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Wednesday, August 29, 2001



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Alice Demo Patched for OS X
9:42 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The demo for American McGee's Alice has been a huge hit, with over 2000 downloads in a 24-hour period. However many who tried to run the Carbonized demo under Mac OS X experienced an error on launch. Developer Brad Oliver has quickly released a patched version of the application to solve the problem, so if you have been experiencing OS X issues, read on for the "fix."


Brad made the following post to our Forums yesterday, addressing complaints about the demo's performance under OS X:

It's not an OS 10 bug, it's an OS Brad bug. :-)


If you have this problem under 10, download a fixed application here:


http://www.macmame.org/AliceDemoFix.sit


I have also placed it on my iDisk (boliver) in my public folder.


Two caveats: this is only a replacement for the broken app in the 80 meg archive, not the full demo. Replace the "Alice Demo" app in the archive with this one and you should be golden.


Second, if you encounter an error -2806 launching Alice, use Stuffit Expander 5.5 to decompress the file, not 6.x.

Brad's final comment brings to light an important issue many gamers (and general Mac users) may be facing; it seems the latest version of Stuffit Expander does indeed have an unfortunately high chance of corrupting large downloads. If you have had downloaded games or files fail, you might try searching the net for an older version (or 5.5 can be found on many OS 9.1/9.2 install discs).


Grab the update below if you are experiencing OS X crashes, and be sure to add your post-patch experiences and feedback to the forum thread.

American McGee's Alice Demo (81 MB)
Forum Thread on OS X Alice Fix
Download Demo Patch for OS X Users
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice



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Red Faction Interview, Call for Questions
3:10 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Red Faction fan site run by Alex Boutilier recently posted an interview with several Volition staff members about the FPS about to be released for PC and Mac. The Q&A mentions the recent PC-only tech demo release of the game, which served to test compatibility on a huge variety of hardware -- a virtual "shakedown cruise."


A number of questions also center on building mods for Red Faction (which, like with many other titles, won't have the tools available for the Mac). While not much is known about the mod capabilities of the game as of yet, the flexible engine with built-in tools will likely inspire huge numbers of mod and map makers to contribute to the game.


One of the more interesting aspects of the game that cropped up during early development was the news that the engine would not take advantage of hardware transform and lighting, a specific use of video card hardware that accelerates certain kinds of calculations. Currently only high-end video cards have this feature, though many expected that it would be added to Red Faction. Here is their explanation:

Why did you guys decide to not support Hardware T&L?


First, our experiences indicate that properly implementing Hardware T&L pretty much necessitates designing it in to the engine from the ground up. A properly designed Hardware T&L engine ought to be able to display scenes with twice as many polygons as a high-detail Summoner level at monitor refresh rates. Unreal, for instance, looks like it is taking this route.


While it is easier than this to retrofit in Hardware T&L into an existing engine, rendering performance will still largely be bound by bus bandwidth (or other factors) and there will be little if any performance benefits to using it. There's no point in adding it and having a bullet point on the box if it doesn't give something back to gamers.


Second, The GeForce 2s and 3s we're targeting are already running Red Faction faster than everything else. It doesn't make much sense to spend time optimizing performance only on these cards.

Do you have some questions that the interview didn't cover? XTreme Gaming Radio is putting out a call for Red Faction questions. They will be talking with a member of Volition on their internet radio show next week, and here's the perfect chance for you to get your questions answered. Head over there now to submit your questions, and also take a look at their 30+ new screen shots of the game in action. Red Faction is currently set for a Mac release in October from GraphSim.

Volition Interview at Red Faction Gold
XGR Interview Questions
GraphSim
Volition
Red Faction


Baldur's Gate Fan Fiction Contest
12:03 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacBaldur and IMG's Michael Phillips are teaming up to present a contest for fans of the RPG series Baldur's Gate. MacBaldur is looking for pieces of fan fiction, 600 words or less in length, that describe the background story for a fictional character from the BG universe -- perhaps your own. Here are the details:

In the Forgotten Realms, there are many faces and many stories behind those faces. It is around such stories that I am basing this contest. The rules are as follows:


In 600 words or less, write the backstory for an original character that one might find in the Baldur's Gate universe. All entries must be submitted no later than 09/24/2001. The best story will be selected by a panel of judges, creativity, tone and grammar will be the main judging criteria.


