Sunday School 4: Learn, Play, Win

By Nick Breckon, Mar 16, 2008 11:00am PDT Welcome to Sunday School. My name is Dr. Breckon, and I'll be your administrator. Play nice, do your homework, and score high on your exams. That way we won't have to call your parents.

Quiz Results: Know Your Online Multiplayer Shooter Audio
The results of last week's quiz are in, and things are looking up. For those of you who bothered to show up for class, that is.

As the contest group ballooned to over 500 tracked participants, only about half bothered to listen in on the five online shooters. Of those, most everyone got at least four of the five answers correct. Strangely enough, Team Fortress 2 proved to be one of the more difficult titles for people to pick out.

For those interested in finding out just how miserably they've failed, this week's scores have been posted here. You can also check out the answers to the sound design quiz, which explains my grading method.

The randomized winner of the quiz was, sadly, Shacknews employee Aaron Linde. Since Aaron is far too busy playing Smash Bros. to bother with Unreal Tournament 3, Foxhawk collects the prize by default.

Extra points awarded to alias, for knowing the Counter-Strike clip was captured during a round of CS_Assault. Few points awarded to Rotten Deadite and dlr, who both answered Unreal Tournament for every question. "That game that's like unreal tournament but it isn't" is not the title of a video game, sir Deadite.

Negative points awarded to Jooleeus for referring to Starsiege: Tribes as "boring sci-fi team based bang bang shoot." Infinite points subtracted from coraldayton for his erroneous answer to the Team Fortress 2 clip: "probably geedeck or nick getting owned by one of the regulars."

Quiz of the Week: Know Your Concept Art
While last week brought a bumper quiz, this week shouldn't be much worse. I'd give it a difficulty rating of medium rare. Hanging in the balance is a copy of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for the PS3.

Ready to go? Get quizin'.

Quiz Methodology: So you think you know your gaming stuff, huh? Let's find out. Each week in Sunday School you'll be tasked with completing a quiz, the contents of which will vary in both form and topic. Your quiz score will be recorded and graded accordingly, and instead of a lame gold star or red check-mark, you'll have the chance to win awesome gaming paraphernalia.

Some of these quizzes will be difficult, and some will be a cinch. Anyone who participates will be eligible for the weekly prize drawing. However, those with the highest grades at the end of the semester will have more of a chance to win the secret grand prize. Keep your grades up, and you might win a fabulous reward.

Only registered Shacknews users will be able to participate, so go create an account if you haven't already done so. Due to the nature of the contest, we ask that you refrain from discussing answers in the comments.

AV Club: Peter Molyneux's Room
Populous, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper--classics all. While Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux has gotten a bad rap recently for biting off more than he can chew, he remains a designer with a significant vision.

Word got around after our recent Molyneux-themed joke, and now our very own Chris Faylor will be talking to Sir Peter himself this coming week. But what has the high-minded Molyneux been up to lately, other than touting Fable 2?

During his presentation at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, Molyneux unveiled a technical sandbox demo titled The Room. Showing off now-popularized portal technology, real-time object aging, and other advanced simulation effects, even Molyneux himself acknowledged that The Room would never amount to a game.

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Now it seems that after years of internal experimentation, Molyneux and his team of mad scientists are looking to make the cover of Popular Science with a new title based on their secretive Dimitri project.

"Since Black & White, we've been thinking a lot about AI," said Molyneux recently to GamersGlobal. "Lionhead was founded with that thought of AI in mind. In terms of the core or the theory of the AI, we've moved from Black & White onto a project called Dimitri, which I've been tantalizing you about for a long time. And that team kept on researching. Dimitri was always an experimental thing, which is why I never showed it.

"And then it moved from that experiment to a moment in time that happened six months ago when a discovery was made, and this discovery has been so exciting that it has lead to Lionhead focusing on it and sculpting a game around that. I think that discovery is so significant.. This discovery has lead us to start a game, and that game will be on the front cover of nature magazines and science magazines."

While it is unlikely the designer will spill any beans on his new project, it's encouraging to note that Molyneux hasn't shied away from his high-concept roots.

Homework Assignment: Dungeon Keeper
Your homework assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to play Dungeon Keeper. Never heard of it? Shame on you.

Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper is not only one of the best antihero games ever made, but also a fabulously satisfying PC strategy series. Each round of Keeper tasks you with preparing a dungeon full of monsters, booby traps, and other feats of diabolical engineering. At a certain point, iron-clad heroes begin to invade your dwelling, falling victim to your evil devices.

The pacing of Dungeon Keeper is what makes it so unique. Building up your monster-populated ecosystem makes for some palpable tension, knowing that at any moment the impending invasion might be launched, your tunnels filled to the brim with dangerous, ugly humans.

Class dismissed. Come back next week. Absence will not be tolerated. And you didn't forget to take today's quiz, did you? That would be bad.

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