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Friday, December 28, 2001

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Black & White Goes Gold
9:08 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Black & White, the best-selling god-game from the creative minds at Lionhead Studios, has gone golden master, according to GraphSim's Jeff Morgan. The game recently got final approval by Lionhead and is going to production. If all goes well, Black & White should be shipping in time for Macworld Expo San Francisco during the second week of January.

IMG spoke with Morgan this morning who gave us the official word:

We're pleased to announce that Black & White for the Macintosh has gone gold and will be making its North American debut at Macworld San Francisco. Feral Interactive has done a fantastic job of bringing Black & White to the Mac.
Black & White was ported to the Mac by Feral Interactive and GraphSim will be distributing the game in North America, with Feral Interactive taking the other side of the Atlantic.

The GraphSim web site has lots of good information if you're wondering what Black & White is all about. Screen shots as well as the official system requirements for the title are also available on the site.

Black & White is available for pre-order through the GraphSim web site. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order Black & White for just $39 at the IMG Web Store.

Black & White
Lionhead Studios

IMG's Mac Games 2001—Year in Review
1:57 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

As 2001 draws to a close, IMG's Editor-in-Chief Tuncer Deniz take time to reflect on the past year:

Although Macintosh games pale in comparison to the events that are happening around the world these days, games are nonetheless a part of our lives. Well, at least to those who enjoy them, use them as a form of entertainment, and in my case, make a living off them.

Once in a while, usually in a message board on the net, I’ll see someone hammer Macintosh games. Their arguments are usually valid: there’s very few of them, they always seem to come six months or more after their PC counterparts, and on, and on. But what they fail to realize is that the Macintosh is a way of life, it’s a lifestyle, it has become part of our being.

As we look back at the year that was, we remember what a wonderful world we live in, the freedoms we enjoy... and oh yes... the computers we love!

Was it a good year for Mac games? Which companies are doing well on the Mac? And which ones aren't? Check out Inside Mac Games' final article for 2001 as we take a look back at the year that was.

IMG: Mac Games 2001—Year in Review
Inside Mac Games

MacGamer on Creative Labs
12:41 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

MacGamer today posted an incisive editorial by Corey Támas on Creative Labs' handling of their Sound Blaster Live! audio card.

Támas remarks on the powerful role sound can play in creating an immersive environment for the gamer and on the tremendous potential of the Sound Blaster Live! and of EAX and OpenAL, Creative's 3D sound APIs, for realizing such immersion.

It is a potential, however, that has so far remained largely unrealized, and Támas lays the responsibility for this failure squarely where it belongs:

Functionally, we have no product from Creative Labs at this time. Even those who can stomach the unstable drivers in OS 9 won't be doing so for much longer, as the entire Mac community, willing or not, will eventually migrate to OS X—at which point the Sound Blaster is nothing more than a paperweight. This is bad news for a variety of reasons: Firstly because we lose the use of a good product. More importantly, however, is that Creative Labs could do what so many experienced-on-PC but new-to-Mac companies do: Blame the Mac market for the failure. Far too many times we see a company launch a Mac product (without the benefit of experience and research that Mac-oriented companies have) and when they don't make it fly on the first attempt, they pack up their little red wagon and go home, claiming that the market is dying and warning every other company off of it. Creative Labs may have already gone this far, as their silence to the Mac community is deafening and there's no testament to indifference like a product that sits, undeveloped and off the public radar.
Follow the link below for the whole of this thoughtful editorial. Creative Labs would do well to take it to heart.

IMG Review: Sound Blaster Live!
MacGamer: My Unrequited Love for Creative Labs
Sound Blaster Live!

Eavy's Xmas Bonus Pack for Unreal Tournament
11:35 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Eavy, the author of a number of important modifications for Unreal Tournament, including the AssaultBonusPack and EavyDarkmatchIII, recently found a new host in BeyondUnreal for his dormant web site, Eavy's Unreal Tournament Mods. To mark the occasion, Eavy briefly came out of UT mod retirement this week and released a Xmas Bonus Pack:

Today is a big day. To celebrate Xmas, the anniversary of my site, and its move to BeyondUnreal.... Last but far from least I'm going to release one final modification (actually a bunch of mods) as a Christmas package:

EavyDominationPlus: This game type is a mix of Domination with Capture the Flag. Instead of time based scoring, your team scores a capture by controlling all control points at the same time for ten seconds. The first team with three captures wins.

EavyHighlanderMod: This mutator turns players into immortal Highlanders who can only be killed by shots to the head.

