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Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Neverwinter Nights Ships for PC
6:18 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Both Infogrames and Bioware have announced that Neverwinter Nights has shipped. This ambitious project has been eagerly awaited by gamers for 5 years.

Neverwinter Nights will be available in stores this week for a suggested retail price of $59.99.
Or, as it says on the Bioware site:
Neverwinter Nights is now available on some store shelves. With a gripping single-player campaign and unparalleled multi-player options, Neverwinter Nights will change the face of PC roleplaying forever.
Neverwinter Nights for the Mac will be published by MacSoft and is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2002, only a few months after the PC version.

IMG: MacSoft to Publish Neverwinter Nights
Gamespot: Neverwinter Nights Ships
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Dog of Prey: Multiplayer Test Report and Screens
11:11 AM | Michael Phillips | Comment on this story

The Darkhand Team recently conducted a multiplayer test and took some nifty screenshots of . This upcoming Torque engine based title is a light hearted, yet fast paced multiplayer 3D dogfight simulator that will be released as freeware for the Mac, Linux and PC.

Surf on over to the link below for more information on Dog of Prey.

Dog of Prey

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Down Preps for Release
11:10 AM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

Fantasoft has just announced that DOWN is almost ready for release and is still expected to hit the target release date, July 1st. DOWN is currently going through beta testing.

Here's what Fantasoft had to say about the release:

In light of the release on July 1st, preparations are being made at Fantasoft and Jelly. Everything is being put in place in order to be ready for shipping on time. The very last addition to the game-engine has been made just a few days ago: 3D-sound. No further changes will take place.
DOWN is an exploration game with action and adventure elements. It will be available for OS X and utilizes OpenGL for its pretty graphics. This game is shaping up to be something very un-like your average friendly shareware title.

DOWN update from Fantasoft

Guide to Overclocking the Radeon 8500
10:02 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Overclocking CPU's and video cards have become the norm in recent years as gamers try to squeeze out every inch of speed for faster gaming. Recently, a French web site called has written a guide on how to overclock ATI's Radeon 8500. The process involves using a program called Resedit (in native OS 9), the Radeon 8500 flash utility, and a calculator to convert hexadecimals.

The author of the guide was able to change the clock frequency for the GPU from 250MHz to 290MHz and VRAM from 275MHz to 290MHz as well. As a result, the he was able to see squeeze about 5 to 6 more frames per second out of the Quake III Demo at a resolution of 1600 x 1200.

And now the warning. Don't try this yourself unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. Overclocking can be a dangerous hobby and could result in the frying of your Radeon 8500 card.

IMG Review: ATI Radeon 8500 Mac Edition
Radeon 8500 AGP
Guide to Overclocking the Radeon 8500

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Sims Online Trailer Released
8:12 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Sims fans will be eager to download a large new trailer of The Sims Online, available now. While the MPG movie weighs in at over 23MB, it shows a lot of new footage from the massively multiplayer online game based in The Sims universe. The high resolution file is ready now at FilePlanet, but those that want a smaller download can also grab lesser versions at EA's site for The Sims Online. Many different scenes and a variety of characters are shown throughout the game, including many familiar to fans of The Sims.

While no Mac version of The Sims Online has been announced, Aspyr Media has said in the past they would do all they could to try and get the game on the Mac. The sheer popularity of The Sims and its many expansion packs makes it a most likely candidate for porting, assuming any technical issues can be overcome. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest on the Mac status of this title as the game heads towards completion later this year.

The Sims Online
Download Large Trailer for The Sims Online (23MB)
Download Medium Trailer for The Sims Online (12.3MB)
Download Small Trailer for The Sims Online (2.2MB)

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Shadowbane 'Rulers' Interviewed
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A fascinating new interview has been posted on the official Shadowbane site, talking with two of the four Guild Leaders in the private beta of this MMORPG. Both "Bone Dancer," leader of the city of Comptonia, and "Zorak Blackheart," leader of Hero's Point, are present to give information on how to build up and run a city within the game.

In case you're just learning about Shadowbane, one of the biggest features of this massively multiplayer online title is to allow people to band together into guilds and then build actual, in-game cities. These groups can be either democratic or totalitarian and can wage wars against one another or try and maintain a state of peace.

