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Wednesday, October 11, 2000

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Sin, FAKK2 Go Gold!
10:12 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The golden colors of Fall have come soon for Mac gamers, as two more highly-anticipated titles have reached their final version and await duplication. Contraband Entertainment has reported that Sin and Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 have 'gone gold.'

Here is the (characteristically brief and to the point) news from the Contraband web site:

Contraband Entertainment, Inc. is proud to announce that SIN has gone GOLD.

We are also proud to announce that Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. II is presently in duplication, and too be hitting store shelves soon.

This news comes as a minor surprise, as a report on MacNN last night seemed to suggest that Sin had some 'show-stopping' bugs that would delay its release.
The suggestion that these two titles are final is excellent news for Mac Gamers, as these two games provide a big kickoff for the Fall gaming season. The first-person shooter Sin is a port of a 2-year-old PC title from Ritual. The launch of that game on the PC side was marred by bugs and eclipsed by the release of Half-Life, but Mac gamers should be able to experience the game in a more refined form and without intense competition from other titles. Based on the Quake 2 engine, Sin should run on almost any OpenGL-capable hardware. For more information on this title be sure and read our detailed preview.

The intense Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 is a third-person action game based on the Quake 3 Arena engine. Praised tremendously for its visuals as well as innovative gameplay, this game shatters the concept that third-person games can't have serious mayhem and action. While this game isn't for the kids or the squeamish -- take the Mature rating seriously -- it does have action to spare, and many puzzle/adventure elements as well. Again, for more details be sure and read our preview.

Congratulations to Contraband on shipping their first Mac titles. Sin will be published by United Developers, and Heavy Metal will reach stores with Gathering of Developers' brand. Watch for them at a store near you!

F.A.K.K. 2 Preview
Sin Preview
Contraband Announcement
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

Correction: RAVE Support in QT5
6:40 PM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

As an IMG reader pointed out to us, QuickDraw 3D RAVE acceleration still functions in the QuickTime 5 public preview, but it depends on how you install it. The QuickTime 5 installer offers three options: Minimum, Full, and Custom. If you choose the Minimum install, your existing QD3D extensions are disabled. The Full install, on the other hand, does not disable your existing QD3D extensions, but they will not be enabled when you reboot with QuickTime 5 installed.

You need to choose the Custom install and ensure that at least QuickTime Essentials and QuickDraw 3D are selected for RAVE support to work. The best choice is to simply click "Select All" and install all of the components.

The bottom line is that you must reinstall QuickDraw 3D while you are installing QuickTime 5, or QD3D will not be enabled and RAVE acceleration will not be available to games.

VGS 1.4.1 Update Released
3:47 PM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

Connectix has released Virtual Game Station 1.4.1, a minor update for their Sony PlayStation emulator. The new version includes the following fixes:

  • Mac DVD lockup issue has been fixed: some multi-format (ISO 9660 + Redbook Audio) PlayStation® titles would cause Mac CVGS 1.2 on DVD-based Macs to lockup
  • Game-specific fixes - please refer to the MAC 1.4 Recommended Games List
  • Connectix Virtual Game Station now plays NTSC and PAL format titles

Connectix VGS 1.4.1 Update
Connectix VGS Demo

Tiger Woods PGA 2001 Preview
1:46 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Over the weekend Mac publisher Aspyr Media added three titles to their future release list, and one of these was Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001. The existence of golf titles (and of course sports titles in general) on the Mac OS has been sorely lacking for quite some time, and the addition of this pro golf sim should delight serious fans and occasional driving-range visitors alike.

Many who attended Aspyr World last weekend and saw Aspyr Media's demonstration of this title remarked upon the quality and clarity of the game's 3D graphics, which seek to portray the game as realistically as possible. Based on actual PGA Tour courses and featuring the digitized swings of actual Pro golfers, the level of realism in this release is supposed to be without parallel.

Sports gaming site Operation Sports has just posted a preview of Tiger Woods 2001, based on a late beta version of the game for PC. Their response to the game is quite positive, and they remark on many improvements the game features over its prequel, Tiger Woods 2000. Here is the previewer's comments on the visuals of the game:

Last years version sported some really good graphics. But like I mentioned before, if you cranked them up, you suffered dearly with the frame rates. If you lowered the bar, the game looked sub-par, and it had you asking how an EA game could look this bad. Well, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001 has some of the best-looking graphics that I’ve seen yet. With Links 2001 still yet to tee-off, I have to admit that the 2001 version of Tiger Woods might be on top of the leader board. The fairways look beautiful, the objects and details are all crystal clear and noticeable, slopes in the fairways and greens are also very noticeable, and the greens have their classic checkerboard looks, and even the trees hold their splendor up close.
Aspyr Media has not announced a prospective release date for the Mac version of this title; the PC version is due in late Fall. Be sure and check out the preview for a detailed list of features and several screen shots.

