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Thursday, July 13, 2000



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Aspyr Status Update, Deus Ex Ships
10:30 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has updated their web page with some good news for anxious Mac gamers. Deus Ex is now shipping to stores and pre-orderers, only a few short weeks after the PC version! This is due to the hard work of the developers of Westlake Interactive and their prowess with the Unreal Tournament engine. If you already have an order placed, look for it in the mail soon. Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Aspyr Media Inc., in a continuing partnership with Eidos Interactive Inc., a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment, ships Deus Ex for the Macintosh(R) today, with the conversion performed by Westlake Interactive.

"With more and more Mac games starting to flow into the market, we feel that Deus Ex will raise the bar for all Action/RPG's to follow," says Chip Blundell, senior product manager at Eidos Interactive.

"It's one of the most highly rated games out there right now, and we're confident the Mac version will deliver the same thrills and excitement that thousands of gamers have already experienced."

Deus Ex is the highly anticipated role-playing futuristic adventure from Ion Storm. A gamer's dream, Deus Ex combines stealth, strategy, and intense shoot 'em up action.

Nano-augmented anti-terrorist agent J.C. Denton travels the globe, in a quest for knowledge, developing strengths and building a network of allies as he tries to unravel the conspiracy and save the world from the shadows of evil. Terrorists, hell bent on world domination, bully the world, loyalty is a memory and lies and betrayal are common place as nothing is as it seems. Who do you trust? Maybe no one.

Whether to pick a lock or smash the door, go in shooting or sneak around back -- Deus Ex features multiple paths and an ever changing storyline based on the player's actions.

"Deus Ex will set a new standard for the single-player experience. The involving story, incredible graphics, unparalleled interactivity, and unprecedented level of detail in dialog and character interaction make this game a must have for every type of gamer," says Jeff Baietto, VP of Marketing for Aspyr.

Deus Ex, for Macintosh, will be available wherever Mac games are sold, with a Suggested Retail Price of $49.95.

Aspyr's site also notes that the Mac version of The Sims is very close to gold master. Westlake's Ken Cobb has confirmed this in the MacCentral forums, noting that the game will be ready and waiting at MacWorld New York next week:
It will be ready for Macworld.

Ready as in you can buy it and take it home.

This is awesome news for the Mac gaming scene with these two great games coming so soon after their PC counterparts. Be sure to check out our recent preview of Deus Ex, and look for a demo to be released in the near future. Also don't forget to sign up for our Deus Ex giveaway going on right now!

IMG Deus Ex Giveaway
IMG Deus Ex Preview
Aspyr Deus Ex Press Release
Aspyr Media Web Site
MacCentral Forum Thread on The Sims
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex


First Deus Ex Winner
4:46 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We have selected the first winner in our Deus Ex giveaway: Gregory Hamel of Tucson, AZ will receive a free copy of this game, which is currently shipping from Aspyr Media as of this morning. How did Gregory receive this honor? Well, luck had something to do with it, of course, but he also filled out our contest form and submitted it - the only way to be eligible for the two remaining copies we will give away, one tomorrow, one on Monday.

Enter today to win one of 3 copies of Deus Ex, a hot new game that blends elements of role-playing and first-person shooter action, from Inside Mac Games and Aspyr Media. Imagine yourself waking up in the not-too-distant future. Adjusting your nano-enhanced eye helps you see better in the darkness on the way to work. Crime and pollution abound as the world's economies approach total destruction. A nagging itch in the back of your mind makes you wonder if there really is a conspiracy behind all of this chaos. Visit our contest page and sign up today!

IMG Contest Page


Oni FAQ Posted, Surprise Tomorrow
4:37 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Harry of Oni Central has dropped us a note revealing that this fan site dedicated to third-person action title Oni (formerly property of Bungie, now to be published by Take Two Interactive) has posted a FAQ concerning this title. According to Harry, this FAQ "is concerned with questions asked by the people. No cut & pasting from the press kit, no blah about Oni's story which nearly every preview prints anyway, simply questions asked by people on the forum and via e-mail."

