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Monday, April 30, 2001
Ambrosia Updates on Deimos Rising, EV Nova
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two of Ambrosia Software's upcoming titles have received updates to their progress logs over the weekend. Both are highly-anticipated sequels, so fans of Deimos Rising or EV Nova (or the proceeding titles, Mars Rising and Escape Velocity) should be interested.

Programmer David Wareing has offered a long update which explains some recent delays in Deimos Rising. He notes that they tried to implement a new weapon system from the one found in Mars Rising, which made gameplay in this arcade-style shooter somewhat difficult. After much testing, however, it was found the new system was getting in the way of having fun. Since having fun is usually the point of playing games, Wareing has now tweaked the system so it can be fun while still having a manageable learning curve. Here's a clip from the update with more:

With Deimos, the plan was to give control of weapons to the player, who would collect money, with which to buy the weapons. A weapon shop would appear at the start of each level. If the player started at a higher level, he would get a starting bonus, with which he could purchase goodies that would enable him to compete against the Horde straight away.

What went wrong? Complexity. The system was convoluted and took too much time to complete even basic transactions. Even after a complete redesign, it was obvious that the weapon shop idea was actually harming gameplay and the flow of the game. Part of this was to do with the interface - despite months of design work, I could never come up with a suitable interface that relied only on game controls (i.e. no mouse interaction - remember this is an arcade game playable by two players, who most likely will be using gamepads or joysticks). Cunning plans that looked great on paper, failed in the cold light of reality. All the weapon shop did was make the player do math and become an accountant.

So, I've ditched all that stuff and used a simpler, more traditional system with a few twists. Like arcade games such as Twin Cobra, Raiden and 1943, weapon pickups appear every now and then, displaying a weapon icon, which cycles through available weapons for that level. To choose a weapon, the player grabs the pickup at the right time. As the levels progress, the available weapons change, allowing for more powerful weapons as the game gets harder.

To prove that good progress is being made on the game, a number of new screen shots have been released. While not necessarily high resolution, interested fans will definitely want to check them out; they can be found at the bottom of the post.

Escape Velocity Nova is the third entry in a very popular space strategy series. EV Nova will feature an enhanced graphics engine and pre-rendered cut scenes, along with detailed storylines which will be revealed as you travel the galaxy. This most recent update offers a quick look at the games content, which seems to be nearly complete. The bulk of the work to be done involves coding and testing the missions, but most of the artwork and storyline appears done. Here's the scoop:

  • weapons sprites complete
  • asteroid graphics complete
  • stellar object graphics 99% complete
  • outfit pictures 78% complete
  • landing scenes 95% complete


  • Storylines 100% complete
  • Missions 75% complete
  • Check out the EV Nova page for more info on the game as well as some cool screen shots. No official release date is given for either title, but we'll keep you informed on any new information.

    Deimos Rising Web Site
    EV Nova Progress Log
    Escape Velocity Nova Web Site
    Deimos Rising Progress Log

    Other Mac Games News for Monday, April 30, 2001

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    IMG's Release Dates Page Updated, Automated1:35 PM
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    IMG Reviews Sound Blaster Live!11:23 AM
    Macally iShock/iShockII Drivers Updated11:08 AM
    Interview With Joseph Staten on Halo10:26 AM
    Dirt Bike 3D Updated to 1.610:08 AM
    Interview With An id Programmer9:49 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Info/OSX Notes9:26 AM
    • Ambrosia Updates on Deimos Rising, EV Nova6:00 AM
    iMac SE/600 Review Updated With Benchmarks6:00 AM
    Mac Summoner Status Update6:00 AM
    realMYST Delay Confirmed, Feedback Sought6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 30, 2001 on one page

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    Myth III Site Opens With New Images, Reqs9:56 AM
    Mac OS X Migration Program at WWDC 20019:53 AM
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    Power Macintosh G4/733 Review Sneak Peek6:00 AM
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