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Friday, August 18, 2000

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Details on Epic's Titles
11:32 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Yesterday we brought you the news that Epic Interactive, a German Mac OS and Amiga developer, will be bringing four titles to the Mac in the next 4 months -- a very exciting prospect indeed. Now we bring you details on two of the games they plan to release, Gorky 17 and Dafel: Bloodline.

Gorky 17 is a 3D top-down RPG known as Odium in the U.S., which was released for the PC in January of this year. Praised by reviewers for its detailed combat system and deep plot, this blend of 3D models and 2D backgrounds is similar to Fallout. Epic sent us four screen shots of this game in action, along with a synopsis of the background story and gameplay itself. Here is an excerpt from the set-up narrative:

The year is 2008. NATO intelligence reports that, for some unknown reason,
the Russian army has destroyed one of its so-called "secret cities" known by
the code word ‘Gorky 17’. This exact replica of an American city was used to
train the best Russian spies during the Cold War. "The city’s been deserted
since the collapse of the Iron Curtain", comes the reassuring answer from
the Kremlin, "now that we are friends, we no longer need such monuments to
mistrust". But NATO commanders aren’t buying this PR exercise – they know
that Gorky 17 had another, far more important purpose. This was where the
Soviet Union conducted its most secret military experiments...

The following year, as the first step toward Poland’s integration into NATO,
a contingent of multi-national troops enters the ruined city. Poking through
the rubble, some scouts discover an old laboratory complex. Further
investigations reveal little, so the soldiers proceed downtown, through
seemingly empty streets. But ... strange things start happening! Suddenly,
they find themselves surrounded by hideously deformed creatures – parts of
their bodies look human, while other parts resemble a horrifying mixture of
animal and insect. Something went terribly awry here.

As team commander Cole Sullivan, you must lead a team of three specialists deep into this forbidden city and discover the horrors that resulted from the Russian genetic experiments. Sounds quite creepy, no? Check out the screen shots at the end of this article for an example of just how creepy this game will be. Gorky 17 is due on the Mac in December.

Dafel: Bloodline is an original title from Epic Interactive, developed for the Amiga as well as Mac. Described as a fast-paced action/RPG in the spirit of the Zelda series, this game will feature impressive animation and sound as well as a deep plot. Here are details on what to expect from this game:

The aim with Dafel: Bloodline is to create a classic RPG game based upon gaming styles such as classics "Zelda" or "Chaos Engine". In honour of these old games we decided to use a top down view retro-style engine but with a modern approach to design, gameplay and coding. All characters in Dafel are 3D modelled for a realistic look. Our main character comes with over 1.000 frames of animation alone. Dafel combines two engines, adventure and arcade. The best elements from adventure games, such as exploring your surroundings, using objects and talking to characters are combined with fast arcade action.
Sounds like a treat for Zelda and Diablo lovers alike. Here's just a sample of the many features this game will offer:

  • Fast 8-way scrolling
  • 3D modelled characters
  • 3D effects such as light, transparency, rain, snow, mist or fog
  • Traditional 2D backgrounds
  • Adventure elements combined with Action gameplay
  • interactive characters
  • non-linear plotline

Dafel: Bloodline is due in November for the Mac. Epic will be sending us some screen shots this weekend, so look for them soon.

We'll bring you more details on Epic's other Mac releases for 2000, Simon the Sorcerer 2 and Earth 2140 in the near future. And remember, Epic has twelve -- yes, a dozen! -- titles scheduled for release on the Mac OS in 2001, so it looks like we have another major source for games on the Mac OS entering the market. There is one slight wrinkle in their plans, however -- currently, Epic has no US publisher or distributor lined up for their titles. We'll do what we can to aid them in finding one, of course, but if those of you in the development community have any suggestions, be sure to drop us a line.

Gorky 17 Screen Shot #2
Gorky 17 Screen Shot #3
Gorky 17 Screen Shot #4
Gorky 17 Screen Shot #1
Epic Interactive Brings New Titles to the Mac
Epic Interactive
Gorky 17

7:22 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

It's been over a month since Macworld Expo New York, but the last few reports from that perennial event continue to trickle in. Mac Gamer's Ledge has posted three articles by guest columnist Corey Tamas, editor of once-thriving MacGamer.com.

