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Thursday, January 31, 2002

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Torque Game Engine Released for Mac
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GarageGames president Jeff Tunnell passed along the news yesterday that the Mac branch of their Torque Game Engine has now been released. Formerly known as V12, this powerful 3D game engine was behind the successful PC game Tribes 2, and Mac developers can now license it for a mere $100.

This announcement means the engine is now truly cross-platform, with PC Torque games needing only a few tweaks to run on a Mac, and vice-versa. Tunnell said in a press release:

Opening up the Mac platform through the Torque Game Engine is an important step for GarageGames. The Mac is a natural platform for indie game developers since it has a 25 million unit installed base with great gaming technology, yet is underserved by traditional game publishers.
The driving force being the Mac version of Torque has been David Chait. Here's more about his role in the process:
David Chait, former Chief Architect and VP of Product Design for Reality Bytes, Inc. (Mac focused game developer) managed and developed the Torque Game Engine conversion from Windows to the Mac OS. Chait, now a GarageGames Associate and independent consultant says, “The Mac version of Torque supports all of the features available on Windows including award winning networking, indoor/outdoor terrain, scripting language, built in terrain and mission editors, plus it works in the full Apple Project Builder IDE... Additionally, the Mac version includes built-in support for ATI's Truform feature on the Radeon 8500.”
Support for both Mac OS 9 and X should mean great things for Mac gamers in the coming years. A huge thanks should to Chait and all of the Mac testers for their hard work on the project up to this point. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as Torque's development continues.

GarageGames: Torque Game Engine for the Mac
GarageGames: Torque Game Engine SDK

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IMG Reviews Civilization III
11:57 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review by Michael Phillips of MacSoft's new turn-based strategy game, Civilization III, the third installment from Sid Meier in his best-selling series.

Here's a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:

Sid Meier, a legend in the turn-based strategy game genre, creator of Alpha Centauri and the rest of the Civilization series is back and more strategic than ever. Yet, can the Civilization series still be fresh after all this time? Are a few new features and enhancements enough to keep things interesting? Does Civilization III live up to all the hype? Aside from the lack of one MAJOR feature and a handful of minor issues, Civilization III is about as good as it gets in the realm of turn-based strategy gaming. Combining complex gameplay with a clean, easy to control user interface, this game ALMOST has something for everyone. Almost... one could nearly choke on the foreshadowing! Read on to learn the triumphs and failures of Sid Meier's Civilization III.
Follow the link below for the full text of our review and a gallery of screen shots.

IMG Review: Civilization III
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

IMG Server Update, Special Interview Tomorrow
9:25 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Inside Mac Games server upgrades which began over the last weekend have been completed. If you frequent IMG often, you should see a considerable speed boost loading pages, especially during peak times. In addition to the server upgrade, we'll be working on some more optimizations in the coming weeks.

If you're wondering where is, fret not, it will be coming back online shortly.

We apologize for any downtime or difficulty you may have experienced in the last few days trying to reach IMG.

Oh, and be sure to stop by IMG early tomorrow as we'll be posting an interview with a very special person. You don't want to miss it!

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Tropico Expansion Pack for Mac?
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A few days ago, PopTop Software announced that the Paradise Island expansion pack for Tropico, the popular Caribbean dictator simulation, would be released on the PC on February 5th. The pack adds new features to the game, creating new powers and problems for "El Presidente" as the player dictates an island country’s diplomatic, developmental, and political fate.

IMG contacted PopTop's Phil Steinmeyer about when we could expect a Mac version of the expansion pack. Steinmeyer offered this response:

It will probably happen, time frame is May/June...
Tropico: Paradise Island expands the Tropico world by offering these features:
  • 23 new scenarios
  • 12 all-new buildings
  • Four new tourists to lure to Tropico (and boats to match)
  • Natural disasters, including storms and diseases
  • More edicts to enforce your will
  • New dictator attributes
  • Game play enhancements, including high score details, full view of buildings, and faster construction
  • Another hour of that great Tropico music you love, made by the same outstanding musicians who made the original music, for a total of over two hours of playtime
This is great news for fans of the original game released last summer by MacSoft. We'll keep you posted on further developments as they become available.

IMG Review: Tropico
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

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Lineage Beta Moved to Monday
8:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

On Monday, NCsoft, publishers of the online role-playing game Lineage: The Blood Pledge, announced that it would begin beta test sign-ups today. NCsoft has let us know that there will be a slight delay, however, and the sign-ups will begin instead on Monday.

Here's the note from NCsoft's Chris Sherman on the delay:

We've moved the beta launch from tomorrow, Thursday, to Monday and opened registration such that anyone who registers for beta will be able to participate in beta (rather than only selecting a few). The registration and open beta will go on for a month.
If you're still interested in signing up for the Lineage beta test, be sure to stop by IMG on Monday. Be sure also to check out our extensive preview of Lineage.

IMG Preview: Lineage: The Blood Pledge
IMG News: Help Beta Test Lineage for Mac

MacSoft Offers Info on Upcoming Releases
6:00 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Venerable game publisher MacSoft has narrowed down the release dates of three of its upcoming games.

Stronghold is a castle-building strategy game that IMG reported earlier this week. This interesting title combines the careful planning of a city-builder with the excitement of a real-time strategy game. It is scheduled to be released in May of this year.

