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Friday, January 5, 2001

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New Rune Map, Expansion Pack Soon
9:16 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

An official multiplayer map for RUNE has been released by Human Head's designer Dave Halstead, which features a new style of online play. In addition, the site has been updated with news of many future plans for this title, including the release of a free expansion pack with new maps and models.

The new Rune map is quite unusual, in that you have to kill enemy creatures (sort of like bots with computer AI) in order to obtain better weapons and Rune energy, instead of the traditional method of just running to the respawn point. This map may help level the playing field for those with slower connections, as it will take actual skill (and not just a low ping) to get the more powerful weapons that really let you dominate a server, such as the Dwarven weapons.

In addition, Chris Reinhart of Human Head has posted a somewhat defensive and rather long update which addresses the concerns some have had on the PC side about the game's performance and network code. While he seems a bit sensitive about some online critiques of the game, he maintains that they will remain aggressive about supporting the title and have plans for future patches to improve netcode, include new player models (including female ones) and will continue to release new maps as well as the tools to allow third-party mod makers to create them, and to create new skins and models as well.

Near the end of his update, he added some fantastic news for fans of this title. Not only will there be an official multiplayer expansion pack in the future, much like the ones released for Unreal Tournament, but there is another big announcement on the horizon:

To those fans who have remained patient, we thank you. In the next month, we will be releasing a new patch (either 1.03 or 1.04 depending on testing), as well as the aforementioned flat polygon mesh layouts so that people can create their own skins and incorporate them into the game. The new bug fix should address problems connecting between differing versions of the game on multi-player servers, as well as other small problems reported on various systems.

The really big news however, is that we have finally gotten approval from Gathering of Developers on a Rune Add-On pack,. I can't release a lot of details at the moment, but the Add-On pack will be multiplayer focused only, and will include some new modes and maps for the Rune community that we have created ourselves, as well as a couple of new multiplayer characters (including, finally, a really good female character or two). The pack will be out in spring of 2001, and we hope to release details soon. It will be a commercial add-on, but at a reasonable price available in all outlets.

We also have some REALLY big news for Rune that we hope to announce very soon, so watch the board for a big announcement concerning Rune in the next month or two. We can't say anything now, but we are really chomping at the bit to do so and give you lots of details when we finally are allowed to make the announcement.

Ah, one ponders... A Rune console port? A sequel? A massively-multiplayer spinoff? It sounds like we will find out soon! In the meantime, if you are new to Rune be sure and take the time to grab the demo (or grab the MGF CD with the demo pre-downloaded for you!) or read through our review. According to both the reviewers and the reader reviews, this is one title not to be missed.

New Rune Map (DM-DeepUnder) at FilePlanet
Official Rune Downloads Page
Tim Gerritsen's Rune Update
Macgamefiles' CD Order Form
Download Rune Demo (84 MB)
Rune Review
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

MacGameFiles CDs Now Available
5:31 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Have a slow Internet connection or simply don't have time to download the megabytes and megabytes of the recently released demos that have come out recently?, our sister web site, is now making two CD's full of the hottest new demos available for purchase. Here's a listing of both CD's:

MGF Demos Volume 1

• Heavy Metal: FAKK 2

• Oni

• Quake III Team Arena

• Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear

• Rune

• Shogo: Mobile Armor Division

• Sin

• Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

  (Single & Multiplayer)

MGF Demos Volume 2

• 4x4 Evolution

• Bad Milk

• Championship Manager 00/01

• Cro-Mag Rally

• Driver

• Hoyle Casino 2001

• Kawasaki Jet Ski Racing

• Links LS 2000

• Majesty

• Maximum Pool

• Sim Theme Park

• WaterRace

• and much more

Each CD is available for just $9.99 plus shipping. Or order both CD's for $16.

