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Friday, March 9, 2001

New Target Korea Trailer
10:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Continuing to ramp-up the publicity surrounding this title, Targetware has released another movie from some in-game action of their upcoming massively multiplayer online flight sim, Target Korea. Unlike the first movie, which just showed one plane, this trailer shows some dogfighting, as well as other types of planes. Here's a clip from the press release explaining more:

Today, Targetware released the second in a series of un-retouched in-game
video movies, shot from its upcoming release of Target Korea. It was
produced and directed by Keith 'Wicked' Harrison with original music score
by Mike 'Mach-1' Smith and Rick Calderone. Intro Animation and GFX were
provided by David 'Datter' Titus. The clip is about 1 1/2 minutes and shows
close-ups of both the F86f-30 Sabre and Mig 15bis engaged in aerial combat
high over the Korean peninsula.
The Targetware site has a list of mirrors, if you're interested in checking out the 6.5 MB download. Target Korea is currently in closed beta, though is expected to open to the general public in a couple of months.

Targetware Movies Page
Target Korea

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Deus Ex Multiplayer Map Pack Available
3:37 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac Deus Ex has posted links to sixteen new Multiplayer (MP) maps to accompany the
recent release of the Deus Ex Multiplayer patch. These maps are accompanied
with easy installation instructions and have been deemed "Macintosh-friendly." You can also grab all of the maps together, as a "map pack" collection.

The maps comprise both ones taken directly from the game (Paris Club, Hell's Kitchen, etc.)
as well as original creations (Oilrig, Sahara, Sniper Arena). These maps
are recognized by GameRanger.

Mac Deus Ex has the new maps available in both separate downloads and a single
map pack, which weighs in at about 7.3 MB. For more Mac-related Deus Ex information, visit the site and its forums.

Mac Deus Ex - Map Downloads
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex

Interview With Apple's Clent Richardson
1:53 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our very own Michael Phillips recently had the chance to talk with Apple's Clent Richardson, who is the Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations, an extremely important branch within the company that is responsible for bringing the latest and greatest software and hardware products to our platform. What is Developer Relations, and what kind of things do they do to bring games to the Mac platform? Answers to this and more are just a click away. Here's an excerpt:

IMG: In recent years Apple's commitment to gaming has been gaining strength. With more A List Mac game titles than ever before, this support seems to be paying off. Could you discuss Apple's strategy in the Mac games market. How is Apple trying to expand gaming on our platform?

Richardson: Apple recognizes the importance of gaming to the Mac platform, and is constantly striving to ensure the hottest gaming titles are available for Mac users. Apple has had many wins over the last three years with mainstream titles such as Oni, Halo, Madden Football, Quake III Arena and Sims to name just a few.

To clarify, it isn't so much a question of "how is Apple trying to expand gaming on our platform?" It's more a matter of working to make Apple and the Mac platform a high volume consumer solution. As more people come to the Mac platform, the business case for developers increases and becomes dramatically stronger. The stronger the business case becomes, and the better the potential for return on investment, the greater the number of games titles developers will want to produce for the Mac platform.

Read on for more details about Apple and developer relations.

Interview: Clent Richardson of Apple Inc.

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Interview with Neverwinter Nights Designer
12:26 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story has posted a short interview with BioWare's
Aidan Scanlan, one of
the designers of the upcoming, much-anticipated online RPG Neverwinter Nights. The interview
focuses on what is perhaps Neverwinter's most touted feature -- it's editable, user-controlled
world that puts the Dungeon Master back into D&D.

Scanlan confirmed some of the editor's more exciting features, such as the ability
(as Dungeon Master) to have complete control over all non-player characters (NPCs)
and monsters, including the ability to talk through them and interact with any
player-controlled characters or the environment. The entire map is dynamic for the DM, and they have the ability to change the state of the game by locking/unlocking doors, spawning creatures, etc. as adventurers are simultaneously exploring the dungeon.

Another interesting tidbit is the fact that the included solo campaign is being developed
with the actual in-game editor:

[Treborg] How easy will it be for people to create there own modules with there own story, quests etc?

