Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
DX10 isn't particularly easy to program for, unlike in the past older cards won't be able to run it meaning if you want to make a DX10 game you will have to write most of the code over again for DirectX 9 (DX9). DX9 has backwards compatibility with 8 and 7, a DX 9 game can run on a DirectX 8 card, but a DX10 game cannot run on a DX9 card unless it has been written in DX9 as well as DX10 (giving the option to switch between them).
It may also be hard to move DX9 legacy code to DX10 since DX10 has abandoned the fixed function pipeline, an inherent bottleneck that has plagued games since shaders (particularly HSLSL) gained traction with developers. Now with DX10 everything runs through shaders, basically all that 'unified shader architecture' is a fancy way of saying 'were throwing out the fixed function pipeline, do everything in shaders'.
OpenGL itself will be undergoing revisions soon to take advantage of the latest hardware and unless some clever folks can find a way to do so without fundamentally changing OpenGL (that is, do a much, much better job than Microsoft) odds are the latest OpenGL is going to also suffer from the same slow uptake.
Some may argue this leap is unnecessary, however moving over to such an architecture will eliminate many bottlenecks, GPUs can do virtually anything with shaders, things like advanced physics can be simulated using shaders without the need for a costly PPU.
These sacrifices Microsoft has made is to future proof DX10, DX9.0c started pushing this trend, perhaps in an effort to give developers some leg room so they can adopt the next generation of graphics programming, and now with DX10 it is in full force. In reality DX10 is a major corner stone in its development, it isn't an iterative improvement but a huge jump.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The production values seem high, this game is one to look out for. Perhaps there will finally be another decent FPS title to play besides Metroid Prime Hunters.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Richard Kyanka (Lowtax of Something Awful) vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)
I'm sorry Lowtax but running around like that won't win you any cheers here, you have to actually punch the other guy and by punch you have to actually hurt him. Acting like a nerdy little kid won't win you the audiences appreciation here.
Jeff Sneider (of 'Aint it Cool') vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)
Turning your back on your opponent to avoid getting punched in the face? There's a better way, face your opponent and punch him. Oh, by the way, At least have the dignity of getting the shit beat out of you instead of just giving up like that.
You bowed out because you thought it was a PR stunt instead of 'getting punched in the head'. I've got news for you: The PR stunt involved you 'getting punched in the head', if you at least returned the favour...
Nelson Chance Minister (17 year old blogger) vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)
You're only 17 but by and far you put up the best fight and ended it well too, even if you did lose you get my thumbs up for taking it with grace. Faced the enemy, got beat up, but you can still hold your head up high.
Chris Alexander of Rue Morgue radio vs. Uwe (winner: Uwe)
[See second half of Richard Kyanka (Lowtax of Something Awful) vs. Uwe]
You lost, and your little trick where you pretended to spew out blood was pathetic to say the least. "It was my Jedi mind trick to try and disorient him", given you lost it worked perfectly. Seriously dude, did faking internal bleeding get you out of getting bullied back at school?
Visit Far Cry 2's website
Friday, July 20, 2007
There is also a nice touch of sentiment, James Westbrook who featured in Extreme Makeover is a boy who was paralyzed in a car crash. He will feature as a playable character in 'Tools of Destruction'.
For those unsure the trailer is 100% real-time in-engine footage.
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
In 'Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction' Ratchet goes back to discover the roots of his species (Lombaxes) as he fights Tachyon the emperor of the Cragmites that had previously fought and lost against the Lombaxes in an ancient war.
Graphically the game speaks for itself, it looks like a Pixar movie tip to tip, from fluid animations to colourful high resolution graphics it could hold its own.
*** END SPOILERS ***
So off went the rioters, running their pirated Vista computers demanding Linux support. 'We want teh linux0rz!' they screamed, anti-establishment all the way, the true revolutionaries of the software world. They wanted an end to the global oppression of Linux by the game developers of the world starting with Valve who as everyone knows is spearheading this plan to end Linux support for games.
Seriously, short of re-writing their engines for OpenGL and Linux and getting and hiring an extra ten people to help with the porting and new games Valve is always working on this isn't going to happen.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Their lawsuit is unwarranted on many levels, the most basic of which is common sense, I wouldn't expect any programmer to get away with bad coding by blaming it on someone else, 'it isn't someone else's fault the software is no good, it's your fault'. Blaming Epic, an established and respected developer, for Silicon Knights poor second gameplay showing of its title is a serious mistake. Not only can it have a massive backlash from the community in general but the lawsuit itself won't be winnable given Epic is bigger and has a lot more at stake here.
