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News for Monday, January 31, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 2:26

Wild qwerty informed me of the latest Mutants Rising press release, here's what they say:

Unlike last months PR that I forgot to release, this month we have something more to talk about other than the team taking some much needed time off for the holidays.
  • The team is back from R&R and ready for MR 2005.
  • We have completed another cut scene, and have added the new sound effects.
  • It looks like the scripters and writers have conquered the dialog problems and with this major hurdle out of the way the stage looks set to nail the dialogs once and for all. Good work guys!
  • There are a few surprises in the works, but I really shouldn’t tease you with these now, lets just say some of the team is putting a little something, something together.
Until next month, this is wasteland news signing off.
We also got a new image to look at:

News for Sunday, January 30, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:32

Chris Avellone, from Obsidian Entertainment, has commented on the Troika situation over at RPGCodex.

My understanding was that Troika still has people working in their offices, although at last count, I had heard it was the three founders and a senior programmer. I do know that there have been a number of resumes from Troika employees being sent out, and I know some of the more prominent members have already taken jobs elsewhere.
The rest of Avellone's post is speculation:
Based on the screenshots of their demo alone, however, I wouldn't count them out of the running. I will say that it is extremely difficult for a small developer to land a new project, and it's a process that can usually take several months (and it can always fall apart in the 11th Hour), so it may be that Troika is simply on a hiatus period until signing a new contract, at which point they can staff up again. I think that Bloodlines, despite criticisms here and elsewhere, is a strong RPG and probably one of the best Troika has ever done (and Tim has said as much), so that alone may help them gain a new contract.

IMO, I doubt that Activision pulled funding - most developer contracts involve royalties, so if Bloodlines does well, it may result in an influx of cash for Troika. However, it usually takes a few months before the royalties to actually begin to show from sales, so that's an obstacle. I will say that Activision and Troika were most likely in a difficult position in waiting for the HL2 engine to be done, so Bloodlines may have been kept putting pushed back and back and causing problems for both Troika and Activision - Valve could afford to take their time, but I doubt the other two companies had that luxury. I wouldn't be surprised if Activision would not want to be in that position again.

Regardless, I wouldn't count Troika out yet. It can just be difficult for a company to get a contract, and it's a long, involved process. If they don't get a contract, I'll be disappointed because that means that'll be less RPGs for me to play, and it was always my feeling that Troika always made an effort to try to push the envelope on their RPGs, which I think was important for the genre.
Link: Chris Avellone at RPGCodex.

Posted by Odin - at 6:54

I've installed the latest RSS feed on NMA again, let's see how this one goes, since alot asked about our RSS feed.

I've also done some cleaning up in the forums, more specificly I removed two templates which we hardly use.
Link: RSS page

News for Saturday, January 29, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:03

WorthPlaying has previewed the German action-RPG Restricted Area. The preview is rather negative, and has all the normal Diablo comparisons.

How does the game feel though? I was a bit nonplussed about the lack of any depth to the combat system. The best "strategy" I could come up with was to run away from the enemies (I run about twice as fast as any I found could move), shoot at them, then run away again, then shoot at them, and repeat until they're dead. I didn't see any special skills or abilities that I could actively use in combat, my only fighting method was to click on enemies repeatedly to fire my weapon at them until they went down. I expect a game to have a bit more to combat than an auto-attack button, because it frankly gets boring really fast.
Doesn't sound all that promising.

Link: Restricted Area preview at WorthPlaying.

Spotted at Blue's News.

Posted by Odin - at 17:34

Evidently Troika is indeed in some trouble according to this thread@Mapcore, David Marsh (Level Designer at Troika) was supposed to have said this:

Everyone got layed off because activision pulled the funding.
I couldn't find this statement anywhere on that forum, but he didn't deny it either when he posted a follow-up answer:
I think the answer is for everyone to send me money so I can retire.

In all seriousness, you don't have to worry about me, I'm a big boy and can take care of myself
Tell me it ain't sooooo...
Thanks goes out to St0lve for informing us.

Update: David March confirms that the first statement is not his in this thread.

Posted by Odin - at 8:38

The lads over at Gamespot posted their recent rumor mill feature and in there were a strange rumor regarding Troika, which evidently surfaced on the Quarter to three forums:

While many independent developers are enjoying success (i.e. BioWare, Obsidian Entertainment), others are not faring as well. This week, word surfaced that indie shop Troika Games, which was founded by several former Fallout developers and Interplay castaways, had fallen on hard times--so hard that, by some reports, it was closing its doors. So GameSpot went to the man himself, co-CEO and co-founder Leonard Boyarsky, to find out what's what. Boyarsky then gave us this cryptic answer: "We are basically perusing some options...after the beginning of February, we'll be making a statement." So, for now, they're still in business. But with February less than a week away, that could change soon.
Meh, I wouldn't read much into it.
Spotted at RPGCodex

Posted by Odin - at 4:00

There is a "new" (as in I should have posted about this earlier) Fallout Tactics campaign in the works, it's called Legion Of Empire. Here's some info:
Features:

  • Adventure and journey for the hero-ine will start 10 years past Fallout 2 - spring of 2252.
  • There will be possibility to join BoS (and other new good Alliances) but also will be possible to play for Raiders or other NEW bad guys. In this case wont be possible to play for both sides at the moment. It is up to player which side of barricades prefer.
  • In the LoA will be quite a lot of nice new items (include guns). Some you will see in shots from testing.
  • In LoA will be also a lot of sides quests and two main story line.
  • In the game wont be robots like in Fallout Tactics.
  • LoA will be probably 35 missions (we will see). This depend on my enthusiasm, help from outside and also your interest Surprised) At this moment I have done 17 maps and rest in progress.
And to top it off BigTom was kind enough to send us a bunch of screenshots:


Nice!

