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Monday, October 15, 2001

CM 01/02 Demo Date, B&W in Beta, More...
10:30 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The UK-based Mac publisher Feral has posted a site update recently with new information on their many upcoming titles. The biggest news is regarding Championship Manager 01/02, which now has its own section in the Feral site. This popular 'football' management sim will have a demo release on October 23. The full version will also be officially released for the Mac on November 16, only about a month after the Windows version. The delay may actually be a bonus for Mac users. as many real-life player trades will be made in the next month. Therefore, the information in the Mac version should be more up-to-date out of the box.

The new CM 01/02 sub-site contains lots of good information, screen shots, and more details the game. Fans will definitely want to head over for a look. Along with a good list of the game's features, the official system requirements are posted:

    Your Macintosh must have:

  • Mac OS 8.6
  • A Power PC processor running at 120 MHz
  • 64 MB of RAM (with virtual memory set to at least 128 Mb)
  • 200 MB free disk space (this allows room for a saved game!)
  • 800x600 pixel resolution on your screen
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Ethernet (only required for Network play)

    We recommend:

  • Mac OS X
  • A G3 running at 333 MHz or a G4 processor
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 16-bit colour at 800x600 (a.k.a. Thousands of colours)

Other updates from Feral concerns the god-game Black & White, which is now in beta testing. This is great news, as the game will hopefully be finished by the end of the year. New screen shots from the Mac version of this "knackering" port should be posted starting this week. While no update has yet been made as of this writing, head over to the B&W site for the goodies as they arrive.

Feral will be the publisher responsible for bringing the Mac port of Max Payne to its European market, while MacSoft worries about North America. According to the quick Feral update, it seems the actual porting work has yet to be started. While this is unfortunate, they are hoping for a relatively quick turn-around with a release next spring. We'll keep you posted as any new information on Max Payne is released.

For the rest of the goods --including news on F1 Championship, Sheep, and Fly! II-- click on over to Feral's site. We'll keep you updated as anything else is released on these many titles.

Feral Web Site
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

WC3 Interview Reveals Much Still Undeveloped
3:12 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Fansite WarCraft has conducted yet another interview with Rob Pardo of Blizzard Entertainment about the 3D RST in development. While many were hoping for a release by the end of this year, the interview reveals that a somewhat alarming number of issues are still up in the air, from how Night Elves will harvest lumber to many issues concerning the Undead race. Pardo states that the Undead race is still in the stage of "heavy production and design refinement, " and confirms by inference that the game is not yet ready for beta-testing to start.

He also confirms a detail that is not new information, but may be disappointing to fans of WarCraft II -- there will be no Naval units in the game, often considered an essential part of WC2 netplay. Pardo seems to feel that the increased complexity of the units and Heroes makes up for this loss:

WarCraftIII.Net:  WarCraft has always involved primarily ground-oriented warfare. But StarCraft proved that there can be a greater dimension, with its huge variety of flying units. Since the WarCraft III heroes have been grounded, since there are only two flying units per race, and since there are no naval units, do you not worry that people will feel WarCraft III is actually less complex, rather than "next generational" in scope?

Rob Pardo:  Not at all. The game has a lot of strategy and tactics without huge amount of air or water units. Spell casting, hero management, and exploration have nicely filled the void left from the toning back of air and water units.

Pardo also indicates that the Beta period for their games usually last three months, but gives no time when they might enter that stage of development. However, with Blizzard titles we have learned not to despair at the seemingly endless wait for a release -- the final product is always just good enough to erase any memory of the painful experience of anticipation.

Rob Pardo Interview at WarCraftIII.Net

Click to enlarge
Warcraft III Neutral Building Revealed
1:10 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blizzard has once again added to their ever-growing storehouse of information on their highly-anticipated RTS title Warcraft III. Newly added is the introduction of the Neutral buildings. As their name suggests, these structures are not aligned with anyone, and thus open to all. They will allow players to buy Hero Items, hire Mercenaries and heal the hit points of nearby units.

The first building to be featured is the Mercenary camp, which allows players to hire various units. Here's the official blurb:

The Mercenary Camp allows players to purchase Neutral Units such as Ogre Lords, Troll Shadow Priests, Troll Berserkers and more. Units are purchased immediately and do not require training time. There is a limited supply of Neutral units and the Mercenary Camp slowly replenishes its stock.
Players chomping at the bit for this title will have to wait until at least early 2002, its current projected release date. In the meantime, however, head over to Blizzard's site for more information and pictures on this upcoming title.

