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Friday, June 30, 2000


Clusterball Updates, Mac Info
9:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Clusterball web site has been updated recently with some items of interest. Foremost among them is word from Daydream Software of the final release of this game [at least for the PC] on July 17. A PC preview release is also available now for play online or against bots on two levels, but this will expire on July 3.

We were somewhat disturbed by the lack of information available on the Clusterball website about the Mac version of the game, as this game has been slated for a simultaneous Mac/PC release for nearly two years. We contacted them in hopes that this had not changed; the good news is that, yes, there will be a Mac version, although we may have to wait for a while. We received this quick reply from Jan Phersson-Broberg, CEO of Daydream, in regards to the Mac version of Clusterball:

No dates yet, but it will come.
Jakob Nyman was even more excited to confirm that the Mac version was still on course:
There will be mac-version! As we are mac-freaks here at Daydream, we could never neglect the mac-community! We had to focus on the PC-version first (a question of locating resources, money and market) - but that does not mean that there wont be a mac-version.

So just keep the faith!

Great news, Jakob, we will! And we will be sure to bring you any new info we receive from the Clusterball team

Clusterball is attempting to be a unique offering in a number of areas. Billed as the first true online sport for the millennium, Clusterball involves flying a small ship around various arenas picking up small balls, non-lethal weapons and ammo. The balls trail behind you as you race to fly through a goal and score points. Your opponents are also competing for the same goal, of course, and they will be trying to knock you out of the sky to steal your bounty.

The payment system for Clusterball is also new, as they are going to attempt a pay-per-play system. The game itself will be free or extremely low-cost; instead you will pay for your matches online with microcharges. While exact details are sketchy, it should be interesting to see how this arcade model works for home PC users.

The music soundtrack for Clusterball is also available online at Toontrack.com. If you would like to check out MP3s of music from the game.

We will keep digging and bring you any news on the specifics regarding the Mac version.

Toontrack Music
Clusterball Web Site


GameRanger Adds Terminus
4:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Just after the release of cross-platform space sim Terminus to the world, Scott Kevill's free chat and game-finding service GameRanger has added support for this title. You must have Terminus updated to version 1.3 for this to work. Here's more information:

Scott Kevill today announced the addition of a new game title on GameRanger, the Macintosh multiplayer online gaming service. In addition to the 39 previous titles, gamers can now play Terminus, the new, epic space combat role-playing game.
GameRanger now supports 40 games, with more due in the future. For more information on Terminus, or to download GameRanger, see the links below. Remember, Terminus supports Mac, PC and Linux in the same box, so don't be afraid to buy it from the PC section of your local computer/electronics store.

Terminus 1.3 Patch at MGF
GameRanger 2.0.3
Terminus Preview
Terminus Demo In-Depth



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Human Head Talks, New Rune Image
4:23 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

EuroGamer has scored a very nice interview with Human Head's Shane Gurno, about the origin of this company and how it arrived in its current state, creating the 3rd-person viking combat game Rune for Gathering of Developers. Among the more interesting tidbits is the news that Human Head was originally contracted to do the sequel to Daikatana - before the original was actually finished, and using the Unreal engine.


The interview also contains plenty of information about Rune itself, including the following excerpt which reveals the game has a sense of humor as well - a sick one:

The game will feature a system where context and movement will determine the type of attack. How you move and swing will determine the attacks, somewhat like in Soul Caliber and Tekken". Which leads to Shane's favourite part of the game - "chopping off heads"! Yes, Rune allows you to hack off your enemies' arms and heads, and even pick them up and use them as weapons!


This should make for the perfect taunt in multiplayer - slice off an enemy's arm and then beat him round the head with it. Tasteful. And as Rune is based on the Unreal Tournament engine, it will naturally have multiplayer support and plenty of tools for players wanting to modify the game themselves...


"When Rune ships we intend to release all of the tools to the mod community. Users will then be able to create all their own mods based around melee combat. We'll also be launching www.runegame.com in the near future, which will host the best mods around. As for the actual modes of play, we will have more to say just prior to release."


While Mac users are likely to still be shut out of the mod-making game, due to the fact that we don't have UnrealEdit, it is good to know that Rune will have a community as robust and dynamic as the ones supporting Unreal and Unreal Tournament.


Also, RuneNews has scored an exclusive screen shot which features everyone's favorite viking warrior going toe-to-claw with a snowbeast. This gorgeous shot shows off the stunning Unreal Tournament engine in all of its glory, as well as Rune's crisp 3D models.


