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Monday, January 14, 2002

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MacPlay to Publish realMYST for OS X
10:11 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacPlay announced today that it has reached an agreement with Ubi Soft Entertainment to bring realMYST to the Macintosh. The Macintosh version has been in limbo ever since the PC version shipped over a year ago. But now, a publisher has finally been found in MacPlay.

Here's a snippet from the official press release:

realMYST is the Myst the Macintosh community has been waiting for. This final, director's cut of Myst is what the original creators always wanted to make, free from technological constraint.

realMYST uses a state-of-the-art real-time 3D graphics engine to present Myst as it was originally intended: a tale of mystery and intrigue, set in an immersive, dynamic world. Wide-open game play allows players to walk and look anywhere they choose in real-time with 360 degrees of freedom. Witness extraordinary 3D effects as day changes into night and weather changes from brilliant sun to dreary rain, creating an entirely new game experience.

“We are excited to finally bring realMYST to Mac OS X,” said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. “Myst debuted on the Macintosh in 1993 and Macintosh gamers were the first to experience the wonderful world of D'ni. realMYST will continue that tradition.”

“Ubi Soft is dedicated to continuing the legacy of the Myst franchise for the Macintosh audience,” said Jason Cohen, Vice President of Publishing for Ubi Soft Entertainment. “The recent release of Myst III and now realMYST on the Mac completes that library.”

realMYST is expected to ship in March 2002 with a suggested retail price of $29.99. As the game gets closer to shipping, be on the lookout for an extensive preview from IMG.


Mac Hall Citizenship
11:59 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Mac Hall is back and better than ever. This week's Mac Hall comic takes a comical look at Giants: Citizen Kabuto, the Mac OS X-only shooter from the folks at MacPlay. If you're a fan of Giants, be sure to check out the comic entitled "Citizen Jack-Ass."

IMG: Mac Hall: Citizen Jack-Ass

GLQuake and GLQuakeWorld Carbonized
11:51 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Mac GLQuake and GLQuakeWorld have been updated to version 1.0b4, adding native Mac OS X support via Carbon to these open-sourced, OpenGL-accelerated versions of id Software's classic first-person shooter.

Mac GLQuake's Frank "pox" Condello writes:

Release 1.0b4 aims to provide initial Mac OS X support without sacrificing functionality or performance when running in Mac OS 8/9. In fact, this is the fastest, most functional, and most stable release for Mac OS 8/9 to date....

This marks the first CFM Carbon release (single apps that work on both Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X).

The system and video drivers have had some major work, resulting in more configuration options, and overall more robust and more "Mac-like" applications.

Once these have gotten around and prove to be stable (or at least as stable as previous releases) work will begin on bringing the Hexen 2 and Nehahra targets up to date. That should go quickly as the hard stuff is over...

More detailed release notes are included in the GLQuake and GLQuakeWorld downloads, which are each under 500 KB and available at our sister site, MacGameFiles.

Mac GLQuake & GLHexen II
SourceForge: Mac GLQuake
MGF: GLQuake and GLQuakeWorld 1.0b4

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Darkest Day Released for Baldur's Gate 2
9:30 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

As reported by MacBaldur's Jay Swartzfeger, The Darkest Day, the unofficial mod for Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, is now available for Mac. The 300 MB expansion, a massive product of love by Team Mac Baldur's Gate, is available in 61 five MB segments.

The Darkest Day features:

  • 10 New and Returning (from BG1) NPCs
  • 180+ New Items
  • 170+ New Spells
  • 39+ New Creatures
  • 75 New Kits
  • 40+ Minor Quests
  • 5 Major Quests
  • 1 Mega Quest

    The Darkest Day coordination web page also has links to Hotline servers where you can download the 300 MB expansion file. The mod will also be available on the next MacGames CD, scheduled to ship within a few weeks.

    IMG Review: Baldur's Gate II
    Baldur's Gate II
    The Darkest Day
    Buy Baldur's Gate II

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    Space Tripper Updated for OS X
    9:12 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Independent UK game maker PomPom has released a 1.6 update to the Mac version of their very popular shareware title Space Tripper, adding fixes for a number of issues as well as support for Mac OS X. In case you haven't tried out the game's demo yet, Space Tripper is a very impressive 3D take on the classic arcade game Defender. Its gameplay is simple, but the graphics are amazing and now run on OS X.

    Here's a clip from the ReadMe which runs down the changes in version 1.6:

    Runs in OS X...

