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Thursday, July 6, 2006

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HoMM V Update: Christmas Release, Map Editor?
7:29 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

The Mac Centric: HoMM V website has posted an update on the status of Heroes of Might and Magic V for Mac. Freeverse's Colin Smith said the game is on track for a Christmas release and "should have nine months of Nival patches and content tweaks in there." The company plans to keep the final Mac version up to date with any updates Ubisoft might add to the PC version in the future.

Smith also said that while the map editor is on the wishlist for release, programming diffculty and economic realities of the Mac gaming market may prevent it from being feasible.

It’s a no brainer for them [Ubi] to keep a coder or two working on it if it will sell a half million copies. It’s a different story when selling ten thousand Mac copies isn’t a total disaster… When we’re done with the game itself we’ll look at the Map Editor and then make a decision. If it’s easy to do we’ll certainly do it, we want to do it! But if it’s a difficult job we’ll have to make a hard call. What percentage of players will actually use the editor? How many of those people are the hardcore that have already been playing via BootCamp, how much is it worth delaying our release to include it? How much more dev money will it take?

I know a lot of gamers don’t understand how this business works and think publishers make decisions because we don’t care. But the Mac market is so fragile right now that we’re honestly often talking about the difference between making and losing money.

For more information check out the links below.

The Mac Centric: HoMM V Update
Heroes of Might & Magic V
Buy Heroes of Might & Magic V

Macgamestore: Word Yo! Now Available
11:10 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Word Yo! is now available through as a digital download for $19.95. A demo of the game is available on the web site.

Your first class ticket to brain bending word weaving! Join Laura the Librarian as she helps you with bright and colorful addictive word fun - race the clock, race the rapidly descending tower in a wonderful word race to be a Word Yo Champion!

To check out Word Yo!, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Word Yo!

Take The IMG Survey, Chance To Win Free iPod Nano
10:09 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Inside Mac Games and BackBeat Media are running a survey this month. Fill it out and you'll be entered into a drawing to win at least one iPod nano. Plus, you'll be helping us out by providing valuable feedback. Thanks!

IMG Survey

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IMG Previews Redline
9:53 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 6 comments

IMG has posted a hands-on preview of Ambrosia's upcoming racing game, Redline. The preview includes new screenshots and 3 QuickTime movies from the game. Here's a clip:

Perhaps the most unique aspect of Redline is how it lands somewhere between games such as Rally Shift and Racer. You can choose to play in Simulation modes, with a more demanding and realistic physics engine, or you can go for more platform-style action if realism isn't your thing. Two options are available for those drivers who prefer the latter style of gaming, Arcade and Turbo Arcade.
To check out the full preview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Redline
Ambrosia Software

WipeOut 2097 Digital Download
7:34 AM | IMG News | 2 comments

Virtual Programming has announced that Wipeout 2097 is now available as a budget priced digital download. Wipeout 2097 is a classic 3D arcade racer offering the most blistering race experience available for the Mac. Packed with all-action features, it's a technical tour de force in fully optimised 3D. With its explosive speed and luscious pin-sharp graphics, it represnts the ultimate synergy of gameplay and design, including up to 30 frames per second and a potential screen resolution that offers a crystral-clear window onto a future world.


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Darwinia Review
7:31 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Games Radar today posted a review of Darwinia. According to the review, the highlights of the game were retrto-style arcade gameplay, strategy. and storyline, while the game's downfalls include repetitive gameplay and graphic issues. Overall, the review gave Darwinia a 6 out of 10 rating.

Developed by Introversion and brought to the Mac by Ambrosia, Darwinia is a digital world inhabited by "Darwinians" that has come under attack from a deadly virus, and you are tasked with destroying this virus or watching Darwinia crumble.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

Eventually you'll need to summon Engineers to grab control towers and collect the "souls" released when you snuff out viruses. Engineers drag souls ten-at-a-time back to Incubators where they're recycled into full-fledged Darwinians, but since you can't interact with them directly (hello Lemmings!), you have to convert a handful into Officers and position them like signposts to guide the remaining greenies to safety. Unfortunately, the path-finding AI is so silly that both your special units and Darwinians will often commit suicide, walking directly into force fields or viral orgies like robotic dimwits.
If you would like to try Darwinia, head on over to Macgamefiles to download the demo. The full version can be purchased from Ambrosia's website. Please follow the links below to read the review and to learn more information.

