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Friday, June 15, 2001

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Mac Rune: HoV Complete, Awaiting Publisher
9:49 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two readers have sent in word which concludes Rune: Halls of Valhalla, the expansion for the Viking action game, is now finished and simply waiting for a publisher to pick it up. As you may recall, the original Rune was published by Gathering of Developers, a subsidiary of Take 2. Now MacSoft has taken over publishing any of Take 2's Mac games, it leaves Rune: HoV in limbo.

Frustrated Mac gamers also awaiting the 1.07 Rune patch have tried to take out their struggles on Westlake Interactive, though it appears the porting company is completely not at fault. Andrew Plucker wrote in to say that Tim Gerritson of Human Head (the developers of the original game) posted to fan forums to clarify the situation. Here's what he had to say:

Gathering of Developers has divested itself of all of its Mac holdings, as some of you are aware. Another publisher
has picked up the Gathering Mac holdings. However, HOV Mac was not part of that deal, and Gathering is no longer
doing Mac product going forward.

This leaves the product, unfortunately, in limbo. Westlake has completed the game, and it is ready for release.
However, they are the not the rightsholders to Rune. As rightsholders Human Head Studios, Inc. has gone to Take
Two to get final resolution on the Mac version (as Take Two has first rights to the game under contract). If Take Two
doesn't take up the publishing, we already have a firm offer from a Mac specific publisher and another waiting in the
wings to take up publication.

Westlake has taken a lot of flak on this release. However, they have held up their end of the bargain and delivered a
good game, which Human Head has approved for release. Unfortunately, both Human Head's and Westlake's hands
are tied until the publisher issue is resolved. We know you want this game out, and so do we. We are working as
quickly as we can to resolve it, but there are contractual obligations here that have to be abided by. This game will
come out, it's just a matter of when. As soon as we can make an announcement as to the final publisher and release
date, we will put out the word right here.

We thank you very much for your continued patience and for your support of the community as a whole. Obviously
this is not the way we wanted this product released, but we are working hard at using this situation to provide for
much better distribution than was originally planned by Gathering.

Another reader from Clan MacRune sent a confirming report from Suellen Adams of
Westlake which verifies Tim's statement above is correct. It's an unfortunate
situation, but one in which Mac gamers must practice a little patience and trust
the issue will be resolved. It sounds like if GoD doesn't want the game, there are
other options waiting in the wings. Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll bring you more word as
Mac HoV begins moving again.

Tim Gerritson Post on Mac Rune
Westlake Interactive Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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Baldur's Gate Multiplayer Patch Released
2:54 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After a long wait, RPG fans have a new treat today in the release of the Baldur's Gate multiplayer patch. Since the game may have some issues still, GraphSim is calling is an 'open beta' release, so keep that in mind. Here's the scoop on the 2.3MB download:

This is an open beta of the Baldur's Gate multiplayer patch. This application (once un-stuffed) will create a new Baldur’s Gate application. This will replace your current BG application. Simply drag it into your existing Baldur’s Gate Folder and allow the new application to replace the existing one.

Includes support for GameRanger, TCP/IP, and AppleTalk network games.

Also remember that Windows compatibility is impossible due to Microsoft's closed DirectPlay which the PC version uses. But give the patch a try with your Mac buddies now, and make sure to read the associated ReadMe for more info.

Download BG Multiplayer Open Beta (2.3MB)
GraphSim Web Site
Baldur's Gate

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Hands On With Tropico Mac (beta)
1:54 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

Yesterday IMG's Tom Bridge received a beta of Tropico for the Mac. Since we've already published a preview of Tropico, we figured we'd bypass doing another preview and instead have Tom write up a little news piece on his experiences with the beta (can you tell it's a slow news day?). Here's Tom's thoughts:

When my copy of the Tropico beta arrived via FedEx yesterday, I was ecstatic. I ripped open the envelope to hold in my hot little hands a freshly burned CD, courtesy of the great folks over at PopTop Software. The version of Tropico I received included both a Carbonized version of the code for native use inside OS X, and a "regular" version for use under MacOS 7 through 9. The install process was relatively painless, if only available under Classic on OS X. The game itself remains mostly unchanged from the PC beta IMG tested in April.

Now on to the gameplay. This is definitely beta software, and there are all sorts of kinks to be worked out still, but for the most part, play inside OS 9 is seamless. I played several games out to their 50 year limit last night in OS 9 without a problem. The real trick is OS X. While the code is carbonized, there are still some very large bugs in the game, mainly just the tutorial works at the moment. I've had a lot of problems getting the game to be stable inside the OS X environment. However, this is still beta code. Overall, discounting OS X, I was pleased with the gameplay. It's very smooth on my G4 450/MP and only uses about 50MB of RAM at peak. However, once you get a large population, it takes a lot more juice to keep track of each and every Tropican, and so that take a bit of time.

Now included with the game is a 9 chapter manual on how Tropico functions, complete with detail about the individual factions on the island and what each structure does, which comes in mighty handy if you're just getting used to the economy of Tropico. It will likely come in printed form with the final game, but the HTML version that was on my CD was just fine.

Tropico is certainly not without a killer sense of humor. Included in this version is the Credits and Outtakes. Which, in addition to giving cred to the programmers and other folks who worked on this game, shows some of the Tropicans doing things that are just hilarious. Anytime you see Generalissimo doing the Paso Doble, you've just got to laugh. It's those little touches within Tropico that make it such a great game. Now if they can just get the bugs out of the Carbon code, I'll be a real happy man.

Well, there ya have it. If you want to learn more about Tropico, be sure to check out the Tropico preview posted from a few months ago! Tropico will be published in by MacSoft and is expected to be released sometime in July.

