October 29, 2020
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Friday, July 7, 2000

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Mac Deus Ex is Gold
4:14 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Well, this has certainly been an amazing week for Mac gaming - and an amazing Summer, for that matter. Aspyr Media has notified us that Deus Ex, the RPG/shooter hybrid the PC press is raving about, has gone Gold Master for Mac OS. This game is complete and ready for duplication. Here are the details:

The Deus Ex final candidate has left the building and is headed for duplication. Next week Deus Ex, the awesome futuristic role-playing strategy game from Ion Storm, will be shipping to your door, with a cool new Aspyr T-shirt for those who placed a preorder, and to a Mac retailer near you.

Full of more twist and turns than a slinky, Deus Ex is a game for all, full of conspiracy, cool gadgets, awesome weapons and characters that are more interesting than the folks on Springer. Use shoot'em up action and/or strategy and stealth to save the world from terrorist hell-bent on world domination. Are you ready for the challenge?

Deus Ex's SRP is $49.95

Preorders are being taken for Deus Ex and the official Prima Strategy Guide (which is for the PC AND Mac), via our web site (www.aspyr.com). Order from us and get the game, a guide and get a cool free Aspyr t-shirt!

To say that we are enthused pushes the limits of understatement. For more on this thrilling first-person adventure, read our detailed Deus Ex preview.

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

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More Tribes 2 Stuff
5:32 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

New information about Dynamix' upcoming shooter Tribes 2 continues to surface. Vgames has scored a short interview with producer David Georgeson. The interview covers the basics of what to expect from this highly anticipated shooter:

Ronen: What are the main new graphics features of Tribes 2, and what are the system specs currently required to achieve 30 frames per second?

Dave: I won't be releasing minimum specs until after we go Beta, at the very least. I don't want to set expectations on that issue until after we do our optimization passes. New graphics features? Well...this is a completely new engine, designed for hardware acceleration only. That means that it's fully up to speed compared to other engines you see, yet it's still arguably the best indoor/outdoor engine out there. Storm fronts, dynamic lighting, detail textures, etc are all in there and more stuff is forthcoming.

Next on the table, there are two new screen shots at Tribes 2 Players. There are also three new screen shots of Tribes 2 in action at our CGA parner Stomped's web site - beware the ascerbic comments below them, however.

Tribes 2 Images at Tribes2Players
Tribes 2 Images at Stomped

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First Baldur's Gate Giveaway Winner
5:00 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Our Baldur's Gate Giveaway has generated some major interest, with thousands of entries so far. From that rich harvest we have winnowed out a single winner: Brian Peterman of Edinboro, Pennsylvania is our first winner! We will announce another winner on Monday, followed by the final winner on Tuesday. Members of this lucky group will receive free copies of this game as soon as it ships.

Baldur's Gate is a classic RPG that has won numerous awards and accolades. For more information on this title, read our Baldur's Gate preview; to get in on the action and have a chance to win your own free copy, sign up today!

IMG Baldur's Gate Giveaway
Baldur's Gate Preview
Baldur's Gate

Monkey Farm Needs Testers
4:53 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Monkey Farm Software, creators of the famed Squirrel Kombat, has a new game in the works that needs testing. Seemingly a cross between Kirby and Super Mario, this side-scroller has the potential to be an instant classic. Here are the details:

ÊMonkey Farm Software has just gone beta with it's latest game: Agent QT Pie! Monkey Farm Software has been developing games for 2 years now, and has created such titles as Bob the Fish, Dream Wars, War Machines, and the over-the-top hit Squirrel Kombat. Squirrel Kombat has won numerous awards and been picked as a favorite on countless web sites. To keep up with the demanding public, Monkey Farm Software has pulled out all the stops with it's latest game. Agent QT Pie is an all-direction scrolling platform action game similar to Mario Bros. There are numerous special effects, and eye candy is throughout the entire game from a transparent heart rate monitor as a life indicator to animated backgrounds. Also, along with many other iMac themed products, Agent QT Pie allows you to select the color of your player. Opposite of its previous game, Agent QT Pie features no violence. With over 40 levels of insane action, this is going to be one you won't want to miss. And as always, they've come up with the strangest gaming concepts ever, ranging from exploding sheep, falling cows, and angry toasters. If you were bothered by their previous sound and music efforts before, you have nothing to worry about this time. Agent QT Pie features high quality sound effects and original music from the MP3.com artist known as ON. As mentioned before Monkey Farm Software is now in beta testing, and needs beta testers.
Sign up for the beta test or view a short preview of this title by following the links below.

