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Monday, October 29, 2001


Myth III Mac In "2-3 weeks"
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

With the PC version of Myth III: The Wolf Age in the bag, MumboJumbo's efforts have turned to finishing the Mac version. In a forum post on ForumPlanet, Executive Producer Mike Donges gave readers a status update on both versions of the game. According to Donges, the PC version of the highly anticipated prequel will be in stores on Tuesday. As for the Mac version, the game is currently undergoing heavy testing at MacSoft's offices. Here's Donges forum post:

Hello. According to Take 2, the game should actually be in stores on the Tuesday the 30th (in the US). It may be in some stores on the 29th, so...call the store that you usually go to on the 29th. They may have it. If they don't, call other stores. Don't let them try to tell you that they have "Myst III." That's not the one you want.


The European version has gone off for duplication, but I have absolutely no idea what the ship and store dates are for those versions. Thus far, we have integrated localization for French, German, Italian and Spanish.


The Mac version should be out within 2 to 3 weeks of the PC version. I know that won't be a happy-making thing for you Mac users out there, but that is pretty much out of our hands. The folks at MacSoft are pounding away trying to break the game as I write, so they are on the ball.

If all goes well, Myth III should be in Mac users' hands by the end of November, if not sooner.


The IMG web store is currently taking pre-orders for Myth III: The Wolf Age for $35. Keep in mind that this (and many other special offers) are available for MacGames CD subscribers only.

Myth III Preview
MacSoft
MacSoft



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IMG Posts Baldur's Gate II Review
10:58 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Over the past two weeks, IMG's Michael Phillips has been playing MacPlay's recently released epic strategy game, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn day and night in preparation of writing an extensive review of the game. Spanning a whopping 4 CD's, Baldur's Gate II has "changed me profoundly", according to Phillips. Here's a clip from the review:

Baldur’s Gate II is far less linear than the original, making its replay value extremely high. Yes, major points in the game, such as chapter endings may be the same every time, but there are several different ways to reach said points. For example, one can either seek help from the Shadow Thieves or align with a mysterious rival guild in order to find Irenicus & Imoen. Either way, Irenicus & Imoen will be found in order to advance the game’s plot, yet the manner in which they are found can vary dramatically. This makes multiplayer Baldur’s Gate II via GameRanger far more relevant than its predecessor, playing the game online with friends doesn’t mean that you can’t experience something totally separate from finishing a singleplayer campaign.
Check out Phillips' full review by following the link below. Phillips has also posted a Baldur's Gate II Top Ten entitled "Top Ten Signs that Baldur’s Gate II is Making You Loopy", a light hearted top ten list.


And don't forget, if you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can order Baldur's Gate II for just $39.

Baldur's Gate II Top Ten
MacPlay
Baldur's Gate II Review
MacPlay
BioWare
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II


Sacrifice Testers Needed
10:07 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The good folks at MacPlay have asked us to send out a call for testers for their upcoming RTS, Sacrifice. If you live in the Dallas area and are interested in testing Sacrifce at the MacPlay offices in downtown Dallas, then please email Daniel Naruta at dnaruta@udgames.com and let them know you're available for testing. While there are no specific requirements to test the game, you should have some knowledge of how to use a Mac.


The testing will begin starting tomorrow and will last for the next three weeks or until the game goes gold. Please be aware that the testing will occur during normal weekday business hours (10-close), although some testing will occur during the weekends as the game gets closer to shipping.


In Sacrifice, players control a wizard and battle up to 4 other wizards in various landscapes ruled by Five Gods. These landscapes are vast, floating islands, whose composition and architecture are defined by the Gods themselves. The wizards can cast spells to summon creatures to fight for them or simply opt to destroy their opponents and their creatures using attack magic in the form of over 50 different spells. It is even possible to cast spells that harness the elements to alter the landscape or the weather system, plunging your opponents into a newly created canyon, or blasting them with a bolt of highly charged lightning. The only rule is that if your Altar (i.e. home base) is destroyed, then your game is over.

