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Friday, March 2, 2001

Geneforge Officially Announced
8:28 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

We've already reported that this fresh approach to RPG gaming is in development, but since author Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software took the time to write this nice press release, we thought we would pass it on to you. Geneforge will blend traditional RPG gaming with an open-ended sci-fi/fantasy world in which you create your own army and use it for good... or for evil. Spiderweb is known for epic, addictive RPG titles with depth and substance, and we have no doubt this title will be just as gripping as the Exile series or the dual storylines of Nethergate.

Here is the press release:

Spiderweb Software, makers of the award-winning Exile series,
Nethergate, and Avernum, announces Geneforge, their newest, most unusual
role-playing game. In Geneforge, you don't hire your adventurers. You build

You are a Shaper, a member of the most powerful and secretive of the
magical guilds. You have the power to create life and mold it to serve your
own needs. For millennia, your world feared and respected the Shapers above
all others. Their creations could go everywhere, do anything, all according
to the wishes of the Shapers, and no others.

If you need a servant, you have but to create it, and it will gladly die
for you.

But now the secrets of your people are at risk. Someone dares to try to
steal the power of the Shapers and take them for his own. He has committed
the ultimate crime: he has captured you, and he will do anything to get you
to surrender your secrets.

He would use the power of the Shapers to remake the world. The question
is a simple one. Will you fight him? Or join him?

Geneforge is an upcoming fantasy role-playing game for Macintosh and
Windows. It features beautiful 16-bit graphics, fully animated characters, a
fascinating and unusual game system, and the ability to create your own army
of lethal, totally obedient creatures. Geneforge will also have a huge and
open storyline, in which you have the freedom to choose your path and decide
how the story will turn out.

Spiderweb Software is a company based in Seattle specializing in fantasy
and adventure games. Geneforge will be available on CD-ROM. The tentative
release date is in the Winter, 2001 to Spring, 2002

The Spiderweb web page features several early-Alpha screen shots of the game in progress as well. Although Winter 2001 seems quite far away, we suggest you download and register one of Spiderweb's many RPG titles -- such as the recently released Avernum 2 -- and set off on adventure. We're suspicious the time will pass by faster than you think! Visit the Spiderweb page for more details.

Spiderweb Software
Spiderweb Software

FLY! 2 Chat, Mac Details
3:23 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A helpful reader sent us a note about a recent chat held by AVSIM which featured some of the Terminal Reality staff, discussing their upcoming sequel FLY! 2. The transcripts of the chat have been posted to the AVSIM forums, and if you do a little digging you can find some nuggets of Mac information. Included are details on the Mac version's release date, Carbonization and more. Here are a few excerpts:

Will the PC and Mac versions be released at the same time? Will US and Europe be released at the same time; if not, can you provide a schedule?

TRI_Rich: Our intent is to have US and Europe PC releases at the same time. Mac is looking about 30 days behind PC release.

TRI_Rob: On the Mac question, we wanted to let you know that the Mac version will be fully carbonized.

What is the absolute minimum system recommended for reasonable performance?

TRI_Rich: The minimum CPU should be identical to Fly! 1.0. We are moving video card up to 16MB minimum, and RAM has moved from 32MB to 64MB minimum. We recommend 32MB video card and 128MB of RAM.

will open gl be supported?

TRI_Rich: OpenGL will be supported on the Mac, but not the PC.

Some very interesting information indeed. Read through the transcript for the rest of the scoop on what will be new in FLY! II. The game is expected out later this year for Mac and PC and will be published by Gathering of Developers.

AVSIM FLY! II Chat Transcript
GoD Games FLY! II Web Site

Click to enlarge
Tropico Preview
3:21 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Games.MacNN has posted a preview of Pop Top Software's dictator simulation game, Tropico. It covers everything from gameplay and the upgraded game engine to each character who will inhabit the virtual island. Here is an excerpt about the RPG-like attributes of the population you rule in Tropic:

Tropico's population follows something of an RPG level model. Each Tropican begins with a skill level of 0 and raises their level through education, which the player must provide. Tropicans learn on their own, topping out at level 5. The level determines their skill, which helps to determine their jobs, earning capacity and happiness. Tropicans have a modicum of self-preservation if things aren't going their way and are capable of building shanties for themselves. Don't allow this to go along for too long; the populace becomes angry if they have to live under these circumstances for more than a day or two.
Visit Games.MacNN and read the rest of the preview. Tropico is expected to be completed in May and wll be published by Gathering of Developers.

Tropico Preview at Games.MacNN
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

Monsoon iM-700 Speakers Reviewed
12:27 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As you can tell, IMG has been trying to expand our hardware coverage lately. Today, we bring you a review of Sonigistix' Monsoon iM-700 speakers. These flat panel speakers are similar to the vanilla Monsoon M-700's, but they offer an ice-colored trim to match your Macintosh. Here is a short clip from the review:

The speakers themselves are impressive to look at, as they are, as the box and web site eagerly say, flat, and feature an industrial-tech sort of metal grate on the front. Monsoon has not done anything cosmetically to the subwoofer to differentiate it from the MM-700 as it is meant to be stored under the desk or behind a file cabinet or something.

