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Thursday, October 21, 2004



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Ambrosia Announces Darwinia
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Introversion Software, creators of the underground cult classic Uplink, have announced that they are teaming up once again with Macintosh gaming gurus Ambrosia Software in an effort to bring the game developer's upcoming follow-up, the retro-styled strategic title Darwinia, to the Mac.

Darwinia is a surreal world, fashioned to the look of retro 1980's computer graphics. The inhabitants of Darwinia are iconic video sprites (read 2D characters) from the most popular video and computer games of the last twenty years. Framed by a geometric horizon of fractal vistas, the 2D inhabitants of this three-dimensional world are deeply entrenched in a long-standing battle against the forces of the evil Red Virus. Players are tasked with manning a small insertion squad deep behind enemy lines, and, building by building, goal by goal, slowly exterminate the Red Viral infection that threatens the very survival of the idellic electronic world -

The world is locked in warfare and on the verge of self-destruction, as the once peaceful Darwinians are besieged by a massive Red Viral onslaught. Against the backdrop of this war, the game takes place.

The player initially takes direct control of a small five man insertion squad, guiding them from a third-person camera view through the many landscapes within the world. The initial missions involve helping the Darwinians to re-secure the various buildings and structures that exist within the world, and exterminate the Red Viral infection that has taken hold.

The player paves the way for the Darwinian's to re-secure the world, and his actions have both immediate and global repercussions.

The title, which will be released for both Mac and Windows platforms next year, has just entered the first stage of its test period, and the game's developers are looking for volunteers to help them shape the game. Readers interested in participating in the beta test for the Mac version of the new title should navigate to the Beta Test Sign-up, through the links below.

Stay tuned to IMG for more information on this new title.

Darwinia
Ambrosia Software: Darwinia
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software



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IMG Reviews Optical Mouse by S+ARCK
12:18 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the Microsoft Optical Mouse by S+ARCK. Described as the first museum-quality mouse, it was created by world-famous designer Philippe Starck.

Here's a clip from the review:

Microsoft is well known for its high-quality mice and keyboards. The S+ARCK mouse, however, drew inspiration not only from Microsoft's reknowned hardware design team, but independent designer Philippe S+ARCK. While it's not my place in this review to criticize S+ARCK's design abilities, I believe I can draw a direct correlation between his broad, try everything post-modern design attempts and this mouse's construction.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Optical Mouse by S+ARCK
Microsoft
Optical Mouse by S+ARCK


Football Manager 2005 Gold Demo Released
9:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Football fans (that's soccer for Americans) listen up! Sports Interactive has released a "Gold demo" of Football Manager 2005 for the Mac. This time-limited demo will let you play a feature-complete version of the finished Football Manager game for up to six months.

The demo is available in a "vanilla" version which is English-only and doesn't include sounds, logos, player facepacks. A larger 'Strawberry' demo features all of these elements.

SI is also offering a Quick Starts pack allowing you to play French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Belgian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Greek leagues.

To download the demo, be sure to head over to our sister site, Macgamefiles.com.

SI
Football Manager 2005 - don't use
MGF: Football Manager 2005 Gold Demo



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Divine Divinity Status Update
6:54 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Thanks to a helpful forum reader, we have gotten a small update on e.p.i.c. interactive's upcoming RPG Divine Divinity. It appears that the project ran into some trouble but is now back on its feet and should be released some time next year.

From the email message:

The porting worjk for DD has only recently been retsarted. There were serious issues with the PC version and our coders had many problems. Now a new team is trying to get it ported with a fresh start. Fingers crsosed, and we may have it ready by march...
To read the forum discussion that brought this to life, please follow the link provided below.

Divine Divinity is a huge action RPG in isometric view that offers a huge world with hundreds of hours of gameplay. The original version was developed by Larian Studios and published by CDV Software. Stay tuned to IMG for future updates on this title.

Runesoft
Divine Divinity
IMG Forum: Divine Divinity, where are you?



