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Friday, November 10, 2000

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AvP Update from Fox
10:11 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While patient Mac users hold out hope for an eventual release of the unique shooter Aliens versus Predator, there is an update of sorts on the game's status. Our last contact earlier this week with the lead programmer on the project, Bill "Burger" Heineman, confirmed this title was 'final candidate' and was in quality testing at Fox Interactive. And now, a helpful IMG forum reader pointed us to a post on the Fox message boards with some more news from the company directly about the Mac version of this game. Here's what a spokesperson from Fox said in regards to AvP's release:

Hopefully youll be playing it (on) Thanksgiving, but we dont really have any exact date yet. It was scheduled for October 20, but obviously, the date has been pushed back. It is still scheduled for sometime this year, but for now it is TBD. Keep checking our website at www.foxinteractive.com or the AVP site www.avpnews.com for further updates.
TBD, we assume, means "to be determined." While we certainly hope they can meet the goal of Thanksgiving, we expect at the least to see this game in stores before Christmas time. Read through our preview of the game for more information on why we're still excited about this much-delayed Mac port.

Fox Interactive Forum Thread
IMG Preview of Aliens versus Predator
IMG News: Quick AvP Status Check
Fox Interactive
Aliens vs. Predator: Gold

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Heavy Metal FAKK 2 Bug Fix
12:03 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

Ritual's Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 has just reached stores for the Mac OS, and developer Andew Meggs of Contraband Entertainment is already chasing down and squashing a few remaining bugs. Some players have experienced a problem with the 'chainsword' weapon, the nasty sword-meets-chain saw number seen in the screen shot on the right. This patch supposedly fixes the problem, and a more complete patch is expected soon. Here is the message Andrew posted on Troubleshooting forum:

Some people are reporting problems when using the chainsword in Heavy Metal FAKK 2. This modified executable may help. This is not an official patch. It has not gone through testing or been blessed by Gathering, Take 2, or Ritual. It's just something that came out of my development system about five minutes ago, but since this problem is preventing some people from playing the rest of the game, I'm making it available immediately as a sort of pre-release test of a possible future patch.

To use this, download and decompress it, put it in the "Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2" folder, and run it instead of your normal "Heavy Metal" game program. If anyone is having problems with the game hanging that aren't fixed by this, PLEASE email me at insect@antennahead.com.

Grab this patch right away if you're playing FAKK2 on your Mac; however, as this is a beta patch, we don't recommend using it unless you experience this specific problem. The updated application will NOT work with the demo version of FAKK2, which does not feature the chainsword in any case.

Andrew also recently reported to Usenet that he was able to optimize the game itself right before release, resulting in a 15% speedup from what you experience in the demo version. Some users have reported drop-outs in the ambient sound on the first two levels of the demo; we'll let you know if future updates address this problem as well.

Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 Preview
Mac FAKK2 1.02b Test Update
Andrew Meggs' Post on Troubleshooting Forum
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

3dfx FSAA Demos
11:37 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

VoodooExtreme mentioned recently that 3dfxgamers.com, a site created by graphics card manufacturer 3dfx, has updated their page of Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing 'demos.' These screen shot comparisons and animated demos illustrate the difference in image quality you can expect when enabling FSAA with a 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 in OpenGL and Glide games.

If you've read our review of this card, you know that we had an extremely frustrating experience capturing screen shots with the card due to the limitations of the driver. As a result, we don't feel our review quite captures what 4x FSAA can really accomplish; a visit to the FSAA demo page at 3dfx is highly recommended if you are curious about how this card can improve image quality at low resolutions.

However, we are compelled to note that 3dfx's demonstrations are not entirely valid comparisons; they compare 640x480 shots with and without FSAA, while they should be comparing 1024x768 or greater without FSAA to 640x480 with 4x turned on. As our tests of the V5 reveal, benchmarks taken at 1024x768 without FSAA are almost identical to 4x at 640x480 in many games.

In any case, even with this added grain of salt, 3dfx's demos of FSAA are well worth checking out for a better illustration of FSAA than our screen shots could provide. Hopefully a future revision of the Mac drivers will allow screen and movie captures, so we can provide better examples for you, from games that are actually available for the Mac OS.

