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Monday, June 24, 2002


GameRanger 3.0 Preview 2 Released
6:03 AM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

An updated preview of GameRanger 3.0, the popular multiplayer online gaming server, has been made available for download at Macgamefiles.com. Gameranger 3.0 Preview 2 runs in both Mac OS X and Classic 8.6 and above.

This marks the second Mac OS X compatible release of GameRanger, and follows the first preview, released on June 14th. A rather expansive list of improvements and bug fixes accompanies this update.

  • Chat continues to update while menus, etc. are down in OS X
  • Added initial support for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
  • Added /me for chat actions (as well as option-return)
  • All animations and actions go to sleep while in a game, using virtually zero CPU
  • Added better indication of which buddies just went offline
  • Auto-switches focus to chat entry field if you start typing
  • Added optional confirmation for blocking users
  • Show Info in Find Players no longer scrolls search results back to the top
  • Find Players search results are now dimmed if no are matches found
  • Now checks for minimum players before starting a hosted game
  • Adding of servers to favorites now works properly
  • Improved use of fonts in OS 9
  • Added Host Options for Icewind Dale
  • Updated game icon for Last Contact
  • Worked around bugs in Quake 3 Arena 1.31b5 -- should work fine now
  • Bumped Giants max players to 20 instead of 10
  • Quake 2 hosting now works again
  • Ares now works again
  • Fixed occasional drawing artifacts on OS 9
  • Fixed OS 9 crash-on-quit-while-connecting bug
  • Fixed OS 9 crash-on-reconnect bug
  • Fixed warning error alert occurring sometimes after receiving voice chat
  • Fixed Classic Helper on OS 8.6
  • Be sure to rush over to our sister site, Macgamefiles.com, to download and get gaming.

    GameRanger 3.0 preview 2
    GameRanger



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    Unreal Tournament 2003 Update Status
    2:39 PM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

    Mark Rein from Epic Games Inc. is at it again in the Infogrames, Inc. forums. He gave another status update on upcoming Unreal Tournament 2003 for the PC. He still mainly talked about video card enhancements and also unveiled that some popular older cards will also work with UT 2003.

    Here's a little of what he said:

    Rizax: You said "You Voodoo guys are so die hard you dont know when to stop" - I think that's unfair. Did you ever stop to consider that maybe some people don't have a lot of money for computer upgrades? Maybe they bought a Voodoo 5 5000 or 5500 back in June '00 when it was launched and they want to get more life out of it. Don't laugh but a Voodoo5 5500, in terms of fill-rate alone, outperforms several cards shipped this year! That's not to say it will outperform all of them in our game (hardware T&L boosts performance considerably) but it will give you a decent performance and decent visuals none the less. Hey a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or a Radeon 8500 would be a wonderful upgrade for folks like these but if I had a V5 5500 and a very limited computer upgrade budget I'd be happy with the game and consider maybe saving up for a DX9 (i.e. next generation) card instead so I could play DOOM III next year. For some people it might be buy the game or upgrade the computer - not both. If the demo runs well enough for them then they can buy the game and get some enjoyment out of their computer until they can afford to upgrade it. At that point they'll know they've already got a game which takes full advantage of their upgrade.

    Mark Rein: The main point of this part of my status update was to point out that we were wrong with our early estimate that the game would not play at all on some of these lower-end cards. If the rest of the system is up to spec then these games can actually play pretty well on some of these cards. So what we want to do is encourage people with these kinds of cards to play the official demo when it gets released and judge for themselves if it runs well enough on their computers to consider buying it or if perhaps they like the game and want to upgrade their computers to get it a better presentation on their systems.

    While Unreal Tournament 2003 hasn't been announced for the Mac yet, there has been some indication that it eventually will be. If you would like to know more about what went on, go ahead and jump on over to the forum at Infogrames.


    Digital Extremes
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Infrogrames Forum
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2003



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    MacSoft's Schilling Talks Neverwinter Nights Mac
    11:12 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    On June 12th, MacSoft announced that it had acquired the rights to publish Neverwinter Nights Mac. The company also announced its intention to port over the NWN Toolset. IMG recently interviewed MacSoft's Al Schilling about NWN Mac to get an update on the Mac version.