Nevertheless, the speakers take up the same amount of space as most every other pair of satellites, as they each utilize a metal base for stability which protrudes a good four inches or so from the back of the speakers themselves.
To find out how well these speakers perform, read the rest of the review.

Monsoon iM-700 Review

Deus Ex Skins for Your Sims
12:24 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Robert Baird of IMG Network affiliate MacDeusEx has whipped up three new skins for The Sims featuring characters from Deus Ex: JC Denton, Anna Navarre, and Gunther Hermann. Not only do they resemble the Deus Ex characters, but they have personalities to match.

Robert notes that the skins should be able to work in Macs and PCs. Visit MacDeusEx for more information and to download the skinds. Be sure to also read our review of The Sims if you want to learn more about this wacky life simulation.

The Sims Review
MacDeusEx Website

Click to enlarge
Summoner Dev Update, Media
9:30 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As February passes into March, Mac gamers can begin to get excited about the new titles coming out this Spring. One we've been anxiously awaiting for the past year is Summoner, a 3D RPG originally released for the PS2 last fall by Volition and coming to the Mac and PC in the next month or so. The Mac version is being published by GraphSim, and we recently chatted with them about its status.

Apparently the Mac version is doing well, and should be heading into the first round of testing in the near future. No specifics are available yet, but this is very good news. Since the game has already been released and (presumably) all of the gameplay bugs have been caught, this testing should just find any Mac-specific issues in the game. GraphSim also reports they now have the artwork for the game's box and manual in hand. Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll keep you posted on the status of the Mac version as it moves towards completion.

In other Summoner porting news, a new developer diary for the game has been posted at PC.IGN. In this issue, Volition programmer Nick Lee discusses the various issues surrounding the radically different input devices for PC versus console games. A quick paragraph also talks about the Mac's one-button mouse, though this is seen as a much easier problem to solve than moving the game from a console gamepad to mouse/keyboard setup. Here's a clip:

Various status and options screens on the PS2 version used a “roving highlight” method of selection. The joystick directly controlled movement of the “highlight”, and the X button was used to select the highlighted option. This functionality is easily replaced in the PC version by using the “point-and-click” method of highlight and selection.

In fact, “point-and-click” provides so much more freedom to move between controls than the “roving highlight” method that we can now provide more options and information on screen at a time without becoming overwhelming. The in-game display not only shows the character’s portraits and hit point/ability point bars, but now has buttons for opening the various info screens as well as a user-configurable hot button panel for oft-used spells and skills. The automap from the PS2 version has been revamped as well, now sporting a split-screen mode allowing you to easily navigate around the massive levels. None of this would have been practical on the PSX2, where it was relatively difficult to move the focus of control around the screen.

While we're always anxious to get our hands on a title, it's great to hear Volition is putting so much thought into the Mac and PC versions of Summoner. It's usually easy to tell when a game has just been ported straight from a console, and it's good to know this won't be the case.

Finally, if you're hankering for more Summoner screenshots, RPG Vault has 16 new pics posted. They are all shots from Lenele, a large city in the game, but they were taken in a variety of different environments, so have a look.

Summoner Web Site
GraphSim Summoner Site
RPG Vault Summoner Screen Shots
PC IGN Summoner Dev Diary
Buy Summoner

Marathon: Rubicon Trailer Released
9:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The eagerly-anticipated Marathon Infinity scenario Rubicon has released a teaser trailer as a Macgamefiles exclusive. The trailer features numerous action segments of gameplay, as well as many other visual treats from the game. This trailer comes in three flavours to suit any connection speed. Here are details:

Four years in the making, Rubicon is the is the largest Marathon scenario project ever created. Once completed, Rubicon will feature:

-360+ new textures

-Over a dozen new characters

-Tons of new scenery

-8 new weapons

-More solo levels than any other Marathon scenario to date
Be sure to head over to to check out the trailer. It comes in 3 sizes, ranging for 8 MB for the high-res version to 3.4 MB for the low-res one.

Interview: Marathon Rubicon
Marathon: Rubicon
Marathon: Rubicon Trailer

Sickware Demos Open Design of Target Korea
8:58 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Ever since we noted that Sickware was creating a cross-platform, open-architecture flight simulator known as Target Korea, Mac flight sim junkies have been hungry for information. Feeding this need, Sickware's development team (known as Targetware) has released details on the first user-made skin developed for the title to emphasize the open architecture and community-based development they are incorporating into the title. By building a flight sim with room for community input and actual development, Sickware and Targetware are hoping to create the ultimate flight sim -- one that does exactly what longtime sim fans have always wanted a title to do. From the look of the screen shots, they are well on their way. Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Targetware series of online combat flight simulators, are based upon a
unique physics engine developed for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms
by Sickware, a privately held company located in San Francisco, California.
Sickware operates as a virtual corporation comprised of an international
development staff from three countries.

