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Thursday, September 2, 2004



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MacSoft Anounces Railroad Tycoon 3
11:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacSoft today announced that it will be publishing the Macintosh version of Railroad Tycoon 3. The game has already reached golden master status and is on track to ship on September 13th. As an added bonus, MacSoft is including the maps from the recent Coast to Coast Expansion Pack. The game was originally developed by PopTop Software and was ported to Mac OS X by Beenox Studios.

Here's more from the official press release:

Players recreate history in Railroad Tycoon 3 as they build the ultimate railroad empire. They will see cities grow into thriving metropolises as they carve out their cross-country routes, and the prosperity of thousands will depend on their decisions as players acquire other businesses, dominate industries, and manipulate a realistically simulated stock market in an effort to amass a fortune greater than Vanderbilt.

Railroad Tycoon 3 features over 55 highly detailed locomotives, 180 different buildings, and 40 cargo types. The game also features a “sandbox” where players can create the ultimate rail system. Railroad Tycoon 3 supports network play via the internet, using the GameRanger matching service, or LAN. Players can also create their own scenarios with the included scenario/map editor. As an added bonus, MacSoft is including the maps from the recent Coast to Coast Expansion Pack.

The third game in this best-selling series is building up a full head of steam for its launch this month. This time the graphical locomotion driving the game will be in stunning 3D, creating breathtaking environments and a real flavor of the Golden Era of Railroading right through to modern day railroading enterprises.

"Railroad Tycoon is the granddaddy of all sim games, and we’re excited to bring this latest, and best, version to the Mac community,” " said Al Schilling, General Manager of MacSoft. “The new 3D engine and tycoon features beautifully put you into the golden age of railroading, regardless of whether you choose to play close to the action or with a bird’s eye view of everything.”

Along with 25 challenging scenarios to recreate magnificent feats of railroading history from around the world, players can also lay down track, complete with tunnels, bridges, and overpasses, then pick from more than 40 locomotives - from the original Planet and Norris 4-2-0 to monstrous late steam engines like the 4-6-6-4 Challenger to the ultra-modern EuroStar bullet train. Additionally, the game's soundtrack features some of the best blues, bluegrass and Americana musicians in the nation, playing authentic music that even modern music enthusiasts will enjoy.

Inside Mac Games recently received a beta of the game and will be posting a hands-on preview early next week. Be on the lookout for it.

In related news, the IMG Store has begun to take pre-orders for the game. It is available for pre-order for $48.95.

MacSoft
Buy Railroad Tycoon 3


IMG Interviews Wideload's Alexander Seropian
10:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted an interview with Wideload's Alexader Seropian. One of the founding members of Bungie Software, Seropian's Wideload Software is currently working on a new gaming using the Halo engine. A couple of days ago Aspyr Media announced it will be publishing Wideload's first game.

IMG caught up with Seropian to talk about his new publishing deal with Aspyr, the company's new game, and much more. To check out the interview, please follow the link below.

IMG Interview: Wideload's Alexander Seropian
Wideload


Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Game Revival
9:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

An article posted by BBC News notes that an old computer game written by famed author Douglas Adams is being revived alongside a new radio series, hosted by Radio 4, of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A text adventure title bearing the same name as the original book, the game was described by the late Adams as "the first game to move beyond user-friendly," actually delving more into "user insulting."

The game, originally published in 1984, contains rare writing by the author and is - in Adams' words - "full of extraordinary ways of dying".
Also to be included with the updated title will be illustrations by Rod Lord, illustrator for the original TV series. Listner-submitted illustrations are also being accepted by Radio 4.

As an extra tidbit for Hitchhiker fans, not only are the final 3 books of the series being adapted into a radio show, but a movie adaptation is also being done, and is due for release in June 2005.

BBC - Radio 4 revives Hitchhiker's game



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World Of Warcraft Nearly Complete; Stress Test Begins
9:47 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

There's a virtual cacophony of WoW news today.

At the Electronic Games Network conference, currently taking place in London, England, Blizzard Entertainment's president and co-founder Mike Montaine has announced that work on his company's much-anticipated MMORPG World Of Warcraft is almost complete, and should be in gamers' hands soon, according to an article on gaming website Voodoo Extreme.

Taken from the article:

"We're pleased to announce that World of Warcraft is nearing completion.," says Fontaine. " When we set out to create a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, our goal was to give players an incredibly dynamic online gaming experience filled with endless possibilities while expanding the scope of the Warcraft universe. We look forward to accomplishing this goal with the release of World of Warcraft."
Meanwhile, a new post over on the game's official website indicates that the WoW stress test is starting today. From 12:00 noon Pacific, the 100,000 gamers who signed up for a stress test account and downloaded the beta client over the weekend will be able to login, create their accounts, and start exploring the strange new worlds Blizzard has spent years developing. Selected beta participants will be notified through email on how to login and proceed to the virtual gamespace.

Over on the WoW forums, Blizzard's Tigole has posted a list of twenty three items currently on the game developers task list. According to the post, work is currently underway to finishing a number of the game's exterior, dungeon, and instance locations; a number of existing areas are being revamped; gameplay issues, such as talents, tradeskills, classes, spells, the game's reward system and AI are being polished; and new artwork and micro-dungeons are being created. On top of all that, of course, Blizzard's programmers are also bug fixing as the beta continues.

Finally, given all the activity surrounding the upcoming MMORPG, a number of gamers involved in the current beta test have posted their personal views on the state of the game, and their experiences in the new virtual universe. Most recently, beta tester Jefferik has posted a quick WoW Beta Journal over on gaming website Evil Avatar. Check out the article by clicking on the appropriate link below.

