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Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Friday, February 2, 2001

PC News
Targetware announces new multiplayer sim concept. announced a new massively-multiplayer combat simulation concept. The first product to be released is "Target Korea". Driven by grass-roots community support, simulation gamers will be able to create and define their own parameters for their on-line multiplayer simulations.

Created by Sylvain Clebsch, author of the well-known multiplayer voice comms utility, Roger Wilco, the new concept will employ an open-architecture game engine and sophisticated encryption methods to ensure that each simmers pre-defined theatre parameters are not hacked by others trying to gain an advantage. For more information, and screenshots, visit:

Steel Beasts Patch 1.14 Released.
eSims has announced the release of Steel Beasts Patch 1.14. This patch fixes about a dozen small problems, including some multiplayer issues, and adds several minor features. Download the patch: Click Now

Here is the complete list of fixes and new features:
Bug Fixes
  • For the Leopard: lased distances beyond 9990m will now result in a GPS display of a flashing 0 000 A (or 0 000 b). **NOTE** - Lased distances beyond 4000m LOCK OUT THE TRIGGER as they do in the real Leopard 2.
  • "Knock back" bug, which occurred sometimes in MP games after being hit, is fixed.
  • Arty Spotting units are no longer overly zealous about calling arty.
  • Bug causing stray icons during debriefing phase is now fixed.
  • Regions that are off the map should now work correctly.
  • Bino view, arty calling and enemy identifying (by lasing) are now disabled for medic vehicles.
  • When transferring ownership of vehicles to another player in multiplayer, attached infantry will also be transferred now.
  • Computer TC will no longer try to use the .50 cal. when it is damaged.
  • When switching tanks, sounds from old tank (eg., engine startup) will now stop playing.
  • Turret hand cranks (arrow keys) now work in all fire control modes for the M1, and in Emergency and Manual modes for the Leopard.
  • Minefields created from a FASCAM arty call in multiplayer are now consistent among clients and host.
New Features
  • Grid position can now be adjusted in the map editor. Select Edit > Grid position, in the map editor.
  • Holding down the space bar in the map editor will display an elevation map, instead of the normal terrain map.
  • When .50 cal is damaged, it will not be movable.
  • Region-control messages flashed less often.
  • Armor values for light-armor vehicles have been adjusted.

B-17 II Patch Released.
Wayward Design released two patches for B-17 II yesterday. Patch 1.0 fixing the ctd's and missing crew members.

Downloads available here: 3D Files: B17 Flying Fortress

You can also download Patch 1.0 and a smaller patch SMALL Modem Friendly CTD Fix at:

Wayward Design has also announced that the next patch will be made available in the next few weeks. As well as, an in game art editor which allows you to modify insignia and aircraft skins.

New IL-2 Screenshots.
Blue Byte has posted 14 new screenshots of IL-2. Check them out at: Blue Byte: IL-2 Site

Talonsoft announces GI Combat.
TalonSoft Inc. announced it will develop and publish GI Combat. GI Combat is a continuous real-time strategy game, set-in the dynamic conflicts of the Second World War. The full three-dimensional environment details terrain, armor penetration, vehicle movement, and weapon-fire. GI Combat will feature campaigns with dozen of historical and hypothetical scenarios beginning at D-Day, and carrying through Patton's lightening breakout from the Normandy Beachead. In addition, multiplayer mode is planned for up to 32 players via LAN or over the Internet allowing players to choose sides and fight together. The title is expected to ship in Fall 2001. For more information, visit this website at: GI Combat

German Sudden Strike championships.
CDV Software Entertainment and Netzstatt are looking for the ultimate Sudden Strike champion. The German Sudden Strike championships will show who can claim that title. The German Sudden Strike championships are not restricted to German gamers, but are of course open to anybody not afraid to travel a couple of hundred or thousand kilometers to win the title! Gamer who are not afraid to take the challenge can leave the battlefield with 10.000 DEM (= approximately 5.000 US-Dollars). The qualifying rounds will take place on- and offline. The survivors of these rounds will meet screen to screen in Berlin from the 2nd to the 4th of March. The showdown's peak will be a huge and never-to-be-forgotten party, the "inzzide" Lanparty. For more information visit: Sudden Strike

