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Tuesday, July 9, 2002

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Only Mortal 2.0 Preview Released
6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The folks behind Only Mortal, a free OS X utility that players can use to find servers for playing games like Quake III and Unreal Tournament, have released a preview Only Mortal 2.0 for IMG readers to check out. The preview includes support for games including Unreal Tournament, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Quake I, Quake II, and Quake III. The new version also boasts an improved user interface, including Aqua and Graphite appearance, and more.

Only Mortal 2.0 developer Mike Davis sent us these notes for people wanting to try the preview:

I suggest that gamers using Only Mortal 1.0.8 keep it on their computer for the meantime as this is a preview and not the final product. Only Mortal 1.0.8 users will not be notified of the 2.0 software until there is a final release.

Since it's a preview, some things are incomplete, for instance the Favorites feature isn't finished and the disabling of games isn't quite complete. I'd also suggest that gamers not download the offered updates as they're actually older than the ones included - they're used by the testing team solely for testing (oddly).

A couple of the supported games (EF and JK2) didn't make the preview as we're awaiting updates/releases for them. The developer has the needed source code for them so we hope that it won't be too long before we can activate them. They'll appear as an auto-update.

We'd like to add Medal of Honor: Allied Assault but we've not had any replies to our correspondence from the company who ported it to the Mac. We can provide some C source code for them to add support for Only Mortal - it's simply some Apple Event code, as used in Unreal Tournament. Hopefully, we'll be able to add it in before too long. If they'd like to get in contact with us we're more than willing to give them example code! From what I hear, it's a great game, though it's not out here in the UK yet.

If a developer wants tight integration with Only Mortal, they can write their own plug-in for it, should they chose to (or we can). This approach would be useful for games which have a private network protocol that the developers do not want to publish. There is a SDK for doing this, which shows how easy it is to add a new game. The SDK includes the source code for the Quake 2 plug-in and header files for appropriate frameworks. If a developer wants the SDK, drop us a line.

Future features that are planned after the initial 2.0 release are IRC, probably using "blackened" as the adaptor and Voice Over IP.

The VoIP stuff is actually in development and there is a working application but it's not in a form suitable for public consumption at the moment. We're hoping the developer will provide an update to it in the next few weeks so that we can have the test team work on it. I've personally used it to chat to a friend in Vancouver, from the UK, who was using Microsoft Netmeeting on a Windows PC. I might add I was using a 56K modem too.

If all goes well, the IRC plug-in will have the ability to perform player matching so that gamers can host their own servers and their buddies can join in the fun. The plug-in will have some default IRC servers and channels in there, so those not familiar with IRC will be able to find other Mac gamers.

If you're not familiar with Only Mortal, be sure and check out our preview. If you're ready to give it a try, go ahead and download it and fire it up. Just remember that this is just a preview release.

IMG Preview: Only Mortal 2.0
Only Mortal
Only Mortal 2.0
Download Only Mortal 2.0 Preview

IMG Chat 1.0 Released
11:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Interested in chatting with fellow Mac gamers? IMG has released IMG Chat 1.0, a cocoa-based IRC chat application. IMG Chat 1.0 is based on the populer Open Mac IRC chat app created by Doug Brown and Nate Friedman. The customized IMG Chat application was created by Mike Patton.

To begin chatting, simply download the IMG Chat client by clicking on the download link below. Once you extract it, simply launch it and hit the Connect button. Be sure to also go to the Preferences to enter your own nickname, real name, etc.

If you already have an IRC client, simply point your IRC client to west.gamesnet.net, and join #img - staffers will be lurking around the channel sporting "IMG" in their names, and everyone is welcome to join in and hang out.

IMG would like to give a special thanks to Open Mac authors Doug Bron and Nate Friedman as well as Mike Patton for creating the IMG Chat client.

