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Wednesday, July 5, 2000

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Mac Baldur's Gate Is Gold!
1:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We have just received word from Jeff Morgan of GraphSim that the Mac OS port of Baldur's Gate, an award-winning RPG, has just been declared "golden master" status and will be available in stores as soon as next Monday. The actual pressing of the BG CD-ROMs begins later today!

Baldur's Gate has been repeatedly delayed in its development; however, porting and then debugging a massive (5 CDs of data) and complex game such as this was not a trivial matter. As expected, this game will ship with solo play only at first; multiplayer ability will be added later as a downloadable update. There was some talk of a DVD-ROM version of the game, to help avoid switching between the numerous CDs, but plans for this are still up in the air.

Several months back IMG previewed this RPG. Here is an excerpt:

If you are a fan of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) system then you will be a fan of this game. Even "traditional" pen and paper gamers should flock to this one. As an old-school gamer who still has my boxed set of the basic D&D rules, this game instantly drew me in.

It follows the rules and considerations of the world's most popular RPG system exactly. Even when you generate your starting character, it is done randomly with "dice rolls." Pick your race from the usual favorites — elf, dwarf, half-elf, human — and go from there.

For more of this preview, click the link below. Those who have preordered this title should expect it the middle of next week - and expect their social lives and sleep habits to suffer considerably for weeks afterwards.

GraphSim Web Site
IMG's Baldur's Gate Preview
Baldur's Gate

Mars Needs Women - For UT
4:44 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Wolfchild of the Frogblast: The Ventcore Project team dropped by our forums to let us know that he has completed a long-awaited project: a port of the Marathon netmap Mars Needs Women to Unreal Tournament.

It's no overstatement to say that this map is probably the most played Mac netmap ever; it was the only netmap available for the Marathon demo and has remained popular ever since. Wolfchild notes that it was the single-most requested map that the Project has ever worked on, and to do this map justice it has been re-created with the original Marathon textures.

The Ventcore Project is an entirely separate effort from the Marathon: Resurrection project, which is an effort to re-create the solo Marathon experience in Unreal Tournament. However, the Resurrection team is planning on releasing a weapons mod that will duplicate the original Marathon weapons - combining this mod with Wolfchild's excellent maps should be Marathon bliss. Even if you've never played the original Marathon - for shame! - grab this map and the other great ports from the Ventcore project.

Frogblast: The Ventcore Project
Marathon: Resurrection

UT Mod Madness
4:04 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

Unreal Tournament fans, start your engines - we've got mods for you!

First of all, the StrikeForce team released an update to their excellent mod. The update fixes a few bugs and adds several features. StrikeForce utilizes weapons from the real world to create a more realistic experience. If you enjoy a slower, tenser, more realistic fight to the death than regular UT, this mod should be right up your alley.

Next up Team Orbit has released a preview of their upcoming Orbit Wars mod titled "NeoCairo." NeoCairo shows off some of the weapons and "Mechs" currently present with this mod. This one shows a great deal of potential, so be sure to try the mutator.

Finally Reactor 4 updated their page with a release date for the next version of their Matrix Moves Mod. Matrix Moves allows players to do amazing moves from the sci-fi flic The Matrix.. You haven't really played UT until you've ran up a wall, back flipped over the guy trailing you and killed him with a flak cannon. Look for the next version of this mod on MacgameFiles very soon (July 7th if all goes well).

Team Orbit, Makers of Orbit War
Dowload NeoCairo
Download Matrix Moves
Strike Force Update
Strike Force Mod For UT at Macgamefiles
Reactor 4, home of Matrix Moves

Voodoo5 Review Soon
1:02 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

3dfx recently sent us an exciting email noting that we would soon be receiving a final version of their Voodoo5 5500 PCI card for review! This is great news, as the final version of the drivers and packaging are to be included, meaning the product is essentially complete at this point, as expected. We should be getting the card within the next week, and will have the review ready to roll soon afterwards.

The cards are expected to ship to stores soon after MacWorld New York later this month (July 18-21). And, of course, we will be there to give you complete coverage of the whole expo. If you haven't seen our screenshots of the Mac Voodoo5 5500 in action, be sure and check them out!

Voodoo 4/5 In-Depth
Mac 3dfx Voodoo5 Screen Shots
3dfx Web Site

Byte Me Debuts
12:54 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Mac shareware publisher Freeverse Software has launched yet another online-capable game - Byte Me is now available for download. This 3D, OpenGL-based board game allows you to connect with other opponents via the HMS Freeverse game server. Here are the details:

Byte Me, the new game from Freeverse has been released and is premiering this week on Cnet's Download.Com!

