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Monday, June 26, 2000

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4x4 Interview, Screenshots
1:04 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GA Sports has scored an interview with Terminal Reality's PR director, Jeff Smith about 4x4 Evolution, their upcoming racing title. GA also has six exclusive new high-rez screenshots of the game available. In the quick Q&A, Smith discusses his latest project 4x4 Evolution, in which players get to race authentic SUVs around large open courses. This is an extremely unique game, as it may be the first game playable across not just Mac and PC but console as well, in this case Sega Dreamcast. Here's a clip from Smith with details on multiplayer:

What do you have planned for multiplay?

All platforms can play against each other. When on Dreamcast, only 4 can play online. PC and MACs can play up to 8 online. BUT -- A Dreamcast can play PCs and MACs and vice versa. Any combination, but just no more than 4 on DC and no more than 8 if on a PC or MAC.

It's great to hear Mac users will be able to play their PC counterparts, as well as those with the Dreamcast console. This must mean they aren't using Microsoft's DirectPlay for multiplayer features (which inevitably causes problems for platforms other than Windows). 4x4 Evolution was one of the title we say at E3 that really blew us a way - a fun, simple, yet stunningly realistic driving game the likes of which we have never seen on the Mac platorm. We can't wait!

The Adrenaline Vault has posted twelve amazing new screenshots of 4x4 EVO. Be sure to head over and check them out as well, as they're looking very impressive. Terminal Reality hopes to have 4x4 Evolution released by the end of August for Mac and PC.

4x4 Evolution Screen Shots at Avault
4x4 Evolution Interview, Images at GA Source
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

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No Driver at MWNY
4:11 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Nate Birkholz from MacSoft replied to a recent question from a Driver fan: Will this game be ready for the Macworld Expo New York? Birkholz replied that he's not sure this driving sim which puts you behind the wheel of a getaway car will make it to MWNY. After reading this we went directly to the source; here are our small question and answer:

Why won't Driver be at MWNY?

Well, as with any product, "it's done when it's done," "we want to release any game in the best condition we can," yadda yadda yadda.

Unfortunately the port has taken longer than initial estimates suggested. We hope to have it available soon after Macworld, but no date has been finalized at the moment. We will have a clearer picture of the situation at the show, and details will be provided in the MacSoft press kit.

Well since we won't see Driver at MWNY, will we be able to play a demo version?

Probably not (99.9%). Working on the demo would delay the game release at the moment.

We're sure MacSoft will have enough surprises at MWNY to keep us entertained. For more information on this racing game with a twist, check out IMG's extensive preview.

IMG's Driver Preview
MacSoft Web Site
Reflections Interactive
Buy Driver

MacGamer on Oni
4:02 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

MacGamer's Corey Tamas has written a great article about the past, present and future of Bungie's third-person action game Oni. He explains how Oni came about, what created most of the delays in finishing this complex game and what's going to happen to Oni after the recent acquisition of this title by Take Two Interactive. He also covers the other serious problem Oni has faced: living in the shadow of Halo. Here are some thoughts from Tamas:

I fell in love with this game each of the two times I played it... deeply. I keep this fact quiet on most days because I don't want to be eaten alive by the rabid pack of wolves that make up the community of Halo-watchers (not that I wouldn't sell my mother into slavery for an alpha copy of Halo). Quietly, but with great enthusiasm, I look eagerly forward to Oni. Maybe it's because I loved The Ghost In The Shell (the movie that inspired the game)... maybe it's because I loved Soul Calibur... or maybe it's just because I'm sick of Quake.
Oni is due to be finished by the Bungie West team this October, then handed off to Take Two for publishing by Gathering of Developers for Mac and PC. Make sure you check out MacGamerŐs other new articles as well; we especially like the one about E3.

