An anonymous reader writes "AMD invited 100 people up to their private suite in the hotel that Quakecon 2009 is being hosted at for a first look at gaming on one of their upcoming DirectX 11 graphics cards. This card has not been officially named yet, but it has the internal code name of 'Evergreen,' and was first shown to the media back at Computex over in Taiwan earlier this year. The guys from Legit Reviews were shown two different systems running DX11 hardware. One system was set up running a bunch of DX11 SDKs and the other was running a demo for the upcoming shooter Wolfenstein. The video card appears to be on schedule for its launch next month."
AlexMax2742 writes "Great news for those anxious gamers who have been waiting for a Linux and Mac version of Quake Live. Support for both is being implemented with next Tuesday's update, according to project lead Marty Stratton, who gave the release date during a press conference held at QuakeCon 2009. A video of the press conference is up at QuakeUnity." John Carmack revealed that they're working on a "premium" subscription service for Quake Live, which will allow players to configure and run their own private servers. Also at QuakeCon, a new trailer was released for id's upcoming shooter, Rage. Kotaku posted an extensive preview of Rage, saying, "I've seen no game that, in this realistic style, looks so good and has a landscape so rich with visual splendor." A detailed presentation on id Tech 5, the new game engine behind Rage, was given at SIGGRAPH 2009 last week.
An anonymous reader writes "A London-based industrial designer has had his work ripped off in Second Life and is now looking to file a DMCA grievance against his client. Commissioned to recreate the French Quarter in New Orleans, the designer, Gospel Voom, spent six months on the project, only to sign on to Second Life after its completion to find it was deleted by the client. She claimed it was taken down because it wasn't making money. However, despite having signed a contract that let Voom retain creative rights over his work, he later found out it was sold to another community, OpenLife, without his knowledge or permission."
IndustryGamers recently spoke with Mythic Entertainment execs about the futures of Ultima Online and Warhammer Online. UO's newest expansion, Stygian Abyss, was recently given a September 8th release date. As for WAR, they say, "... we just finished up a major patch for Warhammer Online and there's a lot of stuff we're thinking about for improving and enhancing the gameplay experience and guaranteeing that the product lives up to the legacy of the Warhammer franchise. You should expect an expansion in the near future." The Overly Positive blog suggests that recent developer interviews have undergone a change in tone, demonstrating a greater willingness to acknowledge the game's flaws and work out ways to correct them.
Edge Magazine recently sat down with David Jones, creative director for Realtime Worlds, the studio behind upcoming action MMO APB. He spends some time talking about their thinking behind the game, and he also gets into how their persistent online worlds will work. Quoting: "... you absolutely want 'moments' in the game. Even if it's just for thirty minutes, you want people to become celebrities — OJ Simpson on TV with the police chasing after him: you want those kind of moments in the game. We can't create them, so it's about what mission can ultimately lead to those kinds of experiences. We have what we call heat mechanics in the game, so if a criminal has just been on a complete rampage, recklessly blowing stuff up and killing people, heat builds up until eventually we unlock him to every single enforcer on the server. It's not part of their missions, it's just that this guy has become number one wanted and everyone has the authority to take him down. That's a fun mechanic from both sides; everybody who's a criminal is going to want to reach that and if you're on a mission for the enforcers you'll see that guy and wonder whether you should break away to get him. You get a lot of compound stuff which we never planned for, because it's a hundred real players interacting in ways we don't expect."
A. Harvey writes "Ten Ton Hammer has an interesting article about the transition to Asian-style MMO games, specifically Aion. 'In many ways, the West is catching up to the East in terms of gaming. Per capita gaming ... and broadband proliferation is markedly higher in Asian markets. Gaming is much more social in the East as well; many players gather together in internet cafes to spend their game time with each other. Another surprising difference in most Asian-based games is that most functions of game control are mouse based.' I think the author hit the nail on the head that Aion will be a big success in North America and will introduce a lot of players to games with an Eastern feel."
pacergh writes "Many legal commentaries on virtual property argue that it should exist. Others argue why it can exist. None seem to explicitly spell out what virtual property will look like or how it will affect online worlds. Lost in the technology love-fest are the problems virtual property might bring. The Virtual Property Problem lays out a model for what virtual property might look like and then applies it to various scenarios. This highlights the problems of carving virtual property out of a game developer's rights in his creation. From the abstract: '"Virtual property" is a solution looking for a problem.' The article explains the 'failure of property rights to benefit the users, developers, and virtual resources of virtual worlds.'"
Gamasutra reports that Electronic Arts has filed for trademarks on several popular old franchises: Populous, Wing Commander, Theme Park, and Road Rash. This, along with comments from Harvey Elliot of EA's Bright Light Studio, have led many to suspect that we may see new titles for those IPs in the near future. Elliot said, "If you remember all the old classics you played, if you go back and play them now, they're not the same. They were right for their time, and the trick with those games is coming up with what's right for the time now. I'm going to look at them at some point; I think there's an opportunity to bring those back in the future, but only if it's right for the time and not just a 'remake' or something. We'd need to do it in a way that's true to the original values, but would still make a great game today."
