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Thursday, February 12, 2009

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Demo Puzzles Released for Fool's Errand Sequel
6:00 AM | Matt Diamond | Comment on this story

Cliff Johnson, author of the award-winning puzzle games Fool's Errand and 3 in Three, has released a "teaser" demo containing five of the puzzles from The Fool and His Money.

The downloadable teaser puzzles are available for both Macintosh and Windows. (Macintosh users should take careful note of the Shockwave installation instructions that come with the game.)

The Fool and His Money, a sequel to Fools Errand, has been in development for six years. After many setbacks it seems likely that it will finally be released in 2009.

The teaser for The Fool and His Money, and information about all of Cliff Johnson's classic games, can be found on his website.

The Fool And His Money

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Tribal Trouble 2 Beta Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Oddlabs has announced the release of an update to its public beta version of Tribal Trouble 2, the web based sequel to the original lighted hearted real time strategy game of Vikings versus Islanders. TT 2 will allow gamers to play directly from the website and will feature a sales model designed "to fit pockets of all sizes." The update adds a new quest, in-game chat, three new products, and a couple of bug fixes.

Once again Oddlabs has released more updates for Tribal Trouble 2 beta. Among these updates is the new quest, Southern Vegetables, that continues the story of your abducted friend Sigurd the Sponge, where you travel to the tropics and meet the native Africans. The shop has been expanded with new upgrades that will increase the number of peasants at the start of each game and make it possible to raise the ceiling on the total number of units and resources. Chat is no longer limited to the chat rooms, but is now possible in the game by pressing the enter key.

Whats new:
• New quest: Southern Vegetables
• In-game chat
• Three new products: Larger quarters, larger armories and extra peasants Boot Camp, Oyster Invasion and Rotten Eggs made easier for beginners
• Warriors returning to an armory will now attack enemies on the way
• Bug fix: Website failed to load occasionally in Safari and Firefox in Mac OS X
• Bug fix: AI tried to train a Lur Blaster without a quarters building

Click over to the link below for more information.

Tribal Trouble 2

Destination: Treasure Island Goes Gold, Available Feb 24
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Coladia has announced that Destination: Treasure Island for Mac OS X has been declared Golden Master and will be available on February 24th. The game is a point and click adventure title in the tradition of Myst and inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Treasure Island. Players take the role of Jim Hawkins and must solve a variety of puzzles as they make their way to a treasure hidden on Emerald Island by Long John Silver.

Four years have passed since the end of the adventure recounted in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel. Jim Hawkins has become an upstanding adventurous young man, attentive to those around him. Imagine his surprise when, one morning, he sees a parrot enter his bedroom window : none other than Captain Flint, Long John's own companion. The bird brings him a message from his master. In the message the old pirate announces that he has buried a marvelous treasure on the secret isle where he retired : Emerald Island. Jim is going to have to hurry though. Pirates, old enemies of Long John, are on his trail.

With a unique interactive inventory using object combinations and a new system of knot puzzles, users will have to resolve dozens of fascinating enigmas. In a highly coloured varied and exotic environment, they'll play Jim Hawkins, the hero, to reach the treasure that Long John Silver hide on Emerald Island.

Main Features:
• A thrilling quest: Set out in search of the incredible treasure
• The sequel of R.L. Stevenson's adventure: A tale that has fascinated millions of readers for years
• A varied, exotic environment. Highly coloured and detalied graphics to give you a real taste for travel
• A treasure trail: Danger at every turn, to keep you in suspense for hours
• A innovative game system: An interactive inventory using object combinations and a new system of knot puzzles
• Dozens of fascinating enigmas: Resolve them or never reach the treasure
Destination: Treasure Island will be released as an Universal application and will run on Mac computers sporting Intel or PowerPC G5 processors. The game is localized in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish languages. When ready it will be available on Coladia's webstore and selected partners for $39.90 (USD).

Head over to the links below for more information.

Destination: Treasure Island
Coladia Games
Buy Destination: Treasure Island

Apple Games Designer Profile: John Carmack
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games' latest feature interview article turns the spotlight on legendary game designer, and co-owner of id Software, John Carmack. Known for his work on the Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake series of first person shooters, Carmack helped to create the popular FPS genre. Among other things the article covers his history, philosophy of game design, and plans for future projects.

