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Wednesday, February 5, 2003

IMG Reviews CPU Upgrades from Giga Designs, Sonnet
12:25 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

As long as Apple's Power Macs had been stuck at 500 megahertz, the CPU upgrade market was stagnant for even longer. Back in late 1999, Motorola hit a brick wall with the PowerPC 7410 processor (aka G4), which interrupted the product cycles of Apple and CPU upgrade companies. Finally, three CPU upgrade companies hit the 1 gigahertz plateau: Giga Designs, Sonnet, and PowerLogix. Today, IMG takes an in-depth look at CPU upgrades from Giga Designs and Sonnet. Here is an excerpt from the article:

I was very surprised at the performance of the G-celerator 800. Even with a 50% increase in raw megahertz, it was not able to outperform the stock CPU in these benchmarks. When compared directly to the Encore/ST G4 800, you can see the effect that a large L3 cache can have in games. On the other end of the spectrum, the two 1 GHz upgrades offer practically identical performance.
If you're in the market for a processor upgrade, or if you just want to look at the nifty charts and graphs, read the rest of the article.

IMG Feature: CPU Upgrade Shootout
Encore/ST G4 1 GHz
Encore/ST G4 800 MHz
Giga Designs
G-celerator G4/800 MHz

Phelios Releases Androkids
9:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Up-and-coming shareware maker Phelios has added yet another title to their expanding lineup, AndroKids. The game is a take on another of their popular Lode Runner-type games, Android, only set on the doodle-filled pages of a child's school notebook. AndroKids features nearly the same gameplay mechanics as Android, though slighltly slower-paced for the younger crowd. The graphics and sound are all reworked though, and the small characters and some evironmental effects are animated as scribbles.

Here's a description from their site with more:

Hey AndroKids! It’s up to you. Help save the beautiful Princess Goodgrade from Notebook City’s big, bad Scribble King! His crimes: Kidnapping Princess Goodgrade, and having chicken scratch writing any teacher would grade an F! Your mission: collect all the gold coins, which will open the magical door. The opened door will lead you to the Princess! But beware of the guards. They’ve been ordered by the Scribble King to prevent you from rescuing Princess Goodgrade.
For more info or to download a demo of AstroKids check out the Phelios website. The full, 50-level version of the game can be had for $10 online.

Download AndroKids Demo (7.2MB)

Click to enlarge
Apple Examines Bugdom 2
9:17 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new article posted on the Apple games page takes a close look at Pangea Software's latest action/adventure title, Bugdom 2. The game revists the popular world of Bugdom, but with all new settings, enemies, and a new protagonist in the grasshopper Skip. The Apple article includes quotes from creator Brian Greenstone as well as a number of great screenshots. Here's an excerpt:

Greenstone notes that Bugdom 2’s levels sport a wide variety of gameplay, from a playroom where you can race slot cars to areas where you slide down tubes, such as drainpipes, at high speeds while trying to avoid obstacles. He calls the latter “tunnel levels” and says that they’re “kind of like riding a deadly water slide, but with a rollercoaster feel.”

Eagle-eyed gamers will spot references to other Pangea games, such as a cameo by the robot Otto Matic, throughout Bugdom 2. Some members of the Macintosh community may even recognize themselves in pictures scattered on the floor in one level.

For more information, check out the rest of the article or read through IMG's full review of Bugdom 2. A demo is also available if you haven't already tried it out.

Apple Examines Bugdom 2
IMG Review: Bugdom 2
Pangea Software
Bugdom 2
Buy Bugdom 2

Gamespy Q&As Warren Spector
7:57 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

As part of an ongoing series to see inside the game development industry, Gamespy has written the first part in a series interviewing those involved in all aspects of the game buisness. In this first interview with Warren Spector, creator of games such as System Shock, Thief, and Deus Ex, different questions are posed from people interested in working their way into developing games. Warren draws from his experience with multiple game development cycles to discuss everything from management styles to some of the music composition types in games today. For more specific questions, he defers the questions to specialists working with him, such as musicians.

The fact is, stories ARE told in some games but they're told through interaction and player choice. Game stories are studies in collaboration between creator and player, rather than communicated cinematically from creator to viewer. The distinction may be subtle, but it's critical. In a film or television show you never think about what the viewer DOES, only about what the writer/director is trying to say, and maybe what the viewer thinks; in a game, the question, "what does the player DO?" may be the only question worth asking.
The interview is very complete, and should interest anyone who's into game development, learning about game making, or has even heard of Warren Spector. You can grab a link to Gamespy's Q&A below.

Gamespy's Warren Spector Q&A

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Shadowbane War Journal
7:57 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The latest Shadowbane War Journal is now online, chronicling the latest happenings in the Shadowbane beta. Like previous war reports, the latest war report is designed to showcase how player-controlled the world of Shadowbane is.

Here's a snippet:

As the guilds that comprised The Coalition grew wealthier, they ventured forth from Rebirth and planted Trees of their own. Deathhead Legion built to the west, and Lex Talionis build to the east. Rebirth itself was renamed Babylon and became home to Disciples of the Dark Hand.

With the fall of Thunderwood, the sole remaining tree under the control of The Covenant of Swords was Stormwood. But they did not see this as a problem, for while their enemies to the north spread across the lands in a series of moderately sized cities, Stormwood continued to be built to massive proportions. The city was packed full of buildings, with nearly two-score barracks. This undertaking required demolition of the third innermost ring of walls to provide adequate space. But the most impressive construction was the remaining outer two rings of walls, built stronger than those of any other city currently in existence.

Stormwood's walls were soon put to the test. The first raid was led by Disciplines of the Dark Hand with support from Deathhead's Legion and Commonwealth. Lex Talionis declined to participate as they were engaged in a vendetta against Defenders of Order. Trebuchets were brought from K&R, and minor damage was done to Stormwood's fortifications. Several outlaying citadels were razed while the walls themselves were not penetrated. After heavy fighting, the attack was repulsed.

Shadowbane is being developed by Wolfpack Studios and is currently in late beta stages. The game is to be published by Ubisoft for both Mac and PC. To read the full war report, or for more information on Shadowbane, follow the links below.

Shadowbane War Journal
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Tuesday, February 4, 2003

One on One With Glenda Adams1:22 PM
Apple Bumps iMac to 1 GHz, Lowers Prices10:55 AM
Reckless Drivin' Updated10:54 AM
Airburst Updated to v1.0538:56 AM
Black & White 2 Interview8:56 AM
Free C&C Clone for OS X8:56 AM
RHEM Announced for the Mac8:56 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, February 4, 2003 on one page

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