Rune for the PC is currently nearing Beta, and is due this Fall. Rune for the Mac OS is already in development by Westlake Interactive, and is due soon after the PC release.

RuneNews Web Site
Human Head Talks to EuroGamer
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive
Rune



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Voodoo5 5500 Review
2:59 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Sharky Extreme has reviewed the latest "megapixel" card from 3dfx, the Voodoo 5 5500. This very long article - a long article on Sharkys? what a shocker - explains the differences between the V5 and other cards, and also features an intensive Quake 3 Arena benchmarking report. They even discuss overclocking the Voodoo5 to push it to the max. This article gives you very precise and detailed information on this $300+ card, although the tech-speak gets a little thick. Here is what they had to say about the NVIDIA vs 3dfx debate:

Thus far, the battle between 3dfx and NVIDIA for the high-end 3D market has largely been a difference in architectures. While NVIDIA has focused on a single chip solution with high-speed memory (saving on-board real estate and memory costs), 3dfx delivers a less complicated design capable of scaling to 32 processors. This philosophy provides several benefits over traditional single-chip boards that are limited to the fastest memory available.

It is worth noting that using Quake 3 Arena as a benchmark is a hotly debated topic; 3dfx staffers we talked to at E3 said that the game was a totally inappropriate benchmarking tool for 3dfx cards due to the way the game renders multiple texture passes. In any case, we will soon get to see for ourselves just how gorgeous - and fast - full-screen anti-aliasing is in action.

Voodoo5 5500 Review at Sharky Extreme
3dfx Web Site
Activision
id Software
Quake III Arena



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Summoner Dev Diary
1:03 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

This week, Matt Flegel of Volition has made the update to the PC IGN Summoner Developer Diary. In this issue, Flegel deals with animating the Death spell - a dangerous undertaking, to say the least. Here is a little excerpt:

So, here I am with my spec of what death does and what level it is: completely destroys target character, and the highest level spell in the Sphere of Darkness respectively. Where do I go from here? This usually is the biggest hurdle I have to overcome - how do I want it to look? How can I convey what I want to convey? Do I want a happy warm feeling for this spell? I think not - this is Death after all. Once I have an idea of how I think it should look, the next step is set in motion: what is the best way to approach this particular spell - meaning, what is the best way I can make this work and look good. This part can get awfully tricky. Once these hurdles are overcome, throw in the life blood that is music, and to quote Vasquez from Aliens, LETS ROCK!
Be sure to check out the rest of the piece, especially the cool screenshots. Summoner is a 3D RPG set to be released this Winter for Mac and PC.

PC IGN Summoner Diary
GraphSim
Volition
Summoner
Buy Summoner



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Tribes 2 Screen Shots
1:00 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Dynamix has given PC IGN nine brand-new screen shots of their upcoming team-oriented FPS, Tribes 2. They are looking superb, as usual, so be sure to head over for a look, although IGN bowdlerized them with their lousy logo and border, as usual.

Tribes 2 should be released this Fall for Mac and PC. It is using OpenGL to render the amazingly large and detailed 3D worlds, so a Mac version should look just as nice. While the game is a first-person shooter, the world of Tribes is focused on teamplay and coordinated combat; good organization and player communication will be necessary in order to succeed. Dynamix will also make it remarkably easy to meet friends and form clans online. We will be bringing you more details on Tribes 2 soon.

PC IGN Tribes 2 Screenshots


Mac Deus Ex Site
12:50 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As the Mac version of Deus Ex nears release, a new site has been created dedicated to this RPG/shooter hybrid from Ion Storm. MacDeusEx.com is dedicated to everything you can find about Deus Ex, specifically for the Mac version of the game. It has a ton of great information, including news, downloads and information on the story behind the game. Modem users might stay away from the Media Files section, as it has quite a few (over 230) thumbnails to view. Watch this site for more developments, and stay tuned to IMG for much more about Deus Ex in the near future.

MacDeusEx.com Web Site


MacGameFiles Acquires The Mill
12:47 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacGameFiles.com, the web site dedicated to finding the latest new and updated Macintosh game software, announced today the acquisition and re-launch of The Mill, the extremely popular Myth and Myth II interactive archive site.

