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News Date: Tuesday 30th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Longest Journey Demo - Final Fantasy VIII - Omikron 2 - Wheel of Time - Interstate '82
  • Interstate '82 Review
    Time: 19:27 EDT/00:27 GMT News Source: GameSpot Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    ActiveWindows announced the release of Interstate '82 if you've been visiting us, but here's part of a review of it from GameSpot:

    Interstate '82 is the sequel to Activision's MechWarrior-in-a-muscle-car game, Interstate '76. It takes place in 1982. Groove Champion, the hero of the original game, is missing, and it's up to his sister Skye and his old partner Taurus to find out what happened. Taurus has since traded in his vigilante lifestyle and his Afro for a more modern Miami Vice look. The rest of the cast shows off most early-to-mid-'80s fashion statements, from Mohawks to silk scarves. However, Interstate '82 simply doesn't stand up to the original because of its simplified gameplay, weak single-player opponents, and unreliable multiplayer mode.

    The best feature in Interstate '82 is its story. The story is told through prerendered cutscenes and occasional mid-mission CB radio chatter. The voice work is really quite excellent throughout the game, from the villain that sounds like he's doing an impression of someone doing an impression of Christopher Walken to the hilarious overdubbed swear-substitutes, which give the entire game a B-movie-on-cable feel from beginning to end. In addition to the outstanding voice acting, the game also has some pretty good music, including three Devo tracks. The rest of the soundtrack is typical '80s new wave and fits pretty well.

     

  • Wheel of Time Review
    Time: 19:24 EDT/00:24 GMT News Source: GameSpot Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    When Wheel of Time was first announced, gamers and Robert Jordan fans had reason to be both excited and apprehensive. On the one hand, it would bring to life one of the most detailed and fascinating fantasy worlds ever conceived. Wheel of Time promised a mix of first-person action, role-playing, adventure, and strategy, which is a combination few games have ever effectively managed. On the other hand, because the Wheel of Time novels are so deep, so intricate, and so well-loved by legions of devoted Jordan fans, the game seemed destined to disappoint. But in the end, the game's creators GT Interactive and Legend Entertainment succeeded through a combination of great storytelling, spectacular graphics, and uniquely complex first-person action.
    Set before the first book in the series, Wheel of Time follows the turbulent adventures of Elayna, an Aes Sedai. Her sect holds a mystical seal, which is one of several seals used to jail the exceptionally evil Dark One in an ethereal prison. After the seal is stolen, Elayna must set out on a quest to recover the seal, thus setting in motion the events of the game.

     

  • Omikron 2 Confirmed
    Time: 18:59 EDT/23:59 GMT News Source: FGN/Blue's News Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    FGNOnline has confirmed with French developer Quantic Dream that they are in the early stages of design on Omikron 2, the sequel to this year's Omikron: The Nomad Soul. They say that they're looking to get musician David Bowie back for a second time, in addition to other artists.

     

  • Final Fantasy VIII
    Time: 18:59 EDT/23:59 GMT News Source: GameSpot UK Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    No one can possibly have missed the hype leading up to Final Fantasy VIII. There are billboards all over the place depicting the main character, his japanimated features in tight close-up, frozen with fear and adrenaline. It's a stunning image, not the least for its unusual approach to selling a game. Not since Lara Croft has a game relied so heavily on a personality to capture the punters' hearts, and absolutely no one has emphasised a character's basic humanity over other - er, less noble charms.

    Fans of the Final Fantasy series already know what to expect. There will be a hero with a troubled past and a series of companions who usually come bundled in groups of three or four. You'll start off using weapons and physical attacks, and gradually turn to magical ones as the game gets harder and the foes get tougher. Your characters will evolve as they gain experience, and eventually someone somewhere will experience an actual transformation of some sort. There will be a romantic sub-plot and more character development than all other roleplaying games have managed in total. The fantasy storyline will take a step towards pure sci-fi at some point, and there will be a space theme close to the end. And who could forget the hilarious post-battle dances, accompanied by their signature tune? It's a cocktail that's remained practically unchanged since Squaresoft's first attempts, and to addicts it's all as welcome as a Fast Show catchphrase.

     

  • The Longest Journey Demo
    Time: 18:48 EDT/23:48 GMT News Source: 3DFiles.Com Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    The Longest Journey provides a huge 3D setting consisting of more than 150 locations, over 60 speaking characters and hundreds of puzzles. The best estimate is that it would take 50 to 60 hours for gamers to make it from beginning to end. I am thrilled to report there is no time pressure involved. "We want people to enjoy the experience without feeling like they're being herded from place to place without time to take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery," Tornquist says. The result is a living, breathing environment in which the player can wander around without feeling any pressure. At the same time, they will want to move the story ahead to see what's around the corner.


News Date: Monday 29th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Big Game - Zone - SimTheme Park - Quake III Spy - Vampire Update
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption Update
    Time: 18:16 EDT/23:16 GMT News Source: Blue's News Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Nihilistic's Rob Huebner updated his .plan with a giant update regarding their upcoming 3D RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption. It's a giant update (you can check out the full one here while our CGI is out), but here's a big chunk:

    So what have we all been up to lately? Glad you asked. First off, we did a lot of work "under the hood" so to speak in moving all our engine code and effects from Glide (which was used for all the earlier screenshots and demos like E3) to Direct3D (which is our primary API out of the box). So you may have noticed that the latest round of screenshots sent out by Activision were higher resolution than in the past and also (I THINK) used 32-bit rendering (although when you ship them as JPG its hard to really differentiate due to the compression loss). The end result of all the is screenshots that look pretty much exactly like they did in the past, but with the added advantage that they work on lots of different cards now. So expect to see a wide variety of hardware in future screenshots and higher resolutions, etc. 

