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Friday, August 3, 2001



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Simon 3D for Mac Official
9:31 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Thomas Stiedling of e.p.i.c. interactive has passed along official confirmation that they plan to publish a Mac OS version of the adventure game Simon the Sorcerer 3D. This game has been greatly delayed both on the PC and Mac platforms, but e.p.i.c. plans to have the Mac version complete in September.


The long delay for the PC version (which was declared "gold master" in November of 2000) seems to be due to the fact that the game was subsequently dropped by its US publisher Southpeak Interactive and put on hold by the UK publisher Hasbro. The delay obviously gave e.p.i.c. the chance to catch up with the PC version, as they plan on releasing the Mac version soon after the PC release.


Here's the update from e.p.i.c.:

e.p.i.c. has acquired a license from Headfirst Productions to bring Simon
The Sorcerer 3D to the Apple Mac. The PC version has not yet been released
but should come late this summer. The Mac version of Simon's adventures in 3D
are scheduled for a September release.


Once upon a time, there was a teenage Sorcerer called Simon . Little did he
know that they were all laughing at him behind his back, because he thought
that a pony tail, red cloak and pointy hat were dead cool. Anyway, it's now
the twenty-first century, and Simon has returned, this time in glorious
3D-o-vision. Tragically, he still thinks that sporting a pony tail, red
cloak and pointy hat is a cutting-edge fashion statement - a post-modernist
juxtaposition of form against function. The people still laugh at him.


You can find more info on Simon´s latest adventures in 3D in the projects
section. You can also check out the prequel Simon The Sorcerer II there.

Curiously enough, the PC version of Simon 3D was constructed with the cross-platform NetImmerse engine (which actually dropped Mac OS support last year) but according to past reports e.p.i.c. intends to re-create the title with their own 3D engine, thus avoiding engine licensing fees. For a trip down memory lane, be sure to check out our past articles on Simon 3D, as well as the e.p.i.c. web site and the official Simon 3D site.

Simon the Sorcerer 3D
Past Articles on Simon the Sorcerer 3D
e.p.i.c. Interactive
Runesoft



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Applelinks Reviews TOSC, Space Tripper
1:04 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Mac news site Applelinks isn't just links -- they also generate their own content. Recently they posted two game reviews which offer a little humor and quirkiness in addition to the usual pro/con arguments.


Bill Stiteler's review of Tales of the Sword Coast, an expansion pack for GraphSim's Baldur's Gate, is positive overall but does point out that the expansion is for serious players of the original only. Here's an excerpt:

Tales of the Sword Coast (TSC) truly is an expansion to Baldur's Gate,
adding onto the original game map new areas to discover and explore. And
man, are they a pain. A pain to get into, and a pain to get out of
(alive, anyway). I mean this in the nicest possible way. I find the more
I scream at a game, the more I like it.
Just don't take the keyboard out to the parking lot and drive over it. AppleLinks also posted a review of the $12 shareware game Space Tripper, which is winning many well-deserved accolades for its polish and addictive gameplay. IMG is also working on our own review of the game, but this has faced some delays due to the fact that the reviewer hasn't had time to beat the !@#$% Spider Boss yet.


Drop by Applelinks to read both reviews.

Space Tripper Review at Applelinks
Tales of the Sword Coast Review at Applelinks


Yexi Web Site Launched
12:54 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The web site for Yexi -- The Interstellar Adventure has been posted, featuring information on and screen shots of this Mac OS space flight game. The site is currently at a temporary address which will be redirected to a more appropriate URL at a later time. Yexi is intended to be an online 4-player space flight game which will simulate the actual mechanics of flying a starship, with sections dedicated to Engineering, Navigation etc.


Here is the press release:

Yexi - The Interstellar Adventure web site went live today. The web site
features the latest news, screenshots, newsletter and more on the new space
simulator of D'Carlos & Covett Communication.


The company has launched a new web site dedicated to its new MacOS space
simulation. The site is dedicated to giving gamers up-to-date information
including news, articles, screenshots, downloads, and participation in
polls.


More features will be added to the site throughout the game's development.
The web site is designed to be a centralized forum where Mac gamers and fans
of the sci-fi genre can follow the development of the game.


"The main goal is to put the player in front of the stations 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 Trek® 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. Through our web-site, we plan to provide the fans with the
latest news, concept artwork, animations and much more about this so
antecipated game." said F. C. Covett, director and creative lead of the
project.

Visit the Yexi web site for more details and images.

Yexi -- The Interstellar Adventure


Return to Dark Castle Demo Beta 5 Released
11:05 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Zachary Black of ZSculpt Entertainment has released a new beta version of his modern updating of the black-and-white classic Dark Castle. This title in progress brings color graphics, particle special effects and many gameplay tweaks and new levels to the original Mac "platformer." The demo is a public beta of sorts which Zack is using to gather feedback on bugs, gameplay features and stability.


