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Tuesday, February 20, 2001

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Update on Mac Q3A 127g
10:01 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Once again a new build of id's first-person shooter Quake 3 Arena is being dangled in front of eager Mac users, in the form of an ICQ transcript that suggests a new version will be out later this week

Here is a transcript allegedly from Graeme Devine, which was released on the Quake3World discussion boards, a solid source of such information in the past:

Graeme Devine: okay.. q3a build...

Graeme Devine: it's good. apple has it.

Graeme Devine: I'll get it out this week
We were able to confirm this information with Graeme, although he could not be more specific about the actual release date.

The detail that Apple has the build is very interesting -- why would Apple be involved in the port of a video game, even one as prominent as Q3A? Well, as some of you might know, Macworld Tokyo is coming up very soon, and id's Q3A has been used as a "demo" app for Macintosh systems in the past, both in keynotes and at the Apple booth.

More importantly, Graeme Devine has mentioned several times in the past that he is incorporating AltiVec/Velocity Engine support into the game, which supposedly gives the game speed and power to rival PC versions running on similar systems. We're sure Mr. Jobs would love to have Q3A running faster on a Power Macintosh G4 733 MHz than a 1.5 GHz PC, just as with his Photoshop demos. Additionally, Q3A is the first "big name" game to have native (Cocoa) support for Mac OS X, which makes it doubly vital as a demo app -- after all, we are a mere month and a week away from the debut of that operating system, as difficult as that is to believe. At $129 a pop, Apple will be quite eager to sell that OS to gamers and anyone else who can pony up the cash.

In any case, Q3A fans will have another suspense-filled week of waiting for a final build of Q3A 127, which (for G4 owners in particular) should be faster, stabler and include better support for the Team Arena expansion pack. You can be sure this update will appear at the instant it hits the "streets." For more details on the changes Graeme has planned for this latest build, and what has delayed it, browse the links below.

ICQ Transcript on Q3World Forums
Velocity Engine Power for Q3A
Mac Q3:A Status Report
id Software
Quake III Team Arena
Buy Quake III Team Arena

Monkey Byte Revamps Site
3:44 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Independent games publisher Monkey Byte, which recently moved into the arena of music distribution, has completed a revamp of their web site. This new Aqua-inspired design combines all of the aspects of Monkey Byte (including the MyMonkey development community) into one easy-to-use interface. With Shockwave games, community chat and advance previews of future titles, there are a lot more reasons to visit the site than to just buy their games -- though we're sure they would love it if you do that as well. Here are details from the press release:

San Luis Obispo, CA, Feb. 20 - announced today the release
of its newly revamped web site. "We've made many new moves to enhance our
site," states Yon Hardisty, Vice President of Monkey Byte, "and we feel
this release represents a major improvement."

One such move was to expose its once exclusive "myMonkey" community site.
"We've opened up our community, allowing all visitors to download alpha
and beta versions of our newest games," says Hardisty, "as well as access
our on-line shockwave games and community chat."

A developer and publisher of games for Windows, Macintosh, and Palm OS,
Monkey Byte took another major step with its new site by introducing the
sales of independent music CDs. "This site represents our continued
commitment to our customers," says Hardisty, "as well as to the
independent game and music artists that we work with."

Segmented into "channels," the new site offers: Games, Music, Monkey
Stuff, and "myMonkey" Community areas which "allow customers to browse by
their interest," according to Hardisty.

Started in 1995 as a game developer, Monkey Byte expanded into publishing
games produced by independent developers in 1998. Just recently Monkey
Byte announced its intent to sell select music CDs produced by
independent musicians.

The site will soon include audio samples of those CDs as well. Be sure to stop by and check out Monkey Byte's many titles for Mac OS, Palm OS, and yes, even Windows.

Monkey Byte Development

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SiN 1.1.2 Patch Released
3:17 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacPlay has released a new patch for SiN, the action FPS originally from Ritual Entertainment. This version 1.1.2 resolves issues many gamers were complaining about, so definitely give it a try if you're having troubles in the game. Here's a list of changes:

  • Cannot assign "USE" key in InputSprocket.
  • Launching SiN generates the following error message: "The Application "SiN" could not be opened, because "SiN" could not be found."
  • Game crashes when a movie plays on a multi monitor system, and one of the video cards is a 3dfx Voodoo card.
  • Game crashes with a type 12 error on video card/monitor configs that don't support gamma (Voodoo 3/5 with the Apple 15" display).
  • If Extensions folder is not called "Extensions" (as in some localized versions of MacOS), SiN couldn't find the Indeo plug in.
  • SiN crashes intermittently with a "Type 2" error.
  • Pulse Rifle in Wages of SiN displayed incorrectly.
  • When logging into a server that has a map that you don't have. SiN will begins downloading the map, then gives a "Rename Failed" error.
  • Video Option menu in Wages of SiN fixed.
  • After winning Wages of SiN, video mode defaults to 1024x768.
  • Saved games from Wages of SiN conflicting with SiN saved games.
  • When selecting a video mode larger than your desktop mode, a window is created that only contains a portion of the game screen.
  • When playing Capture the Flag from GameRanger, the HUD displays improperly.
  • General issues handling multi-monitor systems.
  • Display cards that don't support 8 bit modes can not be used.
  • When using a non-English localized version of InputSprocket, the Arrow keys, escape key and return key don't work.

