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Monday, April 2, 2001

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More Myst III: Exile Collector's Edition Clarifications
9:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last week we brought you word of a few changes to the Collector's Edition of the upcoming Myst III: Exile due out May 7. The main change to the actual boxed contents was that it would no longer include Atrus' Journal. This was for cost concerns, and this special edition still contains many extra Exile goodies. Fans were a little concerned through, and it seems the publisher will now include the journal as part of the strategy guide. Jim Stephenson's fan site, the Riven Unofficial Home Page, has a recent quote explaining more:

Gordon Currie, webmaster of the official Exile site, said, "It was decided [by the publisher] not to include the journal because... [it] would have delayed the shipment of the Collector's Edition...and increased the price.... [But in response to fan concerns] Atrus' Journal will be included in the strategy guide [and] there will be extra pages [in the strategy guide] for notes."

Gordon continued, "The value of the collector's edition is: $49.99 for the game, $12.99 for the soundtrack, $19.99 for the strategy guide, $4.99 for the squee [a pewter squee toy], and a Making of Exile video CD that's unavailable anywhere else. It's $87.96 of value for $59.99. That's an awesome deal!"

Fans of the game should surely get their preorders in now, as there will only be limited quantities available.

Stephenson's page also pointed out an update to the site FAQ which notes the DVD version of Exile is still on target for late this year:

Will it be released on DVD?

A DVD version of the game is now expected to ship before Christmas.

We'll keep you posted on all three editions of Exile as they begin arriving in just about a month. For now, have a read through IMG's preview of the title.

IMG News: Myst 3 Collector's Edition Changes
IMG Preview of Myst III: Exile
Myst III: Exile FAQ
Riven Unofficial Home Page
Presto Studios
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile

Bushfire Updated to 1.03
4:35 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The 2D side-scrolling game Bushfire has received a small update to fix bugs with this 9.x and Mac OS X native game. Reminiscent of the venerable Choplifter, but with much more depth than is initially apparent, this game is fantastic on both 9.0 and Apple's next-generation operating system. Though this is just a minor update, we're mentioning it because we hope all of you running Mac OS X have grabbed this addictive game.

You can either grab a small update to patch the existing version, or download the entire game. Stop by the Strange Flavour web site for more details. For those of you that wish to run this game on 8.6 and above, remember that you need the latest version of Apple's CarbonLib to run it.

Download Bushfire 1.0.3 Update (1.8 MB .sit)
Download Bushfire Full Version 1.0.3 (10.3 MB .sit)
Strange Flavour

Westlake on Mac OS X
3:40 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Prior to the release of Mac OS X, many companies who were developing key applications (e.g. Microsoft, Adobe) pledged support for Apple's operating system. But what about games? Many Mac gamers are understandably concerned about the state of games under Mac OS X since that is to be future of the Mac platform. Westlake Interactive's president, Mark Adams, wrote to assure us that they will be releasing all future games with Mac OS X support in mind. They are also in the process of evaluating past games to see which ports are viable. Here is the press release he sent us:

Westlake Interactive has been receiving many queries from gamers and the
press over the past few months about our OS X plans, and we're pleased to
announce that we are now officially supporting OS X in our development work.

We have spent several weeks working with the final OS X seeds and release
version, testing game and OS technologies to get a better picture of the
transition from 8/9 to X, and believe OS X has a strong foundation to build
games on. While there are a few rough edges in the game related OS
functions in OS X 1.0, we are working closely with Apple to make sure they
are smoothed out. Even though some game API's need to be fleshed out in OS
X, Westlake is pleased to be able to start developing OS X native versions
of current projects, and is fully committed to native support OS X in future

Games that have just shipped or are close to shipping (Escape from Monkey
Island and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2), will be carbonized to run natively under
OS X over the next month or so and free updates will be released via the
web. Other projects that are in final beta test (Tomb Raider Chronicles and
Centipede), may have time to get OS X native applications on the shipping
CD's, or if scheduling is too tight will have free web updates.

