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RDR COLLECTOR'S PACK   *   29.06.2012
Thanks to a friend of mine, who has family in the US, I finally got the RDR Collector's Pack I had wanted for nearly two years.

When I ordered some t-shirts from the Rockstar Warehouse back in 2010, I wanted to get this too, but it was out of stock, with no estimate on when it would become available. Then they drastically raised the shipping cost to Europe for some reason. I paid 20 $ for shipping in June 2010, then by the end of the year they raised it to over 50 $. Now it is 66 $, which is simply insane.
Even though they have opened the European Warehouse, this item is not available. Fortunately my friend's family was sending him a package, so I took the opportunity and asked him to order this pack for me.

RDR Collector's Pack

I have always loved collector's editions and all kinds of gadgets. As I am a huge fan of Rockstar, and Red Read Redemption is definitely the best game of this generation of consoles (so far, where are you GTA V?), I really wanted to have this pack in my collection. And it is a great one. It consists of a black soap, playing cards in a deluxe packaging, and a set of dice.
I also got a nearly complete set of Rockstar stickers. The only one missing is Rockstar Vienna, but it is a closed studio, so it is understandable. I only had a few stickers before, so now I am really happy to have them all.

There is a lot more stuff I would like to buy from the Rockstar Warehouse, but it is all really expensive. I hope I will come across some more money in the future, so that I can order at least some of it.


BATTLEFIELD 3 - PRO 1337 BOAT GLITCH LOLWUT   *   25.06.2012
Me and my friend have fallen prey to the infamous boat glitch, where you can make it drive under the land textures, which allows you to do pretty much anything.



Blowing up tanks from underneath must make them feel really special.

Here are their battle reports for that match:
K0mmD0cH - LINK
xXJ3LACKDEVILXx - LINK

Judging by their K/D ratio, they must have had many unsuccessful attempts. I am so glad they succeeded in killing us, and I was able to get it "on tape". :)


CARMAGEDDON: REINCARNATION KICKSTARTER SUMMARY   *   13.06.2012
Stainless Games have successfully completed their Kickstarter campaign for Carmageddon: Reincarnation.

The project has been funded with over 625 thousand dollars raised. The initial goal was 400k, so the fans have shown what Carmageddon still means to them.

The game should be released early next year, and we should get lots of updates along the way, including a playable beta, and a refreshed version of the original Carmageddon for PC (thanks to GOG.com) and mobile devices.



The work-in-progress video shows that the new game has potential, and the atmosphere of the original will hopefully be preserved.

I have pledged 30 $, which means I can expect the following: two Steam keys for the final game, early beta access, voucher for the original Carmageddon from GOG.com, and access to backer-only official forums with all the news and updates from Stainless Games.

One thing worth noting about the original Carmageddon being prepared by GOG, is that the original does not run on modern operating systems. It requires DOSBox, and even then it is not a problem free experience. I hope the guys at GOG will do a really good job, because I would definitely like to play the original game once more.

Also, if you are a backer, there is an unlisted video on the official Carmageddon YouTube channel, link to which you can find in a recent Kickstarter Project Update, showing some archive footage of the PratCam clips being recorded for the original game.


UNREAL ENGINE 4 DEMO AND WALKTHROUGH   *   09.06.2012
Epic have released two videos showing their Unreal Engine 4.
One is a complete demo sequence, rendered in real-time. The other is a walkthrough for all the new graphics and physics features.

  

It is definitely not a revolution, but it is still a major step forward. With DX11, virtually anything can be programmed to run on the GPU, including all kinds of physics. This effectively makes PhysX unnecessary. Hopefully developers will use DX11 to program destroyable objects, like those bricks we can see in the demo. OpenCL should become a lot more popular now, and we should see such effects running on GPUs from every manufacturer (not just NVIDIA), as well as next-gen consoles.

Deferred rendering is pretty much a standard now, and we can see the lighting becoming a lot more similar in many modern games. Of course DX11 brings MSAA support for deferred rendering, but it is vital that we see a massive efficiency improvement in that matter. Deferred MSAA kills the framerate, and we can see it in Battlefield 3 or Max Payne 3. With GPUs having so many TMUs these days, this is ridiculous. Seems like MLAA and FXAA got so much attention, that they completely forgot about the true anti-aliasing methods.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to seeing first games utilizing the Unreal Engine 4.
Hopefully developers will start with the PC versions, and port the games to consoles. At least until the next generation arrives.


MAX PAYNE 3 PRE-ORDER GADGETS   *   07.06.2012
I have just received my bonus items for pre-ordering Max Payne 3.

I love gadgets. The more the merrier. The bullet keychain is actually part of the Special Edition, but I have not seen it offered as a pre-order item anywhere except for one Polish store (actually owned by Cenega, the official Rockstar publisher in Poland). The UFE patch was a pre-order exclusive, it was also supposedly offered in Canada and Africa.

Max Payne 3 pre-order gadgets

I am very fond of collector's editions, but the MP3 Special Edition was disappointing, especially considering its price. The figurine was not interesting at all, the artworks were mediocre, and all the DLC content was something you could definitely do without. The keychain was the only thing I really wanted, so I am glad I got it for pre-ordering the game.

I really hope they do a much better job with the GTA V Special Edition.


SOFT-BODY PHYSICS IN CRYENGINE 3   *   03.06.2012
I have stumbled upon a video showing the Beam Physics System being developed with the CryENGINE 3 SDK.
It offers ultra-realistic vehicle physics, including damage. Also, it can be applied to virtually any type of vehicle.



The only question is, will anyone ever use it? CryENGINE is a great engine, but nobody uses it. Crytek are probably asking a lot of money for a commercial license, and there are only a few games out there using CryENGINE. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is probably the first big game other than Crysis to utilize this engine. Somehow I cannot imagine a game about cars using CryENGINE at all.

I wish this Beam Physics System was a completely 3rd party solution that could be implemented in virtually any engine out there, just like Euphoria. Sure, with Euphoria it is NaturalMotion who have to do the animations for those wanting to use it, but it can still work with any engine. I am sure Rockstar would love to have this implemented in their own RAGE engine, because this type of physics system would be perfect for future Grand Theft Auto titles.
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