Talonsoft announces Star Leader.
TalonSoft Inc announced it will develop and publish Star Leader. Star Leader, is a strategy/role-playing game where the player serves as a commander of a small elite team of colonial marines dedicated to protecting humanity from the bizarre and deadly alien races lurking in the dark recesses of space. Players recruit their team from a variety of unique soldiers, each with their own statistics, talents, and personalities. Star Leader will feature relentless action in over twenty missions and stunning 3D graphics rendered in fantastic detail by Talonsoft's new 3D Proprietary world builder, ASCENSION. In addition, multiplayer mode is planned for up to 12 players in cooperative play via LAN or over the Internet. The title is expected to ship in Fall 2001. Visit the website at: Star Leader

Military News
X-35C Breaks Sound Barrier.
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) X-35C carrier variant (CV) began a series of supersonic envelope-expansion flights on Jan. 31, becoming the second Lockheed Martin JSF demonstrator to exceed the speed of sound. In two separate flights, test pilot Joe Sweeney climbed to 25,000 feet and accelerated to Mach 1.05, then to Mach 1.10, validating the Navy JSF's supersonic performance. The flights are the first in a series designed to test the X-35C at increasingly higher supersonic speeds, and they are among the last before the plane's scheduled transcontinental flight to the U.S. Navy flight-test center at Patuxent River, Md.

"Pushing the envelope past Mach 1 in an aircraft that is essentially identical to our proposed production JSF enables us to know today how that production plane of the future will handle at supersonic speeds," said Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager of the Lockheed Martin JSF program. "It's a very important exercise in risk reduction, and reducing technical risk is the cornerstone of our flight-test program." (Photo Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed, Northrop win Longbow contract.
The Longbow Limited Liability Company (LBL), a Joint Venture of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a firm fixed price contract modification worth $118.1 million to provide the U.S. Army with Longbow fire control radars (FCRs), spare parts, and logistics support services.

The award provides for multi-year Lot 4 deliveries of 44 FCRs along with long lead funding for multi-year Lot 5 deliveries of an additional 57 FCRs. This contract raises the funded value of the Longbow FCR multi-year production contract to $442.9 million. Delivery of the 44 Lot 4 production FCRs will commence in March 2002 and be completed by February 2003. (Photo Lockheed Martin)

IAI Modernises Russian MI-8 and MI-17.
A modular Tactical Upgrade Package for modernising the Russian MI-8 and MI-17 helicopters has been developed by Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. (IAI). These assault helicopters, manufactured in the thousands, are in operational service in many countries. Most of them, however, require upgrading to enable them to operate effectively in modern battlefield conditions. IAI's upgrade package includes a modular Avionics System based on the "Glass Cockpit" concept, an Electronic Warfare suit, and a flexible armament package. The Lahav Division's upgrade uses subsystems, which were designed for the Russian MI-35 and KA-50-2 attack helicopters, and so achieves a common architecture for both assault and attack helicopters.

The MI-17 Glass Cockpit

The upgrade transforms the old cockpit into modern computerised crew stations, which include multifunction electronic displays that enable the pilots to receive information that is specific to the current mission segment. Included among the system's "smart" displays is a digital mission map, which enables mission data to be updated during flight; and the helmet mounted display, which enables the pilot to see crucial data in any head position. The Lahav Division led the development of the upgrade package for the MI-8 & MI-17 helicopters. The Mata Division is responsible for the installation design of both the cockpit panels and the various avionics systems as well as for adapting the cockpit to be Night Vision Goggles compatible. The Tamam division is responsible for supplying the HMOSP observation & targeting payload and the pilot "smart" helmet. The Elta Division is responsible for the helicopter's self-protection system, supplying advanced Electronic Warfare components.(Photo IAI)

Thursday, February 1, 2001

PC News
B-17 II Patch Update.
In our Jan 19. news we reported that Hasbro would be releasing a B-17 II Patch on February 1. We have been informed by Hasbro North America that the QA Department has not yet approved the patch release yet, however, we have been assured that it is expected to be released soon. We will update you on specifics as information becomes available.