Games Radar: Darwinia Review
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software

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Developing A Halo
7:30 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamasutra is offering an audio discussion from 2003's Game Developers Conference which covers the effort required to craft Halo and Halo 2. The discussion explores Halo's development from the perspectives of design, engineering, and audio. Bungie's Jaime Griesemer and Mat Noguchi, as well as Marty O'Donnell of Microsoft offer their unique insights into the FPS series.

Each discipline has a unique insight into how the game should play, and discusses how the process enabled the entire team to contribute to the final product. The lecture explains how early design documents and brainstorming sessions turn into actual content and technology that worked well together and made the game fun to play, deep, and presented with high production values. The lecture looks closely at systems such as AI dialogue that require a high level of coordination between level and character design, tools and programming, and the casting and recording of actors.
The entire lecture in MP3 format is available for download from the Gamasutra site listed below.

Gamasutra: Halo: Development Evolved
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Dominions 3 Preview
7:29 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Tacticular Cancer has posted the first installment of a two part preview of Sharpnel Games upcoming strategy game, Dominions 3: The Awakening. D3 will allow players to take command of over 1500 different unit types, in three different eras, using one of over 50 separate nations.

When you begin your new journey into the world of Dominions, you first must choose which Era to begin in. Eras are a new feature to the Dominions games that add an extra layer of strategy to the game along with replay value. You have three Eras: Early, Middle, and Late. Each Era sports different nations and magical/traditional warfare slant. Early is bent towards magic and thus plays a large part in combat and your overall game. Spells are more powerful, magical gems are more plentiful, et cetera. It features a boatload of new nations, many “primitive” that rely on magic and have roots in history (The Ape Kings in particular, who come off with very heavy Indian/Hindu vibes). The Middle Era is, as you may have guessed, a middle-ground featuring a balanced emphasis on magic versus traditional combat and is mostly made up of the nations from Dominions 2. It should be noted that Dom2 had only a mere 17 nations, while Dom3 boasts over 50. We’ll go into that a bit later. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Eras. The Late Era, following the pattern, is based around medieval warfare as it occurred here on Earth, with emphasis on flanking, more reliance on proper troop placement and selection etc. Not to say the Early Era was devoid of this, quite the opposite in fact, it is just more in the foreground in the Late Era. Once you’ve chosen your era, it’s onwards to select the nation you will have Dominion over.
The rest of the preview can be found at the link below.

Tacticular Cancer: Dominions 3 Preview
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

Quake 4 For Mac Reviewed
7:29 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Apple Blog recently stepped into the combat boots of Matthew Kane to review Quake 4. The latest in the Quake series, Q4 continues the tale of the war against the vicious Strogg launched in the second game and delivers improved graphics as well. The Apple Blog found Quake 4 to be typical of other games in the FPS genre.

From the review:

There are the typical health and gun pickups. You start with a pistol that has unlimited ammo, and you can pickup a machine gun as well as grenades and rocket launchers along the way. The machine gun is the one you’ll probably find yourself using the most.

There are also a few spots in the game where you ride along, and shoot at enemies on the road, something which we rarely get in good FPS games. Other places in the game provide opportunities to use tanks and vehicles.

If you’ve played UT and Quake-style FPS games before, you’ll get the hang of the game pretty quick. The default keys are easy to go with, and the default video settings for the game are pretty good on my Dual-proc G5 with 1.8 GHz and an ATI 9600 XT. The game didn’t lag nearly as much as Doom 3, which is great (Did I mention the improved load times?). It’s either due to a refinement of the engine (to make it require less power), or they’ve done a better job of detecting my machine’s power. I’m running with 1.5 GB of RAM, and I wouldn’t recommend anything less.

The full review can be found at the site listed below.

The Apple Blog: Quake 4 Review
Aspyr Media
Quake 4
Buy Quake 4

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Macgamestore: Disney/Pixar Collection In Stock3:29 PM
iConquer Now Includes Graphs2:15 PM
The Sims 2: Open for Business At Alpha2:15 PM
SNES9X Now Available7:27 AM
Bug Hunting In Apeiron X6:51 AM
Easter Eggs In World Of Warcraft6:51 AM
IMG Launches Mac Games Chat6:51 AM
Wingnuts 2 Reviewed6:51 AM
WoW: Rogue Talent Review6:51 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 5, 2006 on one page

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