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Eurogamer
'Doom maker John Romero has "plans" for old-school FPS' Screenshot doom2

Look, a young John Romero! And who's that next to him?


Has John Romero - the abundantly-haired creator of games Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein - given up on making an old-school FPS?


"Definitely not!" retorted John Romero on Twitter. "I have plans..."


But those do not include Daikatana 2. As Romero succinctly put it: "There will be no DK2!"


Romero's best known for co-founding id Software and designing Doom and Quake and Wolfenstein. Romero also co-founded Ion Storm, where he worked on delayed and underwhelming FPS Daikatana.


Today, John Romero has a new company - Loot Drop (formed 2010). Romero and team specialise in mobile and social games.

Eurogamer


Here's one for the history books. Jordan Mechner, the veteran game designer responsible for Prince of Persia, has dug up a fan letter he received nearly 30 years ago from a 17-year-old called John Romero - the very same guy who'd go on to create FPS touchstones Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake at id Software.


Dated 25th March 1985, the letter, published in full on Kotaku, sees Romero praising 21-year-old Broderbund employee Mechner for his work on one-on-one fighter Karateka.


"I was absolutely stunned by the graphics, shadows and all," he gushed.


"You did a tremendous job and have, I think, defined the state-of-the-art for future Apple games. The technology has been in the Apple all along to do those graphics, it just needed a programmer like you to use it."


Romero then admitted that he was a budding programmer himself, before asking Mechner to impart some of his wisdom.


"How did you make the scrolling background? Ever since Choplifter I have been stumped on what kind of data drawing algorithm would be used to draw a scrolling background like yours," he wrote.


"If you decide to write back I would be eternally grateful if you explained this to me."


Elsewhere in the letter, the young Romero invites Mechner to check out a few of his own games.


"Many people feel that it is better than Lode Runner," he wrote, referring to an early effort called The Pyramids of Egypt.


"Anyway, ask me for it and it is yours. I'm currently trying to sell it to anyone I can (Broderbund is first on my list). My next game is going to be totally awesome. I can't wait until I get an idea for my next game!"


He signs off "John Romero, Disciple of the Great Jordan, and worshiper of the Magnificent Mechner".


Five years later, Romero would meet John Carmack while working at Softdisk. The pair, along with Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall, left the company a year later to set up id Software. Its seminal FPS Wolfenstein 3D would follow in 1992.


Mechner has been fairly quiet in recent years - his last game credit was on Prince of Persia: Sands of Time back in 2003.


Next Wednesday Romero and Mechner will share a stage together at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, along with Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman, Minecraft man Markus 'Notch' Persson and Epic Games boss Tim Sweeney, for a talk titled "Back to the Garage: The Return of Indie Development".


See below for some vintage Karateka footage.

Kotaku





width="500" height="333" allowscriptaccess="always"
allowfullscreen="true">

Say the word "railgun" around a PC gamer and they'll instantly start telling you stories about the Quake series, and how it's such an awesome weapon in a make-believe future universe.



They're right on the former, but on the latter, not so much, because railguns are real, and the US Navy has one. Here it is undergoing testing.



The project, which is being overseen by the Office of Naval Research, has been running for a few years now (indeed, experimental railguns have existed as crude prototypes for decades), but this is the first time it's been filmed looking like an actual gun.



Railguns don't work like normal firearms or cannons; they use rails and electricity to propel projectiles at speeds vastly greater than those possible with conventional explosive technology (modern weapons still use the centuries-old principle of an explosion to propel rounds).



Which is why the Naval Officer in the video loads not a shell but just a simple piece of metal into the weapon.



It's amazing footage. Next stop, handheld versions.


Kotaku

Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now A lot has changed since the days when web developers relied almost exclusively on Flash for media-rich interactive content. Although the technology is still very much alive and may not see a replacement anytime soon for certain uses, more and more websites are implementing HTML5 for streaming audio and video, and we are also starting to see some applications in the gaming space.





