E3: Myth II: Green Berets Announced
9:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
In an interesting development, a new Myth II title has been announced, called Green Berets. The game will being published this summer by Take Two, the company which now controls the rights to the Myth series relinquished by Bungie. Don't get this confused with Myth III (due out in the fall), as Green Berets seems to be a total conversion running on an unmodified Myth II engine. It will retail for about $20 and include a full copy of Myth II: Soulblighter as well. Here are a few features:
The Adrenaline Vault has posted three of the first screen shots for the game, so head over and have a look. Reactions from the Myth community seem mixed at this point, with many feeling upset over having to pay for a new TC when others, like Chimera, were released for free.
- Tempt the enemy into a trap or attack them head-on in 10 missions through rice paddies, underground tunnels, rivers, and many other detailed terrains!
- Secure landing zones with M16 gunners, Huey Helicopters, and medics, but beware of enemy Snipers and Mortar crews - over a dozen units in all!
- Rescue POW's, locate downed pilots, sabotage enemy communications, and seek and destroy enemy supply dumps!
- Obliterate enemy bases with intense explosions, engage the enemy in blinding firefights, call in devastating air strikes, and more - all powered by the Myth II engine!
- Stalk through the dense jungles with M60's, grenades, med kits, and radio equipment to call in an awe-inspiring air assault!
- Includes Myth II (required for play), the acclaimed 3D Battlefield Action and Strategy game!
Green Berets Web Site
There was is also some initial confusion about the official web site only listing the PC requirements. There have been assurances that a Mac version of Green Berets will be available, especially if the TC is shipped with an unmodified version of the already cross-platform engine. We'll keep you posted as more info on Green Berets is released this summer.
Green Beret Screen Shots at Avault
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E3: MacPlay Report on BG2, Fighter Squadron
4:50 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story
As IMG's coverage of last week's E3 expo wraps up, we have one more article to bring you; a report on the status of the new Mac game company with an old name, MacPlay. While the company did not have an official presence at the show, MacPlay's Jason Whong was roaming the floor of the event to offer a
much-anticipated update on some of the company's projects.
The Mac OS port of the critically-acclaimed role playing game Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
is progressing at a rapid pace. According to Whong, the game will
officially enter the beta testing phase pending the addition of GameRanger
The Macintosh version of BGII will support a number of useful features that
will appeal to dedicated fans of Baldur's Gate. BGII will have the
ability to import characters from original Baldur's Gate, even though that
game was brought to the Mac by a different publisher. Also, even though 800x600 is the
standard resolution for BGII, players will be able to take advantage of
higher screen resolutions. This resolution switching, as well as other
tweaks, is possible thanks to the included BG Config application.
BGII will be a Classic application with the possibility of a Carbonized
version at a later date. For Mac users who have invested in Creative's
SoundBlaster Live! for Macintosh, MacPlay has not ruled out OpenAL or EAX
support as part of a future update. BGII will require G3/266-based Mac or higher.
The obvious question is, "Will the Baldur's Gate II - Throne of Bhaal
expansion come to the Mac?" The answer is not so obvious. MacPlay had
nothing to announce about the possibility of the expansion, but it was not
ruled out either.
Whong also offered a sneak peek at another upcoming title, Fighter Squadron:
Screamin Demons Over Europe. This World War II combat flight sim hopes to
fill a hole in the current Mac game lineup for a fast-action dogfighting
game, but will have competition from the upcoming World War II Online game
from Cornered Rat Software.
MacPlay Web Site
Baldur's Gate II - Shadows of Amn is expected in time for Macworld New York
while Screaming Demons will arrive later in the summer.
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Buy Baldur's Gate II
Custer Corners Neverwinter Nights
2:53 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story
IMG artist Brad Custer has posted the latest creation to his corner in the form of a new desktop for Neverwinter Nights. After a long haul at E3, Brad is settling back into a routine and should have his personal site launched soon as well. Here's a clip from his update about the E3 adventures:
I did have fun and accomplished a lot even with all the things that went wrong. I met and talked with a lot of representatives from most of the major game companies and it was nice when someone recognized me. A real "ego booster" if you will. ;D I saw so much I could file a 10 page report and still not cover it all. One of the highlights though was when I attended a meeting with Bioware and they previewed Neverwinter Nights to us. I was really impressed with the game being a long time RPG fan. This game moved up to the near the top of my list for "must have" so I figured it was the perfect choice to create a desktop for this. I took the press kit supplied to us and had some fun creating this week's desktop I entitled, "Aribeth". I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did making it.Head over now to grab the new desktop in your preferred size (from 640x480 to 1600x1200).
