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Wednesday, July 24, 2002

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Aspyr July Newsletter: Ghost Recon Info
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The latest edition of Aspyr's newsletter brings with it the news that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Game of the Year Edition is now available for pre-order. Following in the footsteps of the popular Rainbox Six series, Ghost Recon, recently announced at MWNY, continues the series by placing an elite team of Green Berets in the hands of players.

Licensed from Ubi Soft, the conversion is currently being done by i5works. Michael Rogers, President of Aspyr, offers these thoughts:

Ubi Soft has a great lineup and we are pleased with the opportunity to work with them. We are extremely excited about bringing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Game of the Year Edition to the Macintosh. Mac gamers will love it!
Also listed with the announcement are the preliminary system requirements, which are subject to change as the game nears release:
* PowerMac with G3/G4 Processor
* 450 MHz or faster Processor
* 128 MB of built-in RAM (256 MB if running Mac OS X)
* 1 GB available hard disk space
* ATI Rage 128 with 16 MB of VRAM (or better video card)
There's no word on an exact release date yet, though Aspyr plans on releasing it later this year. Those interested in more information on Ghost Recon as well as submitting a pre-order can find more information at Aspyr's site.

Aspyr Media
Red Storm

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IMG Previews Links Championship Edition
12:31 PM | Michael Phillips | Comment on this story

Today, IMG has posted a preview of the much anticipated Links Championship Edition. Written by Chris Morion, the preview contains details about the game's graphical quality, physics and course designer.

Here's a clip:

Links is a very accurate golf simulation game. The physics of the game have been tweaked to near perfection. Balls will roll back downhill if it on a slope. Balls will hook or slice with greater precision when not hit squarely. When the ball strikes an object, be it the side of a hill or a rock wall, the physics programming in the game handle such events with aplomb.
Links Championship Edition ships July 26. Be sure to watch IMG for our full review.

IMG Preview: Links Championship Edition
Links Championship Edition
Buy Links Championship Edition

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Warcraft III Breaks One Million Sold
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gamers currently enjoying Warcraft III probably don't need any more reasons to be proud of their purchases. Just in case they do, however, Blizzard Entertainment recently let it be known that their red-hot RTS title has passed the one million mark in terms of worldwide sales.

Topping even the massive successes of Blizzard's previous titles, Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, WC3 is cited as the seventh product of Blizzard's to both sell over a million copies and hit the #1 spot in U.S. sales charts.

Blizzard's president, Mike Morhaime, shared some words expressing his approval of his team's latest work:

"We are very excited about the worldwide demand for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos," stated Mike Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment president and co-founder. "We put a lot of effort into polishing every aspect of Warcraft III, and the game's popularity tells us that our long hours and hard work have paid off."
Congratulations to the Blizzard team, who not only managed to produce another astounding hit, but also released it simultaneously for both Mac and PC.

Yahoo - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Shatters...
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

OpenGL 1.4 Finalized
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

An article recently published at the Silicon Graphics, Inc. website heralds the release of the OpenGL 1.4 specification. Backed by more than 60 hardware developer licensees and citing companies such as Apple, ATI, Nvidia, and Microsoft among its 13 OpenGL ARB voting members, OpenGL 1.4 adds plenty of new features which, while listed in CG jargon, may be of interest to gamers with at least passing knowledge in the genre:

  • Depth textures and shadow textures, enabling real-time shadows and related image-based rendering techniques
  • Vertex programming framework, setting the stage for user-defined geometry, lighting and shading programs and enabling high-level general-purpose shading languages
  • Automatic texture mipmap generation, providing rapid updates and high-quality texture filtering for dynamic textures
  • Numerous smaller enhancements including:
    • Multiple draw arrays, for higher geometry throughput
    • Window raster position, for precise 2D and image rendering
    • User-defined fog coordinate, for advanced fog effects
    • User-defined secondary color, point parameters, texture level-of-detail bias, texture crossbar, and new frame buffer blending modes and stenciling functions for more flexible shading and rendering effects
The article itself, while leaning heavily towards a business context, also quotes several industry leaders on their thoughts of OpenGL's latest incarnation. Interested readers can find the whole read at SGI's site.

SGI - SGI and Architecture Review Board Release Next-Generation, 3D Enhancements to OpenGL

LucasArts Interview
6:00 AM | Tristan Kane | Comment on this story

HomeLan has published an interview with Simon Jeffrey, president of LucasArts. LucasArts is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year and this interview largely focusses on the current direction of the company with questions ranging from the state of the relationship of founder George Lucas to the company, to more specific questions about their upcoming Star Wars Galaxies. Here is an excerpt:

HomeLAN - While most of the Star Wars games release in the past year have received good critical notices, some might say that there are still too many Star Wars games being released. Do you think there is a danger of over-saturating the franchise?

Simon Jeffery - Absolutely there is a danger of over-saturating the franchise - which is why we will be doing less and less Star Wars games going forward. We want every Star Wars game launch to be seen as an event in itself.

This is an interesting article for Mac gamers, not only as it pertains to games that will almost certainly be ported, but also the comments it makes on the direction of LucasArts and the gaming industry in general. To read it in full, please use the link below.

LucasArts Interview

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Shadowbane City Preview
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new hands-on look of the upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, Shadowbane, has been posted at PC.IGN recently. In the article, they focus specifically on the city building aspects of the game.

While Shadowbane will, on one hand, be a fantasy RPG where players can focus on creating and leveling up characters, its system of grouping people into guilds to form cities will also be crutial to its success and set it apart from other MMORPG titles. The article goes through the different details about a city like its Tree of Life and the different buildings and homes players can create and maintain. Here's an excerpt from the piece:

Shadowbane is the first MMORPG to feature a strong real-time strategy focus and the building and management of Guild-owned cities are key high-level features that supplement this strategic gameplay. Shadowbane's guild Structure is also a core feature and the cities act as points of power for the Guilds. True social and political maneuvering is made possible (and even likely) given the 13 different Guild types. Shadowbane's complete personal housing system also allows players to build their own cottages, houses, villas and citadels that help flesh out these guild-owned towns.

Cities are allowed to encircle themselves with walls, towers, and other fortress assets, and can make alliances and deals with other cities, forming virtual nations and empires. A city is the most valuable possession a player-created guild can own or acquire in Shadowbane and defending it and managing it efficiently are critical to a guild's success.

The rest of the preview details many of the building characteristics and types, so be sure to read through it if you're interested in learning more. Shadowbane is currently in a closed beta for Mac and PC, but Wolfpack promises to open it up to other later this summer. Also be sure to read through our recent Macworld coverage of Shadowbane.

Shadowbane - City Building Preview
IMG Talks 2: Shadowbane, Ambrosia, Freeverse
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 23, 2002

My MWNY 2002 Tale Posted11:30 AM
IMG Talks 2: Shadowbane, Ambrosia, Freeverse8:32 AM
Indie SoundBlaster OS X Drivers?8:19 AM
Interview With Peter Tamte8:19 AM
KickOff 2002 Ships8:19 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 23, 2002 on one page

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