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Monday, June 11, 2001

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Tamte Announces 'Destineer Studios' and 'Bold' Mac Label
7:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After nearly a year of silence, former MacSoft and Bungie exec Peter Tamte has revealed the name of his new company, Destineer Studios. This will be a full-time gaming company dedicated to bringing original, multiplatform games to the market. In addition to this --and as it was announced at last year's Macworld New York expo-- the company will also be working closely with Microsoft to port many of their most popular titles to the Mac platform. This includes games like Age of Empires 2, Links 2002, and more.

All of the MS games will be published under the Bold label, and it sounds like more info should be available soon (likely Macworld again). Here's the press release with more:

June 11, 2001 – Its name has been a secret ever since the creation of this new games company was announced during Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo keynote last July. The company is now ready to announce that it will call itself “Destineer.”

Destineer™ was created by Peter Tamte, who was executive vice president of Bungie Software Products until Bungie was acquired by Microsoft last year. Before Bungie, he managed worldwide consumer marketing for Steve Jobs at Apple Computer and created MacSoft, the leading Macintosh consumer software publisher.

Destineer is creating next-generation original games for Windows, Macintosh and videogame consoles using a proprietary 3D technology that it is developing internally. Additionally, the company is bringing many of Microsoft’s most popular games to the Macintosh, including Age of Empires II ™, Links 2002 ™, and Flight Simulator 2002™.

The company’s original content will be marketed under the label “Destineer Studios.” Each of the games the company converts to the Macintosh from Windows will be marketed under a new label created by the company, called “Bold™.”

According to Peter Tamte, “Destineer is all about adventure. We hope playing our games will give people the exhilaration of discovering something new. We’ve had a team of engineers and artists building our own 3D engine since January to make sure our original games look and play differently than other games.”

The Macintosh label is explained by saying, “Bold, on the other hand, has a very different mission. Age of Empires II, Links, Flight Simulator, and other Microsoft games are some of the most import and popular games ever created, and Microsoft has many more games like these coming. Microsoft is interested in making sure their games are available on the Macintosh, and we want to give users ‘Mac-in-tized’ versions of these great games.”

Destineer intends to announce ship dates for some of its Macintosh titles shortly. Its original content will be unveiled in 2002. The Web site will be running in late July.

Well, after months of speculation, it seems there is more good news for Mac gamers. While the Microsoft ports should certainly prove popular, it will be even more interesting to see what 3D adventure creations Destineer will come up with. We should have more on Destineer and Tamte later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned to IMG as more on the company is revealed.

Forum Topic: Tamte Announces "Destineer"
IMG News: More on Apple/Microsoft Games
IMG News: MWSF: On Peter Tamte's Company
Destineer Studios

MacGamer Interviews Myth III's Andrew Meggs
1:21 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Mac Gamer has conducted an interview with Myth III programmer, Andrew Meggs, who lept from Logicware to Contraband to Mumbo Jumbo and is now coding the next chapter in the Myth series, entitled Myth III: The Wolf Age. Here's a snippet from the interview:

There's obviously a strong and enduring fanaticism about what Myth is among Mac users in particular. Is satisfying both new and old Myth fans going to be your biggest challenge?

I try not to think about it too much, and just focus on making the best game possible. Because we're doing Myth 3 as a prequel, the game doesn't depend on knowing anything from Myth 1 and 2. At the same time, it's still connected in a way that'll be meaningful to Myth veterans. When you meet your second-in-command and later lead troops under his command, the storyline and gameplay make sense no matter what your background, but the older fans will see him and immediately recognize that a millennium later he'll be coming back as Soulblighter to wipe out civilization, which adds a very cool perspective.

The interview also includes 19 screenshots from Myth III, some of which are brand new. Be sure to check out the rest of the interview!

MacGamer Interviews Myth III's Andrew Meggs

Sin 1.1.2 Beta Patch Released...Kinda
1:14 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A few months ago MacPlay released a patch for Sin but was suddenly pulled a few days later because of various problems with the update. Today MacPlay's Bill Heinneman posted in IMG's 'general' forum an update on the patch and a link to download a beta of the 1.1.2 patch. Here's more on Heineman's post:

Ok, I'll put my money where my mouth is. I have put up the "Beta" of the Sin 1.1.2 patch up on an ftp site. This is NOT AN OFFICIAL RELEASE of the patch. An official release requires full bug testing with MacPlay is currently in the process of doing.