Here is a list of changes in this most recent beta:

Many thanks to those of you who are digging up bugs, and providing detailed explanations. It has helped me immensely in tracking them down!


Bug Fixes & Changes (beta 5)

• Added the original "Great Hall" level from DC (changed to match standard gameplay)

• Added the original "Black Knight 1" level from DC

• Fixed graphical errors with fireplace in "Ante Room ll" level (finally!)

• Fixed the auto-warp when using the return key to go to a level

• More internal bug fixes

For a mixture of nostalgia and a new appreciation for this classic title, be sure and grab the demo. We recommend you read the "ReadMe" first, as the controls are somewhat more complex than most expect.

Download DC3 Beta 5 (9 MB)(.hqx)
ZSculpt Entertainment
Return to Dark Castle Web site



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Red Faction Nears Completion for PC
10:55 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Voodooextreme has been hosting a feature titled The Red Faction Diaries, in which James Tsai, an associate producer for Volition, has been posting a steady stream of updates regarding the upcoming PC port of Red Faction. For those unfamiliar with the title, Red Faction is a futuristic first-person shooter who's most notable feature is the Geo-Mod engine, which allows for the destruction of practically everything in the game -- walls included.


In his most recent update, Tsai notes that the usual bug fixing and testing is proceeding apace. The single-player game enemy AI movement has also been adjusted to make things feel less sporadic. However, of particular note is his last statement:

Another thing we've been working on is the kind of stuff that typically comes up at the end of a project, like making sure our installer and launcher are good to go, and handling a lot of the stuff that goes into documentation for the game. As we get more and more of this done, it reminds me that we are indeed close to finishing this project and getting it on shelves.
Hopefully, this means that RF will be released soon. Volition did have a working Mac version of RF on display at the recent New York Macworld, which is a good sign that the Mac release could closely follow the PC version.


For the current as well as previous diary entries, be sure to check out The Red Faction Diaries feature at Voodooextreme.

Voodooextreme - The Red Faction Diaries
GraphSim
Volition
Red Faction



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Neverwinter Nights Project Update
10:23 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A large project update was recently posted on BioWare's official Neverwinter Nights site, courtesy of BioWare's own Trent Oster, concerning some new features that have been added to NWN since their showing at E3. NWN, for those that are as of yet uninitiated, is a highly-anticipated upcoming single/multiplayer RPG that uses the 3rd edition rules of Dungeons and Dragons as its base.


The first category of updates Oster addresses is that of art. He notes that the textures and modeling of over 170 distinct creatures is nearing completion. The 2D storyboard graphics and modeled cinemas that will accompany module narrations are also coming along nicely. Spell effects, of which there will be many, are also beginning to make their appearance.


The next category remarked upon is programming. Besides the usual memory/bandwidth tweaks that are taking place, BioWare has also been busy updating the toolset, with preliminary door and object placement functionality being made available.


Of particular note in the programming section are two new major features: an updated encounter system and an all-new faction system. The encounter system makes it much easier for senario designers to place random encounters. Rather than having to assemble a group of specific creatures at every point, players can now just place a single enounter point. Each point will have an assigned creature hierarchy that it will select from, adjusting the number of creatures and their difficulty based on the number of players encountered. The system also takes into account the 3rd edition "Challenge Rating" system, where each creature has an assigned challenge rating that determines what level player characters would best match it in a fight. For example, a Troll, having a CR rating of 5, would be best matched up against 5th level characters.


The new faction addition is meant to replace the old reputation system of previous games. Here's Oster's explanation on how it works:

The faction system is composed of two parts: a global faction table for all NPCs and a local faction table for each player character. This system allows us to have a town where half the town is populated by Humans and the other half by Gnomes. If the Humans and Gnomes don't get along we could set up the factions so killing a Gnome commoner angers the Gnomish people and the Gnomish guards, but the human guard don't care or they could even respond more favorably to the player for his or her deeds.


The final category remarked upon is that of design. Oster reiterates that the scripting system, which affects gameworld behavior, is being heavily worked upon. Various tables and lists are being entered into the game on a daily basis, and spell behaviors and special abilities are currently being defined and implemented as well. The modules themselves are coming along nicely, with the critical path conversations for most of them being written and scripted. Once the paths are completed, stores, taverns, and ambient encounters will be added.


Neverwinter Nights just keeps getting better and better. The tweaking of the encounter engine and the addition of the faction system in particular will definitely add some incredible diversity to the game, both in senario construction and in play. There's no set release date as of yet, though the last rumor heard mentioned early 2002. IMG will be sure to let readers know as soon as we nail a solid release date.

