descent posts

Volition's founder to depart developer

The founder of Campaign, Illinois developer Volition, Mike Kulas, has announced that he will depart the company this coming Monday. The local newspaper-based web site News-Gazette.com states that Kulas is leaving the developer voluntarily and his decision to go was not based on any particular event.

Kulas co-founded Volition's predecessor Parallax Software in 1993 which first gained fame with the release of the first two Descent games for Interplay. The company later re-branded itself as Volition and went onto make a sizable number of games, including the Freespace, Red Faction and Saints Row series of titles. THQ acquired the company in 2000. Kulas said he has no immediate plans for what he will do next in his career. His role at Volition will be taken over by Dan Cermak, who has been a vice-president at the developer since 2003.

[Via Gamasutra]

Volition gets hour long video documentary (with cameo by Will Smith)

Game Informer's preview coverage of Saints Row The Third included video interviews with team members at Volition. As it turned out the video coverage went well over just covering the open world action game to talk about the entire history of the developer's 18 year history.

The result is a multi-part video documentary that totals nearly an hour of footage where Volition team members talk about forming the company (as Parallax Software) to make the first two Descent first person shooter games for Interplay. Those games were huge hits (as you can see above, Will Smith was a fan) and it resulted in Parallax splitting in two with one of the teams being renamed Volition. That team created the cult hit Freespace space combat games. The videos also reveal plans for canceled games such as Tube Racer, a title that looked like a Speed Racer-inspired title. Another game that got canceled was Underground, a game about being a thief that was set in London. The entire documentary is worth a look.

Rumor: Interplay getting money to fund new game projects?

With the exception of a few of their older games ported to downloadable console titles, Interplay hasn't actually released an all new game since 2004. The once mighty developer and publisher has been working for years to port the Fallout franchise into an MMO (an effort that's now in court with Fallout's current owners Bethesda Softworks). Now comes word that the publisher may have gotten a cash infusion to fund new game projects.

The Fallout fan site Duck and Cover have pointed to a new SEC listing from Interplay where the company says it sold a large amount of stock, as much as 10 percent, to both Microprose and its managing director Frederic Chesnais. According to the site, word from an Interplay investor called "Frymuchan" is that this development, " . . is very good news for stockholders. He claims the stock sale will allow Chesnais to fund new Interplay game projects. The games named are Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent and MDK. Oddly enough, Interplay listed those games two years ago as titles they were planning to develop as new sequels.

Miner Wars announced


It doesn't look like we will have a Descent revival anytime soon but fans of that classic six-degrees underground shooting game might want to check out the newly announced title Miner Wars. The title from UK-based Keen Software House is a sci-fi shooter title that takes place in an asteroid belt in space.

Miner Wars has you piloting a ship in a first person view where you can fly around and into asteroids, dig into them in any direction and fight off other ships as well. In addition to a single player campaign Miner Wars also has co-op and multiplayer modes. The game is currenty scheduled for a downloadable release this fall but no price has been announced.

Gallery: Miner Wars

Boot Disk: Descent



Sometimes you just need to sit down, slide a floppy into your A: drive, and enjoy gaming retro style. We know this all too well! That's why we have a list of the best and brightest from days long gone. These are some of our favorite games of all time, and we're sure that you'll love them as much as we do, if not more. Welcome to Boot Disk, and enjoy the retro ride!

Back in the day when Doom was new, any shooter with a first-person perspective was labeled as a "Doom clone". This ranged from games that were actual clones, to games that were improvements upon the Doom formula (such as Duke Nukem 3D). However, the most unfortunate recipient of this title was hardly a "Doom clone" at all. Descent is this game, and it is arguably the first six-degrees-of-freedom shooter. With a mixture of maze-like and shooting gameplay, unique perspective, and an excellent multiplayer, Descent really is one of the best shooters of all time.

Feature: Another 10 PC games that need a comeback


Wow. It looks like our readers love going back down memory lane to speculate on bringing back some of their favorite PC game franchises. We have put up not one but two such installments this week and they have been some of our most popular features we have posted on our site.

The nice thing is that there are still a number of great franchises that we would like to see come back and we think you might agree as well. So let's head back to the Wayback machine to see what other PC games would be good for an eventual comeback. Among our choices this time are a sci-fi multiplayer shooter, a medieval sneaker game and a classic adventure title.

Click on the image above to read more on another 10 PC games that need a comeback

GoG.com offers Interplay holiday game download bundle


The great folks at the DRM-lacking game download site GoG.com have a new last minute holiday deal for its customers. From now until 11:59 pm Dec. 31 they are offering several Interplay published game bundles for $9.98. These bundles will let gamers save $2 over their regular prices. If you already own one of the games in the bundle you can get the other for $4.99 or $1 off its price.

Without further ado here are the available GoG.com game bundles:

Fallout 1+Fallout 2
Descent+Descent 2+Descent 3+Descent 3 expansion
Stonekeep+Lionheart
Freespace 1+Freespace 1 expansion+Freespace 2
MDK +MDK 2

Interplay, GameTap get back together

Late last year, Interplay and GameTap broke up. All of GameTap's friends were sad to see it happen, because they really liked Interplay and didn't want to see it go. No one knew exactly what caused the relationship to go sour; who can say what happened behind closed doors? It's been a sad six months; GameTap has been eating a lot of chocolate while watching old movies alone until 2 AM. Not good!

But now something wonderful has happened; Interplay and GameTap are getting back together! Interplay is bringing 14 of its best games with it, including the entire Descent, Freespace, and Earthworm Jim series. Take-Two is tossing in a few titles of its own to celebrate -- Civilization IV, Sid Meier's Pirates!, and Civ IV's Warlords expansion. Not bad!

The new titles unfortunately won't be available until June. In the meantime, though, two less prestigious (but not necessarily less fun) titles have been added to the library: submarine sim Dangerous Waters and action RPG The Chosen. Not ... eh, we could go either way with those.

[Via Joystiq]

Interplay reveals latest financial results


Interplay isn't dead yet. At least that's what its latest financial results says. The game publisher, which hasn't actually shipped a game to stores in several years, revealed today via a press release that the company had just over $6 million in revenue for its last fiscal year that ended December 31, 2007. Of course, nearly all of that revenue came because Interplay sold its Fallout IP to Bethesda Softworks for $5.75 million last year (Bethesda has been working on Fallout 3 for some time; the post-apocalypse RPG sequel is due out this fall).

The press release reiterates that Interplay retains the rights to make a Fallout MMO game and it has also re-launched its in-company game development studio. It also claims it will try to develop new titles based on the properties it still owns including Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Decent and MDK. Quite frankly, we will believe it when we see it. It takes a lot of money to develop even a small scale title these days and an MMO game takes even more time and financial effort. Interplay will either have to convince folks to invest some cash in the publisher or sell off even more of their properties to really jump start their operations again.
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