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News for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 1:06

As promised I've uploaded some more "new" Fallout modding utils, this time around I uploaded all script related utils, here's a list:

I've got more planned for tomorrow (things take time)
Link: NMA Download section - Scripts Utils

News for Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 21:11

As some of you, I've also had problems loading Fallout 2. With the help of some of our forum regulars we were able to figure it out and thus I decided to modify the article I made on installing Fallout 1 (manual), I've updated it to include a manual install of Fallout 2 (which can help locate the problem).
Link: Fallout 1/2 Manual Installation Guide

Posted by Odin - at 12:44

LittleNickey informed us that the Fallout Yurop project is not quite dead, but rather undead (which basicly means, no one is working on it but they do intend to). LittleNicky emailed Shigor (Project Leader) and asked what the status of the project was and here's the answer:

Well, technicaly it's more or less undead - although there's still some minor work being done, the development almost stopped. I still hope to kick it alive, but first I have to deal with some personal stuff.
My only question would be, how many are working on it now and do they need help (as I'm sure quite alot would be willing to help out).
Thanks LittleNickey!

Posted by Odin - at 12:40

As promised Wild_qwerty also sent us their Fallout mini game called Vertibird Assault, it's basically a Xenon clone (for those that remember that game). He also sent us their latest Fallout modding tool called Wav2Lip, here's an explanation of what this util does:

This program is designed to help Fallout 2 modders to make talking head animations. Program reads wave data from file and generates a LIP file from it. It also outputs acm file to go with generated lip file. wav2lip needs the aid of snd2acm program, which is included in this zip. ACM conversion can be toggled off by using -noACM switch.
Nice, thanks alot Wild_qwerty and the MR Team!

Posted by Odin - at 11:05

Wild_qwerty informed me of the latest Mutants Rising press release and without further ado:

Well I forgot to write the last PR for MR due to spending to much time playing the final version of MR... or I could be making that bit up and just plain forgot. So here's a break down of the last couple of months:

- Fanout has taken a dirt nap. We are MR were saddened to hear of another mod going belly up, but take heart we have no intention of stopping development of MR.

- Andyspacetrain from Fanout has joined the MR dev team, remember everything is recycled in the wasteland!

- We have made a small mini-game called 'Vertibird Assault' which is set after Fallout 2. The BOS has built their first Vertibird from the stolen Enclave plans. Take command of a Vertibird and mow down wave after wave of the wastelands inhabitants.

~ Ghouls
~ Super Mutants x 2
~ Mutant Wasps
~ FO weapons
~ Three poorly designed levels by wild_qwerty
~ Somewhat tested
~ Free to a good home!

- There is a new version of the MR website due for release.

- A new version of the dialog editor is in Development.

- Wav2Lip v.1.0. This tool generates LIP and ACM (with aid of snd2acm) files on the fly and seems to sync frames almost perfectly using 'PPFind' technology (Phoneme Position Finder)

~ Accepts any type of pcm wave file
~ Changes the wave to correct format
~ Generates a LIP file
~ Doubles the speed of wav
~ Passes the wav to snd2acm which generates ACM automatically
~ LIP files are directly compatible with Anchorite's LIP Editor
It's waiting to get to do it's thing boys.. where are the voice actors??

And From the Lance Mathers Interview Collection:
Exerpt from this reporter's interview with Chip Howell(reference number 25, From the Special Investigative Series: Explore with Lance Mathers).

The sound of murmured voices clarifies. "Great shot, Richie. Get me a panoramic video shot of the muralled foyer and the tiled floor. Save the Blast Doors and the turrets for last. Yeah, that's it, now cut to Mr. Howell and I."
The camera settles on two men, one slim, tall, dark-haired and good-looking and holding a microphone, the other stocky and powerful, older with a regal mien and bearing.
"Lance Mather's here in the foyer of Luxury Haven Number Three, Heavenly Haven. With me is Chip Howell, founder of the Howell Luxury Haven Company."

Mathers: "Quite an impressive entryway you have here, Mr Howell. Are those Gatling Gun Turrets?"

Howell: (grins broadly) "Gatling Laser Turrets, Lance. Remember you aren't talking to Chucky here."

Mathers: "Ah, you mean your competitor, Charles Morton's Vault Tec..."

Howell: "You are calling Chucky a competitor, Lance? The guy is building vaults. Do you know what a vault is---It's a goddamn tomb is what it is... a place you bury people..."

Mathers: "Please Mr. Howell..."

Howell: "We are building Havens Mathers! (raises both hands above his head) Not just refuges from the world's cares, but luxurious havens prepared for every eventuality!"
Good to hear you guys are still working on this, I'll upload the Vertibird Assault as soon as I can.
Link: Mutants Rising

Posted by Odin - at 2:37

For those of you that remember the Fallout 2 Patcher, which is a Fallout util to make it possible to play Fallout 2 in higher resolutions, you'll be glad to hear that it has been updated:

Version 3:
The game is still unplayable, but some things have been fixed while other have been destroyed

* New style of patching the executable added - the patcher reads from the patchData.txt file
* Sections for future compatibility with other versions added (still only works with US 1.02d)
* Some interface additions/fixes for the patcher itself

* Most of the graphics work on the dialogs now, but not the main picture that shows who you are talking to unless it's a talking head
* You can now move the mouse to any corner/side of the screen to move the world map around istead of the default 640x480 edges

* Picture of who you are talking to is messed up in non-talking head dialogs
* Accessing custom settings on your party members crashes
So it's still a beta, just remember that.
Download Link: Fo2 Patcher

Posted by Odin - at 1:33

I've uploaded a bunch of new Fallout utils, some of which we already had (new versions) and some new. Here's a list of them:

There are more files I'm going to add tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Thanks to Perceptron for informing us about this.