IMG Chats with MacSoft
2:49 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
MacSoft recently announced they would be publishing numerous titles for Take Two, surprising and delighting the Mac community. Tropico, Fly! 2, Max Payne, Myth III, Civilization III, and Stronghold are promised with more on the way. IMG was recently able to chat with Senior Product Manager Al Schilling (before all of the recent E3 madness) to try and pin down some answers about the many upcoming titles. Here's a clip:
IMG: Who approached who first in this deal; did MacSoft contact Gathering, or vice versa? Or was it instigated by Infogrames/Take Two from the start?Check out the rest of the Q&A for more information on MacSoft's many new titles. Also be sure to stay tuned as more info on Tropico and Fly! II (the first games to be published) begins to roll in.
MacSoft Web Site
Schilling: We (MacSoft) heard that Take Two was interested in speaking with some Mac publishers regarding some Gathering titles. We were, obviously, very interested in speaking with them and contacted them immediately. At the same time, I think they were attempting to contact us.
IMG: What will be MacSoft's stance towards Carbon/Mac OS X with these new
Schilling: It is our STRONG hope that we will be able to offer Carbonized versions of all of these titles. I would like to make this a guarantee but, this deal is very new and I haven't had a chance to work this out with the various developers. There are still some technical hurdles that could prevent this from happening but, we are working to resolve these.
MacSoft to Publish Tropico, Max Payne, Myth III, and More
IMG Interview with MacSoft's Al Schilling
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"Space Tripper" Coming to Mac OS
2:14 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story
Aaron Fothergill of Strange Flavour took time out from his work on Bushfire and the mysterious AirBurst to let us know that PC shareware house PomPom is porting their shoot-em-up Space Tripper to the Mac OS. This OpenGL-based side scroller seems to have quite snazzy visuals and features, and we can't wait to see it in action. Here is a description from the PomPom web site:
Space tripper is a truly modern arcade shoot-em-up, combining the manicAaron indicated that the game is currently playable, but there is no firm release date. On the PC side the game is only $12.00 shareware, and we expect that distribution method to continue for Mac gamers. Watch for more news on this title soon, and be sure to visit the PomPom and Strange Flavor web sites for more details.
gameplay of classics such as defender, with a stunning state of the art 3D
engine. Everything you would expect is here : Loads of enemies, big bosses,
power-ups and a sore trigger finger!! The gameplay is simple : Fly your
spacecraft over enemy platforms, blasting everything in your path. Once each
level has been cleared of all enemies, then you can progress to the next
stage. Simple? ....then try it and see! Be warned. This is one seriously
PomPom Web Site
Q3A 128 OS X Native, Q3Radiant Axed
2:00 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story
Following id software's announcement that a new point release for the mega-popular shooter Quake 3 Arena is due in the very near future, we went ahead and asked id's programmer Robert Duffy for a few more details.
The good news is that the next point release will include a native OS X version of Quake 3 Arena. The OS X version is set to give G4 owners a significant performance boost. An OS X (Cocoa) version of 128 was demonstrated at E3, and it is good to know Mac gamers will get their hands on it soon.
One other OS X project that Mac gamers have been looking forward to is a port of Q3Radiant, the level editor used on the PC side to design maps for the shooter. However, since Graeme Devine first hinted he might attempt a port, no new information has been released. Unfortunately Duffy confirmed that they are no longer working on the OS X version of Q3Radiant. Here is his response:
There is no OS X version of Q3Radiant in the works.While gamers might be disappointed about the loss of Q3Radiant--which was never promised with any certainty in the first place--the Macintosh Map Editor Project has some interesting information on making a third-party port of id's level editor. The next Q3A patch will be hosted on MacGameFiles as soon as it released. Expect more information soon.
I do believe we will have Win32, Mac OS, OS X, and Linux all out at the same
time as far as the game [point release 128] goes.
