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Thursday, May 17, 2001

IMG Heads to E3
9:44 AM | Patrick Leyden | Comment on this story

As I write this, I am sitting on an airplane transporting me from my daily routine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, California for the annual Electronic Entertianment Expo. As I cruise at 35,000 feet I feel the excitment building for what promises to be an amazing event. While authoring features and reviews is in itself rewarding, often times it is done in a vaccum with no direct interaction with the people responsible for the games we play. E3 is an amazing opportunity for conversation with and commentary by some of the industry’s most talented and well-known personalities.

Along with the Tokyo Game Show and the Game Developers Conference, E3 is one of the ‘must attend’ events for developers, publishers and the gaming press. Unlike Macworld Expo, E3’s rigid entry policy permits only press and gaming industry professionals to attend and denies the general public any access. This policy only adds to the event’s mystique.

Inside Mac Games is proud to be providing complete show coverage of E3 2001. This year, IMG is sending a team of writers to the show in order to cover as much of the action as possible. In addition to myself, the onsite IMG team consists of our Hardware Editor, Lucian Fong as well as Michael Yanovich. There will also be some people new to IMG on hand including Brad Custer, the graphical wizard who recently brought Custer’s Desktops to the Inside Mac Games Network and Greg Wilson, a hardcore PC gamer new to the Mac gaming scene who will provide a unique perspective on the the show. For most of us this is our first time at E3, and we hope to be able to capture the excitement of the event in words and pictures.

We have lined up a number of interviews and meetings with a variety of industry heavyweights throughout the show. On Thursday, expect updates from MacSoft, publishers of Unreal Tournament and the recently-announced Max Payne, Presto Studios, makers of Myst III and Bioware, whose upcoming game Neverwinter Nights expects to break new ground in the the online role playing arena. Peripheral maker Saitek USA and Digital Leisure, the makers of Dragons Lair 3D, are also expected to provide IMG with the latest information on their upcoming products.

On Friday, the Inside Mac Games team will explore Gathering of Developers’ legendary “Promised Lot,” get an update Ken and Phil from porting powerhouse Westlake Interactive, and talk with Jason Whong from MacPlay. IMG will also hopes to spend some time with Blizzard Entertainment, Aspyr Media and audio hardware giant Altec Lansing. We will also be scouring the show floor, looking for the latest and greatest PC and console games as well as talking with other hardware and software developers about their plans for the Mac.

You can expect numerous updates throughout the remainder of the week as we bring you news, interviews, pictures and video from the gaming industry’s premiere event.

Filter News to IMG E3 Content
E3 Expo web site
E3 2001

MacGamer Previews Civilization III
4:19 PM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

MacGamer has posted a short preview of Civilization III, the forthcoming sequel in this landmark turn-based strategy series. It has been recently announced that MacSoft will bring this highly-anticipated title to the Mac later this year; fans of the immensely-popular Civilization series will want to check out this preview!

MacGamer's Civilization III Preview

E3: Return to Castle Wolfenstein Site Launched
4:19 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

One of the titles we have been keeping a close eye on for the past year is Return to Castle Wolfenstein, being developed by Gray Matter Studios with the supervision of id Software and Activision. While we don't have official word of a Mac OS version of this title -- yet -- there are numerous factors that make this an extremely likely possibility. It is based on the cross-platform Quake 3 Arena engine, which has been the gateway for numerous titles that have come to our OS in the past; it is also being published by Activision, who has already worked with Mac porting house Aspyr Media to bring the Q3A-engine American McGee's Alice to our platform. You can be sure one of our staff members at the expo will camp out on someone's desk until we get a yea or nay (or at least a maybe) from Activision or id.

This title dropped out of the public eye for a while soon after it was announced, but now Activision has chosen E3 as the time to reveal this game in depth. They have launched a web site dedicated to the game itself, and it has a wealth of information and screen shots. Here is a little summary of the story line, from the site:

You are B.J. Blaskowitz, a bad-ass Army Ranger recruited into the Office of Secret Actions (OSA) tasked with escaping and then returning to Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to thwart Heinrich Himmler's occult and genetic experiments. Himmler believes himself to be a reincarnation of a 10th century dark prince, Henry the Fowler, also known as Heinrich. Through genetic engineering and the harnessing of occult powers, Himmler hopes to raise an unstoppable army to level the Allies once and for all.

