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Tuesday, August 2, 2005

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Apple Unveils the Mighty Mouse
8:08 AM | Blake Buck | 43 comments

Today, Apple unveiled in the first time in its history a two-button mouse called the Mighty Mouse. The sleek new mouse features up to four programmable buttons, as well as a scroll ball to allow for seamless verticle and horizontal scrolling. Apple also touts that the mouse will be fully integrated with Tiger and will allow for the mapping many customized actions, such as Dashboard or Expose. The Apple Mighty Mouse features:

Touch-sensitive top shell
360-degree clickable Scroll Ball
Force-sensing side buttons
Optical tracking
Beyond the release of a new mouse, this could have a larger impact on all Mac applications (especially games), as a two button mouse could soon become the standard.

The Apple Mighty Mouse is available from the Online Apple Store for $49. To visit the store, or Apple's website, click the links below.

Apple Website - Mighty Mouse
Apple Store

Red Marble Games Announces Loonyland
8:15 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Red Marble Games, in association with Hamumu Software, announced yesterday the release of Loonyland, a wacky new adventure game. This "Zelda-type" action adventure allows players to fight over 60 different monsters in 50 different areas. The game also features huge boss monsters which require the aid of special weapons to defeat.

"Loonyland is appropriately named: it's an adventure game, but instead of serious frowny paladins carrying swords, players will find a series of big-headed, goggle-eyed goofy monsters, including werewolves, skeletons, trees that breathe out putrid gas, fire toads, drunken zombies, and more. Players control Loony on a quest to save Halloween Hill from all these, well, loony characters. And there are a number of short side quests as well, including such daring feats as rescuing a kitten from a skeleton-infested forest, finding monster dolls and potion ingredients for local residents, and more. The mini-quests can be solved in any order, and the player is free to break off one and
pursue another at any time."
The demo is 4.6 MB and gives a sample of the full game. The full version includes more features, unlockable extra games - including Boss Bash, Looney Bowling, and others -- and umlimited play. Follow the link below for more information and download the demo at

Red Marble Games
Loonyland 1.0

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Blizzard North Consolidated
8:14 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Gamespot recently posted an article announcing that Blizzard North, the development team behind the Diablo series will be consolidated with Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment claims that the consolidation aims to improve efficiency between the two teams, and that Blizzard North will continue work on an "unannounced project". Several of Blizzard North's key designers have left in recent years to form their own companies. Gamespot writes:

"Blizzard North alumni have gone on to form at least three independent game studios of note: ArenaNet, formed in March of 2000 by Mike O'Brien, Patrick Wyatt, and Jeff Strain (and since acquired by NCsoft); Flagship Studios, founded in 2003 by Brevik, the Schaefer brothers, and Bill Roper (among others); and Castaway Entertainment, also founded in 2003 by brothers Stefan and Mike Scandizzo."
Flagship Studios recently mentioned a Mac version of their new "Diablo II killer," Hellgate: London, might be in the works. To view the IMG article on Hellgate: London, or view the Gamespot article, click the links below.

Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Gamespot Article - Blizzard Shutters Northern Outpost
IMG Article - Hellgate: London Mac Mention

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New Round Of Realm Transfers In World Of Warcraft
8:13 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In an effort to decrease the time in wait queues for players of crowded realms and increase the populations of servers with low numbers, Blizzard has announced another round of realm transfers for World of Warcraft. On a voluntary basis players of certain large population realms will be allowed to transfer their characters to other low population realms.

Here is a list of the current and upcoming realms eligible for the character transfer service.