Some things to look forward to in Stronghold, according to MacSoft:

  • Experience medieval warfare
  • Design and build awe-inspiring castles
  • Create your own kingdom
  • Manage your economy
  • Four separate game modes: Design, Building, Economic, and Combat
  • Fend off foes with boiling oil and fire ditches
  • Single-player campaign consisting of 21 story-based missions
  • Enthralling multiplayer gameplay for up to eight players via LAN or over the Internet
  • Robust, full-featured map and scenario editor

Beach Head 2002, like its predecessor, is an exciting action game that puts the player in the shoes of a lone soldier who must take on a horde of opposing forces.

Here is MacSoft's description of a few of the features of Beach Head 2002, expected in March:

  • New modes of enemy attack such as paratroopers and special operation forces.
  • Network support for cooperative defensive play
  • Dynamic lighting with search lights that cut through the night, tracers and explosions that whiz through the dark, and flares burst overhead
  • Time passes during the battle and day turns into night
  • All-new defensive obstacles such as barbed wire, tank traps, mine fields and oil-filled moats that can be ignited
  • Beautiful new inland scenarios with mountains, trees and detailed defense perimeter defenses
  • Enemy forces now attack from 360 degrees
  • Additional new weapons and equipment, such as night vision goggles, radar, M16 rifle, M60 machine gun, flare gun and a mortar with cluster bomb capability

Master of Orion 3, one of the most anticipated titles of the past two years, is scheduled to make its debut on the Macintosh in June 2002. Master of Orion 3 is the sequel to one of the most highly-acclaimed turn-based galactic strategy games of all time, and it promises to take the genre to a whole new level.

Follow the link below to MacSoft's web site for more details.


Tac Ops Goes Commercial
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Tactical Ops is an Unreal Tournament mod that is one of the most popular to date. Featuring real-world weapons and more realistic damage, this mod is often compared to Counter-Strike in terms of gameplay. Apparently, this popularity caught the attention of Infogrames, which has decided to publish a commercial version under the name, Tac Ops: Assault on Terror.

Quick to get more information on this hot topic, GameSpy managed to get hold of Infogrames' Rafael Curulla and hammer him with questions regarding the acquisition and publishing of Tac Ops. The long and the short of it is that Infogrames plans on publishing Tac Ops as a standalone title that does not require UT in order to be played.

In an effort to entice the thousands of people who already own both UT and a copy of Tac Ops, which is a free download, Infogrames is planning on polishing up Tac Ops quite a bit:

Tac Ops: Assault on Terror is a stand-alone product with many changes compared to the current mod, such as new maps, new skins, new textures, new weapons, improved gameplay, animation and models. And of course the majority of bugs fixed. There are some players out there who don’t like playing UT (can you believe that??? ;)) and would rather play a counter-terrorism, more realistic game. The retail version will offer these players such an experience, without having them to buy a version of UT. In addition, the single player mode will be improved compared to what it is currently.
Players will continue to be able to download the mod for free, but, Curulla stresses several times during the interview that the retail version will contain unique content.

Those interested in more information can check out both the interview at GameSpy and Infogrames' newly posted Tac Ops info page. Though both pages mention only a PC version, a Mac version shouldn't be that big of a stretch, considering that the mod and UT itself have been available to Mac users for quite some time now.

GameSpy: Infogrames to Publish Tac Ops
Infogrames: Tac Ops
Tactical Ops: An Unreal Tournament Mod

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Unreal Tournament X Preview 2 Released
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Fans of Unreal Tournament should be happy to hear that a new preview of the Carbonized version of the shooter is now available for Mac OS X. Glenda Adams of Westlake Interactive has apparently made some good progress with the loading bug that was causing issues for many gamers. Preview 2 also fixes a bug where modifier keys weren't working. If you're brave enough to try the preview, you'll need a full installation of Unreal Tournament updated to version 436 or the Game of the Year edition.

Here's a list of issues still known with the update:

  • UT X only supports OpenGL rendering. Support for software rendering will likely not be added, RAVE and Glide will never be.
  • There have been no OS X specific optimizations yet. The game should run approximately the same speed as OS 9 in OpenGL, but there are some rough spots.
  • Compiler optimizations have had to be turned down to a lower level in UT X, due to problems with bad code generation in CodeWarrior 7.
  • Music is not supported (and may not be ever under OS X).
  • Mouse controls may be a bit sluggish. Turning up the mouse speed in the Preferences is recommended.
  • The entire sound library has been replaced — this may cause sound problems or performance issues. The sound library may be replaced again in the future, so sound bugs may not be fixed immediately in future releases.
  • The game will only run in full screen mode. This may never change. If you accidently switch out of full screen, quit, open unreal tournament.ini, and set StartupFullscreen to True.
  • NGStats don't work (for Mac servers). Make sure and leave them off. If they are turned on, the game will probably freak out at the end of a level. It's unknown if ngStats will ever make OS X native versions of their software.
  • Support for input devices other than mouse & keyboard doesn't work. Alternate mouse buttons may or may not work.
If you find issues in the preview not mentioned here, be sure to e-mail a detailed report to .Congratulations to Westlake for their progress on this side project so far. Head over to MacGameFiles for the small download.

Unreal Tournament
Westlake Interactive
MGF: Unreal Tournament X Preview 2 (1 MB)

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 30, 2002

IMG Previews Lineage: The Blood Pledge12:18 PM
MacGamer's Portable Gamer Guide11:18 AM
Black & White: Creature Isle Coming to Mac6:55 AM
Q2 Release Suggested for Fighter Squadron6:55 AM
Theoretical GeForce4 MX Shootout6:55 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 30, 2002 on one page

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