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Blizzard North veterans form new independent development stu

As the fallout from Blizzard Entertainment's merging of its North studio into the company's headquarters studio continues to settle, three former Blizzard North development staff have established a new studio called Hyboreal Games. Located in San Carlos, California, Hyboreal has been founded by former senior game designer Eric Sexton, developer and artist Michio Okamura, who was responsible for design on the original Diablo game, and lead programmer Steven Woo, who co-ordinated the international localisation for Diablo II.

The studio intends to focus its attention on the PC market, promising a reliance on game play over technology, art and story. The first project, dubbed 'Starfall', is currently in development - although no further details on the game have been released so far. Hyboreal intends to reduce its development costs by outsourcing various aspects of the development process to "a reliable partner who we had a previous development relationship."

The establishment of Hyboreal marks the latest in a string of new independent studios emerging from the talent behind Blizzard Entertainment's critically and commercially acclaimed software titles. Former Diablo producer Bill Roper, together with a number of senior Blizzard staff, established Flagship Studios in 2003. A number of additional studios have also been established by ex-Blizzard talent, including Castaway Entertainment, Red5 Studios and Arena.net, the team behind NCsoft's hugely successful Guild Wars MMORPG.

News source: gamesindustry.biz

Whats changed?

The immediately noticeable changes are that we are running Invision Power Board 2.1.3 and the v3.9 design has been revamped, codenamed Swift the new design removes a lot of the nested tables present in the 2001 v3.0 design here at Neowin.net.

Most of the changes are in the code, but we also made huge improvements to the layout and underlying css.

The server layout has changed too. We now use 1 dedicated server for MySQL data and 2 for Apache, the 4th does DNS, web and pop email.

Marcel (Redmak) has also coded a new news script backend and the design was updated there aswell, making the page lighter and more responsive overall.

The neowin 5 theme is not completed yet, due to the fact that staff have day jobs and the recent thanksgiving holiday halted development there temporarily, its next on the list. The most important thing is to have a working situation we can move to and I'm confident the updates will be sufficient while we finish up the new design on the new servers.

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