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Friday, December 22, 2000



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Oni Demo Released
4:30 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Late last night, Bungie released the long awaited Oni demo, just as Matt Soell promised earlier this week. After an astounding amount of hype and a seemingly endless development period, Mac gamers will finally get a taste of what was being cooked up in the dungeons of Bungie for the past three years. To give you an idea of how long we've waited to see this game completed, IMG did a hands-on preview of the game in early Summer 1999!


The Oni demo includes a training level to help you get accustomed to the controls and the various moves your alter-ego Konoko can perform, as well as levels one and four from the full game. There is also an anime-style animated introduction.


System requirements are not listed in the readme file, but you will need a G3 or G4 processor, 128 MB of real RAM, and a 3D video card to play the demo. Also, it seems that a two-button mouse is required, as there is no way to simulate a right-button click. Bungie does include a list of known issues though:

[All Systems] Animated cut scenes are choppy and audio slurred. This may be caused by low RAM or hard drive space, try freeing up hard drive space to fix.


[OSX Beta] Mouse tracking is bound at the screen edge due to the lack of Input Sprocket support. If you run Oni in "classic" mode then this problem is not present.


[Microsoft Intellimouse] The Intellimouse control panel may conflict with Oni, causing loss of mouse control; disabling the Intellimouse control panel may fix the problem.


[ATI Rage Pro Graphics Card] Some graphic elements may not draw with the proper transparency due to hardware limitations of this graphics card. This may include certain particle effects and UI elements.


[Rev A iMac, 1st Generation beige G3 PowerMac] These systems come standard with the ATI Rage IIc graphics card, which is not sufficient to run Oni. Upgrading to a 3Dfx VoodooII / ATI Rage 128 or better will allow you run Oni on these systems.

In my limited testing, I discovered a couple of other quirks in the demo. When I attempted to change the game resolution from 640x480 to 800x600, I would lose keyboard and mouse functionary, which required a hard reboot. Disabling Microsoft's IntelliPoint extensions did not solve the problem. [Update: To change resolutions successfully, select the desired resolution, then immediately hit the return key. The game will quit and will run at the selected resolution upon relaunch.]


Also, remapping your keys can only be done by editing the "key_config.txt" file in the Oni Demo directory. Make sure you remember your new keys, because the game constantly refers to the original key layout. For users of mice with more than two buttons, use the words "mousebutton#" (where # is a number) to assign a key to other mouse buttons.


Other than those minor oddities, the game is enjoyable and chock full of martial arts mayhem. The two year-old-graphics engine has a very unique style and can certainly keep up with modern game engines. The 75.5 MB demo is well worth the download.


Oni is Bungie's anime-inspired martial arts action game, which is now the property of Take Two Interactive and Gathering of Developers. It will be simultaneously released for Macintosh, PC, and Playstation 2, in late January/early February. [Update: MacGameFiles now has three mirrors listed for the demo, so if you had trouble before be sure and try again.]

Download Oni Demo (75.5 MB)
IMG Forum: Oni Demo Thoughts?
Bungie Studios
Gathering of Developers
Oni
Buy Oni


New Deus Ex Maps and Mods
4:35 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Mac Deus Ex, an Inside Mac Games Network site, is spreading the Christmas cheer a little early this weekend. MDX just released 5 new maps and 3 new mods for use with the Macintosh version of Deus Ex. From mountainous peaks to underground worlds, the maps add new environments to Deus Ex, while the mods add new weapons and augmentations. Here is Mac Deus Ex's webmaster Robert Baird with more info:


    ...Out of the maps you've got several to choose from, all are excellent. You'll find the recent "Dock Side" multiplayer map, a conspiring "MJ12 Infiltration" map, a towering "Mountain" map, a Japanese "Salonika Tower" map (I don't even know what Salonika means!), and a topsy-turvy "Underground World" map. Out of the Mods there is the Warzone mod that completely overhauls the weapons system in Deus Ex, and the UC mod which is a total conversion of the augmentations within Deus Ex. The "Stun Rifle" mod electrically charges a bullet as it exits the sniper rifle, allowing you to shock unsuspecting victims...