News for Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 17:32

The upcoming post apocalyptic UT2004/HL2l mod called RoadKill Warriors has had a couple of updates since my last post:

We are planning on releasng a patch (Alpha v0.5). We have still not set a date but we have gathered a nice todo list. Some features/bugfixes will be implemented and some might be moved to the third patch Here are some snippets from the internal todo list:

* Weapons balancing.
* Vehicle handling improvement.
* New Weapons / Items
* General bugfixing.
* Reload system for all weapons.
* Special features for vehicles.
* Destructable models in maps.

We're also planning on releasing a mappack, hopefully before the patch.
They also got two new members to their team and posted several images.
Link: RoadKill Warriors

Posted by Odin - at 16:56

Worthplaying is reporting that there is a new patch to The Fall, they are now up to version 1.7:

Folgende Probleme wurden behandelt in v1.7:

- Mouse Roll Over über Muni = Passende Waffe im Inventar und beim Händler anzeigen (und umgekehrt)
- XP-Anzeige nach jedem Kill (über dem toten Feind, ähnlich Schaden)
- Waffen können über Kontextmenü Namen gegeben werden
- Anzeige des Rüstungswerts im aufklappbaren Inventar
- Aufrufen des Kontextmenüs im Inventar möglich
- Waffen entladen über Kontextmenü
- Option: Navigieren über Minimap
- Option: Tauschwerte ein/aus.....
Link: The Fall patch 1.7

News for Sunday, March 27, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 0:51

The Auto Assault contained a lot of previews and features we missed, so here it is:

Greetings from the Central Wastelands!

We've been tearing up the pavement again this week, making lots of stops across the information superhighway to bring you new videos and interviews about Auto Assault.

Here's a quick look at what's new and where you can find it:
- A hands-on preview and Human profile (including video) at GameSpot:
- IGN hands-on preview
-GameZone preview
- New screenshots at Computer & Video Games (registration required)
- An audio interview with Scorch, SamPenguin and Tisirin (NCsoft OCR Manager) on OGaming

Meanwhile, back in our own domain, here's what's new this week on the official Auto Assault website:
- In the Recon section, Prelude Chapter Two: Mountains out of Grassy Knoll Hills, is now available. The Prelude stories explain the history of the Auto Assault world, leading up to the present-day conditions players will find when they enter The Central Wastelands.
- Our weekly polls will be updated each week with Weigh-In Wednesdays. There's still time to cast your vote in the first poll. The topic is "What do you like most in MMOs?"

Have a great weekend! If you're celebrating Easter, have a good one!

The Auto Assault team
Spotted as DaC, as I'm not subscribed

News for Saturday, March 26, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 20:30

Auto Assault's Recon Section has been updated with a bit of backstory for the game:

In the face of growing civil unrest, the governments finally shifted their public stance to acknowledge the problem, but remained firm that the mutations were probably harmless. Templetus and other conspiracy heads were convinced they were right and immediately began to shout even louder than before. However, one by one, various dissident figureheads began "quieting down". Some seemed to disappear almost overnight.
Link: Recorn: Historical Archives: Prelude Chapter Two on Auto Assault's website

Spotted on Blue's News

Posted by Brother None - at 3:29

The PCGamer issue of May (huh?) has an article on a new game being made by Flagship Studios, which is made up of a load of developers who are best known for their work on Diablo 1 and 2:

Setting: Modern day London, with a post-apocalyptic twist
The game is set in a demon infested London, 5 years after an epic battle between the demons and the human race. Guess who won. London was chosen because of it's "natural dungeons" such as subways, aqueducts, and left over bomb shelters from WWII. And yes, that was St. Paul's Cathedral in that concept art piece.

Storyline: Linear (but not quite so linear as Diablo II)
They say it will be linear, but less linear than Diablo II. This will be done by having randomized paths and quests that the player can take. Like in Diablo II, the surroundings will be generated randomly, so that it has the replayability of their other games.
It sounds like another Diablo, but thankfully we might also hope this won't be yet another weak Diablo clone, but rather an Action RPG of the quality of Diablo.

Link: all rumours known about this game on the Flagship Follower

Spotted at RPGCodex

News for Friday, March 25, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 20:07

Gameguru Mania did an interview with Jan Beuck, Creative Director of Restricted Area. It's an interesting if somewhat confusing read, and the word "RPG" is used a lot:

GGMania: We've already had plenty of RPG games on PC and there are a number in production, how will Restricted Area stand out from the crowd?

