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Tuesday, October 29, 2002

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Dungeon Siege Reaches First Playable
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Macintosh game porting house Westlake Interactive updated their status report page recently, promoting the status of Bold's role-playing game, Dungeon Siege to First Playable.

Dungeon Siege is the newest effort from game designer Chris Taylor and his new company Gas Powered Games. Set in medieval times, Dungeon Siege takes place in a gigantic 3D world that extends literally in all directions. The game's biggest feature is the lack of loading screens throughout the adventuring - the entire humongous map is available to players at any time, without having to resort to loading portions or sections of the environment.

The First Playable milestone is an important one in the porting and development of computer games:

First Playable- The point when a game has enough code up and running that you can actually play it. Many features are probably still not working, possibly including sound & music, networking, optimzations, Mac interface, save games, some 3D hardware support, etc.
In layman's terms, it means things are going well for this large title, and we can expect to see results sometime early next year.

[Update]: Westlake president Glenda Adams provided IMG with more clarification on their status with the huge project:

The foundation work took longer than we expected, it really has been an immense project. But now that it's hit first playable, we're pretty happy with where we're at.
Stay tuned to IMG for more news on the status of this project.

Westlake Interactive's Project Status Page
Westlake Interactive
IMG Preview: Dungeon Siege
Buy Dungeon Siege

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IMG Reviews Incoming
12:53 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of MacPlay's Incoming, a throw-back to the classic arcade-shooters. Incoming, like most arcade shooters, boasts your classic storyline. Alien invaders have come to your planet, seeking total control. Your mission is to stop the invasion by any means necessary.

Here's a clip from the review:

Incoming, keeping its old school shooter roots, is a game that requires less thinking and more blasting. No matter what vehicle you play, no matter what level you choose your primary objective is to annihilate any and all alien craft you get your sights on. You're armed with an infinite supply of primary weapons, a limited supply of secondary, more powerful weapons, such as rockets or missiles, and a very limited amount of shields. The goal, from there on out, is fairly simple: shoot until you die. Any questions?

Upon starting a mission, you'll notice that there are several instruments to help you. Besides your usual HUD that monitors your ammo and armor, Incoming also boasts a radar, and a compass. The radar is pretty self explanatory; it can detect both friendly and enemy craft, as well as key items and objectives. The compass is an extremely useful device that shows you two very important things: where your objective is, and where your target enemy is located. It is represented by a 3D arrow that constantly changes directions according to your location, and you'll know that you're going the right way if the arrow is pointing directly forward. All in all, I found both the compass and the radar extremely useful, especially considering that Incoming is entirely in 3D.

For more, be sure to check out the entire review.

IMG Review: Incoming
Omni Group

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Master of Orion III Q&A
12:49 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

HomeLan has posted an interview with Quicksilver President William Fisher about their upcoming space strategy game Master of Orion III. Fisher talks about some of the complications and changes that occurred during the development of this huge project.

Here's a snippet:

HomeLAN - There were a number of gameplay changes that were announced mid-way through development. What sort of changes were made and why?

William Fisher - Most of the changes were done so you'd get clear feedback about what you were trying to do. For example, we had a number of areas where you had tons of micro-adjustments that you could make, but it wasn't clear when or where they were having any effect. So we simplified those systems to make your decisions obvious. Now, when you want to change something in your empire, you have a clear list of things you can try to do, knowing that they'll have reasonable and visible effects.

Other changes clarified the user interface and made the existing systems easier to use. The Planet Screen is the big one here. Originally, we displayed lots of detailed information with too little "higher-level intelligence." Now, we give you a better summary on the main screen and let you tunnel down to the details. That's how it was supposed to work originally, but it ended up going the wrong direction for a little while. Another example is the Leaders Screen, which is far simpler and yet more interesting.

