With 2X EXP and 2X Drop Rate coming your way from 1st December to 31st December 2006 during this festive season, everyone can enjoy MapleSEA to its fullest!
2X EXP and 2X Drop Rate are available in the world of Aquila, Bootes, Cassiopeia and Delphinus during these time slots:
- 2X Drop Rate during the following period:
Monday to Friday - 6.30pm to 7.30pm
- 2X Exp during the following period:- MapleSEA Administrator
Saturday and Sunday - 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The long wait is finally over! We are excited to bring you the fourth new world in MapleSEA on 30th November 2006.
To celebrate the opening of the 4th world, all Maplers in this world will get to enjoy:
- 2X Exp during the following period:
Friday to Sunday - 2pm to 4pm (SGT) and
Friday to Sunday - 7:30pm to 9:30pm for 2 weeks.
- 2X Drop Rate during the following period:- MapleSEA Administrator
Monday to Thursday - 2pm to 4pm (SGT) and
Monday to Thursday - 7:30pm to 9:30pm (SGT) for 2 weeks.
Simply drop your used A-Cash Prepaid Card at SiteX 2006 (Lenovo Booth) for a chance to win Lenovo H Series desktop!
1 Used A-Cash Prepaid Card = 1 Chance
The more you drop, the higher chances of winning!
Draw Date: 3rd Dec 2006
Winner will be notified through Q-Box
Terms and Conditions:
- Each used A-Cash Prepaid Card will provide you with a chance to win the Lenovo H-Series Desktop computer and you can submit as many used A-Cash Prepaid cards as you like!
- Winners will be notified through the Qbox
- This promotion is only valid for SITEX 2006, from 30 Nov – 3 Dec 2006.
- The management reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the said promotions and its stipulated terms and conditions without any given prior notice.
AUSTIN GAME INITIATIVE, LLC CHANGES NAME TO SHOW INITIATIVE, LLC
Austin Game Conference Creator Changes Name to Reflect Broader Mission
AUSTIN, Texas - November 30, 2006 - Austin Game Initiative, LLC announced today that the company has changed its name to Show Initiative, LLC to reflect the company's broader mission. Show Initiative, LLC, founded in 2003, is a leading creator of specialized conferences and expos focused on the merger of media and technology. In October 2006 Show Initiative successfully sold its portfolio of 10 game industry events and The Game Initiative and Austin Game Initiative brands to CMP Technology (see press release).
With the sale of Show Initiative's United States-based game industry events the company is now focused on creating exciting new media properties. The Show Initiative team is currently in R&D mode building its next event portfolio. An announcement is due next month.
The company's new web site http://www.showinitiative.com/ went live this week. The company's email addresses have changed and can be found on the new web site. The company's phone numbers and physical address remain the same.
"Show Initiative will continue with its mission to create highly targeted, high quality professional events in the United States and internationally," said Christopher Sherman, founder and executive director, Show Initiative. "We have exciting new projects already in the planning stages and should be making announcements shortly. In addition we continue to evaluate new ideas constantly and are actively researching new potential business opportunities worldwide."
Show Initiative's transaction with CMP Technology included the industry leading Austin Game Conference which drew more than 2,400 attendees, 150 vendors and featured top-caliber speakers including Dell, Inc. Chairman Michael Dell, Academy Award® Winning Film Producer Jon Landau and Blizzard Entertainment's Vice President of Game Design, Rob Pardo, in 2006.
Show Initiative's game industry portfolio in the CMP transaction included: Austin Game Conference, Mobile Game Conference, Game Marketing Conference, Casual Games Conference, Game Audio Conference, Game Writers Conference, Advertising In Games Forum (East, West and Europe), Game Technology Association Meetings and the How to Break into the Game Industry national conference series.
EA Mythic's game-in-development, Warhammer Online, has released their Novemeber Newsletter. This month's newsletter is packed full of fun and interesting information about the upcoming game: Exclusive First Look: Army of Chaos, Karaz-A-Karak and Female Dwarfs, Video of the Month, Zone Overview: Thunder Mountain, and much more.
You can subscribe to the WAR newsletter here.
You can view the November issue here.
From out of the frigid wastelands of the north, a great warhost marches upon the northern borders of the Empire. Led by a mighty Champion of Tzeentch, the Great Manipulator and Changer of Ways, this army of savage marauders and potent sorcerers is accompanied by otherworldly creatures both strange and terrifying.
For the Empire, already weakened by the ravages of a deadly plague, the situation is desperate. Without aid, the greatest nation of men will fall before the onrushing army of the Dark Gods, and be transformed forever into a domain of the Ruinous Powers.
For more on WAR click here.
The newest entry in the Dreamcast shmup library comes from Warashi, which shooter fans may know from the Saturn shooting game Shienryu.
The Dreamcast port of the fairly recent Naomi arcade game, Trigger Heart Exelica, will be released on the Dreamcast in February 2007, under the name "Trigger Heart Extension". As with many of the other late Dreamcast shmup released, the game will get the standard premium and normal editions, according to Arcadia.
Read Full Story >>
Mossberg and a group of four 20-something volunteer testers were duly impressed with the PS3's graphics and multimedia functions, but no so much so that they thought it was worth the extra price over the Xbox 360. The testers were much more excited about the Wii's motion-sensitive controls and the way they made games easier to get into. One of the female testers, a college athlete and non-gamer, said the Wii was the first time she ever felt successful playing a video game.
Read Full Story >>
Read Full Interview >>
Read Full Story >>
In the interview, Miller also discusses the Triton download service which 3D Realms initially aligned itself with for the release of Prey, and which closed down, explaining: "From the ashes of Triton, there’s a company starting up that will do things much better. Triton had some internal problems that hurt them from the beginning. They were a dead man walking situation from the start."
Read Full Story >>
Originally expected the first week of December, flOw has been pushed back to December 19. The release of the downloadable game marks the first title from the USC School of Cinematic Arts ever released by a major publisher. The PS3 game, developed by thatgamecompany, impressed Sony so much that the studio has been signed to a three-game deal. Sony also gave thatgamecompany space on the Sony lot in Santa Monica, California.
"This is a watershed moment in the history of the school," Dean Elizabeth M. Daley said. "It builds on our tradition of expanding relationships with the professional community, and opens the door for our students and graduates to showcase their creative talents in an incredibly dynamic market."
"[Creator] Jenova [Chen] and I are thrilled to be working with SCEA," said flOw producer Kellee Santiago. "Because we're working within Sony, we not only have access to their internal resources, but we also get to work alongside some of the best pros in the industry."
Read Full Story >>
Read the full list here.
