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Wednesday, June 28, 2000

3DRealms Chat Confirms Mac DNF
11:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

This recent IRC chat with the members of 3DRealms has confirmed once again the possibility that a Mac version of their upcoming title, Duke Nukem Forever may be in the plans. Duke Central has posted an edited version of the chat session, which includes many interesting tidbits. Here's the most relevant excerpt for anxious Mac Duke fans; when asked if DNF would ship on any other platforms besides the PC, Scott Miller had this to say:

Scott3DR> The only platform we're shooting for is the PC, but we think a Mac version will come out soon after, too.

With Daikatana finally released, DNF is rivaled now only by Oni as the game longest in development without tangible result. Though their FAQ has always stated that a Mac version of this shooter was a possibility, it's good to hear direct support for the idea. DNF is using the Unreal Tournament engine, the primary reason why a Mac port would be possible. Check out the rest of the transcript for lots of other Duke-related info. If you are unfamilliar with this game or its subject matter, be prepared for exessive use of the word 'strippers.'

Duke Central Transcript

Dark Sector FAQ Posted
5:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

This ambitious game is a massively-multiplayer online RPG set in a violent, unsettled future. 3DActionPlanet's Darker Sector web site has posted a detailed Frequently Asked Questions list which covers the few details known so far.

In development by Digital Extremes, one half of the team which created Unreal and Unreal Tournament, Dark Sector may still be more than a year from a final release - perhaps two. But the concepts behind the game are so radical it may influence the very direction of gaming. Mixing space combat, deathmatch and team play with the trading, conversation and questing common to RPGs, this ambitious game seeks to bring the blazing speed of Unreal Tourney combat to MMORPGS:

Q: You mentioned some RPG elements, can you elaborate?

A: Oh yes indeed. Players can pick from eight different classes to play as, such as bounty hunters and assassins! DE has hinted towards some limited stats that can improve over time. Similar to some Massively Multiplayer RPG's the world evolves over time. The developers have stated how much they love weather changes in Asheron's Call and have all but promised similar evolving worlds. DE wishes to actually have staff set aside to expand the world each month.

Q: What gamemodes will be included?

A: First is the main game, or the "real world", where being killed is a very bad thing(tm) and you don't respawn instantly. Then inside are virtual worlds where players can play Deathmatch and CTF without getting hurt in "the real world". Getting into the Deathmatch and CTF games will probably be done through the use of some sort of VR computer in the game that you would plug into (it's a good excuse for featuring good 'ole DM in a persistent world). There will also include a space combat mode where players can hop into a ship and fight it out among the stars, asteroids and around the space stations.

Although a Mac version of this game has not been explicitly promised, the fact that this game is based on the Unreal Tournament engine to some degree as well as OpenGL greatly increases the possibility that this may happen. Check out the FAQ for more on this game, and the web site for concept art of game characters.

Dark Sector FAQ at Darker Sector
Digital Extremes' Dark Sector Web Site

Terminus Demo Fixed, Feedback Sought
5:10 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Vicarious Visions informed us earlier today that the Mac demo of Terminus hosted at MacGameFiles was slightly incomplete - a small .cfg file was missing, an omission which they rapidly fixed. The version on MGF is now complete, and ready for downloading.

Chris McEvoy of VV has also e-mailed us with a request for feedback from Mac users regarding the current demo and full versions of Terminus. Previous versions had several problems including a rather strict application of Input Sprockets that balked at certain types of multibutton mice. They have addressed all known issues, but want very much to make sure that Mac users get maximum enjoyment out of this epic space sim. If you have comments about the full or demo versions, please share them on our Forums and we'll pass them along to Chris.

Terminus 1.2 Patch at MGF
Terminus Demo ver. 1.2 at MGF
IMG's Terminus Preview
IMG's Terminus Demo In-Depth
Terminus Demo/Retail Feedback

Bungie Store to Close, Reopen
2:10 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

The Bungie Store has announced that it will close for a period of time after this Friday. Thankfully they will be back soon; However, Jim Ruiz, Bungie's former shopkeeper, takes an ironic view of the situation:

It hasn't been completely determined what will happen next, but we know the Bungie Store will be offline at least temporarily while it is being assimilated. But I’m sure it’ll come back - changed a little maybe, but smarter, and stronger, and dressed all in black-leathery-spandex sci-fi duds with gizmos poking through its flesh, and cables and wires all over connecting the ears to the elbows, and like one eye replaced by a laser and stuff. Neat, huh?

