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Thursday, June 21, 2001



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Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is Gold
8:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard has announced their awaited add-on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is now 'Gold' and is heading towards production. The good news for Mac gamers is that the June 29 release will be a hybrid CD for both Mac and PC -- we won't have to wait a single day longer than the PC crowd. The expansion will offer a new Act, two new character classes, a higher screen resolution option (800x600) and include many gameplay changes. It's also likely this version will be EAX-enhanced for Mac Sound Blaster Live! owners, though that is unconfirmed yet. Here are a few clips from the press release:

Key features of the expansion include two new character classes, the Assassin and the Druid, each equipped with 30 unique skills and spells. Players will also enjoy the opportunity to take their favorite Diablo II characters on the new quests found in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.


A new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands, complete with six new quests and hours of further challenges, unfolds as players strive to stop Baal and his followers from destroying the world. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction also features support for 800x600 resolution, giving the player a larger field of view and superlative graphic detail.


Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was developed by the Blizzard North design team and will support Windows®95/98/2000/XP/NT and Macintosh® formats. The hybrid Macintosh format will be available on June 29, 2001 in English and Japanese language versions. A retail copy of Diablo II is required to play Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

For more information on this title, read through the rest of the press release and check Blizzard's web site for extensive libraries of screen shots and animations.

Blizzard Entertainment
IMG News: Diablo II 1.08 Supports EAX, Creative Says
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Press Release
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II


'Glyphs' Puzzle Solved, 'Arrival' Site Launched
3:06 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

While this is old news to Marathon series fans who check out Bungie.org daily, those of you with a more casual interest in the subject still might find this fascinating. A while back we reported on a mysterious "glyphs" puzzle which had appeared on Bungie.org, which inspired its own fan page and a huge public effort to solve the riddle. 3,000 forum posts later, all 7 glyphs have been solved, and the answer points to a new section of the Bungie.org fansite: Arrival.bungie.org.


Once you enter the site (hint: the login/password is ARCHIVE and OUTLINE) you will be greeted by a very minimalist site that nevertheless contains a fascinating array of information about the Marathon series. From scans of the handwritten design notes of all the original Marathon levels to scripts for the "BOB" character sayings, all loaded with that trademark Bungie humor. For those of you who discovered the first-person shooter aboard the shadowy, terrifying corridors of the USS Marathon, this is definitely worth perusing.

arrival.bungie.org (ARCHIVE/OUTLINE)
Bungie.org


A60 Rescue Mission Released
1:45 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Following the Mac debut of Space Tripper, yet another impressive 3D
shareware title has been released this week in A60 Rescue Mission. This
title from the Quebec-based Cosmologik lets you take control of a
powerful space ship with realistic physics and colorful 3D graphics. Your mission
is to rescue exploratory pods from the attacking aliens. Here's an excerpt about
the game from the press release:

"One of the greatest interest of A60 Rescue Mission comes from the simulation of natural physic we're using.", said Mr. David Chabot, co-president and lead programmer at Cosmologik. "There is no predefined movement in A60 Rescue Mission, everything is controlled by forces and torques like those in nature. The gravity, the friction, the speed of the objects, their weight or the detection of collisions between them are all handled in real time by the physics engine."
The system requirements for A60 Rescue Mission are also listed:

  • PowerPC system with G3 processor (or good video card)
  • 35 mb of free memory (64 total)
  • QuickDraw 3D compatible card with 8 mb of video memory
  • 20 mb of free disk space
  • Mac OS 8.5 (Mac OS X Not supported)
  • QuickDraw 3D 1.6 (included with QuickTime 4) *
  • DrawSprocket and SoundSprocket 1.7.5
  • Stereo sound system or headphones recommended

Head over to Macgamefiles now to download the 11MB application. If you like it,
the full registered version is only $25. Check out the official web site
for more details and screen shots.

A60 Rescue Mission Web Site
Download A60 Rescue Mission (11MB)


Blizzard Pulls Diablo II Patch Features
1:29 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yesterday Blizzard released a large new 1.08 patch for Diablo II which made a number of changes to the title's gameplay. Now it seems some of those were to be reserved for the expansion pack (which is due out by the end of the month now). To rectify this, they are currently testing a server change to put some things back as they were pre-1.08. The changes are expected to be out in a few days, assuming testing goes well. An update on Battle.net explains all of this and more. Here's a clip on what will be reverted:

Adjusted the Levels, Hit Points, Damage, Attack Rating, Defense Rating and Experience of monsters in Nightmare and Hell difficulties. This returns them to approximately where they were before the 1.08 patch.


