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Wednesday, February 13, 2002



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Candy Cruncher Released for OS X
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Brian Hook's Pyrogon has released a Mac OS X version of its freshman game title, Candy Cruncher, the sugary sweet, surprisingly addictive puzzle game that has players sliding digital confections around a playing field in a mouth-watering attempt to complete rows of candy before the clock runs down.

Pyrogon was founded in 2000 by Hook, whose experiences at id Software and Verant led to the idea behind his new company:

Game development today is an expensive, tiring, unprofitable, and unoriginal affair. It seems that every new game is a multi-million dollar, multi-year, over-hyped rehash of an existing game. System requirements, complexity and cost spiral out of control, while attracting fewer and fewer players.

We believe in making games that are inexpensive, easy to learn, and appealing to more than just the hardcore player. By targeting key underserved markets such as older systems with modest hardware, casual gamers that are turned off by the excessive difficulty of modern games, or even hardcore players of a niche genre, we can appeal to players that have been traditionally ignored by the big publishers and developers.

Candy Cruncher is Pyrogon's first release in an ambitious lineup of games. The Mac OS X version requires OS X 10.1, a 233 MHz G3 or faster, 128 MB of RAM, and at least 4 MB of hard drive space. A demo is available and weighs in at about 2 MB, and the full game can be purchased at the Pyrogon web site for only $14.95.

Candy Cruncher


IMG Readers Ask MacPlay
12:01 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted the third installment in its ongoing occasional feature, Ask MacPlay, in which IMG readers send in their questions and we put them to the Mac game publisher.

MacPlay's Henry Price was good enough to answer these latest inquiries; here's a brief excerpt:

Question: What happened to MumboJumbo? What was MacPlay's relationship with them? Does MacPlay have a relationship with Contraband Entertainment? Who's working on what port? - Chainsaw

Answer: MacPlay is a subsidiary of United Developers. United Developers also owns MumboJumbo, Barking Lizards, and Inertia. Each development company has its specialty and each is its own company. From a business standpoint it did not make sense for us to have a development team in California when the corporate headquarters for the company are based in Texas. MumboJumbo just simply moved to Texas.

We are very excited for the guys at Contraband; we wish only the best for Bill and his partners. Contraband is a very important partner for MacPlay and we plan on a very long relationship.

Follow the link below for more answers, and e-mail your questions for the next installment of Ask MacPlay to tuncer@insidemacgames.com.

IMG: Ask MacPlay — Volume 3
MacPlay



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Airburst Update Adds Game Types
11:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

UK game developer Strange Flavour has released version 1.04 of their popular arcade game Airburst. This update fixes a few minor bugs and adds new game types to the already long list of possibilities. The three new variations are Shootout, Pop! and a second version of Castles.

Along with the other changes, version 1.04 also incorporates rudimentary support for the iShock II gamepad from MacAlly in the form of both digital and analog control over the pad's rumble features.

Full registration of this shareware title costs only $5, though as always you have the option of donating more to support excellent shareware like this. If you haven't yet tried out this addictive game, be sure to head over and grab the full version now at MacGameFiles, where an update can also be found for existing users.

Airburst
MGF: Airburst 1.04 (Full Version & Update)


Direct3D 8 Through OpenGL Open-Sourced
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In news sure to be of interest to Mac game developers, OSNews.com reported yesterday that a Direct3D 8-to-OpenGL wrapper has recently been open-sourced. The wrapper from RealTech-VR is designed to allow software written to the current generation of Microsoft's proprietary 3D graphics API to run on operating systems other than Windows, including Mac OS.

In a brief interview with RealTech-VR's Stephane Denis, OSNews manages to dig up a few tidbits on the development. The open sourced version, available at SourceForge, currently supports only Win32, but Denis maintains that it will soon be compatible with both Mac OS and Linux.

In this excerpt, Denis answers a question regarding ease of porting:

OSNews: If the wrapper only supports Windows and BeOS, how easy/difficult a port to Linux or Mac OS would be?

Stephane Denis: Personally, I continue the Win32 emulation/wrapper to validate the wrapper compatibility and then I will do the Mac OS version. For Linux, there is already a crew on it working. For the BeOS version, well I probably adapt it later.

For those wondering about the speed of the wrapper, Denis points out that most processing time is spent on rendering and not API calling, so the speed should be as fast as the original Direct3D code — depending on the OpenGL extensions supported by the graphics hardware and drivers.

For more information on RealTech-VR's work, including some pictures showing the wrapper in action, be sure to check out the rest of the interview at OSNews.com.

OSNews.com: Direct3D 8.0 Wrapper for OpenGL Open Sourced
SourceForge: DirectX OpenGL Wrapper



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Geneforge Updated to Version 1.0.2
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software's isometric RPG Geneforge has recently been updated to version 1.0.2. This latest update addresses several bugs as well as some balance issues within the game. Spiderweb also notes that several helpful new features have been included as well.

