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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Apple Posts 3rd-Party Game Engine Look
7:45 AM | Eddie Park | 9 comments

A recent article posted under Apple's Developer Connection site takes a look at several 3rd-party game engines used to develop games under and for OS X. Included in the lineup are the Torque Game Engine, the Torque Game Builder, Unity, and PTK.

Each engine is examined in brief, with info consisting of notable titles created, supported systems, and inherent strengths. For example, here's a piece from the Unity portion:

The Unity game engine (version 1.5 is in Beta as of June 2006) is built around an integrated, extensible editor that handles almost every aspect of your game development. The editor can seamlessly import 3D models and art assets from many major modeling and drawing packages with live updating so you can bring in almost any content you can find or create. The engine itself supports advanced shader technology with full-screen effects and has built-in physics and networking.
The article also has a quick summary table that compares important info such as development languages, supported platforms, and the availability of universal binary tools.

ADC - Developing Games on Mac OS X Using Third-Party Game Engines

Macgamestore: Bubble Shooter Now Available
4:15 PM | Tuncer Deniz

Absolutist's Bubble Shooter is now available as a digital download from for $16.95. A free demo of the game is available on the site.

hooter is a cool game with simple rules and great wealth of combinations and strategies. The goal is to explode all the bubbles before they overflow the board. It takes the best from Tetris, Arcanoid, Pool adding new and cool features. You gain points after each successful shot, otherwise more bubbles appear on the board. Different skill levels are available, everybody from kids to quantum scientists will have fun.

For more on Bubble Shooter, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Bubble Shooter

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Mac Call of Duty 2 Patch Coming
12:32 PM | Anthony Wang | 9 comments

A forum post on Planet Call of Duty by Glenda Adams of Aspyr noted a patch for Mac Call of Duty 2 is in development. The Mac patch would most likely bring the game up to version 1.2, which includes multi-processor support, Punkbuster anti-cheating program, compatibility with 3rd party modifications, bug fixes, two new multiplayer maps, and other online enhancements.

Furthermore, the latest patch in development for PC which is version 1.3 is yet to be released due to a few snags in testing. As a result, no plans have been announced for a Mac version 1.3 patch.

On Mac version 1.2 patch status:

We are working on a patch to bring COD2 Mac in sync with the PC, but we've just received all the code updates we need so we don't have an ETA for release yet. It shouldn't be months though.

Glenda Adams
Aspyr Media

On COD 2 1.3 status:
The Gamestate / PB Guid Update:

The last update on this was that it is in testing and will be released when finished testing. There have been no further updates to this news because there have been no further updates. There were some issues discovered during testing, which is why we test updates before they are released, which have caused it to under go further testing.

It has finished testing however, and will be released when ready. Of course we never give out release dates or time frames so please don't expect one.

This update, as stated before will include the fix for the issue keeping Modders from using the increased 128k gamestate as well as a fix for the PB Guid issue

Please click on the links below to learn more information.

PlanetCallofDuty: Aspyr on Status of Mac Patch
Planet Call of Duty
Aspyr Media
Call of Duty 2
Buy Call of Duty 2

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Wolfire: Turner Gets Animated
7:46 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

In ongoing development updates, David of Wolfire has posted the progress for the upcoming Lugaru 2. His latest post showcases Turner, the main character rigged upright and the beginning of animation.

From the Wolfire Blog:

Turner is now rigged (mostly) and set up with the physics-based animation system, so he can walk or run at any speed and in any situation and animate correctly. The screenshots I took really show the motion blur than the animation, but I will set up some animations later!
Please click on the links below to read the blog and learn more information.

Wolfire Blog
Wolfire Software
Lugaru 2

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Mystery Files: Huntsville and Faires Reviewed
7:45 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Gamedaily has posted two casual game reviews, one on Faires, and the other on Mystery Files: Huntsville. Both games are a product of casual game developer/publisher Big Fish Games. In Faires, gamers control the most powerful wizard in the world set to defeat an unknown evil destroying the surrounding peace and trapping faires. Mystery Files: Huntsville is a puzzle game in which gamers solve crime cases to ascend to the rank of Master Detective.

Mystery Files: Huntsville excerpt:

Unlike those Find the Hidden Picture games of yore, Mystery Case Files: Huntsville ups the challenge quite a bit by telling you what items you are looking for, but not showing you a picture so you know what you are looking for. The game is based around the premise that you, the player, are a really skilled detective, and that you need to search for clues in order to solve the various crimes committed in and around Huntsville. The clues are items hidden within the various locations in town, and at each place, you get a list of things to search for, a time limit, and go to it.
Faires excerpt:
The game is very simple. Some fairies are stuck inside of jars, and you must line up three fairies of similar colors in order to free them. It is the same basic premise as many other puzzle games out there, and in fact, the gameplay is nothing special. However, the graphics and music are, and that is what impressed me the most. The music is very soft, new-agey Celtic music, complete with whispering voices, that provides a soothing background to the game. I usually turn off the music in games, but when I played Fairies, I gladly let it play. The graphics are gorgeous, and each fairy is colorful, glowy, and detailed, yet still completely mystical.
Please click on the links below to read the reviews and to learn more information.

