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Tuesday, November 6, 2001

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Update: Wolf MP Test 2 Released!
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Observant fans of the venerable Castle Wolfenstein franchise will have noticed that Multiplayer Test 2 of Activision's upcoming Return to Castle Wolfenstein was released for Windows two days ago, while yesterday saw the release of WolfMP2 for Linux.

It is with something almost, but not entirely, unlike satisfaction that IMG can now definitively report that WolfMP2 for the Mac is not released.

Graeme Devine of id Software (who are developing the game with Gray Matter Studios) updated his .plan late yesterday with the following news:

I'll be putting up an OS X build of WolfMP2 soon. Been busy working on another game today.
We can rest assured that Mr Devine is hard at work for us, and at the same time rest smug in the knowledge that the Apple platform did get Castle Wolfenstein first.

Update: The Mac version of WolfMP2 has been released. The link to the file is down below. We'll add more mirrors soon.

Wolfenstein MP Test 2 (58.7 MB)
Activision: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Blue's News: Graeme Devine's .plan
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Otto Matic Movie Contest
3:57 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media let us know they're running a contest to publicize their upcoming 3D action/adventure game, Otto Matic.

Written by Pangea's Brian Greenstone, Otto Matic is inspired by classic (and not-so-classic) sci-fi movies of past decades. Aspyr recently asked Greenstone for a list of the top ten Otto Matic inspirational movies, and here they are:

1. The Day the Earth Stood Still

2. The Blob

3. Buck Rogers

4. The Brain from Planet Aros

5. THEM!

6. Forbidden Planet

7. The Green Slime

8. Attack of the 50ft. Woman

9. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

10. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Quite an eclectic mix, to say the least.

Each Tuesday until Otto Matic's release, Aspyr will ask three questions about one of Greenstone's inspirational movies. The first person to answer all three correctly by Friday will receive, according to Aspyr, an "Otto Matic prize" of undetermined nature.

This week's questions concern the 1950's classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still":

1. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was based on which short story?

2. Who was the actor who played Gort, the giant, menacing robot, and how tall was he?

3. What color was the UFO?

Submit your answers by e-mail to the contest link below, and remember, this week's answers are due by Friday, September 9, 2001, when the winner will be announced. (One submission per e-mail address.)

Aspyr: Otto Matic Sci-Fi Movie Contest
Aspyr: Otto Matic
IMG Preview: Otto Matic
Pangea Software
Otto Matic

IMG Interviews Warbirds' Jay Littman
1:12 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Following our review of Warbirds III yesterday, today IMG presents an interview with Jay Littman of the iEntertainment Network, publishers of the popular online game. Here's a snippet from the interview:

IMG: Are there any Mac-specific challenges in designing Warbirds III? How difficult was the porting process?

JL: WarBirds III is NOT a port; it was a complete redesign. No code was used from WarBirds 2.77. The only thing the two games have in common is they share the same name and are World War II flight sims.

WarBirds III is platform independent; we designed it that way. This enables us to make changes to the sim, so that in the future we can add new things to the game, per our player’s tastes. Online games like WarBirds III has a long shelf life and the game has to change to keep fresh. As deplorers we must be able to deploy changes fast and cost effectively. WarBirds III is UI independent of the operating environment. I did not split the code tree between the Macintosh and Windows. In other words the same code that works on the Macintosh works in Windows.

For the rest of this interesting interview, be sure to check it out.

Warbirds III Interview
Interview: Warbirds' Jay Littman

FGN Speculates on American in Oz
11:05 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Carbon6 Entertainment, the development studio that recently brought us American McGee's Alice, the twisted sequel to Lewis Carroll's classic book, recently released some concept art for their next project.

The images have led FGN Online to speculate that McGee's next project may be based on L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz::

When contacted by FGN Online, McGee wouldn't comment on the Wizard of Oz rumors and could only say, "We're not doing any interviews at this time, but we will be announcing our first press release in a few weeks."
Head over to FGN's web site to view the images and decide for yourself.

FGN: From Alice to Oz?

World of Warcraft "Preview" at Invisible Dream
10:39 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming World of Warcraft seems to be on a small public relations blitz today. Our colleagues at Invisible Dream have posted a brief preview that fairly well captures the appeal of this massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Here's a taste:

Blizzard were one of the pioneers of internet gaming through their service. A key component to Blizzard's success has always in the longevity of their titles, particularly in the multiplayer stakes. WarCraft 2 became the reason to own Kali back in the day, Diablo on caused massive loss of sleep across the world, StarCraft became something of a phenomenon, years later, no RTS surpassing its popularity. The crack-like addiction of Diablo II attracted millions, and is an epidemic only spreading, the title still consistently placing amongst the top of the sales charts. While it hasn't been a smooth ride, with cheats, hackers and the stress of providing a service of such magnitude, at the end of the day, Blizzard succeeded.

Taking this hard-learnt online expertise, the classic Blizzard formula (slick presentation along with addictive, yet simple gameplay) and a new take on a successful franchise, Blizzard looks like it will have another epidemic on its hands.

Follow the links below for a collection of screenshots and the full article, as well as for IMG's own detailed preview.

