted on that same version.



The patch fixes the following bugs:

1. Buttons remain "pressed" and value changes on its own in Options
2. Players can kill teammates with the knife when friendly fire is set to 0
3. Game crashed when client player types a server command in console
4. Game crashes when entering a MP game after dying in SP
5. Multiplayer map names will appear in debug text format when voting to change a multiplayer map during gameplay.
6. The game crashes while attempting to purchase an item, after pressing Buy button multiple times from the Buy Menu.
7. The game crashes when the user triggers an anomaly after the anomaly time is set to 0.
8. Purchased affordable weapons fail to be in the inventory when one item purchased exceeds the user's monetary amount.
9. The player will lose the weapon he has stored in his inventory as well as the equipped weapon when the equipped weapon is dropped in MP.
10. The host is able to pause the game during an MP game.
11. Players are able to duplicate other player names by using the "name" command in the console.
12. The user is unable to view a fly-by cutscene if their PDA is open while triggering the cutscene.
13. The user can speed up time with the * key on the numpad in SP
14. Players can damage and kill other teammates while friendly fire is set to 0.0
15. The starting weather in-game does not accurately reflect the starting weather set by the server host in multiplayer match
16. The corpse created by a user switching teams remains in the game when playing multiplayer team deathmatch or artifact hunt.
17. Options "show weapon" and "NPC identification" fail to function
18. The up and down function for the look feature are inverted through out the game.
19. The server will crash when the players vote to change maps, but don't select a map to change to.
20. Players will take no fall damage when friendly fire is set to 0 on the server
21. The player dies when trying to exit out of the skin menu back into gameplay
22. Death by an anomaly is not recorded as a negative frag when playing Team Deathmatch.
23. Game Crash when opening buy menu from certain spot in Artifact Hunt mode
24. The prompt for the buy menu and entry via pressing the spacebar appears when in spectator mode during any network game.
25. Professor Kruglov sometimes can't open the door to the mobile science lab
26. When player stands close to a wall and shoots grenade launcher, the grenade falls out of the map without damaging anyone.
27. Possibility of killing enemies through the roofs and walls
28. When killing Wolf before completing any of additional quests given from him, these quests doesn't change status from "Active Tasks" to "Failed Tasks" in PDA.
29. Problem with quest: "Kill gang leader" when piece of text in PDA is directing user to kill leader in Dark Valley. Quest is completed after kill this bandit on Garbage level.
30. Disappearing piece of scroll belt in Main Menu when the player changes resolution to 800x600
31. Anomalies were not appearing when turned on in server options menu.
32. Game crashed when creating a Team Deathmatch server with spectator on.
33. Problems with ‘Slug’ artifact.
34. Possibility to take the decoder through the Wall
35. Issue with cash in inventory on MP build
36. NPC called Seriy has 3 different names: Seriy, Gray and Grey.
37. Problem with price of weapon in inventory
38. Game crashed when vote for kicking a player ended
39. Rare game crash during multiplayer match, after players choose a team.
40. Exploit with update rate command
41. Wood in barrels is flickering, although there's no fire there.
42. Player can jump between 2 stalkers and table inside the bar and become stuck.
43. Two side quests from Sakharov have wrong description.
44. After playing in multiplayer mode and then starting single player game, Sidorovich has one of multiplayer nicks instead of his name.
45. Game crashed when player fight with pseudodogs on red forest.
46. The game crashes to a non-responsive state (task manager) when attempting to host multiplayer game a second time with an invalid CD-key.
47. On Win 2000 PCs, the Windows Desktop cursor has no functionality when minimizing the game (Alt+Tab).
48. The game will result in a soft crash when a player dies from radioactive poisoning, then immediately falls into the tunnel well that leads out of the Agroprom Underground level.
49. The arrow buttons remain depressed when clicked and dragged off the boxes, thus making the value increase or decrease indefinitely in the options menu of network games.
50. Game crashed during map rotation. This issue occurs several times while playing with maps (Vehicle station, Desolated Village and Deserted Factory)
51. Game crashes when entering an MP game after dying in SP
52. The Host will crash and all Clients will either return to the main menu, crash to the desktop, or the program will shut itself down and return the user to the desktop, when attempting to drop a player while users are In-Game
53. Users are able to pick up an opponent's grenade after it has been thrown and then use it themselves.
54. The players name switches to a random player's name with a _1 after it in multiplayer if no name is entered in the network games menu.
55. Players fail to be kicked, after unanimously voting to remove them, during network gameplay.
56. Player is unable to ban other player, everybody vote for, line "voting succeed" appears and nothing happens. Player that was supposed to be banned still can play and do whatever he wants on the server.
57. The starting weather in-game does not accurately reflect the starting weather set by the server host in multiplayer match
58. Saved game are over written when attempting a second save uses the first saved game's name followed by a "space" and any other word or number during single player campaign.
59. The artifact is unaffected by gravity when dropped during an artifact hunt game.
60. Players take no explosion damage when the friendly fire damage option is set to 0 in the server options of a team deathmatch game.
61. The game will crash, halting progression when transferring from Station to the Sarcophagus.
62. When player wants to reload a weapon, and start fast shooting, he can't do that because weapon continues reloading.
63. The game crashes when a player is killed immediately after they are re-spawned into the game.
64. The weapons fail to scroll when using the mouse wheel after all the grenades have been used during single player gameplay.
65. Minor text bugs.
66. Various balance issues in Singleplayer and Multiplayer.
67. Various known exploits/cheats.
68. Various other issues.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 1.0001 Patch - US

