USA Games News

June 2011

Greetings gamers,
Welcome to another edition of the USA Games news letter. At the time
of this writing we have some late breaking news we thought you should
know about as well as our short term and long term plans for Mysteries
of the Ancients and our other products.

The USA Games website and web server may be inaccessible between
Friday June 17 and Friday June 24 as our web host, Skynet
Communications, performs some upgrades to their web servers, moves web
accounts from one server to another, and USA Games performs some
updates to our website. We apologize for any disruption of service
this may cause as we perform some necessary upgrades and make changes
to better serve the audio gaming community.

Last month on May 24 USA Games released Mysteries of the Ancients beta
19, using an early beta of our cross-platform Genesis Engine, which
caused some confusion and discontent with our customers as we did not
make it clear as to the objectives or purpose of this recent beta. We
knew that the audio wasn’t up to our usual standards using DirectX,
and we had to temporarily remove joystick and mouse support because
those devices were not yet fully supported in the cross-platform
engine. Our actual aim or goal beta 19 was to see how well the
cross-platform engine ran on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 as well as
various Linux distributions based on a common engine and
cross-platform APIs like SDL. Unfortunately, as we did not identify
exactly what we were looking for  the community at large began sending
in bug reports on the obvious issues such as substandard audio, no
analog jumping, lack of joystick support, etc. In hindsight we should
have been upfront with the community that these issues existed,  and
that we already had plans to fix them in a later cross-platform beta.
That way the community could have reported any potential problems with
the cross-platform game and engine besides the ones we already knew
about. That isn’t the communities fault, but ours for not stating
upfront what we were actually trying to test. As a result we have
decided to give you a clear idea of what you can expect regarding
Mysteries of the Ancients as we wind down development and approach 1.0
final.

For the short term we have decided to shelve the cross-platform engine
and game until we get the Windows release of Mysteries of the Ancients
finished. As we write this news letter we will be recompiling
Mysteries of the Ancients beta 19 using the Windows version of the
Genesis Engine, and will restore the audio, joystick/mouse support,
and the analog jumping to the way it was in beta 18. Since the Windows
version of the engine, built on Windows technologies like DirectX, is
very stable this is the ideal way to produce a stable 1.0 release for
our Windows customers. This build will be released as beta 20, and
will be the final beta for the game before 1.0 is released.

Following beta 20 we will finish adding the registration system, add
the trophy case, and finish adding the levels for Mysteries of the
Ancients release candidate 1. Once we release Mysteries of the
Ancients release candidate 1we will be able to begin shipping keys to
our prepaid customers, and they will be able to unlock and test the
game before we move to 1.0 final. In the event there are any bugs or
problems that need to be fixed we will put out a second release
candidate to correct and address any bugs or problems with the game
before  we make any kind of official final 1.0 release.

Once we have released Mysteries of the Ancients 1.0 for Windows that
will free us up to work on other projects. One of those projects will
be for us to upgrade and develop the Linux version of the Genesis
Engine so we can port Mysteries of the Ancients to Linux and perhaps
at some point to Mac OS X as well. Since the majority of our customers
are Windows only users it does make sense to finish the game for
Windows first, sell it, raise some cash, and then use the money to
invest in a MacBook to do Mac OS ports of our titles.

Another project on our agenda is Mysteries of the Ancients 3D. As has
been stated before it is the same game as classic Mysteries of the
Ancients, but from a full 3d first-person perspective. It will have
larger levels, 3d movement, and we will be adding in some other extras
to set it apart from classic Mysteries of the Ancients.

The one game we have not talked much about here is USA Raceway. Have
no fear we have plans to take care of that game as well. Like
Mysteries of the Ancients we have decided to complete the game using
the Windows Genesis Engine first to speed up the process as well as
add superior input device support. One of our goals from the beginning
was to support devices such as racing wheels, rumblepads, and
joysticks which offers a far superior gaming experience than
keyboards. To date DirectX is the only API that really handles these
devices really well, and that is what we will be using for the initial
release of the game for Windows users. As for Mac and Linux users we
will have to investigate what APIs are available for force feedback
devices like racing wheels, rumblepads, and so on which will take
additional time for those ports.

As far as timing and a release schedule goes USA Raceway is being
rewritten from scratch using the Genesis Engine and it will take
considerable time to convert it from the older .Net Engine to the
newer C++ based engine. For that reason we don’t expect to release any
sort of betas or playable demos until at least 2012. We apologize for
the long wait, but it’s going to take us a while to get everything up
to spec, and ready for public release.

For information about our products visit us on the web at:
http://www.usagamesinteractive.com
To join a USA Games mailing list visit:
http://www.usagamesinteractive.com/lists.php
For technical support e-mail:
supp...@usagamesinteractive.com

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