    Beyond that, Ingar's been doing a lot of work on the in-game cinematic camera system. This is really tricky stuff, getting cool camera angles from arbitrarily placed actors having a conversation. But when its all working, the results are really cool. Together with the lip-syncing of the characters that Jake is adding more of each day, the characters really seem to be lifelike. Still quite a few modes to be added, but even with the stuff working now its really immersive. Yves is plugging away at all the hard stuff - implementing tons of disciplines and AI modes needed to make the game not only pretty but also fun. Also still working on a few editor features here and there to improve the lighting in the worlds, most notably to get the staticly-placed objects to cast nice shadows into the world so they seem more solidly part of the surrounding geometry.

     
  • Id Software Interested in your Video Card?
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: 3DNews.Net Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Uhoh, looks like a stink just came up. Apparently some people just realized on LinuxQuake. that whenever you fireup Quake3 it sends to the id master server what video card you are using and of course they can tell what version of Q3 you are running as well. Obviously along with that info they can also determine your IP address which in turn gives away your geographical location. I'm pretty sure this has been mentioned before by id but there is no mention of this anywhere in the documentation which is certainly a bad thing and probably the best possible way to get a lot of people pissed off.

    My 2 cents, It's not like they are pulling a Blizzard and getting your email info and stuff like that. It's simply what brand video card you are using. This does however 'open the gates' for other information to be sent and full disclosure by id Software that they were collecting this data would have been the best idea I believe. Here is a quick one from John Carmack:

    "...video card data is sent independent of support requests and would be impossible to link to some user's email address, so it's useless for support purposes."

     
  • SimTheme Park Review...
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: GameSpot Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    GameSpot has posted their SimTheme Park Review...  Here's a quote:

    SimTheme Park is an amusement park management game that is part of Maxis' Sim series in name only. Known as Theme Park World both in Europe and in the game's many intro movies, it is actually the sequel to Bullfrog's Theme Park, a detail-oriented business simulator that happened to be set in an amusement park. SimTheme Park is just as much a business simulator as Theme Park was, but it removes many of the unnecessary minute tasks from the formula and adds some elements that make the amusement park setting much more important to the game.

    As a reminder, you can read our own review of SimTheme park here.

     
  • MSN Internet Gaming Zone Down....
    Time: 17:46 EDT/22:46 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    MSN Internet Gaming Zone has been experiencing some problems so any games you are playing there may not play or will be real slow. We'll keep you updated. This problem has been going on for almost 24 hours.

     
  • The BIG Game....
    Time: 17:29 EDT/22:29 GMT News Source: Allied Command Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Over the weekend, there was a stress test of Allegiance to test the servers, but because of its instability most testers did NOT make the big game.


News Date: Wednesday 24th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Site News - Quake III - AC Patch & Review - Allegiance Devs - Flash Site - Game Report - Q3 to Dreamcast
  • News Brief:
    Quake III has gone Gold - Confirmed

    Time: 14:39 EDT/19:39 GMT News Source: Activision Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Lots of email has come in regarding the Quake III gold announcement and its out! Here's the official announcement:

    November 23, 1999 - Santa Monica, Calif. - Activision today announced that Quake III Arena has gone gold.  Developed by id Software, Quake III Arena is the third installment of one of the most popular computer game franchises of all time and is designed to be the final word in online multiplayer mayhem. The title, which was sent into manufacturing today, is expected to hit retail shelves on Dec. 12, 1999 at a suggested price on $49.99.

     
  • Asheron's Call off to a Good Start in US Release
    Time: 13:19 EDT/18:19 GMT News Source: Microsoft Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    REDMOND, Wash. - Nov. 24, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that "Asheron's Call," a massively multiplayer online game, is off to a strong start now that it has reached its full U.S. retail release. Highly anticipated by computer game fans and acclaimed in previews by the games press, "Asheron's Call" immerses thousands of players in a dynamic virtual world rich with adventure, magic and mystery.

    Playable exclusively on the MSNT Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com/), "Asheron's Call" has already become the No. 1 game on the Zone. "There are over a hundred games available for play on the Zone, and 'Asheron's Call' broke all previous game records in little over a week," said Adam Waalkes, product unit manager for the MSN Gaming Zone. "More people play 'Asheron's Call' during peak times than any other game the Zone has ever offered."

     
  • Quake III to Dreamcast?
    Time: 11:19 EDT/16:19 GMT News Source: GameSpot Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    GameSpot News has learned from a source close to Activision that Quake III Arena is being built for Sega's Dreamcast console. The game is being planned for a late summer release and will use the Dreamcast Network for online play. Currently, spokespeople for Activision and Sega cannot confirm the reports.

    Although there's been no indication of this yet, there's a possibility that Quake III Arena players using the Dreamcast will be able to compete against players using the PC.

    We'll have further reports on the Dreamcast version of Quake III Arena in the near future.

