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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

TransGaming/NVIDIA Strike Mac Gaming Deal
7:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 12 comments

TransGaming, the company behind the Cider portability engine and NVIDIA today announced a deal they hope will lead to the release of more top-tier games to the Mac. TransGaming’s Cider portability engine technology eliminates the time and expense of porting Windows games to the Mac.

The collaboration will allow TransGaming's Cider to run high-level shaders created for Microsoft’s Direct3D platform using the NVIDIA CgFX framework. To accomplish this, TransGaming and NVIDIA have worked together to improve Cg in several areas, ranging from Effect (.fx) file compatibility through to performance, resulting in the ability to release more high-end games on the Mac with Cider.

”The collaboration between TransGaming and NVIDIA is an important step for Mac gaming. Our collaborative efforts with Cg provide a sophisticated alternative implementation of Direct3D compatible high level shaders on the Mac; this is important because Microsoft restricts the distribution of Direct3D on non-Microsoft platforms. We look forward to releasing many blockbuster titles this year with Cg”, stated Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming.

NVIDIA’s work with TransGaming has greatly accelerated the development of the CgFX graphics system. TransGaming’s cross platform experience has allowed us to make CgFX more compatible with developer’s existing shader systems, and opens the door to a consistent developer model for deploying shader effects in different environments. The combination of Cider and Cg will give Mac gamers the best gaming experience possible and we’re pleased to be working with TransGaming to change the Mac gaming landscape”, said Roy Taylor, VP of Content Engagement for NVIDIA.

TransGaming's Cider is currently being used to bring titles such as Heroes of Might & Magic V and Myst Online: Uru Live to the Mac.

For more on Cider, follow the link below.


Red Faction Sequel Underway?
1:20 PM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

In a recent conference call with investors, THQ's CEO Brian Farrell revealed that a sequel is in the works for Red Faction. The original Red Faction featured first person shooter action, a variety of weapons and enemies, and destructible environments.

When asked to list the six key franchises would be the focus of THQ's 2008 fiscal year, Farrell stated: "Saints Row, Stuntman, which will be released this year, Juiced, which is a sequel to the product we launched a couple years ago, Destroy All Humans, MX, and my favorite, Red Faction."

No timeline, platforms or official titles were given. This would be the third iterations of Red Faction and Destroyed All Humans and first-time sequel for Juiced and Stuntman.

There is no word yet on the possibility of the sequel making it to Mac users. Head over to the site listed below for more information.

IGN: Red Faction, MX to Return

New Petroglyph (SW: Empire at War) RTS Coming to PC
7:39 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Petroglyph, the company responsible for Star Wars: Empire At War, has announced work on a new real time strategy game for the PC. Titled Universe At War: Earth Assault, the game is set in the near-future when multiple factions from across the galaxy are waging war on Earth. UAW will offer players a high degree of customization, environments which react to battlefield destruction, and unique multiplayer modes.

Universe at War: Earth Assault will employ a unique balance system called "Tactical Dynamics" that allows players to retrain and customize units in the midst of battle to better cope with enemy forces and tactical situations. Weaponry and defenses can be modified in true real-time to take advantage of constantly shifting battlefield conditions. Fully customizable tech trees will allow players to control the development of technologies that they deem key to victory.

Battles in Universe at War: Earth Assault will be large in scope and take place in malleable and deforming environments. Deadly sci-fi weapons and alien powers will allow players to destroy cities and whole territories on a global scale. Because the world of Universe at War: Earth Assault is persistent, players will be able to revisit previous battlegrounds to find them still smoldering in ruins.

Featuring innovative multiplayer modes inspired by popular massively multiplayer online games and competitive online playable titles, Universe at War: Earth Assault will give players achievements, rewards, and medals in a balanced environment to further encourage players to move forward in the game. Players from around the world will battle in persistent-style online campaigns for ultimate faction supremacy across a virtual representation of the Earth.

Aspyr Media is currently hard at work on the Intel Mac only version of Star Wars: Empire at War, which should be released sometime this month.

Follow the links to learn more.

Universe At War: Earth Assault
Sega: Universe At War Announcement
Aspyr Media
Star Wars: Empire at War
Buy Star Wars: Empire at War

Age Of Empires III Reviewed
7:39 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Applelinks latest game review explores the real time strategy world of Age of Empires III. Focusing on the colonization of the New World the game features improved graphics, realistic physics, and a new campaign. Applelinks gave the game a world conquering score of 5 out of 5.

From the review:

Noticeably stepped up from their original game, the graphics are stunning. At the "Normal" setting, which places you far enough above the action that you can see and control major aspects of the town or a current battle, the characters, trees, and buildings are quite detailed. But the graphics really shine as you approach the action. Instead of getting murkier and less defined, the faces and landscape come into sharper relief as the camera draws nearer. The battle scenes are visually alluring, and in the first few plays I found myself distracted by their accuracy. The water and other parts of nature also are a treat to the eyes. The developer's website indicates that they had the bold goal of producing the best-looking game ever, and it is likely they succeeded.

Graphics and game engines usually perform a few visual stunts from a menu of choices based on the actions or amount of damage done during the game. The level of attention played to these options usually speaks to the quality and value of a game. AoE III improves on this by creating parts of buildings or weapons or trees that are not just landscape but are, instead, "real." That is, in battle, a tree might fall and kill an otherwise uninjured or unengaged solder...as happened to me. Cannon balls ricochet and send injured villagers flying off into the woods or, sadly, over a cliff to their doom. Town Center roof parts fall off onto your closest attacking forces, inflicting very real damage, as might happen to careless troops in a real battle.

For the full review follow the link below.

Applelinks: Age of Empires III Review
Age of Empires III
Buy Age of Empires III

Click to enlarge
Half-Elves Get Crazy In The Broken Hourglass
7:39 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Planewalker Games has released another informational update for the company's upcoming RPG, The Broken Hourglass. The update reveals information about the unique Feyborn, the name given to half-elves in the game world.

The Feyborn (only occasionally known as "half-elves") are the product of cross-species mating. Humans and elves are sufficiently genetically compatible to produce offspring, but the match is far from perfect. Physically the Feyborn tend to represent a subtle blend of human and elven features, typically favoring whichever race their mother belonged to. Feyborn grow faster and for longer than either humans or elves, so fully-grown Feyborn are typically at least six feet tall. Their pupils have the unnerving appearance of being permanently dilated.

The mix of human and elven blood running through Feyborn veins leaves them unstable, and as a race they share three traits universally: sterility, sorcery, and madness.

Check out the full article at the link below.

The Broken Hourglass: The Feyborn, Never a Dull Moment
The Broken Hourglass

Mac Games News for Monday, February 5, 2007

IMG Podcast Episode 8 Released7:13 AM
Lux Delux Updated, New Guide Available7:13 AM
Myst Online: Uru Live Interview7:13 AM
Quake 4 Community Maps Available For Playtesting7:13 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, February 5, 2007 on one page

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