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Friday, April 20, 2001



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Elite Force Patch in the Works, Mac Info
9:36 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Raven Software's James Monroe has updated his .plan with word on a patch for their Star Trek FPS, Elite Force. The purpose of such an update would be to merge some of the later Quake III Arena point release updates with the full Elite Force code base, as the games share the same engine. This will mainly affect the multiplayer HoloMatch mode, but here's more explanation from Monroe:

re: HM Patch 1.20

i wish i had more time to merge in MORE updates... but as it is i barely had enough time to get in some of the much needed fixes.


what i did fix is the pure authentication disconnect issue. that was my main objective and i got it done. we also got a lot of memory saving enhancements and unlimited sound loading. (sounds are no longer reloaded each level so map-to-map might be a tiny bit faster now).


the menu no longer precaches all the weapon models at startup (you can if you want by setting ui_precacheweapons 1) so that loads a bit faster as well. there is now a console cmd to ShowIP and Remote server info, and the scoreboard now tells you the gametypes. Also, per Mr. Allan's request, i defaulted a bunch of game vars to be included in the ServerInfo request.

Of course, since the patch isn't likely to work with the Mac version of Elite Force (coming soon to OS X), we decided to shoot a question over to Westlake Interactive about the possibility of a Mac update as well. The main programmer for the original title was Duane Johnson, who is now working for MacPlay, so we were also curious to see who might undertake the effort. Here's a quick response from president Mark Adams:
If we do a patch, it would be done by current Westlake employees. Its not
covered under the contract but since EF hasn't been patched a lot we'd
probably look at it and see how bad it is before deciding. We haven't seen
the new patch code yet.
Thanks to Mark for his help on the matter, and we'll keep you posted on any new word about the patch. Be on the lookout as Aspyr should release a new version of Elite Force for OS X ported by Omni Group in the near future. Also be sure to check out Aspyr's new special pricing of only $19.95 for Elite Force at their online store, it will only last through the weekend.

James Monroe .plan File
Westlake Interactive Web Site
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force


"Tux Games" Ported to Mac OS X
4:21 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Cross-platform developer Develux has a triple-treat for gamers using Apple's Mac OS X -- a port of three open-source Linux games, known as the "Tux" series. Each game features Tuxedo T. Penguin, the 'mascot' of the Linux platform, and all require 3D OpenGL acceleration.


Tux Kart is a "kart-racing" game which features 3D racing action, with powerups and other such elements. Anyone who has played Mario Kart will find it instantly familiar.


Tux Racing is a much more elaborate and attractive racing sim, which features downhill "skiing" -- or rather belly-sliding. With downloadable courses and the ability to create your own with a simple 2-D painting program, this one is lots of fun for the entire family.


The third title is Tuxedo T. Penguin: A Quest For Herring, a 3D adventure title in progress. Currently this is more of a demonstration of the engine technology than an actual game, but as with most Linux projects it is a work in progress which should evolve rapidly over time.


Drop by the Develux home page for downloads and more information. At the very least these are quite slick technology demos that reveal the power of OpenGL under OS X.

Develux "Tux Games"


Macgamefiles growing, looking for mirrors
2:32 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Macgamefiles.com, the first and only web site dedicated entirely to Macintosh game downloads is growing by leaps and bounds. Since its opening on May 15th of 2000, MGF has served over a whopping 1.2 million downloads, making it a resounding success.



To keep up with the growing demand for Mac game downloads, Macgamefiles.com is looking for additional mirrors. If you have a speedy Internet connection (T1 or better) and some hard drive space, we'd love to hear from you. We also have an ftp box we can ship to you that you can simply plug into your connection.



So, if you'd like to help out MGF with some much needed bandwidth, please email tuncer at tuncer@insidemacgames.com

Macgamefiles.com



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Majesty Updated to 1.01
2:30 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacGameFiles continues its impressive string of updates with a patch for MacPlay's real-time RTS title Majesty, which brings that application to version 1.01. The patch addresses several of the minor complaints players have been reporting regarding this title, and improves multiple-monitor support. Here is a full list of the updates:

Updates MacPlay's Majesty to 1.0.1. Includes the following fixes:


Added better support for multi-monitor machines. A dialog will appear, if the game finds more than one monitor that can support its desired video mode.


