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April 2000



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Tuesday, April 25

WHL - Mod of the Week by Miroslav - 13:07 -
WHL mod is the Mod of the Week on Planet HalfLife (http://www.planethalflife.com). They also have an interview with Admiral, one of the lead designers of this mod.

Friday, April 21

BIS Secret Project Page Update by Miroslav - 22:49 -
Here's another update at Dirty.Org:
Notes.
042100.
Hello World!
I’ve spoken in previous updates about the intuitive factor. It’s one of our primary goals with this project to design the world in such a way as to be able to introduce the RPG layman into our world of gaming without sacrificing the perspectives and detail that have defined what we do here at Black Isle. So, once we’ve got the non-RPG fan hooked and wandering around in our new world, what then? How do we keep this person interested enough to hang around for a hundred hours of their gaming time? Each designer currently has a set of tasks that are addressing that concern within each of their perspective areas of design within the new project. Mechanics, combat, character generation, and critical path elements are just some of the main areas of design that have been receiving a good deal of attention.
What I desire to present to the player is an interactive environment that takes elements of what we’ve done in the past to brand new levels of immersion. In Fallout 2, for instance, playing a character with extremely low intelligence would provide the player with an entirely different experience than if they had normal statistics, as NPC reaction to the player would change to reflect their pea brain. In Torment, the Brothel was designed so that every NPC walking around in the area had a schedule and many different ways of reacting to those walking around them. These are a couple of examples of how we’ve attempted to immerse the player within the game world environment, trying to make the setting something detailed, reactive, and believable.
Well, what if instead of special areas or circumstances where the NPCS were more reactive to the things around them, the WHOLE game reacted? Every dialog, no matter how important or trivial, lengthy or condensed, form fitted itself around who you were? The NPCs walking past you on the street, instead of having the same stock “Greetings Sir!” took account for who your character REALLY was and responded accordingly? Characters who’d be upset because you’d caught them in the wrong place at the wrong time, merchants who’d refuse to serve YOUR kind, courts of law that were swayed by your obvious ability to state your case, performing artists who’d allow you to express yourself along side them during an evening show if you impressed with your abilities… what if I was just getting started here?
When you sit down to create a character in many CRPGs, your statistics become purely a vehicle for how you’ll approach the combat system. As entertaining as this often is, that’s not much of a role-playing experience, is it? Of course, some will define slashing things up and rigid characterization as indeed playing a “role”, but ultimately it’s a role that either relates exclusively to one method of reacting to the world (hacking it up!) and/or pushing you in a direction entirely laid out by the people who wrote the game. We want this world to know you, adapt to you, and not limit you into one way of approaching the way you react back.
Hopefully before too long, we’ll get to show you part of our vision. Until then, as always, thank you for coming by and reading our updates.
Scott Warner, Designer, Black Isle Studios
swarner@blackisle.com
use your favorite streaming media program (winamp, sonique, etc.) to play location:
underworld.net:8100
Sunday night, 7pm pacific standard time
I'll try not to miss this one :) And thanks to Patrick Dugan and MatuX for heads-up on this one!


Monday, April 17

BIS Designer Notes Updated by Miroslav - 19:47 -
Most of you regular visitors are familiar with BIS page "Dirty.org". This is the place where designers from BIS post news and tidbits on unannounced secret project. Could this be Fallout 3? Well, Scott Warner, Designer@Black Isle Studios gives us nothing! Oh my god, sometimes it's very hard reading their notes which mentions Fallout 3 but actually says nothing! Well read for yourself:
Notes.
041600.
Ambiguous, Uninformative Project Update!
Oh, you know, the usual. There’s not much we can say yet other than the team is pounding away on various tasks relating to a prototype for the new project. Some of the team, including myself, are helping out with Icewind Dale, working to make that something you’ll all have a fantastic time romping through. It’s safe to say that we’re very excited about we’ve come up with so far, and it appears that most of the great ideas that we have been throwing about for the last eight months or so are going to see the light of day.
To answer email and message board questions that always come up:
What kind of game is it? What engine are you using?
As we are Black Isle Studios, it is most definitely a CRPG. The scope, content, mechanics, and setting I can’t discuss yet. We are using LithTech2 for this new project. There seems to be some concern that we’re going to create something that resembles an FPS, as most people think of Shogo and Blood when they think of the LithTech engine. We are not creating an FPS, and it’s safe to say that what we coming up with probably won’t look or feel anything like that either.
Is the new project Fallout 3?
I can’t say anything about Fallout 3 other than we recognize that people are very interested in a third installment of that series, and we too are very fond of the setting. However, rumors to whether this project is the next Fallout, whether it is or isn’t currently in production, what its about, etc., etc. are just that, and I’m afraid I can’t add anything more than what’s already be said.
Is this a new Bioware project?
No. This is an internal project at Black Isle Studios.
Who is involved with the new project?
The majority of the team that created Planescape:Torment.
What is your release date?
It will be a long time before we even speculate as to when we might release this title.
And that’s all for now really. We are attempting to stay very much in touch with those of you out there who are interested in what we’re doing. We’ll be setting up a message board shortly for you to interact on, and several of the team members are attempting to run around on the IRC channels as much as possible.
Take care,
Scott Warner, Designer, Black Isle Studios
swarner@blackisle.com
Well that's it. Here's a link also: http://www.dirty.org/BIS/
Thanks to Arcum for sending me this


