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Tuesday, January 22, 2002

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Beta SiN Patch Adds OS X Support
7:35 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

"Burger" Bill Heineman of Contraband Entertainment recently released a new beta update for SiN, adding Mac OS X support to this popular first-person shooter. This was one of the first titles released by the revived MacPlay, and it has grown a healthy fan club among the gaming community. Now those adventurous gamers wanting to try out a Carbonized version can download the 3 MB patch, noting that it is still classified as beta software.

Here are the installation instructions from Burger:

SiN 1.1.3 now runs both in Mac OS Classic and Mac OS X.

Take the files SiN and Wages of SiN and replace your retail copy with these files.

In each of the three folders, replace or add the files contained in the folders "base", "ctf" and "2015". Do NOT destroy your old folder's contents!

In each of the three folders, delete the folder "players". This act will reset all the settings and allow the new OS X features to activate. If you wish to keep your save games, you must manually remove all "config.cfg" files that exist in the "players" folder.

If you find any issues with the beta, be sure to e-mail Burger with the details at

Sin Gold
MGF: SiN 1.1.3b2 for Classic & OS X (3 MB)
Buy Sin Gold

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IMG Reviews the DVIator
1:16 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Michael Eilers of the DVIator from Dr. Bott, the adapter that lets you have, say, two or three Apple Cinema Displays connected to your Power Mac.

This nifty little device has one purpose—to allow you to run an ADC monitor on a DVI-equipped video card. The video card must have a DVI (digital) interface, as you might guess by the name, but other than that there are no limitations; you can even use the device to add an Apple monitor to a PC, if you are feeling perverse.
Follow the link below for the full text of our review.

IMG Review: Dr. Bott's DVIator

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Apple Game Articles
12:58 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Today, Apple's Games web site posted articles on action games, Civilization III, and game highlights from the recent Macworld Expo.

In "Action Games," Chris McVeigh gives an introduction to the genre that includes first- and third-person shooters and arcade-style games and goes on to give a brief description of four new or upcoming games. In this excerpt, McVeigh sets the scene:

A raging wind blows clouds across a cold purple sky, sending a bitter chill down your spine. You lean against a damp wall. Around the corner, you spot twelve guards standing in formation near the bridge. Several marksmen dot the horizon. Your three clips, two grenades and small medpack must be enough to get you to the other side of the ravine... and to safety. Surprise will be your most powerful weapon. With your heart racing, you step out into the clear and pull the trigger.
Well, so much for surprise! At least in a game you can learn from your fatal mistakes.

In "Civilization III," Brad Cook explores MacSoft's latest installment in the blockbuster turn-based strategy series:

There are several ways to win the game, and not all of them require you to go to war. Diplomacy skills are just as important as military might in Civilization III, and youíll need to keep your people happy or internal strife will ruin your plans for world domination.

Explains [series designer Sid] Meier: "I still enjoy the thrilling military conquest thatís been a part of the Civ series from the beginning, but now the diplomatic victory is as strategically challenging and fun as playing a military-focused game."

Finally, "Macworld San Francisco 2002 Gaming Madness" takes a very brief look at some of the action at the Mac OS X Games Theater, Mac OS X Games Arcade, and Mac game publisher booths at the recent Expo—one of the most consistently crowded areas of the show floor, as this editor can attest.

Head over to Apple's site for the full text of each of these three new articles.

Apple: Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Game Developer Extolls OS X
12:12 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new article on Stepwise by Troy Stephens calls Mac OS X a "game developer's playground," and discusses how the next-generation Cocoa APIs are capable of speeding up development of both games and gaming tools. While the piece is somewhat technical, it shows how programmers can harness OS X to get up to speed quickly on a project, using as an example some in-house tools he has built.

While using Cocoa may be no-brainer for writing game development tools, developers who want their games to reach a market larger than Mac OS X's user base may hesitate to use it for the games themselves. Stephens argues, however, that Apple's Objective-C++ (his term for the integration of Objective-C with C++) isn't completely void of portability. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

I think it's important to recognize that complete and automatic portability, in the sense of "write once, run anywhere," isn't a necessary requirement for many projects anyhow. In game development in particular, the realistic balance seems to be to isolate the truly platform-neutral parts of your game engine and production tools library in a portable code base, and accept that you're going to have to write a certain amount of native glue code for each platform you want to run on. Thus, for a world builder tool, you may realistically end up writing different UI code for each target platform anyhow. As illustrated by my TextureLayout app, Objective-C++ enables you to use the same C++-based game engine or tools library on Mac OS X as on other platforms, while developing your UI in Objective-C. Furthermore, the power of Interface Builder and the Cocoa frameworks means that you will have substantially less UI code to write on Mac OS X than it would take to get the same UI up on other platforms.
It's great to hear game developers talking good things about OS X, even when developing for other platforms or consoles. If you're not afraid of a little technical jargon, be sure to head over to Stepwise and give the rest of this interesting article a read.