HTML is a markup language for structuring and presenting content on the web. Its latest and still-in-development incarnation adds a variety of elements and attributes that make it easier to include and handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without having to resort to proprietary plugins.



Three elements and related APIs for media introduced by HTML5 are the <audio> element, which allows developers to add in-browser audio to a document or application, the <video> element for in-browser video without the messy <embed> and <object> tags, and the <canvas> element and API that provides a 2D drawing surface which can be used for everything from a simple animation to a complicated game.



Although there's still going to take some time until the HTML5 specification is final, it is already relatively stable and there are implementations that are close to completion. Recent versions of all major browsers support HTML5 to a large degree, and close to 80% of all videos on the web are encoded in H.264 according to the data from MeFeedia, which means they can be delivered within HTML5's <video> tag — although for business reasons (read: ads and copy protection) they aren't always delivered through HTML5 just yet.



As far as gaming is concerned, there are some really impressive examples that could easily rival some of the stuff that has been done on Flash over the past decade. We've compiled a small selection of old classics and modern titles built with HTML5 and other open web standards that will give you a taste of things to come.



Old classics ported to HTML5


Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn




The classic real time strategy game Command & Conquer was recreated entirely in HTML5, running on 69k of Javascript, by an enterprising developer named Aditya Ravi Shankar who wanted to improve his coding skills.



Shankar took three and a half weeks to put the first build together, combing through the original game's files in order to get the sprites, sounds and unit specs right. The project is far from complete and there is still some polishing up to do, but nonetheless it's a great example of HTML5's potential for games. The game works best in Chrome or Firefox and the source code is available on github.






Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



Wolfenstein 3D


This implementation of id Software's 1992 game, Wolfenstein 3D, was made using Javascript and the Canvas element. All of the first floor is mapped out, albeit with a few modifications, but it's more of a proof-of-concept than an actual playable game. There's no AI for the guards, for example, they just stand around and wait to be shot.



Other famous first-person shooters have also been ported to HTML, including Doom — which was taken down after a cease and desist notice from Id Software — and Quake II. The latter was actually ported by Google employees to show off what is possible with HTML5 in the browser. The game is playable with full HTML5 audio and WebGL rendering at up to 60 frames per second sans plug-ins. It's not hosted online, unfortunately, but installation instructions are available at its Google Code page. There's also a video of the game in action here.






Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



Google Pac-Man


Released as a homage on the 30th anniversary of the popular arcade game, Pac-Man, this was Google's first ever interactive, playable doodle and was so well received by users that the company decided to host it indefinitely instead of just for 48 hours as initially planned.



The game is based on HTML5 with a fall-back Flash option for browsers that don't support it yet. Much like the original Pac-Man, Google had programmed the game to glitch and end at the 256th screen, although it appears to have been cut down to a single level built around the Google logo. Still, a worthy example of HTML5 capabilities based on an icon of the 1980s popular culture.






Modern games built for HTML5



Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



Cut the Rope




Designed to help promote Internet Explorer 9 and the Beauty of the Web campaign, a desktop HTML5 version of the hugely popular Cut the Rope game was made available online for free out of a partnership between Microsoft and developer ZeptoLab. The game is playable on any compatible HTML 5 browser, not just IE.



For those unfamiliar, Cut the Rope features a green monster called Om Nom that you'll have to feed candy by cutting and manipulating ropes, airbags and bubbles.It's highly addictive and has been downloaded millions of times on mobile platforms. This port showcases HTML5 capabilities like canvas-rendered graphics, browser-based audio and video, CSS3 styling and WOFF fonts. Aspiring developers can check their Behind the Scenes page for inspiration.






Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



Pirates Love Daisies




Pirates Love Daisies is a tower defense game based off 'Plants vs Zombies' created by Grant Skinner's studio, which is better known for its work in Flash, and was funded by Microsoft also as part of their Beauty of the Web initiative.



