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Friday, November 1, 2002

IndieGamesCon Interview
3:37 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

GameSpy recently got a chance to interview Jay Moore of GarageGames about IndieGamesCon 2002, which starts today. IndieGamesCon is a conference where independent developers can go to share knowledge, and even to collaborate on projects. The interview covers many different topics, including the different events planned for the conference, and some of the different games that will be featured.

Here's a preview:

GameSpy: Who came up with the idea for this conference and will it become a regular yearly event?

JM: IGC was birthed from discussions at GDC about the early years of that conference and how Indies need face to face opportunities to network and collaborate at a price they can afford.

GameSpy: Some people may have the false impression that IndieGamesCon 2002 is about Garage Games and companies (and individuals) using Garage Games' products. Tell us what the point of this event is and why it is significant to all independent developers around the world.

JM: GarageGames' mission is about birthing the "Indie" developer. We're totally committed to helping independent game developers become a significant portion of the gaming industry. To date, the number of independents that have been able to break into the game industry is few and far between. And, they are usually swallowed by the large publishing houses.
With the changes happening due to online distribution and easier access to the technologies necessary to make commercially innovative games, we know that developers with passion will create games that large publishers will not risk making because they can't see blockbuster level success.
We believe that IndieGamesCon can be to the Indie game industry what Sundance Film Festival is to Independent Film makers. Eventually, IGC may be the place where "Indie" game fans come to play their favorite games. Right now, from our registrations, it looks like we'll have more people who are not working with the Torque than those that are, and we're all stoked about hearing about all the other projects going on.

IndieGamesCon runs from today to Sunday in Eugene, Oregon. The full article can be reached by following the link below.

IndieGamesCon Q&A

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Dragon's Lair 3D Preview
3:36 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The folks over at GameSpy recently got a chance to take a look at DragonStone's upcoming 3D action game, Dragon's Lair 3D. Dragon's Lair 3D is a remake of the old 2D arcade game Dragon's Lair, which featured animation from the legendary Don Bluth. Even though the game had rather simplistic gameplay, it was an instant classic, and it has been remade in many forms over the years. Don Bluth makes his return in Dragon's Lair 3D, as the characters in the new game are animated by him.

Here's a preview of the article:

In the original game, all Dirk could do was move in the four cardinal directions and press an "action" button that would swing his sword, move a lever, etc., depending on the situation. Now, in his quest to save Daphne, Dirk has many moves, including strafing, somersaults, jumping, rolling, sneaking, and rope-swinging just like Pitfall Harry. His weapons have also been given an overhaul. While the sword is still his main weapon, he also has arrows of varying usefulness (think of the arrows from Thief) as well as the ability to upgrade the weapons performance with special moves. There's even something of a mana bar, familiar to anyone that's ever played most of the modern RPGs.

True to the action-adventure genre, there are now items to collect and secret areas to discover. Gold is scattered throughout Singe the Dragon's castle, barrels can be broken to find new items (such as health and mana gems), and potions can be carried to give you that extra burst of health when you really need it. While busting open every barrel to collect every last item isn't necessary, it does add a certain amount of intrigue to an otherwise straightforward gaming experience. Things like, "How do I get to that chalice?" and, "I wonder what's through those other doors?" were never options in the original.

Ubi Soft will be publishing the game for multiple platforms, including the Mac. You can read the full article by following the link below. Stay tuned to IMG for more info on Dragon's Lair 3D as the game nears release.

Dragon's Lair 3D Preview on Gamespy
Dragon's Lair 3D
Dragon Stone Software
Blue Byte
Ubi Soft

Quake 3 1.32 Test 5 Posted, Punkbuster Support Added
3:11 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

id programmer Graeme Devine has made a brief update to his .plan, noting the release of another test build of the Quake 3 1.32 point release. The fifth build includes the PunkBuster support files, meaning Mac users can now play on PC servers that use the anti-cheating software.

As with the other test versions, make sure you delete the Quake 3 configuration files before running the game. Please direct all bug reports and feedback to Devine.

Download Quake 3 1.32 Test 5 (28 MB)
Graeme Devine's .plan Update
id Software
Quake III Arena

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IMG Store: Jedi Knight II Now Shipping
1:45 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The upcoming first-person shooter, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast from Aspyr Media is now shipping from the IMG Web Store. If you're a MacGames CD subscriber, you can order it for just $43. Non-subscribers can pick it up for $49.

