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Thursday, May 31, 2001



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V12 Running on a Mac, Tribes 2 Soon?
8:54 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Jeff Tunnell, president of the start-up GarageGames, recently gave IMG an update about a possible Mac version of their upcoming V12 engine. In case you haven't heard, V12 is essentially the Tribes 2 engine, stripped of the content, which they are licensing to independent developers for the amazing price of just $100. A typical engine license usually runs $100k or more.


As we've reported in the past, V12 is also an opportunity for the Mac community to perhaps see a port of the teamplay-based shooter Tribes 2, though having a working port of the engine would only be one piece of the puzzle. According to Tunnell, they already have an Associate with a rudimentary version of V12 working on the Mac. Here's a clip from his email:

We have an Associate working on the Mac port right now. He actually has a
version up and running, and we haven't even released the engine yet! We are
hoping to get the code to duplication early next week. The Mac should be a
big part of GarageGames.
Keep in mind this is the V12 engine that is set to go to duplication next week, not any Mac port of Tribes 2. Apparently, Associates get an early look at the code in return for adding specific features to V12.


A new update to the GarageGames site clarifies exactly what is working so far on the Mac. Here's an excerpt with the Associate David Chait explaining his success:

I need to get basic input really hooked in to try the console, the background on the start screen doesn't paint well if you switch out and in, and I'm not sure the progress meter worked on the loading screen. But I saw
landscape, and with the mouse could spin to the right (really fast, actually... radeon must be faster than I thought), and the compass and clock were updating. Colors were a bit off (magenta fog), and some rendering
errors, but then I didn't really expect to see anything...
David is the founder of Reality Bytes, developer of games like Dark Vengeance, so you know he's got some good Mac experience. We're working on getting some clarification now about what this will mean, but it is good to see GarageGames taking such a Mac-friendly stance. Before you'll be seeing a full Mac version of Tribes 2, though, they will need to talks Sierra into releasing or licensing all of the proprietary components which were removed to make V12. We'll keep you updated as this story continues, but the Mac Tribes 2 forecast definitely looks better now, as does the chances that we will get "free" Mac versions of games created through GarageGames' licensing deals.

IMG News: More Details on GarageGames, Mac Tribes 2
Garage Games Web Site



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Apple on the Sound Blaster Live! from Creative Labs
3:38 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new article posted by Apple takes a quick look at the Sound Blaster Live! card from Creative Labs. The audio article reviews the main features of the SB Live, including the EAX/OpenAL enhancements about to be included in a number of games. Here's a quick clip:

Now that Sound Blaster is out for the Mac, gamers can finally take advantage of four-point surround sound, DSP processing and EAX/Open AL technology on their Power Macs.


Creative Labs bundled in Deus EX, the very first EAX-ready game available for the Mac. So you can start warming up for EAX surround-sound gaming.

Other major titles being released soon (such as Tomb Raider Chronicles and American McGee's Alice) will offer support the card out of the box. Patches for Unreal Tournament and Rune should be out soon as well. Head over now to check out the rest of the article. Also, be sure to read through IMG's review of the Sound Blaster Live! for more information.

IMG Review of Sound Blaster Live!
Apple Sound Blaster Article
Creative
Sound Blaster Live!


IMG Reviews Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab
2:45 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In case you haven't checked out IMG's front page today, our review of Burning
Monkey Puzzle Lab
has been posted for your reading pleasure. This excellent
shareware title from Freeverse sports impressive graphics, addictive gameplay and of course head to head network competition. Here's a clip from the review:

Network and Internet play is interesting in Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab. The game allows
players to host their own AppleTalk-based games (over Ethernet or serial connections) as
well as the ability to go on the HMS Freeverse server to find opponents. If this isn’t
enough for the multiplayer aficionado, Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab is also supported by
GameRanger. Simply log in and find an active network game or create your own.
Be sure read through the rest of the review, and add
your own thoughts about the game as well with our user review feature. A demo is also available.

Freeverse Software
IMG Review of Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab
Download Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab Demo



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Wacraft III Unit Details
2:25 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Wacraft III.net has been updated with information on certain units available in Blizzard's upcoming strategy game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The information provided give players a glimpse of how Blizzard is balancing out the game between the four playable 'races'. Each unique type of unit will have its own specialization, and this is reflected in their stats and abilities. Fans will be able to see how these Orc units compare to Human or Undead units, and start to pick their favorites even though the game is months away from shipping.


