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Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday, December 15, 2000

3dfx Interactive Dissolves Company!
3dfx issued a press release this afternoon outlining three initiatives to protect its creditors and maximize shareholder value. The company said its Board of Directors will recommend to its shareholders that they approve the sale of most of the company's assets to NVIDIA Corporation as outlined in a definitive agreement between the companies that was signed today, and also approve a plan to dissolve the company following completion of the asset sale. In addition, upon signing the definitive agreement, 3dfx transferred to NVIDIA the "3dfx" and "Voodoo" brand names and trademarks.

The company has explained that the move was a well deliberated business decision intended to return as much capital as possible to its investors in the face of mounting financial losses over several consecutive quarters. 3dfx (Nasdaq:TDFX) closed at 1.78 today. Under the terms of the agreement signed today, NVIDIA has agreed to pay a value of $112 million ($70 million cash and one million shares of registered NVIDIA common stock as value based on NVIDIA's closing price on December 14, 2000). NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) closed at 37.43 today.

Upon signing the definitive agreement, NVIDIA has agreed to loan to 3dfx $15 million for working capital, which will be credited to the cash portion of the purchase price. This afternoon 3dfx laid off its entire staff as part of an initiative to significantly reduce expenses. 3dfx's staff were not notified of the company's dissolution until today. Only a core management team will stay with 3dfx while the assets are transferred to Nvidia. 3dfx expects to continue to maintain an adequate workforce to support its customers. Other staff members received 60 days compensation after immediate termination. For more info go to: 3dfx

NVIDIA To Acquire 3dfx Core Graphics Assets!
NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain graphics related assets of 3dfx Interactive (Nasdaq: TDFX), a pioneer and a recognized leader in graphics technology. These graphics related assets include, but are not limited to, patents, pending patent applications, trademarks, brand names, and chip inventory related to the graphics business of 3dfx. In addition, 3dfx and NVIDIA have agreed to stay the patent infringement litigation between them through the closing of the transaction, at which time it will be jointly dismissed with prejudice.

Under the terms of the agreement, NVIDIA will pay to 3dfx a total consideration of $70 million in cash and 1 million shares of common stock. The asset acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to 3dfx shareholder approval, the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions. This acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of NVIDIA's fiscal year 2002.

NVIDIA executives will conduct a conference call on Monday, December 18,2000 at 7:00AM, Pacific Time.

Army Grounds Apache Fleet!
The Army directed the grounding of the AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet late yesterday as a precautionary measure following the discovery of a faulty tail rotor swashplate assembly. The order also calls for a serial number inspection of all 742 AH-64A and D aircraft to determine if specific swashplate assemblies are on an aircraft. Certain serial numbers have been identified as being potentially faulty and will be replaced. An investigation will determine the status of the remaining swashplates.Failure of a swashplate assembly could result in the loss of an aircraft and crew injuries.Army leaders took this action as a prudent measure to ensure the safety of soldiers.

The ongoing investigation will determine the cause of the faulty swashplate and how many of the 742 aircraft are affected. The Army will work to get its priority, first-to-fight units returned to fully mission capable status. The U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Aviation and the Army Aviation and Missile Command-- both located at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.-- will gather the inspection data that will identify discrepant parts. The inspection data will result in the development of a prompt replacement timeline. Source link: US Army News

Review Panel to Study MV-22 Osprey Update!
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced today the appointment of an independent high-level review panel for the V-22 program. Cohen asked retired Marine Gen. John R. Dailey to chair the panel. Retired Air Force Gen. James B. Davis and Norman R. Augustine will join Dailey on the panel. In his tasking to the panel members, Secretary Cohen wrote, "The V-22 accident history and other testing issues neccessitate that we undertake an independent, high level review of the program. You are hereby appointed to conduct this review, to include safety of the aircraft, and to recommend any proposed corrective actions."

Specific factors to be addressed in the review, as they affect safety and combat effectiveness, are training, engineering and design, production and quality control, suitability to satisfy operational requirements, performance and safety of flight. Full story on the MV-22 at: Aviation Now

New In Stores This Week, B-17 Flying Fortress 2 and More!

