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Thursday, May 1, 2008

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Machines At War Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Isotope 244 recently released version 1.2 of Machines at War, the real time strategy title. The update includes a variety of bug fixes and content additions including the introduction of three new advanced ground units and improved computer AI.

Machines at War challenges players to build an unstoppable war machine to dominate the world. It features streamlined play to allow gamers to spend more time attacking and defending than managing their bases.

The new version is for all platforms and is free for registered users.  Registered users can get the update at the Request Code page.  The update includes the following items:

• Added 3 NEW advanced ground units!  Badger, Ram, and Viper.
• Aircraft now use direct flight pathing and more realistic flight patterns.
• The AI was extensively updated in group management, building, and uses new attack strategies.
• AI is harder on Robotic and easier on Newbie and Easy settings.
• Added new shortcut keys to select all Offensive, Ground, or Air units.
• Fixed units not pathing when there were high populations on slow machines.
• Many building and unit stats were changed to balance the game.
• Added a section to the help file about user mods, and the tech tree image can now be customized.

Click over to the links below for more information.

Machines At War
Isotope 244

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Peter Molyneux Discusses Superstar Game Designers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

The Guardian has published a new interview with legendary game designer Peter Molyneux. This time the talkative designer discussed the reasons why most game designers remain anonymous, as well as the pros and cons of having a well known name behind a project.

"I don't think publishers like there to be people attached to a certain franchise," he says. "I don't think they want Peter Molyneux known for the Fable franchise and they don't particularly want a famous person attached to any franchise – because if that famous person leaves, they can take the franchise with them."

Molyneux also thinks the few new names prove a point. For example, CliffyB rose to prominence with the success of Xbox 360 hit Gears of War. The difference is that Epic, its creators, is an independent company. With the decline of the indies, who are being absorbed into larger publishers, there are fewer names around: instead, the talent shines beneath the publisher's bushel.
Head over to the site below to read the rest.

Guardian: Peter Molyneux Interview

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Rod Humble Ponders The Sims Franchise
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new interview with EA's Rod Humble is now available from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The Q&A covers a range of topics related to The Sims franchise including discussion of the upcoming third installment in the series, the sometimes hostile reception from the gaming press to the many Sims expansions, and the reasons why players enjoy torturing their digital creations.

RPS: Something that’s always struck me about The Sims is how the world has this slightly Stepford Wivesy feel, this strange sanitisation. It’s a world without misery, without horror. Why is that?
RH: We’ve talked about this internally, this tone. So for instance the ideal homeless person in The Sims would be the wise, crusty old soul with fingerless gloves, huddled around one of those barrel fires. Quite the gentleman-of-the-road philosopher, rather than anything edgy. We do have this semi-idealised version of the world. It’s very deliberate, it has this tone of a certain kind of whimsy and a certain kind of safety. It also helps you look at the world a little bit differently, and that leans into our perspective of The Sims. Well, they’ve been called internally, “hamsters with jobs.” In one way you’re meant to role-play them, but in another way you’re meant to be looking at them, and have a certain amount of distance.

RPS: So do people draw this distinction?
RH: When you talk to Sims players, as we do quite a lot, quite often you’ll see they change perspective, from first-person to third-person. So if they’re describing a play session, they’ll say for example: “I went out on a date, but my Sim messed it up.” They’ll change that perspective mid-sentence without noticing. That again is deliberate – as a game it’s trying to sail close to the edge, between are you role-playing, or do you have these little creatures at arm’s length, as a separate entity putting things into this world.
Read the full interview at the link provided below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Dinner With Rod Humble
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
Buy The Sims 2

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iQuickBlock For iPhone Developed In Six Hours
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent post on The Boy Genius Report site notes the achievement of Polish developer Binary Core, which managed to develop the iQuickBlock game for Apple's iPhone in a swift six hours of work. The game challenges players' reaction speeds as they work to keep the orange block from colliding with any green blocks on screen.

iQuickBlock was the very first game to be developed for the iPhone in Poland… And it took all of six hours to throw together. Is the iPhone the easiest mobile platform in existence when it comes to development? Polish Developer Binary Core slapped this addictive iPhone game together in no time back at the Newest Mobile Technology Lab held at Warsaw Technical University. It was built using the Cygwin iPhone Toolchain and Notepad++, and all testing was performed using WinSCP and PuTTY. All this in less than six hours. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard developers sing praises when it comes to Mobile OS X and our guess is that it won’t be the last.
To learn more head over to the sites listed below.

The Boy Genius Report: Is It Really That Easy?
Psiloc: iQuickBlock For iPhone

Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Apple Games Features Ankh Heart Of Osiris6:00 AM
Casual Games Are Effective Stress Relievers6:00 AM
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Announced6:00 AM
Spiderweb Unveils New Online Store6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 30, 2008 on one page

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