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Monday, August 27, 2001

Pillars of Garendall Released
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

In a surprise weekend release, Ambrosia Software's epic RPG Pillars of Garendall has skipped the usual "gold master" announcement and has been released straight to the public in both demo and full release form. Built on the cross-platform Coldstone engine, this game is much more than a tech demo for that flexible toolkit; it is a full-length adventure in the Zelda tradition, with realtime battles, gorgeous graphics and a complex mix of allies, enemies and quests to encounter.

Currently the game is available for OS 9 and OS X; a Windows version will arrive shortly, demonstrating the cross-platform abilities of the engine to the fullest.

The game is currently available as a 30 MB demo download and as a 151 MB full download, for which you can purchase a serial number. The CD-ROM version of the game is currently in duplication, and is expected to ship the first week of September.

While we have covered this game many times on IMG, here is a short excerpt from the game description as a refresher:

Pillars of Garendall is a huge (120mb+) epic fantasy role playing game created by Beenox using the Coldstone game engine. You'll need a sharp-edged blade and a heart of steel to make it through this unique action-oriented role playing game.

Both Macintosh and Windows users can explore Garendall's dream-like sprawling world and intricately woven tapestry of a story. Pillars of Garendall even has extensive support for plugins, which allow the game to be expanded far beyond the confines of its original design.

Much as with the Escape Velocity series, it is expected that fans of PoG will use the Coldstone tools to create plugins and add-ons to expand the game well beyond its original form, making that mere $25.00 investment in the game stretch far beyond a few weekends of gameplay.

For more information on the game, visit the official web site and read through the Preambles, an introduction to the fantasy setting and storyline. Both the demo and full downloads as well as an order form for purchasing a serial number are also at the Ambrosia web site.

Pillars of Garendall Web Site
Download Pillars of Garendall Demo (30 MB)
Ambrosia Software
Pillars of Garendall

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IMG Publishes Heroes III Complete Strat Guide
11:59 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

IMG has just published a Strategy Guide for Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete, the latest title from 3D0 which combines the original Heroes III with its two expansion packs. This amazingly in-depth guide has extensive, detailed instructions on how to maximize your potential from any starting conditions.

As anyone who has played this game is sure to realize, there are a wealth of possibilities awaiting your every move and time is of the essence. This guide will suggest "build order" strategies to get an army on its feet fast, and even suggest the best upgrades for each type of town.

If you play this game or are considering a purchase, this strategy guide is an invaluable tool, and more importantly it is FREE, unlike the store-bought guides. Check out the guide for more details, or read our review of the title and/or grab the demo.

Review: Heroes of Might and Magic III
Feature: Heroes III Complete Strategy Guide

Custer's Desktops are "Undying"
11:38 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG's resident PhotoShop master Brad Custer has cooked up yet another gaming-themed desktop, this time focusing on Clive Barker's Undying -- an action/adventure game based on the Unreal Tournament engine which is being published by Aspyr Media. This creepy assemblage of characters from the game is sure to get you in the mood for this horror-themed shooter, due before the end of the year. Here's Brad's thoughts on the desktop:

Since Aspyr's announcement in June, I've been wanting to create a desktop for this game. I'm still trying to secure art for other recent releases on the Mac platform along with some retro art so this week I had an open slot. Amy "I need to block Brad's email addy" Torres again supplied me with some top-notch art. I have enough art to do several desktops, but with this one I wanted to show the Covenant Family portrait and then also show what they become, which you see before you. Once all was said and done this creation just needed a name and "Family Values" just seemed to fit considering the story behind the game. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
Jump to Custer's Desktops for all of his gaming-themed creations.

Custer's Desktops

ATI Radeon 7500 Mobility Announced
10:41 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Following their announcement of the Radeon 8500 and 7500 chipsets earlier this month, ATI Technologies has announced the future availability of the Radeon Mobility 7500 chip. As the name implies, this is a chip aimed at portable computers, with specialized features designed to reduce power drain and enhance 2D video features.

As with the 7500 graphics card, there are no clear plans for this Mobility 7500 chip set to come to the Mac OS; Apple did not use the previous Radeon Mobility chip set in their portables either, much to the disappointment of would-be Powerbook gamers. But now Apple will have a dilemma when choosing the next chipset for a "refresh" of their Powerbook and iBook lines -- Radeon Mobility, Mobility 7500 or NVIDIA's GeForce 2GO chipset (based on the GeForce 2 MX series).

