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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

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Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Goes Gold
9:37 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced that Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds has gone gold and is currently in duplication. If all goes well, Aspyr says the game should ship in the next few days.

Here's more from Aspyr:

The destiny of the galaxy hangs in the balance, and you are in command. Lead the great armies of the Star Wars saga in intense real-time strategy clashes. Enter the fray as the Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance, Wookiees, Trade Federation, Gungans or Royal Naboo to determine the course of the Galactic Civil War. Face your destiny!

The first ten thousand copies of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds will include a limited Prima Hint Book, offering tips and information about the game. The full Prima Guide is available for $10 via our web site, offering more detailed level walk-throughs, more tips, strategy, and much more.

The final system requirements for Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds are:

  • Mac OS 8.6, Mac OS X 10.0.4 minimum (9.2 or 10.1 recommended)
  • CarbonLib 1.4 or higher
  • 64 MB built-in memory (80 MB or higher recommended)
  • G3 of 300 MHz or faster (400 MHz or faster recommended)
  • 4x CD-ROM compatible drive
  • Monitor and video card capable of supporting 800x600 or higher at 256 colors
For more on Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, be sure to check out our sneak preview.

IMG Preview: Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
Westlake Interactive
Buy Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

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IMG Pre-Orders for Stronghold Ship Thursday
12:45 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

We've just been informed that IMG's copies of MacSoft's Stronghold will be arriving tomorrow. For those who pre-ordered Stronghold through the IMG store, expect your shipment to arrive within the next few days. And if you haven't pre-ordered Stronghold yet, there's still time to place your order!

If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can order Stronhold for $34. Non-subscribers can order the game for $39.

Stronghold is a unique cross between city builders such as Caesar III or Sim City and a RTS in the tradition of Command & Conquer and Age of Empires. Set in medieval Europe, you'll establish settlements, build and manage castles and engage in siege warfare. The game incorporates much more building and "community managing" than a traditional RTS, yet allows for a more intense combat experience than city builders have featured in the past.

Set in Medieval Europe, Stronghold challenges your strategic building, resource management and RTS combat skills. Become the ruler of a virtual medieval world with each decision and policy they implement. Decide how to regulate taxes and rations, when to offer free ale or hold fairs, as well as many other policies that will have an impact on your citizenís lives. Work to build and protect your castle and ultimately mount an invasion to dominate the enemyís fortress. A campaign-style storyline develops through narrative and in-game interaction.

System Requirements:

  • G3/350MHz or faster processor (500Mhz or faster for on-line play)
  • Mac OS 8.6 or higher (Carbonized for OSX)
  • Rage 128 or better video card
  • 128MB RAM, and 750MB free hard disk space
  • Internet or LAN connection required for on-line playInternational).

    Buy Stronghold

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    IMG Reviews X-Plane 6
    11:42 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted a detailed review by flight-sim guru Tim Morgan of X-Plane 6, the general-aviation simulator from Laminar Research that allows players to fly aircraft ranging from the Hindenburg to the Space Shuttle.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    X-Plane comes with a very large number of aircraft, from the basic all the way to the exotic and unrealistic. Included is a full fleet of general-aviation aircraft, from the Cessna 172 up to the heavy metal jets like the Boeing 777. In addition, the player can take a number of military aircraft to the skies, such as the aging F-105 Thunderchief and the nimble F-22 Raptor.

    What X-Plane lacks in graphical eye candy it makes up in versatility. X-Plane can handle a large variety of aircraft, from the conventional turboprops, turbojets, and helicopters to the most bizarre of prototypes. X-Plane supports the vertically-mounted jet engine on the X-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the fifty-seven thousand pounds of thrust put out by the X-15's liquid-rocket engine, the vectored-thrust engines on the F-22 Raptor and Su-37, and even the unique design of a gyrocopter, which uses both vertical-thrust helicopter blades and a horizontal-thrust prop engine to provide lift and power. The versatility does not end with engines: X-Plane correctly models the F-14 Tomcatís sweeping wings and the lift produced by a blimp's expansive chambers of gas.

    For the full text of our review and a gallery of screen shots, follow the link below.

    IMG Review: X-Plane 6
    X-Plane 6

    Apple Posts E3 Gallery
    9:35 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

    The folks at Apple have posted a gallery of pictures from their trip to the 8th Annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), commenting on the games they took interest in this year as they wandered the halls of the Expo. Some of these games are ones that have already made it to the Mac or are about to, and others have yet to be announced.

    E3 is the largest North American electronic entertainment convention and perhaps in the world, drawing the biggest names in games such as Nintendo, Sony, and Sega. E3 also draws smaller companies like our very own Mac publishers Aspyr, Destineer, and MacPlay.

    Head on over to Apple's Games site to check out their E3 Expo Gallery, and be sure stop back at IMG for our own gallery and wrap-up report soon.

