Forza Motorsport 2 arrived…

… it seems that there people at the Nürburgring do have a problem with tree decimation… the over one year old Project Gotham Racing 3 Nürburgring had significantly more trees…

This is the Forza Motorsport 2 Nürburgring:


(Forza Motorsport 2)

… remember when I had the exact same location pictured before in Project Gotham Racing 3:


(Project Gotham Racing 3)

Beyond the Red Line: Battlestar Galactica game

There’s a free fan made Battlestar Galactica game available…

“Beyond the Red Line is a stand-alone total conversion for the award-winning Freespace 2 released by Volition and Interplay for the PC. It is based on the popular new tv-show Battlestar Galactica. No, not the one from the 70s.”

It’s free and available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

Source: http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/

in game advertising

Hmm… Once upon a time there was a guy with an idea. The idea simply breaks down to this:

“Sell full price games to people and get an extra revenue out of in-game advertising.”

So here we are: I just found pacific city in crackdown literally plastered with Dodge advertising. Once day it was Dell… if you’re playing in the UK you’ll probably get army ads… how sick is that.

The first game that got this kind of in-game advertising was Testdrive Unlimited. The advertising was only available in the US of A and when you bought the game there it wasn’t full-price but $20 less than a full price title – because of that in-game ads. As an european player you didn’t see any ads and you had to pay the full price.

To be clear: I don’t think in-game advertising sucks. I just think that if you’re gaining revenue from in-game advertising you should share it with the players who actually bought the game. (e.g. lower the game price).

In the case of crackdown there’s no lower price. And that sucks.

you are a X-COM Enemy Unknown Defense fan?! read this.

SMKSoftware has something free to play with:

“The Pocket UFO is a remake of the popular game of the last century X-COM Enemy Unknown (UFO Defense) for the Pocket PC devices. The game is a turn-based strategy with the RPG elements. The excellent graphics and exciting gameplay are attracting the gamers all over the world till present. This game is absolutely FREEWARE!”

Source: SMKSoftware

Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe

You are a fan of SIM* games? You want something light to take on your travels and play from time to time? I got good news for you: Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe is available in it’s final version 0.5.

It’s running on Windows, Linux and MacOS and you will need the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe files because OpenTTD just reuses the graphics of the old version.

But when you got all that you get a very very great game that doesn’t need much resources and is insane fun.

Source: http://www.openttd.org/index.php

GTA 1 + GTA 2 + Wild Metal downloadable for free

“In 1999, Rockstar Games and Rockstar North (then known as DMA Design) furthered the groundbreaking gameplay concepts established just two years prior in the original Grand Theft Auto – with the release of GTA2. GTA2 expanded on the top-down, open-ended crime world gameplay formula with a host of new features including the advent of multiple rival gangs – seven, to be exact, including the Yakuza, Scientists, Looneys, Rednecks, Zaibatsu, the Russian Mob and Hare Krishnas. Earn your respect with each gang. Reap the benefits with all manner of shady work-for-hire gigs contracted your way. And climb your way to the top of the criminal pile.

Now, longtime Grand Theft Auto fans can revisit this classic entry in the series – and new jacks who missed out on this early franchise title can further discover Grand Theft Auto’s roots – absolutely free. GTA2 has been completely optimized for play on modern PCs and is available gratis for all registrants to the Rockstar Games mailing list (rest assured your information will not be shared with any third parties, you will only receive information from Rockstar). Simply fill out the form below and check your email for a direct link to the file (353 MB .zip file, includes install .exe, readme .txt file, and a .pdf of the original PC game manual).”

Source: http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/

Atari code posters…

“Like any other game console, Atari 2600 cartridges contained executable code also commingled with data. This lists the code as columns of assembly language. Most of it is math or conditional statements (if x is true, go to y), so each time there’s “go to” a curve is drawn from that point to its destination.

When a byte of data (as opposed to code) is found in the cartridge, it is shown as an orange row: a solid block for a “1” or a dot for a “0”. The row is eight elements long, representing a whole byte. This usually means that the images can be seen in their entirety when a series of bytes are shown as rows. The images were often stored upside-down as a programming method.”

And it looks like this:

Source: http://benfry.com/distellamap/

getting "Crackdown" early…

I just realised that I got my copy of Crackdown more than 5 days earlier than I was supposed to be. Crackdown is available in stores starting Feb. 20. Oh and it’s a great great game. GTA is nothing compared to this one…

Those who are also getting crackdown may want to consider visiting http://crackdown.wikispaces.com/. You can find some great maps there that come in handy when you’re on the orb hunt.

And for those who want to try co-op: add me to your friendslist (gamertag is “bietiekay”) and we’ll do a co-op mission or two.

Super Mario deconstructed

“This is a deconstructed Nintendo emulator that shows how sprites and sprite memory are handled while a game is being played. The intent is to show insight for how software and hardware work, given the relatively simple example of a minimal architecture from an old game console system.”

