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Friday, December 8, 2000

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Quake 3: Team Arena is Gold
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Robert Duffy and Todd Hollenshead of id Software have both announced that the team oriented add-on pack Quake 3: Team Arena, has gone "gold" and will soon be in stores. Team Arena addresses many of the gameplay and interface issues gamers complained about in Quake 3, such as the lack of team-based and CTF maps, different game modes and team-specific models. Included in this expansion are new gametypes (Harvester, One Flag, Overload), new power-ups (Doubler, Ammo Regeneration, Scout, Guard), and a revamped GUI and in-game browser. Here's what Hollenshead had to say:

Team Arena is G-O-L-D!

We expect that it may begin showing up at shops like EB and Babbages as early as
Friday the 15th. It may take a bit longer for stores like Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. to
get it in. You should check with your local retailer to see if/when they will be
getting their supply in.

For customers outside of North America, we're going to do our best to get copies out
to you before Christmas, but I don't have any sort of solid dates at this point. I'll
let everyone know as soon as I get this information.

If you haven't checked out the Demo or .avi yet, they're definitely worth the download.

We're still working on Mac and Linux, but Demos for those (as well as binaries) should
be available "soon".

Here are the details from Duffy's .plan file:
Team Arena is Gold. :-)

Some other things coming down the pipe from us in the near future.

Source code was made available earlier today to MOD authors so they can prepare their mods to be compatible with the 1.27 point release. This will help get everyone up on the same rev of the game at the same time. The point release ( 1.27 ) will be released a day or two before Team Arena hits shelves

As soon as Team Arena is on shelves, full tool source code will be released as well as new executables and I believe Graeme will be releasing the ROQ compiler as well. These are all good things. I am going to get Timothee and the GTKRadiant crew tool source in a day or so, so they can prepare that flavor of the editor and tools for the masses.

The official combined game source will be released during the same time period as the tools. This will be the integrated Q3A and TA source base.

Thanks to everyone that assisted with testing during the beta cycle and feedback during the demo.

This is good news for Mac users, as we will finally be getting the 1.27 point release, which will supposedly have a large speed boost. The issue of whether there will be a Mac retail box is still largely unresolved. Though Hollenshead hinted at a simultaneous release earlier this week, the mention of 'binaries' in his .plan suggests they will just make the Mac application available on their site for download. We'll keep you posted if anything official is announced in this regard.

Robert Duffy's .plan File
Todd Hollenshead's .plan File
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

Pre-Order Rune for $34.95 at
5:38 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story has Human Head Studios' hack-and-slash Viking adventure game available for pre-order for only $34.95. Usually, Outpost does not offer the lowest prices on their products, but they do waive tax charges and ship in-stock items overnight for free. Surprisingly, the game costs $5 less than the PC version.

Last week, we also noted that was taking pre-orders for Driver for $23.94.

Pre-Order Driver for $23.94
Rune Preview at IMG
Pre-Order Rune at

Game Reviews Galore at IMG
5:24 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

For those of you who just visit IMG's news page, we have published four game reviews this past week.

Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord, by Big Time Software, is a strategy/war game that simulates post D-Day battles. The graphics may seem outdated, but the challenging gameplay more than makes up for it. The game strikes an interesting balance between the real-time and turn-based strategy genre:

So Big Time has successfully challenged the idea of "I go, you go" games with a "we go" methodology. Each turn consists of 60 seconds of battle. Before the each turn, both forces have to issue orders for their troops. This is accomplished by hold-clicking on each friendly unit (or by selecting many units at a time with a bounding rectangle) and selecting from a contextual "drop-down" menu of commands ranging from run, crawl, target [an enemy], and hide for those on foot to a specialized "hunt" for mechanized weaponry.
Next up is MacSoft's Bingo, Bingo, Bingo; a, get ready for this, Bingo game. The single player aspect is standard fare, but the multiplayer mode is unique. If you happen to have your Bingo buddies over, the game actually prints out Bingo cards for everyone, which it keeps track of. Although, the game didn't garner high marks, the hardcore Bingo fan may see it in a different light.

Beach Head 2000, also published by MacSoft, is an arcade game which places you on a shore that is about to be invaded by hordes of enemy soldiers and vehicles. Your job is to stop the enemy from overtaking the beach. Unfortunately, the game is very repetiive and may be a bit too violent for younger children.

