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Friday, June 7, 2002

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WWIIOnline Update Posted; Mac Status
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

On the one-year anniversary of the original game's (admittedly rocky) release, Strategy First and Cornered Rat have made a very large 1.6 patch available for their massively multiplayer online title, World War II Online. This update is more than just bug-fixes, as the companies hope to regain the support of many gamers burned by the original's instability and resource requirements. Version 1.6 drastically improves the user interface, reduces load times, and makes the infantry mode more appealing.

The full download is nearly 100MB, and with its release comes news on the Mac client. While many Mac gamers may have given up on the MMO war sim, it seems they are still determined to bring it to the platform. World War II Online HQ has the scoop:

With the release of 1.6 for Windows we have entered the last dev cycle for the Macintosh client and have a publishing arrangement in place, which should see the Mac version on the shelves this year. A public preview of the Macintosh client will run prior to its release. Watch for more details soon.

In the coming days we'll be announcing new program to attract more players including a free trial offer and a re-evaluation program for former players. These along with the Recruitment Rewards and Prepay Subscription programs and the previously mentioned Mac preview are designed to do whatever we can to bring more players to the virtual battlefield- but we need your help. Help us kick start the Recruitment Rewards program by telling your friends about v1.6 and the free trial (watch for details).

So a Mac publisher looks to be helping out Cornered Rat with the Mac delivery. Macworld New York seems like a likely candidate for the client's release, but the preview could be available soon than that. Stay tuned to IMG for a full preview of World War II Online on the Mac very soon.

World War II Online Mac Status
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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Johnson on Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor Demos
7:18 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

One of the more popular questions we get here at Inside Mac Games is "When is X demo coming out?" or "Will there be an X demo?". Following the release of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Mac gamers have been asking if there would be a single-player demo of the game. The good news, according to the programmer who ported Return to Castle Wolfenstein to the Mac, a demo is coming. Duane Johnson posted the following in the IMG forum today:

The RtCW SP demo is sitting on a shelf at id, waiting for approval.
Johnson also offered news on a Medal of Honor: Allied Assault demo, which doesn't look good:
The MOHAA demo is a little iffy. The PC demo was finished prior to the released game & they (2015) changed some of the data formats between the two. They also did not keep the source code for the old formats in the codebase. So we are trying to get the source code from when the demo was released.

Keep your fingers crossed.

If and when these demos come out, we'll be sure to let you know.

IMG Review: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
IMG Preview: Medal of Honor
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
IMG Forum Topic on Demos
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

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Aspyr Picks Final Hot Date Winners
6:09 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

For the past month, Inside Mac Games and Aspyr Media have been giving away copies of the upcoming expansion pack, The Sims: Hot Date. Contestants were asked to describe their own "ideal hot date" in our giveaway page and Aspyr picked the winners based on the responses. We now have our final two winners.

Joseph B. and Rick M. win two movie tickets and a free copy of Hot Date for their descriptions of their ideal hot date.

Here's Joseph B.'s ideal hot date:

One in which my wife and I finally find a babysitter and get to go out for the first time in 5 months.
Here's Rick M.'s ideal hot date:
First, my date and myself would go to a small island with no one there. There would be one house.(which would be the one we were staying in) There would be plenty of food and things so that we wouldnt even need waitors or anything like that. We would both be in out swimsuits watching the beautiful orange sun halfway hiding behind the tropical blue waters. As night fell, the most beautiful display of stars would come out, twinkling like diamonds. And the moon, looking as a silver coin casting a silver glare on the dark ocean. The fireflies flying around near by . My date and myself would be cuttled up on a blanket under a elegant tent with no sides made of white sheer fabric. A small breeze comes and the tent fabric flutters soundlessly as the flame on the candles dance. My date and myself would then eat some elegany tasteful desserts. After eating our desserts, we would watch as the golden sun came over the ocean and once again bring light to the tropical beach.
A very special thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.

