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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

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Sid Meier Talks Civilization
8:01 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Shacknews has posted a new interview with legendary game designer Sid Meier, creator of popular titles such as the Civilization series. The interview covers a variety of topics including Meier's early years, the state of console and PC gaming, and the social impact of games.

Shack: Do you ever wonder about the social effects your games have on society as it pertains to the individual?

Sid Meier: I'm just a guy making games so people can have fun. If there is some kind of social effect from my games it's interesting to note, but it doesn't drive my game design decisions. I do receive lots of letters and emails from folks telling me how some of my games like Civilization for instance, have effected their lives -- everything from helping them to ace a history course in high school (which is good) to causing them to become so addicted to playing that their wife left them (which is probably not so good).

Shack: Putting aside your various accolades, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in the gaming industry? It can be a game, a feature, whatever.

Sid Meier: Someone recently asked me in an interview what I think my epitaph should read. After some thought I responded: "Creator of Civilization." Civ has taken on a life of its own and it's thrilling to see how many people, from all walks of life, find enjoyment playing the game. We made the original game because it was a compelling topic (all of human history) and offered so many possibilities. And that still holds true today. It seems as though there's a never ending stream of cool ideas to bring to the Civ series--ideas that come from our team at Firaxis and the very bright and innovative Civ community.

The full interview can be read at the site listed below.

Shacknews: Sid Meier Interview
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

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Macgamestore: Dominions 3: The Awakening In Stock
3:14 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Dominions 3: The Awakening, the follow up to the acclaimed fantasy strategy game, Dominions 2: The Ascension Wars, is now available through for $49.95.

Leading one of over fifty possible nations in three different Ages, it is your goal to ascend to true godhood using all the power at your disposal. In a world of magic and steel the options to attain victory are as numerous as the cries of mercy from your vanquished foes. Whether you use military might, eldritch power, or subterfuge (or more likely, a combination of all three) every turn is about options. Recruit troops (more than 1500 units found in the game), assassinate the enemy, scout territory, research magic (600+ spells and 300+ magic items), perform rituals, do a blood hunt, storm a castle, construct, pray, forge - the list goes on.

For more on Dominions 3: The Awakening, follow the link below.

Dominions 3: The Awakening
Shrapnel Games
Dominions III: The Awakening
Buy Dominions III: The Awakening

Apple Posts New Hot Deals
3:12 PM | Tuncer Deniz

B&H Photo Video has deals on a variety of Mac compatible products including: the new Canon EOS Digital Rebel 10.1-megapixel SLR Black Body Kit for only $799.00!; Sony DCR-SR100 Handycam 30GB Hard Drive Camcorder for only $849.00!; Jamo i300 2.1 Channel iPod Speakers w/Dock for only $399.00!; Bose SoundDock Speaker System for iPod for only $399.00!; JBL On Time Alarm Clock/Radio for iPod for only $189.00!; Hewlett Packard L1940T 19" LCD Display for only $209.95!; Microtek Scanmaker i800 Legal-size Flatbed Scanner for only $479.95!; HP Photosmart A716 Photo Quality 5x7" Compact Inkjet Printer for only $249.95!; Canon Pixma iP90 Letter-size Photo Quality Inkjet Printer for only $214.95!; Epson Picturemate 4x6" Photo Quality Inkjet Printer for only $149.95!; Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 470 watt Surround Sound Speaker System for only $348.95!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Ramjet has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on Mac compatible memory upgrades including: 1GB RAM Module for MacBook Pro for only $134.00!; 1GB RAM Upgrade Kit for Intel-based iMac for only $134.00!; 1GB DDR RAM Upgrade Kit for PowerMac G4 (Mirror Drive Doors) for only $141.00!; 1GB DDR2 DIMM RAM Module for the iMac G5 w/iSight for only $137.00!; 2GB RAM Upgrade Kit for Intel-based Mac Mini for only $268.00!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Sweetwater Sound has deals on a variety of Mac compatible products including: Oxygen 61 USB MIDI controller w/35 knobs, buttons and sliders from M-Audio for only $199.97!; Helix Board 12 mixer w/built-in FireWire interface from Phonic for only $299.99!; Konnekt 24D audio interface w/on board effects from TC Electronic for only $499.97!; Micro Cube-R batter-powered practice amp with DSP effects from Roland for only $125.97; iControl GarageBand controller w/assignable encoders and transport buttons from M-Audio for only $99.97!; Drumkit from Hell 2 2.4GB plug-in drum sample library from ToonTrack for only $79.97!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

