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Thursday, March 15, 2007

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Apple Games Features RC Tycoon 3: Soaked!
9:12 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has posted a new feature, this one examining RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! The expansion for the coaster building sim introduces more than 50 new rides and coasters as well as a large variety of water attractions. The feature offers a review of the game and a list of cheat codes for those looking for instant gratification.

In addition to water slides, flume rides, and other water-based fun, Soaked! features a variety of new traditional rides, including death-defying roller coasters, nausea-inducing spinning rides, and variations on traditional favorites, such as one that replaces teacups with whirling Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You’ll also find loudspeakers that let you pipe in music from other parts of the park, as well as machines that place stamps on passports peeps receive at the entrance, enabling them to win prizes.

The game’s MixMaster fireworks show creator has also been improved, giving you the opportunity to add water and laser displays to the entertainment. You can now preview effects before you implement them, and you can decide the exact angles of your lasers and water cannons, even going so far as to draw pictures on walls with the former. New scenery items, such as the clipper ship and the caught shark hanging from a scaffold, allow you to build new scenes that delight peeps of all ages. Two new themes, Paradise Island and Atlantis, group together all the new stuff so you can find it easily.
Check out the full feature at the link below.

Apple Games: Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Soaked!
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked!

Abandon PC Games? id Software's Todd Hollenshead On Piracy
9:12 AM | Cord Kruse | 32 comments

GameDaily Biz recently posted an article covering comments from id Software's Todd Hollenshead about the growing problem of computer game piracy. Hollenshead discussed the billions of dollars lost to software pirates, the current methods to combat piracy, and even mentioned the possibility of abandoning the PC game market to avoid the problem.

Hollenshead did acknowledge that some progress had been made, though. There's now CD key authentication systems on all of id's PC games. He noted that Quake III's system still remains uncracked to this day. Still, there are ways around it on the server side and people have uploaded legitimate CD keys, so it's not the perfect solution. Hollenshead also stressed that it's important to be more careful around the office and when dealing with the press to make sure that pre-release versions of games don't end up in the wrong hands. Another method described that has been somewhat effective against piracy was the use of dongles. Without the dongle code plugged into the back of the machine you can't play the game. Hollenshead ventured that this dongle method might be the reason why they haven't seen a build of Enemy Territory on the Internet, even though they're positive someone has a copy of the game.

Looking ahead to the future, Hollenshead proposed a few ways that piracy could be combated. Perhaps PC games should adopt a subscription only method, he said, or perhaps it should be a requirement to connect to the Internet to finish installing (something that certain Steam games already require). Or, he proposed, the drastic measure of abandoning PC entirely and going to consoles. He gave a few key examples of that happening, like Halo from Bungie and Epic's Unreal and Gears of War franchises. You know the situation is bad when the CEO of id Software, a bastion of PC gaming, is saying that maybe they should just go to consoles because that market is bigger anyway.
Head over to the site below to read the rest.

GameDailybiz: Hollenshead vs Pirates
id Software

Warren Spector Working on Two Titles
9:12 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Warren Spector has always been one of the more critical voices when it comes to the gaming scene. Famous for titles such as Deus Ex and Thief, Spector has never been one to spare words when it comes to his opinion of the current state of games, whether it be writing, play mechanics, or direction.

For those wondering what he's been up to since the formation of Junction Point Studios, 1UP culled some quotes from Eurogamer, which managed to score an interview during the Games Developer Conference. The quotes hint at two new titles currently in development, though little information is offered:

"Things are going really well [with the new titles]." says Warren in the interview. "We're up to 24 people now, and we've got two IP that we've worked on and we've got several months of work into each of them. One of them we're working in collaboration with a fellow you would have heard of out of Hollywood and one of them is based on a game-world that I created about 15 years ago with my wife [fanatsy writer Caroline Spector]. I've been waiting for the technology to catch up with the ideas in there."
Spector adds that "[P]eople are going to be very interested, very surprised and there'll be lots of people saying, 'Oh my God, I can't wait,' and a lot of people saying, 'He's completely out of his freakin' mind.' I can't wait." While this reveals almost nothing in terms of game details, Spector has rarely failed to disappoint, and it's a safe bet that both titles are sure to be interesting, at least in concept.

For those looking for more words from Warren, Gamasutra has a 5 page interview that discusses everything from the formation of Junction Point to his views on current and future gaming.

1UP - Two New Games Coming from Warren Spector
Gamasutra - All For Games: An Interview with Warren Spector

Optimus Maximus Keyboard Unveiled
9:12 AM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

Readers may remember reports from a while ago regarding the development of the Optimus Keyboard. Developed by Art. Lebedev Studio, the keyboard's main draw was the fact that every key had its own display, allowing users to customize every key visually to their liking.

Following up on this creation, a version currently being readied for market called the Optimus Maximus has recently been unveiled. A 114-key input device, the Optimus Maximus features keys with 32x32 pixel full-color OLED displays that are user-replacable. The keyboard also functions as a mass storage device, allowing users to upload and edit layouts to their liking.

While the thought of such customization may have some gamers drooling, the powerful keyboard comes with a price point to match: $1,490 US dollars. The creators note that this keyboard is aimed at professionals, including linguists and video editors.

While the price may keep this keyboard out of reach of the average consumer, looking at the pictures online is perfectly free, and they're currently posted up in LiveJournal. A thread inviting interested people to ask questions is also available.

LJ - Life and Incredible Adventures of Optimus Keyboards

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst12:01 PM
Unity To Support Nintendo Wii11:27 AM
Word Web Deluxe Released11:12 AM
Jeff Vogel On Geneforge 4: Rebellion7:48 AM
The Burning Crusade: A Q&A With Shane Dabiri7:48 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 14, 2007 on one page

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