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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

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World of Warcraft First Impressions
6:00 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

PlanetWarcraft has had the ability to experience some actual playtime with Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft and has posted their impressions for everybody to read. The eagerly awaited title is based on the Warcraft universe, after the events that takes place in Blizzard's top seller Strategy game WarCraft III - Reign of Chaos and its expansion The Frozen Throne. In World of Warcraft you will be able to play as one of the many races in the Warcraft universe and this will greatly affect the gameplay.

From the article:

...each race begins the game with a different racial advantage over the other races. Tauren can perform a “bull rush” attack, Gnomes come with natural frost resistance, Forsaken can breathe water naturally, and Dwarves can use a natural ability to find wild booty called, “find treasure.” The final thing that set the races apart in my mind is the different mounts that the races use. The Humans love their horses while Forsaken ride Nightmare, Dwarves ride rams and Orcs ride wolves. When asked what mounts the Gnomes will ride, the answer given to me was a, “We don't know yet, but I am hoping its bunnies!”
To read the full article, follow the link provided below.

World of Warcraft is currently being developed for both Mac and PC. We will keep you informed as more information about this title is revealed; just stay tuned to our news page.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
PlanetWarcraft: World of Warcraft Impressions
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Screenshots From Cancelled Game Fallout 3 Posted
12:19 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

RPG fan site No Mutants Allowed has posted three “found” images from the now-cancelled post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout 3.

The images, apparently taken from a demo created of the game while still in development, gives fans an idea of how far along work on the title had progressed before creators Black Isle Studios’ offices were shut down by parent company Interplay. Elsewhere on the website, an anonymous Fallout 3 developer comments on the screenshots and provides insights on the game.

The first two images show both an underground and exterior game location. The third image, a screenshot of the game’s main screen, has caused quite a stir in the gaming community. One of the options detailed in the screen is labelled “Play With A Friend”, indicating that FO3 would have included a co-operative multiplayer mode.

Click on the links below to check out the images, and do it quick – Interplay CEO Herve Caen has ordered that all images and references to the cancelled game – code named Van Buren – be removed from the internet.

Omni Group
Fallout 2
Fallout 3 Image 1
Fallout 3 Image 2
Fallout 3 Image 3
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Wall Street Reacts To Slow Games Sales
11:53 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Despite being in the middle of the usually busy Holiday shopping season, games sales this year seem to be slower than expected. A survey of 20 Electronics Boutique and 20 Wal-Mart stores in the US by investment firm J.P. Morgan Securities has found that half the store had too much inventory, despite retailer’s expectations that game sales this year were going to surpass sales figures from the same period in 2002.

As the results of the survey were made public, stock prices of the biggest game software publishers, including Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, and Atari, fell on Monday, seeing a decrease of between one and three per cent.

Video game companies have been under heavy scrutiny since November of this year. Unfavourable sales data, the lack of heavy discounts on the biggest gaming consoles, and concern about publishers’ ability to meet their sales forecasts have all caused investors to be bearish about game stocks.

Toysight Demo Released
11:50 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Mac gaming visionaries Freeverse Software and Strange Flavour have released a demo of their upcoming multimedia convergence game ToySight.

ToySight uses complex motion detector and motion tracking algorithms to analyse images coming through an iSight or FireWire video camera hooked to an OS X-loaded Mac, and analyses players' position and movement. By extrapolating players' movements and mirroring their image on screen, players get physically submerged in the virtual world of the game, controlling the games not with their mouse, keyboard, or gamepad, but by waving their arms around in the air.

ToySight includes nine individual games, including The Plank, a game of physics and balance, Marble Factory, where players use marbles to fight off an invading alien force, and Submarine Battle, an underwater-base Battle Tank type game. The game also includes a variety of "toys".

ToySight, expected to ship December 20th of this year, will be available for $34.95 USD from both software resellers and on the Freeverse Store website. Players interested in checking out the unusual title should head over to the Freeverse website, where they can download the 15.8 MB demo.

Strange Flavour
Pre-Order ToySight

iDevgames Website Hacked Again
11:48 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In an email received this morning from Carlos Camacho, editor-in-chief of Mac game development site iDevGames, comes the news that the iDevGames website has been attacked by unknown hackers.

As IMG readers and followers of the popular game development contest uDevGames know, the internet resource center was previously hacked this year, right in the middle of the contest's public voting period, disrupting the event and postponing the tabulation of the votes.

The method of attack, exploiting a security hole in the Linux kernel, has apparently been used recently on many websites in the last few days. The iDevGames website is hosted on a Linux box, running the Apache 2 server through the Red Hat 9 operating system.

Camacho is currently rebuilding the website from backups, and expects the site to be up soon. Stay tuned to IMG for further news on when the iDevGames website will be back online.


