December 13, 2017
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Friday, August 4, 2000



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Rune Reaches Alpha, Mac Update
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Ragnarok has posted the news that Human Head's third-person game of Viking combat has reached "alpha" status, which means the game's primary features and levels are complete, and now playtesting and debugging can begin.


As we learned earlier this week in an interview with Tim Gerritsen posted by The Corporation, the Mac OS version of Rune -- being ported by Westlake Interactive -- is currently 3 weeks behind the PC version. As the PC code becomes more stable and reaches Beta status, we expect this gap to narrow considerably.


In any case, the news that the PC version of Rune is now Alpha means that the game is on target for an October release by Gathering of Developers.


This morning we emailed Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive, who gave us this an update on the Macintosh version of Rune:

So far its been coming along very well. We are keeping up close to the
PC, although right now we are waiting for them to do their next major
revision before we merge code again, so we're not as close as we were at MacWorld. Everything is still on track to ship soon after the PC.
As we noted in our Macworld Expo NY coverage, Rune was a huge hit at the show, and has become one of our most anticipated Mac games for Fall. Mixing bloodthirsty melee combat with swords, clubs, maces and axes along with traps, puzzles and scripted cutscenes, Rune takes the Unreal Tournament engine to new heights -- and depths. Human Head has promised a strong plot and story line as well as lots of hack-n-slash, and the small segments of the game we have seen so far seem to deliver exactly that. We'll keep you up-to-date on the progress of the Mac OS port of this title.

Rune Screen Shot Gallery
Human Head
Westlake Interactive
Interview with Tim Gerritsen
Ragnarok
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive
Rune


Diablo II 1.0.3 Released
2:55 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Blizzard has released Diablo II 1.0.3, a patch that includes major bug fixes to this best-selling RPG. Here's a list of some of the fixes included in the patch:


  • Fixed a rare bug that would mark a character as "Unable to join, Bad item." A typical cause of this bug was high lag conditions while two characters simultaneously attempted to use the same item lying on the ground - for example, a Necromancer casting Iron Golem on a sword while another tried to pick it up.
  • Improved compatibility with older Macs using G3 upgrade cards.
  • In RAVE mode, the frame rate should be more consistent.
  • In 3dfx/Glide mode, the refresh rate can now be selected in the
    Configure Video setup assistant.
  • Faster load times when VM is turned on.
  • In main menu and Battle.net screens, Cut/Copy/Paste/Select All now work in edit fields using Cmd-X/C/V/A.

To download Diablo II 1.0.3, head over to our sister site, Macgamefiles.com.

Download Diablo II 1.0.3
Blizzard



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Baldur's Gate Also Sells Out
1:10 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Earlier this week we reported that Mac Diablo II had enjoyed smashing success and sold out the entire first run of 25,000 copies; it seems that the Mac thirst for RPGs is unquenchable, however, as GraphSim's Jeff Morgan just told us that Mac Baldur's Gate has also sold out of its initial run of 20,000 copies! More copies are currently being pressed, of course.


Morgan also reassured us that a patch with several bug fixes is on the way; this will be followed by a patch which will enable multiplayer Internet play. Initially they plan to fix a small memory leak as well as several "special situation problems." GraphSim is still looking into creating a DVD version of this game, available as a separate purchase, which would eliminate swapping between the game's 5 CD-ROMs.


For more information on Baldur's Gate, be sure and check out our preview of this title. The success of this title for GraphSim is great news, as it may help to inspire future ports based on this series. We know Tales of the Sword Coast is on the way, but Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate II are also based on the same engine, and are tantalizing possibilities for Mac RPG fans.

Graphic Simulations
Baldur's Gate Preview
Baldur's Gate
GraphSim
BioWare
Baldur's Gate



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Diablo II vs Harry Potter?
12:39 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The usually staid New York Times has posted a curious article about Blizzard's recent release Diablo II, which draws economic and marketing parallels between this game and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, also a tremendous financial success, and also aimed at a similar segment of the market.


Helpful IMG reader Tyler Cheung pointed us to this article and a discussion thread that follows it, which is currently involved in a debate on violence in video games. The article itself is, in our humble opinion, a bit of a stretch, but it does make the interesting point that video games still register only slightly on the media radar -- and when they do, it is only as a negative reaction.


