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Friday, December 15, 2000

Rogue Spear Demo Released
7:29 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Macgamefiles.com today released the highly-anticipated demo of MacSoft's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear.

Rainbow Six is back...and tougher than ever. Due to the team's fantastic success with defusing major terrorist incidents, the international community has come to depend on Rainbow as the main force secretly protecting citizens world-wide. Thus, the story continues in Rogue Spear with the team's initial missions being business as usual: a hostage situation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an airplane hijacking. However, the team soon discovers that these crisis situations are actually related to the nefarious plots of not one, but two antagonists--the Russian Mafia and a Middle Eastern terrorist organization--groups who have, until now, been able to escape the jaws of international justice. Through a series of increasingly difficult missions, RAINBOW uncovers the terrorists' deadly master plan, just in the nick of time--to save the world again..


The demo clocks in at 54.3 MB and is available exclusively for a 24-hour period at Macgamefiles.com. Be sure to also check out our preview of Rogue Spear!

Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Sneak Preview
Download Rainbox Six: Rogue Spear at MGF

3DFX closes Shop
5:38 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

3D card maker 3dfx announced this afternoon that they would close their doors and sell their remaining holdings to NVidia for $112 million. $70 million in cash and 1 million shares of NVidia common stock will go to 3dfx in exchange for their remaining Voodoo 3 and Voodoo 5 cards. They will close their Juarez, Mexico factory immediately. Here's the press release:

SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 15, 2000 – NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain graphics related assets of 3dfx Interactive (Nasdaq: TDFX), a pioneer and a recognized leader in graphics technology. These graphics related assets include, but are not limited to, patents, pending patent applications, trademarks, brand names, and chip inventory related to the graphics business of 3dfx. In addition, 3dfx and NVIDIA have agreed to stay the patent infringement litigation between them through the closing of the transaction, at which time it will be jointly dismissed with prejudice.

Under the terms of the agreement, NVIDIA will pay to 3dfx a total consideration of $70 million in cash and 1 million shares of common stock. The asset acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to 3dfx shareholder approval, the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions. This acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of NVIDIA's fiscal year 2002.

Founded in 1994, 3dfx was an early pioneer in the 3D graphics industry and has been recognized for its ability to bring some of the world's finest games, educational content, interactive entertainment and media-rich business applications to life.
While this is not entirely surprising, it certainly is shocking to see a manufacturer who has been making quality products for some time dissolve. Our thoughts are with them.

Forum Topic: What do you think of 3dfx's demise?
NVIDIA To Acquire 3dfx Core Graphics Assets

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Mac DS9: The Fallen Update
11:50 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Collective has given us a quick update on the status of the Mac OS version of Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, the third-person action/adventure title recently released for the PC. Thankfully, the Collective had good news, as we are quite eager to get our hands on this one!

Here is their status update:

The game's pretty much done, we're just waiting on some sound libraries from
an external company to be finished and then the game will go into final
Excellent news, obviously, and we're very eager to see this title in action. For more details on this Simon and Schuster release, be sure and read our DS9: The Fallen preview.

Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Preview
The Collective
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

Sidrial for Mac OS?
11:21 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Fountainhead Entertainment, a company founded by Anna Kang (who recently became the wife of John Carmack) has slowly been releasing details on Sidrial, their first project. This will supposedly be the first commercial-length big-budget example of "machinima" -- animation created with a realtime video game engine, rather than by traditional cel animation methods or pre-rendered CGI.

Rather than run on a movie screen or a DVD player, Sidrial will run on a PC, "playing" in realtime (although not a game.) This of course begs the question: will Mac users get to view this breakthrough project?

Ann Andrews of Fountainhead was kind enough to reply to our inquiry about this possibility. Here is what she had to say:

Thank you for your interest in Sidrial. Though we have not made any formal
plans as of yet, we hope to be able to give the Mac audience a chance to
experience Sidrial in the near future. We would be more than happy to
contact you should we have further information on such a time.
This is an ecouraging reply, and we'll be sure to keep you informed of any developments. While Sidrial is still very secret at this time -- in fact they haven't even mentioned which graphics engine they are using -- there is a short trailer available at the Fountainhead web site. It is in Windows Media format, and thus you must have the Windows Media Player to view it; we had some trouble with the web page in IE 5. In any case, watch for more information on this project to be released in January, hopefully with news that a Mac OS version will be included.

