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Tuesday, September 19, 2000

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Myst III: Exile FAQ Update
10:59 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Myst III: Exile site has been recently updated with more Frequently Asked Questions and their answers. The new additions discuss ports of the game to consoles, release dates in Europe and Australia, the theatrical trailer and more. Here's an excerpt about whether there will be a demo of Exile:

Will there be a demo released?

There are no plans to release a public demo of Myst III: Exile. By not creating a demo, Presto will finish the development of Myst III: Exile in the shortest possible timeframe.

Considering that the game uses 360-degree animated panoramas instead of the static shots of the previous titles, they are saving fans a lot of download time as well. There are many other interesting parts of the FAQ for those anticipating this third title in the series. Here are some excerpts:
Will it be released on DVD?

Yes! Plans are underway to release MYST III: Exile on one DVD disk.

How many CD's will MYST III: Exile be released on?

The game will be released on 4 CD's.

Will one require hardware acceleration? ( like a Voodoo 3 card)

No, the game will run excellently on a Pentium 300 with MMX without hardware acceleration. People with hardware acceleration will be able to see some advanced features, such as water movement and environmental effects.

There is no word yet on how hardware support will be implemented on the Mac OS side; support for RAVE or OpenGL would be necessary for those with ATI cards to enjoy the full experience. The fact that they did not specify an API may mean that they plan to support all common ones.

Head to the Exile site for lots of other details on this title. Progress on this game seems to be steady, and a release is expected this Spring.

Myst III: Exite FAQ
Presto Studios
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile

Games Extreme Posts Comprehensive Diablo 2 Guide
4:21 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

If you're like me and you can't get enough of Blizzard's Diablo 2, then head on over to Games Extreme where they have just posted a three-part almanac that covers everything from shrines to shamans. It also includes a full walkthrough and has information on the upcoming expansion set for Diablo 2.

The almanac comes in Adobe Acrobat PDF and Microsoft Word formats.

Diablo 2 Expansion Set Homepage
Games Extreme Diablo 2 Almanac

Halo changed beyond all recognition?
4:19 PM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

Has Halo changed beyong all recognition? Yes, according to Rob McLees, one of the Bungie lead artists, has apparently said to colleague Matt Soell. Or more accurately:

"Halo in its current form takes the old stuff that everyone was so impressed with and holds its head under the filthy waters of a public menís room toilet."

There has been rampant speculation on the halo.bungie.org forums that morale is dropping around Bungie, but this post from our favorite Bungie front man Matt should raise our spirits a little.

Bungie's Halo web site
Matt Soell's forum post

For The 3D Card Impaired...
4:14 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Can't afford a brand spankin' new G4 and a Voodoo 5? Not a hardcore gamer? 3D games get you dizzy? Mac Gamer's Ledge has posted a feature for all you gamers who don't have state-of-the-art hardware, but still want to game. MGL takes a look at 10 great games that don't require a Dual -Processor G4 and a Voodoo 5. Here's a snippet:

There are many of us that don't have the latest and greatest 3D hardware. iMac owners, for example (even new iMac owners), can have their systems beaten down by the latest 3D games like Quake 3 and Deus Ex. (Is there any machine out there that isn't beaten-down by Deus Ex?) To these users, games can be just as important as anything else.
Be sure to check this article out. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, this article will surely bring back some good memories.

10 Great Games You DON'T Need an ‹ber-3D Card to Enjoy

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Star Trek: Elite Force Reaches First Playable
4:12 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive, the premiere Macintosh porting house, has updated their status page with a note that Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force has gone first playable. This means that they have the basic game up and running, but many features such as full 3D acceleration, sound, and networking may not have been implemented yet.

Elite Force is expected to be released sometime before Christmas. As always, stay tuned to IMG for further developments.

Elite Force Homepage
Westlake Interactive Product Status Page
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

HappyGear 1.2 Released
12:45 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

AustinSoft has released HappyGear 1.2, an update to their shareware utility which allows pre-InputSprocket titles to be played with devices that require InputSprockets to function (i.e. any USB device which doesn't have a specific extension/driver). Here are details on the update:

AustinSoft has announced an update to HappyGear, their
utility to allow gamers to use newer, InputSprocket compatible gaming
devices, such as USB joysticks and steering wheels, with games not
compatible with InputSprocket. This update brings HappyGear to version 1.2.

"We are really happy to announce that HappyGear can now provide mouse
movement for those games that used joysticks that moved the mouse cursor."
lead developer Glenn Austin said. "There have been a lot more games than we
initially realized that use mouse movement to control the game. Now users
can use joysticks and other analog devices to provide mouse movement and up
to 8 distinct mouse buttons. In addition, we've added some functionality to
improve the experience of some devices that don't provide a full range of
values by scaling what the device provides to what the programs expect, and
we've added a quick way to start playing your games after enabling

HappyGear is shareware, and costs $30 for electronic delivery, or $30 +
shipping for a copy on CD.

Grab the latest version from Macgamefiles.

HappyGear 1.2 (639k)

World Sports Cars Movie
12:22 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A helpful IMG reader brought to our attention the release of a QuickTime movie of World Sports Cars, the hyper-realistic racing sim in development by West Racing. While no Mac OS version of this title is currently planned, the creators revealed in an interview last Spring that they were definitely thinking in a cross-platform direction.

