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Monday, July 16, 2007



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Epic Confirms Gears of War, UT 3 For Mac
8:32 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 157 comments

In a "Game Head" video posted on Gametrailers.com, Epic Games' VP Mark Rein announced that a Mac version of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3 are heading to the platform. Rein enthusiastically announces in the video, "And don't forget, we're also doing Macintosh. Yes, Gears is coming to the Mac and so is UT".

Using the Unreal 3 engine, Gears of War is a third-person tactical action/horror game that has been a runaway best-seller on the XBOX 360 selling over 3.5 million copies. The Windows version of Gears of War was announced last week and Epic promises all-new content, including three new multiplayer maps, a new multiplayer game type, game editor, and five new campaign chapters for the Windows version.

Be sure to check out the video of Mark Rein on Gametrailers.com. The surprise announcement appears roughly mid-way through the video.

Gears of War
Gametrailers: Game Head Video



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Inside Mac Games Reviews Nanny Mania
6:52 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the game Nanny Mania from Gogii Games. The game finds the player as a nanny in charge of taking care of a chaotic household. Here's a bit from the review:

By clicking on various household appliances and objects, you direct your nanny to walk (or run depending on your caffeine intake) and clean up the house. On the bottom of the screen sits the “House Chaos” meter, which ranges from order to chaos. The goal of each level is to sustain order while completing every outstanding task within a given time period. A perfect time is shown at the bottom of the screen, and completing the level under this target will gain you extra points.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review of Nanny Mania
Nanny Mania
Gogii Games
Buy Nanny Mania


Blizzard Working On New Game
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Blizzard Entertainment's Frank Pearce revealed that a third development team is currently hard at work on an "awesome" new project. Although Pearce said the new project is unrelated to the Starcraft or World of Warcraft franchises he revealed little else about the game.

The comment came amid discussion of the company's current workforce. "Our global headcount is 2,700," said Pearce, "And most of that is customer service for World of Warcraft! In terms of development staff it’s probably around 350. World of Warcraft is about 135 people, 40 for Starcraft II, 40 for team 3, our cinematics team is about 85 guys. Then there’s sound and Q/A and that sort of thing."

When pressed for details regarding the new project, Pearce was cagey. "Team 3 is working on something really awesome. I can’t give you any hints, but it’s totally awesome."

All attempts to extract additional information were understandably met with looks of shock and horror from Blizzard's director of global public relations, who also attended the meeting.
Whether or not the new project is the long awaited continuation of the Diablo series remains to be seen. Check out the rest of the Gamasutra article at the link below.

Gamasutra: Blizzard Third Team, New Game Expected
Blizzard Entertainment



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Supernova 2: Spacewar Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

In its latest newsletter Winter Wolves announced work on Supernova 2: Spacewar, a sequel to the arcade action based Supernova: Galactic Wars. Unlike the first game, Spacewar will be a "galaxy conquest" game focusing on turn based strategy and resource management.

It will be the sequel to Supernova: Galactic Wars, but this time will be a 100% strategy game (more like a wargame to be honest). It is a “galaxy conquest” kind of game, but the simulation part will use a macromanagement system, so you don’t have to deal to every single planet, even if you’ll have the data of every planet accessible.

For those of you brave enough to have played Master Of Orion 3 - the game won’t have all that depth of data. Instead will let you take “global” decisions, using all your resources at once, using percentage distributions. I’m still defining the storyboard right now, but that’s the idea.

The game will then switch to a old-style wargame once you have a battle to do. For now, only space battles even if in a future datadisk I could add even ground-level battles (conquest of bases, etc). The spacewar battle will be turn-based and strategic only - no real-time arcade combat sequences this time.
The newsletter also mentions a recent update to TV Station Manager and continued work on the upcoming Tower of Destiny RPG.

Click on the links below for more information.

Winter Wolves Blog: Supernova 2
TV Station Manager
Winter Wolves
Supernova: Galactic Wars


Midori Releases New Environmental Game, Global Warning
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Independent game and software developer, Midori, recently announced the release of a new environmental game called, Global Warning, made for Mac OS X and Windows. Global Warning is a turn based card game which tasks players with choosing strategic, earth-friendly behavior "cards" to prevent a landfill from being located near their home. The new release was created with the Phelios game engine, PTK.

With the game Midori hopes to spread the awareness of global warming and the ill effects of man-made pollution and industrialization. The game offers every day advice and tips about how players can act in real life to live a more sustainable, green existence. It also offers many money saving tips.

A dump company sets up an immense landfill very near the game protagonist's home. The player's mission is to stop the dump company, and save the planet choosing strategic, earth-friendly behavior "cards." Each round, the player makes choices in his/her life by selecting action cards. The results of these actions are seen a round later, sometimes several rounds later. These actions will have a direct impact on his/her finances, morale and health, which, in turn, can affect whether they will survive the game. It will also have an impact on their knowledge of various environmental subjects: waste, chemicals, energy, CO2 emissions, self-sufficiency, and water. There are also "accident" cards, which are random events that take place at any given time, just like they occur in every day life. For example, the player will get a card that indicates that they broke a leg and will therefore not be able to work for a while. This event lowers the player's finances. Players cannot discard these accident cards and must continue the game.

The player will begin to realize that winning is extremely difficult, if not impossible. His or her situation is very dependent on the random  circumstances life has to offer, whether it's a car accident or if finances dictate a non-ideal choice in environmental products. Oftentimes, the player will have very few wise choices available, which Midori says, "reflects the real world. It's hard and we want people to realize the harsh realities of life, no matter how devastating and frustrating. But this has a purpose, which is to inspire the player to change things for the better in real life." If players achieve a score of 100 in their overall knowledge category they win the game. They have 104 rounds to play and to try to save the world, but this isn't easy.

