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Monday, April 3, 2006

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WoW: Burning Crusade Interview
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamespot has posted an interview with Jeffrey Kaplan, lead designer for Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. The interview covers The Burning Crusade, the eagerly anticipated first expansion for WoW which will include two new playable races, flying mounts, and a higher level cap. While much of the focus seems to be on content for players with higher level characters, Kaplan promised The Burning Crusade will offer something for everyone.

GameSpot: Will The Burning Crusade be primarily aimed at World of Warcraft veterans who have hit level 60, or will new players or less-advanced players find value in it as well? In other words, will you need to be a high-level character to enjoy the content in the expansion?

Jeffrey Kaplan: The Burning Crusade will draw in completely new players as well as less-advanced players, in addition to appealing to the World of Warcraft veterans. We'll be adding two new races to the game, complete with a new starting experience for both of those races. For example, the blood elves (our new Horde race) will be able to adventure through Eversong Forest and the Ghostlands. Eversong is the equivalent to a zone such as Elwynn or Tirisfal Glades, and Ghostlands is roughly the same level range as Westfall or Loch Modan. So, as you can see, there will be brand new content for people starting right at level one.

To read the entire interview head over to Gamespot at the link below.

Gamespot: Burning Crusade Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Otto Matic Switches to Intel CPUs
8:25 AM | Anthony Wang | 3 comments

Pangea Software has updated its 3D robot action game, Otto Matic to version 3.0.1. This latest version is a Universal Binary release with native Intel Mac support, along with control customization and graphics problems.

Keep in mind, Otto Matic 3.0 and above requires Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. Gamers should stick to Otto Matic 2.0 with earlier versions of Mac OS X.

Please click on the links below to download the update and learn about this game.

MGF: Otto Matic 3.0.1
Aspyr Media
Pangea Software
Otto Matic

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Pondering The Future of Myth
8:25 AM | Anthony Wang | 6 comments

As PlayMyth, the Myth game series server and community reaches its 4 year anniversary later this month, they have posted a status update on the future of Myth. Despite efforts by the various remaining Myth developers and gamers, PlayMyth has reached a point of maturity in terms of player base and the need for further development to enhance the three Myth games.

Itís been some time since Iíve made a significant post here in PlayMythís news section. Lately Iíve been thinking a lot about Myth and about the future of Myth and PlayMythís role in that future.

It's no secret that PlayMyth has hit something of a plateau in terms of our player base. We have a core player base many of which have been playing the game since it was released. Some are more recent additions. Despite the best efforts of FlyingFlip, Project Magma, MythDev and countless others the numbers of games played has been steadily declining for over two years.

It's doubtful that further development of the existing games will accomplish anything beyond entertaining the few that remain to play. There is only so far you can really push things before you get to the point of diminishing returns. While there is a lot of that could be done to Myth III in terms of fixing gameplay related bugs and issues present since release - the benefit to doing that is tapered by the fact that very few people are, in fact, playing Myth III. It means that there really is little incentive in investing the time to do it...

Please click on the links below to continue reading and to learn more information.

PlayMyth: The Future of Myth
Myth: The Total Codex
Myth II: Soulblighter
Myth II: Green Berets
Bungie Studios
Take 2 Interactive

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HoMM V: The Music
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ubisoft's Heroes of Might and Magic V website is offering a new interview with composer Rob King. King has been involved with the series since the first game and the interview explores his insights into the full two hours of music which will accompany the new game. HoMM V is the latest in the popular turn based strategy series.

How does your collaboration with Paul Romero go? What other musicians did you collaborate with?

We usually just sit around reading gossip magazines like US weekly and Enquirer discussing music direction while reading the misfortunes of celebrities. Seriously... In some cases Paul comes to the table with some brilliant ideas and we work out the arrangements or I might have an arrangement of drums completely laid out with melodic Ideas that we work from. We have two workstations here at the studio and usually we are both doing something on the song then go back and forth on both rigs. There really isnít any certain way of doing anything, just get it done fast ya know? When we use other musicians, the arrangement is usually done and tracked in advance and we replace the sampled parts with the appropriate musician. On the main theme we actually just did a choral arrangement to a click/piano track, recorded it at a studio and brought it back in our studio and wrote the music around the vocals. Pretty tricky but I actually enjoyed the results. It lets you think a bit differently about the musical parts.

In addition to the interview the website offers downloadable versions of some of the game's songs. To listen and read click on the link below.

HoMM V Website
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Apple To Support Windows Virtualization?
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

BAPCo (Business Applications Performance Consortium) recently announced that Apple Computer has joined its membership. The consortium provides industry-standard Windows benchmarking and includes members such as AMD, Intel, nVidia, ATI, and Microsoft. BAPCo's efforts led to the creation of the SYSmark 2004SE and MobileMark benchmark suites used for testing PCs, and the WEBmark webserver test.

