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Monday, July 2, 2001

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Diablo II, Lord of Destruction and updates
9:15 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

It's been a busy weekend for Blizzard and fans of the ever popular Diablo II. With the expansion pack Lord of Destruction released worldwide on Friday, there were sure to be some teething problems and it was expected that the servers would be inundated as they were last year with the release of D2 itself. To alleviate this a number of extra servers have been installed in Europe to take help the extra strain.

Worldwide there have also been updates to the server-side software, a patch for LoD and an unannounced patch for Mac 'classic' D2 users. It appears that a major bug crept into the 1.08 update which caused a crash while playing; if you connect to this 1.08b patch will automatically be applied. Here's the info

(Mac) Fixed a crash on involving combining rune words together.
For those of you who have already got your hands on LOD there has been a patch released to bring this up to version 1.08 which can be downloaded separately or by connecting to

There have also been a few changes which have been applied server-side on, with a downloadable patch for single-player and TCP multiplayer shortly, possibly co-inciding with the upcoming 1.09 update. Here's the relevant info:

Item drops have changed (fixed a bug in chest drops, increased quality of monster drops).

Invalid items will be deleted where possible including on character
and in inventory.)

Fixed "each time you equip certain sets you accumulate new
+bonuses" bug (Angelic set).

Fixed hit-point wrapping on big bosses (1-shot kill of Mephisto in

Fixed Horadric cube being deleted when it should not.

Macintosh only. Rune combinations no longer crash game.

To get these updates either connect to or for those that a separate patch is available, pop over to MacGameFiles Stay tuned for further D2 and LOD info as it appears. news
LOD update @
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Custer Celebrates Diablo II: LoD
2:34 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our main pixel pusher Brad Custer has cooked up yet another game-themed desktop for those of you who want to keep the game vibe alive even when (*shudder*) working. Appropriately, this week his theme is Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Blizzard's just-released expansion for their million-selling real-time RPG. Here is more on this latest creation from Custer:

This week's creation started off with another purpose in mind, but as I worked on it, the desktop developed into the finish product before you.
As some of you may recall, I've been doing a series or study of the Diablo 2 character classes.
Currently, I'm still missing 2 characters from Diablo 2 with the assassin from the expansion set being one of them.
My original plan was to make this week's desktop focus on her, but as I worked on the background I found that I was really happy with how it looked.
I didn't want to ruin it, so I called it a wrap.
The name, Destruction Awaits, comes from the back of the expansion set box.
I hope you enjoy this desktop as much as I did creating it.
Jump to Custer's Desktops to grab the new image in the size you require.

Custer's Desktops

StarEdit Emerald Released
2:24 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Over the weekend MacGameFiles listed a new version of StarEdit Emerald, a specialized editor for creating campaign maps for Blizzard's RTS StarCraft. Use hidden units, alternate AI scripts and even change unit names to create your ultimate custom scenario. Here are more details:

StarEdit Emerald is a special version of the regular StarEdit campaign editor. This version allows you to place all the hidden units of Starcraft. This include Mensk, General DuGalle, Rasagel, and others. Also, you can now place some units that were not placeable like the Disruption Web and the Dark Swarm or the Zerg Larva and Lurker Cocoon. You can also rename ALL the units. This includes the powerups, mineral and vespene chunks, attacking traps and others. Finally, you can use new AI scripts that were previously hidden. These are AI Train Nuke, AI Disruption Web Here, AI Recall Here, AI Nuke Here, Turn ON or OFF Shared Vision for all the eight players and others. It also allows you to give ANY unit to ANY race, by double-clicking on that unit and changing it's owner. Say you have a Blue Protoss player and a Red Terran player. Add a marine for Player 1, double-click on it, select Player 2 for the owner, and voila! There are a few other features, just explore the program!
For those of you still caught up in Blizzard's classic RTS, this tool will unlock all of the game's possibilities. This tool is designed specifically to work with the Brood War expansion pack installed.

