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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

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ByDesign Games: New Projects, Website Update, Data Loss
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

ByDesign Games recently added a new entry to its official blog. Various website updates to improve useability for visitors have been introduced, including a redesign of the page for the company's upcoming 3rd person stealth title, The Late Call. ByDesign also announced work on three new projects, one an as yet unnamed "3rd person action adventure game with a well known license."

Coming soon, a 3rd person action adventure game with a well known license featuring fresh and fun gameplay and immersive style & environments you will come to expect from ByDesign Games. Not much more can be said at this early stage, but look to this space in the coming months for more info!
Unfortunately ByDesign Games recently suffered a data loss due to a faulty hard drive. The loss will mean minor delays in some of their projects including The Late Call.

Click over to the links below to learn more.

ByDesign Game Blog
ByDesign Games
The Late Call

Inside Mac Games Reviews Lego Star Wars II
7:18 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review for Feral Interactive's Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, the sequel to 2005's hit game based on the prequel trilogy of Star Wars films. Here is a clip from the review:

Great pains have been taken to reproduce the characters, ships and scenery from the three movies in an authentic, albeit Lego-stylized way. The details are quite apparent; Luke Skywalker’s robotic hand is a different color from the rest of his body, Han Solo’s blaster is drawn in his trademark style and the Millennium Falcon can do all the flips and side rolls it can in the movies. Call me an obsessive Wookie, but these things matter! Not only are characters and ships detailed but locations like Cloud City or the Ewok Forest all look just like they should. Well, ok, in a universe that has been converted into a Lego model.
To check out the review, follow the link below:

IMG Review of Lego Star Wars II
Lego Star Wars II
Feral Interactive
Buy Lego Star Wars II

Chocolate Castle Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Lexaloffle has announced the release of Chocolate Castle, a new puzzle game game for Mac OS X. The game challenges players to clear all the chocolate in a room by moving candy pieces and using one of four animals to eat the four corresponding kinds of chocolate. The game features 120 rooms each with a unique puzzle to solve.

The object of Chocolate Castle is to eat all of the chocolate in each room. There are four types of chocolate and four types of animals to eat them with. To eat some chocolate, click and drag an animal into it and both of them will disappear.

You can also click and drag chocolate to move it into an empty space. If you put two pieces of the same colour next to each other, they will stick together. You can eat more chocolate with one animal by doing this, but be careful because once they are connected, they can not be separated!

The full version of Chocolate Castle costs $19.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or higher and at least a 300 Mhz processor.

Click over to the site below to learn more about the game and download the demo.

Chocolate Castle
Macworld's Game Room: Chocolate Castle Debuts
Lexaloffle Games

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Redline Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

ATPM has posted a new review of Ambrosia Software's Redline. The 3D auto racing sim features a variety of real world vehicles, both simulation and arcade modes, and online multiplayer action. ATMP gave the game a "Very Nice" rating

From the review:

When you play the game for the first time, you only have access to a few of the cars Redline has to offer. Instead of making all of the cars available right off, Redline makes you earn them in Challenges: you drive the car you want to earn along a piece of track, sometimes swerving around cones, in a predetermined amount of time to earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold medal. If you can do it (they’re all doable, though some are much harder than others, I’ve won several Silvers but never a Gold), you earn a new car, which you can then use in any of the races in the game. Though at first I wished I could just race any car I wanted to, I came to like the idea of the Challenges: they made me get to know each car a bit before taking out for some loops around a track.

You also have a choice of tracks to race around, and weather conditions to race in. As with the cars, I found myself developing track-preferences. Each track has not just different graphics but different curves and straightaways, and most interestingly, surface conditions: there are city streets and rural roads, rolling hills and level ground, one track even has snow. After playing for a while, though, I started wishing Ambrosia had provided more tracks to choose from: there are only six. A few users have created additional tracks (available as plug-ins on the game’s Web site), but most of the plug-ins are for additional cars.
To read the full review head over to the site below.

ATPM: Redline Review
Ambrosia Software

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Jeff Kaplan Discusses World of Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

WarCry recently posted a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Jeffrey Kaplan about the very popular MMOPRG, World of Warcraft. The Q&A covers a variety of topics including dungeon design, the possibility of new mounts, and lessons the designers have learned over the years.

WarCry: Having leveled both a blood elf and draenei character, I've found the leveling process in both the new starting zones to be much smoother than in the launch starting zones. Was this a specific concern in designing them? Were there any lessons you learned after launch that you applied to these new races?

Jeffrey Kaplan: The more time you spend doing anything, the better you get at it. We've been continually developing World of Warcraft for a number of years now, and over that time we've learned quite a few lessons about how to make a better game. Since the launch of World of Warcraft, we have been able to see our theories in action. Certain elements worked well, others didn't. We realize that we need to constantly strive to evolve as a development team. The content we make today needs to be better than the content we made five years ago.

Also, new technology and systems within the game have opened the doors for us to do new and different kinds of content. When we created quests for the first two World of Warcraft zones (Elwynn and Westfall), we only had the ability to do two types of quests: "Kill X number of monsters" or "Bring me X number of items." Since then, our programmers have provided us with a ton of new options, such as escort quests and bombing runs, to name just a few. With each patch and expansion, we have more tools in our toolbox. More importantly, we've got years and years of lessons learned =).
Check out the full Q&A at the link provided below.

WarCry: WoW Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Pardo And Tull On Warcraft Movie
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In recent Gamasutra articles Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull and Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo both mentioned the upcoming World of Warcraft movie based on the lore behind the Warcraft universe. Tull discussed the importance of the background story as fodder for the movie, and Pardo mentioned the need to stay true to the story without being caught up in the details.

Thomas Tull:
"I think some of the stuff that makes a game translate well into a movie is a good story. If there's a lore, if there's a road and story and a world that's been created, and characters that are interesting in a way that's more than just point and shoot"

He continued: "You have to look at it and not make a novelty out of it. Not just look at sales records. Blizzard plays a very important role in this process. If you've created a game, be it Halo, Gears Of War, or Warcraft - you came up with something that's compelling enough to resonate with a huge number of people. There has to be a trust, and you have to at some point hand over the baton to people who know how to make films."

Tull concluded of the prospective movie: "We are working very closely with the designers and writers, and they're very involved. I think on the bigger [films] you have to have that. They're sitting right there at the table with us as we develop the story and the script, and I think we're nailing the story and what's compelling about it."]

Rob Pardo:
"You have to stay true to the IP," he continued, "but you can’t be hamstrung by the details. You have to have a strong partnership though – that’s what’s happening with us and Legendary. Before we even did a deal we had to find a group that would do something we all could be proud of."

Pardo concluded that Legendary seemed a natural fit not just for their previous film experience, but from a deeper common bond: "We got a real good sense that they had a certain amount of geek to them, as we all do. We’re supplying quite a bit in terms of story and script development. We’re concentrating on the world and making sure that the experience and feel of the IP is there."

Read the rest of their comments at the links below.

Gamasutra: Tull Talks WoW Film
Gamasutra: Pardo Discusses WoW Film
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Monday, July 2, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Frets on Fire1:02 PM
EVE Online Coming To Macs In August?6:00 AM
GameTap For Macs Delayed6:00 AM
Protoss Colossus Revealed For StarCraft II6:00 AM
StarCraft II Q&A Round 46:00 AM
Three Free Games Released For iPhone6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 2, 2007 on one page

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