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Thursday, July 17, 2003



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Northland Nearing Completion for Mac
8:07 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

e.p.i.c. Interactive today announced that their port of Funatics Software's adventure-strategy game Northland is nearing completion. According to the announcement, the game should be ready to ship by mid August, with a demo version of the game to be released soon. Here's the full announcement:

The Apple Macintosh version of Northland is very close to completion now. The game has been in beta-testing for some time now. "Northland", which was developed by Funatics Software for the PC is ported to the Apple Macintosh and other platforms by e.p.i.c. Interactive. The Mac version will require at least a G3/350 with 128 MByte RAM and OSX. An OS 9.x version will also be supplied on the CD but the memory requirements are not 100% known yet. "Northland" for the Macintosh should start shipping from the middle of august and preordering from our webstore will start next week, when the demoversion of Northland for the Mac will be launched.
For more information on Northland, head over to e.p.i.c.'s website.

Northland Nearing Completion for Mac
Runesoft
Northland


Battle.net Connection Troubles
1:07 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently posted a note stating that there are currently some connection problems with their Battle.net online service. Apparently the problem is causing connectivity issues between the east and west coast of the U.S. Here's the note from Battle.net:

The ISP responsible for US Battle.net servers is experiencing a network issue. This is affecting connectivity between the East and West coast of the US. The ISP is investigating this issue, and additional information will be posted here when available.
For more information on the issue, head on over to Battle.net.

Battle.net
Blizzard Entertainment



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Halo Audio Q&A, Plus Video
1:06 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

IGN PC has posted another interview on their website concerning the upcoming release of Halo for PC. This time around, IGN PC got a chance to sit down with Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Studios to talk about the game's audio component, and what changes are in store from the Xbox version. Here's a snippit from the interview:

IGNPC: Could you please detail the process and how hard or easy it has been to translate this audio experience to the PC while keeping it fundamentally intact, regardless of whether you're running with eight Klipsch monsters or just one five dollar Labtec speaker taped to your monitor?

Randy Pitchford: The Xbox audio hardware is very specialized -- it can do things that we cannot count on for most PC users. In order to recreate the audio experience, we had to write and use lots of different pieces of software for managing and playing sound effects and music. The trick there is that we needed to do that without adding any significant overhead for performance or memory -- some very smart programming and optimization was necessary to accomplish the objective.

In related news, IGN has also released several video clips of their own experiences with Halo PC, complete with narration. Unfortunately, while a free version of the downloads are available in the Windows Media Player format, the Mac version of the player currently is unable to play the files. If you are a member of IGN's Insider service, you will be able to view them in a more familiar Quicktime Movie format.

To check out interview and the video clips, follow the link below. Halo PC ships sometime in September, with a Mac version coming soon after.

About Halo Sound Interview Plus Video Clips
Halo: Combat Evolved



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IMG Reviews Logitech MOMO Racing Wheel
12:18 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Logitech's MOMO® Racing wheel is one of the many force feedback peripherals Immersion has certified for use with a Mac. After being impressed by nearly every Logitech peripheral I have reviewed, I expected the MOMO Racing to be nothing short of excellent. With a 240-degree rotational axis, six programmable buttons, two paddle shifters, a sequential shifter, "realistic" gas and brake pedals, and MOMO's prestigious name, it has the potential to set the standard for competing products to follow. Here is an excerpt from the review:

The MOMO Racing's black, three-spoke wheel resembles that of one in a Formula 1 race car. Its oblong shape is wrapped in a comfortable, grippy rubber that absorbs the moisture from your hands when you're attacking the hairpin corners. There are three red buttons on each side of the wheel within easy reach of your thumbs. Logitech even molded depressions of hex screws — used to secure the steering wheel to the steering rack in a real car — around the center to add a touch of authenticity. Behind the wheel are two paddle shifters that have an exceptionally satisfying feel. The same can be said of the molded sequential shifter found on the right side of the unit, which also has a rubber grip. This begs the question: Is the shifter on the left side in the United Kingdom and Japan?
To find out more about the Logitech MOMO® Racing Wheel, read the rest of the review.

IMG Review: Logitech MOMO® Racing
MOMO Racing
Logitech



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MacSoft Announces NWN Ship Date
11:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacSoft today announced that Neverwinter Nights for the Macintosh will be shipping on July 30th and should be available at US retailers during the first week of August. Select European retailers will have the product shortly thereafter.

Here's more from the official press release:

The most complete software adaptation ever of the classic pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons® role-playing game, Neverwinter Nights is a best-selling PC game created by BioWare Corp., creators of the nearly 5 million-selling Baldur’s Gate series.

Players will enjoy a fast-paced adventure, revolving around an epic story of faith, war and betrayal. The intuitive user interface was designed to be accessible to new RPG gamers as well as the hardcore fan base.

More than just a game, Neverwinter Nights breaks new ground as the first complete role-playing system for the computer platform, allowing players to step into the shoes of either a hero or the Dungeon Master to tell their own stories and create their own adventures in the spirit of the exciting pen and paper original.

"Neverwinter Nights is one of this year’s most eagerly-anticipated Mac releases because of its fast-paced adventure, online multiplayer capabilities, the new Dungeon Master feature and a whole lot more," according to MacSoft's general manager Al Schilling.

"Neverwinter Nights will provide limitless adventure and Macintosh gamers will have unprecedented game play options as they join the existing Neverwinter Nights community," said Trent Oster, BioWare's Project Director and Producer of Neverwinter Nights.

Neverwinter Nights requires a Macintosh computer with a 450Mhz G4 (or faster) processor, 256MB RAM, 32MB video card, and 2.1GB hard disk space and a monitor with support for 800x600 or higher resolution.