Well, "the people" are going to get to see Oni in action at the Gathering of Developers/3dfx booth at MWNY next week, so we're sure they will have even more questions (and answers) for the FAQ. Oni is due to be published this October for Mac, PC and Playstation 2. Harry also noted that there is something special for Oni fans going up tomorrow, so be sure and visit Oni Central to find out what this is.

Oni FAQ at Oni Central
Oni Central


New Gloomveil Content
4:30 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

This unusual site, inspired by the upcoming online RPG Neverwinter Nights, has been updated yet again with more unique content. A visual as well as textual feast, this site truly captures the meaning and execution of 'multimedia' - can you tell we like it? Here's the update on new content at the site:

Gloomveil is an original, fan-created fantasy realm in anticipation of the upcoming Neverwinter Nights game by Bioware/Black Isle Studios. Gloomveil.com takes the Neverwinter experience a step further -- it's an extension of the game itself, a place where fans can continue their role- playing experience beyond the game.


Due to popular demand, we now offer a non-Flash version of Gloomveil for those without the popular plugin or with a slow internet connection. While many of the Flash applications will be unavailable, the non-Flash version lives up to the lush standards of the original Flash site.


This month, the Brothers Three Inn Leisure Den features "The Mysterious Armour", an interactive widget that requires the Flash4 plugin.


The Library of Lore has been updated, adding another chapter to the Anthology, and two new installments of "Kilean's Story"


The Gloomveil Anthology, an illustrated interactive book (requires Flash4) has been updated with the story of the Barrow Hermit. The 5000- word story spans almost 30 pages, and is the culmination of a Play By Email adventure that took place over a 3-month period.

This site also accepts submissions, so you can contribute to the Gloomveil world as well as experience it.

Neverwinter Nights is a 3D online RPG in development by Bioware, creators of Baldur's Gate. This unique title will allow you to not only participate in realtime RPG adventures online, but also create and host your own dynamic dungeons for other players to conquer. Although at least a year from completion, this game is already generating tremendous 'buzz' and was a huge hit at E3.

Make sure you check out Gloomveil.com regardless of whether you are interested in NWN or not; any fan of fantasy literature will find something intriguing.

Neverwinter Nights
Gloomveil


Strike Force 2.0 Coming
3:58 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Strike Force web site has been updated with word on the upcoming 2.0 version of their mod for Unreal Tournament. Earlier in the week, there was a question as to whether they would switch the mod to teamplay-based shooter Tribes 2; this was quickly followed by plans to develop the mod for both games. The purpose of this mod is to create highly realistic combat, in the same vein as Half-life's popular Counter Strike add-on. The following is an excerpt from the page:

Strike Force is going under some heavy changes for 2.0. One thing we will be doing is a ton of new maps for our new game types. Wolf sent me a map last night that simply rocks! It was done by a commercial map designer working at Codemasters on the former Navy Seals project. His name is Chris "Brick" Willis and he does some simply amazing levels.
The site has also posted several new screen shots. If you missed the recent map packs, the team has conveniently put all four together into one huge file to download at once, if you have the bandwith or patience.

If you're looking for more information on Strike Force, be sure to check out the new interview with the team's lead at GameSpy. This discussion covers their plans for version 2.0, and their future with Tribes 2, which will not arrive until late this Fall for Mac and PC.

GameSpy's Strike Force Interview
Strike Force
Strike Force Full Team DM Map Pack (58MB)


New UT CTF4 Release
3:50 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Are you an Unreal Tournament Capture the Flag addict, but find the standard version of this game is getting a little stale? The CTF4 team has the answer for you, with an update of their four-team version of the popular gametype for UT. Version 1.0b2 adds quite a few fixes, including the following:

  • Fixed all known HUD problems in net games
  • Elimination now requires Subtraction or Distribution (or both)
  • Bots work better when the flagbases are not in separate zones. Better than before, that is. It's still better to do the separate zone thing.
  • Bots will go after enemy flags when their own flag is out. They used to concentrate solely on getting their flag back.
  • Finally added weapons and lighting to the map, and redid the green base a bit.
There are many specific modes available to play with CTF4. Double your teams, double your fun! Also be sure to visit the maps page as well, some are very nice indeed.

