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Thursday, December 27, 2001



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Rune Co-Op 1.2 Released
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The Rune Co-Op team has released version 1.2 of their cooperative teamplay mod for Human Head's game of Viking combat, Rune. Here's a snippet from yesterday's announcement on the Rune web site:

Many new changes have been incorporated into Co-Op 1.2. One of the largest changes is 14 of the maps have been split into 2 smaller maps, part 1 and part 2. Splitting these maps made a huge difference in network performance, greatly reducing lag for the server and clients. The 2nd biggest change is the new addition of the Skeleton Warrior. This new AI is absolutely one of the best additions to the Mod. The new Skeleton Warrior will appear in the 1st 17 levels.
For the full list of changes in version 1.2, head over to the Mod section of the official Rune web site via the link below, where you can also find links to download the mod. To learn more about Human Head's third-person slasher, read IMG's review, published one year ago.

IMG Review: Rune
Rune
Rune: Mods
Rune Co-Op


IMG Reviews Earth 2140
11:59 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Adam Newman of Earth 2140, the strategy game from Epic Interactive. In this excerpt, Newman describes the dystopian Earth that provides the setting for this game of resource management and conquest:

Imagine a few wars from now with the scattered environmental disaster or two, and you’ve got the setting of the game. Standard post-Armageddon stuff. The world has conveniently dwindled itself down to two world powers: (1) the United Civilized States (UCS) comprising America, Western Europe, and Northern Africa and (2) the Eurasian Dynasty (ED) covering Eastern Europe and Asia. Australia and most of Africa were laid waste and were so badly contaminated that they have been removed from world maps. Oh dear... how politically incorrect!

The UCS is considered “decadent and lazy” and has developed computers to run their everyday lives. In fact, the computers choose their leaders! The ED is run by a military dictatorship and has developed technology fusing human and mechanical parts, so that they now exist as robots with organic brains!

Follow the link below for the rest of our review.

IMG Review: Earth 2140
Earth 2140
Buy Earth 2140



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Myst IV in the Works?
10:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

According to an article at Just Adventure +, Ubi Soft has completed a script for Myst IV and is developing the game in one of its Canadian studios. The web site goes on to speculate that there may be an announcement at the May 2002 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Details on Myst IV are still sketchy. According to the Riven Unofficial Home Page, in early 2001 a press release by Ubi Soft strongly implied there would be a Myst IV:

Thanks to this acquisition, Ubi Soft... becomes the publisher of the next two episodes of the Myst series.
Myst III: Exile was released earlier this year and was developed by Presto Studios. We'll keep our eyes and ears open for any more news on Myst IV.

IMG Review: Myst III Exile
Just Adventure +
Riven Unoffical Home Page
Myst III: Exile
Presto Studios
Ubisoft
Buy Myst III: Exile



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Otto Matic 1.0.2 Released
9:44 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Pangea Software this morning released an update to Otto Matic, the action-adventure game published by Aspyr Media. The update includes the following fixes:

  • Fixed a minor teleporter glitch on level 4.
  • Fixed problem where Tractor and Otto could go thru fence in rare cases on Level 1.
  • Other minor tweaks per user’s suggestions.
The update, as well a new Otto Matic demo, is available at our sister site, MacGameFiles.

IMG Preview: Otto Matic
Aspyr Media: Otto Matic
Pangea: Otto Matic
MGF: Otto Matic 1.0.2 Update
MGF: Otto Matic Demo 1.0.2



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Playnet Filing for Bankruptcy?
9:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Icrontic, a former web site affiliate of the now-defunct Playnet network, has posted word the company is filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company recently shut down its advertising network and laid off some employees from Cornered Rat, makers of World War II Online. This news, if true, doesn't seem to bode well for the game's future (or a Mac release).

The word from Icrontic is admittedly grim:

Playnet has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I got an appearance and demand for service letter today from their lawyer in re to PLAYNET INC., a Texas corporation, filing for Chapter 11, case No 01-49209-BJH-11. The same letter was mailed to all of Playnet's debtors, including credit card companies and past affiliates. Apparently I'm not going to get paid what's owed to me (I'll have to see my lawyer about it), which is around five months back pay. I was the biggest money making affiliate at Playnet, and was owed the most money out of any other affiliate in the network. Playnet also owns Cornered Rat Software, which developed World War II Online. I would presume they are going to be shutting down as well.
We'll keep you posted as the news on Playnet and the Mac version of WWII Online develops.

Icrontic: Playnet Files For Chapter 11
Cornered Rat Software
Playnet
World War II Online



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Geneforge Beta Update Released
9:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software have released a beta 1.0.1 update application for their newest RPG, Geneforge. While not fully tested, they have good confidence that this version fixes a number of issues in the original game. The updated application works for both registered and demo versions of the game.