You must first escape from imprisonment in the castle to report the strange creatures and happenings in and around Wolfenstein to the OSA. Your mission takes a drastic turn as you learn the depth of Himmler's plans and what you must do to defeat the evil he has unleashed.

Heady stuff, to be certain. Keep watching IMG over the next three days for all the news from the Expo, and we will do our best to find out if this title could be headed to a platform near you -- the one right in front of you, of course.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Official Site

E3: New Myth III Images Revealed [Update]
3:24 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The Adrenaline Vault has cooked up an impressive number of screen shot galleries from images released for showcase titles at E3; one title we're sure Mac gamers want to see more of is Myth III: The Wolf Age, which is being developed by Mumbo Jumbo and which will be published by MacSoft. Avault has published a gallery of 11 in-game images, which represent the improved Myth II engine and the new 3D troop models at various levels of zoom.

These shots should reveal some amazing eye candy for veteran fans of the series, but it should be noted that the game is still in "alpha" development and these are NOT final images of the game, just a temporary reference. Nevertheless the enhancements in textures, foliage and troop models are quite impressive (to our jaded eyes) so far. We'll be sure to bring you our own impressions and details on the game from the show floor, so stay tuned...

As the image gallery on Avault is quite slow, we have mirrored a set of the press images here at IMG. Follow the link below for our gallery.

Feature: Myth III: The Wolf Age Image Gallery
Myth III: Wolf Age Gallery at Avault

E3: Images From The Expo, Part One
3:06 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our IMG correspondent Patrick Leyden has sent back an impressive gallery of images from the Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA. These are images of Staples Center and the area around the expo itself, part of our effort to bring the Expo to you. Expect this gallery to be expanded and updated rapidly as we bring you coverage from the show floor itself. For now, get a taste of sunny downtown LA and the awesome scale of this yearly spectacle.

Feature: E3 Image Gallery, Part One

E3: Disney Unveils Mac-Friendly Lineup
2:39 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Mac gamers have long been puzzled by the fact that Disney has been less than friendly to the Mac OS in the past; after all, one of their premier content partners is Pixar, a company founded and run by Apple iCEO Steve Jobs. However, as their new lineup just announced at E3 reveals, the tide is indeed turning in our favor. A total of eight Mac-compatible games are on the way, designed to appeal to a broad audience of fans and take advantage of Disney's huge base of content.

The first of the titles to be announced ties into Pixar's next film release, due this fall. There are also tie-in titles for Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and other classic Disney content, as well as edutainment and creativity titles. Here are excerpts from the press release on several of the titles:

"Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc." -- Based on the upcoming feature film from Disney and Pixar, the complete line of interactive games includes a variety of titles for the PC, as well as games for PlayStation 2, PlayStation, GameBoy Advance and GameBoy Color systems. For fun and quirky gameplay, "Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. `Wreck' Room Arcade" games (PC CD-ROM) let players join the Monsters, Inc. gang in the "Wreck" room, the place where monsters relax after a long day at the scream factory. Kids ages eight to 13 can hang out with their favorite monsters as they play crazy versions of four classic arcade games, each featuring a different monster. Priced at $9.99 each, when players collect all four, they unlock a fifth game for free! Kids ages four to eight can also join in the fun with "Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. Junior Game" on CD-ROM for PC and Macintosh. All PC and Mac titles launch Oct. 31.

"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire -- Third Edition and Kids Edition" -- Try to win one million "virtual" dollars with the best seller that's back with two new editions: "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire CD ROM - Third Edition" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire CD ROM - Kids Edition." Both feature show host and ABC television personality Regis Philbin, those legendary lifelines and scores of new questions. The Third Edition includes bonus question sets that can be downloaded for free from the Internet, while The Kids Edition features hundreds of questions on topics like boy bands, pop divas, cartoons, extreme sports, and movies -- the Millionaire game you gotta be a kid to win! "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Third Edition" is available May 22 for PC, Macintosh and PlayStation game console. The Kids Edition launches in September for PC and Macintosh platforms.

"Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe" -- Available for PC and Macintosh, "Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe" brings art to life with the next great leap in Disney's Magic Artist line of interactive creativity products that tap into the artist in everyone. Through a combination of advanced technology, creative design and, of course, Disney magic, "Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe" has a whole new look and feel, which lets users express themselves through amazing art tools, crazy effects, new functionality and updated content. With a broad range of art tools for drawing, painting, sketching, editing and more, kids and families can create drawings, animate them and e-mail them to friends. "Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe" is specially designed to connect with all future Disney's Magic Artist titles, increasing the number of art tools and compatibility with each CD-ROM, as users download new tools and create works of art online using DMA On-line. They can even scan in photos and decorate them. There are limitless opportunities for imaginative fun and creativity. The title is available in September.

Other titles coming to the Mac OS over the next 8 months include Disney's Phonics Quest, Disney's Winnie the Pooh Learning Series, Playhouse Disney's Rolie Polie Olie, Disney's Cinderella's Dollhouse and Disney Girlfriends.

Disney Interactive

E3: Tentative MacSoft Release Dates
1:29 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In addition to our discussions with MacSoft regarding Civilization III and Master of Orion III, they have released new information about their other aquisitions from Take Two Interactive. As we reported last week, their currently announced games are Tropico, Fly! II,
Master of Orion 3, Sid Meier's Civilization 3, and Max
Payne. The three unannounced games will be
revealed prior to MacWorld New York in July. Tropico
and Fly! II should be playable at MWNY, and shipping around that time as well. MOO3 is
being developed simultaneously with the Windows
version in-house by Quicksilver Software, for a
release in early 2002. MacSoft is currently searching
for a developer for Civilization 3. The plan is to
release Civ 3 soon after the Windows version, which
is scheduled for a Fall 2001 release. Keep watching IMG for even more updates from the expo!

E3: Civilization III Sneak Preview, More From MacSoft
News: MacSoft to Publish Take Two Titles

Blizzard Patches Diablo, Warcraft II BNE
1:07 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Even as they demo Warcraft III at E3, Blizzard Entertainment has not forgotten those of you who still play their 'classic' titles. Recently both the venerable RPG Diablo and the oldie-but-goodie RTS Warcraft II: Battle-Net Edition have been updated to accommodate various bug fixes and changes in the Battle-Net server. If you play either title online, then you have no worries -- just log in and your version will be updated. Patches available as a separate download will be available soon.

The list of changes in Diablo 1.0.9 is short:

1. Fixed some Battle.net issues.

2. Reverted a change made in 1.08 that, while correctly calculated distance, caused unintended gameplay issues.
The list of changes to WC2:BNE is slightly longer, and includes gameplay tweaks -- a shining testimony to Blizzard's obsession with perfection. Here's a sample:

  • Eye of Kilrogg can now patrol.
  • Added support for Battle.net gateways.
  • Battle.net Create Game Chatroom now lists resources and starting location along with map size and game speed.

    Major bug fixes

  • Fixed a hack which would allow you to perform upgrades repeatedly, bringing your units to normally unattainable levels.

    Minor bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug where sappers would sometimes walk up to the wall, but not detonate.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the menu screens to become unresponsive to clicks if the computer had been left on for 24 days or more.
  • If a player is #1 on both Ironman and Regular ladder, it now shows Ironman stats, not the Regular stats.
  • Map-passing now sets the map’s creator code to W2Be (a Map Editor file) instead of W2BN (a War2BNE file).
  • Clicking on the portrait of an invisible unit not your own no longer centers the map on that unit.
  • Previously, if somebody else had allied with you, you could not cast death coil on them even if you were not allied with them.
  • [Mac only]. The application resource version no longer states beta, and copyright notices corrected.
If you don't play online, check back in a few days for the downloadable patches.

Diablo II 1.0.9 Update
Warcraft II: BNE 2.0.2 Update

E3: Civilization III Sneak Preview, More From MacSoft
12:54 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

This morning in our meeting with MacSoft, Infogrames and Quicksilver representatives demonstrated Civilization III and Master of Orion III, respectively.

Announced for the Macintosh yesterday, this was the first time Civilization III was shown to print and online media (PC or Mac), and only behind closed doors. The Mac port has not yet been contracted yet because the PC version is unfinished, but Al Schilling of MacSoft assured us that it would be the "usual suspects."

