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Monday, February 19, 2001

Shadowbane Beta Update
8:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Wolfpack's official site for their upcoming massively-multiplayer online RPG, Shadowbane, has been updated recently with a lengthy step-by-step walkthrough of the actual playing experience -- and you might be interested to know that he was playing the Mac OS version of this title. As we noted several weeks ago, the game just recently entered beta testing phase; at some future point the original closed pool of beta testers will be expanded to include more Mac users.

The update was done by a writer for the team, who takes you through the basics of getting a game started. Through screen shots and text he describes the process of creating a character, exploring the world, and interacting with other users. Here' s a clip that shows how the game's GUI will be customizable to your needs:

After walking around and getting my bearings, I met my first fellow tester Ė an Irekei named Yllek.† Very helpful, if somewhat rude.† I don't know what level he is, but he looks like he's fairly well off.† Anyway Ė Yllek agreed to group with me to give me some help starting out (groups divide experience from all kills, can divide treasure, and also grant an experience bonus based on the size of the group). I'm also linked to the Brellamere Guild Tree, joining the local Nation. Now that Iím a member, I seem to get more experience, and recover faster.

As long as Iím optimizing, I figure Iíll adjust the transparency of my map window, move my two power buttons (aggressive and defensive stance: the beginning Fighter powers) off of the Command HUD where I can get to them. Iíll also move two more social buttons Ė the heroic flex and Variosí favorite, the infamous crotch chop. You never know when youíll have to be rudeÖ Okay, so hereís my finished screen configuration. One command and it's saved for next time.

The rest of the piece is very interesting for those of us that can't actually participate in the closed beta. Shadowbane does have many Mac-friendly developers on the team, so we should be seeing a simultaneous release when it is completed (hopefully) later this summer.

IMG News: Shadowbane Mac Beta, Details
Shadowbane Beta Journal
Wolfpack Studios

Duane Johnson Joins MacPlay/Mumbo Jumbo
2:07 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Mumbo Jumbo has sent word that they have just hired the man that ported Descent 3 and Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force to Mac OS, Duane Johnson. He will work convert certain PC and console games to Mac OS 9 and OS X. Johnson had worked for various companies in the past such as 3dfx Interactive and NASA -- yes, an actual rocket scientist. Here are the details:

DALLAS, TX -- February 19, 2001 -- Mumbo Jumbo announced today the hiring of
Duane Johnson to its Macintosh conversion team. Johnson will reprogram
best-selling games written for Microsoft Windows and game consoles for play
on Apple's Classic Mac OS, and the forthcoming Mac OS X.

Prior to joining Mumbo Jumbo, Johnson was a Macintosh programmer at 3dfx
Interactive. Before 3dfx, Johnson was an aerospace engineer for 15 years at
NASA, where he designed astronaut training software, and helped create the
docking target for the first US docking mission with the Russian space
station, Mir. During his final two years at NASA, Johnson converted
industry-leading games to the Mac OS, including Descent 3, Baldur's Gate,
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, and Tales of the Sword Coast, an expansion
pack for Baldur's Gate.

Johnson joins Mumbo Jumbo's world class team of game programming experts led
by Mark Dochtermann, President of Mumbo Jumbo. The team is currently
porting the blockbuster hits scheduled for MacPlay's stellar 2001 lineup.

"Duane brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Mumbo Jumbo's Macintosh
programming team. His in depth Macintosh programming skills will enhance
the team's ability to bring high quality product to market to meet MacPlay's
aggressive publishing schedule." said Mark Dochtermann, President of Mumbo
Jumbo. "We're also confident that Duane will greatly enhance Mumbo Jumbo's
ability to deliver Mac OS X versions of MacPlay's 2001 releases."

MacPlay and Mumbo Jumbo are certainly creating a powerhouse team of developers, and we can't wait to see what they come up with. Future releases from MacPlay include Baldur's Gate II and Sacrifice.