     
  • 1999 Video and Computer Game Report 
    Time: 11:10 EDT/16:10 GMT News Source: Blue's News Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    The Video and Computer Game Report for 1999 is out. Check it out here

     
  • New Flash Intro on the Allegiance Homepage 
    Time: 11:02 EDT/16:02 GMT News Source: Allied Command Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Microsoft has updated the Allegiance Homepage with an awesome flash site. Check it out here!

     
  • Allegiance Developers Die in their OWN Game 
    Time: 10:57 EDT/15:57 GMT News Source: MSN Gaming Zone Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    So there they were - the Allegiance Dev Team - starting in their own sector, trying to get their technology built as quickly as possible. The odds were stacked rather highly against them. Five full teams wanted nothing else than to locate the lone Allegiance Dev team - and pummel them into the ground. The Allegiance Dev Team knew they had to get their technology tree going as quickly as possible but suddenly the call was out. An enemy scout had found their location and broadcasted the news for all to see.

    For an hour the Allegiance Dev Team struggled to survive and eventually dominate - but the constant stream of enemy ships into their home sector kept them primarily on the defensive. Allegiance Dev Team member Darth_Grimm was able to fly his way into enemy sectors and sufficiently pick off a number of enemy craft. Darth_Grimm was the only surviving member of the Allegiance Dev Team at the end of the game and we salute him - but the writing was on the wall. When the cruiser showed up, the Allegiance Dev Team took it on and destroyed it but when three of the cruisers showed up en-masse - it was over.

    You can read more about the Developers defeat here.

    Just a reminder... ActiveWindows reminded you of that game last Friday, hope you had a chance to make it, if you're on the beta...

     
  • GameWire's Asheron's Call Review 
    Time: 10:40 EDT/15:40 GMT News Source: ACVault/GameWire Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    GameWire posted their AC Review, its pretty good here's a few paragraphs:

    Well, if you've been living in a bomb shelter for the last five years, don't worry. We beat Saddam. If you're not one of the needlessly paranoid however, you've probably heard of Everquest. Eversmack, as many like to call it, has taken the gaming world by storm. Started by a company called 989 Studios, this game has become perhaps the biggest online gaming phenomenon since Starcraft.

    So that you can become a good little Well Educated Gamer (TM), We're gonna give a brief run-down of the history behind this game. In the beginning there were MUDs. Multi-User Dungeons they were called, and they were played over telnet on hokey little 486s and Macs. Completely text based, they relied on the player's imagination to flesh the world out, as all it provided were endless lines of "You hit the Flying Goblin for 5 damage" or "You travel West. You come to torture room. You are assailed by the scent of thousands of years of blood, death, and fear. There is a bunny here." But still, it was a way to interact with people outside of sex chat, and it garnered quite a following. Gamers played it, and saw that it was good.

     
  • Asheron's Call Patch Released
    Time: 10:30 EDT/15:30 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    We posted this on the front page yesterday:

    Microsoft has released the first patch for Asheron's Call - here are a few of the fixes:

    CHANGES TO MONSTERS

    • Monsters now have more pronounced "soft spots" in their armor. Choosing the height of your missile and melee attacks will have a more pronounced effect on the damage you do.
    • Monsters now also have clearer "soft spots" in their magical resistances. Mages must choose spells more carefully; using a spell to which a monster has natural resistance can reduce its effectiveness by half or more! Mages who choose proper spellcasting tactics will do as much damage as they ever did.
    • Lugians, Armordilloes, and Gromnies are somewhat faster and better defended.
    • Lugians and some Monougas fit better through doorways.
    • The locations of many monsters have been tweaked to improve game balance.
    • Vats and braziers are now ethereal, so they cannot be used as safe "perches" for picking off monsters.
    • On the landscape, monsters will now be able to open doors.
    • Gromnies will no longer defend their brethren.
    • Shadow creatures and Olthoi have better defenses.
    • Many Monougas will navigate better around pits.
    • Banderling Captains and Tumerok Warriors were not casting spells; this now works as intended.
    • Ice golems no longer take double damage from fire.

    CHANGES TO MAGIC

    • Portal spells are now harder to learn, and the spread in difficulty across portal spreads is also greater. (This restores portal magic as a goal to which mages aspire.)
    • The ranges of Harm and Drain spells have been reduced, as the ranges made these attack spells more powerful than anything a War Mage could cast. Beneficial Heal, Regenerate and Enchantment spells retain their high range. The duration of enchantment now increases substantially with the level of its spell.
    • Vendors no longer hold on to the magic scrolls they buy, and will only sell their standard supplies of them.
    • Minor tweaks: Health-to-Stamina Self II had the wrong scarab, and the Range for Exhaustion Other I was too short. Both will be fixed.
    • Health-to-Stamina Other spells did not display their range when examined. They will now.

    You can read up on the full list of fixes/balancing issues right here.

     
  • New Quake III Demo Soon
    Time: 10:21 EDT/15:21 GMT News Source: 3DNews.Net Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    I guess today's Quake III day or something... Here's a post from 3dNews.Net regarding a new QuakeIII Demo:

    Well with the announcement of Quake3 going gold the big question is where is the official Q3Demo release? Here is word from our man Graeme. A little known fact about Graeme is that he collects hubcaps from any Chevrolet car built in the 70's. The man is truely an enigma.

