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Friday, October 6, 2000

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DS9 Deluge
8:19 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Simon and Schuster's Deep Space Nine: The Fallen has reached beta status, and as predicted a huge flood of previews, screen shots, movies and interviews has hit the web. Read on for details on this Mac and PC 3rd-person action/adventure.

Yet another preview of DS9 has been posted by GameSpot. They have also added quite a few new screen shots and some large movies of in-game action. This preview is more of a description of the way the game runs and how the characters correspond to the 'Trek' feel. This third-person shooter/action game will not play like Tomb Raider, but it certainly has a lot of great features and some really astounding visuals that capture the 'Trek' aesthetic. Here is a clip from their preview on how you maneuver your character:

When you near a ledge, the characters will automatically kneel down, grab the edge of the platform, and swing themselves over the side. Climbing ladders is just as easy, as Kira, Worf, and Sisko will automatically hold on to the correct side of ladder as you approach it, which avoids the frustration of finding yourself underneath the platform or ledge that you were supposed to climb. All three characters will also go into a fighting stance whenever they're weaponless and in close proximity to an enemy. While this feature might seem insignificant, it's just one example of the extent that The Collective has taken to ensure that the characters in the Fallen not only control with ease but behave realistically onscreen as well.
Note that GameSpot has a ridiculous way of embedding movies in order to keep you from leaving your page while you view them; in our experience the only versions of the movies that work properly on a Mac are the streaming RealVideo versions.

Gamers.com has also posted a new preview of the title. This time around they compare their current beta with the previous, noting many positive changes. Again, they also have new screen shots with large or small movies clips.

Stomped has posted the second of three interviews with members of The Collective, developers of this title. This time they spoke to Dan Mycha, an artist working on The Fallen. They will release their two other interviews in the next few days. In the piece, he discusses how the Collective faced a few restrictions on the content of the game. Mycha describes them in this excerpt:

Stomped: How much input do you receive from Paramount Studios about your design work on the game?

Mycha: Actually not that much. Paramount has been very hands-off in the pre-production and conceptualization phases. All of our designs and ideas had to be approved but we've developed a great working relationship. Our attention to detail and quality of art has resulted in a very license-faithful game. The Paramount Production Staff doesn't want to make the game for you, they want to make sure you don't derail the design vision of the Trek Universe. If you love what you do, it come across in the look of the game. Then Paramount is happy, you are happy, and ultimately, the fans will be happy.

It seems the game has been making headlines all over the place, could this mean they are moving closer to Gold Master status? Stay tuned, as we will certainly bring you more information on this upcoming title, and our own impressions of the beta version.

Stomped Interviews Dan Mycha
DS9: The Fallen
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen Preview @ Gamers.com
DS9: The Fallen Preview @ GameSpot
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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Temporary Baldur's Gate Patch Available
5:12 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

GraphSim has made available a temporary patch for owners of Baldur's Gate. Before you install the new patch, keep in mind that this patch introduces several new bugs into the game. "Amy" at GraphSim has told fan site, MacBaldur, that a new patch will be available early next week. Here are the bugs that were addressed in the temporary patch:

  • "Larloch's Minor Drain" crash is fixed.

  • "Burning Wizard" crash is fixed.

  • Baldur now places correct modification dates on files copied into its disk cache. Previously the dates were four years in the future.

  • The "can't control created creatures" bug is fixed.

  • Some option settings weren't saved if the user quit via the Macintosh File / Quit menu choice instead of the in-game buttons.

  • The "character voice" problem is fixed. Both PC games and old Mac Baldur games can be loaded correctly now. Newly saved Mac Baldur games are now completely compatible with the PC version.

  • Baldur speed: 'Maximum Frame Rate' setting is now effective all the way up to 60 for increasing the walking speed of characters. (Previously it did have an effect, but only between 0 and the default of 20, so it appeared to be impossible to speed up walking.)
  • Remember to back up your save game files before applying the patch. The new version saves files in a format that is compatible with PCs and will not work with older versions of Baldur's Gate.

    GraphSim's website has not been updated with this information.

    Baldur's Gate 1.02 (2 MB)
    Baldur's Gate

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    New WWII Online Screens
    4:04 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    The aptly-named GameScreenshots.com has put up 17 new screen shots from Cornered Rat Software's WWII Online, an upcoming massively-multiplayer combat sim which will recreate 1940s-era combat from the trenches to aerial bombardment and everything in between. The screen shots are not the best we have seen of this game, but as we have not mentioned it in some time we thought this would be a good way to re-introduce the title to those who missed it.

