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Friday, August 25, 2000

ATI Radeon Available for Pre-Order
9:50 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The debacle between Steve Jobs and Apple's graphics card supplier ATI left many wondering if their latest high-end graphics card, the Radeon series, would ever make it to our platform. Here at IMG we never had a doubt -- even a Steve temper tantrum can't shake an entire product strategy -- and now the Radeon Mac edition has begun to show up as a pre-order product at online stores. While the future of this card as an OEM option is still in doubt, it will be available to purchase in the near future.

CDW lists the Radeon at $248.00 US; this is a 32-MB card with VGA and DVI (digital flat panel) support, available in both AGP and PCI. ATI's 3D solutions are single-chip boards at present, with all the buzzword features 3D companies love to throw around -- hardware transform and lighting, texture compression, cubic environment mapping and support for full-scene anti-aliasing. The PC version of these cards falls almost exactly in the middle between the NVIDIA GeForce 2 and the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 in terms of performance, beating the V5 soundly at high resolutions.

Here is a list of the card's specs and a description from the web store:

Powered by the RADEON graphics processing unit (GPU)

Charisma Engine™; Integrated Transform, Clipping and Lighting (TCL)

32MB of powerful double data rate (DDR) memory

DVI-I for Digital Flat Panel and VGA support


Full OpenGL®, QuickDraw™ 3D, and QuickTime™ support

AGP bus for AGP 2X systems (66MHz or 33MHz)

PCI bus for PCI Macs (66MHz or 33MHz)

RADEON Mac Edition was designed to offer discerning Mac users such as high-end content creators and gaming enthusiasts the most advanced 3D graphics processing available. 32MB of powerful Double Data Rate(DDR) SDRAM memory, give you eye-popping photo-realism. With the most advanced set of 3D capabilities RADEON brings games to life with, fluid movement, rich textures and photo-realistic images, without compromising speed

RADEON uses ATI's Charisma Engine™ a transform and lighting unit, for faster frame rates and extensive graphics texture processing - mandatory for today's ultimate 3D game experience. With incredible textures, color depths, and up to 30 million triangles/second, animation is life-like and fluid. RADEON™ gives your Mac the graphics stamina for the best 3D gaming performance with incredible visual quality.

Two very interesting details on this list are the inclusion of TV-out support, a very attractive option for those who like to watch DVDs on a big screen, and support for QuickDraw 3D RAVE, which will preserve compatibility with older games.

We've collected several links below that might be of interest from past coverage of this card, and several reviews conducted on the PC side. We look forward to getting our hands on a Mac version of this card in the near future, and of course we will bring you all the details when that occurs. By all accounts this card will be available to the public in September.

ATI Radeon Graphics Guide at Tom's Hardware
ATI Radeon Pre-order at CDW
ATI Mac Radeon Press Release
ATI Takes Blame for Leak
Radeon Review at GameCenter

Miniature Golf Review
6:25 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Mac Gamer's Ledge has posted a review of Miniature Golf by Smarter Than You software. This 3D-accelerated minigolf game features OpenGL graphics and both Arcade and Realistic modes of play. The reviewer found the game simple and charming, a fun shareware diversion. Here's an excerpt from the review:

As the name suggests, Miniature Golf is a computerized simulation of - yes - the game of miniature golf. For those of you who live on a buoy in the Pacific Ocean and yet somehow have an Internet connection, the idea of miniature golf is to hit a small, round, dimpled ball into a hole, marked by a flag. In general, this takes place on a relatively small, confined green area, with various obstacles (hills, valleys, sharp corners, windmills, and so on) in the way. Preferably the player would like to get the ball in the hole with fewer hits than "par."
Read the rest of the review for more details on this shareware title. If you want to take this game for a spin yourself, be sure and grab the demo.

Miniature Golf 1.1 (2.3 MB)
Miniature Golf Review at MGL

Tread 3D Coming to Mac
6:14 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacCentral has posted a report on Tread3D, an amazing open-source tool for the PC which allows users to edit and create levels for a slew of 3D games including Quake, Quake 2, Hexen 2, Kingpin and soon Quake 3 Arena. Early this Summer, Tread3D author Joe Riedel promised that a Mac OS version of this tool was forthcoming -- however, as the report details, this deal fell through:

Back in June, Riedel reported that they were working with a third party to port Tread3D to the Macintosh. Apparently things didn't work out too well in that arrangement. Riedel explains.

"Here's the scoop on the Mac version of Tread3D," posted Riedel recently. "The deal that was made and announced weeks ago fell through shortly after. I decided to port it myself, and I must say it is very fun. I started about 8 hours ago. It's going to take at least 4 weeks. Remember, that is at least 4 weeks, not definitely 4 weeks. So I leave you with that. Tread3D will be on the Mac cause I'm doing it."

