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Thursday, August 14, 2008

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Apple Games Features Jack Keane
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has published a new feature article which takes readers on a tour of the zany Jack Keane. The adventure game follows the humorous adventures of Jack as he struggles to solve the mysteries of Tooth Island and his own past. The article also includes a description of the cast of characters and tips for finding all the hidden secrets.

In the spirit of the Ankh series, Jack Keane weaves an amusing adventure tale of a ne’er-do-well main character who manages to get himself out of tight situations with nothing more than his wits and the contents of his pockets. As you explore 15 locations throughout London, Capetown, and Tooth Island, use more than 250 found objects in combination with each other, with the environment, and with other characters to solve puzzles. In the process, Jack moves closer to understanding his past and how it ties in with the present.

Dozens of off-beat characters breathe life into the story, relating important information as well as tales not-so-relevant but amusing, such as the former ship captain who fell prey to the 19th century version of an African phishing scam. Many of them will also give you objects, if you figure out the correct statements to make and questions to ask. Cinematic cut scenes stitch together the results of your actions and set them to an orchestral score, resulting in an epic story that offers more bang for your buck than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Head over to the webpage listed below to read the rest of the article.

Apple Games: Jack Keane
10tacle Studios
Jack Keane
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IMG Previews Battlestations: Midway
7:36 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of the latest WWII game from Eidos and Feral Interactive, Battlestations: Midway. Here's a clip from the preview:

A mission might have you controlling a variety of units from aircraft carriers and destroyers to subs and fighter planes. You’ll need to position your battleships to protect your carrier, maneuver your subs to cripple enemy ship defenses, launch fighters from your carrier to provide air support and send your bombers (hopefully with some escort) to tackle the enemy’s ships. And at any point, you can just hop from ship to ship artillery battles into your fighter planes securing the airspace over your carriers, or your bombers getting ready to dive-bomb an enemy destroyer. Don’t worry, whatever you’re not controlling, the computer looks after, including any weapons that you don’t currently have selected. Manning your anti-aircraft guns? Don’t worry, the computer’s on the artillery. Taking something out from long range? It’s cool, those torpedoes you were just thinking about are already on the way to the target.
Follow the link below to read the full preview, and stay with IMG for a full review of the game soon.

IMG Preview: Battlestations: Midway
Battlestations: Midway
Feral Interactive
Buy Battlestations: Midway

Carmack Ponders The Future Of Quake Live
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

In recently posted excerpts from a PC Zone interview with id Software's John Carmack, the veteran game designer discusses the potential future of his latest venture: Quake Live. If the free ad supported online version of Quake is a success Carmack sees the possibility of releasing a premium version of the game as well as giving the online treatment to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. He also commented on the risk of developing PC exclusive games.

On Quake Live Premium:
"In the beginning Quake Live will be completely ad-supported, it's not out of the question that eventually we'll have some kind of a premium service," said Carmack.

"But we don't know what it's going to be yet, and we're certainly going out with the completely free-to-play model. As the community grows and we start seeing what people actually want to get out of it we may offer some other things there.

"There could be a huge possible range of successes that we could see on here," he added, "and if [Quake Live] does well we could end up keeping people on here indefinitely, growing the community, polishing things up, adding new content. As long as it can be supportable like that."
Wolfenstein: ET Live?
"If [Quake Live] is successful, we've tossed around the idea of taking the Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory game - which was actually always more popular than Q3A in the online space - and doing a similar treatment to it with the experience we've gained here," Carmack told PC Zone.

But Carmack says no effort will be spent on Wolfenstein: ET until "we know whether Quake Live was a brilliant idea or if it was dumb move."
Developing PC Exclusive Games:
When asked if id would ever consider adopting the browser-based strategy for a modern game, Carmack gave a definite answer: "There's no way we could justify building a modern game for the PC exclusively," he said.

"Not to say that it's impossible, but it just wouldn't be a good bet. Even a big budget extravaganza like Crysis didn't do very well in the larger scheme of things.

"So if you want to develop something on the PC right now," Carmack continued, "it had better either be cross platform like what we're doing with Rage or it'd have to be something like Spore or The Sims 3, that really caters to the type of game that more people are playing on the PC."
Read the rest of his comments at the pages linked below.

CVG: id Considers Quake Live Premium
CVG: Wolfenstein: ET Live Considered
Quake Live
id Software

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EVE Online Alliance Warfare Explained
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Eurogamer is now offering the second in a series of articles devoted to the deadly game of player vs player combat in CCP Games' space based MMO, EVE Online. This article focuses on the intricacies of Alliance warfare, explaining what it is and why players might want to get involved in conflicts on a larger scale.

