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Friday, January 3, 2003

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GarageGames Mac Update
9:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GarageGames recently launched their Player's Site, a place for people to get information and purchase the first independent games published by the company. While most of these games will eventually be based upon the powerful cross-platform Torque engine being licensed by the company for $100, they are also willing to work with non-Torque developers to get their titles sold. Some of the first few games available now include Marble Blast, Chain Reaction, and Orbz.

Mac gamers may be confused why none of these currently show support for the Mac OS, but IMG recently talked to GarageGames' president Jeff Tunnell, who explains the situation:

Mac Marble Blast is nearly complete and Jay will be showing it in the Apple booth at the upcoming Macworld. Chain Reaction was started three years ago, so it is not on the Torque Game Engine and is much harder to convert to the Mac. However, Chris' first task is to port over to Torque mainly so we can have a Mac version. Orbz has already been running on the Mac as well, so we will see PC vs. Mac Orbz matches.

We think the Mac market is an awesome opportunity for independent game makers.
This is great to hear that the company is working hard to try and support the Mac platform as well in their efforts. Look for more about GarageGames as IMG covers the Macworld Expo next week.


IMG Store: Nascar 2002, Freedom Force Shipping
4:58 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr's Nascar Racing 2002 Season and MacPlay's Freedom Force is now available from the IMG Store. Both titles are available for $39 (MacGames CD subscribers can pick up Freedom Force for $34).

Nascar 2002: Get behind the wheel of a 750 horsepower stock car and battle for the championship on real-life tracks. Get under the hood to fine-tune your car or just jump in and race against the best in Arcade Mode. Feel car vibrations, hear the roar of the engines, and sweat it out racing fender to fender at 180 miles per hour.

Freedom Force: From a distant corner of the galaxy, an evil alien race sets in motion a sinister plan to conquer the Earth. They unleash a powerful catalyst - Energy X - that imbues the planet's worst miscreants with super-powers to bring the planet to its knees. Now Earth's only hope lies with a new breed of heroes... The Freedom Force!

To place your order, head over to the IMG Store.

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IMG Reviews No One Lives Forever
1:50 PM | Michael Phillips | Comment on this story

Today, IMG has posted a review of MacPlay's latest offering, the 60s inspired first-person spy adventure, No One Lives Forever. Written by Michael Yanovich, this review covers everything it takes to be a spy in the swingin' 60s.

Here's a clip:

I can see the pitch meeting now. “We want to make a new game. It’ll be the kind of game you get when Austin Powers’ mojo goes for a skinny dip in James Bond’s martini.”

What, you want details? Oh, all right. You play Cate Archer, a thief turned secret agent who has to prove herself to her superiors when they think that a woman simply can’t do the job as well as a man can. Problem is, all of a sudden all these male agents are turning up dead. Seems a group of bad guys who call their organization H.A.R.M. have their sights on several of your partners.

For the rest, hit the link below.

No One Lives Forever
IMG Review: No One Lives Forever
Buy No One Lives Forever

Q&A With Warren Spector
9:42 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

Computer and Video Games has posted an interview with Warren Spector, prominently known author of Thief, Ultima Underworld, and most importantly to Mac gamers, Deus Ex. In it, Warren describes the state of the PC gaming industry, from console competition, to innovation in games, and improvements to come. He also touches on the new wave of multiplayer gaming, as well as his thoughts on video game violence and even episodic single-player gaming.

Do you think that there are still fresh gaming ideas out there waiting to happen, or is it now simply a case of being able to build on old idea foundations in new ways thanks to the increasing power and flexibility of technology?

Spector: If we've reached the point where all the "fresh gaming ideas" have been exploited we're in a world of trouble! Frankly, I think the best is yet to come. Technology, power and flexibility will make possible new kinds of games we can't even imagine. And an ever-expanding audience for games will make new kinds of games commercially viable. We're only now beginning to figure out what games are capable of doing and being and only just beginning to figure out what game design is all about. We're not even close to being out of fresh ideas!

The full interview can be grabbed at the link below.

Computer and Videogames Interview
Computer and Videogames

10.2.3 Texture Compression & Games
9:42 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The introduction of Mac OS X 10.2.3 brought a number of OpenGL updates which should be of interest to gamers, including an awaited texture compression scheme which should help performance in a number of shipping and future titles. A recent thread in the IMG forum details how the update has improved the speed of Soldier of Fortune II and Jedi Knight II.

Both titles use very high resolution textures when set to "Highest" options, and the compression routine can greatly help out, though at the cost of extra loading times. The OmniGroup's Tim Wood, the developer behind the port of Soldier of Fortune II, also notes in the thread that the 1.02 patch may have some issues with texture compression still:

It is worth noting that many people experience crashes in OpenGL when texture compression is enabled.

We'll be looking at this for the upcoming 1.03 patch since people are getting great performance benefits from this under 10.2.3.

It seems Wood is at work on other optimizations for the game as well, noting in a later post they are working on Altivec and multiprocessor support for the future patch.

As well as these titles, future games like Everquest and Unreal Tournament 2003 will also make use of this texture compression. Stay tuned to IMG for more information.

Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Omni Group
Buy SoF II
Buy Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

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Civ III Editor at FC
9:42 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Owners of the hit strategy game Civilization III will be happy to know that Westlake Interactive recently updated their progress page stating that the editor for the game is at Final Candidate. For those unfamiliar with Civilization III, it is the latest in Sid Meier's series of turn-based strategy games in which players take control of a civilization and fight for control of the world.

To run the editor for the game, all you will need is the full game and OS X. If you don't already have a copy of Civilization III, you can purchase a copy from the IMG Store. For more information on Civilization III, follow the link below.

Civ III Editor at Final Candidate
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
Buy Civilization III

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 2, 2003

IMG Reviews GeForce4 Ti1:25 PM
Feral Interactive Site Redesign10:12 AM
Rise of The Triad for OS X10:09 AM
Airburst Updated, Network Beta Released6:00 AM
Alias: Underground Released for OS X6:00 AM
Ambrosia Publishing Uplink for OS X6:00 AM
Apple Skates with Tony Hawk 36:00 AM
Bannister Updates Emulators6:00 AM
Fly! II Final Patch Released6:00 AM
GameRanger 3.1.1 Released6:00 AM
NCSoft Announces New 'Aden' Server6:00 AM
PopCap and OmniGroup Release Big Money Deluxe6:00 AM
Raven Talks First-Person Shooters6:00 AM
Super Collapse II Released6:00 AM
TenebraeQuake 1.0.3 Released6:00 AM
The Sims: Unleashed Ships6:00 AM
uDevGames Postmortem: Kiki the Nanobot6:00 AM
X-Plane Reaches Version 6.506:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 2, 2003 on one page

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