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Monday, June 11, 2007

EA Announces Mac Titles At WWDC
10:47 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 69 comments

At the WWDC 2007 keynote, Electronic Arts' Co-Founder, Bing Gordon, announced the company's return to the Mac with six Mac titles including Command & Conquer 3, Battlefiled 2142, Need For Speed: Carbon, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Madden NFL 2008, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008.

Following the announcement, Gordon showed off a demo of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the crowd at WWDC. Gordon said during the demo that "The only thing better than living on a mac, is living at Hogwarts."

EA plans on releasing Command & Conquer 3, Battlefiled 2142, Need For Speed: Carbon, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in July with Madden NFL 2008 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 later on in the year.

According to our sources, EA is using TransGaming's Cider for its Mac titles. This means that there will be no PowerPC versions of the games.

Electronic Arts
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Tuncer's Blog: EA Returns To The Mac! But Will They Stay?
4:23 PM | IMG News | 13 comments

IMG's founder Tuncer Deniz weighs in on today's surprise announcement made by Electronic Arts. Although he's estatic with the six titles announced, he questions whether EA will be happy. Will EA be in it for the long haul or is this just another "experiment". Here's a clip from the blog entry:

So my question is….is EA really ready for the kind of sales figures they will get? Now remember, we're talking about EA here…the biggest game company in the world. The company that posted revenue of $3.09 billion and had 24 titles that sold more than one million copies in 2007. Are they going to be happy with sales of Madden 2008 in the 5,000 to 10,000 range? I can see a title like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008 selling a few more copies than that but is it really enough for big ole EA? My biggest question is…did Apple over promise EA? Are they expecting unit sales in the hundreds of thousands when in reality they'll be getting numbers in the low teens.
To check out the full entry, follow the link below.

Tuncer's Blog: EA Returns To The Mac! But Will They Stay?

id's John Carmack Shows idTech 5 At WWDC
3:08 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 10 comments

id Software John Carmack today demonstrated the company's new game engine, dubbed 'idTech 5', during Steve Jobs' keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

The tech demo was of a racing game and during the demo, Carmack said, "So the last couple of years at id we've been working in secrecy on next-gen tech and a game for it ... this is the first time we're showing anything we've done on it publicly. What we've got here is the entire world with unique textures, 20GB of textures covering this track. They can go in and look at the world and, say, change the color of the mountaintop, or carve their name into the rock. They can change as much as they want on surfaces with no impact on the game."

Carmack finished off the demostration by saying, "We're going to be showing on a Mac, PC, PS3, and Xbox at E3, we'll have another Mac announcement at E3."

Here's more on idTech 5 from the id Software web site:

The ground breaking technology unveiled today will power id's new internally developed game and will be available for licensing to third parties. The new id rendering technology practically eliminates the texture memory constraints typically placed on artists and designers and allows for the unique customization of the entire game world at the pixel level, delivering virtually unlimited visual fidelity. Combined with a powerful new suite of tools designed to specifically facilitate and accelerate this content creation process, id Tech 5™ will power games that contain vast outdoor landscapes that are completely unique to the horizon, yet have indoor environments with unprecedented artistic detail.

While shown for the very first time running in real time on a Mac, id Tech 5 additionally supports the Xbox 360 and Playstation3 console platforms as well as the PC, and will be available for licensing to developers and publishers interested in working with a truly next generation rendering and game development solution.

A video of the idTech 5 demo shown at WWDC is available on YouTube. Follow the link below to check it out.

id Software
YouTube: idTech 5 Demonstration

TransGaming Partners With EA To Bring Mac Titles
2:04 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 16 comments

Follow the announcement this morning that Electronic Arts would be bringing six game titles to the Mac, TransGaming announced that Cider, the company's portability engine that eliminates the need for porting, will be used to bring EA's titles to the Mac.

Here's more from the press release:

Electronic Arts Inc. has announced plans to bring top-tier games to MAC OS X this summer powered by TransGaming’s Cider engine, including: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Madden NFL 08, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08, Need for Speed Carbon, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars and Battlefield 2142. TransGaming Inc., a Canadian-based leader in software portability, has opened up new playing fields for Mac users.

“Traditionally Mac users had to wait to play the latest blockbuster games,” says TransGaming CEO Vikas Gupta. “We're thrilled that TransGaming's Cider engine will dramatically decrease the time it will take to bring EA's hit portfolio of games to a thirsty Mac market.”

“Leveraging TransGaming’s Cider technology to bring our hit franchises to Mac users is an exciting first step in delivering the video game experience that Mac users deserve,” said Scott Cronce, EA vice president. “With the launch of these titles, it truly is the best time to be a Mac gamer.”

Helping quench Mac gamers’ thirst is Cider, the revolutionary new technology, developed by TransGaming that enables the releases. Eliminating the need to rewrite a video game for the Mac, Cider acts as an interpreter between the game’s original code and the Intel Mac, imparting a great user experience on the Mac.