Download Squirrel Kombat from MGF
Agent QTPie Info
Monkey Farm Beta Test Sign-up

Mac Voodoo5 5500 Available for Preorder
4:33 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

3dfx has yet another surprise in store for Mac gamers - the Mac version of their Voodoo5 5500 card is now available for preorder from 3dfx's online store and from Outpost.com. While the price tag might give you pause - $329.99 - the performance of this card is going to make it a must-have for hardcore Mac gamers. Here's more on this product launch:

Voodoo5 for the Mac is here! By pre-ordering the Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Macintosh, you'll have the advantage of securing your Voodoo5 board during the initial product launch. You won't have to worry about finding out that your favorite stores are sold out of the product. Expect the Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Mac to be in stores in early August.
Read IMG's Voodoo4/5 In-Depth preview for more details on this card, and watch IMG for a review of the actual Mac hardware in the near future.

Voodoo5 Mac Screen Shots
Voodoo4/5 In-Depth
3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Mac Preorder

Westlake Adds Secret Project
3:57 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has become a den of mystery lately - the number of "secret" projects is now greater than the number of projects in progress. The newest addition to the chart is known simply as the "Stealth Project" and is noted to be 'contract pending,' which of course means that they are currently in negotiations for this mystery title. It is also worth noting that the dates of their three "Door" projects have shifted around a bit - one is now due in Fall which was slated for Christmas. One thing is for certain: with Westlake's history of bringing high-caliber PC games to the Mac platform, we are going to have a top-notch selection of games to chose from come Christmas.

Now, what fun would it be to have an article about the Projects page without a little wild speculation? For instance, at E3 we saw an expansion pack to the Sims on display, entitled The Sims: Livin' Large - this seems a natural candidate for one of these empty slots. Simon and Schuster's Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is an Unreal-engine based game with a promised Mac version that is currently unaccounted for, and it is due this Fall. There are a ton of other titles out there that are possible candidates - what games would you like to see in those empty slots? What are your guesses for Westlake's future projects? Let us know in the Forums!

Westlake Interactive Projects Page
Your Westlake Wish List?

Bleeding Thumbs on BBC 2
3:12 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Recently the British Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as the BBC, announced that they will host an innovative TV show which will use a modified version of Unreal Tournament for live celebrity competition. Known as is "Bleeding Thumbs", this new show may be hosted by Geri Halliwell, former Spice Girl. Here is a description of the show:

The gloves are off and the digits are injured. As of September this year, BBC2 will host the primetime TV show Bleeding Thumbs, the deathmatch game where celebrity competitors get to slog it out on a converted form of the Unreal Engine under the watchful eye of a full audience. New details have been released on the format of the show today.

Two teams, led by vaguely famous people (the words "Geri"and "Halliwell" were being bandied about today) will compete through five rounds every show. New Game will feature the teams playing new releases that week, Physical Game will involve using real world props, Retro Game is exactly what it sounds, and the programme culminated in a celebrity deathmatch end-game, using a stylised version of Unreal Tournament.

"Computer gaming has grown to be one of the UK's biggest leisure activities and makes for a brilliant spectator sport. This is the show for people who think with their thumbs," said Jon Riley, producer of the show. We'll have more details from Jon in the coming days.

Infogrames PR exec Lee Kirton added, "Jon has put a lot of work into this show, and is at present looking at many top star celebrities to present and look after his tasty little number!"

Not exactly Mac gaming news, but a very curious look at how the culture of video games is penetrating society on many levels. For those of you not in the UK, perhaps you will be able to catch this one on Apple's streaming version of this channel.

The Press Release
BBC web site

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German F.A.K.K. 2 Preview
3:05 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

A preview of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, Ritual's upcoming third-person action game, has been posted on the Germna affiliate of GameSpot. This long preview covers many of the features Ritual has added to the game to enhance the gameplay; traditionally action gamers are skeptical that the third-person point of view will allow a serious action experience, but Ritual seems to have gone out of their way to make this game intense.

Make sure to check out the 15 new screen shots; they reveal that Ritual has made some serious progress with shadows, weapon effects and generally pushing the Quake 3 Arena engine to amazing new levels of eye candy. If you don't speak German, we can't help you there, but the images alone are worth the trip. Contraband Entertainment is working on the Mac OS port of F.A.K.K. 2, which will be published by Gathering of Developers. There will most likely be a playable version of this game on display at Macworld New York later this month.

