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News for Saturday, October 30, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 7:14

If you are interested in this action RPG by the German developer Master Creating, you can now download a German language demo of Restricted Area on the offical website.

Link: Restricted Area Demo
Spotted at Blue's News.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 7:05

GSC has followed THQ with an official statement about the delay of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. citing the 'life simulation' system as the cause. In addition, they have released a number of new screenshots to prove their "hard work on the game."

Following the internal evaluation of the game performance and the huge undertaking required to test the product, the company submitted a request to the game's worldwide publisher THQ INC. asking for additional time.

"We're extremely grateful to THQ INC. for allowing us the time we feel will allow S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Shadow Of Chernobyl to achieve its true potential" stated Oleg Yavorsky, Senior PR Manager for GSC Game World. "With the game expectation bar set so high and the team so close to achieving their ambition, we didn't want to rush the product out, and will work now on ensuring it is stable, balanced and fun-to-play on every level before releasing it to THQ INC. for manufacture. It is a hard step to take. Ultimately, I think it is a reasonable thing to do, although, I know it may disappoint our fans who have waited patiently for the game's release. All we can do is re-assure the public that we will the use the time wisely and the end result will be worth waiting for".

As it is well documented, one of the key game features is its ambitious 'life simulation' system, which controls the entire populous of the open game world. Due to its complexity, this appears to be the most time-consuming feature to implement and perfect as well as being time intensive to test, taking into account that the game monsters not only have full life-cycles working (including hunting, feeding, resting, sleeping, combat etc), but also migrate from level to level, all independently of the player's actions. With NPCs it all goes on at an even more complex level, by which they not only live in the game, but also accomplish quests, communicate, trade and fight, in the same way as the player.

Therefore, an additional time buffer will undeniably be useful for GSC to carry out a more extensive testing of the game universe and its mechanisms.

It is also worthwhile mentioning that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is the first game built on the new X-Ray engine and the additional development time will ensure technology stability and the perfect functioning of all its components.

We would like to reassure the community that the development team applies every effort possible (and sometimes impossible) to deliver the game to the highest level as early as feasible. It is exciting for us to realize that most of the features initially announced and some requested later by the community have been implemented in the game, and it is just the testing and debugging which remains to be accomplished. We very much appreciate your support and loyalty to the game through all this time as they are pivotal and valued by every member of the team. We also count on the community support with the upcoming game beta testing, in this way we all can ensure the game shows up as soon as possible.

To confirm our hard work on the game, please, check out the latest in-game screenshots on the official game web-site.

Found at Oblivion-Lost.

Posted by Silencer - at 3:55

Kaczor's posted some news straight from the Trinity website:

As you might have noticed, we've been having some severe problems with the forum for some time. Unfortunately, the server on which it was located has given up the ghost. After a few failed attempts to resuscitate it, we've decided to set everything up from scratch. It wasn't too hard. The partially damaged data base was much worse. Luckily, we have mINA on the team - without him , all the threads would've been lost. After a lot of maneuvering, we now officially restore the forum, under the new address:

Although this may not occur to you right away, the website has been modified too. Now, it's totally integrated with the forum. Now we don't have to manually edit files to post a news item - making a thread will suffice. Needless to say, it'll make our work much easier. Soon, there will be more changes to particular sections and they'll be updated.

News for Friday, October 29, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 13:04

Vilhelm informed us of a new preview of Elder Scrolls - Oblivion where Todd Howard talks about Fallout in one of the questions:

GS: We have to ask--how, if at all, has Bethesda's recent acquisition of Black Isle Studios' Fallout license and confirmation that it will work on a Fallout 3 affected The Elder Scrolls IV's planning and design? How will the two games be different, or complementary? It seems safe to assume that Elder Scrolls IV will be Bethesda's next huge, sprawling role-playing game, while Fallout 3 will be a more-compact, self-contained adventure. Is this the case? Has Bethesda found itself forced to rethink or adjust its plans for The Elder Scrolls IV so as not to compete with its own plans for Fallout 3?

TH: Oblivion has been in development since 2002, so getting the Fallout license recently hasn't changed our plans for Oblivion at all. By their nature, I don't think they compete with each other. They will be very different games--not just in style, but in how they play. Also, for some time our plan had been to use this technology in other games, and Fallout is a great fit for that.
Hmm this could be good news.
Link: Oblivion Preview@Gamespot

News for Thursday, October 28, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 10:17

HomeLAN is reporting that THQ have issued a new press release which explains a new delay for Stalker:

The press release also has some news on upcoming games, including yet another delay for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the long awaited first person shooter from GSC GameWorld. The game, which previously was planned for release in the first quarter of 2005, is now set for release in May of 2005.
Right. Let me guess, they had to figure out some new content because they've talked about the whole game in interviews?!

