FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

28 April 2008

Calling all Geeks ... or GEEX!

The Gaming & Electronics EXpo (GEEX) is coming to the Salt Palace Convention Center July 17-19, 2008. This show will be open from 10am to 8pm each day and will feature an area where exhibitors will show off their latest technology, gadgets, controllers and mods. There will also be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, gaming tournaments and a Massive "all night" LAN Party sponsored by Protocol 42.

Tickets are available online:
$10 for a one day pass
$25 for the full three days.

Student passes are also available with a student ID
$5 for a one day pass
$15 for the full three days.

Tournaments and LAN Party participation have an additional cost.

For more information, visit www.geexshow.com.

FNG 04/25/2008 - Report

Not much to report. Jeff is still battling pneumonia and was probably getting some much needed sleep. I ended up playing TMF online for a few hours. There was one track that had a pretty cool mod. It was a candy theme with M&M roads, candycane poles, and even had an evil ghost that gets you if you crash! It was very creative!

I'm not sure if I'm going to make it this Friday. I have graduation Saturday morning, and it's probably not a good idea to fall asleep while walking up to get a diploma!

21 April 2008

FNG 04/18/2008 - Report

I was hoping to see alot of FNG'ers Friday night to kick off the launch of TrackMania Forever by engaging some high-speed challenges on Nadeo's new TM engine. I arrived online just before 11:00pm but no one else showed. Jeff had been battling illness for a few days, and most likely was getting some desperately needed (and well-deserved) sleep.

The no-show wasn't a bad thing, though. It gave me the opportunity to work through the solo campaign for a few hours and explore the enhancements and eye-candy included in the Forever upgrade. I was too lazy to go downstairs for my Rumblepad2 controller, so I stuck with the keyboard for the night. There is something to say for the sensitivity and control offered by an analog stick, but I still earned a number of gold medals using the arrow keys.

I am looking forward to this coming Friday and hope to see more FNG'ers online!

20 April 2008

TrackMania Nations Forever Now Offered on Steam

For those still getting their feet wet in the world of TrackMania; get amped... Steam now offers TrackMania Nations Forever for you to download through there. It's always nice to have fast no-wait servers to get your free game on with.

Once you've tasted the goodness and become CrackManiacs like the rest of FNG, buy the full game TrackMania United Forever on Steam for $39.95.

*Remember, those that already own TrackMania United get Forever as a free upgrade!

19 April 2008

TrackMania Forever

April 15th 2008 (April 16th in France) was one of the best days in video-gaming history for FNG.

That's right... TrackMania United Forever (TMUF) and TrackMania Nations Forever (TNF) were released that day; the latter being the free version.

Nadeo, the game's creator, took the United engine for the Stadium environment and put it into TMNF. Basically, Nations Forever is like taking Stadium straight out of United and put in a standalone game. What makes this great is that owners of TMUF (which contains an additional 6 environments spanning the entire TrackMania series) can connect to TMNF servers without having Nations Forever installed (prior to this release, one had to install both TrackMania United (TMU) and TrackMania Nations (TMN) to play both.)

That's the first really exciting piece of goodness I discovered when I updated my game to TrackMania United Forever... but wait, there's more!!!

Some of my favorite additions:

  • Easier Player/Server search functionality

  • The TrackMania Original (TMO) environments have all had major graphics engine revamps done to them and they're incredibly beautiful. I'll post pics when I get some time.

  • We can now change video settings in-game; which we've been dying for!

  • Rumor is there are two new block types: a blue block in Stadium that makes it easier to carve a turn; and a "rainbow turbo" that is timed to be 100% power for 1 second, then amp up to 150% for 1 second, then 200% for 1 second, then cycle back to 100%, etc. I haven't seen these yet, but am looking forward to them. An "Engine Killer" block was added to TMU and it added a whole new dynamic to the gameplay; so I look forward to these two new blocks.

  • Tracks seem to load faster (though that might be due to the new hardware some too...)

  • All environments seem to play smoother and look prettier (even the ones that didn't get the face-lift seem to have better lighting, etc.)

I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg; as I only got to play for a couple of hours tonight.

I will say this: Nadeo has put a TON of time and effort into enhancing this game and it shines like the sun. I can't believe they made it a free upgrade. I'd pay for it... in fact, I'm considering making a donation to the cause anyway; the enhancements are more than worth it.

I can't wait to see what else lies ahead as we play TrackMania Forever... you know where you'll find me late Friday Night! (Dang I need to get some time to update that site... holy old...)

Rumor was that the people in the USA that bought TrackMania United from Steam wouldn't be able to get the Forever update yet... but I pointed the update installer at my "Program Files\TrackMania United" folder and it worked fine... then when trying to launch TrackMania United from Steam after I played TMUF from the manual update, Steam decided to update the game automatically in its install folder... I just hope it didn't overwrite my car skins and gamepad configuration :)

See you at the races...

(By the way, if you're interested in getting into the world of TrackMania; contact me first... TMUF has a feature where I can invite friends to get the game... and if you get it from the invite using the same email for your account, I can be your sponsor. I'm not sure what that means, but I'd like to find out... so let me know.)

Tell us what your favorite new additions are!