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Thursday, September 19, 2002

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Spiderweb OS X Updates, Sequels
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software, makers of old-school RPGs, recently dropped us a note officially announcing Geneforge has been updated to version 1.1. The update brings with it full OS X compatibility as well as a number of bug fixes. [Update] The beta for Avernum 3 was also updated recently, reportedly fixing "several bugs, including serious bugs in the endgame and Filth Factory." You can grab a new version of it's Carbonized beta from the Spidweb site.

In other news, they also mention that work has begun on two titles due sometime in 2003: Geneforge 2 and Blades of Avernum. While no further information was given, it's pretty easy to surmise that these titles are most likely sequels to Geneforge and the Avernum series, respectively.

IMG will be sure to provide more information on these upcoming titles as soon as we get it. In the meantime, those interested in snagging the latest update to Geneforge can find it at Spiderweb's site.

For those unfamiliar with the title, Geneforge is an RPG that allows players to create their own life forms:

Geneforge is an epic adventure in which you play a Shaper, a member of a
secretive and powerful magical sect with the ability to create and mold life to do your bidding. You have been kidnapped by a sinister outsider who will do anything to get you to share your secrets with him. It is up to you to fight him. Or, if you want, join him. In the open-ended world of Geneforge, how the story progresses is up to you.
More information can be found at Spiderweb's site.

Spiderweb Software
Download Avernum 3 Public OS X Beta
Avernum 3

IMG Reviews the X-Arcade
12:41 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you're into joystick and gadgets, then you'll want to check out our review of the X-Arcade, the all-in-one gaming joystick you'll ever need.

Here's a snippet from the review:

The description for the X-Arcade is something out of a hardcore gamer’s wet dream. XGaming maintains that the unit is made out of real arcade parts, right down to the wood. A standard X-Arcade unit is a behemoth of a controller that sports two joysticks with 8 buttons between them, two more buttons on either side of the unit, a load button on the back, and even 1 and 2 player buttons right where you’d expect them to be.

As if this wasn’t enough, the X-Arcade also sports a feature which makes it even more attractive – multiplatform compatibility. With the right adapters, this monster can be interfaced with Macs, PCs, PS2s, Xboxes, GameCubes, and Dreamcasts. For gamers who own multiple systems and moan and groan about the controllers that invariably pile up, the X-Arcade presents an elegant solution by providing a one-size-fits-all solution.

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

IMG Review: X-Arcade

New Blizzard Title Countdown
8:59 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard, in an effort to hype the announcement of a new game to their impressive lineup, has placed a countdown clock on their web site. The event will take place at 9:00am Friday in Tokyo, or 5:00pm PST today. Fans at sites like are getting excited, with polls letting readers speculate what the game will be, and other trying to interpret some hidden meaning from the company's countdown.

Most fans are voting for a StarCraft sequel, many are speculating it could be a new franchise, while some even suspect it could be a console title. If you have an idea as to what the game might be, shout it out in the IMG forum thread already underway.

Blizzard Entertainment
Warcraftiii New Game Poll
IMG Forum Thread
Warcraftiii Countdown Forum Thread

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Vendetta 3.0.3 Update
8:38 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In their continuing effort to shorten the list of bugs in their current Vendetta 3 test, Guild Software has today released version 3.0.3 of the 3D space shooter. Vendetta is currently in public beta testing, and the milestone 3 they reached this past week adds many new features such as a basic trading system and multiple sectors in the game's universe. Here's what's new in version 3.0.3:

Fixed weapon-selection bug. Added hotkeys for (B)uy, (S)ell, and (R)epair. Zbuffer improved for OpenGL. Station interface bug (crash) has been fixed. Added a "/explode" command to console for self-destruction. Various other sanity checking improvements and misc fixes.

Still no wormhole-numbers on radar. Expect that in 3.0.4.

Run the Vendetta updater to automatically grab this new version of the title. As indicated in the game's forums, the team is working on bugs now and will move forward with tweaking the gameplay as well in the near future.

Guild Software
Vendetta Online

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Master of Orion III Beta Testing Contest
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Strategy gaming site Apolyton, in conjunction with Infogrames and Quicksilver, is currently hosting a unique contest. The prize? The chance to beta test Quicksilver's upcoming strategy title Master of Orion III (MOO3).