Blizzard themselves have begun to update their own WC3 site with specific information about units. Recently they updated the game with information about the Ranger character, including an animated image. The Half-elven units are female warriors of the Human class, and as you would expect are ranged units equipped with longbows. Be sure to visit both sites and read through our preview to get a complete picture of this upcoming RTS title.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Warcraft III - Ranger
Preview: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Wacraft III Unit Information at Warcraftiii.net
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


Mac GeForce 3 Tests in 2x AGP Slot
12:42 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

The question of whether NVIDIA's GeForce 3 would work in a 2x AGP-equipped Macintosh was been asked many times by gamers wanting to equip their Mac with the latest and greatest hardware. According to Apple's website, the GeForce 3 required a 2001 Mac with 4x AGP. Many people were puzzled because 4x AGP cards are usually designed to be backwards compatible with 1x and 2x AGP. Also, 3rd party companies who sell PC GeForce 3 cards, do not specify 4x AGP as a requirement. The only remaining issue was whether a 2x AGP slot was able to provide the power a GeForce 3 needed to function properly.


This morning, Mike Breeden of XLR8YourMac surprised us with news that he was running a GeForce 3 in the 2x AGP slot of a dual-processor G4/500. He has posted preliminary Quake 3 benchmarks on his site and is currently running stress tests to make sure that the system is stable and reliable. This could be very good news for owners of older AGP Macs if the results are positive. Even if the GeForce 3 may be out of reach for many gamers ($500) at the moment, the price is sure to come down in he future.

More Info on GeForce 3 Power Requirements
AGP Slot Power Specs
XLR8YourMac


Tony Hawk 2 Released for Mac
10:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media sent us word that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is now shipping for the Mac. This very addictive game is now playable on both Mac OS 9 and OS X, making it one of the first A-titles to be released for Apple's next-gen operating system. The game is priced at around $40 and should run on just about any iMac or G3 system with minimal hardware acceleration. Here's a clip from the official press release:

May 31, 2001--In a continuing partnership with Activision Inc., a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment, Aspyr Media Inc. announced today that it has shipped Activision's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the Macintosh(R).

The game conversion performed by Westlake Interactive. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is one of the first games to ship for the MacOS X.

"Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is a great game because it allows anyone to do the cool tricks that they see the pros do," says Michael Rogers, president of Aspyr Media. "This game combines the perfect amount of adrenaline and challenge. Play it once and you will be hooked!"

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for the Mac allows players to skate with the skills of the best skaters in the world, including the great Tony Hawk, or create their own customized skater. Players are challenged to master trick combinations, working their way up the skateboarding ranks using spectacular moves like manuals, grabs, grinds, inverts and lip and nollie tricks and more. Players can skate in a variety of international real world settings, including Philadelphia, New York and Marseille, that are filled with secret areas, short cuts, ramps and interactive objects allowing players to trick off just about everything in sight.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 offers three multi-player modes via LAN, the Internet or AppleTalk network, including a brutal tag mode, trick attack and graffiti. Three additional Tony Hawk's Pro Skater levels are included--Woodland Hills Warehouse, Chicago Skate Park and the Phoenix Down Hill Jam.

The game's real-time 3D editor allows players to build their own dream park from scratch, adding depth and replay ability to the game. Players can see exactly how their park will look in the game as they plot out a course using a variety of parts-ramps, rails, obstacles and quarter pipes. Once a course is laid out players are able to save and share park files with friends.


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, for Macintosh, will be available wherever Mac games are sold, with a Suggested Retail Price of $39.95.

Look for a review of the game soon from IMG. If you're wanting more info, also be sure to check out our preview and interview with Westlake Interactive's Mark Krenek, programmer for Tony Hawk 2.

Aspyr Press Release
Aspyr Tony Hawk 2 Site
IMG: Tony Hawk 2 Q&A
IMG Preview of Tony Hawk 2
Westlake Interactive
Neversoft
Aspyr Media
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2


Mark Adams Quoted at WWDC
9:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

ZDnet's recent offering, titled "Mac Developers Offer WWDC Perspectives," contains a wealth of quotes from Westlake's own Mark Adams in regards to gaming on the Mac, particularly in terms of OS X. Westlake is currently readying several titles for the Mac, including American McGee's Alice, Tomb Raider Chronicles and Tomb Raider Trilogy, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.