Jan Beuck: Most important through the scenario and the changes that result from it: Focus on range weapons, cool characters, modern equipment.
An important point is also that the four totally different characters (each with unique skills and a detailed back-story) progress independently through the same narrative while the story is revealed from various angles. And there are unlimited generated subquests and unlimited generated levels, so you can play as long as you wish.
Link: interview on GGMainia

Spotted at Blue's News

Posted by Brother None - at 1:23

Abaddon seems to be in an updaty mood lately, as we again get more news from them:

Hello again, I have uploaded a new copy of Abaddon, dubbed 0.4 beta, which is really just the new artwork I have done, as I havent reinstalled Visual Studio since my last computer crash!
Here are some screenshots from the latest version, and you can see loads more on the new screenshots page,
where I have compiled a list of ALL the abaddon screenshots.
Spotted at Duck and Cover

Posted by Brother None - at 1:18

As Leonard Boyarsky stated in the interview he did with GameBanshee, there was some concern about Troika's ability to get funds to develop the engine of which we have all seen the PA demo video. In the interview he mentions, however, that they were working on two games on the SOURCE engine, one of them Post-Apocalyptic. Somewhat confused (was Troika working on TWO post-apoc games?), we asked Leon to give us some clarity. That he did:

There were two different demos - the one you've seen was using our own engine. We did another one with the HL2 engine (using the same avatar and robot but with a Vampire 1st/third person camera) where we took the Gargoyle's AI from Vamp and gave it to the robot so you could fight him.
Understandably, Troika wanted to be able to pitch the game both from the "we can do it with a ready-to-work-with engine (SOURCE)" angle or from the "we can develop the engine and make the game" angle. Sadly both angles fell through.

Of course now we know there's a Troika post-apoc demo were you can fight the robot. Leon, we want this demo!

News for Thursday, March 24, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 18:20

GameSpot did a profile preview of the upcoming Auto Assault. It looks to be the first in a series and highlight the human race:

Modern humans take every precaution to avoid the effects of "the alien contamination." Shields cover their towns, vehicles, and personnel. Clothing design is utilitarian. Due to their purist social nature, humans revere the human form, and social status is greatly influenced by physical stature. Genetic engineering and subverted alien technology have helped the humans fight off the alien contamination, but these sciences have also produced the side effects of increased strength, eyesight, agility, and (sometimes) strange mental powers.
It gives details on the racial advantages of humans and gives the following four sub-classes: commando, bounty-hunter, engineer and lieutenant and gives some additional screenshots to go with it.

WorthPlaying released the Auto Assault trailer #3 in a batch of trailers.

Link: Auto Assault preview on GameSpot
Link: Auto Assault trailer on WorthPlaying

Posted by Odin - at 15:59

Next up on the ladder to interview Leonard Boyarsky is Gamebanshee, here's an interesting quote:

GB: Was there any interest in your post-apocalyptic tech demo? If you don't mind me asking, what sort of pitch/demo were you doing with the Half Life 2 engine?

Leon: We had some initial interest in our post apocalyptic game, but it was felt that it would have taken too long a dev cycle to develop the engine and then the game. We were hoping to do it in conjunction with another project with the same publisher to offset the development costs of the engine, but that deal fell through somewhere in the executive realm of the company we were talking to. The strangest thing for us was that we were in contact with a lot of development people who really wanted to work with us – producers, etc, but marketing and the execs are real wary of RPGs.

We had two different demos we did with the HL2 engine. One was post apocalyptic and the other was more contemporary, kind of a follow up to Vampire (in terms of game mechanics, etc, but not the license) where we focused on what worked in Vampire and threw away what didn’t.
Link: Gamebanshee interviews Leon
Thanks goes out to Greatatlantic for informing us!

News for Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 16:43

As we're left waiting for the release of the English version, the Germans are hard at work at expansions for SSE's the Fall:

The game is going to feature two new characters, no bugs (ambitious!), two new maps including a dungeon and new quests, new easter eggs, some new voice acting (new actors and HQ recordings), mountable vehicles to accelerate travel, improved map navigation, improved textures for characters, buildings and landscapes and new character portraits.
Silver Style's Carsten Strehse is quoted as saying that players of the original retail version will be able to download all this new content.
Heh. No bugs.

Spotted on RPGDot

Posted by Brother None - at 16:41 has found and translated another S.T.A.L.K.E.R. interview, this time with Oleg Yavorsky. It offers little and no hope for a swift release or testing:

Alex "ANWer" Nevsky: Can you say anything about online testing? An approximate date at least. icon_smile.gif Or is this question still being discussed with THQ?

{GSC} Oleg Yavorsky:It is still being discussed.. we are preparing/optimizing the netcode.

Link: original interview on forums
Link: translation on forums

News for Monday, March 21, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 20:13

Gamehelper has written a preview for the upcoming Auto Assault that is not necessarily very helpful, but at least makes for a very amusing read and takes a pretty honest angle towards the game:

There is a heavy emphasis on going for fun over realism. This basically ends up meaning that the vast majority of the environment is destructible; you can run into things and off of cliffs all you want without damage penalties – in fact you can get bonuses for nice jumps/tricks, and there is no penalty for dying aside from time lost driving from the closest repair yard back to wherever you were.
Link: Auto Assault preview on Gamehelper

Spotted on Blue's News

Posted by Odin - at 16:44

There's a new Fallout Developers Profile in town, this time we were able to hunt down Mr. Chris Avellone. After some time in our tortu..err..happy farm, he ended up writing down part 1 of his Fallout developers profile. Here's a quote:

What hobbies do you have besides computer games?