Posted by Odin - at 3:49

This is long overdue, Morgan from the Warriors of the Apocalypse mod emailed me that the mod wasn't dead afterall. Here's what he said:

We had some server difficulties, and the occasional "real life" issues, but we've finally got it together again. We've lost a lot of skinners, so we need a few more of those to keep this going. Its basically just me and Alec now, we're all alone in the world, but still getting stuff accomplished somehow Razz We could also use a coder with very good C++ skills, ours seems to be M.I.A. and we only know how to modify existing code enough to import weapons.

We should have some in-game shots as well as renders of our first skinned and animated weapon on the site within the hour. Check our
site, http://www.wotamod.com
So remember to look at for these guys too.

Posted by Odin - at 3:43

The Auto Assault devs emailed me about a developers chat planned, here's some info:

The Auto Assault team would like to cordially invite you to join us for a developer chat on Thursday, February 3, at 8 pm CST, hosted by GamerGod. The server is irc.gamesnet.net in the #gamergod channel. In addition to having an opportunity to ask questions about the game, participants will have a chance to win an Auto Assault t-shirt in the “Get T-shirt” trivia contest we’ll be holding during the chat. (The contest rules are available here) If you won’t be able to attend the chat but have questions you’d like to ask, you can submit them in advance either on the GamerGod forum or by e-mailing the Auto Assault community coordinator, Pann (pann@ncsoft.com), with the subject line “Auto Assault GG Dev Chat.”
So for those of you who are following this game, remember to set of that date.

Posted by Odin - at 3:36

RPGDot also reported that the Metalheart site has been updated with two more character bios pages, here's a peek at one:

Regretfully, all the documents, databases and ship logs were destroyed when "Gloria" perished. The information on the ship crewmembers is quite poor, especially on Lanthan and Cheris. They didn't have much friends, just the crew comrades mostly, and most of people that used to know them have gone with "Gloria". But we've managed to learn some facts about Lanthan and Cheris from their colleagues at "Hala Express". Here are their short biographies based on words of people that had been working with them.
Alright, there's more where that came from.
Linky: NPC bios@Metalheart

Posted by Odin - at 3:32

RPGDot is reporting that Gaming Age has previewed Restriced Area, here's a snibblet:

From my brief hands on with the demo, Restricted Area seems to be living up to all the promises. While not delivering the most original game, Restricted Area is one of the better Diablo II clones to hit the market. Everything from the interface, sound, and visuals are standard for this genre, with little extras such as fog, rain, smoke, dust, fire, water, reflections, etc giving a visual punch where this style of engine needs it. We will have more on Restricted Area once it hits stores. For now, here are some features you can expect, as well as some screens to enjoy!
Hiss, Diablo 2 clone eh.. Just like I thought.
Link: Restriced Area preview@Gaming Age

News for Friday, January 28, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:53

Thorgrimm has provided an update on his Civilization 3 mod, Fallout: The Rebirth of Civilization, in a thread on our forums. He has provided new screenshots which show his mod's Civilopedia entries for a technology, two city buildings, a unit, and a resource; as well as a screenshot displaying their latest city graphic. There is also some information on how the mod will work.

In this blasted hellhole of a world the scavengers and traders, aka commerce producers would be the culture makers, as they scavenged the dead world and made contact with others.

A lot of 'religious and scientific' bennies will be tied to getting the wastes cleaned up, and the providing of stuff like food. Religion has been pretty much removed from the early eras in favor of survival.
When you are starving you will get quite happy when you get more to eat.

It looks like things are really shaping up for this project.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 18:39

Auto Assault Warcry has a new interview with the project lead for Auto Assault, Scott Brown. The interview is focused on the Massively Multiplayer aspect of the game, with questions about death penalties, beta testing, and guilds among other topics.

WC: Without using the words "Massively Multiplayer Vehicular Combat Game set in a Post-Apocalyptic Future," describe Auto Assault.

Scott: Auto Assault is the game we’ve always wanted to play, but we couldn’t because it hadn’t been created yet. It is a fast-paced, action RPG where your actions can have a direct impact on the game environment – you can destroy virtually everything in your path and when you return to that area later, find it as you left it. There’s a great variety of things you can do – everything from solo missions to crafting to convoy missions and clan (our version of guild) activities.
PAMMVCG, it's catchy.

Link: Auto Assault Warcry interview.

Spotted at Blue's News.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 18:34

The official Auto Assault website has been updated with a new section, Recon. It provides detailed background information on the game world, with subsections on factions, locations, and history. Right now it is rather sparse, but shows signs of being expanded upon in the future.

Under the organization of the Hestia Company, the remaining Humans spent many decades living underground in extensive Arks. Originally composed of the world's power elite society, Humans were responsible for the apocalyptic release of the world's cache of weapons of mass destruction in an attempt to cleanse the Earth of Contamination. The plan didn't exactly work, as Humans beginning to emerge from the Arks are discovering.
That sounds familiar.

In addition, NetDevil, the studio behind Auto Assault, has updated its Employment Opportunity page. They have added the positions of Level Editors and Web Media Developer, to help with the development of Auto Assault.

Links:
Auto Assault Website: Recon.
NetDevil Employment Opportunity page.

Spotted at Blue's News.

Posted by Odin - at 0:09

As some of you might have spotted, we have put up a Paypal donate button on NMA. Now we know it's tacky but it can help us (NMA) become better, using different software and such on the site (software which costs money).

So if you feel the urge to donate some money to NMA, please do so.