Inside Mac Games
Download: IMG Chat 1.0

Pfhorge: OS X Marathon Level Editor Released
10:08 AM | Daniel Bogan | Comment on this story

Release candidate 1 of Pfhorge, a level editor for Aleph One, has been released to the general public. This version has been released to garner user feedback and help track down bugs, so be sure to help out and give it a try.

For those not in the know, Aleph One is the open source release of Marathon 2, an old school Bungie game , bringing the code up to date with modern OpenGL rendering and plans for full TCP/IP networking. The game is free and required data files are also available from the site.

Bungie Studios
Pfhorge Level Editor
Aleph One

Soldier of Fortune interview at Games Domain
8:17 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

There have been many interviews posted lately regarding the anticipated sequel to the action FPS Soldier of Fortune. This one from GamesDomain.com is something special however. You see, unlike Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame, John Mullins of Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix is in fact a very real person. GamesDomain has caught up with the retired special operations officer who was employed as a consultant in the game design process. This understandably makes for an intriguing interview:

GD: What do you like best about the whole game franchise, and what was most surprising in the development process?

JM: What I find surprising is the absolute level of the graphics. It just amazes me. Back with the military, we were playing around with very rudimentary simulations back in the early 80s, late 90s. When I say rudimentary, they were stick figures at most. Now we're at the stage where, yeah, you can tell a difference between real people and computer generated models, but soon you won't be able to. So, that absolutely amazes me.

I you are interested in Soldier of Fortune 2, be sure to read the rest of the interview. Also remember you can now place a pre-order at the IMG store, just follow the links below.

Soldier of Fortune interview with John Mullins
Raven Software
Buy SoF II

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Otto Matic 1.2.2 Update Released
8:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Pangea Software has released a new patch for their popular 3D adventure title Otto Matic. The small new 1.2.2 upgrade for the game from Aspyr Media makes "minor performance enhancements" according to the listing at Macgamefiles. Pangea president Brian Greenstone clarified for IMG that 1.2.2 just includes some new "code optimizations" which might help the game run slightly "faster for some people."

Also be aware that there was a slight versioning problem, so while the update may say it's version 1.2.1, it is in fact the new patch. Head over to Macgamefiles to download the new 536k upgrade or the updated full demo if you haven't yet purchased the game.

Pangea Software
Otto Matic
Download Otto Matic 1.2.2 Update
Download Otto Matic 1.2.2 Demo

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Aliens vs Predator 2 Interview
6:00 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Planet AvP had the opportunity to interview Assistant Produce of Fox Interactive, Paul Pawlicki about Aliens Versus Predator 2 and AvP II: Primal Hunt, along with some other of Fox's upcoming games.

Here's a little bit on what went on in the interview:

PlanetAvP: What are the future plans for the AvP franchise? For our last question now: are there any plans for an AvP III?

Paul Pawlicki: There will definitely be an AvP3 but we aren't going to rush it to market. We want to make sure that it is a worthy successor to AvP1 and AvP2. There are also plans afoot for other games set in the Aliens and Predator universes that you will start to see increasing amounts of info on in the coming months.

If you're interested in AvP2, which is soon to be released on thd Macintosh by MacPlay, jump on over to Planet AvP.

Hyperion Entertainment
Aliens vs. Predator 2
AvP2 Interview
Buy Aliens vs. Predator 2

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EV Nova 1.0.2 Coming Soon
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software and ATMOS, in their pursuit of perfection, have started posting the changes which will be taking place in the latest update to Escape Velocity: Nova.

