Archive for January 27th, 2009

Details on Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. ERS feature

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Got some spiffy video, screens and a description for you guys.ERS
The Enhanced Reality System is an integrated battlefield control and perception system providing the computer tactical options to engage enemy targets in the air and on the ground. It includes:
• HUD
• Support and Orders
• Voice Command

1. ERS interception
Rules of engagement:

  • On some tunnels, depending on the AI difficulty you face, you must maintain a minimal speed while flying through the interception tunnel. Dropping below that speed will make the tunnel disappear after a time. 
  • The path generated by the ERS will increase in complexity as the opponent is more skilled, increasing the need for skillful maneuvering.
  • You can leave the tunnel for a very short time, but if you don’t re-enter it will disappear.
  • The interception path is different depending on the starting position and the enemy aircraft movement

A. Air to Air Interception
Description:
When you select an enemy target that is out of sight, at a certain range the ERS will generate a tunnel for you to follow that can be triggered by pressing a specific control button. If you manage to follow the tunnel all the way the target will be in front of you offering a shooting window

B. Air to Ground Interception
Description:
When you select a static enemy ground target the ERS will generate a tunnel for you to follow, that can be triggered by pressing a specific control button. If you manage to follow the tunnel all the way the target will be in front of you offering a shooting window

C. ERS missile dodge
Description:
When you are targeted by an incoming enemy missile the ERS will generate an evade tunnel for you that can be triggered by pressing a specific control button. If you manage to follow the tunnel all the way, you will successfully avoid the missile.

Visit the Hawx blog for in-depth information and more videos on ERS: http://blog.ubi.com/hawx/

 

Beyond Protocol: Inaguration Day

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

header

The Emperors Chambers Inauguration

 

fleetBeyond Protocol is a game focused on control, over an empire, over planets, and over solar systems, but the ultimate form of control here, is over the game itself. This power comes from the Galactic Senate. Players have the ability to add, subtract, and modify game mechanics through a complex, but engaging voting process.

 

While the Galactic Senate (GS) has been in operation for centuries within the Beyond Protocol universe, it has been without one of its key features, the Emperors Chambers (EC). In short, this special room within the senate is where the players control the mechanics, additions, and balancing of the game. The power this yields is not attained without effort and can not be achieved without some degree of risk.

 

Before delving into how the system works, a bit of what-is-now history is in order. The first EC was inaugurated on Thursday, January 22nd 2009, which equates in game to the year 4286 TE, or Terra Exeunt, translated “When they left Earth”. The seven emperors discussed many things pertaining to the game, but decided to make their first act a celebratory one. They commissioned the creation of a new building. A statue, more specifically of the first seven emperors, which will provide a moral bonus to any planet that this statue was constructed on and would also display the names of the first seven emperors whenever moused over. It was vain move, perhaps, but one that demonstrates the power given to these players. This system however is not without its checks and balances.

 

sunsetTo fully explain what the EC is, it is important to understand what the title of Emperor entails and what those risks are. The known galaxy, as of the EC’s initial inauguration, was composed of over 40 star systems, each containing an average of 10-20 planets. Each one of these seven initial emperors controls every planet in at least one system. Theirs is the largest colony on every planet, they collect a tax paid on every mineral mined there, and they decide how that entire system votes in the GS. Should an emperor loose even a single planet in their system, through war or aggressive building, the rank is lost and research is crippled for a real world week, unless the title can be regained. That is the basic gist, there are many more subtleties but playing the game is more fun than reading about it! In light of that, here is a more detailed description of the EC and GS.