Fans of the Orion series will be happy to know the game is nearing completion, and they shouldn't have to wait much longer to get their hands on it. The Mac version of Master of Orion III will be published by MacSoft. For more information on the game, or to read the interview, follow the links below.

MOO3 Q&A at HomeLAN
Master of Orion III
Quicksilver Software
Buy Master of Orion III

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Tenebrae Quake Update with Next OS X
9:15 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Fruitz of Dojo coder, "awe" has revealed news today concerning the Mac port to Tenebrae Quake. The current code is finished being ported now, but display issues remain related to an OpenGL bug in OS X, and they have caused its release to go on hold. Awe claims he'll be able to release the port once a new version of OS X is released that will fix the required issues. Here's the official announcement:

The port of TenebraeQuake is finished and is on par with my standard Quake port. However the remaining display issues are related to a bug with the OpenGL framework. I'll release TenebraeQuake once an update to MacOS X [most probably 10.2.3] is out which will introduce the required fixes.
For those who don't know, Tenebrae Quake is an open source project based off the original Quake game, designed to add modern graphical enhancements, such as stencil shadows and per pixel lights, to the original Quake. If you'd like to learn more about Tenebrae Quake, you can check out the official homepage, or some of our past articles at IMG. Also, if you'd like to try a public beta version of Mac Tenebrae, you can download it from the link attached to this article. An ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce video card is required, as well as either the full version or shareware version of Quake.

Fruitz of Dojo Tenebrae Quake Forum Thread
Tenebrae Quake Homepage
Download Tenebrae Quake Public Beta 2
IMG: Past Articles of Tenebrae Quake
id Software

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Apple Focuses on KickOff 2002
9:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An article was recently posted in Apple's games section, focusing on the recent (and rare) sporting title, KickOff 2002. In the piece they examine the game's numerous options, give tips on how to improve, and quote some of those responsible for bringing the title to the Mac from Virtual Programming and Freeverse. Here's an excerpt:

Unlike other sports games that have complicated control schemes, you play Kick Off 2002 with the directional and Control keys on your keyboard (or with a joystick and a single button). How long you hold down the Control key (or joystick button) determines how hard you kick or pass the ball while the directional keys (or joystick) control where it goes.

However, despite the simple controls, the gameplay can be complex. You must decide which formation your team will use on the field (you can play an offensive-minded game and place more attackers up front or become conservative and keep more defenders back) as well as which players to start and which players to keep in reserve for late in the game, when substitutions become critical.

Check out the full article for more on the game. Also be sure to have a look at IMG's recent review of KickOff 2002.

Apple Looks at KickOff 2002
IMG Review: KickOff 2002
Virtual Programming
KickOff 2002

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Clone Campaigns Previewed at Apple
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a preview of the upcoming Galactic Battlegrounds expansion, Clone Campaigns. The expansion to this Star Wars based real time strategy game adds many features, including two new factions: The Galactic Republic and The Confederacy of Independant Systems.

The preview covers all these new features, and even some cheats for players to use, here's a snippet:

The new campaign’s storyline occurs after the events in Attack of the Clones. You can take either the Confederacy side, assisting devious Sith Lord Count Dooku, or the Galactic Republic side, helping the venerable Jedi Mace Windu. When you complete both campaigns, you’ll unlock a special bonus mission that includes a unique combat unit.

Among the other new combat units, you’ll find air cruisers, which are powerful ships that change the balance of power for any of the factions that favor air-based warfare, such as the Royal Naboo. And the new power droids offer mobile power sources that you can use to establish outposts on the edge of your galactic kingdom. The gameplay enhancements include the ability to control up to 250 units at one time, upgradeable shields, and little visual touches to complete the ultimate Star Wars experience.
Clone Campaigns is published by Aspyr Media and is currently shipping. To order Clone Campaigns from the IMG Store, or to read Apple's preview or IMG's preview, follow the links below.

