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Monday, November 6, 2000news@insidemacgames.com



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Mac Shogo Update
8:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The German company Hyperion Software has been working on bringing Shogo: Mobile Armor Division to the Mac for quite a while now. Late in September, a demo was released of the game, which made us think it might be released soon. We've recently contacted Hyperion to see how the game was progressing, and if it would make it out before the end of the year. Here's what they had to say:

The release candidate for Shogo Mac has been in QA by Monolith for the last
two weeks and we hope to get the green light any day now to start production.


Parts of the OpenGL renderer were further optimised for speed (especially the
modelcode) and this has produced satisfactory speed-ups even on lower-end
machines. (Not incorporated in the demo).


It's now fair to say that any 604e and even a 200 Mhz 603e based Mac can run
the game in software although 3D acceleration is to be preferred for both
optimal speed and visual quality.


The game will definitely be available before Christmas.

This sounds like great news, especially for those displeased at how the demo ran on their system. Not many FPS games today can claim to run on a 200 Mhz 603e!


While the game is considered rather 'old' on the PC side, the Mac Shogo port also brings something else with it: the game is based on Monolith's LithTech engine, and like other cross-platform engines (Unreal, Quake, etc) there's a better chance Mac users could see other LithTech games ported to our platform now that this engine's base code has been ported. There are some other very good LithTech-based titles we'd love to see ported to our platform, such as No One Lives Forever or Legends of Might and Magic.


We'll keep you posted as Shogo heads towards production and final release, and of course let you know if any other LithTech-based games are announced as coming to the Mac. If you're looking for more info on Shogo, be sure to check out IMG's hands-on preview or head to Macgamefiles for the demo.

Shogo: Mobile Armor Division Demo (41.3MB)
Hyperion Software Web Site
IMG News: On the LithTech Engine
IMG Shogo: Mobile Armor Division Preview
Hyperion Entertainment (add to watch list)
Shogo: MAD (add to watch list)


3D Euchre Deluxe Update
4:51 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software has released version 1.1 of 3D Euchre Deluxe, another of their fine series of networkable pseudo-3D card games. Playable as a solo game with up to three computer opponents, or over the Internet via the free HMS Freeverse server. Here is a list of what has changed with this update:


    Changes in 1.1


  • Fixed a nasty bug: The game could crash if the option “Player to Dealer’s
    Left always leads” was selected, and someone defended alone.

  • Fixed a couple bugs in speech recognition.
  • Fixed the dreaded “Undo Last Trick” bug (the card that you just played
    never got redrawn, leaving a blank spot).

  • Fixed a bug that showed up if some of the graphics couldn’t be loaded (if
    the files containing the puppets or the room were corrupt, for example).
    Before, you got a blank screen. Now, you get a proper error dialog.

  • Fixed a bug in telepathy in net games - if you clicked on someone’s head
    while cards were being dealt, or at a few other times, you could get a
    garbled message.

  • Fixed a bug that would cause the game to tell the HMS Freeverse that a
    game had started multiple times. This didn’t cause any real visible
    problems, but was messing up the HMS Freeverse’s usage statistics.

  • The cursor wasn’t changing to a pointing hand over the main game window
    when it should.

  • Fixed a bug that would occasionally cause the cursor to flicker badly.

  • Quicktime 5 Public Beta sound problem work-around.
If you haven't taken this card game for a spin, be sure and do so, or try out one of Freeverse's many fine shareware products. Grab the update from the links below.

Freeverse Software
Download 3D Euchre Deluxe 1.1 Update (897k)
Download 3D Euchre Deluxe 1.1 Full (11.5 MB)


"Bad Milk" Debuts
2:51 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Dreaming Media LLC has released their first CD-ROM game, entitled Bad Milk. A mix of multimedia, puzzles and video artwork, this interactive title promises to be an original and intriguing experience. Although the genre of 'interactive art' never really took hold (thus the demise of Interact, CyberFlix, Voyager and many other companies) this area of gaming still has much to offer. Here are excerpts from the press release:

Don't drink it, play it. "Bad Milk" is your passage into the Skolnick
brothers' purgatory of unsettling images and confounding puzzles. To begin
this interactive video art game, take a virtual sip of coffee tainted with
spoiled milk and slip into a dark abyss populated by haunting characters.
That dismembered bald head? It's the unwitting gamester's only escape to a
new life. Along the way, meet a disembodied voice, a drowning man, and
chronic smokers who provide hints to beat mystifying challenges.


