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Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Digital Eel Released VooDoo Interface Game Soundtrack
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Indie game developer Digital Eel has announced the release of VooDoo Interface, a new soundtrack collection featuring compositions from the company's game offerings. Titles include songs from Dr. Blob's Organism, Big Box of Blox, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, and Brainpipe: The Plunge to Unhumanity.

From 8-bit scratchware to 16-bit indie, Digital Eel is pleased to present VooDoo Interface, a one-of-a-kind game soundtrack collection from Dr. Blob's Organism, Big Box of Blox, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space and Brainpipe: The Plunge to Unhumanity

VooDoo Interface is a 14-track compilation of award winning music available in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format except DWR (digital wire recorder) and GPA (gas-powered audio).

Digital Eel's Nightmare Band --Swamp Planet weekenders, all-- is comprised of Rich Carlson, Phosphorous, several interstellar aliens and an eclectic assortment of synthesizers and arcane sound gadgets.
VooDoo Interface is available for free if tracks are downloaded separately. For a donation of $5 purchasers receive the full album as well as four bonus tracks and hi res CD art.

VooDoo Interface
Digital Eel



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Avernum 6 Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

ATPM has published a new review of Spiderweb Software's Avernum 6. The game is set in the world of Avernum, an enormous series of caves far below the surface of the world. It wraps up loose plot threads from previous games and reveals the final fate of the underground realm and its popular characters. IndieRPGs gave the game a rating of "Very Nice."

From the review:

Avernum is a huge underground world that was once used as a penal colony by the Empire. Over time, the colony gained independence and other settlers moved in. Avernum had its share of prosperous, peaceful times and was also ravaged by wars with other species.

The latest catastrophe involves a disease that destroys the mushroom used as the main diet of people and beasts alike. Amid the catastrophe, you, represented by four lowly guards at a food depot, get ordered to various tasks, such as the ridding of rats in the bowel of the depot and hunting goblins in an abandoned mine.

Along the way, you gain magical powers, learn how to teleport, and more. One thing leads to another, and before you know it you are on your way to solving the big mystery of how the mushroom disease came about. If you choose to, that is, as there are many side stories you can pursue. The place is big, and there are many things to do; you can easily spend hours with the game.
Read the full review at the page below.

ATMP: Avernum 6 Review
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 6



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David Gaider Continues Discussion Of Dragon Age: Origins
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Greywardens.com has posted the second part of a new interview with Bioware's David Gaider. The lead writer for Dragon Age: Origins discussed the value of pen & paper role playing game experience, the importance of story in creating a successful game, and the least enjoyable aspect of creating games.

I can imagine that writing for a video game is closer to writing adventures for traditional roleplaying games rather than novels. Could you tell us a little about the process one would take to write the story for a video-game such as Dragon Age and perhaps tell us about any experience you have with traditional (tabletop) roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons?
Story is important, but it really isn’t the sole factor in determining what a project should or should not doIt’s been my experience that the best recommendation for a video game writer is that they have a background in running tabletop roleplaying games. I have some theories as to why that is – essentially I think it’s because someone who’s only experienced in writing prose has a very linear thought process. They write for a passive audience, creating scenes with characters that are always their own. A tabletop GM “writes” for characters that belong to their players, and are accustomed to dealing with the fact that these characters do unexpected things. They’re accustomed to accommodating their players’ creative needs rather than just their own, and tend to have an easier time wrapping their heads around the way that game dialogue branches – as opposed to your typical prose writer who has a very specific “voice” in mind for their player and whose dialogue branches fall apart when the player deviates from the path they had in mind.

That may be my personal bias coming into play, however. I did (and do – though less today than back in those halcyon, carefree days where I did this stuff just for fun) a lot of tabletop GM’ing, from my early days in D&D to Shadowrun (which is still my favorite) and Earthdawn, and even a brief flirtation with White Wolf games. That didn’t necessarily make me a better writer so much as a better designer – but in the case of a game writer you need to be both in order to succeed.

The process of making a story for a game like Dragon Age? That’s a big question. I think the part where it differs most markedly from how people outside the industry imagine it to be and how it actually is comes with the need to consult the other disciplines – art and marketing in particular. It’s not a situation where a writer sits down and imagines what kind of story they want to write and everyone else scurries about to adapt that story into a game. It just doesn’t work that way. We have to take into account the needs of gameplay, the resources we have at hand, the requirements of marketing (read: the “business side” of things), and work with everyone to tell the story that we as a project want to tell. And even once that’s decided, there are still going to be a lot of midstream changes, cuts that force things to be rewritten, alterations in project direction and resources, technical limitations that you didn’t know existed when you first put the story together…it’s not like writing a book at all. Story is important, but it really isn’t the sole factor in determining what a project should or should not do (although wouldn’t that be nice if it was?).
Check out the rest at the page below.

