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Tuesday, November 14, 2000



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The Fallen Ships for PC, Mac Version Soon
8:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Simon & Schuster has sent out an announcement noting the PC version of their Star Trek title Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is shipping to retail stores immediately. This third-person shooter lets you play as one of three of the series' main characters; Worf, Kira, or Sisko. The Collective is using Epic's Unreal Tournament engine as the game's base, which should provide great graphics and immersive worlds. With the PC version finished, the only word on the Mac build is this:

The Macintosh version of The Fallen is on target for a December release. More news will be made available soon.
A month to get the Mac port up to speed is not entirely unrealistic, and as long as it gets here before Christmas, we're happy. We'll keep pestering S&S for more info on the Mac version and be sure to bring you any info we might find. Just in case you're new to this title or need more details, here are excerpts from the press release:
Simon & Schuster Interactive announced today that its highly anticipated CD-ROM game, "STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE (R): THE FALLEN," has shipped to retail (Windows(R) ME/98/95). THE FALLEN, which has been in development for two years, utilizes a heavily modified version of the Unreal(TM) Tournament gaming engine to produce a gaming experience that will take gamers into both the next chapter of Deep Space Nine and the future of interactive gaming...


STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE: THE FALLEN utilizes a state-of-the-art gaming engine called Unreal (TM) Tournament to power this massive computer game. Collective Studios has enhanced this engine and added their own proprietary technology to allow for numerous special effects not seen in other games.


For example, to move beyond the "lip flapping" that gamers have seen when characters speak in other games, Collective Studios has implemented technology to sync the character's mouth, eyes, nose and eyebrows in real time as they speak. This makes the characters much more life-like at all times - not just during cut scenes - and heightens the dramatic interaction between characters.


THE FALLEN also brings to gamers a sophisticated camera system that takes third-person perspective gaming to a higher plane, whether in close quarters or wide-open expanses. For example when a gamer is in a corner, the camera will switch to a first person perspective allowing the player to actually see through the character to get a clear view of the action.


Utilizing a revolutionary multiple camera system and pushing game design to the next level, THE FALLEN gives the player three unique and equally compelling single player experiences allowing the player to be Sisko, Worf or Kira in an intertwining and simultaneous storyline.

Keep your eye on IMG for more information about this title in the near future. With Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force due to ship any day, and DS9: The Fallen due within a month, this Winter is shaping up to be Trekkie nirvana.

Official Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Web Site
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen



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Update on Mac Red Faction
11:34 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

For some time we've been bringing you news of the upcoming first-person shooter Red Faction, a revolutionary title in development by Volition for Mac, PC and PS2. This shooter features a deep story line, amazing visuals and the unique Geo-Mod engine which allows you to blow gaping holes in walls and floors, collapse buildings by destroying their supports and even burrow tunnels into the ground.


However, one angle that has been lacking in coverage of this game is news on how the actual development of the Mac version is progressing. With the recent confirmation that the in-game level editor for Red Faction will most likely not make it into the Mac OS version, we felt it was time to get the real story on the progress of this title.


Alan Lawrance was quick to reply, offering the following update:

We haven't got a Mac version running yet... our lead platform is actually
the PS2, and most of our resources are going in that direction now. We are
planning to take advantage of the OpenGL work that Mark Allender will be
doing for the Mac version of Summoner, so we don't expect it to be too
difficult to get our Mac version running.
Red Faction is due for Mac, PC and PS2 in the first quarter of next year, perhaps as early as March. For more details, visit the web site.

Red Faction
Volition on Mac Red Faction Editor
GraphSim
Volition
Red Faction


Update on Freeverse Projects
10:22 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Board game fanatics Freeverse has previously mentioned a new game they are working on: Arcane Arena will be a game that is targeted towards deathmatch fans, believe it or not! Although there hasn't been much information revealed about this mysterious title, we contacted Colin Lynch Smith to try and discover more details about this game.


From what he revealed, we know the game is progressing well, and they are aiming at a possible Summer release. They have also been releasing updates for many of their titles (which can be found on Macgamefiles.com) and their bridge game will be making an appearance soon. Here is his reply to our query:

ARCANE ARENA is progressing nicely, from what I hear... (Ian and Steve
haven't actually let me see the game in a while because they want me to be
amazed and see it from an unbiased perspective once all the graphics are in
:-)


We're still a looong way from release. Next Summer? maybe.


