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News for Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Posted by Roshambo - at 23:17

GamesIndustry.biz and GameSpot both have reported on the insanity purported by everyone's favorite person to hate, Herve!

Choice snippets from the GamesIndustry.biz article include such tidbits as:

As such, the decision to start building MMORPG titles - a notoriously risk-ridden and hugely expensive venture, as demonstrated by the cancellation last week of Games Workshop and Climax' co-development of Warhammer Online - seems nothing short of utterly bizarre.

So we're not alone in wondering what has Herve ready for the mental ward.
A console Fallout game, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, was released during the March quarter; largely derided by fans of the franchise, it failed to achieve commercial success and was one of the titles whose underperformance was responsible for Interplay's Q1 loss.

I wonder why...

More can be found here.

GameSpot's article, here, has this funny little bit in it as well:
"Initial feedback from our investment bank and ongoing dialogue with others in the gaming sector, appear to confirm that the combination of our valuable and popular intellectual properties with the rapidly growing online gaming community is the best way to maximize Interplay shareholder value," Caen said.

You are a few years too late to cash in on that trend, Herve.
What's next, Fallout: POS for the N-Gage? Better hurry!

Posted by Odin - at 21:43

We have a new Fallout Developers Profile for you guys and gals, this time around it's that crazy Sean K. Reynolds that pops in for a quickie, here's a snibblet:

Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren)/Tactics ?

I had nothing to do with the creation of Fallout 1 or 2. For Fallout 3 I started out as a designer when they cancelled Jefferson. Eventually JE Sawyer was so impressed with my phat ping-pong skills that he made me lead story designer for the game, which let him focus on the technical aspects (interface, game mechanics, etc.). As story lead I managed the overall story and continuity, wrote several areas, and beat the other designers into submission with my special Fallout ping-pong paddle, nicknamed "Duck and Cover."
To see some more of Sean's "burning wit," go here...
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Sean K. Reynolds

Posted by Brother None - at 14:29

RPGDot just started their 8th round of the Be in the Fall competition, the competition that gives you a chance to be in SSE's the Fall. A creative task, this time:

We want you to create a profitable profession/job/occupation that suits the post-apocalyptic world featured in The Fall. Send us the description of the occupation you came up with, keeping the text to less than 200 words. The profession we judge the most promising, interesting and successful will win this round.
Link: Be in the Fall #8

Posted by Brother None - at 0:43

In a thread on RPGCodex about our Tony Oakden dev profile, Chris Taylor opens a book on Fallout:Tactics. He has some interesting things to say:

Additional testing time would have allowed: more bug fixes, better balancing (especially in Turn-Based, since the limited amount of testing time, most of QA was testing in real-time) and more tweaks to the game system. It would not have allowed for any major changes to the story, characters, plot and game system.

In hindsight, we should have not implemented both TB and RT. It did end up costing us a substantial amount of QA time and resources. Or, we should have kept RT only for multiplayer. That would have given us a little more time for balancing the single-player campaign.

MicroForte wasn't responsible for nearly as many problems on FOT as Interplay was

(...)

Something else that I remembered: when we (IP and MF) sat down for that original week of pre-production design, the game was strictly turn-based. We had discussed how we wanted to implement TB/RT or some sort of hybrid, and the decision was made to do TB combat only (RT until combat, just like FO1/2).

(...)

If Interplay had allowed more time (and money), MicroForte would have been in a position to deliver a better game. That's fairly typical of the publisher/developer relationship. It just hurts more in this particular case, because there was a higher expectation of quality due to the Fallout name. The project wasn't completely on schedule in reality, but that was due to a couple of changes in direction during development and wasn't due to any major problems with the developer. Interplay should have taken a step back, slipped the game 3-4 months and released a higher quality game. That doesn't mean I take any less responsibility for my duties on FOT and my failure to keep the FO lore as close to canon as possible.
Really good stuff

Link: Thread on RPGCodex

Thanks Briosafreak

News for Monday, June 28, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:06

After recent news, Interplay's stock got hit hard. Very hard. It opened at 0.035 and is at 0.025 per share as I'm writing this, dropping by 40% today. After balancing around 0.04 a share for the last few weeks, this is the lowest it has ever been.

If you'll remember, not too long ago Herve bought 8,679,306 shares at 0.052 a share. That means that right now, Herve has lost $234,000 on that purchase.

Link: Interplay shares on Yahoo Finance

News for Sunday, June 27, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 18:07

A (unspecified) German studio is working on a new post-apocalyptic project, entitled "Nirvana" and set for release in 2006.

The game prides itself on striving for non-linearity and more control for the player, which should be noticeable from the very get-go with their character creation, which gives you extensive option to pick what kind of player you want to be and a total of 8 character classes. Those character classes are: Researcher, Discoverer, Ex-Soldier, Merchant, Survival Expert, Cyborg and Nomad. Depending on what type of person you pick to play each situation can be solved differently. An example:

"An NPC asks the Player to get an Item from a well guarded building for a reward.

Player 1: (the typical Egoshooter Player) handles it with the guns blazing.
Player 2: (the strategist) solves the assignment with his head.
Player 3: (the Sim-player) rounds up a few NPC`s to take over or persuades the guards to take over.
Player 4: (the RPG Player) picks whatever solution the character class he selected at the beginning of the game controls best.
Player 5: (the spontaneous type) ignores the task and explores the extensive game world, solves the task later or never.
Player 6: (the short-sighted type) kills the NPC to get both the reward and later the Item."
The game wants to give the player total freedom and is compared to Diablo, in the sense that Diablo doesn't end when the game is over and you can keep going back to discover new things, progress further with your character and so on and so forth.

From what I can gather it looks to be a pretty non-linear project, but als one that lacks indepth gameplay and thus falls back to more of a dungeon crawler feel than a CRPG feel. However, these are only the first looks at a game that is at the beginning of its development, we'll see how it goes.

Thanks Nepsa and Blitzlord from the Silver Style Forums.

German links
Link: thread on German SSE forums
Link: article on gamigo about Nirvana
Link: Nirvana site on gamigo

English links:
Link: thread on English SSE forums
Link: article on gamigo about Nirvana (Babelfish translation)
Link: Nirvana site on gamigo (Babelfish translation)

Posted by Brother None - at 15:54

Something Awful has worked at translating the strange jibberish a lot of gaming companies seem to spout into real English. A lot of it is very familiar for those who've been following the development of Fallout:Brotherhood of Steel:

Quote: "We went back to the previous titles in the series and took out the elements that really made those games what they were, then we refined them and refined them. The outcome is (name of game), a truly innovative game that sticks to its roots.”

Indicates: Instead of being simply a rehash of the earlier titles, this will be a wholly new game that builds on the successes of the previous games, removes the failures, and adds new and innovative features.

True Meaning: The one title where they didn't rehash earlier titles didn't sell well, so this will simply be a rehash of earlier titles.

Quote: "We saw what people liked in the old series and..."

Indicates: The developers played the old games and ask people what they liked about the old games.

True Meaning: They did this so they can remove everything people liked and replaced it with call to power and civ 3.

Quote: “Finally ... a 'Diablo style RPG' that seems to have done everything right.”

Indicates: The core elements of Diablo combined with more in-depth RPG elements that provide the most satisfying hack-and-slash RPG experience yet. Also Diablo sucks.

True Meaning:
Click. Click. Click.
Link: Game PR Catchphrases: What They Really Mean on Something Awful

Spotted at RPGDot

Posted by Brother None - at 15:31

IGN finishes up the Stalker E3 feature with "Four massive movies and one snazzy interview." The interview focuses mostly on graphics and AI interaction. A bit:

IGNPC: We're quite intrigued by the concept of a squad-level AI. In what ways will the AI enemies and teammates cooperate with each other? How aware are they of the player's position and actions? Can the player direct his squad-mates or does he have to follow their lead?

