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Tuesday, October 14, 2008



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Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack Coming November 18
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

The EA Store is now taking preorders for the Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, an expansion for Will Wright's evolutionary god sim, Spore, as well as the Creature Creator. Although no specific details have yet been released it is expected the pack will include around 100 new parts for players to use.

EA has also revealed another future expansion to Spore which will add depth to the Space phase of the game. Scheduled for release in Spring 2009, the expansion will feature the ability to beam down to a planet, a variety of missions to complete, and a mission editor for creating and sharing unique quests.

More about Spore:

CREATE Your Universe from Microscopic to Macrocosmic - From tide pool amoebas to thriving civilizations to intergalactic starships, everything is in your hands.
EVOLVE Your Creature through Five Phases - It's survival of the funnest as your choices reverberate through generations and ultimately decide the fate of your civilization.
EXPLORE Other Players' Galaxies - Will your creature rule the universe, or will your beloved planet be blasted to smithereens by a superior alien race?
SHARE with the World - Everything you make is shared with other players and vice versa, providing tons of cool creatures to meet and cool places to visit.
The Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack costs $19.99 to preorder. For more information head over to the links provided below.

EA Store: Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack
Electronic Arts
Spore
Buy Spore


Apple Rolls Out New MacBook Family Designs
1:35 PM | Eddie Park | 22 comments

The long-anticipated refresh of Apple's line of MacBook laptops finally happened, and brings with it not just the usual speed updates, but a whole new architecture that seems to be aimed at pleasing just about everyone, environmental groups included.

All new MacBooks and MacBook Pros are now cut from single blocks of aluminum, creating a stronger, thinner casing that also allows for a better fitting. Also new is the new Multi-Touch trackpad, a buttonless sheet of glass that supports the multi-touch features made famous by the iPhone. In keeping with the glass theme are the new glass-covered LED screens, which Apple says use 30% less power than the older screens.

Apple has also made an effort to keep things green:

The entire new MacBook family meets stringent Energy Star 4.0, EPEAT Gold and RoHS environmental standards, and leads the industry in the elimination of toxic chemicals by containing no brominated flame retardants, using only PVC-free internal cables and components, and using energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass.
Another welcome change is the increased graphical power being brought to both regular and Pro models. Included with every new MacBook is Nvidia's new GeForce 9400M integrated chipset. It features 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM, 16 parallel processing cores, and 54 Gigaflops of graphics performance. Apple claims it's up to 5x faster than the older Intel integrated graphics chipsets.

For those looking for more power, the new MacBook Pros also come with an Nvidia 9600M GT, which has 32 parallel graphics cores, 120 gigaflops of performance, and either 256 or 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM depending on CPU configuration. Users can choose to use either GPU depending on their needs, which allows them to save battery life.

The new MacBook, which sits in the 13" size bracket, starts at $1,299 and comes with either a 2.0 or a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The new Pros, which occupy the 15" bracket, start at $1,999 and come with 2.4, 2.53, or 2.8GHz processors.

No major changes have been made to the 17" MacBook Pro as of yet, though Apple now offers an LED display and either a larger hard drive or a solid-state drive. The MacBook Air also received an update, including a larger hard drive and the inclusion of the GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chipset, with a starting price of $1799.

Apple - MacBook Pro
Apple - MacBook
Apple - MacBook Air



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WoW: Slaying Arthas, Paid Character Customization
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

The WarCry Network has posted an overview of a press conference at Blizzard Entertainment's BlizzCon 2008 event. Among other things the discussion covered the possibility for players to kill Arthas in the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft, and confirmed that the company will be allowing some sort of paid customization for WoW characters.

Arthas Kill Confirmed?
In response to a question about whether or not players would be able to kill Northrend's Big Bad - Arthas the Lich King - Brack similarly responded that since they had not yet designed the specifics of the encounter, he couldn't say for certain either way. He did suggest that it would be unlikely for Arthas to survive his encounter with players, pointing out that not only had Blizzard not been afraid to kill off major lore characters in Burning Crusade like Lady Vashj or Illidan, bosses rarely outlived their battles anyway as a general rule of thumb.
Since the specifics of the Arthas encounter were still up in the air, so was the fate of Arthas' legendary rune-sword, Frostmourne. Brack acknowledged with a chuckle that there were a "few problems" with having every player on the server carrying their own Frostmourne around, but said that the development team hadn't quite settled on a solution. They had looked at options such as making Frostmourne a once-per-server legendary drop, or letting players only loot a "Shard of Frostmourne," itself a legendary weapon in its own right ... but not the full blade.

WoW Will Have "Paid Character Customization"
When asked to expand upon a button found by sifting through the Lich King beta's data files named "Paid Character Customization," Brack initially hesitated to give any answer at all. Several questions later, he went back to the matter, saying that he could, in fact, confirm that World of Warcraft would eventually have some form of paid character customization, though they themselves hadn't yet worked out any details.
Head over to the link below to read the rest.