If you have strong feelings about having part of your money go to Microsoft's coffers, you may want to place your orders at the Bungie store before it is 'assimilated.'

The Bungie Store

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Marathon: Resurrection Returns
1:55 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The Marathon Resurrection team has made massive update to their web site, and their project--a total conversion for Unreal Tournament which will bring the Marathon (one) experience to that cutting-edge first-person shooter. With a slick new look, they have added some cool features such as news forums and a new poll to their site, as well as new screen shots of their progress. Here is the official word from Mark Mezzetta:

Team: Unpfhorgiven is pleased to announce their site relaunch! With an all new interface, new teammembers, 13 new screenshots, a poll system, and a forums system, Marathon: Resurrection is prepared for bigger and bolder frontiers, and we invite you to take a look at our progress!
Their new forums has been quite popular, and of course the most commonly-asked question is when will this mod be released. Lt.Ethe replies:
Project length is undetermined, but most of us are prepared for a project that will span a couple years if necessary...

However, by no means will we make alla you guyz wait that long. With luck, we'll get you a halfway robust beta for your enjoyment by summers end. Betas will be released from that point forward as more features are implemented.

We look forward to those betas. It remains to be seen if Bungie or Microsoft's legal team will take an interest in this project, as previous attempts have been 'squashed,' so to speak, in the past.

Marathon Resurection
Marathon: Resurrection

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Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Preview
12:54 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Sharky's Extreme, a PC hardware site, has a new preview of Ritual's Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, their upcoming third-person shooter. This short preview is basicaly a brief overview of what will be in this third-person shooter. They do go into some details about certain features of the game, including the new scripting system. Here is more information on the Morpheus scripting system:

Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.? is being developed by Ritual using the ever gorgeous Quake 3 engine. They've integrated the Morpheus Script system from Sin into the Quake 3 code allowing the developers and any future mod authors alike to easily manipulate in game characters for some top quality scripted sequences. These characters will also look pretty damn nice thanks to the “TIKI” model system which implements more character animation buzz words than we actually know the meaning of. Level of detail, dynamic hierarchy interaction, swappable model components and a continuously interpolated single mesh system.

Contraband Entertainment is porting FAKK 2 to Mac, although we haven't had an update about their progress for a quite some time.

F.A.K.K. 2 Preview at Sharky's
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Web Site
Contraband Entertainment Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

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New 4x4 Evo Images
12:21 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

PC.IGN has posted ten new screen shots of Terminal Reality's 4x4 Evlolution. These images show off some of the latest 4x4 vehicles found in their most recent alpha version. For those who haven't guessed yet, 4x4 Evolution is a game that will put you in the front seat of over 50 4x4 vehicles and let you go completly wild! They have also posted an update on the development of this cross-platform title:

The screens are of the latest Alpha Build of the game. As it goes right now, they are marking the graphics as 75% done, the gameplay as 50% done, sound as 25% done, multiplayer at 60% done, and the interface at 20% done, so you can see that they still have a ways to go.

As you can see the Terminal Reality is making progress; we expect to see this game for Mac, PC and Dreamcast this Fall.

4x4 Screen Shot Gallery at PCIGN
4x4 Evolution
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

Diablo II Ships for PC
12:15 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Bearing the humble tag-line of "Most Anticipated Game of the Year" on its press release, this much-delayed, endlessly previewed and indeed much anticipated sequel has finally shipped for PC. This monstrous game, offering months of gameplay with the solo scenario alone, also offers an infinite number of Internet allies and foes to play with or against.

Why is this good news for Mac gamers? It means the final code is in the hands of Blizzard North/Future point, ready for inclusion into their Mac OS port of the game. While the expected date for this port is still the vague "Q3 2000," it is worth noting that this particular period starts early next month. Here is the press release for the PC launch:

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that Diablo II,
its highly anticipated real-time action role-playing game, has started shipping to stores worldwide.
The game, which has initial orders of 2 million copies, will start arriving at retailers
by the end of the week.

In Diablo II, players return to a dark world plagued by evil forces. After possessing the body of
the hero who defeated him, Diablo resumes his nefarious scheme to shackle humanity into unholy
slavery by joining forces with the other Prime Evils, Mephisto and Baal. Players face a new series
of quests to rid the world of Diablo and his vile brethren forever.

"Diablo II is our most ambitious undertaking to date," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment
president and co-founder, "From the depth of each character class and the size of each act to the
expansion of Battle.net®'s new worldwide architecture and the number of languages for which we
localized the game, the scope of Diablo II is much larger than any of our past projects."

