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Friday, March 5, 2010

The Sims 3: Ambitions In Development
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Electronic Arts has announced that The Sims 3: Ambitions expansion pack is in development and will launch in June 2010. The second expansion pack to The Sims 3 will allow players to pursue a variety of paths and careers in their Simsí lives that in turn affect their overall gameplay experience and neighborhood. While on the job, the players will have direct control over their Simsí work and can choose how to spend their days.

ďThe variety of careers to choose from is unmatched and weíve never given players the opportunity to follow their Sims to work and affect their actions on the job,Ē said Scott Evans, General Manager of The Sims Studio at EA. ďThe Sims 3 Ambitions changes that. Playersí actions at work now directly affect their lives, community and neighbors and become an extremely important part of how the game is played.Ē

Players can opt to make house calls and save lives as a doctor or choose the devious route and test experimental medicine on patients, be the hero firefighter tackling raging infernos or smashing everything in sight at the victimís home with an axe, or take a shot at solving cases as an investigator, nicely convincing sources to divulge secrets or roughing up perpetrators in a dark alley to get information.

Players can now experience some of the most exciting and varied jobs. In The Sims 3 Ambitions, players can choose to hunt down vengeful spirits as the ghost hunter, invent brilliant and potentially destructive gadgets as an inventor, craft glorious masterpieces as a sculptor, and solve riveting cases by any means necessary as an investigator with dozens of cases to solve and numerous clues to find. Additionally, players will be able to change the look and feel of their town by becoming an architect and directly affecting the neighborhood around them leveraging Build and Buy mode. The stylist career and new tattoo system allow players to make over their Sim neighbors in fashionable or catastrophic ways. For the first time, players will be in charge of how their Simsí career progresses and decide if they will work for good or evil, pursue creative endeavors or technical affairs, climb to the top quickly, or be a slacker. The future of a Simsí success or failure is entirely in the hands of the player.

The Sims 3 Ambitions will also be available for feature phones, iPhone and iPod touch in late 2010 from EA Mobileô.
For more information about The Sims 3 Ambitions or The Sims 3, please visit the links below.

Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

Deep Blue Sea 2: New Gameplay Video & Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Game Equation has released a new gameplay video and new screenshots showcasing the upcoming casual game for Mac and PC, Deep Blue Sea 2. Set to launch this spring, the game will challenge players to solve over 200 levels of match-3 puzzles and discover three different hidden object locations with over 60 levels.

Deep Blue Sea 2 brings highly engaging play to the casual games genre with visually stunning graphics and hand-painted hidden object levels designed with amazing detail.

As players complete challenges to build their treasure collection, they will team up with a crew of divers, purchase tools and diving equipment and collect clues to uncover the mystery of Avalonia. Eye-pleasing graphics, an immersive storyline and challenging gameplay will keep players captivated. Get ready to dive in!
Read more and view the new visuals at the page linked below.

Vertical Wire: Deep Blue Sea 2 Video & Screens
The Game Equation
Deep Blue Sea 2
Buy Deep Blue Sea 2

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WoW: BattleCry Mosaic, Dev Interview, Music Track
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

As part of the ongoing World of Warcraft anniversary celebration, Blizzard Entertainment recently added some new information to its website. The anniversary sections have been updated with completed images of the WoW WarCry Mosiac, new interviews with developer Tom Chilton and forum MVP Palehoof, and a new music track to enjoy.

Tom Chilton:

How did that runaway success and out-of-control growth change how you designed for the game?
We've had to learn a lot of hard lessons about planning for the worst-case scenario. I say worst-case, but they're actually problems that we were in a sense very fortunate to have -- you have too many people that want to play, for example. We thought about that when we launched The Burning Crusade. "We're going to have a huge chunk of people all going into Hellfire Peninsula at the same time -- how are we gonna handle that?" We had this worry that it would be way too crowded, so we made the zone really big, and the instant you came through the dark portal, we were shuttling you off to different parts of the zone. "Alliance, you guys go over there to Honor Hold, Horde, you guys go to Thrallmar, stay away from each other!" We took that a step further in Lich King with the separate zones -- we essentially cut that area's concurrency in half again. With things like Wintergrasp, we really didn't know what to expect. It was this huge, nebulous thing -- were we designing for 15 people being there, or were we designing for 100 people being there? We've only seen since then that we really have to use those same kinds of worst-case scenario design principles so that we're better prepared for load balancing.

There have been some pretty significant philosophical shifts in World of Warcraft's design from day 1 to Lich King, obviously. What do you think is the biggest change?
There were a lot of sacred cows that had to die. One in early World of Warcraft development was the idea that there should not be an auction house. We were hoping to see the social interaction in any kind of trading -- players meeting up face to face, deciding what the price on something would be, and determining what they were going to do to exchange their goods. After the game had been in beta for a while, and we saw that trading was incredibly cumbersome, and people weren't able to efficiently buy and sell stuff, we made the decision to include a game system to support it. There were also some perceptions about how hardcore raiding was, how much we'd expect out of a raider in the general sense, that have changed. We wanted to make content available to more players, but preserve challenge for hardcore players by including hard modes and that sort of thing.
Check out the links below to view the new content.

WoW BattleCry Mosaic
WoW Anniversary Interviews
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Din's Curse Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has posted a new preview of Soldak Entertainment's Din's Curse, the company's upcoming action RPG. In Din's Curse players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

Your character in Dinís Curse can be heavily customized in combat. There are six main classes (warrior, rogue, wizard, ranger, conjurer and priest), and each class has three specialities of fighting. You can choose to be any of the six basic classes with access to skills from all three specialities or choose a hybrid class that has access to any two specialities of the 18 available, no matter the class. My first choice was the ultra-dependable warrior/healer, quite capable of taking and dealing damage but with some magic to back me up when I need. Every level that is earned gives your character some statistical points to use to increase raw strength, stamina, magic, spirit and the like, as well as some skill points. There are a huge number of skills available, and combined with the sheer number of class combinations, an unthinkable number of character builds exist. Skills range from passive regeneration or damage boosts to active attacks and magic spells; Iím sure there are some incredible combinations in there, too.

In each game, you will start in a town (which isnít nearly as random as the rest of the game) and some basic equipment. Many people in the town will have quests available for you to complete, and after talking to Din, you should head into the dungeon that threatens the town. Each dungeon is unique, having different combinations of monsters that may be in battles against each other or working together to attack you. The levels will often have hidden secrets, from stashes of loot to hidden vaults and numerous tricks and traps that can work for or against you; I even noticed monsters using the traps against me. As you descend the dungeon, it generally will get more difficult, but the real threat is what boss enemies are hidden, planning and building their strength. Some named monsters will build forces and attack the town, so if you canít advance fast enough and stop their plans, youíll have to move to town defense and hope too much damage isnít done.

Much like the dungeons, the equipment you can find in Dinís Curse is numerous and highly varied, but I quickly found the process of identifying equipment tedious. Thankfully there are times when you stumble across junk for ages then hit a weapon far beyond anything you have seen and it makes life a whole lot easier. The difficulty levels of Dinís Curse can be customized, from slaughtering low-level enemies to living in cursed worlds fighting superior forces. Luckily for such challenges, you can also play in cooperative online play, developing far more strategy and tactics than possible with just a single player.
Click over to the site below to read the full review. Din's Curse Preview
Soldak Entertainment
Din's Curse
Buy Din's Curse

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 4, 2010

CoH: Account Reactivation & Double XP Weekend Starts Today6:00 AM
Din's Curse Previewed6:00 AM
Exploring The World Of Two Worlds II6:00 AM
Rome: Total War Gold Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 4, 2010 on one page

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