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Monday, May 22, 2006

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Commander – Europe at War Announced for Mac
7:36 AM | Andy Largent | 2 comments

Slitherine Software, makers of the Legion series of war games, have announced a new turn-based strategy title is headed to Mac OS X called Commander - Europe at War. The game is set in WWII and allows players to take sides of either Allies or Axis forces.

The game is being developed by Firepower Entertainment and will use Java technology to provide cross-platform capabitilites. Here's a breakdown of features of Commander:

· Huge hex based campaign map covering the USA to the west, Africa to the south, Scandinavia to the north and the Ural’s to the east.
· 6 epic scenarios including the operation Barbarossa, DDay and the Grand Campaign
· Research over 50 inventions from 5 different technology areas
· 12 different unit types including Light Tanks, Heavy Tanks, Destroyers and Motorised Corps, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
· Recruit and attach Historical Commanders to your units.
· Detailed and realistic combat that models supply, morale, terrain, leadership, equipment, training, strategic weapons and fog of war.
· Easy to learn, hard to master game play that is the cornerstone of Slitherine game design.
· Multiplayer via e-mail, hotseat, Internet and including optional timed turns and 7 difficulty settings.
· Use of Osprey publishing artwork in game, a leading publisher of military history books.
· Easily moddable script files that allow players to alter many aspects of gameplay including research, unit stats, terrain effects and many more.
While the game is still very early in development, stay tuned to IMG for any new information available.

Commander – Europe at War - don't use
Slitherine Forum Thread: Commander - Europe at War Announced

Macgamestore: The Movies, Marine Aquarium
3:48 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Feral's upcoming sim game, The Movies, is now available for pre-order at for $49.95. It is currently scheduled to ship in July.

The Movies, which was originally developed by Lionhead Studios, is a game that enables you to build and control your very own Hollywood motion picture studio. Starting at the dawn of the silver screen, you compete with other budding movie moguls to create a string of box office smashes and rule the Industry. has also begun offering the ever popular screen saver, Marine Aquarium, as a digital download. The full version costs $19.95 to register. A free demo is available for download from the site.

You've seen aquarium programs before, but you've never seen anything like this! Marine Life so vibrant you won't believe your eyes. Indescribable realism! These fish are actual 3D Models, not flat images dragged across the screen.

Marine Aquarium 2.6 has Marine Aquarium 2.0, Marine Aquarium Time with Multi-Monitor and Wide screen Display support integrated into one complete package. Marine Aquarium 2.6 also contains two new fish for your enjoyment. The Clearfin Lionfish and Achilles Tang round out the fish population to twenty eight unique species of underwater life.

For more, head over to

Macgamestore: The Movies
Macgamestore: Marine Aquarium 2.6

GamePad Companion Intel-Mac Compatible
7:36 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

Carvware has updated Gamepad Companion, a tool that allows gaming peripherals such as joysticks to work on the Mac. Version 2.4 adds Intel Mac support and fixes Bluetooth functionality.

GamePad Companion allows you to use HID compatible devices (gamepads, joysticks, etc..) with Mac OS X. This means that you can use many of the joysticks and gamepads that haven't had their drivers updated for Mac OS X! It should be possible to simultaneously use up to 5 HID devices with GamePad Companion.
Please click on the links below to learn more information.

GamePad Companion 2.4

Use an XBox 360 Controller On Mac
7:36 AM | Eddie Park | 5 comments

For those looking for more USB gamepad options for their Macs, Colin Munro of has developed an OS X driver for the Xbox 360 gamepad. The driver includes support for the Apple Force Feedback library and comes with a preference pane with basic support.

For those interested in his findings, Munro has also put up a page listing the USB information of the controller, including values and so forth:

I have created a MacOS X userspace USB program to experiment with the controller, and so far have concentrated on interface 0 (based on this page I believe the others may be things like a USB hub). It is simple enough to read the 'in' pipe and receive packets regarding the state of all buttons and axis on the device.
The driver is free to download, though PayPal donations are accepted. In addition, those interested in trying this out should make sure that they pick up a wired Xbox 360 controller, though Munro notes that Microsoft has announced they will be releasing a USB dongle sometime in the future to allow PCs to use the wireless controller. - Xbox 360 Controller

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Heroes of Might and Magic V Reviewed
7:36 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Hooked Gamers has posted one of the first reviews of the recently released PC version of Heroes of Might and Magic V. The latest game in the HoMM series, HoMM V introduces 3D graphics as well as a variety of new gameplay elements. Hooked Gamers gave the game a score of 8 out of 10.

From the review:

The most notable change however (besides the graphics of course) is in the AI. Remember how, with careful planning, your underdog army managed to pull off a victory against a much larger force? Well, that can still occasionally happen, but it has become much more difficult. Decisions made by the AI are often exactly the same decisions I would have made myself and the AI carefully weighs its targets, what spells it should use and how to approach the battle. In the random encounter battles, this is hardly an issue but as soon as you take the field against another experienced hero with a decent army, you'll know you're fighting an opponent that is not to be underestimated.

One new addition isn't as new as it appears. On some of the screen screenshots, you will see a bar with unit icons. This is the initiative bar and shows you which unit will become available next. Its mechanics are very similar to how the old games worked. The main difference is that this bar actually shows you what is happening. Now you can clearly see that some of your attacks actually slow down the enemy, pushing them back along the initiative bar. Every time a unit attacks, its initiative is recalculated and is placed back in the queue. A fun and very useful addition indeed.

The Mac version of HoMM V is in progress at Freeverse Software. To read the rest of the Hooked Gamers review click on the link below.

Hooked Gamers: HoMM V Review
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

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The Creation Of A Warcraft Monster
7:36 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently offered a detailed look at the process of creating a new monster for the very successful World of Warcraft. The article looks specifically at Thaddius, a Frakenstein-like monstrosity who lurks within the Naxxrammas raid dungeon to be released with the 1.11 patch.

It would be the easiest thing for us to create an undefeatable boss. The real effort, though, lies in designing an encounter that is challenging but still fun, that provides players with a good way of gauging their level of success, and that remains entertaining even after you have figured out how to beat the boss. Striking that careful balance between challenge and frustration is no easy achievement. With Thaddius, we want to present players with a fight unlike anything they have mastered before, surprising them with new combat mechanics that require them to come up with some brand new tactics of their own.

We approached the encounter design with some very simple ideas, one of which was the idea to have the raid split up in some way. We took that concept and ran with it, and over the course of the design cycle the idea of dividing the raid group evolved and took a more concrete shape. At the start of the encounter, the players don't fight Thaddius himself; they battle two wights that are in the same room on two separate platforms. These platforms are not directly connected, so to fight them the raid has to split up and attack both wights at the same time. But it gets worse... the wights have the ability to snatch a player from one platform and pull him to the other, which again is a way to split up the raid and divide their forces. We're pretty happy with the carnage and confusion the wights will cause unsuspecting raiders during this first stage of the fight.

The rest of the glimpse at monster design can be read at the link below.

Anatomy of a Monster: Thaddius
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Friday, May 19, 2006

Macgamestore: Professor Fizzwizzle Now Available2:33 PM
Apple Updates Hot Deals2:28 PM
IMG Reviews Jets'n'Guns (with Video Review)1:52 PM
Phelios Releases Kickin' Soccer1:45 PM
Shadowbane Still Alive1:27 PM
Cricket In 3D8:47 AM
Custer Answers The Call8:47 AM
Flip or Flop Home Edition Reviewed8:47 AM
Mac Call of Duty 2 Gold8:47 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 19, 2006 on one page

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