MacGamer Web Site

Combat Mission Sells Out
1:57 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

No, has not sold itself to Microsoft. The demand for their latest Mac/PC release has been so strong that the duplicators simply can't box copies fast enough! If only all software publishers supporting the Mac had this problem. Here are the details:

The good news from is that demand for the company's new 3-D squad-level tactical simulation, Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord, has been tremendous. The bad news is that demand has outstripped supply and is temporarily sold out of Combat Mission!

"Gamers have rushed on board at five times the rate we expected, " says Stephen Grammont, President of the company. "We made what we thought were modestly optimistic projections and planned to have enough inventory for the better part of two months, but it lasted barely more than a week. Combat Mission has had much more crossover appeal than we figured it would."

Just days after Combat Mission's public launch over the Internet, it was clear to Battlefront's planners that orders were coming in much faster than anticipated, and a shortage was already looming. So a new print run - double the size of the original - was set into motion almost immediately. But despite putting the new run on the fast track, Battlefront's warehouse will be empty of Combat Mission for at least several days, perhaps as long as one week.

All existing orders have already been honored and shipped out, and Battlefront will continue to take orders for Combat Mission through the interim period. "We just wanted people to know what's going on," says Grammont, "so they can make an informed decision."

For more information on this excellent simulation of authentic battlefield-level World War II combat, make sure you check out IMG's preview, and download the demo from MacGameFiles. Combat Mission is for sale only at the web site.

IMG's Combat Mission Preview
Combat Mission Demo at MGF

Vista Returns
1:06 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Amid all the controversy surrounding Bungie and the sale of the Myth series to Take Two Interactive, one of the Myth community's premier mapmaking teams has revamped their web site. Vista's site, which now features Myth-related news, has also updated the portion of the site focusing on their total-conversion-in-progress Jinn, a surreal sci-fi solo and multiplayer adventure. If you are a fan of Myth II and want to see some of the most polished third-party work for that game, the Vista web site is a must-see.

Vista Web Site
Jinn Web Site

Target Quake Released
12:41 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Target Quake is a side-scrolling multiplayer Quake 3 Arena mod, with three maps. Think of it as a Quake deathmatch on its side! You can play with bots or players, in ffa or teamplay.

They have a server running at presently. is also running a server.

We've seen a lot of crazy Q3A mods, but this one has to be seen to be believed! Download this mod from MacGameFiles - you won't look at Quake the same way again.

Target Quake at MGF

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Hoekstra Interviewed
12:09 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Action Trip has posted an interview with Raven's Ken Hoekstra, discussing their upcoming Star Trek-based first person shooter, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. This small interview features some basic questions about the Hazard team, features of the Quake 3 Arena engine being used for this title, and single-player aspects of the game. One very pertinent question was asked: how can you be creative while still respecting the Star Trek franchise? Hoekstra answers:

Creating a game in a world as famous and developed (meaning legally confined) as Star Trek and still being creative in a way is certainly not an easy task. How do you cope?

Hoekstra: Paramount is extremely accepting of new ideas. They have been wonderful to work with and have allowed us a tremendous amount of freedom (relatively speaking) within the Star Trek Universe. They loved the Hazard Team idea, which is the foundation for the game, and the Voyager license is unique in that everything the ship and crew runs into is new. This gave us a chance to create new aliens, environments and weapons all while remaining true to the franchise. Working on Star Trek is nowhere near as confining as most people tend to believe. Especially with Voyager...

Raven is expecting to release a demo for PC very soon, and is currently looking for a publisher for the Mac version of the game.

Hoekstra Interview at ActionTrip
Raven Web Site
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

New Rune Diary
11:58 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Voodoo Extreme hosts Human Head's Rune developers' diary, updating it every week. This time around, Rhinehart answers an e-mail sent to him about Rune's main character, Ragnar. He talks about the main issues and problems they encountered while creating this powerful Viking warrior:

Ragnar went through several incarnations before we arrived at the current Ragnar in the game. The 3rd-person camera system was one of the first things we programmers tackled in the game and was done before the animation system was finished (and hence before we could put a true Ragnar model in the world). So for a month or so, we had a temporary model in (borrowed from Unreal, since we are using the Unreal technology [and since have upgraded to Unreal Tournament]). That temporary model was affectionately known as Slagnar.
We saw the smoothly-animated final result at this year's E3, and we must say that their hard work has paid off. Rune is currently being ported to the Mac OS by Westlake Interactive; their expertise with the Unreal Tournament engine should make this a rapid process, and we expect to be playing Rune this Fall.

