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Monday, August 20, 2007

Galder Puzzle Game Enters Public Beta
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Fastforward Software has announced the public beta of Galder, a new puzzle board game for Mac OS X. In Galder, the player must remove gem stones as quickly as possible from an interactive circular game board by matching identical stones.

Fastforward's Managing Director Joshua Coventry said: "Until now, Fastforward has focused solely on software titles including FinanceToGo and QuickSnap. Today marks our entrance into the gaming market. Mac users need a wider choice of quality games, and Galder is the first of many to come."

Fastforward develops, publishes and distributes software and games for Mac OS X. Fastforward finances and supports independent shareware developers around the world. Fastforward is located in Sheffield, England and was founded in 2006.
A public beta of Galder is available free of charge from the Fastforward Software website. The beta expires within 30 days.  Fastforward expects to ship the initial version of Galder as a digital download in late Q3 2007 at a retail price of $19.99 USD. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Galder Public Beta Signup
Fastforward Software

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Dream Chronicles
7:05 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of PlayFirst's puzzler, Dream Chronicles. Set in a fantasy world, it is your job to solve puzzles to rescue you're husband and your land from the evil Fairy Queen of Dreams. Here's a clip from the review:

Dream Chronicles guides you through a series of puzzles that take you all over a large house full of nooks, crannies, treasures and keepsakes. Lilith, who wants to steal your husband away for herself, has mixed everything up. With the guidance of Fidget’s diary, you have to put everything back in its proper place in order to open many magic doors.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review of Dream Chronicles
Dream Chronicles
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Help Create A Galaxy with Galaxiki
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Only seven weeks after its official launch the Galaxiki website is on its way to become a highly successful web 2.0 site. Galaxiki is a new kind of wiki based community portal that allows its members to edit stars,planets and moons in a virtual galaxy, creating an entire fictional world online.

"It's very exciting to see how many people like Galaxiki! We got a lot of positive feedback and many suggestions within the past few weeks", said Jos Kirps, the creator of Galaxiki. "The site is being updated on a regular basis, new features emerge nearly every day: improved galaxy exploration tools, search tools, planetary editors or translated contents for example. We now just launched the movies and books section, a completely new site area where community members can manage their private collections of DVDs or books and share information about them. And we still have a lot of new stuff in the pipeline."

Galaxiki combines well known web 2.0 features in a revolutionary new way. Millions of stars, planets, moons, pulsars and black holes can be explored using an intuitive 2D map. The idea behind Galaxiki is that community members can create fictional life forms and write about their histories on their planets. The ease of use attracts all kinds of users, so that the target audience is not limited to science fiction and astronomy addicts.

"We're now looking for people willing to help us with translations -german and french versions of the site are already partly available, other languages are being prepared", explains Jos Kirps. "Just like any other community site we heavily rely on active users, and we're looking forward to see people from all over the world become part of our world!"
Galaxiki membership and editing community stars is free, but it's also possible to purchase your own solar system that only you will be able to edit. Galaxiki also features an online shop offering astronomy, science and science fiction related items; such as DVDs, books, and t-shirts.

Follow the link below for more information.


EA And The State Of Mac Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Ars Technica has posted a new article exploring the state of gaming on the Mac platform. EA's recent announcement of six Cider powered titles coming to Intel Macs, and the subsequent delay of those games, serves as the main focus of the article. Ars Technica also discusses the lack of good gaming hardware on lower end Mac models.

Gaming on the Mac, even after the Intel switch, is often still perceived as a joke. Although id, Epic, and Blizzard have worked diligently on their own titles in the past, gaming on the Mac today is still widely seen to be in the same state as it was 5 to 10 years ago: stale and unmoving, aside from the occasional crossover hit. Graphics cards on anything but Apple's professional-level (read: very expensive) Macs are still unimpressive and unappealing to anyone who takes gaming seriously. "For people with the high end gaming rigs, Mac hardware can still be a joke," one reader complained to me recently.

But for those who are able to make do with the Mac's limited selection of supported graphics cards, it's the state of the ports that seems to really be holding things back. Ports of games to the Mac just plain suck; they are usually slow, buggy, and "half-assed" compared to their PC counterparts. This is due in part to the fact that that many games are now DirectX-based, Microsoft's Windows-centric gaming API. Porting a game to OpenGL is difficult, and the number of game developers working natively in OpenGL seem to be getting smaller every day. The end result is that developers throw together Mac-compatible versions as an afterthought, and are also constantly playing catch-up to release those versions after their superior DirectX counterparts.

The good news is that where EA goes, others may follow.  EA itself is a bit of a puzzler in the gaming world: the company makes a number of hit games, yet gamers don't all agree that EA is a great company. "EA isn't exactly known for creating good software, but they can," said one reader. "[The delays] give me hope that they are making a real effort—not just getting it to run and calling it a day."
Read the rest of the article by following the link below.

Ars Technica: Gaming On The Mac

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Blizzard's Rob Pardo Discusses Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameDaily BIZ has posted comments from an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo. In the discussion Pardo again denies the persistent rumors that World of Warcraft will make its way to the console world. He also confirms the possibility that Warcraft will return to its real time strategy roots at some point in the future.

Rob Pardo seemed to shy away from the idea of developing WoW or other MMOs on consoles. He also took issue with our assumption that there's a "theoretical ceiling" to growth on Mac and PC platforms.

"I think you'll see a console MMO that's popular one of these days. It's quite likely, not going to be WoW. WoW was really never designed for the console experience and for us to try and put it on a console would be a Herculean effort that would only take away from our ability to serve our current customers," he said. "I also kinda disagree with the 'theoretical ceiling' comment on PC games. I mean, what's the PC install base in this day in age around the world? It's got to dwarf the install base for any of the consoles or all them combined for that matter. It's just that a lot of people don't necessarily use their PC as a gaming machine and PCs themselves... you just have to jump through a lot more hoops to install and play PC games, whereas consoles are just dedicated gaming machines."

GameDaily BIZ also asked about the possibility of Blizzard creating a new Warcraft real-time strategy title. Of course, the franchise started out as an RTS and so did StarCraft, but now that Warcraft has leaped out of the RTS genre and into MMOs would Blizzard bring it back to its RTS roots? Pardo would certainly appear to be open to it.

"Yeah, of course there's a chance," he confirmed. "The way that we develop things, each time a development team becomes available, because they're done with creating the games that they've been doing, they have a lot of say over what their next game is. So what it would take is for one of our teams to decide that they want to make Warcraft RTS and of course, there'll be some talk about doing that and I'm sure after StarCraft 2 ships, it will be one the ideas on the table for that team to do, but that's pretty far off in the future and it would really be determined by a combination of the dev team and the company leadership."
Click over to the site below to read the rest.

GameDailybiz: Rob Pardo On Consoles, Warcraft Future
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Mac Games News for Friday, August 17, 2007

EA Releases Four Mac Titles8:21 PM
EA Backtracks On Simultaneous Mac Game Releases6:00 AM
Introversion And Ambrosia Announce DEFCON Freeplay Weekend6:00 AM
SC II: Dark Templar, New Forum, BlizzCon Pics6:00 AM
The Strollin' Soldier Conquers Enemy Territory: Quake Wars6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 17, 2007 on one page

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