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Monday, November 20, 2000

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Aspyr Ships Elite Force and Livin' Large
8:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced the Mac versions of both Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force and The Sims Livin' Large have begun shipping. Customers who have preordered either of the titles through the Aspyr Store should presumably be receiving their copies very soon. Here's a clip from the announcement with more details:

As in the TV series, missions include team and solo assignments. Players will interact with characters from the show that offer insights and assist the player, as well as new characters that make up the rest of the Hazard Team and assist in battles with hostile aliens. Powered by the QUAKE III Arena engine Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force, fuses cutting-edge graphics with authentic sound effects and visuals from the television show, for the ultimate experience in Star Trek action.

``Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force is brilliant and is just what Mac gamers have been waiting for,'' says Michael Rogers, president of Aspyr.

Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force offers players the chance to compete with other players for supremacy on the Holodeck. Gamers will be able to play as their favorite cast members as well as a host of other characters in three different multiplayer modes in over 20 multiplayer environments. The game supports play over the Internet and local networks. Additionally, the Macintosh version will allow players to connect and compete against players on the PC as well as those on the Macintosh.

Elite Force will ship with a suggested retail price of $50, though you may be able to find it online for a bit cheaper. Look for a review of the title soon from IMG, and check out our preview now if you're wanting more info on the title.

Fans of The Sims will certainly want to check out the Livin' Large expansion pack, as it adds many new quirky features to this already-addictive game. Here's an excerpt from the press release:

``The original The Sims for Mac has been an outstanding success; we're eager to bring more of The Sims magic to Mac users everywhere,'' says Michael Rogers, president of Aspyr. ``The Sims Livin' Large! makes The Sims twice the game it used to be! Designer Will Wright and Maxis(tm) have added a bunch of new game elements and social interactions that create tons of cool new gameplay experiences.''

The Sims Livin' Large offers 125 new items for Sims to use -- from a potion making chemistry set to a vibrating bed; five new careers for Sims to pursue -- journalism, hacker, slacker, music and paranormal; and new design and architecture features.

``Livin' Large not only doubles the game play of The Sims, it allows gamers to get creative and take their Sims into extreme situations,'' says Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw. ``With a new look, new friends, and new neighborhoods, Livin' Large makes living a whole new experience.''

Remember, you will need a full version of The Sims in order to play Livin' Large. It should sell for $30, and be available at most Mac-friendly retailers very soon. Watch for both these great titles, and more from Aspyr very soon!

Aspyr Media Web Site
IMG Preview of Livin' Large
IMG Preview of Elite Force
Elite Force Press Release
Livin' Large Press Release
Aspyr Media
Raven Software
Westlake Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

Mac Gamer Goes Comdex
7:21 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has posted an Apple-friendly article about Comdex, the giant computer show held in Las Vegas last week. MG's Ryan Layton travelled to Las Vegas and took in Comdex with a Mac User's eyes and has some specific details that pertain to Mac users. Here's a snippet from the article:

When I asked 3dfx about if Mac users could expect to see AGP versions of the Voodoo 5 5500 and 4500 cards, they replied that they could not make any announcements regarding the Macintosh at this time, but that they were not abandoning the market. Another tidbit that may have slipped by some analysts regarding the 4-way technology being licensed to Quantum 3D, is that the license is not exclusive. Theoretically, any company who wanted to, could also license this technology and produce the equivalent of a Voodoo 5 6000 card for the Mac. The door has not closed on that.
For the rest of the article, be sure to visit our friends at

Mac Gamer at Comdex

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Cro-Mag Rally Editor Coming Soon
7:11 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Pangea's CEO and Cro-Mag programmer's Brian Greenstone recently told MacCentral that he was currently working on an physics editor for the game that would allow users to customize certain aspects of the game. For example, you'll be able edit all of the cars' fundamental parameters like speed, acceleration, traction, and suspension. Plus you can edit a plethora of global physics parameters like gravity, turning sensitivity, and many other handling characteristics.

IMG asked Greenstone a couple of questions about the upcoming editor:

Will the demo also be editable?

Yes, the new demo will also have the physics editor built into it.

Will the editor allow level editing?

No, it just allows for crude editing of the most important physics
parameters of the cars and the global stuff like physics and steering
responsiveness, etc.

In Cro-Mag Rally you are a speed-hungry caveman named Brog who races through the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages in primitive vehicles such as the Geode Cruiser, Bone Buggy, Logmobile, Trojan Horse, and many others .In addition to single-player racing where one player races against the computer, there are also several different multi-player modes including Tag, Capture the Flag, and Survival.

Stay tuned to IMG for news on when the new version of Cro-Mag Rally will be released. In the meantime, be sure to give the Cro-Mag Rally demo a spin.