Lots of reading, surfing the net, playing video games, and writing when I get the chance. I would like to make sex a hobby, but there are no official clubs for that, so I have to make do. I also like to doodle and draw stick figure cartoons. I work out a lot and do “aerobics” (I don’t mean jumping around like a Frenchman, I mean cycling and rowing machine), though I’m not the emaciated wreck I used to be after Torment and I am never going to be the size of Damien Foletto, who is a man-mountain of terror and whose mere presence at the scene of impending violence is enough to convince people that it’s better to make peace, not war or he will break you into tiny pieces and scatter you to the winds.
It is a hefty read, if I can use those words.
Link: Chris Avellone - Fallout Developers Profile

Posted by Brother None - at 14:58

As our old poll had long outlived its usefulness and its expiration date, we've started a new one; which post-apocalyptic project are you most looking forward to? Most major projects are listed, though a few are missing, as well as an option for those that really don't care.

So go vote!

News for Sunday, March 20, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 0:23

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fansite Oblivion-Lost has translated an interview with Anton Bolshakov, one of the developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl. The interview, which originally was in Russian, covers topics such as when the project will be completed, demonstrating DirectX 9, and beta testing.

How much do you feel is left until the project's completion?

We are counting months now, not years.
Most of the game is now undergoing the publisher's approval. In other words, the game is being judged by the publisher and tuned in those areas the publisher feels need more work.

In regards to advertising. An active advertising campaign is not compatible with delays. This leads to overexcitement of the fans and huge disappointment when another delay is announced, which makes sense.
This is why we are trying not to get people too worked up, and to to work more. When we set a precise release date, a full-blown advertising campaign will begin.

Well, another question - how soon will you publish new outdoor DX9 screens?

We are preparing an advertising campaign, which will begin about half a year before the game's release.
It will be built upon an array of sweets that we have not shown yet, and the game itself of course!

It will be possible to see the DX9 version at GDC, RGD, E3 - for visitors only.
Screens for the general public will appear during the advertising campaign.
Hopefully unlike the previous campaign, which fizzled out.

Link: Translated interview on the Obilvion-Lost forums.

Spotted on Blue's News.

News for Saturday, March 19, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:59

GameSpot has released their second video interview with Scott Brown, project lead for the MMOG Auto Assault. In addition to Scott Brown talking about various aspects of Auto Assault, such as grouping, the different types of areas in the game, and the destructibility of the environment; there is plenty of footage of Auto Assault in-game.

Link: Developer Interview video at GameSpot

Found on the offical Auto Assault website.

Posted by Tannhauser - at 22:17

On Friday, GameZone posted a preview on the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMOG Auto Assault, which presents a general overview on how the game will play and the impressions of the previewer.

Players will be able to compete for resource nodes, and there will be endless supplies of ammunition and no death penalty. That’s right, when you die, you don’t incur a penalty, are transported back to the nearest repair station with only a small amount of hit points available.

“We wanted to go more fun than reality,” stated NetDevil’s Scott Brown, who also stated “all missions are handcrafted.”

“We call the game an action RPG,” he said.
Also on Friday IGN posted their own preview of Auto Assault, where the previewer ignored the story and made up his own to fit the game.
While event attendees were allowed to take a turn in the driver's seat later in the evening, a presentation demonstrating the ideas behind Auto Assault was given first. It's obvious that the guys at NetDevil are pretty happy with how the game is coming along and the opportunity to present an MMO to what they're imagining will be an entirely different audience than your typical persistent world game. But so as not to completely alienate a crowd that could be important to getting the community going, there will be plenty of options for character customization. In fact, before a player can even jump into a car and rip the world a new one, a character will have to be created. Players will first pick a faction and then customize the look of the avatar with different skin tones, hair styles and so on. Those of you that house some fantasy of being a hardcore apocalyptic auto babe, the future will have plenty to choose from.

On top of the simple looks of the character are attributes that govern combat, tech, theory, and perception. These numbers will be important because while much of the game truly is action oriented, some of the experience is still driven by the roll of the dice. Driving, for instance, is controlled by the character while handling of the car comes down to both the type of car components and character skill.
Nothing new here, move along.

Auto Assault preview at GameZone.
Auto Assault preview at IGN.

Spotted at Blue's News.

News for Thursday, March 17, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 13:40

Gamespy have once again written about Troika's demise and this time they blame the publishers, here's a bit from it:

All that said, I've heard from several Troika employees, all of them off the record, about what went down there. Suffice to say that it was a combination of things on both the developer and publisher sides, which doesn't really surprise me. What I'm impressed with is how public the Troika founders have been in taking responsibility for their mistakes. But yes, there was more fault there on Activision's part than I probably indicated in the column.
As far as the industry issues go ... you're right, although I question equating Troika's demise with gamers "refusing to buy garbage." Troika's titles had some issues, but they were by and large smarter, more creative, and more unique than 90% of what was on the market. That ain't garbage, by a long shot.
There's a reason that publishers go out of business all the time (or come damn near it. The Tony Hawk series basically saved Activision from spiraling down the toilet). It's because the publishing model is COMPLETELY RETARDED. It makes no sense to shovel fifty pounds of crap out the door and hope that one pound of it sells enough to pay for development of the other forty-nine. Publishers employ too many people, there is too much overhead, they're poorly run, 90% of their producers are egomaniacal power-mongers ... it just goes on and on.