Send all entries to: mike@insidemacgames.com


The winner will receive the following RPG Prize Pack courtesy of our friends at GraphSim, MacPlay and Inside Mac Games:


  • Baldur's Gate

  • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

  • Summoner

  • A 1 year subscription to the Inside Mac Games MGCD

  • Dungeons & Dragons DVD
Be sure to submit your entry soon; check MacBaldur for details; there is also an archive of past fan fiction there, if you need some inspiration.

MacBaldur


Doom Legacy 1.32 Beta 3 Coming Soon
11:33 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The official Doom Legacy site, devoted to the updating and revamping of the original FPS favorite Doom, has recently posted news announcing the availability of Doom Legacy 1.32 Beta 3 for Dos and Win32 users. As for other users (including Mac gamers) the news blurb notes that "executables for the other supported platforms will be available soon."


This version is said to mainly enhance hardware mode by adding new features already available in software mode. Some other highlights include the following:


  • New engine for Transform & Lighting
  • Translucent 3D water and 3D floors
  • Coloured sector lighting
  • Improved load level time
  • Better Heretic support (lots of bugs fixed)
  • Updated launcher

More information can be found at the Doom Legacy site. For specific Mac-related Doom Legacy information, be sure to check out the related Mac Doom Legacy site.

Doom Legacy
Mac Doom Legacy


IMG Previews Q*Bert
11:17 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacSoft continues their steady stream of ports of Hasbro titles, specifically a long list of 3D-enhanced Atari classics reborn. Q*Bert, much like Pong and Asteroids, has undergone a revolution in visuals but has kept much of the classic style of play which made it such a quarter-eating arcade staple.


We've published a preview of the game for your perusal, complete with a gallery of screen shots. Here's a sample:

In recent years Atari has licensed new versions of classic games like Pong, Breakout, Frogger, and Asteroids, and now Q*bert. So whatís new this time around? For starters thereís a story! Itís pretty simple: Q*bert lives with other goofy characters in an odd world of cube-shaped bricks, rather what youíd expect if you built a world out of lego bricks. Suddenly a great vortex appears and sucks up some of Q*bertís friends, one of whom is an obviously female Q*bert-like creature, named... well actually I donít know her name (heck, I didnít even Q*bert was male until she showed up!) Q*bert, being a gentlemanly sort of squish, embarks on a rescue mission.


Okay, so itís a very simple story, but if it was good enough for Donkey Kong itís good enough for Q*bert.

This reborn classic is expected to be released in the near future. Check out the preview for more details.

Preview: Q*Bert


'FlareStorm' PSX Emu Details, New Release
11:02 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our friends at MacGameZone have once again done us a service by pointing out that there is a new release for the freeware PlayStation console emulator Flarestorm as well as a new fan site which details this release and its capabilities. Console emulation is still a controversial subject, and to use this emulator legally you must own a PlayStation and its BIOS.


Alpha 2 of Flarestorm adds more stability and compatibility; it also supports memory cards which are cross-compatible with memory cards from Connectix Virtual GameStation. Currently the emulator has very low compatibility with commercial releases, but the progress seems rapid and already many PSX "demos" are supported.


Stop by the official web sit and the Emuverse fan page for more details and downloads.

Flarestorm Web Site (English)
Flarestorm Info Page at Emuverse


"Doubletime" With Master of Orion III
10:33 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Quarter to Three recently posted the results of a comparison interview titled "Doubletime with the designers of Starships Unlimited and Master of Orion III." What the interview basically does is ask the same questions to developers of different backgrounds, allowing readers to compare their answers side-by-side. Though Starships Unlimited may hold little interest for Mac owners, as this is a PC-only title, the interview also includes questions for Quicksilver members. Their upcoming title Master of Orion III, a space-oriented strategy title on a grand scale on its way to the Mac courtesy of MacSoft, definitely holds the interest of more than a few Mac owners.


