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News for Friday, April 30, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:25

According to our sources today is the day the employes of Interplay find out if IPLY can pay them or not, which would of course mean keeping them or not.

We'll keep an ear/eye out for any news what's happening in that meeting and what the outcome is.

Posted by Odin - at 20:16

ABel from TeamX informed us in a thread in our forums that he have made a new Avi2MVE converter, here's what he said:

New (8th) beta of avi2mve converter is ready. In this revision:
* new video-compressor with output file size control (-size option) - the converter will try to make MVE file as close as possible to specified upper bound;
* high-quality mode (-hq option, can be very slow);
* frame range can be set (-start, -end or -len options).

The program can be downloaded from http://return0.pisem.net/files/avi2mve_040427.zip or from http://www.teamx.ru/utils/avi2mve_040427.zip (51 Kb).
Home page: http://return0.pisem.net/avi2mve.html

Now the converter is quite usable, so if you need MVE video track for your mod you can make it.
Snazzy, good job ABel!
Link: Avi2MVE converter on NMA

News for Thursday, April 29, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 2:54

Carsten Strehse, lead developer of the Fall, continued his developer diary on RPG Vault. A bit:

Occasionally, battles can take place on nearly the whole map. In this case, Auto-Pause becomes a very efficient tool in order to manage the complexity of combat at such a large scale. One naturally zooms out with the camera in situations like this. Whenever an Auto-Pause occurs, the game will display a small message listing the reason for it. If you consider it significant, you can zoom to that event by simply clicking on the message. If it's not that important to you right now, you just ignore it. I think this is the best approach. When we started testing the combat system, it turned out to be quite annoying and irritating when the camera was zooming to every single Auto-Pause event automatically.
Link: Developer Diary on RPG Vault

Spotted on RPG Codex

News for Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 5:28

We've gotten ahold of some more images of the Fallout models, this time it's another image of the Deathclaw and one of two of the talking heads in Fallout:

Snazzy!!
Spotted at Winterwind forums.

Posted by Odin - at 0:58

The guys over at Dead Cities have made a minor update and posted a movie clip from the game, here's what they said:

Well fellas, everything is really coming together now. We have an internal deadline that is creeping up, which means that DeadCities will be in your hands before you know it. For your viewing pleasure we also announce a video made by the acclaimed Directors over at justkidding.

By all means, check it out now! Dead Cities Promo Video!

It weighs in at 129 megs, but its over 10 minutes long so its worth the download. Get all your Dead Cities action to tide you over for the (short) amount of time it takes to get this out the door and into your hands.
I haven't downloaded it yet, because it's on Fileplanet...sigh...

News for Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:53

Interplay Entertainment Corp. finally filed it's SEC form 10-K, which should probably mean they'll no longer be IPLYE, as they've now satisfied the required filing.

There's a lot of repeating known stuff in the filing, but here's some bits (with some high-lighting):

As of April 1, 2004, we were three months in arrears on the rent obligations for our corporate lease in Irvine, California. On April 9, 2004, our lessor served us with a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Surrender Possession. If we are unable to pay our rent, we may lose our office space, which would interrupt our operations and cause substantial harm to our business. We have received notice from the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") that we owe approximately $70,000 in payroll tax penalties. We estimate that we owe an additional $10,000, which we have accrued in penalties for nonpayment of approximately $99,000 in Federal and State payroll taxes, which were due on March 31, 2004 and is still outstanding. We were unable to meet our April 15, 2004 payroll obligations to our employees. Our property, general liability, auto, workers compensation, fiduciary liability, and employment practices liability have been cancelled.

We are currently in default of the settlement agreement with Warner and have entered into a payment plan, of which we are in default, for the balance of the $0.32 million owed payable in one remaining installment. On or about February 23, 2004, we received correspondence from Atari Interactive alleging that Interplay had failed to pay royalties due under the D&D license as of February 15, 2004. If we are unable to cure this alleged breach of the license agreement, we may lose our remaining rights under the license, including the rights to continued distribution of BALDUR'S GATE: DARK ALLIANCE II. The loss of the remaining rights to distribute games created under the D&D license could have a significant negative impact on our future operating results.

In January 2004, Titus, our 71% majority shareholder, disclosed in their annual report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2003, filed with the Autorite des Marches Financiers of France, that they were involved in a litigation with one of our former founders and officers and as a result had deposited pursuant to a California Court Order approximately 8,679,306 shares of our common stock held by them (representing approximately 9% of our issued and outstanding common stock) with the court. Also disclosed was that Titus was conducting settlement discussions at the time of the filing to resolve the issue. To date, Titus has maintained voting control over the 8,679,306 million shares of common stock and has not represented to us that a transfer of beneficial ownership has occurred. Nevertheless, such transfer of shares may occur in fiscal 2004.
They report a net income over 2003 as 4%, compare to 34% for 2002 and a loss of 82% for 2001. They're income sources were 21% PC, 34% video game console and a whopping 45% OEM, royalty and licensing. But here's the big whopper under risk factors:
WE CURRENTLY HAVE A NUMBER OF OBLIGATIONS THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO MEET WITHOUT GENERATING ADDITIONAL REVENUES OR RAISING ADDITIONAL CAPITAL. IF WE CANNOT GENERATE ADDITIONAL REVENUES OR RAISE ADDITIONAL CAPITAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE, WE MAY BECOME INSOLVENT AND/OR OUR STOCK WOULD BECOME ILLIQUID OR WORTHLESS.

