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Thursday, July 23, 2009

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Bionic Heart Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Tycoon Games has announced the release of its latest visual novel title, Bionic Heart. The title is a combination of visual novel and classic adventure game set in a sci-fi future. It features 24 possible endings, fully voiced characters, and a manga art style.

London, 2099. The earth isn't what it used to be anymore. Incredible climate changes have corrupted the weather, causing a permanent rain on most of the Earth's surface.

You play the role of Luke Black, a 36-year-old bio-informatic engineer. He is one of the lead programmers at Nanotech, a big nanotechnology research company.

But one night, his life is changed forever when he encounters Tanya. Who is she? What does she wants from Luke?

Purchase the full version to see all 24 different endings and explore all the possible paths! It's a truly dynamic adventure that will keep you entertained for hours.

The game is fully voiced and features beautiful manga art, brilliant dialogue and character relationship that will change the final outcome of the game.
Bionic Heart costs $19.99 and is recommended for ages 14 and up. A trial version is available for download from the website below.

Bionic Heart
Tycoon Games

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Vendetta Online Trial Key Giveaway
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game developer Guild Software and gaming site have teamed up to offer a limited number of free 14 day trial keys for Guild's Vendetta Online sci-fi MMO. The keys add 14 days to any single account which has not previously been subscribed, including already-existing trials. To be eligible participants must be registered at

Vendetta Online is an MMORPG in development by Guild Software Inc. In this game, thousands of people will be able to play together, at the same time, in a single, persistent universe. Players take the form of spaceship pilots within this universe, flying to and fro between space stations and other locations in the galaxy. All combat within the game is fully realtime, based entirely on "twitch" skill (no "virtual dice rolling"). Players may fight one another, fight NPCs, participate in groups, or potentially even engage in large-scale Guild combat.

1. Participant must be a registered user of Vendetta Online and MMOsite.
2. One code per member only, if you try to cheat our system, your MMOsite Account may be banned permanently.
Head over to the links below for more information. Vendetta Online Trial Giveaway
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

Sam Raimi To Direct Warcraft Film
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have announced that Sam Raimi has signed on to direct the major motion picture based on Blizzard’s award-winning Warcraft universe. Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy, wrote and directed the cult classic, The Evil Dead, and produced 30 Days Of Night. He most recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, Drag Me To Hell. He is also known for his work in television with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, and the recent Legend Of The Seeker. Raimi will work with producer Charles Roven, whose previous work includes The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, and 12 Monkeys.

"At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story," said Raimi. "I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen."

Charles Roven’s producing talents were recently seen with last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight, which grossed in excess of $1 billion, was nominated for eight Academy Awards® and won two. His body of work also includes the widely acclaimed Batman Begins and the sci-fi classic 12 Monkeys. Roven, with Atlas producing partner Alex Gartner, will be producing with Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni, Raimi and Raimi’s producing partner Joshua Donen. Raimi’s partner, Robert Tapert, will be an Executive Producer and Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development, Chris Metzen, a Co-Producer.

"Partnering with Sam Raimi exemplifies Legendary's mandate of marrying the highest quality intellectual property to world-class filmmakers" said Legendary’s Tull. "Sam's passion for 'Warcraft' is undeniable and we know that he will create an incredible film worthy of Blizzard's phenomenal franchise. We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Warner Bros. and continuing our successful relationship with Chuck in bringing this rich new world to the screen."

"Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that vision to life," said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. "From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We're looking forward to working with him to achieve that here."

"Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam’s experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world," said Atlas’ Roven. "Alex and I are proud to be working with Sam and re-teaming with our friends at Legendary and Warner Bros."

The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. "Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many," said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
More details about the upcoming Warcraft movie, including cast and targeted release date, will be revealed as development progresses.

Blizzard Entertainment

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Diablo III: Quick Weapon Switching, Random Level Generation
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

In his most recent post on the official Diablo III forums, community manager Bashiok discussed a range of topics including quick weapon switching, random level generation, and skill popularity. Diablo III is Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited return to the popular action RPG franchise.

On quick weapon switching:
Just like Diablo II we're saving secondary weapon/shield slot and hot key for the expansion.

Kidding! ... probably. We don't have it now, but that doesn't mean there won't be one. I don't think it's an irrelevant question, maybe just not the most pressing one.

I don't think it NEEDS to be there. It's not really an iconic part of the game. The gameplay dictates its necessity, and if there's no reason to hot swap weapons mid-fight, then having it there just clutters the UI.

Personally I just used it in Diablo II for extra item storage.

On random level generation:
We definitely agree randomized levels have some key issues with them, but they are a big part of what makes a Diablo game, and how could we not have them? The Diablo franchise is built on randomization in all forms.

Randomized levels can indeed create a very generic feeling if not done well. We're working really hard to ensure that doesn't happen though. It's actually one of the reasons why our exterior layouts aren't randomized. It's extremely difficult to have wide open areas be randomized as well as interesting. Instead we have static exterior zones where the roads, towns, and edges are always in the same place. To keep some bits of random in there though we have a bunch of small, medium, and large pieces cut out of them. In those cut out pieces the game can then place the randomized "adventure" sets. They could be artistic in nature (a fountain, an abandoned cart), they could spawn extra enemies, or they could spawn quests.

Our interiors are randomized, but we do some things differently that help make them more interesting. I think we accomplish this mostly by using our interior jigsaw pieces more intelligently, building more and different types of jigsaw pieces, and also because our artists are amazing. I don't think anywhere in Diablo III are you going to think "This place is not visually interesting". The types of interior pieces do make an enormous difference, and I think we're pretty good at it now. In Diablo II for example you pretty much had a few standard square set pieces, and then a bunch of hallways. We still have those in Diablo III but we're mixing it up a lot more with more intricate and interesting 'showcase' pieces that make it seem like they're not even randomized levels.
Read more at the GameBanshee page listed below.

GameBanshee: Bashiok Diablo III Comments
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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IMG Reviews Plants vs. Zombies
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the new tower defense game from PopCap Games, Plants vs. Zombies. Use your gardening defenses to keep an ever advancing horde of the undead from entering your house and eating your brains! Here's and excerpt from the review:

When starting up each level, you need to balance your plants carefully. You can only carry with you seven plant types at first, eventually upgradable to 10 total. However, at least some of those plants will need to be sort of infrastructure plants. During the day you’ll need sunflowers to give you the sunshine that will be your currency for being able to grow more plants. At night you’ll need special mushrooms for the same. For the pool you’ll need lily pads for your plants to rest on. On the rooftops you’ll need pots for your plants. The more weapon-oriented plants are everything from peashooters, watermelon catapults, potato mines, exploding cherries and more. The Zombies you will battle against range from your standard shamblers, to zombies protected by buckets on their heads or screen doors in their hands. You’ll have football zombies, snorkel zombies, zombies driving zambonies, zombies attached to balloons and gargantuan zombies.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies
PopCap Games
Buy Plants vs. Zombies

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 22, 2009

City Of Heroes Issue 16 Features Revealed6:00 AM
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Reviewed6:00 AM
EVE Online: COSMOS Discusssed6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Dustin Browder On Zerg Tech, Game Balance6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 22, 2009 on one page

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