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Wednesday, October 24, 2001


GamePad Companion For OS X
9:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you're an OS X user and have been frustrated by not being able to use your favorite gamepad under the new operating system, then GamePad Companion for OS X might just be the thing for you. This little utility gem allows you to use HID compatible devices (a fancy word for gamepads, joysticks) with Mac OS X 10.1.


According to the author, all devices recognized by the Mac OS X HID mechanism should work with GamePad Companion. A demo is available to see if your device works properly with the utility. One word of caution, however; you should not use GamePad Companion with games that have built in support for HID devices.


GamePad Companion allows you to use up to 5 HID devices and works with any application that runs on Mac OS X version 10.1, either natively or in Classic mode.


GamePad Companion is shareware and costs $15 to register a single user license. Registration is available via the CarvWare web site.

GamePad Companion Demo
CarvWare


Warbirds III Updated
2:21 PM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

iEntertainment released an upgrade to Warbirds III, bringing it to version 10.24.01. The new version fixes a few minor bugs and inconsistencies in the game. iEntertainment is careful to note that the new version will not work on Macs equipped with ATI Radeon cards. Users of Radeon cards should stay with version 10.10.01.


WarBirds III is iEntertainment's massively-multiplayer online flight simulator, allowing pilots to log on to arenas and fight in the skies for control of airfields and ground bases.

WarBirds III 10.24.01 Upgrade
WarBirds III 10.24.01 Full Version
WarBirds III


IMG Reviews Breakout
11:37 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Breakout, the remake of the classic Atari game, published by MacSoft. Although some of the Atari classics such as Pong! have been received well, Breakout, on the other hand, hasn't. Reviewer Kit Pierce explains in his review:

The game play of Breakout is based on the mode that we all know: Hit the bouncing ball at the bricks to clear the bricks and advance to the next level. Subsequent levels begin to increase in difficulty until the ball moves so blazingly fast, you’d have to be superhuman to even survive. Or something like that.


Add in a few tweaks to game play, like being able to angle your paddle and gain powerups, and you essentially have the gist of our modern Breakout. This reviewer wouldn’t have had issue with Breakout if it had been more like its cousin Pong. In fact, Breakout was developed by the same team who produced Pong, which is a title I enjoy greatly. If Breakout had stuck with clever puzzles and updated graphics, I would have had few if any reservations about the game. Unfortunately, the designers added something to Breakout that I can’t forgive. They added a plot.

Be sure to check out the entire review by following the link below.

Breakout review



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New Warcraft III Units and Abilities
10:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As the somewhat tenuous release date of Warcraft III draws ever closer, Blizzard hones the anticipation of gamers waiting for this real-time RTS title with tidbits of information regarding this upcoming title. Recently added to the roster of new units is the Catapult, an Orc-specific unit. Also recently revealed is the new Defend ability, utilized by the Footman of the Human race.


The Catapult, though taking several units to man, certainly sounds like a devastating weapon. Here's the official clip:

The Orcish Catapult has always been a standing asset to the Horde. Capable of hurling fiery projectiles over great distances, Orcish Catapults have been the doom of many Alliance regiments. Though a small team of Orcs must always be available to man these destructive machines, unerringly Catapults serve as the Horde's greatest siege weapon.
As far as the Footman's new ability goes, Defend allows a Footman to receive only partial damange from any range attack. However, a Footman's own attack power and movement speed will suffer while in Defend mode.


Accompanying each unit is an animated pic showing the unit in action. For those interested in the pics as well as more general information on WC3, be sure to check out the official WC3 site. The current release date is still set at around February of next year, though of course Blizzard has been known to push back a release date when necessary. The wait, however, should be well worth it when this title hits the market.

Warcraft III - Catapult
Warcraft III - Footman
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III


Polishing Return to Castle Wolfenstein
10:37 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Return the Castle Wolfenstein, the WW II first-person shooter by Gray Matter Studios, is currently undergoing extensive "polish", according to a post at Blues News, who has received an update from Activision, the publisher of the PC version. The update goes on to say to "remember, the blitzkrieg begins this Christmas", giving clear indication that they expect the game to ship around the end of December.


Gray Matter Studios' Greg Goodrich also provided some details on the push toward release:

With the map test, the QA department at Activision, Id, Gray Matter, Nerve, and friends and family, there are a lot of eyes looking and playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein right now. It's a wonderful thing and it will go a long way to making the game as robust and solid as possible. Right now we're still in the Beta phase fixing bugs, tweaking cut-scene cameras and adding story polish where needed. I can safely say this game is getting the attention it deserves.
Although a Mac version hasn't been officially announced by Activision (we recently contacted Activision, who told us that a Mac publisher hasn't been announced yet), the release of the Return to Wolfenstein Test for Mac OS X is a good indicator that the game will eventually be released for Mac OS X.

Castle Wolfenstein MP Test 1.0
Return to Wolfenstein web site
Blues News
Activision
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein


Yexi Still on Track
10:26 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Astute IMG readers may remember some articles back in August detailing Yexi, a Mac-only game currently in development by D'Carlos & Covett Communication. At its core, Yexi is an online four-player space flight title which will incorporate the "actual mechanics" of starship flight, including various sections devoted to Navigation, Engineering, and the like. Yexi also seems to be heavily influenced by sci-fi shows such as Star Trek and the like.


