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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

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Ghost Recon Officially Beta
6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, the upcoming squad-based tactical combat game from Aspyr Media (published by Red Storm Entertainment on the PC), has reached the beta stage of its development. This means that all of the games features have been implemented, and beta testers are testing out the product, reporting any problems or bugs they come along. The final estimated release date for Ghost Recon is yet to be announced.

While you wait for Ghost Recon to hit the shelves, you can find out more information about it in IMG's exclusive preview. The title features more of the same addictive strategic gameplay found in the original, as well as improved audio and graphics. Here's a clip from IMG's preview about the new graphics engine:

Ghost Recon uses its own brand new engine. The engine totes vast outdoor areas with expansive hills and valleys. Adding to the realism will be trees that sway in the wind, making it hard to find that sniper who just killed one of your men while hiding in the branches. The impressive character models and the realistic environments create a setting where the camouflage you pick might be a decision between life and death.

Speaking of character models, you won’t find any “clones” in this game. That’s right, every solider and terrorist has his (or her) own unique look. All these small features roll together to create an incredibly immersive game.

You can pre-order Ghost Recon from IMG's store for $43 for subscribers of the MacGames CD. Non-subscribers can still pick it up for the regular price of $49.

IMG Preview: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Aspyr Media
Red Storm

IMG Posts Ask Aspyr - Volume 1
11:43 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

A few weeks ago, we asked you, the reader, to send in any questions you had for Mac game publisher Aspyr Media, as part of our newest feature, Ask Aspyr. Michael Rogers, President at Aspyr, took the time to answer some of the questions you sent in, and we are pleased to report that Ask Aspyr - Volume 1 has been posted. Here's a sneak peak of what's inside:

Question: Is Aspyr, as a company, only interested in porting games or do you guys have a future plan to perhaps, in partnership with new mac game developers, help publish their mac only games? If so, at what stage in the development should a mac game developer contact you and what would Aspyr be interested in helping out with to make sure it will be a killergame for the macplattform? - Håkan

Answer: We're interested in doing more games. Our strength is in bringing out high-profile brands to the Mac, but we are planning to branch out a bit. Producing a Mac-only title, with the kind of commercial quality that gamers expect is difficult.

Be sure to head on over to the full article to check it out. Who knows? Maybe your question was answered. For those who missed this lucky opportunity, don't fret. You can still send in your questions to Aspyr for the next volume. Check out the full article for more details on sending in your questions.

Ask Aspyr - Volume 1
Aspyr Media

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Quake 1 Meets Doom III
9:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A very interesting project was announced recently called Tenebrae Quake, and even though only a PC port currently exists, a number of IMG readers were excited about its possibilities as well. Tenebrae's developers have taken the open source code available for the original Quake and added in the very latest generation of graphics techniques such as per pixel lights and stencil shadows.

Per pixel lighting makes sure the lighting is calculated down to the pixel level so that every area of the world is correction lit, while stencil shadows adds much more detailed shadows to the game (at the expense of more powerful hardware being necessary). The site recommends a 600MHz machine with 64MB RAM and a GeForce or Radeon graphics card in order to play Tenebrae.

These feature give the game a very new look, and it may even be possible to see it running on Mac in the future. According to the Tenebrae FAQ, the developer doesn't "have a mac but someone mailed me about trying to compile it on a mac."

He has released his updated source code, and a thread in the IMG forums indicated some brave souls may indeed already be looking into a Mac version of the client. One very plausible candidate would be Fruitz of Dojo, a group which updates both Quake 1 and 2 ports for OS X. We'll keep you posted on any new information.

Tenebrae Quake
Tenebrae Quake Screens
IMG Forum Thread on Tenebrae Quake
id Software
Fruitz of Dojo

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Wolfenstein Patch Clarifications
9:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Some readers have written IMG, concerned by the situation with patches for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. With the game's online multiplayer being a major selling point, any discrepancies in patch schedules between Mac and PC which might break the network compatibility causes major headaches for both players and Mac publisher Aspyr Media.

The most recent 1.33 patch is dubbed a "beta" patch, and a small snafu occured when the initial installer download was corrupted. It should be noted that the patch was quickly fixed by Aspyr, and as of now the current download being offered at Macgamefiles is the correct 1.33 patch.

IMG talked briefly with Glenda Adams, president of porting house Westlake Interactive, for any insight on a possible "final" version of 1.33 for the Mac. She noted, "1.33 is considered 'beta' in name only, it was fully tested for quite a longtime before being released. We are looking into some reports of slowdowns, although we haven't been able to duplicate them on our test machines yet."

Anyone experiencing issues (especially if your original download was corrupted) should attempt to re-download the patch from Macgamefiles and give the installer a try again.

Another cause for concern among gamers is that, according to a recent QuakeCon interview posted at LinuxGames, it seems there could be yet another, version 1.4 patch coming down the road as well. They talked with id's Linux guru Timothee Besset, who noted while there is no release date for 1.4, it is in the works, and " id intends to improve elements of online gaming for players, such as adding server and mod URL support within RTCW to facilitate access to server info."

When asked about 1.4, Westlake's Adams simply noted it's too early to talk yet about a Mac version of any subsequent patch. It's likely it might not even break network compatibility, but if so, you can be sure IMG will stay on the subject.

Download Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.33 Patch (17.1MB)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Linux Games Interview with Timothee Besset
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Want Mac Games at Worldcon?
8:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Howard Shere of Green Dragon Creations, creators of popular Mac games like Battle Girl and Gridz, made a post last night to the Mac games dev list, asking for developers' help in getting a Mac gaming section at Worldcon, the 60th World Science Fiction Convention being held in San Jose this weekend. Apparently they don't have any gaming room to speak of at the convention, and Shere would like to see Macs represented.

