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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Xplorer Comes To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Game developer baKno has announced the release of the new hide-and-seek adventure, Xplorer, complete with original music and detailed graphics. Players work against the clock to find a randomly generated list of objects in ten progressively challenging quests around the globe.

baKno, a game development studio offering fun and challenging online games for all ages and every computer, announces the release of Xplorer for Mac and Windows on its website. Xplorer is a visually rich game in which the player navigates around the globe through a series of ten timed adventures. The hide-and-seek game features an original music score by composer Edward M. Melendez, producing captivating soundscapes to match the vibrant graphic quality.

Each level of Xplorer has a progressively challenging list of randomly selected hidden objects to uncover. Working against the clock, players search by navigating through the diverse progression of detailed scenes from locations around the world. Players can activate tools such as the magnifying glass and electronic detector for help in spotting hard-to-find objects. Each level can be replayed numerous times as the object list of more than 500 different items is randomly generated.
A free download of Xplorer's demo version is available at the baKno games website. Single seat licenses can be purchased for $19.95 (USD), and a promotional two-seat license is available for $29.95 (USD).

For more information follow the links below.


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Apple Games Features Jade Empire
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has travelled to the fictional lands of Jade Empire: Special Edition for a new feature article. In the game players face powerful human and supernatural foes, learn magical martial arts and weapons styles, and discover the darkest secrets of the world. The article includes an overview of Jade Empire's features and a brief guide to characters stats, conversations, and combat.

Jade Empire is a fictitious land ruled by the mysterious Emperor Sun Hai. Two decades ago, he and his elite Lotus Assassins took extraordinary steps to end a 10-year drought. Sun Hai ordered his brothers, Sun Kin and Sun Li, to lead an attack on your people and defeat the Water Dragon they worshipped, in hope of ending the drought. He achieved that goal, but his brothers were lost and the dead were prevented from reaching the underworld, causing their spirits to roam the land.

Your idyllic way of life is interrupted when the Lotus Assassins, now under the command of the powerful Death’s Hand, attack Two Rivers with flying machines that rain destruction on the school and the village. The invaders kidnap Master Li and take him to Jade Empire’s capital, Imperial City. Accompanied by other warriors you’ve met, you set out to rescue him. As you learn more about Jade Empire’s complex back story, however, you soon realize that you’re not sure who or what you can trust.

Along the way, you become more powerful, honing your abilities as you complete quests, defeat enemies, and recover Essence Gems that you plug into your Dragon Amulet to augment your abilities. The amulet was yours as a child, but it was broken into pieces that were scattered across the empire; find them to increase the number of Essence Gems that can be active simultaneously.
Click over to the link provided below to read the rest of the article.

Apple Games: Jade Empire Special Edition
Jade Empire: Special Edition
Buy Jade Empire: Special Edition

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Trade & Industry In EVE Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Eurogamer is now offering a new article in its series devoted to CCP Games' space based MMO, EVE Online. This article focuses on the intricacies of trade and industry, explaining why players might want to get involved in the detailed economic model offered by the game.

It's not all about grinding space rocks, though. It's entirely possible that you could make money inventing the higher end "Tech 2" items. The invention process requires a huge amount of cash, however, thanks to the complexity of the infrastructure you'll need. Once you've got the invention equipment and the various components, you'll still need to master production skills to make the most of the blueprints you come up with. Get all this right and you'll be able to compete on the exclusive Tech 2 market, where desirables such as Tech 2 weapons, and high-end heavy assault cruisers are found.

There's even the potential for "passive" income in EVE, where your investment in time to skills can pay off. The most basic of these is in the datacores which fund invention. These are made by NPC characters with whom you can set up a research contract. Your skills combined with their rating dictates how many cores they will produce. With enough agents (and enough alts farming those agents) you can make a small income without having to do anything other than pick up the cores and sell them every few months. With datacores being constantly used by the inventors, it's a pretty stable investment.

