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Tuesday, September 18, 2001



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Devine Makes Early Wolf MPTest Available
8:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Another late-night .plan update from id Software's Graeme Devine brings word that the Mac OS X build of the Return to Castle Wolfenstein is very close to being ready. According to his tests, the game runs nearly three times as fast as 'similar' PC hardware (somewhat proving Apple's own Megahertz Myth). He also has made an early build of the application available on his iDisk, though you will need to have some way of downloading and decompressing the PC version of the files. If you're not up to this, don't worry, because he should release a final Mac installer sometime in the next day or so. Here's his full .plan:

Mac stuff.


The OS X build is looking good. On my G4 dual 800 with a GeForce 3 card I get 90fps in game, while on my P3 dual 800 with a GeForce 3 I get 30fps on the same settings.


I've been running it on my machine without problem, in game and out. However, I'm using a developer build of 10.1 (5G48), and I've not tested across anything else. I'll continue to do that tomorrow before putting out a general public release.


Meanwhile, if you want to play the BLEEDING edge client, you can grab it from my iTools public folder (graemedevine). You'll need to have downloaded and installed a full PC build because this is just the app, so this limits the # of you that can play it to experts and desperate types.. I've been updating the build here for people to test on since I only have a few OS X machines here to play with.


Please ONLY send bug reports on this build to me (zaphod@idsoftware.com) and try to include a clear step by step way to replicate the error you have. Please also include the OS X build you have running and what kind of video card you have installed.

Also please remember that you'll need to have some way to open up and decompress the PC version of the demo data files; a difficult challenge without a Windows machine nearby (or VirtualPC). And please only send helpful comments to Graeme, if you do get the MPTest up and running. Don't forget to post your experiences with the WolfMPTest in our forums as well.

Wolf MP Test (63 MB)
Graeme Devine .plan Update
Activision
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein


uDevGame Contest Entries Arrive, Voting Begins
2:53 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As any recent visitor to MacGameFiles is sure to notice, a flood of entries to the uDevGame 2001 programming contest have arrived. As the deadline was over the weekend, all entries should be in and the actual voting is taking place right now. With 24 entries (many of them OS X only) this contest has to be considered an unprecedented success, and we predict many of you will be surprised at the quality and ambition of some of the entries.


Some of our favorites include Zed Nought, which uses Quartz (the native 2D drawing language of OS X) to produce some great anti-aliased visuals, Turtle Turmoil (a very polished action/puzzle game) and Silly Balls, which makes us nostalgic for Oxyd. But don't let that bias you -- be sure and grab all of the entries and try them yourself before casting your vote.


You can grab all of the entries from the contest page, or go to MacGameFiles and grab anything that is noted as being part of the uDevGames contest. Remember, don't just judge these creations as a complete game, as many of them are not; rather, judge them on the ambition and skill of the programmer and how useful the game would be as a code platform for building future games.

MacGameFiles.com
uDevGame Contest Entries Page


On the Death of 3dfx
2:33 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacGamer has posted an interesting interview with Ray Swartz, a onetime ATI employee who moved on to work at the now-defunct 3D chip and card maker 3dfx. While this company has been gone for nearly a year, swallowed by rival NVIDIA in a buyout, many Mac users have fond memories of this company which was the first to bring hardcore-level gaming hardware to the Mac OS. While Glide is a dead API and both Mac and PC 3dfx drivers are doomed to stagnation, it is still interesting to find out what made the Mac side of 3dfx tick.


The conversation with Swartz covers his time at ATI and move to 3dfx, his duties as the programmer of the Rave (and later OpenGL) drivers for the V3, V4 and V5 cards and his thoughts on the demise of the company. Here is a sample:

What did you do at 3dfx?


I was the RAVE driver guy. First, I wrote an unsupported RAVE driver for the Voodoo 3, and then kept on improving it so it would support the features of Napalm, the chip used in the Voodoo 4 & 5. My approach was not to try to support every game that supported RAVE, but instead to focus on games where RAVE was the only (or preferred) API, like Water Race, Combat Mission, Quake, and Bugdom. I was transitioning to the OpenGL driver when 3dfx closed shop.

For the rest of the interview, follow the link below.

Past IMG Articles on 3dfx
3dfx
MacGamer Interviews Ray Swartz of 3dfx


Halo Movie Converted
2:15 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

An informed reader has pointed out that Halo.bungie.org has posted links to a converted version of the new movies of the X-box title Halo which is playable on a Mac if you are willing to go through some rather labor-intensive steps. The essential ingredients are tough to come by and scattered all over the web, but we know some of you are "fan" enough to handle it.


First you need the movie, linked below; then you need the Mac DivX player (also below). The third and final ingredient is Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.3, which is very tough to come by -- if you have installed 7.0, it deletes 6.3 from your hard drive, and Microsoft no longer hosts the 6.3 download. If anyone finds a reliable source for this player, please post the URL in the forums or in the comments for this article.


Once you have the movie and the players installed, open the DivX player. Do NOT open the movie; instead, go to the Movie menu and choose DivX Doctor... and then select the movie. Click past the error movie and let the applications generate the .mov file. Then open this file from the File menu, and you should be fine -- just do not touch the controls while the movie is playing, or you will lose the audio.


