|Dev Dairies by Steve Jackson|
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|27 Mar 01 B&W Released!|
|According to this press release, EA.com and Lionhead Studios has released B&W.|
|27 Mar 01 Welcome!|
|Welcome to network.noctalis’s Black & White site.|
If you’ve never heard of Black & White, you can check out the background story, followed by the game’s features, then decide if you can want to be Evil or Good.
We also have a page dedicated to Bonus Creatures and where you can download them; a Gallery of screenshots; and a page about Peter Molyneux, designer of B&W and founder of Lionhead Studios and Bullfrog.
While the site is mostly bare now, we will be constantly expanding to provide the coverage you’ve come to expect from noctalis.com.
|28 Mar 01 GameSpot :: The Final Hours of B&W: Behind Closed Doors at Lionhead|
|GameSpot has a very good feature – The Final Hours of B&W: Behind Closed Doors at Lionhead, of which the introduction is quoted here.|
“About six months ago, I came very close to typing DELETE *.* into my computer,” says Peter Molyneux in a moment of uneasiness, sitting at his desk at Lionhead Studios in Guildford, England, south of London. It’s nearly 1:00 in the morning, but the Lionhead office is humming with sounds of team members working hard to finish Black & White, a game that Molyneux freely admits is “the most important game in my career.” If you don’t believe him when he says it, it only takes one look at his face to see the game’s importance illustrated by the dark circles under his eyes. “Every waking thought in my life is of Black & White,” he explains. “For three years, it has been my entire life. Last night, I absolutely dreamed of the balance in Black & White,” he says, only to add, “Really, it’s true,” as if to add emphasis to the fact that Black & White hasn’t just been his job; it’s been his life.
|The April 2nd issue of Newsweek features an article.|
|29 Mar 01 Today in Black & White|
|GameSpot has a new trailer up. It’s a 15.4Mb WM Zip or 18.0Mb MPEG. There are also WM and RM streams, if you happen to lack the patience for a download. PC Gameworld announces that B&W has shipped, and gives a quick run down of the game in this article.|
|Lionhead’s Georg Backer e-mailed GameSpy’s Planet Black & White –|
About Black & White and Spyware.
|30 Mar 01 Official Site: Technical Support|
|As posted on the Official Site –|
There seems to have been a rumour spread about that EA shipped a beta version of the game instead of the final GOLD version. This is not the case. The versions on sale are the final GOLD version.
|30 Mar 01 Today in Black & White|
|GameSpot has a review, rating the game a superb 9.3, with full marks for Graphics, Sound and Reviewer’s Preference, 9 for Value and 8 for Gameplay. Currently, reader ratings stand at 8.9, with 147 Ratings. If you really need a head-start, IGN PC has tips for getting started. And most people haven’t even gotten the game yet. GameSpy’s Planet Fargo did an article. EA UK is holding a contest, with 20 copies of B&W to be given out. All you need to join is an EA account.|
|I checked out EA’s support site, as suggested above. Not much there, but if you have any problems, maybe they can help. You might like to check out EA’s Black & White page, as well.|
“Be good. Be evil. Be a god.”
|31 Mar 01 Krawall Gaming Network :: Video Interview|
|Krawall Gaming Network, a German site, has a 57.66Mb Video Interview, which is, I’m told, in English. To download it you have to register, and, seeing as I don’t understand German, I can’t. If you understand German, visit their go take a look.|
|CNN has a review up, asking the question ‘Black & White’ the best PC game ever?. I don’t normally post reviews ((hell, if you’re here, you like the game, don’t you?)), but take a look at what the mainstream press has got to say. btw, it’s from GamePro.com, but it’s on CNN’s site, so I suppose it counts as mainstream.|
|01 Apr 01 Today in Black & White – Smile!|
|Added the FAQ link to the menu. It mentions some Easter Eggs – for example, on April 1st, all footprints will become smiley faces.|
|02 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|The Official Discussion Boards have opened. You are registered, aren’t you?|
|03 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|GameSpot reports that B&W PS1 will be out either in June or Q4. Ehrm, right. Cloudchaser Media has an article on the Dreamcast version, including some screenshots.|
|04 Apr 01 Problem Work-Arounds|
|As posted on the Official Site Discussion Board –|
The Lionhead Studios staff is currently working on the problems with Black & White that some players have experienced and will able to offer a free downloaded patch shortly.