Q3A Point Release Update
Macintosh Map Editor Project
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E3: IMG Report on Summoner, Red Faction
1:26 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story
After speaking with a representative from publisher THQ, IMG was able to obtain updates on
the status of the Mac versions of Volition games Summoner and Red Faction. Both titles will be published by GraphSim upon completion, and whether you favor RPGs or fancy FPS, either title provides an ample dose of eye candy and action.
The Mac OS port of Summoner is almost complete, and Volition is hoping to reach Gold Master
status shortly for a release within the next few weeks. However Red Faction fans will have to
wait slightly longer than expected to get their hands on the Mac version; THQ stated that the
Mac version of Red Faction will begin development immediately after the PC
version is complete, rather than simultaneously. Volition hopes to release the PC version in August.
Indications are that it will not take long for the port; Red Faction already
is cross-platform in design and Volition has plenty of Mac experience from
developing Summoner for Mac.
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E3: Myth III Trailer
10:33 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
The Myrkridia can smell your fear, and they will kill you for it...
So opens the trailer for Myth III, which has been posted at the Mill Archives for aspiring tacticians to download. Currently in development by Mumbo Jumbo and featuring the real-time strategy gameplay that made the first two so intensely demanding, Myth III takes place 1000 years before Myth I, highlighting how the great hero Connacht saved humanity from the Myrkridia and the Trow in what is known as "The Wolf Age." For those familiar with the Myth universe, Connacht is the great warrior that eventually becomes Soulblighter, the archnemesis in the first two games.
The trailer shows clearly that Myth III, unlike the first two games, is a fully 3D game, and a gorgeously rendered one at that. Polygonal Berserks stalk with grim expressions and painted faces. The Soldiers and Archers have never looked better, with extremely detailed armor and decals on their shields. The backs of the hulking Myrkridia are extremely well-muscled. There are even some shots of Connacht himself, who does look like a fully fleshed-out Soulblighter, complete with his signature weapon and headband.
The environments themselves are rendered beautifully as well, and Myth veterans should have no trouble recognizing familiar landscapes, such as grasslands, forests, caves, mountains, and deserts.
The animation in the game is also amazingly fluid. Berserks stride while brandishing their claymores. Soldiers march across the field with sorcerers at their side using their staves to help them walk. Trees sway in the breeze and blood flies on the battlefields. One shot in particular shows a huge number of dwarves throwing their trademark explosives into a charging party of ghouls (guaranteed to give any Myth veteran a warm, fuzzy feeling). The bottles leave arcing flame trails, exploding beautifully and scattering body parts everywhere. It's worth noting that characters seem to be either right or left-handed, with soldiers wearing shields on either side and dwarves throwing explosives with either hand.
There also seem to be some new characters as well. Besides Connacht himself, there are also what seem to be variants of Berserks, though they wield huge axes instead of the traditional claymore and wear heavy furs. There are also what seem to be the Heron Guard from Myth II sans the flags, though they still brandish paired swords. The old school Dwarves, Berserks, Soldiers, Archers, and Sorcerers are all present as well.
Myth III Official Site
If players consider themselves any sort of Myth fan, they should head to the Mill Archives at the link below and immediately download the trailer, which is in mpeg format and weighs in at about 21.5mb. This particular reporter has already viewed it some 30 times and has yet to tire of it. Myth III is currently slated for a December 2001 release, which gives plenty of time for players to download and watch the trailer, and twist in agony waiting for this one to ship.
Mill Archives - Myth III E3 Trailer
ATI Driver Update On The Way
10:30 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story
Arshad Rahman, a programmer at ATI recently posted a reply to questions about when Mac users might see the next ATI driver update in the forums at xlr8yourmac.com. His reply concerns the Radeon cards in particular, but as ATI usually releases "unified" drivers (which is one of the reasons behind the infrequent updates) this should be welcome news for all users of recent ATI hardware. Here is a sample of his reply:
Arshad: Haha.. well believe it or not, we actually have a general driver update coming out very soon. There will also be some newer drivers as a part of any new OS release that Apple makes. PCI Radeon users will definitely be happy with the new 3D drivers.Although not all issues that Mac users have with the ATI drivers were covered, it's always good to get feedback straight from the horse's mouth as it were. Exactly when any updates for either OS 8/9.x or OS X will be released is not yet known, but by the sounds of it, they'll be with us in the not too distant future. ATI driver updates have actually been "rolled in" to Mac OS X auto-upgrades so far, so a separate installer for that OS might not even appear.