[Scanlan, Aidan] The Neverwinter toolset that will ship with the game is very easy to use. Creating a typical
hack-and-slash adventure will take maybe half an hour or so. However, the tools are in place to make your adventure
as complex and epic as you wish. The official Neverwinter Nights campaign is being created with the same toolset that
will made be available to the public, so anything we can do, you can do, too. I am anticipating some very high quality
adventures to start making their way around the Internet soon after the tools become available.

For the full story, be sure to read the entire interview at Neverwinter Nights is coming to Mac and PC platforms by the end of this year.

BioWare Corp.
Neverwinter Nights Official Site - Interview with Designer Aidan Scanlan
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Brian Love on Diablo II Expansion
11:59 AM | Jay Ryder | Comment on this story has posted an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Brian Love on the soon to be released Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Expansion Pack. According to the interview, the expansion pack is feature-complete and entering the debugging stage. So what about the Mac version? Brian has some interesting things to say regarding the truth behind the hard decisions companies must make when they commit to cross-platform development:

MacNN: How far behind the PC version is the Mac version of Lord of Destruction?

Brian Love: About 2 hours. It takes about 2 hours to do a Mac compile after we get a new PC version.

MacNN: Why will the Mac version of Lord of Destruction be delayed from the PC version?

Brian Love: Basically, it's a case of managing expectations. The problem isn't on the programming; it's on the quality assurance and the operations. As you know, it's always been our goal since doing Mac development to bring out the Mac version as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there remains the painful reality that we're going to sell ten to hundred times more copies on the PC as on the Mac. So, if it comes down to the wire, it may be up to a 30 day delay in the operations as far as getting the logistics of pressing the CD's, making sure that the game is running acceptably on both platforms, making sure that it's available in all of the different languages that we plan on having for the initial release, etc.

Check out the entire interview at for more details. The official web site for the Expansion has recently been updated with a new screen shot, so be sure to visit this site as well if you're interested.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Web Site
Blizzard Web Site
Brian Love Interview at
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Deus Ex MP Patch Install Tip
10:30 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Apple's exclusive hosting of the multiplayer patch for Deus Ex seems to have been a raging success, with many fans of this apocalyptic shooter rediscovering this game and taking online play for a spin. MacGameFiles visitors have rated the patch quite highly, giving it a 4.5 joystick rating overall (out of 5) with eight full-score ratings so far.

However, many have also reported problems installing the patch, ranging from a failed install to a game that wouldn't run. Therefore we though we'd post a reminder that the patch MUST be installed over a "clean" copy of Deus Ex, not one that has been updated to 1.01. Furthermore if you have installed any of the other gameplay modifiers available for Deus Ex these might have to be deinstalled as well. The best way to add the MP patch is over a clean install of the game itself.

If you have yet to download this patch, jump to the Apple Games page to grab it; if you are new to Deus Ex or have yet to purchase the solo version of this game, read through our review or grab the demo.

Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch at Apple
Deus Ex Review

Westlake on Radeon and UT-based Games
10:11 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An observant Usenet poster pointed out that the recent update for Deus Ex also fixes a some rendering issues for owners of ATI's Radeon cards. Specifically, there are some "snow" effects that some posters to our forums have also noted in this and other games based on Unreal Tournament's engine (such as Rune). Westlake Interactive's Mark Adams responded, saying this is correct and will be fixed in the other titles soon as well:

Yes I found a workaround (with some help from ATI). I'll roll it into UT
and Rune at some point as well.
This patch is another reason for Radeon owners to upgrade, even if you're not necessarily interested in the multiplayer aspects. Be on the lookout for UT and Rune updates as well. If you can't wait for Westlake to patch these titles, an easy way to fix "snow" and z-buffer errors with the Radeon AGP and PCI is to make sure you have 32-bit textures enabled and that the TextureComposite setting in your .ini file is set to "True." Just add the following line to the [RaveDrv.RaveRenderDevice] section of your .ini file:


Setting the display to 800x600 or greater also minimizes the Z-buffer error effect. We'll keep you posted on any Rune or UT patches on the way; in the meantime make sure you post your thoughts on the Deus Ex multiplayer patch in our forums.

IMG News: Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch Released
Westlake Interactive Web Site

ATI Still Contender, Exec Says
9:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Yesterday Thresh's Firing Squad posted an item which lead us to an earlier post by EBN on graphics chip maker NVIDIA's dominance of the 3D chip market. NVIDIA recently boosted that lead, of course, by releasing the GeForce 3 chipset, which possesses astounding abilities never seen before in the graphics card field.