Here's the rundown of fixes for this latest version:

  • The exploit involving getting extra skills from canisters has been fixed.
  • Getting essence from absorbing creations now works as intended.
  • Heustess now no longer gives infinite rewards for his quest.
  • Can now clear the northern mines and inner crypt.
  • The now expected numerous balance corrections, minor bug fixes, typo corrections, etc.

For those unfamiliar with the title, Geneforge is a role-playing game in the spirit of old-school RPGs such as Ultima that adds the dimension of allowing players to concoct their own monstrous creations in order to help them achieve their ends. For more information, be sure to check out our preview.

A demo is available at MacGameFiles for gamers curious to try out Geneforge for themselves, along with an update for existing users of version 1.0 or 1.0.1 of the full game.

IMG Preview: Geneforge
Geneforge
MGF: Geneforge 1.0.2 Demo & Update


Contraband's 'WarGames' at Alpha
6:00 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Although no details have been given for a publisher, a release date, or even the nature of the game, Contraband Entertainment's new Mac project "WarGames" has reached the alpha stage of development, according to the product status chart on the company's web site.

IMG News: Contraband Adds WarGames
Contraband Entertainment



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GraphSim Posts Red Faction Links
6:00 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

The kind folks at Graphic Simulations have put together a list of web sites hosting extra single-player and multiplayer content for Red Faction. Seven links to maps, mods, and more are currently posted.

The company's Red Faction FAQ describes how to use user-created maps:

To play a user map file, create a folder in your Red Faction folder called "user_maps". Then, inside the "user_maps" folder create three new folders. Label one folder "multi", label the second folder "single", and label the third folder "textures". Players will be able to play / join a game by placing a copy of the levels VPP file into the appropriate folder in the "user_maps" folder. Place SP (single player) maps in the "single" folder and DM (Death Match), Team DM, and CTF (Capture the Flag) maps in the "multi" folder.
The company has also invited Red Faction fans to send in their RF-related web sites, so there's a strong likelihood that this list will grow.

IMG Review: Red Faction
GraphSim: Red Faction Links
Red Faction



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Elite Force HoloMatch 1.2.1 Update Released
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has updated the multiplayer "HoloMatch" component of its two Star Trek: Voyager titles, Elite Force and the Elite Force Expansion Pack, to version 1.2.1.

The two updates are intended for use both under Mac OS 8.6 or 9.x with CarbonLib and under Mac OS X. (Note that the new Elite Force HoloMatch update requires the version 1.2 update to have been previously applied. The Elite Force Expansion Pack shipped at version 1.2 and does not require previous updating.)

Here are the changes and issues noted in the "Read Me" files:

Changes in 1.2.1:
  • Compiled with CodeWarrior 7.1.
  • Fixes issue under OS X where the server lists would update slowly and with incorrect ping times.
  • Fixed crash when launching holomatch from within GameRanger.

Known Issues:

  • This update does not fix the "invisible" weapon effects that occur in Internet holomatch games. We are aware of that symptom, but have not been able to isolate the cause as yet. Once we do have a fix, we will release an update for it.
One other interesting Elite Force download from Aspyr is an unsupported mod development kit. It seems that programmers can make Mac modifications with this SDK. Here's an explanation of what it can do:
The original MOD SDK assumes you are developing a MOD on a PC using Microsoft Visual Studio. Most of the tools for compiling QuakeC QVM files from C source exist solely on the PC side. With this MOD kit, you can use CodeWarrior 7 to compile a DLL from your MOD source code. However, if you want to make a cross-platform qvm file that will run on a PC, you must use a PC to do so. The reason is that the QuakeC qvm compiler needs to be ported to the Mac by id Software.
For mod developers who insist on building their mods as Windows-specific DLLs instead of using the cross-platform Quake Virtual Machine (QVM), Aspyr's SDK may provide the means to make their mods available to Mac gamers.

Check out Aspyr's iDisk for all of the downloads.

IMG Review: Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force
IMG Review: Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force Expansion Pack
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
STV: Elite Force Expansion
Aspyr: iDisk


Mac Games News for Tuesday, February 12, 2002

IMG Interviews Target Rabaul's Micah Bly12:17 PM
Exile DVD; Myst Triology in the Works?11:59 AM
Apple Talks Ambrosia and OS X10:47 AM
New Combat Mission 2 Interview8:10 AM
Marathon: Resurrection Single-Player Screen Shots8:09 AM
3dfx Web Site to Shut Down6:00 AM
Carmack Talks Doom and Video Cards6:00 AM
Links Golf Community Available6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, February 12, 2002 on one page


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