He confirms that “there are lots of things I would like to pursue on the iPhone, which is a very different platform than the cell phones we have designed games for.” In the meantime, he says that his interest in mobile gaming “has happened concurrent with the development of a single high-end title in Rage,” which will take Carmack into yet another new realm: outdoor vehicle racing in a post-apocalyptic world. The game made its debut at Apple’s 2007 Worldwide Developers Conference, when Carmack introduced the engine, known as id Tech 5, that powers it. That technology will also drive the upcoming Doom 4.

Musing on the current state of gaming, Carmack relates: “Recently, playing games with my four-year-old son has brought me back to appreciating the innate magic of games. Games are fabulous today in so many ways, and we have dedicated and passionate designers at id.”

As he and the 80-plus employees at id Software look to the future, it’s clear that creativity will eventually trump whiz-bang technology. “Advances in technology won’t be as significant as they have been in the past,” Carmack speculates. “Most games won’t be materially improved by simulating every drop of water in the pond you are wading through. More resources can be profitably spent to make the creation process easier.”
Read the full article at the link provided below.

Apple Games: John Carmack Designer Profile
id Software

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EVE Online: Exploit Followup, Linux Client Cancelled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

New posts on the CCP Games' blog and forum detail the situation surrounding the recent economic exploit allowing players to collect unearned currency, as well as the company's reasons for canceling the Linux client. The blog post offers a detailed examination of the exploit, its impact on the economy, and the steps CCP has taken to resolve the problem. Posts on the blog and forum announce the cancellation of the Linux client due to low user participation, and assure Mac owners there are no plans to cancel their client.

EVE Economic Exploit:

First of all, we know how many reactors were in the bugged state and how much they were producing at the time the exploit was uncovered. We also know when these reactors were put online. Since the amount produced from each reaction is homogenous we can deduct from this information the maximum possible amount that was produced using this exploit. So during the first phase we can find out how much currently operating POSes have been producing.

The next step was to calculate the total value of the exploited material. Multiplying total volume produced through exploits and multiplying that by the average price of each material, and then subtracting the cost of operating the POS, resulted in an estimated total figure of 6.7 trillion ISK. That is a lot of ISK'ies for sure. But putting that into some kind of perspective is necessary. On a daily basis the total trade on the EVE market (not counting contracts or direct trade) in 2008 was between 2.5 and 3.0 trillion ISK. That gives us an annual trade worth more than 964 trillions in 2008 alone. So the maximum value of the exploit in 2008 is only about 0.7% of the total trade in one year.

But of course having capital helps in making even more capital, and that is indeed what they did. Using the profit from the exploit, the exploiters purchased high-end items and traded in high-end minerals in order to hide their tracks. Hence, though the impact was not big on the global market of EVE, it was surely felt locally and for some specific items. We can safely say that the size of the EVE economy saved the day here since even free stuff in big quantities can´t destroy the main markets of EVE.
Linux Client Cancellation:
This project went live in late 2007, and in that time we have seen the same slow, steady growth in the numbers of users of the Mac client that has characterized the growth of EVE Online throughout its history. However we have not seen any similar growth in the numbers using our Linux client.

It is for this reason that I am sorry to have to announce that from the 10th of March onwards CCP will no longer be officially supporting the Linux operating system. The low amount of users of the Linux client did not justify the degree of additional complexity that maintaining three operating systems imposed on our development and release schedules. There is the matter of maintaining the hardware infrastructure to facilitate the development work, spending man-hours on testing and diagnosing faults in the client as well as regression testing. While we did embark on this project with the aim of being one of the few MMOG’s on the market offering a game client for all of the major operating system architectures, we feel that the time and resources that were being spent on the Linux client would be better utilized in areas where more players would benefit from them.

There are currently no plans to drop the Mac client. There is a large and growing Mac user base and we hope to get more Mac users from the launch of Apocrypha and Premium graphics.
Follow the links listed below to read more.

EVE Online Blog: Economic Exploit Detailed
EVE Online Blog: Linux Client Cancellation
EVE Online Forum: Mac Client Status
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Class Changes For WoW Detailed6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: Higher Level Cap, New Spells, New Skills6:00 AM
FlatOut 2 Reviewed6:00 AM
iGame Radio Announces Logo Contest6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 11, 2009 on one page

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