Invisible Dream Preview: World of Warcraft
IMG Preview: World of Warcraft
Blizzard: World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Freeverse Releases Atlas: The Gift of Aramai
8:59 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In the tradition of fine Mac-only 2D RPGs, Freeverse has released a new title, Atlas: The Gift of Aramai. The game has been in development for quite a long time: IMG previewed it in early 2000. Atlas features an immersive experience with over 850 NPCs, 150 unique items, and multiple quests. Here's a description of the story line:

There is great unrest in the realm of Ammeth. A new evil has risen in the northern reaches of the kingdom, and darkness spreads throughout the land. A young diplomat named Jarreck is dispatched by the crown. His mission is urgent: to seek the root of the evil, and to eradicate it.

Atlas: The Gift of Aramai is a classic game of exploration and adventure in a realm on the brink of magical reawakening. Take the role of Jarreck as he leads an eclectic band of adventurers on a mission of reckoning and rediscovery. It is a pivotal moment for the realm of Ammeth: will a hero arise to challenge the darkness?

Atlas requires minimal hardware, needing only a PowerPC and ten MB of RAM. It also supports systems as low at 7.5.5, so it should be playable on a wide variety of machines. Head over to Macgamefiles to download the demo now, and be sure to check out Freeverse's page to purchase the full game.

IMG Preview of Atlas: The Gift of Aramai
Download Atlas: The Gift of Aramai Demo (4.8MB)
Freeverse: Atlas Web Site

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Warren Spector Chat
8:34 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An interesting second half of a chat with Warren Spector of Ion Storm was posted recently at RPG Vault. In the interview, Spector talks about the success of Deus Ex and the state of role-playing video games in general. As you may know, Ion Storm's Austin branch is now taken over by Spector's two huge projects: a Deus Ex sequel and a third title in the Thief series. Both games are using the latest version of the Unreal Tournament engine, so we're hoping Mac versions will be forthcoming. Here's a clip from the article explaining what his goals for the company now are:

Jonric: What are your goals for ION Storm Austin to grow or evolve during the next two or three years? For example, how likely is it that you'll move into developing different types of games?

Warren Spector: Hm, well, to be honest, just yesterday I got back to work on our studio manifesto - a statement of purpose I started working on several months ago about who we are, what we do, how we do it and why. I'd rather not tip my hand just yet!

What I can tell you is that anyone who expects us to do sports games or puzzle games or straight shooters is probably doomed to disappointment. I don't particularly want to be diversified - I want to be a part of a studio that's known for making the best immersive sims in the world. We're always going to emphasize player experience over developer creativity. We're always going to simulate as much as we can and emulate as little as possible. If we ever make a game that fits neatly into some marketable category - unless it's a new one we've created ourselves! - I'll probably consider that to be a failure on my part. (Eidos is probably loving this! Oh, yeah...)

Check out the rest of the chat for more on Deus Ex and Spector's vision for the team at Ion Storm Austin, and stay tuned to IMG for any new word on Deus Ex 2 or Thief 3.

Warren Spector Interview at RPG Vault
Ion Storm
Westlake Interactive
Aspyr Media
Deus Ex

X-Plane 6.0.5 Released
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Crawling out of beta status, Laminar Research's highly modular civilian flight simulator X-Plane sports a number of new features.

Version 6.0.5 introduces a round world to X-Plane, so pilots can now accurately circumnavigate the globe. It supports a video resolution of 1024x768, and terrain resolution has been increased five times. The user interface has been redone and is now faster, as is airplane rendering. A number of bugs from the beta version have been fixed, including redraw errors caused by the new, round world.

X-Plane currently retails for $59.99 and is only available from Laminar's web site.

Laminar Research: X-Plane
X-Plane 6.0.5 Demo and Update

World of Warcraft Q&A with Chris Metzen
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

At the European Computer Trade Show, Total Video Games sat down with Blizzard Entertainment's Chris Metzen, creative director of World of Warcraft, to ask him some questions about this recently announced massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Here's an excerpt from's interview:

We are ‘shooting’ for a wider breadth of world where there will be a number of different kingdoms and zones/sub zones to adventure in. We are trying to focus on core quest systems for hard core players, so that if you are the kind of gamer with the massively multi player element that spends 40 hours a week, you’ll be able to join guilds and go on massive extended quests that could take weeks to play.

For the casual gamer as well, you will be able to join the game in your lunch hour or whenever you can and still have a meaningful play experience. You will have any number of tasks or quests, which do not involve that much time. There will always be an element of completion - you will feel that there are things you can accomplish in a short time. The world will be dynamic, constantly changing!

Blizzard's record of releasing only blockbuster games and their unfailing support of the Mac platform are sure to make World of Warcraft one of the more eagerly anticipated titles of 2002.

For the full text of the interview, as well as for IMG's own preview, follow the links below.

Blizzard: World of Warcraft
IMG Preview: World of Warcraft
TVG: World of Warcraft Q&A with Chris Metzen
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Monday, November 5, 2001

ATI Mobility Radeon: Most Popular Mobile Chip2:05 PM
IMG Reviews Warbirds III1:02 PM
Ambrosia Begins pop-pop Beta12:49 PM
MouseMan Dual Optical Giveaway Continues12:45 PM
Custer's Kabuto12:09 PM
New Harpoon3 Carbon Patch Available11:29 AM
CH Introduces New USB Joysticks11:05 AM
Falcon 4 ACMI Patch Available10:32 AM
The Sims: Hot Date Interview10:21 AM
Another Myth III Mac Update9:53 AM
Deimos Rising Nears Final Candidacy9:11 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 5, 2001 on one page

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Friday, November 2, 2001
Thursday, November 1, 2001
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
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