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Friday, July 28, 2000

Voodoo5 Reactions Around The Web
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As the press blackout on the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI for Mac OS lifted yesterday at 5 PM Pacific, a flood of articles hit the web, as expected. Along with IMG's own preview of this card, MacGaming, Mac Gamer's Ledge, Accelerate Your Mac, Mac Observer, Bare Feats, PC hardware site Sharky Extreme and Penstar Systems all posted previews of this cutting-edge card. As most of the sites had very little time to actually work with the cards, reactions vary widely from article to article. Some include benchmarks, while others did not due to time constraints.

The Sharky Extreme article is predictably quite harsh in its appraisal of the card and the G4/450 they used for a demo test bed; their comparison to a PC should not be taken to heart, however - a 933 MHz Pentium III, despite Steve Jobs' hype about the G4 chip, is a much faster machine. Its memory bus is over twice the speed of the G4 machine, and the Voodoo5 drivers on the PC side have been through several speed revisions so far.

Another preview well worth reading is at Penstar Systems; this site has had a very tight relationship with 3dfx in the past, and their article delves deeper into the technical aspects of this card. The benchmarks will give you an idea of how this card might perform in a slower Mac, but again we must caution all of our readers that these benchmarks are totally preliminary, and they do not reflect the numbers of a final, shipping product.

As for our own V5 preview, we have received much feedback, both positive and negative, and we appreciate both kinds - video card evaluation and benchmarking is fearsomely complex and there are many factors to consider. We want to emphasize again that this is only a preview; we also want to mention that the two games used to benchmark this card are the total worst-case-scenario games, with brutal system requirements and heavy CPU demands. Many other games that we have played with this card, including Descent III, Episode One: Racer, Dark Vengeance, Quake II, Future Cop: LAPD, Myth II: Soulblighter and many others showed tremendous increases in speed, image quality and playability with this card over a Voodoo3 or Rage 128. 50+ FPS with 2x FSAA at 800x600 is very common in most games, and peaks of 80 FPS can be seen in many games. Descent III, a great bargain-bin find at $19.95, is practically a new game.

In their present form these cards are indeed limited by both driver optimization and Apple's PCI implementation. AGP cards with properly optimized drivers should create dramatic gains in performance, according to several sources we have talked to. We have also learned that Ken Dyke, the man behind the Voodoo3 drivers for 3dfx, has left the company; this loss may slow down the optimization of the Voodoo5 drivers somewhat, although Bryan Speece emphasized again and again in a phone conversation that they are very serious about optimizing the drivers and will work hard in this area.

In any case, read this wide variety of reactions to the debut of these cards on our platform to get an idea of the many issues surrounding 3D card performance on the Mac. Frames per second is not the end-all of gaming, despite what the PC hardware sites say - image quality, compatibility and headroom for future games are also critical factors, and have to be taken into consideration. When you've read your fill, be sure and join the discussion in our Forums.

Penstar Systems V5 Preview
Bare Feats V5 Preview
Voodoo5 5500 - What Do You Think?
Mac Observer V5 Preview
Sharky Extreme V5 Preview
Mac Gamer's Ledge V5 Preview
Accelerate Your Mac V5 Review
MacGaming V5 Preview

Master of Orion 3 Coming to Mac?
6:23 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We have learned from IMG reader Jason Elgenia that the team behind Master of Orion III: The Fifth X, currently under development by Quicksilver Software and to be published by Microprose, is interested in creating a Mac OS version of this game. MOO3 is another installment in a series of turn-based strategy games; the previous two titles also made it to the Mac OS. Here is the note Jason received from the Quicksilver team:

We desperately want to make a Mac version of MOO3 and are busy working out a distribution deal to make it happen. It will be announced on our web site if it happens.
This isn't exactly an official announcement, but we do appreciate the use of the word 'desperately.'

If you are curious about the game itself, here is a synopsis from the official web site:

In MOO3, players assume the biggest role ever. No longer do players merely represent petty interplanetary dictators. In MOO3, players represent the controlling power behind an entire galactic civilization. The dictators, presidents, councils, and overlords that come and go are merely a player’s pawns. One must use these governments and their leaders to secure the destiny of one’s civilization and to manipulate its policies of freedom and oppression in both foreign and domestic arenas. It is not enough to be an able economist or a great captain to succeed in Master of Orion 3; considerable political, administrative, and espionage skills must be applied to craft your civilization’s glorious chapter in the Annals of Time and Space. 