    Here's a snippet from the interview:

    IMG: In the Mac press release of NWN, you mentioned that you were considering porting the NWN Toolset to the Mac, but that due to its complexity, the decision was still up in the air as to whether they would be ported. Can you tell us if you've made a decision yet on the NWN Toolset? And could you please explain some of the complexities involved in porting it over to the Mac

    Schilling: In my mind, the toolset is something that really sets NWN apart from similar products. It allows the user to create entire worlds in which to adventure. Porting the toolset to Mac was something that was never planned. Even though NWN is an incredible game, even without the toolset, I feel that the toolset is a very important component in the product.

    As to the complexities, the toolset was never planned as a Mac app. From all I've heard, the code is very Windows-specific and, porting could be difficult. That's why we are seeking the help of one of the finest OSX developers around. I'm confident that they'll find a way to get it done, and done quickly.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the interview.

    IMG: MacSoft's Schilling Talks Neverwinter Nights
    BioWare
    MacSoft
    Neverwinter Nights
    Buy Neverwinter Nights



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    The Omega Stone For Mac Announced
    11:03 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    According to MacGamer, Dreamcatcher Interactive, Inc. has announced that a Mac version of The Omega Stone is currently under development. It is the sequel to the popular game 'Riddle Of The Sphinx'.

    The Omega Stone will find adventurers decrypting ancient Mayan codices at Chichen Itza and exploring hidden chambers beneath the Sphinx at Giza. New discoveries will be made at the mysterious megaliths of Stonehenge and the stoic faces at Easter Island. And what journey among ancient mysteries would be complete without a trip to the Devil's Triangle and the lost city of Atlantis?
    The official site for 'The Omega Stone has a QuickTime trailer available and a demo for the PC will be released shortly. A release date has not yet been set.

    Dreamcatcher Interactive
    The Omega Stone
    MacGamer: The Omega Stone Planned for Mac


    Calling all CG Artists: Blizzard wants you.
    6:15 AM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment is looking for CG artists for several new positions, ranging from modelers, texture artist and modelers; to cinematic artists, and animators. So if you have the skill base and the ambition, they want to hear from you.

    Blizzard's web site has detailed descriptions of the jobs available, and requirements for consideration. What do you need to show them to get this choice position in a successful and professional gaming company? Well, this what they are asking for and where to send it:

    Send us your Cover letter and tell us how much you love Art and games! Include a Resume that shows your skills and your experience. Then don't forget to send us your demo reel or portfolio (No originals) and remember to give us a break down on what you did exactly on your reel!

    We are excited to see your work, so what are you waiting for? The Worlds of Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo await you!

    Please Send Resume and Demo Reel to:
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Attn: Jack Sterling
    P.O. Box 18979
    Irvine, CA 92623

    Interested in working at Blizzard?Get those resumes sharpened up, put together your portfolio, and slap a cover letter on it and mail it in.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    Blizzard.com:Blizzard wants you


    LucasArts Turns 20
    6:13 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

    Do you remember the wonders of the SCUMM story system, Loom, or Ballblazer? How about Ron Gilbert, iMuse, or Maniac Mansion? LucasArts turns 20 this year and they're going to be celebrating now through December.

    In 1982 we hired our first employees, and they began their initial exploratory work in game development. By the end of that year, the group had grown, further defined its goals, investigated the latest technology (Atari 2600 and 5200 at the time) and, of course, played lots of games. From that sprung the first protoypes of the games now known as Rescue on Fractalus and Ballblazer. And the rest, as they say, is history.
    LucasArts will be regularly updating their web-site throughout the celebration. Keep tabs as they talk about the people and games which have pioneered their company's legacy.

    LucasArts
    LucasArts 20th Anniversary



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    Halo 2 in Development
    6:11 AM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

    Xbox Games supposedly has confirmation from the Official UK Xbox Magazine of a Halo sequel in the works. The original, as you may remember, was to be originally be available for both PC and Mac and was in a long development cycle when the developer, Bungie Sofware, was bought out by Microsoft. The game then quickly became an X-Box exclusive, losing much of the planned features in order to make it a launch title for the console last fall.

    The discovery of the sequel was made by the British magazine while at E3 this past May, during a discussion with the Xbox General Manager. Here is some of what he had to say.

    But there's good and bad news - Master Chief's next adventure won't be with us until Christmas 2003. That's ages away, and the wait is going to be hard, but it does show that Microsoft is prepared to wait and let Bungie produce another masterpiece, rather then forcing out a rush job to make a fast buck.
    According to various reports over the past few months since the X-Box release, a PC and Mac version of Halo is still in development. Unfortunately, there's no news on when it will be come available. Stay tuned.