IMG Preview: The Sims: Hot Date
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Hot Date
Buy The Sims: Hot Date

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Jedi Knight II Reaches First Playable
4:06 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

And to round up today's news, Aspyr sent IMG a little note to brighten up your weekend. According to Aspyr's Chris Silman, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has already reached first playable, a big milestone and the first big step in finishing the port. The game was announced for the Mac a little over a week ago.

Here's more from Silman:

We have reached First Playable on Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. This is great news for us! Brad Oliver is doing a superb job and its looking great so far.
Although Aspyr hasn't set a release date yet, it's safe to say that the game should ship within the next few months (if all goes well).

Be sure to check out our first look of Jedi Knight II and don't forget to place your pre-order for this amazing game at the IMG Store.

IMG First Look: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Raven Software
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

LucasArts Q&A
3:58 PM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Lucasgames has posted an interview with LucasArts President Simon Jeffery, and Public Relations Manager Tom Sarris about various issues such as the future of LucasArts and some future releases.

Here's a little of what you can expect from the interview taken at E3:

Lucasgames: What’s the future of Star Wars gaming after Episode III has been released?

Simon: Well I think we are going to see it develop in a few areas. Obviously we are going to have a potential world set up and have massively online gaming and that will keep Star Wars evolving on its own, because you are going to have tens or hundreds of thousands of people all playing the game at the same time and they will basically be building a Star Wars Universe as they go. We are also looking at new areas of Star Wars gaming, such as Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic set several thousand years before the movies. It allows us to do stuff with Star Wars that we have never done before. We are looking to move away from just the game of the movie and really flush out the universe and expand it as much as we can.

For the rest of the interview, jump on over to Lucasgames' website.

LucasArts Interview at Lucasgames

IMG Posts Anatomy of a Port
2:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ever wonder how ports are decided on? And what goes into "porting" a game? Companies like Contraband and Westlake are two of the major porting houses on the Mac side and our very own Michael Yanovich takes a look at what's going into a port with a feature called, "Anatomy of a Port."

Here's a clip from the feature:

IMG: So, Burger. Assuming the stork is not involved, how exactly does a port get started?

Burger: Ports get started several ways. Sometimes a deal is struck where a publisher gets an entire product line and we have to convert the whole line. Other times, we here at Contraband, talk to developers as they are wrapping up a PC version and have the original developer modify the code to make a Mac port easier. Other times, we just get a code dump and go. Overall, which games we get really depend on what game people want.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article by clicking on the link below.

IMG: Anatomy of a Port

Scenario Software Released iPoker 2.0
2:11 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

After a lengthy beta period, Scenario Software has released iPoker 2.0. iPoker features an intuitive interface and a powerful card engine that plays all the popular stud and draw poker games, plus virtually every dealer's choice game from the baseball, spit-in-the-ocean and knock-poker families.

iPoker's top features include:

  • Play over 80 poker games, or create your own
  • Up to 11 QuickTime 'shills' with adjustable AI
  • Synthesized dealer's speech calls the fast action
  • Smooth animation and realistic sound effects
  • Dynamic tutorial features help you learn poker
  • Casual, table stakes, or freeze-out tournaments
  • Handles complex side pots and multi-way ties
  • Jokers, wild cards, 'action' and 'power' cards
  • Plays high, low and high-low split pot games
  • Track winnings on the colorful Standings chart

    iPoker 2.0 requires Mac OS X and is a free upgrade for current iPoker customers. New users can play an unlimited number of 7-Card Stud games for free. Paying customers can unlock over 80 variations of dealer's choice poker, including such favorites as Hold 'em, Omaha and Anaconda. iPoker can be purchased online via Kagi for $25.

    iPoker 2.0
    Download iPoker 2.0 from MGF

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    Shadowbane E3 2002 Video Journal
    12:24 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Shadowbane Portal has released a shaky-cam E3 video journal compiled from several demos taken from the show floor of Wolfpack's upcoming online multiplayer game, Shadowbane. The first portion of the journal demonstrates swimming under water, spell effects, and takes a quick tour around the burning City of Nightbridge.

