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Friday, January 10, 2003

Payback Ships
10:49 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Computer game developer Virtual Programming has announced that the upcoming Mac port of their popular action adventure game, Payback (originally developed by Apex Designs) is now shipping, and will be available shortly. The port is being published by Freeverse Software.

Payback is the Mac gamer's answer to a Grand Theft Auto-like game. It features open ended, mission-based gameplay, advanced graphical features, and more. Here's a short description from Virtual Programming's website:

If you'd always wondered what it would be like to be a master criminal, then Payback is the game for you. It's entirely non-linear - to complete a level you simply have to obtain a certain number of points - how you get those points is entirely up to you; you can do what the local kingpin tells you, uncover secret missions or just go on a mad killing spree. There are lots of hidden surprises to discover, so you'll have to play the game through several times to find all the extras. As you'll have probably guessed, the game is inspired by Grand Theft Auto, but every effort is being put in to make sure that Payback beats GTA in every way. The game engine supports perspective correct texture mapping, environment mapping (reflections), bump mapping, realistic shadows, alpha-channelling (lens flares, explosions and shockwaves), 12 channel 3D sound and realistic physics.
The game runs in both OS 9 and OS X, and requires at least 64MB of RAM. For more information, be sure to check out the links below, and if you'd like to purchase Payback, stay tuned for further ordering details.

Virtual Programming
Apex Designs

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Tony Hawk 3 in Duplication
8:13 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's Amity Lesko wasn't able to make the Macworld Expo, but she did have the chance to send us the news that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 is in duplication. This means the game has finally passed Final Candidate stage and should be shipping to stores soon.

Here's a clip from IMG's recent preview of the game from Eddie Park:

One of the revamped things about Career Mode are the goals. While the usual get the score, find the secret tape, and spell S-K-A-T-E goals are firmly intact, the miscellaneous goals added to each level are even more creative. The best ones usually involve a chain reaction of sorts that usually opens some new portion of the level associated with it. For example, trashing the museum on the Cruise Ship level not only completes a goal, but causes a large propeller to come loose and go crashing through the deck, which in turn causes a sailor to go flying off the boat. This in turn raises the cry of “man overboard,” prompting the deployment of safety nets and the opening of emergency doors throughout the ship, in effect changing the makeup of the level.
For more on the game, have a read through the rest of IMG's preview. Look for more news on the game shipping very soon as well.

IMG Preview: Tony Hawk 3
Aspyr Media
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Apolyton Hosts Comprehensive Master Of Orion III Preview
7:54 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Strategy fan site Apolyton has just posted the first installment of its comprehensive preview of Quicksilver Software's long-awaited space strategy game Master Of Orion III.

The first section of the six-part preview takes a detailed look at the fifteen different races vying for galaxy domination, complete with screenshots, and filled chock-a-block with references to modern sci-fi franchises. Here's a snippet:

The Humans are the master manipulators of the Orion Sector, and have ruled or actively attempted to do so for thousands of Galactic Cycles. Sly and greedy, they take by force only what they cannot take through negotiation or trade. As such, they are little like the founding people of the same name of the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek.
Mac-loving master manipulators who are slyly and greedily plotting to get their hands on this upcoming title surely won't have too much longer to wait; the PC version of the game is rumored to be released by the end of this month, while the Mac version, published by Infogrames' subsidiary MacSoft, is expected to follow soon after. Stay tuned to IMG for further news of the game's progress.

Apolyton's MOO3 Preview - Part 1 of 6
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

Myst Online Beta Test Not Available on Macintosh
1:36 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Further to our news from Thursday, Jim Stephenson, of the Riven Unofficial Home Page, has written IMG with the sad news that the Uru: Online Ages Beyond MYST beta test announced on Wednesday is not open to Macintosh users.

Although this is sad news for Mac-loving Myst fans, all hope is not lost. Cyan Worlds insider Richard Watson, a Mac fan himself, posted this message to the Lyst discussion group:

"Before the Mac folks start writing their hate mail, we are still actively pursuing a Mac version".
Cyan Worlds currently expects the game to be released late 2003. Stay tuned to IMG for further news on this highly-anticipated title.

Special thanks to IMG reader Jim Stephenson for the heads up.

Myst Online: Uru Live

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Custer Brings UT2003 to Your Desktop
10:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

With the success of Unreal Tournament 2003 showing at this year's Macworld San Francisco expo, IMG resident artist Brad Custer decided to produce a new desktop based on the game.

The game -- which also was just named 'Best of Macworld' -- has demonstrated enormous popularity at the show, with large crowds during demonstrations and especially the mini-tournaments at the end of each day. Here's what Custer had to say:

his week at MWSF it seems the talk of the expo is Unreal Tournament 2003. So with the help of art supplied by Epic Games I was able to create this week's wallpaper. I simply entitled it, "True Champion", which is the ultimate goal in the game. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)

Keep those requests coming in!