For complete instructions and all of the links, jump to Halo.bungie.org.

Halo Interview Movie (21.6 MB)
Mac OS DivX Player
Halo.bungie.org Movie Detals


Heros of Might and Magic IV Site Opens
1:28 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Software company 3DO has finally replaced their splash-page graphic for Heroes of Might and Magic IV with a bona-fide website. The website includes an introduction, an overview of HOMM4's storyline, gameplay features, and a gallery that includes both screenshots and various character images.


For those that like downloadables, there are currently 2 desktop pictures available as well. For those that would like a second opinion on this upcoming title, there's also a reviews/previews section with links and blurbs from various game publications.


HOMM4, for the uninitiated, is an upcoming turn-based strategy game that uses the long-running Might and Magic universe as its backdrop. New features include actual deployment of heroes in battle and an isometric view.


There is, as of yet, no official word on a Mac version of HOMM4, though IMG has noted in a previous article that one HOMM4 FAQ posted online hinted at a Mac version following the release of the PC version.

3DO - Heroes of Might and Magic IV


Official Halo Site Launched
9:56 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Microsoft has published a web site dedicated to the long-delayed title Halo, as a warm-up to the impending launch of the X-box console. The Flash-based site does not contain much in the way of new information or images, but does provide a short overview of the game and its features for those who are just discovering the game.


The site also contains two movies, but our version of Flash does not appear to hand the movie streams off to the Windows Media Player correctly. See our related article today for a method of viewing one of the two movies.


The initial appearance of this new site touched off yet another storm among the PC and Mac community, as the site says in several places that this game is "X-box only" or "X-box exclusive." For the record, developer Bungie has always promised there will be a Mac version of the game, and Peter Tamte's Destineer Studios has promised to publish said version on their Bold label. The declarations of "exclusive" are most likely intended to clarify for console gamers that the game will not be appearing on either the Playstation 2 or the Nintendo GameCube.


In any case, if you're curious to find out where Halo has ended up after over four years of development, visit the Microsoft site; high bandwidth and the latest version of Flash are recommended.

Microsoft Halo Site
Past IMG Articles on Halo
Microsoft
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved


Green Berets Updated to v1.1
9:09 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Although this title doesn't seem to have caught the fancy of many Mac or PC users, Take Two Interactive has announced the release of a patch for Green Berets. This tactical warfare game based on the Myth II engine simulates the jungle combat of Asia in the Vietnam War era. This patch not only fixes several bugs that made it past beta testing, it also "balances" certain units to improve the fun and fairness of online play. Here are the details:

This is an update to v1.0 of Green Berets by Take Two Interactive. This patch fixes a few minor bugs and makes changes to the Unit balance in gameplay to enhance the fun factor in Multiplayer. Some are noticeable and some aren't, but its all good.
The patch page also lists instructions for a manual install of the files, in case the patch utility fails to work. Grab the patch from the links below, or visit the Green Berets web site to find out more about this title. In related news, the patch page suggests that an expansion/plug-in for the game known as Carnage Islands should be available by the end of this month; whether this will be free to download or a boxed product is not specified.

Green Berets Web Site
Green Berets 1.1 Patch Page



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Focus on Stronghold Enemies
8:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

CGOnline has posted a short but entertaining article which describes a few of the enemies of righteousness and order you will face in the upcoming RTS/City Builder Stronghold. The game is being developed by Firefly Studios, with MacSoft intending to publish a Mac version at some undetermined time down the road. Stronghold is an attempt to blend city building elements of games such as Caesar III (though in a Medieval setting) with a real-time strategy combat system. Here's a clip from the short article:

The Rat

Just turned twenty, The Rat (a.k.a. Duc de Puce) is the scrawniest of enemies to cross your path. He suffers from an acute acne problem and his huge nose and seemingly glued-back pointed ears along with unkempt tufts of hair and large front teeth make him look gaunt and give him his ratty appearance. The Rat is a highly-strung character with little self-confidence and no capacity to hide this fact. His general jittery nature sometimes gives way to short bursts of spasmodic twitching when he speaks. To top it all off, the Rat is a poor judge of character making him easy prey for anyone trying to lure the gullible fool into a trap.
For more information on the game, read through our past news on Stronghold and be sure to check out the CGO article. While there's no official release date for the Mac version of this game as of yet, we'll keep you posted on any new details from MacSoft.

CGO Look at Stronghold Enemies
Past IMG News on Stronhold
MacSoft
Firefly Studios
Stronghold
Buy Stronghold


Mac Games News for Monday, September 17, 2001

Custer's Desktop Updated3:24 PM
Developer Update on WingNuts2:21 PM
GLSetup Gains Support from ATI1:59 PM
Bold to Ship Age of Empires II with Expansion1:38 PM
IMG Reviews DS9: The Fallen12:48 PM
Drama as a Gameplay Element10:06 AM
Wolfenstein MPTest Released for PC, OS X Pending10:02 AM
Paris Expo Cancelled9:47 AM
Myth III Progress, Preview9:45 AM
Creative Call for Feedback8:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 17, 2001 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Friday, September 14, 2001
Thursday, September 13, 2001
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Monday, September 10, 2001


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