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Friday, February 15, 2002



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Aspyr Ships 4x4 Evolution 2
9:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media announced today that 4x4 Evolution 2 has shipped for the Macintosh. Carbonized for Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X, 4x4 Evolution 2 is a single- and multiplayer interactive racing game that provides a new, realistic, and exciting off-road experience.

Here's a snippet from Aspyr's press release:

4x4 Evolution 2 is a highly customizable game with more than 120 off-road vehicles to choose from and over 125 performance upgrades to equip them with, including performance shocks, race tires and brush guards. Gamers can choose from 32 different and exotic courses that span the globe to race on. There is more to 4x4 Evolution 2 than racing. There is also an off the track adventure where drivers search for ancient ruins and lost treasure.

"Off-road racing for the Macintosh has truly evolved. 4x4 Evolution 2 gives gamers maximum customization while offering them the perfect amount of challenge and adventure in a racing game," says Jeff Baietto, VP of Marketing for Aspyr Media, Inc.

4x4 Evolution 2 is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB and is available wherever great Macintosh interactive entertainment software is sold, with a Suggested Retail Price of $39.95.

For all of the latest 4x4 Evolution 2 for Macintosh news and information, be sure to visit the Aspyr web site.

4x4 Evolution 2
Terminal Reality
Buy 4x4 Evolution 2


New Carbon Build of Aleph One for OS X
2:52 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source project has posted a new Carbon build of Aleph One for Mac OS X that is said to work quite well.

Aleph One is the game engine based on the source code to Marathon 2, the classic first-person shooter from Bungie that pushed the technical envelope of its day and that remains a giant of the genre for its engrossing story and addictive multiplayer gameplay.

Aleph On features OpenGL acceleration, high-resolution 32-bit textures, scripting, support for 3D models, and nascent IP networking for multiplayer gaming over the Internet.

The Aleph One source tree has a couple of branches to it, each of which has a number of dedicated developers. In addition to the new Mac OS X-only Carbon build by Jeremy Parsons, there is a Carbon build by Stephen Bytnar that runs in Mac OS 9 as well, and there are mature classic Mac OS builds by Loren Petrich and Alexander Strange.

Another branch of Aleph One development uses the Simple DirectMedia Layer and features builds for Mac OS X (via BSD), Linux, and other UNIX flavors, BeOS, and even Windows. It is this branch that has seen greater progress in the development of IP networking, and recently Mac OS X and Linux gamers have been able to play Marathon with each other.

Aleph One works with the data files from Marathon 2: Durandal and from Marathon Infinity to allow players to experience these all-time greats in a startlingly good-looking engine. Naturally, Aleph One also supports a great many third-party Durandal and Infinity scenarios, and a few classic scenarios have even been enhanced with high-resolution textures to take full advantage of the Aleph One engine.

Notable recent projects designed specifically for Aleph One include the M1A1 total conversion, which allows gamers to play the original Marathon in full Aleph One glory, and Marathon: Rubicon.

If you haven't been keeping up with the recent developments in the world of Marathon, follow the links below to see what you've been missing.

Marathon: Aleph One
Aleph One/SDL
M1A1
Marathon: Rubicon
Loren Petrich: Aleph One for Classic Mac OS
MGF: Aleph One (Cocoa SDL) 0.12.0


IMG Interviews Lineage's Jake Song
1:17 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted an interview with Jake Song, lead programmer of Lineage: The Blood Pledge, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game from NCsoft that is the largest of its kind in the world.

The Mac OS X client for Lineage recently entered public beta testing, and Song comments on this development:

IMG: It seems like your download servers were busy for a while during the Mac beta release. How has the initial response been from Mac testers?

Jake Song: We've been extremely pleased with the first week of our beta launch. The players appear to be excited about finally getting a chance to play a MMORPG on the Mac... at this level. I think the excitement really started at Macworld when we were honored with a best of show award. There's been a ton of anticipation ever since.

The Mac players appear to be having a great time and many are quickly learning to enjoy the social aspects of the game. We've noticed that several are already participating in castle sieges so they're getting the hang of things pretty quick.

For the full text of our interview, follow the link below.

