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Tuesday, October 3, 2000



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Baldur's Gate Patch Due Out Soon
11:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

When GraphSim released the Mac version of Baldur's Gate this Summer, it was quickly eaten up by RPG fans. A few bugs were reported, though, and the company has promised a patch to fix them. We recently chatted with GraphSim and found out the update is on its way.


Apparently, the game's main programmer has fixed numerous problems and was preparing this patch for download as of today. GraphSim will need to do some internal testing first, but it could be out reasonably soon, certainly within the next few days.

The other patch to add multiplayer support is still in the works by rocket scientist Duane Johnson. He is working on this and the port of Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force concurrently, so its difficult to tell exactly how far off it the multiplayer patch might be. Since Bioware, the original developers for Baldur's Gate, used Microsoft's DirectPlay, there will be no Mac/PC compatibility.


There was talk of using the networking code from Bioware's other upcoming Mac/PC RPG Neverwinter Nights, but it looks like that won't happen now. According to GraphSim, "they are too far behind" to get this support included in a realistic timeframe.


So, stay tuned for more news on the Baldur's Gate bug fix. We'll also be sure to let you know if more progress on the multiplayer patch is made.

GraphSim Web Site
MacPlay
BioWare
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II



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4x4 Evolution for Mac OS X
5:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Terminal Reality has quietly released a small patch for the public beta test version of their off-road racer 4x4 Evolution which fixes several bugs, tweaks the interface and allows limited Mac OS X compatibility. The new version does appear to be Carbonized, but only runs in a window in the top/right corner of your desktop. There are also several issues with input and configuration at this time; we recommend a careful reading of the included Read Me.


The update also patches the Mac OS 9 version of the game to version 2a; it adds better support for graphics cards, including an option to reduce the quality of 'alpha blending' for those using Rage Pro hardware. There are also several tweaks to network performance and the AI for computer-driven vehicles.


The Carbonized version appears quite fast, despite running in a window, and is extremely stable, though it suffers some slight sound latency issues. You cannot use the arrow keys for control, and currently only keyboard control is supported. There are also some amusing texture problems in which vehicles can suddenly swap textures at random, but this is of course why this version is a beta.


Grab the update from the link below, and be sure to post your experiences with this update in our Forums and on the comment thread of this article.

4x4 EVO Beta Update 2a (8.6 MB)
4x4 Evolution Public Beta (22 MB)
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution


Apple Releases Mac OS Classic, OS X Lists
3:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Following on the heels of the release of Mac OS X Public Beta, Apple has produced two lists of software titles (commercial, shareware and freeware) that are certified to work on this new operating system. While the list of Carbon and Cocoa-ized games for Mac OS X is very short at present, we expect the titles in the Leisure and Entertainment category of Apple's software database to grow rapidly. Here is more information from the press release:

We've just posted the official lists of Mac OS X Classic products and Mac OS
X Optimized products.


Mac OS X Classic products are defined as those products tested by Apple to
meet minimum compatibility standards while operating under the Classic
environment of Mac OS X, now available in Public Beta version. Our newly
posted Mac OS X Classic list currently contains descriptions for over 90
products, with more being added all the time.


Our Mac OS X Optimized list contains information on 70 products written to
take advantage of Mac OS X, now available in Public Beta version. Best of
all, we'll be adding new products to the list on an regular basis.

If you are one of the brave souls giving Mac OS X Public Beta a spin, be sure and check out these lists for links to many great products.

Mac OS X Optimized Products
Mac OS X Classic Products


Sin Preview Posted
2:21 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

We thought we would mention this here, for those of you that bookmark IMG's news page. We have just posted a preview of Sin, Ritual's explosive shooter which is coming to the Mac quite soon from United Developers. While considered to be 'dated' on the PC side due to its age and use of the Quake II engine, this solo and multiplayer title has a lot to offer Mac gamers. Here's an excerpt from the preview, describing the main character:

Blade isnít your average mall rent-a-cop armed with an Orange Julius and a radio. Heís got a full arsenal of weapons, including a pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, machine gun, rocket launcher and more. Enemies can take locational damage as well, meaning a head shot is a much better idea to both take them down fast and conserve ammo. You donít have to worry about Deus Ex-style aiming either, Sin is much more of a straight FPS and you can shoot accurately from the start. Blood spots will highlight where youíve made a hit on a bad guy (or yourself, so be careful). The enemy AI is smart enough to run if theyíve taken too much damage and try to flee your blazing guns. They can also hear you coming if youíre noisy, so a bit of stealth might be in order when moving around.
For more on this plot-driven shooter, check out the rest of our preview. Sin is just weeks away from release by United Developers.