Human Head Web Site
Rune Developers' Diary

Simon 3D Preview
10:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a new preview of Simon the Sorcerer 3D, giving praise to Headfirst for their efforts with the adventure game genre. Simon 3D is a 'traditional' puzzle-style adventure game, with a zany brand of humor informed by Monty Python and countless other droll, witty sources. Here's a clip from the preview:

This is the first true adventure game in realtime 3D. Fans may be worried as to how that has affected the gameplay. Don't worry, the gameplay still harkens back to the golden ages of adventure gaming. Included is the usual adventure blend of a good storyline, logical puzzles, and detailed dialogue. To make this even better, multiple parts and different endings have been thrown in, thus adding longevity.

Simon 3D is currently in a beta state and should be released very soon for both Mac and PC.

Simon 3D Preview at GameSpy
Simon 3D Web Site

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The Sims Reaches Beta
10:13 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The Mac porting powerhouse Westlake interactive has updated their news page with the news that one of their most-anticipated projects, Maxis' quirky god-game The Sims, has reached beta stage. The beta testing team has already begun their work, and are hacking away at all the bugs. Their target is to release The Sims for Mac before or at the Macworld Expo in New York this July. They seems very confident that they will have finished this port by then.

The Sims for Mac is now in Beta testing (please no emails asking to test!). We're rapidly finishing the project, with our goal to have it ready for Macworld New York. So far it has been testing well, and a few optimizations in the last week have really speed up gameplay.
In a recent interview Phil Sulak mentioned that he might try and add some Easter eggs (little cheats) to the game for Mac users (such as an iMac) so stay on the lookout!

IMG's First Look: The Sims
Westlake Interactive Sims News
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

Myst III Interview
9:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An interview Dan Irish, producer for Cyan's upcoming Myst III: Exile has been posted at GameSpy. Irish discusses many features of this third entry in the Myst/Riven series. Here's an excerpt which outlines the basic plot behind Exile:

GameSpy: What is the basic story behind Myst III?

Dan Irish: In Myst III: Exile, we're telling the tale of a bitter man whose homeworld was destroyed by Sirrus and Achenar, and who has been living on another age for 20 years. He returns to take revenge against Atrus and his family. The player is trapped in a mysterious age, and must explore the environment and navigate its puzzles to gradually uncover the mystery of this new adversary.

Myst III: Exile should be released early next year by Presto Studios and Cyan. A remake of the title that started it all, called Myst: Masterpiece Edition, has just been released for the Mac. If you are new to this series it would be a great introduction.

In related news, Cyan has announced they have obtained Disney's Susan Bonds to become Chief Design and Production Officer. This is great news for the small company, as Bonds will be working on Cyan's highly-secret game currently codenamed "mudpie," which is mysteriously based on "broadband" networking. We'll bring you more information on this as it becomes available.

Interview with Cyan's Dan Irish at GameSpy
Cyan Web Site

New RealMyst and Myst III: Exile Shots
9:33 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Dutch site GameZ, has scored a number of new screen shots from two of Cyan's upcoming projects. The first six are from RealMyst, a re-creation of the original hit classic Myst using a real-time 3D engine (common to games such as Quake or Unreal). These shots are eye-poppingly gorgeous, for a reatlime engine - this game is using a proprietary engine which obviously has some new tricks up its sleeve.

The last three are from the sequel to Riven, called Myst III: Exile. All of the screenshots are fairly high-rez and are looking very nice indeed. However, we can't help you with the Dutch article text.