IMG Interview: Lineage's Jake Song
IMG Preview: Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage


MonkeyByte Redesigned
12:56 PM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

In the first of what promises to be many changes from the independent software publisher and e-commerce site, MonkeyByte.com has received a thorough overhaul. In addition to the welcome redesign, the site is also offering a new and updated Demo CD-ROM.

CEO Yon Hardisty stated that more is to come:

MonkeyByte.com is totally dedicated to supporting the independent software developer with innovative eCommerce solutions. This new site is just the beginning. We will be releasing a whole group of new services throughout this year to support our software partners. In addition, we will continue to release top notch games like Galactica Anno Dominari, Alien DNA and innovative software titles like Distant Suns and VistaPro.
Head over to MonkeyByte.com to see what's new.

Monkey Byte



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Workaround for Black & White Installer Bug (Updated)
12:30 PM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

A user inquired in the MacGamer forums about an installation problem with Black & White, the God-game simulation from Lionhead Studios that was brought to the Mac by GraphSim. Apparently the installer was failing to recognize one of the CD-ROMs, causing the process to hang.

Here is what the gamer had to report:

After BW installs the Game Disk, a dialog comes up... "Please insert Data disk." The only button on the dialog is "Stop," which of course cancels the install. Funny thing is, the Mac just sits there. I tried pressing Eject on the CD Drive, I tried pressing Command-E, even manually ejecting the disk and replacing it, but it won't acknowledge the new disk after a manual eject.
After a bit of troubleshooting, Ian Bullock of Zonic was able to offer a workaround for users who may be experiencing this problem. The problem, which only occurs in Mac OS 8.6, requires a bit of extra hard disk space to get around but otherwise does not affect gameplay. This is what Bullock suggests:

  • Create a temporary folder on you desktop or HD.

  • Insert the Game CD.

  • Drag the "Black & White Game" CD icon from your Desktop into your temporary folder. Note: Drag the Icon of the mounted CD, do not open up the CD and drag its contents.

  • Eject the Game CD (very important) and leave the CD tray open.

  • Now run the installer from within the "Black & White Game" folder inside your temporary folder.

  • Once the first batch of files have been installed, it will ask you to insert the Data CD — but still won't eject the CD tray. This time though, since the CD tray is empty, you can press the hardware eject button on your CD tray and insert the Data CD.

  • Once the Data CD has mounted, the installation will complete.

Gamers who are experiencing this issue with Black & White should read the rest of what Bullock has to say in the MacGamer Forums. Follow the link below to find out more.

Update: Within the past hour, Bullock posted a comment to this story offering a much simpler workaround:

The installer puts up a modal dialog asking for the second CD so it is not possible at that stage to switch out to the Finder and eject the CD.

However, it is possible to switch to the Finder before that, then when the installer asks for the second CD, simply drag the first CD to the trash and off you go.

I should note that we have had reports of the CD not ejecting in Mac OS 9.1 as well. I can't tell you how frustrating this is, we spent weeks working with Installer VISE to get this working reliably. It's hard to believe that it is now causing problems.

Follow the "comment" link above for more.

IMG Review: Black & White
Black & White
GraphSim
MacGamer Forums: B&W install won't eject disk


MacGames CD #5 Ships
12:20 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In our continuing effort to keep our loyal MacGames CD subscribers informed, we thought we'd pass this little bit of information along. Today we began shipping out the fifth MacGames CD to subscribers, so be on the look out for the CD soon.

Also, we received another massive order of Aliens vs Predator from MacPlay and Escape from Monkey Island, Tony Hawk 2, and Deus Ex from Aspyr. We'll be working throughout the day to ship all those who ordered these games as part of the free game offer when they subscribed to the MacGames CD.

If you haven't subscribed to the MacGames CD, there's still plenty of time to subscribe. Be sure to visit our IMG Web Store for more details on ordering a subscription and exclusive special deals just for subscribers.



SEC Opens New Investigation of nVidia
11:52 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Today's New York Times reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors are investigating leading video-card manufacturer nVidia's accounting practices.

