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Monday, October 1, 2001

Alien Nations Update
11:48 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

One combined developer and publisher which often gets less attention that its American counterparts is German company Titan Computer, probably best known to Mac gamers for their port of Shogo: MAD. Titan has just returned from Arktis Mac-Day, a small show run by German retailer Arktis Software, where they were showing off a movie of an upcoming title; Rage Hard. Previously know as Head Hunter, expect the preview movie of Rage Hard to go public later this month.

A project which a little more well-known is Alien Nations, an interesting god game/RTS cross-over based around three unique races, the Pimmons, the Amazons and the Sajiki. The Pimmons are cute little fantasy creatures with magic powers, the Amazons are pretty humanoids and the Sajikis are ravenous insects. Using the usual skills of building your empire while developing areas of trade, diplomacy and research, you're race interacts with the others while you try to keep your citizens happy. This isn't a new format but it is approached in an imaginative and humorous manner and presented in simulated 3D. For more informative be sure to check out the official web site. Alien Nations is being finalized right now and should be available later this month.

Mac Alien Nations Website
Alien Nations

NVIDIA Announces GeForce3 Titanium
4:22 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

NVIDIA announced today that they will be adding two video cards to accompany the lone GeForce3 product, the GeForce3 Ti 500 and Ti 200. While the announcement is a bit anticlimactic (PC gaming sites have been posting leaked shipping manifests from retailers for weeks), the Titanium line does raise the bar in terms of price and performance. The Ti 500 becomes the flagship GeForce3, clocking in at 240 MHz for the core and 500 MHz DDR for the memory. The Ti 200 has a slightly slower core (175 MHz) and memory (200 MHz) than the original GeForce3, but it comes in at a much lower price point. Priced at $350 and $200 respectively, the Titanium series seems to be aiming directly for the ATI Radeon 8500 and 7500, which should launch for the PC in the next few days.

Along with a catchy new name, two new features (currently PC only) have also been enabled in the Ti 200 and 500, shadow buffer technology and 3D textures. For more information on these new technologies, check out FiringSquad's hands-on preview.

There is no word on a Mac version of these cards, and it is likely that we won't hear anything until Apple makes a public announcement. Hopefully Apple will choose add them as BTO option, so gamers will have a wider (and less expensive) range of video cards to select from.

GeForce3 TI 500 Preview at FiringSquad
PR: NVIDIA Extends Technology Lead with the Introduction of the GeForce Titanium Series

ATI Retail ROM Updater Released
3:28 PM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

ATI have just posted a ROM update for their Retail PCI Rage 128 and Radeon based graphics cards. Here's the info:

This installer is intended for use on PowerMacintosh Computers, running Mac OS 9 or higher, with one or more of the following ATI Retail graphics cards:


* NEXUS 128





* Fixed a problem causing MAC OS X to report a Kernal Panic

* Fixed a problem with supporting multiple ATI cards under OS X

* Fixed a problem with Display Jitter

* Added support for 16 bit Gamma

For full details check out the info at the link below, but remember this update is for Retail PCI cards only, not AGP or BTO models. Also, the updater cannot be run in OS X, though it does resolve certain OS X issues.

Although your mileage may vary, our initial experience with this ROM update is extremely impressive -- not only do OpenGL titles in 16-bit look much better than before, but the minor "jitters" some Radeon AGP and PCI users reported seem to have been solved completely.

ROM Update

IMG Debuts New Comic 'Mac Hall'
1:31 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The product of a conspiracy between illustrator Ian McConville and Matt Boyd, Mac Hall is a gaming-themed comic steeped in Mac attitude, and it will be brought to you on the pages of Inside Mac Games. Crisply-illustrated by McConville and laced with acid sarcasm by Boyd, this promising project may just give Mac users a web comic to call their own.

If Boyd's name seems familiar, he is currently running the network of fan sites. Combined with veteran web comic illustrator McConville they are a dynamic duo indeed -- but don't take our word for it, jump to the Mac Hall feature and check it out for yourself. Be sure and leave your comments about the new feature in our Fourms.

Mac Hall Comic One: "And So It Begins..."

Click to enlarge
Quake III OS X 1.30b1 Available
1:05 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Accelerate Your Mac received word today that id Software has posted the OS X version of the Quake III 1.30b1. The Classic version was released last week.