Blackrock -> Bloodscalp
Icecrown -> Azjol-Nerub
Deathwing -> Stormscale

Frostwolf -> Frostmane
Ner'zhul -> Crushridge
Proudmoore -> Dragonblight
Silvermoon -> Draenor
Archimonde -> Firetree
Kil'Jaeden -> Boulderfist
Tichondrius -> Dunemaul
Doomhammer -> Perenolde

Check out the new Changing Realms website at the link below for up-to-date information about eligible realms. If you wish to transfer a character head on over to the Character Transfer page below.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Changing Realms Page
Character Transfer Page
Buy World of Warcraft

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Gamespot Previews Black & White 2, Movie
8:13 AM | Anthony Wang | 6 comments

Gamespot has posted a preview of LionHead Studios' upcoming strategy game, Black & White 2. Just like in the original Black & White, you will be able to view your city as a sky dwelling god, but with a twist. You can either be a god of peace or a god of war. The preview then goes on and compares the two.

As a peaceful, city-building god, you'll sponsor a village of humans who belong to one of five different nationalities (the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Japanese, the Aztecs, and the Norse). Each nation will have its own distinct architectural style, but all five will have at least one thing in common--the ability to expand from a tiny village into a bustling metropolis.

...As a war god, you'll also take control of one of the game's five nations, but you won't be spending quite as much time on your architecture. Your peaceful villagers can be conscripted into your army once you build an armory and drag the commission flag from it out to your territory. This will set your war machine in motion and will let you build huge armies of swordsmen, archers, cavalry, and siege engines (like catapults that can break through walls).

In addition, if you choose to be a god of war, you are given a gigantic animal to lead your armies into battle. Depending on how you treat your animal, it will reflect on how your animal, city and enviorment looks.

Gamespot has also posted a new Black & White 2 movie. It is part one of the "making of" series on the game's development. The move is just over four minutes long and is narrated by Peter Molyneux and others of Lionhead Studios.
Just a heads up...the movie uses Windows Media Player, not QuickTime, so if you want to watch it, you will have to download the media player.

To read the entire preview or to watch the movie, follow the links below.

Gamespot Black & White 2 Preview
Gamespot Black & White 2 Movie
Lionhead Studios
Black & White II

Alias Debuts Maya 7
8:12 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

On Monday Alias announced Maya 7, an update to the popular 3D modeling, animation, effects and rendering software package. This latest version features new tools, greater speed, and a complete re-architecture of its render layers functionality allowing users to manage multiple versions of objects at one time.

"Maya 7 reflects our resolve to give artists the power to create ground-breaking computer graphics that tell better stories, enhance interactive experiences, and enable people to more accurately visualize products and designs," said Jill Ramsay, senior product manager for Maya. "We involved Maya users earlier and more extensively than ever before in our development process; the features and enhancements in this release have been guided by extensive feedback from leading studios and individuals worldwide. This is a must-have release."
Maya 7 will start shipping this month. For the complete list of features in the upcoming software go to the link below.

MacNN: Maya 7

MotionBuilder 7 Released
8:12 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Yesterday Alias announced the launch of MotionBuilder 7, the latest version of its popular character animation software. Version 7 has a host of new features focusing on improving productivity and compatibility with other 3D applications.

Alias MotionBuilder 7 offers many new productivity-enhancing features, in addition to existing optimized solving, blending, sequencing and retargeting tools for editing captured performances and simulated character animation. The new save and load character animation features let animators rapidly transfer, repurpose and reuse animation clips with any character. Improved workflow and UI features, such as save reminder and incremental versioning streamline the animation process and minimize user downtime.
MotionBuilder's native file format, Alias FBX offers interoperability between 3D content creation applications. Alias MotionBuilder 7 contains new functionality that improves its ability to interact with other 3D applications. New constraints, for example, allow users to easily transfer animated character setups between Alias MotionBuilder and Maya.
MotionBuilder 7 is available for purchase this month. For more information check out the links below.

MacNN: MotionBuilder 7

Sudoku Susser Updated
8:11 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Sudoku Susser, a freeware Macintosh program that helps you solve Sudoku puzzles, has been updated to version 1.2.3. Sudoku puzzles are of Japanese origin and are gaining popularity worldwide. The program helps you understand the game of Sudoku by offering hints, highlighting squares red on an invalid move, recording "pencilmark" notes, and giving a step-by-step description of how to solve the puzzle. This new version features three additions to Sudoku Sussar.

