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Friday, May 31, 2002



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Oliver on Jedi Knight II Status
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Soon after yesterday's huge announcement by Aspyr Media of a Mac port of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive answered reader questions in the IMG Forums. While Aspyr hasn't yet set a release date, it seems Oliver has been making good progress already, as he notes in one of his posts that he's seeing some issues found in other Quake III games. He refers specifically to the multiprocessor bugs which were extremely difficult to track down in titles like Elite Force:

Finally, I can say that with JK2, I can reproduce the SMP bugs that a lot of people were reporting with Elite Force (which I could not reproduce). So I'd say it stands a good chance of getting fixed once and for all, with hopefully the fixes trickling back into the other Q3 games we did. No promises though.

Since I'm tweaking our Q3 Mac code, if there are any other things you want done, speak now or forever hold your peace. :)

Later in the thread, Oliver notes he's going to attempt to get this and other Quake III-specific issues fixed in older titles as well, though of course Jedi Knight II takes precedence:
My intention right now is to patch EF and Alice during (or immediately following) the JK2 development cycle. Aspyr passed along some info a while back that was interesting. There was a certain mod you could download for EF that, when installed, made the projectiles magically appear in MP matches, completely unrelated to anything that you would logically think would affect that. Wild stuff.
Lastly he notes that if LucasArts fans want to see the middle game in the series, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, which never made it to the Mac, they should write Aspyr asking for it. Oliver has long made known his desire to work on the title, assuming a publisher could secure the rights and source code to the game.

IMG Preview: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
LucasArts
Westlake Interactive
IMG Forum: Jedi Knight II Thread
Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast


IMG Looks Back at E3 2002
1:37 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As gaming sites around the Web wrap up their coverage of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, IMG's Senior News Editor, Sean Smith, has returned from Los Angeles and collected his impressions of Apple's presence at the show and of some of the more memorable games likely to find their way to the Mac.

Here's an excerpt from his retrospective, published today on IMG:

Apple didn't have a booth on the show floor, but they did have a large, comfortable room directly across the hall from the E3 Media Center. It was an enviable location, as no journalist covering the show could avoid walking by Apple's door, plainly marked by the famous monochrome Apple logo.

Some have taken Apple to task for not having a booth on the show floor. Paying the fantastic expense of an E3 booth in an attempt to grab some of the media spotlight from the newest games coming from the big PC publishers and the even bigger console publishers would have been a fool's errand. Making connections, lobbying publishers and developers, and doing deals: that's what Apple could usefully do at the Expo, and to that purpose their presence at the show was ideally suited.

Walking past the 23" Apple HD Cinema Display in the entrance, which seemed to be looping an updated version of the Mac gaming video familiar to visitors to the Mac OS X Gaming Pavilion at this year's Macworld Expo San Francisco, I found a couple of private meeting rooms (always in use), a number of comfortable couches, refreshment, and a bank of networked dual-800 MHz Power Mac G4s. Often in use, the G4s were equipped with a selection of new and upcoming Mac OS X games, including Return to Castle Wolfenstein (team games seemed to be very popular) and Max Payne, both of which were buttery smooth, even on the stock GeForce2 MX, to my very pleasant surprise....

For the rest of Smith's retrospective, including his first-hand impressions of Age of Mythology, Star Trek Elite Force II, Harbinger, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Unreal II: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Doom III, follow the link below.


IMG Feature: E3 2002 Retrospective
IMG News: Previous E3 2002 Coverage
E3 2002



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Elite Force II Preview at IGN PC
1:04 PM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

IGN PC is featuring a hands-on preview of Star Trek Elite Force II which is being produced by Activision. This time around, the game is being developed by Ritual Entertainment rather than Raven Software, who were apparently too busy to take on another major project. Raven designed and developed the first Elite Force title, Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force.

In this installment, the player is no longer limited to the Starship Voyager, but will be able to serve at Starfleet Headquarters and, ultimately, the well-loved, utterly familiar Starship Enterprise. Fans will rejoice to know that Patrick Stewart himself will be supplying the voice of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Here's an excerpt from the preview that gives some details on the latest addition to the series:

The team is planning a filling the game world with about a dozen different environments with multiple missions in each area. You're not just limited to the interiors of ships this time as the environments will range from ship interiors to swamps to deserts and beyond. There will, of course, be multiplay in the game as well. All the modes from Elite Force and the expansion will be brought over into Elite Force 2.