Ritual web site
Contraband Entertainment
GameSpot's FAKK2 preview
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

Strike Force Shifts to Tribes 2
12:28 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yesterday, the Strike Force team announced they were going to wrap up the Unreal Tournament port of their mod - originally for Half-life - and start focusing on creating a version for Dynamix's upcoming FPS Tribes 2. Some of the reasons behind this shift were a lack of support on the UT side, and the larger outdoor environments to be used in Tribes 2. Here is their explanation:

We are very excited about the Tribes 2 port for a few reasons though. We can have huge outside environments along with gorgeous inside buildings. We will already have access to code that allows us to build jeep, tank, armor transport and other various ground support vehicles. They will all be able to run across the terrain and over hills and mountains. The flight code is also in game which will allow us to have bombers, helicopters and jets. I mean who doesn't want to load your men into a troop transport and carry them across the landscape to the enemy base?
Today, they made a new update saying that the UT version would still be worked on. Here's a clip:
Ok I spoke with the team and we have decided to continue to work on Strike Force for UT! Why? because we want to make the public happy and regardless of lack of support we will continue. Here is the current plan.
    1) We will be redoing all the guns, skins and animations.... new arms and hands will be included.
    2) We will be fixing the current code so it works without having to change anything with UT.
    3) We will be working on all new in game sounds and music.
    4) We will get the bots working correctly and using all guns.
    4) I have brought on a new model person that does commercial work. He is also the manager of 25 animators. They will be working on the new player models for Strike Force and doing motion capture for them if this is possible, not sure about it yet though.
Strike Force will still be made for Tribes 2 as well but we will continue to fully work on Strike Force for UT. So smile! =)

To prove they're still around for UT, they have also released a third map pack for the mod currently available. It includes three new TeamDM maps, so give it a try. Dynamix is looking to released Tribes 2 by the end of the year for both Mac and PC.

Strike Force Download at MGF
Sierra Tribes 2 Web Site
Strike Force Web Site

More on NVIDIA and Apple
12:22 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacNN has caught wind of a report on a German web site regarding rumors of an Apple/NVIDIA OEM deal which would include actual NVIDIA graphics chips at the core of future Apple products. There is no word as to whether an on-board deal would involve the recently-announced GeForce 2 MX chip, or whether it would bump ATI, Apple's current OEM partner, out of the picture.

If this report is indeed true, it means there are exciting times for Mac users ahead. The Rage 128 is showing its age with the newest 3D games - to say the least - and a new NVIDIA chip would surely be welcomed. Add this to 3dfx's recent interest in getting a piece of the Apple market, and you suddenly have a very nice selection of cutting-edge 3D cards from which to choose.

However, Mac news source MacCentral contacted NVIDIA's US offices and received a totally different story - a vehement denial that any deal between Apple and NVIDIA has taken place, OEM or otherwise. Here is an excerpt:

When told of the report as it appeared on the German Web site Heise Online and other Mac news sites, Vivoli reiterated that the report was untrue, that nVidia had not signed on OEM agreement with Apple and that nVidia's German PR agency did not make any such announcement regarding an agreement.

"These continuing reports by rumor sites are factually incorrect," Vivoli said.

Vivoli said the company has made no other announcement regarding support for the Macintosh platform since its original announcement in late June. At that time, Nvidia unveiled its first chipset designed with Macintosh compatibility.

Curious, indeed. You can rest assured that IMG is looking into this matter, and we will have more concrete facts for you in the future. Be sure to check out our recent look at the GeForce 2 MX to see what NVIDIA might have in store.

Ge Force2MX First Look
MacNN Web Site
Heise Apple/NVIDIA Report (in German)

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Chapter 21 of Summoner Diary
11:55 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Summoner's Lead Designer Sandeep Shekar has posted a new diary update on PC.IGN. This entry discusses a very painful process that every game maker has to go through in the development of a game: cutting out game content to speed progress. Developers would often love to add many more features to their game to make it more realistc and more fun, but often due to factors such as money, complexity and limited time, they have to cut their feature list down to size.

Here is Shekar on the trimming process:

The challenge is to cut out parts of the game that the player will never notice are missing. Cutting out large subplots and areas is generally a better idea then to cut out little parts from all over the story. Cutting out an area also means you should cut out all references to those places as well. Another thing to be careful with when cutting is to make sure that the cuts don't dramatically change or break the flow of the game. Especially with an RPG, pacing is very important. You don't want to have large sections of dialogue immediately following each other, and you also don't want to force the player to go through hours and hours of combat gameplay without a good break in between. Having three boss fights in the first hour and then no boss fights for another eight hours is also a bad thing.
Let's just hope he's not cutting too much out! Summoner is a Mac, PC and Playstation 2 RPG that should be released around the first quarter of 2001.