Finally, we take a look at Gathering of Developer's off-road racing game, 4x4 Evolution. This is the first driving simulation we have seen on the Macintosh for a while, and with it's stunning visuals and fun gameplay, it looks to be a winner. In 4x4 Evo, you can take nearly any SUV or truck that can be purchased today, for a drive. In the single player, the bots seem unbeatable, but the multiplayer is where the meat is:

4x4 uses GameSpy for chat and game hosting/finding, specially ported to the Mac OS just for this title. The interface is awful, plain and simple, but it is usable and relatively fast. Finding a game and joining should be very easy to anyone who has used Q3A or UT’s in-game browsers.

Overall, the game is very playable over a 56k modem TCP/IP connection. Lag is definitely a problem, as it is with all online games, and if you experience a major packet loss you will "teleport" forwards or backwards on the course. But this is by far the most playable game over a slow connection that I have tried. Racers were easy to find all hours of the day.

4x4 Evolution is also one of the first games to support the MacOS X Public Beta.

For those of you who would like to give your own mini-review, IMG's news system now supports reader reviews.

4x4 Evolution Review
Beach Head 2000 Review
Bingo, Bingo, Bingo Review
Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord Review

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Championship Manager, Theme Park Shipping
3:45 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Feral Interactive web site has been updated with the news that both Championship Manager 00/01 and Sim Theme Park are now shipping, at least in the UK. CM 00/01 is the next season of this popular football (soccer) team management title, which features an astonishing amount of actual stats and teams sure to please any Euro fan of this sport.

Retailer MacGold Direct dropped us a note stating that they are shipping the title today, a week before retail outlets will receive the title. Drop by the MacGold online store if you've just got to have this one before the holidays.

For those new to the Championship Manager series, here is a summary of the 00/01 features:

Championship Manager takes management realism to a new level.. As manager you're subject to the same stresses and pleasures that a real-life 'gaffer' lives with - you've got to select the team, motivate the squad, and keep the board sweet - above all you have to win and keep on winning.

And now, at last in response to all the pleading requests from CM 99/00 addicts a Data Editor has been developed for the Mac version of CM 00/01. This means you are able to edit and control the data in the game. You can change and modify the stats used in the game, keep your teams squads up to date or even add yourself into the game! This is all a fancy way of saying that apart from keeping the database up-to-date with real-life, you can also CHEAT! Anyone fancy Ronaldo for £500,000?
The Data Editor is not included on the CM 00/01 CD, but will be available from the Feral and Sports Interactive websites as a free download. We are wary of putting up a date for when the Data Editor will be available (repeatedly bitten, very shy) but are aiming for the end of the Year.
New Features for Season 00/01

  • A database editor, which will for the first time allow mac users to play CM 00/01 on their own terms. The editor, allows you to change and modify the stats used in the game. Keep your teams squads up to date or even add yourself into the game.
    Please note that the database editor is not included on the CM 00/01 CD but instead will be available as a free download from the Feral and Sports Interactive websites. The aim is to have it ready for the end of December.
  • Twenty-six concurrent leagues will be playable.
  • Accurate profiles and histories for over 50,000 players, managers, and coaches, collated by a dedicated army of football fans from every corner of the globe.
  • For the ultimate challenge you can now play the game using randomised fictional players.
  • A full interactive transfer system featuring all the elements of modern day negotiations.
  • Full international simulation featuring all the major tournaments plus B-team and U-21 management opportunities. Now includes the Olympic Games U23 tournament.
  • Local and National media involvement, you can now read and reply to media stories about the clubs and players and events in the game.
  • Sounds like nirvana for soccer fans everywhere. There is also a demo of the game available; be sure to grab it from

    Feral also notes that they will be releasing a demo for Sim Theme Park this Sunday, December 10th. For more details on this exciting release from Feral and Aspyr Media, be sure and read our preview posted earlier today.

    Sim Theme Park Preview
    MacGold Direct Ltd.
    Championship Manager 00/01 Demo (12.9 MB)
    Feral Interactive
    Feral Interactive
    Bullfrog Productions
    Sim Theme Park

    The Gift of Freeverse
    3:19 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Shareware authors Freeverse Software have put together an excellent low-cost way to introduce yourself or a friend to their extensive lists of card games, strategy games, puzzles and "toys." The collection of demos (and one registered game) ships on CD-ROM, a handy catalog of Freeverse offerings. Here is the press release:

    Stumped for stocking stuffers?

