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Monday, September 1, 2008

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Heileen Dating Sim In Development
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Tycoon Games has announced work on a new dating sim, Heileen. The game will follow the adventures of a young woman onboard a ship traveling to the New World in the 17th century. In the game players will help Heileen find her true love. More details about the new dating sim will be released in the future.

After the success of Summer Session, we're working on another game. It's an adventure game (or better, visual novel) settled in the 17th century.

You control the character of Heileen, the granddaughter of a famous merchant, who sails onboard of the Cat's Dreams, a caravel traveling to the New World.

She will met a variety of characters, and who knows, maybe she'll find her true love?

The fun thing is that I’m attempting a sort of new genre: dating sim (or romance adventure) from a woman’s perspective! It means that the game will have its own variety of characters and some will be more polite than others, but in general, I’ll need to put the right dose of “sex appeal” without being too explicit.

There will be also some very cute characters (two cats) and in general a more relaxing atmosphere. For now I’m not going to put any sort of scheduling mechanism, also because the game takes place for almost all its length onboard of the Cat’s Dream (the ship name).

I have added a nice feature though which is called “Quests”. In practice during the game you’ll be able to find quests to solve, that will award points. Discovering a new quest will grant you 2 points, and solving it another 3 points.

At the end of the game you’ll be awarded a score based on how many total points you scored, similarly to what happens in Sid Meier’s games
Head over to the links below for more information.

Heileen Development Blog
Tycoon Games

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Vendetta Online Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Guild Software recently released two new patches for its massively-multiplayer online space strategy game, Vendetta Online. The latest updates bring the game to version 1.8.34 and feature a new ship variant, nine new missions for low level players, a new weapon, and a variety of bug fixes.

Here are some of the changes in the latest updates:

Version 1.8.33:
• Added new "Aeolus Light Behemoth" ship variant, 80 cargo, 175 top speed, single Large port.
• Fixed minor problems with Training III and IV missions
• Reworked Training VI mission to no longer stall under certain cases. Please report any problems with this tutorial.

Version 1.8.34:
• Nine brand-new missions for lower level players.
• New Weapon: Gauss Canon MkIII
• Sector Changes: Verasi O7 has been modified and now has a test of border defenses.
• New update server and client update architecture allows automatic failover to secondary update server if the primary update server is unavailable.
Click over to the links below for more information.

Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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Diablo III: PvP Changes, Health Orbs, Minion Controls
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Diablo III Community Manager Bashiok has offered a few more tidbits of information about the upcoming action RPG sequel. Topics covered this time include changes to the PvP system, health orbs, new screenshots, and minion controls.

On the PvP system being changed:
When/Why would you choose to enable PvP in your game if it was an option? Would it be before you were max or near-max level, or twinked?
If not then you're essentially looking for a dueling game, and wouldn't a dedicated PvP focus provide a more logical option than a blanket PvP-on/PvP-off option which no one would enable until they were powerful enough to defend themselves?

On Health Orb functionality:
My opinion/suggestion is that you should be able to grab a health orb if you're at full health, and a party member isn't at full health - this way you can help/save them, even if you personally don't need it.
That's how it works!
We're also playing around with some alternate functionality for when/how they're picked up while you're at full health, as well as some visual tweaks. Regardless we're going to make sure it's as fun and balanced as possible.

On the new BlizzCast screenshots:
Those shots are just of different areas than what was shown at WWI, and aren't hinting at some larger shift in lighting. They were taken with the specific intent to show off the range of theme and architecture that is occurring even within a single dungeon. Plus we tried to work in a bit more blood.

On minion control skills:
Well you can make your mongrels explode, that's a pretty cool way to un-summon them...
Minion management is a possibility, but that also definitely complicates the UI and use of the minions. It also seems to indicate that they must be handled with care, and not as fodder in a constant bloodbath like it should be. They're easy enough to dispatch and re-summon that you already have some interesting tactics with them.
Lets say you have four mongrels out, fighting a group of monsters, and a stronger enemy flanks you. You can summon a new mongrel (or make an old one explode first) which would then take on tanking duty for the stronger enemy that was closing in.
Although finer-control is a possibility, really what it comes down to is not having stupid pets and maybe more interesting ways to game their use than sit and stay commands.