Version 1.2.3 has the following upgrades:

Improved graphic OCR routines
Option added to customize puzzle colors
Ability to store separate for multiple users

Sudoku Susser can be downloaded from the author's website.

Sudoku Susser

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Imperial Glory For PC Reviewed
8:11 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameDaily recently reviewed the PC version of Imperial Glory, a fully 3D strategy war game set in the Napoleonic era and featuring both land and sea battles. The game, which was recently released for the PC, will be coming to the Mac courtesy of Feral Interactive.

The slow-paced turn-based portion of the game is actually very satisfying, and if the player chooses to skip over commanding battles, that can be the whole game. In a sense, this game could compete with similar turn-based games like Civilization , but in a very small way. The diplomatic tools are well developed, complete with trade possibilities and mutual defense pacts. Aspiring leaders can even plan strategic marriages of heirs to help relations with other nations. Additionally, players need to research technologies to stay ahead of the war curve. Being the first to discover certain technologies will unlock quests, which creates one of the most unique ideas of the game. Being the first to discover medicine, for example, will unlock a quest. Achieve a specific population point, and you will have hospitals in every territory. These quests are roughly equivalent to the bonuses one might receive through building a Wonder in Civilization and helps to direct gameplay.
For the full review follow the link below.

Feral Interactive
Imperial Glory
GameDaily: Imperial Glory Review
Buy Imperial Glory

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Triaction Updated For Tiger
8:11 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Aelius Productions recently updated their latest freeware game, Triaction to version 1.02. Triaction is a hybrid between Tetris and Columns, with ball shaped game pieces and a physics engine to make gameplay all the more hectic. Triaction 1.02 fixes several small bugs and update the game with OS X 10.4 Tiger compatibility. Here's a description from the Aelius Productions website:

"Different colored balls appear at the top of the screen, and drop one by one into the play area. Form clusters of three of the same colour to create a reaction. Balls supported by them will then roll, tumble and bounce realistically around the play area until they fall into place. Combos can then be made if these balls also form a reaction"
Triaction is avaiable to download for free over at Aelius Productions website. To download the game or visit the website, click the links below.

Aelius Productions - Triaction Website
Download Triaction

50 New Fable Screenshots
8:10 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has made 50 screenshots available of the upcoming Fable: The Lost Chapters. Lost Chapters is the standalone expansion for the original Fable, which will be available on PC and Mac for the first time.

Fable: The Lost Chapters will feature a host of enhancements from its top-selling Xbox version, including new quests to conquer, areas to explore, creatures to slay and story elements to discover.
The Mac version of F:TC is on its way courtesy of Feral Interactive. Check out the new screenshots at the link below.

Worthplaying: Fable Screenshots
Feral Interactive
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Buy Fable: The Lost Chapters

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Diablo 2 Patch 1.11 Now Live
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Diablo II has been updated to version 1.11 and along with the usual fixes and changes. Blizzard has added new content surrounded by a certain amount of mystery. For players who are brave and strong enough to venture through Diablo II in Hell Difficulty Realm games, there may be a new challenge lurking somewhere in the shadowy recesses of Sanctuary. According to the site, the Lords of Terror, Hatred, and Destruction have returned to the bowels of the world, harboring dark thoughts of vengeance toward the heroes who thwarted their plans.

As a clue to finding this new content Blizzard had only this to offer:

A new Mystery has been revealed!

Players of Hell Difficulty Realm games are hereby warned once again, that a series of new and challenging tests await you! The answer lies within Diablo's Bosses, which span across the world from the Den of Evil to the Throne of Destruction...