Preview: Sacrifice
MacPlay
MacPlay
Shiny Entertainment
Sacrifice
Pre-Order Sacrifice


Heroes of Might and Magic 4 Delayed?
10:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

UGO GamePen has recently unearthed some news from "a highly placed source at 3DO" that Heroes of Might and Magic 4, 3DO's upcoming turn-based strategy title, may not see the light of day for a while yet. Here's the blurb from the website:

GamePen has learned from a highly placed source at 3DO that Heroes of Might & Magic IV will be delayed even further, saying, "I wouldn't look for it before March." They went on to say, "Well, the engine is brand new so there is going to be that extra time needed to tune it as well as the huge amount of time needed to test and balance.  It is, after all, a strategy game, so play balance is everything."
Although this refers to the PC version, this most likely will affect the possible Mac version as well. For more information on the possibility of a Mac port, be sure to check out IMG's previous articles on the subject.

UGO GamePen - HOMM4 pushed back to at least March release
IMG - A Mixed Message on Heroes IV



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Civilization III - AI Focus
9:53 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Civilization fansite Apolyton recently received the chance to interview Soren Johnson, AI programer for Civilization III, and focused their questions on his area of expertise. As followers of this game are most likely aware, Civ III is a single-player only title, and thus it will be very important to players to have a highly-tuned AI with which to match wits.


Each leader of each civilization will have their own personalities. As the leaders are based off of real-world characters, most of their personalities should be familiar to people. Ghandi is peace-loving, Elizabeth is cautious, and Shaka is blood-thirsty. For those that wish to have a blood-thirsty Ghandi and a dishonest Abe, the personalities are fully customizable through Civ III's editor. Furthermore, it is also possible to turn off all personalities and force each leader AI to start with a blank slate.


Players of the previous Civ titles will be happy (or not) to hear that the AI has been rewritten to better manage naval and air units. The scripts for city governors have also been rewritten to make them a little more intelligent, though Johnson notes that "a city governor will always be of limited use if the user cannot provide feedback to improve performance. Therefore, a learning algorithm was implemented to allow the user to train the AI by either accepting the governor’s suggestions or making different choices."


Perhaps most interesting of all is Johnson's own surprise at some of the decisions the AI makes:

[Apolyton]: During a game, has the AI ever surprised you (pleasantly, of course)?


[Soren Johnson]: The AI has pleasantly surprised me many times. I have often jumped back into the code, asking myself, “did I really program it to do that?” The academic term for this phenomenon is “emergent behavior,” which describes unscripted, intelligent actions resulting from simple, effective sub-systems.


Because Civilization III is an open-ended game, emergent behavior is very important for sustaining replayability. Thus, all of the AI sub-systems have been made as general as possible to encourage this type of behavior. Hence, the city AI is not based on pre-scripted patterns, such as Spearman, Temple, Spearman, Granary, Archer, etc. Instead, each available build item is given a value depending on the AI’s environment, and the city simply builds the item with the highest value.

It's always nice to know that a game's AI has been tweaked to even more effectively stomp human players into the ground. For more information on Civ III's AI, be sure to check out this latest interview at Apolyton.

Apoloyton - Soren Johnson Interview
MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III


Vendetta - New Mac OS X-Only Title?
9:40 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As Mac OS X begins to gain in popularity across the board, more and more game developers are starting to create OS X-only titles. Guild Software, the latest company up to bat, has recently leaked their intentions to create a port of their first title, Vendetta, for OS X users.


For those unfamiliar with Guild or Vendetta, Vendetta is planned to be a massively multiplayer online 3D first-person space flight simulator. A realistic physics engine will be implemented to make things more interesting, and there are plans to expand the game world with RPG elements, multiple races, and an economic model.


Though the official homepage still has yet to say anything about a Mac port, here's a clip spotted from the devlist:

Hi, I'm porting our game to macOSX (exclusively, none of that os9 or classic
crap)
and I'm having a bear of a time.
I managed to make an exe using gcc and make, but there's no way for me
to run it from the finder.
The file just shows up as a document, even though the execute bit is set
for that file.


Ok, so I figured I needed to make it into one of those application.app
directory structure thingys.
So I made a simple one and now I can execute it from the finder BUT the
current working directory is now / (root dir). What's up with that?
I have other files in my dir where I made my .app stuff that I need to load.


I have many other questions too, but I'll write those down later.

For those interested in more information on this startup company and its current project, be sure to check out their official site.