So for those brave souls who wish to try out the Sin 1.1.2 beta patch. You can download it and MANUALLY install the files. Send all bug reports to me.

Again this is a NON-OFFICIAL RELEASE of the patch so DON'T bug MacPlay about problems. Bring the problems to me!!! And the patch is for the RETAIL version of Sin:Gold only.

To download the update, click on the link below.

Sin Gold Updater Patch? Forum Topic
IMG's Sin Review
Sin 1.1.2 Update (2.8 MB)

IMG Reviews the Saitek P150 Action Pad
1:06 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Today Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Saitek's P150 USB Action Pad, their latest entry into the budget gamepad. Priced at around $15, the P150 is meant to compete with the likes of Gravis, Thrustmaster, and Logitech. Does it have the price/performance combination to appeal to the budget-minded gamer? Here is an excerpt from the review:

Unlike some inexpensive gamepads, the P150 is large and quite comfortable. The long 'handles' are molded so your index and middle fingers wrap naturally around the grip. The area where your palm rests is textured to reduce slippage. The P150 also has a very solid feel to it, despite the light weight. There was no creaking or signs of poor construction. At 5 feet, the USB cord is sufficiently long.

One interesting feature of the P150 is the detachable mini-joystick which is stuck in the hole in the D-pad (as seen in the picture). When not in use, it is stored on the back of the joystick and secured by a locking mechanism. Personally, I found that using the mini-joystick felt less 'direct' than using the D-pad. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Read the rest of the review for more in-game testing and the final results. Also, if you already own a P150 gamepad, you can post your comments in the Reader's Review section.

Review: Saitek P150 USB Action Pad

Fan Interview with Halo Developement Team
12:05 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story has posted an interview with the Bungie's Halo development team. After receiving nearly 200 questions over a three day period from fans, submitted 15 questions for the development team to answer. Among them was this question and answer:

HBO Readers: A number of sources are claiming that Halo is being rushed to make it to the Xbox launch. Does the Halo team feel this way, as well? Will this affect its quality?

Halo Dev Team: I think most developers, if given a choice, would always prefer a little more development time to a little less. :-)

The Halo team is definitely at the tail end of development, and as with all our previous games it's a period of long hours and short tempers. It would be very easy for someone who wasn't familiar with us, or the development process in general, to visit our offices and think "Wow, these guys are really rushing it." But if you are familiar with how we work, and how chaotic things get at Bungie when it's crunch time, it's apparent that Halo's development is in many ways an improvement over some of our earlier projects - thanks in large part to the extensive planning and scheduling we did when we first came out here.

Even if we weren't working on an Xbox launch title, we'd be pulling out all the stops right now to make sure we finish this game. That doesn't mean making the game less fun to play, or taking the easy route just to make a ship date; it means a team of programmers, artists and designers busting their ass to get the job done right. In that sense, nothing has changed.

Halo is schedule to ship for the X-Box in November. A PC/Mac version is expected to be released sometime in 2002. Be sure to check out the rest of the interview at

Fan-Generated Interview with Halo Dev Team
Bungie Software
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

V12 "Tribes 2" Engine Nears Release
11:14 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In the past few weeks IMG has been bringing you news updates on V12, the licensable version of the Tribes 2 engine. GarageGames has stated in the past that they are working on a Mac version of the engine, which will be be available to any developer for an amazing $100 license, assuming you're willing to let GarageGames publish any titles you might make with it.

Garagegames' Rick Overman today provided an update on V12, saying that it is getting close to shipping:

It's long past time for a .plan update. Tim and I have been prepping the V12 code for its first release for several weeks now and it looks like we are about done. The scripts have been reworked to support our new mod'ing architecture and boiled down to their essence. For those just getting into the V12 scripting language it will be much easier to dig in, get started and understand how this engine ticks. Aside from the mod'ing changes and the removal of Tribes2 IP (Intellectual Property), the code has remained relatively unchanged. It still shows signs of the shipping crunch but with the assistance of the GarageGames community it will not take long to whip it into shape.

We will be sending off a build to Sierra in the next day or two so they can verify that all Tribes2 IP has been properly removed. Then off to duplication! We appreciate everyone's patience and look forward to continued development on the V12 with our community.

We'll keep on the GarageGames saga as the story develops. For more information, check out some of our past stories on the subject.

More Mac V12/Tribes 2 Updates
V12 Running on a Mac, Tribes 2 Soon?