Apple: Cocoa
Stepwise: Mac OS X: A Game Developer's Playground

Game Memorizer Helps Learn Controller Layouts
11:20 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Athena Shareware recently released Game Memorizer, a promising aid to learning game controller layouts. Game Memorizer works by printing out a picture of your game controller that shows the function of each button or key.

The software comes with standard layouts, or "game maps," for a number of games on a variety of controllers, but more usefully, it allows the user to create and print custom button or key descriptions for each of the included controller templates.

The registered version of Game Memorizer, which costs $7, includes the following controller templates, and more are planned for future updates:

  • Standard Windows (105 key) Keyboard
  • PSX controller
  • PS2 controller
  • Nintendo 64 controller
  • Dreamcast controller
  • Standard Macintosh (105 key) Keyboard
  • Numberpad
  • iMac Keyboard
  • iBook Keyboard
  • Gravis Gamepad Pro
  • CH Gamepad USB
  • CH Flightstick Pro
  • Thrustmaster Firestorm Digital
  • Thrustmaster Top Gun Platinum
  • MS Sidewinder Freestyle Pro
  • MS Sidewinder Precision 2
  • MacAlly iShock
  • MacAlly iShock 2
  • MS Sidewinder Dual Strike
  • Thrustmaster Dual Analog
  • Hot Key map maker
  • Gravis Eliminator Aftershock
  • CH F-16 Fighterstick
  • Thrustmaster Top Gun Fox 2 Pro
The trial version, which you can freely download from our sister site, MacGameFiles, includes a limited version of the Hot Key map maker and only the following controllers, but it should give you an idea of how the software works:
  • PlayStation 2 controller
  • Numberpad
  • Thrustmaster Firestorm Digital
  • MS Sidewinder Precision 2
  • MacAlly iShock
Game Memorizer requires Knowledge Adventure's HyperStudio or the free HyperStudio Player, which you can also download from MacGameFiles at a mere 1.6 MB.

Athena Shareware: Game Memorizer
MGF: Game Memorizer 1.0.2 Trial Version (5.1 MB)

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GameRanger Adds Giants Multiplay
10:41 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

As noted by our friends at MacGamer yesterday, GameRanger, the Mac multiplayer online gaming service, recently added support for MacPlay's gorgeous, Mac OS X-only Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

This addition brings the number of Mac games supported by GameRanger to a staggering 84 (including nine demos).

GameRanger continues to attract new members at a steady rate; the free service currently boasts over 73,000 members and hosts between 5,000 and 10,000 games every day.

For more information on Giants, check out IMG's review at the link below. If you haven't already signed up for GameRanger, the installer available at our sister site MacGameFiles will get you started.

IMG Review: Giants: Citizen Kabuto
Giants: Citizen Kabuto
MGF: GameRanger 2.1.6 (165 KB)
Buy Giants: Citizen Kabuto

JeuxMac and Mac4Gamer Interview Glenda Adams
9:48 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

French Mac gaming web sites JeuxMac and Mac4Gamer have published a joint interview by the former's Mathias and the latter's Didier "Grouik" Pulciani with Mac gaming goddess Glenda Adams of Westlake Interactive.

Few persons in the Mac gaming industry have brought as much to our community as Glenda (formerly Mark) Adams: the list of A-level games she or her company has ported reads like an Homeric catalog.

Here are a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

Grouik: What do you think about some people, as Brad Oliver, who are working during their free time (like you) on original projects for the Macintosh?

Adams: At Westlake we've always encouraged our programmers to have fun in their spare time, whether it means working on other side games or whatever. I think its great what Brad does with MacMAME, and I have a fun time doing original shareware games with my spouse, Suellen. It gives us a chance to do different types of programming and design we don't get to do in our day jobs....

Mathias: What's the price of a game development?

Adams: A medium to large size Mac port costs anywhere from $50K to $100K to develop. There are some smaller games, like those based on existing engines (Quake 3, Unreal), and larger ones, especially games that have their own complete 3D engine, like Max Payne.

The interview, conducted in English, is available at both sites in its original language as well as in a French translation.

JeuxMac: Interview with Glenda Adams
Mac4Gamer: Interview with Glenda Adams
Westlake Interactive

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Shadowbane Interview and New Screen Shots
8:12 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

Shadowbane Sage has posted a chat interview with Ubi Soft regarding development of their highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game Shadowbane. The game entered into closed beta testing last week, and Ubi Soft and Wolfpack Studios plan to include almost 1500 testers before completing this stage of development.