Fountainhead Entertainment

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Gorky 17 Delayed
9:41 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Epic Interactive has informed us that their Mac OS port of the isometric RPG Gorky 17 will be delayed until March 2001. This delay was caused by a recent accident involving the main programmer behind the Mac port of the game.

Here is Epic's Thomas Steidling on the delay:

Gorky 17 is delayed for at least 2-3 months, because the programmer suffered
a serious motorcycle accident about 3 months ago and was unable to report to
us. A new programming team is now found and working on the game, but it is
obvious, that the game won´t be ready before march 2001.
We have not been informed that their other games, such as Earth 2140 have been affected by any delays. Obviously this is a tragic situation; our thanks to Epic for moving forward with the game, and our condolences to the programmer who was injured.

For more details on Gorky 17, revisit our article on Epic's lineup.

Details on Epic's Titles
Epic Interactive Web Site
Gorky 17

Devine on Mac Team Arena
9:20 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

id Software programmer Graeme Devine has updated his .plan file with news on the development of both Quake 3: Arena and the Mac version of the recently-released Quake 3: Team Arena. The final version of the 1.27 "point release" is due later today for Q3A, which will supposedly add a speed boost for Mac gamers as well as allowing "mod" authors to convert their modifications to run with Q3A once again; mods based on Q3A 1.17 or before must be updated to run with this new version.

According to Graeme, the Mac version of Team Arena is currently in testing. Here is an excerpt:

We're planning on releasing the final version of the 1.27 point release today. Barring any last minute
problems it should be out early this evening. This release is 100% compatible with Team Arena, and addresses
the great feedback we had from the 1.25 beta releases and Team Arena testing. The physics in the point release
(and Team Arena) are exactly the same as 1.17. More details will be forthcoming, we just wanted you all to
have a headsup to be prepared!

I released a test version of the Macintosh build of the Team Arena demo to a few volunteer testers last
night, and will continue to work with them on getting both the point release and Team Arena finalized. I'll
probably seed another test version out there tonight based on the first round of feedback I got today. The
first respones on this test version have been extremely positive.

The .plan closes with the note that "binaries should be posted shortly"; this seems to confirm our suspicions that there will be no boxed Mac OS version of Q3 Team Arena; instead, you must buy the PC version and then download the application from the id Software web site to run it. We'll bring you more details on the point release and Mac Team Arena in the near future.

Graeme Devine .Plan File at Blue's

Rockstar Oni Web Site Launched
8:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

In anticipation of the upcoming January release of this title, Rockstar has launched their version of an Oni web site, obviously focusing on the PlayStation 2 version of the game, which they developed.

The site, which depends on the Flash plug-in, features a variety of information and images as well as looped sound. There are details on the "backstory" behind this action/adventure as well as screen shots and movie trailers, all of which have been posted previously at other sites.

Oni will be published for Mac, PC and PS2 on January 27th by Gathering of Developers.

Oni Web Site by Rockstar

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MacNN on Oni Violence
8:09 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Games.macnn.com has written an editorial titled "The New Face of Gaming" in which they offer an opinion on the removal of blood from Bungie's third-person 3D action game, Oni, and the repercussions of the decision to do so. Here is an excerpt:

The removal of Oni's realistic violence is designed to make the game appeal to the widest possible demographic and thus increase sales. Oni is no longer a game meant solely for the Macintosh and Windows platforms, but is also Bungie's first foray into the world of console gaming with its PlayStation 2 version. The target market has changed and it makes good business sense to tone down its original vision in order to sell as many copies as possible.

While it goes without saying that a video game company needs to find a balance between what different customer groups want, there are always happy mediums. Considering the years of work put into Oni, an effort could have been made to have the game's excessive violence be something that could be parentally controlled via a password system or other available technology.
It should be noted that the article suggests that the weapons in the game have been 'toned down'; in our experience with the game (which goes back to early 1999) the weapons were always extremely weak, and were used mainly to stun your opponent -- even the rocket launcher. The point of such a weapons balance was of course to focus the action on hand-to-hand combat, which is where the game really shines. There is also no official confirmation from Bungie that the blood was removed solely for the purpose of broadening the sales base. For the rest of the article, be sure to head over to games.macnn.com.

