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Thursday, January 24, 2002



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Aspyr Ships Spider-Man for the Mac
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media was nice enough to drop us news last night that Spider-Man for the Mac is now shipping. The Macintosh port was done by Mark Krenek and the team at Westlake Interactive in nearly record time. The game was originally developed by Neversoft, and players may recognize that it features the same 3D engine as the popular Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.

Spider-Man is based on the extremely popular superhero, and features memorable characters, varied gameplay, and more puns than you can shake a spider at. Creator Stan Lee even had a hand in the game's development, and he also lends his voice to the narration.

According to Aspyr, the game started heading out the door yesterday for anyone that got their pre-order in early. This should also include those who ordered at Macworld Expo, so be looking for you copy in the mail soon. More information and goodies should be coming from Aspyr later today, so stay tuned to IMG for the latest. If you haven't yet ordered your copy, head to the Aspyr store now, and check out our preview for more information.

IMG Preview: Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Neversoft
Westlake Interactive



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Black & White Update 1.1.1 Released
11:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Feral Interactive today released a patch for Black & White, bringing it to version 1.1.1. The update will work only on version 1.1, the version that was sold at Macworld Expo San Francisco. After Macworld Expo, the company decided to hold off on shipping version 1.1 until they could test it more thoroughly.

Here's a snippet from the Read Me explaining a bit more:

Why is this patch necessary?

We are constantly striving to improve the quality of Black & White. Since the Macworld release we have added a few fixes which make the game more stable after prolonged periods of play.

If you bought Black & White at Macworld Expo San Francisco, be sure to head over to our sister site, MacGameFiles, to download the patch.

Black & White is available for pre-order through the GraphSim web site. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order Black & White for just $39 (plus shipping and handling) at the IMG Store.

IMG Review: Black & White
Black & White
GraphSim: Black & White
MGF: Black & White 1.1.1 Update (4.8 MB)



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Civ 3 Editor Coming to OS X
11:54 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In what will certainly amount to good news for Civilization III fans, Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive has told IMG he is working on a Mac OS X version of the game's editor.

To get the necessary Mac user interface up and running quickly, Oliver is using OS X's Cocoa development environment. The program will allow you to do things like change the game's rules to make your own cheats, increase the world size up to a very large 256x256, and even add new government types.

The official Civ3.com FAQ has more information on what is possible with the editor:

Civ III will ship with an editor that will allow you to greatly customize your Civ experience. This editor not only allows you to alter game elements such as advances, civilizations, units, and wonders (to name a few), but also includes a robust map editor.
Read through the recent Civ3.com "Ask the Civ Team" Q&A linked below for further details on what you'll be able to accomplish with the editor.

While there is no ETA for the Mac editor yet, you can be sure we'll keep you posted with any new information on its status. Oliver is simultaneously working on at least one patch to fix a number of nagging issues in the game.

IMG Preview: Civilization III
Civilization III
Civ3.com: Ask the Civ Team
Civ3.com: FAQ
Buy Civilization III


Rune: Halls of Valhalla Publication Details
11:37 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Last Friday, IMG brought you the news that the stand-alone expansion pack Rune: Halls of Valhalla, long completed by Westlake Interactive and awaiting publication, is finally going to be published for the Mac by Human Head Studios, the original developers of the PC version, in collaboration with Westlake.

Andrew "Quetzal" Plucker, the administrator of the Rune for Mac Forum at RuneGame.com, alerted us to a post by Kazi Wren, RuneGame's "Dark Mistress," with more details on the publication of the Mac version:

Okay, as Tim at HH mentioned, I'm working with HH and Westlake to get this game to you. Here is my update:
  • The game will be professionally mastered from the original supplied by Westlake.
  • The plan so far is to provide the game manual on the disk (cuts the cost of printing to tiny paper booklets).
  • You will be able to buy the game online.
  • The plan is to offer the game domestically and internationally.
I saw a few people asking about compatibility to Mac OS X. Glenda [Adams of Westlake] is considering this (as stated in a recent interview) but the final decision will come from her.

Some of you have asked "when!!!" You've waited a lonnnng time, that's for sure. I don't have an exact date YET, but I'm shooting for a mid-February/late February time frame (hello, Valentine's Day).

