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Thursday, January 16, 2003

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RtCW 1.41 Beta Patch Released [Update]
9:35 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media's Amy Torres wrote to inform us that they have released a beta patch for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. According to Torres, no bugs have beeen encountered in the 1.41 patch during internal testing, but they would like to hold a public beta test before declaring the patch final.

The long awaited patch address multiplayer lag issues, but also includes various fixes and new features from version 1.4. For a full list of changes, view the readme at Activision's site, which is linked below.

[Update]: It seems a number of users had trouble with the initial rush of downloads, so make sure your download isn't corrupt before attempting to install. Watch for mirrors to be posted later today.

Some users also seem to be reporting trouble connecting to Punkbuster-enabled servers still. For those people, it seems Aspyr's previous advice regarding 1.33 servers may help. Downloading the PC 1.41 update and extracting its mp_bin.pk3 file may let you connect. A link has been added to below to the PC file. Make sure you open up the exe file from within Stuffit Expander, as double clicking on it likely won't work.

Finally, if you find even replacing the mp_bin.pk3 files still results in errors when connecting to servers, another user has put together a fix which includes a few other files from the PC version as well. To install it, simply unzip into your Wolfenstein's "main" directory.

We'll talk with Aspyr about these issues and attempt to get another version from them as soon as possible.

Download RtCW 1.41 Beta Patch (16.2 MB)
Download RtCW 1.41 Beta Patch - Mirror 1
Download RtCW 1.41 Beta Patch - Mirror 2
RtCW 1.4 Patch Readme
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Download PC 1.41 Patch for Windows Only (6.9MB)
Download User-Created Mac RtCW 1.41 Fix (1.1MB)
Buy Return to Castle Wolfenstein

IMG Reviews The JBL Creatures
12:33 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of the JBL Creature, Harman Multimedia's latest 2.1 speaker system for the Macintosh. It's a reasonably priced sound peripheral that hopes to win the hearts and minds of Mac gamers of all stripes with its attractive industrial design and solid audio performance.

Here's a clip from the review:

The JBL Creature is a 2.1 speaker system. In layman's terms, this means that there are two satellite speakers for high and midrange frequency sound, with a subwoofer added to reproduce the low end bass effects. This speaker configuration is easily the most common for Mac users, and the Harman/Kardon Sound Sticks, Apple Pro Speaker/iSub combination and the Monsoon PlanarMedia 9 are just a few examples of comparable systems.

With the main drivers coming in at a small 2-inches high and the subwoofer topping out at 8-inches, these speakers may be Creatures in name but they are anything but monstrous in size. Luckily for Mac gamers, these speakers have more than enough power to deliver killer sound. The two left and right channel satellite speakers pump out a total of 8-watts of audio power in a package that can easily fit into the palm of your hand. The 24-watt subwoofer fills out the sound but does not overpower the smaller satellites.

Be sure to check out the rest of the review by clicking on the link below.

IMG Review:: JBL Creature

MacPlay: Soldier of Fortune II 1.03 Patch Soon
11:34 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Matt Loria of Macplay was kind enough to post a message in the IMG forum to give gamers an update on what the company is up to these days. In the post he notes that the 1.03 patch for Soldier of Fortune 2 is currently in testing, and also notes a number of the FAQs on Macplay's have been updated.

Here's a snippet:

For those of you who are eagerly awaiting the 1.03 patch for Soldier of Fortune 2... fear not. We already have it in testing. Its looks great. It will be released when it passes all QA testing with flying colors. Until then, you can connect to any 1.03 server to download the 103update.pk3 file. As long as they have downloading allowed and you do as well, it should work fine. Thanks for your patience. I know the updates can be frustrating for you as gamers... but its every bit as frustrating to us. But remember, updates fix things and add functionality... and functionality is GOOD!!!

Among other updates are our FAQ pages. In the past week I updated 9 of our FAQ pages. Please make sure to visit if you are having any problems with our games.

To read the full post, follow the link provided below.

IMG Review: Soldier of Fortune II
IMG Forum: Message from Macplay

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RedLine Progress Update
9:35 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The progress log for Ambrosia Software's latest game, Redline was updated earlier this month with the first new info on the title. For those who haven't heard about Redline, it is a full-featured racing game using OpenGL accelerated graphics and accurate vehicle physics.

