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Monday, August 19, 2002

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The Sims: Vacation in Duplication
6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has announced The Sims: Vacation, one of the many available expansions for the incredibly popular The Sims series, has reached duplication status. In laymen's terms this means everything is finished, and now the only task required is making copies of the game.

The Sims: Vacation is estimated to be available on shelves August 30th. Here's more about the game from Aspyr's site:

While on your vacation, the Sims can interact with over 125 new items including the Snowman and the Camping Tent. Along with fun things to do, meet new characters such as the Vacation Director, the Yeti, the Archer, and the Beach Shark! In case you thought you may get away with nothing but perfect memories, beware of prowling pickpockets, out-of-control children, a serious case of Montezuma's Revenge or some other unexpected surprises that can quickly ruin your dream vacation.
As with all of the Sims expansions, you will need a full copy of the original game in order to play The Sims: Vacation. For more information, check out IMG's preview of the game and get your pre-orders in at Aspyr.

IMG Preview: The Sims: Vacation
The Sims: Vacation
Buy The Sims: Vacation

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IMG Reviews Links Championship Edition
1:42 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

IMG writer Eddie Park has written and posted a review of popular golf sim Links Championship Edition. This rather lengthy review covers everything you need to know, even the included course designer.

Here's a sneak peak of what's inside:

Wusses like me use the Easy Swing meter. This basically reduces the game to a point and click interface, making it easy for amateurs to place their shots well. When setting up a shot, players will typically use the aiming marker and the Top Cam in conjunction to determine where they want the ball to go. A yellow arrow will stretch from the golfer to the aiming maker, with the arrow only stretching up to a certain point to indicate the average maximum distance a club can hit. Clubs are also selected automatically, though players can always change club selection in any swing type if they so wish. Once the aiming marker is set, players can then address the meter, which is basically a stylized 3/4ths of a circle with a white line, known as the power mark, at the 12 o’clock position. Players then click and hold the mouse button, causing the meter to fill up, and let go depending on how much power they want to exert. Players who like to click can also just click the mouse button, then click again when they want to swing. The closer to the white line the meter is when the player lets go, the more accurate the shot will be in relation to the aiming maker. The possibility of a slice or hook is virtually nil here, making it easy for amateurs to place their shots.
Be sure to read the full review for more information and details. If you are interested in purchasing Links Championship Edition, you can order it off of the IMG Store. Subscribers to the MacGames CD can pay a special members only price of $42.95, while non-members can pick it up for $48.95.

IMG Review: Links Championship Edition
Links Championship Edition
Buy Links Championship Edition

uDevGame 2002 Competition Announced
11:08 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

iDevGames today announced the official opening of uDevGame 2002, the second annual Macintosh game creation competition. To enter the contest, you need to write a game that runs natively on an Apple Macintosh computer. Contestants can win prizes from a prize pool that retails at over $9,000.

"Last year's contest was a huge milestone in the history of Macintosh gaming as well as iDevGames. The contest garnered widespread interest amoung developers and gamers alike. With this year's contest on track to becoming a bigger and better event, it is very exciting to see uDevGame become an annual institution on the Macintosh platform", were the words of Carlos Camacho, iDevGames' Editor-in-Chief. Last year's contest contributed more than 20 new games with source code (available from to the game development industry, and received great interest from the game development industry. Some of the winning entries from uDevGame 2001 were even published in the recently released book Mac Game Programming by Mark Szymczyk.

Any game genre is welcomed and entries are permissible from anywhere in the world. The competition closes on November 17, 2002 and winners will be announced on December 2, 2002. "The best part about participating in uDevGame is not the prizes, but the possibility that your entry might end up on the cover CD of a book or a magazine. Having some sort of publishing history is vital if you want to enter the Game development business", said Sacha Saxer, third place winner of last year's contest.

