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Friday, November 9, 2001

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Marathon|Rampancy First Public Beta
10:04 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Marathon, the game that first made Bungie's dream of world domination seem possible, was the seminal first-person shooter of its generation. Although id Software's Doom was better known by the PC gaming masses, the Marathon series chartered new territory with its weapons, the physics of its game engines, and the variety of its multiplayer game types, territory that other games have gone on to develop.

Two games that show Marathon's influence most clearly are Epic's blockbuster Unreal and its no-less-popular multiplayer-oriented sequel, Unreal Tournament, published for the Mac by the good people at MacSoft. Modern features offered by the Unreal engine include powerful customization tools for third-party developers.

Two projects have been working, along somewhat different lines, to use these tools to bring the Marathon experience to the power of the Unreal Tournament engine. Earlier this year, IMG reported that the Marathon: Resurrection project had released their first and second public betas, and now another long-watched project, Marathon|Rampancy, has made that leap:

Prepare yourself for some old school Bungie-style gaming! Introducing the beta version of Marathon|Rampancy, a mod for Unreal Tournament based on the multiplayer part of Bungie's classic FPS game, Marathon
Infinity. Marathon|Rampancy includes all new weapons, new physics, and ten gametypes to choose from. Also included are about a dozen converted maps by the Frogblast team and BDB's MapVote utility.

New since the alpha release (almost a year ago) are a set of redesigned
weapons, a marine model, the previously missing weapons, and several new game types such as King of the Hill, Roving Hill, Kill the Man with the Ball, and Tag.

The release of Marathon|Rampancy Beta 1.0 is surely an important event for Marathon and UT fans alike. Check out the Marathon|Rampancy web site for screenshots and more information, and grab a copy of this eagerly anticipated mod for Unreal Tournament at our sister site,

Update: While you're waiting for the download, check out the first review of the Rampancy beta, posted at the ModSquad. They seem to have very good things to say about the mod's progress so far; in fact, they give it a 9.6!

MGF: Download Marathon|Rampancy 1.0b (12.8 MB)
ModSquad: Marathon|Rampancy Review

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ATI Update Coming for OS 9.2.1?
4:35 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A recent post to the MacBaldur forums by Chris Jacobson of MumboJumbo reveals new plans for a driver update from ATI for users of Mac OS 9.2.1. While no time frame has been given (and never is, with Apple and ATI traditionally keeping such details well under wraps), this is good news for those 9.2.1 users experiencing graphical glitches or slowdowns.

While users have found these problems in Baldur's Gate II, another source recently confirmed seemingly similar issues. Developer David Wareing, working on Deimos Rising, noticed a significant drop in framerates for his game in 9.2.1 verses 9.1. While Deimos Rising is still in the late beta phase, we hope the ATI update might fix his problems as well.

In somewhat related news, Jacobson is also looking for anyone still using Mac OS X 10.0.4 to help him out with troubleshooting. Apparently the game ran very well under this version of the OS, while under 10.1 it suffers from significant slowdowns. For more info on what he needs, check out the thread linked to below.

MacBaldur: Poor 3D Performance in 10.0.4?
MacBaldur: OS 9.2.1/OpenGL/ATI Graphical Issues
IMG News: Deimos Rising Nears Final Candidacy
Baldur's Gate II
Buy Baldur's Gate II

MiG Alley Source Code Released
3:27 PM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Earlier this week, IMG reported that the source code might be released for MiG Alley, a popular Korean-era tactical flight simulator for the PC. Yesterday, Rowan Entertainment did just that, opening the codebase to any ambitious enthusiasts and making it possible that a group of independent programmers might port it to the Macintosh.

The code is released under a fairly standard license agreement; all modifications become the property of Rowan. For now, the code is distributed as a PC executable; potential porters will need access to a PC or an emulator in order to move the code over to the Mac.

MiG Alley is distributed for the PC by Empire Interactive.

Empire Interactive: MiG Alley
SimHQ Message Boards: Source Code, Anyone?
Download MiG Alley Source Code (12.5 MB)

Myth III Review at IGN
1:45 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

OK, what's with all these reviews today? :)

IGN has posted a review of the PC version of Myth III: The Wolf Age, giving it an overall score of 8.7 out of 10. The reviewer praises the new 3D units in the game as well as the improved A.I. Here's a brief snip from the review:

The addition of a bunch of new units was also a very welcome one. Each of the different races in the game can actually put up a real fighting force this time around as all of them have at least three different units. Dwarves, Trow, Ghols, and the Myrkridia all have new units along with an entirely new faction, the creepy bastard Spider Cultists. The units for each of the races are pretty cool. Seeing a Trow clad in steel carrying a big hammer coming down the path is scary as hell. And the Ghol priest has a nasty little spell that causes all debris around the center to get swept up and swirl around causing damage to all of the units stuck inside. It can do a bit of damage to a large group if there are enough weapons inside, especially if there are explosives.
This prequel, created by MumboJumbo, will be published by MacSoft. The Mac version is close to going gold and will be shipping by the end of November.

