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 Tuesday, August 15

Beta Testing Article @

[by Man1c M0g @ 0:22:10GMT]

Our guest writer, Brad Burton, has whipped up an article on beta testing, the job behind it, the work involved, and much more, written for both the tester AND test coordinator. Here's a clippet:

Filling out the beta form on the game’s site can be tedious, but it's extremely important. You need to know your computer settings and configuration. This alone can be difficult if you don’t know a lot about your computer. You may need to answer questions relating to the game’s genre and list previous games you’ve played. Most likely they’ll ask how much experience you have as a beta tester and how much time you’re willing to spend testing the game. These two are the most important. In order to be accepted for a closed beta, you need experience and a LOT of time. If what you fill out meets the requirements of the game and is impressive to the company, then they’ll choose your application over others; thus you’re accepted as a tester. You will be contacted and asked to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) which asks you to keep everything about the game confidential until they say it's okay. Yep, this means you can't show off… You’ll have to wait to show your friends until the release of the game. Once everything is signed they’ll send more information on how to get the beta (whether it’s available via ftp, or by Fed Ex to your home). Many times they’ll send you a free copy of the game when it’s released, or other rewards such as a T-shirt.

 Monday, August 14

Caeron 3000 Website Overhauled

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:54:06GMT]

Magique Productions have given their official Caeron 3000 website a new lick of paint and a shiny gloss (otherwise known as a redesign :). Pop along for some brand new screenshots, more detailed game information, and more!

Judge Explains Napster Decision

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:49:51GMT]

Federal judge Marilyn Hall Patel has expanded a little upon her decision to shut down Napster. With the date of the appeal coming close, will Napster be able to mount a defence? Only time will tell... But is still open for everyone's pleasure. is another option to spend your time on.

Descent 3 for Linux Ships

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:47:41GMT]

Loki's Descent 3 for Linux is now shipping worldwide and is available for purchasing. I can't say I was a great fan of the game really, but hey - i'm a secret pilot, so I ain't complaining! =)

Divinity: Sword of Lies Development Update

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:44:35GMT]

RPGDot have managed to get their hands on a development update for Larian Studios' upcoming RPG, Divinity: Sword of Lies. Here's a sniplet of the VERY large article:

"Divinity, The Sword of Lies" is a new role playing game (RPG) developed by Larian Studios and is scheduled to be released somewhere in the fall of 2000. In "Divinity, The Sword of Lies" players enter a world of fantasy, intrigue and dark magic. As one of four character types, the player will participate in an epic story that will take them on a vast and magical journey, setting events in motion that will culminate in a dramatic climax.

UT v428 Patch!

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:36:54GMT]

As promised by Epic, the v428 patch for Unreal Tournament is now available, offering improved client-side prediction, win2k ping problems, UnrealEd issues, and many other small problems. As with all other UT patches, you don't need it to play online, but it helps a lot! And hey, its only 6.2mb anyway - you'd be a fool to ignore it. Grab it now from 3DFiles. Also, I found great public videos browsing the net yesterday.

Max Payne Release Date Discussion

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:31:59GMT]

Remedy's Peter Hajba has made a post to the official Max Payne dev boards, talking a little about the game's continually put-back release date:

We do have a project plan and schedule - we are only aware that software projects often take longer than estimated because unexpected things happen. That's why we don't announce a release date. If we announced one, and either pushed it on and on, or released the game at the given release date, in a buffy, unfinished state, we would be letting people down a lot more than by simply saying "when it's done".

Max Payne is not going to be a "Daikatana". The Daikatana project suffered several serious setbacks in the process, and this is why it was delayed so long. Nothing such has happened during our project so far. As for why it's taking so long, it's only because we're developing our own engine. Unreal also took several years to make for this very reason. And look at the results.