Click to enlarge
Mac DS9: The Fallen Status Update
1:14 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Recently IMG reported that Compuexpert began taking pre-orders for the long-awaited Mac OS version of Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, a third-person action/adventure title set in the Star Trek universe. This Simon and Schuster title has been out for quite some time for the PC platform, but the Mac OS version has been delayed by various technical barriers.

At last report, the primary reason behind the delay was the lack of an MP3 playback library for the game; the PC version used Miles Sound Library, which until recently was PC-only. Now we have received word from Collective Studios' Doug Hare that this roadblock has been removed, and the game may go into final testing soon:

We now have the BETA version of the Miles sound library in the game and as
soon as we get the final version (hopefully next week) the game will go into
final test.

So not long hopefully.

This is excellent news for those anticipating this much-praised Trek title. For more information on DS9, be sure to read our preview of the title.

Last 20 IMG Stories on Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Preview
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

Click to enlarge
Rob Bartel Interview on NWN
10:46 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

X-Treme Gaming Radio has posted an interview with Bioware's Rob Bartel, co- designer of the upcoming online RPG Neverwinter Nights. The interview includes some new screen shots, but mainly revolves around general questions about NWN. Fans of Bioware's other titles will be pleased to note that you may import Baldur's Gate characters into NWN, allowing for certain changes. Here's an update on the game's progress:

What work remains on NWN?

Well, the engine's more or less in place but we still have an actual game to make. The official campaign, while thoroughly planned out, still needs to be implemented. This means not only the modules themselves, but also all of the items, spells, creatures, scripts, and dialog that make up those modules. A project of this scope takes a lot of time to construct and, while we have the bulk of the work behind us, we still have a lot ahead of us, too.

Bioware is doing the Mac OS conversion in-house. Check out our interview with Trent Oster for more in-depth information bout NWN; the game itself isn't expected until the end of the summer.

Bioware corporation
IMG Trent Oster interview
Neverwinter Nights
NWN interview at X-Treme Gaming Radio
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

GLTron Updated to 0.6
10:01 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Darrell Walisser has updated his Mac OS port of GLTron, a freeware, open-source cross-platform attempt to create a game based on the famous light cycle race from the movie Tron. This new version includes many changes both cosmetic and otherwise.

From a technical standpoint, GLTron is now 100% based on SDL -- Simple Direct Media Layer, a cross-platform game and application API which is touted as an alternative to Microsoft's DirectPlay. There is also added support for "art packs" of alternate textures, a "skybox," transparent light cycle trails and even mouse control.

Cosmetically the game resembles the movie scenes much more accurately, but it begins with many settings that run contrary to that film's rendition. With the default settings, the arena is too small, the camera view is useless, enemy cycle's trails don't disappear (a vital element of the movie) and the screen resolution is low. Make sure you explore all the nested options for this title and tweak it to your liking; unfortunately this version doesn't seem to save its settings. Programmers interested in this project will be delighted to know that the complete source code is included.

GLTron Web Site
GLTron .06 (1.6 MB)

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Q3:TA Map Pack Update
9:12 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

Recently id software released an official map pack for their latest title, the expansion pack Quake 3: Team Arena. This free map pack contain famous Q3A CTF maps that have been converted and modified to work with Team Arena, a version of Q3A that focuses on teamplay. However the initial release of this pack contained a few bugs; clipping errors were found in the original version of "An Iteration of Hell." Here are some details:

The original version of An Iteration of Hell (hal9000_ta.bsp) included in TA_Mappak1 contained a pair of clipping errors. These have been repaired and the map file has been updated to hal9000_b_ta.bsp. The config scripts to run the maps have been updated to run the revised map and a revised html document has also be included. Both files also contain a text readme file with installation instructions.
You can download either the updated version of " An Iteration of Hell" or download the newly-updated map pack itself.