    I’m working on updating the full demo today. We’ll bash on it a bit and get it out there over the next few days. Once it’s out there I’ll be updating the cdkey authorize server to the final version. Unfortunately this is not compatible with the demo test, so you’ll need to upgrade to either the full version of Q3A (woo hoo!) or download the new demo.

     
  • Quake 3 Gold or Not?
    Time: 10:21 EDT/15:21 GMT News Source: E-mail Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Activision's PR Department is saying that its NOT gold but ID is saying it is. Basically, that means that its gold but their probably getting launch stuff ready so the PR dept doesn't acknowledge it.

    If it is publicly announced, we'll keep you updated. When it will arrive in stores is still a mystery, Babbages says December 10th, EBWorld says December 2nd. Most likely, this week Activision will release a press release explaining when it will be released so people can go preorder it on one of the most busiest shopping days of the year in the US.

    You can preorder Quake III Elite Edition, with the Limited time Tin-Box from Babbages here. They have an interesting contest going.. Check out that site for more information.

     

  • Site News
    Time: 10:12 EDT/15:12 GMT News Source: ActiveWindows Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, I had some problems installing some software but we're all back up! We'll make up for it today!

    Thanks for visiting ActiveWindows!

 


News Date: Monday 22nd November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Quake 3 Gold - Tomb Raider 4 Gold - Activision Releases Star Trek: Hidden Evil and Interstate '82
  • Stomped releases AC.Stomped
    Time: 17:48 EDT/22:48 GMT News Source: E-mail Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Stomped has released their new Asheron's Call website! One of the best I've seen, however don't forget Codename Asheron which is at http://www.activewin.com/asheron/.

     

  • Activision Releases Star Trek: Hidden Evil
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Activision Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Santa Monica, CA - November 22, 1999 -- Gamers who have always wanted to join the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise(tm) will finally get their chance when Activision releases their action/adventure odyssey Star Trek(r): Hidden Evil the week of November 22, 1999 to more than 15,000 retail outlets nationwide.   Set nine months after the full-length feature film Star Trek: Insurrection(tm), the game features story driven missions that draw casual and experience players into a fasted-paced tale of combat, stealth and exploration.

    For more information read the press release here.

     

  • Activision Releases Interstate '82 This Week
    Time: 15:28 EDT/20:28 GMT News Source: Activision Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    Santa Monica, CA - November 22, 1999 - It's open season on America'shighways and byways when Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq:  ATVI) ships Interstate '82 the week of November 22 to retail outlets nationwide.  The sequel to the best-selling combat-action game, Interstate '76, takes gamers on a high-flying rampage across America in the 1980s, complete with armed exotic sports cars, vivid 3-D environments and a hot soundtrack featuring never before released DEVO songs.

    For more information read the press release here.

     

  • Imperium Galactica II Announced
    Time: 15:24 EDT/20:24 GMT News Source: GT Interactive Posted By: Dennis Gregory

    GT Interactive sends word that Imperium Galactica II is out with an 11 MB movie. Wonderful flash site! Imperium Galactica II will be released sometime in February 2000.

     

  • Quake 3 - Gold
    Time: 09:12 EDT/14:12 GMT News Source: E-Mail Posted By: Byron Hinson

    According to sCary's Shuga Shack Quake 3 has finally gone gold. He made a post to say that Kenneth Scott, an id skin artist in his debut .plan update. You can also still pick up the deal for buying Quake3 for $33.95 through the Shack. Finally here is the plan update:

    11-21-1999
    We're Gold!
    I love you sweetpeach. :)

  • Tomb Raider 4 - Gold
    Time: 14:00 EDT/19:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

AVault is reporting that Eidos Interactive has announced that Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation has gone gold, and will be in stores this Wednesday. The Last Revelation is the fourth game in the Tomb Raider series.

  • Top Selling Games
    Time: 14:00 EDT/19:00 GMT News Source: AGN3D Posted By: Jason

The new PCData Top 10 shows that Age of Empires II: Age of Kings is on the top as the best seller. Here is the full list:

  1. Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
  2. Deer Hunter III
  3. MP Roller Coaster Tycoon
  4. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
  5. Cabela's Big Game Hunter III
  6. Delta Force 2
  7. Microsoft Flight Simulator
  8. Asheron's Call
  9. Harley Davidson: Race Across America
  10. Microsoft Flight Simulator Pro

News Date: Sunday 21st November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Quake III RC2

Graeme Devine updated his .plan saying that Quake III Arena is now at RC2 (adding that "life is good"). The update came yesterday, so thanks [nEo]Blackhawk for pointing out this was postworthy, since it indeed gives the impression that they are getting awfully close to finishing the game. RC2 stands for Release Candidate 2.

EBWorld has it for sale right now and states it will be available on December 1st. You can see their page on it here.

Reminder: We usually don't post gaming/hardware news on weekends, but this was breaking news that we thought was important. Thanks for visiting ActiveWindows.


News Date: Friday 19th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Dereth Olypmics - Allegiance Beta 1 Signups - James Bond in 2000 - AC hits #2!

Asheron's Call has hit the #2 mark on GameDaily's Top 20 Best Selling games. Can you guess who made #1? Age of Empires II! Also, AC hasn't been released everywhere so it may go #1 once it does.