The problem is that voting with your dollars more often than not kills the developers and leaves the publishers standing. Because when they luck into a good game (and the years I've spent observing publishers telling me that, yes, it's luck), then that pays for all of the previous crap that they rushed out the door, didn't allow time to finish, bankrolled even though it was clearly a bad/impossible idea, or otherwise screwed up.
I ripped the quotes from Vault Dwellers newspost on RPG Codex.
Link: Gamespy talks again..

Posted by Brother None - at 4:05

Shacknews reported that the Auto Assault site now features another addition to their Recon section; Destruction, which mostly shows things blowing up. Also, Auto Assault's public forums are now up. And on the last note, GameOgre released an interview with Community Coordinator Valerie Massey

Link: Auto Assault Recon Feature: Destruction
Link: Auto Assault public forums
Link: Interview with Community Coordinator Valerie Massey on GameOgre

Posted by Brother None - at 2:01

From The Orange Country register:

Interplay Entertainment Corp., an Irvine developer of computer games, is without an accountant, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Squar, Milner, Reehl & Williamson LLP dumped Interplay in March because it was concerned about Interplay's future. There were no financial disagreements in 2002, 2003 or this year, but Squar said in a letter that it couldn't do its job any longer since most of Interplay's employees had quit or were fired beginning last June.

By September, Squar said in a letter, no one was left in the accounting department except for the controller.

Herve Caen, its chief executive, was not available for comment.
Basically, despite no financial disagreements, Squar has come to the conclusion, like so many of us, that Interplay is doomed and have thus dropped them. I personally find it highly surprising and somewhat unlikely that the accountants did not have financial troubles with Interplay.

Link: OC register article (members only)
Link: initial SEC filing by Interplay
Link: Amendment as Interplay misstated some info (ehehehe)

Thanks, Corith

News for Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 22:48

King of Creation posted news at Duck And Cover that a post-apocalyptic project Abaddon: Fallen Angel has had an update, it's got some screenies, so check it out.

Link: Abaddon: Fallen Angel

Posted by Odin - at 20:33

Worthplaying have posted 18 new screenshots of the upcoming Post Apocalyptic MMORPG called Auto Assault, so remember to grab a look at those.
Linky: Auto Assault Screenies

Posted by Brother None - at 19:36

A few days ago some rumours indicated that the Troika heads turned down several major contracts to work on CRPGs for the next gen consoles near the end of the company. We contacted Leonard Boyarsky and he had this to say in response:

Those rumors are completely wrong. We did not turn down anything, we were never offered any next gen console contracts (or any other contracts for that matter). We did do a small project for DARPA, working on an AI program to take over the world, but that's highly classified.
That clears that up, then. As for the DARPA-thing; nobody ever heard anything, right?

Posted by Silencer - at 19:22

DarkUnderlord posted at the Duck And Cover that the FanOut project seems to have bitten the dust, the bulk of the team leaving the project and forsaking it to hang in limbo, according to the posts at their forums.

On a lighter note, the team responsible for Fan Made Fallout say they have completed the background work on the locations, faction and plot and are currently looking to employ help with the actual mapping, writing dialogues and fleshing the mod.

Links: Project FanOut, Fan Made Fallout

Posted by Silencer - at 19:06

Le Jedi Fou let us know in this thread that he's made a location mod (only in French for the time being) for Troika Games' Arcanum. The mod contains the Fallout town of Shady Sands. For some screenshots:

Looks nice.

Links: Shady Sands maps for Arcanum, the thread @ NMA Forums

Posted by Silencer - at 18:46

skitzofrantic let us know that there's also a review, and a much better one, of Shadow Vault at While the general tone of the review is quite negative, it captures some lighter sides of the game, here's the conclusion:

The game manages to be sufficiently challenging to entertain you, if you can look past the horrible first impression that it makes, and the lack of a story that makes any sense. There are 21 missions, and unless you ace them all the first time through, you are probably looking at 30 or more hours of gameplay. Shadow Vault is not a total disaster, but it is still a hard game to recommend at full price. The game is too ugly and the story is too poor to satisfy anybody but the hardcore fan. Shadow Vault is a bargain binner.
I'll pass, but it may be worth a shot once it's a bargain...

Link: review of Shadow Vault

Posted by Odin - at 14:05

Slaughter of informed me of a new review of Shadow Vault, here's a snibblet from it:

While the game strives to pick up where Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel left off, it does a pretty bad job of it. It tried, and falls flat. I'd stick to waiting for Fallout 3 (if/when it ever comes out). It tries to copy Fallout in most every aspect, from graphics, to interface, to a replacement for the PiP (you have a diary), etc, however, while giving Mayhem credit for trying, I'd have to say that this game is actually a disappointment, considering what it could have been.
Wow, just wow.....
Link: Shadow Vault review@XPD8

News for Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 0:02

On the Quarter to Three forums, there has been an interesting exchange between Rob Merritt and a former Troika employee under the handle of Linoleum.

