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Thursday, July 31, 2008

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New Command & Conquer Mac Modding Site Opens
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

IMG forum member super_kev has announced the opening of a new website devoted to bringing popular mods for the RTS game Command & Conquer to Mac players. The site currently hosts mods such as Blitzkrieg, Mideast Crisis, and Only War. Kevin has also recently finished work on Shockwave for Mac and plans to have Cold War Crisis ready for download soon.

I just wanted to let my fellow Mac gamers know that I have put up a small site dedicated to Command & Conquer for the Mac.  As some of you might know, I was part of, which was a small group of Mac gamers dedicated to porting UT, UT2004, C&C Generals, Homeworld 2, and other mods to the Mac.  In recent years, we have all started to go our separate ways, and last time I checked, was offline.  In order to provide the C&C Mac  community with quality ports, I've decided to continue porting mods as I have time.

I just finished porting the latest version of Shockwave and am wrapping up Cold War Crisis, which has been almost four years in the making. All of the ports include installers and launchers, as well as Mac-specific tweaks that are required in order to get the full experience as the original mod creators intended.
Click over to the link below to learn more about the site.

super_kev's C&C Mac Mod Headquarters

Doom, Quake, Or Wolfenstein Coming To iPhone?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent interview with Forbes id Software's John Carmack and Anna Kang discussed gaming on the iPhone and the device's potential to shine as a handheld entertainment device. Among other things in the interview they discussed plans to release a game for the iPhone, one based on their existing franchises.

"We have a title we want to develop exclusively for iPhone," he says. "I'm not announcing anything specifically, but it would be a graphical tour de force."

Anna Kang, president of id Mobile, adds "it would not be a new IP," meaning the game would have roots in id's existing catalog, which includes the "Doom, "Quake" and "Wolfenstein" franchises.

One of the biggest appeals of the iPhone, says Carmack, is that it can handle big games that are 10 megabytes or more. By contrast, the sweet spot for traditional cellphone games was around 300 kilobytes. Carmack wiggled around those rules of thumb and has produced a 2.5 MB version of "Wolfenstein RPG."

That makes the iPhone look like a big open field. The hard part, Carmack concedes, will be reigning himself in.

"The iPhone, as a device, is in the same generation power-wise as the PS2 or Xbox," he says. "The graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher. … You could easily spend $10 million on an iPhone game, but the market just can't support that yet."
To read the full Q&A visit the site linked below.

Forbes: 'Doom'ing The iPhone
id Software

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A Few Questions For The Exchange Student
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Adventure Classic Gaming has posted a new interview with Pan Metron Ariston's Dimitris Manos. The developer discusses his studio's first title, The Exchange Student. The episodic point and click adventure game follows the humorous exploits of Emilio as he endeavors to get to know the women of Sweden.

The Exchange Student is a comical adventure game series (or “interactive sitcom” as you have called it) that is partly inspired by your own life experiences in Sweden (even though I am not sure if you want to claim any resemblance between Emilio and yourself). What parts of The Exchange Student mirror elements of your own life?
Most of the characters and the events in the game are inspired by real people and real situations I came across during my years as an exchange student in Sweden. I have very fond memories from my time as an exchange student. You see young people from all over the world interacting with each other, you see cultures collide and the outcome is almost always interesting and amusing. You see young men and women starting friendships and relationships with an expiration date, but they bond so much as if tomorrow does not matter. Whoever has the chance to go on an exchange student program should grab the opportunity, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Emilio is not Dimitris, but most of the characters surrounding Emilio are all inspired by characters I met in the past.

The theme of The Exchange Student is decisively whimsical and humorous. It is hard not to compare The Exchange Student to classics such as Leisure Suit Larry and Spellcasting series. How do you put a new twist on an old theme in your own games? How do you answer your potential critics complaining that the theme is just too juvenile?
I won’t deny that the game resembles the Leisure Suit Larry series, but it is definitely not a copy of Larry. The similarity between TES and Larry is that the main protagonist is someone who is not so popular among the ladies and keeps trying his luck with them nevertheless. The similarities end there. The Exchange Student focuses more on the life of foreign exchange students in a rule-abiding society such as the Swedish one. Life in countries like Spain and Italy is very different to life in Sweden and when you have south European people living in a country of the north like Sweden the result is quite humorous.
I would not call the theme of the game juvenile. The story of the game is based in true events and people, so it could very well be described as a sociology study–game.

Head over to the site below to read the rest of the interview.

Adventure Classic Gaming: Dimitris Manos Interview
The Exchange Student

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Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

iLounge has published a new review of Square/Enix's Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes for Apple's iPod. The iPod based RPG puts players in the role of Ziggy, a young "Conductor" on a mission to rescue his brother from the evil Mechanical Militia. To succeed players must create "Tune Troopers" from the songs available in their library. iLounge gave the game a grade of B+.

From the review:

Building your soldiers from songs in your iPod music library is initially interesting, but can become tedious due to a lack of in-game guidance. Most of the characters are built in a part of the game called the Hip-O-Drome, with assistance from a guy called the Soul Master. Only occasionally, he’ll clue you in that a word like “Hero” in a song’s title could really help you make a great soldier, but as it turns out, there are a handful of words—love, star, hope, song, power, and so one—that create especially strong soldiers, and there are also at least 50 types of soldiers that can conceivably be created through this process. The game’s limited iPod song selection interface, combined with its meager guidance on making great soldiers, and heavily number- rather than visually-driven character profiling, makes this process a lot more random and less fun than it could be for players; that said, it’s definitely a more novel way of creating soldiers than some of the alternatives Square could have picked. Unfortunately, your music doesn’t have much of a part in the rest of the game, but at least Square has included a pretty good soundtrack of its own.

Character creation aside, Song Summoner’s gameplay is pretty standard strategy-RPG fare, though the goals have generally been made clear for the player. There are towns to visit on a structured world map, each featuring dialogue scenes with villagers and robots, a shop to buy items, and at some point a new battle to fight. You’re also directed to an arena to train your soldiers if you’d like, which unlocks some additional soldier classes not found in the Hip-O-Drome. If you want to avoid progressing in the story and would rather just revisit old towns to build up more points, you can do that.
The full review is available at the link provided below.

iLounge: Song Summoner Review

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IMG Previews Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties10:59 AM
BlizzCon Tickets Available For Purchase August 116:00 AM
Depths Of Peril Beta Patch Released6:00 AM
New Wakfu Screenshots Available6:00 AM
Privateering Comes To Pirates Of The Caribbean Online6:00 AM
UNO Released For iPod6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 30, 2008 on one page

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