Final Fantasy III is a fine example of a video game remake done properly. Its presentation is top-notch for a Nintendo DS game, and the classic RPG combat is interesting and deep enough to still hold up well to today's standards. Final Fantasy fans should particularly enjoy tracing some of the roots of their favorite games from the series back to this installment, while taking in all of its new sights and sounds. But just about anyone looking for a traditional role-playing game to take with them on the go should find a lot to like in Final Fantasy III.
That's good enough for us. Read more here
Eragon should have been a resounding success. Based on the upcoming movie adapted from the fantasy novel by Christopher Paolini, it already had the kind of plot-driven, action-adventure storyline that videogame producers salivate at the thought of. The synergy of a best-selling book and a big-budget motion picture release gave it an all-important leg up on the overcrowded retail shelves of the chaotic holiday season. And developers Stormfront Studios had already delivered a solid third-person action title set in a fantasy world, a little game that you might heard of called The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It's one of those situations where a game virtually has to give the faithful excuses not to buy it. Unfortunately for Eragon fans, however, that's exactly what this mediocre cash-in title does.
And that's the nice stuff. Bring your daughter to the slaughter here
Judge James Brady found the efforts unconvincing. In issuing a temporary injunction against the law, the judge wrote that "the evidence that was submitted to the legislature in connection with the bill that became the statute is sparse and could hardly be called in any sense reliable." Judge Brady also called the studies' connections between video game and real-world violence "tenuous and speculative."
Thompson blamed the Louisiana Attorney General's office for the ruling, telling Ars that its effort to defend the law was "at best incompetent and at worst compromised."
Yup good call Jack, call the Attorney General's office incompetent, that'll get them on your side.
Read the story in full here
Over the last couple of weeks of playing, we've experienced what looks like only a fraction of what Burning Crusade will have to offer this coming January. Even so, we've still seen enough to know that this expansion is going to change a huge number of things for both factions, and still manage to draw the players in like ever before. I know for sure that we are all very much looking forward to experiencing these changes on a larger scale than the beta servers. I for one can't wait to get a flying mount and see how that changes world PVP in the Outlands. I can just envisage people flying above and dropping in on towers in the world PVP. Any worries about the futuristic introductions seemed to disappear very quickly and to be honest it's been like starting WoW all over again. Exploring the new zones is a task that will obviously eat up all your spare time again as you'll want to experience everything new that's been introduced. The only 'problem' that we can think of is that once you hit level 20 with the Draenei and Blood Elf races you'll just be questing in the normal areas again up until level 60. Overall, it's pretty obvious that any expansion has to cater for end-game players rather than new ones - the fact that this caters to both in some ways is just another bonus.
Read the full lowdown here
Enemy to both the Dwarfs and greenskins are the Drakk cultists. These humans, who have lived for generations in the barren wastes that surround the great volcano, worship the ancient Dragon that once dwelt there. When the armies of the Orcs and Dwarfs clash perilously near to their homes, the cultists hire a great Ogre Chieftain named Tuff Gutbash for protection. With the Gutbash clan at their side, the cultists present a real threat to both sides in the conflict.
With its rivers of molten lava, pits filled with choking sulfurous gas and broken landscape of jagged black rock, Thunder Mountain is a fitting backdrop for the conflict that now rages on its slopes. The landscape is harsh, unforgiving and lethal, much like the warriors of the Dwarf and greenskin armies who wage a bloody battle here. The stakes are high – the victor in Thunder Mountain will open the route of invasion to the enemy capital, and perhaps strike the decisive blow that will decide the outcome of the war between the forces of Order and Destruction.
Wahoo. Read more here.
Go on, abuse your bandwidth here.
What is the main focus of the latest expansion pack for City of Heroes? Will the heroes finally be able to compete with all of the extras that the villains have been enjoying?
Issue 8 gives a lot of the bells and whistles that Villains enjoy over to Heroes. Heroes get a random mission pool similar to the newspapers in the form of the Police Band missions, as well as their own version of the Mayhem Missions, called Safeguard Missions. We did a lot in this issue to bring parity in terms of features to both sides.
Feel the love, here
Summing it up, Guild Wars Nightfall once again proves the viability of Arena.net’s and NCsoft’s “no monthly fee” strategy coupled with the constant release of new chapters for the game. Content wise, Guild Wars Nightfall is an excellent purchase for the Guild Wars community, but also for those who want to see why Guild Wars is so popular with MMORPG players who prefer competitive PvP gameplay above all else.
Well it's hardly a laugh a minute review but they get the point across here
Massively multiplayer online expansions often forego appealing to new players, focusing instead on adding content aimed at appeasing high-level veterans. This is part of what makes Echoes of Faydwer EverQuest II's most engaging addition to date. The new expansion is loaded with new content, which is mostly aimed at welcoming new players and giving experts a fresh look at the same old Norrath. There's a new race, a new continent, a new belief system, and a goodly amount of lore to sort through as well. However, experienced players will likely feel a little slighted by some of the additions. There is no increase to level cap, and the higher stat caps and increased raid difficulty don't compensate for it. But for new players and those looking to create a new character, Echoes of Faydwer is a fine addition to the EverQuest universe.
Read more here
Those who want to start as evil newbies are out of luck.you just know that it must be good. And it is. Everquest 2: Echoes of Faydwer gets a going over from Gamespy and comes out of it smelling pretty good.
Can Echoes of Faydwer validly be called EQII's first "real" expansion? It certainly is the first to introduce content for players of all levels. As for whether or not it's the one that's changed the game most appreciably for the better, it all depends on what sort of player you are. Higher level players might have gotten more mileage out of prior expansions, while PvPers were served in equal portions by Desert of Flames and Kingdom of Sky (and their respective live updates). Without question, however, Echoes of Faydwer seems to be paving the way for the EQII of tomorrow, and that is no small feat. If you've been curious about the game, this is without a doubt the best place to start. Just make sure you're OK playing as one of the good guys.
Read more here
Indie MMO Game Developers Conference Early Bird Registration Opens
Minneapolis, MN – November 24, 2006 – Last Straw Productions announced today that registration for the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference 2007, to be held in Minneapolis, MN, is now open. The Indie MMO Game Developers Conference (IMGDC), to be held on April 14 and 15, will be an informative, educational, and fun gathering of independent game developers from around the world who want to focus on MMO technologies. IMGDC is designed to be an informal venue of Indie and hobbyist developers with the shared goal to focus on design, development and production of Indie MMOs/Virtual Worlds. IMGDC will have sessions ranging from game design to legal issues facing Indie developers. Industry professionals and pioneers, including Dr. Richard Bartle and Brian “Psychochild” Green, will be providing sessions focusing on "Industry Secrets." IMGDC will also feature team building "elevator pitch" sessions which are meant for developers to pitch their projects or their talents to other developers. This provides an excellent opportunity for team building and networking.
