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Thursday, March 14, 2002

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Medal of Honor Coming to Mac
8:22 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today "informally" announced that they will be publishing the wildly popular World War II first person shooter, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. The announcement was made during a chat on "Your Mac Life" last night.

The port to the Mac, which was code-named "Miller" by Westlake Interactive, is being done by Duane Johnson and has already reached the First Playable stage. Westlake's Suellen Adams told IMG last night that the game should be shipping in August but also said that if all goes well it might even ship earlier (early summer).

Set during the most trying years of the war, from 1942 to 1945, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault gives you a sense of the courage it took to survive the landings at Normandy, the assault at Arzew, a rendezvous with the French Resistance outside the village of St. Lo and the push through the heavily defended border of Germany itself to take the bridge at Remagen. You assume the role of Lt. Mike Powell, member of the famed 1st Ranger Battalion, who gets recruited by the OSS and battles through over 20 levels based on historical military campaigns of World War II.

Other Medal of Honor features include:

  • Over 20 levels that the player must accomplish specific objectives and goals in order to succeed and advance.
  • Fully realized 3-D worlds utilizing the powerful Quake III engine.
  • Over 1000 unique character animations for unsurpassed level of realism.
  • Multiple online options including team combat and traditional last man standing modes.
  • Encounters with 22 different enemies including Wehrmacht Snipers, Kradschützen Motorcycle Troops, and Gestapo Officers.
  • Access to over 21 historically accurate World War II era weapons, including Thompson submachine guns, Mark II Frag Grenades, .50 al mounted machine guns, flame-throwers, and "sticky bombs."
  • Four different stationary weapons that the player can use against the enemy.
  • All new interactive vehicles including the M4 Sherman tank and the M3 Half Track.
  • More than 18 enemy vehicles including the Tiger Mark I Heavy Tank, Stuka Dive Bombers, and V2 Rockets.
  • Weather and time-of-day effects.
  • Assault enemy units alone and as part of a crack military squad.
  • Special "disguise" mode that allows players to put on enemy uniforms to evade capture.
  • Highly destructible interactive environments.
  • Original orchestral score by Medal of Honor composer Michael Giacchino.
  • Sound effects by the award winning Medal of Honor sound design team at EALA.

A formal announcement by Aspyr Media will be made in the coming weeks. We'll be sure to keep you posted on any future developments.

Aspyr Media
Medal of Honor
Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

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IMG Previews pop-pop
1:44 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a sneak preview by Kit Pierce of Ambrosia Software's upcoming arcade game, pop-pop:

I love Ambrosia Software. I have loved them since I bought my first Mac, an LC II. Pretty sweet little machine in its day. 4 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, 12" color monitor included... *sigh* Those were the days that the guys at the local Mac lab on campus would let me walk in with blank diskettes and walk out with armfuls of shareware. Here is where I discovered those classics like Solarian II, Armor Alley, and Maelstrom. I almost dismissed Maelstrom as just another asteroids clone, but let me tell you, friends, I am glad I did not, for many many hours of play on Maelstrom sparked my current love affair with Ambrosia Software that burns on today. I was tickled pink when given the chance to check out one of Ambrosia's latest: pop-pop.

Being heavily influenced by Arkanoid, pop-pop puts an interesting spin on an old favorite. Basic single-player gameplay is simple enough: you have a paddle you can move on both the x and y axis across a limited field of play. There is a ball you must bounce up and down from the paddle to bubble-like bricks suspended above your field of play. Break the bricks, and sometimes goodies float down to your paddle. Some are good and some are bad, and each affects the gameplay in some way. We all know this part, but then Ambrosia starts to turn up the intensity.

For the rest of our preview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: pop-pop

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Lineage Changes
1:33 PM | David Finley | Comment on this story

Yesterday, NCsoft published several changes in Lineage: The Blood Pledge:

  • Heine and Giran guards will now accept declarations of war.
  • Dragon Scale Mail has been renamed Dragon Scale Armor.
  • The new player areas have received three new NPCs: a polymorpher, a weapon Enchanter, and an armor Enchanter. The effects from these NPCs are temporary and last 30 minutes.
  • Sea dancers no longer assist other creatures. The sea dancers will attack only if attacked themselves.