Corey's three irreverent looks at the Expo cover Free Stuff at Macworld, Looking Back at Macworld NY: The Players, and What Rocked at MWNY 2000. Accompanied by dozens of rather candid photos, these articles recount some of the behind-the-scenes nuttiness that can take place when strange people teetering on the edge of exhaustion run amok in New York City. If you've ever wanted to see MacCentral's Peter Cohen with toilet paper on his head, these are the articles for you.

MGL's MWNY Wrap-up

Monkey Shines 2 Nears Beta
7:10 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Fantasoft has announced that the sequel to their platform game Monkey Shines is nearing beta, after a long development cycle. Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla Warfare features more of the same great platform action, with 16-bit color, all new animations and sound, and much more. Here is the announcement:

Flying Mikros Interactive and Fantasoft are
proud to announce that their new action game Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla
Warfare due for release in late fall 2000 for Macintosh will soon
enter the beta testing stage.
The game is a sequel to the award winning game Monkey Shines
currently available for Macintosh and Windows. This time around you
play Darwin, Bonzo's nephew, and there's quite a few new surprises.
You've got to go through time finding pieces of the map that leads to
Simian City so you can rescue it from the evil robots that have
overtaken it.

Features include:

  • Multiple layer parallax scrolling
  • 16 bit colour
  • Smooth 30 frames per second
  • A new hero, Darwin, with a lot of new tricks
  • Ballistic bananas to take out your enemies
  • And much much more!
For more information about this title as well as screen shots and movies, check out the web site.

Flying Mikros Interactive
Monkey Shines 2: Gorilla Warfare

First Look at Unreal Fortress
4:05 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

BarrysWorld has written up a preview of the first private beta of the Unreal Fortress total conversion for Unreal Tournament. According to the author, the mod's development is progressing very well and already includes 'bot' support. This version of Team Fortress, though different slightly from others, should remind the 'old school' gamers of the original mod for QuakeWorld. Here's a short clip from the preview:

The bot are one of the most anticipated features of UnF, and though they're still at a comparitively early stage, they're very impressive. They'll work out which roles are needed and slip into them - for example, when I was attacking, the bots would choose a defensive class. They're not sheep though - they won't all go armourer (engineer) just because you're attacking as ranger. If you're having a hard time, one might switch class and help you. You can issue orders just like in UT CTF if you want more control.
Read the rest of the article for more on this exciting mod for UT. The team has noted the first version of the UnF should be out "soon," so stay tuned.

Unreal Fortress Web Site
BarrysWorld UnF Preview

Preview of Next Tomb Raider
3:19 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot has put together a premilinary preview of the fifth installment in the Tomb Raider series, currently called Tomb Raider: Chronicles. This looks to be the last in the traditional series of games starring Lara Croft -- although we have heard that before -- and will again be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Lara should have a few impressive new moves and the game will use a slightly tweaked version of the TR:4 graphics engine. Here's a clip from the preview:

Lara is now capable of performing several new moves, including tightrope walking, parallel-bar swinging, and melee fighting. The first of these techniques is noteworthy because you'll have to constantly maintain Lara's balance as she slowly makes her way across a narrow ledge or rope. She'll teeter from one side to the other, which forces you to constantly adjust by moving the directional arrows in the opposite direction without causing her to lose her balance.
Further down the road, the Core team is looking to use a different approach for their games after Chronicles. Tentatively titled Tomb Raider: The Next Generation, this future title will be episodic, with levels being released every few weeks to advance the storyline. An interesting concept, though only time will tell if gamers will buy into the concept.

Aspyr Media and Westlake Interactive have brought the past Tomb Raider titles to the Mac, so we're fairly confident Chronicles will make it as well. Generally, Core and Eidos wait until the PC codebase is solidified before allowing work on a Mac port. We'll keep you posted if anything official about Chronicles is announced for the Mac.

