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Thursday, June 13, 2002

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Warcraft III Goes Gold!
8:55 AM | Daniel Bogan | Comment on this story

You'll want to mark July 3rd as the day to put your already strained social life on hold; Blizzard's highly anticipated Warcraft III has gone gold! With over 4.5 million orders for the game before it had even been released, you know this is going to be yet another successful venture for the developers at Blizzard. The game will be released worldwide, in multiple languages.

Check out an excerpt from the official press release:

"We're very excited to announce that development of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos has been completed and that gamer and retail demand will make this the largest launch in gaming history," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder.

"When we set out to create the next installment of the Warcraft series, we wanted to design something both unique and fun to play. We're extremely proud of the game we've created and we believe gamers will be very pleased when they see what we have in store for them."

Be sure to order a copy of the game from our online store, and prepare to click your life away in Azeroth once again!

WarCraft III: Reign Of Chaos Press Release
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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NWN Mac Date, Toolset Clarification
3:29 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An update email from MacSoft's Judy Corey provides clarification to the seeming ambiguity over the Mac release date for Neverwinter Nights. While it was originally phrased as being available in about two months, references were also made to Fall of 2002. Corey notes the latter is correct, and here's an excerpt from the updated press release to confirm:

Neverwinter Nights will be available worldwide in Fall 2002 for a suggested retail priced of $59.99.
Another MacSoft employee Nate Birkholz has been helping out with information as well in the IMG forums. He explains their plans are to bring both the client and toolset to OS X, but there are some dependencies:
We intend to have the NWN toolset ported to the Mac. A technical review of the code will give us a better idea of how long it will take to port, but our current estimate is late summer/early fall.

A remote possibility exists that the toolset will be technologically impossible to port to the Mac, but so far this seems unlikely (bet, hedged).

It's interesting to note that Bioware itself will be working on the client, and Birkholz also seems to infer the toolset is not the Westlake Interactive codename V.A.S.T. project currently receiving much speculation by Mac gamers:
We do not yet have a contract to port the toolset, but we hope to have one soon. Neverwinter Nights is HUGE but it is not VAST, if you follow me. We have, however, spoken with some people about it and our estimate is based on these conversations. The current plan is to develop the toolset as a cocoa app, thereby streamlining the development.

The "client", or the game itself, is being ported by Bioware, and there is some work remaining to do.

Thanks to both MacSoft employees for their help with the situation. Hopefully IMG will be able to report good progress on both fronts in the coming weeks.

MacSoft Clarification Thread
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Max Payne Goes Gold, Ships on July 16th
1:43 PM | Daniel Meissner | Comment on this story

Max Payne, the man with nothing to lose, has officially gone gold! MacSoft sent IMG a note to let us know the game is going to duplication and will be shipping on July 16th.

The game story features a fugitive undercover cop framed for murder, and now hunted by cops and the mob. Max is a man with his back against the wall, fighting a battle he cannot hope to win. Thats where you come in.

Game features include photo-digitized textures, bullet-time game play (ala matrix bullet dodging), self-adjusting difficulty levels, and painstaking attention to details. The incredible storyline is addictive....

This highly acclaimed title that rocked gamers from thier endless 1st person shooter deathmatches will be gracing the Mac platform in person July 16th (just in time for Macworld Expo New York).

Besides finding this title at your various Mac outlets, let it be known that venerable MacGames CD subscribers can pre-order it for just $35.

IMG Preview: Max Payne
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

Free Space Food Sticks with Galactica A.D.
1:17 PM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

As a special promotion for space adventure and strategy Galactica A.D., Monkey Byte is offering free Space Food Sticks with a purchase of the CD-ROM version.

For those who don't know, Galactica A.D. is a space strategy conquest game where you build star fleets and use them to defend or conquer territories. You have to develop your level of technology so you can better equip your fleet against ever advancing forces while ultimately re-uniting the human empire.

Galactica A.D. is built for Mac OS X, but also works with Mac OS 8.5 and up.

With this special, Monkey Byte explains:

Remember Space Food Sticks, the energy snack from U.S. aerospace research?

They are a living monument to the golden years of the Space Age. The delightful energy snack was invented by Pillsbury as a contingency food for the historic Apollo moon flights. Released to the public in 1969, Space Food Sticks enjoyed widespread popularity until the early 80s when they were discontinued. The lone exception was Australia.

These sticks have been imported from Australia to satisfy the cravings of longtime fans in the U.S. as well as create an entirley new generation of stick aficionados.

So whomever is interested in the space food can definately jump on over to Monkey Byte's website, and remember, you also get a good game too.

Monkey Byte
Galactica A.D.