B-17 Flying Fortress 2 - Hasbro's final Hoorah! B-17 II is finally available in North America. Get thee to your local computer store Now! For more info, read our preview at: CSIM Previews B-17

COMBATSIM.COM's review of B-17 II coming next week.

Project IGI (I'm Going In) - Eidos has released I’m Going In, the first military stealth shooter to stress cunning and covertness over firepower. Use all the latest spy equipment and weapons to get the job done without detection. Download the demo today at: Project IGI Demo

StarFleet Command II -The game is the sequel to Star Trek: Starfleet Command, which was released in July of 1999. The game features 3D real-time combat and a deeper single-player campaign than its predecessor. We will have reveiw of this very soon. Download the demo today, click here: SFC2 Demo

Airfix Dogfighter This flight combat game, which was developed by Paradox Entertainment, gives players the chance to control miniature model replicas of World War II airplanes in virtual air combat. Adrenaline Vault: Airfix Demo

Combat Command 2: Danger Forward! Shrapnel Games' latest World War II wargame. For more info, purchase or download the demo at: Combat Command 2

New Patch Available for Rogue Spear: Urban Operations!
Red Storm has released a new patch for their 3D game or urban tactical combat, Rogue Spear: Urban Operations. The list of fixes that this version introduces appears below; you can find the patch itself at: Redstorm

B-17 Flying Fortress 2: The Mighty Eighth Patch Update!
News from Bombs-Away.Net that Wayward Design has produced a patch to deal with issues in B-17: Flying Fortress - The Mighty Eighth. Right now this patch is being tested to make sure that it fixes problems without introducing any new ones. As soon as the testing has been done the patch will be released on various gaming sites, including Bombs-Away.

Wayward Cautions on Game Tweaking for B-17 II!
Bombs-Away Net has posted this warning from Iain Howe from Wayward regarding game tweaking:

"B-17:Flying Fortress - The Mighty 8th was designed to run "as is". This means that if you edit, or replace with an edited version, any files provided by your installation you effectively invalidate your User Agreement.

In plain English, if you edit resourcesdatabasesRiverAndRoadsDB.LMF neither Hasbro or Wayward can provide any Support for you.

The settings used in that file were arrived at after careful experimentation, and are designed to provide the best game experience and game performance on the widest range of systems.

Any deviation from those settings could cause Gameplay problems, Stability Issues, Performance Issues - in fact just about anything.

That said, "Best" is a rather subjective term. Obviously we could have encrypted that file, required a CRC check so that the game wouldn't run if you edited it, etc.

RiverAndRoadsDB.LMF contains many elements that can be tweaked to change the way the game plays. Subtle changes may well make the game behave in a manner more consistent with YOUR expectations of air combat over Europe. In addition there are some neat little Easter Eggs that can be activated with this file - all of which are Development Tools.

As has been reported this file is ENORMOUS. Wading through it willy nilly will probably cause you to screw something up and require a re-install. It has been said that some Hints and Tips from those in the know would be useful.

I have a document under construction as we speak - which I will make available through Bombs Away. This advice will be provided "as is" with no warranty and no expectation of support - putting it bluntly it'll be my observations based on my experiences with tweaking that file myself - not the gospel according to Saint Iain of Wayward.

I expect it'll be picked up as the basis for improvement by someone in the community, but I make no commitment to ongoing evolution of it myself.

Until then, here are a few hints.

1. Keep a backup of the original file.

2. Only make one change at once.

3. Keep a backup of the orignal file.

4. Test each change before making another.

5. KEEP a BACKUP of the original file.

6. Keep a log of each change you make. That way you can always roll back individual changes that don't work.

And finally...

