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Tuesday, March 5, 2002

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Lineage Test Server Receives Mac Updates
9:26 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

NCsoft, makers of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Lineage: The Blood Pledge, recently updated their site with the news that the Lineage Test Server has recently been updated with a number of bug fixes and additions specific to Mac clients:

  • Support for windowed mode. Press cmd-return to toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode.
  • Right mouse button and mouse wheel function the same as the PC version.
  • Pressing the control key in the title screens no longer crashes the game.
  • Disconnects are detected and reported to the user.
  • Players can now quit out of pledges.
  • Mail sent from the Macintosh client is now readable on all platforms.
  • Pressing ctrl-P will take a screenshot and place the file on the desktop.
  • Fixed some random spurious crashes.
  • Game music is fully utilized.
  • When deleting a bookmark, backspace can be used as an alternate to the delete key.
  • Emblems uploaded from the Mac no longer swap red and blue colors.

The folks at NCsoft invite current Mac beta testers to try out the latest test server and give their feedback. Interested players can find instructions for connecting to the test server at the Lineage web site.

Lineage: Mac Testing

Ambrosia to Host Coldstone Chat
11:45 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Andrew Welch, whose Ambrosia Software publishes the Coldstone Game Engine, has told IMG that Ambrosia will be hosting an Internet Relay Chat this Thursday with Coldstone's developer, Dee Brown of Beenox:

Join us for a live Q&A session about Coldstone, the game creation engine for Mac OS 9/X, at 4 pm on Thursday, March 7th! The creator of Coldstone, Beenox's Dee Brown will be there to field your questions, along with Ambrosia's el Presidente, Andrew Welch. To get in on the chat, simply point your IRC client at:

...and join #coldstone.

Available to all, Coldstone is the cross-platform (Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Windows) game creation engine used by Ambrosia in their recent role-playing game, Pillars of Garendall. (You can download a demo of Coldstone from our sister site, MacGameFiles.)

Welch notes that those unfamiliar with IRC can find more information at the IRC Help web site, linked below.

Internet Relay Chat Help
Pillars of Garendall
MGF: Coldstone 1.0 Demo (22.9 MB)
MGF: Pillars of Garendall 1.0 Demo (30 MB)

Mac Hall Brainstorm Warning: Seek Shelter
10:57 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Always game to follow a flash of insight wherever it might lead, the cartoonists at Mac Hall have invented a new type of 3D shooter that fills a much-needed gap in the gaming world:

There are a lot of terrible ideas out there. Someone might even be having one at this very moment. The brainstorming session portrayed in this comic is an example of such a notion.
Check out the latest Mac Hall and see how a little imagination can be a dangerous thing.

IMG: Mac Hall

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Wolfenstein Xtreme Interviews Nerve
10:30 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Wolfenstein Xtreme recently posted an interview with Josh Jay of Nerve Software. Jay was the "Art/Level/Game Designer" for the multiplayer mode of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the sequel to the old but classic Mac shooter Wolfenstein 3D being brought to the Mac by Aspyr and expected to ship sometime this month.

Here is an excerpt from the interview at Wolfenstein Xtreme:

WolfensteinX: Now that everything is finished what was the hardest part when doing RtCW?

Jay: I think the hardest part of the project was working within the time frame we were given. Wolf_MP had a pretty short development time. We tried to keep our focus and get it done without getting too caught up in the extra elements that are always tempting to implement. Every feature, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant will impact the rest of the game in some way. Six months is a tight schedule to create, balance, polish, and release even a small game.

Follow the link below to read the full interview, and be sure to check out IMG's own preview of Return to Castle Wolfenstein's single-player game. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can even pre-order a copy at the IMG Store.

IMG Preview: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein Xtreme: Nerve Software Interview
MGF: Wolfenstein MP Test 2 for OS X (64.7 MB)
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Apple Examines 4x4 Evolution 2
9:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new preview at the Apple Games web site takes a look at one of Aspyr Media's newest releases, 4x4 Evolution 2. This rare racing title is a sequel to the well-met original from Terminal Reality. 4x4 Evo 2 adds even more powerful SUVs and off-road vehicles than before, along with bumping up the graphics and map variety. Another strong selling point for the game is full Mac OS X support for those wanting to race under Apple's newest operating system.

Here's a clip from the article by Brad Cook giving more details on the game:

Unlike many other racing games, however, 4x4 Evo 2 doesn't feature race courses with definable tracks. You follow an arrow that points in the general direction you should drive, but you can look for shortcuts that will get you to the finish line faster. In fact, you're encouraged to look for faster routes, because your computer opponents are merciless drivers who will happily push you into a boulder if they get a chance.
Check out the rest of the article for a look at 4x4 Evolution 2 as well as some impressive screen shots of the game in action.