As with previous Civilization games, the goal is to build a civilization from scratch and win through diplomacy, being the most technologically advanced, having the largest civilization or a superior culture. The development team's goal for Civilization 3 was to expand on the trade, culture, diplomacy, and war aspects. Of course, the graphics will be improved as well. For newbies, there will be helpful advisors to guide you through the game. Also, a tech tree chart will be built in, as opposed to the poster that was included in previous versions.

Civilization III is scheduled for release on the PC fall of this year, with the Mac version following as closely as possible. MacSoft would not commit to Mac OS X compatibility on release, but Schilling told us that it was their intent.


Vortex NG Updated to 1.0.3, Fixes Bugs
12:24 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The "classic" (OS 9 and below) version of shareware action puzzle game Vortex NG has been updated once again, to squash a bug introduced by the 1.0.2 update of the game. This update is for the OS 9 version of the game only; an update for the Mac OS X update is expected shortly. Here is a list of changes from the author:

The 1.03 update fixes a bad bug introduced in the 1.02 update. This
manifested itself in causing Vortex NG to freeze the system when you tried
to enter a game. This update fixes the problem and applies to the Classic
versions only.

Please note that the OS 8.x version has also been updated to 1.03 and
now works correctly.

I am also looking into the "Fatal Error: unable to init OpenGL" which
occurs on some OS X systems. This happens when Vortex NG is unable to start
up a full-screen OpenGL window. We are currently working around this by
allowing Vortex NG to play in windowed mode on these systems. I expect the
OS X update of Vortex NG to be release in the next day or two.

Further news announces the release of the GameRanger plug-in for Vortex
NG, which now allows you to take your matches our the internet using this

Kudos to the game author for his quick response to user comments and complaints. If you haven't grabbed the demo version of this OpenGL-powered take on arcade classics, be sure and take it for a spin; low system requirements and high production quality add up to a lot of bang for your buck.

Vortex NG 1.0.3 Demo (10 MB)
Vortex NG News and Downloads

Classic Gaming Updates for OS X
11:37 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

With all of the hype surrounding E3 and shiny new titles, it's good to see that classic gaming is still getting some attention. Two emulators have recently been updated, the well known SNES9X along with Modeler, a Sega Arcade emulator.

The Snes9x 1.3.7 update from John Stiles includes fixes and optimizations for better OS X support, including an option for full-screen play. Mac OS X version 10.0.2 or later is now required. Also included is an extensive Cheat Finder feature from Ian Patterson and a new sound decoding system.

Modeler, by Richard Bannister, is now at version 0.8.1. Although Model 1 arcade games are still unplayable because of lack of 3D support, many Sega System 32 and 32 multi games such as Golden Axe 2 and Spiderman are fully playable. Modeler is fully Carbonized so works under OS X. While there is no time line for development, this may mean early 3D arcade titles such as Virtua Fighter may eventually be supported.

Along similar lines, Rob Griffiths has posted an article at macosxhints.com which reveals how to play the classic Zork text-adventures on OS X - from the terminal app no less! Rob discusses configuring Jzip, which runs most games published by Infocom based on the Z-Machine standard. Full instructions as well as links to the first three Zork titles are included.

Modeler Homepage
Mac OS X Hints

Westlake To Port Deus Ex to PS2
10:58 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

While this isn't exactly Mac gaming news, it does concern a company that means the world to Mac gamers. Westlake Interactive had yet another bombshell to drop on us today -- they will be porting the Ion Storm shooter Deus Ex to the PlayStation 2 console. As we reported several times last year, Westlake has been actively exploring the idea of doing console ports as a way to supplement their income and fill in for "dry spells" in the Mac market. While their plate has been full this year to say the least, they have obviously made good on their promises and have scored a title that will be an instant hit, to boot.

Here is an excerpt from their statement:

Westlake is pleased to announce a project that is a bit
of a departure from the norm for us- Deus Ex for
PlayStation 2. We have been working on this project
in conjunction with Ion Storm Austin for a few
months, and are very excited about it.