Vortex For iPod Reviewed
8:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Playlist has posted a review of Vortex for iPod. A "brick bashing" game, Vortex asks players to destroy bricks in the center of the play area by bouncing a ball off a paddle capable of rotating around the screen. Playlist gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Vortex offers players two different control styles—Wheel Rotation and Finger Position. Using Wheel Rotation, the bat moves in the same direction as your finger (good to get the bat exactly where you want it). Using Finger Position, the bat tracks your finger position on the click wheel instead (better for quick reaction, though less precise). You can also set the music source (either using Vortex or your own iPod’s playlists), adjust brightness and sound effects levels, and save or abandon the game in progress.

Vortex has multiple levels of difficulty—Newbie, Rookie, Intermediate, Pro and Expert, which let you jump ahead to later levels. Vortex starts out slow, almost ponderous, but ramps up the difficulty pretty quickly—I never got comfortable enough to play any games seriously in Pro or Expert mode without getting frustrated very quickly.

Check out the full review at the link provided below.

Playlist: Vortex Review
Apple: iPod Games

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Burning Crusade: Hunter Talents & Spells Preview
8:01 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment is offering an update on the changes players can expect to see in the World of Warcraft Hunter class after installing the upcoming The Burning Crusade expansion. On the official forums, and on a new Hunter Mechanics page, Blizzard will be keeping fans of the class up to date on the status of the Hunter's talents and spells as the development and tuning process continues.

Here are a few of the planned changes:

• Rapid Killing - "Reduces the cooldown of your Rapid Fire ability by (1/2) min. In addition, after killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Auto Shot causes 10/20% additional damage. Lasts 20 sec."
• Resourcefulness - It's using the data from Survival Instincts and vice versa. Survival Instincts reduces damage by 2/4% (2 ranks) and Resourcefulness has 3 ranks for 20/40/60% mana reduction and 2/4/6 sec cooldown reduction.
• Readiness - Requires 1 point in Master Tactician, should require 5.
• Trueshot Aura (rank 4) not listed. 620 mana for 125 AP/RAP.
• Wyvern Sting - No longer requires you be out of combat to use. Tooltip has been changed.
• Improved Aspect of the Hawk is 12 seconds not 8 seconds.
• Improved Stings - Now also reduces chance Stings will be dispelled by 6/12/18/24/30%.
To read the full list and learn more about the reasons behind the changes click on the links below.

WoW: Hunter Mechanics
WoW Forums: Hunter Talents Update
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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The Quantum Leap Awards Honor RPGs
8:01 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Gamasutra recently posted the results of their Quantum Leap Awards which focused on determining the most groundbreaking and influential computer role playing games of all time. Fallout took top honors in the list of five, its unique character design system and role playing options giving it the edge over the competition, while Deus Ex landed in fourth.

Here's the full list of winners and honorable mentions:

1. Fallout
2. Planescape: Torment
3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
4. Deus Ex
5. Chrono Trigger

Honorable Mentions:
Baldur's Gate 2
Neverwinter Nights
Ultima Series
Final Fantasy IV
Dragon Warrior

To read more about the awards click on the link below.

Gamasutra: Quantum Leap Awards RPGs

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Macgamestore: Pre-Order The Sims 2: Pets4:28 PM
IMG Interviews DAMN Mauti1:49 PM
Second Life: A Growing World6:55 AM
The Broken Hourglass Lore Update6:55 AM
Tribal Survival In Virtual Villagers6:55 AM
Zuma for iPod Reviewed6:55 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 10, 2006 on one page

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