Rob Merritt originally posted:

Heard some interesting rumors on Trokia from a former employee. They said that Trokia was offered two contracts to do rpg games on Next Gen console platforms. These contracts were good contract too that would of easily kept the company afloat and many of the employees wanted to take them just based on the licensed. The management refused to take them and held out hope for a similar contract on the pc platform. Which never came and the company folded.
To which Linoleum responded:
That's news to me, although it might have occured after I left. However, after Vampire was out the door, I don't think Troika would have turned down Extreme Paintbrawl if it would have kept the doors open. They were doing a small DARPA project for crying out loud.

It sounds like a case of telephone, Troika was asked to prepare a proposal for a next-gen console treatment of an established RPG series at the beginning of 2004. However, in the end the publisher decided to do it on current-gen with an internal studio.
For the curious, DARPA is a research and development organization for the United States Department of Defense.

Link: Relevant posts on the Quarter to Three forums.

Spotted at Duck and Cover.

News for Monday, March 14, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 22:12

There have been a number of updates from the Chickenhead Team, the guys working on Bourgeoisie. The official name of the project is now “Bourgeoisie: Pearl of the Wastelands” and to celebrate the event the entire Bourgeoisie website has been given an overhaul. The layout has been changed and additionally some new sections and articles have been made, as well as some addition to the gallery.

The team is also happy to announce it is currently in an advanced stage of design and that an English version of their website will be ready soon.

Link: Bourgeoisie website
Link: Bourgeoisie gallery at the Bourgeoisie website
Link: Bourgeoisie English language forum on NMA

Posted by Odin - at 11:26

There's a Fallout Tactics mod around, this one is called Darkfall. It's being done by the guys behind the Awaken mod, here's more info:

Darkfall. A mod to Fallout Tactics. At the beginning I wanted the mod to be a large and standalone tactic mod with new background, story, etc. Unfortunatelly, sometimes it's this way that things go not the way the should, and so the mod only changes the old Fallout Tactics.
  • 26 missions, including 14 known from FT and 12 new ones (including finding crashed vertibird, defending BOS' bunker against mutants, battle of a bridge, rescuing scribes, mission with driving a tank, lots of fun Wink ).
  • One free town with many NPCs, including about 15 quests and smaller locations.
  • Tons of weapons -- each with separate sound effects, now they are more deadly (increased dmg).
  • Old, well-known sprites and tiles from Fallout cRPGs.
  • CHANGES to standard FT campaign:
  • Improved Super Mutants - now equipped with laser and plasma rifles, also nightkins using stealth boys, as seen in Fo1.
  • Missions with searching for Vault0 and fighting robots removed ('cause it was a terrible idea to put them into the game)
  • Beastlords changed into Slavers, deathclaws [and other animals] pets removed.
Sounds nice.
Link: Darkfall, Screenshots @ NMA Gallery

News for Friday, March 11, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 23:46

The latest Auto Assault newsletter has been sent out, here's what it said:

Just a quick little note to let you know that we updated the Auto Assault website today. In this week’s Recon feature update, we have introduced information about Infantry. In addition to the ripples of sheer maniacal pleasure people get while playing Auto Assault and blasting buildings into smoking rubble, there’s a special sort of glee one feels when mowing down these expendable cogs in the bad guys’ arsenals. Read more about them here.

The Rocky Mountain News ran a nice little story about their recent visit to the NetDevil office and preview of Auto Assault. Though the reporter accidentally got SamuraiPenguin’s real name wrong (it’s Ryan, not Brian, Seabury,) the article is a good read and features some new artwork. Check it out!

The light is still green for our beta sign-up! If you haven’t registered yet, what are you waiting for? Go to It’s fast, free and if you are selected as a tester, you get a car! (In the game, of course…) =)
So anyone who has forgotten to sign up for a beta test, do so now.

News for Thursday, March 10, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 12:00

RPGCodex is reporting that GamesFirst! conducted an interview with Gavin Carter of Bethesda, they talk about Oblivion but since Bethesda is going to use the same engine on Fallout 3 we can get some clues on how it might be. Here's an interesting bit:

GF!: How have the NPCs been revamped for Oblivion as opposed to Morrowind?

GC: Reworking our NPCs is a major focus for us with Oblivion. Everything about NPCs has been redone from the ground up. For starters, all of their dialog is fully voiced. Being able to actually hear the characters speak out loud really adds to the atmosphere. We’re making revisions to how dialog functions in the game as well. Gone are the encyclopedic database characters of Morrowind who had lists of generic topics that scrolled off the screen. We’re trying hard to give all NPCs a sense of personality and keeping their topics down to things that are interesting and unique. The dialog system itself has been revamped to remove the hyperlink-style keywords sprinkled in among the dialog. You’re now presented with topics and dialog choices in between NPC dialogs. We find this helps you focus on the information (as well as our incredible facial animation system) much more, instead of just hunting through the dialogs for the colored words like in Morrowind.
Hmm, interesting..Now we don't know that this means squat for Fallout 3, but it's safe to assume that the choices they make on Oblivion can affect Fallout 3.
Link: Oblivion interview@GamesFirst!

News for Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 20:02

We've received news that Permuted Press is announcing the opening of the official website for Eric Shapiro's apocalyptic tale It's Only Temporary.

