As Portal comes to its first anniversary today, the one of the first full mods for the game releases in its full glory. Portal: Prelude puts players into the pre-GlaDOS era of Aperture Science where real scientists did the dirty work, not that cake-promising machine. This story has great potential, so great in fact the Valve announced back in June 2008 that they were working on a prelude to Portal themselves, but the man behind the mod, Nicolas “NykO18″ Grevet, continued to create and now release his vision of the game.
FilePlanet managed to get 24-hour exclusivity rights from Grevet (a bad decision in my opinion, mods should be free to everyone at all times), and the mod is set for release to the general public tomorrow. You can watch the trailer below for the mod while the 775 MB gets onto your computer. If you are unsure of how to get a mod properly working on Steam, Planet Half-Life has a tutorial on installing mods.
In a move that represents the Million Dollar Homepage, Arthur Stubbs is giving people the chance for cheap, creative advertising by offering them ad space for only 2 dollars a spot at IntoSpace.org. Arthur tells people his about his passion for the project and what it’s about:
This is my gift to everyone who has ever dreamt of space flights but has always been unable to make it become reality.
This project is about compiling a catalog of photos and logotypes to be sent into outer space aboard a space vehicle. Our catalog will consist of 300 sheets (300 “rockets”), every “rocket” will be able to deliver up to 1000 “astronauts” by occupying the place of 25×40 cm. on a single sheet. You can book your ticket for just $2.
If he ends up selling all the tickets, which he undoubtedly will, he’ll possibly make around 3 million dollars or so, at least before shipping costs to space. This seems like a good opportunity for everyone involved in the project, and major sponsors already show up on the homepage, which should help drive a lot of traffic both ways.
Scour is a great concept for a search engine. Bring together the results of Google, Yahoo, and MSN along with user ratings and comments to make sure that the first page of results is the only page you’ll need. But the results are clogged with ads and extra spacing that you don’t need.
Scour+, developed by myself, solves two problems with one script. It makes Scour have a fixed width, meaning that widescreen users have an easier time reading the search results. It also removes any and every sponsored ad, making Scour better than every to search with.
Before and After:
To use Scour+, you’ll have to be using Firefox with the Stylish installed, which is an awesome addon that lets users customize the way their browsers view webpages, and it can modify Firefox itself too. You can view more styles at Userstyles.org, where Scour+ is hosted.
Left 4 Dead, Valve’s next big game, is coming on November 18 with the demo infecting players on sometime before the release. HalfLife2.net got ahold of the system requirements from Doug Lombardi, the Valve marketing man.
- OS: Windows Vista, XP or 2000
- CPU: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 or AMD64X2 (or higher)
- RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2GB for Vista
- Disc drive: DVD-ROM Drive
- Hard drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space
- Video: Direct X 9 compatible video card (Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for pixel shader 2.0)
- Sound: Direct X9.0c compatible sound card
The only potential worry is the need for a 256 MB video card, as many people still run games with a 128 MB card, although you really should have upgraded to something better by now.
For those of you who haven’t already heard of Peggle, it’s a highly addicting game that has similarities to Plinko in that you fire a ball from the top and see what it does on the way down. The goal is to hit all of the orange pegs before you run out of balls. Peggle Nights expounds on the game by adding in a new character, 60 new levels, new style shots like “Double Long Shot,” and 60 new challenges to keep you playing all night. The cost of the game is $19.95, and hopefully the original Peggle will receive a price drop soon.
The most exciting feature about the new game is undoubtedly the downloadable level packs that Popcap is planning on creating, and hopefully they will even release a level editor for players to create their own levels, but that has not been confirmed.
Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve (the greatest gaming company ever), confirmed at Videogamer.com that the demo of Left 4 Dead will be for PC and Xbox 360. Gabe, while unsure of the final content that will be in the demo, assures gamers that both singleplayer and co-op will be in the demo as a taste of what the game will be like. The game itself is due out on November 18th in the US, and November 21, 2008 in Europe.
The Pxl Lab is also planning on reviewing both the PC and Xbox versions of the game, so be sure to check our reviews of the game when it’s released!
When I first watched this Youtube video detailing a Face of Mankind emulator, I was skeptical. But after visiting the site and the forums, the FoMEmu Project has me very excited for the first public release. Their “mission statement,” better known as the About page, details the game and what FoMEmu would like to do with it:
FoMEmu is a project to recreate the gameplay of the previously retail MMORPG Face of Mankind. Face of Mankind was a unique futuristic MMORPG/FPS that offered a much higher degree of player freedom compared to other commercial online multiplayer roleplaying games.
We aim to create an emulated game server for the retail client entirely constructed of our own code, with gameplay elements modified to emphasize on the greater amount of player freedom that existed in the earlier open beta versions. By recreating the original atmosphere of the game and establishing a strong community, we hope to restore Face of Mankind to its former state as a unique and fun online game.
We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the latest news from this awesome game. You can read our Face of Mankind post to learn more about the game in the meantime, however.
Battle.net, for those of you who don’t know, is Blizzard’s online matchmaking portal and community for games including the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo series. To put it simply, you can go online with your specific game, whether it be Diablo II or Warcraft III Frozen Throne, and play user-made maps or Blizzard maps with friends. What’s intriguing about Battle.net is the popularity of it. For Warcraft III Frozen Throne, its attendance strictly from Xfire is 16,000 or so per day, making it Xfire’s #6 most played game. For not being updated since 2003, and being made in 1997, I would have to say Battle.net is a very great system.
I personally think Battle.net is good enough to last us another 10 years, but with the release of Diablo III and Starcraft II, some technical and visual updates are of course necessary. Blizzard has not released the dates for the conversion to Battle.net v2.0, but we know it will be soon, with the release of Diablo III (not for sure) and Starcraft II somewhere in 2009, hopefully not much longer! Among some of the features of Battle.net II are:
- Excellent Ping (fast connections)
- Channels and Chat in-game
- Ladders and Rankings, secured against cheating.
- Extended stats, with possibility to see who D/C etc (source)
- Automatic/Anonymous Matchmaking
- Avatars, Images and Icons to represent yourself
- Diablo III Hardcore mode
- Friends/Ignore Lists with advanced management (see accounts below)
- Clan Support
- Automated Tournaments
Here are some screenshots of games that currently use Battle.net:
Could Google’s attempt at an internet browser be a huge success, or just a flop? Google released Google Chrome on September 2nd and they are making some pretty big claims about their new browser. I’ll start first with the mechanics behind the browser.
Chrome uses a different method behind it’s tab system. Instead of opening each tab under the same process, and lagging the computer as well as consuming memory, some of which cannot be reused until you restart, Chrome opens each tab in a new process. In this way, if one tab goes faulty, the whole browser doesn’t crash, just the tab. If you prefer to use tabs over windows, this is the browser for you. If you prefer to use windows over tabs, this is the browser for you. It’s unique drag and drop design allows you to separate tabs into windows, and windows back into tabs again. This is all done at a quick speed, and there is no lag time involved. (more…)