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dark Sector - Audio Engineering 101

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. got awsome graphics?!

When I first started playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the graphics looked like something that should've been released years ago, and this was with a little bit higher settings than default. When I saw that a reviewer gave the graphics a 10 out of 10, I thought to myself, "what the hell?". This couldn't be the same game, now could it?

I started reading up a bit on the X-Ray engine and looked into the config file of the game, and realized that there's features there that isn't possible to activate from the ingame options. Most notably (although admittely somewhat rudimentary) was Global Illumination which is EXTREMELY high-end stuff.

Combine that with the other lighting effects such as unified lighting, full dynamic lighting, light blooms and parallax mapping and you got the most advanced game graphics engine released to this date. There's much more stuff that adds up aswell, like the weather effects (with wind) and day cycle. I snapped a few screenshots, enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Completed

So I completed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for the first time early this morning, and I got the bad ending. I intended to playthrough the game before today and write a review about it, but that will have to wait and I'll spend my weekend playing it through again.

Funny thing though, I seem to be a bit damaged while playing new games, since I can't help but trying to do stuff that's not intended. When I reached the complete warzone that's Chernobyl, I were out of bandages and medkits, so going through there would've resulted in a certain death. Instead, I jumped outside the map and walked around everything and ran behind the enemies at the end ;)



WARNING: Ending Spoiler Below

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cooking skill: ???

Was a long time ago since I last posted a cooking picture,
so here's another one depicturing tortillas!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Playing music in Lord of the Rings Online



"Well, it seems that Turbine has created a player generated music system for LoTRO: Shadows of Angmar. Players may buy instruments – such as flutes, lutes and drums, and play together to create music. All I could think of was… What an amazing concept!"
I haven't even bothered about Lord of the Rings online before, but hearing about this feature in the game where you can enter music mode and play a variety of musical instruments, made me really interested. You can play 24 different notes by using the 1-8 numerical keys on your keyboard, and holding down either Ctrl or Shift.

LotRO-Wiki - Music

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Studio 4°C - Amazing Nuts!

Daisuke Nakayama - Global Astroliner

Takashi Yamashita, Koji Morimoto - Glass Eye

Yasuhiro Aoki - Kung-Fu Love

Nobuya Ishida, Akihiro Kawamura - Joe and Marilyn
Studio 4°C - Amazing Nuts! (torrent)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Darkness - New Trailer

The Darkness 'Worlds Collide'
The Darkness @ Comic-Con'07
The Darkness @ Comic-Con'07 - Part 2

CryEngine2 Features Document

CryENGINE™ 2 Features (pdf)
CryENGINE™ 2 Specifications
GDC'07 CryEngine2
CryEngine2 - Tech Demos
CryEngine2 Screenshots

Making System Shock 2 Up-to-Date

"Start (yes, you, dear horror-RPG-FPS fan) with the latest official patch and a rather similar WinXP/2000 fix and only then move on to the much needed sound upgrade, via the SS2 DeepFriedBeer mod.

Having a more stable and beefier sounding game, this should be the moment to reflect on life's intricacies, while simultaneously installing the excellent Straylight mod. This one fixes and rebalances a huge number of anomalies, discrepancies and bugs, all while staying true to the developers intentions.

As for hugely improved graphics, these can be achieved through the combined use of SHTUP's (Shock Texture Upgrade Project) high resolution textures and Rebirth's brand new detailed polygons."
System Shock 2 2K7

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Restaurant Game Project

"The Restaurant Game is a research project at the MIT Media Lab that will algorithmically combine the gameplay experiences of thousands of players to create a new game. In a few months, we will apply machine learning algorithms to data collected through the multiplayer Restaurant Game, and produce a new single-player game that we will enter into the 2008 Independent Games Festival."

