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Friday, November 2, 2001

Red Faction Golden Master Imminent
8:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

This morning Inside Mac Games spoke with GraphSim's Jeff Morgan to get an update on their upcoming sci-fi shooter, Red Faction, which has garnered much praise on the Playstation 2 and PC for its depth of story and engine technology. The good news is that Red Faction for the Mac may be going "Gold" any day now. Here's what Morgan had to say:

Development on Red Faction Mac is just about to come to an end. We're putting the finishing touches on the carbonized version for OS X and should be finished any day now. All the boxes and manuals are being printed now. At this point we're looking at a mid-November release, if all goes well.
Morgan also told us that the game will support the popular Mac-only GameRanger service for finding games, as well as the in-game browser.

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.

IMG Preview: Red Faction
GraphSim Red Faction Web Site
Red Faction

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Diablo II Fixes, StarCraft for OS X Due Soon
3:54 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

In a post in our IMG Forum, Blizzard Entertainment's Rob Barris confirmed for our readers that the Mac OS X version of StarCraft is due within the next month or two:

StarCraft for Mac OS X 10.1 is getting daily intensive testing and is looking good for our announced target of "fall 2001."
And in another post pointing to fuller details in the MacNN Forums, Barris had welcome news for those readers with newer video cards or drivers who have been experiencing slowdowns in Diablo II and its expansion pack, Lord of Destruction.

According to Barris, Blizzard's engineers have worked hard to nail down the source of these slowdowns and have discovered two separate problems: one, Diablo II's interaction with newer ATI drivers; the other, Diablo II's interaction with NVIDIA hardware in general.

While fixes are not shipping yet, Barris said they are "really close." He went on to add:

The work we do with our friends at ATI and NVIDIA is under NDA but if you can "take my word for it," I would like to point out that they are smart, fast working people. I have seen some results from their efforts in the last two weeks which are quite good for us....

In general the attitude has been "whatever the source of the wasted cycles is, let's get it fixed."

These two pieces of news are sure to be welcome to the many devoted Mac fans of these blockbuster games. For Barris's full posts, check out the Forum links below.

Blizzard: The World of Diablo
Blizzard: The World of StarCraft
MacNN Forum: Diablo II Slowdowns
IMG Forum: Starcraft Carbon
IMG Forum: Diablo II Slowdowns
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

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New Build of Marathon: Aleph One
1:30 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source project has released a new build of the Classic Mac OS version of Marathon: Aleph One. A notable improvement in this new version is that it now works well in Mac OS X's Classic environment, in addition to its long-polished performance in Mac OS 9.

Among the changes noted in Loren Petrich's new Classic build:

Fixing of piping 2D graphics through OpenGL; it works in both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.

Getting the faders working correctly in Mac OS X, though doing so has the side effect of darkening the display when done.

I've fixed a long-standing bug... due to some mis-accounting when preparing lists of files and directories to alphabetize. It now works in Mac OS X as well as in Mac OS 9.

A Carbon build of Aleph One by Steven Bytnar is also available, although in an earlier and rougher stage of development.

Marathon: Aleph One

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"Survivor" Game Previewed
12:01 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Survivor wannabies, grab your torches! Just Adventure has posted a brief preview of the upcoming Survivor game. In Survivor: The Interactive Game, you play as one of the actual 32 Pulau Tiga and Australian Outback cast members or you can even create your own character. Form alliances and develop relationships with fellow tribe members or stab them in the back, it's all up to you. Sound cool? Check out this tidbit from the preview:

The television show has been faithfully recreated for your home computer. Alliances and relationships can be developed with fellow tribe members; twenty-four Reward and Immunity Challenges can be issued and fellow tribe members voted out of the tribe at Tribal Council. An Interactive Survivorô Bush Guide (just like the one the players on the show get) will provide you with tips and hints to deal with the environment. Best of all - you can compete against friends and family via LAN or the Internet. This is probably the first game I have ever had an urge to play online - hey mom, remember when you made me eat that liver? Let's see how you like these yummy worms. They're good for you!
The Survivor game will be published by the good folks at MacSoft and should ship sometime in November. Now, head back to camp; I'll see you tomorrow.

Survivor Preview

New Harpoon3 Carbon Beta Release
11:43 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

For the adventurous among you, Jesse Spears has posted a Beta release of a patch to Carbonize his eponymous SpearSoft's critically acclaimed naval warfare simulation, Harpoon3.

