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Monday, August 1, 2011

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IMG: Jonathan Smith Of Traveller's Tales Interviewed
4:20 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

IMG readers now have the opportunity to check out a new Q&A with Jonathan Smith of Traveller's Tales. The developer discussed the development of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and the popularity of the Harry Potter franchise.

Q: Why did you make the changes you did for LEGO Harry Potter, such as the Students in Peril missions and the revamped hub system?

A: The construction of Hogwarts Castle as our largest-ever LEGO game environment - a persistent, growing and activity-filled world which forms the hub of your adventure over four full years of story-driven action - was one of several ambitious new goals we had for LEGO Harry Potter. We wanted to create a game which delivered the same narrative of growth and discovery as the books, full of secrets and surprises. Other technical innovations for the game, such as the new physics and improved lighting systems, were part of our wish for a game which felt even more real and immersive than anything we'd been able to achieve before.

Check out the link below to read more.

Traveller's Tales Interview
Feral Interactive
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Buy LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

VP: Defense Grid, Supreme Commander 2, Gamer Of The Month
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Virtual Programming's new blog was recently updated with developer interviews with Hidden Path's Jeff Pobst and Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor. Probst offered his insights on the development of Defense Grid, while Taylor discussed Supreme Commander 2.

Defense Grid:
Q: What are your favorite strategies for success in Defense Grid and why?

A: I tend to prefer longer-range towers when I can use them, but they do have a downside: decoys. Just like most aliens in Defense Grid, decoys are designed to prevent the “one strategy solves everything solution” and their special power is that they can’t be seen by towers that are more than a grid or two away from them. Meteor towers pretty much never see them, and cannons often aren’t very effective against them since both those tower types have an inner radius of fire as well as an outer radius (so they can’t shoot at an alien when it is too close to them – and in this case they can’t see it unless it is close to them).

There are in my opinion a couple good anti-decoy strategies. The obvious one is to have more gun, inferno, Tesla, concussion and laser towers around, which will see them and shoot at them when they are near. Also, combining those or other short-range towers with a temporal tower to slow down the decoys is good so that they can get a lot of damage done to them while they are near a set of short-range towers. Second, command towers not only help provide more resources in an area, but they also illuminate decoys so that other towers can see the decoys – even from far away – when they’re near the command tower. So, a small killing zone with some short range towers, a temporal tower, and a command tower not only do a lot of damage to a decoy, but they also allow cannons and meteors in the other parts of the map to see the decoys and attack when they’re near the command tower as well. This typically can do the trick.

Supreme Commander 2:
He also pointed out that his development team tried to not get crazy with the units’ physical designs: “It’s a fine line between outrageous and, frankly, outlandish creations, and things where people can go, ‘Got it, that makes perfect sense, I know what that unit does on the battlefield.’”

Of course, fewer units means each one needs to carry more weight, and Taylor explained how that tied into another lesson learned from the first game: “One of the challenges in Supreme Commander was how the Tech 1 units would not be useful at the end of the game, so we came up with the tech tree idea [for Supreme Commander 2] to allow those early units to continue to upgrade and be useful.”

So, what’s Taylor’s personal preference for unit management in the game? “I like to build Rock Head Tanks,” he replied. “From the very first unit produced, you can build a powerful army and upgrade them like crazy using the tech tree. There are so many great strategies now, like the Cybran engineer army, but when we were in development, I liked my strategy because it stress tested the design theory.”

Virtual Programming also recently began a Gamer of the Month contest in which gamers send in an email explaining why they should be chosen. Lucky winners will be the subject of a brief interview on VP's blog and will receive a game of their choice from Deliver2Mac.com

To read more click over to the links listed below.

VP Blog: Defense Grid Interview
VP Blog: Supreme Commander 2 Interview
VP Blog: Gamer Of The Month
Virtual Programming
Defense Grid
Gas Powered Games
Supreme Commander 2
Buy Defense Grid
Buy Supreme Commander 2

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A History Of Duke Nukem
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Aspyr's GameAgent blog was recently updated with a four part history of all things Duke Nukem. Published in partnership with 2K Games, Duke Nukem will "bring his signature brand of ass-kicking, cigar-smoking, beer-chugging and babe-lovin’ action as he once again saves the Earth and our babes from hordes of invading aliens."

Gather around the warm glow of your computer screens and listen to the words of various developers that worked on Duke Nukem Forever as they share their experiences with the Duke Nukem franchise in a 4 part episodic series.

History of a Legend: Episode 1

    A look behind the history of Duke Nukem. This episode goes over the first two titles of Duke Nukem.
History of a Legend: Episode 2
    Get another history lesson of bad-assery as Duke comes into his own in Duke Nukem 3D.
History of a Legend: Episode 3
    See what the developers felt in the days leading up to Duke Nukem Forever’s transition into vaporware.
History of a Legend: Episode 4
    The developers give their impressions on their finished product that is Duke Nukem Forever.
“It’s definitely going to be the Duke you love, no apologies there.” -Kristen Haglund, Managing Partner of Triptych Games.

Now with the August launch date for Mac’s being right around the corner, are you ready for Duke Nukem Forever?
For more information follow the link below.

GameAgent Blog: Duke Nukem Forever - History Of A Legend
Aspyr Media
Duke Nukem Forever
Buy Duke Nukem Forever

BlizzCon Online Contests Begin
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has announced three new online contests as part of the lead up to the 2011 BlizzCon event coming to Anaheim, California in October. Fans interested in particpating in the contests have until August 29 to offer submissions for the Fan Art, Movie, and Original Song contests.

The wait is over for those eager to share their stunning sketches, masterful machinimas and amazing arias for a chance at glory in this year's BlizzCon contests. Head over to our Contest pages to submit your entry, and learn what kind of sweet loot you can win. Any questions should be directed to BlizzConContest@Blizzard.com.

Don't delay! The deadline for each contest is August 29.

Good luck to all of our contestants!
Visit the pages below for more information about the contests.

BlizzCon 2011 Fan Art Contest
BlizzCon 2011 Movie Contest
BlizzCon 2011 Original Song Contest
Blizzard Entertainment

Mac Games News for Friday, July 29, 2011

City Of Heroes Double XP Weekend Delayed Until August6:00 AM
Spiderweb Reveals Avernum: Escape From The Pit6:00 AM
The Sims 3: Outdoor Living & High End Loft Stuff Now At MGS6:00 AM
The Weapons And Armor Of The Baconing Revealed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 29, 2011 on one page

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