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Friday, January 11, 2002

MWSF: Civ III and Lineage Win Best of Show
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Yesterday, Macworld announced the winners of the Macworld Best of Show Awards, which are chosen from products that either debut at Macworld Expo or are released close enough to the Expo's opening to generate showroom floor buzz. The ones deemed most exciting are awarded Best of Show titles.

This year, not one, but two games managed to snag Best of Show Awards. One of the titles that was honored is none other than Sid Meier's Civilization III. Published by MacSoft, this title is the latest in one of the most popular series of strategy titles ever, and has already received rave reviews on the PC side.

The other title to receive the award is Lineage: The Blood Pledge. This massively-multiplayer online game, being developed for the Mac by NCSoft, was shown running beautifully under Mac OS X in beta form at the Expo and has the makings of a hit title. Already out in Asia, this title boasts four million user accounts and supports hundreds of thousands of simultaneous gamers.

IMG congratulates the teams behind both titles for capturing the coveted Macworld Best of Show Awards. For more information on Civ III or Lineage, be sure to check out IMG's recent previews and articles. Those who wish to view the full list of Best of Show winners can check out Macworld's press release at the Virtual Press Office, though be aware that registration (which is free) is required.

IMG News: Lineage Coming to Mac
IMG Preview: Civilization III
Civilization III
MWSF 2002
Virtual Press Office: Macworld Best of Show Awards
Buy Civilization III

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IMG Posts MWSF Pictures, Wrap-Up
12:26 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

With Macworld Expo San Francisco coming to an end today, IMG has posted a picture gallery as well as a wrap-up of the show.

The wrap-up, authored by IMG's Editor-in-Chief Tuncer Deniz, discusses Apple's new announcements and the games shown at Macworld Expo. Here's a snippet of the article:

The highlight of the show was the Steve Jobs keynote. The Master Blaster was at his best showing off the hot new toy, the all-new iMac. And although the verdict is still out on how well the new iMac will do, game developers we talked to couldn’t say enough about the new iMac. For one, the new iMac has enough horsepower to run most of the games available on the Mac thanks to a speedy G4 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics chip.

Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software sent me this note shortly after the announcement: “Those new iMac's are actually the first iMacs which are truly game machines. I mean we've had to struggle with the old style iMacs to get games to run well (due to outdated 3D hardware, the G3, insufficient RAM / VRAM, etc.), but these new models should be phenomenal for games. Even the LCD display should help performance because the refresh rate on an LCD is usually around 60 Hz which lets the 3D accelerator run faster.” How’s that for an endorsement?

If you didn't get a chance to attend Macworld Expo, be sure to check out the rest of the article.

Macworld Expo Wrap-Up Report
Macworld SF 2002 Picture Gallery
MWSF 2002

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MWSF: Freeverse Gets Connected
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

At the famed Macworld Expo, IMG was able to catch up with Freeverse president Ian Lynch Smith on the show floor. The small New York-based shareware company is moving along as quickly as ever, with successful new titles like WingNuts and iPuppet presents: Colin's Classic Cards leading the way. It seems WingNuts is doing great, thanks in no small part to its addictive demo, and the game might even be finding its way onto store shelves soon.

The publishing of iPuppet is one of the first fruits of what Freeverse hopes will be a long relationship with Aspyr Media, along with the debut of the online service H.M.S. Freeverse with AspyrWorld branding. Along with these big titles, Freeverse is also working on 3D Bridge Deluxe, which should debut for Mac OS X next month, and a non-game utility program (which Freeverse still describes as "fun").

The biggest new venture for the company has to be its MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) Arcane Arena. This persistent 2D world is gaining many fans already, thanks to weekly betas put out by the company. Arcane Arena features a 100 level dungeon with a very non-trivial 50 step quest. Version 1.0 is due out this spring, and Ian was able to show us what will be one of many embedded QuickTime movies they are adding to areas of the game.