 

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., November 18, 1999- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world’s largest interactive entertainment software company, that it has secured an exclusive multi-year worldwide licensing deal with MGM Interactive, Inc. to develop, publish and distribute a series of interactive entertainment titles based on the James Bond character, the world’s most renowned secret agent. Under this new agreement, Electronic Arts (EA) will release multiple Bond-inspired titles developed for different platforms including the PC and next generation console systems.

“The same attributes that have contributed to making James Bond a movie legend will translate naturally into making him a valuable long-term video game franchise,” says Frank Gibeau, vice president of marketing for EA. “We believe that the Bond character lends itself well to an array of gameplay elements, from intense storylines and characters to action-packed sequences and innovative gadgets. We are very excited about what the future holds in terms of building a successful series of games based on Secret Agent 007, one of the entertainment industry’s most enduring heroes.

 

GameLinks.Net has posted their NBA Live 2000 review here's a quote:

Ok I'll admit, I've never reviewed a basketball game before, let alone one from EA. I've never had too much interest in the game itself but from a pure perspective of the gamer, I've now been converted into a "believer" - you know those "I believe" signs basketball fans hold up? Moving right along...EA's latest interactive NBA offering is different from what you may have seen in the past. Previously, many sports games seemed simply too arcadish and unrealistic. When was the last time you saw a basketball player with a vertical of 15 feet and flames shooting out of his butt each time he's "ON FIRE". This is hardly the case with NBA Live 2000. Perhaps the other reviews and screenshots that I had seen prompted me to try this game, and so here's what I thought of EA's gem.

 

  • Allegiance Beta 1 Signups Early/Mid December & Allegiance Developer Game
    Time: 16:18 EDT/21:18 GMT News Source: Newsgroups Posted By: Dennis Gregory

Microsoft has posted their "ESTIMATED" time for when Beta 1 signups will begin, here's a quote from their message:

SUBJECT: Beta 1 Signup Planned For Early/Mid December

"We will know a moredefinitive date as we approach the first week of
December. Please check here, the MSN Gaming Zone Allegiance pages or with
ShadowLight at http://allegiance.gamestats.com as we try to keep them
up-to-date as much as possible."

If you're currently testing Allegiance Microsoft is holding a game at 8 PM PST, 11 PM EST. Here's the announcement from the newsgroups:

"There is an article posted at the Allegiance Zone pages about the upcoming
event. This is essentially an impromptu event with no prizes involved except
for the gratification of kicking the butts of those who've built the game.
Come try your luck!"

You can see Microsoft's Public Allegiance newsgroups at news://msnews.microsoft.com/microsoft.public.games.zone.allegiance.

 

ACVault has an article posted about a possible Dereth Olympics. Sounds interesting, check out ACVault for more information.


News Date: Thursday 17th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
AC for $35!

The Falcon 040 was the follow-up to the Falcon 030, adding a 32-bit bus, Motorola 68040 CPU, and an alternative casing to the ST styling of the 030. Apparently, Atari only ever constructed a small number of Falcon 040. The machine never saw full-scale production -- Atari instead chose to focus its efforts on the ill-fated Jaguar games console.

WickedPC posted their Matrox Millennium G400 review, as Byron says, here's a snippet:

The Matrox name is nothing new - most of us got to know them quite well in 1994 when the Matrox Millennium was the hottest 2D video card on the market, well before 3D acceleration was even thought of. They didn't have a decent 3D offering when nVIDIA and 3Dfx were battling out the Riva 128/Voodoo Graphics war, they mainly had the Millennium II and the Mystique series out at the time, which proved to be disappointing if the gamer was their target market. For 2D video, Matrox was always one to come out on top. Their lack of presence in the gaming market probably lost a decent share of the market, which is when the G200 came out on the floors. The G200 was a capable card, but lacked the speed required to win. This leads us to Matrox's next offering, the G400. Coming in several different flavors, the G400 and the G400 MAX being their names, this review is of the G400, not the MAX.

I just got this E-mail about a special promo that CompUSA is running on AC:

I thought you'd want to let your readers know about a special promotion CompUSA is currently running for Asheron's Call. As part of the launch of Asheron's Call, CompUSA is advertising the game for $34.99. That's a savings of $15 off the estimated street price! This offer will only be available for a few more days, so if you haven't picked up the game yet, now is the time to answer the call.

AGN Hardware has posted their review of ATI's Rage Fury Pro, here's a quote from it:

When I think of video cards and Canada, the only two companies that come to my mind are Matrox and ATI. Matrox on one hand has impressive boards with their G400 line of families including the Millennium and Marvel cards. ATI on the other hand has the entire Macintosh system line, with their Rage 128 in a large plethora of MAC systems. ATI wants to change the past though, with a new level of cards that is sure to have everything you could want for your PC. Everything from good performance, to other features such as TV-Out, TV-IN and more are sure to set the new raise from the errors of the past. Lets take a look at the newly released Fury Pro and see if it sets ATI apart from the competition.


News Date: Wednesday 17th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Quake 3 Demo stuff - UT Release Party
  • Indy Ships
    Time: 17:34 EDT/22:34 GMT News Source: Press Release Posted By: Byron Hinson

LucasArts Entertainment Company is pleased to announce the release of Indiana Jones(r) and the Infernal Machine(tm). For additional information, please visit the product spotlight online: <http://www.lucasarts.com/products/indy/>

  • Quake III Demo Flood Protection
    Time: 09:00 EDT/14:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

id Software lead programmer John Carmack updated his .plan with a clarification of how the flood protection works in the Quake III Arena Demo Test for those who have been confusing some of the demo's new behavior for bugginess. Here's the scoop, the full update also includes a new worklog that mentions that high server idle cpu usage has been fixed ("it was spinning in place until maxfps was used!"):

The demo servers have general purpose flood-protection that has caused some confusion.