    Perplexed by present possibilities?

    Guilty over gift giving?

    (Annoyed by alliteration)?

    Well, Freeverse has the answer for you! Give our new Sampler CD to your Mom,
    your Nephew, your Sister or your Boss for only $9.95. Here's what they'll

    A fully registered version of ENIGMA, the mastermind code-breaking game.
    "Anyone who enjoys a good puzzle but doesn't mind taking a bit of a blow to
    the ego will love the sarcastic humor and mind-numbing challenge of this
    excellent game." ZDnet.

    Freeverse Toys including JARED: Butcher of Song, JARED's Christmas,
    SimStapler and more.

    Playable demos of all of our other great Mac games including:

    Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab

    3D Hearts Deluxe

    3D Spades Deluxe

    3D Euchre Deluxe

    3D Setback/Pitch

    3D Bridge Deluxe

    Classic Cribbage

    Classic Gin Rummy



    Burning Monkey Solitaire II


    Reversi: The Eclipse


    X-Words Deluxe

    All handsomely packaged in a slimline case. We'll even gift-wrap it and ship
    it Priority Mail for free! Head on over to http:/ to take
    advantage of this incredible deal, (and to cross a few more names off that
    holiday shopping list).

    Did we mention TONS of fun games, the attractive case, the FREE gift
    wrapping and FREE Priority Mail for under TEN BUCKS!!! So make your Mac
    friends glad and give the gift of gorgeous games, (or we'll keep up this
    annoying alliteration thing).

    That sounds like a threat to us. Stuff your friend's stockings with Freeverse this year, and give the gift of Mac gaming! Visit the Freeverse web site for more details, and to order.

    Freeverse Software

    Master of Orion III Interview
    1:33 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Although a Mac OS version of this title is still not confirmed, the creators of Master of Orion III have stated both on and off-the-record that they have a definite desire to make one. For those who were fans of the original MOO titles (which also had Mac OS versions), Gamecenter Alliance partner Quarter to Three has produced an in-depth interview with Alan Emrich, one of the designers creating this sequel.

    The interview expects you to be familiar with the original titles, but contains a wealth of information about the game. Here is Alan's summary of what MOO3 is all about:

    What kind of game is MOO3?

    MOO3 is a game for builders; it’s also a game for diplomats. Politicians will also love MOO3. Sociologists will find it fascinating, as will Political Scientists and even Economists. It will help to be a cunning spymaster as well as an able Fleet Admiral. Engineers and scientists will continue to enjoy the Master of Orion series in this game. All of those careers are important to a civilization. MOO3 is designed to be a many-faceted gem, and we’re trying to make sure that each gets to shine. And at the heart of this gem is the story of the Orion star cluster, that begins with a mystery, unleashes a renaissance, and ends with… well, there are several possible endings…

    Read more of this extensive interview for details on the amazing depth and complexity of this solo and multiplayer title. We'll keep quizzing Interplay about the possibility of a Mac OS version; obviously the recent rebirth of MacPlay and the fact that several Interplay titles are already on the way (including Giants: Citizen Kabuto) increases our odds of playing this title in the future.

    Master of Orion III
    More MOO3 Mac Info
    Alan Emrich Interview at Quarter to Three
    Quicksilver Software
    Master of Orion III
    Buy Master of Orion III

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    Tropico Impressions, Images
    1:24 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Our partner Gamecenter has posted their impressions of Tropico, a sim of third-world dictatorship under construction by Pop Top. While this game is still six or so months from completion, Gamecenter was quite impressed in what they saw, and this mini-preview lists many details which set this sim apart from other empire-builder titles.

    The preview also includes nine new screen shots of the game, which is looking quite gorgeous indeed. Based on a modified version of the Railroad Tycoon II engine, the game will support resolutions up to 1600x1200 and support multiple levels of zoom, from the island-at-a-glance to street level.