This is one of the better accomplished HTML-CSS-and-JavaScript games to date, with a really polished interface, great sound effects, and a beautiful visual style. Basically, the game requires players to defend their daisies from different type of 'creeps' (octopus, crab, rat and seagull) using the most appropriate type of pirate, each of which has a different set of skills and weapons. As players accumulate gold from destroying their enemies, they can upgrade the pirates' skills or add more pirates. It's a very enjoyable game. Runs better on IE9.






Six Classic and Contemporary HTML 5 Games You Can Play Free Right Now



WordSquared




WordSquared is a massive multiplayer crossword game written in HTML5. It's essentially a clone of the famous puzzle game "Scrabble" on steroids, where you'll have to create as long a chain of words as possible, scoring lots of points in the process. Users simply use the mouse to drag and drop the letter tiles onto the board.



The original game was created in under 48 hours for the Node.js Knockout competition, which required contestants to create a game or application using HTML5 and the Open Web Platform in a very short period of time. It has since received several modifications, including the addition of achievements and in-game purchases. Dragging the map around you cannot help but be impressed by the size of the board and the word chains already completed.






This is just scratching the surface, there are tons of other great examples over at beautyoftheweb.com and the Chrome Web Store, including the insanely popular Angry Birds which we purposely skipped on this article because you've probably heard enough about the game already. While we won't argue that the browser is not the best platform for gaming, we're still impressed with the potential of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript as an alternative to Flash.



Have you discovered any awesome HTML5 games or apps? Any personal favorites? Share them with us in the comments.



Republished with permission from:









Jose Vilches is managing editor of TechSpot. TechSpot is a computer technology publication serving PC enthusiasts, gamers and IT pros since 1998.


Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% off RAGE!

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

Kotaku

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & MoreConcept artist Brian Hagan has worked for clients like MMO giant NCSoft, Microsoft, Lucasarts and id Software. Which means he's worked on properties like Star Wars and RAGE.



So let's take a look!



The Star Wars game is actually Star Wars Kinect, which looks stupid in motion, but in terms of art, Brian's done wonders with what little he had to work with. The RAGE stuff is pretty great too.



You can see more of his work at his personal site.



Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More

Brian Hagan's Art From Star Wars, RAGE & More


Feb 2, 2012
Product Update - Valve
RAGE 1.2 Patch Release Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------
This RAGE patch adds some new features and addresses various compatibility and performance issues.

New Functionality
------------------------
Texture Detail: Enabling Texture Detail will improve up-close texture quality by performing upsampling with adaptive sharpening. This does not update or increase the resolution of the base textures included with the game but improves the perceived resolution and crispness of textures. This is an intensive operation and is only recommended if you have a quad-core CPU or higher. Please disable this feature if you encounter poor performance, stability issues or are given a notification that the game has run out of memory after loading a map. The Texture Detail option can be found in the Settings -> Video Menu.

Transcode Benchmark: A new benchmark has been added that determines how quickly texture data can be translated from the compressed format on your hard drive to a format that can be used by your video card. The higher your score, the faster your PC is able to make higher detail texture data available. This is not a traditional benchmark that runs through a scene of the game and returns a min/max/average framerate based on hardware and video settings. Other than the GPU Transcode option, the score will not be affected by changing any video settings. The Transcode Benchmark option can be found in the Settings -> Video Menu.

Error Messaging: If you attempt to apply video settings on a system that is not capable of handling them, an error may come up stating that your system ran out of memory. You will be allowed to continue, however, it is recommended that you either reduce your video settings until this message no longer occurs or you will be asked to restart the game with lower video settings. If you ignore this error and continue playing without altering your settings you will likely encounter texture corruption and/or system instability.

Automatic Video Settings Fallbacks: When an advanced video setting fails to apply, the setting may be set back to a safe default. Anti-aliasing will fall back to NONE if the allocation of a multi-sampled FBO fails. Texture Cache will fall back to SMALL when the allocation of a large texture cache fails. Texture Detail will fall back to OFF when large page table allocations fail. On failure, these settings will automatically fall back to safe values without the need for user input.

