The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


The Guildhall at SMU

Game Briefs: Id Software, “GUN,” “Cold War,” “Halo” and BrainGames Game Briefs: Id Software, “GUN,” “Cold War,” “Halo” and BrainGames Game Briefs: Id Software, “GUN,” “Cold War,” “Halo” and BrainGames

Id rejects multimillion buyout offer

The gaming industry is buzzing over a report in “The Wall Street Journal” that publishing giant Activision offered id Software, developer of the incredibly successful “Doom” and “Quake” franchises, $105 million last year – and the Mesquite-based company turned them down.

The journal report came from court documents filed in a lawsuit by id co-owner Adrian Carmack (no relation to co-founder John Carmack). Activision, the second largest independent video game publisher, offered about $90 million for id’s intellectual properties “Doom,” “Quake” and “Wolfenstein.” The story goes on to say that the publisher offered $15 million to buy the developer outright. The deal failed after id’s four other owners rejected the offers as “too low.”

In Carmack’s lawsuit, he claims he was fired from id and denied bonuses, adding that the hours he worked at the company were tracked. Court documents show that the private company made $10 million in profits last year on sales of $30 million. Carmack has been paid $3.5 million a year since 1998.

Top Actors to Lend Their Voices to “GUN”

Video games are fast becoming the new job of choice for Hollywood’s famous voices. Neversoft Entertainment’s upcoming Wild West action game, “GUN,” will include the notable talents of leading man Thomas Jane as vengeful gunslinger Colton White; Kris Kristofferson as Colton’s mountain man father, Ned; Tom Skerritt as Resistance Fighter Clay Allison; Brad Dourif as evil preacher Josiah Reed; Ron Perlman as Mayor Hoodoo Brown of Empire, New Mexico; and Lance Henriksen as the obsessive tyrant Thomas MacGruder.

In addition to its voice talent, “GUN” snagged Hollywood screenwriter Randall Jahnson (“Mask of Zorro,” “The Doors”) to pen its engrossing storyline and plot progression that will transport players back in time to the untamed West of the late-1800s where greed, lust and murder were rampant.

“This amazing cast of renowned, talented Hollywood actors brings the rich storyline of ‘GUN’ to life,” said Dusty Welch, vice president of global brand management for Activision Publishing. “Players this fall will get to experience the brutality that was the American West and through this voice talent feel like they are part of the action.”

“GUN” is slated for release this fall for the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Xbox, GameCube and PC.

“Halo” Goes Mobile

“Halo,” which has sold more than 14.3 million copies on Xbox and PC, is coming to your mobile phone. Game publisher IN-FUSIO inked a deal to publish mobile applications based on the franchise created by Bungie Studios.

Recently, the Halo universe accounted for $125 million in sales within the first 24 hours of release at retail, tallying the biggest single day gross for any type of entertainment property.

Dedicated fans have logged more than 430 million hours playing the Halo franchise online via the Xbox Live service.

The massive brand also includes toys, books and the recently announced Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox feature film.

The first “Halo”-based mobile games will be available later this year.

Brain-Powered Game System Uses NASA Technology

CyberLearning Technology has launched SMART BrainGames, brain-powered video game peripherals that it hopes will transform the videogame industry.

The company is the sole licensee of unique technology developed, proven and patented by NASA and originally used for pilot training.

BrainGames allows players to use their brainpower to make hundreds of off-the-shelf videogames much more compelling. According to the company, players report feeling they really are the game character, or that they are actually sitting in the driver’s seat of a race car.

Using popular games such as “Gran Tourismo,” “Need For Speed” and “Tony Hawk,” the BrainGames system rewards players who are able to focus attention and concentrate quickly, calmly and deeply. The system monitors brain activity continuously during gameplay using electroencephalogram signals. The faster you get focused, and the longer you stay focused, the better your performance. If you feel anxious or lose concentration, performance declines. Players are strongly motivated to learn how to achieve calm focus in order to stay competitive and improve game results.

“The biofeedback video game concept was patented by NASA in 1994, and evolved from a physiologically-adaptive simulator system developed in NASA flight deck research,” said Dr. Alan Pope, NASA research scientist. “Pilots controlled the level of automation in a flight simulator using their brainwaves, to test which levels kept pilots the most engaged in the flight task. If the flight simulator is replaced with a video game, the system becomes an entertaining way to deliver brainwave biofeedback training. NASA scientists are encouraged to look for these kinds of product spin-offs from their core aerospace research, for mainstream market adaptation and use.”

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Stealth Action Thriller “Cold War” Hits Stores

DreamCatcher Games shipped its stealth action game “Cold War” for PC and Xbox. The game follows the story of Matt Carter, an American freelance journalist, who finds himself in the midst of an international conspiracy that aims to take control of the U.S.S.R.

Twelve hours after arriving in Moscow for a routine story, Carter is stripped of all his possessions, beaten unconscious and thrown into the KGB’s political prison. Using only recovered weapons and improvised gadgets, he must now evade and overcome elite Soviet forces and defeat the conspiracy before he is sent to a Siberian prison camp or killed.

“‘Cold War’ will put gamers at the edge of their seat, as stealth and action fans are thrown into a world of secret gadgets and classified documents as they find themselves alone to prevent a potential international conspiracy,” said Product Manager Byron Gaum.

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The Guildhall at SMU is an intense 21-month graduate program in digital game development. The Guildhall offers a Masters of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree or a professional certificate. The curriculum was designed by expert teachers working with leaders in the gaming industry to provide students with a solid foundation in game development. Visit

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