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ShackCast Episode 10: Team Fortress 2, Pre-TGS, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, The Force Unleashed

Related Topics – Valve, Podcast, PhysX, Shackcast

After last week's slightly abbreviated show, Episode 10 runs a little longer than usual, clocking in at a little under an hour and a half. Chris Remo, Chris Faylor, and Carlos Bergfeld are joined by Nick Breckon, checking in from Japan as he prepares to take on the Tokyo Game Show. Topics include the wackiness of Japan, Tokyo Game Show, Team Fortress 2 and The Orange Box, Super Smash Bros. Brawl going online, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Wii, Warmonger and AGEIA PhysX cards, Peggle, and superhero video games ranging from average to bad. Reader mail sparked discussion on the role of originality in video games, as well as crucial entries in the gaming pantheon. Keep sending in your comments and questions to shackcast@shacknews.com. Play or download the podcast now, browse the episodes through iTunes, RSS, or Digg, or check out the full breakdown. 00:00: It's a song! 00:44: Nick is in Japan, "absorbing the culture." He talks about it! 02:22: Faylor describes something truly horrible. 03:22: Mr. Breckon goes to the arcades. 08:44: A bit of TGS talk. 10:18: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) will be online! Praise be! (Story) 15:04: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed coming to Wii. Will it avoid sucking? 21:42: Warmonger, O:DD is out next month. We discuss the required PhysX. 27:30: What happened to the Hellgate: London beta? 30:40: Apparently launching games online is hard! 32:17: Team Fortress 2 beta came out, and we played it! Woo! 37:49: Is Valve using the beta as a marketing tool to push PC? (Yes) 41:16: Nick played BioShock on Xbox 360, not PC--and regrets it! 44:24: The Orange Box is a great deal! Seriously! Plus it's good for modders! 48:53: Faylor on Peggle: "Makes you feel like the ultimate badass." ...What? 51:32: For some reason, Carlos played a bunch of Spider-Man games. 54:50: Faylor returns to Resistance: Fall of Man and still has fun. 58:43: Listener mail! We read your mail, then respond to it! 59:25: Someone makes a bizarre hypothesis regarding Remo's extremities. 60:33: We discuss the role of and need for originality and innovation. 70:22: We touch on a few historically significant games. 83:54: Las Vaygas? Las Veegas? Las Vehgas? Who cares? 84:43: Closing music and not-quite-outtakes.

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PhysX-powered FPS Warmonger Hits October 16

Related Topics – PhysX

Independent developer NetDevil's oddly named physics-intensive FPS Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction arrives on PC via digital distribution on October 16. "Warmonger offers a unique environment for fans of FPS games, where no place is safe, and seeking good cover is a challenge rather than a given," said lead producer Chris Sherland. "Test sessions leave a player with a strong emotional reaction to this...it's downright scary to play!" Powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 3, the game features destructible environments thanks to its use of the AGEIA PhysX technology. In all, Warmonger contains five different weapons and six different maps. Today's announcement neglected to mention exactly where gamers will be able to acquire the game, though the game's official site will likely provide more information as its release approaches. "Warmonger's real-world, real-time properties offer gamers a whole new dimension in gameplay they can enjoy over and over again. They will have a blast discovering new terrains, sniper positions, and other game elements theyÂ’ve never had a chance to try out before," mused AGEIA CEO Manju Hegde. "We're pleased to see what a forward thinking game developer can accomplish with our card. By incorporating PhysX, NetDevil brought to life some of the most compelling game experiences ever seen in a game."

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"Except why would they optimize their PhysX to run well in software? Eh, I'll just count on ..."
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Warmonger Preview

Related Topics – PhysX

There's a preview of Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction on IGN this evening, offering impressions of the AGEIA PhysX powered first person shooter.

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Warmonger Preview

Related Topics – PhysX

Ten Ton Hammer has been updated with a Warmonger - Operation: Downtown Destruction preview, checking out this AGEIA PhysX powered shooter at a recent NetDevil press event.

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Warmonger Preview

Related Topics – PhysX

FiringSquad has a preview of the ridiculously titled Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction, the AGEIA PhysX powered action game. The article offers 8 player CTF impressions.

