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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

uDevGames 2004 Voting Begins
7:34 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Carlos Camacho and the team behind uDG 2004, this year's edition of the uDevGames Game Development Contest, have invited the Macintosh gaming community to take part in the action, and vote for their favorite games.

Since the contest's inception in 2001, uDevGames has encouraged game creation for the Macintosh platform by featuring the best developers in the community. Every year, the contest invites budding and independent programmers to design, create, and polish new and innovative games within a three month period, whose playable files and source code are offered up free to the public.

In return, a public vote is tallied, in which games are judged by the quality of their Gameplay, Graphics, and Audio. The games are also subjected to an Originality and Story peer vote by the registered members of the contest, and a panel of experts vote for the Polish category - the level of professionalism displayed in a title. Over $34,000 in prizes, donated by over sixty generous companies in the Mac community, are awarded to the developers of the top three entries in each category, as well as the special categories of Best Overall Game, Best Newcomer, and an Editor's Choice Prize.

This year's contest features 32 official entries, from crossword puzzles to a 1-on-1 hockey title, all of which are available at the contest's official website, whose link is provided below. The contest's public voting ends Monday, November 23rd, and winners will be announced on the December 6th edition of The Gamesome Mac.

Readers are encouraged to download and try out the titles, and help participate in the annual event:

uDG 2004

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Aspyr Ships MTX: Mototrax
10:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has begun shipping MTX: Mototrax to retailers and should be available in stores by November 15th. MTX: Mototrax was licensed from Activision and developed for the Mac and PC by Beenox Studios.

Here's more from the official press release:

MTX: Mototrax™ delivers thrilling, mud-slinging, fast-paced racing action at 60 frames per second. Players become further involved in their quest for track domination with authentic environmental effects, realistic sound engines and a pulsating rock soundtrack developed for the game. Slipknot, Dope or Pennywise, among others, blare from your sound system as you race through such locales as the Hawaiian Islands, the Bayou and the Australian Outback.

The more money you earn as a racer, the better gear you can buy. To win cash and gain sponsorships, you’re going to have to impress the judges and the crowds with gravity-defying stunts while still beating out the 7 other racers on the track.

Deep customization features allow the options of creating your own riders, building unique tracks, and upgrading equipment while competing against legendary racer Travis Pastrana and 12 other pro riders or taking on a group of friends in multiplayer mode.

In related news, the IMG Store has dropped its pre-order price on MTX: Mototrax from $29.95 to $19.95. To place your pre-order, please follow the link below.

Aspyr Media
MTX: Mototrax
Buy MTX: Mototrax

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WoW Open Beta Signups Closed, Collector Edition Details
10:43 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

After a rush by eager fans to signup to the open beta of the massive multiplayer role playing game, World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment has closed signups for the beta. In just over 24 hours there have been hundreds of thousands of successful signups to the beta program. According to a news announcement at the WoW homepage, there is a possibility of more spaces becoming available before the launch date on the 23rd.

Blizzard made an announcement today to thank the mass of gamers that flocked to signup to the beta;:

The overwhelming demand for the World of Warcraft open beta test has resulted in hundreds of thousands of successful signups. We have already reached our target number of testers and therefore must regrettably close our account creation pages. We'd like to thank everyone for showing such interest in joining the World of Warcraft open beta test and would like to reiterate our appreciation of your continued patience during our website outage. Please note that we will continue to analyze server population, and should there be more space for testers prior to the game's launch on November 23, we will re-open the signup pages.
In case you haven't ordered your retail copy of WoW yet, Blizzard took the chance today to give details about the World of Warcraft Collector's Edition. This will be available alongside the standard edition on the 23rd of November. Also, to satisfy the insatiable curiosity that this game has garnered, Blizzard have announced what pets will be available in the Collector's Edition:
To answer the most popular questions that have come up, we'd like to provide the following additional information about the pets that Collector's Edition owners will be able to choose from.

The special pets included with the Collector's Edition are the Panda Bear, Zergling, and Mini-Diablo.

Players who have purchased the Collector's Edition will be able to obtain their special pet by submitting the gift voucher found in their character's inventory to a special NPC located in each starting area. Players will then be able to choose from one of the three special pets.