Gore Patch Location Changed Again by Miroslav - 14:40 -
For you in need of a gore patch, here's a new location: http://www.falloutgorepatch.here4u.de
I really hope that this site shall stay online a little longer :)


Sunday, April 16

LithTech 2.0 by Miroslav - 11:48 -
Anyone care for some screenshots? Desslock posted some of the game "Legends of Might and Magic". This game uses LithTech 2.0 engine, the same one BlackIsle licensed for their unannounced project. Check them here: http://desslock.gamespot.com/features/lmm/lmm001.html

Friday, April 14

Pen & Paper Rules by Miroslav - 12:16 -
If you like playing "pen and paper" games, this set of rules might launch your game in new dimension. These are rules based on Fallout. If you think that it's worth a try (which certainly is), here's a link to get them.
You'll need a MS Power Point Viewer if you don't have installed Power point from MS Office. Get it here.


Thursday, April 13

WHL Beta 1 Out! by Miroslav - 17:02 -
Finally. After months of waiting, Half Life fans finally can enjoy in this mod. Admiral Duck Sauce sent me this note
The Wasteland Half-Life Beta 1 has arrived 4 days early!!! The final process of installers and mirror sites and all that went much more smoothly than expected, so we're throwing what little caution we have left to the wind and letting you guys have it! If you have IRC, we'll be having an impromptu get-together tomorrow, April 13, at 8pm EST on irc.gamesnet, channel #wasteland.
If you are interested in running a dedicated WHL server, please email me at ads@wastelandhalflife.com so I can add your IP to our server list and make sure you get all the latest upgrades!
Now go get it!!!
Here's a direct link to page with download locations: http://wastelandhalflife.com/dloads.shtml
See you there! Also special thanks to Daren and Gatac for sending me this info.


Wednesday, April 12

WHL Status by Miroslav - 18:33 -
Just to let you know, Admiral Duck Sauce sent me an email. Here is it:
Hey, just letting you know that our projected release date is 4/17/2000!!!
Thanks for all the wonderful support, I think at least 70% of our fan
base came from your site!
Best wishes,
Admiral Duck Sauce
WHL coordinator

Really fantastic news! I mean regarding the release date :) actually I'm glad about referrals also... hey, it's you who went there from this site!
In addition, there's been an update posted at the Official WHL web site.
RELEASE DATE: 4/17/2000
We are awaiting one final sound update and that's it, kiddies. We're doing some major juggling here, trying to coordinate mirror sites, dedicated servers, and still making sure the game is going to be tight. Here's our projected schedule:
  • Tuesday: Bombard the news sites and let everyone know there's blood in the water now
  • Wednesday: Finish installer, run final tests, finalize mirror sites (I like that word "final")
  • Thursday-Sunday: I have to be honest with you guys. This is our grace period. If something goes awry, we've got the extra time to fix it and still be on schedule. YES, that means you might get WHL early. But it's a BIG -might-.
  • MUTANT MONDAY: As Bruce Campbell says, "Come get some!"
  • Wednesday: Linux port release date for all you people running servers!
With this good news comes some sad news as well. Gaist, who's been the Number Two to my Dr. Evil since this whole mess started, who at times has stopped ME from quitting, has been hit hard by Real Life. I'm not going to recount the details, it's his own business - I'm taking a chance as it is writing this much. He's been a true friend through all this mess, and I think he'd feel a little better if you guys could just do the little you can for him. Stay with us, make sure that when Wasteland gets released all this work won't go unheard, unseen, and unsung.
What is WHL? Wasteland-HalfLife is an addition ("mod" is a common word) for a game HalfLife. It changes the weapons, armors, adds new levels and such, and these changes were inspired by Fallout 1 and 2. So if you're into First Person shooters and happen to like Fallout world (post apocalyptic that is), then this mod shouldn't be missed.
Also thanks to Gatac and Daren for head-up.