Preview of Ritual's Sin


Parsec LAN Test Released
2:12 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

The long awaited Parsec multiplayer LAN test has finally been released for the Macintosh. Unlike the previous "non-playable demo," this version is fully operational and ready for deep-space combat. You and three of your friends can duke it out over a Local Area Network (LAN) via TCP/IP. It is unknown at this point whether the LAN test is cross-platform compatible or not, since the PC version has not been released yet.


Here is an excerpt from the Read Me with more information:

This is the Parsec LAN-Test version. It is the first playable release of
Parsec, a 3D space-combat game currently in development. In this version of
the game, up to four people can play together on the same local area network
(LAN). However, it is not possible to play on the Internet. This feature will
follow in a future release. This version does not use a client/server
architecture. A peer-to-peer protocol is used to easily find other players
without the need for starting a server.


This is not a commercial product, Parsec will be a free Internet game for
non-commercial purposes. Please see http://www.parsec.org for more details.


This release is mostly intended to serve a testing purpose, and can be
considered to be of alpha quality (i.e. not finished, optimized, or fully
debugged yet). Problems and limitations that may be evident will be addressed
during the further development of the game. Please keep this in mind when
playing the game and when submitting bug reports or comments. You should
expect to see several minor updates to this game release that fix bugs or
other issues in the near future. Therefore it is recommended that you
frequently check our webpage at http://www.parsec.org for updates. These
updates will most likely not require full downloads, but be released in the
form of small patches.

Here is the hardware the Parsec developers recommend for optimal playing conditions:



  • PowerPC 604e 200MHz (G3/350 recommended)

  • 100 MB disk space
  • 64 MB RAMfor Glide/3dfx, 128 MB RAM for OpenGL

  • 3dfx Voodoo Graphics hardware accelerator (recommended Voodoo 2 or 3), or

  • OpenGL compatible hardware accelerator with at least 8MB of VRAM (ATi Rage 128/Pro)



  • The LAN test is available at MacGameFiles and weighs in at a hefty 69.2 MB. For those modem users among us, fear not -- this demo will be available on the next IMG CD-ROM.

    IMG Subscription Page
    Parsec.org
    Parsec LAN Test at MacGameFiles (69.2 MB)



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    New WaterRace Screenshots at IMG
    1:29 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted 15 new screenshots from WaterRace, the hot new boat racing game from French Touch Software. The game will feature a choice among eight characters, nine different ships, and nine terrains located in various parts of the world.



    French Touch recently indicated that WaterRace is nearing completition and should ship before the end of the year. In the meantime, be sure to check out the new screenshots!

    French Touch
    WaterRace Screenshots
    French Touch
    WaterRace


    Anvil Tutorials Available
    12:30 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    The elusive, enigmatic and always entertaining figure formerly known as The Battle Cat has proven to be one of the most dedicated fans of Bungie's Marathon series in existence. While others have moved on to other games or left the scene completely, Gary Simmons has been cranking out more information for the Marathon map-making community. His latest contribution is a series of tutorials for Anvil, the resource editor paired with Forge used to create new maps and solo adventures. The tutorials, created by another Marathon scene stalwart Hamish Sanderson, have a wealth of information for anyone out there inspired to create a Marathon Infinity solo adventure.


    Here is an excerpt from the press release, with Gary's signature style:

    What has 6 eyes and runs home crying? A 5 year old Pfhor with glasses.
    What do you call a Marathon colonist with no arms and no legs in a sewage
    level? BOB. What do you call a Roberta with no arms and no legs in a lava
    level? Patti. What is the difference between a stock scenario and a total
    conversion scenario? I'm glad I asked. Lots! Introducing the Anvil Tips
    department at the Battle Cat's Marathon Page. These pages will showcase
    talented individuals who will show you how to create a customized scenario
    every step of the way from generalized graphics information to specific
    instructions in handling the tools and techniques that customize the look
    and feel of Marathon.
    Yes, there are still many Marathon-related projects in the works, inspired perhaps by the open-source Aleph One project which has brought many advanced features to the venerable engine. Check out the tutorials and Gary's web site for more details than even the most dedicated Marathon fan can handle.

