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Friday, April 23, 2010

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City Of Heroes: Issue 17 To Be Released On 6th Anniversary
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

NCSoft and Paragon Studios have announced an April 28th release date for Issue 17: Dark Mirror, the upcoming update for the company's comic book hero themed MMO, City of Heroes. The release will coincide with the sixth anniversary of the game's release and takes place during a week of celebratory events, activities, and contests.

Issue 17: Dark Mirror
We'll start with the biggest news first. In honor of our Six Year Anniversary we are proud to announce that Issue 17: Dark Mirror will officially release on our birthday, April 28th!
The amazing visuals made possible by Ultra Mode plus new story arcs, player emotes, numerous Mission Architect additions, the introduction of animated tails and much more will hit the live servers for your enjoyment next Wednesday.

As part of this release you will be receiving:

  • 1 Free Respec (so use up your current one if you still have it to make room for this one!)
  • 1 Costume Token per unlocked costume slot.
So on anniversary day, see City of HeroesŪ in a whole new light (literally) and help us celebrate by playing and enjoying this latest free content update!

In-Game Events
Gameplay Fun!
You may have noticed that things tend to get a little... "out of hand" in-game on our anniversaries. Well, this year will be no exception! On Monday, April 26th and Tuesday, April 27th, get ready for chaos to break loose on a server near you! Don't miss out on this opportunity to band together with your fellow players to defeat giant obstacles, earn merits, badges, XP and maybe even pick up a 30 day anniversary title!

In-Game Training Room Meet and Greet with the Devs!
The developers want to wish you happy anniversary personally on Wednesday the 28th, so please join us at the following times in Pocket D on the North American and European Training Rooms.

Global Anniversary Address From War Witch
This year, the baton has been passed to War Witch who will present the 6 Year Anniversary Address to players. At approximately 8pm EST in-game (and shortly thereafter on the website), she will share some words of wisdom that will no doubt reflect on the past and help us all look forward to the future!

Declare Your Loyalty Anniversary Contest!
Leave your mark on Praetoria forever! Be watching the website within the next week for the debut of our "Declare Your Loyalty" Anniversary Contest which will allow Loyalists to create a piece of propaganda for a billboard in Praetoria and Resistance supporters to create a piece of graffiti that will appear around the city. The best thing about this contest? Winning entries in both categories will all be considered for inclusion in the game! There will be other great prizes too, of course!

Specifics are coming soon, but you only have three weeks to enter, start thinking creatively now about the piece of propaganda or graffiti that you want to submit. With any luck it will become a part of City of HeroesŪ for the rest of time!

Player Run Activities/Events
We're pleased to share that our players are getting involved by throwing their own anniversary-related activities and events. Keep an eye on the website and message board for what the "Off The Cape" Podcast and thecaperadio.com are up to for our six year anniversary. If you're planning on doing something for your fellow heroes/villains to mark the occasion, let us know! Send an email to cohcommunity@ncsoft.com and we'll help you promote it!

6 Year Anniversary Badge
Another year means another commemorative badge!

Beginning at 11am EST on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 and continuing until 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 31st, we will be issuing each individual character you log into the game with a 6 Year Anniversary badge.

It all starts this coming Monday the 26th and we hope you'll join us celebrate the fact that we're six years and going strong!
To read more about the festivities learn more at the pages below.

City Of Heroes Sixth Anniversary
City of Heroes
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The Lost Cases Of Sherlock Holmes 2 Released
5:01 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Macgamestore.com today announced the exclusive release of The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2 for the Macintosh on its web site. Developed and published by Legacy Interactive, the game is 2nd game in the popular casual detective game series.

Return to 221 Baker St. and play as the famous Sherlock Holmes to solve 16 mysterious crimes in Victorian England. Dust off your magnifying glass and use your astute observational skills to gather evidence in 60 brilliantly rendered locations around Victorian England including Stonehenge, Marlsbury Castle, London's Music Hall and more! Unlock vital clues by playing over 50 mind-bending puzzles and mini-games in each case, including anagrams, cryptograms, and more. Featuring over 40 levels of hidden object and find the difference gameplay with more than 100 lively characters, including Watson, Mycroft, and Inspector Lestrade. Each clue leads you closer to catching the culprit!

  • Play along with the always popular Sherlock Holmes and Watson as you solve 16 new cases
  • Explore more than 40 beautiful locations around Victorian London and meet 100+ fascinating characters as you track down evidence and suspects
  • Scour scenes for clues using hidden object style gameplay, then play more than 50 unique mini games
  • This game is licensed by the Estate of Dame Jean Conan Doyle
System Requirements:
The Lost of Sherlock Holmes 2 requires an Intel-based Macintosh computer with Mac OS X 10.5 or later, 512 MB RAM, and a Radeon 9000 or better video card.
The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2 is available from Macgamestore.com web site for $19.95 (USD). A free 60 minute trial version is available for download through the company's web site.