The interview focuses on design motivations and influences, rather than any actual game details. One of the more interesting questions addresses the issue of the use of conventions already established in popular science fiction, rather than applying strange technologies with no current basis. Both Alan Emrich and Bill Fisher of MOO3's development team respond:

[Emrich]: You could go either way. For MOO3, weíre sticking with popular conventions (and adding a few twists of our own to extend that convention just a bit).


[Fisher]: You need to stay rooted in the familiar. One of the most appealing things about the Star Wars or Star Trek universes is that they're more like our own than different. Sure, the wallpaper is new, but people still live in houses, pilot vehicles, and have relationships that mirror the variety in our own society. In the same way, our technologies begin with that which we know about our own universe and then extrapolate in as "realistic" a manner as possible into the distant future. If we created our own universe, it would feel far more alien. And we'd probably have one heck of a time play-balancing it, since we'd have nothing real to compare with.

Emrich also discusses the macromanagement/micromanagement aspects of MOO3, noting that, while both will be possible in MOO3, it will ultimately be macromanagement that players will find the most useful, particularly when their empires increase in size. For example, instead of tweaking every build queue located on a moon, a player can simply issue an Imperial Edict that states that all Frontier Worlds must increase their production of defensive capabilities.


The rest of the interview focuses on more personal issues, including the developers' favorite games, the length of development cycles, and which of the "Big Three" (Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5) appeal the most to each designer. For those who wish to peruse the full read, it is currently available at Quarter to Three.

Quarter to Three - Double Time
Master of Orion III - Official Site
MacSoft
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III



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Updated Unreal II Weapons Info
10:16 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IMG readers may remember an earlier article concerning an Unreal II preview posted at Unreality.org, wherein it was mentioned that certain weapons would not make the transition from Unreal Tournament to Unreal II including the ASMD shock rifle and the Flak Cannon. Interestingly enough, most of the feedback on this article revolved around the absence of these weapons. Perhaps in response to the nasty comments by fans of these particular weapons, Matt Frary (a PR Manager at Infogrames) e-mailed this statement to Unreality.org:

Unreal fans asked for it -- now they got it. Based on popular demand, the ASMD Shock Rifle and Flak Cannon have been integrated into Unreal 2. This brings the total number of weapons in the game to 17.
While fans were quick to rejoice on the forums, Chris Hargrove of Legend Entertainment, developer of Unreal II, was quick to post a rebuttal concerning the PR statement:
Without trying to throw a slam at our PR people or anything, I'll merely say that Mr. Frary should have consulted us before making his statement.
The ASMD/Flak issues were in discussion between Legend, Epic, and Infogrames well before the topic was even brought up here on these forums. I'm not saying that we're ignoring the fanbase here or anything (we're certainly not), but by the same token, we've been considering these issues for some time now.
Hargrove goes on to state that these weapons will "likely" make it into at least the multiplayer aspect, if not the single player. However, he notes that the decision is far from finalized.


Matt Frary's PR statement can be found at Unreality.org's news page. Chris Hargrove's rebuttal forum posting can be found at Infograme's Unreal II forum. Be sure to check out both for the full story, and add your own voice to the issue in our own forums.

Unreality.org - News
Infogrames - Unreal II Forum


Giants: Citizen Kabuto Pre-Order Available
10:05 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our apologies for not catching this sooner, but we thought it was still worth mentioning; recently the MacPlay web site was updated with a large button that might be of interest to those anticipating the action/RTS title Giants: Citizen Kabuto. For $44.99 you can reserve your copy of this OS X-only port in advance, though no estimated final ship date is given.


Not only will Giants be the first OS X-only commercial game release, and be in native "Cocoa" form, but this will also be the first Mac title to use the full feature set of the NVIDIA GeForce 3 card. Both pixel and vertex shader effects are used in the game, from bump-mapped surfaces and textures to environmental effects and high-poly character models.


For more information about the title, check out IMG's preview and the details at the MacPlay web site.

