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Thursday, March 27, 2008

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StarCraft II: Q&A Round 33, Screenshot Series
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The 33rd Q&A focusing on answers to fan questions about StarCraft II, Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited sequel to the original StarCraft, is now available. This edition of the Q&A provides a screenshot depicting an epic battle between Zerg and Protoss. SC II will introduce new multiplayer action and a continuation of the storyline.

Chat with Devs: After the Zerg release, I have been asking Dustin what types of changes are being made to the other factions during this process, and one of the most interesting ones that have been added has to do with the Terran Ghost. In order for the Terrans to counter the various new casters that have been introduced to all sides in StarCraft II, the Ghost can now detect units with energy in a 30 yard radius. This passive ability works similarly to the Sensor Tower, revealing their location even within the fog of war. This ability could also no doubt open up some interesting assassination type single player missions as well with the Ghost.

2. What will Zerglings be able to do against new Jackal? (
Attacking Jackals efficiently with Zerglings will take a bit of micromanagement, making sure that Zerglings are spread out or attacking from different directions. The Jackals hit points have also been reduced from 125 to 75 with a slight increase to their speed. This will make them more vulnerable to Zerglings if you can get them close to surround the Jackals.

4. In lieu of the Nydus Worm, will the Zerg Overlord maintain its "Ventral Sacs" upgrade? Will the Ultralisk have any sort of unit carrying capacity? (
Currently, the Overlord's original Ventral Sacs ability has been taken out. With the introduction of the Nydus Worm, the Zerg will have more than enough mobility to keep their enemies on their toes. On that note, the Ultralisk will not be able to carry units.

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

StarCraft Forums: SC 2 Q&A Batch 33
StarCraft Forums: Ask Your SC 2 Questions Here
StarCraft Forums: Q&A Archive
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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IMG Reviews Drop Point: Alaska
12:02 PM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the extreme snow boarding game Drop Point: Alaska by Bongfish and published by MacSoft. Here's a clip from the review:

Challenges are fairly easy to understand. They come in 3 forms – Trick or Die, Highscore Challenge and Stick a Trick. Trick or Die forces you to complete tricks in order of listing in a time limit. Score one of the tricks and the time limit is increased, thus making it easier to finish. Highscore runs show the video of the best scorer in the world and encourage you to be it, causing you to “own” the run and your recording to be placed over the previous best. The last, Stick a Trick, is an open canvas. The trick is totally up to you, but it has to fit into the required trick types, i.e. a spin or grab. Bongfish states that there are over 100 challenges on the mountain, though you only have to complete 50 to unlock the final “Alaska pro Challenge”.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Drop Point: Alaska
Drop Point: Alaska
Buy Drop Point: Alaska

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Apple Games Features Cars: Mater National
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

The latest feature from Apple Games gets on track with an examination of Disney/Pixar's Cars: Mater National. The game returns to the animated world of Cars, allowing players to join in the fun as the characters from the movie prepare for an international racing festival in Radiator Springs. The article offers an overview of the game's features, tips and tricks for success, and a list of cheat codes.

Your success in races and mini-games earns you Bolt Banners; the better you do, the more you earn. Collect enough of them to enter races against the international champions at Lightning’s new stadium. Win those races to move closer to the final showdown against Giovanni.

While competing in races and mini-games, as well as while cruising around the game environment, you’ll also get the chance to scoop up bonus points. Collect the bolts, as well as new paint jobs and wheel sets, you’ll find scattered around Radiator Springs, Ornament Valley, and Tailspin Pass. During races, pulling off big jumps, gliding through turns with well-executed powerslides, and setting new records also bestow extra points. Use your accumulated bonus to unlock new cars and paint jobs, as well as game production artwork.

Between story mode sessions, arcade mode lets you revisit any of the races and mini-games you’ve completed, with any of the unlocked cars for you to choose from. If you want to go head-to-head against a friend in certain events, you can do so in Vs. mode.
Check out the full article at the link below.

Apple Games: Cars Mater National

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Avernum 5 Post Mortem
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

A recent RPG Vault article from Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software reveals the designer's goals for Avernum 5 and the fan's reaction to the game. The fifth in the popular Avernum/Exile series offers a large amount of new areas, missions, and items to enjoy as well as the chance to play as soldiers of the Empire.

Audience Response
As usual, we're too small to get too much media attention - which is a pity, because I think that Avernum 5 is an awful lot of fun. Fan reaction has been really, really positive. Forum comments and e-mails have been very, very positive. And, more importantly, Avernum 5 has sold better than any game we've written in a long time.
All I can say is try it out. The first 10 minutes of the game, where you meet the person who has been sent to help you get started, says a lot about what kind it is. That part still cracks me up.
It's still too early to tell how the game will hold up in the long run, but I'm really optimistic.

Areas for Improvement
The main thing I plan to improve is the graphical engine. It is simply too old, and it doesn't do enough to take advantage of improvements in computers over the last decade or so.
Our next games will use a new graphics engine that is based on OpenGL. They will still run on older machines, but they will be able to take advantage of the graphical improvements in newer systems. The graphics will still be low-budget, but we can do a lot more.

Looking Ahead
We are planning to write an Avernum 6. It will be the final game in the series, and I hope to bring the saga of Avernum to a satisfying conclusion. There are story threads and characters that have been building up over the previous five games, and I am finally going to bring them forward and let them be dealt with. It is going to be a pretty violent and chaotic game. I'm looking forward to writing it.
For the full article follow the link below.

RPG Vault: Avernum 5 Wrap Report
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 5
Buy Avernum 5

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Pétur Óskarsson Discusses The Council Of Stellar Management
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Warcry Network recently posted a new interview with CCP Games' Pétur Óskarsson. The article examines the recently formed Council of Stellar Management in the sci-fi MMO EVE Online. The council is made up of players who voice the concerns of the game community to the developers. The new council is entirely elected by the game's player base, with elections held every six months.

WarCry: Tell me about the CSM, where did the idea come from?
Pétur Óskarsson: In the beginning, we had the CSM and back in 2003 we advertised for volunteers. We then hand-picked the volunteers based on our criteria, things like size of corporation, play style, time in the game. That kind of fell off in 2004, and we are reviving it with the improvement that players are going to elect the candidates to the Council. Once a member is elected they will be flown once per term to Iceland, and the terms will be six months. We hope that they serve as a conduit from the players to us. They will not have any official power, meaning they cannot veto designs or changes to the game but they will have a voice and be able to state their opinions and give input.
Everyone can run, we in no way want to limit the participation. Well, maybe limit it for the players that have threatened to kill us (laughs). Everyone can vote however and it will be one vote for each account. Players will run under their real names and be tied to their in game persona so others can relate to you better. Right now we have plans for nine positions to make up the CSM.
We wanted to open it up to let the players elect them because if we were to just select candidates, we would effectively be selecting what we wanted them to say. By having the players select them, we are opening up a can of worms but nonetheless we are not controlling the input, they can bring up anything they want to. It will be very difficult for the first year but we see it as good for EVE in the long term and we hope to get the best results.
To read the rest of the Q&A follow the link below.

WarCry Network: EVE Online Q&A
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 26, 2008

IMG Podcast Episode 37 Released11:42 AM
A Guide For Newcomers To EVE Online6:00 AM
CrossOver Games Released6:00 AM
Hoyle Card Games Digital Download Available6:00 AM
WoW: Fury Of The Sunwell Patch Now Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 26, 2008 on one page

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