One of the points touched on in the Q&A is Shadowbane's economy, and what it takes to survive as a city:

What has your position taught you that you didn't know before?

Bone Dancer: Money and gold is FAR more important then anything else. Those who can find a way to raise the most capital (hunting, pking, shop running) will be the most powerful in this game. Money (like real life) is the great driving force, and if you don't have it you WILL lose.

Zorak: Well, since this was our first build, I learned so much I'm not sure what to pick out. I would say the big surprise for me was city management. We started out thinking in terms of controlling the economics of the city by controlling the shops/item production, and what we discovered is that a more open city is more profitable. Free trade, just like in real life, does wonders for the economy. Next build we will open up our city to anyone who wishes to place shops and vendors, for a fee of course.

They go on to talk about tax rates, how open a city should be, and the importance of diplomacy in building an empire. Be sure to check it out if you're interested. Shadowbane is looking to be released late this year, with a more open beta sometime in the summer.

Shadowbane Guild Leader Interview
Wolfpack Studios

Apple Support Update on OSX and Graphics Accelerators
7:53 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

Apple has made an entry to their support pages covering the use of older graphics accelerator cards with Mac OS X. The relevant cards are basically the ATI RAGE series found on the G3 Power Macintosh and PowerBooks, and early iMac's and iBook's. For those of you trying to use OS X with those cards, the solution suggested is as follows:

Mac OS X 10.1.5 improves support for 2D and QuickTime acceleration for Rage Pro, Rage Pro Turbo and Rage Mobility. See technical document 106888, "Mac OS X Update 10.1.5: Enhancements and 'Before You Install' Information".

Lowering the display color bit depth to thousands improves performance of some movies and applications.

1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu.
2. Click Displays .
3. Click the Display tab.
4. Choose Thousands from the Colors pop-up menu.

Use the latest version of Mac OS X for best overall performance and feature set. Further support for the graphic accelerator chipsets listed above is being investigated for a future version of Mac OS X.

That is more or less the full extent of the article, but if you need further clarification on which chips are affected, please use the link below.

Apple support article on using older graphics accelerator cards with OSX

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Neverwinter Nights EULA Posted
6:18 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

BioWare has recently posted a copy of the End-User License Agreement (EULA) for Neverwinter Nights at its forums. Though the EULA is usually something most gamers just skip past when installing a new game, the EULA for NWN has been a topic of much debate, due to the possibility of issues occuring with modules created with the in-game toolset.

Just to give IMG readers a rough idea of some of the policies the EULA implements, here's a clip from the posted agreement:

Your rights to create Variations are subject to the following restrictions: (1) your Variations must only work with the full commercial version of the software game NEVERWINTER NIGHTS; (2) your Variations must not contain modifications to any executable file; (3) your Variations must not contain any libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, or other illegal material, material that is scandalous or invades the rights of privacy or publicity of any third party, or contain any trademarks, copyright-protected work or other property of third parties, or contain any viruses, worms, or other malicious code; and (4) you may not rent, sell, lease, lend, offer on a pay-per-play or timesharing basis or otherwise commercially exploit or commercially distribute your Variations (including, without limitation, hosting pay-per-play servers, hosting pay-per-download web-sites for Variations including sites that charge for bandwidth use, and independently selling Variations online, at retail, mail order, etc.).
The rights of both BioWare and end users have been a topic of considerable interest, given the fact that the toolset potentially opens up a can of worms concerning intellectual property rights, especially given NWN's popularity and the commonality of the Internet. There's currently a lively thread going on at BioWare for those interested in seeing the thoughts of various gamers on the topic.

In related news, both HomeLan Fed and X-treme Gaming Radio have posted last-minute screenshots of NWN in action. The shots are huge and show off plenty of scenery and embattled characters in action.

As reported earlier, the Mac version of NWN is currently set for a Fall release, with MacSoft currently planning on porting over the much-wanted toolset. As always, IMG will be sure to keep readers informed as to any news we hear on the subject.

BioWare Forums - NWN EULA posted here for all to see
HomeLan Fed - NWN Screenshots
XGR - NWN Screenshots
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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Yet More WarCraft III Screenshots
6:18 AM | Seth Scott | Comment on this story has posted a new gallery of screenshots from Blizzard's upcoming blockbuster Warcraft III.

