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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And Yet It Moves Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Independent game developer Broken Rules recently announced the release of And Yet It Moves for Macs. Set in a world with a ripped paper visual style, the "puzzle platformer" brings a unique spin to the running and jumping mechanics with the introduction of a rotating play area. To succeed players must run, jump, and rotate to solve the 17 levels.

“Building a full version of the game was a tough ride, but it was fun,” asserts Project Lead, Felix Bohatsch, saying “We are a small studio, so in true independent spirit, we are very eclectic in our work. Every team member’s contribution ensures that we make a game we love to play.”

In addition to the Jump ‘n Run concept, the core mechanism of And Yet It Moves is the ability to rotate the world in intervals of 90 degrees. The player has to apply the physical consequences of rotation with adroitness and a sense of orientation. The puzzle-platforming is set in a visually distinct style, made of ripped paper. The world is enriched with handmade sounds and music, all originating from sound designer, Christoph Binder’s, voice.

• Explore your new world! Solve mind-bending puzzles set in an extraordinary paper collage world of 17 different levels, brought to life with immersive sound and music.
• Platforming on a whole new level. Tired of the same old run n’ jump? Use 90- and 180-degree world rotation to achieve your goals – not for the faint of heart!
• Encore performances await. And Yet It Moves’ Speed Run and Ghost Run modes allow you to revisit previous levels to test your mettle in a race against the clock and your previous high scores.
• Challenge friends and foes alike! Submit your ghost to the global high scores online and see where you stand in the rotational ranks.

• Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
• Processor: G5/Intel based 1.6 Ghz or higher
• Memory: 512 MB RAM
• Hard Disk Space: 60 MB
• Video Card: Intel® gma950 128 mb or better
And Yet It Moves is available for download from the link below and costs $9.95 for the full version.

Greenhouse: And Yet It Moves
And Yet It Moves
Broken Rules

The Gaming Power Of Apple's Newest Mac Pros and iMacs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 9 comments

Macworld has posted a new article detailing gaming benchmark results for Apple's latest versions of the Mac Pro and iMac desktop systems. The computers were compared to their previous incarnations in gaming tests involving Quake 4 and Call of Duty 4 at low and high resolutions.

Turning to the new iMacs, we see a pretty large spread of graphics performance, with the 3.06GHz 24-inch iMac able to display up to six times as many frames per second as the 2.66GHz 24-inch iMac. The new iMacs ship with one of three different stock graphics cards, with a BTO (built to order) graphics card also available. Unfortunately, we were unable to test the iMac with the BTO card.

The two least expensive iMacs of the four-model family offer integrated graphics in the form of Nvidia GeForce 9400M that shares up to 256MB of DDR3 main memory. This is the same graphics system featured in the Mac mini and across the entire MacBook line. And while it’s a major step up from the Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics used in MacBooks and minis before, the discreet graphics in the two higher-end iMacs outperformed the integrated graphics in every test. In fact, the Nvidia GeForce GT 130 graphics used in the high-end, 3.06GHz 24-inch iMac was faster than the standard Mac Pro models which use the GeForce GT120 graphics, the same as the 24-inch 2.93GHz iMac. As you might expect, the systems using the GT 120 graphics performed similarly, though with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, the Mac Pros were a little faster than the 2.93GHz iMac, which has just 256MB of GDDR3 memory.
Read the full article at the link below.

Macworld: Newest Mac Pro, iMac Gaming Benchmarks

Click to enlarge
Introversion Software's Chris Delay Interviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Offworld has published a new interview with Introversion Software's Chris Delay. During the discussion the programmer discussed the company's history, the ideas behind its games, its unique method for dealing with game pirates, and Introversion's next title: Subversion, a game which will offer procedurally generated cityscapes.

And Defcon had a neat method for making money out of pirates included in it, right?
CD: The idea was that Defcon was a multiplayer game that needed a constant supply of players online if it was going to work. We were worried that without enough players it wouldn't gain enough momentum, and that it would jump right into a downward spiral. We figured that genuine players would still have a better time if they were playing against pirates, than playing against nobody. So we produced a pirate version of the game and released it into the world.
With Darwinia we released a torrent version that purported to be the full game, but was just two levels and a message telling the pirate they had ripped off a little indie developer. We'll never know how successful that was, but a huge number of people got that version. With Defcon we put the full game out with a specific authentication key, so we could track the use of it. It was all switched on and you could play the pirated game with that key, but at any time we could flip the switch and turn that version of the game off, with a message saying that you needed to pay for the game. That brought in new purchases. The idea behind what we call the "Purity Control" plan is to accept that there's going to be a pirate version on day one and take advantage of that. We've done that.