Tropico Preview
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Myst Top Ten List Posted
1:28 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Who says we're all business here? To celebrate Friday (TGIF!), we've posted a...well...comical story for your funny senses in the hopes that it will help a great many people realize that they may have a "problem". Our very own Michael Phillips, a recovering Myst addict, has written a thought provoking piece (we use that term loosely) entitled "The Top Ten Signs that Your Love of Myst has Gone too Far". Here's a snippet:

Addiction comes in many forms, absinthe, Nyquil, cheese curls, popping bubble wrap and endlessly watching the film, Rushmore are just a few examples. However, there is one such addiction that can cause one to lock them self away in a darkened room, save the soft glow of a computer monitor, for hours at a time, away from friends & family and as in my case, near hospitalization (boy, THAT'S a long story). This dreadful addiction is Myst...
Now go on...check out the rest of the article!

Myst Top Ten

IMG Posts Volume 1 of "Ask MacPlay"
11:30 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Earlier this week IMG asked for readers to send in questions for a new feature
with MacPlay. You responded beautifully, and today we're happy to present
the first installment of "Ask MacPlay." A number of topics are covered, including
requirements for upcoming games, other possible ports they might consider, and
much more. The four page article contains answers from a number of MacPlay
members, here's a clip with president Diane Zammit taking the helm:

Question: While I understand that MacPlay in its current incarnation has no connection to the previous company of the same name, I was curious if you would ever consider looking at some of their older releases (Fallout comes to mind) and updating them to be compatible with the newer Mac operating systems? — Jim Kasch

Answer: The connection lies in our commitment to adhere to the high standards of the MacPlay brand. I had the pleasure of managing this brand under Interplay, so I can assure you that the team here awesome, passionate and just as committed as the old team was.

The majority of award winning games we'll release this year were prior Interplay PC releases from Bioware, Shiny and Planet Moon. All of our publishing decisions (new and/or old titles) are based primarily on demand and potential sales. Strong game sales translate directly into great new games more often.

Be sure to subscribe to MacPlay Today and MacPlay's Monthly Development update for updates on new products and release date information on all of our games. We track future product suggestions carefully, be sure to send yours to — Diane Zammit

Definitely head over and read through the rest of the article for more info on
MacPlay's many games in development. And be sure to send any new questions to with
the words 'Ask MacPlay' in the Subject field.

Ask MacPlay - Volume 1
IMG News: "Ask MacPlay" Feature at IMG

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Preview of Max Payne at 3D Action Planet
9:30 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

3DActionPlanet got to take a good look at the upcoming 3rd person action adventure, Max Payne, this week. The game itself has been in development for close to four years now, and most of the details are just coming to light. Included in the preview is the basic storyline:

The general story goes something like this. Max Payne was a regular guy, with a wife and child. He worked for the DEA, and life was good. Then, one day he came home, and found that his world has been shattered. His wife and children had been murdered. Max's life was turned upside-down, and he became filled with rage.
Quite possibly the most exciting part of this to-be-release-for-Mac game is the influence of the Matrix and every John Woo movie ever released on the style of gameplay. It may have taken four years, but they will be worth it.
This is pure John Woo, with a little Matrix, even featuring bullet time. Shrapnel will fly out of whatever structure you hit, and in different ways. Steel will fall faster then paper, walls will show exactly where the bullets hit and little chucks will fall to the ground, and steel will spark. Everything is destructible; these are no pansy fights. Enemies show exit wounds, and are knocked back, maybe even sent flying into the air, depending on the weapon and trajectory. The bullets are intricately modeled, even including the little inscription. Bullets shells are the same way, resulting in some really cool looking action.
Look for Max Payne this winter from MacSoft.

Max Payne Preview
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

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UT OpenAL Report
8:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG recently caught up with Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive to find out the status of the OpenAL version of Unreal Tournament. This new version will give a huge boost to Sound Blaster Live! owners by providing directional sound in this extremely popular FPS. Here's what Mark had to say on where the version stands:

Its nearly finished, but we had a glitch when running it with the latest
OpenAL drivers (unfortunately all the sound came out too soft to hear).
Creative is looking at it, it should be quick fix so I still hope to release
it soon.
Sounds like Creative is working closely with Westlake to make sure everything gets done right. UT will also be the first Mac title to use OpenAL, Creative's open standard for sound, though other games (like Deus Ex and Monkey Island 4) have used EAX. Mark has explained the difference between the two in previous news articles. Here's a clip with more:
EAX basically gives you room effects (cave, hallway, etc) so all sounds get extra reverb and processing. OpenAL lets you do the EAX stuff plus you are actually giving each sound to the card with its 3D location in the world, so the card can do true pan (left/right/front/back) between speakers and also things like doppler shift if something is moving fast. The full OpenAL implementation will make even better use of the cards.
We'll bring you word when Westlake is ready to release the update.

Westlake Interactive Web Site
IMG News: Westlake Talks OpenAL & Unreal Tournament
Sound Blaster Live!

Mac Games News for Thursday, June 14, 2001

IMG Posts Myst Beginners Guide10:04 AM
Mac WWII Online Shipping July 109:44 AM
Cipher Movie Soon8:31 AM
Myth III Interview, Screen Shots8:13 AM
Clive Barker's Undying Announced for Mac7:36 AM
House Party Set for MW Release, System Reqs6:00 AM
New Tomb Raider(s) & Alice Soon6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 14, 2001 on one page

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Wednesday, June 13, 2001
Tuesday, June 12, 2001
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Friday, June 8, 2001
Thursday, June 7, 2001

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