As an added bonus for low-banwidth users, all 8 files (adding their sizes together) come in under 1MB. Head on over to Mac Deus Ex for more information and download locations.

Mac Deus Ex



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Shadowbane Preview
1:05 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Wolfpack Studios' upcoming online RPG Shadowbane will be the first 3D massively-multiplayer title to reach our platform, so obviously we await its arrival with much anticipation. Yet as the previews of this title reveal, it is no mere Everquest or Ultima Online clone; instead, it is an ambitious attempt to move the genre forward and really evolve the RPG beyond a mere hunt for treasure and an endless quest for "leveling up."


As this latest preview at ActionTrip reveals, this title will move the focus from individual questing to team- and guild-based cooperative combat, pitting players against one another on titanic, real-time battlefields. There is also a great deal of effort being devoted to the "backstory" and motivations behind each race and character as well, to give this game the richness that underlies all good RPGs. Here's an excerpt from the preview, which details what makes Shadowbane stand apart:

Upon joining the guild of your own selection, and of course, as you download the client and finish the installation, you may begin to create your character, receive experience points, kill, crash, and devastate, which is what the FRP genre is all about. Right? But what makes great FRP games such as Diablo, Baldur's Gate or Myth that different from each other? Well, it appears that this game combines the essentials of all three: the neatness and simplicity of Diablo, the wonders and the wideness of Baldur's Gate, or in fact the gameplay tactics and formations of Myth II. It all looks pretty neat. But we've all learned that the main thing in RPGs is the gameplay and the online part. Especially stuff like handling massive in-game communication with other players, setting up an entire empire of guilds that are constantly growing larger and making space for new guilds, of course. Will the game bring something revolutionary, or will it just be another case of blatant online RPG copying of games like Everquest and Ultima OnLine? Will it indeed be a shadow 'bane'? Well I should think not. To begin with, you have tons of new disciplines and variety of school of thoughts. From the famous Alchemists, Sorcerers, Animators and so on, to the Wyrmslayer, Rat Catcher, Knight, Bounty Hunter etc.etc. So, over 40 well-known disciplines and sub disciplines, and each of them has a unique background story.
Although the preview doesn't have many new screen shots, it is still well worth checking out for those interested in this game. Shadowbane is currently in private beta testing; a public beta should take place early next year, and the final release will be due in the first quarter of 2001.

Shadowbane Web Site
Shadowbane Preview at ActionTrip
Wolfpack Studios
Shadowbane


Dream Seedz Myth TC released
12:10 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story

Apparently tis the season for Myth II total conversions. They Might be Mapmakers has released the 'darkest' TC yet to date. Called Dream Seedz, this mod features all new units and over 5 new maps. Here is the description from the download page at the Mill:

Dreamseedz is a TC by MPM of They Might Be Mapmakers, featuring 7 new units, 5+ new scenery pieces, and multiple retextured models. Brand new physics allow bodyparts and other projectiles to float on water. Dark art and disturbing scenery add to the dark feel that permeates this plugin. You take control of Matoliar, a wizard of the Zaelvanipura temple, as his "spirit guide", guiding him through his intuition into the land of Entarguyec Valley. Entarguyec Valley is a muddy, rocky place, infested with arachnid/lizard creatures known as smagorts, as well as the mildly intelligent humanoid Garloxian race. The second level takes you to the almost-pretty, strangely symmetrical garden of the Molark wizards, the evil beings behind this plot.
The ratings at the Mill have all been fairly high so be sure to try out this TC. The Plugin can be downloaded at the Mill and weighs in at approximately 25 megs.

They Might be Mapmakers
Dark Seedz Myth II Plug-in



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'Levelord' Reflects on 2000
10:03 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

In yet another of their end-of-2000 interviews, Stomped sat down with famed member of Ritual Entertainment Richard "Levelord" Gray for his thoughts on the year in gaming. If the name Ritual sounds familiar, they are the creators of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 and the recently-released-for-Mac shooter SiN.


This Mac release of the classic Ritual shooter actually made Levelord's list of best things to happen in 2000, believe it or not:

Stomped: What was the year 2000 like for your particular gaming projects? Were you happy with the response to your most recent games?