The game will not try to startup the TCP/IP connection unless it is starting a network game.


Better error handling if an older version of DrawSprockets is installed.


Fixed a bug where the stored CD volume would be set lower each time the game was exited, eventually reaching zero.


Added a command line switch, -killfinder, to kill the Finder when Majesty is run. This helps on machines that are experiencing frequent CD music stops/restarts. It appears that the Finder is getting occasional updates, in the background, and is stopping the CD.

To use the switch, create a new SimpleText document and type -killfinder on the first line. Make sure the hyphen is before killfinder and there are no spaces before the word. Save the file into the folder containing the Majesty™ application, with the name CommandLine.txt . The Finder will automatically restart once Majesty exits. You can also kill all running applications by using the command -killotherapps. When using this switch, you do not need to use -killfinder.

Fans of Majesty should grab this patch right away. If you have yet to try this engrossing, attractive RTS title, be sure and take the demo for a spin. If you're still not convinced this title is worth the money, read through our detailed review -- IMG readers have awarded the game an astounding 9.33 points out of 10, one of the highest user ratings for any title we have reviewed.

Majesty 1.01 Update (1 MB)
Majesty Demo (32.2 MB)
Review: Majesty
MacPlay
Majesty



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Update on Mac realMYST
1:03 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Many IMG readers have requested an update on the progress of the Mac OS version of realMYST, the true-3D "remix" of the original graphic adventure title from Cyan. Our contact at Cyan had both good and bad news to share. The good news is that after many months of waiting (the PC version of this title went gold in October 2000) the Mac OS version of realMYST is complete and ready to publish.


Unfortunately, there is also bad news. Ubi Soft has become the publisher of this title in the meantime, and they may hold the Mac realMYST release so that it does not conflict with the launch of Myst III: Exile, which is due the first weeks of May. As Mac gamers have been eagerly awaiting realMYST for quite some time, we're sure Ubi Soft will get this one out the door as soon as Exile hits the streets.


For those who haven't been following the progress of this title, realMYST is a true-3D remake of the original MYST, creating the interactive, seamless 3D world that Cyan originally envisioned for the game but was unable to create with 1992 technology. Now that 3D hardware and CPUs have caught up with the Miller brothers' vision, they were able to bring the classic adventure into a photorealistic 3D world, rendered in realtime -- complete with animation, interactivity and of course their trademark sound and atmosphere. For a comprehensive look at the title follow our link to a list of past IMG articles on the subject. Now that Mac realMYST is complete, you can be sure we'll bring you the news of its publication the instant it is released.

realMYST Web Site
Past Articles on realMYST
Ubisoft
realMYST



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Hot New Otto Matic Screen Shots!
12:03 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Continuing our week full of original, in-depth Mac gaming content, IMG has published a gallery of 15 screen shots from Pangea Software's latest project -- a 3D action/adventure game known as Otto Matic. Along with this gallery is a progress update from author Brian Greenstone. Inspired by '50s Sci-Fi movies, this gorgeous title is sure to thrill anyone with 3D hardware, especially fans of Pangea's previous titles Nanosaur and Bugdom. Jump to our Features section to check out the screen shots, and watch IMG for more information on this title in the near future.

Feature: Otto Matic Screen Shot Gallery
Pangea Software
Otto Matic


'Qube' Released
11:15 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Catara Software has announced the release of Qube, a familiar yet interesting twist on a classic style of puzzle gaming. Carbonized for Mac OS X, this attractive game puts a "twist" on the familiar Tetris. Here are details from the press release:

Catara Software announced
today the release of their new game Qube. Qube is an addictive action
puzzle with a twist. Qube will keep you from performing real work for
hours on end.


The object of Qube is to keep a well clear of "qubes" by arranging
falling pieces to form solid rows. Some pieces contain qubes that are
not solid. These partially solid qubes, "partials," must be combined
with other partials to form solid qubes. Partials will move through
other partials but not solids. A row can not be removed if it has one or
more partials.


"After a thorough flogging by a group of top-notch beta testers, Qube is
ready for public consumption," said Steve Marcotte, president of Catara
Software. "We think the Mac gaming community will be pleased."


Qube requires strategy, patience, and of course quick fingers. It is
the perfect piece of anti-productivity software. Suitable for the whole
family, even Grandpa.


