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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

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Tower Of Destiny: New Screen, Editor, Release Date
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

A recent developer blog reveals an early screeenshot from Winter Wolves' upcoming RPG, Tower of Destiny. The blog also mentions that work on a game editor will delay the game's release to sometime after Christmas. Drawing upon classic adventures of the past the game will offer dungeons to explore and the ability choose a team from a pool of adventurers before each dungeon delving expedition.

Iíll go back on the editor now. Will take quite some time. For sure making an editor will delay the game release after Christmas. But, on the other hand, will make me able to release episode 2-3 much faster than without it, and most importantly people will be able to modify in practice almost everything in the game.
Click over to the page below for more information.

Winter Wolves Blog: Tower of Destiny Skills Screen
Winter Wolves

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Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Discussion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Apolyton Civilization Site recently released a new podcast focusing on the upcoming Beyond The Sword expansion for the PC version of Civilization IV. The expansion is designed to expand the late game in Civ IV's turn based strategy with a variety of new options.

There is no word yet on the possibility of a Mac version. Keep an eye on IMG for any updates.

The Apolyton discussion covers one of the scenarios in the upcoming expansion and is available for download at the link below.

Apolyton: Civ IV Beyond The Sword Discussion
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

Anti-Cheating Hardware In Development At Intel
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Technology Review has posted an article examining Intel's efforts to create a gaming system designed from the ground up to prevent cheating. Using a combination of hardware, firmware, and software the Fair Online Gaming System would check at the hardware level to determine if keyboard and controller inputs matched with performance in games.

For example, the system would go after input-based cheats, in which a hacker feeds the game different information than he enters through the keyboard and mouse. A cheater playing a shooting game might use an input-based cheat known as an aimbot, for example, to point his guns automatically, leaving him free to fire rapidly, and with deadly accuracy. Schluessler says that the Fair Online Gaming system's chip set would catch an aimbot by receiving and comparing data streams from the player's keyboard and mouse with data streams from what the game processes. The system would recognize that the information wasn't the same and alert administrators to the cheat. In tests, Schluessler says, the system ran without slowing the play of a game.

In addition to input-based cheats, Schluessler says that the system would go after network-data cheats that extract hidden information from a game's network, such as the location of other players, and display it to the cheater. Intel's system would also target cheats that attempt to disable anti-cheating software. Schluessler says the goal isn't to replace anti-cheating software but to strengthen and augment it.

Some players have expressed concern that anti-cheat systems invade their privacy by sending information about their computers over the Internet. Tony Ray, president of Even Balance, which makes the anti-cheating software PunkBuster, says that this is a necessary evil for any anti-cheat system. "Privacy and security are at odds in many aspects of life these days," he says. Players who want to be sure they're playing in a fair environment, he adds, must choose to trust that their privacy will be respected. Schluessler says that those who don't like the Intel system would always be free to turn it off and play on an unregulated server.
There are no plans yet to make the system available to consumers, but Schluessler said that is the ultimate goal of the project.

Check out the rest of the article at the link below.

Technology Review: Catching Cheaters With Their Own Computers

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Will Ratatouille's Movie Success Translate To Gaming Gold?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent Game Daily BIZ article examines Ratatouille's chance of becoming a hit family oriented game title at the same level as movie tie-ins games for franchises like Spiderman and Pirates of the Carribean. Recently released by THQ to multiple platforms, including OS X, the game gives players a chance to join in the experiences of Remy the Rat in a variety of locations from the movie.

Robert Aniello, senior vp worldwide marketing at THQ, said "Ratatouille" has a good chance of achieving a similar feat. "We had the No. 1-selling family game of 2006 across a number of platforms with 'Cars' from the Pixar movie," he said. "We're planning on repeating that with 'Ratatouille.' "

The success of these licensed family games -- especially on such new platforms as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii -- is a bit of a surprise given that conventional industry wisdom has always held that the early portion of any console life cycle should be more about the hardcore gamer than about younger players.

But IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon noted that the success of Nintendo's Wii has shown that the mass market family audience is there for the taking regardless of the timing or the platform. "The one thing Nintendo did properly was appeal to the mass market without compromising their hardcore base, and now Microsoft and Sony are trying to work that into their strategy," he said.
To read the rest of the article follow the link below.

GameDailybiz: Ratatouille Has Right Ingredients

The Sims Pet Stories Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Boomtown has posted a new preview of The Sims Pet Stories for PC, the latest in the new Sims Stories series. Developed by Aspyr Media, Pet Stories introduces two new storylines which revolve around dealing with a new pet's impact on a household. Boomtown gave the game a score of 5 out of 10.

From the review:

Each plot line consists of twelve chapters in total, with fresh goals being delivered every day via the built-in aspiration system thatís been a part of the series since the initial release of The Sims 2. The goals themselves are fairly standard, with aspirations akin to any normal Sim on a career trajectory, and an emphasis on bonding with your chosen pet. Training up each animal can take a good amount of time, and managing to balance out all of the aspects in each Sims life can be as tricky as ever. In-engine cut-scenes serve to move the story forward at points, but unfortunately these look no better than even the most basic of fan-created efforts, and do little to enhance the atmosphere.

In fact that seems to be the biggest criticism of the new style of structural content as a whole. Previous versions of the Sims have relied on the player to create their own story; to invent scenarios and deal with situations that probably loosely tie in with their own lives. Cathartic pleasure has always been at the heart of the seriesí success, and suddenly with somebody elseís vision thrown in front of you, it all crumbles away and leaves a distinctly amateurish feel to the whole package. It isnít that the game has changed in any way, the basic mechanics are as dependable and well-implemented as ever, but forcing users down a stifling path just seems to be counter-active to the entire spirit that the Sim Empire is built upon.
There is no official word yet on the status of a Mac version of the game. Read the rest of the review at the link provided below.

Boomtown: Sims Pet Stories Review
The Sims Pet Stories
Aspyr Media
Electronic Arts

Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Lego Star Wars II7:18 AM
ByDesign Games: New Projects, Website Update, Data Loss6:00 AM
Chocolate Castle Released6:00 AM
Jeff Kaplan Discusses World of Warcraft6:00 AM
Pardo And Tull On Warcraft Movie6:00 AM
Redline Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 3, 2007 on one page

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