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Thursday, February 15, 2001



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Westlake Receives Deus Ex Multiplayer Code
8:45 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Robert Baird of IMG affiliate MacDeusEx received an e-mail from Mark Adams confirming that Westlake Interactive has received the Deus Ex multiplayer code from Ion Storm. This is the news that Mac Deus Ex fans have been waiting for since the PC multiplayer patch was released.


As Mark Adams mentioned several times in the past, Westlake will first evaluate the code to see if significant resources will be required to complete the port of the multiplayer patch. If not, the port will go forward and be released to the Mac community free of charge. However, Westlake does have six titles in production currently (including the just-announced American McGee's Alice) so let's keep our fingers crossed for clean code.


The Deus Ex multiplayer patch adds more than just network support; it also supports several gametypes, the full complement of Deus Ex weapons and contains several multiplayer maps as well. On the PC side this patch has inspired the mod community to create more maps, models and weapons, so by the time Mac users get this patch there will be a ready-made smorgasbord of mods and maps to download. IMG will bring you more details on this development as they become available. For Mark's e-mail to Robert, visit MacDeusEx.

MacDeusEx Website
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Preview
5:08 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Games.macnn.com has published a preview of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the Mac. The preview includes comments from Mark Adams, president of Mac developer Westlake Interactive. Here's a snippet from the preview.

"The uncontested icon of the extreme skateboarding movement that continues to gain popularity is Tony Hawk, the 32-year old who has been at the top of the sport for nearly two decades and has more than 50 tricks attributed to him.



"It seems only fitting then that Tony Hawk, a long-time Mac user himself,
would be the title name on the most successful skateboarding game for the Playstation and PC, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. The title is now slated for a Mac release this spring from Aspyr Media and Westlake Interactive."
For the rest of the preview, be sure to head to MacNN.

Tony Hawk 2 Preview at MacNN


Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch in Development
4:40 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

This morning, IMG reported that Westlake Interactive was in possession of the Deus Ex multiplayer code and was evaluating the viability of a port. Well, the evaluation is complete and Mark Adams informed us in an e-mail that the patch will be ported to the Macintosh. Here is what he told us:

Westlake Interactive and Aspyr Media are proud to announce that the much requested multiplayer patch for Deus Ex Mac is now in development.


After a review of the PC multiplayer code Westake received from Ion Storm
earlier this week, we are pleased to have found the changes not as
substantial as expected, allowing us to provide the Mac patch at no
additional cost. Westlake is excited to be able to provide this service for
the good of the Mac gaming community.


When finished, the Mac mulitplayer patch will be a free download available to owners of Mac Deus Ex, and Mac players will be able to play against their PC friends. The Mac patch is expected to be ready for release in 2 to 3 weeks.

Now that all questions concerning the multiplayer patch have been answered, Deus Ex fanatics can stop e-mailing the Westlake team about it. All that is left is less than a months wait until multiplayer bliss. Many thanks to Westlake for listening to the feedback of their fans.

Westlake Receives Deus Ex Multiplayer Code


Tentative Alice Release Date
3:46 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As reported yesterday by Inside Mac Games, American McGee's Alice is being ported to the MacOS; today MacGamer.com reported an update regarding Alice. Aspyr has just released information that Alice may be heading to the Mac as early as May. Development on Alice for the Mac didn't begin until last week, but developers say it should be an easy port. Expect an early June or late May release.



Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive (and MacMAME fame) is in charge of the Mac port of this game, and had the following to say:

"FWIW, development on the Mac version didn't start until just last week...It's scheduled to wrap up around the middle of May. It looks to be a pretty easy port..."
Thanks to MacGamer.com for the update on Alice.
Check out Aspyr's product development page at their website and also check out Westlake's website for further news. Macgamefiles.com has posted an 11 MB "trailer" for the game which shows some gamelay action as well as a taste of this odd, unsettling title.

