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Monday, September 16, 2002

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November Release for MOO3?
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apolyton's site dedicated to Master of Orion III spotted a few new forum posts from Quicksilver and publisher Infogrames regarding a possible release date and limited beta phase. The strategy title has been through a long development period, with the two companies reevaluating their original Q1 2002 release date to give them time to refocus on making the game fun for fans of the series.

In one thread, Infogrames senior producer, Constantine Hantzopoulos notes they are hoping to now have Master of Orion III ready aroung the end of November. This is the most firm date we've heard in quite a while, so it's good to see the team is going to make it before the end of the year. Here's the word:

MOO3 is scheduled for a 4th Quarter release sometime after Thanksgiving; we're shooting for a Nov 26th street date (that '02 for you wiseguys!), but that may slip out by a week or so (depends on testing/QA blessing the game).
Hantzopoulos also announces in the post they are opening up 25 beta testing spots for fans of the game to help get out the final gameplay tweaks. Another post in a different thread provides details:
We will be choosing about 25 people and those 25 people are not some industry "insiders"; they are YOU, the fans. There will be a FUN contest, and we will choose winners based on said contest sponsored by a cool website. I'm not giving you the details now, period, end of story, so take a chill. Details will be forthcoming within the next 2 weeks. You WILL have to sign an NDA and you WILL be expected to give solid consistent feedback. If you don't, you'll be dropped. It is also limited to the USA/CAN/Mexico because the LAWYERS say so. I have NO control over that. PLEASE do not bug me with questions on this; you'll all find out soon enough. OK!?! And you must be 18+.
For a detailed explanation of the delays and the differences between a game being feature-complete and having balanced gameplay, be sure to read through both posts. IMG has contacted MacSoft for word on if this date will also correspond to the Mac version, also being developed at Quicksilver.

Infogrames Forums: To set the record straight
Infogrames Forums: To set the record straight 2
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
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IMG Reviews The Feeble Files
1:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of The Feeble Files. The title was originally ported and published on the Mac by e.p.i.c. Interactive last year but wasn't generally available until MacPlay acquired the rights to publish it as part of their Value Series of Macintosh titles priced at $19.99.

Here's a snippet from the review:

The main story of Feeble Files is almost a mockery of popular science fiction franchises, like Star Wars and Star Trek. Basically, the main character, Feeble (the green alien you see on the front cover of the box), is living in this very overprotective society run by the all-knowing "Omni Brain". There are about a million rules, literally, and should a citizen fail to obey them, it's off to prison for personality reconstruction, oh goody! Feeble for the most part is a law-abiding citizen, but one day on his way back from Earth, he crashes into a governmental satellite and is, of course, sent to prison for personality reconstruction.

From there, Feeble discovers the Rebellion, who show Feeble the Omni Brain's true intentions, and.. well.. you can figure it out from there.

Be sure to check out the rest of the review.

IMG Review: The Feeble Files
The Feeble Files

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Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Preview
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gaming site Video Game News has posted a preview of Eidos's upcoming title, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. The next chapter in the popular Tomb Raider series, Angel of Darkess marks Lara Croft as a wanted criminal, making the story progression somewhat different than her usual archaeological explorations.

One new feature mentioned is Lara's ability to level up during play:

Another new facet of the game is that Lara will get new abilities and enhancements as you play through the game. She’ll gain more intelligence, strength and shooting ability as you complete tasks. Lara can also now adapt herself to how you play, matching your style and making each adventure more interesting.
In addition, players will also be able to control conversations Lara has with other characters in the game, which will change the way the storyline flows.

There's currently no word on a Mac port, though the fact that all the previous Tomb Raider titles have made it to our platform makes this next installment easy to anticipate. In the meantime, those interested in more information as well as a slew of screenshots can find them at the preview.

Video Game News - Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Preview
Core Design
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Q&A With UT2003 Lead Designer
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The PR machine for Epic Games' highly anticipated title Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2003) cranks ever forward, with a short interview concerning the title having recently been posted to nVidia's UT2003 page. Featuring Cliff Bleszinski, Epic's Lead Designer, the interview focuses on UT2003's new designs, including more features, weapons, and the like.

As stated in previous Q&As, Bleszinski notes that bot AI is much more human-like in UT2003, featuring bots that actually play like humans do. Some AI features include knowing when to use specific weapons depending on the situation, as well as using the translocator to rapidly traverse a map, much like human players do in Unreal Tournament.