(...)

WE HAVE A HISTORY OF LOSSES, AND MAY HAVE TO FURTHER REDUCE OUR COSTS BY CURTAILING FUTURE OPERATIONS TO CONTINUE AS A BUSINESS.

(...)

WE HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF KEY MANAGEMENT AND OTHER PERSONNEL. THE LOSS OF ANY SINGLE MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT OR KEY PERSON OR THE FAILURE TO HIRE AND INTEGRATE CAPABLE NEW KEY PERSONNEL COULD HARM OUR BUSINESS.
Link: IPLYE 10-K form on Yahoo economics
Link: Full file on Pink Sheets

Posted by Brother None - at 16:21

Unsurprisingly, Fallout 2 lost to Zelda at the "Greatest Game Ever" competition over at GameFAQS. At least I don't have to report on it again

Link: full brackets on GameFAQS

Posted by Brother None - at 16:15

Dhruin of RPGDot posted on the SSE forums that RPGDot launched a new competition, allowing people to make their own NPCs for the Fall. The competition will go on for 10 weeks with one winner per week. The winner gets an NPC named after him and gets to submit a photo which the SSE artists will apply to the character.

Link: Be in 'the Fall' competition at RPGDot

Posted by Brother None - at 14:15

The Game Chronicles review is nothing new; looks a lot like DA, lots of fighting mutants. They gave it a 7.6/10

The Gamers Europe review had this to say:

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel is very similar to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. They both serve the same purpose of offering a 3rd person perspective action/adventure take on their purer RPG parents, heck both parent games were released in roughly the same timeframe. And that’s about where the similarities end – Dark Alliance chose the path of Successful and Playable Game, Brotherhood of Steel takes the delightfully named Skank Whore Idiot Beast route, ending up somewhere south of Donal’s waist. What a waste!
They gave it a 2.0/10.0

Link: Game Chronicles Fo:BoS review
Link: Gamers Europe Fo:BoS review

Spotted at RPGDot

News for Monday, April 26, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 21:47

SHAMO Fallout Community reported that Wiraqcza from the Fallout Project team is preparing a plug-in to enable editing *.frm files in Adobe Photoshop. Virtually all graphics in Fallout are in the *.frm files, so this should be most useful for current and future moders

Spotted at VDHP

Posted by Brother None - at 14:30

It's Fallout 2 against the Legend of Zelda: Ocirana of Time. As I'm posting this Fallout 2 is getting beaten. badly, so go over to the GameFAQ website and vote.

Thanks to Garfield for the heads-up.

Posted by Brother None - at 12:43

kumquatq3 posted a photo of an old deathclaw model from the Black Isle Studios over at the Winterwind forums.



Link: thread on Winterwind

News for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 23:00

It seems that rumours about Obsidian Entertainment developing KOTOR 2 were true. RPGCodex and RPGDot both posted on an article from EGM which contained data about the upcoming sequel to Bioware's monsterhit Knights of the Old Republic. The article, amongst other bits, revealed that Obsidian, the company founded by ex-BISers like Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avallone, is indeed the studio assigned with this big project, and that Chris Avallone is the lead designer

Link: Obsidian Forums thread with scans of the article

EDIT: thread deleted. Here's another link

Posted by Brother None - at 21:50

The page wasn't working earlier, but they seem to have fixed it. GameSpy posted an interview with Silver Style's Carsten Strehse on their upcoming game, the Fall:

GameSpy: Are you sticking closer to the real world, or is the world of The Fall a more fantastic Mad Max-style post-apocalypse?

Strehse: I'd say, overall, it's more realistic than Mad Max in terms of world design. You'll witness some strange situations and devices, though, such as a power generator driven by humans. It's a tricky question, though, since I personally don't consider Mad Max that fantastic compared to other stories or movies set in a post-apocalyptic scenario -- at least not the first movie.

GameSpy: How many quests and subquests are there in the game and about how long will it take a player to fully them?

Strehse: There are over 200 quests in The Fall. It'll probably take you 40-50 hours to beat the main story. It would be hard to say how long it's going to take to explore every single inch of the game, especially since there's no real end to it. If you finish the plot you can keep on playing the game. There are no level limits and you're going to get to see some new locations, creatures, characters and quests.
Link: Interview on GameSpy

Thanks To Slaughter for catching this one so early on the SSE Forum.

News for Saturday, April 24, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 19:24

Bitterman, as you probably remember from projects like Wasteland 2042 and Nurk, recently posted his opinions about the whole Fallout saga and the recent happenings to Fallout 3. Here's a snibblet:

Fallout 1. RPG of the year. Arguably the game that put RPGs back on the map, after a long slump. A timeless remake. Remake you say? Blastphemy! Why, on the NMA page, it even says "This game is truly unique in story and setting." Here is where your education begins:

Interplay is an old company, far beyond the age of many gamers now days. Back then there was a man, Brian Fargo. Fargo would become the CEO of Interplay, in time, but back then, he was a programmer. He, and his crew made games. One game in particular, Wasteland. An immortal legend, when it comes to naming the greatest games of all time.
And there's much more where that came from.
Link:Bitterman Speaks about Fallout

Posted by Odin - at 19:12

There's a new Post Apocalyptic game in progress, it's called Desert Law. Here's a little description:

Desert Law is a new spin on the traditional real-time strategy that immerses players into a post-apocalyptic world where gasoline is the new world currency. Players can have anything if they have gas to pay for it, or gamers can loose everything with one tactical mistake. Mankind is rebuilding civilization off the scattered remains of pre-doomsday technology, with unfamiliar equipment and knowledge, which it inherited from ancestors. Disorderly gangs roam the wastelands, and if gamers want to survive, they will have to fight to stay alive in this mad world. Players can choose from more than 50 types of vehicles with different kinds of military equipment, from the ordinary car to radically altered homemade war machines.
Here are some screenshots:
That's about all the info there is on this title.
Thanks to Petruschka for informing me!

