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Thursday, December 2, 2010

BlizzCast 15: The Cataclysm Begins
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released the fifteenth BlizzCast, a series of podcasts created by Blizzard's Community Team and focusing on the company's current and future game offerings. Number fourteen focuses on the impending release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm the next expansion for the popular fantasy MMO.

Zarhym: So moving onto the bad guys, Deathwing is pretty much, I would say, the primary antagonist, I don't think there's much argument there, but his rise does seem to rekindle or ignite a host of other conflicts in the world. I've played a little bit of beta, I know players looking to level beyond 80 will quickly discover that in the 80 to 82 zones Mount Hyjal and Vashjir. Will you talk a little bit about the conflicts taking place in those two zones and the roles players will play there as they shift into these new 80 to 85 zones?

Alex Afrasiabi: Yeah, totally. We have the overarching Deathwing story. Deathwing breaks through the, essentially, the middle of the world, the elemental planes, he transcends them and cuts through what is the Well of Eternity in the Maelstrom and causes instability throughout the world, essentially shatters the world. That's our big overarching hook, so we have that playing across every single zone. Every zone you hit will have some type of hit here. Secondary storylines that we have playing in every zone, Vashjir, Hyjal, Deepholm, you name it, is the Horde/Alliance conflict. This is something that we set out to do in Northrend with Lich King. We had some definite success there, and we carried it through, we carried it through hugely, through into Cataclysm. Garrosh being Warchief now and Varian, of course, taking the helm as king of Stormwind. These are two boisterous characters, and they have their opinions on things, and they definitely butt heads. Believe me, they're both going somewhere. Hopefully the fans will get to see that in a bit. So, the Horde/Alliance conflict is another thing that you see all over the place. It's important to keep that up so that you don't wind up in this weird position where something we used to do a lot of is the more hand-holding type events, which they're cool and they have a place, but the game had started becoming just all about joining forces and less about the actual conflict between these diametrically opposed factions. And, of course, we have the minions of Deathwing and those that are subservient to him, the Twilight's Hammer and the Naga by proxy of Azshara are forces that you see in, I think, every zone in 80 to 85. Plus, you will see them all over the place leveling up in the new old world content. Huge, huge things. And, of course, in the pre-sundering/pre-shattering events you see on the PTR right now you see all those Doomsayers and all the crazy Twilight Cultists in the cities being flooded and invaded, so there's quite a bit going on here.
Check out the latest BlizzCast at the page below.

BlizzCast 15
Blizzard Entertainment

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Mahjong In Poculis Version 3.5 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In Poculis has announced the release of version 3.5 of its free solitaire game, Mahjong In Poculis. The update includes a new mode designed for children. The memory game challenges players to find and remove identical tiles from the borders of a stack, eventually finding the proper combination of removal to clear the board. Mahjong In Poculis features three modes, a tutorial, and 120 levels.

Commonly called Shanghai games, Mahjong In Poculis features 120 levels and 6 fun scenarios, including Christmas, Halloween, Asian, Easter, Wonderland and Future. Each one has its own levels, graphics, musics, sound effects as well as an easy-to-read statistics panel where scores from scenarios' levels can be quickly observed. To get users started, a 5 step, in-game tutorial can be displayed on demand. Players may also post their scores and photo on the game's website.

Feature Highlights:
  • Child, Standard and Expert Mode
  • Christmas, Halloween, Asian, Easter, Wonderland and Future scenarios
  • 120 levels
  • Built-in 5 step, in-game Tutorial
  • Post Scores and Photo on In-Poculis's website
"We tried all the Mahjong games we could to extract our prefered features" said Bernard Lerat, co-founder of In Poculis. "However it was not enough. We wanted to add something really new to the gameplay and decided to change the scoring by the use of combos. You always have to select identical tiles but you have to evaluate many possibities to be sure to create straights or four of a kind"

Among Mahjong In Poculis' most prominent features is its combo feature to gain more points. Other than beating a particular time for clearing the board, players earn points with combos such as four of a kind (two identical pairs) or straights. If the player can no longer match a pair, the game board automatically reshuffles the tiles.

Language support:
  • US English, French, Spanish and Italian
Minimum Requirements:
  • Mac OS X Version 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard or later
  • Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000
  • Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel
  • 53 MB Hard Drive space
Mahjong In Poculis 3.5 is available for free. Players who enjoy the game are asked to donate to encourage future development.

For more information follow the links below.

Mahjong In Poculis 3.5
In Poculis

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Dress-Up Pups Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Anawiki Games and Retrostyle Games have announced the release of their joint venture, Dress-Up Pups. The Match-3 title follows the story of Pattie, who is left in charge of the Dress-Up Pups fashion agency and must create outfits for her unusual clients. Dress-Up Pups features 21 chapters spanning several levels each, 10 different customers, and a variety of dog breeds.

The game follows the story of Pattie, who's been working as office help at the Dress-Up Pups fashion agency for dogs. When her boss has to fly overseas on important business, she's left in charge of the agency, and has to come up with creative outfits for a variety of eccentric clients. The dogs, their owners, their exchanges with Pattie, and the resulting outfits are all designed for maximum surprise and hilarity; there are no "ordinary" clients at Dress-Up Pups!

"Dogs in clothes are inherently pretty silly," says Anawiki owner and lead developer Roman Budzowski, "so we decided to just run with that and go over the top and make the clients as out-there as the dogs. They've all got these exaggerated personalities, like a pop star, or the ambassador's wife. There are even more unlikely ones, but I don't want to spoil all the surprises."

Dress-Up Pups provides the player with a varied challenge, by mixing standard "swap" Match-3 mechanics with alternative "chains" and "group" modes. The player is also provided with two forms of power-ups - Tools, which are gradually charged up by matching specific icons, and Bonuses, which appear in the grid as a reward for a big match or combo. Additionally, each chapter of the story ends with a jigsaw puzzle mini-game, in which the player helps Pattie piece together the final outfit.

With 21 chapters, each consisting of several levels, and 10 different customers, each with a different breed of dog, Dress-Up Pups provides long-lasting gameplay, with lots of laughs along the way.

This is the first-ever joint project for both developers. Whereas Anawiki has a lot of programming talent on staff, Retrostyle consists predominantly of artists, so the partnership was a match made in heaven.

"It was great working with the guys at Retrostyle," says Budzowski, "They came to us for help with this game as a work in progress, when they weren't sure what direction to take it in. They had all this great artwork already done, and for us, getting high quality stuff on an indie budget is always a challenge. So I suggested we work together to finish the game, and we're all delighted with the results."

Check out the page below for more information.

Dress-Up Pups
Anawiki Games

Mac Games News for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

City Of Heroes: Issue 19 Alpha Strike Released6:00 AM
EVE Online: Incursion First Portion Now Available6:00 AM
Land Air Sea Warfare Updated6:00 AM
Winter Voices Episode 1 Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, December 1, 2010 on one page

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