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Monday, March 18, 2002

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Escape Velocity: Nova Released!
10:02 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The highly anticipated release of Escape Velocity: Nova is finally here! Escape Velocity: Nova is now available for download from our sister site,

EV Nova is the third game in the Escape Velocity series, and is by far the most ambitious installment to date. With a completely redesigned game engine, EV Nova thrusts you into a sprawling universe dominated by a myriad of warring factions, each sharing a common bond, but so philosophically different as to make conflict inevitable.

Escape Velocity: Nova requires 128 MB of RAM, any PowerPC, and Mac OS 8.1 or later (it's also Mac OS X native). For more information, check out our preview at the link below.

For modem users and others who may wish to avoid the 75 MB download, EV Nova will be distributed on the next MacGames CD, available by subscription at the IMG Store.

IMG Preview: Escape Velocity: Nova
Escape Velocity: Nova
MGF: EV Nova 1.0 (75 MB)

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IMG Reviews Microsoft's IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0
1:09 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review by Jason Sims of Microsoft's IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0. Here's a snippet from the review:

Microsoft's new line of optical mice features the latest revision of their IntelliEye technology, which has been significantly improved since its debut. Instead of 1500 snapshots per second, the optical sensor now takes 6000. Along with this comes greater precision, and more importantly, a much higher maximum tracking speed. As an owner of two original IntelliMouse Explorers, and a gamer, the first thing I did after I plugged in this new mouse was try out the most violent mouse movements I could muster. It never skipped a beat. It would seem they've got that problem licked.

Another bonus of the higher resolution tracking is that the mouse now works flawlessly on my desk. The original IntelliMouse Explorer had some trouble with the grains in the wood on my desk. I don't know exactly what caused it, but once in awhile the mouse cursor would sort of "stutter" a bit, which caused me no end of frustration when doing any kind of work that requires precision, such as illustration or editing graphics. This problem is gone too.

Be sure to check out the rest of our review.

IMG Review: IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0
IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0

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WWII Online Beta Test Details
12:58 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Today, Playnet's call for Mac World War II Online beta testers comes to an end. They are still accepting applications which are submitted through the online form, but they will not be reviewed until the testing pool is expanded once more (which will be sometime before WWII Online is released to the general public).

Testers for the current phase of testing have already been chosen, and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) have already been sent out via e-mail. The lucky participants will have the latest WWII Online beta sometime this week so they can begin testing. If you haven't already, send those NDAs back to Playnet as soon as possible!

Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
WWII Online Beta Test Application

Help Beta Test Andromeda Online
9:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Legacy Games has announced that it is now taking sign-ups for the beta test of Andromeda Online, a strategic starship wargame for the Mac, Windows, and Linux. Players design a command crew, pick a stock starship or design their own, and go into battle. You can also command an armada of up to 500 scouts, fighters, cruisers, battleships, and space stations.

Andromeda Online also offers unparalleled scalability. Play just one ship against your opponents, or use a fleet. A unique damage-based point system ensures that players can use an infinite number of strategies and still win. Play games with as many as ten players at a time, make teams and alliances, and even play with or against the computer.

The beta test is scheduled to begin April 29th so be sure to head over to the Andromeda Online web site to sign up.

Andromeda Online

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Blizzard's Harris on Diablo II for OS X
9:37 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

At Macworld Expo San Francisco, Blizzard Entertainment announced its continued support for the Macintosh with a forthcoming Mac OS X patch for the best-selling Diablo II. Blizzard said a new patch for Diablo II and its expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, would be available for download in the first quarter of 2002.

As noted by MacGamer, Blizzard's Rob Barris posted over the weekend to Usenet newsgroup in response to the questions of some eager Mac gamers:

Ever stop and think how long it takes to QA that game when we change it or port it, or change the compiler out from under it?

It's huge.

Why, say you finished doing all the code in month N and freeze the thing, it takes until about month N+1 or so before everyone in QA smiles and goes "it's solid." We like to see someone play all the acts without any anomalies before we can really give it the go-ahead, and it adds up.

We'll keep you posted on any updates on the Diablo II Mac OS X patch.

IMG Review: Diablo II
IMG Review: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Diablo II
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Buy Diablo II

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Massive Microsoft Giveaway, Day 5
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

The fourth day of IMG's Microsoft hardware giveaway has ended and the three lucky winners of the IntelliMouse Optical have been chosen. They'll be contacted via e-mail to verify their personal information. So without further ado:

Thomas Horton
David Smith
Josh Levy
The last item up for grabs is the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0. Priced at $54.95, this mouse features a high resolution (6000 images per second) optical sensor, five buttons (plus a scroll wheel), and an ergonomic shape.

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

IMG: Microsoft Hardware Giveaway
IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0

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Name Change for UT 2 & Possibly Unreal 2
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A recent article posted by GameSpot reported name changes for Epic Games' upcoming titles Unreal 2 and Unreal Tournament 2. The reported name changes, which are Unreal Episode II and Unreal Tournament 2003, respectively, sparked a flurry of responses from fans of the series, most of them negative.

In response to concerns over the names voiced at the Infogrames forums, Tim Sweeny of Epic posted a clarification:

The Gamespot announcement was a mix of actual news and speculation (this wasn't Gamespot's fault; we seem to have some bugs in our PR pipeline.)

The name "Unreal Episode 2" is just something that we, Legend, Epic, Infogrames, have been discussing internally. We haven't come to a decision and are still split on it; some of the guys love it and some of the guys hate it. What does everyone here think?

The motivating factor for a name change would be to reduce the confusion we've created by having several Unreal games in development.

For now, though, the name is still "Unreal 2."

The new name for "Unreal Tournament 2003" is official. But the idea of to releasing a new one every year is just another concept we've been debating internally. If that were seriously considered, we would have to avoid splitting the community every year.

Sweeny also volunteers information regarding UT's continued backwards compatibility with existing servers:
The next-generation Unreal engine's network code and file formats are stable enough that we could potentially ship UT(year x) and include the maps from UT(year x-1) and maintain backwards compatibility with existing servers. This obviously couldn't go on forever, but could assure a lifetime similar to UT. Remember, in over 2 years of UT, we only broke network compatibility once.
Those interested in looking over the whole story should check out both the GameSpot article and Sweeny's forum response at the Infogrames web site.

GameSpot: Unreal changes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament
Infogrames Forums: Unreal2 Name change?

Custer in Command
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG's resident desktop artist Brad Custer is back with an image inspired by Aspyr Media's upcoming real-time strategy title, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds:

I've been eagerly awaiting the chance to create a desktop for this game since the keynote at MWSF. Anytime there is a chance to create a desktop featuring one of my favorite subjects then I'm all over it. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be working with Aspyr Media to have my desktops included on the actual game CD. :) This is always an honor and especially when it is for a Star Wars title. This week's selection was created from art supplied by Aspyr Media and is titled, "In Command." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
Head over to Custer's Desktops to check out his latest creation.

IMG: Custer's Desktops
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
Buy Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

Mac Games News for Friday, March 15, 2002

New Mac Hall Comic Posted11:08 AM
Massive Microsoft Giveaway, Day 410:03 AM
Creative's Souder on 5.1 Audio, 3D Audio and OpenAL9:58 AM
NCsoft announces Lineage 28:36 AM
Black & White 1.1.3 Patch Released8:15 AM
MacGamer Abducted8:15 AM
New Napoleonic Wargame for Macintosh8:15 AM
Tranquility 5 Released for OS X8:15 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 15, 2002 on one page

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