Elite Force Designer Diary

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:29:23GMT]

CGO have greased up a designer diary written by Raven's Chris Foster, about the upcoming Q3a-engine blaster, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. Here's a quote:

While on the ship, the player would interact with other crew as well as solve/overcome a few non-combat puzzles/obstacles. Taking suggestions on ambience all the way up to the final stretch of production here, we are making sure that the player feels like the ship is being worked on and is inhabited by many other characters. Crewmen are making repairs, doing routine maintenance, chatting in the mess hall and otherwise filling in the background of the ship’s day-to-day operations.

Deus Ex Game Guide

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:25:50GMT]

PC.IGN have whipped up a whopping game guide for ION Storm's ultra-addictive action-RPG, Deus Ex.

Detonator 3 drivers!

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:24:25GMT]

Just in case the story below this one doesn't knock your socks off, you will be very happy to know that nVidia have released the Detonator 3 drivers for their TNT/GeForce/Quadro line of video cards. They are said to increase performance by up to 50% in some circumstances - WHOOOOP!

GeForce 2 Ultra Analysis

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:23:56GMT]

Hot DAMN! nVidia have announced a new video card in their GeForce line, the GeForce 2 Ultra! Here's a likkle analysis of the card, courtesy of VoodooExtreme:

The GeForce 2 Ultra is the latest generation GeForce with clock speed of 250Mhz and sporting a whopping 64megs of 460Mhz DDR SDRAM. Manufactured with a revamped .18 micron process by their Tiawanese partners at TSMC, they were able to push the limits of the original GeForce core much further. The T&L engine is rated at a not-to-shabby 31 million triangles/second and each GPU can crank out a million pixels a piece (two million total when doing 8 texels a second). All this power comes at a price however, which will show directly in your wallet. Retailing at around 500 bucks, the GeForce2 Ultra will only appeal to the hardcore of hardcore gamers. Start saving those pennies, kids...

Rocket Arena 3 v1.3 Server

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:14:33GMT]

The v1.3 server files for the excellent Quake III modification, Rocket Arena 3, are now available. Here's a very brief summary of what they fix:

- Fixed Physics (for real!) same as baseq3 now
- Fixed missing rails/rocket explosions
- In competition mode teams must be even before the round starts
- In competition mode players must "ready up" before round 1 starts
- Timelimit waits until the current clan arena match in progress is done
- Level changes after 30 sec if no one hits ready on timelimit

SWAT 3: Elite Edition Screenshots

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:10:53GMT]

GA-Strategy have knocked up three new screenshots of Sierra's upcoming game, SWAT 3: Elite Edition, literally a multiplayer edition of Swat 3: Close Quarters Battle.

Athlon 1.1ghz Now Shipping

[by Man1c M0g @ 19:02:34GMT]

AMD have announced the release of their 1.1ghz Athlon, now shipping to most major PC manufacturers. Here's a clippet from the press release:

AMD today publicly released its new pricing, energizing the market as the industry moves into the seasonally strongest buying cycles. The PC market outlook is strong and AMD is on track to meet its goal of doubling shipments of seventh generation PC processors to 3.6 million units in this quarter, and again doubling shipments to 7.2 million units in the fourth quarter. AMD expects that its total PC processor shipments, including AMD Athlon, AMD Duron, and AMD-K6(R) -2 processors, could approach 7 million units this quarter and 9 million units in the fourth quarter.

Texture Compression: A Step Backwards?

[by Man1c M0g @ 18:57:59GMT]

VIA Hardware asks the question, Texture Compression: A Step Backwards?. A worthy question - i've always thought it makes games look AWFUL!

Today's Hardware Reviews

[by Man1c M0g @ 18:56:32GMT]

  • AMD Duron CPU on HardwareCentral

  • ATA 7200 RPM hard drive round-up on StorageReview

  • Intel Pentium III 1ghz CPU on GamePC

  • MSI K7T Pro mobo on TweakTown, and AthlonOC

  • Overclockerz Athlon GFD on Speedy 3D

  • Today's Game Reviews

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:55:03GMT]

  • Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord on Final Heaven

  • Dark Reign 2 on SGO

  • KISS Psycho Circus on Gamer's Pulse and Game Den

  • Messiah on PlayDevil

  •  Sunday, August 13

    3D Exploration

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:18:59GMT]

    DemoNews have gotten themselves a new version of 3D Exploration, a user-friendly 3D object viewer for Win9x/NT - very useful for looking at MAX models which, until now, were fiddly to browse.