Patch Changes / Fixes
-----------------------------
- Fixed crash from potentially having stale transcode jobs in flight when switching between texture cache sizes.
- Fixed crash from using SIMD optimized memcpy with a PBO pointer that is not 16-byte aligned.
- Fixed GPU transcode option always turning off when restarting the game.
- Fixed progression in Dead City where player could not advance through sliding door en route to the defibrillator upgrade.
- Fixed CPU feature detection.
- Fixed issues with launching MP by using double quotes around path name.
- Fixed lack of texture detail on parts of the screen at high resolutions due to limited feedback analysis buffer.
- Fixed thread stack space usage and freed up 700 MB of virtual address space.
- Re-enabled UBOs.
- Adjustments to default VDM values for balance.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to QuakeCon 2012 dates and location announced">QuakeCon



Do you have a penchant for all things related to 1996 computer game Quake and its numerous sequels and spin-offs? Do you own a computer that’s reasonably portable, and have an interest in LAN gaming? Are you free on 2-5 August 2012? Do you live in or around Dallas, Texas, or have the ability to get there for said dates? Do you want to get exclusive news and hands-on experiences with upcoming games from the likes of Bethesda and id? Do you enjoy being brainwashed by corporate sponsorship from 22 different companies? Do you? DO YOU?



If so, there is absolutely no event suitable for you occurring in the next year. Apart, maybe, from , which is taking place at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas on 2-5 August 2012. It’s free and run by volunteers, and in 2010 it attracted some 8,500 people. You might even rub shoulders some of the incredibly famous and good-looking people from PC Gamer there.
Kotaku

Arrested Megaupload Boss Threw Gaming Temper Tantrums?Kim Dotcom, the imprisoned mastermind behind busted file-sharing site Megaupload and, bizarrely, also the top-scoring killer on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn't always a showboating millionaire. He also ran a competitive video game league in the late-90s. And was by all accounts a rather sore loser.



How sore? Like, banning from his league everyone who beat him at a game of first-person shooter Quake 2. That kind of sore loser.



After our original report on Dotcom went up over the weekend, we heard from old-time Quake 2 players who had encountered the billionaire when he was known online as "Kimble". Using that handle, Dotcom - formerly Kim Schmitz - had become a relatively well-known personality among online PC gamers at the time, in part because he ran a Quake league called Liga.net.



In September 1998, PlanetQuake reported that Kimble, after losing a game against Immortal (at the time one of the world's top players), became so upset he banned his opponent from the league, accusing him of using bots, a form of automated cheating. There are then reports from gamers complaining about Immortal's banning were kicked to the curb right alongside him.



Those booted from Dotcom's Liga.net of course claimed it was Kimble himself that had been cheating, because the other thing he was well-known for, regardless of whether it was true or not, was being a high-profile and notorious users of bots.



Going into more detail was this commenter in the original Modern Warfare 3 story from the weekend:




Back in the days of Quake 2 and the Barrysworld free server network, Dotcom used to troll the Rocket Arena 2 duel arenas as 'www.kimble.org' with an aimbot on his 6ms T1 line, raging people to the point that the entire server would clear, rather than put up with him. Then one day he was faced down and beaten by a girl-gamer on a shitty BT ISDN line - one on one, rail only. He raged so hard that he then dc'ed, looked up the player's name up on Quake.net irc and DDoSed the b0rk.co.uk irc bouncer that she used offline. Having realised he'd accomplished nothing, he then proceeded to DDoS the entire Barrysworld server array for a week, out of petty vengeance for being made to look like a twat. He was a cheating shit now, so I'd very surprised if that #1 position is legit now, either. Take a browse through the PlanetQuake archives if you wanna see the other shit he pulled, like banning the people that beat him in the leagues he admined for liga.net. 100% twat material.




