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Wednesday, April 18, 2001

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id Working on Quake 3 Point Release
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

id Software has been under fire by Mac gamers the last several months; many a flame war has been fought debating the merits of the highly praised yet so far nonexistent AltiVec-enhanced version of Quake 3: Arena. After many months of silence, id programmer Graeme Devine finally spoke out with an update to his .plan. He reveals that id originally planned to update Quake 3 in late March, but for one undisclosed reason or another, this release was delayed. He also assures us that they are hard at work on a final point release, although it may take some time. Here is the full .plan:


I've had a zillion emails today about this, so I guess it needs an update.

Currently we compile Quake 3 under Win32, Mac OS 9/X, and Linux.

It's been a long long time since there has been any sort of update for Quake 3 (well, it seems that way). Originally a new point release way due out towards the end of March, which suited me fine because that coincided with the release of Mac OS X and it meant we would be right there with a point release as the operating system came out.

Well, for several reasons, we're still working on the point release, and it's still a ways out. We've been working extremely hard to get it to you, and working with the mod community to get all the features into the point that you've asked for, and it's all taking a little more time than we originally anticipated. We've also been working hard on the various other work projects id has for Robert, Mr.Elusive and I. Some of these have been on a critical time path in the past few months, and have required our utmost attention.

That's not to say we've not been out there listening. Paul Jaquays over on quake3world has been feeding us daily requests that we've strived to include in this, hopefully the last for a long long time, super mega point release. By working with mod teams, I think you'll see some community work made now that was very hard to impossible to make with the previous point releases.

So for now, please carry on playing Quake 3, with your current version, it's not that bust, broken or mangled, and in fact runs quite nicely. The new point release will be available as soon as it's done, and not before.

And finally, there is STILL no spoon.

Other than the fact that there is no "official" Mac installer for the latest point release, 1.27h does fix many issues players experiences with 1.27g and is on par with 1.17 speed-wise. Don't expect too many more updates from Graeme and the id team, as they like to keep quiet while working on projects. While it is unknown at this time how much of a speed boost, those with G4 systems will experience quite an increase once Q3A has been "tuned" to take advantage of the extra vector processing unit incorporated in that chip. You can be sure we will let you know when the next point release is ready for prime time.

Graeme Devine's .plan File
Troubleshooting Quake 3 1.27h
id Software
Quake III Arena

Minor MacMAME Update for OS X Gamers
1:27 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The eternally-hardworking Brad Oliver has once again updated MacMAME, this time with a Mac OS X-specific version which corrects two problems experienced by users of the latest .037b14 release. This updated version, known as .037b14a, provides the following fixes:

* Under MacOS X, the cursor should be hidden/shown properly now. [Brad Oliver]

* Under MacOS X, MacMAME no longer attempts to switch to a broken 8-bit mode. If you were seeing scrambled graphics before, the problem should hopefully be gone now. [Brad Oliver]
Those of you playing MacMAME with Apple's next-generation operating system might want to grab this version immediately.

Clan Lord Updated to v177
12:54 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

VersionTracker has noted the update of Clan Lord to v177. Clan Lord is Delta Tao's Mac-only MMORPG that features epic quests, various clans and a system designed to promote player cooperation.

The update features the following:

  • We crashed on 4/9. First time in 78 days. The record is 100 days. A slightly confused gerbil filled all available space with silly messages. It was re-educated
  • /useitem left will use the item in your left hand
  • All other changes are secret. Enjoy

The update, as well as the full version of Clan Lord, can be downloaded from Delta Tao's website at the link below.

Delta Tao - Clan Lord Site
Version Tracker - Clan Lord v177 Update

Applelinks Overview of Game Music Moofie Nominees
12:37 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Applelinks has recently posted a special report that details their four nominees for the Moofie award for Original Score. For those unfamiliar with the Moofies, they are a series of awards voted on by Applelinks readers that are given to various tongue-in-cheek categories involving Mac gaming, such as Best Picture, Best Actor, and Cinematography.

The four nominees for the Original Score Moofie are "Nuclear Kangaroo Music" from Cro-Mag Rally, the soundtrack for Diablo II by Matt Uelmen, Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" used in Risk 2, and "Toontrack" from Traitor's Gate.