"For years The Mill has been the place for Myth fans to go to download great new total conversions, hot new maps and plug-ins, and cool films," said Tuncer Deniz, publisher of Macgamefiles.com. "We are extremely proud to re-launch The Mill so that Myth fans around the world can keep on enjoying Myths incredible expandibility."


The Mill has a new URL: http://mill.macgamefiles.com


The Mill was originally launched on May 1st, 1999 and features over 1300 Myth-related files. It was briefly shut down on June 19th and relaunched on June 30th.

MacGameFiles.com
The Mill Web Site


MacNN Creates Games Forum
11:35 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Mac news and views site MacNN, always an excellent source of the latest Mac-related info, has launched a new discussion forum specifically focused on games and game issues. Inside Mac Games is a partner in this venture, and we will be moderating this forum and answering gaming-related questions. Stop by and check it out, and start some discussions on your favorite game.

MacNN Web Site
MacNN Games Forum


Unreal Fortress Interview
11:21 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The team behind the Unreal Fortress mod for Unreal Tournament came out of their cave to answer several questions in their latest interview with FragZone. A variety of question were asked, comparing the similarities and differences between the original QuakeWorld Team Fortress and this new Unreal Tourney Fortress.

FragZone: Ever since QuakeTF, all the fortress mods have been based on the same classes, even though they have different names. The TFC sniper has the same abilities as the Q3F marksman and so on. Do you plan changing this by creating a whole new class?

UnF Team: Our classes are certainly similar to those in QWTF, but there are numerous differences, both in some of the basic roles and in all the new weapons and equipment they get. Even so, we have been kicking around the idea of adding in a new class or two at a later date, and there are certainly a lot of fans who have been asking for that. The main thing will have to be balance: all classes have to perfectly complement and counterbalance each other for the fortress concept to work, so we will have to consider new classes very carefully.

According to this interview, Unreal Fortress is about 70% completed. They might released a public beta soon, before completing this update of a classic mod.

FragZone Talks To Unreal Fortress Team
Unreal Tourney Fortress



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Tropico Update, Pics
11:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot has scored a new developer update from PopTop, makers of their upcoming dictator-sim game, Tropico. They also received six new screen shots from the game, which is looking very nice for a game for warped sim fans who dream of being a dictator of a third-world country. Here is a quick clip from the eccentric diary update from Franz Felsl:

We knew we wanted to use our S3D engine, but it would need some modification. We also knew we wanted to make all pieces of art in 3D, and that would require some education for most of our artists. We also had some loose ends from Railroad Tycoon II to tie up, so our first task was to reorganize the office.
Read on for more hijinx from the PopTop boys. Tropico is a sim set on a Cuba- like island, cigars not included. Be sure to check out the new screen shots as this game is looking very fun. Tropico should be out in early 2001 for Mac and PC from Gathering of Developers.

Gathering of Developers
Tropico Screenshots
Tropico Developer Diary
PopTop Software
MacSoft
Tropico
Buy Tropico



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Black and White Hands-on
10:58 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Spank! recently posted a hands-on preview of the upcoming god game Black and White by Peter Molyneux. This preview discusses many of the games strengths, and potential weaknesses. In this unique offering, the moral choices that you make in respect to the game environment will actually alter the landscape and change the disposition of the citizens of the land. Here is a description of that aspect of the game in action:

Next up a villager at the local nursery told me a child was lost and needed finding. Now, Ive never been a hugely patient games player - just ask my Counter-Strike team - so, having had a little look around my beautiful green world without spotting any errant children, I decided the best course of action was to chuck a suitably-sized boulder at the nursery. It seemed logical to me at 1.30am: no nursery, no missing children. Oooooh, I got bad, real bad. Slowly the villagers started to act differently to me. My disembodied floating hand took on a nasty shade of sunburn, the music got scary and my whole world developed a distinctly sinister look. Time to be nice again...


A Mac version of Black and White has been discussed by several Lionhead staff members in the past; we can confirm that a Mac port is indeed in progress, but cannot reveal the developer or publisher at this time.

Lionhead Software
Spank! on Black and White
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White


On Deus Ex Level Design
10:38 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GamePen has posted a short interview with two level designers for Deus Ex, the RPG/shooter from Ion Storm that may be available for Mac players early next week. The game features tremendous, detailed and (in some cases) historically accurate locations, made with an emphasis on realism. In this short interview Harvey Smith and Steve Powers discuss their contributions to the 73 levels in the game, and answer the following tough question:

Gamepen:Are you satisfied with the end product?


