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Monday, February 12, 2001

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New Info on Myst 3 Ages
9:19 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Myst III: Exile web site has been updated with new information regarding the five Ages, or worlds, within the game. Each of the five Ages has a short description and its own section of the site's image gallery. Though some of the galleries contain only a few images, the shots are stunnning, and very much worth a look for any Myst or Riven fan. Here's a quick break-down of the first three of the five:

  • Tomahna: Atrus and Catherine's new home, Tomahna sits like a flowering oasis at the edge of a rolling desert landscape.
  • J'nanin: Sometimes described as a rock-climber's paradise, J'nanin is an elliptical-shaped island in which towering granite cliffs and strange, tusk-like formations surround a freshwater caldera.
  • Voltaic: Voltaic is a dusty world of sand and sky, water and wind; a place where strange obviously manmade constructions poke out of an otherwise dry and desolate landscape.
  • For the rest of the info and to check out the screen shots, head to the Myst III: Exile site. The game is currently sheduled for a simultaneous Mac and PC release on April 16, but this date has moved several times; we'll keep you posted if anything new on that date appears. Be sure to check out IMG's preview of the game for the full scoop on the new technologies and storyline being used in this threequel.

    Myst III: Exile Ages
    IMG Preview of Myst III: Exile
    Presto Studios
    Myst III: Exile
    Buy Myst III: Exile

    MacMoorhuhn Shooting Game Released
    4:51 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Rene Trost, best known for his system benchmark ThroughPut, has completed a port of Moorhuhn, a Duck Hunt-like (if you remember from the days of NES) shooting game. In Moorhuhn, you are given a minute and a half to shoot down as many chickens as possible, all while avoiding planes and hot air balloons. And yes, these chickens fly!

    Moorhuhn was written in 100% PowerPC assembler and features 6-layer
    parallax scrolling graphics and 3D sound. The game requires a PPC
    with 32 MB RAM, MacOS 8.6 and DrawSprocket 1.7.3 or later to run. In Germany, the game has been downloaded over 5000 times in three days.

    For more information, visit the MacMoorhuhn website. Although it's currently in German, Rene tells us that the site will be translated to English soon. You can download the freeware game at MacGameFiles.

    Download MacMoorhuhn at MGF
    MacMoorhuhn Website

    Tropico to Feature Over 80 Structures
    4:16 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Gathering of Developers sent a press release to us today with word that more 80 structures will be available for use in Tropico, PopTop Software's strategy/simlulation game. Here are a just a few types of structures that you will be able to contruct in Tropico.

  • Residential -- Housing provides shelter for the population and ensures citizens' happiness.

  • Industrial -- Factories employ workers, emit pollution and produce
    resources for local use and trade.

  • Agricultural -- Farms employ workers and produce food to keep the
    populace healthy and well fed.

  • Mining -- Mines employ workers and provide resources for local use and trade.

  • Tourism -- Resort hotels and spas boost the economy with tourists?

  • Governmental -- Government buildings express the authority of the

  • Trade -- Ports, airports and roadways allow trade and communication
    with the outside world.
  • Sounds a bit like SimCity, doesn't it? In Tropico, you will have to do much more than manage the demands of different building zones. As the dictator of a remote Carribean island, you must also consider building placement as well. For example, farms should be placed in areas with
    fertile soil, good rainfall, appropriate elevation and close proximity to existing towns, so that food may be grown and the population fed. Put them in the desert, and your crops are sure to die out. For more information on Tropico, visit PopTop's website.

    Tropico Website

    Myth III Team Interview at
    9:36 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story has opened their doors to the world as one of the first real fansites for the upcoming game Myth III: The Wolf Age. As part of the in the site-opening is an interview with Mumbo Jumbo (nee Ritual) developers "Santa's Head," "iggy the popp" and "fisj" -- three names that will be quite familiar to those who download maps and mods for Myth I and II. Included in the first part of this interview are details about the team's choice to use the potentially-outdated Myth II engine and many other subjects. Here is an excerpt:

    MWA: As part of the Microsoft buyout of Bungie, GoD got the use of the Halo engine for two possible games. What made the Myth II engine the choice over this much wanted and anticipated Halo engine for Myth III?

    Santa's Head: Two factors really: First, the Halo engine won't be out for a very long time. Second, Scott wrote up a proposal for Take 2 to look at and together with Mark and Ron from Ritual, formed Mumbo Jumbo, which beat out four other companies for the rites to do "Myth III." The other companies wanted to do some interesting things, like making Myth III a mostly resource based game, which may have gotten an 'odd' community response.

