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Earth_and_Beyond


Featured Article
After listening to his music for so long we here at WI wonder who the man behind the music is. Frank was nice enough to spend some time with us to answer this interview. This one is definitely an interesting read.
» Read The Interview

Press Release: PC Game Central Aquires Neuro Gamer Network
[ Category: Press Release ] - [ @ 06/20/02 ] - [ By: TheVoice ] - [ Source: http://www.pcgcentral.com ]

PC GAME CENTRAL ACQUIRES NEURO GAMER

PC Game Central announces the acquisition of Neuro Gamer and all of it’s related websites.

Buffalo, NY (6/21/2002) PC Game Central announced today the acquisition of Neuro Gamer (www.neurogamer.net) along with the Neuro Gamer Network and all related sites and servers. Neuro Gamer, known for providing daily console coverage to its large reader base, also maintained sub sites such as Westwood Infiltration (www.westwoodi.net) and a hosted a network of other gaming related websites.

"We are very happy to be adding Neuro Gamer and it’s sites to our company.", says founder and CEO of PC Game Central, Jonathan J. Smith. "Neuro Gamer and its network/hosted sites are all quality websites, and can only add to the popularity and the quality of PC Game Central as a company. We have many big plans for Neuro Gamer and it’s sites which you will be hearing more about shortly."

Adam Michaels, President of Neuro Gamer is also very pleased with this deal. "I think this acquisition will be beneficial for both Neuro Gamer and PC Game Central in the long run. I am happy to be moving on and hope to have some place within PC Game Central in the future."

PC Game Central will continue to support all of Neuro Gamer’s hosted sites, and will announce its plans for Neuro Gamer and the Neuro Gamer Network shortly. Stay tuned to PC Game Central at www.pcgcentral.com for more information in the coming weeks regarding this announcement.

Renegade Servers Down
[ Category: Renegade News ] - [ @ 04/24/02 ] - [ By: periclytes ]
Got this from Devinoch, as well as I see he's put it on the official site:

Hey everyone, we're having some technical issues right now and the Renegade servers are currently down while we attempt to fix the issue. We don't have an estimate of how long they'll be down or when they'll be back up, but we'll let you know.

~d.

Westwood Insider on E&B Music
[ Category: Insider ] - [ @ 04/16/02 ] - [ By: finalduke ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
Westwood shows you the crew and the future shots and samples on what the music in E&B will sound like. Here is a small sample:

"We're creating these themes so that they can be combined together," Paul said. "The beginning and ending have to be identical for each segment, so they can loop. For example, during two minutes of gameplay you will hear four 30-second segments. But those segments will be randomized, and you probably won't even perceive that there are separate segments."


MGON Interview With Producer Eric Wang
[ Category: Interview ] - [ @ 04/16/02 ] - [ By: finalduke ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
MGON gets a interview with the Earth And Beyond Producer Eric Wang. Here is a small sample:

Will there be any benefits for someone who specializes in a skill tree as apposed to someone will puts points in all 3?

Eric Wang : Absolutely. A player who puts all his points into one skill set will be the best in that skill. Take combat for example. If the player chooses to specialize in that, he will have access to the best weapons and the biggest engines, but he will lack certain skills, such as the ability to cloak, heal, negotiate, etc.


House of Commons Developers Chat
[ Category: Chat ] - [ @ 04/12/02 ] - [ By: finalduke ] - [ Source: Earth and Beyond Online ]
Yesterday at 4 p.m. Pacific time there was a Earth and Beyond chat with four developers of Earth and Beyond.

Eric "Radrac" Wang, Producer
Phil "Cinder" Gorrow, Technical Director
"Janus" Anderson, Lead Designer
Maria "Cerdith" Hamilton, Community Manager

This chat was hosted by Stratics and if you want to view the chat log you can go Here, but if you want the to see the old chat logs then you can go Here.

NeuroGamer Re-Launched!
[ Category: Network ] - [ @ 04/03/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: NG ]
Or sister site Neuro Gamer has re-launched with a sexy new layout and tons of content! Check out the awesome new layout, and visit the growing forums here!

Cerdith Update!
[ Category: E&B ] - [ @ 03/30/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
A other update from Cerdith, which was posted at the official E&B website.

Hello all,

What a week for us all! Whew.

I wanted to provide you with a status report on the load test and our webserver message boards.

First off though, let me reiterate what a great job you're doing pounding on our servers and really testing out the database. We knew there would be a variety of smaller bugs we'd only find when our loads were this high for an extended period of time -- and you're proving us right! We also knew we'd shake out anything bigger once these little issues were discovered and resolved, and again, you're proving us right.