Other fixes and changes to the game include enhanced hirelings, new items, new rune words, and a host of bug fixes. Here's the full list:
Changes in the 1.11 patch

New Items

* Added 10 New Runewords.
* Added new Unique Items that will drop from Special Bosses.

Hireling Enhancements

* Players can purchase hirelings that are within 1-5 levels below their own level.
* The rate at which hirelings gain experience has been increased. They should now stay closer to the player's level.

Major Bugs

* Creating a town portal when corpses or other objects entirely fill the area where the portal will appear in town will no longer crash the game.
* Skills obtained from runewords created while the item is equipped will no longer disconnect you from when chosen.
* Barbarians will no longer become stuck when using Whirlwind right after Inferno from the unique item Balrog Blade Flamebellow.
* German, Spanish, and Polish users will no longer crash when the mouse cursor moves over an item that grants an Aura while equipped.
* The game will no longer crash when selecting a skill granted by a weapon at the same time as switching weapons with the W key.
* Dying or being requested to trade while changing the key configuration will no longer cause you to get stuck.
* The "Missile Firing too far" assertion error has been corrected.
* Attempting to sell a Horadric Cube or a quest item to an NPC by holding Control while clicking will no longer disconnect you from

Minor Bugs

* Running the game with -install no longer causes the game to be installed as a Windows Service. -install is now ignored.
* Sometimes the seals in Diablo's lair would not activate. This has been corrected.
* Character expiration messages have been updated to reflect the expiration policy implemented in patch 1.10.
* Unidentified items sometimes caused other set items to display green for items the player does not have. This has been corrected.
* The German mouseover text for the Ist rune has been corrected.
* Account recovery is now allowed for existing accounts whose name is only one or two characters.
* When leaving a game on, you will now be brought back to the channel in which you were previously.
* Transmuting an ethereal item now retains the ethereal stats bonuses.
* In Japanese Lord of Destruction, items that add to all Assassin skills incorrectly stated in their mouseover text that they added to all Druid skills. This has been corrected.

Fixed Game Exploits

* It is no longer possible to bypass the 10-second hostility timer by activating a waypoint at the same time as declaring hostility.
* A player must now have sufficient room in their inventory to receive the Scroll of Resistance. This prevents receiving multiple copies of it.
* Uber Diablo is no longer killed when Shenk the Overseer or Blood Raven die nearby.
* Necromancers with Trang-Oul's Set equipped could sometimes become invincible to attack. This has been corrected.
* Blessed Hammer no longer remains active while in town, preventing players from subsequently declaring hostility and having the hammers hit other players for damage.
* Set items retained their multi-piece bonuses after the player died, even though they were removed. This has been corrected.
* Items with skill-charging effects will no longer give synergy bonuses to skills when equipped on a character without those skills.
* Pasting from the Clipboard no longer allows the creation of characters with more than one dash or underscore in their name.

The patch is now available for download when players connect to A manual update patch is not yet available for Mac users but should be up soon. For more on the new patch survey the links below. Also, check out the new wallpaper released to celebrate the additional content.

Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
D2 1.11 Patch Info
New D2 Wallpaper

Mac Games News for Monday, August 1, 2005

Macgamestore Announces Winner of 60 GB iPod4:14 PM
IMG Posts Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 Gameplay Movies2:24 PM
iGame Radio Talks With Sony Online Entertainment12:21 PM
Newsforge Highlights Lesser Known Open Source Games10:10 AM
World Of Warcraft Hunter Talent Preview10:10 AM
GameRanger Updated to 4.1.110:09 AM
America's Army Interview10:08 AM
Macworld Reviews BreakQuest10:08 AM
Myst V Slate De-Mystified10:06 AM
Screen Actors Guild Approves Game Voiceover Contract10:06 AM
New Bonus Map for WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne10:03 AM
No More CodeWarrior For Mac9:58 AM
America's Army 2.40 In Beta9:57 AM
Diablo II 1.11 Patch Teaser9:57 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 1, 2005 on one page

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