The Lost Cases Of Sherlock Holmes 2
Buy The Lost Cases Of Sherlock Holmes 2
Mac Game Store

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City Of The Daleks Doctor Who Adventure Coming June 5th
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

The BBC has revealed the first of four titles in its Doctor Who: The Adventure Games series for Mac and PC, a downloadable series of 'interactive episodes' based on the popular British sci-fi television series. In City of the Daleks The Doctor and Amy must travel to the Daleks' home planet in an effort to save Earth. The game will be released on June 5th.

The TARDIS materializes in 1963 - and London is in ruins. The Daleks have seized control of time and the only chance of saving Earth lies in a desperate quest to Skaro, the Daleks' home planet - before time catches up with Amy, the last survivor of the human race!

Written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who: Dreamland; Sarah Jane Adventures) and executive produced by Steven Moffat, episode one of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games is full of the TV show's celebrated mix of action, peril and humour. Players will help the Doctor and Amy on an epic new adventure in an original story which forms part of the current series, traversing time and space in a dazzling episode.

'City of the Daleks' features a new breed of Daleks. Nicholas Briggs provides the voice of the Daleks, alongside Matt Smith and Karen Gillan who recreate their roles as the Doctor and Amy.

"This is quite a series opener," says Phil Ford, writer, Doctor Who. "We destroy London even before the credits role - so you can only begin to imagine where we travel to from there. City of the Daleks is as big-budget as you can imagine: from London we head to Kaalann, the capital city of the Daleks, one constructed from pure anger and hate. And these new Daleks don't like to be messed with, so players are about to enjoy a new interactive episode which is as heart-pulsing as anything you've seen before."
Read more at the links below.

Doctor Who: The Adventure Games

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Steven Peeler Discusses Din's Curse Beta Process
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new blog post from Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler provides a discussion of the beta testing process for Din's Curse, the company's recently released action RPG. The post covers the good, bad, and neutral effects of beta and pre-order program used during the testing phase of the game.

We got a ton of really good feedback. Right now there are 2,153 posts in the Din's Curse beta forum. For our forums, that's a lot. It's second only to the DoP main forum. Also if you look at the change lists, you'll notice a ton of changes were from our beta testers. I've said this a few times, but I'll say it again our beta testers helped a lot and I'm very grateful.

I think the biggest benefit to the feedback was to the balance of the game. It started out fairly rough, but I'm much happier where things are now. We wouldn't have officially released that rough, but I think it is better now than it would have been without the beta.

This one didn't occur to me until we had actually officially released the game, but on day 1 of the official release we had a bunch of experts in the forums. This is extremely helpful and it makes multi-party discussions happen more often (not just me and whoever started the thread).
Head over to the links below for more information about Din's Curse.

Soldak Blog: Din's Curse Beta/Pre-Order Process
Soldak Entertainment
Din's Curse
Buy Din's Curse

How Jeff Vogel Saved The Gaming Industry By Being Awesome
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

In a new post on his Bottom Feeder blog Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel recently responded to an RPG Codex article criticizing the game designer's reuse of assets from game to game. Vogel explained his reasons for not reinventing the wheel with each new title and suggested larger developers could benefit from his strategies.

But it's gotten to the point where a company is expected to be ashamed for using the same engine for more than one title and a few DLC packs. The Gold Box games and the Infinity Engine are rare exceptions.

This is such an astonishing waste of resources. When I start a new game, I spend 3-4 months rewriting the worst or most dated part of my engine, and then I take that old (but solid) engine and make the coolest story I can with it. It's a small company. Our resources are desperately limited. Thus, I don't spend time remaking things that already work. If my wolf icon looks good, why make a new wolf icon just for the sake of making a new one? Instead, I focus on the story, the one thing that truly needs to be all new and excellent.

And the big companies, who make AAA games with these amazing awesome big-budget engines? They should re-use more of them! The Dragon Age engine is very cool. Make ten games with it! And not just piddly Dragon Age DLC either. Make games that are cyberpunk, horror, science fiction, fantasy in a new setting. The budgets will be much lower, and that makes it easier to take risks. And use the same dragon model. It looks really sweet. And, once the engine is a drained husk (in, say, five years), then spend a lot of money making a new one.
Check out the full blog post at the page listed below.

The Bottom Feeder: How I Saved The Gaming Industry
Spiderweb Software

Mac Games News for Thursday, April 22, 2010

Apple Games Features The Chronicles Of Riddick6:00 AM
Blizzard Bans 320,000 Battle.net Accounts6:00 AM
Lord Of Ultima Browser Based Strategy Game Released6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Mac Beta Coming Soon6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 22, 2010 on one page

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