Blizzard - Warcraft III: Neutral Buildings
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

More Details on World of Warcraft
12:56 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A correspondent for IGN PC recently paid a visit to Blizzard to see if he could squeeze out any more details regarding their current MMORPG project World of Warcraft. While the development team was understandably reluctant to reveal many features, the reporter did manage to garner some new information regarding various aspects of this title in development.

Several environments that were witnessed included Duskwood, the Elven Forest and Stranglethorn Vale. Duskwood was a gloomy forest area that featured cobwebs and glowing eyes in the treetops. The Elven Forest is described as a "beautiful area of reds and yellows that kept with the wooded look you're familiar with in the series." Stranglethorn Vale is a tropical setting of sorts, inlcuding pools of blue water as well as its own share of vegetation.

Concerning Magic in the game, several spells are described including an ice spell, healing spells and a Phase Shift spell that allows teleportation. All of the spells are currently mouse driven, and essentially only involve a couple of points and clicks. There are also spells that must have multiple players grouped together in order to be cast, dubbed Ritual spells.

Food is not a necessary commodity in the game, but will rather act as a healing agent, eliminating the need to constantly cart around food to stave off starvation.

For those that are into special items, they'll be pleased to know that they will be graphically displayed along with the online persona that owns them. When a player gets a flaming sword, their online equivalent will be seen holding that sword, flames and all.

The development team is also looking into eliminating certain annoyances, including camping, "item farming" and item recovery after death. In the case of item recovery, the team has promised "that there will be no 'must have' situations when it comes to having to go back to your corpse. No specifics are given, but they assure that losing all items is not going to happen. There will be checkpoints in the game, known as Bindstones, that basically act as saved respawn points should a player die.

For more details on the above developments, be sure to read the full report at IGN PC. There's still currently no word on a Mac version of WOW, but rest assured IMG is keeping tabs on the situation.

IGN PC - World of Warcraft Closer Look
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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New Master of Orion III Shots
12:50 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Official Master of Orion III Web Site has recently made available some exclusive shots of their upcoming turn-based empire builder to the general public. The shots include untextured renders of the Orion Guardian (a ship last seen in MOO2) and a shot of Grendarl diplomacy in action.

They further note that the "following shots of the Orion Guardian are the only ones you will see before the game is shoped. Then, you will only see it in the intro movie for MOO3."

For a look at these new shots as well as more general information on MOO3 itself, be sure to give the Official MOO3 site a look. The official release date for MOO3 is currently set at around the first quarter of 2002.

Master of Orion III - New Artwork
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Click to enlarge
The Beginnings of Civilization...III
12:49 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Italian website has recently posted what appears to be a screenshot-by-screenshot walkthrough of the beginning of a game of Civilization III, an upcoming turn-based strategy game that allows players to manage their own empire from flint tools to the height of culture. Their preview starts with character creation and ends in a short illustration of the player being crushed by the Egyptians, and manages to show much of what a player might expect when starting up a new game in this much-anticipated 'threequel.'

The player setup screen, which starts off the tour, has plenty of options. Players can pick from 16 different civilizations, including the Aztec Empire, the Iroquois and Persia. Up to seven opponents can also be selected or randomized, depending on the player's choice. Various rules can also be toggle on and off, including several victory allowances. These victory allowances include Victory by Domination, Diplomatic Victory, Cultural Victory, Space Victory and Military Victory. The difficulty level can also be selected, ranging from Chieftain to Diety.

Once this is done, players move on to the Choose Your World screen. Players can choose from a large variety of worlds differentiated by land mass and water coverage. The climate, temperature and ages of various continents can also be tweaked to a player's liking. To further add to the mix, a Barbarian selector of sorts is also in place, allowing players to adjust Barbarians from sedentary to raging. Barbarians are the ultimate predators of any empire, and must be guarded against at all times.

From there, the tour walks the player through the beginnings of building an empire, including diplomacy, ruler relations, and tech trees, all of which are shown through various screenshots.

For the rest of the tour, be sure to check out's latest Civ III feature. Westlake Interactive currently has dev rights to the Mac version of this title, though it's currently still listed as "Early Development." IMG will be sure to let readers know when we hear of a status change. - Civilization III Screenshots
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
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More Details/Movie on Return to Castle Wolfenstein
12:24 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As the PR campaign for Return to Castle Wolfenstein gains momentum, more and more details are being divulged to gaming newssites for the consumption of the general public. A correspondent from GameSpy recently attended a press event sponsored by Activision featuring RTCW and has posted his findings.

One interesting development point that many may have missed is that RTCW is actually a joint effort between Id Software, Gray Matter Studios, and Nerve Software. Gray Matter has been working on the single player version, while Nerve has been hammering away at the multiplayer aspect.

