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Tuesday, April 8, 2003



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Stoked Rider for Mac; First Screens Posted
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Late last year IMG got word of a new snowboarding game in development called Stoked Rider. The title, which originally started out as part of an advertising campaign for the snowboard company Flow, is the brainchild of development house Bongfish. While an early version of the technology was released as freeware in 2001, the team is now looking to completely revamp the engine as a commercial title for 2003.

Stoked Rider features procedurally generated terrain and very impressive cell-shaded graphics. It also boasts legendary freerider Tommy Brunner as both technical advisor and main character.

Even better news is that Stoked Rider is coming to Mac, PC, and Linux. IMG has been given the opportunity to bring you an exclusive look at the first screenshots of the cell-shaded game now. Here's a description of the shots from Bongfish:

Today the very first screenshots of the snowboard game featuring freeride legend TOMMY BRUNNER have been revealed. This actual in-game screenshots show the graphically rich visual style of the game utilizing an unique cell-shading technique. In particular these screenshots feature the main character TOMMY BRUNNER riding a sun-set scene in ALASKA. Stay tuned and prepare to find more on STOKED RIDER's mountain generation, visualization and gameplay details in the coming months...
Watch for more on Stoked Rider from IMG later this year as the team plans on reaching first playable sometime this summer.

Drop Point: Alaska
Bongfish
Stoked Rider Screenshot #1
Stoked Rider Screenshot #2
Stoked Rider Screenshot #3
Stoked Rider Screenshot #4
Buy Drop Point: Alaska



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IMG Previews Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
12:30 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a first look of the highly anticipated strategy expansion Warcraft III: The Frozen Thone. In the preview, Jay Swartzfeger takes a long look at how this title will push the very popular original Warcraft III to new areas. The article looks especially at new heroes, units, and buildings, as well as changes to the title's gameplay.

Here's an excerpt:

After playing The Frozen Throne, the gameplay changes are subtle, yet significant.
For starters, the pace of the game has changed because overall, many building prices have been lowered. This has allows the opening game to speed up significantly. Also, units seem to be completed sooner, making it quicker to build your army. Conversely, upgrading your race's main building (e.g., upgrading from a Town Hall to a Keep) takes more resources and time now, taking longer to get those Tier 2 and Tier 3 units. Buildings and upgrades have also been balanced to require more lumber overall. Since lumber is more at a premium, upkeep has been tweaked to account for more wood gathering peons.
Head over and check out the rest of the article now.

IMG Preview: Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne



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World War II Online Updated
8:23 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Cornered Rat Software has updated their massive multiplayer online game, World War II Online. The new version is 1.83 and fixes some vehicle and terrain issues.

In World War II Online you command a multitude of accurately designed vehicles and aircrafts as well as wield authentically modeled weapons from World War II on a gigantic battlefield online.

List of changes in the new version:

Vehicles:

  • Fixed bad value in Crusader2 and Matilda2 with their fuel loadouts, this was causing both vehicles to run out of gas, giving the "broken transmission" effect players were experiencing
  • Fixed bug in Matilda2 where turning left from a stand-still was almost impossible
  • Slight adjustment to French AC spawn lists

    Terrain:

  • Fixed several links
  • Fixed Aalst AB
  • The update is available both through the auto-update utility PlayGATE and as a downloadable patch from macgamefiles.com.

    Don't forget that PlayNet and IMG still is offering a 2 week free trial of this massive online war simulator. Don't miss out this chance to try out this overwhelming gaming experience. Just follow the link below for more information about the free trial.

    IMG News: PlayNet and IMG Team Up for WWII Online Free Trial
    Strategy First
    Cornered Rat Software
    World War II Online
    MGF: WWII Online 1.83



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    X-Plane 7 Unveiled
    6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

    In an abrupt surprise, developer Austin Meyer of Laminar Research pulled the sheets off of a well-hidden upgrade to his flagship product X-Plane, bringing it to version 7.0. Subscribers to Meyer's e-mail list may remember him publishing a "wish-list" of sorts; as it turns out, that list was actually the finalized feature-set to the new version, which Meyer describes as "unquestionably the biggest release we have EVER had."

