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Monday, September 18, 2000

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Update on Q3A for OS X
10:23 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Graeme Devine, Mac supporter and OS X fanatic, has finally updated his .plan file with some excellent information for both early adopters of Apple's new OS and fans of id Software's Quake 3 Arena. It seems that there will definitely be a OS X-native (Carbon) version of Q3A in the near future, and more importantly, a new Mac point release -- which supposedly will include a major speed increase.

Here is Graeme's .plan update, which also mentions the game that made him an industry name:

I've gotten many emails regarding Q3A for Mac OS X Public Beta. Yes, we're working on
a build, but it will go hand in hand with the forthcoming point release. All Mac users
will notice a significant speed increase with this point release (when showing it to
Apple they said "woah, how'd you do that?")

I've also gotten lots of emails about an older game of mine, The 7th Guest. Trilobyte
still exists as an entity and holds all the IP/distribution rights to 7th Guest, 11th Hour
etc. You can still purchase Clandestiny from the Trilobyte web page ( I'm
sure at some point there will be another Guest game, but right now I'm having way too much
fun at id which remains a rockingly good place to work at.

id's next project is of course Doom III (working title), a sequel to that seminal shooter which will incorporate yet another new graphics engine from grand wizard Carmack. Graeme did not mention a date for either the point release or OS X-native Q3A, but as this Carbonized version has been demonstrated in public several times (including the Apple Expo Paris) we're sure it is due in the near future. id is also working on Quake 3 Team Arena, an expansion pack for Q3A which may be just around the corner as well.

Graeme Devine's .plan Update
id Software
Quake III Arena

Infogrames Sued For 'Looting' GT Interactive
1:56 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

French publisher Infogrames isn't exactly a household name for Mac gamers, but the company's recently-purchased subsidiary GT Interactive -- which owns MacSoft -- should sound familiar. Infogrames acquired GT earlier this Summer in a string of purchases to consolidate their games offerings.

Now it seems U.S. shareholders are objecting to the way Infogrames is splitting up the spoils of their purchase, and blaming the company for a drop in the stock price of GT Interactive. An article on FGNOnline relates a story published in the UK Times which details the suit:

Industry: Infogrames is being sued by investors in the U.S. for allegedly "looting" GT Interactive after taking control of the company in a $135 million takeover deal.

The allegation was made by two investors at Infogrames Inc (formally GT Interactive). Shareholders allege that Infogrames Inc's directors gave the company's inventory of videogames, its distribution rights and royalties to its controlling French shareholder, while leaving U.S. shareholders to pay for new games development.

"Predictably, Wall Street has watched the looting of Infogrames's business and has reacted accordingly," the lawsuit alleges. Shareholders want Infogrames to pay them damages and their legal fees.

The financial health of the company formerly known as GT Interactive should be of interest to all Mac gamers, as this company not only owns MacSoft but is the publisher of the Unreal and Unreal Tournament series.

Infogrames USA
Investors Sue Infogrames on FGNOnline

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Cro-Mag Rally Update
12:54 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone has just updated Pangea Software's information page for the upcoming racer Cro-Mag Rally, which is due to enter beta testing soon. This console-inspired 3D racer brings the bright, colorful 3D graphics Brian is known for to a racing title with power-ups, split-screen action and blazing speed.

Updates have been made to the Information section, and the manual for the game itself is now online, posted in the Support section of the site. There appear to be several new screen shots as well. This game is expected to hit Beta status within the next two weeks, and will ship for Mac only in November. For more information on this title be sure to check out our preview of the game and interview with Brian Greenstone.

Cro-Mag Rally Web Site
Pangea Software
Greenstone Talks Cro-Mag Rally
Cro-Mag Rally Preview
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally

Syber-Smoke Needs Programmers
12:34 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Kent Campbell has notified us that Syber-Smoke Productions is interested in adding team members to their 'garage' company, currently working on an underwater action title called The Crimson Deep. This ambitious Mac-only title will require programmers experienced in OpenGL and 3D physics modeling. If you meet the requirements, be sure and contact this team immediately. Here is Kent's request:

Syber-Smoke Productions is looking for programmers who are interested in making a unique title for the Mac we know and love. Interested parties should have an grounding or interest in object oriented programming in C++, 3D graphics theory and OpenGL. On top of that experience or interest in Physics Engines, AI, Sound, or Networking are pluses. Please take note that we are a garage company and all pay for work will occur after the title is released. Also you will be working from home so your location is not an issue. If you are interested please contact me, Kent Campbell, at
If you are interested in working on this original project, be sure to let Kent know. Check out the Syber-Smoke web site for more details.

