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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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Mountain Tanks v1.5 Coming Soon
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Battery Acid Games has announced the imminent release of Mountain Tanks 1.5, a major upgrade of the turn based tank battle game. In addition to a host of fixes the new version will include improvements to graphics, performance, and computer AI.

Here's a list of what you can expect from version 1.5:

- online play with up to six human players (only the server needs a
registered copy for everyone to play together!)
- much improved graphics
- better performance
- better AI
- many gameplay tweaks such as the addition of a fence to bounce
grenades off of
- many other tweaks, fixes, and changes
Mountain Tanks 1.5 will be released to the public by the end of October. Registered users will be able to upgrade for free, while new users will have to pay $18 for the full version. The price of the current version of the game (1.1.2) is still $14, leaving a few days left to register at the old price.

For more information, a demo of version 1.1.2, and a handful of new screenshots, click on the links below.

Mountain Tanks
Mountain Tanks Screenshot 1
Mountain Tanks Screenshot 2
Mountain Tanks Screenshot 3
Mountain Tanks Screenshot 4
MGF: Mountain Tanks 1.1.2
Buy Mountain Tanks

OpenGL – Cheetah Speeds Under Leopard?
1:20 PM | Erik Day | 17 comments

According to the Apple Developer Connection website, Apple's Leopard page previews some good news for mac gamers:

OpenGL Improvements
OpenGL is the industry-standard API for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D applications. Mac OS X has supported OpenGL from the outset and in Leopard it supports the latest OpenGL 2.1 specification which adds pixel buffer objects, color managed texture images in the sRGB color space, and improvements in the shader programming API.

Leopard also provides a dramatic increase in OpenGL performance by offloading CPU-based processing onto another thread which can then run on a separate CPU core feeding the GPU. This can increase, or in some cases, even double the performance of OpenGL-based applications.

While our own Tuncer Deniz had some inside line on this, it seems that Apple is now confident enough to put the results in writing. Admittedly, there's usually a gap between lab tests and real-world performance, but when Apple unleashes Leopard next spring, fans of obscure OpenGL-using titles (like "World of Warcraft" and "Doom 3") can expect to see some major performance gains.

Apple Developer Connection – Leopard Technologies

Quinn Updated To 3.42
1:20 PM | David Chochla | 2 comments

Quinn, a shareware 'falling block game' available from Mac Game Files, has been updated to version 3.4.2. From the apt description,

Quinn is an implementation of a popular falling-blocks game, which, according to the Tetris Company, must not be named here.
Quinn comes from Simon Härtel, and the update includes the following:

• fixed a tenacious bug which sometimes caused a crash when rows were to be inserted at the bottom of the board in network games or tournaments with multiplayer rules
• fixed two bugs which caused the piece shadow not to be displayed after a piece appeared twice in a row, and after starting a new game
• fixed a problem which caused automatic update notifications not to work in v3.4 and v3.4.1.
• various error messages which can appear after connecting to a server from the website now show the server’s name instead of its IP address

Head to Macgamefiles to download the game or update, but be sure not to name the clone.

Download from Mac Game Files
Simon Härtel - Quinn

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World of Warcraft: Blood Elves Bulk Up
1:20 PM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

In a curious bit of Blizzard news, ActionTrip reports that the character models for male Blood Elves in the upcoming WoW expansion The Burning Crusade have received a bit of an overhaul. Apparently, due to numerous player complaints about the original models looking too feminine, the models have been modified with a significantly more massive look.

Here's the official word from Blizzard regarding the change:

As many players have noticed, we have made a slight change to the male Blood Elf character models. In response to concerns that the Blood Elf male appeared to be too feminine, and after reviewing the model from a visual and conceptual standpoint, the decision was made to increase the body mass to give them a more substantial, masculine feel. It was also important that as members of the Horde that the Blood Elves gave the impression of strength and a more menacing presence.
Comparison pictures of the old and new models can be found at ActionTrip's article, along with some criticism of a change that may not necessarily make every player happy.

ActionTrip - Burning Crusade Blood Elves Beefed Up
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Sin War Q&A, Diablo 3 Teasers
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Blizzplanet has released the transcript of their recent Q&A with fantasy author Richard Knaak about his latest Diablo novel, The Sin War Book 1: Birthright. Among other things Knaak mentioned the novel's ties to the long awaited Diablo 3, and hinted that the eventual release of the third game in the series is very likely.

Birthright, the first in the Sin War trilogy, takes place three thousand years before the darkening of Tristam and follows the difficulties of a simple farmer caught between the forces of light and darkness as he struggles with newfound powers. Lilith, a villain introduced in the 1.11 patch for Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, has a prominent role in the trilogy.

Q - Rathi: Any information on Diablo 3? Have you been asked to write a further story?
A - Knaak: What happens in the Sin War is significant, as I mentioned, toward the future. I know that Blizzard is very eager to make Diablo fans happy.

Q - Medievaldragon: How much of the book is creation of yours, and how involved is Chris Metzen behind the canon storyline of Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy? Do you think the ramifications of this book impact in the storyline of Diablo 3 the game?
A - Knaak: This is a pure collaboration between myself and Chris/Blizzard. All that is written is passed by him and the others there. This will be canon and has adjusted earlier info. The ramifications here will be used for any future project...and I ain't writing for a dead game.

Q - Deathshade|EU: So... Diablo 3?
A - Knaak: I am not writing for a dead world...but a world with dead. 'nuff said!
Head over to the Blizzplanet page linked below to read the full transcript.

Blizzplanet: Diablo The Sin War Q&A Transcript
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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CodeBlender Updates Rally Shift
7:56 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

CodeBlender Software has released version 1.1.4 of Rally Shift. The update fixes a problem where the screen would remain black when starting a race in evening or night mode, a bug which was mainly an issue for Intel Mac owners.

Rally Shift drops players behind the wheel of one of a variety of high performance rally cars and allows them to compete against the computer or another player on the same machine. The tracks include both dirt and paved roads which traverse forests, windy mountain passes, and desert locales.

Check out the links below to download the update and learn more about the game.

CodeBlender Game Updates
Rally Shift

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 24, 2006

IMG Reviews Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday1:36 PM
World of Warcraft Delayed Until January7:45 AM
Looking Back At Civilization6:53 AM
The Sims 2: Pets Website Goes Live6:53 AM
Updated MacBook Pro Sports Intel Core 2 Duo6:53 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 24, 2006 on one page

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