The improvements should mirror the ones that came with the Classic update:

  • Fixed sound bug (with Graeme hints) -- this crashed some mods
  • Made sure Sys_Printf doesn't get into an endless loop if logfile is on
  • Fixed qconsole.log issues, +set logfile 1 +set fs_debug 1 was crashing (any OS)
  • Fixed logfile 1 / ttycon 1 issue, didn't exit properly (same endless looping) Also fixes an issue reported by q3f team
  • Changed rcon commands from Com_DPrintf to Com_Printf so that they show up in the console (with IP information)
  • Fixed autodownload toggle in q3 ui

As is almost always the case when a new update comes out, id's ftp server is, at the time of this article's posting, almost impossible to get into. The update itself weighs in at around 27 MB.

Quake 3 Arena Version 1.30 Released
Q3A X 1.130 Mirrors at Blue's News
Accelerate Your Mac
id Software - Quake III Mac Updates
id Software
Quake III Arena

Custer Goes Tropic(o)
12:22 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Just in time for a little surprise we have scheduled for you today, our pixel-slinger Brad Custer has cooked up a spicy desktop to give your system that south-of-the-border feel. Grab a cool drink and shine up your favorite peasant-kicking boots, it is time for Tropico to rule your desktop. Here's the blurb:

Tropico puts you in charge of a small Caribbean island nation. You can decide whether to be a benevolent leader, a Communist toadie, a Capitalist lapdog, or a cruel dictator. Then you build infrastructure, factories, and tourist destinations. Mollify your people with religion or entertainment, funnel fat stacks of cash to your Swiss bank account, and decide whether to imprison or eliminate your enemies. In Tropico, You Rule!

This Macsoft port of the Tropico has been available since MWNY. And after several email requests for a desktop based on this great title, I'm glad to report I finally pulled the art together to create this one. Now, there wasn't a large amount of art available on this title, but I was able to pull a few images from the web and incorporate my own art to make this week's selection. The obvious choice for this week's selection was "You rule." I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did making it.

Visit Custer's Desktops to grab this latest creation.

Custer's Desktops

Click to enlarge
Civilization III Limited Edition Selling Out
10:44 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Infogrames has posted a press release detailing the high volume of pre-orders that have started pouring in for their upcoming turn-based empire-building strategy game Civilization III. While the title itself is already in demand due to the success of the previous games, the large number of pre-orders has been helped in no small part by the offering of a special limited edition version, which will be a one-time run of 75,000 units.

The limited edition will come packaged in a tin box that contains several items, including a "making of" video, a second video that shows Civ III designer Sid Meier's induction into the IDSA Hall of Fame, designer notes from both Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs, a fold-out tech tree chart, and of course the game and manual themselves. It retails for $59.99.

This limited edition is currently PC only, as the Mac version, being handled by Westlake Interactive, is still listed as being in early development. There's no word on a Mac version of the limited edition, though the chances probably aren't that great. However, IMG will be sure to keep readers informed as to Civ III's Mac progress, including if we hear any details about the limited edition version for Mac users. In any case the high level of demand for the PC version will hopefully inspire MacSoft and Westlake to get the Mac version out the door ASAP.

Infogrames - Civ III Limited Edition Press Release
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Previewed
10:41 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

After the success of the recent release of an OS X version of the Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer test, no doubt many Mac gamers are hungry for more information on this upcoming title. Intelgamer has recently posted a preview of RtCW that covers the single-player version as well as the multiplayer, filling in some of the gaps that are definitely showing in the MP test version.

The backstory for the single-player version is as follows:

You’ll assume the role of Captain William J. "B.J." Blazkowicz, an Allied soldier who has a real itchin’ to kill some Nazi scum. After being captured by the Nazi forces and striped of your guns, you’ll begin the game just like in the original Wolfenstein 3D, alone in a cell forced to disable the nearby watch guard so you can get at least get hold of a sidearm. After exploring the castle, you discover that your nemesis Himmler is bent on taking over the world and that he created legion after legion of genetically engineered super soldiers and supernatural monsters. It’s now up to you to defeat this supernatural army and put an end to Himmler’s sinister plan and save the free world from diabolical domination once again.
As players of the MP test already know, RtCW is based upon id Software's Quake III engine. However, some modifications have been made that make the game a little more interesting. The player's HUD has two new bars: the power bar and the sprint bar, both of which are self-regenerating. The power bar will affect various multiplayer abilities and the effectiveness of certain weapons, while the sprint bar will allow players to move even faster than the typical run. There's also an icon system that will display an action icon in the middle of the screen whenever the player is near something that can be interacted with, such as a ladder or a mounted gun.

