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Monday, September 2, 2002

Have A Happy and Safe Labor Day
2:03 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The IMG crew is taking a much needed Labor Day break today, so we won't be posting any features today. Be sure to check in tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3rd, when we return to our regularly scheduled program.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day folks!

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Shadowbane Q&A with Sean Dahlberg
12:46 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

The Electric Playground has just posted an interview with Wolfpack's Sean Dahlberg that talks about the company's latest upcoming online roleplaying game, Shadowbane.

While the interview does cover some of the many features Shadowbane will boast, the main focus of the interview is Dahlberg's personal take on what he hopes Shadowbane will accomplish, as well as his views on MMORPGs in general:

Walker: It's become a MMORPG world. Do you feel that this is something that gamers' want, or something that publishers are telling gamers that they want?

Dahlberg: I would have to go with the gamers... being one myself, I love online worlds, especially persistent worlds where you can actually make a longstanding name for yourself... or rather your avatar. I believe the market is growing for MMORPGs because we finally have the technology to do them justice. Prior to a few years ago, many gamers were not interested in online RPGs because they were mostly text-based (MUDs and MUSHs). Now with the graphical enhancements, high speed access, and more advanced computer systems, MMORPGs are viable branch of the online gaming industry and are fun and addictive to play.

For more info and insights, be sure to read the full interview.

Shadowbane... More than a Game

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iff Taxi Updated
12:34 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

iff Taxi, an object organizing utility for The Sims: Hot Date (and now added support for The Sims: Vacation), has been updated to version 1.5. Here is what the latest version has to offer:

Now iff Taxi can take your favorite objects to more places than just Downtown. You can categorize objects for use with Vacation, as well as recategorizing items around your Sim’s home. Take advantage of the new object subcategories that were introduced in Hot Date to make your objects easier to find. Also, get around the “build mode bug” by recategorizing build mode items. Purchase iff Taxi to unlock its batch conversion capability and recategorize a huge collection of objects in several minutes instead of several hours.
You can download the new version of iff Taxi right now off its official website. Note that iff Taxi is shareware, and a $5 dollar registration fee is required to unlock such features as batch conversion.

Download iff Taxi 1.5
iff Taxi
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Vacation
Buy The Sims: Vacation

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Non-Mandatory Warbirds III Update
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Total Sims announced the release of a non-mandatory update to the MMO flight sim Warbirds III, labeled 08.28.02. The update, not required to play online, includes the following changes, from the Warbirds III website:

  • NEW: Aircraft and cockpits: P-39D, P-39Q
  • FIXED: Aircraft and cockpits: MC205, Mosquito IV, Mosquito VI, CV6 USS Enterprise
  • FIXED: WinXP/2000 load times improved
  • FIXED: All Shadows.
  • FIXED: Fixed most of the 'flying roads' instances
  • FIXED: All three flak and explosion sounds are used again
  • FIXED: Game honors the no cockpit selection offline
  • FIXED: Carrier takeoff and landing groundspeed/airspeed discrepancy
  • FIXED: Tonnage on Target now resets after a .load is done in an arena
  • FIXED: Drone(including wingmen)-launched paratroopers will now count towards field capture
  • FIXED: Issue with the field data not being relaoded when you are in the spawnpoint selection area and you change the terrain
  • FIXED: Bug where if a non-player-mission .off file (like the 1v1,2v2 air attack off files) were loaded and issued .fly
    command the settings in the off file (such as #wingmen,
    #enemies) were not being honored
    * FIXED: Drone Wingees as follows:
  • SBD and JU87 (non-bombay-doored planes) should now drop bombs
  • Salvo settings now honored
    * Gunners will not fire if player's plane is on ground
  • Less likely to oscillate in formation
  • Now possible to customize which planes can and can't have wingmen by a host setting

The upgrade is for Mac OS 9 only, as Total Sims is working on incompabilities with Mac OS X 10.2. Warbirds III is a massively-multiplayer online wargame with an emphasis on flight simulation. It takes place over Western Europe during World War II.

iEntertainment Network
WarBirds III
Download 08.28.02 Update for OS 9 (25MB)

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WWIIOnline Monthly Fees Increased
6:00 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

World War II Online, the hit massive multiplayer online war simulation from Cornered Rat will be receiving an increase in its monthly subscription fee in order to continue providing the online service. The new monthly subscription rate will be $12.99USD a month, and is effective immediately (as of September 1, 2002).