Q:Is this the "performance update" you spoke of previously? Does it have FSAA implemented, or is ATI just going to give up on that for the Mac Radeon?
Arshad: No, it isn't. The problem is that a bunch of things were supposed to get lumped into one "performance" update, but instead they got spread out amongst multiple driver releases. For example, the 1.1.1 drivers had a 10-15% performance boost over 1.0 at higher resolutions and similarly this has some new stuff etc. There is definitely a large performance gain for PCI Radeons under OS9 with this release though. The faster your machine, the more noticeable it will be as the CPU is a major factor in determining framerates. As far as FSAA goes, I'm not sure what's going on with that. My understanding is that it's still slated to go in, but Chris Bentley who heads up our 3D team would know best.
Q:I would like (I don't think I am alone here) to have the option to control Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Hue, and Saturation on my Mac's DVD player like ATI's windows player allows. Will we ever see this?
Arshad: We're looking into this. Some things like brightness and color saturation are easy to adjust from our end, but other things like hue and contrast are not so easy to implement via hardware. If we add a software pass, that'll take additional CPU overhead, which isn't good. Ideally these controls should be in ADP directly, and I'll pass this suggestion on to Apple. If they're not keen on the idea, perhaps we can do this from within our control panel or something. I too think that at the very minimum we should have some kind of adaptive deinterlacing and brightness controls available.
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Q3A Point Release Update
10:21 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story
On May 4th Robert Duffy off id software announced that a new point release for Quake 3 Arena would be released "early next week." The update will have improved networking, increased performance, an integrated auto-update system and a bundle of bug-fixes and tweaks. Two weeks later, the update is nowhere to be seen, though Apple was showing off a beta version of Q3A version 1.28 running on OS X at E3. Robert has updated his .plan once again with news on the impending point release:
"Early next week." Did I say that ? The point release is coming, we continue to update and tweak things as well as fix some issues. Mod Authors have and have had the source etc and it is in the testing loop at Activision. Soon is the best I can say, but we hope this will address all of the cheats, hacks, adds a multitude of new things request wise, fixes lots of bugs etc. A Linux beta will be available right around the same time too as well as Mac.It does not currently look as if this update will have the Altivec enhancements that Graeme Devine was working on. At one point it was reported that there was a problem with the way Metrowerks' CodeWarrior was handling the compiling of Graeme's Altivec-enhanced code. With recent news that a revision of CodeWarrior for Mac will be available at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Jose this week, hopefully this roadblock will be resolved. It may not be long before we have Q3A running natively on OS X with impressive performance to boot (for G4 owners).
I did not attend E3 this year but it looks like it went great. Lots of neat looking games from the look of the movies and the word back from everyone there.
Robert Duffy's .plan File on Blue's News
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Myst III Troubleshooting Update
9:54 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story
Since the eagerly anticipated release of Myst III: Exile earlier this month, many users (both PC and Mac) have had an experience fraught with difficulties and bugs. UbiSoft have already announced that replacements for Disk One would be available in the near future and an early patch has been released; both of these fixes are for the PC version only. Roland Gustafsson, Lead Programmer for Myst III has commented on some of these problems - and suggested solutions - at MacFixIt.com. Here is an excerpt:
Regarding the disc update: "A new version of the Mac application exists as well, but an installer/updater has not been created for it yet. So far there have been no Mac-specific fixes, only PC-specific and some very minor 'cross-platform' buglets. Two Mac specific problems I'm working on are desktop icon position scrambling and Voodoo 3 OpenGL support."We'll post more information as soon as it is available; in the mean time you can check UbiSoft's Tech Support pages by following the link below. Make sure to visit our Troubleshooting forum for more reports from Mac users.
Regarding the skipping audio: "The audio in Myst III uses a fair bit of bandwidth. The benchmark we used during development was the original iMac. I have a rev B iMac and the music and ambient sound plays without missing a beat, the sound that plays in movies that are part of a 360 degree node, however, hesitate occasionally on this iMac and other "slower" machines. This was a trade-off between visual artifacting or audio dropouts."