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World War II Online Community Report
6:53 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

World War II Online, a massive multiplayer online game that simulates the European campaigns of World War II, has received another community report detailing all the advances and withdrawals by allied and axis troops in the last couple of weeks. According to the report, allied and axis forces are evenly matched and the latest campaign could mean victory for either side. Player spotlights are also included in the latest report; the axis air force now has a new boss, Feldmarschall Sixpack Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe.

Here's a section from the latest from World War II Online Headquarters;

Player Spolights: Allied:
We would like to introduce you to BEF I Corps Deputy Executive Officer Maj. Gen. Luggs. Luggs has been a positive inspiration to all of us at the AHC High Command and leads his troops with the ambition of being the best and having decisive edge on the battlefield. Luggs and the rest of the I Corps staff make it one of the toughest battle harden Corps in the game. You can find Maj. Gen. Luggs and crew fighting in the “clean” north. S!
Be sure to read all the latest from the front at the link below. Beware! Some parts of the report may include propaganda!

World War II Online Community Report
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online



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Everquest Server Update Today
6:53 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

EverQuest will be receiving an update to the servers today along
with a new client application as well as new spells and items. News of this update was announced in the EQMac forums. According to the forum post, the update will require 2-4 hours of extended down-time today.

Here's a section from Al`Kabor Developer, Hobart;

I need to do a 'simulated' update and then a possible rollback tomorrow to re-verify the update process for EQMac. Unfortunately the test EQMac server is having issues and there are no plans to open it up for public testing when those issues are fixed at this time.

Possible Timeline

In the morning I'll prep the patch which will probably be a new client, items and spells. The reason for these files is because they require the server to be restarted.

To read more about the update, head over to the EQMac forums at the link below.

Everquest Server Update
Sony Online
EverQuest
Buy EverQuest



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America's Army 2.2 Ready for PC
6:52 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

America's Army, an ultra realistic modern warfare simulator developed in conjunction with the United States Army, has been updated: America's Army: Special Forces (Vanguard) has been released to Windows users, with a Mac version following soon. The latest update includes two new multiplayer missions and several client and server side fixes.

One of the new maps is called SF Oasis, here's a paragraph from the news report about one of the two new maps.

Enemy forces have established an outpost from which to launch reconnaissance patrols and conduct ambushes of friendly indigenous forces operating in a remote desert location. Reconnaissance of the outpost must be conducted in order to identify the location of this guerilla base. A Special Forces ODA, along with the help of Indigenous Forces, must then proceed to the proper safe location in order to upload their reconnaissance findings to HQ.
To read about the second new map and other changes to the gameplay of America's Army, navigate your browser to the link below.

U.S Army
Epic Games
America's Army: Special Forces 2.4
America's Army 2.2 Ready for PC


Unreal Tournament '99 Revival Proving Frustrating
6:00 AM | Devin Sanera | Comment on this story

Ryan Gordon, the one man programming machine, seems to have run into a wall optimizing a version of UT '99 for OS X. Gordon began working on the Unreal Tournament Preservation Group or UTPG to update the Linux network support in UT '99.

He stated back in March of this year in an IMG interview that

We could probably get huge performance boosts from caching static geometry and using the vertex_array_range extension, etc.
Unfortunately, in his latest update he remarks that:
I spent some time fighting with vertex_array_range. We don't cache static data at all in UT99 at this point.
His brute force workaround actually resulted in a very slight performance hit. His new plan is to focus on CPU optimizing (using Shark) which should pay off with some marginal benefits to performance. Unfortunately for Gordon, the renderer in UT '99 has not aged well and does not perform as well as it could on more modern hardware, thus the focus on CPU optimizations.

Read Gordon's full .plan update through the link below -

UTPG Status (Scroll down to the UTPG heading)
IMG's Chat with Ryan Gordon
Epic Games
MacSoft
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament



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Ambrosia releases the EV Nova board game
6:00 AM | Devin Sanera | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software has done something mildly out of the blue in creating a card game for the wildly popular Escape Velocity: Nova. Strictly speaking, it's a card-driven board game for two to four players. Interestingly enough, it is rated for ages eight and up.