Summoner Web Site
Summoner Developer Diary
Buy Summoner

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Marathon: Resurection Updates
10:42 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Team Unpfhorgiven has updated their web site with the latest new on their Unreal Tournament total conversion, Marathon: Resurrection. Their update consists of new screen shots of the famous Fusion Pistol, now fully modeled and skinned. They also mention that they have a new team member, Alex, who will help the Art division with the texturing of various objects, weapons and wall textures. They have previously mentioned that a public beta release will be out later this Summer, with the final goal being a re-creation of the solo and multiplayer Marathon experience.

Marathon: Resurection
Marathon: Resurrection

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Baldur's Gate Expansion A Possibility?
10:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

We brought you word earlier this week that the much-anticipated RPG Baldur's Gate has finally gone "Gold" and may be released next week. The fan site Mac Baldur has contacted Graphic Simulations about the possibility of a Mac version of the Baldur's Gate add-on pack, Tales of the Sword Coast. Here's what GraphSim had to say:

Well, we have all of the materials from Interplay for TOSC. But because we have been so totally embedded in Baldur's we really haven't had a chance to evaluate the project. That being said, it appears to be substantially data with very little code changes. Therefore we are counting on an easy (and quick) conversion. A wild guess would be 1 month.
It is also important to note that after the game's initial release, GraphSim will be working hard on completing the multiplayer aspect of the game, so that will take priority. Tales of the Sword Coast could be completed after that, and would be a welcome addition to the BG world. Here's a bit of info on what the expansion pack delivers:
The adventure pack will simply add areas into the currently existing world. That is, the world map will be replaced with a new world map with areas on it that weren't in BG. With the adventure pack, you will still be playing BG, it will just have a bigger world.
So instead of adding a new story at the end of Baldur's Gate, TOSC will modify and enhance the playing experience for the original game. This provides interesting replay possibilities for the game, should this pack be ported to the Mac down the road. Check out the TOSC web site for more information.

Mac Baldur Web Site
Tales of the Sword Coast Web Site
Graphic Simulations
Baldur's Gate Preview
Baldur's Gate

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Games Zone Elite Force Preview
10:31 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

German PC site Games Zone has posted a preview of Raven Software's upcoming shooter Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. This preview discusses Raven's current development progress on this upcoming Q3 engine-based game. The preview goes into great detail about Elite Force, describing both solo and multiplayer action. In addition to this they have added many new screen shots, including one showing the Hazard Team having a little moon-walk with their environment suits on. As this is preview is in German, Altavista's online translator Babelfish comes in very handy, but you may have some trouble sorting through the gibberish - the BabelFish is not a perfect solution. Since Raven is using the Quake 3 engine, which is rapidly portable to the Mac, expect to see Elite Force soon after the PC version, which is due this fall.

Raven Software
Games Zone Elite Force Preview
Altavista's Babelfish
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Paul Steed's Future
10:24 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Our CGA partners Stomped have interviewed former id Software modeler and animator Paul Steed. As we previously reported, Steed got sacked while in the crossfire between rival id members as they disagreed over what their next game would be. Tempers at id have settled down, and now they are working on a DOOM sequel. As for Paul Steed's future, he has set his mind on creating a new company with a 3-games-in-5 years focus.

Pummel Studios is the name of Steed's new company; unfortunately they will not develop PC games for now Steed intends to concentrate on console games. For the immediate future he is working with American McGee on his upcoming game Alice, which is powered by id's Quake 3 engine. Here is Steed on his current work:

Stomped: What are your plans for the immediate future?

Steed: Right now, I'm doing contract work. Alice is my main focus because I'm very impressed with where American and Rogue have gone with it, but there are other things as well. Deciding and preparing for my future post-id is a lot of work and late nights. As you know I'm in the process of getting together a company proposal. I'm also going to Europe the month of July. By the time I get back from Europe, I should have a bead on what's going to happen - what I'm going to do long term. I definitely want to keep making games. Not exploiting the time and name-recognition I've been fortunate enough to have while at id would be just plain stupid on my part. Working for another company at this point would be fairly easy, but I have to take a shot at Steed, Inc.

Of course, Stomped had to ask Steed his views on the DOOM 3 project:
Stomped: What are your feelings on id being able to create a new Doom well? Will it be able to live up to expectations?