Here's just a portion of the latest updates:

• Fixed a bug with the availability of the third Vell-os misn
• Fixed a problem with the availability of the second Auroran misn after the player refuses the first one and starts another storyline
• Some Polaris ship variants that are supposed to have fast-jump capabilities now have 1 of the fast-jump outfit in the ship resource (as opposed to 0)
• The second Vell-os mission now sets ncb 4444 upon refusing rather than acceptance
• The third Vell-os mission is no longer available if ncb 4444 is set
• FPC's do slightly less energy damage
• FPC's use up slightly more mass
• Blasters use up slightly less mass
• Destroy Bureau Cell Mission (id 877) is now set to be available from any inhabited spob as opposed to any Fed spob
• Missions that set b511 (the storyline restricting bit) now set upon accepting rather than upon success to stop players getting ahold of multiple storylines
• Rebel variation ships no longer have 'fire whilst cloaked' weapons
• Cloaking Device is now available when it says it is
• Misn 173 now requires ncb 297 to be set so that the player can no longer talk to Master Arando before meeting him
• The Wild Geese string in which Michaleen doesn't die straight up, doesn't talk about the Rovers being a 'man down' anymore
EV: Nova 1.0.1, currently being ported to the Windows operating system, is for OS 8.1 and higher, as well as OS X . It is also available for download at Macgamefiles.com.

IMG Review: Escape Velocity: Nova
EV: Nova 1.0.2 Changes
Ambrosia Software
Escape Velocity: Nova
Download: EV: Nova

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More Shadowbane Previews
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

MMORPG fans hungry for more player feedback on Wolfpack Studio's upcoming title Shadowbane need look no further than GamesFirst! and GamePro, both of which have published recent previews on a title that has been several years in the making. Though many of the points made are common knowledge, there are some relevant points concerning gameplay and features that should be of interest to players scrutinizing the development and potential plusses and minuses of Shadowbane's world.

As most players are aware, Shadowbane is being designed to be largely run by various player guilds, which in turn will run various towns. One of the main combat features will not be PvP (person versus person), but rather town vs. town. For those wondering about players who live only to make games miserable for others, GamesFirst reassures that a few players will have no chance against a town. In fact, town sieges are anticipated to last at least 24 hours, and may even go as far as a week, especially considering that defenders have the advantage of both healing and respawning in their own towns.

Another interesting aspect brought up by GamesFirst is the fact that servers will not be separate worlds:

From a technical standpoint, Shadowbane has done away with the "single server = isolate world" way of thinking. Instead, players can travel from one server to the other through portals or teleports. The brief pause while crossing between zones will be gone as well. Simply walking will take you from one environment seamlessly into the other.
Going back to the subject of players who love to cause grief (sometimes known as "griefers,") Shadowbane is implementing a system that should make it difficult for annoying players to kill with impunity, as GamePro notes:
While anyone can kill anyone else in the game (except for newbies level 20 and lower who are located within a GM-created city), the victim of random violence will be able to return to town and report his own murder to the town guards. That town’s guildmaster will then be able to place the entire town on alert against the character’s murderer so that when the criminal tries to enter the city to shop, rest, or whatever, the guards will attack him on sight. The guildmaster will also be able to contact the king of the murderer’s hometown and ask him to tell the griefer to knock it off, lest the towns slide into war.
Another interesting point that GamePro brings up that some may have missed is the fact that, in the minds of players, a town siege carries high stakes. If the attackers win, the defenders will be scattered and their guild disbanded. However, if the attackers lose, they'll find themselves low on resources as well as gain a large and angry enemy in the guild they tried to destroy.

Both previews also contain a wealth of screenshots that show off Shadowbane's graphical prowess. Those interested in either the screenshots or the previews themselves are encouraged to peruse both GamesFirst and GamePro for more information.

GamePro - Shadowbane Preview
GamesFirst! - Shadowbane Preview
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Monday, July 8, 2002

IMG Reviews Clive Barker's Undying11:49 AM
Announcing Ask Aspyr9:50 AM
AeroCombat for OS X8:15 AM
Applelinks Previews Fallout 28:15 AM
Cryo Closing, Dreamcatcher Okay8:15 AM
DOWN Demo Rebounds8:15 AM
Free Racing Simulator Coming to OS X8:15 AM
The Gamesome Mac Takes a Holiday8:15 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 8, 2002 on one page

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