Thursday, January 25, 2007

When I attempted to restart ATFW in 2004, I didn't realize the path I would take. I was without internet for a few months and then I was back at work and had to juggle All the Myriad Things in Life. As time passed, I figured I eventually might have time here and there to update. Brian helped out for a while, but keeping up on something like this can be damned near impossible when you have a job, a social life, a significant other, other priorities, and need the elusive shot of Me Time.

I had hoped for many months that I would be able to return with some sort of renewed passion, but really, the moment has passed. Unless you have good chunks of time on multiple occasions each week, there are simply not enough hours in the day to scoop up news, to play and to write, and to publish after a day of work, a night out, or a night in. Five or ten hours per week isn't enough to successfully keep ATFW zooming.

I still game, mostly on the 360 (where the space combat I've experienced still suffers from console-suck. SW Battlefront II--yup, I'm pointing at you.) I don't game as much as I used to, and writing lots about one genre, which means also mostly playing just one genre, doesn't appeal to me now. I tend to write far more fiction these days than non-fiction in any case, and that's where I want to be.

The conclusion is: if you can only manage something half-assed, you might as well just engage ramming speed and go with the pretty boom. Some things do have to end, after all.

Stargamer.net is up and running, however, and they're trying to build some momentum. Hopefully, they will put together a solid staff that will share in duties and really start cracking. I may even pop in there from time to time, writing what I want to write and ignoring the day-to-day news that can take so long to compile.

I am sorry this took as long as it did, but surprise--perhaps I am a nostalgic optimist.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Galactic Civilizations II Has Gone Gold

The official Galactic Civilizations II website has word that the upcoming Sci-Fi 4X epic has gone golden and will be available n February 21st. I've been waiting for this one for a while, so I know I'm excited.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New Sword of the Stars Screenshots on IGN

IGN has over twenty new screenshots of the upcoming Sci-Fi 4X game, Sword of the Stars. Here's a couple of 'em to feast your eyes upon:


Head over to IGN for the rest.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Star Trek Games Announced

The big news of the day is that Bethesda Softworks has announced their acquisition of the Star Trek license, as well as two new Star Trek games. Star Trek: Legacy is a tactical starship combat game coming for the Xbox 360 and PC, while Star Trek: Tactical Assault is on its way to the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.

Mad Doc Software (the creators of Star Trek: Armada 2) is working on Star Trek: Legacy while Quicksilver Software (the creators of the Starfleet Command series) is working on Star Trek: Tactical Assault, which means they’re in experienced hands who’ve created well-regarded Star Trek games in the past. Here’s are some clips from the press release:
Star Trek: Legacy places you in the role of the Admiral of a task force of warships, which you control in small and large-scale battles. Test your strategic and tactical skills in real-time combat featuring authentic spaceships, full damage modeling, and spectacular visual effects. The storyline in Legacy spans the entire Star Trek Universe, including the Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise eras. Star Trek: Legacy will be released on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC this September.

Star Trek®: Tactical Assault, in development for handheld gaming systems, features real-time spaceship combat from the universe of the original Star Trek series. With a wide array of authentic Star Trek races, ships, and weaponry, you can engage in single-player battle through either the Federation or Klingon campaigns or in head-to-head wireless multiplayer combat. Star Trek: Tactical Assault is being developed in the studios of Quicksilver Software, creators of the highly popular Star Trek: Starfleet Command.
We’ll bring you more info as we get it, but this is exciting news indeed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Space Game Found - Epoch Star

It isn't often that a space game flies under my radar, but somehow this one did. I was searching for images of Starflight on Google Images recently, and came across a game I'd never heard of called Epoch Star, which was released in the middle of 2005.

Apparently, Epoch Star is a space adventure game reminiscient of Starflight and Star Control II, and was created by Battleline Games. I played the game for an hour or so last night, and found it was very similar to those two games, but with its own tweaks like a WASD control scheme. I had a ton of fun with the game, so I'd suggest anyone who has even a passing interest in space adventures at least check it out, since it's a free download. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

More Star Trek: Legacy Info Released

Gamecloud has a small story which gives us some more information about the recently leaked game, Star Trek: Legacy, which will be created by Mad Doc and published by Bethesda. Here's a clip:
According to the article the game is an action-strategy hybrid title for both the PC and Xbox 360 and will actually span the entire Star Trek timeline, from Enterprise to the original series to the Next Gen-DS9-Voyager timeframes. The game is due for release in September 2006.
We'll bring you more information as it becomes available.