I don't have details today on specific issues that are being identified and resolved. Most of the programmers are holed up in a conference room poring over data and logs. We see intermittent breaks in the activity long enough for them to make a dash to take care of basics, otherwise they're firmly committed to figuring out solutions to everything they've identified thus far. :)

I believe you'll notice that already there's a performance improvement over Tuesday's test, as fixes are checked onto the live servers. Of course, with our downtime on Sunday and Monday the guys will be making the larger changes that require the servers to be offline.

So, I know it's frustrating but we fully expect things will have smoothed out considerably next week. This happens with every new batch of testers when we increase the load and make the servers "puke" (I'm liking Radrac's technical terminology). Please do continue to log in and play, we really need you to keep the heat on so we can assure that the fixes we've made are solid!

Now... to the tale of woe that is our poor message boards.

What can I say here but that you helped reveal some really ugly bugs in the current (and temporary) implementation of the boards and the restricted area particularly.

Thanks :)

We've had a team of eight working on this nonstop for days and thus far they've found six major bugs. QA's been working overtime to find anything else that's off-kilter.

The cool thing is, we wouldn't have ever found these bugs without the huge influx of Phase 6'ers. So, pat yourselves on the back!

Next week, we expect the lag to become much less unpleasant because we'll have put several fixes in place and we'll be able to monitor their effectiveness instead of rushing to the next fire. (No, the servers aren't really smoking, they just smell like it) The servers may be down intermittently as the bigger fixes get pushed to live, on the off chance we don't get that all done Sunday and Monday. So, be forewarned about that.

We will be opening up the server hours a little bit next week to make the servers available from Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00a till 11:00p PST. That cuts into the time in the mornings that the guys have to work on the servers, but it also gives you more time to play, especially the Europeans and probably will also help with the lag as you all start moving out of the starting sectors. How much of a load we manage to maintain with the expanded hours will go a long ways toward successful recommendations of permanent extensions of hours, so please do participate!

Thanks again for your assistance and patience. :)

- Cerdith

Enjoy. =)

Load Test
[ Category: E&B ] - [ @ 03/30/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
Here's a update from Cerdith found at the official E&B website.

Hello all,

Okay, I thought I'd be posting right after my 10a PST meeting, I really did! Little did I know that today would be quite so "meeting-rich". I apologize for the lack of an update earlier in the day.

The basic message we'd like to get out to the testers, especially those valiant Phase 6'ers is... "please keep doing what you're doing". We've seen really solid, steady load for the past two days the likes of which we've never seen during our testing thus far. As a result, we've shaken out all sorts of new bugs!

I just left a (you guessed it!) meeting about the current status of the servers and the effects of the load upon performance. The symptom of nearly every issue we've found thus far is lag, lag... laaaag.

We do want to get the word out to you about how to resolve a lot of the video lag issues, which you can do on the client side by running EBCONFIG. You can find this video configuration program in your EBCONFIG directory in the Earth and Beyond folder on your hard drive.

Some bugs we've identified and are working on resolving include:
A really interesting issue with sector hand-offs which results in those long times moving between sectors. The guys have found the cause and are working on solutions now.
A database issue that causes periodic spikes in performance every couple of minutes.
A wide variety of areas we can optimize our server communications.
Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of specifics because every time I go near the network engineers offices there's an awful lot of people craning their necks to see the diagnostic displays and log files being generated by the server.

What I do know though is that at our meetings today, there has been incredible praise for your efforts and patience. As soon as we're able to get your direct feedback (on the beta area messageboards), we'll want to ask more specific questions about the symptoms you're experiencing.

Which... leads me to the situation with the message boards on the website. We thought yesterday that we'd found a single issue that was causing us so many problems. Closer inspection has revealed a few more bugs that were identified when the load to the restricted area became so heavy. We're working right now to get the message boards restored, the solutions are in QA and have been most of the afternoon. We may (*crosses fingers*) be able to push them live tonight.

We've discussed changing our server hours at length and while I can't announce what we've decided quite yet, I do think you'll be pleased. :)

Once again, thank you for your understanding and willingness to help out during our load tests this week. We know stress testing is by it's very nature rather stressful on the testers too and we do appreciate your efforts.

- Cerdith

It pretty much explains itself.

Community News
[ Category: Community News ] - [ @ 03/25/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ]
Here's the latest from the Westwood community!

C&C: Generals

Generals Bunker has a new war story called "Hacking Storm".

CNC Sector has a article on Generals.

