The lesser evil?

The rock and the hard place

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | 01:14 AM | by
So most of you probably know that Vanguard recently changed publishers in the middle of their beta phase, citing "differences of opinion" or some such with Microsoft. However, apparently now there's a report floating around suggesting the exact reason that spurred the sudden change. I was already enjoying the irony surrounding Sigil, the company Everquest co-creator Brad McQuaid founded after his much publicized exodus from Sony/Verant a few years back, having to turn around and go knocking on SOE's door. But after this new rumor (and without official comment it is only that) I just couldn't help but imagine what that meeting might have been like.

I got my Ageia PhysX card yesterday, and I promised I'd report in once I had it running. Installation was a breeze (I mean it's only a PCI card), however it was a tight fit in my system. I've got two 7800GTX's running in SLI, and SLI takes up a lot of mobo space to begin with, but the 7800GTX is pretty large card to boot. I was able to fit the PhysX card inbetween the two graphics cards, but the heatsink/fan assembly is practically touching the top of one of the 7800's. I have a spacer in there giving them a bit more breathing room, and it's been running all day with no problems, but it's still close. Just a heads up to people with SLI.

Drivers were easy, I grabbed the new beta drivers from the Ageia website. For such a new technology, I figure it will be a month or two before we start seeing driver support from the big two (nVidia/ATI), but the beta drivers seem to work well enough for now.

Some people have reported framerate loss in games that previously ran well, but so far I've experienced none of that. City of Villains runs just as well now as it did before, but we'll see how it does after Issue 7 drops when it's optimized for the PhysX card. I haven't seen any marked increase in performance in any games, but my gaming system is pretty powerful to begin with.

I downloaded the Cellfactor demo, since it was truly designed to use the PhysX card, and gave that a spin. It ran really well. The bots kicked my ass, but it was all very pretty while they did it.

Whether the investment is worth it, only time will tell. I definitely love the increased particles and explodey bits it gives me, so hopefully CoH/V Issue 7 will hit next week so I can try it out in some mayhem missions. And then Unreal Tournament 2007 and Vanguard will be the next two big tests, with hopefully more titles making use of the technology in the next year or so. I'm almost considering rebuying G.R.A.W. on the PC just to make use of the card's power.

The card is still a bit expensive, so if you're strapped for cash, don't feel like you need it to enjoy any games. You can wait a year or so for prices to come down, and more games to use the technology. However, if you've gotta have the latest tech for your computer, and have some spare cha-ching lying around, hell, pick up the card. Support for the technology means we'll end up with this sweetness in our games.

CADMedia is now looking for writers

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | 01:26 AM | by
I always knew CADMedia would have to be a group project; it's far too much for one man to cover alone. E3 really drove that point home, so I'm now going to start taking applications for volunteer writers to work on the site.

You can find the guidelines here. If the guidelines seem strict, it's because I expect to receive a lot of applications, and am currently only choosing a small handful of people to start out. A tougher application process may trim that amount down to only the people that really want to work on CADMedia, and it will also make it easier for me to process the applications.

I'm going to take and review applications for about a week, maybe two, before I start making my decision. After which I'll email the people I've chosen and start the next step of the process. If you don't receive an email, keep an eye on the site. I'm sure I'll have open positions again in the future.

And lastly, if you are going to submit an application, I'd like you to honestly evaluate your interest before doing do. I know there are some of you thinking "hey, it would be so cool to write for CAD". And hopefully it will be a really cool experience for everyone involved. But if you feel like you'd write two or three articles, and then once the novelty of seeing your name on the website dies off, you'll lose interest and disappear, please don't submit an application. I'd rather be processing applications from people who are seriously interested in video game journalism.

Good luck everyone.

Hardcover books

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 | 01:29 AM | by
We've come across a batch of limited edition, numbered, hardcover copies of the CAD books that weren't sold in the preorder last year. These editions will never be printed again, so if you missed out on ordering them last year, this is your final chance.

Last year we sold out of 1000 of these hardcover books in thirty minutes. This time we only have about 50 of each volume to offer, so I can't even imagine how quickly they'll go.

The books will go on sale Thursday, May 18th in our store. Half of the books will be made available at 9am EST, and the other half will be made available at 9pm EST, to give people as good a chance at getting the books as possible.

The books will be sold at their original price of $29.99, and include a certificate of authenticity and three stickers (Ethan, Lucas and Zeke).

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I was just informed that tomorrow's sale for the hardcover books will only accept Paypal or Online credit card payments. No phone orders, no check or money order.

Whoa

Thursday, May 18, 2006 | 09:17 AM | by
The Volume 1 and 2 hardcovers we had on sale at 9am are already all gone. It only took like 3 minutes to sell what we had of Volume 2.

Anyhow... if you didin't get one, we'll be putting some more online at 9pm EST. Good luck!

Whoa - Encore

Thursday, May 18, 2006 | 09:07 PM | by
The second set of Volume 1 and 2 Collector edition we had for sale sold out after about 2 minutes. Sorry folks! They are officially all gone now.