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Wednesday, July 6, 2005

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Shrapnel Games Releases Salvo!
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Shrapnel Games today announced it has begun shipping Salvo!, a "tactical" naval combat game covering the Age of Sail era, from the 17th century until the 19th century. Salvo!, which retails for $39.95, is available for pre-order from Macgamestore.com and available shortly.

Here's more from the press release:

All manner of engagements are represented, from duels involving just a few vessels to large scale clashes that would make Nelson proud. Salvo!, while designed for maximum playability, includes a great deal of features that help make it a true-to-life naval experience. Commanders will deal with shallow water, land masses, variable wind, boarding actions, and more. Plenty of chrome makes an appearance too, such as shore batteries and fire ships.

Featuring a wide range of combatants from the major seafaring powers of the time (including pirates), and branching campaigns for great replayability, Salvo! is a game that will keep the fight alive on your monitor. Speaking of fighting, thanks to Salvo!'s highly intuitive "Action Marker" and squadron control system gamers never have to fight the game itself to play, even when dealing with armadas of ships. With beautifully rendered 3D graphics that instantly communicate the state of the battle to you Salvo! is one of the easiest wargames to pick up and play.

For more on Salvo!, head over to the official site.

Shrapnel Games
Buy Salvo!

Vivendi Universal Licenses Unreal Engine 3
10:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Vivendi Universal today announced a studio-wide agreement under which VU Games will license Unreal Engine 3 tools and technology from Epic Games. The move could lead to more games based on the Unreal Engine 3 being available for the Mac plaform.

VU Games' internal and external development studios are licensed to use Unreal Engine 3 technology for next generation titles, which are expected to launch starting in 2006. Specific titles will be announced at a later date.

"Our licensing agreement with Epic Games underscores VU Games' commitment to developing top tier next generation products," said Peter Della Penna, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Product Development for VU Games. "Unreal Engine 3 technology will enable us to create exceptional high quality next gen titles in a productive and cost effective fashion."

Mark Rein, Vice President and Co-founder of Epic Games said "VU Games has an incredible lineup of internal and external development teams that we know are going to benefit from working with Unreal Engine 3."

For more on Unreal Engine 3, head over to the official site.

Unreal Engine 3

Macgamestore: NHL Eastside Hockey Manager Now Available
10:03 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Sega's NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 is now available from Macgamestore.com. Select from over 20 leagues from all over the globe, including the vaunted NHL, and strive to become the greatest hockey manager of all time. Build a dynasty for the future as you scout, draft and sign up new talent. You'll also need to enter negotiations to trade players and strengthen your squad.

The game is available for $59.95 from Macgamestore.com


Life Inside a MMORPG Sweatshop
9:58 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

1up.com has posted an article on the MMORPG gold farming industry. The article interviews a few of the major players in the industry and describes the conditions inside a gold "sweatshop."

The people in these pics taken at one virtual sweatshop make as little as 56 cents an hourHow does it work? The macros for World of WarCraft, for example, control a high-level hunter and cleric. The hunter kills while the cleric automatically heals. Once they are fully loaded with gold and items, the "farmer" who's monitoring their progress manually controls them out of the dungeon to go sell their goods. These automated agents are then returned to the dungeons to do their thing again. Sack's typical 12-hour sessions can earn his employers as much as $60,000 per month while he walks away with a measly $150.
If you want to know the ins and outs of the gold farming business, just head through the link below.

Gold Sweatshop Article

Heroes of Might & Magic V Q&A
9:21 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

A question and answer session for Heroes of Might & Magic V has been posted on its official website. The Q&A covers the developer's thoughts on the design process and a little of the upcoming gameplay.

How do you tune the gameplay on a game of this scale (over 100 creatures, 200 skills, 40 spells…)?

Well, we have already had an experience of balancing some large scale games – Etherlords, despite its numerous creatures and spells and their rather complicated relations, has a very strong balance. Coming back to Heroes, I would say that we use standard mechanism of balancing – mathematics at first, then we implement it to the game, when we try everything over and over, when we use playtests and beta-tests to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Plus there already are some balance schemes from the previous games of the series that can be a good base sometimes, too.
To view the complete Q&A, visit the links section.

Heroes V Teaser Q&A
Contraband Entertainment
Heroes of Might & Magic IV
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic IV

More from Mac Game Devs on Intel
9:16 AM | Jesse Brauning | Comment on this story

The Mac Observer has written up an interesting analysis of the prospects of gaming on Intel-based Macs. They have talked to Aspyr's Glenda Adams, Peter Tamte (president of Destineer), Strange Flavour's Aaron Fothergill, and Freeverse's president, Ian Lynch Smith. Many good observations come out of the article, such as this one:

Regarding Rosetta, Mr. Tamte said: "I haven't seen any emulator ever run a performance-intensive game well. However, keep in mind that a game released a couple years earlier will target hardware that was available then, which sometimes leaves users with the overhead for the emulation. But don't expect to run a just-released game well through an emulator."
Here is the link to the full article:

TMO Reports - Mac Game Makers Weigh in on the Move to Intel Macs

Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 5, 2005

IMG Reviews Kitty Spangles Solitaire1:41 PM
Alien Swarm Phalanx Campaign Released8:58 AM
Red Orchestra Turns v3.38:58 AM
Star Wars Battlefront Goes Gold8:58 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 5, 2005 on one page

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