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Wednesday, September 4, 2002

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Mac Wolf 1.4 Patch in Testing
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive's Duane Johnson posted a quick announcment to the IMG forums yesterday evening that the upcoming 1.4 patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein is already in testing for the Mac. Johnson also clarifies exactly why some users are experiencing issues with the latest 1.33 beta of this title from popular publisher Aspyr Media.

Johnson calls the 1.4 patch "up and running," noting that "despite a heavy load of other work, wolf 1.4 is in testing." The Wolfenstein fan base, which has been known to be excitable about lag times between upgrades in the past, should be very happy to see the news.

In a second post to the thread, he explains why some gamers are have slowdowns with the current 1.33 beta, and how this is connected to ATI's Truform technology. Johnson notes that the way the game was written by id and Nerve, only the singleplayer will support Truform at all, and then at a price of decreased framerates. Here's more:

Since Apple only passes the vertex normals down the pipe if lighting is enabled. These normals are needed for TF [TruForm] to work. So a zero intensity ambient light is used.

In the 1.33Beta version I was not disableing the light when a non-TF tri-strip was being rendered, hence the significant performance hit. That's been fixed. Also I had some SP [singleplayer] code "leak" into the MP [multiplayer] version which was turning on TF when an 8500 was detected, It should never be turned on in MP, that's also fixed.

Not too much is yet known about what the 1.4 update will bring, but according to a recent article at LinuxGames, the patch will improve online aspects, such as " adding server and mod URL support within RTCW to facilitate access to server info."

IMG will keep you posted as any other information about Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but there is yet no official release date for the 1.4 update. Thanks to Johnson and the rest of the Westlake and Aspyr crews for their hard work on getting this patch ready for release.

RtCW is 1.4 Up and Running Forum Thread
Linux Games QuakeCon Interview
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

IMG Interviews Pangea's Greenstone
12:17 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted an interview with Pangea's Brian Greenstone. In the past few months, Pangea has been working on their latest creation, Bugdom 2, which is scheduled to ship this fall.

Here's a snippet from the interview:

IMG: Brian, tell us how Bugdom 2 is coming along. Are you still planning on shipping this fall?

Greenstone: Bugdom 2 is coming along extremely well. We're actually a week or so ahead of schedule right now. When we started the game, I was worried whether we were going to have enough unique ideas for it so that it wasn't just a re-hash of the original Bugdom, but we've come up with some really cool stuff for this one. There's a lot more to this game than there was in Bugdom 1. It appears we'll be alpha in a few weeks, and then beta about one month after that. We still plan on going GM around November 1st.

Be sure to check out the rest of the interview by clicking on the link below.

Pangea Software
IMG Interview: Pangea's Brian Greenstone

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Soldier of Fortune II Officially Ships
11:53 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacPlay's Henry Price emailed IMG this morning to let us know that Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix has begun shipping and should be showing up in online and retail stores soon.

The sequel to one of 2000's most innovative first-person action games, Soldier of Fortune II delivers a realistic covert-operative themed gameplay experience with intense action, mind blowing Quake III Arena powered graphics and a mile-a-minute storyline. Assume the role of John Mullins, a military consultant working for the top-secret anti-terrorist group known as The Shop. In the game, you must tackle a wide-range of missions from hostage rescue and intelligence gathering, to search-and-destroy. Level design in Soldier of Fortune II is flexible enough to allow for multiple styles of play. "Hit 'em hard" with a frontal assault or use stealth weapons for a subtle approach.

Raven Software
Buy SoF II

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Lineage Changes, Deathmatch Arenas
8:58 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The site for Lineage: the Blood Pledge was updated recently with a long list of changes for their weekly publish update of this massively multiplayer online RPG. All of these changes will take place at 10:00am Central time today. This unusually large update makes the normal round of bug fixes, but also adds a number of quests for each character type and also brings a new Arena Deathmatch to the game.

For those players who would like to prove their worth in the game, they can now purchase entry or just spectator passes to in-game fighting events twice a day. Those fighting must be level 40 or higher and will take on monsters as well as other players in return for experience and loot. Here are a few more details from the update:

  • Admission fee is 1,000 adena.
  • Players will be able to purchase an entry ticket up to 5 minutes before the session starts. Players will be teleported outside of the arena 5 minutes after the last monster has spawned. Player self-teleportation will NOT be disabled during this, so do not leave the arena unless necessary as you will be unable to return.
  • Twice per day, the arena will be ready. The times are tentatively set to be 1pm and 10pm Central US time. This will allow for an evening event in both the US and Europe.
  • Spectator tickets will be sold to allow viewing the battles for 100 adena.
  • Player versus player combat is allowed inside of the Arena.
  • Players will lose experience if killed by a monster when inside of the arena. However they will not lose experience if killed by another player in the Arena.
For more information on the Arena Deathmatch, as well as the other changes going out today, be sure to head over and read the full update.

