Web Posted December 31, 2004
Updated December 31, 2004
Well, the deadlines for getting the newsletter are using jet turbine engines once again. This month should be better but I will not make promises.
This issue is short for the purpose of getting closer to getting this magazine back on track and there is as much news on autodueling as Max Rocketansky has gasoline in his fuel tanks.
Keep your radar on for Speed Punks, a game for the Sony Playstation that was released in 2000. I found a new copy yesterday at Electronics Boutique. It has a bunch of kids on go-karts armed with a plethora of weapons.
You will also want to check out the July 2nd edition of the SJ Games Daily Illuminator.
See you in two weeks.
Michael P. Owen
RHINO GETS AMOROUS WITH CAR
Reuters News Service and CNN
Thursday, April 22, 2004 Posted: 9:16 AM EDT (1316 GMT)
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- A rampant rhinoceros gave a group of visitors a glimpse of nature in the raw at a British safari park when he tried to have sex with their car.
Sharka, a two-ton white rhino, got amorous with Dave Alsop's car when he stopped with three friends to take pictures of the animal mating with his partner Trixie at the West Midland Safari Park.
The 12-year-old rhino tried to mount the Renault Laguna from the side, denting the doors and ripping off the wing mirrors before Dave drove away with a puffing Sharka in pursuit.
"He was a big boy and obviously aroused," Alsop told the Sun newspaper on Thursday.
"He sidled up against us. The next thing I know he's banging away at the car and it's rocking like hell."
A spokeswoman for the park, which says "rhinos are not particularly intelligent animals" on its Web site, said Sharka was a hit with the female rhinos and had fathered two calves in the last five years.
"He's got a bit of a reputation this lad and he was obviously at it
again," she added.
ARSENAL FOUND IN STATEN ISLAND HOME
From Cheryl Bronson
Thursday, April 29, 2004 Posted: 8:19 AM EDT (1219 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City police have uncovered an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and homemade bombs in a raid on a Staten Island home, a police spokeswoman said.
According to Officer Jannara Everleth, the NYPD Drug Enforcement Task Force on Wednesday entered the single-family home and discovered the stash of munitions, including seven homemade bombs, 10,000 rounds of ammunition and 13 guns.
Police closed off a four-block area and evacuated homes surrounding the house as a precaution while the bomb squad removed the weaponry, Everleth said.
Police arrested Albert Boshi, 40, and Anna Dicamillo, 39, described
as his common-law wife. They also removed the couple's 3-year-old son from
the house. Both Boshi and Dicamillo are charged with three counts of criminal
possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.
BRAZIL GANG ROBS AIR FORCE ARMORY
Arsenal found in shantytown
Reuters News Service and CNN
Monday, May 3, 2004 Posted: 6:01 PM EDT (2201 GMT)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) -- Armed men stole a van with assault rifles from a Brazilian Air Force armory on Monday in Rio de Janeiro and police found anti-tank rockets in a slum -- fresh signs that the city's drug gangs are expanding their arsenal and firepower.
The events occurred two weeks after police discovered an arsenal in another shantytown in the crime-ridden city that surprised even hard-boiled Rio violence experts as it contained eight Belgium-made land mines and more than 100 grenades.
The finds underscored the drug gangs' increasing firepower and sophistication at a time when authorities are struggling to crack down on their trade and the government is considering sending army troops into the city.
U.S.-made M72A2 anti-tank rocket launchers, two of which police found on Monday, can pierce more than 30 cm (1 foot) of armor, which makes even army tanks vulnerable to gangsters' fire. Armored vehicles used by police can be pierced by bullets from heavy machine guns that some gangs also have, police say.
Police found the disposable launchers along with 10 assault rifles,
five grenades and plenty of ammunition in an improvised armory of the local
drug lord inside the Vila Vintem slum. Nobody was arrested as bandits had
fled the shanty town.
Stolen from armories?
Police investigator Reginaldo Vall Lloveras told Reuters the rockets
and some of the assault rifles had apparently been smuggled into Brazil,
other weapons are used exclusively by the Brazilian army and could have been stolen from armories.
Police believe the grenades found two weeks ago were originally in the possession of the Air Force as well.
"This is not the first time this has happened in Rio," a police officer who asked not to be named said, referring to the armory heist. "The (armories) have been a frequent target of criminals and the drug dealers in Rio are arming themselves more each time."
He said five gunmen overpowered three soldiers on guard at the armory and took two others hostage after stealing guns, ammunition and bulletproof jackets. The two soldiers were later released unharmed.