Bolshakov: As above, this can be on a human or creature level. With both, there is communication in the appropriate form. In a human squad, a leader is assumed and tactics for attacking you are resolved from there. The AI will track your movements, your last known position and assess likely escape or attack methods. They'll assess your weaponry and level of protection and react to changes in your tactics (pistol to machine gun to grenade, etc.). They will derive a best plan of attack from this and continually adjust if you change your tactics. If they assess that their odds of success mean certain death, they may even retreat.

Generally, if you engage a group of AI, you better be prepared to take it all the way. Once engaged, an AI won't forget about you, and you could be pursued for a long time! In terms of friendly AI squads, the same rules apply... You can communicate and direct, but a "squad" of Stalkers does not have military discipline. If forced into a corner, an AI Stalker teammate will override a group directive in order to survive.
It also has a recap of all 4 movies they published on the game.

Link: full Stalker E3 presentation on IGN PC

News for Saturday, June 26, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 15:47

To make sure nobody would miss some of the more important bits of the 10-Q filing, here are some of the bigger points. First of, Capelworth made a pretty good summary on how many debts Interplay has:

At the time the suit [from Warner Bros.] was filed, the amount due under the note was $1.4 million including interest. Subsequently, the Company entered into a settlement agreement with Warner. The Company is currently in default of the settlement agreement with Warner and has entered into a payment plan, of which the Company is in default, for the balance of the $0.32 million owed payable in one remaining installment.
(...)
This claim was settled for $100,000, payable in twelve installments, however, the Company was unable to satisfy its payment obligations and consequently, Monte Cristo has filed a stipulated judgment against theCompany in the amount of $100,000. If Monte Cristo executes the judgment, it will negatively affect the Company's cash flow, which could further restrict the Company's operations and cause material harm to our business.
(...)
the time of filing, Bioware alleged that it was owed approximately $156,000 under various agreements for which it secured a writ of attachment over the Company's assets. If Bioware executes the writ, it will negatively affect the Company's cash flow, which could further restrict its operations and cause material harm to our business.
(...)
On or about April 16, 2004, Arden Realty Finance IV LLC filed an unlawful detainer action against the Company in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Orange, alleging the Company's default under its corporate lease agreement. At the time the suit was filed, the alleged outstanding rent totaled $431,823. The Company was unable to satisfy this obligation and reach an agreement with its landlord, the Company subseqently forfeited its lease, and is in the process of locating another building for its operations. This suit and interruption of our operations could 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 $30,000, which we have accrued in penalties for nonpayment of approximately $100,000, $102,000 and $99,000 in Federal and State payroll taxes, which were due on April 30, April 15, and March 31, 2004, and is still outstanding. We were unable to meet our May 15, May 31, and June 15, 2004 payroll obligations to our employees. The labor board has fined us approximately $10,000 for failure to meet our payroll obligations. We need to have met our payroll obligations otherwise there will be additional penalties.

Our property, general liability, auto, fiduciary liability, and employment practices liability, have been cancelled. Our workers compensation insurance was cancelled but we have mananaged to reinstate the policy. The labor board fined us approximately $79,000 for not having workmans compensation insurance. Our health insurance was also cancelled but we have had the policy reinstated. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to meet all contractual obligations or liabilities in the future, including payroll obligations.
Interplay's situation is pretty bad:
As of March 31, 2004, we had a working capital deficit of $15 million, and our cash balance was $28,000. We currently have no cash reserves and are unable to pay current liabilities. The Company cannot continue in its current form without at this time obtaining additional financing.
(...)
We expect that we will need to substantially reduce our working capital needs and/or raise additional financing. If we do not receive sufficient financing we may (i) liquidate assets, (ii) sell the company (iii) seek protection from our creditors including the filing of voluntary bankruptcy or being the subject of involuntary bankruptcy, and/or (iv) continue operations, but incur material harm to our business, operations or financial conditions.
But there's hope:
Our main source of capital is from the release of new titles. Historically, we have had some delays in the release of new titles and we anticipate that we may continue to incur delays in the release of future titles. These delays can have a negative impact on our short-term liquidity, but should not affect our overall liquidity.
Bwahahahaha. However, hidden in the 10-Q is the contractual obligations summary, which totals their contractual obligations at more than 10 million (to fulfill within the coming years). Most of those obligations can't be negotiated or delayed either, and the contractual obligations bit concludes with:
We currently have no cash reserves. We will need to substantially reduce our working capital needs, continue to consummate certain sales of assets and/or raise additional financing to meet our contractual obligations.
I have to agree with the general conclusion that Interplay won't survive this quarter without some miracle investor popping up.

Posted by Odin - at 3:05

According to this newsbit on Yahoo Finance Interplay reports that they don't have the funds to finance IPLY through the next period without the ability to raise money and that they don't have any "assurances" to alternate funding right now:

The company anticipates its current cash reserves, plus its expected generation of cash from existing operations, will not be sufficient to fund its anticipated expenditures through the second quarter of fiscal 2004," Interplay said in the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Consequently, the company expects that it will need to substantially reduce its working capital needs and/or raise additional capital," Interplay said. "However, no assurance can be given that alternative sources of funding could be obtained on acceptable terms, or at all."
No shit Sherlock..Like we didn't know this..So Hervie: good plan!
Link: IPLY Lacks funds

Posted by Odin - at 2:20

Interplay has released their "First Quarter 2004 Earnings" in which they show how mucho monetas they lost:

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2004, the Company reported a net loss of $.9 million, or .01 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net income of $5.6 million or $.06 per basic and diluted share, in the same period last year. Net revenues for the first quarter 2004 were $8.4 million versus $18.8 million in the same period last year, a decrease of 55 percent. Finally the Company reported an operating loss of $.9 million in the first quarter as compared to operating income of $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2003. The decrease in net revenues and net income was mainly due to the sale of all future interactive entertainment publishing rights to the "Hunter: The Reckoning" franchise for $15 million in the first quarter of 2003.

Gross profit margin for the first quarter 2004 decreased to 40 percent, compared to 63 percent in the first quarter of 2003. Gross profit margin was lower in the first quarter this year as compared to last yearly mainly due to the sale of all future interactive entertainment publishing rights to the "Hunter: The Reckoning" franchise in the first quarter of 2003, which yielded approximately an 80 percent profit margin. Total operating expenses decreased 32 percent to $4.2 million from $6.2 million in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.
Wow, they lost money even though they didn't pay their employees and rent money.. And also this has got to be the biggest laugh of all times:
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Caen said, "Based on a detailed review of where our industry stands and the level of interest in the gaming community in taking some of our premier properties online, we are now pursuing several options to fund our entry into Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming with titles including Fallout. Initial feedback from our investment bank and ongoing dialogue with others in the gaming sector appear to confirm that the combination of our valuable and popular intellectual properties with the rapidly growing online gaming community is the best way to maximize Interplay shareholder value."
Yup you read it, Fallout Online is coming...But where are your designers, programmers and well...employees Herve ??
Cheers to Exitium of RPGCodex for informing us..
Link: IPLY Q1 earnings at Yahoo Biz

News for Friday, June 25, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 20:51

Silencer from VDHP reported that the Bourgeoisie people released 4 new shots (Bourgeoisie newspost on the Polish section, not on the English section yet). Take a look:






Link: Bourgeoisie

News for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:43

Our first Oz inhabitant has graced our Fallout Developers Profile, it's none other than Tony Oakden (producer on FOT) himself. Here's a snibblet:

Where do you see computer RPGs going?

The main stream titles will be smaller and more linear with higher production values. I hope there will still be independent studios producing more traditional RPG but they’ll have lower production values and so won’t sell to the main stream audience unfortunately.
Ah yes, the awful truth...
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Tony Oakden

Posted by Brother None - at 19:10

Part 3 of IGN's Stalker presentation is up, this time focusing on the other Stalkers you'll be working with and against in the game.

