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Friday, June 22, 2001

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e.p.i.c. Interactive Update
8:43 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The German-based company e.p.i.c. Interactive recently sent IMG an update on the status of their games currently in progress. The Feeble Files, a quirky adventure game that was announced as an e.p.i.c. project a few months ago, is now in late beta and expected out soon. There are some new Mac screen shots of the game up on their site, as well. The strategic economy simulation Knights and Merchants is also in testing and should be out in the next month. Lastly, they're working on an expansion for the RTS Earth 2140, which will add much new content to the game. Here are more details straight from the team:

Status update: the MAC version of our cartoon adventure THE FEEBLE FILES is in late beta stages and will probably go into production next week. You can find some screenshots taken from the Macversion below. The game will come on 3 CDs and comes in english, french, spanish, german and italian versions. You will find more information on this game and how pathetic rebellions can get in our projects section.

Empire builder Knights and Merchants is now in early beta testing on the Mac. We expect a demo version to become available mid July.

Add-on CD Earth2140 Mission Pack with 80+ new single player missions, 6 new units, 2 new buildings and 1 new terrain will be available for Mac and Amiga by the end of July. The Amiga Mission Pack will bring multiplayer support to this RTS via LAN.

This is more great news for Mac gamers, as the summer lineup of titles keeps growing larger. We'll keep you posted on these (and other) games due out from e.p.i.c, so stay tuned for more info in the near future.

IMG News: Update on Simon3D, Other e.p.i.c. Titles
e.p.i.c. Interactive Web Site
The Feeble Files

Beta Rogue Spear Patch Released
5:50 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacSoft's Nate Birkholz wrote in with word of an open beta for the tactical shooter Rogue Spear. This is a time-limited version of the application just to work out some final bugs in the game. Some of things fixed do include cross platform networking, crashing, and sound problems. Here's more from Nate on what they need from RS players:

Once you download the patch, unstuff it and read the "READ BEFORE
INSTALLING PATCH" file, then double-click the updater to install the
update. We cannot think of an easy way to force you to read the "READ
BEFORE INSTALLING PATCH" file before you install, so we are just going
to pathetically beg you to read the file first:

Please, please, dear God, please read the "READ BEFORE INSTALLING PATCH"
file before installing the patch.

This version fixes most of the known crashing and sound bugs, as well as
allowing cross-platform networking, but does contain a few known bugs,
particularly a bug which prevents the use of the "Random Map" function
in multiplayer games. Since we know about this one, we'd appreciate it
if you didn't report it over and over again.

Mostly, we really need people to hammer on multiplayer games. Please
play on GameRanger a lot if you really want to help.

Please send all bug reports to the address
so we
can fix the outstanding bugs in this product. If you don't report a bug,
we don't know about it; if only one or two people report a bug, it will
probably look like a localized issue and will not be fixed. If a bunch
of people report a bug, it will be chased and, hopefully, fixed. That's
how this works.

This patch will expire on July 4th, 2001, after which you will have to
revert to the shipping version of Rogue Spear. We are sorry for the
inconvenience of this, but unfortunately this is how we have to do it;
if you don't want to reinstall Rogue Spear after the 4th, then don't
download this patch. We will sift through all the reports you will be
sending (and you WILL be sending reports, right?), and will subsequently
release what we hope will be the final Rogue Spear patch.

So be sure to read the readme, then start playing and sending in any unknown bugs to the above email address. Head over to Macgamefiles to download the new beta.

MacSoft Web Site
Download Rogue Spear Beta (2.7MB)

Jena & Auerstadt 1806 Released
11:47 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

If turn-based warfare set in the Napoleonic age is your cup of tea, then the latest release from By Design will be a welcome addition. Using the same game engine as the previous titles, this is another historic recreation of actual battles of that era. Here's the press release:

By Design, Inc. proudly announces that we have completed a new Napoleonic
wargame only for the Apple Macintosh.

This new game is based on the Waterloo Campaign engine but covers the battle
between Napoleon and the Prussians in the fall of 1807.