Source: http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/fry/deconstructulator/

Super Mario on XNA and maybe 360

Yeah baby!! If I’ll ever do a game on the 360, it’ll most probably a 2D jump-n-run. Because that is one of the genres I enjoyed the most.

Christian Liensberger started something which looks nice (and copyrighted) in the first place, and brings back all that love for jump-n-runs in the second place…

“You can control Mario by plugging in an Xbox 360 controller. Use the left stick to move around and A to jump and B to run faster. The keyboard is also supported (added for your guys). Use left, right, down to move around and X to jump and Y to run faster.”

Source: XNA Express + Super Mario is fun! (now with source code)

it’s my 360s birthday and I bought her a present…

It’s exactly one year since the XBOX 360 launched and I got mine from amazon. And since it’s birthday-party time, I bought another accessory:

8 kilograms of pure joy and racing fun. It’s the “XBOX 360 Wireless Racing Wheel”.

I just had time to drive for about 15 minutes with the wheel and all I can say is: PERFECT!. It’s one of the best wheels I’ve ever used and the force feedback is the best I ever had on a console and on PC. Currently only Project Gotham Racing 3 (comes with the wheel) and the upcoming Forza 2 support the wheel (…and one or two other games that don’t count), but well: Forza 2 and GTR (should also support the wheel, not announced yet) will be my favourite games in 2007…

If you’re playing racing games on the 360, I encourage you to get one of those wheels!!

Source: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/x/xbox360wirelessracingwheel/

Old School Gamer

Wer erinnert sich nicht an die Zeiten, als man die Zukunft der Videospielerei im sog. “Interaktiven Film” sah. Vorrangig die ehemalige Vorzeigeschmiede Origin war bekannt für ausschweifende Filme zum Spielen…äh…Spiele mit Filme.

Was aber tun, wenn man die Filme mal wieder sehen möchte?

Nun, man kann natürlich alles durchspielen; das kostet jedoch eine Menge Zeit, geschweige denn die schwierige Installation einiger unter DOS laufender Spiele.

Die andere Möglichkeit wäre, die Filmsequenzen direkt von der CD auszulesen und in einem Player abzuspielen.

Tatsächlich gibt es so ein Tool: Wing Commander Movie Player

Heute kaum noch vorstellbar, welcher Aufwand und welche Namen als Darsteller für die Spiele aufgebracht wurden:

Aus Wing Commander 3:

Mark Hamill – “Star Wars”

Tom Wilson – “Zurück in die Zukunft”

Josh Lucas – “Stealth”

Malcom McDowell – “Clockwork Orange”

John Rhys-Davies – “Indiana Jones”

Dazu aus Wing Commander 4:

Mark Dacascos – “Crying Freeman”

Privateer 2:

John Hurt – “Alien”

Clive Owen – “Sin City”

Jürgen Prochnow – “Das Boot”

Christopher Walken – “Die durch die Hölle gehen”

Dieses “Interaktiver Spielfilm”-Konzept hat sich bekanntermaßen nicht durchgesetzt, vermutlich aus Kostengründen. Aber trotzdem immer wieder nett anzusehen.

Play PACMAN with Excel…

“This software works on Excel 97 and 2000. I was absorbed in video game named *pacman* when I was a schoolchild. I would like to reproduce that on Excel. I’ve held the thought from two years before,
and finally…It’s realized.

All actions are expressed by rewriting of a cell background color. Each one of cells as a dot, and move it by make cell’s background color high-speed rewriting. Although I did not think it’s possiblele, but now it’s possiblele by the favor of the improvement in a performance of a personal computer. The window zoom is 10%, so the each cell can not be seen. But it is A CELL.”

Oh…of course Space Invaders is available too…

Source: http://www.geocities.jp/nchikada/pac/

Xbox live connection ?

“Most broadband routers use Network Address Translation (NAT). Windows Internet Connection Sharing also uses NAT.

For most devices that use NAT, port forwarding is not required to connect to Xbox Live. This is especially true if you use an Xbox Live certified device. Port forwarding should only be needed if you use a proxy server or a true firewall device instead of, or in addition to a NAT. Sometimes, you may have to configure port settings on a non Xbox Live certified router or gateway.
If there is a firewall device between the Xbox console and the network device, you may have to configure the firewall to enable communication on specific network ports. If the NAT status in the Network Status area of the Dashboard is “moderate” or “strict,” you may have to configure port settings.”

The following ports must be available for Xbox Live to operate correctly:

  • UDP 88
  • UDP 3074
  • TCP 3074

Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/908874/en-us

Infinity evolves…

“Infinity is a massively multiplayer online game set in a futuristic persistent universe. Players can discover a huge galaxy with billions of planets and can explore, combat, trade, socialize.. the possibilities are endless!”

