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Monday, March 8, 2010

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Valve Officially Announces Steam, Games For Mac
12:39 PM | IMG News | 35 comments

Valve Software today officially announced that it will be bringing Steam, Valve's gaming service, and Source, Valve's gaming engine, to the Mac. The company also announced it will be brining Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series to the Mac in April.

Here's the press release:

"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

"Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac," said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. "Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."

"We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development. "The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows."

Portal 2 will be Valve's first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows. "Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," said Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead. "We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."
For more, visit Steam's web site.

Valve Software

Murder, She Wrote Now Available
1:41 PM | IMG News | 3 comments today is pleased to announce the release of Murder, She Wrote on its web site. The game was developed by casual games developer and publisher, Legacy Interactive. Murder, She Wrote is an interactive seek and find "who-dun-it" mystery adventure with unique minigames in every scene.

Play as the lovable murder novelist Jessica Fletcher and solve each of the five cases by carefully and methodically investigating murders using an innovative new style of hidden object and light adventure gameplay. First, players need to find missing keys from Jessica's typewriter to fill in the unknown letters in the list of hidden objects. After the entire words are revealed, there are more secrets to uncover as not all the hidden objects can be found by just discovering where they lay. As every detective knows, nothing is ever as it seems!

Scour over 80 game levels with familiar characters from the show - Jessica Fletcher, Seth Hazlitt and Sheriff Mort Metzger. Set in the beautiful New England town of Cabot Cove and across the seas in London, the more than 25 detailed 3-D settings may distract even the most determined player from their investigation. Featuring 5 original cases and over 6 hours of gameplay, Murder, She Wrote provides entertaining twists and turns that are sure to please both long time fans of the show and casual gamers alike.
Murder, She Wrote requires an Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later, 512 MB of RAM, and a Radeon 9000 or similar. It is available immediately as a digital download purchase through and Mac Games Arcade. A free demo is available for download. The full version costs $19.95 (USD).

Buy Murder, She Wrote
Mac Game Store
Mac Games Arcade

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Guild Software Announces NAOS Engine
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Guild Software has announced the upcoming launch of a new MMO middleware product: the NAOS Engine. Developed to power the company's long-running MMORPG, Vendetta Online, the engine provides "a complete and multi-platform solution, with native client build targets for Windows, Mac and Linux."

The highly scalable distributed game server uses lightweight Erlang threading to provide persistent handling of hundreds of thousands of individual NPCs and other game elements, with seamless management as they transition across running/non-running boundaries in the game universe. A well-proven update/patch server and client are also included, the server allowing optimized binary patching and user queues for rate limiting and overflow. The update client supports redundant failover to multiple patch server clusters, and includes automated client crash reporting, with fetching and submission of auto-generated tracebacks via HTTP to a proprietary bug tracking system. Finally, a completely custom Lua/FastCGI-based web content management system, with proven billing, messageboard, mailing list and administrative features, rounds out the server solution, creating a nearly-complete package for the prospective MMO developer. All server software can be run on either FreeBSD or Linux, and works well with existing RDBMS solutions such as MySQL or Oracle, as well as DBMS such as Mnesia. Beyond the use of a database for persistency, an integrated RDF triple-store is in development to more elegantly enable applications such as advanced AI, simulated-economics, and monitoring tasks.

The NAOS Engine will be available either as a complete licensed source package, or individual components may be licensed separately at a reduced cost. The product is expected to launch in the year, and will be followed by the NAOS Platform, a cloud-based MMO development solution which also includes scalable hosting, with sliding pricing based on usage and revenue, to help startup MMO developers focus purely on their games.
For more information follow the links below.

NAOS Engine
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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Basilisk Games Asking For Eschalon Book II Beta Testers
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games is asking for beta testers for its upcoming RPG, Eschalon: Book II. Although testing of the Mac version will not begin immediately, interested Mac users are asked to sign up now. The second in the old school RPG series will include improvements like re-rendered tiles, new weather effects, new skills, new monsters, and a larger world to explore.

Before continuing to the application, you need to consider a few important factors:

- Beta testing is not fun. It is work. You will be playing a buggy, incomplete game and you may be asked to start over several times. Basilisk Games expects you to check in every few days and let us know how testing is going. You will grow to hate us and the game itself. Is this really what you want?