News for Thursday, January 27, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 14:34

Former Interplay I.T.-er Corith posted some interesting information about the fates of the old Fallout graphic textures, and all BIS graphic textures, for that matter:

To the best of knowledge, they were. Although I believe that Fergus bought the graphic textures (and some other assets) in early June 2004, before Interplay was shut down.

(...)

He bought all the textures that Black Isle created.
Ahh, the plot thins. Now what does he want with those textures (including, naturally, all BG3 and Fallout 3 textures made).

Link: forum thread on NMA

News for Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:12

The Tech Vault Workgroup, a Russian group, is working on Mutant's Story, a Fallout-based fan project. They have both announced their existence and are asking for a few more team members.

Now don’t laugh, but there’s another Fallout Fan Project on the horizon.
It’s called Mutant’s Story, and it’s an RPG that takes place in the Fallout universe. It tells the tragic tale of a supermutant who’s desperately trying to find his rightful place in the world of the Wastes. The game plays from the first person, with locations (both old and new) done in total 3D.

It’s a Russian project, but we’re doing the Russian and English language versions simultaneously, and we’ve finally gotten our English website up (it isn’t much, but you can at least check out the renders).

We’re working on our demo-version at the moment – still finalizing points on design, doing graphics and programming the game engine. But there’s a catch– we need help.
To be more specific, we desperately need at least another 3D Max specialist for rendering locations and models.
We’re also looking for another artist and someone to do the music and/or sound effects, but this is nothing that’s currently slowing us down. Still, it would be really nice if someone came along)

So why don’t you check it out at
http://www.techvault.narod.ru/ms/eng/index.htm

And if you think you can lend a hand, then write to Setau at yurifokin@spacenet.ru

They have a large number of object renders at their site, as well as a synopsis of their plotline and game engine.

Posted by Pope Viper - at 17:15

HomeLAN Fred scores an interview with Eyel Netanel, co-founder of Majorem.

HomeLAN - Development of the game was stopped for a while but you announced recently that Interplay would be publishing your game and that development had restarted. How did Interplay come to be involved in Ballerium?

Eyel Netanel - Simply put, they heard about our stoppage, and got interested in the reasons to it. Having their own financial issues, they still decided that Ballerium, being so different than the rest of MMOs is a game to take a risk with, as they were interested in the MMO field for a long time already.

HomeLAN - Interplay is still on shaky financial ground. Are you confident that they will survive and allow your team to bring Ballerium to the public?

Eyel Netanel - Let's allow history to judge here.

Guess he's not too sure himself...
Interview: HomeLAN Fred
HEY MR. TEATIME, I SAW THIS STORY FIRST AT DAC!

News for Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 5:29

We've been hit with a bunch of attacks today and yesterday, as a result NMA has been sluggish or unavailable. A big thanks to our host Telefragged for fixing the problem.

Both RPGCodex and DAC are also under attack and this is the reason their sites are not available.

News for Monday, January 24, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 18:13

Pete Hines, Bethesda Softworks PR posted this in a thread at our forum regarding the opening at BethSoft PR Department and the recent Fallout (working title) screen shot findings on www.GameSpot.com :

These are not Fallout 3 screens. I'm pretty sure they're screens from FOBOS, but I'm not sure as I don't know where they came from.

No, I don't know why GameSpot posted these as PS2 Fallout (working title) screens.

No, I don't know why our name is associated with them.

No, I am not quitting, I'm hiring help.

I think that should cover it.
So I think this settles it finally. Thanks to PsychoSniper for the heads up.

Posted by Silencer - at 17:52

TeamX informed us that the New Vision Mod for Fallout 2 has been translated into English. Today is a good day!

"A New Vision" is our first major Fallout 2 mod. The mod affects Arroyo, Klamath, its surrounding areas and (well, slightly) The Den.

While creating the mod, we focused on story, character design and dialog. We did our best to make sure that the changes were smooth and did not disrupt the balance and the atmosphere of the game.

The mod incorporates one primary plot with many optional sub-plots. The player's progress depends on both the character's attributes, as well as the way he develops later in the game (for instance, pumping some rarely-used skills gives the player additional abilities).

The mod contains several new maps. For example, Klamath's underground has been completely revised (basically, it's not the Rat Caves that you saw in the original game, but something completely different. Check out the screenshots). Several new locations with special quests have appeared on the world map.

The mod contains a variety of new items, including drugs and weapons. The weapon system incurred several changes - ammo properties have been altered, several weapons have been replaced. Some new features have been introduced to the game - for instance, you can now combine different components to make drugs, etc.

The mod is fused into the Fallout 2 story line. Upon completing the mod you can continue playing the original game.

The mod's features in short:

* over 20 characters are involved, with 7 of them being brand-new, while others having new dialogs and quests;
* more than 30 brand-new items, including new weapons and drugs;
* some remade areas, several altogether new minor areas have also been added;
* a significantly altered weapons system, new random encounters, along with many other features.

Mod playing time: 4-5 hours.
Without further ado, go and download the mod from the TeamX website.

Report bugs (if any) here.

Updated Links:
Site news
Download "Fallout2: A New Vision" v1.1 (~11 Mb)

News for Sunday, January 23, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 23:29

Lich decided to introduce sorcery to the world of Fallout:

The mod adds by the stone head in Arroyo:

-a character that will elaborate on the contents of the chest
-a chest with 4 new items
1. a book enabling you to cast spells (setting enemies on fire)
2. a habit making you look like the Deathclaw from Vault 13
3. a silver medallion that will age you seven years but give you +2 action points.
4. a ring of Atlantis that is a nice electric weapon
The mod aims to give Fallout some elements of fantasy.
The Polish version of the mod is available at Fallout Modding Centre, and I've placed an English translation (quick one) for all you NMA'ers here.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 3:07

In a thread on our forums, Gavin "Kathode" Carter elaborated on two earlier news stories. In response to GameSpot's Fallout (working title) screenshots supposedly to be published by Bethesda:

Yeah, we had nothing to do with this. I have no idea what that game is or why they attributed it to us.
Gavin Carter also commented on the recent update to the job opportunities page at Bethesda Softworks, the Public Relations/Marketing Manager position:
BTW, Pete still works for us in his same position and we still love him Smile He's just looking for someone to help share his sizeable workload.
The resolution to questions lingering about two different news stories delivered in one tidy package, thank you for the clarification Gavin!