Posted by Brother None - at 3:09

Supermutant.de went through a re-design. Check out the new look. Spotted on RPGDot

Also, VDHP reported that the Trinity site had a massive clean-up and some new content added to its Gallery.

News for Friday, April 23, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 9:33

There's more on the soap opera that is now called "IPLY where is tha money gone", yet again it's good old Pope Viper that's brought the news to our attention. The guys over at Raging Bull Forums continue their talks with Luke Haase about IPLY and here's the latest:

From Luke Haase: The company has given the option to employees — since they have missed payroll — to come to work or stay home.

Conversations with Interplay’s distributors are ongoing; also, a point of clarification: Interplay is not “owed” money from these distributors. Any potential cash from these parties would be part of negotiated payments for product sales advances or some other transaction.

Lastly, it is true that Mr. Caen purchased some 9 million shares. No, he would not be able to take any action like the one you mention without approval of the Board of Directors. And, of course, public announcements will be made as soon as there is resolution to these issues.
Sounds like our rumour was correct, this all makes me wonder how the Caen brother ever managed to run a business or plan on continuing to do so..

Posted by Brother None - at 2:07

CVG review Fo:BoS and really doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind:

An atom of variety is added by the three playable classes and levelling up allows you to develop specific skills like sharp shooting or close-up head cracking, but it's the only opportunity you get to truly make choices and doesn't add enough to the gameplay.

That said, when the same gameplay lets you stick cleavers into radioactive mutant's skulls we can't be too negative. To be brutally honest, Brotherhood Of Steel feels like a half-arsed facelift of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II, but that's not to say it doesn't offer some straight-forward RPG fun with a cool guns-and-guts angle.
They go from "half-arsed facelift of BG:DA II" to "staight-foward RPG fun" in 2 seconds flat. Impressive. Gave it 74/100 too

[url=http://www.computerandvideogames.com/r/?page=http://www.computerandvideogames.com/reviews/reviews_story.php(que)id=103583]Link: review on CVG[/url]

Spotted on RPGDot and GameBanshee

News for Thursday, April 22, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:40

A fellow calling himself Eragon on the RPGCodex Boards posted another rumour about the recent IPLY dealings:

There's supposed to be a big meeting at Interplay on Friday (4/23). The employees are going to find out if they are getting their backpay or not.

Stories going through the grapevine said that Herve tried to sell Interplay to Vivendi this week and got laughed out of the building for the price that he was asking.

I expect Interplay to close its doors tomorrow (4/23) at least for development, and file for bankruptcy soon after.
Ouch, well Herve that's what you get for running the business into the grave. Are you proud of Fbos now Chuck ?
Thanks to Briosafreak for informing me..

Posted by Odin - at 21:16

According to several sources it seems like IPLY is really in a bundle when it comes to money, they evidently haven't paid the employees health insurance payments, here's what I found out:

Interplay haven't been paying the health insurance payments for the last few months, it seems IPLY recently revealed this to their employees and several just left the meeting. They also told the employees that they really didn't have to come in this week, since there's a good chance they won't be paid.
Wow, this is truly sad news for the employees of IPLY but that's what you get for fooling around with the Caen brothers.

Posted by Odin - at 10:13

Right now I'm doing some forum maintenance, so you might experience some slowness on the forums. Stay tuned...

Update: Done, you can now use the search function in the forums again. Posting isn't slow anymore and all is fine in wonderland, well...except for IPLY that is.

News for Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 19:40

This doesn't sound right

Just spoke with Luke Haase. He said that Herve told him that he was buying the shares of Interplay, because he thinks that it is a good investment (underlying message that Luke picked up was that Herve is confident that the stock price is going to go up. It's a pretty powerful message when a CEO buys that many shares of his own company). I asked Luke why Interplay is now IPLYE, and he did not know but was going to find out. I also asked him how Herve was able to buy his shares at around 5 cents when the lowest the stock has been at was 8 cents and Luke also was not sure about that. He said that he was going to look into why IPLY is now IPLYE and how Herve was able to get so many shares so cheap. I told Luke that I had fears that Herve was going to somehow take over the company and go private with it, which would make my shares nonliquid, but he said that that would not make much sense based on what Herve just did. Obviously, Herve bought the shares, expecting the share price to go up. He already has control of the company and it would not be in his best interest for the company to move to a private type situation where the stock would be nonliquid.
From the Raging Bull forums.

True? Not true? Who knows. We will continue keeping you posted. Plus as a bonus, here's an earlier post on the forum about Caen's stock-buying:
Hervé Caen Bought 8,679,306 shares at 0.052 and now possess 8,681306 shares
I believe its a private sale but who had all these shares???