NOTE: The increases to these attributes will be in effect in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, but will not be as dramatic due to the superior item drops and the additional Act in the Expansion.


We have removed the global bonus to Damage Resistance for monsters in Hell difficulty, returning them to where they were before the 1.08 patch.


NOTE: The global bonus to Damage Resistance for these monsters will be in effect in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, but will not be as dramatic due to the superior item drops and the additional Act in the Expansion.


Gold Sharing when in a Party has been removed, returning this functionality to where it was before the 1.08 patch.


NOTE: Gold Sharing when in a Party will also not be in effect in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.


The new calculation used for Blocking that places emphasis on Dexterity has been removed, returning this to where it was before the 1.08 patch.


NOTE: The new calculation will be in effect in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

There are still many improvements in the 1.08 patch (including EAX support for the Mac, according to Creative). Read through the rest of that page on Battle.net for the scoop. We'll keep you posted as more information as these kinks get worked out.

IMG News: Diablo II 1.08 Patch Release, Gameplay Changes
Diablo II 1.08 Patch Info


Star Conquest Updated to 1.1, Carbonized
10:14 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Dark Shadow Software has released an update to their turn-based strategic game of space warfare, bringing the shareware title to version 1.1 and adding Carbon support for Mac OS X. This version of the game includes numerous bug fixes and gameplay tweaks. Previous players of the game should be aware that version 1.1 is not compatible with saved games from 1.0; you must complete a game in 1.0 before updating. You will also need to re-enter your registration information if you are upgrading the full (non-demo) version.


Here are just a few of the changes:

-Extended error reporting during game startup.


-Added option to Preferences dialog that controls whether information windows and popup menus are automatically closed.


-Added Design Information pop-up on Star Base Information Panel so you can quickly view number of Star Ships operational for each Design.


-Fixed bug on Universe Templates. Old Universe Templates are no longer supported.


-Minor graphics updates included to improve look of "Stars" theme.


-Changed Set Destination cursor so should be visible on Carbon/OS X and Classic Mac OS.

Visit the Star Conquest update page to grab either the Carbon or Classic updaters for this title, and the Dark Shadow web site for game details and demo downloads.

Dark Shadow Software
Star Conquest 1.1 Update, Details



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Ion Storm Using Unreal Engine, Mac Deus Ex 2 Assured?
9:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a recent press release Eidos has announced that Ion Storm has chosen the Unreal engine for their next projects. While the PR is mostly a marketing piece for Epic's powerful engine, it does let the cat out of the bag that Deus Ex 2 and/or Thief 3 will be using this engine, which was recently revised with some astounding new abilities. The official word on which titles will be made with the engine should appear in the August issue of PC Gamer due out July 15.


This is great news for Mac gamers, since the Unreal engine has already been used in so many other Mac titles (including the original Deus Ex). This greatly increases the chances of seeing these sequels on our platform. Despite their critical acclaim, the original two games in the Thief series never made it to the Mac, due partly to their very Windows-based engine. Hopefully if Thief 3 is announced to be utilizing the Unreal engine, we might finally get a chance to try out this great series.


We'll keep you posted as more from Ion Storm and their upcoming titles are revealed. Both games are still considered to be very early in their development cycles at this point. For more background information, check out our previous article on Deus Ex 2 with notes from Westlake Interactive.

IMG News: Mac Deus Ex 2 Details
Eidos Press Release



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Quake 3 1.29f Updated for OS X
8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

id Software's Graeme Devine has updated his .plan with word on a new OS X build of their Quake 3 1.29f beta application. Users will need to make the full 25MB download again to get the improved program, which fixes some slowdowns with the sound in the game. Here's his full update with more:

A new Mac OS X 1.29f Beta is in the process of being posted to the id ftp site.


This fixes some os the issues related to the slow sound code in the first release, many of you had written that timedemos were much faster with sound off than on (more than to be expected).


The filename is quake3-macosx-129f-2.dmg


I'm now working on the Classic release.


Graeme.

Head over now to Macgamefiles to start downloading the updated version. Also be on the lookout for a Classic build of 1.29f due out soon.

