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Friday, July 14, 2000

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Update on DS9: The Fallen
10:12 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

We recently spoke with Simon and Schuster's Ken Gordon, producer of the upcoming third-person shooter Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, to obtain an update on the status of the promised Mac version of this title. The Fallen has managed to avoid a lot of hype, compared to Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, a title which seems to grab the spotlight more often; however we were reassured that The Fallen is indeed on its way and is intended for a September release. Developers The Collective and publisher S&S are currently working hard on the PC version, and they are very enthusiastic about making sure it comes to the Mac. Interestingly enough, they are doing the port to Mac in-house, which should help with a simultaneous release - but this is puzzling, considering that a port of the Unreal engine (which this game uses) already exists on our platform. Ah well, Westlake Interactive seems to have their hands quite full already.

For those who are new to this game, DS9: The Fallen is a very different game than previous Trek titles, and is also distinct from Raven Software's efforts. The Fallen is a continuous adventure, rather than an episodic one, and you will be able to play it through as one of three characters: Sisko, Worf or Kira. Traveling through time and space on both sides of the wormhole, you will battle enemies both familiar and new to the Trek universe in a quest to recover sacred artifacts. While the game will have plenty of action, the third-person point of view and a skeletal animation system will allow for more adventure-style elements to be introduced, such as traps and climbing obstacles. IMG saw this game in action at last year's E3, and the overall design and polish of the game was excellent - we can't wait to see the finished product.

S&S have recently released some new screenshots that reveal their current progress in the game, which appear at The Adrenaline Vault. We were curious about what that purple sphere is in one of the screenshots; Gordon told us it was part of a new weapon they had developed which unleashes a large purple orb that creates a shockwave after hitting its target. Sounds effective.

The Collective has also created a new 'race' of aliens for the game, based on nanotech, which are visible in some of the shots. Ken told us that when the player first encounters this new race they will "totally kick your ass", and mentions that you will eventually figure out how to kill them, although it will be a very tough battle.

After almost 2 1/2 years in development, this title looks to be another rich, detailed offshoot of the Star Trek universe. Could the days of wimpy shovelware Trek games be over? For more information visit the Fallen web site, and make sure you check out those screen shots (although the gamma seems slightly too dark.)

Simon & Schuster Interactive
DS9: The Fallen Screen Shots at Avault
DS9: The Fallen
The Collective
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

Deus Ex Winner #2
6:57 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We have selected the second winner in our Deus Ex giveaway: Nicholas Burnham of Old Saybrook, CT will receive a free copy of this game, which is currently shipping from Aspyr Media as of this morning.

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. For a chance at winning the final copy of this game, visit our contest page and sign up today!

IMG Contest Page

OniCentral Visits Bungie, Part 3
6:42 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

OniCentral has posted the final part of their visit to Bungie west ;). The interviews originally occurred sometime last year, but they are still an insightful look at this action-oriented third-person shooter. Mixing hand-to-hand combat with plenty of brutal firearms, Oni will feature a long, involved solo story line with complex enemy AI and multiple solutions to obstacles. Here is a great example of what they want to do with stealth and sound in the game:

"Harry: Will you be able to attack from the distance, because let's say 50 people are guarding the door and you need to get past them. Wouldn't it be easier to get a few of them from afar first?

Chris: Sometimes she needs to whack guys without attacking from a distance. We have this sounds system where 2 bullets hitting flesh make less noise than 2 bullets from a silencer which hits a box. So if you are unable to hit someone in the back of the head and hit a box instead, 2 enemies will come at you in alert."

All estimates point to this game being released by late in October for the Playstation 2 (via Rockstar and Take Two Interactive) and for Mac and PC (published by Gathering of Developers.) We look forward to seeing Oni in action early next week at MWNY.

OniCentral Interviews Bungie West
E3 Coverage of Oni

Tactical Ops 1.2 on 22nd
6:30 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The Tactical Ops team (previously known as S.W.A.T) have announced a new date for their next release of this realistic anti-terrorist mod for Unreal Tournament. They plan to release new maps, fix numerous bugs and have re-modeled and skinned many of their weapons and objects. Here is the update:

I (Shag) just decided to make a little change in our (not yet public) roadmap:

Beta 1.2 will be released Saturday 22 July at 11pm GMT.

As of now Tactical Ops is doing very good. We already have 60% of the in-game weapons updated with the new hands, and the M3 Benelli is in as well. But another week is needed to have all the weapons converted and ready. This time will also be used to fix a few network issues. in a few days we will publish the current 1.2 features list and new screenshots so you can watch the progress.

We are also looking for a server admin, for a private-server admin/beta-tester position. Drop me a mail if interested.

Make sure to check MacGamefiles on the 22nd, as this file site will have the update as soon as it is released.

Tactical Ops UT Mod
Download Tactical Ops 1.1

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Halo Preview Part 2
11:27 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Computer Games Online has posted the second part of their preview of Bungie Studios/Microsoft's shooter Halo, based on interviews that proceeded the acquisition of Bungie by the boys from Redmond. As with first part, this preview contains new screenshots and concept art.

Here's an excerpt about the way Bungie used to make games:

The pattern we've followed since the first Marathon game is to first create the engine and the game world, next create the multiplayer game, then the single-player game." Jones confides. "So once we have the engine and environment in good shape, we drop some characters and weapons in there and start playing with it. This process teaches us a lot about how to best balance important elements like how much damage the weapons do, how fast players should be able to move, what types of information are most important for players to see, etc. Then we take those lessons and use them as starting points for building the single-player game.
Since these interviews and previews were conducted before this title was destined for Microsoft's X-box, it isn't clear how much of this information is still relevant; however, those screen shots still make the jaw drop. Bungie Studios insists that they have not made a final decision as to which platforms Halo will appear upon, and they will not rule out a Mac or PC version of this title in the future.

