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Thursday, August 13, 2009

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Two Worlds II Screens Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Worthplaying is now offering a collection of new screenshots from TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump's upcoming Two Worlds II RPG. The game will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics and an active combat system.

Two Worlds II presents a totally new gamer experience, one in which 2 years of intensive development has enabled quantum leaps in all spheres: completely overhauled AI and balancing standards, experienced authors, the active combat system and the brand-new engine all combine to provide an unforgettable experience where excitement, sheer enjoyment and graphics rule. “Two Worlds II” simply sets new technical benchmarks in the RPG genre, thanks not least to its seemingly unlimited number of dynamic light sources, micro-detail Parallax Mapping, 24 Bit HDR Post Processing, Space Ambient Occlusion and Human Eye Accommodation.

The story of “Two Worlds II” is staged a couple of years after Part 1 - and it will lead you into hitherto unexplored parts of Eastern Antaloor where you'll find many brand-new locations packed full of atmosphere - from dusty deserts to awe-inspiring temples.
Head over to the links below for more information.

Worthplaying: Two Worlds II Screens
Two Worlds II
TopWare Interactive
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AssistiveGaming Reviews EVE Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

AssistiveGaming, a website devoted to providing information on how people with disabilities can enjoy games, has posted a new review of CCP Games' popular sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The article focuses on how EVE functions when using assistive technology, and also provides an overview of the game's main features.

From the review:

Speaking of chat, EVE Online offers a multitude of opportunities for individuals to interact. For new players, there’s a huge chat channel where experienced Game Masters answer questions and offer advice to rookie pilots. Players can also band together in fleets to complete missions or simply wreak havoc on other pilots. Additionally, it is possible for players to form large Corporations, which are groups working together to trade goods, research technology for sale on the open market, dominate through military action, or do anything else for profit. Corporations can even own their own space stations to serve as bases of operation.

As mentioned, everything from combat to asteroid mining is handled entirely with mouse clicks. Players choosing a life of combat should be able to scan at a minimum of 17 steps per second or be fairly proficient with a mouse. While one’s ship is steered by its on-board computer, the player still has to issue commands. In combat, this involves clicking targets, locking on weapons systems, issuing the order to fire weapons, or warping out of situations that get too dicey. While mainly about planning, strategy, and choosing the right ship with the right equipment, there’s still a certain degree of urgency in combat. As a SwitchXS user, I lean toward ships employing long-range missiles and try to hit hard and kill quick before the need to issue commands becomes too frantic; however, players who build their characters more toward scientific research or dominating EVE’s player-driven economy will require far less "clicking under the gun." For example, industrial miners will simply want a ship that can quickly evade attacks, thus protecting their precious cargo. In my opinion, players focusing on commerce should be able to scan at around 14 steps per second. EVE Online is extremely flexible, allowing a player to perhaps begin as an economic tycoon, only to branch out into the role of a hired gun. It can change as one’s proficiency with their assistive technology evolves.
Click over to the link below to read the full article.

AssistiveGaming: EVE Online Review
CCP Games
EVE Online

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The Making Of World Of Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Eurogamer has published a new article which traces the development history of the fantasy MMO, World of Warcraft. Peppered with commentary from Blizzard Entertainment developers, the article details the behind the scenes efforts that went into creating the world's most popular MMO.

Why would Blizzard, a strategy-gaming giant, be choosing to muck around with this niche genre? Didn't they know how few people played MMOs? Did they understand what they were getting themselves into?

"It felt like a natural progression," recalls Blizzard's grandly-titled vice president of creative development, Chris Metzen, casting his mind back almost a decade. "We had been working on Warcraft III or different iterations of it for a couple of years at the point when we really started to think about World of Warcraft, and a lot of the creative vision really translated from the Warcraft III experience."

Sam ("Samwise") Didier, the company's art director, interjects. "I'm not sure if this is exactly where it started - but at one time, we had a behind-the-character camera in Warcraft III, much like you see in WOW now. We were thinking of a slightly different, RTS-slash-RPG vibe for the game.

"We ended up going back more to the RTS side, but I remember seeing those first builds of the game: you're running around with the Archmage or the Blademaster, right behind him. You see the horizon, and the enemy camps in front... I think that helped to establish the feeling that, wow, our game would look awesome like this."
Read the full article at the page linked below.

Eurogamer: The Making Of WoW
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Classic Postmortem: Age Of Empires
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gamasutra has posted a classic postmortem article from its archives. Originally released in 1998, the postmortem reveals the story behind Ensemble Studios' Age Of Empires real time strategy game. The article includes discussion of multiplayer, artwork, performance, and a list of which elements did and did not work.

Obviously, Age of Empires didn’t start out looking like the final product. Despite some accusations, Dawn of Man (AoE’s original title) wasn’t created to be a Warcraft II clone. (In fact, Warcraft II wasn’t released until after AoE’s development was well underway).

Instead, the final design was evolved and refined over time, with a few significant design events along the way. One of the best things I think you can have in a game company is a staff that plays a lot of different games.

This was true of our staff at Ensemble, and was helped in no small part by programmer Tim Deen’s habit of buying and actually playing almost every new PC game as it came out. It was Tim who brought Warcraft II to the attention of the rest of the Ensemble staff. At that time, many of AoE’s game elements, such as resource management, empire building, and technology research, were taking clear shape.

However, we didn’t really know what to do about combat. Warcraft II was a splash of cold water in the face, waking us up to how much fun real-time combat could be. Several times a week, the staff would stay late to play multiplayer Warcraft. These impromptu events continued until AoE reached the point in development when it became more fun to play than Warcraft.
Visit the page below to read more.

Gamasutra: Age Of Empires Postmortem
Ensemble Studios
Age of Empires

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DeathSpank Game Footage Will Be On Display At PAX 20096:00 AM
Insectoid Arcade Shooter In Final Beta Testing6:00 AM
Onverse Early Mac Beta Available6:00 AM
Ozzy To Rock BlizzCon 096:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 12, 2009 on one page

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