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Friday, September 21, 2001

Master of Orion III Images, Status Update
9:25 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Master of Orion III web site has been updated recently with an update on their status as well as five new screen shots from the game. The update addresses concerns fans are expressing over a recent lack of updates to the web site. The team emphasizes they are very busy with the game and still shooting for a release in Q1 of 2002 (around March). Here's a clip from the full update:

In the recent last few weeks we've received quite a few e-mail messages asking for the status of the project and when we'd make our next web site update. Well, as you can imagine things are a bit hectic but we're still actively working on MOO3 and have even added a few resources recently. As for the release date we're still aiming for 1st quarter of 2002 (which would put MOO3 on the shelves at the end of March). If that changes at all we'll try to let everyone know.

We also have a new update for everyone! We apologize for the lack of updates recently, but the same people that are updating the site are also busy trying to get the game ready for release. For this update we've included some new concept artwork as well as some aliens in their native environments. Three new discussion board compilations will follow shortly. Lastly, and as a special treat for those who have been patient with us, we've included an example of what the political animations will look like. The file is about one third of the length as it will be in the game due to download speeds but you'll get the idea.

Definitely head over and check out the new screen shots now, if you're a fan of the MOO series. Also read through the rest of the update, which also sends out best wishes (and a nice piece of sketch art) to those affected by the recent terrorist attacks.

We'll keep you posted as Master of Orion III heads through development and is published early next year by MacSoft.

MOO3 September Update
MOO3 Diplomacy Screen Shots
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

WolfMPTest B6, Now B6a
12:44 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Just a quick note: the Wolfenstein Multiplayer Test has now been updated to version B6a. There is no note listing what has changed, although the binary continues to grow slightly in size with each release. This is the application only; a full installer has yet to be constructed. Visit the id FTP site to grab the update.

WolfMPTest vB6 (3.6 MB)

Warcraft III Chat Transcript Answers FAQ
11:13 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Warcraft III.net, the website devoted to all things Warcraft III, has recently posted a chat transcript that answers a truckload of questions concerning Blizzard's upcoming RTS game. Among the people who participated in the chat were Geoff Fraizer, Lisa Bucek, Beau Yarbrough, Bob Bridenbecker, Gil Shif from PR and the War 3 Dev Team, represented by: Rob Pardo and Chris Metzen.

Readers may remember earlier development news on WC3 concerning the downsizing of the number of heroes per race from 4 to 3 units. For those disappointed by this removal, fear not. Various spells and abilities from these 4th heroes were moved to other units/heroes, and in one case, the hero was simply demoted to unit status.

Many questions were also asked and answered concerning multiplayer. Currently, they are testing multiplayer with a whopping maximum of 12 players, though this may change in the final build. As far as improvements to Battle.net go, there will be anonymous matching for gates, improved ladders that do not allow "win trading," team ladders and clan support. Concerning the acquisition of heroes in multiplayer, every player will start out with enough mana stones to purchase one hero at the start of a game, but must harvest additional stones before the second one can be purchased. Another interesting multiplayer addition is that players can now ally themselves with computer-controlled players.

Other questions addressed focus on specific units, including the Kodo Beast, the Troll Hunter, the Priestess of the Moon, and the Dwarven Steam Tank, described as a heavily armored transport with the ability to demolish buildings with a wrecking ball. There are also questions about various maps, structures and unit abilities that are answered.

When asked about the targeted release date, Lisa Bucek was quick to note that it will ship within the first half of 2002. Though not noted in the interview, Blizzard has been forecasting a simultaneous Mac/PC release for this title as well.

In the meantime, be sure to check out this latest chat transcript for even more details on this highly-anticipated strategy title.

Blizzard Entertainment
Warcraft III.net - Chat Transcript
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

Mac Links LS 2002 to Include Course Designer
10:37 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Peter Tamte of Destineer and Bold has just announced that the Mac OS version of Links LS 2002 due to ship this fall will include the course designer -- a rare event among Mac game releases. Here are the details:

Destineer's Macintosh label, Bold, announces today that
it will include the Arnold Palmer Course Designer (APCD) when it ships the
Macintosh version of Microsoft's Links golf game this fall. This will be the
first Links product for the Macintosh to include a course designer.

The APCD provides users with the power and versatility to accurately create
courses in a powerful, real-time 3D system. Players can tweak every inch of
fairway with the APCD, and create tunnels and arches with full control over
each point on the course. Over 300 fan courses created with the APCD are
available free of charge online.

The Links series is the best-selling series of golf games ever created for
personal computers. In addition to the course designer, this new version of
Links for the Macintosh will include a major upgrade to the graphics and
physics engine, a host of new courses, new golf personalities and more.

Obviously this is excellent news for fans of real-world (or digital) golf. Mac users always appreciate and take advantage of the ability to contribute to a game's extended playability, and we're sure you'll cook up some amazing courses once this game has been released.

Past Articles on Destineer/Bold

MacGamez Publishes "Sizzling Preview"
10:23 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

MacGamez has decided to close out the Summer with their Sizzling Preview, a collection of eight capsule reviews of upcoming games for the Mac OS. Ranging from games just around the corner (Red Faction) to titles due in 2002 (Neverwinter Nights) these short summaries are intended to provide an overview of what is to come. Here's an excerpt about Shadowbane:

Imagine getting online and double-clicking your way to a gaming server. As you connect, you think over your plans to lay siege to the town of Sanctum, the only remaining city that stands between you and an unbroken empire, an empire that reaches from dark, lavish caverns to a great ocean, and is populated by some 1,500 live players. Once your conquest of the surrounding land is complete, your horizons broaden further: there are a couple of warring kingdoms on the adjacent world-server, and you could easily overcome them both if you can just manage to establish a steady flow of soldiers into the world.