Read the rest of this article for more details. We look forward to seeing what Mac level designers can create with such a tool -- if the quality of the Marathon maps and scenarios we have seen is any indication, there should be some amazing results.

Tread3D Web Site
MacCentral on Tread3D

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Another Molyneux Interview
5:49 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios is a very friendly chap, which is great news for those interested in his upcoming god-game Black and White, as he loves talking about it to anyone who will listen. Fansite The Citadel has published a short interview with Mr. Molyneux concerning this unique title, which places you as a wannabe god in a paradise-like world ripe for conquering. This highly-anticipated game, which was recently delayed until November for the PC, has so many unique features it is tough to list them all -- a fantastic world engine which allows almost infinite resolution of detail, advanced AI that powers thousands of autonomous individuals, a flexible, open-ended solo game, multiplayer support, and a totally in-world interface without any distractions such as icons, health status or scoreboards.

Can you tell we're excited about this one? Anyway, the Q&A doesn't broach much new information, but it does present a good overview of the game itself and what gameplay might be like. Here is an excerpt:

In Black&White you take the role of a God, governing over a group of little people or villagers in an immensely detailed outdoor world. It soon becomes apparent that you aren’t the only God running the show. Would it be fair to say that the main aim of Black&White is to eliminate enemy Gods?

The main aim of the single player game in Black & White is to play through the story. As the story unfolds you realise there is one god trying to make the whole world believe in him and he just happens to be the opposite to you of you; if you’re good he'll be evil and vice versa. In multiplayer it's simple: if your citadel is the last standing, well, you've won 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.

This game is shipping for the PC in late November, after repeated delays; it seems Molyneux is a perfectionist. We are certain Mac OS port of this title is in development, but in the very early stages, and the developer and publisher aren't willing to reveal themselves at this time.

Q&A With Peter Molyneux of Lionhead
Lionhead Studios
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

Issue 8-3 Shipping Soon
5:25 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

We wanted to remind our readers that Volume 8, Issue 3 of the IMG CD-ROM is shipping next week, featuring tons of exclusive content, huge demos, QuickTime movies and a healthy dose of shareware. This issue features a preview of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, the 135 MB demo of Deus Ex, and much, much more.

If you're not a subscriber, join up by Monday to get in on this upcoming issue. There's no faster and more reliable way to get the latest demos, downloads and gaming information than to have it burned to a CD-ROM and delivered to your mailbox, and you will find lots of exclusive content not found on our web site. Jump to our subscriber page and sign up or renew your subscription today!

IMG Subscription Form

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More Elite Force For Your Eyeballs
4:58 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

This first-person shooter is a mere few weeks from its debut on the PC platform, and the PC news sites are really getting their mileage out of their beta copies. Case in point: GameSpot Australia has posed a screen shot gallery of over sixty (yes, six-zero) images from Raven's Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, a faithful reproduction of the television series as an action-packed game.

While many of these shots seem similar to others seen on the 'net, they do show elements of the solo game in depth, from the interior of the Voyager spacecraft to the Borg cube. There are also many images from the in-engine cutscenes that this action/adventure game uses to spell out the episode-like plot. Many of the shots appear to have benefitted from some degree of full-scene anti-aliasing -- which graphics card was used is not specified -- which showcases Raven's slick, clean level designs and excellent textures. All 60 thumbnails are on the same page, so if you are a modem user or are short on RAM, expect a significant delay before this gallery will load.

As a reminder, Elite Force is based on the cross-platform Quake 3 Arena engine, so we expect a port to the Mac OS will be a rapid affair. A Mac publisher and porting company for this title has been secured, and we'll be sure and let you know as soon as they are willing to go public with the details.

Elite Force Screen Shot Gallery at GameSpot AU
Raven Software
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

IMG Debuts New Search Tool
3:07 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

If you are a regular visitor to IMG, you might have noticed a new addition to the news page: the News Search box at the top of the right-side column. This is a new feature we have added to increase the flexibility and depth of your news experience. While this search tool only reaches back to June 26th -- the day our scripted news system hit version 1.0 -- it will soon be expanded to include the entire breadth of IMG news for the past five years, a huge, rich resource of information on Mac gaming.

Eventually we plan to convert the entire archive of IMG information to a database format, bringing the tremendous breadth of reviews, previews, interviews and features from our past years to you in a searchable, random-access format.

So take our News Search for a spin -- want to see all articles related to Volition's Red Faction? Type it in (case doesn't matter) and go! Are you interested in reading articles about Quake 3 Arena modifications? Click on the All Words button and type in "Quake 3 mods." You will find the search engine to be flexible and fast -- and this is only the beginning. We have several very special features coming up which will make searching for information on Mac games and gaming fast, powerful, and easy-to-use. Stay tuned!