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NetDevil MMO Dubbed LEGO Universe

Related Topics – LEGO Universe, MMO, PhysX
NetDevil MMO Dubbed LEGO Universe

NetDevil's upcoming LEGO-branded massively multiplayer game will be known as LEGO Universe, Denmark-based licensor LEGO Group has revealed. Announced this March, the game will be NetDevil's third MMO following the RPG-flavored space-centric Jumpgate and last year's vehicular action-oriented Auto Assault. NetDevil is also the company behind the AGEIA-sponsored, PhysX-powered destructible shooter Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction.

According to today's announcement, LEGO Universe will be a "child-safe" but full-scale MMO containing the range of social and community Read more »

"Pedophiles everywhere have started their plans for a virtual lego ice cream truck to drive around."
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Devil Went Down to Louisville

Related Topics – MMO, PhysX

Independent developer NetDevil (Auto Assault, Jumpgate) yesterday announced the opening of a new office based in Louisville, CO. To commemorate the event, the studio will be hosting an open house on June 22nd, allowing invitees a first look at their upcoming games. The date coincides with the company's 10th anniversary. "The opening of our new offices will help us expand our capabilities, make way for new talent and growth, and give the NetDevil family, our partners, and our friends in the media and video game industry a chance to see first hand what we're up to. We think everyone is in for a pleasant surprise," said NetDevil president Scott Brown. The studio has several PC titles in the works, including a LEGO-licensed MMO, as well as a first person shooter based around the AGEIA PhysX processor, titled Warmonger - Operation: Downtown Destruction.

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Warmonger Interview

WarCry's Razorwire site has a Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction Q&A up, asking NetDevil's Scott Brown about this Unreal Engine 3 powered shooter that makes use of the AGEIA PhysX PPU.

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CellFactor: Revolution Interview

Related Topics – Interview, PhysX

CellFactor: Revolution. Intense, PhysX-based combat and mayhem--if you have a PhysX card, of course. Today is the launch for Artificial Studios' grand experiment in physics, but is it worth opening your wallet for one of Ageia's PhysX processors? I spoke with Julian Castillo, the game's lead designer, to find out more about the game itself in a final effort to educate players who are on the proverbial fence about whether or not to add a PhysX processor to their PC to take full advantage of CellFactor. If you're interested in learning more about the game's technology, check out my interview with Ageia's Adrian Jones.

