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Tuesday, July 10, 2001

'Payback' Due This Fall, 'WipeOut 2097' Later
10:02 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

European developers are starting to become a larger part of the Mac community, as our platform slowly makes headway in that PC-dominated arena. Thanks to help from an IMG reader and German Mac site Games4Mac we've discovered yet another company who is converting Amiga PPC titles to the Mac OS. The name is Blittersoft and they currently have two Mac titles in progress.

According to the Blittersoft web site, two ports are in the works: Payback, a game similar to the very classic (and very controversial) PlayStation and PC game Grand Theft Auto, and WipeOut 2097, a futuristic 3D racing title. Games4Mac recently sent us an update on the progress of the Payback port, and the programmer working on the conversion seems to think it will be out this Fall. Here is their update; as English is not their first language, the phrasing is a little off -- but we are certain their English is better than our German:

As us the programmer indicated to the original Amiga version James Daniels
on request, the Mac version of the GTA clone "Payback" progressed meanwhile
quite far. The play that by Blittersoft
on the Mac one publishes, will be available probably thereby in the late
autumn this yearly for the Mac.
We've contacted Blittersoft for confirmation of this information. Here are some details on Payback itself, from their web site:
If you'd always wondered what it would be like to be a master criminal, then Payback is the game for you. It's entirely non-linear - to complete a level you simply have to obtain a certain number of points - how you get those points is entirely up to you; you can do what the local kingpin tells you, uncover secret missions or just go on a mad killing spree. There are lots of hidden surprises to discover, so you'll have to play the game through several times to find all the extras. As you'll have probably guessed, the game is inspired by Grand Theft Auto, but every effort is being put in to make sure that Payback beats GTA in every way. The game engine supports perspective correct texture mapping, environment mapping (reflections), bump mapping, realistic shadows, alpha-channelling (lens flares, explosions and shockwaves), 12 channel 3D sound and realistic physics. The game will also be translated into several languages.
The game uses a top-down view of a real-time 3D engine, and features motion captured human animation, 3 huge cities to explore and dozens of vehicles to drive. It isn't know how Blittersoft is planning to publish or distribute this game, but we'll be certain to bring you more details as the date draws near.

Our thanks to Games4Mac for the heads-up; check out the Blittersoft web site for details on both games, or the link to Apex Designs for screen shots of Payback in action. Note that these images are from the Amiga version, not the Mac port.

GameDoctor Updated for July
4:37 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The shareware tool for those who want to get the most out of their games, GameDoctor has been updated with the usual monthly dose of cheats, walkthroughs and tips. This latest update (free for all registered users) contains the following:

Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Dracula: Resurrection

Escape from Monkey Island

Myst III: Exile


Tomb Raider: Chronicles

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

and more...
If you are a registered user, just grab the update; if you want to give GameDoctor a try, download the full version for a demo.

Game Doctor July '01 Full Version (3.5 MB)
Game Doctor July '01 Prescriptions (46k)

Dragons's Lair 3D to Appear at CGE
1:33 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A press release from the Classic Gaming Expo found its way to our inbox recently, noting that Dragon's Lair 3D will be appearing at this Las Vegas event next month. This remake of the video arcade classic hasn't been seen for some time (including no presence at this year's E3), and it's great to see the Dragonstone team will be showing off their work for all to see.

Dragon's Lair 3D will feature a full-3D game engine used to re-create the atmosphere and gameplay of the original arcade machine. Different modes will be available which will allow you to play the title as a 'normal' third-person shooter or in the classic, quick-decision style of Dragon's Lair. Cartoon-like characters shading will make elements of the game look like the original animated adventure, though the actual environments will have many modern effects gamers have come to expect. Here's a clip from the PR with more:

The games' creators have formed Dragon's Lair LLC. as well as
Dragonstone Software, a development house ready to bring out
top quality software titles for the PC, Mac, PS2, and X-Box
platforms. Dragon's Lair 3-D will be the first release and
players will again assume the role of the brave knight, Dirk
the Daring, as he fights to save princess Daphne. "With our
current 3-D technology, we can give the player complete control
over Dirk, with the ability to fully explore the castle in his
quest to rescue the princess," states Rick Dyer, one of
the creators of the original Dragon's Lair game. "In Dragon's
Lair 3-D we take the player on an adventurous trek via a
technically innovative 3-D game that will impress both the
reminiscing and modern hard core gamer."
With this showing on August 11, there is sure to be more information on this game appearing soon. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest word on its status.

Classic Gaming Expo
Dragon's Lair 3D Web Site
Blue Byte

First MacGames CD In Duplication
12:00 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Last week IMG announced the new MacGames CD, a subscription-based CD full of great demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, and a whole bunch more. The response to the new CD has been fantastic! The new CD went to duplication late last week and will be shipping around mid-July, just a few days from now.

But one question we keep getting is...if I subscribe now, will I get the first CD? The answer is yes! If you subscribe before the end of this week, we'll send you the first ever MGCD.