Quake 3 Mods Search Example
Red Faction Search Example

GameSprockets 1.7.5 Released
12:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple today released Game Sprockets 1.7.5, the set of software libraries that game and Universal Serial Bus (USB) input devices such as joysticks, game pads, and mice require for optimum performance.

Game Sprockets 1.7.5 includes nearly all the HID-compliant USB input devices including wheel mice, multiple-monitor performance improvements, higher quality 3D sound filtering, and delivers improvements for graphic intensive game applications.

Game Sprockets 1.7.5 is available for download from Macgamefiles.com

Download Game Sprockets (880k)
Apple Game Sprockets page

Become Part of the IMG Network
11:15 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games is looking for high quality Mac gaming web sites to become part of our IMG network. If you have an established or new Macintosh gaming related web site, we can help drive traffic to your web site thanks to the over 2 million web pages served on the IMG network. In addition, the IMG network offers free hosting for your web site as well as a guaranteed CPM for your web site.

If you're interested in becoming part of the IMG network, click on the link below for more information.

Become Part of the IMG Network

MacBrickout 4.1 Released
11:07 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Leapfrog Software has released MacBrickout 4.1, an addicting ball and paddle brick bashing game for the Macintosh. Version 4.1 boasts a brand new level set full of challenges. People will be able to submit their high scores for this new level set online.

Changes in 4.1 are as follows:

  • Brand new Level set called "Mania Levels"
  • New online high score list for this level set.
  • Monthly high score lists added to the website for all three level sets
  • Multiple language support. You can now play MacBrickout in English,
    French, Danish, Japanese and Italian. More languages to follow.
  • 5 new bonus gems added
  • "Clean Sand" and "Red-X" achievement awards added
  • 2000, 5000 and -10000 capsules added
  • To download MacBrickout 4.1 head over to Macgamefiles.com.

    Download MacBrickout 4.1 (3.3 MB)
    Leapfrog Software

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    Interview with Neverwinter's Oster
    10:48 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Neverwinter Nights PR train seems to be back in gear, with many new Q&A's cropping up recently about the game. Bioware's producer for the game, Trent Oster, seems to be giving out most of the answers and the latest interview at GamersPulse is no different. It's a great piece, covering a variety of topics about DM powers, spell casting at high levels, and character death. Here's an interesting bit about how the DM can use the engine to duplicate almost any scenario:

    GP: Will the DM have some way to handle the player who wants to do something that they are unable to do in the NWN engine? For example, if a player wants to attempt to push a statue over onto his enemy, or roll a barrel down the incline at the orcs charging up towards him, can he describe what he wants to do, and the DM somehow improvise it?

    Trent: The DM will have all the power we can offer to change events on the fly. The DM could improvise your statue scenario by removing the statue, damaging the monster, and sending a text message to all the players, conveying what has occurred. The rolled barrel could be done in the same manner, damaging the orcs or simply moving them backwards, giving the party a greater lead to escape. The DM will have a large number of abilities and almost any situation can be covered with a little creative thought. Remember, just because something isn’t represented graphically in the game engine doesn’t mean that it can’t be imagined under the DM’s guidance.

    Neverwinter Nights is looking to be an RPG of unparalleled quality when it is released next year. Bioware is hoping to have Mac, PC and maybe even Linux client available nearly simultaneously. We'll keep you updated as more on the game is revealed. Be sure to also check out our very own interview with Oster as well as our first look at the game.

    IMG's First Look at NWN
    IMG's Interview with Trent Oster
    Neverwinter Nights Web Site
    GamersPulse Neverwinter Nights Interview
    Neverwinter Nights
    Buy Neverwinter Nights

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    Combat Mission 1.0.5 Released
    10:41 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Big Time Software has released a new patch for their acclaimed wargame Combat Mission. This 1.0.5 update adds a number of new fixes, including a few for the recently-released 1.04 patch. Here's a partial list of changes:

    • Units will NOT switch away from an ambush marker target just because they have been spotted by the enemy.
    • Units area-targeting a building which collapses and has no visible surviving enemy troops in the resulting rubble will cancel their area target.
    • Fixed a bug introduced in v1.04 that made some units with normally large ammo loads, in scenarios created with v1.03 or earlier, have ammo loads above 65000.
    • Roads are never considered "slope
    As you can probably tell, Combat Mission is trying to keep a sense of historical accuracy important to fans of the genre, while adding new 3D elements never seen before in a game of its type. Head on over to Macgamefiles now to pick up the latest patch, or grab the demo if you haven't already tried it out.

    Combat Mission Web Site
    Combat Mission Demo (31MB)
    Combat Mission 1.0.5 Update (1.6MB)
    Combat Mission

    Wheel of Fortune in Beta
    10:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Westlake Interactive page was updated recently with word on their progress with Wheel of Fortune. The game will be published by MacSoft and is one of a number of 'value' titles they are bringing to the Mac to help reach a broader gamer market. Here's the full text from the page:

    Wheel of Fortune Mac has been in beta testing for a couple weeks and is close to going final.

