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Wednesday, July 25, 2001



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Marathon: Resurrection Public Beta Released
9:10 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

After a lengthy development cycle,Team Unpfhorgiven, the folks behind Marathon: Resurrection, have released the first public beta of their MOD for Unreal Tournament. The project is an attempt to recreate the experience of Bungie's classic shooter Marathon using all the modern features found in the Unreal Tournament engine. Here are some details:

Marathon: Resurrection recreates the Marathon environment using the capabilities of Unreal Tournament's graphics engine to the fullest, complete with a full, 3D world and fully-animated 3D weapons. Marathon physics and gameplay have been recreated and enhanced where the team thought that the result would be improved gameplay. Marathon: Resurrection is now available for download, free of cost, from the evihcra.com mirrors. More mirrors will follow in approximately one week. The public beta is multi-player only. Single player is present, but it is not meant to be playable at this stage. Team Unpfhorgiven is currently working on a single-player MOD, and it will be released in the future.
The download is quite large, weighing in at over 65Mb (and will be on the next MacGames CD) and is available at evihcra.com. It is important to remember that this is just a multiplayer test version, but it's great to finally see the results after a year and a half of work. For more information be sure to check out the Marathon: Resurrection website.

Public Beta One Download (66.1Mb)
Marathon: Resurrection Website
Marathon: Resurrection


MacPlay Website Debuts, Accepting BG2 Pre-Orders
4:37 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In October of 2000 Ron Dimant and United Developers brought the MacPlay brand name back from the grave and announced a catalog of A-list titles due to be published in 2001. Ten months later they have launched an official website, with details on their current and planned releases and what will soon be an online store.


Their site has touches of Apple's Aqua interface spread about, starting with bubbly translucent buttons lining the top of the page. Each area and sub-area can be reached through drop down "menus" when you "mouse over" the button. Most of the MacPlay website is functional (with the exception of the store and forums) so take some time to explore it.


In addition MacPlay is taking pre-orders for Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, which will be the first of three A-list games to be released later this Summer. It will also be MacPlay's first game to ship with Mac OS X compatibility. For more information, have a look at our preview of BG2.


Although it was not mentioned in the press release, it seems that MacPlay has hired a new president to replace departing president Diane Zammit. The new president is Mark Cottam, who's history with Ron Dimant goes back to their days together at ParSoft :

Mark brings over 16 years of industry experience to MacPlay. Prior to joining MacPlay, Mark served as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Moto1.net, where he lead the company's successful development and deployment of its motorsports portal and online racing series. Additionally, Mark has held management positions at Dragon Systems, ParSoft Interactive, CyberMedia and XTree Company.
Visit the MacPlay web site for more details and to place pre-orders.

Preview: Baldur's Gate 2
Pre-Order Baldur's Gate 2
MacPlay Website


'Evihcra' Adds Unreal Tournament Archive
1:53 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The innovative online game file archive Evihcra has added a new section to their already extensive catalog of downloads: The Liandri Depot. Dedicated to all things Unreal Tournament, this archive will feature skins, maps and mods for this favorite FPS title. Here's a sample from the PR:

Good news for UT gamers everywhere! Evihcra.com is now fully engulfed in
the fun and excitement of UT in a new online game file archive and community
called, "The Liandri Depot". We have a few mods in place already such as
the Marathon:Resurrection and Tactical Op betas, but it is up to you the
user to take advantage of this free archiving service to populate the data
base. For game file creators this means free powerful FTP servers to shoot
your files out to the world, to the players this means free, EASY and fast
access to the UT game mods you want.


The Liandri Depot is more than just another archive, it is a fully
interactive, highly organized, and customizable online database COMMUNITY
where you can present your own hard work to the world as well as submit
reviews of the work of others. This is the perfect place to get feedback
from users on your UT creations. You have FULL PERSONAL CONTROL over your
own gaming files. Submit them when you want, removing or replacing them as
YOUR need arises. This site is designed to be very creator friendly. We
are gaming authors ourselves, we built our "dream machine" for the love of
gaming and now we want to let you in on it too.

Obviously much of the references to UT creations doesn't apply to Mac users, as the tools to make UT models and maps are PC-only. Nevertheless the archive is sure to become a valuable resource for those of you hungry for new mods and maps to try.

The Liandri Depot at Evihcra


Aspyr Updates Sims, Preps EFMI Demo
1:39 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media dropped us a note which details their plans for a plethora of Sims-related updates to be released tomorrow. There will be patches for both OS 9 and OS X players, as well as an update for owners of the Livin' Large expansion pack. Here are the details:

The Sims Carbon Installer (US)-1.9MB

This installs a Carbonized version of the Sims app. This is for the U.S.
retail version of the original Sims only. We recommend sticking with the
Classic apps and updaters if you're not playing the game under Mac OS X.