    Although Myth III is still in early development, their aggressive release schedule will supposedly allow the game to be on shelves in Christmas of 2001. Watch for the second half of this interview, coming soon.
    Myth III: The Wolf Age Official Web Site

    Sharky Extreme Interview: NVidia
    9:08 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

    Sharkey Extreme has posted an interview with 3D chip manufacturer NVIDIA. As is usual on this hardware-focused site, the interview addresses various deeply technical issues in their cards, but there is a question on one of the pages that has direct bearing on the Mac gaming community:

    Duo asks: Will you continue to produce Mac-compatible cards in the near future (i.e. GF2U, NV20)? Will the Mac versions be released at the same time as their PC counterparts?

    NVIDIA: All of our future products will be designed with inherent MAC support. However we cannot comment specifically on products that have not been announced.

    Although the interview assumes much knowledge about NVIDIA and their upcoming projects, it may still be an interesting read for those of us that are just getting to know this company who has recently leapt the gap to the Mac platform.

    Sharkey Extreme Interview: NVidia (Mac Section)

    MOO3 Dev Update, Interview
    9:06 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    The third in the Master of Orion series, affectionately called MOO3, is receiving much attention lately now that developement for the game is ramping up. Both GameSpy and the German site Spieleflut have posted articles recently about the title. The GameSpy piece gives a quick update from Quicksilver's Cory Nelson on where the game stands right now. The fans are crying out to know how they're doing, and from Nelson's report, things are looking good. Here's a clip:

    The technology system has also been created and so you can go in and research items. Space combat works in its more basic form and once we get the ship design screens in we'll be working on some heavy balancing of it as well as the more advanced features (area effect weapons, specials etc).

    Really what we've been concentrating on is getting all of these core elements completed. Once we had a galaxy we could create population and place them, now that population grows and we have the technology engine in place we can do production, and building queues. Everything in MOO3 relies on one another so we needed to really nail down these first few items in order to allow us to move forward effectively. Also, having the galaxy created and the beginnings of the game coming together is giving all of us all a really good idea of what the game is going to look like when it's done -- so far it's been a lot of fun to watch. We'd love to show everyone but… well… screenshots in a few months maybe.

    Is does look like GameSpy has some new characters from the game, so head over as well to check out the pics.

    The Q&A at Spieleflut also talks with Cory Nelson, along with coworkers Bill FIsher, Alan Emrich, and Tom Hughes. It's a quick interview covering a variety of topics, thought it's obvious the interviewer was a fan of the original two MOO games. Here's an excerpt with more on the game's status:

    How far in the development are you, better to say on what are you working right now?

    Cory Nelson remarks: Right now, we’re into month 13 of about 24. Currently we’re working on the AI for constructing buildings and for research and technology. The visuals for ship combat are also getting real hot right now. Finally, there’s a lot of fill-in work going on for the design. The design team has been working on religious persecution, space travel, population migration this past week.

    Check out the rest of the interview for more tidbits of info from the Quicksilver team. Master of Orion 3 is set to be released for the Mac early next year and will be published by MacSoft.

    GameSpy MOO3 Development Update
    Spieleflut Interview with Quicksilver
    Quicksilver Software
    Master of Orion III
    Buy Master of Orion III

    Mac DoomLegacy 1.0 Released; Heretic Next?
    8:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, programmer Calum Robinson released version 1.0 of his OpenGL Mac DoomLegacy project. This version should fix a few more bugs from the previous build, though he still plans on updating DoomLegacy with networking, OS X support, and to keep it current with the PC version of the game. Since the source code is free, he considers the game Post-card-ware and asks any and all who enjoy it to send him a note. The address is included in the game's ReadMe file. Certain incompatibilities may exist between the application and other extensions like SnapzPro or Norton Utilities, so if you have troubles try cleaning your system extensions folder.

    DoomLegacy is also capable of running other third-party mods like the Goldeneye (a take-off of the N64 version of the game). Installation is just a matter of placing the two wad files in your folder (in this case, gold64.wad and ge64levs.wad), and adding "-file
    gold64.wad ge64levs.wad" to the commandline.cfg text file. The same should work with other mods out there.

