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Wednesday, October 3, 2001

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Tropico Demo Released
9:23 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A surprising new listing on Macgamefiles this morning shows a demo for the dictatorship simulation, Tropico now available. MacSoft has made good on their word to bring the demo to OS 8 through X. This should give a whole new round of gamers a chance to try out Tropico, which has received high marks among simulation fans for both PC and Mac. Unfortunately, the demo weighs in at a massive 170MB, rendering it only available to those with a broadband connection. We're sure the demo will also be available on the next issue of the MacGames CD (shipping around October 15th), for those unable to take the time to grab the huge file.

For more info on Tropico, here's a clip from the IMG review of the game:

Tropico is an extremely entertaining, richly detailed, yet not overly complex “Ruler Sim”. As El Presidente, players must juggle many tasks, the most important being KEEP THE PEOPLE HAPPY! In order to keep Tropico’s citizens cheery and content, one must feed them well, pay them plenty and keep them amused with hours of tropical island fun. For example, if the people of Tropico spend their days working the fields & factories without any form of local entertainment, they become bored and restless. So, it becomes necessary to build a pub or cabaret. Not only do these buildings entertain the citizens, they provide money for your economy. Mardi Gras style celebrations also provide excellent merriment for your people, as well as potential tourism funds. As your treasury grows, more complex buildings, such as electric power plants and luxury housing become available.
Head over now to Macgamefiles if you're willing to try the download. Once more mirrors become available, look for that download time to speed up.

MacSoft Web Site
Download Tropico Demo (170.9MB)
IMG Review of Tropico
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

One on One with Mark Adams, Part 3
12:17 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Having ported classics such as Air Combat, Links Pro and Unreal Tournament, Mark Adams is probably the most well-known celebrity in the Mac games arena. One on One with Mark Adams, a monthly feature at Inside Mac Games, is essentially a conversation between two old friends talking about various Mac game related topics. The impromptu conversation deals with topics such as the strength of the overall Mac market, OS X, Apple, and more.

This third installment in the series covers some recent topics of interest to Mac gamers, including the impact of the recent 10.1 update, the OS X version of Unreal Tournament and even game consoles. Here's a sample:

Tuncer: Anyway, back to gaming and OS X. A lot of people were pleased to see an OS X version of Unreal Tournament. How has the response been?

Mark: Its been mostly what I expected. A lot of people are having problems with it, but it is working for some. I was a bit surprised (and pleased) that the email feedback at utosx@mac.com was generally very positive. Even people who couldn't even get it to launch said how glad they were I was working on it. I was afraid of getting a lot of "this sucks- it doesn't even work, why did it take so long!" kind of mails.

For more of this conversation, check out the rest of the feature.

One on One with Mark Adams, Part 3

Fly! II Available at IMG Store
11:25 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacSoft's just released Fly! II is now availble from the IMG web store for just $30. And if you're a MacGames CD subscriber, all you'll pay is $25 (be sure to mention you're an MGCD subscriber in the Comments field and we'll take $5 off the $30 price).

From realistic weather effects to one of the most immersive cockpits ever,
players will feel airborne in this amazing simulation. Fly! II includes new
aircraft models like the exclusive Pilatus PC-12 and the renowned Bell 407helicopter. In addition, the Mac version includes 72 extra maps, six
additional aircraft and terra scenery including New York not featured in the
PC version.

Beginners can learn to fly by Visual and Instrument Flight Rules using U.S. sectional charts and built-in aids. In addition, visibility ranges (60
miles) is three times greater than in Fly! 2K, offering the most realistic
representation of what real world pilots experience in high altitudes.

If you're interested in purchasing Fly! II, be sure to visit the IMG web store today to place your order.

Master of Orion 3 Image Gallery
11:21 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Voodoo Extreme has posted a gallery of twenty images from the upcoming "5X" game Master of Orion 3, an epic game of tactical warfare on the galactic scale in development by QuickSilver. This title will be published on the Mac OS by MacSoft, and is currently due to ship in early 2002.

As the third title in a much-loved series, MOO3 must live up to the expectations of ardent fans as well as make this complex tactical sim approachable for those new to the genre. As you can see from this gallery of images, much more emphasis has been placed upon the overall look of the title this time around, and the tactical data screens manage to pack large amounts of information into a single screen by using tabbed folders and panels.

For more information on this title in development, visit the Infogrames web site dedicated to the game.

MOO3 Web Site
Master of Orion 3 Image Gallery

Mac Red Faction Progress Update
10:48 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG just spoke with staff at GraphSim regarding the progress of the Mac OS/OS X port of Red Faction, a sci-fi shooter much praised on the Playstation 2 and PC for its depth of story and engine technology. We've been anticipating the release of this game for quite some time, and thankfully GraphSim has some very good news to share.

