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Monday, February 22, 2010

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EVE Online: Tyrannis Announced, Will Include Planet Mining
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CCP Games has announced work on Tyrannis, its next free expansion for the popular sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The expansion will feature the ability to harvest minerals from planets, updates to its EVE Gate (previously called COSMOS) social networking elements, and a variety of optimizations and improvements.

OMG did you say all of the planets!?
That‘s right, you will finally be able to survey for juicy deposits of minerals and other goodies, build infrastructure to harvest them, store them, process them and launch them into space. Build complex networks of facilities and fine tune them for optimal production. All in a very massive single shard sandboxy way as only EVE can provide. And it‘s not just the terran planets. It‘s ALL OF THEM. The gas giants, the lava planets, the ice worlds, the water worlds and even the elusive plasma planets. Each type with their unique properties. Maintaining facilities on gruesomely hostile planets will be tougher and more demanding, but the rewards may be so much more “onturning.”

More will be revealed in upcoming blogs and on our test server, Singularity. Make note however that Singularity is a test server, primarily intended for testing of code in development and nothing is final until it hits Tranquility. All graphics, UI, balancing and mechanics are subject to change, iteration and polish...

Is there combat on planets?
No, not in this expansion. This expansion is about exploration and industry. When something goes bad or breaks it is because of the owner‘s mismanagement, and when things are awesome and perfect, it is because of skill and hard labor on part of the player that runs the facilities.

In future expansions you will be able to project military force for attack and defense of planetary installations. That will be where DUST 514 will connect with EVE. But DUST 514 will not be coming out at the same time as Tyrannis, so that is at a later date.

EVE Gate
In September last year, a devblog by CCP Caedmon introduced our new Web Frontend into EVE Communication codenamed COSMOS. It was later branded "New Eden". In the agile spirit of CCP, we have since renamed it and decided on the final name which is EVE Gate, which makes sense because it is your gate into EVE. Clever, eh?

An official release date has not yet been announced. Follow the links below for more information.

EVE Online: Tyrannis Announced
CCP Games
EVE Online

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Eschalon Book II Trailer Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games has announced the release of a trailer for Eschalon: Book II, the upcoming second title in its planned "old school" RPG trilogy. The game will include improvements like re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

More about Eschalon Book II:

  • Eschalon: Book II is the sequel to 2007’s award winning RPG Eschalon: Book I, although no previous experience is needed to play and enjoy Book II.
  • Book II will be available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary) and Linux-based computers.
  • Play as a male or female character.
  • 1024 x 768 native resolution.
  • Most tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution. Hundreds of new graphic elements, tiles, sound effects and music means Book II is not just a remix of the previous game.
  • New weather effects: snow, rain, and thunderstorms. Weather isn’t just an effect; severe weather effects gameplay stats and skills.
  • Additional skills and improved skill balancing.
  • Improved GUI including additional save game slots, increased number of Inventory and Quick Slot spaces, Key Ring and Recipe book, and much more!
  • “Equipment configuration” presets for convenient swapping of entire armor and weapons sets.
  • New difficulty modes and tracked statistics add to replay value.

Check out the new trailer at the link below.

Eschalon Book II Trailer Released
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

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The Secrets Of Da Vinci Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has posted a new review of The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript. The adventure title challenges players to discover and delve inside the mysteries surrounding the hidden enigmas of the works of the great genius. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

Our biggest problem was the camera, which is frustrating because the game’s 3D environments--a faithful re-creation of the Clos Lucé, Leonardo’s final residence, as it looked in 1522--are so beautiful. They’re full of rich color and detail, right down to Leonardo’s paintings and drawings hanging from the walls. And while the simple controls let you move the camera by moving the mouse, we found ourselves getting queasy after an hour or so of playtime on even the slowest setting.

If that doesn’t make you flee, you’ll play as Valdo, searching Leonardo’s estate for a missing notebook on behalf of a mysterious patron. But your quest keeps you bouncing between the same handful of locations again and again to collect items needed to solve puzzles, making the gameplay feel like a slog.

The puzzles, based on da Vinci’s inventions and artwork, are engaging and can usually be solved without too much frustration as long as you have the required items in your inventory--and you can find them. The inventory system is a mess; items are added to its five pages in the order you collect them, but as you use them, their empty slots are filled with the next item you pick up. Virtually every time we wanted something, we had to page through the entire inventory, mousing over each item’s icon to read its name.
Read the full review at the link listed below.

Mac|Life: The Secrets of Da Vinci Review
The Secrets Of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript

Jeff Vogel Offers Advice On Starting An Indie Game Business
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a new post on his Bottom Feeder blog Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel recently offered a few tips to aspiring independent game developers. The veteran RPG developer discussed the importance of having a unique product, acquiring the best software necessary regardless of cost, and avoiding the dangers of working too hard.

1. You Need a Good Idea
This means (and yes, I know this seems obvious but it's amazing how often people forget it) that whatever you are selling has to be pretty darn special. It has to be a good idea, well executed, and not competing against a ton of free competitors. And let me tell you something. That's a hard thing to come up with these days.

2. Professional Work Requires Professional Tools
Another question I get asked from time to time is, "How can I find a free program to do [make art/write programs/whatever]." And my answer is always, "You DON'T!"

I know. You don't have much money. You can't afford Photoshop or whatever. But starting a business isn't free, and you need the best tools for the job.

3. Take Care Of Yourself
You need sleep to live.

When you are working on your project, using your spare hours, scraping up every scrap of time to try to put everything together and get it out the door, you must take care of yourself. Doing otherwise is bad for your work. Program for an hour when you're half-awake, and I guarantee you'll make a mistake which will cost you two hours of debugging. This is what the cool kids call a false economy.
Visit the link below to read the full blog.

The Bottom Feeder: Three Tips For Getting Started In Indie Gaming
Spiderweb Software

Mac Games News for Friday, February 19, 2010

Amnesia: Teaser, Website, Pre-Order, Mac Status12:07 PM
Civilization V Announced For PC6:00 AM
Din's Curse Q&A6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II Trailer Coming Next Week6:00 AM
Multiwinia Updated6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 19, 2010 on one page

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