“IMGDC is providing an outlet for Indie developers to learn valuable lessons and take the steps needed to produce a AAA quality Indie MMO and Dream Games, Inc. is proud to co-sponsor this much needed conference,” comments Ashley Kelley, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Dream Games, Inc. “For years developers have been seeking ways to break into the ever growing MMO market. IMGDC will provide the resources and education needed for Indies to realize their dreams.”
IMGDC provides content, community and contacts for artists, designers, programmers, and Indie entrepreneurs. If you've caught the incurable desire to make MMO games commercially, or even as a hobbyist, this is a community gathering of talented individuals you will not want to miss. Registration is available online now at www.imgdc.com. Pay only $49 for a two-day pass, including sessions, parties and access to the elevator pitch sessions. As space is limited, reservations will be on a first come, first serve basis. Registration after December 15, 2006 will be $99. For more information, please visit the IMGDC website at www.imgdc.com.
Coming up with the Veteran Rewards was one of the coolest things I've done as Lead Designer on the "City of" games so far. It was really a challenge to come up with cool rewards that players have been asking for while at the same time making sure that nothing became the "end-all-be-all" reward that every character MUST have. In addition, I wanted to throw in some cool rewards that players hadn't asked for, but that I knew would be useful for them and make the veteran players' lives a little easier.The full journal is here.
I first scoured the boards for suggestions for costume pieces. Trenchcoats were always something that players desired, and we had put them on NPC characters in Issue 7, so getting them into the hands of the players was inevitable. I decided to make this the initial reward, earned at three months, simply because it is probably the most requested costume piece, and it is a nice gift we can give "new" players for a simple three month time investment.
Graphics whores are killing innovation in gaming. A bold statement, but one I believe.
These same people who give new games a one because their graphics are not up to snuff, often sit around and complain that no one innovates. They attack companies like Blizzard and SOE for putting out games they've already played. Then, they turn around and give random indy MMO X a one rating because the visuals are not up as good as EQII!
The full article is here.
Ntreev USA Inc. announced today that Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy is currently completing its Open Beta Testing, the highly anticipated release of their popular fantasy MMORPG, Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy.
The upcoming full release of the hit MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) is the new English Language version of the game by the same name known around globally. During the current Open Beta new features are already being released including more on the horizon to be continually added up until the full version is released. The newest features include a new Guild Feature, a direct game access and log-in, a resetting of the Character Stat Points for all Accounts continuing from the Closed Beta version, as well as 2 recently released holiday special events.
Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy, is a two dimensional MMORPG in the vein of console era fantasy RPGs from the 90s. With an upbeat, anime sense of style and an offbeat sense of humor, Trickster Online is set to establish a new market in the online gaming community. Characters are customizable from a selection of 8 animal based-characters and 4 different types. From here, the Characters can be further developed and individualized through the gaining of Skill Points, Jobs, and items as well as becoming stronger through the gaining of EXP (Experience Points, earned through combat, hunting and Trickster’s unique item Drilling Feature). In the upcoming full release of the game Players will be able to further customize their Characters with new, special items, clothing, armor, weapons and even a room for their Characters to decorate and inhabit. There is NO subscription fee to play Trickster Online and the game is free to download over the internet. For more information regarding Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy, including Account creation, upcoming news and special events and announcements, visit their website at www.tricksteronline.com.For more on Trickster Online click here.
Read them all here.
FINAL FANTASY XI Linkshell Community Beta Version Update (11/28/2006)
The FINAL FANTASY XI Linkshell Community Beta Version has been updated. A calendar and an auto-login function have been introduced to the site, in addition to changes made to existing features.
- A calendar feature has been added.
Using the calendar, you can announce detailed information regarding regular in-game events or recruit participants from all over your World.
Click here for a detailed explanation of the calendar feature.
For more on EVE Online click here.
EVE Online: Revelations Deployment Completed!
The deployment of EVE Online: REVELATIONS was completed on 29 November at 0200 GMT, an on-schedule deployment. The first of three installments in EVE Online's second major game expansion, Revelations brings a wide range of new content, features, updates and improvements to the EVE Online universe. You can view this information by visiting the EVE Online: Revelations Features and Patch Notes pages. Dev Blogs with information on some of the recent changes, additions and features are also available.
Please note: The Revelations Patch is currently avalable for manual patching from the EVE Patches page. The full version client is in the process of being built and will be available shortly.
I wish I had a few more details, but I wanted to post as soon as the plan came through. The live servers will be coming down this Thursday at 8:00 AM EST for a few fixes. We expect to be back up on around 3:30 PM. There will be a Pendragon patch tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST, and more detailed notes will follow. Thanks as always for your patience, and keep an eye on the Herald for updates!For more DAoC click here.
This weekend is truly special, as we launch the opening of the Domain of Anguish. Players who have completed Nightfall will be given access to this elite area through the Chantry of Secrets on Friday, December 1st. You will find four separate areas for players to explore, nearly a dozen quests, new armor upgrade options, a system for acquiring novel weapons, and of course a compelling mission as well. We look forward to seeing you in the Domain of Anguish!For more on Guild Wars click here.
We've just released our new Game Statistics page. This new page will provide you with up-to-date statistics about some of the most important aspects of World of Warcraft: most sought-after items in the Auction House, most common player-created items, the fiercest killers in the NPC kingdom, most gathered and found items, most looted items, and the most popular quests. Click here to see more.
These stats are updated daily and you can even do a side-by-side comparison for up to seven days to see how the statistics are progressing, so make sure to check back often!
For more on WoW click here.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A user's satisfaction with a phone's operating system is the main differentiating factor driving competition, especially when it comes to smart phones, the study concluded.
Wi-Fi access and GPS or location-based services are most important to users in the U.K. and U.S. A phone's storage capacity and its ability to provide music and photo quality are the highest priorities in China, Germany and India, the study found.
Palm remains the No. 1 platform among U.S. smart phone owners, according to IDC. Nokia, not so much.
"Nokia is the No. 1 phone manufacturer in the world and the No. 1 brand for market share in all the other countries, but not in the U.S," said Randy Giusto, group vice president of mobility, computing and consumer markets for IDC. "These survey results show that nothing has really changed, despite efforts to target the E-series to mobile professionals and the N-series multimedia phones."
Palm is not only the most favored operating system for smart phones in the U.S., it's also the most favored device brand. About 76 percent of Palm owners said they would be "very likely to recommend" their smart phone to others, compared to about 75 percent for Samsung, 69 percent for Sony Ericsson, 67 percent for RIM Blackberry, 54 percent for Motorola and 54 percent for Nokia, the study found.
Source | Read More ????
At $250, the Wii costs half as much as the cheapest version of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which went on sale in the United States two days before the Wii hit the market.
Many fans of both systems lined up at retailers hours or even days in advance of the launches to guarantee they were among the first to claim ownership of the highly anticipated machines.