    Counter-Strike Tweak Guide

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:16:16GMT]

    GameSpy have written a tweak guide for the phenomenally popular Half-Life modification, Counter-Strike.

    MDK 2 Patches

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:15:19GMT]

    FilePlanet are now offering the new MDK2 patches from BioWare, which weigh in at a very lean 768kb. Here's what they contain:

    - workaround for bug in Windows Millenium Edition (WinME) that prevented MDK2 from running
    - updated rendering code including OpenGL Display Lists
    - fixed a bug in level 4, the theatre, if Kurt used a grenade, there would be text errors on the screen
    - prevented the Doctor from quick-saving during combining or using an item
    - added logging of "Test Settings" data to a file
    - added setting of refresh rate in the Launcher
    - fixed a bug in the updater with regards to beta patches

    Half-Life Mod-Making Guide

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:13:29GMT]

    Hangar 66 have greased up a guide to making modifications for Valve's Half-Life. If only something similar existed for Quake2 when I made the OTT TC... :/

    Baldurs Gate II Hands-On

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:11:22GMT]

    FiringSquad have posted a hands-on preview of BioWare's Baldurs Gate II! Here's a cliplet:

    Baldur's Gate was a light, fluffy story compared to what Baldur's Gate II is cooking. It's like Star Wars to Empire Strikes Back. Baldur's Gate still dealt with understandable forces - politics, economy, manipulation, and personal glory. The sequel is more about discovering the nature of your captor through your own experiences, and seeing what he can tell you about your character. Your godly heritage isn't approached like it was in the original. Yes, it is why the Badass (don't worry, you'll find out his name soon enough) captured you, but you become more concerned with him than yourself as the game progresses.

    AMD Sledgehammer Article

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:08:14GMT]

    VoodooExtreme have coughed up a look at the AMD Sledgehammer, its 64-bit processing capability, how it will affect the industry, and more. Here's a mini-clippet:

    The problem of deciding whether a certain operation requires a drastic change in technique or honing of an existing method is a delicate one. In the CPU industry, the question is how to implement 64bit processing. Intel's answer was the former, a radical change in the entire CPU architecture. With AMD releasing a detailed overview of their approach to 64bit processing, we see Intel's number one competitor taking the latter approach, extending the x86 architecture to support 64bit processing.

    UT v428 Release Notes

    [by Man1c M0g @ 19:06:03GMT] have managed to get their hands on the release notes for the upcoming v428 Unreal Tournament patch, which fixes yet more bugs + improves performance with non-3DFX video cards slightly.

    Upcoming 3rd Person Action Games

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:59:43GMT]

    3D Action Planet have knocked up an interesting article that takes a look at five upcoming 3rd person action games, American McGee's Alice, Hitman: Codename 47, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, and Rune. Here's a sniplet about Hitman:

    Few antiheroes are as interesting as professional assassins --hitmen. For some reason Hollywood and other outlets for mainstream entertainment seem to love the concept of the hired killer, and it was only a matter of time before someone decided to make a game out of it. Hitman: Codename 47 will let you take on the role of a cold blooded (and bald headed) hitman. This particular assassin, however, is less than human (or more than human, depending on how you look at it). He's a genetically engineered clone designed to be the perfect killer, totally deprived of emotion and obedient to his creator's orders.

    The gameplay in Hitman looks to be a cross between Rogue Spear, Half-Life, and Thief. The world around you will react a little more realistically to flying bullets, with bystanders calling the cops and security guards taking you down. The hitman is an assassin, not a warrior, though, so these sorts of things are best avoided through the use of stealth, strategy, and guile. With equipment like a sniper rifle or piano wire to do your dirty work, that should be a lot of fun.