Then there's this gem from a forum thread where a bunch of old Quake 2 players are reminiscing:




I remember him. I played him once on barrysworld (Yeh I'm that old :<). Just about the most blatant cheater you'd ever play. .



I got so pissed off at one point that I focused all my attention and managed to kill him once. Which felt pretty good.



His actual nick was www.kimble.org. Which was some sort of huge ego website of him traveling around the world in luxury cars/jets etc squandering money he scammed of some idiots during the dot.com boom.



Needless to say he was arrested for fraud some time later.



Anyway, the moral of the story is that the personality in game isn't all that different outside the game.




While that "huge ego website" is long gone, if you're curious, it featured pictures like this.







A final note: with this stuff taking place over a decade ago, and Dotcom currently cooling in a cell, we can't get his side of the story.


Kotaku

Arrested Megaupload Boss Cheated His Way To Video Game Glory, Opponents SayKim Dotcom, the imprisoned mastermind behind busted file-sharing site Megaupload and, bizarrely, also the top-scoring killer on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn't always a showboating millionaire. He also ran a competitive video game league in the late-90s. And was by all accounts a rather sore loser.



How sore? Like, banning from his league everyone who beat him at a game of first-person shooter Quake 2. That kind of sore loser.



After our original report on Dotcom went up over the weekend, we heard from old-time Quake 2 players who had encountered the billionaire when he was known online as "Kimble". Using that handle, Dotcom - formerly Kim Schmitz - had become a relatively well-known personality among online PC gamers at the time, in part because he ran a Quake league called Liga.net.



In September 1998, PlanetQuake reported that Kimble, after losing a game against Immortal (at the time one of the world's top players), became so upset he banned his opponent from the league, accusing him of using bots, a form of automated cheating. There are then reports from gamers complaining about Immortal's banning were kicked to the curb right alongside him.



Those booted from Dotcom's Liga.net of course claimed it was Kimble himself that had been cheating, because the other thing he was well-known for, regardless of whether it was true or not, was being a high-profile and notorious users of bots.



Going into more detail was this commenter in the original Modern Warfare 3 story from the weekend:




Back in the days of Quake 2 and the Barrysworld free server network, Dotcom used to troll the Rocket Arena 2 duel arenas as 'www.kimble.org' with an aimbot on his 6ms T1 line, raging people to the point that the entire server would clear, rather than put up with him. Then one day he was faced down and beaten by a girl-gamer on a shitty BT ISDN line - one on one, rail only. He raged so hard that he then dc'ed, looked up the player's name up on Quake.net irc and DDoSed the b0rk.co.uk irc bouncer that she used offline. Having realised he'd accomplished nothing, he then proceeded to DDoS the entire Barrysworld server array for a week, out of petty vengeance for being made to look like a twat. He was a cheating shit now, so I'd very surprised if that #1 position is legit now, either. Take a browse through the PlanetQuake archives if you wanna see the other shit he pulled, like banning the people that beat him in the leagues he admined for liga.net. 100% twat material.




Then there's this gem from a forum thread where a bunch of old Quake 2 players are reminiscing:




I remember him. I played him once on barrysworld (Yeh I'm that old :<). Just about the most blatant cheater you'd ever play. .



I got so pissed off at one point that I focused all my attention and managed to kill him once. Which felt pretty good.



His actual nick was www.kimble.org. Which was some sort of huge ego website of him traveling around the world in luxury cars/jets etc squandering money he scammed of some idiots during the dot.com boom.



Needless to say he was arrested for fraud some time later.



Anyway, the moral of the story is that the personality in game isn't all that different outside the game.




While that "huge ego website" is long gone, if you're curious, it featured pictures like this.







A final note: with this stuff taking place over a decade ago, and Dotcom currently cooling in a cell, we can't get his side of the story. And we haven't heard of him cheating to get his world's best Modern Warfare 3 ranking, so he must have some skills.


...

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