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Thursday, March 6, 2008

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Spore, Other Games Coming Via iPhone SDK
12:00 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 19 comments

Apple today announced the much-anticipated iPhone SDK (software development kit) at a special press only event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. The iPhone SDK provides developers with a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and tools to create innovative applications for iPhone and iPod touch.

During the event, Travis Boatman, vice president for EA Mobile, showed off Spore, a multi-platform god game designed by The Sims' creator, Will Wright. Boatman controlled the game via the accelerometer found in the iPhone.

Sega also showed off an iPhone game, Super Monkey Ball. The game also used the accelerometer to control the gameplay. According to the Sega representative showing off the demo, the game is a full version of the console version, not a scaled down cell phone game.

Apple also showed off its own game for demo purposes. In a matter of two weeks, Apple engineers wrote Touch Fighter, an OpenGl space game which uses the accelerometer to control the ship and tapping on the screen to fire.

The upcoming iPhone 2.0 software release will contain the App Store, a new application that lets users browse, search, purchase and wirelessly download third party applications directly onto their iPhone or iPod touch. The App Store enables developers to reach every iPhone and iPod touch user.

Developers set the price for their applications—including free—and retain 70 percent of all sales revenues. Users can download free applications at no charge to either the user or developer, or purchase priced applications with just one click. Enterprise customers will be able to create a secure, private page on the App Store accessible only by their employees. Apple will cover all credit card, web hosting, infrastructure and DRM costs associated with offering applications on the App Store. Third party iPhone and iPod touch applications must be approved by Apple and will be available exclusively through the App Store.

Electronic Arts
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A First Look At Freeverse's iPhone Games
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In anticipation of Apple's opening the iPhone and iPod Touch to developers, Freeverse has unveiled a new webpage on its site. The page gives a glimpse of some of the game ideas the company is hoping to develop for the handheld devices. Flick Sports will take advantage of the phone's unique flick/pinch feature to offer new takes on sports like Golf, Bowling, Soccer, and Baseball. Flick Sports: Moto Racing will utilize the tilt sensor to allow players to steer by turning the iPhone.

Here at Freeverse, we’ve always loved Apple technologies and have had a blast incorporating them into our games wherever possible… from Apple Speech Recognition in Hearts Deluxe way back in 1994, to iChat integration in the more recent Big Bang Board Games.

Now, Apple is opening up the iPhone and iPod Touch to developers and we are beyond excited!

Everyone at Freeverse is in love with their iPhones, and we’ve got some terrific ideas for new games and applications. Some ideas we’re keeping under wraps for a while, but a few we really just couldn’t wait to share.

While we await the official SDK from Apple, here is some of the screen-mock and prototype work we’ve been doing:

Flick Sports™
Using the iPhone’s unique flick/pinch feature, we’re working on Golf, Bowling, Soccer, and Baseball (to start). Fun, colorful and quick, these will be ideal games for a modern mobile platform.

Flick Sports: Moto Racing
Ah, the wind in your hair, the bugs in your teeth and the open road stretching out in front of you! Using the iPhone’s cool accelerometer, (you know, that doohickey that knows when your iPhone is sideways or not), you can steer your motorcycle to victory in this wild racing game. Awesome characters and a touch of humor, its a Freeverse game after all, will add to the fun.

Click over to the site below to check out Freeverse's plans.

Freeverse iPhone Games First Peek

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

Mac|Life has posted a short new review of Bubble Bash, one of the many new titles added to the growing list of games for Apple's iPod. The game offers Bust-a-Move style bubble bashing with with 100 levels, several types of challenges, and a variety of power ups. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Great game mechanics inspire decades of imitators, and Bubble Bash for the iPod clearly follows Bust-a Move. You might also remember the basic idea as remixed in Snood and many others: erase on-screen bubbles by firing new ones, matching three or more of the same color. Using a light touch to aim with the click wheel, Bubble Bash pulls off this core gameplay, adding a few of its own flourishes.

Already-done game modes, where new rows of bubbles drop down from the ceiling are joined by others, like levels with bubbles suspended by balloons. These hanging clumps sink with more weight, drift when hit from the side, and otherwise react to your moves. And instead of trying to clear them all, you just need to sever the bubble attached to the balloon string. Further embellishments include different bubble types: bombs destroy neighbors, frozen bubbles shatter regardless of color, and more. Some of those get confusing—like remembering several types of bombs—but they generally work to hold players’ interest.
Head over to the site below to read the review.

Mac|Life: Bubble Bash

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Hilmar Petursson Discusses EVE Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments recently published a new interview with CCP Games' CEO Hilmar Petursson. The interview touched on a variety of topics including the company's recent merger with White Wolf, the success of EVE Online, and upcoming additions to the sci-fi MMO.

Beyond expansions we are told that in this coming summer, the dev team will be looking "aggressively" at the idea of story-based factional warfare that would see players be given PvE quests that would lead players into PvP. The hope is that this will get more players more excited about joining the living, breathing political world of Corps, PvP, territory control and more. All of this, we are told, will be done with the idea of maintaining the sandbox in mind. Once again, the company has recognized the potential threat that adding PvE content can have on a sandbox and is taking steps to prevent it.

Finally, Hilmar tolked breifly about Ambulation, or "walking on stations" as they have been calling it. This feature will take EVE from a ship-only game to a more involved universe that sees characters gain new avatars as well as the ships that they pilot. While there was no new information that he could give me, he did point out the enormity of that particular task. While Trinity was a huge expansion, both in terms of content and dev team effort, Petursson predicts that this new initiative will be "Trinity times two".
Read the full interview at the link provided below. CCP Games Interview
CCP Games
EVE Online

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Ads Coming To StarCraft II?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

In a new interview with Generation, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick discussed the future of the gaming company. Among other things Kotick mentioned the value of Blizzard's experience releasing games in other countries, and the possibility of including some form of in-game advertising in the upcoming StarCraft II.

But WoW isn't the only ace up Blizzard's sleeve. There's StarCraft 2, which is coming to PC (eventually). The first title in the revered real-time strategy game franchise launched in 1998 and is still one of Korea's most popular games 10 years later. Maxing out revenues related to such popular franchises will be a priority for Activision Blizzard.

"On the Blizzard side, [we need to] really be figuring out things like the StarCraft business model for the future, with in-game advertising and sponsorship, [which have] really not been something that has moved the dial for anybody in the videogame industry, but that we think presents tremendous opportunity for the future.

"[Blizzard] has been thinking about how StarCraft, because it is a short-session experience, can actually be the model for in-game advertising and sponsorship and tournament play and ladder play for the future."
The full article can be found at the link below.

Blizzard has responded to Kotick's comments- "We have no plans to have in-game advertising in StarCraft II. We believe Bobby was actually referring to, which has always included ads." ActiBlizz Ponders The Future
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Inside Mac Games Reviews Colin McRae Rally1:12 PM
A Word On Scrabble For iPod6:00 AM
Drop Point Alaska Reviewed6:00 AM
Mini-Golf Now Compatible With Newer iPods6:00 AM
World Of Warcraft Designer Interviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 5, 2008 on one page

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