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Friday, October 25, 2002

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WWIIOnline Mac Publishing Details
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG chatted briefly with Playnet's Al "Rafter" Corey about the situation regarding the upcoming Mac version of World War II Online. While this massively multiplayer war sim will be published by Strategy First alongside its PC counterpart, some had wondered whether their previous announcement mentioning Infogrames would mean MacSoft (now an Infogrames label) might also get involved.

Corey notes this is not the case in his statement:

The Mac version is being published in North America by Strategy First and distributed by Infogrames. It is not being published through the MacSoft label but will be available at major retailers like CompUSA and in early November.
For more on World War II Online, be sure to check out IMG's recent in-depth interview and screenshots.

Interview: World War II Online
WWII Online Mac Screenshots
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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IMG First Look: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
11:57 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a first-look of Aspyr's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. The game, which was announced yesterday for the Macintosh, is scheduled to be released this fall. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 features fast-paced skateboarding fun on eight massive living levels equipped with state-of-the-art hi-resolution display and advanced special effects.

Here's a clip from the first look:

Another highlight of the THPS series has always been the level design. Not only are the various skating areas wildly varied and utterly huge, but they come with a level of interactivity that tends to keep pulling players back in hopes of uncovering some new animation or secret route. THPS3 continues this trend by offering even larger, crazier levels for players to conquer. Besides skating on a cruise ship or helping a poor fellow separate his tongue from a frozen pole, a frequently talked-about level is the Los Angeles one, which features an earthquake that literally shakes up the freeways. Other locations include Paris, Tokyo, and a Canadian skate camp.
Be sure to check out the rest of the first-look by click on the link below.

IMG First Look: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Aspyr Media
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

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IMG Store: Pre-Order Heroes of Might & Magic IV
9:34 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The Inside Mac Games store is now taking pre-orders from 3DO's Heroes of Might & Magic IV. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can pre-order the game for just $44. Non-subscribers can pick it up for just $49.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV is the highly-anticipated next chapter in the award-winning Heroes series. This stellar new addition combines proven award-winning gameplay with an all-new state-of-the-art engine. It showcases an all-new, highly detailed fantasy world where players will be immersed in a battle for territory and resources. Rise to the challenge by commanding armies comprised of skillful warriors and fantastic creatures. Collect vital resources and artifacts. Fight enemies and capture towns. Strategic planning and tactical cunning are instrumental in your goal to be the undisputed ruler of the new world!


  • For the first time, your hero personally fights in combat!
  • All-new isometric game engine immerses you in the excitement of Adventure and Combat.
  • Complete quests involving over 400 individual adventure structures.
  • Choose from 11 starting hero classes, each with unique abilities, and progress to 37 advanced hero classes.
  • Five schools of magic: Order, Life, Nature, Chaos and Death!
  • Command over 60 fantastic creatures with extraordinary new combat abilities.
  • 6 challenging campaigns in a whole new Might and Magic world.

    System Requirements

  • MacOS 9.x or greater, 10.1 or greater
  • Power Macintosh G3 350 MHz or Greater
  • 192 MB RAM
  • 4X Speed CD-ROM Drive
  • 800x600 video display (thousands of colors)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Internet connection required for Network Play. Player solely responsible for all internet related fees and charges.

    Heroes of Might & Magic IV is scheduled to ship in late November.

    IMG First Look: Heroes of Might & Magic IV
    Contraband Entertainment
    Heroes of Might & Magic IV
    Buy Heroes of Might & Magic IV

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    Master of Orion III Dev Diary
    9:32 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    GameSpy has posted a very revealing look back at the development of Master of Orion III from QuickSilver's Rantz Hoseley. With the game very near to completion, the article almost reads like a postmortem of trials and mistakes made during development. He discusses their initial drive to make the game a complex "galaxy simulator, not a game," and the decision earlier this year to go back and put the fun back into it.

    At the beginning of the process, we had about 65 - 80 UI screens depending on your defining criteria. As we head towards "Gold," MOO3 has around 15.

    The end result is a game that is much more focused and directed in terms of the player experience. To those who are concerned about "compromised vision," let me give you two examples that underscore MOO3 in the two incarnations. In the first incarnation, one of the programmers' sons came home for a weekend, and played Master of Orion III. This is a guy who is very smart and loves TBS games, and the MOO and Civ series. After playing it, he said to his father that it was completely overwhelming and that we had indeed did what we said we would, but that it really wasn't fun.

