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Monday, August 21, 2006

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Mindware Studios Q&A on Cold War
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Phoronix forums have posted a review with Tomas Pluharik of Mindware Studios. Pluharik, the lead designer of Cold War, talks about the process of creating a unique stealth based action game, Mindware's upcoming projects, and the possibility of OS X releases of future games.

Phoronix: The game engine for Cold War is using Mindware's MENG engine, could you please shed some light on the benefits or technical features of this engine, and why it was developed over going with something like the Doom 3 engine or Unreal Engine 3?

T.P.: This engine is running on more then one platform and was built proprietary for the game. This allow us to make easier what we want and make port to Xbox, Linux and MacOS very easy. Currently we modified MENG and it is strong backbone technology of our prepared projects. It supports most of the modern features, as Patrik has mentioned.

Phoronix: Some gamers have criticized the game as simply being a clone of Splinter Cell. Do you have anything to say that, to clear up any misconceptions on the part of gamers?

T.P.: There are two points I want to clarify. At first the idea and development of Cold war started even before Splinter Cell was announced (and probably developed), problem is that we did not have Ubisoft's money to push the development so fast. Second point is that Splinter Cell is "supertechnology inhuman agent linear game" and Cold war is more "improvising Indiana Jones of journalism". Good gameplay example is that when you start solving problems like Sam Fisher you always have some super high-tech thingie or somebody will fire from orbital laser cannon, but when you get into troubles like Matthew Carter you have to improvise with ordinary things (build gadgets from garbage etc.). The approach to playing is completely different. We took inspiration more from Thief series when we created primal design.

Phoronix: Will there continue to be Macintosh ports of your titles? Such as Runesoft had done with Cold War for Mac OS X.

T.P.: Because of architecture of MENG engine, the port to MacOS was quite easy. From marketing perspective the port of Cold war was a probe. We will see.

Check out the rest of the interview by following the link below.

Phoronix: Mindware Interview
Cold War
Buy Cold War

Macgamestore: Spelvin Digital Download
4:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Spelvin is now available at as a digital download for $19.95. A free demo is available on the web site.

Spelvin is a glittery Vegas-style word game unlike anything you've ever played before. Grab onto your vocabulary and take a Spin to test your smarts. Spell as many words as you can with a random set of 7 letters. Use the Hold buttons, then pull Spin to refresh letters you wish weren't there. Keep the Juice in the tank from running out as you climb the ranks of Spelvin superstardom. Choose "Arcade Mode" and go up against the clock, play "Skill Mode" for a more mental challenge.

To check out Spelvin, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Spelvin

Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals
12:56 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

B&H Photo Video has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: get the new Sony Alpha 10.2-megapixel digital SLR w/18-70mm lens for only $999.95!; SanDisk 2GB Ultra LL Secure Digital (SD) memory card for only $79.95!; Hitachi DZGX3100A DVD-RAM/DVD-R Camcorder for only $499.95; Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 10.1-megapixel compact digital camera for only $399.99!; Sony UP-CR10L Snap Lab 5" roll-feed, dye sublimation, digital photo printer for only $1549.95 after mail-n rebate!; Adobe Macromedia Flash Basic 8.0 for only $369.95!; NEC MultiSync 20WMGX 20" widescreen LCD display/TV for only $659.95!; Adobe Photoshop CS2 for only $599.95; Digital Photography & Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 DVD hosted by Brian Maffitt for only $49.95 from Total-Training!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

CDW Mac Warehouse has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: BookEndz Docking Station for the 15" MacBook Pro for only $299.95!; Microsoft Office 2004 Pro for only $469.00!; Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT Kit w/18-55mm lens and free 256MB SanDisk CF card for only $999.00!; get fast, high-quality scans with the HP ScanJEt 7650 Flatbed scanner w/auto feeder for only $599.99!; run Windows XP on your Intel-based Mac w/out rebooting with Paralles Desktop for only $71.99!; Wacom Graphire 6"x8" Bluetooth wireless digitizer tablet w/mouse and stylus for only $231.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

ClubMac has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: get the only screen writing software developed exclusively for Mac OS X - Montage Screenwriting Software for only $129.99!; get fast access to all of your files with Portfolio 8 from Extensis for only $199.94!; increase your outlook with the Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20.1" LCD display for only $368.99!; backup your files with the EZQuest Monsoon 300GB external FireWire 400/USB 2.0 hard drive for only $149.99!; record direct to DVD with the Sony DCR-HC26 MiniDV camcorder w/FireWire (i.LINK) and more for only $349.99!; Cyber Acoustics A-303 docking speaker system for all iPods for only $159.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

MacMall has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: LG Electronics 20" widescreen LCD display for only $345.99!; get your game on with Legion Arena (works natively on Intel-based Macs!) from Freeverse Software for only $38.99!; also ready for Intel-based Macs, iListen speech recognition and dictation software from Macspeech for only $93.99!; Canon Digital Rebel XT SLR (Silver) w/18-55mm Lens Kit and free Kingston 1GB Compact Flash (CF) card for only $739.99!; record high-def home videos with the Sony HDR-HC3 1080i Handycam Camcorder for only $1149.99!; Wacom Intuos3 12"x12" USB tablet w/wireless mouse and stylus pen for ony $509.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

