Blizzard Cracks Down on Cheaters
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Anyone who plays online games on a regular basis is well aware that there are a number of unscrupulous gamers out there who just love, for whatever reason, to cheat. Blizzard Entertainment, with their free online Battle.net service, are no strangers to cheaters either.
Those who have doubted Blizzard's firm stance toward cheaters may find a posting last Friday about duplicated items in Diablo II to be of interest:
In keeping with our aggressive stance against hacks and cheats, we are currently devoting our full attention to deleting a wide-range of duplicated items from Diablo II and Diablo Lord of Destruction characters on Battle.net. Only items that have been used illegally to duplicate new items, or the duplicated items themselves will be affected.Blizzard adds that they regret having to resort to such measures, but that they intend to keep the online world of Diablo II cheat-free in deference to the community as a whole.
In addition, the accounts of several repeat offenders - including those who use illegal hacks - have been deleted, and offenders' CD-Keys have been permanently disabled. We will continue to monitor the Battle.net Realms for malicious players.
As online games become more and more prevalent in the gaming world, we'll no doubt see other companies resorting to similar means in order to keep cheaters from disrupting the balance of play.
IMG Review: Diablo II
IMG Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Diablo II (add to watch list)
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (add to watch list)
Battle.net Status: Diablo II: Duplicated Item Policy
Buy Diablo II
In Other News: Elite Force 2, Lawnmower, & More
12:16 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
In other news are shorter stories where anything goes. It includes game updates, not-so-game related stuff, and more. Help us out by sending us your news tips!
Elite Force 2 Coming Early in 2003
"Fresh out of my mailbox, the latest issue of PC Gamer (May 2002) features a first look at Star Trek: Elite Force 2! The game is going to be developed by Ritual and published by Activision. According to the article, which is loaded with fantastic looking screenshots, EF2 will continue in the tradition of Elite Force by focusing on story and character. They will also be using the Quake 3 engine for the game. Right now they are planning 12 single player levels, with between one and seven missions per level."
Simon the Sorcerer 3D Screenshots
Here's a collection of 10 screens from Simon the Sorcerer 3D, due out in Q4 2002.
Deus Ex Critique at GDC
"At the end of the last day, The Doug Church and Warren Spector show was perhaps my most anticipated session. Deus Ex and Thief are two of my favorite games, and to see their respective creators pick apart each other's game sounded like a great opportunity to learn more about their designs. It turned out to be the best session of the week."
The Gaming Den at MacGamer
"Every week MacGamer's Gaming Den invites a person who is in touch with the pulse of the Mac gaming world to talk a bit about some of the games that registered on their radar. Whether they be games that were loved, hated or somewhere in between, the Gaming Den lets the guest do the talking. This week our guest is iDevGames' Carlos Camacho, who expounds not only on the games we set out for him, but a lot more as well."
Unreal Tournament 2 Weapons Preview
Unreal Ops has updated its Unreal Tournament 2003 weapons preview with a few new morsels of information.
PCs that can see?
A small Silicon Valley start-up has embarked on an almost mythological effort: It wants to give computers the gift of sight.
Court Sides With Cussing Canoeist
"A state appeals court Monday struck down Michigan's 105-year-old law against using vulgar language in front of women and children, throwing out the conviction of a canoeist who let loose a stream of curses after falling into the water."
Chickens Lay Eggs with a Little Extra
"Sheep that produce human proteins in their milk, goats that can be milked for spider web proteins, and other genetically engineered animals just got some competition -- chickens that can produce useful drugs in their eggs, researchers reported on Monday."
Web surfers prefer business over porn
"People using Internet search engines are less interested in sex sites and more interested in business, travel and jobs than they were five years ago, according to a study led by a Penn State University researcher."
A year later, do big Web ads work?
"Online advertising may be finally getting some respect. A year after being introduced across the Web, larger, flashier, more intrusive ads have virtually become the standard for online marketing. New research from a leading Web publisher finds that those king-size ads do grab attention."