CTF4 Maps Page
Download CTF4 1.0b2 Release (619k)
UT CTF4


Weapons Factory Arena Update
3:47 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

The Weapons Factory team has released version .3 of their excellent Weapons Factory Arena mod for Quake 3 Arena. This time around they have included a brand new player class, and some other great features. Here are the new features in their own words:

1. The Nurse makes her debut in .30, armed with a dartgun, plague grenades, and a kit of 8 "drugs" for enhancing the abilities of her teammates (try them on all your friends!). These powerups are granted by hitting the alt-fire on the gauntlet to affect teammate abilities from how fast they run to how much damage they deal. The Nurse promises to bring a whole new dimension to WFA gameplay.

2. WFA version .30 includes the most advanced and configurable Heads Up Display (HUD) of any Q3 mod. WFA players are completely in control of what information is displayed and where, from what abilities they have enabled to the status of their deployed defense systems.

3. A UT-style variable zoom scope has been added to the sniper rifle, giving the sniper complete control over the zoom level of the rifle. This includes a variable that shows the sniper what level of zoom they are at and a cool new crosshair.

WFA focuses on teamplay, with a class based system similair to the Q3A mod Team Fortresses. If you enjoy Capture the Flag style gameplay, give this mod a try. Be forewarned - it is a monster, weighing in at over 60 MB.

Weapons Factory Arena
Download WFA Update to .33


Roboforge Debut
3:40 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We noted at Gamers.com the debut of Roboforge, a game of robot combat in which you build your 'bot from available parts, train them in combat and then set them loose in the arena to battle with other bots for dominance - and perhaps prizes.

This game is unique in several respects. It will be low-cost, distributed online, and it is the first game to be made entirely with Java 2/Java 3D - yes, a commercial game done in Java. Apple was part of the team that defined the specifications for Java 3D API, and Steve Jobs has promised repeatedly that Mac OS X will be the best platform for Java, period. Currently Roboforge only runs on Windows 98/2000/NT, but we think that situation will change radically once Mac OS X makes its presence felt. Here's an excerpt from the Gamers.com article describing this title:

According to the press release, Roboforge creates an entirely new genre in gaming, where the player builds huge robotic gladiators from the ground up. "The player constructs any type of creation they like, from a huge library of robotic parts," explains Darren Green, CEO of Liquid Edge Games. "It is a concept that many are familiar with, having grown up with products such as Lego and Meccano. Construction is as simple as clicking components together in a true 3D construction environment".

The objective of the game is to build a fighting machine that can take on all comers in hand-to-hand (or melee-style) combat. After proving the robot's mettle against preprogrammed contenders provided with the game, the player gets the opportunity to compete in huge international tournaments on the Internet.

Roboforge is due in late 2000/early 2001, coincidentally about the same time that Mac OS X is due. If Steve Jobs makes good on his promise to release a public beta of Mac OS X - perhaps at MWNY next week - we'll be sure to follow up with Liquid Edge Games and find out if the Mac will be a viable platform for this title. Make sure you check out the Flash 4 version of the Roboforge web site, it is quite impressive.

Roboforge Web Site
Roboforge Debut at Gamers.com



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Halo Preview, New Images
11:55 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

CD mag has posted the first part of their preview of Bungie Software's/Microsoft's upcoming shooter Halo. This preview is a little different from past offerings; they do a decent job of getting past the hype and hyperbole surrounding this title and examining what might actually make it into the shipping product. They also include a detailed examination of the story line, as it has been revealed up to this point:

Bungie has generally avoided that path in the past, and the premise of the story in Halo is a cut above what you might expect to find in a computer game. The game is set roughly 100 years in our future, where the human race has expanded into a fledgling interstellar empire consisting of eight colonized worlds. Unfortunately, humanity has found more than brave new worlds in their journeys among the stars they have also discovered the Covenant, a consortium of alien races that have initiated a ruthless war against the colonies. Even worse, Covenant technology is far more advanced than our own, and the human race is losing the war. Entire planets lie in smoking ruin, and billions have perished before the Covenant onslaught. The aliens have yet to discover the location of Earth but it is only a matter of time before they do.
This preview was obviously written before the Microsoft acquisition of Bungie Software; however it does contain several new screen shots that make it well worth the visit. Part two is due later this week.