In addition to the normal cast of Klingons, Andorians, Borg, Romulans, and Ferengi, Elite Force 2 will include three never-before-seen races that will be unique to the game. They aren't giving out the names at this point, but we got to see one of them in action today as we were attacked by these lizard-praying mantis type creatures with long tails and scythe blades for hands. All in all they look pretty creepy, and should fit in well with the shooter.

Although there is no official word as to the status of a Macintosh port, the success of the previous title and the portability of the Quake III engine and Ritual's Uber toolset makes a Mac version of Elite Force II seem likely. Keep an eye on Aspyr Media, who brought the first Elite Force title to the Mac, for any information concerning Elite Force II.

Follow the link below to read the entire preview and even see a few screenshots.

IGN PC: Elite Force II Preview
Ritual Entertainment
Star Trek Elite Force II
Buy Star Trek Elite Force II


Audio Interview: Carmack & Reznor Discuss Doom III
12:50 PM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Wired.com is hosting an audio interview that they recently conducted with id Software's John Carmack and with Trent Reznor, the musician and producer behind the music of Nine Inch Nails.

Most gamers will remember that Reznor was responsible for the visceral soundtrack of the legendary game, Quake. Now, Reznor has been recruited to handle the sound for the upcoming Doom III, the latest in the venerated series of games that made id Software famous and practically launched the first-person shooter genre into the gaming forefront.

Doom III was given high coverage at this year's E3 and is one of the most anticipated titles in the current crop of future games. Word on a Mac version has not yet been announced but, considering the fact that every previous version of Doom, as well as all three Quakes, has been popular on the Macintosh, the support of id seems likely.

The interview is offered in RealPlayer and Windows Media formats, so you'll have to download one of the two players to hear the interview if you only use QuickTime. Follow the link below to read the quick intro, then check out the interview.

id Software
Wired.com: Doom III Interview
Buy DOOM 3



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Pre-order Jedi Knight II at the IMG Store
12:07 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The upcoming first-person shooter, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast from Aspyr Media is now available for pre-order at the IMG Web Store. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order for just $43:

Several years have passed since Kyle avenged his father's death and saved the Valley of the Jedi from Jerec and his band of Dark Jedi. Allowing his Force powers to languish for fear of falling to the dark side, Kyle entrusted his lightsaber to Luke Skywalker, vowing never to use it again. But when a new and menacing threat to the galaxy emerges, Kyle knows he must reclaim his past in order to save his future. Players assume the role of Kyle as they employ a unique mix of weapons, Force powers and your lightsaber in both single- and multiplayer modes.

  • Expanded and enhanced use of the lightsaber features a slew of attack and defense moves.
  • Tap into the powers of the Force including Jump, Push, Jedi Mind Tricks and more.
  • Employ combat or stealth, depending on the situation. When a fight is necessary, be at the ready with an arsenal of weapons: stun baton, Bryar blast pistol, blaster rifle to name but a few.
  • Explore breathtaking Star Wars locales--Cloud City, the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, Nar Shaddaa, the smugglers' moon--plus some never-before-seen locations.
  • Two multiplayer modes: Jedi training and team-based play
  • Developed in conjunction with the critically acclaimed Raven Software using an advanced Quake III engine.

Preliminary System Requirements

  • Mac OS 9.0 or later
  • Mac OS X compatible
  • G3 Processor at 400 MHz or faster
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 4X CD-ROM (16X recommended)
  • Hard drive, with 665 MB minimum free space
  • Hardware 3D acceleration required
The MacGames CD is a CD-ROM subscription service featuring the best in Macintosh game demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, cheaters and much more. Get eight issues per year (delivered every six weeks) and save big bucks!

For a limited time, when you subscribe to the MacGames CD, you can get a full version of Aliens vs Predator, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Deus Ex, or Escape From Monkey Island; all you pay is the shipping ($5 USA, $7 Canada, $12 international).

