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Thursday, August 29, 2002

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New Vendetta Test 3.0 Release Date
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Guild Software web site was updated recently with news that the Vendetta Test 3.0 milestone of this online space shooter would be delayed a couple of weeks. Originally the plan was to implement this major upgrade on September 1, but various issues have convinced the team to hold the release until September 15. Here's the post with an explanation:

We're unhappy to announce that due to an unexpected number of bugs reported this past month, and the time that was required to locate and fix them, we aren't going to be able to make the Sept 1st date for 3.0. We've pushed it back to the 15th. Sorry to all the people who are waiting for it. We're working hard to try and make it worth the wait.
Fans are already showing support for the move in the game's messageboards, as stability is valued over stringent punctuality in the long run.

In case you haven't tried out Vendetta, Guild Software is currently holding a public beta test of this cross-platform online game, and it's available for OS X now. The application requires a G3, 128MB RAM, and a video card with 16MB VRAM to play, though you'll likely want to have a Radeon or better with a G4 to play at optimal speeds.

At the current time, Vendetta is a space combat game with deathmatch and capture the flag modes implemented. The test of Vendetta is free to play for anyone, but Guild Software hopes to have it eventually become a thriving massively multiplayer online title. The Vendetta Test 3.0 will bring a host of new features including multiple universes and a basic trading structure. Here's a list of planned features for 3.0:

A completely new, 9-system universe with home stations for each of the three Nations (red, blue and yellow).

Implementation of a basic functional economy. Ship upgrades must be purchased at stations; bounties of vanquished enemies are converted into cash.

Basic trade of cargo between stations will be possible.

Complete persistency, with the removal of "game time", "powerups" and other concepts.

An improved Updater, featuring better download-disconnection recovery.

Improved soundsystem, free of snaps, crackles and pops, and supporting compression, decreasing the size of the game download.

Many other miscellaneous improvements and new features. New, more advanced graphics for users with recent videocards. Etc.

In order to play Vendetta, you'll need to sign up on their web site and then download a small auto-updater which grabs all of the necessary files. We'll keep you posted as the game moves towards 3.0 and beyond.

Guild Software
Vendetta Online

12:24 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

ATI Technologies announced today their newest product, the Mobility Radeon 9000, exclusively for portable computers. The Radeon 9000 is ATI's latest and greatest in their graphics card department, and now notebook owners can experience the power themselves.

Here is a list of features the Mobility Radeon 9000 will include:

The impressive list of new features found in the MOBILITY RADEON 9000 includes:

  • Hardware support for version 1.4 programmable pixel and vertex shaders: ATI's SMARTSHADER™ technology takes full advantage of the advanced new features in Microsoft® DirectX® 8.1 and means even the newest and most advanced 3D games will be fully supported;

  • The world's first mobile quad-pipe 3D architecture: Four parallel rendering pipelines to power the most challenging games and 3D business multimedia applications with amazing speed;

  • POWERPLAY™ 3.0, a significantly enhanced version of ATI's industry-leading power management technology which extends battery life in 3D applications and DVD playback, enabling, for example, full playback of feature-length movies. Enhancements include a new user interface and more user control over power management features, and improved power-to-performance ratios;

  • Industry-leading Internet video streaming: New FULLSTREAM™ technology leverages pixel shaders to accelerate video, remove blocky artifacts and improve the quality and scalability of streaming video;
  • Flexible multiple display architecture supported by HYDRAVISION™ ATI's desktop management software enabling productive and effective use of multiple displays and presentation software.

  • A host of other features including ATI ZOOM (to quickly and easily toggle between screen resolutions), an improved ratiometric expansion filter which provides clearer, crisper text and 2D graphics, and frame modulation, which makes 18-bit LCD panels look like high quality 24-bit panels.
  • For more information concerning this recent announcement, you can read the full press release for further details. While a Mac Version is yet to be announced, it is pretty certain that the Mobility Radeon 9000 will most likely be announced in conjunction with Apple's new PowerBooks. Be sure to check in with IMG for more information about the Mobility Radeon 9000 and a Mac release. The final product for PC ships this September.

    ATI unleashes MOBILITY RADEON 9000

    IMG Store: The Sims: Vacation, Fallout 2 Shipping
    12:11 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

    The IMG Store has just gotten stock of The Sims: Vacation and will be shipping out to pre-orders today. In addition, both Fallout and Fallout 2 began shipping earlier this week.

    In The Sims: Vacation, get ready to pack your bags because you're taking the Sims on the vacation of a lifetime. Better yet, the first Vacation of a lifetime. Enjoy beautiful, fully customizable destinations such as Vacation Island's serene tropical beach resort, rustic woodland hideaway or the cool winter wonderland. Whether they're embarking on a relaxing family adventure or hooking up on a romantic getaway, your Sims will discover that dull moments are as scarce as frowning faces.

