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Monday, September 17, 2007

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 13
6:44 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

The latest Q&A round answering fan questions about the upcoming StarCraft II is now available on Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft forum. The 13th Q&A offers a few more bits of information about the sequel to the original StarCraft. SC II will introduce new multiplayer action and pick up the Zerg, Terran, and Protoss storylines a few years after the end of BroodWar.

Chat with Devs: In the BlizzCon build of StarCraft II, small units were able to pass through certain player created barriers, such as a wall of supply depots at a choke point. After experimenting a bit, the Devs are now testing gameplay with true barriers, which prevent all units from passing through, but will require a line of supply depots side by side rather than supply depots blocking a choke point diagonally. This new design will prevent smaller units such as Zealots and Marines from passing through player created barriers, but will be more costly for the player to build these barriers.

2. Will there be in game voice chat supported in SC2?
Yes, there are plans to implement VoIP into, but details beyond that are yet to be announced.

3. What are the system requirements ?
We are still optimizing the game and do not have minimum system requirements yet. Nonetheless, StarCraft II will require pixel shader 2.0 and at least 128mb of dedicated video RAM.

4. Will we be seeing any hybrid units in StarCraft II?
We are planning to explore the mysteries surrounding the Xel'naga for the single player campaign. In the campaign you will encounter several unique units that would not otherwise be seen in multiplayer. At this time, you'll just have to wait and see.

Click over to the site below to read more.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 13
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC2 Questions Here
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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The Making Of A Tale In The Desert
6:44 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted a new developer interview, this time questioning Andrew Tepper about the creation of A Tale In The Desert. The interview covers the game's origins, the unusual nature of the Tale's social puzzles, and some of the difficulties Tepper encountered along the way. Currently on its 3rd incarnation, the Egyptian themed game encourages players to cooperate as they work to solve a variety of puzzles.

“When MMO games first came out there was the promise of all sorts of things that had never been tried before,” he explains when asked about the game’s origins, “The first games that came out were really just taking a single player game and making them multiplayer. They didn’t have any social puzzles. Motor City online tried racing. Space sims. Lots of RPGs. But very few social puzzles… and I think that’s the most interesting thing in real life.” He references the American reality-TV show survivor’s interactive dynamic as an example of an exquisite social puzzle, and what he wanted to see in a game. “Nobody was doing it, and they’re still not doing it in the sense that we’re doing it,” notes Andrew.

An initial problem was actually devising these puzzles. “There are certain social puzzles that are well know – like the Prisoners dilemma – but what was commonly known at the time wasn’t very large.” One of A Tale In The Desert’s primary elements is the passing of tests, which pose a social problem for them to find a solution. An early example was the Test of Marriage. “A very simple puzzle: find one person you trust totally,” explains Andrew, “The person who you can marry, can use all your stuff – in fact, even log in as you. But in Egypt there’s no concept of divorce, so it’s the easiest test in the game to pass but it’s the one that can totally screw up your game forever. And that’s happened a few times. There’s been several high profile marriages that really did”. Similarly, the test of the Demi-Pharaoh. “The community has to elect one person they trust totally, who then has the power to ban – permanently exile – up to seven people at their whim, any time,” notes Andrew.
To read the full interview and learn more about the game, follow the link below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: A Tale In The Desert Interview
A Tale in the Desert

Last Man Standing Mod: New Video Section, 4.0 Coming Soon
6:44 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Platinum Arts has added a new game videos section to its website. The section showcases footage from the Last Man Standing mod for Doom 3, including a new video of maps to be included in the upcoming 4.0 release. Version 4.0 is very close to release and is currently in final testing.

In this section you will find Last Man Standing Videos, including video of Alucard's maps that are to be included in 4.0!  Anyone else that has created LMS videos is welcome to have their videos posted on the site as well.  Just send me an e-mail or post it in the LMS or PA forums and I'll make sure to add it!