StarEdit Emerald 3.5.3 (1.6 MB)

IMG Reviews Summoner
12:50 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Of all the PC titles due to arrive on the Mac this Summer, Summoner is arguably one of the most anticipated -- merely for the fact that this game is the first of its kind on our platform. A full-3D RPG on an epic scale, this game began as a PS2 title but was further refined and tuned as it came to the Mac, with the addition of higher resolutions and network play. Now IMG has published an in-depth review of the game, an especially important resource for a game such as this which will have no demo. Here's an excerpt:

From the very beginning, Summoner draws the player in and never lets go. The first moments of the game are incredible, players find themselves in the middle of a burning village with nothing more than a short sword with which to defend against several advancing mercenaries. This experience is nothing short of complete immersion. Summoner uses an adjustable camera angle that's somewhere between a first-person and third-person experience (similar to a floating camera placed about 20 feet behind the person's back and above their shoulder). The overall effect is amazing. Players are able to zoom the camera in and out of the action as well as move it left or right. This innovative new camera angle gives you tons of new information as to what tactics to use in battle.
For more details and screen shots, read the rest of the review. GraphSim is the publisher for this title, and the game itself should be on store shelves today.

Review: Summoner

New Parsec Screenshots
12:36 PM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

The Parsec web site has been updated with yet another screen shot of the month, this time showing a previously unrevealed ship: The Assassin. Also new at the site are a selection of wallpapers for download, all showing this new craft. Last month's screen shot, showing an unnamed ship, started the search for a relevant moniker with a request being sent out to all readers. Following this the ship will now be officially known as The Silverhawk.

For those of you who haven't heard of Parsec, it is being described as commercial-quality freeware (CQF) and will be a multiplayer cross-platform 3D space combat game, somewhat in the vein of the classic title Elite, but brought up to date with full OpenGL and Glide-enhanced graphics. Individual servers will represent portions of space, independent "galaxies," with jump-points connecting each area to create a massive playing area. The game is being developed for Win32, MacOS and Linux with a LAN-test being released last Autumn. For more info on this ambitious project or to download the LAN-test pop over to the official web site.

Parsec website

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Project Mudpie Featured on MSNBC
9:34 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

MSNBC has recently posted an article detailing the exploits of Rand Miller. Among his many achievments are such feats as the creation of the popular games Myst and Riven (and arguable the entire genre), the founding of Cyan Worlds, and the current development of an ambitious project code-named Mudpie.

Mudpie can best be described as a MMORPG set in the world of Myst. Rather than hack or shoot other players, Mudpie seems to encourage exploration and cooperation. Players can build neighborhoods, controlling entry and protecting their children from undesirables. Other games, such as hide-and-seek, will also be available for players to enjoy.

Interestingly enough, Mudpie is currently being developed as a broadband title with voice-over-IP capabilities. Miller is betting that games like Mudpie will be the catalyst to bring people over to broadband, much like Myst was responsible for many people finally caving in and purchasing CD-ROMs (quite expensive at the time) for their computers.

Here's a clip from a brief walkthrough of what's currently in development:

An early version of Mudpie walks the player through a vast maze of tunnels to the underground civilization known as Díni, the deserted city that also serves as the backdrop for Myst titles. Rather than shoot at each other, players explore the underground world, which covers several square miles and is rendered in breathtaking 3-D animation.
As of yet, no Mac version has been officially announced, though Cyan has been very good about releasing Mac versions along with its PC titles in the past. Hopefully Mac users will receive news soon regarding Mac development. In the meantime, be sure to check out the full write-up at the provided link.

