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Monday, March 2, 2009

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EVE Online: Apocrypha Details Revealed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CCP Games recently announced the full features list for EVE Online: Apocrypha, the tenth free expansion for EVE Online subscribers, which is due out on March 10th, coinciding with the availability of EVE in retail outlets across North America, Europe and Pan Asia. Apocrypha will feature new wormholes, the production of Tech 3 modular ships, NPC agents capable of assigning epic mission arcs, a reworked New Player Experience for those new to EVE's universe, and the arrival of Premium Graphics for Mac users.

EVE's Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson on Apocrypha: "Just like the human body is said to regenerate itself every seven years, EVE Online continues to grow and evolve in its sixth year of operation, with systems being added, refined, refactored and polished with every expansion we make. As the player base continually grows, we are able to increase the development team and bring in more engineers, designers and artists for each expansion. This allows us to deliver such a broad range of features catering to a variety of playstyles in a volume that we can be proud of."
"It's both comforting and disturbing to come home after work, log in to EVE late in the evening and find the same developers that spend their long day building EVE, playing it and enjoying it deep into the night. We are a company that truly sips its own champagne, likes it and strives to make it more tasty whenever we can."

The improvements for Apocrypha include:
• Explore and dominate more than 2,400 solar systems that exist on the other side of unstable wormholes opening up throughout New Eden. New scanning mechanics allow you to find and explore them in the first truly uncharted space in EVE.
• Wormholes aren't the only thing to discover. Booster sites, archeological digs, hacking sites, gas clouds and salvaging sites are some of the surprises in store for those pilots skilled in scanning exploration.
• The Sleepers, a new NPC race, protect an ancient technology within the wormhole-space. They exhibit intelligence unlike any enemy yet found in new Eden, requiring pilots to react to their deadly, shifting tactics.
• Tech 3 strategic cruisers are the first ship class to arise from reverse engineered technology gleaned from wormhole space fueling their production. Their modular nature allows for a broad level of customization of both ship appearance and performance.
• The New Player Experience has been rebuilt from the ground up with improved tutorials and an easier introduction to possible "career" paths. Rookie starship pilots will find it smoother than ever to become a force to be reckoned with in the limitless world of New Eden.
• The introduction of Epic Mission Arcs, huge branching mission sagas, are designed to give new pilots a tour across many regions of space and bring them out the other end, battle-hardened and knowledgeable about the EVE universe.
• Hundreds of visual aspects in the game have been renovated, including almost every effect in game. All new assets make up the massive wormhole spaces, such as new NPC structures and gorgeous nebulas. Space just keeps looking better with age.
• With further performance increases, optimizations and graphics upgrades, we bid farewell to our Classic Graphics Client as players across all platforms begin to enjoy the beauty of Premium Lite.
• Mac owners rejoice! EVE will now be available to you in all of its Premium graphics glory.
• Character attributes can now be rearranged in order to diversify or specialize skill training with Attribute Remapping, perfect for a veteran who needs to switch focus or a new player who's just discovered a different niche.
• Players can now schedule automatic training of multiple skills with an original skill queue planning interface designed for maximum efficiency.
• A redesigned Ship Fitting Panel screen allows for more information when kitting out your ship. The ability to export both ship fittings and overview settings means that you can share your best configurations with your friends or you can quickly re-fit a replacement ship to head back into battle.
• The Audio Engine allows more flexibility for our sound designers, meaning a complete revamp of a lot of audio effects including warping, jumpgates and cloaking. Brand new sounds will also grace Apocrypha's new visual effects.
• Our efforts to bring EVE closer to everyone's home continue with the localized Russian client coming out of beta testing to full support.
The full feature list is expanded upon further at the website below, including links to blogs on specific features written by members of the development team. The page also contains interviews with developers, screenshots, a teaser trailer and other information about the game.

EVE Online: Apocrypha
CCP Games
EVE Online

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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 company's 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." Among other things the update adds a faster default multiplayer speed and new grouping shortcuts.

What's new in version 0.7:
• Default multiplayer speed changed to "Faster".
• Bypass the grouping system by holding down the ALT key while selecting units.
• Press the U key to toggle the aggressive units option.
• The last part of the Finders Keepers quest has been made easier.
• Bug fix: Peasants could get stuck waiting for other peasants
gathering the same resource.
Click over to the link below to read more.

Tribal Trouble 2

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Diablo III: Website Updates, Monster Appearance
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has updated the official Diablo III website with new screenshots, artwork, and a new bestiary section on The Unburied. Other new information about the upcoming RPG action title comes from Bashiok, this time including description of the new monsters as well as randomized monster appearances.