However, at the end of that report, an ATI executive is quoted as saying that they will have a chipset ready by the end of the year that will "beat GeForce3's specifications" and also feature programmable vertexes and pixel shaders, one of the GeForce 3's primary strengths.

One-upsmanship is the rule in the brutal, sink-or-swim world of 3D graphics hardware; former rival company 3dfx found this out the hard way when their VSA-100 chip failed to meet both developers' and gamers' expectations. So such a statement might be expected from ATI, now the #2 chipmaker and practically the only other company of note in the entire market. However Thresh's Firing Squad and John Carmack both think this claim may be more than hot air -- the ATI Radeon has been a widely-praised card that anticipated many of the features that were later revealed as part of the GeForce 3 technology, such as HSV (a method for reducing internal memory bandwidth requirements) and support for 3D textures.

In fact a series of first-look benchmarks posted by tech site Digit-Life shows that the Radeon is much closer to the GeForce 3 than NVIDIA's previous card the GeForce 2 in feature set, abilities and internal architecture. Though these tests were conducted with pre-release drivers for the GeForce 3 and thus have to be taken with a grain of salt, the Radeon does stack up surprisingly well in areas that don't favor GeForce 3 specific features.

In any case the news that ATI has a rival chipset in the works is certainly good news for gamers, because it means the fight for the high end of the market will continue between NVIDIA and ATI -- and often that high-end technology trickles down to the everyday consumer market, such as with the ATI Mobility Radeon and the GeForce 2 MX. A rival ATI card would also pressure NVIDIA into bringing the GeForce 3 out of the price stratosphere; past "card wars" have created amazing price drops in very short periods of time. Time will tell, but Mac gamers should be very excited about having both of the major players in the graphics field on our platform at the same time -- Steve Jobs' wisdom in allowing competition into the Mac graphics market may be the best thing to happen to gamers this year.

GeForce 3-related Articles at IMG
"ATI says it will beat GeForce3" at Thresh's Firing Squad
GeForce 3 Analysis, Benchmarks at Digit-Life

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First Look at WWII Online
9:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A quick new preview of World War II Online, the upcoming Mac/PC massively multiplayer battlefield simulation, has been posted at Daily Radar. The folks at Cornered Rat are making the title, and they hope to have it completed late this spring. The preview looks at many of the game's main features, providing a quick explanation of each. Here's a clip:

Four Types Of Gameplay --
  • First-Person Shooter
  • Vehicle Simulation Combat -- Vehicles are modeled after the real versions, including all the positions in the tanks, the flight controls of planes, etc.
  • RPG -- Players will have a character that retains ranks, experience and such even if the individual infantrymen they control die.
  • Strategy -- Player commanders will decide which villages, army bases and other strategically important areas are to be assaulted or defended, and will also set up missions for lower-ranked players.

  • All Objects Can Be Damaged -- Every building can be destroyed; how fast they rebuild themselves is dependent on the chain of supply to the location. Cut the chain of supply to an army base, for example, and the sentry guns won't rebuild.

  • 1/2 Scale Maps - All of Western Europe at 1/2 scale is represented in the game; that's over 3.4 million square kilometers.
  • And if these sound impressive, remember that they're hoping to have 10,000 players in the world at once. Check out the rest of the preview for more info as well as some screenshots. The official WWII Online web site is also a great resource if you're interested. The details and system requirements for the Mac version have not yet been revealed, but we're hoping it will be a near-simultaneous release.

    World War II Online Preview at Daily Radar
    World War II Online Web Site
    Strategy First
    Cornered Rat Software
    World War II Online

    Mac Games News for Thursday, March 8, 2001

    Deus Ex Multiplayer Patch Released1:06 PM
    On Tropico Politics11:39 AM
    Pangea Lowers Prices10:46 AM
    Doom 3 Q&A10:22 AM
    Summoner Trailer Released10:15 AM
    Tony Hawk 2, Centipede in Beta9:39 AM
    Myth-ical Chess9:02 AM
    WWII Online Interview9:02 AM
    Westlake on Carbonized Games8:36 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 8, 2001 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, March 7, 2001
    Tuesday, March 6, 2001
    Monday, March 5, 2001
    Friday, March 2, 2001
    Thursday, March 1, 2001

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