Aspyr Adds Three Titles
Aspyr Media
Tiger Woods 2001 Preview at Operation Sports

Oni to Have Separate SKUs
12:55 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Dedicated fansite Oni Central is reporting the news that several readers who have pre-ordered this upcoming third-person action title have discovered that it will not be a 'hybrid' Mac/PC release; it will ship as separate Mac and PC versions. Their orders for the hybrid version of Oni from Amazon.com were rescinded and replaced with an order for the Mac boxed version with a separate SKU (product inventory number).

This comes as no surprise, as the publisher for Mac Oni is Gathering of Developers; all of GoD's past Mac titles (including Railroad Tycoon II Gold and RT: The Second Century, Fly! and Fly2) have all had separate boxed Mac versions. GoD's upcoming Mac releases Rune and Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 will also ship as separate Mac SKUs.

This information might be cause for concern among Mac fans, as it opens the door for the possibility that the Mac and PC versions of Oni might not ship at the same time. However, all indications so far are that the Mac, PC and PS2 versions of this game are intended to ship simultaneously. Possible release dates have ranged from January 11, 2001 to March of that year, although a late December release has also been suggested by some sources.

Oni Delayed Until January 2001?
Update on Oni Tools, Beta
OniCentral News for October 10

No RAVE Support in QuickTime 5 Preview
12:45 PM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

As this year's QuickTime Live event kicked off on Monday, Apple made available a public preview of QuickTime 5, the upcoming upgrade to their all-encompassing multimedia system. The new version includes a redesigned player with an improved interface, which will also support 'skins' in the shipping version, as well as support for cubic QuickTime VR images (which allows full 360° panoramas) and the new skip-protection code implemented in the upcoming QuickTime Streaming Server 3.

Gamers who want to try out the public preview of QuickTime 5, however, should beware that the new version does not support QuickDraw 3D or RAVE, which means any games that support RAVE 3D acceleration will no longer function in RAVE mode. Notable examples include Bugdom and Nanosaur, which will not run at all without RAVE acceleration, and Unreal Tournament, which relies primarily on RAVE acceleration for systems that do not have 3dfx cards installed.

Games that use other 3D APIs (such as Glide or OpenGL) are not affected, but it should be noted that Glide acceleration can only be used if you have a 3dfx card installed--it does not work with the ATI hardware that ships in all recent Macintosh systems.

It is unclear whether Apple plans to drop QuickDraw 3D support altogether in QuickTime 5, or if it simply hasn't yet been updated to work with the latest version. QuickDraw 3D development was stopped when Apple switched to OpenGL as the standard for 3D graphics acceleration on the Mac platform, and there are no plans for QD3D support in Mac OS X, so it is certainly possible that RAVE support is not planned for QuickTime 5.

QuickTime Live
Quicktime 5 Public Preview

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Rune's Tim Gerritsen Interviewed
10:43 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Following the announcement that Human Head Studio's Rune has gone gold, GameSpot has posted an interview with project lead Tim Gerritsen. He talks about the technology behind the game, some challenges they faced during development, and his feelings about the finished product. In this excerpt Tim offers some background details on Rune:

Tim Gerritsen: Rune is a game about melee combat in the age of the Vikings, in a world where reality is closer to what the Vikings believed it to be - a fantastic world of fantastic creatures where the gods held sway.

You play a young Viking named Ragnar who is an Odinsblade - a defender of Odin and protector of his runestones on Midgard (Earth). You begin the game by going through your ritual of manhood, which is basically a test of your skills (and a chance to train a little). You hear of a group called the Dark Vikings, a group that has foresworn allegiance to Odin and has begun raiding and destroying local villages.

The interview is accompanied by 40 screen shots and several in-game movies.

Westlake Interactive is working on the Macintosh port of the third-person Viking combat game, which is due sometime in November.

Rune Interview at GameSpot
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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WaterRace On OS X?
9:32 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

French Mac gaming web site Jeuxmac has contacted French Touch to learn a bit more about their upcoming water racing game, WaterRace. WaterRace is a game that lets you get into some powerful speed boats and race around various parts of the world, including Scotland and New York.

Jeuxmac asked if French Touch would carbonize their game in order to allow OS X beta users to enjoy it. Pierre-Olivier Latour, lead programmer and manager of French Touch said that they would not make a carbonized version of WR due to lack of time, and they are waiting for the final and more stable version of OS X to make a decision. As their API of choice (QuickDraw 3D RAVE) is not supported natively in Mac OS X, it may require shifting the game to OpenGL to fully Carbonize it.

