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Friday, November 27, 2009

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Warcraft Anniversary Page Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment recently unveiled a new page on its World of Warcraft site to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise and the 5th anniversary of WoW. Currently featuring a video showcasing the developers' feelings about Warcraft, Blizzard will update the site over the next few weeks with interviews, videos, and a new anniversary Blizzcast.

Over the past five years, a lot has changed in Azeroth. Valiant heroes have travelled the length and breadth of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, taken wing in Outland to free the Black Temple from Illidan's clutches, and set sail for Northrend to battle the mighty Lich King. Whether you've been part of the adventure from the beginning or are just getting started now, we're glad to have you with us for the five-year anniversary of World of Warcraft and the 15-year anniversary of the Warcraft series.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be updating our website with a series of anniversary interviews and features that take a look at World of Warcraft and the Warcraft series through the eyes of the people who've created, played, and lived the games. We're honored to be celebrating this milestone with a community of players every bit as passionate about the game as we are. We hope you enjoy the journey.

World of Warcraft Battlecry Mosaic
Be a part of World of Warcraft history with our Battlecry Mosaic. Send us photos showing your Horde or Alliance pride to become part of the mosaic, unlocking iconic Warcraft images along the way -- and ultimately revealing a new piece of exclusive artwork. Find out more.

Blizzard Interviews
Blizzard developers, executives, and employees gather to share their thoughts, anecdotes, and favorite memories about the creation of the Warcraft series and World of Warcraft. Check out our videos and text interviews (Coming soon!).

Community Interviews
We speak with World of Warcraft players old and new to hear how they've affected the game, and how the game has affected them. (Coming soon!)
Check out the new page at the link below.

World Of Warcraft Anniversary Page
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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EVE Online: Sovereignty & Mail System Updates
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new CCP Games developer blog offers more information about changes coming to the company's sci-fi MMO, EVE Online, with the release of the Dominion expansion later this year. This time the information update offers a glimpse of some of the behind the scenes changes to the game's application programming interface.

As you probably know already, the sovereignty system is getting a new haircut in the Dominion expansion, switching from mohawk to spikes. Relevant API pages have been altered to reflect the change of style. In short, some rowset columns have been removed, one added and one full new page added.

Another big change brought forth by His Mightyness the Dominion is an updated mail system. Not only has it been updated but also split in twain by a group of heavy machinery wielding, Rammstein loving meta-astronauts calling themselves And there will be Cake, adding a notification system to which all server-generated mails (agents, bills, etc.) will be directed.

So. We've added both systems to the API. The data structure is similar in both systems so we used the same technique to access them via the API. To pre-emtively break some hearts - the API will not give you any mail bodies or detailed notification information, nor will you be able to send mail through the API. You will not be able to page through your mail/notifications like the wallet pages allow. This is an API feature that is likely to be under heavy bombardment so we've had to contain our enthusiasm for pleasing the crowd quite a bit. At least for now. Let me attempt to explain how this works.
Read more at the page linked below.

EVE Online Blog: Dominion API
CCP Games
EVE Online

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

ComputersnStuff 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. CnS gave the game a score of 8 out of 10.

From the review:

Machinarium is a old-school adventure game that starts out gently, breaking in even the most virgin of adventure gamers to how the game works in its first screen before ramping the difficulty up steadily the screens as puzzles spread out across multiple screens.

Said puzzles are never predictable or obvious, pushing the gamers ability to think laterally by forcing you to study entire scenes almost obsessively - unlike the traditional adventure, hotspots are only highlighted when your character is near them, preventing the usual wholesale click-a-thon that constitutes the average badly designed effort.

Should a puzzle prove too hard, the game features a two-tier help system - one designed to vaguely point the way through a puzzle, the other featuring in-depth walkthroughs to even the hardest of puzzles - the latter is always available, but access to the tome that holds the solution requires completion of an R-Type-esque mini-game. Designed to be the chore that they are, they exist as the last refuge of the terminally stuck and work well to discourage frustrated people who might just be missing the obvious.
Visit the page below for the full review.

ComputersnStuff: Machinarium Review
Amanita Design
Buy Machinarium

imVOX Gaming Voice Chat Service Coming To Mac
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Ayalogic has announced the Windows public beta availability of imVOX, a new voice communication service designed "to broaden the use of voice in games." The free imVOX service allows up to 30 gamers to join a voice chat for free, or up to 250 for the paid premium service. The beta is currently available for Windows with a Mac OS X version in progress.

The software runs in the background while a user plays a multiplayer game like World of Warcraft to provide users with better communication with teammates. Premium services are available for $24.99 USD per year, and provide users with the ability to connect up to 250 users to a single server and expanded in-client features such as text-to-voice and a customizable client.

Ayalogic's CEO Mike Rojas says, "We want to make it easier to enable gamers to connect with voice. There will be no more begging a friend to leverage their voice server to have a little extra fun in whatever game you want to play."

"Our architecture and technology will allow us to bring rapid innovation around communication services to the gaming market. The time has come to bring together to merge the benefits of embedded voice and dedicated gaming voice clients into a single solution," says Mike Rojas.

The imVOX network of servers is set up on Amazon's Web Services platform, utilizing EC2 for the main servers and S3 for backup and persistent storage-- a first in the consumer game voice market. This solution allows for a low cost, redundant, scalable and cost effective infrastructure that passes its benefits for reliability and price directly to the gamer.

By providing not only the servers and technology for imVOX, but also the user client, Ayalogic is able to provide a smoother experience than existing solutions at a significantly reduced price - Free.

The imVOX software is currently available on Microsoft's Windows XP, Vista and 7 and runs directly on your computer. Support for OS X is in the works. Additionally, social networking features and integration are currently in development, with login via Facebook Connect and Twitter integration available soon.

From the FAQ:
When will a Mac version of imVOX be available?
A: A Mac version is currently in the works with plans to support Snow Leopard. We hope to have something in a few weeks.

For more information about inVOX click over to the site listed below.


Mac Games News for Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blizzard Developers Discuss Fifteen Years Of Warcraft6:00 AM
Fishdom One Of Greatest Video Games Of 20096:00 AM
The Sims 3 World Adventures HD Trailer Available6:00 AM
Zen Stones Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 26, 2009 on one page

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