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First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Bioshock PC is defective by design 4

ringbarer writes: Kotaku reports that the long-awaited spiritual successor to System Shock has a few shocks for any PC gamers who want to buy it. Customers are discovering that the 'SecuROM' anti-copying technology will only permit them to install the game twice, after which the DVD becomes nothing more than an expensive coaster. As PC Gamers are renowned for rebuilding and reinstalling their machines on a regular basis, it is clear that this will only hurt legitimate players.
Censorship

Submission + - Economic censorship blocks adult-rated games (wired.com)

death metal black metal writes: "Sometime this year you might be putting a disc labeled Manhunt 2 into your Wii or PlayStation 2, but it won't be the game the creators originally intended.

The developer, Rockstar Games, was forced to slam on the brakes when the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, or ESRB, gave Manhunt 2 a rating of Adults Only, or AO.

Neither Sony nor Nintendo allow AO-rated titles to be released on their hardware, and most major retailers refuse to stock the games. As a result, creators whose games get an adult rating usually trim back the content or decline to release the product.

http://www.wired.com/gaming/gamingreviews/news/200 7/08/esrb"

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Bioshock online activation limits you to two

Phanatic1a writes: Word on the tech support forums at 2K is that the good folks at SecuROM are limiting you to two online activations of that PC version of Bioshock you just bought. If you're one of those folks in the habit of regularly formatting your hard drive or upgrading your PC, you might want to keep that in mind before you find yourself with a $50 drink coaster. Oh well, this is sure to deter piracy, isn't it?
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - A WoW Junkie Kicks The Habit - A True Story (wordpress.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I feel free — like an alcoholic experiencing the clarity of sobriety, or a drug user finally kicking the junk (perhaps the more fitting analogy), I'm already confident that giving up World of Warcraft is shaping up to be one of the most rewarding decisions I've ever made.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - BatMUD; The Age of Exiles to renew MUD Community

Anonymous Coward writes: "21-Aug-2007 BatMUD (http://www.bat.org/), the now 17-year old online Fantasy game Veteran has renewed its strategies in order to respond to the Commercial onslaught of MMORPGs of the later date; and has turned partially graphical. By providing an up-to-date Java-based lightweight Game Client (Linux/Windows/Mac compatible), it shifts the whole MUD Community towards the younger MMORPG generation. In their prime, text-based hack & slash MUDs were thought as the most advanced multiplayer online games feature-wise, already having implemented with such features as City ownership and very deeply customizable guild, skill and spell paths; and by utilizing the 'most powerful graphics engine' of all time — your own imagination. BatMUD has lived up to its promise, by still being one of the most diverse games available on the Internet, with constant development during its 17-years of existence. Generally, back in the day, MUDs were thought as terribly hard to adapt to due to the text-based playing style, but BatMUD's new Game Client shifts the odds on this and does its job remarkably well without losing the old magic feeling of playing a true MUD. Screenshots and feature list available at http://www.bat.org/batclient/, the Client is a Free download and playing includes no hidden charges. Take a look at this ancient game, which truly re-introduces the word newbie into your consciousness, properly written."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Xbox 360 Hardware Downfall (theweeklypixel.com)

fusiongt writes: "Microsoft recently announced that the Xbox 360 will be getting price cuts in North America. Effective August 8th, the Xbox 360 price cuts will be the following: Xbox 360 Elite Model: $449 Xbox 360 Standard: $349 Xbox 360 Core: $279. These price cuts have been rumored over the past few weeks so Im glad its finally out and officially announced. The price cuts are good news but instead of just announcing that, I wanted to inform people about what kind of product the 360 really is. I have some serious issues with the Xbox 360. My biggest problem with the 360 is that it isnt built very good and Microsoft seems extremely reluctant to do anything about it.

Read more here: http://www.theweeklypixel.com/editorials/xbox360/3 60-hardware-downfall.html"

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - John Carmack's QuakeCon 07 Keynote Videos

Rogerpq3 writes: Video of John Carmack's keynote address to QuakeCon 2007 is now available. The video runs a little over an hour. This year, Carmack discussed id Software's upcoming game "Rage", QuakeZero, a web-based version of Quake3, his experience developing portable gaming technology, id's decision to hire a second team of developers, his plans to first develop titles for low-end platforms to gauge their success, his discussion with Steve Jobs about the inability to develop application for the iPhone, and many more topics. Video of Carmack's Q&A session with the crowd on-hand is also available.
XBox (Games)

Submission + - XBox 360 and PS3: They do HD? (1up.com) 1

MBCook writes: "Microsoft has just confirmed that now both the Elite and Premium XBox 360 models include HDMI. However, that probably doesn't matter to many consumers as according to a survey done by NPD, 70% of XBox 360 owners were unaware HD capabilities in the console. The PS3 is doing better at 50%, but only 40% of PS3 users knew they could play Blu-Ray discs on the machine. Only half of those have used that ability, meaning 80% of PS3 owners aren't watching Blu-Ray discs."
Sony

Submission + - SOE Fires CS Executives - Ships CS to India

An anonymous reader writes: Its no great secret that SOE and other game companies utilize the Indian outsource model to handle QA and CS functions. We have it on good word that SOE has decided to take any last smidgen of decency and throw it to the wind by opting to send their entire support organization to India and more specifically the IEnergizer group out of Delhi. By releiving their VP of CS in San Diego this week the deal seems final. In an era when most companies are pulling back their operations from across the globe because of poor quality mainly due to employee churn and general lack of game acumen it seems the Smed and Co. are trying to eeck out the last penny. One would think that with all the new titles on SOEs roster they might actually want to take care fo their paying customers and give them high quality support?? Hello is anyone listening...a quick perusal of the boards will tell you exactly whats going on.....Can you spell S U R V E Y...? I used to play SOE games but since the adoption of the outsourcers it became just unbearable. My requests would be bounced around like a stripper on Friday night... 3 or 4 times until it finally landed in the queue of an domestically based CSR. Now even that ray of hope has been clouded out. Kudos Smed........
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - As the Starcraft 2 story unfolds (789mb.com) 1

ccmunkey writes: "During the wait for Starcraft 2, some Korean fans have created origami representations of nearly every unit from the original Starcraft game as well as expansion pack units. They've actually used the color scheme for most of the units and some of them are eerily similar to the real thing. The Protoss carrier even has the small interceptors swarming out of it!"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - The problem on Linux/FOSS gamedevelopment