The lawsuit is no more than bitter rivalry, it seems that Dennis Dyack thinks the fanbase will side with him if he goes open with this in court. There are many Epic licensees right now and all are chugging along with no complaints, some of the biggest upcoming titles are using UE3 and they all look great. As it stands Silicon Knights is out numbered, just throwing in their blood doused PR into a shark infested pool.
Now the other problem, the whole 'new engine' that was 'derived' from UE3. If it works it works, Epic provides a lot of things with UE3 to licensees and in effect the so-called 'derived engine' is probably no more derived than Bioshock uses an engine 'derived' from UE3. UE3 is flexible enough and easy enough to use so that developers can add stuff to it as much as they want.
In effect, derived or not, Silicon Knights bought the license from Epic, they paid for it and they received it. 'Deriving' from it does not make them exempt to the license they paid for it. Of course all this won't sound good in court on Silicon Knights behalf, so they get choosy with the details.
An excerpt from their claims:
"The final development kit for the Xbox 360 was released in early September, 2005, such that Epic was obligated to release the functional Engine for that platform no later than March, 2006."If this was genuinely what Epic had contracted then they do at least in part owe something back to Silicon Knights, but it's asking too much to try and get a full refund.
"The support Epic had misrepresented it would provide Silicon Knights... became increasingly inconsistent as both Silicon Knights and Epic progressed toward the target launch date for their respective games. Epic has attempted to avoid its obligations under the Agreement by representing to Silicon Knights that the support,Would inconsistent support have something to do with a dodgy showing of Too Human? Could this entire lawsuit be based on the differing opinions of two journalists, one who liked the game and one who disliked it.
modifications, or enhancements to the Engine – all of which are essential to the Engine’s proper function – were “game specific” and not “engine level” adaptations, and that Epic therefore need not provide them to any of its licensees, including Silicon Knights."
"That representation is false, as evidenced in part by the fact that Epic later provided nearly all the Gears of War code to all of its licensees, at no extra charge, in a belated effort at damage control."Silicon Knights is essentially saying that Epic didn't provide consistent support to its licensees so that it could concentrate more on its own games. The question here is whether or not Epic was contracted to provide this support that Silicon Knights is/was demanding. However Epic did provide the entire code behind Gears of War in the end, perhaps to help calm down Silicon Knights which had been getting more and more frustrating to Epic.
Whats interesting here is that it was reported that Silicon Knights was working on a new game engine and was leaving behind UE3 after the second poor showing of Too Human, before the release of the Gears of War source code indicating that Silicon Knights was just piggy backing Epic and using whatever of Epics code it could to create its own game engine. Epic might have started to find it frustrating that one of its licensees was using its code to do no more than what any other of its licensees might (i.e. alter code) but claiming it to be a whole new game engine hence the shaky relations with Silicon Knights.
Unfortunately that wasn't good enough for Silicon Knights, and they blatantly lie:
"Epic’s actions and the consequent increasing delay and cost of development of Silicon Knights’ own game caused by the unworkable Engine forced Silicon Knights in May of 2006 to embark on the time and resource intensive task of writing its own game engine, the very task it had hoped to avoid be entering the Agreement with Epic."They weren't writing their own game engine, they were essentially re-writing an early version of UE3, fixing up loose ends and bugs that they couldn't be bothered waiting on Epic to finish. It's either that or were to believe Silicon Knights made an engine comparable by look and feel to UE3 in under a year.
It gets interesting, it seems that Silicon Knights might have not been able to finish Too Human because of Epics alleged lack of consistent support:
"Silicon Knights was forced to decide whether to continue waiting for Epic to provide it with a commercially functional version of the Engine. Under the Agreement, Silicon Knights found itself in the position of being ostensibly “bound” to use Epic’s non-functional product, even though doing so would result in the breach of its obligations to its publishing partners. Rather than let that happen, in May of 2006, with the Engine two months overdue and under the looming risk of funding for Too Human drying up if no workable engine could be found, Silicon Knights had no choice but to abandon the Engine and begin creating its own game engine (“the Silicon Knights Engine”). By that time, Epic had shown neither the ability nor the intent to fulfill its obligations under the Agreement."IN a way you can sympathise, perhaps the developers of other big UE3 based games like Bioshock had more funding. Unfortunately Silicon Knights decides to shit all over their viable and perhaps even justifiable claims by saying that "Progress on the Silicon Knights’ Engine continues to date and, at this time, the Silicon Knights Engine is completely independent of Epic’s Engine and certainly derives no benefit from the unworkable source code provided by Epic.". I'm sorry but it's going to be hard to prove that the Silicon Knights engine is not deriving 'any benefit' from UE3. To me it screams of 'you just copied and pasted the code, changed a few minor details and compiled it again!'.
