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Friday, February 11, 2011


Civilization V DLC Packs Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Aspyr Media has announced the release of seven new downloadable content packs for Sid Meier's Civilization V. Made possible by a recent update to the game the content packs include the Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: The Americas, Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Asia, Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: The Mediterranean, Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Mesopotamia, Civilization Pack: Babylon, Double Civilization and Scenario Pack: Spain and Inca, and the Cradle of Civilization Map Pack Bundle which includes all four Cradle packs.

The Cradle of Civilization map packs are Firaxis-designed maps of real-world locations. You can play random leaders in these settings, or choose leaders appropriate to the history of these areas. The maps can also be opened up in World Builder, where you can even create specific scenarios.

Civilization V: Cradle of Civilization - Americas ($2.99) - Although civilization blossomed later in the western hemisphere, the region from Peru in the south to Mexico in the north was just as important as an incubator for the development of ancient cultures. This map spans this rugged area of jungles and highlands.

Civilization V: Cradle of Civilization - Asia ($2.99) - The Indus River valley was home to the early Harappan civilization while the Yellow River valley in China saw the rise of the earliest Chinese dynasties. Both these regions are included on the same map.

Civilization V: Cradle of Civilization - Mediterranean ($2.99) - The period of Classical Antiquity saw the rise of city states from Phoenicia, Greece, and later Rome and Persia. Their struggles all centered on the great sea in the “Middle of the Earth," hence the name Mediterranean. This map covers the entire Mediterranean basin including the nearby peninsulas and coasts where these great empires grew and prospered.

Civilization V: Cradle of Civilization - Mesopotamia ($2.99) - This is the traditional Western and Middle Eastern “Cradle of Civilization." It includes the Fertile Crescent, with the Nile River valley to the west and extending east down the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys to the Persian Gulf.

Civilization V: Cradle of Civilization Map Pack Bundle ($9.99) - Includes all four Cradle of Civilization Map Packs

Civilization V: Babylon & Nebuchadnezzar ($4.99) - Previously available exclusively as part of the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Babylonian Civilization Pack and their ruler, Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 630 – c. 561 B.C.), is now available as a separate download. As King of Babylon, gamers will be able to expand their empire with advanced Babylonian Bowmen to rightfully earn the title of Nebuchadnezzar the Great.

Civilization V: Double Civilization and Scenario Pack - Spain and Inca ($7.49) - The year is 1492. To the courts of England, France, and Spain come intrepid explorers, anxious to voyage across the Atlantic in search of a western route to China and the Indies. Will they found a new trade route and uncover untold riches from the Asian shores? Or will they perhaps run aground on undiscovered lands along their way? Will native peoples be receptive to the knowledge and trade prospects presented to them, or will they fight against the invaders of their homeland? What riches, fame, and opportunities await those who brave the unknown waters? What path will you choose? Who will prevail in the struggle for supremacy over this New World?

Spain – Isabella:
Isabella I was the Queen of Castile and Leon for 30 years, and with her husband Ferdinand, laid the groundwork for the consolidation of Spain. For her role in the Spanish unification, patronage of Columbus' voyages to America, and ending of the Reconquista (Recapturing) of the Iberian Peninsula, Isabella is regarded as one of the most beloved and important monarchs in the Spanish crown.

Inca – Pachacuti:
Pachacuti was the ninth ruler of the Kingdom of Cusco, who during his reign expanded the tiny kingdom into an expansive empire - Tawantinsuyu. Pachacuti's Incan Empire stretched from modern-day Chile to Ecuador, including most of Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina, and laid the foundation for an even larger Incan Empire to come.

Click over to the links below to learn more and download the new packs.

Buy Cradle of Civilization Map Pack - Asia
Buy Cradle of Civilization Map Pack - Mesopotamia
Buy Cradle of Civilization Map Pack - The Mediterranean
Buy Cradle of Civilization Map Pack - The Americas
Buy Cradle of Civilization Maps Bundle
Buy Civilization V: Babylon & Nebuchadnezzar
Buy Double Civilization and Scenario Pack - Spain and Inca
Aspyr Media
Civilization V
Buy Civilization V


Fray Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 16 comments

Brain Candy, an independent French game developer, has revealed the first details for its upcoming sci-fi title, Fray, coming to Mac and Windows in 2011. The game is a simultaneous turn based strategy game that promises to eliminate the waiting involved with most turn-based games by introducing simultaneous play.