Link: IGN Stalker E3 presentation part 3

Posted by Odin - at 9:32

IGN is back with another video clip from the E3 presentation of Stalker, this time around Darren Williams talks more about the game's artificial intelligence.
Link: Stalker E3 video clip 2

News for Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 18:53

The OC Register had this to report on recent happenings at Interplay:

Herve Caen, the chief executive of cash-strapped Interplay Entertainment Corp., faced a handful of upset employees Monday in a series of meetings mediated by the state's labor agency.

Interplay is under investigation for not paying employees since April. More than 20 employees have filed reports with the state's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which is conducting an audit of Interplay's payroll records.

No ruling was made Monday, but one is near, said Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the California Labor Commissioner.

Caen could not be reached for comment. He had told the state last week that he didn't have access to the payroll records because the data was stored in computers that were put in storage after Interplay was forced to vacate its building on June 15.

Fryer said Caen knew for a week prior that the state was after those records. "Our investigators are working with him to gain access to the documents," Fryer said.
Gain access? Taking snow-shovels and digging through the storage? I find it very hard to believe that Caen will get away with this "sorry, I don't have access to these documents" for much longer. Let's hope they'll make a quick ruling.

Posted by Odin - at 18:16

Frymuchan from the Ragingbull forums have also emailed Luke Haase recently and here's what frymuchan has posted:

I think we have a long, painful wait ahead of us before any news comes out. I emailed Luke Haase, Interplay's investor relations person, to try to get a sense of where things are at with Interplay.

He said that Interplay has a checklist of events that they are working on. He said first order of business was getting worker's comp back, which Interplay did. He said the next task is for Interplay to work out a deal with their previous landlord (which supposedly Interplay is working on). Then, he said Interplay would seek to obtain a new lease (note the word "seek"). After that, they would work to bring back their employees (note the word "work"). Luke said that the final step would be for Herve to seek/close a deal or deals that would give Interplay financing going forward.

None of this sounded all that encouraging to me, too many steps, and too many places where things could get tangled up. Seems to me they should first close a deal to get financing, which would encourage investors and help bring back employees or allow them to hire on new employees. This whole process is about the most ridiculous comedy of errors I have ever seen.
Doh really ?!
Link: RagingBull thread

Posted by Brother None - at 0:45

RPGDot moves along to part 7 of the "Be in the Fall" competition, which gives you another shot at being in SSE's the Fall. Their question this week is a guesser, as the answer can't be found anywhere: What is the total number of words in the dialogue/monologues in The Fall?

Link: Be in the Fall #7 on RPGDot

News for Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 12:49

I just realised that I had forgotten to look out for Stalker newsbits lately, but fear not my PA loving ones because I've started again. Erm...Well let's get down to it, ToTheGame recently had a small interview with Oleg Yavorsky (Senior PR Manager of GSC) and there are some interesting bits:

Q: The zone is a living and breathing world with all types of inhabitants. Can we expect the zone to change during game play i.e. Structural damage, rain, snow, radioactive damage etc?

A: There is a phenomenon in the game we call blowout of anomalous energy. It happens regularly, approximately once a week of the gaming time, off the center of the Chernobyl zone to change the face of the area. After each blowout the location of anomalies change, so as new artifacts get generated to basically make the Zone an unexplored area again. It’s extremely dangerous to remain outdoors at the time of blowout and every creature tries to find a hiding place.

On top of anomalies changing, we’ve got dynamic time and weather system constantly functioning in the game. So, along with sunrises and sunsets the player will experience rain, fog, wind and more.
There's also a movie clip of Stalker at IGN, which shows the demo that was shown at the E3.
Link:Stalker E3 movie clip and Stalker Interview

Posted by Brother None - at 12:44

eToychest has a pretty good list of the top-10 CRPGs of all time. I think we all know number 6:

Fallout has everything that makes a great and memorable role-playing game. It contains a terrific, deep, and well told story, complex characters you can relate to, and lots of things to do outside the main story. In fact, Fallout is the very definition of non-linear. What makes this even more interesting is the choices made throughout this adventure genuinely affect the game world. Even the ending is reflective of the choices made throughout the game.

Fallout’s character development system is also something of a marvel. It is skill based – not class-based – which allows for all sorts of customizations and character molding so players can genuinely make their character over time as they see fit.

Fallout is one of the most ideal role-playing games created. It is a spectacular example of a well-done computer role-playing game, and no fan of the genre should be without it.
Interplay and BIS are well-represented on the list, with Fallout, Wasteland, A Bard's Tale and Planescape all making it into the list.

Link: Top 10 CRPGs of all time on eToychest

Spotted at RPGDot

Posted by Odin - at 2:08

Yup it's that time again kids, our latest addition to the Fallout Developers Profile is none other than the man behind the Fallout manual, the man with the many various signatures...It's Chris R. Taylor, here's a peek:

Were there things that you wished you had added to either Fallouts?

Yeah, lots. Fallout 1 should have been about 50% larger, with a better endgame. I mostly wish about the things we could have changed and tweaked in the SPECIAL system. We didn't spend a lot of time on the system once we changed over from GURPS. Tim, Jess and myself cranked through the system pretty quickly (I remember one very intense week of scribbling on the whiteboard in Tim's office) and then we spent most of our time finishing up areas and getting the game done. I wish we had refined and cleaned up the system to remove things like non-useful skills, fixed the time puzzles/invasion events and fixed the combat system so it wasn't so Fragile Ninja-ish. I also wish we had done the game as a set of editors, NWN-style, but that would have been a much different project.
If you're one that don't remember the name Chris Taylor, then you should be ashamed of yourself!!
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Chris Robin Taylor

News for Monday, June 21, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:48

I've just finished updating some files in our download section, this time around it's Jona's mod, the mighty Red!Viewer which was updated to new versions and also Jona made a new mod for you MACers out there. It's the Mack the knifes - Deep Impact mod now available for the MAC version of Fallout 2.
Link: Jona Fo2 mod (v0.99), DeepImpact mod for MAC and Red!Viewer (v1.6.0.19)

Posted by Odin - at 22:23

I got a little email from a fellow called Mike, who's working on a Fallout GURPS project, here's some info:

The GO project will allow players to create and run their own gameworlds.
The system wont be ready to rock until at least August. In the http://www.gurpsonline.com/forums/ click on Gurps Online then scroll down to Fallout.
Nice I guess, Fallout going back to it's roots..
Link: GURPSOnline

Posted by Odin - at 22:18

The spanky Chris Taylor (former Fallout dev) emailed me about a little page on the internet that might be of interest to read, it's about World War 3 in 1957. Here's a snibblet:

The year 1957 is not chosen at random. That is the year contemplated by "Dropshot," the U.S. plan for a third world war, which governed strategic thinking for the 1950s. Originally created in 1949, the plan was eventually released under the Freedom of Information Act. It was published, with commentary, in 1978 by Anthony Cave Brown in a book entitled "Dropshot." The war described by that book is the starting point for this article, though my discussion departs from it in many particulars...
It's a really nice read for us Fallout fans, so grab a chair, your finest Whiskey and read..
Link: World War 3 in 1957

Posted by Odin - at 22:14

Good old Grumpy Bone, who made "our" Fallout Pen & Paper is once again at it and he's now looking at writing a new Fallout Pen & Paper. He's looking for some feedback so get over and give your voice..
Link: Fallout Pen & Paper 2nd Edition

News for Sunday, June 20, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 18:36

The latest news from the Orange Country Register, who've been following Interplay's story indepth, seems to promise more trouble for Caen soon, and little hope for Interplay's survival:

Twenty employees of Interplay Entertainment Corp. have now filed complaints with the state labor agency because they have not been paid for weeks.

The complaints spurred an investigation of Interplay's payroll records by the state's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Interplay, known for computer games such as "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II," wasn't paying its bills and was forced out of its Irvine headquarters this week by its landlord. The company had let its workers' compensation insurance lapse, causing the state to shut the business down two weeks ago until Interplay renewed coverage a few days later. Employees say that they haven't been paid since April.

