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Tuesday, December 18, 2001


MacGames CD #4 Ships
4:02 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In our continuing effort to keep our loyal MacGames CD subscribers informed, I thought I'd pass this little bit of information along. Today we began shipping out the fourth MacGames CD to subscribers, so be on the look out for the CD soon. We had expected to ship the latest CD a bit sooner, but due to the Christmas rush, our replicators took about a week extra in replicating the CD.

Also, we received another massive order of Aliens vs Predator from MacPlay and Escape from Monkey Island and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation from Aspyr. We'll be working throughout the day to ship all those who ordered these games as part of the free game offer when they subscribed to the MacGames CD or ordered it separately.

If you haven't subscribed to the MacGames CD, there's still plenty of time to subscribe. Be sure to visit our IMG web store for more details on ordering a subscription and exclusive special deals just for subscribers.




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MacPlay Squashing Baldur's Gate II Bugs
11:52 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

MacGamer spoke today with MacPlay's Chris Jacobsen, lead programmer of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, about his continuing work on this popular new role-playing game:

Today, I've fixed up the critical hit screen shake bug that caused the view to jump to the bottom right of the map, randomly, when pausing during a critical hit. As well as an issue with mouse-scrolling on multiple monitors.
Jacobsen also reports less encouraging news for users running the game natively in Mac OS X, telling them that the way to work around slow performance in OS X is to use software rendering instead of OpenGL acceleration, and to do so in 16-bit mode instead of 32.

Head over to MacGamer for this advice in Jacobsen's own words, and be sure to check out IMG's own review for more information on this hot game.

IMG Review: Baldur's Gate II
Baldur's Gate II
MacGamer: Chris Jacobsen on BG2 bug fixes
Buy Baldur's Gate II


GameRanger Updated to Version 2.1.4
10:58 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The client application for GameRanger, the Macintosh multiplayer gaming service that now supports 74 online games (plus nine demos), was updated today to version 2.1.4.

Changes:
  • Extensive changes to support new server back-end
  • Games can now be selected manually
  • Mac OS X Cocoa games can now be selected
  • Account creation and e-mail address changing now simplified
  • Buddy and ignore lists and some other preferences are now stored on the server
This means that if you're switching between multiple Macs your buddy and ignore lists always stay in synch, and if you lose your preferences on your Mac, you won't have lost these settings.
Native Mac OS X support is planned for a future version of GameRanger.

As always, you can update to the latest version simply by launching the GameRanger application. For more information on this essential Mac gaming resource from Scott Kevill, be sure to check out the GameRanger web site.

GameRanger



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Red Faction OS X Update, Review Posted
10:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

When GraphSim released Red Faction last month, the company was forced to delay the release of the Mac OS X version due to substantial performance issues. IMG contacted GraphSim's Jeff Morgan to get an update on the OS X version, and here's what he had to say:

We have been able to make some very nice optimizations to the OS X version of Red Faction. The performance is outstanding and we plan to release it in about a week. We've even improved the OS 9 performance as well.

Currently, we are implementing the 1.2 version of the multiplayer code so that Red Faction Mac will be compatible with the latest version available for the PC, allowing for better cross-platform play. All of these improvements will be included in next week's update, which will be freely downloadable from graphsim.com.

All in all, it looks like the Red Faction OS X update, as well as the enhancements to the OS 9 version and multiplayer support, will be worth the wait. As soon as the update becomes available, we'll let you know.

And finally, IMG has posted a review of Red Faction. Be sure to check out Chris Braylick's extensive review of this fast-action shooter.

IMG Review: Red Faction
GraphSim
Red Faction


Compuexpert Launches GoGamer.com
10:22 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The popular online gaming retailer Compuexpert has launched a new gaming store, GoGamer.com. In addition to snazzy new graphics, the new store features online order status, a wish list, and faster holiday shipping.

The current Compuexpert.com web site will be phased out by the end of the year, and GoGamer.com will become Compuexpert's premiere shopping site.

In celebration, GoGamer is offering ten percent off every Macintosh game. (Discounts will be visible after you add items to your shopping cart.) Be sure to head over to GoGamer and check out their fantastic lineup of Macintosh games.




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Harry Potter, Muse Fly into Beta
9:11 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A recent update to the Westlake Interactive project status page provides new information on two of their upcoming projects. The first is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: the upcoming third-person puzzler from Aspyr is now in beta. The game is based on the first of J. K. Rowling's series of magically selling books and coincides with the wildly popular movie now in theaters.

Mark Adams, president of Westlake, is working on the game full time now, and we expect to hear even more good things in the near future. For more information on Harry Potter, check out IMG's preview of the game.

The other update on Westlake's site deals with the secret project known only as "Muse." While the listing has only been up a short while, this title is already in beta as well. We'll keep you posted as more information on Muse becomes available.

IMG News: Aspyr Projects Update
IMG Preview: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter
Westlake Project Status Page
Buy Harry Potter


GamePad Companion Updated to Version 1.2
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac OS X shareware maker Carvware recently updated its popular utility GamePad Companion to version 1.2. This utility allows the use of HID-compatible game controllers, such as gamepads and joysticks, in Mac OS X, even with those games that lack built-in support.

This latest update adds several new and welcome features:

This new version adds the the ability to use your gaming device to control the mouse cursor, mouse buttons, and scroll wheel. It also now includes an auto-fire option as well as the option to turn off key-repeat. GamePad Companion 1.2 also has better filtering so that unwanted device elements do not show up in the element pop-up. Multi-Device support now works with two devices that are of the same model. Version 1.2 also adds auto detection of added/removed devices, as well as auto detection of selecting control elements when configuring a device. Along with all of these changes, version 1.2 has a new and improved user interface.
GamePad Companion costs $15, and a demo weighing in at around 120 KB can be downloaded from the Carvware site.