The release is scheduled for July 1, 2005, but "It's Only Temporary" has already received rave reviews from several well-known authors. The official website features cover art, the usual praise for the book and, best of all, Chapter 1 of Eric's dark road trip through Armageddon available for free!


Posted by Odin - at 19:49

Apparently Globe And Mail just recently figure out that Fallout was acquired by Bethesda so they decided to post a newsbit about it (kinda late, but ok):

Bethesda Softworks, developer of the outrageously successful The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, says it will be taking the wheel from Black Isle Studios and Interplay to drive one of the role-playing game market's funniest, most original and popular series back into pole position.
It's a funny read to say the least.
Link: Fallout 3 in dev
Spotted at RPGCodex.

Posted by Odin - at 18:16

We have gotten ahold of some more of the concept art images from Van Buren/Fallout 3, here are some interesting ones:

Well now, a new critter unveiled..Comments?

News for Monday, March 7, 2005

Posted by Tannhauser - at 2:24

jdoe407 has created a Fallout2.exe patcher, which allows users to change Fallout 2's resolution and the speed of the World Map. From jdoe407's thread on our forums:

This has been designed for the 1.02d us executable and I can't guarantee that it will run on anything else. There are still many bugs with fallout2 when running with a higher resolution.

The patcher is run in the same directory as Fallout2.exe. What it does is it takes the original executable, makes a copy of it and then applies a few patches to it depending on what information you give to it via the gui.

The slider bar in the "World Map" section determines how much you want to slow the world map down by. The higher the bar, the slower it will get. To enable or disable it, just simply check or uncheck the "Slow Down World Map" check box

The way I patched the file this time did require the removal of error checking functions. All that the patch changes are the destinations to some jumps/calls. The patch also re-writes the resolution picking function into a much more compact system.

Most of the interfaces are in the upper left corner because I'm not too sure on how the mouse events work just yet. The larger the resolution... the more errors you will have when loading different areas. For those who wanted crazy resolutions, you can have them.

Fallout2Patcher_V2 binary:
Fallout2Patcher_V2 source:
The development of the resolution/mapspeed hacks can be seen in the thread here.
At this point, the largest issue with higher resolutions seems to be somewhat screwy dialogue screens.

Great work jdoe407, and to all the other modders in our forums that made this possible! We all look forward to further releases.

Thanks to Ozrat for spotting this.

Edit: Uploaded to the NMA server also.

News for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Posted by Silencer - at 17:08

The Bourgeoisie team need help, here's a bit from today's newspost:

We're deep in trouble, and ones that threaten the project's development directly. The server our team's developer forum is located on “” is going to sleep with the 386's any day. The forum is instrumental in the making of "Bourgeoisie", without it, we're doomed. We ask of anyone who could help us find a new server to contact the project coordinator Intoxicate at . Anyone who could help us will be a allowed VIP status and access to the developer forum.

We need an at least 1GB webspace with PHP 4.3, MySQL 4.0 and at least 100 MB database space.
Hope they'll find something soon.

Posted by Odin - at 8:39

dodgerovitch informed us that he had made a customizable NPC mod for Fallout 2, here's some info:

Everyone's been rooting for a fully customizable NPC MOD for so long and now finally a working version has been released!

Brief Description: This MOD gives you a fully customizable NPC that will change his appearance for each type of armor he's wearing accordingly. He joins you right in the beginnig of the game by the Temple of Trials. This feature was never really implemented in the game engine so this MOD is not really a MOD but more of a hack
To download it you have to register at his forums..
Link: Customizable NPC Mod forum thread

Posted by Brother None - at 4:04

Master Creating has released an international trailer for the upcoming Restricted Area. It shows some ingame footage as well as some movies, all of which display glorious combat or action scenes. The look of the world isn't terrible, however, and the trailer is pretty smooth, though also pretty short.

Link: Downloads on the Restricted Area website

Spotted on RPGDot

Posted by Brother None - at 4:02

Haris released a beta version of the upcoming Fallout 2 mod "Wasteland Merc". Here's a bit from the readme:

Features:13 custom locations, custom weapons, custom missions and dialogs and more. This is not an add-on, it is a campaign on its own.


What mod is about: In this mod you are not the chosen or vault dweller but a simple mercenary warrior that goes around in wasteland looking for missions/jobs. All missions/jobs are redoable and are intended to be done several times. If you come to a town and nobody seems to be willing to talk to you that means your not high enough level to get that mission. Than usually they will tell you to get bent or come back when your better in various ways.
Haven't checked it out myself, hoping it's decent. The mod is mysteriously called "beta", even though Haris says it's finished, but apparently that's because there might still be bugs in there.

Link: download Wasteland Merc from DaC

Spotted on Duck and Cover

News for Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Posted by Brother None - at 23:53

In a thread at the RPG Codex forums, Leonard Boyarsky explains some things about the sales figures of Troika and the recent rumours surrounding them, though not giving any solid figures:

I don't have any actual numbers at hand (nor do I know whether I can reveal numbers per our contract, since I don't have that with me at the moment either), but to the best of my knowledge, ToEE was our best seller - or at least our fastest. The reason it's difficult to say is because our numbers were often being adjusted after the fact for arcane business reasons (on the publisher's end). I believe Arcanum is close to ToEE in sales, but Arcanum has been out alot longer and is at a much lower price point. Vampire hasn't been out long enough to really judge how well it will eventually do, as our games tend to continue to sell (as do all RPGs) longer than most.