The Air Force issued a statement later saying 22 assault rifles and
one automatic pistol had been stolen. It has in the past denied any
disappearance of grenades from its stocks.
Gen. Jose Rosalvo Leitao de Almeida, head of arms control at the Brazilian
Army, told Reuters last week the military were exercising strict control
over weapons and said armory heists were rare, blaming most of illegal arms trade on smuggling.
The Brazilian government is mulling whether to send 4,000 federal troops to Rio to help police safeguard the city, which has become as famous for its crime as its scenic beaches.
Last month, police special forces occupied Rio's largest hillside slum,
Rocinha, to put an end to a turf war between rival drug gangs there. At
least 13 people died in the fighting, schools were shut and many people fled their homes.
Forum: The Miniatures Page <http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=19864>
Subject: Super Highway/Motorway
Date: 20 Mar 2004 9:02 a.m. PST
I'm considering a wide motorway with 4 or 5 lanes each direction. It'll probably be 4' long and about 30" wide (3" per lane). What would you use for the roadway base?
Does anybody want to make a wager on how long it will take to make enough card vehicles to fill it for rush hour?
Date: 20 Mar 2004 9:10 a.m. PST
Does the combat take place entirely on the motorway? If so, you may not need a base -- just make the motorway out of cardstock.
Date: 20 Mar 2004 10:47 a.m. PST
Sagunt, if you're the average wargamer, I wager that you'll never get it done!
Just kidding, now. Anyway, Bill has the best idea on constructing the roadway. Just spray paint it flat black and add your appropriate lane striping.
Good luck on your project!
-- Andrew Paul
Date: 20 Mar 2004 11:00 a.m. PST
Black emery paper. All you need to do is paint lane markings on it. If you want the extra details, base it for rigidity, and add things like cats' eyes, crash barriers, etc. For things like the hard shoulder, bus lanes, etc. (okay, so you Americans might not know what I'm talking about here), a heavy dry brush of brick red or green would do for coloured tarmac.
Date: 20 Mar 2004 11:28 a.m. PST
I agree, emery paper would be best. If you have a choice, I'd go for dark grey instead of black, to show a bit more used roadsurface. Besides, if it's grey you can paint some nice black skid marks every here and there. Emery paper comes in rolls so you can lay out long strips just like an asphalt machine would, the seams would be natural. I'd use a plain fibreboard as a base, since you're not going to put a lot of load on it.
-- Crossman Collectables
Date: 20 Mar 2004 12:42 p.m. PST
Sand mixed with white glue, glob it onto a base (foam, cardboard, whatever) and flatten it out as much as you can. Then cover it in wax paper and take a rolling pin to it to get it even flatter. When it dries paint it black, and paint your stripes on it. I used this method for some Car Wars highways, and it works well.
-- Wyatt the Odd
Date: 20 Mar 2004 1:14 p.m. PST
The cheapest roadway is roofing felt/tar paper. It's already the right color, less expensive than emery paper, and available in lengths longer than you can use.
If you're planning on detailing it. Here are some simple ideas:
Road patches -- Cut a section out of another piece and glue it onto the road with the other side up. Black permanent marker around the edge will represent sealant to the patch.
Border tape for quick and dirty dividing lines -- Available at graphic supply shops. Or, make a mask and apply yellow paint.
If you have an airbrush, spray a dilute black ink solution down the center of the lanes to represent the oil that accumulates there. An even more diluted mix of black ink and gray paint should be oversprayed on top of the entire surface to weather it. Dust on fine dirt, dust, chalk or pastels with a large soft brush to further weather and seal with clear flat.
For raised road bed, use thin plexiglass.
-- Wyatt the Odd
Date: 20 Mar 2004 2:29 p.m. PST
What are you planning to use it for?
Date: 20 Mar 2004 2:39 p.m. PST
What are you going to use for traffic cones?
-- PJ Parent
Date: 20 Mar 2004 6:17 p.m. PST
If you are going to do this and are in North America go to Toys 'R Us and pick up the $9 Road Construction Set -- it has tons of pylons, barricades and signs (as well as workers and vehicles but they might be useless to you).
Date: 20 Mar 2004 7:01 p.m. PST
I have used model railway roads -- they come as a flexible tape (useful for long curves on motorways) and has ready made markings.
-- Yo Jimbo
Date: 20 Mar 2004 10:48 p.m. PST
This might be of interest if you're in the U.S.
I would think the 1/4" scale models would be close to the scale you're looking for. It says a $50 minimum order, but since you're looking to fill the roads, that shouldn't be a problem.