Team Arena Map Pack 1 Full (15 MB, Mirrors)
"An Iteration of Hell" Update (Mirrors, at Blues)
Quake 3: Team Arena Demo (120 MB)
id Releases Team Arena Map Pack
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

Fly! 2 Preview
9:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

CGO has written up a preview of Fly! 2, the sequel to the
popular flight simulator from Terminal Reality and Gathering of
. The sequel will include many improvements over the original, and
will be available later this year for both Mac and PC. The preview
includes interview question with the with lead designer for the game, Richard Harvey, about their start with Fly!, improvements to eye candy
in Fly! 2, and how the game will be easier to get started -- after all, there is such a thing as too much realism. Here's an excerpt:

"With Fly!," Harvey explains, "the manual was basically an instruction for
flying a real plane. It didn't explain how to use the product, and people got

"This time, we'll have a tutorial copilot calling things out, and a tutorial
script with a trainer pilot, so that people can right get in and start playing
without the manual."

"We're hopeful that Fly! 2 will attract both hardcore and casual gamers,"
Goss adds. "We've tried to design for both, and the adventure mode and
multiplayer should help. With the adventure mode, we're trying to push the
entertainment value, and the co-pilot can handle all the mundane systems,
or you can do it all yourself. We're not removing any of the systems we
had in the original, but we're adding layers on top of that so that new users
don't have to do everything."

The rest of the preview/interview is very informative, so be sure to give it a
look if you're interested in Mac flight sims. GoD will be publishing the game
for both Mac and PC later this summer.

GoD Fly! 2 Web Site
CGO Preview of Fly! 2

Click to enlarge
Blizzard Interviews
8:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two interviews with Blizzard staff have recently been posted, concerning their popular (and sure-to-be popular) games Diablo II and Warcraft III. Well-known employee Bill Roper has been interviewed by Quarter To Three, discussing the third in the Warcraft series and the upcoming Diablo II expansion pack. The Q&A is split into two parts, and it covers a variety of topics on both titles. The Warcraft III interview is interesting, as this title is compared to Bungie's (now Take Two's) Myth series, which Roper says will feel similar. Here's an excerpt:

Qt3: Did you play Myth? Warcraft 3ís battles strike us as possibly being a lot like Mythís with the emphasis on small unit tactics. Is there a comparison here?

Roper: I played hundreds of hours of Myth. I think in Myth, though, the challenge was to get really good with the camera. We have a fixed camera in Warcraft 3, so itís tough for me to draw a well thought-out comparison. If you liked that feel in Myth, that level of control, you definitely get that same kind of feeling in our game, however.

Definitely head over and check out the rest of Roper's answers if you're looking forward to these games.

Gamesmania has also posted an interview, this time talking with Blizzard musician Matt Uelmen. He chats about his start in the industry, as well as providing some details on his current work:

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction will take place in the Barbarian Highlands. Will the music have some type of barbarian influence, and if so where would you draw that style from?

MU: When the word "Barbarian" is mentioned, the obvious reference of Basil Pouledouris' amazing scores to the Conan movies has to come to mind. I recently recorded some tracks with Kirk Trevor and the Slovakian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava, and heard more Wagner than anything else in the influences, which seemed immediately apparent. If anything, I will be trying to do something closer to the Wagner/Orff traditional fantasy style than I have done in the past.

Both the Diablo II add-on and Warcraft III should be out for the Mac shortly after the PC versions. We'll keep you posted as the development for both continues.

QuarterToThree Interview with Bill Roper, Part Two
QuarterToThree Interview with Bill Roper
Gamesmania Interview with Matt Uelmen
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Mac Games News for Friday, February 16, 2001

Myst III: Exile Collector's Edition Details11:37 AM
Deep Space Nine: The Fallen Preorders11:31 AM
FEED on Oni's Story10:49 AM
Inside Mac Games Acquires Game Doctor10:33 AM
Ambrosia Declares Amnesty9:49 AM
Targetware Tech Interview9:27 AM
Alice and OS X?9:21 AM
Team Arena Map Pack Q&A9:12 AM
Combat Mission Back in Stock8:39 AM
Preview of Summoner6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 16, 2001 on one page

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Thursday, February 15, 2001
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Monday, February 12, 2001
Friday, February 9, 2001

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