Renegade

CNCU has a new skin of a chick in a bikini. =)

PlanetCnC has posted up its report on the Renegade launch party in San Jose.

Statik Vision is holding a contest, you have to design the best Renegade character skin.

Red Alert 2

RADEN has two new Yuri maps.

Enjoy. =)



IGN Interview
[ Category: E&B ] - [ @ 03/23/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ]
IGN has a exclusive interview with academy award winner, Doug Chiang! Who was artistic director for Star Wars Episode 1, and of course who designed the ships you'll fly in E&B. Here's a snip.


IGNPC: Do your initial concepts persist through the various evolutions of a project or do you tend to change? How close is the final product to your preliminary sketches?

Doug Chiang: This varies. Ideally the approved design will be implemented as drawn. But this is rarely the case. On this project the initial concepts changed to fit the game requirements. Evolutionary changes are expected and welcomed as part of the process. When I work, I try to keep the design flexible during all stages.

I haven't seen all the finished 3-D models of the designs for Earth and Beyond but given what I know about the Westwood team, I expect them to be spectacular :-)

Read the rest of the interview here!

Phase Six CD's
[ Category: E&B ] - [ @ 03/23/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
The phase six CD's for the beta test have been shiped, here's the announcment.

Those of you who were invited to participate, completed your acceptance form and requested a CD, your Earth and Beyond software is enroute to you. Delivery times vary, but we expect CDs may start arriving as early as Friday, March 22nd. Confirmation of shipping emails will start going out in the next half hour to everyone receiving a CD in this batch.

Cerdith has also posted a "what if's" list concerning the beta test, so check it out!

NDA Lifted!
[ Category: E&B ] - [ @ 03/20/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ]
Westwood along with a awesome new website which was launched a few days ago, has finally lifted the NDA!

Hello all,

I'm pleased to announce that effective today, we're removing the NDA (non disclosure agreement). That means that the external testers will be able to discuss the game, provide screenshots and share information with the public.

Enjoy!

- Cerdith

E&B Seems complacated, I like to play RTS games where all you have to worry about is building tanks. :D

New E&B Website!
[ Category: E&B Website ] - [ @ 03/10/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
Westwood will be launching a brand new Earth & Beyond site, they will also be releasing much more info along with the new launch. Here's the official announcment.

Coming soon!

In the next week, you're going to see a shiny new website with tons of information released publically about Earth and Beyond! We'll be revealing details about... well just about everything.

Keep your eyes peeled next week.

Sounds great!

Lots of Reading
[ Category: Preview ] - [ @ 03/10/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
Here's a other post on the official site for a gaming magazine.

While you're at your local news stand picking up the April issue of CGW to get the latest scoop on Earth and Beyond, pick up the latest issue of PC Gamer as well.

They've devoted several pages to a whole slew of upcoming RPGs, both singleplayer and online, including a full page to Earth and Beyond. The article is FAQ-style and answers all your burning questions about the game. So stop reading this and go buy it!

Hmm.. I wonder if Westwood is cutting deals with the magazines, magazines give good praise and Westwood tells you to go buy their magazine.. Hmm. =)

Gaming World
[ Category: Preview ] - [ @ 03/10/02 ] - [ By: ShockOps ] - [ Source: Westwood ]
Here's the official post on the Earth & Beyond website.

Listen up all you space cadets! Computer Gaming World magazine visited Westwood recently to get the latest intel on Earth and Beyond Online.

This was the first time the mag got some "deep space" time with the game since they broke the story a year ago (*gasp* Has it been that long?) They talked with the team, got some hands-on time with the game, and left with big ol' smiles on their faces.

Head to your nearest newsstand for the April issue of CGW to read the full article. In the meantime, here are a few notable quotables to whet your appetite:

"We spent some time playing on Westwood's closed beta and we couldn't have been more impressed."

"Earth and Beyond seems to be the solid sci-fi answer to all those elf-oriented online RPGs. The interface is incredibly intuitive, easily trumping that of any current online game."

"Graphically, Earth and Beyond looks great, especially when you see the art for the new spaceships created by Academy Award-winner Doug Chiang..."

"...spaceships firing ray guns look a whole lot cooler than dwarves in loincloths whacking rats with clubs."

To read the whole preview you'll have to buy a copy of the magazine. :(


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_Headlines_
»  Press Release: PC Game Central Aquires Neuro Gamer Network
»  Renegade Servers Down
»  Westwood Insider on E&B Music
»  MGON Interview With Producer Eric Wang
»  House of Commons Developers Chat