    Gary Simmons' Marathon Resources



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    Warcraft III Update, Images
    11:17 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    GA-Strategy has posted three new images and a progress report on Blizzard's upcoming RTS/RPG Warcraft III. This title, which attempts to combine the classic gameplay of the Warcraft series with RPG elements and a realtime 3D engine, is finally functional in multiplayer and making good progress. Here is an excerpt from the update, with a quote from developer Rob Pardo:

    "Development is starting to proceed more rapidly," Rob confides. "Most of our development tools are in place and we are generating a lot of the in-game content now. Hopefully by the end of this year we will have all five races functional and the game playable in multiplayer."


    When asked if players could expect to see a demo of the game before its release, Rob admitted: "it hasn't been decided yet, but usually we do not release a demo until after the project is finished since to make a demo, we would have to delay the release of the game. We figure our fans would rather have the game sooner, then get a demo before the game is released."

    We have to agree with that philosophy. It looks as if this title is still a long way from release, but we look forward to seeing a very mature version of it at next year's E3. Warcraft III will have a simultaneous Mac/PC release, 'when it is done.'

    Blizzard Entertainment
    Warcraft III Update at GA-Strategy
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III


    Return to Wolfenstein Interview
    11:09 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    GreyMatter's Jonathan Knight came out of his dungeon to talk with Nextgame about their upcoming Quake-3-engine based sequel, Return to Castle Wolfenstien. A lot of information is revealed in this interview, although Knight emphasizes the plot over gameplay. They had mentioned in the past that RTW will not just be a second chance for you to get back at those Nazis, but will also incorporate zombies and other genetically modified humans and creatures. Knight talks about their inspiration:

    Nextgame.it: The starting of the demonstration showed a scene that was
    pretty like the first minutes of Saving Private Ryan. We've noticed things like
    that almost everywhere, things taken from movies like The Guns of Navarone
    and others from the same genre. Will the background be historical or not? And
    were you inspired by movies like that?

    Jonathan Knight: Of course, we were inspired a lot from those movies, but
    our plot is darker... More "Wolfenstein"! The game starts in a very
    history-based way and presents events very realistic and inspired by what
    happened in those days. Later the plot will follow other directions, much darker
    ones. If you think at a guy like Himmler and at his experiments... Well he was
    really insane, he himself believed he was some sort of reincarnation of a prince.
    He made terrible experiments on humans and in Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    we point on it. What if his researches gave a result? What are we going to find
    in the castle? Undeads, Zombies, freaking poor creatures, result of failed
    experiments (like what Ripley found in Alien 4, NdEd).
    Tha game has a very strong plot and, because of this, Return to Castle
    Wolfenstein will be a Single Player shooter. We will surely provide a multiplayer
    section, but the real core of the game is in the plot, in the single player mode.

    This game will use a modified version of the Quake 3 Arena engine as its base; although there is no mention of a Mac version of this title, as we have seen, Q3A-based games have a very good chance of coming to the Mac OS as well.

    Nextgame's Return to Wolf3D Interview



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    First 'Mudpie' Image Available
    10:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Cyan, the company behind the monster hits Myst and Riven, has just released the first screen shot of their highly-secretive project in development, codenamed Mudpie. The fan site Riven has two versions of the shot, whichdepicts a huge, intricate room with a figure standing in the middle, dwarfed by its surroundings.


    Very little is known about Mudpie so far. Cyan has only hinted the game will be played by those with fast (broadband) internet connections in a Myst-like world, all generated in real-time rather than prerenderd. They have also hooked up with Creative Artists Agency, in order to help "create web entertainment," according to a new article in Fortune Magazine. Various specualtions about the game indicate it will be a huge, continuously-evolving online world which will be populated not only by players but by actors in-character performing live as a way of advancing the plot.


    Cyan is currently juggling this project, along with a re-make of the original Myst with a real-time 3D engine called realMYST. They are also overseeing Presto's work on Myst III: Exile; both of these titles are due for Mac as well as PC. These are exciting times for the Spokane-based company, and we'll be bringing you much more inormation as these games near completion.