Although MOO3 is a turn-based game and a player can do anything, he can’t do everything. Only a limited amount of "Imperial Focus" is available to each player each turn, so players must manage the ultimate resource – their own direct involvement! Therefore, as players build empires, retaining able administrators becomes more important (as does watching their loyalty and ambition!). Growing an empire means growing a bureaucracy and citizens can resort to voting with their feet or their pitchforks if they're not properly led.

Development of this game was begun in May of 2000; currently it is still in the concept stages. There is no set completion date, but the game is most likely due next year. In case you are curious, Quicksilver has been a Mac developer several times in the past; they created such hits as Castles: Siege and Conquest, Castles II, Star Trek: Starfleet Command and the Shanghai Maj-Jongg Series. Check out the MOO3 web site for more details.

Masters of Orion III
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Mia 2 On The Way
4:56 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Simon and Schuster has announced another edutainment title for Mac and PC; luckily, this one does not involve the word 'panty' in any way (referring of course to their universally panned title Panty Raider.) Instead, this "rollicking 3D adventure" involves the adventures of Mia Mouse as she solves science-based puzzles (with your child's help, of course). Here are more details from the press release:

Help! Mia Mouse got caught in a big flood storm that whisked away her
mother's hat that she had loaned her; and to make matters worse, the bad
guy, Romaine Rat, has found the hat and is now wearing it as his
own. Hopefully the player can help Mia earn enough "sparklies" to buy it
back from him! Thus begins a rollicking 3D adventure through a series of
logic challenges and science activities in Mia 2: Romaine's New Hat, the
second title in Kutoka Interactive's CD-ROM learning adventure series
starring the most endearing mice since Disney's Cinderella.

As well as having eight full-featured science activities at four different
levels of difficulty, Mia 2: Romaine's New Hat has many scientific
challenges to tackle within Mia's adventure.

As luck might have it, the journey back home has many challenges that will
help the player and Mia learn about science, while hopefully winning enough
sparklies to replace the hat. And, of course, whenever there are sparklies
to be found, you can be sure that Romaine the rat is never far away. Once
he spots Mia with sparklies he will try his best to get them away from her.

With the help of the player and the new friends Mia makes on her way, Mia
will hopefully be home in time for dinner and with her mother's hat!

Mia 2: Romaine's New Hat will be compatible with both PC and Macintosh
platforms and is scheduled to ship in August, 2000. This extraordinary
new edutainment title targeted at children 5 to 11 that combines an
involving story, adventure and some serious learning into two fun packed

Watch for this title in August; more details should be available soon from the Simon and Schuster Interactive web site.

Simon and Schuster Interactive

Click to enlarge
Mac Diablo II Support Update
4:31 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Blizzard has once again demonstrated their commitment to the Mac OS platform by updating their Tech Support FAQ with information for the MacOS version of Diablo II. The update includes detailed answers to many of the questions that have been asked on the IMG forums and on newsgroups about this recently-released game.

Here is their answer to one of the most commonly-asked questions:

(MAC) Why don't I see RAVE or Open GL mode support on my system?

A driver update is required for ATI graphics cards based on the RAGE 128 chipset. This includes cards ATI sells as well as the ones in Blue and White G3 systems and some G4 systems. ATI is aware of the issue and they should have an update ready in the near future. The driver problem will prevent Diablo II from recognizing OpenGL or RAVE on PCI RAGE 128 cards. Until a driver update is available, we recommend you run Diablo II in software mode.

Note: ATi Cards based on the RAGE 128Pro chipset will not have this problem.

There are various reports of "hacks" you can make to the Diablo II application itself to 'fool' it into working with PCI Rage 128 cards; however, Blizzard recommends strongly against this, as it will result in crashes - that is why they disabled support for those cards in the first place. For more details, check out the rest of the FAQ; of course, the IMG forums are a great source of information, so research or post your Diablo II questions there as well.

Blizzard Tech Support FAQ
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

Freeverse Develops Secret Project
4:03 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

After releasing 3D Hearts Deluxe 6.0 at Macworld Expo, shareware publishers Freeverse Software have been taking some time of to recover from that exhausting show. Although it wasn't mentioned publicly at the Expo, the Freeverse team is currently working on a unnamed secret project; they are also getting a lot of great feedback from their cool 3D Hearts Deluxe game. Here is what Freeverse is working on presently:

We've recovered nicely from Macworld and its various parties. Right now, (apart from working on a project so secret we don't even have a code-name for it :-), we're just basking in the glow of Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab. We're getting some amazing feedback letters from users and our heads are swelling beyond all recognition.

