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Tuesday, August 1, 2000

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Deus Ex Demo Released
6:51 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

After a slight delay, the Mac demo of RPG/shooter hybrid Deus Ex has been released to an eager audience. This large (135 MB) download features the first level of this game, and is an excellent introduction to the variety of challenges and approaches this shooter offers.

Ported to the Mac OS by Westlake Interactive and published by Aspyr Media, Deus Ex has received rave reviews on the PC side, lauded for its developed story line and depth as well as the game's gorgeous visuals. Based on the Unreal Tournament engine, the game is slightly more demanding than even that memory- and processor-hogging shooter; this is due to level designs which incorporate large, open spaces and entire city blocks in full detail.

Those of you who remember Warren Spector's previous creation System Shock or are a fan of compelling solo adventures such as offered by the Marathon series will find much to like in Deus Ex. Set in a near-future world of cyberpunk technologies and age-old conspiracy theories, this game pits a posthuman against a cabal of elites obsessed with world domination, with plot twists galore. Thousands of lines of spoken dialog and integrated cut-scenes help move the story along at a frantic pace.

If you find the prospect of a 135 MB download intimidating, you can be certain that this demo will be included in the next issue of IMG's CD-ROM publication, due in the next few weeks. If you aren't a subscriber, now's an excellent time to sign up and leave the downloading to us.

For more information on this thrilling game, be sure and check out IMG's First Look at and Preview of this title. Deus Ex is currently shipping, and is available from the Aspyr online store as well as the shelves of your local Mac retailer.

Deus Ex Preview
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Download Deus Ex Demo (135 MB)
First Look: Deus Ex
Aspyr Media
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex

Deus Ex Demo Coming Tonight
3:44 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has informed us that the Deus Ex demo is on the way and should be available in the next few hours. Our sister site,, will be hosting the immense 135 MB (or so) demo. As soon as the demo is released on MGF we'll post a news blurb on IMG.

As always, the Deus Ex demo will be on the next issue of Inside Mac Games.

Subscribe to Inside Mac Games

The Sims 1.1.1 Patch Released
2:09 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has released a small patch for their popular real-life sim, The Sims. This fix brings the game to version 1.1.1 and makes a few small changes to improve stability. Here's the list:

  • Sound volume fixed. Moving the camera now correctly affects the game's volume levels, and control panel sliders for sound effects and voices now work.
  • Game now properly detects OpenGL's version number on all machines.
  • The software now alerts you if you have a period (.) anywhere in your file path. All slashes (/), backslashes (\), and periods (.) must be removed from all "parent" folders before playing the game.
  • Fixed a minor DrawSprocket problem during quit.
  • Made a few minor resource tweaks.
  • Head on over now to Macgamefiles and grab this patch to make your Sims lead even more happy and healthy lives - or perish in a raging kitchen fire, it's your preference.

    Aspyr Media
    The Sims 1.1.1 Update at MGF (450k)

    Blizzard and Future Point
    1:51 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    For those of you that are thankful for the quick release of a Mac port of Diablo II, ahead of Blizzard Entertainment's usual schedule, you may be interested in the company behind this occurrence. Future Point is the relatively quiet company that has actually produced the Mac versions of Blizzard's games. Members of Future Point include John Stiles, of and Skittles 2 fame, along with Anthony Tribelli, who occasionally helps out frustrated gamers on Usenet.

    In a recent post, Tribelli notes how Future Point recently moved and became Blizzard's in-house Mac team, and the benefits they gained by this move:

    In Diablo days Future Point was a little smaller and we were working on both Diablo and Starcraft at the same time. We are also now reaping the benefits of all the Win32 and DirectX compatibility code we wrote for Diablo and Starcraft. Diablo II was the fourth product to use this code, number three was Warcraft II Edition. We are writing less and reusing more in this area. Finally, in February we became part of Blizzard, the permanent in-house Mac development team. Future Point had a great working relationship with Blizzard. We would move into Blizzard QA when a game entered it's testing phase. However it is much better to be permanently at the main office with most of the development teams and QA, to frequently visit the Blizzard North development team (Diablo) and work more closely with them, to have everyone working off the same source code, to be involved in projects at an earlier date than was possible as an outside contractor, ...
    Obviously this also means good news for Mac gamers, who can now expect a port of Warcraft III to closely follow the PC version. A large thanks to Anthony, John and the rest of the team for their continuing hard work on making Mac Diablo II a great port. We'll bring you word as soon as the 1.03 patch becomes available to the public.