By all accounts, it appears that development of the long awaited role playing game, which has been in the works since the turn of the century, is approaching the final stages of completion. Readers eager to get their hands on the title should stay tuned to IMG as we'll keep you updated on the progress and imminent release of the new title. While you're at it, head over to the IMG Store and pre-order your very own copy of the game for $49.95 USD.

Voodoo Extreme: WoW Completion Imminent
Blizzard: WoW Stress Test Begins Today
WoW Developer's Task List
Evil Avatar's WoW Beta Journal
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft



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Knights of the Old Republic Goes Gold
8:35 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has gone gold and will begin shipping September 14th. The critically acclaimed RPG should arrive in online and retail stores by September 19th.

KOTOR takes place in the popular Old Republic timeframe, 4,000 years prior to the Star Wars films, in an era dominated by an epic conflict between Jedi and the evil Sith. As the Force within you develops, do you follow the light and join the Jedi, or do you embrace the power of the Dark Side? Your actions determine the fate of an entire galaxy.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic® requires the following:

• Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later
• PowerPC G4/G5, 1GHz or faster
• 256MB RAM (512MB recommended),
• 4.2GB free disk space
• 3D Graphic Acceleration required (ATI Radeon 8500/nVidia GeForce 2 or better)
• 32MB of VRAM
• DVD drive required to install and play.
To learn more about this game be sure to check out IMG's hands-on preview of the game.

Interested in pre-ordering the game? Follow the link below to pre-order it from the IMG Store.

IMG Preview; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Aspyr Media
BioWare
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


Independent Games Festival Deadline Extended
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

If you happen to be an independent game developer looking for a festival to send your creation in to, you're in luck - this year's Independent Games Festival deadline for submission has been extended:

The deadline for the IGF Competition has been extended to this Friday, September 3, at 11:59pm. We had a significant number of teams request a couple of extra days to finalize their entries, and our judging timeline can flex a little in this regard, so everyone has 48 extra hours to polish their games!
For more information on festival, follow the provided link below.

Independent Games Festival Deadline Extended



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Jedi Academy SDK Update
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Mac gamers out there working on modifications to Aspyr Media's popular shooter, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, will be happy to hear that programmer Brad Oliver has posted an updated version of the Software Development Kit. The Update fixes several bugs:

I've updated the Jedi Academy SDK to fix a few issues in the initial release. The project files are updated to XCode 1.5. More importantly, I rolled in a fix for powf that would cause crashes at runtime.

The SDK has its own version of powf that takes different parameters from the system version, which is only available on 10.3 or higher. What's more, the system version wasn't being linked into the resulting libraries. Anyway, I've cleaned that up better now so that it only uses the JKJA version. The fix I applied should allow other mods to work as well, so you shouldn't have to hunt down each powf call in the code.

This should make the 3 people who keep posting to my earlier blog entry happy. :-) If any more issues arise with the SDK, feel free to post to the comments for this entry.

For more information on the SDK or Jedi Academy, follow the links provided below.

Jedi Academy SDK Update
LucasArts
Aspyr Media
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Buy Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy


Hidden Agenda 2004 Game Design Contest
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Mixing education and video games has always sounded like a good idea, however many educational gaming titles usually turn out to be pretty lackluster affairs. The Liemandt Foundation and The Digital Media Collaboratory have announced that they are out to change that with this year's edition of The Hidden Agenda Game Contest.

Aimed at full time graduate or undergraduate students currently enrolled through spring of 2005, the contest requires participants to create a new game successful in using "stealth education" - in which players "accidentally" learn stuff as they play an enjoyable game - in games aimed at the pre-teen and teen community.

The contest requires entries that teach a subject from a middle school curriculum "in a way no child has experienced before". The contest's organisers recognise that stealth education might only work with games that rival the quality and gameplay of today's top-selling video games, and are tilting the judging appropriately - the entertainment value of a game will constitute 70% of each entry's score.

Contest entries - games designed for either the Mac or Windows platform, or any of the existing game consoles currently on the market - will be accepted between now and May 2nd, 2005, however entry forms must first be sent in no later than December 15th of this year. Development teams can consist of up to eight US citizens over the age of 18, however, before anyone goes running off to seek the assistance of Aspyr Media's game development team, contest rules state clearly that no professional help may be used to develop a game entry.

Check out the official contest rules, the chance to get your game developed, published, and sold to the masses, and the opportunity to pay off your student loan with the contest's Grand Prize of $25,000 USD by clicking on the link below -

Hidden Agenda 2004 Game Design Contest



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Simodifier Updated To Version 3
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Lake Group Software's cheating utility, er, I mean, character editor for Maxis' legendary god-game The Sims has been updated to version 3.

The application gives players the opportunity to experiment with their Sims by editing their characters to their liking. The utility offers a wide variety of options for editing behaviors, attributes, relationship values, skills, interests, and personality traits. Users can delete existing characters from the game, swap Sims between families, grow-up Sim children, and, of course, alter the amount of Simoleans in any family's bank account.

Version 3 of the utility supports the original game and all its expansion packs, including the latest, The Sims Super Star, and The Sims Makin' Magic. The application, regularly priced at $11.95 USD, is currently being offered at a Special Summer Sale price of $9.95.

Simodifier 3.0
Aspyr Media
The Sims
The Sims: Superstar
The Sims: Makin' Magic
Buy The Sims
Buy The Sims: Superstar
Buy The Sims: Makin' Magic


Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 1, 2004

IMG Posts Apple Expo Photo Gallery12:48 PM
IMG Previews Knights of the Old Republic10:48 AM
PC Ghost Recon 2 Delayed10:41 AM
Final Warcraft III Beta Patch Available8:38 AM
New iMacs Include Nanosaur 2, Marble Blast7:51 AM
Shadowbane Server Tune-Up7:51 AM
Sims 2 Bloopers & Blunders Exposed7:51 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 1, 2004 on one page


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