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Wednesday, December 12, 2001

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Geneforge Released
8:33 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software today announced the Mac-first release of Geneforge, their latest role-playing game "with a twist." Gamers familiar with the company's Exile or Avernum series of RPGs will recognize Geneforge immediately, though this is anything but your standard RPG. Geneforge puts you in the role of a Shaper, with powerful magic to create your own minions for protection or to go on the offensive.

While the game is open-ended, there is an intriguing story to move you along. Here's an excerpt from the Geneforge page:

If you need a servant, you simply create it, and it will gladly die for you.

But now the secrets of your people are at risk. Someone dares to try to steal the power of the Shapers and take it for his own. He has committed the ultimate crime: he has captured you, and he will do anything to get you to surrender your secrets.

He would use the power of the Shapers to remake the world. The question is a simple one. Will you fight him? Or join him?

A demo of Geneforge is now available to give you a taste of how the game plays. Also, be sure to read through IMG's recent preview of the game. Geneforge needs at least Mac OS 8.1 with 30 MB of RAM, and is fully compatible with Mac OS X.

Head over now to Macgamefiles to start the 11MB download, and also check out the official Geneforge page for more information or to place an order for the full version. At $25, it's sure to please the old-school RPG gamer in your family.

IMG Preview: Geneforge
MGF: Geneforge Demo (11.7 MB)

Mac Hall Reveals the Frenzied Life of a Game Developer
1:48 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The comic wits behind IMG's Mac Hall today take on the grueling, frenzied, non-stop pace of life as a game developer:

This is the sort of thing that can happen once you get recognition for any endeavor that has a rabid fan base, but gaming is one of the few industries where your fans can track your descent into slackerdom over the Internet.
Ah, the high price of fame.

Mac Hall: Life on the Cube Farm

Fantasoft Releases New Centurions
11:37 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Fantasoft, the creators of the popular and long-lived fantasy role-playing game Realmz, announced today the release of New Centurions.

Their newest RPG has a science fiction setting and allows the player to create and adventure with up to six warriors, choosing from one of nine races and ten warrior classes in a struggle not only to stay alive but to thrive in a hostile environment:

Battle a vast array of beasts as you combat your way from mission to mission. Loot your fallen enemy to improve your gear or upgrade your own.
For more information on New Centurions, head over to Fantasoft's web site for some screenshots and a demo.

Fantasoft: New Centurions
New Centurions Demo (15.1 MB)

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Myth III Beta Tester Praises Mac Version's Polish
10:38 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Yesterday afternoon, IMG reader and Myth III: The Wolf Age beta tester EGArentz posted his perspective on the Mac version's continuing development. His comments on the quality of MacSoft's upcoming release make encouraging news to fans of the legendary Myth series:

As a Mac Beta tester I've been watching the angst In the Myth III community and thought I could add something.
 For all the Mac people who've seen what's been going on with the PC version, Forget about it, just ignore it, ALL of it. The Mac version has had a couple more months now of polishing and I have to tell you that Myth III on the Mac rocks. The graphics, the gameplay, the MULTIplayer, all of it just kicks some serious ass.

The early builds on the Mac were bug-riddled just like the PC version and it did affect how I saw the game. It just didn't seem like "Myth" at all and I can see what the PC people are talking about. Now though, things have changed drastically and Myth III is a very polished, very playable game and well worth the wait. It's fun to play Myth again, so don't lose heart. If you liked the other two installments even just a little bit, when Myth III hits the stores you will want to play it.

Put simply: Myth III was done right, It just took a little more time to get there.

It's refreshing when a publisher takes the time to polish a game, even at the risk of losing holiday sales. The difference between the quality of Myth III's PC release version and the current Mac beta version seems characteristic of the computer game industry, and it's one reason we're glad to be gaming on the Mac.

For more information on Myth III: The Wolf Age, be sure to check out IMG's preview.

IMG Preview: Myth III
IMG Forums: a message from a Mac Myth III beta tester

Harvey Smith Discusses Deus Ex 2
10:04 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new interview with Ion Storm's Harvey Smith has been posted at Ferrago, discussing his work on the upcoming sequel Deus Ex 2. The Q&A provides some early information about this follow-up to the immensely popular Deus Ex. Smith is project director for the game, and chats about topics like their use of the latest Unreal Warfare engine and the game's setting. Here's a clip:

Ferrago: Can you tell us how the plot will be continued in number two, will it be a total departure from the world of the first or a continuation? Any other teasers?

Smith: Since Deus Ex ends with three possible endgames, a lot of people ask this. There's something interesting we're doing for DX2. I cannot comment yet. Chronologically, DX2 takes place after the events of Deus Ex. Many characters will be returning, fifteen years older.

