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Monday, March 26, 2007

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Aspyr Announces The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff
10:35 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 5 comments

Aspyr Media today announced that it will be publishing The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff for the Macintosh. It will be the first Sims 2 “stuff pack” to be released for the Mac and contains dozens of must-have items for The Sims 2. The company also plans on releasing other The Sims 2 stuff packs in 2007, with The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff coming in summer 2007, followed by The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff in fall 2007.

Add excitement to your Sims' family with this all-new collection of
furniture, clothing, and décor. Decorate the home with an assortment of cool
new furnishings, including upscale living room items and adventurous bedroom
sets. Dress your Sims in matching attire for an amusing day out with the
family. With 60 new items from castle beds to cruise ship replicas, your
Sims now have more stuff for family fun.
The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff will be available in April for $19.99.

Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff
Buy The Sims 2

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Creating Sprites For The Broken Hourglass
10:35 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Planewalker Games' latest update for the upcoming RPG, The Broken Hourglass, gives another glimpse inside the mod friendly WeiNGINE. The article examines the creation of sprites with an in-depth look at the procedures for creating each frame and playing back the animations.

If it walks, talks, swings a weapon or just gently moves across the screen in The Broken Hourglass, chances are that it's a sprite. Because WeiNGINE uses 2D graphics techniques, most animated objects, from heroes to water fountains, are represented by sprites. Conceptually, sprite animation works much like a flip-book. Instead of pages, the engine flips through small PNG images. To make a character walk across the screen from right to left, that character's sprite has 12 frames which represent a complete, looping walk cycle.

In theory, these images could all be drawn by hand. In practice, this would be impractical. Animating a single humanoid hero requires roughly 4,600 frames. Add in the full roster of available equipment for a hero sprite, and the total leaps to nearly 30,000 frames! As a result, the frames are generated not with traditional 2D drawing techniques but through 3D animation software. Models are created, rigged, and animated in a 3D rendering package and then the results are saved as sequences of PNG frames, specially labeled so that the sprite files used in the engine can find the right images at the right time.
To read the rest of the tutorial click on the link below.

Inside The Engine: Introduction To Sprites
The Broken Hourglass

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Indie RPG Makers Interviewed
10:35 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

RPG Codex has posted a new combined Q&A session with four independent RPG developers. Two of those interviewed, Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker and Planewalker Games' Jason Compton, spoke about their upcoming projects: Eschalon: Book 1 and The Broken Hourglass.

7. Magic. What did you come up with and why? What's the role of magic in your game? Alternative way to kill monsters or something else?

Jason: We use a five-element (the "classic four", plus "physical" magic), mana-potential system of magic, where most common spells are devoted to healing, damage, buffs, and de-buffs. There are other novel spells and spell effects as well, but those end up being the biggies. Our rules designer wanted to avoid the usual complaints about the D&D-style "hung spell" model (discourages spellcasters from actually ever casting spells; all but mandates rhythm-killing party resting after a big encounter) as well as the usual complaints about straight mana systems (game turns into Potion Collect-'n-Chug), so in our system, most spells and magical effects return mana to the caster after the duration of the spell expires. The "classic four" also happens to suit our character stat model, where we have four different primary attributes, each of which maps to one of the magical elements...

Thomas: Magic in Eschalon is divided into two realms: Elemental and Divination. Elemental spells deal with the physical world: fire, earth, air and water. Many of these are combative in nature, though some such as "Gravedigger's Flame" (a magical torch) and "Reveal Map" (a sonic ping that temporarily maps your surroundings) are assistive.

Divination spells deal with metaphysical, spiritual and organic realms. While there are a few combative spells such as "Fleshboil" and the infamous "Turn Undead", many are designed to aid the caster such as "Divine Heal", "Bless", and numerous buffing enchantments. Overall we've tried to make the spells in each realm unique so that characters specializing in both realms can have a useful variety and not just 10 different ways to kill a Goblin.

Each spell can be cast at one of six power levels which draw energy from your Mana pool, and Mana recharges with rest or potions. Since Eschalon is a single-character game, we've made sure that magic is powerful enough to support a pure Mage character, yet not required if you want to play a pure Fighter. This balancing act has definitely been a challenge!
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the interviews.

RPG Codex: Indie RPG Dev Interview
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
The Broken Hourglass
Buy Eschalon: Book I

Mac Games News for Friday, March 23, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Arctic Quest1:34 PM
Pat Sajak's Trivia Gems Released1:32 PM
Apple Posts New Hot Deals1:30 PM
Custer Gets Wet And Wild11:02 AM
Red Sweater Releases Black Ink 1.010:59 AM
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Reviewed10:59 AM
Eschalon: Book 1 System Requirements10:58 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 23, 2007 on one page

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