Turret Wars 1.5 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Sector3 Games has announced the release of version 1.5 of Turret Wars, the 3D arcade action title focusing on trajectory and physics. The new update includes 2 new environments, a new difficulty level, and a revised scoring system.

Here's a list of the changes in version 1.5:

- Shield Bunkers that enable Turret Shields
- Collect Mega Blast power-up bunkers and use when desired
- New extra difficulty level - "Bring it on"
- Drop ships that re-spawn new enemy turrets during game play ("Bring It On" feature only)
- 2x fantastic new environments (Dark Monoliths & Ring Arena) - 8 Environments now!
- Set and Restore your current Turret rotation
- Revised and expanded scoring system with full game statistics
- Filter the highscores ladder in-game to see ALL or just YOUR scores
- Turn music on/off during game play
The 1.5 update of Turret Wars is for the full game only. The demo version is still at 1.2. Head over to the site below to learn more about the game.

Turret Wars
Sector3 Games

Click to enlarge
The Music Of Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamespot recently interviewed Jason Hayes, musical composer for Blizzard Entertainment's extremely successful World of Warcraft. Hayes discusses his career, the technical difficulties of game-soundtrack creation, and the legitimisation of games as an art form.

GS AU: What's the typical creative process involved in creating a game soundtrack?

JH: When it comes to starting a game project--in some ways it's similar to a movie in that you've got certain moments of gameplay that you want the mood to be evocative in a certain way. In the game industry it's a lot different, because instead of just sitting down with a director and just spotting the movie and picking out the exact spots where you want music to play, it becomes an effort of sitting down with game designers and programmers and actually architecting the implementation strategy for how things will play. If you know an area wants to feel scary at a certain moment because there's a certain boss creature or something, then you need to plan out very carefully at what point that music will start and what things should trigger it. It could be artificial intelligence of the game that gives you a clue, or crossing over of a geographic boundary, or it could be walking into an instance. It could be all kinds of things that might inform the decision to play a certain piece of music at a certain time.

Once you get into the thick of it and you're working on the music for the game, for me that process usually begins with my portable voice recorder and I'll sing and hum ideas into it. Because one of the great things about technology is that I have this rack of studio gear and it's capable of emulating an orchestra, if that's what I need to do--[it's] fairly convincing, but all this gear can be a bit intimidating to me if I'm going to write a piece of music. So I love to get away from everything and just go jogging and hum some ideas and come up with some good broad-stroke ideas. Once I get those, then I've got a guiding blueprint for what I want to do, and I can import these ideas directly into my workstation, or just reference them directly on the recorder. Then I feel a lot more prepared to face the arsenal of gear and begin production work.
Check out the rest of the interview at the link below.

Gamespot: WoW Music Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Blades Of Exile Source Code Now Under GPL v2
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

This weekend Spiderweb Software made available Release 3 of the recently released Blades of Exile source code. This latest update provides the source code under terms of Version 2 of the GNU General Public License.

I added a GPL notice to the main code file for each of the three programs for each platform. For code that you have already modified, it might be a good idea to copy that notice over to your version. (I should probably have put it at the top of every file, but oh well.)

Should someone create a project in Google or SourceForge or so on, please let me know, so I can link to it from the Blades of Exile source page. The sooner I have a place to send people to keep them from downloading the ugly unported code, the better.
Follow the links below for more information.

Spiderweb Forums: Blades of Exile Source GPL Version 2
Blades of Exile Source
Blades Of Exile
Spiderweb Software
GNU General Public License Version 2

Details Emerge About Next Sim City Title
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Computer and Video Games has gathered together the latest information about Electronic Arts' upcoming addition to the Sim City franchise. Currently under the title Sim City Societies rather than Sim City 5, the new game will be be less focused on realistically simulating urban environments than previous games. In another departure from earlier titles the game will be developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment rather than Maxis.

Responding to the debate, Tilted Mill President & Director of Development Chris Beatrice posted an official statement:

"...I do not want to mislead anyone: This SC is not a realistic urban simulation, which I understand, to many, represents the heart of what SC is," he said. "No one is blind to that. And if you're just completely turned off, even angered by the mere notion of any game called 'SimCity' that is not a detailed, realistic urban simulator, I absolutely understand that viewpoint, and absolutely respect it."

"I do want to say, though (with no insult intended to die hard SC fans)," he adds, "that we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this venerable series, are extremely proud of what we have put together, and make no apologies about what we have managed to create. And while our past experiences (including contributions from many of you) certainly inform all our ongoing efforts, this SC is its own unique creation."
To read the full article follow the link below.

Computer and Video Games: Maxis Abandons Sim City 5
Electronic Arts

Mac Games News for Friday, June 8, 2007

Custer Shoots For The Stars6:00 AM Giving Away Free Games6:00 AM
HoMM V Patch Status Update6:00 AM
Jim Raynor Discusses StarCraft6:00 AM
Parallels 3 Released with 3D Game Support6:00 AM
The Sims Pet Stories Previewed6:00 AM
Tower Of Destiny: Improving Spells Through Use6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 8, 2007 on one page

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