Alice Coming to Mac OS
Alice Trailer (11 MB)
Alice Update at MacGamer
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice



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4x4 EVO 2 Announced, Mac Version Planned
1:01 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Today Gathering of Developers announced the development of 4x4 Evolution 2, a sequel to the popular cross-platform off-road racing title. This sequel will be a Microsoft Xbox title, as well as PC, according to the press release; IMG contacted Gathering's PR department and received confirmation that the game will have a Mac OS version as well, though this was not mentioned in the release. Absent from the list of platforms is the troubled Dreamcast console.


As with most sequels, this next-generation EVO will be bigger, faster, better and have more:

Game developer Terminal Reality and developer-driven computer and video game publisher Gathering of Developers, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ-TTWO), today announced the development of 4x4 EVO 2 for the PC and the Xbox video game console from Microsoft. 4x4 EVO 2 is the sequel to 4x4 EVO, the groundbreaking, arcade-style, off-road simulation currently available for the PC, Mac and Sega Dreamcast. 4x4 EVO 2, which will be Gathering's first Xbox title, puts gamers in the driver's seat of "tricked out" real world SUV and/or light trucks and allows them to compete in wild off-road races with Mother Nature as the only barrier. A PC demo of the original game, 4x4 EVO, will be included on the upcoming "Gathering of Goodness CD" scheduled to be released in late February. Gamers can visit www.godgames.com/promo/gg/ to sign up for Club Gathering and receive a free copy of the demo CD. 4x4 EVO 2 will be distributed by Jack of All Games, another Take Two company. Both the Xbox and PC versions will arrive in stores nationwide in November 2001.


"4x4 EVO separated itself from the typical racing genre by being the only SUV simulation in the market with online multiplayer capabilities," said Mark Randel, president of Terminal Reality. "Just like the original game, 4x4 EVO 2 will feature a realistic physics engine and cutting edge graphics. In addition, new, licensed vehicles, exciting single player missions and tracks will add even more replayability to the game and solidify 4x4 EVO 2 as the ultimate off-road racing sim."


4x4 EVO 2 takes the real-world dynamics and cutting edge graphics from the original game and adds a variety of new twists and turns, taking off-road racing simulations to the next level. Simmers will have a chance to purchase one of 70 vehicles from 10 different manufactures for use in intense, pedal-to-the-metal, off-road rallies. In addition to individual racing, 4x4 EVO 2 gives virtual drivers the chance to join a factory race team or 4x4 club to participate in an assortment of exciting missions that involve exploration and adventure. These various missions will take players on a rowdy ride through locations so realistic and alive that they will have to watch out for animals, traffic and other animated dynamic objects.

Mac racing fans will no doubt be thrilled by this news; the Mac version of the 4x4 EVO demo was the most popular download ever on MacGameFiles, with over 67,000 downloads -- and it is still in the top ten list; user reviews of the game give it an 8.63 out of 10 overall. While EVO 2 is still quite some time away, we're sure it will meet and exceed Terminal Reality's excellent reputation for detailed, complex yet fun titles.

4x4 Evolution Review
4x4 Evolution Demo (35 MB)
Gathering Announces 4x4 EVO 2
Terminal Reality
Gathering of Developers
4x4 Evolution


Video Game Makers Sue ROM Archives
11:43 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

According to a report from the AP presswire, a coalition of major video game makers (including Activision Inc., LucasArts, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Midway Amusement Games and Capcom Entertainment) have come together to sue four individuals accused of operating web sites which distribute "ROMs," electronic images of video game EPROMS that can be used in conjunction with emulators. The suit seeks to shut down the sites and asks for monetary damages which could total $150,000.00 per posted ROM file that is found to be in infringement of copyright law.


