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Wednesday, May 16, 2001

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Max Payne E3 Plans
9:57 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Scott Miller of 3D Realms recently updated his .plan file before heading out for this year's E3 Expo (which officially starts today). He mentions they will be showing both of their major titles Max Payne and Duke Nukem Forever, though the later will be in video form only. Miller notes the plan for Max Payne is to get some feedback from closed showings on this "nearly finished game." He also says a video will be posted on the Internet tomorrow, so we'll keep track of that as well. Here's a clip from his .plan:

I'm hoping for a good reaction for our DNF and Max Payne videos, plus Max
will have backroom demos going on and those are always fun to sit in on to
see the press' reaction. Also, for Max, it'll be a great way to get a
reading on what people think of this nearly finished game while there's
still a little of bit of time for some tweaking.

The DNF and Max videos will be available on the Internet May 17th, the
first day of the E3 show, so for those fans not at the show, we didn't want
to leave you out of the fun. Also, CNN requested and received a copy of
both videos, so they might appear (in part) on TV, too. (CNN usually has
decent coverage of E3.)

Hope you're able to see what we've been up to

It's great to hear the game is so close to completion on the PC side, because it means work on the Mac port is able to begin that much sooner. MacSoft will be publishing the Mac version once it is completed. We'll be bringing you more on Max Payne in the near future, along with in-depth coverage from the Expo, so stay tuned.

MacSoft Web Site
Scott Miller .plan File
Max Payne Web Site
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

WWDC Begins in One Week!
4:30 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

There's just one more week to go until Worldwide Developers
Conference 2001
launches at the San Jose Convention Center.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will open this information-packed event, which
features over 160 session hours covering Mac OS X, Darwin, Java,
QuickTime, WebObjects, and more. View a complete list of session
descriptions at WWDC web site.


At WWDC 2001, you'll receive a wealth of technical details from
Apple engineers, including:

- Leveraging single and multiprocessor hardware with Mac OS X to
significantly boost performance of your application with threading

- Harnessing the power of Quartz in your application with detailed
explanations of the Quartz graphics architecture, the Quartz API,
and how to integrate PDF support into your products

- Exploiting the power of Mac OS X's custom version of BSD 4.4 to
bring BSD-based applications to Mac OS X

- Apple's plans for Java on Mac OS X, including the Java runtime
environment, the HotSpot Client VM, Java development tools, and
shared libraries

- Using Project Builder to develop Carbon, Cocoa, and Java
applications and frameworks as well as device drivers and other
system components

- Interface Builder features that make it easy to manage virtually
every aspect of creating a well-designed user interface that adheres
to the Aqua guidelines


When migrating your code to Mac OS X, you shouldn't leave your icons
behind. Representatives from Iconfactory, a leading icon design
agency, will be on hand to provide you with professional Mac OS X
icon design assistance during the show. Visit them in the Mac OS X
Migration Partners booth area at WWDC, along with six other top-notch
engineering firms on hand to answer all your questions about porting your
apps to Mac OS X, or creating brand new apps for Mac OS X.

Don't miss this opportunity; add a shot of adrenaline to your
Mac OS X development by attending WWDC 2001.

For more information, be sure to visit the official WWDC web site.

Official WWDC web site

Dragon's Lair 3D Preview at ActionTrip
3:37 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

PC gaming site ActionTrip has produced a short but interesting preview of Dragon's Lair 3D, a title by Blue Byte and Dragonstone which will be complete by the end of the year. This full-3D rendition of the Laserdisc-based arcade game is being designed to appeal both to veterans of the coin-op years as well as gamers raised on the Tomb Raider series. Featuring three different gameplay modes, this gorgeous title will provide varying levels of depth and difficulty for all types of gamers. Here is an excerpt from the preview:

The game will take place in the same location and rooms from the original game. There are a couple of differences, though. All the rooms are in full 3D now, so you can explore them to full extent, and the developers claim that the game has exactly five times as more rooms that the original Dragon's Lair had.

The original Dragon's Lair was unique for its animation - it had high quality animation and realistic character movement. The designers decided to preserve the cartoonish look and use it in 3D surroundings. This means that all the characters from the original Dragon's Lair like Dirk the Daring will have to consist out of hosts of polygons and the game engine will apply a filter known as "Toon shading" to all objects in-game. Dragon's Lair 3D terrains will be covered in detailed textures that will further enhance the atmosphere. Some locations in Dragon's Lair 3D have been directly taken from the original game. The designers said they wanted to create surroundings that would look familiar to the old gamers and still bring modern design and new gameplay value.

