Ten Ton Hammer

  • It's been awhile but Heidi is back with a new log on Portals and the Nav Zone.

    A portal system is a way to more intelligently decide what we draw and simulate within a scene. Basically, we divide the level into a series of “rooms”, which is essentially an group of stuff you expect to see at a single time. Connecting these rooms are volumes called “portals”. Those allow me to tell which rooms I should expect to see from other rooms. So when I’m in a room I can quickly determine which portals I see, which I can then use to quickly determine which other rooms I can see from which I can determine … etc. etc.. Anything not seen is discarded and not drawn. Not terribly exciting, but it allows us to have bigger “play areas” and to allow you to stay in them longer before we have to have a giant load from the disk. One of the problems found along the way was that our art really wasn’t created with this system in mind, so I had to write some code to appropriately split the art along the boundaries of the chambers. While this wasn’t terribly tricky it was gruelingly slow. Hence the part of my job where I go back and make existing stuff work faster.

    The nav zone uses this system but was a bit tricky because it is so VAST. Our normal pipeline for rooms is to simply export from Maya, and then run through a conversion program to get it into the game. Unfortunately the file that got spat from Maya was close to 2 gigs size. When we went to convert it, our machine simply didn’t have enough memory to handle it. In the end we had to redo our process to be more piece meal – processing smaller files which are then added to the overall scene, but cached to the disk instead of wiping out your machine.

    More News and Info on Pirates of the Burning Sea

    Awen goes to studiously brush up on her pirate speak

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • Don't know much about the game but you're curious? You are in luck! There's a new Introduction Page at the Official Site. It explains a bit about the game, gives us some dazzling artwork and so on and so forth.

    More News and Info on Chronicles of Spellborn

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • has a Dofus review.

    Following the tutorial, players are dumped into the world with very little direction as to what to do or where to go next. There are a few minor quests they can accomplish at the start, but they feel very shallow for the most part, and often involve a simple delivery or kill quest.

    That is not to say that the world players enter is not a pretty one. The Dofus world is undoubtedly beautiful in its own way. If you are looking for a game with cutting edge graphics, stay far away from this game. Everything is done with simple 2-dimensional sprites, which are animated well enough. The environments have a beautiful, hand-drawn look to them, and the game certainly has an anime theme and inspiration behind it. Some may enjoy this simplicity, while others may be put off by it, but there is no denying it all looks great.

    Are you Dofus material?

    More Dofus News and Info

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • Looks like this bad boy is just busting out. The Igneous Villain group is one of many of the horrors facing our Heroes in NCSoft's City of Heroes.

    The Trolls colloquially call them “rock dudes” and “lava dudes,” but such familiarity does not properly reflect the danger the Igneous represent. On the surface of the Hollows, scattered through the nooks and crannies of Grendel’s Gulch, are the scouts and vanguard of the Igneous. Named “pumicites” (from pumice, a porous form of solidified lava), these rock men appear to be made of a living, gray, porous stone. Their skin is abrasive, like the skin of a shark, and resembles a sponge because of gas bubbles frozen within it. These bubbles can burst, releasing noxious fumes that make it hard to breath. Pumicites are much lighter than they appear, and thus are faster and more agile than heroes might expect.

    He looks like a cross between Clayface and some kind of rockman. Scary Ugly is what he is.

    Get More Info and News on City of Heroes

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • It looks like the new MMO concept of paying for the game and not the subscription is really paying off for NCSoft. Today they announced the first expansion for Guild Wars - Factions

    Bellevue, Wash., Jan. 10, 2006 — NCsoft®, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces Guild Wars®: Factions™, the next chapter in the critically acclaimed Guild Wars franchise from ArenaNet® studios. The Factions campaign will release in the second quarter of 2006. It offers players an incredible gameplay experience with many new choices, including new regions, professions, skills, missions, and monsters, along with expanded options for both Cooperative and Player-versus-Player (PvP) play, and enhanced features for guilds.

    Players will get their first chance to experience the new campaign when ArenaNet opens its servers to everyone for the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend. This worldwide event—scheduled for January 20 through 22—is open to both existing Guild Wars players and to those who do not have a Guild Wars account. ArenaNet is distributing free access keys to the event at

    The event will enable players to experience two new professions being introduced in the campaign, the Assassin and the Ritualist. Participants will also be able to try out a number of the skills added to Guild Wars: Factions, including some of the deadly skills of the Assassin and the arcane spells of the spiritual Ritualist. They will also be able to get familiar with the new PvP continent, Battle Isles. Battle Isles will introduce players to new PvP experiences, new and expanded arenas, new quests, and a new explorable area as well.

    Another feature available during the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend is Observer Mode, where players who aren't participating in a battle can view the proceedings and check out the strategies and tactics used by top-ranked guilds as they fight for supremacy.