    Microsoft
    Bungie Studios
    Halo: Combat Evolved
    XBox Games: Halo 2 comfirmed



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    Medal of Honor Patch Possibly Coming Soon
    6:07 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

    In responding to a post about problems with Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Duane Johnson from Westlake Interactive, who ported the game from the PC to Mac, mentioned that an update for MOH: AA may indeed be in the works.

    There is a very good chance we will be doing a patch for MOH: AA. We have an update for Miles on its way from RAD.
    This may indeed be good news for the few and unfortunate who are are having problems with this game.

    Be on the lookout for a review of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault on IMG soon.

    IMG: Medal of Honor: AA Patch?
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
    Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault


    The Gamesome Mac Talks with The Omni Group
    6:03 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

    Tonight on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, producer Omaha Sternberg and I will be talking with Wil Shipley, Ken Case, and Tim Wood, founders of The Omni Group.

    The Omni Group is one of the premier Mac OS X software development houses. Their game porting work stretches from Doom for NeXTStep, through work on the various Quake games, to Cocoa versions of Oni and Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

    Last week, The Omni Group announced an agreement to port five further games to Mac OS X for MacPlay, including Freedom Force and Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix.

    As we do every week, we'll serve up news, reviews, and commentary, answer listener questions along with our guests, 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, where you'll also find archives of past shows. QuickTime and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required for listening (broadcasts are optimized for 56K modems).

    Omni Group



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    Shadowbane War Report
    6:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A new report posted at Shadowbane's web site gives a rundown of a recent incident between two major cities in the MMORPG's private beta. The article gives a rundown of the four cities currently in the game, as well as news on the conflict between the largest "democracy" in the game, Akalabethia, and the war-hungry guilds of Comptonia. Here's a clip:

    When the shadowy outlines of siege engines were visible in the distance, Kronok began to see that the situation was getting desperate. Looking around the field of battle he saw many corpses of his fellow citizens, his guard shacks smashed to rubble, and the siege engines just starting to launch chunks of shrapnel into his rear lines to cause even more casualties. In spite of it all, the valiant citizens of Akalabethia continued to fling themselves at the Comtponian front lines in an attempt to strike at the siege engines. Knowing the battle was all but lost, Kronok prayed to his gods for salvation and joined his fellow warriors for a final charge at the enemy.
    Shadowbane is set to be relased late in the year by UbiSoft for the Mac and PC, with an open beta scheduled for sometime this summer.

    Shadowbane War Report
    Ubisoft
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane



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    X-Plane Updated to 6.20
    6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

    The diligent programmers of Laminar Research have updated their flagship product, X-Plane to version 6.20. The new version adds a number of new features, as the website lists:

    Flight Model Improvements

    • Propwash and P-factor are in there now along with the engine torque... you will really need that right rudder at the beginning of the takeoff!
    • You used to be able to get by without it, but no more! You gotta have that right rudder in strong prop planes!
    • For designers: be sure to use all 10 elements on your horizontal and vertical stabs! The resolution will really help get that twisting propwash just right across the whole flying surface!
    • More translational lift in the helos.

    New Features People Requested

    • Enter Vle (max V landing gear extended) in Plane-Maker... and lose your gear doors if you bust the limit in the sim! Duh-OH! Be sure you turn on the warning option in the warning screen in the settings menu!
    • "Auto-Ignition" annunciator when torque drops too low.
    • Auto-coordination optional in helos, even if you do not have rudder pedals... Set the option in the equipment options screen.
    • Working switches for nav and strobe lights, as requested.
    • Auto-brakes can now be set in levels from 1 to max in the cockpit on auto-brake equipped airplanes.
    • New failure option: fail at altitude. Nice to have stuff fail at a certain point in the climb.
    • Different hi-speed constants for art stab system... Designers: be sure to update your acf files to have rate constants in the hi-speed system,
      since they are no longer automatically copied from the lo-speed system! Not clear on how the artificial stab system works? Check out the new dynamic descriptions in Plane-Maker art stab screen! Also, the artificial stability system can be turned on or off with a switch in the cockpit.
    • The HUD now shows an 'x' for the BACKWARDS velocity vector. Good for de-orbit burns and flying BACKWARDS in helos and VTOLs!
    • Speedbrakes on the vertical stabs fully supported... both visually and in the flight model... good for craft like the Space Shuttle.
    • Enter spool time for even prop engines in Plane-Maker... good for turboprops and turbo-lag simulation!
    • Option to deploy elevator with flaps. Good for experimenting with lift-augmentation and stability.
    • New World-Maker features: Grid flatten, grid align, body-ID edit.