|05 Apr 01 GameSpot :: The Future of Black & White|
|GameSpot has a new feature, the future of Black & White, where Molyneux talks about what add-ons we can expect, now that the team has returned from vacation. He also mentions that an add-on disc will be announced within the next three weeks.|
|06 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|GameSpot has a cheat, which is more a bug really, if you’re into that. The review page reader ratings stand at 8.8, with 941 Ratings. PCZone has a brief article entitled What Next for Black & White?, repeating the info from yesterday’s GameSpot article.|
|Added links to EA’s and EA UK’s Support FAQs. Changed all of Molyneux’s quotes to this font.|
“What do you mean none of you smoke? What is happening to the youth of today?”
|07 Apr 01 The Final Hours of Black & White|
As the clock ticks into the night, Molyneux stops fixing bugs for a moment and muses, “You know, I can think of something and make it real. How cool is that?” Despite all the hard work, Molyneux looks to be enthused just by the thought of his dream coming alive. “Three years ago, I had this bizarre idea about a 200-foot cow, and tonight, all these people around the world are talking about it. It’s amazing,” he says, speaking in his trademark way that radiates infectious enthusiasm. When Molyneux speaks about games, every adjective is a superlative and the modulation of his voice makes even the most mundane comment sound like it’s the most important thing you’ve ever heard.
|08 Apr 01 Red Herring Interview|
|More coverage from the mainstream media – Red Herring, tech-biz news mag, has an interview, complete with (Nasdaq: XXXX) after company names.|
“Of the 1,000 people who tested the game, none of them had the evil in them to continuously sustain the evil character. It’s a fascinating insight into human psychology. Hopefully, this is a lesson that people learn, and not one that we preach.”
|08 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Added the Gorilla creature download. It was emailed to us by Redeemer, and I have no idea where it’s originally from. Added Reviews to the side bar of the main page. I know I said I won’t post reviews, but I guess it’s not irritating if it’s not masquerading as news, and I wanted it there for completion’s sake.|
Update :: Redeemer has informed us that the Gorilla came from Best Buy.
|09 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Bits, a UK TeeVee show hosted by three gamegrrls, has a review and a list of Top 5 Power Sims, with Populus in there.|
|Oh, please stop emailing us about help in the game. None of us have it yet! Everywhere is sold out. Email EA’s support. They’re supposed to help you.|
|10 Apr 01 B&W For Cancer Research|
|Jamie Durrant of Lionhead has joined United Devices, a company that is using distributed computing to find a cure for cancer. Right now, one day after it’s creation, Team Black & White is one step below Intel Against Cancer, with 567 members.|
If you want to help fight cancer and promote the game a little, download the prog, then join Team Black & White. It costs you nothing to join, just the five minutes it takes to sign up.
With 2,000 visitors coming here on average every day, I’m sure we can show the world that gamers aren’t all high school trigger happy.
|11 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Check out the Brunching Shuttlecocks, for a quick laugh. More coverage in the mainstream via this Salon.com review. Beta World has a contest, which won’t seem to let me submit, but you might have better luck. Added a link to the Downloads page for BWBackup, which allows you to back up your Save Games, I’ve scanned the latest version, v2.10, and it’s safe. IGN PC quotes GameSpot in a brief article. PC Zone goes a step further, quoting the same news and then telling their readers that the game is released today.|
|12 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Please support us support cancer research. Visit the main page for details.|
Okay, I finally got my hands on it. Asia-Pacific edition, no less, which only comes in White. Excuse the news slowing down while I train my Creature to be the bastion of everything that is good and bright, sugar and spice and all that.
