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Friday, July 20, 2001


MWNY: Day Three Coverage Begins
10:12 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Day Three of Macworld Expo New York 2001 has begun, and our stalwart crew is heading to the show floor once today. As the bulk of our coverage was posted on Wednesday, Friday is traditionally the "clean-up" day -- though we do have second meetings planned with NVIDIA, ATI and several other companies.


The first two days of the expo produced few surprises for those who follow Mac games news regularly; perhaps one of the most interesting developments was the decision of MacPlay to publish the defunct Logicware's catalog of never-published titles, including Heretic II and Zork: Grand Inquisitor. Of course all "hardcore" title fans were thrilled by the news that MacSoft will be publishing Duke Nukem Forever, while those interested in RTS titles were quite gratified to hear that the long-missing graphical masterpiece Sacrifice was on display (and running quite well) on the show floor.


Other developments of note so far include the decision of Aspyr Media to publish Pangea Software's existing catalog of games as well as the future title Otto Matic (which is receiving rave reviews from the show floor); MacPlay's decision to port Giants: Citizen Kabuto to Mac OS X only; the revelation of new Freeverse titles and on-floor demos of GraphSim's shooter Red Faction just four days after the game reached "first playable."


Be sure to check back over our MWNY coverage to make sure you haven't missed anything -- but don't think we've wrapped it up just yet! Our correspondents have a packed schedule of meetings, and we'll be bringing you reports throughout the day...

Macworld New York Image Gallery 1
IMG MWNY 2001 Coverage


Mac WWII Online Update, AltiVec Info
3:37 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The official forums for the massively-multiplayer online title World War II Online were recently updated with a post by "Hoss" (a member of the Cornered Rat Software team) providing an update on the Mac binary of this game. A patch which will bring the PC version of the game, released just over a month ago, to version 1.20. According to Hoss, this is also the same version that the Mac version will be when it ships, which should be within the next two weeks.


He also responded to the numerous requests for a G4/AltiVec optimized version of the game, an option many Mac beta testers have begged for as a way to improve performance; unfortunately this seems to be an impossibility. Here is an excerpt:

Releasing the mac and 1.2 at the same time isn't even an option-- 1.2 will be a patch, the mac version will be retail. Setting up a retail release means *physical* boxes, and that takes time. Once we know *for certain* when it's going to be in stores, we'll let you know.


Why don't I answer questions on this board, especially about G4 and altivec? Honestly, because I don't read the boards very often. They become a HUGE time suck. So instead I just hunker down and work at stuff.


There ain't much in the code that will benefit from altivec in the near term, because altivec requires that data be in a very particular format. Getting our data in that format would not only mean restructuring our data, but also the program flow.

The number of actual Altivec-optimized games currently shipping is zero, so this is not a tremendous surprise. Watch for the Mac version of this game to ship in the next few weeks.

Past Articles on WWII Online
World War II Online Forums


Myth II: Green Beret Interview, Details
3:17 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

When Take Two acquired the Myth brand and content from Bungie nearly two years ago, it was a possibility that the existing engine would be used for new titles. At E3 this year a surprise surfaced: Myth II: Green Berets was announced and shown at the expo. Despite the name, this game has nothing in common with previous Myth titles; in fact the only thing it shares is the Myth II engine.


While Take Two has not announced a Mac version of this game, the previous Myth titles always shipped as hybrid releases; if there was to be no Mac version they would actually have to go out of their way to strip out the Mac application and partition.


The interview reveals what many have suspected: the team working on this title (which seems more of a Total Conversion) are actual members of the Myth mod-making community. One critical issue is neglected, however -- there is no mention of co-op or online matches, or if Bungie.Net will be used to coordinate multiplayer games. Here is an excerpt:

Dragon: Green Berets will ship with 10 missions. How long will it take to play through each mission?


Beggs: A few things can determine how long it will take to play through each mission. 1.) How familiar the player is with Myth II. (Having the general idea of gameplay, does help give the player a slight advantage). 2.) What difficulty level the player is playing. Timid and Simple will be easier to beat, naturally, but there's still room for mistakes. When you get to Normal difficulty the game will be more challenging. 3.) Finally, how well you are doing on the mission plays a part! If you're down to just a couple units and you're only halfway through the mission, you will have to plan out the remainder of the mission more carefully, employing more guerilla tactics rather than an all-out attack.

For more details and several screen shots, read the rest of the interview. We'll investigate with Take Two to confirm that this title will be a hybrid release, as we suspect.