The situation is constrained by both time and finances, as he need to work out a situation with a computer rental company today in order to get the machines in the con by Thursday's start. Here's more from his post:

I found a place which is willing to rent us 15 Macs (including delivery, setup, teardown, and return delivery) for about $3,500 but Worldcon doesn't have that kind of money for the computer game room.

Green Dragon Creations is willing to put up 10% and organize everything if I can get other companies to pitch in as well. The con starts on Thursday (and runs throgh Monday) so I need to work out the details of this tonight.

Anyone who pitches in can send advertising info and signage and we'll put it up in the room. We'd also need copies of games which we can run on those machines. We have some software here, but we'd like to have more games for people to play.

IMG talked with Shere, who notes there is still time and room for negotiation with the rental company today. If anyone is interested in helping out, drop him an email at Also check out the Con Jose web site for more information on Worldcon.

Green Dragon

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Bugdom 2 Update, New Screenshots
8:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Pangea's Brian Greenstone this morning sent IMG a development update on the highly anticipated sequel to Bugdom, as well as some brand-spanking new screenshots. In the update, Greenstone says Bugdom 2 should be hitting Alpha status soon, and also lays out the company's retail strategy:

We have now completed 90% of the levels, and we expect to be at Alpha within 3 to 4 weeks. Then we just need to finish up the game's menu and interface screens, do lots of testing and tweaking, and then we should be ready to ship it!

We plan on releasing both and online downloadable version of the game, and the boxed version with a CD. The downloadable version will probably go for $30, and the boxed version for $35. And of course we will also release a free demo when the game ships.

As for system requirements, it appears that the minimum configuration for Bugdom 2 is going to be a 400mhz iMac with a Rage 128 / 8MB of VRAM, and 128MB of RAM. However, it also seems to run well on a beige G3/266 (for reasons unknown, it runs faster on a G3/266 than on an iMac 400). It will run on anything from OS 9 to 10.2.

Be sure to check out the screenshots by clicking on the links below. We'll be posting an extensive preview of Bugdom 2 when it enters beta.

IMG First Look: Bugdom 2
Pangea Software
Bugdom 2
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Screenshot 4
Screenshot 5
Screenshot 6
Buy Bugdom 2

GamePad Companion Updated for 10.2
8:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Carvware's gaming utilitiy GamePad Companion was recently updated to fix compatibility with OS X 10.2. The popular utility enables the calibration and use of many gamepads and joysticks under OS X. This version 2.1 release also makes corrections to the demo timeout scheme, as well as adding mouse support for Jaguar users. Here's a full list of changes:

2.1 - August 25, 2002
- Added support for Mac OS X 10.2.
- Added support for controlling mouse devices(requires OS X 10.2 or later).
- Added support for more Saitek controllers like P750 (requires OS X 10.2 or later).
- Fixed bug that was causing hat switch elements to not work correctly with some games/devices.
- Added better demo timeout logic.
- Improved mouse button actions to track the current system cursor better.
- Improved mouse cursor actions to track the current system cursor better.
Head over to Macgamefiles now to download GamePad Companion 2.1. If you find the demo to your liking, a user license is only $15.


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New Lineage II Screens
6:00 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

NCSoft has released several new screenshots for their upcoming MMORPG sequel Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle. As for whether or not we will be seeing this title for the Mac in the near future, the evidence is not yet solid. NCSoft has explained in the past that their current experience with the Mac will help them formulate a plan for the future.

The Lineage II FAQ covers this, mentioning that because there is yet no official port of the base technology for the title, the next-gen Unreal engine, it's difficult to talk of a Mac version of Lineage II :

Q: Do you plan to develop Lineage II for Macintosh Computers?

- Since Lineage II is currently using unreal warfare engine we do not have any plan to develop a Mac version client at this time.

Assuming a Mac porting house was commissioned to port a new Unreal game (such as Unreal 2 or Unreal Tournament 2003), it could be very possible to again bring title like Lineage II to the Mac. Should there be any change in this policy, you can be sure IMG will cover it.

New Lineage 2 Screenshots
Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle

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Lineage Fix for Mac OS X 10.2
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As Mac OS X 10.2 continues to permeate the Mac world, various incompatibility issues continue to rear their ugly heads. Gamers who enjoy playing the MMORPG Lineage in windowed mode under OS 10.2 may have run into some keyboard issues while in play. Though a clean solution has yet to be found, the Lineage folks have responded quickly to the problem by posting this workaround:

There is an issue with players using Mac OS 10.2 while in windowed mode. If you start in windowed mode, the keyboard may not respond and will not let you switch to full-screen mode. The solution at this time is to delete the configuration file:

rm /Applications/

This will force the application to start up in full-screen mode. Once the client starts in full-screen mode, you should be able to play normally and return to windowed mode if you desire.
NCSoft notes that their QA staff is looking into the problem and will announce a better solution once they have found one.

Lineage - Mac OS 10.2 Issue

Mac Games News for Monday, August 26, 2002

The Gamesome Mac to Relaunch September 93:01 PM
IMG Interviews Destineer's Peter Tamte12:28 PM
Doom III Online Details6:00 AM
New Myth II Tournament6:00 AM
Shadowbane Tradesmen Info6:00 AM
Video Game Pundit Speaks Out6:00 AM
Wipeout 2097 Patch for 10.26:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 26, 2002 on one page

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