    Fallout 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed game that took RPG'ing out of the dungeons and into a dynamic, apocalyptic retro-future. It's been 80 long years since your ancestor, the "Vault Dweller" trod across the wastelands. As you now search for the Garden of Eden Creation Kit to save your primitive village, tough choices and even tougher consequences await you. Your path is strewn with crippling radiation, megalomaniac mutants, and a relentless stream of lies, deceit and treachery. It's a dark and dangerous world out there and you begin to wonder if anyone really stands to gain anything from this brave new world...

    The Sims: Vacation is available for just $29. Fallout for $19, and Fallout 2 for $29 are also available at the IMG Store. Order your copy today.

    IMG Reviews Internet Keyboard Pro
    12:04 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    IMG Hardware Editor Lucian Fong, has posted a review of the Internet Keyboard Pro, a new keyboard from Microsoft. Those looking for a different kind of keyboard than the ones their computer shipped with might want to check out the review for information.
    Here is an excerpt:

    Hot keys access the most commonly used internet, e-mail, and media functions. I get the most use out of the global volume controls, the iTunes controls, the media eject key, and the power key (unfortunately, it can not power on a computer). If you don't like those settings, you are free to customize them to your heart's content. There are many pre-programmed functions, but you can input your own keystroke combinations. Since my function keys are often unused, I programmed them to launch the applications I use most, like iChat, OmniWeb, Entourage and iTunes. My only complaint about the IntelliType Pro software is that it doesn't allow for full-blown macros. It would be convenient to program regularly used phrases, words, or URLs into the keyboard.
    Be sure to check out the full review for more details.

    IMG Review: Internet Keyboard Pro
    Internet Keyboard Pro

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    Myth III 159 Build Pulled
    11:46 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    PlayMyth, a Myth fansite, has just reported that a recently posted build (build 159) for Myth III: The Wolf Age, has been pulled off MythMaps, as it caused the camera to operate incorrectly under Apple's newest OS, Jaguar (OS X 10.2).

    Hey Everyone - I've pulled the 159 build off MythMaps for a variety of reasons - the most notable being that the camera doesn't work properly under OS X 10.2.
    Those who have already updated can revert to the original build the CD came with, but it will unfortunately bring back the screen preference problems that were eliminated in 159.

    Build 159 (News)

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    New EV: Nova Patch Nears Release
    9:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    According to a post on Ambrosia's web forum, Escape Velocity: Nova 1.0.2 is nearing release. ATMOS, the developer of the game, has released 1.0.2 fc1 to testers and if all goes well, the new patch should be released soon.

    EV Nova is the third game in the Escape Velocity series, and is by far the most ambitious installment to date. With a completely redesigned gaming engine, EV Nova thrusts you into a sprawling universe dominated by a myriad of warring factions, each sharing a common bond, but so philosophically different as to make conflict inevitable.

    EV: Nova 1.0.1, currently being ported to the Windows operating system, is for OS 8.1 and higher, as well as OS X . It is also available for download at

    IMG Review: Escape Velocity: Nova
    Ambrosia Software
    Escape Velocity: Nova
    Ambrosia Web Forum
    Download: EV: Nova 1.0.1

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    Shadowbane Pre-Order Disc Ships
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Ubi Soft has issued a press release announcing that the promotional pre-order box for its upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane has begun shipping to major retailers. The box, which retails for $10, contains a special pre-order CD that includes various goodies such as wallpaper, a screensaver, and video trailers. The $10 purchase price will be credited back to gamers when they purchase the final product.

    The main draw behind the pre-order box, however, is the special code that comes with it. This code will allow players to unlock three restricted races when the actual title ships, including the Minotaurs, Centaurs, and Aracroix. Ubi Soft notes that the restricted races are no more powerful than any of the others available, but that each race comes with its own unique abilities and skill sets.

    Though the pre-order box is undoubtedly PC-centric, Mac gamers have certainly not been forgotten, and will in fact be able to place their own pre-orders as well via Apple's website:

    Customers who pre-order Shadowbane online at, and will only receive the code for the restricted races through those respective online retailers.  Additionally, Mac gamers will be able to pre-order Shadowbane from, where they will receive a promotional code to unlock the restricted races.
    Those interested in more information on pre-order details can find them at the official Shadowbane site.

    For those unfamiliar with the title, Shadowbane, being developed by Wolfpack Studios, is an MMORPG that focuses heavily on player vs. player combat, guild-based governments, and a philosophy that the persistent online world be shaped by players rather than designers.

    Shadowbane - Pre-order program information
    Wolfpack Studios

    Super Collapse Sells 100,000
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Video game creator GameHouse recently let us know that its hit title Super Collapse has officially broken the 100,000 mark in sales in less than ten months after its release. Available for both Mac and PC, this is the first downloadable title offered by GH to reach this watermark.

