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Thursday, September 21, 2000

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4x4 Evolution Public Beta 2 Released
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Close behind an update to the PC version, Terminal Reality has updated the Mac public beta of their off-road racer 4x4 Evolution. This new version (not available as a patch) adds a new track and truck, fixes GameSpy bugs and brings the Mac version to full compatibility with PC players. Here are the details:

Terminal Reality today announced the release of an update to the public beta
test for 4x4 EVO for Mac, the upcoming, groundbreaking,
arcade-style, 4x4 off-road simulation.

The 4x4 EVO Public Test Two update contains a host of exciting new
features including:

1. Access to a brand new course, Salvage Wasteland, complete with great
off-road surprises.

2. New truck, the Nissan Pathfinder.

2. New controller code to support Direct Input.

3. Significant AI improvements.

4. New sound effects.

5. Better collision detection.

6. Improved network play.

7. More server options.

8. Chat room fixes.

Visit Macgamefiles to grab the new beta; so far it has been downloaded over 18,000 times in less than a week, and has received a rating of 4.5 joysticks from 29 reviewers. For more information on this title, be sure and check out our extensive preview.

4x4 Evolution Preview
4x4 Evolution Public Beta 2
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution

ATI's Radeon Set For Early October
4:14 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The retail version of the ATI's eagerly anticipated Radeon is scheduled to ship in the first week of October, according to Deanna Perkins, the Macintosh Product Manager at ATI Technologies. In a conversation with IMG today, Perkins said that Radeon cards would be going into pre-production within the next few days. A few crucial items, such as an updated version of OpenGL, are all that remain.

Radeon was designed to offer discerning Mac users such as high-end content creators and gaming enthusiasts the most advanced 3D graphics processing available. The board will feature 32MB of Double Data Rate(DDR) SDRAM as well as the Charisma Engine, ATI's transform and lighting unit.

Radeon will ship for both AGP and PCI, with both versions supporting DVI-I for Digital Flat Panel, VGA support, and TV-output.

ATI Radeon Mac Edition
Radeon AGP

Blizzard Releases Diablo 2 1.0.3c Patch
11:50 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Blizzard has released a patch for Diablo II that fixes graphics acceleration bugs on ATi's Rage 128 cards. They have quietly made version 1.03c available to those who log onto Here's what was fixed in this version:

  • ATI's most recent driver update has solved incompatibilies with Rage 128 video cards and RAVE/OpenGL. To use RAVE or OpenGL with a Rage 128 card, you will need to download and install the new drivers, and then choose "Rescan Monitors" from the video configuration screen. If you can already select RAVE or OpenGL mode, you do not need to download this update. The drivers can be downloaded from:

  • Minor changes for Japanese and Korean support.
  • Also included in this update is a text document named "3D Acceleration Notes" which documents compatiblity issues with all graphics cards. Now it's just up to ATi to release new drivers for the 3D acceleration issue to be completely fixed.

    Update: The 1.03c update is now available for download at

    Diablo II 1.0.3c (3.7 MB)
    Blizzard Entertainment

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    New Shogo Demo, Update
    11:27 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    The demo for Monolith's shooter Shogo: Mobile Armor Division has been updated to version 1.01, fixing several bugs and speed problems. There is also a patch avaialble, for those who downloaded the 1.0 version. Here is a list of fixes:

    • slow downs removed
    • performace is better now
    • temp sound crackling removed
    • sound settings low<->high fixed
    • conversation pic synchronised
    • incompatibility to some control panels removed
    • middle mousebutton no longer "connected" to right button
    • mouse sensitivity inverted
    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.

    Shogo is under development by Hyperion Software, and should be published by Titan Computer in the near future.

    Shogo: MAD Preview
    Shogo Demo Updater 1.01 (1.3 MB)
    Shogo: MAD Demo (41.3 MB)
    Hyperion Entertainment
    Shogo: MAD

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    WaterRace Progress Report
    10:46 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    We recently spoke to French Touch's lead programmer and manager Pierre-Olivier Latour about their upcoming 3D speedboat racing title, WaterRace. He was thrilled with the response from the Parisian public when they recently showed this title at the Apple Expo Paris, and they are hard at work tweaking the game to perfection. Recently Latour completed the collision detection and is working on other features related to gameplay.

    WaterRace is the first high-speed boat racing sim to come to the Mac OS, and one which uses Apple's QuickDraw 3D RAVE engine to provide blazing speed even on quite humble hardware. The game will ship with dozens of race tracks, many boats to choose from and complete and user-friendly editing tools. Watch for WaterRace this October; Latour informed us that there will indeed be a demo released for this game, soon after the final version ships.

