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Monday, August 14, 2006

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Major PvP and Raid Changes for WoW
8:22 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

With Blizzard's upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, there are going to be some significant changes to gameplay. Blizzard stopped by IGN and outlined some of the large modifications that they are making to the existing game.

Currently World of Warcraft players have to join large 40-player groups to tackle the evil foes. In an effort to allow smaller groups to experience the new content the raid group size is being changed to 25 players.

The move is undoubtedly going to be a controversial one with many of the hardcore raiding guilds but Blizzard is quick to point out the positives as they see them. Smaller raiding parties will mean that guilds struggling to find enough people to send into the high end raids should be a bit easier
Another large change we will see in the expansion pack is to Player vs. Player and reputation.
The honor system is being changed around so that honor gained is used like a currency to purchase goods. There will be no more ranks in the honor system but those that have been participating will be able to keep anything they've earned to date including titles and equipment. Otherwise it's effectively being reset. The hope is also to encourage players to move between battlegrounds by having some equipment cost basic honor along with specific honor won in different locations.
To read the full article and find our more about the changes such as objective PvP areas and arenas, head over to IGN following the link below.

IGN: Blizzard drops by to drop some bombs
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Tuncer's Blog: Multi-Threaded OpenGL On The Way
3:03 PM | IMG News | 12 comments

Tuncer Deniz, the founder and publisher of Inside Mac Games, has updated his blog with a story on multi-thread OpenGL, which promises to give Mac gaming a huge boost in terms of performance. Here's a clip from the blog:

According to some people I've talked to, multi-threaded OpenGL games will see huge gains in performance. With multi-threaded OpenGL, the game, for example, can run off one core/CPU, while OpenGL can work on the second core/processor for its processing.
To check out the blog entry, follow the link below.

Tuncer's Blog: Multi-Threaded OpenGL On The Way

Apple II: The Greatest PC Of All Time
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

PC World recently offered their list of the 25 Greatest PCs of All Time. The Apple II managed to take top honors, one of five Apple computers listed, including the eMate 300 and . The Apple II outclassed other computers in categories of innovation, impact, industrial design, and intangibles.

Perhaps its greatest innovation was its design. Jobs wanted the machine to look at home on people's desktops, so he insisted that the Apple II have a sleek look, as opposed to the sheet-metal-and-exposed-wire appearance of most other early PCs. The machine's coolness factor--an Apple trademark to this day--was as important to its long-term success as Wozniak's inventive engineering was.

And we do mean long-term: From the original Apple II model that debuted at the first West Coast Computer Faire in April 1977 to the discontinuation of the final iteration of the IIe in December 1993 (outlasting the 16-bit IIGS model that was introduced years after it), more than 2 million Apple II-family PCs had been produced. The Apple II line, well documented at Steven Weyhrich's Apple II History site, kept the company going through the Apple Lisa debacle and other turbulent events of the 1980s. By the middle of that decade, though, Apple had turned its attention to that other world-beater, the Macintosh Plus (number 4 on our list). But it was the Apple II that put the personal in the nascent personal computer industry. The rest is history.

To check out the rest of the winning computer systems follow the link below.

The 25 Greatest PCs Of All Time

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Halo Director Interviewed
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

Ain't It Cool News has posted an interview with Director Neill Blomkamp about his background and his plans for bringing the successful game franchise to the big screen. Among other things, Blomkamp mentions the possibility of making changes to Master Chief's armor for the sake of "full motion freedom."

Quint: How faithful do you plan on staying to the design of Master Chief's armor?

Neill Blomkamp: Master Chief is certainly something that I do not want to change too much at all, there are certain things inside the Halo universe that are sacred and heís the main one.

Having said that, there is a need to revise certain parts of him, just from a purely technical standpoint, he has to actually be able to move, like a human, and the game design right now does not allow for full motion freedom, which we will have to achieve.

Quint: Guy in a suit? CGI creation? Mixture of both?

Neill Blomkamp: Well, the film has to have a feeling of reality, and so that means that I want to keep him real as much as I can, there is a necessity for him to become cg in sequences where a guy in a suit would just not work, but for the most part I am aiming for real.

Quint: Will we see Master Chief's face?

Neill Blomkamp: Youíll have to wait and see.

The rest of the interview can be found at the link below.

Ain't It Cool: Neill Blomkamp Interview
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Jeff Kaplan Discusses The Burning Crusade
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Joystiq recently interviewed Blizzard Entertainment's Jeff Kaplan about the changes in store for World of Warcraft after the release of The Burning Crusade. The interview includes information on changes to PvP and Raid content, upgrades to deal with demand, and the possibility of more expansions.

What is the plan for expansions as far as time frames between releases?

There is a time table, but our goal is a little bit more ambitious than one every two years. We have to weigh that against the quality of the product and how much content we want to put into it. We won't put something out until the quality level is there. So, our goal though is to provide content quicker than we have been up until now. We've really beefed our team up -- we have about 100 now and when we started we had around 50.

The full interview can be found at the link provided below.

Joystiq: Jeff Kaplan Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Stubbs Postmortem
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gamasutra is featuring a new postmordem from Wideload's Alexander Seropian. He dissects Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse, providing interesting insights into the creation of the unique action game.

We only have twelve people on staff, and we all work in one big room. Our original business plan said nothing about the creative dynamics of large versus small teams, but this is probably the single best result of our model. Granted, the acoustics of our wood-floored, brick-walled loft space stink because Iím too cheap to buy rugs, but we have a comfortable, casual, light, and quick workflow that allows anyone to blurt out ideas and have them propped or chopped on the spot. A small team doesnít need a lot of hierarchy, management, team meetings, strike teams, and a lot of organizational overhead, so we can focus our energies on being creative. Itís hard to believe we didnít consciously plan this, but our emergent culture turned out to be a great side effect of our model.

For example, substantive, creative conversations often began when someone cracked a joke and the rest of us riffed on it. Unlike at a big company, where authority is always out of earshot, at Wideload we put those gems straight into the game! The dance battle in Stubbs emerged this way.

Click on the link below to read more about how Seropian and Wideload breathed life into Stubbs.

Gamasutra: Stubbs Postmortem
Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
Buy Stubbs the Zombie

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Lugaru 2 Development Update
8:22 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

The official Wolfire development blog has a new Lugaru 2 entry. This latest post previews morph targets or the ability to change animations on a character in-game. Furthermore, the default blog theme has been replaced with a new Wolfire themed design.

Morph targets allow us to create several model variations and interpolate between them, so that we keep all of the benefits of skeletal animation as well as the flexibility of traditional keyframe animation. This allows our characters to blink, breathe, make facial expressions, and other soft motion that would be difficult to simulate using bones.
Be sure to check out the animation of morph targeting and the progress of Lugaru 2 by clicking on the links below.

Wolfire Blog
Wolfire Software
Lugaru 2

Mac Games News for Friday, August 11, 2006

Victora Patch Released, Digital Download on MGS3:09 PM
IMG Posts Classic Mac Gaming: Angband2:17 PM
Phantasia Arcade Game Released10:30 AM
An Encore For Custer8:21 AM
Are 40% Of WoW Players Addicted?8:21 AM
Fifth 'View From The Bottom' Tackles Addiction8:21 AM
Mac Pro Reviews, Benchmarks8:21 AM
The Caverns Of Time Revealed8:21 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 11, 2006 on one page

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