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Wednesday, September 26, 2001

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World War II Online Letter to Customers
9:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An update to the official World War II Online news page contains a letter from president of the Playnet service, Jim Mesteller. He notes that they appreciate all of the customers who have paid for and played the game up to this point. This "launch period" has been rocky for players, who have had trouble with logins, a lack of server stability and application bugs. Now that the teams feels they have the game to a stable point, they want to initiate their original vision of a 'Blitzkrieg' all-out, organized war between two armies.

He also notes the Mac version is due out before the end of the year, rather than the former projected end-of-August date. Here's a clip:

We really appreciate all the gamers who have already purchased and continue to buy WWIIOL. Thank you very much. You now number in the tens of thousands. We are hopeful that thousands more will begin joining your ranks by year’s end as our publishing and distribution partners release the Macintosh version and then perhaps several foreign language-localized versions of ‘Blitzkrieg’ to international markets. But right now, YOU are our number one priority...

It is important to remember that with ‘Blitzkrieg’ we are just getting started. What we have now implemented in both gameplay features and support services is just the beginning of the WWIIOL campaign. We’ve got much more planned. Currently we are dedicated to quality and performance first. Of course we will bring you more ‘stuff’ as we can. We’re trying to get out another upgrade or two for WWIIOL before Playnet.com actually starts ‘pay-to-play’ service. Another significant upgrade should follow soon after ‘pay-to-play.’ I believe that we have made significant progress in improving all aspects of WWIIOL gameplay and support services, and we will continue to make marked improvements as part of our regular development process.

In the past, they have commented to IMG that the Mac version should be available with the start of the 'Blitzkrieg' phase, so we'll keep you posted on any changes in its status.

Open Letter to all WWII Online Community Members
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

Apple Expo Goes Online
12:04 PM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Perhaps as a consolation for the cancellation of the Apple Expo 2001 in Paris, the Expo team have created an online version, opened today to coincide with what would have been the first day of the show. Included is all the exhibitor info, PDF summaries of the Creative and Mac OS X conferences and areas dedicated to Education, Music, Gaming and so on.

In light of the recent cancellation of Apple Expo, we’ve decided to create an on-line Apple Expo that will be up and running on Wednesday, September 26. Here, you will find information about Apple products and solutions, as well as links to exhibitors’ web sites. News of promotional offers and new product launches will be available to you.
There's no sign of any news or offers yet, hopefully this will change as this expo alternative gets going. Now where's the nearest virtual Parisian café?

Apple Expo Online

Stronghold Screen Shots, Details
11:57 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpot has published a small gallery of new screen shots from the castle builder/strategy title Stronghold which is nearing completion for the PC. While as with all GameSpot shots these are small, blurry and stamped with a big 'G,' they are still a sight to behold and only fuel our excitement for the promised Mac OS version of this game, which currently has no schedule for release.

A short synopsis of the game's plot and features accompanies the screen shots; while no new information is revealed, the summary provides a quick overview of what to expect:

Stronghold lets players build villages, towns, and castles, and they must manage their settlements and defend against attacks. The game features four separate game modes: a non-combat economic campaign mode, a historical castle siege mode, a challenge mode, and a free-build mode that lets players design their ideal castle. Castles can be built with a variety of features, including walls, moats, drawbridges, portcullises, towers, and killing pits. Castle defenders can also repel attackers with boiling oil and fire ditches.

The attackers have a number of units and equipment options as well. The game includes units such as engineers and tunnelers, as well as siege engines like catapults, siege towers, battering rams, mangonels, ballistae, and trebuchets. In addition to more than 20 story-based missions, the game includes multiplayer support for up to eight players.

The PC version of this game is due out next month, with a demo version already available. MacSoft will publish the Mac version, though who is doing the port and when it will arrive have yet to be determined.

Firefly Studios
Stronghold Screen Shots at GameSpot

New Heroes of Might and Magic IV Shots
10:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gaming site To The Game recently received five exclusive screen shots of 3DO's upcoming turn-based strategy title Heroes of Might and Magic IV and has posted them on their web site for the general populace. While the screen shots don't show anything new in terms of game details, they do show off some stunning graphics, with lush landscapes, detailed buildings and zebra-riding sorcerers.

Also featured is an image of what appears to be a typical battle screen. Fans of the HOMM series will note that battles now take place in an isometric view, though damage points and status displays for embattled characters still seem to adhere to the same principles.

Though HOMM4 for the Mac OS has not yet been officially announced, IMG readers should remember a past article that discovered some information hinting at a Mac release. Couple this with the fact that all previous HOMM titles have come to the Mac, this seems a likely candidate for a future port, but we caution that nothing official has been released and there is no potential release date for a Mac version.