    WaterRace Web Site
    French Touch
    French Touch

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    Molyneux on B&W Delay
    10:31 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    As reported yesterday, Lionhead Studios' upcoming 'God' game, Black and White was delayed until Spring 2001. Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, the man behind Black and White, has spoken with fan web site B&W Vault about the decision to delay the title. Molyneux is quite disappointed with this delay, and explains more details about the logic behind it. Here is an excerpt:

    Black & White has always been a
    hugely ambitious project and this coupled
    with our desire to make it the best it can
    possibly be, led us to take the decision to
    continue development for an extra four weeks
    to exploit all of the game’s potential. This
    means that Lionhead has fallen slightly behind
    with its development schedule. It is our hope
    and intention to deliver a version for final
    testing to Electronic Arts on 9th October.
    Thereafter the release date will very much
    depend on the testing process and Electronic
    Arts’ own release schedule. Therefore it looks
    likely that Black & White will be published
    for the PC early in 2001. I realise
    that this is disappointing news, not
    least of all for everyone at Lionhead,
    but hope that both press and public
    will understand that is the vast scale
    and scope of Black & White that has
    led to this situation.
    XboxFaction has posted an edited log of Barryworld's chat with several Lionhead developers, including Molyneux. The discussion gets fairly abstract, but it is a must-read for anyone interested in this title. There are currently no public plans to bring Black and White to the Mac platform, but developments in this area may be revealed in the near future.

    Lionhead Studios
    Barrysworld's Chat with Lionhead
    IGN's Black & White Vault
    Black & White Delayed, Again
    Feral Interactive
    Lionhead Studios
    Black & White

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    Id Interviews, New Q3A Site
    8:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Several interviews with two of id Software's most prominent figures have been posted recently. VoodooExtreme has posted the last of their extensive three-part interview with John Carmack. Some of the questions asked are from other leaders in the gaming industry, such as Valve's Gabe Newell (creator of Half-Life). One of the most interesting responses by Carmack seems to reflect on the recent trial in which Hasbro and Atari sued companies who published games similar to the classic Asteroids, Centipede, etc.; the lawsuit ended with two settlements in Atari's favor. Following this precedent, id could potentially sue every other maker of a first-person shooter, as they for all intents and purposes invented the genre. Here's an excerpt:

    Voodoo Extremist Gabe Newell; Valve Software -- What advice would he give other developers to help preempt patent litigation?

    John Carmack -- I just don't know what to do about software patents. There probably isn't another issue that can make me feel so helplessly frustrated.

    Patents are supposed to help promote invention and allow benefits to accrue to inventors. By most definitions, I would be considered an "inventor" of sorts, and patents sure as hell aren't helping me out.

    The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying.

    To laymen, all of programming is alchemy, and trying to convince them that any given software patent is "obvious" or "clearly follows from the problem" is really tough.

    The only way to fight it is with legal and political means, and I don't have the skills or tools to even formulate a plan of attack. I give money to causes that try to fight those battles.

    The only scenario that I can see would be to have enough truly, blatantly stupid patents prosecuted that someone could make a stand in congress and show the public in an understandable way just how wrong it is.
    On a personal level, I refuse to patent anything that I am involved in.

    Anyone that has ever gotten an idea based on any of my work and done something better with it - good for you.

    A very interesting take on the situation, but not surprising considering Carmack's tendency to open-source past projects he has worked on. Check out the rest of the article for more from the man behind Quake.

    On a related note, our CGA partner site Stomped has opened up a new site dedicated to everything about Quake 3: Arena. There is lots of good information over a variety of topics, from getting started in single or multiplayer to configuring Q3A for optimal performance. To open their site, they have chatted with id's Graeme Devine a bit about Quake, Doom, and that company's future plans. It's a quick Q&A, but worth a look.