Lineage Publish Announcement for September 4
Download Lineage Episode 11

GameRanger Adds MacPlay's Soldier of Fortune II
8:21 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

GameRanger's Scott Kevill today announced the addition of a new game title to the popular online gaming service, GameRanger. In addition to the 105 previous titles, gamers can now play MacPlay's Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix on the service.

Here's more from the press release:

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix plunges the player into the secret and deadly world of the modern day mercenary as they race around the globe to stop a bio-terrorist organization. New features include and enhanced version of the Quake III Arena game engine for explosive special effects and fast action gameplay, GHOUL II Technology with ultra-realistic damage modeling anywhere on the body, the TORR Terrain system that allows a full range of player movements including manning entrenched guns and riding in vehicles, and even deadlier AI that the original.
For more on Soldier of Fortune II, be sure to check out our preview. Be on the lookout for an extensive review of the game soon.

Soldier of Fortune II is available for order from the IMG Store.

IMG First Look: Soldier of Fortune II
Raven Software
Buy SoF II

PowerLogix Announces PowerForce Dual G4 Upgrades
8:03 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Late yesterday, PowerLogix announced two new additions to the PowerForce line of processor upgrade cards for older PowerMac G4s. The new PowerForce Dual G4 Series 100/133 sport dual 800 (dual 867 for Series 133) and dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, each with access to 2 MB of SDR L3 cache. The PowerForce Dual G4 upgrades support all G4 AGP Macs up to the Quicksilvers that were introduced in early 2002, as well as the G4 Cube. Set to ship in two to three weeks, the upgrades will be priced at $799 for the dual 800/867 module and $1199 for the dual 1 Ghz module. PowerLogix also notes two important disclaimers in the press release:

Early models of AGP have a bridge chip that is not compatible with dual processors. We recommend the PowerForce G4 Series 100 (single processor) for those machines. The Dual G4 Series 100 Product Notice page has instructions on how to determine if an AGP machine is dual compatible.


The PowerMac G4 Cube has a lower capacity power supply and therefore we conservatively recommend installing at most a Dual 800MHz. As Motorola introduces faster processors with lower core voltages, this recommended clock speed limit may increase. The kit for the Cube includes a high-output fan which does mean the Cube is no longer silent but the trade-off is significantly more speed. Cube owners who prefer silent operation should opt for a single processor upgrade up to 1GHz.

In a post to the MacNN forums, a PowerLogix representative suggested an alternative upgrade path for those who can not afford these upgrades:
You can get a single processor now and upgrade to a dual later if you like, with Powerlogix. [snip] This means you could buy a single 1gig now for $699 retail (or less at your favorite outlet) and when dual 1gigs drop to say, $699 and singles are $399, you could upgrade again and double the number of processors for three hundred bucks. This is a good way to spread out the cost and your net cash out is $200 less.
This caps off an active period for PowerLogix as they announced single processor 700, 800, and 1 GHz G4 upgrades, then announced price cuts and an increase in the L3 cache shortly after the product shipped. All in all, this is great news for owners of older PowerMac G4s who are looking to upgrade at a reasonable cost.

PowerForce Dual G4 Series 100/133 Press Release
PowerForce Dual G4 Series 100
PowerForce Dual G4 Series 133
PowerForce G4 Series 100
PowerForce G4 Series 133
PowerLogix Comments in MacNN Forums

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Microsoft Announces Seven New Desktop Peripherals
8:03 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

In what Microsoft considers the biggest rollout of desktop peripherals in company history, the computer giant has unveiled three new optical mice and four new multimedia keyboards, which are designed specifically to meet the needs of consumers. According to the press release, Microsoft designed the Optical Mouse Blue, Wireless Optical Mouse Blue, Multimedia Keyboard, and Natural Multimedia Keyboard for those "who view their computers as fun, relaxing escape machines." Finished in Astral blue, the two mice have wider, translucent scroll wheels and the keyboards feature media keys for easy access to regularly used media functions.

For business-oriented users, Microsoft offers the Wireless Optical Desktop, Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, and the Notebook Optical Mouse. The two "Desktop" bundles include a wireless optical mouse, with matching black and titanium finishes. The Notebook Optical Mouse is Microsoft's first mouse for portables and features a "sophisticaed, red-accented titanium finish with unparalleled comfort in a compact pointing device."