The AI has also been carefully worked on. Soldiers will be strategic in their battles, calling for assistance, calling in air strikes, and positioning themselves for maximum effectiveness. For example, blow a hole in a wall (which can only happen in certain set areas) and the enemies will use it as a path. Soldiers will take up either near or faraway positions depending on what weaponry they're carrying.

The rest of the preview contains information on the multiplayer aspect, all of which should be very familiar to players of the MP test by now. The article also notes that RtCW developers Gray Matter hope to have the game out by the fourth quarter of 2001. There's no word yet on when exactly the Mac version will follow, but if it's anything like the mp test, it may be just a simple patch that Mac gamers can download and paste onto the full PC version, similar to the way Quake III can be patched. IMG will be sure to keep readers updated as we learn new information on the topic.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Official Site
Intelgamer - Return to Castle Wolfenstein Preview
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Click to enlarge
Tomb Raider: Chronicles 1.0.1 Update
10:35 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has recently announced an update to their compliation title Tomb Raider Chronicles courtesy of Aspyr Media. The patch, which brings TRC up to version 1.0.1, fixes two bugs: one that hangs the game up when pulling levers out of order in an early level, and one that causes crashes when fighting the Guardian under OS X.

The update is available at Mac Game Files and weighs in at a compact 1.4 MB. Make sure to grab it if you are a TRC fan (not to be confused with being a TRL fan.)

MGF - Tomb Raider: Chronicles 1.0.1 Patch
Westlake Interactive: News
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Core Design
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Buy Tomb Raider: Chronicles

Meggs Talks Macs for Myth III
10:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Andrew Meggs, programmer for MumboJumbo's upcoming prequel Myth III: The Wolf Age, has updated his .plan recently with his feelings on the just-released update to OS X 10.1. Like many other early-adopters who found the new operating system unsuitable for everyday use (he notes his Mac was previously just used as a CD player), it now sounds like 10.1 might have arrived just in time. Here's a clip:

I installed MacOS 10.1 today. It is, in fact, everything promised. I'd been neglecting our MacOS builds in the hope that Apple would put out a version of X that wasn't painful to use by the time we had to put together a Mac version of Myth 3. With 10.1 and a copy of CodeWarrior 7, it looks like they just barely made it.
So it sounds like Meggs will make good on the promise to get a Mac OS (and OS X) version ready in time for a Myth III release later this month. The game should be published in a near-simultaneous fashion by MacSoft sometime in October.

Myth III Web Site
Andrew Meggs .plan

Click to enlarge
Cro-Mag Rally Updated to 2.01c
10:14 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Pangea Software has updated their popular big-head racer Cro-Mag Rally to version 2.01c, fixing a number of issues with OS X. After talking with programmer Brian Greenstone, he notes the game should be "rock solid on 10.1," as it fixes a "zillion problems." While networking and input (HID) are still broken, this is due to limitations with OS X itself. Be sure to grab either the updated application, which is a quick 335k download, or a new version of the demo if you don't yet have the full version of Cro-Mag Rally.

Pangea doesn't have too much time to update CMR, since they are currently hard at work on their next title Otto Matic. That game will be published by Aspyr Media when it is released lnear the end of this year. Stay tuned to IMG for more on this game as it heads towards completion.

Otto Matic Web Site at Aspyr
Download Cro-Mag Rally 2.01c Update (337k)
Download Cro-Mag Rally 2.01c Demo (40MB)
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally

Mac Games News for Friday, September 28, 2001

Mac AvP Due in 2 Weeks, Offer Going5:06 PM
Unreal Tournament Carbon Beta Released4:41 PM
Quake III: Gold Edition Specs2:47 PM
Quake 3 Arena Version 1.30 Released2:37 PM
IMG Reviews Mac Fun Pack 211:26 AM
Reports on 10.1 Game Performance10:30 AM
Wolfenstein MP Tweak Guide10:25 AM
ATI Releases Radeon 7500 Details10:22 AM
Myth III Interview, Preview10:11 AM
Bold Site Opens, New Links Details9:37 AM
The Sims: Hot Date Previewed9:34 AM
Spiderweb Spins Out Avernum 3 Details8:08 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 28, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, September 27, 2001
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
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Friday, September 21, 2001

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