    The new version includes countless changes (all detailed on the website linked at the end of this article), including some noteworthy new features:

    • Experimental new 3-D, volumetric scattered and broken clouds. This is supposed to be impossible, but It's still done. These clouds are 3-D and volumetric. They absorb and reflect sunlight, are dark underneath, give a sense of speed as you fly through them, and cast accurate shadows for their formation and time of day.

    • TOTALLY-UNLIMITED numbers of global airports, navaids, airways, fixes, custom objects, number of polygons per custom object, roads, railroads, trails, rivers, taxiways, and powerlines!

    • Heavy frame-rate optimizations FOR HIGHER FRAME-RATE

    • VERSION 7 LOADS FASTER, RUNS FASTER, RUNS SMOOTHER, and USES LESS RAM than 6.x.
    In addition, rain, snow, and hail are now modeled as individual 3D objects, with hail even given the ability to pockmark a hapless pilot's windshield. A number of significant enhancements were made to the flight model and aircraft designers now have much more flexibility in designing their vehicles.

    Meyer was quick to point out that version 6.60 of X-Plane is still underway and a version 6.70 is expected to incorporate some of version 7.0's frame-rate optimizations.

    Currently version 7.0 is in beta mode, and a demo is available for download. Purchasing an X-Plane 7 CD will allow users to fly in the beta for more than six minutes. The CD will also work for all release versions of X-Plane 7.

    Accompanying this release are new generation-7 global-scenery CD's with better geometry for more accurate coastlines and adjustments to situations where rivers and roads intersect airports. No changes were made to the Mars global scenery, and no new CD purchase is necessary.

    X-Plane is Laminar's highly-extensible flight simulator, offering owners the ability to fly aircraft from airports around the world, and to design and fly a variety of aircraft, helicopters, gliders, and gyrocopters. The version 7.0 CD will be available at a discounted price of $59.99 through the beta period, but will climb to $99.99 once the full version is released.

    [Update] Please note X-Plane 7 is OS X-only, unlike previous versions of the software.

    Laminar Research
    X-Plane 7
    Download X-Plane 7.0 Beta/Demo (97 MB)
    Buy X-Plane 7



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    Republic: The Revolution Preview
    6:00 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

    GamesRadar recently posted a preview of the long-awaited RPG/Strategy game, Republic: The Revolution. Republic is billed as a less violent Deus Ex, except that instead of uncovering conspiracies, you are out to take over the land of Novistrana by becoming President.

    This game's goal can be achieved in a variety of ways, from diplomatic solutions, to down-and-dirty mob hits. Republic also has some role-playing themes to it, mostly pertaining to your character. You make your character using a psychometric test, and based on your personality, points are distributed into presence, control, charisma, and power. From here, you use your party's resources to gain popularity and eventually oust the current President of Novistrana.

    Here's an excerpt from the preview:

    The real fun of the game lies in getting your characters to carry out actions to further your cause. Each character is allotted three slots of time for each day. You can have them carry out actions for two of those slots but one slot is always left for their free time, where they go off and do whatever they want (more on this later).

    There are 180 different actions in the game that cover the whole gamut of manipulation and control, from simple bribes, leaking damaging info to the press, assassinations to organising a peace rally or an army recruitment day. Each action has three levels of power, obviously the higher the level, the greater its likelihood of success. Characters can have a max of six to nine actions each.

    The easiest way to see how this works is to take a real example. In your action planner (a diary of given tasks) you choose a character suitable for the job at hand. We’ll take a force character and send him on an errand to intimidate a person to join our faction. The action ‘terrorise’ is chosen, along with our target and location.

    Republic:The Revolution is being developed by Feral Interactive for the Mac, though no solid release date has been set.

    Republic Preview
    Republic: The Revolution
    Elixir
    Feral Interactive
    Buy Republic: The Revolution



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    Apple Profiles Worms Blast
    6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Apple's Brad Cook has recently updated the Apple Games website with a new feature on Feral Interactive's recently-released action/puzzle game, Worms Blast.

    The fun-for-the-whole-family puzzle game gets two thumbs up from the Apple writer:

    The object of Worms Blast is to fire randomly colored ammunition from a bazooka at a series of colored blocks at the top of the screen. If the color of the ammunition matches the color of the block it strikes, then the block vanishes along with all connecting blocks of the same color. If the colors don't match, though, the block takes on the same hue as the ammunition, along with all the blocks immediately surrounding it.