King of Dragon Pass 1.6 Released
9:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

King of Dragon Pass, the game that combines interactive stories and resource management to create an epic saga of conflict, magic, and community, has been updated to version 1.6, fixes a few minor bugs. They include:

• Don't give advice to allocate 0 magic to children

• Prevent a negative number of horses

• Re-exploring Dwarf Valley won't always give the same results

• Fixed an inconsistency involving the Sacred Clod treasure

• Prevent integer overflow for food, pigs

• Fixed exploration of Dragonewt Wildlands

• Fixed problem when Ernalda priestess demand the return of
their treasure

• Trolls won't ransom trollkin

• Fixed possible crash involving the Black Spear

• The Making of the Storm Tribe heroquest, used to improve the
mood of the tribe, now adjusts some of the political relationships
between clans

• Fixed crash when a defeated clan moved away onto its own land

• Jealous king scene won't show up when there's not yet a tribe
King of Dragon Pass is available for $29.95 from A Sharp's web site or select retailers. To grab the update, be sure to head over to

King of Dragon Pass 1.6 Update (2 MB)
A Sharp web site

Custer Unleashes Warcraft III Desktop
9:21 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Brad Custer has once again blessed us with a new game-related desktop. This week's image features Warcraft III, Blizzard's upcoming follow-up to the immensely popular Warcraft series. Here's more from Brad on the subject:

Warcraft III was one of the games I had a long look at during E3 and I can't wait for it to come out. I really liked the perception of depth created within the game and being able to zoom in and out on the action.

This week's desktop was harder to create than it actually looks. It's hard to obtain high quality art for a lot of the Blizzard games. Infact, I had to promise my first born to get stuff that I used. ;D Luckily, that promise didn't include our new puppy. It was worth it though to bring this desktop to you appropriately titled, "Big, Mean & Green". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

Visit Custer's Desktops to grab this image in sizes from 640x480 to 1600x1200. Be sure to also check out our extensive preview of Warcraft III based on a recent visit to Blizzard's headquarters.

IMG's Warcraft III Preview
Custer's Desktops

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RivenGuild Closes, New Mudpie Site Up
8:19 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Jim Stephenson has updated his excellent fan site Riven Unofficial Home Page with new information on recent happenings around the Myst community. In a sad (and somewhat belated) note, it seems another site RivenGuild has become a victim of its popularity. After nearly six years of service, the web master Gordon Currie can no longer afford the costs associated with running and maintaining the site. Ubi Soft also let him go from updating the official Exile and realMYST web sites in an effort to consolidate costs. It's sad to see resources like this go, and we wish the best for Currie in his endeavors.

Now, just a few days afterwards, Cyan has opened D'ni Guild, a new informational site for their next generation of broadband entertainment codenamed "Mudpie." It includes some new information from Cyan World employees, a QuickTime movie of Rand Miller talking about Mudpie, and more. Jim Stephenson also obtained a quote from Richard Watson of Cyan about the new site and its relation to the now-closed RivenGuild (noting it's now a replacement):

Cyan registered a few years ago, but we really didn't have any content for it at the time and were very happy to have it point to RivenGuild. With our ever-present time constraints, and no urgent need for D'ni Guild, our plans to do something with it were placed on that infamous back burner. [But] in light of RivenGuild closing its doors, it seemed that we needed to bump the D'ni Guild site back onto one of those front burners. We wanted to get it up before the weekend [of June 9]. Some pieces aren't finished yet, and I'm sure we'll tweak it quite a bit...
Definitely have a look at D'ni Guild for more info on Mudpie, and be sure to grab that quick video of Miller as well. We'll keep you posted as more on this mysterious broadband game is revealed.

D'ni Guild Web Site
Riven Unofficial Home Page

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WWII Coming Back Up, Mac Still Underway
8:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Cornered Rat Software made some progress over the weekend with their Playnet gaming servers trying to host the massively multiplayer war sim World War II Online. As we reported last week, PC gamers were frustrated with downed servers and buggy play, and ultimately granted a stay on their 30-day free trial until the server were up and running properly. As of this writing, six of the eight servers were working, though they were each hosting a version of the world instead of working together at this point. Eventually, all of the servers will work together to make one massively large battlefield for all to play on. The official Strategy First has an informational update forum for all the latest on the server status.

