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Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Target Korea Movie Released
9:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Earlier in the week, we brought you word on a new mutliplatform, online flight sim called Target Korea that is set to come to the Mac OS. Now a movie of the in-game action is available in the form of a 7MB MPEG. It shows about 45 seconds of a Mig-15bis performing some aerial maneuvers above the Korean setting. The physics look impressive, though you'll have to grab the movie yourself to judge. The movie was made by Brendan "brendo" Poga, well known for his movies in the Warbird (another online flight sim) community. In case you're wondering what Target Korea is all about, here's a clip from Targetware with more details:

The Targetware series is based upon new physics engine created by Sickware,
located in San Francisco, California. It blends an exceptionally secure and
unique development architecture together with direct "hands-on" community
participation, in order to create a potential (250+) player on-line
environment which essentially has been designed by the customer base itself.
With an open architecture approach to graphics, flight models, terrains and
even servers, Targetware combines extensibility and customization with a
high-fidelity flight simulator, that insures that everyone is playing by the
same rules. Targetware is the "branding" identifier for the engine and the
series of products that are being built under it. For example, the first of
the series will be titled Target Korea and will feature the Mig 15bis versus
the F86f-30 Sabre. Target Korea is currently undergoing closed beta testing
and is expected to be in open beta within 90 days.
It's great to see another impressive title like this make it to the Mac, especially in the grossly neglected genre of flight sims. And it looks like this will be just the first in a long line of Target- titles from the company. Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll bring you more info on the game as it nears open beta later this spring.

Update: Swamped servers have forced Targetware to remove the MPEG version, but another mirror at SimHQ is now listed for the ZIP file.

Targetware Web Site
IMG News: Targetware Aims at the Mac
Download Target Korea Movie as ZIP (6MB)
Mirror of Target Korea Movie as Zip (6MB)
Target Korea

Click to enlarge
Tony Hawk Preorders; Monkey Island 4 Price Cut
2:28 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr's newsletter brings more than just the good news about Alice -- it also
mentions preorders are now available for both Tony Hawk: Pro Skater 2 and Escape from
Monkey Island
. It seems Tony Hawk 2 now has its own space on the Aspyr site,
with preorders being taken as of now. The game features very addictive play,
tons of customizable skateboarders and skate parks, and too many trick moves to
count. It's expected to be released sometime next month:

As announced last month, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the Mac is currently in conversion, and scheduled to be released next month. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is the hot PC release from Activision, developed by Neversoft and Grey Matter.

As THPS2 nears beta, we will begin taking preorders, via our online store. THPS2 is available for preorder today, for $44.95, plus shipping and handling. Get your preorder n and get the game shipped to your door, the same day we ship to the stores.

If you want the full scoop on Tony Hawk 2, check out IMG's preview of the
game. We'll keep you posted as this title moves towards completion.

In other Aspyr news, preorders for Escape from Monkey Island have received a price
drop from $49.95 to $44.95 (plus shipping). This applies to those of you that
have already preordered, too. The big advantage to
getting in your order now is that you'll be one of the first to receive the title,
since the publisher gets first pick after duplication.

Right now, Escape from Monkey Island is moving
through beta testing and should be nearing duplication soon. We'll keep
you posted on its status as well. Be sure to read through our preview of the game
if you're wondering what the title is all about.

IMG Preview of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
IMG Preview of Escape from Monkey Island
Aspyr Web Site
Aspyr Media
Escape From Monkey Island
Buy Escape From Monkey Island

'Return to Marathon' Debuts
2:15 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Confirming that the Marathon series is far from obsolete -- in fact, it seems to be experiencing a renaissance -- longtime Marathon community member Claude Errara has announced the release of Return to Marathon, a new scenario for Marathon Infinity. Here is the description:

Return to Marathon v1.0, a new scenario for Marathon: Infinity.

Revisit the Marathon, 184 years after you saw it last. Explore
familiar areas, but beware new dangers! Things have gone horribly,
horribly wrong after UESC abandonment... and it's up to you to
sort them out.

Wander through three enormous levels - large parts will be
familiar, some parts will not. Remember that this is a deserted,
derelict moon - there are pitfalls and hazards at every turn. The
obsolete air recycling system has begun to break down without
maintenance... there are times you'll be scrambling for an oxygen
recharger. Things have taken up residence in once-pristine
hallways - and very, very few of them are friendly.

Go back to where it all began, and experience the thrill of
discovery all over again.

