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Friday, May 3, 2002

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Contraband Porting Uplink to Mac
9:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Yesterday IMG brought you a project update from Contraband Entertainment's Chris Jacobson via his .plan file. Last night, Jacobson made an addendum to his .plan, revealing that their secret project "Wargames" was in fact a port of Uplink from UK developer Introversion Software.

Uplink is an espionage game which takes place in the near future, specifically on the Internet of 2010. Your job is one of a professional hacker. You must infiltrate systems to perform various illegalities, and use the money you earn to buy yourself better equipment, etc. Here's an except from the Uplink site with more on the various activities players will be required to perform:

As your experience level increases you find more dangerous and profitable missions become available. You can speculate on a fully working stock market (and even influence its outcome). You can modify peoples academic or criminal records. You can divert money from bank transfers into your own accounts. You can even take part in the construction of the most deadly computer virus ever designed.
The PC and Linux versions of Uplink are available online for around $30, so presumably the Mac version would be in the same price range. There has been no update yet on the Contraband site to say if Introversion will be publishing the Mac version, though they do list "Wargames" as currently being in beta. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest on Uplink and the many other Contraband projects.

Chris Jacobson's .plan File
Contraband Entertainment

Activision to Distribute id's Doom III on the PC
12:50 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

In an announcement that will come as a surprise only to gamers returning from 15 months in a sensory deprivation tank, id Software today proclaimed Activision the worldwide distributor for Doom III on the PC. The game is set to debut at this month's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

Referring, we presume, to the game itself and not to Activision's distribution, Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, said:

We couldn't be more psyched about DOOM III, and are thrilled to debut the title at E3 with Activision. Get ready to be terrified.
Activision has been id's distribution partner since the release of Quake II, when id left its previous partner, GT Interactive (now Infogrames), for the Santa Monica, California publishing powerhouse.

Today's press release makes no mention of distribution arrangements for the previously announced Mac version of Doom III. While Activision published Quake III for the Mac, id and Activision licensed the recent Return to Castle Wolfenstein to Aspyr Media for publication on this platform.

id Software
id Software Partners with Activision on DOOM III
Buy DOOM 3

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IMG Reviews Return to Castle Wolfenstein
12:10 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr Media's recently released first-person shooter, Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Was it worth the wait? IMG's Eddie Park seems to think so:

Sometimes I just have to tip my hat to anyone who works in the game industry, particularly the Mac game industry. Take Return to Castle Wolfenstein for example — here's a game with a prologue cinematic by Blur, a single-player game by Gray Matter, a multiplayer game by Nerve, produced by Activision, and stated to be from id Software. Add to this a porting job from Westlake Interactive and publishing by Aspyr, and you've got quite a pedigree for this title. One of the most anticipated Mac titles of this year, RtCW had Mac gamers dancing on their toes and burning up the forums asking "When?! When will we get our hands on this game?!" Thankfully, RtCW has finally seen release, and Mac kiddies everywhere are settling into some Nazi-shooting action.

One of the biggest questions involving this title, particularly with the impatient, is whether or not it was worth the wait. For those that can't read past two paragraphs without their brains going numb, I'll answer it right here: This game delivers in spades. This is a great game. This game is worth getting. This game would be worth getting even if it were delayed yet another month.

Be sure to check out the rest of Eddie Park's extensive review by clicking on the link below.

IMG Review: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Westlake Interactive
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Stronghold: Crusader Announced
12:01 PM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

With the Mac version of top-selling Stronghold hitting store shelves this month from MacSoft, Gathering of Developers and FireFly Studios have just announced Stronghold: Crusader, to be released for PC later this summer.

Stronghold: Crusader is a dynamic castle simulator set in a distant Arabian land, and combines aspects from the city builder and real-time strategy genres. Players will journey to Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry, while reliving heroic battles of the historic Crusades.

In the Stronghold tradition, the challenge is to build and defend medieval fortresses (in this case, desert strongholds) and lay siege to fearless enemies. Players have the choice of either European crusaders or Arabian forces.

Features include:

  • The heroic battles of the historic Crusades in four distinct campaigns.
  • Lead the heavily armored European Knights or command vast Arabian armies.
  • Experience ruthless medieval combat in a hostile land where Assassins silently slay their victims, Horse Archers combine deadly accuracy with frightening speed and common Slaves can shift the balance of power. Master the tactics of warfare in the desert.
  • Storm enemy barricades with over 25 units.
  • Create an awe-inspiring fortress in Free-build mode.
  • Design challenging new scenarios to thwart thy friends with the full-featured map and scenario editor.
  • Crush your friends in multiplayer. Up to eight players via LAN or over the Internet.

There is no word as of yet on a Mac version of Stronghold: Crusader.