The project we just described is WolfPack's Shadowbane, an ambitious Arcane-powered MMORPG that promises to be one of the biggest and most elaborate games of the year, in any genre.

Other titles previewed include Age of Empires II, Max Payne, Civilization III and Halo.

"Sizzling Eight" Preview at MacGamez

Wolfenstein Multiplayer Test B5 Appears
10:01 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Late yesterday evening the Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer Test version for Mac OS X was quietly update to version B5. There is no note listing what has changed in this version, but we're sure Graeme Devine is continuing to tune the performance of this release and fix crashes based on user feedback.

Several readers have noted that as with Quake III Arena, those with lots of RAM may be able to increase the stability of the game by increasing the "com_hunkmegs" variable. To do this, open the console and type:

/com_hunkmegs 128

128 is the amount of RAM reserved for the game to function; if you have even more RAM you can try increasing this amount, but be sure to leave room for your System heap and OpenGL (30-40 MB). In any case, grab this latest beta and post your feedback and tips in our forums.

Wolf MP Test at MGF

uDevGames Downloads Mirrored, Voting Continue
9:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

iDevGames's editor Carlos Camacho made a news update to their site about a problem affecting many entries in their uDevGame Mac game programming contest. For a while their servers were overloaded with requests to download the 24 games -- so overloaded that many who hoped to download these games got nothing but an error. Now Camacho notes the servers are up and running, ready for you to resume downloading the game and begin voting for the one you like best. Here's his update:

uDevGame 2001 has attracted the attention from game players and developers from around the world. I estimate that over 30,000 downloads of the games have taken place. (That is a conservative estimate.) Due to the high traffic, our server was unable to keep up and many of you experienced Server Errors. We have now added additional download mirrors for each game entry. I recommend you visit the Current entries page and find the download link that works best for your location. Once you have finished playing the games, please visit the link below to vote for your four favorite games. Thank you for making uDevGame 2001 : The Macintosh Game Programming Contest such a huge success!
So be sure to do your part and get out the vote for your favorite among the many excellent contest entries.

uDevGames Voting Page
uDevGames Contest Entry Page

SimsVille Axed
9:43 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Computer Games Online has posted a report stating that SimsVille, another of Maxis' extensive line of "sim" games, has been cancelled. While this game did not have a promised Mac version, the odds of "Sim" games coming to the Mac OS have been substantially improved as of late as Aspyr Media publishes Maxis titles one after the other. Thus some of us might be disappointed that this title, which proposed to combine the people-watching of The Sims with the city management of Sim City 3000, has fallen to the executioner's blade.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

Maxis announced today that Simsville has been canceled. The latest in their popular Sim line of games, it was scheduled for release in 2002. It wasn't up to the standards of Maxis, according to a spokesperson for Maxis, who also stated that despite this, the team did a great job and is being reassigned to other products like The Sims Online and other future projects.
The SimsVille web site has also been closed. At least we can look forward to The Sims: Hot Date, due this Holiday season.

Asoyr Media
SimsVille Web Site
SimsVille Cancelled at CG Online

Nerve Q&A on Castle Wolfenstein
9:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot has interviewed Nerve Software's president Brandon James about their recently-released multiplayer test for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Players should keep in mind that the test is exactly that -- a way for the company to see how the multiplayer version of this game performs on a variety of hardware and stress conditions. It also will provide valuable feedback which James' team can then use in regards to gameplay balance. Since the final version isn't set to ship until Christmas, they do have some time yet for tweaking. Here's what James said about the fan feedback so far:

GS: How has the general reception been by people who've downloaded the compatibility test?

BJ: Fantastic. Unbelievable, actually. It's really great to see how fast people started working as teams online...all the strategy guides that have been put up, and so on. I don't think we could have asked for a better response over the last few days. Checking out the player-to-server ratio is astounding--one can only imagine what the community would be like if we had more servers or if the public had more content to play with. I know that Gray Matter has also been incredibly happy with the response. Gray Matter provided most of the assets that we've used to build the multiplayer portion of the game, so it has been very rewarding for them to see people reacting so positively to the material that they have been working so hard on.

Head over now to check out the rest of the interview if you're interested. While there's no official word on whether the game will have a Mac application in the box, it seems likely at least a downloadable Mac OS X "binary" will be available to work with the PC boxed version, as is currently the case with Quake III Arena and Team Arena.

Download Latest MPTest for OS X
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Web Site
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Q&A with Brandon James
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Mac Games News for Thursday, September 20, 2001

Freeverse Hosts 'Card Party' on Sunday3:37 PM
IMG Previews Red Faction3:08 PM
Yet Another Halo Trailer11:24 AM
Captain Bumper Carbonized10:44 AM
Massive 'Seventh God' Add-On Released for Myth II10:34 AM
Myth III Box Art, System Reqs10:33 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, September 20, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, September 19, 2001
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Monday, September 17, 2001
Friday, September 14, 2001
Thursday, September 13, 2001

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