Projects that have been signed but that aren't shipping for more than a
month (Alice, unannounced projects) will support OS X natively right out of
the box when the ship.

Carbonizing games Westlake has shipped over the past four years, including
The Sims, Unreal Tournament, Scrabble, Deus Ex, etc, will be handled on a
case by case basis. We are working with our publishers to pick those titles
that can be reasonably ported to OS X, and hope to be able to announce some
of that work in the near future. Obviously it will not be possible for us
to port our entire library of games (31 games shipped as of March 7,2001),
but we realize many of the popular games like Unreal Tournament are still
selling and have many fans. We are looking forward to working with our
publishers to help us Carbonize some of the most popular games, and have
already been testing our older products for Classic compatibility in case
they can't be made native.

While the transition to OS X will be a bumpy ride for both gamers and
developers, we at Westlake are very excited about the future of Mac games
and OS X as a gaming platform, and are looking forward to bringing the best
games to the Mac for many years to come

This great news should put many of your hearts at ease. With the OMNI Group, GraphSim, id Software, and Westlake all porting their A-list titles to Mac OS X, it looks like we'll have plenty of games to play in the future.

Atari 800 Emulator Updated
3:32 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A quick look at out affiliate site Mac Emuscene pointed out an update to the Atari 800 emulator for the Mac. This is an open-source version of the PC build, which emulates any 6502-based Atari as well as the Atari 5200 console. The emulator is completely free and even already has a Carbon build for play on OS X. Unfortunately there are still some input issues under OS X, though look for them to be resolved soon. Here's an excerpt from the page with more info:


  • Sound (though digitized sounds are not played.)
  • Menu-driven interface.
  • Settings are stored in a preferences file.
  • Keyboard, joystick and paddle input.
  • Saving screen shots into picture files. You can also copy the screen to the clipboard or drag it to another application.
  • Can run Atari executable files directly, without first placing them in an Atari disk image.

    Missing Features

  • Upper fire buttons on 5200 controllers.
  • Light pens.
  • Digitized sounds.
  • Converting between ROM dump files and cartridge files.
  • Saving and loading of the machine state.
  • Integration with the Finder (i.e. responding to open commands.)
  • Does not yet support controllers under MacOS X.

    Fixed Bugs

  • In the first release of 0.9.9h, paddle buttons were reversed (i.e. 1 was 2 and 2 was 1).
  • In 0.9.9h, release 3, there was a bug in the sound code that would sometimes lock up the machine.
  • In the Classic version of 1.0.4d2, the windows couldn't be dragged.
  • Head over to the Atari 800 page now to give the program a try. Both the Classic and Carbon versions of the apps are small downloads, though you'll need CarbonLib 1.0.4 for the latter.

    Mac Emuscene
    Download Carbon Application (320 K)
    Download Classic Application (328 K)
    Atari 800 Emulator Web Site

    April Fool's Pranks Abound
    1:33 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

    While April 1 is just another day, for the jokesters of the online community it is a great day to test just how gullible certain fan communities can be. In keeping with this tradition, quite a few Bungie-related sites decided to have a little fun this weekend, and many a prank was pulled.

    Halo fan-site sported a new look for most of that morning based upon the upcoming Unreal 2, while Halo fan-site sported a look-alike scheme. The biggest gag of the bunch was from Bungie themselves, who "released" information about a game that would feature "Pimps At Sea: where pimping and poop decks collide! Coming Soon(tm)". Included in their spoof was a 100 MB movie trailer for the new game. reported that a tech-preview of Halo was available, well worth the 150 MB download, we're told. MacSlash reported that Apple has bought the XBox technology from Microsoft and will be producing an iBox to match. released a screen shot from the new upcoming expansion pack where Deckard Cain has had some flava' added to his style. All in all, a pretty decent crop of April Fools jokes. If you have one we missed, be sure to add it to the comments thread for this article!