Thanks to Briosafreak for pointing the message out.

News for Saturday, January 22, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 23:41

Mikael Grizzly informed us that Gamespot.com has got some rather interesting screenshots.

This ain't a PC title, mind you, only a PS2/XBOX one.

Also, you may want to check out GameFAQs ...

This ought to stir things up...

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:24

On the official S.T.A.L.K.E.R. website, the developers have posted a new article on the vaunted A.I. of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Unfortunately, it seems that this article has suffered from the translation into English, and makes for a difficult read.

In real life all the living creatures require feed and rest. So as in our world the sense of hunger flogs a creature to seek food, and the acuter is hunger, the more aggressive the monster becomes. After satiation the animal either gets to rest – sleeps therefore, or sets off to inspect his territory. All the character types have their personal territorial preferences. Thus, for instance, rats prefer basements, ruins or dumps, while blind dogs adore roaming down valleys and forests. During the look-out there may be encountered an aggressor – a hostile creature or stalker. Then, depending on circumstances, the creature will decide whether to attack or clear out.
At least there doesn't seem to be any information not covered in other, more clear, articles on the subject.

Link: "Honestly and earnestly: AI" at the offcial S.T.A.L.K.E.R. website.

Spotted at Duck and Cover.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 20:56

Bethesda Softworks has again updated their Job Opportunities page, this time with the position of Public Relations/Marketing Manager.

Will be primarily responsible for assisting with all facets of public relations and marketing for future Elder Scrolls and Fallout products. Will assist with development and implementation of all aspects of marketing and public relations campaigns for multiplatform titles. Public relations responsibilities will include development of press releases, web site content, interviews, story pitch and placement, media relations, community management, press tours, and game conventions.
The person who fills this position will be one who deals with us.

Link: Public Relations/Marketing Manager Job Page at Bethesda Softworks.

Found at Duck and Cover.

News for Friday, January 21, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 23:09

The Gamers Temple has posted an interview with Scott “Scorch” Brown, project lead for the post-apocalyptic vehicular MMOG Auto Assault. The interview (even if they call it a preview) is rather straight-forward, with relatively simple answers to the questions at hand.

GT: What kind of MMOG is Auto Assault? Would you describe it as a driving sim, an action game, an RPG, or as a different type of game entirely?

Scorch: A good description for Auto Assault is an Action RPG. There is not much out there to compare the game to right now. We are working hard to make a game that balances player skill with character advancement.

GT: Are there RPG elements in Auto Assault that are unique to the game?

Scorch: One really unique RPG element to Auto Assault is the split of abilities and equipment. The character has the attributes and skills while your vehicles contain your armor, weapons and other equipment that define your abilities in the world. Players will keep different vehicles with different load-outs depending on how they want to accomplish the current missions.
Scott Brown also participated in another interview, this one at GameSpot. This interview is much longer, with in-depth answers about the game; the interview also dwells on the current status of Auto Assault.
GS: Tell us a bit about the postapocalyptic world that Auto Assault is set in. How big is it, and how is it divided up (if it is divided at all)? Are there many towns and cities? Where will you go to repair your vehicle or rest up?

SB: The Auto Assault world is broken into regions. Each region consists of a highway map, several instanced highway exit maps, and a few towns. The highways are huge maps, usually more than 30 square miles of territory. This is where you play with lots of other players, completing missions and wreaking havoc on the world. Some mission arcs will include playing a part on an instanced map that you can either play alone or with your current convoy of fellow drivers. These maps are instanced just for your group and they retain the state of what missions you have completed on them. For example, if you destroy an enemy base on an exit map, when you return with a later mission, the base will remain destroyed. Each map has at least one repair station where you are returned when your vehicle is destroyed. The highways also have truck stops, which are large repair stations with stores. Players can travel quickly between truck stops and towns once they have discovered them in the game.
Over at FileFront, they have a lengthy profile on Auto Assault's Art Director Peter Grundy. While it has little to do with Auto Assault directly, it still is an interesting read.
How Grundy feels about his work is very common amongst many in the video game industry. There is a definitive link between artistic exploration and video games that Grundy and many others would like to see recognized, which is of course for video games to be an art form.

“I’d like to see some games get funding and recognition like movies do,” he said. “Many people assume if you play video games you are “wasting time,” when in all honesty some books and prime time television shows people spend their time on are far more detrimental to one’s mental health than an active complex video game.”
Lastly, on GameSpy, Auto Assault ranks in at number 29 on their Most Wanted Games of 2005.
While car combat is the heart of the game, though, MMO veterans can rest assured that all the rest of the usual MMO features will be there as well. Players will be able to craft new auto parts, challenge each other to gladiatorial events, races, and demolition derbies for cash and prizes. There will also be an involved pre-fab mission structure that players can take on via a CB-like mission dispenser. Call us "revved up" with excitement, Auto Assault looks like a breath of fresh air in a genre that just doesn't need any more magic swords.
Links:
Auto Assault interview at The Gamers Temple
Auto Assault interview at GameSpot
F! True Gamer Story – Peter Grundy at FileFront.
Auto Assault at #29 on GameSpy's Most Wanted list.

