Friday, June 27, 2008

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky - New Details Revealed

Special attention was given to realistic, independent thinking and actions of the NPCs. The artificial intelligence from the predecessor game was strongly improved, so that foes and allies now make their own situation-based decisions that impact the further course of the game.

For instance, the outcome of battles is not predetermined. Only in the last few levels is the player guided towards a given end of the story, which leads to the events described in Shadow of Chernobyl.

Key features
· Unique mix of action-laden first-person shooter and complex role-playing game
· Gigantic scope: many new levels are available, plus some completely overhauled levels from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl and many side quests with motivating rewards
· Realistic simulation of the extensive S.T.A.L.K.E.R. world: enemy factions fight each other, mutants hunt of their own accord.
· Intermediate movie-quality cut scenes complement the thrilling back-story leading up to the events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
· Numerous new in game features, such as fast travel, or extensive modification and repairing armor and weapons
· Greatly improved artificial intelligence
· Complete DirectX 10 support for state-of- the-art graphic effects (God rays, soft particles, SSAO, dynamic volumetric smoke, dynamically wetting surface (rain effect) etc.)
· Dynamic transitions between day and night with realistic weather effects
· Detailed graphics, including an all-new animation engine
· Hugely expanded multiplayer part with many varied game modes and up to 32 players online or over LAN.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky - New Details Revealed
STALKER: Clear Sky - DX10 Screenshots
STALKER: Clear Sky - Screenshots

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Witcher Enhanced Edition

"CD Projekt RED would like to announce that the release date of The Witcher Enhanced Edition has been finally set. Consequently, the vastly improved edition of the acclaimed CD Projekt RED’s magnum opus has been set for the first half of September 2008."

The Witcher Enhanced Edition release date

"Small tweaks like shortening load times and increasing combat accuracy are just the beginning. The English language version of the game has been completely reworked to include text left out of the initial release, while the German version is getting redone voice overs.

CD Projekt is adding over 50 new supporting character models to further immersion, with 100 new animated gestures added to make conversation flow more naturally.

They've even redone the lip-sync system to make conversing more animated and lifelike. Along with all of the changes, the enhanced version will ship complete with the D'jinni mod editor, allowing you to create and share your own modules in the game, as well as two all new adventures from the dev team."

The Witcher Gets Enhanced

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bioshock activation limits has been removed

"Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today.

You don’t have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock – it’s already done!

Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams."


"Our other methods of copy protection remain. You will still have to activate your copy, and you will still need to keep the disc in the drive.

SecuROM has not been removed -- just the activation limits on number of installs and number of computers you can install BioShock on simultaneously.

As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable.

I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K."
Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC
Bioshock can only be installed on two computers

Twilight Princess hack fix got hacked

"They wrote a special-purpose function to try to check for the exact exploit we used — specifically, if a savegame is for Zelda, it checks the length of 6 strings inside the savefile (two of which are the player name and horse name)."

"It’s interesting to look at the timestamps here. The System Menu has a build marker of “systemmenu.rvl.0803060727″ – yes, that’s March 6, 2008, 07:27. This update to the menu only accomplished one thing, as far as I can tell — the blocking of the TP hack. (I guess we can count the IOS30 patch together with it.)

They spent 3 months testing it — this isn’t actually that surprising, when you consider the potential financial damage if they roll an update out that bricks Wiis.

Congrats to tmbinc and tehpola for finding a combination of two bugs in the code that Nintendo added that — when combined — allow us to fool their check into ignoring the TP hack. More info will be forthcoming — I still wouldn’t rush to update my system, anyway."
June 16 Wii update
Latest Wii update fixes Twilight Princess hack

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gotland Game Awards'08: The Story of TripWire

"On the last day of the show, John Gibson, CEO and Co-founder of Tripwire (makers of Red Orchestra) gave a talk of how they got started and the lessons learned in making their first game. I managed to capture it all on mobile phone.

With John’s permission, it has now landed right here on the interweb (though I apologize for the low quality. Close your eyes and listen hard ;-) )"
Gotland Game Awards 2008

Video shows ray-traced Quake Wars

Video shows ray traced Quake Wars
Intel do CPU-based ray-tracing in Quake Wars

Top Secret project winner next week!

"Acclaim said 60,000 entrants signed up to submit content for Project Top Secret, and Perry will be the executive producer on the winner's project.

The original plan, said Acclaim, was to let the community collaboration design the game while a team of professionals actually made it, but Project Top Secret has since shifted into being an entirely community-produced effort.

