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Monday, August 4, 2008

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Battlefield 2142 Mac Patch Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

EA has released version 1.50 of Battlefield 2142. The patch includes several improvements and bug fixes as well as two new community created maps. Brought to Intel Macs through TransGaming's Cider technology, the first person shooter puts players in the role of a soldier in a futuristic setting.

Changes in version 1.50:

• Added community maps, Wake Island 2142 and Operation Shingle
• Added the ability to use widescreen resolutions.
• Added No Vehicles mode.
• Added Conquest Assault mode.
• Changed the volume control for the Commander Voice Over on request of the esports community.
• Changes made to pod steering mechanism to improve control while limiting pod surfing.

• Fixed the loading issue caused by corrupt Radial.cdb file
• Various changes made to prevent cheating.

Click over to the site below for directions and download links.

Battlefield 2142 Patch Info
Electronic Arts
Battlefield 2142
Buy Battlefield 2142

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Blizzard: DIII Art Style, WoW Achievement System
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

MTV Multiplayer recently published a pair of interviews, each featuring comments from Blizzard employees about upcoming additions to the company's franchises. Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson addressed the issue of vocal fan dislike of the game's art style, while Jeff Kaplan discussed the new World of Warcraft achievement system and Blizzard's plans to expand it to other game titles.

Diablo III Art Style:

“There’s no going back now,” he said during an interview in a Manhattan hotel where Blizzard was showcasing their newest games. “We’re very happy with how the art style is. The art team’s happy. The company’s happy. We really like this art style, and we’re not changing it.”

But fans take note: The decision to add color to the macabre world of “Diablo” didn’t come lightly. “It’s actually the thing we struggled with the most,” Wilson said. When Wilson joined the project two and-a-half years ago, the game was similar-looking to what fans of the old games might expect — darker, desaturated and a lot of brown and gray tones. However, translating the game from 2D to 3D with a dark color palette didn’t make for the best gameplay experience. The first and second iterations of the art direction had a “modern, gritty look” but made it difficult to distinguish enemies from the environment. “When you have 30 creatures on screen — and four or five different types — target prioritization is a factor,” he said. “You need to be able to tell those things apart fast, and you can’t do that when your world is gray and your creatures are gray.”.
Achievement System:
When the new Blizzard Accounts are active, a player’s ‘WoW’ points can be added to an overall score dubbed an account holder’s “Blizzard Level.” “It’s basically a gamerscore,” Kaplan said, when I made reference to Xbox Live’s Achievement system. “For now the points are just a ‘WoW’ character score. As we graduate to that Blizzard Account system, which is right on the horizon, it will switch over to a Blizzard Level.”

He added, “Your ‘WoW’ score would be just one factor that will go into your Blizzard Level. And rather than call it a ’score,’ we just wanted it to be like you’re leveling up on Blizzard games… You’ll have this Blizzard identity, and you’ll be able to see things like ‘Oh, this guy was great at Diablo III, but he never played Starcraft and he was mediocre in WoW.’ That sort of thing.”

In the interim the new Achievement system — which will launch upon the release of the “WoW” expansion “ Wrath of the Lich King ” — will be tied to the current “World of Warcraft” armory website in addition to the in-game Achievement interface.
Click over to the link provided below to read more.

MTV Multiplayer: Blizzard To Track Gamer Achievements
MTV Multiplayer: D3 Art Style Not Going To Change
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
World of Warcraft
Buy Diablo III
Buy World of Warcraft

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Eschalon Book II: Weather & Climate Effects
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games has released the sixth in its weekly Q&A series featuring answers to fan questions about the upcoming Eschalon: Book II, the second in the company's "old school" RPG series. The latest installment covers the effect climate and weather will have on gameplay.

Question #6: [realmsmaster] Since there will be weather and climate effects, will the type of weather or climate have an effect on the character? Example, I am in a desert. I should roast in full plate armor. Will I have to switch my armor to something more appropriate?

As of now we have no plans of doing this type of statistic tracking (i.e. comfort level of character based on temperature or climate).

However, it has been mentioned that climate will affect your hunger and thirst bars, if you have the hunger/thirst rule turned on. Specifically, the desert region will make you consume water more quickly and the arctic regions will make you consume food more quickly.
To read the rest head over to Basilisk Forums at the link below.

Basilisk Forum: Eschalon Book II Question Of The Week
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

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Deliver2Mac Adds Jack Keane
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

The Deliver2Mac download service recently added Jack Keane to its list of downloadable titles. 10tacle Studios' award winning PC adventure game was ported by Runesoft and follows the humorous adventures of Jack as he struggles to solve the mysteries of Tooth Island and his own past.

More about the game:

Colonial England. Under a certain amount of… duress… Jack takes on a job which will not only cause him a great deal of trouble, but also bring to light the answer to a mystery out of his distant past. A lack of money leads Jack to accept a charter to take a British secret agent to mysterious “Tooth Island”. When Jack’s ship shatters on the mysterious island’s cliffs on arrival and the secret agent quickly becomes a meal for a monster in the jungle, Jack is soon left to cope with the situation on his own.