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WarCraft III Patch Released
11:46 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released the long awaited 1.13 patch for their popular real time strategy game WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne. Besides balance changes to maps and the different races, the new patch also adds the final two acts of the Orc bonus campaign in the expansion pack.

From the list of changes:

  • Acts II & III, the conclusion acts to the bonus Orc campaign contained in The Frozen Throne, are included in this patch. To play these levels, you can simply click the "Chapter Two - Old Hatreds" link from the Bonus Campaign screen. If you have completed Act I, your Heroes will carry over to Act II. Otherwise, your Heroes will be default-level Heroes with basic starting items.
  • Warcraft III now supports binding an email address to your account, so that you can recover your password at a later stage, similar to the functionality that was added to D2.
  • Race selection on the scheduled game dialog (tournament finals) is now saved for future scheduled games.
  • To read the full list of changes, two helpful links to have been provided below.

    To download and install the patch, just launch Reign of Chaos or The Frozen Throne and connect to and the patch will download and install automatically.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Changes in the Reign of Chaos version 1.13
    Changes in The Frozen Throne version 1.13
    Buy WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

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    Shadowbane Development Plans
    8:47 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    The Shadowbane development team has added some new entries to their In-Development page. One of the most recent postings concerns the addition of a new realm for players to explore. Known as Vorringia, this land is home to the Northmen and presents frozen wasteland for those who would travel it:

    Hordes of savage Northmen have spread across all fragments, building new cities and strongholds. The Beast Lords stir in the frozen wastes, and the dreaded Skinchangers, the Werebeasts, flock to answer their call. Heroes and foes with names out of legend have emerged from the frozen north. Valkyrs, the Shieldmaidens of Lashava walk the fragments again, as do the fearsome Blood Horns of the Minotaurs, the dreaded Berserks of the Northmen, and the mysterious Giant-daughters. Winter is coming, and its icy touch shall change the Age of Strife forever.
    The features of Vorringia include new areas for veteran players, new monsters, and multiple runegates as well as a smaller land mass for easier travel.

    Other improvements currently listed include new/improved Disciplines, camera improvements, and specialist weapons.

    Shadowbane - In Development
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos

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    Revolution 7.1 Driver 1.2.9 Update
    8:46 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    For those that may have missed them, M-Audio released updated drivers for their Revolution 7.1 sound card early last week. The main issues the drivers address include a fix for kernel extension loading problems as well as additional support for OS 10.3.

    Those looking for more feedback can find it at Accelerate Your Mac, where a reader feedback/tips section for the latest Revolution drivers has been added. Reports vary widely, ranging from improved performance to continued kernel panics, along with ideas on how to address issues.

    Those interested in grabbing the latest drivers can download them directly from M-Audio's site. The latest package is sized at around 4.12 MB.

    M-Audio - Drivers Search
    M-Audio - Driver Download
    xlr8yourmac - Reader Feedback/Tips on Rev 7.1
    Revolution 7.1

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    Soldier of Fortune II Q&A Posted
    6:00 AM | Chris Stein | Comment on this story

    An interesting Q&A interview with John Zuk, project lead for the intense first-person shooter Soldier of Fortune II, has been posted on Planet In the interview, Zuk talks about the development of Soldier of Fortune II, the mod community and the future of first-person shooters.

    Here is an excerpt from the interview:

    What went right?
    The number one thing that went ‘right’ was our decision to add multiplayer. SoF2 was in its design phase when it appeared the genre was splitting in two. On the one side, you had Quake and UT doing multiplayer only games, and on the other, games like Deus Ex that were single player only. E3 opened our eyes to how many people really wanted multiplayer in SoF2. The decision was made to add it in soon after, and fortunately; we did it before it was too late.

    Another thing that really worked well was our NPC model design. Instead of having to do dozens upon dozens of unique characters, some of which were seen only once or twice, we did 10. However, we made significant use of GHOUL 2’s bolt-on system and surface features to make the 10 models look like the over 75 characters we had in the game. This system was one of the few areas of the game that had significant pre-planning and it worked smoothly because of it.

    You can check out the interview at the link below.

    Soldier of Fortune II was ported by the Omni Group released for Mac by MacPlay in September last year.

    Q&A interview with Jon Zuk
    Omni Group
    Raven Software
    SoF II
    Buy SoF II

    Mac Games News for Monday, December 15, 2003

    IMG Previews Wakeboarding Unleashed2:23 PM
    The Sims: Makin' Magic Trailer Posted1:57 PM
    Halo Opening Sales Figures Highest In Four Years12:51 PM
    Shadowbane Downtime Compensation11:18 AM
    Blades of Avernum Coming; Geneforce 2 Updated10:54 AM
    Uru Survey Mentions Mac10:15 AM
    EV: Nova Patched to v1.076:05 AM
    The Gamesome Mac Talks with Destineer & Bungie6:05 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 15, 2003 on one page

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