Aspyr Media Web Site
GameSpot Tomb Raider:Chronicles Preview

MacCentral Interviews Marty O'Donnell
2:27 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

In an insightful interview posted at MacCentral, Jaap "jot" Tuinman recently caught up
with sound designer Marty O'Donnell, discussing his work on various games, his joining of the Bungie team and subsequent move to Redmond. O'Donnell's credits include audio work on
Myth: The Fallen Lords and its sequel from Bungie, and Riven from Cyan as
well as up and coming titles Oni and Halo. Here is his description of what is involved in being an audio engineer:

MG: How is your time split between old-fashioned foley work -- smashing
glass, hitting things with bats -- and digital manipulation and creation?

MOD: About 20 percent of sound design is actually recording the foley, and
80 percent is the manipulation, processing and mixing of those sounds. Of
course don't forget the directing of actors and composition and production
of music.

Marty is also willing to share some details regarding what equipment he uses
(Macs, of course!) as well as the software packages:
MG: What kind of (Mac) software and hardware do you use in the course of

MOD: I work with a Graphite G4, a B&W G3 and a 400MHz PowerBook G3. They're
all running various versions of Pro-Tools, Studio Vision, Peak, Media
Cleaner Pro, Wave Convert Pro, Premier, and QuickTime Pro. I also use
various sound effects library search programs, Toast, and Jam. There is too
much outboard gear in my studio to list but my favorite stuff comes from
Emu, Kurzweil, Roland, Korg, and Yamaha. We've also worked with a Sonic
Solutions System on a 9600 with DVD authoring capabilities.

O'Donnell also confides in the reader that he is hard at work on the Oni and
Halo soundtracks, which he calls "futuristic" work; he makes some interesting comments about trying to isolate human sounds from the Covenant alien sounds, in order to give them a unique sonic signature. Read the rest of the article for more details.

MacCentral Interviews Marty O'Donnell

3dfx in the Red?
2:21 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our colleagues at Stomped alerted us to this press release from 3dfx Interactive, makers of the Voodoo series of 3D cards. Couched in lots of corporate-speak is the news that 3dfx expects a "revenue shortfall" (losses exceeding profits) for the second financial quarter, which ends this month.

This shortfall was expected, to a certain extent. 3dfx's acquisition of the 3D chip design firm GigaPixel was an expensive deal, and 3dfx has been plagued as of late with shortages of components for their Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 cards. Here's an excerpt from their press release:

``In our upcoming conference call, we will focus on a review of the quarterly results, including comments on our recently completed acquisition of GigaPixel Corporation. We will also discuss our short term plans and our long term vision for growth based on the GigaPixel technology,'' Dr. Alex Leupp, President and CEO of 3dfx Interactive, Inc., said. ``We believe that in many ways we are a new company with new opportunities, and we want our investors to understand that perspective and our reasons for optimism about the future.''

The company previously announced that delays in receiving certain components required for its products would result in a revenue shortfall in the second quarter and an associated negative impact to its earnings. ``The situation relating to the availability of components, combined with competitive and retail seasonality factors have all negatively impacted our revenues for the second quarter,'' Leupp said. The company stated that revenue for the fiscal 2001 second quarter will be approximately $65 million.

What does this mean for Mac gamers? While 3dfx may be experiencing some temporary troubles, it is unlikely to affect their long-term stability or plans. 3dfx has worked to integrate Mac support deep into their product lines, so there seems little chance of them 'dumping' the Mac market to save money. If the verbal commitments we have had from various 3dfx staffers prove true, not only will 3dfx bring their next product line -- codenamed Rampage -- to the Mac, but continue aggressive driver development and optimization. Watch for our full review of the Voodoo5 5500 PCI, coming soon.

Voodoo5 5500 PCI Preview
3dfx Press Release on Q2 Shortfall

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"Missed" Marathon Map Tutorials
12:56 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

If you aren't a fan of Bungie's Marathon series, and have never attempted to construct a Marathon map using Forge, the editing tool that shipped with Marathon 2, then the following probably won't interest you. But if you've ever tweaked platform speeds and water heights or created a BOB-launcher, then this new series of Forge tutorials are for you. Yes, people are still creating maps for Marathon 2 and Infinity, and doing an amazing job with a limited (by today's standards) engine.

