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Monday, July 7, 2008

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MindHabits To Offer Stress Relief, Self Confidence To Gamers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

Got Game Entertainment recently announced work on MindHabits, a unique new game which Got Game promises will reduce stress and increase self-confidence. MindHabits is based on research conducted by McGill University's Dr. Mark Baldwin and features over 200 levels of play in 4 core game types.

Based on more than a decade of research and findings by Dr. Mark Baldwin of esteemed McGill University in Montreal, MindHabits presents simple and fun challenges that can help you maintain a more positive state of mind resulting in reduced stress, boosted self-confidence, reduced exam anxiety, improved work performance, and even a better golf game!

MindHabits for PC and Mac features scientifically designed training challenges, as well as measurement tools, to help you gain and maintain a more smiling faces in a crowd of frowns, which studies have shown can help train your mind to react to positive information. Similarly, word challenges associate certain concepts with your own personal words, reinforcing positive personal associations and activating positive patterns of thought.

More than a decade of research and findings behind “MindHabits” shows that people can actually train themselves to develop positive mental habits using specially designed games such as MindHabits. Playing can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol by up to 17%, and benefits can be gained from playing in just 5 minutes a day. 

• 200 levels of game play in 4 core games
• Daily tracking of results and measurement of progress over time
• Customizable male/female only options
• Over 1,500 face images in higher levels
• Game play adaptable to player skill level 
• Ability to customize for age, neighborhood, and facial characteristics
• Science lab that explains how and why MindHabits works

Scheduled to be released in August for Mac OS X and Windows, the game will cost $19.99.

Head over to the linked pages below for more information.

Got Game Entertainment

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

Blizzplanet has posted the first part of new preview examining Wrath of the Lich King, the next expansion in the pipeline for the popular MMO, World of Warcraft. The new details were gathered at the recent 2008 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in Paris, and include tidbits about new dungeons, PvP content, and battlegrounds for players to enjoy.

Those who play PvP will really love what is coming in Wrath of the Lich King. You will have to buy the expansion in order to taste for yourself. Aerial combat is making its way into World of Warcraft. You can also mount siege vehicles and cast spells or shoot turrets while other player drives the siege weapon. You heard that right. Lake Wintergrasp is a non-instanced World PvP zone where you must defend or attack several outposts. You can destroy towers and bridges (This are not of Alliance or Horde architechture, but ancient temples). You can visually see if a structure is taking damage and how long before it is destroyed. Blizzard developers are designing broad buildings and structures in a way that allows you to see and recognize from afar what's going on before you get there. We saw a map of each Battleground placed on top of each other to compare the size of Lake Wintergrasp against the other battlegrounds. It is immense, taking in consideration we will be moving quiet fast on these siege weapons or engaged in flying combat. Lake Wintergrasp won't be a 24-hours constant warzone however. It was revealed that Lake Wintergrasp shares a similar gameplay mechanic as the World PvP in the Bone Wastes (Terokkar Forest) where you take the Spirit Towers. It was not revealed at 2008 WWI what the reward would be for either Alliance or Horde players. In Terokkar your faction gets a buff that allows you to loot Spirit Shards from bosses in Auchindoun, for example.
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the preview.

Blizzplanet: WWI 2008 Wrath of the Lich King Preview Part 1
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

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Zeratul: A Biography
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released the next in its new series of character biographies, showcasing important figures from the upcoming RTS sequel, StarCraft II. The new feature turns the spotlight on Zeratul, the renowned dark templar psionic warrior and assassin who has retreated into a self imposed exile after the events of Brood War.

For the moment he focused on a more immediate concern: contacting any other nearby protoss who had survived the Queen of Blades' treachery. Tracking protoss power signatures to an obscure moon, he hoped to reunite with his comrades and return to Shakuras with them in order to plan for the future. Instead of comrades, however, he found a former agent of the Queen of Blades -- the enigmatic Samir Duran -- engaged in breeding protoss/zerg hybrid creatures. Although Zeratul destroyed the facility, Duran claimed that it was merely one of many. Duran also revealed that he had been known by many names over the millennia and that he was not serving the Queen of Blades, but rather a "far greater power". Deeply troubled by what he had seen, Zeratul went into self-imposed exile with only a handful of followers at his side. He continued to seek answers for what manner of being Duran truly was, and what dark future he was working toward.
The full biography can be read at the site below.

StarCraft II: Zeratul Biography
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story posted the results of another new interview withBlizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The lengthy Q&A session provides answers to a variety of questions about StarCraft II, the eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Sci-Fi RTS.

You mentioned in one of the Q&A sessions with Kevin that you're hoping to have some integrated map protection for map authors.
Dustin: That's all stuff, I don't know what the final deal on that will be yet but we'd love to. Obviously map authors are a huge part of right now; we've even hired guys out of the mod community to work on our team. So we really want to continue to support the mod community as best we possibly can and the kids need to flaunt their style.
We have a pretty cool map editor which is coming along really well right now; I can put a unit together in about 10 minutes. It's very very powerful right now but I don't know how user friendly it is at the moment. But very very powerful so I'm going to ship that with the game as well.
We also do make a lot of conscious decisions on the team when we talk about any new feature or anything we want to add to the game, like; "how can this be used to support the modders?" If it's something that we could convert easily from one version to another and we often just go back and re-do things because we know that; "that works for our needs for a solo play mission but if we put in another couple of hours work then that could be something that modders could use across the board.

Talking about the races, did you at any time consider including the Hybrids into StarCraft II?
Dustin: We've definitely talked about possibilities for additional races but pretty early on the team really decided they wanted to focus on the three core races and the thinking behind this was in a sense the core design success of the game is about how these races play so differently from one another.
If we added a fourth race, we'd risk watering down the other three races and we'd be pulling the features from those races and shoving it into this fourth race. If we don't do a fourth race then we can take all of those interesting ideas that would have gone into that fourth race and shove them into those remaining three.
I was a little sceptical at first frankly, I thought "ah, come on guys lets do a fourth race, it'll be fun" -right? However, we've certainly seen how challenging it's been to make the game that we're making now, how hard it is to get the balance right and everything the way you want it to be, so I think it was absolutely the right call and I can stand behind it at least from a creators standpoint. We think: "no, we need to really focus on these three races and make them great". As much fun as it would have been to have a fourth race it would have cost us.

Check out the rest of the interview by following the link below. Dustin Browder Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Friday, July 4, 2008

Diablo III News Roundup6:00 AM
Europa Universalis: Rome Digital Download Available6:00 AM
Maverick Software Announces iPhone Lineup6:00 AM
Midnight Mansion Update Released6:00 AM
StarCraft II Karune Q&A Part 26:00 AM
Wrath Of The Lich King Beta Test Opt-In Now Open6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 4, 2008 on one page

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