Man Nabbed for DUI on Lawnmower
"Michael Kocur, 39, admitted in court he was drunk when he was stopped by police on an upstate New York road last July. It is Kocur's fifth drunken-driving conviction. Kocur, of Port Byron, near Syracuse, told Cayuga County Court Judge Peter E. Corning he drove the mower and towed a friend in an attached wagon as the pair picked up trash along the roadside."
The Final WordOur April Fools giveaway was a tremendous success. We received well over 600 entries and a few "concerned" emails from readers who thought the giveaway was real. One reader even thought about informing the FBI! Anyway, folks, it was just a joke. To those who got fooled...sorry :)
Last week I got Jedi Knight II for the PC and started playing it. Unfortunately my level of wusness is at an all-time high as I seem to be getting motion sickness after playing it for a while. Oh, poor baby! Anyway, so far the game looks great, but I'll reserve judgement until I get further into it. I really have no idea if this game is coming to the Mac... but since it's based on Quake 3 (err, Westlake)... hmmm...
And finally... those pop-under ads at VersionTracker.com are getting majorly annoying. First it's MacCentral, now VT? Anyway, I don't think you'll see any pop-under ads at IMG anytime soon. Thanks to our sponsors and all of you who have bought MacGames CD subscriptions and ordered games through our online store, we don't have to take such drastic measures. Really folks, we appreciate all the support. Tuncer
Got a news story you'd like us to post? Email us at email@example.com.
IMG Publishes The Slacker's Guide to Shareware
11:48 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story
IMG has published the first in a three-part series by Chris Barylick entitled "The Slacker's Guide to Shareware":
If there was one thing the Slacker learned from a childhood spent watching “The Wonder Years” and playing with those old-school sticky spiders that came in cereal boxes (and would go down about three walls before becoming too encrusted with small bits of dirt to function properly), it’s this: sometimes a really good thing slips by. In the midst of the Halo hubbub, Myth 3 mania and Oni ogling, some terrific games have gone unnoticed. For the rest of this first part, in which Barylick examines AirBurst, Doulber, Maelstrom, and BabelBlox, follow the link below.
Inside Mac Games (add to watch list)
This happens to the best of us and is neither the fault of the programmer or the intended customer. The simple truth of the matter is that these games are shareware, registering only as tiny blips on the radar of the Macintosh gaming industry. Sometimes a great game will emerge and become so wildly hyped that its presence becomes unavoidable, the lack of marketing dollars providing no hindrance whatsoever. Other times a significant company like Ambrosia or Freeverse will push a good game to greatness, its time, effort and marketing dollars ensuring that the game winds up on as many Macs as possible while taking a share of the profits in return. In the end, only a few shareware game titles truly shine above the rest and become part of the Mac gaming community’s collective consciousness. Once absorbed, these games provide a great value for a low price despite the thousands of play hours lost, millions of consumed caffeine beverages and the wail of the neglected significant others they leave in their wake.
IMG Feature: The Slacker's Guide to Shareware - Part 1
Over 600 Entries Received for id/IMG Giveaway
11:24 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story
Over 600 readers entered yesterday's drawing for IMG's and id Software's exclusive joint giveaway of an M72 LAW "Sloof" rocket launcher, but of course only one could walk away with the prize. Congratulations to regular IMG reader Frank "Utterer" Caratozzolo of Utterer.com, who is our exclusive winner.
The announcement of the winner, who was picked at random, was met with some alarm in IMG's offices. While nervous staffers were hurriedly cleaning out their desks, Tuncer Deniz, publisher and editor-in-chief of Inside Mac Games, looking stunned, shook his head and said:
Of course we thought to exclude IMG employees and corporate sponsors from eligibility, but we never thought to exclude competitors. What was I thinking? I guess we'll just have to give it to him and trust ourselves to his journalistic integrity.As he turned away and began to empty his desk, Deniz was heard to add, under his breath:
We'd better start tossing some exclusives his way as well.Thanks to all of our contestants for their entries, and from all of us here at IMG, we hope you had a happy and amusing April Fool's Day!