    Stomped Q3A Site
    IMG News: Hasbro Settlement in Content Lawsuit
    Stomped Interview with Graeme Devine
    VoodooExtreme Interview with John Carmack
    id Software
    Quake III Arena

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    Rune Dev Update, Interviews
    8:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    VoodooExtreme has received another developer diary installment from Human Head's Chris Rhinehart about the status of their upcoming melee combat game Rune. It seems they are making excellent progress, and their only difficulty is resisting the temptation to add even more features. Here's an excerpt about the game's actual status:

    Well, because we've already hit Beta, the game is feature complete, meaning that no new features will be added to the game. All that is left to do is bug fix and tweak/polish everything that is already in the game. It sounds simple when mentioned like that, but, trust me, the time leading up the very end of a project is easily the most stressful part of a project. Everyone is working furiously testing and fixing bugs. Many times, some bugs can take days to track down, whereas others are incredibly simple and are fixed in mere minutes.
    If you want more details on the story behind this third-person hack-and-slash title, Stomped has posted their last interview for the week, this one featuring both Tim Gerritson and Ted Halsted. They describe the origins of this game, the research they have done that inspired them and much more. There's even an enthusiastic mention of the Mac port. Here are some excerpts:
    Stomped: What kind and how much reference materials did Human Head use in researching Rune?

    Halsted: We've amassed a small library of books for visual, mythological, and historical reference. We also watched a number of videos on topics such as Norse longship construction, town and village structures and hierarchies, etc. We've also had tremendous support from some experts in the field of Norse mythology and history. Laurie, Kirby, and Reginleif Wise have contributed a great deal of information about Viking beliefs and culture to the game. Their assistance has been invaluable. We've been fielded some suggestions and help from fans around the world, as well.

    Stomped: What's the status of the Mac version of the game

    Halsted: Right on schedule. They are doing a great job. The Mac version runs beautifully. Development-wise, they have kept pace at exactly one week behind the PC version.

    Rune will be published for Mac and PC near the end of October, if all goes well, by Gathering of Developers.

    Stomped Rune Interview
    VoodooExtreme Rune Dev Update
    Gathering of Developers
    Human Head Studios
    Westlake Interactive

    Sneak Peek at Risk II
    6:00 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

    MacCentral's Jay Swartzfeger has written up a preview of MacSoft's port of the classic strategy title Risk II. Westlake Interactive seems to have delivered the goods yet again with this stunning conversion of Hasbro Interactive's interpretation of the classic global conquest game. Not just a mere board game, Risk II takes advantage of its electronic form to provide new levels of strategy and a challenge for veteran players. Here is an excerpt:

    For those grizzled strategy veterans that think they've mastered
    the game, Risk II offers a twist -- Simultaneous mode. Unlike the
    Classic mode where the game is turn-based, Simultaneous mode allows
    the players to move and attack at the same time. Once each player
    sets their attacks, all combat and movement is resolved at the end of
    the round. This makes attacking on multiple fronts possible, which
    opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Simultaneous mode also
    makes it much more difficult to determine where an enemy is going to
    attack. To be honest, the computer kicked us in the teeth every time
    we tried Simultaneous mode. If you crave a challenge, try
    Simultaneous mode -- it's very different from Classic mode and you'll
    need to ditch those turn-based strategies if you want to survive.

    This game recently reached 'golden master' status and should be reaching stores within the next few weeks. Read the rest of the preview for more details.

    Preview of Risk II at MacCentral

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    Interview with Andrew Meggs
    6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Gamesmania has posted an interview with Contraband Entertainment programmer Andrew Meggs, formerly of Antennahead Software. Meggs is currently working on the Macintosh port of Ritual Entertainment's Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2. In this interview he talks about the obstacles he has had to overcome in the process of porting F.A.K.K 2 to the Mac, and comments on the status of Sin and Fighter Squadron: Screamin' Demons Over Europe, two more titles in progress. Here is what he had to say about the gameplay of FAKK2:

    The graphics jump out when you first sit down, but once you actually get into playing it there's a lot of really great gameplay. Julie's got over 20 weapons that can go in either hand and around 7000 frames of animation of all kinds of crazy combos that you can put together with them. You'll quite literally never take on an enemy the same way twice, so the action never gets repetitive, and once you're done there's still the chance to play through the game again in different ways.
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K 2 is scheduled for release next month by Gathering of Developers; Sin and Fighter Squadron are due later this Fall from United Developers.