3D Hearts Deluxe 6.0 was also released in the last couple of weeks and that's going to be a big seller for us. Its a major upgrade, adding HMS Freeverse support, and its been a steady seller for years. We're actually not going to email our customers and let them know about the new version until Carlos, our order-processing monkey gets back from vacation in two weeks. We don't want to deal with all the orders and stamp-licking that will follow.

What else? Well Ian, Gareth and I just started a new inter-office Warlords II game. Its an oldy but a goody!

If you're in need of a fresh, Mac-first gaming experience, Freeverse's extensive catalog of shareware games is a great place to start.

3D Hearts Deluxe 6.0
Freeverse Software

Click to enlarge
Tribes 2 Interview
2:08 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a very interesting interview with Dynamix's Dave Georgeson; he's the producer of Tribes 2, an upcoming team-based shooter. In the inteview, Georgeson clarifies some previous statements and divulges more details about how this game will play. Players will be able to go under water to infiltrate and destroy their enem's bases; Vehicles such as aircraft and and buggies will also be able to fight for an unlimited time underwater, since players will not have the oxygen restriction found in most games of this type. Of course, some restrictions will affect the vehicle underwater; for example, your speed will decrease due to the density of the water. This discussion also features several new screen shots. As this game is based on 'tribal' affiliations and team play, player skins are critical to identify friend and foe. Here are more details on skinning options for the game:

Will clans be able to register skins and have them distributed in some sort of widespread and easily managed method so using them is automatic and not invisible to all players?

Yes. We're considering having a "buddy list" download system (where skins are downloaded for anyone that you designate), or having a "skin pack" optional download which gets updated periodically.

Regardless of the method, we'll make the skins available centrally. They will, of course have to be submitted to Dynamix and screened for content. As humorous as a giant middle finger on a heavy would be, we can't centrally distribute anything patently offensive or lewd. That's just life in the business world. Sorry.

While Dynamix is waiting for the PC version to be completed before creating the Mac version, they are approching beta very soon. We look forward to seeing this game on the Mac this Winter.

Sierra Studios
GameSpy's Tribes 2 Interview

Marathon Open Source Updates
12:49 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source Project has sent us word that they are looking to expand their base of helpers. They are hunting for more programmers to join in on the fun of making Marathon II/Infinity as playable online as Quake 3 Arena or Unreal Tournament. Here's a quote straight from the source:

The Marathon Open Source Project, having already created a reasonably stable
version of Marathon that utilizes OpenGL for displaying high-quality
graphics, is now looking to expand into new territory. We're actively
recruiting more volunteer programmers, particularly people who could help us
make Marathon playable over the Internet.

Marathon is already one of the most enjoyable multiplayer Mac games,
rivaling even Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament due to it's excellent balance of
gameplay, slick level design, and modest system requirements. The next step
is to extend the carnage to the Internet!

If you'd like to get involved, please visit http://source.bungie.org. Be
sure to download the latest version of the game while you're there. You'll
be happy to see how far Marathon has come in the last six months.

If you feel like you have some skills to help out the cause, contact the MOSP team. If not, be sure to try out the latest build of Aleph One, if you're a Marathon fan; you will need the demo or full version of Marathon II or Infinity to play.

Another interesting recent update to the Aleph One page describes the response by Bungie to the Open Source project at the Fanfest held in New York last week. Here's a clip:

Matt Soell was much more enthusiastic about it though; he said that he'd been downloading builds regularly up into a few weeks ago (for obvious reasons), and that development was as great as he hoped for when releasing the source. He seemed impressed that they released the source and it was
totally broken, and that you all fixed it up in short order, although he did bring up the crashiness of the first builds. He also claimed the first time he walked up to a door and it didn't pixellate he almost fainted. In short, he has been keeping an eye on you all, and he seemed to like what he sees.
Glad to hear Bungie likes what their baby has become. A freeware project like this always needs fresh inspiration, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Marathon Evolution - Open Source Project

NVIDIA Geforce 2 MX Review
12:07 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While a few vocal Mac users have decided to 'head for the hills' due to of the latest round of Voodoo5 previews (and they are just previews, folks), to say that the future of Mac 3D hardware is doomed is a gross exaggeration. Amidst all of the 3dfx/ATI chaos over the past two weeks, a company named NVIDIA seems to have been temporarily forgotten. Hardware Central has recently reviewed one of the first PC boards based on NVIDIA's GeForce 2 MX chipset. When NVIDIA unveiled this board a few weeks ago, one of the most exciting features they announced was built-in Mac compatibility, although no official announcements of Mac products have been made as of yet.