    Wheel of Fortune will be published by MacSoft, and brings the fun of the classic gameshow to your desktop.

    With the game moving along so well, it could easily be released before the November date MacSoft predicted. We'll keep you updated as it moves closer towards completion.

    Westlake Interactive

    Click to enlarge
    4x4 Evolution Screen Shots
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    PC IGN has posted a dozen new screen shots of Terminal Reality's upcoming title 4x4 Evolution. The images show this game is making very good progress, as the cars and tracks are looking polished and ready to race. The screen shots are reasonably high resolution, as well, so stop by for a glimpse of what is to come.

    4x4 Evolution is looking to be the first title released for and playable across the Mac, PC and Dreamcast game console simultaneously. It should be out later this Fall, and is being published by Gathering of Developers. We noted earlier in the week that their schedule has the game coming out in September, though this could possibly change, giving the problems game-makers often run across. Watch this space for a preview of the Mac version of this title, very soon.

    IMG: Release Dates from GoD
    PC IGN 4x4 Screen Shots
    Terminal Reality
    Gathering of Developers
    4x4 Evolution

    MacMAME Hits .37 Beta 6
    6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    This freeware, open-source arcade game emulator has taken yet another incremental step in the quest to accurately reproduce every darn arcade game ever made. The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator compiled for MacOS has been updated to version .37 beta 6, adding a dozen or so new games as well as the following features:

  • In sync with the DOS 0.37 beta 6 build. [Brad Oliver]
  • The front-end dialog is now larger than 640x480 in size. This means that
    you should run MacMAME in a minimum resolution of 800x600 if you want to see
    everything; lower resolutions won't be officially supported any longer.
    [Brad Oliver]
  • In a related note, Brad Oliver has recently moved to Texas to become a permanent part of porting house Westlake Interactive; it was his work on MacMAME which first gained him notice from that team. We're very glad Brad still has time to work on MacMAME, between hacking away at those "secret" projects Westlake has in development.


    Click to enlarge
    Aleph One Moves to Linux
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Ever since Bungie released the source code to Marathon 2, this has resulted a huge list of improvements and expansions upon the original game. Mac users can now use OpenGL, InputSprockets, and much more when playing Marathon 2 or Infinity. Now the source code has been to bring this game to another platform. While Marathon 2 was released for Windows, users of that other operating system, Linux, never got their chance.

    The official Aleph One page has been updated to say that the first public Linux build of the game is now available for download. It's a bit crippled at this point, but an impressive feat nonetheless. Here's a clip from the page explaining more:

    Christian Bauer has released Aleph One for Linux! Visit his very cool new Web site and download it! This initial release, version 0.1, is missing a few features, such as the overhead map and networking, but it is basically a strait port of Bungie's original release of Marathon 2, with Infinity support. Features new to the Mac version, such as OpenGL rendering and Pfhortran are not present, but as you'll read below, Loren is working hard to make the Mac version more portable. Christian has implemented the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), which is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide easy and consistant access to graphics, sound, and user input. According to Christian, SDL is used by many popular games, most notably by many of the Linux games published by Loki Entertainment.
    The inclusion of SDL is an interesting development for the project. Loren Petrich, the man behind most of the Mac Aleph One improvements, notes that his work on abstracting the code so it is more portable continues:
    My file-format abstraction efforts are getting closer to completion. I've created a simple framework for resource files, involving an opened resource-fork abstraction and resource wrapper objects that contain the read-in resources. The main thing I have to do now is the directory-walking; the MacOS filesystem code is a nightmare, and POSIX opendir(), readdir(), etc. looks much simpler. My next challenge is to think of some suitable abstraction that can encompass both the MacOS and POSIX.
    Pats on the back go out to both Christian and Loren for all of their work so far on the project. It's great to see that other minority OS's will get a chance to share in the Marathon series we all know and love.

    Aleph One Linux Web Site
    Marathon Open Source Web Site

    Mac Games News for Thursday, August 24, 2000

    Lunar Pilot Source Code6:30 PM
    Westlake Adds New Projects6:21 PM
    New Red Faction Images5:55 PM
    Neverwinter Nights Q&A3:33 PM
    Play as JC Denton in UT3:26 PM
    On Diablo II CD Keys1:36 PM
    Backyard Soccer Due in October1:09 PM
    Avernum Reviewed11:23 AM
    WaterRace Trailer, Update10:49 AM
    Diablo II Warnings10:48 AM
    Summoner Screen Shots10:45 AM
    Blizzard Musicians, Part Two7:35 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 24, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, August 23, 2000
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    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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