Herve Caen, Interplay's CEO, missed two meetings with the state investigators this week, said Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the California Labor commissioner.

The state has now ordered Caen to show up for a meeting Monday, equipped with Interplay's payroll records. Caen told investigators Thursday that he no longer has access to the records because they are on computers that have been put in storage, Fryer said.

"This doesn't release him from his past responsibilities," Fryer said. "It seems to me that he could just plug in a computer and get the records."

Caen could not be reached Friday for comment. Earlier this week, Interplay spokesman Luke Haase said the company is still seeking more funding. Paying employees will be a priority, he said.

If Caen fails to deliver the payroll records and pay employees, the state will move forward and hold formal hearings, Fryer said. The state could also put liens on Interplay's assets or turn the case over to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Caen still seems to think that excuses like "it's on a computer in storage" will get him out of his responsibilities. Yeah, sure thing, Herve.

News for Saturday, June 19, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 14:56

Since we probably have to wait quite awhile before knowing what will happen to our beloved Fallout series, I thought I would be nice for us to look elsewhere for promising titles. I've reported earlier about Metalheart, the Fall and also Stalker, but many of you probably loved the X-Com series as much as I did so here are some new X-Com-ish projects in the works:

I suggest you guys also check out those projects, which has stirred alot of interest for me..

News for Friday, June 18, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 19:09

It's my honour to present our latest subdomain, it's the post apocalyptic game in progress called Bourgeoisie, so remember to check out that site.
Link: Bourgeoisie

Posted by Brother None - at 18:05

Gamebanshee conducted an interview with several of Akella's developers responsible for the upcoming Metalheart:RR game. A bit:

Q: You've said in previous articles that the game will have some similarities to the Fallout and Jagged Alliance games. Can you describe some of the similarities and differences that M:RR will have to these previous games?

A: Combat system of Metalheart is pretty similar to one in Jagged Alliance series, and its “postapocalyptic” aesthetica is very much like what we’ve seen in Fallout, but there many things that are different. First off, there were no nuclear war or any other cataclysm. Then, characters won’t have any perks and traits, and whole idea of the game is very different from Fallout. Lantan and Cheris aren’t Chosen Ones, they’re not going to save the world, they only want to save their asses. And, of course, there are implants in Metalheart, they have huge impact on gameplay.
Link: Interview on GameBanshee

Posted by Odin - at 2:48

Next up in our famous and popular Fallout Developers Profile is none other than Jeff 'Huggies' Husges, who worked on Fallout 3/Van Buren as a Content Designer. Here's a snibblet:

Tell us a little about your role in the making of Fallout 1/2/3 (Van Buren) ?

Fallout 1 and 2 were before my time at Interplay, but those two were one of the reasons I looked to Interplay for employment in the first place.

As for Fallout 3, I was a content designer – NPCs, areas, dialogs, quests, etc. I was also the team rookie, which meant I spent a lot of time nodding my head and pretending to know what the hell the other guys were talking about.
Yet another good profile to read..
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - Jeff Husges

News for Thursday, June 17, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:16

The guys over at Shattered Oasis, the post apocalyptic unreal mod, have released a patch for their mod:

We worked our butts off and now have a patch to our 2.1 release we released in time for the MSU contest. Byte will be posting the actual changelist in our forums. Our mirrors will posted on our Downloads page as soon as they become available.
They will also be holding a release party in their IRC channel (Server - irc.enterthegame.com , channel - #S_O).
Link: Shattered Oasis, SO Download page

Posted by Brother None - at 19:15

Amongst today's Orange County business brief was this little bit about Interplay:


Interplay essentially closes; employees wait to be paid

Interplay has essentially shut down, after moving equipment out of its Irvine headquarters over the weekend and putting it in storage. Herve Caen, its chief executive, is still counting on finding new funding to revive the forlorn game maker, known for titles such as "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance."

Caen skipped a Wednesday meeting with the labor agency but later told investigators that he has kept payments current on medical insurance and 401-k plans for employees and anticipates money will come in soon to pay employees, said Dean Fryer, spokesman for the California Labor Commissioner.

If Interplay continues to shirk its responsibility to employees, the state can take the company to court to seek assets, Fryer said.

Posted by Odin - at 5:54

Per's notorious Fallout 2 guide/walkthrough has been updated, anything you wanted to know about Fallout 2 should be in this guide.. So remember to read this if you're wondering about something..
Link: Per's Fallout 2 Guide

News for Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 3:28

Damien 'Puuk' Foletto (former Fo3 dev) took some time to write an article about MMORPGs, evidently he's a fan of MMORPGs. And decided to write a small piece for Winterwind, here's a snibblet:

So, what do we have here, besides a lot of belly-aching and wishful thinking? Well, we have one fan's opinion on what they would like to see in the MMORPG genre. Everything I put in my wish list can be done and, in my opinion, should be done. The core reason a lot of people play MMORPG's is to get involved in a world with other players and do things they could never do in real life - fun things; adventurous things; things that would either get a person arrested, mauled, shot, and/or killed in real life. But the main reason is to have fun. I think some MMORPG developers forget the fun aspect and just stick to formulas, thinking that's the way it's always been, why muck with it. Step back from the formula, I say!
It's an interesting read.
Link: Puuk talks about MMORPGs

News for Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 18:24

We decided to email Luke Haase, Interplay's investor relations, about the current situation that IPLY is in and also the situation for the "employees" of IPLY, which are basicly kept in the dark about this whole situation. And he replied the following:

Management is working around-the-clock to solve first the short-term cash issues (back rent, employee payroll, new offices, etc), then the longer-term financing for company survival and growth. There are several options being pursued, some looking much more promising than others, but no specific timeline as yet.

Because Interplay remains a public company, we continue to operate under strict communications guidelines. As much as management wants to communicate more to the media, inquiring shareholders and others, any news we share with one party must be made public, and must not jeopardize any current negotiations. And I do hope that Interplay employees know that they are the first priority in terms of communications. As I understand it, given the very difficult situation at the company right now, the Human Resources Department has done a pretty good job of keeping folks informed.

I wish I could tell you specifics about what management is working on and when they will have announcements, but I am unable to do so for several reasons...legal, financial, and the fact that in many cases I am not privy to the specifics.

We are all hopeful about the future, even though the recent past has been incredibly challenging. I suppose two more encouraging points would be that the Chairman of the company has more at stake financially than anyone else here, and once/if the company gets beyond these short-term issues, the balance sheet of Interplay will likely be much stronger.
Actually it doesn't strike me like HR has done such a good job, when alot of them contact us about what's going on...

Posted by Brother None - at 16:45

We have reached the 6th chapter of RPGDot's Be in the Fall competition. This week, they want you to make "joke skills", funny nonsensical skills that only hurt the player.

Link: Be in the Fall #6

Posted by Brother None - at 15:47

In reply to Odin's earlier newsbit about Interplay employees being in the dark, Interplay techie Corith replied this on our forums:

In the dark is an understatment.

The Titus site is also gone... poof. I tried the phones, at the corp office. Disconnected. It was there as late as this morning now poof gone.
After checking, I also found the Titus site indeed missing, but on the other hand, the Robocop site, for instance, is still there. Might all just be temporary, we will keep you posted.

Posted by Odin - at 12:02

Next up in our feature called Fallout Developers Profile is none other than John W. Deiley, who worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout 3/Van Buren as a Designer. Here's a preview:

What is your hope for future Fallout games? Would you like to be a part of a future Fo team?

I can only hope that a developer who really cares for Fallout and the universe it’s based in gets the license. I don’t want to see the game cheapened in order for someone to just “make a buck” or go with the prevailing trend of console gaming. I think a massively multiplayer online version of Fallout would be nice.

