Gaming Steve

PC Archives - Page 5

May 12, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 53 - 05.12.2006

E3 Expo 2006 Day 3Today I have the craziest show I have ever done. Not only do I recap this year's E3 but I have a whopping six interviews from the show floor ... AKA "The Super Interview Spectacular Show". Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 53 Program

  • E3 2006 Day 3 Recap
    • 00:00:49 Detailed hands-on preview of the Wii, its games, and a detailed report of too many games to list from the show floor.
    • 00:33:41 Super quick interview with Will Wright about Spore.
    • 00:34:33 Interview with Tim Train, VP of Operations and Development of Big Huge Games about the newly released Rise of Legends for the PC.
    • 00:53:34 Interview with Paul Sage, Lead Designer of Tabula Rasa from NCSoft.
    • 01:02:12 Interview with Mark Tucker, Lead Designer of Dungeon Runners from NCSoft.
    • 01:09:54 Interview with Michael Khaimzon, Lead Designer of Crysis from Crytek.
    • 01:16:25 Interview with Kevin Unangst, Director of Global Marketing for Games for Windows from Microsoft.
    • 01:30:06 Final wrap-up of the E3 2006.
Download the show (96 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 53 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:45 PM | Posted to Interview | MMORPG | PC | Podcast | Wii |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

May 11, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 52 - 05.11.2006

E3 Expo 2006 Day 2It's only day two of E3 and today I have a dynamite show! Not only do I co-host the show with World of Warcraft Senior Level Designer John Staats, not only do give you a blow-by-blow description of my Spore experience (along with a dozen other games), but I managed to score an interview with Shane Kim, GM of Microsoft Game Studios. All of this and it's only day two of E3. This is one for the record books. Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 52 Program

  • E3 2006 Day 2 Recap
    • What's it like to build a creature in Spore? And is Will Wright actually giving the Spore demostration?
    • John and I give our impressions of Viva Pinata, Crackdown, Gears of War, Two Human, and Mass Effect for the Xbox 360.
    • Next John and I switch gears and give our impressions of God of War 2, Heavenly Sword, Resistance Fall of Man, and the overall Sony presence.
    • John and I next visit Bethesda and check out Star Trek Legacy, Star Trek: Tactical Assalt, and Pirates of the Caribbean Legend of Jack Sparrow.
    • Back to Windows Vista and how Windows is going to enhance PC gaming.
    • Finally I sit down and chat with Shane Kim and I wrap up the day's coverage (starts at 1:13:18).
Download the show (93 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 52 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:45 PM | Posted to Interview | PC | PlayStation 3 | Podcast | Spore | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

March 14, 2006

Starcraft: The Board Game Zergging This October

starcraft_bg.jpgFantasy Flight Games is no stranger to creating board games out of video games with their hugely popular World of Warcraft and Doom board games. While it's not quite the Starcraft 2 it's probably the next best thing as Fantasy Flight has announced Starcraft: The Board Game.

Following the success and popularity of the Warcraft and World of Warcraft board games, we are very pleased to announce the release of an epic board game based on Blizzard Entertainment’s classic Starcraft computer game. This will be one of our big box games, in the tradition of Twilight Imperium, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and World of Warcraft: the Board Game. It features a large central game board depicting the Starcraft galaxy, as well as nine separate smaller boards that each represent a specific planet in the Starcraft universe. Players will control the familiar Terran, Protoss, or Zerg space and ground units in a bid for domination of these nine worlds. The combat system is fast and diceless, featuring an innovative mechanic that utilizes transparent plastic game cards. The game will feature dozens of beautifully sculpted plastic figures, dozens of cards, lots of high-quality cardboard tokens and markers, a large game board and several mini-boards, and all of the other great components that pack our epic-size games. Starcraft: The Board Game is scheduled for release in October.
In addition, Fantasy Flight has announced two expansions to the World of Warcraft: The Board Game. The first, "Shattered Kingdom", is due in July and features hundreds of new cards, both expanding the original game and introducing a few new concepts. A new item deck rewards characters with exciting trinkets and artifacts. A new quest deck puts a bounty on independent creatures, rewarding characters who defeat them. Each class deck also receives 10 new powers and 10 new talents, further developing each character's arsenal of unique abilities and customizability. Each Overlord also receives special cards that are shuffled into the event deck, and these cards make them even more dangerous throughout the game.