Stronghold: Crusader
Buy Stronghold

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Black & White Multiplayer Beta Patch Available
11:10 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Mac users looking forward to getting a little online time with their creatures should be happy to hear that Feral Interactive has released a multiplayer patch for Black & White. The patch, which brings the god-game up to version 1.1.5, includes several fixes and enhancements as well as a beta implementation of the ability to participate in multiplayer games.

Here's the full list of changes from programmer Dair Grant:

  • First beta of multiplayer feature.
  • Improved game save/load performance.
  • Added "soccer pitch" feature.
  • Added "Internet Weather" feature.
  • Added support for custom tattoo files without a .bmp extension.
  • Added support for good player alignment glow in higher detail modes.
  • Added support for Sun halo visibility in higher detail modes.
  • Added support for Cmd-Tab to switch to other applications.
  • Now detect and warn about invalid OpenGL installations.
  • Now require Mac OS X 10.1 when running on Mac OS X.
  • Now ignore mice connected with Griffin iMate adaptors.
  • Fixed potential crash between lands 3 and 4.
  • Fixed crash when loading 3rd party map.
  • Fixed bug where display initialisation dialog could launch web browser.
  • Fixed problem where mouse wheel would zoom too quickly.
  • Fixed problem where wrong display would be used on TiBook after sleep.

Players should note that the new multiplayer mode is still in beta testing; those willing to help Feral out should send the publisher concise and detailed reports of any problems found.

As we repoted in March, a Village Banter patch is also available, which allows players to zoom in on villagers and listen in on various conversations. The dialogue is in English only.

Those interested in downloading either the Village Banter patch or the version 1.1.5 patch can do so from our sister site,

IMG Review: Black & White
Black & White
Feral Interactive
MGF: Black & White 1.1.5 Update (14.8 MB)
MGF: Villager Banter Update (1.5 MB)

Abducted Q&A Feature
10:59 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Computer gaming site HomeLAN Fed recently sat down with Bill Heineman, president and owner of Contraband Entertainment, to discuss Contraband's Abducted project. Though Contraband is mainly known for porting PC titles to the Mac platform, Abducted is currently in development for both the Mac and the PC, not to mention the Xbox.

Though Heineman is understandably tight-lipped about Abducted's story line, he did divulge that players will start out in an alien ship with no memory of either who they are or how they got there. He also stresses that the main focus of the game is to keep the player on the edge through fear and other primal emotions.

As implied by the spaceship, Abducted will feature a science fiction setting. Heineman notes that the current objective is to make this title as cinematic as possible:

To that end, Abducted is going to be as cinematic as we can make it. My source of inspiration in this regard is film. I love auteur filmmakers like Kubrick, David Lynch and the Coens. They're a source of great visual inspiration for me, they do great things with horror and in the case of the Coens, mood and suspense.
The rest of the interview discusses other details such as the enemies of Abducted and the various environments. For the full story, be sure to check out the interview at HomeLAN Fed. There are also screenshots of Abducted at the game's web site.

HomeLAN Fed: Abducted Interview

New Nvidia Chip in the Works
9:18 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In a recent news article at CNET's that focuses mainly on a minor spat between graphics chip maker Nvidia and megacorp Microsoft, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is quoted as saying a completely new graphics chip is in the works. The chip, slated to arrive in August, is said to boast a fundamentally new design:

The new chip will be manufactured on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s latest 0.13-micron manufacturing process, Huang said. Huang did not reveal the name or specific features of the chip, but did say it was a fundamentally new architecture from the GeForce4 Titanium introduced earlier this year.
Huang also mentions Nvidia's relationship with Apple and his view of the chip maker's future market share:
Huang also noted the inroads the company has made in the Macintosh market, saying that the company expects to have the largest share of that market "very soon." Huang said that Nvidia's chips are in the eMac that Apple Computer introduced Monday.

"You are going to see many more exciting introductions in that space," Huang said.

Those seeking more information on Nvidia's current and future plans can find it at the article. Nvidia: Microsoft tiff tiny; new chip big

id Software Web Site Redesign
9:18 AM | Christopher Paretti | Comment on this story

id Software's web site has undergone a complete redesign. While it's not completely finished, the page is nicely done and worth a look:

We've updated just about everything here, and will continue to add sections like the Store and Downloads in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can get game demos, patches, as well as purchase many of our games from the individual product pages located in the id games section.
Head over now to check out the site, and stay tuned as more information on their upcoming Doom III is revealed.

id Software

Mac Games News for Thursday, May 2, 2002

LittleWing Releases Jinni Zeala Pinball12:30 PM
Last Contact Released from Green Dragon11:22 AM
Contraband Project Update10:50 AM
Civilization III Expansion Pack Details6:00 AM
Max Payne Hits Beta6:00 AM
The Classified 19 Now Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, May 2, 2002 on one page

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