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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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The Sims 3 World Adventures Photography Skill Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Electronic Arts has unveiled a new photography feature from the upcoming World Adventures expansion for The Sims 3. Players will be able to take advantage of their sims' new Photographers Eye skill to snap photos of the locations they visit, unlock new photography modes, and gain the option for sims to make a living as photographers.

In The Sims 3 World Adventures your Sims are visiting real-world inspired destinations and now can capture those moments by using the new photography skill; Photographers Eye.

You can now buy cameras in the market from the General Goods Merchant in all three locations; Al Simhara, Egypt, Shang Simla, China and Champs Le Sims, France. You can take your skill to the next level by reading a photography skill book or get the most advanced equipment by traveling to Al Simhara, Egypt where they house the most expensive cameras in the world. Once you have the skill down, you can take stylized photographs like Sepiatone or Vignette or larger panorama sized photographs. You can make a living as a photographer and with a higher skill level, you will of course make more mula when you sell your shots! You don’t have to be a pro though, you can complete various photo collections or hang your photographs on the wall of your home after returning from a trip and just reminisce about the amazing adventure.

This new skill gives you new tasks, opportunities and lifetime wishes to complete. For example, you can now complete a photography wish like ‘take a photograph of a pyramid’ or fulfill an opportunity like ‘teach a photography class at the school to earn a reward.’ Some adventures will require your Sim to snap a shot of a specific object. There are new lifetime wishes associated with photography like “Visionary: reach level 10 in both painting and photography skill.” As you are sightseeing, some of the landmarks in the game are recognized such as, The Great Sphinx, A Pyramid, The Dragon Cave, Chinese Garden, The Market and more!
The Sims 3 World Adventures 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.

Worthplaying: The Sims 3 World Adventures Photography Skill
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3: World Adventures
Buy The Sims 3: World Adventures

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The Robotic Adventures Of Machinarium
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameSpot has posted a review of the recently released Mac version 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. GameSpot gave the game a score of 8 out of 10.

From the review:

It won't take you long to be drawn in by Machinarium's beautiful 2D visuals. This world of rusting robots and intricate machines is drawn in clever, quirky strokes. A hulking guard coddles his inoperable teddy bear, seeking out batteries for his friend in front of an orange-hued industrial landscape. Cobwebs stretch between winding pipes that lead to no discernible place and have no discernible purpose. Aging brown buildings are weathered by jagged cracks and dull stains while distant leaning towers covered with rivets and antennas spew smoke into the atmosphere. A wonderful clinkety-clank soundtrack enhances the mechanical mood with its alternately tuneful and discordant strains. This isn't really a place you'd want to live, but it's a place you believe robots would want to live.

And what characters these robots are--expressing devotion, boredom, and frustration through deft animations and cute-but-sparse sound effects. One woman (if she could be called that) protects herself with an umbrella while wheezing into a whistle, apparently seeking an unseen taxi. A trio of street musicians toots and bangs on the corner, much to the dismay of the unhappy tenant in the apartment above. And then there's your own character, an unlikely hero seeking to be reunited with his one true love. It's a simple journey, but the spirited protagonist is so lovable that every step closer to your goal feels like a big triumph. A few wonderful visual touches add extra poignancy. For example, in one section, the screen goes dark and you see only a few prison cells, which makes the scene feel claustrophobic. Machinarium often manipulates your monitor's real estate in this manner, and not only is this trick effective, but it also makes the fuller environments that follow feel even more spacious.
Visit the page below to read more.

GameSpot: Machinarium Reviewed
Amanita Design
Buy Machinarium

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Beyond The Sword In Civilization IV
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has published a new review of Beyond the Sword, an expansion for the popular real time strategy game, Civilization IV. The game focuses on the late-game time periods and also offers 12 unique cenarios created by the development team at Firaxis Games. Macworld gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.

From the review:

Beyond the Sword’s basics are similar to Civilization IV’s, but some clever changes improve an already excellent game. As before, you use a turn-based strategy model to build up a society from meager beginnings. In the end, you can win by defeating others with a military, getting the most votes in a U.N. popularity contest, dominating the world economy, and more.

A single game, made up of tiny turns that last between seconds and minutes, can stretch to 10 or 15 hours. One of the new updates lets you begin in a later stage, moving past some of the dull opening turns. It can be a lot more fun to buy cities, units, and technologies from a fixed allotment, instead of earning your way up from the dawn of civilization.

Beyond the Sword adds additional victory conditions too, although most are moderate updates. For example, instead of just being the first to launch a spaceship to colonize a foreign planet, you now have to add enough engines to be the first ship to reach Alpha Centauri. The upshot is that a faster ship can win even if launched after an opponent’s.

Outside the standard games, a dozen new scenarios provide overwhelming variety. You can play in space with altered rules, swapping the global map for a star chart. Tactical combat scenarios add dozens of new units re-create historical situations (such as WWII) or take fighting into a sci-fi future.
Click over to the page below to read the full review.

Mac|Life: Beyond The Sword Review
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword
Buy Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword

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Latest EVE Online Quarterly Economic Newsletter Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CCP Games recently released its Quarterly Economic Newsletter for the third quarter of 2009 in its popular MMO, EVE Online. The newsletter offers an in-depth report of the current state of the game's complex economy, giving both novice and veteran players a wealth of statistics and information.

The 3rd Quarterly Economic Newsletter for EVE Online is now available. This issue has the standard economic indicator of population, ships flown in space, price level reports and market snapshots. The specific topic this time around is the latest news on "Unholy Rage," the Anti-RMT operation that has been ongoing for several months now.

The EVE economy is doing well with constant growth throughout 2009. As we see in this issue, the biggest changes to the economy have come either from operations against Real Money Traders in EVE or due to game design changes. When large external events like these happen they of course impact relative prices within EVE but the robustness of the market quickly allows prices to reflect these changes or shocks to the market. This might be a good lesson regarding our real life economies, showing that if we allow markets to adjust without intervention from governments they correct much quicker than when we try to steer prices to the "correct" level - given that the rules of the market are clear and that information flows relatively freely between agents on the market.

There are a lot of people that contribute to the QEN. The research and statistics team does most of the data mining and data analysis. The graphics team does the entire layout and provides us with the beautiful EVE pictures that are included in this volume. In addition, we get input from different units for our special session, this time around from the Law and Order unit within customer support. That unit has been in the trenches during operation Unholy Rage, fighting off the Real Money Traders.
To read more follow the link below.

EVE Online Economic Newsletter
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Diablo III: Retrospective And Preview6:00 AM
EVE Online: Dominion's Sovereignty Upgrade & Upkeep Systems6:00 AM
Two Worlds II Website Update Adds New Trailer6:00 AM
Zodiac Tower Released For Mac6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, November 10, 2009 on one page

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