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Tuesday, June 12, 2001

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New Marathon: Resurrection Shots
8:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG recently scored seven exclusive new screen shots of Marathon: Resurrection, the upcoming total conversion looking to bring the world of Marathon to Unreal Tournament. Fans of the original Bungie series will be treated to a remake of the characters, weapons, and levels, though some inconsistencies in the original will be corrected here. The UT engine also serves as a much-improved backdrop for the game, being full 3D and with many other spectacular effects not possible at the time Marathon was made.

The seven screen shots compliment our original seven posted two weeks ago by showing some new areas and effects. All the shots are 1024x768, so while they may take a little longer to load, you can count on seeing more area and detail. Some of the new images show different areas of previously unseen levels, while others are combat shots. We also have an interesting post-deathmatch look at the player's character model.

Marathon: Resurrection has been in development for quite a while, but it sounds like the team is getting closer to a release. These are promised to be the last promotional images released by the team. For a few more new ones, be sure to head over and check out as well. We'll keep you posted as this very ambitious TC makes it through testing and eventually becomes available for download.

Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #12
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #11
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #10
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #09
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #13
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #14
Marathon: Resurrection Screen Shot #08
Marathon: Resurrection Releases New Images (1-7)
Marathon: Resurrection Web Site
Marathon: Resurrection

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Shadowbane Screen Shots
2:45 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Shadowbane site has recently received its weekly update. This week, the team at Wolfpack Studios has posted four new screen shots of the in-game action from this massively multiplayer RPG. Shadowbane is currently in the second major phase of closed beta testing, and it is hoped a Mac/PC release will happen towards the end of the year. Here's a clip from the site with more info on the new screen shots:

In the first two screenshots, you see a Templar near a small circle of stones and later battling a skeleton of immense proportions. The third screenshots shows a Ranger who has wandered into lands claimed by the undead. And finally, making his first public appearance, we have Kerax Bloodcrest, a Minotaur Barbarian!
All of the shots are very impressive, especially considering how many MMORPGs have to reduce the graphic detail in order to support thousands of players at once. Definitely head over and give the new images a look, and stay tuned to IMG for more on Shadowbane as it nears completion.

Shadowbane Screen Shots Index
Wolfpack Studios

Bungie Opens Support Site
2:43 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story has a new update noting that another section has been added to their web site. Bungie Support is a conglomeration of various tips and solutions to common problems with the company's many older titles. Having trouble with Pathways of Darkness running too slowly, yet the new Microsoft tech guys can't help? Well then, this is the place to go. Here's an excerpt from the page that explains the necessity for the site:

When we moved to Redmond and became part of Microsoft we became a developer instead of a developer/publisher. While this has allowed us to focus on creating incredible games and an incredible community, customer service for our older titles is now handled by people not quite as familiar with the games as we are. So we created this support site to help you out with all the little problems you'll encounter along the road to enlightenment. Breathe a deep breath and dive right in!
There are also links to many demos, manuals, and updates for their various titles, so be sure to add Bungie Support to your list of bookmarks.

In related news, Bungie is moving their many web services to new machines, and have broken a few things in the process. Everything should be back up and running in a week or two, but here are a few things currently down:

- Register a new copy of a game

- Change your password

- Any kind of Order/Team maintenance such as joining or leaving a team. Nor will you be able to boot players from your team, or even create a new team.
As always, check for the latest word as these minor issues are resolved.

Bungie Support Site

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Rune Co-Op Mod and 1.07 Patch
12:43 PM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Yesterday Human Head Studios in conjunction with the Rune Co-Op Team released the long-awaited Co-Op mod for Rune v1.07. This large mod will have many great features, including being able to play the singleplayer game with your friends. Here are a few of its specs:

Rune Co-Op is a multiplayer Co-Op action experience made for up to 4 players to play the entire single player game cooperatively. It features a new game type “Co-Op”, 50% more AI, newer, faster, bigger and stronger monsters along with newer, and bigger Bosses that are 3 to 5 times the size they were in the single player experience.
Although there is a Mac version to download, the requirements state that the 1.07 patch is needed and this has yet to be released for the Mac. It appears then, that the mod is currently unplayable on the Mac. IMG wrote to Westlake Interactive's Mark Adams to get the low-down and here is his reply:
The Mac 1.07 patch is basically finished, but can't be released yet. There are some issues with Gathering and Rune 1.07/HOV that have to be resolved before 1.07 can be relesed on the Mac. Until then I believe Coop will not work on the Mac, sorry.
As soon as the situation is resolved and Westlake Interactive is able to release Rune 1.07/Halls of Valhalla, we'll let you know. For more info on the Co-Op mod or the Halls of Valhalla expansion pack, check out the links below.

Official Rune Site
Rune Co-Op website
Rune: Halls of Valhalla Review
Gathering of Developers
Human Head Studios
Westlake Interactive

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IMG Interviews MacPlay's Chris Jacobson
12:24 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted an interview with MumboJumbo/MacPlay's Chris Jacobson, who has been working diligently the past few months on porting Baldur's Gate II to the Mac. Now in beta testing, Baldur's Gate II will be shipping by MacWorld New York in July. We recently caught up with Chris to chat about MumboJumbo, Baldur's Gate II, OS X, and more. Here's a brief snippet from the interview:

IMG: Can you give us a status update on Baldur's Gate II and when you expect to go golder master?