    "We're excited to be offering this free preview of Guild Wars: Factions to players throughout the world," said Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of ArenaNet. "Factions is a huge step in the continued evolution of the game, and I think gamers are really going to be excited about the new features they're going to see!"

    Check out our Guild Wars Site

    Other Guild Wars News and Info

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • "Ask and Ye Shall Receive!" .... most of the time.

    Here is a compilation of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach Previews outside of our lovely community.





    I'll add more as I find them. TTFN!

    I'd like to take this time to talk about the dangers of not ingesting enough coffee. It's not a good thing and frankly I wouldn't try it at home. One must have at least four cups a day to successfully function in the real world. For the non-real world I suggest a full bodied Mountain Dew.

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • Loading...
    Working hard, so you don't have to.
    I've found that if I prop a mop under each arm I can sleep standing up. Who says you need a hotel room while in a strange city to get a good night of sleep?
    The meeting flew by yesterday, so quickly in fact that I only had time for one Starbucks coffee. While in Vegas it is usually a race of epic proportions to see whether Phil, Neddie or myself will drink the most coffee. I'm not sure I can recover from my slow start out of the gate, but here's to trying!
    Much of the discussion at our network planning meeting yesterday revolved around how the MMOG market had grown with the explosion of the World of Warcraft population and how we would better serve the many newcomers to the genre. We have a pretty nifty idea or three coming down the pipe that we should be passing on to our readers in the next few days.
    With the Dungeons and Dragons Online NDA lifted there should be a lot of informative and sometimes even entertaining articles floating around the Interweb in the next few days. Worry not, Awen will be listed them, one and all, in our news. In the meantime [begin shameless plug], you could visit and get acquainted with the game if you haven't already. Say "Hello." Buy it a beer and get to know it. You may like it. [/end shameless plug]
    As Loading.... itself isn't very entertaining today I'll pass on a movie segways so well from the beer comment above that I couldn't let it pass.
    We bring you: World of Warcraft: Beer Song

    As always, thanks for visiting,
    -- John "Boomjack" Hoskin

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • I can see clearly now the NDA is gone. Ok I know it's cheesy.

    DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ Confidentiality Obligations Lifted 09-Jan-2006
    Turbine is pleased to announce that the confidentiality obligations in the Preview and Non-disclosure Agreement for the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ Beta have been lifted earlier than anticipated. This means players in the Beta Program and those who took part in the Stress Test Events are free to talk about the game on public forums. After getting so much positive feedback from our Beta players, we felt it was time to let them share their opinions and praise for DDO with the rest of the MMOG community.

    Good news indeed for all of the DND players out there who are looking forward to this game.

    Take a minute to check out our Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach Site It has alot of great content.

    Other Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach News and Info

    Tue, Jan 10, 2006
  • Since Boomjack is off in sunny Las Vegas I thought I'd give you a heads up on what's going on in the wonderful land of Ten Ton Hammer today.

    Frolicking in the Feerrott On the EQ2 site.

    What Changed in 2005 on the WoW site.

    Looking BACK at 2005 on the Auto Assault site.

    DDO 2005: A Year in Review on the Dungeons and Dragons Online site.

    2005 In A Nutshell on the Guild Wars site.

    Arena Build - Air Elementalist on the Guild Wars Site.

    A Time of Change on the Vanguard site.

    Are you seeing a trend here? We're looking back at 2005 and seeing what happened to who, what and where. They're all great articles so have yourself a good read.

    Mon, Jan 09, 2006
  • Looks like this Comic book like game is going into beta. Beta kicks off Feb 1st so make sure you signup now if you want in on this out of the box game.

    Aarhus, Denmark – January 9, 2006 – Runestone Game Development announced today that applications are now being accepted for beta testing Seed, the premiere genre-shattering massively multiplayer game slated for release in April 2006, with testing to kick off February 1st.
    "We're thrilled about being so near opening Seed to our testers," said Lars Kroll Kristensen, CEO of Runestone Game Development. "This is the first huge step toward launch, and after years of work we're all very excited to begin sharing it with thousands of gamers!"

    In Seed, players find themselves on an alien world in the far future as desperate human settlers who must work together to ensure the survival of their colony and the whole human race. By using their intellect rather than their brawn, players alone will decide the fate of the entire colony, set within a highly mutable and interactive world.

    Beginning February 1st, the testing phase will ramp up steadily toward launch, growing the population from the pool of beta applicants and ending with a stress test in March, where the community will be encouraged to come by the thousands to give Seed a try.

    With groundbreaking gameplay powered by next-generation artificial intelligence poured into a rich, comic-book-style 3D world, Seed truly stands out from the crowd. Learn more about this revolutionary MMG and sign up for the beta test by visiting

    About Runestone Game Development

    Runestone Game Development is a Danish computer game developer specializing in innovative, story-based massively multiplayer online games. Seed is the premiere title from the company, which is owned partly by the employees, partly by business investors.

    More Info and News on Seed the Game

    Mon, Jan 09, 2006
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