According to their calculations, Diablo II is nearly as profitable as the Harry Potter book, which broke all records for preorders (as did D2) as well as sold a greater volume on the first day as any book in history. Here is an excerpt:

In terms of revenue, that puts Diablo II within striking distance of the Potter book, which sold nearly three million copies in its first weekend in stores, according to Scholastic, its publisher, but those sales were often at deep discounts to the cover price of $25.95. Diablo II is on track to be one of the top-selling computer games.


Yet Diablo II, which is intended for older teenagers and adults, has hardly registered on the media radar screen. And while Potter and his creator, J. K. Rowling, have won praise around the globe for drawing videogame-crazed and television-besotted young people back to reading, games like Diablo II draw condemnation for ensnaring players in a morbid worldview and gluing them antisocially to a computer screen.

The article ends with an ironic twist -- it seems the publishers of the Harry Potter series are currently looking into developing video games based on the series, while Blizzard is developing a series of books based on their video game.


While a bit scatterbrained for a NYT article, this does raise several interesting points -- why do you think media portrayal of video games and gamers is so uniformly negative? Is it simply fear of the unknown? And what impact does the violence of a game, such as Diablo II, have on youth versus the violence in a book such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which begins with a murder and features some violent content as well? Let us know through this article's comment page and IMG's forums.

Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II Preview
Video Games vs Books Discussion
"Watch Your Back, Harry Potter " at NYT (requires registration)
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II



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G4 Cube Spotted at QuakeCon
12:18 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our fellow Gamecenter Alliance member Stomped is reporting direct from QuakeCon 2000, an annual event and tournament related to all things Quake. Located in Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, Texas, this huge convention also features hardware and software vendors, massive LANs for gaming, and of course celebrity speakers such as John Carmack and Graeme Devine.


Stomped is reporting that Apple is one of the vendors with hardware on display, and have posted a great snapshot of a Power Mac G4 Cube with the new 15" LCD running Quake 3 Arena. Seeing the Cube next to the midrange display really puts the diminutive size of this mini-supercomputer in perspective.


If you're a Quake fan, check Stomped for more reports from the convention, including details from Graeme Devine on the game id was working on before the coup that resulted in a shift to Doom 3 as their next project.

Stomped
Apple
G4 Cube



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On the LithTech Engine
11:55 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

One of the more quiet revolutions taking place in the Mac games market is the slowly-increasing number of cross-platform game engines that will make future ports require much less effort, and make simultaneous releases the rule, rather than the exception. Westlake's initial effort to port the Unreal engine to Mac OS has borne fruit as quick ports of Unreal Tournament, Klingon Honor Guard, Deus Ex and soon Rune; id Software's effort to make the Quake 3 Arena engine cross-platform will help bring Heavy Metal F.A.K.K 2 and possibly Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force to our platform.


There is a third engine in the works which will be cross-platform for the Mac OS as well, and it is gaining momentum in the PC arena as a flexible, extensible "game operating system" licensed for dozens of upcoming titles. LithTech 2.1 is the creation of Monolith, and began as the base engine behind the shooter Shogo: Mobile Armored Division (featured in the screen shot.) As we have been reporting for some time, European developer Hyperion Software is bringing Shogo to the Mac OS, and along with it the entire LithTech engine -- and of course, as with previous engines, once the first port is complete, other titles will inevitably follow. A feature posted on Computer Games Online provides extensive details on this engine and its applications, as well as the following excerpt relevant to Mac gaming:

LithTech Inc. intends to bring the engine to a variety of platforms. The company currently develops and maintains LithTech for the Windows PC, and is close to finishing LithTech for Playstation2. Hyperion Studios is making a port of the engine for Linux, MacOS, and BeOS.
Read the rest of this feature for many more details on this engine. The LithTech engine is the basis of many future titles, including 3D0's Legends of Might and Magic, the James Bond shooter No One Lives Forever and KISS: Psycho Circus; this is no guarantee that these titles will come to the Mac OS, but when Hyperion completes their work it will make this occurrence much more likely.

Hyperion Software
Lithtech Engine Feature at CGO
Hyperion Entertainment
Shogo: MAD


Deus Ex FAQ, Walkthrough Updated
11:10 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameFAQs recently updated their list of Frequently Asked Questions for Ion Storm's shooter/RPG Deus Ex, which shipped for the Mac last week from Aspyr Media. The FAQ is quite extensive, and covers troubleshooting, aspects of gameplay and console commands.