Again, please do not email us with any issues. Email EA support, or post your question in our Forum. Feel free to email us with contributions, though.
|IchooseTV has a video up. Not sure what’s in it, since you have to register to view it, go take a look, if you happen to be bored. Infolder has a contest, ehrm, in German, I think, or something. CGO rates the game a 3 out of 5. “Flawed”, he calls it.|
Update :: seppel99 tells us that Infolder is in Dutch and you can only join the contest if you live in the Benelux countries.
|13 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Playing. Good. Friday. the 13th.|
|14 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Coren has released a pair of patches that will remove the Death whisper and Kissing sounds if you find them annoying. DarkYoda has a Model Viewer that allows you to view the models in the game. Of course, check for virii, backup whatever, etc etc et al. It’s free, don’t blame anyone if anything goes wrong.|
|Well well, looks like the Mac isn’t going to be the only platform going without. Just a rumour? Also, GameSpot gives us a PS1 Preview along with more screenshots.|
|Lionsource has an interview with Mark Webley, Bullfrog Alumni, co-founder of Lionhead and bro-in-law of Molyneux. GameSpot announces that B&W is number 1, having kicked The Sims off the top spot. 3 Finger Salute has a comic, GameSpy has one too.|
In the mainstream, sorta, The Register reports that B&W is Spyware, dammit. If you’re paranoid, your readme.txt tells you how to switch off the game establishing an Internet connection ((Your readme.txt tells you lots of things, actually. You have read it, haven’t you?)).
|15 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|If you look at the menu to your ß, you will see we have a new Creatures section. Also, as some pictures would be nice, I am looking for someone with a high-end computer ((you can play in Maximum Detail and it does not take forever to load)), to help out. If you feel you can spare the time, drop me a line.|
|16 Apr 01 Philosophy in Black & White|
|Unicorn Jelly has a fascinating article, teaching you how to play as the various “real” Gods. Iov Pater, of Planet Black & White, wrote another article, “Black & White is Not a Game”. The Dreamchaser replies.|
Personally, as much as Molyneux and Lionhead want the game to be a Rorschach Test of the soul, Black & White is just a game. It could be used as a personality test, but unless the player approaches it as such, it’s not going to happen. Some people cheat on personality tests any way.
|17 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|3DSpotlight has a most excellent Tweak Guide, which tells you exactly how to customise the settings for B&W. DarkYoda has updated his Model Viewer, which is now at version 3, as well as a new Landscape Viewer.|
|GameSpot announces the winners of their contest ((the answers we gave out were all right, btw)).|
|Added a page for Fixes, covering ways and means to solve various issues. Added the locations of the Lost Flock to the Activating Creatures page.|
|18 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|DocTiki and his Fuzzy Wuzzy Woozums show you how to make some really funky layered tattoos. TitanWEB has a rather interesting article on how to manage your Creature’s Growth.|
|SPOnG reports that B&W uses Immersion’s technology for Logitech’s iFeel Mouse. Basically stuff covered in readme.txt. More on the iFeel comes in the form of this GameSpot review of the mouse. Tim Rance replies to the Register about their Spyware article. mmm. Take note of the fact that he mentions a UDP packet sent out every three minutes, but he doesn’t mention what it’s for…|
|GameSpy’s Daily Madness asks –|
I’m curious as to the current popularity of Black & white. When it first came out people really thought the game was awesome. Just two weeks later some people were complaining about repetitive gameplay, a quirky interface system and how much it sucked to have to baby sit your minions. My question is, how many people have given up on Black & White? And for those of you still playing: What aspects of the game have really hooked you? We’d like to know. Jump in the forums and spill your guts!
|19 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|B&W is mentioned in passing in this Slate article, which asks the question “Why are games for adults so juvenile?”.|
|20 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Of course, you can’t get enough of Forums. We’ve got a forum, the Official Site has one. GameSpy started a thread on the 18th, and now GameSpot wants in too. Of course, there’s always Usenet, click here if your browser can access newsgroups, or here for the web-based version. It’s alt.games.black-white.|
|ZDNet UK just discovered the news that people actually upgrade their hardware to play games. Like duh. I’ve been upgrading my machine with every release of Ultima, just bought 128Mb more RAM for B&W too.|
One of the biggest PC games of the moment is the recently-released Black & White, which has been the biggest-selling game in the UK for the past two weeks, shifting 33,000 units in its first week on sale in the UK and another 25,000 in the second week. One of the game’s notable features is that its detailed 3D graphics reward any hardware investment, to the point that some consumers could upgrade just to bask in the gaming experience.