MacPlay
Preview: Giants: Citizen Kabuto
MacPlay
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto


MGCD Subscribers: 10 percent off at Compuexpert!
10:04 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

One of the many benefits of being a MacGames CD subscribers has been getting 5 perfect cash back on game purchases at Compuexpert. Well now you can save even more from every single game purchase at Compuexpert! Today we're increasing the offer from 5 to 10 percent. That's right, MacGames CD subscribers can now get 10 percent cash back on every game purchase made through Compuexpert.



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!



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



For more information on the MacGames CD, please click on the link below.



Blizzard to Add "Buddy Lists" to Diablo II
9:52 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Battle.net reports that new buddy/chat features are being tested now on the US East gateway. Diablo II players will be allowed to keep a 'buddy list' of up to 25 different friends, thus being able to easily see who is online and playing. Two different types of friends are noted: the first level will just allow you to see if they're online and playing in a game. The second and 'closer' level of friendship will offer more advanced features, if the two people trust eachother. Here's a clip explaining more:

Since we want to provide more features to users who trust each other, if users add each other to their friends list they will be considered mutual friends. When enumerating friends, mutual friends will have their channel/game name revealed even if the user is in a private channel/game so that they can always find each other. When mutual friends perform certain actions they may be notified. The current notifications are;


  • Your friend [account] has entered Battle.net.
  • Your friend [account] has left Battle.net.
  • Your friend [account] created a [program] game called [game name]
  • There are many other interesting friendly features being tested, so head over now for the scoop on what exactly is changing. Assuming the tests are well received by players, the new changes should be propogated to the other gateways under Battle.net control.

    Battle.net Friends Details


    New Dragon's Lair 3D Shots, ECTS Info
    8:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    PC Gameplay has published four new screen shots of the upcoming realtime 3D remake of the arcade laserdisc-based classic Dragon's Lair, known as Dragon's Lair 3D. If you haven't seen the 'look' of the game, be sure to go over and check them out. Dragon's Lair 3D combines a realtime 3D engine (similar to Quake 3 Arena or Unreal) yet combined with cartoon-shaded characters to help stay true to the style and look of the original. The shots show off some interesting new enemies and environments, and are worth a look.


    More details on the game (and when it might be published) are expected to be released at the upcoming ECTS next week, and IMG is set to chat with the team about their progress as well. Stay tuned for more news as the game moves towards completion for Mac and PC at the end of the year.

    Dragon's Lair 3D Screen Shots
    Blue Byte


    Spears Talks Future Plans
    8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Jesse Spears has updated his main Harpoon 3 web site with details on why he decided to leave Westlake Interactive. It seems there wasn't any grudge against the popular Mac porting house; instead he simply wanted to pursue his dream of making independent, original game titles as he has in the past. We can't argue with such logic, since any titles will likely help expand the Mac gaming selection.


    Spears notes his main goal is now to get Harpoon 3 (currently a Mac-only title) ported to Windows -- how often does that happen? Because of licensing issues he could only sell such a product before the next version, Harpoon 4, is released for the PC. So his focus is now on getting the game ported before Christmas, and then he'd hopefully have enough funds from any revenue to sustain himself while working on a new, original title.


    He notes he hasn't forgotten the Mac (or the promised Mac OS X version of Harpoon 3), so don't dismay.


    We wish the best of luck to Spears in his new ventures, and to Westlake as they look for a replacement.

    IMG News: Westlake is Hiring
    Jesse Spears Update


    Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 28, 2001

    Arcane Arena Beta 2 Released2:50 PM
    GamSutra Profiles Game Music Composer2:32 PM
    Cro-Mag Rally Updated to 2.02:17 PM
    uDevGame Entries Released1:23 PM
    Game Demos - Helpful or Harmful?10:12 AM
    American McGee Talks Alice Movie9:50 AM
    More Details on Radeon 7500 Mobility9:44 AM
    Meggs on Myth III & Bungie.net9:23 AM
    Interplay in Trouble?9:16 AM
    Alice Demo Available!9:11 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 28, 2001 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Monday, August 27, 2001
    Friday, August 24, 2001
    Thursday, August 23, 2001
    Wednesday, August 22, 2001
    Tuesday, August 21, 2001


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