Greywardens.com: David Gaider Interview 2
BioWare
TransGaming
Dragon Age: Origins



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Two Worlds II: Combat System, Multiplayer Character Design
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump recently released a new Two Worlds II newsletter. The eighteenth edition of the newsletter includes information about the game's combat system, economics, multiplayer character design, and the magic blasted region of Southern Antaloor. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

Two worlds really gave fans of advanced Hack & Slay what they wanted - but in Two worlds II, the new combat system will prevent your left mouse button from turning red-hot under your finger! Reality Pump has completely revamped the combat scenario, without neglecting the strong points of the predecessor. Close combat is as action-packed and intuitive as ever - but it's now more demanding and you'll need clever tactics to succeed.

RP has added even more realism too – now you can only parry the blow of an opponent who is facing you, so you’ll have to watch out for guys (or gals) sneaking up behind you! There are four basic types of attack, and they form the basis of the combat system. You have the standard swinging attack with the left mouse click, you can jump into the fray with a powerful Leaping Attack, give yourself room to kill with the All-Round Strike and gain the respect of your opponents fast with a Push Attack.

And there's more! In addition to the basic types of attack, those of you who like a good fight can learn a whole range of special maneuvers and close combat skills. These include a difficult but really effective counter attack during which you can quickly turn your defensive parry into a vicious attack on your opponent – provided that your timing is right. The cherry on the icing, however, is the impressive Finishing Strike – when you’ve used the appropriate skill to throw your opponent to the ground, you can finish him off quickly with this strike - celebrated of course in the finest Bullet Time!

Each one of these attack methods has of course a weapon or weapons matched to it – because with a sword and shield you can carry out a
Push attack much more efficiently than you can with a two-handed weapon or a spear. With all this tremendous variety in attack and tactics , you’ll never get that boring ‘I did this last time’ feeling on Antaloorian battle- fields - this is quite simply combat at its best. The developers have added yet another twist too – they’ve enhanced the AI of your opponents and they can now adapt to your tactics – so you’ll really pay the price if you don’t mix those attack styles enough! If you adopt a tricky and variety-rich attack strategy, your hero will be grateful - and your left mouse button will squeak its thanks as well!
Download the latest newsletter at the link below.

Two Worlds II Newsletter
Two Worlds II
Buy Two Worlds II


IMG Previews The Chronicles Of Riddick
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a new preview of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, the latest chapter in the Riddick movie and game franchise. Scheduled for release this Friday, April 16, the game includes both the Assault on Dark Athena campaign and an enhanced version of the original Escape from Butcher Bay.

Here's and excerpt from the preview:

The games are based on Riddick, the main character from the Science Fiction movies Pitch Black (released in 2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (released in 2004), portrayed by actor Vin Diesel. In truth, the games are really more based on the character than on the movies. In the game, you control an very Riddick looking avatar and help him fight and sneak his way from one prison to another. In case you aren't familiar with this character, he has the ability to see in very dark places and has an uncanny ability to hide in the shadows. The games showcase Riddick's abilities, and players will find themselves making regular use of these skills.

In the game: "Escape from Butcher Bay," a bounty hunter brings Riddick to a prison colony planet called Butcher's Bay. This prison is considered to be inescapable. All weapons are intelligent and will not work for anyone who is not designated, not to mention the fact that even if someone got out of the prison complex, where would they go? (The entire planet is the prison). While this might seem insurmountable to some, it is almost a walk in the park for Riddick. The game guides the player through a series of tasks, some part of the main theme and others just for fun. As Riddick learns about the prison world he uncovers a dark secret he can exploit and eventually finds a way to escape.
To read the full preview follow the link below.

IMG Preview: The Chronicles Of Riddick
Virtual Programming
The Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena


Mac Games News for Monday, April 12, 2010

Blizzard Developers Discuss World of Warcraft6:00 AM
Din's Curse Reviewed6:00 AM
The Chronicles Of Riddick Coming To Macs April 166:00 AM
Two Worlds II Combat Defined6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 12, 2010 on one page


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