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Tuesday, October 23, 2001

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Otto Matic Enters Beta
8:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Otto Matic, the new sci-fi action game from the makers of such classics as Bugdom and Nanosaur, has entered beta testing and is on schedule to ship in early December (or late November if we're lucky). IMG spoke with Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone this morning, who offered some more interesting details:

All 10 levels are done and are beta. The only thing left to do is finish the art for some of the segue screens like the Win/Lose and level intros. We're almost a week ahead of schedule...and should be GM around Nov 9.
Greenstone went on to say that Otto Matic should have even more broader appeal than Bugdom, especially to hard-core gamers.
When I was playing it last night, it struck me that this game should have even broader appeal than Bugdom because Otto Matic has some hard-core elements on several of the levels. It's a unique mix, I think, of the cartoony g-rated style mixed with some pretty intense action in places.
Otto Matic will be published by Aspyr Media and is currently available for pre-order through Aspyr's web store. For more information on Otto Matic, be sure to check out our extensive preview.

Aspyr Media
Otto Matic Preview
Pangea Software
Otto Matic

Apple Introduces the iPod
12:31 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple today introduced the iPod, a digital audio player that sports a 5GB drive, 20-minute skip protection, a FireWire port, and a Lithium-polymer battery that can run up to 10 hours. The device is about the size of a deck of cards, with a width of less than one inch, and weighs a mere 6.5 ounces. A neat feature is its ability to charge via the included power adapter or via FireWire.

Fitting in the palm of your hand, the iPod has a backlit LCD display, and offers support for playlists, ID3 tags, and iTunes 2 (which should be available in early November). The $399 device will be available on November 10. Here's some more PR on it:

When you first plug iPod into your Mac, all of your iTunes songs and playlists are automatically downloaded into iPod at blazing FireWire speed. Then, when you add new music or rearrange playlists in iTunes, simply plug iPod back in and it's automatically updated in seconds. It simply doesn't get any easier or faster than this. You can download an entire CD in less than 10 seconds, or 1,000 songs in under 10 minutes. Plus, iPod automatically charges whenever you’re connected and your Mac is on.

The Apple Store is currently accepting pre-orders for the iPod.

Apple Store

Blow-out sale at Freeverse
11:34 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In an effort to "make room in the office for our new WingNuts game", Freeverse Software has a few special deals today on various products. Here's some details on the deals:

#1 Get the Freeverse Demo CD for only $5 (S&H included!)

Playable demos of all our games, Jen & Monty Desktop pictures, plus the full JARED: Butcher of Song collection including JARED's Christmas, JARED Karaoke, and JARED Choir! Not to mention Virtual Viagra, Mr. Relaxer and SimStapler!

#2 Get Deathground for only $5! ($3.50 priority S&H)

Deathground was selected for the 1999 Macworld "Game Hall of Fame"
"It's tougher than a two-bit steak, more dangerous than a beautiful woman, and more unforgiving than a pair of burlap undershorts. It takes guts to make it in this town, but nobody ever called you a least not twice."

Mobsters and Mayhem in this strategy classic!

#3 Get CrossCards AND the Demo CD for only $9.95 ($3.50 priority S&H)

"A brain-teasing...combination of Scrabble and poker.... Freeverse has made an engaging game with typical attention to humorous details."
-- MacAddict Magazine

If you're interested in purchasing some of these products, be sure to visit the Freeverse Software web store.

Freeverse Store

IMG Reviews the iBook 2001
11:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

When Apple introduced the original iBook in 1999, it was an instant hit among price conscious consumers looking for a reasonably priced yet stylish portable. Apple followed the iBook with the iBook 2001, unveiled at Macworld Expo San Francisco last January. With a completely new sleek form factor and snazzy new features, the iBook 2001 has won numerous awards and outperformed sales expectations, in spite of the recent economic downturn.

IMG's Andy Largent has reviewed the iBook 2001 and offers his thoughts from a gamer's perspective. Here's a tibit from the review:

One of the biggest advances for gamers using the iBook 2001 is the upgrade to ATI's Rage 128 Mobility chipset. The 8MB of video RAM may seem paltry, but it doubles what was in the previous iBook. Since the video on a portable can't be upgraded, I wish Apple could have used a more powerful chipset like the Radeon Mobility, but price concerns made it impossible. The 1024x768 screen is very sharp and I have yet to find any bad pixels in it. It's especially nice since OS X takes up so much more screen real estate that 800x600 just won't cut it anymore.

