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Monday, February 4, 2002

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Lineage Mac Beta Test Opens
11:04 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

NCsoft is now accepting registrations for the Lineage Mac beta test. If you're running Mac OS X, have a Mac with at least 128 MB of RAM and an Internet connection, and are willing to submit detailed bug reports, then you can head over to the Lineage Mac web site to sign up.

Here are some more details:

Beta testers will need to register for a Lineage account, so if you choose to participate you will be bound to our Terms Agreement, but you will not be required to pay a subscription fee for the duration of the beta test period. Once the beta test is completed (we'll give you plenty of notice!) you will be able to activate your account with any accepted method of payment and you'll receive 30-days FREE playtime in addition to the free time you racked up during beta!
To learn more about Lineage, be sure to check out our in-depth preview of this massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

IMG Preview: Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage Macintosh

New Unreal 2 Screen Shots
10:47 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Fans of the megahit first-person shooter Unreal are eagerly anticipating the upcoming sequel, Unreal 2, currently under development by Legend Entertainment. A plethora of exciting new screen shots from Unreal 2 posted on BonusWeb show off the graphic splendor of the new engine. Although the language is Czech, the screen shots are pure Unreal, so don't let the language barrier dissuade you from feasting your eyes.

It should be noted that, while Unreal 2 has not been announced for the Mac, the success of the previous two Unreal titles on the Mac and the likely hope of Epic Games to continue licensing the Unreal engine for cross-platform development give hope that we will be seeing Unreal 2 as well as its upcoming multiplayer sibling, Unreal Tournament 2.

Follow the link below to see the latest Unreal 2 screen shots at BonusWeb.

BonusWeb: Unreal 2 Screen Shots
Epic Games

Liquid Destiny Update on Crimson Deep
10:39 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Mac-only developer Liquid Destiny recently sent out word they have updated their web site with a new look. On it you will find information about the young company as well as their first Mac game project, The Crimson Deep. The title takes place in a post-nuclear fallout future, in which people have been forced to abandon Earth for a watery planet called Blue Bright. Crimson Deep calls itself an aquatic flight simulator, and it boasts a number of features:

A first person perspective is your view in the action as players pilot small, maneuverable fighter submarines.

Our goal for this title is nothing less then to do it right. This title will host a number of features including:

  • Plot driven solo campaign
  • Multiplayer action for a yet unspecified number of people
  • GameRanger support (how could we leave it out!)
  • Detailed environments (none of this seeing 5 km under water)
  • World Editor written for OS X
  • Game support for both OS 9 and OS X (and not just a Carbon knock off)
  • And a whole host of other cool goodies
The team is looking for more artistic and programming help, so if you'd like to participate, head over and give their site a look. No screen shots of Crimson Deep are yet available, though they do have some concept art and early 3D renderings already up for viewing.

Liquid Destiny: The Crimson Deep

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IMG Posts Myth III Review
10:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of MacSoft's Myth III: The Wolf Age. The game was created by the development team at Mumbo Jumbo's now defunct Irvine, California office and was published on the PC by Gathering of Developers. The Mac version suffered numerous delays but was finally released in early January.

Here's a snippet from the review:

The graphics have improved as the technology allowed for more and more pixels to be pushed across the screen with what are now standard graphics cards. Like the previous Myth games, Myth III uses a rotating camera system that allows for the user to rotate the camera to a new perspective as well as zoom in and out as needed. This works well and with amazingly few hang-ups (minus running into the edge of the map, where the camera runs out of room to rotate), players always being able to find a better perspective from which to analyze the battle. The graphics have been upgraded once again, and although itís not as huge a jump as it was between Myth I and Myth II, Myth III's graphics more than stand on their own.
If you're into strategy games, be sure to check out the rest of our review.

IMG Review: Myth III: The Wolf Age
MGF: Myth III Demo 1.0 (97 MB)

Dragon Alpha Price Drop, Update
6:30 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

Version 1.1.1 of Dracosoft's shareware title Dragon Alpha is now available for download. This role-playing game, which has received good reviews at MacGameFiles, offers the dracophobic gamer the chance to free mankind of an ancient winged menace.

While version 1.1 decreased the size of the game from over 35 MB to just under 20 MB, the new update incorporates the plug-in for an additional scenario:

The Meadows Plug is now standard with the new version. The Registration wall has been removed so you no longer have to register Dragon Alpha to play through The Meadows.
Dragon Alpha's system requirements have also widened from Mac OS X only to embrace Mac OS 8.6 with CarbonLib 1.1 or newer.

Perhaps the best news for gamers is that the price for Dragon Alpha has dropped from $25 to $19.99.

