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Friday, October 17, 2008

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EVE Online: Quantum Rise Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Independent developer CCP Games has announced work on the ninth free expansion for EVE Online, its popular science fiction massively multi-player online game (MMOG). EVE Online: Quantum Rise will offer "limitless opportunity to the talented starship pilots of New Eden," featuring customizable storefronts for corporations, rebalanced and optimized industrial ships, a new certificate system for measuring pilot skill levels, a medal system for honoring achievements, as well as a variety of hardware and server improvements.

More information about Quantum Rise:

"We are very proud to be delivering this expansion, both in terms of features and the sheer performance increases made possible by deep refactoring of selected portions of our network and server code, complimented with the finest hardware we could find," says Torfi Frans Ólafsson, Senior Producer of EVE Online. "I can't imagine a better game where you can engage hundreds of people simultaneously in highly immersive tactical combat or simply sit back and make millions off of the conflict via research, manufacturing or logistics. You choose your destiny; that's the beauty of it."

Players have great things to look forward to in EVE Online: Quantum Rise. Corporations will be able to set their products apart from the rest by building trust in their goods through customizable storefronts. The backbone of EVE's vibrant economy, industrial ships are being rebalanced and optimized to better suit the needs of haulers and industrialists-including the latest edition to the fleet, a massive capital industrial ship dubbed the Orca. A new certificate system will give a quick and verifiable means to discern a pilot's skill level in trading, gunnery or countless other professions, providing plenty of bragging rights. Meanwhile, the introduction of a medal system allows corporations to distinguish their most valued pilots and honor them for their achievements.

The staged delivery of EVE Online: Quantum Rise began with the recent implementation of technological breakthroughs such as StacklessIO and EVE64 which upgraded the server hardware and streamlined communication between server and client to severely reduce lag. The reality of thousands of ships simultaneously engaged in adrenaline-charged combat is at hand and several fleet battles have already been fought using this new technology. Emboldened by the significant effects these improvements bring to high-level gameplay, CCP will push forward with a myriad of hardware and server improvements to bring the most massive player vs player experience available, expanding a boundless universe into a limitless one.

More Features:
• Weapon linking to make your onslaught easier
• Continuations of the massive Trinity graphics update
• Changes to autopilot routes and avoidance techniques
• More to be revealed in the coming weeks
When released EVE Online: Quantum Rise will be available for subscribers as a free download. A full list of features will be available soon at the official website listed below.

CCP Games
EVE Online

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Vendetta Online Adds Player Contribution Corps
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Guild Software's space-combat MMORPG Vendetta Online is now allowing subscribers to directly participate in the development of new content for the game's universe. The developer has launched its new "Player Contribution Corps", a community of game subscribers with access to building and testing new missions, creating new user-interface features with direct access to source code, as well as other avenues of content creation.

The mission editor permits players to autonomously build and test new scenarios on the official Vendetta Online test-server. Once completed, the missions may be submitted to the greater "PCC" community for review and feedback, the completion of which sends them on to the development staff for final approval and placement in the production game universe.

"We're very excited about this new community of involved players," commented John Bergman, CEO of Guild Software. "For some gamers, the attraction of creating new content, telling stories of their own and watching others respond to them, can outweigh even the fun of playing the games themselves. We hope to give this group an outlet with our new PCC community." Unlike some of the few other MMOs offering degrees of player-created content, all development approved for the Vendetta Online universe must stay within the context of the established backstory. "We see it as a bit like Lucas's 'Expanded Universe'," Bergman continued.

"We have provided a backdrop of history, politics and war that has given rise to the current galaxy; our players are welcome to tell their own stories within that framework." Since development began on the "PCC" and editor in 2006, close to a thousand missions have been built by users beta-testing the system. "People have constructed trees of elaborate espionage missions, large space battles, all sorts of different scenarios, many of which have been propagated into the production game," said Bergman.
For more information about Vendetta Online and the Player Contribution Corps, see the main website at the link below.

Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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Spore Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of Spore, Will Wright's most recent god sim. In the game players steer the evolutionary path of a lifeform from the oozing primordial soup to the depths of outer space. The Game Room gave Spore a score of 3.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

After you’ve placated or obliterated other species, you move onto the Civilization stage and your quest for world domination. Based on your previous choices, you’ll either be a Religious, Militaristic, or Economic city. In order to win this stage, you must conquer other cities by employing resource gathering, using vehicles, setting up trade routes, converting others to your religion, or using warfare. One of my favorite moments in the game was setting up a trade route with a city, buying it, and then using its military to conquer the rest of that continent.

Finally, with the world all united under your rule, you enter the Space stage, where you launch a space program and take your first steps into the galactic community. You must contact other aliens (both friendly and hostile), set up trade routes, forge alliances, create fleets, terraform planets to make them hospitable for life, colonize barren worlds, and expand your empire throughout the galaxy. The sheer scale of this last stage makes actual galactic domination nearly impossible; there are thousands of planets, but you earn merit badges for your efforts. Abducting aliens from one planet to transport to another can earn you a delivery badge, for example, and these open up new tools, options, and weapons.
Read the full review at the page linked below.

Macworld's Game Room: Spore Review
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

Spore: Sporecast Creation Tutorial Video
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The official website for Spore, Will Wright's evolution sim, has added a new tutorial video to the list of available movies. This latest video provides a guide to the creation of Sporecasts with instruction from Spore producer Thomas Vu.

Check out the newest tutorial movie narrated by producer, Thomas Vu who walks through the creation of Sporecasts both in the game and on the site. Also, we've posted info on how to control your creation's archetype here!
Visit the website listed below to view the new video.

Spore Videos
Electronic Arts
Buy Spore

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Call of Duty 4 Patch 1.7 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Aspyr Media has released a free patch for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for Mac. This update (259 MB) will bring the Mac version of the game up to the current PC version so Mac users will be able to play cross platform. There are two versions of the same patch, one for the retail version and one for the digital download version.

Changes in the 1.7 patch:

• New maps Creek, Chinatown, Broadcast, and Killhouse
• Hardcore and oldschool server browser filters
• Fix for a Denial of Service attack.
• Fixed an exploit that allowed players to access certain console dvars
during multi-player matches.
• Fixed a crash that could occur when a Chinatown Sabotage match would go
into over-time.
• Fixed a bug where the MP icons (Bomb, Defend, Capture, etc) were always
showing up as English regardless of the install language.
Follow the links below to download the appropriate patch and learn more about the game.

Call of Duty 4 Patch 1.7 For Retail Versions
Call of Duty 4 Patch 1.7 For Digital Download Versions
Aspyr Media
Call of Duty 4
Buy Call of Duty 4

Mac Games News for Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple Games Feature FlatOut 26:00 AM
Big Bang Board Games For iPhone Updated6:00 AM
John Riccitiello Discusses Spore DRM, EA's Future6:00 AM
Penny Arcade Adventures Papercraft Contest Announced6:00 AM
World of Warcraft Echoes Of Doom Patch Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 16, 2008 on one page

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