    CroTeam Interview

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:56:00GMT]

    HavenGames have posted an interview with CroTeam about their upcoming FPS, Serious Sam. Here's a sample:

    Havengames: How powerful will the tools released with Serious Sam be? Will it be easy for mod creators to make changes, or will people have to be proficient in animation to do anything? How are the skins laid out - in a simple fashion like Quake 1, or somewhat complicated like in Q3A?

    Admir: Tools have been in development for long time, and their strength is amazing. As someone who is working with them daily, I think they are most user friendly tools in game development, with so many features and options to make developer's life easier. Once Tools are publicly available we expect large MOD comunity on the internet to start using them and create custom levels/characters. When it comes to model's animations, if you know how to use 3d program to create model and animate it, you wont have any problems importing it in our Engine, or changing existent ones. Skins use UV mapping, which is normal for today game models. Same as for models, skins can be easily adjusted or new created.

    Unloaded UT v102 beta

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:37:47GMT]

    v102 beta of the Unloaded UT modification has been released, offering a strange gameplay experience where the Unreal Tournament engine is used for a 3rd person top-down action game, complete with new weapons, drivable vehicles, and loads more - an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!

    Grinbot v0.6b

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:35:40GMT]

    v0.6b of the Grinbot for Heretic II is now available, offering greatly enhanced DM skills and more intelligent usage of weapons.

    Activision to Appeal SOF X-Rating

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:34:30GMT]

    Globe&Mail have knocked up a news posting entitled Company to appeal game's X-rating, which looks at Activision's plans to appeal the recent X-rating of Soldier of Fortune given by the British Columbia Film commission. Here's a quote:

    Activision Inc. announced yesterday it will appeal the decision by B.C.'s provincial director of film classification that restricts minors under 18 from renting and selling the CD-ROM game. The Canadian distributor of the game, Beamscope Canada, has also filed an appeal with B.C.'s Motion Picture Appeal Board.

    "The action of the Film Classification board undermines consumers' rights of freedom and choice of expression and sets a precedent for government censorship," the California-based Activision said in a statement released yesterday.

    Mary-Louise McCausland, B.C.'s director of film classification, rated Soldier of Fortune as an adult motion picture in a ruling last month after receiving a citizen complaint.

    Today's Hardware Reviews

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:32:20GMT]

  • 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 video card on Hardware Unlimited

  • Boston Acoustics BA4800 speakers on Hardware Unlimited

  • Today's Game Reviews

    [by Man1c M0g @ 18:30:43GMT]

  • Beach Head 2000 on AVault

  • Cleopatra on Electric Games

  • Diablo II on ESCMag

  • Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 on 3DFX Gamers

  • Nox on Intelligamer

  • Starlancer on ESCMag

  • Space Empires IV Interview @

    [by Man1c M0g @ 1:34:51GMT]

    Its weekend, so its high time for some internal content! Today we have knocked up an interview with Richard Arnesen of Shrapnel Games and Aaron Hall of Malfador Machinations to get some information on the new publishing deal for Space Empires IV. Here's a sample:

    BC: Malfador Machinations is the developer of the Space Empires series, which has enjoyed nice underground success for a number of years but has never had a major publisher. Why are you taking a chance with Space Empires IV?

    RA: Because it is an awesome game, that's why! My wife normally looks at a new game I get and says "but it looks like all the other games you buy". When I started up the beta I recieved of SE:IV she lit up and so did I. She loved the eye candy, I loved the depth of the game. I don't see it as a risk; this game will be a big hit IMHO.

    What kind of pencil draws blood?

    So you've opted to be a beta tester and get games ahead of all your friends, but is it all that is cracked up to be? In this article we discuss the job itself, and the work it entails.

    So you've opted to be a beta tester and get games ahead of all your friends, but is it all that is cracked up to be? In this article we discuss the job itself, and the work it entails.

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