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Tuesday, December 12, 2000

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Myst 3: Exile Set for Simultaneous Release
9:21 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The excellent Cyan/Myst fan site run by Jim Stephenson has obtained some very good information regarding the release of Myst 3: Exile early next year. Apparently they are shooting to get the game out the door next April in three versions:

  • a Mac/PC CD version
  • a "Collector's Edition" for Mac/PC on CD including a making-of video
  • a "Collector's Edition" for Mac/PC on DVD including a making-of video

There is no exact word on the prices yet, though the CD Collector's Edition may only be available online and the DVD version only through the Exile site. Check out the Riven fan site for more info on these versions. It's great to hear they will be able to have a simultaneous Mac/PC release for all, though. And if you missed out on the Exile movie we reported on yesterday, be sure to give that a look as well.

Myst III: Exile Web Site
Unoffical Riven Site on Exile Versions
New Myst III:Exile Movie
Presto Studios
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile

Sim Theme Park Shipping, Elite Force Demo Soon
4:30 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Macintosh game publisher, Aspyr Media, sent us word that tomorrow they will begin to ship Sim Theme Park pre-orders. Sim Theme Park is a 3D amusement park simulator, where you erect rides and concession stands, to attract visitors. Here is a short description:

Build the theme park of your dreams, from the ground up. Choose from
three distinct themes, Lost Kingdom, Halloween, Space Zone or
Wonderland, pick the rides, from kiddie rides to pukefest, it's up to
you. But it's not just about the rides, you decide where EVERYTHING
goes. Feeling a little twisted, put the only bathrooms at the South
end of the park or keep kids bouncing off the walls with plenty of
sodas and candy at concession stands. A helpful advisor is provided to
give you instant feedback but ultimately patrons are at your mercy.
Sim Theme Park's system requirements are relatively light when compared to today's more more modern games:
  • Mac PowerPC G3 or G4 processor at 233 Mhz (333 Mhz recommended) or faster

  • MacOS 8.5 or later

  • Open GL 1.1.2 (included)

  • QuickTime 4.0 (included)

  • 64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended)

  • 150 MB Free hard disk space

  • 6 MB VRAM (16 MB VRAM recommended)

  • 4x CD-ROM drive
  • Included is a feature where you can "move" your park online and have other Sim Theme Park players visit it. You can also visit other players' amusement parks.

    Sim Theme Park was ported to the Macintosh by Feral interactive (also known for their Championship Manager games). If you haven't already, check out IMG's preview of Sim Theme Park for more details.

    Aspyr also informed us that a demo for Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force is in the works and will be released within the next two weeks. The demo will include a few levels from the retail version, as well as a tutorial mission to help gamers familiarize themselves with the controls. A multiplayer mode will also be included.

    Aspyr Media
    Sim Theme Park Preview

    Kawasaki Jet Ski Gold
    4:14 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A new press release from Monkey Byte informed us their title Kawasaki Jet Ski Watercraft is now gold master and will be ready for purchase on December 15th. They will have exclusive selling rights through December, though you should be able to find it in the standard retail channels after Christmas. Here's a clip from their PR with more:

    JET SKI® watercraft is the artistic culmination of Eric Drumbor of
    Squidsoft, and the Monkey Byte Development team. "Seven months of
    full-time development went into this project and we
    are all very proud of what we've accomplished in a short amount of time,"
    said Nicolas Murphy, President of Monkey Byte Development. Kawasaki JET
    SKI® watercraft is the first AND only 3D JET SKI racing title for the Mac
    out there! A fun physics model and suberb wave effects give JET SKI®
    watercraft a one of a kind feel.

    Kawasaki JET SKI® watercraft features:

  • 10 unique levels, like Venice, Bahamas, the Nile, Hong Kong Docks, and
  • 50 courses to race
  • 5 different racing modes
  • 5 unique JET SKI® watercraft to choose from
  • Check out the Monkey Byte site for more information on the game. This just adds another great game to the wide range of titles available for Mac fans this year.

    Monkey Byte Web Site

    Holiday Buyer's Guide
    3:45 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    IMG has released our annual Holiday Buyer's Guide, an in-depth report on the games and multimedia your friends and family will want for the Holiday season. Here's an excerpt:

    The shopping season is quickly drawing to a close. Like a good proactive individual, you already have most of the gift shopping done. Right? But there is this one person left on the list, and you aren’t sure what to get him or her. You know this person is a devoted Mac gamer. So, what could you get for this person — something fun perhaps?

