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Friday, December 12, 2008

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Wolfire Offering Lugaru For Free This Christmas
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

To help promote its upcoming game, Overgrowth, Wolfire Games will be offering Lugaru for free this Christmas. To receive a free copy those interested must join the Free Lugaru Event on Facebook as well as the Overgrowth Facebook Page.

Overgrowth will pick up where Lugaru left off: in a world of anthropomorphic rabbits and wolves who use paws, claws and medieval weaponry to engage each other in battle.†The game is powered by a brand new engine featuring improved animation, physics, and rendering technology.

In order to bring awareness of our upcoming independent game, Overgrowth, we are giving away free copies of the game that started it all: Lugaru!

Lugaru is a cult classic, indie video game that was created by David Rosen when he was in high school. It is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Since its launch, it has been sold for $19.95 without exception ó until now!

This Christmas, we are giving it away for free!

All you have to do to have your free copy emailed to you on Christmas Eve is join this Facebook event and join the Overgrowth Facebook Page. Donít open it until Christmas Day! Make sure youíre a fan of the Overgrowth Facebook Page, and be sure to invite your friends to this event!
Click over to the link below for more information.

Free Lugaru Xmas Blog Post
Wolfire Software

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World Of Goo Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld has published a new review of World of Goo. The unique puzzle game challenges players to guide balls of goo through the game's levels by constructing items like ladders and bridges to circumvent obstacles. Macworld gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

World of Goo are a physics simulator at heart, so expect to build plenty of triangles. The difficulty curve gets steep quickly as youíre introduced to new types of Goo. Eventually, youíll have to float your structures around obstacles, spring booby-traps, ignite explosives, and construct ďdroolĒ to progress.

The cartoonish art reminds me of a combination of the television show ďInvader ZimĒ crossed with the addictive qualities of games like Dr. Mario and Snood. While not inherently dark, kids wonít fully appreciate some of the zany and satirical humor present throughout the game. For example, a power plant that runs on the beauty of a woman breaks down and is thankfully fixed by cosmetic surgery. A computer is run by an obsolete system called Mom which may or may not have given away all of your personal information. Oh, and the Goo balls squeak adorably.

The initial missions throw you into a strange world where a sign painter is your only guide. Be sure to click on all of the signposts to reveal the goal of the mission, get hints on how to solve it, or understand the world around you a bit more. Each sign reads like a post-modern haiku, a physics joke and a commentary on the gameís self-aware silliness all in one. ďWhat kind of factory designer would put deadly spikes all over the walls?Ē moans the sign painter at the seeming impossibility of a level.
Read the full review at the page listed below.

Macworld: World Of Goo
2D Boy
World of Goo

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World Of Warcraft Character Re-Customization Service Debuts
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has unveiled its promised Character Re-Customization service for World of Warcraft players. For a flat fee of $15 users can make a variety of cosmetic changes to existing characters including face, skin color, gender, and an optional name change.

Ready for a new look in World of Warcraft, but the barbershop's just not cutting it? You can now change a characterís gender, face, skin color, and other cosmetic features (such as tauren horn styles or a night elf's facial markings) using the brand-new Character Re-Customization service. Available at the Account Management page for a flat fee of $15, Character Re-Customization covers all available cosmetic options for a single character and includes an optional name change to go with your new look. For more information, see the FAQ -- or log in to the Character Re-Customization page now to begin the process of reinventing the new you!
Visit the links below to learn more about the new service.

WoW Character Re-Customization Page
WoW Character Re-Customization FAQ
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Kivi's Underworld: Mac Development, Trailer, Review
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new interview, review, and game trailer for Soldak Entertainment's Kivi's Underworld are now available. First, a Tea Leaves interview revealed Steven Peeler's experience bringing the game to Mac users. Second, Gamers Daily News gave the game a score of 8 out of 10. Finally, Soldak has released a new trailer showcasing the game's action.

From Tea Leaves:

Can you speak a bit about your experience developing it for the Mac? Was this essentially a straight port?
Actually for Kiviís Underworld I had to do almost no extra work for the Mac version, because I had already ported our previous game, Depths of Peril.
I was hoping to eventually do a Mac port when we started Depths of Peril, so we planned ahead and used OpenGL and OpenAL. This ultimately made the Mac port (2 Ĺ years later) much easier. In mid March of this year (2008), I finally decided that it was a time to do a Mac version of Depths of Peril. It took about a week to finally decide this, order a Mac, and receive it. At that point in time, I had really never used a Mac before. Even with ramp up time on a completely new computer and OS, it took only a tad over 2 months from the day I received the Mac to when we were selling the Mac version of Depths of Peril. To me that shows how easy Macs are to use.

On the business side of things, has targeting the Mac proven to be a worthwhile decision as a publisher?
From the beginning I viewed porting to the Mac as a calculated risk. I was hoping that if Depths of Peril didnít pay back the hardware and development cost then at least the next game (Kiviís Underworld) would. Looking back at it though, it was a very wise decision. The Mac version of Depths of Peril is nearly 40% of our direct sales now and paid back all of its costs a while back. The Mac version of Kiviís Underworld on the other hand is actually outselling the Windows version so far. I donít suspect that this will last, but itís interesting. So yes, I would have to say it has been a worthwhile decision.

Any advice for other game developers considering adding OS X to their list of supported platforms?
For indie companies that are already using fairly portable engines, I would definitely say it is worthwhile to support the Mac. On the other hand, I donít need any more competition so stay far, far away! Seriously though, I know of many other small games companies that have had very good luck with the Mac. Of course, Blizzard still ships Mac versions of their games. Who can argue with a company that has 11 million subscribers? I am very curious how many of those are on the Mac.
From GDN:
There are tons of other cool things, like the graphics themselves, to keep you entertained though. The graphics have depth and are robust. At times I would zoom in just to check out some detail on something. This is what Iím coming to expect from Soldak though as Depths of Peril had some seriously intricate and lush environments as well. Itís almost as if they secretly pride themselves on cool environments that donít require a $3000 PC to be viewed properly.

Piles of power ups are in Kiviís Underworld as well. Youíll find them falling off of monsters, flying out of smashed barrels and lying about in generally useful places like at the bottoms of chests. Those are the places one would obviously look anyway. Weíre all well trained from the Zelda years of people hiding coins in jars on their front lawns, no matter how ridiculous that is. At least thereís logic to it in Kiviís Underworld.

Aside from the profuse amount of power ups there are also more than 20 different characters that you can play. Thereís a really cool feature in the game where when you buy skill points they apply to your game. So no matter which character youíre using, they have those skill points. Thereís no need to individually level up each and every character. The classes in the game will come as no shock to you Iím sure - warrior, rogue, priest, mage and various variations like scout, enchanter and more. This adds some spice and variety to the game so youíre not constantly just left clicking like mad. Each class has a different active and passive skill.
To view all the new Kivi's Underworld related information click on the links listed below.

Tea Leaves: Kivi's Underworld Mac Development
GDN: Kivi's Underworld Review
Kivi's Underworld Trailer
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Apple Games Features Rayman Raving Rabbids, Asphalt 46:00 AM
Eschalon Book II Status Update6:00 AM
Slope Rider Goes Universal6:00 AM
Vendetta Online Limited Time Free Trial Key Offer6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 11, 2008 on one page

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