They also have a complete walkthrough of the game posted, although as you can choose multiple ways to resolve many of the scenarios in the game, it isn't exhaustive. We strongly recommend that you play this game all the way through first, then use this walkthrough to explore the parts of the game you might have missed -- Deus Ex is too good to rush through in a weekend.


In related news, our Macgamefiles hosting of the Deus Ex demo has been a raging success -- we are just about to top 5,000 downloads of the 135 MB demo in only four days. If you can't manage that monster download, IMG's next CD-ROM issue should be shipping very soon, and it will of course have the complete Deus Ex demo as well as many other files, exclusive reviews and previews, and more.

Aspyr Media
Deus Ex GameFAQs
Mac Deus Ex Demo



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Terminus 1.62b Patch
10:54 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

While we are impressed with the dedication of Vicarious Visions towards perfecting their space sim Terminus, this endless stream of patches is pretty amusing. Thankfully, it seems to be slowing to a trickle. Their latest patch, to version 1.62b, is now available, and it addresses some minor issues as well as adding a feature for Mac players who use joysticks. Here is the list of changes in this small update:


  • COMMON: Fixed save game loading with stored ships
  • COMMON: Default canisters scannable when loading older save games
  • COMMON: Fixed docking with ship that contains many thrusters
  • MAC: Added a joystick calibrator
  • COMMON: Valuable ore is less likely to be mined
  • COMMON: Pressing an aux key gives feedback
  • COMMON: Fixed a "Memory not already allocated crash"
  • COMMON: Fixed UEL assault on Callisto script
  • COMMON: Fixed pirate Darkheart and Eulogy script

For those that haven't heard of this game or tried the demo, Terminus is a complex and realistic simulation of mankind's future in space flight, once the huge distances within our solar system have been conquered. Mixing realistic flight physics and technologies with political intrigue, economic simulations and a flexible, living universe. Check out our Preview for more details, and grab the demo if you are interested.

Terminus Demo In-Depth
Terminus Preview
Terminus Demo 1.2 at MGF
Terminus 1.62b Patch at MGF



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More DS9: The Fallen Impressions
10:31 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Early last week a demo of Simon and Schuster's upcoming shooter Deep Space Nine: The Fallen was released for the PC, with minimal fanfare. Although this game hasn't generated the interest that the "other" Trek game, Voyager: Elite Force, has generated, reactions to the demo are quite positive so far. IMG was certainly impressed with the game when we saw it at S&S HQ during the Macworld Expo NY.


UnrealEngine.com has posted their impressions of the demo, along with several screen shots. They seem not only impressed with the engine and gameplay, but also the developers' efforts to make the game an authentic expansion of the Star Trek universe. They also emphasize that this game is not just a simple shooter -- it has many adventure elements, aided by its third-person perspective, such as the requisite jumping and ledge-climbing obstacles as well as more complex elements that fit the Trek setting, including the essential Tricorder:

The tricorder can be invaluable for the player with its multi-functional features. It has two main display modes, the two-dimensional top-down view and the 3-dimensional view showing objects in its range relative to your position. Have a feeling there might be a carnivorous winged lizard lurking nearby? Whip out your trusty tricorder and you will be able to tell if there is one clinging to a rock above or below you. The tricorder is also used as a scanning system: as it locks on to life forms and artifacts it will display a 3-dimensional view of the object complete with any information that has been gathered on that object so far.
Ah, Trek fans must be drooling over that detail. Don't dismiss this game as just for Trekkers, however -- its use of the Unreal Tournament engine to full effect should mean gorgeous visuals and fast gameplay, as well as enough action to keep any fan of shooters interested. Be sure and read the rest of this review for more details, and grab our DS9: The Fallen trailer for a real-time glimpse of this game in action. You can expect this game for Mac and PC later this Fall.

Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Exclusive DS9: The Fallen Trailer
DS9: The Fallen Demo Review at UnrealEngine
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen


Star Conquest Seeks Testers
9:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Dark Shadow Software has sent out a call for beta testers for their upcoming turn-based game, Star Conquest. This game looks to be a great Mac-only networkable space strategy title which will support up to ten players over Appletalk, TCP-IP and even e-mail. Here is a list of game features from their web site:

  • Support for email/ara "off-line" games.
  • Large monitor support. Star Conquest can be played at any size resolution and bit depth. Minimum screen size is 640*480. However 832*624 is recommended.
  • Up to 1000 Star Systems with up to 10 Planets per Star System.
  • 11 Star Ship types including: Freighters, Scouts, Colony Ships, Defense Satellites, Star Cruisers, Star Destroyers, Battle Cruisers, Battle Stars, Food Ships,Research Ships and Mining Ships.
  • 4 different Planet types: Agricultural, Resource, Industrial, and Technological.
  • 5 different Races to play.
  • Trading and Banking options.
  • 8 Technological research areas. Weapons, Shields, ECM, Speed, Intercept, Class, Espionage and Military,
  • Planets can be captured, blockaded or destroyed.
  • Revolutions on newly conquered planets.
  • Star Base and Star Ship orders for easy automation of common missions.
  • Optional time limit on turn duration.
  • Mission based games, very similar to the board game risk.
  • Auto-Play option for up to the first fifteen years.
  • For more details on the game, head to the web site. The authors are looking for 50 dedicated beta testers, so if you're interested, be sure to send them an email. Here are details on their future test:
    To apply to join the beta test - please send an email to beta@darkshadowsw.com. Please include your full postal address. To improve your chances of being accepted give some brief information about you, your Macintosh and why you think you would be a good beta tester. If I get a lot of replies this information may be used to determine who gets added to the beta test list. There are only 50 places available and I will inform people by Friday 11th August whether they are on the beta test.


    I am traveling back to the UK this weekend so replies to any emails may be delayed.

    For those new to the term, Beta tester does not mean "I get free games before they are released." Testers are a valuable addition to the development team, and must provide technical information and feedback as well as bug reports and comments on gameplay issues.

    Star Conquest


    Escape Velocity 3 & Ragnarok News
    9:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Ambrosia Software's newsletter brings new information on two of their upcoming games. One that many Mac users are anticipating is the next installment in the Escape Velocity series, entitled EV3. Two new screenshots and one small QuickTime movie have been posted to their web site for your viewing pleasure. Here's an update on EV3's status:

    In EV3 (the threequell to Escape Velocity), we are working on a huge update to the game -- it's been rewritten so that the graphics engine is 16 bit, handles transparencies, hue tinting, thruster and laser "glowing", and a number of other really cool features. The graphics for the static scenes are all 32 bits of love, and there are QuickTime movies for many aspects of the game (don't worry, they augment the game, we aren't turning the game into an "interactive novel" or anything silly like that).
    Ragnarok, not to be confused with the game RUNE, is another title Ambrosia is working on. Here's a clip about the game itself:
    Ragnarok marries the 3D OpenGL continuous level of detail, multitexuring, deformable, fractal landscape, texture detailing, fully buzzword-compliant TURF engine with modem-friendly Internet play that's sure to please.


    Imagine Road Warrior/Mad Max-style racing in crazy vehicles bristling with heavy artillery -- heavy enough to leave huge craters in the ground, and even level entire mountains on the go. Blast your friends into the next continent while also terraforming the earth and racing for the finish line.

    Ragnarok should be moving to Beta very soon, so we'll keep you updated with the latest status as it moves further towards release. A number of new screenshots of this game have been posted at Ambrosia's web site, as well.

    Ragnarok Screen Shots
    EV3 Screen Shots
    Ambrosia Newsletter


    Diablo II Patch Status
    8:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Blizzard's web site has a new forum thread noting that the Diablo II 1.03 patch should be out soon, but fails to mention a date. The servers will be down for a bit so they can update them with their latest fix. Here's a clip:


    All Diablo II Realms will be unavailable from 2a.m to 6a.m. PT
    (GMT-8) in order to update them with the latest patch.

    This is great news for gamers frustrated with the Diablo II multiplayer experience. The patch should also contain fixes for other speed issues on the Mac, as well as a patch to allow the game to run on NuBus Macs. We'll let you know as soon as the fix is available.

    Blizzard
    Blizzard Forum Thread


    Voodoo 5 Shipping! (Update)
    7:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Online retailer Sparco.com has updated their commerce site with the information that the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI Mac is shipping; they currently claim to have over 500 cards in stock, but they are going extremely fast!



    The card lists at $298.00, below the projected retail cost of $330. As of yet we haven't been able to discover other retailers with this card in stock, but we're sure boards will be flooding into their warehouses soon -- for now, Sparco seems to have a big head start on the competition, if this is indeed the Mac OS version of this card. Outpost.com expects their cards August 8th, while EBworld is looking at the 7th.



    For a look at this card and what it can do, make sure you check out our article on the Voodoo4/5 series in-depth and our preview of this card with preliminary benchmarks. If you just have to have one of these cards, jump to the Sparco site now -- in the five minutes it took us to post this article, they have sold 10 of them!



