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Monday, November 7, 2005

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Candy Crisis Becomes Open Source Project
8:14 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

John Stiles' colorful Candy Crisis, a color matching puzzle title, has been released as an open source project. The full source code is now available for download at the new SourceForge site for the game's code. The code is in uncompiled format and as such is not in playable form.

On Macworld's forums Stiles talks a bit about the move to open source and future plans for the project.

Just so everyone knows the state of things:
- I am still setting up the SourceForge repository. I'm not done uploading stuff yet! As you can see, the sourceforge-based web site is still half-operational and still points to the old third-party web page.
- There will be downloadable binaries in the near future.
- I will also be releasing the source code to an SDL port which compiles and runs on Windows.
- I will probably also be releasing an Xcode-based Mac version which will probably use SDL or an SDL-like library. It is running now but it's got a few bugs--some mine, some in SDL--and its performance isn't great. I haven't decided whether I want to fix SDL or jettison it on the Mac. I might end up uploading it "as-is" and then fixing it later.
- The source code that is up now is just a snapshot of the released version, so it still has "register now!" dialogs and stuff like that. It's free, honest. You won't have to register. I *will* be accepting purely voluntary donations; the sourceforge page has a link to donate if you're so inclined. This won't unlock anything new in the game... it's just something you can do if you like the game and want to say thanks.
Candy Crisis was written in C, using SDL, SDL_image and Fmod. It was originally developed for the Mac and was also ported to Windows. For more information check out the links below.

SourceForge: Candy Crisis
Macworld Forums: Candy Crisis Open Source
John Stiles
Candy Crisis

iGame Radio Hosts Holiday Roundtable
1:34 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of iGame Radio, the original Mac game radio program, host Omaha Sternberg hosts a roundtable with Tuncer Deniz of Inside Mac Games and Kevin Murphy of Macologist about holiday game purchases.

Purchasing games for the holidays can sometimes be a trial. Your friends have their lists of games that everyone knows…how happy will they be when the open the fifth copy of the same game? Listen to this roundtable with Tuncer Deniz, publisher of Inside Mac Games, and Kevin Murphy, reviews editor for Macologist, about some games that you might not have heard about that may be just perfect for your friends' holiday list…and maybe even yours.

Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, commentary, and giveaways, and together with her guests will take questions live from listeners in the iGame Radio chat room (AIM/iChat room name "iGameRadio").

iGame Radio can be heard live on MacRadio from 6 to 7:30 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 10:30 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0230 UTC), and on demand thereafter. Listeners can tune in at the iGame Radio web page, where they'll also find archives of past broadcasts. QuickTime 5 or above and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required for the live broadcast; QuickTime 5 and above or iTunes 4.9 or other MP3 enabled software (such as iPodderX), and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required for access to the archives.

iGame Radio

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IMG Reviews NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005
12:56 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005. If you're into hockey, you'll want to check out this review. Here's a clip:

You assume the role of General Manager, which in the National Hockey League is usually confined to the business end of running a team: signing players and coaches, making the large-scale personnel moves outside the day-to-day activities on the rink. But with NHL EHM 2005, you can be quite hands-on, and in many ways assume some coaching-level duties as well, such as setting the roster and choosing line combinations and defensive pairings as well as emphasizing what players need to work on during practice, such as conditioning, shooting, defensive skills, etc.
To check out the entire review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005
Sports Interactive
NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005
Buy NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005

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A Tale in the Desert Report
8:14 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story recently posted an article about A Tale in the Desert II, a non-violent co-operative multiplayer title. One of the few games of its type to offer a beginning and an ending, the ability of players to cooperate in building a series of monuments within a certain time limit determines a win or loss. In the article Andrew Tepper, one of the game's designers, talks a bit about the game and what is upcoming in Tale 3.

Another important aspect of Tale 3 will be reusable events. Throughout Tale 1 and 2 all events had to be triggered and compiled by hand. To rerun the same event, hours of coding would have to be checked and relearned. This meant less events than Tepper would have wished for, as events always brought in flocks of immigrants.

For Tale 3, Andrew is working on a control panel to configure and start events. For example, the control panel can be used to trigger different food festivals. Options in the control can decide what type of event it is: a mutton festival, a watermelon festival, a meat festival, a vegetable festival, etc. While this means that many of the events will have the same format, at least there will be more events! This tool will be usable by the event team.

For the entire article and more information about the game be sure to check out the links listed below. A Tale in the Desert II Update
A Tale in the Desert

Electronic Arts Game Music Coming To iTunes
8:14 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Electronic Arts has joined with Nettwerk Music Group to form EA Recordings, a library to manage recordings from some of its most popular games. The library will offer the tunes to various online music providers including iTunes. Tracks available for download will include professionally recorded and mastered pieces from games such as Medal of Honor and The Sims.

There is no word yet on a specific date when the game music will be available for purchase on iTunes. Follow the links below for more information about Nettwerk and EA.

Electronic Arts
Nettwerk Music Group

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Worthplaying Reviews Black & White 2
8:14 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Worthplaying has a review of Black & White 2, one of the recently announced game ports for Macintosh. The highlights of the review include the stunning upgrades to graphics, user interface, and creature abilities. On the other hand, the review notes downfalls of the game such as uniqueness to original, combat system, and sound.