    In realated news, Ion Storm CEO Mike Wilson made a rather shocking .plan update; although from its very character it was obviously a joke, we just wanted to note that it was indeed a joke for those of you worried about the future of Deus Ex 2.

    Mike Wilson's .plan file
    Halo.Bungie.Org Web Site
    Diablo II Expansion Screenshot
    Bungie's Pimps at Sea
    MacSlash iBox

    Creative Labs' SoundBlaster Still MIA
    11:28 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    Although PC peripheral maker Creative Labs announced on March 21st that their Mac version of the SoundBlaster Live! audio card was shipping, these cards have yet to arrive at retailers or at the warehouses of online resellers. IMG continues to receive various reports from readers on their contact with Creative Labs and various stores over the whereabouts of these cards, many of which contradict each other.

    According to the latest report we received, the cards have not even gone into duplication yet, though they should do so sometime this week. An IMG reader reported that when he called Creative on March 30th, he was told that the cards should be manufactured sometime this week and might ship to retailers as soon as this coming weekend.

    We'll continue to track the progress of these long-awaited cards as they reach the Mac platform. On a related note, Brian Souder has posted several times in our Hardware forum emphasizing that the Mac card drivers for the SB Live! will not work with any of the PC cards on the market, and no one should expect to be able to "flash" a PC SoundBlaster and get it to work. Watch for more details on this card soon; read through our preview for an in-depth look at what this sound card has to offer.

    Creative Labs Ships Soundblaster Live!
    Creative Labs Macintosh Homepage
    Soundblaster Live! Preview

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    Adrenaline Vault Anticipates Tropico
    11:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Adrenaline Vault has published a detailed preview of Tropico, the upcoming sim game from PopTop in which you rule as dictator over a small tropical island. The game is getting very close to release, with a Mac version set to follow the PC build by about a month. Tropico will feature an enhanced graphics engine based on the technology used in Railroad Tycoon II, quirky leaders and inhabitants, a complex management system and a wicked sense of humor. Here's an excerpt from the preview:

    Lest players think that PopTop has the emphasis on the micro rather than the macro, rest assured that the success of your country as a whole is the primary objective, even if you are forced to manipulate settings on an intricate level. Another factor affecting almost all of the various statistics is the personality of your dictator. When starting a new game, you are allowed to choose the makeup of your dictator to suit a wide variety of playing styles. Want a real challenge? Try setting the 'rise to power' of your dictator to "Installed by the CIA," and setting your personality flaws to "Paranoid," or "Womanizer." Players will find that each such choice will have a dramatic impact on the method of play needed to achieve victory. Some traits can present you with crippling flaws that may take years to overcome in the eyes of the people. So long as you keep a good supply of palace guards, your reign should continue unhindered for some time. If the people call for an election, you even have an option to rig the vote at the expense of your position if you are caught.
    It is hoped that Gathering of Developers will publish the Mac version of Tropico in mid-May. For more details on the game, be sure to read through the rest of Adrenaline Vault's preview.

    Tropico Preview at Avault
    Tropico Web Site (Flash required)
    PopTop Software
    Buy Tropico

    "Jinn" Demo Level Released
    11:07 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend, Myth II fans got an unexpected treat -- a demo level of the long-awaited total conversion Jinn was released. A creation of the much-praised Vista Cartel, this radical makeover for the flexible Myth II engine is supposed to be a solo and co-op adventure which pushes the limits of what gamers though was possible with this now-classic title. Unfortunately the project has also suffered numerous delays, leading some to believe that it might never be released.

    Vista answered their critics with a "demo" download of Jinn, just a single level from the full project which shows off the new units and level geometry tricks. Anyone who considers themselves a Myth II fan should grab this small download and take it for a spin -- even the most jaded will be impressed.

    Here are Vista's notes on the release:

    Although April the 1st is generally considered a time for gags and trickery, we have planned on releasing our solo demo this weekend because it suits the theme of "vaporware" that we have been accused of.