C.J. Baldur's Gate II is in beta testing - we're ramping up our testing at the moment to try to find as many bugs as we can, so that we can ensure a stable and enjoyable game. I plan to reach GM by the end of the month, so we can launch the game at MacWorld NY.

Jacobson also sent along three new screenshots from the Mac version of Baldur's Gate II. Be sure to check out the entire interview as well as the new screenshots.

Interview: MacPlay's Chris Jacobson
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II

Bungie's Matt Soell Audio Interview
9:23 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

While at E3 the Mac Observer's Ricky Spero managed to get to chat with Bungie's Matt Soell. The interview has some straight honest views from Matt about Bungie, Microsoft, and of course, Halo, and is well worth a listen.

It's refreshing to have this sort of contact with a key player from a developer who has such a history with the Mac and has been involved in so much controversy over the last year. At only 2Mb for a 15 minute Quicktime encoded interview, it's not going to kill your modem.

Matt Soell interview @ the Mac Observer

More on OS X and Gaming
9:20 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

David Read of Macworld has posted the second part of his article on OS X and gaming on the Mac. Whereas the first part of the article covered the history of mac gaming and the trend towards ports of PC games, part two shows how developers are responding to the challenges and opportunities that OS X brings. The usual aspects are covered, so you may not learn anything new, but there are some wise words and interesting views given from a number of Mac game developers including an insight into the development process. Here's a snippet from the article.

Mac OS X tackles all of the gripes about the old Mac operating system. OS X's new protected memory feature allows developers to debug memory problems that would have crashed the system previously. OS X also allocates memory dynamically and uses a far more sophisticated Virtual Memory system than its predecessor. The result? PC games ported to the new OS will use memory more efficiently.

OS X finally does away with all the 68K code that was written into the Mac's operating system more than a decade ago. And developers couldn't be more thrilled. "We expect a major performance boost from a fully PowerPC system," says Philip Sulak, vice president of Westlake Interactive. "Already, file loads are noticeably faster under Mac OS X."

Finally, OS X adds symmetric multithreading support. "About half of the games we are getting from the PC developers are threaded for ease of coding," Sulak says. "Even without another processor, the threading system in Mac OS X is much better."

Take games played over a network. They commonly create a program thread to handle network data for the game. When running in the old Mac OS, that thread often needs to resolve before the game can resume playing. In Mac OS X, however, that thread can be preempted. The processor is allowed to work on the important task of playing the game instead of waiting on the network data.

For the rest of the article, be sure to check out the rest of the article. And if this article leaves you wanting more, why not check out IMG's own in-depth article on OS X from a gamers perspective.

Macworld: What OS X means for Gaming (Part Two)
Macworld: What OS X means for Gaming (Part One)
OS X: A Gamer's Perspective

Progress Report on Pangea's Otto Matic
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone, the author of hit titles such as Cro-Mag Rally and Bugdom, has been busily working on his new game, Otto Matic. A sci-fi title that pays homage to the great "b" movies of the 50's and 60's, Otto Matic has been progressing well, but as Greenstone tells us, the game will probably slip into January. Here's the update he sent IMG:

We're probably 3 days from finishing Level 6, so we've now got levels 1,2,3 and 6 done, and parts of other levels in. We've got much of the real music in the game, and the guy doing the music is absolutely fantastic! The stuff is very authentically 1950's sci-fi.

Even though the game is not even 1/2 done, it is clearly going to be the best thing we've ever done. Our schedule slipped a little bit, however. We originally planned on being done in December, but now it looks like January. So, it'll probably be released in February.

There will be some "big news" to be announced about Otto Matic at Macworld.

Greenstone also sent us a screenshot of Level 6 that is coincidentally a mix of Nanosaur and Bugdom: there are giant lizards and giant bugs. He describes it as the "Radioactive Giant Things Gone Awry" level where Otto can drink a potion to become gigantic to do battle with the big monsters.

We'll be sure to keep tabs on Otto Matic and expect a big announcement about Otto Matic come Macworld New York in July.

Otto Matic (Level 6 Screenshot)
Pangea Software

Mac Games News for Monday, June 11, 2001

MacGamer Interviews Myth III's Andrew Meggs1:21 PM
Sin 1.1.2 Beta Patch Released...Kinda1:14 PM
IMG Reviews the Saitek P150 Action Pad1:06 PM
Fan Interview with Halo Developement Team12:05 PM
V12 "Tribes 2" Engine Nears Release11:14 AM
King of Dragon Pass 1.6 Released9:59 AM
Custer Unleashes Warcraft III Desktop9:21 AM
RivenGuild Closes, New Mudpie Site Up8:19 AM
WWII Coming Back Up, Mac Still Underway8:04 AM
BG2 Testers Needed, Beta Info7:49 AM
Massive Myth II TC 'Jinn' Released7:37 AM
Tamte Announces 'Destineer Studios' and 'Bold' Mac Label7:29 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 11, 2001 on one page

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