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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

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Aspyr: Zero Hour in Beta Testing
9:23 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media sends word this morning that the Command & Conquer Generals expansion pack Zero Hour has now moved into beta testing. The title is currently scheduled for a release next month, assuming testing and approval processes go though as expected.

Zero Hour expands the game in nearly every direction with new maps for both the campaign and multiplayer modes, as well as more units and weather effects. Here are the system requirements from the Aspyr site:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later
  • CPU Processor: PowerPC G4 or later
  • CPU Speed: 1GHz or faster
  • Memory: 256 MB or higher
  • Hard Disk Space: 1.6GB free disk space
  • Video Card (ATI): Radeon 7500 or better
  • Video Card (NVidia): GeForce2 MX or better
  • Video Memory (VRam): 32 MB or higher
  • Media Required: DVD Drive

    Multiplayer Requirements
  • Internet and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported
  • Internet play requires a 56Kbps or faster connection
  • Network play Mac to Mac only Game Ranger Supported
For more information on Zero Hour head to the Aspyr site, and stay tuned to IMG as the title nears release.

Aspyr Media
Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
Buy Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour

GarageGames Interviews 21-6
11:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

GarageGames has posted the results of an interview with Justin Mette of 21-6 Productions. A co-founder of the company, Mette's notable title is Orbz and Orbz 2, which have seen their way across a variety of platforms, including Mac, PC, Xbox, and Linux.

Mette discusses his origins, from working on a TRS-80 to taking the plunge as a full-time indie developer. He also offers some advice for those looking to start their own indie projects:

Pick the right project to start on as a team. This is an important step and one that we did wrong at first. Its extremely easy to design a game that will take too long to build. Your studio has to deal with making money and developing smaller "Next Generation Casual Games" is the best bet. Design your game to be as simple as you can think of but still fun. You will be amazed at how much work is involved in making a well polished quality game even a very simple one.
Also commented on are two upcoming projects. TubeTwist is described as a puzzle game that involves the completion of scientific projects via a series of tubes. The second, GravRally, is a futuristic racing game.

GarageGames - Justin Mette Interview

Using The Sims to Teach Languages
11:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Journal Language Learning and Technology has published an article showing how the popular game The Sims was used to help with the teaching of a foreign language. Centered around learning German, The Sims was modified to display text in German, while maintaining English explanations and so forth.

The main focus of the project revolved around putting users in an immersive visual environment while displaying text in a foreign language, which allowed for associations while learning. The Sims also makes allowances for missed translations:

In a video game, however, some incorrect assumptions by learners can be recovered through the interactions present in a typical gaming environment. For example, one of the variables players must keep track of is their Sim's energy level -- represented in the German version by a bar labeled "energie." If a poor learner were to guess the meaning of this word incorrectly, her/his character would take steps to notify the player until the energy variable was addressed.
While educational games have been around for a while, this project focused on foreign languages specifically, and other inroads are being looked into, including a Firefox extention and translated layers in foreign language songs. Check out the rest of the article linked from Slashdot for more information.

Slashdot - Learning a Foreign Language with The Sims
LLT - COMMENTARY: You're Not Studying, You're Just...

Freeverse Updates Cribbage
9:23 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software has updated their popular Classic Cribbage card game with new networking options. Along with some bug fixes and updates to support their online GameSmith matching service, version 2.1.1 also makes it possible for players to host their own games.

Here's the scoop from Freeverse:

Freeverse's excellent Cribbage game has been updated to version 2.1.1. This new version includes the latest GameSmith library along with support for the GameSmith Proxy Server, allowing anyone to host a game regardless of network issues they might usually experience.
Head over to Macgamefiles now to grab this new version of Classic Cribbage.

Cribbage Updated to 2.1.1
Download Classic Cribbage 2.1.1 Update

Mac Games News for Monday, January 3, 2005

IMG Posts Doom 3 Preview12:24 PM
Hollow Ground Patch Improves Graphics12:20 PM
UT2004 Mod 'Carball' Hits New Update12:20 PM
Wolfire Software: Lugaru Nearly Done12:20 PM
Halo Updated to 1.5.112:19 PM
Carmack Speaks on Quake 3 Source7:52 AM
Mac Halo Total Conversion In Development7:52 AM
Myth I & II Cutscenes Available7:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 3, 2005 on one page

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