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Monday, June 10, 2002

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MacPlay Announces Soldier of Fortune II
10:10 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacPlay announced today that it has reached an agreement with Activision to bring Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix to the Macintosh. Developed by Raven Software, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix drops players into the ranks of America’s shadow soldiers in a gritty and intense battle for survival.

Here's more from the official press release:

“We are ecstatic to bring Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix to the Macintosh,” said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. “With a rich history in action games and first person shooters, MacPlay understands exactly what the gamer wants… and Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix delivers the most powerful gaming experience yet.”

In Soldier of Fortune II, players once again assume the role of John Mullins, a military consultant working for the top-secret agency known as The Shop. In the game, players must make use of stealth, as well as firepower, to tackle a wide-range of missions including hostage rescue, intelligence gathering and search-and-destroy. To fully immerse players in the experience, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix brings the grittiness of combat to the PC like never before with incredibly detailed skeletal animations that enable lifelike character movements and per pixel hit locations for ultra realism.

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix also advances the genre with the introduction of a new random mission generator technology for both single and multiplayer. By entering variables into the game’s random mission generator players can create millions of single or multiplayer maps on the fly for endless replayability. In addition to the RMG maps, multiplayer in Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix offers nine professionally designed maps, more than 100 unique model/skin combinations and four different game modes including and deathmatch, team deathmatch, elimination and infiltration.

“With a huge single player campaign, frantic multiplayer action, and the introduction of the genre’s first random mission generator of single and multiplayer maps, Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix is poised to be the next big gaming phenomenon,” states Brian Raffel, vice president of Raven Software. “PC gamers are getting a little bit of a head start over their Mac peers, but it won’t be long before both camps are battling it out in lush Columbian jungles and Siberian wastelands.”

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix is built on an enhanced version of the Quake III Arena™ game engine for explosive special effects and fast action gameplay, GHOUL II Technology with ultra-realistic damage modeling anywhere on the body, the TORR Terrain system that allows a full range of player movements including manning entrenched guns and riding in vehicles, and even deadlier AI than the original game.

The Omni group has been selected to port this Mac OS X only game to the Macintosh. MacPlay has told us this will likely be a "quick" port, although they declined to give us any specific release date.

Be sure to check out IMG's first look of this exciting new game from MacPlay.

IMG First Look: Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
Raven Software
Buy SoF II

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Aspyr Ships The Sims: Hot Date
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced that they have begun shipping The Sims: Hot Date expansion pack for The Sims and should be available within the next few days.

In The Sims: Hot Date, there are over 40 new one-on-one interactions. Brand new characters to meet and date, like the Dream Boat, Lounge Lizard and Femme Fatale, and over 125 new items, including a picnic basket, cuddle couch and Lover's Swing.

The Sims: Hot Date requires that you have the original The Sims.

We'll be posting a review of The Sims: Hot Date shortly. In the meantime, be sure to check out our extensive preview. The expansion pack is available for order from the IMG Web Store.

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

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Raven Software Interview
9:06 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

HomeLAN had the chance to interview Raven Software's Project Administrator Kenn Hoekstra, developer of popular games Jedi Knight II: Outcast and Soldier of Fortune II, about their success formula and relationship with LucasArts.

Here's a little of what went on:

HomeLAN: Jedi Knight II has stayed in the top 5 best selling games for severalweeks now. Is it safe to say LucasArts is happy with what you guys did with their franchise?

Kenn Hoekstra: LucasArts has been very kind to Raven Software and it's been great working with them. From what I gather from talking to them, they seem very happy with Jedi Outcast and we're pleased that we could meet their expectations.

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is being ported over to the Macintosh by Westlake Interactive and will be published by Aspyr Media. Could Soldier of Fortune II be far behind?

To check out more of the interview, just jump over to HomeLAN's website.

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

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Civilization III 1.21f Beta Patch Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The good folks at Aployton recently dropped IMG a line informing us of the availability of a new beta patch for Mac users of Civilization III. The patch, numbered at 1.21f, matches the current PC release in version number and addresses several Mac-specific bugs :

  • Nav Services dialogs are now resizable.
  • Delete key (PC backspace) now hides the UI properly.
  • Fixed "Ctrl-F" error in advisor text. It now properly reads Cmd-F.
  • If you try to load a custom scenario or map that references a file you do not have installed, Civ3 will now warn you about that file and quit rather than crashing.
  • Fixed issue whereby music volume would sometimes be ignored when transitioning between songs.
  • Added support for larger resolution of 23" Cinema Display.
  • Fixed issue where some sounds would not play.
The patch, which weighs in at 4.8 MB, is available at both Infogrames and Apolyton for those that wish to try it out. Keep in mind that the patch is a beta and may be subject to bugs, which MacSoft asks be reported to their new bug reporting address at macsofttitles@mac.com.

