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Monday, March 11, 2002

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Civilization III Updated to 1.17g
7:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

MacSoft has released a new patch for Civilization III, bringing the blockbuster strategy game by Sid Meier to version 1.17g. The first update, version 1.17f, fixed a large list of issues, but some of the updated code from the PC version also caused a new crashing bug not found in the original version.

Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver went back and corrected the crashing bug, as well as some other less-critical problems. Here's a partial list:

  • Fixed issue where the game soundtrack would not fade down properly when playing the space-race movie.
  • Fixed issue where the Mac port would crash when loading some types of custom games created on the PC. As a result, some save games created on the
    Mac in 1.17f and earlier may no longer work, but odds are that they were pretty unstable to begin with.
  • PC bug: fixed random crashing during turn upkeep.
  • PC bug: fixed crash when disposing of certain types of units, mainly transports.

Civilization III fans should head over to MacGameFiles and download the version 1.17g update. For more information, be sure to read IMG's review at the link below.

IMG Review: Civilization III
Civilization III
Infogrames: Civilization III Patch History
MGF: Civilization III 1.17g Update (1.7 MB)
Buy Civilization III

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IMG Reviews 4x4 Evolution 2
1:22 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr's recently released supercharged truck racing game, 4x4 Evolution 2. 4x4 Evolution 2 is a highly customizable game with more than 120 off-road vehicles to choose from and over 125 performance upgrades to equip them with, including performance shocks, race tires, and brush guards. Gamers can choose from 32 different and exotic courses that span the globe.

Here's a snippet from Eddie Park's review:

Let me say one thing right off the bat. I am not a racing fan, a driving fan, or even a car fan. My knowledge of automobiles extends to changing the oil, swapping a spare tire, and getting from point A to point B without mishap. That being said, I wasn't terribly thrilled with the prospect of reviewing this game.

You can imagine my surprise when, after putting 4x4 Evo 2 through its paces, I discovered a racing game with enough flexibility, creativity, and fun to charm even a non-racing game fan such as myself. What astounded me even more was that I was playing it on a computer of all things — my earlier mindset regulated that consoles were infinitely superior machines on which to play racing games.

How does Park rate 4x4 Evolution 2 overall? Be sure to check out the rest of our review.

IMG Review: 4x4 Evolution 2
4x4 Evolution 2
Buy 4x4 Evolution 2

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Paul Jaquays Parts from id
1:17 PM | David Finley | Comment on this story

After five years of designing levels for the Doom and Quake series of first-person shooters, Paul Jaquays has decided to leave id Software. Here is an excerpt from the update Jaquays made to his .plan file on Friday:

After much consideration and soul searching, I've decided to part ways with id. Today, March 8th, is my last day as an id Software employee.

After five years of making first person shooters like Quake 2, Quake III Arena, and Quake III: Team Arena, I've come to the realization that my heart just isn't in it any more. For this reason, I've decided to make a slight shift in career direction and seek other design and development challenges. I have accepted a position with Ensemble Studios (the creators of the Age of Empires series and Age of Mythology) here in Dallas, and will be taking up my new duties with them in short order. I'm excited about the new job and I understand that the entire team there is excited to have me come on board.

I want to thank everyone who has made my id experience an interesting ride, including the guys here at id, Ms. Donna, and especially the friends I've made in the on-line mapping, modeling, and texturing communities.

For contact details and the rest of Jaquays's announcement, follow the link below.

Ensemble Studios
id Software
Webdog: Paul Jaquays's .plan file
Buy Quake III Team Arena

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WWII Online OS X Beta Sign-ups Continue
12:00 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story and Cornered Rat Software continue to accept applications to beta test the Mac OS X client for their massively-multiplayer online wargame, World War II Online. They are looking for several hundred new testers for this first phase of testing, while the second phase will increase the number of testers to over a thousand.

Even if you have a system on the borderline of the requirements (400 MHz G3 and up), you are encouraged to apply. While there is currently no checkbox for G3 processors on the beta test application, Playnet would still like to test WWII Online on a wide variety of configurations to make this game available to the largest audience possible.