The Sims 1.1.4 Updater (US)-1.2MB

This updates the Classic (Mac OS 8.x/9.x) version of The Sims to version
1.1.4. This is for the U.S. retail version only.


Livin' Large 1.2.1 Updater (US)-9MB

This updates the Classic (Mac OS 8.x/9.x) version of The Sims Livin' Large
to version 1.2.1. This is for the U.S. retail version only.

Full details on what bugs will be fixed/features will be added are expected tomorrow. Watch later in the week for a release of a demo for Escape from Monkey Island; this OpenGL 3D adventure game will be made available to test drive in three different download sizes, to show the modem users some mercy.

MWNY: The Sims Move to OS X
Aspyr Media


No Mac OS X Myst III: Exile = Apple's Fault?
1:02 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Over the past few weeks we have received several inquiries as to where the promised Carbon version of Myst III: Exile might be. This adventure game from Presto Studios, published by Ubi Soft, has both an update for the OS 9 version and a patch to add OS X compatibility pending.


While the Myst III web site doesn't mention a timeline for these patches, Ashley Bushore of Presto posted the following note to Usenet which may clarify why the OS X patch has not yet been released:

Myst III: Exile is not currently compatible with OS X whether run on the
OS natively or through the OS 9.1 emulator. This is because the OpenGL
functionality with OS X has known problems processing low geometry/high
graphic quality (vs the standard high geometry/low graphics). We have
been in contact with Apple since long before we finished coding and have
yet to confirm with them when they will release an OS X update that
addresses this OpenGL trouble.
While this explanation isn't exactly crystal-clear, it is known among developers that there are still several outstanding issues having to do with OS X OpenGL (such as getting an application to take over the full screen, and interference with mouse sensitivity/control) which are giving some dev teams fits. Unfortunately the next OS X update (10.1) isn't scheduled until September, so those of you waiting for a native version of Exile may have several more months to wait. Keep watching the Myst III: Exile web site for updates.

Myst III: Exile Web Site
Review: Myst III: Exile


Diablo II Realm Rollback
11:51 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Last night Diablo II's US-East Realm on battle.net began to experience stability problems, finally resulting in some players losing characters and items. Blizzard has since found the problem and released this statement which should please those people affected. If you have logged in recently or regularly, the following should be no surprise, but we've posted this so that anyone deciding to log in later tonight knows what to expect:
:

The Battle.net Team has successfully identified and repaired the problem affecting the U.S. East realm. Many characters played after 8:00 P.M. PDT (UTC -8) lost some or all items. This was caused by a bug in the Diablo II server software.


The Battle.net team is in the process of rolling back all characters
affected by this issue to before 8:00 P.M. PDT (UTC -8). All missing
items will be restored.


NOTE: Any U.S. East Realm character changes made after 8:00 P.M. PDT
(UTC -8) Tuesday, July 24th until 11:30 P.M. PDT (UTC -8) will be
lost.


The rollback process is expected to take several hours. As a result,
the U.S. East realm will stay offline until later today. Please
check back for further updates.

Good to see that Blizzard was able to isolate this problem quickly and revert all characters to their previous states. For further information check the battle.net status pages.

battle.net realm status



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PopTop's Future Plans?
11:32 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

PopTop is the team behind the island management simulation Tropcio, which was released for PC some time ago and has just shipped for the Mac OS. Now that this team has finished that highly-anticipated title, VoodooExtreme was curious enough to ask them what their future plans might be.


Here's what PopTop's president Phil Steinmeyer had to say:

We've been busy here at PopTop. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a cool budget priced product to be in stores in August (sorry - can't announce yet...)


Many of our artists are continuing to work on cut-scenes for Age of Wonders 2, which is looking very cool.


We've got one deal going and another deal in the works with excellent outside developers to do cool games working with some of our existing technology. At least one of these will be announced in the next 6 weeks or so.


Finally, we're still in early stages on our next BIG internal project. The engine for that project is already largely complete, but we're still very early in the game development stages.
And that's all I can say for now...

While we can't say for certain that PopTop's future plans include Mac versions of their upcoming titles, it seems safe to say that (based on their previous releases) they will at least be willing to have them ported.

