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Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Summoner for PC Almost Gold?
9:08 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Uncannily accurate news source Gone Gold is reporting that they have received word from publisher THQ that the 3D RPG Summoner is a mere two weeks from "golden master" status and should ship by the end of this month. As the Mac version of this title is being created in-house by developer Volition, it isn't unreasonable to expect that to ship around that same time or very soon afterwards. Summoner for the Mac OS is being published by GraphSim, as is Volition's other title, sci-fi shooter Red Faction.

We've contacted Volition and THQ to determine the status of the Mac version of this title; based on OpenGL, our version should look identical to and network seamlessly with the PC version. While both platforms are receiving Summoner almost half a year after it shipped for the Playstation 2, we will get the added benefit of network play, multiple resolutions and various refinements to the gameplay and interface.

For those who haven't been following the flood of Summoner coverage in the past few weeks, this 3D RPG centers around the quest of Joseph, a young man gifted (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with the ability to summon demonic creatures from the netherworld to do his bidding. With his homeland under siege, he leads a party of adventurers on a quest to recover a sacred artifact and turn back the tide of war. For more Summoner details than you can shake a virtual stick at, browse the news database by following the link below. We'll let you know immediately when the status of Mac Summoner is confirmed.

Summoner Web Site
IMG Summoner Screen Shot Gallery
IMG's Coverage of Summoner
Gone Gold on Summoner
Buy Summoner

Game Auction for Charity
4:57 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

James Robrahn (you may remember him from our feature "Interview with a Beta Tester") is once again auctioning off several games titles and giving the proceeds to the Rapid City Club for Boys to help them buy computers. Among the items he has offered for auction is a copy of MacSoft's recently released Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear which has been signed by Mr. Red Storm himself, Tom Clancy. Other titles in the eBay auction include MacSoft's Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Scrabble, all signed by Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive.

Check out the games for auction if you would like to submit a bid; the auctions themselves are open until March 13th. For more information about Rogue Spear, be sure and read our review of this title, published earlier today.

Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear Review
Game Auctions for Charity on eBay

MacSoft to Publish UT: GoTY
11:26 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

For some time IMG has known the truth behind the infamous "Unreal" project that appeared on the Westlake Interactive projects page, and our eyebrows shot up when we noticed that said project had vanished from said page early last week. Just when we were writing it up, Applelinks scooped us all by announcing that MacSoft will be publishing Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year for Mac OS. This title includes a full copy of the original Unreal Tournament plus "enhanced" versions of many popular online mods, from Rocket Arena and Chaos UT to the popular Innox and Epic bonus map packs. According to the Applelinks report, MacSoft has confirmed the title has reached Golden Master and it should ship on March 19th.

Why would you buy a game which includes extras which are downloadable off the Internet? Well, UT: GoTY isn't for UT fans, it is for first-time buyers of the title who just haven't discovered this amazing first-person deathmatch title yet. The 200 MB+ of extra gameplay included will save those users plenty of download time, and there is an enhanced interface for installing, choosing and running mods as well. If you have been curious about UT but held off purchasing until now, UT: GoTY will be an ideal way to experience the awesome power of Epic's instant classic. And it will be yours for just $19.99!

Here's the official press release from MacSoft:

One of the biggest Macintosh games ever introduced just got bigger as MacSoft, an Infogrames, Inc. (Nasdaq: IFGM) label, announced today that Unreal Tournament: Game Of The Year has gone gold and is shipping next month. Demonstrably expanded, the new edition features the original game, plus three map pack add-ons, giving UT players an additional 20 maps and three all new modes of play, also known as mods. Created to enhance the Unreal Tournament online experience, mods are episodic content that extend the game play experience of the original product.

"We are excited to bring such an acclaimed version of Unreal Tournament to the Macintosh platform," said Cindy Swanson, marketing manager for MacSoft. "By continuing to expand the property within the Macintosh community, we underscore Infogrames commitment in broadening awareness of the franchise into all areas of the mass-market."