Guild Software - Vendetta


Giants: Citizen Kabuto Ships for OS X
9:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Giants: Citizen Kabuto, the unique shooter/RTS hybrid with awesome visuals, has shipped, according to MacPlay's Mark Cottam. With three radically different "races" and styles of gameplay, this solo and multiplayer title was ported by Omni Development to Mac OS X. Giants: Citizen Kabuto has the unique honor of being the first commercially released game for Mac OS X only.


In an email to Inside Mac Games, Cottam told us that Giants shipped on Thursday, October 25th and that "as of Friday, all pending orders were shipped."


If you pre-ordered Gaints through the MacPlay web site, you should be seeing your copy of Giants soon. The game should also be available through retail and other mail order stores this week.


There's no word yet on whether there will be a demo, but we've contacted MacPlay about a demo and we'll be sure to let you know.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto Preview
MacPlay
MacPlay
Planet Moon Studios
Omni Group
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto



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Aspyr Ships Elite Force Expansion
8:12 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's project listings page was recently updated with some interesting information for Star Trek fans. It seems the Elite Force Expansion --which was announced as going Gold Master not earlier this month-- is now shipping out to stores and pre-orders. This add-on to the popular shooter (based on the Quake 3 engine) retails for only $20 and contains a number of new areas to explore. Here's a clip from the Aspyr page with details on what the game includes:

In the Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force Expansion Pack, the U.S.S. Voyager comes alive with an interactive tour mode that takes you you to places that make the ship tick. It also includes 21 New multiplayer maps that allow for more hardcore action, new characters (including Captain Janeway as Borg!) and new single-player missions with new alien creatures and a new "Borg Slayer" game. You've just been given an all-access pass to the Delta Quadrant's most desirable ship. Grab your exploration rifle, and let the exploration begin.
The Expansion will also come fully Carbonized so you can play it and the old EF levels in OS X. Look for a downloadable patch to be released soon for owners of the original game to join in the OS X fun. A review of the Elite Force Expansion should also be posted at IMG in the near future.

Aspyr Web Site
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force


Handheld Crystal Quest Available
8:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A helpful reader spotted an interesting development over the weekend, with the handheld release of the classic Mac title Crystal Quest. Many 'old-school' Mac gamers will have fond memories of the title, which is now available for either Palm or Pocket PC owners to try out. The game looks to be a faithful recreation of the original, if not just a wee bit smaller than before. Here's the scoop on its features:

  • 40 waves of action. How far will you get?
  • Unique stylus play control.
  • Smart bombs, crystals, and mines - oh my!
  • Dynamic sound effects.
  • Full color or gray scale support.
  • High Score Table.


    Use your stylus to pilot your sphere against wave after wave of increasingly difficult attacks. Collect all the crystals while avoiding mines, bullets, bombs, and enemies. Be prepared to dive into the gateway to escape to the next wave, only to be faced by a new onslaught. Annoyers, Worriers, Dumples, Pests, Huskets, Banes, Menaces and the dreaded Zarklephaser await you! Whatever you do, don't shoot the Shrapwarden!

  • For more information on a demo or to buy the title, check out the site at Portable-Games.com.

    Crystal Quest for Handhelds Web Page



    Click to enlarge
    Cocoa Oni Test Released
    7:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, Omni Group's Brian Covery sent IMG word of the release of a cocoa version to Bungie's full-contact action game, Oni. Although the update is labelled 1.0, Covery makes it clear it is for testing purposes only:

    This is a build that we believe to be ready for final release, but you may still encounter some problems while using it. Please report any bugs you may encounter in a sneakypeek to sneakypeek@omnigroup.com, instead of the regular support address.


    As it is, there is one known issue that's affecting the game - you can't switch resolutions off of 640*480.


    Other issues you uncover should be sent to sneakypeek@omnigroup.com.

    To downlod Oni for Mac OS X, you'll need to click on the link below where you'll be asked to enter a name and a password (provided on the page). Be sure you install the full version of Oni in MacOS 9 before installing Oni for X. And don't forget to send Omni feedback if you encounter any bugs or problems with Oni under OS X.

    Oni for OS X
    Bungie Studios
    Gathering of Developers
    Oni
    Buy Oni


    Update on OS X Unreal Tournament
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive gave an update on the Carbonized OS X version of Unreal Tournament. A recent flurry of activity has kept progress slow of late, but he expects to devote a good portion of time to it in the near future. This former side project has a higher purpose than just making sure fans of this popular shooter don't have to dual-boot. It will also serve as the basis for their OS X ports of any future titles based on the engine (such as Undying). Here's the full update:

    I was really swamped with business and other stuff the last few weeks, so I wasn't able to do any more than read the bug reports as they came in.