The GeForce MX 2 is a slightly different, less expensive chip than the full GeForce 2's which have ruled supreme on the PC side for some time. The advantage is that they are cheaper (running under $150) and use less power, while still providing great 3D and 2D support. Here's an excerpt from the review:

Quite frankly, taking the GeForce2 MX’s power consumption and heat dissipation into consideration we see no reason why nVidia shouldn’t endeavor into the mobile market. Given its excellent track record and a name for quality and performance most people would be more than willing to pay extra to have this kind of quality under the hood of their new notebook.
As we said, there is no official announcement of a Mac card which uses these chips as of yet; however we are certain that plans are in motion for a Mac-compatible product. Be sure to check out our own look at these chipsets for more information.

NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX In-Depth
Hardware Central Geforce 2 MX Review

Mike Wilson on Apple and Games
11:58 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Since E3 this past Spring we have reported many times that Gathering of Developers, a major PC publisher owned by Take Two Interactive, has made a serious commitment to the Mac platform, with four titles to be released in 2000 and one in 2001. However their momentum might be temporarily (or permanently) stalled, as recent comments by CEO Mike Wilson reveal.

Blue's News first pointed us towards a short Q&A with Wilson posted at GameWeek.com in which he was highly critical of Apple's attitude towards gaming and threatened an abandonment of the platform. Here is an excerpt:

[We’re] not very happy at all. Apple has basically abandoned gaming as a priority, and therefore most game publishers are abandoning it. This will likely be the last Macworld that you see Gathering product at, if things don’t change drastically. We have been very vocal about our support of Apple and the Mac up to now, but I have to say that there has been no reciprocity whatsoever. [It’s] very disappointing and sad for the Mac users.
Once this comment hit Blue's News, it seems someone at Apple took immediate notice, as Wilson quickly mailed a clarification to his earlier comments (which were recorded before the actual Macworld Expo New York.) In this clarification he explains that he was discussing the publishing end of the situation and Apple's lack of assistance with publishing and marketing -- a fairly common complaint from both Mac and PC developers:
I'd like to clarify something... Apple was upset with these comments due to the fact that their developer relations people have been doing a good job w/our Mac-friendly developers. My comments about lack of support were solely geared toward publisher/marketing related support. I'm mostly disappointed that their marketing direction has nothing to do with gaming. As evidenced by Job's keynote spending about 5 minutes on 'gaming' (just saying that Microsoft's games were coming to the Mac) and spending about 45 minutes explaining how they believe the future is everyone editing their own movies.
This has always been one of the more puzzling aspects of Apple's behavior; Steve Jobs loves to say that "Apple loves games!" during keynotes, but doesn't advertise the Mac as a gaming machine or publicize the large number of entertainment titles available for our platform. While it is arguable that Apple is not in the business of promoting *any* third-party software, Microsoft has shown considerable interest in promoting gaming on their OS, even publishing some of the best-known PC titles; this may be the source of Wilson's disappointed expectations. In any case we have high hopes for GoD's amazing Fall lineup for the Mac OS, which includes 4x4 Evolution, Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 and Oni - we think these will sell well with or without Apple's assistance.

Gathering of Developers
Blue's News
Mike Wilson Q&A at GameWeek

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More DS9: The Fallen Images
11:25 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Gamers.com has scored more screen shots of Simon & Schuster's upcoming third-person shooter, Deep Space Nine: The Fallen. The screen shots reveal various locations that you will be able to explore, and one still from the opening cinematic. The demo of this game was released on the PC side earlier this week, but these screen shots are from the full version. There are still no plans for a Mac demo of this game, planned for a simultaneous Mac/PC release this Fall, but that may change if Mac gamers show enough interest.

Ken Gordon of S&S went to visit the Collective (the developers creating this game) yesterday, so make sure to check back later, as we might have more information on the progress of the Mac OS version of The Fallen. Check out these screen shots to see what the Unreal Tournament engine is still capable of - an outdated engine? Hardly.