Carvware: GamePad Companion



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Strike Force 1.70 Released
6:00 AM | Noah Brimhall | Comment on this story

The team developing Strike Force for Unreal Tournament has released the latest version of the realism-based mod. The new version 1.70 includes many new features and corrects a number of bugs with the mod's weapons, according to the Strike Force Center web site.

The web site also has some helpful information on upgrading from previous versions of Strike Force.

You must have SF 1.60 installed before you install this patch. This new build can be installed over 1.65 if you have previously installed that version, no need to remove anything.
The updater is available through about a half dozen mirrors, all listed at Strike Force Center.

Strike Force Center



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Apple Looks at Star Trek and Disney
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Apple recently updated its ongoing series of game-related articles with two new entries. The first, which is probably of more interest to younger gamers, focuses on several offerings by Disney Interactive. Chief among their titles are two based on the recently released film Monsters, Inc. Scream Team Training features various activities with the goal of climbing the corporate ladder and becoming the "Top Scarer," and Wreck Room Arcade offers several mini-games, including Eight Ball Chaos, Bowling for Screams, and Monster Tag. Both titles are Mac OS X-compatible.

Also ready for Mac OS X is Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe, which gives kids access to plenty of drawing tools:

In Magic Artist Deluxe, you can train creatures known as Doodlebots to draw patterns—such as coins, feathers, or flowers—and other designs on your digital canvas. Or use the tile tool to design tiled patterns that you can place on your Mac’s desktop or even on a Web page. And with the glitter pen, you can make text sparkle on your display.
Other titles featured in the article include Disney Girlfriends, Disney's Phonics Quest, and Playhouse Disney’s Rolie Polie Olie: The Search for Spot.

Apple's second offering should appeal to older gamers, as it focuses on Aspyr's entry in the Star Trek gaming franchise, Star Trek: Voyager—Elite Force and its recently released Expansion Pack. Touting Elite Force as a first-person shooter that offers plenty of play, both single and multiplayer, Apple also focuses on the fact that it runs under Mac OS X:

According to Aspyr president Michael Rogers, “performance is fantastic” when you play the game in Mac OS X. “I’ve played the game with Mail open, iTunes running and other programs sleeping without a hitch,” he says. “The power of Mac OS X makes it easy to jump into a game like Elite Force and play for a while, and then jump right back to work.”
Those of us that work under OS X can certainly attest to its ability to flop back and forth between full-screen games and more mundane activities.

The rest of the article contains screenshots as well as cheat codes for gamers having difficulty clearing the game. Those looking for more information on either Voyager or Disney Interactive's bevy of offerings should check out Apple's latest articles.

Apple: Disney's Games
Apple: Elite Force
Disney Interactive
Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
STV: Elite Force Expansion
IMG Review: Star Trek: Voyager
IMG Review: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Expansion



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Myth II Rankings Dropped; Marius Adds Stats
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Citing server issues and a lack of manpower to administer the system, Bungie announced yesterday on its Halo community web site that it has pulled the plug on rankings for Myth II. While the population of the aging game has declined over the past year (and was certainly not increased by the PC release of Myth III) these cuts were necessary to be able to support newer initiatives in the company. Apparently a remaining percentage of less-than-honest players have also made managing the ranking ladder a chore.

Here's more explanation from Halo: Truth & Reconciliation:

Over the years, the average Myth player has been able to enjoy both ranked and unranked play on the Bungie.net servers. In fact, in the server's youth there was no unranked play at all! Today, however, the server is far from its young heyday and smack in the middle of the its senility.

New projects demand more and more of our time and energy, which means that we must spend less and less time chasing down people who abuse their bungie.net privileges. While the number of players has decreased sharply of late, the relative amount of lameness has not. I do not have the time to effectively police the ever increasing number of dummies used by the ever present cheaters and jerks.

We want to be able to continue to support the server as long as its feeble legs will keep it upright, but this means we aren't going to continue supporting the ranking system. Consequently, we are eliminating rank on bungie.net entirely, effective immediately. For those of you who live and die by the icon by your name, we do apologize.

While this might not be the best news for Myth II fans, there is good news on another front. It seems the marius net folks have been busy lately with some new additions to their Bungie.net alternative. While they haven't yet been ambitious (or foolhardy) enough to attempt a ranking system, there is a new statistics feature now available to get the low-down on games played. While they are adamant in noting this is not a ranking system, it is an excellent way to see exactly how you fared over the course of an evening's play. Head over to marius net to find out more about their servers and to take a look at their game report.

Bungie.net: Where Are All the Ranked Rooms?
marius net: Game Report
marius net: new feature...
Myth II: Soulblighter


Mac Games News for Monday, December 17, 2001

IMG Interviews MacPlay's Mark Cottam1:33 PM
IFD Christmas Rampage11:59 AM
Coldstone Goes a Bit Past Final Candidate11:25 AM
Quake for OS X Updated to 1.0.411:14 AM
Sacrifice Multiplayer and Memory Details11:06 AM
Myth III in January10:55 AM
UT OS X Preview 1.1 Available10:44 AM
Return to Custer's Wolfenstein10:29 AM
Buy OS X, Get WingNuts Free9:42 AM
FileBall.net Add-on Archives Open9:42 AM
MacSoft on Civilization III Requirements9:42 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 17, 2001 on one page


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Friday, December 14, 2001
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Wednesday, December 12, 2001
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