The consoles are also being hawked on Internet auction sites such as eBay for several times their retail price tag.
"We've shipped retailers several times the amount of hardware the other company was able to deliver for its launch around the same time--and we still sold out," Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement.
Sony has not revealed how many PlayStation 3 consoles it has sold in North America so far, but has said it aims to have shipped 1 million units by the end of the year.
Microsoft has shipped more than 6 million of its Xbox 360s since launching it in November 2005.
"You can't help but notice business travelers hovering above the outlets at the airport, waiting for their turn," said Joanne Paternoster, a former assistant director of customer service for the aviation department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and now a consultant for Maritz Research. "People are arriving earlier at the airport so that they have enough time to make it through security, and there are just not enough outlets to go around."
Judy Bonghi, a human resources manager in Philadelphia, experienced the plug problem firsthand recently at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. She needed to recharge her DVD player on a stopover, but every outlet in the waiting area was occupied. "I ended up sitting on the floor at a gate--not my gate, since nothing was available there--to plug it in," she recalled. "And I was sitting next to another person doing the same thing with his laptop."
Atlanta's airport, the nation's busiest, is adding new outlets to accommodate customers like Bonghi. "With today's technology, there's definitely an increase in demand for outlets," said Ashraf Demian, chief electrical engineer for Hartsfield-Jackson.
How many sockets are enough? Generally speaking, the number of outlets needs to be doubled, from one every 25 feet to one every 12 feet, according to Demian. But that can be costly. The price for each outlet in a renovated concourse--like Atlanta's new international terminal, which is expected to open in four years--is $150 to $200. But in an existing structure, tearing out walls to add sockets can cost thousands per outlet, he said.
The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record tiny metabolic changes in brain activity in 44 adolescents who were asked to perform a series of tasks after playing either a violent or nonviolent video game for 30 minutes.
The children, who had no history of behavior problems, ranged in age from 13 to 17. Half played a T-rated (for Teen) first-person shooter game called Medal of Honor: Frontline, involving military combat, while the other group played a nonviolent game called Need for Speed: Underground.
Those who played the video game containing violence showed more activation in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal, and less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain associated with control, focus and concentration than the teens who played the nonviolent game.
"Our study suggests that playing a certain type of violent video game may have different short-term effects on brain function than playing a nonviolent, but exciting, game," said Dr. Vincent Mathews, a professor of radiology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and the study's author.
After playing the games, the children completed tasks requiring concentration and processing of emotional stimuli while their brain activity was scanned. Alterations in brain function reflecting changes in blood flow appeared as brightly colored areas on the magnetic resonance images.
"What we showed is there is an increase in emotional arousal. The fight or flight response is activated after playing a violent video game," Mathews said.
The Radiological Society's 2006 meeting was held in Chicago.
The $13 billion U.S. video game industry, with revenue rivaling Hollywood box office sales, is at the center of a cultural battle over violent content. Lawmakers' various attempts to ban the sale of violent video games to children have been blocked by courts in Louisiana, Illinois, California, Michigan and Minnesota.
Video games with a T rating are considered suitable for ages 13 and older. They may contain violent content, strong language or suggestive themes.
Numerous behavioral and cognitive studies have linked exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior. Now, researchers are using advanced imaging technology to scan the brain for clues to whether violent video games cause increases in aggression.Read more >>>
News gonna be Publish to this blog :-
News gonna be update more.... We are trying to search arround more users contribute their own news :)
* Anyone who wish to enter our blog and host all your news, Please send up an comments and Our staff will read it.
Have a nice day.
Four New PotBS Screenshots!
Pirates of the Burning Sea has posted four new screenshots in their gallery. So take the time and browse over and have a look.
See them here..
Playfuls.com Free Ryzom! Campaign Needs Help
Well here is something you do not see every day. The "Free Ryzom!" campaign.
The "Free Ryzom!" campaign already has a website at Ryzom.org, where its initiators are calling out for fans to make donations. Eventually, they hope to gather enough money in order to purchase the source code, artwork and intellectual property associated with Ryzom, "so we can breathe new life into it as an open, democratically run player project".
Read all about it now..
GameSpot UK Relic working on new MMOG,RPG?
Job listings reveal one, possibly two projects are in the works at the THQ-owned developer.
The first position is for "an experienced and motivated Senior Designer to contribute to [Relic's] new RPG project."
Job listing number two is for "an experienced and motivated Senior Designer to join [Relic's] MMO team."
Oh, don't you just love rumours like this, I know I do. We can all wish for a Homeworld Online. Now that I would be into big time.
Read about it More...
GameSpot UK Study: One in nine MMOG players addicted
Poll of 7,000 online gamers shows that 12 percent exhibit at least three signs of uncontrollable habitual behavior.
Massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and Second Life are becoming increasingly popular. All have celebrated milestones in their user numbers recently, with WOW announcing it has 7.5 million subscribers, Guild Wars selling two million copies (including expansions), and Second Life hitting one million users--many of which spend real money in the game.
Now all that said and done, if you polled 7000 online gamers, would alot of them show that there is not much else to do out there. And gamers are actually interacting with people from all over the world. Why is it people will always report on the negative? Why! because it makes good news thats way. No one wants to hear happy news..
Dark Age of Camelot 7 1/2 hours downtime November 30.Missy Hatch has posted this about the downtime.
I wish I had a few more details, but I wanted to post as soon as the plan came through. The live servers will be coming down this Thursday at 8:00 AM EST for a few fixes. We expect to be back up on around 3:30 PM. There will be a Pendragon patch tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST, and more detailed notes will follow. Thanks as always for your patience, and keep an eye on the Herald for updates!
Lord of the Rings Online Characters of Middle-earth: Old Man Willow
Adventurers in the Old Forest, to the east of Buckland and the Shire, know well that very little is what it seems in those darkened woods. Many tell tales of the very trees whispering and moving, hindering the passage of travelers, many of whom become forever lost amongst the forest’s shifting paths.Read More...
The Uru Live saga is a long one in the history of Cyan Worlds and the Myst franchise. The development house famous for the ground breaking series of story driven puzzle and adventure games worked long and hard on an online multiplayer version of their unique gameplay worlds only to have the project fall through prior to launch. With the inception of GameTap, an online subscription based game service with classic titles and some current episodic gaming content, Uru was given new life. Rand Miller and his band of adventurers have been at work fleshing out the experience and nailing down features and ideas for current and future iterations of the game. IGN had the chance to chat with Cyan's Rand Miller and learn some more about the game's unique vision and how heavy story and adventure gaming elements are coming together in a massively multiplayer environment.
