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Thursday, February 7, 2002

Shadowbane Mac News
7:42 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

While it has been known that Wolfpack Studios has been working on a Mac version of their upcoming multiplayer online role-playing game Shadowbane, details have been minimal ever since a Mac version was announced a few years ago. In a recent IRC chat, however, company employees graciously provided some interesting tidbits on the oft-forgotten Mac version.

In the IRC chat, Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg of Wolfpack Studios and Chris "Vosx" Mancil of Ubi Soft Entertainment answered questions about the Mac OS X version of Shadowbane as well as the Mac beta test:

Nimrangul: Volrath asks, "I was wondering, will SB be carbonized to run on Mac OS X? I remember hearing something about this a while ago but I thought the status might have changed since then."

Ashen Temper: Unfortunately, I'm not the MacTechie.... Tacitus and Naarsin are but they are in a meeting right now. I know it runs on OS X and it runs very well since that is what both of them (and a few others) run in the office.

J: What about having a Mac-friendly beta test? Are there Mac-using beta testers now, and are you planning any drive to get more of them?

Vosx: We will be targeting more Apple users very soon - that's all I will say, we do have a few Mac users in the beta test at the moment.

Ashen Temper: There are some of them in the current crop (from the 250 initial and 200 upcoming) and more to come in the future.

Ashen Temper: Translation: No, buying a Mac won't get you into Beta any faster... but it runs just as well (and I've heard MAYBE even better.)

For more information on this game be sure to check out the Shadowbane web site. Look for more news on the Mac version of Shadowbane in the coming months (just don't hold your breath).

Wolfpack Studios

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Black & White Mac Ships
12:37 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

GraphSim today sent us a note with word that the Macintosh version of Black & White is now shipping in North America. The game originally began shipping in limited quantities at Macworld Expo San Francisco, but widespread release was delayed until a few more bugs could be hammered out.

Here's the official word from GraphSim's Jeff Morgan:

We are happy to announce that the Macintosh version of Black & White is now shipping in North America. The interest and enthusiasm for this blockbuster title has been overwhelming.
Black & White is available for order through the GraphSim web site. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order Black & White through the IMG Web Store, and your copy will ship within the next few days.

IMG Review: Black & White
Black & White

IMG Notes from nVidia's GeForce4 Launch
11:39 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On February 5th in San Francisco, nVidia formally introduced their GeForce4 family of graphics processing units, and IMG's Patrick Leyden was there.

In his report today, Leyden talks about the GeForce4 MX (known in development as the NV17) chipset, featured in Apple's new Power Mac G4 lineup, and the more powerful GeForce4 Ti (NV25) chipset, available soon from Apple as a build-to-order option.

Leyden also describes the launch event itself:

After seeing what the graphics giant was showing, Mac gamers have much to be excited about. Apple had a small but significant presence at the event. The company was not only featured in a demonstration area that spotlighted nVidia's OEM partners, President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took special note of Apple's achievement in being the first company to ship computers equipped with the GeForce4 MX. "The engineers at Apple were very fast at implementing the GPUs," Huang said. NVidia's president also praised Jon Rubinstein, Apple's Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, and his team for beating other vendors to market with the GeForce4 MX.
Follow the link below to read our feature article on nVidia's launch of the GeForce4.

IMG Feature: nVidia Launches the GeForce4

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Pyrogon Dev Diary; Candy Cruncher Soon
11:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new developer diary from Pyrogon's Brian Hook talks about the sometimes downtrodden role of the independent game maker. With his company consisting of only one other full-time employee, he's in a good position to speak on the subject. Candy Cruncher is their first released title at the moment, though they have much bigger plans for a massively multiplayer online title called Stellar Deep.

IMG contacted Hook recently about the Mac OS X port of Candy Cruncher, and he noted the game should be released very soon. The only sticking points for the game now are some ISP issues with downloading the file.

In the article, Hook references a number of other small but successful indie developers, including Mac-only houses like Pangea and Ambrosia. The article lays out their plans for Stellar Deep and how Pyrogon hopes to succeed with such a small staff. Here's a clip:

Having only two people working on a project greatly reduces the inefficiency of "decision friction," which basically affects any project with more than one person — it just gets worse the more people you have on a project.