Global Warning is available for $9.95 and requires OS X 10.3.9 or higher, 512 MB of RAM, a 450 Mhz Processor, and a 3D OpenGL video card.

Head over to the website below to learn more about the game and download the free demo.

Global Warning
Midori



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WoW For Macs To Gain Movie Recording, Graphics Improvements
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The upcoming 2.2 patch for World of Warcraft will, in addition to the usual bug fixes and content additions, feature some Mac specific enhancements. The first addition is the inclusion of in-game video capture exclusively for Mac users. Users will be able to capture game footage using a choice of H.264, Motion JPEG, or Pixlet codecs, as well as use selectable resolution and frame rates.

Another Mac specific addition provided by the patch will improve graphic optimization utilizing AltiVec for PowerPC Macs and SSE on Intel Macs. The end result of the optimizations is improved performance on systems unable to make use of vertex shaders, such as systems using Intel integrated graphics.

More information about the Mac updates in version 2.2:

- The Mac client can now capture in-game video to QuickTime movie files using a configurable choice of codec (H.264, Motion JPEG, or Pixlet), resolution, and frame rate. Two new entries have been added to the Key Bindings dialog for start/stop recording and for cancellation of a recording. For more detailed configuration options please see the Mac Options panel in game. Mac OS X 10.4.9 and QuickTime 7.1.6 or better are required. Not all machines have enough performance to smoothly capture video at high frame rates; end user experimentation will be required to find appropriate settings for each.

- Additional graphic optimization utilizing AltiVec for PowerPC-Mac and SSE for Intel-Mac. This provides some performance benefit on systems where vertex animation shaders are either unavailable or disabled (recommended on systems with Intel integrated video).

- Mac Options dialog has been added to the primary options panel. This dialog offers configuration options for any features that are presently unique to the Mac client, such as iTunes Remote and Movie Capture.

- New iTunes Remote configuration options have been added to the Mac Options panel.

The patch is currently in beta testing on Blizzard's Public Test Realms.

For more information, including a forum topic dealing with PC user reaction to the currently Mac-only movie recording feature, follow the links below.

Blizzplanet: Mac WoW Users Get Video Capture
WoW: Patch 2.2 Beta Features
WoW Forums: Video Capture For Macs?
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft


id's Steve Nix Discusses Tech 5
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

Gamespot has posted a new interview with id Software's Steve Nix about the company's recently unveiled Tech 5 game engine. The interview covers the E3 response to Tech 5 and id's plans to license the engine to developers in a variety of game genres.

GameSpot: John Carmack had the big id Tech 5 demo at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in June. Has your E3 been full of developer meetings who are interested in licensing your tech?

Steve Nix: ...Very happy people have been extremely impressed by the visual fidelity of the technology, but the tools and the cross-platform [support] have been the huge thing. Walking in and seeing the technology running just as well on the Mac, the PC, the 360, and the PS3 at a high frame rate--people weren't expecting it. It's not difficult. It's just that our approach to technology allows us to do it very efficiently. I think overall we've more than accomplished our goals for this E3. People have been really impressed and we expect that we'll have a number of tech licenses. We're starting those conversations today because E3 was the first time we've shown anyone the technology directly other that what we showed at the World Wide Developers Conference.

GS: What are these developers, who are all presumably familiar with Unreal Engine 3, most impressed by when they see your engine?

SN: I'm not that aware of what our competitors are doing and what they're promising with their road map, but when people walk into our booth, they see that we have four platforms running at 60Hz with the exact same assets. We probably have artists in the company that aren't aware we have our new technology running on the PS3 because you need to do absolutely zero changes, no packaging, no extra baking, no extra steps, to get to the PS3. It really is a seamless, multiplatform, no-hassle solution. That's what people are telling us is extremely attractive. There's also the power of the rendering. No one has this rendering solution that we have with the unlimited texture. People are shocked by that. They weren't expecting it. It's a totally different path than where everyone else is going with their technology right now. It's Carmack again coming up with something that no one else in the market is thinking about. People are surprised by that. I mean, you expect John [Carmack] to come up with massive technological leaps in rendering, but at the same time people are really shocked to see it running on all the platforms.

Follow the link below to read the rest of the interview.

Gamespot: id's Tech 5 Q&A
id Software


SteamTRAIN 2 Update Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

SteamTRAIN, a Mac-only steam locomotive and train simulator developed by NostWare.com, has been updated to version 2.2.1.  A working Turntable and Roundhouse have been added, plus more loco steam release, over pressure pop-valves, and a symbolic data bar. 

You represent the engineer and crew of an 1800's era steam train. Your vintage train consists of a steam locomotive and tender, plus mail, baggage, coach, or freight cars.

Your train will travel between stops, up and down grades, negotiate curves, switch tracks, and couple/uncouple cars. Controls include the throttle, boiler pressure, traction sand, two brake types, manual couplers, and track switches. Beware the Phantom Express. Choice of Mail Train and Dispatcher Modes.
SteamTRAIN runs on all Intel Macs and most PowerPC Macs with OS X 10.2.3 or later.  A free demo is available at NostWare.com. The full version costs $20.

SteamTRAIN 2


Mac Games News for Friday, July 13, 2007

Custer Races Back6:00 AM
Freeverse Releases Tiki Magic Mini Golf6:00 AM
New Open Beta Patch For Knights Of The Old Republic6:00 AM
PlayMyth.net Coming Back Up6:00 AM
Using Deployables In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars6:00 AM
Virtual Programming Updates Several Games6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 13, 2007 on one page


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