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Tuesday, January 20, 2009



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Eschalon Book I Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Basilisk Games has released an update for Eschalon: Book I, the first in its series of fantasy role playing games. The new release brings both the full and demo versions of the game to 1.05. Changes in the update include a variety of bug fixes and improvements.

If you own version 1.04 or earlier, please be aware that there will be no patch to bring your version up to 1.05. There are several reasons for this, but mainly because we are concerned that if you bought the game from Greenhouse, Direct2Drive, or Reflexive, you would break your copy trying to patch it. Besides, most of these fixes are already in place in these other distributor's versions.

So, if you bought the game from us and you want the latest version, please send us an email with your Plimus order number (or your name and email address) and we can activate a new download link for you to get the full 1.05 install.
Changes in version 1.05:
+ Compiled using the latest version of the development language
+ Added improved graphics initialization code.
+ Game no longer crashes if you threaten to kill Gruzz.
+ Game no longer crashes if Siam attacks you.
+ Vista defaults for DirectSound driver useage, fixing rare audio glitches on some computers.
+ NPCs and monsters should no longer get stuck off-screen.
+ Creatures no longer spawn in rocks/trees.
+ Improved control for single-button mouses.
+ Barrels now show up as violet dots on the automap.
+ Several Map Fixes.
+ Main menu (demo version) now has the updated purchase links.
+ Added missing map files into demo install.
+ Added code to deal with trying to load a saved game outside the demo region.
+ Made a small change to the map_load function to hopefully reduce or eliminate the occasional error when the player is oddly positioned when loading a game.
Head over to the links below for more information about the game.

Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I



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Are Casual Titles A Threat To Gaming?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Gameplayer has published an article examining the rise of casual gaming titles, and their impact on the creation of games for the "hardcore" gaming audience. The article includes comments from Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, PopCap's Jason Kapalka, and Epic's Cliff Bleszinski.

Consider this: the Casual Games Association estimates that the sector has grown 20 per cent year on year for the last four years, so it’s understandable to see all the big publishers chasing the cash. From EA Casual to Ubisoft’s Games For Everyone, which includes titles like My Word Coach and Petz, the limited shelf space in game retailers has seen traditional genres like the FPS, driving sims, and the RPG under threat from fitness, pet grooming, and cooking titles.

Craig Holland, the CGA’s marketing director, highlights the level of migration there’s been: “From tracking our attendance at the Casual Connect shows over the last three years, we can definitely see an influx of developers and publishers from the big-budget core game side of the games business. There is a lot of activity in this area, though we have not made an attempt to quantify it or track the migration numbers of developers who have left core to now focus on casual.

But hardly a day goes by when the games press does not mention some core developer that announces it is working on a new casual game.” So, are self-professed hardcore gamers right to be concerned about the influence that casual gaming is having on their hobby?
Read the full article at the link listed below.

Gameplayer: Are 'Casuals' Killing Gaming?



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Kivi's Underworld Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

XPD8.net has posted a new review of Soldak Entertainment's casual action RPG, Kivi's Underworld. In the game players adventure as one of 20 character classes against a variety of dangerous foes. XPD8.net gave the game a score of 5 out of 5.

The game has quite a bit of depth in it. It has 30 levels in it, and each with it's own quests, some super secrets (hey, I've only found 5 so far in one play though the game so yeah, they're hard to find.) There are 20 other different characters to either find or unlock as well. Some I found pretty fun to play like the blademaster and the enchanter who can make her own powerups, some that didn't seem like they would be fun to play like the merchant who had swipe, where you could hit more than 1 monster, the thief (stealth and avoid traps which to me weren't quite as useful), etc. Some characters like the apothecary, have some cool talents like the potion throw is actually a pretty good weapon. I was able to throw a potion into a monster trap, and then run into it and kill most of the monsters quickly, getting many killing sprees. The more points you get for each level, they better your score at the end, and the better your score, you're awarded a trophy. A bronze earns you 1 skill point, silver 2 and gold 3. Each permanent skill up cost increasingly more (1, then 2, then 3, etc), so the better you do in a level, the more points you get, the more skill points you get in the end. You can address these in a number of different things, like increasing your active skill, your passive skill, increasing your health or mana or increasing your offense or defense. Some of these really help later on when more hitpoints or mana comes in handy, or you want to increase your hitting power or not get hit so hard. Depending on which characters you like, and how you decide to play will decide how you want to spend the points. I spent them pretty evenly, with slightly less going in mana (1 less) and more in health (1 more). The rest are the same for me.
Check out the rest of the review at the page listed below.

XPD8.net: Kivi's Underworld Review
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld



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Discussing Multiwinia: Survival Of The Flattest
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gry.o2.pl recently posted the results of an interview with Introversion Software's Mark Morris about the upcoming release of Multiwinia: Survival of the Flattest. The developer discusses the game's features, gameplay modes, and the possibility of player mod support. Multiwinia puts players in the colorful wireframe world first seen in Darwinia, this time allowing them to battle for supremacy against computer AI and other players via LAN or online play.

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): Any changes to the modes or maps? What have you done to improve what's already there?
Mark Morris (Introversion Software): In Multiwinia you have the option of playing against real people via LAN or online play or against the AI. We've built a set of multiplayer games within Multiwinia, each of which has different objectives and play styles. Of course you can play a standard tactical fight for control of the map in a mode such as Domination or King of the Hill for example, but that's the simplest game type we support, and there is a lot more possibility for craziness in some of the game ideas we've implemented. Take a game mode like Assault, for example, which is based on "Saving Private Ryan". One player attacks a heavily defended fortress whilst the other must try and defend it for as long as possible. Its probably the most brutal and violent mode in Multiwinia and pretty tough to win!
We've also introduced the concept of crates to shake the gameplay up a bit and add a further chaotic element to the mix. Crates fall from the sky which you can collect and open. Some crates could contain something really useful to help you fight the enemy such as a gun turret or airstrike but they can on occasion also unleash something pretty bad such as an ants nest or virii which will devour your army in seconds.

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): What multiplayer options and modes will Multiwinia have?
Mark Morris (Introversion Software): The biggest challenge with Multiwinia was making sure that there was enough variation in the maps and the different game modes. We spent most of 2007 coming up with, testing and rejecting lots of game modes before settling on the final six. There are now over 40 maps to choose from and you'll be able to play up to four players in each game.
We've arranged our game modes and our maps in order of complexity - we have plenty of simple multiplayer maps for new players (which are still incredible fun), and we've gone all the way up the range and some of our newest maps have fairly complex objectives. It can take anything from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to play a complete game. During that time literally thousands of Darwinians will fight for their lives under your control.

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): Are you planning to make Multiwinia "mod friendly"?
Mark Morris (Introversion Software): Yes we're certainly going to be encouraging players to make their own maps and we hope to have this function supported in our first patch. You can keep up to date on all the updates and patch news at www.multiwinia.com/news.
The Mac version of Multiwinia will be released by Ambrosia Software and should be available "soon."

Gry.o2.pl: Multiwinia Interview
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software


Mac Games News for Monday, January 19, 2009

Diablo III: Vanishing Items, Stash Size6:00 AM
John Graham Discusses Overgrowth6:00 AM
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Reviewed6:00 AM
Wheel Of Fortune Super Deluxe Digital Download Available6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 19, 2009 on one page


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