|Wednesday, October 25, 2000|
Gathering of Developers Mac Update
9:33 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Gathering of Developers has sent out a new press release detailing their amazing commitment to the Mac with seven A-list games to be released within the next six months. They reveal that Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 and 4x4 Evolution should be out this Friday, Rune will be available by November 15th, and even mention that Oni will be released in January, confirming that date once and for all.
Here are more details from the press release:
Gathering of Developers (www.godgames.com) is making heavenly contributions to the Macintosh. The developer-drivenIt is great to have such strong support from a publisher. We look forward to seeing 4x4 and FAKK2 soon, and many great titles to come. Would it be too forward to say that we seem to have GoD on our side?
GoD Games Web Site
computer and video game publisher is supporting the Macintosh with the upcoming release of three titles and the development of four more games for 2001. This year, Gathering will publish Macintosh versions of third-person action/adventure title Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K2, 3D action/adventure Viking game Rune, and fast-paced, 4x4 off-road simulation, 4x4 EVO. In 2001, Gathering will release Oni, a third-person action/adventure title followed by Tropico, a 3D building, strategy/simulation game, FLY! 2001, the sequel to the technologically-advanced general aviation simulation FLY! and Shadowbane, a massively multiplayer, role-playing and large-scale strategy game. 4x4 EVO and Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 will be released simultaneously on October 27th while Rune will ship to stores on November 15th. Take-Two Interactive's Jack of All Games will distribute
all seven games in North America.
"We continue to support the Macintosh with several of our triple-A
titles including Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2, 4x4 EVO, Rune and Tropico," said Harry Miller, president of The Gathering.
Terminal Reality's FLY! 2001 is the sequel to the
technologically-advanced general aviation simulation FLY! FLY! 2001 expands upon FLY!'s top features and includes new and expanded 3D models, aircraft, scenery, new elevation scenes and higher resolution images. Like its predecessor, FLY! 2001 will feature a global flight area, worldwide digital elevation terrain model, true satellite terrain imagery, and ultra-realistic cockpit and avionics systems, detailed to each aircraft's original configuration. FLY! 2001 will also include more points of interest, improved visual effects, dynamic environments and thorough tutorials, instructions and assistance for beginners. FLY! 2001 will land in stores in March 2001.
Oni is a third-person 3D action/adventure game developed by Bungie
Software. Oni tells the story of Konoko, an elite cop and one-woman SWAT team whose approach to fighting crime is a devastating combination of rational calculation and fighting fury. She is also a woman divided and haunted by oni ('ghosts' or 'demons' in Japanese). Oni seamlessly blends hand-to-hand martial arts combat and gunplay into a single, new full contact 3D-action hybrid. Oni will be available in January 2001.
Wolfpack Studios' Shadowbane is a massively multiplayer game, designed to allow up to tens of thousands of gamers to gather online and play simultaneously. Shadowbane's persistent, immersive world combines role-playing and large-scale strategy gameplay. In Shadowbane, players are challenged to carve out their destiny in a world blanketed by political unrest and torn apart by storms, disease, starvation and an endless war. Brutal warlords have assumed control of the land and a dark age has descended upon mankind. Shadowbane's design adds a large-scale warfare system to the completely functional role-playing game, allowing players to unite, form armies, build kingdoms and conquer virtual territories. This twist gives rise to a new realm of gameplay - guild politics and siege warfare. Shadowbane will be released in May 2001.
PopTop Software's Tropico is a 3D building, strategy/simulation game
coupled with Latin American political intrigue. In Tropico, players take on the role of a newly instated dictator of a remote Caribbean island and are challenged to build a path of progress for a nation mired in poverty, civil unrest and infighting. Based on their economic vision, gamers build hotels, mines, factories, and over 100 other structures. Diplomacy and politics will factor heavily in Tropico, as players must pacify various internal factions and external threats. If the island's growth is well planned, the player will have plenty of money to buy the peoples' favor and ensure prosperity. If growth is poorly planned and the economy falters, the population may revolt, forcing the player to institute martial law. Tropico will be released in March 2001.
