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Monday, December 23, 2002

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Neverwinter Nights Mac Status Update
12:39 PM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

Bioware, developer of Neverwinter Nights, has posted a new update concerning the Mac version of the game. Included are issues with the new Mac OS X version 10.2.3, their QA testing, and a report on their MacWorld San Francisco attendance this year.

OS 10.2.3 has provided some interesting challenges for us as everything under 10.2.2 that was working has suddenly broke, including all the models basically disappearing from the game. Weird. We will solve this in the new year.
They go on to note that the new texture compression features in 10.2.3 will help the game out greatly once they resolve the above issues. Gamers attending Macworld San Francisco in two weeks will be able to see for themselves:
Good news about 10.2.3 is S3 texture compression which brings this feature to the Mac that we were already benefiting from under Linux and Windows.

Watch for Neverwinter Nights at MacWorld San Francisco. If you ever wanted to play Neverwinter Nights with an authentic BioWare employee, this will be your chance. Normally, we would not be able to attend because our Canadian bodies cannot stand the dramatic climate change from winter, but we have had an individual in a rigorous training program and he is starting to adapt well to temperatures above the +10 Celsius/+50 Fahrenheit line.

The Canadian Bioware team had originally slated the Mac version of Neverwinter Nights to be released late in 2002, but this will obviously be pushed out into early next year. Stay tuned for more from IMG through Macworld and beyond on this impressive 3D RPG.

Mac Version NWN Update
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

Happy Holidays from IMG
1:26 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games will be taking a short holiday break and will be returning on January 2nd, 2003. The crew at IMG would like to wish those who celebrate it a very merry Christmas. And to all our readers, whatever you celebrate, we wish you all the blessings of this season.

While the content on IMG will be on a holiday, our popular IMG store will continue to be open and we'll continue to ship those hot new games over the holiday season. Be sure to also stop by our fabulous forum to chat with fellow Mac gamers!

We'll be back in 2003! Until then, have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Inside Mac Games
IMG Forum

IMG Visits MacPlay, NOLF 2 Announced
1:25 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

In the two years since its rebirth, MacPlay has slowly but surely become a powerful force in the Mac gaming community. In those two years the company has not only managed to survive in a tough market, it has prospered thanks to some ingenuity, aggressiveness, and willingness to take risks.

Inside Mac Games' Tuncer Deniz recently visited MacPlay to get the lowdown on the company and to get an update on some of MacPlay's upcoming projects. In fact, MacPlay is allowing IMG to announce a very cool new title that MacPlay will be bringing to market in 2003. To find more, be sure to check out the article.

IMG: A Visit to MacPlay

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Ambrosia Unveils 'Redline' Racing Game
1:23 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software today unveiled its latest project, entitled Redline. The racing game promises to have stellar physics in addition to spectacular graphics.

Here's a description of the game from Ambrosia's web site:

Most racing games leave you with the feeling that the authors have never dropped the clutch in a car more exciting than a Neon, and failed 9th grade physics to boot. Not so with Redline; the physics engine presents remarkable realism and control, even when using the keyboard to control your car as it screams across the pavement. Try that in a Neon!

In addition to Redline's physics engine, the remarkable 3D engine presents a visual feast of polygons flying past at 200mph+ as you barrel down the race track. We don't want to give away too much at this time, but suffice it to say that we also have some interesting surprises in store for the avid racing fan.

And yes, you will be able to play it over the Internet with your friends (and foes).

Ambrosia hasn't provided a release date but the Redline web site features some new screenshots from the game. Be sure to check them out.

Ambrosia Software

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IMG Store: Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Combo For $19
1:06 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The IMG Store is now offering the Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force combo, which includes the original Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force game and the expansion pack. The combo is available for $19, plus shipping and handling.

Here's more info on the original game:

Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force is the first game based on the Star Trek Voyager universe. One blast from destruction, the U.S.S. Voyager is mysteriously transported into a hull space infested with danger. As a member of the Elite Force Hazard Team, you must deal with situations beyond the normal call of duty. Defend against a host of never-before-seen scavenging aliens, then infiltrate a Borg cube and derelict vessels to eradicate your deadly foes, all in 40 ultra-intense single-player combat missions and 16 multiplayer arenas. No one said being a hero was easy. Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force is the ultimate in sci-fi 3-D first-person shooter action, powered by the renowned Quake III Arena(TM) engine. Set phasers to frag.
And here's some info on the expansion pack.
In the Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force Expansion Pack, the U.S.S. Voyager comes alive with an interactive tour mode that takes you you to places that make the ship tick. It also includes 21 New multiplayer maps that allow for more hardcore action, new characters (including Captain Janeway as Borg!) and new single-player missions with new alien creatures and a new "Borg Slayer" game. You've just been given an all-access pass to the Delta Quadrant's most desirable ship. Grab your exploration rifle, and let the exploration begin.
Here are the system requirements:
  • Apple G3 300 mhz processor or higher
  • MacOS 8.6 or higher
  • MacOSX compatible
  • 128 MB of Memory (256 recommended)
  • 3D-accelerated PCI or AGP video card w/at least 6MB VRAM and Apple OpenGL version 1.1.3 (or higher) support (Rage 128 or later)
  • 560 MB of uncompressed hard disk space (additional space is also needed for Virtual Memeory)
  • Virtual Memory required (at least 128 MB)
  • 4x CD-ROM (600K/sec. sustained transfer rate)
  • The combo pack is available through the IMG store. The pack is also being offered as part of the free game offer when you subscribe to the MacGames CD.