The whole Epic vs. Silicon Knights thing seems to be based on one poor showing of the game, if Epic was as bad a licensee as they claim then other developers might start siding with Silicon Knights, however no one else wants to touch it. This may lead Epic to stop providing, or at least charge extra, for Source code of its engine code and instead provide DLLs and appropriate documentation otherwise to offset the potential for similar lawsuits in the future.
Win or lose this is just sour grapes, it's obvious there is a lot of love going into Too Human as Dennis Dyack said 'some people joined Silicon Knights ten years ago to make this game' (very sic) and this whole lawsuit thing may just ruin it for everyone, except maybe the Sony fanboys who'll love to see Too Human and UT3 both be released to very poor receptions.
Both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions will retain the wit and deep gameplay of the previously released PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system title and will boast additional new content. Bully: Scholarship Edition takes place in the fictional New England boarding school of Bullworth Academy, and tells the story of 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins as he experiences the highs and lows of adjusting to a new school. Capturing the hilarity and awkwardness of adolescence perfectly, Bully: Scholarship Edition pulls the player into its cinematic and engrossing world. Universally acclaimed upon first release, Bully: Scholarship Edition is a genre-crossing action game with a warmth and pathos that is unrivaled.
The original Bully was Playstation 2 exclusive and was well recieved by critics. There is the potential downside to the 360 having to deal with a last generation game though the Wii may not suffer as much from this predicament as many of its titles are last generation ports.
Rockstar seems to be continuing its love affair with the Wii, other titles it has already ported or is set to port are Grand Theft Auto: San Andrenas, Rockstar Presents Table Tennis and Manhunt. This is in sharp contrast to last generation where there were no Rockstar titles released on the GameCube. One can't help but wonder what sort of deal Nintendo has struck up with Rockstar to justify all the attention.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Furthermore he said that one of the reasons why Epic was going Playstation 3 exclusive was because of the openness of the Playstation network' and that Unreal Tournament 'is all about mods'.
SIXAXIS controls will be used to control some vehicles which according to Mark Rein will be 'very natural' and even better than analogue controls. Other matters discussed is cross platform multiplayer and downloadable extras (which will mostly be free).
The Wii might lose out in the graphics deparment but there certainly is gameplay potential with the WiiMote.
"Ever since we released Table Tennis, fans have been asking us to create a Wii version," said Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games. "By bringing Table Tennis to the Wii and utilizing the motion-sensitive Wii Remote™, a new audience can now experience a game that is beautifully designed and impossible to put down."
Full Press Release
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
NOTE: Even though the comparison can be seen as unfair given the GC shots are taken off screen and some parts of the SSBB shots being pre-rendered (though not significantly better looking than in-game SSBB) the comparisons purpouse is not for competitions sake but just a generel showing of how much better SSBB looks compared to SSBM.
This isn't Final Fantasy where TGS is round the corner, this isn't Price of Persia where the developers are working on another title, this isn't GTA IV or Spore where it was announced beforehand it wouldn't show, this isn't Rainbow Six where the last game in the series was only just released, this isn't God of War 3 that is being kept under very tight wraps (to the point it is supposedly 'not in development'), this is iDs big next gen debut, the one John Carmack promised to show us at E3 running on all the high profile platforms, WHERE IS IT!?
Where the hell are you!?
Related Post: John Carmack Shows off New Game Engine - At An Apple Conference!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Embedded + Downloadable HD
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Embedded + Downloadable HD:
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The number to ring is 212-360-2368, all you need is that and answers to the following questions:
What's wrong with your health?
What's wrong with the world?
What's wrong with America?
What's wrong with you?
Mark Rein put it quite clearly that "You'll also be able to share mods between the PC and PS3 platforms". He has also said that the open source platform Sony is using makes this possible. This may make it very unlikely the Xbox 360 will have such cross compatibility.
This effectively increases the value of Unreal Tournament 3 on the Playstation 3 above that of the Xbox 360, custom generated content has always been what keeps old games afloat and giving this much power to the community will ensure the longetivity of UT3 on the Playstation 3.
Unfortunately there has been no word on corss platform multiplayer gameplay yet.