Elite Force Contest, Media Blitz
4:16 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Activision has an amazingly aggressive media campaign in store to promote their Star Trek shooter Voyager: Elite Force, with a media blitz that rivals the release hype generated around Diablo II or Quake 3 Arena. The game will be hyped via Web, print, television (an almost unheard-of extravagance for non-console games) and even as a movie trailer shown before popular Fall releases, in an aggressive tie-in between UPN, Paramount and other companies to promote Voyager's last season on television.
In addition to this promotion, Activision is running a sweepstakes with a grand prize package that promises to immortalize a Star Trek fan and three friends in an upcoming Trek-based title. Here is an excerpt from the press release:
Star Trek® fans now have the chance to be immortalized forever (along with three of their closest friends) in Activision, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI) next Star Trek game when they enter the Star Trek: Voyager®: Elite Force™ Sweepstakes. Beginning now through December 31, 2000, gamers can log on to www.startrek.com or send in an entry to enter a random drawing to win a Grand Prize package that includes a trip for four to Hollywood, CA. The Grand Prize winner also will receive a cameo appearance in Activision's upcoming Star Trek game, along with walk-on roles in the game for three of his/her closest friends.Be sure and sign up for your chance to become a "red-shirted Ensign" in a future title. Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force for the Mac OS is progressing extremely well and should be on shelves in November, published by Aspyr Media.
Aspyr: Elite Force, Livin' Large Final Candidate
To support this exciting sweepstakes offer, Activision has joined forces with Paramount Pictures Television Group, and United Paramount Network (UPN) to cross-promote the sweepstakes creating a combined partner multi-million dollar advertising and promotion blitz. The sweepstakes message directs viewers to "Tune in to the Final Season of Star Trek: Voyager on UPN" and encourages consumers to enter the "galactic" sweepstakes. The joint advertising efforts of the three partners include:
National In-Theater Advertising – A Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Sweepstakes promotional spot will be seen by more than 13 million viewers in over 3500 theaters nationwide during the month of November, 2000.
TV Advertising – A nationwide broadcast TV campaign promoting the sweepstakes and "Final Season of Star Trek: Voyager on UPN" will air on UPN during the 4th Quarter, 2000.
Point of Purchase Materials – The Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Sweepstakes will be featured on a variety of in-store sweepstakes displays in participating retailers nationwide from mid-September through December.
On- and In-Pack Promotion – A special foldout sticker promoting the sweepstakes contest will be seen by consumers on each copy of the Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force game.
Internet Campaign – Activision and StarTrek.com will host banner ads on their web sites linking traffic directly to the sweepstakes page for sign-ups.
The grand prize random drawing will take place on, or around Monday, January 15, 2001.
First Look: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
Rogue Spear, Driver Status
3:40 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
MacGamer is reporting that future MacSoft releases Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear and Driver are nearing completion. According to Nate Birkholz of MacSoft, Rogue Spear is at Beta Two stage, while the long-awaited Driver is almost 'gold' status. Here is an excerpt:
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, the first person tactical shooter, recently hit beta two. We should be seeing it on the shelves in late November. Perhaps Nate meant 'definitely.' In any case, we'll be glad to see both of these games on the shelves when we do our Christmas shopping. For more details on both titles see the MacSoft web site.
Ah, Driver. It is still coming folks. And as a matter of fact, it should be going gold, "any day now." "We've said that before, I know. But it should defiantly be going gold very, very soon," Nate stated.
Rogue Spear, Driver Status Update at MacGamer
Dark Sector for Mac?
3:06 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story
Early last year Digital Extremes announced the development of Dark Sector, a futuristic massively-multiplayer online RPG to be based on the Unreal Tournament engine. Taking advantage of new technologies being added to the UT engine, this space-based RPG will feature the deathmatch-style combat that DE is so famous for, as well as space flight and combat, role-playing features and huge multiplayer environments.