IMG Preview: Clone Campaigns
Apple Previews Clone Campaigns
SWGB: Clone Campaigns
Aspyr Media

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New Dragon's Lair 3D Trailer
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

DragonStone has posted a new trailer for their upcoming 3D action game, Dragon's Lair 3D. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, Dragon's Lair 3D is a remake of the first full-animation laser-disc game, Dragon's Lair, which was created by Don Bluth, Rick Dyer, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and Chris Stone. This humorous 2D action game told of the adventures of Dirk the Daring as he attempted to save Princess Daphne from the clutches of an evil wizard.

Dragon's Lair 3D will once again allow players to take the roll of Dirk as he attempts to save the princess. The game is being published by Ubi Soft for multiple platforms, including the Mac. For more information on Dragon's Lair 3D, or to view the trailer, follow the links below.

Dragon's Lair 3D Trailer
Dragon's Lair 3D
DragonStone software
Blue Byte
Ubi Soft

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Pangea Updates Bugdom 2
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone's Pangea Software has posted a second update in so many weeks to their recently released game, Bugdom 2.

Low on details, the version history states that version 1.0.2 of the game...

...Fixes various bugs people have been reporting.
The update also includes a Japanese version of the User's Manual.

Bugdom 2 follows the exploits of Skip, a lonely grasshopper as he makes his way in a strange and colorful world:

The sequel to the popular title Bugdom, Bugdom 2 forges in an entirely new direction, giving players a new cast of characters as well as a new style of play. Taking place three years after the original, Bugdom 2 introduces a new protagonist by the name of Skip. On his way to visit his family on the far side of Bugdom, a rather mean bee swoops down and steals his traveling pack. Naturally incensed at this turn of events, Skip attempts to overtake this Bully Bee to regain what’s rightfully his. On the way, he’ll encounter various enemies and obstacles to overcome as well as friends that will help him out during his quest.
Be sure to follow the links below to update your version.

MacGameFiles: Bugdom 2 1.0.2 Update
Bugdom 2 1.0.2 Update
Bugdom 2
Pangea Software
IMG Preview: Bugdom 2
Buy Bugdom 2

Transfusion Brings Blood to the Mac
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new modification for the original Quake called Transfusion was released recently. The project is an attempt by fans of Monolith's 1997 PC-only hit horror game, Blood, to keep the title alive and free, with much support from the original developers.

Currently Transfusion is only multiplayer, though the team hopes to recreate the entire singleplayer experience as well. The original Blood used the 2.5D Build engine made famous by Duke Nukem, so the open-source (and fully 3D) Quake engine is already an upgrade (as well as letting Mac users join in on the action).

Here's a clip from the web site:

TransFusion plunges you into a world originally created in 1997 by Monolith Productions. Created with the BUILD game engine (Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior), BLOOD was a tour de force of horror that has yet to be matched, in which you battled minions of evil in a lightning-paced, blood splattered quest for glory.

Thrill to new, enhanced special effects not seen in the original as you guide Caleb along his gory quest through a 3-dimensional world of horror. But the fun is just beginning then...

If you're interested in trying out Transfusion, the Fruitz of Dojo version of Quake 1 for OS X works fine by simply drag-and-dropping the folder onto the program. However, GLQuake has some graphical artifacts at this time.

Download Quake 1.0.9
Download Transfusion 1.0

Mac Games News for Monday, October 28, 2002

IMG Reviews Avalanche1:52 PM
Jedi Knight II, Clone Campaigns Shipping11:12 AM
Third Reich UT Mod to be Released Soon10:30 AM
Bugdom 2 Available on iDisk6:00 AM
Dragon's Lair 3D Previewed6:00 AM
Midget Wars Total Conversion Released6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights Mac Dev Update6:00 AM
Phelios Releases Android for OS X6:00 AM
Shadowbane History Feature Part 26:00 AM
Targetware Aims for OS X Only6:00 AM
Updated Gridz Supports OS X6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 28, 2002 on one page

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