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Thursday, January 17, 2002

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Enemy Engaged Passes First Playable
8:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a recent post to the IMG forums, Feral programmer Nick Shanks gave readers a quick update on the status of the helicopter sim Enemy Engaged: Comanche versus Hokum. The game features realistic flight dynamics, three different "real-world" missions, and impressive graphics that take advantage of hardware transform and lighting at high resolutions. It received quite an amount of critical acclaim on the PC side, and it should certainly appeal to more than just flight sim buffs on the Mac as well.

While the Feral web site still declares the game to be in an "early development" state, Shanks notes they are now further along. Here's his post:

This title has made significant progress over the last month. It's passed First Playable and is nearing Alpha. I just haven't updated the web site yet.
While the Feral page is a little slim on information, the PC Take 2 site does provide more info as well as screen shots of Enemy Engaged in action. When we talked with Feral at Macworld Expo they were hoping to have the Mac version available in either late March or April. Stay tuned to IMG for more on Enemy Engaged as it gets closer to release.

Feral Interactive
Take 2: Enemy Engaged
IMG Forum: Enemy Engaged
Buy Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs. Hokum

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IMG Reviews Tomb Raider: The Trilogy
12:51 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Richard Hallas of Tomb Raider: The Trilogy, published for the Mac by the good folks at Aspyr Media. Here's an excerpt:

Lara Croft... love her or loathe her, there's no denying that she's made a huge impact over the last few years, from the computer screen to the cinema screen via TV Lucozade adverts. Comprising a total of five major adventures, the Tomb Raider series has proven that a popular game format need not always rely on fast action and big guns to appeal to the masses. Indeed, it has shown that an exploration-based game with an emphasis on dexterity and puzzle-solving can attract a significant following beyond the traditional games-playing audience of spotty teenage males... including (shock, horror!) even females!
The Trilogy is actually a collection of six games starring the inimitable (and unlikely) Lara Croft: the Gold Editions of Tomb Raiders I, II, and III, each of which treats the bonus Gold levels as separate games from the main scenarios.

Follow the link below for the full text of our review.

IMG Review: Tomb Raider: The Trilogy
Tomb Raider: The Trilogy

Galactica Multiplayer Enters Beta
11:59 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story announced yesterday afternoon that a multiplayer version of Galactica: anno Dominari has entered beta testing.

What's more, in connection with this new version, and Sacred Tree Software, the developers of Galactica, have launched

Nicolas Murphy, president of, said:

We have seen an awesome amount of growth in Galactica over the past year. Sales of the game have been going through the roof and we are answering this public interest with new releases, continual updates, and very soon a real sweet multiplayer version of the game that will take all GAO players to the next level.
Galactica: anno Dominari is a game of galactic colonization and warfare in which players use their superior technology and great fleets of starships to reunite the surviving factions of the once-great human empire. The game runs in Mac OS 8.5 to 9 and natively in Mac OS X. (If you're wondering what "anno Dominari" means, it's Latin for "year of Domination.")

For more information on Galactica, visit, where it's mentioned that the multiplayer beta test—currently invitation-only—will be opened in the future to MonkeyByte's MBD Newsletter subscribers, and the Galactica web page at, where you can order a copy of the game on CD with enhanced artwork. Alternatively, you can download the shareware version from our sister site, MacGameFiles.

Galactica A.D.
MGF: Galactica 2.0.7 (33 MB)

Sovereign Poll: Which OS Rocks for Games?
10:58 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Last week, IMG brought you news that Sony Online Entertainment has added Mac support to the web games at The Station. This week, the web site for Sovereign, Sony's massively-multiplayer real-time strategy game, is running a poll that asks the question:

When it comes to playing games, what operating system absolutely ROCKS?
Two of the choices are Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, but at the time of this writing, the results seem to suggest that Mac gamers haven't gotten the word about this poll.

If you'd like to make your preference known and voice your support for a possible Mac version of Sovereign, head over to their web site now.

Sovereign: Operating Systems and Games Poll

Battlegram 1.0—Instant Chat
9:44 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

For Blizzard junkies that just can't get enough out of, Nick Zitzmann has released a Mac OS X-only freeware program that may be of interest. Titled Battlegram, this program acts as a chat client:

Although Chat connections are quite limited right now, the intent of the program is to allow Mac OS X users to stay in touch with friends, clan members, trading partners, etc. while they're not playing a game that uses
Zitzmann notes that his program is in no way affiliated with Blizzard. Those looking to try it out can find it at VersionTracker.

VersionTracker: Battlegram 1.0

Vertigo 1.0 Debuts
9:38 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In what seems to be yet another title in a string of old-school arcade-style games that have recently been hitting the Mac platform, publisher Keith Wiley recently released his latest effort, Vertigo. This shooter is best described as Asteroids from a first person perspective. To make things even more exciting, players will simultaneously dogfight with enemy ships while dodging and shooting asteroids.

Taking the theme even further, Vertigo offers players a choice of three different ships that vary in terms of maneuverability, shields, and weapons. The weapons can include such high-tech toys as ion bolts, bombs, homing missiles, and lasers. For those that like to duke it out with friends, Vertigo is also networkable over AppleTalk and TCP/IP.

Those who wish to check out Vertigo for themselves can download the 3.1 MB shareware title from MacGameFiles. For more information and pics on Vertigo itself, be sure to check out the Vertigo web site.

MGF: Vertigo 1.0 (3.1 MB)

Graphic Breakdown of Master of Orion III
9:32 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Orion Sector, a fan site devoted to the Master of Orion series, recently published an article that breaks down the choices made for the graphical engines of Master of Orion III. Titled "Voxel Graphics in MOO3" and written mostly by Executive Producer Bill Fisher, the article is quite in-depth and contains a huge amount of tech speak.

