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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

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Virtual Programming Releases X3: Reunion
12:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 8 comments

Virtual Programming has released the Mac version of X3: Reunion. The game is available as a digital download with a boxed version to follow in the coming weeks. X3: Reunion uses TransGaming Cider portability engine, making it the third game recently-released to be Intel-only (Star Wars: Empire at War and Heroes of Might & Magic V are also Intel-only).

The sequel to the award winning X: The Threat introduces a new 3D engine as well as a new story, new ships and a new gameplay to greatly increase the variety in the X-universe. The economy of X3: Reunion is more complex than anything seen in the X-universe before. Factories are built by NPCs, wars can affect the global economy, NPCs can trade freely and pirates will behave far more realistically.

The Story
What happened so far: While the Argon fleet is stretched almost to breaking point by the continuing attacks from Khaak, a new enemy is stalking the X-universe. What links a mysterious ship with the power to disappear, the ruthless Yaki pirates and a machine left by an ancient species? Its time to strap yourself in, warm up your laser cannon and get some answers.

Supported OS: Mac OSX 10.4.8
Processor: 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor or better.
RAM: 512 MB or more
Video Card: ATI or NVIDIA graphics chipsets
Please note that video cards must be PCI express and have 128 MB or
more memory
Hard Drive Space: 5.5 GB free
Display: 800 by 600 32 bit display

X3: Reunion is available through Virtual Programming for $40 as a digital download. For more, follow the link below.

Virtual Programming
X3: Reunion

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Pangea Releases Runic
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Pangea Software today announced the release of their newest game, Runic for the Macintosh. Developed by CodeTurbine, Runic is a Brickout-style game with powerups, magic spells, and bosses. The game features over 100 levels and is suitable for all ages.

Additional information, system requirements, and screenshots can be
found on the Pangea web site. A free limited demo is available for download from

Macgamefiles: Runic 1.4

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More Realistic Atmospheric Conditions Coming To Second Life
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Linden Lab recently announced the aquisition of new technology from Windward Mark Interactive. WindLight and Nimble provide realistic atmospheric rendering and 3D cloud simulation. Linden Lab plans to integrate the graphics technology into the Second Life world to enhance the experience for visitors.

"This is a great example of the benefits of an open-source model," said Cory Ondrejka, CTO of Linden Lab. "Our core development team is tightly focused on improving the Second Life experience in terms of stability and scalability, but open sourcing has enabled external developers to integrate additional enhancements that are also hugely valuable; WindLight is one of these. We're excited to bring this technology to Second Life and pleased to have such a talented team of developers join Linden Lab."

"We're very excited to be joining Linden Lab," said Asi Lang, president of Windward Mark Interactive. "The acquisition of our rendering technologies is a testament to their quality and to the talent of our development team. We're exceedingly proud of WindLight and Nimble, and it will be exciting to see how the Second Life community will further advance our technology when it is open sourced."
Read more about the new technology at the links below.

GameDailybiz: Linden Lab Acquires New Tech
Macworld: Second Life Atmospheric Rendering
Linden Lab
Second Life

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Starcraft 2: Q&A, Unit Preview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Gamespot and IGN recently released new articles focusing on Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming StarCraft 2. The Gamespot feature covers a Q&A with some of the Blizzard team, while the IGN article offers a run down of the currently known units.

From Gamespot:

Other questions involved the status of, Blizzard's proprietary multiplayer service. While the Blizzard representatives said that yes, the venerable system is due for a needed upgrade, they declined to get into specifics. According to Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of the company, Blizzard is planning a massive upgrade to the system to support the release of StarCraft II, as the game was designed primarily as a multiplayer title. In fact, the single-player game has not had much beyond theoretical work completed on it. They also declined to answer whether this upgraded service would start charging a subscription fee.

In response to a question about the game's storyline, Chris Metzen said that while the company is certainly invested in the storyline and wants to push it forward, the team's initial focus on multiplayer precludes much work being done on the single-player experience until the last year or two of development. He also said, however, that players should expect to see the next chapters of many of their favorite characters such as Jim Raynor, Kerrigan and Zeratul.

One burning question that Rob Pardo was eager to squelch concerned the long-rumored fourth race (the Xel'Naga or the Zerg/Protoss hybrids hinted at in the first game). He stated in no uncertain terms that there will be no fourth race in StarCraft II. The game will contain the Human, Zerg and Protoss factions and the team is completely focused on getting them as asymmetric yet balanced as possible. The game will also ship with a powerful map editor and should be even more moddable than the first.
From IGN:
Immortal: This unit activates a near impenetrable shield when under heavy arms fire. During the demonstration at WWI, Blizzard showed how Terran siege tanks were nearly powerless against Immortals, since their heavy tank blasts activated the shields. As a contrast, Terran Reapers' small arms fire made quick work of these guys.

