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Monday, December 4, 2000


Driver Demo Released!
8:01 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

MacSoft has released the long-awaited Driver demo on Monday. The demo features the "Getaway" mode in the streets of Miami, where you must evade hordes of pursuing police cars for as long as possible. The psychotically-agressive black and whites will attempt to disable your car by ramming it. Here are the system requirements for the 31.7 MB demo:

  • Mac running OS 8.6 or higher with a G3 or G4 processor

  • 64 MB RAM (w/128MB Virtual Memory)

  • 4 MB Rage Pro video card or better (includes any iMac Rev B or higher)

  • any iBook (provided they meet the RAM requirement)
  • In Driver, you play the role of Tanner, an undercover cop whose mission is to infiltrate an organized crime ring by being the "driver" for their criminal operations. This driving simulator was originally developed for the Playstation and was brought to the Macintosh by MacSoft. The game was recently declared golden master and is on store shelves now. For more information, check out IMG's preview of Driver.



    The Driver demo is now available for download at Macgamefiles.com.

    Driver Preview at IMG
    Download the Driver Demo (31.7 MB)
    MacSoft
    Reflections Interactive
    AberSoft
    Driver
    Buy Driver


    Pre-Order Driver for Under $24.00
    2:45 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Following the announcment that Driver had been declared golden master, many online retailers began taking pre-orders for the game. While IMG normally doesn't list deals, this one was too good to pass up.


    Onvia.com has Driver available for pre-order for a hair under $24.00. Also, they don't charge for tax or shipping. Although IMG isn't associated with Onvia in any way, they often have great deals on Macintosh products (such as the Voodoo 4/5 cards mentioned several weeks ago).

    Pre-Order Driver at Onvia.com



    Click to enlarge
    Ultima 7 Port in Progress
    2:01 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Helpful IMG reader Douglas A. Smith has pointed out a fascinating development in the world of open-source ports. The classic Origin Software RPG Ultima 7, a DOS-only title from the early 90s, has been ported to the Mac OS as well as Linux and Windows by a team of programmers. Called Exult, this port is still in the 'alpha' stages and lacks sound as well as other features, but its mere existence is a wonder to those of us who have had to resort to using Virtual PC to play these classic Origin titles by Lord British.


    Doug gave us a detailed report on his experiences with the Mac port, which of course requires the data files from the DOS version of the game in order to function. Here is part of his report:

    This port is alpha, so not everything is supposed to be working. But I
    set it up on my linux machine and my Mac, and was able to get Ultima7
    working without any problems, and play through the beginning scenes.
    The download provides you with the executable, and you must own
    Ultima7 to play, this is much like the port of the Hexen2, where you only
    get the program. On the Mac the site states that you have to install
    the game on a PC first and copy the files over. I found this not to be
    true, I could copy the Ultima7 zip file off the disk and uncompress using
    stuffit expander. Then I copied the 'STATIC' data directory into the exult
    download and Ultima7 started right up.


    They have not only ported Ultima7 to the Mac, but have improved on the
    original. Characters now move on a timer, so they don't jump all over as
    the computer speed increases. The game plays in a window, and you can
    set the size of the window in the config file. The original played in a
    320x200 window in DOS, the games looks great to be able to play it
    in a 800x600 window on the Mac.

    Thanks, Doug, for pointing out this great addition to the Mac RPG field. For those of you that snicker at the idea of playing a game from 1993, remember that Origin and Lord British have long been praised as the finest crafters of RPGs for their time. If you do manage to fish a copy of this classic out of a bargain bin somewhere, be sure and download this port-in-progress and give it a try; we're sure the programming team would appreciate some positive feedback on their efforts. Hopefully more of these PC-only classics will be ported in the future!

    Exult v0.90alpha1(382 K)
    Exult Web Site



    Click to enlarge
    Tropico Preview
    12:57 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Gamers.com has posted a short preview of Tropico, a unique empire-building sim due this Spring. This title from Pop Top, which will mark the fifth game published for the Mac OS by Gathering of Developers, puts the player behind the desk of a third-world dictator charged with bringing his developing country ino the 21st century. By using common economic controls such as taxes and zoning -- and less common methods, such as bribery, graft and execution -- you attempt to keep your populace happy while increasing the prestige of your country. Based on a stunning 3D engine (a modified version of the one used for Railroad Tycoon II) and featuring a unique character-driven plot and storyline, Tropico will certainly fulfill anyone's mad power fantasies.