Common Stock 4/17/2004 P 8679306 A $0.052 8681306 D

Posted by Brother None - at 19:37

Caen seems to believe the Interplay stock is unrepresentative of the actual worth of the company and accordingly have "engaged SG Capital to explore strategic alternatives to improve and maximize shareholder value". Full news:

Press Release Source: Interplay Entertainment Corp.

Interplay Engages SG Capital to Explore Strategic Alternatives
Tuesday April 20, 10:39 pm ET

IRVINE, Calif., April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: IPLY - News) announced today that it has retained the investment bank SG Capital to assist with an evaluation of strategic alternatives designed to enhance value to Interplay's shareholders. SG Capital will provide, among other services, assistance with the Company's financing efforts as it attempts to secure additional capital for product development and operations. SG Capital will also assist the Company with general business strategy and advice regarding potential strategic transactions, including a possible sale of the Company or its operating units.

Commenting on the announcement, Interplay's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Herve Caen said, "Management and the board do not believe that our current share price reflects the true value of the operations of our company. Accordingly, we have engaged SG Capital to explore strategic alternatives to improve and maximize shareholder value. We believe that their experience, capabilities and market focus fit the needs of Interplay and that SG Capital is uniquely qualified to assist the Company in this effort."

Mr. Caen continued, "With Interplay's recent return to profitability and the strong performance of our industry as a whole, management and the board believe that the time is right to explore strategic opportunities for a much-improved Interplay."
Spotted on both Winterwind and the Raging Bull IPLY forums, thanks for petruschka for giving us the link on Titus.

Link: press release on Titus

News for Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 21:51

Pope Viper sent me a message about a mail he got from none other than Herve Caen himself, Pope asked about the IPLY forums being closed and here's Herve's response:

The message boards are temporarily down in an effort to save cash during our current cash crunch.
Here's also a summary from a guy on the Raging Bull forums (also found by Pope Viper):
I spoke with Luke Haase today, and he said that Vivendi and Avalon both owe Interplay money and that they are expecting payment from them sometime this week. Vivendi is currently going through a big transition in their management, and they are just now trying to catch up on things. Once Interplay receives the payments that are due to them, then they will make a formal announcement and immediately file with the SEC that they are now able to pay their rent, taxes, and payroll. They are expecting a payment in the range of 3 million dollars. Interplay is also right now in negotiations to sell an intellectual property to raise additional capital and has begun preliminary talks with several banks in order to raise money to fund all of their current and pending games.
Sigh, sounds more and more like the Caen brothers have milked IPLY for all it got and finally decided the end is near. And the heads at IPLY is desperately trying to stay afloat..or?

Posted by Odin - at 14:06

According to a source of ours Interplay is most likely dead, here's what he said:

Everyone was sent home today. There is likely now money coming for the late payroll and bankruptcy is likely being filed this week.
We're going to investigate this more....

Posted by Brother None - at 4:21

The good people of Fallout: Yurop are still alive and well, so to speak. From their site:

Fallout Yurop is not dead... well, just a bit "undead" Surprised)

But don't worry... One day, the time will come and the download section of this page will contain something...

For now we have just two new "pieces" in the library section.


Spotted on VDHP

Link: Fallout: Yurop library section

News for Monday, April 19, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:02

Got this in the mail:

RPGDot released four new screenshots from The Fall. Have fun!

Link:
http://www.rpgdot.com/index.php?hsaction=10053&ID=939


Comment over here.

Posted by Odin - at 1:11

Gobias informed us of a new update on his Zonetripper project, here's what he said:

I have done some updating on my game project Badlands:Zonetripper. If you got some time to spend, check it out. I will be glad for any feedback or lawsuits.
Snazzy, thanks to Briosafreak for informing me about this.

News for Sunday, April 18, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 22:54

In Poland a company called CD Project are releasing what they call "the Fallout saga DVD", which is basically the two Fallout RPGs and Fallout Tactics on one DVD, with some extra goodies tossed on. Trzynasty Schron is work with them to make this DVD possible.

VDHP is covering this more actively. Thanks for Sajdon of Trzynasty Schron for the reminder

Link: Fallout saga DVD front
Link: Fallout saga DVD cover description
Link: CD Project
Link: Trzynasty Schron

Posted by Brother None - at 21:40

A little birdy told me VU Games' president and COO Luc Vanhal left the company. Is there some kind of jinx on anything related to Interplay?

LOS ANGELES (April 13, 2004) - Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced that its North American President and COO Luc Vanhal has departed from the company effective immediately. VU Games CEO Bruce Hack will assume interim responsibility for Mr. Vanhal's duties


Link: news on Vivendi Universal

News for Saturday, April 17, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 19:48

Yes, this is just another post to repeat myself; yes, Herve mentioned Fallout 3 being developed during the stockholder meetings and, lagging a bit behind us, IGN and Gamespot picked up on this. Please stop sending us messages about this.

Link: Gamespot Fallout 3 resurrection article
Link: IGN Fallout 3 resurrection article

Posted by Brother None - at 3:56

Sean K Reynolds, one of the BiS employees left after the mayhem and the lead in the new game by BiS, did an interview with Gamebanshee about his past and his future. A bit:

(on his responsibilities during development of Fallout 3) For Van Buren I started out as a designer but after a time JE Sawyer (who was lead designer) wanted to focus more on the technical design aspects and offered me the story lead position. My duties as story lead were to keep track of continuity not only with the game's story but within the game universe, to revise the story as we added or subtracted areas, and work in overall story changes as we clarified and expanded each of the game areas. The story puts the PC in the role of an escaped prisoner, locked up for an unknown reason and freed by an attack by an unknown military force. The prisoner wanders from community to community trying to survive and figure out what has happened in the past few years as well as the identity of the people who freed him, and why.


