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Friday, August 30, 2002

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WWII Online Mac Beta Reopens
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a new development update posted to the Playnet forums, Cornered Rat has announced the Mac OS X beta test signups for World War II Online are once again open, citing "overwhelming demand." After the initial beta announcement for this massively multiplayer online war simulation earlier this month, the company closed the beta to new users, but the sheer popularity of the download has convinced them to let more Mac OS X players apply for the test. They also note that those use running OS X 10.2 can expect an update to fix Jaguar compatibility sometime next week.

Here's a clip from the pre-release beta page:

Due to overwhelming demand, we have reopened access to our WWIIOL Pre Release Test for the Macintosh. The desire to participate in this test has far exceeded our expectations, propelling us recently to the top 5 downloads at We would like to thank everyone for their interest in helping bring this product to the Macintosh and to show our appreciation we will be opening the test for anyone who would like to participate.
If you were unable to apply for the pre-release test before, be sure to head over now and sign up. If you aren't able to make the large (98.2MB) download, the latest MacGames CD does have the application on it.

The rest of the development update also discusses plans for the upcoming 1.67 patch, including how they will handle map resets in the future and much more on the terrain which will be included. Check it out for the full details on what is coming up in the title.

World War II Online Mac Pre-Release Testing
World War II Online 1.67 Dev Update
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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Star Wars Galatic Battlegrounds Demo Released
3:57 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has just released the demo of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds and is available for download from

The destiny of a galaxy hangs in the balance and you're in command. Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds lets you lead the armies of Star Wars to victory in intense, real-time strategy clashes. Enter the fray as Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance with a legion of Jedi, the greedy Trade Federation, the Royal Naboo and other civilizations in campaigns that will determine the final outcome of the Galactic Civil War. You are able to manage your resources and upgradeable technology into your strategy, such as Wookiee ingenuity, advanced Gungan biotechnology, and Jedi stamina.

The trial version of Galactic Battlegrounds lets you play the first campaign mission of the Galactic Empire and also has multiplayer enabled. You can play as either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance in multiplayer mode.

  • Mac OS 8.6 or later (9.2 recommended)
  • Mac OS X compatible (10.1 or later recommended)
  • CarbonLib 1.4
  • stock G3 or G4 of 300 MHz or greater (400 MHz recommended)
  • 64 MB built-in memory
  • Graphics Acceleration Required ATI Rage Pro or better.

    Head on over to to download the 66 MB demo.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
    Buy Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

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    IMG Previews Jedi Knight II
    1:11 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted an extensive preview of what's sure to be one of the biggest titles to hit the Mac this fall, Aspyr's Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The game recently entered beta and if all goes well, should be released early in the fall.

    Here's a snippet from the preview:

    Though JK2 runs under the Quake III engine, it can be played either as an FPS, a 3rd-person behind-the-back game, or both. In the default setting, Katarn runs around in 1st-person mode, much like any standard FPS, while wielding firearms. When switching to the lightsaber, he enters 3rd person mode, making it easier to see around him when swinging the lightsaber. However, players can switch between the views at will, making the title a little more open-ended for those that have a preference.

    Gameplay, however, is still faithful to the FPS genre – i.e. kill the bad guys. Players will find themselves running through a variety of environments in order to fulfill this objective, including Remnant bases, gangster towns, Cloud City, and starship interiors. The levels are both numerous and huge, and while not likely, it is possible to get lost in many of them if players aren’t careful.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the preview.

    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is available for pre-order from the Aspyr Media web site as well as the IMG Store.

    IMG Preview: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Raven Software
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

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    Weekly Ghost Recon Screenshots
    1:02 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Aspyr Media this morning sent IMG five new screenshots from the upcoming action-thriller, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Aspyr's Chris Silman explains the new shots:

    It's that time of the week, again, where we get to see some new and exciting screen shots from Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Game of the Year Edition for the Mac.

    This week we have some ultra-cool shots from Mission 2: Eager Smoke. This is an awesome night mission in which the Ghosts have to save some air crewmen from the bad guys.