Steed: Well, as far as id goes, there's really...you know, id is obviously a different company than when the original Doom series was created. Can anything as huge as DOOM be ever re-created? I mean, I remember when people found out I made computer games for a living they'd invariably say something like, "You make computer games? Like DOOM?" So at one point computer games and 'DOOM' are synonymous in the majority of the public's eye. One of the things I worry about with a new DOOM game is the magic of the first series being so firmly entrenched in our minds that it will color perceptions and opinions of the new one. John Carmack has a definite vision of what he wants to see in the new Doom. Hopefully the team will support him and enhance the ideas he proposes. DOOM was created in a relatively simple technological time. Doing it today requires a dedication to sophistication and attention to detail that people look for in a single player experience.

We hope to see some screen shots of Steed's work in Alice; however, currently no Mac version of Alice is in development.

Paul Steed Interview at Stomped

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Slight Deus Ex Delay
10:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last week we brought you word that Aspyr Media was expecting the Mac version of the first-person shooter/RPG hybrid Deus Ex to be released today, July 7. Gamers anxious to get their hands on this game should note that the Aspyr web site has been updated with a new date of the 12th. This isn't a huge change, and such minor delays are common in the manufacturing and publishing process. If you have preordered this game, start watching your mailbox next week.

In related news, the new fansite MacDeusEx.com has recently posted a quick chat with Westlake Interactive's Ken Cobb about the Mac port. One point of interest from the interview might be the "older" machine Cobb used in the port development - not all developers use the latest hardware, by any means! Here's an excerpt:

Langly: What types of computers are you using to create the game? What types of computers do you use to test on?

Ken: I did most of the work on an old Beige G3/266. I recently received a new G4/500 with 256MB RAM and 27GB hard disk, which is really great. Of course, the first thing I did was get a new keyboard (MicroConnectors) and mouse (Logitech 3-button with a wheel). I also have a Rage 128 Pro and a Voodoo3 for video testing, and 2 17" monitors.

Head on over to check out the rest of the interview. We'll also keep you updated if the release date slips any further, but we don't anticipate any further delays.

Aspyr Media
MacDeusEx.com Interview
IMG First Look: Deus Ex
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex

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Rune Reaches First Playable
10:04 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive, the team behind the Mac port of Human Head's third-person melee combat game Rune, has updated their news page with their progress. This game based on the Unreal Tournament engine has now reached "first playable" status. For those who are not so familiar with such a term, it means that (Westlake) can actually play the game, quite a milestone in the porting field. Here is the full update from Westlake:

Rune, Westlake's latest development project using the Unreal Tournament engine, has reached first playable status. The game is running well on the Mac, with full support for ATI and 3dfx accelerators. The game code is only a week behind the current PC version, and looks great.
We have been assured by another member of the Westlake team that this game will be running and playable at one of the 3dfx booths at Macworld Expo New York, less than two weeks away. Watch for the final version of Rune later this Fall, mere weeks behind the debut of the PC version.

Gathering Of Developers
Rune Web Site
Westlake Interactive
Human Head
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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Tropico Preview
9:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot UK has recently taken a look at PopTop's upcoming sim-game Tropico, coming to the Mac and PC via Gathering of Developers. In case you're wondering, Tropico will be a sim in which you play a dictator of a third-world tropical island (one known for its famous cigars, perhaps.) This new spin on the political sim genre should provide for some interesting experiences indeed. Here's a clip from the preview:

PopTop, which enjoyed success previously with Railroad Tycoon 2, is using an upgraded version of that game's engine for Tropico. You have more than 100 structures with which to create your banana republic - and I mean that quite literally, as some of these are banana groves - including mines to exploit the island, and hotels and spas to exploit the tourists. You'll be able to zoom right in to see how detailed these individual structures are and it's clear a great deal of work has gone into the graphics.
Have a look at the preview if you're interested in this slightly-warped take on island living. IMG encountered Tropico at E3 last May, so if you want more details and screen shots you should find that report edifying. Tropico should be out early next year from the new champions of Mac gaming, Gathering of Developers.

Gathering of Developers
Review of Railroad Tycoon II
IMG's E3 Coverage of Tropico
GameSpot UK Tropico Preview
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Mac Games News for Thursday, July 6, 2000

Adams' Apple On Expo6:38 PM
Heineman on SiN, FAKK26:30 PM
Gamecenter Diablo II Review1:03 PM
Human Head Talks Rune Music12:31 PM
UT Classes Preview, Images12:23 PM
IMG's Baldur's Gate Giveaway12:21 PM
Mac Diablo II Is Gold12:15 PM
Simon 3D Delayed12:15 PM
SiN to Include Add-On Pack11:39 AM
More 4x4 Shots9:04 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 6, 2000 on one page

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