The reason why so many EVE players want to sink thousands of man hours into laggy, drawn-out fleet combat involving hundreds of ships has less to do with the indulgence of Star Wars fantasies of mass space combat, and far more to do with EVE Online's socio-economic metagame. But what do those big words mean? Well, it's all down to money. EVE players want their virtual currency, and the best way to get a lot of it is to stake out some territory in 0.0 space. To do this, you need friends. Lots of friends.

Originally, claiming territory was worthwhile because you could get the best loot from NPC spawns, or mine the finest space rocks and take away their valuable ores. Then it became a war over the conquerable stations and the outposts - useful deep space service stations where people could operate with impunity. But now that EVE's economy has evolved in complexity, there is a far more valuable resource: the moons.

The war over moons is what is driving many of the immense conflicts that currently take place within the game world. While the political motivations that drove the last great war between The RedSwarm Federation and the Greater BoB Community could be said to have been about showing who was top dog in the EVE universe, many more conflicts have been more financially motivated. There are no better ways to conscript hundreds of players into your lagfest than either dangling the carrot of vast riches in front of them, or pointing out that their easy cashflow could be taken away by your enemies.
Check out the full article by visiting the site below.

Eurogamer: Alliance War
CCP Games
EVE Online

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Diablo III: Returning Characters, Diablo Story Not Over
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

MTV Multiplayer continues to dole out the Diablo III tidbits, again offering quotes from a recent interview with the action RPG's lead designer, Jay Wilson. The game will include return appearances from NPCs from the past, including some from the original Diablo and others from novels based on the game. Wilson also assured fans that Diablo III will not mean the end for the Diablo universe, although the game is intended to wrap up the story of the trilogy.

“We also tried to focus a little more on bringing characters back, and not just from ‘Diablo II’ but from ‘Diablo I,’” he said. “We feel like a lot of the focus is on ‘Diablo II’ but ‘Diablo I’ started it all and has a lot of really good stuff on the gameplay side and on the character side. So people can expect to see characters from ‘Diablo I,’ more characters from ‘Diablo II,’ and characters from some of the books. We’re definitely going to bring a few of them in.”

And while “Diablo III” ends the trilogy, fans needn’t worry — it’s not the final curtain for “Diablo.” “We’re not saying this is the end of the ‘Diablo’ universe, but we are trying to bring this storyline to a close,” Wilson said. “It’s not just ‘Diablo III’ — we’ve got plans beyond.”
Click over to the link below for the full interview.

MTV Multiplayer: Diablo III Not The End For Diablo
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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Blizzard: Hardware Delayed SC II, New Partnership With AMD
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

During a speech at AMD's Cinema 2.0 event, Blizzard's Bob Colayco revealed that limitations in computer hardware prevented the company from realizing its 3D plans for StarCraft II until recently. The event showcased AMD's new ATI Radion HD 4800 series graphics cards which promise to bring cinematic level 3D animations to actual gameplay.

Colayco noted that the original Starcraft was built on a 2D engine, in spite of the competition having largely switched over to 3D engines. The savings in processing were applied to larger, more epic battles with dozens of units being rendered on the screen at the same time. The crowded battlefield "captured the gamer's imagination more" than the barren fields of competing 3D games at the time, and helped cement Starcraft 's place in videogaming culture.

In spite of their success, the team at Blizzard wasn't going to rush into a 3D Starcraft unless it could capture the same feeling of the original. "The truth is that only recently have we had this kind of 3D power where we're able to create a real Starcraft experience in 3D. What we want to see are hundreds of vehicles and creatures clashing on the battlefield, with dynamic lighting and shadows and all of these dazzling special effects -- that's the kind of gaming experience that our players expect from us."
In related news Blizzard Entertainment and AMD have announced an agreement to allow AMD to bundle Blizzard games with ATI Radeon graphics products. The games themselves will be optimized to run on AMD hardware.
“Blizzard Entertainment is responsible for the hottest titles in PC gaming and AMD is excited to be working closely with one of the top development teams in the industry to deliver exceptional gaming experiences for players around the world,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products, AMD. “Gamers have a variety of choices when it comes to graphics cards, and those who choose ATI Radeon solutions can be confident their purchase will give them the visually rich, high-performance experience they expect.”

“Our collaboration with AMD is especially important to us because it provides us with early access to some of the latest graphics technology,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “Delivering a polished game experience is one of our top priorities, and this relationship helps us achieve that goal for Blizzard gamers who choose AMD graphics cards.”
For more information follow the links below.

Joystiq: Why StarCraft II Took So Long
AMD Cinema 2.0
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 13, 2008

IMG Reviews The Nightshift Code9:53 AM
Chalkboard Sports Baseball Now Available For iPod6:00 AM
Discarded Online Open Beta Launched6:00 AM
Fourth BlizzCast Released6:00 AM
Halo UB Update Removes CD Copy Protection6:00 AM
Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Freeplay Weekend6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 13, 2008 on one page

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