As this game is based on an engine that has already been ported to the Mac OS, we were naturally curious to see if there were any plans for a Mac OS version of this title. We have asked several times before, of course, but the game wasn't far along enough in the development cycle to make such a prediction. Here is DE's latest response to our query:
Thanks for your interest in the game. There is a very good chance that DSFor a game that may be more than a year from release, such caution is understandable. In any case we expect that a Mac version of this game will be a no-brainer, from both a development and publishing point of view.
will be developed for Mac, but no official promises....:)
In related news, GA-Source has conducted a short Q&A with the lead level designer for Dark Sector, Juan Eeklels. They discuss many elements of design and gameplay, including comparisons to previous titles created by Digital Extremes:
How different will Dark Sector be from Unreal Tournament, in terms of visuals and gameplay? How will it be similar?Read on for more details on this exciting title. While the current release date for Dark Sector is "when it's done," the game is expected to be released late next year.
Dark Sector Web Site
In terms of visuals Dark Sector will be more complex than Unreal: Tournament. Our programmers are seriously adding cool features to this engine that will 'up' the standard for FPS games. This is where people will realise how scalable and powerful the UT engine actually is. As for gameplay in Dark Sector, it's receiving a similar treatment. We are incorporating a whole myriad of additions to it, from your regular deathmatch to spaceflight. The similarities will lie in the deathmatch and teamplay type games incorporated into Dark Sector.
Are there any titles that have served as guide for Dark Sector?
Dark Sector is the result of all people at Digital Extremes laying bare all their desires of what they wanted to see in a game. Now, all of this obviously stems from years and years of playing games across many platforms. And watching great movies on the big screen. Hopefully (and judging from the email responses we get from all over the world we are pretty dead on) this is what lots and lots of other gamers want to see as well.
Dark Sector Q&A at GA-Source
2:33 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
A new site dedicated to demo versions of Mac games and software has recently been launched. MacDemos.com takes the interesting tack of offering petitions for gamers to sign in order to demand that a demo be released for current and future titles. Here are more details, from the press release:
MacDemos.com is officially opening the doors today. MacDemos is a MacintoshThe decision as to whether there will be a demo for a particular game is almost always the domain of the title's publisher, not the development team. Creating a demo with a realistic download size and purposely limited gameplay often takes many hours of extra development, which may explain why demos are so infrequent (and why Mac demos of many games simply never appear, even though a demo was released for the PC version.) Be sure and check out MacDemos.com, as they have an amazing amount of content for a just-launched site.
user's demo paradise. MacDemos offers demo updates, news, petitions,
reviews, and more!
MacDemos is already brimming with features. The continual addition of demos
to the library allows for fresh daily news, new demo reviews, and great
reader interaction (registration and personal demo reviews/additions).
MacDemos also offers a light-hearted atmosphere and a simple interface.
Our goal is stated in four points:
* Demo Release - Timely news of new and recently updated software demos.
Commercial software and shareware releases are often available as demos.
* Demo Quality - To promote better demo quality by reviewing (and letting
users review) demos publicly. A good demo leaves you certain about a
purchase (to buy or not to buy).
* Demo Quantity - Many software publishers never release demos. We hope to
change this through petitions and requests.
* Demo Surprises - Commercial software is constantly released and updated...
Many of these updates and files act as unadvertised demos! MacDemos works to
find unknown and unadvertised demos in new software (either online or on
The first demo petition is already underway. MacDemos is calling all Mac
gamers to band together and request a demo of MacSoft's 'Driver' title. A
petition is posted at MacDemos.com and users are encouraged to sign on.
MacCentral on SafeCracker
2:22 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
MacCentral has posted their review of Daydream Software's SafeCracker, an older multimedia puzzle title recently acquired and republished by DreamCatcher Interactive. This curious game, based on Apple's QuickTime VR technology, sends you on a quest to crack various safes scattered throughout the game. Here is an excerpt from the review:
Touching, examining, and manipulating objects plays a central Be sure and read the rest of the review for more details on this classic title.
role in this game. Each safe has a different method of being opened;
it's up to the player to walk around clicking things to learn that
method. At first, safes are easily spotted. As the game progresses,
however, more safes are hidden within everyday objects such as radios
and musical instruments. Locating a safe and solving its puzzle is
quite satisfying, particularly when the contents serve as a key to
another portion of SafeCracker.
