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Archive For November, 2010

Pac-Mania Jumps To iPhones, iPads

November 30, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Namco's Pac-Mania, one of my favorite arcade titles, is now available on the App Store -- just in time to help close out the franchise's 30th anniversary, which has already given us gems like Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, Pac-Man Battle Royale, and, um, that 3D Pac-Man show.

As with the original Pac-Mania introduced in 1987, this iOS version tilts the maze to an isometric perspective and gives Pac-Man the ability to jump over ghosts. The game adds two new enemies, Funky and Spunky, who have jumping abilities, too.

This Pac-Mania edition features the arcade game's original 23 stages and a new Scramble Mode, in which players have 120 seconds to eat as many dots as possible, picking up speed with each dot consumed. It also adds leaderboards (via Game Center) and virtual pad/touch/flick controls.

You can grab Pac-Mania now for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad for just $1.99.

[Via FingerGaming]

Eyezmaze's Dwarf Complete Now On iOS

November 30, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Dwarf Complete, the popular Flash game originally created by Mr. ON of Eyezmaze (GROW) as a promotion for NCSoft's MMORPG Lineage II, is now available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with a free campaign.

Played by more than five million gamers, this adventure/puzzle title features the dwarves of Lineage II and has players unlocking dungeon rooms, collecting items, and looking up a walkthrough at Jay is Games to figure out what to do next.

More Eyezmaze games on the App Store, please!

[Via @brandonnn]

GDC 2011 Announces Art, Audio Talks From Final Fantasy, Pixar, Gear Of War 3

November 30, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the 2011 Game Developers Conference have debuted initial lectures from the Art and Audio Tracks for the Main Conference, spanning Gears Of War 3, Pixar, Limbo, Final Fantasy and beyond.

As the overall session list for the event further expands, organizers are specially highlighting the initial Main Conference session announcements around these two areas.

The Art and Audio Tracks take place from Wednesday March 2nd to Friday March 4th, 2011 during the pre-eminent, San Francisco-based event, alongside other discipline-specific Tracks dedicated to programming, design, business and management, and production.

All of the above Track sessions are open to those with a Main Conference or All-Access Pass, with a special Audio Pass also available, and some of the top sessions debuting in the Art and Audio Tracks are as follows:

Art Track

One of the notable Art Track reveals at this early stage is 'Fast and Efficient Facial Rigging in Gears Of War 3' by Epic Games' Jeremy Ernst, showcasing the methodology used for the much-awaited action title.

The lecture is designed to "show developers of any level how to create and think in a way that leads to faster and more efficient ways of building not only face rigs, but any kind of rig or tool."

Indie Game Movie Shares First Spelunky XBLA Footage

November 30, 2010 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Production company BlinkWorks has posted another clip from Indie Game: The Movie, it's upcoming documentary about independent game developers and their projects, sharing an interview with Derek Yu and the first footage of his roguelike/platformer Spelunky HD XBLA.

For those who haven't played Spelunky, it's a 2D PC title that has you exploring randomly generated dungeons, collecting treasure, and trying to survive traps/enemies using whatever you find along the way. It's coming to Xbox Live Arcade with new visuals, music, modes, and more.

If you enjoy this talk Yu gives at TIGJam San Francisco, you can watch more (and uncut) video that BlinkWorks captured at the event -- including sessions with Mark ten Bosch (Miegakure), Matthew Wegner (Off-Road Velociraptor Safari HD), and more -- on the company's video page.

170 Game Systems In Consollection Poster

November 30, 2010 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

If you bought Bread and Butter swanky "Gamepads Complete Collection 1979-2009" poster that we featured two weeks ago, you can now complement it with a "Consollection" print that showcases 170 video game consoles, each lined up as miniatures in chronological order.

The 33.1" x 46.8" piece is like a version of Patrick Molnar's Consollection site/book that you can hang on your wall. It's designed to provide an "overview [of] over 38 years of video game history", listing the name, manufacturer, and release date alongside each console.

You can purchase the Consollection poster for €12, or around $15.64 (another €12 for shipping in Europe, €17/$22.16 for shipping everywhere else.)

Indie Games Winter Uprising Starts Today

November 30, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

The Indie Games Winter Uprising, an initiative looking to promote high quality titles on the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel and fight against the "mediocrity and lameness" on the platform, kicks off today with the release of Eyehook Games' dungeon crawler Epic Dungeon.

In honor of the Indie Games Winter Uprising's launch, this new trailer has been posted with clips of the XBLIG titles that will be featured during the event, including "new games from veteran developers like Ska Studios and Radiangames alongside promising newcomers".

This campaign will run all week and feature 14 new games, all of which you can find descriptions for after the break.

