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Friday, July 13, 2001



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Aspyr Sets the Date(s)
9:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has recently updated their project status page with the expected release dates for three of their upcoming titles. The first two should be available just in time for next week's Macworld New York expo. American McGee's Alice, which went Gold last month, will take the lead and be available next Monday, July 16. This dark interpretation of the classic Wonderland world should provide hours of entertainment and graphical delight. For more details on Alice, be sure to read through IMG's preview. Also be on the lookout for a demo of the game, which programmer Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive recently hinted would be available in the future.


Following closely on Alice's heels will be the compilation Tomb Raider: Triology, due out Wednesday, July 18. Triology will be a great 'starter set' for those new to Tomb Raider, as it includes the first three games in the popular series plus some expansions previously unreleased on the Mac.


Lastly, fans of The Sims will be happy to hear that the second add-on for the game, House Party, will be released the following Monday, July 23. Your Sims will be able to interact like never before in this new addition to the Sim world.


Sadly, releasing these games will leave one lonely title left on Aspyr's project page. We've got a good feeling this won't be for long, as Macworld tends to bring out the best in publishers when it comes to new announcements. Stay tuned to IMG's coverage of the expo starting next week for all the details.

Aspyr Media
IMG Preview of American McGee's Alice
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice



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Max Payne Preview
12:32 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Stomped has posted a preview of the ultra-realistic shooter Max Payne, which is due to ship in August for PC. Mac gamers only recently learned that this title will be coming to the Mac platform via MacSoft, but it is still too early to predict when that port might be complete. Nevertheless this hands-on preview of the title is a compelling read, and offers an overview of this third-person shooter and its innovative features that set it apart from others in the genre.


One of the more interesting elements of this shooter is the inclusion of "bullet time" -- a Matrix-like ability to slow down time and either dodge bullets or snap off a few shots while your opponents continue to move in normal time. Here are some details on this feature and how it is controlled:

The standard controls are typical shooter fair, using the WASD movement layout combined with the mouse. The mouse movement controls the aiming/camera angle, while the right button controls the bullet time and left button shoots. The bullet time is used in two different ways. The first is the default toggle that slows down everything, but uses up the bullet time supply very quickly. It is very useful for going into rooms with a lot of bad guys. This allows any move to be done, all in slow motion. The other form of bullet time involves a movement key combined with the bullet time button and is called shootdodging. Strafe movements perform a slow motion dive to the side, while forward and back have Max do a somersault or leap onto his back respectively. The dodging bullet time only uses a small portion of the supply. This allows the player enough time to get one or two shots off on the enemy. Do not worry that the supply of bullet time is finite. Taking out opponents will gives a small portion back.
Bullet time will not only be used to give the character of Max an edge against endless hordes of well-armed bad guys, but it will also add some spectacular visuals to an already stunning game. Jump to Stomped to check out the rest of the preview; as with previous articles about this game, we feel compelled to warn you that the screen shots do depict extreme (albeit simulated) violence and bloodshed.

Max Payne Preview at Stomped
MacSoft
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne


IMG Posts Baldur's Gate II Preview
11:26 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

One of the most highly-anticipated game releases due this Summer is MacPlay's port of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, an epic role-playing game from the masters of the CRPG genre. This title by BioWare racked up enough awards to fill an entire trophy case and sold millions of copies worldwide, and now Mac gamers will get to dungeon-crawl to their heart's delight. To give you a taste of what the future will hold, our own Jay Swartzfeger (creator and maintainer of IMG Network site MacBaldur) has created a detailed preview of this game, accompanied by some smashing screen shots. Here's an excerpt:

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn is the sequel to arguably the most successful role-playing game ever. Developer BioWare took on a near-impossible task: make a ground-breaking RPG even better. And BioWare did just that, not by simply re-inventing the wheel but by taking a proven formula and making it better. And now, courtesy of MacPlay, Baldur's Gate II will appear on the Macintosh less than a year after the game was announced last October. Baldur's Gate II is also hitting the Mac less than a year after its initial release on the PC. Considering the gargantuan size of the game, MacPlay has pulled off a near-miracle.
For more details on this RPG, be sure and read the rest of the preview.

Preview: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn


5% Cash Back Offer for MacGames CD Subscribers
11:06 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If you've ever bought a game from Compuexpert (their ads appear through out Inside Mac Games), then you know they have fantastic prices on Macintosh games as well as great service. Well now you can save even more from every single game purchase at Compuexpert!



If you subscribe to the MacGames CD, you can now get 5 percent cash back on all your game purchases at Compuexpert (does not apply to the shipping charges).



Here's how it works. When you subscribe to the MacGames CD, you'll receive a special url. When you go to this special url, it will register your purchase through Compuexpert. Then simply buy the Macintosh game and forward your order confirmation to us (detailed instructions will be in the e-mail). Once we confirm the order with Compuexpert, your rebate will be registered. Then, at the end of the month, IMG will mail you a check with your cash back!



If you recently subscribed to the MacGames CD, you'll be receiving an email shortly describing the entire process. If you subscribed to the IMG CD and would like to take advantage of this offer, please email us at img@insidemacgames.com for details.



The first issue of the MGCD will be mailed out early next week so there's still time to subscribe to receive this first issue. For more information on the MacGames CD, please click on the link below.

MacGames CD


Snapz Pro Goes OS X
9:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Yes, we're aware of the fact that Snapz Pro isn't a game, even though it comes from Ambrosia Software. However we here at IMG find this utility so useful for grabbing game screen shots for our reviews and previews that it has become an integral tool for IMG article production. Now that more games are shipping native for Mac OS X, we're extremely happy to report that Snapz will also be crossing the divide and will appear in 'native' form next week. Here's the press release:

Snapz Pro X brings Ambrosia's award-winning Snapz Pro product to OS X.
We're not just porting it, we're rewriting the entire product from the
ground up to take advantage of MacOS X's unique features.


