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Wednesday, August 4, 2004



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New WoW Screenshots, Q&A Released
8:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Earlier this week, Blizzard posted 42 new screenshots of its upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft. The shots come from the Horde vs. Alliance Race War Server, and as the name suggests, most of the shots consist of large-scale battles and a lot of dead bodies.

Those who take the time to go through the shots will see some interesting sights. Besides various races being depicted, a number of mounts are shown, including an undead horse and a mechanical bird of sorts. A variety of villages and outdoor environments are also shown off.

Also recently added is a Q&A session that reveals more details about the upcoming game. One of the questions addressed concerns the various stances available to the Warrior class:

The battle stance is your offensively and defensively "average" stance. Itís best used when soloing or when youíre adventuring with a smaller group. The defensive stance is as the name implies, best used when youíll be taking a lot of damage and you want to stay on the defensive. Itíll allow you to take on multiple enemies, and itís best used when youíre grouping with weaker classes that will need you to absorb most of the damage.
Links to both the screenshots and the Q&A can be found at the WoW Community site.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft



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IMG Reviews The Logitech MX510
11:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Logitech MX510. The Logitech MX510 features an improved version of the company's Optical Engine, which combines high resolution with high frame rates to deliver excellent performance. The 800-dpi sensor now captures an incredible 5.8 megapixels every second and is able to track up to 15 Gs of acceleration.

To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Logitech MX510
Logitech
MX510



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Knights Of The Old Republic Final System Requirements Posted
9:38 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's Glenda Adams posted to the IMG Forums with news about her company's port of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (KOTOR) yesterday.

Glenda announced that the final system requirements for the extremely popular title have been set, and are as follows -

  • Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later
  • PowerPC G4/G5, 1GHz or faster
  • 256 MB RAM(512MB recommended)
  • 4.2 GB free disk space
  • ATI Radeon 8500/nVidia GeForce 2 or better 3D Graphic Acceleration
  • 32 MB of VRAM
  • DVD drive

    The only big difference between these and the preliminary system reqs is the move up to OS X 10.3.4. Adams notes that the game's heavy dependency on OpenGL features meant that playing the game on any system other than the most recent would require weeks of additional tweaking, for marginally small results - for example, players under any previous system would have to turn off pixel shading, regardless of how powerful their graphics card.

    Further in the thread, Aspyr's Brad Oliver, lead programmer on the KOTOR port, shed some light on the game's fairly hefty hardware requirements -

    The game has two very distinct paths for cards with fragment program support (one for nVidia, another for ATI), and it leans very heavily on fragment programs for both the fastest rendering and the best visual effects. If your card has this support (which means GeForce 2MX+ and 8500+) and you're running 10.3.4, then in a lot of cases you'll end up being CPU bound, depending on what graphics settings you choose in the game and which video card you have.

    Some of the vertex shaders in the game are too large to fit entirely in hardware on the ATI 8500/9000 class cards, so it'll sometimes fall back to software vertex shader emulation on those 2. Similarly, the GeForce 2MX/4MX class cards are not well-suited for KOTOR, but a faster CPU will compensate.

    GeForce 3Ti/4TI cards run great, as do the recent Radeons. It's my opinion that the nVidia fragment program code in KOTOR (which actually uses register combiners) runs a little faster than the Radeon code (which uses ATI fragment programs), but that the ATI cards render fragment programs "prettier", particularly water.

    Finally, if your card doesn't support fragment programs (mainly Radeons prior to the 8500), you'll be going down the slowest rendering path possible in KOTOR. This is a double-whammy, because most Macs with those class cards will also likely be lacking in CPU speed too.

    Hopefully Brad's post answers the question once and for all about whether or not system requirements are pulled out of thin air!

    As recently announced here at IMG, Knights Of The Old Republic is currently listed as being at the Beta stage of development, and is currently expected to ship in September of this year. The role-playing game is available for pre-order through the IMG Store for $48.99 USD ($44.99 USD for MacGames CD/IMG Pro Subscribers). Click on the link below to pre-order your copy.

    IMG Forums: Glenda Adams on KOTOR System Reqs
    Aspyr Media
    LucasArts
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
    Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic



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    Universal Boxing Manager Update, Quizland Released
    8:37 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Multi-platform game developers Winter Wolves Game Studios have released updates to two of their shareware titles.