While in November, World of Warcraft: The Board Game gets its first full-sized expansion, with new Overlords, new characters, events, and quests -- including dungeon quests which characters must battle through several cards to complete.

Considering that the WOW board game retails for $79.95 you better start saving your money now for the new Starcraft board game!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 8:30 AM | Posted to PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

February 22, 2006

The Best Board Game Turned PC Game ... Ever

Ticket to RideAlthough I love computer games (obviously) a little secret of mine is that I might actually enjoy playing board games even more than video games. I have been an avid board gamer since my youth and with the explosion of German-style board gaming over the past decade I have been in board game nirvana. Rarely will a month go by without a new quality board game released in the States (definately check out BoardGameGeek to find out about these games).

And of all the games I have played over the years one of my absolute favorites is Ticket to Ride from American publisher Days of Wonder. Since its release this game has been a worldwide success and even won the Spiel Des Jahres Game of the Year in 2004 (which is like winning the Academy Award of Gaming). All it takes is one session with this game and you'll see why it's so popular. Real quick overview: Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America or Europe. The longer the train routes, the more points the players earn.

The challenge lies in that there are a limited number of routes. So let’s say that you're trying to build a route from New York to San Francisco, and someone else builds right in the middle of your train line. Now you’ll have to build halfway around the country in order to complete your route. Of course, you can do the same to your opponents.

Believe it or not, but my description is actually more complex than the actual game … it's just that simple to play. It's one of those games which is easy to learn, plays quickly, fun for all ages, but yet has surprising deep strategy. I have yet to find a man, woman, or child who doesn't love playing this game.

So when I heard that Days of Wonder was creating a computer version of this game I giddy with excitement. Just released, the computer version plays on both PC and Mac, allows for online play, features stunning beautiful graphics, and is horribly addictive. In fact, I might even say that the computer version plays better than the board game version! Since games often take only 20-40 minutes to complete rarely will you be content just playing a single game. You have heard of the Civilization "just one more turn" phenomenon. Ticket to Ride has heralded in the "just one more game" phenomenon.

I won't even bother going over the fantastic online community, the ability to play solo games, and the exclusive Swiss map included with the game. All I have to say is go get this game, now. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 2:30 PM | Posted to PC | Review |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

February 20, 2006

Gaming Steve Episode 39 - 02.20.2006

The Elder Scrolls IV: OblivionToday I got a change to sit down with Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing at Bethesda Softworks and makers of the highly anticipated The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Pete and I talk for well over an hour and cover a huge number of topics ranging from the basic to the hardcore questions that the fans wanted me to ask.

Find out how the Oblivion Xbox 360 achievements and downloadable content will work, Pete reveals a secret in-game "easter egg", new details on the Radiant AI system, as well as what's next for the Elder Scrolls series. We even manage to sneak in a few questions on Fallout 3, the new Star Trek license, as well as much more. Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 39 Program

  • 00:01:57 Interview with Pete Hines from Bethesda, makers of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • 01:20:15 My thoughts on the game itself and a small tidbit from next week's detailed on-hands preview of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Download the show (85 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 39 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:30 PM | Posted to Interview | PC | Podcast | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

February 3, 2006

Rumor: Diablo III On the Way? You Better Believe It!

Diablo Foxtrot Style!

It looks like the Diablo III rumor mill has started up once again with a seemingly innocent post on the jobs section of the Blizzard web site. A few days ago they posted a job for an art director and various leads to join "the team behind Diablo I and II" for "an unannounced PC project." I have been getting some inquires since then if Blizzard is indeed working on Diablo III and when is it going to come out?

Well, before I answer let me mention a few things. First, I don't want to get any of my friends at Blizzard in trouble, so from instead of mentioning "Diablo III" let's call this theoretical game "Beelzebub 3" and instead of "Blizzard" let's call them "Snowstorm". Second, my information is quality stuff, but it is a little old, so take that with a gain of salt. Third, err, well, there is no third, so let's get into what I know!