PsxMeUP writes "Love is a persistent online first-person shooter that will let players build structures, permanently manipulate the environment and share resources — all in real-time. Action will be similar to a real-time strategy game as seen through the eyes of a grunt. The game is being completely designed by a man named Eskil Steenberg, and GameObserver had a chance to interview him. Steenberg talks about how all MMOs offer an egocentric experience where character growth is the most important aspect, and how he intends to change that. He also explains how mainstream MMOs have too many players, which basically trivializes accomplishments that have an impact on the entire server. 'If you imagine Civilization where you invent your stuff or build new stuff, imagine playing one of those characters on the ground doing that. And being able to do something minute in your world and see that impact in the major world,' Eskil explains, when asked what his game will be like. 'I want to scare people in a direction that is different from this sort of "me-centric" style of games. It feels that pretty much all games are going into that Diablo direction of collecting and building up my characters, and it's all very egocentric about creating your own powerful character,' he clarifies when asked how his game will be different from other MMOs. Love is well into development, and Steenberg has already posted some incredible gameplay demos. Levels, for instance, are all procedurally generated. The game also offers open-source tools, like UV editing — not a small feat considering the whole thing was designed by one man."
togelius writes "Whenever you play a game of Tomb Raider: Underworld, heaps of data about your playing style is collected at Eidos' servers. Researchers at the Center for Computer Games Research have now mined this data to identify the different types of player behavior (PDF). Using self-organizing neural networks, they classified players as either Veterans, Solvers, Pacifists or Runners. It turns out people play the game for very different reasons and focus on different parts of the game, but almost everyone falls into one of these categories. These neural networks can now quickly determine which of these groups you belong to based on just seeing you play. In the near future, such networks will be used to adapt games like Tomb Raider while they are played (e.g. by removing or adding puzzles and enemies), so you get the game you want."
Massively has a writeup discussing the way CCP Games is battling ISK-farmers in EVE Online (ISK is the game's currency). The developers felt that merely banning sellers whenever they could was not enough, so they introduced a system where players could purchase game-time codes that could then be sold within the game to other players. Since players are unlikely to give up buying ISK voluntarily, CCP's thought is that they can at least keep the money and currency distributed among the real players. Some of the player-base has been critical of the plan, but it's becoming more and more popular as time goes on — and the old ISK-sellers aren't pleased.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "According to a job posting from August 10, 2009, Microsoft is looking for a LIVE Community Director in the Entertainment & Devices Division. The job posting seems to suggest that Microsoft is looking to bring the Xbox Live, Windows Mobile, and other similar properties closer together. More specifically, there's talk of a 'casual and social gaming platform' that would be available via more than just one device: 'The LIVE Engagement Team is looking for a LIVE Community Director to manage its LIVE community strategy and execution across a range of properties, from Xbox LIVE to Windows Mobile. This senior position will play a vital role in the community space as the LIVE Engagement team builds and program's Microsoft's next-generation, LIVE-enabled casual and social gaming platform across the Web, the console, mobile and beyond.' The first key responsibility listed in the job posting is to '[d]evelop a community strategy that leverages all parts of the LIVE Services team to deliver scenarios and engagement across three screens.'"
boyko.at.netqos writes "In an essay entitled 'An Epiphany I Had While Playing Pac-Man,' the author talks about how smart people need to find a certain amount of intellectual challenge from day to day. If they don't find it in their workplace, they'll end up playing complex, 'smart' games, like Civilization IV or Chess — and if they do find it in their workplace, they're more likely to sit down with a nice game of Pac-Man, Katamari Damacy, or Peggle. Quoting: 'When I look back on my life, and I compare the times in my life when I was playing simple games compared to the times in my life when I was playing complex ones, a pattern emerges. The more complexity and mental stimulation I was getting from other activities — usually my day job at the time — the less I needed mental stimulation in my free time. Conversely, in times when I was working boring jobs, I'd be playing games that required a lot of thinking and mental gymnastics.' The author then goes on to speculate that some IT workers might subconsciously be giving themselves more challenges by choosing to deal with difficult problems, rather than performing simple (but boring) preventative maintenance and proactive network management."
Phaethon360 writes "The film industry, the music industry and the gaming industry — three factions of entertainment in the grasp of a vicious and unbridled tyrant. The internet is a toddler with a handgun, and its whims shall be met — and with great abandon. It can be a source of great wealth or utter failure. But what's striking is the fact that no one seems to be taking the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth and prosperous transition. I'm talking, of course, about doing away with the middle man; the gaming magazine." Dan Amrich, former editor of OXM, recently argued the other side of this issue, saying that game-related print media doesn't get the respect it deserves for breaking stories earlier than online media, and for not just waiting "until the information came to them, in the form of a PR release and a video." A related piece at GameSetWatch suggests that the print media is doing a decent job of undercutting itself through unsustainably-low subscription fees.
Harry writes "Some bad decisions in game console design get made over and over. (How many early systems had nightmarish controllers?) Others are uniquely inexplicable. (Like the Game Boy Advance's lack of a headphone jack.) Some stem from companies being too clever for their own good. (Like the way the RCA Studio II and Atari 5200 drew their power through their RF switches.) Benj Edwards has rounded up a few classic examples, and has attempted to figure out what was going on in the designers' heads — and what we can learn from their mistakes."