    WWII Online has been in development for Mac and PC for almost two years, and is designed to simulate combat on many levels. From the grunts in the trenches to jeep and tank warfare, from naval combat to aerial dogfighting over Europe, this sim will do it all, and support hundreds of players online simultaneously in a sim of the entire European theatre of war.

    Here's an excerpt from the FAQ:

    World War II Online™ is a massively multi- player simulation of land, air, and sea combat during WWII. Players will be able to fight out the battles of WWII and rewrite their outcome in a completely dynamic and persistent online environment. It is the first virtual battlefield dedicated to WWII combat that successfully combines aircraft, tanks, ships, and individual soldiers all player controlled, and all in the same combat theater.
    The FAQ also notes that the game will be a free download, and online play will be a monthly flat fee to participate. With 1000 players allowed per arena (server) and a huge audience of dedicated sim fans out there, this one should be a blast. Currently the game is in private beta; a public beta version is behind schedule but should be available before the end of this year. For more information, check out the official web site. Thanks to our CGA partner Stomped for the screen shot info.

    WWII Online Screen Shots @ GameScreenShots
    World War II Online Web Site
    Strategy First
    Cornered Rat Software
    World War II Online

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    Interview With Ron Dimant of UD
    3:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    As part of our week focusing on the upcoming titles from United Developers, we conducted an interview with founder Ron Dimant, who by no small coincidence is also the CEO of Ritual Entertainment, creators of SiN and Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 among other titles. As you will see by his answers, Ron is a big fan of the Mac platform, and has high hopes for gaming and for the titles UD will bring to the Mac game catalog. Here is a sample:

    IMG: United Developers is your latest undertaking. What was your motivation to start UD?

    R.D.: As the CEO of a high-profile game developer I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends with other "biz guys" from developers (and publishers) around the world. Usually we talk about games, business issues, etc., and just sometimes we talk about other things that we wish we could do together. UD was formed to provide a degree of focus, and just as significantly, some financial backing behind these "other things," and in collaboration with other developers and publishers, to realise our better "projects" for the mutual benefit of ourselves and the community as a whole.

    For more discussion with the United Developers founder, be sure and check out the rest of the interview.

    United Developers Interview with Ron Dimant

    United Developers Giveaway Begins!
    11:58 AM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has teamed up with United Developers to bring you our latest giveaway. Three copies of each of United Developers' upcoming titles--Sin, Majesty, and Fighter Squadron--is up for grabs, so head over to our giveaway page and get your entry in today!

    IMG's Giveaway Entry Page

    Volition on Mac Red Faction Editor
    10:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Even when A-list games make it to the Mac, some users often feel left out as all too often the editing tools that shipped with or are available for the PC version never make it to our platform. This is usually because making the tools themselves is nearly as intensive as making the game, and porting the editor would take as much time as porting game -- obviously not an option from a cost standpoint.

    Volition's Mark Allender has posted to the IMG forums that this will likely also be the case with their upcoming FPS, Red Faction. While this is not completely surprisingnew , it is a bit sad that heavy dependencies on the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) make the porting of the editor non-trivial. Here's his post:

    The chance of getting our in-house editor ported to the macintosh is very low. It's far more important for us to concentrate on delivering great gameplay and product stability across all of the Red Faction platforms.

    The editor is heavily wrapped in MFC, which isn't an easy bear to move over to the macintosh machines.

    The bright side of this story is that Mac users can still expect to see the game itself in a near-simultaneous release with the PC and Playstation 2 versions! Mark has told IMG recently that they are working to make the code on the Mac side current with the PC version. Red Faction is one of our most anticipated FPS titles in quite some time due to its amazing graphics, Geo-Mod physics engine and storyline. Look for this game to be available in the first half of next year.

    Red Faction Web Site
    IMG Forum Thread on Red Faction Editor

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    Tribes 2 Reaches Beta
    9:45 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    Dynamix's Dave Georgeson has made a forum post at Tribal War about Tribes 2. Apparently, Dynamix's upcoming team-based multiplayer game has reached beta. This is the stage where all the features are implemented in the game, and time for testing has begun. Although Dynamix has previously hinted at a Mac version of the game, only PC and Linux versions are currently being announced as on progress. Here is his forum post:

    Yup. We finally made it. 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning and we're making the final beta burn to send up to Sierra QA to begin beta testing.

    We're on the Road to Gold now, baby! The game is looking great. There's a ton of polishing to do on it, but the frame rate, stability, compatibility, fun, and general gloriousness of the darn thing has morale pretty high. We all can't wait until External Beta so we can put this in the hands of some testers and get the newness knocked off it so we can polish it up some more.

    It's going to be a really good game, folks. But I'm gonna go sleep for a couple days now, so I'll be back later to talk about it more.

    Just passing the good news on.