Hands-on with SafeCracker at MacCentral
Voodoo4 PCI Arrives, First Impressions
2:18 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Various sites around the web (including xlr8yourmac.com and MacNN are reporting that 3dfx's Voodoo 4 4500 PCI for Mac OS have begun to ship to customers with preorders. This card is the second 3dfx product to ship for Mac OS, and features a single VSA-100 chip with 32 MB of VRAM.
games.macnn.com has posted their first impressions of the card, which are quite favorable. Although they seem surprised at the speeds of the benchmarks, the numbers they mention are almost identical with a Voodoo5 5500 set to single-chip (compatibility) mode, in our experience. Here is an excerpt:
The Voodoo4 itself is a reasonably sized PCI card -- about 3/4 the size of the monster Voodoo5 card and about the same size as the ATI Radeon. Unlike the Voodoo5, the Voodoo4 does not have to be hooked up to the power supply within your Mac, which makes the installation that much easier. The CD that accompanies the Voodoo4 contains version 1.0.8 drivers, with the latest 1.1.0 drivers being easily downloaded and installed using the 3dfx MacTools control panel. While the Voodoo5 came with an additional CD full of game demos and utilities, the Voodoo4 has been marketed mostly towards graphics professionals and thus comes with no such CD. But every demo and utility included with the Voodoo5 is freely available for download, making this just a minor shortfall (perhaps more so if you're on a dial-up connection).Check this first look out for more details. Currently Outpost.com seems to be the source many are receiving their cards from; if your preorder arrives, be sure and drop us a line or mention on our Forum where you ordered the card from, and how much you paid for it.
3dfx Voodoo4 4500 PCI Mac
Voodoo4 4500 First Impressions at games.macnn.com
1:59 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Site author Tony Walsh has updated his unique multimedia site Gloomveil with more content, features and Flash animations, as well as a redesign of the interface. This site functions as a sort of virtual tavern for fans of both pen-and-paper and computer-based RPGs of all sorts, a place where they can swap stories, delve into mythologies and share what they have learned. Here is Tony's announcement:
Gloomveil is an original work of online interactive fantasy- an eerieTony has a remarkable skill for design, so be sure and pay this site a visit. He also mentions as part of this release that the site is constructed entirely on a Macintosh, and the site is dedicated to games that are cross-platform for Mac and PC.
world enshrouded in a thick, magical Fog. Launched in February 2000,
Gloomveil.com offers intrigue and adventure for players of any "pen-and-
paper" or computer-based fantasy game. "A visual as well as textual
feast, this site truly captures the meaning and execution of
'multimedia,'" says Inside Mac Games
Gloomveil.com has grown significantly since its inception, and now sports
a completely redesigned textual and graphical navigation system. The
Gloomveil world continues to expand with the unveiling of "Rust Dragon's
Lair," the encampment of a fearsome warlord. Mac Central says "Gloomveil
is quite a remarkable feat that continues to improve with each passing
week. Role-playing game fans, fans of Baldur's Gate (Bioware's previous
RPG effort) and others are encouraged to check the site out."
Beyond the Web-based Gloomveil experience, "Extensions" to the Gloomveil
world are being planned for cross-platform games such as Neverwinter
Nights, Rune, MythII:Soulblighter, and for print publication as a stand-
alone work of illustrated fiction.
Super Bombad Screens at IHoM
1:52 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
The International House of Mojo, fans of all things Lucas, has posted the first in a series of four images from LucasArts' upcoming title Super Bombad Racing. This 'bighead kart'-style racing game is in development for Mac, PC and console platforms, and is currently due in Spring of 2001.
