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PC Games (Games)

Epic's Sweeney On the PC Shareware Revolution 111

simoniker writes "Over at Gamasutra, there's a massive new interview with Epic (Mega)Games founder Tim Sweeney, the guy who's still a key technical figure at the Unreal Engine/Gears Of War developer. He discusses his early programming days, the story behind classic shareware game/tool ZZT, the origins of Epic, the '90s shareware business, and even a bit about the future as well. Particularly neat is his revelation that you can still order ZZT via mail, with orders fulfilled by his dad: 'My father still lives at the address where Potomac Computer Systems started up, so he still gets an order every few weeks... he's retired now, so he doesn't have much to do. Every week, he'll just take a stack of a few orders, put disks in them, and mail them out.'"

Don't Panic, It's Towel Day! 164

An anonymous reader writes "Today, as every May 25th, geeks all over the world celebrate Towel Day and carry a towel in honor of Douglas Adams. The popular author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy died in 2001 at the age of 49, but his work lives on. According to the book, a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Hence its symbolic role in this celebration. This year, for the first time as far as we know, Towel Day is being supported by the British publisher of Adams' books, who organizes a photo competition."
Social Networks

World's Oldest Blogger Dies At 97 74

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that a Spanish woman who is thought to be the world's oldest blogger has died in Muxia, the northern coastal town where she was born on December 23, 1911. María Amelia López's posts, which chronicled her civil war memories, failing health, left-wing views, and cantankerous humor, attracted a global following and more than 500 readers have left tribute messages on her site after her family published a final post to announce her death. The blog began in 1995 as a gift from her grandson Daniel, with whom she lived, who had no idea what he was unleashing into cyberspace after he taught her to navigate the Internet after she pestered him to download biographies of poets and politicians. He later become her chief assistant, typing in her words as she dictated. 'Now so many people write to me that I can't hope to reply to them all, though I want to,' she explained. 'My grandson complains that he has to work as well, he can't spend all his time typing.' López said in an interview that the Internet had given her a new lease of life and in one of her last posts, published in February, she wrote; 'When I'm on the internet, I forget about my illness. The distraction is good for you — being able to communicate with people. It wakes up the brain, and gives you great strength.'" The Times adds, "Mrs Lopez became the world's oldest blogger on the death of 108-year-old Australian Oliver Riley in June 2008. The new holder of this unofficial title is unknown, although the actor Kirk Douglas, 92, who blogs regularly on his MySpace page, could be in the running. Twitter's oldest microblogger is the 104-year-old Briton Ivy Bean."

City of Vancouver Adopts Open Standards 132

rbrander writes "Vancouver, Canada's third-largest city, has adopted a policy of 'open standards, interfaces and formats' for all public data. They will also consider open-source software on an even footing with proprietary for all new software purchases. Fifteen of the fifteen people who signed up to speak to city council on the topic spoke in favor. Their only criticism was, 'can't you do more?' with one advocating that free and open source software be given preference, not equal footing."
Classic Games (Games)

What Made Those Old, 2D Platformers So Great? 249

TheManagement writes "Many current developers of web games seem to have a fondness for 2D platformers. However, their desire to capture what made Sonic and Mario games so great is rarely achieved. In an attempt to breach that gap, Significant Bits takes a look at three common design principles that made those classic titles so enjoyable. 'To start off, the interface needs to be quick and responsive. Input should have an immediate effect on the character in order to foster a sense of full control. Granularity and different control techniques, i.e., pressing, tapping and holding, are also important as they provide a level of precision to the movement. ... Now, as far as the environments themselves, it's not a coincidence that they're often filled with all sorts of slides, bridges, trampolines, ladders, etc. In a way, they're simply playgrounds for the player, both literally and figuratively. They're catered to the moveset, and they enhance the flow of the game.'"
The Courts

Craigslist Shielded From Prosecution In SC 78

viyh writes with an update to the ongoing legal troubles faced by Craigslist over their adult-services ads. According to CNN, a South Carolina judge has told the office of the state's Attorney General, Henry McMaster, to cease their efforts to bring criminal charges against the operators of Craigslist. "On Friday, Judge Weston Houck granted Craigslist's request for a temporary restraining order preventing McMaster and his employees from 'initiating or pursuing [any] prosecution against Craigslist or its officers and employees in relation to content posted by third parties on Craigslist's Web site' until the court rules on the merits of the site's lawsuit. Craigslist's lawsuit cites an interview McMaster gave to Fox News on Monday, in which he likened the site 'to a hotel or motel owner that knows prostitution is going on on their premises and fails to do anything about it especially after having been told.'"