    Blizzard Web Site

    Unreal Tourney PC at 425
    1:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    We noticed on Blue's News that the PC version of shooter Unreal Tournament has been updated to version 425. This update does not break network compatibility with earlier versions, so netplay between Mac and PC is unaffected; however, the list of changes is extensive, and it may be time for Westlake Interactive, creators of the Mac port, to consider updating the Mac version past 413. Here is a list of changes, edited to remove issues that are PC-only (such as Direct3D tweaks):

    Version 425 is completely network compatible with all previous public releases of UT (versions 400, 402, 405b, 413, and 420). Note that with the new version, when you are connecting to a passworded server, you will see a "Connection Failed" message, and then successfully connect. The client first tries to connect without using a password, and then tries again with the password.

    Bug fixes

    - fixed another mixed skin cheat

    - fixed creeping pings problem - especially prevalent with passworded servers

    - fixed problems with passwords with spaces

    - improved server CPU utilization

    - improved prioritization of network traffic for low bandwidth users

    - fixed ActorLineCheck() crash again - no really this time

    - fixed clearing base on client in netplay - thanks Mongo

    - fixed suicide spamming

    - Last Man Standing now can have time limit

    - fixed spriteballexplosion sounds playing client side

    - faster translocation effect in software mode

    - fixed collision bug which cropped up in 420 (overlord)

    - lowered NGStats thread priority on dedicated servers, so NGStats doesn't hold up level changes.

    - Added bExternalBatcher configuration option to [Engine.GameInfo]. If true, the game doesn't try to run the NGStats world log batch process.

    Westlake's current position on UT updates is a "wait-and-see" policy; as long as network compatibility isn't broken in some way, they will wait until a significant number of changes that affect gameplay build up and then create a patch when time and resources allow for it. We'll let you know if Westlake decides that the changes between the Mac and PC version have reached 'critical mass'.

    Westlake Interactive
    Details on UT 425 at Blue's News

    Graeme talks to MacCentral
    12:00 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    MacCentral sat down to talk to Id software's game designer Graeme Devine. Talking about their upcoming mission pack and Doom 3, MacCentral has also asked id's Mac enthusiast some questions concerning Apple's latest multi-processing G4s. Although the current version of most games don't take advantage of the multi-processing features the new G4s give, some developers like id have spent the time re-writting their code in order to take full advantage of such great features.

    MG: Because the support for multiple-processors was already "stubbed" into place for symmetric
    multi-processing, revving the Mac-build of Quake III Arena wasn't all that time-intensive for you. But
    how much time does building support for multiple processors add to the game engine development in a
    game like Quake III Arena?

    GD: Well, the big deal is making the MP support actually do something useful, like speed the game up.
    When a car goes 70mph, two cars going at 70mph doesn't make 140mph cars possible. So we spent a
    long time working out what we could do on one processor while the other processor was doing
    something else.

    Id is showing a lot of support for Mac, it will surely continue in their future games.

    Maccentral's interview

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    Marathon InputSprockets
    11:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Marathon Open Source web site has been updated with good news regarding their open-source build of Bungie's Marathon 2, known as Aleph One, and Apple's InputSprockets. After an unsuccessful first attempt, programmer Loren Petrich has now fully implemented InputSprocket support into the Marathon codebase. It is even possible to use a mouse with a scroll wheel to rotate through your weapon inventory. Here's an excerpt from the site:

    Today Loren Petrich added InputSprocket support to Aleph One. And this time it works beautifully. You might want to adjust the Preferences before playing though, as the default mouse settings cause the player to walk forward when moving the mouse vertically, and moving the mouse horizontally causes the map to appear. Perhaps a more sensible use of the mouse would be to change the viewing direction. All of this can be adjusted in the Preferences.
    Congrats to Loren and the other members working on Aleph One for putting this great feature in place. The Aleph One project also adds OpenGL support, removes many limitations of the Marathon 2 engine, and adds impressive support for future scenario builders, so check it out if you own a copy of the original or Marathon Infinity.

    We recently informed you about their need for fresh programmers to help make Marathon playable over the Internet; the team is still looking. If you think you have the skills to help out, be sure to let them know.

    Marathon Open Source Project

    Update on id
    11:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    id Software's Todd Hollenshead has updated his .plan file with word on what's currently happening inside the original hard core gaming company. He notes the team's excitement about Ritual's upcoming Quake 3 engine-based game, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2. Hollenshead also mentions they are now finishing up their add-on for Quake 3, known as Team Arena. Here's his update in full:

    Congrats to Ritual. We've been playing a bit of FAKK 2 over here
    between wrapping up Team Arena, prepping for QuakeCon 2000, and starting
    DOOM. There's going to be a number of Quake 3 engine titles coming out
    over the next few months that I'm really looking forward to. FAKK2, Elite
    Force and Alice are all looking like outstanding games.