Exclusive DS9: The Fallen Screen Shots
The Collective's DS9: The Fallen Forum
DS9: The Fallen Screen Shots at Gamers.com
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

Yet Another Terminus Patch
11:07 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In what has been an almost daily ritual, Vicarious has released another patch for Terminus. The latest patch includes the following bug fixes:

• Fixed save game loading with stored ships

• Default canisters scannable when loading older save games

• Fixed docking with ship that contains many thrusters
To download the latest Terminus patch, head over to Macgamefiles.com.

Terminus 1.62 Patch at MGF

Fly! With The Big Boys
9:30 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We noted on the Adrenaline Vault that Wilco Publishing has released a CD-ROM version of their Boeing 737 add-on for Terminal Reality's civilian flight simulator, Fly!.

737 is an ultra-realistic simulation of flying an actual 737 aircraft, adjusted for the flight, weight and control characteristics of this workhorse of the airlines. Here is a description from the Wilco web site:

For armchair pilots itching to climb into the cockpit of a commercial aircraft, the next best thing to being there is Wilco Publishing’s new Boeing 737-500 for FLY!, Terminal Reality’s critically acclaimed flight sim.

The PC- and Macintosh-compatible add-on will put FLY! fans at the controls of one of the workhorses of commercial aviation in a virtual environment so real that you can practically feel the levers.

The front, overhead, FMC, throttle quadrant and floor panels are faithfully reproduced and offer a more true-to-life perspective than conventional flat-view renderings. All switches and buttons are clickable and animated. All gears, flaps, spoilers, reverse and other controls are fully operational, advancing and retreating in response to pilot commands. A 180-degree view of the cockpit and genuine sound effects recorded in a real 737 flight deck heighten the illusion that you’re sitting in the captain’s seat, with dozens of lives depending on your skills.

If you are a fan of this civilian flight sim, it sounds like flying a 737 is a challenge you just can't pass up. Head to the Wilco web site for more details; the price is around $30.50, although it varies with exchange rate. Fly! is published for Mac by Gathering of Developers.

The Adrenaline Vault
Fly! from Terminal Reality
Wilco's 737 for Fly!

Unreal Fortress Images
8:27 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

The team behind Unreal Fortress, an Unreal Tournament team-based mod, has updated their web site with some images of their project. The shots show off some of their latest creations, such as laser-tripwire mines, as well as revealing their latest maps in progress. This mod is still in development; they are planning for a private beta test on August 11th, and a public release soon afterwards. This mod has been compared to the Quake 3 Arena mod Quake 3 Fortress; however both are distinct in approach and design.

Unreal Fortress

Click to enlarge
United Developers Interview
6:00 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Our colleagues at MacGaming have interviewed Ron Dimant about the recently-created company, United Developers. As in IMG's video interview, Dimant explains that United Developers isn't a official company, but more of a union, bringing together all developers that want to work on porting 10- to 18-month-old PC games to Mac.

Dimant is also the CEO of Ritual Entertainment, which is finishing off their upcoming game Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2. United Developer's initial projects include Mac ports of the RTS Majesty (shown in the screen shot) and the first-person shooter Sin, as well as its expansion pack. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

The most important thing to understand is that United Developers isn't a company," said Dimant. "It's an initiative by a number of developers to enable through a collaborative effort to do things that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

As developers ourselves we have very close relationships with the people who are making the games, and we're making a big push on co-development to make sure that the Mac versions of games we bring to market are as closely behind the PC products as possible -- preferably simultaneously. Even within a few weeks would be great.

Read the rest of this interview for more details on this exciting development in the field of Mac gaming.

MW Video: Ron Dimant on United Developers
MacGaming Interviews Ron Dimant

Click to enlarge
New Warcraft III Shots
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpy has dug up four screen shots of Blizzard's upcoming RTS title Warcraft III in action, revealing the development progress of this sequel; two of them appear to be new. As we recently learned at Macworld New York, Blizzard plans to bring this title to the Mac OS simultaneously with the PC version, continuing their strong commitment to the Mac platform.

While four measly screen shots isn't anything to throw a party about, these do show the mature game interface and viewing angle, so radically different from the original shots that were released. This game has been slowly shifting from a RPG/RTS hybrid towards a more traditional RTS title, focused on small party combat rather than amassing huge armies. The solo and multiplayer aspects of this game will feature RPG-like features, however, including non-player characters that interact and move the storyline along, and Heroes that can be upgraded in weapons and abilities.

Check out the shots and visit the Blizzard web site for more information on this title. This game is due "when it is done" as usual, but Blizzard seems to be thinking middle of 2001.