    If you can't see the menus, radar, etc, please add the following line to the end of config.cfg in the run directory (or change the value if it is already there)
    render_alphafix 1.000000

    If the game is stuttering, please add the following line to the end of config.cfg in the run directory (or change the value if it is already there)
    background_events 0.000000

    A new camera view available in the Game Options menu. This gives the option to play the game in a vertical side view mode. (Trickier...)

    Unlimited continues available in the Game Options menu. (In game this will also reset your current score.) Alternate controls available in the Game Options menu. (This allows you to use fire and flip craft or fire left and fire right.)

    Separate High Score tables for Easy, Hard and Hardest. Easy/Hard option available after selecting Play Game.

    There is both an updated application from version 1.5 and a full 1.6 download available now at MacGameFiles. If you haven't already tried out the demo, be sure to do so now. PomPom's site has more information on the game, as well as details on ordering the registered version for $12.

    Space Tripper
    MGF: Space Tripper 1.6 (3.3 MB)

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    Shadowbane Party Postmortem
    9:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Last month we reported on a Shadowbane party going down January 12, last Saturday. It was held in Wolfpack Studios' home town of Austin, Texas, and gave some excited fans of the game a first look. One such fan, Tony Belding, was able to write up his experiences at the event. It seems that while it was massively overcrowded, getting to see Shadowbane in person did clear up a number of his reservations with the game as well as make the trip worthwhile. Here are two excerpts from his write-up:

    WP's design team had to strike a balance between keeping the game simple and giving the players a lot of control over their cities. They decided to come down on the side of more control rather than simplicity. For example... When you hire guards, you can set them at sentry positions in the city, or you can even specify patrol routes: from point A to point B to point C and so forth. That is detailed control! I approve of this philosophy. After all, we are talking about the advanced part of the game here—the part you won't even reach until you've been playing for months, so of course it should be deep and involving. This will indeed be fun for the same kind of people who enjoy Civilization. I'm not sure that L33T D3WDZ will have the patience for it. (OK, let's say I hope they won't.)

    Once the character was created and got into the game, I got a look at the user interface. To me, this was the most interesting part of the demonstration. In fact, it works pretty similar to Summoner—an RPG that I already have on my Mac. For example, moving the mouse pointer to the edges of the screen causes the viewpoint to rotate around your character, so you can view him from different directions. But SB is more flexible than Summoner: you can also change the camera's altitude, not just its azimuth, and you can zoom out further than in Summoner. What about first-person view? There isn't any right now. WP has had a ton of requests for it, and they might add it. I'm one who's been hoping for first-person view because I think it creates a more immersive you-are-there feeling, but after seeing the demo I changed my mind. I loved the wide view that SB gives with the current camera system, I think it will be a lot more practical than first-person.

    Check out the rest of Belding's story for the rest of his impressions with Shadowbane so far. Though Wolfpack is excruciatingly tight with information, we expect to see another beta round in the near future as the game progresses towards completion later this year.

    IMG News: Shadowbane Private Screening
    Shadowbane Gathering Report

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    Escape Velocity: Nova Progress Report
    6:00 AM | Max Dyckhoff | Comment on this story

    A update to the progress log for Escape Velocity: Nova went unheeded during all the excitement of Macworld Expo last week. Ambrosia Software's Matt Burch has written explaining why EV Nova hasn't been released yet, and why we should be impressed when it is, as shareware no less.

    A note on the complexity of this project:

    EV Nova contains:

    • Over 290,000 words of text
    • Over 200,000 lines of code
    • Over 150 megs of graphics
    And we all have to hold down real jobs while finishing this.

    So, please be patient—it will be worth the wait.

    EV Nova is the third in the Escape Velocity series and is expected to be released very, very soon for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It looks like it's sure to be worth the wait!

    IMG Preview: Escape Velocity: Nova
    Escape Velocity: Nova
    Ambrosia: EV3 Progress Log

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    Quake III 1.31b4 for OS 9 & X Available
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Designer and programmer Graeme Devine of id Software recently released a new build of Quake III: Arena and Team Arena for the Mac, bringing them up to version 1.31 beta 4. Though none of the changes have been listed, the big news is that the Mac OS 9 version is now available for download alongside the Mac OS X version.

    Devine also asks for feedback regarding this latest build:

    If those of you brave enough to test these out could get back to me with problems, then we'll see if we can quickly follow up with a full final installer for 1.31.
    Those who wish to send feedback can contact Devine at For more information on Devine's workings, his .plan file is available at Webdog.

    You can find both the Mac OS 9 and X versions of the latest build of Quake III at MacGameFiles.