According to the team the Mac OS 8/9 version of the port is complete, and the game is currently being Carbonized in-house at GraphSim. While the Mac version is completely network-compatible with the PC version and the game has a built-in server browser, GameRanger support is also being added as a bonus. If all goes according to plan, the game should go Gold by the end of October and ship soon afterwards.

For more information on this title, check out our in-depth preview and teaser movie; for a history of the development of this title for our platform, follow the link to a list of past stories on the subject.

Past News on Red Faction
Preview: Red Faction

Sims: Hot Date Preview
10:31 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

PC IGN recently spent some time with Assistant Producer Sean Baity and Game Designer Mike McCormick, two of the minds currently working on the expansion pack The Sims: Hot Date. Touted as adding more to The Sims than any other expansion pack before it, this one is sure to be a "must-have" for fans of The Sims.

One of the more interesting features is the addition of both a lifetime and a daily relationship rating scale. The daily scale will slowly affect the lifetime scale as gameplay occurs. Various romantic interactions will also improve the lifetime bar more or less quickly, depending on how "steamy" those interactions are.

Another interesting addition is the new sub-tiers added to the pop-up menu. The talk option now has various subjects added to it, including gossip or bragging. Insults have been added as well, and in addition to the poke, players can now have their Sims shake their fists as well. Various kisses will also be available depending on relationship statuses.

Perhaps more disturbing are the things that could occur based on the now multi-tiered hug action:

Instead of the basic hug, you can now choose from up to four different kinds of hugs depending on your mood. The basic hug is still here of course, but you can increase the passion of the hug by picking the intimate or romantic hug option. Then there's the option to leap into someone's arms. Sean showed us a demo of how this works by getting one character to leap into the arms of another: "If her hygiene is high enough, he'll accept it and both their moods goes up. However let's say her bladder is really low. He's got a new tickle he can do on her [the extreme tickle]. If the bladder's low enough on the other person, they'll wet their pants." Once she jumped back into his arms, he got the scent of it and threw her on the ground. Awesome.
Other additions include eight new interests that can be cultivated through actions such as reading magazines, building downtown dating spots, and playing with over 120 new objects, including the ubiquitous Love Tub(tm). For more information on these additions, be sure to check out the full preview at IGN PC.

We have yet to hear an announcement of a Mac version of this game, but considering Aspyr Media's strong history of bringing these titles to the Mac OS, it seems a likely outcome

Aspyr Media
The Sims: Hot Date Preview at PCIGN

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Quake III: Gold Listed at Apple
9:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Apple has added short Quake III: Gold page to their ever-growing list of demos featured in their Games section. The page has a short blurb on this upcoming combo pack as well as links to the various Quake III updates and the free Multiplayer demo.

Here's a clip from the Quake III: Gold blurb:

Quake III: Gold is a combo pack of the original Quake III: Arena and the Team Arena expansion. You start out with two weapons (a machine gun and a gauntlet) and basic armor, and begin hunting for victims through a landscape of rooms, caverns and labyrinths, called maps. Along the way, you’ll spy more powerful weapons — and hope that you can snatch them up before your opponents do.
Though this new is nothing new to seasoned Mac gamers, it's always nice to see Apple show support for the gaming crowd. Quite a step for a company that used to tout that Macs were "not gaming machines."

Apple - Quake III: Gold
Apple - Games
id Software
Quake III Arena

Black Isle Studios Interview
9:14 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Dragon's Breath Forge has posted a short interview with Jason Manley, an artist at Black Isle Studios. Black Isle, for those unfamiliar, was the development team behind the D&D-based RPG Icewind Dale. Though short, the interview does bringing up some interesting tidbits, including the future plans of Black Isle.

When asked if there is going to be an Icewind Dale 2, Manley resonded that he would like to answer the question, but was not at liberty to discuss any projects under development. However, he did note that Black Isle is still "trying to make fun quality RPGs that look and sound great."

He also talks about Black Isle's future plans in general:

Currently we have two games in development. I am helping with all sorts of different things on one of the two...everything from the box art and the logo illustration to character and landscape art. For the project I am on, things are coming along very well. I am seeing new art daily and everything is looking as good as it possibly can.

I'd bet that you will be hearing some things about the project I am working with very soon. I have seen the website concepts and designs as well as the ad and box stuff. All are near completion. Everyone is doing a great job. What that date is...I really am not sure. Sooner rather than later I imagine.

The rest of the Q&A discusses Manley's thoughts about Icewind Dale as well as the upcoming Neverwinter Nights. For those that would like more details, the full Q&A can be perused at The Dragon's Breath Forge.