In their report, Applelinks briefly remarks on the progress that game music has made. In the old days of the Apple II, music was limited to single-tone beeps and sound effects. Today, we have full-blown scores being played at CD quality and processed through multiple-channel sound chips. The nominees for this year have composed music that not only befits the games they are used in, but also sound great played by themselves through an mp3 player.

The report also covers each nominee in detail, providing various links to each composer's works, webpages, and mp3 downloads. Anyone interested in the inner workings of game music composition should definitely check out Applelinks. The Moofie awards for this year are also still open for voting, and voters can also register to win free games from MacSoft and Freeverse Software.

Applelinks - Moofie Awards Special Report: Game Music
Applelinks - Moofie Awards Voting Page

MacGamer's 10 Types of Gamers
11:22 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacGamer took a break fromtheir usual gaming coverage to post a "humor" piece titled The Ten Types of Gamers, a look into the deep, dark underworld of gaming geekdom. It breaks down stereotypical gamer's archetypes into 10 distinct categories, with vivid descriptions of each that should make any seasoned gamer laugh, at least until they realize that one of the archetypes hits just a little to close to home.

Here's a sample from "The Sulker" type:

Will never, under any circumstances, take responsibility for a gaming loss. Common scapegoats are high ping times, bad latency, amateurishly designed multiplayer map, dirt in the mouse, poor monitor quality, room temperature, rabbits chewing the cables, Saturn not aligning properly with Jupiter, the devalued Yen, that Europeans came to North America and introduced diseases into the native civilization that killed scores of thousands, poor arch support as a child, that it's against the rules for two men to dance together at Disneyworld, that Jim Carrey is Canadian, or anything having to do with famine, pestilence, bestiality, poor spelling, organized religion or migrating geese. As his name suggests, losing will cause him to sulk without interruption and, in fact, he is likely to begin silently disassembling his computer and show himself out the door.

If the Sulker beats you at a game, however, he will dance freely for several minutes and force you to listen to him singing "Fear my skillz! Fear my skillz! I owned you! I owned you!"

While the wild caricatures contained in the article may inspire a few laughs, we're sure they won't cause any of you to give yourself guilty looks in the mirror. No, of course not.

MacGamer - 10 Types of Gamers

The Future of Gaming?
9:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Stomped has noted the posting of an article titled The Future of Gaming: 2006, an exposition by PC Gamer regarding the next five years of gaming as based off the progress made in the last five years. Though it's a bit PC-flavored, it's an intriguing look into the future possibilites of gaming and includes quotes from noted industry leaders such as Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games and David Perry, president of Shiny Entertainment. Epic is of course the creators of the Unreal/Unreal Tournament series and engine, and Shiny created Sacrifice, a 3D RTS being brought to the Mac OS.

PC Gamer notes that, if one were to look at the past five years of gaming, amazing leaps in technology have already taken place. In the year 1996, 200mhz was one of the fastest processor speeds around. 3dfx was just getting around to introducing its Voodoo chipset. Many games were still DOS-based on the PC platform. This is quite a contrast with what the PC crowd is currently playing with: 1ghz processors, all PC games running under Windows, and the demise of the heretofore successful 3dfx.

Interestingly enough, PC Gamer points out that even though technologies have advanced significantly, the games we play today are pretty much the same as back then. Five years ago, we played Myst, Warcraft, and Dark Forces. Today we're waiting on Myst III, Warcraft III, and the Star Wars online game. When the aforementioned Bleszinski, Perry, and other industry insiders were asked to remark on the subject, they all pretty much said the same thing: future games need to become more immersive, evoke more emotion, and in Perry's words, create "game worlds that I don't want to leave."

There's little fear that the technology side will not keep pace. According to statistics, processor power increased by over 700% in the past 5 years, and trend analysts are saying this will continue through the next 5 years. The same can be said for graphics cards, which continue to push the envelope and add new features to create near-photorealistic games -- the GeForce 3 is a pretty good example of this, and it's just the beginning.

In terms of sound technology, though some insiders believe that there's not much more to be done, others say that there's still plenty to do. More and more channels will be added, one of the proposals being 10.2 sound, involving 10 speakers and 2 subwoofers. At the other end of the spectrum, there's the possibility of sound input, allowing for voice-controlled games.