MSNBC - Myst-maker Miller stirs up Mudpie

GameBrains Ponders Mac Gaming
9:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Over the weekend CEO Brett Bibby of the Malaysian company GameBrains made a post to Apple's game development list about working on a new 3D engine. They are developing the engine for a number of platforms, including next-generation consoles and even thinking about the Mac. GameBrains has produced a number of titles for consoles like the GameBoy Color, including franchise games like Mummy Returns and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

IMG caught up with Bibby to get more clarification on the engine and their intention for its use. It seems that they will be using OpenGL for their MPE (Multi-Platform Engine) and will base most of their future titles on it. GameBrains recently received a special grant from the Malaysian government to do the research for such a project. Here's more info on their work from Bibby:

We are
developing a new next-gen console/mac/pc game engine we call the MPE
(Multi-Platform Engine). It is a complete engine covering graphics, audio,
networking, multi-language text handling, input, etc. We are taking our
time to do the engine "right" because it will be the foundation for all of
our future projects. The R&D on the engine itself is substantially
sponsored by the Malaysian government through a grant scheme that has been
made available to companies with Multi-Media Super Corridor Status (MSC
Status, see In addition to the engine, we are of course
developing games that use it. Our first game is still very early in
development since the engine is not quite ready for full production, and we
have two additional games already lined up after that. As a result we
haven't started talking to Mac publishers yet, but we plan to do so later
this year when development is farther along.
While it may not mean any games in the immediate future, it's always great to see another company developing a base engine like this that also runs on a Mac. We'll keep checking in with GameBrains and let you know of any progress they make towards bringing titles to our platform.

GameBrains Web Site

Myth III Status Update
9:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MythWolfAge, the great fan site for everything concerning Myth III: The Wolf Age, recently got new word from Andrew Meggs of MumboJumbo about the status of the game. The team seems to be doing very well, and they will still be able to beat their (already very fast) development schedule. Meggs speaks of new speed-ups for the game's engine, as well as improvements in the scripting system. Here's a quote:

Development has kicked up a notch as we move into the home stretch. We've tripled the speed of the game engine. We canned the placeholder water and put in some stuff we're not embarrassed to show. We've gone crazy on the script engine to add all sorts of new map actions that are already paying off in terms of greatly increased level interactivity in the hands of iggy and fisj and phook. We added custom skin colors for netplay, and started to test out netplay itself. And that's just in the last week.
This is awesome news for Myth fans anxious to get their hands on this fully 3D prequel to the series. Be sure to check MythWolfAge for more great info on the game. Also have a read through IMG's recent visit to MumboJumbo if you haven't already. A wide variety of topics are discussed and there are some great new screen shots to boot. Myth III is currently set to ship between October and November, with MacSoft publishing the Mac version.

IMG Preview of Myth III: The Wolf Age
MumboJumbo Games
MythWolfAge Web Site

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Neverwinter Nights Delayed?
9:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The excellent fan resource Planet Neverwinter recently spotted a change on the official Interplay page for the 3D RPG Neverwinter Nights. They now list very ambitious title as being released in the spring of 2002 instead of late this year. For some that have closely followed the game, it may be obvious that such delays might happen, simply because of the enourmous complexity of the title.

Neverwinter Nights will be a sophisticated attempt to recreate pen-and-paper AD&D on a computer screen, complete with a Dungeon Master and user-made dungeons. All of this will be done with a beautiful new 3D engine, a robust toolset, and at least three target platforms (Mac, PC, Linux, and maybe even BeOS).

Meanwhile, producer Trent Oster has recently posted that they are trying very hard to get the game out as soon as possible, as they're not looking to sweep any more E3 awards with Neverwinter Nights. Here's a clip from his forum post:

We did very well at the last two E3 show, winning a variety of awards. The team has no desire to repeat at E3 a third time. We are pushing as hard as possible to finish the game a soon as possible. We are targeting this winter for release.
A new update is also promised for the official site in the near future, which will likely address such issues. We'll keep you posted as a firmer date for the game's release is revealed.

Release Date Change at Planet Neverwinter
Official Interplay NWN Site
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Games4Mac Interviews Brad Oliver
8:59 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Games4Mac recently spent some time with Brad Oliver, Mac programmer guru and current Westlake employee, and managed to glean some info regarding current projects in development and recent releases, including American McGee's Alice.