Now, Sony has nabbed exclusivity to Unreal Tournament 3 for Summer 2007, that is, Unreal Tournament will launch on the Playstation 3 first as a timed exclusive. Cliffy B keeps making the point in the following interview. Most obvious is at 3:00 and I quote 'this holiday season Unreal Tournament 3 will be on the Playstation exclusive'.
Yes, between all the Gears of War PC talk Cliffy repeats severel times that Unreal Tournament 3 will be a Playstation 3 exclusive for the summer of 2007. This may be a sign of things to come, rampant piracy on the PC and lots of fighting over exclusivity by the two big wigs (Microsoft and Sony) means that we may start seeing more PC titles going to console first. If they can get one of the biggest titles on the market to be console exclusive for any period of time then no franchise is safe.
Friday, July 13, 2007
The PSX had a custom Playstation 2 controller that plugged in via USB through the back of the unit, the console stood on legs to allow the wires to run under it and plug into the USB port.
There are 160 and 250 gigabyte versions of the console, it was never sold outside of Japan.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
GT Prologue will feature full online multiplayer, multiple cars on screen at the same time and render at 1080p, it is more of a game than a tech demo and even the biggest doubters will have to agree to that.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The major differences between the two is perhaps caused by the lack of RAM in the Playstation 3. The trailer was made before the Playstation 3 spec's were announced, most people thought it would be at least 1024mb instead of 512mb. This will undoubtedly hurt the Playstation 3 for it's entire lifetime, it is clear the real time trailer could have used better textures, some textures are very blurry.
While the target-render was perhaps over all more impressive the pre-rendered is better in a few ways, the lighting is certainly brighter and provides far more impact, the environments look far more destructable and the animations if anything or on the same level as the target render.
The fire effects are definitely lesser in quality than in the pre-rendered trailer, though if the Playstation 3 has the shader power it could only be a minor technicality for the time being.
Over all if the Playstation just had a bit more than 512mb of ram the trailer might have looked way too much like the target render, to the point people would be convinced it was also pre-rendered.
Given a 20 million dollar budget and 120 people on staff it was but certain that while the pre-rendered trailer was a bit too high the Playstation 3 could pull off a downgraded version of it.
No question about it, the trailer has Hollywood pedegree and odds are the game will blow away all expectations. Perhaps this was a long time coming, a lot of what is shown in the trailer is standard movie fare, stuff that couldn't be translated over to games due to the extremely limited dialogue systems employed. Though Mass Effect seems to have changed all that, and even thrown in more. I think it is the first game in history to have a kiss/(sex?) scene in the name of character development/story progression rather than for porns sake or to simulate humans.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The games protagonist, Krypto (or clone 137) will be retaining most of his abilities from previous games (body snatching, mind reading etc) but will also have new skills. One of the more intersting new moves Krypto will be pulling off is the Temporal Fist technique that will allow him to stop time.
Weapons are all fully upgradable and imaginative as always (Venus Fly Trap anyone?), the game will also support downloadable content. It will be released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Other suggestions are "Deep in the mind we have to do whatever we have to do" and some people believe that it stands for: "The house where you leave everything to the heaven/fortune".
2) Nintendo started back in 1890 with playing cards
3) In the US a burglar had broken into severel houses stealing various electronic equipment, he was finally nabbed one day when he was caught red handed - playing Street Fighter. He said he was getting a new top score, just couldn't stop. Talk about addictive!
4) During the production of Super Mario Bros. 3 there were plans to have a Cenatur Mario.
5) After the release of the SNES Nintendo also released a SNES arcade with the games Super Tennis, F-Zero and Super Mario World.
6) In Super Mario RPG Bowser and Mario joined forces for the first time.
7) Pocket Monsters has outsold Final Fantasy 7 two to one.
8) Star Fox was originally just a tech demo for the SuperFX chip, but went on to become a full blown game.
9) Metroid doesn't do well in Japan, it only lives on because of its popularity overseas. This is also probably why Nintendo outsourced the development of Metroid to a US based studio.
10) Despite plenty of proof and showing that R.O.B was a failed concept Minoru Arakawa (ex-NOA president) pressed forward with its release, and yes, it bombed. Since then R.O.B has made plenty of appearances, most recently on Mario Kart DS.
11) The SNES was the target of some criminals, for some time Nintendo only shipped the consoles late at night to avoid them being stolen. Too bad they weren't as careful with the Black Nintendo DS.
12) There has been an instance in which Burglars broke into an electronics store and only took the Nintendo 64's leaving the Playstation's on shelves.