Shack: What is the back story for CellFactor: Revolution? Julian Castillo: CellFactor: Revolution is about a war. About 10 years ago, a series of events changed the earth as we know it. There are no nations, no countries, only two factions that fight for the control of the planet. One of those factions is LIMBO Corporation; they consider themselves the new humans, the next step in evolution, their main purpose is to rebuild the world over the ashes of the imperfect and rusted humans that now exist on earth. The other faction is GUARD, an elite group that was formed by the United Nations to protect and defend the International Humanitarian Right. After the events, all big nations disappeared, leaving the UN as the only political and military presence in the world that refuses the LIMBO Corporation intention. GUARD became the only resistance armed power against LIMBO Corporation gaining power through time and transforming itself as an army so big and so powerful that can equalizes the war achievements of its enemy. Shack: I was able to learn a bit about how the concept for how CellFactor: Revolution was born from producer Adrian Jones, but I'd like to learn a bit more from the man who conceived the idea. Can you tell us more about how the concept came about? Julian Castillo: Well, initially, CellFactor was my thesis work. I was planning to make a little single player shooter with maybe two or three levels with a nice boss or something at the end, but my judges said a pure entertainment game wouldn't make it as a good thesis work, so they said to me that I needed to make a game with a deeper background. I reject the idea at first, but later I thought it would be a cool idea to base the game in something bigger. So I took my inspiration from "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri, a book so full of images, characters and atmospheres that would be a very good start for a video game. Later, when we created Immersion Games with my partners, we took the project as the flag project of our company and we developed a script with Miguel Posada, Lead Developer and Alejandro Alvarez, Lead Artist. The game became, at least in paper, a huge single player first person shooter with a lot of stuff that we always wanted to see in a game. It was later, when we met the Ageia guys, when we got the chance to make a CellFactor game PhysX oriented. Due to the fact that CF wasn't a game created to show PhysX, and that we didn't want to touch our single player CF game, we created CellFactor: Revolution Shack: What sort of settings does the game feature? Julian Castillo: The game is set in a futuristic, industrial war-torn atmosphere. There are five different levels each with a different tournament arena where the characters can battle each other. There are two industrial levels with minimal physics [that] are available for all players in skirmish modes.
There are three other PhysX-based levels. Proving Grounds is a Psi-power training area and the Fueling Station features a series of platforms ideal for air vehicle landing in the middle of the ocean. Reactor Processing Core [was] built inside a rock. It features molten metal, bridges over lava pools, and spider webs on a futuristic machine. Weapons System Control [is] an indoor map full of rooms with a huge cannon. Storage Facility [is] comprised of three huge structures, ideal for driving all the vehicles available in the game in multiplayer games. The game offers five levels in the single-player campaign mode for PhysX accelerator users in addition to skirmish multiplayer modes. The final three levels in the campaign mode showcase "extreme PhysX" gameplay. In these levels, players will see a new level of physics not present in current games: cloth, fluid and the environment can be used and observed in new exciting ways. The player will experience everything from rolling clouds of toxic gasses, particle beams for weapons, dangerous lava that can be harnessed with psionic powers, and interactive cloth features, all of which are integral in the extreme PhysX levels. Shack: What was the influence behind the art direction in each setting? Julian Castillo: The game look and feel had to match the story line behind the game. It had do have a futuristic, industrial war-torn atmosphere. And I love industrial style for music, for aesthetics, for everything. So, the inspiration came from a lot of movies and games that have this style--the Quake series, [and] the Unreal series. Shack: Can you tell us a bit about the multiplayer modes offered in CellFactor: Revolution? Julian Castillo: There are four multiplayer "skirmish" game modes that support up to 8 human players via a LAN connection and up to 10 AI bots. Death match: each player fights for himself or herself in a kill or be-killed game. Players must be aware of a dynamically changing environment and other players bouncing around the environment due to psionic propulsion. Team death match: teams of 2-4 players (8 players maximum in one round) join forces to fight another group of players. Assault: the objective is to take the bomb to the enemies' base and arm it. When detonated, the bomb emits Psi forces, transforming the area into a psionic vortex as it pulls objects into a black hole. Capture the flag: to capture the flag, players must use Psi powers to move it. If the player takes the role of the Guardian who does not possess such abilities, he/she needs to ram it or use different tactics to manipulate the flag.
Shack: Will more levels be released in the future? Julian Castillo: We're hoping so. But probably from the modding community. To support the modding community, CellFactor: Revolution will launch with full editing tools, which allows the development of new and original game scenarios. Shack: What character classes are available, and what abilities do they possess? Julian Castillo: There are three character classes, each with different abilities. Bishop: genetically altered by L.I.M.B.O. to hypercharge her psionic powers, she can manipulate any environmental object to deliver deadly kills without weapons. All of her abilities rely on physics and using the environment around her as a weapon, including basic commands like Psi-pull: gain control of an object/enemy, pick it up and smash it into your opponents. Examples of Bishop's more advanced Psi-powers: Psi-ammo: successively cue up debris and fire the pieces rapidly one at a time; Psi-rift: opens a small gravity well in front of you that that sucks surrounding objects in and holds them together in a dense cluster. The ball of objects persists until you launch it at another player or object. Black Ops: this U.N. Soldier was L.I.M.B.O.'s first genetic alteration experiment using psionic power; he offers a mix of psionic abilities, unique weapons and vehicle abilities. Black Ops can also use the environment as weapons and one of the moves is Psi-cache, which stores up Psi energy for a single powerful push. The push kills a nearby enemy, deflects bullets and destroys everything in its path. Guardian: L.I.M.B.O.'s ultimate mechanical soldier can wield two weapons and strike his victims down with quick assault. To put the Guardian in a maximum impact run, he can tear through anything in its path. (This move is affectionately known as road kill when it comes to mowing down an opponent.) Shack: What weapons and abilities are available, and which characters can use them? Julian Castillo: Bishop uses Psi-power to manipulate the environment in either defensive or offensive manner against other players. She can pull, push or lift objects, crush them and even hurl them at her opponents. She also uses psionic abilities to propel herself around the levels. Specific psipowers include: Psi-pull and Psi-push: gain control of objects, pick it up and pull or push it into your opponents. [Some examples] of Bishop's more advanced Psi-powers: Psi-ammo: successively cue up debris and fire the pieces rapidly one at a time; Psi-wave: charge up Psi-power and use it to part a sea of objects in front of the player, killing anything to the right and left.
Black Ops and Guardian can wield four weapons: R2-Phlegethon sniper rifle, R5-Styx assault rifle, R-3 Acheron rocket launcher that delivers three simultaneous shots, and a close range single-shot R-4 LETHE pistol. Black Ops also has access to two secondary weapons: gravity grenades draw in anything in the immediate vicinity and a proximity mine can be stuck to any object the player throws it at and detonated when the victim draws near. In addition to controlling two weapons, Guardian's brute force abilities include a maximum impact run, enabling him to tear through anything in his path and maximum impact jump, catapulting him across the level. Black Ops can operate four unique vehicles. Goliath: a mechanized power suit which has dual gatling guns, and limited-use flight boosters. Death Stalker assault car: armed with a 360-degree gunner turret, it delivers battleground mayhem via 20-mm gatling machine gun and rocket launchers Dusk Hawker (Vertical Lift Aircraft): a gunner-controlled 20 mm gatling machine gun spreads a heavy wall of lead on opponent; pilot and gunner-controlled missiles are available to take out aerial and ground opponents Hover Mech: wield dual 30-mm cannons and rocket launchers while piloting six-axis flight controls to pin down and shred enemies. Shack: Why should players who don't have a PhysX card go out and get one? What, in your opinion, makes this game worth the purchase of a separate card? Julian Castillo: This game is all about physics. Much of the hard action that can be experienced with the card has been turned off in software: only modes. With the PhysX card, gamers will experience an enhanced level of mayhem: better kills, more objects to manipulate, crush, destroy. Shack: Thanks for your time. CellFactor: Revolution launched today for the PC.