IMG Preview: Myth III
IGN: Myth III Review

First Halo Review Posted
1:23 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

One of the most anticipated titles of the millennium is just about to come out for Microsoft's Xbox in the form of Halo from Bungie Studios. After four years in development, the first-person shooter will be making its debut on the Xbox on November 15th, with a Mac version coming in 2002.

Voodoo Extreme has published what is probably the first review of the game. Overall, the game scores well, with high marks going to the visuals, sound, AI, and gameplay. Here's a snippet from the review:

Halo's visual prowess is unparalleled in today's crop of first person shooters; the power of the Xbox allowed Bungie to go wild in the graphical department, spending polygons like pennies on detailed character and vehicle models with all the other bells and whistles you'd expect from a game optimized to run on a GeForce 3 based graphics accelerator. The massive outdoor levels come stocked with near photo realistic textures with water and sky effects even more beautiful than what the Unreal engine currently offers. Indoor and underground levels lose a lot of the awe factor that the outdoor maps seem to inspire, but upon close examination you'll find no compromise in their construction (it's just that they're not as flashy). In-engine rendered movies with great voice talent and stellar lip-synced character dialogue serves as glue to hold the plot together, and through the movies, players are taken on an interactive tour of this exciting world created by Bungie.
For more, be sure to check out the complete review at Voodoo Extreme.

IMG News: Halo Still Mac Bound
Bungie Studios
Voodoo Extreme: Halo Review
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

MacGamer Reviews iPuppet
1:12 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Our friends at MacGamer have posted a review of iPuppet presents: Colin's Classic Cards, created by Freeverse Software and published by Aspyr Media. Here's a snippet from the review, authored by Jon Han:

When I think of card games, images of long-drawn out games of Bridge with my grandparents come obtrusively into my mind. Make no mistake, I can play a mean game of Uno, but when it comes to more elaborate games such as Spades and Hearts, I'm a veritable chump. But when I visited with Freeverse at Macworld New York 2001, I knew this quickly rising Mac gaming company would create a new breed of computer card games that fused this gaming genre with tradition, humor, and a style unique to a company who stacks the industry deck with Jokers. With their latest collaborative title with Aspyr, iPuppet presents: Colin's Classic Cards, I knew Freeverse would break out of the pack in Spades and revitalize these classic games.
If you're in the mood for some reading, be sure to check out the review at the link below.

Aspyr: iPuppet Classic Cards
MacGamer: iPuppet Review

Major IMG Redesign Coming Soon
12:24 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Our current design has been in place for over two years now. And while we still like the look of the site (and still get a lot of compliments), we decided a few weeks ago that the IMG site needs a change. Since then we've been working on what's turned out to be a major redesign, from head to toe. In addition to completely new graphics, we're working on improving all other aspects of the IMG web site.

Over the last year or so we've done some major back end-work on the IMG site. The entire site is now completely databased, and a new advanced search function will be making its debut with the new design. We've also added other cool things such as reader reviews, a new speedy forum, and an IMG web store.

Internally we've come up with a few ideas on what to add to the site, what to improve, and even what to get rid of. But we don't want to leave any stone unturned. So if you, the IMG reader, have any suggestions, comments, or complaints, now's the time to voice them. Click on the forum topic below and let us know what you think.

Major IMG Redesign Coming Soon
Inside Mac Games

IMG Reviews Cambridge FPS2000 Speakers
11:58 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Sound and music are an integral part of the gaming experience, and with the advent of 3D surround sound and environmental audio in games, the need for high quality speakers has become a necessity for every Mac gamer. Today IMG reviews one of the most popular gaming speakers, the Cambridge SoundWorks FPS2000 Digital. Here's a snippet from the review:

The 'FPS' in Cambridge SoundWorks' FPS2000 Digital speakers stands for "four point surround". This set consists of four speakers, each of which operates at a maximum of 7 Watts RMS, backed by a 25 Watt subwoofer.

Each of the speakers in this set is discrete--meaning each one can receive its own, separate audio signal, providing true four point surround (just like the name suggests). Early home surround sound solutions actually consisted of special encoding and decoding processes developed by Dolby Laboratories that were used to fit extra surround information into the regular two channels of audio. Systems that supported Dolby Surround and later Dolby Pro Logic could send this extra information to two rear speakers; the latter scheme also powered a center channel which basically reinforced the main left and right channels. Though this innovative technology provided some sense of surround sound, it did not actually provide the capability for sounds to be sent to specific speakers. To put it into an example, you couldn't have a plane fly in from the left side of the front and past the viewer to the rear right...the rear channels both played the same signal, so all you got was a sense that the plane had gone behind you.

If you're in the market for a good set of speakers, then be sure to check out our review.