    To take a peek at the screenshots, click on the links below. Also be sure to check out our First Look preview of Ghost Recon. We'll be posting an extensive preview based on the beta shortly.

    Tune in next Friday for some more shots from Ghost Recon.

    IMG First Look: Ghost Recon
    Screenshot 1
    Screenshot 2
    Screenshot 3
    Screenshot 4
    Screenshot 5
    Aspyr Media
    Red Storm

    DracoSoft Releases Wordsmith
    11:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Dracosoft, the company behind popular shareware games such as Burst and Avalanche has released a new shareware game entitled Wordsmith. Available for Mac OS 8.6+ and Mac OS X, Wordsmith is an entertaining word-forming game.

    Form words up to seven letters long before the time expires, or enjoy more relaxing play in practice mode.

    Use wilds and letters to form words as fast as you can. Create words with bonus letters for additional points. Get more points by forming words five, six, and seven letters long. Use the hot buttons at the bottom, to shuffle tiles, drop your hand, or automatically create words.

    Wordsmith weighs in at about 1.5 MB and is available for download from the Dracosoft web site.


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    Arcane Arena for OS X Released
    10:44 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Freeverse Software today announced the release of Arcane Arena for OS X, the massively multiplayer online game of adventuring and combat. A demo of Arcane Arena 1.04 can be found at the Freeverse web site allowing you to advance a character up to the 3rd level before having to register. There are two versions of Arcane Arena, the first runs in Apple OS 8.1 through 9.2.1 natively and the other runs native in Mac OS X.

    Here's more info about Arcane Arena:

    Arcane Arena features a huge dungeon filled with treasure, terrors, and a demoness who's a cross between Gweneth Paltrow and your worst nightmare! Gather some friends online and go exploring, or work out your personal issues in the Arena with a combination of eldritch energies, naked steel, and primal scream therapy.

    Using a unique battle-timer system in which individual speed characteristics effect the real-world rate at which you receive turns, Arcane Arena captures both the adrenaline rush of real time games and the complex, tactical satisfaction of turn-based play. Arcane Arena is only $4.99 a month, (billed quarterly), or $29.95 for a full year.

    Be sure to head over to the Freeverse web site for more on Arcane Arena.

    Arcane Arena

    Aspyr Newsletter: Jedi Knight II Beta, Battlegrounds Demo
    10:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Late yesterday Aspyr Media released their August Newsletter. While the company didn't announce any new projects in the update, it did provide a few interesting tidbits on some of their just-released and upcoming games.

    First comes news that The Sims Vacation is now shipping. In the game, your Sims can interact with over 125 new items including the Snowman and the Camping Tent and meet new characters such as the Vacation Director, the Yeti, the Archer, and even a Beach Shark.

    The Sims Vacation requires the original The Sims to play and is available for order from Aspyr Media as well as the IMG Store.

    In other news, Aspyr also announced that the Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds expansion pack, Clone Campaigns, has entered beta.

    Duane "The Rock" Johnson, from Westlake Interactive, is doing the conversion and we are currently at the Beta stage.
    There's also good news for those who have been clamoring for a demo of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds.
    For those of you who haven't played the original Star Wars® Galactic Battlegrounds™ keep your eyes peeled for the demo, scheduled to be released this labor day weekend.
    Aspyr also mentions in their newsletter that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast are in the beta stage and should be released in the next few months. Here's what Aspyr's Michael Rogers had to say about Ghost Recon:
    "The game is looking great and we've been having a fun time play..I mean testing it" says Michael Rogers, President of Aspyr. "Mac gamers are really going to love all the gameplay they get with this game. The single player missions alone offer countless hours of fun. The multi player is just flat-out cool!"
    The newsletter has other interesting tidbits about QuakeCon 2002 and more. To check out the entire newsletter, click on the link below.

    Be on the lookout for the Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds on later today.