    Refinements

    • Autopilot switches to Mach-hold rather than indicated speed hold at 28k not 18k.
    • Fuel tank switching logic better.
    • Differential-braking for steering only used at low speeds (below the nosewheel steering transition speed already defined in Plane-Maker).
    • FMS is now faster, and allows 100 entries (up from 50, as requested). A SMALLER FMS is also available!
    • Start up engine running or not now expanded to include all switches for your pre-start checklist, if desired.
    • Lots more joystick button options and lots more data IO, with various data IO re-organization... If you use UDP data IO, you may have to update the selections you get from the sim a bit!
    • Faster scenery-loads.
    • No frigates and aircraft carriers wandering around in the rivers and lakes. ;-)

    Tech-Changes

    • Prefs file format changed... it has to be expanded to include new capabilities.
    • More Precision Flight Controls hardware support.
    • Camera location and angle are outputtable in the data output screen.. sounds boring until you realize that you could write a UDP program to send the data right back in... direct your own movies!
    • Custom NUMBER UDP input to supplement the needle and annunciator input. Also, you can send in UDP message to FAIL (and fix!) any failure mode in X-Plane... see the UDP docs included with the download!

    Bug Fixes

    • New and old-style turn coord done accurately.
    • Airspeed indicators scaled for knots or MPH correctly.
    • Elevators with ailerons work in BOTH directions now.
    • The engine shuts up (audibly) when separated form the airplane.
    • Mars lighting and textures working properly.
    X-Plane is a very modular civilian-aviation simulator complete with everything from a Cessna to a Space Shuttle. It includes capability for atmospheric, space, and Mars flight, as well as terrain covering almost all of the planet Earth.

    Laminar Research
    X-Plane 6
    Download X-Plane 6.20 Mini-Update (6.2 MB)



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    Pop-Pop to Ship at MacWorld New York
    6:00 AM | Seth Scott | Comment on this story

    Ambrosia Software president Andrew Welch announced on Wednesday that their upcoming blend of Arkanoid gameplay and Street Fighter competition, pop-pop, will ship at MacWorld NYC.

    For those who have not heard about pop-pop during its development cycle, the game plays like head-to-head Breakout, but with quite a few twists: players choose different personas, each with special powers to use on their opponents, during fully Internet-capable competition! Although the game has been a long time coming, Ambrosia games are always worth a wait.

    Here is what el Presidente had to say:

    pop-pop has finally gone final candidate! We're shipping pop-pop at MacWorld/NYC (you'll be able to download it then, too), where we will be showing it in our very own booth, and at Apple's Mac OS X Game Arcade section.

    pop-pop is sort of an odd mixture of Street Fighter head-to-head combat and Breakout-style action, special pop powers, mad power-ups, and swirled together into a frenzied lather by some killer music and Internet play.

    It'll be fun to be able to play you folks over the Internet (especially for the first few days when it'll be open season on the newbies ). Make sure you save up a few sick days, pop-pop is simple to learn, but incredibly addictive to play.

    MacWorld NYC kicks off on Wednesday, July 17th with a keynote speech from Apple CEO Steve Jobs. For a closer look, check out IMG's preview of pop-pop at the link below.

    IMG Preview: pop-pop
    Ambrosia Software
    Pop-Pop
    pop-pop Ships at MacWorld/NYC


    Mac Games News for Friday, June 21, 2002

    Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Trailer at Gamespy12:32 PM
    Game Doctor 1.3.6 Released9:59 AM
    Unreal Tournament 2003 Status Update9:14 AM
    IMG Reviews Rune: Halls of Valhalla7:13 AM
    Sacrifice 1.0.1 Released6:05 AM
    Avernum 3 Released6:00 AM
    Brad Custer: Gun For Hire6:00 AM
    Harbinger a Possibility for the Mac?6:00 AM
    Tiger's Eye Pub for OS X6:00 AM
    Westlake Adds The Chosen One6:00 AM
    X-Plane Flight Planner Released for OS X6:00 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 21, 2002 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Thursday, June 20, 2002
    Wednesday, June 19, 2002
    Tuesday, June 18, 2002
    Monday, June 17, 2002
    Sunday, June 16, 2002


    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



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