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Tuesday, May 28, 2002

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New Wolfenstein PC Patch; Mac Update Status
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Another patch has been released for the PC version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, bringing the game up to version 1.3.2. The update adds a few new features and fixes, such as support for ATI's Truform technology and a new multiplayer map.

Owners of the Mac version will likely be aware that Aspyr Media and Westlake Interactive were already hard at work on the version 1.3.1 patch. A reader asked in our forums whether version 1.3.2 would also be rolled into the upcoming Mac update, and Westlake president Glenda Adams was kind enough to reply:

We've been making very good strides with the 1.3.1/.2 patches, and the Mac Punkbuster libraries are coming along pretty well. So hopefully it won't be a prolonged delay before we can release 1.3.2.
As noted recently on The Gamesome Mac radio show by Aspyr president Michael Rogers, the publisher also plans to bring the single-player demo of Return to Castle Wolfenstein to the Mac.

IMG Review: Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Westlake Interactive
IMG Forum: RTCW 1.3.2 patch for the PC released today...
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

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Aspyr Picks Second Hot Date Winner
12:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Each week this month, Inside Mac Games and Aspyr Media are giving away a copy of the upcoming expansion pack, The Sims: Hot Date, and we now have our second winner.

Michael L. wins two movie tickets and a free copy of Hot Date for his description of his ideal hot date:

My hot date would be a romantic weekend or week getaway to the Ice Hotel. There is one in Sweden; there's another in Quebec. Imagine a crystalline wonderland — the walls, the floors, the entire building is carved from ice. Even the chandeliers are ice. Drinks are offered "in the rocks" because the glasses themselves are made of ice. Time for some snuggling? The ice beds are outfitted with specially lined sleeping bags and soft deer pelts. And there is the sauna experience — this is Sweden, after all! Every April the whole hotel melts away, and each winter it is rebuilt — each hotel is unique. There's plenty to do, but the main goal is to have fun and stay close to keep each other warm. :) It must be a hot place to be if James Bond is hanging out there with Bond women!
To enter the contest, describe your own "ideal hot date." What does that mean? Basically, if you were to take your girlfriend, or wife, or someone on a date, describe what your ideal hot date would be like. And please, folks... let's keep it clean, okay?

Winners are picked by the good folks at Aspyr Media based on response. So put some thought into it!

IMG Giveaway: Hot Date
IMG Preview: The Sims: Hot Date
The Sims: Hot Date
Buy The Sims: Hot Date

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Apple Posts No One Lives Forever Trailer
11:51 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a QuickTime trailer of No One Lives Forever, the upcoming first-person shooter from MacPlay. The trailer shows off some of the game's fantastic graphics and gameplay and is well worth a look.

To learn more about No One Lives Forever, be sure to check out Apple's feature on the game, posted last month.

And don't forget, if you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can order No One Lives Forever at the IMG Store.

No One Lives Forever
Apple Feature: No One Lives Forever
Apple Trailer: No One Lives Forever
Buy No One Lives Forever

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Lineage Site Redesign
11:43 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

NCsoft, publisher of the massively multiplayer online blockbuster Lineage, has updated the game's web site to a new design.

Lineage is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in which people from all over the globe can play together and immerse themselves in a world of fantasy and danger, battling monsters, beasts, or even other players for power and glory.

With the new site design, players will be able to access news, features, account management, community message boards, support, and the online manual from the front page. Hop on over to check it out.