Epic hopes to have it completed for MacSoft in the near future, so expect to be hearing a lot more about the game in coming days.

Custer's Desktop
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

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M-Audio's Jason Ivan Talks Revolution, Sonica Theater
10:49 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

IMG recently spoke with Jason Ivan, the Director of Product Marketing for M-Audio's Consumer Division, about their new consumer audio products, the Revolution 7.1 and Sonica Theater. Jason covers a variety of topics, including the capabilities of the Revolution and Sonica Theater, the current state of Mac audio and why he feels M-Audio will succeed where others have failed. Here, he is asked which surround sound API he feels is most promising for the Mac platform:

IMG: Mac users have craved surround sound in games for a long time and Creative's SoundBlaster Live! gave them a taste of the experience. What does M-Audio think is the most promising surround sound API on the Mac and why?

Jason Ivan: We’re still looking into this one, so I don’t have a good answer for you yet. Sound is especially important in networked gaming since you gain a real a real advantage against the people you’re playing when you can hear where someone’s coming from. On the PC, the surround sound APIs exist to support this. On the Mac, I think this will take some more time to support at the audio card driver, OS, and game levels. We’d love to see this happen on the Mac. OpenAL looks interesting, but we’ll still need to investigate where the technology’s at before I can really comment on it.

For much more information on M-Audio's new products and exclusive screenshots of the Mac OS X control panel, read the rest of the interview.

Interview with M-Audio's Jason Ivan
Revolution 7.1
Sonica Theater

Godz UT Mod Available for Mac
10:49 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Godz, an Unreal Tournament Total conversion which changes the game to a round based battle game in which player pick one of many Ultimate Warriors, or Gods and battle against each other, is now available for the Mac. Godz features all new graphics, environments and all new fast paced gameplay.

Here's the official description of the game:

Godz features original, round based gameplay. Each god is a little nugget of nuclear power. Entire cities are provided as the battleground for two rival gods to battle. Gods do not use weapons other than their own mind, physique, and sheer force of will to survive. By performing intricate motions with their hands, they are able to weave incredible beams/rays of destruction (energy attacks). Each gametype is organized into a ladder structure to promote a strong, competitive atmosphere.
Although the a download labeled Mac/Linux is available, users will have to do a little editing to get the mod working correctly, the following post from the Godz forums describes the process:
1. Download the manual install. Put the "GodzGameData" folder into your Unreal Tournament directory. Put the "Godz.ini" and "GodzUser.ini" into your Unreal Tournament directory. Put the remaining files in Godz System folder into your Unreal Tournament System folder.
2. Open the "Godz.ini" file with some sort of text editor, like SimpleText. Also open up the standard "UnrealTournament.ini" file. Change the lines in the Godz file that read "ViewportManager=WinDrv.WindowsClient" and "GameRenderDevice=D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice" to read "ViewportManager=MacDrv.MacClient" and "GameRenderDevice=RaveDrv.RaveRenderDevice" (unless you're using a different rendering device).
Add the section from the UnrealTournament file that starts with "[MacDrv.MacClient]" to your Godz file. Add the section from the UnrealTournament file that starts with "[RaveDrv.RaveRenderDevice]" to your Godz file. Finally, in the section that called "[Core.System]" change all the path names from looking like "../System/*.u" to look like ":System:*.u" instead. Make sure to do this for ALL the pathnames listed.
3. Hold the Option key down when opening Unreal Tournament. This will bring up a command prompt; enter the command "INI=Godz.ini" (without the quotes) and hit return. This tells UT to read from the "Godz.ini" file. I don't know how to get it to read the "GodzUser.ini" file, so I just renamed "GodzUser.ini" to "User.ini" and deleted my old User file.
Although not a simple process, given the uniqueness of Godz, its well worth the difficulty. For more information on Godz, or to download it, follow the link to the Godz page below. Also, if you're interested in the Mod but do not own Unreal Tournament, you can order it from the IMG Store for only $15.

Epic Games
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 9, 2003

MWSF: Aspyr's Big Plans in 20034:51 PM
MWSF: Feral Brings UK Games to US4:34 PM
MWSF: Logitech Products Supported by Mac OS X10:46 AM
Gamespy Posts Master Of Orion III Preview6:00 AM
Giga Designs Enters CPU Upgrade Market6:00 AM
Harman Multimedia Introduces JBL INVADER6:00 AM
MSWF: More Unreal Tournament 2003 Info6:00 AM
MWSF: EverQuest Update, Screens6:00 AM
MWSF: GarageGames Brings Torque to the Mac6:00 AM
Myst Online Beta Testers Needed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 9, 2003 on one page

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