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Thursday, January 9, 2003

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MSWF: More Unreal Tournament 2003 Info
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As Mac gamers are no doubt aware, Epic's FPS Unreal Tournament 2003 has made its public Mac debut at this year's MWSF. The event, which has been described by developers as "a giant public beta test," has plenty of people fired up about this title. So, just for you, IMG did some more digging on UT2003 and managed to come up with some more info.

First off, to answer the number one question, a demo has been confirmed. As to its release, they're currently hoping to release it sometime before the actual title ships, although this is not for certain. As to the actual title release, a firm date has yet to be nailed down, though they are shooting for a Q1 2003 release.

Unfortunately, UT2003 will not feature SMP or FSAA support (though this could be worked-around by an ATI control panel enabling FSAA). Do keep in mind that SMP (multiprocessor) support is not possible unless the PC version has it as well. In a bit of good news, however, an attempt will be made to lower the system requirements for this title as development proceeds apace.

We'll be bringing more information on this title as we get it.

Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

MWSF: Aspyr's Big Plans in 2003
4:51 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG had the chance to have chat with Aspyr's Amy Torres and Ted Staloch at Macworld Expo San Francisco today and from what we heard, Aspyr has big, big plans for 2003. Unfortunately we can't talk about some of the things Aspyr will be doing in 2003, but we can tell you that Aspyr plans on releasing nearly a dozen triple-A titles in 2003.

Two of those titles, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets are being shown at MacWorld and are getting close to shipping.

Aspyr is also hard at work on a couple of patches to their games. One of the more important bits of news is that Aspyr plans on releasing a beta patch of Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.4.x in the next week or so. This is great news for those who have been clamoring for a patch to the popular first-person shooter that will bring compatibility with its PC counterpart.

During out sit down with Amy and Ted, they also expressed their enthusiasm for 2003 and promise it will be a stellar year for Mac gamers. Announcement on their upcoming games will be coming soon.

Aspyr Media

MWSF: Feral Brings UK Games to US
4:34 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The UK-based Feral Interactive is representing their lineup on the Macworld Expo show floor, and IMG stopped by to get the scoop on their current and future games. While they have a new North American distributor in MacPlay, the company's David Stephen notes they still want to keep a presence at Macworld still.

The Feral booth is showing four titles, including the ever-popular Sheep, the expansion Black & White: Creature Isles, F1 Championship, and Worms Blast. Worms Blast is a very colorful action puzzle title which they hope to have complete with testing in the first quarter of this year.

Also on show in the gaming arena is a beta version of Enemy Engaged. This complex helicopter flight simulation is in testing as we speak, with an expected release in the new few months.

Warrior Kings was not being shown at the Expo, but Feral says the title's development is doing well. Look for a release of that strategy title in Q2.

Many other things are in store for Feral over the next year as well. While they unfortunately can't talk about all of them, Stephen did note that Championship Manager 4 has gone gold for the PC and they hope to bring it our way in 2003. With the Black & White Platinum Pack now shipping, you can bet they are also looking at any sequels to this franchise from Lionhead as well.

Look for more on all of these titles from IMG as they begin to ship or get further along in development.

Feral Interactive

MWSF: Logitech Products Supported by Mac OS X
10:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Logitech today announced that its popular force feedback joysticks, steering wheels, and vibration feedback gamepads are being supported by the recent release of Mac OS X 10.2.3. Products such as the MOMO Racing and WingMan Formula Force GP racing wheels, WingMan RumblePad and Cordless RumblePad gamepads and the WingMan Strike Force 3D and Force 3D joysticks all fully support force feedback under Mac OS X 10.2.3. Initial games that feature force feedback support on the Mac are NASCAR Racing 2002 Season from Aspyr Media and F1 Championship Season 2000 from Feral Interactive.