Found at Blue's News and the official Auto Assault website.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:29

GameSpy has created a 56 entry list of the most wanted games of 2005. The Ukrainian post-apocalyptic FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl ranks as the third most wanted game on GameSpy's list, under Jade Empire and The Legend of Zelda.

Apart from making allowing them to make a killing selling post-nuke trophies, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. promises to reward players in myriad other ways. For one, the world in which it is set will be both enormous and highly detailed. Developer GSC is based in the Ukraine, and apparently its artists have had much in the way of access to post-meltdown photographic materials. This will ensure that scenery accurately reflects the sort of visual devastation that such a tragedy would effect upon an area. Yippie! All the inhabitants will also purportedly boast unique A.I. systems that will allow them to act in convincingly human ways. They'll also have set schedules that dictate their behavior, which further extends the illusion.

In short: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sounds ambitious as hell, and if it realizes half of what it promises, then it's truly set to make some waves. Color us hyped about the possibilities.
Hype usually has a negative connotation.

Link: #3 Most Wanted Game of 2005 at Gamespy.
Thanks for the heads up Kumquatq3.

Posted by Silencer - at 16:31

Obsydian re-enacted the news system on the SHAMO main page, now propelled by an Invision Power Boards system, effectively restoring this Polish Fallout community nexus.

Welcome!

After a long period of absence, Shamo - Fallout Community is back alive and functioning. Such a long period of the service's inactivity was bred of several factors: my personal lack of time, technical difficulties implementing the new forum scripts in the service etc. etc. - I have no intention of explaining myself here ;] because it's not what it's about.
Commendations, thanksgivings and offers of cooperation may be sent to jeremiah@tlen.pl .

Posted by Silencer - at 16:24

Theya posted a handful of concept sketches at the restored SHAMO webpage, here they are:





Link: Polish Wasteland

News for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:56

The German action-RPG Restricted Area has been previewed by Gamespot. The preview introduces the setting, explains some of the game mechanics, and makes some mention of the game engine.

After you get a mission, you can then travel around the world map by procuring transport and clicking on the sectors where you want to go. The game randomly generates maps and environments, so no two games should play out the same. When you get to your destination, Restricted Area feels very much like Diablo in terms of combat and pacing. You walk around the level, blasting away at everything that comes after you. At your disposal is an arsenal of firearms, ranging from pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, and assault rifles, though they're all fairly generic, so don't expect to see any particular weapons, such as an M16 or an MP5 submachine gun. You don't need to worry about ammunition, either, as you have an unlimited supply for your small arms.
They mention the game Diablo in three out of five paragraphs of the preview...

Link: Restricted Area preview at Gamespot.

Spotted at RPG Codex.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:40

Mark Currie, one of the founders of Inhuman Games has featured for the third time in an annual interview with DIY Games. The interview questions Currie about his past involvement with Mythica, his views on independent game development, and the progress/status of Trash.

DIY : You have a pretty vocal fanbase on your forums that appear to have a fair amount of influence on the game. Did they express concern over the dropping of the third race? Particularly since you've mentioned in the past that much of the art for them was in place.

MC : Yeah, the beta testers often have great ideas, and I try to empower them as much as possible. This game has really been influenced by the beta testers, to a degree that just doesn't happen in commercial games. I think it's good, because it helps foster the community. They don't appear to be too upset about the Machine race being dropped, I think because they never got to play it. We really only had a prototype of the Machine race done, and I think it was good we put it on hold, not only for schedule reasons, but also because it will result in it being a better race. The game has evolved quite a bit since when we had the Machine prototype in there. If we get around to finishing the Machine race, its design will now better reflect the current state of the game today. Its design will fit better with how the Mutant and Human races play now.

DIY : When can we expect to see it available? When I talked to you at IGC you said to look for it on April 1st. But something tells me you were messing with me.

MC : We are shooting for the end of February.
So not incredibly long before we can see if the years of development on this indie game were worth it.

Link: "3rd Annual Mark Currie Sitdown" at DIY.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 21:23

IGN has posted a short article about the Russian FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which concerns itself on the subject of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s animal A.I.

Unlike Far Cry, however, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. contains a world full of wildlife, and these creatures are more than just window dressing. In fact, GSC tells us that their behavior is just as important as that of the NPCs and humanoid enemies. Every creature considers its environment, considers you, and considers the situation based on how you're equipped. From there, it decides on the "fight or flight" we hear so much about on the Discovery Channel. GSC says it's reached a point where the game world is living and dynamic, instead of just waiting for you to appear to trigger specific, scripted events. Now, there may still be scripting in the game, but it doesn't sound like it will be on the level of Call of Duty or Half-Life.
And remember, "blind dogs adore roaming down valleys and forests."

Link: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. A.I. article at IGN.

Thanks Kumquatq3!

Posted by Tannhauser - at 5:42

Filefront has uploaded an interview with one of the producers of Metalheart: Replicants Rampage. While some of the interview is serious, there are a few questions that are complete jokes (two questions on the issue of nipples on spacesuits!), and an occasional joke answer to a serious question.

Q: With so many other RPG titles out there, what did you do to try and avoid falling into too many clichés?

A:
As you know, there are only about 30 typical dramatic situations in our life. Art - and game development as a considerable part of it - only mirrors such situations. So there are very few opportunities to discover something really revolutionary. So, the project is considered good if it includes a piece of it, a part of this and a small bit of that, thus consisting of a rational mix of many known elements. A developer should just present a fresh look on such a mix. The sum-total ought to add up to convey a touch of brilliance. Concerning some RPG stamps, I must point out that the players themselves might miss some good-old long-forgotten clichés, in other words - isometric view, post-apocalyptic world, random encounters… Well, you get what I mean.
That last part of his answer seems like he has a specific game in mind, or perhaps that is wishful thinking.