Myth II: Green Berets Interview at Strategy Planet


MacGames CD Shipping This Weekend
2:51 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG is very happy to announce that our first MacGames CD is shipping over the weekend to both new subscribers and those of you who are existing or renewing subscribers. MacGames CD is of course the refocused, all-new version of our Inside Mac Games CD, designed to save you hours of downloading and days of searching the Web for the latest and greatest demos, patches and mods.


Even if you subscribe today or in the next week or two, you will still get the CD before the next issue is ready. New subscribers will get their free game (selected when you subscribe) with their issue.


What's included in the MGCD? How about demos of Tomb Raider: Chronicles, A60, and Space Tripper. Plus giant add-ons for Unreal Tournament such as Strike Force 1.60 and Urban Terror for Quake III. Plus dozens of updates, shareware, and much more.


For more details and a list of files on the CD, check out the IMG Store!



MWNY: Second Macworld Image Gallery Posted
12:37 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As this year's Macworld New York expo winds down, IMG has posted a second image
gallery of photos taken at the event. Of course they tend to focus on the
gaming aspects of the show floor, but that's to be expected. Red Faction,
Sacrifice and many new titles stole the show, but just-released games such as
Tony Hawk Pro Skater Two and Summoner still drew a crowd.


There was a wide range of hardware on display, from Apple's shiny new
"Quicksilver" G4s to now-ancient Rev C iMacs. Overall reports of game
performance from some of the titles still in the works are quite positive --
Sacrifice and Giants are supposedly quite smooth on midrange hardware, all the
more remarkable since the Giants port is only a month old.


Jump to the photo gallery to see both the games and the game-makers that bring
us such wonderful diversions from our everyday lives. Also check out our first
gallery posted yesterday if you haven't done so already.

Macworld Expo 2001 Gallery Two


Unreal Engine Continues to Evolve
10:36 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Epic Games has updated the Unreal Technology page with a report on the continuing evolution of this classic, yet cutting-edge game engine. As this engine branches out to console platforms (first PS2, now Xbox) and adds new features, each of these technological triumphs will in turn become available to developers creating new titles based on the engine. So far Unreal 2, Thief III and Deus Ex 2 will all be built with the improved version of the engine, and we have heard rumblings that Rune 2 will also take advantage of the huge leap in polygon detail and special effects ability.


This latest update showcases some astounding new special effects added to the engine, including "particle effects" that can be used to simulate flowing molten metal, fire, smoke and even lighting with amazing fidelity. They also offer an update on the game's tools which will give designers just now cranking out titles an unprecedented level of control on terrain creation, scripting and creating cinematic scenes and ways to store and load "meshes" that make up game objects and surfaces.


While it may be up to a year before any titles based on this evolving engine come to market, we're sure the nearly photorealistic images will be worth the wait. The Unreal engine is the most-used 3D game engine on our platform (Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Deus Ex, Deep Space Nine the Fallen, Rune -- that's only a partial list) and we have the utmost confidence that future titles based on the engine will also come to our platform.

Epic Games' Unreal Engine Technology Page



Click to enlarge
Preview of Marathon: Resurrection
10:22 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

Acrappa of rampancy.net, an all-round Bungie fan site, recently posted his impressions of the first Marathon : Resurrection private "press" beta.


Marathon : Resurrection is a MOD for the shooter Unreal Tournament, which brings the magic of Bungie's first installment in the Marathon series to the beautiful 3D Unreal engine.


It must be stressed that the MOD is not finished, but Acrappa was very impressed with what he saw:

The aesthetics of the weapons are very sleek, the levels are fantastic, the bugs are sparse, and the gameplay is fun! I confess that I am not a huge fan of the original series, but I have played a good share of it via LAN and MR seems to have done a great job in attaining the Marathon atmosphere in the UT engine. Of course, there is a lot to be done; this is the first beta, but any Marathon fan will be pleased to see how promising this project is. One thing to keep in mind is that this isn't a direct port of Marathon to the UT engine, but rather Team Unpfhorgiven's take on how Marathon should play in a 3D engine.


While many things will be familiar to Marathon die-hards, expect to see some changes to keep things balanced and more fun.
The report goes into great detail about how the game plays, and while it's not all positive gushing, Acrappa does end up quite excited at the prospect of this mod's completion.


If you never played the original Marathon, or if you're feeling nostalgic from lack of exposure to Marathon, then Marathon : Resurrection is one mod to watch. It is still undecided if the conversion will include single player, however the team already has several Marathon levels "ported" to the mod and this remains a long-term goal.