Clients are only allowed to make one command a second of any kind. This prevents excessive flooding by chats, model / name changes, and any other command that could possibly be exploited. The command streams are stalled, so it doesn't have any effect on processing order or reliability.

This means that if you issue two commands immediately after one another, there will be a one second stall before the second command and all movement clears. You see this on the lagometer as yellow spiking up for a second, then dropping away.

Hitting tab for the scoreboard sends a command, so you trigger the flood protection if you bang tab a couple times. This has been fixed so that the scoreboard will never send more than one update request every two seconds, but you will need to watch out for it in the existing demo.

The defered model loading has also caused some confusion, but that is a feature, not a bug. :-)

In previous tests, you hitched for a second or two whenever a client with a new model or skin joined a game.

In the demo, when a client joins the game they will be given the model and skin of someone else temporarily, so there is no hitch. The only time it will hitch on entry is if it is a team game and there isn't anyone on the team they join. I make sure the skin color is correct, even if the model isn't.

These "defered" clients will be loaded when you bring up the scoreboard. You can do this directly by hitting tab, or you can have it happen for you when you die.

The point is: you died BEFORE it hitched, not as a result of the hitch.

The scoreboard header is up, but it is still a bit easy to miss.

  • 10six beta
    Time: 09:00 EDT/14:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

As promised earlier, the 10Six beta test is now open to the public. Those wishing to join in on the fun will need to become a registered HEAT.net user, and download both the HEAT.net software and the 10Six software, totaling over 30 megs (not including the optional music tracks). Update: several reports have come in that you cannot download the software from outside the United States and Canada, so apparently the beta test is currently restricted to that area.

  • UT Release Party
    Time: 09:00 EDT/14:00 GMT News Source: AGN Posted By: Jason
GameSpy, PlanetUnreal and 3DActionPlanet are very proud to announce that we're teaming up with Epic Games to bring you exclusive live coverage of the official Unreal Tournament Release Party this Friday, November 19th from 6-10 PM EST!  Dave 'Yellow5' Lepore and I will be hosting the event from Epic Games in Cary, North Carolina using our l33t new RadioSpy and SHOUTcast technology.  Here's some of what you can expect this Friday night:
  • Live interviews on SHOUTcast with the Epic team
  • Live video shots of the festivities, updated every minute or two
  • Live moderated chat sessions with the people behind Unreal Tournament
  • Live UT game servers, giving you all the chance to frag the Epic team and some of your favorite GSI employees (Fargo sez yer all meat)
  • Live Unreal Tournament music channel on RadioSpy, featuring all the UT music streamed from a meaty GSI SHOUTcast server
  • Tons of digital pics, which will be updated throughout the evening
  • Special giveaways, including signed copies of Unreal Tournament, official Unreal Tournament Strategy Guides, UT and GameSpy t-shirts, GameSpy mugs, registrations for GameSpy and RadioSpy
  • An exclusive PlanetUnreal skin download for WinAmp

News Date: Monday 15th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Quake 3 Demo - UT Gold
  • Quake III Demo
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

The Quake 3 Arena page has the release of the Quake III Demo test, with that unlimited Sandpiper bandwidth. It's about a 50 mb download.  

id Software's Christian Antkow updated his .plan with a list of known issues in the just released Quake III Arena Test Demo. Here's the scoop:

Ok, known issues so far;

  • Server browser is fux0red. Will look into that tommorow
  • Problems binding and using the mousewheel
  • Can't resolve authorize.quake3arena.com. God only knows why. I've been losing my mind over this. Some people can resolve it fine, others can't. If someone can e-mail me with a definitive reason why this isn't resolving for some people, I'll be ever so greatfull. I've done digs off of various nameservers and most can resolve this just fine. *sigh*
  • Unreal Tournament Gold
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

Blues News is reporting that Unreal Tournament has gone gold, and should be appearing on store shelves on Friday already. Europe should be at least another week (and being European, GT is usually pretty speedy in releasing their games over here, so it's likely).

  • History of the First Person Shooter
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

ZDTV has posted an article/video feature which chronicles the history of the First Person Shooter, from Wolfenstein 3D through Doom, Dark Forces, and the Quake series. It features a really goofy framing sequence with the host playing paintball, but once you get past that, it's pretty entertaining stuff for genre fans.


News Date: Thursday 11th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Gold Games -
  • Half Life: Opposing Force Gold
    Time: 10:00 EDT/15:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

According to Gone Gold, Gearbox Software's Half-Life: Opposing Force has gone gold. Expect it in stores by the end of the month. Despite the fact that EBWorld was reporting it yesterday, the official announcement wasn't made until now.

  • Interastate '82 Gold
    Time: 10:00 EDT/15:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

Gone Gold, an authority on this sort of information, is reporting that Interstate '82 has gone gold and should be in stores soon. Interstate '82 is Activision's game of fast, armed cars and a Devo soundtrack.

