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Friday, October 5, 2007

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FIFA 08 Heading To Mac?
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 11 comments

Could EA Sports' FIFA 08 be coming to the Mac? A screenshot sent to us by an IMG reader might hint at the possibility that a Mac version is coming. The IMG reader explains that after he installed the PC version of FIFA 08 under Boot Camp on his Intel IMac, a registration screen popped up at the end of installation. The words "FIFA 08 - PC & Mac" appear on the registration form, which strongly suggests a Mac version might be in the works.

A typo of such magnitude in the registration form would almost certainly have not passed EA's QA department before the game had shipped.

If FIFA 08 for the Mac is in the works, it will likely use Cider, TransGaming's portability engine that is currently being used in EA recent releases such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Need for Speed: Carbon, Command & Conquer 3, and Battlefield 2142. Two EA Sports games, Madden 08 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2008 are scheduled to ship next week.

FIFA 08 recently began shipping for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo WII, XBOX 360, PC, Nintendo DS and Mobile.

EA Sports

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Inside Mac Games Reviews Global Conflict: Palestine
1:14 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Global Conflict: Palestine. Here's a clip from the review:

You are a freelance journalist in Israel and have the option of writing for newspapers in Palestine, Europe and Israel. The newspaper you decide to work for on a particular story dictates what kind of article you will hand in. Palestine papers usually want to hear more about the suffering of its people while Israel is interested in the lives of the soldiers who must face suicide bombers or other terrorists very often. European papers tend to want a more general approach that encompasses both sides.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

Inside Mac Games Review: Global Conflicts: Palestine
Global Conflicts: Palestine
Buy Global Conflicts: Palestine

Bungie Becomes Privately Held Independent Company
8:39 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 38 comments

After a week of rumors flying around that Bungie Software would become break away from Microsoft, an official press release on confirms that the company has become independent. Here's the press release:

Bungie and Microsoft Corp. today announced a plan for Bungie Studios, the developers of Microsoft’s “Halo” franchise, to become a privately held independent company, Bungie, LLC, in which Microsoft will hold a minority equity interest. As part of this transaction, Bungie and Microsoft have forged a deep and long-term development and publishing relationship focused on the continued success of the “Halo” franchise. It is also the intent of both parties to expand their partnership to include new IP created and owned by Bungie.

Bungie’s critically acclaimed Xbox 360® exclusive “Halo 3” achieved $300 million in global sales in its first week. Released on Tuesday, Sept. 25, “Halo 3” is the fastest-selling video game ever and already one of the most successful entertainment properties in history.

“This exciting evolution of our relationship with Microsoft will enable us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create world-class games,” said Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie. “We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft’s platforms; we greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, and we look forward to continuing that affiliation through ‘Halo’ and beyond.”

“Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on. And they will continue to be a great partner. But Bungie is like a shark. We have to keep moving to survive. We have to continually test ourselves, or we might as well be dolphins. Or manatees,” said Jason Jones, Bungie founder and partner.

Bungie’s management retained the services of Don Leeds, senior managing director of B-Hive Global, LLC, to assist in the structuring of the deal and negotiating on their behalf.

Bungie will remain in Kirkland, Washington.

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Madden 08, Tiger Woods 2008 Shipping Next Week
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 6 comments

Inside Mac Games has learned that Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2008 will begin shipping next week. Both games were developed by EA Sports and are being brought to the Mac by TransGaming using the company's Cider portability technology.

Here's a bit more info on each game:

Madden NFL 08: Experience Madden NFL 08 and quickly identify your strongest players on the field before every snap and then move them into position to make game-changing, momentum-altering plays. Play to your team's strengths by immediately reading your opponent's schemes and reacting to the action as soon as the ball is snapped. Create mismatches and exploit weaknesses as you read and react with Madden NFL 08.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2008: You're facing a long putt for par on the 17th hole with Tiger Woods clinging to a one-stroke lead. You've been in this position before, but that doesn't matter now. Or does it? Whether you play it safe or go for broke, Play with Confidence in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08. The all-new Shot Confidence feature uses factors from your previous rounds--including club selection, lie, hole, and more--to determine your confidence heading into each shot.

Both games are currently available for pre-order at Each game requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later and a 1.83 GHz or faster Intel Core Duo processor.

