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Friday, November 17, 2000

Mac NOLF a Possibility?
11:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The surprise hit of the year in the PC gaming world may be a little-hyped title
from Fox and Monolith called No One Lives Forever. Already
compared with the likes of Half Life, the game could be the first real blockbuster
game to use Monolith's LithTech engine. It's a spy thriller set in the 60's
James Bond-esque world with a sexy protagonist Cate Archer. Reviewers so far
have remarked on the game's great story, witty dialog, and fun gameplay.

The game is based on the same engine as the nearly-released Shogo,
which Hyperion is porting to the Mac. We decided to contact Monolith to
see if they might be willing to do a port of the title, or have Hyperion work on it.
Here's what they replied:

That is something that Fox Interactive needs to decide. They are our publisher. :)

NOLF seems to be doing well sales-wise, if it continues, you'll see a better chance of different ports.

We're pretty much only working with Hyperion for ports. However, if we do decide to port another LithTech-based game, in theory it should be a little easier the second time around now that Hyperion has ported Shogo.

While this isn't a definite confirmation by any means, it's good to hear it's
still in the realm of possibility. We've contacted Fox Interactive now as well,
and we will be sure to bring you any new info from them we might get.

Fox Interactive NOLF Web Site
Monolith Web Site

3dfx Drops Voodoo5 MSRP to $229.99
5:10 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

3dfx has quietly cut the price of the Voodoo5 5500 PCI by 30% to only $229.99 at their online store. With a little shopping around though, the Voodoo5 can be found for as little as $205 shipped, via The recently released Voodoo4 PCI is also available from for just $148.81. For those of you who weren't able to cash in on the $50 rebate 3dfx offered at the end of last month, here is your chance.

This price drop may be a move to boost sales of their flagship product or it may be an indication that yields of the VSA-100 processors are very good.

Voodoo4 PCI at Onvia ($148.81)
Voodoo5 PCI at Onvia ($204.67)
Voodoo5 5500 PCI Review
Voodoo5 5500 PCI at

Mac Gaming Sites Roundup
4:39 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Games.MacNN has posted a preview of Red Storm Entertainment's Rogue Spear, the sequel to Rainbow Six. In Rogue Spear, you command an elite multi-national team of counterterrorists. This immersive game allows you to plan the mission, choose the team members, select their equipment, as well as lead team into battle. Here, Games.MacNN talks about the improvements and issues that were addressed in Rogue Spear:

One of the first really obvious changes in this new version of Rainbow Six is just how stunning the graphics are. The original game had some very nice graphics, but now, with new, higher levels of detail, larger environments for your missions, and even more astounding character animations, Rogue Spear lets you feel like you're right there with your team. Many of the missions (scenarios) you go on are very well designed and look absolutely stunning and gorgeously detailed. Outdoor areas seem even more life-like than they used to be, and the buildings look even better. Even inside, in the rooms that no one is ever supposed to find, everything has been finely tuned to display beautifully rendered scenes. You can find civilians just waltzing around, or they could be doing something very specific: checking the mail, for instance. Another great enhancement is the addition of various weather elements. You can be in perfect daylight, or you could be stuck in a large blizzard, maybe even in a downpour. These can impair both your vision and hearing which only increases the level of realism.
MacSoft will be publishing the title, which is expected to hit store shelves on December 12.

MacGamer has an interview with Robert Atkins, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2's artist and art director at Ritual Entertainment. Atkins talks about his experience in the gaming industry and the process of creating Julie Strain's character.

What was the experience of creating the "virtual Julie" like?

The artist involved in Julie's character creation came away with a great sense of pride in what they had created. Especially Darrin Hart, her designer and animator. She became more than a 3D MAX model made of polygons, he treated her like she was alive and this love shows in the end product. (Really strange to hear a grown man talking to his monitor, you learn not to ask questions.)

Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 was released for the Macintosh several weeks ago. If you want to see what all the buzz is about, download the demo from MacGameFiles.

In other gaming news, MacCentral Online interviews Duane Johnson, who was recently hired as a programmer by 3dfx. Duane is best known for incorporating the Glide API into Descent 1 and 2, and more recently, for his work porting Descent 3 and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force to the Macintosh. He talks about his responsibilities at 3dfx, their commitment to the Macintosh platform, and 3dfx direction in the future.

Duane Johnson Interview at MacCentral Online
Robert Atkins interview at MacGamer
Rogue Spear Preview at Games.MacNN

DTR Mods for Deus Ex
4:04 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Mac Deus Ex, a member of the IMG Network, has announced the release of all four DTR mods. These mods were originally created by Chris Hopkins for the PC version of Deus Ex, and thanks to Mac Deus Ex, now work for the Mac. The DTR mods add several new weapons and tools for your gaming pleasure, here's more information from Deus Ex webmaster Robert Baird:

    These cool mods add new weapons and tools to the game, such as: Exploding Napalm Darts, Freeze Gun, Grapple Hook, and Timed LAM Darts (plus much much more). These mods are very easy to install and work great with Deus Ex.