The article goes on to discuss wide-scale broadband use, gaming on wireless devices, and the various types of controllers that may be out in the future. It's an extremely interesting read and well worth the time.

PC Gamer - The Future of Gaming: 2006

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Soldier of Fortune 2 Officially Announced (For PC)
9:19 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Adrenaline Vault has recently noted the official announcement by Activision of Soldier of Fortune 2, the sequel to the popular FPS Soldier of Fortune, noted for its extremely bloody gameplay and realistic "hit locations." These features allowed players to target knees, hands, and other such body areas to achieve different results.

One of the known details of this title is that it will (like its predecessor) star John Mullins, who is a consultant for an anti-terrorist group known as The Shop. The game will have a wide range of missions, such as recon and hostage rescue. As Deus Ex is now the rod by which all FPS games are measured, one hallmark of the solo play of SoF2 will be the flexible approach to gameplay - a player can choose to either directly assault full-force or try a stealth-based approach in order to complete the same objective. The accurate damage modeling and reproductions of actual weapons that made the first game so popular will be in place, and missions will take place in real-world locations such as Prague, Hong Kong, and Columbia.
Players will also be able to ride in various vehicles, such as armored cars and helicopters.

The heartening news to Mac owners should be that this sequel is based on the portable Quake III Arena engine, vastly increasing the chances of it being ported over to the Mac platform. SOF2 will also use the GHOUL II technology, which allows for the aforementioned damage modeling as well as realistic model animations. There will also be an option to filter out most of the mature content from the game -- mature in this case meaning realistic decapitations and such, not nude women.

Many Mac users were disappointed when the proposed original Soldier of Fortune port fell through. Though no official announcement of a port of SOF2 for the Mac has been made yet, an earlier posting from Raven, developers of the first title, leaves plenty of room for hope:

Soldier of Fortune (the original) unfortunately will not be making an appearance on the Mac. The deal for the port fell through, I believe. However...SoF2 is based on the Quake III engine, so it would be, in theory, easier to port to the Mac. I'd say the chances of it making an appearance are pretty good, though nothing has been signed at this time.
Be sure to check out an earlier IMG posting regarding a Mac SOF2 possibility at the link below. Also be sure to peruse GameSpy's posted screen shots of this title. And keep your fingers crossed.

GameSpy - SOF2 Screenshots
IMG - Mac SOF2 Possibility?
The Adrenaline Vault - Official SOF2 Announcement

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Oberin Gains New Users, Forums
9:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After we ran a story on the freeware RPG Oberin on Monday, nearly 250 people have now downloaded the client from MacGameFiles. This is actually quite a few new players added to the still-growing realm, so we're happy to see it become more popular. The influx of players did reportedly create some lag on Monday night, though we encourage you to try again if you found this too unpleasant, as the server should be back up to speed after a few fixes.

If you've scoured the Oberin site, but still found the lack of a forum to be unacceptable, there are a few options. Traxus, a player in the game, sent us word about his message board which is available for all players in the game to use. His site is one of the first fan pages for Oberin, and also has some helpful information available if you're still getting started in game. His forums also have a section for the first few of the game's guilds, if you happen to be a member.

Another place to post comments/problems/etc is on the official Oberin groups site. You have to sign up as a member of the Yahoo eGroups system to log in, but once there you can post and read messages from both players and those developing the title. We encourage anyone interested in Mac-only online RPGs to investigate Oberin, as it is designed from the ground-up to be a community project which will develop to fit the users, not the other way around.

Yahoo Groups Oberin Section
Oberin Forums at the Traxus Project
Download Oberin 0.1.6 (15.8MB)

Steve Jobs Fireside Chat at WWDC
8:35 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Apple today announced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will kick off its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) with a “fireside chat” with developers on Monday, May 21, 2001, at 9:30 a.m.

The five-day event, which runs from May 21-25, at the San Jose Convention Center, will focus almost exclusively on Mac® OS X, Apple’s next generation operating system, with in-depth technical sessions and a showcase of the latest development tools.

