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Wubi arrives: a look at Ubuntu 8.04 alpha 5 50°
February 25, 2008 // 1:16 am - The Ubuntu development community has announced that the fifth Ubuntu 8.04 prerelease is now available for testing. Ubuntu 8.04 alpha 5 adds additional polish and reliability as well as a few intriguing new features. The official release of Ubuntu 8.04, codenamed Hardy Heron, is scheduled for late April and feature freeze is already in effect.

We tested alpha 5 to get a first look at the new features in action and to see how it compares to alpha 4, which we reviewed earlier this month. Ubuntu 8.04 includes a new sound server called PulseAudio, the new GIO and GVFS I/O abstraction layer...

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GDC 2008: The Technology of Final Fantasy XIII 50°
February 23, 2008 // 6:18 pm - Like most Japanese developers, Square Enix has traditionally built the technology for each new game from scratch. While middleware solutions like the Unreal Engine have long been a favored solution for Western developers, the Square approach has been to tackle every new project from the ground up.

But this is changing as development costs skyrocket; the upcoming The Last Remnant will be built on Unreal 3, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King for WiiWare was deliberately conceived to test the feasibility of building a game almost entirely with middleware tools and...

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Microsoft offers to share some secrets? 50°
February 21, 2008 // 10:26 pm - Microsoft Corp. says it will share more information about its products and technology. The company wants to make it easier for developers to create software that work with its products.

The Redmond, Washington-based software company said Thursday it will ensure open connections to its high-volume products by publishing technical information about them on its Web site.

Microsoft won't make software developers obtain a license or pay royalties or other fees.

With Thursday's announcement, Microsoft is hoping to make it easier for software developers to make...

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GDC 2008: EA Announces The Sims Carnival 50°
February 21, 2008 // 10:26 pm - What kind of video game would a Russian steelworker make? Or a policewoman? Or your mom?

Rod Humble, the head of "The Sims" game development at Electronic Arts wants that question answered and revealed a tool at the Game Developers Conference today that will allow that to happen: "The Sims Carnival."

The endeavor is a free web-based portal for creating, sharing and playing free computer games. That sounds dry, but think of it as a YouTube of video games. And if that sounds quite a bit like the Xbox Live Community Games feature announced by Microsoft just yesterday...

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American McGee's Grimm Looks Grimm 50°
February 19, 2008 // 9:54 pm - Back in May of last year we learned that American McGee's one last chance, Grimm, would be coming out via GameTap sometimes this year. Well now we also have a date, screens, and a nifty little trailer to grant us a look into the world of American McGee's Grimm.

Launching this July and spanning 24 weekly installments, Grimm is all about taking those sweet, lovable fairy tales from our childhood and turning them into something as dark and twisted as McGee's soul. Guaranteed fun...

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GDC: New action IP will be deeper than Enemy Territory 50°
February 18, 2008 // 11:35 pm - Talking to videogaming247 ahead of GDC in San Francisco today, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars developer Splash Damage has confirmed that it's now working on a brand new IP - an action project leading on PC - and that it will be as "deep, or deeper" than last year's id franchise-shooter.

The studio is currently negotiating a deal with an unspecified publisher on the new title.

Start of work on the game is responsible for the studio's recently announced recruitment drive.

"We want to demonstrate that we can do something completely new," said Splash...

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Evolving Aquaria: From Bloody Shooter To Indie Exploration 50°
February 18, 2008 // 11:32 pm - Indie darling Aquaria may be best known for its serene underwater setting and gorgeous hand-painted artwork, but its genesis lies in one of the most twisted, most violent video games ever created, I'm O.K.

That game, designed in part by "attorney" Jack Thompson, was part of the self-described school shooting expert's "A Modest Proposal" an ultra-violent game concept that was supposed to elicit a $10,000 pay out from Thompson, should someone be bold enough to make it.

Jack, as expected, welshed on the promised charitable donation when I'm O.K. hit the Web, but the freeware...

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Major LotRO announcement planned for Connect 2008 50°
February 18, 2008 // 11:31 pm - Codemasters confirmed this morning that a "major announcement" concerning The Lord of the Rings Online will be made at its Connect 2008 conference in Birmingham next month.

The news will hit at a press preview on March 14, ahead of the public event on March 14-15. There are no details on what to expect as regards the LotRO update, but a presentation by developer Turbine has been confirmed.

The preview will also allow the first ever hands-on with NetDevil's Jumpgate: Evolution, the recently signed sci-fi MMO.

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