If you would like to help test, fill out the application form at the link below. (If you have a G3, you should then e-mail with your registration information so he can mark the application as a G3-based system.)

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

Pre-Order Icewind Dale at the IMG Store
10:31 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The upcoming epic role-playing game Icewind Dale from MacPlay is now available for pre-order at the IMG Web Store. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order Icewind Dale for just $39.

Here's the description of the game from MacPlay's web site:

In the northernmost reaches of the Forgotten Realms lies the frozen and untamed region known as Icewind Dale. Journey deep into the Spine of the World mountains, a harsh and unforgiving territory teeming with fearsome and merciless beasts. There you must confront an ancient evil that threatens to unleash an unspeakable horror upon the face of Faerun.

Icewind Dale is one of the largest computer dungeon adventures ever created for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Developed using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules by the Black Isle team that brought you Baldur's Gate and Fallout, Icewind Dale features improved graphics for advanced 3D effects that will leave you spellbound. With a new interface and streamlined player control, there's nothing to stand between you and glory; nothing except for 70 types of new monsters and some of the most formidable combat you'll ever encounter.

System Requirements

  • G3 233
  • Mac OS 8.6 or Later / 160 MB RAM
  • Mac OS X / 128 MB RAM
  • 690 MB hard drive space required
Icewind Dale is scheduled to be released in early April.

The MacGames CD is a CD-ROM subscription service featuring the best in Macintosh game demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, cheaters and much more. Get eight issues per year (delivered every six weeks) and save big bucks!

For a limited time, when you subscribe to the MacGames CD, you can get a full version of Aliens vs Predator, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Deus Ex, or Escape From Monkey Island; all you pay is the shipping ($5 USA, $7 Canada, $12 international).

Each subscription or renewal also includes free registration of the shareware game guide Game Doctor plus great discounts from Mac game stores and publishers. For more information, please visit the IMG Web Store.

IMG Preview: Icewind Dale
Icewind Dale
Buy Icewind Dale

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EV Nova at Final Candidate 3
10:22 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

Yesterday morning, programmer Matt Burch, in his usual terse manner, posted this update to the Escape Velocity: Nova progress log:

EV Nova 1.0.0fc3 released for testing.
This third final candidate would seem to suggest that the game is imminent. Final candidate is, of course, the designation given to a program that is believed to be ready for release, pending the results of a final round of testing. Once any show-stopping bugs have been worked out, EV Nova should be ready to go.

Escape Velocity: Nova is the third installment in the legendary space exploration series from Ambrosia Software. The first two titles have maintained a large following over the years, largely because of their ability to be heavily modified by users, a feature that is carried into EV Nova.

Follow the links below to find out more about this game, and be sure to check out our sneak preview of Escape Velocity: Nova.

IMG Preview: Escape Velocity: Nova
Escape Velocity: Nova
Ambrosia: ev3 progress log

Game Doctor 1.3.3 Released
10:14 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Today, Inside Mac Games released Game Doctor 1.3.3, the largest collection of hints, cheats, walkthroughs, and other game enhancements (called "prescriptions") available for the Macintosh.

Here are a few of the program's features:

  • Over 1000 prescriptions, with more to follow!
  • Over 100 game patches not available anywhere else.
  • More than ten prescription types, including:

    • Text prescriptions with embedded sounds, pictures, files, and Internet links.
    • Patch prescriptions that automatically locate and duplicate the target file.
    • Progressive Walkthrough prescriptions that use the Universal Hint System.
  • An open architecture that lets anyone create prescriptions using simple, intuitive editors.
  • Automatic compression for smaller prescription files.
  • Direct links to game publishers from within prescriptions.
  • Comprehensive online help and help balloons.
  • Commercial look and feel at a shareware price.

Game Doctor is available either as a full download or, for those with slower Internet connections, as a smaller download without the strategy guides and walkthoughs. A Game Doctor registration is $10 and can be ordered through our online store. Game Doctor registration is also included if you subscribe to the MacGames CD.