"The Mac community has consistently embraced games in the Unreal series so were proud to offer them a version of Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year," said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "With this version, Mac gamers will be able to sample a great deal of new maps, mods, skins, and power-ups that continue the great Unreal Tournament game experience."

The three new mods in Unreal Tournament: Game Of The Year include:

--Rocket Arena allows for one-on-one combat in a small arena with no place to hide. Players descend into the arena with full armor, weapons and health. Spectators wait in line to challenge the winner of the match and can watch the one-on-one battles from a variety of views including through the opponents eyes or overhead. Rocket Arena is based on the famous game mods developed by David Wright.

--Chaos UT offers a new unique twist on UT deathmatch play. This mod is a free-for-all frag-fest with four new maps and plenty of unique weaponry such as crossbows or auto-turrets that hunt down enemy players.

The Game Of The Year edition also includes three new map packs: the Epic Bonus Pack, the Innox Map Pack and the Digital Extremes Map Pack, made by the London, Ontario-based co-developer of Unreal and Unreal Tournament. These new map pack additions offer players more than 20 new maps, as well as new character skins and power-ups.

Shipping this month, Unreal Tournament: Game Of The Year edition will be available at retail outlets nationwide for a suggested retail price of $19.99

There you have it. Watch for this one on store shelves soon.

Review: Unreal Tournament
MacSoft Article at Applelinks

Make a Tranquil World
9:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An interesting new press release arrived from TQworld recently, which reveals a utility which will allow users to build customized worlds for their game Tranquility. TQworld Builder is available for members of TQworld to make one evaluation level, and subscribing users can make unlimited worlds. Here's more info from the PR:

TQworld Builder allows members to Build, Play and Share their own
tranquility games. The TQworld Building system is designed to be
a game in itself... making the creation of new games as much fun
as playing them.

TQworld Builder features the following capabilities:

  • Select geometry, color, color effect, style and position
    for each component in the game.

  • Apply enhancements such extra or negative gravity, hidden
    platforms, multiple spinners or random components.

  • Edit any custom designed game to extend or change it's

  • Share created games with TQvillage Groupie friends.

    TQworld Builder can be experienced for FREE. All FREE TQworld
    members can create and play ONE TQworld game to try it out.

    Members with a Paid TQworld account ($24/year) receive full access
    to TQworld Builder and all it's functionality at no additional cost.

    Existing players can take immediate advantage of TQworld Builder
    WITHOUT having to download a new program. TQworld Builder is available
    on Channel 6 of their existing tranquility game browser.

  • If you haven't yet tried out Tranquility, you should definitely head to Macgamefiles and grab the demo. It's assuredly unlike any other game you've experienced.

    TQworld Web Site
    Download Tranquility

    Click to enlarge
    Yet Another Red Faction Preview
    9:29 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    PC news sources keep cranking out these previews of Volition's upcoming shooter Red Faction on a weekly basis, but this one was interesting enough (and featured nice enough screen shots) that we thought we'd pass it on to you. Red Faction is of course a first-person action/adventure set on Mars, with remarkable engine technology and stunning visuals. The Mac version of Red Faction will be published by GraphSim when the PC/Mac version of the title are complete late this Summer.

    Red Faction's designers are quick to stress that the game isn't just a technology demo -- there is also a deep plot behind the action which will involve allies, enemies, stealth and open warfare. Here is an excerpt with details on the storyline:

    As for Red Faction itself, it's a veritable Martian chronicle. "The story takes place on Mars. You will assume the role of Parker, a young man who's left behind a pretty promising life on Earth," explained Tsai. "He's become disillusioned with his life so he heads off to Mars and the Ultor Mining Corporation hoping he'll find himself, hoping to get away from it all." Apparently he's shocked at what he finds there: atrocities, abuse, and rampant disease. The conditions on the Mars mining colony are so deplorable that he quickly falls in with a burgeoning workers union of sorts and ends up planning a rebellion against its oppressors. "That's where the game begins," continues Tsai. "You take Parker, who has become a key figure in the revolution, and goes from the first little spark of dissent between the workers and management all the way to the climax that takes place in outer space itself."
    For more details on this shooter, check out the rest of the preview. While this game will most likely require some mighty hardware to run well, the price of that GeForce 3 card will be down from the stratosphere by then... we hope.