On another note, we have learned that a link to a B-17 II Patch was anonymously posted on the site. Although not officially sanctioned this 15.7MB patch can be downloaded now: Click Here

Codemasters axes 90 jobs.
Codemasters, the Warwickshire-based publisher of the successful Colin McRae and TOCA games, has announced that in view of current market conditions, Codemasters has taken the decision to reduce its operating overheads and to cutback 90 staff positions across its UK and international operations.

In its 15 year history Codemasters has built a large portfolio of key brands, including Colin McRae Rally, TOCA Touring Cars, and LMA Manager, and continues to introduce new properties to the market such as Insane, Severance: Blade of Darkness (due February 23) and Operation Flashpoint (due May).

A spokesman for the firm emphasised that "no teams were being scrapped and no projects were being pulled", but admitted that forthcoming projects may now take longer to produce with smaller teams.

Military News
WWII Fighter Pilot Johnson Dies.
Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson, the British fighter pilot who shot down 38 German planes, becoming the leading Allied air ace of World War II in Europe, died yesterday at his home in Derbyshire, England. He was 85.

His career began inauspiciously. At first rejected by the Auxiliary Air Force, Johnson joined the RAF Volunteer Reserves in the summer of 1940. He crashed a Spitfire on his fourth flightJohnson shot down his first plane, a Messerschmitt 109, over France on June 26, 1941. In 1943, he was made commander of an air wing composed of three Canadian squadrons based at Kenley. On their first operation under Johnson's command, the wing shot down six Focke-Wulf 190s, with Johnson downing one.

Johnson remained in the Royal Air Force until 1966, retiring as Air Vice Marshal in command of Air Forces Middle East in Aden. In later years, he found the John Johnson Housing Trust, which built more than 4,000 homes, many for people with special needs. His books included "Wing Leader" (1956), "Full Circle" (1966) and three volumes co-authored with fellow ace P.G. Lucas: "Glorious Summer" (1990), "Courage in the Skies" (1992) and "Winged Victory" (1995).

Jets survive mid-air collision
Two Richmond, Va., Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcons were involved in a mid-air collision Jan. 30. Both aircraft landed safely here and the pilots were not injured. The pilots were on a night-vision goggle upgrade mission off the coast of Cape Charles and were flying side by side when the incident occurred. Both aircraft suffered minor damage. It has been more than10 years since the Richmond unit last had an accident, said guard officials. A board of officers will investigate the accident.

JASSM proves deadly accurate in test flight.
Test teams successfully put the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile imaging infrared target seeker system through its paces recently, clearing another major hurdle toward it entering the nation's precision-guided munitions arsenal. During a flight test, held at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Maj. Wayne Opella, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with the 46th Test Wing here, launched the JASSM about 15,000 feet up, cruising at about 500 mph.

The weapon separated cleanly from the aircraft, deployed its wings and tail section, and ignited its engine at the proper altitude to begin a 70-mile dash toward the target array on the desert floor. As the JASSM approached its target, it performed a pitch-over maneuver and dived on the target at a 70-degree impact angle.

The JASSM is a 2,250-pound cruise missile which carries a 1,000-pound-class duel-purpose warhead. The warhead is capable of destroying soft and distributed surface targets or deeply buried, hardened structures. The range is classified, but officials said it is beyond 200 nautical miles. Its stealth characteristics and on-board anti-jam countermeasure components make it virtually impossible to defend against.

The missile was not carrying a live warhead during this flight, but will in future flight tests.

The Air Force originally planned to buy 2,400 JASSMs, but there are ongoing efforts to greatly increase that number. Current plans call for the missile to be carried on the F-16, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and B-52 Stratofortress.

The Navy is participating in the JASSM development program and requires the missile be capable of being launched from the F/A-18 Hornet, but the Navy has not yet committed to buy JASSMs. Several allied nations have also expressed interest in purchasing the missile.

If the future tests are successful, a decision to enter JASSM into low-rate initial production is expected in late summer or early fall. Full-rate production is expected to begin in early 2003.

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

PC News
Battle of Britain Released in North America.
Battle of Britain has officially hit North American retail stores January 30. The North American release of Battle of Britain includes several fixes from the December UK release. A patch will be released for UK copies to fix these issues. We will update you on specifics as information becomes available.

