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Tuesday, November 19, 2002

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Mac Wolfenstein 1.4 Patch Status
9:01 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG contacted Amy Torres at Aspyr Media recently about the current status of the Mac 1.4 patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. The update addresses a number of issues and exploits in the game, as well as adding features like "anti-lag" support and other multiplayer server options.

Torres notes that they are already underway with the Mac version of the patch and expect something to be available in the near future:

We are currently working on a 1.4 update for Return to Castle Wolfenstein and should have an available version soon. Our goal is to stay as current as possible with the PC version.
Stay tuned for more from IMG as new word about the Mac 1.4 patch becomes available. Check the update's ReadMe for more information on what changes have been made.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein PC 1.4 ReadMe
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

IMG Previews F1 Championship Season
11:22 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Today Inside Mac Games takes a close look at Feral's upcoming racing game, F1 Championship Season 2000. Scheduled for release at the end of this month, F1 is the first ever Forumula 1 racing game to make it to the Mac.

Here's a clip from Eddie Park's preview:

The Mac gaming platform, while having made great strides as of late, still suffers from a dearth of sports titles. Falling into this category are racing titles, of which we have seen precious few entries into the market. Helping to fill this void, EA Sports’ F1 Championship Season 2000, currently being ported to the Mac by Feral Interactive, should be available by the end of the month.

F1 2000’s basis, as the name suggests, is around the world of F1 racing. Much more than just driving as fast as one can around a racetrack in a fast car, F1 racing is all about the little details. Picking just the right tire compound, setting up pit stops, and minutely adjusting a racer’s suspension can all make the difference in a race, to say nothing of the particular set of skills a driver must have to control what is essentially a powerful engine with four wheels and a light frame attached to it.

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

IMG Preview: F1 Championship Season 2000
Feral Interactive
Electronic Arts
MGF: F1 Championship Season 2000 Demo
Buy F1 Championship Season 2000

Iconolexis Coming On November 30th
10:41 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Nexus Informatique & Marketing today announced that it will be releasing its new game, Iconolexis on November 30th, 2002.

In Iconolexis, players are submerged in an intense, puzzle game that engages your sense of strategy and throws you into the infinite challenge of matching icons and letters, in an attempt to reach the next level, while racing against the clock.

Here's more from the press release:

“Demand is high right now so we opted to sell Iconolexis online to get it out fast enough. No puzzle game to our knowledge has ever fueled so much curiosity. People can’t wait to start playing.” says Nexus President and CEO, François Machabée.

“I have played many puzzle games in the past and none have kept me coming back for more – until now. I developed Iconolexis to be an ever-changing cascade of events and obstacles that require backward thinking and a little luck to reach the next stage. The game’s levels are so well randomized that even I don’t know what’s coming.” admits Iconolexis Head Programmer, Patrick Gazaille.

Players will also be given a chance to compete with other players worldwide. Iconolexis allows players to submit their high scores to the online “Great Wall of Icons” where the Iconolexis Monthly Winner will be awarded a secret prize for his or her ability to maintain the highest global score for one month.

Iconolexis is compatible with Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP and Macintosh computers, at a price of $10. For more information, be sure to visit the Iconolexis web site.


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MacPlay Begins Freedom Force Pre-Orders
10:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In a sign that the game is getting closer to being released, MacPlay today announced that it has begun taking pre-orders for Freedom Force through their web site for $39.99. According to a press release issued today, the game will be available in time for the holidays, though no specific date was given.

Here's more from the press release:

“Freedom Force is one of the most intriguing and fun games to be released for Mac OS X,” said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. “It delivers a truly unique gaming experience and is sure to be a favorite for the Holiday’s.”

Flashing back to the Silver Age of comic books, players can form, train and lead Freedom Force, a team of 14 original comic heroes headed to Patriot City to foil Lord Dominion's scheme of having the planet Earth destroy itself. The game consists of 22 unique missions, the majority of which will require a squad of four heroes such as the patriotic leader "Minuteman," the powerful "ManBot" and the fiery "El Diablo."

A fully featured RPG skill system rewards strategic heroes by allowing players to juggle stats, pump up powers, recruit new heroes and strengthen existing heroes based on experience accumulated in tactical missions.

Be on the lookout for IMG's preview of Freedom Force soon.