The game has the following exciting features:

  • Battalion level conflict, command hundreds of units!
  • Great new graphics, see hedge rows, streams, chateaux, and smoke clouds
    hang over the battlefield.
  • Skirmishers!
  • All the commanders down to the Division level are present.
  • Command your units as groups. You can move hundreds of units with a click
    of the mouse.
  • Capture enemies flags. Increase the pride of your troops when they carry
    back enemy flags from a mélee.
  • Move units in formation by simply clicking where you want them to move to.
  • Multiple units per square.
  • Play either side and even switch sides in the middle of a battle.
  • The units are fully editable. Add or remove any unit from any battle.
    Change the characteristics of any unit.
  • Elegant, effortless interface. Lots of new interface features to help you
    understand your army and how to win.
  • Rich historical content.
  • Outstanding sound, hear the charge, cannons roar, and cavalry pound past
    your position.

System Requirements:

Mac OS 7.0 or better

68040 or PPC

8 MB memory

8 MB hard disk space

Price $24.95 (bundled with other Napoleonic games for less)

Visit the By Design web site for screen shots and details. Be sure to check out the details on Ancient Warfare, By Design's first realt-time strategy title.

By Design, Inc.

'Dragon Alpha' Set for Aug 1st Release
11:29 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Jared Plumb of Dracosoft has sent out word that the shareware RPG Dragon Alpha is in final testing and will be ready for release on August 1st. The game features 800x600 resolution at thousands of colors, an extensive list of items and encounters and many occupations (classes) of character to choose from. A plug-in based engine will allow the game to be expanded after release. Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Dragon Alpha will be released August 1, 2001 for 25$. It will require a
Power PC (preferably a G3 or newer), System 8.1 or newer, and 32 MB of RAM.
Dragon Alpha will also require that the computer running it can run at 800 x
600 with thousands of colors. On or before October 1, 2001 Dracosoft will
release a free update to Carbonize Dragon Alpha. Dragon Alpha is a
traditional RPG focuses primarily on game play. Dragon Alpha attempts to
remedy the problem with modern RPG’s being to easy. Dragon Alpha’s game
difficulty ranges from intermediate to very hard.

Story Introduction

1000 years ago a Great Elder Dragon came down from the heavens and
unleashed a wrath of wild dragons on the world. The Gods fearing the wrath
of such a powerful force would destroy them, they withdrew into hiding. Now
wild dragons rule the world and humans are no longer the dominant force of
the planet. People have accepted the fate given to them and attempt to live
in union with the dragons knowing that at anytime a dragon could wipe
through their homes killing all in their way. The game begins with your
character having had enough with the death caused by dragons and vows he
will rid the world of their evil tyranny. Most people find him foolish but
nonetheless he pushes on with his personal holy quest.

According to the PR Dracosoft also has several other titles in development, and they plan to develop for consoles as well in the future. Visit the web site for more information.


Targetware Expands Closed Beta Test
11:18 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Although Targetware missed their projected date for a public beta of Target Korea, this unique community-based flight sim is still in the thick of development. A recent press release states that they will soon be expanding the pool of closed beta testers for the game, and have closed the application process as well. Here is the update:

The Targetware series of online combat flight simulators, are based upon a
unique physics engine developed for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms
by Sickware, a privately held company located in San Francisco, California.
Sickware operates as a virtual corporation comprised of an international
development staff from three countries.

Targetware has announced that as of today, they will not be accepting any
NEW Closed Beta Applications for Target Korea. They have received almost
1200 applications to participate on the Target Korea closed beta team and we
would like to publicly thank everyone who has applied. Over the next few
weeks, they will be reviewing ALL of the registered applications and
aggressively adding large batches of players to the closed beta team to
greatly enhance load testing capabilities. For those players who were not
able to participate in the closed beta, it was stated that the current
development timeline projects offering a general "Open Beta" for the
community at large to participate in during the second half of 2001.

The Targetware engine blends an exceptionally secure and unique development
architecture together with direct 'hands-on' community participation, in
order to create a 250+ player on-line environment, which essentially has
been designed by the customer base itself. With an open architecture
approach to graphics, flight models, terrains and even servers, Targetware
combines extensibility and customization with a high-fidelity flight
simulator, that insures that everyone is playing by the same rules.
Targetware is the 'branding' identifier for the engine and the series of
products that are being built under it. For example, the first of the
series will be titled Target Korea and will feature the Mig 15bis versus the
F86f-30 Sabre. Target Korea is currently undergoing closed beta testing and
is expected to be simultaneously available in open beta for both Windows and
Macintosh systems during the early Fall of this year.