    Fortunately for you, Santa has been very productive this holiday season and there is a bumper crop of Mac entertainment titles and accessories. With a wide selection of both products and online vendors, the Mac lover in your life should be the easiest one to shop for. Don’t fight the crowds at the mall when you can buy the presents online and have them on your doorstep the next day.

    Read on, holiday shopper, if you need some good ideas on the latest-and-greatest Mac toys.

    Be sure and check out the guide for details on the hottest Holiday releases.

    In related news, IMG's guide isn't the only one out there -- MacNN has posted a comprehensive guide as well. Check this one out for more details.

    Holiday Buyer's Guide at MacNN
    IMG Holiday Buyer's Guide

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    4x4 Evolution Garage Offers Add-Ons
    1:10 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    If you've already driven many of the trucks and SUVs in Terminal Reality's recently-released 4x4 Evolution and are yearning for more off-road action, then the 4x4 Evolution Garage may interest you. They offer several add-ons to the already expansive game, such as new tracks and new vehicles. Though some of the vehicles may be horribly imbalanced (one of the trucks can reach top speeds of 240 M.P.H. and flips over all the time), it may be fun to drive around a monster truck for a while.

    For more information on Gathering of Developers' off-road racing simulation, check out IMG's review. A demo is also available at

    Download 4x4 Evolution Demo (35 MB)
    4x4 Evolution Review
    4x4 Evolution Garage
    Terminal Reality
    Gathering of Developers
    4x4 Evolution

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    The Fallen Q&A
    11:36 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    A link on Blue's News led us to this interview on KGN with Douglas Hare of The Collective, the team behind the Mac and PC versions of third-person shooter Deep Space Nine: The Fallen. Although the translation from German produced some interesting quirks, this is an informative look at the Collective team and how this game in particular came about.

    This in-depth interview covers many aspects of the game, due to go Gold for Mac OS any day now, and is sprinkled with screen shots from the final PC version. As this game is based on the Unreal engine, we've come to expect amazing visuals, special effects and sound; but this engine was not a perfect choice, as this Q&A reveals:

    [K]Niels: Why did you choose to use the Unreal engine, instead of the curved surfaces capable Quake 3 engine like Raven Software (Voyageur: Elite Force) did? What are the most important factors that have affected your choice?

    [Doug] We weren't really given a huge amount of say in the decision to use the Unreal engine. At the outset of The Fallen we were actually creating our own engine and tools from the ground-up but a few months into development, GT (who at that time were co-publishing the title) suggested that we use the Unreal engine. They had not long since released Unreal, which had been very successful, and they were keen to see the technology used across other titles. The advantages over our then infant technology seemed very clear, Unreal was a mature engine and UnrealEd was a phenomenally powerful editing tool. However, Unreal is a very different game from The Fallen so, beyond the initial steep learning curve, we ended up expending a lot of effort coaxing the engine to do the things that we wanted to do.

    For more details and background information, be sure and read the rest of the interview. Our preview has detailed information on this game, as well as new screen shots.

    Doug Hare Interview at KGN (English, page 4 through 8)
    DS9: The Fallen Preview
    Simon & Schuster
    The Collective
    DS9: The Fallen
    Buy DS9: The Fallen

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    On Oni Power Items
    10:41 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    Take Two Interactive and publisher Gathering of Developershave released new information about certain items appearing in their nearly finished anime-inspired game Oni. The new information reveals details on Konoko's arsenal, such as the Phase Cloak and the Force Field.

    For those who don't know, Oni is a single-player blend of action and adventure that combines the best elements of shooters and fighting games into a near-future epic featuring anime-style action and characters.
    The game blends hand-to-hand combat and double-barreled gunplay it also feature a strong a mysterious plot, that will lead Konoko to uncover her past. Here are the details:

    Oni's Power Items:

    Ballistic Ammo: These mission specific projectiles adapt and reload any
    weapon on the battlefield.

    Energy Cell: This energy cell has replaced all portable power sources
    all regions.