  • Indy Demo
    Time: 10:00 EDT/15:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

AVault has posted a playable demo of LucasArts' 3D adventure title Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. At 35 MB it's pretty large sized, but hey - this is Indiana Jones we're talking about here.

  • Ion Storm to join Eidos soon?
    Time: 10:00 EDT/15:00 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason
According to an article over on Gamespot News, it looks like Ion Storm will becoming part of Eidos. Even though the announcement is not official yet, Gamespot is reporting that Eidos is putting the finishing touches on the official announcement on the matter.

Our source tells us that the announcement will be released this Friday and will also confirm the ousting of both Todd Porter and Jerry O'Flaherty. Eidos will indeed be taking a 51-percent share of the company, and Eidos' John Cavanaugh will be moving in to run the company. And the remaining founding members of Ion Storm - John Romero, Tom Hall, and Warren Spector - will remain as employees of Eidos. Last week, Ion staff was informed of the upcoming announcement. The information we received indicates that Porter and O'Flaherty will be the only employees to be let go.


News Date: Tuesday 9th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Indiana Jones - Ultima IX
  • Indiana Jones Screenshots
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

    The gallery section of the official Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine site has been updated with two additional pages of screenshots from Lucasarts' upcoming 3D action/adventure.

     
  • Ultima IX : Gold
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

    Origin has confirmed that their eagerly anticipated Ultima IX: Ascension has gone gold. The game is on its way off to production, and will be shipping on November 23rd, just in time for Thanksgiving.

     
  • Delta Force 2 Update
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Blues Posted By: Jason

    After several patch releases through the game's built-in update feature, NovaLogic has released a downloadable Delta Force 2 patch (3.2 MB). The version number or the changes aren't known at this time, but if the auto-update mechanism didn't work for you, you may want to give this patch a try.

     

  • Spec Ops II released
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: AGN Posted By: Jason

    Ripcord Games has released Spec Ops II:  US Army Green Berets, the much-anticipated sequel to their best-selling Spec Ops Rangers Lead the Way.  Developed by Zombie Studios, creators of the previous Ranger product, the sequel offers a new 3D engine, improved AI, and enhanced multiplayer and tactical team-combat.

    Developed by Zombie Studios for Ripcord Games, Spec Ops II  US Army Green Berets will be available for the PC at major retail outlets nationwide the week of November 8, 1999 for a suggested retail price of $49.95.


News Date: Monday 8th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Counter-Strike 

  • Counter-Strike: beta 4 released
    Time: 16:30 EDT/21:30 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

    A new version beta 4 of the popular Half-Life mod Counter-Strike has been released on the official Counter-Strike site. Thanks Golgo-13. Updated documentation is available, and this is the features list of the new release:

    - Added Sig P228 pistol, and Steyr Scout sniper rifle
    - Added new gameplay scenario involving C4 bombs
    - tweaked firing system for all guns
    - added High-Explosive (HE) grenades
    - modified hostage rescue scenario (rescuing 50% of the hostages will result in a CT win)
    - modified kick vote system (only 65% of a team is needed to kick vote someone off)
    - loose guns are removed at the start of a round. (no more gun running)
    - loser bonuses are increased to allow the losing team to stand a fighting chance
    - altered money bonuses for rescuing hostages:
    $500 for touching a hostage
    $1000 for successfully rescuing a hostage
    $500 team bonus
    - added cs_station, de_nuke, de_dust, de_prodigy
    - modified cs_ship, cs_siege, cs_docks, cs_tire, cs_facility
    - automatic flashbang .wav added back
    - new, closer rescue points added to cs_ship, cs_siege, cs_tire
    - new ammo system, primary and secondary (less mind boggling)

    Might I add that I've played 4.0 and it's great. Still a few glitches but hey, it says beta and it's free!

     

  • Gamespy 2.17 Shareware Released
    Time: 16:30 EDT/21:30 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

  • GameSpy has released a shareware version of GameSpy 2.17. This is identical to the version released a few days ago (which added Wheel of Time and Nerf Arena Blast support) but is available for everyone, not just registered users. You can snag the file over at FilePlanet.

     

  • Delta Force 2 Update
    Time: 16:30 EDT/21:30 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

  • A new patch for Delta Force 2 (version 1.02.16) is now available via their in-game updater . There's no word as of yet what the patch does. Is it just me or are they not patching this game too much already?

    Sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been a bit hectic around the office. Jason


News Date: Thursday 4th November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Daikatana 
  • Daikatana Preview
    Time: 13:00 EDT/18:00 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

    Under the provocative subtitle "Vaporware never looked so good", Computer Games Online previews Daikatana based on their visit to ION Storm's offices the other week. Here's a nibble about the intended speed of the game:

    Speaking of enemies, we saw plenty of them (and paid the price for not seeing them quickly enough, in some cases). Each time period, of course, has its own local bestiary, including a few critters which will likely pose a nasty challenge to even the veteran members of the shooter crowd. Some of them fairly small and everything in the game moves very, very quickly. According to one ION rep, Daikatana's frenetic pace was a design mandate from the beginning, intended to replicate the "think fast" excitement of the original Doom.

  • Indy Gold?
    Time: 13:00 EDT/18:00 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

According to EBWorld, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, LucasArts' third person adventure game has gone gold, and will be available on November 16th

Want the visceral rush of arcade football at it’s finest? Want to step back from the planning and realism of Madden 2000 to get a dose of adrenaline pumping action? Midway has shipped NFL Blitz 2000 for the PC. Sporting the NFL and Players Inc. licenses, NFL Blitz 2000 takes seven of the best defensive and offensive players for an action/no rules form of football.