    IMG Review: Quake III Arena
    id Software
    Quake III Arena
    Webdog: Graeme Devine's .plan File
    MGF: Quake III 1.31 beta 4 (1.6 MB)

    Unreal Tournament 2 Design Q&A
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    As confirmation of the current development of Unreal Tournament 2 spreads across the 'Net, GameSpot managed to grab some time with Digital Extreme's Pancho Eekels, the Lead Designer for UT2, and uncover some juicy details regarding the upcoming sequel to what is one of the most popular FPS titles of all time.

    One of the things Eekels mentions is that this time around, the designers wish to reward skill-based gameplay rather than overwhelming firepower. To this end, some of the weapons making the transition from the first game are being modified, while others are being removed entirely. For example, the sniper rifle, a source of cursing for many a frustrated UT player, is being replaced with an instant-hit lightning gun that will make it much easier for opponents to spot the gunner. The flak cannon is also being scaled back a bit so that its shards have less bounce.

    Further adding to the idea of skill-based play, players will now spawn with all weapons, minus the "superweapons," though the ammo counts will be low for each. Eekels hopes that this will allow respawning players to immediately enter combat rather than run around looking for a more powerful weapon.

    When players run low on health, ammo, or shields, they must now recover lost resources at recharging stations. While gamers have already pointed to the stations as possible camping zones, Eekels stresses that their design prevents that:

    This is because each recharging station has an initial holographic icon floating on top of it, which has a charge of, say, 25 percent. It takes time for that to reappear again after you've zipped over it and picked it up (just like a regular pickup). But if you are greedy, you can stay on the station for a full refill. This causes the station to get drained, and it takes time for it to fully recharge; you can't camp on top of it.
    UT2 also sports changes to both its single and multiplayer modes. The single player mode now features a team-based tournament, wherein the player becomes the captain of a team. As gameplay progresses, players will be able to hire, fire, and assign improvements to their teammates. Fighting styles, positions, and the like can be assigned before and during gameplay as well.

    As far as multiplayer goes, UT2 currently has five modes, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination 2, and Bombing Run. While the first three modes should be more than familiar to UT fans, the last two present some interesting new twists. Domination 2 is a spinoff of the original Domination, though this time there are only two domination points. When a team assumes control of both points, they must defend them both for a certain amount of time, whereupon they will be awarded a point. Both domination points them revert back to neutral again for a certain amount of time before once again becoming controllable. As for Bombing Run, both teams must race for a bomb, which will spawn in the middle of a map, and then detonate that bomb within the opponent's base. The clincher to this one is that the bomb can be passed between teammates while attempting to deliver it.

    The rest of the article discusses more UT2 details such as its graphics engine, myriad new races, and vehicle implementation. Those interested in the full story can find it at GameSpot. As of yet, we have no definite news on a Mac version, but you can be sure we'll keep you informed.

    Digital Extremes
    Epic Games
    GameSpot: Unreal Tournament 2 Preview

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    WarCraft III Beta Signups Closed
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment recently announced that the signup period for the beta test of WarCraft III is now closed. The lucky few that are accepted will be notified by e-mail within the next several weeks. Blizzard anticipates that beta testing will last at least two to three months, if not longer, which gives those waiting for this title a rough time frame on when they might see the final release.

    Those looking for more information on the beta testing can look up Blizzard's WarCraft III Beta Information Center, which features a FAQ and promises an online forum sometime in the future.

    In other WarCraft III news, a new Night Elf unit, named the Huntress, has been added to the Races page. The Huntress, formerly known as the Sentinel, rides a giant Nightsabre panther and sports an Owl for a pet.

    A new spell available to Necromancers, titled Raise Dead, has also recently been added to the Races page. The Raise Dead spell allows Necromancers to raise small bands of armies at will:

    Raises multiple Skeleton Warriors to fight for you—for a limited time. Skeleton Warriors do not require food, but the unstable magics that animate them dissipate after a while, returning the Skeleton Warriors to dust.
    Be sure to check out Blizzard's WarCraft III site for more details on this upcoming real-time strategy title.

    IMG Preview: WarCraft III
    Blizzard : WarCraft III Beta Information Center
    WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III

    Mac Games News for Friday, January 11, 2002

    IMG Posts MWSF Pictures, Wrap-Up12:26 PM
    MWSF: Civ III and Lineage Win Best of Show6:00 AM
    MWSF: Devine Talks About Wolfenstein & Punks6:00 AM
    MWSF: Freeverse Gets Connected6:00 AM
    Wolfenstein Hits One Million Copies6:00 AM
    [osX] Moves to BeyondUnreal6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 11, 2002 on one page

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    Thursday, January 10, 2002
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