O'Reilly Media, Inc. has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on a variety of Mac-focused books including: for tips and tools for ripping, mixing and burning get iPod and iTunes Hacks by Hadley Stern for only $17.46; Photoshop Filter Effects Encyclopedia - the hands-on desktop reference fro digital photographers by Roger Pring for only $20.96!; iWork '05: The Missing Manual by Jim Elferdink for only $17.46!; for scripting and automating your Mac get AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Ed. by Matt Neuburg for only $27.99!; find out the basic as well as the hidden talents of AppleWorks with AppleWorks 6: The Missing Manual by Elferdink and Reynolds for only $13.96!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

IMG Reviews Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac
12:45 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 4 comments

IMG has posted a review of the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac. Here's a clip from the review:

What's this? Microsoft has designed a piece of hardware specifically for the Mac? Hell must be getting pretty cold right about now. Microsoft's Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac takes their popular Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 line for the PC and brings it over to the Mac, with Mac specific buttons and functionality. But does this Desktop Set shine on the Mac like it does on the PC?
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac

IMG Looking For News Reporters
10:53 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Inside Mac Games is looking for a few dedicated news reporters to work on the Inside Mac Games web site. Here's some of the current openings at IMG:

News Reporters
Scour the Internet and other sources for news stories and submit them to our Senior News Editor. Must have good writing skills. If you're interested, please email with a little bio of yourself and include writing samples (or URLs to writing samples). There is no pay involved but you will receive benefits such as a free IMG Pro account, a free game a month, free MacGames DVD subscription, and more.

We're looking for dedicated people only who can write well and commit some of their time to a cool web site. If you don't think you'll have the time or energy, please don't e-mail us. But if you love Macintosh games and love writing, then by all means, let us know!

Facade Reviewed
8:22 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Slacker's Guide recently reviewed Facade, a unique social interaction simulation from Procedural Arts. Powered by an advanced artificial intelligence engine, the game drops players into a meeting with a couple they haven't seen in ten years and asks them to learn as much as possible through conversation and other interaction.

For one of the first times in a video game, the engine has been wrapped around conversational input from the player's end. Simply type in what you'd like to say and the characters will respond, react and shift the conversation like they would in normal day-to-day interactions. Mention something inappropriate or overtly personal and Trip and Grace will laugh nervously, look uncomfortable and react with tense body language. Like most artificial intelligence engines, certain key words will elicit a stronger reaction than others.

A standard game of Facade may run between 10 and 20 minutes with events and details changing between each play interval. A call may be received which pushes the conversation along a new tangent, or a character may bring up different points for the player to contend with. With no clear way to really win the game aside from getting Trip and Grace to admit what's really on their minds, the player becomes involved in taking sides, playing one character off each other and settling down the conversation so they can find out what's really going on with their friends' lives. Push one character too far or behave inappropriately, and the characters will show you the door, the game fading out and offering you a play by play text transcript of what occurred.

To read the rest of the review and learn more about the game follow the links below.

The Slacker's Guide: Facade Review
Procedural Arts

Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge in Final Beta
8:22 AM | Marcus Albers | 7 comments

Bill Catambay from The Marathon Map Makers Guild sent us information that their Marathon total-conversion Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge has now entered the Final Beta stage. Excalibur, created for the open source Aleph One engine on Mac OS X, is set directly after the end of their previous total-conversion, Devil in a Blue Dress.

As a Federation Marine resting after your last mission, you start aboard the exploration class Starship Kronos where you learn that your real mission has yet to begin! You are re-acquainted with the AI Merlin, who introduces you to Kronos time traveling technology, and reveals your new missions: to save mankind from the clutches of Morgana and her minions. Through untamed raptor-infested jungles, castle arenas, and war-torn streets of the future, you will wield weapons from all time periods, including the Sword of Power, Excalibur, in an effort to thwart the diabolical plot that unfolds. The EMR adventure, spread across 41 solo levels, weaves a tale of truth and honor, knighthood and bravery, and darkness and treachery. EMR also delivers 26 adrenaline pumped network levels.
Head over to the Excalibur World website for more information on the total-conversion, and to download the latest beta.

Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge at Excalibur World
Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge download

Mac Games News for Friday, August 18, 2006

Macgamestore: Spartan Digital Download Available3:45 PM
IMG Reviews Teddy Factory2:06 PM
MacJoy Releases Pizza Panic2:01 PM
Freeverse: Cider Will Not Impact Mac HoMM V8:29 AM
WoW: PvP Interview, Bestiary Update8:29 AM
Custer Conquers A New Desktop8:28 AM
NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 Announced8:27 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 18, 2006 on one page

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