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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kasino 2.0 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

baKno has announced the release of Kasino 2.0, the company's cards simulation game for Mac OS X. Version 2.0 introduces online gaming, gathering players from all over the world onto a single casino table.

Combined with its sleek design, user options as well as online gaming, Kasino is sure to offer engaging game play for all ages.

Kasino currently offers the popular Texas Holdem Game and baKno plans the addition of other well known casino table games such as Black Jack and Caribbean Poker. When playing offline, Kasino seats the player against 9 out of 500 simulated players. Version 2.0 introduces online gaming, gathering players from all over the world into a single table.
• Mac OS X Version 10.2 or higher
• Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel
• 9.6 MB Hard Drive space
A full-featured demo version is available for download from the baKno website. Single seat licenses are priced at $19.95 USD. There is also a promotional two-seat license available for $29.95 USD.

Kasino 2.0

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Thomas Riegsecker Begins A New Chapter In Eschalon Book II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

RPGWatch has released a new interview with Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker about the upcoming Eschalon: Book II, the second title in the "old school" fantasy RPG series which began in Book I. The interview covers several topics related to the game including the introduction of food and water requirements, new challenges and awards, and weather effects.

RPGWatch: Early discussion has seen the food and water meters being debated.  Is there more to this than just buying food occasionally and what do you think this will add to the game?  How do you make food meaningful, without being annoying?
Thomas Riegsecker: Well, as we have said, food and water requirements are being put in to further establish Eschalon as a true old-school RPG. Traditionally, this has been used to put limits on camping abuse- players who take a couple hits then retreat to camp, repeating over and over. Obviously, this strategy becomes much more difficult if your character is consuming resources. But rather than impose new rules on players who enjoyed Book I as it was, we have decided to make food and water an optional gameplay element which you can disable if you want.

For players who do want to play with this additional level of realism, food acquisition becomes just as much a part of your character build as the type of weapon you wield. Food can be hunted for, gathered via foraging, purchased, found, or created via magic. You feed your character in the manner that is most convenient to you.

RPGWatch: Another sometimes controversial element of Book I is the randomisation – such as being able to save/reload and get different loot, particularly in the context of the fairly tight economy in the game.  How do you see this and what are your plans for Book II?
Thomas Riegsecker: This has been an ongoing debate on our forums for months. I don’t know if a perfect solution can be reached for everyone, but I think we are close: if you want, you can play Book II exactly as you did with Book I. However, we will give players the option to turn on certain rules which are designed to limit loot/lockpick/trap abuse. These rules are part of the selectable difficulty modes that can be set when you start a new game. We are also experimenting with pre-filling chests upon entering a map zone for the first time so while loot is still random, you won’t benefit from reloading the game on every chest.
Check out the full interview at the link provided below.

RPGWatch: Eschalon Book II Q&A
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

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The iPhone's Gaming Credentials
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

Touch Arcade has published a new article examining the iPhone's potential as a gaming platform. The feature focuses on the multimedia phone's hardware and compares it to dedicated handheld gaming devices like Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP.

The iPhone’s core system-on-a-chip (SoC) hardware is a Samsung S5L8900.  Being a SoC, the device consists of various discrete components that have been integrated into a single device in order to provide a wide range of functionality in a small, low-cost package.  Two components are of particular importance in quantifying such a device’s ability to function as a game platform: the processor core and the graphics hardware.

The Samsung chipset at the heart of the iPhone utilizes a 32-bit RISC ARM processing core, the ARM1176JZ(F)-S.  The ARM device is capable of running at 620MHz, but Apple has downclocked it to 412MHz, presumably in the interest of extending battery life.  (Apple has, at least once in the past, adjusted the clockspeed of both the processor and the system bus via firmware update.)

The Samsung SoC also features an implementation of Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX Lite 3D accelerator, likely running at the iPhone’s bus speed of 103MHz.  This fourth-generation PowerVR chipset is basically an evolution of the second-generation graphics hardware used in the Sega Dreamcast (an amazing console, to those unaware) and which, like its console predecessor, utilizes a unique tile-based rendering system.

The MBX Lite is capable of providing fill rates exceeding 135 million pixels per second and a throughput of 1.7 million triangles per second, depending on configuration.
Head over to the link below to read the rest of the article.

Touch Arcade: The iPhone's Gaming Mettle

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Multiwinia Hands-On Preview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

IGN has posted a new hands-on preview of Introversion Software's upcoming Multiwinia. The multiplayer strategy title is set in the world of Darwinia, and upon release will allow players to battle for survival with up to three other players online.

Though we're loathed to pigeonhole Multiwinia into any given genre, it is in essence an RTS cut to the bone. With its free-roaming camera, comparisons to World in Conflict's streamlined approach to warfare drift lazily to mind, but Multiwinia doesn't invite comparisons readily - as soon as you think you've got it pinned down something will happen to remind you that Introversion constantly choose to trek well off the beaten track. Power-ups falling from the sky randomise the action, swiftly altering the balance of control - air strikes can obliterate an entire battlion of troops in a blink, armoured personnel carriers are able to quickly transport large numbers of troops across the battlefield and gun turrets can be placed to gleefully tear through swathes of Multiwinians.

Despite its tactical undercurrent, then, Multiwinia is very much an action-oriented title. Take the aforementioned gun turrets: as well as controlling them in third-person you can switch to a first-person view and mow down Multiwinians while looking down the barrel of your gun, with a helpful kill counter on the weapon's console rapidly totting up the number of felled enemies. It's a neat feature and one that was literally thrown into the mix at the last minute, so much so that many of the development staff present during our demo hadn't actually seen it in action. Indeed, it's this fast-paced development model that enables Introversion's games so fresh.
For the full article follow the link provided below.

IGN: Multiwinia Preview
Introversion Software

Mac Games News for Monday, July 7, 2008

Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II6:00 AM
MindHabits To Offer Stress Relief, Self Confidence To Gamers6:00 AM
Understanding The Wrath Of The Lich King6:00 AM
Zeratul: A Biography6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 7, 2008 on one page

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