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Wednesday, November 22, 2000

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Quake 3: Team Arena Status
10:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

For quite some time fans of first-person shooters have been anticipating Quake 3: Team Arena, an expansion pack to this top-notch shooter which fills in many 'gaps' in gameplay. Now it seems the release date is finally drawing near. This add-on will bring many new gametypes to the original title, along with new character models and other cool features. As the name suggests, the focus of the expansion is on teamplay and capture-the-flag styles of play.

Blue's news recently spotted a thread started by id Software's Todd Hollenshead in the Quake3World forums, offering a quick status update on the expansion pack . Here's a clip:

We're getting close now! To being done with Team Arena that is. We should hopefully have a bunch of new info available real soon and even a demo (!). Just a little pre-Thanksgiving (US) FYI for everyone.
So it sounds like gamers might be able to try out a demo as early as this week. A bit further down, Hollenshead also remarks the final patch for Quake 3: Arena should also be out soon:
Yes, the final Q3 patch (probably 1.26 or sequential) should follow soon after the demo. The final patch won't be this week, but hopefully soon thereafter.
This should bring a number of fixes to both the Mac OS and OS X versions of Quake 3: Arena. More info is promised soon, so we'll keep you updated.

Quake3World Forum Thread
Id Software Web Site
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

Freeverse Ports to OS X
1:45 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

A while back we reported that card and board game maker Freeverse has been "Carbonizing" their diverse line of games to run natively on Mac OS X. We caught up with them to get more information on the status of this process. Colin Lynch Smith told us that Bryan Pietrazak just recently had a baby (well done), so no work will be done this week, but as soon as he comes back, he will be working quite hard to get the games ready to run on Mac OS Public Beta. They are planning on getting all of the ports ready before Macworld San Francisco, which is coming up quite soon. Here is their update:

The carbonizing is going pretty well. Bryan Pietrazak, who is doing the work
just had a baby a couple of days ago. That means he won't be doing any more
work this week but should get a LOT of work done after that, during the
remainder of his paternity leave.

We also just posted a $500 bounty for carbonizing Apple's OpenPlay, one of
the underlying technologies of the HMS Freeverse card game server. We've had
a couple of bites already and once we get someone working on that we should
have all the pieces covered.

We hope to have all of the 3D card games carbonized by Macworld, and
certainly done by the time OS X ships in May.

Make sure to check back soon, as they have previously said that they will be releasing new patches for their existing titles. Check and try out their latest game, Setback AKA Pitch.

Setback AKA Pitch at MacGameFiles
Freeverse software

Creative Labs on Mac Cards
12:39 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The folks in the MacGamer forums were recently blessed with a post from
Brian Souder of Creative Labs, the company which is bringing their line of sound cards (almost ubiquitous on the PC side) to the Mac OS. In his message, Brian notes their
SoundBlaster LIVE! cards should be available at MacWorld San Francisco in
January, and the cards will be Mac-specific (instead of just writing drivers
for a PC version of the cards). He also says that games will need to be tweaked
to use the OpenAL sound code to see a performance gain, so don't expect all of
your older games to run twice as fast with a card installed. Here's his post:

You will not see a performance gain on the "legacy" games. Games which
are tweaked to use OpenAL should see the performance gain when it
uses the CPU on the sound
card. I will hopefully have more info for you guys in the coming weeks.
Keep your eyes open for information on the release of the Sound Blaster
LIVE! for Macintosh - it should
be available by MacWorld January. It is in Beta testing now, and OpenAL
is being refined. We are working hard to have OpenAL enhanced games
available immediately. Some of
the features may not be available at the 1.0 release, but they will be
added in driver updates which will be free from the Web Site. I'll be at
MacWorld in January so you guys can
get a first hand demo if you come. Who knows - there might even be a
show special! (hint) Make sure you wait for the SB LIVE! Macintosh
version though. We initially told
everyone that you could use the MP3 or X-Gamer cards, but it was
before the release of the 5.1. To keep support calls simple & to make
your installation easier, we have elected to
make a Macintosh specific card. An added bonus is that the software in
the box will be just for Macintosh & will similar to the bundles you see for
the PC versions. I had an extra X-Gamer card I was going to use too,
but I agree with their decision.
Not all new information, but still very good details from Creative on their future plans. We are very anxious
to see what MWSF brings for Mac gamers, and will be there to comb every inch of the show floor for news and reports.

Creative Labs Mac Web Site
MacGamer Forum Thread

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Mac realMYST Update
12:29 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

We recently spoke with Cyan about their remake of the classic adventure title Myst with a
real-time 3D engine, realMYST. We wanted to know if they had any more
info on the status of the Mac version and its progress. The PC version just
began shipping a short time ago, and many Mac Myst fans are anxious to get their
hands on the title. We also asked if there were any plans for a possible
remake of Riven as well. Here's what Cyan's Jeff Oswalt had to say:

We hope to have the Mac version completed by the end of the year but I'm not sure when it will hit the shelves. That would be a Mattel decision.

