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Wednesday, April 25, 2001

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Official Fly! II Site Opens
10:20 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Gathering of Developers has unveiled the new web site for the upcoming flight sim Fly! II. The game is being developed by Terminal Reality and is expected out for both the Mac later next month. It will be fully network compatible with the PC version, and only the Mac will have OpenGL support. The new site has many sections for fans of the series to explore. Check out the screen shots as well as the Adventure Scripting manual which will allow you to create your own scenarios.

The final system requirements are available now, and though they might appear a little hefty to some users, take a look at the screen shots to find out why:

  • Mac OS 8.6 or later (Mac OS X TBD)
  • 1.2 GB available hard disk space (3.2 GB full install)
  • 128 MB of physical RAM (256 or more recommended)
  • 4X CD ROM (24X or faster if loading scenery from CD)
  • PowerPC G3 350 (PowerPC G4 recommended)
  • 16MB Hardware Acceleration required (32 MB recommended)
  • It's good to hear an OS X version is still likely, though it won't ship with the boxed copy of the game. Check out the rest of the Fly! II site for lots of other good information.

    Official Fly! II Web Site
    Terminal Reality
    Fly! II
    Buy Fly! II

    Star Conquest Added to GameRanger Lineup
    2:48 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    A press release from Scott Kevill announces the addition of Star Conquest to the lineup of popular GameRanger titles. Now you can easily play Star Conquest against other Mac users in this turn-based space game. Here's more information on the game from the press release:

    Star Conquest is a turn-based strategic wargame played as a single player,
    multi-player or network game. Up to ten players can play in a game,
    accompanied by up to ten computer controlled players. Your objective is to
    guide your species in its expansion to all corners of the known Universe.

    You start with two or more populated Planets and a small number of Star
    Ships. Using these Star Ships you have to explore and colonise other Star
    Systems. Soon you will encounter other species. Will you choose to conquer
    all, or perhaps fight as part of an alliance? Each year you can decide what
    strategy to follow, moving Star Ships or Fleets to attack or defend,
    colonising Planets and exploring Star Systems. Once every player has issued
    his or her commands, the year ends and the results are calculated. The game
    continues until all players are eliminated and only a single player or
    alliance remains.

    Head over and download GameRanger if you haven't already tried it out. Also be sure to take a look at the Star Conquest site if you're looking for more information.

    Download Star Conquest Demo
    Star Conquest Web Site
    GameRanger Press Release

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    Monkey Island 4 Troubleshooting, Patch Due Soon
    12:26 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    The self-proclaimed Chief Monkey Wrangler, Jesse Spears, made a post in our forums in response to participants who have been reporting problems with the newly-released adventure game Escape From Monkey Island. In case you haven't caught on yet, Jesse ported EMFI for Westlake Interactive. He warns a forum poster of a bug that may cause the game to crash, which involves the in-game music in a particular area. A patch will be released in the near future to address the issue.

    The originator of the forum thread was complaining of rendering bugs that occurred at certain points of the game which caused areas of the screen to be redrawn as white blocks. This is due to a memory shortage, as Jesse notes:

    The white screen (or white squares) is the symptom of the game running out of memory. Normally, saving the game, quitting, and starting it up again should fix the problem.

    However, the spot you've mentioned (just to the right of the boat on Jambalaya Island), has another problem. The problem is actually related to the Music, and can cause crashes in some situations (it's fairly random what will actually happen, you're lucky that it's just making you run out of memory ;-). We know about it, it's been fixed, and we'll be releasing a patch for it soon.

    Until then, try turning off the music for that one area of the game, then turn it back on when you leave the beach.

    As far as we know, this bug only affects that spot on the Beach, but it's possible that it might affect other areas (it's actually a problem with the Music's asking the code to do something very bad, and the code didn't have enough error checking to catch it).

    We'll keep you updated on the progress of this patch and you can be sure to see it on MacGameFiles when it is available.

    Monkey Island 4 Forum Post
    Escape from Monkey Island Site at Aspyr Media
    Aspyr Media
    Escape From Monkey Island
    Buy Escape From Monkey Island

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    New Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Details/Screenshots
    9:26 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    GameSpot has posted some new screenshots and info regarding the upcoming expansion set to Blizzard's hugely popular isometric RPG Diablo II. Titled Lord of Destruction, this set introduces new quests, items, and characters to the world of Diablo II, among other features.