IMG's Crog-Mag Rally Preview
Pangea software
Cro-Mag Rally Demo at MGF
Pangea Software
Cro-Mag Rally

Yiminee Cribbage 1.0.1 Released
12:40 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Greg Munro sent IMG a quick note about a new update to Yiminee Cribbage, the popular cribbage shareware game for the Macintosh. Version 1.0.1 fixes a few bugs including:

  • [BUG] SpeechLib and NetSprocketLib are no longer required to run
    Cribbage (forgot to link)
  • [BUG] character file loading during network games should behave a better
  • [BUG] peg colouring during net games should no longer change, just
    remember YOU ARE ALWAYS BLUE
  • [BUG] fixed bug where you could play cards using the keyboard in network
    games when you shouldn't be able to
  • [BUG] various improvements in network reliability
  • [BUG] setting number of players from the GameRanger host dialog should work correctly now
  • [BUG] other small bug fixes and cosmetic improvements
  • [NEW] added option to toggle character files loading during network
  • [NEW] top secret
  • Yiminee Cribbage features 16-bit graphics, network support via GameRanger, great sounds, and attitude. To download the shareware version, head over to

    Download Yiminee Cribbage 1.0.1
    Yiminee Cribbage Web Site

    Age of Empires II: Conquerors for Mac?
    12:22 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    After our recent interview with Peter Tamte, some of our readers had additional questions for the man who will be bringing some new Microsoft titles to the Mac, including Age of Empires II. One reader wanted to know if Tamte's new company would be bringing the Age of Empires expansion packs to the Mac. Tamte was kind enough to send us this reply:

    At this point we don't plan to bring Rise of Rome to the Mac. This is
    complicated because ROR is based on Age I, and MacSoft has all Mac IP rights for Age I. This could change, however. But, it's complicated.

    Bringing Age of Empires II: Conquerors to the Mac will depend on the sales of Age II. It is doubtful that we will be able to bundle it with Age II since it will likely still be a separate product on the PC when we ship Age II. At some point, however, it is possible that a retailer could bundle the two together if we bring Conquerors to the Mac as well. But, I would like to stress that this is all pure speculation on my part.
    We'll keep you posted on new developments regarding Age of Empires II and all the other games Tamte's new company plans to bring to the Mac. And if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out our interview with Peter Tamte himself.

    Interview with Peter Tamte

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    Work on BG Multiplayer, ToSC Continues
    10:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    This morning IMG chatted with GraphSim about their continuing work on the multiplayer patch for Baldur's Gate. As you may remember, Duane Johnson was working on both this patch and porting the expansion pack for Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast. Last week, we received word from 3dfx that they had just hired Duane to work on Mac drivers for their line of video cards. GraphSim's Jeff Morgan assures us this won't affect the progress of the patch and expansion Duane is working on:

    I just received email from him. He said that he was down for a few days, but he is back in action again and making good progress. We hope to have a long term relationship with Duane.
    Jeff noted that Tales of the Sword Coast and the multiplayer patch will likely be released concurrently. Since the expansion also contains multiplayer play, they want to make sure that feature is fully implemented before the add-on's release. Duane has apparently made good progress with both, though an exact release date is still unknown at this time. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any new info on both of these projects appears.

    Be sure to stop by IMG Network member, Mac Baldur, for all your Baldur Gate needs.

    GraphSim Web Site
    Mac Baldur
    Baldur's Gate

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    The Fallen for Mac Still Coming
    9:47 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    Star Trek Deep Space Nine: the Fallen went gold for PC a few weeks ago, but what about the Mac version? We spoke to Simon and Schuster's PR manager Peter Binazeski, who gave us some good news on the Mac version of this third-person Trek-inspired adventure:

    Currently the Mac version is underway, The Collective is working on two things right now, a patch for the full version and the Mac version. We are currently uncertain of any demos, but the game should be arriving in December.
    Make sure to check back soon, as we will have more details on the Mac version. While you wait, be sure to look at our screen shot gallery, and one of their trailers for the game.

    The Collective
    The Fallen Trailer
    The Fallen Screen Shot Gallery
    Simon and Schuster
    Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Web Site
    Simon & Schuster
    The Collective
    DS9: The Fallen
    Buy DS9: The Fallen

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    Help Re-Texture Marathon
    9:35 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The latest report from the Marathon Open Source site notes that one of the project's lead designers, Loren Petrich, has implemented "texture replacement" in the latest build of Aleph One. This means each texture in the game (originally 128x128 pixels) can now be replaced with larger, higher-resolution textures that should make the game look even better. More colors can also be used, greatly adding to the game's palette. Here's an excerpt from the site, with instructions on how to go about this:

    If you wish to participate, first use Anvil to obtain one or more of Marathon's original textures. Then, using Photoshop, Graphic Converter, Gimp, (or any other image editing program), scale the texture to a larger size. Its dimensions must be 256 x 256, 512 x 512, or any other combination whose sides are a power of 2. But don't make it too large; a 512-pixel texture requires 16 times more video memory than a standard 128-pixel texture!