This short movie, posted by fansite Sim Racing Mag, features a Lotus GT1 in action. Here is a description, with details on the game itself:

I've been given "permission" to post this movie of a nice LOTUS Esprit Turbo V8 (GT1 class), the movie is not a latest, but shows you how promissing WSC will be. Also more news about : WSC will come with 6-8 tracks on release, and will feature more tracks to come in a sort of "expansion pack" (like a collectors series). That also means more cars from that expansion pack or others in the future. Another track from US will be featured on release, but can't tell now. Have to wait approval from Empire on this. Let's say it's one of those famous US tracks that have hosted 24 hours endurance race in the past and present (don't ask me, won't tell)
Sim Racing Mag also has a 'first impressions' article about WSC that they published earlier this month. This is a title for real racing fans, for the type of fanatic who can identify the model of a car from the sound of the engine alone.

While there are no firm plans to make a Mac OS version of this game, the developers have discussed creating an OpenGL version which would greatly facilitate a port. The game is due for the PC in the second quarter of 2001, but a demo for the PC is expected to be released in the next few months.

As the tremendous popularity of the 4x4 Evolution public beta (nearing 18,000 downloads from Macgamefiles in just over a week) reveals, Mac gamers are incredibly hungry for racing titles. With the addition of powerful graphics hardware from 3dfx, ATI and NVIDIA, early next year a Mac OS port of WSC may seem a no-brainer.

World Sports Cars Closer to Mac?
WSC Movie (12 MB)
WSC First Impressions from ECTS
Sim Racing Mag

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Another Tropico Character Revealed
11:35 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

PopTop has posted another character profile from the cast of citizens that will populate Tropico, their simulation of third-world dictatorship. As El Presidente of a tropical island nation, you must rule your people with a firm but forgiving hand, lest they become rebels and take up arms against you.

The latest character to be revealed is the Teamster, the grunt labor for your industrial base. Keeping the Teamsters happy is a winning strategy in both democratic and autocratic nations:

Teamsters are the life's blood of your island. They are needed to circulate your goods around. Raw goods need to be carried to plants and factories, food needs to be brought to the market, goods and resources need to be moved to the ports for export...
No word yet on whether anyone can escape from your island and become the subject of a made-for-TV movie. Expect Tropico for Mac and PC early next year.

Tropico Character Profiles
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Interview with John Carmack, Part 1
11:12 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If you're addicted to Quake and its sequels, then you have John Carmack of id Software to thank. In Voodoo Extreme's in-depth interview with Mr. Carmack, he answers questions from VE as well as from several major game developers, covering topics ranging from id's new DOOM game, to technology, programming, games, and more. This interview turned out to be so long that VE is releasing it in several parts throughout the week.

Here is an excerpt dealing with Carmack's insatiable thirst for power -- CPU and video card power, of course:

Voodoo Extreme -- Has video technology advanced as quickly as you would like?† Are you impressed with what nVidia, 3dfx, and others have done, or a tad frustrated (wish they have done more/made more advances)?

John Carmack -- Even after all my experience, I find that I still underestimate the rate of progress.† During Q3, I spent some time thinking about what could be done with stencil shadow volumes as a required feature.† I thought about how the technology could be used at a reasonable cost if you designed an outdoor game, because then you would have a simple case with a single orthographic light - the sun.

That would have been a reasonable feature spec for a game shipping this christmas, but turned out to be a drastic understatement of what I wound up doing for DOOM.† Eighteen months ago, I probably would have had a difficult time accepting how much hardware power the new DOOM renderer is exploiting.

John Carmack has mentioned publicly that Quake 3 Arena (and the follow-up pack Team Arena) is the last Mac game that id plans to release which will support MacOS 9; all future games id releases for the Mac will be for MacOS X only. Read the rest of the interview for more geek grok-speak than the average human can handle.

VE Interview: Knee Deep in the Voodoo
Voodoo Extreme

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Human Head Animator Interviewed
11:06 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Stomped has posted their second interview with Human Head, the developers of the upcoming third-person game of melee combat, Rune. Today's interview is with animator Jeff DeWitt, who will give you a bit more than just a simple boring interview, but a bit less than an informative answer. We tried to get the most serious quote for you, which was difficult. Here is a clip:

Stomped: Rune will be using melee weapons for its attacks. What kinds of weapons have been created for the game?

DeWitt: A lot of 3d weapons. We did have a few wooden axes made but for some reason we couldnít seem to get them into the game. We broke a
lot of monitors but we just couldnít seem to get them in. Faulty monitors I guess.

Stomped: Do you believe it was a risky move to have so many melee weapons in the game? Was their any thought of ranged weapons
or even magic for Rune?

DeWitt: For awhile there was talk about ranged weapons but that didnít last. There isnít anyone here who wants ranged weapons now that the game
is up and working. Hand to hand is just too much fun. We also added throwing just in case someone was jonesín for a ranged weapon.

IMG has learned recently that the Mac OS version of Rune is 'catching up' to the PC version, and is expected to go beta within the next two weeks according to Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive. Rune will be published for Mac and PC by Gathering of Developers.

Stomped's interview with Jeff Dewitt
Human Head
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

Mac Games News for Monday, September 18, 2000

Infogrames Sued For 'Looting' GT Interactive1:56 PM
Cro-Mag Rally Update12:54 PM
Syber-Smoke Needs Programmers12:34 PM
Marathon: Resurrection Update12:21 PM
A Personalized DS9 Greeting12:05 PM
Reckless Drivin' Released11:31 AM
X-Plane 5.39 Update11:21 AM
FAKK 2 Multiplayer Details10:51 AM
Update on Q3A for OS X10:23 AM
Simon 3D Q&A8:27 AM
Rune Interview8:16 AM
32 MB Radeon Review6:00 AM
Diablo Meets the Sims6:00 AM
Volition Goodies Galore6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 18, 2000 on one page

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