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Monday, January 28, 2008

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Turret Wars MP Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Sector3 Games has released Turret Wars MP, a fast paced networked multi-player 3D arcade game in which players take control of a gun turret and battle for survival against either human or enemy AI opponents. The full game features network play against up to 9 opponents, nine battle environments, four turret types, four difficulty levels, and an internet scoreboard.

You can either start your own networked game (as the server) and allow others to join your game, or select another game to join from a list of waiting servers.

You can mix and match networked players with computer controlled turrets and set your own game rules. Games can be played over the internet or on a local LAN.

You can collect powerup bunkers to help you survive longer as well and increase your projectile damage or increase your health. There are even missile powerup bunkers to help you shoot down the enemy bombers and drop ships.

Choose from NINE amazing playing environments, each with their own difficulties and strategies, or select RANDOM and let the game select random environments for you.

Choose from FOUR different gun turret types, each with slightly different weapon and armor or projectile features. Computer controlled enemy turrets will be chosen as a random selection of these turret types.

You get the choice of fighting against between ONE to NINE network players and or computer controlled gun turrets, in FOUR different difficulty levels. Each difficulty level also introduces differing wind conditions.

Highscores are saved on our internet based high scores server (if you have an active internet connection) so you can compare your scores against other players around the world, based on difficulty level, environment and enemy turrets being fought.
A demo of the game is available from the Sector3 website. The full game costs $19.95. For more information follow the links below.

Turret Wars MP
Sector3 Games

The Expo's Fading Games Pavilion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a new Game Room posting Macworld's Peter Cohen has offered his views on the Games Pavilion at the recent Macworld Expo. Cohen examines the history of the Games Pavilion and its current state in light of diminishing support from Apple.

So IDG World Expo is trying where it can, but ultimately, what hurts the Games Pavilion is Apple’s utter indifference to it. It’s a microcosm of the Mac game business in general, where publishers have seen ambivalence from Apple for years unless they’re really big players in the PC and console game market. And I’m sure that has a lot to do with why EA exhibited at Macworld Expo this year.

But in the process Apple seems content to let die on the vine the existing game market—comprising, as it does, smaller publishers who have focused on licensing and developing proven properties for release on the Mac.

Maybe that’s the best thing for the Mac game market. Maybe we’ll have to be content with the occasional offering from a company like EA, Blizzard or CCP Games—companies that can make a business case for being on the Mac. But the slipshod way Apple treats its past business partners should be a good cautionary tale for any company, even one with the deep pockets of EA.

Whether the diminishing Games Pavilion is caused by Apple’s indifference or is affected by Apple’s indifference, the result is pretty much the same from where I’m sitting: There’s less of it, less reason for exhibitors to be involved and less of a gaming presence on the Macworld Expo show floor than there ought to be.
To read more follow the link provided below.

Macworld's Game Room: Stick A Fork In The Games Pavilion

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Wrath Of The Lich King Bestiary Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new preview page for its Wrath of the Lich King website. The second expansion for the ever popular World of Warcraft MMO will feature a variety of new creatures for player to encounter such as the Nerubian Vizier and Plague Eruptor, both of which can be seen on the new bestiary page.

Wrath of the Lich King will introduce a vast new land and many new dungeons to the game. A multitude of strange and terrifying creatures inhabit the frozen continent of Northrend. This page contains a few of the many new monsters players will encounter as they venture deep into the forgotten lands and desolate wastes of the Lich King's domain.

Nerubian Vizier:
The half-spider, half-humanoid viziers once served as advisors, sorcerers, and seers to the mighty nerubian spiderlords. But in the aftermath of the War of the Spider, the tables turned, and in the vacuum of their collapsed society, the cunning viziers rose to power. Utilizing their sorcery and high intelligence, the viziers have emerged as the rulers of the nerubians' underground kingdom.

It is rumored that the viziers themselves may serve an unseen emperor, one who is destined to lead the ancient spider-people to a final victory over the Scourge. While many can only speculate as to the existence of this nerubian emperor, some continue to investigate the link believed to exist between the nerubians and the vicious insect race known as the qiraji.