And this bit struck me as particularly nice:

GB: What is the atmosphere like around Black Isle Studios with many of the original employees now gone? What sort of projects has BIS been working on over the last couple of months?

Sean: We now have a lot more space and everyone on my side of the building is actually in a proper office rather than a cubicle, so people like that. It does make the place weird and kind of empty, though. They dismantled a bunch of the old cubicles and took the ping-pong table out of storage, so I'm constantly buffeted by ping-pong noise as various employees work their way up and down the ladder. It's keeping them happy, or happier, at least.

I don't know what official word Interplay has given about its current in-production titles, so I'll just say that we have two games in production, and I'm the lead designer on a fantasy console game.


It's nice to hear you care so much for your fired colleagues, Sean.. But hey, you now have some elbow room and a ping-pong table to play with, so everything is fine.

Link: Interview on GamesBanshee

Thanks to Briosafreak for this info

News for Friday, April 16, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 19:03

Ctrl+Alt+Del added a (final?) victory note to the Fallout 3 crusade that took place after the mass-firing at BiS:

News for Thursday, April 15, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 18:48

Adding some details and making some things clear, From RPGDot:

# Interplay has traded all rights to D&D games, including Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale products (except for the existing back catalogue), for full ownership of the 'Dark Alliance' trademark. I'm not clear if future 'Dark Alliance' game will keep the 'Baldur's Gate' prefix. As reported, with no D&D rights future Dark Alliance games will be set in a new game universe that Interplay will devise. There was a hint that an adaptation of SPECIAL would be used for the ruleset. It's likely a new engine will be licensed.

# On Fallout 3, Caen said "Fallout 3 is not actively being developed right now and we will have an announcement soon on that project". Later, several questions were posed by an investor. The exchange went as follows, starting with a question clarifying whether IPLAY would develop or publish Fallout 3:
Caen: We plan on publishing Fallout 3
Caller: Most likely it will be done through an external studio, correct?
Caen: Correct.

(...)

Finally, although reduced from 207 staff to 113, about 75 of those remaining are developers.





Year report on Gamespy (thanks, Pope_Viper):



But some bleaker short term news appeared in a Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. In it the company noted a few problems it was facing: The company owes three months worth of rent on its Irvine, California headquarters and has been served with a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Surrender Possession. If the company can't meet that deadline it will be forced to leave its headquarters and disrupt its business while it seeks a new location.

Interplay also said in the filing that the Internal Revenue Service is seeking approximately $70,000 for payroll tax penalties on taxes that were allegedly not paid for. Interplay estimates that it owes an additional $10,000, which it has accrued in penalties for nonpayment of approximately $99,000 in Federal and State payroll taxes, which were due on March 31, 2004 and are still outstanding. If Interplay can get by these problems then the company expects it can be profitable and successful in the future.


And according to GameSpy, 66% of the net revenue of Interplay last year was in console games.




And then it's Gamespot's turn:

"These results mark an important milestone for Interplay. In 2003, we had a return to operating profit and substantially reduced our debt. However, we continue to operate under cash constraints," said Herve Caen, chairman and CEO, Interplay. "Specifically, Interplay is three months in arrears on its corporate lease obligation, may have short-term payroll difficulties and has outstanding payroll tax obligations as of the date of this release. Certainly, financial challenges remain, yet we are proud of what our team has accomplished thus far and we are committed to working even harder to maintain our return to operating profitability."


Link: GameSpot report
Link: GameSpy report
Link: RPGDot report
Link: MSN money center report (thanks to TJHighlndr for that link)

Currently, the stockholder's meetings hasn't been doing the Interplay stock any good. News as I'm posting this: IPLY 0.10 -0.02 -19.83%

Posted by Brother None - at 2:23

Just for a good ol' distraction; I noticed Interplay conveniently noticed another Brotherhood of Steel review, which just happened to be one of the very positive ones. Get this:

Despite these few problems, the game is fun to play, the setting is cool, if a little too dark in places, the adult humour is a nice change, even though some of it does seem to just be there for the sake of it, there are lots of weapons to choose from and some of the bosses and be pretty cool too. If hack and slash games are what you are into, then Fallout: Brootherhood of Steel delivers it.


And this horrifying prediction:

Late last year, Interplay closed down Black Isle, the creators of the Fallout series of games on the PC. This has not stopped Interplay continuing on the Fallout franchise on the consoles though, with Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel being the first of what could turn out to be a group of games based on the Fallout universe


Link: ActiveWin review

Posted by Brother None - at 1:32

Since this is news about a number of different subjects than those I posted on, but confirming some of the earlier news and adding some, here's a post from Interplay mod/stockholder zorrelak69 on the Interplay stockholder's forum:

Caen mentioned a handful of projects in developed/to be developed. He mentioned Fallout 3 (PC), Kingpin (PC/Xbox), Fallout: New Action RPG game- not a sequel to FOBOS (Xbox/PS2), Exhaulted (PS2/Xbox), Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 3, Earthworm Jim. I asked a question about Fallout 3, and Caen said it will be published by Interplay and developed by an external development studio. (I'm guessing Trokia Games/Silver Style)

Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale PC rights and D&D rights traded in for the Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance trademark. I was wrong in my assumption that Interplay regained the rights to BG for the PC and I'm sorry for posting the rumors here on the message board.

