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VU Games Gives Away Ground Control, Soundtracks

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the excellent-tactic dept.

PC Games (Games) 30

Thanks to an anonymous reader for pointing to the free download page for PC RTS title Ground Control over at FilePlanet, "released for free" to help promote newly released Ground Control II, in a similar move to the recent free availability of VU Games' Tribes I and Tribes II. VU Games has also released the soundtrack to The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay for free download, as composed by Gustaf 'Lizardking' Grefberg, and previous free MP3 soundtracks have included Metal Arms: Glitch In The System and The Hobbit.

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30 comments

Gamers and fighting (-1, Offtopic)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 9 years ago | (#9538484)

When confronted with the concept of alternative gaming, I doubt that American gamers would have any idea beyond Tetris and Minesweeper as to what kinds of games would be big hits. For them, FPS shoot-em-ups are about all that exist. Throw in a couple Starcrafts and Simcities, and you've defined the American gaming world.

However, outside that, there is a whole world that waits to be explored. From games where you drive a train, to games where you undress cute girls, all sorts of games exist outside the small gaming world of the American gaming bubble.

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with war games (the article is about another war-based scenario game), but that there is only so far you can stretch the concept until you run out of ideas.

Realistically, any real-life activity which involves a benefit/punishment reward system can be modeled into a game. I just wish that American gamers would get their head out of their collective asses and look around at the possibilities.

I would normally say that it was the game companies' problem, but it is clear that the game companies are just pandering to the lazy audience. It would be impossible to see a game house come out with something revolutionary and untried.

I encourage gamers who think that FPS is the only gaming that is worthwhile to broaden their horizons a little and see what is out there. There is a whole world of games out there untapped by American players. Even if Americans don't like the games that are available, the study of foreign games is invaluable when thinking about what kind of games ought to come next.

Re:Gamers and fighting (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9538938)

I'm american and I play Flight Sims, MMOGs, RPGs (Just finished another run on the dark side in KotOR)... Tons of games. And I know lots of people who play the same.

I call bullshit on your post, good sir.

Re:Gamers and fighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9539145)

Wow, you post such obvious trolls and yet people still bite. I'm impressed.

Too bad it's on file planet. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9538488)

I wish game developers would realise that a lot of people refuse to use the service because it requires you to sign up and sign in when you want to get something. It's not worth it. Their loss. They could have just set up a bittorrent.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (3, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9538607)

Lots of companies that offer demos are moving to bittorrent. The only problem is there are zero seeds and zero peers. For something like this, a full game being given away for free, I could see using bittorrent.. One existing problem, though, is most people who are downloading have upload speeds that are just a fraction if their download speed. And there's no real motivation (other than "You Just Should") for sharing after your download is done.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (3, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#9539034)

Lots of companies that offer demos are moving to bittorrent. The only problem is there are zero seeds and zero peers. For something like this, a full game being given away for free, I could see using bittorrent.. One existing problem, though, is most people who are downloading have upload speeds that are just a fraction if their download speed. And there's no real motivation (other than "You Just Should") for sharing after your download is done.

I don't know if this is supported by the bittorrent protocol, but combining bittorrent with freecache.org would be ideal. The freecache service allows for caching of files over 5MB in size, and works by prefixing your URL like so:

http://freecache.org/http://gamez.com/HalfLife2Dem o.exe

After the freecache system downloads it itself and seeds it to multiple other high-speed servers, an end-user can click on the link and their browser will get redirected to one of the other servers.

If bittorrent allows for HTTP redirects to be used in combination with the URL for download, this would be a perfect solution.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#9539158)

If there are enough people downloading, and the company has capped their outbound BitTorrent rate, people's download rate will simply decrease to their upload rate as they trade blocks around.

Suppose they allow continuous outbound traffic of 20KiB/sec, for instance.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (4, Informative)

Talonius (97106) | more than 9 years ago | (#9539023)

Most of the free games released on FilePlanet I mirror on my website, http://www.schkerke.com [schkerke.com] . My bandwidth is good and they usually end up there fairly quickly. Fileplanet has me limited @ 215Kbp/s at the moment so Ground Control is taking some time.

The biggest problem actually comes in with the CD keys. I own Ground Control and I'm fairly damned positive that it used a CD key for installation purposes. Tribes 2 required a key and FilePlanet was the only place authorized to give them out; *that* killed that freebie.

Tribes can be found at http://www.schkerke.com/olate/index.php?category=6 [schkerke.com] . Tribes II is on the same page. Ground Control will be listed as soon as it is finished downloading; if you're into game soundtracks the Vivendi Universal soundtracks are available at http://www.schkerke.com/olate/index.php?category=1 8 [schkerke.com] ; Vivendir's site required Flash to even use the site. (Blech.)

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#9539167)

How long does it normally take to get the CD key? I started waiting in line about an hour ago and I still haven't gotten it. I even changed the invalid email address on my FilePlanet ID and submitted the Ground Control signup sheet again to make sure it didn't get sent to the wrong place (which it shouldn't have, I put the proper email address on the signup sheet in the first place).