Qube features 16-Bit color, stereo sounds, and special effects. Qube
uses Apple's CarbonLib 1.1 to maintain compatibility with both MacOS X
as well as Classic MacOS. Qube is $20 shareware and is available for
immediate download from the Catara web site.

You can also find it (of course) at MGF. Follow the links below for more details.

Qube 1.0 (3.5 MB)
Qube Web Site



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Deus Ex Multiplayer Guide for Mac
10:36 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Although the Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch has been out for quite some time, there may still be a few of you that feel the need to fine-tune your technique. MacGamer has posted a Mac-specifc guide to Deus Ex that focuses on the Multiplayer patch. This guide covers a great deal of information regarding the Multiplayer game, from how to download and install it to a breakdown of skills, weapons, and augmentations you can use.


Here's an excerpt which details the changes made in gameplay compared to the single-player game:


  • First off, you no longer have to worry about firing error, with the exception of the assault rifle and the GEP gun. You can sprint, point and shoot straight at the same time.
  • The amount of skill points needed to upgrade a skill doesn't change; upgrading level one to level two is the same as upgrading level two to level three.
  • The Sniper Rifle no longer deals with clips, just individual shots, and takes a while to reload after each shot.
  • You start out with a basic training in each skill, and each skill goes up to level three. This means that anyone can hack a computer with enough time.
  • The augmentations are paired to balance the game, not where the augmentation would go in the body. This means it's possible to have Cloaking and Radar Invisibility at the same time in DXMP (when it's not allowed in the single player game) but not possible to have Cloaking and Enhanced Vision at the same time.
  • There are no more full-screen menus - no inventory screen, for instance. Also, the medbots and recharge bots have been dumbed down - using them doesn't bring you to the usual screen, but just heals or recharges you.
  • You automatically recharge bioelectric energy given time. Very useful.
  • Using a dead body gives you 25 BE and whatever items/ammo/weapons (if you can carry them) they were carrying.
  • At the first skill level, lockpicks and multitools take much longer to use.

For those just getting started with the Multiplayer patch, or those that have yet to experiment with it, this is an excellent read. You can also find the Multiplayer patch for download at MacGameFiles.com.

MacGamer - Deus Ex Multiplayer Guide
MGF - Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch Download
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex


IMG Previews Tales of the Sword Coast
10:22 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If you're a Baldur's Gate fan, the wait for the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack has been more than tiresome. But despite the neverending delays, we're happy to report that the expansion pack is nearing release. Our very own Michael Phillips took the latest beta of Tales of the Sword Coast for a spin, and produced a detailed report with screen shots. Here's an excerpt from the preview:

Now, four new map areas doesn’t sound like much, does it? I was afraid that my mighty party of Ghen, Imoen, Ajantis, Khalid, Jaheira and Kivan would smite these new challenges without even breaking a sweat. I was quite mistaken; these new areas are vast, with indoor & outdoor arenas of battle to explore and loaded with powerful enemies, deadly traps, puzzles and riddles. Thus, an unsuspecting group of level 2 adventurers would do best to avoid the TotSC areas lest they wish their heads removed from their bodies. The puzzles in Durlag’s Tower don’t just frustrate one’s mind, they kill too.
For the rest of the preview, be sure to click on the link below.

Preview: Tales of the Sword Coast



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New Diablo II 1.0.6 Patch
10:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Blizzard has released a new patch for owners of Diablo II, bringing the game to version 1.0.6. There are a number of fixes and improvements in this update, so be sure to grab it or log on to their Battle.net service and auto-download it. Here is a description of what has changed, along with a quick Q&A about a new method of scanning players for "duped" items:

Improvements


  • Updated Battle.net's Terms of Service agreement. It can now be
    accessed
    without having to create a new account.
  • Further optimized client to server communication.
  • Fixed copy-protection for various CD, DVD and CD-R drives.


    The Diablo II Realms now scan characters for duplicate items. If
    a player is found to have more than one of the same item, the
    duplicate items will be deleted leaving just one of that item.


    Common Questions:


    Q: Why have some of my items of a certain type vanished?

    A: Character files were scanned for duplicated items. All
    dduplicate items but one were deleted.


    Q: What items were selected for deletion?

    A: All rare and unique items were scanned for duplicates.


    Q: Why did Blizzard Entertainment only delete some of the dupes,
    and not every dupe?