    Hypo Spray: These sub-dermal injectors deliver analgesics, stimulants,
    neuro-biological reinforcing agents to extend the maximum

    Phase Cloak: This cloak agitates cellular structure and allows the wearer
    be invisible for 30 seconds.

    Force Shield: This shield acts as an absorbent of any projectiles that
    the body. The shield can only absorb a limited amount of
    punishment before it collapses.

    Scheduled to be released on Mac, PC, and PS2 on January 29th, 2001, the game is currently in beta test and should be wrapping up soon. Expect to hear more about Oni in the next coming weeks, and stay tuned!

    Oni web site
    Gathering of Developers
    IMG Ten new Oni screenshots
    Bungie Studios
    Gathering of Developers
    Buy Oni

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    AvsP Source Code Release?
    10:29 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    While we patiently wait for the Mac OS version of Aliens vs Predator to clear the Quality Assurance department of Fox Interactive, Fastest Game News Online has posted some shocking news: a Fox employee has hinted that the PC source code for this game may be released to the public in the near future.

    Occasionally, when a game is aging and there are no plans to re-use the engine for a commercial product, the source code is released to allow beginning programmers to see how a pro-level product works and alter it to fit their own vision of how the game should be played; this has happened with Quake, Hexen 2, Descent 1&2 and Marathon, producing spectacular results in some cases once programmers began to compile their own versions.

    Here is the report from FGN:

    During an interview on All Game Radio last night, Fox's Kyle Peschel made the announcement that the source code for Aliens Vs. Predator: Gold Edition and the game's engine would be released publicly. He also stated that the official editing tools for AvP would also be released.

    The code and tools that Peschel mentioned are the ones used by Rebellion to create AvP: Gold Edition. As always, the code and tools will be released unsupported.

    The impact of the possible release upon the Mac OS version of this game is unknown at this time; we've contacted Bill Heineman, who ported this game to the Mac OS, for his comments. One positive aspect of this release would be an explosion of new "mods" and maps for this title, which Mac OS players would most likely be able to use if they were made with the official editing tools. In any case, the saga of Mac AvP is not yet over.

    Alien Source Code Soon at FGN Online
    Fox Interactive
    Fox Interactive
    Aliens vs. Predator: Gold

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    Halo Update
    10:14 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

    IMG affiliate Mac Halo has just posted an excerpt of Matt Soell's latest Halo update:

    -Right now our primary goal is a mission that is playable start to finish. Marcus showed me one of the outdoor structures he's working on for this mission, as well as the general environment around it. His words: "Beach to drive around on, cliffs to marvel at."

    - Stephen is working on animations for the AI: surprise, sleep, suspicious sneaking around, that sort of thing. He's also begun the walking animation for a new (non-human) character.
    Head over to Mac Halo to catch all of the latest Halo news and tidbits.

    Mac Halo
    Bungie Studios
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Maximum Pool Carbon Demo
    10:06 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    A demo for Maximum Pool, a 3D pool simulation, is available at However, there is a catch -- it will only run under Mac OS X Public Beta at this time. The demo requires a version of CarbonLib that has not been released by Apple yet; this will be made available when the update to Mac OS 9.1 is released, which reportedly could be any day now.

    This demo was designed to give you a taste of what the full game has to offer. In this demo you play 8-Ball, one of the 12 games from Sierra Sports Maximum Pool. You play with people from all around the world. Arrange to meet your friends and family online!

    Things to look forward to in the full version of Maximum Pool:

    • 12 games--7 Classic games and 5 original Cool games

    • Easy online play

    • Great Music for every game

    • Videos to teach you to play

    • Fun for the Whole Family

    • Suggested retail $29.95
    So, if you are one of the brave souls running Mac OS X Public Beta, be sure to grab this one -- or if you haven't made that leap, wait until 9.1 is released and then come back and download away.

    Maximum Pool Demo (14.9 MB)

    MacMAME 0.37b10
    10:04 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    The latest version of MacMAME has been released, bringing this multiple arcade machine emulator up-to-date with the DOS version and fixing several bugs. Here are the details on this new version:

    0.37b10 - 11 December 2000

    • In sync with the DOS 0.37 beta 10 build. [Brad Oliver]

    • Fixed issue where MacMAME would not launch without the Power Manager.
    [Brad Oliver]

    • Fixed crashing in games that used a 34010 CPU, e.g. S.T.U.N. Runner. [Brad

    • Updated RAVE plugin to work with latest 3dfx hardware. [Ray Swartz]

    In case you were curious, Ray Swartz is an engineer in the Mac development department of 3dfx. If you are a fan of arcade games of yore, be sure and grab this latest version of MacMAME.