We've been releasing updates to the card games, Spades and Euchre are out
with Hearts and Set-back almost ready. Our Bridge game is almost finished
and that should be popular since there are a lot of bridge players out
there.


We've also got an update for Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab in the works.

As soon as we get an update on Arcane Arena we will let you know; in the meantime you can check out their card and board games found on Macgamefiles; just type "Freeverse" in the Search field and hit return for an extensive and up-to-date list.

Macgamefiles.com
Freeverse


Myth III Details
9:36 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A recent article at Gamecenter entitled "Not Dead Yet: Eight Upcoming Real-time Strategy Games Examined" doesn't contain much of interest to Mac gamers, unfortunately; but it does contain a momentary mention of Myth III, the 'mythical' sequel to the popular Bungie series. Since this licence was acquired by Take Two Interactive as part of the Microsoft buyout of Bungie, not much has been heard of their plans for this franchise. This short mention doesn't contain any details, but it does confirm some murmurings IMG has heard from within the industry.


Here's an excerpt from this long article:

Take 2 Interactive has three separate RTS products under contract, including Bungie's Myth III, Rockstar's Wild Metal Country, and PopTop Software's Tropico. Myth III will again feature a fully realized, rotateable 3D environment and an intricate military component, two reasons why the series has been so successful with gamers worldwide.
While we can't even speculate what Wild Metal Country would be about (some bizarre clash of antithetical musical tastes?) this brief mention of Myth III might be enough to jump-start what is often claimed to be a flagging community. While the number of new submissions and downloads at IMG Network member site The Mill is still strong, Myth and Myth II does seem to be confined to an audience of hard-core fans of the game. Perhaps the emergence of more details about Myth III will light a fire under this loyal fan community.


The rest of the article is an interesting read, though alarmingly few of the games mentioned are destined for the Mac OS. Gamecenter's definition of real-time strategy is a little loose (we'd classify Tropico as an empire-building game) but they do cover a large number of games coming down the pipe. One interesting tidbit is their mention of the fact that there are three Sims games in the works from Maxis: Simsville, an online massively-multiplayer game, The Sims 2, a sequel to the original, and Sims: The Next Generation, another iteration of the Sim City series. Considering the popularity of both the Sim City and Sims titles on the Mac OS, one or more of these titles could be destined for the Mac OS as well.


No release date is given for Myth III, but we have a suspicion there will be more revelations about this project in the near future. What we have heard so far will definitely raise a few eyebrows when the curtain of secrecy is lifted.

The Mill
Take Two Interactive
Article on Upcoming RTS at Gamecenter



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Cro-Mag Rally Tops Downloads, Patch Soon
8:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In case you missed it, yesterday marked the official release of the Cro-Mag Rally demo to an anxious Mac-only audience. In just 24 hours, the demo has been downloaded from Macgamefiles over 5,300 times! This is easily one of the fastest-growing demos in MGF history in terms of popularity, and those who have tried it know why. Be sure to post your own user rating on the MGF page once you've downloaded it yourself.


We chatted a bit with Pangea president Brian Greenstone this morning, who seemed very happy about the game's welcome by the Mac community. He noted that a 1.03 patch should be out this Friday, fixing a few problems people have been finding with the demo. Apparently some debugging code was accidentally left in, causing some errors for those without Macsbug installed. The only other complaint about the game seems to be the control sensitivity, especially with the Gravis Gamepad Pro controller. If you find the controls a bit touchy, try using the keyboard, which Greenstone admits is his preferred configuration.


Cro-Mag Rally is still set to ship out on Thursday, so be sure to hurry and get your pre-orders in now. Those who do pre-order will receive free, next-day shipping within the US.

Download Cro-Mag Rally (40 MB)
Cro-Mag Rally Web Site
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally


Oni Loses Blood?
6:00 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

When Adrenaline Vault posted 15 new shots of Bungie's Oni yesterday, which featured a radical overhaul of the visual elements of the game, some members of the fan base asked one question: where are the post-combat splatters of blood that covered the ground in the earlier screen shots? Those discussing this issue on the Oni Central forums noted that the ESRB rating of the game mentioned animated violence, but no gore. So, will virtual bloodshed be a option, as it was in the Myth series, or is it gone for good?