    "Collapse has been wildly popular - this is our first downloadable game to achieve this mile marker so quickly," says Garr Godfrey, cofounder of GameHouse, which features a variety of free and downloadable games on its web site,  "The demand for Collapse has been so unbelievable that we are considering introductions of similar games," concludes Godfrey, hinting there soon may be a new offering in the works.
    For those unfamiliar with the title, Super Collapse, named 2001 Game of the Year by RealNetworks, is a puzzle-based game in which players must collapse a series of blocks before they hit the top of the screen. Those interested in trying the title out can download a free trial copy at GameHouse's site.

    GameHouse - Super Collapse

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    Sim Screenshots Galore
    6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    The Sims Online and Sim City 4 are currently two Maxis's most anticipated titles, and, while information/media has been rather scarce for both products, several new screenshots have been posted on, showing gamers what to expect when the games hit store shelves.

    First of all, is The Sims Online, the online version of the popular Sims franchise. The Sims Online will offer everything you could do with the regular Sims, and more, with real people.

    Sim City 4 is the much anticipated installment to the Sim City series. Now in complete 3D, Sim City 4 will offer the same age old gameplay fans are used too, but with the look and feel that games are expected to have nowadays. The new screenshots show off some new features, including integration with The Sims.

    For more information, and of course, the screenshots for all three of these upcoming titles, check out the full article. While neither game has been yet announced on the Mac, we'll be sure to keep you posted, as the sheer popularity of past titles in the series make them seem very likely candidates for porting.

    SimCity 4 (PC) - Sims Online (PC) & The Sims (PS2) - Screens
    The Sims Online
    The Sims
    Buy SimCity 4
    Buy The Sims

    New Bungie Fan Site Launches
    6:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    What does this world need? Why...another Bungie fan site!, a new website composed of a community of member websites devoted to Bungie Studio's games, has just launched. Created by Steve Campbell and Gary Simmons of fame, the new web site features a central core serving Bungie-game-themed satellite hubs that link to related web sites run by members.

    Here's more info on

    Forerunners is a free web hosting site serving the fans of the games produced or inspired by Bungie Studios. We offer dedicated fans the opportunity to express themselves via their game related web page, our hotline server, and our forums.

    Also, in addition to a Forerunners email address, we offer you a virtual DNS and a pant load of camaraderie and fun times. Membership is free, all you need to join is a good attitude and lots of spare time!

    Stick around and win some prizes donated by Matt Soell of Bungie Studios. Visit us right now on hotline at This is going to be a wild ride and you will be at the reins as you shape your own surroundings via your web page at!

    If you're a Bungie fan (can you say X-BOX?), then be sure to check the new web site.

    Bungie Studios

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    Civ III Dev Explains 'Turnless' Play
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    In a new development update posted to the official Civilization III web site, Jeff Morris of Firaxis explains how they plan to implement multiplayer gameplay in the upcoming Play the World expansion pack. The most startling change in the works is that, while the Civilization series has dominated the world of turn-based games since its inception, the team plans to let players battle against eachother in a "turnless" gameplay mode.

    While the add-on will still ship with the standard turn-based play many gamers love, Morris describes how the nature of long, multi-session games didn't always work well in the modern internet gaming environment. Thus they came to the idea of speeding up the process with new "meta-games" for those looking for a quick Civilization III fix, as well as the Turnless mode. Here's more of an description of how it will work from Morris:

    For the first time in a Civilization game, through the use of a "Turnless" game system, we can offer a much faster paced gaming mode. In Turnless, each unit and city has its own turn clock. These clocks progress independently from each other, meaning that a unit that has just moved, can't move again until its clock has reset. It is impossible for a single player to hold up the progress of the game (which happens sometimes in turn based games when played online). With Turnless, they're really only forfeiting their own moves. In addition we offer speed controls to the player, which determine how long each of these turn clocks take to reset. When combined with the dynamic scaling we apply, based on the number of units and cities each player possesses, the game allows players to configure the settings and determine their own pacing.
    Fans of the Civilization series will definiely want to head over and read through Morris' full post. He goes into detail on how the new and old modes will work. While no official announcement of a Mac very has yet been made, IMG has contacted MacSoft, publishers of the Mac Civilization III, for an update on the possibility.

    Civilization III Dev Update
    Firaxis Games
    Civilization III
    Buy Civilization III

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 28, 2002

    IMG Reviews DOWN12:32 PM
    Trade Wars: Dark Millenium Interview and Screenshots12:15 PM
    Sam & Max Sequel Announced for PC12:00 PM
    Cyan Discusses Myst Online9:10 AM
    Presto Studios Closing Down8:51 AM
    Apple Posts WarCraft III World Editor Article6:00 AM
    Enabling Quartz Extreme for PCI Macs?6:00 AM
    More GarageGames Chats6:00 AM
    Myth III Beta Testers Sought6:00 AM
    Technical Analysis of DDR in Macs6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 28, 2002 on one page

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