Link: Metalheart interview at FileFront.

Found at RPGDot.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 4:54

GoGamer is offering a special 48-hour deal the Fallout 1 & 2 combo-pack, offering it for $2.90. In addition, they also have the same deal for Planescape: Torment, offering it packaged with Soulbringer for $2.90.

Unfortunately, as of the time of this post, there are only 19 hours left on the sale. The good news is that the normal price for both of these items are $5.90 at GoGamer.

Links:
Fallout 1 & 2 Combo Pack at GoGamer
Planescape: Torment/Soulbringer Combo Pack at GoGamer

Thanks Briosafreak.

News for Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 19:55

Gameguru has seventeen new screenshots, in English, of the German action-RPG Restricted Area. In addition to this, the post-apocolyptic RTS Trash has released a few new screenshots on it's website.

Links:
Restricted Area screenshots at Gameguru.
Trash screenshots.

Both found at Blue's News.

News for Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 23:44

A new patch has been released for the German post-apocalyptic RPG The Fall, which will update the game to version 1.6.5. The patch addresses problems with stability, optimizes performance, and fixes various bugs with quests, among other things.

Link: The Fall patch 1.6.5 at the Silver Style forums.
Found at Blue's News.

News for Monday, January 17, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 15:03

Evidently the guys over at the Ragingbull forums are circling like vultures over the IPLY stocks, they've decided it's worth a gamble and are still buying stocks. Here's some info they got from Luke Haas, regarding IPLY:

He told me that Interplay is working on finishing up on the beta phase of the development of Ballerium (where they are getting the money for this is anyone's guess). He also told me that the French govt will decide what happens to Titus's shares of Interplay. Finally, he told me that Interplay's q4 earings report will be out about the same time as last year. Does anyone know when it came out last year? Anyways, I'm a glutton for punishment. I just bought some more shares. If Interplay can find a buyer, now that Titus's shares should become available, there is the potential to make a decent profit.
Sigh.
Link: Raging Bull forum thread

Posted by Odin - at 14:50

Claw informed us of a new Fallout mod in the works, this one is for none other then the Jagged Alliance game. Here's some info:

Fallout: Raiders Menace
Features:
- Jagged Alliance 2 based game in Fallout 1/2 universe.
- Wide storyline and lots of quests.
- Different weapons types - modern, futuristic and selfmade.
- Better resolution then original JA2 (more then 640х480).
Sounds snazzy, here are some screenshots:



Link: Fallout Raider Menace

News for Friday, January 14, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 8:13

In an article by RPG Vault that goes over RPG in development in the former U.S.S.R., the Post-Apocalyptic RPG Phase: Exodus was mentioned.

A post-apocalyptic RPG that begins in the year 2062, nearly half a century after a cataclysm destroyed civilization, Phase Exodus involves the inhabitants of an area near Lake Baikal in Siberia where the communities jealously eye each other's resources. It's said to have a selection of four player characters that advance via the proprietary Advanced Post-Apocalypse Role-Play System and a potentially innovative gameplay element called a quest matrix.
Though if the game will be released outside of Russia is still a question.

Link: Second page of 'Parting the Iron Curtain' at RPG Vault.
Spotted at RPGDot.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 6:56

Bethesda Softworks has recent updated the hiring positions page on their website with 8 new job opportunities, ranging from Game Producer to Sound Engineer. Five of the job descriptions specifically mention Fallout.

WORLD ARTIST -- Rockville, Maryland
Design, create, and build worlds for future Elder Scrolls and Fallout products. Includes concept art, creation of objects, and building of game areas.

CHARACTER ARTIST -- Rockville, Maryland
Build and texture creatures and characters for the next generation of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games.

SPECIAL FX ARTIST -- Rockville, Maryland
Create special fx (explosions, magic spells, etc) for the next generation of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games.

CONCEPT ARTIST -- Rockville, Maryland
Create digital concept art for environments, characters, weapons, creatures, vehicles, and scenes for the next generation of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games.

SOUND ENGINEER -- Rockville, Maryland
Create and implement sound effects and music for the next generation of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Racing games.
In addition, under the job qualification, all of them include "Knowledge of Role Playing games and The Elder Scrolls or Fallout a plus."

Link: 'Job Opportunities' page at BethSoft.
Spotted at RPGDot.

News for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 6:01

Intoxicate posted some new artwork in the NMA Gallery, here they are:









I like the train station landscape especially, although the large engine looks like a cross-breed between cyberpunk and steampunk Wink

Also, the team are about to decide the game's subtitle and are working on a new, graphically appetizing (or at least heaps better than the curent one Wink ) layout for their site, so you may want to pay them a visit sometime.

Link: http://burzuj.nma-fallout.com/english/

News for Saturday, January 8, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 9:08

Like we haven't already been flooded with screenshots of this game, Worthplaying decided it was time for some more shots (roughly 35 new ones).
Link: Stalker Shots@Worthplaying

News for Thursday, January 6, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 21:37

The third installation of the article dubbed RPGs of 2005 have arrived, this time around Brian 'Dhruin' Turner of RPGDot talks about titles such as Geneforge 3, Gothic 3 etc. Here's a snibblet about RPGs in 2006:

Looking beyond all the games we've covered, there are a couple of RPGs officially announced and several more in development that haven't been officially unveiled. Irrational's BioShock (a spiritual successor to System Shock), BioWare's second original property Dragon Age and Obsidian's Neverwinter Nights 2 are sure to be worth watching. Arkane is working on a project using the Source engine and Divine Divinity 2 should be deep in development. Fallout 3 and Baldurs Gate 3 are somewhere in the pipeline, even if full production hasn't commenced.
Ah yes, the holy grail..
Link: RPGs of 2005 part 3

Posted by Odin - at 17:46

Good old Pete 'Dodge' Hines Bethesda's PR honcho person decided to answer my hail regarding the latest issues with Titus and IPLY, I asked him what this meant for Bethesda and Fallout 3:

We are developing Fallout 3 and when we have information on the game and what we're up to, we'll let folks know. Beyond that, we don't comment publicly on the details of our contracts or agreements with other companies.
So I'm guessing they aren't affected by IPLY getting liquidated (or not).