The method of entry is quite simple. The entry form page at Apolyton lists the pictures of 16 different races, each accompanied by a pulldown menu. Contestants simply need to match the appropriate race with each picture, fill out the online form, and submit their entry.

It should be noted that, as this contest makes no mention of platforms, it's likely that the beta test will be PC only. If nothing else, however, the entry form shows off the variety of races that will be included in MOO3 and is definitely worth a look in that regard.

The only other restrictions for the contest is that entrants need to be 18 years of age or older and live in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. The usual non-disclosure clause also applies.

Those interested in taking a crack at the contest need only head over to Apolyton and take on the challenge! Time is short, however, as the contest ends this Friday at 12:00pm EST. Winners will be announced on the following Wednesday, Sept. 25th.

For those unfamiliar with the title, MOO3 is a spacefaring strategy title that centers around domination of the universe. Players will have planets and armadas at their disposal as they trade and battle their way into power.

Apolyton - Master of Orion III Beta Testing Contest
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

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GarageGames Hosting Indie Game Conference
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

After tossing around the idea for some time, GarageGames has announced Indie Games Convention 2002, a gathering of independent game makers in their home town of Eugene, Oregon. The conference is scheduled for November 1, 2, and 3 and will feature a keynote by GarageGames' Jeff Tunnell, various sessions on making it in the gaming industry, and a large LAN party.

The inspiration behind the event came after meeting with some of the developers licensing the GarageGames' Torque engine at this year's Game Developer's Conference, and noticing they needed to create a place for more independent game makers to converge. The IDC will cost $150, which includes food, alcoholic beverages, and the cost of hosting a LAN party on Saturday.

They are currently seeking ideas for sessions and have started brainstorming a few already:

"Making it as a traditional game developer." What to expect. How to get your jobs. How to sell your ideas to a publisher. Should I use an agent? Do I need a demo? How much can I make?

Where Do I Get Money? How can I possibly raise enough money to get my game out? Traditional methods, non-traditional methods.

Making Money as a Contract Artist - Get the word out, how much to charge, can you make $ doing this?

PR Marketing – Getting press for games reaching the core market and beyond.

Community Projects: RealmWars an experiment in available source development.

Possible Presentations:
"What Game Companies Expect or Working at a Big Game
Company": This is the mirror image of the above presentation in that it is from the perspective of a large publisher instead of the developer.

Business Aspects of Running your company: Very traditional accounting and legal aspects. LLC vs. partnership, record keeping, etc.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property: Use of NDA's. Can I post ideas to forums? Work for hire and IP protection.

MMP Games. Fortune or Folly?: The difficulties involved with create a MMP start up. Technology, content, infrastructure, costs.

If you're an independent developer who wants to add to the ideas, throw them out in the forum thread already underway at GarageGames. A basic web site is in place now, so check it for more information to be posted soon.

IndieGamesCon '02 Forum Thread

Quake 4 Designer Talks Games
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

PlanetQuake has posted a belated interview from this summer's QuakeCon with Raven Software's Jim Hughes. Hughes was lead designer on games like the Soldier of Fortune series and now heads up the levels for Quake 4. In the interview they discuss his hiring at Raven, the state of the gaming industry and how it relates to and feeds from game mods, and the technology itself. Here's a clip:

PQ: So, how long does it take to make a model for one of the next-generation games and how has that changed?

JH: With each generation of technology, even Quake 3, there are more polys on a model, and someone's got to spend the time to make them. The skin resolutions get higher density, you get more chance to do photorealistic stuff like we did in SoF2. In SoF 1 we couldn't do it as much because once you take a picture of someone's face if it only fits on a 32x32 texture you lose a lot of it. If you have a really high-resolution texture you can actually capture the expression on the face. And so it just gets exponentially worse with each generation of technology - more polys, higher resolution.

For more on modifications and their effect on a company like Raven, have a read through the rest of the interview.

PlanetQuake: Jim Hughes Interview
Raven Software

Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 18, 2002

IMG Reviews The Sims: Vacation1:05 PM
Shadowbane Interviews, Video11:45 AM
Lineage II Interview9:24 AM
Oni Issues Under Mac OS X 10.29:24 AM
PlayMyth 1.2 Patch Coming to Myth II9:24 AM
UHS 5.0 Updated for OS X9:24 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 18, 2002 on one page

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