    Cut forward to about three weeks or so ago when the external beta testers got their copies of the game and started putting it through its paces. Not one of them has said anything even slightly resembling the comment that this is a "dumbed-down" RTS game disguised as a TBS game, or anything of that sort. MOO3 is still very deep, and a serious TBS game, but now it's also comprehensible and fun. This assessment our beta testers seem to agree with.

    Another big portion of the piece talks about their overexposure to the fans and how it hurt them. If you're curious about the game, be sure to head over and read through the rest of the article.

    Master of Orion III Development Diary
    Quicksilver Software
    Master of Orion III
    Buy Master of Orion III

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    Free Bugdom 2 Site Licenses for Schools
    9:26 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Pangea Software today announced that their latest game, Bugdom 2, is eligible for their free scholastic site license offer. Since 1999, Pangea Software has maintained a policy that any school or public library may have a free site license to any of their games so long as they own at least one legitimate copy.

    Here's a clip from the press release:

    “We don’t believe that schools should be spending education dollars on video games,” said Brian Greenstone, President of Pangea Software, “Therefore, we have always allowed schools to install any of our games onto as many of their Mac’s as they want without charging a penny for a site license.”

    Pangea Software is well known for creating family-friendly video games, and according to Greenstone many schools around the world use their games as rewards for students. He continued to say that if there were an effective way to distribute free copies of their games to every school in the country they would do it, but Pangea Software is a very small company and doesn’t have the resources to handle such an undertaking.

    For full details of Pangea’s Scholastic Site License Offer, visit the Pangea Software web site.

    IMG Preview: Bugdom 2
    Pangea Software
    Bugdom 2
    Pangea's Scholastic License Offer
    Buy Bugdom 2

    Custer's Desktops Updated: Bugdom 2
    9:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG's Brad Custer has released a new desktop for your viewing pleasure. This week's installment features Pangea's recently-released action-adventure game, Bugdom 2.

    Here's Brad on the latest desktop:

    With Bugdom 2 being released recently, the requests for a desktop featuring Skip has been a favorite topic in my email. Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software was kind enough to answer my numerous emails with a great supply of art that allowed me to create this week's desktop. I entitled it "Infestation" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
    Head over to Custer's Desktops to check out his latest creation.

    Custer's Desktops

    Virtual Golf Tournament Sign Up Continues
    8:32 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games is proud to announe the Mac-in-One Virtual Open, an online golf tournament benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The tournament begins on October 31st and entry fees are $25 for the Championship division and $15 for the Pro Division. All of the money will be donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

    In addition to the donation, players will need the following to participate in the tournament: a copy of Bold's Links Championship Edition, a copy of Hotline Connect, and an understanding of the Links Golf Community rules.

    Players will be eligible for some outstanding prizes. Prizes include the Adobe Web Collection, various flavors of ATI Radeons, Palm Handhelds, titles from Aspyr Media, Destineer Studios, Freeverse, and MacPlay, Kensington mice and more!

    Inside Mac Games and Michael Phillips, the tournament's coordinator, would like to thank the companies mentioned for their generous donations.

    To sign up for the tournament, head over to the Mac-in-One web site. The first 10 sign-ups get a free Aspyr or MacPlay t-shirt.

    Links Championship Edition
    Mac In One Virtual Open
    Download Hotline Connect
    Links Golf Community
    Buy Links Championship Edition

    Aleph One Carbon Update Progress Report
    8:31 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Aleph One, the Marathon open source project, has just updated their web site with a new progress report on the Carbonized version of the game.

    According to programmer Woody Zenfell, incompatabilities between OS X and the "classic" Mac OS' networking code are causing slow-downs of the port:

    According to the SDL folks, threading is 'broken' under the "classic" Mac OS so the SDL_Thread subsystem is totally unimplemented on that platform. So the high-priority thread blocking on a select() (or the SDL equivalent wrapper) is not an option there.

    Reworking the existing AppleTalk code to use IP (via Open Transport, not using SDL_net at all) would be quite an undertaking, I think, and goes against the nice 'common code base' situation we're getting with SDL_net.

    Head on over to the Aleph One web site to find out more on the situation.

    Aleph One Carbon Progress Report

    Radeon 9500 Pro Announced for PC, Mac Feedback Requested
    6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Yesterday, ATI announced the Radeon 9500 Pro; a trimmed down, mainstream version of their flagship graphics card, the Radeon 9700 Pro. Priced at just $200, the 9500 Pro is designed to compete with NVIDIA's midrange offerings and fill in the gap between the 9700 Pro and 9000 Pro.