Regarding virtual memory and QuickTime versions: "I see no reason why QT5 would be causing problems, I tested the game with QT5beta a few months ago and everything worked fine. Virtual Memory is never a good thing with sound-intensive applications such as Myst III. (During gameplay there are cases where up to 10 sound files are streaming from the hard disk!) The game itself needs 64MB and OpenGL and the Mac OS need another 64MB or so...so the game runs best if you have at least 128MB of RAM. Most of the problems reported can be solved with more memory, using the latest version of OpenGL (1.2.1) and turning off virtual memory. I've noticed that some suggest upping the RAM setting for the game beyond the default 64MB. This is unnecessary and may actually cause problems."
OS X native version coming: "The OS X native version of Myst III is up and running, there is only one performance issue remaining that requires an update to OS X. When this issue is fixed in an update to OS X, the application will be available for download."
UbiSoft Myst III FAQ
E3: New Dragon's Lair 3D Screenshots
9:44 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Eurogamer has posted some new screenshots of the upcoming title Dragon's Lair 3D, pulled straight from publisher UbiSoft's E3 press disc. Currently in development by Blue Byte and Dragonstone, this title is a 3D rendition of the original laserdisc classic. It will contain all the levels from the original game, but the 3D abilities of the new version will allow players to freely explore each room. The cartoonish look and feel from the original game is also being preserved.
The new screenshots should look instantly familiar to players of the original game, as the mirror rooms and characters from the original almost exactly. The cartoonish look definitely seems to have been preserved, and the addition of a life bar and what could be a magic meter of some kind definitely raises questions as to what new types of gameplay are being implemented.
Dragon's Lair 3D is currently scheduled for an release near the end of the year. Be sure to check Eurogamer for the screenshots.
Eurogamer - Dragon's Lair 3D Screenshots
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E3: Neverwinter Nights News
9:32 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
As with other highly-anticipated games, E3 brought with it a flood of information for Neverwinter Nights, the upcoming D&D based RPG currently in development by BioWare.
First on the list is GameSpot, which posted a huge number of very large screenshots that really show off some serious NWN eye-candy. The first group of shots consists of character sketches guaranteed to swell the heart of any D&D addict out there. The next group shows off the polygonal 3D goodness of the game's characters and environments, with some close-up shots of demonstration characters in the game. One shot, which already seems to be posted on practically every NWN E3 story now, shows a close-up of what appears to be an Elf in armor, complete with a sword in each hand. Later shots show other intriguing tidbits, such as spell effects, various dwellings, and multiplayer games in action, complete with text chatter.
Next up is Firing Squad, which focused on the famed senario-editing capabilities of NWN. They note that the toolset takes care of all the lighting, clipping issues, and shadow effects automatically when building environments. As the game is in 3D, creators can zoom in/out and rotate around objects with ease. Creature creation is just a matter of point and click, where people can click on a monster and edit a variety of stats, including behavior scripts. The scripts themselves are being made as intuitive as possible, with pre-made scripts and open-sourcing being made available for those with less programming knowledge.
Firing Squad makes an interesting note regarding the multiplayer game as well - it will feature a "Quick Chat," in which players can hit a quick keystroke combo to say a specifc thing. Besides being handy, this feature will also automaticaly translate the message into one of several languages, making rudimentary communication possible on public servers between international players.
Gamer's Pulse also got their two cents in with a guided tour of the senario creation tool, from dungeon creation to actual play. Creating the dungeon itself was mostly point and click, with corridors being dragged out to lengthen them and textures being automatically added. Monsters were then picked and added (all familiar names from the D&D Monster Manual), including an ambushing goblin party consisting of grunts, archers, and shamans. To add flavor, a cowardly creature was also added (programmed to flee) and was given branching dialogue that had him begging for his life in case of any player encounters. For an end boss, a large nasty demon complete with a lightning sword and flaming wings was added.
Weapon creation was also demonstrated, with items being customizable by appearance, stats, name, and the like. For example, a sword can have a customized blade, hilt, and hand guard, resulting in thousands of unique combinations.
Total time for dungeon creation: 10 minutes, including all the slowdown time as the demonstrators had to do verbal explanations as well.
The team then proceeded to actually play through their little senario. Gamer's Pulse notes that, when encountering the cowering creature, the conversation took place in realtime, with the players choosing to hack the creature to bits in mid-sentence. They also make note of the automatic lighting effects mentioned earlier, with players torchlight and spells creating appropriate effects, including reflecting off the armor of players and creatures alike.