Would I like to be part of a future team? Absolutely. I can’t think of a better future.
Hear, Hear! Some good stuff in there..
Link: Fallout Developers Profile - John W. Deiley

Posted by Odin - at 2:21

More info on the ongoing "Hervie draining IPLY for money" story, as we reported earlier the IPLY employees were all told to go home and file for unemployment. They were told that more info would come later on, right now I've talked to several employees and they all told me that they had no clue as to what was going on.

So basically Hervie has "laid off" all of the IPLY employees, but according to Herve IPLY is still in business (earlier statement after we posted about the employees encouraged to file for unemployment). Still the facts remain.

We've also learned that lawyers are scouring the countryside for little Hervie, for various reasons/money that IPLY owes someone.

What's also funny is the fact that the SEC is not taking actions towards the Caen brothers for being delinquent in their SEC filings, but evidently they're the least of his problems right now.

My guess is that Hervie boy will sell what pieces there are left of IPLY and get the hell out of Dodge, so now's the time to buy that Fallout license boys and girls.. Dish up!

News for Monday, June 14, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:47

So anyone want to rent the former house of Interplay/Black Isle ? Evidently Arden have already posted the old IPLY building up for rent, any takers?

Other news about IPLY is that they still haven't file the annual report, here you can check the status of the paperwork..

So we were correct when we said IPLY had left the building, great job Hervie.. Way to ruin a company and lots of peoples lifes...
Link: IPLY Building, Floor plan 1, Floor plan 2

Posted by Odin - at 19:59

HomeLAN Fed decided to post a 10 ways for IPLY to earn some money newsbit, which is basicly out to poke fun at Interplay:

10. Raffle off the rights to Descent and Freespace to mod authors.
9. Convince Donald Trump to fund a Trump MMORPG.
8. Organise tours of Interplay's offices; "Look, here is Mr. Landlord...."
7. Sell the movie rights for Kingpin to Vin Diesel.
6. Make a special DVD; "Interplay Gone Wild"
5. Make sure to turn off all lights and computers at night.
4. Appeal to gamers to buy all unsold copies of Lionheart.
3. Announce merger agreement with 3DO..wait a minute....
2. Announce new Fallout RPG developed by Trokia; Fallout fans will pre-order the game enough to keep the lights going.
And the number one way Interplay can raise money:
1. Start answering the phones with, "Interplay; want to buy the company?".
Erm..ok....
Spotted at RPGCodex

Posted by Odin - at 17:40

The post apocalyptic BF1942 mod called Dead Cities has finally arrived (Release 1), here's some info:

In the not too distant future the world is ravaged by war and left a desolate place. Roving bands of miscreants steal and loot to survive off the corpse of the old world. Out of this conflict come two main groups, the loosely connected Road Rogues who plunder without mercy and rule the highways with a V8 fist; and the Civilian Compound, a group of survivors who will stop at nothing to protect their families and a way of life that they used to know.

Enter the fray with eight new vehicles and a whole slue of new deadly weaponry. Custom animations, interesting new types of weapons, creative vehicles and excellent artwork abound! Strap in, load up, and check your ammo - it's time to stake your claim in the wastes!
Snazzy! I'll upload this baby to 3ddownloads as soon as I can, the mod is 41,5MB! There are also som new screenies of this mod at their website.
Download links: Fileplanet, FPSCentral, GamersHell and the650, 3ddownloads/NMA

Posted by Odin - at 12:34

VDHP posted about a real life Brahmin, this is a picture of a real two headed calf which was born in city of Tangua, Brazil:

Hmm...who nuked Brazil ?
Spotted at VDHP.

Posted by Odin - at 12:16

Word on the street is that IPLY has left the building they housed, all that wasn't nailed down was put in trucks and evidently put into storage facilities including all their computers and development systems.

There's also rumors that IPLY is going to be Obsidian's new "room-mate", evidently they're moving into the same building as Obsidian.

We do not know if this is true or not, but we do know that IPLY has left their now former building.

News for Sunday, June 13, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:17

As some of you might have noticed I've started working on the site some more, I'm redesigning the entire site so that it loads faster and makes my work easier.

You might experience some troubles with certain sections, but don't worry I'm fixing it as I go along. Get ready for a new NMA with some new content and some surprises Wink

Posted by Odin - at 2:25

ColJack of Mutants Rising has uploaded a new Fallout 2 Mapper Tutorial for you guys, here's what the man said:

I've uploaded a new tutorial to my site..

"The Basics: Part 1 - Floors and Walls"

As always, feel free to grab it and post it on your own sites, just credit me with writing it...

I've also updated the "Proto Editing" tutorial to clear up some problems people had understanding it..
Snazzy! I've also made a Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the tutorial and uploaded it to our download section.
Link: ColJack homepage, Wall/Floor Tutorial (PDF)

Posted by Odin - at 0:22

In the recent UK version of PCZone they have a Fallout feature that is 4 pages long, I've uploaded the images to our Gallery so go have a read..
But remember to buy the magazine, because this is worth having Wink
Link: PCZone Fallout Feature



Thanks and a happy birthday to ColJack

News for Saturday, June 12, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 4:42

The old Half-Life project called The Wastes have had a couple of updates since I last checked, they've posted some art of the various weapons and also a image of character. They've also gotten some new team members:

Lets all give a warm Wasteland welcome to Pyroquantre one of the forum regulars, and Slipi both who have just signed on with the team. They will be part of the map production crew for The Wastes!
Sounds good, but still using the oooold Half-Life engine ??
Link: The Wastes

Posted by Odin - at 4:33

The Unreal/Half-Life 2 project called Roadkill Warriors have moved their domain and servers, here's some info:

We have our own domain adress now! (Thanx SuperDre!). Please change your bookmarks to...

www.roadkillwarriors.tk

We will be moving soon to a faster server (hopefully) so anyone using our old urls
( www.planetunreal.com/roadkill and www.planethalflife.com/roadkillwill ) will hit the wall....hehehe
Aukey, but when are we getting more info about the mod?
Link: Roadkill Warriors

Posted by Odin - at 4:25

As I was browsing through the usual PA projects around the net I spotted that the Shattered Oasis has some exciting news they going to post today, here's what it says:

Keep your eyes posted here tonite Something special coming your way !
They've also submitted their mod for some contest and posted a new screenshot.
Link: Shattered Oasis

News for Friday, June 11, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:06

Good old Tim Cain (programmer on Fo1/2) also took some time to do our Fallout Developers Profile, here's a snazzy snibblet:

What’s your favourite Fallout memory?

I really enjoyed a lot of the humorous bugs that never made it into game. We had doors that ran away from the player when he opened them, and rocket launchers that fired people that ran to their target and blew up. But if you mean my favourite part of the final games, it’s a close call between the ending of Fallout 1 where you kill the Overseer and the scene in Fallout 2 where you travel back in time and accidentally break the water chip in Vault 13. Both are wonderful scenes, but very different emotionally.
That cracked me up, anyone took a video of that rocket launcher??
Link:Fallout Dev Profile - Tim Cain

Posted by Odin - at 17:36

Yay! I've just finished uploading the new design for NMA, this one is done by myself and Obsydian of SHAMO. I'm fixing the subpages now so some of those might not be correct just yet..

Thanks alot to Obsydian for helping me out....

News for Thursday, June 10, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:57

Next up in our Fallout Developers Profile is the might Damien 'Puuk' Foletto, who worked on Van Buren/Fallout 3. Here's a snibblet:

Were there things that you wished you had added to either Fallouts?

Take the interface and its options from Fallout 2 and make it work in Fallout 1. I would have liked the main story timer taken out in Fallout 1 as well. I wanted more time to explore (of course there were plenty of things to do to extend the time, but I just do not like to have a timer on a main story arch. Sub-quest timers are fine.)
Damn straight, why didn't any one fix that Fo1 interface stuff??
Link: Fallout Dev Profile - Damien 'Puuk' Foletto

Posted by Odin - at 16:51

The Sigonyth website has been updated with some new info about the project, more specificly they've posted about one of the species of critters. Here's some info:

(...) several hundred meters below ground, in the dark and cold corridors and passages dwells one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet - especially dangerous to miners armed only with drills and pickaxes - commonly dubbed the Rock Mole. Being not what you would consider garden vermin, these gargantuan beasts can strike blows more forceful than an armoured vehicle. In spite of their sightlessness and incommodious movement the moles strike terror into anyone who hears the sound of their paws cleaving the granite rocks.
You can also view this critter in this and this animation.
Link: Sigonyth
Spotted at VDHP.