As we learned at E3 back in May, this OpenGL-based racing title will feature the cartoonish fun of kart racing with lots of Star Wars content, including favorite characters and vehicles from the Episode One movie. Here is a description of the game from the LucasArts web site:
The madcap, break-neck action of big-headed kart racing comes to the Star Wars universe in Star Wars Super Bombad Racing, developed by Lucas Learning Ltd., and distributed by LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC. Expected for release in first quarter 2001 for Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, PC and Macintosh, Super Bombad Racing is a whimsical title that lets players race on various tracks throughout the Star Wars galaxy as way-out versions of their favorite characters.In related news, the LucasArts Bombad page has been updated with some concept art from the title. Be sure and visit IHoM as well and watch for the remaining three screen shots over the next few weeks.
International House of Mojo
Star Wars Super Bombad Racing
Tanks of Terror Update
1:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Since this shareware gem debuted on Macgamefiles.com, Klink! Software's OpenGL-based Tanks of Terror has been downloaded over 3500 times. Author Brian Barnes gave us a sneak preview of what to expect in the next version, which will arrive very soon:
Some people have had some problems with Tanks of Terror, and below are a couple of notes on the most common ones.Watch for this update at Macgamefiles.com, and be sure to leave your comments in the reader reviews.
* Control -- people that have had trouble with the control are almost always using the keyboard. ToT was designed to use analog control, and therefore the recommended control method is the mouse. Most everyone that has had a complaint and then tried the mouse find they liked it. This will be updated, see below.
* Missing DrawSprocket Function -- this happens when somebody doesn't have the right version of DrawSprocket. Download 1.7.5 from Apple.
* OpenGL 1.1.3 -- the documentation says it requires this, but 1.1.3 only comes with OS9, so pre-OS9 can use 1.1.2 without problem.
Also, an updater for Tanks of Terror is currently in testing. We are dedicated to making this the best game possible, and while we thank all those that have liked it so far, we take all complaints seriously. This update will include:
* More "arcade" like controls. Still will have realism, but more towards a Kart-type model then a Big-Heavy-Tank-type model.
* Better keyboard control (mouse recommended).
* Big scaling of maps -- more area to drive and pass.
* Reduced bounding boxes -- easier to get by trees, tombstones, tanks, etc. For instance, in Gauntlet 1 you can now drive between the trees.
* Better 'deathmatch' -- changed some rules to make it more fun.
* Tweaked Maps -- some maps were too dark, most notably the beginning of the cave on 1-1, 5-3, and 5-4.
* A couple more effects.
Finally, per requests, we will be adding 'site licenses' for ordering Tanks of Terror, mostly for schools and other institutions with a lot of computers in one area. The costs will be:
1 - $15
5 - $30
10 - $40
30 - $50
Tanks of Terror 1.0
MBD Special on King of Dragon Pass
12:55 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Zany shareware and commercial product publisher Monkey Byte Development has announced a limited-time sale price for A-Sharp's unique RPG/kingdom-sim title King of Dragon Pass. This offer is going fast, so take the opportunity to grab a beautiful and original approach to gaming. Here are the details:
Monkey Byte Development is pleased to announce a limited (very limited!) time special on the amazing RPG game "King of Dragon Pass" by A-Sharp. If you have not checked this game out, now is the time to do so while saving yourself some serious cash!If you need more convincing, you can grab the demo of this game from Macgamefiles.com, or read our review of this title.
King of Dragon Pass Demo
Normally priced at $37.50, Monkey Byte Development is offering this award winning game for the incredibly low price of only $25! But hurry, this offer is only available for a very, very limited time...
King of Dragon Pass is a fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Glorantha, which also serves as the home of the pen-and-paper RPG game RuneQuest. Players act as the chief of a clan who must unite the various clans of Dragon Pass into one tribe. To that end, you seek advice from a council of elders comprised of the wisest of your clan, send your warriors into battle and develop trade partnerships and peace treaties with the other clans. You also send clan members on heroquests, in which they relive the epic tales of the ancient gods, in search of enlightenment or divine favor.