    Update: We've gotten several e-mails from IMG readers who confirmed that the Voodoo 5 for Macintosh has begun shipping. 3dfx's own web site shop shows the card in stock (although it still says "preorder") and people who have placed pre-orders with 3dfx tell us their credit cards have been charged ,a good indication that the boards are now shipping.


    IMG reader Dan Thorsland emailed us this morning after receiving his Voodoo 5 card: "Sitting in my hot little hands from Sparco, for a measly $324 with shipping, is an honest to God Mac PCI Voodoo 5 board."


    If you receive your Voodoo 5 card, please leave comments on this news story or visit our forums and let us know your impressions of the card.

    Forum Topic: Voodoo 5 For Mac Shipping
    3dfx's Voodoo 5 for Mac Order Page
    Sparco's Live Product Information for V5 5500
    3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI at Sparco



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    Tropico Interview
    7:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    An interview with Tropico's designer Phil Steinmeyer has been posted at Game-Interviews. Tropico is a new take on the god-game genre, placing you as the dictator of a tropical island who must strive to keep his people happy and/or in line. In the Q&A, Steinmeyer discusses many aspects of the game, including how the buildings and citizens of your island will have 'auras' of influence on their surroundings. Here's an excerpt with details:

    What can you tell us about the aura's buildings give off? How does it change and add to gameplay?


    PS: Buildings have areas of influence, auras. These act as modifiers to the inhabitants who are within the aura. Example would be a radio station playing marching music would help improve those inhabitants who are partial to the military and hurt those who oppose the military. The people of Tropico also have auras. Thus a particularly charismatic individual will have a larger aura than an un-charismatic individual. Depending on this persons interests and general attitude they will modify, at least momentarily, those individuals within his/her aura.

    An interesting concept. Tropic should be perfect for those sim gamers who always harbored a secret desire to be a Communist dictator. The PopTop team still has quite a bit of content left to produce, but this game should be released for both Mac and PC early next year.

    Tropico Interview
    PopTop Software
    MacSoft
    Tropico
    Buy Tropico


    3dfx Q&A
    7:48 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Just as the Voodoo5 5500's seem to be making their way to the Mac market, a new interview with 3dfx's Alf Covey has been posted at GA-Hardware. The Q&A discusses their PC sales, Glide API, and a somewhat-pessimistic question about Mac gaming... Here's a clip:

    Question: In your Mac V5 campaign, you put special emphasis on your card's excellent gaming performance. However, I don't think that that the Mac platform is especially designed for gaming, even though some of the most popular PC titles are also available for Mac. ATI, apparently to reaffirm its leading position in the Mac graphics market, placed its Radeon's multimedia, CAD and animation capabilities in the forefront, and only then mentioned the new chip's 3D gaming potentials. Your V5 5500 also has these former capabilities. Wouldn't it have been wiser to follow the same policy for you in order to cut a big slice out of the Mac cake?


    Answer: At MacWorld we emphasized the entire range of the Mac V5's capabilities, stretching from our excellent 2D speed and 3D rendering with both CAD programs to, of course, Mac gaming. Gaming is what the Voodoo brand name is best known for and we wanted to emphasize what we bring to the table with the Voodoo5 over and above the competition. As for the viability of the Macintosh platform for gaming enthusiasts, there is a definite market of Mac gamers and it's only going to get larger with the Voodoo5 entering the arena.

    Head on over to GA-Hardware for more on this interview. Orders of Voodoo5's for the Mac are reportedly now being filled at the 3dfx store as well as Sparco, and we expect the cards to appear at other retailers over the weekend.

    3dfx Web Site
    3dfx Interview


    Celestium Author Needs Help
    6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Back in February we brought you news of Celestium, a "fast paced multiplayer space action role playing game" being developed by Alien Orb software. At the time this ambitious project was in need of Mac artists and programmers, and now it seems they need more to complete the Linux server app which will presumably act as a host for online games, as well as work on the game's AI and engine.

