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Monday, January 6, 2003

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Vega Strike Released for Mac OS X
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Over the weekend, the home page of Vega Strike, an open-source 3D space sim, was updated with good news about a port of the game for Mac OS X now available. The developers are pitching Vega Strike as a free alternative to commercial-grade games, while maintaining a similar level of quality. Here's a description of Vega Strike from the site:

Vegastrike is an OpenSource 3d Space Simulator. Currently in Beta developement, the project, at version 1.0, is to be a generic space simulator. Current features include split-screen play, trading, exploration and of course plenty of shoot 'em up action.
Also read the project's mission statement from lead developer Daniel Horn for more on their philosophy and where they want to go with the game. At nearly 100MB, Vega Strike is a hefty download, but can be grabbed from a number of SourceForge mirrors.

Vega Strike

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MWSF: UT 2003, Neverwinter Nights at Macworld Expo!
6:13 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Confirming the speculation and news bits that have been floating around the net these past few weeks, IMG has confirmed that both Epic's first-person shooter Unreal Tournament 2003 and BioWare's D&D-based RPG Neverwinter Nights will be on display at this year's MacWorld SF.

For those attending the show, the Apple Games Pavilion will be showcasing a playable demo of UT2003 for conference attendees to try out. Nearby, the Bold by Destineer booth will be showing off a playable build of NWN. Al Shilling of MacSoft has noted that NWN is also close to release.

These two titles have been hotly anticipated since their announcement, and should cause quite a stir at MWSF. For those that won't be attending the conference, we'll have more information on both these titles as MWSF continues.

Neverwinter Nights
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Neverwinter Nights
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

IMG Heads To MacWorld Expo San Francisco
5:56 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

The Inside Mac Games crew has made its way to San Francisco for Macworld Expo, which kicks off tomorrow with Steve Jobs' keynote at 9 AM Pacific. We'll be bringing you live updates from the show floor, so be sure to tune in starting tomorrow for our extensive Macworld Expo coverage.

Macworld Expo San Francisco

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IMG Examines the Radeon 9000 Pro
3:37 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a look at ATI's latest retail offering for the Mac, the Radeon 9000 Pro. This powerful AGP card has 64MB of memory and full shader support at a price point of $170 (MSRP). Here's a clip from the preview:

As Apple and ATI work to improve OpenGL support under OS X, Jaguar users are only going to be seeing more and more improvements. Apple's latest 10.2.3 update to Mac OS X brought texture compression previously unavailable to shipping games like Jedi Knight II and Soldier of Fortune II. Previously when running the Jedi Knight II demo on Highest settings, the Radeon 9000 Pro could only average about 6 Frames Per Second due to the game's incredible detailed high-resolution textures. Now with texture compression enabled, the demo can run upwards of 40 FPS on the Radeon 9000, showing how much of a difference these OpenGL improvements can make.
For more on the Radeon 9000, which is expected to ship this week at the Macworld Expo, read the full preview.

IMG Preview: Radeon 9000
Radeon 9000 Pro

M-Audio Announces Sonica Theater
6:54 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

M-Audio has announced yet another addition to their consumer audio lineup, the Sonica Theater. A combination of the original Sonica and Revolution 7.1, the Sonica Theater is the first external eight channel audio solution for Mac users. Like the Revolution 7.1, it features high quality 24-bit/96 kHz audio output, SRS Circle Surround II and TruSurround XT technology, a digital output, four analog audio outputs, and a line input; all in a compact enclosure. The following is an excerpt from the press release:

Sonica Theater is the ultimate audio upgrade for any desktop, or for the laptop on the go. It plays DVDs and music in surround sound, make games more realistic, and can be used to record or mix music. 7.1 surround sound output and up to high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz fidelity insure that audio is experienced the way that it was meant to. Designed by M-Audio—one of the biggest names in the professional music industry—Sonica Theater packs all this advanced technology into a small, light, bus-powered, external package that’s simple to connect and use.
The Sonica Theater is expected to debut this month at a street price of $99.99, with MSRP being slightly higher. For more information, read the press release from M-Audio.

Sonica Theater Press Release
Sonica Theater

GameSpy on Mac Games
6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

GameSpy recently posted an article on Mac gaming, summarizing many of the recent releases and happenings over the past year. The article also covers Apple's recent hardware releases, Mac shareware games, and even the uDevGames contest.

Here's a snippet:

Another year has come and gone and Mac Gamers have a lot to be thankful for. On the heels of 2001, which was the year Apple started considering the importance of gaming, 2002 turned into the year of implementation. Mac gaming at last shed its dismal reputation of lagging way behind the PC in porting top games. In years past, PC games took at least a couple of years to make it to the Mac, if at all. All that has changed. In most cases, PC games make it over to the Mac in less than a few months, sometimes sooner. 2002 was also the year that the Mac GPU fell in sync with the PC. From hardware to software, Mac has finally arrived as a viable gaming platform.
To read the full article, follow the link below.