For current users of the program, a March '02 update is also available to grab and import into your current list of prescriptions. This update contains new prescriptions for many games, including:

  • Aliens vs Predator
  • Baldur's Gate
  • Blades of Exile
  • Civilization III
  • Crystal Caliburn
  • Dracula Resurrection
  • Earth 2140
  • Messenger
  • Otto Matic
  • Summoner
  • Terminus
  • Tropico
  • Vampire: The Masquerade

The March '02 update is only needed for users with an older version of Game Doctor. Those downloading the full version 1.3.3 will get all of these prescriptions included. Head over to our sister site MacGameFiles to begin downloading.

Look for a Carbonized version of Game Doctor as well as a new prescription update sometime next month.

MGF: Game Doctor 1.3.3 (3.7 MB)
MGF: Game Doctor March '02 Update (136 KB)

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Age of Empires II Updated to 1.04
7:12 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Bold, by Destineer has released the eagerly-awaited update to version 1.04 of Age of Empires II: Gold Edition, featuring the ability to restore a saved multiplayer game.

Players can now save a multiplayer game at any time and restart it later, and if one of the computers in a multiplayer game should crash, the game will now automatically be saved on another player's machine so that all players can restart the game where they left off.

Other problems addressed include:

  • GameRanger launch problem under OS X.
  • Problems with OS 9 joining an OS X hosted game.
  • Recent Games list in the Join Game dialog. It was not remembering recent IP addresses.
  • Under OS 9, alleviated problems with background applications trying to come to the front. Background applications (like Instant Messenger and Palm Desktop) should not interfere any longer.
  • Hardware cursor is now always used. This eliminates problems with the cursor disappearing after dismissing certain dialogs.
  • The game now deletes its temporary files when the game quits. This should eliminate the problem of temporary files being found in the trash can upon restart.
  • "Assertion (bytesToRead>=28) failed" problem during multiplayer games.
  • Crash in certain circumstances when trying to join a game with an invalid IP address.

Thanks to Mark Krenek and Brad Oliver at Westlake Interactive for their diligence in hunting down and squashing these bugs.

To download the version 1.04 update, follow the link below to our sister site, MacGameFiles.

IMG Review: Age of Empires II
Age of Empires II
MGF: Age of Empires II 1.04 Update (1.7 MB)

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WarBirds III Goes OS X-Compatible
7:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

iEntertainment Networkhas released two optional beta updates to WarBirds III, numbered 03.05.02 and 03.07.02.

The 03.05.02 update adds a large number of new features. First and foremost, iEntertainment has added the Kaga IJN aircraft carrier and support for carrier-based operations, adding a whole new dimension to the game. Along with the Kaga comes the Fletcher-class destroyer and three new aircraft. Torpedoes are now modeled in the game. A very large list of bug fixes, minor improvements, and interface and console changes is available at the WarBirds III web site.

Version 03.07.02, released two days after 03.05.02, fixes a number of very major bugs in the Mac OS X version:

  • OS X cockpits not displaying fixed.
  • OSX sounds not working fixed.
  • New effects returned to the game.
  • Seafire MkII now has a tailhook.
  • Seafire MkII now can utilize the "Cockpit Lean View."
  • A new host is in place that should fix the "double carrier deck" bug.

WarBirds III is a massively-multiplayer online flight simulator with limited ground vehicle support. The sim allows players to engage in aerial combat over Western Europe for fees starting at $9.95 per month.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
WarBirds 030502 Update for OS 9 (38 MB)
WarBirds 030502 Full for OS X (105 MB)
WarBirds 030702 Update for OS 9 (8 MB)
WarBirds 030702 Update for OS X (12 MB)

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Black & White Patch Delayed
7:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last Monday IMG brought you word from Feral Interactive of a new patch coming soon for Black & White. They hoped to have it ready by the end of the week, but it seems there will be a slight delay while they put it through a final round of testing. If you're wondering what might be fixed, here's a quick rundown of the changes:

This patch also includes the Village Banter add-in, additional secret creatures, and support for custom creature tattoos. We also hope to add support for additional monitor resolutions, however if this feature does not get through testing in time then it will be included in the upcoming multiplayer patch.
Stay tuned to IMG for news of the patch's release. Also be on the lookout for the multiplayer patch, expected later this month.