Electronic Arts
Macgamestore: Pre-Order Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2008
Macgamestore: Pre-Order Madden NFL 08
Buy Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008

MacWorld's Take on Recent Interview With Valve
6:00 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

MacWorld's Peter Cohen has written an excellent follow-up piece to the recent interview between Valve's Co-Founder, Gabe Newell and the gaming web site Kikizo. We featured this interview earlier this week which you can read by following the link below, that has led to a fair amount of attention from numerous Mac web sites and forums.

Peter Cohen provides a thorough account of what has transpired with Valve and Mac gaming and his own input in to the matter.

There’s a lot of truth in what Newell is saying, and it’s things that I’ve said and alluded to frequently over the years. Apple definitely doesn’t “get” gaming, at least not in the same way that Microsoft does. Whether you think that’s a benefit or a detriment for Apple all depends on how much you like to play games in your spare time, I suppose.

But to say that’s why Valve isn’t on this platform is a load of horse-hockey, as far as I’m concerned. Valve’s absence on the Macintosh ultimately has very little to do with Apple’s gaming strategy, and everything to do with money.

Follow the link below to the full article at MacWorld.

MacWorld: Half-Life's maker isn't serious about the Mac
IMG: Valve Interview Explores Why There Is No Mac Half-Life

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Mariusnet Returns as PlayMyth Takes Leave
6:00 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

After months of uncertainty, Michael Bagnall, or better known as PMA Blades has shutdown PlayMyth, the Myth games server. In his blog, he states personal and time constraint issues for the main reasons for turning the switch off after several years as the central location for the Myth community.

Nonetheless, the perseverance of the Myth community shows once again in the second incarnation of Mariusnet. Maruisnet v2 is a merger between Mythforums and the old Mariusnet. Today, Mnet supports all three Myth games, as well as Marathon and player statistics.

Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Mariusnet v2
Bungie Studios
Myth II: Soulblighter

Custer Wages War
6:00 AM | Brad Custer | Comment on this story

IMG's Brad Custer has once again updated his own desktop section, this week featuring Electronic Arts' title, Battlefield 2142.

Here's a clip from the update:

Since the announcement that Battlefield 2142 from Electronic Arts was coming to the Mac, my inbox has constantly being buzzing about it. This week we return to the popular realm of the Battlefield series. I decided to base this week on the great box design and I was able to create this week's wallpaper with the help of Electronic Arts. I simply entitled this selection, "Battlefield", and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
Head over to Custer's Desktops to check out the latest creation and download it in a variety of resolutions.

Custer's Desktops

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Exploring The A.I. Of Bots In Enemy Territory Quake Wars
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Planet Quake has posted an interesting interview with id Software's John Dean about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. The Q&A covers a variety of issues related to the artificial intelligence powering the bots in the fast paced first person shooter.

Pappy-R: You've mentioned in a past interview that AI has long been an interest for you, can you give us info on previous AI work?
John Dean: My first AI related program was a simple eco-system simulator that I called "The World" that modeled the lives of digital animals in a varied and changing world. While not very interactive, it allowed you to modify the conditions of the world at any time to see the reaction and progress of the digital life. Later works were based on trying to find practical applications for Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms, often by testing out concepts in my little "World" program. I honestly figured academic AI would be a field I'd move into after High School (that or medicine), but that train got derailed when Quake came out - I became hooked on modding games, especially their AI, and haven't looked back since.

Pappy-R: Bots can out aim a human, but do you think a game bot will ever be able to out think a human player?
John Dean: Much of how intelligent we as programmers can make the AI depends on the resources available. There are a lot of things that are possible even now with AI in games that we just can't do because your creating the AI on top of a cutting edge game/engine that already consumes a lot of resources. In nearly every game out there, the AI is budgeted for only so much CPU/memory, and you can't go over that limit, or it will affect the game's performance. This means theres a lot of really cool things you want to do that you just can't - because its too expensive. In time, with multi-core systems and ever increasing processor speeds, those limits will lessen, and you'll see more and more resources given to the AI. We've started down this track already in ETQW by running the AI in a separate thread, that can take advantage of multiple cores/processors if available.
To read the rest of the interview click over to the site below.

Planet Quake: Quake Wars Q&A
Aspyr Media
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (don't use)

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Age Of Empires III: The WarChiefs Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

MacNN is offering a new review of the recent Age of Empires III expansion, The WarChiefs. The expansion further expands the depth of AoE III with a roster of new features including playable Native American civilizations, A 15 mission single-player campaign, and a host of other updates and additions. MacNN gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5.