    First off, Universal Boxing Manager (UBM) has been updated to version 1.2. UBM allows all Don-King wannabees to try their hand at managing boxer's careers. Drawing on player-assigned skills such as scouting and negotiation, players choose their boxers by selecting from a library of over one thousand unique boxers, or creating your own Muhhamed Ali from scratch. Players are then tasked with training their player's skills and stats, watch their boxer battle it out in the square circle, and even coach the brutes between rounds in reaction to their opponent's tactics.

    The new update fixes minor gameplay issues, calculation bugs, and features more realistic scoring. The game, which sells for $24.95 USD, requires a 600 MHz CPU running OS X 10.1 or higher, and an 8 mb 3D accelerated graphics card. Interested? Click on the link below to download the 4.3 meg demo.

    Quizland is a simple little trivia game for players looking for a more, well, trivial challenge.

    Featuring over 1500 different questions ranging from many different categories, Quizland challenges players by giving them fifteen seconds to answer questions by from a multiple-choice answer list. Drawing on modern popular TV shows, Quizland even features a "50/50 lifeline", eliminating two wrong answers from one question per round.

    The game, which sells for $19.95 USD from the Winter Wolves website, requires a 600 MHz CPU running OS X, and a 16mb OpenGL graphics card. Click on the link below to try out the Quizland demo.

    Download the Quizland Demo (5.8 mb)
    Download The Universal Boxing Manager Demo (4.3 mb)
    Winter Wolves


    Bartender Betty Serves Up Beer
    8:37 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Shareware puzzle game developers Mystery Studios have released an unusual bartending game for players uneasy about mixing their own drinks without an instruction manual.

    Betty's Beer Bar is an odd 2D game, featuring cartoon-like characters, in which players command Betty, a small-town girl wanting to make it to the big time through bartending. Players control Betty's actions through mouse clicks, assisting her in tending bar for a rowdy, mixed crowd of thirsty patrons, including convicts, cops, nuns, politicians, and even a bear. The faster Betty serves up the drinks, the bigger the tips from her clients, bringing her closer to her dream of buying her own caribean island. But watch out, as serving too much beer to over-intoxicated patrons has dire consequences.

    Betty's Beer Bar features fifty in-game characters, four different locations, and three different play modes to suit every gamer. The full-featured copy of the game is available from Mystery Studios for $19.95 USD, while a 3.5 MB demo version is available from their website. Click on the link below for more information or to grab the demo.

    Betty's Beer Bar


    Spanner Utility Disables Expose for Games
    8:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    We've recently been pointed to an app some folks may find useful. Titled Spanner, the app allows to assign certain specific actions when a program is launched or quit out of, with the most significant being the enabling/disabling of hot corners.

    Spanner, created by Arboreal Software, is currently sitting at version 0.7, which includes the following:

    • Creation of prefpane, allowing assignation of launch and quit actions to any application.
    • Easy selection of any application via a Browse dialog or from a drop-down list.
    • Assign special actions, keypress emulation or AppleScript actions.
    More information and download information can be found at Arboreal's site.

    Spanner



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    Descent Freespace 2 Mac Install Instructions
    8:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Gamers interested in getting Freespace 2 to run on their Macs can do so by following instructions at the Freespace 2: The Mac OS X Port site. Based out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the work offered by the site is the result of dedicated volunteer labor.

    During the past several months a determined group of programmers have been working to bring Freespace 2 to the Macintosh. These programmers have worked on the OS X port of Freespace 2 in their free time with no compensation whatsoever (save satisfaction for a job well done). That the port is as stable, if not more so, than most commercial game releases is a remarkable achievement.
    A copy of the PC version of Freespace 2 is required for the port to work, as well as a few other freeware files. An ongoing forum thread on the topic can also be found in IMG's forums.

    Freespace 2: The Mac OS X Port
    Freespace 2 for OS X
    Volition
    FreeSpace 2


    Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 3, 2004

    IMG Reviews America's Army: Special Forces 2.112:03 PM
    Andromeda Online For Mac Released7:58 AM
    Gish Released for Mac OS X7:58 AM
    New Mac-Only Game Engine 'Unity' Coming7:58 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 3, 2004 on one page


    Recent Mac Games News

    Monday, August 2, 2004
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