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Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Mac Torque Beta Begins
7:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

David Chait, the programmer with GarageGames working on the Mac client of their powerful Torque 3D engine, wrote IMG with news that the Mac beta is now starting. Torque is the stripped down version of the Tribes 2 engine which is available for programmers to license for the very low cost of $100. Having a Mac branch of the code ensures any of the games released under the Torque license will be easy to recompile and run on the Mac.

In the update from Chait, he notes the OS 9 version is slightly ahead of the Cocoa OS X build. Other features like support for ATI's next-gen Radeon 8500 cards are already in place as well. Here's the full scoop:

The Torque Mac Beta is officially rolling out today. We're starting with a
reasonable, but small, beta test group which may grow a bit once we've
gotten through a 'first pass' on stability and compatibility. It'll take a
week to get everyone up and running and get the early feedback, but we think
things are looking pretty good. We're hoping to put it through it's paces,
fix bugs, enhance/add features, within maybe a 4-week period. OS9 is
definitely ahead of OSX, but not by much -- we're also hoping to find some
cycles to step back to 8.6 and check compatibility there... Additionally,
I've checked in early support for the ATI Radeon 8500 Truform (PN Triangles)
feature, including both OS9 and OSX access methods.

Oh, and there's the possibility that you'll see Torque around MacWorld/SF
come January, though nothing is locked in yet... I'll update you more if and
when I have specifics. ;)

Thanks to David and all of the other testers at GarageGames for their work on bringing this powerful engine to the Mac. We'll definitely keep an eye out for Torque at Macworld in January.

Interview: GarageGames' Tim Gift on V12
GarageGames Web Site

First PC Civilization III Review
11:28 PM | Brian Rumsey | Comment on this story

As many Civilization fans probably know, on Tuesday, Firaxis Games released the latest installment in the series, Sid Meier's Civilization III, for Windows. Based on how highly this game was anticipated, reviews will surely soon begin cropping up in droves. In fact, at least one review has already been finished, by IGN.

There are a lot more things that we could talk about here but that would mean that you're sitting here reading instead of going out and trying out all the new features of the game for yourself. I know that there are those who believe that drastic changes to Civilization are an abomination but these are also the people who write us letters about how the latest Diablo II patch, which reduces a single skill's effectiveness by 4.5% on every other Thursday has completely castrated their 70th level barbarian. To them I say, get over it.
If IGN knows what they are talking about (and I'm guessing they do), Civilization III will be a worthy generation in this revered strategy series. This is good news for us Mac gamers, too, as Westlake Interactive is hard at work on the Mac port of Civilization III. Head on over to IGN and check out the review, unless you can't bear the thought of waiting a few more months for this game to hit the Mac.

Westlake Interactive
Firaxis Games
Official Civilization III website
Civilization III review at IGN

Monsters Inc. games coming to Mac
11:02 AM | Noah Brimhall | Comment on this story

Disney Interactive and Pixar have joined foces to create a series of games based on the upcoming Monsters, Inc. movie, set to be in theathers this Friday. Two games are coming to Mac and OS X.

The first set of games are collectively know as the Wreck Room Arcade and include three separate CD-ROMS geared for kids 8-12. In Monster’s Tag the player tries to collect all of the human items while balanced on a seesaw. In 8 Ball Chaos players try to become the top billiards player in the Monster’s Inc Wreck Room. Finally, in Bowling for Screams players will guide a bowling ball down a crazy bowling lane. The Wreck Room Arcade also features a fourth game if you buy all three CD-ROMS.

Details of the second game, Scream Team Training, appeared in a recent article at MacCentral. In this game players will take the role of one of six monsters trying to be the “Top Scarer”. This game is geared for kids four and up and 30 different game levels and seven different activities.

Disney Interactive
MacCentral's Monsters, Inc. story

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Max Payne Special Report Available
10:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

For those that are interested in learning even more about the world and development of Take-Two's runaway hit Max Payne, IGN's Action Vault has recently published an exhaustive overview of the game. Covering the history, premises, and various influences of Max Payne, this special report reveals much about the design philosophy of this gritty action title and gives players a clearer picture of the game overall.