Mystery Files: Huntsville Review
Faires Review
Fun Pause
Buy Fairies

Why Apple Doesn't Focus On Gaming
7:45 AM | Cord Kruse | 25 comments

In a recent Mac Observer editorial former Apple employee John Martellaro presents a unique perspective on what some Mac users see as the company's lack of interest in gaming. Martellaro asserts that Apple's corporate culture is at odds with a gaming focus; citing the company's desire for its computers to be taken seriously, marketing targeted at non-gaming uses for Macs, and higher management's "death and destruction" perception of gaming in general.

Amongst many more senior managers, including Steve himself, I suspect there is some lingering concern about the essence of the game market. Computer games, as we've come to know them, are mostly (not always) about aggressive behavior, conflict, battle, wars of power, domination, and sometimes, in the worst cases, some very unwelcome social behavior. To put it bluntly, death and destruction.

Apple's public culture appears to celebrate, on the other hand, creation and life. When you have several hundred senior managers at Apple who are most likely married and typically have children, you'll find a culture of affirmation, family, and life. There have been many instances of Steve doing a keynote and demoing, say, iMovie, in which children are involved. More than once, I heard Steve say, after editing one of those movies on stage, "This is why we do what we do."

Games are a part of life, learning, and growing. Some computer games have terrific redeeming value, and many do not. Action movies and games permeate our culture, and in some ways, they just can't be ignored in our day-to-day lives. But that doesn't mean that Apple's management believes that considerable emphasis needs to be placed on this market when there are so many other more important things for people to do with their lives and their computers.

To read the rest of Martellaro's comments follow the link below.

Mac Observer: It's No Game At Apple

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Legion Arena Reviewed
7:45 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Killer Betties recently posted a review of the PC version of Slitherine's Legion Arena, the Roman era strategy title which allows players to build an elite force and take it into battle. In between intense real time battles players can use their battlefield earnings to buy upgrades for their units. This combination of RTS and RPG elements inspired a score of 3 out of 5 from Killer Betties.

From the review:

As you place troops you must decide their formation as this affects their combat ratings. As your forces increase in experience, more formations become available to use for each of your units. Once troops are placed and the battle opens, you can give orders to each troop type to engage, move, stand ground, charge and several other commands. An effort has been made to simulate unit facings to attacks on flanks, and the rear of the enemy will be incredibly more effective then frontal assaults.

Once the battle is underway, the ability to issue orders is limited by your general's abilities. If he is killed it becomes much more difficult to command the troops and there is a moral loss as his presence will enhance all forces within his command radius. Many of the oddities of ancient warfare are demonstrated in this system in that numbers are far from the most important matter on the battlefield. High moral and top equipment will often overcome immense disadvantages in numbers just as was seen in the battles of the ancient world.

The Mac version of Legion Arena is currently in production at Freeverse Software. The rest of the review can be found at the Killer Betties web page listed below.

Killer Betties: Legion Arena Review
Legion Arena
Buy Legion Arena

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HoMM V: Fifth History Of Haven Video Released
7:45 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The official Might and Magic website has released the fifth and final video chronicling the history of the Haven faction in Heroes of Might and Magic V. HoMM V, recently released for the PC, is the latest installment in the long running fantasy based strategy series.

Freeverse Software is currently at work on the Mac version of HoMM V. To download or stream the latest video, as well as any of the previous four, click on the link below.

HoMM V Website
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

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Win A Set Of World Of Warcraft Figurines
7:45 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

WoWBreak, in partnership with Fantasy Flight Games, has announced a contest for the chance to win a complete set of the World of Warcraft Set One Limited Edition figurines. The bronze cast miniatures feature all eight of the current WoW playable races including a Night Elf Warrior, an Orc Warrior, a Tauren Hunter, a Gnome Mage, a Dwarf Hunter, a Human Warlock, a Forsaken Warlock, and a Troll Priest.

Contest Information:

The contest will run from June 1st 2006 until June 30th 2006, we will ship these limited edition figures world wide for free to the winner! The winner of the June contest will win the complete set of 8 figures in Set One.

How do you enter?

- Sign-up for a account on if you have not registered already
- Participate on by submitting stories and comments

Its simple, everyone that is a registered user of WoWBreak and participates is eligible for the contest. One winner will be randomly selected from the active site participants for the month of June on Monday July 3rd 2006. The winning user will be announced on this webpage as well as the WoWBreak blog, and contacted via the email used during the registration process.

WowBreak plans another contest in July for a chance to win Set Two of the figurines. For more information follow the link below.

WoWBreak: Figurine Contest
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Cars the Video Game Released9:59 AM
GameRanger To End Mac OS 9 Support9:57 AM
AMD to Buy ATI?8:33 AM Now Offers Free Game Hosting7:36 AM
Burning Crusade Bestiary Updated6:07 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic V Reviewed6:07 AM
Lego Star Wars Interview6:07 AM
Peter Tamte Discusses Boot Camp6:07 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 6, 2006 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Monday, June 5, 2006
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