Read Full Interview >>
The study, authored by Indiana University School of Medicine's Dr. Vincent Matthews, examined 44 youths between the ages of 13-17, none of whom had a history of emotional problems. Half the group played Medal of Honor: Frontline while the other half played Need for Speed: Underground. Using an MRI to track changes in brain activity, the study found that those who played violent games showed increased activity in the areas of emotional arousal and decreased activity in the areas of control and focus.
"What we showed is there is an increase in emotional arousal. The fight or flight response is activated after playing a violent videogame," Mathews said.
The children, who were apparently not appalled at playing old games, were then asked to complete tasks requiring concentration. Those who played Need for Speed showed an easier time completing the tasks.
Results of the study were presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, but do not provide conclusive proof that videogames directly lead to violent behavior.
Read Full Story >>
Judging by sheer silicon horsepower, the Nintendo Wii is the least powerful of the new generation of video game systems. But for many people it will be the most fun, and that’s what really matters.
Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, the Wii does not produce eyepopping high-definition graphics. Unlike its brawnier and more expensive brethren, it does not feature an extensive online service built around multiplayer gaming. Unlike the 360 and the PS3, the Wii isn’t trying to be the most advanced digital entertainment system out there. Instead, the Wii (pronounced “we,” not “why”) is about rescuing gaming from the clutches of the hard-core young male demographic that has dominated the industry’s thinking for years. It is about making video games accessible again by providing a simple, intuitive, relatively inexpensive entertainment experience that an entire family can actually enjoy together.
At that, the Wii succeeds admirably.
Read Full Story >>
In little over a year the first gamer to crack 100,000 GS was none other than StripClubDJ. 100,000 is a great feat(Hell I haven’t even cracked 10,000) and congrats to him for his…uhmm.hard work? Now if he’s legit or using that game save cheat well that’s between him and GOD.
We can't be sure that these games didn't go up some time after Super Star Soldier late last night, but it seems that they actually hit sometime earlier today. Combined with last week's late launch of TurboGrafx-16 games on the Virtual Console, this makes two times that Nintendo has released new VC content on a day other than Monday.
Is this a sign that we should now expect Virtual Console launches to come at any time throughout the week, or is Nintendo just running into some early technical glitches in its "Virtual Console Mondays" plan? You'll know the answer as soon as we do.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in.]
[Update: Second paragraph edited to clarify the Monday vs. rest of week point.]
Gears of War is a third-person action game from Unreal developer Epic. The game features top notch graphics and game play that includes a giant gun with a chainsaw attached to it.That said, the game has easily picked up millions of fans, and it’s no surprise someone has already made a kick ass case mod for it. If I were Microsoft, I’d pay off whoever made this case mod and immediately get it out on the market. Seeing as how Gears of War and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bundle the game with modded Xbox 360. Check out some more pictures after the jump.
Arcade GameStick for Xbox 360(TM) and Xbox Live Arcade(TM) Brings New Level of Control to Classic Hits and New Titles
SAN DIEGO-November 28, 2006-Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (AMEX/TSE: MCZ), a leading third party video game accessory provider, announced today that its Arcade GameStick(TM) for Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox 360(TM) and PC will ship to major US retailers for availability this holiday season. Through collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. and PopCap® Games, Mad Catz has introduced a joystick controller bundled with three full Xbox Live Arcade games: Frogger®, Time Pilot® and Astropop®.
"Our launch of the Arcade GameStick is consistent with our strategy of developing new revenue streams from video game software bundled with a unique controller," said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz. "Retro-arcade games are a hot market segment, especially on Xbox 360 Live Arcade, and this officially licensed Xbox 360 Arcade GameStick is the answer for anyone that values the control and finesse that only a real joystick can provide."
"Frogger and Time Pilot are classic games that hearken back to the heyday of the original video game arcade," said Yoshinori Aoyagi, Manager, CEO Office at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Having these strong Konami game licenses as part of Mad Catz's new Arcade GameStick reinforces the product's appeal to arcade game fans as well as provides the opportunity to introduce these popular game franchises to new gamers."
"Take our unbeatable library of games and superior gaming platform and match it with peripherals innovation - like what's found with the Arcade GameStick - and it all adds up to an incredible gaming experience that can't be found anywhere else," said Greg Canessa, Group Manager of Xbox Live Arcade. "Now our gamers have a choice in controllers and a new way to experience their favorite games."
Included in the Arcade GameStick package is a free Xbox Gold trial membership and three top-selling Xbox Live Arcade titles. From the vaults of Konami come the classic Frogger and Time Pilot. Widely considered one of the best arcade titles ever, Frogger is a true classic as players scoot a friendly frog across a busy five-lane highway and over a perilous river to peaceful lily pads. Also from Konami, Time Pilot sees the player assuming the role of a pilot of a futuristic fighter, trying to rescue fellow pilots trapped in different time eras. Astropop, from Popcap Games and Oberon Media, is the most modern game offered in this collection and is a space-age arcade puzzle game in which players use their magnetic ray to grab and move colored bricks to form sets of three or more.
The Mad Catz Arcade GameStick will be available at all major retailers in the United States and online. It has an MSRP of $59.99.
EI Interactive, who recently purchased Horizons from Tulga Games and was embroiled in a a host of controversy afterwards, has been bought out by Pixel Magic Entertainment. There was no immediate comment on what - if anything - this deal means, although it should be noted that the Pixel Magic website lists Ed Andercheck, the owner of EI Interactive, as a Director.
MMORPG.com has contacted the new company for comment and will bring you more on this story in the coming days.
Pixel Magic Entertainment Acquires EI Interactive11/28/06- Carson City, NV- Pixel Magic Entertainment Corporation announced today their acquisition of Enhanced Interactive Communications Corporation. Enhanced Interactive Communications Corporation is the parent company of online game publisher EI Interactive.
E I Interactive publishes online interactive content products. This includes casual games through an online game portal, gaming review and information sites, and massively multi-player online games (MMOs). EI owns and operates www.mygamehaven.com a portal access site for MMOs, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the interactive entertainment industry.
Pixel Magic Entertainment Corporation through its affiliate companies builds and evolves online products for niche communities. Their efforts endeavor to incubate technology that better supports community construction in the online world. Their culture is built around a team-based commitment to discovery and innovation in technology driven online communities. Interactive entertainment is amongst the fastest growing consumer markets today; the online component of interactive entertainment is its fastest expanding subset.
Introduced with the "Issue 8: To Protect and Serve" expansion to City of Heroes and City of Villains, Cryptic Studios will be implementing a Veteran Award system that rewards players based on how long they've had an activated account for the duo of games. These rewards range from costume pieces to special powers to extra base items, including a lot of novelty items that City of Heroes and Villains fans have been anticipating since the opening of the game.
That's right, we're talking wings.
The full article is here.
"Well, sounds like you want a new game called Life Replacement," said user Aquakitty.