Version 1.0.1b fixes some exploits with creature creation, gameplay balance, and many other small issues. Here are some of the changes:

  • Several broken aspects of character creation fixed. The starting levels are now fixed and lower, and you get more skill points to spend. This prevents exploit where you could make a super-powerful character by moving all skill points to one particular skill.
  • The terrain view now scrolls faster. In addition, there is a preferences option to change the terrain shift speed.
  • There are now more different icons for pods, spores, and wands.
  • Poison now does damage at half the speed it did before.
  • It is now easier to start talking to people.
  • There are several new keyboard shortcuts. They are listed in the Helpful Hints section of the in-game documentation.
  • Player-created vlish, thahd, and battle alphas are stronger. Base costs for creations changed to be more in line with strength of creatures.
  • Player creations now gain experience at a slightly slower rate.
  • The error message when the game files to find a suitable screen resolution is now more helpful.
  • The "avoid traps by starting combat" exploit has been corrected.
  • The infinitely repeatable quest in the Kazg Plains can now only be completed once.
  • Numerous balance corrections, minor bug fixes, typo corrections, etc.
The Spiderweb site has the lowdown on all the changes, so be sure to head over there if you want to try the small (260 KB) update.

IMG Preview: Geneforge
Geneforge
Download Geneforge 1.0.1b Update



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Falcon 4 Utility 2.0 Released
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Fourth-party developer Centromedia has released Falcon 4 Utility version 2.0, a program that adds functionality to, and fixes bugs in, Falcon 4.0, the problematic F-16 simulator from MacSoft:

F4U is an application that is used to consolidate programs made by third parties, and a patch that correctly finishes installing all the 1.06c patch files.... F4U also adds other files to make Falcon 4.06c more stable.
Falcon 4 Utility integrates a number of end-user patches to Falcon 4, including, most notably, restoring ACMI support for version 1.06c of the game. In addition, version 2.0 includes a fix for the notorious third-day campaign bug, which causes campaigns to become corrupt after three simulated days of action.

Falcon 4.0, developed by Microprose and Hasbro and ported by Westlake Interactive, not only faithfully reproduces the avionics and systems of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, but also allows pilots to plan and execute entire campaigns on the battlefield of Korea.

IMG Review: Falcon 4.0
Dragon's Mac Falcon4
Falcon 4 Utility 2.0
MacSoft
Mac Falcon 4 Web Boards


GameRanger Updated to 2.1.6
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

GameRanger, the popular Mac-only online gaming service, recently received two updates in quick succession. Version 2.1.5, which was released early on December 26th, contained fixes for two issues:

  • Fixed an occasional crash that occurred when logging in from a new account (or an old one with a new preferences file)
  • Worked around a stall that would occur with auto-updating under Classic under Mac OS X due to an incompatible Finder X
Later on, it was discovered that some ex-@Home users (and possibly others) were having problems with web proxies that prevented auto-updating. These problems were addressed with version 2.1.6, released soon after.

Those experiencing problems with the auto updater can manually download GameRanger from our sister site, MacGameFiles.

GameRanger
MGF: GameRanger 2.1.6 (165 KB)



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Shadowbane Online Chat Transcript
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

UnknownGamer.com recently conducted an online chat with Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg, Internet Relations Manager for Wolfpack Studios. Wolfpack is probably best known for its current work in progress, Shadowbane, a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game that is attempting to break the standards set by the firmly entrenched Ultima Online and EverQuest. Though the interview skews a little towards player vs player-centric questions, it does contain some interesting insights into the planned workings of the Shadowbane world.

For those unfamiliar with Shadowbane, it is being planned largely as a player-influenced world, with players being able to create and run entire towns. Dahlberg, when questioned about housing, notes that all buildings will be pre-made from existing templates, but that there will be a variety of buildings for players to choose from. He adds that those who choose to raid other people's structures can destroy them, but that the only way to take over a structure will be to have the current owner sign it over. Destroying a building will destroy everything within the building as well, including any loot that the raiders might have been hoping to gain.

Discussing character advancement, Dahlberg explains that, as players advance in level, they will gain Character and Attribute points. In a system of diminishing returns, players with higher levels will be granted fewer points. However, higher level players will have access to more Skills and Powers:

Only a few Skills and Powers are available to a beginning character, but more will open up as you advance in Level. To advance in a Power or Skill, you must visit a Trainer suitable for your Class. Training Halls are located in towns and cities throughout the world. Most trainers will charge a fee for their services and are limited in how far they can train a character in any particular skill or power.
Besides using the higher level/fewer points system to maintain balance, Dahlberg adds that it is quite possible that "nerfing," the cutting down of anything considered too powerful, may well occur once Shadowbane hits the market. Wolfpack also plans to combat cheating and hacking by running everything server-side. Dahlberg also alludes to a yet-to-be-released article on the Player Justice system.

Those wishing to read the full chat transcript can do so at UnknownPlayer.com. Be warned: it is quite voluminous. As for progress in ShadowBane, Dahlberg, when questioned about the next closed beta, notes that it will be "soon." The official Shadowbane web site currently has the release date set at the first half of 2002.

UnknownPlayer.com: Shadowbane Online Interview
Wolfpack Studios


Mac Games News for Wednesday, December 26, 2001

IMG Reviews Young's Modulus12:19 PM
Custer's Desktops: Species11:56 AM
MythMaps.com Opens10:08 AM
"Only Mortal" OS X Server Browser Released9:51 AM
MacGamer Reviews Sacrifice9:21 AM
Bungie's Next Game: Strategy?9:06 AM
Apple on Role-Playing Games8:55 AM
Combat Mission 2 Screens Available8:55 AM
Quake 2 Source Released; Mac Soon8:55 AM
WarCraft III Public Beta Announced8:55 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, December 26, 2001 on one page


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