Posted by Odin - at 16:48

Silencer posted a snibblet about a news update on the Trinity project, here's what he said:

Obviously, the site hasn't been updated for some time. But no worry, all that time we've been working on Trinity, or rather, the Primitive.

I think it would be worthy to mention the things that we've been doing during the silence:
- the work on the Primitive storyline has been completed
- we've created some utilities to help us with future work
- new models for the game are in preparation
- dialogue editor created
- official project forum and IRC channel launched
- intense work on the game system and the game core are underway
Well actually it was Kaczor that said it, but...
Link: Trinity

Posted by Brother None - at 1:11

Odin posted the OC Register article that GameSpot cites as a source for its latest Interplay article on the Winterwind forums. It warrants some closer inspection:

The state is auditing Interplay's payroll records to determine who has been paid and who hasn't. Once the audit is completed, Interplay must pay back wages and possible penalties. If Interplay doesn't pay on time, the state could go after Interplay's assets by filing liens in court.

"We've missed a couple of payrolls, but we're going to catch up as soon as we get funding," Caen said.

Caen said he repeatedly has told employees that they will be paid when cash comes in through more funding or through the ongoing sale of its games, including "Baldur's Gate" and "Fallout." Tuesday, Caen said at least five people were at work.
By Baldur's Gate and Fallout you mean the highly popular Baldur's Gate 3 and Fallout 3? Oh no, I forgot, you cancelled those.

I would like to remind everyone at this point that Herve lost his D&D back-catalogue. Rumours from Irvine have it that all Herve's referring to is BGDA2, for which he wants an advancement from Vivendi. But Vivendi won`t pay until he gets a deal with Atari. And that doesn't look promising. And obviously his Fallout sales are currently Fallout dual set, Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

I don't think that's going to cover your bills, Herve

News for Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 22:22

In hindsight, Gamespot had to clarify and rectify some of its earlier statements. Titus has indeed not gone bankrupt in the traditional sense of the word, rather they avoided being liquidated by "redressement judiciare" which in American is known as a receivership. Clarification:

According to the news service AOF, Titus has entered redressment judiciare, the French form of receivership. For the layman, receivership is a form of bankruptcy in which a company can avoid liquidation by reorganizing with the help of a court-appointed trustee. The Tribunal of Commerce of Meaux halted the trading of Titus shares midday yesterday at 0.16 euros ($0.20) per share. Titus stock will remain suspended pending a review of Titus' finances and those of its two French subsidiaries, developer Sofra Games and distributor Avalon France.
Link: Gamespot Article

Thanks Briosafreak

Posted by Brother None - at 19:51

The Fourth instalment of the Fall's dev diary on RPG Vault is up. This time it's Art Director Jan Jordan's turn as he discusses some details about the graphics. He once more displays how the people of SSE always do their homework:

One of the weirdest objects we cooked up is a power generator that looks like a huge hamster wheel driven by human beings. And, while it certainly does seem strange, we actually sat down and calculated if this construction would work and how much energy it would produce before it made its way into the game.
Heh.
As for the look of objects, the engine beneath The Fall is really nice to work with because we're really flexible in terms of texture mapping and animations (thanks to Inverse Kinematics, which Sebastian elaborated on previously).

As you might have seen in screenshots, our interface has this certain 'rusty metal' look to it. Originally, we had three or four different styles to choose from. After the functional implementation of the user interface, the artists in our team started developing these approaches independently at the same time. Once the 'dummies' were done, we evaluated the results and picked the one we liked best. The other concepts weren't completely ditched though since they contained some nice ideas we incorporated in the final UI. By the way, this style is also mirrored by the look of the homepage of The Fall.
Link: dev diary #4 on RPG Vault
Link: the Fall website

Posted by Odin - at 4:48

According to Gamespot, Titus has filed for bankruptcy and Interplay has reopened. Here's what Tor posted:

...CEO Herve Caen succeeded in acquiring workers' compensation insurance for the financially ailing company, thereby allowing work to resume at its Irvine, CA offices. The offices were forcibly closed Friday by state labor inspectors due to lack of workers' compensation insurance and unpaid wages.


Ironically, the good news for Interplay came on the same day the publisher's majority shareholder, France-based Titus Interactive, declared bankruptcy. Speaking to GameSpot, sources close to the developing story said they heard news of the bankruptcy from Caen himself.
Oooh..from Hervie himself, meh..wouldn't put to much into it..
Link: IPLY reopened, Titus bankrupt

EDIT: Caen says:
"(Titus' bankruptcy) doesn't affect us in any way, shape or form," the Register quotes him as saying. Caen is hoping that funding through investment bank SG Capital will help get the troubled company back on its feet.
Link: Interplay reopened, Parent Company Frozen on IGN PC Games
-Kharn

Posted by Odin - at 2:25

Trolle of the Mutants Rising team posted an MR update on VDHP, here's what he said:

June has been a very busy month. Our writers have been working around the clock, in order to ensure you an imminent release of the MR demo. A release date will be forthcoming as soon as possible.

We have also accepted 2 new artists – Sept13 (m) and Ida (f) – two very talented individuals who will be working on hand drawings and generally produce concept art.

The last thing included in the June PR will be a couple of previews from the game – some concept art and a couple of screenshots. Enjoy!...
Snazzy, looking good guys!!
Spotted at VDHP.

News for Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:11

That's right boys and girls, we here at NMA decided that we wanted all the flith and dirt we could dig up on the various Fallout developers and thus we made our Fallout Developers Profile section.

Basicly it's a standard profile of the various developers that have worked on either of the Fallouts, we also decided to bring in those that worked on Van Buren (Fo3) even tho it never saw the day of light.

First off is Josh Eric Sawyer, who talks about his lusts, his love and..erm..well not exactly but here's a preview:

What are your favourite bands/artists (music) ?

Björk is easily my favorite. I also like Goldfrapp, P.J. Harvey, Mogwai, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Dawn Upshaw, Lamb, Morphine, Andreas Scholl, Beck, Amon Tobin, Calexico, Mandy Patinkin, David Bowie, Aphex Twin, Dead Can Dance, Sparta, Billie Holiday, Martina Topley-Bird, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, and many others.

When I hear people pumping phat beats at stop lights in San Diego, I like to roll up with Pagan Poetry at full volume.
Aww..that rebel!

And if you're a former Fallout developer, well contact me and we'll get you posted as well..

Posted by Brother None - at 20:08

#5 of RPGDot's competition to offer the common man a chance to be in SSE's the Fall is up. This week they want you to design a creature that fits into the world of The Fall.

Link: RPGDot's Be in the Fall #5

Posted by Odin - at 15:05

GamingAge got ahold of Damon Vergilio (Interplay's Public Relations employee) and interviewed him about the recent crisis at IPLY. Here are some bits:

GA: How much of Interplay's staff is currently working from remote locations?
DV: That is almost impossible for me to answer. I am working from home as well as many others. I do hear people are quitting on a daily basis and a lot of my friends have already started for other companies. I do not know how many have quit. I am pretty sure 90% of upper management is still there.

GA: What are the company's immediate plans to get working again, and what timeframe do you expect?
DV: Immediate plans are to make some kind of deal to get Interplay enough cash to re-instate Worker's Compensation, health benefits, back wages and get into a new building. I would assume that the only way to do this without someone investing a large chunk of money would be to sell a franchise or two. If we can secure some short term cash to get us out of this immediate pickle then we expect to be around a long time.

