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Tuesday, March 26, 2002

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Bad Milk Wins IGF Grand Prize
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

As IMG reported yesterday afternoon, Bad Milk has taken the $15,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the fourth Independent Games Festival. The announcement was made by the IGF at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California.

The Mac-compatible game is billed by its developer, DreamingMedia, as "a unique interactive creation":

What if you drank some severely spoiled milk with your coffee? What if you fell into a delusional stupor? What if you couldn't escape from a surreal world?
Bad Milk was one of four Mac-compatible Finalists in this year's IGF Competition. Alex Dunne, chairman of the Independent Games Festival, said:
The 2002 IGF honorees exemplify the "outside the box" thinking that keeps innovation at the forefront of video game development. Each year the festival judging becomes more difficult as indie developers continue to create and submit games that push the envelope.
According to the IGF, these are the criteria used to judge the Competition:
The jury for the Competition analyzes and rates each title based on the quality of its visual art, game design, audio (music and sound effects), programming (which includes bonuses for advanced features like multiplayer capabilities, and subtractions for bugs that show themselves during play), and the overall "gestalt" of the game (whether the game taken as a whole is fun, and how the visual art, game design, audio and programming fuse together into an enjoyable experience).

The jury looks for games that stretch the boundaries of current game genres or invent new genres, rather than copying games already out on the market.

The jury looks for games that use technology creatively.

The jury looks for games that exhibit innovative game design.

Inside Mac Games congratulates DreamingMedia and all the Mac-compatible IGF Competition Finalists for excelling at these qualities.

Head over to the IGF web site for more information on all the Finalists, and for more in-depth information on Bad Milk, be sure to read IMG's review at the link below. A demo of Bad Milk is available from our sister site, MacGameFiles.

[Thanks to GameSpot for the heads-up.]

IMG Review: Bad Milk
Bad Milk
GameSpot: IGF Grand Prize goes to Bad Milk
Independent Games Festival
MGF: Bad Milk 1.0 Demo (27 MB)

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IMG Examines the Making of Deimos Rising
1:19 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted an article by Sheryn and David Wareing of Swoop Software on the making of their top-scrolling arcade game, Deimos Rising, which was published by Ambrosia Software in December of last year:

Deimos is our fourth game, following on from Swoop, Bubble Trouble (co-developed with Alex Metcalf in Wales), and Mars Rising. Each of these games has been published by Ambrosia Software, of Rochester, New York. Our aim is to make fun games with an emphasis on gameplay, designing them for average machines such as the iMac, rather than requiring the latest hardware or system software.

After Mars Rising, we needed a break from shootemups and so started work on a new game called "Attack of the Flying Saucers" (AFS). Based on '50s sci-fi films such as "Forbidden Planet," it was similar in theme (though not gameplay or visuals) to Brian Greenstone's recent game "Otto Matic." The design required us to develop some new technology, including a more flexible game engine and fully 16-bit graphics.

Eventually, we realised that AFS would be a longer-term project due to its complexity, and, with some prodding from Ambrosia, our thoughts turned to a sequel for Mars Rising....

The article continues with a look at many of the steps involved in bringing their creation to life and is generously illustrated with sketches and screen shots of the game's artwork and editing tools.

If you're interested in the process of developing and polishing a commercial-quality video game, be sure to check out the Wareing's account at the link below. (The game itself is available for download from our sister site, MacGameFiles.)

IMG Feature: The Making of Deimos Rising
IMG Review: Deimos Rising
Deimos Rising
MGF: Deimos Rising 1.0 (34 MB)

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Icewind Dale Ships
12:42 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

MacPlay's Henry Price sent word this morning sure to be welcome to fans of AD&D-based Mac gaming:

Short and sweet...

Icewind Dale for Mac is Shipping!

