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City of Heroes Sr. Designer Talks Architect System 56

Kheldon writes "The MMO Gamer sits down with Joe Morrissey, a Senior Designer at Paragon Studios, to discuss the inspiration behind, and current implementation of, the Architect user-generated content system in City of Heroes. Quoting: 'Really for me, wanting tools so the rest of the team could actually come up with content was the idea. Because we have a lot of guys on the team that are hardcore players, they play the game all the time. Then they come to me like, "I’ve got this idea for this story, we should really do this arc with this guy!" And I’m like, "That’s great. I haven’t got time to do it. I’ve got plenty of other story arcs to work on." But, if we made the tools easy enough, then they could actually come up with the arcs, and we can put them out. Then somewhere along that road it dawned on me: Why stop with the rest of the team?'"

PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment Re:Have a great trip! (Score 1) 1095

Don't miss the Imperial War Museum's air branch at Duxford. Harder to get to but still doable.

I also would recommend the navy dockyard at Portsmouth. It's a 2 hour train ride from London and is about a 2 minute walk from the train station. Includes HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Mary Rose numerous exhibits and so on and about 1/2 of the Royal Navy's current ships. Easy day trip.


Revisiting the Original Reviews of Windows Vista 414

harrymcc writes 'We now know that a remarkable percentage of consumers and businesses decided to spurn Windows Vista and stay with XP. But did the reviews of Vista serve as an early warning that it had major problems? I looked back at the evaluations in nine major publications and found that they expressed some caution--but on the whole, they were far from scathing. Some were downright enthusiastic.'

Software Dev Cycle As Part of CS Curriculum? 431

tcolvinMI wonders: "I graduated from a small private college a few years ago with a degree in Computer Science. The main focus of the program, at this particular college, was to give you the tools necessary to be able to learn any programming language based on conceptual information, while having been introduced to several popular languages such as VB, C, C++, and Java. However, there was no 'final project' course that introduced a student programmer to the process of software development as a whole. Today, I was talking with a professor and pitched the idea of introducing such a course that would allow students to essentially go through the entire process from design to deployment. Is there any need for such a course? If so, what lessons would you place an emphasis on? So far, my idea is to allow a student to design an application that can be completed within the alloted time frame, develop in an approved language (one they've had and one the professor also knows), go through the QA process and then finally deploy the app to be evaluated by the other students in the class, who have not participated in the project." If you went CS, how well did your lessons prepare you for real project work? If you had a chance to prepare other college students for a career in development, what things would you teach them, and why?

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