Order MacGameFiles CD-ROMs

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Tropico Preview
4:35 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GamesDomain has posted a preview of the upcoming dictator-sim Tropico.
This game takes the sim genre on a new adventure by making you a dictator on a
tropical island (with at least a few character flaws). Tropico is using an enhanced
version of the Railroad Tycoon II engine, which should give you an idea of it's graphic
capabilities. Your biggest task as dictator will be making decisions to keep your
people from revolting you out of office. Here's a clip with more:

The big question is what means you have to affect the course of the game. Naturally you can build new structures, dozens of them, from bars and spas to churches, from airfields to police stations. You can choose where to place farms, mines and logging camps. While there is no research in the game, and no "technology tree" through the period, different buildings have different pre-requisites that you must meet. You also need to set up houses for your people, construction offices to house your builders, huts for your teamsters. If you've got a lot of stuff to shift, you'll need many such huts. Each building also has options you can set, right down to the dress code in your bars. By choosing locations, and setting wages, you can influence who works where, though all your people will gain skills in certain preferred jobs.
The preview contains shots of the in-game action, menus, and cutscenes, so head
over now to check it out. The Mac version of Tropico should be out late this Spring and is
being done in-house by PopTop themselves.

GamesDomain Tropico Preview
PopTop Software Web Site
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Red Faction Interview
4:29 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new interview with Volition's James Tsai has been posted at GameOver, discussing the upcoming FPS title, Red Faction. It's a lengthy Q&A, covering with many topics such as the game's story, system requirements (for PC), and the much-hyped 'Geo-Mod' engine. In case you haven't heard, the Geo-Mod engine will make many real-world physics possible, allowing you to shoot holes in structures with your weapons (and much more). Vehicles are also a large part of what makes Red Faction so exciting. Here's an excerpt from the interview with more info:

GO: We’ve heard a lot about the vehicles. How many vehicles are there in Red Faction? Are they all drivable? Will the vehicles have individual parts that can be damaged? Will they too be subject to warping and deformation? What kind of weapons will these vehicles be armed with? How complex will the control schemes be?

JT: There are numerous vehicles in Red Faction, all of which the player can take control of at will. For combat, players will see a submersible, fighter, APC, heavy driller, and jeep which all have their own set of armaments. The fighter, for example, has a forward mounted chain-gun and rockets while the submarine has torpedoes. Though the vehicles can be destroyed, we opted not to include damage effects on them (so you can fight with 100% combat effectiveness in the vehicle right up until the moment it’s destroyed). The control schemes should be intuitive and simple to use for anyone familiar with a FPS game, though each will have its own style of handling that will take some adjustment to get used to.

Definitely head over and read through this interview, as there are many great topics discussed. The graphics, storyline and physics of Red Faction make it one of the games to look forward to in 2001. Mac and PC versions will hopefully be out in the first half of this year.

GameOver Red Faction Interview
Red Faction Web Site
Red Faction

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Summoner Preview
12:20 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Computer Games Online has posted a detailed preview of Summoner, the PS2 RPG by Volition which will appear on the Mac and PC early this Spring. The Mac and PC versions of this game will have several differences from the console version, including support for hardware acceleration and higher resolutions (through OpenGL) and the addition of Internet multiplayer support.

In addition to a summary of the plot, the preview also features several new screen shots. Here's an excerpt:

Your character, Joseph, has the unique ability to summon monsters to help him defeat bad guys. In addition, you'll gather three buddies together to form a party of four for adventuring (five, if you count your summoned pet, but they generally shouldn't stay around long). As Joseph progresses through the game, he'll find ancient rings that allow him to summon ever more powerful creatures, and you combine the rings to summon even more different types of monsters. There are around 20 summonables, from minotaurs to imps to stone golems. Joseph's beasts need not just be mindless fighting machines, as many of them have considerable spellcasting prowess. You have to exercise a bit of caution when summoning, since if Joseph is weakened or incapacitated, they can go out of control, being more of a menace than what you expected to fight.
For more information on this title, be sure and read the preview, and vist the official Summoner site as well. Expect this title in Q1 2001, published by THQ.