CGO Halo Preview Part Two
Bungie Studios' Halo
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Hoekstra on Elite Force
11:08 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Daily Radar has talked with Raven Sofware's producer Ken Hoekstra about their forthcoming game Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. Although some of the questions are directed towards the PC demo that was recently released, Daily Radar does ask other interesting questions. As usual Hoekstra replies with a lot of rich detail about the game and how Raven has modified the Quake 3 engine. Currently Raven is working on the PC side of Elite Force; their target is to release the PC version of Elite Force around September, and shortly afterwards release the Mac and Linux versions, although publishers for these editions have not been named.

Although the Star Trek world has already been created, Raven has created new alien lifeforms, with the consent of Paramount:

DR: How much new stuff are you guys creating for the Star Trek universe? There are obviously new weapons and at least one new race -- what else has Paramount allowed you guys to come up with?

KH: We had a lot of freedom with Elite Force because the Voyager universe is so wide open to begin with. Being that far from known space has its advantages. We were able to push forth a unique storyline that featured new weapons, enemies, environments and characters without much trouble. The Hazard Team is entirely our creation, as is the main enemy force in the game. Voyager fans will be astounded by the amount of new stuff in the game that's never been seen on the show.

Elite Force is based on the Quake 3 Arena engine, which is used to full effect in both game visuals and multiplayer support. Watch for more information on the Mac version of this title very soon.

Ken Hoekstra Interview at Daily Radar
Raven Software
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Terminus 1.5 Released
10:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Vicarious Visions, in their ongoing effort to make your Terminus experience optimal, have released yet another patch for this realistic space-based adventure. This latest patch updates the game to version 1.5 and adds many new tweak to all versions of the game. The Mac-specific fixes adress a few issues for GameRanger users and Voodoo 3 owners. Here's a list of just the Mac changes, from among the many fixes listed on the company's page that are common to all three versions:

  • MAC: Multiplayer error messages are drawn
  • MAC: Increased memory handles to fix DRP
  • MAC: Added dialog box when joining multiplayer games from Game Ranger
  • MAC: Added buffer to help prevent some out of memory errors
  • MAC: Added support for more keys
  • MAC: Improved resolution switching code, again
  • MAC: Fixed Voodoo 3 resolution switching
  • MAC: Added workaround for Game Ranger bug that prevented joining some multiplayer games
  • MAC: Fixed issues with joining games rapidly in succession

As you can tell, a lot of work has gone into this latest update; Vicarious Visions seems to be quite receptive to user feedback. Owners of Terminus should download this small patch immediately. If you would like more information on this title, be sure and check out our preview, and take the demo for a spin.

Vicarious Visions Terminus Web Site
Download Terminus 1.5 Patch (983k)
Terminus Preview
Terminus Demo In-depth

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

PC IGN has posted their latest issue of Summoner Thursday, a weekly developer diary from various employees at Volition working on this 3D RPG. This update is from sound engineer Wally Shaw, who discusses the math behind complex combinations of sounds. Here's an excerpt:

Remember asking your Algebra teacher, "Am I ever gonna need this in real life?"

Funny, I remember asking that question of teachers in my high school, but I donít remember any one of them answering me satisfactorily. After more than ten years I can say categorically that, yes indeed, I need this in real life. But not like you might think. I mean, it's been a few weeks since I've had to figure out the hypotenuse of a certain isosceles triangle, or insert integers into the Pythagorean theorem. But it was just today that I had to decide what the solution was to the equation: x + y + z = the sound of a ficticious undead creature dismounting his horse and attacking several people.

Be sure to take a look at the rest of the humorous piece if you have a chance. Summoner is set to be released on the PlayStation 2 this October, with Mac and PC versions following a few months afterward.

PC IGN Summoner Thursday
Buy Summoner

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Baldur's Gate Shipping Date
10:21 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Many anxious RPG fans have written to IMG asking when Baldur's Gate will finally be shipping from Graphic Simulations. This epic, award-winning RPG is a full 5 CDs of content and has been in beta testing for many months, due of the large amount of work involved in testing and debugging such a complex title. We contacted GraphSim about when we might see this game on shelves, and have received very good news.

Apparently, the first run of this game should finish duplication on Sunday, and the units themselves will start shipping on Monday. Those attending Macworld New York next week will also be able to purchase it there, of course. We may be rubbing our eyes in disbelief the first time we see it, but yes, the Mac version of Baldur's Gate is ready to ship! Make sure you drop IMG a line and tell us when this game arrives in your part of the world, so we can pass this information along to everyone.

Baldur's Gate Preview
Graphic Simulations
Baldur's Gate

Mac Games News for Thursday, July 13, 2000

First Deus Ex Winner4:46 PM
Oni FAQ Posted, Surprise Tomorrow4:37 PM
New Gloomveil Content4:30 PM
Strike Force 2.0 Coming3:58 PM
New UT CTF4 Release3:50 PM
Weapons Factory Arena Update3:47 PM
Roboforge Debut3:40 PM
Halo Preview, New Images11:55 AM
Battle by the Bay Registration11:35 AM
Mac Products Guide Updates11:18 AM
Cosmologik Update11:01 AM
Aspyr Status Update, Deus Ex Ships10:30 AM
Summoner Update10:24 AM
RUNE Interview10:08 AM
Official FAKK2 Website Debut10:04 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 13, 2000 on one page

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