Here's more information on force feedback, as described by Logitech:

Force feedback is a sophisticated method for providing people with realistic tactile feedback from a Mac, PC or console. It is widely used in medical, space and flight simulators to provide lifelike training for students and professionals who make split-second decisions based not just on sight and sound, but also on their sense of

This cutting-edge technology has been extended to Mac, PC and next-generation console gaming over the last six years. Force feedback is even richer, more realistic and engaging than the non-directional vibration feedback to which many gamers are accustomed. Through the use of advanced software and electronics, force feedback can move a steering wheel or joystick as if the device were subject to real external forces.

To check out Logitech's current line-up of force feedback joysticks, gamepads, and racing wheels, head over to the Logitech web site.


MWSF: GarageGames Brings Torque to the Mac
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Continuing to make our rounds here at MWSF, we took a couple of minutes to talk with Jay Moore of GarageGames. Maintainers of the Torque engine, GarageGames was showing off two Torque-created titles at the show: Marble Blast and Orbz.

Marble Blast, which pays homage to an old title by the name of Marble Madness, puts players in control of a marble, which must then be safely navigated through a series of levels. Features include a controllable camera, brightly-colored graphics, and clever level designs, including several based off of artist M.C. Escher's work.

Orbz is described by Moore as "billiards meets Quake inside Mario Party." Basically put, several players control an orb and attempt to collect stars, all the while collecting various powerups that can help, hinder, or create general chaos. An an interesting usability point, a five-year-old boy was able to set up and host a server game after playing the game for only an hour.

As for future plans, GarageGames plans on having around 12 titles out by this year's E3, and 30 out by next year. While some of the games will be using the Torque engine, other titles will be selected cream-of-the-crop indie titles.

GarageGames expects Marble Blast and Orbz for the Mac to be available for download sometime in the next few weeks.


MWSF: EverQuest Update, Screens
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two Sony representatives are present on the Macworld Gaming Arena, showing off the latest build of EverQuest for OS X. IMG talked with them briefly about the current state of the game, as well as picking up some new screen shots of the Mac version in action.

EverQuest is nearing internal testing now, with a public beta expected in the next month or so. The beta will either be a large download or possibly distributed on CD. The two machines running at the show were using the Mac development server, and things look good so far.

Especially impressive at the show was the new interface for the game. Not only new, the entire user interface is customizable by the user, allowing gamers to move, add, or reskin any of the pallets either in-game or even with the base XML.

For more information on EverQuest, stay tuned to IMG. Also check out the new screenshots below.

Sony Online
EverQuest Shot 1
EverQuest Shot 2
EverQuest Shot 3
EverQuest Shot 4
EverQuest Shot 5
EverQuest Shot 6
Buy EverQuest

Myst Online Beta Testers Needed
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

On Wednesday, Ubi Soft and Cyan Worlds officially announced the highly-anticipated Myst online game, Uru: Online Ages Beyond MYST.

From their press release:

"Uru is an ancient word, the earliest word for city. It is rooted in the idea of a gathering of people, which is precisely what Uru will foster," said Rand Miller, founder of Cyan Worlds. "We've been working for almost five years developing the cutting edge technology, detailed design and breathtaking graphics that allow us to build real-time online worlds that go beyond Myst. Imagine being able to explore lush landscapes, ancient deserted cities, mysterious forests, curious swamps -- and that's only the beginning. We're trying to provide an environment that's so engrossing, people will talk about it and share their experience. With Uru the journey is experienced together within the game, with friends, family, even strangers uncovering fantastic places together."

Uru will take advantage of broadband to deliver a continually updated, immersive environment and storyline, with content that grows, changes and evolves constantly. It will also be the first persistent world to support real-time voice communication. Uru is designed to appeal to a broad audience and enable players of all skill levels and interests to experience expansive ages of the Myst universe in a uniquely social environment. Playing their own avatars, hundreds of thousands of players will meet new people, all realistic impersonations of themselves, play games, solve mysteries and embark on a voyage of discovery with friends. Players will be able to customize their level of interaction with other players, choosing to play alone, with small groups of friends or in areas where they can meet new people.