Byte Me is a civilized game of teasing, pinching and biting, much as was practiced, (sans computer of course), in the Court of Louis XII. Unlike that older French variant this Byte Me game, when played correctly, should require neither powdered wigs nor broad-spectrum antibiotics.

A unique soufflé of action, strategy and gluttony, Byte Me is sure to "whet your appetite for dental adventure!"

Byte Me Features:

- Internet Play via the HMS Freeverse game server.

- World's First OpenGL Board Game!

- Music menu with full MP3 player capabilities. Add your own music!

- Addictive and Challenging Game play.


Byte Me requires Mac OS 8.1 or higher and a minimum of 13 megabytes of RAM.
It also requires NetSprocket 1.7.1 or higher and OpenGL. iMac (266) or
better strongly recommended.

Make sure you check out the Freeverse web site as well for many more great Mac shareware titles.

Download Byte Me at Download.com
Freeverse Software

LucasArts Prez on Mac Games
11:26 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A LucasArts fansite known as the International House of Mojo has posted an interview with the current president of LucasArts Entertainment Company, Simon Jeffery. While most of this interview will be of interest to LucasArts fans, there is one quote in particular which unfortunately once again expresses this company's half-hearted support of the Mac platform. It has long been a policy of this company to evaluate games for a Mac port on a "title-by-title" basis; it seems that Jeffery takes an even more negative view of the situation:

[Mojo] Recently, LucasArts has been porting games such as Episode I Racer to the Mac. Does LucasArts have any plans to port adventure-game greats such as CMI and Grim Fandango which were previously unavailable to Mac users? Also, will future titles be developed for the Mac platform?

[Jeffery]    The Mac market is a difficult place for games. We have had mixed success historically. Whilst I don't want to say that we will not publish on the Mac again, I also don't want to commit to any products right now...

The only LucasArts title currently in development for the Mac Platform is Star Wars Super Bombad Racing - actually a LucasLearning title, published under the LA moniker. In other words, there are currently no LucasArts titles in development with promised Mac versions. We have been told repeatedly that ports of past titles, such as Grim Fandango, are extremely unlikely. Read the rest of the interview for more on LucasArts' current and future plans. Share your thoughts on his comments on our Forums.

LucasArts on the Mac
Simon Jefferey Interview
IMG's E3 Coverage of LucasArts

MacGameFiles Adds Mirrors
10:36 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Recently Macgamefiles.com added two new MGF mirrors, in addition to our own ftp site.

ftp2.macgamefiles.com is graciously hosted by our good friends at Green Dragon Creations. Special thanks to Jason Wong and Howard Shere for the generous bandwidth donation.

A special thanks also goes out to Grant Bayley of AusMac, Australia, who has given MGF some space on their ftp site to host some of our goodies.
We're on the lookout for more mirrors as we expect to host more cool demos, shareware, and more in the near future. If you're interested in providing an ftp mirror for MGF, please send an email to tuncer@macgamefiles.com.

Green Dragon Creations

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Games Based on Unreal Tourney Engine
10:31 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

3D Action Planet has produced an excellent roundup of upcoming games based on the Unreal Tournament engine, as licensed by Epic and Digital Extremes. Why is this relevant to Mac gamers? Well, in case you hadn't noticed, games based on this powerful, flexible engine appear on the Mac platform with gratifying frequency; in fact, of the five titles listed here, two are already destined for our platform, and one is a "definite maybe." RUNE and Deep Space Nine: The Fallen are definitely on the way, and we've heard enough talk of a Mac version of Duke Nukem Forever to pencil this one in as a likely port as well.

One of our very favorite titles from this year's E3 is on the list: RUNE, of course, in development by Human Head and currently being ported by Westlake Interactive. 3D Action Planet waxes fairly ecstatic about this title, as evinced by this excerpt:

The setup is simple yet seductive. You are a maturing Viking out to find out the truth behind the mysterious events that have happened recently. As you proceed in the game, you will find a huge variety of weapons, ranging from a absolutely gigantic ax to a simplistic hammer (originally used to put that odd, um, ornament on your head, no doubt). Take note, however -- the weapons are all melee weapons! That means no cowardly sniping off someone with a bow or KFC someone with a magical grenade launcher. These fights, my readers, are for brave, brave men.
That is certainly the first time we've seen 'KFC' used as a verb. Regardless, all five mini-synopses are worth the read. As Westlake Interactive is the Mac developer with the most - well, let's be frank, with ALL of the experience - porting Unreal-based titles to the Mac OS, it is obvious that if any of these titles are due to come to our side of the fence, it will be by their services. Glance over this article and then Westlake's Projects list, and perhaps you can begin to fill in a few of those blanks. Just speculation on our part, of course.