    A: Blizzard Entertainment wants to maintain an enjoyable and
    balanced play experience for every user. To that end, we removed
    all but one duplicate item. We're making an effort to protect
    those players that legitimately traded for those items.


    Q: Are all methods of duping stopped?

    A: All known methods of duping have been fixed. We will continue
    to monitor the Diablo II realms for duplication exploits and fix
    them as needed.


    Q: Where can I report hacks or exploits?

    A: You can send your reports to hacks@blizzard.com.

  • Head to MacGameFiles now to download the new update, if you're a solo player.

    Blizzard Web Site
    Download Diablo II 1.0.6 Patch
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction


    CNET Reviews GeForce2 MX... for Mac
    9:48 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    CNET has posted a review of Nvidia's GeForce2 MX for the Macintosh platform. It mentions the usual specs, including its availability in various Mac models, pricing and configuration.


    What's probably the most interesting news to most readers will be the performance tests results. CNET pitted the GeForce 2 against ATI's Radeon (no mention of whether it's the PCI or AGP version), using a Power Mac G4 400 with 128MB as the base.


    In their 2D testing, CNET basically scored both cards to be equal, using apps like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop to do the testing.


    For 3D testing, Quake III was used as the medium. The results show the GeForce 2 trumping the Radeon in all three resolutions tested (800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024). The GeForce 2 scored 50.2, 49.6, and 46.1 fps respectively, while the Radeon scored 48.2, 40.4, and 39.3 respectively. For further comparison results, 3dfx's Voodoo 5 and ATI's Rage 128 Pro were also tested. The overall scores are quite low compared to most results, and few details on their testing methods were revealed.


    It should also be noted that, for whatever reason, all the cards except for the Radeon were run in OS 9.1, while the Radeon was run in OS 9.0.4. The paltry 128 MB of RAM used was also most likely a factor in the low scores exhibited by all four cards tested.


    For the full write-up as well as a detailed performance chart, be sure to check out CNET's review. At the very least it is a good lesson in why you should go to a Mac-first site to read reviews of a Mac product.

    CNET - GeForce 2 MX for Mac Review


    JewelToy Released for OS X
    9:44 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A fun new OS X shareware program has been listed on MacGameFiles recently, called JewelToy. Author Giles Williams has recreated the fun and addictive play you may recognize from MSN's Bejeweled. He credit's OS X's new development applications with the quick (one week) period of the game's creation. Here's a list of what's new in 1.1.0:


    • Timer now pauses while animation is happening.
    • Time for each gem is now fixed, which makes earning high bonuses harder.
    • JewelToy now quits when closed.
    • Replaced the 'poop' gem.
    • German version only requires a translated help page.
    • Added the Mute button.

    If you're running OS X, head over to MGF to check out JewelToy, which is a mere 735k download.

    MSN Bejeweled
    JewelToy Web Page
    Download JewelToy 1.1.0 (735k)


    OS X DoomLegacy Help Needed
    9:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    iDevGames recently reported that Calum Robinson, author of the Mac DoomLegacy port, was looking for beta testers for an OS X version. This app lets you run both your old Doom and Doom 2 maps in beautifully-rendered OpenGL, and also has a few other handy improvements. An OS X version will give adopters of this new operating system even more reason to never launch Classic again. Here are a couple specifics from the page:

    The developer of Mac DooMLegacy Calum Robinson is looking for a few people to beta test OSX DooMLegacy. Please send a profile of your system along with why you want to beta test and any experience that you may have in beta testing.
    Head over to the Mac DoomLegacy site and send Robinson an email if you're interested in helping out. Remember that you need at least the data files from the Doom demo, or ideally a full installed version of Doom or Doom II.

    iDevGames Web Site
    Mac OpenGL DoomLegacy Web Site


    Soldier of Fortune 2 Interview
    9:16 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    VoodooExtreme has posted their results regarding an interview with Jake Simpson of Raven, developers of the upcoming FPS Soldier of Fortune 2. Though the interview is understandably a bit PC-centric, it still reveals some interesting details regarding the game's engines, story development, and new features.


    The main backstory of SOF2 is that scientists from the former Communist nation Russia have developed a chemical weapon that has made its way into the world. Though this backstory is fictional, one of the more interesting notes regarding the missions for SOF2 is that they will have some basis in reality. Earlier news bits about this title indicate that this reality will include real-world missions that have actually occurred.