Several years have passed since Kyle avenged his father's death and saved the Valley of the Jedi from Jerec and his band of Dark Jedi. Allowing his Force powers to languish for fear of falling to the dark side, Kyle entrusted his lightsaber to Luke Skywalker, vowing never to use it again. But when a new and menacing threat to the galaxy emerges, Kyle knows he must reclaim his past in order to save his future. Players assume the role of Kyle as they employ a unique mix of weapons, Force powers and your lightsaber in both single- and multiplayer modes.

System Requirements:

  • MacOS 9.1 or later (with virtual memory on)
  • MacOS X compatible, version 10.1 or later
  • G3 or G4 Processor at 400 MHz or faster
  • 128 MB of Memory (256 MB required for OS 9.1)
  • 4X CD-ROM (16X recommended)
  • Hard Drive, with 665 MB minimum free space
  • Hardware 3D Acceleration required (ATI Radeon/NVidia GeForce card)

    For more information, please visit the IMG Web Store.

    IMG Preview: Jedi Knight II
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Raven Software
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

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    IMG Reviews Soldier of Fortune II
    1:05 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    It's been a long time coming, but IMG has finally posted its review of MacPlay's Soldier of Fortune II. Here's a clip from the review:

    Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix brings a significant number of innovations to the Quake 3-based shooter space. The most noticeable is the customized Quake 3: Team Arena engine dubbed GHOUL2 by the title’s original developers, Raven Software. Keeping with this theme of ridiculous acronyms, SoF2 also features the TORR Terrain System as well as a music and sound system that, unfortunately, has no silly name attached to it.

    Does this tech-speak actually benefit gamers? How about giving players the opportunity to use the same hardware & tactics of actual special forces and “black ops” units in deployment today to take down the bad guys in nearly any corner of the globe in almost any weather … by targeting individual limbs & body parts for the desired effect? Or what about exploring a wide variety of indoor and outdoor environments to meet your objectives? SoF 2 allows this and more.

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

    IMG Review: Soldier of Fortune II
    Omni Group
    Raven Software
    SoF II
    Buy SoF II

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    Custer Shoots, He Scores!
    12:20 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    We all know that the Mac platform has a lack of sports titles. Celebrating the recent release of a game sent to help fill the void, Brad Custer has devoted this week's desktop to KickOff 2002. Put out by both Virtual Programming Ltd and Freeverse Software, KickOff 2002, recently reviewed by IMG, is a soccer title that features fast gameplay and a unique control system.

    Part of Brad's motivation for this week's desktop comes from one of his oldest viewers:

    KickOff 2002 was a simple request made from one of my oldest viewers. He's been enjoying the title and wanted a desktop for his viewing pleasure when he wasn't playing the game. I was happy to be of service. With the help of Freeverse Software and nice selection of artwork I was able to create this desktop. In this week's offering I tried to capture the feel and fast-paced action of a game of soccer. I simply entitled it "Goal" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
    Those interested in grabbing their own copy of soccer desktop goodness can find Brad's latest in the usual location. Don't forget to check out our recent review as well for more information on this title.

    Virtual Programming
    KickOff 2002
    IMG - Custer's Corner
    IMG - KickOff 2002 Review

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    GameRanger Adds Jedi Knight II Support
    9:15 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Scott Kevill sent out notification that his game-finding application GameRanger now supports Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. This brings the total amount of supported titles to an impressive 107 for the application, and means Mac gamers should have no trouble finding other for light saber battles online. Here's an excerpt with details on the game:

    Scott Kevill, president, GameRanger Technologies, today announced the addition of a new game title to GameRanger, the leading Macintosh online gaming service. In addition to the 106 previous titles, gamers can now play Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

    In Jedi Knight II, several years have passed since Kyle Katarn avenged his father's death and saved the Valley of the Jedi from Jerec and his band of Dark Jedi. Allowing his Force powers to languish for fear of falling to the dark side, Kyle entrusted his lightsaber to Luke Skywalker, vowing never to use it again. But when a new and menacing threat to the galaxy emerges, Kyle knows he must reclaim his past in order to save his future. Players assume the role of Kyle as they employ a unique mix of weapons, Force powers and your lightsaber in both single- and multiplayer modes.

    Be sure to log on to GameRanger once you have Jedi Knight II to find other Mac-gamers to play against.