Date: 20 Mar 2004 11:38 p.m. PST
In 28 mm sci-fi, I imagined first an attack on an official, countered by a late arriving anti-insurgent team. The official motorcade is caught in heavy traffic when an anarchist ambush is sprung, but the police strike team is already on its way via air insertion.
Perhaps in place of a character as target, it could be a vehicle. How big a crater would a fuel tanker make?
I appreciate the input. My kids have done that to my models before.
Now I just have to decide how to use all your information.
Frictionless Insight Auto Assault E3 2004 Preview
Developer: Net Devil
Official Web site: http://www.autoassault.com
Projected Release: 2005
Author: Kyle Ackerman
One hundred years ago, aliens finally arrived at Earth. They didn't negotiate with humanity, conquer the planet or gift us with advanced technologies. Rather, we were just another insignificant life form occupying a potentially habitable planet, so they began to terraform the planet to meet their own climatological preferences. Humanity fought back with everything we had, including nuclear and chemical weapons that ultimately drove back the aliens' massive terraforming machines, nearly destroying the planet in the process.
That destruction splintered humanity, breaking Earth's formerly dominant
lifeform into three factions – almost entirely difference species. The
purebred humans are those who dug deep into the Earth, surviving in underground
bunkers due to supreme organizational skills. Those who remained on the
surface, riding out the radiation, plagues and pollutants mutated horribly
-- seeing themselves as the successors to a nearly vanished humanity, the
mutants believe that they have inherited the Earth, and are prepared to
exterminate anyone that disagrees. Finally, there are those who resorted
to technology to get through the catastrophe. Known as the Biomeks,
they believe that humanity can only survive by integrating machinery into
our very bodies. The Biomeks are a new lifeform mutually descended from
humanity and technology. The three factions are not only at each other's
throats, competing for the remaining habitable land and resources, but
they must cope with the remaining alien machines that still roam the planet
trying to terraform the surface.
Massively Multiplayer Mad Max
It's a pleasure to point out that of the many massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) being shown at this year's E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), Auto Assault was something unique, occupying an as-yet unexplored niche. Moreover, this post-apocalyptic game of vehicular combat has me very excited for its release. Anyone who remembers the physical game of cardstock and dice called Car Wars (by Steve Jackson Games), or who fondly recalls playing similar computer games, should be breathless in anticipation. Likewise, anyone who just wants to explore a world like that in The Road Warrior should be thrilled by the development of Auto Assault.
You will be able to wander parts of the world of Auto Assault on foot,
walking into shops and such, but this game is about vehicles and vehicular
combat. In addition to the setting and the visuals, Auto Assault promises
to deliver an incredible compromise between completely twitch-based gameplay
and current MMOGs that resolve everything in turns. Driving and aiming
are completely reflex driven. You'll motor around the map and aim your
missile turret using your own finely honed motor skills. Each of your weapons
will have a firing arc, so your job is to keep your target inside that
arc. Fire, and the metaphorical dice will roll, using your character's
skill to determine if you hit the target. That's a great compromise that
helps level the playing field for those with slower connections or slower
reflexes. It's also very cool to see a heavily armed SUV cruising the lush
landscape around a decaying highway while tracking anything that moves
with colorful arcs representing the targeting range of its many weapons.
Ah . . . The Simple Pleasures of Fire
Visually, the game is impressive. Auto Assault is being built on the same engine that powers Tabula Rasa (so it will also include voice support) and supports an impressive 3D landscape. To be honest, the screenshots on this page that we are able to share with you don't remotely do justice to the visuals we saw at E3. The landscapes are varied and littered with the remnants of collapsed civilization.
Because the world is fully 3D, bridges and heights are important -- we even saw a car take a ramp at high speed and break through a billboard to land on the grass beyond. The game is using middleware for both the vegetation (SpeedTree provides great looking leaves) and the physics (the Havok engine helps you blow everything up, complete with scattering debris). The team has clearly spent a lot of time on the explosions and fire effects (since what would a post-apocalyptic driving game be without explosions everywhere) and nearly everything should be destructible. To show off just how cool the fire looked, we got to see a vehicle run down a horde of flamethrower-wielding pedestrians, cutting through the licking flames to reward those on foot for their poor hospitality.
Beyond just blowing things up, Auto Assault is a role-playing game,
so your character will have statistics for things such as your skill at
combat, technical prowess and perception. You will gain experience and
improve over time, but superior firepower is critical, so your vehicle
and its equipment are your lifeline. Chassis will range from motorcycles
to tractor-trailers and are heavily customizable. You'll be able to own
several vehicles, each of which can be altered to fit your preference,
be it stylistic or weapons load-out. Beyond experience, adventuring is
heavily loot-driven -- you'll be able to harvest the remnants of your enemy's
fallen jalopies. Vehicles can also differ dramatically for each faction
-- the Biomeks, for example, have developed technology to transform their
cars into walking 'Mechs.