Omni Group
Freedom Force
Buy Freedom Force

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Apple Features Freedom Force, Slots Trailer
10:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The popular Apple Games web site has been updated with a new feature on MacPlay's upcoming RPG/Strategy game, Freedom Force. Freedom Force allows players to control a team of costumed superheroes in an attempt to thwart an evil alien race's attempt to conquer the Earth through the use of a nefarious concoction known as Energy X.

Here's a clip from the feature:

A red-white-and-blue clad hero named Minuteman leads the team (to learn more about all the characters, as they make their way through 38 missions in their quest to unravel the mystery behind the new villain. You decide which four heroes should tackle each mission; for example, some battles may favor characters who can fly while others may be best suited for strongmen. There are 10 villains to defeat in the game, along with a host of minor bad guys such as marauding dinosaurs, giant robots, and even clones of some of the heroes.
Apple has also posted a trailer of Masque Publishing's Slots for Bally Gaming. Be sure to check out both features.

Omni Group
Freedom Force
Apple Feature: Freedom Force
Apple Trailer: Slots
Buy Freedom Force

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Java-Based MMORPG Coming
9:01 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

A new Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game is currently being developed by a number of volunteer programmers. Called Magicosm, the game is being created completely using Sun's Java language and 3D API. Current developmental screenshots show the game's graphics, which look to push Java to its limits.

Here's a description the gameplay its creators intend to include:

Magicosm is an endeavor to create an interactive, multi-user world set in a fantasy setting. This world will be able to host thousands of players from around the world to participate in a rich environment of magic, swordplay and social exchange. Magicosm is about participating in a world with different rules than everyday mundane life, allowing people to live out their fantasies in a universe very different from our own.

First and foremost Magicosm is designed to facilitate many different aspects of gameplay. The traditional adventuring lifestyle is just one aspect to what Magicosm offers. No world, however interesting, can survive without the more social and economic dimensions. We are creating a place that will appeal to people who are interested in participating in a world where they can play a role in everyday life of a medieval setting. Gamers who choose to play farmers, merchants, blacksmiths and all sorts of tradeskills will find that they have a rich environment to work with in the world of Magicosm.

For those wondering why they chose to use Java for such a massive project, they provide this explanation on their website:
Java has matured considerably over the last couple of years and has entered the mainstream as a competitive technology. Nevertheless Java is not typically thought of as a game development language. We feel the benefits of Java far outweighed the slight performance penalty, and that it would only improve more with time. Since we are planning Magicosm to have a very long lifespan, we feel that Java will serve us well many years down the road. Java (and to a lesser degree Java3d) is relatively platform independent. It is our hope that Magicosm will be able to run on many different platforms as Java3d is ported to work on Linux, Macintosh and other hardware manufacturers.
For more information on Magicosm, follow the below link to the Magicosm website. Be sure to watch IMG for more information on Magicosm as the game moves farther into development.


NVIDIA Reveals GeForce FX at Comdex
9:01 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

NVIDIA unveiled their next generation GPU (graphical processing unit), the GeForce FX, yesterday at the Comdex trade show. The GeForce FX is the result of a combination of technologies from NVIDIA and 3dfx/Gigapixel. It is the first graphics chip to be manufactured with the 0.13 micron process and the first to use DDR II memory. Preliminary specifications indicate the GeForce FX will have a core clock speed of 500 MHz, memory clock speed of 500 MHz DDR (1 GHz effective), and theortical fill rates of 4 billion pixels per second and 16 billion anti-aliased samples per second. It also boasts programmable pixel and vertex shaders and the ability to render 128-bit color internally.

NVIDIA has also developed its cooling solution, dubbed FX Flow, to dissipate heat from the GPU. Using a high speed fan and a copper radiator, FX Flow draws air in from outside the case to cool the GPU, but at the cost of a PCI slot. Like ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro, the GeForce FX will require an external power source.

The GeForce FX is scheduled to ship to OEMs late this year, with retail cards appearing on store shelves in early 2003. NVIDIA has not announced official Mac support, but their past three products (GeForce2MX, GeForce3, GeForce4) have been Mac-compatible, though only Apple has produced boards, not any 3rd party retail manufacturers. For more information on the inner workings of the GeForce FX, read the previews at FiringSquad and Anandtech.

