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Tuesday, June 19, 2001



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Quake 3 Beta Released for OS X, Classic Soon
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last night id Software made a new beta 1.29f release available for Quake III and the add-on pack Team Arena. The download is over 25MB, so get your modem warmed up if you're not on a broadband connection. Currently, only the OS X build is ready for download, though id's Graeme Devine assures IMG a 'Classic' build will be out soon:

I've just not done the compile yet. It will be there!
So don't fret about id dropping Classic support just yet. We'll let you know when it becomes available as well.


The massive update features a complete overhaul of the game's networking code, new map revisions, and special anti-cheating measures. Here are a couple excerpts from the included ReadMe file:

- NEW NETWORK CODE - There is a new compression system built into the network code of the latest point release. Essentially, this reduces the bandwidth usage of Quake 3 and Team Arena by a ratio of 5:1 over previous versions of the game. Modem players, as well as everyone else, should experience a significant improvement in internet game play because of this.


- NEW CHEATING COUNTER MEASURES - There has been quite a bit of new code added to make it much more difficult to cheat and hack the game. We’d tell you more, but that would be defeating the purpose… Rest assured that it will be harder to cheat than ever before.

Be sure to read through the huge list of changes for more info on the update. It doesn't look like there are any Altivec enhancements in this build, but we'll keep you G4 owners posted. Assuming all goes well with this release, it sounds like the final version could be available soon as well.

1.29f ReadMe File
id Software
Download Quake III 1.29f (25MB)
id Software
Activision
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena


Mumbo Jumbo Seeks Beta Testers in TX, CA
3:00 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The high-powered development team Mumbo Jumbo is seeking beta testers for what is presumably the final candidate version of their port of Baldur's Gate II to the Mac OS. However, this is not the type of beta testing where you receive the CDs in the mail -- you must be physically present at either the Dallas or Orange County offices of the company in order to playtest the game. Here are the details:

MumboJumbo Games is again looking for gamers in and around Dallas, Texas,
and Orange County, California 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(although Macintosh experience is optional), and must live near the
Dallas/Ft. Worth or Orange County areas. Beta testing will take place in
our Dallas and Irvine offices, and you must be available for at least four
hours at a time during our normal daytime office hours. Testing runs
through the end of June. DALLAS/FORT WORTH OR ORANGE COUNTY AREA RESIDENTS
ONLY interested in testing can contact us at bg2@macplay.com.
If you are a serious RPG fan and can spare the time to test this game, be certain to contact Mumbo Jumbo immediately. For more information about the title itself, peruse IMG's preview.

Preview: Baldur's Gate II
Mumbo Jumbo


Monkey Byte Names New CEO, Offers Demo CD
12:55 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

For those of you who haven't yet subscribed to the intermittent newsletter from independent publisher Monkey Byte, their latest treatise has several minor surprises. The Mac/PC publisher has recently acquired the rights to distribute Green Dragon's action/puzzle game Gridz, a realtime, networkable puzzle game which rewards strategy as well as fast reflexes. This game is shipping for $25 and there is a demo available to download.


Monkey Byte is also shipping a demo CD, which is free (plus shipping and handling) for newsletter subscribers. With both Mac and PC demos, the CD features titles from Astro Rock 2000 to King of Dragon pass, 20 games in all. Many of the games can be serialized for an instant purchase.


And finally, the newsletter mentions that Monkey Byte has just named a new CEO to head the company. Here's the relevant quote:

MonkeyByte.com announces a new Chief Executive Officer has been chosen to
represent the company into the future. Yon Hardisty, formerly an
executive at Berkeley Systems and Havas Interactive as well as a long
time partner in MonkeyByte.com, returns to his roots and prepares to lead
the company into the next economy.


"MonkeyByte.com has traveled a long and winding road in our sixth year
within the development business," say Mr. Hardisty, "we intend to build
on our history of continual growth and flexibility to provide new and
existing clients with professional ecommerce, game, and web based
development."


MonkeyByte.com has been a developer and publisher of games for Windows,
Macintosh, and Browser based media since 1995. The company has just begun
to expand its' development skills into Game Boy Advance, eCommerce
hosting and solutions, and dynamic database driven web design.


"The future can be found in convergence," says Mr. Hardisty, "developers
that look to extend their reach far into the next decade will be getting
back to the basics and focusing on delivering a true multimedia
experience to their clients. Companies that can only offer development in
one type of media will have their days numbered."

Hardisty is of course referring to his company's recent foray into music publishing, which you can find out more about at their web site.

Monkey Byte
Free Monkey Byte Demo CD
Gridz Details at Monkey Byte


IMG Reviews Shogo: Mobile Armor Division
12:37 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Although the wait for our review seemed as long as the wait for the game itself, IMG has published a review of Shogo: Mobile Armored Division. This revolutionary (for its time) first-person shooter features colorful 3D graphics, innovative gameplay, explosive weaponry and a definite "anime" look and feel. Although the game can be tough to find for those in the States (currently only Mac-O-Rama is importing it) our reviewer found it a worthwhile addition to any FPS fan's arsenal. Here is an excerpt:

Shogo places you into an interstellar plot of intrigue and warfare, battling to control the most powerful source of energy in the universe. You play Sanjuro, a sarcastic, insubordinate MCA (Mobile Combat Armor) commander, who happens to be dating his ops officer (who is his commander’s daughter). You are a member of the elite Shogo Mobile Armor Division -- crack pilots who operate huge mecha armed to the teeth. But who cares about that? You want to hear about the guns.