From the amazing feature set of the 7500, it seems gamers should be hoping and praying that the Mobility 7500 is the one that makes the cut. Here are some details from the press release:

ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), the world's number one notebook graphics vendor, today unveiled the MOBILITY™ RADEON™ 7500, ATI's next-generation mobile graphics processor and the most powerful, feature-rich mobile solution in the world.

The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 delivers almost twice the performance of its nearest competitor on a range of industry standard benchmark tests, according to a study by Inquest Market Research . MOBILITY RADEON 7500 is also the first mobile GPU (graphics processor unit) to support 128-bit DDR (double data rate) memory - double the current standard and, therefore, dramatically raising the bar for notebook 3D performance.

When operated in power-saving mode using ATI's ground-breaking POWERPLAY™ voltage and frequency scaling technology, the new chip consumes less than half a watt in a light usage scenario. ATI's unique POWERPLAY technology, which further refines ATI's industry-leading power management technology, produces the lowest power consumption levels in typical 2D, 3D and DVD (digital versatile disc) modes. For example, POWERPLAY extends DVD playback on battery power by up to 25 percent, enabling, for example, full playback of feature-length movies. POWERPLAY modulates clock speeds and voltage settings automatically when users switch between AC (alternating current) and battery operation, and includes the option of user-selectable voltage/frequency scaling, which allows for maximum-performance even when running off battery power.

Unlike most portable chipsets which trim off the Transform and Lighting capabilities (like the GeForce2Go) the Mobility 7500 includes the entire Radeon feature set, including Charisma Engine, Pixel Tapestry, Video Immersion and ATI's Hyper-Z technology. The clock speed of the CPU and RAM are not given, though the 7500 is supposed to be clocked over 60% faster than the previous Radeon chipset.

Only time will tell as to which graphics hardware Apple will include in their next line of portables, but as ATI hardware has been the standard since Apple's first Powerbooks that seems a likely bet. Here's hoping that the Radeon Mobility 7500 is Apple's choice for their 2002 refresh of the Powerbook series.

NVIDIA GeForce2Go Details
Preview: ATI Radeon 8500
ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 Press Release

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New Dragon's Lair 3D Images
9:34 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Dragon's Lair LLC website has recently been updated with four new screenshots of their upcoming title Dragon's Lair 3D. For those unfamiliar with the title, Dragon's Lair 3D is a remake/sequel of the original laserdisc-based arcade game that will be using a realtime 3D engine to create the same cartoon-like graphics an animation of the original.

The shots themselves should look instantly familiar to fans of the original game. A closer look at the environments, however, reveals that they're now displayed in full polygonal rendering rather than the original hand-drawn artwork. Some new enemies and situations can also be seen in the new shots, with one shot showing Dirk the Daring facing off against some small dragons as well as more familiar enemies.

Dragonstone Software, development house for Dragon's Lair 3D, has yet to make any news announcements concerning this title, though an end-of-the-year release date was announced earlier this year. OS X support is planned for this title.

Readers interested in the new screenshots can view them at the Dragon's Lair LLC site. For those interested in more information, a link has been provided to an earlier IMG article on the subject.

IMG - Dragon's Lair 3D Preview
Dragon's Lair 3D - New Screenshots
Dragonstone Official Site
Blue Byte

New Myth III Details
9:30 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story recently visited development house Mumbo Jumbo, the team currently working on the upcoming RTS Myth III: The Wolf Age. They have currently posted the first of three articles about what they learned during the visit, with this starter article detailing a wealth of new information about Myth III, including details on new units and features.

One of the more notable changes from previous Myth titles is the new interface. The main menu now features larger navigation text with wider spacing. Maps now boast preview images and the dialog box for selecting maps has been increased in size from Myth II's dialogue box. Difficulty settings have also been moved to the map selection screen for easier access. There is also a new "Extras" button that seems to be a method of "integrated 3rd party support."

Other interesting additions include new units, who's names should be instantly familiar to Myth fanatics:

  • You thought Balor looked good as the Leveler in Myth: The Fallen Lords, but wait till you see what Moagim has on him!
  • Bahl'al (The Watcher) is very effective in Myth III. Make sure you don't charge him with regular units in the game or he'll do something nasty to them!
  • Myrdred and Bahl'al stand a foot or so taller than the regular human units.
  • When you see what weapon(s) Ravanna holds, you will know why she rules!

