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Friday, March 24, 2006

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IMG Reviews Ticket To Ride
12:49 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Ticket To Ride. Ticket to Ride, the computer game version of the popular board game by Days of Wonder. The computer version is a faithful representation of the board game, which won several awards, including the prestigious "Spiel des Jahres." To check out the review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Ticket To Ride
Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride

Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals
12:37 PM | Tuncer Deniz

The Apple Store has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including; get a $20 mail-in rebate when you buy Toast 7 Titanium from Roxio for only $99.95; Save $40 via mail-in rebate when you buy Norton AntiVirus 10.0 and Norton Personal Firewall 3.0 for only $89.95; buy any Intuit TuboTax product with Quicken 2006 and save $20 via mail-in rebate; also from Intuit, get a $20 instant rebate with your purchase of QuickBooks: Pro 2006; Save $20 via mail-in rebate when you upgrade to the new Adobe Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0; and much more.

B&H Photo Video has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including; Olympus Stylus S710 7.1MP digital camera for only $349.99; add effects and increase Adobe After Effects rendering speeds by up to 50x wth the Media 100 Ultra Board Ultra BlueICE  2.0 PCI card for only $999.00!; enjoy your music while you cruise with Monster Cable's iCruze LCD display module for your car for only $39.95; with Epson Perfection 4990 Pro flatbed scanner you get the quality of a dedicated film scanner with the flexibility of a flatbed scanner for only $549.99!; Print, copy and scan with the Epson Stylus Photo RX700 all-in-one for only $399.95!; Wacom Graphire3 4x5" Tablet w/USB 2.0 for only $79.95; and much more.

ClubMac has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including; Maya Complete 7.0 Nodelock for only $1999.00; visualize a trip before go with Topics National Geographic Back Road Explorer 3D for only $47.99; Macromedia Studio 8 for only $399.00; do you need the ability to search online bibliographic databases? Then EndNote 9 from ISI Researchsoft with Spotlight support is for you. Get the upgrade for only $94.99!; Lego Star Wars is on the Mac! From Aspyr for only $29.99!; get World Class Poker with T.J. Cloutier for only $18.99! and much more.

O'Reilly Media has deals on a wide variety of Mac related books with Hot Deals exclusive pricing including; Photoshop Retouching Cookbook for Digital Photographers tells you everything you need to know to adjust, correct, retouch, and manipulate your photographs-without making you first learn everything there is to know about Photoshop CS2 for only $23.96; Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers shows you how to use blending modes to achieve a wide range of image adjustments and special effects-without first having to learn everything there is to know about Photoshop for only $23.96; Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook tells you all you need to know to turn your digital photographs into images that mimic the styles of great visual artists for only $23.96!; Photoshop Filter Effects Encyclopedia explains and decodes the settings of every filter that Photoshop CS2 has to offer for only $23.96; Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook shows you how to use Photoshop CS2 to simulate classic camera and darkroom techniques and special effects for only $19.96; and much more.

PowerMax has deals on a wide variety of Mac compatible products including; LaCie mini 250GB FW Hard Drive. Add storage to your Mac mini the elegant way for only $169.00!; Canon Powershot A540 6-megapixel digital camera with 4x optical zoom for only $284.99!; Airplug G Wireless USB 802.11g adapter for only $47.99!; A must have for serious gamers, the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition Video card from ATI for only $284.99; Hewlett Packard Deskjet 9800 color inkjet printer that will handle prints from 3x5" to 13x19" for only $294.99!; Now you can use your car's cassette controls to command your iPod with the SmartDeck Cassette Adapter from Griffin Technology for only $29.88!; and much more.

Aspyr's Oliver Talks Universal Binary Games
12:24 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 2 comments

Aspyr programmer Brad Oliver has posted some interesting tidbits in his personal blog. In his blog, Oliver reveals that work on the Mac port of Civilization IV is coming along nicely, with the game "rendering a good 80-90% of everything correctly".

Oliver also reveals that a forthcoming patch for Civilization III: Complete will "fix a few crashes and problems with third-party scenarios. It's also being built as a universal binary so it'll be native on the new Intel Macs."

And finally, Oliver says that Universal Binaries of Jedi Academy and Jedi Knight 2 are almost complete:

For kicks, I've been working on universal binaries of Jedi Academy and Jedi Knight 2. Those are mostly done now. They ran afoul of some bugs in Apple's OpenAL implementation on dual-processor Macs which made them highly unstable, but lucky me - Apple posted a fix for these exact issues a few days back to the Creative CVS. So I'm cautiously optimistic that all I need to do now is grab those latest OpenAL fixes, build it and it'll be ready for testing and release.