For those of you who don't want to boot into Classic, this patch will allow Harpoon3 to run natively on Mac OS X. Newer than the previous Carbon release of Harpoon3, be warned that this is still Beta software:

It's definitely not bug free (in fact, it's probably the second buggiest thing I've ever released to the public, the first being the first H3 Carbon app I put up soon after 10.0 shipped).
Spears also has some straight talk about his experience developing for Mac OS X and a certain other operating system:
First, I feel compelled to say: OS X Rocks!

Mac OS X 10.1 is the fastest, most stable (and prettiest) OS I've ever used, on any platform.

[I just wish Win2k was as crash proof. I've taken it down many times since installing it a few weeks ago, although it's done better since I installed Service Pack 2. Good thing my PC reboots fast.]

If you take Harpoon3 for OS X out for a spin, Spears would appreciate hearing about any crashing bugs you find so he can fix them.

Report Crashing Bugs in Harpoon3 Beta for OS X
Harpoon3 3.3.5b1 for OS X

IMG Interviews ATI's Chris Bentley
11:06 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted an interview with ATI's Chris Bentley. If you've never heard of Chris Bentley, then you'll probably be surprised to know that he's one of the most well known and respected figures in the Macintosh gaming community. For the past few years, Bentley has been working on the drivers that run ATI's products that are featured on everything from PowerBooks to iMacs.

Here's a snippet from the interview:

IMG: What do you think were some of the most important contributions you made to Mac gaming? Please feel free to blow your own horn, lots of people (including me) donít know much about your background.

Bentley: Well, I've worked in some way with almost every hardware accelerated game that's come out on the Mac. Mostly this involved fixing bugs that would keep users from enjoying their games. The other more general contribution is that I added a large number of extensions to ATI's Rave driver; things like fog, multi-texturing, and pixel doubling, and then I worked with Brian Greenstone and Mark Adams and other developers to add these features to their games. After that I worked with Apple's 3D engineers to define the Rave 1.6 spec that exposed these features. Finally, working with Jason Regier, George Warner, and John Stauffer respectively, I wrote the first pass of the Rave versions of Myth II, Fly!, and the OpenGL version of F18 Hornet: Korea.

Be sure to check out the full interview. And be on the look out for another interview with ATI in the near future that discusses their upcoming products like the Radeon 8500.

Interview: ATI's Chris Bentley

Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football 2002 Debut
10:50 AM | Noah Brimhall | Comment on this story

As first reported on MacCentral, the Infogrames subsidiary Humongous Entertainment have announced the release of the two newest additions to their Backyard Sports family of games. Backyard Football 2002 is an updated version of the popular football game for children seven and older. Backyard Football features pint-sized players, called the Backyard Kids, and small versions of such popular athletes as Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb. The game allows for multiplayer gaming and tracking of a team's progress across an entire season.

Backyard Basketball is the newest Backyard Sport to join the Humongous Entertainment lineup. This game features Backyard Kids and mini versions of pro players like WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie and Kevin Garnett. Backyard Basketball also allows for the creation of custom players and teams.

Both games are available now for $19.99 each.

Humongous Entertainment
MacCentral: Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football 2002 Debut

OS X Game Development Interview
9:53 AM | Noah Brimhall | Comment on this story

Everyone is talking about Mac OS X as the future of Mac gaming, but what do game developers think about the new OS? MacNETv2 has an interview with Timothy J. Wood of The Omni Group and Colin Lynch of Freeverse Software. The interviews have some interesting information about the feelings these two companies have about developing and porting games under OS X. Here's a sample of what Wood has to say about the choice of Cocoa vs Carbon APIs:

Right now the major reasons for using Carbon are existing Classic code and the need to support OS 9. In the future OS 9 will die away and these factors will diminish in importance (especially for high-end games that require the newest, fastest hardware). So, yes, in the future more and more games will use the Cocoa/BSD APIs than the Carbon APIs.
Freeverse has carbonized many of its titles to work on OS X. As Lynch explains, when Freeverse carbonizes a game they don't just port it straight from the Classic version.
I think OS X does breathe new life into some of the older titles but in a way we didn't expect. With Enigma for instance, when we started carbonizing the game we decided we needed a cool OS X icon, so we made one. That looked so good that we decided to redo ALL of the graphics in the game. When we finished that, the game looked so good that the sound effects didn't seem to fit anymore, so we redid those too! At the end of the process we had what amounted to a whole new game, all because we decided to carbonize an old one.
Lynch also hints that Freeverse's newest title, WingNuts, will have a demo finished in a couple of weeks. There are many more interesting discussions contained in this interview, so go over to MacNETv2 and check it out.