Black Isle Studios
The Dragon's Breath Forge - Black Isle Studios Q&A

Geneforge Beta Testers Needed
8:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The old-school RPG making experts at Spiderweb Software have recently put out a call for beta testers. The title they plan on testing is their upcoming creature-making RPG Geneforge, which will allow players to make and use various creatures during the course of gameplay.

Here's what the beta testing involves:

  • Having a good cross section of people and computers. We need about 15 testers per platform. Diversity is very important; our games are not meant for just young men running the latest system operating system on the best machine. All we ask is that you have some familiarity with your computer and have played games on it before.
  • Signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This form legally binds you not to be evil. An example of being evil would be distributing beta versions to your friends.We will email you the form if and when you get accepted as a tester. You will have to print out the form, sign it and return it to us.
  • Spending several hours every week testing the game.
  • Reinstalling new versions of the game frequently.
  • Helping track down bugs and incompatibilities. This usually involves detailed descriptions of bugs and providing save files and/or screen shots when necessary.
  • Commenting on the User Interface and the features of the game.
  • Keeping up with the email regarding the testing.

More general requirements are that the tester has a reliable, speedy internet account capable of E-mail and large downloads, be able to communicate in English, and to be able to spend copious amounts of time on both testing and submitting reports.

Just as a friendly reminder, in case the above requirements don't scare anyone - beta testing is hard work. Beta testers spend hours a day playing games that more often than not crash repeatedly, display excess bugs that render them unplayable, crash repeatedly, mess up their systems, crash repeatedly, etc. However, the work itself can be rewarding. Besides the usual benefits of getting to play the game first, racking up the experience for doing so, and getting recognition in the game's credits, Spiderweb is also offering a free copy of the final full version of Geneforge to anyone who becomes a beta tester.

For all those that are interested, Spiderweb has an online application form ready to go. Good luck to all applicants!

Spiderweb Software - Geneforge
Spiderweb Software - Beta Testers Wanted
Spiderweb Software

More on SMAC for OS X
8:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IMG readers may recall an article yesterday that discussed the possibility of a Carbonized version of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, with the added possibility of network compatibility between Mac and Linux versions. Westlake programmer Brad Oliver has recently posted some new info to Usenet regarding this possibility:

No timeframe. Just to bring you back down to earth, I've had it
carbonized since OSX DR4 - that's before SMAC shipped. It's just never
worked quite right - none of the timers fire accurately and that affects
a bit too much of the game. The trick is finding the time to finish it
off. With Civ3 on the fast track now that Age2 and Elite Force are
winding down, I have no idea when/if I'll get back to it.

In other words, I can't promise I'll ever do it, so don't get your hopes
up. I'd love to do it though.

> Also, could much of the work that went into carbonizing SMAC be used for a
> carbon version of SMAC-X?

All of it. The core Mac code is shared between the two, so it's a

As most readers are well aware, Brad Oliver is a busy guy. Besides the above projects, he's also been working hard (in his spare time) on the Carbonization of Unreal Tournament, something Mac gamers have been anticipating for a while now. As he states, he can't promise that he'll ever be able to fix the Carbonized version of SMAC, but it it something that he would love to do.

IMG - SMAC for OS X A Possibility?
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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New Halo Screenshot
8:29 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Bungie.org recently received a new screenshot from Bungie that features what looks like one of the characters from the alien side, dubbed the yellow commander, complete with excellent detailing and what looks like some sort of energy blade.

What makes this screenshot in particular is that Bungie sent this screenshot at what Bungie.org calls an "absurdly high-resolution screenshot," 2664x2562 to be exact, as well as noting that this is obviously shrunk from it's original size. This is attributed to Halo's ability to take extremely high-resolution screenshots.

For those that don't feel like scrolling like madmen in order to see the whole image, they also have more manageable versions of the same shot, in both 1280x1024 and 1024x768, Be sure to head over to Bungie.org and check out both new and older screenshots of this upcoming title.

Bungie.org - Halo News
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 2, 2001

NWN Official FAQ Updated1:09 PM
Evihcra Gives Away Green Berets12:52 PM
UT OS X Troubleshooting Tips12:35 PM
PakRat Updated12:29 PM
IMG Interviews Otto Matic Author11:16 AM
Max Payne Q&A10:59 AM
History of Quake Movie Available10:56 AM
ATI Announces Radeon 7000, 720010:38 AM
ATI ROM Update Reports10:30 AM
SMAC for OS X A Possibility?9:43 AM
EV: Nova Beta 3 Released to Testers9:37 AM
Graeme Explains OS X 1.309:34 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 2, 2001 on one page

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Monday, October 1, 2001
Friday, September 28, 2001
Thursday, September 27, 2001
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
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