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Monday, January 8, 2001

Crazy Car Championship... For Mac?
9:57 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Synaptic Soup has announced their first game, Crazy Car Championship. The game will be powered by their new multi-platform engine Cipher, which also runs on the Mac OS. Players will be able to choose from nine different characters, a variety of card, 18 powerups, cross-platform LAN and Online multiplayer games.

We spoke to Synpatic Soup's Development Director Vince Farquharson to find out if a Mac version was in the cards. He told us that due to the nature of Cipher's multi-platform engine, they can make a Mac version quickly. The main decision here will take place in the hands of the publishers and what they want. Currently Farquharson is talking to different publishers and there is no final decision as of yet. Cipher originally took 3 days to port a running version onto MacOS; this is a great example of Cipher's portability.

Here are details on the game:

Crazy Car Championship sees players building spectacular hybrid vehicles from weird and wonderful components in a driving game that has been described as “Jules Verne meets Flash Gordon in The Cannon Ball Run”. Races take place upon a series of flying islands and the game sees everything from steam-powered hovercrafts to quantum powered hot-rods competing in a no holds barred power-up-fest where frenetic gameplay and stunning scenery vie for the players attention.

Crazy Car Championship is the first game to use Synaptic Soup’s multi-format Cipher engine and is set to deliver sumptuous graphics, high frame rates and lightning-fast LAN and Internet play.

The game has been built from the ground up for Internet support and will feature easily accessible cross-platform, high speed, multiplayer gaming, as well as a superior single player experience.

Vince Farquharson, Development Director for Synaptic Soup commented “Crazy Car Championship exemplifies the kind of high tech, high impact titles that we want to bring to gamers. It’s pure escapist gameplay in a snazzy set of pants and that’s pretty much what we’re about. “

Karl Wickens, Art Director for Synaptic Soup commented ”Part of Synaptic Soup’s mission is to create visually arresting and technically stunning games. The power of the Cipher engine has allowed the art team unprecedented flexibility to create the kind of no compromise graphics we’ve been striving for in recent years. We’re all very excited by the possibilities that Cipher has opened up for us.”

Synaptic Soup promises a lot of fun with Crazy Car Championship. If you wish to know more about the team behind the game, check out our interview.

IMG Synaptic Soup Interview
Synaptic Soup

Shogo M.A.D Demo Updated
3:42 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Hyperion Software, the company responsible for the port of Shogo M.A.D has released an updated demo for their game. Numbered 1.0.2, this version has the following fixes:

  • GameRanger support

  • Improved performance

  • Sound handling improved for low end machines

  • Fix: free texture bug

  • Fix: small memory leak
  • Although Shogo was completed last month, many gamers eager to purchase this game have not been able to do so because Titan Computer, the games publisher is based in Germany. Currently, no distributer in the United States has secured rights to it, but we are sure that a deal is in the works.

    Shogo Demo 1.0.2 (41.3 MB)
    Shogo Demo 1.0.2 Updater (1.8 MB)

    Test Team Arena Cheat Fix
    3:17 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Following the reports of a bug in Quake 3: Team Arena that allowed players to become invincible with the Guard powerup, Todd Hollenshead of id Software updated his .plan with news that they have have set up a Team Arena server with a beta patch that fixes the bug. Todd asks that anyone who wants to help test the new sever-side patch can log on to any of id's Team Arena servers. Here is the rest of the .plan update:

    We're testing a new beta server-side executable that stops the "Guard" exploit. If you want to help us try it out, come and join on one of the following:






    We'll probably jump on the Terrain server here in a little bit to maybe play a little id vs. everyone CTF and monitor the stability of the executable.

    You don't have to download anything new since it's server only. Just join and play.

    If you have any feedback specific to the server patch, please email it to and put "New Executable Feedback" in the subject line. Please DO NOT email id employees directly as your feedback will just get lost.

    If you think you can beat id at their own game, log on a start fragging away! Remeber that to play Team Arena on the Mac, you need to buy the PC version and download the 1.27g beta patch.

    Download Quake 3 1.27g beta Patch
    Todd Hollenshead's .plan

    Starglow Games' Starshine EX
    9:00 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

    Starglow games, a Scandinavian Gaming Company, has announced their first release, Starshine EX, a Sci-Fi adventure game set in a future where cellphones and SETI transmissions have attracted destructive aliens called the Ta'gyoud. This Mac-only game will be completed sometime next year. Here is a description of this title:

    Man had been spurting radio waves and other transmissions into outer space for decades, but the overwhelming success of mobile telephones in Europe and Japan was what did the trick. An alien race called the Ta'gyoud picked up the cacophony of phone calls and SETI transmissions, and sent a fleet to conquer this rather interesting planet, which was located in a previously very uninteresting corner of the galaxy.