Part of the interview focuses on the development team's efforts to balance gameplay for both the role playing and player-vs-player crowds:

Vosx: Unfortunately, in other games there have been a mix of different playstyles and expectations for the game. In UO, players like crafts, hunting, and some liked PvP. Those groups rarely had common interests. In EQ, the same was also true—even on the PvP servers. Some thought it a Roleplay Server, some a PvP server. Many players enter those games with different expectations. In Shadowbane, there is PvP, and there is deep and complex roleplay. You cannot have true roleplay, and true epic storylines, and not have player vs player. So all Shadowbane players will begin on a similar footing—that conflict is a central part to how this game works.

Matteon: Agreed. On that note... What are your thoughts on the popular opinion that says SB is evolving into a less and less "dog eat dog" type of game to appease the majority who prefer a safe and secure playing environment?

* Vosx laughs*

Matteon: Hey, it's not MY theory.

Vosx: I think that derives from a shift in our marketing. Shadowbane's initial marketing was very 'in your face'.

Matteon: Yes, I remember.

Vosx: At a time when all other games were running their PvPers out of town, and treating them like 3rd class citizens, and criminals, Wolfpack, obviously, did not share that view. However, Shadowbane is not EverQuake.

Follow the links below for the full interview. In addition, Ubi Soft have also posted on their own web site 11 new screenshots taken from their private screening of the game earlier this month in Austin, Texas.

Shadowbane Sage: Shadowbane Interviews Vosx
Ubi Soft: Shadowbane Screenshots from the Arcane3D Engine

MOO3 Interview with William C. Fisher
7:35 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

If you're a fan of the Master of Orion series of turn-based strategy games, Blue Monday has posted an interview that will certainly grab your attention. The staff at Blue Monday sat down with Quicksilver president William C. Fisher to discuss the upcoming galactic empire-building epic, Master of Orion 3, the long-awaited third installment in the ground-breaking series. MOO3 is a departure from previous titles in that the player is no longer required to bother with the layers of micromanagement that are a common feature of other turn-based strategy games, including the first two Master of Orion titles. MOO3 is expected for release sometime during summer 2002.

Fisher, who is also executive producer of MOO3, and designer Alan Emrich had much to say concerning their project:

Blue Monday: Are you introducing any specific new features to make MOO3 multiplayer more attractive?

Fisher: Yes. definitely. First is that we support up to eight human players. We're making it easy to register games and play. The game lobby setup and game starting procedures will be familiar to any multiplayer gamer. We're using GameSpy for the back-end processing, as do many other game titles.

Second, our game is designed for simultaneous multiplayer play. This is very different than some other titles, in which players take turns making their moves. In MOO3. everyone takes their turn at the same time. Then turns are submitted, processed, and results distributed to all players. This speeds up the game considerably.

Space combat and ground combat are handled by the Combat Scheduler, which runs at the end of every turn. The Scheduler figures out who is fighting whom and if there are any dependencies. Then it organizes the combats in the most efficient manner. This allows us to fight more than one battle at a time, if the battles don't affect one another. Again, this streamlines the turn processing and keeps the game moving.

Finally, we're working on a feature that will allow each player to start thinking about the next turn even when others haven't finished the current turn. This keeps players from becoming bored while waiting for others to finish their turns.

There is much more of interest in the interview, along with a plethora of screenshots to whet your appetite for this much looked-for game. Follow the links below to find out more.

Blue Monday: MOO3 Interview with William C. Fisher
Quicksilver Software
Buy Master of Orion III

Custer Makes a Blood Pledge
7:35 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Our resident desktop picture creator Brad Custer has unveiled his latest creation. This week's focus is on Lineage: The Blood Pledge, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was recently brought to the attention of the Mac gaming community at Macworld Expo San Francisco.

Not only did Lineage catch the eyes of passers-by, but it also managed to snag one of the Macworld Best of Show Awards. Featuring the largest user base worldwide, and able to support around 300,000 simultaneous users, this MMORPG, a genre sorely neglected in the Mac community, had plenty of gamers buzzing about its impending release.

Those interested in making their own Blood Pledge can download Custer's latest at Custer's Desktops.

IMG: Custer's Desktops

Mac Games News for Monday, January 21, 2002

IMG Reviews Black & White12:51 PM
Westlake Status Updates12:10 PM
Black & White Is Gold; Patch Soon11:43 AM
Aliens vs Predator Patches Released11:26 AM
RtCW: Multiplayer Gameplay Analysis11:20 AM
Peter Cohen on the New iMac8:46 AM
BlitzMax Offers Easy Game Programming6:13 AM
Vampire: The Masquerade 1.0.1 Update6:13 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 21, 2002 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Friday, January 18, 2002
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