Warcraft III will feature four unique races armed with distinctive units, magical abilities, and weapons of war. Two nations of warriors are new to the Warcraft Universe, the plague-ridden Undead and the mysterious Night Elves. The game will also feature brilliant three-dimensional graphics powered by Blizzard's own 3D engine, which offers support for mulitple resolutions and customizable detail settings.

Warcraft III has sold more than four and a half-million copies in pre-orders alone thus far, fourteen days before its scheduled release on July 3rd. Make it four and a half-million and one copies at the IMG store and stay tuned for our upcoming review.

Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Yet More WC3 Screenshots
Buy WarCraft III

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High-Rez Dragon's Lair 3D Screenshots
6:18 AM | Seth Scott | Comment on this story

If you loved laserdisc games in the 1980's, you'll remember Dragon's Lair, which is expected to be published for the Mac by Ubi Soft sometime this fall. This isn't just a port of the original, either -- the new version allows the player to move freely in a 3D environment, not just follow pre-written animated sequences. Players will also pick up and use items that magically enhance Dirk the Daring's abilities.

DragonStone Software has posted four beautiful screen shots in 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768 format to show off their upcoming creation. Make sure to check them out and have a look at a preview of the game by following the link below.

Blue Byte
Dragon's Lair 3D
Dragon's Lair 3D Screenshots
Dragon's Lair 3D Preview

Doom III Wins Best of Show
6:18 AM | Michael Phillips | Comment on this story

Doom III recently won the E3 2002 Game Critics Award for Best of Show. Under development at id Software, Doom III is a retelling of the 1990s classic first-person shooter, Doom.

Here is a clip from the E3 Awards:

With a franchise as powerful as that bearing the name Doom, gamers demand that each iteration represents “the next big thing.” Watching programming legend John Carmack manipulate the lone marine through the claustrophobic corridors, it was easy to get caught up in the revolutionary steps embodied by the technology on display. And all of that would do an injustice to the entrancing glimpses of terrifying gameplay, mixing hellish monsters with expert manipulation of the new technology. The buzz generated by this early show made Doom III the indisputable “must see” of E3 2002, and rightly deserves the recognition of Game of Show.
For information on the rest of the awards, please visit the link below.

id Software
Game Critics Awards
Buy DOOM 3

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More Impressions of Neverwinter Nights
6:18 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

The long-awaited Neverwinter Nights has finally arrived, and first impressions are popping up all over the net. posted their take on the single player today.

It's been a long wait, but finally after five years, we've had a chance to play Bioware's hotly anticipated RPG Neverwinter Nights. And play we have. Most of the past four nights have been filled with orcs, dryads, clerics and zombies, but I haven't minded the lack of sleep as Neverwinter Nights has been keeping me well entertained.
Their first impression is fairly in depth - 3 pages long - and looks at all the pluses and minuses the game offers.
...It's already apparent that Neverwinter Nights is a finely crafted, in-depth RPG with a lot of story and plenty of side quests to keep you busy, and it will surely satisfy those of you looking for their next fantasy fix. Those of you who favor party-based adventuring may be a little disappointed, but it shouldn't sway you from checking out Neverwinter Nights, especially if you're interested in building and running your own digital D&D campaigns.
Read their entire article, and keep watch for more reviews as they trickle out. Neverwinter Nights for the Mac is currently scheduled to be released by MacSoft in the fall of 2002.

IMG: MacSoft to Publish Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights First Impressions at
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 18, 2002

One on One with Glenda Adams1:40 PM
First MacPlay Value Series; Fallout, Incoming, More1:29 PM
New Single-Player WarCraft III Screenshots11:16 AM
Wolfenstein Game of the Year, Add-on Q&A10:36 AM
Logitech Releases OS X Control Center Beta8:32 AM
Mac Programming Book Nears Release7:54 AM
bangsplat Releases Hot Date Utility7:26 AM
Apple Features Hulabee Entertainment6:00 AM
GeForce 4 Ti Sells Out6:00 AM
Macworld UK Lists Macworld Award Nominees6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights First Impressions at Gamers.com6:00 AM
New Dragon's Lair 3D Shots6:00 AM
Q&A with Blizzard's Bill Roper6:00 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 Interview6:00 AM
WeatherLoader for X-Plane Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 18, 2002 on one page

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Monday, June 17, 2002
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