Cambridge SoundWorks: FPS2000 Digital
IMG Review: FPS2000 Digital Speakers

Harpoon3 Hits 3.3.6b2
10:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Fans of Jesse Spears's naval warfare simulation Harpoon3 may recall an update made earlier this week that addressed a bug in the game that caused it to randomly crash when attempting to save a game in Mac OS X. Though the earlier update was intended to fix this bug, it apparently didn't iron out all the problems.

Spears, ever on top of things, has updated Harpoon3 yet again to squash this bug:

The crash-when-saving-in-OS X bug wasn't completely fixed. I thought it was, but a user reported it again, and sure enough when I looked, there was yet another bad thing™ happening in the Nav Dialog setup code (forgot to fill in a few fields). This was a random problem: sometimes it crashed, sometimes it worked fine, sometime the OK and Cancel buttons had garbage in them (I never did get it to crash, but I did see the garbage a lot).
The patch, which works on versions 3.3.6 and 3.3.6b1, is available at the official H3 site for those that wish to download it.

And for users of Harpoon3 on classic Mac OS, Spears on Wednesday released version 3.3.6 to correct a minor cosmetic bug involving the resizing of ZoomWindows.

In related news, Spears is currently searching for an OS X-native patch/update program. If anyone knows of one, feel free to contact Spears and let him know.


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Earth 2150 Preview at MacGamez
10:14 AM | Sean Carton | Comment on this story

As its shipping date rapidly approaches (two weeks, according to MacGamez), RTS fans have been licking their collective chops in anticipation of this 3D stunner. If you're one of those fans hungering to sink your teeth into e.p.i.c.'s real time strategy game, you're going to want to check out the Earth 2150 preview on MacGamez today.

If nothing else, it seems that Earth 2150's use of 3D graphics to enhance gameplay will inject some serious excitement into a genre that some think have seen better days. How? Earth 2150's engine allows for real terrain deforming, strategic use of high and low ground, and the interesting ability to go beneath the surface to do battle:

The engine also allows for subterranean play. When below the surface, you'll have a second map view that is an underground version of the terrain above. New strategic milestones come into play here, as there also may be impassable areas you can't tunnel through. Of course, if you find the correct path, you'll be able to pop up right in enemy territory - the ultimate in surprise attacks.
There's more (lots more!) but we don't want to spoil the surprise. Hop on over to MacGamez and check out the preview, complete with some killer new screenshots.

e.p.i.c. interactive
IMG: Earth 2150 Series Coming to Mac OS
MacGamez: Earth 2150 Preview
Earth 2150

EV: Nova Hits Beta 5; New Media
10:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new update to Ambrosia Software's progress log for Escape Velocity: Nova brings word the game has hit beta five. Since the previous beta stage was expected to be one of the last, we can assume beta five is that much closer to a release version. Do keep in mind, though, that the team has set no official release date for this third in the popular EV series.

To complement the news on beta five, Ambrosia president Andrew Welch has been busy posting teaser images and movies to the Nova message boards. While both of the QuickTime movies are high resolution, they only weigh around 3.4 MB, making for an easy download for most anyone. The first shows off some of the impressive outfits available in the game, while the second highlights the inventory of a local shipyard. The movies show the impressive amount of detail contained in Nova, so EV fans should definitely head over and have a look. Those wanting even more media should poke around the official message boards a bit, as Welch has also posted some impressive screenshots in other threads.

Ambrosia: EV Nova Progress Log
Ambrosia: Earth Outfits Movie Thread
Ambrosia: Earth Ships Movie Thread

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Moonlander Demo Released
9:52 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

OnlyMac Software has released a demo of Moon Lander, a 3D space mining simulation. Moon Lander features over 20 levels of realistic flight characteristics, damage, and deformations. Here's a brief description from the OnlyMac web site:

You have applied for a job at the largest mining cooperation. At first the mining cooperation wants proof of your flight skills. You have to supply the mining stations with workers and tools in order to show your flight skills. One mistake and you can consider yourself as fired!
The Moon Lander demo is about 50 MB in size and requires a 233 MHz Power Mac G3, 8 MB video RAM, and 64 MB free RAM, and it runs under Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. To download the demo, head over to

MGF: Moon Lander Demo (50 MB)
OnlyMac Software: Moon Lander

Mac Games News for Thursday, November 8, 2001

GamePad Companion Updated to 1.12:33 PM
Mark Adams Needs Your Help!2:05 PM
Freeverse Releases WingNuts Demo1:47 PM
IMG Reviews AirBurst1:21 PM
Work Continues on Unofficial 3dfx OS X Drivers12:55 PM
Vampire Shipping; Other MacSoft Updates11:26 AM
75 New OS 9 & X Game Icons10:55 AM
Interview with Cate Archer10:26 AM
Halo Still Mac Bound10:05 AM
Spaceward Ho! 5 Dev Diary8:44 AM
MiG Alley, Battle of Britain Source Code8:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 8, 2001 on one page

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Wednesday, November 7, 2001
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