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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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Supernova 2 Update Adds Ship Customization, Real-Time Turns
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Tycoon Games has released a new update for Supernova 2: Spacwar, its strategy war game set in space. Version 1.0.3 introduces a variety of bug fixes and improvements including a Skirmish mode for those who just want to engage in warfare, a Ship Customization option for building a fleet of the player's own design, A Statistics Screen for tracking successes and failures, and a Real-Time Turns option for those who want the action to keep moving.

More about the update:

“Any existing customer can just redownload the game to get all the new features for free, adhering to our policy of unlimited lifetime free updates. For those people who've tried the previous version but didn't like it for any reason, I encourage them to give it another try, since now it is definitely a different game,” said Riva Celso, designer/programmer of Tycoon Games.

New Features:
Skirmish Mode allows players to focus mainly on the war game: all technologies are known and unlimited resources and money to build fleets directly on startup are made available to the players. This is perfect for those players who want to enjoy only the war game.
Ship Customization is a new screen where gamers are able to create custom ship blueprints or modify an existing one: each device now requires a certain amount of space and energy, but the possibilities for custom combinations are endless.
Statistics Screen enables the player to see various, interesting statistics about the current game like battles win/lost, total ship killed/lost, etc.
Real-Time Turns is an option within the game macromanagement, so the time advances automatically without having to end each turn manually.  Players can  set their own speed using the plus and minus keys to change game speeds or press the “P” key to pause/unpause.

Click over to the link below to learn more about the game and download the updated demo.

Supernova 2: Spacewar
Tycoon Games

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Otis Comes To iPhone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Wonder Warp Software has released an iPhone version of its Mac block puzzle game, Otis. The object of the game is to remove all the blocks from a board by clicking on groups of blocks of the same color. More points are awarded for clearing more blocks at once.

From the Otis website:

Otis is a puzzle game for the iPhone and Mac based on a classic game popularly known as Same Game, Chain Shot, or JawBreaker.

The object is to remove all the blocks from the board by clicking on groups of two or more blocks with the same color. Clear as many blocks at once as possible to score higher, but only through careful maneuvering can you clear the entire board.

Written with an attention towards design and interface, Otis packs addicting gameplay, stunning visual effects, and multiple levels of difficulty for every player.
The iPhone version of the game costs $3.99 USD on the iTunes App Store, while the Mac version of the game remains freeware. It runs on both iPhone and iPod Touch devices with a version 2.0 OS.

iPhone App Store: Otis
Wonder Warp Software

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Can The iPhone Rule Gaming?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 13 comments

A new article from Time explores the iPhone's potential to dominate the cell phone gaming market and eventually compete with dedicated handheld gaming devices like Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP. The article includes comments from game designers and analysts.

Key to the iPhone's success as a gaming platform is a deep portfolio of titles that takes advantage of the device's coolest attributes, such as its tilt sensor. The most popular application in the entire App Store today is the free maze game Labyrinth, created by Illusion Labs in Sweden, in part because it responds satisfyingly to even the slightest hand movement as players direct a virtual ball through various mazes. Another sought out game, Sega's $9.99 Super Monkey Ball, works similarly — players tilt the device to navigate a series of increasingly precarious platforms. And the $0.99 ColorTilt by IMAK Creations lets you create paintings onscreen using your fingers as a brush; shifting the iPhone ever-so-slightly adjusts your brush color.

But can a cell phone ever really compete with dedicated handhelds like the Nintendo DS? Game developer Young says yes. "You have a DS and you have a telephone. Why not buy just one?" he says. What's more, a third of all iPhone owners are already the videogame industry's best customers, aged 26 and under. And there is no reason why game play can't be as rich on the iPhone as it is on the most popular handhelds. "The iPhone has excellent hardware in it. It is as capable as the DS or PSP," says Greg Yardley of Pinch Media, which builds free tools for iPhone developers.
Read the rest of the article at the site listed below.

Time: Can The iPhone Rule Gaming?

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Diablo III: Art Controversy, Designer Q&As
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

Kotaku and Games Radar recently published new articles focusing on Diablo III, the next chapter in Blizzard's popular action RPG series. Jay Wilson, lead designer for the game, spoke with Kotaku about the ongoing controversy surrounding Diablo III's art design. Games Radar posted a PC Gamer article featuring an analysis of what is currently known about the game as well as short Q&As with Jay Wilson and lead producer Keith Lee.

From Kotaku:

What about the complaint, then, that Diablo III may be "too much like WoW" in style and vibe?

"There's a philosophy that goes across all of our games, and that philosophy stays true from game to game... so it probably draws some comparisons," Wilson said. "One philosophy is that our artists feel like if they're just using photorealism, not creating a unique look for the game, not stylizing so that it's uniquely Blizzard, then they're not doing their jobs."

...The preliminary art we've seen so far, Wilson said, is from early on in the game. "We want to generate the feeling of everything getting worse... it's part of our narrative. It makes the more gloomy part of the game a place where the stakes get higher."

"If you start out at the apocalypse, and then move to more apocalypse, it's not going to have much of an impression on players."
From PC Gamer:
PCG: What do you think Diablo fans will be most excited about in the new game?
Jay Wilson: Our co-op focus is something that we’re really proud of. I think Diablo and Diablo II were always focused on co-op, but they unintentionally did things that harmed the co-op game. We’ve really learned from that and are getting rid of [those things]. How we do loot drops is a big change for us. It used to be in Diablo II that everyone fought over the loot - the Barbs and the Paladins usually managed to win that fight, and we changed that system completely so that essentially whatever drops, drops individually for each player. So, when a monster dies, if you’ve got three people in the game, it can actually drop three different things, one for each person, and then people just see their own drops, so if you see it on the ground, you can pick it up. Overall, not only is it more friendly to cooperative play, it also doesn’t encourage people to fight - it encourages people to work together. What we found is that it actually encourages a lot of trading.

PCG: Any one big thing you wish you’d had the chance to talk about but didn’t?
JW: I wish people had asked a few more story questions, because we’re bringing back a lot of characters from the previous games. The Barbarian has his own story, and it’s actually meant to be the same Barbarian from D2, the same person. A lot of those characters, we’re trying to pull forward and give them a real place in the Diablo universe - a history and a feeling of depth that I don’t think the previous games have done enough justice to. It’s a great universe with the coolest lore, and we really want to make sure this game serves that.
Check out the rest of the comments at the link provided below.

Kotaku: Art Apocalypse
Games Radar: PC Gamer D3 Preview/Interviews
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Mac Games News for Monday, August 4, 2008

Alpha Pinball Now Available6:00 AM
Battlefield 2142 Mac Patch Released6:00 AM
Blizzard: DIII Art Style, WoW Achievement System6:00 AM
Deliver2Mac Adds Jack Keane6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: Weather & Climate Effects6:00 AM
Spore Soon To Go Gold6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 4, 2008 on one page

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