Today, Targetware announced certification of the first aircraft skin
developed by a member of the flight simulation community. The add-on skin
is titled "Paper Tiger" and is based upon the aircraft of Capt. Harold "Hal"
Fischer of the 39th Fighter Squadron. Capt. Fischer scored 10 victories in
the Korean conflict before being shot down over China and becoming a POW.
Actual in-game (un-retouched) screenshots of his unique checkered tail Mig
killer of the 39th FIS / 51st FIW, may be viewed at

This skin itself was created by Mike "Oil Can" Caulk, who many in the
community will recognize from his custom skins for Rowan's MiG Alley and his
"MiG Alley Skin Central" website.

It should be noted that players may fly their F86-F30 Sabre in the actual
game using this unique skin, or any other provided by Targetware and the
add-on development community. It will then be seen exactly as illustrated
by all other players within the game, making it clearly distinct from other
aircraft of exactly the same type. Using this unique capability of
Targetware's "open architecture," entire groups of players may represent
their individual squad identifications and personal aircraft markings, as
opposed to all aircraft types looking exactly the same. To date, this
capability has been extremely limited within massively multi-player on-line
flight simulations. Its availability in Targetware products presents
outstanding opportunities for the creation of more historical and realistic
community events.

For those new to this flight sim, be sure and check out our past articles on the subject for more details. Visit the Target Korea web site for screen shots and information.

Past Targetware/Target Korea Stories
Target: Korea Web Site
"Paper Tiger" Screen Shots
Target Korea

Mac Doom Legacy Programmer Q&A
8:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

iDevGames has posted an interview with Calum Robinson, the programmer behind the recent Mac port of the open-source Doom Legacy project. In case you haven't checked it out, Mac Doom Legacy has many features added compare to the original Doom, such as OpenGL acceleration, MP3 support and much more. The interview talks with Robinson about his initial interest in the project, his programming background and the hardest parts of porting the code. Here's an excerpt:

What are you most proud of accomplishing with the update?

I feel most proud about how much I have learned over the last year or so. Way back then I had very little experience, not just with programming, but with getting bug reports and posting updates. Now I feel I have the confidence to take on any job. I am also very proud of how well I play Doom now! Adding new features that even PC DoomLegacy doesn't have is also something I'm proud of. An MP3 playlist is the only example of this at the moment but I may add more.

Check out the rest of the interview for much more on Robinson's work. It's always good to see new Mac game programmers in the making. Be sure to head to MGF and grab the 1.0 version of MacDoomLegacy if you haven't already. It runs with the full or demo versions of Doom.

Download Mac DoomLegacy 1.0
OpenGL Mac DoomLegacy Web Site
iDevGames Interview with Calum Robinson

Adventure at the Chateau d'Or Shipping Soon
8:42 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A helpful reader passed along the information that the adventure title Adventure at the Chateau d'Or is due to ship on March 19th according to the developers, Karma Labs. This Mac and PC graphic adventure features accurately-rendered 3D graphics and a setting of courtly intrigue in Paris. Here are details on the plot and setting:

The princess heir has chosen you as her hero and you lead the quest to unlock the secret of the fabulous Chateau d’Or. Search for powerful magic artifacts and find hidden treasures. You must seek out and summon the spirit of the lost Duke. Answer his cryptic questions and unravel the mysteries of his palace.

Explore a luxurious palace and gather clues from tales of the people and places of Paris, old and new.

Death and deception are ever-present. You must call upon your intelligence, intuition and newfound knowledge to survive and bring the princess safely to her goal.


Photo-realistic graphics - Experience the Chateau d'Or in all its glory. Beautifully rendered photorealistic 3D screens and animated sequences create an immersive world for this fantastic adventure game.

Three levels of gameplay - You will be presented with three successive challenges which must be solved in order to win the game. Match wits with the illustrious Duke, unlock the secret of the sensory focal devices, then use them to help the princess reach the ultimate treasure.

Dozens of enigmatic questions - Find the key information about Paris that is hidden in the palace and answer the Duke's mysterious questions in order to win his help.

System Requirements:


* Power PC Processor

* System 7.5.5 or later

* 70 MB Hard disk space

* 4x CD ROM or faster

* 32 MB RAM

* 16 bit monitor with thousands of colors

According to the developer this title will be available in major retail stores as well as online. Visit the web site for more details and screen shots.

Adventure at the Chateau d'Or

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 1, 2001

The State of Inside Mac Games2:44 PM
ZSculpt to Release Dark Castle Public Beta Tomorrow2:19 PM
Update on Westlake Projects1:27 PM
Master of Orion 3 Site Redesign12:07 PM
Zroids Released12:07 PM
Myst III Developer Diary11:28 AM
Ken Hoekstra on Elite Force Add-On10:59 AM
Troubleshooting Quake 3 1.27h10:21 AM
WaterRace Add-ons Released10:14 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 1, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Tuesday, February 27, 2001
Monday, February 26, 2001
Friday, February 23, 2001
Thursday, February 22, 2001

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