Mark Adams states that he is pleased with where Mac OS X is right now, noting that the recently added DrawSprocket API functionality is working well, with other needed features such as gamepad support coming along nicely. ZDnet notes that this is quite a turnaround from last year's WWDC, where Adams was worried that OS X would not have any of these features included.


Here's some more quotes from the man himself:

However, Adams said, "Apple has been more responsive, especially in the past couple of months" to the concerns of game and other consumer-centric developers. "Apple seemed so single-minded in just getting Mac OS X out they couldn't work on much else." He added that after the operating system had been released, Apple has been "making sure much of the feedback on Mac OS X 10.0.0 is addressed quickly." As a result, Adams said, "Mac OS X is a good platform to develop games for, and even though we're still learning a few things about it we think we've got a good handle on how to create commercial quality Mac OS X games."
With several new OS X-ready titles from Westlake just around the corner, Adams and his team certainly seem to have a handle on the new OS. For the full write-up, which also includes info on OS X Java support, a link to ZDnet's article has been provided below.

Westlake Interactive
ZDnet - Mac Developers Offer WWDC Perspectives



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Aleph One Virus Report
9:18 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A recent news bit has been posted on the Marathon Open Source - Aleph One site. Apparently, the Mac patch of Aleph One that was posted two days ago (5/29) was infected with a virus known as Sevendust, or 666-D. A clean build has been substituted for the corrupted download.


For those that downloaded the Mac patch during its infected period, the MOS site has provided links to the freeware utility Agax for virus cleanup as well as a link to additional information on 666-D. For added convenience, these same links have been provided below for IMG readers.


The new version of Aleph One recently posted is now currently virus-free, so don't be afraid to download this open-source project. Anyone who is a fan of the Marathon series should take this remarkable achievement for a spin.

666-D Virus Data
Agax Download
Marathon Open Source - Aleph One


Sphidia Now Hiring Artists/Mappers
9:08 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Sphidia, a recently-formed game company made of some familiar names in the Mac gaming community, is currently looking for new artists and mappers to join their team. Readers may remember IMG's previous report on Sphidia, linked below. Formed by the Bungie fan community, known for its large numbers and creative talent, this team is currently working on a title named Dynasty, which is described as a "3D real-time tactical simulation set approximately 100 years in the future, featuring a civil war in struggling China."


For people interested in applying for positions on the team, resumes can be sent to russ@sphidia.com. For more information on applying as well as Sphidia in general, be sure to check out both Sphidia's website as well as IMG's previous write-up of this company's formation and current project.

IMG - New Game Company "Sphidia" Emerges
Sphidia - Official Site



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More Civilization III Previews
8:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

More previews for Civilization III have surfaced with new details regarding this upcoming title. Currently in development for the PC by Firaxis, Civilization III follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, allowing players to build a civilization from the ground up, trading with and conquering other civilizations during play to gain strength.


A recent preview found at StratosGroup notes that among the much-noted graphical improvements of this title over its predecessor are the animations of combat units. No longer are they restricted to one animation for attack, defense, etc. Noted were animations such as flying capes and breaking spears, with over 60 units boasting at least 170 frames of animation each.


Another graphical improvement is the random continent-generation system, which now creates more believable worlds by generating larger land masses rather than the straggling squiggles that sometimes occured in previous titles.


StratosGroup reports on some new gameplay additions as well. New luxuries, such as wine, can be used to improve the general tempermanents of citizens. Resources are now a time-based commodity, and will come and go as time marches on and technology progresses. In addition to this, resources will also be concentrated to specific empires, assuring that one empire will never have control of all it needs to thrive at first.


An entirely new aspect has been injected into Civ III as well - culture. Vaguely defined, culture in the game seems to be more of a personal identity for a civilization than anything else, but one that can greatly influence the balance of the game. For example, if one civilizations culture is admired by another, they might be inclined to support that civilization should the need arise.


Games Domain's preview of Civ III takes a look at the advisors and other leaders available in the game. Well modeled and animated, the portraits of these computer-controlled characters will display their feelings with various facial expressions when dealing with players. Players offering great deals may be greeted with smiles, while those seeking to undercut may be turned away with a scowl.