The omnipresent Matt Soell of Bungie Studios stopped by the Oni Central forums to answer this query. He had this to say:

Yeah, blood's out.


-Matt

This is an interesting development that could be either a concession to the Playstation 2 version of the game or to the European publisher Take Two Interactive's personal tastes. In any case, a bloodless Oni will be published Gathering of Developers, the games publisher will release the game for MacOS, PC, and Playstation 2 January 29th.

Oni Central
Oni Preview



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Avernum 2 Interview
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GamesMania interviewed RPG guru Jeff Vogel from Spiderweb Software about his latest project, Avernum 2. Like its predecessor Avernum, the title is actually a remake of the original Exile series (in this case Exile II) and the third in the series will also be remade after Avernum 2 is released. As usual, the game will be out for the Mac OS first, followed several months later by the Windows version. The interview discusses the new game, Jeff's goals when designing RPGs, and his tendency towards keeping the games' requirements manageable. Here's a clip:

GM: In an age where a lot of the new RPG's being released have heavy system requirements, it's nice to play a quality RPG that only requires 20 MB of hard drive space. Do you make a conscious effort to keep the system requirements low? Do you think you've reached a wider audience because of it?


JV: Absolutely, and absolutely. Most of the game industry seems to have forgotten that most ordinary folks have neither the time nor the resources to buy a new, buffed out gaming PC every two years. I always write my games to be able to run on the PC, which was popular 3 or 4 years previous.

With the game only requiring a PowerPC with 12MB of free RAM, you can bet more people will be able to enjoy Avernum 2 than would be able to play a memory-hungry monster such as Diablo II. Check out the rest of the Q&A for more info on the game, which should be available in time for Christmas. Also, head over to Macgamefiles to try out the demo of Avernum, if you haven't already.

GamesMania Avernum 2 Interview
IMG Review of Avernum
Download Avernum 1.0.2 (7.1MB)
Avernum 2 Web Site
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 2
Buy Avernum 2



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New Warcraft III Info
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard has recently updated their "Scroll of Knowledge" (their fancy name for a FAQ) with many new questions regarding their latest massive foray into the RTS world, Warcraft III. Some goodies revealed by the update include the fact that they will try for as close to a simultaneous Mac/PC release as possible, and the only Mac-friendly 3D API to be supported will be OpenGL (no Glide support). If you're looking for details on this title, this is definitely a great resource to check out.


If you need a simple introduction to the game you're also in luck, as GameSpy has posted a new preview of the title. They cover the game's transition in style of play as the team shifted away from the RPG elements that were initially planned. There is also some information on units and heros which will be included. Here's a quick excerpt:

What is fascinating about the 3D framework they are now using is that 3D units and building now have more character. Horses kick up dust and buildings under construction literally unfold before your eyes. While there may be some frustration at losing the cooler 3D aspects, the way the game is presented is far from a disappointment.
Read through the rest of the preview if you're interested in this RTS/RPG. Warcraft III is expected in the second half of 2001, but as with all games (and especially Blizzard titles), it could very likely be delayed.

Official Warcraft III FAQ
GameSpy Preview of Warcraft III
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


Mac Games News for Monday, November 13, 2000

NVIDIA's New Portable Chip is Mac-ready2:18 PM
ATI Radeon, 3dfx Voodoo5 Comparison1:42 PM
New Oni Images, Update12:40 PM
IMG at Capitol Mac11:51 AM
Mac Halo Launches11:15 AM
Amazing Deal on 4x4 Evolution11:13 AM
Blizzard: Behind the Scenes9:19 AM
MacBGEditor v1.0.1 and Source Code Released9:01 AM
Links LS 2000 Finished, Demo Soon!8:48 AM
Matrix Mod for Deus Ex8:47 AM
Unreal Fortress Released8:20 AM
Cro-Mag Rally Released, Demo Available8:17 AM
Mac Summoner Update8:12 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 13, 2000 on one page


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