Oliver notes that, during development, the OS X version of Alice was more difficult to program, if for no other reason than the mercurial state that OS X has lived in since its official release. However, he also says that the OS X version outperforms the OS 9.x version. Concerning how this new Mac version matches up to the PC version, Oliver remarks that the Mac version cut scenes have "higher-quality Sorensen format compared to the PC." The translation: They look better.

When asked about current development on Age of Empires 2, Oliver had this to say:

It's a big, complex project with lots and lots of code. :-) I'm a fan of strategy games of all kinds, so I'm glad to be working on it. Plus, it's nice to switch back to a 2D game after working on a few 3D games. At least we know that for this project we won't have to worry about video card driver issues, which is always a nice change of pace.
He adds that it'll be able to run on OS 8.6 or higher, and will be Carbonized to run under OS X as well.

For those wondering about Need for Speed 5 - Porche Unleashed, Oliver remarks that the project has hit an "insurmountable roadblock" and will likely never see publication.

For more info on Oliver's current projects as well as a little more on his personal likes and dislikes, be sure to check out the full interview.

Brad Oliver Q&A
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice

nVidia Features Crazy Car Championship
8:40 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

GeForce maker nVidia has posted a small feature on their website showcasing Crazy Car Championship, currently in development by Synaptic Soup, a game that has players racing around in radically designed hybrid cars in a multitude of environments.

As mentioned in past articles, CCC is the first game to use Synaptic's impressive looking Cipher engine, which has the notable feature of being able to compile on several platforms (including the Mac). It also takes full advantage of the GeForce 3 (thus nVidia's interest in it) and also enables "loads of extra visual effects that simply would not have been possible before the GeForce3," according to Kevin Strange of nVidia.

The feature includes a downloadable AVI movie of CCC in action, weighing in at 7820k, as well as 6 screenshots.

A Mac version of CCC has yet to be announced, but with the cross-platform capabilities of the Cipher engine, hopefully Mac users will hear about one soon.

nVidia - Crazy Car Championship
IMG - Cipher Engine Info

Anthology for OSX Updated to 1.0b2
8:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

VersionTracker has noted the update of Mark Pazolli Software's freeware package Anthology for OSX to version 1.0b2. For those unfamiliar with the package, Anthology is a collection of four self-contained games, including Blackjack, Peg Solitare (a board game), Jotto (a word game), and a version of the classic game Daleks.

Here's the list of what's new in this version:

  • Jotto now saves High Scores (due to bug fix)
  • New Aqua-style interface added to Peg Solitaire (you may still use the Classic Interface if you desire)
  • Memory management improved in all applications
  • Memory management drastically improved in Helios' Blackjack
  • Quick start added to ease confusion over Helios' Blackjack
  • Daleks should no longer make multiple High Score entries
  • Hint facility and guess count implemented in Jotto
  • Daleks now possesses a 'name memory' for High Scores
  • Version numbers removed from each games title
  • Can now use space, tab and enter keys in Daleks to access teleport, sonic screwdriver and last stand options respectively
  • Helios' Blackjack will now quit better in some circumstances
  • Help files were edited further
  • Other minor changes

For those that want more information or wish to download this package, a link has been provided below to VersionTracker. The download weighs in at a mere 874k and requires OS X to run.

VersionTracker - Anthology for OSX 1.0b2

Mac Games News for Friday, June 29, 2001

Stronghold Interview, Details2:11 PM
Tomb Raider Trilogy, Alice Go Gold1:54 PM
'Bannister's Blitter' Gives Emus a New Look12:41 PM
Fantastic Journey Review Posted10:31 AM
Blizzard Seeks Mac OS Help9:18 AM
More Updates from GarageGames9:11 AM
Space Tripper to be Boxed8:38 AM
Civilization III Interview8:14 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 29, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, June 28, 2001
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