Each subscription or renewal also includes free registration of the shareware game guide Game Doctor plus great discounts from Mac game stores and publishers. For more information, please visit the IMG Web Store.

IMG First Look: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast



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Wolfenstein 1.32 Patch Update
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gamers currently enjoying the multiplayer version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein should be pleased to hear that the much-asked-for version 1.32 patch should be released quite soon. Publisher Aspyr Media yesterday released its latest newsletter, which includes, among other things, information on the upcoming patch, which will bring Mac users up to speed with PC users:

It should be no surprise that Duane Johnson, of Westlake Interactive, is finishing up the 1.32 patch for the Mac. We expect the release to be early next week. Be sure to visit www.aspyr.com to check for the latest available updates.
As this is the first patch for Mac gamers, it will include fixes and features from the older 1.3 and 1.31 patches as well. Aspyr lists the following:

  • 1.32:
    • support for a new moving object (the tram)
    • a new map (Tram assault)
    • support for ATI Truform

  • 1.31:
    • fixed some teleportation/reviving players bugs

  • 1.3:
    • PunkBuster, a server-based anti-cheating software system
    • a new map (Ice)
    • support for using Mods
    • adding "Allow Download" to Multiplayer Setup to allow the player to
      download maps and mods directly from game server in-game.
    • flamethrower fixes
    • fixed where documents could sometimes be lost in closing doors
    • picking up a weapon is no longer a quick reload
    • dying and being revived no longer fills your power bar
    • no longer kicked out due to inactivity after using up all your lives
    • public messages are no longer echoed
    • reviving a player near a moving object no longer causes a problem
    • other minor fixes

This is great news for fans of this title. Hats off to both Westlake Interactive and Aspyr for following up so soon on the PC patch release. Return to Castle Wolfenstein gamers take heart: we'll soon be playing on parity with the rest of the world.

IMG Review: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Aspyr: May 2002 Newsletter
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Westlake Interactive
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein


Custer's Patriotic Fervor
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In a nod to the recently observed Memorial Day as well as the upcoming release of yet another A-list title for the Mac, IMG's own Brad Custer has designed this week's desktop after Asypr's upcoming World War II-themed first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

Titled "Courage," the desktop picture depicts a scene featuring the famous storming of the beach at Normandy:

Set during the most trying years of the war, 1942-1945, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault gives players a sense of the courage it took to survive the landings at Normandy, the assault at Arzew, a rendezvous with the Resistance outside the village of St. Lo, and the push through the heavily defended border of Germany itself to take the bridge at Remagen.
As usual, Custer's work is top-notch. Readers interested in downloading his latest work in preparation for Medal of Honor's impending release can it at the usual place, Custer's Desktops.

IMG: Custer's Desktops
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault


OS X Quake and Quake II Updates
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The folks at Fruitz of Dojo have recently updated both Quake and Quake II for Mac OS X, bringing the open-source games by id Software to versions 1.0.7 and 1.0.5, respectively. Owners of high-end ATI video cards will be interested to hear the new versions bring a number of changes to use features like Truform, with full-scene anti-aliasing coming soon. Here's an update with more on what has changed:

Both updates introduce support for ATI Truform and anisotropic texture filtering to the OpenGL renderer versions, better adjustment of the mouse speed at the options dialog and finally you don't have to select the "id1" or "baseq2" folder anymore, if the appropriate application is installed at the same level as those folders. The update to Quake II will additionally improve performance of the OpenGL renderer. Originally FSAA support was planned for this release, but it had to be deactivated due to an issue with the current ATI Radeon drivers.
Head over to Macgamefiles.com to download the new applications. Both versions require the full retail games in order to play.

Fruitz of Dojo: News
id Software
MGF: Quake 1.0.7 (1.3 MB)
MGF: Quake II 1.0.5 (1.6 MB)


Mac Games News for Thursday, May 30, 2002

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Coming to Mac2:21 PM
Apple Exposes E38:08 AM
Unreal II Impressions7:51 AM
Neverwinter Nights Hands-on; New Movies7:50 AM
Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Revealed7:49 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, May 30, 2002 on one page


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Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
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