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Thursday, January 12, 2006

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Heroes Of Might And Magic V For Mac
7:43 AM | Cord Kruse | 19 comments

Today Freeverse announced that it will be publishing Heroes of Might and Magic V for the Macintosh under an exclusive world wide license from Ubisoft. Currently in development for the PC by Nival Interactive, Heroes of Might and Magic V updates the long running strategy series with new technology and a fully 3D animated world. The game will feature a scalable turn-based battle system as well as the addition of a new Active Battle System for those desiring faster play.

Players will be able to choose from more than 200 skills, 170 creature abilities, and 40 spells to customize heroes and armies. The game will have have a darker tone than previous incarnations in the series and will offer six unique factions and more than 80 different creatures. A variety of special objectives, side quests, and plot twists will serve to add depth to the adventure.

"The Heroes series has a long and illustrious history on the Mac, and we're thrilled to be partnering with Ubisoft to bring this exciting new game to Mac gamers around the world," said Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse.
No release date has been set for the Mac version of HoMM V. Keep an eye on IMG for more information as it becomes available.

Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

OMG Cup winners to be announced Friday
1:54 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

iDevGames today announced that the winners of their latest contest, the Original Mac Games Cup, will be announced this Friday at Macworld by sponsor Freeverse Software. Here's the full announcement:

The much anticipated conclusion to The 2005 OMG (Original Mac Games) Cup game development competition will happen around 1:00 P.M (21:00 GMT) on Friday the 13th right at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Under extreme secrecy, a panel of elite judges have picked winners from the six finalists reported earlier last month. The official OMG 2005 Cup and other awards will be announced live by sponsor Freeverse Software. Stay tuned to the news on the iDevGames home page for updates as they come in on Friday. Until then, join in the excitement on the iDevGames Forum and meet up with iDevGames members live at the Macworld Expo !
For more information, follow the links provided below.

OMG Cup winners to be announced Friday

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MWSF: Tabula Digita's Dimenxion
1:54 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The educational market has been a cobbled path for Apple at best. Looking to inject some new life into this area, Tabula Digita is currently hard at work developing Dimenxion, a 1st-person action/adventure title that integrates Algebra concepts into its play. Unlike the typical education titles that may spring to mind, Tabula's goal is to create a full-fledged game that stands on its own merits. In addition, the learning portion will be tightly integrated into the gameplay, making it a transparent function, with the objective being to "learn math or die trying."

Dimenxion's gameplay is clearly of the FPS variety, though a behind-the-back 3rd person view is possible as well. The segment of gameplay we were treated to included the exploration of a planet, with the objective being to locate and secure several weather stations. By overlaying a grid on the surface of the planet as well as using a graph radar of sorts, basic graph skills could be learned by being given coordinates for each weather station to aid in locating them. One of the clever points about using the graph plotting/location process was that environmental obstacles were used to force players to think differently. For example, the typical student, when given a set of coordinates, would first run along the X-axis until hitting the right value, whereupon they would proceed along the Y-axis. While this would work at the beginning, later weather station locations would be placed on cliffs and such, forcing players to stray of the X-axis and proceed on different trajectories in order to reach the current goal.

Dimenxion also contains a multiplayer aspect that acts as a culmination of the lessons learned while playing. Currently using CTF-like mechanics, the gameplay has players racing to pick objects at the right coordinates, or selecting the right equations in a series of objects. Tabula plans on running a tournament during Macworld involving students from San Francisco-area schools to demonstrate the game in action.

When discussing the educational subject matter, Tabula was quick to point out Algebra as being a natural choice for a first run. Not only is math one of the main subjects both taught and in need of improvement in the U.S., but it's also considered one of the harder subjects to teach, particularly to unmotivated students. By taking an analytical, linear subject such as Algebra and integrating it into a game, the developers can teach it to students by application rather than theory, making it a more palatable learning process.

Dimenxion is currently slated for a release sometime this summer. Tabula plans on releasing a public demo sometime before then, and is allowing interested parties to sign up for the demo when it sees release.

Tabula Digita
MWSF 2006

SF Chronicle Examines Intel Mac Game Potential
1:53 PM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

Citing something most of us have been anticipating since their announcement, the San Francisco Chronicle has posted an article noting the increased potential of Mac gaming due to the recent introduction of Intel Core Duo processors. The speed boost provided by the new processors should serve Macs better when it comes to playing games, which is important considering the fact that games are becoming increasingly relevant in the realm of digital entertainment.

The performance improvement from Intel chips gives Apple the ability to better compete with other computer manufacturers in attracting hard-core gamers who are tech-savvy. While there are still significant hurdles to overcome, this could be an important step for Apple, because video games are increasingly becoming a vital part of digital entertainment in the home, analysts say.
The article further adds that gaming is probably the one weak link in Apple's current digital life strategy, and needs to be shored up if Apple intends on becoming a "major player in the race to the consumers' living room."

SF Chronicle - Apple ramping up its game plan
MWSF 2006

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Macgamestore: Civilization III: Complete Now Shipping
9:05 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 1 comment has begun shipping Civilization III: Complete for the Macintosh. The game is available for $49.95.