    One interesting aspect of this game is Pop Top's effort to give the citizens a true 'face' -- unlike the nameless, mindless citizens of other empire builders, the citizens in Tropico have very strong personalities and a huge effect on gameplay:

    One unique feature of Tropico is that the citizens' reactions to their surroundings is based on what they see--or don't see. For instance, if a religiously devout citizen's path to work takes her past a casino every day, she's going to think unfavorably of your rule--even if it's the only casino on the whole island. Or you can have your military sneak up on locals and assassinate them in the jungle left and right; but if no one sees you do it, it's like it didn't happen. However, if you push the locals too far, they will eventually decide to put an end to your tyrannical rule. One night a handful of citizens may sneak off into the palm trees, and you will know that a revolution is starting somewhere. Perhaps the most interesting and far-reaching part of Tropico is the fact that time truly passes. People--who will all have unique names--are born, grow up, live their lives, and die. They build families and mourn the deaths of loved ones. You will be able to watch generation after generation grow and prosper under your rule if you treat them well. If you want to play the soft and benevolent dictator, your citizens will graciously work for you as you lead them through lives of peace and happiness. But where's the fun in that?
    We couldn't imagine life as a dictator without a few assassination attempts. In any case, Tropico will be released for the Mac and PC mid-2001. Be sure and read the rest of the preview, and check out the screen shots as well. Tropico will be published by Gathering of Developers.

    Tropico Impressions, Images at Gamecenter
    PopTop Software
    Buy Tropico

    New Oni Screenshots at IPG
    10:07 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Our sister site, Inside PS2 Games, has posted five new screenshots from the anime-action game, Oni. Bungie's long awaited anime-inspired fighting game Oni has finally reached the Gold Master stage for PC and the Mac version isn't far behind.

    Oni will ship on January 27th for the PC, Mac, and PS2 and will be published by Gathering of Developers. In the meantime, check out the new Oni screenshots at IPG.

    Inside PS2 Games

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    Halo to Ship Concurrently with X-Box?
    9:28 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

    IMG affiliate Mac Halo is reporting on a news item claiming Halo may ship simultaneously with the launch of the X-Box. Halo was originally due for a PC/Mac 2000 release, but was delayed once Microsoft purchased Bungie-- a game delay ostensibly to have a 'killer app' to christen the launch of Microsoft's first console.

    Head over to Mac Halo for regular updates on Halo's progress and development.

    Mac Halo
    Bungie Studios
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Updated Mac Classics
    7:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    While we here at IMG try to keep you posted on the progress of many open-source projects which are actually updating older games (Marathon, Doom, etc), LowEndMac has a good new article giving an overview of many such revived titles. The author, Brian Rumsey, wrote in to let us know of this piece which covers such classics as Quake, Duke Nukem, the Descent series, Marathon, and the most recent addition of Hexen II. Here's an excerpt:

    In addition to bringing back old memories, another nice thing about these games is that, for the most part, they should perform decently on relatively old hardware (compared to what many modern games are demanding). I'd expect that most of them will perform acceptably on almost any 603- or 604-based system with a 3D accelerator. Since I can't make thorough tests of these games on a wide range of systems, I would be interested to hear reports of how they run on pre-G3 systems. I would also be interested to hear of other older games which I may have missed which have 3D patches available.
    There are a few others that Brian might want to check out, like Heretic (also done by Brad Oliver), and the Mac Doom Legacy project. The article provides a nice overview, though, so be sure to give it a read.

    Classic Mac Games Updated

    Planet Moon Responds to Giants Cover-Up
    6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Blue's News has received an e-mail from Bob Stevenson, co-founder of Planet Moon Studios, addressing yesterday's reports that their upcoming game, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, would be censored in two specific ways. The character of Delphi, previously topless and in a translucent skirt, would be clothed, and the red blood in the game was switched to green; note this was for the US version of the game only. Stevenson explains their outlook on the situation:

    We agree! Covering Delphi and changing the blood does suck! And indeed these changes were part of a last minute bid for GIANTS to get a "Teen" rating from the ESRB. It was only recently that the pressure has been mounting for us to cover her up or face crippling our potential distribution. That would obviously be completely crap for us as we've labored over this game for 3 years. And it is our finest game to date.

    Although we are now stuck with a "Mature" rating, we may still have a chance at getting wider distribution if retailers step back and realize our game is not a "danger" for the minds of America.

    This last-minute switch does raise many questions about the effect of threatened legislation regarding game content and sales of games to minors. Obviously, the fact that some retail stores are shutting out "M" rated titles has gotten the attention of both publishers and game developers, and many future titles may see this same transformation in an attempt to win a broader market audience. If you have any thoughts on the matter, be sure and discuss them on our Forums.

