If you ask fans of first-person shooters what feature they'd like to see in a new game, their answers — now and for the past 15 years — probably involve destructible environments. Game developers have tried to satisfy this demand with scripted events, breakable objects, and more crates than you can shake a rocket launcher at. However, Bodycount, an upcoming game from Codemasters Guildford, is aiming to deliver what gamers have wanted for so long: the ability to blast apart whatever you please. Quoting the Guardian's games blog from their hands-on with the game: "... it's not just about effect, it's about access. In Bodycount, you can blow chunks out of thinner interior walls, allowing you to burst through and catch enemies by surprise. You can also brilliantly modify cover objects – if you're hiding behind a crate and want to take out enemies without popping up from behind it, shoot a hole in it. Bingo, you've got a comparatively safe firing vantage. The difference between this and say, Red Faction or Bad Company, is that the destruction isn't limited to pre-set building sections. It's everywhere. This should, of course, grind the processor to a halt, but the team has come up with a simple compromise to facilitate its vision. 'The trick is that we're not running full physics on everything,' explains lead coder, Jon Creighton. ... This is tied in with one of the best cover systems I've ever seen. While in a crouching position (gained by holding the left trigger down), you can use the left analogue stick to subtly look and aim around your cover object, ducking and peeking to gain that perfect view of the war zone. It's natural, it's comfortable and it's adaptive, and it will surely consign the whole 'locking on' mechanic to the graveyard of cover system history."
An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"
An anonymous reader writes "After a little over five months of pondering, xkcd fans have cracked a puzzle hidden inside Randall Munroe's recent book xkcd: volume 0. Here is the start of the thread on the xkcd forums; and here is the post revealing the final message (a latitude and longitude plus a date and time)."
Phaethon360 writes "Now, more than ever, we're seeing many Mature ratings (M+, 17+, 18) being distributed by various national media regulators. But that isn't the only indicator for a game's intended audience. It doesn't take a thousand swear words, scantily clad women or gratuitous violence to differentiate a ten-year-old's game from a twenty-year-old's. The spectrum of human emotions encompasses a wider palette than just revenge, fear, and loss, but the games that shy away from these are frequently mistaken as being for a younger audience. From the article: 'The human experience is one that is made up of great hardship, pain, loss, death, and a multitude of experiences seemingly designed to destroy a person. However, that same experience is also filled with joy, love, laughter, family and friends. ... These so-called “grown-up” games need not be relegated to the category of niche gaming. In fact, at times we find that these video games are capable of reaching mass popularity among the gaming community. It is here that we find one of our generation’s outlets for the expression of conflict.'"
garylian writes "Massively is reporting that the South Korean Supreme Court has stated that virtual currency is the equivalent of real-world money. For those of you who might not be drawing the link, the core there is that selling in-game currency for real money is essentially just an exchange of currency and perfectly legal in South Korea. This could have sweeping implications for RMT operations the world over, not to mention free-to-play games and... well, online games in general. The official story is available online from JoongAng Daily."
MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."