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Monday, January 30, 2006

NYT World of Warcraft Interview
7:52 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

The New York Times posted an interview with Jeff Kaplan, lead designer of World of WarCraft on the upcoming changes that will affect the more than 5.5 million subscribers of the game. This interview discusses the content for players of all levels, opening Ahn'Qiraj, and Naxxramas, the newest challenge before the release of the expansion pack.

Q. What can you tell me about Naxxramas?

A. Naxxramas is going to be the most difficult thing in the game until the expansion pack comes out. It will be the pinnacle, and it's absolutely massive. You'll see this big necropolis floating above Eastern Plaguelands. It's a 40-man raid zone, and it's bigger than the Undercity [one of the main cities in the game]. Things could change, but we're up to something like 18 bosses in there, and they are really cool, too. But it's going to be hard. Really hard. We're hoping to release it in the spring.

Click the links below to read the interview and to learn more about the World of WarCraft.

NYT: Kill the Big, Bad Dragon (Teamwork Required)
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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IMG Reviews Gangland
1:30 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Gangland. Here's a clip from the review:

The basic premise of Gangland has the gamer playing as Mario, come to America to seek revenge upon his siblings for a murder they committed back in the old country. Gameplay is styled after the fashion of a real time strategy title, but unlike most RTS games, the gamer will only be controlling a handful of units at a time rather than the hordes associated with games such as the Myth or Warcraft series of games. It's a fun departure to marry this brand of gameplay, so commonly associated with medieval outdoor environments and fantasy, with an urban-modern feel.
To check out the entire review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Gangland
Virtual Programming

Phelios Releases Bunny Bunny
11:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Game publisher Phelios recently released the newest of their games for Mac OS X, Bunny Bunny. The game is styled after Retro Japanese brain teasers, and bosts low system requirements and a low price. Here's the full info:

Cute teeny tiny puzzle game in the style of retro Japanese brain teasers.

Bunny needs to push the block of ice on brown tiles to release the monkey, then monkey pushes ice block to pink tile. Change the tiles to blue to finish the level.

Starts out innocently easy but then gets really grittingly challenging.

For more information, or to download a demo of the game, follow the links provided below.

Phelios Releases Bunny Bunny

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Freeverse Heroes Of Might And Magic V Interviews
7:52 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Two new interviews with Freeverse Software about their upcoming port of Heroes of Might and Magic V are now available. The first comes from Macgamer and the second from the newly launched The Mac Centric: Heroes of Might and Magic V website.

From Mac Gamer:

What made the folks at Freeverse decide to go with this kind of title, when your history is so focused on in-house development of casual games?

Colin Smith: That's simple. We all *really* wanted to play this game! Each and every one of us in the Freeverse office loved the prior Heroes games. We figured there was only one way to make sure that Heroes of Might & Magic V made it to the Mac, and that was to do it ourselves.

We're still primarily a developer of original titles, but our publishing arm has expanded greatly in the last year with some top-notch apps like Sound Studio and Comic Life... adding a top-notch game to that roster makes perfect sense.
From Mac Centric:
The deals structuring past ports have often come up short on long term support. For example, no OSX version was ever released of HOMM3 despite its continuing popularity (and which will make it unplayable on the new IntelMacs), and the final version of HOMM4 didn’t reflect the final PC code. How does the deal for HOMM5 structure ongoing and long-term support issues?

Bruce Morrison: I think a lot of it comes down to 2 main issues. 1. Money 2. Lawyers. Obviously if nobody buys HOMMV, the chances of the expansion packs will be slim to none (but nobody should be mad as they never bought it).

Colin Smith: Freeverse is committed to supporting HOMMV to the best of our ability. We wont ship a buggy port, or allow Mac issues to linger without timely patches. Beyond that, we’ll try to bring as many of the Heroes assets to the Mac as we can, given the economics of the business. The fact that we’ll want to play any expansion packs as much as you guys do, should help that equation.

To read the full interviews follow the links below.