    The new screenshots impart quite a bit of information. There is a great shot of the new character class selection screen that shows the two new classes, the Druid and the Assassin. The Druid is depicted as a huge male (near the Barbarian's size) with a fur of some kind draped over his shoulders. The Assassin is depicted as a slim female with a color scheme very similar to the Necromancer.

    Two of the screenshots show off two new class-specific pieces of equipment. One of them is the Jawbone Visor, a Barbarian-specific item, which imparts a slew of bonuses, such as +1 to Masteries Skills and +9 to Life. The other item, called the Crown Shield, is a Paladin-specific item that grants traits such as a +18 to all Resistances and 11% of Damage taken going to Mana.

    If you're a crazed Diablo II fan, these screenshots are definitely worth a look. The Mac version of Lord of Destruction is set for release sometime this summer.

    GameSpot - Diablo II: LoD Screenshots
    Blizzard Entertainment
    Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

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    Marathon Moves Towards 3D
    8:48 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    The Marathon Open Source site has received an interesting update recently regarding new '3D' objects in the game. As you know, Marathon and other 2.5D games like Doom aren't true 3D environments, but now some ambitious programmers are going back in and adding such features like bridges and other true 3D-like objects. The person working on this part of the souce code has set up his own site, titled Aleph One- Bridges & Balcones. Here's some explanation for how its done with MML (Marathon Markup Language):

    The map file available at the above link includes an interesting MML script in its resource fork. When examined from within ResEdit, some simple but effective new bridge-building MML tags are revealed. It should be noted that the version of the engine that supports these new features is not yet publicly available; it will be released as soon as it is bug-free.
    You can download the map file if you're interested, and you can expect the full application and source to be out soon.

    Aleph One: Bridges & Balcones
    Marathon Open Source Site

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    Neverwinter Nights Update
    8:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Bioware's producer Trent Oster has posted his update on Neverwinter Nights to the site for this upcoming 3D RPG. He talks about the team getting ready for E3 coming up next month, as well as making general progress with this ambitious title. Neverwinter Nights will recreate the newest 3rd Edition AD&D rules while having impressive 3D graphics and cross-platform compatibility. The game will also allow you to play a DM to a group of friends (or total strangers) on the internet.

    It sounds like E3 will be the place where much new information will be revealed, and the team is hard at work on getting a demo of NWN up to speed. Here's a clip:


    Our programmers have been working tirelessly to add new features to the game and integrate an ever-growing number of the 3rd Edition D&D rules. When we started Neverwinter, we knew that the rules system would be a time-consuming task. Well, the task is everything we imagined and more. =) Every day, I'm amazed all over again by the sheer number of criteria that have to be taken into account to run a single round of combat. Combat requires weapons, for example, and creating one within the toolset can involve as many as 60 different effects - everything from bonuses to hit and damage, to different forms of damage immunities, to level draining and electrical damage. In short, we're committed to making Neverwinter Nights one of the most in-depth Dungeons & Dragons experiences possible on your home computer.
    Check out the site for the rest of the scoop on what's going on at Bioware.
    Also interesting is a new post at Interplay regarding a contest surrounding the game. The Designer for a Day contest will require you submit your idea for an NPC (non-player character) in the month of May with the chances they might be included in the shipping version of Neverwinter Nights. Here's more from the post:
    Neverwinter Nights -Designer for a Day Contest (Design your own Character! )

    Have you ever wanted to try your hand at designing a game and
    immortalize your character within the official game release of Neverwinter
    Nights? Interested? Submit your original NPC into Designer for a
    Day Contest and thousands could meet your character in the lands of Neverwinter.

    Contest will run May 1-May 31. Stay Tuned, details are forthcoming.

    We'll keep you posted when more is revealed about this contest, but it sure sounds like a good way to make your own contribution to the project. There is currently no firm release date for Neverwinter Nights, but it's hoped the Mac and PC versions will be out by the end of the year.

    Neverwinter Nights Monthly Update
    Interplay Neverwinter Nights Forums
    Neverwinter Nights
    Buy Neverwinter Nights

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 24, 2001

    Aspyr Clarifies Role of Omni, Westlake Re: Alice3:27 PM
    Shadowbane Updates2:42 PM
    New Red Faction Screenshots10:12 AM
    Details on Combat Mission 29:59 AM
    Mystery Island II 1.0 Released9:48 AM
    Vortex NG Info, Release Date9:16 AM
    Can't Get Enough Tropico Info?9:13 AM
    Tales of the Sword Coast Nears Completion9:01 AM
    Apple Gets Myst-ified8:38 AM
    House Party is "Trendy" for Westlake8:28 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 24, 2001 on one page

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