Ah, the suspense of airless levels! With this expansion, Marathon: Rubicon on the way and the continuing development of the Aleph One project, the Marathon universe that Bungie founded continues to expand long after they have moved on to new projects. The 23 MB archive is available both as a single download and as segments; follow the links below for information and downloads.

Return to Marathon at Bungie.Org

'Alice' Coming to Mac OS!
2:10 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has sent out the February issue of their newsletter; among many other thrilling announcements, there is the news that a Mac version of American McGee's Alice is on the way. This title was released for the PC not long ago, and is based on the Quake III engine from id Software. Alice is a dark,twisted tale based on the classic story of Alice in Wonderland, and the game features a fantastic world from the 3rd-person perspective full of puzzles for you to explore. Hailed almost universally on the PC side for the game's fresh approach and breathtaking level design, this is truly good news for Mac gamers. Here's a clip from the newsletter with the full details:

In a continued partnership with Electronic Arts, Aspyr will be publishing American McGee's Alice. Westlake will be doing the conversion, of this stunning third person 3D action adventure that is based on enhanced Quake III Technology.

"Alice is a twisted, wild game that Mac users will appreciate not only for its gameplay but also its stunning visuals. This is probably the most atmosphere-rich game ever made," says Michael Rogers, President of Aspyr.

Join Alice in her return trip to a twisted Wonderland, evilly altered by anger and dread. Confront the Queen of Hearts and her evil minions, including Ferocious Card Guards, Demonic Fire Imps, Ravenous Jabberspawn and more, who enforce her evil will. They're all mad! A fierce and nasty fight for sanity and control turns into a lethal struggle for survival.

Alice includes the most Devious Puzzles and Labyrinthine Mazes. Visit levels reminiscent of the Pool of Tears, the Caterpillar's Garden, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and more. Familiar characters are mysteriously transformed. Witness an arsenal of the most mischievous toys ever imagined.

Word has it a familiar face is doing the actual Mac port, so you can rest assured it is in good hands. We will be posting more info on Alice very soon, so stay tuned!

Aspyr Web Site
EA's Alice Web Site
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice

Force Feedback Coming to Mac OS
11:33 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG's recent preview of the MacAlly iShock II gamepad, which supports force-feedback much like Sony's DualShock PlayStation controllers, has uncovered a surprising revelation: Force feedback support is coming to the Mac OS, in a big way. While gamers and developers have long cried out for support for the huge variety of force feedback devices on the market, Apple has been surprisingly obstinate in refusing to include or develop this technology for InputSprockets. According to our interview with Andy Chen of MacAlly, his company got tired of waiting around and developed their own force-feedback SDK (software development kit) which has been welcomed by developers big and small. Here's an excerpt:

MacAlly: Developers have been extremely positive in supporting our SDK for implementing FFB on the Mac. All developers we have approached are, thus far, receptive to the idea of implementing the FFB feature into upcoming and current games.

IMG: What software titles currently support FFB on the Mac?

MacAlly: Ambrosia [Software]'s Aperion and Ferazel's Wand are the first titles to support FFB, thanks to the help of Ambrosia's Ben Spees. Ambrosia said that they will implement FFB into all their future games.

Andy also mentions Freeverse Software, Aspyr, Connectix, and MacSoft as companies who are interested in implementing FFB in their products. The MacAlly SDK is also Mac OS X-compatible, so even though Apple has no clear plans to support FFB with their own APIs in Mac OS X, titles using MacAlly's version will continue to function. Read the rest of our preview of this exciting peripheral for more details; the interview is on pages 2 and 3.

MacAlly iShock II Preview

Click to enlarge
Exult Alpha 2 Released
8:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new update to Exult has been released recently, adding many features to this open-source port of the classic Ultima 7. The project is intended to move the popular DOS game from the early 90's onto more modern hardware and operating systems, by recompiling the source and using the original Ultima 7 data files. Alpha 2, this newest release, adds many features and fixes many bugs with the previous version. Here's a list of some of the changes made:

  • Serpent Island is now partially playable!
  • Paperdolls in Black Gate!
  • Dynamic keybindings (this also fixes the 'z' vs. 'y' bug on german keyboards)
  • Gamma correction
  • Improved BG intro (plasma screen, animations, etc)
  • Screen Shots
  • Reworked audio subsystem
  • Massive code restructuring and cleanup
  • Tons of other fixes and improvements
  • Check out the Exult web site for more information on the project. It's available for many operating systems, as well as the source code if you're of the programming persuasion. Download Exult 0.91alpha2 now to try it out.