Galactica Sim - Free 4X Game - Released

In a recent press release, Blue Gecko Entertainment announced the release of Galactica, a free "tick-based" 4X game. This looks to be an online strategy game that in this writer's mind looks reminiscient of the Master of Orion games, at least based on the screenshots. According to the press release, "The game challenges players to build an empire by colonising and conquering thousands of planets with hundreds of competing players." Features include research, diplomacy, and a lot more. It looks pretty neat, so head over to Blue Gecko Entertainment and check it out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sword of the Stars Snags Publisher

In a new press release, Lighthouse Interactive has announced that they'll be publishing the upcoming Sci-Fi 4X game, Sword of the Stars. Here's a clip:
Erik Schreuder, Lighthouse CEO, said: “Sword of the Stars marks a major milestone in the growth of Lighthouse. We needed the right title to launch our push into North- America and Sword of the Stars is truly an incredible title with all the ingredients needed to be a genre leader.” Schreuder went on to say “The Kerberos team is world class and have been involved in many blockbuster titles, we are extremely happy to have partnered with them.”
There are also some new screenshots available on Lighthouse's official SOTS page. I'm personally looking forward to this one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Space Rangers 2 Coming to North America

I noticed on Blue's that Cinemaware Marquee, a new indie label from eGames, will bring Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators to North America in March. Here's a clip from the press release:
Cinemaware Marquee, an affiliated label of eGames, Inc., today announced that its first title, Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators will be released in North America in March 2006. Space Rangers 2 is already one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year in Europe.

Developed by Russian studio 1C/Elemental Games, Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators continues the trend of Russian developers blazing new trails in videogames. The game is a turn-based RPG encompassing various gameplay genres in a vast interstellar world that can be played in countless ways – explore the galaxy, fight off an evil robotic army, build a trading empire – it is completely up to player. This depth and scope of gameplay ensures that Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators will be one of the most revolutionary titles of the year – the ultimate realization of a truly unique, bold vision to deliver a groundbreaking game on a new scale.
There are a lot of people who've been wanting this game, but have been having trouble getting it due to limited availability here in the states. This should solve that problem.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New X3: Reunion Patch Available

There's a new 1.3 patch available on the X3: Reunion download page that brings the game up to version 1.3. There's no word on what the massive 119MB patch (or the 62MB patch if you're upgrading from version 1.2.01) does, but at that size, one would hope it does a lot. :)

Weird Worlds Patch Available

There's a new patch available for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space that has a veritable cargo hold full of fixes and new features, including:
  • enemies flee if no guns
  • can try to ram a fighter
  • formation leader dodges followers
And more! Head over to the Weird Worlds download page to get the 294KB patch.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Homeworld 2: Dustwars Mod Timeline Available

Thanks to Mike Barton for letting me know that there's a new and extremely detailed timeline regarding the Homeworld 2: Dustwars mod for Homeworld 2 (natually). The timeline is huge and very detailed, so I hope you all enjoy it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Keep The News Coming!

Hey there, folks, how are you? I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but if you have news about a particular space sim, strategy game, or mod that you would like me to share, please feel free to send me an email at by clicking my name on the right hand side of the page and the clicking the email link (I thought about putting a direct email link here, but that might lead to spam), and I'll make sure your news gets posted as soon as I can get to it. Thanks, and I hope you're enjoying the site. Also, thanks to Beth for bringing me on board and allowing me to keep bringing you guys news about the space sims and strategy games we all love.

New Battlestar Galactica Model Screenshots Available for FS2

Thanks to Eliot Watts for sending me an email about this. Apparently there are some new screenshots of the Battlestar Galactica Model for the Beyond The Redline mod for Freespace 2 available on the Game Warden forums, and I must say they're very impressive. Here's shrunken versions of them that link to the forum itself:



Enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Galactic Dream Announced & Demo Released

There's a new space strategy game out there for your enjoyment that I just found out about. It's called Galactic Dream and it looks pretty neat. There's also a demo for the game as well. According to the features page, some of the features include:
  • Lead one of 3 distinctive and amazing Species: terran, dakras or the wise sandkings. Three Different Sides, three unique playing styles, each coming with characteristic tech tree, units and combat tactics
  • Almost 40 different units; each possessing upgrading capability, each carrying terrifying space weapons
  • Each units have different abilities.
  • A majestic universe, entirely 3D, giving you multiple perspectives over the battlefield
You can head over to the Galactic Dream download page to download the demo. Enjoy!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Galactic Civlizations II Tidbits

I noticed today that there's a new Galactic Civilizations II interview over at RPG Vault. Here's a clip:
Jonric: What can we expect to see from the AI, both for the friendly units and also for the various enemies you can encounter?

