World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2010/09/30

NAG Magazine October 2010 Issue Out Today

It’s the last week of September, and right on the last day of the month - which is today – the new NAG will be out. It’s the October issue, and Halo: Reach, mercifully the last game in the series, has the cover.
Looking at the cover and reading through the contents page available on the site, my eyes caught the following interesting stuff:

The Looking Back section covers Duke Nukem 3D this month – very appropriate considering that the game’s long awaited sequel, Duke Nukem Forever, has come back out from under its rock and in to the public eye again. Even DNF has a feature in the mag. Of course when you read the comments over at the forum concerning the title, you’ll see that practically nobody wants to see it wasting any space in the magazine at all. Me? Bring it on!

Then there’s some major Call of Duty: Black Ops stuff, plus previews on Crysis 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the latest in the Mortal Kombat series… called Mortal Kombat.
Reviews include Mafia II, Kane& Lynch 2: Dog Days (from what I’ve read it was also crap), and that latest Lara Croft title: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Worms: Reloaded also managed to squirm its way in there in the reviews section somewhere.

As far as stuff on the DVD, I’m glad to see that the demo of Amnesia: The Dark Descent is on there. I recommended that over on the DVD suggestions thread, you know. The game is the latest from the people who brought you the Penumbra trilogy, so it should be properly scary. There’s also a demo of Metro 2033. I’ve played the full version, and you should at least play it once.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the Thief II remastered soundtrack on there, because I really wanted that. I’m downloading it anyway, so that doesn't matter too much.

BTW, you know I thought I’d mention that the editor of NAG magazine, Michael James, was on The Verge the other night, talking about the magazine and rAge - which is coming up next month. This issue of NAG is the rAge issue apparently.

Sources:
http://www.nag.co.za/2010/09/nag-october-2010-issue/ [NAG Online]
http://www.nag.co.za/forums/showthread.php?t=15249 [NAG Online Forums]
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2010/09/28

Duke Nukem 3D Remake Using Unreal Engine 3 In Early Stages

There’s an interesting mod that I read about on Bluesnews the other day. Someone over at the new Gearbox Duke Nukem forums (which are now the official ones instead of over at 3D Realms), has undertaken a project to create an unofficial remake Duke Nukem 3D, using Unreal Engine 3 technology – the engine of choice nowadays for most mods.

It’s been said that it basically uses the same core features as seen in Duke Nukem Forever.

There are several screenshots up showing off the work done so far by one guy. And apparently he’s all ready contacted the likes of Scott Miller of 3D Realms to secure permission to carry on with the project. Scott says he would like to see the work done so far and so would George Broussard.

DukeNext1

                    A screenshot of early work on the project, with comparison.

The man behind this project, known as Fresch, previously worked on a Daikatana remake, which was abandoned due to lack of interest, despite some fanfare from none other than John Romero. Then a SiN remake, which was cancelled after a Cease and Desist was issued – not to the guy working on it directly, but to the ModDB people, who subsequently deleted the mod’s pages.

There are of course worries over whether the mod will allowed to carry on in development. Seeing as Scott says he’s interested and hasn’t outright denied permission, that’s a start. Upon contacting Gearbox reps, they said that even though they have the rights to the Duke Nukem IP (acquired from 3DR last year), and are working on Duke Nukem Forever, and possibly Duke Begins, they do not have any say based on earlier Duke Nukem titles - such as DN3D, DN 2, and the original Duke Nukem.

But in an update, Scott did get back to Fresch, and said that it would have to go through Take-Two, the former publisher of DNF. That’s the publisher that caused 3DR all the legal woes in the past. This has aroused some debate seeing as 2K now owns the publishing rights to DNF, and had nothing to do with Duke Nukem 3D. But if it is true, then hopes of getting a green light for a remake of “Red Light District” are slim.

Still, like most of the pessimistic posters on the forums say: these projects are very rarely followed through until completion, and there’s not much one guy can do, although the maker claims he will assemble a team if given the go ahead from 3DR or whoever has the final say.

The screens do look amazing though. And if you thought that the Polymer renderer for EDuke32 and the HRP looked shiny, then you’ll have to wear sunglasses, just like the Dukester, when taking a look at these.

Sources:

http://www.bluesnews.com/s/114567/duke-3d-mod
http://gbxforums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=111335


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2010/09/27

AAA - Now Playing: Dark Forces

Dark Forces I think it was earlier this year when I decided I wanted to go ahead and get Star Wars: Dark Forces working.

So I got the game out of my collection and tried to run it with DosBox, but failed. So it laid there dormant for several months. I was kind of bummed that I couldn’t get it to work.

Then the other day I downloaded DarkXL – a source port for Dark Forces. With a bit of tinkering around, I was able to get it running. It was only the demo level though, and I was a little disappointed at this, seeing as I have the full version of the game. You see, the DarkXL source port is only in its Alpha stages of development, and it has been for years now.

screenshot1080screenshot1084

So I went online and found out that there was in fact a later version of the program. I downloaded that ASAP and tried it again. The result was much better. The UI was vastly improved and I was able to at least play three levels this time before getting stuck.

Needless to say, much more work has to be done on the source port. But I eagerly anticipate the next build which should be out hopefully in the next few months. There’s been a pickup in activity as regards the project recently.

Still, it’s amazing that I’ve even been able run it, seeing as it’s been probably about 14 years or so since I’ve seen let alone played this classic. I usually have a habit of taking out a game every few years and playing it. So this one marks the longest amount of time that has elapsed since I last played it.

And this game was released in 1995, meaning it’s fifteen years old. But I’m still quite amazed at its technological advancements for that time.


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