DX PS2 is a version of the award-winning Deus Ex,
updated and optimized for the PlayStation 2. Not
simply a straight port of the PC or Mac version, we are
working closely with Ion Storm to retain the original
feel and gameplay of Deus Ex while tailoring the
interface, controls, and level design for the PlayStation
2. You can read Eidos' press release on Blues News
for more information.

A special note to Mac gamers- Westlake decided to
take this project because it was simply a project we
couldn't pass up- our previous experience with DX
Mac, our proximity in Austin to Ion Storm (original
developers of DX), and interest in the technical
challenges of a new platform all led us to sign on with
this project.

This new platform work does not stem from a lack of
faith in the Mac market or from us trying use the Mac
market as a stepping stone to "bigger" things.
Westlake is fully committed to being the leading
developer of Mac games and bringing the best games
to the Mac.

Very reassuring, to say the least. This port should not only gain Westlake a foothold in the console market, but perhaps also put them on solid financial footing as well. Our congratulations to the entire team; we're sure IMG readers who are also console owners will be elated to hear the news.

MW: Westlake Diversifies
Westlake to Port Deus Ex to PS2

E3: Star Wars Jedi Outcast: Jedi Knight II
10:33 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

LucasArts has announced the development of the third in a series of
first-person action games involving ex-Jedi Kyle Katarn. Jedi Outcast™
follows in the tradition of Dark Forces™ and Jedi Knight of delivering
quality action in the Star Wars® universe. LucasArts will develop Jedi
Outcast™ in conjunction with Raven Software using a modified version of the
Quake III engine. It is projected for a Spring 2002 release for Microsoft

While there are no plans for a Mac version, as of yet, we are sure that veteran readers of our site will recognize some of the names above -- specifically Raven software (who developed Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force) and LucasArts (who developed just-published Escape from Monkey Island) as well as Quake III Arena. For Mac fans, these are golden names -- the portable Q3A engine has virtually guaranteed the porting of many titles to the Mac OS, including Elite Force and American McGee's Alice. Both of those were published by Aspyr Media; and Aspyr has already published a LucasArts title (EFMI), so as you can see this all adds up to quite a pretty picture. We'll bring you more details on this game from the show floor, of course...

LucasArts E3 Page
IMG's In-Depth E3 Coverage

Click to enlarge
E3: More Max Payne Movies, Images
10:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

3D Realms has made a new trailer of Max Payne available today. The movie is in both MPEG and Windows Media formats and runs at about 47 MB for the former and 37 MB for the latter. Unfortunately at the moment, this and a just-released Duke Nukem Forever video have brought most mirror sites to their knees due to the high demand. If you can't get to it yet, try back later today or tomorrow.

If you're frustrated waiting for the movies to download (or don't have the bandwidth to begin with), VoodooExtreme recently scored some great new high-resolution screen shots of Max Payne in action. If you scroll down in the comments, you can also find a couple of shots posted by 3D Realms employees. IMG will be bringing you much more on Max Payne in the near future. The game is in the final stages of development for the PC now, though the details on the Mac port (such as who is porting it, or a possible release date) are unknown at this point.

Max Payne Web Site
Max Payne Screen Shots at VoodooExtreme
Official Max Payne/DNF Video Listings at Stomped
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

Click to enlarge
Shadowbane Reveals Guild Halls
10:02 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Shadowbane's official site has been updated with information and pictures regarding Guild Halls. These structures will most likely be some of the most important buildings in the game, given that this upcoming MMORPG seems to base its entire structure around guild building and joining. Besides being common meeting-places where guild members can trade information, meet and leave messages, Guild Halls will also serve as training centers. Skilled Trainers will be able to instruct members in various techniques and secrets so that they can better serve the guild.

Unlike other buildings in the Shadowbane world, Guild Halls will not change their appearance as they are upgraded, though they will still be among the largest buildings found in a city. Upgrades will increase the amount of tradesmen that a guild can support.

Among the Guild Hall types listed are the Amazon Temple, the Cathedral, the Dwarf Hold, the Elvish Palace, the Forest Sanctuary, the Great Hall, the Irekei Temple, the Keep, the Temple of the Flame, the Thieves' Den and the Wizard's Tower. Each one has a distinctive look that reflects the traits of its members, except for the Thieves' Den, which aims to look innocuous.