    Author Mike Apolis posted the following request to Usenet:

    I am looking for some good programming talent out there to help develop a massively multiplayer space action RPG called Celestium (currently being developed for the Macintosh). We are looking for skilled programmers knowledgeable of C++ to help develop Celestium's Linux server, game engine, and AI system.
    The game itself still seems quite early in development, and few details are available; however from the description, it seems to be both an ambitious and imaginative project. Here is the provided description of the game:
    Celestium is a fast paced multiplayer space action role playing game (RPG) for the Macintosh. In this game you will be exposed to a rich world of battle, culture, strategy, exploration, and imagination. Choose from 6 different races and create your own ship as you interact with hundreds of people across the globe in a fully integrated online universe. Participate in alliances and organize secret missions. Fight against enemy creatures and space pirates. Chat with others either in space or on a planet or space port. Explore vast regions of unknown space and land on mysterious worlds filled with many different races and life forms.

    In Celestium, you may choose any number of paths to lead your character. You may become an explorer and chart the stars, you may be interested in joining the Numiri Trade Commission and make some money, you might want to start an alliance and venture out into space defending your cause, or you might even wish to become a space pirate and plunder your way across the galaxy.

    Outfit and upgrade your ship with alien technology and high-tech weaponry and shielding. Strategically install your weapons on your ship in any position or direction and create your own customized weapons system. Hire escort ships to fight alongside you as you travel through perilous regions of space and explore the hidden wonders of the universe.

    If you have the skills and want to take part in this project, drop Alien Orb a line right away -- we're very curious to see how this one turns out.

    Alien Orb Software
    Celestium Details at Alien Orb


    Rocket Arena 1.42 Released
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    After a very brief stint yesterday at version 1.41, the Rocket Arena mod for Unreal Tournament has been quickly updated to version 1.42, fixing a number of bugs in the code. Here's a quick explanation from the author:

    Argh! Looks like I let slip a pretty major bug in 1.41. I hate this feeling of deja vu. :)


    The major bug was that as I was trying to fix the problems of the wrong team occasionally winning, I made it so the blue team ALWAYS wins, which is admittedly much worse than the problem I was trying to fix. Anyways, this has been amended in 1.42.

    There is both an update for those that have either versions 1.40/1.41, or a full install if you have yet to try out RA. If you're an Unreal Tournament fan, be sure and grab this mod and let the Rocket Arena put you to the test -- it can be a truly fun (and humbling) experience, and the maps are fantastic.

    Rocket Arena 1.42 Patch from 1.40/1.41 (180k)
    Rocket Arena 1.42 Full Install (14.8MB)
    Rocket Arena Unreal Tournament



    Click to enlarge
    Summoner Interview, Dev Diary
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    An interview posted by Volition Watch features Tim Borrelli, a character animator for the upcoming 3D RPG Summoner. He discusses a number of topics related to his job, including the "Summoner Geeks" movie he did a couple of weeks ago which featured a parody of Dungeons and Dragons fans. Here's an excerpt from the Q&A about character animation versus cutscene animation:

    How would you say animating cutscenes compares to animating characters?


    This is a good question. For in-game characters, each animation is a cycle. So the action starts at a pose and ends at the same pose. With cutscenes, you have to take into account position of the characters over the course of the entire thing, shot by shot, from start to end. Also with cutscenes, you have to deal with the characters acting, not just performing an action. Getting human emotion pegged correctly is difficult, and figuring out the right times to use different expressions, without overdoing it, is insanely hard. It's worth it in the end, though, when it comes out looking how you envisioned it.

    In other Summoner news, PC IGN has posted yet another Summoner Developer Diary update. This issue is by artist Peter Han, who talks about the other side of character creation, actual modelling and skinning. Han has done some amazing work, and it is definitely interesting to see how he goes from an initial idea to finished model. If you are interested in this process, this is well worth checking out.


    Summoner is set for release later this Winter for Mac and PC, preceded by a version for Playstation 2.

    Summoner
    Volition Watch Interview
    Summoner Dev Diary
    GraphSim
    Volition
    Summoner
    Buy Summoner


    Mac Games News for Thursday, August 3, 2000

    Sims Add-ons Available2:58 PM
    Mac Voodoo5 5500 Available?2:35 PM
    Adams' Apple on State of Mac Gaming2:00 PM
    DS9: The Fallen Trailer12:51 PM
    Summoner Update11:42 AM
    The Few, the Small, the Bizarre11:42 AM
    UT RA Q&A11:33 AM
    4x4 Interview10:48 AM
    New B&W Eye Candy10:29 AM
    Elite Force Dev Diary, Impressions9:55 AM
    BioWare Bio, NWN Preview6:00 AM
    FAKK2 Demo Info, First Review6:00 AM
    Tropico Gallery6:00 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 3, 2000 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, August 2, 2000
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



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