Also announced on Wednesday, Ubi Soft is searching for beta testers for the online game. Readers interested in participating in the beta test will need to register for an membership, and are required to write a 100-word or less essay on why they would make good beta testers. It is not known at this time which platform or system requirements are necessary for the beta test, or how long the beta test has been scheduled for.

Click on the link below to register for the Beta test.... and good luck!

Uru Beta Test Registration
Myst Online: Uru Live

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Gamespy Posts Master Of Orion III Preview
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

PC Gaming website Gamespy has recently posted a preview for Infogrames's highly anticipated space strategy game Master Of Orion III.

The preview goes into great detail on the specifics of the game, and highlights some of the differences between this title and the previous titles of the franchsie:

Master of Orion 3 is not a casual strategy game; rather it's a very deep and highly detailed game that requires patience, some trial and error, and a firm grasp on the design to fully appreciate it. The initial reaction may be to run and hide when presented with all of the menus and sub-menus used to navigate the interface. There's a truckload of information to digest and at first it might seem a bit intimidating. Thankfully, there's an online help section that holds your hand through each and every menu to get you up to speed. Even so, there is a methodical, almost deliberate pace to the game, as each race jockeys for position and explores star systems and researches new technologies. In fact, on one occasion, it took 21 turns before the first space battle ensued. However, once things heat up, they pretty much stay hot for the rest of the game.
The PC version of the game is expected to be released by the end of this month, while the Mac version, published by Infograme's subsidiary MacSoft, is expected to follow soon after. Stay tuned to IMG for further news of the game's progress.

Gamespy: MOO3 Preview
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Harman Multimedia Introduces JBL INVADER
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Harman Multimedia announced their first 4.1 speaker system, the JBL INVADER. This five-channel, 80-watt system sports Harman's typical eye-catching design and is aimed towards gaming, DVD playback, and music. The JBL INVADER can also function as a 2.1 system to create stereo imaging. Here is an excerpt from the press release:

The JBL INVADER audio system utilizes simple interconnects which provide effortless control of volume, treble and subwoofer levels with minimal desktop wiring. The powerful 32-watt subwoofer incorporates a new, proprietary port design and a MAGNUM transducer providing clean, strong bass. The four 12-watt satellite speakers complement the subwoofer to provide the level of high sound quality consumers desire for games, DVDís, and music.
The JBL Invader is scheduled to ship in March 2003 with a suggested retail price of $179.99. It is on display in the Macintosh Gaming Area

Press Release: Harman Multimedia Introduces New 4.1 Multimedia Speaker System
Harman Multimedia

Giga Designs Enters CPU Upgrade Market
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Giga Designs made their debut in the CPU upgrade market at MWSF 2003 with the G-celerator for Power Mac G4s. Their first three products are a G4/800 upgrade and two G4/1 GHz upgrades, one with 2 MB DDR L3 cache and the other without. Each features user selectable bus speed, easy installation, and a three year warranty. They are compatible with the first AGP Power Macs, up to the 2002 Quicksilver model. The G-celerator also requires Mac OS 9.2.1, 9.2.2, or Mac OS X.

Currently, only Other World Computing carries the G-celerator line. The G4/800 retails for $299 and the G4/1 GHz with 2 MB DDR L3 cache retails for $550.

Giga Designs
Giga Design Products at Other World Computing

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 8, 2003

MWSF 2003 Picture Gallery - Day One3:29 PM
MWSF: Tamte Talks Destineer3:28 PM
MWSF: Westlake Talks Gaming2:09 PM
A-OK For OS X2:08 PM
Activision Anthology Mac Port a Possibility2:08 PM
Teamspeak Possibility for Mac?2:08 PM
Ten for X: Games Package Announced2:08 PM
MWSF: Chat with MacPlay2:06 PM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 8, 2003 on one page

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Tuesday, January 7, 2003
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