Saturday, April 22, 2006

An amazing Caldari Titan video

Found this great short video today of a Caldari Titan being attacked. The video was posted by konkenkensuke but that's all I know. I'd really love to get some detail background on it! If I ever get any additional details, I'll post them. For now, enjoy this clip.

Friday, April 21, 2006

EON issue #003 and me!

So as you know I subscribe to EON, the Official EVE Online Magazine. I received the 3rd issue earlier this week and started devouring it immediately. What a surprise I got when I came upon the EVE Gathering 2006 article (pages 10-11), a picture of my wife and I having dinner with the devs (Oveur, TomB and LeMonde)!! That's us in the middle picture (bottom) sitting our that table, all smiles.

(Page 11 of the 3rd issue of EON magazine)

This brought back great memories of the event, and of Vegas. What a town! I can't wait until next year's EVE Gathering.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

EVE Online: Mining over the last few days

This week we got orders to mine as many belts as possible, until but crumbs of Velspar remain. Here's a shot of our little operations, followed by to short clips I took earlier this week using FRAPS. A nifty little screen and video capture utility I'll be getting soon. (The trial version only lets you take 30 second clips).

Those are 2 Retrievers hammering at every rock in that belt!

The next 2 clips show 3 Retrievers and one Caldari hauler hauling the ore back to the station. With this set-up, we're usually able to clear an asteriod field in an evening.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Skyland: starts on TELETOON, April 22nd

Set your TiVo or DVR, program your VCR, or block off your Saturday night, Skyland is finally here! This upcoming Saturday, April 22nd at 7h30 pm, TELETOON will finally air the series. The big question is will they be reruns of episodes 1 & 2, or will this be new material.

As soon as I have word from my source, I'll let you know. In the mean time, enjoy the 2nd episode (in French since it also aired on France 2). I can't wait to see what happens next!

EVE Online: meet your worst nightmare...

I just love this shot of my Daredevil! I guess you could call it a self portrait, well kind of...

That's the fun thing with EVE Online as opposed to other MMORPGs, change ship, and you've got yourself a whole different experience. Fantasy MMORPGs don't have that luxury - once they've chosen their profession, well then that's it, their a paladin, or a fighter, or rogue, and they have to stick to that. With EVE, switch ships and you're a hauler, change a again and you're miner, or a mercenary - all in the same game session, with the same character.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Gaming: more on Game Design, Will Wright and Spore

Funny how things come and go, and come back again. A few posts ago I wrote about a year-old GDC presentation on a new game concept from Will Wright called Spore. Then a few days after my post, a bunch of new and interesting articles come out on this very subject, including one from the man himself in Wired magazine and another over at GameSpy. Call it blogger intuition.

The article in Wired, is a look at the possible future of gaming, when players will be asked to take a greater role in the building of the game and it's content. Greater freedom will be given to players to utilize their creativity " to help build, design, and populate our digital worlds."

In his article he also explains how games are a completely different way of learning which may not be evident to older generations. He call it the generational difference. The current status in today's media is mostly negative, and it has a lot to do with this difference, this gap. Wright puts it plainly when he writes,

Society, however, notices only the negative. Most people on the far side of the generational divide - elders - look at games and see a list of ills (they're violent, addictive, childish, worthless). Some of these labels may be deserved. But the positive aspects of gaming - creativity, community, self-esteem, problem-solving - are somehow less visible to nongamers.

Which reminds me of an article from the Economist I posted about last year about research on this generational gap.

Now back to game design, research and Spore. At this year's GDC in San Jose, Wright had a presentation on doing good research before building a game and how that will impact the game design. Read all about it over at GameSpy.