    If you're coming down for QuakeCon, most people will be pleased to know
    that it shouldn't be quite as hot this year as it was last year. It's still
    the summer in Texas, but the forecast is for mid-90's instead of every
    day being 104+ like last summer. With a little bit of a breeze it's not
    that bad. Honest.

    QuakeCon 2000 is the ultimate conference dedicated to (you guessed it) Quake. It begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday with workshops, celebrity speakers such as John Carmack, and of course tons of Quake 3 Arena tournament action. As you can tell from Hollenshead's update, it is held in Texas, so be prepared for warm weather if you plan to attend. We'll keep you posted if any Mac-specific goodies come out of this year's event.

    QuakeCon 2000
    Todd Hollenshead .plan Update

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    Summoner Screen Shots
    11:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IGN's Playstation 2 site has received four new screenshots of the upcoming 3D RPG, Summoner; this RPG is coming to Mac, PC and PS2 later this year. Summoner will feature impressive 3D graphics, RPG elements and a strong storyline. Head to IGN to check out the screen shots -- just be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page.

    Looking through the Summoner forums, we found a tidbit about controlling the characters in the game. You will have to control the main character, Joseph, but it's also possible to micromanage others in your party. Here's a post from Volition's Nick Lee:

    At any given time, you can directly control a single party member, including any creature you may have summoned. Other party members are AI controlled, although you can assign AI scripts to influence the behaviour of the party AI.

    If you want someone to stand back and heal others, you can assign the "healer" script to him. Or if you want a party member to jump into the fray swinging her weapon above her head, you can assign her the "melee attack" script. There will be a number of AI scripts for you to choose from which will allow you to tweak the party's behaviour to match whatever strategy suits your fancy.

    Summoner is set to be released on the Mac this winter. Volition also plans to bring their upcoming FPS Red Faction to the Mac around the same time, so stay tuned.

    IGN PS2 Summoner Screenshots
    Summoner Forum Thread
    Buy Summoner

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    Hands-on Black & White
    11:05 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    GameSpot UK has posted a new preview of Black & White, a god-game being developed by Lionhead Software. Accompanied by 20 brand-new screen shots, this hands on preview takes a in depth look at this genre-breaking game. They begin by explaining the plot behind this title, then detail the challenges and how the engine will modify your character in order to suit your personality. The more evil you are in your behavior, the more wicked and gruesome the character model becomes, and vice versa. Here is a snip from the preview:

    As your creature learns skills, it becomes more
    autonomous, to the point where it will actually imitate
    you and take on tasks it feels you would usually
    perform. A properly-groomed sidekick can make the
    game a lot easier. For example, to convert a new tribe,
    you might simply tether your creature to the village and
    let the animal take over. Good creatures will impress
    the villagers by committing good deeds. Evil creatures
    will impress the villagers by destroying the village and
    eating the people.
    This gives you an idea of the creature aspect of B&W, though there is much more to the game. Be sure to head over to GameSpot to check out the preview, or at least the new screen shots, if you want to be impressed with the game's 3D engine.

    Another site has put together a great preview/interview with creator Peter Molyneux. Here's a clip explaining how the village citizens fit into the game:

    So how does a player become more powerful?

    “Quite simply the more little people believe in you the more powerful you become. You can terrorise them into worshipping you or you can impress them with your benevolence but it is their belief that makes you powerful.”

    You can now see how your actions in the game will affect a number of crucial game elements. Black & White's release date has recently been pushed back from September to November for the PC. Peter Molyneux has talked many times about a Mac version, and we're very hopeful something official may be announced soon. We'll keep you posted, as this is one of the most intriguing games coming out in the near future.

    Gamespot's B&W preview
    Player of Games B&W Preview
    Feral Interactive
    Lionhead Studios
    Black & White

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    New Red Faction Movie
    10:58 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    PC Gamer magazine has created a new movie of the upcoming shooter Red Faction that has been posted by various sites. The movie shows off Red Faction's most impressive feature, the Geo-Mod engine. As the movie reveals, due to this unique engine you will be able to destroy walls, ceilings, and even the floor. An impressive sequence in the movie shows how you can take a guard tower and within second make it collapse into a pile of dust. Although the Geo-Mod concept is not new, Volition is working hard on perfecting it, adding a whole new level of destruction to your gameplay.

    A new underwater sequence has been added, proving that this is certainly a very powerful and flexible engine. You will be able to use vehicles to go virtually anywhere, as you can plow through certain walls in order to access difficult areas.

    Red Faction is being developed by Volition, the team behind the RPG Summoner, which is also due for a Mac/PC release. For the sake of pure trivia, Volition is the sister company to Outrage Entertainment, developers of the PC version of Descent 3. Red Faction is due this Winter for PC, with a Mac version to follow.