This series of tutorials by map author Jason Harper based on his astounding map Missed Island. This tour-de-force Forge hatchet job reproduces the first island of Cyan's MYST adventure game, including all the puzzles -- the clock tower(!), the steam-powered lookout tower(!!) and the ship-raising puzzle. Using a very complex set of simulated and/or/not logic branches which trick the games's AI into triggering various tasks, he managed to turn a shooter into a complex adventure game, which truly has to be seen to be believed.

He also wrote a series of tutorials explaining how he managed to create such a Marathon masterpiece. Now Gary L. Simmons, pugnacious self-appointed Marathon pundit and fellow map author, has taken the time to convert these tutorials to HTML format for viewing on the web. These tutorials are not for the faint of heart -- you must be a dedicated Forge addict to even attempt some of the tricks Jason managed to pull off. But these are worth reading through just for the sheer audacity of his amazing adaptations to a somewhat simple game engine, and they are nicely documented with clear illustrations and screen shots, as well as example maps.

If you've never experienced the wild verbal stylings of the Battle Cat, prepare to do a few double-takes if you choose to explore the rest of his site. For Marathon addicts only, his huge collection of maps, films, tutorials and other badinage -- all wrapped in his gripping, often graphic prose -- is another adventure in itself.

In any case, if you have ever crashed Forge by having too many transparent lines, then all of this is right up your alley. And it is proof positive that Bungie just didn't create a game, when they made Marathon -- they created one of the most unique communities in gaming history.

Gary L. Simmons' Web Page
Download Missed Island Map (Marathon 2, Infinity) 3.4 MB
Missed Island Turorials by Jason Harper

Dying Game Genres?
10:30 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

In a special article posted on CNet's Gamecenter.com, their editors consign to the watery deep five game genres that are fading out more quickly than Voodoo2 cards or cargo pants. The game genres they consider in peril are Adventure games, Combat Flight Sims, Real-Time Strategy games, Sci-Fi combat sims and war simulations.

While we can think of counter-examples to many of their proclamations, it is an interesting look into the short history of games and where they might be headed. Here's an excerpt on why the adventure game is dead, which is actually a mini-rant against Myst, for some reason:

Why it's vanishing: We blame Myst for all of this. In the olden days, back when the concept of a gigabyte was nothing more than a wishful glimmer in some engineer's eye, we tended to our beautiful adventure games, like the Quest series (King's Quest, Space Quest, and so on), and enjoyed our puzzles and our exploration. Those Sierra classics were gems of true puzzle mastery. Before them were the golden days of Infocom, back when Zork ruled in mere text adventures telling stories that were just the beginnings of interactive gaming. It was a wondrous time.
The authors, the editors of Gamecenter, do believe that some of these genres, specifically real-time strategy games, are dead in the creative sense -- titles are still being churned out, but with no innovation. However, we might be spared some of the carnage. Glenn Rubinstein is relatively optimistic about the genre of war games when he says:
Enter the Internet, which could very well be war gaming's salvation. Since the Internet allows niche communities to grow and flourish, we're seeing war gaming switch to an Internet-only model of publishing and distribution. Firaxis and TalonSoft, for instance, have both dabbled with selling war games online. Then there's Shrapnel Games and Matrix Games, two relatively new war gaming publishers who sell primarily online.
The future is not all dim, but some stars that were once in ascendancy may be fading fast from the gaming market. Or more likely, the lines between the staid genres that used to define the market are fading, and we will see more games that combine multiple genres, such as Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 (action and adventure) and Deus Ex (shooter and RPG). Give the Gamecenter article a read, and then come back and share your thoughts on our Forums.

Dying Game Genres at Gamecenter

New Realms Added to Realmz
10:25 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Fantasoft's Realmz, arguably one of the popular Mac RPG games of all time, has had an update recently. This brings the game to version 7.1 and adds two new third-party scenarios, War in the Sword Lands and Half Truth. The new version also fixes a few minor scripting errors in the game.

If you are relatively new to the genre and have yet to try out Realmz, now is the time to head over to Macgamefiles and give it a download. Also remember Realmz has its own editor, Divinity, so you can make custom scenarios and show the world your own RPG development skills. If you already have the older version of Realmz, be sure to grab the update, as it is significantly smaller than the full download.