For more information on Lineage, visit the game's web site and take a peek at the IMG preview, both linked below.

IMG Preview: Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage News

Massive Microsoft Giveaway, Day 3
10:35 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

The second day of our Microsoft giveaway has ended and the three lucky winners of the SideWinder Precision 2 joystick have been chosen. They'll be contacted via e-mail to verify their personal information. So without further ado:

Greg Podlowski
Jerry Dyson
Matteo Tomasini
On the third day of our giveaway, we'll be giving away three of Microsoft's excellent Internet Keyboard Pro.

Priced at $44.95, this keyboard features a soft, tactile key response, two USB ports, a detachable palm rest, and 19 hot keys that allow for quick access to often used functions. (The quick keys are currently only active in Mac OS 9 with the IntelliType drivers. Mac OS X drivers are currently in development.)

Head on over to our contest page to enter for your chance to win. The third set of winners will be announced tomorrow.

IMG: Microsoft Hardware Giveaway
Internet Keyboard Pro

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Neverwinter Nights Interview with Greg Zeschuk of BioWare
8:22 AM | David Finley | Comment on this story

Ever wonder how game developer BioWare got its name? GameReviewOnline recently asked that question of Greg Zeschuk, joint CEO and co-executive producer at BioWare, and here's what he had to say:

There isn’t a specific story behind the BioWare name - we wanted to find a name to represent the human-machine interface. We felt "BioWare" did the trick.

BioWare was formed by 3 partners, all medical doctors - Augustine Yip, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk. In addition to developing games, BioWare made a few medical simulations in the very early days. Aug left BioWare in mid 1997, leaving me and Ray to run the company and be co-exec producers on the projects.

Another subject that came up during the interview was the revolutionary role-playing game Neverwinter Nights, expected to ship in summer 2002:
GRO: Which of the many features in NWN is BioWare most proud of, and will this have an impact upon future Bioware titles?

Zeschuk: That's a really tough question, but my best shot at an answer is the module creation tools - I strongly believe they’re going to change the world of development forever. As far as impact on our future titles I think the tools will also have a large impact because of the creative things we’re going to see from the fans. After we see what some of the ingenious things the fans are doing we’re going to get a better idea what the tools can do, and what we can do in the future.

It's too bad the module creation tools aren't coming to the Mac. For more of the interview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Neverwinter Nights
GRO: Greg Zeschuk Interview
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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WarBirds III Updated to 03.13.02
8:22 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

WarBirds III, the World War II online simulation, has been updated to version 03.13.02. Creator iEntertainment explains that the update, like all the others this March, is optional.

Version 03.13.02 adds the Macchi C202 Folgore, an Italian clone of the F4U Corsair. In addition, it updates the P-47C "Jug" and the SBD Dauntless. A number of bugs have been fixed, as listed on the Warbirds website:

  • Fixed two crash bugs:
  • Fixed: Guns now display on the P47C from within the cockpit.
  • Fixed: Ordnance bug on 250# bombs. Instead of 250# bomb, it displayed 2!
  • Fixed: OSX calibration identification.
  • Fixed: OSX can now select medium texture quality.
  • Fixed: Kaga does not now want to default to SpitV gunsight.
  • Jumping into tank gunner spot automatically zooms to smallest FOV.
  • Hat switch now works for fine adjustment on any gun with a telescopic sight.
  • Improvements to the field name list box.
  • Horsepower increased in the tanks.
  • Two new gun types: 7.7mm and 12.7 mm Brendo SAFAT guns on the Macchi.
  • arenaflags2 bit 32 is now interpreted as disabling CV/DD distance icons (CM setting).
  • Added autologin to an arena feature. To do so you need these lines in your init.cfg file (in your default \WarBirds III folder)

WarBirds III is a massively-multiplayer online flight sim (with limited ground vehicle support) allowing players to engage each other during WWII in the skies over Western Europe.