7. ALWAYS keep a backup of the original file.

For more on this warning and other information regarding B-17 II go to: Bombs-Away.Net

MiGMan's Site Gets a Facelift!
MiGMan's Flight Sim Museum has received a major facelift. The streamlined design has new departments for aircraft and pilots as well as simulations, and a lot of recently added material on the B-17, B-24, CFS2, field trips to museums and air shows, books, and more. Check out the "what's new" pages for the last few weeks -- there's an amazing amount of sim and aircraft information out there. MiGMan covers new sims and old, with detailed play guides for many of them. Visit MiGman at: MiGMan Flight Sim Museum

Cannon F-16 Aircraft Crashes!
An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed about 2:50 p.m. Dec. 13, in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on an air-to-air training mission. The plane was assigned to the 27th Fighter Wing Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. on temporary duty at the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, here. The pilot, Lt. Col. John Harrison, safely ejected from the aircraft and is underwent medical evaluation at the medical clinic here. A board of officers will investigate the accident.

Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Star Trek: Starfleet Command II Ships!
14° East, a division of Interplay Entertainment Corp, announced that Star Trek: Starfleet Command Volume II - Empires at War, has shipped to retail outlets.

The campaign game from Starfleet Command has been redesigned for Starfleet Command Volume II from the ground up, with a totally redesigned fleet control interface. Starfleet Command Volume II will allow the player to experience new races including the Mirak Star League and the Interstellar Concordium. Along with these new races comes new, unique weapon systems. The Interstellar Concordium have a powerful Plasmatic Pulsar Device to enforce peace on the known powers. The Mirak specialize in missile combat and have the most fearsome missile cruisers ever seen in the Star Trek universe. The Mirak have also upped the ante of fighter combat.

For the latest Star Trek news and information, visit the official Internet home of Star Trek at Star Trek Website

Combat Command 2: Danger Forward Ships!
Shrapnel Games announced today that Combat Command 2: Danger Forward will begin shipping today, just in time for Christmas. Combat Command 2: Danger Forward authentically recreates the most exciting engagements of WWII. Emphasizing command control and combined arms, the first volume of the series, Danger Forward, focuses on the Mediterranean and Western Front, from 1940-1945. Innovative rules, including the most detailed treatment of paradrops and amphibious landings ever in a computer wargame, make Combat Command a unique and exciting gaming experience.

Details on Combat Command 2: Danger Forward can be found at Shrapnel Games
Try the demo, click here: Close Combat 2 Demo

Aces High Possible Interrupted Service Today!
HiTech Creations just had an ice storm move through their local area that has caused a lot of power, phone, and network outages. They expect this to continue through today and you may have problems connecting with Aces High or even getting to their website.

Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Fighter Ace II Update Now Available!
Microsoft today announced the release of a major update for Fighter Ace II,'s massively multiplayer WWII air combat game. Fighter Ace II allows more than 300 pilots to fight in a single air combat arena from the cockpit of any one of more than 58 World War II vintage fighters and bombers.

The update adds 13 new aircraft to the deadly Fighter Ace II arsenal, including such planes as the Dornier Do217, the Douglas A-20 Havoc, the Grumman F6F Hellcat, and the De Havilland Mosquito. Two new maps are also included in the update, adding the English Channel and a fictional map which features 10,000 foot spires, a nail-biting canyon, and a death bowl with walls so high no one can escape. The Fighter Ace II update also offers advanced flight model adjustments for increased accuracy, improved rocket trajectories, heavy machine gun adjustments for the German and US forces, and more.

Registered players of Fighter Ace II must download this update in order to continue play. For more details on the update, go to: Zone: Fighter Ace
For more information on the game, visit the official Web site at: Fighter Ace II

Another Crash for the MV-22 Osprey!
The United States Marine Corps has grounded all MV-22 Osprey aircraft Tuesday following a crash in North Carolina that killed four Marines and raised new doubts about the future of the tilt-rotor plane. This is the second crash this year for the Osprey Program. Full story at: Aviation Now
Click here to read the Fact File: USMC MV-22 Osprey

Atomic Games Shuts Down!
Atomic Games, the creator of the long-running Close Combat wargame series, has laid off its entire staff of full-time personnel. The company now consists of a skeleton crew that includes Keith Zabalaoui, the owner and president of Atomic, Tom Kent, the director of development, and Jeff Baker, the art director. None of the employees we contacted who were affected by the layoff have definite plans for the future at this time. Zabalaoui said that the layoffs were partially a result of the cancellation of the Hammer's Slammers project by Gores Technology Group. According to Zabalaoui, Gores exercised its right to cancel the project for "any reason or no reason at all." Zabalaoui also commented that Atomic's future is uncertain at this time. Source: Gamespot

Free Pilot Manual for 767 Pilot In Command!
With its 767 Pilot in Command flight sim add-on slated to ship in the next few weeks, Wilco Publishing is giving desktop pilots a head start by posting the complete 116-page Panel Operations and Systems Manual online. The manual was written by an active 767 pilot and is so detailed that it could practically be used in flight schools.

