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Monday, September 20, 2010

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Castle Vox Enters Beta Testing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Sillysoft Games has announced that Castle Vox has entered beta testing. The new simultaneous-turn strategy game will feature large maps with no player limit, teams, castles, and knights. Those who pre-order the game will be able to participate in the beta test.

We're releasing the beta to everyone who pre-orders the game. Pre-ordering will also guarantee you the final release the day it comes out.

Vox is fully playable now, with rough edges. We're looking for creative folks, nit-pickers, and UI enthusiasts to help shape the game from beta into polished gold.

Castle Vox is a brand new strategy game in development by Sillysoft.
  • Plan turns simultaneously (no waiting for other players).
  • Teams supported.
  • Multiple unit types.
  • Giant maps with many players
Read more at the links below.

Castle Vox
Buy Castle Vox

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent One Week After Release
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

A recent Frictional Games developer blog post has provided a look at the status of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, one week after release. The article examines topics such as the game's release, player response, sales, and piracy. The game follows the story of Daniel, an amnesiac who awakens in a desolate Prussian castle.

I think the most alarming thing was that the game was available as a pirated copy 24 hours or so before release. This kind of 0-day release can be quite hurtful, as otherwise paying customers might be so anxious to play that they pirate and then forget to pay for it. Since we released the game online only, we were not expecting this and the source of the illegal copy was one of our review copies (with tracking info hacked away). We are not sure what to do about this in the future, but we will have to be more careful and perhaps not send out review copies to so many outlets. It could have gone a lot worse though as a the first review copies (of early builds) were sent out almost a month before release.

As many of you might already know Amnesia is a sort of make or break game for us. At the time of writing, we are very close to our "all is good"-goal, meaning that we are still in business (due to contractual stuff we cannot release any numbers right now)! However, there are a few "buts" to all this.

The response we got from the game is a lot better than we expected, yet the sales are only "good" according to our, much more modest, expected response. This makes us wonder what sales we would have gotten if the response would have been more like what we thought it would be. If this is our time in the spotlight, then a lot less noticed game would probably put us out of business. As it looks now, we still have to be quite careful in budgeting our next game (although much less careful than what we had to be with Amnesia). We were hoping a really successful release would makes 100% unworried about finances, but that is not what has happened.
Check out the full article at the page listed below.

Frictional Games: One Week After Release
Frictional Games
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent

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Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gameinformer has posted a new interview with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty designer Dustin Browder. The game developer discussed a variety of topics in the lengthy interview including response to the game, developing the single player campaign, and plans for the first expansion: Heart of the Swarm.

One thing that I thought was a huge success in StarCraft II was the addition of research and purchasing upgrades. That brought a lot of interesting strategy to the single-player campaign and made different playthroughs a little bit different depending on what you purchased. I don’t know if you can talk about this yet, but is that going to be carrying forward in some form to the Zerg and Protoss campaigns?

Absolutely. The big challenge for us is going to be a couple of things. First, we have to transition the fiction a little bit. Kerrigan is not worried about credits. Nor is she worried about tech upgrades or research. This is not part of the Zerg biology and economy. Kerrigan should be worried about how she’s going to evolve her swarm. Exactly how we’re going to do that from a story perspective but more importantly how do we make that feel like a fundamentally different mechanic is the challenge we’re facing in the coming months working on Heart of the Swarm.

We want to make sure that it’s not just a creepy-looking version of tech purchasing. We don’t want you to look at it and say, “Well, they slapped some slime, and they put a couple of worms wriggling on the tech purchase screen. Hey, look, it’s Zerg evolution.” That’s not cool. We’ve got to figure out what we can do to make it feel unique and special, to make you feel like you really are the leader of the Zerg army. It should be a lot of fun for us to work on and will hopefully provide some really new gameplay.
Visit the page below to read the full article.

Gameinformer: SC II Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Friday, September 17, 2010

Victoria II Released3:10 PM
A Sunday Surprise For Sid Meier's Pirates!6:00 AM
City Of Heroes Developers Discuss Going Rogue6:00 AM
Classic Broken Swords Games Hit The Mac6:00 AM
Diablo III: Clothing Dyes, Item Sockets, Gem Crafting6:00 AM
WoW: Patch Sets Stage For Cataclysm, Battleground Preview6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 17, 2010 on one page

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