Also I need to mention that I'm working on another project called Platinum Arts Sandbox.  The purpose of the project is to make it as easy as possible for people to create their own games.  Among other things it features in game map editing and co-op editing is supported!  Also it is open source and free!  Check it out and give it a shot!

Last Man Standing 4.0 is very close to a release.  It is entering the final testing stages and then it will be packaged and released.  I just wanted to say thanks to the community for your continued help and support.
Head over to the links below to read more about the latest developments.

Platinum Arts Video Game Videos Section
Platinum Arts Sandbox
Platinum Arts
id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Peter Molyneux Interviewed
6:44 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

CVG has posted a new interview with legendary game developer Peter Molyneux. The interview includes discussion of Molyneux's early days at Bullfrog, his successes and failures over the years, Lionhead's tenth anniversary, and his current work on Fable 2.

Can you tell us a bit about what it was like in those Bullfrog days?
Molyneux: Bullfrog went from being a two band in 1989, which had a meteoric rise to success thanks to Populous. It really was a rags to riches story or like an express train journey where we departed at Populous and the journey continued with games like Syndicate, Theme Park and Magic Carpet and which eventually arrived with the sale of Bullfrog to Electronic Arts.
Looking back, it was a really exciting rollercoaster ride up to that point. But then it was a huge culture shock as well; I was a developer who smoked, drank coke and ate pizza at his desk and all of sudden I was caught up in health and safety issues. Its hard to pinpoint specific highs and lows, the realisation that more than two people wanted to play Populous was an incredible high!

You've expressed disappointment with a number of your other, more acclaimed titles such as The Movies and B&W2. Why is that?
Molyneux: The Movies and Black & White 2 were made under incredible strain. We were a small studio working on four games simultaneously; Fable the Lost Chapters (PC and Xbox), the Movies and Black & White 2 - and they all were finishing together. So I think the quality did suffer.
I now realise it's not enough to finish a game but more a question of finish and then spend a substantial amount of time rebalancing and polishing, which is something we've never had the luxury of until recently. But looking back at The Movies, the sales were not all we'd hoped for and on playing it again I realised that there were too many things to do at the same time, putting too much pressure on the player. It should have been simplified and then would have been more enjoyable.

For the full interview follow the link offered below.

Computer and Video Games: Peter Molyneux Interview
Lionhead Studios

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Inside Mac Games Previews Fable: The Lost Chapters
6:37 AM | Marcus Albers | 12 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of the upcoming RPG title from Feral Interactive, Fable: The Lost Chapters. The gameplay focuses on a high level of customization of the main character, as well as directing the alignment of the character based on actions. Here is a clip from the preview:

One of the many strengths of the game is the interplay of fame or infamy and the subsequent reaction the citizens of Albion to your Hero's presence. Interaction with in-game characters is enjoyable as the citizens of Albion remember who you and are very likely to comment on past acts and social faux pas, with a tendency to rain kudos for all good deeds meted out. Another related aspect is that the Hero is not locked into a particular alignment. Choices made on the fly move the Hero in one direction or the other creating a complex character. If really good, a halo might be displayed over your Hero's head and suddenly you'll notice women (and even men) with large hearts of affection displayed. How far can you take these tokens of affection? That remains to be seen, but if not careful your Hero might end up married- a different kind of adventure.
Click the link below to read the full preview, and stay with IMG for our full review this exciting title.

IMG Preview of Fable: The Lost Chapters
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Feral Interactive
Buy Fable: The Lost Chapters

Mac Games News for Friday, September 14, 2007

Inside Mac Games Reviews Pet Pals Animal Doctor7:40 AM
iWin Releases Jewel Quest II7:33 AM
Football Manager 2008 Screenshots6:00 AM
Frogames Releases Penguins Arena6:00 AM
Penny Arcade Adventures Q&A6:00 AM
Penumbra: Black Plague Announced6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 14, 2007 on one page

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