    The good news is things have calmed down. I'm now only working on ONE game for the rest of the year, and having an OS X version of the UT engine has moved up in priority (for Undying and any future UT based games). So I'm hoping to get some time in on UT X in the next week or so, and get a second preview out sometime in November. My goal
    initially will be to just fix as many of the startup errors as I can, so people can get farther into the game.

    So hopefully if you're having problems with the current build, you can expect a more stable version in the coming weeks. Thanks to Mark and the rest of Westlake for their hard work up to this point.

    Westlake Interactive
    Epic Games
    MacSoft
    Westlake Interactive
    Unreal Tournament


    IMG Seeks New Senior News Editor, Reporters
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    If you've been reading IMG's news for a long time, then you've come to know Michael Eilers well. This exceptional young man has been the driving force behind our news for over three years now.


    Today we regret to announce that Michael Eilers has resigned from his post as Senior News Editor at Inside Mac Games. After working at home for the past few years at various freelance jobs including IMG, Michael has decided to pursue a working relationship out of the home.


    Michael Eilers has been with IMG longer than any other staff member. His loyalty, passion, and vision are one among the main reasons IMG is what it is today. While we're saddened by his departure as Senior News Editor, we're delighted that Michael will stay on to do special features, previews, and the occasional review. All of us here at IMG agree that a little bit of Michael is better than none at all. We want to wish all the best to him and his wonderful family.


    So with that, we're also announcing that IMG is looking for new blood to fill in the ranks here at IMG news. We pride ourselves in trying to provide the best Mac gaming news on the web, and we're looking for a few new recruits to help us achieve that goal.


    So what are we looking for? First and foremost, you must be an excellent writer with a strong background in Macs and games. We're also looking for individuals who have some free time in the mornings to gather and write news stories. And lastly, we're looking for serious candidates only. Please don't apply if you can't seriously commit to the cause (sorry, but we've trained so many news reporters before who have simply disappeared).


    If you meet these requirements and would like to volunteer, please send an email to tuncer@insidemacgames.com. Send a bio of yourself with a note on why you'd like to join the IMG news team.




    Click to enlarge
    Wolfenstein Development Diary
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    PC.IGN scored an informative first article in a series of development diaries on Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Executive producer Greg Goodrich of Gray Matter Studios gives a good rundown of how they started out on the project. Goodrich discusses their attempts to get access to the Wolfenstein license, as well as their goals with this sequel. Nine years between the two titles means there is quite a large gap between technology, and he also gives the rundown on how the Quake III engine is being used in the game.


    One of the biggest changes to the gameplay will be the addition of the ability to 'sneak' through some areas. Fans of the original 3D version will mostly remember countless bad guys coming at you. Here's a clip from the article explaining how the new title will be more flexible and varied in its gameplay:

    "Return to Castle Wolfenstein can be played in a number of different ways allowing for varying game play styles. In some levels the weapons will remain hot, while other levels require complete silence. But the majority of the game will allow you to play in whatever manner you wish. However, on the most difficult setting, you'll have to figure out how to tactically approach many of the given situations. If you select this mode, ramming through a door with your guns blazing usually results in one outcome. You're dead!
    Lots of other good information is given in the diary log, so be sure to head over and give it a look. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is expected out around Christmas for the PC. While no specifics are known yet on the status of a Mac publisher, it's expected out soon after.

    Download Castle Wolfenstein MP Test for OS X (65MB)
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein Development Diary
    Activision
    Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein


    Championship Manager 01/02 Demo Released
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, UK-based Mac publisher Feral Interactive posted a demo of Championship Manager 01/02, the popular 'football' management simulation.


    For those of you who are new to the wonderful world of Championship Manager, this game is all about living out the dream of managing your favorite football team. No one needs to be left out because the comprehensive coverage gives you all the teams from 26 major leagues around the world. The game contains an enormous amount of data, which is presented in such a fluid way that you can move quickly between screens to compare and filter information that lets you make the critical decisions based on facts not just 'gut feel'.