The Unburied:
When the guard happened upon a mass grave dug by this sick fool, a massive, horned, disgusting behemoth was digging itself out. The dying traveler described this loathsome beast – or, as he termed it, the unburied – as being comprised of bloated parts from many fetid, rotting corpses, with a multitude of disfigured heads and slobbering fanged mouths. He was fortunate that day, but when he returned with several men to help him deal with the creature, they found to their horror that the undead spawn was too much for even their combined efforts. They fought valiantly to the last man, sacrificing themselves to keep the beast from rampaging across the countryside and taking who knows how many innocent lives. He was the last survivor, and before he passed on, he proudly told me that they were successful in eradicating the foul unburied creature.
Being born out of pits of human misery, these beings feed on human suffering. Wherever bodies are dumped together unceremoniously, the unburied may rise. I cannot help but wonder if this be some sort of cosmic justice for our inhumanity to our fellow man. But what is the catalyst? What animates these things? What makes them so horrendously different from the run-of-the-mill zombies or "normal" skeletal undead?
Head over to the links below to check out the new content.

Diablo III Screenshots
Diablo III Artwork
Diablo III The Unburied Bestiary
Diablo III: Bashiok Comments
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Design A Blizzard Theme Park And Win SC II Beta Keys
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently announced a new contest, challenging participants to dream up an entire theme park based on Blizzard's game worlds. Winning entries will be featured on Blizzard's site as well as at the upcoming 2009 BlizzCon. Winning designers will receive a Wacom Cintiq 12WX Digitizing Tablet, a pair of StarCraft II beta keys, and other prizes.

Step right up, and take a ride on Onyxia's Revenge -- a wild, whelp-filled roller coaster through the depths of the nefarious dragon's lair! Head to Koprulu Food Court and grab yourself a Zerger Burger -- then don your Horadric Poncho, and prepare to get soaked in a rain of fire on Diablo's River of Flame!

What thrills would you seek in the Blizzard Entertainment theme park of your dreams? This is your chance to show us.

We’re challenging you to design and illustrate your own Blizzard Entertainment Theme Park, including roller coasters, water rides, shows, shopping areas, food courts, game areas, patrons, and whatever fantastic attractions you desire.

Submit your original park design by March 30, 2009, and we’ll choose our favorites based on the creativity of the design, artistic technique (including the medium and style), and how your park reflects the lore and spirit of Blizzard Entertainment's games.

You can submit illustrations that look like theme-park maps, compose your park to look like a screenshot from a game, or create whatever kind of park you wish -- the only limit is your imagination. Winning entries will be featured on Blizzard Entertainment websites around the world as well as at BlizzCon 2009, being held in Anaheim, California on August 21 and 22.

The park designer who most creatively incorporates the StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo universes will receive a Wacom Cintiq 12WX Digitizing Tablet, a pair of StarCraft II beta keys, and more. See below for more prize details, or check out the official rules for more information.
For more information about the contest and its rules follow the links below.

Blizzard Theme Park Contest
Blizzard Entertainment

Cocoa Touch Games Releases Dead Words For iPhone
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

Cocoa Touch Games has announced the release of Dead Words, a new puzzle title for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The game challenges players to correctly identify real words, once common to the English language, from fake words. The real words are drawn from a list of more than 1,800 used commonly in the 1700s and 1800s. Dead Words includes definitions of the real words and keeps track of the player's highest score.

How fast can you pick out real archaic words from a whole pile of made up words? How many will you get right (in a row) before your game ends? Dead Words, a dastardly puzzler game for word lovers, is the fifth game from Cocoa Touch Games and is now available on the iPhone App Store.

Your only goal in Dead Words is to try to correctly identify real words—that were once common in the English language—from fake words. The word list in version 1.0 is made up of more than 1,800 words that might have been part of the English language in the 1700s and 1800s. We referenced a number of dictionaries and word reference sources from those centuries to develop a list of devilishly difficult and odd-sounding words and their meanings. We display real word definitions during game play. However, in addition to real words that were once common, the word list contains hundreds of words that we created specifically for Dead Words. You will need a good mind and a sharp knowledge of the English language to spot the real words from the fakes.

Your "score" in Dead Words is determined by how many words you correctly identify as real or fake in a row. At the end of game your best score to date is saved on your local device and displayed on the menu screen of the game. Dead Words was designed to be played anywhere ... for a minute at a time or an hour.

Future updates (free) of Dead Words will expand the English language version to include a word list of more than 3,000 words. In the future, we hope to release additional versions with French, Spanish and German words for puzzle lovers around the world!

The producer and creative director for Dead Words was Cocoa Touch Games founder David Janik-Jones. Art and programming were also done by David Janik-Jones. Programming help and game play feedback was provided by Rob Drimmie (thanks!). Dead Words was created using the highly recommended Unity game engine.

Dead Words was released March 1, 2009. It sells for $0.99 on the iPhone App Store. For more information and screen shots of Dead Words visit the Cocoa Touch Games website listed below.

iPhone App Store: Dead Words
Dead Words

Mac Games News for Friday, February 27, 2009

Ambrosia Game Bundle Celebrates Multiwinia March 4th Debut6:00 AM
Apple Games Features PBS KIDS PLAY! Neighborhood6:00 AM
Peggle Nights Released For Macs6:00 AM
Quake Live Mac A High Priority Carmack Says6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 27, 2009 on one page

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