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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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The Sims 3 World Adventures Goes Gold
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

EA's The Sims Studio has announced that The Sims 3 World Adventures, the first expansion pack for The Sims 3, has gone gold for Mac and PC. The game expansion will be available on November 17, 2009 in North America and will be in stores worldwide in 60 countries and in 22 languages the same week.

Sims can now go on the journey of a lifetime in The Sims 3 World Adventures. They can run from mummies in Al Simhara, Egypt, fill the sky with fireworks purchased from locals in Shang Simla, China and master the art of nectar-making in France. Along the way, they can capture the funny, scary and exciting moments while using the brand new photography skill. Once they have completed their quests players can bring their treasures home with them to reminisce and share. When players register their copy of the PC/Mac version of the game online, they will receive exclusive extra game content with the Explorer's Loot Set and 1,000 SimPoints to be used in The Sims 3 Store to customize their game with additional in-game items.

The Sims fans around the world will be rockin' out to new Simlish music in The Sims 3 World Adventures Expansion Pack. Over a dozen artists will lend their Simlish voice stylings to the game including GRAMMY Award-winners Nelly Furtado and LeAnn Rimes plus hot rising stars Matt + Kim, Fefe Dobson, Pixie Lott, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, Katie Melua, Esmee Denters, Young Punx!, Evan Taubenfeld, Madina Lake, and more.

For those who haven't already purchased The Sims 3 or need a good gift idea for friends or family, a special limited Holiday Collector's Edition will also be available on November 17, 2009. The special edition will feature content from the original The Sims 3 Collector's Edition along with new holiday content. For more information on The Sims 3, go to Official Website.
World Adventures requires The Sims 3 or The Sims 3 Collector's Edition for PC/Mac to play. It will be available for purchase on November 17 at retail and online through digital distribution. Visit the sites below for more information.

Electronic Arts
The Sims 3: World Adventures
Buy The Sims 3: World Adventures

iGame Radio: Runic Games Torchlight Interview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Episode 85 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio is now available for download. This podcast features an interview with Runic Games' Max Schaefer, Travis Baldree, and Jason Beck about the status of the Mac version of the company's action RPG, Torchlight.

What's new in episode 84:

  • An interview with Max Schaefer, Travis Baldree, and Jason Beck of Runic Games about how development is going on the Mac version of Torchlight, how the digital download has been received, and how the art for the game is created.
  • Also, a review of Atlantis Sky Patrol for the iPhone by Big Fish Games. Join the Sky Patrol and defend the world from the evil doomsday devices with a flick of your finger.

Click on the page link below for more information.

iGame Radio: Podcast 85
iGame Radio

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Subversion's Procedurally Generated Content
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has published a new interview with Introversion Software's Chris Delay. The Q&A format interview focused on the company's current project, Subversion, which will offer procedurally generated cityscapes. Delay discussed the game's procedurally generated content, its level of realism, and options the company plans to include for those who wish to create their own content for the game.

Klecha ( You decide to use a lot of procedurally generated content technology in this game right? How it's changing development process and how it will change gameplay experience?
Chris Delay (Introversion): We're using proc-gen because the game world we want to create is just too vast for us guys to make by hand. Proc-gen is extremely scalable, because you can take rules that generate a small city and just run them over a larger area, and you get a larger city. Once you have the generation rules written down, the size of the content is no longer a factor in how long it takes to develop.

In terms of gameplay, I think of proc-gen's real strength to be the widening of the game world you inhabit. It will never replace hand-made content produced by real game designers, but worlds made entirely by people tend to be very limited in their scope - you can rarely go outside the bounds set by the designers. Proc-gen fills in all the surrounding areas - meaning the player can go there and doesn't immediately run into an impassable wall, and the game world feels richer because of it.

Klecha ( Are you planning to make this game user made content friendly?
Chris Delay (Introversion): We know that only a small percentage of users want to make content, but everyone wants to play new content, so for us user-made-content is certainly one of our high level aims. We've made a number of tools and editors that let us control the content in our game, and we plan to release all those tools in some way. I personally think the key to a successful user-made-content system is the automatic and seamless sharing of that content - games like Spore and LittleBigPlanet have done an awesome job of making it very easy to build something and then share it.

We're gradually modifying our Meta-Generator to be more data-driven, meaning the whole system and generation rule set is defined by a series of data files, rather than game code. This means people will be able to write new generation rules for content in the game world - such as the Parks example from earlier. We've also been using the LUA script language (like in World of Warcraft - Klecha) to control the logic of our systems like the Elevator shaft. LUA is very readable and easy to understand, and we're confident some of our players will want to get stuck into that to create some truly unique stuff for Subversion.
Click over to the page below to read the full interview. Subversion Q&A
Introversion Software

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Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life recently published a new review of Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. In the game players return to Hogwarts to help Harry survive his sixth year. They will have a chance to engage in wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class, and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

The game consists of three main parts: dueling, potion-making, and Quidditch. Each section is enjoyable at best and bearable at worst, but none are fantastic, and the best part of the experience is exploring the beautiful Hogwarts backdrop.

Players can join clubs to practice their skills and earn badges for outstanding performances. Of the clubs, Dueling is the most fun and arguably the simplest. You get five spells to choose from that either stun or injure your opponent. The combination of stun-and-charge attacks works almost too well, and seasoned gamers will quickly dispatch their foes.

Quidditch is nearly as simple: You steer Harry through obnoxiously large, glowing stars as he nears the golden snitch. But Harry’s broom is gliding along a preprogrammed track--you need only wiggle the mouse toward the stars and let the game do the rest of the work. Hitting pumpkins or flying directly through the stars awards you with more time.

Potion-making is more complex. Players will feverishly shake potions to bubbling and drop crunchy green worms and rats into boiling cauldrons before the allotted time reaches zero. The most difficult potions come with a laundry list of ingredients and a merciless timer.
The full review is available at the page linked below.

Mac|Life: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince Review
Electronic Arts
Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

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IMG Reviews Sprouts Adventure
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the simulation game Sprouts Adventure from Reflexive Entertainment. Like other games in the genre, you control a group of small alien creatures who have become lost on an island. Do your best to help them survive and thrive. Here's and excerpt from the review:

Sprouts Adventure is a simulation game where you get to play a sort of godlike being who controls the lives of very small little animated plantlike creatures. Apparently, they've been shipwrecked on an island. They are very young and need careful and continuous guidance. In order to help them survive, you have to keep them working, resting, playing, eating. Everything that they do, you must direct. You have to tell them to build a sleeping building, school a garden, and many other structures in order to enhance their survival. Unfortunately, they can also get sick of what they're doing and just give up. Then you have to entertain them until they feel like working again.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Sprouts Adventure
Sprouts Adventure
Reflexive Entertainment
Buy Sprouts Adventure

Mac Games News for Monday, November 2, 2009

BlizzCast Eleven Now Available6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II November Status Update6:00 AM
Spooky Runes Available For Mac6:00 AM
Two Worlds II: Creation History, Lock Picking, Clawed Worm6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 2, 2009 on one page

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