Everything You Expect from a MMOG
Instanced missions, individually created for a single player or group, are all the rage in the latest MMOGs, and Auto Assault will have them, too. Highway maps will be general social spaces shared by all players. While the highways will be filled with destructible objects, things in this area will slowly be repaired over time. The instanced missions take place off the highways and are individually scripted to further the overarching storyline. The team is also keen on making the game accessible to casual players. The penalty for dying should be little more than being sent to a repair station, and there will be plenty of brief activities for players who just want to hop in for a brief burst of mayhem.
Finally, there will be player vs. player combat, albeit in controlled situations. To face other players you can drive into arenas to compete for fame and glory. Such contests will be balanced for your (and the crowd's) enjoyment by some control such as total vehicle weight. That way a truck can battle a horde of motorcycles, or a few sedans could make up each side, ensuring a more even contest. There will also be Outpost scenarios, in which the different factions (Human, Mutant and Biomek) can vie for dominance by capturing outposts.
If anything saddens me about Auto Assault, it's that the game won't
be released until next year. It seems that the game should have something
for everyone. Well, at least something for everyone who wants to combine
a social experience and the ability to lay waste to the landscape while
driving a mobile arsenal. Fortunately the development team plans on supporting
several control configurations, so while you'll be able to play using a
conventional keyboard and mouse setup, I can dream about playing Auto Assault
with a steering wheel, pedals and perhaps a mouse like this one. At least
until I finally get the chance to play.
MAD MAX 4: FURY ROAD
Mad Max Movies FAQ
13-Jun-2004 -- "Mad Max Vehicle Comes To Dead End" - Another article on Fury Road's demise in this morning's Hearld Sun, read it online here.
9-Jun-2004 -- Ain't It Cool News reports that Mad Max 4 is a no go.
A Very Brief Update On George Miller and Mad Max
Ain't It Cool News
Monday, June 7, 2004
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I've been hearing for some time that Fury Road wasn't going to happen. Mel Gibson as good as confirmed it at BNAT this year. But this is the first direct quote from Miller I've read.
Had the good pleasure of meeting Dr. George Miller at a charity evening this weekend -- albeit for a hand-shake and Hello.
"Mad Max isn't happening." Words from his mouth.
Apparently Babe's the go now. Third one.
Sometimes the world bites, ey?
Well, I will say I think BABE: PIG IN THE CITY is pretty great, but
I mourn the loss of a final MAD MAX film. I've heard that the script wasn't
really a script, but more like a 400 page storyboard/comic book that Miller
created. If anyone wanted to send that to the Labs, I would not protest
too vigorously, especially now that I won't be spoiling anything for myself.
On to new adventures with the pig, I s'pose. Anything's okay with me as
long as Dr. George gets working again soon. He's too damn good a filmmaker
to go this long between movies. "Moriarty" out.
Mad Max vehicle comes to a dead end
Herald Sun News
By Adam Zwar
13 Jun 04
The long-awaited fourth Mad Max film, Fury Road, has collapsed after three years of development, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sets have been locked away in warehouses, the film's production offices have shut and the caterers have been cancelled.
It appears Mad Max: Fury Road director Dr. George Miller has turned his attention to making the third instalment of the successful family movie, Babe.
Mad Max: Fury Road was due to go into production last July in Namibia, but was stalled because of security concerns following the outbreak of war in Iraq.
A year later, the $100 million Fury Road has been shelved indefinitely.
Miller said he could not move the film to Australia, where the previous three Mad Max films were made, because he feared the cars used in the new movie would become bogged in the Australian desert.
"Unfortunately, we won't be able to shoot in Australia, although I'd dearly love to," he said.
"We need some real big stretches of desert where the cars don't get bogged.
"Those deserts in South Australia would do, but it's not practical for the cars."
And, as for Mel Gibson, who was signed on to revive the role of road warrior Max Rockatansky, well, his enthusiasm for the project seems to have waned in recent months.
"I'm too old and I can't deal with the action stuff any more," he said. "It's getting to the point where they'll start calling it Fat Max."
Miller has apparently written and illustrated a 400-page storyboard/comic book of the proposed film.
The original Mad Max, released in 1979, was filmed outside Broken Hill
for $500,000 and returned more than $100 million at the box office.
NEW OMAHA VEHICULAR ASSOCIATION (NOVA)
Arena Watch: Great Plains Racetrack