GA: Interplay is home to some of gaming's most beloved franchises. Considering the games announced earlier this year – based on the Descent, Fallout, Kingpin, Exalted (from the creators of Hunter) and Dark Alliance properties – are some licenses more likely to be on the trading block than others?
DV: Anything is on the chopping block to save the company. Herve [Herve Caen, Interplay's CEO] said he expects to announce something within the next couple days that will be enough of a boost to bring us back in. When it gets this dire, everything is up for grabs.

Long term, with the properties we own and what we have under our belt, we're in good shape. Short term, we have a situation to fix. Bankruptcy is not a necessary step for us. SG Capital [the company helping Interplay raise capital] agrees.

Some deals were close to complete before this happened, but until there's a signature there's no guarantee.
Aukey, so sell the damn Fallout license to Troika already!!
Spotted at Raging Bull forums, TTWO forum.
Link: GamingAge interviews Damon

Posted by Odin - at 14:34

Following the suspension of Titus shares Titus released a statement, here's what was posted (roughly translated thank to Jebus):

LEGAL RECTIFICATION!

There are plenty of reasons to be alarmed by Titus' current health status. When the quotation has been suspenced yesterday, at a final course of 0.16 €, today the video games producer announces that the Tribunal of Commerce of Meaux has placed the society and three of his daughters under legal rectification. Those daughters are Sofra Games (a development company), GIE Titus interactive (the administrative part of Titus) and Avalon France (distribution in France).

An observation period has been enstated, lasting until the 6th of September 2004. Negociations will continue, to yield certain activae and parts of the Titus group. One naturally thinks of the American entity Interplay, as cited in the official statement. (the last course of Interplay was 5 cents in the USA).

The quotation remains suspended untill further order. The stocks have lost 3/4th of their value since the start of the year.
So now Herve really has a hard time!
Link: Titus Announcement, Titus newsbit 1, Titus newsbit 2
Thanks goes out to Briosafreak for informing us.

News for Monday, June 7, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 20:35

I'm going to do some upgrading on the gallery section, so that might be somewhat unavailable. Just hold onto your hat and be patience..

Edit: Done.....

Posted by Brother None - at 18:21

Sovz informed us of an article on Ferrago. It's nothing new, but it has some nifty analogies:

If Interplay's current downward spiral does result in their ultimate demise anytime soon, then this must surely have been the most drawn-out death scene since the insane terrorist-come-robber with the lank blonde hair ran psychotically out of the burning Plaza at the close of Die Hard. Once golden-child of the industry, Interplay has been responsible for releasing some truly seminal titles - the likes of Fallout and Baldur's Gate - as well as many more all emanating from the house that Titus bought. But since Titus' acquisition some years back, the firm seems to have been in a slow decline with the burst of the technology bubble, a fact emphasised by the plight of their beleaguered parent company whose other publishing interest in Virgin Interactive saw Virgin reclaiming their brand name and the company then down-sizing to next to nothing.
Link: article on Ferrago

Posted by Odin - at 16:54

Snake informed me that he's picked up the pieces on the FOT: Rules of engagement mod/campaign, he's been absent due to some family business and now wants to pick up where he left.:

My question to you is as following... If you have any kind of mapping experience in the Fallout Tactics Editor and if you think you can help us out, please contact me at: Snakediablo@hotmail.com and I will be happy to work with you... We're well underway and there is alot of work done, but atleast half still needs to be finished and I really hope there are people out there who wish to see the project finished.
So help out if you can..
Link: FOT: Rules of engagement

Posted by Odin - at 16:50

Larry Eggleston informed me that he had put up a movie clip of a speed run through Fallout 2, he ran through Fallout 2 in 20 minutes:

I'm pretty sure this is the first known recorded attempt at a speed run for Fallout 2, which kind of surprises me given the game's structure. Having played it for so long, I knew that the way the game was built would make a speed run very viable, and I think this video reflects that. The run is recorded with the latest offical patch (v1.02), and done from start to finish without any saves...
Wow..
Link: Fallout 2 Speed run

Posted by Odin - at 14:56

According to this newsbit on Yahoo Finance, the shares for Titus Interactive is suspended in preperation for an official statement. Rough translation:

The trading of Titus Interactive shares was suspended monday on the Paris stock exchange, circa 11/26 AM, at a last traded value of 0,16 Euro (-5,58%), announced today Euronext.
This suspension was made by request of the videogames company in preparation for the release of an oficial statement. Titus Interactive is the holder of american group Interplay Entertainement Corp.
Official statement eh?! Thanks goes out to Briosafreak for informing us.
Link: Titus is suspended

News for Sunday, June 6, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 0:50

One of Interplay's 5 founders, Bill Heineman, wrote a little spot in his LiveJournal about the current falling of Interplay and the memories he has of the place. Some bits:

The titles kept coming. Borrowed Time, Tass Times in Tonetown and then our breakthrough title, The Tales of the Unknown: The Bard's Tale. In the office with 12 people, it was a joy to come into the office, have fun making games you want to play and everyone knew each other on a first name basis.

This was paradise.

Interplay grew, adding more people, starting more projects yet it kept the small developer feel throughout. Politics were almost non-existant. The projects were ones you would almost kill to get to work on like Bard's Tale II, Wasteland, and Bard's Tale III.

(...)

Is the company dead? As a corporation, it's very much alive. But without millions of dollars sunk into the firm just to pay off debt that's due today and millions more to fund operations until a new management team could be found and turn the place around, it's not likely that it will recover.

So, even though I may be premature in saying this, Farewell Interplay. You were the source of many happy memories for me and thousands of current and former employees. May the games that were created there live on forever in the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere. Bard's Tale, Descent, Battlechess and Wasteland were classics that the games of today still try to duplicate their fun factor, but may never do.
Link: Bill Heineman on Interplay in his LiveJournal

Posted by Brother None - at 0:41

Josan informed us that the second article of the Winterwind interview with MCA has been put up.

Link: interview with MCA on Winterwind

Posted by Brother None - at 0:39

Another article by Tamara Chuang appeared in the OC, with the statement that, at long last (some would say), Interplay is "shut down":

State regulators shut down Interplay

By TAMARA CHUANG
The Orange County Register


The state labor department shut down Interplay Entertainment Corp. today after discovering the computer game developer had no workers’ compensation insurance and failed to pay employees on time.

Five employees filed complaints this week with the state’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement claiming Interplay hasn’t paid them several thousand dollars in wages in the past month. Interplay resolved two employee complaints over bounced paychecks in April.

(...)

Herve Caen, Interplay’s CEO, said the company plans to reinstate its workers comp as soon as possible.

"The company has not shut down. (The state) can’t do that. It can only let me not let employees work," said Caen, adding that Interplay will move to a smaller office in mid-June. "I hope to have that (insurance) back by Monday or Tuesday."

(...)


Caen cut costs and sold off assets, including its right to develop popular games. But even as Interplay reported a profit in December, the company unexpectedly lost a $3 million cash payment from its distributor earlier this year, Caen said. That resulted in the lack of money to pay the rent and employees.

"They didn’t warn us when we had cash in the bank," Caen said. "It’s not going to kill us but it created a lot of consequences going forward."

(...)

Loyal employees continued to show up for work this week, although they said they haven’t been paid for a month.

"The reason I stick around is that I’m a diehard loyalist and I love the people I work with. If there is any sliver of hope that Interplay may someday turn around I want to be there to see it," said Steve Jobes, Interplay’s Internet Systems manager, who was at work today.
Capelworth posted the entire article on the Winterwind forums.

Link: OC article on Winterwind

Thanks Capelworth and Briosafreak

Kumquatq3 also pointed out Gamespot picked up on it

News for Saturday, June 5, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 3:22

Tamara Chuang of the Orange County Register again had a revealing and good article about Interplay. Some bits:


State regulators investigating Interplay

By TAMARA CHUANG
The Orange County Register

State regulators began an on-site investigation of Interplay Entertainment Corp. today after receiving complaints that employees were not getting paid.