    The E3 video is accompanied by some of their impressions of the game:

    Even with the visuals taking a back seat to the gameplay and mechanics they were truly stunning, rich in colors, detailed textures, with the best yet to come with GeForce3 & 4 optimized effects such as parting and blowing grass as seen in another highly touted MMORPG.

    The devil is in the details. In the case of Shadowbane, the developers have not been sitting idly by, they've been incorporating numerous features such as player scripted macros, over 30 animated emotes courtesy of their own in-house motion capture studio, and adding a number of player customizable skins for the client interface.

    The video comes weighs in 27 MB and is available for download from the Shadowbane Portal web site. Be sure to check it out.

    Shadowbane Portal
    Wolfpack Studios

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    Cliver Barker's Undying Goes Gold
    11:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Aspyr Media today announced that Clive Barker's Undying has reached golden master status and has been sent to duplication. If all goes well, the game should be shipping in the next few days.

    Clive Barker's Undying is a first person shooter that delivers an unparalleled tale of horror. Players take on the role of Patrick Galloway, who has been summoned to an ancestral estate by its lone descendent Jeremiah. Death has claimed his four siblings, each who have reanimated intent on slaying their living brother, the last of the family, so as to free the Curse of the Undying King.

    We'll be posting a review of Undying shortly. In the meantime, be sure to check out our preview of the game. Undying is available for pre-order from the Aspyr Media web site as well as the IMG store.

    IMG Preview: Clive Barker's Undying
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Clive Barker's Undying
    Buy Clive Barker's Undying

    MacGames CD 7 in Duplication
    11:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    The seventh MacGames CD, a subscription-based CD full of great demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, and a whole bunch more, went to duplication today and will be shipping sometime next week.

    If you're already a subscriber to the MacGames CD, be on the look out for the new CD soon! If you haven't gotten a subscription yet, you can still subscribe be guaranteed to receive the seventh MacGames CD.

    What's included in the MGCD? Hot new demos of realMYST, Gorky 17, and more. Plus we've included the amazing new Operation Na Pali for Unreal Tournament (150 MB worth!), great new single-player and multiplayer maps for Return to Caslte Woflenstein, plus dozens of updates, shareware games, and much more.

    As an added bonus, we're offering a FREE copy of Aliens vs Predator, Escape from Monkey Island, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Deus Ex, Tomb Raider: Chronicles, Rune, or Heavy Metal FAKK 2 with every new subscription (all you pay is the shipping and handling). These will also be mailed out with the new MGCD.

    For more information, be sure to check out the IMG Store!

    Inside Mac Games

    More on Wolf 1.32 Truform Issues
    11:26 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive recently posted to the IMG forums, explaining the problem users of high-end ATI video cards are having with the latest 1.32 patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. No major glitches are to be found, but the impressive Truform technology isn't appearing in the patch as was previously thought.

    Oliver has talked with Duane Johnson, the programmer behind the port, and notes the issue is simply the way Quake 3-based games handle lighting:

    From my understanding in talking with Duane, truform is supported by Wolf, but the ATi drivers don't work with the way it uses it. Apparently for TruForm to be enabled under current ATi drivers, the game must use OpenGL lighting to submit vertex normals to the card. Since the Q3 games don't use GL lighting (they use lightmaps), truform doesn't kick in on the driver side. This may be a case where a future driver update to OSX will fix the issue.
    The 10.2 Jaguar release of OS X seems to be a likely update that could add/fix more features like this, so stay tuned for more word on Truform later in the summer. If you haven't yet downloaded the 1.32 Wolf patch, head over to Macgamefiles now to do so.