Let's the obvious out of way, "Snowstorm" is indeed working on "Beelzebub 3". Not only are they working on it, but they have been working on this game for no less than the past four years. In fact, "Snowstorm North" nearly completed the game several years ago, but what they developed just "wasn't fun" and been quietly reworked. This was actually one of the key reasons why Snowstorm North was closed and everyone was relocated to Irvine-based Snowstorm, so that the bigwigs in Irvine could better track and follow the development of Beelzebub 3.

As for what to expect in to see in Beelzebub 3, believe it or not but those rumors that were floating around a few months ago about the game were fairly accurate (by the way, I have no idea who started these rumors or where they came from). According to the rumors:

"Diablo 3 takes place in heaven. Hell is trying to take it over and it is AWESOME looking … Imagine the brightness of heaven being taken over by the darkness of hell … Imagine WoW but in a Diablo world in amount of size and playability … Also, guild housing is available in this game for those of you who know about it."
This information was pretty dead-on. It is true that Beelzebub 3 will be done in true 3D and it did indeed look freaking awesome. It is also true that Beelzebub 3 features a story between the conflicts of Heaven and Hell and contains a very cool feature where every single item in the game can change between a "light" version and a "dark" version. However this was also one of the problems with the original version of the game. Other than the ability for any item to visually change from light to dark it didn't affect the actual stats of the item or change the gameplay in any way. So the game has gone through a total rework to inject some "fun" into the gameplay and to make it feel like the Beelzebubs of old.

The core gameplay Beelzebub 3 will play pretty much like Beelzebub 1 and 2, but the game world will be much larger and provide a much deeper experience -- many more items, more levels when you go through the game for first time, more skills, more of everything. In addition, the multiplayer aspect will be greatly enhanced from the past installments and don't be surprised to see more than a couple of WoW-based concepts to leak over into the Beelzebub 3 universe ... such as two opposing factions (Alliance and Horde = Heaven and Hell), enhanced guild functionality, and maybe even mounts?!

As for when Beelzebub 3 will released, that one is easy to answer ... when it's done. Snowstorm is in no rush to finish this game and will release it only after they feel it's perfect. And after the fiasco of StarCraft: Ghost -- which has been announced for years and is currently going through its second round of redesign and reprogramming -- Snowstorm is in no rush to announce Beelzebub 3. Don't except an announcement until the game is near completion.

But there is some good news; that "leak" on the Snowstorm jobs page was no accident. If they are starting to leak information about Beelzebub 3 then they are starting to get closer to a final release. Of course for Snowstorm something "getting close" can mean two years from now.

Hopefully that will hold everyone over for the short term. Hopefully Beelzebub 3 will be announced at the next E3, I'll try to find out more before then and give everyone the dirt as I get it.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 4:00 PM | Comments (984) | Posted to PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

January 2, 2006

Farewell Asheron's Call 2: November 2002 - December 2005

Farewell Asheron's Call 2On December 30th the gaming world lost one of their own. Quietly, peacefully Asheron's Call 2 simply ceased to be....

Empyrean magic has once again fled this world. The battle for Dereth continues on a different plane now. As his final act in this realm, Asheron sealed every portal to contain the expanding horde and protect what is left of the races who called Dereth home.

As of December 30, 2005 the AC2 service is no longer available. Turbine and the AC2 development team would like to express our thanks to the many players who've been part of Asheron's Call 2 over the years. We hope you've had as much fun playing the game as we did creating it for you.

It's never easy to say goodbye to a place you've called home, but we hope to see all of you in Turbine's other worlds.

Many of you probably never played Asheron's Call 2, or even gave this game a second glance, but I'm sure you have heard of this game and its passing has to make one stop and think of the eventual fate of all MMOs. Eventually, perhaps in three years, perhaps in thirty, they will all come to an end. EverQuest, Ultima Online, even World of Warcraft will one day go quietly into that good night.