Better yet, although slightly more risky, is moon mining. Generally the best moons are found in 0.0 space, so you're likely to need some kind of foothold outside of Empire to be able to do this safely. However, the best moons make millions of isk per hour, and the "high ends" have a yield that results in immense territory wars. You don't have to go for these ones, of course, and there are plenty of lesser moons that, when combined with other products, produce components for the invention market. Once it's set up, all you'll have to do is to refuel the moon mining structure, and to empty the silo once a week. Free money.
Head over to the site below to read more.

Eurogamer: EVE Online Trade & Industry
CCP Games
EVE Online

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David Janik-Jones Discusses Mac Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

MacGamer recently published a new interview with independent game developer David Janik-Jones, co-founder of Widget Monkey Games and founder of Cocoa Touch Games. The Q&A touches on a variety of topics including related to game development on the Mac and the newer iPhone and iPod Touch platforms.

MacGamer: Can you tell us a little about your entry into programming, and programming games specifically? When did you discover the Mac platform?
DJJ: I’ve been using Apple computers since high school in the late 1970s, and Macs from my first Mac Plus (with staggering 4MB of RAM and an external 20MB hard drive). Programming was never something I could do well, I am a senior graphic designer by day, but have always had a hobbyist interest in (RealBasic, Hypercard, Runtime Revolution and the like). I “seriously” got into programming when the Unity game engine was first hinted at, so I jumped at the opportunity to try it. I’d tried every game engine out there until that point and none had delivered on its promise. But Unity offered the chance to program games in Javascript (which I was familiar with), and that got me started in a big way. I actually wrote some of the early tutorials for other users and am regarded well in that community. Now that Unity is at the stage of releasing an update that will allow iPhone/touch builds straight from the IDE, it’s something that should help me produce even more games. And Widget Monkeys—aka Ron and I—will soon be releasing a whole slew of new animals on the iPhone and touch thanks to Unity.

MacGamer: It is well known that you have delved into the “World of Bootcamp” by playing the Total War series in Windows. We will deal with you later over this, but for now, what affect has this ability to play Windows games on Macs now, had on the Mac gaming industry? Along the same idea, do you see any paradigm shifts in the industry with “ciderized” games?
DJJ: I do admit to playing a handful of Windows-only games by utilizing Bootcamp, sure. Rome Total War is probably the one many Mac gamers associate me with, but I also use it for the outstanding IL2 flight sim, Orange Box, and Titan Quest. I do keep in contact with many of the people in the large Mac game development firms, but because I am strictly an indie developer I’m not sure I can say from an industry standpoint what the effects have been. I’m certain there is some effect but to what extent I can’t say. Ciderizing games does give the PC publishers and/or distributors like EA an opportunity to remove the role of Mac game porting (and associated jobs) as they can do it in-house and retain the revenues themselves. I think there will always be a market for Mac developed games but at what level? I can’t really say for sure.

MacGamer: Are you active in any side projects besides your company, Cocoa Touch Games? I know you “monkeyed” around with widgets for a while. Still? Anything else we might be interested in?
DJJ: Widget Monkeys are still active but family, full-time work, etc. always take priority. That being said, we’re on target to hit our one millionth download this year, and will soon be releasing a whole slew of new Widget Monkey animals on the iPhone and touch by early November. We’re also porting and updating our popular Banana Warehouse game to the devices. A website update is coming soon for Widget Monkeys with more details. I also started Widget Monkey Games on my own to develop my own game titles and to promote the Unity game engine but the first game, Widget United, is a bit delayed at the moment. It will get back on track sometime. :-)
Visit the page below to read the full Q&A.

MacGamer: David Janik-Jones Interview
Cocoa Touch Games
Widget Monkey Games

Mac Games News for Wednesday, October 8, 2008

IMG Reviews The Clumsys10:26 AM
Dofus Reaches 10 Million Player Milestone6:00 AM
GiantCrayon SudokuArcade Released6:00 AM
ToCA Race Driver 3 Coming October 24, Demo Available6:00 AM
Wrath Of The Lich King System Requirements Updated6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, October 8, 2008 on one page

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