Here's an additional 25min video of some Spore game play, from last year's GDC.(It's nothing new though and if you've seen the full presentation, then you've already seen it)

Last not but least, here are a list of other recent articles you'll definitely enjoy:

This should keep you busy reading up on it until the game comes out, or close to it!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

EON #003 - Table of Content

Table of Content - EON 003
  • Page 6 --- E-ON Upfront (News)
  • 14 ---- Post Cards from the edge (Screen shots)
  • 16 ---- In Crowd: Maria Gudmundsdottir (CCP Employee Interview)
  • 19 ---- In Character: Seleene (Player Character Interview)
  • 20 ---- Chronicle: Procession by Richard James
  • 24 ---- The History of new Eden - Part 1
  • 29 ---- In Character: Hardin (Player Character Interview)
  • 30 ---- Cover Story: Rebuilding EVE
  • 38 ---- Chronicle: Mahe Ratu by Danny Luitjes
  • 40 ---- The EVE Radio Story
  • 44 ---- In Character: Count Tasessine (Player Character Interview)
  • 46 ---- Testflight: Force Recon Ships
  • 54 ---- Chronicle: God's Will by Fran Macjus
  • 56 ---- In Crowd: Hilmar V. Petursson (CCP Employee Interview)
  • 58 ---- Insider's Guide: ISD STAR - Part 1 (Player Guide)
  • 62 ---- Insider's Guide: Trading - Part 3 (Player Guide)
  • 66 ---- Insider's Guide: Electronic Warfare (Player Guide)
  • 76 ---- Teh Funnies (EVE Humour)

Friday, April 14, 2006

EVE Online: the best videos (coming soon)

I'm always amazed at the quality of the videos that come out of the EVE community. And after seeing a number of impressive videos I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of the best ones.

So I'm asking for your help. If you've seen a video that you think deserves to be seen, then let me know. Just email me the link and I'll take care of the rest.

In my search for videos I came across 2 great sites which will be a great help in finding these little gems. Head over to the EVE ONLINE FILM COLLECTION and EVE Videos to see some amazing talent.

Until I post my choices, enjoy these 2 great videos from CCP. This is why I play EVE Online... you'll understand.

(EVE Never Fades - Download Hi-rez 118Mb, Low-rez 30Mb)

(EVE Online: EXODUS - Download Low-rez 15Mb)

Told you so!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

EVE Online: the interface explained

That first thing that a new EVE player has to quickly master, and this goes for any complex game, is the interface. To a novice, the EVE Online interface may be overwhelming, which adds to the learning curve. Fortunately, a lot of information is available out there. CCP has provided a very complete player guide and I recommend to any serious player to either blink it, bookmark it, or save it, print it and bind it, as I did.

In the player guide, the interface is thoroughly explained in chapter 5. Give it a good read. Being able to quickly get to the information you're looking for is important.

Over at flickr, Alaph (One Tired EVE Pilot) has graciously provided us with a screenshot of his interface with some notes to get you quickly up and running. Head over there to learn more by clicking on the screenshot above. Thanx Alaph!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Daredevil set-up for agent missions

I've always loved a good tanked cruiser. Since I can remember, I've always set-up my ships to be well protected either by using insane amounts of armor, or by using various kinds of shields. My ships were never the fastest, but they could take one hell of a beating before I had to warp out for repairs, if I needed to at all.

Over the weekend, while running some missions for a Khanid Navy agent, I was given the "World Collide" mission where you have to use a frigate to be able to active the first gate and complete the mission. Now, I've been used to flying cruisers for sometime now, the Celestis being my favorite, and usually engage in combat with a 15km to 20km range from my targets, leaving my drones (2,285,349 skillpoints) to deal with the close combat. And the only frigate I had in my hangar in Baratar, was my Daredevil, my pride and joy, a ship I had won in a contest way back in the days of Coreli.

Having equipped the ship to the best of my knowledge, I had used it very few times in combat. And the set-up proved quite inadequate for the mission at hand. The moment I warped in pirates targeted me and started pounding me with missiles. Within a few seconds, I had lost all shields and armor, and structure was slowly decreasing. Warping out was my only choice. A different approach would be necessary for me to complete this mission.