    IMG Preview: The Sims Vacation
    IMG First Look: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
    IMG First Look: Jedi Knight II
    IMG Review: Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
    Aspyr Media
    Aspyr August Newsletter

    Custer Uses The Force
    9:28 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    As is customary at this time of the week, IMG's desktop wizard, Brad Custer, has unleashed another new desktop creation. Today's creation features Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the highly anticipated first-person shooter set in the Star Wars world.

    Here's more from Brad's update:

    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is being ported to the Macintosh by Aspyr Media in partnership with LucasArts. Players assume the role of Kyle as they employ a unique mix of weapons, Force powers and your lightsaber in both single and multiplayer modes.

    Use the Force! ;)

    After seeing the game at the expo last month, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has been on my mind. I continue working on desktops to be included with the game itself and I wanted to share another version with you. This week's offering is a spin on an official wallpaper offered by LucasArts.I entitled it "Meltdown" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)

    Custer's Desktops come in all kinds of sizes, from 1920 x 1200 all the way down to 640 x 480. Head over this Brad's section for a peek.

    And don't forget, Jedi Knight II is available for pre-order through the IMG Store!

    Custer's Desktops

    Ask MacPlay Returning For Round 5
    9:10 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    In cooperation with MacPlay, we're now working on the fifth installment of the popular feature called "Ask MacPlay." The concept is easy: send us your questions, and we'll submit the best of the best to MacPlay. We'll then post the answers on IMG at a later date.

    So, if you have a question for MacPlay, by all means, email your questions to with the words Ask MacPlay in the Subject field. You can ask questions about their games, games you'd like to see from MacPlay, or even of specific persons at MacPlay. Please note, however, that questions like "Are you porting Game X to the Mac?" get asked over and over and over. So please try to come up with different and unique questions.


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    Black & White 2 Interview
    6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Computer and Video has posted an interview with Lionhead's Peter Molyneux about this upcoming sequel to their popular God game, Black & White 2. In this exclusive interview, Molyneux discusses some of the various changes Black & White 2 will offer, including the storyline and changes in gameplay. Also covered is the game's current progress, as well as the original Black & White's current status in the market.

    Here is a snippit from the full interview:

    The little creatures have changed in appearance, so what is the time span from the original Black and White?

    Molyneux: If you want to be comparable to human history, then I guess it's like taking them up to the crusades or dark ages when people were going out and battling in the name of Good - even though they were cutting the scrotums off every person they defeated. We're also doing a lot of work on making sure the lands of the countries are very, very different. We found looking at the mistakes we made in Black and White and trying to rectify them - you know, the idea that Japan should look more Japanese, and we're introducing an all host of new technology. A lot of the game will be played in and on the water, water technology and water battles. [Peter points at a water animation]- that's just pure simulation - not a camera pointed at the sea - we've had a guy researching water for two years.

    Be sure to check out the full interview for further details.

    It's All Here in Black & White 2(Interview)
    Lionhead Studios
    Black & White

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    Shadowbane Beta Test Update
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    A new war report has been posted at the official Shadowbane web site, giving the scoop on what has been happening the past two weeks in this massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Shadowbane focuses on player interaction more than leveling up your individual character, and this latest update reflects the fact as two major sides attempt to otherthrow one another. In the middle of this conflict, there are some attempting to stay neutral, while many more cities are being created throughout the game world, which is currently in closed beta. Here's a clip with an introduction to what's happening:

    The war between the Burning Legion, Vengeance Agenda, and the Nex / Covenant of Swords (COS) alliance raged across the land. Thus far neither side had gained a momentum-shifting advantage over the other, and each side continued to launch regular assaults in order to weaken the other by wearing them down. The Burning Legion’s weakness was that it had too many cities to defend, but not enough manpower to hold them against multiple attacks by enemies that vastly outnumbered them. The weakness of Vengeance was that it was the heart of the VA rebellion and the sole repository of all the VA’s worldly assets. The weakness of the Nex city was its remote location on the far northwestern peninsula, but that also served as its strength in matters of defense.
    The update serves up many details, including new screen shots of many of the key players in the conflict.

    The pre-order "package" for Shadowbane was recently announced to be shipping, at least for the PC. Soon Mac users will be able to pre-order the game as well and receive a grab-bag of goodies for $10 (which counts towards the final version, shipping in November).