Civilization III: Complete includes the original game, Civilization III, plus both expansion packs, Conquests and Play the World. This bundle introduces Civilization III multiplayer capabilities to the Macintosh platform for the first time.

Gaming fans can now enjoy Civilization III, the highly addictive journey of discovery, combined with the updated and enhanced multiplayer expansion pack Civilization III: Play the World, as well as all of the great new Civs, Scenarios, and Features from Civilization III: Conquests! Civilization III: Complete provides more ways to win, more ways to explore, more strategies to employ, and more exciting modes of play all in one box! Civilization III: Complete gives Civ fans the opportunity to enjoy unmatched strategic gameplay alone or against players from around the world.

Aspyr Media
Civilization III: Complete
Buy Civilization III: Complete

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Apple Offering Intel iMacs to Developers
7:43 AM | Anthony Wang | 5 comments

Apple announced the new DTK Exchange Program to ease the transition from PowerPC to Mactel development. The Developer Transition Kit (DTK) originally was the 3.6Ghz Intel Pentium 4 enclosed in a PowerMac G5 box. They will be offering the newly released iMac Core Duo to qualified participants from the previous DKT program for free.

This program will put a new Intel-based Mac in your hands to help you finish and ship your Universal Binary. Each Developer Transition Kit you have may be exchanged for a new Intel-based iMac at no charge. We'll provide you with the iMac prior to your return of the DTK to allow you to move resources as necessary from the DTK to the iMac.
This new program allows Mac game developers to get their hands on the Mactels and begin development on their games.

Apple: DTK Exchange Program

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PopCap Games Interview
7:43 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent interview with Jason Kapalka and James Gwertzman of PopCap Games, Gamecloud examined the company's past, present, and future. Perhaps best known for Bejeweled, PopCap has brought a variety of entertaining puzzle oriented games to computer users.

Gamecloud - By far the company's most popular game is Bejeweled and its sequel. What is it about this particualar game that has attracted so much sales and fan apprciation?

Kapalka and Gwertzman - I wish we could say we had a magic formula for determining what makes a game like Bejeweled such a huge success, but we donít. What we do know, however, is when we here at PopCap have a great time playing one of our own game and ultimately thatís what we shoot for. We donít release a game that we develop ourselves until nearly everyone here has played it and thinks itís ready to put the PopCap name on. As a result, sometimes it takes quite a long time for a given game to ship and we often shelve games that are otherwise looking quite polished just because theyíre not fun enough.

Some things we can say about Bejeweled, however, is that it is extremely simple to learn how to play, itís very polished and attractive, and the core mechanic is deeply satisfying in a fundamental way. Those are important attributes that we try to build into all of our games.
For the full interview head over to Gamecloud at the link below.

Gamecloud: PopCap Interview
PopCap Games
Buy Bejeweled 2

Eschalon: Book 1 Coming Soon
7:43 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Newly formed independent game developer Basilisk Games has announced Eschalon: Book 1, their soon to be released debut title. E:B1 is an RPG in the turn-based tradition of classics of the genre such as the Ultima, Might & Magic, and Wizardry series. The first in a trilogy, E:B1 will send players into massive outdoor environments and plunge them into dozens of sprawling dungeons as they quest to uncover the mystery of their character's origins.

Here's a list of the upcoming game's features:

- Hundreds of items and dozens creatures to discover.†A combination of randomly generated treasure and carefully hidden goodies.

- An non-linear storyline that can be played at your pace.†As you struggle to uncover the secrets of your past, you must decide where to go and who to trust. The game world is yours to discover- just be careful not to get yourself in too deep, too soon!

- Unlimited character development style...Choose from 25 unique skills to make the character you want and 8 base attributes that affect your character's every action throughout the game.

- A turn-based yet fluid combat system keeps the action feeling near real-time. Strategy is key in Eschalon- careful skill management, weapon choice and magic usage will win your fights, not rapid button clicking. We are very pleased to say this is not another "action RPG".

- An epic adventure that you face alone...a single-player RPG carefully designed to feel like the great RPGs of the past.

The PC version of Eschalon: Book 1 is scheduled for a Spring release, with the Mac version following in the Summer. For more information check out the Basilisk Games site at the link below.

Eschalon: Book 1
Basilisk Games

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 11, 2006

MWSF: PopCap Games At Macworld Expo4:19 PM
MWSF Photo Gallery: Day One10:56 AM
MWSF: Developers React To New Macs, Dual Booting10:38 AM
MWSF: A Quick MacSoft Update9:17 AM
New Crayon Games Founder Interviewed8:49 AM
Preview Of Upcoming Dofus Add-On8:49 AM
10.4.4 Update Improves WoW GeForce 4Ti performance6:00 AM
MWSF: IMG Chats With ATI6:00 AM
MWSF: Pangea Announces Enigmo 26:00 AM
No One Lives Forever 2 updated to version 1.36:00 AM
Stubbs The Zombie Demo Released6:00 AM
World of Warcraft To Support Intel Macs6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 11, 2006 on one page

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