Levelord: We released Heavy Metalís FAKK2 and I am supremely happy about the game and its response. It is a game Iím proud to have my name on, thatís for sure. Ritual also released Blair Witch III. I was helping Rogue with Alice during most of the Blair Witch development time, so it is on my list of ďMust Play!Ē for the holiday season ;)


Best of all, though, was the release of the Mac version of SiN. Go read the reviews and find out about the game you may have missed! No doubt, we suffered from premature ejaculation, but nonetheless, SiN is one of the best games ever made. Sorry, I really shouldnít say that, but itís nice to hear from reviewers who actually played the game as it was supposed to be played.

If you want to learn more about SiN, be sure and read our preview or grab the demo from Macgamefiles.com. For the rest of Levelord's thoughts on 2000, follow the link below to the interview.

SiN Demo (60 MB)
SiN Preview
Levelord Interview at Stomped
MacPlay
Sin Gold
Buy Sin Gold


Aspyr, Macworld to Host Charity Event
9:47 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacCentral is reporting that Mac games publisher Aspyr Media, publishers of such gems as Deus Ex, The Sims and Sim Theme Park, will be hosting a charity even at January's Macworld Expo San Francisco. This event will raise money for a public school, and have a little fun doing it, it seems. Here is an excerpt from the article:

At the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Macworld and Aspyr Media will team up to run a charity event that will raise money for a local San Francisco public school district.


For a minimum $1,500 donation (in cash or equipment,) companies have the opportunity to enter their team for a night of bowling, food and refreshments. In addition to Macworld and Aspyr Media, major supporters include Microsoft, MacSoft, NexTag, and IDG World Expo.


Mac Bowl will be held at the Yerba Buena Bowling Center in San Francisco on Thursday, January 11, 2001, during the week of Macworld Conference and Expo. After a review process that began with the Board of Education, it was determined that the proceeds would be donated to Starr King Elementary School, located on Carolina Street in San Francisco.

So, if you'd like to try your hand at a little real-world gaming, and are attending the expo, consider entering this event. Hats off to Aspyr for participating in such a worthy cause.

Aspyr Media
Macworld, Aspyr to hold charity event



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F.A.K.K. 2 for $20
8:50 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

We aren't affiliated with this online store, but Compuexpert has posted another amazing deal we just had to pass on to our readers. Currently they are offering Ritual's Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 for just $19.90, limit one per customer. Here's a clip from their hype text:

Prepare yourself for the most intense 3D action game for the new millennium. Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 will blow your mind with its immersive story line and special FX. Heavy Metal truly is a next generation title for the Mac. Utilizing the most cutting edge technology available Ritual Entertainment is hell bent on delivering the most stunning 3D action game of the year.
Over 12,000 MGF users downloaded the demo for this game, so there have to be a few of you out there with this one on your Christmas list. There's no word on how long this deal will last, so act fast!

Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Deal at Compuexpert
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 Demo
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2



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Dragon's Lair 3D First Look
8:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Daily Radar has written up a first look of the upcoming title Dragon's Lair 3D, a 3D sequel to the classic 80's arcade adventure game. Like the original, Dragon's Lair 3D will have cartoon-like characters, but the entire game will be rendered in stunning 3D with an all-new engine. The game will also have various levels of control, with the 'normal' setting allowing you to play it as a third-person adventure (ala Rune or FAKK2). An easier level will simulate the original game's controls in which you only made certain decisions and the hero Dirk walks through pre-scripted events. This should make both old- and new-school gamers happy. Here's a clip from the preview with more:

What they have told us is that that Dirk will have a lot more to use this time around than his favorite poking stick. The trusty old sword will be back, only this time, "the sword will have different powerups and additional attack movements that Dirk will receive throughout the game," Parsons said, "and some of these powerups and movements will require Dirk to use some manna, and some will be abilities he will always be able to use." In addition to the sword, Dirk will also have a crossbow that will fire a wide variety of bolts found throughout the castle, which will add some strategy to the action.
Check out the rest of the preview for more information. Dragon's Lair 3D is set to come to the Mac and PC early next year. Dragonstone Software is developing the game, and it will be published by Blue Byte. We'll be bringing you more on the title as it nears completion, so stay tuned.