    Shadowbane War Report
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane Visits Infogrames
    6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story recently paid a trip to Infogrames to see for themselves some of their upcoming titles. Of them, they wrote up previews on a few, including games like, Unreal II: The Awakening, Civilization III: Play The World, and Master of Orion 3. The site has posted an article covering these titles in depth using a "better and worse" system to rate each game's progress.

    Here's are excerpts from the article:

    Unreal II: The Awakening
    The environments for U2 are stunning and unique. One of the 13 worlds, which appeared to be a mix of Aliens and Star Trek's Borg was not only dark, foreboding, and stylish, but had unusually immense scale. Usually relegated to corridors and rooms, the U2 team is keeping this game's interiors expansive and wide-open, with the end result making us feel positively dwarfed. It's a cool feeling to have massive alien structures make players feel like peons. This technique conveys the emotion of the world, which definitely comes across here.
    Civilization III: Play the World
    Another new addition in the expansion is stack movement. Though the group moves at the rate of the slowest unit, you can now tell entire stacks of units to move together, eliminating repeat orders. Other similar time-savers like auto-bombardment, which commands bombers to repeat the same attack each turn, and rally points help alleviate tedious, unneeded repetition.
    Master of Orion 3
    One key concept of MOO3 is how you can automate almost everything in the game. One idea that looked pretty cool is a system that allows you to set the AI to kick in whenever certain conditions are met. For example, if a planet experiences unrest, you can have the AI go with a predetermined response. The AI can now handle everything from colonization to ship design to build orders.
    For more information on each game, you can check out their own individual "sneak previews", all found conveniently in one article.

    Judgement Day: Infogrames' Good and Bad
    Unreal II
    Civilization III
    Master of Orion III
    Buy Civilization III
    Buy Master of Orion III

    Logitech Control Center 10.2 Update
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Accelerate Your Mac recently got word of an update to the Logitech Control Center for compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2. The previous version of the application didn't play well with Jaguar, but all reports are that this fixes any issues with the newest operating system. The Logitech Control Center covers both keyboards and mice made by the company, and works in OS X 10.1.2-10.2.

    The Logitech Control Center (LCC) supports Mac OS X and allows you to program your keyboard and/or mouse buttons to perform different functions and to take full advantage of your Logitech keyboard, mouse or trackball. With the LCC and your Logitech keyboard, you can:

    * Browse the Internet using dedicated keys that provide one-touch access to your favorite sites.
    * Launch your email application by pressing a button.
    * Play music and control the system speaker using built-in buttons.
    * Open frequently used items, such as documents, folders and applications, with a single keystroke.
    You can also use the LCC with your Logitech mouse or trackball to:

    * Scroll in windows of applications built for MacOS X. You can scroll up and down with a single keystroke or wheel movement.
    * Switch between open applications.
    * Show contextual menus with a single mouse click.
    * Simulate keystrokes to provide shortcuts to commands you use regularly.

    Head over to the download page to grab the 4.5MB application now. Logitech has also posted a list of frequestion asked questions which should be helpful for users to read.

    Download Logitech Control Center for OS X
    Logitech Control Center OS X FAQ
    Accelerate Your Mac

    Mac Games News for Thursday, August 29, 2002

    ATI Announces MOBILITY RADEON 900012:24 PM
    IMG Store: The Sims: Vacation, Fallout 2 Shipping12:11 PM
    IMG Reviews Internet Keyboard Pro12:04 PM
    Myth III 159 Build Pulled11:46 AM
    New EV: Nova Patch Nears Release9:40 AM
    Civ III Dev Explains 'Turnless' Play6:00 AM
    New Bungie Fan Site Launches6:00 AM
    New Vendetta Test 3.0 Release Date6:00 AM
    Shadowbane Pre-Order Disc Ships6:00 AM
    Sim Screenshots Galore6:00 AM
    Super Collapse Sells 100,0006:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 29, 2002 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

    Wednesday, August 28, 2002
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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