IMG News: New Black & White Patch
IMG Review: Black & White
Black & White

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All Things Unreal
7:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Computer gaming site HomeLAN Fed recently posted an interview with Mark Rein, vice-president of Epic Games. The interview, which is quite exhaustive in its fact-digging, focuses on any and all things related to Epic's Unreal franchise of first-person shooters, including the upcoming Unreal 2 and Unreal Tournament 2.

UT2, though it was announced later than U2, seems to be on the development fast track, and Rein is optimistic that the PC version should be available by the end of June. For those wondering if vehicle support will play a role, Rein notes that he's unsure about this detail, though he points to Unreal Championship, currently in development for the Xbox, as being the title with definite vehicle usage.

Interestingly enough, UT2's sudden appearance on the scene seems to have influenced the original plans for including multiplayer with U2:

Unreal Tournament 2 was not anticipated at any time during the design of Unreal 2 nor during much of the development. Now that we have UT2 clearly in the picture, and ready to go before Unreal 2, it doesn't make a lot of sense for the dev team to expend their time and energy polishing multiplayer when they can use that time to polish an exceptional single player experience. The market has proven that this approach makes more sense and I don't think anyone will be disappointed by this once they've had a chance to play it. So to answer the question multiplayer will disappear from Unreal 2 in exchange for it being a bigger, better and more focused single player game. What will happen to the multiplayer assets already developed for Unreal 2 is still a question.
Though some may be disappointed to hear that U2 will not contain multiplayer capabilities, Rein touts U2's single-player story as being one of its most outstanding features, not to mention its gorgeous graphics, described as "absolutely spectacular on a massive scale." He currently anticipates a Christmas release date for the PC version.

Also discussed in the interview is the Unreal engine itself, which besides being the focal point for various mods, has been used for best-selling titles such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is reportedly still in the top ten and is rapidly becoming one of the highest-selling PC games of all time. Also noted is the fact that both a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and a "Mario-like" platformer are being developed using the Unreal engine.

The rest of the interview focuses on the current mod potential of the Unreal engine, Epic's plans for upcoming trade shows, and some thoughts on the Unreal Performance Test used to show off the advances made with the Unreal engine. Those interested in learning more can find the whole interview at HomeLAN Fed.

HomeLAN Fed: Mark Rein Interview
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament

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Shadowbane Beta Shots
7:00 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

Ubi Soft, distributors of Shadowbane, have replaced their "Beta Tester of the Week" news feature with several screenshots submitted by their intrepid beta testers.

The four screenshots below were taken by our closed beta testers during their far reaching travels around the land of Aerynth. We will be replacing our beta tester of the week feature with a more general weekly update featuring stories, screenshots, and other interesting events from closed beta. We hope you enjoy this week's screenshots.
Click the link below to view the screenshots and catch a sneak peak at next week's beta journal.

Shadowbane: Screenshots from the Arcane3D Engine
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Friday, March 8, 2002

Massive Microsoft Giveaway Next Week2:04 PM
Australian DoD Picks Harpoon 31:57 PM
IMG Reviews Spider-Man1:41 PM
Sigma Chess Carbonized, Upgraded1:39 PM
New Mudpie Shot, Movie Revealed12:06 PM
Icewind Dale Goes Gold12:05 PM
Descent 3 OpenGL Updated11:50 AM
Lineage Client for Mac OS X Patched6:00 AM
More Neverwinter Nights Details6:00 AM
NY Times on Game Development6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 8, 2002 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, March 7, 2002
Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
Monday, March 4, 2002
Friday, March 1, 2002

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