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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 19
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The 19th Q&A focusing on answers to fan questions about StarCraft II, Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited sequel to the original StarCraft, is now available. The game will pick up the storyline a few years after the time of Brood War and introduce competitive new multiplayer action for players to enjoy.

1. Will the Protoss be getting any mechanism for healing their units or repairing their buildings?
There are no plans to give the Protoss any healing abilities, especially since their shield regeneration rate when out of combat, is more than twice the rate of the original StarCraft.

2. With the new physics engine, can explosions affect surroundings? (like hurt or push units, destroy doodads, etc )
Explosions will not be able to push units, but they can destroy doodads. In fact, destroying certain doodads will be vital on certain maps, to get access to expansions or other strategic locations. Furthermore, explosions will not be able to push units because it would affect gameplay and balance negatively, in having units be knocked off cliffs, be stuck in unplanned locations, or ultimately have units disoriented where the player cannot control them.

5. What do the Protoss eat? (where do they get energy and mass?)
Protoss gain nutrition from sunlight, or at a pinch, moonlight (which is just reflected sunlight anyway) by absorbing through their skins. They can go for extended periods without absorbing sunlight. What little moisture they need is also absorbed through their skin.

Head over to the link below to read the rest of the Q&A.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 19
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC2 Questions Here
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Chocolatier Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of PlayFirst's Chocolatier, a casual title combining arcade action with resource management and a bit of storyline. In the game players must build a chocolate empire by trading for ingredients, maximizing factory production speed in an arcade mini-game, and selling the sweet confections for the best price. The Game Room gave Chocolatier a score of 4 out of 5.

There’s also an arcade game element involved in getting the recipes just right. Each factory contains a machine that produces the chocolates, comprising a rotating housing with slots in it. You need to use your mouse to aim and fire the correct ingredients into the machine in the appropriate proportions. A plain chocolate bar might be one part cacao bean, one part sugar, for example, while a milk chocolate bar requires one part milk as well. When you start making mint chocolate confections or truffles, the recipes get even more elaborate. The more accurately you do this (the machine spins faster and faster as it gets up to production speed), the greater your rate of output.

Some tycoon-game enthusiasts will find this arcade element in Chocolatier to be off-putting—this certainly isn’t consistent with other business-simulation games, but it does break up the gameplay a little bit, and it offers you something different. It’s also quite whimsical, and helps to add a little Charlie and the Chocolate Factory element to the game that I quite enjoyed.
The full review is available at the link below.

Macworld Game Room: Chocolatier Review
Buy Chocolatier

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Halo Movie Still In Production
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Despite being officially postponed due to squabbles over potential film profits, Variety brings word that the Halo movie project is still in pre-production. A Peter Jackson representative also confirmed that Microsoft is currently in talks to find new distribution partners for the movie.

Moreover, Kamins said that pre-production is underway with Weta Digital and Weta Workshop working on the movie.

According to Kamins, the studios pulled out because they couldn't reach a deal with Microsoft on the share of profits for the film. "Basically, they said that in order to move forward with the film, the filmmakers had to significantly reduce their deals. They waited until the last minute to have this conversation. Peter and Fran, after speaking with their producing partners and with Microsoft and Bungie, respectfully declined," he said.

Kamins also reiterated the importance of the proposed director Neill Blomkamp: "Part of what excited Peter and Fran was Neill's vision. We're very confident this film will move forward with the creative partners intact, who will take the film to production."
Click over to the site below for more information.

GameDailybiz: Halo Movie Not Dead?
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Casual Games Association Releases 2007 Report
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Casual Games Association recently released its 2007 report on the casual games industry. The report features a collection of statistics and other data that give a picture of the most popular casual titles and the gamers who play them. Solitaire, Tetris, and Bejewelled ranked among the most popular casual games.

A few statistics from the report:

- Casual games are a $2.25 billion a year industry.
- The casual game market is growing at 20% a year.
- Over 200 million people play casual games each month over the Internet.
- Men make up 48.3% of casual game players, women 51.7%. However, women account for 74% of paying casual game players.
- Casual gamers who pay for a subscription and/or are community users average 7 - 15 hours of online play a week.
- Heaviest play times are right after dinner from 7pm - 9pm and during lunch from 11am - 2pm.
- The majority of online portals feature catalogs of over 1,000 games and add between 75 to 300 new games to their catalogs each year.
- Casual games are usually played for a short period of time increments, from five minutes to 20 minutes -- though it's common for people to play one game after another for many hours.
For more information about the report click over to the Gamasutra page linked below.

Gamasutra: Casual Games Association 2007 Report
Casual Games Association

Mac Games News for Monday, October 29, 2007

ControllerMate Update Adds Leopard Compatibility6:00 AM
Macgamestore: Mahjong Roadshow Download Available6:00 AM
Pet Doc Released6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 3 Site Update6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 29, 2007 on one page

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