    Another update to the DoomLegacy page includes three screen shots of what appears to be Heretic, with only the words "What you can expect soon" given as an explanation. Heretic was originally a PC-only game by Raven Software, though it was open-sourced (much like id has done with Doom and Quake 1) so that 3rd party developers could tinker and enhance its code. When it was originally released, Brad Oliver (of Westlake Interactive and MacMAME fame) ported the game to the Mac. Now it appears Robinson is taking it up as another project, likely adding OpenGL support and other features missing from the original. When more concrete details are learned, we'll be sure to pass them along. For now, you can grab DoomLegacy 1.0 at Macgamefiles and check out Brad Oliver's page to download his earlier version of Heretic.

    OpenGL Mac DoomLegacy Web Site
    Download Mac DoomLegacy 1.0
    Mac Heretic Web Site

    Proposal to Regulate M-Rated Games Uncovered
    6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Even as Gamecenter is closing its doors, the news hounds are still hard at work. Late last Friday, Gamecenter obtained a document authored by the IDSA (Interactive Digital Software Association) which is titled "Draft Guidelines Addressing Marketing Of Mature Rated Games To Persons Under 17". This document outlines a proposal to place stringent restrictions on the way M-rated games are marketed. Here is an analysis of the different market segments made by the authors of the proposal:

  • Print (including game publications): Ads for Mature-rated games may not be placed in magazines where 45 percent or more of the readers are under 17.

    Analysis: By our count, there are only three magazines in the industry whose audience does not fit this profile.

  • TV advertising: Ads for Mature-rated games may not be placed on programs where 35 percent or more of the viewers are under 17.

    Analysis: By this definition, a game such as Resident Evil could not be advertised on MTV.

  • Internet ads: Paid ads for M-rated games shall not be placed on Web sites where 45 percent or more of the visitors are under 17.

    Analysis: The document states that Media Metrix data will be used to establish the demographic of Web site audiences. Considering how many fan sites are too small for Media Metrix to measure, this could make it impossible for any independent sites to secure advertising revenue.
  • According to GameCenter, this document is to be presented to the United States Federal Trade Commission. This seems to be related to the recent use of the video game industry as a scapegoat for the wave of violent outbursts by teenagers. Strangely enough, this discovery was made shortly after the Office of the Surgeon General released a report that stated in part that media violence does not seem to trigger violent behavior in adolescents compared to other factors such as poverty or childhood physical abuse.

    Head to GameCenter for the rest of their analysis and a copy of the proposal. Be sure to voice your opinion on our forums: should Mature-rated games be treated like R-rated films in this fashion, even though they contain no foul language or nudity? Would this regulation really effect the game industry, or would it in certain cases increase the allure of Mature-rated games to minors -- an effect mirrored in the movie industry as well?

    IDSA poised to regulate marketing of M-rated games?
    IDSA Proposal

    New Rogue Spear Mods
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Rogue Spear clan and modification team named *DAMN has sent us word of a new update to their site. They bring news that three new mods have been converted from PC to Mac, which is great for fans of this sequel to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. The first is a skin pack called Uniform Essentials, originally from Team HAK, which is said to be one of the best third party skin compilations available. The second is Lloyds Weapons Mod 6.0, a pack with over 300 weapon models sortable by region. It also has new ammo, textures, and sounds, so be sure to give it a look as well.

    The third mod ported to the Mac by *DAMN is CounterStrike 2, which was originally from United Mod Makers. It has many exciting features, here's a clip from the site with more info:

    CS2 includes 76 Primary weapons - all new primary weapons, plus new images and new models for original primary weapons. 25 Secondary weapons - includes all new secondary weapons plus new images and models for old secondary weapons. New reticules for all weapons. All new, more realistic sound effects. This weapon mod is at least as good as Nishis Model Mod 7.0. It is very hard to compare these and I hope Bondo will do a comparison soon. Both mods are very realistic but CS2 uses less grenade threwer. A huge plus is the nice menu, the well designed crosshairs and great special items(!!!!).
    Rogue Spear owners should definitely head over to the *DAMN site for much more infomation on these and other modifications. Go to their download section to grab a couple and try them out now.

    *DAMN Mod Section

    Mac Games News for Friday, February 9, 2001

    Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord Updated2:52 PM
    Surgeon General: Media Not Responsible for Violence1:17 PM
    Total Annihilation Beta Patch Released10:14 AM
    Tropico in Testing9:59 AM
    Q3 Eternal Arena Updated9:07 AM
    Targetware Aims at the Mac8:48 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 9, 2001 on one page

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