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Wednesday, December 26, 2001



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WarCraft III Public Beta Announced
8:55 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

One of the most highly anticipated games of 2002 will likely be WarCraft III. Blizzard is gearing up for the release of the game by doing a public beta test early next year. On January 7th, people residing in the United States and Canada will be able to register for one of the 5,000 beta test slots. Here's more information on the beta test:

The beta signup is scheduled for a 24-hour period on www.blizzard.com, beginning on Monday, January 7th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). and ending on Tuesday, January 8th at 11:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8). Following the registration period, we will randomly select 5,000 testers based on a variety of system configurations and locations. Please note that multiple submissions will result in disqualification.

The beta, which will be playable only over Battle.net, will give selected testers a chance to play all four races -- Humans, Orcs, Night Elves and Undead. Each race is armed with unique units, magical abilities, and impressive weapons designed to aid them in combat as they renew their struggle for dominance.

If you've been itching to get your hands on WarCraft III and feel you can be a good beta tester, head on over on the 7th to sign up.

IMG First Look: WarCraft III
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
WarCraft III Beta Announcement
Buy WarCraft III



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IMG Reviews Young's Modulus
12:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Although Laminar Research is known mainly for their popular flight simulator, X-Plane, the company has been quietly crafting a game that hopes to make a name for itself as an innovative and exciting mech combat game. Young’s Modulus takes a fresh approach to mech gaming by offering players three different styles of play built upon a graphics engine that produces clean, simulator-quality graphics.

IMG's Patrick Leyden has reviewed Young's Modulus, and it scores high marks overall. Here's a snippet from the review:

Young’s Modulus is chock full of 3D OpenGL graphical goodness, but not in a mind-blowingly gorgeous way. The bleak planetary landscapes and utilitarian appearance of the ATAWs might appear to some as bland, but this look is what makes the game work. Being a title that is more combat simulator than action game, it stands to reason that the graphics would reflect this design philosophy. These graphics reinforce the simulator feel of Young’s Modulus, thereby reinforcing the story and strategy elements presented elsewhere in the game. In addition to the sharp 3D ATAW models and battlefields, the game’s 2D is equally as impressive.
For more, be sure to check out our entire review of Young's Modulus.

IMG Review: Young's Modulus
Young's Modulus


Custer's Desktops: Species
11:56 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

This week, IMG's Brad Custer graces the desktops of Mac gamers with Species, inspired by MacPlay's first-person shooter, Aliens vs Predator:

It's been awhile since the release of Aliens vs Predator—Gold Edition, but I didn't load my copy until this past weekend and I've been having a blast. So far I've only tried out being a Marine, but I'm sure I'll try each class real soon. There is something eerie to me about the sound of that motion detector as it picks up movement. That might carry over from my childhood. ;D
Head over to Custer's Desktops to check out the latest eye candy for your Mac.

Custer's Desktops: Species



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MythMaps.com Opens
10:08 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A new web site dedicated to Myth-related maps has opened for business and is currently undergoing beta testing. MythMaps.com features maps and utilities for the previous two Myth games by Bungie Software as well as the upcoming Myth IIII from MacSoft. Here's a snippet from the grand opening at MythMaps.com:

We'd like to encourage everyone to register for your free MythMaps.com account today. Registering allows you to upload maps, participate in forums, and a lot of other cool things coming in the near future such as order management and tournaments. If you are a map maker, or part of a map making group, we want to offer you a special incentive to upload all of your current and previous maps to us. Every map uploaded to MythMaps.com qualifies to have a special 3D graphical model created for your map information page that can also be posted on any other web site affiliated with your map or map making group. These are prepared by They Might Be Mapmakers in association with MythMaps.com using Shockwave technology. Check out a few of the samples below. Be sure you have the current version of Shockwave before viewing these files. 3D models can be prepared for any map created for any Myth game, including Myth 3.
If you're a fan of the popular Myth games, be sure to check out MythMaps.com for exciting new maps, utilities, and more.

IMG Preview: Myth III
MythMaps.com
Myth II: Soulblighter


"Only Mortal" OS X Server Browser Released
9:51 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Mike Davis has released a Cocoa-based Mac OS X server browser for Quake III: Arena and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Entitled Only Mortal, the browser allows you to search for Quake III and RtCW servers that are currently available on the Internet.

Only Mortal shows you the names of the servers, what maps they are playing, the number of players on a server, and your ping to the server. The browser also allows you to filter servers based on game type (for example, only Capture the Flag servers).

According to the FAQ on the Only Mortal web site, the browser requires Quake III: Arena 1.30 OS X b1. The browser also works with Return to Castle Wolfenstein MP Test 2, but you'll have to open the preferences, change the protocol to 56, and get a new list from the Wolfenstein master server (wolfmaster.idsoftware.com). The protocol for the commercial Wolfenstein game is 57.

Only Mortal requires Mac OS X 10.1.1 or later and is available for download through our sister site, MacGameFiles.