    Gamers.com got a hands-on look at the game, and produced this report along with several new screen shots. Here is an excerpt:

    You can target an individual if they are too divergent to stay a citizen of your banana republic. Bribery might be the kindest punishment - other options include drafting them, arresting them, deporting them, declaring them a heretic, and "eliminating" them. Eliminating them in broad daylight is dangerous, so you might wait until they've wandered off towards a far distant workplace. But beware, if there's anyone employed as a journalist walking nearby, they'll take a picture and share it with the world. Also, each person you punish has a family who could become very unhappy. If enough people become incensed and you can?t please them or kill them in time, they?ll escape to the forest to live underground as rebels. You?ll begin to see red beret guerillas attacking your citizens and plotting your demise.
    This sim certainly sounds a little more 'hands-on' than the Sim City series. Watch for this title in the Spring, for Mac, PC and Sega Dreamcast. If you're interested in seeing Pop Top's earlier work, download the Railroad Tycoon II demo or read our review.

    Railroad Tycoon II Demo (70 MB)
    Railroad Tycoon II: The Second Century Review
    Tropico Preview at Gamers.com
    PopTop Software
    MacSoft
    Tropico
    Buy Tropico



    Click to enlarge
    Mac GLHexen 2 Update
    11:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Mac OS port of the open-source GLHexen2 has been updated, with patches available for both the demo and full versions of this classic shooter from Raven software.
    Version 0.8.1 fixes a few minor bugs found with the first release:


    • Fixed crash when trying to take a screenshot.
    • Fixed text file commandline parsing
    • Fixed mouse cursor still visible after closing InputSprocket dialog
    • Added workaround for z-buffer fighting issue on Radeon cards.

    If you already have the demo, just grab the 0.8.1 patch to update it. Or if
    you own a copy of the full PC game or expansion pack, download the new version
    of the respective application. Head over to Macgamefiles
    now to grab the updated versions.


    You will probably find Mac GLHexen 2 runs great on your machine (especially
    when compared with other FPS titles), but if you're unhappy with the game's speed, a new
    Performace Tips page might help. And if you're having more serious
    issues, read through the Troubleshooting page.

    GLHexen2 Troubleshooting Page
    GLHexen 2 Update (341k)
    pOx's Playhouse
    GLHexen2 Performance Tips Page
    MacPlay
    Raven Software
    HeXen II
    Buy HeXen II


    King of Dragon Pass T-shirts, Mugs
    11:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    All who have played the unique strategy game King of Dragon Pass have remarked upon one element of the game -- its remarkable hand-illustrated artwork. Now you can bring that artwork out of the digital realm and display it for all to see, as publisher A-Sharp is offering several images from the game emblazoned on coffee mugs, T-shirts and sweatshirts. Here is their press release:

    Award-winning artwork from the computer game King of Dragon Pass is
    now available on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and mugs.

    Associate Producer Elise Bowditch said, "Our players have been asking
    about the art since we released the game. We've chosen a couple
    pictures everyone is sure to recognize."


    T-shirts are available for $13.99 in white, $14.99 in ash grey, or
    $19.99 for long-sleeved; long-sleeved sweatshirts are $21.00. Mugs
    are $12.99 for small, or $13.99 for large. The designs are available
    for a limited time on the web only.

    Visit the web site for more details or to order, and be sure to read our review of KoDP for more information on this engrossing game. There is a demo available at Macgamefiles.com, if you are interested.