13) "Who knows how Mario will look in the future. Maybe he'll wear metallic clothes!" -Shigeru Miyamoto (1991).
14) Super Mario 64 was originally planned to be a SNES game using an enhanced SuperFX chip. This fell through due to the technological limitations and the game was moved on to the Nintendo 64.
15) Mario used to be a carpenter called 'Jump Man', he featured in a game where he fought a Gorilla called 'Donkey Kong'. He is now known as Mario and is an Italian plumber.
16) Mario is named after Mario Segali a landlord in New York. What happened was that the NOA President of the time, Minoru Arakawa, saw 'Jump Man' he likened him to his landlord, Mario Segali.
17) Nintendo ex-president (and nutcase) Hiroshi Yamauchi has been compared to the Mother Brain from Metroid and his office has been likened to the 'realm of the Mother Brain'.
18) Zelda: Ocarina of Time outsold 'A Bug's Life'.
19) Cid has been featured in every Final Fantasy title on the SNES (at least) and has been likened to the Yoda of the Final Fantasy series by producer Hironobu Sakaguchi.
20) Final Fantasy on the Nintendo 64.
'nuff said really.
21) After losing a lawsuit to prevent the Game Genies distribution Nintendo got a little sore and started making their games to crash if they were using Game Genie. This is why there are severel versions of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3/4.
22) The street outside of the office of Nintendo's distributor in Sweden was renamed "Marios gata".
23) Fujiko Takimoto who did the voice acting for Link as child is a woman, that explains Link's extremely light voice.
24) Some 'concerned parents' were planning on suing Nintendo because their kids had sustained blisters from many a hour of Nintendo goodness.
25) Miyamoto says that the inspiration behind 'Legend of Zelda' was the childrens innate desire of exploration and the movie 'Legend', directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise.
26) The Japanese version of Mario Kart 64 featured many signs advertising spinoffs of real world brands with Super Mario twists, the only one that made it to the US was 'Koopa Air' (i.e. 'Nike Air').
VIA Nintendo Land
Launching March 23, 2007 the Playstation 3 has sold 50,000 compared to the Wii launching December 2006 sold 100,000. However last week the Wii did outsell the Wii perhaps indicating the hype behind the Playstation 3 was slowly dying out.
From Sony Australias managnig director Michael Ephraim's mouth
"Since March 23, PS3 has been the number one-selling next-gen console in
Australia, and this is GfK figures. We've now sold 50,000 -- and we're very
excited about the fact that it's being sold in retailers that are gaming
retailers as a gaming device and other things, but as you'll notice it's now
being sold in Harvey Norman consumer electronic stores as a Blu-ray player."
GFK is the Australian equivalent of the NPR*
VIA c|net Australia
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Back when I used to be a little kid my school had a sharp contrast of Windows 95 in one room and Windows 3.1 in the other room. Most would expect us kids would play on the Windows 95 computers, though we never did, the reason being the Windows 95 computers never had any fun games. They had 'educational' games which involved cleverly disguised multiple choice questions.
On the Windows 3.1 PCs the games were many and varied however a few inevitably took to our liking more than the others, games like Commander Keen and DOOM, though in between all that was one game called 'Word Rescue'. So just what the hell was (is) Word Rescue?
It's a game that teaches reading words. Gasp? Shock? Horror? Yeah. I used to be terrible at reading but that game kind of helped, kind of really helped. The objective was to run around different levels finding pictures and matching them up to their corresponding words, make a mistake and a bad guy pops up. It was part platforming, part adventure and part learning.
I think what made it really entertaining was the fact the game came first and the education was a part of the game, it wasn't the opposite, the game was not a part of the education. You had an equal chance of falling into a hole as you did getting hit by a bad guy (because you made a mistake with the words match up). It was fun.
Another incredibly entertaining game that anyone can play (not just kids who can't read very well) is 'The Incredible Machine', or its newer clone 'Crazy Machines'. Both these games give you a scenario involving physical and mechanical parts and charge you with fixing them.
I suppose YouTube says it best:
From what I understand Atari is actually working on a modern version of this game *fingers crossed*.
In the end games like Sim City, Civilization, The Sims or even Grand Theft Auto spin around the basic idea of putting the game first and making everything a part of the game. Would Sim City be very entertaining if you were asked to solve some math question everytime you wanted to build something? Sadly this is the case for many 'educational games', and it may be for a long time to come.
Kids will learn more from Super Mario than they will from some generic Multiple choice question test starring Freddy the Frog.