The firm issued a statement yesterday afternoon stating that the investigation was triggered after a review of employee e-mail messages obtained earlier in connection with suspected insider trading, and that the company has launched its own investigation as well:

nVidia is cooperating fully with the SEC, and in accordance with their suggestion and advice, has launched an independent review... The Audit Committee of the nVidia Board of Directors is directing this independent review, with assistance from the law firm of Cooley Godward and the audit firm of KPMG. nVidia believes that the SEC, together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has authorized an investigation and interviewed at least one former nVidia employee.

nVidia is committed to fully and fairly reporting its financial performance. Upon completion of the review, nVidia intends to take all required and appropriate actions.

The company was first contacted by the SEC one month ago but but waited to disclose the inquiry until it had verified all the information, according to a company spokesman. Both the SEC and nVidia have declined to comment further on the nature of the investigations. nVidia produces the GeForce 2D/3D video chips used by Apple Computer and many other PC manufacturers.

New York Times: SEC Studies Accounting Practices (reg. required)
nVidia: nVidia Conducting Review of Certain Transactions



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MacGamer on Selling Diablo II
9:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacGamer has posted an interesting article that takes a look at an unusual phenomenon that has created a new economic stream from an unexpected source: online multiplayer games such as Diablo II. The advent of fervent, addictive gaming of this kind makes virtual items a real-world commodity, and young gamers who click into this trend are making the most of it.

Here's a taste from the MacGamer article authored by Corey Tamas:

The new trend of massive online gaming has created a strange but very real sliver of the economy which involves selling virtual items to other players. A player might acquire an item which is extremely rare while in the game, but the odds are he or she probably won't. Those who do have the precious items know this and have taken to auction websites such as Ebay and offered to transfer the ownership of the in-game item to the highest bidder. To my parents and most of society in general this might sound pretty ridiculous, but then again only gamers understand how important the game is and, therefore, these items sell. Rumors of Everquest items selling for thousands of dollars on Ebay has circulated, and Diablo II is no different in this way. The difference is that Verant put their foot down and threatened to suspend an Everquest account that is connected with the selling of in-game items, whereas Blizzard has put their energy into plugging all the holes they can find in Diablo II which might qualify as cheats and otherwise declare "May the best man win."
Be sure to check out the entire story, including an interview with a Diablo II gamer who explains how the whole thing works.

MacGamer: Selling Diablo II
Blizzard: The World of Diablo
Buy Diablo II


eQuake Fragged
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Developer Frank "pOx" Condello, best known for Paroxysm and for his continuing work on the Mac GLQuake Project, reports the demise of eQuake, his enhanced Quake engine project, and the release of its source code:

As many already know (or have deduced), my plans to create an enhanced Quake engine for the Mac modding masses have come to naught. In other words: eQuake is dead. Despite what some may believe, I am not pursuing a Quake 2 based project nor do I have any plans to revive eQuake. Seems I've been spending all my free time Carbonizing Mac GLQuake and GLHexen 2 and frankly that has taken the wind out of me.

As promised (albeit a little late), here is the final eQuake source release — use it in good health, just don't blame me when your system explodes (seriously — it ain't pretty).

In addition to providing the latest eQuake source, pOx's Playhouse remains the foremost site for Mac Quake editing tools as well as the home of Paroxysm, Condello's Mac-created deathmatch conversion that pushed the frontiers of Quake mod making.
This site will progress at the regular snail's pace, some links have been fixed in this update but no new content will appear any time soon. The Message Forum is always a good place to get answers to your Quake'n questions, and work on some side projects continues, so don't delete that bookmark just yet!
[Tristram Perry contributed to this story.]

IMG News: GLQuake & GL Hexen 2 Carbon Updates
GLQuake & GLHexen 2 for Mac OS
pOx's Playhouse
eQuake 0.2d2 Source (1.3 MB)
Paroxysm



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Birdie Shoot Imminent; e.p.i.c. Interviewed
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Thomas Steiding of game developer e.p.i.c. interactive sent word to IMG yesterday that their first original Mac title, Birdie Shoot, is about to be released.