While you may think the Mac market is becoming crowded with 2D MMO worlds, rest assured Freeverse isn't looking to add another $20 to your list of monthly bills. While it's tough to pin down at this point, the price per month will be around $5 (or perhaps even lower!) and the game will also have a free initial playing period. The success of Arcane Arena could mean big things for the persistent online genre for the Mac, so be sure to stay tuned to IMG for the latest news.

Arcane Arena
iPuppet Classic Cards

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MWSF: Devine Talks About Wolfenstein & Punks
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

It was recently announced by id Software that an anti-cheating program named PunkBuster was going to be put in place in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. At Macworld Expo, IMG asked id designer Graeme Devine about the announcement. Devine explained that since the issues PunkBuster addresses aren't even a problem on the Macintosh, Mac users shouldn't worry about it:

Well, cheating is not really a Macintosh issue. We need to put in code to allow Mac Clients to join PB servers, but that's in the main source and not in the few system files.
Westlake Interactive president Glenda Adams told us Duane Johnson would be working on anything appropriate that needed to be ported. Mac users can be heartened that when the game is released, there shouldn't be any obstacles in the way of connecting to cheat-free servers. We'll keep you updated with any developments.

Publisher Aspyr Media and Westlake are currently shooting to have Return to Castle Wolfenstein released for Mac OS 9 and X by the end of the month. For more information on PunkBuster, check out an interview with Even Balance's Tony Ray for the full scoop on what the program will do.

IMG Preview: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Even Balance: PunkBuster
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
WolfensteinX: PunkBuster Interview
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

[osX] Moves to BeyondUnreal
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Frequent visitors to [osX], longtime fan site and premier resource center for Mac Unreal Tournament gamers, may have been a little worried when the site no longer turned up at Planet Unreal. Not to worry, however, as [osX] has simply moved to BeyondUnreal, a recently created web portal.

Regarding the move, eko, the owner of [osX], briefly stated:

The time has come to leave our home at We are now hosted at, where we are one of a select group of sites which have been invited by QAPete to form part of the newest and hopefully greatest Unreal Engine web portal.

Along with Nalicity and many of the great sites which were formerly hosted at planetunreal, will be our new home for the coming future. All other things regarding [osX] remain the same. The forums are still in the same place, but unfortunately, file downloads are offline until the new fileserver system at becomes 100% active.

Until the downloads are in place, eko has set up a mirror for his maps and mods. Those looking to download can find a link to his mirror at the newly relocated [osX] site.

Besides being the new home to several other UT-related web sites, BeyondUnreal is hosting the PlanetUnreal Forum Community.

IMG Review: Unreal Tournament
MacSoft: Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament

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Wolfenstein Hits One Million Copies
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Actvision has announced that the PC version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein has shipped more than one million units worldwide, reportedly dominating the sales charts in the US, UK, and Germany. Robert Kotick, co-chairman and CEO of Activision, said:

Gray Matter Interactive Studios, Nerve Software, and id Software produced a high quality gaming experience that is being well received by consumers and retailers alike. We are pleased with the worldwide success of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, as well as the overall performance of the industry this holiday season. We expect this strong market momentum to continue for several years to come.
This sequel to Wolfenstein 3D pits players against Nazi forces in an attempt to uncover secrets about rumored biological experimentation. It also boasts a robust multiplayer game that many PC reviews have argued is even better than its single player game.

Aspyr Media, the publishers of the Mac version, have told IMG that the game is in final beta testing and should hit shelves within two to three weeks. Backing up this claim, they have Return to Castle Wolfenstein up and running beautifully on several Macs at Macworld Expo.

IMG News: Huge Aspyr Update
IMG News: Westlake Talks Games
IMG Preview: Return to Castle Wolfentstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Yahoo!: Activision Ships More Than One Million Units of RtCW
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 10, 2002

Brian Hook Reveals Pyrogon Titles1:40 PM
Satellite Simulator! Released11:59 AM
IMG Reviews Deimos Rising9:19 AM
MWSF: Glider Pro X Released9:19 AM
MWSF: IMG Talks with ATI9:19 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 10, 2002 on one page

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002
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