Rob

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (1)

whataboutMike (787504) | more than 9 years ago | (#9540126)

Now file planet is "out" of CD keys for Tribes 2... They won't even let you download it now. Are they really giving these games away or is this just a marketing gimmik?

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (3, Informative)

mutewinter (688449) | more than 9 years ago | (#9542516)

Read this [tribalwar.com] .
I just did it with 0 problems, it took me 5 minutes to get the Tribes 2 CD key.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 9 years ago | (#9544267)

That site appears to be down. Can you relay the important info? I never got a Tribes II key either.

Re:Too bad it's on file planet. (0, Troll)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 9 years ago | (#9550945)

I wish game developers would realise that a lot of people refuse to use the service because it requires you to sign up and sign in when you want to get something. It's not worth it.

I know. Having to spend 2 minutes of my time filling out a form once, and then having to type my email address and password one time and click "yes" for my browser to remember it? Ridiculous! They expect me to do that just to get insanely fast downloads of free programs on their nickle? What's that matter with these people?

Ground Control Is Very Fun! (4, Informative)

Benedick (737361) | more than 9 years ago | (#9539165)

I played through Ground Control a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. If you are thinking that a game you get for free must be pretty marginal, think again. This is a tactical game, not really an RTS. You don't do harvesting of resources or anything - it's straight combat all the way!

I particularly enjoyed the fully 3D camera in this game and the graphics were very sweet for the time. At that time, I was running a P3 600 with 128 MB of RAM and a 64 MB Kyro 2 Graphics card. I had to turn down detail a bit for that rig to keep up so if you've a good modern system, it should look quite sweet. I fired it up on my new machine a couple of weeks ago to revisit the game when I heard the sequal was coming out and it still looks very nice today.

Anyway, if you've the time and bandwidth, this free game is WELL worth getting.

Re:Ground Control Is Very Fun! (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#9540365)

Indeed. I was a fan of GC, myself, until the house fire destroyed my CD. May get another copy via download and see how much fun it is second time around...

The implimentation of Real Time Tactics was quite entertaining. Simple compared to a lot of other games, but still a hoot. I'm looking forward to the sequel, now that I know it exists. I'm not a VU employee or anything... Just discovered the game in a discount bin about a year or so ago. Well worth my ten bucks!

Re:Ground Control Is Very Fun! (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 9 years ago | (#9540911)

I hold Ground Control up as THE greatest RTS.. (even if the 'S' (strategy) is more of a T (tactics). So far it's the only one to pull off a truly accessable and useful 3D interface. (I don't know why the other games don't just copy it.)

GC2 on the other hand made some poor decisions, and as far as I can tell they lost the magic.

If I signed up for one of these new keys...I'd have the original warez, the purchased box version, and finally the free-download version. (heh).

The question I have, (which I know the answer, but I pretend it confuses me.) On the freely downloadable one...why didn't they just DROP the cd-key requirement et all and make it easily downloadable and freely distributable....they totally detroyed their chances as getting the game into the hands of people who haven't played it by doing this stupid FilePlanet thing.

So ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9540133)

since they're giving it away for free, where is the source code?

No, it isn't free (1, Interesting)

grotgrot (451123) | more than 9 years ago | (#9540171)

You are required to hand over personal details and get some sort of Gamespy ID. My personal details are not free

I sure as hell am not jumping through so many hoops to see if I might like it. (Just because others do like it doesn't mean I will).

Re:No, it isn't free (1)

LagDemon (521810) | more than 9 years ago | (#9541189)

Really, the only personal detail you have to have to give them out is your e-mail address, and that doesn't even have to be your real one. Just get a throwaway hotmail account, and make up the rest of the data. Is that so much trouble?

Re:No, it isn't free (1)

grotgrot (451123) | more than 9 years ago | (#9541239)

throwaway hotmail account

I tried looking through the many many long pages about HotMail's terms of service (and passport). I suggest you do the same and see exactly what you are agreeing to. Yahoo's has this little tidbit:

You also agree to: (a) provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Service's registration form (such information being the "Registration Data") and (b) maintain and promptly update the Registration Data to keep it true, accurate, current and complete.

My time isn't free either. So basically to get this "free" software, I have to give them my non-free personal details, and potentially spend several minutes (closer to 30 if you actually read all the legal stuff) to get a "throwaway" email account where I also have to give over my non-free personal details.

Re:No, it isn't free (2, Informative)

Emexies (470069) | more than 9 years ago | (#9541551)

Well, why don't you just use a service like Spamhole [spamhole.com] to avoid e-mail signups? That's what I use.
If I remember correctly, none of my FilePlanet info is real. I just use my usual Spamhole address, and then type in random stuff. Works great =)

Now... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 9 years ago | (#9540482)

If other companies would take the lead and release their obsolete games for free download... I'd sure love to see legal free Mortal Kombat-ness.

Moll.

No add-on? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9542736)

Shortly after the original Ground Control was released, Massive/Sierra released an add-on to the game that they also gave away for free. Alas, by the time I got around to buying GC (a worthy investment; Ground Control is fun. It's sort of like the Myth series...except with tanks!) I couldn't find the add-on anywhere. I guess the offer had expired.

When I first read the article headline, I got all excited that at last I could pick up this add-on, but I guess it's not to be.

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