Other noteworthy details include a possible new weapon for the Berserks, the inclusion of Trow architecture in some of the levels, and a unit so reportedly fearsome that "you will not want to fight this suck'a."

To learn more about's findings, be sure to check out the full article at their site. Myth III is currently slated for a "by the end of the year" release, with a simultaneous Mac/PC release promised. - Mumjo Jumbo Trip

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FUEL Dev Update, Mac Status
9:26 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The folks at VoodooExtreme wrote to Nathan d'Obrenan of Firetoad Software for a new development update on their hovercraft racer FUEL. The quick status check brings word that the small company has found a publisher, which is great news, and that they are also in the midst of some radical changes to the game's design. Instead of a simple vehicle racer, new emphasis is now given to your character (going as far as to almost call it an RPG). You must fight just to get to your vehicle, then race to the finish, repeat... Here's more info from the update:

So the past couple month's have been spent overhauling the game engine, ripping out what works for Fuel, and what doesn't. The game's design has gone from a hovercraft-run-of-the-mill-racing game, to be more character focused as they progress throughout the race. Were calling it a character based racing game that has some RPG elements. So instead of starting off in your car, you choose your character, then they line up on the starting line, and your required to run, jump and kick over your opponents, just to get to the nearest parking lot. When your in the parking lot, you get inside a vehicle of your choice, then drive, get out, fight and run to get to the next parking lot etc. etc. :)
Later in the update, he also gives some great news for Mac users. Both FUEL and Ectosave, their impressive screensaver, are being ported to OS X. Here's the scoop:
I'm also knee deep in doing the Mac port now for Fuel and Ectosaver, so we'll probably be showing that stuff off soon (namely Ectosaver for OSX). Fuel is slated to be released on Xbox, PC and Mac.
Head over and read the rest of the update for more info on the various vehicles to be included along with other improvments to the engine. We'll keep you posted with more info from Firetoad in the future.

IMG News: New Game FUEL'ing Its Way to the Mac
Firetoad Software
Firetoad Development Update at VoodooExtreme
Firetoad Software Realm Expansion
9:16 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

In a move that only goes to show how popular Blizzard's games are, particularly for multiplayer use,'s US East Realm has been expanded. The new servers have increased the capacity of the Realm by one third; this should really make a difference when creating games in this Realm and may help decrease lag. Thankfully those of us outside the US (and the East-coast) have not been forgotten, as more server expansions are planned in the future including doubling the size of the European Realm.

The Asia and USWest Realms are also back up after short periods of downtime for maintenance. Finally, a problem - which I experienced myself - in the European Realm which manifested itself as "Failed to identify Version" errors has been resolved.

Expect the next news item regarding Blizzard to be rather more interesting, as this Sunday they will be holding two, two-hour press-conferences at ECTS in London, UK. IMG will be on the show floor to bring you the news as it happens! What could the announcement be? Why not have your say in our forums.
Speculation on Next Blizzard Game

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Q3A Point Release News?
9:14 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

For some time id software's latest Quake 3 Arena point release has been officially a beta version. While the Win32 and Linux releases have progressed to version 1.29h, on the Mac we are still at 1.29f which leaves a few outstanding issues -- including problems connecting to pure servers running 1.29h. We have previously been assured by id that all improvements will be rolled into one non-beta point release for all platforms, expected to be version 1.30. This should again enable true multi-platform compatibility for Win32, Linux, Classic Mac OS and OS X. While there's still no official word on the release of this update, and no confirmation that a Mac version will be available immediately when the Win32 version is released, Stomped has received some information from id Programmer, Robert Duffy. Here's his admittedly brief comment:

"Yeah should be in the near future. It is in test at Activision right now. There were only a couple of very small changes from 1.29H."
We hope to have more information from id soon, but for now it's the usual 'wait-and-see' situation.

id Software
Quake III Arena

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Feral to Publish Champ. Manager 01/02, Euro Max Payne
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

UK publisher Feral Interactive has made several more huge "scores" in the European publishing market, according to an update on their web site. Not only will they be publishing the Mac version of Fly! II in Europe and Australia, they will also be publishing Max Payne as well in those countries. Observant readers will note that both of those titles are being brought to the Mac OS in the US by MacSoft.