Colossus: Think of the recent film War of the Worlds and you'll have a good idea of how this new unit looks. Their long legs allow them to easily traverse tiers of land. Equipped are a set of dual lasers that can make quick work of smaller, poorly armored units such as Zerglings.
Read the rest at the links below.

Gamespot: Starcraft 2 Q&A
IGN: Starcraft 2's New Units
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Destineer's Peter Tamte Interviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Gamasutra has posted a new interview with Destineer founder Peter Tamte. The Q&A covers a variety of topics including the company’s branding philosophy, Destineer’s work with government training simulations, and the state of the Macintosh gaming market.

Why did you decide to bring MacSoft in under the Destineer banner?

We acquired the MacSoft business from Atari in 2003. I had originally started MacSoft ages ago, so we understood how to build a profitable Macintosh business, and we believe MacSoft has meaning to the Macintosh community through its long-time advocacy of Macintosh gaming.

How would you describe the state of the Mac gaming market at this point in time? Do you see things improving or getting worse?

Apple’s market share is growing so quickly now that it virtually guarantees prosperity in the Mac market for most big-budget games. The biggest tricks to manage in the Mac market are keeping system requirements down, especially because there are too many machines with Intel-integrated graphics, focusing on content that’s appropriate for the Mac market—because the Mac market responds to certain kinds of content better than others—and distribution, because we need Mac software to get sold through more outlets.

We believe the movement to Intel processors will narrow the gap between when a game ships for Windows versus the Macintosh, and this will be hugely beneficial to the Mac market.

To read the entire interview follow the link below.

Gamasutra: Peter Tamte Interview
Destineer Studios

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Eschalon Book 1: Mac Update, Stealth Mechanics
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In response to questions on the company's forums, a Basilisk Games representative detailed some of the mechanics of stealth in the upcoming RPG, Eschalon: Book 1. The same thread also offers a brief update on the status of the Mac version.

Eschalon: Book 1, the first in a planned trilogy, will offer massive outdoor environments, dozens of sprawling dungeons, and a variety of creatures to defeat.

More about stealth:

Actually, we don't even use "patrol zones" right now. Passive entities just roam, they don't really follow a route. So yes, you can wait for them to walk past you but since it is more random than a route you may have to wait a little longer. But yes, kill a guard with no one else hearing or seeing the crime and no one will know of your actions.

Yes, Hide in Shadows comes into play there as well. Standing close to a wall, or in a corner (next to two walls) enhances the Hide in Shadow effect. When no one can see you, the effect "Hidden in Shadow" appears in the effect window. In broad daylight, however, you will need to be an extreme master for this to work. Nighttime or in a dungeon is where Hide in Shadows really starts to be advantageous.

You mention a "silent zone"'s not really an "area of silence" as you're suggesting, it's how much noise you are making on any particular action. Fighting tends to be the loudest action you can do, so you can be completely silent but then the first attack you make might generate enough noise to alert nearby entities...but as I said, the more skilled you are in Move Silently, the less sound you make even when fighting.
The Mac version:
We have the Mac version running along side the PC version right now, but we will still need to release the Mac version a few weeks after the PC version just because we need to work out a few extra things with the Mac (universal binaries, install package, etc.)
Head over to the site below to read more.

Basilisk Forum: Eschalon Q&A
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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New Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

Worthplaying has posted five new screens from the eagerly anticipated Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The game is an online multi-player, team-based shooter which will travel back in time to the Strogg invasion of Earth, the catalyst for the Quake series. The forces of Earth will face off against the evil Strogg in a violent struggle for survival

Gamers choose to play as Human or Strogg in one of five unique character classes. Employing an arsenal of weapons, vehicles and deployable armaments, players engage in an action-packed test of skill and coordinated teamwork through a series of combat objectives. Persistent character growth and achievements reward players for teamwork, while clearly defined mission and class objectives guide new players to meaningful contributions on the battlefield.

In development at Splash Damage, co-creators of the award winning Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and in conjunction with id Software, Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars employs id Software’s new MegaTexture graphics technology, delivering large outdoor battlefields of unrivaled detail. These life-like recreations of real-world environments are designed specifically for objective-based team combat and include realistic terrain, lighting, special effects and atmospheric conditions.
The Mac version is currently in progress at Aspyr Media. Click the link below to check out the screenshots and read more about the game.

Worthplaying: ET QW Screens
Aspyr Media
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (don't use)

Mac Games News for Monday, May 21, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews the Wireless Laser Mouse 80003:33 PM
Aspyr Officially Announces Enemy Territory: Quake Wars11:00 AM
Blizzard Announces StarCraft II9:48 AM
Animated Tomb Raider Series Coming to GameTap6:00 AM
Barefeats: Racing Shootout Xbox 360 Elite vs PS3 vs Mac6:00 AM
Deus Ex Sequel In The Works6:00 AM
StarCraft 2: Distinctive Art & Fast Gameplay6:00 AM
The Broken Hourglass: Equipment Properties6:00 AM
Turret Wars Updated6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, May 21, 2007 on one page

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