Press Release: NVIDIA Introduces GeForce FX GPU
GeForce FX
GeForce FX Preview at FiringSquad
GeForce FX Preview at Anandtech

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PomPom Releases Mutant Storm
9:01 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In an email to IMG staff Monday, UK development house, PomPom's lead programmer, Miles Visman announced that the OS X-only version of their newest game, Mutant Storm, has been released.

Based on the classic arcade game Robotron, Mutant Storm features a fully-3D OpenGL game engine complete with evil space mutants, enhanced special effects, and animated psychedelic backgrounds. Through a top-down interface, players command a ship blasting its way through innumerable waves of mutant hordes in eighty-nine individual levels. A head-to-head multiplayer mode is also available for co-operative gameplay.

Weighing in at just under 15 MB, the full version of the game, featuring all eighty-nine levels of gameplay is available for twenty euros or twenty dollars US from the RegNow website. A six meg demo, featuring nine levels of gameplay is available at IMG's sister site MacGameFiles.

The Mac version of the game is currently only available for OS X, and requires the installation of the Simple Direct Media Layer Package (SDL), which is included in the download.

Click on the links below for more information on this new game.

IMG: Mutant Storm Preview
MacGameFiles:Download Mutant Storm Demo
Mutant Storm
Buy Mutant Storm

uDevGame Voting Starts Today
9:01 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Mac game development resource center iDevGames has
invited all members of the Macintosh gaming community to participate in the public voting for their annual game development contest uDevGame.

This year, a total of forty seperate entries fight for your vote and over $15,000 in prizes. Programmers have had three months to put together their official entries, and the resulting games cover the whole gamut of game types.

The forty one games are now subject to a nine day voting period, ending November 26. Voters will judge the games on the following criteria: Gameplay, Originality, Graphics, Sound & Music, and the appropriately-named category "Polish". Once voting is complete, the results will be tabulated, and the winners announced on December 2nd, 2002.

uDevGame was designed to promote game programming skills within the Mac gaming community while raising the profile of Mac gaming:

The goal is to motivate developers to create original games for the Macintosh platform, and then to release the source code back to the Macintosh programming community. In this way, the participants of uDevGame actively help to educate developers (and aspiring developers) in technologies such as OpenGL and Cocoa. In addition, the contest helps to draw attention to those that develop unique and exciting games for the Macintosh, as well as help introduce the best and brightest Macintosh game development talent to development houses and publishers alike.
Stay tuned to IMG as news of the contest progresses. Gamers wanting to take part in the voting should click on the appropriate links below:

uDevGame Official Website
uDevGame: Complete List of Contest Entries
uDevGame: Voting Page
uDevGame: Sponsors & Prizes List

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Dragon's Lair 3D Q&A
9:01 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The folks over at HomeLan recently got a chance to sit down and chat with the CEO of Dragonstone Software about their upcoming game Dragon's Lair 3D. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, it is a remake of the classic 2D adventure game, Dragon's Lair. Dragon's Lair told the classic story of a knight going on a quest to save a princess from a dragon's clutches, but with a more humorous twist. The original game featured hand drawn animation by the legendary Don Bluth, who also returned to help with a number of aspects of Dragon's Lair 3D.

HomeLan's interview covers mostly developmental aspects of the game, here's snippet:

HomeLAN - The original Dragon's Lair is very fondly remembered as one of the most unique looking games released. Is there a lot of pressure to make the new game as memorable as the original?

Rick Dyer - We definitely felt an obligation to create something that our original Dragon's Lair fans would enjoy. We wanted to bring back the same characters, the same incredible animation, the same look and feel, but put that together with next-generation game play that brings more excitement, more adventure. The game had to be painstakingly recreated down to the tiniest detail to translate into 3D and if you've seen the environments of the original game, you know that we had our work cut out for us

Also according to the interview the Mac version of the game should be out by the holiday season. The Mac and PC versions will be published by Ubi Soft. To reach the full interview, follow the link provided below.

Dragon's Lair 3D Q&A
Dragon's Lair 3D
Blue Byte
Dragonstone Software
Ubi Soft

Mac Games News for Monday, November 18, 2002

WWII Online Mac Availability Update9:10 AM
NWN Mac Status Update6:00 AM
Testers Needed For Myth III Game Editor6:00 AM
Westlake's Glenda Adams on The Gamesome Mac6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 18, 2002 on one page

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