As you can tell, they've been hard at work nailing down the bugs in the game. Head over to Macgamefiles now to download the patch.

Download SiN 1.1.2 Patch (3 MB)
MacPlay Web Site
Sin Gold
Buy Sin Gold

Simon the Sorcerer II Available
2:50 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As we reported on January 29th, Epic Interactive's port of the PC classic Simon the Sorcerer II to Mac OS has shipped -- but that was only on the UK side of the 'big pond.' Now Mac retailer Mac-O-Rama has Simon II in stock, for those of you in the States looking forward to this comic adventure. Here is a description from the store listing:

This isn't just any old 'Child in Fantasyland' story. For starters, no other kids have to put up with useless old wizards, unattractive heroines, baddies that simply don't know when to stay dead and being the last one in school to discover puberty. Armed with a pointy hat (stupid looking), a pony tail (even more stupid looking) and a tendency to irritate people twice his size, Simon returns in this action packed sequel which promises to be more entertaining, amusing and fun than any other adventure of it's type!

• 80 plus locations

• 100 or so characters to interact with

• full spoken dialogs

• More than 50,000 frames of animation

• Handrawn characters and backgrounds

• Play in full-screen or window mode

The game is value-priced at $23.00, and it will run on any Power Macintosh in existence. Jump to Mac-O-Rama for more details.

IMG News: Simon the Sorcerer Ships

MacNN Previews Alice
12:52 PM | IMG News | 4 comments has published an in-depth preview of American McGee's Alice, the third-person 3D action/adventure game announced last week for the Mac by Aspyr Media. The four-page preview covers characters, weapons, items and gameplay in addition to many screenshots of the game in action. Here's a snippet from the preview:

Alice is filled with puzzles synonymous with other third-person 3D action/adventure games; most notably, Tomb Raider. With Alice able to jump, run, climb, grab on to ledges, swing on ropes and vines, swim and more, she'll have to put every move to work to solve jumping puzzles and more. For every gamer that cringes at the phrase "jumping puzzles", fear not. The designers cleverly added a targeting reticule that shows footprints where Alice will land before she takes the leap. This means that players will no longer have to judge how far a gap really is and how much power to give the jump to make it across and not jump over the landing. Simply line up the footprints where you want them, and hit jump.
For more of this preview, be sure to head over to MacNN.

MacNN's Alice Preview

Party on the HMS Freeverse, Win Scanner
12:26 PM | Toby Allen | 4 comments

Shareware company Freeverse will be hosting a party on their HMS Freeverse server for players of their many fine shareware titles. On the server will be able to chat with the developers of your favorite card game, an also enter a contest to win a Canon flatbed scanner. Here are the details:

WHEN: Friday, February 23rd. 9pm est. until the wee small hours.


WHAT: Cards, chat, and a chance to win a scanner!

Log on with any of the following HMS games for a chance to win:

3D Hearts

3D Spades

3D Setback/Pitch

3D Bridge

3D Euchre

Classic Cribbage

or Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab

For more information and downloads of Freeverse's titles, visit their web site.

Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab (14mb) at Mac Game Files

Red Faction Interview, Preview
10:43 AM | Andy Largent | 4 comments

Console Domain has spoken with Volition's
Anoop Shekar about his work on their upcoming FPS, Red Faction. The quick Q&A covers topics such as their hopes for the game and its Geo-Mod engine, as well as the problems facing FPS titles on consoles. The Geo-Mod engine is of real interest, as it will allow for realistic destruction of environments (though this makes even greater headaches for level designers). Here's an explanation from Shekar:

CD: What problems did you come up against when creating the game?

AS: Being able to destroy anything and everything made it very difficult. So we had to make decisions about certain objects that couldn't be destroyed. Anything in the game that is metal is indestructible; concrete and rock you can actually destroy. That put down some limitations that helped us design the levels and from there we were able to move forward. So that kind of challenge is definitely one of the big things. One of the other things was to make gameplay that wasn't repetitive, so a lot of the game is broken up with sections where you have to go undercover and actually sneak around and not kill everything as soon as you see it.

The rest of the interview is a quick read, so have a look. Included at the end of the interview is an extensive hands-on account of playing through the 'demo' level provided by Volition to PS2 web sites; the demo is deliberately not made of levels from the final game, so as to hide the plot and other details until the game ships. However, it is still an interesting read, and is accompanied by many screen shots.

Red Faction is currently set for a PS2 release this spring, with Mac and PC versions following later in the summer. The Mac build will be published by GraphSim, so stay tuned for more info on the game as it nears release.

