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Friday, November 24, 2000

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Mac Team Arena Waits for Apple
10:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The demo version of Quake 3 Arena expansion pack Team Arena has been released, but where is the Mac version? According to posts by two id staffers, the reason the Mac version isn't already in your download queue is simple: it requires Apple's OpenGL 1.2.1, which has not been released yet.

id Software is currently waiting for Apple to release the official 1.2.1 release of OpenGL. To find out more about this issue we went straight to the source; we contacted id software's Graeme Devine, Mac fan and advocate. Here was his brief reply:

It's up and running in both 9 and X. Just waiting on Apple for the final
1.2 release of OpenGL!
Apple's OpenGL 1.2.1 has already been 'released' unofficially; it was included with the demo and full versions of Pangea Software's Cro-Mag Rally. However, the actual release of this software to all Mac OS users may depend on the release of Mac OS 9.1, the long-delayed upgrade to the current OS that is supposed to provide a smoother transition to Mac OS X this Spring. Currently there is no firm release date for this free upgrade; however there is the possibility that Apple might release this version of OpenGL separately, as well.

Quake 3 Arena web site
id Software web site
IMG Quake 3: Team Arena Status
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

MacDeusEx gains new Editor
5:41 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Today MacDeusEx, an Inside Mac Games Network site, has added a new Senior Editor. Andy Mayer will actually be MacDeusEx's first editor, coming as a "Maps and Mods" expert. As maps and mods are ready for release on the Macintosh, he will prepare things such as ReadMe's and Install manuals. In the near future, he will also write reviews, telling us which are the "best" mods and maps to download.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and leftover turkey), MacDeusEx has also posted a new map. The "Academy Gun Training" map picks up where the Deus Ex basic training left off. You can now attack live enemies in a semi-controlled environment. Head on over to MacDeusEx for more information and download locations.

Mac Deus Ex

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UT Strike Force Goes Commercial
2:56 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpy and other news sources are reporting that the Unreal Tournament modification Strike Force has 'gone commercial' after receiving offers from several publishers. This astoundingly detailed modification for the first-person shooter brings ultra-realistic graphics, weapons and tactics to the futuristic original, and has progressed to a point where they think they can sell it on store shelves.

We contacted Michael Hamett of the Strike Force team, and he quickly confirmed that there will be a Mac OS version of Strike Force, as well as a Linux version.

While this is great news for Mac UT fans looking for a new challenge, it does mean that work on the 'free' version of this mod has ceased. There is no release date for this future product, but the site notes that a new web site will be launched as soon as they sign a deal with a publisher.

StrikeForce UT Web Site

Westlake Gives Thanks, Adds Games
2:30 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has updated their News page with a message of thanks to the Mac gaming community and other parties. And their News page has been updated with a holiday treat for Mac gamers -- another mysterious project to speculate about!

Here is just some of their holiday greeting to the Mac gaming world:

Westlake would like to give thanks to all the Mac gamers who have made us successful over the past three years, and given us much to be thankful for in 2000. We would like to wish Happy Holidays to all of the publishers, journalists, beta testers, and everyone else we work with day to day while bringing great games to the Mac.

We would also like to say thanks to MacWorld magazine for honoring us with an Eddy award nomination (The Sims for Best Game), and several 2000 Game Hall of Fame awards- The Sims (Best Simulation Game), Scrabble (Best Traditional Game), Deus Ex (Best Shoot-em up), and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (Best World Building Simulation).

We are absolutely sure that Mac gamers are just as thankful that Westlake exists, and is porting such great Mac games.

As noted, their Projects page has a new addition: the "Rad" project, currently in Contract Signing status. For some reason they are still being coy about their port of Escape from Monkey Island by LucasArts, which is referred to as "Unimaginable - Monkey" Project; this has reached First Playable status.

Usually we're tempted to speculate at this point what this project might be, but to be perfectly honest, so many A-list titles we have wished for are on the way -- such as Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Age of Empires II, and Rune -- that we're not sure even where to begin to guess. Feel free to make your own guesses on our forums.

Westlake Interactive
Westlake Project Status Page

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New Mac Sims Web Site
12:08 PM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

There's a brand new website for those of you loving every minute of the Mac port of Maxis' The Sims from Aspyr Multimedia. The site offers downloads of skins, objects and more add-ons to make your Sims' lives more interesting. There is also a list of cheats and tips for the game, and a forum to discuss the wicked ways of your shameless Sims.