For full descriptions of each guild as well as pictures, be sure to check out Shadowbane's official site. The Shadowbane team also mentions that much more information will be forthcoming after E3.

Shadowbane - Citybuilding
Wolfpack Studios

Click to enlarge
E3: Unreal II Preview and Interview
9:58 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

While E3 is underway, Epic Games's infamous lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has been interviewed about Unreal II on GameSpy. The producer talks about many topics, including upcoming game hardware such as the Xbox, consoles in general and more. The interview focuses on Legend Entertainment's upcoming Unreal II, the sequel to hit FPS Unreal. The engine is based off the Unreal Tournament but a lot of improvements have been made, to say the least. Here is more on UII:

GameSpy: What can you tell us about Unreal II? What makes you excited about it?

Cliff Bleszinski: Well first thing it looks great. And since the PC Gamer cover came out, the art assets have increased three fold in quality. They're looking very, very good. Legend is doing a really good job. They're looking to deliver the killer single-player experience that everybody wants. I mean they'll be multiplayer in the game. After speaking to the press and coming off of Unreal Tournament, everyone expects MULTIPLAYER, MULTIPLAYER and MULTIPLAYER. It's like, you know what? There's still a lot to be said for an amazing single-player experience. And that's what they're going to deliver. You know Half-Life sold millions of copies because of its single-player. People are still playing it now multiplayer, but out of the box, it was for the single player experience.

If you want to find out more information about the upcoming sequel, you might want to pass by GameSpy's new preview, including new screen shots. The shots are not of high resolution, but still give a better idea of what is coming up. The preview is based on a information gathered by GameSpy but also a demo they saw in private, in a dark room filled with men in suits:
Just as in the original Unreal, there will be plenty of enemies in Unreal II. As of now, there are 24 different enemies in the game. The only returning aliens from the first game are the Skaaji. In Unreal II they are one of the warring alien races. New enemies include Mercs or mercenary soldiers, well armed and intelligent they can carry different weapons and are able to communicate and interact with their squad mates during combat. Striders are biological creatures that not only grow their own armor but their own weapons and spaceships. Alone, the Strider Pod is not very threatening, however, if you group a bunch together they will create a Strider Villain. Group some Strider Villains together and you'll get a Strider Nemesis. What's cool about the Strider monsters is that it can navigate around obstacles and through small openings by disassembling themselves long enough to get though it, only to reassemble at the other side. How wicked is that?
The game is not due until 2002, so Unreal and UT fans have some waiting to do. As many past games based on the Unreal Tourney engine have come to the Mac OS, we are almost certain this game will come to our platform as well.

Unreal 2
Legend Entertainment
Unreal II preview at GameSpy

Click to enlarge
Sound Blaster Update on UT, Deus Ex
9:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In today's massive news update at Westlake Interactive, there is a report on the status of Sound Blaster-enabling updates for popular games like Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex, which will allow those titles to take full advantage of the 3D sound capabilities of that card. UT fans should be glad to hear that the next update of this game will include the OpenAL audio interface for 3D positional sound. This should add a whole new dimension to the fast-and-furious firefights in the game. Here's a clip with more:

A special version of Unreal Tournament 436 that fully supports the SoundBlaster Live! cards through OpenAL is in beta testing and should be released within the next few weeks. This version of UT uses the OpenAL interface to the SB Live! cards to allow true 3D positional sound and incredible audio effects.

Unreal Tournament (now available in stores in as the Game of The Year edition) is published on the Mac by MacSoft.

And while Sound Blaster Live! owners received a copy of EAX-enhanced Deus Ex, there was a bug that didn't allow multiplayer to be included as well. Westlake is also working on a fix for this, while bringing the whole game up to speed with its PC counterpart.
Work on the Deus Ex Multiplayer patch (version 1112fm) is nearly complete and the patch is beginning to be tested. This version will bring Deus Ex in sync with the latest Windows version.

As part of this patch effort, we are also working on a separate update for users of SoundBlaster Live! cards which adds EAX support to multiplayer.

Both updates are in testing and will hopefully be released in the next few weeks.

You can be sure we'll stay on this and bring you any new information on either patch as they get closer to release. Check our past news on this subject for more clarification as well.