In related news, 3D Planet has also cooked up a similar roundup dealing with games based on the Quake 3 Arena engine; two of the four titles here (specifically Heavy Metal F.A.K.K II and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force) are scheduled to come to our platform as well; details about the other two are very sketchy at this point.

3D Action Planet Q3A Engine Roundup
3D Action Planet Unreal Engine Roundup
Westlake Interactive Projects Page
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

SiN Coming to Mac
9:29 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Logicware offshoot Contraband Entertainment has recently updated their web site with a list of their current projects for Mac OS. They had already previously announced work on two Mac ports, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. II and Fighter Squadron; now a third title, SiN, is also on the list. SiN was developed by Ritual Entertainment in 1998, and uses the Quake 2 engine. It was a groundbreaking game at the time in both gameplay and visuals. Contraband should have SiN finished reasonably fast, due to their experience with the Quake 2 engine. Here is their update:

Contraband Entertainment, Inc. is proud to announce that it is bringing the highly acclaimed game Sin for the Macintosh. Ship date: TBA

Contraband Entertainment, Inc. is bringing The long awaited Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. II to the Macintosh. Ship date: TBA

Contraband Entertainment, Inc. is also bringing you one of the finest flight sims ever to grace the computer screen. Fighter Squadron coming to the Mac. Ship date: TBA

That's another game to add to now our increasingly long list of upcoming Mac titles. We wish Contraband good luck and great speed with their projects - we can't wait to play the finished product.

Contraband Entertainment
Ritual Entertainment

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Elite Force Images
9:20 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Raven Software has sent GA-Source nine new screen shots of their upcoming Star Trek-based game, Voyager: Elite Force. Powered by the Quake 3 engine, this title is looking just as amazing as you would expect. Raven has improved the engine in order to obtain the most out of it, and to recreate the Star Trek world you see on TV as accurately as possible. These images give you some idea where Raven is in Elite Force's development path - by all indications they are nearing the end. These shots reveal some weapons, levels and various environments which you and the Hazard team will have to explore in order to survive, as well as several deathmatch levels. Raven is currently seeking a publisher for the Mac OS version of this title; both Mac and PC versions are due this Fall.

Raven web site
The 9 Screenshots
Elite Force
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

RealMyst Movies
9:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Once again Dutch web site GameZ has flabbergasted us all by scoring yet another Cyan exclusive - movies of the upcoming RealMYST. This collection of six movies show actual in-game footage of RealMYST in action. Fans who are curious should definitely take a look, as they give more clues as to how the game will look (and even show a couple of very familiar scenes). It is somewhat eerie to see these scenes in motion (such as the climactic raising of the ship model from the first island) as we have only been able to imagine them as such in the past, filling in the blanks between the static scenes with our mind's eye. The previously-released screenshots of this game have revealed stunning textures and levels of detail, and the movies are even more impressive - and even have MYST-like soundtracks.

Cyan has said the game will be made with a realtime 3D engine called Plasma (which is similar to the Quake or Unreal engines), but that the movement would be with "relative freedom" rather than total freedom of movement. The movies seem to reflect this. A hand is the only "interface" you see, and it looks like it is used to select a direction of movement; however he camera seems to take over and control your view at certain points. This makes sense, as some puzzle areas would need you to have a static view of them, and other types of movement (such as getting "off the trail") would be fruitless and a waste of time. Another intersting point is that the movies have the title "Myst Dimensions," another working name for the game (along with RealMyst and Myst3D). Be sure to give at least a few of the six a look, they're all small enough to be reasonable downloads for most connections (1-2MB each). Oh yes, and the web site itself is in Dutch; don't worry, the movies speak the universal language of eye candy.

Cyan Web Site
Gamez Web Site

Mac Games News for Monday, July 3, 2000

Developer's Thoughts on the X-box1:55 PM
Neverwinter Nights Concept Art1:35 PM
MGF Most-Wanted List1:30 PM
Mac Voodoo5 5500 SKU Release1:14 PM
New Tribes 2 Images, Interview12:47 PM
Q3F Updates to Beta E12:20 PM
PakRat 0.7 Released12:03 PM
Sony Re-files Suit Against Connectix11:53 AM
VGS Heaven Reborn11:02 AM
UT Rocket Arena Update10:15 AM
Full Halo E3 Movie Released9:53 AM
3D Ultra Pinball Thrillride Demo Released8:50 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 3, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, June 30, 2000
Thursday, June 29, 2000
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Monday, June 26, 2000

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