On a related note - as many of our readers have noted, Bungie recently updated the Halo web site, which used to have "Coming soon for Windows & MacOS" under the title image; this has been changed to "Coming Soon to a platform near you," which further clouds the issue. Check out the preview for more gorgeous images of this game, which by all accounts is still at least a year away - if it does indeed come to platforms besides Microsoft's X-box.

Halo Preview at CDMAG
Bungie Software's Halo
Microsoft
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved


Battle by the Bay Registration
11:35 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Several weeks back we brought you news of CNET's Gamecenter Battle by the Bay, a monster gaming tournament offering a total of $100,000 US in prize money for the winners. Have you ever wanted to win $50,000 just for playing a video game well? Battle by the Bay is the way to do it, and Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, CA is the place to do it.


B3 registration begins today, with 800 slots available for accomplished Q3A players; the tournament itself will be held on August 17th through the 20th. It is BYOC (bring your own computer) so we'd love to see lots of Mac gamers there, hauling their G3s and G4's around by those oh-so-handy handles. IMG will be at B3, of course, along with our other Gamecenter Alliance partners. Here is a short excerpt from the FAQ, to give you a better idea of what this tourney entails:

Q: So what is this, anyway?

A: Battle by the Bay (which is too long a title; we're gonna call it "B3" after this) is a LAN party that's going to give 800 gamers the chance to play on a near-zero-ping bulletproof network for four straight days. It's also going to be the place where up to 800 gamers will compete for a $50,000 tournament grand prize and $50,000 in other prizes. And finally, it's going to be the place where gamers are going to get to see the latest and greatest hardware and software from a variety of gaming companies.


Q: What can I do there?

A: Play lots of games. Anything you can set up a server for and run will be available. We expect to see a lot of Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life Counter-Strike, and Rogue Spear in the action department. Real-time strategy games can be played as well, and we fully expect that games such as StarCraft, Age of Empires, and Ground Control will be played. Oh, and since Diablo II is finally out, we might see a game or two of that going on--ya think? And there are dozens, even hundreds, of games that'll be there. The best way to make sure you play the game you want to play is to bring it and set up a server!

It sounds like a mini-E3 and a gaming championship rolled into one. Sign up today and make a Mac presence felt at this tourney - there is nothing sweeter than the look of astonishment on a PC gamer's face when he or she discovers that Macs play games, and play them damn well to boot. Check out the web site for more information.

B3 FAQ
Gamecenter's Battle by the Bay


Mac Products Guide Updates
11:18 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Have you ever complained that there is no software to buy for your Mac, or fended off comments to that effect by sardonic PC users? We know you have. Thankfully Apple has created the the Macintosh Products Guide, a listing of over 18,000 titles for your Mac - including games, of course. Recently Apple informed us of a new feature which will keep you up-to-date on the latest listings in the Guide:

Just a quick heads-up to let you know we've added a cool new feature to Apple's highly popular Macintosh Products Guide website. Now visitors to the Guide can easily find all new and updated product listing added to the Guide on a weekly basis. Simply visiting the Guide at http://guide.apple.com/usindex.html and clicking on the "What's New This Week" button provides a complete list of all new product additions to the Guide.
Sounds like an excellent way to squash any complaints of a dearth of software on our platform. Check out the Products Guide today, you'll be amazed at what you find!

Apple Computer Inc.
Macintosh Products Guide


Cosmologik Update
11:01 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Early this year we discovered this Canadian Mac game developer, hard at work on their fist title. Some time has passed since then, so we decided to check in on Cosmologik and see what they were up to. Here is the reply we received from co-president Patrice Audet:

We're working on our first game, which will take place in a futuristic environment where space ships fights in a 3D environment. I know, this sounds familiar as many games did just that in the past, but what's new with this game, is that we're using a physics engine we built to compute all the movements and positions of objects in space. All the forces we're accustomed to on earth (gravity, static, friction, mass of objects, their velocity and speed, and so on) are all computed in real time by the software, with no predefined movements, which should make each game very unique. At the present, we have a fully-working physics engine, as well an automatic pilot and plenty of ships models and weapons in 3D and we're working hard to place all those pieces together. We're still early in the development, but things are improving well... In the mean time, you and your readers might want to check out our web site at www.cosmologik.com where we're posting all the scoops about the progress we're doing. The site is updated regularly as more and more of the game becomes available.
Currently there are some preliminary images of untextured models, and a few details on gameplay; there is also a fascinating how-to on their design method for 3D objects. We'll be sure to keep an eye on this site - Mac-first, Mac-only games are our favorites.