The premise of this tongue-in-cheek arcade shooter is quite simple: birds are being driven crazy by a virus and are running amok, and it's up to the player to tranquilize and inoculate them all before they can infect even more birds. Features of the game include:

  • Cartoon style graphics
  • Over half a dozen types of birds (ducks, chicken, doves, storks etc.)
  • Many funny animations and sound effects
  • Four levels in different settings (jungle, sea, forest, arctic)
  • Many hidden extras
  • Shoot birds and extras multiple times for bigger scores
  • Unique BI (bird intelligence) routines — birds try to escape your crosshair
  • Kill-O-Meter for additional bonus points
  • Tournament mode for up to four players

In related news, French Mac gaming site JeuxMac interviewed Steiding yesterday and was kind enough to post an English translation. For those unfamiliar with the company, the German-based e.p.i.c. has been responsible for porting several titles to the Mac, including Earth 2140 and Knights and Merchants.

The interview covers quite a range of topics, from e.p.i.c.'s view of the current Mac market to e.p.i.c.'s venture into creating original games. Steiding is quite pleased with the new iMac as well as with Mac OS X. Also noted is the developer's effort to make further inroads into the U.S. market, which Steiding believes is a key to success.

Here's an excerpt from JeuxMac's interview:

JeuxMac: What are the current projects under work at e.p.i.c. interactive and their status?

Thomas Steiding: Our arcade fun shooter Birdie Shoot is just about to be released for the Mac. This is an absolutely simple but nevertheless extremely addictive and cute little shooter, that I think many people will love.

In the final stages of development is Gorky 17, a great mix of round based strategy, RPG and adventure. Gorky was delayed because in October 2001 we realized the importance of going with a Mac OS X native version. Thus, a lot of extra time had to be spent on a Carbonized version, but it also means Gorky 17 will be our first real Mac OS X release.

Earth 2150 went through the same delays as Gorky 17 and has currently slipped a little behind, but we hope this great 3D RTS will hit the market in April.

In addition we are working on a business management simulation, which puts you in charge of a small software company in the early 1980s. Your aim is to develop new games and bring them to the market. In addition you will have to research new technologies (like 256 colours or 16 bit sound), handle marketing, production and have an eye on your developers and competitors. A game for all people that always wanted to look behind the scenes of game companies.

For more information on e.p.i.c. interactive, be sure to check out the JeuxMac interview. Those interested in their upcoming titles should direct themselves to e.p.i.c.'s web site as well, which contains screen shots of Birdie Shoot as well as plenty of other information.

Birdie Shoot
Runesoft
JeuxMac: Interview with Thomas Steiding
Buy Earth 2140
Buy Knights and Merchants



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Clan Lord v221 Released
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new listing at MacGameFiles is for the Mac-only, massively multiplayer online role-playing game Clan Lord from developer Delta Tao. This latest version of the popular game is 221 and brings a host of changes:

  • No crashes or deadlocks to report since the last update.
  • HUGE thanks for player contributed artwork updating some of the old cartoon monsters. Keep up the great work!
  • Team jerseys for pushball and capture-the-flag are now droppable and sellable but if you /depart you will lose them.
  • Fighter belts are now sellable like healer clothing.
  • The player and inventory windows have a new look with OS X.
  • The bard icon is no longer missing from the player window. The bard badge no longer obscures the regular icon.
  • /thinkto confirmation messages are now more accurate and they are saved properly in movies.
  • Fixed ability to turn off bard music broken in v218.
  • Messages were added to the text log when you start and stop viewing a movie so that post-processing can handle them more efficiently.

Clan Lord is Carbonized to run natively in Mac OS X, and there is also a classic PowerPC application that supports operating systems all the way back to System 7.5.

Clan Lord is a cooperative online RPG with a thriving community in a persistent game world, so if you've never tried it out be sure to grab the latest demo.

Clan Lord
MGF: Clan Lord Demo 221 (503 KB)


Mac Games News for Thursday, February 14, 2002

IMG Reviews the F-16 Combatstick12:04 PM
More Shadowbane Mac News10:41 AM
Civilization III Patch May Be Delayed; OS X Tips9:52 AM
Undying Mac Reaches First Playable9:47 AM
First Tropico Expansion Review9:22 AM
BG2 Patch in Final Testing9:19 AM
Harry Potter, 4x4 Evo 2 Ship This Week6:00 AM
Lineage Episode 10, Valentine's Day Special6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights Build Updates6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 14, 2002 on one page


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