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Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Gaming News from Paris Expo
9:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Steve Jobs' Keynote at the Apple Expo in France brought a few changes to the product lineup which might interest the gamer at heart. The iBooks line received a speed bump which will improve game performance, but the truly significant improvement was the addition of the ATI RAGE Mobility 128 graphics chipset. This 8MB video card (the same that ships with the Pro PowerBook) will run 2D and 3D applications significantly faster than the previous iBooks could. No word yet as to if the lime color will affect your game performance...

ATI's next-generation card, the Radeon, has also finally appeared after much holding of breath. After the Macworld expo fiasco, it's good to see the cards will officially ship in new PowerMac G4 and Cube machines. On Apple's BTO page, the Radeon is only $100 more than the Rage 128, and well worth it to any gamer looking for great 3D. The Radeon AGP should be available for retail purchase later this month for around $250. A PCI version should follow this Fall, and will be compatible all the way down Apple's PCI product line.

The public beta for OS X is now available, though it must be bought from the Apple Store for $30. There is no actual information yet on how games will perform under the new system, and which titles might not work at all. id Software will presumably release the OS X version of Quake 3: Arena soon, and other games should run in the Classic OS 9 environment. You can be sure IMG will be bringing you extensive updates on which games work well with the OS X beta.

In other news, 3dfx has announced an AGP version of their Voodoo5 5500 card for Mac. There aren't any major differences between this and the previously-released PCI version, besides the addition of support for 2x AGP. Here's a clip from the press release:

Voodoo5 5500 AGP for Macintosh exploits the power of two VSA-100 graphics processing chips running in parallel by coupling them in a Scan Line Interleave (SLI(TM)) mode configuration and performing 3D acceleration from both chips simultaneously. The result is a doubling of overall 3D performance. Voodoo5 5500 also features the company's proprietary T-Buffer(TM) digital cinematic effects engine as well as 64mb of video memory to facilitate rapid loading of textures and high resolution gaming. The 350 MHz RAMDAC supports resolutions of up to 2048x1536. In addition, it features full support for every major Macintosh API and outstanding QuickDraw(R) acceleration.

Demand for the Voodoo5 5500 AGP for Macintosh is expected to be high. A pre-order program is planned to begin in the very near future.

No specific date for the card's release is noted. Much more news on specific games is coming from our reporters attending the Expo, so stay tuned!

Apple Expo 2000 Web Site
Apple Radeon PR
Apple's iBook Web Site
3dfx Voodoo5 5500 AGP PR

SimShow Available
7:52 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Along with their triple threat of new titles, Aspyr Media also released some instant gratification for Mac fans of The Sims in the form of a Mac-native version of SimShow, a utility for editing Sim skins. This nifty, free utility will let you put yourself in the game, literally, as well as any humanoid form you desire. All it will take is a little patience and an image editor -- and perhaps a scanner, if you want to be picture-perfect. Here are the details, from the Aspyr Newsletter:

The SimShow for Mac is now available, via our web site. The SimShow is
the first official Mac tool for The Sims. Now you can create your own
skins for The Sims? Create your whole family; don't forget Grandma and
Grandpa! You can use SimShow to view your wacky skin designs and then
import them into The Sims! Hey, a few folks have gotten pretty crafty,
here at the office, and I've seen a few Aspyr families.

To make skins using the SimShow, you will need:

* the latest version of SimShow, the Sims model and texture viewer. It
can be downloaded from http://www.aspyr.com

* an image editor such as Photoshop or GraphicConverter. There are many
evaluation and freeware versions of image editing programs available on
the Internet.

Make the Sims your own. Download the SimShow and even you, actually a
simulated version of you, can get in the game!

If you are a Sims owner, hurry up and grab this utility and start creating! You will need a Sims serial number to access the download area on Aspyr's site.

Aspyr Media

Mac Gaming Championship at Expo
5:03 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

While Macworld New York did not have a Mac gaming championship this year, The Apple Expo Paris did. This time around the French Mac gaming news site JeuxMac.com and GOA, a French multiplayer alliance, combined forces to provide the expo visitors with a chance to play in a tournament against live human opponents. The G4/500 computers were all powered by 3dfx's Voodoo 5500 PCI. They are rotating the game selection between Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena.

The full tournament begins on Saturday , with a PCI Voodoo 5500 as the grand prize. Until the start of the full tournament they will be giving away GOA prizes such as mouse pads and shirts. We had a chance to play, and of course this correspondent went undefeated for two rounds and walked away with a JeuxMac t-shirt. If you speak the language of romance, visit JeuxMac.com, as it is a great site for Francophones and Mac game news.

