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Tuesday, February 10, 2004



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Gearbox, MacSoft On Halo Updates
7:45 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In response to an online petition started last week on their forums, Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software, has posted an update regarding the upcoming patches for the PC version of their first person shooter Halo.

In the post, Randy confirmed that Gearbox has poured a large amount of resources into creating new content for the title. According to the CEO, Gearbox has invested "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in creating new content, new features, and various improvements to the game, including fast shaders and bug fixes:

I dedicated the full resources of the Halo development team to the project from launch day on. The stuff they generated between launch day and now is amazing in quality and volume. Thus far, just a fraction of that work has made it into the official updates.

I hope you can imagine how eager I am to have more of that effort in the hands of our fans and customers - doing stuff to improve the game that we all play is the sole reason why the post-launch development commitment was made at Gearbox. You've probably spent $50 and some number hours playing the game and looking forward to new features and content. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars post-launch developing updates that have yet to be released and have spent countless hours working with the team and our partners up in Redmond to do the right thing by our customers, our brand and this title which we enjoy playing so much.

While Randy is keen on passing the new features onto the public, his hands are tied until the content gets approved by executives over at Bungie and the Microsoft Game Studios. From his post:
Unfortunately, beyond the information that a significant development commitment has been made by Gearbox and that lots of cool things have been created from that effort, it's impossible for me to make specific commitments about when you can actually expect the official updates to be released and exactly what each one will contain.

Approval, testing and release of updates to the Halo PC software is entirely under the control of Bungie / MGS.

At the end of his message, Randy suggests that PC players keen on getting their hands on the new material should contact Microsoft directly.

Over on the Mac side, MacSoft's Al Schilling confirmed with IMG that the publishers plan on keeping Mac Halo compatible with the PC version, much to the joy of many hardcore Mac gamers. No word on when the new updates will make it to the Mac, however, as the turnaround time depends largely on how quickly Gearbox can hand the approved PC code over to the hard working programmers at Westlake Interactive. Stay tuned to IMG as more information on the content update becomes available, and, if you haven't already, head over to the IMG store and order your own copy of the award-winning title for only $39.99 USD.

Randy Pitchford on Halo Updates
MacSoft
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved


IMG Chat Application In Revision
11:40 AM | Johan Hansn | Comment on this story

Due to recent a lawsuit, the gaming dedicated chat server network previously known as Gamesnet.net has changed its name to GameSurge. As a result of the change, IMG's own IMG Chat application can no longer connect to the network. Rest assured that we are currently working on a new version of the application that will be able to connect to the GameSurge servers.

In the meantime, we advise all Macintosh gamers wanting to chat with others to download any of the free IRC clients available through software resource center VersionTracker, and manually connect to:

Server: irc.gamesurge.net
Channel: #IMG
We will inform you as soon as the new IMG Chat application is available to download.

GameSurge
VersionTracker


Lord the Rings Online Trading Card Game Launches
11:15 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

On January 31st, Decipher officially launched its Lord of the Rings Online Trading Card Game following a lengthy beta test. The company's live servers is up and running as is its online store. Pricing for a basic monthly subscription starts at under $10 per month with premium subscriptions at $49.95. Various starter packs are available.

Here's a bit more info on the trading card game:

The Lord of the Rings Online Trading Card Game] A collectible, turn-based strategy game, between two or more people, re-enacting Frodo's fateful quest to destroy the One Ring, eluding Sauron's minions and the treachery of Saruman while taking the Ring from Hobbiton to Mt Doom.

The game is played using your own customizable deck of cards, featuring scenes from all three The Lord of the Rings movies.

The Mac version requires Mac OS X and is a 100 MB download. For more information, be sure to head over to the official website.

Lord of the Rings: Online Trading Card Game


FasterMac.net Intros TurboMac
10:50 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

FasterMac.net, a division of IMG Sponsor Other World Computing, today introduced TurboMac, an accelerated unlimited dialup service with local 56K access throughout the United States specifically for Mac users. Using the specialized software, you'll be able surf faster thanks to on-the-fly data caching and data compression/decompression. TurboMac provides accelerated Web page display and email downloading. This is most visible when loading Web pages, which are able to fully display up to six-and-a-half times faster compared to standard, non-accelerated dialup services.

Here's more from the official press release:

A special introductory rate of $120 for the first year ($10 per month) is being offered to the first 500 customers who sign up for FasterMac.net's new TurboMac service. Standard pricing starts at $139.95 for a yearly subscription (less than $11.67 per month), $37.95 quarterly ($12.65 per month) and $13.95 month-to-month.