Apple: The Next Stage in Racing Fun
4x4 Evolution 2
Terminal Reality
Buy 4x4 Evolution 2

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Shadowbane Beta Tester of the Week
9:31 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

In order to recognize the hard work and competitive spirit of the indispensable Shadowbane beta testers, Ubi Soft posts a tribute to each week's highest-ranking tester. This week, the honors go to Tocca, who managed to reach level 92.

A sample of the praise for Tocca and runner-up Rilkasak:

He's pointed out a few exploits such as the selling "dupe" and being able to place walls with stairs in adventure zones to kill mobs with impunity, as well as gave some good direct feedback regarding gameplay and how people are leveling.

Tocca is also a very dedicated tester; I see him in-game all the time.

Actually he's rank 8 now (82) as is Rilkasak Rilkasak character (80). They've blown past Angus who is still 69.

Tocca is a really good choice. He submitted lots of good bugs!

I'd be comfortable including Rilkasak in that nomination as well. He and Tocca play together a lot and usually find those exploits together. They have definitely worked hard this round to find lots of issues and communicate them up.

For screen shots and more details, follow the "Closed Beta Testers of the Week" link below.

Shadowbane: Closed Beta Testers of the Week
Wolfpack Studios

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Radeon 8500 Comparison Tests Available
9:26 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac performance site Accelerate Your Mac! has recently posted preliminary test results on ATI's latest monster, the Radeon 8500. Featuring full screen anti-aliasing (FSAA) and able to support two monitors right out of the box, this new graphics card has many Mac gamers speculating as to its true capabilities.

The review itself contains a small tilt as to the reviewer's first impressions:

The 8500 is the first card I've seen on the Mac since the Voodoo5 that actually has support in current titles for some of its advanced features. (I'm still waiting for support of my GeForce3's advanced features for instance. FSAA enabled drivers for the original Radeon AGP are said to be released soon, but not yet and it doesn't have the horsepower of the 8500.) Every graphics card I've seen so far is a compromise — none excel at everything. Although I think there's room for improvement in the drivers, considering the 8500's cost is only about $100 more than what the original Radeon AGP is selling for at some sources, it's by far the most attractive Mac graphics card to date.
The preliminary tests, which were done on a dual 1 GHz G4, pit the 8500 against every other AGP graphics card currently available for the Mac, including the 7500, the original Radeon, and the Geforce2 MX, 4 MX, and 3. An exhaustive battery of tests, including several benchmarking programs and games run at various resolutions, produced an interesting gamut of results. For those who swear by Quake III for benchmarking, it must be noted that the reviewer found that the 8500 scored the highest running at 1600x1200x32 bits. However, the GeForce3 scored considerably better when run through a battery of Unreal Tournament tests, even when subjected to RAVE mode.

However, as most gamers know, even the most stringent tests and latest hardware specs don't necessarily guarantee unquestionable results. Curiously, in Photoshop 5.5 scrolling tests, the Geforce4 MX managed to trump both the GeForce3 and the Radeon 8500 by a fairly large margin.

Readers interested in seeing the full slew of test results can find the entire review at Accelerate Your Mac.

IMG Preview: Radeon 8500 AGP
IMG Feature: Radeon 8500 in the Flesh
Accelerate Your Mac: Comparing the Radeon 8500
Radeon 8500

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WWII Online Beta Sign-up Issues Addressed
9:26 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Yesterday afternoon, IMG broke the news that has started accepting applications to beta test the Mac OS X client for Cornered Rat's World War II Online. Although the response has been great so far, Playnet would still like a wider range of gamers to apply.

A couple of minor issues regarding forum submission and system requirements cropped up during the sign-up process. According to a post by associate producer Dana "Gophur" Baldwin, the submission routine has been fixed and should work smoothly from now on. He also addressed the system requirements, which some gamers thought were excessively high:

The game is very intensive for both CPU and RAM. This is the reason that we elected to go G4 only at this phase of testing. We currently have Beta testers who are on G3 platforms. Please feel free to apply. It is likely a good idea that we include a few G3s in the testing to see what the minimum should be. We specified G4 simply because less than 400 Mhz will severely limit playability and thus testing. I invite you to apply if you have a G3 and are interested. You may also contact me at so that I know to look for your application.
The beta test sign-ups will be open until Monday, March 18, after which testers will be chosen and non-disclosure agreements sent out.

Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
World War II Online: Macintosh Beta Application

Mac Games News for Monday, March 4, 2002

Sign up to Beta Test WWII Online1:04 PM
IMG Previews WarCraft III Multiplayer12:25 PM
New Black & White Patch; Superstar Shepherd12:03 PM
EV Nova and pop-pop to Hit Tokyo6:00 AM
GarageGames Newsletter Online6:00 AM
Strange Flavour Joins Freeverse6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 4, 2002 on one page

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