Apolyton - Civilization III Page
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Civ III 1.21f Beta Patch Download
Buy Civilization III

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QuakeCon 2002 - Return to Castle Wolfenstein Online Tourney
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The official QuakeCon 2002 page has recently been updated with news and information regarding the upcoming Return to Castle Wolfenstein Team Tournament. Sponsored in part by ATI, the RtCW tourney will actually start its preliminaries with a series of online matches, with the top 16 teams actually moving on to meet at QuakeCon 2002:

QuakeCon 2002 is starting early this year; 64 teams will begin six versus six online qualifying rounds on June 17, with the top 16 teams advancing to the double elimination tournament at QuakeCon 2002 to compete for $60,000 in cash, including a $25,000 first prize. The first-come, first-serve registration for the qualifying rounds will commence at 10 p.m. EST on June 10 and conclude at 3 p.m. EST on June 15.
The online qualification tournaments will be handled by The Online Gaming League (OGL), and teams that wish to participate must be registered both individually and as a clan in order to qualify. Those interested can find the full set of rules at the QuakeCon 2002 site.

Of course, QuakeCon will also be hosting a Quake III deathmatch tournament as well. Taking place at QuakeCon itself, the tournament will put 256 players against each other, with a top prize of $20,000 being offered.

QuakeCon 2002
id Software
Quake III Arena
Quake III Team Arena
The Online Gaming League
Buy Quake III Team Arena

Peter Cohen on The Gamesome Mac Tonight
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Tonight on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, I'll be talking with Peter Cohen, longtime Mac gaming journalist.

Peter ran MacGaming.com, one of the prominent Mac gaming web sites of the late '90s, before folding it into MacCentral, where as a senior editor he has continued to keep his eye on the Mac gaming industry.

We'll talk about the evolution of gaming on the Macintosh over the past several years, it's current strengthened state, and likely future developments, including the impact of Mac OS X on game development and publishing.

And as I do every week, I'll serve up news, reviews, and commentary, answer listener questions along with my guest, and give away some great games in the show's live chat room.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard on Mondays from 8 to 10 pm Central Time (6 pm Pacific; 9 pm Eastern; Tuesday, 01:00 UTC) on the MacTV Network.

You can tune in live at The Gamesome Mac's web page, linked below, where you'll also find archives of past shows with Westlake's Glenda Adams, Pangea's Brian Greenstone, IMG's own Tuncer Deniz, Aspyr's Michael Rogers, Contraband's Bill Heineman, MacSoft's Al Schilling, and MacPlay's Mark Cottam (QuickTime is required for listening).

MacMame 0.60 Released
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Brad Oliver has sent word that MacMAME, the Mac version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, has been updated to version 0.60.

MacMAME emulates almost every older video arcade game ever made (and even a number of games as recent as 1998), allowing holders of the ROMs from video arcade machines to play the games on a Mac.

Here are the changes in version 0.60, along with the programmers who implemented them:

  • In sync with the Win32 0.60 build. [Brad Oliver]
  • Audit dialog was really busted in 0.59, now it's fixed. [Brad Oliver]
  • Fixed some HID Manager funk. Analog joysticks and Gravis Gamepads should
    work much better. [Brad Oliver]
  • List hilighting in the front-end looks a bit nicer now. [Avi Drissman]
  • Updated to CodeWarrior Pro 8. This effectively eliminates the TOC
    problems, but also means that the new project files are not
    backwards-compatible. If you're using Pro7 to build a custom MacMAME, your
    best bet is to use the 0.59 project files and update them as appropriate.
    [Brad Oliver]

    MacMAME is Carbonized to run natively in both Mac OS 9 and X. Be sure to check it out.


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    Starcraft Workaround for Mac OS 10.1.5
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    When Apple released Mac OS X 10.1.5 last week, readers in the IMG forum said they experienced crashes with crashes when launching the Carbonized versions of Blizzard's StarCraft and Brood War. Blizzard tech support recently posted a workaround to the problem:

  • Start the StarCraft or Brood War application.
  • Click on the don't show again checkbox in the Startup Options screen.
  • Click on the OK button (the game will crash).
  • Finally, start the StarCraft or Brood War application again, and it should run.

    If all goes well, the second time you run StarCraft of Brood War, the problem should go away.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    Starcraft, Mac OS X 10.1.5 Workaround

    Mac Games News for Friday, June 7, 2002

    Johnson on Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor Demos7:18 PM
    Aspyr Picks Final Hot Date Winners6:09 PM
    Jedi Knight II Reaches First Playable4:06 PM
    LucasArts Q&A3:58 PM
    IMG Posts Anatomy of a Port2:19 PM
    Scenario Software Released iPoker 2.02:11 PM
    Shadowbane E3 2002 Video Journal12:24 PM
    Cliver Barker's Undying Goes Gold11:56 AM
    MacGames CD 7 in Duplication11:38 AM
    More on Wolf 1.32 Truform Issues11:26 AM
    Avernum 3 Nears Final Beta6:00 AM
    Massive Civ3 Chat Log Posted6:00 AM
    Use the Force, Custer!6:00 AM
    WWIIOnline Update Posted; Mac Status6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 7, 2002 on one page

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