Others though, either offer support. "It sounds a good, but then again lots of people will flame this and say 'Dude, there is something called real life!' But it sounds awesome!" Sahilian wrote. Others offered existing game examples such as EVE, Darkfall and Star Wars: Galaxies.
Personally, I like the idea that what he's striving for is a real-life simulator. After all, isn't that generally what role-playing is at its core? Looking beyond the rules and the complexity of role-playing games, hasn't the point always been to create a world that was like real life but more exciting? It's always seemed odd to me that MMOs have moved further and further from this goal of simulating the real world in favor of holding to well used conventions like levels, classes, experience and the like.
The full article is here.
North Hollywood, Calif., November, 28 2006 – Disney Online today announced the availability of Disney’s Toontown Online for Macintosh computers, plus the addition of new “gags” to keep players on their toon-toes. The first massively multiplayer online game designed for kids and their families, Toontown invites players to live life as a cartoon character, along with thousands of other players in a continually growing online world. Now both Power PC and Intel-based Mac players can join the more than 15 million PC-based ‘Toon’ characters created in the game by downloading Toontown at www.Toontown.com.
“We are thrilled to offer Mac players the chance to get in on the fun and help expand the world of Toontown,” said Steve Parkis, vice president of Premium Content for Disney Online. “One of the reasons Toontown is so popular is there’s always something new for players – like the special new gags we’ve just added to the game.”
Players can unlock a new arsenal of gags, including a Wedding Cake throw gag, an Ocean Liner drop gag, an Opera Voice sound gag, and more, by reaching the highest skill level on each of their gag tracks. Players have the option of using these new gags either in battle against the Cogs or planting them using the new Estate Gardening feature that was recently added to the game.
Toontown for both Mac and PC is available for download at www.Toontown.com for $9.95 per month, with extended membership packages available at special rates. Each membership includes six separate “Toons,” so multiple family members can play as their own character. A free 3-day trial and additional information is available on the site.
For more on Toontown Online click here.
Guilds Can Set Sail In Voyage Century Online
(Sunnyvale, CA – November 28, 2006) – No longer are online gamers compelled to explore the seas and quest for adventure alone in Voyage Century Online, Internet Gaming Gate’s (IGG) massively multiplayer online nautical role-playing game. Creating guilds are now available to players, with limited guild support from IGG.
Within Voyage Century Online guilds, players carry out many kinds of enriching economic activities including investment, production, trade and more. The most important factor of guild system are the city battles, which guilds must bid to participate in; only the winner can control over the whole city or port. Any guild who owns a city has many additional favorable rights such as imposing special taxes on other players and guilds, free trade and producing weapon or reconstructing ships at a low price.
During this play testing phase, all players will have an equal opportunity to found a guild or join a guild founded by others. The IGG will determine the top 20 guilds in Voyage Century and reward them when Voyage Century is in open beta. Plus, after the closed beta, top-tier guilds will be provided in-game funds and materials to support the guild development. In addition, the Internet Gaming Gate will reward the top 3 guild leaders with a sailboat model and in-game tiger, wolf and parrot pets.
For more information about guilds, please visit http://group.voyagecenturyonline.com/
Voyage Century, in pre-release development, is a ground-breaking massively multiplayer online nautical game. Featuring visually powerful, intense combat and adventure on land and sea, Voyage Century is a dream game for armchair captains everywhere. Trade, craft, wage war around the world, even search for buried treasure, Voyage Century offers just about everything imaginable from the 16th century seafaring era. For more information about Voyage Century Online, please visit http://www.voyagecenturyonline.com.
For more on Voyage Century click here.
Can you tell us a bit about Lesser Faydark?
Morticus: Well, Lesser Fay or LFay as it's called by some – is the smaller extension of the Faydark forest in the continent of Faydwer. Much has changed to the forest over the last four to five hundred years, which is easily noticeable with a quick look around. The first thing you will notice is that the zone is pretty much devoid of trees, but is now filled with huge towering mushrooms, twisted overgrowing vines and gigantic flowers. I really think it gives the zone a great sense of magic and wonder, especially over the traditional coniferous forests you find in most fantasy games. Tunare hasn't forgotten her followers that reside within the Lesser Fay either, which is evident by the Great Tree that grows within her grove in the Northern part of the zone. Some say that the Great Tree sprouted from a seed taken from Tunare's home within the Plane of Growth.
Lesser Faydark features ravenous plant growth. Can you explain the events that lead to all this incredible growth?
Morticus: Oh yeah, the Loa'Sur river that flows from the Emerald Halls is to blame. The water that runs through and permeates the forest of the Lesser Fay is rich in life and growth, all due to the influence caused by the Bloom of Growth Wuoshi is guarding in the Emerald Halls. At the beginning of the Age of Cataclysms during the Rending, a tremor cracked open the lair in which Wuoshi and the Bloom of Growth had been hiding. This fissure within the mountains allowed for light to shine upon the Bloom and water to flow into the Lesser Faydark. Before Tunare left her plane with the gods, she wanted to be sure that she left something behind in her absence… Wary of trusting her beloved Elves due to their invasion of her plane and attacks on the inhabitants there, she deemed them unworthy and sought another. (Bad bad adventurers!) She noticed Wuoshi, a dragon well learned in druidic magics and felt she could entrust him enough to guard the Bloom in her absence. She bade Wuoshi to hide it deep within the mountains and agreeing to guard it with his life, Tunare endowed him with some of her power, thus making Wuoshi the Guardian of Growth.
Read it all here.
The following changes are now live.
* All newly created Minotaurs should now properly start in the appropriate starter guild.
* The Labyrinth no longer provides a double bonus to Realm Points.
* The Realm guards stationed at the Labyrinth entrances should now attack Necromancer pets.
* The monsters in the entrance tunnels in the Labyrinth now con as neutral. The undead fallen adventurer monsters are now tied to the corresponding Realm entrance tunnels. Example: A Midgard undead monster in the Midgard tunnels will now show as friendly to Midgard characters and as aggressive to Albion and Hibernia.
* Emissary: Proof of Strength - Players on the Hibernian version of this quest will now be properly rewarded for completing it via the PvE method on servers other than Gaheris.
* The sell back value for the following items has been corrected: Sigil Enchanted Mail Hauberk, Sigil Ensorcelled Mail Hauberk, Rune Bound Starkakedja Hauberk, Rune Scribed Starkakedja Hauberk, Decorated Osnadurtha Hauberk, Spell Marked Osnadurtha Hauberk. Newly created items will sell back for the appropriate value. This update is not retro-active; items that are currently unable to be sold can be given to the Armorsmith Master in the Capital City for a refund.
* The sell back value for newly created Benthic Mauler Staves has been corrected. Items with the old sellback value can be given to the Fletchers Master in the Capital Cities for a refund.