And so I set out on a search to find the ideal set-up for my Daredevil. I came across this post on the EVE Forums, which mentioned 2 posts (1, 2). So with this information I headed back to our head office in Badivefi where I could search the corporate hangars for the appropriate modules. After about half an hour, I had a completely different ship, which warranted a completely different approach to combat. As of now this is my current module set-up:

  • High slots
    • 1x Small Nosferatu I
    • 1x OE-5200 rocket Launcher I (equipped with Phalanx rockets)
    • 2x Light Electron Blaster I (equipped with Uranium and Plutonium S charges)
  • Medium Slots
    • 1x Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters
    • 1x 'Langour' Drive Disruptor I
    • 2x F-B10 Nominal Capacitor Regenerator
  • Low Slots
    • 2x Nanofiber Internal Structure I
    • 1x Small Automated Carapace Restoration

Once I had put together the new set-up, I could not wait to put it to use. So armed with patience, I activated the autopilot to go through 17 jumps, and headed back to Baratar to complete the mission. The previous and next screenshots attest to the intensity of the combat I threw myself in. The 'improved' set-up worked like a charm. I'm quick, agile, and can still take some poundage. I fly in quickly, too quickly for enemies to do any real permanent damage. With a top speed of 905m/s, I orbit pirates at less than a klick away, and suck their capacitors dry as I bombard them with my Phalanx rockets and Blasters!

The red glow around the ships you see in the previous two shots is a Nosferatu, or NOS as it's commonly known, in action. With a ship like the Daredevil, which has low cap, I'll take anything I can.

This past week I've been enjoying a whole new aspect of EVE - close combat with small fast ships. I never thought I'd have so much fun with such a ship.

But then again, EVE is always full of surprises.

Eve Online: recent CCP interviews

EVE Online and CCP are currently enjoying a frenzy of media and press exposure. Seems that all that great work is finally paying off and that EVE is slowly getting noticed by the rest of the gaming world. Our little Icelandic secret is no longer so!

Though these are articles were published some time ago, I still wanted to post them up in case you missed them.

Enjoy the read!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

EVE Online: CCP implements Advanced Search for

We finally have an official way to search EVE Online's website using "The Search" from the home page on the upper right corner, or from the Standard Search page and the Advanced Search page.

From the main page you can only input the search term, but on the Standard Search page you can choose to narrow down the search for results within the Forums, the item database or EVE Insider. Quite useful! Using the Advanced interface, you can improve your search criteria even further for even better results.

(See the standard view)

And as you can see in the middle of that page, the search is powered by a Google Search Appliance, which explains the speed of the results and their accuracy. This will be helpful to both experienced EVE players, and the new players constantly joining the galaxy.

Not that you could not before. Knowledgeable EVE players have been searching the forums for some time now using EVE Search, but there was never such a useful tool on the EVE site itself. Now there is.

The Search is over, or is only beginning?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Robots: amazing video of ASIMO running

I saw ASIMO 2 or 3 years ago, at a science center in the Old Port of Montreal. Let me tell you that seeing a human-like robot move around like a small child is very impressive. It feels bizarre, scary, and exciting all at the time. This clip will show you exactly what I mean.

Last I saw ASIMO, it did not run, but could walk, climb stairs, and do other balancing act. I'm sure Isaac Asimov would have been interested in ASIMO as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gaming: Computer Games Magazine to Launch New Publication

It looks like we'll soon be getting a new gaming magazine dedicated to MMORPG. Indeed, the folks behind Computer Games magazine will soon release MASSIVE Magazine. Personally I'm very much for this, and will certainly check out the first issue.

From the media kit they offer, it seems they know pretty well their audience and have done their homework. SO far so good.

About MASSIVE Magazine:
MASSIVE Magazine is the ultimate guide to the world of massively multiplayer online games. It covers the games and culture with a progressive and breezy editorial style produced by the top writers in the industry. Issues of MASSIVE will include features on the games, their communities, guilds, profiles of top players, and other features that will make the magazine a part of the MMO world.

Plan of Action:
Aggressive promotion campaign scheduled at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and all other retailers.
Included DVD with demos
Rate base: 100,000 on newsstands
Bigger size: 9"x—10.875"
Newsstand price $5.99-compared to similar publications which are $9.99-this will be a great deal!
Plan to go quarterly starting January 1, 2007

Our Readers are Your Customers:
Reach over 5,000,000 gamers
Typically male
Average age is 26 years old
Average gamer plays 22 hours per week

Congrats to Nick Yee (from the Daedalus Project) by the way, for being quoted as a source - that's what good research is for.