RPG Dot makes note of some of the more interesting features regarding multiplayer play of NWN. The current number of players per game is currently at 64. There are three player vs. player options, including free-for-alls, team battles and a third option which denies players the abilities to attack or cast harmful spells (this sounds like a grace option admins can use to keep itchy players from killing each other while staging a competition). There are also three ways a multiplayer character can be saved: on the player's computer, on the DM's computer, or as a "vault" character on BioWare's server, which will automatically make checks for hacked characters and other cheats. The vault itself will act as a verifier of sorts, making a character "official." Servers can be set up so they only allow official characters to play, protecting those servers and honest players from hacking cheaters. Look to the FAQ on BioWare's official site for more information on this system.
RPG Dot - Neverwinter Nights Preview
If RPG addicts weren't salivating profusely over this title before, they surely are now. There is, as of yet, no solid release date on this title, though an end-of-year time period has been floating around for a while. Be sure to check out the various stories at the links below for more information guaranteed to make players weep that this game isn't out yet.
RPG Planet - Planet Neverwinter
BioWare - Neverwinter Nights FAQ
Gamer's Pulse - Neverwinter Nights Preview
FiringSquad - Neverwinter Nights Preview
GameSpot - Neverwinter Nights Screenshots
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First Mac Geforce3 Preview
9:27 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story
Innermac has posted the first Mac-specific preview of the long-awaited Geforce3, NVIDIA's next generation graphic chipset. The preview starts off with 2D benchmarks, DVD playback and has a detailed preview of expected performance. These tests include benchmarks of Quake 3, Rune, Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament. If you've read innermac's previous test of the GeForce 2 MX card (which we also recommend highly) you will note that they find many of the same weaknesses in the driver for the GeForce3, but the brute force power of the card is enough to overcome many problems.
Note that this article is NOT a review, it is a preview, and is based on beta drivers and a very short testing session. Here is an excerpt, discussing Quake 3 Arena performance
At 640x480 the GeForce3 does not have a substantial advantage over the other cards due to the game being heavily CPU bound. The interesting thing to note is that the GeForce2MX actually manages to outperform the GeForce3 at this resolution which seems to indicate that the GeForce3 drivers might be a bit more CPU intensive. However, as the resolution increases and the other cards start to fall off, the GeForce3 holds steady and only starts to dip down at 1280 and beyond. Even at 1600x1200, the card manages an unbelievable 67.1 fps which is testament to the four fat pipes, the memory bandwidth optimizations and the high core and memory clocks!They also talk about the bugs in the GeForce3 drivers, which can cause certain problems in Unreal Tournament-based games which run in RAVE (such as Rune). While many conclusions of the preview are obvious -- such as the fact that even a 733 MHz G4 has trouble pushing this card to its limit -- it is a fascinating look at the future of Mac 3D performance.
Gefroce 3 preview at InnerMac
Mac Deus Ex Multiplayer Guide Posted
9:20 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story
IMG Network's Mac Deus Ex is reporting that DeusX, one of the new clans coming out on the Macintosh side of Deus Ex, has put up a "newbie guide" for playing the multiplayer-enabled version of the sci-fi FPS Deus Ex. It goes into detail on how to download the patch and GameRanger, and how to install and set-up each. You'll also learn about common problems you might experience while gaming.
Deus X's Multiplayer guide
If you're new to DXMP or have considered giving it a try, this guide is a great way to jump in and not get slaughtered. Be sure to check out MacDeusEx's many available resources and downloads as well; there is a wealth of information waiting to be discovered.
IMG Network: Mac Deus Ex
IMG Deus Ex review
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Baldur's Gate III to be 3D?
8:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
A very quick news report at Well Rounded Entertainment paraphrases a representative at Interplay as confirming that there will be a third title in the amazingly popular Baldur's Gate RPG series. With Baldur's Gate II for the Mac about to begin final testing to be ready in time for Macworld New York, this should interest many Mac role-playing fans. Even more intriguing is the possibility that the third title in the series could move from an isometric 2D engine to a full-3D point of view. This seems to be the trend in the industry, as with other sequels like Warcraft III, and other RPGs like Summoner and Neverwinter Nights. Here's a clip from WRE:
Interplay was keeping eyes trained on the expansion pack to Baldur's Gate II at this year's E3, but preliminary plans are already underway for Baldur's Gate III. An Interplay rep mentioned to us that Throne of Bhaal will be the last of the games to use the current engine. The next installment in the series, he said, would be in 3-D.It's likely such a game might actually use the Neverwinter Nights engine, since both are being developed at BioWare. This might also be good news for Mac gamers, as a Mac version of NWN is assured by the same company; an in-house port of BG3 would be a possibility in that scenario, which would mean a MUCH shorter wait for a Mac version.