Key features in the game include:

  • Five all new character classes -- the Amazon, Paladin, Barbarian, Sorceress and Necromancer -- each with unique skills and abilities. In all, Diablo II offers 150 special abilities as each character can develop 30 unique, class specific skills and spells throughout the game.

  • Four expansive towns to explore complete with wilderness areas, dungeons, monasteries, tombs, caverns and crypts.

  • A randomly generated world with filled with more than 20 quests, weapons, armor, monsters, unique items and non-playing characters.

  • Nearly 25 minutes of motion picture quality cinematics and a 70-minute original score of ambient music.

  • Full multiplayer support for up to eight players and expanded Battle.net support with servers on land in North America, Europe and Asia.

  • Optional 3Dfx and Direct3D support that offers near-perfect perspective, including scaling and parallax effects, to the game play experience.

We expect to see the Mac version of this game up and running at Macworld New York next month. In related news, we have been able to confirm that there will be no Mac version of the Diablo II Collector's Edition, a version with a slightly higher price that includes a DVD of several cinematics and other such items. For more information about this realtime RPG, make sure you check out Part One of our huge Diablo II preview - Part Two is coming tomorrow, with some exclusive information on the Mac version.

IMG's Diablo II Preview Part One

Follow up - Tread 3D for Mac
11:46 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Yesterday we posed the news that Tread 3D, a multi-game map editor, may be ported to the Mac OS. We contacted one of their main programmers, Nick Randal, to obtain details on this port. Randal told us that either they will find a Mac programmer or they will try and develop this port in-house, although that will reduce the chances of tread 3D coming to Mac:

We do not have a lot of information at this point. The idea is not set in stone but we are going to give it our best shot. We are looking for a talented Mac programmer to do the port. If we cannot find one we will attempt to do the port in house. Since we are not Mac programmers this will lessen the chance of a successful port.

There is some possibility that the team behind PakRat, a Mac 3D model viewer for the Quake series, will help out with this conversion; the two teams are currently in discussion. Meanwhile we have received word that the Mac OS X port of Q3Radient, the Quake 3 Arena map editor, is still in the works, so watch for that as well.

Tread 3D Web Site
Download PakRat from MGF
PakRat Web Site

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B&W Interview
11:23 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted an interview with Lionhead Studio's Jamie Durrant about his latest work on the upcoming god-game Black & White. While it should be noted that there haven't been any official announcements about a Mac version, the Lionhead team has mentioned many times they were interested, and we are extremely confident that there will be a Mac release at some point.

The game is currently in late alpha status, meaning all of the major features have been added, and it's mostly playable. In the chat, Durrant notes that they are moving towards beta now, and still on target for a release this September. Here's a bit more on their progress:

GameSpy: What are some of the next goals prior to beta? Can you give us your target date?

Jamie Durrant: Well, we're still setting our targets on Sept 23rd [PC] release date. Between now and beta we have to work on polishing the game as it stands, refining some of the graphics, making the game run as smoothly as possible, adding all the sound effects and music missing from the alpha version, correcting any bugs that become apparent.

For those that don't know what Black and White is all about, imagine a god-game like you've never played before, where moral choices affect not only the outcome of the game but the entire landscape and climate. As a wizard striving against foes for control of a gorgeous landscape, you must raise a "Titan" to do your bidding in the material world and gather worshippers to praise you. A complex gestural system lets you cast spells, punish or praise your Titan, and manipulate Eden towards your own ends. For more, check out the Lionhead B&W website (warning, heavy flash usage). We will keep digging, and let you know if any new word on a Mac version arises.

GameSpy B&W Interview
B&W Web Site
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

Marathon Arena Moves, Updates
10:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The leader of the official Marathon Arena site has sent us word that they have relocated under Bungie.org's wing. The project is attempting to bring the world of Marathon to the Quake 3: Arena engine. While the recent Microsoft/Bungie news seems to have shaken the members a bit, they're still working away on MA. Various members have made updates recently:

  • Main programmer Phil Hilton notes that while he has been bogged-down in politics lately, some new developments should be taking place soon.

  • Hayden Cyr, the music and sound designer for MA, has made some progress with his work:

    3 new in the works, all new. 1 other being taken from my personal project. Will have clips to post soon.


    Might be doing some new sound effects. Trying to figure our what the hell I can use to do the fusion pistol. I wanna make sure the new sounds are hella-beefy compared to the old ones.