News for Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 6:37

TeamX's mod Fallout 2: A New Vision has begun testing, as per this thread on the TeamX forums.

(translation by Setau)

Rejoice, my fellow comrades! For the moment we've all been waiting and striving endlessly for has finally arrived: our first major mod has gone into testing!

We've decided to divide the testing into two phases. The first phase commences today, and it will allow us to do a final refining of the mod's balance. In other worlds, we simply want to make sure we don't mess up the whole game with it Smile. The second phase will commence shortly, and will be concerned strictly with the final (well, at least we hope so Smile version of the mod.
Thanks Wild_Qwerty.

News for Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 17:03

For those of you that haven't seen this Thorgrimm is working on a Fallout Civilization 3 mod and have posted several images from the mod in our forum. Here are some:

Really nice..
Remember to check the Fallout Civ 3 forum thread@NMA for more info..

Posted by Odin - at 16:57

dude_obj, a forum member at NMA decided to make a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) regarding Fallout modding. It's a great read for those of you that still don't know how to make those mods work or how to mod.
Link: Forum thread@NMA, Fallouot Modification FAQ

Posted by Montez - at 14:36

Gamesfire interviewed STALKER's Oleg Yavorksky recently and the english translation of the Q&A is now up. Not much new info as far as I can see, though apparently it will have Dolby 7.1 support:

GF: Lets come to some technical questions: Concerning the graphics engine, we have seen lots of screenshots showing the interior parts of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. using DirectX 9. When will the whole world be presented in the DirectX 9 format? Or is it already DX 9-optimized? And in which format will we able to “hear S.T.A.L.K.E.R.”? Will there be a 7.1 sound system support?

Mr. Yavorsky: We’ll show you more of DX9 once it’s possible. As to the sound system we can already say that it will fully support 5.1 sound system. Closer to the release it will be clear about 7.1.

I'm still looking forward to this game, but I think the potential Q&A information has been exhausted at this point.

Link: Stalker Q&A at Gamesfire
Spotted at Blue's News

Posted by Tannhauser - at 3:29 has an exclusive look at one of the factions from The Fall: Last Days of Gaia, the Yavapai Apache. The website is in German, but sahneknuffi was good enough to translate the article into English for us.

The Yavapai Apache are a distrustful tribe. Following the great catastrophe of 2062 they returned to their roots. Their customs, rites and beliefs often draws them into conflict with other inhabitants of the wastelands. Therefore they decided to lead a nomadic life and just break up tents as soon as trouble was brewing up. Their totem built from wrecked car-parts is of great importance to them and is always brought along as they journey across the wastes.

A few years ago their tribe merged with the Dinè-tribe, in order to strenghten their community and make it less vulnerable to attacks. Since that time the tribe was spared from any more major attacks but continuously suffered the desecration of their burial grounds by an unknown party, which lead to numerous conflicts with the white people.

There is also an accompanying picture, with a few other screenshots.

Link: The Fall feature at
Spotted at Duck and Cover.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 2:59

Duck and Cover has created a new feature, Collector's Weekly.

Collector's Weekly will be a (you guessed it) weekly newsbit, posted every Sunday or Monday, listing all of the good auctions we find on Ebay for everything Fallout and generally Post Apocalyptic in nature. With Fallout and Fallout 2 being extremely hard to find items these days, we thought it would be a good idea to bring you right to the source. Also, if you have something that you would like to list (be it a cool auction, or even something of your own that you'd like to sell) you can PM me [King of Creation at Duck and Cover], and I'll gladly put it up!
Sounds like an interesting resource.

News for Monday, October 25, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 4:47

The independent developers Gamedale Entertainment have announced their most recent project, a post-apocalyptic text-based online RPG, Blackout. The game will be free and completely browser-based. Public beta testing is estimated to begin in early 2005.

The Blackout website.
The Gamedale Entertainment website.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 2:11

Corith, a former Interplay employee, has updated this thread on our forums about Herve's latest antics.

After over 5 months of being kept in a odd kind of limbo, Herve and his handfull of hand-picked drones have finally managed to send out notices of temrination to the former members of this once proud game publisher.

Sadly, he is now refusing to pay acrued vacation money. I guess it means more lawsuits. The court date for the post mortum stealth change from salary to wage hasn't even been set yet, and here is more litiigation for him.
Apparently Herve will never learn, though he continues to waste everyone's time with his behavior.