- If you are anticipating the game so much that you want to beta test it just to play it sooner than anyone else, you should just wait. In just a few more weeks you can enjoy the full, bug-free game like it was meant to be played.

- Do you still want to help us test Eschalon: Book II? Good! By becoming a beta tester you will be helping make a bug-free game for others to enjoy. Remember, many people will be counting on you to do your job and play-test the game as much as possible. Submit an application only if you have a lot of free time to give us. You will need a minimum of 20-40 hours of free time over a 3-4 week period to properly test Book II. If you don't have this much time to give us, then please don't submit an application.

- Just because you apply doesn't mean you will be chosen to help us. We are expecting a lot of applications and only 10-12 people will be approved. To improve your chances of being accepted, fill out the application completely. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Don't tell us what you think we want to hear, just answer the questions honestly.

- We're looking for Windows, Macintosh and Linux testers, but we will start with the Windows people. If you want to test the Macintosh or Linux version please submit an application now but remember it will be a couple extra weeks before we start with the other versions.

- What do you get for beta testing? Well, if you can complete the minimal requirements of beta testing, you will get your name listed in the game and a registration code that can be used on all future versions of the game.

- We will take applications for one full week before selecting anyone, so everyone has an equal chance of getting a beta-test spot.
Click over to the link below for more information.

Eschalon Book II Beta Testing
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

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StarCraft II: The Origins Of The Baneling
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has added a new StarCraft II short story to its official website for the upcoming sci-fi RTS. The story reveals the truth of a new zerg unit evolution, the Baneling. The game will return players to the storyline five years after the end of BroodWar and will include an epic single player campaign, improved multiplayer action, and a new editor for players who want to design their own StarCraft creations.

Private Ayers:
We were about five miles from the colony when the ground just... just exploded all around us. All I can remember is a chittering sea of claws, gnashing teeth, and blood. So much blood. The zerg swam through our platoon like fish in an ocean of red. Private Braden was just in front of me, and I watched as his arm was ripped clean off armor, bone, everything and he went down under a pair of the beasts.

You and I both know there hadn't been any zerg activity in terran space for years. I'd heard of these xenos, seen the training vids. But nothing can prepare you for the sheer animal terror that hits you when these monsters attack. The speed. The savagery. I've seen hundreds of zerg since that time, but the first attack still haunts me. Always will.
Check out the page below to read the full story.

StarCraft II Baneling Short Story
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Three New Din's Curse Creatures Emerge
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Soldak Entertainment, developer of Depths of Peril and Kivi's Underworld, has released more new information about the upcoming action RPG, Din's Curse. The latest update features three new additions to the creature list with the unveiling of the Scarabus Blaster, the Dark Elf Warrior, and the Torva.

Scarabus Blaster:
Since killing enemies is more important than an individual's survival, these creepy creatures will explode if they're really afraid. Watch for signs of impending explosions and run away!

Dark Elf Warrior:
In a forgotten time the elves were one diverse, surface dwelling race. A question of the heir to the throne divided the empire in two. After unprecedented betrayal and a murder that shook the foundation of elven society at its core, those involved and their supporters were banished from the surface of Aleria. Chased by elementals, this group found a loophole in what was meant to be a death sentence. They fled underground and sealed themselves off from the world above.
Generations passed down bitter hatred for the other elves, but they forgot who did the dispelling. They began to believe they sent the others away. They became dark elves, adapting to the darkness around them. The Goddess Valta found them and nurtured their anger, feeding on their violence and hatred.
Dark elves have no limits of morality. Twisting magic, they attempted to create legions of monsters to hunt down the others, the banished elves. When prospectors dug into dark elf territory looking for large lifestones, the dark elves discovered a new world they had forgotten, ripe for the taking.
Visit the page below for more information about the creatures of Din's Curse

Din's Curse Monsters
Soldak Entertainment
Din's Curse
Buy Din's Curse

Mac Games News for Friday, March 5, 2010

Deep Blue Sea 2: New Gameplay Video & Screenshots6:00 AM
Din's Curse Previewed6:00 AM
The Sims 3: Ambitions In Development6:00 AM
WoW: BattleCry Mosaic, Dev Interview, Music Track6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 5, 2010 on one page

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