Bad Milk is the first production of DREAMING MEDIA LLC, a company formed by
Mick and Ted Skolnick in November 1999 to promote their vision of a new kind
of entertainment. To be released in CD rom October 12, 2000, the game
loosely falls into the "wander and wonder" genre popularized by Myst. It's
also an exhibit of interactive, avante guarde video art.


"We wanted to create video installation art but couldn't afford loft space
in New York City. So instead we built virtual installations and worked out
of our apartments in Queens," says Ted, a software veteran who gave up his
job at a major financial website to pursue his dream.


The game involves solving a series of interactive video puzzles, sometimes
in complete darkness with only hearing and virtual touch as guides, and at
other times by pushing, pulling and exploring pieces of the video art until
another part of the puzzle is solved. The game player controls the
revolutions of the bald head, as well as its facial hair growth; and uses
innovative technology to manipulate the video and, for example, move a live
person as if that person were a puppet. It's a difficult passage, but the
prize makes it all worthwhile:
virtual rebirth, peering into to the eyes of two obstetricians that welcome
the newborn player back into the world.

Visit the Dreaming Media web site for more details and to order this game.

Dreaming Media LLC



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MacPlay to Debut Majesty, Sin
2:45 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Jason Whong of MacPlay has announced on Usenet that he will be personally demonstrating the 'gold' versions of the RTS title Majesty and the first-person shooter Sin at CapitolMac in Richmond, Virginia. If you happen to be in that general area, be sure not to miss this event:

Some of you may recall last year that Richmond, VA area reseller CapitolMac
had a Mac Games Day in conjunction with Mac Gamer's Ledge. About 150-200 of
you showed up last year to play games and get a first look at Ferazel's Wand
(Ambrosia) and Last Call (Simon and Schuster).


It's happening again, and I'm going to be there representing MacPlay for
the Second Annual Mac Games Day, this time with GMs of Sin and Majesty.
It's this Saturday, from 10 AM to 5 PM at Capitol Mac's new location on 400
N. Robinson Street in Richmond, VA. We're also going to have a Sin frag
competition and the first multiplayer game of Mac Majesty to occur outside
of the developer's/publisher's offices. MacPlay will be picking up the tab
for pizza.


Be there or be left behind. Or something. :)

We suppose this is an indirect way of announcing that both of these titles have 'gone gold' and will be making their way to stores soon, the first titles to be published with the MacPlay moniker since 1997. For more information on these titles, be sure and check out our previews and watch Macgamefiles for the appearance of demo versions.

MacPlay
Majesty Preview
Sin Preview
MacPlay (add to watch list)
Majesty (add to watch list)



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Simon 3D Gold for PC
2:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Gamer.com is reporting that the PC version of Simon the Sorcerer 3D is very close to "gold master" status and should be shipping soon, although a US distributor for the title has not been named. Simon 3D will be brought to the Mac OS by Epic Interactive, a European Mac/Amiga porting house, after their port of Simon the Sorcerer II (a 2D title).


While Simon 3D is based on the portable NetImmerse engine, which exists on five platforms (including the Mac OS), Epic has decided to port the game by creating their own engine, to avoid the licensing fees involved. There is currently no release date for the Mac version of Simon 3D, but the fact that the PC version has gone gold now means that Epic will have final code to work with, which makes porting much faster.


We'll contact Epic and get an update on their progress. Watch for Simon The Sorcerer II from Epic later this Winter, and more titles as well early next year.

Simon the Sorcerer 3D Web Site
Simon the Sorcerer is Gold (Gamers.com)
Runesoft (add to watch list)


Radeon Review at MacGamer
2:07 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our colleagues at MacGamer have posted a quite enthusiastic review of the ATI Radeon Mac Edition AGP, giving it a four out of five. While they are reserving a final judgement on image quality until FSAA is available, they have much praise for the card's speed, compatibility and overall quality of software and design. Here is an excerpt:

Speed freaks who live from one 3d rush to the next will only want to
know if the card is the fastest. The answer, simply, is yes... it's
fast. Crazy fast. Wicked fast. Stupid fast. If speed is what you're
all about then you just read all you need to know. The basic Mac
user, however, has more to do than just play games. Where a few PCs
(and almost all consoles) are used for nothing but gaming, Mac users
tend to do a slightly wider range of things, so naturally there is
more about what happens with that person's video card that goes
beyond sheer speed. Even for gamers, there are more considerations
than just plain old benchmarks in your favourite first person
shooter.
We found this to be true in our review of the Radeon also. MacGamer also notes the strong relationship between Apple and ATI as a positive aspect of the card, and certainly something to be taken into consideration for those who plan on keeping their current system long into the future or plan on moving to Mac OS X. Be sure and stop by for the rest of the review.

