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Monday, January 13, 2003

MWSF: MacSoft on Tropico Add-On, MoO3, NWN
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While not the largest booth on the show floor, MacSoft did have some huge news for the Macworld Expo attendees. Besides the showing of Neverwinter Nights and Unreal Tournament, there were other goodies for gamers to drool over.

Al Schilling told IMG the company is bringing Tropico Mucho Macho Edition to the Mac. The game will run in OS 9 and OS X and features the original Tropico, the Paradise Island expansion pack, 12 new scenarious, the official Brady strategy guide, and a behind-the-scenes feature. Look for more on that later this year.

Fans of Master of Orion III likely know the game has been undergoing some very last-minute bug fixes. Schilling told us the Mac version is only hours behind the PC version. Once the game is declared gold master, there should just be one last round of Mac-specific testing before a release. The version at the show looked very stable, so stay tuned for more from IMG as the game gets ready to ship.

Neverwinter Nights looked great at the show, and many RPG fans were excited to see this game for the first time on a Mac. While the system requirements have yet to be pinned down, Schilling did say they will release a demo for people to try out and see how the title plays on their system. Look for the game to be released sometime in Q1.

For more on these and other MacSoft releases, stay tuned to IMG.


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MWSF: My Macworld Expo 2003
2:32 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG editor Michael Phillips has written up his take from last week's Macworld Expo; looking at the announcements, hardware, and of course, games. Michael gives a rundown of Steve Jobs' impressive keynote, as well as overviewing what the major game publishers had on show at the expo:

I’ve been to 6 Macworlds, but this was my all time favorite in terms of games. I judge the health of our platform by the games we get; if this year’s game lineup is any indication, the Mac OS is alive and on massive amounts of uppers. Everywhere I looked, there was a kickin’ game to ogle. The Mac OS Games Arcade was packed with people battling it out in the game of their choice. Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2003) was probably the most popular multiplayer game on hand, one day I had to wait in line just to watch. Not that I was upset, UT2003 is the greatest looking first-person shooter I’ve ever seen.
For the full scoop, be sure to head over and give the article a read.

My Macworld Expo 2003

Phelios Releases Helix
9:25 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Phelios, maker of shareware titles Android and Bongo Boogie, has added another game to their Mac lineup called Helix. This 2D helicopter shooter features a hundreds of colorful levels in four different worlds, with a variety of monsters to try and take out. Here's a description from Phelios lead Patrice Krysztofiak:

Grab your chopper, take to the air and soar through four worlds and 100 levels of Helix! It’s not what you might think when hearing the word, “Helix.” In this game “DNA” stands for “Dynamic”, “Notable” and “Amazing.” You’ll find yourself spiraling through levels and levels of fun and uplifting lunacy. No time to be airheaded here, sorry airheads! Fluttering and winging it will get you nowhere fast; only skillful air navigation is permitted. ‘Copter pilots, are you ready to react and fly the skies? Ascend to victory? Then rise to the occasion, take flight and keep your wits about you so your mission will be smooth, successful and free of gross eyeballs and headless ghouls! Note: Due to its sensitive content, Helix is not recommended for children ages 13 and under.
For more information or to download a free demo of the game, head over to the Helix web site. A full version of the title is avaiable through their online store for only $15 or on CD for $25.

Download Helix Demo (13.1 MB)

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Vendetta Updated to 3.1.7
9:09 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Vedetta, the free 3D space strategy shooter, was updated to version 3.1.7 over the weekend. This new revision provides a number of changed to the gameplay and bug fixes to the engine, and it forges the path to the next major milestone of version 3.2.

Here's the site's update of what's new:

New version fixes several crashes, memory leaks, and other bugs. Wormhole indicators have now been changed to a HUD reticle (further work will go into this, to make it more configurable and less distracting). Environment mapped bumpmapped objects (ice) are visually improved. Homing missiles are now more network-efficient, which should help with "swarm lag". Many other changes to the engine and back-end that are not yet apparent, but bring 3.2.0 that much closer.

One minor bug slipped past our testing: the EC-88 damage indicator on the HUD displays the wrong ship.

To download Vendetta for yourself, sign up on their web site for a free account. Also be sure to browse their messageboards for information from developers on future plans for this online space sim.