    The Jinn demo showcases our level Nionel - we felt that it shows all the reasons why Jinn continues to push the limits of the Myth engine, and that you will enjoy it immensely.

    The number of units has been tailored for solo play, so Co-op isn't recommended on this demo. The final release of Jinn will not only support Co-op, it excels at it!

    We look forward to the final release, which still has no set date. Visit The Mill to grab this plug-in.

    Jinn Web Site
    Download Jinn Demo 1.0 (3.6 MB)

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    IMG Previews Warcraft III
    10:02 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games' own Michael Yanovich recently got the chance to visit Blizzard
    HQ and check out the current build of Warcraft III. Warcraft III is the latest incarnation in the
    Warcraft saga of real-time strategy games, and is currently one of the most highly-anticipated upcoming titles
    to date.

    Be sure to check out the preview, which covers just about every conceivable angle on the game, from graphics
    capabilities to races and heroes. The Mac version of Warcraft III is currently set for a near-simultaneous release with the PC version,
    currently scheduled about six months from now.

    Blizzard - Official Warcraft III Site
    IMG - Warcraft III Preview
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III

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    Star Trek: Elite Force Add-on Images
    9:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Nearly a month ago an expansion for Raven's Star Trek title, Elite Force was announced to the world. While no Mac plans have yet been released by Aspyr, we're hopeful that such an add-on will be a likely Mac port as well. The Italian site NextGame has obtained 18 screen shots of some in-game action from the expansion. They show off some of the enemies, characters, and levels so be sure to head over and have a look.

    The title will continue the mission of the Hazard Team with two new singleplayer campaigns as well as a Tour Mode for the starship Voyager. This mode will allow you to move freely through the ship's 15 decks, interacting with the crew members and performing ship functions. The multiplayer will include 17 new maps and 12 new models for use. The first of two new modes will be Assimilate, where you have to find the lone borg before being assimilated. The other is a team fortress-like game where each player picks a character class.

    As mentioned above, we've still not received anything from Aspyr on the possibility of a Mac port, but we're certainly hopeful. Head over to NextGame to check out the screen shots and stay tuned to IMG for more info as it becomes available.

    IMG News: Elite Force Add-on Announced
    Elite Force Add-on Screen Shots at NextGame
    Aspyr Media
    Raven Software
    Westlake Interactive
    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

    OS X Maximum Pool Update Soon
    8:48 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Over the weekend we had the chance to talk a little with Sierra's Jon Milnes about his work on Maximum Pool. You may recal that the demo also had a version that worked under the Public Beta of OS X. Unfortunately, like much of the software for the beta, it broke once OS X 10.0 was released. It sounds like the update is progressing well, and Milnes notes it should be out very soon:

    Everything is working, I just have to call it done...which is
    always the hardest part. Hope that helps.
    In case you haven't yet tried Maximum Pool, head over to Macgamefiles to begin the 15MB download. While you're waiting, also check out IMG's recent review of the title for more information on the game's features.

    Download Maximum Pool Demo (15MB)
    Maximum Pool Web Site
    IMG Review of Maximum Pool

    Mac Games News for Friday, March 30, 2001

    Spiderweb Forums Active6:20 PM
    Diablo II Q&A with Bill Roper5:57 PM
    WWII Online Interview5:29 PM
    Old-School OS X Software3:59 PM
    New Marathon Archive Opens3:20 PM
    The Story of Tropico's Music Roots12:53 PM
    OS9, X Comparison Tests in Radeon vs. GeForce211:28 AM
    Baldur's Gate II Postmortem11:09 AM
    Croteam on Mac Serious Sam10:53 AM
    Rune Expansion Set Screen Shots10:48 AM
    Mac Hitchhiker's 3D to be Simultaneous Release10:23 AM
    Mac Summoner Progress Report10:21 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 30, 2001 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Thursday, March 29, 2001
    Wednesday, March 28, 2001
    Tuesday, March 27, 2001
    Monday, March 26, 2001
    Friday, March 23, 2001

    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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