The reason Andrew could see our royalty statements is because we were an open book company - besides sharing good news with our employees (like good sales numbers) everyone knew where we were financially at all times, even when the news was bad.
Link: thread on RPGCodex

Spotted at DaC

Posted by Brother None - at 23:49

WorthPlaying posted a handful of new AA shots. What makes it interesting is that the three shots are of three towns in Auto Assault; the mutant town Omphala, the uber-technology-weapon town Aurora and Overlook, a town built around a crashes alien pod.

It all looks, well, very un-post apocalyptic, happy and green. Very green.

Link: new screenshots on WorthPlaying

Posted by Brother None - at 14:31

Russian developer Targem has announced development of a post-apoc action driving game - ExMachina. They describe it as an "RPG on wheels". Details from the official site:

We are proud to announce ExMachina - a third person action-driving, set up in post apocalyptic world. You will drive through the regions of the new Earth, where you will uncover secrets of the lost civilization, learn the fate of the mankind, gain powerful friends and fight numerous enemies.
Your hard truck is your only hope of survival in the hostile world. You will need it to travel, to earn money and to fight your way through the dangerous areas. It’s crucial that you upgrade your truck every time you have a chance and equip it with ever more powerful weapon and new gadgets. To be able to do that you’ll need to trade with towns and villages on your way, and carry out various tasks.
The action and the RPG part are closely interrelated in the game, the action part being the driving, the spectacular combats with other trucks, a multitude of weapons, realistic physics and special effects; the RPG part being the variety of truck types to choose from, a unique world, a great number of optional quests and a flexible plot. Expect the game in Q4 2005.

Features of the game

The player will have 5 trucks to choose from, with various stats and a great number of upgrades and improvements.

The player can change the cab and the body of the truck, equip it with various gadgets to improve the truck stats.

Over 30 types of weapon: guns, machine guns, missiles, mines, energy weapon.

A great number of enemies: hard trucks, war transports, robots, infantry, bosses

Realistic driving and combat physics.

Spectacular truck damage and destruction by various types of weapon with stunning special effects. Detailed damage model.

Elite-type trading system: trucks being the combat units and cargo transport.
Spotted on RPGDot

Posted by Brother None - at 14:25

PC Gamezone did an interview with NetDevil's Scott Brown, project lead of Auto Assault. It is a kind of "road to E3" interview, mostly questions on how much progress AA has made:

Q: It seems one of the elements of the current MMOs that has really caught on has been how they are catering to the casual gamer. How will Auto Assault address that?

Scott: Much of our design caters to the casual gamer. You can play most missions in the game solo or in a group. There is no death penalty, you are just returned to your last repair station and play from there. There is little travel time, you can always pull up the world map and go straight to any map you have already unlocked. The combat system has been developed to make the player feel powerful at all times, winning more than losing, and defeating multiple enemies at a time. Our controls are also very easy to learn and should be familiar to anyone who has played vehicle games on the PC.
Link: Auto Assault interview on Gamezone

Spotted on WorthPlaying

Posted by Odin - at 10:03

Greatatlantic informed us of a new article on Gamespy about Troika and it's demise, here's a bit from the article:

For once I'm not going to heap the blame mostly on publishers. Mark this down on your calendars, kids, because as you well know I am typically much more forgiving of developers than publishers. In this instance, though, the publishers are only part of the problem, and perhaps not even a major part.

Quite simply, Troika was never able to capitalize on its talent because of a lack of quality control.
It's a hefty read, so read it and post your thoughts?
Link: Troika Eulogy

News for Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Posted by Odin - at 19:29

Andrew Meggs (former Troika designer) stepped in and commented on the recent newsbit about an article on Troika's salesfigures, here's what he said:

This is incorrect. By a signficant factor. I was there when the royalty checks came in, and Arcanum did much better than that. I do not think the publisher would have written checks for copies that they hadn't sold.

I never heard a final number on ToEE, as I wasn't directly involved in it, but the number I recall for its first-month sales was more than this article claims it did overall.

I do not know any numbers on Vampire.
So there you have it, those salesfigures weren't correct afterall.
Spotted at our forum

Posted by Odin - at 0:33

GameDaily Biz have posted an article on the demise of Troika, here's a small snibblet:

Boyarsky, Cain and Anderson formed Troika in 1998 after leaving Interplay where they created the classic RPG Fallout. Troika only created three games in the past six years: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001), The Temple of Elemental Evil (2003) and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (2004). These games catered to the niche RPG market, and although most were well received critically, the titles simply failed to generate enough revenue for the studio to survive. Arcanum was the company's best selling game, and it only managed to sell 234K units and generate sales of $8.8 million, according to the NPD Group. It was downhill from there; The Temple of Elemental Evil sold 128K units ($5.2 million) and Bloodlines sold a paltry 72K units ($3.4 million). It didn't help either that Bloodlines, which was published by Activision and powered by the Source/Half-Life 2 engine, was released at the same time as Valve's blockbuster first-person shooter sequel.
It's a good read, so get on over and read the rest.
Link: Troika - Game Over
Spotted at RPGCodex