JeuxMac Web Site

MacAlly Shows Airstick
4:27 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

MacAlly have been showing off some of their peripherals at the Paris Expo, and have also been demonstrating their new Airstick. The best description of the Airstick is a joystick without a base, meaning you are totally free (apart from the USB cord) to move around and use it to fly your favorite flight simulator. The Airstick is a joystick with an advanced motion-tracking tilt sensor, allowing you to play any InputSprocket and non-InputSprocket games. Not only is it a mid-air joystick, is it also a game controller, allowing you to use it for PlayStation games. We had a chance to play with it and think it is amazing. It provides you with great support and fluid control of games such as Descent 3, Star Was Racer and Falcon 4. Here are the Airstick's features:

Motion sensing midair joystick

  • 100% compatible with MacOS
  • Control pad and Joystick-two in one design
  • 11 control buttons plus one thumbstick
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Plug and Play operation
  • Excellent feel and shape
  • Lifetime warranty
While MacAlly has not determined an exact release date, they told us that it should be out next month.

Macally web site
Macally's Airstick

Feral On Future Releases
4:24 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

At the expo we had a chance to talk to David Stephen of Feral Interactive about their future lineup. They will be finished with Theme Park World very soon, and this entertaining sim will certainly be on the shelves by next month. Furthermore, Championship Manager 2001 will also be completed very soon, both games are in very late testing phases. Here are some of the key features for Theme Park World:

  • Build it: Place pathways, rides, shops, side-shows and features
    however you wish;
  • 4 great parks: Lost Kingdom, Halloween, Space Zone and
  • Visit your park: Once you've created your park, you can visit
    it in person;
  • Ride all the rides: Test out your creations in first person
  • Employ: Hire, train, manage and fire your theme park staff;
  • Manage: Adjust the performance of your rides. Set prices,
    profit levels, food quality and more!
  • Research:Discover better attractions and facilities, with
    which to enhance your park;
  • Snapshots: Send snapshot photos as email
    postcards from anywhere in your park to anyone in the world;
  • TPW On-line: You can even publish your park online, meet
    people in the Chat Parks, or visit other peoples parks from all
    around the World!
Expect to hear more about Feral in the coming months. They have a project to reveal that just may blow your mind.

Feral Interactive

Click to enlarge
French Touch Demos WaterRace
4:23 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

French Touch's Peirre-Olivier Latour gave us a great preview of the latest version of their upcoming boat racing game WaterRace. The game itself is nearly complete, with just a few areas of the game remaining to be refined and tweaked. While the team is working on finalizing the game, Pierre is looking for a publisher to distribute the game worldwide. French Touch will be releasing a demo of the game in the near future; As with all the best Mac game demos, Macgamefiles will have the demo hosted for you. Of course the game will be quite reasonable in system requirements, which is great for iMac owners and those with older Macs. Take a look at our preview if you wish to find out more information about the game.

WaterRace Web Site
French Touch
WaterRace Preivew
French Touch

Westlake's Secrets Unveiled
3:08 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Mac porting mavens Westlake Interactive are not surprisingly the major force behind Aspyr Media's crop of three new titles. As expected, with the announcement by Aspyr that The Sims: Livin Large, Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force are coming to the Mac OS, Westlake has updated their Project Status page and News with this information.

The "Steath," "Hot" and "Cool" secrets have now been revealed, leaving only the "Unimaginable" project wrapped in mystery. Here are some excerpts from Westlake's updates:

Westlake proudly takes the wraps of the secret "stealth" project- Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.

The latest in the widely acclaimed Need for Speed racing series from Electronic Arts, Porsche Unleashed has an extensive collection of cars from the 50-year history of the most storied performance car manufacturer in the world.

Add in an all-new 4 point physics system, stunning 3D cockpits, and race courses with branching paths, and you have a complete racing experience.


Beaming your way later this year, Westlake's latest Mac game is Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. Originally developed by Raven Software, Elite Force is a Quake III based first person sci-fi shooter. Based on the Star Trek: Voyager universe, Elite force puts you up against some of the toughest Star Trek enemies, including the Borg and never-seen-before aliens.

Elite Force supports both a full single player story-based game and multiplayer gaming.


We're pleased to unveil a new project at Westlake- The "Livin' Large" expansion pack for the Sims.

Livin' Large is an add-on for The Sims that gives you new career tracks, new floor and wall styles, and over a hundred new objects.