News for Saturday, October 23, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 8:24

IGN has previewed the Post-Apocalyptic Massively Multiplayer Action Game (as Scott Brown, President of NetDevil describes it) Auto Assault. IGN is unfailingly optimistic about the game, though the review causes one to wonder about all these 'unique' features.

The devs are defining a new genre of MMO play by making use of action genre gameplay. With a far-out futuristic setting and a plot that makes Mad Max sound like a bedtime story, they recognize that both companies are taking a great risk entering the industry's most highly volatile and fiercely competitive market segment. They are gambling that what gamers the world round are saying is the honest truth, that they are ready for something different, original, and fun.
Link: Auto Assault Preview at IGN

Posted by Tannhauser - at 7:52

The upcoming Elder Scrolls game, TES IV: Oblivion, has launched it's website. Right now it is rather bare, containing four screenshots, two pieces of concept artwork, a press release, and a FAQ. As for this information's relevance, remember that Oblivion will share the same engine as Bethsoft's Fallout 3.

Howard commented, "Our games have always been about great depth and variety in creating any kind of character you want and going out and doing whatever you want." He added, "With Oblivion, we're taking the idea of a virtual fantasy world as far as it will go."

Oblivion features a groundbreaking new AI system, called Radiant AI, which gives non-player characters (NPCs) the ability to make their own choices based on the world around them. They'll decide where to eat or who to talk to and what they'll say. They'll sleep, go to church, and even steal items, all based on their individual characteristics. Full facial animations and lip-synching, combined with full speech for all dialog, allows NPCs to come to life like never before.
Link: TES IV: Oblivion Website
Spotted at Blue's News

News for Thursday, October 21, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 7:42

Today's news is a change of pace, from all the interviews and previews S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has been featured in of late. This time there are five new screenshots on Stalker at

I think someone's going to get a hickey!

Link: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. screenshots at

If you were wondering about the low quality of these screenshots, an answer has been posted on Oblivion-Lost.
As Andrew Prokohov, project lead and lead designer, comfirmed us, these screenshots were taken by THQ from "a special raw build for scenario testings, so many amenities are not turned on". GSC will have a talk with THQ.
And yes, these are the lowest settings.

News for Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Posted by Pope Viper - at 19:13

This coming Thursday (October 21st) an official IRC chat with representatives from Nival Interactive and JoWooD Productions. The subject is Silent Storm, it's expansion Silent Storm: Sentinels and future projects. You are all welcome to attend and ask any question you may have. More information about where, when and what can be found at Strategy Core

Thanks to Slaughter

Posted by Pope Viper - at 15:16

Oles Shyshkovtsov, Lead Programmer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R talks to, about various things: why they changed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s subtitle from “Oblivion Lost” to “Shadow of Chernobyl”, as well as what might be done with the engine in terms of licensing.

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

Also a couple of new screenies:

Thanks to Kotario

Edit: Uploaded the pictures to our gallery and replaced them with thumbnails. -Kotario

News for Sunday, October 17, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:46

The post-apocalyptic RPG Bourgeoisie has updated it's website. They have created a FAQ, which people can add to in this thread. They also have plenty of new artwork to display. A few examples, check out their website and gallery to see all of the new artwork.

They also wish to point out that anyone can send the fan-art which may be used by them, such art should be sent to

The Bourgeoisie team would also like to announce that they will be attending FALKON (a Polish convention) in Lublin from the 19th to the 21st of November. They will present on numerous aspects of their game world, artwork from the game, and screenshots from the tech-demo.

Thank you, Intoxicate.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 5:56

Thorgrimm has updated this thread about his Civilization 3 Fallout modification. There are two new screenshots of the game, one of the player setup screen and another of various units from the Brotherhood faction of the modification. He also requests feedback on these screenshots, so let's oblige the man.

You can visit the forum for this project here.

News for Friday, October 15, 2004

Posted by Pope Viper - at 16:31

Commenting on the announcements, Interplay Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Herve Caen said, "This has been an incredibly challenging first half of 2004 for Interplay, its investors and employees. Although significant hurdles remain, we are pleased to be back in compliance with the OTC Bulletin Board, moved into our new corporate offices, and moving forward with our plan to enter into Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming."
This means IPLYE goes bye-bye, and we're back to IPLY, plus Herve gets to continue his fantasy for FO:OL.