* The Benthic Mauler Shod Staff will now correctly proc a cold debuff.
* Increased the aggro range of the Elite Guardians on Agramon Island.
For more on DAoC click here.
You can gain insight into the new world of Hero Battles in today’s competitive feature. You’ll find build ideas, control and strategy tips, map info, and much more, in the newest of our State of the Game articles.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
Their humble word puzzles and math teasers were in a different league from games in which role-playing characters spray bullets, slay dragons and maim rivals in fantastic virtual worlds. Such hardcore games can cost $30 million or more to develop -- as much as a Hollywood movie.
But the casual gaming niche, which includes hits like "Bejeweled," "Scrabble" and the low-budget classic "Tetris," is in the midst of a Cinderella-like transformation.
Companies like PopCap are sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into casual games and demanding sophisticated graphics, more nuanced plots, even original music instead of bland electronica.
The sequel to one of PopCap's popular word puzzles, "Bookworm Adventures," is expected to be the most expensive title produced for the casual game genre. PopCap, which has offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Ireland, spent $700,000 over 2 1/2 years developing the game. It is set to debut online Tuesday at $30 per download.
Regular columnist and 'serious game' maker Ian Bogost discusses the opportunities inherent in the Wii for educational, exergaming, news and other independent titles, noting that: "Interface innovation does not lead automatically to expressive innovation", before also commenting:
"Both physical and digital distribution rely on independent developers’ ability to make games for the new platform in the first place. While Nintendo has been quite vocal about its intention to support independent developers, including offering Wii dev kits for under US$2,000, Nintendo of America has also said [in personal correspondence with Bogost] that it won’t start reviewing independent developer applications until January 2007 — which means that only those developers with publishing contracts or special invitations actually have them."
In fact, Bogost's conclusion notes that he believes the Wii controller to be perhaps an overstated element of innovation for the console compared to other elements:
"In spite of its much-celebrated downsized graphics and gestural interface, perhaps this unsung, sleeper feature of the Wii is where the console really holds promise of revolution: as a viable distribution channel for old and new video games for classic consoles and computers."
You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the topic to hear more about the promise of the Wii (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).
"Most people who play games are probably familiar with the concept of difficulty progression, at least at a subconscious level - that games should get harder over time. Most designers presumably know to build increasing difficulty into successive levels, missions, worlds, or courses (usually the single player experiences). But difficulty is only one portion of the overall game experience, and there are several other elements that need to be structured, managed and revealed carefully in order to provide the user with a truly compelling and enjoyable experience throughout gameplay. So, what exactly is Gameplay Progression?
n 1: a series with a definite pattern of advance [syn: patterned advance] 2: a movement forward [syn: progress, advance] 3: the act of moving forward toward a goal [syn: progress, procession, advance, advancement, forward motion, onward motion]
[ WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University (via dictionary.com) ]
All 3 of these definitions for progression apply to games, because it is both the realized pattern of advance and the act of movement towards the ultimate goal (winning the game) that are essential to an enjoyable experience for the player. The pattern or structure of the advance is what will ensure a rewarding experience during gameplay and will ensure the further continuation and replay necessary to turn renters into buyers."
Lopez also provides an outline of the various key elements of gameplay progression:
"1. Game Mechanics – all controls and interactions within the game, including new weapons, abilities, powers, vehicles, and environmental states or events.
2. Experience Duration – the average time it takes to complete each stage, level, mission (including deaths if applicable) or course (using the most relevant vehicle).
3. Ancillary Rewards (visual, aural, decorative, etc.) – exciting environmental wonders, fancy visual effects, scripted events, etc. It is great to weight some of the more spectacular environmental wonders and effects up front (Medal of Honor style), but an enjoyable game needs to have all the level, course or mission experiences built so that new visual rewards are staggered at a pace that keeps the user interested (in other words with an Environmental Progression in mind).
4. Practical Rewards (gameplay relevant) – new game modes, upgrades and practical unlockable content are very useful as the carrot on the stick that entices users to continue playing the game.
5. Difficulty – not just how hard it is to pass obstacles and NPCs/bosses, but also how much risk is taken with respect to player injury/death, weapon depletion, or vehicle/equipment damage or loss."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including an exhaustive breakdown of each of the key elements, and the inherent dangers of substituting ancillary rewards for more practical ones (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, there were rumors that Microsoft would start banning fake Xbox Live accounts that use a geographic region different to the one where the system really is located.
We found those rumors hard to believe as such course of action would automatically ban citizens that have traveled overseas (ex: U.S. soldiers) just for connecting from a different region.
It’ll be more practical to simply block a download from Xbox Live Marketplace when the I.P. address of the user doesn’t match the console’s region. Well, that happens to be the case.
Commenting on the rumor, Chris Paladino, who is a member of the Microsoft’s Games Global Marketing, posted the following comment at the NeoGAF forums:
Details aren't all in yet - BUT, I do know for a fact that we are NOT banning the accounts.
We are blocking downloads in cases where gold accounts are being used to gain US content in foreign marketplaces.
I think (my opinion) that it is a legal issue - still waiting to hear back the official word.
We are still waiting for an official statement from Microsoft that confirms the new rules but it seems we won't be able to turn into Europeans and Japanese any more.
Interest in the consoles peaked in the days approaching and immediately following the Nov. 17 launch of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 3 and the Nov. 19 launch of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii. Prior to their launch, sites like Ebay Inc. supported a brisk trade in reservations for the consoles. Immediately following the release, a large number of people rushed to put their newly acquired machines up for sale in the hope of doubling or tripling their money.
The number of people trying to make a buck -- or a yen -- on the PlayStation 3 was so high that it was reflected in sales of software for the console. In Japan, more consoles were sold than software titles, according to market estimates from Enterbrain Co. Ltd., while in the U.S. leading retailer GameStop said an average of 1.5 games was sold with each PlayStation 3, versus three games with each Wii.
Ebay saw sales of 14,675 PlayStation 3 consoles between the Nov. 17 launch and last Friday at an average price of US$1,186, according to Ebay Marketplace Research. Between Oct. 17 and last Friday a total of 28,233 PlayStation 3 consoles have been sold on Ebay at an average of $1,370.
The PlayStation 3 is available in two versions, one costing around US$499 and the other costing around $599.
Wii sales trends on Ebay have reflected the greater availability of the console at launch. Sales between Oct. 17 and last Friday totalled 29,451 consoles but the great majority of those, some 26,708 consoles, were sold after the launch. The average price over the entire period was $428 but this dropped to $413 in the post-launch period, said Ebay Marketplace Research.
The Wii's suggested retail is about $250.
On Monday, PlayStation 3 consoles in their last five minutes of auction were listed on Ebay at prices between $650 and $910. Some ambitious sellers had listed consoles at prices around $1,500 but they had fetched no bids. Prices of Wiis in the last five minutes of their auction period varied between $320 and $510.