Radeon Mac Edition AGP Review
Mac Radeon Screen Shot Gallery
ATI Radeon AGP Review at MacGamer
ATI Radeon AGP 32 MB Mac Edition


Open Source at iDevGames.com
10:28 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

While the Mac game schedule is quite full for the next six to eight months, there is one area in which Mac gaming has always lacked: Mac-first, original titles. Carlos Camacho's site iDevGames.com is trying to make sure that there is more to Mac gaming's future than just PC ports; iDevGames.com has been updated to become a vault for open-source code, for Mac programmers to take and use at their discretion.

From Carlos' article at MacSlash:

I hope that having a large selection of source code for new programmers to look at will help increase their knowledge and lead to more games on the Mac. Commercial developers should also take heed, and follow in the footsteps of Pangea Software, iD Software, and Bungie by releasing source to their older games that are no longer on the market. Because A.) It creates goodwill towards your company B.) You are helping to train a new generation of Mac programmers, that just may be your next employee.
So if you've got some code you're particularly proud of that is just collecting dust in your hard drive, post it on iDevGames. Or if you're hard at work on your latest venture, feel free to leaf through the source-code of such games as Marathon 2 or Wolfenstein 3D to get new ideas -- just be sure and respect the licences under which these games were released.

iDevGames.com
MacSlash Article on iDevGames.com



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Another Sacrifice Preview
8:52 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

MacNN's gaming section has recently posted a preview of Sacrifice, a ground-breaking title currently being developed by Shiny Entertainment. Sacrifice is a real-time strategy game in which players become powerful wizards who must placate one of the five gods found in their world. Players will be able to command huge battalions of bizarre creatures and monsters, with over fifty to choose from. Here is an excerpt:

All of the creatures in the game are separated into 11 different categories: pursuers, scouts, flyers, snipers, bruisers, support, bombers, siege, crowd control, juggernauts, and ultimate. However, each God only offers creatures in 10 of the categories, leaving a hole for weaknesses depending on what God your opponent has fallen in favor of. Be prepared to exploit the weakness of your opponents by targetting offenses directly at what your opponent has trouble defending. This basic strategy element is well known to several key members of the development team at Shiny including James Phinny, who acted as Lead Designer on Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft, Eric Flannum, the Lead Level Designer on StarCraft, and Dan Liebgold, who was responsible for code on Starcraft, Diablo, and Blizzard's Battle.net online-play service.
Sacrifice recently went "gold" for PC, and will be brought to the Mac OS by MacPlay (a division of United Developers); there is no projected release date at this time. Be sure to read the rest of the detailed preview for more information.

Contraband Entertainment
Shiny Entertainment
Sacrifice preview at Maccnn
MacPlay (add to watch list)
Shiny Entertainment (add to watch list)
Sacrifice (add to watch list)
Pre-Order Sacrifice



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Quick Aliens vs Predator Status Check
8:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As many of our readers have reminded us with both email and posts to our forum, we reported a couple of weeks ago that the long-awaited Mac port of Aliens versus Predator was set to go Golden Master. Then we heard nothing, and just like many of you, we wondered what the holdup was. We decided to once again go straight to the source in Bill 'Burger' Heineman, the programmer working on AvP, to see what is the game's current status. Here's what Bill had to say:

The disk is in compatibility testing and is code frozen. I'm waiting with
baited breathe for the signoff.
He's not the only one waiting anxiously for the game, we're sure. With the game in the last round of testing, we can look for the long-awatied AVP to be released soon. If you're looking for more info on Aliens versus Predator, be sure to check out our preview.

Logicware Web Site
IMG News: Aliens vs Predator Mac Due Soon
IMG Preview of Aliens versus Predator
Official Aliens versus Predator Web Site
Logicware (add to watch list)
MacPlay (add to watch list)
Fox Interactive (add to watch list)
Aliens vs. Predator: Gold (add to watch list)



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Starfleet Command 2 Preview at GameSpy
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a preview of Interplay's Star Trek-based real-time starship combat simulator Starfleet Command 2: Empires at War. So, what is a real-time combat sim? SC2 puts you in command of a fleet of starships; you can control many aspects of the battle, including the weapons deployment, energy levels and shields and phaser settings of individual ships. According to GameSpy SC2 contains many improvements over the original title, such as new races, more playble ships, better modeling and lighting and more missions. Here is a clip with their description of the gameplay:

Before you jump into the seat of your starship, you must first select a sector from the Metaverse map and then a mission. But before that, you should visit the shipyard or supply areas of the game, where you can use Prestige Points, which are points you earn for succeeding at missions. When you begin the game, you will only have a few, but as you complete missions and rack them up, you can upgrade shuttles, missiles, and bid on new ships to add to the fleet. You can also repair your ships if they were damaged. The better you are at the missions, and the more thoroughly you trounce the enemy, the more points you will earn.
The PC version of this game will be completed in "Winter 2000"; a demo is already available. The newly-formed MacPlay will be bringing this game to the Mac OS sometime next year. Read the rest of the preview for more details and be sure and visit the official site as well.