More information about the competition and how to enter can be found at uDevGame 2002's official home page.

uDevGame 2002

Mac Gaming Sites Unveil Redesigns
11:00 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Popular Mac game sites, MacGamer and iDevGames, have unveiled new website designs today with both touting new features in addition to new looks.

MacGamer's Corey Tamas explains their new site design:

Aside from the new look (which now accommodates a lot more content on the front page), we've also been cramming more info into the site. Networkable Mac Games has returned with hundreds of games in our database for those who want a central resource for games that can be played on a network. A new "How To" section has launched with tips and tricks for newbies and experienced folk alike. We're launching all new columns throughout the coming weeks and, of course, you'll find the same reliable news, interviews, previews, features and other stuff that you're used to at MacGamer.
Meanwhile, iDevGames' Carlos Camacho explains that they've moved to a new server and launched a new design as well as some new features:
With the move to a new server, iDevGames also sports a new look-and-feel. But the changes are more than just skin-deep: the new site contains such features as a Wiki system setup by Spencer Crissman to handle a Frequently Asked Questions section, a community built glossary, and community built online tutorials (; improved layout on the front page for easier navigation; and other new features such as the "Download Finder" for easily navigating all that iDevGames has to offer.
Be sure to check out both of the sites today. Be on the lookout for IMG's redesign tomorrow ;-)


GameRanger 3.0 Released
8:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Scott Kevill today announced the official release of GameRanger 3.0, the redesigned and rewritten online gaming service for Mac OS. Users of GameRanger can meet up with fellow gamers from around the globe to play just about any multiplayer game available.

Here's more from the press release:

GameRanger now features unprecedented power balanced with ease of use in a gorgeous Aqua user interface, yet still maintaining compatibility with Mac OS 8.6 and 9.

GameRanger provides hours of entertainment for interactive game players around the world, supporting online multiplayer gameplay for over 100 game titles, with highlights including Black & White, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Medal of Honor, Links CE 2002, Risk II, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Scrabble, Stronghold, and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds.

GameRanger is the first and largest internet multiplayer game matchmaking service for the Macintosh. Introduced over three years ago, the GameRanger community is home to over 90,000 registered members playing more than 100 popular game titles spanning classic, action, strategy and simulation. GameRanger 3.0 recently received the prestigious award of Best of Show at Macworld Expo New York 2002. GameRanger Technologies is located in Perth, Australia.

Be sure to check out the new version of GameRanger.

MGF: GameRanger 3.0

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IMG Posts QuakeCon 2002 Gallery
8:17 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

QuakeCon 2002, the annual convention/LAN party, was held late last week in the Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, Texas and huge crowds checked out DOOM III, participated in Aspyr Media sponsored tournaments, and listened to Carmack talk about DOOM III technology.

IMG has posted an extensive image gallery from QuakeCon featuring Aspyr Media (one of the official sponsors of QuakeCon 2002), tournaments, and lots and lots of Macs. Be sure to check it out.

Images from QuakeCon 2002

The Gamesome Mac Talks With Ben Haller
7:59 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Tonight on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg will be talking with Ben Haller of Stick Software.

The programmer of the classic Solarian II, one of the first great color games for the Mac, Ben went on to write the phenomenal game Lunatic Fringe and the Satori and Rose screen saver modules for After Dark before working at NeXT and Apple.

Last year, Ben left Apple to focus again on developing "anti-productivity tools for the discerning user." Among the software since released by Stick Software is Fracture, an astonishingly beautiful fractal screen saver for Mac OS X.

As usual, Sean and Omaha will serve up news, reviews, and commentary, answer listener questions along with their guest, and give away some great software in the show's live chat room.

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

Stick Software
Download Solarian II 1.0.4 (682 KB)

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.33 Beta
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A 1.33 beta patch for the popular team-based first-person shooter, Return to Castle Wolfenstein was recently released by Aspyr Media. While the update will again bring the Mac version up-to-speed with its PC counterpart, it seems a corrupt pak file will require the repackaging of the installer files. Users who have installed the update have noted problems unstuffing it along with in-game slowdowns, so Macgamefiles has pulled the listing until the issue can be resolved. Stay tuned to IMG for more on the 1.33 patch very soon.