    Red Faction Preview at CGOnline
    Red Faction

    Mac Game Programming Book Q&A
    9:17 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    An interview with Mark Szymczyk, author of the first new Mac game programming book to be published in years, was posted earlier this week at iDevGames. While the book is still in the preliminary stages of development, it is hoped the writing will be complete by September and it will be published by Prima Publishing later in the fall. In the interview Szymczyk offers an outline of his table of contents, notes that he will be using Carbon for most of the book's examples (for compatibility with OS 9 and OS X), and talks about why he's not covering 3D topics. Here's an excerpt:

    Will OpenGL be discussed at all?

    Here is where I may disappoint some people. I am not going to be using OpenGL in the book. When I was writing my proposal I made a wish list of topics which included 3D graphics, networking, artificial intelligence, joystick support, physics and audio. As I went into more detail about what I wanted to cover in 3D graphics, I realized that 3D graphics would take up virtually the entire book. I had a choice: focus on 3D graphics and barely cover the other topics; or 2D graphics with more in-depth discussion of the other topics.

    I chose to go with the latter and provide greater detail in the "core" gaming areas. It was a tough choice but I figured that there were more books on the market covering OpenGL and 3D graphics than books covering Macintosh sound, multi-platform networking, artificial intelligence and physics.

    While it's too bad to hear no 3D techniques will be discussed, hopefully the resurgence in Mac gaming will mean a Mac-specific 3D book can be published in the near future as well. The book will take you step-by-step through the creation of a 2D game, so those itching to get into the gaming industry should definitely check it out as a place to start, once the final version is published.

    iDevGames Interview with Mark Szymczyk

    Young's Modulus 2.0 Released
    9:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    An update to the X-Plane web site pointed us to the new 2.0 release of another 3D program by the same author: Young's Modulus. This unusual game is a robot/mech sim which now touts multiplayer as its newest feature. You can now control entire fleets of robots in combat on forbidding planets, wielding powerful weapons. Here's a clip from the web site with a description:

    In it, you command an All Terrain Attack Walker, or ATAW, in combat against an alien race whose goal is to rid the Universe of the Human Race. You will start with the lowly Genesis-class ATAW (merely a converted cargo-walker with a gun on the top), and work of through the fresh-design Atlantic, the fast and powerful Olympic, the ultra-high-speed Huron, the massive Agamemnon and Marathon, the high-tech and agressive Tornado and Cyclone, the towering Galaxy, and finally the Ultimate: the TITANIC-class ATAW, which towers 100 meters tall, packing an unbelievable onslaught of weaponry. (But, interestingly, is too big to manuever very well).

    Your weapons will run the gamut from basic rockets to gatling lasers and guided machine-guns, with torpedos and ion-cannons thrown in for good measure.

    The planets you fight on will vary from the frozen wastelands of Centauri-V to the burning hell-deserts of Kentaurus-Prime.

    Head over to the official web site now to check out the screen shots and download a demo version of 2.0. Young's Modulus requires a 200Mhz processor, with a 3D card that supports OpenGL.

    Download Young's Modulus 2.0 (9MB)
    Young's Modulus Web Site

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 6, 2001

    Pillars of Garendall Movie Released5:11 PM
    Nightfall Postmortem, Interview1:43 PM
    Tropico Development Update12:13 PM
    IMG Releases Game Doctor 1.312:02 PM
    MacGameFiles CD February 2001 Released11:59 AM
    Diablo 2 Expansion Items Revealed11:50 AM
    Deus Ex MP Update, Spector Q&A11:39 AM
    Unreal II Information11:15 AM
    New Target Korea Add-on11:09 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 6, 2001 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Monday, March 5, 2001
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