IMG Review: WarBirds III
WarBirds III
iEntertainment Network
Download OS 9 Update (11 MB)
Download OS X Update (12 MB)

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New Carbon Releases from e.p.i.c. Appear
8:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

It seems the small German company e.p.i.c. interactive has been busy of late, Carbonizing a number of their titles to run natively on Mac OS X. Three of their games, The Feeble Files, Simon the Sorcerer 2, and the recently released Birdie Shoot have already been Carbonized. More should be coming soon, according to e.p.i.c.'s Thomas Steiding:

New OS X versions available

Now available for download are Carbonized versions of our classic cartoon adventures Simon the Sorcerer 2 and The Feeble Files. Also available for download is a Carbon version of our arcade fun shooter Birdie Shoot. A carbon version for realtime strategy simulation Knights and Merchants is currently in the works.

For more information or to download the updated applications, see their web site.

IMG Review: Knights and Merchants
IMG Review: Simon the Sorcerer II
e.p.i.c. Download Page
Knights and Merchants
Simon the Sorcerer II
Buy Knights and Merchants
Buy Simon the Sorcerer II

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Updated Look at WarCraft III Beta
8:22 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard recently made some drastic changes to the (PC-only) small public beta of WarCraft III. GameSpot has posted a new article in which they highlight the differences from the older version of the game and chat with Blizzard's Bill Roper about the title's progress.

The article highlights a number of changes, especially within the race of Orcs. Both their housing and units have been tweaked to distinguish them from the Humans. Here's an excerpt explaining more:

Perhaps an even bigger switch for the orcs is the disappearance of the pig farm. That basic structure from the days of Warcraft II was too much like the human farm. The orcs now build orc burrows to expand their population limit, and these sunken buildings also double as defensive bunkers. Burrows were in the initial beta release, but they weren't used much since Warcraft III's relatively low maximum population limit is just 90, much lower than Starcraft, and this makes it hard to permanently garrison bunkers. Now that any orc player needs burrows in any case, it's easy enough to just place them at base entrances for when an opponent attacks. The orcs also now have a separate defensive structure, the watch tower, which can hit air or ground targets.
Along with major changes to the Orcs, spellcasters and Heros in general also received updates to help elongate melees of combat and make them more useful.

Later in the piece, Roper answers questions on a variety of topics. They talk about the strategies being used in the beta among the testers, the difficulties in balancing four races, and even some about the packaging for the game.

While Roper thinks they are still on track for June release, no promises are given yet. He does have some information to share on the singleplayer campaign of the game:

We are working day and night on making our single player campaign our best yet, especially in terms of what kind of story based experience a strategy game can deliver. We have the majority of the Human campaigns laid out, several from the other races in the same state, have finished our scripting and have recorded a good amount of the voice-over. We are looking forward to the single player campaign being not only a great tool for learning the basic strategies of the game and the functionality of every unit, but also as a way to really grow the Warcraft universe.
If you've been following the game's progress closely, be sure to head over and check out GameSpot for all of these latest details. For a more general overview of WarCraft III, have a read through IMG's preview of the game.

IMG Preview: WarCraft III Multiplayer Beta
GameSpot: WarCraft III Beta Update
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Massive Microsoft Giveaway, Day 212:37 PM
IMG Reviews Survivor12:15 PM
Is Casual Software Piracy Really Casual?11:05 AM
X-Plane 6.10 Released9:04 AM
Baldur's Gate Mod Beta 1.05 for Diablo II: LoD7:58 AM
Galactic Patrol for OS X in Beta7:58 AM
OS X Running Quake I, II, & III7:58 AM
Sacrifice Beta Multiplayer Patch Released7:58 AM
WingNuts Updated to 1.17:58 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 13, 2002 on one page

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