IMG Preview: Lineage: The Blood Pledge

Unreal Tournament X Preview 4 Priorities
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Glenda Adams, president of Westlake Interactive, recently posted to the newsgroup with word on the fourth Unreal Tournament preview for Mac OS X. Her post tallies requests for fixes to Unreal Tournament X. Here's the full scoop:

Since I got a good amount of feedback on people's preferences for fixes in UT X, I've tabulated all the results and here are the winners:

(rank) (fix) (points)
#1 Speed - 67
#2 Mouse Tweaks - 64
#3 Windowed Mode - 45
#4 Graphical glitches - 38
#5 Sound fixes - 36
#6 Dedicated Server - 31
#7 Music - 27
#8 Mouse Buttons (5 or more) - 20
#9 Mods - 17
#10 General Stability -9
#11 Native OS X Installer - 4
#12 Carbon umod installer - 4
#13 Alternate OS X .ini files - 3
#14 ngWorld stats - 2

(points were added up from all responses, a first place vote got 5 points, 2nd place 4 points, etc, down until 5th place got 1 point. All the totals were then added up. Yes I spent too much time on this :) )

It looks like speed optimizations, mouse control tweaks, and windowed mode were the big winners. I'll prioritize more towards those in P4. That isn't to say some of the easier fixes, like 5 button mice, won't get in sooner than later. And I still don't know when I'll actually get to do some more work on UT X, I'm just starting up a huge project right now that is really taking up my time.

We'll keep you posted on the status of Unreal Tournament X as it progresses towards the fourth preview release.

IMG Review: Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament
Westlake Interactive
Usenet: UT X P4 vote is in
MGF: Unreal Tournament X Preview 3 (1 MB)

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EV Nova 1.0.1 at FC2
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Escape Velocity Nova progress log at Ambrosia Software brings news from lead programmer Matt Burch that a second final candidate of the version 1.0.1 patch has been released to testing. Burch's post contains a huge list of changes to the version 1.0.0 release, a few of which are copied below:

  • AI ships no longer emerge from wormholes that are very far from the center of the system
  • AI ships can use escape ships
  • AI ships can use self-destroying weapons
  • Changed the way the char resource popup menu is loaded
  • Normal weapon blast damage no longer applies to planet type ships and vice-versa
  • Ship types that share the same sprite can have different preview images
  • Fixed problem with icon cache for very long outfit lists
  • Added internet version checking support
  • AI ships will no longer board crewless ships
  • Fixed minimum fuel requirement for fuel-using weapons
  • Prolonged time between burst reloads for multiple weapons of the same type that don't all fire together
  • Implemented better calculation of damage for multiple fast-firing beams
  • Submunitions of point-defense weapons should track targets properly
  • Fixed incompatibility with Radeon 8500 video card
  • Removed conflicting preview images from Quicktime movie files
  • Status bar background is redrawn immediately after buying a new ship
  • Fixed upward scrolling in outfit dialog

For the complete list of changes, check out the Escape Velocity Nova progress log. Assuming no show-stopping bugs are found, the patch could be released very soon.

IMG Review: Escape Velocity Nova
Escape Velocity: Nova
Ambrosia: ev3 progress log
MGF: Escape Velocity Nova 1.0.0 (75 MB)

E3: No Mac Doom III Editor, More
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

From the Electronic Entertainment Expo comes news of the status of the Mac version of Doom III from id Software as well as of the title's editor. A number of interviews have been posted, including two at GameSpy with a third promised today.

The first interview at GameSpy talks with tool editor Robert Duffy and Jan Paul von Waveren, programmer for the game's physics and collision detection. Here's an excerpt from Duffy on the state of the Doom III editor and the Mac:

GameSpy: The tools are a big deal — they're included and built into the game. Can you talk about that a bit?

Robert Duffy: Yeah. The editor and the BSPer and all the tools are actually built into the game itself. You can run it from the console. On a Windows system, if you can run the game you can essentially run the tools. The editor still uses a lot of Windows code so it's not going to run on a Macintosh, but I think all the other tools should run fine.

While this may be no great surprise to Mac gamers, at least it's apparent id is still working on the client for Mac OS X.

A second GameSpy feature talks with Fred Nilsson and Christian Antkow, and the third should be posted soon with the latest from Graeme Devine and Tim Willits.

GameSpot and IGN PC have talked with id CEO Todd Hollenshead about the single-player focus of Doom III. As impressive as the game looks already, it's important to note the title is far from being released, according to IGN:

"Every single aspect of the title, from the fundamentally awesome technology designed for the game and not the other way around, to the professionally written storyline, to the puzzles and beastly adversaries, are all designed from the beginning to create a sense of believability, a sense of believability so strong that it will terrify anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

"We emphasize fear," Hollenshead continued.