Fray is a gritty sci-fi game set in 2098, a world where civil society is on the brink of collapse. Three mega-corporations vie for control of the Earth and its remaining resources. In a world where most human interaction is confined to cyberspace, mankind has created a variety of virtual reality modules in which to escape the harsh realities of life and experience the full range of human emotions once known by generations past. Some modules are created for human enjoyment while others have been created to serve more devious purposes. One of the most pivotal virtual environments is the combat module, Fray.

Players will enter Fray with a squad of four characters, each with their own specialties. Outfit your squad with a variety of weapons, items and abilities to prepare them for combat. Once inside, Fray is played in turns, where all players choose their actions simultaneously. When actions are chosen, or the timer has run out, the action then plays out in real time cinematic fashion with dynamic camera angles. By virtue of the simultaneous action selection system, the delay and frustration of most turn-based strategy games has been eliminated.

With an original electronic soundtrack, 3D visuals, and motion-captured animations, Fray is poised to be one of the premiere new game properties of 2011.
An early demo of the game will be on display at GDC San Francisco in march. For more information follow the link below.

Fray


Three Rules For RPG Difficulty
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 14 comments

In a new post on his Bottom Feeder blog Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel discussed the challenge of balancing game difficulty to entertain the most players. The veteran indie developer offered three observations he has made over the years about game difficulty.

From The Bottom Feeder:

Observation Three: If a fight has any chance of beating the player, there is a percentage of users who will NEVER be able to beat it.

It took me a long, long time to realize this. Too long. But it is vitally important to understand the difficulty of doing game balance.

Everyone has bad days. Everyone has blind spots. Some people who reach your tough fight will have used up all their healing potions, or refuse to use the healing potions, or forget that they have healing potions, or never have realized that healing potions are potions you can drink that heal you. Because of this, whenever people reach a tough fight, there will be a few of them who just can't beat it. They just can't. You can adjust the percentage of people who lose, but it will never be zero.

(By the way, along these lines, if you put any puzzle or riddle in a game, there is a percentage of users who will never figure it out. This is why I've drastically reduced the number of puzzles in my games. Arguably, I have reduced it too much. It bears thinking about. However, this is my rationale for doing it.)
Visit the page below to read more.

The Bottom Feeder: Three Rules For For Difficulty
Spiderweb Software


Blizzard Entertainment Begins 20th Anniversary Celebrations
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

This year Blizzard Entertainment will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company's founding in 1991. Over the course of the year Blizzard will be releasing interviews, videos, photo galleries, and other special features to celebrate the event. The first release is a video message from Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce, thanking the company's fans for their support over the years.

In 1991, three guys fresh out of UCLA decided to start their own game company. Their goal: make cool games and have fun doing so. Twenty years later, the company has become a world-renowned game developer and publisher, with offices across the globe and millions of players enjoying its games in more than a dozen languages.

In 2011, Blizzard Entertainment marks its 20th anniversary. Over the course of the year, we'll be celebrating two decades worth of games along with you, the community of players who made it all possible through your passion, enthusiasm, and support. Join us for a stroll down memory lane on this anniversary site: revisit the history of our games; participate in our global community contest; check out the photo gallery to witness how our epic hairstyles have evolved over the years; and much, much more.

We hope you enjoy this look back at the past 20 years of Blizzard Entertainment, and we look forward to bringing you even more epic entertainment experiences in the 20 years to come.
Head over to the link below for more information.

Blizzard 20th Anniversary
Blizzard Entertainment


Mac Games News for Thursday, February 10, 2011

Civilization V Updated, New DLC Available6:00 AM
Controversial Lugaru Title Removed From App Store6:00 AM
Diablo III PvP Previewed6:00 AM
LEGO Harry Potter Demo Released6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 10, 2011 on one page


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