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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

GNi to Host id Software's Quake Live
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Web infrastructure provider GNi has announced that is has been selected by id Software to support the upcoming Quake Live, id's web based free to play online multiplayer shooter based on the popular Quake Arena games. GNi's hosting services will include friends lists and communication, player skill matching, sponsored events and tournaments, and stats tracking.

“GNi has significant experience in the hosting of rapidly-scaling online games which solidified them as an excellent choice to host QUAKE LIVE. The back-end systems and infrastructure are critical elements in reliably delivering QUAKE LIVE’s state-of-the-art web interface, and GNi’s ability to scale quickly using their Dedicated Hosting Infrastructure ensures that we always have the immediate and flexible capacity to provide our constantly expanding player base the best game experience on the web,” stated Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software.

“Id Software is certainly a marquee brand and historically significant in the development of present day online gaming, so to be chosen to be a part of this rollout is a significant honor for GNI” said Philip Bouchard CEO of GNI. “The respective visions of id Software and GNI come together as we continue to see growth in the web-based community model as a strategic venue for reaching dedicated gamers and creating brand loyalty through well executed development and delivery.”

With the massive growth of online gaming, GNi continues to see increasing demand for high-performance, low – latency games infrastructure. With the traditional do-it-yourself model, game developers and publishers have to struggle to meet that demand via risky capital expenditure. IaaS gives game companies flexibility through the elimination of the need to purchase servers, software, data center space or network equipment. Developers and publishers see dividends by releasing games online, and are more likely to utilize this IaaS model as a way to release new games without large-scale infrastructure investment.

Created by id Software as an all-new way to deliver the excitement and energy of first-person multiplayer action to a broader audience than ever before, QUAKE LIVE offers game players of all skill levels a totally free and easily accessible multiplayer game and community through a single website at Every element of the experience, including friends lists and communication, player skill matching, sponsored events and tournaments, stats tracking, and even the game itself is accessed and delivered free of charge through the web browser.
For more information about Quake Live follow the link below.

Quake Live
id Software

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Diablo III: Reaction To Attribute Changes, Game Status
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

In recent posts on Blizzard Entertainment's official forums, Diablo III community manager Bashiok has continued to hand out information about the upcoming action RPG title. The topics this time range from the game's attribute system to how much of it is complete.

On the attribute system:
First is the loss of customization, and I’ve mentioned before that we don’t think it will be an issue, but let me elaborate a bit more. With the current skill system, runes, and item affixes, as well as other unmentionables, there’s not going to be any issue with not having enough customization. If there is, bottom line, we’ll add more. We’re not going to release a game we’re not happy with, and a lack of character customization options would make us unhappy. But, even right now we have a lot more variety and ability to customize a character than Diablo II had. I’m going to come back to some of this later because we’d like your help.

Somewhat similarly is being able to create “off-spec” builds, or characters that aren’t just cookie cutter ideals of the class you’re playing. This is important to the game, and we will ensure that it doesn't get "tuned out" of the game. Most importantly though being able to manually spend attributes does not make this a possibility. Which is to say that us automatically assigning attributes does not take away the ability to make these types of characters, at all. Manual attributes were not what made them possible in Diablo II. The ability to make these types of characters relies solely on the complexity and diversity of the the options available to steer your character, and not that they come in the form of a "+" button.

The loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement is actually something we recognize and intend to address.

The nostalgia of simply having points, and spending them on base stats is probably the most difficult. Liking something because it’s familiar is difficult to argue with, but it’s also probably the easiest to overcome. Since we can’t force your memories out of you, we just have to make the best game we can and hope you realize that manual attribute assignment isn’t the best, most engaging or entertaining form of character customization possible, and that we’re offering an even deeper and richer game without those buttons. Or you’ll just forget you even cared because you're playing Diablo III and it's totally kick ass... one or the other.

On what's finished:
Just to clarify this was an interview with Rob at the announcement of the game at WWI, and just to avoid any conclusions drawn without watching the video here's the quote:

"I think most of the other classes are actually playable back at the home office, but I'm not going to tell you about them today. And most of, kind of the first act, is also pretty playable, but we still have a long ways to go."

So you're quite a bit off from "all classes" and "all of act one" being finished. It's really insubstantial information though, because anyone that understands the Blizzard development process and core values we're all about iterating. It's not done until it's done.

As far as information releases go and current development everyone on the team is working really hard on the game, and it's progressing really well, but we're just kind of in a weird spot as far as new information releases go right now.

Click over to the GameBanshee page below to read more.

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

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

Big Download recently posted a review of Frogames' MiniOne Racing. In the game players race a collection of unique miniature vehicles through a variety of locations from virtual beaches to other planets. MiniOne Racing features two game modes, multiplayer action for up to 4 players, and an online high score list.

From the review:

Every car has the ability to fire tiny pellets at other cars. If you're lucky, your "bullet" will hit your opponent at just the right time to make them miss the next turn, but the chances of that are small. Even with a dead-on impact, the other car simply rocks a bit forward on its carriage, then goes back to racing as if nothing had happened. If you want to stand more of a chance to affect your enemies, then you need to stick with proper application of the power-ups.

There are six "action bonuses" in all, each triggered by the space bar: Boost, which gives you a couple of seconds of slightly-faster motion; Levitation, which causes all other cars to hover for two seconds, during which time they can't turn; Mines, which drops four obstacles behind your car; Invisibility, which renders your car unseeable to both your opponents and you; Dark Spiral, that restricts your viewpoint, no matter which camera mode you're using, to a small tunnel surrounded by blackness for about ten seconds; and Master, that randomly chooses a car as the recipient of a repellent electrical charge for a few seconds.
Read the full review at the website linked below.

Big Download: MiniOne Racing Review
MiniOne Racing

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Pandora's Pests Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Koingo Software has announced the preview release of its new arcade title, Pandora's Pests. In the game players must battle against legions of pests in three unique settings. With each pest killed players gain access to new skills and weapons to aid in the struggle. The preview release of the game includes all the features of the final release but is still in testing and does not yet include speed and memory optimizations.

You're on a relaxing vacation at a desert resort when your peaceful afternoon is upturned by an armada of pests!

Battle three major bosses, including a Scorpion Den, Wasp's Nest and an Ant Infestation, and then face the ultimate challenge of destroying Pandora's Box once and for all! Traverse three unique and exciting worlds: a desert resort, your home, and an infested swamp.

With every bug you squash, you gain new skills and obtain new weapons to help defeat these bothersome foes. However, after you escape home, you realize they're becoming much more than simply bothersome - it's an invasion!
Pandora's Pests requires at least Mac OS X 10.4, 1 GB of RAM, QuickTime, and a video card supporting OpenGL. The game is shareware and sells for $9.95 (USD). It can be downloaded at the web site below.

Pandora's Pests
Koingo Software

Mac Games News for Monday, December 15, 2008

IMG Reviews Dream Pinball 3D6:23 AM
Amju Pet Zoo Released For Mac6:00 AM
MotionX- Poker Quest Comes To iPhone6:00 AM
Myst Online Goes Open Source6:00 AM
New Diablo III Screenshots & Artwork Available6:00 AM
Petz Sports Now Available For Intel Macs6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 15, 2008 on one page

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