Black & White 2 is a sight to behold if you have a newer video card because it looks splendid. I was playing it in 1920 X 1080 resolution, and some of the visuals are jaw-dropping. The most amazing thing is the attention to detail at every level. You can zoom out so far that the entire land looks like it is miles distant, or zoom down to the point that you can make out the grass and see textures on rocks and trees. Water is especially stunning, and the lighting effects breathe life into the environment.
In the end, Worthplaying gave Black & White 2 an 8.0 out of a possible 10.0. Please follow the links below to read the review and to learn more information.

Worthplaying-Black & White 2 Review
Feral Interactive
Buy Black & White 2

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WOW Fetches Vivendi Obscene Earnings
8:14 AM | Blake Buck | 1 comment

IGN recently reported that Vivendi Universal, the publisher behind Blizzard Entertainment, has announced massive year-to-date and third quarter earnings. This can be attributed to Blizzard's runaway hit, World of Warcraft. From the IGN article:

According to the company, WoW contributed significantly to VUG year-to-date revenues of €396 million ($473 million) -- an increase of 88% over the same period last year -- and third quarter revenues of €158 million ($189 million) which represent an incredible 151% increase in revenues over the same period last year.
These massive earnings can not only be attributed to WoW's 4 million copies sold, but the fact that each of those subscribers are paying $15 a month to play.

To view the entire article, click the link below.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
IGN Article - WOW Makes Big Bucks
Buy World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft: Great or Flawed?
8:14 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Gamebiz and Gameplay Monthly recently released reviews of Blizzard's popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. Both reviews delve into the nuts and bolts of the game, but seem to come to somewhat different conclusions in the final analysis. Describing WoW as "one of the best games ever made," Gamebiz gave the MMORPG a 9.5 out of 10. Gameplay Monthly, on the other hand, discussed several of the game's flaws and granted it an 8.4 out of 10.

From the Gamebiz review:

For a reviewer to stop playing all other games for two months and play a game constantly every day clocking up nearly a month of game time, it must mean something. World of Warcraft is one of the best games ever made, and the experiences continue to amaze players throughout the whole game. Some people assume that when you reach level 60 that the game is over, this is as far from the truth as you can get. Once you reach level 60 you’re able to participate in the best instances which allow you to receive the best items to use or simply just to show off. If you’re tired of waiting for the next generation of game consoles, pick up WoW as it doesn’t matter what type of game you like, WoW is sure to find something that you can enjoy, and the monthly fee is incredibly reasonable for what you get out if it.
From the Gameplay Monthly review:
First of all, this game is EXTREMELY REPETETIVE, as any player versus environment combat is pretty much the same with the exception of instances. PVP is also flawed as classes are blatantly imbalanced, and high level players have no penalty for “ganking” lower level players (a level 60 character can kill a group of level 1 character for hours if they want). Blizzard also uses the same communication policy that they have in all of their previous games, which is leaving their customers in the dark as to not enrage their player base if they miss a deadline or say something that may not be 100% true. The omni-conservative policy is extremely inefficient in an MMORPG where the player base has a huge say in the games development. Blizzard has recently increased their patching frequency for new updates, but many servers suffer from constant outages, something that should have been fixed within the first few weeks of launch. WoW also becomes much like other MMO’s as the game completes and one reaches end game, there is almost no variety in content as your only choice is to do high end instanced dungeons or aid your low level friends in their adventures. Gameplay in WoW is an entirely mixed bag, which although probably is the cream of the crop, it is still fundamentally flawed.
For the full reviews and a handful of screenshots click the links below.

Gamebiz: WoW Review
Gameplay Monthly: WoW Review
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

IMG Looking For New Senior Hardware Editor
8:14 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games is looking for a dedicated senior hardware editor to work on the Inside Mac Games web site. Here's the current openings at IMG:

Senior Hardware Editor
Write hardware previews, reviews, and features for Inside Mac Games. Must have outstanding writing skills. You'll also coordinate with hardware companies to preview and review products, distribute them to other hardware writers, edit the articles, and more. Must have good organizational skills.

If you're interested, please email us with a little bio of yourself and include writing samples (or URLs to writing samples). At this time there is no pay.. If you're interested, please email with a little bio of yourself and include writing samples (or URLs to writing samples). There is no pay involved but you will receive benefits such as a free IMG Pro account, a free game a month, free MacGames DVD subscription, and more.

We're looking for dedicated people only who can write well and commit some of their time to a cool web site. If you don't think you'll have the time or energy, please don't e-mail us. But if you love Macintosh games and love writing, then by all means, let us know!

Mac Games News for Friday, November 4, 2005

Macgamestore: RHEM 2 In Stock, Free Stubbs Mini Guide Offer2:06 PM
Virtual Programming Releases Hearts of Iron II2:00 PM
Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals1:52 PM
IMG Reviews Zoo Vet12:32 PM
Battlefront 2 Reviewed7:38 AM
Bioware and Pandemic Merge7:38 AM
Burning Crusade Previewed7:38 AM
Custer Takes A Dip7:38 AM
Littlewing Newsletter: Fairy Tower In Development7:38 AM
Reviewing Nemo7:38 AM
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Reaches Final Candidate7:38 AM
The Escapist Examines Women In Gaming7:38 AM
Ventrillo Beta Now Available For Mac7:38 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 4, 2005 on one page

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