    Apple: E3 Expo Gallery
    E3 2002

    ARQuake Brings Death Knights Into the Real World
    9:34 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

    A group of students at the University of South Australia working in the school's Wearable Computer Laboratory have taken Quake I into a whole new arena: specifically, the city of Adelaide.

    Augmented Reality Quake (ARQuake) may be the most inventive use of the Quake source code ever devised: the students, along with their professor, have actually come up with a method to take the monsters and weapons of Quake and place them in real world environments via the use of semi-transparent VR goggles, a strap-on computer, and a complex system of Global Positioning System (GPS) and pattern recognition technologies.

    While not yet fully perfected, the current prototypes operate by taking a pre-built vector map of the desired real-world area, then placing it into the Quake engine. The textures are then made transparent, and the monsters and heads-up display are inserted. The result, when projected into and viewed through the special VR goggles, is that the monsters appear to exist in the real world.

    This system is then coupled with the GPS and other technologies to synchronize the digital map with the real-world environment that it represents. Thus, when the user looks at a real building, and that Shambler coming out of it, through the goggles, he can turn his head and watch as the digital monster moves with the real world structure.

    The implications of technology on the gaming industry are staggering. But don't expect to see any new AR games on store shelves for a long time to come. More than likely, we'll see this kind of technology used by the government, the military, and high-tech industries first.

    To find out more about this amazing project, and to see some shots of it in action, go to the UniSA Wearable Computer Laboratory web site by following the link below.

    Wearable Computer Laboratory: ARQuake

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    Aspyr Posts Medal of Honor Screens
    8:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Aspyr Media's Chris Silman sent along a link to ten new screen shots of their upcoming first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. All of the shots were taken on a Power Mac G4/800 at high detail.

    The Mac port is now at final candidate, thanks to the hard work of the folks at Westlake Interactive. Here's an excerpt from Aspyr's email with a hint of where the game is in the process:

    This week's screenshots are from "Mission 2: Scuttling the U-529." Secret documents, blowing up subs, and trying to escape with your life!

    We are getting closer and closer to getting the game out the door and we couldn't be more excited!

    Until next week, enjoy the shots!

    Head over and have a look at the shots if you're interested, and stay tuned to IMG for the latest on Medal of Honor as it moves towards release. If you haven't yet pre-ordered the game, be sure to do so now at the redesigned IMG Store.

    IMG Preview: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
    Aspyr: Medal of Honor Photo Gallery
    Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
    Westlake Interactive
    Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

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    Mac Kick Off 2002 Going FC This Week
    7:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IMG has talked with Virtual Programming and Coderus recently about the rare Mac port of a soccer title, Kick Off 2002. Testing of the game seems to be going very well, and they expect it to be available soon. Mark Thomas at Coderus explained their role and the game's use of their PC-to-Mac library MacDX:

    We have been working on the Mac OS version of Kick Off 2002, and it is looking really good, and should be released pretty soon. This game has been ported using MacDX, and runs excellently.
    Virtual Programming confirms this information, noting that the game still needs to be approved but could be released in the very near future:
    We expect to see a gold CD for final testing by the end of this week. We want to get the game out as soon as possible after that, so providing Anco approve it, it will be out hopefully in about two weeks.
    While this timeframe could of course change, it's great to see the title progressing so quickly. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as Kick Off 2002 heads towards release. For more information and screen shots, see either the official Anco web site or Virtual Programming's Kick Off 2002 page.

    KickOff 2002
    KO: The Gathering
    Virtual Programming

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    Civilization III: Play the World Details
    7:35 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Though many gamers have been aware of Play the World, an expansion set currently in the works for the popular strategy title Civilization III, for several weeks now, details had been sketchy until its unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last week. Several gaming sites have since put up a wealth of information regarding this anticipated add-on.

    The feature probably most anticipated is support for multiplayer games. GameSpot lists several approaches being used, including turn-based, play-by-email, simultaneous, and hotseat modes. The most interesting approach, however, involves a turnless mode that attempts to make for shorter games by eliminating AI phases and forcing players to work within a short time limit on turns.

    There are also several new game types to facilitate multiplayer conflict. IGN PC gives a short description on some of them:

    We've already heard about the Capture the Flag mode but we heard more details on two more modes that will be included. Elimination is the Civ equivalent of one-shot-one-kill. A player is eliminated if they ever lose a city. Regicide is a bit like chess. Your ruler is represented as a unit on the map. The objective is to capture the other king, thereby eliminating that player from the game.
    In addition to the multiplayer features, Play the World will also introduce eight new civilizations, including the Mongols and the Spanish. Accompanying these new civilizations will be new military units, including the Keshik, a Mongol mounted warrior with weapons to spare, and the Conquistador, a Spanish warrior that boasts firearms, lances, and a war dog.