Summoner Web Site
Summoner Preview at CGO
Buy Summoner

Daily Radar's UT Faves
12:09 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We are very close to the one-year anniversary of Unreal Tournament's debut on the Mac platform, and there is still a huge following surrounding this instant classic. To prove that UT is still thrilling and thriving, Daily Radar has posted a short article which lists their current favorite maps and mods for UT. If you are daunted by the huge amount of add-ons for this game and can't decide which to grab, this article will lead you to some of the best stuff out there right now -- and they have even included screen shots.

Here's their write-up on the Dark Magic mutator:

Although this little mutator has been out for a while, we've only been hip to this one in the last few days, and we really dig it. It's an interesting modification of the death match experience that replaces UT's standard arsenal with spells. All players start with a basic spell book and a magic missile spell that is more irritating to you opponents than it is lethal. However, the spells can increase in potency by using them, collecting spell scrolls or by simply holding on to them.

In addition to gaining spell levels, players can level up as well by fragging hapless bystanders. This will increase the potency of defensive spells, or increase the duration of indirect spells like flight. There are a lot of interesting twists to the usual deathmatch experience and definitely one players should look into for a cool variation on deathmatching.

Be sure and check out the rest of the article for more excellent UT add-ons.

Daily Radar's UT Faves

Club Gathering Launches, Mac CD's Soon
11:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new post at the Adrenaline Vault reports Gathering of Developers have launched a free fan membership called "Club Gathering." Those who sign up will get free promotional CDs, information, and maybe even a "Gathering of Goodness Calendar." This sounds great, especially for Mac gamers who have been blessed with a number of games from Gathering of Developers over the past year. But since a PC demo CD might not be that appealing to Mac users, we contacted GoD's Mike Wilson on the possibility of a Mac CD. Here's what he had to say:

We hope to do a Mac-only version in the very near future... we have been
asking Apple for help with this. Right now, the first CD is PC only. (we're
just getting started with this program, and doing all development

Obviously, we have an incredibly strong Mac lineup to showcase, so we hope
to get this program to the Mac users as soon as possible.

Sounds great to us! It was recently revealed GoD plans to announce Myth III at Macworld next week, so we'll be sure to bring you the latest from this very Mac-friendly publisher.

Club Gathering Web Site
Avault Report on Club Gathering

Island Four Interview
9:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Gamesmania has posted a new interview with Nathan Bitner, a former Bungie employee who started a new company called Island Four. Not much is known about Island Four's plans yet, though they are shooting to have simultaneous Mac/PC releases of whatever they might eventually develop. The interview covers topics like his drive to start a new company, which platforms he hopes to support, and how he feels they can push the gaming envelope. Here's an excerpt with more specifics about their Mac plans:

GM: You mentioned that Mac porting will be done in-house, and ideally you'd like the PC and Mac releases to be simultaneous. Is it important to you that the Mac porting is done in a timely fashion?

NB: I want to make it clear that this is a decision that is always under consideration, and that it is our sincerest hope that this goal will be realized. Promises or guarantees would be ill-advised and superfluous at this point. I just used a really big word.

It is important to me, personally, that important sectors of gaming are not omitted, and Mac gamers should not be ignored only because they are lower in number. Console gamers are yet another issue that has to be considered, but I have always been treated well by both Apple and Microsoft. At this point, it would be ridiculous to alienate anyone at all. More importantly, this is simply a fundamental belief I personally hold.

GM: Do you avoid a lot of hassles by doing the Mac porting in-house?

NB: Actually, it really depends on the programmers. Bungie was able to accomplish this because they had skilled programmers. We intend to have the same. I would like to maintain as much control over the first game as possible.

Be sure to head over and read through the rest of the interview. While it's still very early in the development stages to be asking about Mac support, it's good the people in charge have such a Mac-friendly attitude.

GamesMania Island Four Interview

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IMG Reviews Majesty
9:35 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

We have posted our second review of the new year, this time proving a critical appraisal of Cyberlore's RTS Majesty, ported and published by the recently-reborn MacPlay. Our reviewer found much to like in this unusual and visually stunning title, but we're eager to hear your reader reviews as well, so be sure to submit one!

