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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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Diablo III: Critiquing Fan Art, Necro Possible In Expansion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

MTV Multiplayer has posted another pair of interviews with Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson. The developer revisited the art style controversy, this time commenting on fan altered screenshots depicting how some disgruntled gamers feel the game should look. In the second article Wilson explained why the Necromancer got the axe and offered hope that the bone mongering hero might return in an expansion.

MTV Multiplayer: Just to be clear, are we going to see a lot more rainbows during the game?
Wilson: [laughs] After the announcement, one of our environment artists went to the darkest area in Act One and put a giant rainbow across the whole area. No, you’re probably not going to see a ton of rainbows. But we don’t think the one that’s in there is that big a deal. You know it’s like, it’s a waterfall. My favorite [criticism] is the one that analyzed the light refraction angle, and told us why from that angle seeing a rainbow would actually be impossible. Oh yeah, and it was upside down because the colors were reversed. And we’re like, “This is a whole different world than ours! Who’s to say that light refracts the same in the Diablo world?” [laughs]
We don’t think it’s that big a deal; we just think it adds a lot of interest to that scene. We don’t have specific plans to fill “Diablo” with rainbows. It’s not like we restarted the project and were like “Diablo III — now with rainbows!” Although I will say the pitch that I originally did, once we decided what we were going to do, said “Diablo III — now with pants.” Because we added a pants slot.

The Death Of A Necromancer:
“Our approach for classes in ‘Diablo III’ is that we don’t have a strong desire to bring back classes from the previous game,” Wilson told me. “The goal is to try and give people new gameplay and not just re-hash old gameplay. We’re not just making a ‘Diablo II’ with updated 3D graphics.”

The Barbarian, the only other class announced at this time, will return to “Diablo III,” because the team thought they could add new elements to it. As for the Necromancer, Wilson said that he was “a victim of his own success.”

“There’s a lot of people on our team who aren’t happy with our class choices,” he admitted. “But after we’ve established ‘Diablo III’ as its own game with its own type of gameplay and experiences, I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”
Head over to the sites below to read the rest of Wilson's comments.

MTV Multiplayer: Judging Fans D3 Art
MTV Multiplayer: Why The Necro Was Cut, Possible Return
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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IMG Reviews Virtual Villagers: The Secret City
7:32 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the tropical simulation sequel, Virtual Villagers: The Secret City from publishers Last Day of Work. Here's a clip from the review:

The main problem with VV3 is that you simply have nothing to do. Once you're settled, you don't have to micro-manage your villagers at all. All you can do is wait for whatever they're doing to be complete or gather collectibles. Sure you can quit for a while and come back after a day or two, but there's still not much to do in between breaks. If there was even a mini-game or two it'd break up the monotony and make VV3 much more enjoyable. You might be able to spend a few minutes on a puzzle or collecting feathers, but there's not much more.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Virtual Villagers: The Secret City
Virtual Villagers 3
Last Day of Work
Buy Virtual Villagers 3

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Depths Of Peril Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Fidgit recently posted a new review of Soldak Entertainment's single player RPG, Depths of Peril. In the game players take the role of a faction leader protecting the barbarian city, Jorvik. To succeed they must complete quests while competing with rival factions to determine who will rule the city. Fidgit recommends the game as a good diversion until Diablo 3 arrives.

From the review:

But the really cool part is that while you're out adventuring, so too are heroes from other clans. You all set out from the same town hub, and you all resurrect from the lifestones in your cottages. You'll see your neighbors running around in the world, doing their own things, hacking aside monsters, and sometimes stealing your kills or beating you to quest goals. Sometimes you'll kill each other because clans don't always get along. They bicker and ally and rattle sabers and exchange trinkets, sometimes with you. There's diplomacy system here like you'd expect to find in an epic strategy game. Hey, Defenders of Virtue, how about I sell you this breastplate I don't need? Yo, Treasure Hunters, how about you and me team up against the Brutal Slayers? Hey, Shining Blades, want to get a trade route going to improve our incomes?
Click over to the page below to read the rest of the review.

Fidgit: Depths Of Peril Review
Soldak Entertainment
Depths of Peril
Buy Depths of Peril

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Brad Gibson Discusses Feral Legends
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Appletell has published a new interview with Feral Interactive's Brad Gibson. The interview offers Gibson's comments about The Feral Legends series, a new label focusing on bringing previously unported PC and console games to Mac owners. Sid Meier's Pirates! is the first title announced for release under the new label.

“The Feral Legends series is a new label for Feral,” Brad replied. “I wouldn’t call it an ‘experiment.’ We do plan on the line being a continuing and growing area. We can’t say now what other titles are coming or exactly how many. What I can say is that we have strong plans for its future.”

Sid Meier’s Pirates! is certainly a strong way to start. Considering this, I wanted to know how this whole project came about. Was the Feral Legends label launched because they had a game like Pirates!, or was it because of the idea for the label that they sought out Pirates!?

“It was more of the former and not the latter,” Brad explained. “We felt that there were a number of titles that fit under an umbrella of ‘classic games.’ These would be games we want to differentiate from newer titles, as they’ve grown an image of popularity and fame.”
Click over to the link below to read more.

Appletell: Feral Talks Legends Series
Feral Interactive

Carmack: Steve Jobs Doesn't Care About Games
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

In a recent interview with Eurogamer id Software's John Carmack once again offered his opinion on Apple's troubled history with gaming. The veteran developer laid the blame on Steve Job's lack of interest in the subject. Carmack's comments came during a lengthy Q&A which touched on a variety of topics including Quake Live and iPhone gaming.

Eurogamer: Last night you said Apple doesn't really "deeply get" games. What did you mean by that? And, like Nintendo, do they really need to?
John Carmack: Over the years I've been through a number of initiatives where Apple wants to get serious about games, and we've done things with them. The idea way back with Quake 3 on there, that was my deal with Steve Jobs: if Apple adopts OpenGL rather than going off and doing QuickTime3D or something else of their own which was going to be a bad idea, then I'll personally port the Quake 3 stuff rather than working with a partner company on that. And we went through all that. All of our Apple ports have been successful - they've all made money - but it's marginal money, and we have worked with Aspyr usually on all the other ones after that, but I do think it kind of comes from the top.

The truth is Steve Jobs doesn't care about games. This is going to be one of those things that I say something in an interview and it gets fed back to him and I'm on his s***head list for a while on that, until he needs me to do something else there. But I think that that's my general opinion. He's not a gamer. It's difficult to ask somebody to get behind something they don't really believe in. I mean obviously he believes in the music and the iTunes and that whole side of things, and the media side of things, and he gets it and he pushes it and they do wonderful things with that, but he's not a gamer. That's just the bottom line about it.

There are people at Apple who want to support all this - and there's no roadblocks for us right now, we're going to support the Mac on Rage, we hope to get a version of Quake Live going up on the Mac there - but it's just that's not what the Mac platform's about, and I don't really expect that to change because it's a tough equation now that you've got everybody dual-booting their Macs and everything: why would you want to go to the extra trouble of [developing games for Mac]?
The full interview is available at the site below.

Eurogamer: John Carmack Interview
id Software

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Can The iPhone Rule Gaming?6:00 AM
Diablo III: Art Controversy, Designer Q&As6:00 AM
Otis Comes To iPhone6:00 AM
Supernova 2 Update Adds Ship Customization, Real-Time Turns6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 5, 2008 on one page

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