Graeme Devine .plan Update
Download Quake 3 1.29f-2 for OS X (25.2MB)
Activision
id Software
Quake III Arena


Coldstone Engine Q&A
8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

iDevGames has posted a new developer interview, this time talking with Dee Brown, president of Beenox inc. and creator of the Coldstone RPG engine. This cross-platform engine will make it easy for would-be game developers to make their own RPG for Mac Classic, OS X, and even Windows. The first game to use the engine will be Pillars of Garendall from the excellent folk at Ambrosia Software. The Q&A discusses making the engine run on a variety of platforms, how difficult it will be to modify game components, and why they decided to work with Ambrosia in the first place. Here's an excerpt:

What made you decide to approach Ambrosia Software to publish the Coldstone Engine?


Ambrosia has the online infrastructure required to support such a product. They have a very good web board system that will let the Coldstone developers exchange tips and tricks as well as a good archiving system so that the Coldstone community will have a place to download up to date add-on files for Coldstone and upload their creation. This will also let people of various professions (musicians, 3d artists, etc.) to meet and create cool new games. Beside this, Ambrosia has a cool and helpful staff not to mention their marketing potential in the Macintosh gaming market.

The rest of the interview has lots of other good info on Coldstone, so be sure to have a read through it if you're intersted. Currently Pillars of Garendall is in beta testing and will hopefully be released later in the year.

Beenox Web Site
Coldstone Interview at iDevGames
Pillars of Garendall Beta Shots Site
Ambrosia Software
Beenox
Pillars of Garendall



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Escape from Monkey Island 1.1.2 Patch Released
8:21 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Jesse Spears wrote in to let us know of a quick new patch for Escape From Monkey Island, which brings the game to version 1.1.2 and fixes some rare bugs in the game. It's a small patch at only 161k, so be sure to grab it now if you're playing through the humorous title. Here's a quick look at what's new:

This application will update version 1.1.1 of Escape From Monkey Island to version 1.1.2. This updater is for the U.S. retail (ie, boxed) version of the game only.



--------------------------------------------------------------

Version 1.1.2 - 20 June 2001

--------------------------------------------------------------

- Fixed a rare bug on Monkey Island, inside the control room. When exiting the giant monkey head through the tube, in certain circumstances the game can become unstable.


- Miscellaneous Mac library fixes to low-level timers, folder path conversions, and basic window creation.

Make sure you've already installed the 1.1.1 patch before applying this one. Head over to Macgamefiles to grab the file.

Download Escape from Monkey Island 1.1.2 (161k)
IMG Review of Escape from Monkey Island
LucasArts
Aspyr Media
Escape From Monkey Island
Buy Escape From Monkey Island


Westlake Behind Port of Age of Empires 2
6:00 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive have updated their site with the announcement that they are in the process of porting Age Of Empires 2 for Peter Tamte's new company Destineer. With Westlake's years of experience and the game's status as "First Playable," yesterday's press release slating AoE2 for a Fall release seems to be extremely plausible. Here's the blurb from Westlake:

Westlake proudly announces a new project we've been working on for a while- Age of Empires II.

Age of Empires II is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game Age of Empires. Age of Empires II spans a thousand years, from the Dark Ages to the late medieval period, in which players control the destiny of humankind from the fall of Rome through the Middle Ages.

Age of Empires II will be published for the Mac by Bold, a division of Destineer Studios. Age II was previously listed on our project status page as the "unnamed" project.

This leaves no unannounced projects for Westlake, although we're sure something mysterious will crop up again after MWNY.

Destineer Announces Fall Release for AOE2, Links 2002
Westlake Interactive Project Status Page
Westlake Interactive News Page


Mac Games News for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Mac Bombad Canned, Lucas Learning Exits Market4:06 PM
Diablo 1.0.8 Supports EAX, Creative Says12:35 PM
Destineer Announces Fall Release for AOE2, Links 200212:10 PM
Tomb Raider: Chronicles Ships11:14 AM
Quake 3 Arena Dreamcast Maps Released9:52 AM
Neverwinter Nights Q&A on Scripting, Tools8:59 AM
GarageGames Mac V12 Update, First Screen Shot8:50 AM
Diablo II 1.08 Released, Gameplay Changes6:00 AM
Heroes IV Interview, Preview6:00 AM
Mac Tropico to Include Extra Levels6:00 AM
World War II Online Mac Q&A6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, June 20, 2001 on one page


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Tuesday, June 19, 2001
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