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Monday, May 28, 2007

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Blizzard Sues Gold Farming Company
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

As part of its continuing efforts to crack down on gold farming in the popular World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment recently filed a federal lawsuit against Peons4hire, a popular gold-selling company. The operators of the organization have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control.

From the Blizzard forums:

As many of you know, the latest content patch, along with many great new content additions, contains technical counter-measures designed to combat in-game gold spamming. Our efforts to reduce in-game abuse and create a fun, safe environment for everyone are never-ending.

With that said, we felt that it was important to share with the community just how serious we are in our efforts to combat this type of abuse. Blizzard has filed a federal lawsuit against the operators of Peons4hire, a popular gold-selling organization which many of you have no doubt seen advertised. As part of the lawsuit, the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control.

If this organization refuses to act accordingly, further legal action will be taken. We'll be sure to keep you posted on the progress of this topic.
Check out the WoW forum post listed below for more information.

WoW Forums: Gold Spamming Lawsuit
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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The Restaurant Game Serves Up Universal Binary
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Restaurant Game has been updated to version 1.9, bringing the game project to Universal Binary status. Designed at the MIT Media Lab, The Restaurant Game algorithmically combines the gameplay experiences of thousands of players to create a new game. The final result will be entered into the 2008 Independent Games Festival, with participants listed as game designers.

The Mac community has been greatly supportive of The Restaurant Game research project at the MIT Media Lab. As a show of gratitude, we have released Version 1.9 as a Universal Binary, allowing Intel Mac users to participate for the first time. To date, over 4,200 people have logged in, and we have collected data from 3,946 games.
To download the update and learn more about the game follow the links below.

The Restaurant Game
MGF: The Restaurant Game 1.9.1

Widget Monkeys Updates Widgets
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Widget Monkeys has updated all four of its game widgets. The games (Widget Monkey, Widget Giraffe, Monkey Marbles and Banana Warehouse) were all created using Unity. The latest updates introduce improved speed and stability to all the widgets, with Banana Warehouse receiving two different difficulty levels in place of the original challenge.

The head monkeys have got a crateful of news today ... but the big banana has to be the huge update to our most-downloaded widget, Banana Warehouse. What's new you ask? Two different difficulty levels! That's right, we've had a number of requests over the last 18 months to increase the 75 seconds and/or provide an easier version. So we did!

The Banana Warehouse widget now lets you choose from a Normal level (80 seconds), or an Easy level (120 seconds) that now offers you more opportunity to push those crates into the right spots and see that elusive Win! screen. There are a number of code simplifications you won't see but we've made Banana Warehouse even better for you!

And the Widget Monkeys have updated all four of our world-famous widgets using the latest version of Unity. That's Widget Monkey, Widget Giraffe, Monkey Marbles and Banana Warehouse. The update has improved their stability and added some under-the-hood tweaks. Enjoy!
Follow the link below for more information.

Widget Monkeys

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The Sims Coming To The Big Screen?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In what may be one of the most unlikely choices for a game-based movie, 20th Century Fox recently acquired the movie rights to Electronic Arts' popular Sims franchise. The Sims is the best selling PC game in history and has sold more than $1.6 billion dollars in the five year history of the franchise. The movie project is in early development.

Steve Asbell is overseeing the project for Fox with SIMS Studio head Rod Humble managing the creative property for Electronic Arts. Brian Lynch will script; story is under wraps with talent yet to be named.

"'The SIMS has done an interactive version of an old story, which is what it's like to have infinite power and how do you deal with it," said Humble. "Given that that's an old story, you can imagine how easily that would translate to traditional story telling."

Davis' most recent projects include "Norbit," "When A Stranger Calls," and "Eragon."

Lynch scripted and helmed upcoming "Big Helium Dog," and penned "Scary Movie 3," and is managed by Benderspink.
Head over to the Variety article below to read the rest.

Variety: Fox Brings Sims To Big Screen
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

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The Sims 2 Pets Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Worthplaying recently posted a review of The Sims 2: Pets, the animal focused expansion for the popular Sims title. In addition to adopting pets players can make use of Build-A-Pet options, buy new pet related objects, and even set their new pets on career paths. Worthplaying gave Pets a score of 8 out of 10.

From the review:

As with Sim people, your new Sims 2 pets have genetics. If your cute little cat finds herself a partner, you can wind up with a litter of kittens which are an almost identical cross between the cat couple. This is called a mix breed; you can make mixed breeds on purpose and register your brand-new breed. You can also strive for purity and try to have your cat only breed with other purebreds. The choice is yours (and your pet's!).

There are literally an infinite number of possibilities on how you can make your pet look. You start by selecting a basic breed, or one you have previously made. After you select your breed, you can begin morphing and changing the pet to your liking. Everything is adjustable so you are able to, as with Sim people, change your pet's physical attributes, from the size of their tail to the length of their ears. There is even a new tool which allows you to change your pet's fur using layers. Each layer is a set fur pattern with a particular color and is applied onto the last layer; this way, your Sim pet can look exactly like your real-life pet, if you so choose.

The full review is available at the site below.

Worthplaying: The Sims 2 Pets Review
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2: Pets
Buy The Sims 2: Pets

Mac Games News for Sunday, May 27, 2007

IMG Podcast StarCraft II Edition Released5:14 PM
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