Posted by Silencer - at 8:13

Ekarderif registered to let us know that one Devin 'Mimir' Herron has made a Fallout single-segment speed run in 11 minutes and 17 seconds. You can watch the video here at www.planetquake.com.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 5:08

Experience Gaming has a short interview with Mark Currie, lead programmer of the Post-Apocalyptic RTS Trash. The interview mostly covers the development studio, Inhuman Games, and also mentions some general information about the game. A snippet:

XG: Why the name Trash in the first place?

MC: In the early days, we referred to our project internally as “Wasteland”, but that name turned out to be trademarked. We eventually came up with “Trash” because trash is the primary resource in the game. You harvest trash, build war machines with it, and then you try to turn your opponents into it. The word trash is also easy to remember and it provides for interesting interview titles such as, “Trash Talking with Mark Currie”.

Link: Interview at Experience Gaming
Spotted at Blue's News

Posted by Odin - at 2:53

Tor of Gamespot have picked up on the Titus going bankrupt story and have posted a small article regarding it, here's a bit from it:

However, since the bankruptcy was from the local court where Titus' headquarters is located, it does not affect Titus' international subsidiaries which include: Cat Software, DIGITAL Integration, Uco Games and Avalon Interactive in Britain; Titus Japan; and Bluesky Software, Titus USA, and Interplay. In fact, the Agence-France Press news service quoted an unnamed source as saying that Interplay "continues to live for the moment."

How long that "moment" will last is to be determined. Although it sold the rights to its popular Fallout series to Bethesda Softworks last year, Interplay still has a number of licenses it could sell, including Kingpin, the Baldur's Gate-free Dark Alliance, and the rights to a Fallout MMORPG. However, the question remains who will assume control of the approximate 67 percent of Interplay stock Titus now owns. Attempts to contact Interplay spokespersons were unsuccessful as of press time.
So who has the money to pay for this, or will it be sold in pieces?
Link: Titus Bankrupt story on Gamespot
Thanks goes out to Briosafreak for informing us.

News for Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Posted by Pope Viper - at 17:42

It appears Titus is gone, according to this article in Gamekult. Which would also mean the end for Interplay, here's a rough Translation:

It is the end of the adventure for Titus Interactive . The commercial court of Meaux pronounced Monday the bankruptcy of the French editor and his subsidiary companies, Sofra Jeux (edition) and Avalon France (in the past Virgin Interactive, distribution). Interplay , the held American subsidiary company with 62,25%, is also liquidated. Placed in legal rectification on June 7, these companies had profited from a grace period until February 7, 2005. But the court decided to put an end to this deferment before the expiry: the total liability of the Titus group exceeded the 100 million euros for a sales turnover fallen to less than 20 million euros, and losses evaluated to 103 million euros in 2003. Founded in 1985, Titus knew its hours of glory at the end of the Eighties, beginning of the Nineties, with the plays of the series Crazy Cars and Prehistorik Man
Could this finally, finally, FINALLY be the end of the company we all love to hate??

Update: The guys at Raging Bull forums posted another annoucement:
Titus Interactive: liquidation judiciaire prononcée.

(Cercle Finance) - Dans un communiqué publié mercredi, l'éditeur de jeux vidéos Titus Interactive annonce que ' suite à une audience intermédiaire durant la période d'observation, le Tribunal de Commerce de Meaux a décidé de prononcer la liquidation judiciaire pour toutes les entités du Groupe placées le 7 juin dernier en redressement judiciaire '.

Les sociétés concernées par cette décision sont d'une part Titus Interactive SA (holding du groupe), et d'autre part Sofra Jeux SARL (éditeur de jeux), GIE Titus Interactive (administratif) et Avalon France (distribution).

Titus Interactive ainsi que ses trois filiales avaient été placées début juin en redressement judiciaire par le Tribunal de Commerce de Meaux.
Basicly it says they will be liquidated.

Posted by Odin - at 13:30

Kumquat informed me of a new article at IGN which talks about Bethesda and Fallout 3:

The newest Elder Scrolls game, though it has been in development for quite some time, begs us to hope for a timely release along with Fallout 3. It's hard to imagine that either of these will actually make it out anytime soon. The problem is their scope. These are gigantic games that will take an exceptionally long time to troubleshoot. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind certainly took a long time to release after it was announced. While we certainly harbor some bit of anticipation of a 2005 release, it seems pretty unlikely. If nothing else, we can hope for more information on both Oblivion and Fallout 3.
I'd expect more info on Fallout 3 this year, but nothing else.
Link: 2005 - A Look Ahead

News for Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 21:08

Worthplaying have posted some new images from the upcoming post apocalyptic MMORPG called Auto Assault, they don't look very post apocalyptic to me.
Link: Auto Assault images

Posted by Odin - at 20:35

Briosafreak informed us about the latest part of the RPGDot's The RPGs of 2005, this time around they talk about titles such as Metalheart, Restricted Area and lots more. Here's a bit about Metalheart:

Akella had the recent misfortune of one of their publishing partners releasing a 2003 pre-Alpha demo of Metalheart. Akella were quick to point out a long list of improvements and changes and if it all comes together (along with a reasonable translation), Metalheart shows promise. A classic isometric cyberpunk/post-apoc party-based RPG with turn-based combat, Metalheart is aimed squarely at Fallout fans. Starting with two existing main characters (which may turn off the target Fallout fanbase), up to four additional party members can be gathered while exploring the alien world setting. Originally conceived with 16 character attributes, this has apparently been streamlined to 8, with character advancement primarily achieved through a system of removable bionic implants.
This feature is worth a read.
Link: The RPGs of 2005 Part 2

Posted by Odin - at 4:09

I suddenly realized that I hadn't check the various Fallout/post apocalyptic projects lately, so here's a summary:

  • The Fallout Yurop site is down, hopefully it doesn't mean the end of this project.
  • The Roadkill Warriors project has sprung to life again, after quite a few months of silence:
    DAMN! It's almost more than 4 months since last webupdate, very very very sorry about that!

    We hope you folks havent forgotten about RoadKill Warriors! I can understand that many of you may think RKW is dead when checking our forums or IRC channel...quite deserted areas i may admit. But it will hopefully all change when we have reached the first public release (hint...jan31). Sorry folks, previous date was a (typo).

    ...and believe me, that's priority number one for all of us! We are now acquiring help from outside to have a better website, with more updates, activities and frequent updates. So that means our website will change again, but this time it will be dynamic and much easier to update for us. We are also aquiring outside help in the code department and hopefully that will speed up the development.
    They've also uploaded a bunch of 3D models to look at.
  • The Dead Cities project looks...well dead..
  • The Shattered Oasis project is alive and kicking, evidently they aim to develop it for the Half-Life 2 engine.
  • The Warriors of the apocalypse project looks dead.
  • Desert Law have gotten their own site, russian only for now.
Well that was it, all the others were either dead or some we have already reported on.

News for Monday, January 3, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 21:38

The guys over at Winterwind-Productions recently interviewed Damien 'Puuk' Foletto. The first part is about his Puuk's start in the industry, here's a snibblet:

WW: How do you see the future of video games? More specifically, do you think PC titles have a viable future or will they be replaced by the next generation of consoles?

DF: I truly believe PC games are here to stay. I do think there will be more and more cross platform development, with fewer and fewer PC-only titles, though. But to say PC gaming is dead is just plain ignorant and shows a lack of understanding about the gaming community as a whole.
There's lots more where that came from.
Link: WW interviews Puuk part I

Posted by Odin - at 20:39

RPGDot have posted a new feature called The RPGs of 2005, the first part talks they talk about various upcoming games like The Fall:

Silver Style Entertainment’s The Fall: Last Days of Gaia had a difficult release in Germany, with numerous technical issues causing problems. The team has been quick to address these issues with a string of patches hitting in quick succession. No US or UK publisher has yet been announced but Lead Designer Carsten Strehse has indicated on the forums that a likely partner has been found. If you like the idea of a traditional party-based RPG in a post-apocalyptic environment, the English version should be fairly polished by the time it is released. German reviews have been generally positive, with particular praise for the strength of the quests and story.
Releasing a buggy game isn't a strong indicator of a good game, but I'll give Silver Style the kudos for at least patching it.
Link: RPGs of 2005 part I

Posted by Odin - at 20:34

HomeLanFed is reporting that ExperienceGaming have conducted an interview with Eyal Netanel (Co-Founder of Major), who is working on Ballerium and here's a snibblet:

XG: What kind of benefits do you think will result from the collaboration?

Eyal: Firstly, there’s funding. Now we all know that Interplay is in a very difficult position right now, in fact Herve (Interplay CEO) says so himself in the most recent quarterly press release. However, I am sure he will be able to find the resources and support us as long as we need to bring the game to market. Then there’s also Interplay’s name and experience that will definitely help us in the long term. In fact, just by announcing this collaboration we have already received tremendous media exposure. Interplay has some very important know-hows with regards to getting games onto the shelves, and we intend to use that expertise when time comes.
Riiiight....
Link: Ballerium interview

News for Sunday, January 2, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 17:03

An article at Gamepro throws the canning of Fallout at 17th place in the top 20 gaming lows of 2004, here's a snibblet:

17) Fallout RPG Canned, Reopened
Black Isle Studios saw its tragic end last year, and this year saw the disappointing release of Brotherhood of Steel, which like a long lost evil twin separated from birth, only served to tank the once brilliant franchise further. Hardcore fans hoped that the game would be picked up by Troika or Obsidian, but instead was nabbed by Bethesda, who plans to restart development from scratch--putting their own perks into the series.
EA holds the 1th place of course.
Link: Top 20 Gaming Lows of 2004
Thanks goes out to Briosafreak and Suicidal Bob for informing us.

News for Saturday, January 1, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 14:11

iSONEWS has posted a first look review on Shadow Vault, the game got an 6 out of ten average rating from one gunhero, he described the graphics as static, yet detailed, and a mildly satisfying gameplay:

If you are a Fallout fan and a TBS fan, give this game a go. Imagine your favorite juice, and it's empty, but to get a little taste of it, you just fill the empty bottle with water and drink it. Mmm, you can still feel some of that sweet taste, but extremely weak.
That is how Shadow Vault is.
So, if you can borrow it or buy at a low price, give it a shot, but still we're yet to see a full-blown PA RPG. Also, you may want to check out the screenshots.

Link: Shadow Vault First Look @ iSONEWS

Thanks to WaR-CrAzY for the heads-up.