Now in its second "building" stage, the project also has a million-dollar prize at stake along with the publishing deal and a real-deal professional development contract."
Acclaim's "Project Top Secret" Winner Unveiled Next Week
David Perry's Top Secret

Battlefield: Bad Company - Snake Eyes

Latest Wii update fixes Twilight Princess hack

"A few months back, hackers exploited a modified save game file in Twilight Princess to get access to the Wii. Cue an increase in stuff like homebrew for the system, leading to things as awesome as someone running Full Throttle on their Wii.

Well, no more! Nintendo have quietly updated the Wii's menu (v3.3, which does little else but this), and in doing so have closed the loop on that particular exploit, making a lot of homebrew kids very, very sad.

It almost goes without saying, but those affected may just want to hold off on installing this update."
Wii Update Castrates Twilight Princess Hack
ScummVM on the Wii with Wii-mote support
Wii homebrew channel
Unmodded Wii hacking with WiiWare ROMs

Intel do CPU-based ray-tracing in Quake Wars

"The game itself was vastly expanded when compared to original title. Intel’s Daniel Pohl showed how the engine now shoots three million rays in all directions, enabling collision detection based on rays alone.

Also, during the conversion, some effects were integrated by default, even if they had not been planned. One of those effects was fog shadow on the floor and physically-correct refractions of water.

If you ever dived into a swimming pool or sea and looked up, you could have seen that the world is distorted. Now, ET: Quake Wars has the very same effect.

An impressive part of demonstration was looking at glass surfaces. Glass now reflects the environment to the tiniest detail - no LOD trickery here."
Intel converts ET: Quake Wars to ray-tracing

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Agency will feature official item auctions

"He explained that the Live Gamer system would be used, as it is in EverQuest II, to create an auction system for players to trade and sell goods; an official version of the grey markets in gold and equipment that exist around other games."
It's good to hear some developers is actually adjusting to its userbase instead of condemning them.

No microtransactions in The Agency

The Making of Alone in the Dark V - Part 1

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Photos of Japan

It isn't without reason I would like to travel to Japan one day, to explore the culture, nature and gaming mechas. If somebody know the name of the original photographer of these photos, please write it in the comments.

Photos of Japan (1917 images in a .rar)

PLAY! a Video Game Symphony 2007

Hey, better late than never, right? Once upon a time I started making an old blog post about this event that I never finished. But this was what I wrote in it before it got lost in the archives:
'Play! A video game symphony' was an awsome experience, although the seats were really tight and since I've strained my knee a while ago, I really started to suffer towards the end due to this lack of leg space.

The highlights were definitely the C64 medley and the Amiga medley, with music from games such as International Karate, Giana Sisters, The Last Ninja, Turrican 2, James Pond 2 (which I liked the most) and Lemmings (which I also liked the most... I liked the two of them the most)!

Seeing short clips of the games from ones youth, and hearing the music live from an entire symphony is quite the experience, even though nostalgia is surely a contributor to the euphoria of it all.

I were quite suprised to see Machine Supremacy make an appearance aswell. They played a 'metal'-part for the song Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI. I don't think it usually got electric guitars in it, and I've never really been a fan of the Final Fantasy music anyway.
I met up with some old mates from my university that were there to see the event aswell, and I kept my luggage in one of their deposit storages.

After the event they decided to line up to take autographs from the conductor, two of my co-workers (who were there since they orchestered a medley from The Darkness), Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill composer) and Machinae Supremacy.

I wasn't especially interested in the autographs, but since my friends had my luggage I had to stick with them while waiting in the line. It took probably around 30 minutes, so when we arrived I felt I couldn't just walk out of there without anything.

Since I didn't have any paper I decided to throw up my right arm for Akira Yamaoka to sign, which at the sight, Machinae Supremacy started shouting "FLESH! FLESH! FLESH!".

Afterwards I offered Yamaoka-san a plastic sword I recieved earlier that day from the Swedish Game Awards, with a free download for the independent developed game Dawnspire. He exclaimed "Sugoi!" and seemed very pleased. I don't know if he ever decided to try it out.

Well, even though we were quite delayed at the end, I managed to grab my luggage and run to the train. At the train station the train conductor was blowing his whistle for me to hurry up even though I was still running, and I barely made it in time before the doors closed shut behind me. All in all, it was great fun :)

PLAY! a Video Game Symphony