Snapz Pro is a sleek utility that lets you grab virtually anything you see
on your Mac's screen and immediately transform it into a usable picture
file or QuickTime movie. Snapz Pro 2 also works when most other capture
utilities won't, making it the screen shot utility of choice for manual
writers, web publishers, and other media professionals.


With previous versions of Snapz Pro, the registration fee was $40, take it
or leave it. We realized this pricing scheme didn't work well for all
users.


If you just want a better static screen capture tool, you can get that in
spades with Snapz Pro X for $29. If you're into higher-end work, and need
movie capture too, you can get that for $49 (you can also always upgrade
to add the movie capabilities later for the difference in cost).


We will of course be offering a discount to existing Snapz Pro users who
want to upgrade to Snapz Pro X, despite the fact that Snapz Pro X has been
rewritten from scratch!


Keep in mind that Snapz Pro X isn't merely a port of Snapz Pro to OS X; in
addition to necessarily being rewritten from the ground up, we've also
added numerous features to Snapz Pro X that didn't exist before, including
but not limited to:


-- Additional file formats such as Windows BMP, Adobe Photoshop, and
PDF, OS X's native file format


-- Automatic thumbnail generation from images, with a variety of
styles


-- Watermarking of images with copyright notices, company logos, web
badges, etc.,


-- A new Objects tool that allows you to select multiple on-screen
objects (such as two windows, or a window and a menu) to capture in a
single screenshot


-- Choose from a variety of borders to add to your images, such as
seamlessly fading them to white or black, or adding a drop shadow


-- Much, much more, while retaining Snapz Pro X's renowned ease of
use

Jump to the Snapz Pro X progress log for screen shots (what else would you expect?) of the new interface and capabilities of this utility.

Ambrosia Software
Snapz Pro X Beta Details, Screen Shots


Crazy Car Championship Update
9:41 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

VoodooExtreme has snagged a new developer update from Rick Heywood of Synaptic Soup. In the update, Heywood talks about their cross-platform engine Cipher and the first game that will use it, Crazy Car Championship. Now that they have finalized the engine and are starting to license it to other game makers, the Synaptic team can concentrate on actually making the game. Just from the screen shots you can tell Crazy Car is going to be graphically impressive. Here's a clip from the diary with more on the realistic physics vs. just make the game fun debate:

Well, up to now, Crazy Car Championship has really been in its design and prototype phase, which means we have not been working on it full time. During this time we have been trying out ideas and seeing what works and what doesn’t and we discovered a lot of interesting things along the way. For example, we had planned to use a pretty accurate physics model to make the cars behave realistically, but our tests showed that they feel a lot more fun to drive when we cheat a bit. We now plan to use a custom physics model that is tuned specifically to make the cars fun and exciting to drive, which gives up a lot more creative freedom into the bargain.
He also goes into some detail on the eye candy in this already impressive-looking game. Crazy Car Championship should be completed early next year. While there is no publisher yet announced with a Mac version, the makers shouldn't have any problems doing such a port, thanks to Cipher's cross-platform compatibility.

Synaptic Soup
Crazy Car Championship Update at VoodooExtreme



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MystWorlds Contest
9:22 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Official Myst III: Exile Site has recently announced a new contest based around the creation of what they hope will be one of the hottest Myst communities on the internet, Mystworlds.com.


Here's the official scoop:

Submit your ideas of what you want to see at Mystworlds.com. Now is the time to get those creative juices flowing by being the inspiration behind the official source for everything Myst. Ten entries will be randomly selected to receive exclusive Myst merchandise and a select few will get to see their ideas become reality as we prepare to launch Mystworlds.com!
Prizes include multiple Myst items, with the grand prize winner getting a copy of Myst III: Exile Collector's Edition, a T-shirt, a poster, and a mousepad. 1st through 3rd places will get variations of the above, with seven 3rd-place winner slots being left open.


For more information on the contest itself, a link has been provided below to the official contest page. Those wishing to enter are highly encouraged to do so, as it never hurts to have more Mac representation out there. Just make to sure to click "yes" for the "Do you play games on a Mac?" question.

Mystworlds.com Contest
Presto Studios
Ubisoft
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile


Snake Quest 0.7 Available
8:41 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Shareware creator Snake Quest has released version 0.7 of its namesake title Snake Quest. Reaching all the way back to the days of the original Apple II title Snake Byte, SQ follows in gameplay by having a player direct a snake around various levels while collecting jewels. Player must do this while avoiding obstacles, including the snake's own body, which lengthens as it consumes.


SQ also includes multiple goals, such as solving puzzles, reaching destinations, or simply staying alive for a certain period of time. A powerful level editor is also included, and creative players can send their works off to the main SQ website for anyone to download.


Though SQ is listed as shareware, the demanded price is a whopping $0.00. The download is sized at just 3.6 MB and merely requires System 7 or better. SQ is available at MacGameFiles for those who wish to download and check it out.

Snake Quest Official Site
MGF - Snake Quest


Mac Games News for Thursday, July 12, 2001

MGF Hosts TacOps Beta 22:14 PM
Veteran PC Designer Forms New Company, Targets Mac12:55 PM
REALBasic 3D, Other Game Resources11:17 AM
Sims Online First Look10:08 AM
Potential Diablo II 1.09 Changes10:04 AM
Evolutionary War Updated to 1.18:44 AM
Clan Lord Updated to v1898:37 AM
Jurassic Park III CD-ROM Announced8:16 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 12, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, July 11, 2001
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Monday, July 9, 2001
Friday, July 6, 2001
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