Only Mortal
Activision
id Software
Quake III Arena
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
MGF: Only Mortal
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein



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MacGamer Reviews Sacrifice
9:21 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Proving that Christmas is no time to take a break, MacGamer.com's Corey Tamás has reviewed the just-released Sacrifice, the real-time strategy game from MacPlay. Set in a surreal world with strange rules and peculiar creatures, Sacrifice is a wonderful new take on the strategy genre. Here's a snippet from MacGamer's review:

As the game progresses you will pick and choose which god you will serve and which you will shun. Choose carefully, however: Each time you serve one god you may win his or her favor but also inspire the ire and jealousy of the other four -- a fact that can both work for you and against you as the game progresses. Each god gives you roughly ten missions in their own unique styling where you wield your influence, but one of the beautiful things about Sacrifice is that you can replay the game again and again, serving different gods, executing different missions and only after many, many hours of gameplay exhausting the vast range of quests that the player can enjoy. No labor was spared by Shiny on the single player game of Sacrifice: It's a remarkably varied, fresh and engrossing journey through an in-depth universe of characters, storylines and battles.
For more, check out MacGamer's review. Be on the look out for IMG's own review of Sacrifice soon.

IMG Preview: Sacrifice
MacGamer: Sacrifice Review
Sacrifice
Pre-Order Sacrifice


Bungie's Next Game: Strategy?
9:06 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

With Halo for the Xbox in the bag, some news on Bungie's next game has started leaking. According to Swiss site GBase.ch, Bungie's next foray will be a 3D strategy game for the Xbox set in the Middle Ages. The GBase.ch story is based on a recent visit to Bungie's offices in Redmond. Here's a translation of the GBase.ch story:

The new project will exploit the Link and Internet capabilities of the Xbox in particular (X-Net Online). It will be a genuine multiplayer 3D strategy game that in Bungie's words should change the world. The story will be set in the dark Middle Ages and some characters like Trolls, Goblins and Undead will be available to control.
The story fails to cite any official sources, but in the past, some Microsoft employees have hinted that Bungie's next game would indeed be a 3D strategy game. We'll keep you posted on any future developments.

Interview: Bungie's Alexander Seropian
Bungie Studios
GBase.ch


Quake 2 Source Released; Mac Soon
8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

John Carmack of id Software recently announced in his .plan file that they have released the source code to Quake 2. This means that any aspiring programmers are now able to look inside the popular game's codebase and see exactly how it was made. Anyone looking to use the code in a project will need to abide by the GNU General Public License or pay a much-reduced licensing fee of $10,000. Carmack notes in his .plan that this will likely increase cheating in Quake 2 games, so be sure you know who you're playing against in online games now.

In a related post at Slashdot, Carmack also gives information on the Mac portions of the code as well. It seems "Burger" Bill Heineman is already overseeing the Mac code, which was originally ported by the now-defunct Logicware. Here's a clip:

Bill Heineman is preparing the Mac source code for Q2 for a release....

I am also happy to say that another old game's code will be released under the GPL soon. We can always hope that it becomes a trend...

The hint at other open-sourced games is certainly a good trend as well. You can bet we'll keep on this and let you know if either the Mac code or any other titles are released.

If you're looking for more information on id's new licensing, read through Todd Hollenshead's .plan or the GPL itself.

John Carmack's .plan Update
John Carmack's Slashdot Post
Todd Hollenshead's .plan Update
Contraband Entertainment
id Software
GNU General Public License
Download Quake 2 Source Code



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Combat Mission 2 Screens Available
8:55 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Combat Mission HQ site was recently updated with five new screen shots gathered from various forum posts. The images are some of the newest available of Combat Mission 2: Barbarossa to Berlin. This upcoming sequel for Mac and PC is set to follow the much-acclaimed original 3D battlefield strategy/war sim.

As shown by the new screen shots, Combat Mission 2 will feature improved graphics and very expansive settings. The title's larger battlefields, as well as a revamped control structure, should make it all that much more appealing to WWII buffs.

Head over to Combat Mission HQ now for the screen shots and more information on the upcoming sequel. If you never tried out the interesting mix of real-time and turn-based strategy, check out the Combat Mission demo at MacGameFiles.

Combat Mission HQ
Battlefront.com
MGF: Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord Demo



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Apple on Role-Playing Games
8:55 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you're into role-playing games, you'll want to check out Apple's new article simply titled, Role-Playing Games. The article covers popular RPGs such as MacPlay's Baldur's Gate II, GraphSim's Summoner, and Ambrosia Software's Pillars of Garendall. Here's a snippet from the article that explains what role-playing games are:

Role-playing games have very unique play mechanics. As you wander around the countryside, you randomly encounter monsters and other foes. Combat is not fast and furious, as it is with action games. Instead, you and your enemy typically take turns striking at one another. Each combatant has a variety of ratings, including health and speed. The combatant with the highest speed rating usually attacks first. You must carefully choose your attack (from a roster of possible maneuvers) so that it has maximum impact. Attacks differ in strength, and their effectiveness may also vary from one type of enemy to the next. Your attack knocks down the health of your foe, and so long as your attack remains stronger than your opponents’, you will live to see another battle.
For more on this article, be sure to head over to the Apple games web site.

Apple: Role-Playing Games
Buy Baldur's Gate II


Mac Games News for Friday, December 21, 2001

Happy Holidays from IMG2:35 PM
IMG Reviews Knights and Merchants2:31 PM
Black & White Pre-Order at IMG Web Store1:43 PM
MacGamer Returns to Castle Wolfentstein11:45 AM
Mac Red Faction 1.20 Patch Soon10:55 AM
Civilization III is Gold9:59 AM
Custer's Latest: Combat Evolved9:05 AM
Contraband Redesign6:00 AM
Mac Myth III is Gold; Demo Released6:00 AM
New Wolf Demo Map Soon6:00 AM
PC Q3A Updated to 1.31; Mac Update in January6:00 AM
Shadowbane Private Screening6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, December 21, 2001 on one page


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Thursday, December 20, 2001
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