One of the more interesting tidbits is that the popular Tomb Raider series did much in influencing Max Payne, though not necessarily in ways one might suspect. Rather than using Tomb Raider as an example, the design team did everything they could to make sure that the character Max Payne could in no way be compared to Lara Croft.

An influence that the team did attempt to use as an example is the work of John Woo, Hong Kong action movie master. While many people point to The Matrix as Max Payne's point of influence, Scott Miller of 3D Realms is quick to point out that Max Payne started development before the release of The Matrix, and in fact draws heavily upon John Woo's films for ideas and influence.

The idea for the slow-motion effects that have made Max Payne so famous also came about in an interesting way:

In the game's final form, slow motion plays a pivotal role, but this was actually not the case at one point in development until the teams realized the great potential it had. "Early in the game's design, we had the idea of modeling bullets as true physical objects traveling at real-life speeds through the game space," relates Miller. "At the time, this idea was designed to further enhance the realism that we wanted the game to exude. Remedy implemented this idea beautifully, and seeing it in slow motion, as a test, convinced everyone that slow motion needed to be a bigger part of the game experience. It all flowed from there to what we have in the finished game." In addition to its gameplay function, slow motion has also been incorporated into the occasional internal cutscene for added effect. Such moments are seen when Max finishes off certain predetermined characters.
Though Max Payne is, to many, a fine example of a highly polished title, some ideas the developers wanted to implement unfortunately never made it to the final build. One such feature was the implementation of more non-enemy characters, which would have helped
to flesh out the story more and "add life to the game." Another feature would have had Max Payne performing more benevolent acts, including rescuing hostages and saving innocent bystanders from enemy gunfire.

The rest of the story covers such aspects as Max Payne's gameplay, audio features, and storyline. Anyone interested in more information on Max Payne should
definitely check out the rest of IGN's special report. As far as the Max version of Max Payne goes, publisher MacSoft has noted that Take 2 itself is responsible for the Mac port, with a current projected release date of April 2002.

IGN Action Vault - Max Payne Special Report
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

Master of Orion III Development Team Interview
10:46 AM | Sean Carton | Comment on this story

Fan site HomeLAN just conducted an interview with several members of the Masters of Orion III team members from Quicksilver Software. Present were designers Alan Emrich, David Craft, and Floyd Grubb, art director Rantz Hoseley, and executive producer Bill Fisher. While they didn't reveal anything specific about the upcoming Mac version, executive producer Bill Fisher did provide some pretty cool details about gameplay and talked about some innovative ways MOO3 will handle huge multiplayer games:

One other cool thing we've done is allow saving and reloading of multiplayer games. This means that it's not necessary to finish the game in a single sitting. With a huge universe, a game of MOO3 could stretch across multiple days, depending on how long everyone wants to play during each session. This allows them to schedule games at their convenience. In addition, because of the way the AIs are set up, it's possible for an AI to take over one human player's position for a time if that human player is not available, managing the empire in his or her absence.
The game designers in the group also provided details about how MOO3's technology tree has been modified to provide (in their words) a "livelier" game, taking a more real-word approach to developing new tech:
The other major change is that it allows us to do some really neat things with the applied technology prerequisites. No longer do all players necessarily have the same prerequisites for the same technology, which helps reflect different species reaching the same goal by different means. In fact, you can't count on having the same prerequisites from one game to the next... which means that science becomes the process of actual discovery that it is in the real world. For players who count on racing up the tech web to get to some favorite item, it's going to be a real kick in the pants... but it'll make for a much livelier game.
All-in-all, it sounds like MOO3 is going to break some major ground in the turn-based strategy game genre! Quicksilver plans to release the game sometime in the first quarter of 2002. For the complete interview transcript, check out the HomeLAN link below.