Also mentioned are some moves that players can perform when their Adrenaline reaches a certain level:

You can get Adrenaline by scoring in a match or fragging a lot of people or picking up these pills that are scattered throughout the map. Once you have 100 points, you can perform combat-style combo moves. For example, back, back, forward, forward makes you go Berserk and you can fire twice as fast. There’s also invisibility, speed, and a defense combo. It’s a way to give you an actual bonus from all the multi-kills and killing sprees.
In other UT2003 news, the demo for the PC and Linux platforms was recently released, no doubt causing traffic jams across the net. Some enterprising IMG readers have already tried it out and posted their impressions in our forums, for those that are interested in specifics.

As far as a Mac demo goes, one reader posted the results of a question posted to Epic's Vice President Mark Rein concerning a raw ETA. The answer: "More than a month." Hopefully, we'll see this demo sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, be sure to hit our forums and the recent nVidia interview for more information on UT2003.

nVidia - Unreal Tournament 2003
IMG - UT2K3 demo is out!
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

The Gamesome Mac Returns with id's Graeme Devine
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, kicks off its new season tonight with a bang: hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg will be talking with id Software's legendary designer Graeme Devine.

We'll talk with Devine about working at id Software, developing for Mac OS X, and about his groundbreaking design work on games such as The 7th Guest (at Trilobyte), Quake III, and of course the upcoming Doom III.

We'll also be taking questions from our listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room, and bringing you our regular dose of Mac gaming news, commentary, and reviews, and giving away some great games to our listeners.

Tonight's broadcast inaugurates not only The Gamesome Mac's second season, but also the MacTV Network's new service, which over the next month will be launching three new programs, to offer Mac entertainment five nights a week.

The Gamesome Mac can be heard on Mondays from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time (9 pm Eastern; Tuesday, 01:00 UTC). You can tune in live at the program's newly redesigned web page, where you'll find archives of past shows as well. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are all that are required.

id Software

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WWIIOnline Mac Playgate Updated
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Those gamers having trouble connecting to World War II Online under Mac OS X 10.2 might want to consider a new version of the Playgate now available as a separate download from the Mac pre-release beta web site. A thread in the Mac forum at Cornered Rat's web site confirms this update fixes issues with connections as well as speeds up loading times dramatically.

The Playgate update is only a 664k download, so be sure to grab it now if you haven't done so already. And players wanting to join in on the multiplayer war sim action should sign up and grab the full client also available at the World War II Online web site.

World War II Online Mac Pre-Release Beta Site
New Version of PlayGate is out
Download Playgate Mac Update
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

New Mac Tenebrae Quake Available
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A helpful poster to the IMG forums spotted a new beta of Tenebrae Quake now available for the Mac, thanks to Fruitz of Dojo. Tenebrae is a project to update the open-source Quake engine from id Software with next-generation hardware features such as stencil shaders and per-pixel lighting to the classic first-person shooter.

The new Mac update fixes a number of issues and adds support for features like bump mapping. It should be noted you will need to delete your old Tenebrae application and folder, as the new Mac download includes a newer version than even what is available now for the PC. Here's the scoop from the Fruitz of Dojo forum thread:

The download includes the "tenebrae" folder. Note that you _must_ use the tenebrae folder that comes with this download. The App is based on the yet unreleased v1.0.2 and this version introduces some new files to the tenebrae folder.

Bump-mapping works with this version. The bug preventing it was related to the infinite-shadow-volume projection matrix. The Windows OpenGL implementation rounded the result of a formula to 1.0. 1.0 was right but since the Mac OpenGL implementation seems to have a higher precision we got the _real_ result of the formula.

The post continues, noting they are still working on clipping issues and a later in the thread, notes they will enhance ATI support as well soon:
Btw. the game will run slow on an ATI Radeon because there are currently no ATI Radeon specific extensions used. I promise to optimize the Radeon path with the vertex program and the fragment shader extension once the standard renderer is working.
If you're interested in trying out this OS X beta of Tenebrae Quake, grab the new 4.5MB download now. Data files from the original Quake are required in order to play.

Fruitz of Dojo Tenebrae Quake Forum Thread
Download Tenebrae Quake Public Beta 2
IMG Forum: New Tenebrae out
id Software

Mac Games News for Friday, September 13, 2002

New Ghost Recon Screenshots Posted2:32 PM
Warbirds III 09.09.02 Update2:22 PM
IMG Store: Pre-Order The MacGames DVD1:24 PM
Civ III Chat Today9:20 AM
Custer Remembers9:20 AM
Dungeon Siege Preview; Current Status9:20 AM
Master of Orion 3 Development Update9:20 AM
Q&A, New Screenshots for Torque-Based Games9:20 AM
Squish! Goes Beta9:20 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 13, 2002 on one page

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