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Tuesday, July 11, 2000

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RUNE Dev Diary Updated
10:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Voodoo Extreme has posted a new developer diary entry from HumanHead's Chris Rhinehart, regarding (of course) their third-person melee combat game RUNE. In this fourth installment, Rhinehart explains that Human Head is currently in "crunch mode" and that the update would be relatively short as a result. Rhinehart does note they have a new employee, working on finalizing the gamer's animations, and that the 'Horde' community is starting up (the equivalent to a Quake clan) even before the game is out the door. Since RUNE is using the flexible, extensible Unreal Tournament engine, he also gives some details on what gamers and mod makers might expect from RUNE:

Human Head plans to support the RUNE mod community and make as many resources available for mod authors as possible. Mod additions for RUNE will be split into two basic additions: resource additions and code/feature additions. Resource additions refers to adding to content to the game, such as textures, meshes, and sounds. Whereas code additions refers to actually adding to or altering the game code for new gameplay modes (variations on CTF or creating a new weapon in the game).
This is great news, as it means third parties will be able to make even more Viking adventures beyond the original game from HumanHead. Is a RUNE/Matrix mod inevitable? We think so. Westlake is already well underway with their Mac port of RUNE, and it should be completed shortly after the PC version is finalized this Fall.

Rune Screen Shot Gallery
VoodooExtreme RUNE Update
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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Silver for Mac Finished... In Europe
4:43 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A Mac version of the console-style RPG Silver has been promised for what seemed like an eternity, and now it seems that journey is at an end. Luciano Pecorella of the Italian site wrote to notify us that he has received his copy of Silver for Mac from Infogrames, the European developer and publisher of this title.

IMG saw Silver up and running on an iMac at E3 in May, in MacSoft/GT Interactive's area of the show floor, so we've known for some time that this title is very close to release.

According to Pecorella, the Mac version of Silver is due in the Fall, but we don't see any reason why it couldn't be out sooner - the version we played at E3 seemed quite stable and fast. Here is a short blurb from the Infogrames site about this game:

Terror grips the land. The powerful and evil Sorcerer Silver has abducted the women of Jarrah for his treacherous purposes. Take control as David, a simple hero on a quest to save his beloved and defeat the almighty Silver. But it won't be easy. In order to succeed you'll need to recruit allies, master swordplay, learn the art of magic, and venture through hostile worlds teeming with Silver's corrupt followers.
Silver is already available for PC, Playstation, and Dreamcast. For an in-depth look at this game, check out the review by FiringSquad.

Official Silver Site
FiringSquad Reviews Silver

Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab Gold
4:41 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Freeverse has sent us word that their action/puzzle game Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab has "gone gold master." This means the game is essentially finished and will be ready for release next week. Here's the update from Freeverse:

Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab busts the action-puzzle genre wide open with amazing monkey graphics, a kick-butt soundtrack, solo and head-to-head internet play.

There's color-reaction games, hex-bonding games, a mission mode, and when your nerves get frazzled we've included a Zen Mode to help you find your inner-chimp.

The game looks to be really fun, and we're anxious to give it a whirl. They also sent along the list of system requirements in case you're curious:
  • OS 8.6 or later
  • 35 MB free hard drive space
  • NetSprocket 1.7.1 or later
  • Quicktime 4 or later

Look for more on BMPL next week. We'll keep you posted on its status (and of course, this file will appear on MacGameFiles mere seconds after its release). This game will be shareware, but the price has not been released as of yet.
Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab
Freeverse Software

UT HeadHunters 1.3 Update
1:57 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Demiurge Studios have released a new version of their Unreal Tournament mod, Headhunters . This latest build includes some very cool features, including full bot support so you can play this gruesome mod offline. Here's a full list of changes in version 1.3:

  • Bot Support!!! (No, really. They go after heads and sacrifice them)
  • Play on DM or DOM maps.
  • Number of altars is configurable
  • Bug Fixes
  • In case you're wondering, HeadHunters is a mod which introduces a new game type in which you must collect the heads of your opponents and "sacrifice" them on an altar to collect points. The more heads you collect and sacrifice at once, the higher score you'll have. The upcoming Quake 3 add-on pack will have a similar gametype, called Harvester. Head over to the web site to download the .umod now.

    Headhunters How-to
    Download Headhunters Umod (480k)

    Tribes 2 in Alpha
    1:54 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    In more news from the TribalWar web site, Dynamix's Dave Georgeson has posted the information that the long-awaited Tribes 2 is now alpha. This means that while it may not be optimized or bug-free, most of the features have been implemented. Next up is the beta phase, which will include heavy testing and gameplay tweaking. Here's a clip from Georgeson with some specifics:

    How does the Alpha look? Well...Alphas are sad critters. They're typically full of bugs, slow as heck, and with a ton of placeholder special effects.

    Ours is no different. However, all the major functionality is in and we've finished creating the list of things we need to do in order to make it shine. We'll start implementing those now and in a few weeks you should be able to see some major improvements in the screen shots.

    As far as beta testing goes...we'll be announcing a Beta Plan soon. Probably a week or two. I'll announce it far and wide when it becomes available.

    As noted earlier today, the beta will likely not be a large open beta (a la Q3A), instead a smaller, focus group of around 1000 testers. No word yet if the Mac version will be included in the beta, but we will let you know once more information is released.

    TribalWar Forum Thread

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    F.A.K.K. 2 Status Update
    1:50 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Our fellow CGA member Stomped recently contacted Ritual to inquire on the status of their upcoming action/adventure game, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2. Tom Mustaine had the following good news to report:

    We are in the final stages of getting the play balance wrapped up, finalizing all the little things in levels, squashing bugs, and finishing up all the in game cinematics. It's getting very close.