(...)

"We've got seven claims in, which is enough for us to believe that the problem goes beyond these seven employees," said Dean Fryer, spokesman for the California Labor Commissioner. "We want to find out if indeed employees haven't been properly paid and have proper workers compensation. If not, we could close the business down."

Interplay already faces eviction from its landlord, Arden Reality, which hasn't received a rent payment on the 81,000-square-foot Irvine office space since January. Interplay, which has said it would run out of money by July, also owes $179,000 in payroll taxes and penalties, according to regulatory filings.

(...)

Luke Haase, who handles Interplay's investor relations, said today that Interplay is still in business and expects to be around five years, even 10 years from now.

(...)


"Some payments have been missed. Some back payments have been made," Haase said. "The company is still behind. A majority of employees are still coming in to work. It's their choice."

But Haase has high hopes for the company. Interplay hired SG Capital in April to raise money or sell the company.
Thanks Briosafreak

News for Friday, June 4, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 23:21

Gamespot's Tor Thorsen managed to get a hold of Herve Caen, who denied Interplay was shut down right now, but really couldn't deny much else:

That is, until now. Last night, GameSpot talked with the surprisingly affable Caen, who denied the end was nigh for Interplay. His proof? "You can see our stock is trading, so we're still here."

But when asked whether or not Interplay was facing eviction from its Irvine, CA offices and laying off staffers, Caen's answers grew less direct. "I can't comment one way or the other," he said. "I'm bound by disclosure rules because we're a publicly traded company, so I can't say anything outside of press releases or official SEC filings." When asked when the next official SEC filing would be, Herve said, "I can't answer that--if I tell you, I'll have to tell everyone."
Yeah the stock's still trading, and how

Thanks kumquatq3

Link: article on Gamespot

Posted by Pope Viper - at 19:55

According to former BIS'er, Krazikatt on the thread on Winterwind, Interplay doors have been padlocked, and the staff told to file for unemployment.


Krazikatt said:

"Well, from what I hear the doors of the building have been padlocked... and HR told them all to fill out the forms for unemployment... sooooo, I can't see anything over there living much longer."
Is this the end at hand?

Link: http://www.gamertalk.biz/viewtopic.php?t=1821&start=20

UPDATE: in the comments to this newspost, Krazikatt said:
I was wrong!

I just heard from someone who saw this quote (you guys are always getting me in trouble!) that the doors are not padlocked and they are still operating as normal.
Additionally in Gamespot's "Herve speak" article was this bit:

On Thursday, visitors to the Interplay offices found the doors locked, but some employees were lingering outside the back. While expressing optimism about the company's prospects, the workers admitted they hadn't been paid in weeks and had heard that there was a chance that Arden Realty, Interplay's landlords, were going to padlock the offices by the end of the week.

News for Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Posted by Brother None - at 23:07

BIS employee Sean K. Reynolds has posted on his own forum that Interplay has not been evicted:

Well, Interplay isn't evicted yet.

In any case, I gave notice today.
We've had our disagreements in the past, Sean, but it's still nice to hear you have a strong lead for a new job, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.

Link: Thread on SKR forum

Thanks Briosafreak

With this, Sean confirms what two reliable informants, Eragon and kumquatq3, posted before in this thread:
kumquatq3: [quoting source] I talked to some friends there. The info is not totally true. The doors will be open until Friday. But seems like its finally the end

Ergan2004: From what I have heard, the employees have until Friday to move all of their personal possessions out of the Von Karman building.

Posted by Brother None - at 22:53

GameSpot, while doing their usual gossip control, got a hold of someone who might be an employee, or not, and who says the company he might or might not work for is not going belly-up, right now.

[UPDATE] Early Wednesday, the voicemail system at Titus' American offices ceased to function. A follow-up call to Interplay's offices got an actual person on the line for the first time in over a month. When asked if Interplay was going out of business, the person said, "No, that's not true," but refused to elaborate. When asked if she was an employee of Interplay, the person said, "I'd rather not say," and promptly transferred the call to Herve Caen's personal mailbox. Caen had not responded to the voicemail as of press time, and several subsequent calls to Interplay's main line were met with a busy signal. As of noon Wednesday, the line was still busy.
Link: shutdown rumors about Interplay on GameSpot

News for Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:09

According to a source of ours all the employees was contacted by the IT director at IPLY today and asked to pick up their personal effects.

The Property management company is shutting the doors effective 5pm for lack of payment..

So Basicly IPLY doesn't have a home now or is shutting down for good!?

Update: We've got more on this whole tale, it seems that Human Resources told the employees to file for unemployment, Herve and Eric are no where to be found.....

All employees are in the progress of gathering their belongings, since the offices are being closed at 5pm. They were also told that they would be advised in the "future" what was being done......

Posted by Odin - at 22:01

Interplay is rumoured to release their Q1 "earnings" report today, we've also gotten confirmation that IPLY actually have charged their employees for full benefits even tho there is no insurance and haven't been for at least 30 days.

Also frymuchan (IPLY investor) got a call from Chris from IPLYs legal department, here's what frymuchan posted on the Raging Bull forums:

I talked to Chris in the legal department at Interplay (I was surprised that he called me back all the way in Wisconsin). he said that right now Interplay was working on completing their Q1 earnings report. I was encouraged by this and by the fact that he made a long distance phone call to me. I'm hoping for a merger/buyout, doesn't seem like Interplay has any other options.
So basicly IPLY has been doing nothing but try to disguise their losses and not actually done some work on games... Sounds like a corporation for the future...We'll keep you updated later on today hopefully, when we know more about the Q1 earnings report.
Cheers to Pope Viper for informing me about the Raging Bull thread..

Posted by Brother None - at 15:56

RPGDot offers yet another chance to be in SSE's the Fall. This week's question:

Indeed, meteorologists assume that global warming would affect the rate and intensity of tropical storms. Several factors contribute to the creation of a hurricane - one of them is the temperature of the sea surface. The warmer it is, the higher the chances that a tropical cyclone will form and the stronger it can become. This week we'd like to know:

What's the critical water temperature we're talking about?
Link: RPGDot be in the Fall competition #4

Posted by Odin - at 13:57

Sergey informed us that the website for the upcoming PA game called Outcome has gotten a facelift. Outcome is an turn based RPG in a post apocalyptic game..
Link: Outcome, Outcome Screenshots

Posted by Odin - at 12:29

The dedicated modders over at Dead Cities have updated their site with some new animations:

The Deadcities promo video saga continues with the furious lead spitting capabilities of the Tec-9 submachine gun. This quick video shows off the amazing Tec-9 and it's animations ingame. I don't feel that I am exaggerating when I say that DeadCities will undoubtedly raise the bar of quality in both models and animations. The Dev team is wrapping up final preparations, and will be doing release candidate stress testing very soon-

Grab your Gasmask and your Louisville Slugger, the apocalypse is almost upon us all.

Videos: Louisville Slugger, weapon animations.
Link: Dead Cities

Posted by Odin - at 12:18

AutoAssault is a new Massively Multiplayer Online Game set in a post apocalyptic setting/world, it features:

  • Massively multiplayer gaming at the wheel of your combat automobiles
  • A uniquely destructible world where you can destroy everything that moves (and most things that don’t)
  • Realistic effects! The Havok 2™ physics engine makes jumping ravines, smashing through barriers, and sending buildings crumbling to the ground incredibly realistic
  • Unique mission system—level up while playing, rather than playing to level up
  • Unprecedented world map system minimizes travel time and maximizes actual gameplay
  • Dynamic map generation—plug-in modules, terrain, creatures, and spontaneous world map events allow for virtually limitless replay ability
  • Highly scripted scenarios: solo, group, and common areas
  • Gain fame in the arenas, create wealth by trading, complete missions to advance your standing, or battle for the dominance of your faction in outpost wars
So more a MadMax-RoadRage PA MMOG..
Link: AutoAssault