GameSpy on Mac Games

Freeverse Freeware Board Games
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Freeverse Software has put up a webpage with details on their new Board Game series. Designed to provide small multiplayer games for the masses, there are eight game types available, including 4 in a Row, Chess, Go, Reversi ,and Draughts.

Here's more from the press release:

The games, which will continue to be offered as freeware even after the previews expire on February 1, offer online play and ranking via the GameSmith opponent matching service.

"We're offering these eight games in gratitude to the entire Macintosh community for its unwavering support of Freeverse over the years," said Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse. "These are the kinds of games that should be free, and we're happy to apply some Freeverse style to these extremely popular board games."

In addition, the series introduces Freeverse's Emotidolls, which allow players to express their emotions while playing through the use of colored humanoid icons.

The system requirements listed are quite modest, and the series, though built for OS X, will also run under OS 8.6 and above. Multiplayer matching will be handled through Freeverse's GameSmith matching service.

Those interested in more information can find it at Freeverse's site.

Freeverse - Freeverse Board Games

SoF II 1.03 PC Patch Works for Macs?
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

An enterprising reader recently posted in IMG's forums reporting his success with applying the PC patch for Soldier of Fortune II version 1.03. Other readers also report success, with the patch allowing them to connect to and play on updated servers.

Forum user xGrape posted an elaboration for those wondering why the patch seems to work, even though the version number on Macs will continue to read 1.02 after applying the patch:

Technically, you have all the game media that is 1.03, but your application file is not yet 1.03. The media, in this case the 103update.pk3 includes maps, textures, skins, models, weapons, that kinda stuff.
He's also been kind enough to provide a link for those interested in downloading the patch. Those interested can find the link in the forum thread.

As always, this news comes with the "try at your own risk" disclaimer. Omni has already stated that they will be releasing a Mac patch for SoF 1.03, so those unwilling to try out the PC patch should still be able to update to the current version sometime in the future. However, for those who can't wait to hook up with their PC friends, this may be a viable alternative in the meantime.

SoFII pc Patch can be used on macs
Omni Group
Raven Software
Buy SoF II

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Dungeon Siege at Macworld
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Peter Tamte of Destineer sent out news over the weekend that their upcoming 3D role-playing game, Dungeon Siege will be showing at this week's Macworld San Francisco Expo. The title, which is being published under the company's Bold label, is described as being in an "early preview version." The porting house behind the project, Westlake Interactive, still lists the game as being in Alpha, so this is good news for gamers anticipating the critically acclaimed title.

Here's a description of Dungeon Siege from the press release:

Dungeon Siege is a Fantasy Role-Playing game with an emphasis on combat and action. It is set in a gigantic, continuous, fully 3D world that truly extends in all directions. Players journey from secret underground lairs to towering mountains without ever stopping to watch a loading screen. Players can travel alone or assemble a party of up to eight cohorts.

Dungeon Siege provides a very rich multiplayer experience. Human players can become companions in a traveling party and compete head-to-head against other human opponents. Players can play over a local area network or the Internet.

Stay tuned to IMG for more information on Dungeon Siege from the show floor, as well as when the game nears release early this year.

IMG First Look: Dungeon Siege
Westlake Interactive
Buy Dungeon Siege

Risk-y OS X Games Updated
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG was contacted recently by two shareware makers with seperate, yet similar, titles based on the classic board game, Risk. Both bring a similar gameplay style based on the strategic warfare game to Mac OS X at very affordable prices.

iConquer, available now from KavaSoft, offers a colorful interface, a full-featured help section, as well as play against bots or networked opponents. Version 1.1 is available now as a demo from the site, while the full registered version costs $13.

Sillysoft has produced the other title, called Lux. Taking a slightly more global view, Lux offers different sizes of generated game boards and up to ten enemies with varying gameplay styles for $10.

Fans of the classic board game should have a look at both shareware titles. Visit their respective sites for more information.


glTron Updated to v0.62
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The official glTron home page was updated recently with news of an OS X version of their popular 3D freeware title. Based on the popular 80's Disney movie, glTron recreates the fast-paced racing environment in full 3D. Version 0.62 has been in development for some time, and the update adds a number of features and improvements:

  • better & faster shadows
  • red outlines on the recognizer
  • better 3D sound effects
  • sound effects for player's lightcycle
  • sound effects for recognizer flying overhead
  • support for 'switching songs' (add your own music)
  • mp3 support
  • joystick support
  • better 2d map (3 sizes)
  • more intuitive config options
For more information, or to download glTron v0.62, check out the glTron web site.


Mac Games News for Friday, January 3, 2003

IMG Store: Nascar 2002, Freedom Force Shipping4:58 PM
IMG Reviews No One Lives Forever1:50 PM
10.2.3 Texture Compression & Games9:42 AM
Civ III Editor at FC9:42 AM
GarageGames Mac Update9:42 AM
Q&A With Warren Spector9:42 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 3, 2003 on one page

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