Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
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Riverdeep, Inc. last week shipped ZoneAlarm Pro 4, firewall software designed to shield
computers from hackers, data thieves, and malicious email attachments.
Developed by Zone Labs and distributed by Riverdeep
Hacker ID is a new feature that pinpoints and tracks hackers, making it possible for users to report serious offenders to their ISP. The new Outbound MailSafe feature helps to halt transmission of virus-infected email before it can do damage. And CacheCleaner is said to speed overall PC performance and remove temporary files, search history and other "file clutter" from users' computers.
A feature-limited, free version is available at http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp.
Digimation last week began shipping SpeedTree 2.0 for 3ds max 4.x/5.x (a version will be available for 3ds max 6 when it ships), and SpeedTree VIZ 2.0 for Autodesk VIZ 4. The update to the SpeedTree plug-in, launched last year, includes support for palm trees, trees with smaller polygon counts, and a rewritten foresting tool.
SpeedTree 2.0 comes with a standalone tree-editing package called SpeedTree CAD Lite. It also comes with a set of plug-ins for 3ds max 4.x/5.x to import and work with SpeedTree trees inside 3ds max. The software includes a library of approximately 36 different tree species, each in two or three different resolutions and polygon counts. In addition, SpeedTree 2.0 supports network licensing and license transfers.
Developer/publisher Electric Rain last week released Swift 3D version 3.0 for Mac OS X. Swift 3D is a standalone application for designers to build and export 3D animations to the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, as well as other major vector and raster formats.
The new version is said to offer advantages over previous versions by utilizing Mac OS X's dynamic memory management and multi-tasking capabilities, providing faster rendering speeds and enhanced workflow.
New features include:
Curious Labs, Inc. last week release of Poser 5 for the Mac OS X platform. The 3D-character animation tool offers new features including:
SGI and Nanyang Technological
University (NTU) in
The Reality Theater will be made available to all NTU faculties for teaching and research and will also be available to external enterprises and government agencies for relevant applications and projects. CAMTech, a joint research and development center between the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics of Darmstadt, Germany, and NTU, will manage the theater.
The Reality Theater provides seating for up to 91 participants. Powered by a 16-processor SGI Onyx 3800 visualization system, it provides a collaborative computing environment within which users can engage in such activities as interactive, real-time engineering and design review, data analysis, critical training or command-and-control operations.
SGI is working with NTU to implement a Visual Area Network, SGI's anytime, anywhere, any-device visualization solution enabling interactive, collaborative analysis of large amounts of information. Through Visual Area Networking, researchers can now share visual data sets with peers on other continents in real time.
Game Developer's 2003 Game Career Guide is now available at newsstands and bookstores, and by download.
Topics covered include:
Under a new agreement, ATI Technologies is developing custom graphics technologies for use by Microsoft in future Xbox products and services. Nvidia, left in the lurch by Microsoft by this announcement, provided graphics tech for the current Xbox. The next Xbox is expected to launch in about two years.
Blizzard Entertainment announced last week that Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has surpassed 1 million
units sold worldwide, according to EDI sell-through, internal company
estimates, and reports from key retail accounts around the world. The title is
the eighth Blizzard product to sell 1 million copies and also to reach #1 in
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
provides gamers with a new chapter in the epic Warcraft
saga. In the single-player campaigns, players revisit the war-torn world of Azeroth. Several months have passed since Archimonde and the Burning Legion were defeated at the
The expansion in cludes new heroes, monsters, magical items, merchant shops, tilesets, over 20 new missions for the single-player campaigns, a bonus RPG-style mini-campaign, and an enhanced user interface. Each army has new units, and expanded multiplayer options include support for automated tournaments, extensive clan support, and new maps. The game's World Editor has also received enhancements, including the ability to link maps together to create custom campaigns.
Coming in September from Atari, Inc. (formerly Infogrames) is Once Upon A Knight, a fantasy-based interactive PC game. The title combines elements of real-time-strategy (RTS) action and role-playing-game (RPG) adventure into a game where players battle evil, save damsels and are generally noble and just.
The game offers a milk-based economy, mothers-in-law, flying witches, and secretive knights named Floyd. Players can either jump into battle in RTS mode, or build up a character's attributes over time in RPG mode.
Once Upon A Knight is set in a 3D environment that features over 20 missions, hundreds of quests, creepy monsters, 80 different characters, and spells and weaponry. It also offers LAN and online play for up to eight gamers.
The game's "persistent world" evolves, transforms,
and develops, even when gamers are not playing. Final Fantasy XI was released
Players will undertake multiple adventures through large environments in the world of "Vana'diel," which has more than 100 areas to explore, including mountains, forests, ice plains, deserts, oceans, rivers, castles, and dungeons. Players travel through these areas using various modes of transportation including chocobos, boats, and airships. Players will also experience time and climate changes, including desert sandstorms, thunderstorms, fog, and snow.
Vana'diel's persistent world is
composed of three nations: the
Final Fantasy XI for Windows will include the "Rise of
the Zilart" expansion pack, which was released
Final Fantasy XI for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system will be released in conjunction with the internal hard disk drive (40GB)(for PlayStation 2) by Sony Computer Entertainment America. Specific product details, including release date and price, will be announced by the company at a later date.
The Churchill Club and Garage Technology Ventures will
Among the lineup of speakers confirmed for Silicon Valley 4.0 are:
To provide a glimpse into the future,
Registration is now open for GarageGames
IndieGamesCon ’03, to be held this fall in
The event is described as a fun, informal and informative gathering of independent game developers. IGC is designed to be a summit meeting of developers with the shared goal of focusing on collaboration and building community. IGC provides connections and content for programmers, artists and indie entrepreneurs.
Highlights include the keynote speech by GarageGames
president/cofounder Jeff Tunnell, presentations by
industry leaders, a
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- David Duberman
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