Spotted at Raging Bull

News for Thursday, October 14, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 4:27

Wild_qwerty have been a busy little bee, he's yet again sent us some Fallout Tactics converted FRMs. Here's what he gave us this time:

Thanks again Wild_qwerty!
Link: NMA Download section

Posted by Odin - at 2:54

The IPLY quarterly report is out and about, here's an interesting snibblet:

Interplay sold to Bethesda Softworks LLC, "Bethesda" the rights to develop FALLOUT 3 on all platforms for $1.175 million minimum guaranteed advance against royalties. Bethesda also has an option to develop two sequels, FALLOUT 4, and FALLOUT 5 for $1.0 million minimum guaranteed advance against royalties per sequel. Interplay retained the rights to develop a massively multiplayer online game ("MMORPG") using the Fallout Trademark.
We were unable to meet our May 15, May 31, and June 15, 2004 payroll obligations to our employees. The State of California Labor Board ("Labor Board") fined us approximately $10,000 for failure to meet our payroll obligations. We subsequently paid the May 15, May 31, and June 15, 2004 payrolls and the associated payroll taxes. All Labor Board pending disputes with former employees have been paid off and the labor board fines still need to be settled. We need to have met our payroll obligations otherwise there will be additional penalties.

Since we were having difficulty meeting our payroll obligations on a timely basis to our employees a large number of our employees stopped reporting to work in late May and early June 2004. We were subsequently evicted from our building at 16815 Von Karman Avenue in Irvine, California in mid June 2004. We have a core group of approximately 20 employees on payroll, of which approximately 8 are actively working from the new company location in Irvine, California. Substantially all employees have not been paid for the period July 1 through September 30, 2004. There may be some liability to us arising from employees who have left. Our property, general liability, auto, fiduciary liability, workers compensation, and employment practices liability insurance policies, have been cancelled. We obtained a new workers' compensation insurance policy. The Labor Board fined us approximately $79,000 for not having worker's compensation coverage for a period of time. Our health insurance was also cancelled but was subsequently reinstated. We are appealing the labor board fines.
Heh and the investors think IPLY will be able to make FOOL?!
Link: IPLY Q report and IPLY SEC
Thanks goes out to Briosafreak for informing us.

Posted by Odin - at 0:54

I spotted over at RPGDot that Silver Style has release a couple of new movie clips from The Fall: Last Days of Gaia, here's what RPGDot said:

The first is an edited version of the original trailer with a new end sequence and the second shows some animation sequences. You can grab them from German publisher Deep Silver here (9Mb, 49secs) and here (13Mb, 47secs). Note that these are direct links.

News for Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 16:39

Master Creating has released a 45 second, 10 Mb trailer of cutscenes from the upcoming game Restricted Area.

Link: Restricted Area Cinematic Trailer at Gamer's Hell
Found at RPGDot

Posted by Odin - at 0:55

I've done some work on the NMA download section and moved various uploaded files to their correct categories. I've also uploaded some new and old files, the newest ones are new critter packs (frms) from Wild_qwerty of Mutants Rising:

Great stuff..
Link: NMA Download section

News for Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Posted by Montez - at 16:44

GameBanshee has posted an interview with Troika's Leonard Boyarsky regarding the post-apocalypse RPG they are currently working on. Here's a teaser:

GB: Are there any specific ideas or features you always wanted to include in the Fallout franchise that you now have the resources to add in this new post-apoc title? Also, are there any ideas you're trying to stay away from in order to differentiate the game from the previous Fallout titles?

Leon: There are quite a few ideas we’ve tossed around over the years for this type of game (ever since we finished Arcanum, actually) that we’d like to try. They were never really Fallout specific, just things that we think would be great for this style of RPG. We haven’t made any design/conceptual decisions about how close or far away from the style of Fallout this game will end up being yet. The strange thing about this is that the feel/environment/style of Fallout is basically our conceptual vision, unedited straight from our gut instincts, so if we were to do anything similar to Fallout in those ways we’d have to be very self conscious to keep from seeming too much like Fallout.

I've run out of witty catchphrases, so just click on the link and read it already!

Link: Leon @ GameBanshee
Thanks Briosafreak!

Posted by Odin - at 0:50

Evidently there is something going on at IPLY, according to one of the investors at the Raging Bull forums who stopped by the IPLY Offices:

There are people in the office. Stopped by today. Learned something I would like to share with you, but not on this board.
So what could it be? A new car for Hervie boy ?
Link: Thread@RagingBull forums
Thanks goes out to Briosafreak for informing me.