On Japan's Yahoo Auctions site there were fewer PlayStation 3 consoles available than a week earlier. Only three items had bidding due to close within an hour and they were all listed at around ¥75,000 (US$647).
Two years later, Halo 2 made an equally significant splash for the franchise with its wicked multiplayer experience that retained the gameplay fans quickly grew to love. It was also beefed up with fantastic player matching and stat tracking. The years that have followed have seen a highly anticipated sequel show itself on the horizon for the Xbox 360, as well as an equally intriguing real-time strategy offering, Halo Wars.
Though Bungie is notoriously mum on both projects, we thought we'd be sneaky and hit the developer up for a look back at the Halo franchise's past, present, and future with the hope that someone from the team might answer the Q&A drunk and spill some information. We pinned our hopes on potential loose cannons, community lead Brian Jarrard, Bungie writer Frank O’Connor, and Sandbox design lead Jaime Griesemer, hoping that at least one of them would slip up.
GameSpot: What can we expect from the expanded Halo universe in the future? How will Halo Wars, the novels, and other properties advance the overall Halo fiction?
Frank O'Connor: It's safe to say that the new additions to the Halo universe will expand it in different directions. The core Halo story, the tale told at the heart of our trilogy, will remain hermetically sealed from the other fiction, with only the occasional cross-reference, but plenty of guest appearances by Halo characters, locations, and hardware. It's a big place to explore, and frankly, players have a lot of questions about the outlying regions of the fiction--hence, the success of the Halo novels and the Marvel graphic novel. We have some pretty cool surprises coming up in those areas, and the reason they're kind of few and far between is that we always endeavor to make sure everything is tightly cohesive and true to the Halo feel.
GS: How much of that exposition are you taking into account for Halo 3?
FO: Halo 3 should be completely understandable by anyone who's played Halo 2. And if they haven't, there's plenty of context and background for the events that take place in it. That said--and without going into too much detail--events from Halo 3 may influence other fictional projects. Who can say?
GS: Can you give us a status update on the production and financing of the Halo movie?
Brian Jarrard: As was previously announced, the Halo movie is on hold at the moment, following the dissolution of our partnership with Universal and Fox. We don't have anything new to report on that front right now.
GS: Part of the Master Chief's mystique is that you never see his face, but we're pretty sure most of Hollywood's leading men wouldn't enjoy spending an entire movie behind a mask. Will the Chief break with tradition in the film and finally take off the helmet?
BJ: Considering that the movie doesn't actually exist at the moment, thus, there's no final script in development, it's hard to say. We agree, though, that the mystery of Master Chief's face is a big part of the Halo experience, and it's something we would want to be very careful with.
GS: With Halo, you've succeeded in creating a unique sci-fi setting and storyline in a rather overcrowded genre. What were the inspirations for the game's mythology?
Jaime Griesemer: That's tough. Halo was created by a group of people, all with their own personal flavors and influences, so the end product is the result of all of those influences bouncing around and ricocheting off everything else. If I had to pick a handful of the more obvious ones, though, the Culture books by Iain Banks had a lot of influence on the technological and historical parts of the universe. The Vang by Christopher Rowley was a big inspiration for the flood, and Armor by John Steakley and the original Starship Troopersby Heinlein (not the movie version) gave us lots of good ideas for the Mjolnir armor. For movies, obviously there is a big Aliens influence, but the Bungie team has a very wide range of interests, so everything from old-school Westerns to 1950s sci-fi to obscure Japanese cult horror movies and the latest Michael Bay flick is fair game.
One of the most unexpected influences I can cite is Bungie itself. Fully half of the team that worked on Halo were Bungie fans before they became Bungie employees. So this "second generation" would constantly use previous Bungie games, like Marathon and Myth, as inspiration for their contributions to Halo. Cortana's temptation when confronted with the incredible power of Halo's network, for instance, is very similar to what happened to Durandal, the artificial intelligence from Marathon. So I guess, we were our own biggest influence. (laughs)
GS: What did it take to create Halo's superb AI, which made the game's firefights so intense?
JG: One thing I think Bungie does exceptionally well is integrate all the different disciplines that you need to make a game. A great example of that collaboration is how the designers and AI programmers worked together on the Halo AI. We were able to iterate so quickly because we were sitting right next to each other, working on the same things in a very organic way. Chris Butcher (the AI programmer on Halo 1) and I did a talk at the Game Developers Conference that went into a lot of depth about how the AI technically works. I'm sure you can find it on the Internet somewhere, but the secret to why it works so well lies in that collaborative process.
Read More ?.....
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Asheron’s Call®: Throne of Destiny™
November 27, 2006 - Turbine, Inc. announced today that the Asheron’s Call®: Throne of Destiny™ (AC) 14-day free trial is now available for download at http://trial.ac.turbine.com for a limited time. Now in its seventh year of operation, AC is a fully-developed world - complete with a deep history, committed community, and a compelling storyline that has evolved through frequent content updates.
Players who participate in this program will receive full access to the game for 14 consecutive days free of charge. Upon the expiration of the free trial period, players will automatically become subscribers to AC at the rate of US $12.95 per month plus any applicable taxes unless they cancel prior to the expiration of the free trial period. Players whose free trial converts to a paid subscription will carryover the characters created during their free trial period. To participate in the 14-day free trial or to find out where to buy AC, visit http://trial.ac.turbine.com.
Launched in 1999, AC is a critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that draws together thousands of players within an evolving and dynamic persistent 3D world. With an exciting ever-evolving storyline, thrilling adventures, PvP, quests, and frequent content updates, AC immerses players in an intense role-playing environment. An extensive system of formal allegiances and player influence greatly enhance social interaction within the game.
- Incredibly deep storyline
- Jump right into the story or take your time and explore the rich deep history of Dereth
- Storyline frequently changes and evolves; sometimes based on player actions
- Creatures that can be found in no other game world can be found roaming the landscape at any time, each with their own unique background story
- Dynamic world changes show the effect of the storyline – from the deep freeze of November 1999 that blanketed the world in snow to the rivers running red that heralded the appearance of Bael’Zharon the Hopeslayer
Robust allegiance system
- Monarchs can set different rankings for allegiance officers with varying powers based on rank
- New allegiance naming feature enables players to customize their allegiance
- Allegiance housing allows for monarchs to gather their allegiance in one place for meetings or questing
- Unique allegiance rank system allows players to increase rank based on the number of followers
Unique PvP system
- Unique skill-based character creation and customizable characters
- Differences in skills and classes lead to a wide range of combat tactics
- “Twitch” type combat allows players to actively dodge missile and magic attacks
- Skill-based defense system allows for players to resist attacks from other players and creatures