To The Game - HOMM4 Screenshots
Heroes of Might and Magic IV "Probable"

IMG Reviews Logitech Wheel Mouse Special Edition
10:38 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The interface between your hand and the computer is a critical juncture, especially when it comes to gaming. Precision mouse tracking can easily mean the difference between a hairs-breadth escape or a rocket between the eyes. Logitech has recently enhanced their line of input devices with the release of the Wheel Mouse Optical Special Edition, and we've posted a review from a gamer's perspective. Here's an excerpt:

Optical tracking is the latest innovation to sweep the world of mechanical rodents. Instead of using the traditional ball and roller method to track mouse movements, optical mice use a specialized digital camera to take many pictures of the surface it is moving across. The current and previous pictures are compared and the position of the mouse is determined by the software. This translates to increased accuracy and precision for the user. Also, the mechanical parts have been eliminated, making the mouse lighter and less prone to dirt build-up and failure.
Read on for more details on this excellent gaming peripheral.

Review: Logitech Wheel Mouse Optical Special Edition

Myth II: Worlds Coming Soon
9:37 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

As if the impending launch of Myth III: The Wolf Age wasn't enough to get RTS fans excited, Take Two Interactive isn't finished with their licence to the series either. Today they announced Myth II: Worlds, a combo package which includes all Myth II and all the major expansions/plugins.

Myth II: Worlds appears to include many third-party plug-ins, including Jinn and the series of World War II-inspired maps and mods. While those who already own the title may not find anything new, if you're curious about the title which inspired Myth III this may be a worthwhile purchase. Here is a list of features:

Myth II: Worlds is a squad-based tactical strategy game delivering an impressive assortment of 3D battlefields created by experts and fans alike in the Myth community! Inside you will find three CD’s bursting with total conversions, characters, solo levels, and multiplayer levels, as well as the award winning Myth II: Soulblighter!


* Loads of unique characters and units such as Elves, Dwarves, Dragons, Droids, Samurai, WWII Infantry and Tanks!

* Over 50 single player levels and dozens of multiplayer maps across several dramatic settings including Mythical, Historical, and Sci-Fi!

* Complete map editor with third party tools to make level creation even easier!

* Includes the official Myth II Strategy Guide in electronic format on the CD!

* Play cooperatively or go head to head with up to 16 players via a LAN or over the Internet.

* Free bungie.net account!

This title is listed as "coming soon," and no release date is offered as of yet. Although this is not official, we suspect this will be a "value-priced" release, so it may become a way for fans of the original title to get their hands on two full CDs of mods and maps without hours and hours of downloading.

Myth II: Worlds at Take Two Interactive

Myth III On-Site Testers Needed
9:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MumboJumbo's Mike Donges wrote in recently with a request for on-site testers, which are needed help out with the final phases of development of the RTS title Myth III: The Wolf Age. If you're lucky enough to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth or Irvine areas (and you have time during the day), you could get a chance to play this anticipated sequel before the rest of the world. Here's the full scoop from Donges:

MumboJumbo is looking for gamers in the Dallas, Texas area and the Irvine,
California area who would be interested in on-site testing for Myth III.
You should have previous experience with the Myth Series of games, and must
live within a reasonable distance of Dallas/Ft. Worth or Irvine, California.
You must be available for at least four hours of testing at a time during
our normal daytime office hours of 10 AM - 8 PM starting Thursday, September
28. Those interested in testing can sign up at testing.mumbojumbo.com. If
you have any additional questions, contact [Duncan Stanley] dstanley@mumbojumbo.com
So if you fit the bill, head over to testing.mumbojumbo.com now and fill out the application form. This is great news even for us not near those areas, as it means the final testing is underway and the game should be available next month, right on schedule.

MumboJumbo Web Site
MumboJumbo Myth III Testing Application

Apple Posts Giants-Sized Preview
9:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a preview of the first major game release that will be OS X-only, the unique RTS/action title Giants: Citizen Kabuto. Of course Apple is quite proud of this showcase title for OS X gaming technologies, and they have also posted a preview trailer in QuickTime for you to download in addition to the preview. The article includes quotes from publisher MacPlay, porting house OmniGroup, and even the original developers PlanetMoon. Here's a clip that echoes our previous discussions with OmniGroup about this title:

According to Omni Group technical lead Tim Wood, who worked with fellow employee Corwin Light-Williams on the conversion to Mac OS X, MacPlay’s call was “a great decision. You’ll want a powerful Mac to play this game, and anyone who has really cool new hardware, like one of the dual 800 MHz Power Mac G4s, is very likely to be an adopter of OS X.”

Adds Omni Group president Wil Shipley: “[Giants] is the first game port ever to take a single-threaded game and rewrite it to be multi-threaded, so that it can take advantage of symmetric multi-processing under Mac OS X.”

The preview also offers a quick overview of Giants and the three major races in the game. Also be sure to check out the preview trailer, as it contains in-game footage to give you an idea of what actual gameplay is like.

Apple Preview of Giants
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Interview with Westlake, Aspyr on Spider-Man2:19 PM
Hope for OS X Sound Blaster Drivers?12:01 PM
On Baldur's Gate II AI11:56 AM
Max Payne Interview11:32 AM
Stronghold Preview, PC Demo10:10 AM
Duke Nukem Forever Interview10:07 AM
uDevGame Voting Extends Through Tomorrow9:49 AM
Myth III Decal Details9:40 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 25, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Monday, September 24, 2001
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Tuesday, September 18, 2001

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