A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."
mjn writes "Computational media researcher Nick Montfort traces the murky origins of Zork's name. It's well known that the word was used in MIT hacker jargon around that time, but how did it get there? Candidates are the term 'zorch' from late 1950s DIY electronics slang, the use of the term as a placeholder in some early 1970s textbooks, the typo a QWERTY user would get if he typed 'work' on an AZERTY keyboard, and several uses in obscure sci-fi. No solid answers so far, though, as there are problems with many of the possible explanations that would have made MIT hackers unlikely to have run across them at the right time."
jmp_nyc writes "The developers at Turborilla have remade the 1983 classic game M.U.L.E. The game is free, and has slightly updated graphics, but more or less the same gameplay as the original version. As with the original game, up to four players can play against each other (or fewer than four with AI players taking the other spots). Unlike the original version, the four players can play against each other online. For those of you not familiar with M.U.L.E., it was one of the earliest economic simulation games, revolving around the colonization of the fictitious planet Irata (Atari spelled backwards). I have fond memories of spending what seemed like days at a time playing the game, as it's quite addictive, with the gameplay seeming simpler than it turns out to be. I'm sure I'm not the only Slashdotter who had a nasty M.U.L.E. addiction back in the day and would like a dose of nostalgia every now and then."
andylim writes "It looks as if Duke Nukem isn't completely 'nuked' after all. Someone has ported the 90s classic on to a Nokia N900. As you'll see in the video, you control Duke using the Qwerty keypad and shoot using the touchscreen. I'm wondering how long it will take for this to get on other mobile platforms." In other Duke news, reader Jupix points out that 3D Realms' CEO Scott Miller recently said, "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."
Keep in mind that English is not everybody's native language.
Btw, how's your Icelandish grammar?
Enfors writes "CCP, developers of the sci-fi MMOG EVE Online, continue to impress with their open attitude towards players. In a thread on the EVE forums, an EVE Online player named Dire Lauthris describes difficulties he was having while making a fan movie that would illustrate a portion of EVE Online's background story. To make it 'historically correct,' he contacted CCP, the developers, to check on some facts. Instead of threatening to sue him for infringing on their intellectual property, they ended up inviting him to their offices to set him up with better movie-making software than the one he was using. Also, they had an employee record the narrator voice for his movie. The movie is now finished and available online. Massively is running a related article about storytelling in EVE."
Enfors writes: "CCP, developers of the sci-fi MMOG EVE Online continues to impress with their open attitude towards players. In this forum post, an EVE Online player named Dire Lauthris describes difficulties he was having while making a fan movie illustrating a portion of EVE Online's background story. To make it "historically correct" he contacted CCP, the developers, to check on some facts. Instead of threatening to sue him for infringing on their intellectual property, they ended up inviting him to their offices to set him up with better movie-making software than the one he was using. Also, they had an employee record the narrator voice for his movie. The movie is now finished — high quality version available here and Youtube version here."
KingofGnG writes "While waiting for the opening of Legends of Zork's game world, old and new adventurers can pick up the daily build of ScummVM, which, starting from March 7, added support for the MADE engine. The engine has been used by Activision to create four point-and-click adventure games from the '90s, among which is the venerable Return to Zork."
An anonymous reader writes: Desperate to hire more engineers and sales representatives to staff its rapidly growing search and advertising business, Google — in typical eccentric fashion — has created an automated way to search for talent among the more than 100,000 job applications it receives each month. It is starting to ask job applicants to fill out an elaborate online survey that explores their attitudes, behavior, personality and biographical details going back to high school. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/technology/03go
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