Fantasoft Realmz Web Site
Realmz 7.1 Full (21MB)
Realmz 7.1 Update from 7.x.x.x (450k)

Unreal Tournament 4.25a Released
10:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive's Mark Adams kindly wrote in to let us know of a new update to Mac Unreal Tournament. Version 425a adds a couple of minor Mac-only fixes to this shooter, including a correction for a problem with recording game 'demos' (films of the action) that had appeared with the 425 update. Here's the news from Mark:

This update only installs over a installation of 425 (previous versions
need to update to 425 first), and contains two small Mac-only fixes.
Problems with demo recording and using skeletal animations in some mods
are fixed.
Be sure to head to Macgamefiles to update UT to 425, if you haven't already, and then get the small 425a patch from Westlake. Thanks to Mark and the rest of the Westlake team for their continuing hard work on this fantastic game.

Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament 425a Patch (1MB)
Unreal Tournament 425 Update

Unreal Arena Reaches Beta
9:56 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A while back we brought you news of an unusual 'mod' for Quake 3 Arena, one which attempted to partially convert the game to its rival shooter, Unreal Tournament. Now the team behind this mod has released a 'beta' version with several map and weapon conversions for gameplay testing and feedback.

It is a curious effort which highlights the many differences between the two games, from the faster running speed and smaller world scale of Q3A to the more flexible weapons of UT, with their alt-fire modes. As for the legality of such a project -- well, Epic's lawyers may have something to say if UT sound effects, music and textures end up in Q3A.

In any case, now you actually have something to take for a spin. Here's an update on the mod's progress, from the web site:

Beta v0.4 of our UT to Q3 partial conversion mod is now available. It's official name is Unreal Arena. This is a public beta release for everyone to help test the mod through out it's development. Mainly this beta v0.4 is to test a few of the maps, and several of the weapons we've included, and to generate some feedback and squash any bugs that have been overlooked on our part. This is an early test version, and does not reflect on how the actual final release will be. We're only going to make improvements in the design. A quick note also, we are not converting the whole game.

We're making the mod available with no music, but with an optional .pk3 file containing the .wav music files for each of the maps. This way we won't be forcing people that don't want the music to have to d/l it. This is temporary for now as we're looking into doing the .mp3 thing for the mod.

So, if you are a Q3A user curious about what UT maps might look like, or an UT fanatic who plays Q3A on the sly (we know you are out there...) then this is a Mod to try. And as always, the tastiest UT and Q3A mods can be found at Macgamefiles, so check back often.

Unreal Arena
Macgamefiles' Game Mods

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Tribes 2 Shots, Interview
9:46 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

VoodooExtreme has scored three great-looking new screen shots from Dynamix of their upcoming title Tribes 2. Dynamix is making sure the game will not be your standard shooter, by providing impressive multiplayer team capabilities like built-in voice communications and the ability to have a commander organize your team.

Our affiliate CGA site Stomped also has a new interview with Dave Georgeson, producer at Dynamix. The Q&A covers a variety of topics, including vehicles, differences from the original Tribes, and modem play. Here's an excerpt about how easy it will be to form and manage teams (called Tribes) in the game:

Stomped: What options are available to Clans/Tribes in Tribes2?

Dave Georgeson: Tribes are a LOT easier to create and join now. Creating a tribe is as easy as hitting the "Create Tribe" button and filling in the blanks. A rudimentary Tribe page is then created and the tribe is added to the Tribal Index. Anyone wanting to know info about that tribe can just look through the index, click on the tribe name and go to that web page to see the info therein. Of course, folks can still set up their own external pages, and then put a link on the "internal" page so folks can find their external page.

Also, tribes can accept/decline new members (and can signify that they're not accepting new members, if desired, to prevent spammage), and the tribes automatically get their own T2 forum and chat area for Tribal members to communicate in.

All-in-all, it should result in a very tight community where tribes are much more aware of each other than in T1.