    First Look: Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2
    Andrew Meggs Interview at Gamesmania
    Gathering of Developers
    Ritual Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

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    Red Faction Preview, Movies
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Daily Radar has posted a preview and interview focused on Volition's
    upcoming first-person shooter Red Faction. This title is gathering attention for more
    than just its eye-popping graphics. Red Faction is based on the revolutionary
    'Geo-Mod' engine which will allow players to destroy terrain, shoot holes in walls and even destroy
    entire buildings. The article gives a detailed preview of this game, and even
    includes a few comments from Volition's Rob Loftus. In the following clip, Loftus
    explains how the Geo-Mod engine will affect gameplay:

    Loftus detailed further the freedom the gamer
    will have. "What we use is Geometry
    Modification, so certain weapons -- like a
    rocket launcher or an explosive, or if you are in
    a vehicle -- you can cause the world to be
    destroyed in a way that is not precalculated.
    So, for example, you may have a guy in a
    sniper tower shooting at you, and the best way
    to take him out is to shoot the base of the
    tower. Or if you had a vehicle, you could crash
    into the tower to make it collapse. And that isn't scripted, so how you want it to be
    destroyed is up to you. You could shoot it at the bottom and make the whole thing
    fall over, or you could shoot the platform where he is standing to make him fall off."
    Be sure to check out the rest of the article for more details on Red Faction. And
    if you're eager to get a sense of how this game might be played, some movies of the game in action
    are now available at the Scandinavian site GameReactor. There are seven QuickTime movies
    in all, with sizes ranging from 12 to 32 MB. Unfortunately the movies were taken with a camcorder, and have terrible screen glare as well as horizontal sync problems -- the fact that the Geo-Mod engine still looks good under these extreme circumstances is a testament to how amazing this game is.

    Red Faction is approximately 40% completed, and should be released early next year for Mac, PC and Playstation 2; the Mac and PC versions will ship with in-engine editing tools that are the same ones used to design the actual game levels.

    GameReactor ECTS Red Faction Movies
    Daily Radar Red Faction Preview/Interview
    Red Faction

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    Update on Diablo II and ATI Drivers
    6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment's real-time RPG Diablo II is a demanding game in many ways, on both your time and system requirements -- so demanding, in fact, that the game revealed a bug in the drivers that power the PCI ATI Rage 128 cards in Blue and White G3s and some G4 Macs. Blizzard was either unable or unwilling to work around this bug, and thus 3D acceleration support, which adds transparency effects, graphics smoothing and speed enhancements, was disabled for owners of those systems.

    Soon after this problem was discovered Blizzard announced that ATI was working on a driver update. Since that time there has been no official word on when to expect a fix. Recently, Blizzard employee Dave Lawrence broke the silence, posting on a Mac-related usenet group with an update on the situation -- and the promise of a solution to this problem, coming 'soon':

    The fix will be coming soon. ATI will be releasing new drivers soon that
    fix the graphical corruption problems we experienced during testing on
    non-Pro Rage128 cards. Blizzard is about to release a Diablo II 1.03c
    patch that will re-enable RAVE and OpenGL on these cards if the new
    drivers are detected. You'll need both updates before hardware
    acceleration will be enabled on these cards. The D2 1.03c patch should be
    released in the next day or two, and we'll update the following web page
    when ATI or Apple release the new drivers:

    Dave Lawrence
    Blizzard Entertainment

    We'll let you know when this update and the updated ATI drivers are available.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II Support: Known Issues With 3D Acceleration
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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    Driver Delayed, Risk II and Wheel of Fortune Gold
    6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    MacNN has posted an update regarding several upcoming games being published by MacSoft. It seems that pursuit racing title Driver has been delayed yet again, while two other games are ready to ship. Here are the details:

    MacSoft today told MacNN that release of Driver for the Mac has been delayed to Oct. 31 while developer AberSoft fixes bugs and polishes the highly anticipated driving game; following the release, the company will focus on continuing development of Worms: Armageddon. Both Wheel of Fortune and Risk II recently reached golden master and are expected to ship in early October. Links LS 2000 for the Mac is expected to reach golden master in the next two to three weeks and will ship in October.
    It's great to hear that the mass market (i.e. non-hardcore) games are being ported over so quickly. On the other hand, it is disappointing to hear that Driver has been delayed once again. For more information on this title, check out our preview.

    Macintosh News Network
    Preview of Driver
    Reflections Interactive
    Buy Driver

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 20, 2000

    Bungie Liberation Organization Debuts4:09 PM
    Black and White Delayed, Again11:06 AM
    Little Wing Re-Releases Tristan9:44 AM
    United Developers Calls for Testers, Again9:16 AM
    Combat Mission Interview, Future Plans9:02 AM
    Heretic Re-Released as v0.9.38:40 AM
    Diablo II Scams Update8:31 AM
    Interview with John Carmack, Part 28:12 AM
    Elite Force Reviews7:59 AM
    Why is Elite Force slower?6:29 AM
    Mark Adams on Elite Force Mac Status6:00 AM
    On Rune Animation6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 20, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Tuesday, September 19, 2000
    Monday, September 18, 2000
    Friday, September 15, 2000
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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