    Besides being built off the Quake III engine, SOF2 will also be incorporating the ICARUS scripting engine from Elite Force, used for direct control of characters. For character AI, a new system named LICH is being developed by two full-time developers. The ROAM terrain system will allow SOF2 to have huge dynamically-generated environments. The GHOUL2 system, upgraded from the original GHOUL used in SOF, will allow for accurate damage modeling and animation.


    A very intriguing feature being built into the game is the Dynamic Mission Generator. Using this generator, a player can input specific parameters and have it generate a random mission, complete with its own map, terrain, and objectives.


    In terms of sound, EAX support is being planned. MP3 playback of speech is also planned, with the lip-synching tech from Elite Force being implemented in SOF2.


    The original SOF used a system of limited saves that could be used anywhere in the game in order to increase the difficulty (eliminating the "take a few steps, save, repeat" tactic). They plan on implementing this system in SOF2 as well, though it can be specifically overridden if a player so desires.


    In terms of weapons, the experimental microwave gun from the first game will not be returning. Instead of having a selection of weapons to choose from, it's currently sounding like each mission will have pre-set weapons suited to the task at hand. Heavy weapons, such as a mounted M60 in a helicopter, will also be a part of SOF2.


    Multiplayer play has yet to be addressed, as the developers wish to concentrate on the single-player aspect for now. Also, the game will be significantly longer than SOF in terms of playtime, as Simpson notes that he got "smacked around" for the "perceived brevity of Elite Force."


    SOF2 is currently shooting for a tentative late Q1, early Q2 release on the PC. Though no Mac version has been officially announced, this game is being built off the Quake III engine, and Raven reps have posted messages that a Mac port is a likely possibility. In the meantime, be sure to read up on the Simpson interview for more details on this upcoming title.

    VoodooExtreme - SOF2 Interview



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    IGN Previews Red Faction
    6:00 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    A new preview of Volition's upcoming first-person shoot'em up Red Faction has been posted on pc.ign.com. Recently the PlayStation 2 version has gone "gold" and now Volition is concentrating on the PC and Mac OS version. The preview is based on a demonstration of the finished PS 2 version and the latest PC version. In addition to the text, they have added new screen shots of the game in action. While not many new details were uncovered, more details are revealed about the weapons and their use. Here are some excerpts:

    For those who don't know about Red Faction, it boasts an innovative technology that Volition termed Geo-Mod, short for Geometric Modification. And of course, the PC version of the game works beautifully while your character Parker blasts away at walls, rocky mountains, and Ultor enemy soldiers. Essentially, with weapons such as the Big Gun and the rocket launcher (complete with a infra-red sensor screen on-deck), players can completely demolish the landscapes. And I mean devastate them. Players can whale on each other by smashing down destructible objects onto their enemies, or they can blast walls near their foes that explode onto their enemies. It's great fun just blowing sh*t to pieces. We got a chance to drive the driller vehicle today as well, which makes short work of walls as you make your own paths through levels.
    The PC and Mac OS version is due to come around August/September. The Mac OS version will be developed in-house by Volition, but published by GraphSim.

    Volition
    Red Faction Web Site
    Graphsim
    IGN's Red Faction Preview
    GraphSim
    Volition
    Red Faction


    Mac Games News for Thursday, April 19, 2001

    Sims: House Party for Mac OS5:18 PM
    Alice Moves Into Beta Status, New Project2:22 PM
    MMEP Updates, Q3Radiant on OS X1:02 PM
    3dfx Finalizes Sale of Assets11:19 AM
    Soldier of Fortune 2 .plan Started10:43 AM
    Alchera Project Comes To An End10:20 AM
    Red Faction Complete for PS2, Site Updates9:19 AM
    Escape Velocity Nova Update8:57 AM
    Diablo II Expansion Interview, Beta Starting8:51 AM
    New Myst III:Exile Preview8:45 AM
    Status of 3D Cards, Makers8:40 AM
    MacSoft Update on Hasbro, Vampire, More8:33 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 19, 2001 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, April 18, 2001
    Tuesday, April 17, 2001
    Monday, April 16, 2001
    Friday, April 13, 2001
    Thursday, April 12, 2001


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



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