The DVD player works great under either OS 9.2.1 or 10.1, and I'll admit this is my first DVD unit of any kind. While it may not be a huge deal to gamers --since you can count the number of Mac DVD games on one hand-- it is very cool to be able to hook the iBook up to a TV to play movies. Throw a wireless mouse on the coffee table and you've even got a makeshift remote control. Unfortunately, Apple chose not to include the A/V cable, so plan on shelling out anther $20 if you want to enable this feature.

For more, be sure to check out the complete review of this exciting new machine.

IMG's iBook 2001 Review

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Max Payne Intervew on Cinematics
10:28 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story has posted a lengthy interview with Saku Lehtinen and Anssi Hyytiäinen of Remedy Entertainment, the folks behind Max Payne, the popular first-person shooter due out on the Mac early next year. The interview mainly discusses the ins and outs behind the Max Payne cinematics, which have garnered strong praise. Here's a tidbit from the interview:

What went right/wrong during production?

SL: Good things were definitely our good teamwork with Anssi and the fact that we had great fun making the shots. And naturally that we made them all in time and they are relatively good. Problems were mainly related to the fact that originally we had no tech to do any cut scenes and cameras and we had to wait for some features.

AH: I'd say what went right was that the tools and the engine were flexible enough for creating a sufficient number of satisfactory cinematics. Meaning we had sufficient controls for the characters and a flexible system for animating objects and creating game dynamics etc.

What went wrong, that would also include the characters. Our system for making the characters to move from point A to point B proved to be rather unreliable and the behavior varied depending on things like the framerate of the system the game was running on... You could say our actors were sometimes running all over the place and regularly bumping into furniture.

I could also mention something like, some rather important features were missing from MaxED for a long time before we were able to implement some of the cinematics. But then again had we implemented those features earlier, we would've had to wait for some other equally important features on different sectors, so it's really a moot point.

Max Payne for the Mac is currently in development and will be released by MacSoft in early 2002.

Max Payne Interview at Machinima
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

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Mudpie Plot Details Revealed
9:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ever since Riven, the sequel to Myst, was released a few years back, Cyan has provided few details about their new game, currently code-named "Mudpie". But slowly new details of Mudpie have emerged. In a recent Computer Gaming World issue, Cyan founder Rand Miller offered some details on the plot:

The story is set in the present day. You come to D'ni and find it's been destroyed. That's your starting point. From there, you can explore the underground world.
The unoffical Riven home page also offers some interesting tidbits on the elusive Mudpie plot:
This summer, a RedHerring article revealed that players would explore a vast maze of tunnels of the underground D'ni civilization. Now the CGW article reveals that the story will be set in the present day when D'ni lies in ruins.

The timeframe of the game has been the source of much speculation among fans. With the game set in the present day, players will apparently explore the ruins of D'ni and participate in its rebuilding.

As more details of Mudpie emerge, we'll be sure to bring them to you. In the meantime, be sure to check out some of the popular fan sites for more info.

D'ni Guild
Mudpie News

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Bbaahh! Sheep Demo Available
9:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The U.K based Feral Interactive has released a demo of the recently released arcade game, Sheep. The game includes four characters each with different strengths and weaknesses (yes, it even includes Bo Peep) as well as four breeds of sheep, each with their own distinctive styles.

Your task, in Sheep, is to guide the sheep back to their celestial ancestors, saving them from the perils of electric fences. shark-infested ice cream and combine harvesters. It's not as easy as it sounds, especially when your sheep ramble off, reacting to the situation and the Herder.

The Sheep demo is available for download via our sister site, The game requires a 233 Mhz Power PC with 64 MB and running under Mac OS 8.6 or later.

Sheep is being distributed in the U.S. by GraphSim and is available via their online web store.

Sheep Demo (23.7 MB)
GraphSim Sheep web site
Feral Interactive

Myth III Soundtrack Released
8:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

With the release of Myth III: The Wolf Age imminent, has released the entire Myth III soundtrack. Available for download via Fileplanet, the MP3 soundtrack weighs in at a hefty 64.4 MB.

