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Friday, July 6, 2001


Galaxy Yexi Announced for the Mac
8:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG received word recently from a Dallas-based company called D'Carlos & Covett Communication about a new Mac game called Galaxy Yexi, The Stellar Adventure. This space-oriented strategy sim will be made with Macromedia's Shockwave technology, and looks to be influenced heavily by sci-fi series such as Star Trek. Here's a clip from their press release:

"The main goal is to put the player in front of the consoles to actually
pilot the starship on her missions through a vast galaxy. Like myself, many
fans of the sci-fi genre always watched the Star TrekŪ movies and other
franchises and wanted to be in control of those starships, but could not
find, so far, a space simulation that allowed it with a great level of
detail. For instance, I enjoyed playing Starfleet Academy a great deal, but
the game presented a quite simplified version of the ship's stations to make
the experience more accessible, what was a kind of setback to me: as also a
jet-fighter enthusiast, I missed the element of being able to read the radar
scans and the ship's bearing and so on" said F. C. Covett, director and
creative lead of the company.


Of course, all the excitement of space combat, diplomacy, and exploration is
present. The game includes a choice of armament, such as pulse guns and
self-guided tachyon torpedoes, that provides enough fire power to blow huge
enemy starships or even a massive starbase, if you are skilled enough to get
past through it's defenses! There is also the interaction with the
representatives of the other space-dwelling species while resolving disputes
over resources and territory.


As a player, you can do some obvious tasks, as docking on starbases for
performing major repairs and replenish main resources, and other not so
obvious, such as orbiting sidereal objects, launching probes to gather the
position of a cloaked vessel or being caught in the gravity well of a star
and wind up being sling-shot hundreds of light-years from home.

There will be some sort of co-op multiplayer in the game as well, allowing gamers to connect over the Internet to play. There is no official web site available yet, though they promise one later in the month. Galaxy Yexi will be available exclusively through their online store; they expect a release later for the Mac OS later this summer. Check out the three screen shots sent to IMG which show off the game's interface for details.

Galaxy Yexi Screen Shot #3
Galaxy Yexi Screen Shot #2
Galaxy Yexi Screen Shot #1



Click to enlarge
New Max Payne Screen Shots
2:34 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Following a recent .plan file update by a 3D Realms member working on the 3D action/shooter Max Payne that declared the game " essentially done," a number of European sites have begun to post new screen shots of the game. The German site for Take Two Interactive has updated their collection of shots for this title; the newest images are at the bottom. Note that (as you might expect from a game about ultraviolent criminals) these shots are both violent and gory, and not for the faint of heart.


Max Payne is one of the titles that MacSoft acquired for porting when Gathering of Developers divested all of their Mac products; at this time it is not known who is actually porting the game or when it can be expected to be released for the Mac OS. However, confirmation that it is almost complete for PC can only be good news for Mac gamers, as once the code is "frozen" then the effort of porting this title can begin in earnest.


Here's an excerpt from the .plan file of George Broussard of 3D Realms, posted on July 4th:

* The game is essentially done. It's close to a final release candidate and feature freeze (hopefully later this week). From there it will be bug/compatability fixes only. We're signed off on mouse pads, boxes and everything except the manual (which should be done Friday/Saturday). At that point we just play test and wait on the gold CD.


One area of focus now is tweaking the harder skill levels that unlock after you beat the game, including New York Minute. In NYM, you start with time on a clock and it counts down. Every time you kill a guy you get more time. If the timer hits zero you die. It's a really, really fun way to play the game after beating it the first time.

Obviously, this game is not for the pacifist crowd. Visit Take Two for those screen shots and the official Max Payne web site for details.

George Broussard's .plan file
Max Payne Screen Shot Gallery
Max Payne Web Site
MacSoft
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne


Summoner Now Shipping
2:09 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Although it has been a while since this game was released, we are beginning to receive confirmation from many IMG readers as well as IMG staff that this 3D RPG from Volition and GraphSim is indeed shipping. According to the reports those with pre-orders should get the game today or Monday at the latest, while several online retailers are reporting the game in-stock.


If you're undecided as to whether this game is the RPG for you, be sure and check out our review of the game as well as our General forum for impressions of the game by those who have already received their copies.

Review: Summoner



Click to enlarge
Mac WWII Online Preorders Available
10:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An observant reader in the IMG forums noted that the Mac version of World War II Online is now available for preorder at EB World. While they list the game as becoming available July 10, keep in mind Cornered Rat and publisher Strategy First have told IMG that date might get pushed back by a week at least. The game lists for a price of $40, and will cost $10 a month to play once your initial 30-day trial is past. This fee will not be collected, though, until Strategy First decides the game is stable enough to 'start the clock' for pay-to-play.