News for Monday, October 11, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 22:49

That crafty critter known as Wild_qwerty has once again uploaded some frm critters packs, here's what he uploaded:

Great work Wild_qwerty!
Link: NMA frm download category

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:10

RPG Vault has conducted a Question and Answer session with the team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Andrew Prokhorov, Dmitriy Iassenev, Alexey Sityanov, Konstantin Nekhaychuk, and Yury Petrovsky. Each team member answers the same two questions posed by RPG Vault in this paticular interview.

Jonric: Turning to the range of locations players will see within the game, what are a couple that stand out for you, and why?

Andrew Prokhorov
Project Lead / Lead Designer

I vote for the city of Pripyat and, of course, the Chernobyl plant, without a doubt. These levels are reproduced from the actual places, and in great detail. We saw them with our own eyes. We breathed in the neurons close to the sarcophagus and listened to the silence of the dead city - just try and imagine a place that used to house 50,000 people, but is now entirely deserted, overgrown and strewn with toys and old furniture. The Chernobyl Power Plant has been modelled according to its real size, and this is one of the biggest levels created in the gaming industry. Our level designer was indignant with 'Why the heck did they build such huge atomic power plants? Now I have to make a level for five months.'

However when modelling Pripyat, our level designers decided not to model the city outskirts - so it's the city center only that has been modelled in every detail. You can enter any building - unless somebody or something already lives there.
"Breathed in the neurons close to the sarcophagus?" An interesting choice of words from our Russian friends.

Link: RPG Vault S.T.A.L.K.E.R Q&A
Spotted at Oblivion-Lost

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:48

If you wanted a new screensaver, Oblivion-Lost member Peter Sjöberg has created a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. screensaver. It comes complete with background music and a countdown to the middle of the first quarter of 2005, the estimated release date for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Link: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. screensaver at Oblivion-Lost
Found at Blue's News

Posted by Odin - at 21:29

Wild_qwerty of the Mutants Rising team informed me of their latest press release, here's their latest:

OK, we've been a bit slack this month getting together a monthly update for you guys and there's a good reason for that - Quite simply we don't have much to update you on. For various reasons this last month has been particularly challenging to the team and we have been finding it hard to produce content for the mod. We seem to be going through a bit of a slump at the moment with most of the team members losing focus on MR, sorry guys we do have real life jobs, schools, friends, hobbies that demand a great deal of our time.

What we need?

==> A good scripter
==> Motivation

Don't worry its not all doom and gloom we still want to finish the mod its just a bit daunting sometimes on how much work is involved - A lot of the guys on the team have already spent several hundred hours on production so far...
Well we Fallout fans are used to waiting.
Link: Mutants Rising

News for Saturday, October 9, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 14:55

You can now listen to some of the sounds from the upcoming post apocalyptic game called The Fall, they have updated the german version of the website with some soundclips (all in mp3).
Link: The Fall sounds

Posted by Odin - at 9:01

IGN recently had a chance to try out the multiplayer aspect of S.T.A.L.K.E.R (a post apocalyptic fps in progress), here's a snibblet:

Unfortunately, the damage and physics model for the environment still was missing from this build making the interesting level a bit more static than it will eventually be. Still, the level was fun to run around and check out. There were a lot of different areas to explore and a lot of different approaches to take.
No wonder it wasn't in there when they keep promoting the game instead of finishing it.
Link: Stalker Impressions@IGN

News for Friday, October 8, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 11:46

Yes another S.T.A.L.K.E.R. interview has surfaced on the net, again it's Oblivion Lost who posted it, here's a snibblet: 5. What is the current planning concerning the Co-operative mode? What exactly are the problems that you have to face?

Oleg: Okay, (takes a deep breath), hopefully I am saying this for the final time, there is no Co-op mode planned for the final game!
In order to implement it we would require more time since this is not an easy thing to do. If we were making a tightly scripted, utterly predictable FPS that never varies from a linear path, then it could be done.
However we are not that kind of game and we have never claimed to be that kind of game. We’ve always said that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. offers freedom of movement and an unscripted experience. Retaining that style of plan and trying to add Co-op would fundamentally change the game. The trading and communication stops working the way it should and the game then becomes something like a Battlefield clone or even an MMORPG.
This time Oblivion Lost actually conducted the interview, instead of translating it.
Link: Stalker interview@Oblivion Lost
Spotted at HomeLanFed

News for Thursday, October 7, 2004

Posted by Montez - at 22:44

Silver Style developer Dominik Deichsel made a short and strange announcement regarding The Fall in the Silver Style Forums today:

Silver Style has assigned the company Elkware to develop The Fall for
mobiles. The handy-game will by released contemporary to the PC product.