While no Mac port of Deus Ex 2 has been announced yet, we're hopeful that the team's decision to use the Unreal engine and the success of the previous Mac version will prove enough to bring the sequel our way as well. Deus Ex 2 is still early in development, but we'll bring you any new info we might hear about its progress.

Ferrago: Harvey Smith Interview
Ion Storm

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Disappointing UT X News
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

In a status update posted yesterday to Usenet newsgroup, Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive had this disappointing report of his progress on the carbonization of Unreal Tournament for Mac OS X:

I hoped to have better news, but unfortunately there isn't much good news to report. The crash at the end of the loading process that appeared suddenly in 10.1 (but didn't happen under 10.0.4) is defying every debugging tool I throw at it. And to make things more maddening,
Harry Potter doesn't crash on load EVER under 10.1. Since now this looks like a UT (not engine) specific crash, it has had to move back into the realm of me working on UTX on my personal (non-business) time. And my free time has really disappeared lately due to some important personal (non-business) transitions.

I'm still trying to get some fix for the load bug, but if I can't fix it before the end of this weekend (the 16th) I may just release a Preview 1.1 that has only the GeForce/Radeon crash fix. It may not help anyone running 10.1, but at least its something. Maybe 10.1.2 (or whatever is next from Apple) will magically put everything back to 10.0.4's state too.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Carbonizing the Unreal engine to run natively in Mac OS X provides Westlake a foundation for future Unreal-engine projects, but for Mac gamers playing Unreal Tournament itself, it looks like booting into Mac OS 9 may be required for a while longer.

Epic Games
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament

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Macworld's 2001 Game Hall of Fame
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Not content to honor games solely through its Eddy Awards, Macworld has also seen fit to further exalt the Mac gaming scene with its 2001 Game Hall of Fame.

The year 2001, as Macworld notes, has been one of pivotal change for the Mac gaming community, most notably because of the introduction of Mac OS X. This year has also seen a torrent of support for the Mac, with many developers, old and new, hopping on the Mac bandwagon and releasing A-list titles.

This year's Hall of Fame has been split into several categories, each one honoring a single game as its best:

  • Best Online Game: Rogue Spear
  • Best Third-Person Action Game: Oni
  • Best God Game: Tropico
  • Best Adventure Game: Escape From Monkey Island
  • Best Extreme-Sports Game: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
  • Best Old-School Arcade Game: Airburst
  • Best Retro Game with a Twist: Space Tripper
  • Best Strategy Game: Age of Empires II Gold Edition
  • Best Expansion Pack: Diablo II Lord of Destruction
  • Best First-Person Action Game: Aliens vs. Predator

Each winner includes a description and reasons for its selection, including "What's Cool" and "Who It's For." Undoubtedly the most evocative "What's Cool" belongs to Aliens vs. Predator:
What's Cool: Losing control of bodily functions when an Alien jumps out at you.
IMG extends its congratulations to all the category winners. Be sure to check out the full list for more insight into Macworld's choices for this year.

MacWorld - 2001 Game Hall of Fame
Age of Empires II
Aliens vs. Predator: Gold
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Escape From Monkey Island
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Space Tripper
Buy Escape From Monkey Island
Buy Tropico

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Optional WarBirds III Update Released
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

iEntertainment recently released an update to their popular massively-multiplayer flight sim, WarBirds III. The new version, numbered 12.05.01, is optional to both Mac and PC users, according to iEntertainment.

The new update adds two new aircraft (the P-47C and the P-40E, which as of now uses the P-51B cockpit), and adds or fixes cockpits for the Bf-109E & F, the P-47D, and the Spitfire Mk V. The engine on the F-4U4 is now correctly centered.

On the non-graphical side of things, the need for trim while the engine is off is fixed. A new effects system has been put back in place, and the hole in the front of the Panther's armor is now fixed.

WarBirds III allows players around the world to engage in prolonged battles in WWII aircraft over the skies of western Europe.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
Download WarBirds III 12.05.01 Update

Mac Games News for Tuesday, December 11, 2001

IMG Reviews the iPod12:45 PM
More Otto Matic Movie Questions12:19 PM
Coldstone Final Candidate in Testing9:52 AM
Special Tranquility Lifetime Memberships Offered9:45 AM
Apple Previews Links, Discusses Strategy9:44 AM
Mac Myth III to Miss Christmas6:00 AM
MacGamez Looks at More Mac Shooters6:00 AM
Sid Meier Talks Civ III6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, December 11, 2001 on one page

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