From the review:

The War Chiefs is an expansion for Age of Empires III that allows play as one of three new civilizations – Aztec, Iroquois, or Sioux. While Age of Empires places the focus on a European home city and settlement, The War Chiefs moves the perspective of the game to native civilizations as a way of mixing things up a bit. The Aztec civilization is based upon a strong infantry; Iroquois strong artillery and siege weaponry; and Sioux a very strong cavalry.

The War Chiefs places even more emphasis on military development and war fighting than does the basic game. Instead of economic improvements, most buildings offer military improvements. Another example of this change in emphasis is the “all military to this location” feature in exchange for resource trading. This button is located at the bottom portion of the mini map and orders every military unit that you control to one location on the map. This is helpful when your military unit size has out grown your saved groupings and cuts back on the time it takes to order all groups to fight in one area of the map. It is a fun feature but sometimes becomes irritating when an ally needs resources and you realize the familiar resource trading option has been eliminated from this game.
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the review.

MacNN: AoR III The WarChiefs Review
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
Buy Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs

New Wrath of the Lich King Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

A new collection of 8 screenshots from the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard's second expansion for the ever popular World of Warcraft, is now available. Lich King will include an increased Level 80 cap for characters, the new area of Northrend to explore, and the first hero class in the game: the Death Knight.

Players last visited Northrend in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, when Arthas Menethil fused with the spirit of Ner’zhul to become the Lich King, one of the most powerful beings in the Warcraft universe. He now broods atop the Frozen Throne deep in Icecrown Citadel, clutching the rune blade Frostmourne and marshaling the undead armies of the Scourge. In Wrath of the Lich King, the forces of the Alliance and the Horde will venture into battle against the Scourge amid Northrend’s howling winds and fields of jagged ice.

With the opening of the Dark Portal, and the renewed war to stop the Burning Crusade’s destruction of worlds, the heroes of Azeroth have given little thought to the frozen wastes of Northrend - and the terrible, ancient powers that wait there. Yet the brooding evils of the fallen Nerubian empire and their malevolent sovereign have not forgotten Azeroth…
Head over to the Worthplaying site below to view the new screenshots.

Worthplaying: Wrath of the Lich King Screenshots
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

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Macgamestore: Zuma Deluxe UB & Arkanoid Space Ball Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Macgamestore recently added a Universal Binary version of Zuma Deluxe and the Breakout style Arkanoid: Space Ball to its catalog of games.

More about the games:

Zuma Deluxe:
Unearth the ancient secrets of Zuma! Survive the hidden jungle temples... shoot magical balls to clear a deadly chain... avoid dangerous traps... and do it all before the chain reaches the golden skull. Be quick, or you'll be history in this action-packed challenge.

- 3d accelerated graphics and effects
- Discover new realms in Adventure mode
- Test your skills with Gauntlet mode
- Stunning sounds and tribal tunes!
- Over 20 temples to explore!

Arkanoid: Space Ball
If you've ever played the classic Arkanoid break-out style game, then you'll love the latest incarnation: Arkanoid: Space Ball. Featuring futuristic atmosphere, modern techno-style graphics, dynamical gameplay and an excellent soundtrack, this new game is a must for all Arkanoid admirers.

The game features levels soaring in space, meteorites, spacecrafts and guns of enemies constantly threatening your life. Numerous bonuses drop out from the broken blocks that will help you to pass all obstacles: the laser, the rocket launcher, force fields and many more.

- Level generator
- Level editor
- 2 modes to play
- Nice gameplay
- Fun sounds, cool visual style
- Original bonuses and power-ups
- Unusual space objects
- Joystick and GamePad support

Both games cost $19.95 and are available as digital downloads. Zuma Deluxe requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher and at least a G4 processor, while Arkanoid: Space Ball requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.

Follow the links below for more information.

Buy Zuma Deluxe
Buy Arkanoid: Space Ball

Mac Games News for Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tuncer's Blog: The Real Reason Half-Life 2 Isn't on the Mac1:29 PM
Bungie To Split From Microsoft?6:00 AM
C&C 3: Tiberium Wars Reviewed6:00 AM
CrossOver Adds Team Fortress II Support6:00 AM
Developer Seeks Chance At iPhone6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 4, 2007 on one page

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