    Red Faction Movie (20 MB)
    Volition Inc
    Red Faction Update, Future
    10:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The web page has been updated with more details on their recent move to Redmond, Washington, under the steely gaze of the Microsoft campus. Apparently some Myth and Myth II players are still having difficulty connecting to the servers, but the team is trying to get these issues resolved as quickly as possible. The webmaster Yeroen made an interesting post discussing their online plans, for now and in the future. Here's a clip:

    Most of you haven't heard much about our long term plans, so I'll give you a brief overview. We've formed an online team specifically to maintain and support the gaming servers and to help develop better future online content. This spans a number of areas, from the web pages where we have almost complete freedom to the game networking, where we'll work with the teams to help them improve their game's online capabilities. All in all it should be a lot of fun for us and lead to a lot more fun for all of you. Once we're settled in and fully staffed I'll fill you in on some of the details.
    He also notes they are far behind in their email-answering, though this couldn't be avoided. Here's an excerpt from his explanation:
    The last few stragglers from Bungie East finally arrived today, so hopefully things will soon calm down. However, there are a few things that are going to take some time to sort out, especially customer service and web issues. We lost our web programmer, so My modem is on fire has helped pick up the slack. He's been doing a great job getting the servers and web pages back up, even though it's not his specialty. Hopefully we'll fill this opening soon. Then we closed down much of our customer support and sales teams, so we're having to figure out how to integrate these things into Microsoft's existing structure. We'll get it all sorted out, but in the meantime we may take a bit to reply to your inquiries. Sorry about that.
    We're sure once Bungie - now Bungie Studios - is settled into a routine, things will be working just as smoothly as ever. In the meantime, check out the site for updates and news.

    Click to enlarge
    Mac FAKK2 Status
    10:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Yesterday we noted that the PC version of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 was set to go Gold and should be shipping to distributors very soon. Of course we immediately inquired as to how the Mac version, currently being ported by Contraband Entertainment, was progressing. Andrew Meggs was gracious enough to send us a quick reply:

    I'm trailing their version by 48-72 hours,
    typically. In the best scenario, the Mac version will be out in 3-4
    weeks. I can't make any promises
    or be more specific because at this point most of the work involves
    managing QA, getting it into a box, and getting the box into
    distribution channels -- all of which is on the publisher's end.
    While it's good to hear the Mac OS version is so close behind the PC original, we hope the Gathering of Developers can get the Mac version published more quickly than that - we can't wait to play this one! We'll keep you posted if the situation changes.

    Contraband Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2
    Gathering of Developers
    Ritual Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

    HappyGear Released
    9:44 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    All transitions involve a certain amount of pain or loss -- you may have experienced this when you switched from your ADB-using Mac to a newer PowerMac or iMac that only supported USB, and found that some of your older games or shareware titles did not survive the ordeal. But now, with HappyGear, you can rejuvinate those old games and make them play nicely with your USB input devices. HappyGear is an Input Sprocket 'emulator' that translates USB IS commands into keyboard or JoyManager (an old joystick protocol) commands. Here are the details of this release:

    AustinSoft is happy to announce that
    HappyGear is now available for downloading. HappyGear is a utility to allow
    gamers to use newer, InputSprocket compatible gaming devices, such as USB
    joysticks and steering wheels, with games not compatible with InputSprocket.

    "It is with a lot of pride that we are able to release HappyGear to the rest
    of the Macintosh gaming community," said lead developer Glenn Austin. "One
    of the benefits of testing game utilities and devices is that you get to
    play a lot of games. Now everyone else can enjoy their games too."

    HappyGear is now available, and costs $30 for electronic delivery, and is
    also available on CD for $30 + shipping.

    Visit the Austinsoft web site for more details.

    Download HappyGear (639k)

    Mac Games News for Monday, July 31, 2000

    Radeon Review at GameCenter6:53 PM
    World Sports Cars Closer to Mac?5:15 PM
    MacNN Checks Out Cro-Mag Rally3:24 PM
    Voodoo5 Shipping Date3:07 PM
    On the DS9 Demo12:27 PM
    Neverwinter Nights Update12:04 PM
    More Elite Force Details11:52 AM
    Sims Creator Q&A11:45 AM
    New Tribes 2 Movie11:19 AM
    Masters of Orion III Interview11:11 AM
    Deus Ex 1.0.1 Update Released11:05 AM
    Mac AvP Source Code Plans11:05 AM
    Devine Interview on Q3:TA11:01 AM
    Rocket Arena UT Released10:53 AM
    FAKK2 for PC is Gold10:40 AM
    Deus Ex Demo Delay Details10:35 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 31, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Friday, July 28, 2000
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