Componser and sound designer, Zak Belica, has penned an acompanying article for Gamespy that provides extensive details on the soundtrack. Belica, who has composed soundtracks for hit games such as SiN, Heavy Metal: FAKK 2, and Blair Witch 3, describes the Myth III soundtrack as his "most ambitions orchestral score to date." Here's a brief snippet from the article:

Since the game takes place 1000 years or so before the first Myth game, we wanted to make the music a tad more primitive and tribal. To achieve this, we went for a more spare sound, with a few more basic instruments per track instead of giant orchestras. The percussion used is also primitive; I used shield hits, metal strikes and leather/skin drums to give the parts a home-brewed feel. Scott Campbell and I went through the game and created an outline of the kinds of music needed for each section of the game. We came up with headings such as "Journey," for when the player is traveling, "Mourning" for sad events, and "Hero" for when Connacht is in charge, etc. These headings are reflected in the piece names and in the music itself.
Myth III: The Wolf Age is scheduled to be released on the PC by the end of the month, with the Mac version following shortly after, probably sometime in early November.

IMG's Myth III Preview
Myth III Soundtrack (64.4 MB)
Inside the Myth 3 Soundtrack

Apple Joins the Red Faction
8:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a new preview of Red Faction recently, looking at this next-gen FPS from GraphSim and Volition. The article gives a nice overview of the game's impressive artificial intelligence, Geo-Mod physics engine, and cross-platform Mac and PC multiplayer modes. The game will also support the popular Mac-only GameRanger service for finding games, as well as the in-game browser. Last we heard from GraphSim, the game was essentially done for OS 9 and was just being Carbonized for OS X support.

The article also lists the many weapons and vehicles in the game. Some hints are provided, as well as the final Mac system requirments:

  •  Mac OS 8.6 or higher (including Mac OS X
  •   300MHz or higher processor speed
  •   64 MB built-in RAM
  •   3D Graphics Accelerator with 6 MB Video RAM (ATI including Radeon, or NVIDIA)
  •   400 MB of HD space

Be sure to head over and give the preview a look for more info. MGCD subscribers can also take advantage of IMG's amazing $35 pre-order price for the game in our store right now.

Apple Preview of Red Faction
GraphSim Red Faction Page
Red Faction

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Westlake: Civ III Update, New 'Mystery' Game
8:03 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive's web site was updated yesterday with new information on their Mac port of Civilization III. It seems this MacSoft title has just hit the 'first playable' mark, which is a huge step and deserves some congratulations. It means all the code (which was just finalized for the PC recently) is now compiling on the Mac and it's possible to play through parts of the title. The update especially tantalizing for OS X users:

Civilization III for Mac hit First Playable status late last week. Brad Oliver and John Butler are doing an amazing job on this very cool game. According to Oliver, "The port is coming along great, and we hope to have a few surprises for OS X users."
Kudos go out to Oliver and Butler for their hard work. In a recent MacSoft update, the company told IMG they were expected to ship Civ III in February --though it was hoped that a faster port might mean a release even sooner.

While the Westlake project status page has been updated with the word on Civ III, they also have a tantalizing new 'mystery' game, codenamed Morphine. As Westlake fans know, these names often generate a good amount of guessing as to what they may mean. If you've got an idea, shout it out in our forums.

Westlake: Mac Civilization III First Playable
Morphine Ideas Forum Thread
Westlake Interactive Project Status Page
IMG News: Updates from MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Mac Games News for Monday, October 22, 2001

More NOLF Details from MacPlay6:31 PM
Emegency Room: Code Red Announced3:40 PM
Aliens vs Predator OS X 10.1 Fix Released3:29 PM
PlayStation 2 Emulator for the Mac?11:36 AM
Yet Another Civilization III Preview10:55 AM
IMG Previews EV: Nova10:50 AM
Aliens versus Predator 10.1 Patch Tomorrow10:05 AM
Baldur's Gate 2 Fan Expansion Released for PC10:03 AM
Zork Grand Inquisitor Shipping10:01 AM
Custer Feels the Payne9:39 AM
Myth III Desktop Image Contest9:33 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 22, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, October 19, 2001
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Monday, October 15, 2001

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