More information about the DTR mods and a growing list of other supported mods can be found at Mac Deus Ex.

Mac Deus Ex

Duane Johnson Joins 3dfx
3:45 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

While 3dfx has currently left the 3D card business and now will concentrate on developing 3D chips, they have taken on some new staff, someone well known in the Mac gaming community. We asked 3dfx's rave driver developer, Ray Swartz for more info. He told us that Duane Johnson, the man behind Descent and Elite Force on Mac has joined 3dfx. Here's the word:

New guy is Duane Johnson. Yes, the former NASA engineer who also brought us the Mac versions of Descent 3 and Elite Force. We're very excited to have him aboard.
Duane will work on fixing bugs, then later he will be working on the OS X drivers once Apple releases the DDKs. 3dfx are still planning many suprises.

3dfx web site

Bryan Speece Explains 3dfx' Moves
3:42 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

MacCentral has talked with Bryan Speece, 3dfx' Director of Macintosh Business Development, about the recent changes 3dfx has made to its business. This week at Comdex, 3dfx surprised the computer industry with several annoucements. First, they revealed that plans to bring the long awaited Voodoo5 6000 über video card to the retail market had been cancelled. They also announced that they would be closing down their factory in Mexico and would be outsourcing their board production. With all this going on, many Macintosh users questioned 3dfx's future support for the Mac platform. Here are some things that Speece had to say:

Speece wants Mac users to know the new direction 3dfx is taking doesn't take their interest away from the Mac, although he admits a bit of uncertainty about their next step.

"There's no change in our desire to cater to the Macintosh market," said Speece. "Our commitment remains the same."

Speece admits some things may change. Speece explained that he and his group are presently "reassessing" their decision to bring to Voodoo5 5500 AGP card to the Macintosh. Speece doesn't rule it out, but he's taking a cautious approach.

"I don't think this news will affect our plans," said Speece. "But we're taking a real hard look at this now to see if it still makes sense."

While it seems that 3dfx has become wishy-washy about their plans for an AGP version of the Voodoo5 5500, the bigger concern at hand is who will produce Mac versions of their video cards and who will provide the driver updates.

Bryan Speece Interview at MacCentral

No Halo at Macworld San Francisco?
3:40 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Mac Halo today is reporting that Bungie Software will not have a booth at January's Macworld San Francisco Expo, much like the last Macworld Expo. However, the company is searching for a place to hold a fanfest. Bungie does hope to make an official appearance no later than next year's E3 (May 2001)

For more on this story, head over to Mac Halo.

Mac Halo

Elite Force and Livin' Large Go Gold
3:32 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has announced that Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force and Livin' Large have been declared golden master and is being sent out to retail stores as we speak. According to Westlake's press releases, these two games could be in stores as early as this weekend.

Elite Force is a first person shooter set in the Star Trek Voyager universe. As member of the Elite Force Hazard Team, you are sent out on dangerous missions to safeguard the crew of Voyager. As the storyline unfolds, you'll face all-new aliens, as well as the dreaded Borg. The Quake 3 engine-based game was originally developed by Raven Software.

Livin' Large is an expansion pack for Will Wright's hugely successful life simulator, The Sims. The expansion pack includes new architecture for the houses, loads of new furniture, and several new career paths. As a bonus, all of the web downloads and a selection of user-created skins can be found on the Livin' Large CD. The full version of The Sims is required to play. Livin' Large was originally developed by Maxis.

Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Goes Gold
The Sims: Livin' Large Goes Gold

No Planet Side for Mac
11:16 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

Last week Verant , the company behind the much vaunted EverQuest on the PC, announced a groundbreaking game called Planet Side. The game promises a massively multiplayer game world with the depth of an RPG but the fast paced action of a first-person shooter. Since Verant had previously stated that they were trying to make future games more cross-platform friendly we decided to contact them and see if they had plans for a Mac version of the game. This was their response:

"No, at this time there are no plans to bring Verant's PlanetSide to the Mac platform"
While not good news by any stretch of the imagination the game is extremely early in development and this could change. If it does change, you can be sure that IMG will be the first on the scene.


Click to enlarge
Quick Majesty Update
11:14 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacPlay's Jason Whong made a quick post to Usenet yesterday, noting the Mac version of Majesty was heading into production. The game is a great new real-time strategy game in which you provide incentives for your units to do things for you. Here's what he had to say:

As a quick note, last night we sent the Mac OS Majesty 1.0 to manufacturing. It should be on store shelves before the end of November.
In case you missed it earlier this week, IMG wrote up a quick story after visiting the CapitolMac gaming event over the weekend. We even have an interview available with Whong showing off the game's features. And be sure to read through IMG's preview if you're looking for more info on the game.

