Steam adds Oddworld, Impulse adds titles from 2K Games, Corel applications

Valve has just sent us memo mentioning that two of Oddworld Inhabitants’ cult-classics are available on Steam right now: Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee and Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. Each of the games can be had for $9.99 apiece ($8.99 until September 4) or can both be picked up in an “Oddworld Pack” for $14.99. I’d originally missed out on the early Oddworld games, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to give them a try.

On the Stardock side of things, it’s been announced that their digital download platform Impulse has entered into “phase two.” Aside from adding some of 2K’s back catalog (Civilizations III, Shattered Union, Sid Meier’s Pirates!, and Sid Meier’s Railroads!) to the service, they’ve also set several new features live, such as their matchmaking tool ImpulseReactor.

Several software applications have also been added to Impulse, such as WordPerfect Office X4, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, and AVG Anti-Virus software. I guess it’s just a part of making the service well-rounded.

Are any of these titles something that you might want to download?

Plymouth, MI – August 27, 2008 – Stardock announced today that “phase two” of its digital download platform, Impulse, has begun and all updates, new games and software applications will soon be live. Phase two of Impulse sees new games from 2k (Civilizations III, Shattered Union, Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Sid Meier’s Railroads!) and Tilted Mill’s Children of the Nile enhanced edition. New software applications include a host of Corel applications like WordPerfect Office X4, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4, and Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 as well as software applications from Genie Soft, Iolo, and AVG Internet Security and Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware software.
 
All new titles and software applications are now available at www.impulsedriven.com.  
 
Concurrent with the new games and software applications, Impulse additions now see a refreshed user interface and a major new set of developer features called ImpulseReactor. Stardock’s recent release, The Political Machine 2008 will be the first game to utilize features of ImpulseReactor, and the upcoming Demigod will incorporate the features which consist of the highly anticipated match-making feature, cloud computing, rankings, achievements, multiplayer, NAT negotiation, and more.
 
Brad Wardell stated, “Impulse is somewhat unique in that its power is mostly on the server and not in the client.  Developers who want to make use of the features of Impulse don’t have to force their users to install Impulse because it’s not Impulse that provides these features; it’s the ImpulseReactor platform behind it providing the Common Virtual Platform APIs (CVP).”
 
Multiplayer strategy games especially benefit from the features on ImpulseReactor because it uses a back-end server farm to support NAT negotiation, meaning it will take care of the port negotiation instead of users having to figure out which ports to open or why the firewall may not be functioning the way the user needs it to.
 
Wardell continued, “The ImpulseReactor will serve multiplayer traffic in ways that should virtually eliminate connectivity issues in online gaming.”
 
Phase two of Impulse also adds the ability for users to install and update third-party freeware programs that are available via Impulse. This makes the transfer of the catalogue of programs installed on a user’s machine extraordinarily simple from machine to machine as it’s all centrally located on Impulse.
 
A private beta of MyImpulse also begins with the launch of Impulse phase two: With MyImpulse, a developer or publisher can package up products as they see fit, agree to a standardized royalty agreement, and submit it directly to Impulse. A team of Impulse moderators evaluate the submission and (if accepted) could go live within one business day.  Moreover, it allows developers to easily update their existing programs, and creates an easy and efficient way to vastly expand the Impulse product library.
 
Phase two has already addressed user feedback and incorporates significantly faster load times, downloads, a smart queue option and a smarter updating process which exponentially decreases processing time for updates.

Justin Villasenor