Sindwiller writes: "Linux has evolved to a pretty decent Desktop platform these last years. It features a fast, stable and productive work environment for various purposes. Linux (and especially Ubuntu) is doing his job as a everyday desktop system very well — maybe even better than Windows in some cases. Since when do you get a whole office suite shipped with your OS; for free. Ah yes, you bought your machine at where you get both your OS and your office suite installed on your computer. But maybe your preinstalled Windows doesn't even have a photo album manager, or an audio editing suite, or a versatile graphics program, or.... Well, you get my point!

So, Linux seems to be more or less comparable to Windows when it comes user-friendliness and software range. However, there are alot of areas in which Linux should improve. One of them is a very important one in modern computing. And that's Gaming.

Gaming seems to be the blind spot of Linux. In my opinion, Linux's popularity is so low, because it lacks incentives as a gaming system. And lots of people use their computer for gaming, thus it appears that there is a huge potential in gaming. But the actual problem is the lack of funny and well-made games for Linux.

But why? Why are there so few Linux games around? Linux has more or less stable support for the latest graphics cards, it doesn't lack any kind of OpenGL functionality, it doesn't lack speed or stability, it has possibilities when it goes to realization and development of specific parts in a game engine which also run on various other platforms — why is everyone avoiding Linux in game development? Why are there so few Open Source games that can be compared with commercial titles anyway? Free Software should be a model that applies to almost every situation, shouldn't it...?

The actual thing is a bit different, though. The reason why commercial games are rarely ported to Linux is clear: It's not profitable. Way too few costumers. Simply creates unnecessary extra costs and work, which can be avoided. The only way to change that is to raise the popularity of Linux itself or by deliver an extraordinary working environment. And probably won't change alot in the following years.

The other thing is free (as in freedom) games. A very strange phenomenon. They are developed using the same model that is very successful almost everywhere in the IT world — but they still can't compete with commercial titles.

The main reason behind this is that most FOSS projects can't count on experienced and talented artists. Just in case that you don't know what artists do: They draw conceptual sketches which illustrate the style and the atmosphere of the game; they make and animate 3d models; they make textures; they are responsible for the visual part of the game and the realization of main gameplay concepts (such as leveldesign). This part gives the game an atmosphere (along with other important elements such as storyline etc.)That's the problem of most FOSS games: They don't have a particular style, they lack atmosphere, detail and realism (or "rational" surrealism).

So, where will we get those people with superpowers called artists? (I don't want to say that artists are the key to everything, but you can't ignore the importance of specialized people within such a project. There's a very wide spectrum of arts and skills involved in gamedevelopment: Programming, Design, Drawing/Sketching, Digital Arts, Music and SFX, Writing) That's pretty simple: By providing an advanced, artist-friendly and productive work environment. An engine or framework where also someone with a limited knowledge of programming can work from. A nice toolchain, a user-friendly frontend. That's actually it. If there is potential, people will be interested, people will use that software. That's something elementary — a programmer thing. However, something like that still doesn't exist in the Open Source world.

3D engines like OGRE, Irrlich or Crystal Space (which is more or less a game engine, too) need lots of programming (or have a very, very unfriendly scripting interface) and don't feature toolchains that actually deserve that label. The Quake 3 engine (and all its forks) is technically good, but its frontend for artists is outdated and horrible. Sauerbraten features easy leveldesign and shaders, but fails when it goes to more complex stuff.

Not only the engine toolchain is important, but also all available programs for creating art, such as GIMP, Krita, Blender, K3D etc.

This issue must change if Linux and Open Source game development shall improve.

PS. I'd personally suggest to create a central knowledge base or community for Linux/Open Source gamedevelopment and art."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Warhammer Online - Fansite Gathering Wrap-up

Garthilk writes: Last week EA Mythic invited nearly thirty people from it's Warhammer Online community fansites out to their Virginia headquarters on an all expense paid trip to see the game and talk with the developers. The results are a mishmash of video's, Q&A's and impression articles released by several of their fansites. Of particular note is the article on the skill system which explains how players acquire skills & tactics within the game.

The EA Mythic offices are spread over 2 different floors and is very much a cube-style studio instead of a more open-style like some studios. There was stuff all over the walls, motivational-poster-style, as you can see in the video. Expectedly, they had covered/taken down all the Elf stuff, but it was still interesting to see all the maxims and design principles plastered all over the studio.
The video's of the games presentations are perhaps the most interesting as they offer an unfiltered explanation of many of the games mechanics and maxims.
Sony

Submission + - Sony PS3s to be destroyed? (tech.co.uk)

Suppostrophe writes: "According to Tech.co.uk... The Sony PlayStation 3 's IBM-built Cell processor infringes a 1991 hardware patent and all existing units should be impounded and destroyed. That's according to a complaint filed against Sony which alleges that the PS3 Cell processor infringes US patent number 5,056,000. If the complaint is upheld, Sony could amazingly be forced to destroy all its Cell processors and to redesign the PlayStation 3 from the ground up. Read more..."

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