For more information on and screen shots of this flight sim, be sure and visit the Targetware web site.

Targetware Web Site
Target Korea

IMG Interviews Andrew Welch
10:08 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has just posted an extensive interview with Andrew Welch, 'el presidente' of Ambrosia Software and one of the most recognizable names/faces in Mac gaming. When he's not producing in-depth editorials about Mac OS X (see link below) he is shepherding a whole slew of future releases for Ambrosia from development stage to final product. Ambrosia seems set to release one amazing title after another, and this interview provides a status update on all the major titles in progress as well as Andrew's thoughts on the potential impact of OS X on gaming. Here is an excerpt:

IMG: What will Mac OS X be able to do for games that 9.1 has never allowed?

Andrew Welch: Other than better performance for OpenGL, I don't see OS X offering a great deal for games that you couldn't do in OS 9. Developers will have an easier time developing and debugging their games, which certainly could have an impact on developers deciding to port to the Mac.

More than anything, I think OS X will renew people's interest in MacOS as a platform, bringing more people back into the MacOS fold as OS X is refined and optimized. A revitalization, if you will.

IMG: What changes will Deimos Rising have over the initial shareware shoot-em-up, Mars Rising?

Andrew Welch: I've met more than a few people who've stated in no uncertain terms that playing Mars Rising nearly caused their hands to permanently cramp into a most unlikely claw-like shape. Mars Rising was (and still is, frankly -- good games stay good) just one of those games that put you in a ecstatic trance as you played it.

Since we're all for creating more game-addicted zombies, we decided it was high time a sequel to Mars Rising came out! Deimos Rising is everything Mars Rising was, and more -- huge maps with detailed terrain, new enemies to fight, all wrapped up in a killer 16 bit transparent graphics engine with 16 bit sound effects, and explosions that'll make you cringe in self-defense.

This is one pack of zombies that can't wait to play these new games. Read the rest of the interview for more updates, screen shots and details.

"President's Letter: Why is OS X slow?" by Andrew Welch
Interview: Ambrosia Software's Andrew Welch

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Mac Deep Space Nine: The Fallen in July?
9:19 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

We will of course understand completely if you treat this news item with extreme skepticism; rest assured we also have one eyebrow cocked skyward in disbelief. Throughout the development of the Mac OS version of Deep Space Nine: The Fallen from Simon and Schuster and The Collective, we've had the word "gold" dangled in front of us far too many times without result to be anything less than suspicious.

However, this time the news comes direct from Doug Hare of the development team at the Collective, so for what its worth we'll present his prediction. As you might remember, the primary stumbling block that has held Mac DS9 back for so many, many months has been the sound and music system. The Mac version of the Unreal Tournament engine has its own Mac-specific music system (known as Zerius) but this music engine plays MOD (module) music files; the music and ambient sound in DS9 is based on MP3 files, which on the PC side are played through a much-used sound playback library known as the Miles Sound System. Unfortunately for quite some time no Mac OS equivalent of this MSS was available, and thus The Collective was stuck waiting for RAD Game Tools to complete the Mac version of this library.

As we reported several months ago, the Mac version of Miles Sound System now seems to be complete, after an extended beta testing period. Doug Hare of The Collective confirmed this, although he said they discovered several bugs that have slowed down integrating this engine with the Mac DS9 port.

According to Doug he expects final testing of the game to begin in the near future; this should be a swift process, as the port of the actual game (minus the sound system) has been complete and tested for many months). Duplication should begin soon afterwards, and he said he expects a release in July of this year. Yes, we did add the "of this year" just for kicks. If his prediction proves true -- and we sincerely hope it does, as we are still quite eager to play this game -- July will be a huge month for Mac gamers, as the list of titles due that month (and at MWNY, of course) continues to grow.

Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
The Long, Sad History of DS9 for the Mac OS
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

dimension 3 Game Engine Update
8:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Brian Barnes sent IMG a quick note about his work on the OS X 3D gaming engine dimension 3. It seems progress on the engine is going well, and an initial public release should be out soon. dim3 will be released for free to the general public, allowing experienced programmers to make any sort of game they might want. Game authors who end up charging money for a title made with dim3 will need to pay a royalty fee, as you might expect. Here's a clip with more:

A quick note on what's going on with dim3. The next release will be a
public "tech preview." It will feature a nearly complete engine, plus
some demo maps, scripts, and models so you can see how everything is put
together. No editors will be included as they aren't ready for

The date I'm shooting for is next Friday.

For those who don't know, dim3 is a modern 3D-OpenGL game without
content, designed exclusively for mod makers, using well-known
JavaScript as it's scripting language. Instead of building or editing
pieces of another companies game or starting from scratch, you can use
your skills to produce a wholly original and unique entity. dim3 is the
first RAD (Rapid-Application-Development) platform for 3D games!

Check out the Klink! Software web site for details on dim3.

Klink Software Web Site

Geneforge Media Updates
8:54 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software has recently updated their web site with new media from their game in progress Geneforge. This RPG casts you as a Shaper, able to create new life forms with your powerful magic. You can summon a variety of creature to aid you in combat, making more or less depending on their strength. New pics of the various creatures you will be able to make are now posted on the site. These vicious beasts look quite good, except for the Ornk (which just looks like a meal).

The screen shots page has also been updated with actual in-game images of Geneforge. A disclaimer notes the title is still early in development, so the graphics you see could change radically before its release; it is common to use "placeholder" graphics at the Alpha stage. This title is due by next Spring.

Geneforge Web Site (Creatures and Screen Shots Pages Updated)
Spiderweb Software

More 'Secret' Westlake Projects Appear
8:51 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two new projects have been added to Westlake Interactive's already impressive list of titles currently underway. It seems as if the company is starting to enjoy giving puzzling code-names to their titles, as this always encourages rampant speculation among the Mac community.

These two new projects follow in the tradition of the "Peroxide" code name (which turned out to be Undying) with one known as the "White" Project and the other named Project "Stanley." These are by far the most creative names so far, and we're stumped as to what these two might be. If you think you've got an idea of what might be behind the curtain, head on our to our forums and contribute your educated guess. The winner earns the respect of (and gloating rights over) other forum participants...

Westlake Project Status Page
New Westlake Projects Forum Thread

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Classic Version of Q3A 1.29f Beta Released
8:39 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

id software's Graeme Devine has again updated his .plan file, this time with news of a Classic version of the 1.29f beta point release for Quake 3 Arena. This news has been eagerly awaited by all pre-OS X fraggers, certainly -- however, as you will see, we're not out of the woods yet. Here's what Graeme had to say:

A Mac Classic build of 1.29f is in the process of being posted to the id ftp site.

I have not had time to make an installer, or extensively test this build. SO IT MIGHT NOT WORK. However, because of user demand I am making it available asap. If you want to download the .sit file and give it a go, it'll be there shortly.

The filename is quake3-MacClassic-1.29f-BETA.sit


Take heed, Graeme has gone out of his way to release this early, if you do have problems, spamming his mail isn't going to help matters. The download is similar in size to the OS X build at 25.3Mb, but the download shouldn't need any justifying for hardcore Q3A fans. We hope to have the file mirrored at macgamefiles soon, as id's server's are bound to be under even more pressure with another release. If you want to play it safe, there is likely to be an installer-based update soon. IMG will have further details along with some hard numbers as soon as our modems cool down!

Classic Q3A 1.29f beta @

Mac Games News for Thursday, June 21, 2001

'Glyphs' Puzzle Solved, 'Arrival' Site Launched3:06 PM
A60 Rescue Mission Released1:45 PM
Blizzard Pulls Diablo II Patch Features1:29 PM
Star Conquest Updated to 1.1, Carbonized10:14 AM
Ion Storm Using Unreal Engine, Mac Deus Ex 2 Assured?9:01 AM
Coldstone Engine Q&A8:55 AM
Quake 3 1.29f Updated for OS X8:55 AM
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is Gold8:53 AM
Escape from Monkey Island 1.1.2 Patch Released8:21 AM
Westlake Behind Port of Age of Empires 26:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, June 21, 2001 on one page

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Wednesday, June 20, 2001
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
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