French Touch
French Touch

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Shadowbane Interview
8:25 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

3D Game Force has spoken with Josef “Arcane” Hall and Patrick “Varios” Blanton of Wolfpack Studios about their upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane. In case you're wondering, the title is a huge project in the vein of Everquest or Ultima Online, though it has many features not found in any game of that genre today. One of the most important features of this title from our point of view is it's Mac compatibility; Shadowbane will be available for Mac and PC sometime next Summer.

In the interview, Hall and Blanton discuss starting Wolfpack Studios, their goals in developing Shadowbane, and what makes the game different from other MMORPGs. Here's an excerpt:

3DGFN: Wolfpack Studios is doing something a bit different from other online RPGs, specifically the way game will be played. Not as a single warrior trying to be the strongest, but working for common goals with guilds and nations. What can you tell us about this, the way it will operate, and why the team believes that it will be successful?

Josef: Well, this is a realization that I think comes directly out of our experience with the other online games we’ve run: players enjoy a game like this because of one thing -  Interaction with other people.  Period.  Since you have a limited amount of development resources, spend as much as you possibly can building up the infrastructure to facilitate player-to-player interactions.

Patrick: To this end, we’ve engineer Shadowbane to be a lot more “group” centric than the other games in this genre.  First of all, we’ve concentrated on the dynamics of adventuring in a party.  Second, we’ve put a large amount of thought into building a game that is balanced for conflict between players – and, as a corollary to this, we’ve decreased the “penalties of death” so that dying in our game can be viewed more as “it’s all part of the game” rather than “damn, I just lost a weeks worth of work.”

Josef: I think the biggest single change we’ve planned, though, has to do with the dynamic nature of our World.  In Shadowbane, it’s almost shocking how much influence a group of players can have.  Most of these games are static – cities, dungeons, terrain – these things never change.  In our game, on the other hand, players have complete control.  Groups form into guilds, guilds form into Nations, and Nations can lay claim to vast sections of the virtual terrain by building Castles, Towers and other strategic fortifications.  We fully expect that the largest and more prosperous City/States in our World will be entirely owned and run by Players.  This gives players an unbelievable amount of freedom to “make their mark” in the World, and so far the public response has been overwhelming.

This is an impressive attempt to make an online world very customizable and interactive. It's just an added bonus that Mac users will get a piece of the action. Recently, our editor-in-chief Tuncer Deniz visited Wolfpack and saw just how big of Mac fanatics they were; check out his write-up for more info.

Shadowbane Web Site
IMG News: IMG Visits Shadowbane Creators
3D Game Force Shadowbane Interview
Wolfpack Studios

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Aleph One Net Games
8:14 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source page has had a very interesting update recently, noting that three new gametypes are now available for the enhanced Marathon 2/Infinity engine known as Aleph One. You can now download and play on maps made specifically for Rugby, Capture the Flag, or Defense. Here's a clip from the site explaining more:

Benad has released Aleph One BNG, which stands for Benad's Net Games. The package comes with his Aleph One Netgame software development kit (SDK), which includes a tweaked copy of Pfhorte, an old level editor that has been modified to allow you to create new kinds of network levels. Download the package from our friends over at the Archives. But first, you might want to read about the new types of games you'll be playing:


The goal is to take the ball (the red ball) to the base of any other team other than yours. If you take the ball to your own base, it will reappear at its initial location on the map.

Capture the flag:

Take the flag (ball) of any other team to your own base. The initial location of your flag is inside your base. If you touch your own flag, it will return to your base. When you take the flag of another team to your base, the flag will return to the other team's base.


The goal is that one player of any attacking team stays in the hill a total of more than half the time limit. The defending team is the "Slate" team (the first team in the menu). All other teams are attacking teams.

This is a very creative use of the open source engine. It looks like they're having a few version problems, though, and so this version is running with an older build of Aleph One. Look for an update soon, but for now, play on!

Benad's Net Games (4.3MB)
Marathon Open Source Site

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Confirmation on Mac 4x4 EVO1:07 PM
ATI Radeon Update, Corrections12:54 PM
IMG Visits Shadowbane Creators11:51 AM
Tread3D Update11:32 AM
More From The Collective on The Fallen10:22 AM
Tribes 2 Crumbs10:13 AM
4x4 Evolution Is Gold9:40 AM
Cro-Mag Rally Nears Gold Master9:17 AM
Mac FAKK2 and Sin Testing Update6:00 AM
Radeon AGP Retail: First Impressions6:00 AM
Rocket Arena UT Status Update6:00 AM
Tropico FAQ, Character Updates6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 10, 2000 on one page

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