 

The EC is a private system, viewable only by players with the rank of emperor. Their job is to propose legislation for the GS to vote on. The proposals can range from adding a new building to the game, to requiring that more minerals go into the production of a certain component. Dark Sky Entertainment (DSE) has of course provided several rules to guide the emperors and holds the power to veto any changes that would harm the game. The three initial rules given were as follows: No changes to time, to geography, or that would seriously disadvantage new players. If within the rules and not obviously detrimental to Beyond Protocol, the proposal can be voted on inside the EC. A majority vote of emperors is required to move the proposal to the approval phase. DSE has stated that one properly endorsed proposal will be reviewed every weekday at 11 AM. The review ensures that the proposal is within the rules, assigns a time to completion if passed, and then puts the proposal up to a vote in the GS.

 

In contrast to the EC, the GS is a public system. Every player in the game can see what is being voted on, and how each player has voted. Votes are based on planetary control. Each planet is a single vote for or against the issue at hand. These votes are tallied, and can be changed through any means necessary, over the course of two weeks.

 

beamsFor the sake of an example, say that there are only two players in the game. The vote is to add a new class of battle tank to the game. Player A is in control of 6 planets while Player B is in control of 4 planets. Player A votes against the issue and Player B votes in favor of the issue. Player B has two weeks to either convince Player A to change stance, be it by flowery words, threats, or bribery, or take 2 planets by force and change the votes of those planets, otherwise this new battle tank will not make it to the game. In both the EC and the GS, players are allowed to make statements on issues which can be seen by anyone viewing that issue.

 

In the end, this system allows the players to mold the game in a democratic way; however they feel it is best played. While the power hungry players control the proposition process, the masses control the final approval process, including the potential to dethrone those that abuse their power. Any changes made can be reversed by another proposition and voting process, therefore changes made are in no way final. This feature is essentially DSE’s method of upgrading the game, a constant and player led process.

footer

The power grab is on, and the chambers are waiting. Will you, or more accurately, can you assert your will on the Senate?

New York Comic Con Announces Enormous Growth of Videogame Exhibitors at 2009 Show

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Officials Note 50 Percent Increase in Gaming Presence Since ’08

New York Comic Con (NYCC) has today revealed details of its videogame industry attendance for the upcoming 2009 NYCC, which will take place February 6 – 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. NYCC officials note that videogames have become a huge part of show planning and that the videogame section has become the single largest growth area for NYCC since 2008. Major exhibitors from the videogame industry will be displaying their products and introducing their latest games to thousands of eager fans in booths that will occupy over 11,000 square feet of exhibit space. This represents a 50 percent increase in exhibit space for videogames as compared to 2008.

Tickets and programming information for New York Comic Con are accessible at www.nycomiccon.com and more personal insights and anecdotes about the show are available via Show Manager Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.MediumAtLarge.net.

“I am enormously pleased and gratified to see how much and how fast our videogame component has grown since last year,” notes Fensterman. “From the get go, one of our principal goals at New York Comic Con has been to build on our core interest, which is comics, by expanding outwards to include other interests. This is what defines us as a true pop culture event. We provide a wide range of stimulating activity which commands the attention of our many fans. I couldn’t be happier that videogaming is now taking a leading role in all of this.”

Some of the prominent companies and the games they will be featuring at NYCC include:

Activision: Leading worldwide videogame publisher Activision will have a robust presence at New York Comic-Con, showcasing some of this year’s most anticipated videogames including their 2009 Marvel video game lineup with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 as well as PROTOTYPE™.

Atari: Champions Online, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, Ready 2 Rumble Revolution. 

Codemasters
: Fuel on Xbox 360, Damnation on Xbox 360, Overlord 2 on Xbox 360, Overlord Dark Legend on Nintendo Wii, and Jumpgate Evolution on PC.

Electronic Arts: Spore Galactic Adventures, Godfather 2, Dragon Age, Burnout Paradise, Battle Forge and Battlefield Heroes.

Konami Digital Entertainment: Yu-Gi-Oh!, TRADING CARD GAME and Blue Dragon Role Playing Card Game.

Namco Bandai Games America: Afro Samurai®, Dynasty Warriors®: GUNDAM® 2, Naruto™: Ultimate Ninja® 4 (tournaments will be going on for this game!), Splatterhouse, We Ski™, Snowboard and much more.