    A-Sharp Software
    King of Dragon Pass Review



    Click to enlarge
    Rune Ships for Mac
    10:23 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Human Head Studios and Gathering of Developers have announced that the Macintosh version of their Viking action game Rune is now shipping. Thanks to the speedy work of Westlake Interactive, Mac users can now play this acclaimed title over a month after the PC version shipped. Here are excerpts from the press release:

    Rune Storms its Way Onto the Macintosh


    Viking-Inspired 3D Action Mac Game Ships to Stores Nationwide

    Dallas, TX, December 04, 2000 - Game developer Human Head Studios
    announced

    today that the Macintosh version of Rune TM, its Norse
    mythology-inspired 3D

    action-adventure game, has shipped to stores nationwide. Rune
    utilizes an

    enhanced version of Epic Games' Unreal Tournament game engine and
    features

    amazingly life-like animations, a detailed weapon system and a unique
    combat

    system. The Macintosh version was co-developed with Mac specialists at
    Westlake

    Interactive. Published by developer-driven computer and video game
    publisher

    Gathering of Developers and distributed by Take-Two Interactive,
    Rune is

    available for a suggested retail price of $39.99.


    "Mac gamers have been looking forward to the release of Rune since we
    first

    announced its development," said Tim Gerritsen, business development
    director of

    Human Head Studios. "Westlake has done a tremendous job of bringing Rune to
    the

    Mac and we are very excited to deliver the game to the loyal Mac
    gaming

    community."

    Steeped in a blend of Norse mythology and high-fantasy, Rune transports
    gamers

    into the Dark Ages and recreates a period in history when the Vikings were
    the

    conquerors of a cold, dismal world, characterized by savagery, stark
    religion

    and the sword. Rune places gamers in the role of Ragnar, a rugged young
    Viking

    warrior, who is challenged to fight off creatures from Nordic mythology
    and

    uncover an evil perpetrator who is annihilating the Viking population.

    Rune for the Macintosh Features Include:

  • 43 single player levels.
  • 15 unique weapons including swords, axes and bashing weapons each with
    its
    own unique magic power that can be unlocked during play.
  • Enhanced version of the Unreal Tournament engine which supports a
    skeletal
    animation system, a new particle effects system, new melee combat
    focused Artificial Intelligence (AI), an improved version of the
    Unreal Editor and an enhanced shadowing system.
  • Multiplayer DeathMatch and Team DeathMatch modes.
  • 21 different multiplayer characters for players to choose and use.
  • Seven custom-built multiplayer levels.
  • Five multiplayer mutator modes, including Low Gravity, No PowerUps,
    Fatboy,
    Reduced Damage, and Left-Handed.

  • Customizable maplists and rule settings.
  • Dozens of awesome creatures, each with their own custom AI created from
    a
    mixture of Viking mythology and the minds of Human Head Studios.
  • Intuitive combat system allows player to alter types of attacks, take
    weapons from their defeated opponents and use their enemies'
    dismembered
    limbs as weapons.
  • Visual inventory system and on-screen weapons display allows the
    character
    to see available weapons at a glance.
  • Five distinctly different settings ranging from a Mountain Fortress, to
    the
    Deepest Cavern to the pits of Hell's domain.
  • So if you've already preordered, you can expect to see your copy arrive very soon. A demo of Rune should be out later this week, so be sure to stay tuned to IMG and Macgamefiles for its announcement.

    Gathering of Developers
    Rune Preview
    Gathering of Developers
    Human Head Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Rune



    Click to enlarge
    Riddle of the Sphinx is Gold
    9:46 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    The Adrenaline Vault has noted that DreamCatcher has announced that their latest adventure title Riddle of the Sphinx has gone "gold" and will be shipped to stores by the end of December. RotS is a classic Myst-style adventure game with stunning 3D graphics and animations, intriguing puzzles and a setting in exotic Egypt. Fans of the title Traitor's Gate, which was praised for its amazing realism and attention to detail, will find more of the same here, with extremely accurate reproductions of the ruins of the Ancient Egyptian cultures.


    This hybrid release features modest system requirements. Here is a description of the game from the DreamCatcher web site:

    Violent sand storms have once again covered most of the Sphinx and Great Pyramids. After years of digging, noted archaeologist Sir Gil Blythe Geoffreys uncovers a secret chamber overlooked for centuries. Geoffreys' first and only trip reveals an ancient, brittle papyrus scroll. After rough translation, he realizes he's found the 'Rosetta Stone' of the Sphinx. Finally, Gil thought, the riddle of the Sphinx... solved!


