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Monday, May 19, 2008

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 38
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment has posted the 38th installment of the long running Q&A series focusing on answering fan questions about the upcoming StarCraft II. The sequel will return players to the single player storyline several years after the events of Brood War, and will introduce a new gameplay experience for multiplayer fans.

2. Will Starcraft 2's heroes showcase new models for each hero, or will SCII follow in SC:BW's footsteps, leaving heros as normal units with improved stats?
StarCraft II Heroes will have unique models in game, which will be different than standard units.

7. Can you provide more details on the Reaper's mine ability? How much damage does it do? Is it effective vs. both units and buildings? Is it detectable without stealth detection? What's the cooldown on it?
The Reapers mines currently do 30 damage plus 30 additional damage to armored units (including buildings). These mines are not stealthed, have a 30 second cooldown period between uses, and are definitely small enough to make focus firing on them very difficult. In the current build, an upgrade is needed to allow the use of mines by Reapers.

8. Are the Zerg Sunken and Spore Colonies capable of moving out of the bounds of creep?
Yes, they are able to move and plant themselves outside of the creeps boundary. Keep in mind that all Zerg buildings not in the boundaries of creep will slowly degenerate and eventually die. Creep which moves into an enemy base will also damage enemy buildings at a slow rate as well, allowing for new types of creep pushing strategies in StarCraft II.
To read the rest of the Q&A click over to the link provided below.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 38
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC 2 Questions Here
StarCraft Forums: Q&A Archive
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Wild West Online: Gunfighter Updated To Version 1.1.5
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Tenderfoot Games recently announced that version 1.1.5 of Wild West Online: Gunfighter is available. The update includes a variety of additions to the game including new clothing graphics and an invite a friend feature.

In WWO:G players take the role of a gunslinger in the 19th Century American West. As gun fighters, players engage in duels, working their way across hundreds of towns and territories as they make a name for themselves.

Here's a list of changes in the latest version:

Added some of the sounds we have for the taunts
Lots of new coat and shirt graphics
Action grid now one-click with confirmation and autosave
Autoequip of actions, purchased and looted items if you have open slots for them
Invite a friend feature, gives you golden eagles!
Better detection of aborted games, so you won't be waiting for opponent as much
Improved tutorial missions!
Follow the links below to learn more about the game.

Wild West Online: Gunfighter
Tenderfoot Games

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The Emotional Impact Of RPGs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Tales of the Rampant Coyote recently published its third roundtable discussion with Indie RPG developers. This time Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker, and Planewalker Games' Jason Compton were among those discussing the power of emotional impact in RPGs.

Is emotional impact something you try to achieve in your games? If so, what do you do to involve the player emotionally in your game, and what sort of emotions do you try to bring out in the player? If not, is this something you'd consider worth doing in an indie RPG? Why or why not?

Thomas Riegsecker, Basilisk Games ("Eschalon: Book 1"):
I don't know if emotion is a big factor in RPGs or not. Certainly here are some console RPGs (Final Fantasy comes to mind) that provide an emotionally charged storyline in lieu of a deep role-playing experience. Short of that, I'm not sure that an RPG is the most effective format for delivering an emotionally loaded story. To get a meaningful emotional response from a player requires a carefully delivered storyline, which is hard to accomplish with an RPG where the story is erratically paced and rarely linear.
Regardless, I do think it is important to give the player a sense of personal involvement in the story. In Eschalon: Book I the player has a meeting with his brother, which for as short of an encounter that it is, generated a surprising number of responses from players who were moved by it. So yes, I think emotion can work well in individual scripted situations where feelings of empathy, anger or fear can be an immediate factor to drive the player forward to his or her next goal.

Jason Compton, Planewalker Games ("The Broken Hourglass"):
Yes, we're certainly looking to evoke emotional responses. There are a number of reasons to play a game through to completion (and then come back and play it again), including dogged determination, curiosity about "what's behind the next corner?", new rules exploits to try, and so forth... but one of the most enduring reasons are characters that players enjoy interacting with and responding to.
We're using a number of devices to that end. We put the PC in a situation where they have to make a crucial decision early on which should provoke an emotional response. We give joinable NPCs a range of motivations and priorities, ways to explore their own stories and in some cases romantic entanglements.
I'm not sure there's any particular emotion we're actively *avoiding*. The real trick is to avoid harping too much on emotional themes of despair and loss. Finding a way to pace humor, friendship, and romance in the midst of death and destruction is hard enough in linear media, considerably moreso when the pace and the sequence of the story are to some extent controlled by the player's whim. So we'll see how well it all works out.
Head over to the link below to read the rest of the comments.

Tales Of The Rampant Coyote: Indies Roundtable 3
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
The Broken Hourglass
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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Empyrean Age Website Revealed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

CCP Games has unveiled a new web page for the Empyrean Age, the next expansion for EVE Online. The expansion is based on a novel of the same name and will focus on factional warfare, giving players the chance to steer the direction of the conflict and influence the outcome.

EVE Online is a massively multiplayer game. Hundreds of thousands of players compete within a single persistent universe for military, economic and political power. Players explore the suns of New Eden, mine and refine resources, drive the economy, and wage war on one another in a richly detailed virtual world set 35,000 years in the future in a stellar cluster far from Earth.

This summer, CCP will bring EVE into the Empyrean Age. The four major Empires of EVE have broken their long-standing peace and are marshalling their forces for war. The outcome hinges on the actions of the galaxy's immortal pod pilots, allowing players to direct the course of the conflict.

The events of Empyrean Age have been a long time coming, building upon nearly a century of political tension. Access to Jovian technology ushered in the age of the pod pilots and shattered the balance of power, and recent events have sparked a march towards total war.

The events leading to the outbreak of war in New Eden unfold in EVE: The Empyrean Age, the first EVE novel, written by Tony Gonzales and published in the UK by ORION Books.
Click over to the link below to check out the new page.

Empyrean Age Official Site
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Friday, May 16, 2008

Agatha Christie: Peril At End House Released12:15 PM
Apple Games Profiles Sid Meier6:00 AM
Battlestations: Midway Coming In June6:00 AM
Penny Arcade Adventures Previewed6:00 AM
Wrath Of The Lich King Coming This Year6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 16, 2008 on one page

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