    The official system requirements are as follows:


    - Mac OS 8.6

    - A Power PC processor running at 120 MHz

    - 64 MB of RAM (with virtual memory set to at least 128 Mb)

    - 200 MB free disk space (this allows room for a saved game!)

    - 800x600 pixel resolution on your screen

    - CD-ROM drive

    - Ethernet (only required for Network play)



    Recommend:



    - Mac OS X

    - A G3 running at 333 MHz or a G4 processor

    - 128 MB of RAM

    - 16-bit colour at 800x600 (a.k.a. Thousands of colours)



    The demo weighs in at a reasonable 15 MB and is being mirrored at our sister site, Macgamefiles.com.

    Feral Interactive
    Championship Manager 01/02 1.0 (15 MB)


    MacGamer Previews NOLF
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    MacGamer's Corey Tames has posted a sneak preview No One Lives Forever, the most recent title announced by MacPlay that is scheduled to ship in the spring of 2002. The preview takes you into the world of stylish spy, Cate Archer, and introduces you to what you can expect when the game is released for Macintosh. Here's a clip from the preview:

    No One Lives Forever plays like a straight-up first person shooter, but with some elements which are evolved from the standard "whack a mole" style of Quake or Unreal. More in the ranks of Deus Ex or Half Life, No One Lives Forever emphasizes stealth over wholesale slaughter, some clever problem solving (but not at the expense of action), and engaging interaction with non-player characters. Like Deus Ex, for instance, Cate's weapon crosshairs train over a short period of time over her target, and as she draws a bead, her aim becomes better. Like Half Life, Cate is required to pit herself against clever A.I. enemies that duck behind cover, dodge your attacks and generally make themselves hard to handle. No One Lives Forever even incorporates elements of the arcade shooter, Area 51... where Cate is charged with the duty of taking out enemies who pop up unexpectedly and from every direction (okay, maybe it IS like Whack A Mole in some ways).
    Although No One Lives Forever wasn't a runaway hit, it was one of the more unique and stylish first-person shooters released in recent memory. If you're unfamiliar with this neat title, be sure to check out MacGamer's preview.

    MacPlay
    MacGamer's NOLF Preview



    Click to enlarge
    Mac Dark Age of Camelot a Possibility?
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IMG recently contacted Mythic Entertainment about the possibility of a Macintosh port of their extremely popular new MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. While the news is admittedly grim at the moment, there is the hint that future developments may not be entirely out of the question. Here's the word from Mythic's Eugene Evans:

    Thank you for contacting us. We don't currently have plans for a port to
    the Mac. However, if we knew the demand was there we would give it
    serious consideration.
    The game is based on the NetImmerse 3D game engine, which was advertised as having a Macintosh branch until sometime last year. Even though NetImmerse's parent company NDL no longer supports the Mac, they do have the engine running on a number of consoles as well as Windows. This makes the feasibility of a Mac port much higher than if it was a custom-built engine.


    While we don't want to encourage too much hope at this point, it is good to hear the company is open to the idea of a Mac version. With the distinct lack of MMORPG's currently available for the Mac, Dark Age of Camelot's popularity would surely cross over if a Mac client was made available. For more information on the game, check out a recent interview at GameAddicts. They discuss how DAoC distinguishes itself from other massively multiplayer games (besides the fact that its launch went much better than other recent online titles), as well as including many impressive screen shots. We'll keep on this and report back any changes that we may hear about their Mac priorities.

    Dark Age of Camelot Q&A at GameAddicts
    Dark Age of Camelot Web Site
    NDL NetImmerse Web Site


    Mac Games News for Friday, October 26, 2001

    World War II: Panzer Claws for Mac?3:15 PM
    Tropico: Paradise Island Expansion Announced3:13 PM
    IMG: To X or Not To X11:20 AM
    New Unreal II Screenshots10:22 AM
    Age of Empires II Pre-Order at IMG Store10:15 AM
    Myth II Meets Final Fantasy10:00 AM
    Jeopardy 2, Wheel 2 Go Gold9:13 AM
    IMG Posts New Myth III Screenshots9:12 AM
    Mac CrystalSpace Update9:09 AM
    Galactic Core Final, Demo Released8:38 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 26, 2001 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Thursday, October 25, 2001
    Wednesday, October 24, 2001
    Tuesday, October 23, 2001
    Monday, October 22, 2001
    Friday, October 19, 2001


    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



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