VoodooExtreme - PopTop's Future Plans
PopTop Software
MacSoft
Tropico
Buy Tropico


Master of Orion III Interview
11:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

GameZone Online hs posted an in-depth interview with Alan Emrich of Quicksilver, a developer for the upcoming turn-based space strategy game Master of Orion III. The interview is short but quite insightful, and offers an interesting look into the features and the design philosphies behind MOO3.


When asked about the technologies of the game itself, Emrich is quick to point out that MOO3 is more of a "design-centric" project than anything else, meaning that the backstory and gameplay of MOO3 take precedence over shiny graphics and special effects. One of the reasons that this title is being made as a turn-based game is the design factor that the gameplay is slanted towards methodical, thinking players. This saves the game from becoming the frantic "click-fest" that most real-time strategy games often turn into.


On the other hand, provisions are also being put into place so that players will not have to micromanage everything in the game, something that becomes nearly impossible later on. Emrich notes that players will most likely end up macromanaging their affairs later on, leaving the micromanaging to the various Leaders that will be under their command.


Emrich also discusses the multiplayer aspects of MOO3. He again points to the fact that, being a turn-based game, MOO3 has a lot more flexibility than a realtime-based game in terms of multiplayer. He notes there are potentially two ways to win: a player can be the first to reach the climax of the story by hitting the top of the power chain (President, Legitimate Heir to the Orion throne, etc.) or by scoring the most points in five different categories (Climax, History, Legacy, Perception, and Reality).


For those that are curious about MOO3, but intimidated by the fact that it may be too difficult for novices, fear not. Emrich addresses the fear of complexity with this statement:

The game is designed to be quite user friendly. Between a UI system that gets you in whatever neighborhood you want to be in with no more than two clicks and information feedback given to the players in varying degrees of depth (depending how much a players wants to know about a given area of play) called the ‘layers of the onion approach,’ I think we're on the right track. We're trying to keep the new player in mind at all times, so every aspect of the game is presented initially at a high level of information (i.e., and ‘overview’) sufficient to make an informed decision.
For the full interview, which contains plenty of additional details not mentioned above, be sure to check it out at GameZone Online. A Mac version of MOO3 has been announced (and will be published by MacSoft), though an official release date has yet to surface.

GameZone Online - Alan Emrich Interview
MacSoft
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III



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Trade Wars: Dark Millennium Update, Images
9:46 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Since February of this year IMG has been tracking the progress of Trade Wars: Dark Millennium, an MMORTS in development for PC, Mac and Linux. Not only will this be the first real-time strategy title to go the massively-multiplayer route, but it is based on one of the first online games in computing history -- the classic BBS game Trade Wars. The game is currently in Alpha status, but is expected to reach Beta in the near future; a publishing deal is still being negotiated.


Over the weekend the Trade Wars site was updated with some quite impressive new screen shots which show off the real-time 3D engine. A new section was also added to the site which discusses the various aspects of gameplay they have defined so far. Here's an excerpt:

Trade Wars: Dark Millennium is a Massive Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy (MMORTS) game that will allow thousands of players to assume the role of trader, empire builder, and/or war chief in a virtual world.


Trade Wars: Dark Millennium is a MMORTS game set in the vastness of space and the mysterious uncharted lands of distant worlds.  Unlike a traditional RTS, Trade Wars is a tactically oriented combat game with an emphasis on player development.  Players invest themselves in the advancement of their character (avatar) and the advancement of their mobile battle platform (citadel).  Players use their avatar and citadel to harvest resources, engage in battles, and make their mark on the universe.


The player will be able to choose from one of four different cultures.  Each culture will have unique strengths, abilities and weaknesses.  Each race has its own unique style of combat and general game play.

Players will be able to band together to form "corporations," mass their resources to create a permanent Citadel and then go to war against other corporations for resources and territory. Check out the web site for more details and images.

Past Articles on Trade Wars: Dark Millennium
Trade Wars: Dark Millennium


Beyond Atlantis Released?
9:17 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Dreamcatcher has promised another of their popular adventure games Beyond Atlantis will be set for a Mac release this month. While the official page for this 2D adventure game says it's still "coming soon", Mac retailer Mac-O-Rama now lists the game as available. The title places you in the role of Ten, a descendant of the Atlantian hero, Seth. You must explore the five large worlds in search of answers to the various puzzles that arise. Here are a few of the game's features:


    Discover beautiful settings, challenging puzzles and mysterious characters as your adventure unfolds and takes you Beyond Atlantis



  • 5 massive and extraordinary worlds to explore: Tibet, Ireland,
    Yucatan, China and Shambhala
  • Over 60 characters modeled in 3D
  • Totally recreated settings in authentic detail
  • Engaging and challenging puzzles throughout
  • Stunning 3D graphics and animation
  • Multiple paths integrated into the storyline.