The Feral web site also notes that the company is close to releasing a Mac OS (and OS X) port of Championship Manager 01/02, the next season of this football (known as soccer to us Yanks) team management simulation. Here is the full update from their web site:

Ok last week we promised some good news on future game releases. So to start with the Champ Daddy - Championship Manager will be returning for another huge season on the Mac as CM 01/02 - and to anticipate a few of the most popular questions: yes, it will be OS X native, yes it will contain an upgraded editor, and we are aiming for release at the end of October.

Next up - Max Payne - Feral will be publishing this game in Europe and Australia. We are currently pressing to get the port underway. You may well be aware of the phenomenal reception this game has received on the PC - so we are are looking forward to bringing you loads of Payne in the near future.

Finally for today - we are also publishing Fly! II in Europe and Australia. This sweet flight sim is the much-awaited follow-up to Fly! and we are looking to taxi down the runway on this one in late October… over and out.

Oh, oh, oh, one more thing - we'll post updates on Enemy Engaged and F1 Championhsip Season on Friday September 7th.

While we appreciate Feral's enthusiasm, it seems unlikely that the port of Max Payne will be complete in the "near future" as to our knowledge a porting team has yet to be chosen. In any case all of the above is great news for our Euro (and Aussie) readers, who may rest assured that localized versions of these games will hit their soil soon after the games ship in the US. For more information about each of these titles, follow the links below. Our thanks to our friends at MacGameZone for the tip.

MacSoft's Fly! II Info Page
Feral Interactive
Max Payne Web Site
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

V12 Needs Mac Tester/Developers
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GarageGames' Jeff Tunnell has put out a call for beta testers for their powerful new 3D game engine known as V12. This Tribes 2-based game engine needs some Mac developers to give it a once-over in preparation for the Mac release. David Chait is now bringing the Mac build up-to-speed with the PC version, which was released earlier this month. Those looking to test will have the $100 licensing fee waived, along with the opportunity to start their V12-based games a little earlier. Here's the scoop:

If you have experience developing Mac games or other C++ applications for the Mac, then you may have a little fun trying out the Mac V12 Beta. As compensation, you get a little fame, plus the knowledge that you get to work on an incredibly cool engine that will someday power hundreds of games on the Mac platform. We'll knock off the $100 V12 licensing fee, so your upfront costs for the V12 are $0.

For your part, you will have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, see if the code compiles and builds, and report your findings and bugs into a protected forum. Once the testing is complete, you can get on with making your own game.

If you're a budding Mac developer with a healthy knowledge of C++, consider dropping GarageGames a note.

Call For Mac V12 Beta Testers

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Civilization III First Look
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a quick preview of Civilization III, the next in the incredibly popular series of turn-based strategy games from Sid Meier. Like it's predecessors, Civ III is all about the gameplay, though the graphics for the new title appear to have been upgraded a notch as well. The preview goes into detail on what is new in the game, as well as the features which were left out due to time constraints. New emphasis has been placed on trade, resource management, and even culture over just combat. Here's an excerpt with more:

Culture is an entirely new aspect of the game. Each city now has a culture rating. Cities with low ratings are easier to assimilate while cities with higher ratings have a higher chance of revolt when captured. If a city's cultural ties are to a civilization you're warring with, it is likely to revolt. Each city has a cultural sphere of influence that's affected by its units. Progress and wonders relating to religion and technology increase the sphere. This adds a new twist to how players can dominate. In addition to the traditional military and economic domination, players can try to increase their sphere of influence and become the dominant culture.
The game was just announced as going into beta on the PC side and is expected out late in the year. With Westlake Interactive already working on the port for publisher MacSoft, we're sure the Mac port won't be too far behind the PC release.

Civilization III Preview at GameSpy
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Mac Games News for Friday, August 24, 2001

The Sims: House Party and Livin' Large Updates2:58 PM
Mumbo Jumbo Seeks Testers2:20 PM
Westlake is Hiring12:19 PM
Second MacGames CD Ships Next Week11:17 AM
Mac Gaming Gods: Graeme Devine10:59 AM
Counter-Strike vs. Urban Terror10:43 AM
9.2.1 Breaks Voodoo5 OpenGL?10:24 AM
Neverwinter Nights Online Chat Transcript10:10 AM
Myst III: Exile DVD Cancelled?9:41 AM
Red Faction Movie, Shots9:39 AM
Mac Sacrifice Nears Beta [UPDATED]9:37 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 24, 2001 on one page

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Thursday, August 23, 2001
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