News Date: Wednesday 3rd November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Gold Games - Quake 3 soon?
  • Games gone Gold
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

    Say a few clips on Blue's about some games that are coming any day now:

    A new development update on the official Wheel of Time site relates lead designer Glen Dahlgren's impressions surrounding the game going gold on October 23, resulting in "you seeing a bunch of shiny new WoT boxes on store shelves possibly as soon as November 10th." The update also looks ahead to the future, and describes the game's presentation to Robert Jordan, author of the novels upon which Wheel of Time is based.

    The latest issue of the Slave Zero newsletter reports that Infogrames' giant robot combat game has been signed off to duplication and should be on stores shelves by mid-November.

  • Quake 3 Soon?
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: AGN  Posted By: Jason

I saw over on FGNOnline that id Software has announced that Quake III Arena is nearing completion and in late November we could see the game released. No doubt id is working hard to meet the amazing Christmas season sales rush.

  • Asheron's Call In Stores
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: AGN  Posted By: Jason

Microsoft has announced that Asheron's Call, the online-only game available exclusively on the MSN Gaming Zone is starting to appear on store shelves throughout the U.S. There have been many reports of its availability at both Electronic Boutique and Babbage's/Software Etc. stores across the country.

Asheron's Call has an estimated street price of $49.99 that includes one free month of play. After the free month has expired, there is a $9.95 per month charge to continue play.

  • Delta Force 2 In Stores
    Time: 13:15 EDT/18:15 GMT News Source: AGN  Posted By: Jason

NovaLogic announced today that Delta Force 2 is now available in retail stores throughout North America. Fans of the original "Delta Force" will return to active duty in more than 45 new missions based on the U.S. Army's elite and secretive counter-terrorist and hostage-rescue unit, Delta Force -- and new recruits will be drawn in by the game's unique depiction of squad-based, special forces action.


News Date: Tuesday 2nd November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Gamespy - Carmack Interview
  • New Gamespy
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

    There's a new version 2.17 of GameSpy 3D for registered users posted on FilePlanet. The new version adds support for Nerf ArenaBlast and Wheel of Time, neither of which is yet available, but it's never too early to start planning ahead

     

  • Carmack Q & A
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

Thresh's FiringSquad has posted a brief Q&A with id's John Carmack, discussing the latest changes to Quake III: Arena, including the news that he's been toying with removing the footsteps (although he keeps deciding to leave it in).

  • Top 20 PC Games
    Time: 15:30 EDT/20:30 GMT News Source: AGN  Posted By: Jason
FGNOnline has posted the top 20 selling PCData top 20 selling PC games of all time. Needless to say the numbers are a little bit disappointing, showing that the console is still the true leader in game sales.
  1. Myst (Mattel Interactive) 4,236,198 (units sold since 1993)
  2. MS Flight Simulator (Microsoft) 2,781,288
  3. Doom II (GT Interactive) 1,553,587
  4. Riven: The Sequel to Myst (Mattel Interactive) 1,305,595
  5. Monopoly Game (Hasbro Interactive) 1,273,553
  6. Warcraft II (Havas Interactive) 1,250,675
  7. Diablo (Havas Interactive) 1,176,457
  8. Doom Shareware (Id Software) 1,154,541
  9. Sim City 2000 (Electronic Arts) 1,136,244
  10. Star Wars: Dark Forces (LucasArts) 952,033
  11. Duke Nukem 3D (GT Interactive) 946,664
  12. Deer Hunter (GT Interactive) 944,703
  13. 7th Guest (Interplay) 926,948
  14. Starcraft (Havas Interactive) 906,128
  15. MS Return of Arcade (Microsoft) 902,313
  16. Lego Island (Mattel Interactive) 897,005
  17. Command & Conquer: Red Alert (Electronic Arts) 869,623
  18. Sim City Classic (Electronic Arts) 827,355
  19. Barbie Fashion Designer (Mattel Interactive) 825,655
  20. Ultimate Doom Thy Flesh (GT Interactive) 787,397

News Date: Monday 1st November 1999
Today's Top Gaming Headlines:
Wolfenstein 2000
  • Wolfenstein 2000
    Time: 10:00 EDT/15:00 GMT News Source: Blues  Posted By: Jason

    This New Times Los Angeles Online article (I believe this is a free newspaper published by the same folks as the Dallas Observer) that focuses heavily on violence in gaming, quoting Xatrix' Drew Markham heavily about the subject as it relates to Kingpin: Life of Crime. One of the noteworthy portions of the article (pointed out by sCary) is this bit, that seems to confirm the rumor that Xatrix is working on a Wolfenstein-3D follow-up called Castle Wolfenstein 2000:

    Markham is currently overseeing his employees as they work constructing three-dimensional Nazi soldiers and prisoner-of-war camps on their computer monitors. His company, the West L.A.-based Xatrix Entertainment, is already well into the creation of its newest game, a reformulation of a popular World War II POW fantasy that has enjoyed two previous incarnations by other companies. Markham and his handful of computer artists and programmers hope to have their Castle Wolfenstein 2000 in stores by Christmas next year.


Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for Previous August News.

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