Syber-Smoke Productions

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Marathon: Resurrection Update
12:21 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The Marathon: Resurrection web site has received another update, revealing the progress being made with this total conversion for Unreal Tournament. This team hopes to bring the experience of Bungie's Mac-only shooter Marathon to the UT community, complete with weapons, characters, levels, sound and music. The new screen shots show a somewhat-functional version of the Marathon heads-up display, with motion detector included.There are also new images posted to the Characters and Weapons galleries, revealing a Marathon Marine skin and the TOZT flame thrower in action.

There is no projected release date for this conversion, but the eventual goal is to reproduce the solo and multiplayer levels from Marathon with the UT engine, making modifications when necessary. Supposedly there have been no objections from Bungie Legal, and the project is proceeding as planned. Note that this site is only navigable with Internet Explorer; we have included links to individual pages for Netscape users.

Marathon: Resurrection Levels Page
Marathon: Resurrection Weapons Page
Marathon: Resurrection Web Site
Marathon: Resurrection

A Personalized DS9 Greeting
12:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Simon and Schuster has presented IMG and our readers with a little treat, as part of the pre-release hype. This short video clip features Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Alexander Saddig introducing your favorite gaming magazine. You may remember him as Dr. Bashir on the television series, although he looked more clean-cut and well-rested in that role. In any case, if you are a fan of the series you should check out IMG's own little piece of Trek memorabilia.

This clip was filmed during the voice-over recording sessions for Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, the third-person shooter coming to Mac and PC in just a few weeks. For more details on this game be sure and visit the web site.

Official DS9: The Fallen Web Site
Alexander Saddig Greets IMG Readers

Reckless Drivin' Released
11:31 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If you were a fan of the arcade game Spy Hunter, this new release is sure to bring back memories of dimly-lit arcades. Reckless Drivin' is a top-down 2D driving game with realistic physics, dynamic scaling and lots of mayhem and destruction. Here is a description from the press release:

Reckless Drivin' is a new action game for the Mac. It's gameplay is similar to it's predecessor, Burning Rubber, a Mac shareware game I released in 1996. In Burning Rubber one had to drive a car through 2-dimensional levels as fast as possible, leaving as much destruction as possible on the way. Reckless Drivin' follows the same basic principle, however, it has been completely rewritten from scratch, and it employs a new graphics engine featuring smooth, dynamically zoomed, scrolling 16-bit graphics. The physics simulation has been redesigned to realistically resemble skidding and tire tracks on different road surfaces.
This game runs on any PPC Mac, and is shareware. Be sure and grab it from Macgamefiles if you have a hankerin' for some brutal highway combat. Just don't let the police catch you...

Reckless Drivin' Web Site
Reckless Drivin' 1.0 (5.3 MB)

X-Plane 5.39 Update
11:21 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The team at Laminar Research has produced yet another update to their flexible, ultra-realistic flight simulator X-Plane which is a must-have for fans of the game. This new version reduces RAM requirements, increases speed and fixes a crashing bug. Here is a short excerpt from the huge list of fixes and additions in this version:

X-Plane 5.39 is here!

(5.37 had a RAM-problem that could result in serious crashes on the Mac, possibly corrupting your operating system! If you got 5.37 on a Mac, delete THE ENTIRE FOLDER and replace it with 5.39 at once! We apologize for this error!)

5.39 is a "technical" release which irons out a few final details and format issues to put the power-users where they want to be, and reduces RAM and increases frame-rate a bit for all of us.

RAM requirement down THIRTY PERCENT! RAM needed down from about 45 meg down to about 30! We have been optimizing frame-rate HARD recently.. now we are knocking down the RAM reqmnts through optimizations and re-organizations as well!

A few more frame-rate optimizations... you should see a few percent more frame-rate with scattered clouds.

Now you can land helos on custom objects that you build! Also you can land helos on ALL tall buildings, not just the ones that have helipads on top. Maker your own challenging buildings to land helos on!

This complex and flexible flight sim can simulate flights in outer space, shuttle landings, VTOL aircraft and even gliders. Make sure you grab the update from Macgamefiles; a demo is also available.

