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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Planet M.U.L.E. Strategy Title Coming In December
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

Blue Systems in cooperation with developer Turborilla, developer of the arcade racing game Mad Skills Motocross, have announced work on a modern remake of a classic of multiplayer strategy gaming. Planet M.U.L.E. will focus on peaceful economic strategy in a world of "crisp retro graphics," and will allow four gamers to play simultaneously.

About Blue Systems
Blue Systems is a company focusing on the development of
free/libre software and community related services.

About Turborilla
Turborilla is an independent game developer and was founded in
2006 by Tobias Andersson. Their first game Mad Skills Motocross is
a huge success. Turborilla's offices is in Umea, Sweden and
always open for anyone who wants to come by and talk about computer
The game is scheduled to be released on December 6th and will be available for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux. There is a countdown in progress on the Planet Mule web site below.

Planet Mule
Planet M.U.L.E.

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IMG Reviews Machinarium
7:37 AM | Marcus Albers | 3 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the indie-developed adventure game Machinarium, from Amanita Design. In the game, you play a robot on a brave journey to find his counterpart. Along the way, you will meet a number of interesting foes, including your childhood nemesis. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The only real problem with the gameplay is the time it takes to move from place to place. It's often unclear where you'll move when you click, and you can't correct yourself or do anything until the robot arrives where it's headed. This can be particularly annoying when you've made him his full height, as that slows down the walking speed considerably. You can avoid this problem by getting to optimum walking speed before moving, but it's still not something you'll always remember to do.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Machinarium
Amanita Design
Buy Machinarium

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The Sims 3 World Adventures Download Version Not Functional
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gamers who purchased the downloadable version of Electronic Arts' recently released World Adventures expansion for The Sims 3 have been unable to use the game addition. A patch to fix the problem for the PC version has been released and a Mac patch is currently in progress. The retail boxed version of World Adventures functions properly.

From a post on The Sims 3 forums:

Greetings Mac Simmers,

Unfortunately a specific timeline or greater detail about the update cannot be released at this time, but it is being worked on, for now I would please ask for your continued patience as we work towards getting you the update.
For more information about the issue click over to the link below.

The Sims 3 Forums: World Adventures Mac Patch
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3: World Adventures
Buy The Sims 3: World Adventures

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Diablo III: Farewell To Skill Trees?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

DiabloFans has posted the results of a telephone interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Jay Wilson about the company's upcoming Diablo III action RPG. The developer discussed a variety of topics related to the game including class specific quests, the role resistances might play in the new game, and the announcement that the developers are considering eliminating skill trees from Diablo III.

DiabloFans: On the topic of the Monk, can you tell us if the skill trees have been named yet? So far they're listed as "Unnamed Skill Tree 1 - 3". Can we expect to see any more of his skills unveiled soon along with his female counterpart? Also, can tell me a little bit more about the new skill system?
Jay Wilson: In regards to the female counterpart, she'll be released soon. As far as exact dates go, I really can't talk much about them. A little news about the Skill Tree system should actually go up on our Twitter page pretty soon. About that, we've decided to remove the tree-type architecture and we are moving into a purely skill-based system. This new system is still in the development stages and if it does not work, we still have plenty of options to fall back on. Right now, we're just trying different things and getting a feel for the few ideas in regards to the skill system that we have going on right now. It differs from the World of Warcraft/Diablo II type hierarchical styles and is more of a skill pool/path than a tree per se.

DiabloFans: Resistances played a huge part in Diablo II, but if you were not lucky with gear drops you would get very quickly overwhelmed in Nightmare/Hell difficulties. Can you give us any details on how the system will be changing? Will it replace the immunity system or will they go hand in hand, once again?
Jay Wilson: Well, the main reason for immunities in the game was to encourage party play. However, we have seen that some players just want to play by themselves? And that is fine, if a player wants to play single player, the player wants to play single player, we're not going to strong arm them into playing with others. Keeping this in mind, we aren't looking to have full immunities or anything of the sort; however we are considering keeping one-element immunities on enemies. Because of the way our skill system works it's almost impossible to build a character that won't have some alternate skill to attack an enemy. So then it becomes an interesting use of a skill or skills that you may not be using all the time. We think that's interesting and fun gameplay, to have to adapt to situations. The adaptation just shouldn't be realizing your character or class is broken and you have to run away or you need to get in a multiplayer game. Those are things we intend to avoid forcing the player into.
For the full interview click over to the page linked below.

DiaboFans: Diablo III Jay Wilson Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Jeff Vogel On Making Games Easier
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 17 comments

On his blog, The Bottom Feeder, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel has focused his thoughts on game difficulty. The veteran indie RPG developer discussed his conclusion that it is best to design a game's default difficulty setting with an eye toward easier gameplay.

I tend to like hard games. I am perfectly happy if any given title has 3 or 4 fights that requires 3 or 4 tries each to beat. But I am increasingly recognizing that this makes me a bit of a mutant. I am also realizing that while I like (or at least don't mind) the occasional repeated failure, I don't require it. I blasted through Brutal Legend with ease and I still had a great time. Plants vs. Zombies is easy, and it is also terrific. On the other hand, a game like Ninja Gaiden 2, which would happily make me refight bosses ten times on the easiest difficulty level ... Well, that was just stupid. Never again.

After long reflection, here is my new rule for RPGs I write:

When a player is on the default difficult level, has built his or her characters poorly, and is playing straight through the main storyline with mediocre tactics, that player should almost never be killed.

I can almost hear the heads of hardcore gamers imploding with impotent nerdrage. But seriously. If you have a problem with this, I think you're getting a lot of your fun from making other people have less fun.

Of course, a game should have harder difficulty levels. And, if a player chooses to opt-in on higher difficulty, they should be seriously nasty. But, when played on the default difficulty, the game should be accessible to your mom or average eight-year old.
Visit the blog page below to read more.

The Bottom Feeder: Make Your Game Easy Then Make It Easier
Spiderweb Software

Mac Games News for Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BOH Update Released6:00 AM
Mad Skills Motocross Reviewed6:00 AM
StarCraft II Website Updated6:00 AM
X3: Terran Conflict Trailer Available From Apple6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, November 24, 2009 on one page

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