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Tuesday, December 18, 2012news@insidemacgames.com



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A Valley Without Wind 2 In Alpha Testing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

A new Games By Design blog posting reveals that A Valley Without Wind 2 is now in closed alpha testing. The post reveals new screenshots, a trailer, and details about the sequel to Arcen Games' A Valley Without Wind. Those who purchased the original will receive the sequel for free, and those without the original will be able to get it by buying the sequel.

So What, In A Nutshell, Is Different From A Valley Without Wind 1?

Well, the art is obviously very much better -- that's an easy one. But pretty much the entirety of the gameplay has been revamped, too. The original game had drifted a lot toward the MMO genre in its design, and we've reigned that back in and are planted solidly back in Metroidvania territory where we had always intended to be.

Even within the genre of Metroidvania, we're doing some really interesting and unique things, though. Combat is more visceral and tactile this time around. Spells have mass and can block each other, and the way enemies are designed and placed has been re-thought from the ground up. Combat has been slowed down to some extent, but also made far more intense.

The "mage classes" give defined loadouts that are still way more flexible than your average Metroidvania title. And the feats and perks give interesting customization. While our interpretation of equipment gives a mild taste of random loot drops, though that's not a major focus here; if you're expecting a Diablo or a Torchlight experience, you're going to be sorely disappointed with that aspect. But it's really cool and unique for the Metroidvania genre.

Check out the new information at the links below.

A Valley Without Wind 2 Alpha Blog
A Valley Without Wind 2 Trailer
A Valley Without Wind 2 (add to watch list)
Buy A Valley Without Wind 2



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SimCity Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Computer and Video Games recently posted some comments from SimCity producer Jason Haber about the upcoming new edition of the city building series. Scheduled for an early 2013 release, development of the latest incarnation of sim is being led by Maxis and will once again give players the chance to construct and manage a thriving city.

MAN IN THE GLASSBOX

Well, this is a brand new SimCity, built from the ground up, so it's not just another version of the game. We've been working on it for several years, and it's been built with our brand new technology called the GlassBox engine, and that allows us to do things you've never, ever seen before with SimCity.

Things such as multiple cities which all share resources and interact with each other, things like the online multiplayer, things like the Data Layer [alternative vision mode], and even the rich, detailed visuals themselves. It really is a complete revolution for the franchise.

THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS

I'm so glad you noticed the sound! No-one else does, but you're the first one to ask about it. I personally love it. You can go right up to the cloud layer and hear the birds chirping and the wind going by, and planes and things. And then you zoom down to the buildings and you hear traffic going by and men drilling.

And what's cool is, if you see this intersection here, the closer you zoom in, the louder the sounds are. So if we focus right in on it, the car horns and engines make it seem like you're actually there. Also, everything in the world has a 1:1 ratio. Like, see that box on the conveyor belt? It's not a prop. That's actually filled with goods. Detail is really important.

Read more at the page linked below.

CVG: Sim City Previewed
Electronic Arts (add to watch list)
SimCity (add to watch list)
Buy SimCity


CD Projekt Red: Story And Quest Design
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CD Projekt Red recently offered a new blog post on the difference between story design and quest design in its role playing games. The company behind The Witcher fantasy RPG series is also currently working on the new Cyberpunk RPG.

To fully understand our work, I believe it is important to explain the difference between story design and quest design at CDPR. The story design department operates mostly from a macro perspective of game storyline – what should be the main focus in game, what characters would be most interesting to introduce in game, what regions should the action take place in, who should be our main antagonist, etc.

They set the very foundations for the game that we all build upon. Quest designers, on the other hand, operate at the micro level of the storyline, thinking what solutions could and what solutions couldn’t be implemented in game, what could work in quests and how to implement them in a way that will appeal to the players – they are the people responsible for implementing both main and side-storyline content in game engine. The key to success is the close cooperation between those two departments, as they design and create the structure for the whole game together.

In the pre-production period at the beginning of the project, the story team prepares the outline of the main storyline. This documentation consists of information about backstory, characters, factions, places and the connections between all of them. Finally, the story team works on a plan of general events that should take place in game. The exact number of quests that should be in main and side- storylines is planned between story and quest departments, and, based on this, the structure for the game is prepared. After this happens, the storyline is divided into the smaller fragments that we call “quests”. Then, the story team provides the quest team with ideas and most important elements for each main storyline quest.

Head over to the page below to learn more.

CD Projekt Red: The Devil Is In The Details



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Pid Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld UK recently posted a new review of Might and Delight AB's Pid. The 2D platformer puts players in the role of a young boy stranded on a remote planet populated by malicious robots. Pid features more than 12 hours of play, 22 locations to explore, five boss battles, and a 2 player co-op mode.

From the review:

It’s a simple formula, but like all good platform games Pid manages to strike an addictive balance with puzzles that are tough enough to be challenging but not so frustrating that you give up without completing the game. Sometimes you have to move quickly to run and jump past moving obstacles, and at other times you have to sneak around slowly, avoiding security robots and waiting for the right moment to make your move.

The gravity beam system also works well. A well-placed beam can lift you up and over an obstacle, but the beams only last for a few seconds so you still have to get your timing just right. And as you progress through each level you can collect bonus points and power-ups that provide extra abilities, such as the burst-beam that catapults you across the screen at high speed. There’s also an offline two-player mode that allows you to cooperate with a friend, helping each other with twin gravity beams.
Check out the full review below.

Macworld UK: Pid Review
Pid (add to watch list)
Buy Pid


Mac Games News for Monday, December 17, 2012

Delicious - Emily's Wonder Wedding Premium Edition At MGS6:00 AM
Drox Operative Brings The Fight To Mac Game Store6:00 AM
Meet Another Project Eternity Developer6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 17, 2012 on one page


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