Auf wiedersehen! Farewell…

An adventure of more than 22 years will come soon to an end. This site will be soon deactivated, after so many years following one of the most successful video game license, Wolfenstein.

The increase of the hosting costs combined to a decrease of the audience of this site and of the time I can invest in this activity can explain why this happens. We can also see that this kind of site was very useful in the 2000s, when you could follow the news on some of your favorite games here, get the latest patches and some help from the community when you had a problem with the game. But in the 2020s, people get the news from other feeds, games are automatically updated in their store software, and the editors have blogs and forums where people can get some news and some help.

So I’m very happy of all these years following these wonderful games, from the early years as a fan site of the legendary Wolfenstein 3-D, to the latest news about Wolfenstein: Youngblood, playing with a new generation of Blazkowicz! 

In 2000, when we joined Altajeux and then Nofrag (only in French) with these colors…

In 2003, when the complete guide about Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was posted. In 2009, when some new pages were added for the release of the Wolfenstein game from Raven Software, along with Wolfenstein RPG for telephones. And in 2014 when the new version of this site using WordPress was created in order to follow the new Wolfenstein: The New Order game from MachineGames, and the new generation of Wolfenstein games. And finally in 2017 when the responsive design of the side as you know it was adopted, in order to follow the release of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

Thanks to id Software, Bethesda, MachineGames, and to all my visitors across these 3 decades. I can’t wait to play to Wolfenstein 3!

wolf3d-ep01-end-01

id Software is 30!

Exactly 30 years ago, on the 1st of February, 1990, 4 developers coming from a studio named Softdisk, John Romero (programmer, level and game designer), John Carmack (programmer), Tom Hall (game designer) and Adrian Carmack (artist, not related to John), founded id Software. They were soon joined by Jay Wilbur (management) and Kevin Cloud (artist), and continued their work on the Commander Keen series and, the next year, Wolfenstein 3-D.

Today, id Software released a message thanking their founders and their fans for their support:

John Romero replied to that message on facebook, and posted a message about this anniversary on twitter:

Tom Hall also posted a message celebrating this birthday:

This picture was famously taken during the development of Wolfenstein 3-D, and visible in the in-game help menus. From all the founders on that picture, only Kevin Cloud is still working in id Software, as a producer on the latest Doom games – which are fantastic!

A journalist got the opportunity to discuss with a few of them about their journey in this company:

id Software is now part of the XBox family since the recent acquisition of Zenimax/Bethesda by Microsoft, and released recently the critically acclaimed Doom Eternal. John Carmack left id in 2013 to join Oculus and work on their VR headsets, and then partially left this company in 2019 to work on general AI systems.  John Romero left id in 1996 to found Ion Storm, and then worked in various companies until he founded Romero Games in 2015 with his wife and kids, and released the game Empire of Sin a few weeks ago. Tom Hall left id in 1993 to join Apogee, and then worked in different studios until he joined Resolution Games last year to work on VR games.

You can also find more details about the history of the company in the encyclopedia of this site, or even in the fantastic book Masters of Doom, which will become a TV series soon on USA Network.

10 years of MachineGames

MachineGames is celebrating the 10 years of the studio this month with a series of posts on the Bethesda blog. The first one is explaining how the studio was created by members of the Starbreeze studio, and how the Wolfenstein games were created while the studio was growing and becoming more mature, while the second one is an interview of Jerk Gustaffson, executive producer, Lars Johansson, studio director, and John Jennings, production director, about these 10 years and all their challenges, and the future of the studio. Happy birthday MachineGames!

ZeniMax and Bethesda acquired by Microsoft

Microsoft has announced today that they will acquire ZeniMax Media and its studios like Bethesda Softworks, id Software, MachineGames, Arkane and others for $7.5 billion in cash. Around 2300 employees will now work for the XBox ecosystem, and their games will be released on day one on the PC and XBox consoles – and also in the XBox Game Pass, even if some of the games will still be released on Playstation consoles and other platforms. Many of these studios have been some pioneers of the games on Windows PC and XBox consoles, so Microsoft said it has been an easy decision for them. The acquisition should be finalized at the end of 2021.

Peter Hines, the vice-president of Bethesda, has declared that this acquisition was a big opportunity for Bethesda to go forward and have access to the huge resources of Microsoft, which has been a partner of their studios for a very long time.