Over the last few years I've slowly reduced my number of magazine subscriptions from about 7 to currently 2 (well actually 3 if you count E:ON). And with all the blogs, gaming sites, web 2.0 sites and others that I read daily, it would have been impossible to read all of them had I kept all my subscriptions. Now, with a magazine geared towards MMORPGs, I'm glad I didn't.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Gaming: Will Wright and Spore - The future of gaming content?

Now I know this is over a year old, but I think it's still a great presentation with some great ideas as to where content will be coming from. As games become more complex, creating content becomes a very expensive proposition, which small developer studio have great difficulty putting out. This is an idea, a great one at that, and it shows that we may not have seen the end of innovation in gaming.

After viewing the presentation, head over to GameSpy, Wired, and IGN for some additional information.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Gaming: Windows Vista review on Gamespot - Part 4

The final part of the Windows Vista review, Windows Vista Part 4 - Gaming and DirectX 10, was published prior to my trip to Vegas. I meant to post about sometime ago, but the whole Vista mess/delays/unknowns has prevented me from doing so. I just wanted to gather more information on it before sharing it with you.

DirectX 10, or whatever they decide to call it, will be the single most important update to impact the gaming community. Once it's available to card manufacturers, game developers will be able to start creating games to take full advantage of it (as in the new EVE graphic engine). But we're far from there, as quoted in Part 4:

The problem is that DirectX 10 video cards don't exist yet. Nvidia has the G80 in the works and ATI is polishing up the R600, a GPU based on the Xbox 360 "Xenos" core, but cards won't appear until the second half of this year. Even the game companies are having a tough time getting early-development GPU hardware right now. Several game developers we've spoken to have told GameSpot that they're still waiting to see DX10 reference cards.

And until they do, we certainly won't. And with Vista being pushed back to early 2007 (read mid-2007), then the chances of seeing EVE Online in a new light anytime soon, are just unrealistic. Or are they? We'll just have to wait to read about it in the next issue of E:ON.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

EVE Online: E:ON Issue #3 shipping this week

For the eve fan, E:ON is a blast to read, full of interesting information on the people behind EVE, some short stories, insight on upcoming events, etc.

Issue 3 is no different. The table of content is below and lists a few goodies I'm looking forward to read up on, like the new graphic engine.

At the EVE Gathering, the devs mentioned that they wanted to redo the graphic engine since it was over 3 years old and showed us a screenshot of a Vexor displayed using the new engine. You'll still be able to run the old engine if you don't have the hardware for it, but you'll be able to take full advantage of the latest Windows Vista graphic capabilities when using the updated engine.

(See at the bottom of this post for a look at the details.)

·Cover feature - 'Rebuilding EVE'
The Trinity engine is in the process of being overhauled, with dazzling effects and new ship textures that will help ensure EVE stays ahead of the competition for years to come. That's the plan, at least. But how will these updates affect the gameplay? Should they affect the gameplay? These questions and plenty more are answered, whilst others are neatly sidestepped. Still, you should see the screenshots ;) yowser!!

· Test Flight
DigitalCommunist returns from last month's look at the ironclad steamers to the Red Moon era and jumps inside the must-have ships this season; the four Force Recon Cruisers, to see what they're capable of and what you should be using them for. Or not.

· Insider Guides
We have a massive guide to electronic warfare (which should be helpful for newcomer and veteran alike), plus the first part of a look inside ISD

· In Character
Seleene talks business, Hardin talks self-flagellation and Count TaSessine is searching for a nice spot for a new outpost

· Gemini history
Most of us missed the party and those of that were there have shaky memories (clone tech has come on leaps and bounds since), so for the benefit of all, Reiisha takes us back to beta, EVE's literal big bang, where the roots of today's alliances began and where legends such as Ragnar, Hellgremlin and TAOSP were forged.

· Plus
Interviews with Hellmar and Fuhry, more Postcards From The Edge, new Chronicles, EVE China update and plenty more besides."

Sweet looking ain't she!

It's been a while...

Since I've been back from Vegas, things have been quite busy with RL and work, and though I have drafted a dozen or so article to complete, I haven't had the time to finish and post them. So expect the next few days to be quite busy in posting.

I've got a few posts on EVE Online, some on Vista and a few odd ones on gaming and other matters.