To read more head over to the page linked below.

GameBanshee: Diablo III Forum Roundup
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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StarCraft II: Fourth Race, Game Balance, Single Player Co-Op
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Several websites have released new information about StarCraft II, the upcoming return to Blizzard Entertainment's successful sci-fi RTS franchise. GameShark has offered a brief hands-on preview of the game's protoss race in action, videogaming247 has posted comments from Blizzard's Frank Pearce that indicate a playable fourth race might make an appearance in an expansion, TVG has published a new interview with Frank Pearce and Bob Colayco, and finally Shacknews has asked community manager Kevin Yu about Blizzard's work on balancing the game.

From GameShark:

Having the same old units with new skills naturally doesn’t cut it though. Even a classic, beloved IP such as StarCraft needs to evolve, and one way they do is with brand new units. Terrans have the Thor, a lumbering, two-legged behemoth of a unit that is primarily anti-air but also attacks ground units. The Thor’s anti-air cannons do splash damage, but it reacts slower when shooting at ground units.
Not to be outdone, the Protoss have a Colossus—long-legged, giraffe-like units that can climb cliffs and use lasers. While the Colossus can decimate ground units, its lasers are rather slow, not to mention that they’re vulnerable to air units. Finally, the Zerg have Changelings, which spawn from Overseers. Changelings are chameleons, disguising themselves as an enemy unit and infiltrating their base. Sensing a potentially overpowered unit, I asked Yu what the other races can do to counter the Changeling. He explained that they’re, “Still working on it.”
From videogaming247:
“We don’t have the resources or time to add a fourth race to the launch of StarCraft II, but I’m sure in the event that we decide to do an expansion set it’s a feature that’ll come up for discussion,” the company boss told VG247.
StarCraft II will feature the three races from the first game - the Terrans, the Zerg and the Protoss - but a fourth had been considered early on in development.
“We talked about the possibility of a fourth race early on, but we felt like we had a finite amount of great ideas and wanted to make sure we focused all the cool, best ideas on the existing three races rather than diluting those ideas across four races,” Pearce added.
From TVG:
TVG: Relic Entertainment has announced that Dawn of War II will be released in the first quarter of 2009; how do you feel about their ideas about where the RTS genre should be heading?
Pearce: They've got some cool stuff. I've heard about Dawn of War II potentially having a co-operative [campaign] experience, which is a really cool idea. [It's] something we talked about that we don't have for the launch of StarCraft II, but it's definitely something that we've kept in mind when creating the technology so it doesn't preclude from doing something like that in the future.
TVG: If you went down that path, is it something you'd consider for a patch or would you keep it back for an expansion?
Pearce: It could be either. I don't know about a patch, hopefully the technology we'll have in place with the map editor and will make it something that if we wanted to do, we could do it with a map pack.
From Shacknews:
Shack: So related to this concern about macro, I know a lot of fans are worried about Multiple Building Selection. Are you still making changes to that system, or is that finalized?
Kevin Yu: In the build that you'll see at BlizzCon it's more of a compromise. Clicking on each of the barracks--let's say you have three barracks. It won't be like you press "M" once and you'll have three marines pop out. You're actually going to have to press "M" three times, which is a little more controlled over what comes out. Because let's say you have a tech lab on one, and on another you have a reactor, so they build different units and such. You can actually have a little more control over that now.
View all the new information by checking out the pages at the links provided below.

GameShark: SC II Preview
videogaming247: Fourth Race Possibilities
Shacknews: Kevin Yu Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Friday, August 29, 2008

Custer's In Beta12:12 PM
BlizzCast 5 Now Available6:00 AM
Penumbra: Requiem Released For PC6:00 AM
Spore Space Stage Video Revealed6:00 AM
Will Wright Discusses Spore Pornography6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 29, 2008 on one page

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