Steve:There is more that I wanted to do, but there comes a point in the project where you just have to stop adding to the game and support/refine what you have already done. I think I am content with the way it turned out, but I will not really be satisfied until people on the boards say they had fun playing through there. As corny as it sounds, I really just want to make something that people have fun playing, and I wont be happy if they dont. That is ultimately how I will find out if the last eighteen months were well spent or not. A chilling thought. .people on the boards do not use much sugar coating!

Sounds like Steve has a gift for understatement as well as level design. Westlake Interactive is burning through the final PC code for Deus Ex as you read this, and Aspyr Media has said to watch for a release of the Mac version as soon as the 7th of July; this will be followed soon after by a demo version featuring the first level.

Aspyr Media Web Site
GamePen Deus Ex Chronicles


Sony Relents, Connectix Victorious
10:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Our Gamecenter Affiliate CNET is reporting that Sony has voluntarily dropped the charges it had levelled against Connectix for their Virtual GameStation emulator, just a day before the latest case was set to go to court. Sony has accused Connectix of numerous copyright and patent infringements regarding this product, which allows Mac and PC users to play many Playstation titles on their home PC. Connectix Chief Executive Roy McDonald had this to say:

While we recognize that Sony may still attempt to bring some of these claims back before the court at a later date, this represents the third victory in a row for Connectix in this case. We hope that at some point Sony will recognize the merits of cooperating with us in giving added flexibility to consumers and fans of the PlayStation.
This is great news for fans of the popular emulator. Another Playstation emulator for the PC only, known as Bleem!, has also been victorious in court several times against similar accusations by Sony; these cases set interesting precedents for the entire emulation field and may open the door for more commercial game system emulators in the future.

CNET on Connectix Victory
VGS Web Site



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Terminus 1.3 Patch Released
9:49 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Vicarious Visions, in their attempt to resolve any lingering issues with the amazing space sim Terminus, has released a new patch bringing the demo and retail versions to 1.3. This new patch brings several changes to the game; Vicarious Visions has been made aware of your comments on this game in our Forums and a future patch should hopefully solve most of the complaints Mac users have had about input sprocket compatibility and monitor resolution switching. Here is a full list of changes:


  • COMMON: Removed ability to create black ships in cosmetic detail screen
  • COMMON: Restored the Ship Manager
  • COMMON: Fixed disconnect while joining a multiplayer game

Head on over to MacGameFiles and grab the patch. Be sure to read the installation instructions carefully and download the correct version.

Terminus 1.3 Patch at MGF
Terminus Mac Demo at MGF
Terminus Preview
Terminus Demo In-Depth



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Mac Deus Ex Release Date
9:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Aspyr website has been updated to say that the Mac version of Deus Ex should be shipping on July 7th. This is amazing news for anxious Mac gamers, especially considering how close this is to the PC release, which went Gold just last week.

Aspyr has also sent us an e-mail explaining the current status of the game. Apparently beta 4 was released recently, and Westlake is making remarkable progress on completing this port, aided no doubt by their extensive experience with the Unreal Tournament engine. Here is Aspyr on the status of Mac Deus Ex:

What does this mean for the Mac version? Well, with the final code drop, Ken Cobb and the Westlake Interactive crew will get all code in and do final Beta testing on the game. We could be final as early as next week!
Many excited Mac gamers are interested, so we will be sure to bring you any word on the status of Deus Ex as it changes. Be sure and check out IMGs preview of Deus Ex for more details on this unusual approach to the first-person shooter.

Aspyr Web Site
IMG's Deus Ex First Look
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex


Mac Games News for Thursday, June 29, 2000

MGF Hosts the Tomb Raider IV Demo!5:45 PM
NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX In-Depth5:18 PM
Rune Quake 3 Arena Mod1:32 PM
Oni to Save Game Films?1:28 PM
CodeBook 4.0 Nears Release1:14 PM
Q&A on Tribes 21:06 PM
Shadowbane Movie Released11:26 AM
Q3A Easter Eggs11:01 AM
GoD's Lineup for MWNY10:55 AM
Elite Force Info10:41 AM
3dfx Q&A10:35 AM
New Oni Previews10:21 AM
Mac Deus Ex Status10:18 AM
NVIDIA and the Mac: The Real Scoop10:13 AM
Red Faction Shots10:06 AM
New Bungie RTS In Development?10:01 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 29, 2000 on one page


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