Developed for the PC by Black Isle and converted to the Mac by Contraband Entertainment, Icewind Dale is a fantasy role-playing game set in the Forgotten Realms.
In the northernmost reaches of the Forgotten Realms lies the frozen and untamed region known as Icewind Dale. Journey deep into the Spine of the World mountains, a harsh and unforgiving territory teeming with fearsome and merciless beasts. There you must confront an ancient evil that threatens to unleash an unspeakable horror upon the face of Faerun.
Based on the second edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rule set, Icewind Dale uses BioWare's Infinity engine, familiar to players of the original Baldur's Gate from GraphSim.

According to MacPlay:

Icewind Dale features improved graphics for advanced 3D effects that will leave you spellbound. With a new interface and streamlined player control, there's nothing to stand between you and glory; nothing except for 70 types of new monsters and some of the most formidable combat you'll ever encounter.
For more information, including system requirements and screen shots, visit the Icewind Dale page at MacPlay's web site, and be sure to read IMG's two previews.

IMG Preview: Icewind Dale (October 2000)
IMG Preview: Icewind Dale (March 2002)
Icewind Dale
Contraband Entertainment
Buy Icewind Dale
Buy Icewind Dale

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New UT 2003 Screenshots at Games4Mac
11:59 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Luciano Pecorella of the Italian web site Games4Mac send us word today that they've posted a dozen new screen shots from the upcoming Unreal Tournament 2003.

For a mouth-watering taste of the next leap in first-person shooting, pay our Italian friends a visit, and watch for continued coverage here on IMG.

IMG News: Unreal Tournament 2003
Digital Extremes
Games4Mac: Unreal Tournament 2003 Screenshots
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

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How to Benchmark WarBirds III
11:39 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

A new framerate testing protocol for the Mac version of WarBirds III has been posted to the WarBirds Bulletin Board. The protocol developer, Webs, is asking that any Macintosh WarBirds III players who run the new tests send him the results and contribute to the compilation of data. Full details of the test parameters and information needed can be obtained from the link below. Happy flying!

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
WarBirds Bulletin Board: Mac framerate testing protocol Mk II

Xavagus Prime Releases OIDS 2.0
9:05 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story

Xavagus Prime Software has released a classic shareware video game that was originally released in the early '90s and is now available for download as OIDS 2.0.

OIDS is a fast-paced arcade-style game, combining aspects of old-school games like Choplifter, Asteroids, Defender, Lode Runner, and Lunar Lander. According to the Xavagus Prime web site, your mission is:

Rescue the OIDS from the Fiendish Biocretes who are turning them into vending machines and household appliances! Fuel your ship, charge your shields, and blast off to adventure as you challenge planetoid after planetoid of devious gravity traps, treacherous teleport puzzles, and wave after wave of Hell Jets, Heat-Seekers, and Burst Orbs!
OIDS 2.0 requires a Power Macintosh running System 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9. OIDS runs in the Classic environment under Mac OS X, but it is noted that game performance is not as good not as under Mac OS 9 or earlier. OIDS 2.0 also includes a game editor with which you can create your own games with easy-to-use cut and paste functions.

Xavagus Prime: OIDS
MGF: OIDS 2.0 (1.4 MB)

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Neverwinter Nights Opening Movie Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gamers looking for every shred of information they can get on BioWare's upcoming role-playing game will be happy to know that gaming site giant GameSpot recently posted the entire opening movie from Neverwinter Nights. The movie is available as a download for registered users and in streaming format for those who wish to view it without having to pay.

Though the movie itself doesn't actually reveal anything about gameplay or features, it does show a nicely rendered fight scene between a sword-wielding warrior and a giant minotaur, interspersed with images of a sword being forged. The entire opening screams D&D and is sure to get the heart of many a fan pumping.

In related news, fan site Ladies of Neverwinter recently posted an interview with Sophia Smith, a coder on Neverwinter Nights. The interview takes a look at the game from the female perspective:

Q: What can you tell us about the variety of models for female characters? Are they all going to be grossly scantily clad females in Xena-like armor, or can we hope for more D&D flavored appearances?