    Aspyr Media
    Raven Software
    Westlake Interactive
    Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force

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    EV SonicXS 2.1 Giveaway Winners Chosen
    12:39 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Last week, IMG and Telex teamed up to give away two EV SonicXS 2.1 speaker sets. The contest has ended and the lucky winners have been chosen. So without further ado:

    B. Burnham
    Germantown, TN

    C. Treadway
    Chicago, IL

    Congratulations to both winners. Thanks to everyone for entering and to Telex for sponsoring the contest.

    EV SonicXS 2.1

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    SimCity 4 Has Gone Golden Master
    12:39 PM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

    A short, to the point message post on Blue's News website forum details that SimCity 4 has gone golden master, and the PC version is expected to ship on January 14th. The body of the forum post was dedicated to the features and other exciting things that will appear in the game.

    Your city comes alive with the hustle and bustle of construction crews, the snarl of traffic and the activity of your Sims. Move your personalized Sims into your city and watch as they go about their daily lives. Build mansions on mountainsides, cross canyons with bridges, raise skyscrapers downtown and compete for resources with neighboring SimCities.
    While this game has yet to be announced for the Mac, with many other successful "Sim" titles on the Mac, a port is likely. With all the new features and additions (as well as gorgeous new 3D graphics,) this new Sim title is well worth crossing your fingers for.

    SimCity 4 Forum Post
    SimCity 4 Homepage
    Buy SimCity 4

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    Halo PC Update
    12:39 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Bungie Fans who have been waiting for some info on the port of the hit Halo to Mac and PC may be interested in an article recently posted by Gamespot. The article includes some updated info on the port from Randy Pitchford, the president of Gearbox, the company porting Halo to the PC. Included in the article are some of the PC-specific features that will be included, and some of the reasons the port took so long to get started.

    Here's a snippet:

    The PC game isn't intended to change the single-player campaign in the slightest, so the challenges aren't creative, but technical. The first major hurdle has been to port the game engine to run on a PC. Although many think of the Xbox as a modified PC, Pitchford notes that the Nvidia graphics chip in the console is highly specialized, and since Halo was a first generation Xbox game, it doesn't deal with the hardware as elegantly as it could have.

    Pitchford said that the project is about 40 percent done, much of which includes a successful port of the graphics engine. The port required Gearbox to move to supporting DirectX 9 and completely rewrite all the pixel shader effects. Part of what that rewrite means is that the PC game will have some enhanced effects for PCs with the latest graphics cards--Pitchford mentioned that Nvidia was helping with optimizations for the GeForce FX--that are more capable than the Xbox hardware. The game will also support cards down to the GeForce2 MX, and that has required designing some alternate effects. In particular, the flashlight effect had to be redone for low-end cards in order to keep the gameplay intact.

    Gearbox is still planning its approach to the project's second major hurdle: support for Internet multiplayer. The Xbox game can handle up to 16 players in multiplayer, but only when four Xboxes are connected on a local network. The nature of the Internet means that action games with online multiplayer have to be designed to work with varying degrees of latency. However, the Xbox game's networking code sends data synchronously, which is only practical on a LAN. As a result, Gearbox has had to completely rip out the networking code and start from scratch.

    Westlake Interactive is currently working alongside Gearbox in keeping the Macintosh port up to speed with the PC port. Halo is expected to be released next summer, with the Mac version being published by Bold. For more information, or to read the full article, follow the links below.

    Halo PC update
    Bungie Studios
    Westlake Interactive
    Halo: Combat Evolved

    Stoked Rider Announced for Mac
    12:39 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Australian game developer Bongfish has announced that their latest title-in-development, Stoked Rider, will be published for the Mac.

    Stoked Rider is a snowboarding title, featuring huge tracks, freeride and championship modes, and OpenGL-accelerated graphics. The game will also feature freeride snowboarding legend Tommy Brunner. The game is slated to be released in 2003; the only system requirement listed at the moment is an OpenGL-capable video card.

    Drop Point: Alaska
    Buy Drop Point: Alaska

    Mac Games News for Friday, December 20, 2002

    Custer's Desktops: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 311:25 AM
    IMG Giveaway: EV SonicXS 2.1, Last Day!10:50 AM
    Hands-on Preview of Master of Orion 310:20 AM
    F1 1.0.1 Patch Adds Force Feedback Support9:41 AM
    Heroes of Might and Magic IV 2.2.1 Update9:08 AM
    Immersion Brings Force Feedback to Mac OS X9:08 AM
    Mac OS X 10.2.3 Released with Updates for Gamers9:08 AM
    The Belt, MAFFia Postmortems Posted9:08 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, December 20, 2002 on one page

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