While the article is frustratingly short on details or links to the sites in question, it does open up once again the debate over whether ROM distribution (for "evaluation purposes only," as many sites mention in their disclaimers) is a legitimate practice. The companies that hold the patents and copyrights for these games allege they are experiencing monetary loss from this distribution; emulation fans say the games are "abandonware" that is no longer being sold, and their actions are taken to preserve games that can no longer be played on arcade machines after the death of the 'arcade' as a cultural phenomenon.


This line of argument is watered down considerably by the more recent phenomenon of some sites distributing ROMs for current console systems such as the Nintendo64 and image files of Playstation CD-ROMs; Nintendo and Sega have successfully shut down many sites which posted ROMs for their console systems.


Additionally, several of the sites in question also offered 'warez' copies of popular PC games as well, which explains the inclusion of companies such as Microsoft. Read the AP article for more details, and be sure to voice your thoughts on this volatile issue in our forums.

Video Game Co's Sue Online Pirates


Red Faction Preview
10:37 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

PS2IGN has posted their first impressions of the Playstation 2 version of Red Faction, a first-person shooter from Volition which will later come to the Mac and PC. As we have mentioned countless times on these pages before, Red Faction features a unique 3D engine technology (known as Geo-Mod) which allows you to actually blow holes in walls, destroy game objects and scenery, and generally wreak havoc far beyond a mere burn mark or bullet hole that fades away after a few seconds.


Red Faction still has several more months to go before the PS2 release, so this preview is based on a development version which has not been fully optimized. Here is an excerpt:

Once I blasted my way out the first room and collected some hand-mines and rifle rounds, I faced the first of many obstacles in the game that will come to define Red Faction. There are three doors to exit the area. Only one is the right path, and it doesn't open. So, what should a good anarchist miner do? Blow the stuffing out of the wall, that's what. I took two mines, placed them one after another beside the door and blew the concrete away to create a path I could climb through. Geo-Mod = brilliance.

There were lots of rooms to either walk into, or sneak into via ventilation shaft. Almost all of the rooms contained second stories, too, with lots of crates, behind which bundles of ammo and health was stored. These power-ups weren't obviously just sitting there either. Health was placed in actual emergency kits hung on the walls, just like in a public corporation. Some were placed in lockers. Ammo was placed in places that military personnel would place it. Throughout my short experience, I found that Red Faction was well-thought out, cleverly designed, and that its designers had paid a lot of attention to the best first-person shooters on the market -- Quake III, Unreal Tournament, and Half-Life.

We look forward to finding out more details on this title at this year's E3 convention. Red Faction will be published for the Mac OS by GraphSim upon completion of the port, perhaps by the end of this summer.

First Impressions: Red Faction at PS2IGN
GraphSim
GraphSim
Volition
Red Faction



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Oni Game Guide, Apple Feature
9:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot has posted another excellent game guide, this time for the
recently-released Oni. If you're having trouble getting through this challenging title,
consider perusing this guide. The feature covers many aspects of gameplay, including combat strategies, weapons, walkthroughs and even cheat codes. It looks
to be a great resource for Oni fans out there who want to make sure they explore 100% of this game.


Apple has also posted a feature on Oni recently in their games section. The comprehensive article covers the design and plot and includes quotes from Oni project heads Michael Evans,
Peter Tamte and David Dunn. Here's a clip:

Any Macintosh running Mac OS X will be able to play Oni, thanks to Bungie’s Carbonization of the game. In fact, the demo is already ready to play using the Mac OS X Public Beta.


“It’s important to understand that Mac OS X brings the kind of fundamental change to operating systems that only Apple can launch,” says Tamte. “It’s critical that the Mac community embrace Mac OS X because it once again lets Apple offer a clearly and visually superior interface between people and their computers.”

The rest of the piece gives interesting snippets of information about this game's production, and is worth a read even for those who have already purchased the game. Also be sure you've checked out IMG's review of
Oni (and add a rating of your own).