The main gist of the article is that MOO3 will be using mainly a software rendering engine, rather than skewing towards hardware acceleration like most games tend to do these days. Part of the reason is that they want MOO3 to be able to run on three-year-old hardware, which could mean 233 MHz machines with no hardware acceleration. They also note that they expect half their audience to be European, and that the European market tends to upgrade more slowly than the U.S. market due to higher overall costs.

In this excerpt, Fisher describes some more of the thinking behind this decision:

We spent a long internally time discussing the technology for this game. Hardware acceleration would allow us to do some very fancy 3D combat graphics, but wouldn't do anything for the turn-based user interface that we couldn't do in software. It would also restrict the number of machines that could play our game. But it would be a cool bullet-point on the box—"optimized for 3D accelerators" or some such. We could, of course, write a software renderer as well, but that would take a lot of time that would be better spent on the gameplay, in our opinion.
The MOO3 team still wants to achieve a 3D look, particularly during the combat scenes, so they're turning towards the use of voxel objects. For those unfamiliar with voxels, they can be loosely described as pixels with volume, allowing a software engine to generate a 3D-polygon-like effect.

The rest of the article covers a huge amount of graphical territory in regards to MOO3. Though it's heavy in the tech lingo, it's a worthy read for anyone interested in MOO3's development or in graphic development in general. Those interested can find it at The Orion Sector.

Quicksilver Software
The Orion Sector: Voxel Graphics in MOO3
Buy Master of Orion III

Q&A With Warcraft 3's Bill Roper
8:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A quick new interview has been posted at Warcraft 3 Center, talking with Blizzard PR man Bill Roper about the current status of Warcraft 3. As you may remember, Blizzard recently held (PC-only) beta signups, and they plan to test the game with a limited number of players for a few months to hammer out its gameplay. In the Q&A, Roper is asked a number of fairly specific questions about certain units and details in the game.

With the move to a fully 3D game, Blizzard is forced to make some changes from the standard gameplay of the previous titles in the series. Your heroes will play a big part in your success, and Roper explains here the number each race will have:

Q: Currently how many different units has each race available to them?

A: Currently, each race has three Heroes and ten units. Some of the races also have creatures that can be summoned to bolster their forces. All of the races can also hire mercenaries to strengthen their numbers.

For the rest of the scoop, head over to Warcraft 3 Center now. Also be sure to give Blizzard's own game page a look, as they've recently posted a new in-game screen shot.

While no specifics about a Mac release have been nailed down yet, we do know Warcraft 3 will run on Mac OS X and it should be a nearly simultaneous release.

IMG Preview: WarCraft III
WarCraft III
Warcraft 3 Center: Bill Roper Interview
Buy WarCraft III

Worms Blast Interview
8:28 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The folks at Computer and Video recently talked with Martyn Brown of the UK-based company Team 17 about their latest title, Worms Blast. The game is described as more of "a two-player attack game rather than a puzzle title," and it should be available for a number of consoles as well as the Mac thanks to Feral Interactive.

The interview talks with Brown about the game, why they have diverged from the standard Worms formula, and their choices for a number of consoles (though the Mac isn't mentioned). Here's an excerpt:

CVG: Worms Blast is very different from other titles in the series. Why did you choose to make the game part of the Worms franchise?

Brown: Worms has been going on for five or six years now. We took a long look at it and wanted to push it into different directions. It was fairly clear it had evolved into a brand, and that's what the industry is all about: we've been keen to take the series into a number of different areas and Worms Blast is the first example of this. We want to develop the characters and use them in different ways, but retain the elements of the original that were important to people—the humour and solid gameplay.

For the full scoop and a number of screen shots, read through the rest of the Q&A now. Feral said they were just beginning work on a Mac port of the game, but it should be available later this year.

Computer and Video Games: Worms Blast Interview
Feral Interactive
Buy Worms Blast

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Marathon: Resurrection Tournament Announced
8:28 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Team Unpfhorgiven, the mod team that created Marathon: Resurrection, is hosting a tournament. Marathon: Resurrection recreates the Marathon environment using the capabilities of Unreal Tournament's graphics engine to the fullest, complete with a full 3D world and fully-animated 3D weapons. Marathon physics and gameplay have been recreated and enhanced where the team thought that the result would be improved gameplay.

Here are some details on the tournament:

Come one, frag all! Team Unpfhorgiven is pleased to announce the first ever Marathon: Resurrection Internet tournament. This event will mark the first ever Marathon-related tournament held over the Internet.

When and where do I sign up?

Entries will be taken starting from January 16th to the 29th. Tournament play will commence on February 6th. Games will be played on weekdays after 6 PM PST.

What do I get after my inevitable victory?

Fame, ascension to godliness and a nice boost in self esteem! You also get to go one-on-one with the winner of the internal development team tournament. The team is working on coming up with a small token to reward the winner with. Perhaps having your face pasted on a BOB or the opportunity to record a new BOB quote. We will know before the tournament ends. For now, it's all in good fun.

If you're interesting in signing up for the tournament, head over to the Marathon: Resurrection web site for more information.

Marathon: Resurrection
Marathon: Resurrection Tournament

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 16, 2002

IMG Reviews WingNuts11:59 AM
Quake II for Mac OS X Adds AQ2 Support, More11:18 AM
Undying, Hot Date Slated for March9:45 AM
Candy Cruncher Coming to OS X8:13 AM
Coldstone Game Engine Released8:13 AM
EV: Nova Hits Beta 78:13 AM
Mac Crystal Space Updated8:13 AM
Spector, Smith Talk Deus Ex 28:13 AM
UT X Status Check8:13 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 16, 2002 on one page

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