I was wondering why they would bother to do this when Carsten Strehse chimed in a few posts down:
Mobile games aren't a big thing in the US. In Europe it's a huge business and the games have a very good quality. Elkware also made the mobile game for Sacred, so expect great quality.

So if you were really hoping you could play The Fall while waiting for the bus, consider this your lucky day.

Link: Mobile announcement @ Silver Style
Thanks Glowbewohner!

Posted by Odin - at 16:45

The latest press release from Silver Style Entertainment (the ones doing The Fall) talks about the voice recordings for The Fall:

THE FALL: Voice Recordings Break New Ground in Germany
Silver Style Entertainment today finished the voice recordings for their post-apocalyptic role-playing game "The Fall – Last Days of Gaia". With 84 actors managing 380 parts with a total of 182,000 words it marks the most extensive voice production a computer game made in Germany has ever seen. A number of prominent voice actors is featured in the game; the player will recognize the German voices of George Clooney and John Wayne among others.

"We were aware that the quality of the voice recordings had to match the high standards of The Fall itself", said Stefan Hoffman, Project Manager at Silver Style Entertainment. "No efforts and costs were spared. After more than six weeks of hard work it's safe to say that we have set a new benchmark in the field of dubbing computer games in Germany."
Link: The Fall

Posted by Tannhauser - at 4:49

Leonard Boyarski, Joint CEO and Art Director for Troika, has graced Duck and Cover with a brand new screenshot of their un-named post-apocalyptic game. The same character we have grown to know and love, but in a new location. A fantastic scape.

Link: The Duck and Cover news post.

News for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Posted by Odin - at 21:18

That lubly critter well known as MCA (Chris Avellone, former Bis employee) has written up a quite lengthy designer diary called "Crafting a Story" on the KOTOR 2 site, here's a snibblet:

Step Fifty-One: Figure Out What’s Fun
It’s always best to identify what the main gameplay elements for your game are, and how the story can complement those elements. If stronghold building is a big part of the game mechanics, figure out how to work it into the story. If you have the ability to control or influence your PCs in unique ways, make sure the story is crafted to showcase these elements at critical points. If you don’t want the player to have to reload the game, write a story where the main character doesn’t die and have the story complement the game mechanics. Basically, identify what’s fun about the game, and use those elements as part of the building blocks for the game story.
It's a good read so get on over and read it.
Link: MCA Designer Diary - “Crafting a Story”
Spotted at RPGCodex

Posted by Odin - at 21:07

HomeLANFed have interviewed Icarus Studios CEO James Hettinger about the post apocalyptic MMORPG called Fallen Earth they are making, here's a snibblet:

HomeLAN - What can you tell us about the backstory for the game?

James Hettinger - Fallen Earth is a world struggling to emerge from the collapse of civilization… a global collapse brought on by a century and a half of war and plague, environmental disaster and the final death-throes of civilization. A world changed, evolved, mutated... where remnants of great technologies exist in uneasy balance with primitive skills and strange new powers…A world whose wealth of knowledge lies beneath the dust and ashes of its violent past, buried… A world whose inhabitants must learn to recover, restore, rebuild, and battle.
Link: Fallen Earth interview@HomelanFed

Posted by Odin - at 21:02

The latest The Fall developers diary has been posted on RPGVault, here's a snibblet:

The Fall - Last Days of Gaia is in the last stages of its development as you're reading these lines. That means we're testing the game and already preparing our next projects. So, how are these tests conducted and how do more than 30 people work on a single product?
Link: The Fall dev diary #9

Posted by Odin - at 20:56

RPGVault has a new article up where they show 5 possible good titles coming or as they put it "a quintet of impending titles that appear they may prove worthy of more attention than they've received to date". Jonric writes about The Fall and Restricted Area, here's a snibblet:

Since Silver Style's game has yet to find distribution outside the above-named countries, it has received relatively limited North American exposure aside from of RPG Vault's diary series. Nonetheless, as we've learned while tracking The Fall - Last Days of Gaia during the past months, it promises to deliver an open-ended play experience, NPCs with daily routines like real people, over 500 assorted items, player-driven vehicles and many other features. We can only hope it will find its way across the Atlantic before too long.
Sorry for the late news, but I've been quite busy this last week.
Link: RPGVaults Sleepers

News for Monday, October 4, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 16:33

HomeLAN Fed has interviewed Matthew Simmons, vice president of sales and marketing at Smiling Gator Productions, the developers of Twilight War. If you don't remember, Twilight War is the self-described XORG, or "Extreme Online Role-playing Game." Apparently it is another game using the Source engine.

HomeLAN - What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?