Military News
X-35C testing nears completion at Edwards.

Following two months of flight testing here, Lockheed Martins' X-35C Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrator will be moving to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for flight testing at sea level. Testing at NAS Patuxent River will give evaluators a more accurate picture of the JSF's carrier-suitability performance. The JSF has made 20 sorties at Edwards to field test carrier landings, expansion of the flight envelope and initiating tanker-qualification trials. (Courtesy photo)

Boeing begins flight testing NATO AWACS upgrades.
Boeing has begun flight-testing a number of enhancements installed on board a NATO AWACS aircraft. These upgrades are part of the $491 million NATO Mid-Term Modernization Program. Retrofit of the entire fleet of 17 aircraft will be implemented during a follow on contract.

During the first of 40 scheduled flights, operators evaluated whether the aircraft's radar, identification friend or foe electronics, navigation, computers/displays and mission systems performed as designed. The flight test program, including engineering test and evaluation and qualification testing, is scheduled to run until January 2002. (Boeing Photo)

Odds & Ends
  • Sega Dumps Flagship Dreamcast Game Machine.
    Japan's Sega Corp pulled the plug on its Dreamcast game machine on Wednesday, announcing it would suffer a record loss by ending production of the loss-making console in March in a dramatic refocusing on video game software. In order to clear-out inventory Dreamcast will now sell for $99.

  • Gamers.gone. is reporting that the entire staff, save a skeleton crew, were let go at the end of the work day yesterday. An official announcement from the company is expected.

  • Cuts 1,300 Jobs. Inc. said it will lay off 1,300 employees, or 15 percent of its work force, in an effort to steer itself toward profitability despite lowered expectations for revenue growth in the year ahead. But some employees cried foul, questioning why a big chunk of the cuts were made in the one area of the company that was trying to unionize.

  • Intel Unveils New Crusoe-Killer Notebook Chip.
    In a sharp response to upstart Transmeta Corp. in the ongoing low-power microprocessor competition, computer chip giant Intel Corp. released two new "ultra low-power" computer chips Tuesday.

  • Microsoft Slams Judge in Final Brief.
    Lawyers for Microsoft Corp. have filed their final brief in the appeal of the company's antitrust case, focusing on "key concessions" in the government's case that show that a breakup order issued by a lower court was unjustified.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

CH Products releases new drivers.
CH Products releases Pro Pedals USB combo driver v.1.0: The long awaited Pro Pedals USB driver has been released! Now you can play all your older, legacy games with the CH Pro Pedals USB and any other CH USB device! Read more about it and download your copy at the CH Combo Driver Website

CH Products delays release of Pro Throttle USB.
CH Products has announced that the Pro Throttle USB release dateis delayed. Programming software is still under development: The final stages of Pro Throttle software development are underway. Although the hardware is already completed, CH Products is striving to meet all of their customers needs on the software end. This includes support for three operating systems, multiple computer configurations, and basic programming functions.

Interplay announces Online Gaming Network.
Interplay Entertainment Corp. announced that it is forming, a new initiative to strategically address the interactive entertainment online market. Targeting the exploding community of interactive entertainment enthusiasts,'s primary focus will be exploiting the company's strong intellectual properties via MMPGs (massively multi-player games) and translating the increased loyalty of its fan base into revenue streams.

"Through the efforts of Black Isle Studios, we own some of the strongest Role-Playing Game (RPG) brands in the business and have top market share in the PC Role-Playing Game segment," said Brian Fargo, chairman and chief executive officer of Interplay. "Their skills give us a unique position to take advantage of the lucrative Massively Multi-Player Game phenomenon."

The launch of will also introduce streaming software demos to the site through the expertise of Stream Theory Inc. Stream Theory's proprietary technology quickly delivers software applications over broadband, wireless and other platforms. plans on using Stream Theory technology to stream Interplay's PC game demos to broadband visitors.