Laminar Research
X-Plane 5.39 Demo (60 MB)
X-Plane 5.39 Update (4 MB)

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FAKK 2 Multiplayer Details
10:51 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Ritual has released some more information about an upcoming multiplayer-enabled mod for their recently-released third-person action/adventure Heavy Metal FAKK 2. This new add-on will include new levels and new game types that will be specifically created in order to fit FAKK 2. They will of course include normal deathmatch, but will not include a CTF-type mod as they prefer to leave that up to the FAKK 2 community. Unfortunately all the editing tools are not available on the Mac. Here's the update:

We are currently working on a multi-player addon for FAKK 2 which we hope to have
released in the next 4 weeks. Once the add-on is complete we will be releasing that source
code as well. Our intention is not to do a CTF mod but rather leave that mod to the FAKK 2
CTF team. If you are interested in doing a deathmatch mod and you are serious please
contact me and I can arrange to get the source code to you earlier than the rest of the
world. The multiplayer source will be VERY beta until we are done with our mod, but it is
already up and running so it should provide you with an adequate test bed to get your
own mod running.
Ritual expects to have the add-on done in 4 weeks time, which will be right around the time that the Mac OS version of this title is due to ship. For more information on this much-lauded title, see our preview.

Heavy Metal FAKK 2 Web Site
Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

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Simon 3D Q&A
8:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The German site Adventure Treff has interviewed the lead designer for HeadFirst's series of Simon the Sorcerer adventure games, Simon Woodroffe. They discuss their past titles (Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2) as well as their upcoming game, Simon the Sourcerer 3D. All of HeadFirst's Simon games have been well-received by adventure/puzzle game lovers for their fun graphics and quirky sense of humor. Here's an interesting clip from the Q&A about Simon 3D:

A-T: Development of Simon the Sorcerer 3 has first started in 2D, but later on you decided to turn the game into 3D? Why did you take this decision?

Simon: Due to simple lack of publisher interest. Nobody would put up the cash to develop a 2d adventure game. We spent a long time looking but eventually decided to take a different route.

A-T: Some adventurers from the old days might be a little bit afraid about the new 3D technology... What can you say to calm them down?

Simon: Play Simon 3D and they'll be surprised. It feels just like a 2d adventure game in a different world. The puzzles, characters and situation that Simon finds himself in are just as before.

It's a bit sad that publishers will only fund efforts for the new 3D standard, especially when many genres still seem to favor a 2D world. We're sure that HeadFirst can make a good 3D adventure game though, and look forward to seeing their efforts. Currently the German company Epic Interactive is bringing Simon the Sorcerer 2 to the Mac, with Simon 3D to follow early next year.

Simon 3D Web Site
Adventure-Treff Simon 3D Interview

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Rune Interview
8:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Our CGA partner Stomped has recently spoken with HumanHead's Dale Halsted about his level designs for their Viking adventure game Rune. This is the first of four interviews Stomped will be publishing this week. The title is slated for a release later this Fall, and many are eyeing this 3rd person adventure/slasher with much anticipation. Here's a clip:

Stomped: What kinds of setting can the player expect to see and explore in the game?

Halsted: Major areas include the deep underworld, the land of the goblins, Hel’s domain, snowy mountains, the massive village fortress of Thorstadt, the land of the Dwarves, etc. We’ve been good about staying tight-lipped on the latter chunk of the game, and there are some great surprises there. What really impresses me is the sheer variety of these environments; everybody touts that as a feature these days, but our areas are all as distinct as the hands that made them, down to looks, creatures, and even game flow. You can walk around here from an office where one guy is making a dank, spooky and expansive goblin domain with Goblins hopping about their homes, and in the office next door someone’ll be working on a crazy red-glowing Hel-scape with hordes of zombies swarming Ragnar amidst pounding drums and blaring horns. Everyone’s going to have a definite favorite area of the game, and I bet people’s preferences will vary a good bit as each section really is so individual; we mappers had an incredible amount of freedom in our designs and visuals.

The team has added many features to the Unreal Tournament engine to create Rune, and the visuals we've seen so far look amazing. The setting in Norse mythology should also be a nice change of pace for many gamers burnt-out on sci-fi or fanatasy games. Rune should be out this Fall for the PC, quickly followed by the Mac version (thanks to Westlake Interactive).

Stomped Q&A with Dave Halsted
Rune Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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Diablo Meets the Sims
6:00 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

There are few games on the market now as addictive as Diablo II and The Sims, and now someone at Gamecenter with a twisted sense of humor has decided to combine the two. In what could only be described as a Kafka-esque parody, Gamecenter has released a piece called Diablo Meets the Sims. It follows the life of Daniel Green, resident of Simsville, and his new neighbor Diablo. Here is an excerpt:

Daniel's Diary--7:34 p.m.

Met the new neighbor about 20 minutes ago; he came over to borrow some chicken gizzards. Seems like a nice enough person, but I think he has some sort of genetic disorder. I didn't want to say anything (I'll wait until I know him better and then ask him about it), but his skin pigment is a dark red, and he's got bones jutting out of his forehead. I think I read about that disorder somewhere when I was in college, but I can't remember what it's called.

Anyway, his name is Diablo, and I think he's Spanish. I invited him over for dinner tomorrow night, so I'll have to fire up the grill as soon as I get home from work. I'll try to talk Peggy into making some of her potato salad.