Daily Radar Dragon's Lair 3D Preview
Dragon's Lair 3D Web Site
Blue Byte



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Tales of the Sword Coast, Multiplayer Patch Update
8:22 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Mac Baldur has posted a huge update today, and has new information about the expansion pack Tales of the Sword Coast, the status of the Baldur's Gate multiplayer patch and an update on the possibility of a DVD version of Baldur's Gate. Here's an excerpt from GraphSim's new information:

We have an alpha version of Tales of the Sword Coast w/multiplayer that Jeff and I have been testing like crazy, but there are still too many problems to release it as a beta version. These problems might be with our internal network, but we want to determine this for sure before releasing this as a beta. I've also been playing a single player network game, and all is going
really well. I've encountered a few minor problems with this portion, but
nothing major.


Head over to Mac Baldur to read the full report.

Baldur's Gate Review
Mac Baldur
GraphSim
BioWare
Baldur's Gate



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

A lengthy new interview with Blizzard's Rob Pardo has been posted at GameSpot, discussing the recently-announced fifth race in Warcraft III, the night elves. The five-page interview covers a wide variety of topics surounding this newest race, including their playing style, heroes, and place in world of Azeroth. Here's an excerpt describing the units:

GS: So how else will the night elf units differ from the other race's units?


RP: They'll have a lot of ranged units. The night elf society is split down the middle, and we decided to [differentiate the units] along gender lines. So the female units are generally going to be more like Amazonian units. They are the night elf side's attackers, and, as a matter of fact, they are all ranged attackers. So you have the archer, the sentinel, the assassin. Then you look on the male side, and they're all druids. That's where you get your magic. It all comes out of the male side.

Be sure to head over and read through the rest of the interview for a ton of other info on the night elves. It sounds like Blizzard is making good progress on the game and still trying to get it out before the end of 2001. Hopefully a Mac version will be released not to soon after the PC version is out.

Blizzard Warcraft III Web Site
GameSpot Warcraft III Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


Bungie FanFest Info
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Those lucky enough to be attending the upcoming Macworld San Fransisco Expo might consider stopping by the now-famous Bungie FanFest. A recent update to Bungie.net gives the scoop on what will be happening at this gathering of Bungie elite:


  • Keynote Address: Matt Soell, our "Community Guy" and human pincussion, will be opening the show with what's sure to become an institution. The content is a closely guarded secret, but the keynote is sure to be interesting and informative in that special Bungie way.
  • Door Prizes: We'll see what goodies we can dig up from deep within the Bungie vault. Don't worry, we won't try to offload any XBox merchandise on you.
  • Fan Trivia Contest: We've been planning this one for a while. Sort of a cross between Millionaire, Win Ben Stein's Money, and the Dating Game. Study up on your Bungie history and you may earn a spot as one of the three luckily knowledgeable contestants, a chance to win a cool prize, and a your place in Bungie history.
  • Chat with Bungie: The entire Bungie Online Team will be there to shirk your questions and generally act aloof. See if you can sneak one past!

For more specifics on time and place, head over to Bungie Sightings page (who have coincidentally just published their report from the Macworld New York event). Along with the normal festivities, a mini-LAN will probably be set up, so bring you laptop and get ready to frag away. More details about the festival will be announced as it gets closer to the actual event.

Bungie Sightings Web Site
Bungie.net


Mac Games News for Thursday, December 21, 2000

Guide To Majesty's Barbarians4:20 PM
NVIDIA Looks for Mac Driver Tester1:07 PM
Mac Shogo Released12:17 PM
3dfx Voodoo Drivers 1.1.3b Leaked12:15 PM
Solitaire Till Dawn 4.0 Released11:43 AM
Bungie Chat Transcript Posted11:31 AM
Monkey Shines 2 Demo Released11:27 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 21, 2000 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, December 20, 2000
Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Monday, December 18, 2000
Friday, December 15, 2000
Thursday, December 14, 2000


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