For those players waiting for this title, you'll be happy to know that the news page at the official Yexi site has been updated with the info that this game is still on track, with just a "matter of weeks" until its official release. This title will be offered as both a download and as a CD-ROM.


For more information on Yexi, or for those that wish to pre-order at a reduced cost, be sure to check out the official Yexi site.

Yexi - Official Site



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ATI Speaks Up on the Radeon 8500
10:17 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Since the announcement of the new Radeon 8500 by graphics hardware manufacturer ATI, the net has been positively alight with the usual rumors, speculations, and questions regarding this powerhouse card. In response to these speculations, ATI has seen fit to release a short Q&A, which has been posted by SourceMagazine.com, that highlights some of the more pertinent questions.


Though some of the questions are Windows-specific, certain others are definitely of interest to Mac users wondering about the performance level of this card. One of the more interesting issues addressed concerns the Radeon 8500 drivers under Open GL in regards to the Quake III engine:

[Q3]: Kyle Bennett of HardOCP raised a question about RADEON 8500 drivers under OpenGL mode generating better framerates in Quake III benchmarks when optimized. What is your explanation?


[A3]: ATI optimizes its drivers on many different levels, including the application level, the game engine level, the API level, and the operating system level. That is, some optimizations work only on specific games, while others work only on specific game engines or only on specific operating systems. In the case of Quake III and Quake III Arena , we were able to achieve certain optimizations specifically for that game, as we do for other popular games. Our engineering team is committed to providing the best visual experience for the user in all applications, with the optimal combination of high frame rates, image quality, and stability.

For current Radeon users disheartened by the lack of FSAA support in the current Mac version of the Radeon, ATI also assures customers that Smoothvision, their catchphrase for anti-aliasing, will be enabled in their next driver release for the 8500.


For those interested in further details, the rest of the Q&A can be found at SourceMagazine.com. More information on the 8500 itself can also be found at IMG's preview of this graphics card.

ATI - Radeon 8500
IMG - Radeon 8500 Preview
SourceMagazine.com - ATI Radeon 8500 Q&A
ATI
Radeon 8500



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Even More Civilization III Previews
9:54 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The latest entry in the recent blitz of Civilization III previews has been thrown in by IGN PC. While glossing over much of the same information as many previous previews, IGN nevertheless manages to throw in some new details regarding this upcoming turn-based strategy title.


One of the new additions to the Civ world is the fact that all of the sixteen available civilizations now have two characteristics each attached to them, each with its own strengths. The possible characteristics are Commercial, Expansionist, Industrious, Militaristic, Religious, and Scientific.


In addition to these new characteristics, each civilization will also have a unique military unit of some kind, each with its own special strengths designed to give its side the edge in battle. For example, the Aztecs have a Jaguar Warrior, Persia their Immortals, and America the F-15. How these units will balance out has yet to be made clear, though the premise certainly seems promising.


Also new to combat in Civ 3 is the fact that units with high mobility can now retreat from battle. For example, a cavalry charge can be pulled out of a fight if the outcome looks bleak. Also, artillery units now have no attack or defense values, and instead have a bombardment feature that allows them to attack units from up to 2 squares away wih no chance of retaliation. They can, however, be captured by enemy forces.


The rest of the preview covers other changes from previous Civs such as the elimination of Windows-based menus, the negation of purchasing Wonders of the World, and more detail on what characteristics are assigned to each Civilization. For the full story, be sure to check out the preview at IGN PC.


As far as Mac progress goes, Civ III hit First Playable status late last week, with a current anticipated release date of next February.

IMG - Civilization III Update
IGN PC - Civilization III Preview
MacSoft
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III


Spaceware Ho! 5 Status Update
9:52 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In the past few months we've been giving readers small updates on Delta Tao's new title, Spaceward Ho! 5. While this game will be based on the previous incarnation in the series, it will sport many improvements. We recently got in touch with Joe Williams, President of Delta Tao, who gave us this update:

Yes, it's progressing well. If it had a staff of more than just me and
Peter, we'd probably have lots of web stuff about it.


It's rewritten from the ground up, so the user interface is all-new (though
quite familiar). It runs native in OSX.


The internet play, via spacewardho.net, is working great.


Multiple ship types can now be joined into single fleets, with special
instructions for each ship type.


Fleets can be given manual routes of many hops. ("Go here, then here, then here, darn it.")


The AI is already substantially improved, though we have much more planned in this arena.


We don't announce release dates in advance, but we'll probably release a
beta internet-only version for testing spacewardho.net well before the final
game.

As you can see, there's been a lot of good progress on this classic. Delta Tao is shooting for a release hopefully sometime this winter. We'll keep you posted as Spaceward Ho! 5 gets further into development.

Delta Tao Software


Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Apple Introduces the iPod12:31 PM
Blow-out sale at Freeverse11:34 AM
IMG Reviews the iBook 200111:00 AM
Max Payne Intervew on Cinematics10:28 AM
Mudpie Plot Details Revealed9:56 AM
Bbaahh! Sheep Demo Available9:11 AM
Myth III Soundtrack Released8:42 AM
Otto Matic Enters Beta8:19 AM
Apple Joins the Red Faction8:18 AM
Westlake: Civ III Update, New 'Mystery' Game8:03 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 23, 2001 on one page


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