    We have contacted Georgeson about the Mac version of Tribes 2, and will let you know of any word we receive.

    Tribes 2
    Tribal War's forum post

    UnF Map Preview, Screen Shots
    8:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The official Unreal Fortress site has been updated recently with news of a new map preview at their sister site Map Fortress, and some new screen shots from the mod. In case you don't know, the UnF team is attempting to bring the famous Team Fortress gamestyle, made famous by QuakeWorld, to the Unreal Tournament engine. They will have many cool features like realistic bot AI built into the modification and other things which should set it apart from other TF variations.

    In the quick map preview at Map Fortress, they discuss one of the upcoming maps to be included, called Rock-is-Dead. Here's a clip explaining the name:

    In case you didn’t make the assumption on your own yet (or haven’t peaked at the Screenshots) Rock-Is-Dead is an outdoor map set in a tropical environment.  So why the name ROCK-Is-Dead?  Well because towering rock walls surround the entire area, there’s a number of cliffs and drop offs, and there’s underground tunnels going through parts of the map.
    Check out the preview for more info and screen shots of the map. And also head to the main UnF site for many more shots from this and other maps in the mod. Unreal Fortress is in testing now and will hopefully be released later this year for free to the UT community.

    Map Fortress Site
    Unreal Fortress Web Site

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    Shadowbane Feedback Contest
    8:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Crossroads of Shadowbane site is holding an interesting new contest for the upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane. In an attempt to get serious feedback to the makers, Wolfpack Studios, before the game goes into beta, they are looking for people's opinions on what should and shouldn't be in the game. The lucky winner with the most clear response will get a beta tester account (assuming they aren't already in the beta). Here's a bit more info on the contest:

    What to do: Contestants are to submit in their own words and the clearest language, what they consider an important issue of concern in Shadowbane's design, or any aspect of its gameplay, testing, or customer support.


  • Entries are to be posted on the Crossroads of Shadowbane Development Board, just as any other development-related concern.
  • Entries should also contain "Contest:" or just "C:" in the Subject field, for the sake of judging.
  • Submissions must have a valid email address listed.
  • Contestants should also keep copies of their entries for their own records, in the event that anything should happen to the boards.
  • Entries must be at least 250 words, but no more than 1,000.
  • Entries posted after 5 p.m. (CST) on Nov. 1, 2000, will not be accepted. Winners will be announced on Nov. 15, 2000.
  • Check out the site for more info, and start formulating your post now for a chance to be on the beta list (or get that pen, which looks really nice). Shadowbane is set to go into beta later this Winter, with the final release hopefully around next Summer for Mac and PC.

    Shadowbane Web Site
    Crossroads of Shadowbane Contest Site
    Wolfpack Studios

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    Another Red Faction Interview
    8:08 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    Another interview has been posted, covering Volition's upcoming FPS game, Red Faction. This time around PC.IGN asked some quick questions of producer Rob Loftus about what kind of gameplay we might expect when RF is completed. The interview goes over some general features of the game, AI, the Geo-Mod engine, weapons, mods but also they ask about vehicles.

    Volition has mentioned there are about six vehicles that you will be able to use during the course of the game. You will be able to use vehicles to plow through walls and make great attacks into enemy bases. Here's more from Loftus himself:

    IGNPC: How big a role will vehicles play in the game? Tell us a little about each of them.

    Rob Loftus: Vehicles will play a large role in the game, both in single player and multiplayer. The player will be able to use vehicles against the enemy and the enemy will do likewise. We’ll have six vehicles each with their own HUDs and weapons. So far we’ve released the APC with it’s mortar and minigun, a submersible equipped with torpedoes, a drilling machine that can burrow through the environment Total Recall style, and a flying combat craft equipped with dual miniguns and heat seeking missiles.

    Loftus also mentions in the interview that the game is in pre-alpha and around 45% complete. This means the game still needs a lot more tweaking and adjestments before its release in the first half of next year.

    PC.IGN Red Faction Interview
    Red Faction Web Site
    Red Faction

    Update on Oni Tools, Beta
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Bungie's Matt Soell has made a recent post to the Oni Central message boards noting the status of Oni, the highly anticipated full-contact action game. In the update, he says that cinematic 'cutscenes' will be integrated into the game engine itself, though the ability for users to save films won't make it into the title. This has been a popular feature in other Bungie games, and was hoped might be in Oni as well; however with the loss of multiplayer support, 'films' of in-game action may not have seemed quite as important as before. In the latter part of his post, he responds to the question of releasing the movie-making tools for the game:

    I don't think any of the Oni tools will see a public release, mainly because we don't own Oni anymore, but then I didn't expect us to ever release the Marathon source. Stranger things have happened.