SouthPeak Games: Velvet Assassin on X-Box 360, X-Blades on X-Box 360 and PS3, Roogoo: Attack on Nintendo DS and Roogoo: Twisted Towers on Wii.

TC Digital: TC Digital’s flagship game, the Chaotic TCG, will be featured throughout their booth. Fans and players will be able to take demos, hone their skills, and compete in tournaments for various Chaotic product prizes.

In addition, other well known companies in the videogame industry who will have a prominent role at NYCC include Cryptic Studios, Mythic Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Sega, THQ and Ubisoft.

“All in all, everyone who is anyone in videogames will be at New York Comic Con,” concludes Fensterman. “We are very pleased and honored to be getting such a vote of confidence from this important segment of the pop culture world.”

NaturalMotion Releases morpheme 2.0 with NVIDIA PhysX

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Leading Animation Engine Now Offering Unprecedented Level of Physics Authoring and Integration

NaturalMotion, the animation technology company behind the euphoria engine, today announced the immediate availability of morpheme 2.0 together with integrated NVIDIA PhysX™ technology.

morpheme is robust animation middleware designed to give developers and animators intuitive, creative control over the look of their final in-game animation by allowing them to author and preview blends, blend trees and transition graphs in real time. Since its launch in 2007,morpheme has seen rapid adoption in the games industry, including customers such as Bioware, Eidos, Disney, and CCP.

morpheme 2.0 introduces full integration with NVIDIA PhysX technology, encompassing both graphical authoring in themorpheme:connect tool, as well as the animation runtime engine.

In morpheme 2.0, NaturalMotion believes it has solved several fundamental problems holding back the combined application of physics and animation. As a result, morpheme 2.0 allows for the seamless mixing and matching of animation and physics methods within and across animation skeletons, thus providing a whole new toolset for creating lifelike characters.

“In previous animation solutions, physics has often been an afterthought, often only allowing for the addition of ragdolls or other basic physics methods as an ‘all-or-nothing’ effect at the end,” said Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. “With morpheme 2.0, we have developed a method to give programmers and animators much more targeted and differentiated control over physics and animation. It is now possible to add arbitrary physics modes to different parts of the same body – all graphically. We’re also giving animators intuitive 3D tools to graphically author physics joints, joint limits and parameters. We believe this new method of treating animation and physics in tandem will become a fundamental requirement for more believable characters.”

morpheme 2.0 is a major release featuring many enhancements in addition to physics. In summary, version 2.0 provides the following new features: 

  • Physics integration powered by NVIDIA PhysX™ technology
    • Graphical authoring of physics skeletons, collision shape and joint-limits 
    • Mixing of animation, hard- and soft-keyframing and active animation in the same skeleton 
    • Support for different physics modes on different body parts
    • Transitions between animation and physics
  • Enhanced multithreading model for runtime performance 
  • Enhanced animation compression methods 
  • LiveLink library to simplify connecting application to remote runtime target 
  • Pass-down pins provide support for animation network referencing

 

Availability 
morpheme 2.0 is available starting immediately.

* NVIDIA PhysX is licensed separately, and is not required for licensingmorpheme 2.0.

Tales of Pirates: Forsaken City Overview

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Tales of Pirates: Forsaken City Overview
 
Today the folks at Tales of Pirates ( http://top.igg.com/ ) are going to tell you about the Forsaken City. Recently, archaeologists in Shaitan City have discovered a deserted city that has more than 1 thousand years of history. You can still feel the past prosperity of the brilliant civilization, although it looks very desolate now. What surprises these archaeologists is the sheer amount of treasure, mystery, as well as hidden dangers there.  
 
Tips
The Forsaken City is made up of 3 stories. The monsters there range from level 30 to level 45.  The entrance will appear in the vicinity of the Magical Ocean for 60 minutes every 3 hours. After the entrance has appeared, you are advised to get in as soon as possible. Don’t forget to bring the Ancient Generator with you; otherwise you will not be able to enter the deserted city.
Players can steer their ships into the entrance. After you arrive at the Forsaken City, you can steer your ships into the port.   
 