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CellFactor: Revolution's Adrian Jones Interview

Related Topics – Interview, PhysX

Page 1 CellFactor: Revolution, in development at both Artificial Studios and Immmersion Software & Graphics, faces a problematic scenario similar to that of the original Perfect Dark, developed by Rare Ltd. for the Nintendo 64. It featured great graphics, fantastic level design, and fast-paced action--but unless you had the N64 memory expansion, you couldn't really play too much of the game. Somewhat similarly, CellFactor will be absolutely free, but unless you have one of Ageia's PhysX cards, you can't really enjoy it too much. Will it be worth a purchase to gamers looking for what Ageia, Artificial Software, and Immersion Software & Graphics are touting as a true next-gen FPS experience? I had a conversation with Ageia's Adrian Jones, producer on CellFactor: Revolution, to learn more about the game.

Shack: Let's start off by learning a bit about you. When did you become a gamer, and when--and how--did you get started in the industry? Adrian Jones: I started in the industry about 15 years ago. I'd been going to college for Mathematics, but I'd learned to program Assembly Language on the Apple II. I followed an ad in the paper where someone could make minimum wage by programming 6502 Assembly Language. Then I started writing video games, and it turned out to be so lucrative, I never finished my studies in Mathematics. It [writing game code] was really a lot of fun. I've been a video gamer all my life. I mean, I can't remember a time... let's see, I remember the first Pong machine! Shack: Is that the game that got you excited about the industry? Adrian Jones: Really, the first completely addictive game [I played] was Robotron. I would play that and completely zone out, getting to the point where I was drooling. Have you ever played it? Shack: Yes I have. Adrian Jones: Oh, it's just fabulous. You get to the point where you don't even see the individual robots any more. You're just sort of going around, seeing the game in front of you. Shack: [Laughs] Yeah, that happened to me with the first Diablo. I played for so many hours straight that, when I was finished, I would see the map grid over my eyes for quite some time. Adrian Jones: It's wonderful, but it's a strange sort of feeling. I went to college very young as a sixteen year old, sort of retreating from the young. They had a Robotron machine in the basement of the student union, so in between classes I'd just put a couple of quarters in and play. I got up to playing for about half an hour on one quarter. Shack: You've got some skills, then. Adrian Jones: I did back then, but I'm sure I'd get killed immediately now! Shack: Tell us about some of the projects you've worked on. Adrian Jones: Definitely, I'm most proud of my work on Medal of Honor. I had a grand old time with that. When we were making it, we had no idea it was going to be a big hit. It was a small team, and we just had a lot of fun [creating the game]. We worked through three console versions and a PC version, and I learned a lot doing that. I took a lot of lessons with me. I think that's where I learned everything, because that was a huge shift in genres for me. Back in the old days, it was about the programmers making entire games by themselves, using artists as tools. At Dreamworks, it was really all about art. Dreamworks is where Medal of Honor started before Electronic Arts absorbed us. I learned a lot about art, and supporting artists [in their endeavors]. Whenever I'd come in every morning, there was something new in the game. The game designers began to outstrip me in terms of what I could imagine, and it was just really... it changed the whole way I looked at video game production.
Shack: Did you feel that being outstripped, as you phrased it, put a damper on your artistic creativity? Adrian Jones: Oh no, absolutely not. What it did is it really helped me realize how I could really leverage what I could do well, and how I could really bring everybody into the creative fold. I made a product [at Dreamworks] that was better than anything I'd ever made before. Shack: Where did the idea for CellFactor: Revolution come from? Adrian Jones: The idea for CellFactor happened before I joined the team. CellFactor was sort of a discovery that happened at a trade show. PhysX was integrated almost overnight by Jeremy Stieglitz [at Artificial Studios], the guy who wrote the engine and the game's lead designer. He pitched the idea to Ageia, who saw the game running, and it looked just fantastic. Prior to that, CellFactor: Revolution had been an idea that the guys had been kicking around for a while. They designed all of the concepts, and they'd been working together over the Internet. It was a classic sort of guys just getting together over the Internet, kicking a game idea back and forth, between programmers, artists and designers all over the world. Shack: I understand that the development team is rather spread out over locations such as Columbia and Egypt. How does that affect factors such as getting work done on time and managing working relationships? Adrian Jones: We actually have a really great working relationship. The people who wrote the engine are in Florida; the art and game designers are in Columbia; and the game programmers are in Egypt. Time zones are a drag. The guys in Egypt stay up all hours of the night. We look at what time they're online, and they're just... they're online until dawn over there. There's always some online in the Egypt office. The Columbians keep more regular hours, and they're basically on Eastern time. As a producer, it's a little bit rough some times, because I want to walk around the office and see what everybody's working on, you know, spy on everybody. But you know, as a producer, it's taught me to trust [my team] a lot more, and to not reach out and spy on everyone. We keep in touch via Skype most of the time, we have a huge virtual meeting area we all go into every day, and it works really well. In fact, from a management point of view, we have to document a lot more and make sure everybody's all on the same page, so we probably talk a lot more than people in a regular office. Shack: You kind of have to, I'd imagine. Adrian Jones: Yeah. In order to satisfy my paranoia [without resorting to spying], I make sure everybody's in contact quite often.
