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Posts with tag bejeweled

Popcap's addons updated

Popcap kindly sent us a note to say that both of their free addons (Bejeweled and Peggle) for World of Warcraft have seen updates lately, so if you're still playing the versions you downloaded when they first came out, better give them a refresh. Bejeweled, the classic gem matching game, is now up to 1.1, and features a completely updated score system (you'll be asked to convert it the first time you load) that tracks all kinds of new features. In addition, the Achievements now have their own screen, so they're all easier to track as well. And a bunch of bug fixes have gone in, to make the game smoother and faster.

And Peggle has reached 1.02, with some new code to try and keep users with different versions from having compatibility problems, as well as a few options to keep the chatspam down to a minimum. If your guild is angry that you keep accidentally hitting "Publish" and getting your score in their guild chat, get this new version, as it allows you to control where that goes, as well as change the name from "Publish" to "Brag," to more accurately describe what it is.

Both versions can be downloaded right over on Popcap's WoW site, or from the usual suspects at your favorite addon databases. It's great that they're still updating these (still for free!), but, completely selfishly, we still kind of want Zuma next.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Add-Ons

Confirmed: Kotaku reporting that Blizzard has hired PopCap VP

Rumours abound from the Australian arm of Kotaku (and our own Joystiq) that PopCap's CEO Greg Canessa is joining Blizzard. Given the success of their WoW addons for Peggle and (my personal favourite) Bejweled, the hiring of the man who helped launch Xbox Live Arcade is quite exciting.

Kotaku reports Canessa will be joining the teams responsible for Diablo and World of Warcraft. However they don't actually cite a source and Blizzard apparently didn't respond for a comment 'immediately', which is quite an odd way to phrase it.

Update: Blizzard spokesperson Shon Damron got back to us confirming that Greg Canessa has indeed been hired by the company:

"Yes, we can confirm that Greg Canessa has taken a position at Blizzard Entertainment as project director for Battle.net. He will report to our vice president of online technologies and work closely with the executive team to help fine-tune the next version of Battle.net, currently in development."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Add-Ons

PopCap's addons are obfuscated, Blizzard is OK with that

We've posted about both the Bejeweled and the Peggle addons here lots -- we're big fans of PopCap releasing free versions of their games for us to play in Azeroth. But all might not be well in addon land -- a few authors have come to us to point out that PopCap's addons actually contain obfuscated code in them. Obfuscation is a little hard to define -- it's a coding technique that makes code difficult to be read by other programmers, either for purposes of compression or to deliberately hide the code's function or purpose from anyone reading it. Obfuscation is strictly prohibited by Blizzard's addon policy, and so when addon authors dived into PopCap's code and found it obfuscated, they were concerned that PopCap is dodging Blizzard's rules.

We spoke with PopCap about the issue, and they told us that yes, they run a program called luasrcdiet on their code to shrink it down and keep the memory footprint to a minimum. While working on their addons, they were in contact with Blizzard (and showed them the original, non-obfuscated code), and they tell us that Blizzard decided that since the purpose of the obfuscation rule in the policy was to allow the community to police their own addons for bad code (and since Blizzard trusted PopCap, there were no concerns there), then Blizzard was OK with PopCap releasing obfuscated addon code.

So. Has PopCap broken the rules? In the strictest sense, yes -- the rules say no obfuscated code, and PopCap's addons do make things hard to read. But Blizzard, who wrote the rules to begin with, has no problem with making an exception for PopCap, and in doing so, their reasoning seems pretty sound. It doesn't seem fair to make an exception in any case, but we admit, if you're going to make an exception for anyone, you can't go wrong with PopCap. What do you think?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

GotGame releases their ingame browser separately


Behold the power of WoW Insider -- GotGame told us about their browser and social networking service a little while ago, and we were so much more fascinated with the browser part of their app that they split it off. And here it is: Rogue is what they're calling their ingame browser application -- you can download it for free from the site, and after a quick install, you can open up a browser in any PC game.

As lots of commenters said on our last post, this isn't really an ingame browser, it's more of an overlay that lets you browse while playing the game. And all it really does is save you the couple of minutes it would take to tab out and check your own browser (or just run WoW in a windowed mode, and use both at the same time).

