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Friday, September 4, 2009

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Eschalon Book I: Mac DVD Giveaway
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Basilisk Games has announced a new drawing for three copies of the Mac version of Eschalon: Book I. The three DVD cases include a disc containing the game, a high resolution map of Thaermore, an extended music track, the game trailer, and a collection of screenshots from early builds of the game.

You see, we were cleaning out a file cabinet here in the studio and discovered three pristine copies of Eschalon: Book I for Macintosh. These were leftovers from the first batch of Mac CDs that were pressed before we went to CDs that had all three versions.

So how do you get one of these extremely rare discs? Easy! Just find our contact email address here on our website and send us an email asking to be put into the drawing. Make sure the word “Giveaway” is in the subject line. On Monday (the 7th) we’ll take all the emails we get over the weekend and let the computer randomly pick three lucky people.

The discs come in a nice DVD case with cool cover art. Besides the game itself, on the disc you’ll find a high-resolution map of Thaermore, an extended music track, the trailer, and a collection of screenshots from early builds of the game.
Click over to Basilisk's site for more information.

Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I

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IMG Reviews Avernum 5
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | 10 comments

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the latest RPG in the Avernum series of games from developer Spiderweb Software, Avernum 5. Take on a different perspective of the Avernum world as you play a soldier of the Empire this time around. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The entire game takes place in a series of underground caves that will be very familiar to anyone who has played any of the previous titles. Is is played from a different point of view from the previous four Avernum games, the point of view of a soldier of the Empire. This doesn't really change what you're doing throughout the game, but it does give a pretty interesting perspective on what has been going on. In the previous games, the Empire was painted as an evil dictatorship that couldn't be trusted. In this game, it's painted as more of a benevolent dictatorship where everyone but the ruler and your characters still seem to hate Avernum. However, Avernum obviously hates you right back.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Avernum 5
Avernum 5
Spiderweb Software
Buy Avernum 5

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Two Worlds II: Graphics Engine, Weapon Design, System Reqs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new Two Worlds II newsletter is now available. The newsletter features information about the game's engine, an interview with programmer Daniel Duplaga, answers to fan questions, and several shots from the game's coastal environment. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

AP: Will the player have more influence on weapons design?
Daniel:Yes, that will be possible. If a player learns the relevant skill, he will be able to strip down almost every item to its basic elements, like, for example steel, wood, le- ather or fabrics. These elements can be used in turn to upgrade other items. Artistic-minded players can even buy paints and individually design their own armor and weapons. The technical foundation behind this feature is the newly created 'CRAFT' tool. By the way, the abbreviation stands for Complete reshaping And Forging Technology.
And of course there will be magical runes and artifacts which can be incorporated into weapons and items of armor. The combination of these three basic types of adaptation will give players almost endless range of possibilities for creating their own equipment designs!

AP: We've already heard a lot about the great potential of the new engine. Can you tell us any more about this?
Daniel:Yes, of course! We developed a revolutionary and extremely powerful engine for “Two worlds II”. At Reality Pump, we call this baby “Earth 7” - because it's the seventh generation of 3D engines to come out of our studio. Here are some of the engine's features which we can implement into Antaloor: Full Deferred Rendering, Parallax Mapping, Sub Surface Scattering, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Hemispherical Specular Lighting, Ambient Lighting (with three light sources), unlimited dynamic lights, Soft Particles and light sources linked to physical objects.

In cooperation with the many “Two worlds” fan pages, the AP has started a new column in which fans can have their own questions about “Two worlds II” answered by the experts. Here we go:

RPGFAN: How high will the system requirements be?
Relatively moderate, I'd say... don't pin us down on this one right now - but I can tell you the minimum requirements which are already fixed:
CPU performance must be 2 GHz or higher for a single core processor and 1.6 GHz or higher for a multi- core processor. The graphics card should be from nVidia or AMD and equipped with Shader 3.0 or later. Intel GM chip sets will not be sup- ported - floating point operations in full precision are not possible with these sets. The RAM will depend on the operating system, but it will be at least 512 MB or 1024 MB. The operating systems supported will be Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit) and Leopard.

lukaZ: Will you be using models from the first “Two worlds” for the new game?
No, although you may meet a few creatures and characters from ”Two worlds” on your travels during the game - but of course we won't use the same 3D models. They wouldn’t really be suitable.