400,000 units shipped of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and 300,000 units shipped of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. Sales for both titles seem strong.

The company made $3.3 million for the quarter and $1.3 million for the year. The company is looking for external sources of financing to help fund development of the upcoming titles they have. Caen said he expects Fiscal Year 2004 to be profitable as well, as long as the appropriate funding is receiving. He mentioned possibly methods will be selling of IPs, and/or debt and equity.


Link: Yahoo business report

Posted by Brother None - at 0:39

Well, I wasn't able to plug into the Interplay live feed myself, but thanks to the good people of NMA (thanks Lord Powerslave, tre, Blade Runner and Ozrat) and the BIS forums, here's what I gather was said during the stockholder's meeting:



There are plans to publish Fallout 3 for the PC through an external studio

Baldur's Gate 3 is definitely no longer Interplay's, leaving them with Dark Alliance games

They will not do a sequel for Fallout Brotherhood of Steel (gee, maybe it flopped?), but will do another Action/RPG-crossbreed console game in the Fallout world. Plans on this are a bit shady, not sure which engine to use.

The next Dark Alliance game will be with a new licensed engine. It will be set in a new Interplay world, not on a DnD world. (EDIT: cancel that, they will use the DA world, but are no longer allowed to use the D&D rules)

They may have to sell licenses currently not in use

Revenue of Interplay is now 20% PC, 80% console, according to the market's movements. Interplay will continue working on PC, even though their focus is console

There are currently 2 games in pre-production internally, 2 games in production internally, 1 of those currently under production at Black Isle studios

700000 titles of BGDA and BOS shipped, no sales figures mentioned (go figure), break-down roughly 400 BGDA2, 300 FBOS

Someone mentioned that a lot of former BIS employees now work at Obsidian, and seeing that asked if Interplay is considering working together with Obsidian (as an external developer). Answer: Possibly

Someone else remarked that Interplay's focus on the online world wasn't too big, and asked if Interplay was considering working together with other developers and focus more on the online world like that. Answer: yes



All of the above is unconfirmed and shouldn't be considered facts. Errors may occur. More to come as Interplay releases the facts.

News for Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 18:05

Got this in the mail:

News from our Art Depertment: Take a look at 7 new character portraits. Have
fun!

Link:
http://www.the-fall.com/e/index.php?menu=makingof&page=2

comment news :
http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2700


Is that Charlie Bronson?

News for Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:52

Seems we can follow the Interplay Investor Conference live. Spotted this on the Interplay website:

Click here for information on Interplay's investor conference call that will be held on April 14, 2004 at 4:30 PM EST.


This could be fun.

16:30 EST is 21:30 GMT

Link: Interplay website
Link: Conference call live feed

Posted by Brother None - at 16:30

Spotted this at VDHP:

As you may know, some things related to Trinity had changed. Currently we are working on something like an alpha version of the game. Why am I saying "something like"? Because it will be a shortened version of Trinity, but completely play able, with the main quest to perform, and tens of secondary tasks. We're predicting that the game should take about 10 hours of your life. The purpose of this alpha version is to introduce you with the game climate and the world of Trinity. For us the slpha will be a good exam and output point to the real game, which will fulfil all or at least most of our foundations. This alpha version will be available at the end of this year. So stay tuned.

Ground Zero Team

News for Sunday, April 11, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 18:07

RPGDot is reporting of another review of Fbos, this one is done by EuroGamer and they really gave Fbos a score that it deserves (3/10). Here's the final verdict:

Even if you're blissfully unaware of Fallout's award-winning heritage, there's every reason to suspect that even casual action gamers (which this has presumably been targeted at in a desperate stab at commerciality) will turn their noses up at this lazy and uninspired piece of action RPG fodder. If you have any respect for the way games should be made then give Interplay a clear message that it simply has to do better than this to compete in the games market. Treat BOS with contempt it deserves and avoid it at all costs - even buying this at a budget price would be irresponsible. For Fallout fans, this is basically a disaster of nuclear meltdown proportions. Duck and cover, if you know what's good for you.
Damn, someone actually doing their job and writing an honest review...
Link: Fbos review@Eurogamer

News for Saturday, April 10, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 1:19

Spotted this on DaC, who got it from MUTANT@GammaWorld

Dear Friends of Fallen Earth,

Thank you for your patience and interest in our game.

We prefer to be quiet and focused, as you?ve noticed? but thought we would send you this first letter to tell you a bit more about where this project came from? Future newsletters will include more game specific information.

We`ve seen in the past so many games super hyped and then delayed,
frustrating a lot of fans. Our goal is to stay focused with our heads down, and just design the vision we all share, a vision of a genuinely unique MMORPG that you will enjoy playing and becoming a part of a rich
environment offering multiple styles of gameplay, and the freedom that
comes with that variety.

The Icarus team has played and built MMOGs for the past 15 years. It has been our strategy and desire to build the MMOG we wanted to play.

The world we`re producing is a game with a unique feel and atmosphere, and a game with a message:

We are living amazing times. The progress in technology and sciences has greatly impacted our societies. And we all know that the pace of technology is accelerating.

We will have safer cars and airplanes, live longer lives? but overall, what we expect at Icarus is that biochemistry, biology, genetics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and disciplines not yet named will generate tremendous leaps forward in the next century, affecting our lives in ways we can barely imagine today...