MacNETv2: OS X Game Development Interview
Freeverse Software
The Omni Group

New Westlake Recruit Takes "Morphine"
9:27 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive has announced the addition of Mac programmer Cary Farrier to their elite team, filling the void left when Jesse Spears decided to pursue personal interests. The headline above doesn't imply any wrongdoing; in fact it's great news to hear Farrier will get a chance to cut his teeth on their still-unannounced "Morphine" project. His resume is quite impressive:

We're very pleased to announce that Cary Farrier has joined the Westlake family. Cary comes to us with a long and distinguished Mac programming career. After working at Apple on the IIgs operating system in the late 80's, Cary did a quick stint in the Navy. He was back at Apple in the mid-90's, working for the Claris unit as well as designing and implementing the original DrawSprocket (!) for the Mac OS.

Cary's resume also includes extensive work with QuickTime and Open Transport, developing apps such as FedEx Ship for Mac, and working with MacSoft and Thrustmaster.

Cary's first task will be to work on the Morphine Project (a codename for one of our unannounced games). Hopefully he won't become too "addicted" to the game;-) Welcome aboard, Cary!

We also want to welcome Cary back to the Mac gaming community, and trust this means great things for the future. It is to be hoped an announcement about Morphine will take place soon, so stay tuned for more information.

Cary Farrier Joins Westlake Interactive

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iPuppet Goes Gold, Spiderman First Playable
8:51 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media have updated their project status page with word that iPuppet Classic Cards has gone gold. Created by Freeverse Software, iPuppet features classic games such as Hearts, Spades, Euchre and Pitch in fun, challenging and intense single player or multiplayer. The game will be released sometime in early November.

Westlake Interactive has also posted an update on another Aspyr title, Spiderman, which has now reached the first playable stage. Here's a snippet from the update:

Spider-Man for Mac has reached First Playable and could almost be considered Alpha. All features are present (well, except for movies!). Spidey is coming along nicely; testing should begin in just a few weeks.
The Aspyr web site has Spiderman with an estimated release date of November.

Spiderman is a third-person action/adventure, based on the Marvel comic series. Players play as Spiderman, high school student Peter Parker who is bitten by a radioactive spider and granted tremendous powers. Spiderman uses his powers to fight off evil and make the world a safer place. For more on Spiderman, be sure to check out our preview!

Spiderman Preview
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media

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Civilization III Release Party Chat Log
8:31 AM | Brian Rumsey | Comment on this story

In celebration of the release of Civilization III for Windows, Civ fan site Apolyton held a "Civ3 Release Party," an extended chat with members of the Firaxis development team who worked on Civilization III.

[Gregurabi] did you use any of the code from Civ2, or was it done "from scratch"?

[Mike_Breitkreutz_FIRAXIS] We referred to some of the code for the demographics calculations and used the art but we really didn't use any of the Civ2 code. The Civ3 code was originally based on SMAC's code but again, most of it was thrown out and rewritten.

Apolyton has posted the entire session on their web site. While the chat is quite long and may not be of great interest to the casual follower of Civ III, dedicated fans of the series will definitely want to check it out, as it contains plenty of good insights from very reliable sources.

MacSoft is scheduled to ship Civilization III for the Mac in February 2002.

Westlake Interactive: Civ III at First Playable
IMG News: Civilization III Ships for PC
Apolyton: Civ III Release Party Transcript
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Mac Games News for Thursday, November 1, 2001

Galactica for OS X Released4:08 PM
Freeverse Updates, WingNuts Demo Due3:29 PM
MouseMan Dual Optical Giveaway Continues3:24 PM
Fly! II Recognizes Joystick in OS X1:08 PM
Spiderweb Hosts a Sale10:14 AM
Warcraft III - Mini Beta FAQ & New Unit10:06 AM
Mac Torque Update10:05 AM
Heroes 4 Interview9:27 AM
Halo Preview at Gamespot8:53 AM
Galactic Core Review8:41 AM
Fahrenheit Coming to Mac, PC8:26 AM
Mac Myth III Multiplayer Demo After GM8:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 1, 2001 on one page

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Wednesday, October 31, 2001
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