We've run into a few Xcode issues that have caused us some interesting times. First is build size. We use precompiled headers to speed up build time, and it helps dramatically. Civ4 is roughly 1500 source files and takes a good 15 minutes to build on the Core Duo chip. The downside to using precompiled headers is that it bloats the .o files. So at the end of the build, we have roughly 1500 .o files that range in size between 3.5 and 6 megs. This in turn gives the linker fits - we can't currently build a universal binary in Xcode for the debug builds as some of the subtarget libraries spew a vm_allocate failure error trying to allocate 1.6 gigs. Thatsa spicy meatball! Still, we're able to build either PPC or x86 and debug those. This bulk also tends to affect the debugger. Breaking into the debugger in Civ4 takes - on the Core Duo - almost 2 minutes. At first I thought it was simply hung or broken but as I was asking one of my colleagues about it, the debugger eventually sprang to life. Luckily some of our smaller projects (like Civ3) don't suffer from this, athough I still have to watch my disk space. I inadvertently chewed up 12 gigs the other day (and filled my hard drive in the process) doing a build of Civ3 Complete followed by a build of Play the World - each takes up around 6 gigs of intermediate space.

We still maintain our PowerPC builds in CodeWarrior, so this helps quite a bit. When we run into problems debugging in CodeWarrior or Xcode, we just switch to the other. Usually one of them is up to the task. Ah, the life of a Mac developer!

To check out Brad Oliver's blog, follow the link below.

Brad Oliver's Blog

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Imperial Glory Hits Beta
8:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 3 comments

Feral Interactive has announced that its upcoming historical strategy game, Imperial Glory, has hit the beta status of development. To mark the milestone, Feral has released a new trailer that displays some of the game's spectacular battle scenes.

Imperial Glory is a game of military tactics and political strategy in which you lead one of 5 great nations through the turbulent Napoleonic age of the late 18th and early 19th Century. Your role is to make history by transforming a nation into Europe's dominant Empire. Featuring a comprehensive turn-based management mode as well as titanic real-time 3D land and sea battles, Imperial Glory requires sophisticated thinking and a ruthless will to win.

A final release date for Imperial Glory has not been announced yet but is expected to be released in the spring.

To check out the trailer, head over to either Feral's web site or

Feral Interactive
Imperial Glory
MGF: Imperial Glory Trailer
Buy Imperial Glory

Adults Spend More Time Gaming than Teens
7:32 AM | Evan Holt | 9 comments

A recent study by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows that adults spend more time playing games than teens.

The most interesting statistic is that one-third of adult gamers spend 10 hours or more per week playing console or PC games compared to just 11 percent of teens. The majority (64 percent) of adult gamers either mostly or always play console games by themselves and just over half (55 percent) play online.

The survey results also suggest female gamers outnumber male gamers in the 25-34 age category.

Computers are still the primary gaming device while consoles are the focus of the teen audience.

These statistics were gathered in CEA's 2006 Gaming Technology Study, which surveyed 1,767 adults via online survey and 500 teens via a telephone interview.

CEA: Adults Spend More Time Gaming than Teens

World of Warcraft Good at Teaching Life Skills
7:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

A recent article in Wired Magazine describes how Stephen Gillett, a man applying for a job at Yahoo!, received special attention due to his gaming skills. How could gaming possibly interest a business? He was one of the top guild masters in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft.

Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It's learning to be - a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture - as opposed to learning about. Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are immediate.
Gillett has accepted Yahoo!'s offer and now works there as senior director of engineering operations.

Wired: You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired!

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Four More New WoW Realms
7:32 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Shortly after Monday's opening of four new World of Warcraft realms, Blizzard has announced four more.

• Turalyon - PvE
• Haomarush - PvP
• Scilla - PvP
• Ysondre - PvP
For more information take a gryphon ride over to the World of Warcraft website using the link below.

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
Buy World of Warcraft

Application Benchmarks: Windows XP on Mac
7:32 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Gearlog has posted application benchmarks on Apple's new Intel Macs running Windows XP. In the tests, Gearlog ran Windows Media encoding, Photoshop scripts, and CineBench 9.5, with the Macbook Pro receiving the best results. Since there are no graphics drivers available yet, no gaming tests were conducted. However, they did manage to get Ethernet, wireless networking, and the headphone jack working.