IMG News: MacPlay Breaks the Silence
Of course, all of this is very much speculation at this point. So, while there isn't any reason to get too excited as of yet, it does seem an interesting possibility for down the road. You can be sure IMG will follow up on this and keep you posted of any new details.
Baldur's Gate III Report at Well Rounded Entertainment
E3: Warcraft III Interview
8:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
The dedicated fansite Warcraftiii.net has posted the first two parts of a massive Q&A session with Rob Pardo and others from Blizzard. The interview talks about many new (and detailed) aspects of their upcoming RTS sequel Warcraft III. They also dig into some new storyline tidbits revealed by the recent cinematic trailer we reported on Friday. If you have the bandwidth, be sure to check out the 30MB movie. While it doesn't show any in-game footage, the prerendered 3D in the cutscene rivals anyone else in the industry.
Besides talking about the cinematic, other gameplay aspects like heroes, races, and buildings are also discussed. Here's a very interesting excerpt about allies in the game:
What bonuses will the alliance between two races bring about?Check out the rest of the interview for many more other W3-related goodies. While Blizzard hopes to have the Mac version completed soon after the PC late this year, they are also working hard to finish the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion pack hybrid CD this summer. See our other E3 news for more info.
E3: Warcraft III Trailer, Movies
As we mentioned in our Day One Briefing, the biggest advantage will be the optional means of sharing resources. No more "My base got wiped, my Nexus is dead, and I don't have 400 gold to rebuild, so I'm outties here" situations. Now, you can "self tax" yourself all along, or you can make a "donation" on an individual basis, to your allies. The exciting new bit of information on this subject, learned even since our Briefing of two days ago, is that you can choose to do this after the game begins. You do not need to set this option at the beginning of the game as you do for "looting" in Diablo II. If someone needs financial help halfway through a game, and they ask politely, you can float them a loan.
E3: Report on Blizzard Titles, Release Dates
Warcraft III Q&A Part 1
Warcraft III Q&A Part 2
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E3: Sims Online Preview, Images
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
PC.IGN has written up a nice new preview of Will Wright's upcoming multiplayer title, Sims Online. The quick article is based on an investor session at E3 and looks at the basics of the game known so far. There are also four new screen shots available, so be sure to have a look at those too. Wright himself was presenting this newest sandbox creation, which seems to cross SimCity and The Sims into a 3D online experience. A monetary system will be in place to allow players to make a living, and you will even be able to have your Sim express different moods. Here's an excerpt:
He [Wright] clicks rapidly through a series of screens and a topographical map of a fictional world swims into view. It shows a blank expanse of terrain -- a coastline, a river, a forest, sort of like the empty green slate at the beginning of SimCity. Then he clicks on one of the icons on the map and we zoom in on a complete house, custom-built by a player, with the kind of tiles and furniture and interior decoration you find in The Sims. But this isn't someone's house, it's a casino another player made as a business enterprise. There's a free market economy in this game (based on Simoleons, of course), and every shopkeeper and customer is another player controlling another Sim. And once the game is beta-tested in earnest, hundreds and thousands of these houses, offices, and buildings will be popping up all over the game world.This will be an amazingly ambitious title, but we're sure Wright and his team at Maxis will be able to pull it off. We're also hopeful that Aspyr Media, publishers of the Mac version of The Sims, will be able to bring the Sims Online our way as well. The title isn't expected out until next year, so we'll bring you more on its progress in the future.
The Sims Site at Aspyr
Every server will be its own city, but they won't be clones of each other. The plan is to have some on the coast, some in the mountains, each with a character of its own. Wright also expects players to group themselves by interests and hobbies -- a Western-themed town over here, sci-fi fans over here, a fantasy world over here. "It'll probably end up like Disneyland where the players are building the rides," Wright says.
Sims Online Preview at PC.IGN
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