WarCry Network: BlizzCon 08 Press Conference
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King



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StarCraft II: Release Schedule For Game & Expansions
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Joystiq has posted comments from Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo about the recently announced three game storyline for the upcoming StarCraft II. The Blizzard VP revealed the company's tentative plans to release one title each year and discussed pricing strategy for the game and its expansions.

With the announcement about Starcraft 2 being a trilogy, do we know how long it'll be between releases?
We don't know yet, because we don't even know when the first game is getting released yet. I think there's some feeling out there that because we're treating each of the campaigns as almost like separate products, that people have somehow confused that into they're going to be separate products. In a lot of ways, you should think about the follow-ups as being kind of expansion sets to the original. It's just that the campaigns are not going to feel like expansions, they're going to feel like full, independent stories.
So, you know with any luck, it would be like a year for each successive one, but that's going to be a target date, that's not a promise.

Do you know what the pricing on it will be? People are bristling at the thought of having to pay for a game three times.
We would do the retail price based on the value that we're putting in the box. So, if the value in the box is less than the original, then we're going to price it like that. We're not just trying to get people to pay full price for something that's less, if the followups end up having the feature set of an expansion, then that's how they'll get priced.
Click over to the page below to read more.

Joystiq: SC 2 Trilogy Three Year Plan
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty


Monetizing Battle.net
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Joystiq recently contacted Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo for clarification about the company's plans to "monetize" the Battle.net service. He acknowledged that Blizzard is considering additional features that would require a fee to use and denied rumors that the upcoming Diablo III would require a subscription to play.

So Julian Wilson told us that you guys are looking monetize Battle.Net in some way. Is that right?
Wow, that's an evil way of putting it. Julian's turning into a business guy on me. Here's the way I would put it. We're definitely not looking at turning Diablo into a subscription based game. It's clearly not an MMO, so it's not appropriate to do a business model like that. The way we approach all of our games now, is we come up with what we think is a great game, and then we wrap the appropriate business model around it. If that's just a box price, then that's that.
With Battle.Net we're definitely looking at possible different features that we might be able to do for additional money. We're not talking about Hellgate or anything like that. We're not going to tack things on. I think World of Warcraft is a great example to look at. We charge people if they want to switch servers or if they want name changes, things that aren't core to the game experience, they're really just optional things that some people want. It takes us some development work to do it, so it makes sense to charge for it. We would never do something like say to get the full game experience, you'll have to pay extra.
Visit the site below for more information.

Joystiq: Battle.net Monetizing
Blizzard Entertainment


Kivi's Underworld Open Beta Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Soldak Entertainment has announced the release of an open beta version of Kivi's Underworld, the company's upcoming casual action RPG title. Those interested are encouraged to download the beta and offer feedback through email or forum posts. The game allows players to adventure as one of 20 character classes against a variety of dangerous foes.

Today we started our open beta for Kivi's Underworld for both Windows and Mac. If you want to participate, head over to our website and download the open beta installer for either platform. The game is only in beta, so please don't expect a finished game. Of course, that's the point of an open beta. We want you to try out Kivi's Underworld and give us lots of feedback. This way we can make it as fun of a game as possible. Feel free to email your feedback or post in the Kivi's Underworld open beta forums.
To learn more click over to the links provided below.

Kivi's Underworld Demo
Soldak Forums
Kivi's Underworld
Soldak Entertainment



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Ankh: Battle Of Gods Coming This Holiday Season
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Runesoft has announced that the cartoon adventure Ankh: Battle of Gods will be coming to the Mac by the end of the year. Battle of Gods is the third part of series originally developed by Deck 13 for the PC. In the game players once again join Prince Assil and his friends who are this time thrust into the middle of a struggle for control of the Egyptian pantheon.

The omens of the Battle of the Gods have been many, signalling the impending fight for supremacy over all other gods of Egypt. And of course, Assil will be caught in middle of it all. Together with girlfriend Thara, he will have to prevent the sinister Seth from winning the battle and subjecting Egypt to his regime of terror. With the typical Ankh humor, numerous bizzare characters and gags by the wagonload, Ankh - Battle of the Gods is again a candidate for the adventure gaming throne.

Battle of the Gods features several new locations, including Luxor, the gambling capital of ancient Egypt. And an unexpected trip takes Assil to a far-away, exotic location, where he will have to deal with the wholly unfamilar conventions of its native people. The new Ankh features even more detailed character models and smoother animations.

Features:
- The best Ankh of all times, featuring the most detailed models and animations in the history of the series
- Completely new locations in picturesque settings
- Old friends and funny characters guarantee for the unique Ankh humor
The Mac version is planned for a Christmas season release.

Runesoft


Mac Games News for Monday, October 13, 2008

Diablo III Wizard Class Revealed6:00 AM
Overgrowth Preorder Now Available6:00 AM
Platinum Arts Sandbox Update Adds Mac Build6:00 AM
StarCraft II Single Player Campaign To Span Three Games6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 13, 2008 on one page


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