    The Radeon 9500 Pro is outfitted with 128 MB of DDR memory, just like it's older brother, but the core and memory frequencies have been lowered to 275 MHz and 540 MHz (effective), respectively. Also, the width of the bus has been halved to 128-bits, which brings the memory bandwith down to 8.8 GB/sec. The 9500 Pro still retains eight rendering pipelines, giving it a massive 2.2 gigapixel per second fillrate.

    While no Mac version has been announced, ATI is considering the possibility, as it would also be an attractive midrange graphics card on the Mac. If you would like to see a Mac-branded Radeon 9500 Pro, send feedback to ATI via the link below.

    Radeon 9500 Pro Press Release
    AnandTech: Radeon 9500 Pro Preview
    ATI Customor Feedback

    Skunk Studios Debuts GutterBall Bowling
    6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Shockwave experts Skunk Studios have just released what may very well be the Mac's first 3D virtual bowling alley.

    GutterBall allows players access to three different bowling alleys, each decked out in distintcly different styles. Players can pick from a large number of pre-designed bowling balls, or can configure their own balls and skin them to their liking. The game allows players to post their scores on the internet and compare with other players. To add flavour, players can choose from up to four different colour commentators, and the game even features several music tracks from funk artist Ronkat.

    Bowling fans can download the full game from Skunk Studios or play an abridge version on the internet on their web site. The full download allows players fifteen games before needing to register. Registration costs $19.95.

    Game requirements are low - the readme file, although written for Windows users, calls for any 3D acceleration card, a 333mhz machine, and the latest DirectX drivers, which probably wasn't meant for Mac users. Note, however, that the game does not run in OS X nor in Classic mode, so you'll have to boot in OS 9.2 or earlier in order to play.

    Skunk Studio's GutterBall Bowling

    Feline Entertainment Releases The Belt
    6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Feline Entertainment has released a new OpenGL action title The Belt for the uDevGame 2002 competition. You may recall the company's previous title, Vortex Next Generation was one of the winners of the Independent Games Festival's student competition.

    The Belt is a cross-platform (Mac OS 9, OS X, or Windows) action game which pits two players across a chaos filled with asteroids and other dangers. It even features networking via Apple's new Rendezvous technology. Here's a clip from the web site:

    The Belt is an arcade game that pits you against another opponent in a battle to the finish. Vaguely reminiscent of old-style games where opposing turrets would fire against the wind to blow each other up, the Belt incorporates more strategy along with senseless destruction and zainy creatures to provide for a unique arcade experience!
    For more information have a look at the Feline web site, and be sure to download the demo today at Macgamefiles. Also of note is that another "new traditional strategy war game" called Solace has a splash screen at the Feline Entertainment site, so stay tuned for more from the company in the future.

    The Belt
    Feline Entertainment
    Vortex NG

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    Vendetta Game, Manual Updates
    6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Hardly two weeks after their previous patch, Guild Software has just released another update to their space combat game Vendetta.

    Vendetta Test 3.0.8 deals with many issues including bug squashing and gameplay changes:

    This release adds a number of rendering and collision detection optimizations that should improve performance. Many bugs and crashes have been fixed, although there are still a few yet remaining.

    New features:
    A teammate carrying a flag now shows up at a "+" on radar. Added mousewheel support for scrollbars and listboxes under Linux/Win32. Character names now max at 63 characters.

    The Vendetta online manual has also been updated, fixing access problems users have been reporting.

    The Vendetta Test is a Deathmatch and Capture The Flag game created using Guild's very own WGAF engine. The game is unique in that rather than running around on foot armed to the teeth with flak cannons and sniper rifles, Vendetta's action takes place in space using a variety of differently-equipped ships. The public Vendetta Test was released to allow the designers the opportunity to watch their engine in action, monitoring and improving issues like networking infrastructure and gameplay design.

    If you're interested in participating in the test, you'll need to create an account and download their client software. System requirements are currently listed as any G3 or G4 based Mac equipped with 128 megs of RAM, a 16 MB 3D-accelerated video card, and Mac OS X.

    Vendetta Online
    Guild Software

    Mac Games News for Thursday, October 24, 2002

    Microsoft Updates Mac Mouse and Keyboard Drivers3:08 PM
    IMG Posts Seven WW II Online Mac Screenshots12:26 PM
    Aspyr Announces Tony Hawk Pro Skater 311:55 AM
    'Cube' Mac Port Progress Report9:54 AM
    Heroes IV Officially Announced9:54 AM
    Mac WarCraft III Europe Server Issues9:54 AM
    MacWorld UK Interviews Peter Tamte9:54 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 24, 2002 on one page

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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