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Monday, March 20, 2006

Java Game Development Contest Announced
8:07 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Puppy Games, creators of shareware games like Titan Attacks and Tribal Trouble, have announced they are hosting a Java-based game contest open to all programmers. The contest hopes to promote Java development and gaming on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh platforms. This year's theme is "subterranean" and submissions are due on April 30, 2006 with a cash prize of $100 for the winning entry.

Here are some of the contest's rules and requirements:

There are no restrictions at all on file size, library use, language, etc. Use the tool that works best for you!
The theme for the game submission is digging, tunnels, earth, channels, dirt.
Scoring is based in equal weights on graphics, sound, polish, fun and is multiplied by the number of judging machines the game successfully runs on and then further multiplied by your theme ranking which is how well you adhered to the theme (and that’ll prevent you from just slapping a title on a game you already had like “Digger” and winning on graphics and sound you developed over a four year period )
Scoring in each category is simply by rank against all the other games.
First prize is a paltry $100 PayPalled to you. So enter for the glory and don’t waste too much time on it eh?
Don’t use any material you do not have the right to redistribute, or you will be disqualified, if we find out (Remember, there are more points available for polish, fun, and theme than graphics and sound so don’t waste too much time on graphics and sound!)
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
Please follow the link below to learn more about this contest.

Puppy Games Hosts Java Game Dev Contest

IMG Reviews Magic Stones
12:50 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Magic Stones, the latest game from Winter Wolves. Here's a clip from the review:

Magic Stones is an interesting blend of strategy and role-playing. The strategic aspect is the actual card game, where you must use creatures that each have a unique ability to destroy the opposition. You also have spells to aid you in this endeavor, including spells to boost the toughness of your creatures, heal them, and hurt other creatures. In the adventure mode, called "Gather Artifacts," you have a distinct advantage: the opposing team of creatures does not have access to any spells, and they cannot summon any help. However, in the tournament mode, called "Challenge Druid," you are facing fellow druids who are more than willing to blast your creatures away and summon replacements when you kill a creature.
To check out the entire review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Magic Stones

Macgamestore: QBeez 2 Now Available
9:33 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Skunk Studios' Qbeez 2, the long-anticipated sequel to the classic hit puzzle game, is now available as a digital download through Macgamestore.com for $19.99. A free time limited demo is available.

Those lovable QBeez are back and they’re ready to bring you more click-happy fun. Journey into the world of QBeez like you never have before as you embark on a quest for greatness by conquering wild cats, ravenous sharks, and frenetic bees. Use the elder QBeez’ special inventions to get your “QBeez Together” as you advance along the path of legends.

Macgamestore: QBeez 2

Alex Seropian Interviewed
8:07 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

1UP.com recently interviewed Alexander Seropian, current president of Wideload, and founder of Bungie. During his 11 year career in game creation, Seropian has been involved with fan favorites such as Marathon, Myth, Halo, and most recently Stubbs the Zombie. The interview covers a variety of topics including the design of Stubbs, the shifting sands of the game industry, and violence in computer games.

Stubbs the Zombie was a victim of a National Institute for Media and the Family Consumer Alert in November due to its brain-eating gameplay. Seropian is adamant that videogames should not be censored but allows that they should be rated. Parents need to be armed with information. "The thing that is hard with videogames is there's this whole generation of parents who never played them," he says.

"My wife doesn't even know what the "E" and "T" mean. I do because I see a lot of videogames and I have a lot of exposure to [them]," says Seropian. His wife can determine whether their daughter can see a movie based on its poster, director, or even the title; however, "looking at a videogame box is much harder," says Seropian, "but over time, as our generation gets older and has kids, [it will] get a lot easier."

To read the rest of the interview follow the link below.

1UP.com: Alexander Seropian Interview
Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
Buy Stubbs the Zombie

Click to enlarge
Halo Comic Book Coming Soon
8:07 AM | Cord Kruse | 13 comments

Fans of graphic novels and Halo will soon be able to return to Master Chief's universe in the upcoming Halo Graphic Novel from Bungie Studios. The 128-page, full color, high quality hardcover graphic novel will consist of an anthology of stories set in the Halo game world. Produced by Bungie, the HGN will feature the company's "first choice picks" of artists and writers to paint, draw, letter, and write the graphic novel.

The project actually started about a year and a half ago. Bungie artist Lorraine McLees' passion for the graphic novel medium, and her contacts from the industry led to us getting a budget together, sourcing the writers and artists and creating the initial premises for the stories. Once we'd done that, we set off an inexorable chain reaction of talent, and the treatments, samples and eventually, the finished panels started rolling in.