Nvidia Announces 'Cg' - C for Graphics
9:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a very interesting announcement, graphics chipset maker Nvidia has revealed Cg, a new programming language specification for graphics. The spec promises a high level language that will bring cutting-edge graphics into games by increasing the abstraction to the actual graphics hardware. The company has also released a set to tools to compliment the language and announced developers are already jumping on the bandwagon. Here's a clip from the first of three press releases with more about Cg:

"Cg has already garnered a tidal wave of industry support ranging from game developers to digital content creators," said Jen Hsun Huang, CEO at NVIDIA. "Cg is a significant milestone for the computer graphics industry as it moves real-time 3D graphics programming a quantum leap closer to the programming model of cinematic rendering. Cg will dramatically increase the speed at which increasingly sophisticated and exciting graphics features are adopted. Cg will do for GPUs what C and C++ did for CPUs."
While the press releases seem to indicate a heavy dominance of Windows and DirectX in the system, IMG has been assured the tools will be portable for other platforms such as Mac OS X. Here's more from the toolset announcement:
NVIDIA's Cg Compiler was designed to take full advantage of NVIDIA's GPU features and pipeline, ensuring optimal performance and visual quality. In addition, NVIDIA's Cg Compiler uniquely supports OpenGL®. Cg shaders written for OpenGL platforms are compiled and optimized to take full advantage of the extended graphics feature set in NVIDIA GPUs. NVIDIA's Cg Compiler is also cross platform, supporting programs written for Windows®, OS X, Linux, Mac and Xbox®.
It's expected that the release of OS X 10.2 this summer will bring new high-end Nvidia features to the Mac finally as well as full support for the Cg SDK. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest on this exciting new technology, and have a look at Nvidia web site for much more information.

Nvidia Cg
NVIDIA Introduces "Cg" -- C For Graphics
VIDIA Ushers in a New Era in Graphics with its Advanced Compiler for the Cg Language
NVIDIA Cg Compiler and Cg Language Universally Embraced by the Graphics Community

Billard GL 1.75 for Mac OS X Released
8:45 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

Billard GL 1.75, as the name suggests, is a simulation of the popular game of billiards. Thanks to the work of Mark Pazolli, even people who are completely incompetent with a pool cue can play the game provided that they are running Mac OS X and are willing to make the quite reasonable download (1.2 MB) and follow a couple of simple installation instructions.

A simple port of an OpenGL billiard simulation by students of the University of Freiburg to Mac OS X. Since the billard simulation was written using the GLUT the changes necessary to make the port work were minor. The majority of the code included is minimally commented and written using German function/variable names.
So head on over to the site through the link below to find the download and instructions for making it work.

Billard GL 1.75 for OSX at
Mark Pazolli Software
BillardGL website

Night's Edge mod for UT released
7:46 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Just released for the Macintosh is Night's Edge: Wet Works an Unreal Tournament mod. Using a new aiming system, realistic and futuristic weapons, armor, endurance and blood loss, it promises a great deal.

Here's the low-down:

Night's Edge: Wet Works isn't just a weapons mod; it's what we like to think of as a "tactical simulator". Set in a post-apocalyptic future one-hundred and sixty years from now, it focuses on incorporating a balance of realism and gameplay. ...While the setting of Night's Edge involves mostly a kind of organized-crime/corporate "Cold War", this mod focuses on the small-scale combat aspect of these hostilities.
To find out all the details, jump yourself over to Night's Edge, read the detailed cyberpunk backstory, and check out the numerous screenshots.

Night's Edge Web-Site
Night's Edge Review (beta version)
Unreal Tournament
Epic Games
Night's Edge: Wet Works

MacMAME 0.60a Released
7:45 AM | Daniel Bogan | Comment on this story

Your friendly neighbourhood arcade emulator, MacMAME, has been bumped up to version 0.60a, and sports a number of number of bug fixes:

ROM audits incorrectly reported the BIOS ROM "pgm" as an unsupported ROM set. [Brad Oliver]
* Exception handling in the assembly 68k core is working properly now. As a result, Taito F3 games have sound, Aztarac works again, and probably other things as well. [Brad Oliver]
* Some miscellaneous core fixes - a number of broken games (e.g. Revolution X) now work. [Brad Oliver]
* Bugfixes all around for joystick and mouse support. [Brad Oliver]
Head on over to Macgamefiles and update your copy today.

Download MacMAME 0.60a

Master of Orion III Chat
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Apolyton recently conduced an online interview with Ranyz Hoseley of Quicksilver on the topic of Master of Orion III, a turn-based strategy title that focuses on intergalactic domination. The feature is a bit scattered, given the fact that it is a direct transcript from an IRC Chat, but it does give some details regarding this upcoming title.

One of the topics broached is the question of macromanagement. Hoseley notes that the design team has spent plenty of time tweaking the amount of control a player has so that entire systems can be handled without having to micromanage. For example, controls can be used at various levels, including planet, system, and empire levels. Worlds can also be categorized into various groups - several planets could be designated as "border worlds" if the player so chooses. Naturally, each group can have separate policies applied to them.