Check out the official page for screen shots of Beyond Atlantis, or head over to Mac-O-Rama and place an order for this $20 title now.

Beyond Atlantis Web Site


iPuppet Needs Beta-Testers
9:14 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Following our previous announcement that iPuppet has reached the beta stage, we have news that beta-testers are needed by the devlopers Freeverse.

"I could really use some help here," said the recently-engaged Freeverse Beta Test Coordinator, Dan "Remy" Dickinson. "since one man is not enough to beta test a piece of software of this magnitude. Besides, Ian and Colin are really starting to scare me. They said if I don't get enough beta testers, they're going to throw me out the window."


Ian Lynch Smith added a cutting motion across his throat with his thumb,
while Colin Lynch Smith merely punched his fist into his open hand.


"Who knew working for such a seemingly sweet company could be such a hazard to one's health?" added Dickinson.


The ideal beta tester should have the following:

-a Macintosh (OS 9 or OS X - preferably both) or Windows computer.

-a solid Internet connection.

-a good understanding of the rules of Bridge, Hearts, Euchre, Setback, and Spades, or at least be willing to learn.

-good communication skills and a basic understanding of computing for
writing bug reports.

-time to devote to the testing process.


Previous beta testing experience is a plus but not required. Top testers
may receive complimentary copies of the game upon shipping. Interested
testers should email Dan Dickinson at remy@freeverse.com with their system specs, any notable previous experience, and a short paragraph on why they feel they make a good beta test candidate.

If you fit the bill and fancy helping out a Mac developer, why not drop them a line.

Freeverse



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Mac DS9: The Fallen Goes Gold, Really!
9:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After asking us to retract yesterday's news about Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen going Gold Master, Peter Binazeski of Simon & Schuster wrote in again today to announce that it has now been declared GM. So as of today it is officially in production and should be heading out very soon. Here's the "official" word:

Yes, it’s now official.  The game is being replicated as I type and it will ship to retail on Friday. 
So barring any last minute changes from Paramount or The Collective, you should be seeing the game in stores very soon. As for a demo, according to Doug Hare at Collective, the developers of The Fallen, Simon & Schuster doesn't plan on releasing a demo of The Fallen.



Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen is available for pre-order at Compuexpert.com for $32.90.

IMG News: Mac DS9: The Fallen Ships? Not Yet...
Official DS9: The Fallen Web Site
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen


Lane Roathe and His Ideas From The Deep
9:05 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacGamer's Corey Tamas recently caught up with Lane Roathe (of id, Logicware, and MonkeyByte fame) at the recent Macworld to talk about his latest outing, Ideas From The Deep. The company is set to publish smaller game titles for the Mac and PC, and it was actually cofounded by his friend from the id Software days, John Romero. The interview talks about this, and also some about the first projects he is working on currently. Here's a clip:

While waiting for Romero, Lane still has lots on his plate. "I'm working on a game for Disney through R Tech. They've done a bunch of titles and a lot of them are on Mac. Monopoly, Jeopardy, Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune... you can get those through MacSoft, but those are R Tech. This is one of the first we'll do for Mac and PC at the same time... I think the very first."


Lane has been a fixture in the game software community for a while, and continues a stalwart allegience to Macintosh, despite the seductive allure of the bigger Windows market. "Everything I do is Mac and everything I do for myself is cross-platform, so I plan to release at least two titles a year for the Mac. I expect to do more. I'd like to get three done. Pet Rave, the new stuff (not just the old stuff from Logicware) and I've already got six titles lined up for development."

Also be sure to check out the IFD web site for deals on old Logicware titles. Lane apparently found a number of the games in the MonkeyByte warehouse and is selling them at rock-bottom prices.

Ideas From The Deep Web Site
Lane Roathe Interview at MacGamer


Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 24, 2001

"Game of Death" Coming to Mac OS12:15 PM
Vortex NG Postmortem10:53 AM
Tropico Soundtrack Available10:37 AM
RoTFL 2: Total Carnage Registration Begins10:30 AM
Warcraft III Delayed Until 200210:24 AM
Mac Baldur: How To Be The "Life of the Party"10:22 AM
The Feeble Files Released for the Mac10:20 AM
Mac DS9: The Fallen Ships? Not Yet... [UPDATE]10:14 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 24, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Monday, July 23, 2001
Friday, July 20, 2001
Thursday, July 19, 2001
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Tuesday, July 17, 2001


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