Unfortunately though, humans remain pretty much the same: they struggle, suffer and hope. They don?t learn from past mistakes, they are easily corruptible and often self-indulgent.

Now add human nature to the trends in society and advanced technology.
And jump ahead a century or more...

You, like those of us at Icarus, can see that the results could be more than dramatic? and if the negative trends accelerate with no solution to keep them in check, the results could look something like the world of Fallen Earth?

We hope it will never reach that state, we trust humanity will never reach that level of self-destruction. But how long can you accelerate before you spin out of control?

A wise man hopes for the best while preparing for the worst. Playing Fallen Earth may be like preparing for the future ? and for rekindling hope in the ashes of a collapsed world.

Fallen Earth will be a game of hope, of reconstruction. It?s you, all the players, who will reclaim our world and reclaim it whichever way you think it should be done.

There will be those in the game who try to stand in your way, or guide
your visions. Some, like the Enforcers, will believe that police-level
order is essential to restore civilization. Others like the Vistas, will claim that only by respecting nature and limiting genetic manipulation
can the world be restored. Will it be one of these that you identify with? Or maybe your inclination leans toward those who believe in Chaos
? the C.H.O.T.A?s? or spiritual Faith ? the LightBearers? or Knowledge ? the Techs?

As for your role in this world we are building -- You decide. Neither the world nor your role in it will be passive. We?re only here to give
you the greatest possible freedom to pursue your own preferences through a very dangerous landscape? toward the hope that lies just over the far horizon.

We?re approaching some important horizons of our own, and will keep in touch with you over the coming months. Some of you will get a chance to
become testers, and we hope all of you at launch will have as much pleasure playing Fallen Earth as we are having building it?

To thank you again for your patience, please click HERE
to download an exclusive little video sequence from the game, just for you.

The forums will open as soon as we have the resources to give them the attention they deserve. For now, that attention remains focused on building the game.

We look forward to having a more interactive dialog with you soon,

Peace to you all,

The Editors


For the forgetful: Link: Fallen Earth

Posted by Brother None - at 1:01

I know, we haven't really been following this game, and I'm a bit late, but y'know, looked nice and funny enough to post. Snipsnip:

Eurogamer: Tell us about the RPG elements.

Oleg Yavorsky: It's a role-playing game in as much as the player performs a certain role, where he has freedom to choose which role to play. There are no level ups but can communicate with NPCs, and shift his likes and dislikes: be on one side or another side. He can trade objects, he can exchange messages and information and he can play the role of a good guy or less good guy or bad guy or neutral guy in this way. But there won't be any level ups and experience. These will be the skills of the player that we would like to develop. His mastery of shooting, communication, exchanging objects.


Spotted at VDHP

Link: short interview on Eurogamer

News for Friday, April 9, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 1:49

Got this in the mail:

Take a look at the first character animation movies! Look how The Fall characters ride bikes, climb over walls and salvage wounded people:

Link:
http://www.the-fall.com/e/index.php?menu=downloads&down=movies

comment news :
http://www.silver-style.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2676


No sound, just animations. They're in zip files, .avi format. Take a look.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:19

It's been a while, but Fallout 1.5: Resurrection team member Ratman sent us notice of an update on their project by Saruman:

It's been a long time since our last update, and many people may have forgotten about us or felt the project was stalled. But we have not forgotten, and have been working hard on the project the whole time. And we've got the proof! To our screenshot section we have added two new dialog screens, which should make all you Fallout fans happy again. There have also been a few changes to our team. Mad_Eye, Tristram and Jay Kowalski have left us, while three new people have joined; Harley will be writing, Foman will be mapping, and Pito will join as a graphic artist. All of them are devoted to the project and we believe will be a great benefit to the team.
Saruman


Looking good, guys.

Link: Fallout 1.5: Resurrection website
Link: Fallout 1.5: Resurrection screenshots
Link: screenshot on NMA gallery; quest
Link: screenshot on NMA gallery; low intelligence dialogue?

News for Thursday, April 8, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 0:28

Carsten Strehse is doing a two-part developer diary for SSE's The Fall on RPG Vault. Here's some bits:

Roughly seven years ago, Interplay released a game you 'may' have heard of, Fallout. It was an addicting experience. At around that time, a vague idea was born to develop an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic scenario some day. From that point on, it took almost five years until I got back to that plan and started actually realizing it.


How about the atmosphere of the game? We're trying to give The Fall a serious and mature feel, similar to Gothic or the Fallout games. And like in these titles, you're also going to encounter moments of black humor and absurdity resulting from the almost hopeless situation. We'll elaborate on the way NPC behaviour is modeled in one of the later diary entries, but I can tell you already that there are schedules and sets of potential activities each of them can follow. Characters aren't standing around paralyzed, only waiting for you to talk to them.


Link: The Fall - Last Days of Gaia development diary on RPGVault

Spotted at RPGDot

News for Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 22:59

Trolle posted a Mutant's Rising press release on the VDHP news section. Slighty snipped:

As things settle down after the small leadership woes and worries the Mutants Rising (MR) team is back at full speed and running straight into brick walls again!

To prevent a long drawn out explanation here is the short of it. For reasons that can be found on the NMA forums Snake was banned from NMA and unfortuanlty was removed as team leader. However this will not stop us, we have the very capable Trolle incharge and we're back on track.