    Download MacMAME 0.37b10 (5 MB)

    OS X Versions of Quake Utilities
    9:30 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

    pOx has updated his Quake 1 playhouse with a few new changes and download. He brings us the news that Giles Williams, well known in the Quake community for his utilities such as meQanno and DePacker, has "Carbonized" his tools in order to allow them to run 'native' under Mac OS X Public Beta.

    The site has recently undergone a redesign, and in addition to this he has added a new forum to support all of you Quake fans and developers. Furthermore pOx also found a rather forgotten utility, Qualm a tool used to re-position cameras in saved demos. We would like to point out that Qualm has not been carbonized. If you're into editing the first Quake for Mac, be sure and visit pOx's domain.

    pOx's Play House

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    Diablo II Expansion Q&A
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Daily Radar has scored a nice new interview with Blizzard's Tyler Thompson, lead designer for the Diablo II expansion pack. This add-on for the very popular RPG is due out next year for both Mac and PC and will add two new characters and an entire new Act to play. In the discussion Thompson talks about balancing both the Druid and Assassin characters, new items for the game, and the incredible amount of crunch time which went into making Diablo II a hit. Here's an excerpt:

    DR: Do you prefer one character over the other?

    TT: Well, the Druid is by far my favorite. The most interesting thing right now is his ability to turn into a werewolf or a werebear. When you see the art we have for that and you see it running around in the game, it's pretty cool.

    The Assassin, however, we are still working on, trying to find the most exciting thing about that character. But I enjoy using her traps to develop some strategy for killing monsters.

    Check out the rest of the interview for more on the add-on. As with all Blizzard titles, there's not a definite release date on the expansion set other than the "1st half of 2001." We'll be sure to keep you posted if anything changes.

    Diablo II Expansion Set Page
    Daily Radar Diablo II Add-on Interview
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

    Warren Spector Chat Log Posted
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A chat was held recently at RedHerring with the leading man behind the hit game Deus Ex, Warren Spector. The transcripts from the Q&A are now posted at Deus Ex Incarnate for your reading pleasure, as he gives some great answers to a variety of questions. Topics in the chat include the sequel to Deus Ex due out in two years, changes he would've made to the original, and working with publishers. Here's a slightly more readable clip from the chat:

    Who do you see as the audience for your future games? Hardcore gamers, as seemed to be the case with Deus Ex, or are you going to try to appeal to a newer crowd?

    Well here's the sad true confession... Deux Ex was an attempt to reach a broader audience : ) I think the trick is to provide games that are easy to get into... but reward persistent play

    In other words... You don't want a steep learning curve so casual gamers can start having fun right away... but you want games systems that reward the hard-core gamer who really puts in the time and figures out how to exploit them .

    Diablo I think did that as well as any game ever. You can go through Diablo without worrying too much about your inventory... without worrying about what potions you're carrying can go through Diablo with just click click click like mad. so the casual gamers are happy... but geeks like me can sit there and Mim-max to our hearts content. that's the win

    Much more is discussed, so be sure to head over and give it a read. While the engine for Deus Ex II hasn't yet been announced, Mac users will hopefully get to enjoy it as much as they did the original. When responding to a console-question, Spector does note "I think you'll see us moving to a multiple platform strategy." And usually when developers make games with more than just Windows in mind, the porting process to the Mac is easier. It's still very early in the game's progress, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as anything new becomes available.

    Warren Spector Chat Log

    Mac Games News for Monday, December 11, 2000

    Deus Fortress interview3:56 PM
    MacDeusEx updates3:55 PM
    Westlake to Revamp Space Rogue?2:33 PM
    New Myst III: Exile Movie1:24 PM
    Blizzard on Gaming in 200010:45 AM
    Neverwinter Nights Preview, Images10:36 AM
    X-Plane on Sale9:11 AM
    Sin Gold Now Shipping9:07 AM
    Double Exposure on NMGC9:03 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 11, 2000 on one page

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