I think most of what's left are the finishing touches and then some Q&A.

The engine we got through the acquisition of HeadSpin Technologies. We won't
be making a realRiven and will not be licensing out the engine either. We
are currently using it to develop our next project code named Mudpie.

We've contacted Mattel and will bring you any further news on that front as we
get it. It's interesting to hear the same engine will be used for Mudpie, their
highly-secretive new game coming out a bit further down the road. If nothing
else, it's good to hear they'll already be working with a Mac-compatible 3D
engine, which looks amazing from the screen shots and movies we have seen.

Cyan Web Site
realMyst Web Site

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Links LS 2000 Demo Released
10:19 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacSoft last night, during a GameRanger chat, released the demo of Links LS 2000. The newest Mac edition of the all-time best-selling golf simulation game includes six new courses including the fabled St. Andrews Links Old Course. Other features include 12 golfer animations, 3D objects for greater realism, selectable skyscapes, haze and fog options, and much more.

The trial version features the breathtaking front nine of Mauna Kea and includes multiplayer support for those of you who want to tee it up with friends.

Links LS 2000 requires NetSprocket and SoundSpocket. These are both part of Apple's Game Sprockets which can be found on the right side of the Links LS 2000 page on

The full requirements are as follows:

  • MacOS 8.5 or later
  • 120 Mhz PowerPC 604 or faster
  • at least 64 MB of physical RAM with virtual memory turned on
  • at least 128 MB of physical RAM with virtual memory turned off
  • a CD-ROM drive
  • a network connection is required for online play

    To download the 39.3 demo, head over to

    Download Links LS 2000 (39.3 MB)
    Links LS 2000

    Nvidia Q&A with Brian Burke
    10:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Nvidia's PR man (and former 3dfx PR man) Brian Burke has given a few answers to some questions from the folks at 3DGPU. While he gives the standard line about the company's products, he also covers a bit of their newly-announced mobile chip, the GeForce 2Go. With rumors surrounding an Apple adoption of Nvidia technology, this portable chip certainly adds to the support of such a suspicion. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

    The goal for mobile graphics is the same as the goal with desktop graphics…. to offer the best product and to dominate the market. The GeForce2Go is an excellent mobile graphics processor and clearly bests the ATI product in all key areas. It has faster 2D, the 3D performance is about 3 times faster, it has onboard T&L and is a more efficient architecture so it consumes less power. There is no reason to think of it as a mobile gaming part, because all the features that make it a great gaming part also translate to a great business part. The GeForce2Go was designed to be the best mobile graphics solution, the fact that it is the first mobile GPU and has fast enough 3D to run Quake3 in at SuperVGA resolutions is just a nice bonus : )
    Have a read through our previous coverage of this chip for more info on its capabilities and Mac-compatibility. We hope to see some sort of Mac technology from Nvidia fairly soon (maybe even MWSF?). Stay tuned to IMG for all the latest.

    3DGPU Interview with Brian Burke
    IMG News: NVIDIA's New Portable Chip is Mac-ready

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    Baldur's Gate II Interview
    10:14 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Baldurs Gate Haven has recently chatted with Greg Zeschuk, the co-executive producer for Bioware's much-acclaimed RPG Baldur's Gate II. The interview covers a number of aspects about creating a monster RPG like this. In case you're wondering, the PC version was just recently released and a Mac version will be on its way next year, thanks to newly-founded MacPlay. Here's a clip about making the content of BG2:

    How long does the creation of a monster/character/level take, and can you describe the different stages it goes through?

    There are a number of phases in creating the content in BG2. It all derives from the story, and the story dictates what areas and creatures exist. Once the story is complete, a short design is done for the various areas and this is given to the artists who draw concept art for the area and its contents. This is then built by the artists, animated by our animators and then scripted by the designers. It's a fairly simple process, especially after having done it for the last 5 years.

    Check out the rest of the Q&A if you're interested. There is no official word from MacPlay on the release date for the Mac version of Baldur's Gate II, though we're hoping to see it not too late into 2001.

    Baldur's Gate Haven Interview with Greg Zeschuk
    IMG Preview of Baldur's Gate II
    Baldur's Gate II
    Buy Baldur's Gate II

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, November 21, 2000

    Mac Gaming Sites Roundup2:06 PM
    Elite Force & Livin' Large Giveaway!1:56 PM
    Update on Rogue Spear, Driver9:47 AM
    G.O.D's Sanford May on Mac Games9:31 AM
    New Oni Images, Interview9:08 AM
    Giants Site Updated8:49 AM
    Unreal Fortress Build 199 Released8:14 AM
    Voodoo 4/5 Drivers Updated7:30 AM
    GameSpy previews Oni6:26 AM
    F.A.K.K. 2 for $24.90!6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, November 21, 2000 on one page

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