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Monday, June 1, 2009

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EVE Online: Expert PvP Tournament Commentators Wanted
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CCP Games has announced work on the upcoming Seventh Alliance Tournament event for its sci-fi online MMO, EVE Online, and is asking expert Player vs Player gamers to apply for the commentator positions. Using voice chat from their homes those chosen will describe the unfolding action during the qualifying rounds, and on the final weekend of the tournament will be flown to Reykjavik, Iceland to help the CCP team run the live broadcast.

It's time again to put the wheels in motion for the Seventh Alliance Tournament.  Starting in early September this year, you can all look forward to three weekends of mayhem and explosive action on the greatest stage in EVE.
We have some pretty exciting ideas for improvements this year to the whole show, and there will be a full blog on the tournament itself in a couple of weeks.  That will be when we announce the instructions on how to sign up, full rules, tournament format and all the rest.
For those who missed the last one - all the matches from Alliance Tournament VI are available on CCP's YouTube channel.
The most important thing we want to announce today is that we will once again be opening up the application process for players who would like to be PVP Experts - who would fly to Iceland for the tournament finals and fill the roles of commentors for the qualifying weekends.
As an Expert you'll be on the set discussing the tournament, tactics, teams and talking with developers about EVE live on air. You'll also take shifts in the commentary booth providing live commentary on the matches themselves. You need to know your PvP and you need to know how to keep on talking!
You'll also be commenting on the two qualifying weekends from your own home. You'll be given special access to the tournament arena so you can give your view on the action which then will be relayed over EVE Voice and through partner radio stations!
But the final weekend is where the fun is. You'll be flown out to Reykjavik, Iceland to join the team here at CCP HQ to help us run the show during the live broadcast of the final weekend. Flights (from all Icelandair destinations) and accommodation are supplied by us. All you need is a little spending money.
Read the blog post below to learn more.

EVE Online Blog: Tournament Commentators
CCP Games
EVE Online

Injecting Psychology Into The Sims 3
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an online article about the upcoming return to the Sims frachise with The Sims 3. The article focuses on the efforts and personal background of game designer Rod Humble, who intends to shift the focus of the game from dealing with physical requirements of the Sims to dealing with their psychological needs.

Launched in 2000, The Sims was the next iteration of the SimCity series designed by Mr. Wright. Unlike the action games that still dominate the market, The Sims could be seen as a videogame version of a dollhouse. Players control their “Sims,” finding them jobs, paying their bills and sending them to bed. Critics have praised the game’s interactivity, attention to detail (the first game featured hundreds of in-game items each with their own meticulous description) and novel approach to the simulation genre.

EA has taken out seven ads in Times Square in New York for the new installment as well as advertising during the finales of the American and British versions of “American Idol.” “It’s the biggest campaign we’ve ever done for a Sims release,” says John Buchanan, senior director of marketing for the franchise.

For a long-running franchise, the challenge for Mr. Humble was to create a game that has his personal touches without alienating fans. He has a deep interest in philosophy (Scottish philosopher David Hume is a favorite) and he wanted to shift the game away from the physical needs of the Sims, such as taking a shower or using the bathroom, towards their psychological needs. If your Sim has a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder as a character trait, for example, he or she will go back to check the water faucet to see if it’s running.
Click over to the link below to read the full article.

WSJ Online: Inside The Making Of The Sims 3
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

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StarCraft II: New Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Worthplaying has posted several new screenshots showcasing action from the upcoming continuation of the popular StarCraft real time strategy series. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will return players to the storyline five years after the end of BroodWar. The game will include an epic single player campaign, improved multiplayer action, and a new editor for players who want to design their own StarCraft creations.

Designed to be the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, StarCraft II will feature the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races, overhauled and re-imagined with Blizzard's signature approach to game balance. Each race will be further distinguished from the others, with several new units and new gameplay mechanics, as well as new abilities for some of the classic StarCraft units that will be making a reappearance in the game. StarCraft II will also feature a custom 3D-graphics engine with realistic physics and the ability to render several large, highly detailed units and massive armies on-screen simultaneously.

Terran commanders now train their troops to watch for these abominations. In the meantime, scientists are desperately trying to develop chemical rounds that will cause banelings to detonate before they reach terran lines.

StarCraft II will include a unique single-player campaign, as well as fast-paced online play through an upgraded version of Blizzard's renowned online gaming service, In addition, the game will come with a powerful, full-featured map editor that will put the same tools used by Blizzard's designers into the hands of players.
View the screenshots at the page linked below.

WorthPlaying: StarCraft II Screenshots
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Plants Vs. Zombies Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game Over Online has published a new review of Plants Vs. Zombies, PopCap Games' most recent entry in the casual games market. The tower defense title challenges players to make use of a variety of plants to defend their homes, and their brains, from a horde of hungry zombies. Game Over Online gave the game a score of 83 percent.

From the review:

The campaign that comes with Plants vs. Zombie consists of 50 levels. In each level, the zombies attack from the street on the right side of the screen, and if they make it to your house on the left side, then they eat your brain and you have to start over. The playing field is made up of a grid, and you have to place your plants in the grid squares to set your defense. Most plants do damage to the zombies, but others have special purposes, like wall-nuts, which block zombies from progressing (until the zombies chew through them). The premise of the game might sound strange, but it’s a lot of fun to pelt zombies with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

There is a lot of variety to Plants vs. Zombies. There are 48 different plants and 26 different zombies, and you also have to deal with some environmental difficulties, like nighttime battles and the swimming pool in your backyard. The game exists firmly with tongue in cheek, and so all of the plants and zombies are funny. For example, the newspaper zombie shuffles along slowly until you destroy his newspaper, and then he races at you with a rage (because he was that close to finishing the sudoku). Other zombies include a Michael Jackson-esque dancing zombie, a zomboni driver, a pole-vaulting zombie, and, of course, Dr. Zomboss, who you’ll have to fight at the end.

Besides the campaign, Plants vs. Zombies also includes a bunch of mini-games and special modes to play through. Most of these games are pretty easy (as are the levels in the campaign), but there are also some “endless” games, where you get to keep playing until you’re overwhelmed, and these games are going to be tough for anybody. You can also repeat the campaign if you want. And each time you play it, it becomes more difficult.
Visit the page below to read the rest of the review.

Game Over Online: Plants vs Zombies Review
PopCap Games
Plants Vs. Zombies

Mac Games News for Friday, May 29, 2009

Fifth Anniversary City Of Heroes Dev Diary6:00 AM
Get A Hands-On Preview Of The Sims 3 At Apple Stores6:00 AM
Ghost Recon: Heroes Unleashed New Beta Available6:00 AM
Science Girls! Now Available For Mac6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 29, 2009 on one page

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