But there are a probably a few users out there who would find it really useful. Downtime is the main issue I can think of (though lots of my downtime is filled lately with the Bejeweled addon anyway). But if you've been waiting for a solid, standalone ingame browser to come along (complete with Flash support, which makes it easy to pull up Hulu or Pandora while playing), Rogue is it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items, Add-Ons

Bejeweled 1.02 is out

The most important addon of all has been updated to version 1.02 for compatibility with patch 3.0.2: PopCap's Bejeweled has a new version ready for download on their site that will work just great with the new patch. And there's a new feature, too: PopCap says so many people asked for a little minimap relief that they've added an option to either turn the minimap icon off completely, or move it around the minimap wherever you like.

Unfortunately, the endgame got nerfed so much that odds are you won't die in raids until Wrath, so that part of the addon probably won't get used much. But my flight paths have felt empty without the gems to match since Tuesday -- the new version of Bejeweled is the most welcome addition to my addon folder.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Leveling, Achievements

WoW Insider Show Episode 57: The return of the Turp

Our latest podcast is now available for your listening pleasure over on WoW Radio (and in iTunes), and we've got a few familiar faces returning to the fold -- Amanda Dean and Turpster are on this week, and we haven't talked with them in a while. Turpster is back from his trip to the US, and Amanda is back with a whole new character and a new PvE outlook. We hit on:
  • Brewfest, how it's going, and whether it's safe for minors (or miners, as Turpster may have heard) to celebrate a holiday that revolves around drinking and riding rams fast right afterwards.
  • The upcoming Honor reset that we didn't really have a problem with but that didn't happen after all.
  • The Bejeweled addon and some other possibilities for official third-party addons
  • And as usual we answered your emails, including where to get started with WoW Lore and whether Mages or Shamans cry more (I think Shamans probably cry more, but Mages do more unnecessary crying).
  • Plus, we did a giveaway! One lucky listener picked up a code for a Papa Hummel's Old Fashioned Pet Biscuit (boy they're delicious, made from real pets!). And if you didn't win, don't worry -- I hear next week we'll have an even better prize to give away.
And yes, speaking of next week, we do this every Saturday at 3:30pm Eastern right there on WoW Radio -- if you've never listened to the show live, it's a hoot. Definitely give the show a listen this week (or subscribe to us in iTunes if you haven't yet), and we'll be back next Saturday as usual with lots more WoW news, views, and fun in tow.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Fan stuff, Guilds, Blizzard, Lore, WoW Insider Show

WoW Insider Interview: PopCap's T. Carl Kwoh and Moongaze, maker of the Bejeweled addon

PopCap's Bejeweled addon for World of Warcraft is coming out today (we did an in-depth preview of it earlier this week, in case you missed it), and to celebrate, we sat down with the addon's creators to see how it came about, and why this addon release (officially endorsed by another well-known gaming company) is so important.

Michael Fromwiller is a student at San Jose University, but in the WoW community he's better known as Moongaze, creator of the popular Lunarsphere addon. He also created another addon called Besharded a while back, which was an unofficial clone of PopCap's Bejeweled, a game he'd played a lot on his cell phone. PopCap heard about the addon, and when word got around to T. Carl Kwoh, a senior producer at the company, they decided, rather than shutting down the unofficial version, to try and hire Moongaze to make it official.

Our interview with both of them, which starts after the break, covers how the game came together, how Moongaze took influences from both PopCap and WoW to fit one game inside another, and why inserting another game into World of Warcraft doesn't exactly mean there are holes in Blizzard's game.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Add-Ons, Interviews

WoW Insider's preview of PopCap Games' Bejeweled addon


As anyone who's ever stayed up late for a raiding or grinding session will tell you, World of Warcraft is already an addictive game. About the only thing you could do to make it more addictive is have a game company like PopCap Games (they make some of the most popular casual games around, from Bejeweled to Bookworm to Peggle) stick one of their time-wasters in an addon. And so when PopCap came to WoW Insider earlier this week to tell us that they're planning to do just that, our minds understandably exploded.

They sent us a beta version, and for the past few days, we've wasted as much time in Azeroth as in real-life. That's not exactly true -- I've been leveling up my fishing and cooking lately, and the addon has been really helpful with all of the downtime and flight time (even if I do miss catching a cast every once in a while because I'm on a big streak). After the break, read more about just how the free Bejeweled addon (to be released later this week from PopCap) will devastate all of your formerly empty downtime in Azeroth, and check out our gallery to see the beta version of Bejeweled being played on the live realms.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Screenshots, Galleries, Achievements

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing – but not for the reasons she thought.

While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" – or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.

Read more →

Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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