In a different part of the forums, Rodney "Hatch" Hodge has been doing some damage control over this rocky period to try and sooth the frustrated souls trying to get online. He notes they didn't have the time or money to continue testing the game beforehand and were forced to release it in the current state. He also verifies a Mac version won't get completely lost in this transitional period. Here are a few clips:

As stated before, we tested as big and as long as we could. There is a difference when you are generating your own revenue and running on someone elses money. After all, we are not Sony, Microsoft, or Eidos. What I can promise you, is that if you guys can hang in here and help us make WWIIOL the game we all know that it can be, so that we can stand on our own, supporting future production out of our own pocket, this will NEVER happen again.

Experimenting on the world? We didnt mean to experiment in North America. It just turned out that way. But the fact of the matter is that by the time the Mac and overseas distribution deals are signed and in the pipe, all of these issues we are worrying about now will be history. I wouldnt worry about that too much.

Mac distribution is still on the table... Im sure there will be a patch of some kind because the game is not standing still while the CD's and such are being processed. Will it be as big? I dont know.

So, while the wait may be unbearable to some, it's good to know that when the Mac version is out, most of the server-side issues should be cleared up. We're hoping to hear more on the Mac version soon and expect it to make an appearance in the next few weeks.

WWII Online "Stops Clock," Adds Servers
WWII Online Gets Off to Rocky Start
Official WWII Online Informational Updates Forum
WWII Online Forum Thread
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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BG2 Testers Needed, Beta Info
7:49 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Jason Whong of MacPlay sent along a quick note over the weekend, announcing they need some beta testers close to the Dallas area for Baldur's Gate 2. If you know the scope of the original game, this sequel is even larger in size with nearly 200-250 hours of gameplay. All of that content means that a lot of testing needs to occur before the game can ship (hopefully around Macworld New York next month). Here's the specifics from Jason:

MumboJumbo Games is looking for gamers in the Dallas area who would be
interested in on-site Beta testing Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn for the
Macintosh platform. You must have previous experience with the Baldur's
Gate series of games (though Macintosh experience is optional), and must
live within the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Beta testing will take place in our
downtown Dallas office, and you must be available for at least four hours at
a time during our normal daytime office hours. Testing begins Monday, June
11. D/FW area residents ONLY interested in testing can contact us at:

And if you're curious how the beta might be, our own affiliate site MacBaldur has posted a few NDA-safe impressions of how this sequel will play. Here's a clip:
We're receiving regular updates/builds, and I'm super impressed with all of the builds I've received.

I gotta say how I'm in love with the ability to play BG2 in 1024x768... it's so much smoother and gives you a much better view of your environment. If you have a gargantuan amount of ram and a beefy video card, the unsupported resolution modes are simply scrumptious

Sounds like things are progressing really well for this huge isometric RPG, and we hope to know more in the coming weeks. If you're lucky enough to be living near Dallas and have some free time, drop MacPlay a note and let them know you want to get in on the action early.

MacBaldur Web Site
E3: MacPlay Report on BG2, Fighter Squadron
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II

Massive Myth II TC 'Jinn' Released
7:37 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

Finally, Jinn is upon us. Following this astounding press release, the most anticpated scenario, and the first ever *true* total conversion for Myth 2 was finally released last night.

This massive total conversion has been in production for the past 2 years by the Vista Cartel.Two of the members of Vista are now working on Myth 3 -- impressive qualifications to say the least. Set in an all new world, set apart from the world of Soulblighter, Jinn features 8 single player and 5 multiplayer levels, an all new interface, brand new units and a killer storyline.

The community has been downloading the bulky plugin (at over 150MB) from assorted servers, and last night was alive with people playing the stunning multiplayer, while no doubt even more were battling against the single player.

Also released was Apathy, a handy tool to allow Mac users to import their own scenery objects into the game, something longed after by Myth players for years.

So while modem users may be warming up their modems, it will likely be broadband gamers that are able to grab this massive TC the easiest. Many mirrors are now listed at the official web site, plus much other information, so be sure to give it a look.

Jinn Web Site

Mac Games News for Friday, June 8, 2001

WWII Online "Stops Clock," Adds Servers12:00 PM
IMG Previews Alice9:58 AM
Summoner Goes Gold, Preorders Starting9:54 AM
Myst III: Exile Game Guide9:37 AM
New Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Screenshots8:15 AM
Neverwinter Nights Chat8:03 AM
GarageGames Q&A with Jeff Tunnell7:10 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 8, 2001 on one page

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Thursday, June 7, 2001
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