A: I just browsed through the clothes available for female characters.  There is a large selection of clothing components that can be mixed-and-matched, and although some options are more revealing than others, these are in the minority. There are many choices, and having toyed with them briefly, I'm confident that attractive clothes can easily be created to satisfy a wide range of levels of both modesty and functionality. There's a good range of character portraits to choose from, encompassing different ages, races, and body types.

Those interested in the full interview can find it at the Ladies of Neverwinter.

IMG Preview: Neverwinter Nights
GameSpot: Neverwinter Nights Media
Ladies of Neverwinter: Sophia Smith Interview
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Westlake Updates: MoH & Undying Alpha, SWGB Beta
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac porting house Westlake Interactive updated its news page yesterday with updates on three titles currently in development for Aspyr Media: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Clive Barker's Undying, and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.

Medal of Honor, a first-person shooter set in World War II, has just reached the Alpha stage of development. Westlake reports that the both the single and multiplayer games are running well and that it should be close to beta once the latest PC code (version 1.11) is rolled into the engine.

Also hitting Alpha is Undying, a first person-shooter that uses horror as its backdrop. Westlake describes this title as being on a fast track, with its Beta test anticipated sometime soon.

Last but not least is Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, which is now officially Beta:

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is now in Beta test, and is moving along well towards final. Based on the Age of Empires II engine, Battlegrounds has been a smooth port and is looking great. All of the latest engine-specific bug fixes from AOE2 are included in Battlegrounds, so it should be a very clean game right out of the box.
More information on the current status of these games can be found at Westlake's news site. Mac gamers take heart: there should be some great titles hitting the shelves again this year!

Clive Barker's Undying
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
Westlake Interactive: News
Buy Clive Barker's Undying
Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Buy Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

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Macworld Tokyo Report on iDevGames
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Yesterday, Carlos Camacho of Mac game development web site iDevGames.com posted his report on Macworld Tokyo 2002.

Camacho's report is notable for being offered not only from the perspective of game development, but also from (more or less) Japanese eyes, as Camacho has spent a number of years in the country.

Here's a brief excerpt describing the Mac OS X Games Arcade at the Tokyo Expo:

Several top publishers were demonstrating (or were they playing?) their games at the arcade. Ambrosia Software featured Deimos Rising, Escape Velocity Nova, and a game under beta called pop-pop. I spent several minutes studying the beautiful background tiles in Deimos Rising, which I heard were rendered in Bryce. Pop-pop features a great multiplayer mode and cute graphics (Miwa's words). Inside Mac Games has a complete preview posted on this very addictive title. The Escape Velocity Nova crew were the most enthusiastic developers at the arcade. Luke Smart and Dafydd Williams managed to transport me to another universe with their explanation of the game's mechanics and the development process. The game is deep and contains a storyline richer than anything from "Skywalker ranch." With promises of a postmortem from them and way too much SF in my brain, I turned around and came face-to-face with the Terminator. Actually it was Andrew Welch, el Presidente of Ambrosia Software, Inc. (If Arnold is too old or out of shape to do the third film — my vote is for Andrew.)
For the rest of Camacho's report and some photos from the show floor, head over to iDevGames. (And if you haven't yet read our own report by MacPlay's Mark Cottam, be sure to check it out as well.)

IMG Feature: Macworld Expo Tokyo Report
iDevGames: Macworld Tokyo 2002 Report
MWT 2002

Mac Games News for Monday, March 25, 2002

In Other News: Starsky & Hutch, Payback, & More2:17 PM
IMG Reviews EV Nova11:43 AM
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds Hint Book11:24 AM
Apple to PC Users: Help!11:20 AM
GameSpy Talks Unreal Technology with Tim Sweeney10:47 AM
Custer's Dale6:00 AM
Details on Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness6:00 AM
Reevaluating Java and Video Games6:00 AM
The Gamesome Mac Debuts with Glenda Adams6:00 AM
The Sims Overtakes Myst as Bestseller6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 Details6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 25, 2002 on one page

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