    It sounds simple, but there are many variations on this basic gameplay model that keep you on your toes. During some levels, for example, you might not want to destroy any blocks at all because of the objective involved. When you reach other levels, you may be required to destroy only certain-colored blocks.

    Click on the link below to access the website, but pay no mind to the listed system requirements, which erroneously suggest that a full retail version of The Sims is required to play. IMG's sister site MacGameFiles is also hosting the demo; click on the link below to download the 32 meg file.

    Apple's Worms Blast Feature
    MGF: Download the Worms Blast demo
    Feral Interactive
    Worms Blast
    Buy Worms Blast


    Team MacFPS Seeks A Few Good Paintball Players
    6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Macintosh game loving paintball players TeamFPS are looking for new inductees for the 2003 summer season.

    TeamFPS is a rag-tag collection of Mac-loving enthusiasts who get together generally once a month during the summer to experience the joy (and pain) of running through a forest, dressed in camo and face masks, pelting biodegradable paint balls at each other at extremely high velocities:

    Team MacFPS invites Mac gamers over 18 (and friends) to join our platoon. We're a casual group of gamers who want to have fun at paintball scenario events in the Northeast USA. We don't expect to win the Paintball World Cup, but we'd like to think that our years of playing first person shooters may have prepared us for our day in the sun.

    Scenario Paintball brings first person shooters and roleplaying to life, while preserving the competitive aspects of a game. Hundreds of people show up at these games. We're looking for a dozen people that are looking for a few interesting weekends this year.

    TeamFPS palyers include fellow Macintosh game reporter Peter "Sureshot" Cohen and Freeverse Software's Jason "Eagle-Eye" Whong. This summer's paintball schedule currently features five events, including the William Shatner Spplat Attack celebrity tournament.

    Paintball players over the age of 18 who live in the NorthEast USA and are interested in joining the team should email Jason Whong. Click on the link below for more info.

    TeamFPS Website


    Beenox Comments on THPS3 Feedback, THPS4
    6:00 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

    Dee Brown, president of Beenox, the Macintosh game development and porting company, has answered questions for some IMG forum readers about Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3's compatibility with Force Feedback technology. Brown also comments in a separate thread on the progress so far between Beenox and Aspyr on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 .

    Here's a comment on the upcoming patch for Force Feedback in THPS3:

    The TH3 patch is done and left for approval at Activision last week. We had a lot of fun playing a massive "Slap" game with the Aspyr & Beenox folks together :).

    As for TH4, it is based on the Xbox version. It rocks.

    Posted in another topic, Dee enthusiastically gives a status report on their up-and-coming port of THPS4:
    TH4 was finally announced and we are very proud of how the project is going. The mini-site at Aspyr had several errors that are or should very soon be corrected. The multiplayer component, for example, is already in and fully playable (even Mac<->PC). The graphics are gorgeous (yes, TH3 graphics may look like a PS1 game -- it is a PS1 game originally) and the new mission layout is definitely cool. Plus, we support Altivec accelaration, FFB, a whole new and improved config screen, and more. TH fans will be thrilled by it -- for everyone else, there are demos coming soon!
    Go join in on the discussion at the IMG Forums at the links below, or head on over to Beenox to check out more about their port of THPS4, due later in 2003.

    You can also swing on over to the IMG store at the link below and pick up a copy of THPS3, or pre-order THPS4.

    THPS 3 Force Feedback Discussion
    THPS 4 Status Discussion
    Beenox
    Aspyr Media
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
    Buy Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4


    Mac Games News for Monday, April 7, 2003

    IMG Previews Radeon 9700, Talks with ATI12:40 PM
    MacPlay to Distribute Virtual Programming Games10:27 AM
    Blizzard Clarifies Stance on Hacks9:39 AM
    Combat Mission: Afrika Corps Unveiled9:39 AM
    Geneforge 2 Interview, Spiderweb Sale9:39 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Mac Update9:39 AM
    Republic: The Revolution Interview9:39 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 7, 2003 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Friday, April 4, 2003
    Thursday, April 3, 2003
    Wednesday, April 2, 2003
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    Monday, March 31, 2003


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