PLEASE don't get pissed if it slips just a tiny bit past this estimate. I'm organizing a ton of stuff in a short amount of time—so be kind. :-)

While Halls of Valhalla is an expansion pack for Rune, the Unreal-engine, third-person slasher, it is unusual in that it doesn't require the original game to function. Human Head designed the expansion to stand on its own, focusing on multiplayer combat rather than on the single-player story elements of the original Rune:
Two new modes (Headball and Arena) and additional maps, along with a multitude of new, animated creatures including three new fearsome female characters will keep the melee going. The Headball mode is a team based sports game in which players rend the limbs or heads of their enemies and score points by throwing them through a goal. It's kill or be killed in the Arena mode as gamers compete in one-on-one duels against varying opponents. Similar to the original game, Rune: Halls of Valhalla will utilize an enhanced version of Epic Games' Unreal Tournament game engine and will feature amazingly life-like animations, a detailed weapon system and a unique combat system.

Features:

  • Two new play modes: Headball and Arena and a host of new characters.
  • Online multiplayer play with access to all the original maps and characters featured in Rune as well as expanded, new content.
  • Original in-game music content created exclusively for Rune: Halls of Valhalla.
  • 33 new maps available across all game modes including seven maps designed by fans.
  • New combat style with added defensive options such as the ability to deflect thrown weapons and improved shields.
You can be sure that IMG will keep you updated on the saga of Rune: Halls of Valhalla.

Rune: Halls of Valhalla
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive
RuneGame.com: Another HOV for Mac Update
Buy Rune: Halls of Valhalla



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IMG Previews Spider-Man
10:36 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Following hot on the heels of this morning's news that Aspyr Media is shipping Spider-Man, IMG has posted a detailed preview by our own Patrick Leyden of the comic book-inspired action game:

One of the most recognizable characters in pantheon of pop culture icons is Spider-Man. Having the strength and abilities of a spider applied on a human scale may not sound like much of a super power, but it has proven to be more than enough to sustain generations of fans. In the interactive gaming realm, Spider-Man has had a strong presence that dates back to the early days of console gaming. While many other comic heroes have been attached to games that range from boring to unplayable (all but the most recent of Batmanís gaming adventures come to mind), titles featuring Spider-Man have generally been fun to play. This most recent Spider-Man game is no exception.

Mac gamers who are looking for a fresh adventure game to play on their G4 towers running OS X or their Mac OS 9-powered iMacs are in for a treat. Spider-Manís appearance on the Mac platform looks to provide closet super heroes with an exciting outlet for their suppressed super hero tendencies without requiring anyone to don red and blue pajamas and attempt to swing through the skyscrapers of New York City.

For the rest of our preview and a gallery of screen shots, simply follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Spider-Man
Spider-Man



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Harry Potter and RtCW Reach Final Candidate
10:18 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

Dust off those Nimbus 2000 broomsticks and double check those flamethrowers because Aspyr Media has upgraded both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Return to Castle Wolfenstein to Final Candidate status.

Aspyr is busy scouring both titles from Westlake Interactive for any show-stopping bugs before declaring the candidates actually final and sending Gold Masters off for mass duplication.

Both games have generated considerable buzz in the Mac gaming community, and this milestone is sure to fan the fires of anticipation.

Be sure to check out our recent in-depth preview of Harry Potter if you haven't already for the latest take on how the game is shaping up, and while IMG published a first look at Return to Castle Wolfenstein a while back, be on the lookout for our upcoming detailed preview of this game as well.

IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
IMG First Look: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Harry Potter
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Westlake Interactive
Buy Harry Potter
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein


Fruitz of Dojo Cuckoo for Cocoa Quake
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

The Fruitz of Dojo have updated their Mac OS X-native ports of Quake and QuakeWorld to version 1.0.6. The updates include software-rendered and OpenGL versions of both Cocoa apps and contains a substantial number of bug fixes and added features:

  • Enabled paste via "cmd-v" and the edit menu.
  • Changed mouse acceleration handling [uses now IOKit].
  • Fixed the keyboard repeat issue after application quit.
  • Screenshots are now saved in TIFF format.
  • Mouse wheel support finally works.
  • Added support for up to 5 mouse buttons.
  • Added support for the numeric keypad.
  • Added "Connect To Server" service to QuakeWorld and GLQuakeWorld.
  • Added rendering inside the Dock [if window is minimized].
  • Added application hide [via "cmd-h"] in windowed mode.
  • Added windowed mode to the software renderer.
  • Added application switching [via "cmd-tab"] in fullscreen mode [software renderer only].
  • Reworked windowed mouse code [should now work perfectly].
  • Many other small changes and fixes...
As IMG recently reported, the Fruitz are also responsible for an excellent Cocoa port of Quake 2, completed in record time, which is now at version 1.0.3; another team, the Mac GLQuake project at SourceForge, are offering their own Mac OS X-native version of Quake and QuakeWorld using the Carbon APIs. Thanks to independent programmers like the Fruitz of Dojo and the Mac GLQuake team, many classic games are being given new life in OS X.

Follow the links below to download the Quake update from our sister site, MacGameFiles, or to visit the Fruitz of Dojo web site.

Fruitz of Dojo
MGF: Quake 1.0.6 for Mac OS X (Cocoa) (1.3 MB)


Unreal Tournament 2 Q&A
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

The gaming experts over at GameSpot UK recently conducted an interview with Pancho Eekels, lead designer of Unreal Tournament 2. UT2, based on the upcoming Unreal 2 engine, promises to be a very substantial improvement over the original Unreal Tournament, which is still highly popular among Mac and PC gamers alike.

In this excerpt, some of the more interesting improvements from the older UT are discussed:

GS: Apart from a new version of the Unreal graphics engine, what are the biggest changes between the original Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2?

PE: There are many refinements. The single-player is much different from its predecessor. You now are the captain of a persistent but evolving team. You play the single-player game, upgrade your team by hiring "free agents" or increasing the ability of your teammates. Imagine the possibilities when you play the game and can refine your team to your taste or style of play!

GS: What sorts of changes are there to the Unreal Tournament weapons and items?

PE: We took a hard look at what people actually liked online, and since this game has a large multiplayer influence, we decided on taking out, enhancing, or changing some of the weapons that were in the original Unreal Tournament. We set out to reduce some of the "spammy" feel that some of the weapons had. So, for instance, the flak cannon shards now actually bounce much less. The sniper rifle has been replaced by an instant-hit lightning gun that has the same function but is more visible when you use it so that it gives the others the chance to find out more easily where it came from (if he missed!).

GS: The original Unreal Tournament used a relatively limited number of models that all followed the human space marine look. Will Unreal Tournament 2 expand the number of models and types of characters available? Are there new customization options?

PE: Oh yes! The limited number of models was a shortcoming in Unreal Tournament, so we made sure that the player can now choose from a wide variety of models, with each of the models having several custom skins. We still have a team that follows the space marine look, but since we have these vastly different worlds that are featured in the game, we added many different types and personalities to the character selection.

The full interview contains many more interesting details concerning this highly anticipated title. Follow the link below to read more.

Epic Games
GameSpot UK: Unreal Tournament 2 Interview


Myth III GameSpy Fix for OS X
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacSoft's Nate Birkholz recently posted to the IMG Forum a workaround for those having trouble playing Myth III: The Wolf Age online under Mac OS X. The problem relates specifically to GameSpy games (the built-in interface for connecting with other players online) and registration.

The workaround is pretty straightforward, so those having trouble will definitely want to give it a try:

In Myth III, users may have trouble creating a GameSpy I.D. and/or playing GameSpy games via OS X. To correct this, users may follow these simple steps:

1. Go to System preferences, Network preferences panel.
2. Click on the "Show" drop-down menu and choose "Active Network Ports" from the list.
3. Turn off everything but the Port Configuration you are currently using (for example, "Airport" or "Ethernet") and click the Apply Now button.
4. Restart the computer.

After following these steps, Myth III will connect to GameSpy under OS X.

Let us know in the forums if this doesn't fix your problem, as we're sure Nate is willing to help anyone else out in getting this connectivity issue solved.