From Ambrosia's website:

There are pirates, aliens, and enemies lurking behind every asteroid, waiting to strike when you least expect it. Meanwhile, there are vast riches to acquire, intriguing missions to run, and new technologies to discover. This game intricately weaves adventure, trade, political conflict, military tactics, and strategy together to give you the best of what makes Ambrosia's computer game a classic.
While Ambrosia provided the idea and ATMOS supplied the fantastic artwork, the card game itself was engineered by DG Associates, creators of the WWII card game Battlecards. There are also 40 expansion packs available: eight each for the Federation, Rebels, Polaris, Aurorans, and Traders. It appears that the game itself is a two player game and the expansion packs allow the third and fourth players.

In any case, this looks like it could be very popular with fans of the game who would like the long sought-after multiplayer Escape Velocity. The rules seem elegant enough that the system could hold up to improvisation during the game and future expansions to the game.

Ambrosia Software
Escape Velocity: Nova
Escape Velocity Card Game
DG Associates


Tiger Developer Overview
6:00 AM | Devin Sanera | Comment on this story

Apple gave developers and power users a treat when they posted a run down of the spiffy new technologies that will be packaged with Tiger, the fourth major release of OS X.

According to Apple, OS X 10.4 is the most important release of an Operating System since OS X first arrived in March 2001. The majority of Tiger's improvements are under the hood, where they'll be harnessed by developers, resulting in a far better applications for users.

One of the most notable changes to the OS is the inclusion of the Core Image framework, which will allow developers to harness the processors that drive graphics cards to a far greater extent then they ever have. Users will be able to pass complex graphics calculations off to their graphics card rather than having them processed by their CPU. Core Image will do this with an extreme amount of accuracy. Core Image will also allow developers to add pre-compiled filters, transitions, and effects for use in their own application.

Tiger also has many other things for the user to appreciate, most notably Spotlight (Basically a global iTunes-type search) and Automator (AppleScript on steroids). A full breakdown of the technologies in Tiger can be found through the link below.

Tiger is slated to ship in the first half of 2005 and will likely arrive with many applications already built to take advantage of its features.

Apple
Apple: Tiger Preview



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Eidos Announces Commandos Strike Force
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In an unusual move for the financially-unstable software publishers, faltering game giants Eidos have recently announced that the next addition to the popular World War II-themed strategy franchise Commandos will be morphed into a first person shooter.

Commandos Strike Force places players in charge of a three-member Strike Force team, comprised of a Sniper, a Spy, and a Green Beret. Players will get to switch between each of the characters in the first person view in order to utilise each character's strengths and unique skills to overcome the enemy.

Set against the backdrop of World War II in a battle-scarred Europe, players will be dropped behind enemy lines in order to execute a series of stealth and intelligence missions through occupied France, Russia, and Norway. Similarly to the franchise's previous titles, players will be tasked with sneaking around and causing havoc of all scale, from freeing prisoners of war to kidnapping a high-ranking Nazi general. This time, of course, players will get a whole new take on the action through the game's new first person perspective.

While a Mac version of the new title has not been officially mentioned, players interested in the title should keep their eyes on Mac game publishers Feral Interactive, who will be publishing the Commandos Battle Pack in time for the holiday season. The game bundle, comprised of the Mac versions of both Commandos 2 and Commandos 3 strategy games, marks the first time the highly-regarded strategy titles make it to the Mac OS platform.

Feral Interactive
Commandos Battle Pack
Buy Commandos Battle Pack


Mac Games News for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

EA: Sims 2 Sells 2 Million, Expansion Coming Next Year to PC11:52 AM
IMG Posts The Sims 2 Q&A With Aspyr10:07 AM
Strike Force Mac Patch 1 Released8:37 AM
New iBooks Roll With Marble Blast & Nanosaur 28:36 AM
Ubisoft Hosts New Throne Of Oblivion Preview8:36 AM
Men Of Valor Preview Deployed6:00 AM
The Fool And His Money Coming In December6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, October 20, 2004 on one page


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