Starfleet Command 2 Web Site
Starfleet Command 2 Preview at GameSpy
MacPlay (add to watch list)
Starfleet Command II (add to watch list)



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Halo, Oni Updates
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Matt Soell of Bungie Studios has made his weekly updates of that company's progress on two upcoming titles, Halo and Oni. While Halo's final release date on any platform is unknown, Oni will supposedly ship for Mac and PC this January. Here is an excerpt of Matt's short update on Oni's status, at Oni Central:

- PC version is at Final Candidate 13, and by the time you read this we'll probably be at FC 14. The Mac version is at Beta 2. Those of you curious about the disparity must understand that the current Mac beta uses the same data files as FC 12 on the PC. The mood of the Oni team is jubilant. The game looks and plays great.
For more details on Oni, be sure and visit Oni Central.


Matt is also the self-appointed news source for information on Halo, Bungie's mysterious shooter which has been under wraps for almost three years now. The actual gameplay of this title has never been discussed or demonstrated, so at this point Matt is discussing level design, and is making his updates to Rampancy.net. Here is an excerpt:

- Marcus showed me one of the interiors he’s working on. The interiors are put together in a very rough form – just enough to get the basic outlines of the space down – and then refined. Over the course of this process, the level transforms from something that looks like it could have come out of Marathon into...well, into a level that looks like it came out of Halo. The artists are testing out how big the levels can be, what sort of balance to strike between geometric and textural complexity, that sort of thing. The level Marcus showed me was HUGE: we looked over a ledge and saw an enormous underground labyrinth.
Rampancy.net is a great source of Halo news and information.


Oni will come to the Mac OS this January from Gathering of Developers, with the launch of the PC and Playstation 2 versions. Halo is supposedly due some time after the release of Microsoft's X-Box console, which could be at least a year or more away. Peter Tampte's unnamed company will be porting the Mac OS version.

Oni Update at Oni Central
Halo Update at Rampancy.net
Microsoft (add to watch list)
Bungie Studios (add to watch list)
Halo: Combat Evolved (add to watch list)


Jinn Site Update
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Recently, the web page of the hotly anticipated Myth II total conversion Jinn received a face-lift. Along with new shots, concept art and additions to the character page, the site also sports three new screen shots; the page notes that these will be the last screen shots posted, which may be a cryptic way of saying that this mod is close to release.


Jinn is an entirely new solo game for Myth II: Soulblighter, with several multiplayer maps included. Featuring all new characters, maps and textures, this total conversion is the work of the Vista Cartel, makers of many memorable Myth II add-ons such as the famous If I Had a Yeti... map and the graphics editor Amber. Check out the Jinn web site for more information and the Vista Cartel site for some of their amazing maps. When this TC arrives, the best (and most likely first) place you will find it is at The Mill.

The Mill
Jinn
Vista Cartel



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Baldur's Gate II Screenshots Posted
6:00 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

If you thought Baldur's Gate was a beautiful game, wait until you see the Baldur's Gate II screenshots Mac Baldur posted. The level of detail in Baldur's Gate II is even more intricate and breathtaking than the original thanks to Infinity Engine improvements, 800 x 600 resolution, and 3D hardware acceleration support. MacPlay (née United Developers) will release Baldur's Gate II in early 2001 for the Macintosh.

Head over to Mac Baldur to check out these awesome screenshots.

MacPlay
Mac Baldur
MacPlay (add to watch list)
BioWare (add to watch list)
Baldur's Gate II (add to watch list)
Buy Baldur's Gate II


Mac Games News for Friday, November 3, 2000

Lieberman Talks to Stomped3:52 PM
Kawasaki Jet Ski Release Date Set3:24 PM
New Tame the Game at Mac Gamer2:46 PM
Mac Deus Ex Joins the IMG Network1:50 PM
F.A.K.K. 2 Reaches Mac Gamers1:41 PM
Spider Web's November Sadness11:51 AM
Sacrifice Updates Galore11:48 AM
Heroes III Complete Coming to the Mac11:46 AM
Quake 3: Fortress Updated7:35 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 3, 2000 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, November 2, 2000
Wednesday, November 1, 2000
Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Monday, October 30, 2000
Friday, October 27, 2000


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



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