Brad Wardell: There are no tactical battles in the game, so formations and such don't really come into play. Instead, players can build fleets, group units together to send to various parts of the map, create rally points to organize their forces, etc.

The computer AI, which is the part of the game I code, has a different AI personality for each player. This isn't just some variables, but rather its own engine running in a background thread; i.e. a base class for the AI and then each player has its own derived class. So as a result, different players can play quite differently. We are trying to develop a system whereby each computer opponent will use quite different strategies to play. As I play the game more, I learn more possible strategies to play with, and then try to incorporate that into different AI personalities.
There's also a new Galactic Civilizations II preview over on Gamespy. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

StarCalibur Demo Released

A demo of a space sim I knew nothing about called StarCalibur has been released. I found the demo on Filefront, but FilePlanet also has a copy. The game seems to be Russian, but the demo has English text.

I played the demo a bit and found it fun, so check it out. It's a respectable 130 MB in size. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a website for the game at the moment, so I can't find any more info on it, but I'll keep an eye out for some more info. Enjoy the demo!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

For the People, By The People: Sunday

Trying to get back on a regular schedule for this, here's this week's installment of goodies! It's kind of a quiet week, which makes sense with the holidays coming up here in the U.S.

Freelancer:

Lancers Reactor has the usual slew of updates, but the one that really caught my eye was the new Firefly Class Transport. I'm going to reinstall the game just to try this out myself, being the enormous Firefly fan I am. ;)

Freespace 2:

Over on Hard Light Productions, they have news that the Battlestar Galactica Project: Alpha version has been leaked. You can follow this developing story in this forum thread. There's also a new campaign called Just Another Day 2: Electric Boogaloo (I love that name) for you to download.

Homeworld 2:

Apparently the 0.5 beta of Star Wars: Warlords was released on 11/18, but you have to go to their chatroom to get a link.

Star Trek: Bridge Commander:

Bridge Commander Files has more updates to existing files than new stuff this week, but they do offer a Icarus Assault Shuttle for your enjoyment.

Star Trek: Starfleet Command III

Starfleet Command 3 files has a couple of new tidbits like the Stock Ship Replacement.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tie Fighter: Total Conversion Released

The Tie Fighter: Total Conversion mod for X-Wing Alliance has been released. This mod converts content from Tie Fighter to the X-Wing Alliance engine. To play the mod you need X-wing Alliance with both CD-ROMS and the TIE Fighter Collectors Edition CDROM or X-Wing Collectors Series Disk 2 CDROM. If you have both of these items, head over to the TFTC downloads page to download the 112 MB mod. I know I'll be downloading it soon myself.

For the People, By The People: Sunday

Has it really been a couple of months since I did one of these? Indeed it has my friends, and I apologize. Real life can sure as hell suck any free time you have away from ya, which is exactly what's happened recently. Anyway, enough of my whining, here's some recent fun news-y tidbits for you to chew on. Enjoy!

Babylon 5:

FirstOnes has released a trailer of their mod for Nexus. You can download the 16 MB trailer by clicking here.

Freespace 2:

The Freespace 2 community has been as active as ever. Just in the last few days, the Hard Light Productions website has moved to a new domain (http://www.hard-light.net/), updated their Freespace Wiki, and released their MediaVP model and texture pack for FS2. There's so much going on over on the Hard Light Forums since my last update that I'd run out of space posting it all.

Hardwar:

Over on Captain Zedo's, there's a PDF map of Downtown Titan to download as well as a new Hardw[a]r Enhanced Economy Mod DLL 20051112 to download too.

Homeworld 2:

Over on the Star Wars: Warlords website, they seem to be approaching their 0.5 milestone release. On the Freespace: A New Age forum, they've posted an update on how the mod is coming along.

Star Trek: Armada Series:

Since it's been a long time since the last update, I'm just going to keep all of the ST game updates simple and quick. Armada 2 Files has seen a ton of updates, such as the Derelict Map Pack, a new version of the Whale Probe as well as the Earth Alliance Omega Class Destroyer.

Star Trek: Bridge Commander:

Bridge Commander Files also has a slew of updates such as the USS-Mantis, ZZ's Miranda Pack and the new SNS Akira Pack, among others.

Star Trek: Klingon Academy:

KlingonAcademy.com has announced a new download system. Over on the KlingonAcademy.com forums there have been a lot of new mod releases, including a D4 Class Bird of Prey, a NX Class Cruiser Pack, a Daedalus Class Cruiser Pack and a slew of releases from the Next Generation Academy.