    In a matter of seconds, most of Earth's largest cities were in ruins, crushed into piles of rock and metal, and millions - no - billions had died. In an instant, Earth was at war with an unknown enemy.

    While there is no detail on what specific type of game this is, Real Time Strategy seems to be the best bet. Starglow should be releasing Starshine EX sometime in 2001.

    Starglow Web Site

    Click to enlarge
    Apple Starts Livin' Large
    8:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    In a note related to our SimsForMac announcement, Apple's Games section has posted an article covering the Sims add-on pack Livin' Large. This feature covers some of what you'll find in this expansion for The Sims, with quotes from creator Will Wright and Aspyr's Michael Rogers. Here's a very interesting excerpt about an online version of the game:

    There are no plans right now to release another Sims expansion pack, but fans shouldn’t worry that that will spell the end of the Sims franchise: Wright and his team at Maxis are hard at work on an online version of the game that will consist of a gigantic Simville, complete with a large array of communities and plenty of interactive activities.  

    While Wright can’t divulge any details about the online version right now, he is willing to acknowledge that the work the fans have put into the game won’t go for naught. “We’re trying to make most of the custom fan content compatible with the online version,” he says. “Our fans have put a tremendous amount of creative energy into this stuff and I hope that the online version will help solidify and extend the life of our existing community of players and fans.”

    An online version would surely be a huge hit for fans of the genre, and we'll be sure to bring you any new info on this future title. There are also many links to other Sims resources around the web in the article, so be sure to check it out. And also head to our favorite resource, SimsForMac.

    Apple Looks at Livin' Large
    SimsForMac Web Site
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims: Livin' Large

    Lance Dev Update, Looking for Support
    8:49 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend the author of the long-promised RPG Lance, a 2D massively-multiplayer RPG only for the Mac, offered an update on his progress. Unfortunately, not much has been happening with Lance as of late, because the developer has little time to devote to the game; so he is calling on fans to help out.

    He hopes to get 200 gamers to buy an early copy of Lance, which is currently "beta quality;" this will then give him enough money to live and work exclusively on finishing the project. This is an interesting idea, and may be the only way to see this independent game to completion. And if you are one of these early supporters, you are promised a voice in how the game is developed. Here's an excerpt from the site with programmer Ryan Joseph giving more specifics:

    The mission is to find enough money to pay my bills so I can work on Lance full time. If I put in maybe not even 1-2 months of solid full-time development time into Lance it could be done and that is a very realistic dead line. I have a very good piece of Lance already complete and it is very playable it's just missing a lot of the bells and whistles I originally planned.

    I would need 200 people to make a order the software at $30 a copy and pay $5-9 once a month to pay for the server but under the one condition that the software is beta quality. I can't promise you all a response to your emails but I can promise a system to keep the community of players, game masters and myself a chance to all be heard and a chance to effect the world of Lance on a personal level. So in addition to getting a game you want you will have a chance to be part of the team.

    Check out the Lance site for a complete rundown of features already implemented in the game and those that are still to come. If you deem it worthy, you might speak up and give this project a chance to live.

    Lance Web Site

    Click to enlarge
    SimsForMac Joins IMG Network
    8:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Today we're proud to announce the great fan site SimsForMac has joined the IMG network. Sporting a redesigned look and new forum, SimsForMac is now better than ever, and your one-stop-shop for everything concerning The Sims or the Livin' Large expansion pack.

    Several new files have also been posted to the site recently. One is a new skin which features Brad Pitt's head, for those times you're trying to re-create Fight Club with your Sims. The other is a neat new SoundJam script from Gerald Sims which allows you to listen to MP3s while playing the sims. Here are the details:

    What the script does is create aliases of MP3 music files based on a SoundJam MP playlist so that you can listen to your chosen songs within the Sims (by playing the radio/stereo). What the script does is take the top most playlist window in SoundJam and then makes an alias for each of these MP3 files within a specified Sims music folder. You have to either locate the folder you want when you run the script or you can set the path to that folder in the script editor. The script also asks if you want to trash the existing aliases in that folder, so you can start fresh. If not it will simply add them.
    Sounds like a great idea! And remember, user submissions like these are what make SimsForMac a great site.

    SimsForMac Web Site
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    The Sims
    Buy The Sims

    Mac Games News for Friday, January 5, 2001

    MacGameFiles CDs Now Available5:31 PM
    Tropico Preview4:35 PM
    Red Faction Interview4:29 PM
    Summoner Preview12:20 PM
    Daily Radar's UT Faves12:09 PM
    Club Gathering Launches, Mac CD's Soon11:00 AM
    Island Four Interview9:53 AM
    IMG Reviews Majesty9:35 AM
    Q3Team Arena FAQ9:28 AM
    New Rune Map, Expansion Pack Soon9:16 AM
    Baldur's Gate Multiplayer in Alpha Testing8:37 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 5, 2001 on one page

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