Best of FingerGaming: From Trucks and Skulls to Gunstar Heroes

November 30, 2010 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

[Every week, we sum up sister iPhone and iPad site FingerGaming's top news and reviews for Apple's nascent portable game platforms, as written by editor in chief Danny Cowan and authors Tucker Dean, Jason Johnson, and Ryan Hibbeler.]

This week, FingerGaming covers BulleTrain, Gunstar Heroes, and the awaited iOS 4.2 firmware update.

Also within are the lists for top-grossing, most-downloaded free and paid Apps from Apple's store, as well as a review for Halfbrick Studios' Age of Zombies.

Here are the top stories from the last seven days:

- Top-Grossing Game Apps: Lego Harry Potter Sees Big First-Week Sales
"Rovio's Angry Birds reclaims the top spot in today's chart, while Lego Harry Potter finishes its debut week ahead of RAGE HD at third place."

- iOS 4.2 Software Update Out Now; Adds Multitasking, Game Center for iPad
"Apple has released an update to its iOS firmware, bringing a number of new features to iPhone and iPod Touch devices and adding multitasking and Game Center support for the iPad."

- Sega Releases Gunstar Heroes, Adds Multiplayer to Sonic 2, Streets of Rage
"After recently adding another title to its App Store catalog of emulated 16-bit Genesis games, Sega announced that two of its most popular retro releases to date have received new multiplayer modes."

2010 Interactive Fiction Competition Winners Announced

November 29, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Organizers for Interactive Fiction Competition, the annual contest (running since 1995) devoted to text-based adventure games, recently announced the winners of this year's event, ranking the top titles from 26 submissions.

The three highest-scoring titles are Matt Wigdahl's Aotearoa, C.E.J. Pacian's Rogue of the Multiverse ("cover art" pictured), and Colin Sandel and Carolyn VanEseltine's One Eye Open. Here are some quick descriptions for those titles grabbed from the Interactive Fiction Database:

  • Aotearoa: "The Fish of Māui. The Land of the Long Cloud. Aotearoa. An entire continent of untamed wilds, and the last place on Earth where dinosaurs still roam. If only you'd come ashore under better circumstances..."
  • Rogue of the Multiverse: "Congratulations, convict 76954! You have been selected for scientific experimentation! You will be matter-transmitted to exotic non-Treaty worlds - where opportunities abound to take in fantastic sights and mingle with colourful locals!"
  • One Eye Open: "Had you known the bloody history of Corona Labs, you would never have signed up as a test subject. But now, plunged into that history, surrounded by the damned and the dying, you must find the truth. Perhaps you will even survive it."
You can check out how all the submitted entries scored at the Interactive Fiction Competition site. There you'll also find links and instructions for playing the games for free either online or through interpreters.

Pennybridge Explores The Deep Cave In XBLIG

November 29, 2010 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

If playing difficult sidescrollers like VVVVVV and more recently Super Meat Boy has put you in the mood to play challenging sidescrollers with gravity-bending segments for the rest of your life, Jimmy Jansson of one-man indie studio Pennybridge has just released a new XBLIG title that can help you fulfill that dream.

The Deep Cave is a retro-style title following a little boy who has fallen down a deep hole and must "survive the ultimate danger". That ultimate danger includes lots of precision jumps, instant-kill enemies, and portions where both the floor and ceiling are covered with spikes. That giant worm beast might you trouble, too!

You can buy The Deep Cave now from Xbox Live Indie Games for just 80 Points. That seems like a great bargain considering you're also getting a great soundtrack from awesome chiptune artist FearOfDark.

The Psychology Of Games: The Endowed Progress Effect and Game Quests

November 29, 2010 12:00 PM |

200x200_card.jpg[Continuing his regular GameSetWatch column, psychologist and gamer Jamie Madigan looks at how a few simple psychological manipulations could tip players in online games in the right direction.]

Imagine that two people, Kim and Carlos, notice that their cars are filthy and both go to the same car wash to make things right. With their wash they each receive a special card that lets them earn a free car wash if they get the card stamped enough times during future visits.

Kim’s card says it requires 10 purchases for a free wash, but the perky girl at the counter gave her a head start with two free stamps. The card Carlos got doesn’t have any free starter stamps, but it only requires 8 future purchases instead of 10. So both Kim and Carlos are looking at the same number of purchases to score their complimentary car cleaning.

Who do you think is more likely to come back enough times to fill up his or her card? Kim or Carlos?

It turns out that it’s Kim, who got saddled with a card that required 10 total stamps, but who received enough free stamps to get her 20% of the way towards her goal. This is thanks to a phenomenon called “the endowed progress effect.”

Basically, the idea is that when you give people just a feeling of advancement towards a distant goal, they’re more likely to try harder and try longer to reach that goal, even relative to people who have an equally easy goal but who got no sense of momentum off the bat.

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