Shack: Many gamers are under the impression that a PhysX card is necessary to run CellFactor: Revolution. Is that the case? Adrian Jones: Well, there's big thing about the PhysX processor. PhysX-based games are more visceral, and we wanted people to be able to fully experience [that immersion]. So we made two levels that are just about playing with physics. You can take a huge mass of objects [scattered around the level] and just kill another guy with the ball. Or just whack another guy with a pipe. That's just fun. Those two levels are completely playable with a PhysX card, and people will really have a fun time with that, and they'll really enjoy that kind of interaction. We also wanted to demonstrate what a PhysX card can do. There are three levels that are basically turned up to 11, so to speak. They've got all sorts of things where players can take fluids [such as lava] and kill people with those fluids. There's a particle beam weapon with 7000 particles [in it], and you can use your Psi powers to push those [beams] around. Those three levels need a PhysX card in order to really run well. If we released those three levels without a PhysX card, you'd get something like three to five frames per second. So, people who don't have a PhysX card will be able to play those two levels, and they'll be able to play LAN games. People who do have a PhysX card can play every level, and there's a single-player game that's a sort of tutorial, that teaches players how to use all of their powers. The guys who made this game, the designers and artists, they love it. There are only five levels, but they're incredibly deep. In the tutorial, there are fifteen different challenges. Each challenge has two basic [lessons] that it's trying to teach, and each lesson takes maybe ten to thirty minutes. No one will ever master each lesson. All of the powers are available to everybody. We've done our best to [construct the game] so that everybody can learn quickly. We're putting strategy videos and such together, but the tutorial levels are available only to those who have a PhysX card, because we needed the card's benefits for those levels. Of course, only the two [aforementioned] levels will be available over LAN games to those players who don't have a PhysX card, but they can use every ability, every weapon, and pretty much do everything but play the other levels. Turn the page to learn more about CellFactor: Revolution's development. _PAGE_BREAK_ Page 2
Shack: Do you feel that the limitation of only having access to two levels without a PhysX card will hurt your prospective user base? Adrian Jones: Well, not necessarily, not for this game. I don't think prospective user base is an issue. The game is free, and I think that it's gonna be a riot for anybody who downloads it. It will be really fun and really novel. Anybody who picks it up should get hours and hours of enjoyment. Shack: What led to the decision to release CellFactor: Revolution, originally announced as a standard retail game, for free? Adrian Jones: It's really to everybody's advantage. I think [our developers] are interested in the leg-up. None of them have ever released an original game before, and they're really excited about getting their names out there and having everybody see what they can do. We really want to show two things. We want to show how fun it is to play a game with PhysX, and what the PhysX card can do. Shack: Many gamers feel that CellFactor: Revolution isn't actually "free," since a PhysX card is necessary to fully take advantage of all that the game has to offer. How would you say that the use of a PhysX processor compares to an engine such as Source that has been highly optimized for physics? In other words, why not just use a pre-existing game engine instead of essentially mandating a PhysX card purchase? Adrian Jones: It's interesting. The Source engine... it's not an apple-to-apples comparison. The Source engine has done a good job of giving programmers a good interface to physics. The game programmer can do a lot of things with PhysX. Psi Power is a lot like [Half-Life 2's] gravity gun, but the gravity gun can't pick up and smash thousands of objects around the game world simply because the processor doesn't have the horsepower. It's very possible to take the Source engine and modify it to use the PhysX card and have the best of both worlds. The PhysX card just enables very, very rapid calculations. Shack: What are some aspects of the game that you feel are particularly adept at demonstrating the power of PhysX cards? Adrian Jones: Lately, I've really been enjoying the reactor processing core [level]. There have always been pools of lava, right? And we've always been able to push guys into pools of lava and watch them die, and that's fun, but in the reactor processing core, we can actually take lava and push it into players, which is really fun. I wait for a guy to come through the door, and then I just pour lava onto him with my Psi powers. I've been