The guidebook covers everything from in-depth looks at the simulator’s flight panel, flight instruments, inertial reference systems and autopilot flight director systems to explanations of the electrical, fuel, hydraulic, pneumatic, warning and fire systems. It also describes the operations of 767’s Flight Management Computer one of the most complete virtual FMCs ever created. For more info and the download click here: Wilco Publishing

Monday, December 11, 2000

Empire Interactive Acquires Rowan Software!
The Board of Empire is pleased to announce that its subsidiary company, Empire Interactive Europe Limited ("EIE"), has recently acquired the business and certain assets of Rowan Software Limited ("Rowan"), an established computer games developer based in Runcorn, Cheshire.

Rowan has been developing games for over 12 years. The team has produced many premier flight-simulations over the years, from Falcon to Flying Corps and the award-winning MiG Alley, which was released in 1999. More recently, the team has been working on Rowan's Battle of Britain, the highly anticipated World II flight-sim, which is released on 8th December 2000 on PC CD-Rom.

The Rowan team will now concentrate on developing more mass-market titles for next-generation consoles and, together with the recently acquired Razorworks, will build upon the capabilities of Empire's in-house development teams.

The assets, which included the goodwill, the intellectual property rights and the "Rowan Software" name, were acquired for £30,000. EIE will pay a further £30,000, provided Rowan meets certain games development targets. Empire has also retained all of the employees of the business.

Empire Interactive's CEO, Ian Higgins, said, "The acquisition of Rowan, as with the recent acquisition of Razorworks, significantly strengthens our in-house development. Rowan is one of the most experienced and talented games studios in the UK, with many award-winning titles to its credit. We look forward to publishing further great titles from them on PC and next-generation consoles."

Mike Brown, Studio Manager, Rowan, commented, "We have worked with Empire Interactive for many years and we're delighted to become part of the company at this exciting time."

Sharky Extreme has a Special Intel Report!
Sharky Extreme brings you a technical report on Intel's new process, which will take CPUs up to 10Ghz by 2005. According to Intel, their new process should be available for mass production by the year 2005. By shrinking transistor gate length from 130nm to 30nm (or .03mm), they plan to be able to dramatically scale processor frequency upwards (they are talking 10GHz) and decrease operational voltage to less than one. Full Report at: Sharky Extreme

MechWarrior 4 Demo!
DemoNews has announced that a mirror of the Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance Demo is now available at their site. Developed by the creators of the BattleTech Universe and original MechWarrior game, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance portrays the players' epic struggles to reclaim their birthright as they command an awesomely armed 40-foot tall, 80-ton, 90-mile per hour war machine across the remote battlefields of a hostile world. Click here: DemoNews

IL-2 Development Update!
The lastest update, Oleg Maddox and Team, have almost finished the clouds ‘feature’: Screenshots click here to go to the forum: IL-2 Forums

Also, new Screens have been added to the IL-2 Sturmovik Screeshots Gallery at: IL-2 Screenshots

Delta Force: Land Warrior Utility! has announced that IP4LW is now out and available . This utility allows you to play Land-Warrior via IP, bypassing the built in NovaWorld system. For download at: Land-Warrior

Falcon 4.0 at HEAT.NET?
Vega 5 9e has let us know that HEAT.NET will add Falcon 4.0 to their list of games IF there were enough player's interested. Vega has told us "It is to hard to play with others if there is no meeting spot for all the players." If anyone is interested you can email Vega at [email protected] Or, go to HEAT.NET and play it under the Game Not Listed Section.

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