More information can be found in the press release and on Microsoft's Hardware site.

Press Release: Microsoft Announces New Desktop Peripherals
Wireless Optical Mouse Blue
Optical Mouse Blue
Notebook Optical Mouse
Multimedia Keyboard
Natural Multimedia Keyboard
Wireless Optical Desktop
Wireless Optical Desktop Pro

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X-Plane Adds Jaguar Support, More
6:00 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Laminar Research released version 6.30 of its flagship flight sim, X-Plane today. Arguably the most notable feature of the new version is restored support for joysticks in Mac OS X 10.2. Apple's latest OS release resulted in the loss of joystick support for many games, X-Plane among them. Laminar's website details the full list of changes in version 6.30. Here are just a few:

  • Plane-Maker can now equip an airplane with weapons that you design, so that you may begin designing weapons and airplanes now for X-Plane COMBAT, coming soon!
  • Tilting wings now available for steering!
  • Pressurization systems now simulated... you want that detail? You got it!
  • Mars flight more realistic by shrinking the planet down to the right size...

    Tech Improvements:
  • Downwash accuracy improved for high-dihedral cases.
  • Propwash is now more realistic, as is settling with power in helos.

    General Improvements:
  • Joysticks fully compatible in MacOS X.2!
  • Airfoil-Maker has scaled reference-lines to help you get your airfoils in there perfectly.
  • ECAM displays now different for planes vs. helos, giving better failure-notification for the type of craft you are in
X-Plane is Laminar's advanced general-aviation flight simulator, supporting a wide variety of aircraft and situations, from fire fighting to space flight. The latest revisions of the program are made in preparation for X-Plane Combat, a more military-oriented version of the simulation platform.

Laminar Research
X-Plane 6
Download 6.30 Mini-Update (13MB)
X-Plane 6.30 Download Site
X-Plane Mars Scenery Project

illumineX Releases Mnemonix
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

illumineX, maker of OS X titles such as BabelBloX and MarbleX, has released a new title for puzzle gamers to while away their time. Titled MnemoniX, this latest release is a based around memory matching:

MnemoniX is a game of memory and matching. It offers a wide variety of features to tailor the game to your tastes. By changing tile sets, the collection of images that are being matched up is changed. Changing to a new game variant will alter the rules of the game allowing selection of a wide variety of challenging options. By selecting the tile set and game variant, the difficulty of the game can be adjusted to match your ability level.
Several game modes are also available, including Big Ben, Classic, Progressive, and Marathon, which can take over 90 minutes to complete.

Those interested in trying MnemoniX out can download a trial version for free at illumineX's site. The download package is sized at around 6.7 MB and runs under 10.1 or later, including the recently released 10.2.

illumineX - MnemoniX

Unreal II Intelligence Report Available
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

With all the news flying about regarding Epic's highly anticipated title Unreal Touranment 2003, sometimes gamers forget that Unreal II, the singleplayer sequel to the original title that started it all, is also currently in the works. For anyone interested, the Action Vault at IGN has compiled an Unreal II Intelligence Report that covers all the bases regarding this title.

Besides noting developer Legend Entertainment and publisher Infogrames, the report contains information on such topics as opponents, story, and available weaponry:

Unreal has always been about blowing things apart in marvelous and amazing ways, and Unreal II just might take this to a new level. Many favorite weapons re-appear - machine guns, pistols, rocket launchers, shotguns, flame throwers and grenade launchers. Each one has a secondary fire mode; some are more varied than others, such as the grenade launcher that can fire up to six different types of grenades. The rocket launcher can change a single rocket in to four different heat-seeking rockets. And what game is complete without new and fascinating ways to dissect enemies? Unreal II has the leech gun, and we are waiting to find out about others.
Several screenshots of Unreal II are also included, just in case anyone has forgotten how good this game currently looks.

We have no official word as of yet regarding the possibility of a Mac port, but rest assured we're keeping our ears to the ground. In the meantime, those interested in the full read can find it at IGN's Action Vault.

IGN Action Vault - Unreal II Intelligence Report
Epic Games
Unreal II

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 3, 2002

IMG Reviews Fallout 212:57 PM
Monkey Byte Web Games Testers Needed9:22 AM
Unreal Tournament 2003 'Likely' for OS X8:07 AM
AstroSquid Released by LostMinds6:00 AM
Geneforge OS X Beta Updated6:00 AM
Links Golf Community Second Season Info6:00 AM
Two New Omni Group Games Underway6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 3, 2002 on one page

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