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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Apple Games Features C&C Red Alert 3
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Apple Games latest feature article turns the spotlight on Command & Conquer Red Alert 3. The real time strategy title follows the action as the Allies face off against the Soviet war machine and the Empire of the Rising Sun in a fictional futuristic setting. Apple's article includes commentary from associate producer Matt Ott, an explanation of the game's alternate timeline, and tips and tricks for success.

Of course, there’s also a role for you in Red Alert 3: a new commander who helps the Allies, Soviets, and Imperials achieve victory in their campaigns. Each faction features a supporting cast whose members help you complete your objectives. In fact, Ott notes, “every campaign mission was designed from the group up with the assumption that you will always have an ally at your side. These missions employ a whole range of mechanics that require you to coordinate your activities with a co-commander’s army.”

He adds: “That’s Red Alert 3’s biggest innovation: the co-op campaign, the inspiration for which came from cooperative shooter games. For the first time, you can go online and experience all the missions cooperatively in real-time with a friend. Offline, you can enlist the aid of an AI general: each faction has three generals with very unique personalities. They won’t be afraid to share their opinions with you, and their support may come begrudgingly if they think you’re making a mistake.”

The game’s other big innovation is its use of the ocean as a tactical resource. “In most real-time strategy games,” Ott explains, “naval gameplay is tacked on as an afterthought; from a gameplay perspective, it feels like blue painted ground. We set out to blur the shorelines and make controlling the seas an integral part of Red Alert 3.”

He points out that many of the game’s units are amphibious, with different roles to play when on land or in the sea. “We were careful to make this added layer of depth feel very integrated and simple to use, so switching between a unit’s land or sea forms happens automatically,” Ott says. “Every mission in the campaign, along with every multiplayer map, has some amount of water, so players can focus on land, sea, air, or a combination of the three.”
Click over to the link below to read the full article.

Apple Games: C&C Red Alert 3
Electronic Arts
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3
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Diablo III: Game Difficulty, Unannounced Classes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Diablo III community manager Bashiok's latest forum comments once again offer clues to the gameplay of Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the action RPG franchise. This time the discussion centers on the game's difficulty relative to Diablo II, and on how original the unannounced character classes will be.

On Game Difficulty:
We aren’t looking to make the game any easier, we’re shooting for Diablo II difficulty more or less for normal. It’s an easy ramp up, pretty much anyone regardless of if they’ve ever played a game before or not can get in and start clicking on monsters and kill them with little trouble.
Then you have the new difficulty levels that unlock, and the game really forces you to move beyond the “easy to learn” portion and into the “difficult to master”.
Actually some of the things that made/make Diablo II extremely difficult later on are usually due to bugs or design/balance issues, so it’s hard to compare overall difficulty at those later difficulties with a completely new game. But in short, no, we’re not planning on the game being any “easier”. We’ve only said that we’re shooting for a similar difficulty ramp in normal mode.
There are currently no plans to require more than one person to complete any areas of the game.

On Character Class Originality:
There are a few archetypes of classic fantasy characters. Expecting us to do something completely outside of those archetypes for the sake of trying to be original is unnecessary, and would probably lead to something that’s just ridiculous and not fun, or difficult to design - let alone balance.
I’m not sure I can discuss much more without showing our hand. But! I think we’ll have at least one class in the game that will appeal to everyone. And that’s sort of the goal with the core game, hit those main archetypes that everyone can identify with. “Hey, a Wizard… I’m pretty sure I know what that’s all about without even seeing it.” Any potential expansions are probably where you’d try out something not of a core archetype like, say, an assassin or druid. ;P
The witch doctor is a bit riskier, and I think sometimes written off as just a twist on the necromancer, but no one has really seen most of his abilities and the flavor he brings. He still has a lot left for people to discover.
Head over to Blizzplanet and at the links below to read more.

Blizzplanet: Diablo III Game Difficulty Unannounced Class Originality
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
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Geneforge 5: Overthrow Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software has announced the release of a new version of Geneforge 5: Overthrow for the Macintosh. The v1.0.3 update fixes "several minor problems." In G5:O players are returned to the war-torn world of the Shapers where they can choose a side and tip the balance of power toward victory.

The Shapers have the ability to create life in any form they choose. They can make living tools that obey their commands, plants that can flourish in the harshest wasteland, and powerful monsters that can crush all who oppose them. The Shapers ruled the known lands, and any who tried to rebel or learn their magical secrets were destroyed.

But then their creations rebelled. Working with humans jealous of their masters, they stole the secrets of the Shapers and created their own armies. They created and unleashed new, even more powerful creations and matched the Shapers in savagery. And now, years into the rebellion, the war has settled into a gruesome stalemate. The lands are scorched, and city after city falls.

The two sides are so delicately balanced that one brave warrior can turn the tide. Will you help the rebels overthrow the Shapers? Will you help the Shapers regain their power, tempted by the incredible rewards they offer? You might be able to end this war. Which side will you choose?
To download the latest version follow the link below.

Spiderweb Software
Geneforge 5
Buy Geneforge 5

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Fable: The Lost Chapters Update Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive has released a new update for Fable: The Lost Chapters. Version 1.0.1 fixes a variety of issues, improves stability and performance, and adds a built-in software update mechanism. Created by Lionhead Studios and brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, the game invites players to take the role of a legendary Hero and create his life story from child to old man.

Changes in version 1.0.1

1. Fixed - Font appears as squares on NV 9xxx and NV 1xx series cards
2. Fixed - Game crash with slash in the folder path
3. Fixed - Photo Viewer, red X displayed for weekdays with accents [Italian only]
4. Fixed - User is unable to select latest save if save number goes above 30
5. Fixed - User is unable to launch the game on a second monitor [MacBookPro]
6. Updated - Support Report
7. Updated - Add Case Sensitive HDD check when launching game
8. Updated - Title Hangs when entering gameplay [MacBookPro]
9. Updated - Stability and Performance Improvements
10. Updated - New Built-in Software Update mechanism

You will need the original game disc to perform the update as this was necessary to implement the new automatic update system we have in place. The new version of the game will be a smaller application along side a data folder which holds all of the game data (as with many of our more recent titles) - both of which will be inside a new swanky looking folder called Fable TLC inside Applications. Once the game is updated and you have verified all is good, then please remove any old versions of the game.
Visit the links below for more information.

Fable: The Lost Chapters 1.0.1
Feral Interactive
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Buy Fable: The Lost Chapters

Mac Games News for Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Challenging Turn-Based Fun In Elven Legacy6:00 AM
Spiderweb's Vogel Discusses Underpricing Of Indie Games6:00 AM
Spirited Heart Released6:00 AM
World Of Warcraft 3.1 Update Now Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 15, 2009 on one page

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