You're making programmer art an art style. You're vindicating that. Artists don't have to be there to make games look good.
CD: There's definitely a look and style to our videogames. I love sharp, vectorised lines, and work towards that. Look at the Darwinians, they're a classic piece of programmer art that got promoted into the lead character of the game. They're now our company logo too - what kind of logo summarised our design philosophy? We got into all kinds of discussions about that. But ultimately we're not going to make another shape that is as iconic as the Darwinians. They're an example of programmer art going mad and taking over.

That seems to continue in what we've seen of your new game, Subversion. The idea there is procedural generation, isn't it? Mathematics to create the totality of the game world?
CD: Well Subversion if the culmination of all those lessons about content that we learned in the earlier games. Subversion is quite an epic game, but Defcon and Darwinia are known in scale, you immediately grasp it. Here we're doing something else... procedural generation is really useful - we used it in the level creation of Darwinia, where we had high level plans of "oh, we want mountains there" but the details came out of the landscape system. We didn't plan every nook and cranny, it was completely randomised. We were planning for a mix of good luck and experimentation. With Subversion we're going to go the whole way with that, and use procedural generation to make the entire city.
Check out the full Q&A at the page linked below.

Offworld: Introversion Software
Introversion Software

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

MMORPG.COM has posted a new review of Apocrypha, the latest expansion for CCP Games' sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The latest addition to the game features wormholes, Tech 3 modular ships, NPC agents capable of assigning epic mission arcs, and the arrival of Premium Graphics for Mac users. MMORPG.COM gave Apocrypha a score of 8.7 out of 10.

From the review:

The graphical updates and additions to the New Player Experience are a substantial part of this patch, but, at its core, Apocrypha is the exploration expansion. There's the new scanning system, which gives players a more intuitive, graphical interface to use when scanning down cosmic signatures, and the number of exploration sites has also been doubled. Amongst the various hidden asteroid belts and pirate bases there are also the new wormhole anomalies. Wormholes are quite possibly the biggest change to the landscape of EVE that has ever occurred. These randomly spawning gateways link to other solar systems (also at random), and can even lead to one of the thousands of new unknown systems that have also been added. Players will need to tread carefully though, as the wormholes will collapse after a certain ship mass or time limit has been reached, leaving them "lost in space" until they can find another exit. Inside, there are a whole host of exploration sites that contain, amongst other things, the artifacts and materials to build the new tech three Strategic Cruisers.

The four Strategic Cruisers function a little different than other ships. Instead of buying a single ship hull, there is a base hull with slots for five different subsystems (electronics, engineering, offensive, defensive, and propulsion) that affect the stats and abilities of the ship. This allows you to tailor the ship to specific roles, and they can only get more diverse as new subsystems are released. Although, at the moment, there are only three versions of the five systems for each of the four races, but a fourth one is already in development. However, if you want the resources to build them, then you'll need to fight the guardians of unknown space, the deadly Sleepers.

These enigmatic drones are something we haven't seen before. They are very dangerous, and they don't like you. It's no secret that the NPC AI in EVE isn't that great, and the Sleepers are using a brand new AI system that makes them much more challenging to fight. They can web and scramble targets from long range, switch targets intelligently, and repair each other. Their damage and tanking abilities are also high enough that it takes teamwork to bring down all but the easiest of Sleeper spawns.
Visit the site below to read the full review.

MMORPG.COM: EVE Online Apocrypha Review
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Monday, April 6, 2009

IMG Reviews 4 Elements7:00 AM
Coladia Adventure Pack Offered For Lower Price Until April 86:00 AM
In-Poculis Mahjong 2.3 Released6:00 AM
Leeloo's Talent Agency Now Available6:00 AM
Multiwinia: Survival Of The Flattest Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 6, 2009 on one page

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