Master of Orion III Underground Impressions
New Master of Orion III Shots
Master of Orion III Images, Status Update
MOO3 Official Site
HomeLAN's MOO3 Interview
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Civilization III Ships for PC
9:44 AM | Sean Carton | Comment on this story

While it looks like Mac gamers will have to wait until at least February to get their hands on MacSoft's port of Civilization III, PC fans can begin celebrating...Civilization III is starting to show up in stores.

Gamepen News reports that Civ III Limited Addition (the fancy boxed set) can be had at Electronics Boutique:

Just picked up my limited edition of Civilization III at Electronics Boutique!  There are a ton of copies of the regular edition on the shelves for the taking, so GO GET IT!
As for the Mac version, Westlake has announced that their port reached "first playable" status as of October 22nd, revealing that they "have a few surprises for OS X users." We'll keep you posted as progress continues.

Westlake Civ III First Playable
Westlake Projects Status
Westlake Civ III Update
Civilization III Limited Edition Ships

Rogue Spear: Black Thorn Demo for Mac
9:41 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

While Mac fans of Rogue Spear wonder if the upcoming expansion set Black Thorn will ever see the light of day on their computers, an enterprising fan has managed to convert the Black Thorn demo for use with the Mac version of RS and has posted it to Planet Rainbow Six for download. The file works as a "RS UO mod inclusive to the new LoneWolf multiplayer mode."

For those unfamiliar with Black Thorn, the storyline features a group of copycat terrorists that are attempting to mimic various terrorist acts from the past 50 years. To combat this threat, the Rainbow Six team is once again called into action, and are given a new selection of weapons and equipment with which to work with.

The demo weighs in at around 24.9 MB, and is available at Planet Rainbow Six. For more information on the Black Thorn mod itself, be sure to check out IMG's past articles on the subject.

IMG - Black Thorn Articles
Planet Rainbow Six - Black Thorn Demo

MacWarcraft III Q&A
9:35 AM | Noah Brimhall | Comment on this story

Mac fansite has conducted a Q&A session with Blizzard Entertainment’s Bill Roper and Rob Pardo. They cover topics from the carbonization of Warcraft III to if and when a Mac beta will be released. It has an especially interesting section about prevention of cheating in Warcraft III.

“We want to stress that we are making hacking as difficult as we can and even IF a map hack shows up, there will be the means for players to discover if they were hacked through replays. If Blizzard discovers that someone is using a map hack, we intend take action against that player. We care deeply about hacks and how they affect our community and we will do everything possible to minimizes the impact of these people on WarCraft III.”
While the story is not heavy on details about the Mac version, it is well worth a read for fans of Warcraft 3.

Official Warcraft 3 site Blizzard Entertainment Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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MacPlay on Baldur's Gate II Issues
8:46 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MumboJumbo's Chris Jacobson, who ported Baldur's Gate II to the Mac, has been very busy of late answering questions posed in the MacBaldur forums. Some players were apparently having various issues with Baldur's Gate II, including installer problems, Type 2 errors, and poor performance. If you're having any troubles with the game, head over and give the forums a look, because chances are someone can help you out.

In one post, Jacobson notes turning off File Sharing will greatly improve your performance (though this is true for nearly any intensive game). In another thread, he indicates that limitations within the OS itself also contributed to bottlenecks for the game. Performance for the Carbonized OS X version could have been improved with more time, but financial and time limitations make a Mach-O (Cocoa) port unlikely. An older version of CodeWarrior also didn't help the problem. There is a hint that if a patch is released, the app could be recompiled under Codewarrior 7.

Jacobson also makes a plea to anyone having Type 2 or 3 errors, which he can't reproduce. Here's a clip:

Ok folks... time to help me figure these out ;-) Unfortunately it never occured on any of our test machines.

So... I need people who are having Type2/Type3 errors on start to email their Baldur.ini, Baldur.log, and Baldur.err files to me at Please STUFF them first.

On another note... the game changes the types of the files, and it does edit the Baldur.ini, which changes the type. If you double click on these files it tries to open them in BG2, which it can't. Unfortunately it also seems to default to the OS X app if that is installed, when it tries to open them.