Macgamer: HoMMV Interview
The Mac Centric: HoMMV Interview
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Mystery Island II Updated to 1.6.8
7:52 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Koingo Software updated Mystery Island II to version 1.6.8 which updates the following:

• New Feature: Background update checker.
• New Feature: Now runs on PC!
• New Feature: MSI Installer for PC
• Enhancement: Now loads graphics from files, not the ResourceFork. This is a little slower, but much less RAM intensive!
• Enhancement: Now loads graphics from sounds, not the ResourceFork. This is a little slower, but much less RAM intensive!
• Bug Fix: Now runs on Mac OS X 10.3.9.
• Bug Fix: Corrected the product support URL.
Mystery Island II is an adventure game that puts you in the roll of saving the human race. It requires OS X 10.2 or later to run.

You can download the 15 day demo from the Mystery Island II webpage using the link below. A single user licence is $15 U.S. if you wish to purchase it.

Koingo: Mystery Island II

TeamSpeex Universal Binary Released
7:52 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

TeamSpeex has been released as a Universal Binary as version 1.0beta-r406. TeamSpeak is a Voice over IP program used by gamers to communicate with each other using voice while in-game.

There is an official release of the TeamSpeak client for Windows and Linux users, however the official Mac client (announced more than 1 year ago) has yet to be seen. This independent client is compatible with existing TeamSpeak chat servers and uses the Speex codec to work alongside both PC and Linux users.

TeamSpeex requires OS X 10.4 or higher and is now a Universal Binary. You will also need a USB or a powered microphone. You may download it at the homepage using the link below.

Teamspeex Homepage

Freeware Oolite updated as Universal Binary
7:52 AM | Evan Holt | 2 comments

Oolite adds its name to the rapidly growing list of Mac shareware/freeware Universal Binaries. Oolite is a space simulator written for Mac OS X in Objective C using Cocoa and OpenGL. This 3D game incorporates trade, battles with pirates, bounty hunting, secret missions and numerous other features.

This latest version adds the following:

• New and improved equipment.
• Overhauled collision physics.
• Ships entering hyperspace now leave temporary witchspace wormholes between systems.
• New Core Audio sound engine (thanks Ahruman).
• Improvements to gameplay including new scripting routines and enhancements to ships' AIs.
• Better compatibility with the vast range of Oolite Expansion Packs, including cross-compatibility with Oolite-linux and Oolite-PC.
• Configurable Growl notifications through the communications console.
• Many more bugfixes and improvements to gameplay.
The game and source-code are offered for free under a Creative Commons License and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher to play. You can download it from the homepage using the link below.

Oolite homepage

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Heroes of Might and Magic V For PC Delayed?
7:52 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Shortly after the formation of a fan petition asking for a delay of the PC version of Heroes of Might and Magic V, Gamespot reported Ubisoft had delayed the game's release date. While other internet news sites have also picked up this information the petition creators have vowed to continue with their protest until Ubisoft makes an official announcement. Until an announcement is made the various fan sites involved with the petition will remove information about the game from their sites.

As representatives of the online HoMM Community, we, the pact members, strongly believe that Heroes of Might and Magic 5 will not be of sufficient standard and quality if the release is rushed for March 2006. As admirers of HoMM series and supporters of the current Heroes 5 potential, we will not tolerate a blow delivered by the release of an incomplete and unbalanced game.

As an action of protest, following this announcement, no news or updates will be posted on our web sites. Additionally, Heroes of Might and Magic 5 information will be removed from our web sites. We request that Ubisoft officially confirms that the release date of Heroes of Might and Magic 5 will be delayed past March 2006, for a period of time sufficient to develop a balanced and fully functional game. We do not regard the announcement made on Gamespot as true until Ubisoft issues official confirmation.

Freeverse Software is currently at work on the the Mac version of HoMM V. For more information follow the links below.

Heroes of Might & Magic V
Delay HoMM V Petition
Gamespot: HoMM V Delayed
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Mac Games News for Friday, January 27, 2006

IMG Posts New Fear and Loathing Video3:58 PM
IMG Podcast Episode 13 Released1:04 PM
Descent 2 Port Updated to Universal Binary1:02 PM
Mac Version of Trainz Asking For Beta Testers1:02 PM
MacBowl Raises Over $27,0001:01 PM
Otto Matic 3.0 released as Universal Binary1:01 PM
Lego Modeling Game Bricksmith Updated1:00 PM
Custer Needs A Hero12:59 PM
GravityWells released as Universal Binary12:56 PM
Acropolis Reviewed12:55 PM
MacGLide Update Adds Game Support12:55 PM
Petition To Delay Heroes Of Might And Magic V12:54 PM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 27, 2006 on one page

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