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Wednesday, July 10, 2002


OpenGL Meeting Notes: MS IP Claims, OpenGL 2.0 Info
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A recent story on Slashdot.org links to minutes for the June OpenGL ARB meeting. These meetings are meant to move the powerful 3D API forward, and they involve a wide variety of companies, including Apple. The Slashdot article specifically makes mention of intellectual property claims by Microsoft of patent/licensing issues in OpenGL during the meeting. These claims are presumably from patents recently purchased from SGI, though few details are provided.

Here's an excerpt from the notes:

Microsoft believes they have patent rights relating to the ARB_vertex_program extension. They did not contribute to the extension, but are trying to be upfront about it. They're offering to license their IP under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms; will license rights to the extent necessary, provided a reciprocal license is granted to MS.
While the claims may well be valid, time will tell how any licensing deal with the Microsoft might affect OpenGL's development.

The meeting does contain other interesting news for those following the development of OpenGL 2.0. 3DLabs, the company currently doing the vast majority of work on the new standard, gave an update on their status, including a demonstration for the participants. The meeting notes also contain a seperate PDF of their presentation. While much of the information is of a technical nature, their proposed timeline includes initial OpenGL 2.0 implementations as early as Siggraph 2003 (an event usually held in July).

For those interested, definitely head over and have a look through the rest of the meeting notes. It should also be mentioned that Apple's membership in the ARB has been extended for another year as well. We'll keep you posted as more information on the next generation of OpenGL is released.

OpenGL ARB Meeting Notes
Slashdot: Microsoft Claims IP Rights on Portions of OpenGL
3Dlabs: OpenGL 2.0 Specifications
Download OpenGL 2.0 Status Presentation (PDF)
Apple


Yexi - The Interstellar Adventure Released
8:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yexi - The Interstellar Adventure, a space simulator will heavy influences from the world of Star Trek, has been released for the Mac. Yexi uses Macromedia's Shockwave technology, so for the moment it's unable to run natively under OS X, but it should work in classic mode or OS 8.6 through 9.x. The game features multiplayer matches with over four players possible, as well as a singleplayer mode. Here's the press release with more information on gameplay and requirements:

As a player, you can do some obvious tasks, as docking on starbases to refit your vessel and replenish main resources, and other not so obvious, such as orbiting sidereal objects, launching probes to gather the position of a cloaked vessel or being caught in the gravity well of a wormhole and wind up being sling-shot hundreds of light-years from home.

One of the unique features of this game is the use of the transporter to beam down away teams to seize planets, to rescue escape pods (yes, your crew abandons ship depending on the level of the life support system), and to transfer torpedoes, fuel, and cargo between vessels, planets, and starbases.

Issue orders to your crew, request reports, or take direct control of the bridge stations. In the multi-player mode, team up with your friends to save the fate of the galaxy in six unique scenarios.

Set course to explore uncharted territory and engage in dramatic combat action with all sort of ships possessing different firepower and maneuverability. You will be required decisive judgement and skillful maneuvering to accomplish your mission.

Yexi is available for download and in CD-ROM format. Both versions are identical, but the download version is being offered by a reduced introductory price of $14.99 until the official release date. The download size is 15.5 Mb and should take less than one hour to transfer over a 56k connection.

The minimum system requirements are: iMac G3 333 MHz, 64MB RAM, MacOS 8.6, and Quicktime 3. Internet connection and 56.6 modem required for multiplayer mode and license registration. G4 with DSL Internet connection recommended as host machine for multiplayer games with more than 4 players.

For more information or to order a CD or download version of the game, check out the official Yexi web site.

Yexi - The Interstellar Adventure



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Dark Castle 1.0b9 Released
8:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Z Sculpt Entertainment has updated their ongoing open beta of the classic title remake Return to Dark Castle to version nine. The only real changes in beta9 include bug fixes and preparing the game's code to use a new level editor. In case you've missed out on what this third in the Dark Castle series is trying to accomplish, here's a description:

RTDC (Dark Castle 3) is the sequle to Beyond Dark Castle (1987). All classic levels from the original 2 games are back in 256 colors, plus many new areas and foes to conquer.
The game also includes new technologies like better lighting effects, shadows, and OS X compatibility. Head over to Macgamefiles to download the 6.6MB beta9 demo.

Delta Tao
Z Sculpt
Return to Dark Castle
Download Return to Dark Castle 1.0b9
Buy Return to Dark Castle


Mac Game Programming Book Released
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Mark Szymczyk has published a new book entitled 'Mac Game Programming'. It takes readers through the various stages of game development, including Artificial Intelligence, multi-platform networking, and physics modelling.