What's included in the MGCD? How about demos of Tomb Raider: Chronicles, A60, and Space Tripper. Plus giant add-ons for Unreal Tournament such as Strike Force 1.60 and Urban Terror for Quake III. Plus dozens of updates, shareware, and much more.

As an added bonus, we're offering a FREE copy of MacPlay's Sin or GraphSim's Descent 3 with every subscription (all you pay is the shipping and handling). These will also be mailed out with the new MGCD early next week.

For more information, be sure to check out the IMG store!

IMG Feature: A Day at MacPlay
11:43 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Certainly one of the most thrilling developments for the Mac games market in some time has been the rejuvenation of the MacPlay brand name and the resulting flood of "A-list" titles that they are bringing to the Mac OS. MacPlay has been a source of elation for Mac gamers, but also the cause of some confusion -- who exactly is MacPlay? What is their relationship to MumboJumbo? And how does United Developers fit into the picture? IMG writer Michael Yanovich sorts it out:

To start things off, let’s clarify the situation. MumboJumbo and MacPlay share office space, but are not related companies. The connecting force is United Developers – basically a management service. This allows several companies to coordinate business basics – human resources, payroll, public relations, etc. – and focus on great games. The companies that take advantage of this situation are a mixture of developers like MumboJumbo, which focus on game development, and publishers like MacPlay which handle the publishing end of the business.

Mike said the current growth of the Game Market has created a situation where competitors are helping each other out, adding that there’ll be room for fierce fighting and destruction later in the game when the market is established and healthy.

Diane explained that MacPlay is taking a dual-strategy approach in this new market. On the one hand they will have their hit-based games, A-list titles like the upcoming Giants and Sacrifice. They will support this approach with their classic games, a consistent stream of high profile titles that appeal to more casual gamers.

Read on for more glimpses behind the scenes of this exciting entry into the Mac games pantheon. With any luck we will see hints (and perhaps actual demos) of MacPlay titles at MWNY next week.

Feature: A Day at MacPlay

Peter Tamte Interview at MacHome Journal
11:28 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacHome Journal passed along the news that they have conducted a five-question interview with Peter Tamte, head of the just-named company Destineer which plans to both port Microsoft games to the Mac OS and create their own original titles. Under the label Bold, they have plans to publish Age of Empires 2 and Links 2002; there are currently no details on Destineer games.

The interview, while short, does reveal more of Tamte's personality and goals. Here's an excerpt:

Q: What makes Destineer different?

A: The games. Through our Bold label, Destineer is bringing some really interesting games to the Mac. For
example, Age of Empires II is not some click-fest set in a fantasy future. It's a highly entertaining game
that immerses you in earlier western culture. I really like that. And, we're bringing a new version of Links
to the Mac that has improved visuals and a lot of interesting new features that we'll be talking about later
this year.
Destineer was also formed so we can create original games using a next-generation engine that we're
building ourselves. All of our games will ship on the Mac simultaneously with the Windows versions.

Read the rest of the interview for more details on Destineer and Tamte's opinion on an ideal gaming system configuration.

Five Questions with Peter Tamte at MacHome Journal

Click to enlarge
Will Wright Interview
9:25 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Happy Puppy has recently posted the first half of an interview with Will Wright, co-founder and chief designer of Maxis. Furthermore, he is the man responsible for such titles as Sim City and the current favorite, The Sims. He is a good friend of the legendary game designer Miyamoto Shigeru. And apparently, he still takes his own phone calls.

The interview asks a smattering of questions centered around various topics, to which Wright gives some interesting answers. For example, when asked about the current state of the PC entertainment industry and how it may be going down, Wright simply points out that the argument is irrelevant. In his mind, there will be a convergence, rather than dominance, with consoles becoming more PC-like and PCs becoming more console-like. The fact that PCs currently have internet capabilities, hi-resolution monitors, and mice as standard input devices also keeps their gaming viability alive.

Several new Sims projects are also commented on, including Sims Online, Sims 2, and SimsVille. Wright mentions that Sims 2 will focus much more closely on the Sims themselves. As he puts it: "Much more in your face. They should seem much more detailed and real as you get closer to them."

SimsVille is not a project Wright is working on himself (he only has so much time, he says), but he does offer some thoughts. The same designer of SimCity3000 is currently working on the title, and Wright mentions that it seems to be a balance between Sim City and The Sims. He then goes into gamespeak from there:

And it kind of feels like it wants to be a little bit more one way or the other. But this is in very fine shadings of game tuning. The degree of latitude we're talking about here is actually quite minor. When it comes to tuning the game and getting inside of the player's head, it's actually a very crucial question.
For more Will Wright thoughts, be sure to check out the full interview at Happy Puppy. Wright goes into more detail on the Sims themselves, the possibilities of making them even more lifelike in the future, and his primary motivations/inspirations for game design.