Oddly enough, we got more than three quarters of the way through the project before we secured the coolest publisher in the business. Marvel. (‘Nuff said.) This isn't the normal mode of production, but the folks at Marvel shared our excitement for both the Halo universe, and the brilliant team of creative types we'd already assembled. A deal was signed and we're basically handing off the completed book as a faits accomplis, but using Marvel's guidance and expertise to take it from the (literal) drawing board to the bookstore shelves.

The Halo Graphic Novel should be available for purchase in July. To learn more about those involved with the project, and check out some samples of the artwork, click on the link below.

Halo Graphic Novel Announced
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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UT 2007 Interview
8:07 AM | Anthony Wang | 5 comments

UT 2007 World has posted an exclusive interview with Jeff Morris, a developer on the upcoming shooter, Unreal Tournament 2007. In this interview, Jeff Morris answers questions from the gamers themselves over various issues such as gameplay, compatibility, and mod support.

UT2007World: There is said to be a renewed focus on the Death Match gametype, to set UT2007 apart from the rest. Can you give any details on what changes we may see beyond the new weapons and graphics?

Jeff: In general we wanted to find the correct balance between the original UT’s play style and where it evolved to in UT2004. To that end we’ve upped the weapons power slightly, and designed levels that keep the combat range a little tighter. The mobility options introduced in UT2003, like double jump and wall dodging, are still present, but with the increased gravity aren’t as dominating as in the last title.

Unreal Tournament 2007 has officially been announced for Windows PC and Playstation 3. Given the fact that all previous Unreal Tournament games have been ported by MacSoft, an announcement for UT2007 for Mac would not be surprising.

UT 2007 World: Interview
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 3

Click to enlarge
Quake Updated to Universal Binary
8:07 AM | Evan Holt | 3 comments

Fruitz of Dojo have recently updated the original Quake to version 1.1. This update brings with it a number of optimizations and is now a Universal Binary compatible with Intel Macs:

• Recompiled as Universal Binary
• Optimized the software renderer for windowed modes
• Windowed modes (software and OpenGL renderer) are now resizeable
• The game will renderer inside the Dock document icon (instead of the application icon) if minimized
• Screenshots are now saved in PNG format
• Threaded CDAudio and MP3/MP4 playback
• "glquake" cache files are now always little endian
• "glquake" cache files are automatically converted if in wrong endianess
• Minor bug fixes
This free update is 3.6MB and requires the shareware or full version of Quake 1. You can download it from the link below.

id Software
Fruitz-of-dojo: Quake 1.1

Nvidia Announces SLI-Accelerated Physics
8:07 AM | Evan Holt | 22 comments

TG Daily has posted an article regarding nVidia's announcement of SLI-Accelerated Physics.

Hardware accelerated physics boards were labelled as a niche market a year ago when Ageia announced the PhysX physics processing unit, however now competing companies are bringing forth their own technology.

Nvidia is first to introduce the feature to the market: Called "SLI Physics," the feature will offloads physics calculations from the CPU to the graphics processor and promises to bring movie-type effects from crashing cars and speeding bullets to the PC screen - all with smooth frame rates.

Both ATI and Nvidia have been quiet about their physics strategy in recent months. But with ATI's recent explanations around "dynamic load balancing" and Nvidia's SLI Physics, the direction has become clear: Multiple graphics processors provide plenty of excess floating point capability to run more than just graphics and overcome the limitations of the main processor of a computer system. Physics appears to be the first and major new application graphics chips will be aiming for.

Although SLI technology has yet to come to the Macintosh platform, this technology may still trickle down:
Nvidia officials told TG Daily that owners of single-GPU systems will still see "some benefit," but couldn't provide more detail at this time.
Hardware Accelerated Physics will hopefully come to the Mac one day from either Ageia, nVidia or ATI, but for the time being, you can read up on nVidia's announcement following the link below.

TG Daily: nVidia SLI-Physics

Mac Games News for Friday, March 17, 2006

Macgamestore: 3 New Mac Games Available3:22 PM
Apple Updates Hot Deals3:17 PM
Custer Gets Burning8:27 AM
DropTeam Multiplayer Test Ready8:27 AM
Enigmo 2 1.0.3 Update8:27 AM
Firaxis Announces New PC Titles, First Civ IV Expansion8:27 AM
MacWorld Reviews Enigmo 28:27 AM
Minions of Mirth Q&A Part 28:27 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 17, 2006 on one page

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