Matthew Simmons - Release will be in 2006 and we are planning to have an internal multi-player technology concept demo version in December of this year. So expect to start seeing some in-game screenshots around that time Very Happy

HomeLAN - Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Twilight War?

Matthew Simmons - Only that we are attempting to add new chapter to a gaming genre that is really still in its infancy. There have been many MMORPGs that have used tried and true methods of game play, but many players are getting bored with these formulas, and frankly they usually require too much game play time to appeal to casual players. With TW we are trying to offer something new, and hopefully improved, in the eyes of the player community.
Hopefully somtime soon they will tell us about what makes their game "something new." So far it sounds like the same old MMORPG formula.

Link: Twilight War interview at HomeLAN Fed

News for Sunday, October 3, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 0:04 has translated a Russian PC Games article on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It was written by one of the GSC development team, and runs over the history of the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It is a rather entertaining read.

On our first visit, the guides to the Exclusion Zone told us that the Zone "pulls you in", that after visiting you are never quite the same again. We proved them right when we returned, this time to take the Zone back with us to Kiev. Thousands of hi-res photos which later turned into textures, and kilograms of shot film were reviewed hundreds of times again and again, and gradually what they depicted appeared on the screens of our computers as game art. We grew sick and tired of the Western view at things, at everything that happened here, and so we decided to transcribe the events our way. I wish you all could've been here and seen the amount of love and dedication that went into modelling every detail of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. World, from the bolts that stalkers use as a primitive anomaly detector, to the derelict furniture, to the BTRs and military hardware. We all (Ex-USSR) used almost exactly the same furniture in our homes in 1986, and most of us drove or rode in a BTR during our time in the Army. Once during a press conference we asked foreign journalists how they reacted to the cars, furniture, buildings and all other contents of the Zone. For "us" (Ex-USSR), all of this is familiar, it's what we see everyday, but for example in Italy the typical interior will obviously be drastically different. "Yes", answered the journalists, "everything is of course different, but we can still somehow tell it's all real..."
A good job by the original writer and the translator.

Link: Translated article on the Oblivion-Lost forums
Found at Blue's news

News for Saturday, October 2, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 23:55

There is a new interview at HC.Gamer with Jan Beuck, Creative Director at Master Creating, the studio behind Restricted Area. It's long with quite a bit of information, if you are interested in this game.

HCG: What does dynamic dialogues mean? Can you give us an example?

Instead of the monologues you may know from other action RPGs like the Diablo series, you have multiple choice dialoges like in Baldur's Gate or Fallout. And these dialoges effect the relationship to the NPCs you talk to, for example (a simple one) they may give you a special discount if they like you.

HCG: There are a lot of interesting and well-detailed NPC descriptions on the official website of the game. Will all of the NPCs be also this highly detailed?

Yes. There aren't hundreds of NPCs like in some other games, but the NPCs are real persons that have their own problems, tasks and emotions - some can even die. What we wanted to archive is that you can become familar with them, make some your friends and others your foes - making them more then just the place to trade or talk.

HCG: How about the combat mode? Would it be something similar to Diablo (hack 'n slash) or Baldur's Gate (turn based combat)? Or both?

It's more like Diablo, but even faster and more action-packed! While we wanted the RPG part to offer more traditional RPG elements than in Diablo, we wanted the action part to really feel like an action game.
Some good news, some bad; at least for the Fallout crowd.

Link: Restricted Area interview at HC.Gamer
Found at Blue's News

Posted by Odin - at 17:28

Well some of you guessed it, the surprise is our interview with Leonard Boyarsky of Troika Games. We talked a little about the actual engine and a little about everything, we were also able to obtain yet another exclusive screenshot of the title/tech demo. Here's a snibblet from the interview:

Q: Does this engine support destructable terrain/buildings/items ala Silent Storm ?

A: It can, but we haven’t put that into it yet. Not sure if that’s something we’d concentrate on, it really depends on the type of game we end up making. Game development is all about trade offs in determining what features you will focus on and which will have to remain on the drawing board. At least if you’re a developer without unlimited financing that’s the way it goes.
And without further ado here's the screenshot:

I'd like to thank Leon for taking time from his busy schedule to answer these questions and also for getting us a screenshot, cheers mate!
Link: NMA's chat with Leonard

Posted by Tannhauser - at 8:16

Perhaps a few of you remember previous coverage on the Russian post-apocalyptic RPG Outcome, being developed by CyberWorks Studio. They have sent word about two new videos, one showcasing various death animations and the other demonstrating a character entering a vehicle. The DivX codec is required to view these videos.