The single player campaign seems to hold plenty of variety in terms of gameplay. Besides the usual "run and gun" stages, some levels will have players engage in sniper battles with the enemy, while others have the player searching a level for a specific objective. Levels may also contain traps as well as various enemies including zombies, Venom Soldiers, and Elite Guards, all of which have reportedly fierce and clever AI.

To stave off these enemies, the single player campain will equip players with weapons such as dual Colt pistols, Lugers with a silencer option and Garand sniper rifles equipped with night vision scopes.

Though the basic aspects of the multiplayer game should be familiar to fans, given that the beta test has been out for some time now, some new details concerning the final build have come to light. Engineers must now arm dynamite charges after planting them, leaving them more vulnerable during the dynamite planting process. Certain weapons from the single player aspect will not make it to the multiplayer, including the Tesla Cannon, Garand sniper rifle, Air Trooper Rifle, or the massively powerful bazooka.

Another welcome change to the multiplayer aspect will be the adding of a player kick vote of sorts. People playing the multiplayer beta test have no doubt encountered llamas who seem to take great delight in killing their own team members. To combat this, players fragged by their own teammates can lodge a complaint with the system. If enough complaints are lodged, a vote to kick the offending player is automatically called.

For those that would like to see RTCW in action, GameSpot is currently hosting the E3 trailer in various formats.

Id's CEO Todd Hollenshead assures that both PC and Mac versions of RTCW are on the way, with a release date of around Christmas. There's no specific release date as of yet, but they are "very confident in their ability to ship the game before the end of this year."

GameSpot - Return to Castle Wolfenstein E3 Trailer
GameSpy - Return to Castle Wolfenstein Preview
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Custer Enters The Wolf Age
11:58 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Our pixel warlock Brad Custer has crafted another gaming-themed desktop for you to enjoy, this time celebrating the Release Candidate status of Myth III: The Wolf Age. This RTS title, completed in an unheard-of development period of a mere 11 months, is getting ready to hit the streets in early November if all goes well, and now you have a desktop to celebrate its arrival. Drop by Custer's Desktops to grab this latest creation.

Custer's Desktops

CyberExtruder Comes to Mac OS X
10:56 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

The power of Mac OS X has inspired yet another port of a PC technology to our platform: CyberX-3D, a unique utility that allows you to literally put yourself in the game by automagically creating a "skin" for your favorite game from a picture of yourself, is now available for Mac OS X. If you've ever wanted your Sim to be just like you , this utility will make that possible. Here are the details:

CyberExtruder announced today that its CyberX-3D™ web-based technology has officially gone gold and is compatible with Mac OS X. A proprietary software and web-based technology that automatically converts a single two-dimensional facial image into a fully-developed 3D model in one second, CyberX-3D allows Mac gaming enthusiasts to include themselves as characters within a game and become part of the action.

“CyberExtruder is extremely pleased to make CyberX-3D available for the Mac”, said CyberExtruder CEO, Larry Gardner. “The Mac’s phenomenal graphics capabilities add tremendous value and excitement to Internet games, and Mac OS X really showcases our unique technology.”

“Mac OS X features state-of-the-art technologies such as OpenGL, QuickTime and advanced networking capabilities, to make it a tremendous gaming platform,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “CyberX-3D is a flexible, easy-to-use technology and we are excited that this customization capability is available to Mac gamers.”

Developed by CyberExtruder, the patent-pending CyberX-3D™ technology allows users to submit a single digitized photo of their face to a secure website. The image is automatically analyzed, distinct facial landmarks are identified, and a highly accurate 3D model of the user’s face is created within just one second. What makes CyberX-3D™ technology a breakthrough is that it works from just one photo and is completely automated.

The first three games, that have been CyberX-3D™ enabled include the best-sellers “Unreal Tournament”, “Quake III:Arena”, and “The Sims”. CyberExtruder has also announced plans to add “Max Payne” within the next few weeks.

Visit the CyberExtruder web site for details or to take this technology for a test-drive.


Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn Ships
10:44 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Although the wait has been much longer than expected, the time for rejoicing is now at hand: the Mac OS (and OS X) version of Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn is now boxed and actually shipping to pre-order customers. IMG has received official notification from MacPlay as well as two e-mails from readers who pre-ordered and have now received confirmation that their order is shipping.

If you are a MacGames CD subscriber and you pre-ordered Baldur's Gate 2 through the IMG Web Store, then you'll be pleased to know that we expect to get our shipment within the next few days. As soon it arrives, we'll be sending them out.

Also. If you haven't placed your order, now is the perfect time to do it as we'll be closing our Baldur's Gate 2 pre-order soon.