The Sims is a simulation game for Mac and PC where you control the lives of a standard suburban family. The Sims : Livin' It large, an expansion pack of new jobs, skins and models, has recently gone "gold master" and is expected to hit stores soon.
The Sims : first look
Livin' It Large : first look
Aspyr Multimedia web site
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

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Neverwinter Nights Preview
10:03 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Although the release of this game is quite far off in the future, we just can't help getting excited about this online RPG from BioWare. Neverwinter Nights won't be complete until late next Summer; in the meantime Eurogamer has cooked up a short preview (along with several screen shots that appear to be new) to whet your post-Thanksgiving appetite.

This preview doesn't contain much in the way of new information, for those who have been following the development of this title. But for those of you just discovering this RPG, this will be an excellent introduction to this ambitious project. Not only is BioWare going to create a flexible, true-3D gaming world based on the Third Edition D&D rules, they are going to bring back the Dungeon Master:

But although the game features a strong single player component, it is the multiplayer features which really make it stand out from the crowd, with a mixture of both competitive and co-operative modes. Gladiator-style arena combat between players is a strong possibility for those of you looking for a simple deathmatch environment, while treasure hunts and castle sieges are apparently on the cards if you want something a little more interesting.

What is really getting hardcore role-players excited though is the return of the dungeon master. In traditional pen and paper games the dungeon master plays the role of guide, storyteller and judge, interpreting the rules and the storyline as he sees fit and explaining what is happening to the players. Usually this job falls to the computer, but now Bioware are planning to bring human dungeon masters to computer role-playing games, hopefully producing a more interesting and immersive story-based multiplayer experience.

As with any set of tools, they may be used poorly or well; only time will tell if enough dedicated DMs create and maintain decent dungeons to expand the multiplayer experience of this title. Considering the amazing quality of many UT and Q3A 'mods' out there, and the flexibility of the NWN editing tools, we think the online creations may end up being 'better' than the solo experience created by Bioware themselves! Read on for more details and a few nifty images of this game in action.

Neverwinter Nights Preview at EuroGamer
Neverwinter Nights Web Site
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Red Faction Invasion
10:01 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story has posted a preview of Volition's upcoming first-person shooter Red Faction. The preview features several new screen shots from the Playstation 2 version, and also a new movie which requires the Quicktime 5 Preview to be viewed. At two seconds, it is hardly worth the download. The preview goes over the main elements of the game, with quite a lot of details. Here's a snip from their preview:

Along with the obvious technical innovations, Volition also wants to establish a new standard for story development in its own work. As such, while Red Faction should include a multiplayer game (the team is working on a possible two- or four-player mode), the focus is really on the single-player experience. Assisting in creating a mood and telling a compelling story, Volition's game unfolds without annoying load screens, continuously loading levels as cut-scenes immerse you further and further into it.
The main difference between the PC/Mac and PS2 version will the multiplayer capabilities, as described in PlayNow!'s interview with Volition. The interview consists of basic questions, discussing the game's general gameplay and features. Some interesting information about the control of the Geo-Mod engine is revealed:
PN: How do you keep the character on track if Parker can just blast his way, literally, through levels?

Alan Lawrance: We are able to have a strong story-line because the gameplay is still linear from an overall point of view. The player can deform the terrain in an arbitrary way, but the player won't have enough ammunition to just tunnel past all the important story elements.

The level designers can control what areas are modifiable, and how hard materials are. Thick metal is generally not modifiable, so the level designer can use thick metals walls or doors to prevent the player from getting too far off the course of a level.

Volition is certainly planning on a Mac version, as they will use the OpenGL code that they have developed for Summoner, another of their titles coming to the Mac OS. Watch for Red Faction next Spring.

Volition web site
Red Faction's Red Faction preview
PLayNOW!'s Red Faction interview
Red Faction

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GraphSim Posts Baldur's Gate 1.02 Patch
6:00 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Mac Baldur is reporting that GraphSim has just released a 1.02 final patch for Baldur's Gate. This patch is no different than the limited-release beta patch from a few weeks ago except that now it's officially available for download.

The patch addresses many stability issues and increases character walking speed. The majority of users on Mac Baldur's forum have posted positive comments in regards to the patch and the stability it's brought to the game.

Head over to Mac Baldur to read about the bugs fixed and to download the new patch.

Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Freeverse Ports to OS X1:45 PM
Creative Labs on Mac Cards12:39 PM
Mac realMYST Update12:29 PM
Links LS 2000 Demo Released10:19 AM
Nvidia Q&A with Brian Burke10:16 AM
Baldur's Gate II Interview10:14 AM
Quake 3: Team Arena Status10:13 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 22, 2000 on one page

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