Happy Puppy - Will Wright Interview
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Livin' Large

Apple Highlights MacSoft
9:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new Apple article gives an overview of Mac publisher MacSoft and the company's large number of upcoming titles (which increased tremendously to their huge deal with Take Two/Gathering of Developers). The article notes that top on their list of carbonized titles are Tropico and Fly! II, both due out this summer. It also contains this clip about another surprising announcement, Max Payne:

Following close behind those releases will be the “dark” Max Payne, a third-person perspective game set on the streets of New York City. Max is an undercover cop framed for a murder he didn’t commit and on the run from both the police and the mob. Your goal is to solve the mystery and clear Max’s name.
We're curious just how soon "close behind" actually is, as Max Payne has been in development for nearly four years and seems like quite a large title to port. As of now, the party responsible for porting the game has not been named.

Head over and have a read through the rest of the piece for tidbits on Myth III, Stronghold, Master of Orion III, and Civilization III. We'll keep you updates on MacSoft's many titles as they (respectively) head towards release; at the very least Tropico is expected to ship at Macworld New York the third week of July.

MacSoft Web Site
Apple Look at MacSoft

Click to enlarge
Mark Adams 'Undying' Interview
9:06 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Standing Stones, a site dedicated to Clive Barker's Undying has published an interview with Westlake's Mark Adams concerning the Mac port of this thrilling adventure game. It's a short Q&A but well worth a read, giving an insight as to how Westlake arranges developing their many ports. Here's a quick quote:

Q - Does Westlake pretty much just work on whatever is brought to them, or do you guys ever actually pursue porting of certain titles? How did the Undying project come about?

A - We are approached by publishers sometimes and other times we recommend a game. With our previous experience on Unreal games, when we heard about Undying we immediately asked Aspyr to look into it. They were able to get an early build of the game, and we played it for a while and were very impressed. After that it was just a matter of Aspyr working on the legal details with EA.

This game has been well-reviewed on the PC, and is considered one of the creepiest titles in years; while the Mac version is still in early development we're confident this title will be here sooner than later, considering Westlake's experience with the Unreal engine.

Mark Adams Interview @ Standing Stones
Undying Announced for Mac
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Clive Barker's Undying
Buy Clive Barker's Undying

Click to enlarge
Diablo II: LoD Crafted Items List
9:01 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story has provided a list of Crafted Items for all players of Diablo II. For those unfamiliar with Crafted Items, they are an addition that comes with with the Lord of Destruction expansion set, allowing players to create items using specific ingredients.

Here's the clip from the website itself for a better explanation:

Crafted Items are a very cool addition in the Expansion.  These are sort of like Rare items, but are not dropped by monsters.  You make Crafted Items with the Horadric Cube, putting in various ingredients and turning them into a Crafted Item.  Crafted Items have orange names and multiple mods, like Rares, but each Crafted has some preset mods, often properties that can only be found on Set or Unique items otherwise.
There are several types of Crafted Items Recipes, including Blood, Hit Power, Safety, Deadly, and Currenty Disabled Recipes, which can be enabled at any time by Blizzard.

For more information on Crafted Items as well as a comprehensive listing of Recipes, ingredients, and the like, be sure to check out the site. - Crafted Items Listing
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

Neverwinter Nights Release Date (Re)Clarification
8:57 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last week we brought you details on a change to Interplay's page for Neverwinter Nights which listed the game as coming in the spring of 2002 as opposed to its previous expected release of this winter. Planet Neverwinter recently spotted a post from Bioware's Rob Bartel refuting this later date, and saying they are hopeful for a winter release still. Here's what Bartel had to say:

Just to clarify this whole March 2002 release date issue, we're... uh... not really sure where they pulled that date from. As always, we don't have an official release date at this time but our current target is still the one we announced at E3 - Winter 2001. Development is still progressing according to our latest schedules and Winter still seems perfectly feasible.
We'll keep you posted as this amazing 3D RPG nears completion. For now, take any release dates you hear with a fistful of salt, and remember the wise koan: "it's done when it's done."

Neverwinter Nights Web Site
IMG News: Neverwinter Nights Delayed?
Rob Bartel on NWN Release

(No) More Information on id's 'New Games'
8:55 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

Following last weeks Press Release from id software with the cryptic 'New games from id at QuakeCon' subject matter, but little else in the way of information, more details have arrived at Blue's News:




TIME: 2 P.M.



So there it is in all it's glory, with nearly as few details as before; it seems as if Carmack has been taking tips from Steve Jobs! Why not join in on the rumour-mongering in our forums, or wait until next month when we'll all know for sure what this is all about.

New id "Games" Set Rumor Mill Abuzz

Mac Games News for Monday, July 9, 2001

Rune Updated to 1.071:20 PM
Combat Mission 2 Preview12:05 PM
Custer Ventures Into "Shadows of Amn"10:44 AM
Max Payne Hands-on Previews10:25 AM
Topware Troubles Resolve in Reality10:13 AM
World War II Online Future Features9:55 AM
Kids Domain Update9:32 AM
New Neverwinter Nights Message Boards9:04 AM
Ambrosia Opens PoG Preambles6:00 AM
New Reprisal Info, Screen Shots6:00 AM
Warbirds III Updates, Adds Tanks6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 9, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, July 6, 2001
Thursday, July 5, 2001
Wednesday, July 4, 2001
Tuesday, July 3, 2001
Monday, July 2, 2001

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