New Sudden Strike Forever Screens.
CDV Software Entertainment has sent us two new screenshots of Sudden Strike Forever, the official Sudden Strike add-on. CDV will release a Sudden Strike add-on beginning of 2001. The add-on will contain at least 4 single missions, 10 multiplayer missions including several new types of multiplayer, a Map and Mission Editor, GameSpy Support, Summer, Winter, Autumn and Desert scenarios and an improved, faster interface. The following gameplay features will enlighten any Sudden Strike fansī day: officers radiate experience, directional vision with binoculars, vehicles moving backwards, point-blank short-range fire mode for howitzers, parachute descent of arbitrary units, ammunition crates can be transported by trucks and the ammunition can directly be retrieved from the crates without the ammunition truck, more realistic unit behaviour and improved pathfinding. More than 30 new units, such as Br-5 mortar, ISU-152, Medics, Flak-88, Hummel, Hetzer, Sd.Kfz.303, Tetrarch, Bazooka-men, M-18 Hellcat, Mack 6x6.

The legendary Flak 88 impressively unfolds its power against bombers.

Flak 88 devastating power against the legendary T34/85.

Military News
Rescue squadron trains aboard carrier.
An Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, practices a shipboard landing on the USS Juneau with Marine Corps AH-1 Cobras and H-46 Sea Knights on deck. The 33rd RS is the only Air Force rescue unit that maintains crews certified in shipboard landings. (Courtesy photo)

Monday, January 29, 2001

PC News
eRazor's eFalcon 1.0799 patch released.
FASA shuts down
The company that created the Battletech and Crimson Skies tabletop games is closing its doors. FASA Corporation has announced that it will close its doors at the end of April. FASA is the company that created Battletech, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Crimson Skies, and several other role-playing and board games. According to the company statement, the closure is due to major changes in the adventure gaming world over the 20 years that FASA has been in business, and the founders of the company feel that it is time to pursue other interests. The company will remain open until April 30, 2001, in order to sell off its current inventory, and it may release additional products next month.

Infogrames completes Hasbro acquisition.
Infogrames Entertainment has completed its acquisition of Hasbro Interactive. Starting now, Hasbro Interactive will utilize the Infogrames name and branding approach. Further details regarding the integration of Hasbro Interactive into Infogrames will be provided next month. The strategic agreement, signed this past December, is comprised of three main elements, including Infogrames' acquisition of all of Hasbro Interactive's assets including Atari and MicroProse; the acquisition of; and a long-term licensing agreement with Hasbro giving Infogrames exclusive rights to develop and publish digital interactive games based on current and future Hasbro properties on all existing and future digital interactive formats.

Infogrames purchased 100 percent of the common shares of Hasbro Interactive for 100 million USD, comprised of 95 million USD in Infogrames Entertainment SA securities--about 4.5 million common shares--and 5 million USD in cash. The deal was approved at a general meeting of Infogrames Entertainment shareholders on Jan. 23.

Military News
JSF X-32A completes flight test with loaded weapons bay.
Boeing has successfully completed the Joint Strike Fighter X-32A concept demonstrator's flight test with a loaded internal weapons bay. Test pilot Air Force Lt. Col. Edward Cabrera opened and cycled the X-32A's weapons bay doors as part of vibration and acoustic testing during the aircraft's 61st flight. The testing validates the design predictions of the X-32A's weapons carriage environment. In the test flights, the X-32A carried an instrumented AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, and a Joint Direct Attack Munition.

"The tests were successful; the vibration and acoustics data validated our predictions that the environment inside the side-mounted weapons bays is excellent for weapons carriage and release," said Mike Heinz, Boeing vice president and JSF deputy program manager. "This milestone is another positive step in reducing risk as we move closer to the next phase of the program."

Boeing designed its JSF with side-mounted weapons bays for both operational and supportability reasons. "Side-mounted bays allow the pilot to open the bay away from enemy radar and drop a weapon without compromising the JSF's low observability and the pilot's safety," Heinz said. "Our design also benefits the ground crews by allowing eye-level access to the weapons bays for maintenance and weapons loading."

The operational JSF will be able to internally carry two air-to-ground weapons and two AMRAAMs as a baseline load, as well as a full range of other conventional weapons.

The two JSF concept demonstrators, the X-32B, will demonstrate the company's direct-lift approach to the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing requirements for the U.S. Marine Corps and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Earlier this month, the X-32B successfully completed low- and medium-speed taxi tests at Palmdale, Calif.

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