Apple Oni Article
IMG Oni Review
GameSpot Oni Game Guide
Bungie Studios
Gathering of Developers
Oni
Buy Oni


Apple Outlines WWDC Plans
9:52 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Apple today outlined plans for the upcoming World Wide Developer Conference 2001 to be held in May. WWDC is the largest gathering of Mac developer from around the world and has been growing in populairty in recent years. Last year's event drew a record crowd and Apple expects this year's to be even bigger. Here's more info on WWDC.

At WWDC 2001, you will receive the very latest information on Mac OS
X and other important Apple technologies. What's more, you will get
it directly from Apple engineers and technology experts in more than
100 in-depth technical sessions and hands-on labs.



To celebrate Mac OS X and this momentous year, we're offering a
special bonus to the first 1,500 WWDC 2001 registrants -- a black,
genuine leather, Mac OS X jacket valued at US$249.



We want to be sure that you have the opportunity to qualify for
this special Mac OS X jacket offer by purchasing your WWDC 2001
e-ticket as soon as possible.



So don't delay! Only the first 1,500 registered WWDC 2001 e-ticket
holders will receive this limited edition, Mac OS X leather
jacket!
For more information, be sure to visit the official WWDC page.

WWDC



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Summoner Q&A, Media
9:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As Summoner, the 3D RPG from Volition makes its way to the Mac and PC, more info is getting released on the impressive title. ZDNet has posted the second part of an interview with Jason Scott, discussing the feminine half of your party in the game. He gives some good info on both Rosalind and Flece, as well as some general scoop on the game itself. Here's an excerpt:

GS: How important was it to cater to two different types of role-playing game fans--the players who explore every last inch of the environment and talk to all of the characters and the players who rush through the game as quickly as possible--and still retain a deep story?


JS: We came up with a simple (albeit heavy-handed) trick to pull this off. All the characters you should talk to have an icon floating above their heads. This means that in Lenele, you don't need to initiate a conversation with each of the hundreds of NPCs that populate the city. If you look for the icon, you'll find all the miniquest characters, merchants, and story NPCs you need to find. Some players love to learn about tariffs, midwifery, and the silk trade, but others just want to get from point A to point B.


That's one of the major challenges of creating an RPG--there are so many different styles of play. It's a Balkanized market (console vs. PC, American vs. Japanese, Final Fantasy vs. Baldur's Gate and Diablo, etc.). Some PS2 players hate Summoner, others contend that it's the greatest RPG ever made. It's impossible to please everyone, so it becomes important to remain faithful to your vision of the game.

The rest of the interview talks much more about the character development in Summoner, so be sure to give it a look.


In other Summoner news, RPGVault has posted the third of their articles on the game's elements. Specifically, the look at the Jade Golem, Sword of Spirits and Nodachi sword. There are movies and some very nice screen shots of all three available, so head over and flip through the eye candy.


Summoner is set to be released in the next month or two by GraphSim for the Mac OS. We'll be sure to keep you posted on its status and pass along any info as it heads towards completion.

GraphSim Summoner Web Site
ZDNet Interview with Jason Scott
RPG Vault Summoner Elements #3
GraphSim
Volition
Summoner
Buy Summoner


id Releases Team Arena Map Pack
9:04 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Although Quake 3: Team Arena is still a slightly-buggy beta version for Mac users, anyone currently taking it for a spin will appreciate id Software's release of a free four-map expansion pack for the teamplay-focused expansion pack. Paul Jacquays of id announced the release in his .plan file, old-school style, and as expected many 'mirrors' of the archive have appeared around the net.


As his .plan file explains, these maps are not "new" per se; they are retreads of existing, popular Q3A maps retrofitted for the new gameplay styles and visuals of Q3TA. Here's an excerpt with details:

id has just released a map pack containing four team-style maps approved for use with id Software’s Quake III: Team Arena™ computer game. Their creators are some of the most talented mapmakers in the Quake community. Working together with id designer Paul Jaquays, Quake3World Level Editing forum moderator Astro Creep, Mr. Elusive, the bot A.I. programmer for both Quake III Arena and Quake III: Team Arena, and Drunken Boxer, Quake3World Capture the Flag and Team Arena forum moderator, these artisans have created some truly fine playgrounds for Team Arena.