IMG News: Westlake Talks OpenAL & Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament OpenAL Update
Deus Ex Multiplayer/EAX Update
Sound Blaster Live!

Click to enlarge
Rune Multiplayer/Patch News
9:27 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Not content to rest on their laurels, Westlake Interactive has updated their news page with a progress report on Rune, a hack-and-slash 3rd person 3D adventure game. The multiplayer expansion set, Halls of Valhalla, is currently in beta testing. Usable both as an add-on to the original game as well as a stand-alone multiplayer game in its own right, HOV adds a ton of new maps, characters and some new game types for players who just can't swing their swords enough. One of the games, endearingly entitled "Head Ball," has players running around an arena while attempting to sever the heads of their opponents and toss them into their respective goals to score points. Variations of this include the abiltiy score points with hacked-off limbs as well.

Also currently being tested is the Rune 1.07 patch, which contains a ton of bug fixes and game tweaks, including the ability to block thrown weapons with shields, faster defenses in general, and a new player model named Jun. This patch will be available as a free download in the next few weeks.

For the full story, be sure to check out the full write-up at Westlake's Rune status page.

Westlake - Rune Halls of Valhalla Update
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

Westlake Lines Up the Releases
9:25 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Several of the highly-anticipated titles in development by porting house Westlake Interactive have reached Final Candidate status, which means they only need a final overview before going into production and hitting store shelves.

First on the list is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Recently previewed by Apple, this title will allow players to assume the persona of a plethora of famous skaters, including Tony Hawk himself, and play through several courses of skating glory, performing sick tricks and attempting to achieve various goals. Already a runaway success in the console market, this title is guaranteed to keep more than a few armchair skaters smiling for weeks to come. A native OS X version will also be included with this title when it ships.

The next title up is American McGee's Alice. Running off the Quake III engine, it falls squarely into the running/jumping 3D adventure genre that Tomb Raider made so popular. The difference with Alice, however, is that the atmosphere of the game is a little more than disturbing. The unhinged laughter of insane children, warped caricatures of well-known characters from Lewis Carrol's famous novel and shifting backgrounds are guaranteed to weird out anyone who plays this game. The status page indicated that, if all goes well, this title will be shipping to stores in the next week or so. As with THPS2, an OS X native version is being included on the CD.

Rounding out the trio of Final Candidates is Tomb Raider Chronicles. Following the supposed death of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 3, the Chronicles feature various adventures out of Lara's past, though they still feature the same 3D run/jump/shoot interface of the previous titles. Along with TRC, the Tomb Raider Editor, which will allow players to create their own levels, is currently in beta testing. Once finished, the editor will be included with TRC.

Westlake certainly seems to be on a roll here; all of these title will be published by Aspyr Media. Be sure to check out their website for more information as well as IMG for even more articles on their achievements.

Westlake Interactive - News
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

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MacCentral Visits MacPlay
8:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The folks at MacCentral recently took a tour of the offices of MacPlay, who were gracious enough to show them upcoming titles in development as well as discuss a bit about future projects.

The focus of their visit was on the popular D&D-based RPG Baldur's Gate II. Currently slated for release in July to coincide with the MacWorld Expo in NY, this game will be ready for beta-testing as soon as the multiplayer support has been added. Unfortunately, PC to Mac support will not be available, as the PC version depends on DirectPlay, a Microsoft-owned networking API. However, the team is currently working on GameRanger support to ensure that finding multiplayer games does not become a problem.

The game will ship on 4 CDs, with a full install taking around 2 gig. It will also come with a configuration tool which will allow users to tweak features to optimize performance of the game, including the option of using OpenGL for 3D effects. It's also noted that the title will possibly be playable even on low-end G3s.

In other MacPlay news, Fighter Squadron: Screamin' Demons Over Europe is also progressing along and should be out later this summer. It's described as a WWII flight sim that makes use of OpenGL to achieve detailed graphics.

Other titles, including a GeForce 3 optimized Giants: Citizen Kabuto are also in the works. For the full story, be sure to check out the full write up, as it also contains various screenshots as well.

MacCentral - MacPlay Visit
Baldur's Gate II
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Mac Games News for Wednesday, May 16, 2001

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New Red Faction Weapon Info9:51 AM
Vortex Next Generation (Re)Released9:39 AM
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