3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI Review
FSAA Demonstration Page at 3dfxgamers.com

MacMAME 0.37b9 Released
10:48 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacMAME is an incredibly diverse emulator, emulating almost every popular classic arcade game known--and many newer titles as well! By accepting contributions from outside developers, it has extended to support the emulation of over 2,000 arcade titles. Recently this emulator was updated to match the DOS version of the game, the core development platform. Here are details on the update:


Version 0.37b9:

In sync with the DOS 0.37 beta 9 build.

Language files in Mac text format are now recognized (this is in addition to DOS text format). Also, MacMAME will look for and use an optional file called "default.lng" in the "Misc Support Files" folder in the event that you do not specify a different one in the front-end.

There are also a slew of new games supported with this release, so be sure and read the documentation that comes with it.

Download MacMAME 0.37b9 (2.7 MB)

Worms Armageddon Axed
10:26 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

As September turned into October and then November, two important games for Mac gamers missed their release dates. Worms: Armageddon and Driver, very different but equally tongue-in-cheek action games, were scheduled for release in November; however, there is no sign of either title.

To clear up this situation, we contacted publisher MacSoft about when they expected these games to ship. Unfortunately for Worms Armageddon, the reason was not a simple delay, but a full cancellation. Apparently, for reasons as yet unknown to us, MacSoft scrapped the game; we do believe however that this was caused by delays during the porting of the game. Thankfully the news on Driver and Rouge Spear was slightly more positive. The MacSoft representative had this to say:

To give you an idea on anticipated ship dates, Driver and Rogue Spear are expected to ship in early December and Worms Armageddon has been cancelled.
Ouch. At least Driver and Rouge Spear should arrive in time for Christmas. Still, the cancellation of Worms Armageddon hurts both fans of the original and those looking for the strange destruction and mayhem this title was famous for.


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Rune Chat Transcript
10:19 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

3D Action Planet has posted a transcript of a recent chat with members of the Human Head team about their work on the 3rd-person Viking melee combat game, Rune. A good portion of the development group was present to answer questions, including Tim Gerritsen, Ted Halsted, Paul MacArthur, and Jim Sumwalt. Quite a variety of topics are actually discussed, though in the usual chaotic IRC style of chat. Even though Rune was just recently released on the PC, there's already talk of a possible sequel. Here's what the team had to say:

Are there any plans for a Rune2? If so, will it continue the story of the first?

HH-Oryx: There is definitely a lot of interest here in continuing the Rune story. It has been roughed out...and was when we first started Rune.

HHTgerr: We are already collecting a lot of ideas for Rune2, though I can't say when it will be made. We have a few other projects in the works beforehand. Can't say what they are yet...publicly at least.

The Mac version of Rune should be on its way out the door very soon. If you are looking for more details on this game, be sure to give our just-posted preview a look.

IMG Preview of Rune
3D Action Planet Rune Transcript
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

Mac Monopoly Casino in Beta
10:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has quickly updated their site to note that Hasbro title Monopoly Casino is now in Beta testing. This game features a number of casino games such as slot machines, poker and blackjack, and then adds a certain 'Monopolized' twist to them. Here's the status update from Westlake:

Monopoly Casino has gone beta and is in full testing. The game looks great, and has all features working including networking (Mac to PC even!).
The title is one of the many 'value titles' to be published by MacSoft. We look forward to seeing it out soon, thanks to the quick work of the good people at Westlake. Head to the official Hasbro web site for more information on Monopoly Casino.

Official Monopoly Casino Web Page
Westlake Update on Monopoly Casino

Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Oni Fan Art Contest1:20 PM
Asterioids Revisited1:08 PM
MacGamer Visits Ambrosia9:20 AM
Another Look at DS9: The Fallen8:45 AM
Blizzard Under Attack8:39 AM
NWN Chat Reveals Mac Details6:00 AM
Oni Release Date6:00 AM
Westlake Releases UT 436 Patch6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 8, 2000 on one page

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