    Everyone has been playing though the game, having fun making all the little changes that matter so much in the end.

    This is great news for this Quake3-engine title, which IMG was very impressed by at E3 back in May. Currently a port of this game to Mac OS is underway by Contraband Entertainment; the title will be published for Mac and PC by Gathering of Developers.

    E3 Coverage of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2
    Update on Mac F.A.K.K. 2 Status
    Ritual's Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2
    Gathering of Developers
    Ritual Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

    Bungie.Net Outage
    11:25 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story has posted word that the company is planning to move their game servers to Microsoft's Redmond campus this weekend. They note that a patch will be released before they move, so that Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter will be able to find the new servers for connecting to net games. Here's the full excerpt from the web page:

    We're tentatively planning on moving the web and gaming servers to Redmond this weekend. This means that if all goes well we'll shut them down Friday morning, ship 'em in cold storage, thaw them out and set them up again early next week. However, there are a lot of technical and ISP issues with this move, and I can't promise specific dates or times.

    Sometime before we're back up we'll release a preferences patch via this web site that will allow the game clients to communicate with the relocated servers.

    Finally, although we're relocating the Myth and Myth II gaming servers, we will no longer be maintaining the Myth II demo server. Sorry.

    So all you demo players, time to buckle down and buy the full version! We'll keep you updated on when the severs go down and when they can be expected to be back on-line. Web Site

    Tribes 2 Details, Images
    11:19 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    As Fall approaches, even more attention is being focused on Tribes 2, the upcoming teamplay-based FPS from Dynamix.
    In case you're wondering what the game is all about, Trenches has posted a short preview for your reading pleasure. There are five new screen shots included, as well this interesting clip about voice communication:

    Team communication is another area Tribes 2 improves upon. As Mr. Georgeson states, "You won't need Roger Wilco anymore!" Tribes 2 features a real time voice communication system through a microphone as well as the standard voice binding scripts (a la TF2). So players will be able to really talk to each other during a game, or not talk, but still communicate messages to their team (I'm glad for the option, because I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel extremely stupid talking to my computer aloud, even if there is another person at the other end).
    TribalWar has posted a new interview with Sierra's Brand Manager for the game, Lee Rossini. He answers questions on a variety of topics relating to Tribes 2 and his history in the industry. Here's a clip explaining what attracted him to this game series:
    Bacchus: What was it about Tribes2 that caught your eye? I mean, of all the software titles to select from, why Tribes2?

    Lee: Well, I played a lot of FPS titles and loved them .. But when I saw Tribes and Tribes 2, I was blown away. Especially with the jetpack. The fact that I no longer had to stay stuck on the ground, doing the same old circle-strafing that all the other FPS titles revolve around .. that was very cool. The vertical element of combat in Tribes and Tribes 2 really makes for stronger, more compelling action. I also really dug the seamless indoor-outdoor environments in Tribes. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was getting bored with games that sport Truman-Show environments (invisible ceilings, walls, and no outdoors). Finally, the team-play aspect caught me. CTF and all the other game types found in Tribes opened my eyes to how exciting, and addictive, team-based action can be. Straight deathmatch is so played, and has been for months. That's why you are seeing a lot of action titles adding CTF now .. and Tribes has had it for almost a year and a half now.

    Take a look at the rest of the Q&A for more from the 'inside' of development. Lastly, Tribes2Players has picked up a couple of interesting tidbits. They received two new exclusive screenshots and this quote from Dave Georgeson on whether the game would have a Q3A-like open beta:
    Doubtful that it will be THAT open. More likely a 1000 or so people in more of a "closed" beta. There's a possibility we could do it open, but honestly, I don't want to show my dirty laundry (unpolished game) in front of that many public eyes.
    Understandable, considering the scrutiny a game can receive when it's still being tested. No word on whether a Mac beta might also be tested. Dynamix is planning to release Tribes 2 for Mac and PC later this Fall.

    Trenches Tribes 2 Preview
    TribalWar Talks to Lee Rossini

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    Mac Simon 3D Details
    11:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    There was a recent announcement that the North American release of Headfirst's upcoming 3D adventure/puzzle game Simon the Sorcerer 3D had been delayed. We contacted them in an effort to get a little more information about the Mac version of this game, promised for some time. Here's what they had to say:

    The Mac version of Simon 3D is being done totally out of house by a company called Epic in Germany. I would expect the Mac release to arrive a good time after the PC, as they are writing the Mac version from our PC source code and with their own 3D engine - therefore it's going to take them a few months after the PC version is finished at least.
    This is extremely strange, from our perspective - Simon3D uses the NetImmerse Engine, which, among dozens of other features, is already cross-compatible with Mac and Linux platforms. We will keep digging and bring you more details on Simon 3D very soon. For more general game info, check out the Headfirst web site.

    Simon 3D Web Site

    Mac Games News for Monday, July 10, 2000

    Update on Coldstone Engine7:13 PM
    Baldur's Gate Giveaway Winner #27:05 PM
    3dfx Makes V5 Preorder Official2:18 PM
    Halo Preview1:29 PM
    SWAT Changes to Tactical Ops1:21 PM
    Sim Theme Park in Beta1:12 PM
    Deus Ex Demo Coming11:36 AM
    B&W Preview, Diary11:22 AM
    Logicware Decodes DirectPlay for AvP11:17 AM
    Elite Force Demo Released for PC11:09 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 10, 2000 on one page

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