“ Tooth Island” is ruled by the strange Doctor T, who is cultivating man-eating plants and has his own dastardly plans for the British Empire. And why does he seem to know Jack, who can’t remember ever having been on Tooth Island? What are Doctor T's plans? And what does he know about Jack’s past?

And then there’s the young and naive Amanda, who is filled by an almost fanatical drive to prove her worth. In the beginning the young lady is employed by Doctor T, and part of her task is to track Jack down and take him prisoner. It doesn’t take long before she begins to wonder if she is really on the right side, or if she shouldn’t join her opponent, the charming Captain Jack, instead.

A hair-raising hunt across the length and breadth of the dangerous island finally airs the mystery surrounding Jack’s past and leads to a spectacular showdown with a dark and deadly enemy and his nefarious henchmen.
• 15 different locations and lots of sub-locations
• More than 250 different objects which can be used, combined and exchanged
• Dozens of zany characters
• Cinematic storytelling with scads of cut scenes
• Easy entry into play and loads of playing fun right from the start
• Jam-packed with humour
• Perfect orchestral background
• Based on the renowned PINA technology used in “Ankh”
• Play as Jack or Amanda
• Full screen effects, including glow, depth of field and motion blur
• Soft-edged shadows
• Various particle effects
• Dynamic lighting
• MacOS 10.3.9 or higher
• G4/5 or Mac Intel with 1.4 GHz
• 512 MB RAM
• Graphic card with 64 MB video RAM
• Also works on GMA950 (MacBook, MacMini
The game costs $39.95. Head over to the Deliver2Mac link below for more information.

Deliver2Mac: Jack Keane
10tacle Studios
Jack Keane
Buy Jack Keane

Alpha Pinball Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Orwell Digital has announced the release of Alpha PinBall, a pinball simulator designed exclusively for Mac OS X computers. Offering high-speed arcade action using a 3D engine, Alpha PinBall attempts to recreate the excitement of pinball's golden age. The game makes use of the Aegis Physics Engine to provide an accurate motion simulation for each and every object on the playfield.

More about Alpha Pinball:

Classic Arcade Action Meets Modern Technology- The golden age of pinball was known for fast action and vicious game play. Alpha PinBall echoes back to the thrills of that time with straight-forward mechanics and high-speed challenges. it's classic layout, combined with contemporary aesthetics, delivers a gaming experience unique to the Macintosh.
Smooth-Follow Action Cam- Players can now have super-smooth, automatic focus on the playfield area where the action is actually happening. Finely tuned to provide a better view without ever getting in the way, Alpha PinBall's Smooth Follow feature adds a new sense of drama and excitement to the game.
State-Of-The-Art Audio-  From the roll of the ball, to the coldly robotic voice of the machine, Alpha PinBall's detailed soundscape is the result of numerous audio production technologies and techniques. Voice synthesis, spatial simulation, physical modeling and additive re-synthesis are just a few of the technologies employed in it's creation. The end result is a more deeply involving pinball experience.
Aegis Physics Engine- When only the best will do, only the best should be used. Alpha PinBall employs the industry-leading Aegis physics system to accurately simulate each and every object interaction in play. In addition, the physics engine is configured to conduct it's calculations at several times the graphic frame rate, so even at the super-quick speed Alpha PinBall's action can reach, physics interactions run with super-smooth accuracy.
Alpha PinBall requires a G5 or intel-based Macintosh running Mac OS OS X 10.2.8 or newer, and costs $19.99. Follow the links below to learn more about the game.

Alpha Pinball
Orwell Digital

Spore Soon To Go Gold
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

In a recent interview with CNET Maxis Studio's Thomas Vu revealed that Spore should be going gold sometime this week. Will Wright's latest godsim will allow players to follow the evolutionary path of a species from its origin as a single celled organism to it's eventual entry into the larger universe of space. The interview also covers the surprising ingenuity of players using the Creature Creator, and includes a preview of the space segment of the game.

The best example of this, Wright said at E3, and Vu showed me up close Tuesday, was the creation of a skeleton creature.

They made "creatures we didn't even know could be made," Vu said, speaking of the skeleton. "The player removed the mesh from the creature, which is astounding."

He said that the team at Maxis had also "shied away" from offering creature creation parts that were too animal-like or human-like.

Yet, Vu showed me, players have found a way to make animals, and people as well.

"You'll see something like Hobbes (from the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes )," Vu said, "and we'll be, like, 'Wow, how did they make it?'"

Other examples of things users have done that were unexpected, Vu explained, include making a creature mounted on another creature.

"We didn't even think of that," Vu said. "It looks like he's riding a horse. The creature has a mouth, and the person riding him has eyes, and the animation held up, and that was completely amazing."
Head over to the link below to read the rest.

CNET: Spore Interview/Preview
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

Mac Games News for Friday, August 1, 2008

Apple Games Features UNO For iPod6:00 AM
Custer Sets Sail6:00 AM
Diablo III: Visible Boss Damage, Encouraging Bnet Play6:00 AM
Eschalon: Book I Price Drop6:00 AM
Sid Meier's Pirates! Coming To Macs August 296:00 AM
SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Updated6:00 AM
StoneLoops! Of Jurassica Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 1, 2008 on one page

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