Players who download user-community made Capture the Flag maps for Quake III Arena will recognize that these are not exactly brand new creations. They already have a bit of history behind them. They were selected for this pack because they had already made their marks as superior virtual playgrounds. Yet a closer look will reveal they are also not the same as the maps originally released for Quake III Arena. More than just adding a few new textures and game entities, these maps have been upgraded, polished, and in some cases radically overhauled. The new versions not only accommodate the new Quake III: Team Arena game styles like Harvester and Overload, but also include the play and appearance improvements that the map makers themselves wanted to see in their map.

The map pack includes Japanese Castles TA, Schadenfreude TA, Crossed Paths v.TA and An Iteration of TA Hell. You must be running TA to play them, and they won't work with the TA Demo now available (of course). If you have yet to try the demo itself, it is linked below; The map pack is 15.9 MB.

Quake 3: Team Arena Demo (120 MB)
Paul Jacquays' .plan file
Team Arena Map Pack 1 (15.9 MB)



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Avernum 2 Interview
8:49 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

RPG Vault has posted an interview with Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software about his latest title, Avernum 2. The title is Mac-first (having been released in December), but a Windows version should also be available this year, so your PC friends will be able to play soon enough. It's a great interview, covering many parts of both Avernum 2 and Jeff's general game design philosophy. Quite a few tidbits are thrown out about Avernum 3 as well, which is also expected to be available for the Mac either later this year or early in 2002. This game will continue and complete the remake of the Exile series, giving Exile 3 a facelift and other features.


Also mentioned is GeneForge, a new engine Vogel has been cooking up concurrently with his Avernum work. Here's an excerpt with more about it:

Jonric: You've told us previously that Geneforge will be your first science fiction-based game and that you're building a new engine for it. What more can you tell us about this project and its current status?


Jeff Vogel: First, grim news. Though I promised a science fiction game for a long time, I am now leaning towards making Geneforge a fantasy game with science fiction elements. I know some people will be disappointed in this, but I was just finding, the more design I did, that it was just more suited to a fantasy setting.


That said, Geneforge will be an all-new game with an all-new real-time engine. The characters will be fully animated. Combat will be turn-based, much like Fallout. In Geneforge, the player plays one of a powerful and elite sect of wizards, who have developed the art and science of creating new life forms.


The player will control one main character and a band of creatures, which the main character makes. The player can create a band of creatures with different specialties and either use them for a long time (during which they will gain experience and grow stronger) or absorb them and create different creatures with different abilities (which may be more suited to the situation at hand). Or the player can save the energy used to make the creatures and be more powerful (but alone).


It's neat stuff, and I think it'll be a cool game. I hope to release the first screenshots and PR in the next month or two.

Having Spiderweb produce a Fallout-like title seems to be a great idea, and we're behind them all the way. Check out the rest of the Q&A for much more. Demos of many of Jeff's products are available at MacGameFiles.com.

Spiderweb Software Web Site
RPG Vault Interview with Jeff Vogel
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 2
Buy Avernum 2


Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Tony Hawk Preorders; Monkey Island 4 Price Cut2:28 PM
'Return to Marathon' Debuts2:15 PM
'Alice' Coming to Mac OS!2:10 PM
Force Feedback Coming to Mac OS11:33 AM
Target Korea Movie Released9:43 AM
Exult Alpha 2 Released8:50 AM
New Mac Game Dev Book Underway8:46 AM
Myth II Maps and Units... For Myth I?8:43 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 14, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Monday, February 12, 2001
Friday, February 9, 2001
Thursday, February 8, 2001
Wednesday, February 7, 2001


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