Cosmologik Video Games



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Summoner Update
10:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Volition's official Summoner page has been updated this week, with the usual number of items. The newest screen shot of the week shows Joseph, the main character, standing in the Plaza of Six Princes. A new MP3 is now available for download, called The Desert Theme. They also note that tonight, there will be a special URL posted where fans can "obtain a exclusive Summoner download!" Very interesing; we will be sure to follow up and let you know once this is available.

Passing through the Summoner message boards, we also caught sight of an interesting thread on character development. A curious fan wondered if the Anime influence on Summoner would mean characters would be developed in a "Western" or "Japanese" style. Here's how Volition's Anoop Shekar responded:

Character development will be somewhat a combination of Japanese style RPG's and western style. All the 4 main characters have their own background and they are all important to the story. Each one has their own unique abilities. However, while playing through the game you can choose how to develop each of those abilities with skill points. Everytime a character gains a level he/she gets a number of skill points to distribute among their many weapon and spell based skills. For example, if you'd rather Joseph be more adept at wielding a sword rather than an axe then add more skill points to his sword skill.

There is a Worldmap in Summoner, which you use to go between major locations. It is similar in style to the maps in FFVII and FFVIII.

In the same thread, Shekar also discusses the timing of battles in the game, and how often you'll find monsters to fight. Summoner should be ready for the PlayStation 2's launch in October, with Mac and PC builds following later in the Winter.

Summoner Web Site
Summoner Forum Thread
GraphSim
Volition
Summoner
Buy Summoner



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RUNE Interview
10:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An interview with Human Head's Tim Gerritson, the lead programmer for their upcoming 3rd-person action title Rune, has been posted at GameSlice. Gerritson covers a large range of topics in this seven-page Q&A about the 3D Viking action game. Here's a clip:

The level design is also tuned more toward simple logic puzzles and how you can use your immediate resources to overcome a problem. Need to get past three really tough opponents? You can either tough it out relying on your skills with your current weapon or you can attempt to use elements of your environment. Are they standing beneath something you can cut down? Is there something you can push over on them? Is there something bigger and badder than you that you can sick on them? We also tried to keep our sense of humor with the game and not take things too seriously, which is why we added elements like hunting for your food and drinking to heal and other elements we haven't revealed yet.
Yesterday we reported Rune was set to go alpha in August. Westlake has decalred their ported Mac version 'first playable' and it should be ready for release this Fall. Gathering of Developers will be showing it off at MacWorld, for those lucky enough to attend next week's expo.

GameSlice Rune Interview
Westlake Interactive Rune Status
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive
Rune



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Official FAKK2 Website Debut
10:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Gathering of Developers, publishers of Ritual's upcoming Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, have opened up a new, flash-enhanced site specifically for the game. The site includes information such as backstory, fan site links, desktop pictures and QuickTime movies of the game in action. There is also some information on the animated movie Heavy Metal 2000 which this game is a sequel to; this adult-oriented animation is slated to be released this weekend on the Starz cable channel. Head on over and have a look. But be sure you've got Flash 4 and a decent amount of bandwidth first. FAKK2 is currently being ported to the Mac by Contraband Entertainment and should be released later this year, soon after the PC version.

GoD FAKK2 Web Site
Contraband Entertainment Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2


Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 12, 2000

New Rune Music, Alpha Date1:29 PM
Werewolf Ressurrected1:15 PM
Microsoft Nabs NetGames USA12:57 PM
On Elite Force Mac Demo12:06 PM
3dfx Storms MWNY11:56 AM
CodeBook 4.0 Released11:33 AM
Behind the Scenes of Myst III: Exile11:30 AM
Baldur's Gate Winner, New Contest Begins10:52 AM
Mac Simon 3D Clarification10:41 AM
Westlake Updates Projects10:39 AM
ATI OEM Rebuttal10:29 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 12, 2000 on one page


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