To view more of the new creatures click over to the link provided below.

Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 27, Community Page
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Another Q&A batch and an addition to the official website were recently unveiled for StarCraft II by Blizzard Entertainment. The 27th question and answer session delves into unit and map balance and includes a hands-on description of the Null Void ability. The website update offers a new community section which features up-to-date links to the latest developer Q&A batches, BlizzCasts, regularly updated community spotlights, latest forum discussions, and future community projects.

From the Q&A:

Gameplay Blog: By the way, Im still looking for a good name for this section, that I hope everyone here could help me with Additionally, this week I want to elaborate on the second ability of the Protoss Nullifier mentioned in the last Q&A Batch. The Null Void, an ability currently at 50 energy cost, prevents abilities from being cast in an area of effect radius. In recent skirmishes with Terran opponents, when my Zealots engaged a group of M&Ms (Marines & Medics), my Nullifiers were able to cast Null Void over the enemy group, and the Medics were unable to heal for a good 15 seconds. When they retreated out of the Null Void area, I cast a second Null Void on them, and by that time, more than half of their Marines had fallen to my Zealots. Furthermore, my Nullifiers, having a base ranged attack, were able to focus fire on fleeing Marines.

3) In StarCraft 1 the basic tier 1 units were balanced against higher tech units almost equally by their unique role within each race as they were by unique unit upgrades and a greater benefit from the standard upgrades.
How much effort are you putting into making lower tech units viable higher up in the tech tree in ways other than upgrades that just makes them a "better unit" such as hit points and damage?

[Dustin Browder] We are putting a huge amount of effort into making sure that the tier 1 units are useful throughout the game. We are also putting a large amount of effort into trying to get as much mileage as we can out of each of our upgrades so that upgrades really change how you can use a unit (but without fundamentally altering its role). The Marine is an example of a work-in-progress unit. We think the shield looks cool, but we are still working on how it will affect gameplay. Actually, in current builds Marines+Medics+Stim are so powerful that the shield is not that necessary in a lot of matchups.
Check out the new StarCraft II information at the links provided below.

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 27
StarCraft II Community Page
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Penumbra: Black Plague Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Play has posted a new preview of Frictional Games' Penumbra: Black Plague, the sequel to Overture. The final chapter in the Penumbra story will thrust players into a creepy environment of horror where they must solve puzzles to survive. The preview also includes several screenshots from the game.

With the exploration and puzzle solving side of things firmly placed centre stage it's the impressive physics engine that's used to create most of the game's posers. Every object populating the game world can be manipulated much like you could in real life, with everything around you reacting to your actions as you'd expect. It's not as simple as just pointing and clicking however; you'll have to use your mouse to mimic the required action. Grab the lid of a box and push the mouse up to open it, hold a leaver and use a circular motion on the mouse to turn it, that kind of thing. This adds a nice degree of versatility to your interaction, although there were some teething problems with the translations of your blatantly 2D mouse movement into a proper 3D world in the preview code I got my hands on.

The use of the game world to provide the puzzles in this way is a welcome change from the more traditional combine 'x with y' to produce 'z' approach taken by other adventure games. It makes things feel far more intuitive and, dare I say it, realistic. An early example of the game's perfectly logical stance to puzzles has you using a vice on a workbench to flatten a coin before you can use it as a makeshift screwdriver, just like you would in real life (were you to ever find yourself locked in a room with nothing but a coin, a vice and a ventilation shaft for company). There's also often multiple ways to solve puzzles, the focus very clearly and commendably on providing a fully 'working' world and then letting you find your own way about it using the tools provided.
Head over to the website below to read the rest of the preview.

Play: Penumbra Black Plague Preview
Frictional Games

Mac Games News for Friday, January 25, 2008

Inside Mac Games Posts Call of Duty 4 First Look3:10 PM
Custer Heads Off To Battle6:00 AM
Penumbra: Black Plague Dev Diary, Screenshots6:00 AM
Playing Imagine Poker 36:00 AM
Pole Position Remix Reviewed6:00 AM
Real Time Strategy Games, A Look At The Future6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 25, 2008 on one page

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