|21 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Mainstream coverage comes from The Feed, with an article followed by an interview with Richard Evans, philosophy major, and the designer of your Creature’s AI.|
To implement the creature learning, we used a combination of methods: We used perceptron training for learning desires, and symbolic (decision-tree) learning for the opinions. Perceptron training has been used before in A-Life programs like Creatures, but decision-tree learning has not to my knowledge been used before in games.
|22 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Another tweak guide has been put up, this time by Tweak 3D. You can read it here.|
|New Walkthru section, which is mostly empty. You can, however, read up on the origins of the The Beach Temple Puzzle.|
|23 Apr 01 Demis Hassabis @ GDC|
|Gamasutra has an AI report on the GDC. Demis Hassabis, former developer of B&W and current developer of Republic, gave a lecture, mentioned on page 2.|
|24 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Believe it or not, the Wall Street Journal has a review. TotalVideoGames has given B&W some awards. Isn’t April a little early to give out awards? InkTank has a new comic.|
|AVault reports that nVidia has announced some price-cuts. Not sure when this was posted, but B&W is listed on nVidia’s site as a game that rocks with GeForce2 GTS.|
|Added an introduction to Land 1 and the solution for the Zebra Creature Challenge to the Walkthru section.|
|25 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|GameSpot has a Game Guide, covering just about everything. InkTank follows up with another comic.|
|Added some pics and the Land 2 Singing Stones Challenge to the Walkthru section.|
|26 Apr 01 Official Site: Updates|
|The Official Site has been updated with Touchsense, meaning the page rattles in your hand, or something. They added a link to Immersion’s Touchsense in B&W. Feel the Vibration!|
The Internet weather system is now working. Login to the official site, select Modify Account from the green pull-down menu, and set it up. Check your readme.txt for more details.
|27 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|The Mushroom, which is like The Onion, only gamecentric, has an article. Mad propz to Redeemer for that link. The folks over at The Lion’s Den have two new articles up. New comic at kipster.org.|
|Put your hand over your Creature to find out what he’s thinking. Special thanks to whoever sent that in. Oh yes, to the moron who sent me mail without a valid email address, I answered your question.|
|Shifted the reviews again, this time to its own Reviews page. If you actually read them, on average, there are about two new reviews each day. You can check them out there. Also, GameOver has a Reviewer’s Diary, sort of like a review, only a lot longer.|
|28 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Seems like we’ve hit our bandwidth limit and terrashare seems to be down, so the downloads and some of the pages may not work. You know, if you supported this site instead of freeloading, mayhaps we wouldn’t have to use terrashare. Hopefully this isn’t going to be a regular thing.|
|3DActionPlanet has a “You Know You Are A Gamer If…” thing, which isn’t really that funny, unless you do FPS.|
…When Your Roommate Returns From the Restroom, You Try To Stroke His BellyGameZone has a contest, which takes about a minute to join. So go do that.
|29 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Okay, the site and downloads are working fine again.|
|GameSpot has a new feature, High-Tech Games: Pushing the Envelope in 2001 and Beyond. Black & White, of course, got highlighted for Artificial Intelligence. Sales-wise, Black & White is doing well, though not as well as the Sims.|
|The Magnificent Funk has contributed a solution for the Land 4 Rescue Thomas puzzle. Also added some Lands 1 and 2 Challenges to the Walkthru section.|
|30 Apr 01 3dfx Voodoo Banshee Fix|
|For those experiencing problems with their Banshee graphics card, visit BansheeDrivers.|
The trickle of Black & White queries is quickly turning into a torrent… It appears that texture management "fixes" in the v1.04.00 core have tripped B&W up. The quick remedy is to use the previous v1.03.04 driver core. My driver mix with 3dfxTools v18.104.22.168 can be found on the Drivers page. Both links have been pounded, but Sharemation seems to be OK. Note: I haven’t updated this mix in almost a year, so it lacks some niceties, but works OK with Win9x/Me and DirectX8a.
|30 Apr 01 Today in Black & White|
|Added some progs to the downloads section.|