Total Annihilation Beta Patch Released
10:14 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Yes, we rubbed our eyes when we saw this one, too! Westlake Interactive has taken time out of their packed schedule to release a beta patch for Total Annihilation, the RTS they ported for MacSoft in 1999. This patch addresses many long-standing issues with this classic (and addictive) title, and adds support for GameRanger, the free game connection service.
The TA patch seems to have been a code 'football' kicked around between projects at Westlake, and has undergone many internal revisions. This latest version is still beta, not a final patch; Westlake released it in hopes that a public beta would identify all the remaining issues with this game.
There are two minor pitfalls to watch out for with this updater. First, if you have many custom units installed and/or versions of the Uberhack patch, you may get unit identity conflicts with those included with the patch -- the game will crash during the loading Units phase while beginning a game. The only way to solve this is to remove all custom units and then add them back in one at a time until you identify which one has the ID conflict. We recommend updating a clean installation of the game.
The second pitfall has to do with the installer itself: currently it can only update the original version of the application, not the 3.1.1 update. We've notified Westlake of this problem and we're sure it will be addressed soon.
Here are excerpts from the Read Me with details on what was fixed:
Version 3.1.2b6 of Total Annihilation is a "Public Beta." This means that some of the known bugs have been fixed and features have been added, but we don't have the manpower to put the game through a full testing cycle. Therefore, we're asking for your help. Obviously adding GameRanger support will be a new lease on life for this classic RTS, as it is a fantastic multiplayer title with low bandwidth requirements. We're sure GR creator Scott Kevill is relieved as well, as "when will TA be supported" has to be one of the top ten frequently asked questions on GR. If you are a fan of this title, be sure and grab the update (and GameRanger as well, if you don't have it) and take it for a spin online. If you've never tried this game before, a demo is available online; you can also read our review for more details.
Post comments and bug reports concerning this software to the Internet Newsgroup "Comp.Sys.Mac.Games.Strategic". Bugs reports should be specific and include the type of Mac you have, the version of the Mac OS you're using, physical RAM size, and Virtual Memory settings. Please do not send e-mails directly to MacSoft, Varcon Systems, or Westlake Interactive; all e-mails to these parties will be ignored.
TA Version 3.1.2b6
- GameRanger 2.1 support added.
- DrawSprocket support is now more robust.
- Mission load times have been decreased.
- Some minor code optimizations have been added.
- Out of memory alerts have been added.
- Networking code has been tweaked.
- Fixed numerous problems with music not working under MacOS 9 and later.
- Fixed a problem with the music repeat system.
- Music CDs may now be swapped in via "CMD-E" during missions (see below).
- Fixed dialog palette problems and most of the white screen flashes under MacOS 9.1.
- Transparent scoring overlay bug in Skirmish and Multiplayer modes corrected.
- Minor cosmetic changes to some alerts and dialogs have been made.
- Software now requires 20 MB of free hard disk space at startup for save games.
- 6 downloadable units from http://www.totalannihilation.com have been added.
- As an unsupported feature, MaxUnits may be increased up to 1000 for Skirmish and Multiplayer games. Do this by holding down "CMD" while launching the game.
Download TA Patch 3.1.2b6 (1 MB)
Total Annihilation Demo (25 MB)
Total Annihilation Review
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