IMG Review: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.33
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Radeon 8500 Price Drop
6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition, a popular and powerful video card from ATI, has received a $100 price drop and is now available for only $199 US retail.

From ATI's official page:

RADEON™ 8500 MAC EDITION offers superior 3D graphics acceleration and is the ideal solution for high performance gaming and workstation applications. Enjoy fast 3D/2D graphic performance and support for great new features including TRUFORM™ and SMARTSHADER™ technologies. RADEON™ 8500 MAC EDITION provides full support for OpenGL®. Plus, experience superior graphics, vigorous 3D gaming action and advanced digital content creation application performance.
You can purchase the Radeon 8500 off of ATI's official site, or any popular online merchant. Be sure to check out IMG's review for more information.

IMG Reviews ATI Radeon 8500
Radeon 8500

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

Two more reports based off the recent appearance of Shadowbane at GenCon have recently surfaced that reveal even more information about this upcoming MMORPG. First up to bat is, which has a fairly extensive report that covers everything from a community manager's favorite races to how roleplaying factors into a PvP-themed game.

Another interesting point covered is the Assassin's silence ability, which is useful when trying to kill off a target:

Most people think of Silence being to disable casters of using their craft. Not this silence. The assassin’s silence power shuts you up, literally. If an assassin is going after you and you need to scream to your friends to help you through type and guild chat and so on… they aren’t going to hear you. You will be able to see what you say, but not them.
Shadowbane site, Aerynth Atheneaum, has also updated its own GenCon report with a second part that lists reader-based questions and answers. One question pertains to information on the magic system:
There is an html list that has been put together that has everything on it. Should be on the site very soon. Spells will work much like the melee combat where all you have to do is drag the icon over on the interface and just click on it to use. The structure is that you put more points into a spell the effects of that spell will increase. The more points you put into a spell the more effective it will be. Much like a number of other games out there.
In a related note, those interested in experiencing Shadowbane character generation can do so at Shadowbane Catacombs, where a browser-based character builder is available. While still currently in an early state of development, it provides an interesting walkthrough as to how characters in Shadowbane will develop, and should give interested players a leg up when Shadowbane finally hits store shelves.

Shadowbane Catacombs - Character Builder - Shadowbane Preview from GenCon
Aerynth - SB GenCon Report: Part Two
Wolfpack Studios

Mystery Game Screens
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A lively discussion has been taking place at Ambrosia's forums concerning an upcoming mystery title not yet officially adopted. While textual clues are scarce, a forumgoer by the name of Eytee recently posted a link to some screenshots, along with the following information:

This isn't Exobattle, it's not MT, and it's not officially an Ambroisa product (yet). There will be more coming eventually.
The screenshots, of which there are four, show in-space shots of what appear to be Earth and Saturn, along with a side window that displays shield, armor, and energy meters. While this suggests a spacefaring title of some kind, nothing is for sure as of yet.

Those interested in checking out the screenshots only need to use the link below. Don't forget to check out the current forum thread at Ambrosia for more hints and speculation on this title.

Ambrosia - Mystery Game
Mystery Game Screenshots

Mac Games News for Friday, August 16, 2002

IMG Reviews The Titanium PowerBook G4/80012:49 PM
Sims Deluxe Edition Announced for PC12:29 PM
Help ATI Build A F.A.Q.11:54 AM
Custer Returns To The Chaos10:11 AM
Cro-Mag Rally 2.1 Released10:05 AM
'Racer' Adding Wheel Support9:48 AM
Looking at Nvidia's 'NV30' Hardware9:48 AM
WarCraft III 1.02 Update Released9:48 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 16, 2002 on one page

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