Red Faction PS2 Demo Hands-On
Red Faction Web Site
Console Domain Red Faction Q&A
Red Faction

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Heroes III Complete Review, Giveaway
10:33 AM | IMG News | 4 comments

Fans of this adventure series were thrilled by the news that 3DO had decided to create Heroes III Complete, a special Mac-only compilation of the original Heroes III: The Restoration of Erathia combined with two previously PC-only expansion packs. Now IMG has published a review of this title, and to celebrate its release we are conducting a giveaway as well. Here's an excerpt from the review:

The beauty of this Heroes 3 Complete pack for Mac users is obviously that, for the first time, we get access not only to all the exciting new maps from the PC expansion packs, but also to the huge number of (often excellent) user-created expansion maps available for downloading from the Web. There’s really a tremendous number of third party maps out there (try, and many of them are very good, but a lot of them require one or the other of the expansion packs. Now we can play them all. So, you’ve still got a lot to go at even when you’ve played through all the 20 campaigns and the nearly 160 stand-alone maps provided in the Complete pack.

The effects of the expansion packs are actually cumulative across all the games: the original Restoration of Erathia maps now include Conflux towns, moat damage and a variety of new creatures and heroes. So there’s even more replay value than there was before; and Heroes 3 is a uniquely replayable game. Console yourself with this thought if you feel a little sore about having to buy the original game again just in order to get the two new expansion packs. This Complete set really does provide massively good value for money in terms of the quantity and quality of what you receive.

PC players who wanted to play all three titles would have to pay upwards of $80 to do so; 3D0 has done the Mac platform a tremendous service in this regard, and that's good news indeed.

Inside Mac Games and 3DO are giving away three copies of Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete. Enter today and you could win one of these copies! Winners will be picked Monday, February 26th, 2001, so enter as soon as possible. Read the review for more information, our original Heroes III review for details on what this game is all about, and be sure to enter the giveaway as well.

IMG Heroes III Complete Giveaway
Heroes of Might and Magic III Review
Heroes III: Complete Review

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DS9: The Fallen Gold Soon
10:12 AM | IMG News | 4 comments

Yesterday IMG brought you an update on the status of the Star Trek title Deep Space Nine: The Fallen noting this game is nearing completion for the Mac OS after considerable delay. The major hold-up has been the Miles Sound Library, which the game uses for MP3 and audio playback, which was available for PC only. The Mac version of this sound library is now beta, which means Mac DS9 can now move towards completion. Today we contacted the publisher for the game, Simon & Schuster, and received verification the game should be going "Gold Master" soon:

It looks like The Fallen for Mac should go gold this week.
Gold means the game is completed and is ready to be sent off for duplication. This should translate into the game showing up on store shelves in a few weeks. We'll be sure to keep you updated if the title hits any new snags as it moves towards release, but we expect this to go smoothly; according to Collective developers, the sound system was the sole element holding up the release of the game.

DS9: The Fallen Web Site
IMG News: Mac DS9: The Fallen Status Update
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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The Sims House Party Q&A
9:46 AM | Andy Largent | 4 comments

The Adrenaline Vault has posted a quick new interview with Tim Le
Tourneau, producer for The Sims House Party, the second add-on for
the extemely popular original. While this pack will add new characters and
objects, their main focus this time around is getting your Sims to interact
with each other in large groups. Many new objects will be in place to support this idea, and
anytime you have more than five Sims in one place, it's a party! Here's a
clip from the Q&A with more:

What are some of the new objects and what can be done with them?

One of my personal favorites is the campfire. It is the first object that
allows eight Sims to interact together -- roasting marshmallows and singing
songs and even telling ghost stories. I am also partial to that big cake. It
is... very entertaining.

As with any good party music seems to be a critical part of the upcoming
expansion. Tell us about the different kinds of music that will be
integrated into the game and how the Sims will react to them.

The Dance Floor and the DJ Booth are the new signature items. Five new music
styles and five new dance types will allow the player to create completely
different moods. Put them together with the Costume Trunk and you can get
everyone in the house ready to party. It is amazing when you have a
full-blown disco scene laid out in front of you.

The hollow cake sure does add an interesting twist to a Sims party... Head
over to Avault to check out the rest of the interview. House Party is
expected to be released for the PC in a couple of months. There is still no
word on a Mac version from Aspyr, but we'll bring you any news we get about

On a related note, Stratics Central has recently chatted with the man
behind the entire Sims phenomenon, Will Wright. While there aren't many game-
specific details given, it does cover his start and general philosophy towards
games. Head over now to give it a look.

Avault House Party Q&A
Stratics Interview with Will Wright
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

Mac Games News for Monday, February 19, 2001

Duane Johnson Joins MacPlay/Mumbo Jumbo2:07 PM
Mac DS9: The Fallen Status Update1:14 PM
Rob Bartel Interview on NWN10:46 AM
GLTron Updated to 0.610:01 AM
Q3:TA Map Pack Update9:12 AM
Fly! 2 Preview9:02 AM
Blizzard Interviews8:58 AM
Shadowbane Beta Update8:53 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, February 19, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, February 16, 2001
Thursday, February 15, 2001
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Monday, February 12, 2001

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