EavyMonsterMadness: This mutator spawns Skaarj monsters in any map. Planned for release as a Thanksgiving gift last year, I didn't release it since I wanted to polish it some more by including customization features, but time constraints prevented it. Other than that it's probably the most complete of this bunch of mods and a lot of fun for even a lone player in an otherwise empty map.

EavyCheatMode: This mutator lets players use cheat console commands without logging in as an admin. Made for practice matches so admins don't have to tell other players the admin password. Useful for clan practice servers.

EavyTournamentMutator: This mutator protects against common exploits like spawn-killing, impact-jumping, impact-launching, rocket-launching, redeemer-launching, team-switching, flag-dropping, tele-fragging, team-killing, and translocator-tossing. Made for all game types. Never finished however.

Eavy goes on to note that the Xmas Bonus Pack is released without support, but as Eavy's past mods have been great ways to breathe new life into MacSoft's Unreal Tournament, they're almost certainly worth a download for fans of the versatile first-person shooter.

IMG Review: Unreal Tournament
Eavy's Unreal Tournament Mods
MacSoft: Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament

Harpoon3 Updated
10:36 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Jesse Spears, eponym of SpearSoft, late yesterday informed IMG that he has updated his critically-acclaimed naval warfare simulation Harpoon3:

Version 3.3.8 fixes some minor game play bugs for Classic and OS X versions.

Version 3.3.8 should speed up the OS X Carbon version noticeably (but it's still a BETA).

Not content merely to release new Classic and beta Carbon versions of the application, Spears has released a new demo of the game as well, which he has shrunk down to 9.2 MB in size.

For all the details, as well as for the demo and updaters, head over to the Harpoon3 web site.

Harpoon3 Design Notes

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Doulber Nears Release
9:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In late August, IMG brought you the first word on a Macintosh port of a small French title, Doulber: Escape from the 80s. The game is a new take on the classic maze arcade games of yore. You play as Doulber, a friendly little ant who likes to collect diamonds. While searching for the precious stones, you must beware of dangerous enemies and surroundings. Doulber features quirky graphics and a large variety in scenarios.

Patrice Krysztofiak of Phelios is working on the Mac port of the game right now. In a recent exchange with IMG, Krysztofiak reports the game is not only nearing release; it's also fully Carbonized for OS X. While earlier reports were that the game was having performance problems, it seems all of the issues have been cleared up. Here's a clip with more info:

We only have one Mac so we only tried [the game] on it (a 450 MHz G4), it runs at 70 fps on Mac OS 8, 9 (it uses DrawSprocket so it should run on OS 7 also) and Mac OS X using Carbon. It's playable in windowed and full screen mode (we noticed that a lot of games are failing to switch resolution on OS X so we provided a windowed mode in case that happens).
Congratulations to the Phelios team, and be on the lookout for a demo of the game very soon. It will be posted at MacGameFiles as soon as its available. Check out the Doulber site for more information and screen shots of the game.

IMG News: Doulber Coming to Mac OS
Phelios, Inc.

New Dragon's Lair 3D Screens
9:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The DragonStone web site was updated recently with some more eye candy from their current project, Dragon's Lair 3D. This remake of the arcade classic brings the hero Dirk into a full 3D engine (similar to Quake or Unreal) while still keeping his classic cartoon look. Four new screen shots are now available in both 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions; just the right size for a desktop picture.

The shots depict a number of interesting scenarios and highlight the interesting combination of their 3D engine's lighting effects with the line-art characters. The first shows Dirk in a rope swing towards the Robot Knight, while the second and third show some of Dirk's combat readiness. Not only the Black Knight will make a reappearance: the last shot also shows the Lizard King (as well as Dirk in one of his less heroic moments).

For all the shots and more info, check out the DragonStone site. Dragon's Lair 3D is planned for a spring release for Mac and PC.

DragonStone Screen Shots Page
Blue Byte

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 27, 2001

IMG Reviews Earth 214011:59 AM
Myst IV in the Works?10:54 AM
Otto Matic 1.0.2 Released9:44 AM
Playnet Filing for Bankruptcy?9:29 AM
Geneforge Beta Update Released9:28 AM
Falcon 4 Utility 2.0 Released6:00 AM
GameRanger Updated to 2.1.66:00 AM
Rune Co-Op 1.2 Released6:00 AM
Shadowbane Online Chat Transcript6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 27, 2001 on one page

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Wednesday, December 26, 2001
Friday, December 21, 2001
Thursday, December 20, 2001
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Tuesday, December 18, 2001

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