IMG Preview: Myth III: The Wolf Age
IMG Forum: Myth III and GameSpy under OS X


Galactica: anno Dominari Updated
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MonkeyByte sends word of a new update for the starship strategy game Galactica: anno Dominari. Version 2.0.9 fixes a number of bugs in the title and adds a few new features. Galactica: A.D. demos are available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.

Here's a breakdown of what's changed from the previous versions:

2.0.9 Fixes
  • Fixed four separate bugs that would cause crashes under some rare circumstances
  • Fixed problem with sliders not being redrawn while mouse is held down
  • Fixed problems with fleets being left inaccessible behind a planet after a battle
  • Fixed custom font display problems under OS X
  • Fixed problem with planets having infinite repair resources
  • Fixed problem with cowardly AI not attacking in some cases when it should
  • Fixed problem with some sounds "locking up" computer until they finished playing
2.0.9 Features
  • Point of origin is now always added as first line in course list
  • Couriers are set to loop automatically if assigned more that one destination
For more information or to register the full version, check out the MonkeyByte web site.

Galactica A.D.



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Andrew Welch Interviewed on MacSlash
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

MacSlash has posted an interview with Ambrosia Software founder and El Presidente, Andrew Welch. Ambrosia is the die-hard shareware company that brought Mac gamers such hugely popular titles as Escape Velocity and Deimos Rising, and the game-creation engine Coldstone.

In the interview, Welch discusses the issues surrounding porting games to Mac OS X, the nature of Thaumaturgy, and their upcoming sequel, EV Nova:

MacSlash: Mac user job efficiency ratings will be plunging as soon as Escape Velocity Nova gets released. What can you tell us about it?

Welch: EV Nova is going to be a monster project. The EV Nova team has taken the core concepts that made Escape Velocity such a huge hit, and made everything bigger, deeper, and more exciting than ever. The storylines and history behind the universe in EV Nova are so lush and rich, there's a very purposeful feeling to everything that is present in the game. It isn't just a few threads of stories here and there, it is a wonderfully woven tapestry of a game.

Follow the link below to read this rest of the interview.

IMG Preview: Escape Velocity: Nova
Ambrosia Software
Escape Velocity: Nova
MacSlash Interview: Andrew Welch of Ambrosia



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4x4 Evolution 2 Is Gold
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

"I'm changing the environment! Ask me how."

So read bumper stickers mysteriously appearing on SUVs in at least some West Coast cities.

If you've always wanted to add the special touch of SUVs, trucks, and other high-emission gas-guzzlers to a virtual environment rather than the real one, you'll soon get the opportunity.

Aspyr Media sent word last night that the gold master of 4x4 Evolution 2, the off-road racing sequel developed for the PC by Terminal Reality, has been sent for duplication. With luck, the game could begin shipping in a week or two.

Here's how Aspyr's web site describes this title:

Off-road racing has reached the next stage in evolution! Choose from over 120 of the world's baddest trucks to go tearing into the wild!

Jeep, Dodge, Nissan, Lexus, GMC, and tons more! 4X4 Evolution 2 has them all. Roar through races in 32 different exotic outdoor courses from all over the world. Professional drivers get paid by winning races and in career mode so do you. While roaring through the rugged terrain, win races to earn money for more than 125 upgrades, such as performance shocks race tires, brush guards, roll bars, snorkels, and more! And with new weather systems so realistic, you'll be wearing your raincoat in the house! Feel like more adventure? Leave the race behind and set off to discover ancient cities and lost treasure.

Stay tuned to IMG for further developments as they arise.

4x4 Evolution 2
Terminal Reality
Buy 4x4 Evolution 2


Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 23, 2002

IMG Looks at Harry Potter in Depth11:54 AM
Mac Torque Release Coming Soon11:12 AM
SpacewardHo.net Needs Testers10:45 AM
Red Faction 1.2 Beta 2 Released9:15 AM
Heretic II Enters Beta6:00 AM
Interview Talks Lineage Plans6:00 AM
Television's Interest in Gaming6:00 AM
Trakers: Bid for Glory Revealed6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 23, 2002 on one page


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Tuesday, January 22, 2002
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