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Thursday, November 5, 2009

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Winter Games To Bring Retro Sports Action To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

RuneSoft has announced a collaboration with Epyx Deutschland to bring Winter Games to the Mac. The title will include both modern and retro looks as well as the chance to play against the computer or up to 3 friends in 10 different olympic events.

"Winter Games" offers a modern look as well as a classic retro look of the 80ies. Play alone against the computer or with up to three friends in multiplayer. You may pick between countries, starters, difficulty levels and the controls are freely configurable for each player, it doesn’t matter if you prefer to play with keyboard, with mouse, joystick or a gamepad.
Get into your snow boots, grab a joystick and break all records and go for gold!

  • 10 different kinds of sports
  • Play against the computer or against friends
  • Single and team competitions
  • Retro or modern visuals
  • Adjustable controls with up to 4 players at one Mac
Head over to the link below for more information about the game.

Winter Games

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The Making Of Torchlight
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ars Technica has posted a new article on the history of Runic Games' action RPG, Torchlight. Featuring comments from Wonder Russell, the "Minister of Culture" for the company, the article covers the demise of Flagship Studios and Mythos, the decision to make a single player only title with Torchlight, and the value of using of digital distribution.

"To lose a game you've worked on for years like that is heartbreaking, so first priority for us as a new team was simple: ship a game," Russell explained. The founders of the company had worked on both Diablo and Fate, so they knew this genre inside and out—it was a natural fit. Sticking to single-player meant that they could focus on one thing and deliver it with a high degree of polish.

So they wanted something fast, in the vein of Diablo, but it had to be good. Those requirements rarely add up to anything worthwhile, but the strategy for creating the game left a lot of room for iteration. "The MO at Runic is to 'always have a playable build.' The game has been essentially playable weeks after its inception, and so everyone can play and comment and tweak—we have constant, daily iterations of the game, so playtesting really began a year ago and has only ramped up since then with our hardworking QA team," Russell told Ars. They also invited the friends and family of the developers to come in and play to make sure the game was fun for the more casual fans. The goal was simple: to make the game fun to play, even if that meant focusing on single-player.
The Mac version of Torchlight is still in progress. Read the rest of the article at the page listed below.

Ars Technica: Torchlight History
Runic Games
Buy Torchlight

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Blizzard Opens WoW Pet Store
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the opening of a Pet Store for World of Warcraft. The store will offer players a new way to obtain in-game pets for the popular fantasy MMO. The store opens with two new companions: Lil' K.T. and the Pandaren Monk.

Make a Difference: Pandaren Monk Charity Pet
Enter the Pandaren Monk, a martial-arts expert who’s here to help celebrate the upcoming fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft. He may be cute, but he’s proof that even the softest of critters can overcome the hardest of circumstances. For every Pandaren Monk that finds its way to a player’s side between now and the end of the year (December 31, 2009 at 11:59 PDT), we’ll donate 50 percent of the $10 purchasing price to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in an effort to brew up a little hope, strength, and joy in a child’s life.

Lil' K.T., the Littlest Lich
Lil' K.T. is a miniature lich who bears a striking resemblance to the legendary lord of Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad. But don’t let his diminutive stature fool you: Lil' K.T. has a diabolical laugh and wields true power at his bony fingertips, randomly wreaking icy havoc on critters who dare to cross his path. You can now buy this new pet for $10 on the Blizzard Store.
The pets are available for $10 each. To receive a purchased pet, players will have to merge their World of Warcraft account with a account.

Click over to the links below for more information.

World Of Warcraft Pet Store
WoW Pet Store FAQ
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Machinarium Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Games32 has posted a review of Machinarium. The point and click adventure game follows the adventures of a robot who must find a way to save his girlfriend and his city from a group of villains known as the Black Cap Brotherhood. Games32 called the game "a good example of modern visual art featuring a playable concept inducing the player a unique state of mind."

From the review:

Everything that you will find out in the game will be through the character's actions and thoughts expressed into cartoonish bubbles which feature images or short animations. There is not a single dialog line written in the whole game. This method tends to be the only way the story is said through the whole game. Originality does not stop here, but continues with the graphical design. Your character is a 2D model representation moving in a sketchy static overworld where he has to solve puzzles in order to get to the next scene or open the door to the next scenario. Every new scene is actually a detailed drawing very similar with the pencil - pictures, animated by domestic robots that perform their daily duties. Compared to these robots, the main character is useless. He's only abilities is to stretch or duck in order to fetch unreachable objects that are placed near him.

This is a good addition, because you can only interact with the objects if these are placed in the 'reach area' of your character. Unlike classic point'n'click adventures where you can explore with your mouse the whole environment for key objects without the need of moving the character, here you have to use the robot as a physical link between objects and different scenes. Therefore the key objects and their solutions are placed most of the time in the same scene making the puzzles bearable.

From the graphical point of view Machinarium is a visual masterpiece. There are direct influences from the Samorost series, but this time the overall design and style is much clearer with some steam-punk elements combined with old-style sci-fi sketches. In some scenes the drawings are extremely detailed, despite the fact that everything is static and represented in 2D. There is a sense of hugeness created by the background buildings which lose detail giving the false impression of disappearing in the city's fog. Other objects have an astonishing pencil-style image created to express a macabre, even grotesque feeling, similar to the "noir" genre.
For the full review head over to the page below.

Games32: Machinarium Review
Amanita Design
Buy Machinarium

Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bioshock Demo Now Available6:00 AM
Frictional Enters Amnesia In IGF Competition6:00 AM
On The Edge Of The World Unveiled6:00 AM
The Sims 3 World Adventures Creation Tools Previewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 4, 2009 on one page

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