Head on over to CNET to check out the rest of this twisted piece of satire. A thoroughly hilarious read.

Diablo Meets The Sims
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

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32 MB Radeon Review
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

ATI's next generation card, the 64MB Radeon for the PC, has been available for some time. This pricey card (at $400) was briefly the king of 3D in the PC world, topping even Nvidia's GeForce series in total FPS benchmarks for a brief window of time. Mac users therefore have reason to be excited, as ATI has promised a Mac version of the Radeon due very soon. However, since only the 32 MB version of the card will come to this side of the fence, it was difficult to gauge how this will compare to the 64 MB version on the PC side; And after Mac users saw a dramatic difference between the Mac and PC benchmarks of the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500s, there is even more doubt cast on comparing benchmarks across the two platforms.

To shed a bit of light on the situation, Sharky Extreme has just published another of their excellent reviews. This time they cover the just-released PC version of the Radeon 32MB with a huge 18-page article and interview. The benchmarks reveal this 32 MB card nearly keeping up with its 64MB big brother, which could be very good news for Mac users. The card is also cheaper, and should be sold for around $279 on both Mac and PC.

Gamers should be cautioned not to expect 100 FPS, though. ATI seems careful about overhyping the Mac Radeon's capabilities, as the card's real strength, hardware transform and lighting, isn't used by any games on the Mac currently. ATI is set to release the retail version of the Mac Radeon later this month, and you can bet we will give you the full scoop when it is out.

ATI Mac Radeon Web Site
Sharky Extreme Radeon 32MB Review
Radeon AGP

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Volition Goodies Galore
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

It is interesting that although Volition's two game projects aren't due for the Mac and PC until this Winter, both Summoner and Red Faction have been receiving almost constant hype in the press. This is largely because both games are being made for the Playstation 2 as well, though there should be little difference between any of the three versions.

Summoner is set to be the definitive RPG for the PS2 upon its release next month; it will be released later this year for Mac and PC with the addition of multiplayer capabilities. The game features amazing 3D graphics, and an immersive world with an deep story line. Daily Radar recently wrapped up its Summoner week by posting many megabytes of eye candy for download. They have two pages of new screen shots from the game as well as 15 MPEG movies. The video clips are all fairly small (between 4 and 8 MB), so be sure to grab a few. They really show how the game actually play, and it looks fantastic.

On the other side of the Volition coin is Red Faction. While the first-person shooter genre may be a bit stale for many gamers, this title is hoping to change that. The 'Geo-Mod' engine will allow players to shoot through and blow up structures in the game, greatly adding to the game's complexity and interactivity. A new preview at PS2 IGN explains this concept further:

In Doom or Quake or what-have-you, a wall is usually absolute defense against attack, no matter what gets shot at it (exceptions exist in GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, naturally). In Red Faction, though, you can bust out your rocket launcher and make short work of buildings and other fortifications; riddle them with holes, or flat-out level them. You can also mess with natural features of the environment, which is handy for moving forward in some situations. For example, in one demonstration sequence, you have to change the path of a lava flow by blocking one channel and creating a new one.
Read through the rest of the piece for a great idea of what Red Faction will be like. Complementing the game's geo-mod engine will be a great story, six vehicles, and amazing 3D graphics. Take a look at the included screen shots to be really impressed.

Lastly, PlanetDescent has posted an interview with Volition's president Mike Kulas. It clarifies the relationship between Red Faction and the scrapped project of Descent 4, noting that series has likely come to an end.

Summoner is set to be released on the Mac and PC this Winter. These versions will contain multiplayer features not present in the PS2 version. Red Faction will be out early next year for all three platforms.

Daily Radar Summoner Movies
Daily Radar Summoner Screen Shots
PS2 IGN Red Faction Preview
Planet Descent Volition Q&A
Red Faction

Mac Games News for Friday, September 15, 2000

IMG Apple Expo Pictures Posted1:29 PM
Deathground Special Sale11:48 AM
Another The Fallen Preview11:15 AM
Rune Requirements10:39 AM
Info on DS9: The Fallen10:24 AM
Elite Force Mac Q&A10:05 AM
SimShow Skin Tutorial Posted8:55 AM
Cro-Mag Rally Reaches Alpha8:52 AM
The Sims To Go Online Next Year7:37 AM
Baldur's Gate II Gold for PC6:00 AM
Free AvP Levels to be Mac-compatible6:00 AM
New Tropico Preview, Bovine Bio6:00 AM
Summoner Preview, Screen Shots6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 15, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, September 14, 2000
Wednesday, September 13, 2000
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Friday, September 8, 2000

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