There have also been numerous reports of Baldur's Gate II not installing properly under MacOS 9. MacPlay's Guy Chapman has offered a step-by-step guide in installing the game:
If you are having difficulties installing Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, please try the following:

1. Open the Apple Menu.

2. Select “Control Panels”.

3. Select “Extensions Manager”.

4. Change the “Selected Set” (this is located at the top of the “Extensions Manager” window) from “My Settings” to “Mac OS #.# All”, where #.# is the version number of the OS that you are using.

5. Restart the computer.

6. Make sure that any incomplete installs of Baldur’s Gate II are removed from the system.

7. Insert Baldur’s Gate II CD 1.

8. Run the Baldur’s Gate II installer.

9. After the install is finished, open the “Extensions Manager” again.

10. Change the “Selected Set” back to “My Settings”.

11. Restart the computer again.

Thanks to Chris and the rest of the MumboJumbo and MacPlay team for their hard work on this massive RPG. For more on the game itself, check out IMG's review posted just yesterday.

MacBaldur Thread on FileSharing
IMG Review: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
MacBaldur Thread on Speed in BG2
MacBaldur Thread on Type 2/Type 3 Errors
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II

Games Galore at the Apple Store
8:23 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

One of the more frustrating experiences of being a Mac user was not being able to find Macintosh games through retail. Stores like CompUSA stocked a minimal amount of Mac games. When Apple opened its hot, new Apple stores throughout the country, they made a concentraded effort on providing Mac gamers with a healthy supply of Macintosh games. A new article entitled "Paradise Found: Mac Games Galore at the Apple Store" has graced the Apple Games page and provides insight on the bevy of Mac games available the the Apple stores. Here's a snippet from the article:

On any given day, you’ll also find other Mac gamers, many of them searching for that perfect game to take home. No matter what kind of game interests you, you’re sure to find someone to strike up a conversation.

Someone like Vikram Singh Sohal, a recent Mac OS X convert who, like many of his fellow gamers, is excited about playing games on Apple’s next-generation operating system.
“I love OS X because, if the game crashes, it doesn’t take the OS with it,” he says, referring to the protected memory that keeps applications from interfering with each other and forcing you to restart your Mac. An action and strategy fan, Sohal loves Deus Ex and Age of Empires II: Gold Edition and is looking forward to the upcoming Civilization III.

Sohal adds that the selection of games at the Apple retail store is “the best I have seen for Macintoshes anywhere.”

If you have never been to an Apple store and ever wondered what kind of games are available there, then be sure to check out the entire article.

Paradise Found: Mac Games Galore at the Apple Store

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Custer Has a House Party
7:53 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Destop-guru extrodinaire Brad Buster has released another of of his stylish desktops. The theme, this time around, revolves around Aspyr's The Sims: House Party expansion pack released over the summer. Custer explains that this desktop was originally slated to be included in the House Party CD, but missed the deadline by a bit:

Ported back in July by Aspyr Media just in time for MWNY this was one of the desktops I designed to be included in the game, but missed the date to be included by that much. ;D I came across this desktop and a few other House Party offerings that I might include on this site at a later date, but this was my favorite one so I knew I had to release it. "Stayin' Alive" was a combination of box art, screenshots and game art provided by the cd and the internet. I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did making it.
Custer's desktops come in various sizes and flavors and are availble by clicking on the link below.

Custer's Desktops
Aspyr Media
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims
Buy The Sims

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Fly II Patch for OS X 10.1 Released
7:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The patches for OS X keep on rolling. A newpatch that fixes compatibitly issues for MacSoft's Fly II! under OS X 10.1 has been released by Infogrames, MacSoft's parent company. The small patch includes a small file called "HIDManagerSupport" that replaces an older file of the same name. The Infogrames support page for Fly II! includes some important steps in installing the update,

This patch increases compatibility with Mac OS-X and fixes some issues related to this operating system.

To download and install this patch you will need to re-boot your Mac into OS 9.

After re-booting, download the patch, and follow the Readme file instructions for installation. After you have replaced the proper files, re-boot into OS-X and launch the game.