    Cyan Web Site
    Riven Fan Site with Mudpie Shots
    Fortune Magazine on Hollywood and the Internet


    Clarification on Myth II Resets
    10:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Bungie.net has been updated with details on the recent 'resets' of the game scores for Myth II: Soulblighter. These resets balance the online gameplay scores out by allowing new players to come into the Bungie.net world and not be scared off by a player with 5000 wins on the top of the 'ladder.' A new "wild" reset has been implemented lately, dropping the scores for a random game type. Some players seem a bit upset at this, but Bungie explains:

    This month's resets have been Territories, Capture the Flag, Flag Rally and our wild card, Body Count.


    Now, some of you have expressed a concern that the "wild" resets aren't really wild or random in any way; that I simply picked a game type to reset based on which player's score I would like to damage most. Many of you seem to think that player is you. While originally, this was my plan, Yeroen told me that if I did this, he'd lock me in the Bungie Webmaster's Chamber of Sodomistic Delight for a month. So, I opted to let fate have her way and come up with a method of actually randomizing what gets reset.


    For each "wild" reset, I roll a set of dice, painstakingly crafted just for this task. I then take the result of that toss and reference the number on a large chart. This number corresponded with a game type and that game type is the one which gets reset.


    So please, no more talk of me playing favorites: I'm picking on all of you, not just one of you.

    As long as everyone is picked on equally, it sounds fair to us. Log on to Bungie.net now and start up one of the games listed to make your move up the ladders.

    Bungie.net


    Stomped Unveils New Sites
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Following the creation of their dedicated Quake 3: Arena site, our CGA partner has just posted word of three other offshoot sites. The first, called The Stomping Grounds, is all about their new LAN Gaming Center which houses 36 high-end computers with 22" monitors. Those lucky enough to be in the Minneapolis area should definitely check out their first event later this month. They will also be hosting BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) parties, so the Mac crowd should definitely attend and represent the platform.


    The other two Stomped sites are game-specific: one for id Software's next full project Doom 3 and the other for Tribes 2. Check both of them out for the scoop on their relative games. Keep in mind the Doom 3 site is a bit sparse, since the game is quite a ways off.


    The Tribes 2 site is also worth looking at, even with Dynamix's recent wavering over a Mac version of the game. A recent announcement of a Linux port by Loki Entertainment has given new hope to Mac fans that a port might also be outsourced to this platform. We'll keep you posted if any new info is revealed.

    IMG News: Tribes 2 for Linux Confirmed
    Tribes 2 @ Stomped
    The Stomping Grounds
    Doom 3 @ Stomped



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    New Tropico Characters
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    PopTop has published their weekly character spotlight for the upcoming dictator-sim game Tropico. This week's feature is a casino 'pitboss,' who is rendered very well like the other characters shown so far from the game. Taking a quick look back, it seems we failed to mention the Professor update from last week, so have a look at him as well.


    For those wondering what Tropico is all about, imagine setting SimCity on a tropical island. Then set yourself up as the dictator of this island, who must either have his people follow him out of love -- or fear. PopTop is using an enhanced version of the Railroad Tycoon II graphics engine for the game, and they are planning to release it simultaneously for both the Mac and PC next year. Check out the Tropico site for more details.

    Tropico Web Site
    Professor Character Highlight
    Casino Pitboss Character Highlight
    PopTop Software
    MacSoft
    Tropico
    Buy Tropico


    Mac Games News for Monday, October 2, 2000

    United Developers Week at IMG1:04 PM
    MacGamer Reviews SoundSticks11:50 AM
    Supreme Court Refuses Sony Lawsuit against VGS11:34 AM
    WaterRace Feature Complete, GM Soon9:50 AM
    Virtual Game Station Demo Released8:34 AM
    Q3A for OS X Released, Site Updated8:24 AM
    Parsec LAN-Test Coming Soon7:56 AM
    Roger Wilco Beta 2 Released7:39 AM
    Mac Soldier of Fortune Update6:00 AM
    Myst III Music Interviews6:00 AM
    Neo Geo Pocket Emu to be Released6:00 AM
    Omni Group Offer, Complications6:00 AM
    Q3A OmniGroup Q&A with IMG6:00 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 2, 2000 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Friday, September 29, 2000
    Thursday, September 28, 2000
    Wednesday, September 27, 2000
    Tuesday, September 26, 2000
    Monday, September 25, 2000


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



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