For more information on these titles, be sure and check out IMG's 'first looks' for details and screen shots. Congrats to Westlake on their amazing lineup for this Fall -- we can't wait for more secrets to be added to the calendar.

IMG Previews Page
Westlake Interactive Project Status Page

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New WaterRace Info
2:55 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Sieger's Post, a site for developers and gamers alike, has posted a new feature on French Touch's upcoming Mac-only game, WaterRace. They have posted details on the storyline, characters, and also interviewed business manager Stéphane Rosset. There is a lot of great information available, so be sure and check it out. WaterRace is a high-speed boat racing game with great 3D effects and models. One of the most exciting features is the included terrain and model editor, which allows editing in realtime. There are screenshots of both editors in the feature. Here's a clip from the Q&A about the power of these tools:

Mirage2k: The Infinity Model Builder and Infinity Terrain Builder look to be great tools. But many bundled editing tools, such as Bungie's Fear and Loathing, aren't used by the average player because they seem too complex. Realistically, do you think the average player will be able to take advantage of Infinity?

Stéphane: Well we hope so. There is a real difference between Bungie's 3D game tools (or any other 3D game editing tool) and ours: it's simplicity. Our tools were designed from the ground up to be used by non-experienced 3D people since most people in our team when we started working on the game had no experience with 3D. So no command line but a simple and nice user interface, WYSIWYG, drag and drop, etc... Of course not everyone will be able to create new levels from nothing, but I'm sure almost everyone will be able to easily modify existing ones.

WaterRace is looking to be an amazing Mac-only title that should be out this Fall. For more on the game, check out their web site.

WaterRace Web Site
Sieger's Post WaterRace Feature
French Touch

Click to enlarge
Elite Force Opponents
2:52 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As part of their week focused on this shooter, GameSpot Uk has posted a feature about the opponents you will face in Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, coming to the PC soon, and to the Mac via Aspyr Media. This first-person shooter which closely follows the design and characters of the television show has been hailed by many as a gorgeous and involving title.

GameSpot's feature on the enemies of this title covers the usual suspects -- the Klingons, the Borg -- as well as the new additions Raven made to the Trek universe, such as the Etherians. These enemies are scattered over the solo missions of this game, and there are 14 in total, but only seven species are covered here.

Here is an excerpt describing the infamous Borg, those zombie-like assimilators of entire species:

One of your first encounters will be with the technology worshipping cube dwellers. On board a cube, the Borg tend to follow standard procedure and leave you alone if you leave them alone, but it's an uneasy truce which certainly doesn't last long. The Borg will rapidly adapt to phasers and phaser rifles and seem immune to most standard weaponry - however, Seven of Nine has proved she's not just a pretty face and a slinky catsuit by creating the Infinity Modulator, a weapon which can punch clean through Borg adaptive shielding.
Check out the rest of the article for more details, and the official web site for images of these creatures.

Elite Force Opponents at GameSpot UK
STV: Elite Force Web Site
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

New Oni Tidbits, Contradictions
10:21 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A post in the Oni.Bungie.org forums by Bungie's community spokesperson Matt Soell offers some new information on the full-contact action game Oni. In addition, Bungie.net is now reporting the game to be in beta testing now. According to Soell, the version of Oni shown at ECTS was for the Playstation 2, not the Mac or PC builds of the game. Soell also made an earlier post to the forum, saying "If the October date slips, I doubt it would be by that much. This refutes previews from ECTS we reported on previously this week in which a spokesperson from Rockstar, the company working on the Playstation 2 port, claimed Oni was delayed well into next year. Here's a clip from Soell on ECTS and new aspects of the game itself:

1. I spoke to Alex this afternoon and he tells me the version of Oni displayed at ECTS was the PS2 version. So nyah. ;-)

2. Booted up the latest build to relieve some frustration by beating down virtual suckas. Noticed for the first time the slick new impact stuff. Those of you who didn't like the flashes of light that used to denote the impact of a foot or fist will be pleased with how they look now.

3. Lorraine has done some great art for the win/loss screens and not all of it is in there yet but the ones that are look groovy.

4. I was running in 1280x1024/32bit color on an 18" monitor and it looked pretty darn nifty.

5. More to come, hopefully with photographic evidence soon. Other beta-testers should remember that Bungie gives me special dispensation to shoot my mouth off, and anyone who breaks their NDA will have to deal with the murderous fury of Ryan Hylland. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

This doesn't completely put the issue to rest, however, as a new post to the comments section our recent original story reveals. In a new post, EuroGamer Editor-in-Chief John Bye defends their article which claimed that Oni will not be released until next year. Here's his post in full:
Hi folks Sorry I'm a bit late to the party - I only just found this thread... Just to set things straight, the information in the Oni preview we posted on EuroGamer is based on what we saw of the game (in both PC and PS2 versions) and what we were told by the people demonstrating them. The "50% complete" refers to the PS2 version which our assistant editor (who wrote most of the preview) saw.