This move has led to speculation that Apple will soon be offering official support for Windows virtualization or emulation.

From Gearlog:

This is significant because it means that Apple has now committed to Windows-based performance testing, and it will influence industry-standard testing methodologies going forward, possibly including Mac OS X testing.† We speculate that Apple will now develop Windows drivers for Intel Macs like the iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo processors.† You will probably still need to buy your own copy of Windows XP (or Vista), but this is exciting stuff.

We've seen rumors that Apple will include virtualization technology in Mac Os X 10.5 (Leopard), but benchmarks like SYSmark and MobileMark don't work well in virtualized environments since they use ultilities that call low level processes (like anti-virus).† This bodes well for native Windows support on Macs in the future.

To read more about this interesting development follow the links below.

Extreme Tech: Apple Joins BAPCo
Gearlog: OS X Virtualization, Windows Support

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Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa Reviewed
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room is offering a review of Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, an ecological simulation and strategy title. The game gives players the task of managing an African ecosystem, including 11 different types of animals. The Game Room gave Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

Each level comes with a specific goal. For example, you may need to create an ecosystem that can sustain four lions. To do that, youíll need to make sure the zebras, which the lions feed on, have enough to drink and eat. Youíll also have to make sure the hungry lions donít thin the zebrasí herd too much, or the lions will ultimately starve.

Challenges quickly change and grow more complex. There are also three levels of difficulty that help keep pace with your increasing abilities. As you successfully complete missions, new missions await. Youíll also unlock variations on the gameís sandbox mode, an open-ended game mode that lets you work on your ecosystems for as long as you can sustain them.

The entire review can be read at the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa Review
Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa
Buy Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa

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Avernum 4 Wrap Report
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent RPG Vault interview with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software reveals the designer's goals for Avernum 4 and the fan's reaction to the game. The successor to the popular Avernum/Exile series offers a large amount of new areas, missions, and items to enjoy as well as the usual legion of enemies to defeat. Although the game has sold extremely well Vogel says some fans were unhappy with the game's emphasis on combat.

Audience Response
Avernum 4 has been an enormous success for us. I'm not sure we've ever had a game that sold so fast. It is very satisfying to me. We worked very hard for a long time, and we have been rewarded. Real life should work that way.

Though sales have been fantastic, there is a part of my fanbase that isn't entirely happy with the game. It has much more emphasis on action and exploration, and less on dialogue and intricate plot. For the people who love my games because of the storyline and writing, Avernum 4 was sort of jarring. The Geneforge games are much more to their speed.

But I like to write all different sorts of games. Sometimes, I like action. Big, elaborate, complex battles are a lot of fun! And now that the carnage is out of my system, our next game, Geneforge 4, will have a much more intricate storyline.
To read the rest of the article head over to RPG Vault at the link below.

RPG Vault: Avernum 4 Wrap Report
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 4

Exploring Mythic Adventure
8:25 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent ShareAware feature from Applelinks examined Sakura Games' Mythic Adventure, an arcade puzzle game involving filling the game board with the proper pieces. The game features a variety of levels, construction tools, and bonus levels with mythic characters.

Here's the twist Sakura Games has brought to this formula. The game board comprises a large collection of empty blocks. At the bottom of the screen flows a steady stream of geometric shapes, much like the shapes that fall in Tetris. Your job is to drag these shapes onto the board to an effort to completely fill it up. It sounds simple, of course, but don't they all?

The game board isn't a simple square, so you have to be careful where you place your pieces. Although you can drag to the game board any of the currently available pieces from the river (those you don't use simply fall into oblivion), you'll find that luck plays a major role in your success. Inevitably, only single blocks will remain on the board, and you'll find yourself waiting for them impatiently as the timer continues to tick away.

To read the entire article follow the link below.

Applelinks ShareAware: Mythic Adventure
Mythic Adventure

Mac Games News for Friday, March 31, 2006

Macgamestore: Quake IV Shipping Wednesday, Collapse! Crunch2:08 PM
IMG Podcast Episode 19 Released2:04 PM
Apple Updates Hot Deals1:08 PM
Vindico Launches Deliver2Mac.com12:54 PM
Custer Leads Us To Another Desktop8:02 AM
Feral on Universal Gaming8:02 AM
Fool's Errand Sequel Delayed Again8:02 AM
The Movies Interview8:02 AM
The Smiley Puzzle Project8:02 AM
WoW: Four New Realms8:02 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 31, 2006 on one page

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