You have a wide variety of arms at your disposal: pulse rifle, laser cannon, sniper rifle (with zoom), cluster missile launcher, a "juggernaut", and others. I should add that those are some of your MCA’s weapons. Shogo takes you into combat in your mecha through the streets, and on foot through the indoors. On foot, you have a combat knife, dual pistols, a machine gun, an assault rifle (with zoom), a shotgun, and a variety of grenade/energy weapon launchers. While it's obvious that a lot of detail was paid to the weapon details and effects, I found the balance of the weaponry somewhat lacking, being able to finish the game using only two or three weapons for each mode - foot or armored. Still, they are cool to look at when fired.

Read through the review for more information, and grab the demo from MGF if you'd like to try this one on for size. Don't forget to add your own impressions via the user reviews.

Review: Shogo: Mobile Armor Division



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Space Tripper Released for Mac
8:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

UK developer PomPom wrote IMG recently about their impressive new OpenGL space shooter, Space Tripper, being released for the Mac. This updated take on the arcade classic 'Defender' features beautiful graphics and a story-free, shoot-em-up experience. A three level demo is available, or if you want the full version, it's only $12 and an 11MB download away. Here's a quick list of features for the title:


  • Advanced 3D engine
  • 14 beautiful arenas spread over 4 worlds
  • Full freedom of movement
  • Over 20 different enemies, each with their own behaviour
  • Weapon power ups
  • Big end of world bosses
  • Furious gameplay

The game needs at least a 300Mhz G3 with 64MB of RAM and some sort of OpenGL video card. Head over to Macgamefiles to give the 3.3MB demo a try now.

PomPom Web Site
Download Space Tripper Demo (3.3MB)



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Sims Online Q&A with Will Wright
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

PC.IGN has posted a late E3 interview with Maxis founder Will Wright which discusses his upcoming title, the Sims Online. This ambitious title will take the extraordinary popularity of The Sims and moves it onto the internet with seven times the content and a persistent world to interact with others. You will get a maximum of three seperate characters in the game, each with their own plot of land to build however you want. The interview covers a number of issues surround the Sims Online such as annoying players, copyrighted skins, and making it fun for 'casual' players. Here's an interesting clip about the monetary system:

IGNPC: What's the incentive for characters in the game to acquire money.


Will Wright: To build up your lot, you need to buy objects. We're going to have rare objects which in the world, people will auction off and bid up. We'll have rare objects to give to people.


You can also form clubs and neighborhoods in the game, and those have leaders, you vote for the leader and those leaders get special rights in the game. Like your house -- if you're living alone, people can't come to your house if you're offline. Only if you're online are the lights going to be on. That's what a big advantage to having roommates -- your house will be online more often.


But if you're a club leader or a neighborhood leader, you have get option of keeping your house online twenty-four [hours a day], seven [days a week], even when you're not there. So I might be the leader of the science fiction club, and people pay their dues to me, and we use those funds to build up this really cool science fiction, starship clubhouse and anybody can go there that's a member of the club, even if I'm not online.

Defintely head over and have a read through the rest of the Q&A for lots of info on the game. Sims Online is currently set for release in early 2002, and we're hoping Aspyr will announce plans for a Mac version as that date nears. Currently they're working to get the second expansion pack House Party out in the next month.

Will Wright Interview at PC.IGN
Aspyr Media Web Site


Custer Eyes Tomb Raider
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Brad Custer has released his newest creation this week, in the form of a tribute to the new Tomb Raider movie (and Tomb Raider: Chronicles preview at IMG). Fans of Angelina Jolie's portrayal of Lara Croft will definitely want to have a look at the very cool desktop. As always, it's available in a wide variety of resolutions for nearly any computer screen. Here's a clip about his latest work:

I've enjoyed Tomb Raider since the original game was released on the PC. I remember the first time I came across the cave with the T-Rex in it. When I saw that giant beast charging at me - I was hooked! I was sad to see the apparent demise of Lara in Last Revelation, but I am excited that Tomb Raider: Chronicles seems to be only weeks away from shipping and I'll be able to explore the realm of Tomb Raider again.


This week's desktop was one that I've been looking forward to doing. I enjoy going to the movies almost as much as I do playing a good game on the computer. So, when the two realms cross each other then you can bet I'll be there to do a desktop for it. The offficial web site for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider provides a nice collection of desktops for users to download. I decided I wanted to create one that would fit in with them almost seamlessly, which I feel I was able to do and I titled this week's creation, "Lady Croft". I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

Head over now and grab the desktop now in your preferred size. Also be sure to read through IMG's preview of Tomb Raider: Chronicles, which should be appearing in stores soon.

Aspyr Media
IMG Preview of Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Custer's Desktops


Mac Games News for Monday, June 18, 2001

MacSoft Ships Pong For Mac2:12 PM
Westlake's Mark Adams on Madden 200210:41 AM
IMG Previews Tomb Raider: Chronicles10:04 AM
The Warcraft Game that Wasn't8:27 AM
World War II Online Q&A8:17 AM
Combat Mission 2 Details, Q&A6:00 AM
Massive Emulator Updates6:00 AM
Master of Orion III Preview6:00 AM
Myth II: Green Berets Interview6:00 AM
Staff Cuts at Humongous6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 18, 2001 on one page


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Friday, June 15, 2001
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