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Thursday, August 4, 2005

Guess Aspyr's Next Game
10:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 98 comments

Inside Mac Games and Aspyr are teaming up for a special giveaway where you get to guess the name of Aspyr's next game. Click to see the QuickTime movie at the giveaway page and enter your guess in the name field. The winner, who will get a free copy of the game once it ships, will be picked randomly from a pool of people who guess the name right. The contest ends when Aspyr announces the game, expected tomorrow, August 5th, 2005.

To take a guess, follow the link below to the IMG Giveaway page.

IMG Giveaway: Guess The Game Contest
Aspyr Media

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New Black & White II Screenshots
10:34 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

A wide selection of screenshots for Black & White II has been posted on the official web site. The screenshots feature the creatures of the game as they battle, dance, lead, and cast spells. Also featured are various large armies and city architecture.

To view the screenshots, just head through the link below.

B&W II Screenshots
Lionhead Studios
Black & White II

Interview With American McGee On Bad Day LA
10:33 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

Gamecloud has posted an interview with American McGee on his upcoming game, Bad Day LA(Bad Day Los Angelos). Bad Day LA is humorous action game. The interview discusses his move to Hong Kong, the storyline, missions, combat system, and gameplay to name a few.

Gamecloud - What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?

American McGee - It is intended to a be a comedy action in the spirit of a disaster spoof. Imagine what the Wayans brothers did to the horror genre with "Scary Movie" and you'll get a pretty good idea of where Bad Day LA is going. Actually, in terms of films, the concept of the disaster spoof was first explored with the "Airplane!" series of films, which themselves where inspired by more serious disaster genre films like "Airport".

Our main character in Bad Day LA is a driving force behind a lot of the humor. He is an irreverent and reluctant hero with more lust for hot shorties than care for saving people. His character arc takes him from reclusive homeless person who wants only to be left alone and cares only for himself to learning a lesson about helping others in order to help himself. Ultimately, this is a hero story... but with a very unconventional hero.

The story is built around a single day in which every possible disaster strikes the city of Los Angeles. As the citizens of LA try to escape our hero works to manage the chaos around him and find an escape for himself and some characters that he befriends. All of this is wrapped in a thick coat of satire that deals with everything from social class issues to racism, sexism, war, and other topics in a very adult comedy type way.

You've probably heard the name American McGee before, but don't remember where. Well, it is from his first game, American McGee's Alice, which was released for the Mac a few years ago. However, no word yet on any plans for Bad Day LA to come to the Mac.

To read the entire interview or to learn more information, follow the links below.

Gamecloud: Interview with American McGee
Bad Day LA

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Yet Another Fable
10:32 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

Next Generation takes a look at Fable: TLC, the upcoming RPG from Lionhead Studios. This preview focuses on how the original Fable never reached gamer's expectations, plus more on the gameplay and the transition of controls from a gamepad to a keyboard and mouse in the new version.

Fable: The Lost Chapters is essentially an action-RPG. The character begins as a young boy whose family is killed by a village fire. He is taken into custody by the Heroes Guild and trained in the martial arts. In one of the greatest departures from other RPGs, the player doesn’t have to choose to be a magic-user, fighter, or thief at the outset. In Fable, the main character gets better at skills by just using them through a system of weighted experience points.
To read the full preview or to learn more information, follow the links below.

Next Generation: Fable TLC Preview
Feral Interactive
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Buy Fable: The Lost Chapters

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World Of Warcraft Talent Calculator Available
10:31 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently announced the release of a new tool for players wishing to plan out their World of Warcraft characters. The Talent Calculator is designed as a way for players to test drive a particular character build before bringing it to life in the online world.

Previously available only to Hunters, the Talent Calculator can now be used for experimental builds of any class. Check out the Calculator at the link below.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
WoW: Talent Calculator
Buy World of Warcraft

George Lucas Seeks Improved Gaming AI
10:31 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Gamasutra is reporting that in his keynote address to the Special Interest Group for Graphics tradeshow (SIGGRAPH), George Lucas spoke about the need for better artificial intelligence in computer games. The renowned director, producer, screenwriter, and father of the iconic Star Wars universe announced plans for LucasArts to improve AI and speech recognition in future games.

Lucas indicated that he wants to work with LucasArts to improve artificial intelligence and speech recognition in games "to a point where you can talk to the game and it will talk back."

Lucas hopes that advanced AI will not only make games more challenging but improve the storytelling as well. "I think that will change games from first-person shooter narratives to intelligent and challenging first-person shooter-type dramas," he said.
Lucas also spoke of his upcoming Clone War television series, to be created at LucasFilm's new Singapore studio. SIGGRAPH is a show targeted mainly at the creators of the computer generated effects you see in games and movies. For the entire article click the link below.

Gamasutra: George Lucas Speaks

Is The Infinity Engine The Best RPG Platform Ever?
10:31 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In a recent Gamespot column Matthew Rorie put forth the assertion that Bioware's Infinity Engine is head and shoulders above other RPG engines. He discusses the relative strengths and weaknesses of competitors to the Infinity Engine and the seeming decline of the single player RPG game in recent years.

So far as I'm concerned, though, RPG engines just don't get any better than the Infinity engine. Although it powered only five games over a five-year span (Baldur's Gate I and II, Icewind Dale I and II, and Planescape Torment, not counting expansions), and can't match Neverwinter Night's flexibility in modding or the pandemic number of D&D releases from SSI in the late '80s and early '90s, I still think the Infinity games were perhaps the perfect marriage of form and functionality when it comes to computer RPGs. The graphical elements, even for the first Baldur's Gate game, are still as beautiful as ever, thanks to their reliance on painted backdrops, while the faux-real-time combat system handily meshed the turn-based underpinnings of the pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons game with the fluidity and speed of play of any true real-time game. The storylines (Icewind Dale notwithstanding) are also still among the longest and most satisfying of any epic RPGs of recent years, with the Baldur's Gate series being notable for letting you take a party of level-one characters from Baldur's Gate and guide them all the way to Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, an expansion pack to the sequel that let some characters reach all the way to level 40.
The Infinity Engine gave birth to some of the most successful and critically acclaimed RPGS of all time and continues to have an active modding community. For the entire column follow the link below.

Gamespot: To Infinity Engine And Beyond

Blizzard Fan Art Contest
10:30 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently announced it will be hosting a fan art contest. Artists are to draw characters or monsters from their favorite Blizzard game in regcognizable in-game locations. Winner's works will be shown in a gallery at BlizzCon and will also recieve:

2 BlizzCon tickets
1 16-inch resin statue of either Tichondrius or Thrall
1 Tokyopop Warcraft manga
1 White-Wolf RPG
1 signed poster by Blizzard's Art Team
To view the official rules, or to submit and entry, visit Blizzard's website by clicking the link below.

Blizzard Website - Fan Art Contest
Blizzard Entertainment

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Macgamestore: Tournament Poker 2005 In Stock11:29 AM
IMG Reviews Logitech's Z-5300e Speakers11:12 AM
The Sims 2 1.0 Rev A Patch Released9:39 AM
Freeverse Announces Chatalog8:52 AM
Lugaru Updated to 1.058:52 AM
Preview of Fable: The Lost Chapters Posted8:52 AM
Public Beta For Battleground Europe8:52 AM
Shivering Kittens, loopTHEloop Updated8:52 AM
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Screenshots8:52 AM
Upcoming World Of Warcraft Fishing Tournament8:52 AM
World of Warcraft Update Targets Mac Fixes8:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 3, 2005 on one page

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