Combat control is also fully customizable, with players able to take anything from total control to no control at all over battles:

[Apolyton]: How much can you automate combat if at all?
[Rantz Hoseley]: You can auto combat completely
[Rantz Hoseley]: In solo play you can auto all battles, you can fight in one, you can fight in 5, you can fight in 8... It's up to you
Hoseley adds that combat AI will largely be determined by a player's policies towards combat, but can also be affected by racial characteristics.

The rest of the chat covers topics such as diplomacy, the different languages spoken in the game, and why Hoseley thinks that Infogrames is not an evil company.

In addition to the chat, Apolyton also has a short movie clip in QuickTime format titled "Rass Political Animation." The clip shows what appears to be a Rass ambassador communicating in an alien tongue, complete with modeled animation.

Apolyton - Rass Political Animation
Apolyton - Rantz Hoseley Chat
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Harpoon 3 Updates
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Jesse Spears, maintainer of Harpoon 3, has recently made updates to both the OS 9 and OS X versions of his naval warfare simulation title. The OS 9 update in particular is classified as a major update, and improves drawing speed and appearance by fixing a long-standing bug:

It's a bit embarrassing, but I seemed to have turned off the Offscreen Drawing by accidentally removing the code that set the sDebugDrawing variable to false. So, it was no longer being set to anything in particular, and was apparently defaulting to true.

This caused all line draws to the Map windows to be drawn directly to screen. This caused a very annoying "blink" or "flash", and really slowed down drawing dramatically. I'm not sure how long it's been broken, but once someone reported it as a bug, several Mac users on the Harpoon3 Discussion list mentioned that they thought that was how it was supposed to be (because it had always been that way since they had begun playing :P ).

The OS X version has also been patched so that it now functions under 10.1.5.

Both versions have been brought up to version with the latest updates. Those wishing to download the updates or find more information on Harpoon 3 can find all at the official Harpoon 3 website. Those who wish to check out the latest demo can find it at MacGameFiles.

MGF - Harpoon 3 3.4.14 Demo

MacGamer Posts the IT list
6:00 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

Ever seen articles advertised on the covers of those cheesy magazines at the supermarket counter about things like “hair-do’s” and “hair-dont's”, and wondered if the same type of reporting could be applied to the world of the mac gamer? Well, wonder no longer, the writers across at have succumbed to the urge and published a list of what’s “cool” and what’s “lame” in the Mac gaming world.

Here’s a snippet of what to expect:

Cool: GameRanger for OS X
Scott Kevill's forward-thinking game-finding utility, GameRanger , will soon be hitting full OS X compatibility (though a little later than planned), thus bringing his fully-featured application (which supports over ninety-one games) to the only operating system that matters.

Lame: GameRanger users
If you're new to online gaming, nothing can ruin your experience more than rude adolescents mouthing off with relative impunity in the chat areas of GameRanger. So long as this utility is a gathering place for the cliquish, abusive adolescent crowd, just so long will mature or fledgling gamers steer clear.

Be sure to check out the rest of this brutal and often amusing summary of the mac gaming world by clicking on the link below.

MacGamer's Gaming It List

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Neverwinter Nights Q&A at Gamespot
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Gamespot has posted an interview with the joint CEO's of Bioware Grey Zeschuk and Ray Myzuka. Besides further detailing the well-known facts about this exciting game, it also is filled with numerous stories of the developers playing something all of us soon will have our hands upon.

Here's a quote from the article:

Ray Myzuka: I personally really enjoyed the single-player part of the game--the storyline was quite fun, and several dungeons really stood out as being particularly memorable. Playing the game in multiplayer mode is also amazing. We made a simple player vs. player module--kind of a Counter-Strike type of module--that a few of us were playing through yesterday, and we really enjoyed it.
Neverwinter Nights will be published for the Macintosh by MacSoft this fall. Keep your ears open for more news about the possibility of a Macintosh toolkit. Click below to read the article.

IMG: Macsoft to Publish Neverwinter Nights
Gamespot Q&A: Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

Mac Games News for Wednesday, June 12, 2002

IMG Posts Stronghold Review2:30 PM
Aspyr Ships Clive Barker's Undying1:57 PM
DOWN Release July 11:52 PM
ATI March 2002 Installer, Mac OS X 10.1.5 Issues12:12 PM
Return To Castle Wolfenstein GotY Screenshots11:22 AM
MacSoft to Publish Neverwinter Nights10:18 AM
GamePen Posts The Sims Online Preview9:16 AM
Apple Previews WarCraft III8:31 AM
Max Payne at Final Candidate, Jedi Knight II News7:06 AM
Carmack Talks Doom 3 Rendering6:00 AM
Jedi Knight II: Tips from the Source6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights PC Gold, Mac News6:00 AM
New Deus Ex 2 Details6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, June 12, 2002 on one page

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