    Sealed with a thick resin, the scroll bears an indiscernible hieroglyph. Unfortunately, after breaking the scroll's seal and deciphering it's mysterious contents, Geoffreys realizes he's unleashed an ancient curse; shrouding those who fail to heed its warning in certain death. Realizing he is doomed, Geoffreys sends for you, his closest friend and colleague.


    Now, with the help of Gil's carefully hidden notes and translation of the scroll, it's up to you to solve the Riddle. However... the scroll has dubiously disappeared.


    Your first responsibility will be to locate the missing scroll. Then, using the tattered scroll with Gil's translation, you'll be on the way to solving the Riddle of the Sphinx!


    Features


    • Hours of challenging game play
    • Complex puzzles and subtly hidden clues to challenge your skills
    • Beautifully rendered 3-D environments scenes with meticulous attention of detail
    • Full-Screen (640x480) 16-bit 3-D Graphics & Digital Video
    • Full-Screen, Interactive 360 Panoramas (QTVR)
    • An Original, Richly Orchestrated Egyptian Soundtrack
    • Cosed-Captioned feature for the Hearing Impaired
    For more information, visit the official web site. Watch for this title in stores at the end of December.

    The Adrenaline Vault
    Riddle of the Sphinx
    DreamCatcher Games
    Dreamcatcher Interactive
    Riddle of the Sphinx



    Click to enlarge
    Mac Baldur Posts Icewind Dale Screenshots
    8:07 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

    As Mac gamers patiently await the arrival of Icewind Dale for the Mac platform, PC gamers will soon be seeing the Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter expansion pack. Much like Tales of the Sword Coast did for Baldur's Gate, Heart of Winter will expand Icewind Dale with new monsters, new spells, new areas to explore and support for 800x600 resolution.



    Although Heart of Winter hasn't officially been announced by Mac Play as of yet, the popularity of the series among Mac gamers should be able to support bringing the pack to the Mac platform.



    Head to Mac Baldur to check out these new pics.

    Mac Baldur
    MacPlay
    Icewind Dale
    Buy Icewind Dale


    Former Bungie Employee to Form New Company
    8:06 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

    The Marathon Story Page received an eMail from one Nathan Bitner, former Producer and Creative Director for Halo from Bungie Software, this morning stating that he was in the process of setting up a new games company.


    The name of the company is currently unoffical, as it is awaiting copyright information from his lawyer, however he is currently operating under the code name Island Four.


    In his press release he states that :

    I believe this software company, already loaded with several expert and published writers, will move gaming - and perhaps reading - in a direction that it has never taken. I have secured writers because I believe them to be an equally important creative force in this business as are artists and programmers.


    I hope to use both my previous experience as a Producer, Creative Developer, and Level Designer, as well as the contacts I have already made within the industry (especially since I have left Bungie Software Products Corporation).


    Bungie's people, products, and personality were and are spectacular and I choose to emulate that type of outlook, rather than alienate it. The most important part of anyone's job is quite simple: to have fun.


    Nathan was a prominent member in the Bungie community before, during and after his time at Bungie Software, and it is expected that "Island Four" will release bi- or even multi-platform software.

    Island Four press release
    Marathon Story Page



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    Mac Oni to Go Gold Soon
    8:05 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

    Oni's coming, to prove this Matt Soell of Bungie Studios posted his weekly update to Oni Central. This weeks update goes over the status of the Mac version, the demo, and the fact that this will be the last update. Here's part of the update,

    "- We thought Oni for Mac was ready to GM earlier this week, but at the last minute we had to fix a little CarbonLib problem. Once that's done and the installer is rebuilt, we should be ready to roll.


    - Some of y'all have been asking about a demo. Lucky for you, so has Gathering. We're helping them put one together now. I haven't had a chance to talk to any Oni folk this week so I have no idea when it will come out. (Nor do I know if there will be a PS2 demo that's Rockstar's decision.) But the important question finally has an answer: Yes, Virginia, there will be an Oni demo.