    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Raven Software
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    GameRanger Adds Jedi Knight II to Multiplayer Lineup
    Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

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    FSAA Details in JK2
    9:05 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver recently dropped by IMG's Forums to discuss graphical features included in Aspyr Media's newly released title Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

    In his posts, Brad discusses Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) options supported by the game, including that fact that it will support Nvidia cards (one of the first commercial titles to do so):

    (FSAA is) currently supported in 10.2 (and maybe earlier - I didn't check) on GeForce3 hardware. JK2 has an option to enable it... (Jedi Knight 2) supports multisampling at 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9 points. The 5 and 9 point options are the "Quincunx" modes while the others are the standard multisampling.
    The purpose of FSAA is to reduce aliasing artifacts caused by the limitations of both graphics cards and displays. The two main aliasing artifacts are edge aliasing and texture aliasing.

    Edge aliasing happens at edges of models most often and can be described as edge "crawling". It gives the appearance of stepping "sliding" up and down the edge of models.

    Texture aliasing can be described as "shimmering" or "sparkling". This tends to be particularly problematic in simulation games as they tend to have less then optimal mip mapping to deal with texture aliasing using more simplistic methods.

    "Quincunx" anti-aliasing is a new AA technique based on the averaging of five samples around a pixel. From the nVidia web site:

    Quincunx AA is a special mode in GeForce3 where two samples are generated per fragment, but 5 samples are averaged together when filtering down, thus increasing the number of effective samples per pixel and giving higher quality than 2 sample AA with only slightly greater cost. The term “Quincunx” comes from the 5-pattern on the side of a die.
    "Accuview" AA, mentioned in the posts, is a new multisampling technique:
    Accuview improves upon multisampling technology by providing a variety of multisampling modes, including 2x, 4x, Quincunx and a new 4XS mode that delivers improved subpixel coverage and better texture quality. 4XS mode delivers 50% more subpixel coverage than previous modes. This translates into a finer gradation in final pixel color values at the edge of an object, resulting in a smoother antialiased edge.
    Stay tuned to IMG for more news of FSAA support on the Mac as they develop.

    IMG Forum: FSAA Support in JK2
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    Raven Software
    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

    Click to enlarge
    Heroes IV in Duplication
    9:05 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Contraband Entertainment's Chris Jacobson recently posted to the IMG forums (and Bill "Burger" Heineman confirmed separately) that they have sent Heroes of Might & Magic IV for the Mac into duplication. This is on target with publisher 3D0's previous hope to have the game in stores by mid-November. The title is the latest game in the Might & Magic series of fantasy turn-based strategy games. In it, players take control of several heroes as they recruit soldiers and do battle in the fantastic world of Might and Magic. Here's Jacobson's post:

    As another note, we are also doing, among other projects (which include an original PS2 title, Activision Anthology, and the PC conversion of EV Nova), Heroes of Might and Magic IV. Heroes IV went to duplication on Friday.
    The System Requirments for the game are:
    • 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.

    More information on Heroes of Might & Magic IV can be obtained in IMG's preview of the title. Also, if you'd like to pre-order Heroes IV, you can do so at the IMG Store.

    IMG Forums: Heroes IV In Duplication
    IMG Previews Heroes of Might & Magic IV
    Heroes of Might & Magic IV
    Contraband Entertainment
    Buy Heroes of Might & Magic IV

    Essential Reality Talks Mac P5 Glove Support
    9:05 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    IMG recently chatted briefly with Essential Reality, makers of the P5 Glove, the gaming peripheral soon to be released. The P5 is an impressive USB input device which runs for around $150 and will support at least OS 9 at the outset. We asked Essential Reality's David Devor for details about how the glove is supported in OS 9, as well as their plans for OS X:

    IMG: Do you plan to support the P5 Glove under Mac OS X?

    Devor: We intend on it, but the driver isn't completed yet.

    IMG: Your site mentions OS 9 support, but that "no Mac game software is currently available." Can you clarify?

    Devor: Out of the box, it will work as a mouse in OS 9 and below. We haven't enabled any applications yet that show the full P5 capabilities

    IMG: Does the glove work with games in OS 9?

    Devor: Yes, as a mouse it does.

    IMG: Would 3rd party utilities like USB Overdrive or Gamepad Companion help with compatibility?

    Devor: I will need to look into this one.

    IMG: Thanks for your time.

    Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll be bringing you more on the P5 Glove as it nears release. You can pre-order it now from Essential Reality's store.

    Essential Reality: P5 Glove Details

    Mac Games News for Thursday, October 31, 2002

    Vektor3 Updated to 3.1.711:24 AM
    Last Day for Golf Tourney Signups9:01 AM
    Logitech Announces New THX Speakers9:01 AM
    MacExpo to Feature Games Zone9:01 AM
    Only Mortal 2.0b4 Released9:01 AM
    Tivola Releases Chemicus9:01 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 31, 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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