The version 0.01 build of DOOM III we were shown may not be that far along — it's still got a good year of development left behind it ("when it's done" applies, but the team is shooting for a 2003 release) — but it was damn impressive

Follow the links below for the full interviews.

[Update] The third GameSpy interview with Devine and Willits is now posted, discussing Doom III music, increased art production time, and much more. Give it a read if you're interested.

id Software
GameSpot: Todd Hollenshead Talks Doom III
GameSpy: A Chat with id Software, Part 1
GameSpy: A Chat with id Software, Part 2
GameSpy: A Chat with id Software, Part 3
Buy DOOM 3

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E3: Shadowbane Report Roundup
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official Shadowbane web site has been updated with a number of news stories about the title from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Included in the list are a few previews, the lowdown on the game's backstory, a "Best MMORPG of E3" award, and many new screen shots.

One very comprehensive report comes from Shadowbane Warcry with two pages of impressions and a number of photos from the show floor. Here's the scoop on the game's current status and future beta plans:

We talked a bit about beta and how the game was going. He said there were approximately 1,200 people in beta right now. That number should be raised to 2,500 within the next few weeks. Open beta will probably begin in July and they are expecting to have at least 10,000 to 20,000 players once they ramp it up. Wolfpack had just finished a big graphics upgrade and they were showing it off at E3. The upgrades should be put into the beta within the next week or two.
Shadowbane was awarded "Best MMORPG of E3" by RPGDot, beating out the many other massively multiplayer online role-playing games at the show. IGN also has the scoop on the Shadowbane storyline, while Shadowbane Realm and Unknown Player have a number of impressive new screen shots.

Once Shadowbane is considered ready for public consumption later this year, it will be published for both Mac and PC by Ubi Soft.

Shadowbane: E3 Roundup
IGN: Shadowbane Coverage
RPGDot: E3 Awards
Shadowbane Realm: Screen Shots
Shadowbane Warcry: E3 Report

E3: IMG Meets with Aspyr, Destineer, MacPlay
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted an article by Hardware Editor Lucian Fong about IMG's meetings at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with Mac publishers Aspyr Media, Destineer, and MacPlay.

It seems Aspyr has at least one unannounced title yet to be revealed, Destineer's Bold label is already working on Flight Simulator 2002, and MacPlay is very excited about their Freedom Force deal with Crave Entertainment.

Here's a clip from the story with the scoop from Aspyr:

As some of you heard during Mike Roger's appearance on The Gamesome Mac, Aspyr was planning to announce a title about a week before E3. According to Amy, the announcement was delayed because the website was still in the process of being approved. All of Aspyr's announced titles are currently in the final candidate stage. The time it takes for the Mac port to be declared golden master will depend on the approvals process of the original publisher.

When we asked which of the new games on the show floor interested her most, Amy was quick to point out the new LucasArts games, Full Throttle 2 and Star Wars Galaxies. She feels that LucasArts is making an honest effort to get back into the Mac gaming market. Hopefully, Escape from Monkey Island will be the first of many LucasArts games to come to the Mac.

Check out Fong's report for the complete scoop on these three Mac publishers at E3.

E3: IMG Meets with Aspyr, Destineer, and MacPlay
E3 2002

Mac Games News for Friday, May 24, 2002

E3: Hands-on with Deus Ex 2: The Invisible War4:18 PM
Spaceward Ho! 5 Release Date Set12:13 PM
E3: WarCraft Media Gallery Posted9:44 AM
Custer's Destiny6:00 AM
Deals: Max Payne $35, Red Faction $30, More..6:00 AM
E3: IMG Talks with Blizzard [Updated]6:00 AM
E3: SimCity 4, Sims Online Info6:00 AM
E3: WWIIOnline Mac, Open Beta Plans6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 24, 2002 on one page

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