Stellar Deep, our on-line science fiction RPG, benefits from this lack of decision friction. We can implement features and ideas very quickly, and we can avoid implementing stuff just because someone else is doing it. Because we have such a low headcount, we don't have to make a game that will sell 100K copies or have at least 50K subscribers to break even.

It's a bold statement in the days of games which have budgets exceeding that of major motion pictures, but we wish the best to Pyrogon and other indie developers in their efforts. Read through the rest of the diary for more information, and stay tuned for the release of Candy Cruncher very soon.

Candy Cruncher
Pyrogon Developer Diary

MacGames CD #5 In Duplication
10:28 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The fifth MacGames CD, a subscription-based CD full of great demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, and a whole bunch more, went to duplication earlier this week and will be shipping sometime next week.

If you're already a subscriber to the MacGames CD, be on the look out for the new CD soon! If you haven't gotten a subscription yet, you can still subscribe be guaranteed to receive the fourth MacGames CD.

What's included in the MGCD? How about new demos of Myth III, Deimos Rising, and more. Plus dozens of updates, shareware games, and much more.

As an added bonus, we're offering a FREE copy of MacPlay's Aliens vs Predator or Aspyr's Escape from Monkey Island, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, or Deus Ex with every new subscription (all you pay is the shipping and handling). These will also be mailed out with the new MGCD.

For more information, be sure to check out the IMG Store!

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Starcraft Updated to Version 1.09
9:22 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment, creator of the hit real-time strategy game Starcraft and the equally popular add-on Brood War, has just updated both titles to version 1.09. The previous 1.08 version was plagued with several bugs that this new version has corrected.

Here is a rundown of what has changed in version 1.09:

  • Fixed various replay issues.
  • Fixed a bug where Protoss and Terran victory and defeat background screens did not display.
  • Siege tanks no longer explode when placed on a beacon.
  • Added LAN play via UDP.
  • Fixed latency issue with Windows 2000.
  • Added template type, CompUSA.
The addition of UDP LAN play should be particularly useful to Mac OS X users.

Although a Mac version of the patch is not yet available for download from the Blizzard ftp site, Mac players can automatically update to 1.09 by starting Starcraft and connecting to, Blizzard's online gaming service.

Blizzard: Starcraft 1.09 Patch Info

Radeon 7000 OS X Compatibility Info Corrected
9:22 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Leading graphics card maker ATI has posted a correction in its tech support area concerning the compatibility of its Radeon 7000 3D card with Mac OS X on older G3 Macs:

This information applies to the following system configurations:
  • Radeon 7000 Mac Edition
  • Apple Beige G3 Power Mac or earlier Mac OS compatible computer
  • Mac OS X version 10.1 or later
Any monitors connected to the Radeon 7000 Mac Edition will appear blank when starting in Mac OS X on an Old World Power Mac system. This issue does not occur in Mac OS 9.x.

Old World Power Macs are those computers which do NOT have a flashable boot ROM. This includes Apple Beige G3 and earlier Power Macs, as well as Mac OS compatible systems from other vendors.

Radeon 7000 Mac Edition currently boots to a black screen under Mac OS X on Old World Power Macs due to limitations in the architecture of these systems. The System Requirements listed on initial packaging and literature for Radeon 7000 Mac Edition did not correctly reflect this limitation.

Packaging for initial shipments of Radeon 7000 Mac Edition lists "Mac OS X version 10.1 or later" as a supported operating system. Apple's System Requirements for Mac OS X currently include a G3 or later Power Mac computer.

System Requirements for Radeon 7000 Mac Edition have been updated on the ATI website and will be corrected on future packaging to read "Mac OS X currently requires Blue & White G3 systems or later."

Users currently experiencing problems booting a Beige G3 into Mac OS X with a Radeon 7000 Mac Edition should consider returning the product to their place of purchase. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Apple and ATI are working together to determine if this issue can be resolved. It may be resolved in a future update to Mac OS X. Check the Software Update applet in System Preferences for any Mac OS X updates as they become available.