Asheron's Call 2 ... we might not have known you well but you will be remembered and missed.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 10:30 AM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

January 1, 2006

Will Wright Discussing Gaming as a Form of Time Travel

Will Wright Discussing Gaming As A Form of Time TravelHappy New Year everyone! And what better way to start off the new year than by watching a presentation by Will Wright? Will recently spoke at the When 2.0 workshop at Stanford University and talked about the role of time in game play. CNET just posted a short video of his speech for all to view and even though its only four minutes long it is quite interesting.

For those who have never heard a lecture by Will Wright before, it is a truly memorable experience. Listening to him talk for just a few minutes and you quickly realize that Will is really on a whole other level when it comes to designing games.

Also make sure to view his presentation from last year's Game Developers Conference where he unveiled to the world his next game creation, Spore (which we at Gaming Steve are following quite closely).

Posted by Gaming Steve at 2:00 PM | Posted to PC | Random |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

December 28, 2005

Computer Gaming Magazine Confirms Draenei as New Alliance Race?

Draenei thew new Alliance race?According to Computer Games Magazine February 2006 Issue the Draenei have been confirmed as the new Alliance race. There are some scans of the magazine (here and here) but they are a bit hard to read. For those without 20/10 vision here is the text from the article:

World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

Developer/Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date Summer

WHY?
*You've hit that wall known as Level 60, at least once if not multiple times, as WoW has been voted "Easiest MMO to Cap Out Ever"; Blizzard's new level cap of 70 will at least give you something higher to shoot for.

*They're not just upgrading spells and skills (like Conjure Water rank 32, or Kidney Shot rank 19); they're adding brand-new ones, as well as additional tiers in the talent trees.

*The socketed item phenomenon that was sort of "coined" by Diablo will be implemented and Jewelcrafting added to the tradesperson skill set.

*Alliance players will enjoy playing as Draenei, and the new Blood Elf race gives the Horde faction its first exercise in what humans perceive as sex appeal (even though those Troll females are pretty cute).

*If you're bored with the same old continents and dungeons -- which you probably are -- Burning Crusade adds the planet of Outland, formerly Draenor, around which Level 70 characters can fly on Nether Dragon mounts.

WHY NOT?
*You can't fight on your Nether Dragon, nor use it outside of Outland, and it's slower than the current flying contingent of Griffons and Bats.

*They're not planning to add new classes at this juncture, nor will the "hero class" be ready to launch.

*Those of you who've spent the last several hundred game hours getting those epic armor sets and Arathi stuff might be disappointed that they won't be the end-all and be-all anymore.

*And will the current zones all of a sudden become deserted when people flock to the new areas? (Have you been to the n00b zones in EverQuest in the past thousand years? The NPCs are there, but they're awfully lonely.)

Of course I have saying for quite some time that the Draenei are most likely the new Alliance race, so this adds just one more log to the rumor fire. Thanks to Fozzle for this information.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 5:30 PM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

December 27, 2005

Gaming Steve Episode 32 - 12.27.2005

Rise of Legends Alim CityIn the last Gaming Steve of 2005 I sit down with the Vice President of Big Huge Games, Tim Train (Civilization, Master of Orion, Alpha Centauri). Big Huge Games made the excellent Rise of Nations and is hard at work on the upcoming RTS Rise of Legends.

In the interview we cover the game's unique setting, issues we both had with Alpha Centauri, how the RTS genre is evolving, playing Magic: The Gathering, how to balance a complex RTS, the very cool Rise of Legends single-player campaign, the why the director's cut of the movie Aliens really stinks. Oh yeah, and I also go over my best games of 2005. Enjoy!

Gaming Steve Episode 32 Program

  • 00:03:14 GameTalk: Interview with Tim Train from Big Huge Games, the makers of the upcoming Rise of Legends.
  • 01:13:41 Special Feature: The best games of 2005.
  • 01:51:08 Final Thoughts on what 2006 will bring us and farewell until then!
Download the show (113 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 32 (MP3).

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Posted by Gaming Steve at 5:00 PM | Posted to Interview | PC | Podcast |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!