Phil Spencer, the head of XBox division in Microsoft, has commented this acquisition on CNBC:

 

Carboard Wolfenstein 3-D!

A creator named Ross Atkins created a real cardboard version of the mazes of Wolfenstein 3-D (called “Smartistein3D”) that players can try thanks to a robot controlled through their web browser, while the inventor is following the robot and removing the fallen enemies! And it looks fun!

 

BJ and his family and friends celebrate the 4th of July!

The official twitter account of the Wolfenstein series has published a picture of BJ celebrating the national day of USA with his family and friends:

We can see most of the heroes of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, like his wife Anya and his daughters Jess and Soph, Fergus Reid and Probst Wyatt together (even if BJ had to let live only one of them in Wolfenstein: The New Order), Set Roth in the rocking chair, Bombate and his girlfriend Sigrun Engel (the daughter of Frau Irene), Horton Boone, Grace Walker and her baby (with Jess and Soph as babies). Note that BJ is preparing a barbecue… in the mouth of a Panzerhund! Happy 4th of July to our heroes!

The Wolfenstein Board Game kickstarter campaign has been launched successfully!

As mentioned in a previous post, the kickstarter campaign of the Wolfenstein Board Game has been launched today, and it’s already a huge success! The goal of 50,000$ US has been reached after only a few hours – and now we’re at more than 335,000$ – almost 7 times the goal!

The developers of Archon Studio have posted a message celebrating that success, with already several stretch goals reached, including a dashboard for your cards, and the card and figurine of Caroline Becker:

Some specialized sites also got the opportunity to get a prototype version of the game, and show it to their viewers:

Wolfenstein 3-D on PSP

Since the source code of the game was released in open source, plenty of people have tried to port the game to various platforms, similarly to Doom – which has the iconic reddit thread: “Will it run Doom?” – with the game ported on many platform, sometimes exotic, like shop touchscreens, etc…

In the latest projects, we have Wolf3D running on the PSP through the RetroArch platform! It runs well, even with some basic sounds.

Note that it’s not the first time the game was ported on that platform, it has been already done with HomeBrew:

New Wolfenstein board game!

The Polish studio Archon Studio will adapt the Wolfenstein games into a new board game that will be funded via a kickstarter campaign, as announced on their site:

Wolfenstein – The Board Game takes place in the legendary Castle Wolfenstein and, like the action of the flagship, award-winning games developed by MachineGames – Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus – occurs in the early 1960s in the world where the Nazis won the Second World War.

Players will have to infiltrate the castle, playing as their favorite characters – BJ Blazkowicz, Anya Oliwa, Set Roth, Max Hass, and Bombate. A unique 32 mm plastic figurine will represent each of these characters. Additional known characters will be available in future add-ons and expansions.

Upon infiltrating the titular castle, players will have to contend with the Nazi antagonists controlled by the game’s AI mechanisms.

Each game will play out in one of three different ways. Depending on the chosen game, players will encounter Nazi zombies, Mechanized Nazis, or a mixture of both. The set will also contain an iconic unit known from the legendary “Wolfenstein 3D” – Mecha-Hitler!

Controlled by players, BJ and his companions will fight through the hordes of Nazis, explore Castle Wolfenstein, and perform dangerous missions, all to defeat the sinister plans of Adolf Hitler and his two cruel subordinates. Wolfenstein – The Board Game will provide unforgettable moments for two-to-five players.

– Dungeon Crawler gameplay with random events
– Co-opertaive adventure for your party
– 50+ prime quality miniatures in base game alone
– End the Regime and set the world free
– Play entire campaign or any of 10 missions – you decide

There is no date yet for the campaign or the release of the game, but you can subscribe to the newletter on the official site. The prototype of the game has been already presented in various shows dedicated to board games:

The Art of Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Bethesda and Dark Horse Books will release on 20th June 2020 the book “The Art of Wolfenstein: Youngblood“, with all the concept art and pictures of the environments and characters of the game:

Filled with amazing art and exclusive commentary, this gorgeous hardcover art book invites its reader to delve deep into this superb collection of production material from the latest romp into the world of Wolfenstein. This item is a must-have for sisters, brothers, and all other champions for the cause!

You can preorder the book on Amazon US for $49.99 US, on Amazon Canada for $65.33 CAN, on Amazon UK for £36.95, and on Amazon France for 47.70€.