Features 
Players can PK freely there.  You may also challenge the bosses who guard tons of treasure there.
Features 
Players can also accept some extra quests with big rewards and abundant Exp.
Features 
The bosses in the Forsaken City will drop chests that may contain level 40 and level 30 gear. However, the attributes of the gear is better than that of other gear of the same levels.
 
Extreme PK, Abundant Exp, and fine gear are waiting at the Forsaken City for you !
 
For more infomation, please visit: http://top.igg.com/. 

Angels Online: Main Cities Introduction – Aurora City

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The Angels Online team (http://ao.igg.com) from IGG (http://www.igg.com) gave a brief introduction to the mysterious Iron Castle last time. Today, they will continue to introduce another of the main cities called, Aurora.

As its name implies, Aurora City is a warm city, full of hope and sunshine. Located in the easternmost part of Eden, the city greets the first faint rays of dawn each day. Passing through the thin clouds, the golden sunlight shines over each corner of this city. Even the little worm which has been hidden all night will shake its body and greet the first drops of morning dew with a smile.

Apart from the other 3 main cities, Aurora City is bright. It seems that even each brick here teems with life. Walking around this vast city, you will forget the flames of war that can sometimes seem uncomfortably close n other cities, because of the fresh air and the friendly smiles on the citizens’ faces. The bar boss cries for business here, where most bartenders have to kick some customers out! Children playing on the street, and women hustling about loaded down with groceries or shopping bags. This city has flourished while so many others inevitably got caught up in the ravages of war because the king takes great care to make sure his people have plenty of opportunity to succeed culturally, socially and economically. The result has been a people and city that have far outpaced the other cities in terms of quality of life.

However, one cannot place all the credit upon the benevolence of the king. Aurora City has nature on it’s side as well. It is located in the east of Eden, and has a natural barrier there that the people call Aurora River. In the very beginning of his reign, the king didn’t pay much attention to the city defenses. However, the outwardly calm but deep and aggressive river holds the whole city in it’s embrace and is one of the most important defensive structures protecting the city.

In the center of the city, the Aurora Guard always stand ready to help players. What’s more, there are elite armies guarding each of the four city gates.

However, this peaceful flower of a city has recently felt the burning licks of the flames of war. In order to protect their homeland, the King has organized a team, including experienced knights from elite armies, to work with other factions’ armies and fight the underground demons together.

The peaceful feeling of Aurora City is very popular with players, making it one of the most popular main cities in Eden.

For more information visit: http://ao.igg.com/guide/game-intro.php?aid=11.

Zu Online: New Area Occupation

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

What is the most eye-catching aspect in Zu Online (http://zu.igg.com/)? It must be the fights between talented, veteran players. In the upcoming Zu Online version, a brand-new place to fight will be the “Area Occupation” that’s been added. We hope this will bring even more intense fights for players to enjoy.

During the “Area Occupation”, any guild member can manipulate the Lead Pillars which have not yet been occupied, and then occupy the area where the Lead Pillar stands. Occupation of this area will earn the guild some funds as an everyday reward, until another guild comes and takes it.

Any guild members can manipulate the Lead Pillar owned by another guild in the same faction. When a guild’s Lead Pillar is captured, all the online members of the guild will receive a system prompt announcing the loss. Then, they can rush to the area and try to prevent the attackers from fully occupying their area. If the attackers finally occupy the area, then they will start to earn the guild funds as an everyday reward, until another guild occupies it.