Here's an excerpt:

Majesty's separation from the "do-this, do-that" mentality provides a unique flavor. Instead of ordering your troops into the fray, you give them the option to do so. You can provide monetary incentives for troops to explore uncharted wilderness, or to go and vanquish an enclave of the enemy. While you still control which buildings are built by your henchmen, you don't always control their occupants. Your subjects have a great deal of free will, which they exercise frequently (often to your chagrin as sovereign).

Another piece of the Majesty puzzle is the tech tree that comes with it. You can have Dwarves, Warriors of Discord, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues, Elves, Cultists, Priestesses, Monks and Healers. And that's just a small sampling of what's available. While the trees for technology themselves are short, they provide ample coverage for most of the single player levels. Only during network play do they feel far too short. Majesty's diversity is its lifeblood, there are so many different paths to take.

Make sure you read the rest of the review for more details, and download the demo for a personal look at this unique title. Majesty is now in stores, and we've seen it for as cheap as $32.00 online, so shop around!

Majesty Demo (32.2 MB)
IMG Reviews Majesty

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Q3Team Arena FAQ
9:28 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

id Software has released an informal (you'll see what we mean) FAQ for their just-released expansion pack known as Quake 3: Team Arena. While many of the issues they address with this list of questions are PC-only (such as Direct3D issues) there are indeed some questions that may be pertinent to Mac users, such as CD Key issues. The FAQ is extensive, and answers many a gamer's "WTF??".

Here's an excerpt:

Q: "When I run Team Arena, I sometimes see missing graphics and textures disappearing. What is going on?"

A: Shader parsing in 1.27 is much more strict than in past versions of Quake3, we no longer accept invalid keywords and we require matching braces etc. This means if you have a pak file from a model or a mod or a map that contains a missing ending brace on a shader def, the remaining shaders in that pak will NOT be visible to the game. This change was made as it significantly improved level load times.

If you are missing shaders or textures you need to remove NON-id content pak files ) until the problem goes away or do a clean install from CD an then add-in your community content until the problem shows up. That is the quickest way to isolate where the problem is coming from.


Q: "I have a system with more than 64MB of RAM, is there anything I can do to make the game take advantage of that?"

A: com_soundmegs and com_zonemegs can be adjusted to provide better performance on systems with more than 64mb of memory. The default configuration is set to allow the game to run on a 64 MB system.

On a 128 MB system we would run with the following:

com_hunkMegs - 64

com_soundMegs - 16

com_zoneMegs - 24

A dedicated server will not benefit from com_soundMegs and it can be set to something like 8.

Be sure and check the FAQ to see if any of your questions about this expansion are answered.

Quake 3 Team Arena FAQ
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

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Baldur's Gate Multiplayer in Alpha Testing
8:37 AM | Jay Swartzfeger | Comment on this story

Mac Baldur is reporting that the multiplayer patch for Baldur's Gate will soon begin alpha testing. This is a closed alpha test, so please do not e-mail GraphSim asking to take part in the testing. Head over to Mac Baldur to read all of the details concerning the multiplayer patch.

The Macintosh version of Baldur's Gate shipped in July 2000 with multiplayer capabilities disabled in order to release the game in a timely manner. The addition of multiplayer support will greatly extend the replay value of this title for current owners, and is highly anticipated to say the least. For more information on Baldur's Gate, visit Mac Baldur or read our review of this title.

Baldur's Gate Review
Mac Baldur
Baldur's Gate

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 4, 2001

Myth III Announcment at Macworld2:01 PM
Monster Hunter 1.0 Released11:15 AM
Alliance 2.1 Released for Q310:22 AM
id Update on Q3, Team Arena for OS X10:15 AM
Mac Doom Legacy Update10:12 AM
Mac Deus Ex Multiplayer Still Undecided10:08 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 4, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, January 3, 2001
Tuesday, January 2, 2001
Friday, December 29, 2000
Thursday, December 28, 2000
Wednesday, December 27, 2000

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