    In all likelihood, the Macintosh version of the game will contain the clothed Delphi and green blood as well; the game is being ported by MacPlay and is expected to arrive on our platform sometime next year. Check out Blue's News to read the rest of the letter. For more information on Giants, be sure to read our preview.

    Blue's News
    First Look: Giants
    Planet Moon Studios
    Omni Group
    Giants: Citizen Kabuto
    Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

    MacSoft Updates
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    MacSoft has updated their main page, revealing details on their many titles ready in time for the holiday shopping season. With games such as Links LS 2000, Monopoly and Jeopardy just released, and Driver and Rogue Spear on the way, it should be a Merry Christmas for Mac gamers of all kinds. We know Driver is on the way, as the demo of the game is now available; the full version set to ship on the 12th. But MacSoft also offers some information on the status of the sequel to Rainbow Six, known as Rogue Spear:

    Rogue Spear for Macintosh is set to make its debut in December! This sequel to last year's red-hot game Rainbow Six adds new features like improved AI and a wealth of new weapons, as well as 18 new missions.

    Rogue Spear also includes the add-on pack Urban Operations at no extra charge. Urban Operations brings five new missions to the table and updates five classic missions from Rainbow Six! Also included are new multiplayer maps and new game types bringing hours and hours of challenges to your Mac.

    Considering the many dedicated Mac R6 fans, Rogue Spear should be another big hit for MacSoft.

    And if you're looking for an even larger update, Apple has posted a new article listing the many games coming from MacSoft in time for the holidays. It's a nice piece, detailing their many titles, and it just feels good to be reading about Mac games on Apple's web site.

    IMG News: Driver to Ship December 12th
    Apple Article on MacSoft Games
    MacSoft Web Site
    Reflections Interactive
    Buy Driver

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    Special Report on Baldur's Gate II
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IGN's RPGVault has written up a 'Special Report' on Bioware's
    massive RPG Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Kevin Martens, co-lead
    designer for the game, gives a few good quotes in the piece, which covers many
    aspects of the making this sequel to Baldur's Gate. The discussion reveals many of
    the sequel's features, including the ability to import your old Baldur's Gate
    character into this title. Here's an excerpt with more:

    In terms of expanding the game, the developers identified a few key areas. "One major design issue was area content," Kevin recalled.
    "Baldur's Gate had a lot of space to explore but not always something to do. Shadows of Amn is very focused. It still has tons of areas but
    most of them are literally stuffed with quests, items, encounters and people to talk to. There are still areas that exist for the sake of
    exploring but there is never a dull moment. Other than this, we really do have many new features - things such as 3D support, higher
    resolutions, bags and scroll cases, hundreds of spells, thousands of items, hundreds of plots, etc. We also spent a lot of time greatly
    expanding character options. We added three new classes - the Barbarian, the Sorcerer and the Monk. We also added three kits to each
    of the primary classes, with the exception of the Mage, which already had eight specialty kits. This greatly expands replay value and player
    Take a minute to read through the rest of the article, as it gives an excellent
    overview of what Baldur's Gate II is all about. Mac gamers should be able to enjoy this title on our platform
    sometime next year, thanks to the folks at MacPlay. The expansion pack
    for the original Baldur's Gate, known as Tales of the Sword Coast, will hopefully
    be released in the next month of so by the publishers of Mac Baldur's Gate, GraphSim.
    If you'd like even more details, check out IMG's preview of Baldur's Gate II.

    IMG First Look at Baldur's Gate II
    RPGVault Article on Baldur's Gate II
    Baldur's Gate II
    Buy Baldur's Gate II

    Mac Games News for Thursday, December 7, 2000

    MacBaldur Celebrates Anniversary11:54 AM
    On Star Trek and Games11:43 AM
    Diablo II Expansion NPCs10:25 AM
    Kawasaki Jet Ski Screens10:13 AM
    More Driver Demo Tweaks9:38 AM
    More on Mac Team Arena9:34 AM
    Giant Cover Up8:03 AM
    Mac Rune Demo Released7:55 AM
    Red Faction Interview6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 7, 2000 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, December 6, 2000
    Tuesday, December 5, 2000
    Monday, December 4, 2000
    Friday, December 1, 2000
    Thursday, November 30, 2000

    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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