    Now installing Beta 12.... :-)

    He is, of course, referring to the fact that Take Two now officially owns Oni and the Myth series. It will therefore be up to them to release any tools for the game. Check out the forum thread for more info from Soell.

    Oni's release date is largely up in the air, but it looks like the beta testing is progressing nicely. Keep in mind that Beta periods can range from a few weeks to many months, and Take Two has mentioned the game will most likely not be out until early next year. The best advice would likely be to insert the standard "when it's done" phrase here, and be happy once this title arrives in the mail.

    Oni Web Site
    Oni Central Forum Thread

    HoMM3 Interview
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The first part of a new interview with John K. Morris has been posted at the dedicated fan site by Rocco "Rogue27" Carello, discussing Evolution Interactive's work on the Mac port of Heroes of Might and Magic III This is just the first part of a three-part interview, and it gives a brief history of Morris' past with Evolution Interactive and Stick Man Games. Here's a quick clip:

    RJC: Is Evolution Interactive interested in porting more games to the Mac if the opportunity arises?

    JKM: Yup, I am always looking for more work. I have worked on a few more projects since the release of H3, but they have mostly been dev tools for other game companies and some stuff that I can't talk about.

    Read through the rest of the Q&A for more, and check back later for info on OS X and networking issues in part two. And for a closer look at the game itself, read IMG's review of this strategy title.

    IMG Review of Heroes of Might and Magic 3
    HoMM3 Interview, Part 1

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    Raven Chat Transcript
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    3D Action Planet chatted with some of the developers at Raven Software yesterday afternoon to talk about their just-released for the PC Star Trek title, Voyager: Elite Force. A transcript of the entire affair has been posted, so you can read their answers to a number questions about the game. It is in the usual, slightly-crazed IRC-style chat style, but here's an excerpt to give you an idea of what to expect:

    What made you decide to allow the player to play as either gender rather than just a guy? Given all the work is doubled with the cinematics, I thought that was a nice touch.

    Cosmos[RAVEN] Actually, we came up with a fairly simple, easy and automatic way to exchange the models, skins, sounds, text, etc

    Winter[RAVEN] It adds to re-playability for one thing...and it also allows players to further identify with the main character...whether they are male or female.

    Nexus[RAVEN] We also didn't want to disappoint our female fans

    Terata[RAVEN] A few things are specifically different for the two characters, items in Munro's quarters and such, but mostly it was automatic.
    The ability to play as either Alex or Alexandra Munro is just one of the many impressive features in the game. If you'd like to see the developers answer questions in their own words, head on over and read through the rest of the transcript.

    The Mac version of Elite Force is underway and progressing nicely, according to programmer Duane Johnson. It will hopefully be finished up soon and available from Aspyr Media later this year.

    IMG News: Quick Elite Force Mac Update
    3DActionPlanet Raven Transcript
    IMG First Look: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
    Aspyr Media
    Raven Software
    Westlake Interactive
    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

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    FAKK2 CTF Shots
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    FAKK You's pages dedicated to the upcoming Capture the Flag mod for Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 has recently been updated with news and screen shots. This will be a free update for owners of the game, and is expected to be compatible with the Mac version of FAKK2 once its released. Here's an excerpt from the page detailing their progress:

    CTF is progressing very nicely. We have been working away on a daily basis for awhile now, and have not been plagued by problems most other mod projects face. Our team is definately a group of experienced people.

    Currently we're testing the multiplayer code, implementing the CTF entities, and have an early version of the S.P.I.T. working. Skins are 90% complete, HUD and menu graphics 50%, and textures 50%. About 4 maps are being made concurrently right now, each of which are in the likeness of single player levels.

    Actual CTF playtesting should start within 2 weeks, we'll have some shots and maybe some video footage of it, when time comes.

    The three new screen shots of the mod look great as well, so be sure to give them a look. The last we heard from Andrew Meggs, programmer for Contraband's port of FAKK2, he was dealing with some personal issues, but play testing is still underway. The game should be completed soon and be available later this Fall from Gathering of Developers.

    Contraband Entertainment
    FAKK2 CTF News
    FAKK2 CTF Screen Shots
    Gathering of Developers
    Ritual Entertainment
    Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

    Mac Games News for Thursday, October 5, 2000

    Quick Elite Force Mac Update6:57 PM
    UT on OS X?6:04 PM
    Red Faction Interview5:59 PM
    New MacMAME Released5:51 PM
    Rune Preview at PC.IGN5:42 PM
    DS9: The Fallen Interview5:41 PM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 5, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, October 4, 2000
    Tuesday, October 3, 2000
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    Thursday, September 28, 2000

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

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