As for the March 2001 release date, we just got a new release schedule from publisher Take 2 this morning, and it confirms that both the PS2 *and* PC versions are now due for release in the UK during the first quarter of 2001. Sorry guys, these are just the facts as we have been told them. Insulting us won't change them. ;)

John "Gestalt" Bye

Editor-In-Chief - www.eurogamer.net

The status of Oni has been the subject of debate for months now, and these pieces of contradictory information do little to clarify the situation. Pending official word on Bungie letterhead (and not in a forum post), it seems the final decision as to when Oni hits the streets has either not been made or is unknown at this time. What is apparent is that the publishing date of this title is up to Take Two Interactive, not Bungie. If indeed the PS2 version of this game is several months behind the Mac and PC versions, it is unclear at this time if Take Two and Gathering of Developers will hold all versions for a single release, or publish the Mac and PC versions as soon as they are complete. It is also important to note that Beta does not mean 'ready next week' -- many games, such as Unreal Tournament, Quake 3 Arena and Diablo II were in Beta testing for six months or more. We'll contact all parties involved and try to sort through this mess of contradictory claims.

IMG: No Oni Until March 2001? Comments
Oni.bungie.org Thread

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Shogo Demo Available!
10:02 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Macgamefiles has posted a demo version of Shogo, the long-awaited shooter from Monolith ported by Hyperion Software and published by Titan Computer.

Shogo: Mobile Armor Division is an anime-inspired first-person shooter that features the much-hyped Monolith’s LithTech engine. In the game you play the role of Sanjuro Makabe, a young security officer at the United Corporate Authority Security Force, who is caught in the middle of a war that costs Sanjuro his family and friends. Now he’s bent on revenge against ‘The Fallen’, a mercenary terrorist group led by Gabriel.
The purpose of the demo of Monolith’s Shogo: M.A.D is to give you a general idea of the basic concept of the game. While the demo remains limited to 2 levels of single player and 2 levels of multiplayer, you can still get a good idea of both types of situations, the first being the M.C.A (Mobile Combat Armor) mission and the second being the Human mission. Certain features can only be accessed when in the M.C.A mode. Each game types has different weapons, and although not all of the arsenal is included in this demo, you can still enjoy both types of gameplay.


  • Mac OS 8.5 or later
  • 233MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or G4
  • 96 MB RAM
  • 80 MB
  • OpenGL 1.1.2, 4MB VideoRAM
  • GameSprokets 1.7.3

Grab the demo for some serious action and prepare for some of the unique surprises of the LithTech engine. The full version of this game should be complete within the next month.

Shogo: Mobile Armored Division Demo
Hyperion Entertainment
Shogo: MAD

Click to enlarge
Epic Interactive Refocuses on Mac
9:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The German company Epic Interactive, unrelated to the creators of Unreal Tournament, has announced they are shifting from the Amiga to focus on their Macintosh projects. They have a number of new titles coming out for the Mac OS this Fall and next year. There are actually two companies sharing the Epic name; Epic Interactive is developing Gorky 17, Earth 2140, Dafel: Bloodline and Simon The Sorcerer 2 currently, while Epic Marketing will be available to provide information on all of these titles, and possibly act as the publisher. Here's a clip explaining more:

Our sister company epic multimedia (www.epic-multimedia.de) will enter the market in October too. You will find information on our products, which will include games, infotainment and edutainment for various computer systems (Apple Mac, Windows, Linux, Amiga One, Milan) on our webpage
New web sites for both companies will be available in October, so stay tuned. For more on the games Epic is porting, check out IMG's previous news stories about this company.

IMG: Details on Epic's Titles
IMG: Epic Interactive Brings New Titles to the Mac
Epic Announcements
Gorky 17

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Freeverse Interviewed7:00 PM
More Sims, Less Shooters?6:16 PM
New Rune Movies5:21 PM
Tomb Raider 5 Q&A3:25 PM
Clarification on Rune Multiplayer11:27 AM
Bungie Reworking Web Support11:20 AM
Aliens vs Predator Due Oct 20th11:07 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 12, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Monday, September 11, 2000
Friday, September 8, 2000
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