If you have questions about this information, the company invites you to contact ATI Tech Support and refer to Info-Base article 3986.

ATI: No display on Radeon 7000 in OS X on Beige G3

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First Looks at Worms Blast
9:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two sites have recently taken a look at Team 17's upcoming title Worms Blast. The game is a divergence from the company's usual Worms tradition of blowing apart the well-armed invertebrates, moving to a more colorful puzzle focus. Both GameSpot UK and Games Domain have previewed the title, which is set for a Mac release later in the year by Feral Interactive.

The goal of the game is to shoot apart colored bricks which reside above your character's head. Your character is actually in a little boat that bobs up and down with the current. The bricks will change color depending on the color of your current weapon, so strategy is key. Worms Blast features many different missions, as well as multiplayer mode if you would like to go head to head with a friend.

Here's a clip from GameSpot's article:

Each character's boat handles differently, which impacts on how you play the game and there are several different types of block as well as special items like presents and stars. Blocks can be of the basic coloured variety or multicoloured (rainbow blocks), and there are bouncy blocks and anchor blocks too. The most common weapon in the game is the bazooka, which lobs a shell after being powered up using the same system in the other Worms games. Grenades also make an appearance, along with dynamite, a laser and a shotgun. You gain access to the extra weapons by releasing presents and picking them up from the surface of the water before they sink.
Head over and check out both previews now if you're interested in the title. There are also many screen shots of Worms Blast available.

GameSpot UK: Worms Blast Preview
Games Domain: Worms Blast Preview
Feral Interactive
Worms Blast
Buy Worms Blast

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Raven's Raymond-Judy Leaves for Destineer
7:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Michael Raymond-Judy (also known as MRJ), a level designer who worked on Star Trek: Voyager — Elite Force and has been working as Design Lead on Jedi Knight 2 for Raven Software, is leaving the company to join Peter Tamte's Destineer Studios.

In a post on Raven's forums, MRJ reveals he'll be moving at the end of February:

Well, rather than having to deal with leaks and rumors and last-minute disclosure fallout, I will just say up front that I will be leaving Raven at the end of February. I have loved every minute (OK, well, EVERY MINUTE might be an exaggeration, no matter how great it's been...) of my almost nine years here, and leaving was a surprise to me as well since I thought nothing could pry me loose from here, but an opportunity has come along for me which I just can't pass up. I'd rather not get into details right away about what the new job will entail, but I can say I'll be working at another game company called Destineer Studios in Minneapolis, and at least part of the job will be the same sort of things I do for Raven - and then some.
What exactly will MRJ be working on? In past conversations with Tamte, the most we could get out of him was that Destineer is working on a cross-platform game built on a new engine.

That Destineer could tempt a designer of Raymond-Judy's talents away from one of the foremost game development studios in the industry suggests great things to come.

Destineer Studios
MRJ Leaves Raven Software

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Red Faction 1.2 Beta 3 Released
7:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The flood of updates just keep on rolling. GraphSim has released Red Faction 1.2 beta 3, which corrects an interface bug when joining a game. Here are more details on the bug fix in beta 3:

This update should take care of the interface problem that occurred when trying to join games with user maps. This update will now inform players if they are unable to join a game, without creating problems with the interface. Players should be able to join a game by placing a copy of the levels VPP file into the user_maps multi folder.
To download the 1.8 MB update, head over to our sister site,

IMG Review: Red Faction
Red Faction
MGF: Red Faction 1.2 Beta 3 Update (1.8 MB)

Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 6, 2002

IMG Previews Return to Castle Wolfenstein1:52 PM
WipeOut 2097 Shipping1:27 PM
IGN Interviews Black & White's Peter Molyneux10:50 AM
nVidia Launches GeForce49:11 AM
Aliens vs Predator and Giants Updates6:00 AM
Blizzard Talks Warcraft III, Promises Starcraft II6:00 AM
Icewind Dale II Announced for PC6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, February 6, 2002 on one page

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Tuesday, February 5, 2002
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