This sounds like a great feature for people to be able to easily hook up and start fragging as a team. The website/forum ideas are especially impressive. Check out the rest of the interview for more from Georgeson on the progress of Tribes 2.

The game should hopefully be released later this year. Dynamix has said multiple times that they are hoping to have a Mac version soon after the PC build. We'll keep you posted if anything new regarding the Mac version is announced.

Stomped Tribes 2 Interview
Dynamix Web Site
VoodooExtreme Tribes2 Shots

Diablo II Almanac
8:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GamesXtreme has posted the second of three Diablo II almanacs, in-depth guides to this realtime RPG. This guide is in Word format, and should be viewable on your Mac -- if you have Word, of course. Here's a clip about what the first two editions of the Almanacs contain:

The first includes game basics, storyline, gem charts, set item charts and other items. Also included is a Quick Tips guide.

The second edition contains an awesome Tips section and unique items guide. The main content in this second guide is character dueling sections

These guides will be a powerfu addition for those who are having trouble with your Diablo II game, or want guidelines on how to improve your skills.

Blizzard Web Site
Diablo II Almanac, Part 1 (1.3MB)
Diablo II Almanac, Part 2 (3.6MB)

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Shadowbane Preview
8:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GA-RPG has taken an in-depth look at Shadowbane, the massively-multiplayer online RPG in development by Wolfpack Studios. Mac users should pay special attention to this one; as we noted yesterday, the other Mac-friendly MMORPG in development, Dark Zion, was cancelled due to lack of publisher interest. However, Shadowbane will not suffer the same fate, as this title already has a publisher and is well along in development.

The preview covers many aspects of Shadowbane, including the impressive graphics engine which will allow whole armies to be on screen at the same time. Here's a clip:

Wolfpack’s in-house graphics engine, the Arcane engine, has a number of advanced features including things like flexible character skeletons, allowing non-humanoid skeletal animation, individual character heights, direct use of motion capture or animation data, and body part swapping and loss. Yep, that’s where the infamous bloody arm club comes in. There is also polygon reduction allowing the game to dynamically adjust an object's level of detail according to how your system can handle it.
Graphics in games of this genre have not really been up-to-par with other 3D games, though Wolfpack is hoping to change that. Shadowbane still has quite a ways to go before release, but should be out next year.

Shadowbane Web Site
GA-RPG Shadowbane Preview
Wolfpack Studios

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Deus Ex 2 Announced
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

If the traffic on the Mac newsgroups and in our forum is any indication, Mac users are definitely enjoying Ion Storm's dark, sinister sci-fi shooter Deus Ex. The same is true on the PC side as well; this title is ringing up robust sales on both platforms. Thus it comes as no surprise that Ion Storm and Deus Ex creator Warren Spector are already drawing up plans for a sequel, tentatively titled Deus Ex 2.

Gamespy broke this news late last night, promising an exclusive interview with all the details this Saturday. The information is obviously sparse at this point, but they had the following details to share:

The game is in an extremely early state and Eidos and ION Storm aren't giving much away in terms of game play specifics and screens shots, but Spector went into detail about the team behind the sequel, their previous roles and their experience.

Here's a list of the some of the team so far:

Project Director: Harvey "Witchboy" Smith.

Lead Programmer: Chris Carollo - ex-LookingGlass.

Programmers: Alex Duran and Matt Baer - both ex-LookingGlass guys.

Design: Steve "Hong Kong" Powers, Monte "Vandenberg/Area 51" Martinez and Ricardo "Airfield/Escape from UNATCO/Underwater Lab" Bare.

And what of Warren himself? He's busy overseeing multiple projects this time at ION Storm, and yes, one of those projects is indeed DX2. And according to Warren and Witchboy, they now have a much clearer idea of Deus Ex design, with the emphasis now being firmly on more depth and freedom.

There is no word yet on what graphics engine they will use for this sequel; if they choose the Unreal-based engines once again, it will virtually guarantee a Mac OS port. The Unreal Tournament engine is still under development and gaining new abilities all the time, as Digital Extremes modifies the engine for a massively-multiplayer online game called Dark Sector, so it is a likely candidate for the DX sequel. In any case, this is great news for fans of this title, as they know they have another to look forward to -- and unlike with movies, sequels in computer games are often much, much better than the original.