Infinity is an open-ended game in which you control a spaceship throughought the entire galaxy, trying to make a name for yourself. You connect to an online server on which thousands of people are playing, 24/7. The game does not stop when you log off, but continues to evolve: it is a persistent universe. The game mechanics do not emphasize any particular gameplay style. Combat, trade, exploration, social relationships.. you are free to choose your own carrier path and goals. The only limit is your own imagination!


Infinity is not a traditional role playing game. Although all players are expected to act in concordance with their avatar’s motivations, there are no classes or skills to restrict your choices. Combat between spaceships is in true real-time, and the outcome is determined by your own intelligence and reflexes. Forget turn-based action and experience the great excitement of a first person experience!”

If you want start playing right now? Well… it’s current development status:

  • Generic 3D engine: ~75% (kernel, textures, scene graph, mesh/objects, shaders, etc..)
  • Planet/Space 3D engine: ~60% (terrain, planet textures, starfield, nebulaes, water, clouds, vegetation, etc..)
  • Astrophysics: ~55% (galaxy generation, system gen, planets heightfields, orbits, parameters, etc..)
  • Newtonian physics: ~35% (spaceships physics, collision detection, flight navigation)
  • Sound engine: ~60% (3D sounds and musics)
  • Networking: ~30% (TCP/UDP, network protocol, login/out, databases, etc..)
  • User interface: ~10% (user input, widgets, windows)
  • Gameplay: ~5% (actual game logic)
  • Content: ~15% (spaceships/stations/cities 3D models and textures, misc. 2D art, sounds & musics)

So think again: If you’re a developer…well get in touch with them!

Source: http://www.fl-tw.com/Infinity/index.php

XNA (beta) available!!!

“What is not in this Beta (but coming soon)

While we’re very proud of this Beta milestone, it does not represent all of the great features we are enabling in XNA Game Studio Express which will be available in final release form by this holiday. Some of the key feature areas that were not able to make it into this beta include:

  • The XNA Framework Content Pipeline feature is not present in this release of XNA Game Studio Express (Beta). It will be made available in a future beta release of XNA Game Studio Express
  • Support for retail Xbox 360 game development. This feature will be made available upon final release of XNA Game Studio Express later this holiday
  • Additional starter kits and tutorials will be made available upon final release of XNA Game Studio Express”

Source: XNA Game Studio Express (Beta) Readme Page

freeware photorealistic pinball simulator/editor/…

Pinball fans rejoice! I just found a obviously longer available pinball simulator with integrated editor. Yes, you can create your own pinball tables. There are plenty of them freely available on the internet so you don’t have to create your own – instead just start a nice pinball game… The graphics are fantastic and so is the sound… That’s probably the best pinball I’ve ever played on a pc… Oh, did I mention that this is available for free?

“Future Pinball is a real time Pinball Development System. It allows you to design and play your very own pinball simulation in True real time 3D. It uses Advanced Physics to provide the best possible Simulation of a true to life pinball machine. Tables are built up out of Standard components (Plastics, Pegs, Bumpers, Lights etc..) which are placed onto the playfield via the Editor. Objects like Surfaces, Lights and Rubbers are shapeable within the Editor and generated real-time when the table is played. Other objects (Bumpers, Flippers, Gates, Triggers, Targets etc..) use pre-made 3d Models (of which there is a nice selection of each type).

The Table logic is scripted in Visual Basic Scripting (via the Microsoft Scripting Technology’s built into Windows XP). Scripting is designed to be simple but flexible enough to allow a wide vararity of Original Games to be created. Only a limited subset of the Visual Basic Scripting Language is used as a lot of extra functionality is provided by the game engine. Full Sound / Music Support is also provided with multiple Music Channels to allow cross fading. Future Pinball uses the Newton Game Dynamic Physics Solution (link) for the real time simulation of a Pinball’s Physics Environment. This allows the ball to behave correctly on the playfield and interact with other objects as it does in the real world. Newton has allowed Future Pinball to take the next step into truly realistic play. As Future Pinball is a Game Construction Program it contains some advanced concepts which may require a little bit of time (and patience) to learn and fully understand (such as computer graphics and scripting concepts).”

And here are two screenshots of one of the downloadable pinball tables:

Source: http://www.futurepinball.com/

develop your own games for the XBOX 360

Even more great news from Microsoft:

“XNA Game Studio Express is a new offering, targeted at students and hobbyists for game development. XNA Game Studio is based on Visual C# Express 2005 and lets developers target both Windows and Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio Express contains the following:

  • The XNA Framework, a set of managed code development libraries which will allow game developers to be more productive when creating games for Windows and the Xbox 360.
  • The XNA Framework Content Pipeline which is a set of tools that allow developers to more easily incorporate 3D content into their games.
  • XNA Game Studio Express also contains a full set of documentation, how-to’s and starter-kits that demonstrate how best to utilize the content pipeline and XNA Framework. “

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/faq/