"The primary responsibility of a game AI programmer is to anticipate player behavior, and provide satisfying responses for every anticipated scenario. With each generation of games this gets more difficult, as virtual worlds become more realistic with additions like real-time physics simulation.

I’m working on a research project that flips the traditional approach to game AI on its head. My goal is to capture gameplay from 1,000 multiplayer game sessions, analyze this data, and use it to generate AI for a new single player game this summer.

The simple game I’ve created does not have real-time physics, but it does require conversation between players via typed text, which proves equally challenging -- in both cases no matter how many games you observe, you will never see the exact same scenario play out twice.

It is unrealistic to believe human AI programmers will ever account for the nuances of every possible scenario. Think about an analogy to animation – when animators want convincing human movement, they go straight to the source and use motion capture.

Animators blend, layer, sequence captured animations to generate new motions beyond those recorded. Why should we believe that authoring AI behaviors is any different – perhaps we can get the most believable results by starting with the source material, and procedurally blending, layering, and sequencing behaviors as we see fit."

"The Restaurant Game takes about 10 minutes to play. It is a two-player game that will automatically find partners for players once you join a server. You are welcome encouraged to play multiple times. In order for this project to be at all successful, we will need to collect a lot of data -- data from over 1,000 10,000 gameplay sessions. "

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Will Wright broke his arm, and talks stuff

"So a few thoughts on storytelling. First why .. I hate stories, stories that my computer tries to tell me. Story's been the model from movies, it's kinda our heritage. But first of all the nature of story... I look at the world as a simulation. Here's a world stage. Lots of things cascade into the next stage. And certain things cause changes in other things.

Story causes a chain and conveys it to a viewer... a story's all about the chain of events, very linear, unchanging, you've all seen the same version of Star Wars.

But games are very open ended. Also, movies are primarily visual. Games are primarily interactive. So when we take away the control from a player, we're taking away the most important thing from them. "
Joystiq: Will Wright's SXSW Keynote
Kotaku: Will Wright's SXSW Keynote

Sunday, March 11, 2007

GDC'07: Molyneux Presentation Videos

GDC'07: Molyneux on Fable 2 - Part 2
GDC'07: Molyneux on Fable 2
Fable 2, now with more Dogs (tm)

Gamasutra: An Interview with Warren Spector

Beyond that, on the more specific level, I looked around before the millennium, and people were thinking the millennium was going to be the end of the world. There were so many conspiracy theories coming in at that point. I thought “lets play with that, challenge their beliefs or reinforce them.” I also saw the coming surge of interest in nano-technology.

You put that “we know what's right and wrong,” with every conspiracy theory you ever thought of to be true with a backdrop of artificial intelligence and nano-technology, and you have 4 or 5 things that people already care about. I think in every game you need that grounding.

If you think about science fiction like “look at all the aliens you get to kill” or “look at the bizarre world you get to explore.” Who cares about that? Stories have to be about things that people care about. Finding a way to ground your science fiction, your world and your aliens in things people are already interested in is the key.

---

I really end up in games all the time and I have no idea why. I can't say “no, don't put me in the game” because it's fun and funny, but the weirder thing to me is something I didn't notice until someone pointed this out to me a couple of years ago. They were absolutely right, and now it's a conscious thing to me. There's a basketball court in almost every game I've done. I love basketball, so maybe that's something I've been doing subconsciously.

There's also an altered state of consciousness in every game I've worked. You can eat the mushrooms, go to sleep and dream, go into cyberspace or something. There's an altered state in every game. If you go back and look at the thematic content of the games that I've worked on, they almost all boil down to a dysfunctional family, and that really disturbed me. An academic pointed that out to me and they're kind of right.

So I've started thinking about that now and it's something that I don't fight. Everybody has stories they like to tell and mine revolve around basketball, altered states of consciousness and family conflict. I don't know why it is, but it's kind of cool.
GDC'07: Warren Spector on storytelling
State of Play: Warren Spector Interview
Interview with Warren Spector
Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex

Friday, March 09, 2007

Penumbra: Overture - Demo available now

Download Mirrors
Penumbra: Overture coming to Gamers Gate

GDC'07: Molyneux on Fable 2 - Part 2

"I'm going to get into trouble for saying this," says the British game designer before launching into his Fable 2 GDC presentation. "If we don't think it's going to be a landmark game, it's going to be bloody pointless to make it." Several moments later, I find myself thinking about what a horribly cruel man he is.
Joystiq - Fable 2: Man's best friend
GDC'07: Molyneux on Fable 2
Fable 2, now with more Dogs (tm)