    GameSpot also makes note of new structures being introduced:

    The new outpost structure can be built outside of city boundaries in order to dispel the fog of war for a certain distance that varies according to the surrounding terrain and elevation of the outpost. The new airfield structure expands air operations beyond what is possible through cities alone, and the new radar tower adds a combat bonus to units within range.
    Other features being added include new unit sets for use with the editor, a modification manager in deference to the mod community, and stacked unit movement for land and sea units. While there has been no official word from MacSoft on a port of Play the World, the success of Civilization III on the Mac makes it a likely candidate.

    Civilization III
    Firaxis Games
    GameSpot: Civilization III: Play the World Preview
    IGN PC: Civilization III: Play the World Preview
    Buy Civilization III

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    More Unreal Tournament 2003 Details
    7:35 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    The folks at GameSpot managed to sneak another look at Unreal Tournament 2003, one of the most anticipated first-person shooters of this year, and came out with some interesting new details. Most of the new information centers around upgraded and new weaponry, the bread and butter of most first-person shooters.

    It's already known that the flak cannon, a favorite in the original Unreal Tournament, now comes with a smaller blast radius to limit its power, and its flak will now only ricochet once. It's alternate fire, however, now bounces in the direction of the original shot, giving players more control over its flak explosions.

    The shield, which replaces the impact hammer, has been upgraded since Unreal Tournament 2003's last press unveiling to be even more serviceable. Its regular attack now functions much like the impact hammer, with a close-up melee attack that can be charged for more power. Its alternate fire function now generates the shield, which comes with the ability to reflect enemy fire when fully charged as well as protect players from damage when taking long falls.

    There's also more information on the ion cannon, another kill-all weapon in the tradition of the redeemer:

    In addition, UT 2003 has the all-new ion cannon which, as we described in our previous E3 impressions, can "paint" an area and then call in a powerful satellite strike in the designated spot. In the final version of the game, the weapon can actually melt flesh completely off any characters who happen to get caught in the blast radius, leaving behind nothing but a skeleton.
    Other notes on Unreal Tournament 2003's features include new camera fixtures, which players can use in conjunction with translocators:
    Players will also be able to find and use camera fixtures on certain maps that survey small areas of the map, just like in Duke Nukem 3D, and will also be able to use their translocators creatively with the cameras to run and gun normally through the levels. However, they will need to periodically monitor important areas by translocating themselves back to the camera.
    The PC version is currently scheduled for a late summer release. Though there's no official word yet on a Mac version, we're confident that this title will find its way to a Mac publisher soon enough.

    GameSpot: Unreal Tournament 2003 more impressions
    Digital Extremes
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

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    Shadowbane Beta Widens
    7:35 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Ubi Soft and Wolfpack have updated the Shadowbane web site with a new press release regarding the beta phase for this anticipated 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing game. They are looking to widen the current private beta soon, with thousands of new players expected to be added later in the year. Mac users who fill out the application will be sure to notice Apple's hardware is fully represented in their survey. Here's an excerpt from the site: and Ubi Soft, the publishers of Shadowbane, are now accepting additional applications for beta testers in Shadowbane, the fantasy-based, massively multiplayer online (MMO) game slated for launch later this year. Shadowbane has been in a closed beta test since January 2002. will be letting thousands more players into the test this year. Players interested in being picked as a tester of the most highly anticipated online RPG of the year can apply for consideration at the Shadowbane Website:

    Developed by Wolfpack Studios, Shadowbane has been called "The Next Great Online RPG" by Computer Gaming World. Shadowbane takes the genre to a new level by offering gamers an unparalleled challenge that combines role-playing and strategic elements. Shadowbane is the first MMO to offer a Dynamic World Model, in which players' actions and decisions permanently change the history, politics and landscape of the game. Players will utilize both role-playing and strategic elements for city management, army creation, siege warfare and economic development.

    If you haven't yet signed up for the beta test, you can do so now at Ubi Soft's web site. Or, if you have already signed up, make sure your account info is up to date in their database.

    For more on the game, check out some very comprehensive new information gleaned from E3 at the Aerynth forums and one fan's attempt at forging the actual blade of Shadowbane at UnknownPlayer.

    Register for Shadowbane Beta
    Shadowbane Online Beta Database
    Ubi Soft to Recruit New Beta Testers for Shadowbane
    UnknownPlayer: Sword Journal
    Wolfpack Studios
    Aerynth: What did we learn from E3?

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, May 28, 2002

    Aspyr Picks Second Hot Date Winner12:03 PM
    Apple Posts No One Lives Forever Trailer11:51 AM
    Lineage Site Redesign11:43 AM
    E3: IMG Meets with Aspyr, Destineer, MacPlay6:00 AM
    E3: No Mac Doom III Editor, More6:00 AM
    E3: Shadowbane Report Roundup6:00 AM
    EV Nova 1.0.1 at FC26:00 AM
    New Wolfenstein PC Patch; Mac Update Status6:00 AM
    Unreal Tournament X Preview 4 Priorities6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, May 28, 2002 on one page

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