    With such a small problem the mac version should go gold within the week and a demo should appear soon after. When the demo does appear you can be sure to find it on MacGamefiles.com


    Unfortunately all Oni news today is not good news. Chris Butcher, the Bungie fan turned Bungie employee dropped a note on the Rampancy.net Forums. informing everyone that Oni will not run on stock biege G3s. He had this to say,

    "oni will not run on the default video card included with the beige G3 series. you will have to get an expansion 3D card. sorry, we tried. :("
    Thankfully PCI graphic cards are extremely cheap and powerful right now. Gathering Of Developers will release Oni on January 29th for Mac, PC, and Playstaion 2.

    Oni Web Site
    10 new Oni shots at IMG
    Rampancy.net
    Oni Central
    Bungie Studios
    Gathering of Developers
    Oni
    Buy Oni



    Click to enlarge
    WaterRace Update, Demo Soon
    8:03 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

    We received an eMail from French Touch this morning concerning their forthcoming epic, WaterRace, which is currently a few days from release. The demo has been tested fully, and is due to be released in an international form within a day or two.


    Until that time, you can download some new goodies from their website, including the main WaterRace theme tune in MP3 format, a set of new screenshots and a short movie of the DragBoat powering around a Naval Base at speeds approaching 240km/hour!


    WaterRace is currently in duplication, and until it is offically release you can preorder it for $27 plus $5 shipping and handling. The normal price will be $34 plus shipping and handling, so get the 18% saving as soon as possible!


    WaterRace will be available on CD, which will contain English, French and German versions of the game, and a set of audio CD tracks of the music, so you can listen to WaterRace music while driving to work! It will also come with a multi-lingual printed user manual.

    First Look : WaterRace
    French Touch Web Site
    WaterRace Web Site
    French Touch
    WaterRace


    Graeme Devine on Mac Team Arena Demo
    8:02 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, id programmer Graeme Devine updated this .plan file information regarding the status of Mac Team Arena demo and the final point release for Quake 3: Arena. The PC demo was released two weeks and the Mac version was promised the week after. Well, last week has come and gone, with no Team Arena demo in signt, Graeme Devine explains:

    Where is the Mac build!


    I've been getting a bunch of emails on this lately. I was waiting on Apple to publicly release OpenGL 1.2.1 on www.apple.com/opengl and through software update, but it looks like that's going to be a bit, so I'm reverting back to linking with OpenGL 1.1.2. Both the Team Arena demo and the final point release will be released for Mac OS 8.6/9.04 and Mac OS X PB.


    The Mac OS X build really shows off the new OS nicely. Building between Classic and X is really really easy.


    I'm finalizing the QVM compiler now for the PPC. My recent battle cry at the office has been pretty much several four letter words followed by "PPC assembly code sucks". If anyone has some good pointers on books or websites besides my coffee stained "PPC Assembly for Intel programmers" and the tortured Motorola Specs I'd appreciate it.

    Hopefully, the demo and point release (which supposedly contains a dramatic speed boost) will be released very soon. Team Arena is an add-on pack for Quake 3: Arena which features several new multiplayer modes such as Harvester and Overload. It is scheduled for release on the Macintosh and PC platforms in December.


    In other Team Arena news, Id Software has released a 20 MB movie showing off the new graphics and backgrounds in the expansion pack.

    Download Team Arena Movie (20 MB)
    Graeme Devine's .plan


    Mac Games News for Friday, December 1, 2000

    Planetscape Conquest 1.6 Released5:14 PM
    In-Depth Oni Preview at MacNN3:54 PM
    WarCraft III Preview11:34 AM
    Heroes III Complete Pre-Order11:20 AM
    FAKK2 Multiplayer Still Coming9:45 AM
    StarFleet Command II Preview9:39 AM
    Making Giants Q&A8:41 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, December 1, 2000 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Thursday, November 30, 2000
    Wednesday, November 29, 2000
    Tuesday, November 28, 2000
    Monday, November 27, 2000
    Friday, November 24, 2000


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



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