Dracosoft: Dragon Alpha
MGF: Dragon Alpha 1.1.1 (19.8 MB)

John Carmack Profile on Red Herring
6:08 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story

John Carmack, 3D programming guru and co-founder of id Software, is undoubtedly one of the most revered figures in the gaming industry, and his work, company, and influence are the subject of a new profile on Red Herring. In addition to helping create the classic first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and the Quake series, Carmack has also influenced the development of graphics standards for the industry as a whole. As part of its overview of Carmack, the article touches on his dedication to OpenGL as an alternative to Microsoft's DirectX technology:

When Microsoft tried to launch a graphics standard for PC hardware in the early '90s, John Carmack, the ace programmer behind some of the hottest games ever created for the PC, stayed away from it. Eight years later, Mr. Carmack is still steering clear of Microsoft's standard as he cranks out the next version of id Software's Doom.

"It's almost like a religious thing for him," grumbles Otto Berkes, a Microsoft program manager who until recently oversaw the company's DirectX graphics technology division. Unlike Mr. Carmack, many other game developers have adopted the technology.

Mr. Carmack, cofounder and lead programmer at id Software, is sticking to his own graphics technology. He is an absolute techno-purist who seeks to produce a common code that can run on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems — something he can't do with Microsoft's technology. And by being such a purist, he delights hard-core gamers and graphics experts. Among programmers, he is lionized for his advocacy of openness, particularly for allowing id Software's game engines to be used to create an infinite number of customized versions of its games. And among gamers, he is praised for unapologetically making the highly realistic and ultraviolent shooting games that delight young males and horrify parents and politicians.

To find out more about this legendary figure who helped to convince Steve Jobs and Apple to make better gaming machines, follow the link below.

Red Herring: John Carmack Profile
id Software

MacPlay: Mac Gaming Outlook Positive
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

News Factor Network recently posted an article titled Mac Gaming on the Rebound. The article stresses the recent resurgence of the Mac gaming market, backing up their claims with no small assistance from MacPlay's Henry Price, who points to several factors involved with the rebound.

Price notes that as a primary developer of Mac games, MacPlay's sales figures can be used as a gross measurement of the Mac gaming market. He notes that last year's Christmas sales were quite strong, and that the future prognosis looks bright, thanks in no small part to Apple's recent introduction of the new iMac.

He also reiterates MacPlay's commitment to Mac OS X-only titles:

There are four reasons we have decided to start developing all of our future products for Mac OS X exclusively. They are performance, reliability, quality, and efficiency. Performance, because games developed natively for Mac OS X will always play better than games developed for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
Price also notes that development time will be cut by as much as half by sticking only to OS X. When asked by IMG, he stated that this dramatic reduction is due primarily to the greater efficiency of the Cocoa development environment, and only secondarily to the need to code for and test on only one OS rather than two.

The rest of the article contains more information from Price concerning MacPlay's view of the market, as well as some rather interesting quotes regarding the Mac vs PC market. Those interested can find the full article at News Factor Network.

News Factor Network: Mac Gaming on the Rebound

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Otto Matic Strategy Guide Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Pangea Software programmer Brian Greenstone and MacCentral writer Peter Cohen have teamed up to create an online Otto Matic Strategy Guide. A funky, Mac-only sci-fi action title, Otto Matic boasts the distinction of being included with every new iMac.

The walkthrough covers the full gamut of Otto Matic's adventures, starting with Planet Earth and ending at Planet X. General tips are also covered for those looking for that extra something:

Many players don't realize that you can use the Jump-Jet to smash into and kill many enemies. Not all enemies can be killed by being hit by Otto when he's Jump-Jetting, but many can.

Many people also don't realize that you can press the Jump button to stop Otto from Jump-Jetting.

Those interested in getting a little help with Pangea's latest can find the Strategy Guide at MacCentral.

MacCentral: Otto Matic Strategy Guide
Otto Matic
IMG Preview: Otto Matic
MGF: Otto Matic Demo 1.0.2 (24.8 MB)

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Shadowbane Beta Widens
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Shadowbane web site was updated recently with new information on openings in their private beta. It seems 200 more lucky persons in their beta database were added on the first of February. This is good news, as it means testing is progressing into its next stages. Here's the scoop on what happened:

The Shadowbane Closed Beta test has expanded! 200 more Non Disclosure agreements have been going out since this morning! We are excited to allow more of our community the opportunity to help us test this next generation MMORPG! Stay tuned for more information next week, and don't forget to keep your Beta database information up to date!
The Shadowbane web site has also posted more screen shots of late. If you'd like to see how the game is looking, be sure to head over and check them out.

Shadowbane Screen Shots
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Friday, February 1, 2002

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Pre-Order at IMG Store8:19 AM
IMG Interviews Steve Jobs8:00 AM
ATI Q&A at Accelerate Your Mac6:00 AM
Game Developers Conference Fast Approaching6:00 AM
LA Times Interviews Gray Matter on RtCW6:00 AM
MacSoft's James Robrahn Talks Quality6:00 AM
OS X Quake, RtCW Game Browser Updated6:00 AM
USB Overdrive Beta Released for OS X6:00 AM
UT X Help; FSAA Options6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 1, 2002 on one page

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