Now to the most important part and the part that will be the main section each month as we kick off our annual Monthly Press Release.

We have Talking heads?! Well maybe, not confirmed or even for sure yet but yes we are working on talking heads for the MOD. We hope to have something presentalbe in the next few months and maybe a seek peak.

As for in game movies those are on the idea board, and are being discussed. But for now you don't get to know anymore.

The story is coming together like oil and water...wait no like salt and pepper. Characters places and all that nessisary stuff is actually there and looking pretty damn cool!


Link: news post
Link: Mutants Rising

A bit earlier, Kaczor posted the request to send any concept art/rendered faces that you'd like to see as talking heads in the MR mod to Wild_qwerty nd posted what he said "should be taken as an attempt to create talking head"



Thanks to Briosafreak for another reminder

Posted by Brother None - at 15:54

1101 made a post on our General Gaming forum about the new UFO-based Project "UFO-2007, Unknown Project":

Project "Ufo-2007. Unknown Project." it is the attempt to make remeyk of the original Ufo-1 with the use of an aspect of the concepts of such recreation areas it is world as Fallout and Warhammer 40.000, and so, with the considerable expansion of the objective and physical space of the play peace Ufo-1.


Link: website (Russian)
Link: thread on GG forum, with screenshots and Q&A

Thanks to Briosafreak for the reminder

News for Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:53

This excellent UT-patch got some of the recognition it deserved, so for those in doubt as to the quality of the patch, notice it's honerable mention in Phase 2 of the MSU contest at unrealtournament.com

Thanks to Briosafreak for this news

Posted by Brother None - at 20:51

Briosafreak informed me of a new Fallout 2 unofficial patch popping up. Beta Version 1.03 can be downloaded. Looks good.

Link: Seraph's Fallout 2 Patch

Thanks to Briosafreak for this news

Posted by Brother None - at 20:48

RPGDot, "the fastest news from other worlds", got around to reviewing Fo:PoS, their tardiness justified by how much the game sucks. The following words stood out:

Which is about all that can be said for the game as a whole. It's basically a barely adequate piece of entertainment, suitable for a weekend rental. Looks OK, plays OK, gets a bit boring my halfway through. What's ironic about the whole thing is that the people most likely to be attracted to Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel are the same people that Interplay screwed over by canceling Fallout 3 - the fans. It's not a good enough game to draw in casual gamers looking for a good action-RPG, and it's going to disappoint fans of the series, which makes it a lot like the latest Liz Phair CD - it's not really going to satisfy anyone. Screw it, I'm firing up the PC and playing through Fallout 2 again - I've had enough of this crap.


Link: review at RPGDot

Thanks to Briosafreak for this news

News for Monday, April 5, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 17:06

The people responsible for the Shattered Oasis mod for Unreal Tournament decided to redo the mod entirely. Here's the update from Toothless

If you've followed SO from our last release in August of last year you'd know we rebuilt SO adding in bot support and some other fancy things, but you'd also know that half the code was rewritten for a second time from October until now.
This time we got it right! SO is designed to be a fast paced easy to pick up and play game with a small learning curve. What we found though is the more you play it the more ways you could play the game emerged. Satisfying our playing habits.

With this release we are offering 4 modes of play
Online DM
Online Team Survival
Offline DM
Offline Team Survival

We Tried desperatly to save our beloved cow for this release but decided that the Sandcow would be best used in the upcoming UT2004 version of SO.
With that being said we focused primarily on stability and netcode for more then 3 months so be assured it runs smoother then a baby's bottom.
So enjoy and we would love to hear your thoughts on the game as it stands, if any problems arise that warrant a patch we will be patching this version. If there is enough of a player base for this UT2003 version then we will be continuing dev on it.


Link: Shattered Oasis homepage
Link: Shattered Oasis mod (202 MB)

Spotted this at DaC

News for Sunday, April 4, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 22:42

bawls.com is giving away a 12 pack of BAWLS Guarana and a copy of the game "Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel" for PlayStation®2 or X-Box.

Oh goodness gracious, I can't wait to get my hands on that!

Link: Bawls contest

Check out the picture. This amount of whoring is an integral part of the Fallout universe, Chuck'll tell ya

Thanks to Glowbewohner for this info

News for Friday, April 2, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:27

Eltoro of Wasteland Rangers earlier informed us about their site, but I forgot to post about it..So here goes:

We're collecting photos related with fallout world: abandoned old gas stations, ruins, wrecks, devastated bunkers and shelters, etc. Right now, we've got many postapocal related photos made in POland by polish fans (visit: http://planeteltoro.com/fallout/main.php?menu=foto_pl ).
Naturally, we're interested in collecting the same made in other countries. Send them, with short description (where, what) to me at: eltoro@planeteltoro.com.
Remember to pay that site a visit..

Posted by Odin - at 22:21

Glowbewohner of Supermutant.de informed me that they have changed servers and in the progress the adress is pointing to the wrong server, so for now use: http://www.thefall-online.de

Posted by Odin - at 11:24

I bet I got some of you with that "We're closing" bit, just to clarify.. No we're not closing this site, you should have noticed what day it was and/or read between the lines/comments..

HAHA! Twisted Evil

News for Thursday, April 1, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 16:09

We here at NMA have decided to close down our site due to alot of reasons, which I won't go into here. The site will stay open for a month then we will close it down, it's sad to be the ones who close the door at so much history. NMA will live on in our hearts....