Guild members can also manipulate the Lead Pillar occupied by a guild in a different faction. When a guild’s Lead Pillar is captured, all the online members of the guild will receive a system prompt announcing the loss. Then, they can rush to the area and try to prevent the attackers from fully occupying their area. If the attackers finally manage to occupy the area, then all the players in the same faction as the attackers and standing near the Lead Pillar will get handsome rewards. Other online players in the same guild as the attackers will get some rewards too. Additionally, the guild will gain some guild funds as a daily reward from the next day on until the area is occupied by another guild.

Sample Area Occuptation
If guild A from faction Xun captures the Lead Pillar owned by guild B from faction Tai, then all the online members of guild B will receive a system prompt about it. If guild A finally occupies the Lead Pillar, then all Xun players who are near the Lead Pillar will get big rewards while other members of guild A will also get some rewards too. Additionally, guild A will gain some guild funds as a daily reward starting the next day on until the area is occupied by another guild. But if guild B successfully defends the Lead Pillar, they will continue to occupy the area and receive the guild funds.

For more information, please visit the official site http://zu.igg.com/

Wonderland Online – New Version 4.0: The Cursed Palace

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The Wonderland Online Team (http://wl.igg.com/main.php) recently announced that they have been working hard to prepare the launch of the new Version 4.0. The new version—The Cursed Palace, is crammed with tons of amazing new content. What does the new version bring? Find out soon! But for right now, they’re giving a peek at what’s available…

Everyone knows that one of the very unique features of WLO is that so many different civilizations from many different countries are open for players to enjoy and explore. In previous versions, the mysterious Pyramids of Egypt or the Mayan Jungles or other ancient and amazing maps could be explored. This time, the new version brings an even more amazing array of crumbling ruins, ancient monsters and archeological danger just waiting to be uncovered!

The new Wonderland Online 4.0—The Cursed Palace will even lead you into challenging strong bosses you’ve never met before in Ancient Greece!

WLO 3.0 is currently in Open Beta, and has a vibrant community of players just waiting for another partner to help them explore!

For more information about WLO 4.0, please stay tuned to http://wl.igg.com/news/newscontent.php?aid=1682

War Plan Pacific’s John Hawkins Live Chat Today, January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

If you are playing War Plan Pacific, or want to know about it’s development, John Hawkins will be online and chatting with fans today only.

Shrapnel Games would like to remind everyone that we are hosting a chat with John Hawkins, designer and developer of the recently released War Plan Pacific today. The chat, scheduled for January 27th at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST, will be held on the Shrapnel Games forum located at http://forum.shapnelgames.com/index.php. Look for “Chat” on the top bar of the forum, third from the left. You must be registered on the forum to participate.

John will be discussing War Plan Pacific and is looking forward to answering your questions on the game and providing insight into the design process. Just don’t ask too many questions about golf. Well, you can ask, just expect better responses on War Plan Pacific (turns out that there is a senior writer for Golf World also named John Hawkins).

War Plan Pacific is a computer wargame for Windows of grand strategic air and naval warfare in the Pacific during the Second World War. Players relive the conflict from the initial day of infamy until the surrender of Imperial Japan (although with a dose of daring strategy and a little bit of luck your digital history does not have to be a repeat of actual history), commanding individual ships, amphibious forces, and air groups. The struggle takes place from Singapore to San Francisco, from Alaska to Australia, taking into account twenty-nine strategically important historic locations.

War Plan Pacific takes only a single session to complete, allowing it to be both a great choice for the busy single-player gamer and one for those who prefer multi-player experiences. While streamlined to allow play in such a reasonable amount of time by no means does that mean War Plan Pacific lacks historical accuracy. Victory conditions are based on historic possibilities and the order of battle is based on real world ship entry dates. Combat itself is a perfect example of the overall design philosophy of the game: while easily handled beneath the hood the game accounts for belt armor, deck armor, primary and secondary guns (and their penetration values at various ranges), and more.