Star Trek: Starfleet Command Series:

Starfleet Command 3 Files, like the other sites, has a ton of updates. You can find the USS Anubis, the Alternate Universe: Swift Wars pack, and the Typhon Class Dreadnaught, for example. Starfleet Universe has word that Elite-Kaos has released the beta version of his SFC3 multiplayer mod called EXPANSIONv0-01.

Space Empires Series:

Not only has Strategy First signed the rights to publish the latest Space Empires games, but they've recently released Space Empires IV Deluxe as a digital download for about $30, which is cheaper than previously offered.

Wing Commander Series:

The Wing Commander CIC has been busy, as usual. They have word that some Wing Commander Mods for Space Empires IV are now available, Privateer Gemini Gold is getting a 1.01 patch, Flight Commander 1.3 will have advanced scripting, there's some new art from Origin artist Sean Murphy, and finally a new way to play Wing Commander: Armada online (which I have to try).

X Series

Even though X3 was released recently, Egosoft has already relesed a 1.2 patch that includes a bunch of minor and major fixes. You can find out more in their X3 patches section.

X-Wing/Tie Fighter Series:

The X-Wing Alliance Upgrade has been updated with a new Escape Pod and a new Xiytiar Transport.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Starships Unlimited 3 Launched

In a recently released press release, Matrix Games has announced the release of Starships Unlimted 3, the latest in the popular sci-fi 4X game series from Ape Zone. Here's a clip from the release:
Unlike many other games of galactic exploration, conquest, economics and diplomacy, Starships Unlimited v3 focuses on a small number of unique starships, each with different crew mixes and different technologies. These ships and their crews are the heroes of this science fiction epic, boldly exploring the unknown, dealing with alien races and helping your people expand to new worlds.
You can find out more at Matrix Game's official Starships Unlimted 3 web site.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Flatspace II Released

Last week, the latest version of Flatspace -- a top-down elite/roguelike space game -- has been released. Flatspace II, according to its product description page, has new artifacts, better balancing and more. Here's a clip from the page about the game:

Another big change in Flatspace II compared to the first game is the game balancing. Unlike the first game there are no unfair or random events that can instantly kill the player and the game is less punishing to beginners. A new difficulty system limits damage to your ship, upgrades are more affordable, and a massive amount of play testing ensures that the different player activites are much more evenly balanced than before.

You can head over to the Flatspace downloads page to get the 12.5 MB demo version and try it out for yourself. The first game was a lot of fun, so I look forward to trying out this new version.

Star Wraith IV Version 2 Launched

The official Star Wraith IV site has news that version 2 of this popular indie space sim has been released. Here's a clip:
The next phase of Star Wraith IV, version 2, has been launched! This update is a major revision to the game. The graphics engine has been overhauled to provide Evochron level detail and effects. A few bug fixes are also included along with some new textures and cockpit details. This update is free for all current registered players and the installer will also work as a patch to update any older 1.X version of the game up to the 2.X system.
This new version has several bug fixes, tweaks, and revisions, so head over to the official site to download the 11.2 MB trial version. It's a fun game, so any space sim fan should enjoy it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Epic: Middle States Becomes Torn Stars

I got a nice email from Jon of the Epic mod team stating that the mod is now called Torn Stars. Here's a description from the new web site:
Torn Stars (formerly Epic: Middle States) is a new and epic space simulation set in the war torn and ravaged Middle States star cluster. Live a second life traveling and plying the space lanes with a fleet of transports, preying on fat and rich merchant transports as a pirate, exploring l-points and undiscovered star systems, or even laying claims and searching out mineral-rich asteroids.
You can read more about this new mod for Independence War 2, and download the 98MB file, at the official Torn Stars website.

Friday, October 21, 2005

New X3: Reunion Designer Diary Entry at GameSpot

There's a fantastic developer diary entry over at GameSpot detailing the day in a life of a pilot in the X3 universe. Here's a clip:
With him at my mercy, I ask him to surrender. To my surprise, he refuses and then I realize why. I had not checked my immediate surroundings carefully, and two local police ships are speeding to his aid. The supplier was not attached to any station or factory. He was an independent trader and still they came to his aid! Cursing, I swiftly dispatch the freighter and he disappears in a cloud of dust, his scream cut short. Even in this short span of time, the police ships are onto me--one standard Boron M4 fighter and one Vanguard M4. I curse again. Although the M4s are lighter than my ship, they are faster and more agile, and the Vanguard is faster and more heavily armed than most ships.
Be sure to check out the rest of the diary entry over at GameSpot, and enjoy.