IMG News: id and IMG Team Up for Giveaway!
Otto Matic Update Adds Force Feedback
11:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software has updated their sci-fi adventure Otto Matic. Version 1.2 brings with it improved Mac OS X audio performance as well as support for MacAlly's force-feedback gamepad controller, the iShock II. Here's their quick description of the changes:
Added force feedback support for MacAlly iShock, and added force feedback option to the settings dialog. Also fixed some minor audio glitches with OS X.Head over to MacGameFiles to download the small 1.2 update. Those who haven't tried Otto Matic should grab the demo which has also been updated to version 1.2.
IMG Review: Otto Matic
Otto Matic (add to watch list)
Pangea Software (add to watch list)
MGF: Otto Matic 1.2 Update
MGF: Otto Matic 1.2 Demo
Get Amped Review, Seeks US Publisher
10:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
MacGamer has posted a review of a little-known Japanese, Internet-ready fighting game called GetAmped. In addition to the review, MacGamer's Pat Miller provides a how-to on getting started with the game.
Here's a snippet from the article:
As with other games of the genre, GetAmped's gameplay is deceptively simple. Your character can walk and run about, jump, and attack with every means available to them. Your goal is to smack everyone else silly, or some minor variant thereof. The single player mode appears to have a basic plot - something along the lines of "your significant other has been captured by an a bad guy! go fight through legions of minions to rescue her!" - but it's really just a mode to practice your beatdown skills if you're a newbie or your internet connection is down. Multiplayer (available over LAN or Internet) is where GetAmped shines.In related news, the authors of GetAmped have expressed their interest in find a U.S. publisher. In a forum post on the getamped web site, the authors also clarified some other issues with the game:
We are happy that you foreigner play GetAmped. But you're having a big mistake about GetAmped (also some news sites).For more on GetAmped, be sure to check out the MacGamer review and the GetAmped web site.
GetAmped is NOT FREE but Just in the free playing period now. And we're getting ready for publish this game in Japan soon (May or June). We'd like to translate GetAmped to English and publish this game in USA or some other countries. We are wondering if you could give us some helps or informations about publishing there.
MacGamer: Get Amped Review
Apple Features Icewind Dale
10:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
Apple has posted a new feature on MacPlay's recently released role-playing game, Icewind Dale. Icewind Dale is one of the largest computer dungeon adventures ever created for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Developed using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules by the Black Isle team that developed Baldur's Gate and Fallout, Icewind Dale is said to feature improved graphics for advanced 3D effects.
Here's a snippet from the article:
Reality TV comes to the Renaissance Fair? No, it’s a typical session in front of your Mac with MacPlay’s latest role-playing game (RPG), Icewind Dale. Based on the official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition rules and built to run in Mac OS X as smoothly as a magical sword through a goblin, this title offers a twist on the tried-and-true RPG formula. Be sure to check out the rest of the article at the Apple web site.
IMG Preview: Icewind Dale
You see, unlike previous AD&D-based games like Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Icewind Dale requires that you create not one, but six characters before you begin your grand adventure. And you need to make sure they get along, or you’ll be in for a long journey.
Apple: Icewind Dale
Icewind Dale (add to watch list)
Buy Icewind Dale
ATI Offers Trade-Up Program
9:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
Along with announcing that it has begun shipping the Radeon 8500, ATI today announced the "Supercharge your Power Mac G4" promotion which will allow customers to trade in the mainstream graphics solution that came with their Power Mac G4 either Radeon 7500 for Mac or GeForce4 MX for a $150 rebate on a new Radeon 8500 Mac Edition graphics card.
Here are more details on the program:
With outstanding performance and exceptional visual quality, the RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION brings the ultimate 3D graphics experience in both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X to Mac gamers and enthusiasts.For more information or to participate in the program, be sure to visit the ATI web site.
IMG Preview: Radeon 8500 AGP
Customers participating in the program will purchase their new RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION from the ATI.com web site, where they will be asked to provide identifying information for both their existing graphics product and Power Mac G4. Once their new RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION arrives, customers will return their RADEON 7500 or GeForce4 MX to receive a $150 rebate directly on their credit card. The program will run until May 31, 2002.