Are you a Mac programmer looking for a game development book? Then look no further because Mac Game Programming is for you! This book is a comprehensive guide to programming games on the Mac OS X and Mac OS 8/9 platforms. It teaches the fundamentals of graphics and animation and then moves on to advanced topics like artificial intelligence, multi-platform networking, and physics modeling. It covers basic topics such as graphics, scrolling backgrounds, character animation, dirty rectangle animation, playing sounds, and reading user input from joysticks. The CD includes CodeWarrior Lite, game sprockets, Macsbug, ResEdit, Graphic Converter, Sound App, Spotlight demo, Sprite World, Sprite Animation Toolkit, Crystal Space, Quesa, shareware games, and commercial game demos. Mac Game Programming is unique in that it doesn't cover game programming topics in a vacuum, but rather puts everything together so that you can make a complete game.
The book is available from Amazon and comes with a CD. It costs $59.99 (£43.99 in the U.K).

Amazon



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Sega/Infogrames Rumors; Mac Titles in Question?
6:00 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

French game maker Infogrames was up in trading 23 percent today on rumors that Japanese sotware giant, Sega was leaning toward acquiring the company and all the rights to their top software titles including the Unreal franchise and more.

"There is a story in The Wall Street Journal about Sega seeking acquisitions, and the market talk is that Infogrames could be a target," said one analyst.

Sega stated earlier this year that their goal was to become the number one provider of entertainment software in the world on any platform and after a few dissapointing results in their PC releases this seems to be their best bet in conquering home PC's. That includes the Macintosh.

The only game released for the Mac from Sega was Yoot Tower a few years back, but it didn't meet sales forcasts and therefore Mac development had been dropped.

Recently IMG recieved a message from Sega about their Mac status. A representative from Sega PC said currently they didn't have plans to bring content to the Mac, but then later said, "However this stance may change, due to our willingness to provide content on every platform."

Infogrames is the parent company of Mac game publisher Macsoft which is one of the top publishers for the Macintosh game industry.

No word yet on how this effects Macsoft, but we're certainly keeping an interested stance at Sega game conversions for the Mac.

More on Infrogrames acquisition rumors
MacSoft
SEGA
Infogrames US
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003



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WWII Online Updates Graphics at a Cost
6:00 AM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

Cornered Rat Software has announced their intent to revamp the textures of their massively multiplayer online game, WWII Online . This will drastically improve the look and feel of the game, and is one of a long series of cosmetic enhancements that WWII Online has been undergoing. There may be a cost, however.

In updating their textures Cornered Rat may also be dropping support of 16 MB video cards. This may not happen in this update, but Cornered Rat Software states that it seems inevitable that they will drop support for 16 MB cards. Here is what the company had to say.

Already done to good extent and should be finished up soon. Ground multi textures, tree line textures, brush line textures tree blob textures, and next will be building textures for a lot them. Even the grass is going high res.

One issue, we may be dropping out older cards when we release em as they take a lot more texture memory. With cards now coming out with 128 MB of DDR RAM, holding compatibility to older 16 MB cards has to drop soon though

WWII Online has had a closed Mac beta for some time now, and recently Cornered Rat has promised an open beta for all Mac users. They also have stated that they have an agreement with a publisher for releasing a retail Macintosh version of the game.

Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
WWII Online's new textures



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Unreal Tournament 2003 Preview
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

MGON, Media and Games Online Network, has just posted its preview of an internal beta build of Unreal Tournament 2003. The article discusses the improved AI, some of the different multiplayer modes, and it waxes eloquently over the new sports aspects of the single player game.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

All the favourite game modes will be back but with a more team emphasis except for of course deathmatch. Capture the flag; capture the points as well as many others are definately going to be in the final product and a new game mode like speedball will be included at this stage. UT 2003 is being designed as a team based game and it shows. To be successful in the game, teams will have to stick together and help each other out. Having a team full of individuals will not win the game. The single player mode of the game is where the sports element is really going to shine. Players will have to construct a team from players available. You canít just pick a team and run with it, you have to build it up slowly depending on the cash you have on hand and to win money you need to win championships and leagues. To build the team, players can choose to trade or buy players and just like leagues such as the NFL and NHL, there are star players which will give the team a massive boost but will also cost a pretty penny.
The Unreal Engine is being developed by Epic Games, and Unreal Tournament 2003 is being developed by Digital Extremes. It is not yet announced for the Macintosh.

UT2K3 Preview at MGON
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003


Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 9, 2002

IMG Chat 1.0 Released11:19 AM
Pfhorge: OS X Marathon Level Editor Released10:08 AM
Soldier of Fortune interview at Games Domain8:17 AM
Otto Matic 1.2.2 Update Released8:16 AM
Aliens vs Predator 2 Interview6:00 AM
EV Nova 1.0.2 Coming Soon6:00 AM
More Shadowbane Previews6:00 AM
Only Mortal 2.0 Preview Released6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 9, 2002 on one page


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