War Plan Pacific ships with three core scenarios and is open to players creating their own scenarios through editing the .XML files that make up a scenario. Since these are text based documents anyone can craft their own perfect little war! To help facilitate a rich scenario experience KE Studios, developer of War Plan Pacific, recently released a scenario reference guide. Available as a .PDF, it can be downloaded from the official War Plan Pacific product page (along with the demo, if you have not yet tried this fantastic title):

War Plan Pacific has garnered a great deal of accolades since its release in mid-December. Out of Eight, IGN, and the French Cyberstratege all scored their reviews for the game high, with Flash of Steel having it tie for Wargame of the Year in 2008 (which is pretty impressive when you consider that in two weeks it beat out twelve months worth of previous titles!).

War Plan Pacific retails for only $39.95, either as a physical product or as a digital download. It is only available for Windows.

For more great independent games please visit www.shrapnelgames.com for our complete catalog of the best in strategy and niche gaming. Celebrating ten years of independent publishing!

Pangea Software Announces One Week Promotion for its Impressive Lineup of Games

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
Sale Includes Award Winning Titles Engimo and Cro-Mag Rally, as well as Billy Frontier, Bugdom 2, Antimatter and Nanosaur 2: Hatchling
 
Pangea Software, Inc. announced today a special one week promotion for all Pangea Software games available for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. Consumers who purchase any of the applications beginning Monday, January 26, through Sunday, February 1, 2009 will enjoy a special promotional price of $.99.
 
Applications included in the promotion: 
Enigmo is the ultimate 3D puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch! To complete each level players manipulate various streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets can reach their destination. The faster players complete each level the more bonus points they receive. Enigmowas named as a “Showcase Winner” at the Austin Independent Games Festival, voted “Best iPhone Game” at Apple’s 2008 World Wide Developer Conference and most recently honored as the “Best Puzzle Game” at the 2008 Best App Ever Awards.
 
Cro-Mag Rally is the wildest racing 3D game since man invented the wheel! In this prehistoric racer players take on the role of a speed-hungry caveman (or woman) who race with primitive vehicles through the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages. The game is visually stunning and utilizes the accelerometer allowing for intuitive and fun driving physics. Cro-Mag Rally was recently voted as the “Best Racing Game” of the year by fans at the 2008 Best App Ever Awards.
 
Billy Frontier is a spaghetti space-western with four games in one – Dueling, Shootout, Stampede, Target Practice – and is truly the most diverse 3D game available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Test your dueling reflexes, attempt to outrun a stampeding herd of Kanga-Cows, hunt down alien bandits in first-person shooter gun battles, and blast catapulted critters out of the sky in the Shooting Gallery!
 
Bugdom 2 is a clever action packed title that has players take on the role of Skip, an enthusiastic grasshopper who battles roaches, flies, frogs, and other critters on a quest to regain his knapsack that was high-jacked by Bully Bee. To reclaim what rightfully belongs to Skip, players will have to accomplish a variety of tasks: explore outside the yard, inside the house, slide down the drain pipe and even go on balsa airplane bombing missions!
 
Antimatter is the premier arcade game for the iPhone and iPod Touch! To complete each level the player will need to control a stream of antimatter particles and use it to affect Cosmic Strings in order to alter their color before the Antimatter Energy Meter runs out, all while collecting power-ups and bonus points. This remarkable title was designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch, featuring a simple and intuitive control scheme that allows for a true interactive experience.
 
Nanosaur 2: Hatchling is the most advanced 3D game on the iPhone and iPod Touch! You pilot a flying dinosaur from the future whose mission is to locate stolen dinosaur eggs and return them to safety by throwing them into wormholes. You’ll battle other dinosaurs and mechanized sentries while collecting various power-ups and weapons such as heat-seeking missiles, blasters, bombs, etc.
 
The unique games offered by Pangea Software have truly captivated audiences across the globe by offering the most diverse game play available for the iPhone and iPod touch with over 1 million videogame downloads worldwide. For more information about Pangea Software or its products please visit: www.pangeasoft.net.
 
To purchase applications by Pangea Software, please visit the App Store at: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=281736538.