    When scaling textures, use "nearest neighbor" sampling rather than bicubic; that way you will be able to manually fill in the resulting "stair steps" with smoother lines of your own, one pixel at a time. Remember that you can work in 24-bit color; there is no need to adhere to the standard 256-color palette that Marathon normally uses.

    After creating your texture, try adding it to the game to see how it works! To implement your texture, save it in the same folder as your Aleph One application (or in a subfolder) and give it an appropriate name, ending in .gif, .tif, .psd, or whatever. (Your textures can be in almost any format, just as long as it is one that QuickTime recognizes.)

    This should greatly enhance this updated version of Marathon, once all of the replacement textures are complete. If you're handy with Photoshop, consider giving this open-source project a helping hand. Check out the texture replacement page for more information, and download the latest version of Aleph One if you have yet to try it out.

    Download Aleph One (600k)
    Aleph One Texture Replacement Site

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    More World War II Online Details
    9:33 AM | Charles George | Comment on this story

    A few days ago IMG brought you the story that Cornered Rat Studios had a found a publisher for their upcoming massively-multiplayer World War II simulation World War II Online. In the press release it mentioned that the upcoming game would be published by a small company named Strategy First. The press release failed to mention that this deal involved giving Strategy First exclusive rights to sell the game. The original plan for distributing the game was to allow gamers the option to download the game for free, and then charging them a monthly rate for playing the game.

    However, with the new publisher this plan has changed. A Cornered Rat representative in the World War II online forums had this to say:

    There will not be a downloadable version. It will be available only as a retail release.
    While this move may dishearten some, we are sure this extremely ambitious game will do just as well on store shelves.

    For a glimpse of what this game has to offer, Cornered Rat posted 6 new screen shots and a movie for the game on their site. The shots and movie show an engine with both amazing depth and breadth, from wide-open battlefields to the perfectly detailed instrumentation in a plane. World War II online, a game designed to give players a deep battle experience by letting them take any role, should be hitting Mac and PC in mid-2000.

    WWII Online Finds Publisher
    World War II Online Forum
    World War II Online Web Site
    Strategy First
    Cornered Rat Software
    World War II Online

    Oni Is Gold For PC, Mac Soon
    9:24 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    Bungie's long awaited anime-inspired fighting game Oni has finally reached the Gold Master stage for PC, according to reports on Blues News and other sources. In our usual fashion we went directly to the source to see if the Mac version was also complete.

    Bungie Studios spokesperson Matt Soell told us that the Mac version has not yet gone gold yet, but should be reaching that stage very soon. Previously, Soell has mentioned that the Mac and PC versions of the game share the same data files, a common arrangement in cross-platform titles, and thus only small tweaks to the application remain to be made.

    Regardless of when the Mac and PC versions of this title go 'gold', the only official release date for the game is on January 27th, published by Gathering of Developers. Thus the declaration of the final version for Mac or PC only means that another waiting period begins...

    Oni Release Date
    Gathering of Developers

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    Tropico Hands-On Preview
    9:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    GameSpot has written up a quick preview of the upcoming dictator-sim Tropico, after seeing it demonstrated at a recent press event. Along with details on the visuals and plot, they have some of the first descriptions of what actual gameplay might be like. Here's an excerpt:

    Upon starting a new single-player scenario, you're prompted with a character selection screen that allows you to choose your dictator's background and appearance, as well as select from certain outstanding qualities (like being well educated) and flaws (like flatulence) that actually have an affect on how your advisors deal with you. There are two primary ways to affect the island and its citizens. The first is through Tropico's city-building component. Depending on the size of the island, you automatically start off with a set number of farms, a teamster office, docks, a palace, and a construction office. From there, you can choose to construct any number of buildings from a list of more than 70 different types. Each building affects the attributes of your population in a different manner. For instance, a church will raise your citizens' spiritual attribute, while run-down huts will lower their morale. It's important to note that the physical placement of these buildings plays a very important role in the effect they have on the population. A hospital built on the remote end of the island won't benefit anyone.
    PopTop is developing the Mac version in-house, using the Railroad Tycoon II engine as the game's base. The last word we received from them indicated that Mac version would be released about a month after the PC's version's completion next March.

    GameSpot Preview of Tropico
    PopTop Software
    Buy Tropico

    Mac Games News for Friday, November 17, 2000

    3dfx Drops Voodoo5 MSRP to $229.995:10 PM
    Mac Gaming Sites Roundup4:39 PM
    DTR Mods for Deus Ex4:04 PM
    Duane Johnson Joins 3dfx3:45 PM
    Bryan Speece Explains 3dfx' Moves3:42 PM
    No Halo at Macworld San Francisco?3:40 PM
    Elite Force and Livin' Large Go Gold3:32 PM
    No Planet Side for Mac11:16 AM
    Quick Majesty Update11:14 AM
    Mac NOLF a Possibility?11:01 AM
    Mac Hexen 2 on its Way10:03 AM
    Bungie OK's Use of Copyrighted Works8:29 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 17, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

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