"The technology TurboMac uses really gives it a significant performance advantage over non-accelerated dialup services," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "Whether you're comparing normal web browsing or even the time it takes to download your e-mails, TurboMac speeds things up. And when you consider the $120 special rate, there's never going to be a better time for those first 500 TurboMac customers to switch ISPs and start saving with our FasterMac.net service today."

All FasterMac.net TurboMac accounts include unlimited nationwide local dialup, five free email addresses (username@fastermac.net), 10 Megabytes (MB) of web hosting space, custom SPAM and virus filtering and more. Standard FasterMac.net dialup services are also available for less than $8.00 per month.

"Not only is the TurboMac accelerated dialup much faster than standard dialup, but the costs of the regular (non-introductory special) plans are less than half of what many non-accelerated dialup services charge," O'Connor said. "We've been in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) business for nearly seven years now, and it's a real pleasure to offer Internet services to our fellow Mac-users who deserve quality service for a reasonable cost. There's no reason to pay more than $20 a month for dialup service when you can get a whole lot more, a whole lot faster, for less money from FasterMac.net."

TurboMac accelerated dialup through FasterMac.net requires Apple OS 10.2.8 or later. For more information on support and configuration please see the FasterMac.net web site, linked below.

FasterMac.net



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IMG Reviews Kasparov Chessmate
10:20 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you're into chess, you'll want to check out our review of MacPlay's Kasparov Chessmate. Here's a clip from the review:

Play is smooth and stable on my machine, and because of the modest system requirements it should be just fine on most machines, which would not be surprising for a board game. It has a simple and intuitive interface with a Game Menu, History (of game moves), Hints, Resign, and Offer Draw.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Kasparov Chessmate
MacPlay
Kasparov Chessmate
Buy Kasparov Chessmate


Delta Tao Offers Eric's Ultimate Solitaire X Alpha
9:29 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In an effort to further bug-test their popular title, Arizona-based Mac game developers Delta Tao Software have recently unleashed a new alpha build for the OS X version of Eric's Ultimate Solitaire onto an eager public.

Eric's Ultimate Solitaire, an eleven-year-old title that was for a long time bundled with all new Macs, is still one the most popular card games for Solitaire fans. Featuring 23 different versions of the single-player game, the new build includes graphical fixes and numerous "internal improvements". The alpha, listed as version 2.2d8, comes with an expiry date of April Fool's Day 2004.

Players interested in helping out Eric and the gang should download the 4.4 meg build from the Delta Tao website, whose links are found below. The .rtf documents that come with the download explain how to complete bug reports to the developers.

Delta Tao
Eric's Ultimate Solitaire


Alien Sands Releases tesl8 For MacOS X
8:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Alien Sands, a new shareware company created by professional Windows software developers has released its inaugural title, tesl8, for Mac OS X. tesl8 is a frustratingly fun puzzle game with 24 challenging levels. The object of the game is to restore the puzzle to its starting form by flipping lines of adjacent tiles. Each puzzle is comprised of one of three tile shapes (triangle, square, or hexagon), one of four different tile sizes, and one of eight beautiful images or solid colored tiles, allowing for a wide range of possibilities. Players can personalize the puzzles by combining a given tile shape, size, and puzzle image (or simply using colored tiles).

Here's more from the official press release:

We write software for Windows during the day because it pays the bills, said developer Kevin Hamilton. Its something we have to do. We chose to develop tesl8 for the Mac market first because we love the Mac. OS X is an absolute joy to use and a breeze to develop for. Building this product for the Mac is not something we had to do, its something we wanted to do.
A 12-level trial version of tesl8 is available for download at the Alien Sands website. Registration of the trial version for $11.95 will unlock all 24 levels, an additional tile size, and the hexagon tile set. The company is planning a Windows release in March.

Aliens Sands



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Warcraft III Championship Replays
7:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

If you've ever pondered the strategies of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne professional players, Blizzard has a treat for you. The company has begun posting replay files for download on their site of last month's "Blizzard Warcraft III Worldwide Invitational" tournament, which was held in Korea and featured an international list of participants.

So far the company has posted games from January 15 and 16, though look for the rest to be available in days ahead. Obviously you'll need a copy of Warcraft III in order to view the in-game replay files.

Blizzard Warcraft III Worldwide Invitational Replays
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


Mac Games News for Monday, February 9, 2004

Oliver on Unofficial CentipedeX Patch, Apple Games Feedback10:44 AM
Pangea Posts New Nanosaur 2 Screenshots9:30 AM
Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo This Week?9:20 AM
Mac Descent 3 Update Coming7:59 AM
Strange Flavour Updates Website and Airburst7:59 AM
Vendetta Developers Find Investor7:59 AM
World of Warcraft Developer Chat Log Posted7:59 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, February 9, 2004 on one page


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