Neverwinter Nights is available for pre-order at the MacSoft store as well as the IMG Store. IMG Pro/MacGames CD subscribers can pick it up for $42.99 while non-subscribers can pre-order it for $48.99.

BioWare
MacSoft
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights



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Amercia's Army Released for the Mac [Updated]
10:39 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The US Army has released the Mac version of America's Army, its popular first-person shooter. The massive 315 MB download is available on the America's Army web site as a premium download for $5.95. The file is also available for IMG Pro users via their private Hot Downloads page. If you are not an IMG Pro user, don't worry, we'll be putting a public download link on Macgamefiles.com as soon as our ftp mirrors grab the file. [Update: The game is now available at Macgamefiles.com]

Here's more from the official press release:

Mac gamers are now able to experience the thrilling virtual Army missions that more than 1.2 million PC gamers have played through in the America‚s Army game. The Mac OS X version of America‚s Army, which provides civilians with an inside perspective and a virtual role in the U.S. Army, is available via the Army‚s premium download site provided by Akamai.

In the game, players will explore progressive individual and collective basic training events within the game. Once they successfully completed these events they will advance to multiplayer operations in small units. These training missions include parachuting onto and seizing a tactical airfield, defeating terrorist organizations trafficking in Stinger Anti-Aircraft missiles, protecting the Alaskan pipeline, POW rescue, and command post raids.

The minimum Mac specs for Version 1.7 are a 700MHz G4 Processor, Mac OS X 10.2.6, 256 Megs of RAM, 1 gigabyte of hard drive space, and a GeForce2 or Radeon 7500 card. The recommended specs are a 1.25GHz G4 Processor, 512 megs of RAM, a gigabyte of hard drive space and a GeForce4 or Radeon 8500 card.

The Army also announced that it would be bringing America's Army: Special Forces to the Mac this fall:
This fall America's Army: Special Forces will debut this fall and will allow gamers to experience new roles including Medical Sergeant, Weapons Sergeant, Engineer Sergeant, Communications Sergeant, and Intelligence Sergeant. When America's Army: Special Forces is fully deployed by the winter of 2003, gameplay will culminate with missions that span the capabilities of a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) to include combat search and rescue (CSAR debuted at E3), direct action, surveillance and reconnaissance, and unconventional warfare.
We'll be sure to keep you posted on more mirrors for the download. In the meantime, be sure to check out the official America's Army web site.

Don't forget that we'll also be including this game on the next MacGames CD. For more information on the MacGames CD, be sure to follow the link below. Subscription start as low as $29 for 8 issues and include a free game.

U.S Army
Epic Games
America's Army: Special Forces 2.4
MGF: Download America's Army 1.7


Mac Games Market Editorial
8:07 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

OS News has posted an interesting editorial, titled "Apple Games: Leveraging Small Market Share," that takes a look at the current state of the Mac games market as well as ideas for bolstering it. While the Mac market has made great strides in the past few years, as the editorial points out, the selection of titles is still much smaller than that of the PC market.

The editorial also mentions what most of us have known for years - that games tend to drive the sales for high end computers. It also suggests a solution that many have voiced in the past: that Apple should open their own games development division:

Apple should create a game division to produce original Mac games and port Windows games to the Mac. I’m not talking about Tetris clones; I mean top flight commercial games. Apple should produce or port ten to twenty games per year, and make them available as a free download for all Mac users.
The editorial supports this argument with theoretical budgets and probable outcomes. In an interesting counterpoint, it uses Linux to demonstrate that the model may not work on all platforms in order to reinforce Apple's viability. Those interested in perusing the whole argument can find it at OS News.

OS News - Apple Games: Leveraging Small Market Share


Unreal Tournament 2004 Details
8:07 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

UGO has posted both a preview and an interview concerning Unreal Tournament 2004. The next iteration of the popular UT series, UT2004 will be using the same engine as UT2003 and will keep many of the gameplay elements, but will also add several new features and return some even older ones for old school fans.

UT2004 will be introducing vehicles, which will be of key importance in the new gaming mode known as Onslaught. In this mode, players will wage team-based combat to control a series of waypoints. Given the huge scope of the maps used for this mode, vehicles will be necessary to get around efficiently.

Also new to the mix are the new parasite mines:

These are basically mines with legs that lay dormant until an enemy happens by. When triggered, the mines with hop up and run full speed at their target, grabbing on and exploding in a fine mess of organs and little metal legs. Dropping several of these near a base will do well to discourage any would-be attackers from stopping by.
UT2004 will also see the return of Assault mode, a feature missing in UT2003. In UGO's interview with Cliff Bleszinski, he elaborates a bit on what's being improved:
UGO: We're glad to see Assault returning. What types of missions are you looking to introduce, and do all of them involve vehicles?

CB: There will be no fewer than 6 unique Assault scenarios. One of my favorites is the Convoy map. The basic gist of it is that the attackers are hijacking a convoy as it speeds through a beautiful desert at breakneck speed. Try to not fall off!
Bleszinski also notes that he expects "vehicular manslaughter" to be one of the main lures of UT2004.

Both the interview and the preview, along with some screenshots, can be found at UGO.

UGO - Unreal Tournament 2004 Preview
UGO - Unreal Tournament 2004 Interview


Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Harman Multimedia Announces Encounter, Duet Speaker Systems12:50 PM
Blizzard Releases WC3 1.11 Patches12:33 PM
New SOF 2 Multiplayer Patch Released12:30 PM
ATI Introduces the Radeon 9800 Pro9:38 AM
Apple Posts America's Army Trailer8:03 AM
More Hands-on Halo at GameSpot8:03 AM
SoF2 Key Warning8:03 AM
XSquawkBox Accepting Beta Applications8:03 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 16, 2003 on one page


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Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Monday, July 14, 2003
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