Video One: Death animations.
Video Two: Entering vehicle animation.
You can also view the screenshots section of the Outcome website to see more of the game.

The Outcome website is only in Russian at this time, but an English version is in the works.

Posted by Odin - at 2:05

For those that remember the Half-Life post apocalyptic mod called The Wastes, you'll probably remember the nick/name Gage. Well he's now decided to leave the Wastes project, here's some of what he said:

Well, The Wastes has been a great run for me. I know it has been for all of you. But like all good runs, there comes a time when you have to move on. That time is now for me. Real life has caught on in a big way and with luck I'm hoping to have a full time job in October doing what I love to do: programming.....
You can read the whole story at their website, good luck Gage, hope you make it!
Link: The Wastes

Posted by Odin - at 2:01

The post apocalyptic UT mod called Shattered Oasis has gotten an update, they're now up to version 2.55 and here are some of the things that have been changed:

Unlocked all vehicles
replaced buggy mesh & collision
Made the Buggy a little quicker and increased it's mass to reduce bouncing.
Buggy received a skin update to include alpha mask
Increased GyroCopter speed
Increased GyroCopter Rocket Speed
Players are now reset to spawn at end of the round
adjusted camera and pitch and yaw on the STationary turret.....
The list goes on, but I didn't want to post them all.
Link: Shattered Oasis download page

News for Friday, October 1, 2004

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:46

The German "action-packed Cyber-Punk RPG" Restricted Area has begun shipping in Germany. In addition, the English Restricted Area website has been redesigned to correspond with the German version.

The offical press release:

(Hamburg, Germany, October 1st, 2004) - Master Creating, Germany-based developers of the Dark Future action-RPG RESTRICTED AREA, today announced that the offical RESTRICTED AREA homepage has been redesiged! Set for release in Germany TODAY, Restricted Area was already
rated 82% in two leading German game magazines, PC GAMES and PC ACTION, which are well known for their very critical reviews.

The action-packed Cyber-Punk RPG brings you into a dark and fascinating world. Four totally different characters with unique skills and detailed back-stories, progress independently through the same narrative; the story is revealed from various angles. Experience a complex roleplaying system, co-operative multiplayer and more than 40 rendered cutscenes!
"Complex roleplaying system?"

Found at RPGDot

Posted by Odin - at 9:37

That right, the new post apocalyptic XORG called Twilight War has a new interview out. This time is a site called who's interviewed someone from the Smiling Gator Productions, here's a snibblet:

Q: I'm guessing since this is an MMORPG, there won't be any possibilities for the public to take part in modifying the game? Would be pretty hard considering hacking/cheating prevention?

A: Well, players will be able to customize almost anything about their characters; we’ll provide a wide range of options. We plan to have in-game modifications of vehicles and weapons, within limits, by characters that have the requisite skills. Also, players will have a direct affect on the price of goods and which faction controls a particular lair or village depending on what happens in the game. Eventually, we may allow powerful player clans to modify select parts of the world, such as mission zones or towns. But, yes, in terms of creating full “mods” like some pure FPS games allow, that won’t be an option, and we will have robust security measures to prevent any unauthorized changes.
Link: Twilight War interview@Leakfree

Posted by Odin - at 9:31

Ozrat informed me that DAC spotted on the Raging Bull forums that IPLY has filed the 8-k form, here's more info:


Notice of Delisting or Transfer


On September 27, 2004, the Company received a letter from NASDAQ relating to a hearing regarding the eligibility of the Company's securities for quotation on the OTC Bulletin Board ("OTCBB") and providing formal notice of a telephonic hearing on October 14, 2004 when the Panel authorized by the NASD Board of Governors will determine whether the Company's securities are eligible for quotation on the OTCBB pursuant to the requirements of NASD Rules 6530 and 6540. The trading symbol for the Company's common stock on the OTCBB is currently "IPLYE", so that the Company's common stock will be ineligible for quotation and subject to removal from the OTCBB if the NASD does not receive information that the Company is current in its public reporting obligations pursuant to NASD Rules 6530 and 6540. The Company failed to file its 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2004 within the prescribed time period and thirty calendar day grace period but the Company has determined to file the report prior to the hearing on October 14, 2004.
Die already!
Link: IPLY files 8-k@YahooBiz

Posted by Odin - at 0:08

Requiem for a starfury has been a busy little bee, he's sent me three new Fallout Tactics files. One is a sprite pack, one a tile pack and the third one is a new gui for Fallout Tactics and we've also gotten a new critter pack from Wild_Qwerty

Snazzy thanks alot guys!