Other Activities at Apple’s WWDC 2001 include:

• more than 100 in-depth technical sessions and hands-on labs to get the latest information on Mac OS X directly from Apple engineers and technology experts

• an Exhibitor Fair with the latest development tools and products

• the Apple Design Awards for: innovation, advanced Mac OS X look and feel, use of Apple technologies and exciting new product entries to the Mac OS X market.

Be sure to visit the Apple WWDC website for additional registration and pricing information.

WWDC web site

StarCraft Cinematics DVD Available
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

While this isn't exactly Mac gaming news, we thought that the many of you out there who consider yourselves fans of Blizzard's RTS StarCraft might be interested in the following. A short article posted on Fastest Games News Online led us to the StarCraft Widescreen DVD Cinematics Collection, which is (as the name might lead you to believe) a DVD full of cinematics from StarCraft. However, Blizzard does nothing halfway, and as such this is no mere collection. Here is the full description:

For the first time, the epic cinematics from StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War have been collected onto one disc and digitally remastered for enhanced picture quality on your DVD player. Finally, you can witness the struggle for galactic domination in its full, uninterrupted glory!


  • 36 minutes of cinema-quality digital animation
  • Exclusive director's commentary
  • Original development artwork and never-before-seen storyboards from the Blizzard Film Department
  • Cinematic trailers for StarCraft, Brood War, Diablo II, the Diablo II Expansion Set, and Warcraft III
  • Frankly we're not sure how long this has been available, so your best bet is to grab it right away before they are gone. Thanks to FGN for the link.

    StarCraft Cinematics DVD Collection

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    Myst III: Exile Previews
    6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

    "Gold" copies of Myst III: Exile seem to be making the rounds of the PC sites, and they are sqeezing in previews in the few short weeks before this title ships. Both GameSpot and Daily Radar have posted short previews of the adventure title developed by Presto Studios, a "threequel" in the series begun by the now-classic title MYST.

    The GameSpot hilights a particular issue that has been quite controversial from the beginning -- namely, that this Myst is not the work of Cyan or the Miller brothers, but of Presto Studios. While Presto is a well-respected innovator in the genre (they created the Journeyman Project series), diehard fans may be suspect of a title that doesn't have the Cyan stamp on it. Here is an excerpt on the complex web behind this creation:

    Click for full size imageWhen it comes to Myst III: Exile, however, the single biggest reason for the long hiatus between it and Riven is that the franchise has gone through some turbulent changes. Three different companies--Mattel, The Learning Company, and Ubi Soft--have held the rights to the Myst and Riven product line over the last several years. That state of flux brought unique stumbling blocks to the development of Exile, says Dan Irish, Ubi Soft's producer for the game. He also oversaw the development of Myst Masterpiece, realMyst, and Myst IV (yes, it's already in the works). "With every change came a new set of challenges and standards that needed to be met, in addition to my own," notes Irish. "Educating the top executives from each of the various companies became a regular event during the development of Myst III: Exile." And like the Millers--who longtime fans might be disappointed to learn had virtually no involvement in the game's development--Irish was dedicated to making Exile a top-quality product.
    Daily Radar took a more straightforward approach, and they offer a summary of the game's features and setting as well as several new screen shots. There are also comments on the technology and other innovations behind the title, though not much new information is revealed.

    Myst III: Exile is expected the first or second week of May, for Mac and PC. As IMG reported previously, that date is for the US release; the European release will be delayed until September to localize the game for several languages.

    Myst III Delayed Until Fall for Europe
    Myst III: Exile Preview at Daily Radar
    Myst III: Exile Preview at GameSpot
    Presto Studios
    Myst III: Exile
    Buy Myst III: Exile

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 17, 2001

    Fly! II Lands at GM Status4:06 PM
    IMG Reviews Driver2:22 PM
    WWDC Game Sessions2:12 PM
    GameSpot Previews Majesty: The Northern Expansion9:45 AM
    Hands-On With Red Faction9:27 AM
    Warcraft III Info, Preview9:18 AM
    New Deus Ex OESS, Tips8:13 AM
    Dragon's Lair 3D Preview6:00 AM
    First Shadowbane Test Phase Completed6:00 AM
    pop-pop Pops Back Up6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 17, 2001 on one page

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