While the preview doesn't feature much in the way of new information, it does have five new screen shots to admire, so stop by if you are anticipating the release of this new take on an old classic.

Dragonstone Software
Dragon's Lair 3D Preview at ActionTrip

Missing Mac Myst III: Exile Patch?
3:20 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As we noted on Monday, UbiSoft has released a patch for the PC version of just-released adventure game Myst III: Exile, fixing several bugs and adding a few minor features. However, there was no corresponding Mac version of the patch posted, so we contacted UbiSoft to discover when the bugs and missing features (such as the ability to invert the Y axis of the camera view) that Mac users have noted in the IMG forums will be addressed. It turns out that the PC patch (and the new CD#1 which is available) is an emergency measure for PC gamers who literally can't play the game as it currently stands; once again the many diverse hardware configurations of the PC world are a stumbling block to developers, rather than a benefit.

A Mac patch will be released in the future, as soon as they have dealt with the minor bugs that are Mac-specific:

The current patch is required for some PCs to be able to play the game at all. There are no such "show-stoppers" with the Mac version (that we're aware of). We're still gathering a list of "Mac-only" bugs that can be addressed. When those have been addressed, the Mac patch installer will be created. Our people are hard at work to fix all the problems users have encountered with Myst III: Exile so far. Hang in there!
And hang in there we will. As we noted, Mac users do NOT need to order a new CD#1 at this time; we'll let you know when the Mac patch for this game is available.

UbiSoft Addresses Myst III: Exile Concerns
Myst III: Exile Sound, 3dfx Issues

E3: New Halo Shots Released
1:17 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Blue's News has posted a gallery of 15 new images from Bungie Studios' upcoming first-person shooter Halo, being developed as a launch title for Microsoft's Xbox console and due for release on Mac and PC several months after that. This mixture of images shows both combat situations, posed eye-candy shots and several large vehicles in sight. We're sure this is just the beginning of a flood of news about Halo, so in the meantime check out these shots for a preview of what is to come.

Halo Screen Shot Gallery on Blues' News

IMG Interviews Pop Top on Tropico
12:56 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

One of the A-list titles we are anticipating (and the first of MacSoft's recent Take Two acquisitions to be published) this late Spring is Tropico, a truly unique title from the creators of Railroad Tycoon II. Phil Steinmyer of Pop Top took some time out from his work on the Mac version of this title to talk with IMG about the game, the Mac OS and OS X versions, and the future. Here is a sample:

IMG: What is your favorite part of Tropico?

Steinmeyer: The people. Most strategy games ignore the personalities of the people in the game - you have knights and orcs and peons, and the only differentiation between them is how many hit points they have. For Tropico's political and social elements to work, we needed deep, realistic people. Each person in Tropico has over 50 unique characteristics - from innate qualities like their intelligence and courage, to their immediate needs like their hunger and rest level, to things like their political views and level of religious belief, to family relationships - if you assassinate Pedro's brother, Pedro will probably not be too happy with you in the future.

I think part of the reason the Sims has been such a hit is that gamers like to see people acting realistically - not robots with flesh, the way most games treat people - Tropico has that Sims-feel to it's people, but we have a lot more people in our world 200-500 by the end of the game.

IMG: What's the release timeline for Tropico on the Mac, now that you're distributing through MacSoft?

Steinmeyer: We expect to Gold Master the game in early June, so Tropico should probably be on the streets in early July - definitely ahead of MacWorld.

Excellent news for Mac sim gamers. Follow the link below for more Q&A about this much-praised game.