MW: Warcraft III Coming to the Mac
Blizzard Entertainment
Warcraft III Shots at GameSpy
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

MacMAME Update
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After a quiet period, Brad Oliver has made yet another update to the popular arcade game emulator MacMAME, which has now reached version 0.37b5. There are a few fixes beyond the basic update to keep pace with the DOS version, including the following:

  • In sync with the DOS 0.37 beta 5 build. [Brad Oliver]
  • Fixed Glide plugin so that it renders the entire screen. [Brad Oliver]
  • Added option to load a language file, and in the process rearranged the
    front-end slightly. Loading of non-default cheat files (i.e. those that are
    not named 'cheat.dat') will be added in a future release; it is dimmed out
    for now. [Brad Oliver]
  • Fixed issue whereby replay files would not display the filename in the
    front-end. [Brad Oliver]

MacMAME is an amazing emulator that now supports over 2,000 arcade game ROMs. Head over to Macgamefiles and give it a download if you haven't already; as for finding ROMs to use, you're on your own.

Download MacMAME 0.37b5 (2.7MB)

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On Elite Force's Audio
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

SystemLogic.net has interviewed Kevin, the sound director for Raven Software's upcoming Star Trek game, Voyager: Elite Force. He is the man behind the music for this Quake3-based game, as well as sound engineer for the spoken dialog, most of which is recorded by actual actors from the series. Here's a clip with details:

SystemLogic: Making all of the sounds for EF must've been exhausting work… can you discuss which sounds were the most interesting and/or outrageous to create?

Ravensoft: The thing I will remember most about this game is all the spoken dialogue. We have a script hundreds of pages long with thousand of lines of dialogue. Getting all that written, recorded, edited and organized was a huge task involving many people. You can play this game several times and you will continue to hear new lines depending on what you do.

I really appreciate the show's actors who provided their voices for the game. Putting those voices in made the game come to life and feel like you are really in the TV show. There was no exact formula for making Borg voices, so I had to spend some time working out a way to do that.

Along with the interview, SoundLogic scored several new screen shots and promo materials for the game. Elite Force should be available on the Mac thanks to the portability of the Quake 3 engine, though no official publisher has been announced as of yet.

Elite Force Screenshots
Elite Force Sound Interview
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

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4x4 Interview, Preview
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Terminal Reality is working on a new racing game that will take your Mac as off-road as you want to go. 4x4 Evolution was revealed at Macworld Expo New York, and we're pretty thrilled to see this amazing game running on a Mac. Recently Checkout.com interviewed producer John O'Keefe about 4x4. Here's a clip explaining how they're trying to recreate the cars you drive in the game as realistically as possible:

How distinct are the performance characteristics of each?

Each SUV or truck has the exact performance characteristics that it has in real
life. We have worked with each manufacturer to make sure that we get all the
right numbers to make sure that the vehicles performance is accurate. Some of
these variables are the following: all physical parameters, curb weight, mass
moment of inertia, coefficient of drag, coefficient of lift, suspension travel,
spring rates, shock rates, gear ratios, final drive ratios, transfer case ratio,
tire size, etc.

Sounds like a Gran Tourismo with SUVs. Be sure to check out the interview for more.

If you're new to the game, CGO has a preview available which gives a good overview of what it's all about. Here's information about the driving courses themselves:

The game, which will offer 16 tracks and more than 50
vehicles, will be released simultaneously on the PC, Dreamcast, and Mac platforms. Rather
than use the console convention of opening up new tracks through successful play, O’Keefe
assured us that all 16 would be available from the start in quick races. The vehicles are a
different matter—you’ll have to earn trucks and their upgrades.
As we saw at the expo, there is no set track in this game - you can take any path on or off-road that you like, as long as you hit the checkpoints. Check out our video from the show to see this game in action.

MW: 4x4 Evolution Video
Checkout 4x4 Interview
CGO 4x4 Evo Preview
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

Mac Games News for Thursday, July 27, 2000

UT Rocket Arena Update4:38 PM
Terminus Update to 1.6.12:53 PM
Chat with a Human Head10:24 AM
Bioware Visit10:14 AM
FAKK2 Chat, Preview9:18 AM
DS9: The Fallen PC Demo Released9:15 AM
Connecting to Bungie.net8:32 AM
F.A.K.K. 2 For Mac Update8:25 AM
Rune Hits CrunchTime8:23 AM
IMG's Voodoo 5 Preview, Giveaway!8:16 AM
Combat Mission 1.0.3 Released8:15 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 27, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, July 26, 2000
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