For updates on new spaces on the open beta or even more information about the Collector's Edition, aim your browser at the WoW link below.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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5,000,000th Burning Monkey Game Impending
7:34 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Readers may recall a past news story centered around Freeverse's Five Millionth Monkey Contest, in which the player of the five millionth ranked game of Burning Monkey Solitaire will win an iPod customized with hand-drawn Burning Monkeys by Steven Tzé.

According to Freeverse, that magic number is extremely close - close enough so that they anticipate a winner sometime this week.

Freeverse Software today announced that ranked games of Burning Monkey Solitaire will hit the 5 million mark any day now.
As of this article being written, the counter currently reads 4,892,164. Burning Monkey fans - start logging those games in, because the 5 million mark is fast approaching.

Freeverse News
Burning Monkey Solitaire 3

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Vendetta In-Progress Report; Creators Profile Posted
7:34 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Guild Software's cabal of programmers have updated their In-Progress Report with big news regarding some of the new features they're working on for their massively multiplayer space strategy title Vendetta Online.

Apart from the standard list of bug fixes, design improvements and ship changes, the developers are working on implementing a new in-game News System into the title. The new system will alert players on the status of the game, as well as with information posted in any of the game's many stations:

...everything from items needed by stations... to the top bounties placed on the heads of dastardly players, to Duel outcomes, privateering information (enemy convoy data), News from the Front, galactic weather and... even user-submitted articles.
Of even greater news, however, is the introduction of a new Mining System, which is expected to be introduced into the game by the middle of the month. The title's new mining system will allow players to accumulate ore of various types through the use of a "Mining Beam", which needs to be fired upon asteroids within a 100 meter radius. The collected ore can in turn either be converted into crafted items, or sold for cold hard cash.

The game's new mining system adds a new dimension to the multiplayer title, and, according to the developer's design details, will allow them to introduce further complexity to the game further down the road.

Elsewhere on the internet, online gaming website Massively Multiplayer Hell has posted a two-page profile of John Bergman, Ray Ratelis, Waylon Brinck, and Andy Sloane, the Milwaukee-based foursome responsible for the creation and development of the recently-released space title.

The interview, which doesn't dig much past the surface in terms of the game's design or esthetics, gives the readers a quick who's who of the title's creators:

MM Hell: What was the first game you played and made you think "I want to do this for a living"?

Waylon Brinck: Hunt the Wumpus, Alpiner, or TI-Invaders, probably. My parents bought a TI-99/4A when I was very young, and I played the accompanying games constantly. The discovery of the built-in basic interpreter is actually what set me on my path. Suddenly the games stored on those little black cartridges lost all of their mystery, and programming became a game in and of itself. (10 print "Waylon", 20 goto 10. What fun!)

Navigate through the links below to read about the game's upcoming new features in greater detail, and to read the creator's profiles in full:

Vendetta Online In-Progress Report
Vendetta Creator Profiles
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

New Ambrosia Screenshots
7:34 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Ambrosia has posted a host of preview screenshots for several upcoming titles. Included in the list are several upcoming games, including Gooball, Aperion X, Redline, and Darwinia, as well as a utility titled WireTap Pro.

Gooball has players rolling a sticky ball of goo around various obstacle courses. Aperion X is an OS X update of a classic title which boasts gameplay similar to Centipede. Redline is a racer that aims to create a realistic experience via a tweaked physics engine. Darwinia, created by Uplink folks Introversion Software, is a strategy action title that boasts a unique look:

The world of Darwinia is a surreal and Retro place, filled with epic fractal vistas and populated by iconic video game sprites from the past twenty years of computer games. The world is locked in warfare and on the verge of self-destruction, as the once peaceful Darwinians are besieged by a massive Red Viral onslaught. Against the backdrop of this war, the game takes place.
All of the titles are currently listed as either closed betas or closed in development. Those interested in viewing the screenshots, which also include some QT movies, can find them at Ambrosia's site.

Ambrosia - Screenshots galore!, our upcoming projects
Ambrosia - Upcoming
Ambrosia Software

Mac Games News for Tuesday, November 9, 2004

IMG Reviews Airburst Extreme11:26 AM
Bugged Out Rally for OS X8:23 AM
Game In A Day Contest7:31 AM
Italian MacMAME 0.87b released7:31 AM
Men of Valor Delayed; Trailer Available (updated)7:31 AM
Warren Spector Leaves Eidos7:31 AM
World of Warcraft Open Beta Available7:31 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, November 9, 2004 on one page

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