As to the subject of "winning" at Civilization, Games Domain has this to say:

It's unknown at this time if you'll be able to win the game by racing to Alpha Centauri or not, as you could in Civ2, but Conquer is almost certainly a way to win. Infogrames did hint at another new victory condition: culture points. As you build libraries and churches, and other mass media, you accrue 'culture points'. Culture Points affect the game in a lot of ways. Take a city, and if that empire has a high culture value, those citizens might rebel right back into the enemy empire. You also might find it easier to bully or influence a neighbor whose citizens are jealous of your culture.
Civ III is currently slated for release for the PC this winter. MacSoft has picked up development rights for the Mac version and is hoping for a near-simultaneous release, though they have yet to announce a developer for this title.

Games Domain - Civ III Preview
StratosGroup - Civ III Preview
IMG - Civ III Mac Status
MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III



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Rune Co-Op Q&A, Mac Info
8:51 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MadOnion has posted a new interview with two of the developers of Rune Co-Op, a new mod to let two players fight alongside eachother is the action slasher Rune. Co-Op is a surprisingly difficult feature to balance, which is why it wasn't included in the original game. Both Rick "Dark" Francis and Richard "Cactus" Sorenson speak about their inspiration to take on such a complicated mod, the new features included, as well as specifics on the challenges they've overcome. Here's a quick list of what will be included in the mod:

Could you give us a list of all of Rune Co-Ops features? What would be your favorite, besides the ability to hack n’ slash monsters with a friend? :)



Dark:

- New game type Co-Op

- New Server Browser tab for Coop only games

- Improved AI, will attack more than one person, was a problem with AI fixation. The AI would only attack the 1st person they saw and would not turn to fight you as you were hacking on them.

- New Bosses, Increased Size to about 3 to 5 times there normal size.

- Carry over weapon inventory from level to level

- Carry over Rune power from level to level

- Increased health on all AI, much more difficult to kill.

- Increased AI numbers per level. Can range up to 50% more AI in a level

- Fixed problem with breaking each others Shields

- Don't hurt teammates when you land on them.

- Added players name over there heads in Coop game.

- Sark Ragnar level transition


Cactus:

- Ability to Play Sark Ragnar Together

- New introductory level to Rune Coop “The Battle” in which you will be able to participate in the open battle between Jarl (Ragnar’s Father) and Conrack. Real Time.

- See events happen in real time and participate in them rather than just watching a video.

Rune Co-Op is currently in closed beta and could be out as soon as the next two weeks. IMG recently contacted the team to see if Rune Co-Op might work with the Mac version of Rune as well. Here's what they said:
Yes it is possible but everyone is still waiting on the new patch
from Westlake.
So once Westlake releases the new Rune patch, we'll have a much better idea as to whether this ambitious mod will work with our version of the game. Check out the official site for more details.

Rune Co-Op Web Site
Interview with Rune Co-Op Developers
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive
Rune


Clan Lord Updated to v183
8:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Clan Lord, Delta Tao's Mac-only MMORPG centered around player cooperation, has recently been updated to v183. Here's what's new in this version:


  • No crashes or deadlocks to report since the last update.
  • Auto-downloads! Cool, right? Sorta.
  • Fixed a silly bug on startup not knowing what version it is.
  • There are a couple new text styles for time stamps and /thinkto messages.
  • The combat gerbils had their cages cleaned. Most likely you won't notice. Some strange things were happening for a very small number of people.

As a side note on the auto-downloads, Delta Tao states that 68k clients cannot as of yet take advantage of this feature. To manually download files that would normally now be automatically done, they have set up a page with all the necessary links and instructions. A link to that page has been provided below for player convenience.


The demo for Clan Lord v183 is available at Mac Game Files for download. It weighs in at around 29 MB and requires a 100Mhz or better Power PC, 32MB of system memory, and at least a 28.8k connection to the net.

MGF - Clan Lord v183 Demo
Delta Tao - About Clan Lord
Delta Tao - Clan Lord Download Helper


Mac Games News for Wednesday, May 30, 2001

New FUEL Trailer, OS X Info1:50 PM
Feature: Radeon vs GeForce MX 212:14 PM
ATI to Allow Third-Party Board Manufacturers12:08 PM
Warbirds III Q&A10:26 AM
Summoner Nears Gold, System Reqs Released10:18 AM
Apple Feature - Arcade Gaming on the Mac9:50 AM
Unreal II Preview9:20 AM
New Race Info on Shadowbane8:50 AM
Wealth, Tune Helper Added to MGF8:31 AM
This Week's Weapon on Red Faction8:21 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, May 30, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Tuesday, May 29, 2001
Friday, May 25, 2001
Thursday, May 24, 2001
Wednesday, May 23, 2001
Tuesday, May 22, 2001


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