having a lot of fun late at night just being malicious. The fluid system is really, really nice, and quite beautiful. Some levels are covered in spider webs that are all simulated via cloth, so I watch people walk through the webs, or better yet, I watch the webbing to see if anyone has passed. I can make sure that I'm not walking into [an ambush]. I'm not a physics rocket scientist. I'm a good programmer, and I understand mathematics, but for me, it's all about the gameplay that PhysX empowers me to do. I really like the visceral feel of things, like the spider webs floating around. On another level, Proving Grounds, I didn't want the artist to put in flags. Physics-wise, flags are pretty tired. But the guy absolutely insisted. He really wanted to make [the level] look like a gladiatorial arena. For him, that was a really important thing in making the world real, and the thing I like about PhysX is, we're able to do a lot of things that aren't just static geometry. The way the flags billow is just beautiful.
Shack: What are some of the weapons and items that will allow us to interact with our environments? To cite an example, the way you used lava against your opponents. Adrian Jones: The big one is Psi Power. I won't go into an explanation of where Psi power comes from in the game, but basically, you're able to use--the Bishop character, especially--is able to [telekinetically interact] with the environment. You can do basic things, like pick up a pipe and smack somebody with it. He can push a huge pile of objects. And he can pick up a large number of objects and throw them, one by one, at [other players]. But the best ability is Psi Rift, where she draws all objects in the area into a ball and throws it. The Bishop can't use any weapons, but when she picks up all of the objects, they'll tear off the walls and form a big ball, and that's a really good [alternative to conventional weapons]. It's also a really good defense, because the Guardian might have a rocket launcher, and that can lock on, which is definitely a huge pain in the ass. But when you've got a huge ball of objects in front of you, it also forms a shield. Now, the objects are breakable, so the rockets will break apart the ball you're holding, but at least you didn't die. Now, when you eventually launch that ball of objects at a guy, he's going to have a hard time. In Proving Grounds, for example, the ball of objects is usually comprised of lots of knives, wadded up in a huge ball of cloth. The Bishop also has a power called Psi Wave, and that takes all of the objects in front of her and parts them like the Red Sea. She's got an Overcharge, and on some levels, you can nearly knock every single object on the level all around, whacking people with the objects. Shack: I know it's a generic term, but your answer prompts me to ask how destructible the environments are in CellFactor: Revolution. Adrian Jones: Well, it depends on the level. Some levels are more sturdily constructed than others. It really depends on the design of each individual level. For instance, when you're playing Capture the Flag on [some levels], it can be a pain if you can't fly, because all of the environment is destructible, and you may find a platform underneath you by something that the Guardian [character] did. You can't get [up onto the platform], or you may even find yourself under it. A level like Fueling Station is pretty sturdily constructed, and you're going to find yourself able to get around pretty well, but it might be pretty easy to get tossed off the edge of the level. Each level has a certain degree of destructibility that's been sort of preset for that particular level.
Shack: Would you say that certain levels are more suitable for certain character types? Adrian Jones: Yeah, everybody has their "home." The Bishop's home is Proving Grounds, and that's a big gladiatorial arena. It's filled with knives, and it's an open area. Even though the Guardian has rocket launchers, he'll never beat her in that area, because he needs a place to hide to shoot rockets from, and he needs range to hit the Bishop. Shack: That's interesting, because potentially, the Bishop could just tear away objects just to get at him, correct? Adrian Jones: Yeah, but the Bishop needs a certain amount of range. The real home of the Black-Ops is the Eastern Weapon System Control. That level is really hard for the Bishop to function in, even though it's destructible. She can tear objects off the wall and try to hit people [with them], but the Black-Ops also has some Psi abilities, as well as some sneaky things. He can place proximity mines, [as well as] an alternate fire on the sniper rifle that really ends up working well. We were hoping that his [the Black-Ops] home would've been on Fueling Station, simply because that's a really great place to drive vehicles, but he ended up just dominating on Eastern Weapon System Control. Shack: Have there been any aspects of CellFactor: Revolution's development that have been particularly challenging? Adrian Jones: The biggest challenges... there are two. There were a lot of visions for CellFactor: Revolution, and bringing them all together into one vision was very challenging. Also, I didn't have any experience with PhysX, and really, you have to get your hands dirty [with it] before you understand it. Experimenting with PhysX was very exciting, but bringing that together into a game, it's almost disappointing to ship it because there's so much more I want to do with PhysX. The learning curve was a bit steep, but it was pretty darn rewarding. I'm really looking forward to the next game. Shack: Thanks for your time. CellFactor: Revolution is due out for PC on May 8, 2007.