Since narf2006 and blanka announced their solution for booting Windows XP on Intel Macs last week, many aspiring dual-booters have been posting on the OnMac forums trying to get Bill's baby running on Steve's systems. We thought, what can we add to all of this? Why, we can boot XP on a 20" iMac, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac Mini Intel Core Duo all in the same room, of course. And we can make all three of them remotely access a fourth Mac system via VNC, so we're looking at Mac OS as a window in Windows XP Pro.
Gaming on a Windows XP Mac is still incomplete and unsupported, although the first stepping stones may have been established already with getting Windows to run on Mac. Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Gearlog: Windows XP on Mac Benchmarks
Windows XP Boots On Intel Mac

Quinn 3.1.2 Reviewed
7:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room recently reviewed Quinn 3.1.2, a Tetris inspired block puzzle game from Simon Härtel. In addition to the expected falling block action, the game also allows for a great deal of user modification. Backgrounds and block textures can all be changed with an easy drag and drop method. Those wishing to test themselves against friends and enemies can make use of the multiplayer features over a LAN or TCP/IP connection. The Game Room gave Quinn 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

If there’s more than one Quinn player on your local network, you can join or host games via Bonjour, the zero-configuration networking technology built into OS X. Quinn also has a game finder and chat function. However, there’s no master server, so if you want to start a multiplayer a game beyond your local network, you’ll need to know the player’s TCP/IP address. When playing over a network, you can require a password before others can access your server. You can also set up how the winner of a multiplayer game is determined (for example, one with the highest score, the longest average play time, the highest average score, or the most lines per minute).
Quinn 3.1.2 is freeware and can be downloaded from To read the rest of the review click the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Quinn 3.1.2 Review
Simon Härtel's Website
MGF: Quinn 3.1.2

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Heroes Of Might And Magic V Previewed
7:32 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new preview of the upcoming Heroes of Might and Magic V is now available at Games Radar. HoMM V is the latest in the popular fantasy turn based strategy series. The preview examines the controversy surrounding the recently released public beta on the PC side before going on to look at game play specifics.

The dynamic battle system that forces players to decide on their moves quickly or not get them at all. The multiplayer game gets the most stylish of the new moves: if you don't have time for a whole game you can play short 15 minute duels, one-off battles with hand-picked armies.

You've also got ghost mode. Having to wait for other players to take their turn is tedious, so this enables you to haunt the world as they play, levelling up and boosting your ghoulish skills much as you do with your Hero during your turn. Ghosts can eat one another, steal resources and explore the map, but how much of it you can see depends on how strong your ghost is. Aside from being fun, this gives an incentive for players to finish their turns sharpish.

The Mac version is currently in progress at Freeverse Software and should be released sometime soon after the PC version. To read the full preview click on the link below.

Games Radar: HoMM V Preview
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

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Custer Directs A New Desktop
7:32 AM | Ian Beck | Comment on this story

IMG's own wallpaper wizard Brad Custer has looked deeper into the life of a movie director to create his latest desktop wallpaper. The desktop features motif from The Movies, the upcoming title from Feral Interactive.

Brad elaborates:

With the recent announcement and our first look of The Movies from Feral Interactive there's been a lot of buzz in my inbox for a desktop to this upcoming title. As always, honoring each request is something I strive to do so this week we go to Hollywood. I was able to make this week's wallpaper with the help of Feral Interactive and my trusty cable modem.
To download the wallpaper, head over to Custer's Desktops and select your size for download.

IMG Desktop: Cinematic
Feral Interactive
The Movies
Buy The Movies

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Darwinia Takes Top IGF Prize
7:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The winners of the 2006 Independent Games Festival Awards have been announced, and Introversion Software has taken the Seumas McNally grand prize for Darwinia.

Darwinia's grand prize netted the company $20,000. Ambrosia Software published the Mac version of the game, so be sure to check out the demo if you haven't already.

Other Mac-friendly winners included the Flash MMORPG Dofus and the browser-based Dad 'N Me. Mods for Neverwinter Nights and Doom 3 were also awarded. Also Digital Eel's Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is reportedly coming to Mac OS X in the near future.

Gamasutra: IGF Prize Winners
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 23, 2006

Macgamestore: Poker Academy Now Available, Save 10 Percent!12:17 PM
Apple Games Features Quake 48:02 AM
Dell Aquires Alienware8:02 AM
Legion Arena Q&A8:02 AM
Preview of Bang! Howdy8:02 AM
The Burning Crusade: Hellfire Citadel Revealed8:02 AM
The Sims Complete Collection Ships8:02 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 23, 2006 on one page

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