IMG Preview of Majesty
IMG News: IMG at Capitol Mac
United Developers (MacPlay) Majesty Page

Mac Hexen 2 on its Way
10:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake's Brad Oliver, who has previously worked on projects like MacMAME and Heretic, has made an interesting post to the Mac GL Quake Mailing List. Apparently, he's using the Mac GL Quake code and the newly-released PC Hexen 2 source (which was based on the Quake engine) to port the game to the Mac. This is great news, as it both brings a new game to the Mac, and he has updated the work on GL Quake. Here's a clip from his post:

I don't know if this is on-topic or not, but I've been tooling around with
the Hexen 2 source on the Mac. I've got it up and in a nearly-complete state
now, along with Hexen 2 World, based in large part off the work David (and
presumably others) have done with Mac Quake. It runs both Hexen 2 as well as
the mission pack, although because the code is 1.12, it requires the mission
pack data even when you want to run the normal version. D'oh! You can pick
both up pretty cheap from the Activision online store, although I got mine

Off the top of my head, these are the changes I've made:

  • Massive cleanup to the redbook audio code - it can deal gracefully with a
    data track 1 now, among other things.
  • Reversed the input sprocket y-axis to match the behavior of the PC.
  • Added some preliminary code to deal with pausing a Voodoo-based OpenGL
    context, e.g. when you're pulling up the InputSprocket dialog.
  • Updated to Pro 6, cleaned up the access paths
  • Updated to GUSI 213
  • Partial Carbonization

    Still todo:

  • Add Smacker support to Hexen 2 for the opening movie. Since Smacker isn't
    "free", I need to clear some licensing hurdles with Raven first. Failing
    that, I'd need to fork over $3000. ;-)
  • Add GameRanger support. Has anyone contacted Scott? If not, I can take
    care of this pretty easily for both GLQuake and GLHexen 2.
  • Clean up the InputSprocket code, add axis needs and more buttons.

    All in all, it was a pretty solid app even before I started tinkering with
    it. There's not really a whole lot I'd like to do after I'm done with the

  • Brad has confirmed with us that the Hexen 2 app could be out as soon as the weekend, so we'll stay on this and let you know. A big thanks to him for again taking on another great side project, it's great to have such active developers like him in the community.

    Mac GL Quake Web Site

    Bungie OK's Use of Copyrighted Works
    8:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Marathon Open Source site has a very interesting update with word from Bungie on using older material in new mods and scenarios. Previously, mod makers who used any of the Bungie artwork weren't sure if their download was actually legal. Now it looks like the Bungie (and Microsoft) legal team has given the green light for Marathon scenario makers. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

    We're not worried (and neither is MS Legal; I checked) about copyright violation with this stuff since it's squarely targeted at people who are already fans of the game and probably bought their copies long ago.


    As long as the two golden rules you mentioned (no money changes hands and all copyrighted Bungie content is explicitly denoted as such) are adhered to religiously, people who develop these types of projects (old Bungie game in a new Bungie skin) may distribute them with our approval. If they choose to distribute their revamped Bungie stuff with an Aleph One app, they must make clear that the GPL that covers the Aleph One app does NOT apply to the copyrighted Bungie content in the art/sound/map/etc. files. We're allowing people to use those copyrighted works because we're nice guys and so are they. The only way we'll get pissed and reverse ourselves on this would be if someone started selling something deriving from our copyrighted work, or claiming it as their own.

    This is very, very cool news. Again, for those who missed Matt's references, there are two requirements for using Bungie artwork in Marathon scenarios:

    - no money changes hands (this means no CD compilations, either)
    - Bungie is explicitly credited with copyrights in all documentation

    And don't forget that Aleph One warning, either. Documentation of copyright might seem trivial... but it's not. It only takes a sec to paste in the needed line in your readme (or to include the needed line all by itself if you're too lazy to write a readme)... do it. :)

    This should make life easier for anyone involved in making a Marathon scenario, as long as the above (very reasonable) rules are followed. Don't forget... Bungie now has the Microsoft legal team behemoth behind them... play nasty, and I bet they'll play nastier.

    This is very nice of Bungie, as it's definitely nothing they're required to do. So please don't abuse the priviledge. We're sure no one wants Microsoft Legal calling them up... ;)

    Marathon Open Source Web Site

    Mac Games News for Thursday, November 16, 2000

    Mac Halo Survey11:45 PM
    The Gods of Sacrifice12:26 PM
    MacYAME Released11:03 AM
    UT Tweak Guide10:46 AM
    Cro-Mag Rally Update10:00 AM
    Online Play Cheating9:03 AM
    Huge Aspyr Update6:00 AM
    So Much Oni6:00 AM
    WWII Online Finds Publisher6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 16, 2000 on one page

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