In related news, MGON has posted an in-depth interview with Warren Spector. While the interview seems to have been taken before the release of Deus Ex, the information about his background and the development of this title is quite interesting.

If you have yet to try the demo for Deus Ex, we highly recommend it -- over 8,000 visitors to MacGameFiles have downloaded it so far, and 23 visitors have awarded the demo an average of 4.5 Joysticks in user ratings.

Deus Ex 2 Details at GameSpy
Warren Spector Interview at MGON
Deus Ex Demo
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex

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4x4 Evolution Preview
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our Gamecenter Alliance partner Stomped has spent some time with a beta copy of 4x4 Evolution, an off-road racing game by Terminal Reality coming to Mac, PC and Dreamcast in the near future. The resulting preview is extremely short; more of an update on the progress of the game than an actual preview, but it shows that this title is indeed nearing the 'finish line,' so to speak.

Here's an excerpt about what's new in this beta, and what is missing:

This new build still is missing a lot of features, including a career mode, but what was implemented showed a lot of promise. For one, the graphics had been improved a bit. The textures seemed to be a bit sharper in the tracks (and the tracks looked pretty good to begin with) and the track designers have added a few bits of eye candy to the settings. The airfield, desert, and junkyard tracks are back in this beta build, but they have all been tinkered with. There are more planes in the are in the airfield track, for one thing. The birds that were present flying around the tracks don't seem to be present in this build, however.
IMG has seen this game in action twice, once at E3 and again at MWNY, and it is a truly impressive title. While the emphasis is more on 'fun' driving than total realism, the "trackless" drive-anywhere design of the game will make for some frantic scrambles through the virtual mud. And you will be able to network play against Mac, PC, and Sega Dreamcast opponents, transparently! 4X4 Evolution will be published by Gathering of Developers, and is due later this Fall. For more information on the game, check out Stomped's earlier report on the Alpha version.

Macworld NY 4x4 Evo Video
Terminal Reality's 4x4 Evolution
4x4 Evolution Alpha Preview at Stomped
4x4 Evolution Beta Preview at Stomped
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

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YA Elite Force Preview
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Yes, yet another preview of Raven Software's upcoming shooter Star Trek: Elite Force has been posted, as beta copies of this game travel around the PC game sites. This article on PCIGN takes a humorous approach to the title, and remarks on both the depth and authenticity of the Trek experience the game has to offer. There are also details on the plot of the game, character interaction, and how you can travel to the Wild West -- via the Holodeck, of course.

Here's an excerpt on the events that set the plot behind this game in motion:

After the Borg skirmish (which has its own surprise, one I'm not going to spoil for you), you'll find yourself in a classic Voyager dilemma. An enemy ship has (gasp!) suddenly appeared out of nowhere and attacked your ship. Janeway, once again tossing the Federation rulebook out of the airlock, blows the offending ship to high heaven, with one little glitch -- its explosion has warped you to an unknown section of space, in what seems to be a massive space junkyard. Once you head to the equipment room, it's time to head off on your first mission -- find out why the hell you've been sucked into the junkyard, and how you're going to get yourself off. As a member of the Elite Force, it's your job to make sure that Janeway's commands, and Tuvok's orders are followed closely.
While an official Mac publisher has yet to be announced for this title, Raven already has a Mac port up and running, as they revealed in a recent interview (see related article.) We are certain this game will come to the Mac OS; when the publisher is willing to go public, we will let you know. In the meantime, check out the preview and cross your fingers for a simultaneous release in September.

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Preview at PCIGN
Raven Speaks, Elite Force Screens
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Mac Games News for Thursday, August 17, 2000

United Developers Titles Reach Beta4:05 PM
New DS9 Screen Shots, Interview11:59 AM
Return of the Incredible Machine Demo11:21 AM
DS9: The Fallen Delayed10:08 AM
Dark Zion Folds9:57 AM
Soldier of Fortune Update9:44 AM
Epic Interactive Brings New Titles to the Mac8:51 AM
Tribes 2 Release Date6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 17, 2000 on one page

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