MacNN: The New Face of Gaming
Bungie Studios
Gathering of Developers
Buy Oni

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No Mac Fallout: Tactics -- Yet
7:53 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

PCIGN has posted a transcript of a chat conducted with members of Micro Forte and Interplay involved in the development of Fallout: Tactics, a fascinating effort to bring realtime team-based combat to the Fallout universe. Fans of this series may remember it as a single-player turn-based RPG, but MicroForte is creating a unique title with realtime action and (obviously) a focus on tactics over twitch time.

During the course of the interview, someone (in this case IMG's own Charles George) asked the inevitable question: Will there be a Mac OS version of this title? There was a Mac version of the original Fallout, but Fallout 2 was not ported.

The answer was not as good as one can hope, but it did leave an open door. Here's an excerpt from the transcript:

Question for the fallout guys, Do you have any plans or desires to bring this game to the MacOS?

We'd love to bring it to the Mac but unfortunately the dev costs are too high. I suggest you keep badgering Interplay on the subject!

Personally, I would like to see it on both MacOS and Linux, but it's really up to management. MacPlay is a company doing some ports of our games now.

A familiar excuse, unfortunately. MacPlay is of course a new division of United Developers, and they are indeed porting several Interplay titles to the Mac OS including Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Star Trek: Starfleet Command II. Could Fallout: Tactics become a future port? Only time will tell. To learn more about this game visit the official web site.

Fallout: Tactics Chat Transcript
Fallout: Tactics Web Site

Contraband Disbans?
7:52 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Replying to correct a Usenet poster, Nate Trost of Logicware and Contraband Entertainment made a statement about the latter company's status. While we knew Andrew Meggs, the programmer behind the Mac port of FAKK2, had left the company some time ago, it now looks as if the company has completely disbanded. Here's Nate's post:

Contraband did SiN Gold for MacPlay (and also a good
chunk of Fighter Squadron, which isn't yet finished yet AFAIK but still
being handled internally at MacPlay). Majesty's Mac version was done by the
original developer, to the best of my recollection. Contraband isn't
actually doing any future development for MacPlay, or anyone else for that
matter (kind of difficult when there are zero employees). Burger Bill and
Chris now work at MacPlay.

Nate Trost

Linoleum Software

MacPlay has been extremely quiet about who is actually working on the ports of their major titles. While it's sad to hear of a Mac porting company breaking apart, it's good that both Bill "Burger" Heineman and Chris Jacobson have found positions within MacPlay. We wish the best to Nate and the rest of the former Contraband staff on their future endeavors.

MacPlay Web Site
Contraband Entertainment Web Site

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Mac Baldur Spins a Tale
7:50 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Baldur's Gate is a game where magic and the impossible intersect, so it's no surprise the game lends itself so well to fan fiction. Mac Baldur, a fan site dedicated to the game, has just posted a new fan fiction piece entitled "Solitude and Security." Other stories include a vignette on Minsc entitled "Another Amnish Valley Sunday" and a series of stories starring Imoen by Pat O'Neal.

Mac Baldur not only encourages gamers to stop by and read their growing collection of fan fiction, but also look forward to readers submitting their own created work.

Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

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GameRanger to host SiNDay this Saturday
7:36 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

Australian Mac-gaming service, GameRanger, will be hosting an international event this Saturday called SiNDay with a talk with the developers behind the Mac version of SiN Gold, released earlier this week.

MacPlay, the Mac publishers and developers of SiN, and Ritual Entertainment,
the original developers of the PC game, will be making a special guest
appearance on GameRanger on this Saturday night (December 16) at 5pm PST /
8pm EST to promote the launch of the Mac version of the action first-person
shooter, SiN. There will be a moderated Q&A chat, prize giveaways, and the
exclusive release of the demo of SiN. There's even a chance to play the
guests at their own game!
So go out and grab a copy of SiN Gold and you could even take on the creators!

Sin Gold
Buy Sin Gold

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 14, 2000

Cortana.org Reappears4:04 PM
Summoner Screen Shots1:10 PM
Rogue Spear Preview, Demo Soon11:24 AM
Demo "mACROsTRANGE" Released11:11 AM
Simon the Sorcerer 2 Gold Soon11:08 AM
Dragon's Lair 3D Q&A10:38 AM
Monkey Island 4 Interview10:32 AM
Team Arena Preview9:34 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 14, 2000 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, December 13, 2000
Tuesday, December 12, 2000
Monday, December 11, 2000
Friday, December 8, 2000
Thursday, December 7, 2000

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