Here is a clip from the FAQ with word on why the change was necessary:

Why was the subscription rate increased?

This price increase was unavoidable. We have done everything possible to offset increased costs from all sources. We hope you can support the increase and agree that World War II Online remains an excellent entertainment value.

For more information about World War II Online, check out IMG's preview of the game. The Mac version is currently in open beta status, free to Mac users for testing purposes, but once a final version is released, monthly fees with apply.

World War II Online Subscription Price Change
IMG Preview: World War II Online
World War II Online

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Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin Demo Released
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As promised, Battlefront released a demo for their upcoming 3D war strategy sequel, Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin yesterday. The Mac version of this 60MB download coming in three languages, English, German, or French, and contains two scenarios, a tutorial, and even multiplayer modes. Those wanting to run the game should look at the required minimum system, though some forum posters are hinting even lower system can get by with the game:

  • G3
  • 16Mb Video card capable of running in 800x600 resolution or higher
  • 64Mb of RAM
  • 1.2 Gigabytes of Hard Drive space required (160Mb required for Demo)
  • 28.8 modem or Network/Internet access for multiplayer
They strongly suggest you head to the Battlefront forums if you're having trouble with the demo.

It should be noted that, due to the engine's exclusive use of the now-defunct RAVE API on the Mac, the demo does not run natively under OS X (which only supports OpenGL for 3D). The word from the company is that the next full rewrite of the engine (for Combat Mission 2) will be OS X compatible, but as of now it doesn't seem possible to run in OS X's Classic environment. One forum poster did find a way to ensure the game will run in full 3D mode in OS 9, while not messing up the Classic environment:

1. Upgrade to Jaguar (OS 10.2)
2. Launch any Classic App (say Graphic Calculator)
3. Accept the dialogue box about upgrading system components (gives you Classic Rave 1.8.1)
4. Goto [OS X's] System Prefences and select "Startup Disk"
5. Pick the same System Folder that Classic uses (i.e it includes the Classic Rave extension)
6. Restart
...In the meantime if you have OS X.2 reboot into 9.2.2 and everything is fine (Classic Rave 1.8.1 is OK).
If you have OS X.I.V its a bit more complex (either removing the Classic Rave extension everytime, or having a 2nd OS 9.x System Folder or using a utility (such as Conflict Catcher or Extension Manager) to ensure that Classic Rave 1.7.2 is turned off when you start up.
Many users are also reporting running the demo fine with 8MB video cards, as well, though your experience may vary.
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin Mac Demo Thread 1
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin Mac Demo Thread 2
Download Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin Demo

Mac Games News for Friday, August 30, 2002

Star Wars Galatic Battlegrounds Demo Released3:57 PM
IMG Previews Jedi Knight II1:11 PM
Weekly Ghost Recon Screenshots1:02 PM
DracoSoft Releases Wordsmith11:00 AM
Arcane Arena for OS X Released10:44 AM
Aspyr Newsletter: Jedi Knight II Beta, Battlegrounds Demo10:24 AM
Custer Uses The Force9:28 AM
Ask MacPlay Returning For Round 59:10 AM
Black & White 2 Interview6:00 AM Visits Infogrames6:00 AM
Logitech Control Center 10.2 Update6:00 AM
Shadowbane Beta Test Update6:00 AM
WWII Online Mac Beta Reopens6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 30, 2002 on one page

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Thursday, August 29, 2002
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