Marathon Resurrection Preview
Marathon Resurrection Web Site
Marathon: Resurrection



Click to enlarge
Civilization III - New Screeshots
9:29 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Fastest Game News Online has recently posted ten new screenshots of Sid Meyer's upcoming title Civilization III. For those unfamiliar with the title, the Civ series are strategy/management based games, in which players build up their civilizations/empires through careful management, diplomacy with other civs, and in some cases, wage war.


The screenshots show various shots of the main map interface, including various cities and troops. There are also a couple of shots of advisor screens, in which the player is advised on such things as domestic activities and culture advancements.


For a look at these early shots of Civ III, head over to FGNOnline's site for the full listing. No word yet on a solid release date, though MacSoft has picked up this title.

FGNOnline - Civ III Screenshots
MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III



Click to enlarge
Thief 3 Images, Info
9:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Project Director Randy Smith of Ion Storm has made a large post to the Thief 3 forums giving some good information on the game. Thief 3 is the third in a popular PC series of games which never made it to the Mac platform. While no Mac port of Thief 3 has yet been announced, it is hoped that the fact this sequel is based on the Unreal engine will make such a port a much greater likelihood. If you liked the "sneaky" aspect of Deus Ex, you'll love Thief 3. Here's a clip from his report with details on their progress:

Well, the programming effort has long since switched from planning to implementing. In addition to the usual engine enhancements and tool modifications, we’ve made a ton of progress on interface, player movement, and AI. That’s right, Thief 3 already features guards who patrol, see and hear, search for you when they detect you, and say “must have been rats” afterwards. Paul, the AI guy, is clearly wasting no time. Furthermore, you can be Garrett in the game already; you can sneak him around, hide in shadows, and even shoot arrows. It’s not quite right yet, of course, but since we have so much of a headstart, we’ll be able to tune it to within an inch of its life before ship, which is great.
New images, both screen shots and concept art, are also available now for your viewing pleasure. Thief Underground has the scoop, so be sure to head over and give them a look through. We'll bring you more on Thief 3 as it moves into development, including any chances of seeing a Mac version.

Thief 3 Development Update
Thief 3 Screen Shots


Mark Adams On Carbon UT Progress
8:48 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive's Mark Adams recently made a Usenet post explaining his current efforts with the Carbonized version of Unreal Tournament. This new version will be able to run on OS X as well as Classic, finally bringing the much-requested shooter to Apple's next-gen operating system. It sounds like Mark has made some good progress with the Carbon port, though it's really only in his 'down time' that he is able to work on it. While we may not see it right away, we're sure Mark will follow through and get it completed eventually. Here's his full update:

Just to let any interested parties know, here's some news on Unreal
Tournament for OS X:


I actually got the game to successfully load all the way today - running
through the city flythrough and then letting me play a practice session
on CTF-Face. There is still a lot of work to do- no sound, no mouse
control (tough to play!), and networking is partially disabled. But I'm
over the first hurdle- just getting everything to run under Carbon.


I will have to go back to doing some work on "Stanley" the next few days
(have to earn my paycheck!), but I'll try to get some more work in on UT
in the new few weeks.


Don't get too excited, given this is a "hobby" project it will probably
at least a month or more before its ready for public release.

Congrats to Mark on this first major milestone, and we hope to hear more about Carbon UT in the near future.

Westlake Interactive
Epic Games
MacSoft
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament


Mac Games News for Thursday, July 19, 2001

Rob Bartel on Neverwinter Nights Tools for Mac6:23 PM
Five New 'Trauma' Games Announced5:39 PM
MWNY: First Image Gallery Posted5:38 PM
IMG Reviews Tales of the Sword Coast3:35 PM
MacGamez Reviews Diablo II: Lord of Destruction2:07 PM
MWNY: Maverick Software to Publish 'Jiggy!'1:17 PM
MWNY: A Talk with Westlake1:03 PM
MWNY: More on Mac Red Faction12:42 PM
First Image of Giants on OS X12:21 PM
MWNY: More Creative Labs Notes11:50 AM
MWNY: Giants Coming to Mac OS X Only9:09 AM
MWNY: From Steve To Dave: A Day at Macworld9:08 AM
MWNY: MacPlay Touts Wares; BG2 First8:33 AM
MWNY: MacPlay to Port Heretic II, Hexen II, and Zork8:24 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 19, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Tuesday, July 17, 2001
Monday, July 16, 2001
Friday, July 13, 2001
Thursday, July 12, 2001


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