While World War II Online has had its issues since the rocky PC release, their servers are reported to be much more stable now. They're working to increase performance on systems, but keep in mind the game will take as much RAM as you can throw at it. If you're anxious to get your copy fast, be sure to get your preorders in now.

World War II Online Web Site
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online


Neverwinter Nights Chat Transcript
9:26 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Neverwinter Stratics has posted the result of a recent IRQ chat between 13 BioWare team members working on the 3D RPG Neverwinter Nights and 165 giddy RPG fanatics. The transcript has been 'cleaned up' quite a bit from the usual free-for-all, and is packed with interesting information about this revolutionary online D&D game.


While there isn't any Mac-specific information being discussed, that is the beauty of a game which will appear for Mac and PC at the same time -- there doesn't have to be anything platform-specific to talk about. What you will find, however, are more details about the game and gameplay that begin to "fill in" the big picture of what this game might be like when it ships in late 2001. While the transcript may be a little tough to decipher for those not versed in D&D esoterica, there are enough interesting bits to make it worth your while. Here's a sample:

Donny Trimm: How can corpse looting be handled? If it follows the Baulders Gate method you could script the death event to spawn items on the ground by the corpse. This works for PvE but if the server admin allows PvP this leaves the items unprotected after you die. Would you have the option of protecting all or partial items for looting only by the player who owns the corpse. Will items have to be individually looted ala EverQuest or can you set an autoloot ala Diablo that re-equips all items when looting begins?


bio_scott1: There will be some basic looting options that are part of the PVP options. They include player can only loot their own character, party only looting, free looting. Of course, as MarkB pointed out, there is an OnPlayerDeath event that can be used to implement selected item dropping. We haven't yet talked about implementing an auto-loot feature.

Taken out of context, that could be misinterpreted. In any case, if you want more of the inside scoop on the mechanics of this next-generation dungeon crawler, read the transcript.


In related news, Tuncer Deniz and Jason Sims (of IMG of course) just paid a visit to BioWare HQ and had a personal demonstration of the game in action. Expect a full write-up of their experiences in the near future.

Neverwinter Nights
BioWare Staff Chat Transcript at Neverwinter Stratics



Click to enlarge
Not Tonight, My Sim Has a 'Hot Date'
9:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

EA and Maxis announced they would be continuing the ever-popular string of expansion packs for The Sims with a third add-on due this fall. The Sims Hot Date is a very specific expansion aimed at providing your Sims with more... romantic situations. With the actual sequels to The Sims over a year away, it's no surprise that EA is trying to keep the popularity of this series going -- not that this would take much effort. Here's a clip explaining what Hot Date will do:

The Sims Hot Date Expansion Pack represents an entirely new experience for The Sims -- dating! With exciting new characters, interests, romance objects, and an all-new Downtown area filled with restaurants, shops and parks, The Sims Hot Date will get your Sims off the couch and into the singles scene. Play matchmaker for your Sims and watch them become Casanovas or Casanevers.


"Just like everyone, the Sims are looking for love," said Tim LeTourneau, producer at EA's Maxis(TM) studio. "Hot Date allows Sims to experience the hilarious ups and downs of the dating game."    


Players can have their Sims ask each other out on a date or try their luck with an in-game dating service. Arrange to meet another Sim Downtown at exciting and romantic locations that the player can create. Everything from a candlelit dinner, a drink at the bar or a rendezvous in the park is possible as your Sim attempts to orchestrate an evening to remember.

The Mac version of House Party, the second expansion, is due out later this month from Aspyr. We're sure if it continues to sell well on the Mac, Hot Date will be announced later in the year.

Sims Hot Date Press Release
Aspyr Media
Aspyr Media
Maxis
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Livin' Large


Mac Games News for Thursday, July 5, 2001

Infogrames to Develop 'Terminator' Titles for Mac12:26 PM
dim3 Preview Released12:14 PM
Eliminator "Aftershock" Reviewed11:12 AM
New id "Games" Set Rumor Mill Abuzz11:01 AM
Red Herring Fishes for Mudpie 'Dirt'10:12 AM
Bannister Emulator Updates9:15 AM
Ambrosia/ATMOS Unveil Nova Preambles9:11 AM
Pillars of Garendall on Third (Last?) Beta [Updated]9:09 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 5, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, July 4, 2001
Tuesday, July 3, 2001
Monday, July 2, 2001
Friday, June 29, 2001
Thursday, June 28, 2001


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