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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

StarCraft Updated To 1.15
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has once again updated StarCraft, the company's popular sci-fi RTS. Among other things Version 1.15 introduces changes to that allow players to organize and join custom StarCraft leagues. The leagues will support stat-tracking, custom icons, and replay uploading.

Here's a list of the changes in 1.15:

Feature Changes
• Approved organizations can now operate StarCraft leagues.
• Replays are automatically saved as LastReplay.rep.

Bug Fixes
• Fixed a bug that allowed burrowed units to be stacked.

• Fixed a vulture exploit that crashed games.
• Fixed an exploit that allowed the rally points of others to be set.
• Fixed a multicommand hack that crashed Macintosh players.
For Mac users the update also means a change in minimum requirements, with the game now requiring OS X 10.3.9 or higher to make use of's features.

The update can be downloaded through Learn more about the league features at the link below.

Starcraft Leagues Info
Blizzard Entertainment

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Tradewinds Legends
2:08 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Tradewinds Legends, the new Mac game from Sandlot Games. Here's a clip from the review:

Tradewinds Legends is an offshoot of the trading games of classic Macintosh gaming. These games follow a simple formula. You start with a ship and a little money and buy and sell your way to becoming insanely wealthy. Overall, the gameplay is very addictive and entertaining, but the game runs out of new material very fast. This makes Tradewinds Legends perfect for the casual gamer, but extremely boring to the hardcore gamer.
To check out the full review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Tradewinds Legends
Sandlot Games
Tradewinds Legends
Buy Tradewinds Legends

Apple Posts New Hot Deals
2:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz

Apple Store Special Deals - has exclusive prices on a variety of Apple Certified Refurbished products including: Apple Certified Refurbished 30GB iPod with video only $199!; Apple Certified Refurbished 1GB iPod shuffle for only $49!; Apple Certified Refurbished Airport Express for only $89!; Apple Certified Refurbished current generatiion 4GB iPod nano for only $149!; Apple Certified Refurbished current generation 8GB iPod nano for only $199!; Apple Certified Refurbished 3.0GHz MacPro Quad for only $3299!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

CDW Mac Warehouse - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: HP PhotoSmart D5160 color photo printer that also prints on CD/DVD's from Hewlett Packard for only $89.99!; Work Big IN26 XGA 1700 Lumens projector from InFocus for only $799!; Lexmark X9350 Wireless Office All-In-One duplex color inkjet printer for only $279.99!; Olympus SP-510 UZ 7.1-megapixel compact digital camera w/image stabilization and 10X optical zoom for only $279.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL:

The Importance Of Writing In Games
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ars Technica recently posted the second part of an ongoing series looking at the importance of writing in computer games. The articles examine the lack of quality writing in many titles and the difficulty introduced by the interactive nature of games.

Writing for games is too often attempted as a linear exercise, which might be okay for an utterly linear game like Gears of War, but typically falls down the moment the game offers choices or branches, as the writing then has to adapt to cover emergent situations—not an easy thing to do. Throwing a film writer or novelist at a game architecture encounters this problem, especially when the person isn't an experienced gamer or doesn't play many open-world or RPG titles.

An open-world, user-driven game is a tough nugget to crack. Trying to infuse it with a linear story line is almost a paradox, because by its very nature, a completely user-driven experience means a user-defined narrative, where the developer provides the seeds, events, tools, and mechanics for users to employ and experience as they choose. However, married to an IP developed from a filmic source, the development team must find a way to saddle, or bridle, the open-world experience with an overarching linear narrative.
To read the rest head over to the sites listed below.

Ars Technica: Why Writing In Games Matters Part 1
Ars Technica: Why Writing In Games Matters Part 2

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WoW 2.1 Preview: The Black Temple
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment is offering a preview of its upcoming 2.1 patch for World of Warcraft. One of the main attractions of the update is the Black Temple, a dark fortress in the Burning Crusade expansion's Outland area. The preview features some screenshots, a wallpaper, and a trailer showcasing the temple.

Magtheridon commanded many of the orcs remaining in Outland and bolstered his army with Legion forces streaming in through the portals. The pit lord's might remained unchallenged until Illidan the Betrayer decided to claim the Black Temple for himself. Illidan and Magtheridon fought a desperate battle on the temple walls, but in the end the pit lord proved no match for the wielder of the Twin Blades of Azzinoth. Illidan battered Magtheridon to the point of death, but the thrill of victory was short-lived....

The skies of Outland darkened as Kil'jaeden himself appeared before Illidan, furious at Illidan's failure to destroy the Lich King. The Betrayer was forced back to Azeroth for a disastrous attack on Icecrown Glacier. Bloodied by the death knight Arthas but not fully beaten, Illidan returned to Outland and established his throne within the Black Temple. And yet, despite Illidan's efforts to seal Ner'zhul's portals, Kil'jaeden's wrath will not be denied. Even now the merciless Doomwalker batters at the temple gates.
Check out the full preview at the link below.

WoW: The Black Temple Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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The Movies Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has posted a review of the PC version of The Movies, Lionhead's movie industry sim. Brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, the game allows players to take charge of a movie studio and attempt to grow it into a thriving enterprise. GamersInfo recommends the game to fans of sim games looking for a new challenge.

From the review:

So, it looks nice, and sounds convincing. But how long will it last? You begin in 1920, and I’ve found that the replay ability of The Movies is excellent. There are sets in abundance, enough to make Universal Studios or Warner weep with jealousy, and the constant progression of time helps the game zip along at a helpful pace. Your stars are constantly evolving: going back to Tom Overton, who wooed the world with his romantic movies in the '30s, he is now 60. Put his wrinkles (unless you’ve given him a nip and tuck, in which case he can corner the Michael Douglas and Pierce Brosnan end of the market) to good use, instead, in a horror film, and he’ll cause people to faint in the aisles. The trends of the public are also changing: they want comedy to lift them out of the Depression, and sci-fi to excite them during the Space Race. They’ll also complain if you use your sets too much and they become stale, so rotation is necessary, especially because you can’t fit all of them into your studio lot. You have scientists who beaver away to research the next best thing before any of your rivals - a total of nine other studios who compete with you for awards. Any question of The Movies being able to last, especially since the basic premise of write a script, film a movie, rake in the cash is relatively formulaic, is dashed by the sheer amount of change and variation that occurs over Hollywood’s golden years that always keeps you on your toes.
Read the full review by clicking on the link below.

GamersInfo: The Movies Review
Feral Interactive
The Movies
Buy The Movies

MegaPixel Released As Free Web Game
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

MegaPixel, a fast action abstract fps created with the Unity game engine is now available as a free web game at The first ever Unity Web Player to be featured on an online game portal, MegaPixel was originally created by Yogware as an entrant for the iDev games 3DU contest where it won first place.

MegaPixel is a fast paced first person action game in an interesting abstract setting. It features exciting and challenging gameplay inspired by great games like Halo, crazy-awesome abstract graphics made out of particles and 8 bit type sound effects. My vision was a game of pure intense action where reflexes are essential and the player is rewarded for making difficult shots, being patient in the heat of battle and using skill and strategy to destroy many enemies at once.
Follow the links below for more information.

Shockwave: MegaPixel

Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Apple Updates MacBooks2:00 PM
Apple Games Features The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff6:00 AM
Cave Story Updated To Universal Binary6:00 AM
New Ratatouille Screenshots Released6:00 AM
Tower Of Destiny: Skills, Deities, And Spells6:00 AM
Virtual Villagers: The Lost Children Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 15, 2007 on one page

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