"Many Apple customers have expressed a desire to configure their new Power Mac G4 with the RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION, but it isn't an available option," said Stan Ossias, Product Manager, Mac Products, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. "This program enables new Power Mac buyers to experience more advanced graphics without having to pay for two graphics cards."
ATI (add to watch list)
Radeon 8500 AGP (add to watch list)
Radeon 8500 Officially Ships
9:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
In a press release issued today, ATI Technologies today officially announced that it had begun shipping the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition and are available on store shelves with a suggested retail price of $299.
Here's more from the official release:
With breathtaking visual quality and groundbreaking performance, the RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION introduces Mac users to the ultimate gaming and 3D graphics experience in both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. ATI will add additional features in an upcoming driver release(1), making it the only graphics board vendor to deliver FSAA (full scene anti-aliasing) for the Macintosh.The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition is compatible with any Power Mac computer with an AGP slot and Mac OS 9.2.1 or Mac OS X 10.1 or later. Be on the lookout for IMG's review of the 8500 soon!
IMG Preview: Radeon 8500 AGP
"Mac users have never seen this kind of gaming power before," said Stan Ossias, Product Manager, Mac Products, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. "In addition to unbelievable performance, RADEON 8500 Mac users will be able to take immediate advantage of our technologies like TRUFORM and SMOOTHVISION FSAA in games like Otto Matic, Spiderman, Harry Potter and others. ATI's Mac Team is really enthused to see these features exposed in hot new games."
The RADEON 8500 MAC EDITION features a flexible multiple display capability, supporting a variety of combinations of output through DVI-I, VGA and TV-out connectors.
ATI (add to watch list)
Radeon 8500 AGP (add to watch list)
X-Plane Updated to Version 6.11
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story
Following on the heels of the version 6.10 release, Laminar Research has addressed a number of issues in its popular flight sim, X-Plane, in its newest update, version 6.11. The new version adds better joystick support and fixes a problem causing rivers to be too wide. In addition, designers are offered more flexibility with control surface placement.
Two versions are available for download: a full version and a patch. The full version of 6.11 also adds a few fighters not included with the 6.10 release.
X-Plane is a modular general-aviation flight sim that allows people to design and fly a variety of aircraft around the world. Recently, version 6.10 significantly increased the detail in the terrain environment, along with adding a number of improvements.
IMG Review: X-Plane
X-Plane (add to watch list)
Download 6.11 Full Update (80 MB)
Download 6.11 Mini-Update (2 MB)
R.I.T. Offers First Master's Degree in Game Design
6:00 AM | Tristram Perry | Comment on this story
An article in yesterday's New York Times highlights the fact that the Rochester Institute of Technology has started the nation's first Master's Degree program in computer game design. Based in its department of Information Technology, the upstate New York college's program is a distinct contrast to those of other institutions, such as Carnegie Mellon or the Art Institute of San Francisco, that offer courses in game design. Other programs tend to be more focused on the artistic aspects of games rather than the technology.
The story provides an interesting read on the skills and development that individuals need to design games, as well as some predictions of where the industry is going. According to the article's estimate:
The $20 billion computer game industry will grow to a $100 billion-a-year business within a decade.The full text can be accessed via the link below.
NY Times: Game-Design Courses Gain Favor
Rochester Institute of Technology IT Department
Custer Gets Medieval
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story
The newest desktop image from IMG's artist-in-residence, Brad Custer, is based on MacSoft's upcoming castle-building simulation, Stronghold:
Well, I had my first look at Stronghold last year at E3. Now, with the pending release of the game I thought it was the perfect time to create a desktop for it. That and the fact that I just acquired some great art for it. ;) This week's selection was created from art supplied by MacSoft and is titled, "Medieval" for the time period it takes place in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)Head over to Custer's Desktops to add a medieval flare to your Mac's screen.
IMG: Custer's Desktops
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