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CellFactor: Revolution Preview

Related Topics – CellFactor: Revolution, PhysX

1UP has been updated with a CellFactor: Revolution preview, going hands-on with the AEGIA PhysX powered first person shooter which will be released for free this May.

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"Crappy preview. tl;dr: graphics could be better. sp & mp modes. 3 classes: bishop(psi power), ..."
- fuell    Add a comment


CellFactor: Revolution Preview

Related Topics – Games: PC, PhysX

IGN has a CellFactor: Revolution preview up, offering brief hands-on impressions of this PhysX powered shooter that's due out next month.

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"agreed but the big issue is whether anyone actually NEEDS a dedicated physics card to enjoy the ..."
- cell9song    See all 2 comments


CellFactor: Revolution For Free This May

Related Topics – CellFactor: Revolution, PhysX

AGEIA today announced that the multiplayer shooter CellFactor: Revolution, originally announced as a retail game, will be released for free May 8. Most parts of the physics heavy game will require a PhysX PPU, but people without such a card (which is...almost everyone) will be able play two levels against AI enemies.

The game will automatically detect players with a PhysX card, offering them the option to progress through the single-player campaign mode that includes three "extreme PhysX" levels. PhysX users can also challenge humans and AI-enemies in four LAN-based multiplayer modes. Gamers who do not have a PhysX processor will be able to fight artificial-intelligent controlled enemies in the multiplayer "skirmish" modes, in two environments. The extreme PhysX levels were designed to spotlight physics gameplay with a purpose. For example, oil leaking from a barrel may be an indicator of its volatile nature, a spider web twitch can indicate nearby movement, lava can be psionically harnessed to deflect or smother enemies, and particle beams can be used as weapons.

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"with multicore procs almost becoming standard (even on notebooks) i'd think that physics ..."
- gyokuro    See all 33 comments


Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction Q&A

Related Topics – MMO, Games: PC, PhysX

Over at RPG Vault you can find a Q&A on that new NetDevil game with the silly title Warmonger, Operation: Downtown Destruction. Chris Sherland is asked about the creation of a first person shooter by a company known for MMO titles, the game setting, initial content, gameplay, AI, and use of PhysX among other things.

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Warmonger Q&A

Related Topics – Games: PC, PhysX

New at FiringSquad this afternoon is a Warmonger Q&A, asking NetDevil's Chris Sherland about this Unreal Engine 3 powered shooter which will feature extensive AGEIA PhysX support.

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