BioWare - Neverwinter Nights: What's New
BioWare
MacPlay
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights



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Details on The Sims: Hot Date
10:02 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

PC GamePlay has posted a short interview with team members working on the next expansion pack to the ever-popular Sims series. This next expansion, The Sims: Hot Date, will allow your Sims characters to chase those dreams of love. Whether you prefer to sing to your loved one in the park or get swinging in the nightclub, the focus this time around is on romance. The interview at PC GamePlay has quite a few insightful comments from Sims VP Steve Crane, Producer Tim Letourneau and one of the designers, Michael McCormick. Here is an excerpt, describing the gameplay:

The way it works depends on what you build and how much money you spend on the lot, and then the interactions on that lot will cost you in accordance with how much you spend. So a cheap date is to go to the park, because you don't have to pay for the stuff you can do there. But if you go to a really fancy French restaurant you're going to have to pay a lot of money. Each object has an efficiency rating. The more expensive, the more efficient. So it costs more to go to a restaurant but your fulfillment is higher.
Rest assured there's plenty more to it than that though. The expansion pack is currently in development at Maxis and has not yet been announced for the Mac. We're sure this will change as the game gets closer to being completed, as all previous Sims titles have been brought to our platform. If you have some ideas on what social interactions you'd like to see in Hot Date, there was recently a call for ideas to be posted at the Sims BBS.

Hot Date Interview @ PC Gameplay
The Sims BBS
Aspyr Media
Maxis
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Livin' Large


Maelstrom Ported to OS X, LAN Play
9:50 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has made an announcement that may inspire some nostalgia for the early days of Mac gaming, when an LC II with a 12" monitor was an excellent gaming rig and you grabbed your shareware from a BBS. Maelstrom wasn't just the ultimate shoot-the-asteroids game, it was also one of the few games which truly inspired envy among the PC gamers at the time. In an ironic twist of fate, Maelstrom has returned to the Mac platform via the PC platform -- from Linux to OS X.


Here is the press release:

Years ago, in a dorm room far, far
away, Maelstrom was written by Andrew Welch for Ambrosia Software, Inc.,
mainly to prove that a Mac IIsi could handle decent 256 color
animation. A classic Mac game was born, filling Mac users with fond
memories of exploding rocks, sweaty palms, and NC-17 sound effects.


Fast forward a few years. A little OS named Linux burst upon the scene,
and in another dorm room far, far away, Sam Lantinga began work porting
Maelstrom to Linux, with Ambrosia's blessing.


Sam coded fast and furious, bringing Maelstrom faithfully over to Linux,
letting Linux users enjoy lowered GPAs and callouses that made them look
like they worked for a living. Sam even added some cool features like
network play.


Now we've come full circle. Sam has ported his Linux port of Maelstrom
to OS X. It's fun, it's free, and you can even download the source code
and play with it if you are so inclined.


This free version of Maelstrom isn't supported by Ambrosia Software,
Inc., but we do highly recommend it. Grab it, enjoy it, play over the
LAN with your friends.

This Mac gaming classic is all of 800k -- a significant download for a 2600 baud modem, at the time -- and is worth checking out even if you don't have a nostalgia jones to satisfy.

Download Maelstrom for OS X (800k)(.tar)
Ambrosia Software
Maelstrom for Linux Web Site



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Bioware Bosses on Baldur's Gate
9:45 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

PC Zone has posted an interview with two of the founders and current joint CEO's of Bioware, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk. The article discusses some of the games which inspired the Baldur's Gate series along with some background on why they started the project in the first place. Here is a sample:

We always believed the RPG genre was strong. It practically served as the foundation for Apple/Amiga gaming in the last 15 years - this was central in our belief that Baldur's Gate needed to be made. The reason RPGs weren't selling well in the early to mid '90s wasn't because all the RPG players had moved on; there just weren't enough appealing games for classic RPG fans to play. For us, Baldur's Gate was the solution to this problem.
There's enough talk of Baldur's Gate II to help build anticipation for MacPlay's immanent release of this long-awaited title for the Mac. You can also pre-order BG II at a special price of $39 at the link below, including a free Collector's Edition bonus Disc (only available to new and existing MGCD subscribers).

BG II Preview
Baldur's Gate II @ MacPlay
Interview @ PC Zone
MacPlay
BioWare
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II


Mac Games News for Thursday, August 2, 2001

Legacy Interactive Brings "Law and Order" to Mac4:19 PM
Utterer MWNY Hangover Lingers4:18 PM
New Parsec Release Due Soon1:54 PM
Feature: 'One on One With Mark Adams'11:46 AM
Beta ATI Driver Update Posted11:02 AM
Play Warbirds III for Free, Among Other Things...9:59 AM
Apple to be at QuakeCon9:39 AM
Carmack Talks Vid Tech, Doom Reqs9:22 AM
Railroad Tycoon 2 Platinum, Mac Possibility?9:19 AM
UbiSoft Announced as Shadowbane Publisher9:15 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 2, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, August 1, 2001
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
Monday, July 30, 2001
Friday, July 27, 2001
Thursday, July 26, 2001


Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



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