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Thursday, August 6, 2009

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StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty Launch Date Pushed To 2010
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will not be released this year, but instead will arrive sometime in the first half of 2010. The popular game developer is still working on its upgraded and will use the extra time to finish work on the online service as well as "polish and refine" the game itself.

Today we announced that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will not be ready for release by the end of 2009. Over the past couple of weeks, it has become clear that it will take longer than expected to prepare the new for the launch of the game. The upgraded is an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward. This extra development time will be critical to help us realize our vision for the service.

Our mission is to develop games that deliver an epic entertainment experience. As part of that commitment, we will always take as much time as needed to ensure that our games and services meet the expectations of our players and the standard for quality that we set for ourselves as developers. As we work to make the premier online gaming destination, we’ll also continue to polish and refine StarCraft II, and we look forward to delivering a real-time strategy gaming experience worthy of the series’ legacy in the first half of 2010.

We will share more details about the beta,, and StarCraft II’s launch in the future. Keep an eye on the official website at for updates, and as always, thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support for StarCraft II and all of Blizzard Entertainment’s games.
Click over to the links below for more information about the game.

Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac-only game publisher, Red Marble Games, has announced the release of I-Play's Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets game for the Macintosh. In the hidden object title players take on the role of Dr. Ignatius Lynch, investigator of paranormal claims, after a report of ghost sightings at an archeological dig near Hereford, England.

There clearly is something afoot, but is it supernatural? Or is there something even more interesting going on here?

Unique, with an engaging storyline developed by award-winning game designer Jane Jensen and beautiful art, Dr. Lynch is a compellingly fun game that raises the standards in the crowded hidden-object genre.

In addition to finding hidden objects, players gather clues to the mystery from a collection of colorful characters. The game also includes a collection of bonus puzzles that depart from the hidden-object routine and that derive from the game's story.
Priced at $22.95 (USD), Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets for the Mac is a Universal Mac OS X application that requires Mac OS X 10.4 or better, and is available for download from Red Marble Games' website.

Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets
Red Marble Games

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WoW: Priest Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has posted the latest in its series of World of Warcraft class Q&As. This time Ghostcrawler and the World of Warcraft Development Team focused on the Priest. The discussion covered a range of topics including the Priest's role in the game, elements unique to the class, and future plans.

Q: Where do priests fit in the current scope of things, and where do you see them from this point going forward? What makes them unique?
Ghostcrawler: When you think of the priest in the context of traditional MMOs you think of the token healer, usually part of the “holy trinity” along with the warrior and mage. Many players who picked the priest as their character when they started the game had the expectation that they would be the premier healer, playing the role of support. Certainly in the beginning of World of Warcraft the priest was the class you chose when you were looking for a healer, and the class was adept at filling that role. However, unlike in other RPGs we’ve tried to make healing a role that many classes can fill. This is why sometimes priests can feel that they aren’t balanced correctly, since they aren’t necessarily the best healer.

In World of Warcraft, the priest isn’t a stronger healer than the other classes, but does have unmatched versatility. At its core the priest has two unique talent trees for healing, while the others only have one. Furthermore, the priest has strong heal-over-time spells (HoTs), direct heals, and area-of-effect (AoE) heals. So where the power of the priest comes in is how you use your entire repertoire of healing tools together to overcome a situation, rather than focusing on one aspect. Players sometimes call this the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none role, but we don’t really view it that way. The priest has a big toolbox. That makes you versatile, but at the cost (in player skill) of knowing how to match the right spell for the right job. The trade-off of the healing priest isn’t in trading power for versatility, but in having narrow niches for spells but a lot of spells.

One other way we’ve tried to make the priest class more enjoyable is by fleshing out its damage-dealing talent specialization (spec), the Shadow tree. In the beginning, the Shadow spec was more of a leveling tree and not really viable for high-end content late game. In The Burning Crusade, it didn’t really keep up in damage compared to other classes in raiding but it did bring strong utility. Finally, in Wrath of the Lich King we increased its damage-dealing potential to make it near that of a primary damage-per-second (dps) caster -- such as a mage -- while also retaining some of its unique utility which made it cool during The Burning Crusade.

Overall, we feel the priest is one of the most versatile classes in the game, and can be the most enjoyable of the healer classes in the game because of its feature of having two different unique talent specs providing two different types of play styles. And for players who enjoy the dps aspect, you always have the option of going to the dark side as Shadow to either melt faces in PvP or help take down foes in PvE. As for moving forward, in a nutshell we’d like to improve the Holy tree’s PvP niche and polish the Shadow tree a bit more for both aspects of the game.
Read the full article at the link below.

WoW: Priest Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Frictional Games Business Model
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

A recent Frictional Games developer blog post revealed a brief overview of the company's business model. Frictional Games is known for its Penumbra series of first person horror titles and is currently working on Unknown, a new first person survival horror game set in the 18th century.

In the past we have gotten most of our income as pre-payments from publishers. The reason why one wants to get advances is because it can take a long time before publisher money arrives from the actual sales of a game (at least 6 months) and it is also a proof that the publisher is serious.

For Overture, we got the money a few weeks before release of the game and a bit afterward. A great deal of the money never reached us (the bit that did was thanks to the "give us the promised cash or you will not get the promised game" method) because of the not-so-honest Lexicon Entertainment (now out of business I think, go figure). But that is another story.

For Black Plague and Requiem we got a good deal of the payments several months before release and the money acted as a kind of funding. It is important to point out that an advance is more like a loan though, and must be paid back using royalties before we get anything more. So far we have not reached this limit even though it has been over 1.5 years since release (we are very close though). By not having pre-payments you can usually get a higher royalty rate, but in the case of Black Plague and Requiem, it would not have been possible to create the games without being paid in advance.

Another source of income are the online sales. The major part of this are the titles that we own digital rights to (all mac/linux versions and windows version of Overture). In the past this have not been a huge amount of income but have still made it possible for us to keep alive during some harsher months and we would probably not have survived without it.
Recently with the weekend sale on steam, and later in our own shop, this have changed. These sales have shown us just how lucrative online sales can be and is also the reason why we are now able to finance the upcoming game ourselves.
Visit the page below to read more.

In The Games Of Madness: Briefly Being Frictional
Frictional Games

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Millenipede Source Code Available6:00 AM
Spore Galactic Adventures Reviewed6:00 AM
WarCraft III Updated6:00 AM
World Of Warcraft Call Of The Crusade Update Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 5, 2009 on one page

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