    IMG Forum Thread: RTCW... Still no Truform?
    IMG News: RtCW 1.32 Patch Released
    Download Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.32 Patch (17MB)

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    Avernum 3 Nears Final Beta
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software sent word letting us know that Avernum 3 is well underway, and should see release quite soon:

    I just wanted to let you know that Avernum 3 is approaching the final stages of beta testing, and it should be out before the end of the month.
    Spiderweb has also posted a slew of screenshots showing off Avernum 3's various environments and features, such as status screens, world maps, and traveling screens. Also shown are new lighting effects and a job board depicting several odd jobs that will be available to players looking to score some quick coins.

    For those unfamiliar with the series, the Avernum games are isometric turn-based RPGs that hearken back to the old school days of Ultima and Wizardry. Avernum 3, the latest title in the series, continues the tradition:

    Avernum 3 is a massive and open-ended game. You can save the world or work as a merchant. You can buy a house or go on one of many side adventures. You can hurry to save the cities, or sit back and watch them crumble. Whatever you choose, Avernum 3 promises a massive and engaging adventure which will gladly absorb all the hours you can spare.
    More information on the series as well as the screenshots can be found at Spiderweb's site.

    Spiderweb - Avernum 3 Screen Shots
    Spiderweb Software
    Avernum 3

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    Use the Force, Custer!
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    In a nod to Aspyr's recent announcement, Custer has themed this week's desktop around Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Titled "Outcast," the desktop pic features rebel Jedi Kyle Katarn, the protagonist of the game itself, taking on a squad of stormtroopers with naught but a lightsaber.

    In related news, Custer will also be working with Aspyr to have his desktops included on the JK2 game CD when it ships. IMG heartily congratulates Custer on his fine work, and reminds him not to forget his roots when he reaps untold fortunes.

    In the meantime, be sure to check out Custer's latest - it's sure to heighten anticipation for JK2.

    IMG: Custer's Desktops
    IMG Preview: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Raven Software
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

    Massive Civ3 Chat Log Posted
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Apolyton's fan site dedicated to Sid Meier's Civilization 3 has posted a nine-page chat transcript from a record interview which lasted seven hours. Three employees from Firaxis were on hand, including Jeffrey Morris, Dan Magaha, and Mike Breithreutz. Many new aspects of the upcoming Play the World multiplayer expansion were covered, including changes the game's editor. For those that don't have time to read through the full thing, a nice summary has been posted in the Apolyton forum, as well as a breakdown of new information gleaned from the interview on the main page:

    PTW Info:
    - New non-unique(civ specific units): guerilla and medieval infantry
    - Function of outposts: They push back the fog of war and are context sensitive (mountain outposts push back mroe that desert outposts)
    - AI: Not a great deal of new AI, except for them using the new things like airfields
    - Events: on the wishlist, along with many other things that have been suggested in the forums(and the chat)
    - PBEM: In pbem games, players will not have to have matching default bics
    While no specific announcement regarding the Mac version has been yet made by MacSoft, the success of the original makes it a likely candidate. Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive is also still working on the editor for OS X, so stay tuned for more info on that as it becomes available.

    Apolyton Civilization News
    Apolyton Chat 'Choice Cuts'
    Full Civ 3 Chat Transcript
    Firaxis Games
    Civilization III
    Buy Civilization III

    Mac Games News for Thursday, June 6, 2002

    Aspyr Ships Medal of Honor1:08 PM
    Operation Na Pali UT Expansion Released11:42 AM
    Masque to support Mac card games online10:29 AM
    Combat Mission Sequel Shots10:28 AM
    Elite Force 2 Look6:00 AM
    Glenda Adams to Chat Online6:00 AM
    RtCW 1.32 Patch Released6:00 AM
    Warbirds 06.05.02 Open Beta Released6:00 AM
    Westlake Celebrates 50 Released Games6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 6, 2002 on one page

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    Wednesday, June 5, 2002
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