Guild Software
Vendetta Online

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BioWare Mac NWN Status Update
9:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While MacSoft was showing off Neverwinter Nights at the Macworld Expo last week, BioWare Mac developers were returning from a holiday break to nail down the last of the client's bugs. According to an update to the BioWare Mac page posted late Friday, the testing at Macworld provided valuable bug-finding feedback, as their representative showing the game was able to send in problems from the show floor:

[Jan 10 2003] Development continued normally while the client was being shown off at Macworld in San Francisco. Our man-on-the-scene, Jay Watamaniuk, is taking advantage of the additional compatibility testing that Macworld is providing, sending bug reports from the show floor. MacSoft QA also continues to submit bugs to us and progress has been made on some of the more troublesome compatibility issues. We have a few outstanding video driver issues that are currently being resolved by both ATI and NVIDIA.

Just to clarify, the Mac version of Neverwinter Nights will include both the dedicated server and DM client in addition to the main game.

Stay tuned for more information as Neverwinter Nights gets the last of its bugs and optimizations worked out. Also be on the lookout for a demo of the game to be released sometime before the retail version ships.

BioWare Mac Neverwinter Nights Page
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

MWSF: Mac Bowl 2003
8:48 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The third-annual 2003 Mac Bowl fundraising event was held at last week's Macworld Expo. Participants raised $15,500 for a San Francisco school, all while having fun together. Companies which donated money, hardware, or software included: Aladdin Systems, Apple, Aspyr Media, ATI Technologies, Bold, MacSoft, MacPlay, Macworld Magazine, Microsoft, and NVIDIA.

To check out who won this year's event plus some great photos from the event, click on the link below.

MWSF: Mac Bowl 2003

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MWSF: WWIIOnline at Macworld
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

World War II Online was on display in the Macworld Gaming Arena, with Cornered Rat Software producer Dana "Gophur" Baldwin available to show this massively multiplayer war sim.

While publisher Strategy First had a few distribution problems with the Mac version, Gophur noted they are solved now and players should be able to find a copy at most all Mac retail spots.

Gophur admitted World War II Online has a learning curve, though he explained they are working to ease it as much as possible for beginners. A joystick was on-hand at the show, though the airplanes and ground vehicles can be controlled with the mouse and keyboard if needed. The game was being shown on an ATI Radeon 9700 with FSAA and Anisotropic Texture Filtering turned on.

Strategy First is happy with the response Mac users have been giving World War II Online, beginning with the public beta through today. Watch for a full review of the game to be posted from IMG soon.

Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

QuickTime 6.1 Game Issues
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Apple released QuickTime 6.1 for download last week. Unfortunately, while updates are usually welcome, this particular update seems to render some games unplayable. Some of the titles mentioned in an IMG forum thread on the topic include Black & White and F1 2000.

Thankfully, a Zonic representative has responded with an explanation as well as contact information for those that wish to try some beta patches that address the problem:

Unfortunately QuickTime's full screen mode API was updated in 6.1, so its blanking window is now created in a different window layer than before (it's actually on top of the game window).
He also adds that the final patches should see release shortly.

Those who have yet to update to QT 6.1 may want to wait a bit, as other games may also see conflicts with it. Those who find these conflicts are encouraged to report their findings in our forums.

F1 2000 / Black & White Creature Isle problems

More on TeamSpeak
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

As IMG reported last week, TeamSpeak, a voice communication app that allows users to speak with each other while gaming online, is currently in development for the Mac. While it's great to hear that this app is on the way, those looking forward to it should keep in mind that the development cycle may take a while, as this recent thread in the TeamSpeak forums indicates:

And for all those mac fans who might or might not have heard: TeamSpeak will be ported to Ma OS X. Apple was kind enough to lend us some hardware which we can develop the port on. But don't count your blessings to fast. Porting ts2 to the mac means that we have to learn a new enviroment and rewrite the whole program in C++ . Needless to say, this is a BIG project which will take a long while to complete.
TeamSpeak has been gaining popularity in the online gaming world due to its low-bandwidth usage and design slant towards gamers. While Mac users may have to wait to use it, it's great to hear that it's in development, and even nicer that Apple is taking an interest in it as well. Rest assured we'll be keeping tabs on this project.

TeamSpeak forums - Status Update

Mac Games News for Friday, January 10, 2003

Tony Hawk 3 in Duplication8:13 PM
Apolyton Hosts Comprehensive Master Of Orion III Preview7:54 PM
Myst Online Beta Test Not Available on Macintosh1:36 PM
Custer Brings UT2003 to Your Desktop10:56 AM
Godz UT Mod Available for Mac10:49 AM
M-Audio's Jason Ivan Talks Revolution, Sonica Theater10:49 AM
Payback Ships10:49 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, January 10, 2003 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, January 9, 2003
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