    In related news, the Simple DirectMedia Layer on which Exult and other cross-platform applications are based, has been updated to version 1.1.8 recently. This is great news, because it now supports many Mac-specific fixes, and finally OS X! This means you can likely expect a OS X version of Exult in the next incarnation. Check out the SDL web site if you're planning a cross-platform game of your own.

    SDL Web Site
    Exult Web Site
    Download Exult 0.91alpha2

    New Mac Game Dev Book Underway
    8:46 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    iDevGames, the excellent Web resource for those interested in making games for the Mac OS, has learned that a new Mac game programming book is being commissioned. This will be the first new book in years, with previous popular titles such as "Macintosh Game Programming" and "Tricks of Mac Game Programming" having been written in the mid-90's. While you may not be a programmer yourself, the release of this book should be of interest to all Mac gamers, as it will help small developers get started with making games for Apple hardware. It is unknown what topics will be covered in the book, but it is still in the early phases of development so expect more information when the project gets further along. Here's a clip from iDevGames' report:

    The entire staff at iDevGames would like to congratulate our very own Mark Szymczyk for recently being signed to write a book devoted to Macintosh game programming. The publisher confirmed that Mark's outline would be the basis for the first Macintosh game programming book to be commissioned in years. This is great news for Mark who has devoted his time and energy to writing tutorials for us and the entire Macintosh game programming community. The title and release date have not been decided yet but we will, of course, keep you up to date on its progress.

    Having seen a draft of the table of contents, I am confident that this will set a new standard for programming books for the Macintosh. We hope that other publishers take note and make some offerings of their own in this long neglected category of the market. Since Mark will be very busy in the coming months, it would be appreciated if you did not bombard him with questions concerning the book or its release date.

    Our congratulations go out to Mark, and we'll be sure to bring you more information on the title once it nears publication.

    iDevGames Web Site

    Myth II Maps and Units... For Myth I?
    8:43 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Project Magma is an interesting new Myth group looking to bring units and maps from Myth 2: Soulblighter to the original Myth: The Fallen Lords. Why would anyone want to take this seemingly backwards step? Well, the original game had lower system requirement, so those who wanted to play Myth II but can't afford to upgrade their hardware can do so. More importantly, many TFL purists also prefer the original's user interface and physics. Here's a clip from the press release with details:

    'Project Magma', a team of TFL diehards, has released four quick-to-download co-op maps based on solo level TFL games, re-scripted with M2 units. The co-ops focus players to work on seriously demanding teamplay. In addition, the Magma team has created an M2-stocked, 33-map sequel to the Clan of the Bear's landmark 'Unity' series, and have ported the M2 "Lands" maps to TFL with original and brand new variants.

    Four co-ops, based on TFL solo levels "Ambush at Devil's Overlook", "Flight from Covenant", Shadow of the Mountain" and "Forest Heart", have been overhauled to test the most disciplined of teams. Near-impossible played solo, these maps have been stocked with powerful M2 units, souped up TFL units, and a horrifyingly vast host of enemy units waiting to exercise a team of 3-5 players in strategy, communication and adaptation. The maps weigh in between 0.1 and 2.2MB (zipped), so they are set to be the best bandwidth-friendly training tool any group of hardcore players could use for tournament-level practice.

    'Project Magma' began in February 2000 with the intention of enlivening TFL netplay by porting M2 units, models and maps to TFL. This means several of M2's units are able to use TFL's more streamlined game engine, making enjoyable M2 games less dependent on high-end hardware. Some compromises had to be made, but Magma maps continue to be the most-played third-party maps on TFL today.

    Check out the official Project Magma web site for more information and to download some of the new maps. Be prepared to scratch your head, though -- their bias against Myth II and its engine is bordering on jihad.

    Project Magma Web Site

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, February 13, 2001

    Myst 3: Exile Delay Explained1:52 PM
    Details on RealMyst Delay11:38 AM
    Developer Reactions to Possible IDSA Regulation11:16 AM
    EmuScene Updates10:32 AM
    Rune Q&A with Dave Halsted9:35 AM
    World War II Online Interview9:24 AM
    New Skins, FAQ at SimsForMac9:20 AM
    Black & White Trailer, Dev Update9:14 AM
    Mac Journeyman 3 DVD Patch9:07 AM
    Summoner Preview8:46 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, February 13, 2001 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

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