  • 2D artist Edward Easton says that he is currently working on the HUD icons and skins.

  • Lastly, a new addition to the team is 3D modeller James "Goatman" Gatzmere. While he has no experience with the Marathon series, he does have some impressive skills in the area of 3D. Check out his "Flip" model at Polycount to see what we mean. Here's a clip from Gatzmere:
    Well, hello all. I've been asked to do some character modeling on this project. Between work and more work, I hope to model several of the characters from the series, including the bobs, a few different versions of the marine, and some of the aliens. I've done one version of the marine, and plan to start on the "official" version very soon. I'll pass the first off to Exodus soon so he can start skinning it and we can get a screen shot up. I'm pretty excited about this project, even though I never played the original series, nor have I ever owned a Macintosh (shame on me). Hopefully the other guys will keep me in line.

Looks like the Marathon Arena project is shaping up nicely. We'll keep checking and let you know when any major progress is made.

Marathon Arena Web Site

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Diabloholics Unite!
9:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameFan has cleverly wrapped a new Diablo II preview within the point of view of a man with a terminal addiction to Diablo. As members of the same self-help group, we will all politely nod our heads and look sad as we wait our turn to talk. Here's what the addict had to say about one of the most exciting new character classes in Diablo II, the Necromancer:

Diablo II's necromancer boasts three main skill sets--curses, poison and bone spells, and summoning. This summoning ability sets the necromancer apart from the other classes, as he's able to summon monsters to fight on his behalf. With high-level summoning skills, the necromancer becomes more of a babysitter and treasure collector than an adventurer does; his minions do all of the work for him. All he need do is sit back and pick up the treasure; it's really something to behold.

Now that the group hug is over, it's time to anxiously sit and wait for Diablo II to be released. Though the PC version is nearly out, Blizzard has said the Mac build won't be released till Quarter 3. We're sure Blizzard will have something interesting to show us at next month's Macworld New York.

GameFan Diabloholics Anonymous
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

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Elite Force Artist Interview
9:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yesterday, we brought you word of a series of interviews with Rave Software's Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force team. As promised, our CGA afilliate Stomped has posted the second of four interviews with various folks from Raven. Today's Q&A is with artist Les Dorscheid:

Stomped: Being an artist for a Star Trek game, is it harder or easier to create artwork for characters, weapons and settings in a universe that has already been well established?

Dorscheid: Some things are easier, because there is existing reference. But it has been challenging to reproduce the ship environments accurately, while still being able to create fun playable levels. We also have made many unique art assets (weapons, characters, tiles,) based on trek designs. That has been allot of fun, using all the great designs Trek has developed and being able to add on our own ideas.

The last two interviews should be up later this week. Raven has said they would make a Mac version of Elite Force, though they're still working on getting a publishing deal finalized. We'll let you know if anything new regarding the Mac build is announced.

Stomped Interview
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

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Halo Concept Art at Marathon's Story
9:28 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

The always interesting Marathon's Story page has posted several scans from a Dutch gaming magazine. The scans show some kind of alien only previously seen on Bungie TV. Unfortunately the scans are only concept art. The alien carries an odd type of hardware which really needs to be seen to be understood; Bungie hinted in past interviews that there may be a type of alien which will be beneficial to be allies with - perhaps these are roving mechanics or medics?

If you haven't yet, be sure to sign the Halo for Mac/PC petition. The petition nears an astounding 25000 votes as of this writing. Halo's status for the Mac - or PC - is currently unknown, following Bungie's aquisition by Microsoft and rumors of an X-box only release. Meanwhile we are left to wonder once again why obscure European gaming magazines seem to get such choice access to Bungie's materials, while stateside rags get nothing.

Halo for Mac/PC Petition
Marathon's Story Web Site
IMG's Q&A With Doug Zartman
IMG's Interview with Alex Seropian
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Terminus Demo Patch Available6:10 PM
Terminus Released5:20 PM
Daria's Inferno Due This Fall5:09 PM
Strike Force Beta Released4:20 PM
Reznor on Macs, Next DOOM12:41 PM
Q3F Merges with TA11:52 AM
iConcentration 1.1 Released11:43 AM
Diablo Revealed11:22 AM
Red Faction Preview11:08 AM
Tread 3D for Mac10:04 AM
Rune Preview9:38 AM
Bart Farkas on Diablo II9:31 AM
New Ares/Hera Beta9:25 AM
Elite Force Interviews, Screenshots9:02 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 27, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Monday, June 26, 2000

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