Two Worlds II is scheduled to arrive for Mac later this year. For more information about the game follow the links below.

Two Worlds II Newsletter
Two Worlds II
Buy Two Worlds II

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Item System Details For Soldak's Upcoming Dungeon Crawler
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new blog post from Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler reveals some information about the item system planned for the company's upcoming new "real time dungeon crawl" game. The post offers examples of the new categories of items players might encounter such as elite, legendary, and cursed.

We are essentially starting with the Depths of Peril item system and building from there. Depths of Peril already has a pretty extensive system with items with many different rarities: normal, common, uncommon, rare, very rare, set, unique, and artifacts. This works pretty well, but I'm adding some things that I think will make it even more interesting: elite items, legendary items, cursed items, ego weapons, set item changes, and procs.
Legendary items are a new tier of items above artifacts. Essentially, they are the most powerful items in the game. The plan is that they will have the attributes that the same named artifact will have, plus one random attribute, adding a huge variety to the top tier of items. However, a legendary item could have something relatively worthless like extra light, be awesome with an extra 100% of damage, or even be cursed.

Ego weapons have some level of intelligence that recognizes enemies and/or friends. If you are fighting a monster the ego weapon considers an enemy, you'll get a large damage bonus (currently +200%). However if you are fighting someone it considers a friend, you'll get a large damage penalty (currently -50%). An ego weapon can have multiple enemy types and/or friend types.

Cursed items are going to make things interesting. No they are NOT like D&D cursed items that bind to you if you equip them. A cursed item has at least one negative attribute, like a strength penalty. I think the cursed items are going to be amusing in many cases and add a lot of variety. Is that cool rare sword with the curse better than your merely common magic sword?
Head over to the page below to read more.

Stephen Peeler's Blog: Dungeon Crawl Item System
Soldak Entertainment

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Avernum 6: August Update
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent post on the official forums for Spiderweb Software offered a few more details about Avernum 6. The final installment in the long running Avernum/Exile fantasy RPG series will bring the games to an apocalyptic ending, wrapping up storylines for the land and its popular characters.

Jeff is buried under bug reports so I'll give a brief update. Those GIFTS and chitrachs are really starting to get into everything.

As Jeff mentioned earlier that you start in the Great Cave. This is probably the largest demo for Avernum since Avernum 3. You get the Castle, Almaria, Dharmon, Blosk, Gnass, Patrick's Tower and the forts that ring the Great Cave. Plenty to explore once you do a few minor quest so the let you out of the Castle Food Depot.

Depending upon party size and experience penalty/bonus you should finish the demo between level 11 and 16. Completing almost everything will make it higher and give lots of nice items.

Jeff changed the spell system to add some new buffing spells that affect the whole party as long as you are near the caster. A little more efficient than the old system, but I miss some spells. Potions and scrolls are more useful this time so be sure to get them.

Because of the Blight, food is really important so you spend lots of time finding it so you don't want to suffer from starvation effects. Get used to using the portal pylons to go back for more every game day. After a few trips you can collect your rations in 5 minutes.

Money is still tight since Jeff offers so many ways to spend it. At least a few of the better trainers appear early in the game.
Visit the page linked below to read the full update.

Spiderweb Forums: Avernum 6 August Update
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 6

Mac Games News for Thursday, September 3, 2009

CrossOver Games 8 Adds More Emulated Games, Improvements6:00 AM
DeathSpank Previewed6:00 AM
Heroes Of Newerth Announced6:00 AM
Mystic Mine Updated6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, September 3, 2009 on one page

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