RealMYST/Myst III: Exile Images at GameZ
Cyan Web Site

The Mill Grinds On
6:00 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

After last Monday's announcement of Bungie software being acquired by Microsoft, 'Frigidman,' creator of The Mill, announced that he would be taking it offline. Reportedly he did it half as an act of protest, and and simply because he was tired of the maintenence and upkeep. Luckily for all those starving for Myth and Myth II plugins, The Mill may very well return in a different form. Here's the official word from the web page:

The Mill was previously shut off due to various reasons which most everyone knows about by now. However with a gleam of hope in respect of the innocent myth community, the ray of sunshine has come through for them. The Mill will once again be back in running, however we regret not by the previously faithful Frigidman. Also, the site will most likely not be under the same URL as before. Check back later, for the site needs to mold itself into its new environment.
The Mill was always the single best source for Myth maps and plugins, hopefully we'll be seeing it return very soon!

The Mill Web Site

MacSoft to Attend MWNY
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Nate Birkholz has updated the MacSoft webpage with word that they will indeed be attending the upcoming Macworld Expo New York. While they note many of the games in developement are going well (like Driver, Worms Armageddon and Monopoly), they are also set to make some exciting new announcements of future titles to come. Here's a clip:

Now, we know that things have seemed quiet from the MacSoft offices in Minnesota over the last few months. But fear not, gentle reader, for MacSoft is poised to make some astounding announcements in July -- we've got something for everyone in our bag! New York City is about to get even hotter in July!
If you are going to be in attendance at the expo, be sure to stop by MacSoft's booth #1462 and say hi (we will for sure).

Macworld Expo New York
MacSoft Web Site

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Tropico Developer Interview
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Following their preview of PopTop's upcoming dictator-sim Tropico, EuroGamer has posted a new interview with developer Franz Felsl. This discussion covers many aspects of this very interesting game concept - you play as ruler of a third-world country with an emphasis on tyranny! Here is an excerpt about the fact that the game is only simulated 3D:

Although the game supports 3D hardware, PopTop have resisted the gaming industry's current stampede towards 3D, and at least some of the game is still two-dimensional.

"We've still decided to use sprites for buildings and people", Franz explained. "The resolution can't be matched in 3D, and we wanted it to be very detailed and 'personal', and sprites give the level of detail necessary to suspend one's disbelief."

This is similar to the philosophy behind the mixed 2D/3D approach behind the Myth series by Bungie. Tropico should be released early 2001 for both Mac and PC by Gathering of Developers.

EuroGamer Talks To PopTop
PopTop Software
IMG's E3 Coverage of Tropico
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

IMG Debuts Dynamic News System
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

You may have noticed more than a few changes in the way that IMG handles news, as of this morning; these changes will continue rapidly throughout the week, as we completely restructure the way news is delivered to our readers.

IMG has switched from a static, HTML-based news page to one that is powered by a flexible scripting engine that formats the page on-the-fly. The result is a news page that is dynamic and instantly updateable, and which will support extremely powerful customization and searching features in the future.

The "old" way we did news is so primitive it is embarrassing to even talk about -- let's just say it involved a certain web page editing program (known as "WentDead" around the office) and hacking together pages in HTML by hand. It was tedious, to say the least, and every delay we faced assembling the news page in turn slowed the speed of news becoming available to you, our readers.

Now IMG's news is truly "live." Get to know your Refresh button in your browser, because you'll need it! No longer updated just once or twice a day, we'll be adding to the news page at all hours. And that is the least of the changes we have in store. We're also building a "bridge" to our old, HTML-based news archives (which contain years and years of content) to make all of it available to you for searching and reading.

We will be tweaking this news system all this week, so please don't be shy about giving us your feedback and suggestions for features in our Forums. We can't promise a totally smooth ride, but we think you will like the final result. Remember to check back often!

New News Page Feedback & Suggestions

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