King of Dragon Pass Special
King of Dragon Pass Review
GraphSim on Baldur's Gate Fix
9:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
On Monday, we brought you word of a bug in the popular RPG Baldur's Gate in which the game would often "freeze" while you were resting your characters. We recently caught up with GraphSim, the people behind the Mac port of the game, to see if this was a known issue or not. Their response was:
Yeah, we are aware [of the bug]. We should have a new "better" patch soon.GraphSim actually has two programmers currently working on the game. The original is fixing bugs and making other improvements, while Duane Johnson is adding multiplayer capability to the game and working on the Tales of the Sword Coast add-on pack. When asked about the status of the multiplayer patch, GraphSim said they are "making good progress." We will hopefully see that free downloadable patch sometime next month; play vs. PC users is not planned.
GraphSim Web Site
Also, with the recent announcements from United Developers to port both Baldur's Gate II and Icewind Dale, we asked GraphSim if they were surprised at the news. Apparently, it wasn't new to them, as UD simply out-bid them for the games. All is not lost for GraphSim, as they are currently in contract negotiations for several other as-yet-unnamed titles. We wish them the best and look forward to any announcments they might have in the future.
IMG News: Baldur's Gate Issues, Crash Database
Potions Pack for Baldur's Gate
9:35 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story
Would you love for your Fighter to cast a Fireball spell while in full plate mail? Do you dream of your Paladin having a Vampiric Touch or your Ranger summoning a Dread Wolf? Now you can make this a reality thanks to UniversalWolf's Innate Ability Potions Pack v1.0. The Innate Ability Potions Pack is a set of files that allow you to add special potions to Baldur's Gate. When a character drinks one of these potions, he gains an innate ability which can be used once per day. If the character drinks another potion of the same kind, he can use the innate ability twice per day, and so on. These abilities are not affected by armor, and are automatically restored every time the character rests.
Review: Baldur's Gate
To download this add-on pack, head to Mac Baldur.
Baldur's Gate Beginners' Guide
Quake 3 Fortress Update Soon
7:52 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
The official Quake 3 Fortress site has been updated with word about version Beta 1F. Apparently this update is ready to roll, and will be released this Saturday night. This popular version of the Team Fortress mod for Quake 3 will feature a host of improvements. Here's an excerpt listing the changes:
5 new original maps: The Causeway, Last Resort, The Technology Of Spam, Got Duck? and King of the CastleThere are well over a hundred changes to this version of the beta, so it seems like it will be worth the download. We'll be sure to let you know once it's available.
Quake 3 Fortress Web Site
Lots of new visual effects for weapons and grenades based on our new volumetric explosions, particle emitters and beam generator
Completely new menu graphics, animation, music and sound effects
New models and skins for most grenades
Over 70 new audio effects for weapons, players, ambience, menu music and special FX
Complete overhaul of all class and weapon balancing through 3 months of extensive play testing by our QA Team
Over 50 game-play tweaks and bugs fixed
New commands for people on lower spec systems providing control over our new 3D visual effects
Tribes-style Radio Communications System
Improved map-voting system
Q3F Extended Entity System now extended further :)
Anti-cheat protection (both automatic and server administrator controlled)
Apple Releases New GameSprockets
7:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
Apple has released version 1.1 of GameSprockets 1.7.5. Apple Game Sprokets is a set of software libraries that game and Universal Serial Bus (USB) input devices such as joysticks, game pads, and mice require for optimum performance.
GameSprockets 1.7.5 v1.1 (826k)
There is no mention in the documentation as to what this update improves or fixes. To download the latest GameSprockets, head to Macgamefiles.com.
Roger Wilco 1.0b4 Released
7:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
HearMe has released a new version of their in-game voice chatting software Roger Wilco. The small program allows gamers to chat with voice while playing popular games such as Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. Beta 4 contains the following fixes and enhancements:Fixed a bug preventing hosting
Removed version check at program startup
Be sure to check all the supported games (a list is available on the Roger Wilco web site, as Roger Wilco does not work with a few games. Of course, a fast Internet connection is recommended To download Roger Wilco, head over to Macgamefiles.com.
Download Roger Wilco 1.0b4 (1.4 MB)
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