To download the update, head over to our sister site, After you apply the patch, be sure to submit reviews of the patch at to let other readers know how well the patch works.

Fly II! For OS X 10.1 (35k)
Terminal Reality
Fly! II
Buy Fly! II

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Voodoo Extreme Goes Ga-Ga Over Halo
7:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Having been lucky enough to get an advanced release of Microsoft's X-Box gaming machine and a copy of the final version of Bungie's first person shooter, Halo, Voodoo Extreme's Robert "Apache" Howarth has been playing Halo feverishly for the last few days. Howarth a few days ago took some time to write up an extensive preview of Halo and today reports that he has finished the game, reiterating that it is the "best first person shooter ever", besting games such as Half-Life and Quake III. Here's more from Howarth on Halo:

I finally finished Halo yesterday, and I'm sticking with my "best first person shooter ever" statement, as the game kicks ass from start to finish. Here are a few reasons (besides the fact that there are no bugs in the game) why I think so:

1 - Best visuals. Halo blows away every other FPS released to date and looks to have a step or two on the upcoming FPS's like Unreal 2 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Halo should safely keep this title until DOOM 3's release (or maybe Unreal Warfare), as really, Halo is simply stunning.

2 - Best gameplay. A lot of first person shooters have tried to successfully incorporate vehicles into the mix, and other than Operation Flashpoint and to a lesser degree Red Faction, most have failed to make their inclusion anything really special. The only game I can foresee beating out Halo in the gameplay department would be Duke Nukem Forever.

3 - Best presentation. Before Halo, my pick for the game that presented itself the best would be Half-Life. With all the nice scripted events, the small talk with the security guards and scientists, and just how Valve laid the game out (that is, until the end, where things got goofy) made Half-life an exceptional game. Bungie really one-upped Valve with Halo though, and once you play Halo, chances are you'll think the same.

The Microsoft X-Box console and Halo will be released in mid-November. Bungie has publically stated that a PC and Macintosh version of this first-person shooter is still in the works. There's no word yet, however, on when a PC/Mac version will be available.

Halo Web Site
Voodoo Extreme
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

Halloween Contest at Mac-O-Rama
7:32 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In celebration of Halloween, online retailer Mac-O-Rama is having a contest and all Mac users are invited. Up for grabs are copies of MacSoft's Vampire: The Masquerade and Aspyr's Cliver Barker's Undying. The contest began on the 26th and runs through October 31, 2001. Here's more details on the contest:

We've cooked up something special to for Halloween! Come play our
spook-tacular contest to win ghoulish Mac games! No purchase is necessary
and you don't have to sell your soul to any e-mail marketers ha, ha, ha
. Just solve the riddle to play the game and you'll be entered
to win one of these cool, scary Mac games: Vampire The Masquerade:
Redemption and Clive Barker's Undying.

Please visit for info and contest rules! SPECIAL THANKS to
prize sponsors: Aspyr Media and MacSoft.

Stop by Mac-O-Rama today to enter this scary contest.


Mac Games News for Monday, October 29, 2001

IMG Posts Baldur's Gate II Review10:58 AM
Sacrifice Testers Needed10:07 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic 4 Delayed?10:00 AM
Civilization III - AI Focus9:53 AM
Vendetta - New Mac OS X-Only Title?9:40 AM
Giants: Citizen Kabuto Ships for OS X9:30 AM
Aspyr Ships Elite Force Expansion8:12 AM
Handheld Crystal Quest Available8:10 AM
Cocoa Oni Test Released7:29 AM
Championship Manager 01/02 Demo Released6:00 AM
IMG Seeks New Senior News Editor, Reporters6:00 AM
Mac Dark Age of Camelot a Possibility?6:00 AM
MacGamer Previews NOLF6:00 AM
Myth III Mac In "2-3 weeks"6:00 AM
Update on OS X Unreal Tournament6:00 AM
Wolfenstein Development Diary6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 29, 2001 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, October 26, 2001
Thursday, October 25, 2001
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
Monday, October 22, 2001

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