Feature: Interview with PopTop's Phil Steinmeyer

Maximum Pool Update, OS X Support
11:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Sierra Sports has just released a new patch for the excellent pool title Maximum Pool. This small 1.06 update fixes a number of small bugs in the program, as well as adding full support for OS X. In case you haven't heard about the game, Maximum Pool offers a wide variety of traditional and far-out game types. It also includes an easy network play mode for chatting and playing against others around the world. This new update makes it one of the first large sporting titles to be available on OS X. Here's a clip from the web site with info on what else has changed:

  • Fixed a bug in chat display.
  • Fixed 'out of sync' problems with fullscreen mode on Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9 systems.
  • Fixed a crash bug that would occur while loading the table.
  • Fixed multiple CHATBEEP sound when multiple chat messages came in together.
  • Fixed refresh problem on lobby interface.
  • Added OSX support.
  • Head over now to Macgamefiles to download the update for either Classic or OS X. If you haven't tried the title, give the demo a whirl to see if it's to your liking. Read through IMG's review of the game if you're looking for more details on this title.

    IMG Review of Maximum Pool
    Maximum Pool Web Site
    Download Maximum Pool 1.06 Update (3MB)

    Civilization III Announced for Mac
    10:04 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    In a recent press release, Infogrames has re-iterated its support for the Mac through its MacSoft division with the titles Fly! II, Master of Orion III, and Tropico. New to this list is Sid Meier's Civilization III, a title still currently in development for PC as well. For those unfamiliar with this award-winning series, Civilization allows the player to become the ruler a populace, controlling the development of that populace through decision that involve technology, structures, religious practices, and the like. CIv3 is in development by Firaxis, and is expected to be released late this year.

    Details are still sketchy at this point, as MacSoft has yet to make an official announcement regarding Civ III. We do, however, expect such an announcement to be made soon, and will bring you the details when we get them.

    Infogrames Press Release - E3 Lineup

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    New Red Faction Weapon Info
    9:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    The Official Red Faction website has been updated with a new screenshot and weapon of the week. This week's weapon is the venerable rocket launcher, a staple of most FPS games these days. Fully titled the F-1TL Fusion Rocket Launcher, this weapon is a shoulder-mounted cannon that fires a single shot with devastating effect. Interestingly enough, it has no alternate-fire listed, and notes that the reload time after each shot is quite long. Those looking to run around blasting with abandon may be in for a disappointment.

    The screenshot of the week shows the rocket launcher, which takes up half the screen, in action. The player has blown a hole in a far wall, which shows the destructive power of this weapon as well as demonstrates the versatile Geo Mod engine, which allows players to deform and blow apart practically everything in the game.

    For the full details on this featured weapon, be sure to check out the website. Red Faction is still currently listed as arriving "sometime this year."

    Red Faction Official Site
    Red Faction

    Vortex Next Generation (Re)Released
    9:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Late yesterday afternoon we reported that Vortex Next Generation, the 3D take on arcade classics, was released to the public for both Classic and OS X systems. Later in the evening, author Rocco Bowling sent out a quick update for the game which fixes some bugs that managed to sneak into the first version. If you downloaded the game yesterday and are unable to get past the first level, a quick new patch has been made available to help. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

    As much as it pains me to announce it, there was one of the "oh gosh"
    bugs in the initial release of Vortex NG. This manifested itself in not
    allowing you to advance past level one in the unregistered OS 9 version of
    of Vortex NG. A similar change also needed to be addressed in the OS X

    My sincere apologies, but the problem has now been fixed and the
    downloads from the site updated. If you have already downloaded Vortex NG, then as an alternative to downloading the enter file again, you can download smaller updates from:

    OS 9 Update:


    OS X Update:


    These 4.4MB files are only half the size of the regular download, so be sure to grab them if you downloaded Vortex NG yesterday. If you haven't yet tried the game, you can feel confident getting the now-updated version of the game at Macgamefiles, as it has already been updated.

    Download (Full Version) of Vortex NG
    Vortex Next Generation Web Site
    IMG News: Vortex: Next Generation Ships for X, OS 9

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 15, 2001

    Vortex: Next Generation Ships for X, OS 93:50 PM
    BioWare Pair on D&D, Neverwinter Nights3:36 PM
    Red Faction News Bits3:11 PM
    'Myth Village' Debuts10:15 AM
    EV Nova Progress Update9:50 AM
    Details, Concerns on Sims Online9:29 AM
    UbiSoft Addresses Myst III: Exile Concerns9:10 AM
    Vampire: tM Status Check9:05 AM
    Apple Shreds With Tony Hawk 28:48 AM
    Shadowbane Preview, Site Updates8:22 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 15, 2001 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Monday, May 14, 2001
    Friday, May 11, 2001
    Thursday, May 10, 2001
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    Tuesday, May 8, 2001

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