Comment Re:Tribes had a IRC client built-in (Score 1) 103

There are 12 year olds who can download it with no trouble? You can't see past the menu system(which is the last thing implemented in any game) or read a manual? (protip: we've called it README) You sit here spouting ignorance and bile because outside of making a less healthy chorizo sausage than normal you seem incapable of creating anything of value on this earth, so you want to tear our work down to make yourself feel better?

Basically, the way you are acting only highlights the fact that you are full of failure, and not of much usage as a human being.

I'm sorry you don't like it. You're entitled to your opinion. But if you can't present it in a reasonable manner, don't be surprised if people don't waste their time on you. I've wasted enough, and still can't see that you have any reasonable concerns.

Comment Re:By geeks, for geeks. (Score 1) 103

There's quite a bit of the tribes spirit alive and well in Blood Frontier. Try double jumping and impulsing. Basically, the direction you impulse in in the air is determined by the direction you are holding and the direction you are looking.

No, there aren't any big wide open maps. The average amount of players right now is varying between 6 and 8. Once the game picks up momentum, it'll be worth it to make big maps. Until then, it's not.

As far as arcane slash commands and whatnot, it's a beta - there's not much of a point to adding a real menu system until everything that's going to be in the menus can be planned for. An awful lot of things can be changed about the gameplay just playing with the vars menu.

Comment Re:Tribes had a IRC client built-in (Score 1) 103

resolution switching works - if you're on linux. If you're on win, you have to pick your resolution and restart. It's a limitation of the libs we're using.

And yes - you are tearing it down. You've been nothing but mean and vindictive, and haven't offered any specific criticism until prodded. You were criticizing it before you even played it. If you don't like getting called out for acting like a jackass, then don't act like a jackass.

Comment Re:By geeks, for geeks. (Score 1) 103

Getting the multiplayer and the AI up and running was actually the bulk of the work. Since we now have AI that works online and (hopefully) have balanced the gameplay fairly well, the next phase is actually not single player - it's more like online co-op.

Since we have a fairly complex AI up and running now with relatively little effect on the bandwidth, then a couple hundred monsters in a level with two or three players on the same team shouldn't take so long.

I won't promise cut scenes or FMV, but the next version should have a couple of mission maps - get from point A to point B to do X and then do Y sorts of things. They'll be packed with monsters, relatively simple, light on story, really just there to bring the co-op gameplay out of the larval stage.

I mean, I guess you could play by yourself with some bot-AI buddies and we could call it single player, but online co-op/PVM has been our goal all along. Multiplayer is much easier to do than single player, and since the components are re-used, it makes sense to finish the multiplayer first.

But we're an iterative process. We publish, get feedback, fix, add new stuff, debug, rinse and repeat. So we're putting the game up one part at a time, and the part that happens to have just been completed is Multi-player. We'll take opinions on this release from the community, alter things a bit to come in line with certain things that are common complaints. Then we move on to the next cycle.

Comment Re:No no no no (Score 1) 103

Really? The level editor is dead simple and well documented. It takes practically any image format and is easily configured in text files. Mapmodels can be dumped out in MD5 with a bone and textured in what you please.

If you can make a better map, show me. Teach me something. Give me constructive criticism. But since all you've done is bitch, I'm betting that you couldn't make a Lego house without screwing it up.

And also, make all your textures and mapmodels/prefabs FROM SCRATCH WITH NORMAL AND SPEC MAPPING. No cheating.

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard