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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spore Galactic Edition Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Maxis, an Electronic Arts studio, recently announced the limited Galactic Edition of Will Wright's upcoming Spore god sim. This special box will contain the 'Making of Spore' DVD, ‘The Art of Spore’ hardback mini-book, a fold-out Spore poster, and a premium 100-page Galactic Handbook. The Galactic Edition will also feature a DVD documentary from the National Geographic Channel called “How to Build a Better Being”.

“The Spore Galactic Edition is the ultimate backstage pass for the Spore universe,” said Patrick Buechner, vice president of marketing, Maxis. “The Spore Galactic Edition is an incredible collection of art, video and behind-the-scenes access to the development team for fans, along with some of the coolest, most collectable packaging in years.”

Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box. Create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe filled with creations made by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even UFOs.
The Galactic Edition of Spore will be available for $79.99. Spore is scheduled to ship on September 5th, 2008.

Electronic Arts
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Blizzard's Rob Pardo Discusses Game Making
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamasutra has posted an overview of comments made by Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Pardo at the Game Developers Conference. During the discussion Pardo covers a range of topics including StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, and the company's plans for the future.

Next, the discussion moved on to the upcoming RTS Starcraft 2, which, according to Pardo, " at a fun stage. There’s lots of stuff happening. The game is playable, and it’s quite fun. We’re now really starting to make ground on the single player."

But how, Moledina, asked, do you balance input from the community, versus the team, versus marketing team focus group data on a tremendously datarich game such as Starcraft 2?

Pardo mused: "The first thing is that everyone playing the game has an opinion. And you can’t take opinions as right or wrong, because for that person it’s true. And you can’t take it personally."

He then mentioned that someone sent him a 16 page diatribe on a balance change he made in one of Blizzard's titles, and said that he actually hired the guy.
To read the rest of the comments head over to the link provided below.

Gamasutra: The Rob Pardo Experience
Blizzard Entertainment

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

StarCraft Legacy has posted an interview with Blizzard's StarCraft II community manager, Karune. The Q&A offers answers to specific questions about units and abilities in the upcoming sci-fi RTS, including a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Zerg Hydralisk.

1) What is the current state of the Hydralisk? The current stats we have are tier 2-2.5, 100 minerals, 75 gas, 80-90 HP, and 8-10 dmg with no special abilities. Compared to the Roach, the Hydralisk appears inferior in every way, with it's only saving grace being GTA capability. However, because the Mutalisk is in the same tier, only slightly more expensive, and it can fly, the Hydralisk appears to be almost useless for such an iconic unit.
Actually, the Hydralisk has since been boosted up quite a bit in terms of damage. They currently have 80 hit points and have a ground attack of 13 + 3 versus armored and an air attack of 12 + 5 versus armored. The Hydralisk also has a range of 6 and moves at a ‘fast’ speed, with no need to upgrade with the speed bonus anymore. Roaches on the other hand, only have an attack of 10, half the Hydralisk’s range, and is slower to move as well. The new damage the Hydralisk is able to put out now makes it very dangerous, as Zerg players will be able to take out buildings with a pack of Hydras, with only a few volleys (same goes to Battlecruisers!). Nonetheless, they are extremely weak at 80 hit points, and thus need to always be protected. The new cost for Hydralisks are also 100 minerals and 100 gas.

4) With the Medivac being a late-game tech, are Terran infantry impaired against the other two races in early to mid-game?
No, Terran is actually quite strong early game for a few different reasons. One, their tier 1 unit is ranged and is thus excellent at defending cliffs without being able to be countered without sight. Two, the new supply depots are excellent at building the perfect barricade in early game. Three, Marauders are very tough and are excellent at winning heavy micromanaged battles, preventing units from reaching your Marines.
Check out the full Q&A at the link provided below.

SC Legacy: Karune Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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id Software's Matt Hooper On User Generated Content
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

In a recent interview with Next-Gen, id Software's Matt Hooper answered questions about the gaming industry and id's plans for the future. Topics in the Q&A cover game designer specialization, user generated game content, and the upcoming Rage.

What are your thoughts on user-created content?
As a game player, I love it. But that doesn’t mean at the same time I can’t love a BioShock or a Call of Duty 4. You can have a focused game, and do that really well. I think that’s the important thing – doing something really well. What the other games mentioned do as far as user created content, and just on that side of things, it’s like a different focus. I think there can be a separation, almost like movie genres. It’s okay to make a comedy, or a really hardcore, serious documentary. I think there are different fits.
For us personally, our biggest goal is – you can see it right now – we’re pushing on the fidelity, visually. We’re also pushing on the gameplay fidelity. Those two things are huge. For us, we’re doing things that we’ve never done before. That’s already a lot of eggs in the basket. As far as user-generated content, it’s not a huge consideration for us right now. 

id games have always had mods, but what Spore and LittleBigPlanet have done is make it automatic, and networked. You can get other people’s creatures, without doing anything at all. Have you ever thought about automatically connected maps and a user ranking system for maps in Rage?
Yeah, we thought about all of that, but I can’t say we’ve specifically implemented it right now. Again, we’re concentrating more on just making a great game with this new tech. But those conversations happen all the time.
Head over to the link provided below to read more.

Next-Gen: id's Matt Hooper
id Software

Mac Games News for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apple Games Features WALL•E6:00 AM
Discussing The Success Of Phase For iPod6:00 AM
Supernova 2: Spacewar Reviewed6:00 AM
WALL•E Ships To Retail Stores6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, June 25, 2008 on one page

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