Monday, April 10

Fallout 2 Walkthroughs by Miroslav - 17:48 -
One new walkthrough has been added, it's a MS Word format, and it also contains some screenshots inside for easier gameplay. But it's somewhat huge, 964 Kb zipped.
Cristian's walkthrough was updated sometime ago, so I've added this new version of his walkthrough.
Click here for walkthrough list.


Sunday, April 9

New Location of Fallout 2 Gore Patch by Miroslav - 11:47 -
NeuRomancer just sent me a mail that he has a new download location for Fallout 2 Gore patch. So if you are in a need of it, I'd suggest to download it as soon as you can ;) Here's the link: http://www.falloutgorepatch.de5.de
This patch is for users that does not have violent "gore" scenes in it's version of Fallout. If you are missing kids only, then go to Files section and download patch that'll add kids to your game.


Friday, April 7

Interview with Feargus Urquhart in PC Gamer by Miroslav - 15:37 -
May edition of PC Gamer contains an interview with Feargus Urquhart on LithTech engine. As you may know, Black Isle Studios licensed this engine for use with their newest unannounced title. Here's a quote from PC Gamer which we, Fallout fans, may find quite interesting. And somewhat secretly informative :)
Well, I can say that the team that just finished up Torment is going to be using the (LithTech) engine and there are already around ten of them working toward putting a prototype together. Just to hint at something, we are putting together a project that a lot of people have been asking us to do.
Let's see what's happening. A title that a lot of people asked them to do? I don't know of any other game that could be that secret title than new sequel of Fallout. Your comment? Let's discuss it at our Message Board!
Thanks to Brandon for sending me this one.


Thursday, April 6

Graphic Contest at 3D Palette by Miroslav - 19:05 -
David Hall of 3D Palette just informed me that they are holding a "character design contest" based on the theme and setting of Fallout. I'll track this down in the future (from what I know, there are a lot of talented folks in Fallout community), and if you're interested, here's full details:
Objective
To design and illustrate a character that is living in a post apocalyptic world. Keep in mind the theme and setting of the contest, and make sure you read the rules and guidelines.
Rules and Submission Info
The central point of the contest is a character design, but the image must be full color and must contain a background. Don't just stick a character on a white or black background! More than one submission per artist is allowed, but multiple prizes will not be awarded if applicable.
Submitted image must be in the resolutions of either 800x600 or 1024x768, and must be submitted in high quality jpeg format.
Submission must be received by May 1st 2000.
Send E-mail submissions to immigrant@3dpalette.com

Guidelines
1) For god's sake, keep in mind the setting and theme of the contest.
2) Futuristic elements are allowed, but keep it reasonable. Remember, things haven't advanced tremendously because of the nuclear war.
3) This is a harsh world your character is living in.
4) Character must be humanoid (or derived from one)...but what radiation and bio-hazard exposure has done to some of them is totally up to you. Human, mutant, male, female, gang leader, pitt-fighter, slave, or whatever else...it's up to you what your character is.
5) Try to keep your entries relatively secretive.
Link: http://www.3dpalette.com/features/apocalyptic_contest/
You may also want to visit the link above cause it contains few nice pictures.
PS. Prizes are also more than "adequate". GeForce 256, Wacom Graphire Tablet and Alien vs. Predator game.


Tuesday, April 4

Fallout 2 Gore Patch by Miroslav - 1:15 -
It looks like the gore patch download location is down again. I know lot's of you started downloading it, and haven't finished. I'll try to find out the problem, although it is totally unrelated to NMA since it's not my creation. Stay tuned for further info.

Saturday, April 1

WHL Almost Done by Miroslav - 8:36 -
This is the word from official site:
It's sooo close! I feel like a crazed host at a holiday dinner, frantically trying to clean up and set the places before the guests arrive. As far as the demo goes:
models: DONE!
sprites: DONE!
code: 99%
sound: 99%
maps & textures: 90%
Gaist reports 6 mirror sites lined up for downloads, and an unknown number of dedicated servers.
Thanx to Daren for this news.
Among other things, I won't be available during this weekend. Everyone, have fun! Just not like me ;)