So, to all of you who have waited so long for this epic RPG to ship -- your days of patient pining are almost over!

IMG Web Store

AoE 2 Networking Info
10:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

It has been known for some time that Peter Tamte's company Destineer would be bringing Age of Empires 2 to the Mac via their Bold label. What was unclear for some time was the exact nature of the game's networking API. The Microsoft title uses the dreaded Windows-only DirectPlay standard for the PC version, a situation which has shut Mac gamers out of cross-platform netplay in numerous titles in the past. It was hoped that Tamte's close ties to MS could allow that company find a way around this closed standard which has blocked many a Mac-PC connection in the past.

Unfortunately it looks like Mac gamers will only be playing other Mac users with Age of Empires 2. A forum post from active community member Rocco "rogue" Carello reflects a recent email exchange with Bold about the topic. It looks as if the popular GameRanger service will be the only way to find AoE2 games online:

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer support for cross-platform, multiplayer gaming. However, players can log onto to compete in multiplayer scenarios with other Mac users on the Internet. LAN multiplayer gaming is supported between Macs using TCP/IP.
While this may be somewhat disappointing, it is still important to remember that Age of Empires 2 will come with a huge single-player scenario as well as the extra levels included with the expansion pack. And we're sure the popularity of the game will ensure many GameRanger opponents will be available. For more information on the game, check out Bold's web site. Their store also has the title available for pre-order as well.

Bold Games Web Site
Age of Empires 2 Forum Thread
Ensemble Studios
Age of Empires II

'Mac Hall' on AvP
10:26 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

While Mac gamers anticipate the release of the boxed version of Aliens vs Predator and enjoy the demo release, Mac Hall has tackled the humorous side of this game -- or perhaps not so funny, to anyone who has found themselves in the crosshairs of the Predator one too many times.

Mac Hall has been quite a success so far, and the authors wanted us to pass along their thanks for all of the fan mail and encouragement. Follow the link below to check out this week's strip.

Mac Hall 02

uDevGame Winners Announced
10:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The final votes have all been counted and the uDevGame contest winners have been chosen. The initial round of public voting narrowed the field down from the 24 entries to a final batch of four games. A panel of seven judges --people in and around the Mac game development scene-- selected the order of the top four from there. Each of the four winners has a postmortem available from the authors of the games, and there is also an article on the contest itself. We don't want to spoil the surprise, so here's a quote from the uDevGame postmortem about what went right:

It was good to see some familiar names from iDevGames’ forum enter the contest and even better to see many new names. uDevGame 2001 enjoyed participation by developers from around the world and from all walks of life. Many of the entries were from students and application programmers who dream of becoming professional game developers. I really look forward to the four winners becoming Mac-household names right along side Pangeas’ Brian Greenstone and Westlake’s Mark Adams. Perhaps someday they will inspire a younger generation of Mac game developers or even start their own development companies.
To find out the winners, as well as read through their related articles, head over to the iDevGames site now. Congratulations to all of those who entered, and thanks for your great additions to the Mac gaming development community.

uDevGame Contest Postmortem
uDevGame Contest Page

'Hitchcock' Coming to US in 2002
10:05 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Arxel Tribe has announced that the Mac/PC adventure game Hitchcock: The Final Cut will debut in Europe in November 2001, and the localized versions for the US will appear in early 2002. This adventure game inspired by the legendary master of cinematic suspense takes both its inspiration and some of its material from the films, sets and characters of that director's creations. Here is the update:

ARXEL TRIBE, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS and WANADOO EDITION are delighted to announce that HITCHCOCK - THE FINAL CUT shall hit the retail shelves all over Europe in November 2001 in French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese language versions. Releases of the title in the USA and other regions of the world will be announced soon and shall take place in the first quarter of 2002.
No U.S. publisher has been announced. More information about the game, including a cinematic trailer, is available at the official web site.

Arxel Tribe
Hitchcock: The Final Cut

Mac Games News for Friday, October 12, 2001

IMG looking for flight sim guru/writer5:10 PM
Otto Matic and iPuppet Now Available for Pre-order2:27 PM
On StarCraft and OS X2:16 PM
Game Auction for WTC Relief2:09 PM
IMG Feature: MumboJumbo's Mythadventures10:46 AM
Return to Castle Wolfenstein for Mac Confirmed?10:23 AM
A Mixed Message on Heroes IV9:51 AM
GraphSim Herding Sheep to North America9:47 AM
EV: Nova Progress Update9:46 AM
Jeopardy 2 In Beta9:27 AM
Mac Red Faction Pre-orders Begin9:11 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 12, 2001 on one page

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Thursday, October 11, 2001
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