The update describes new additions to the game's feature set. Here's the post:

I just upped a new build of redline.
some new features are:
Solar Flare effect - when you set the weather to "Sunset" you will see some solar halo effects as you head toward the sun.
Dirt on cars - when you drive in rain or on the ralley track, you will see that the car will become dirty and less shiny after a while.
Time Trial mode - New game mode, which allows you to drive against your own lap times. You will always see your best lap driven by a 'ghost car', which you try to beat.
Currently there are no estimated release date or system requirements for Redline, but stay tuned to IMG for info as Redline moves further into development.

New Redline Progress
Ambrosia Software

Tropico 2 Preview Released at Gamespot
9:35 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

While Tropico 2: Pirate's Cove may be fairly free of cliched pirate phrases according to a Gamespot preview, this new game coming from Frog City and Pop Top surely deserves a hearty "Arrrr!" from Tropico and city building sim fanatics alike. Featuring a similar interface and graphics engine as the original banana republic dictatatorship game Tropico, Tropico 2 features a brand new merchant and plundering system, tons of fresh new buildings and units, and of course, lots of pirates.

Tropico 2 has not yet been announced for the Mac, but MacSoft is planning to bring the Tropico Mucho Macho Edition, which includes both the original and its expansion, so it would seem the franchise is viable on the platform.

Nobody would expect pirates to be nice, and they're not. The pirate island's economy is entirely based on the money that comes in from robbing ships. Build a dock or two, equip a ship with cannons, and load it with crew and a captain and you'll then be ready to take a piece of the Caribbean riches. While you don't manually control ships in combat, there is some strategy involved in picking missions for your pirate ships, outfitting six types of ships, and choosing specific battle tactics--like staying back to pound opposing ships with cannons or rushing in to board.
Impressed even at the alpha stage, Gamespot previewers give the game a good look over. You can grab the article at the link below. Stay tuned to IMG for any word on Tropico 2 on the Mac as well.

Gamespot Tropico 2 Preview
PopTop Software
Frog City
Buy Tropico

Happy Gear 2.6 Released
9:35 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Software developer AustinSoft has released an update to their Mac OS 9 application Happy Gear, a utility that allows Input Sprocket-enabled controllers to be used in games/software that do not support Input Sprocket through an easy to use interface. The newest patch fixes a few problems and bugs associated with earlier versions, and has been rebuilt using the latest version of CodeWarrior. Here's a full list of changes from the AustinSoft webpage:

  • Rebuilt using CodeWarrior 8.3.
  • Updated About box.
  • If the JoyManager driver isn't already installed when HappyGear is
  • launched, HappyGear will install the JoyManager driver automatically, if possible.
  • Added emulation type popup to QuickCreate dialog so that it will correctly create either JoyManager or Mouse/Keyboard items.
  • Fixed a problem where configuring an InputSprocket item would actually enable the device.
  • Only enable items in the action types that match the type of input (analog or button).
  • Updated icon.
  • Fixed conflict during build of duplicate SICN resources.
  • Changed to HTML-formatted release notes.
  • You can download the latest version of Happy Gear from the link below. Note that OS 9 and an Input Sprocket-compatible device are required, and the product will not function under OS X. Happy Gear is shareware, and registration is $30.

    Happy Gear
    Download: Happy Gear 2.6

    SMS Plus v1.0 Released
    9:35 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    SMS Plus, a Sega Master System/Game Gear emulator from Mac emulator master Richard Bannister, has been updated to v1.0. This full release adds some features such as joystick support under OS X (with use of the Blitter Library) and fixes a few bugs. Below is a full list of changes from Bannister's site:

  • In sync with latest PC code.
  • Added support for joysticks under Mac OS X (with Blitter Library).
  • Removed ROM Info support code, as ROM Info has been discontinued.
  • Removed "type okay" dialog box.
  • Turbo key now works correctly.
  • Saved games and Freeze states now go in their own folders.
  • You can get your own copy of the newest version of SMS Plus by following the download link below. The product is free and has been carbonized for both OS X and OS 9 users.

    SMS Plus
    Download: SMS Plus v1.0

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    Shadowbane Team Grows
    9:35 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Wolfpack Studios, developer of the upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane for the Mac and PC, has just announced the addition of five new members to the Shadowbane development team: Joe Ybarra, Jason "Illyar" Greathouse, Sara "Lietgardis" Jensen, Ben Roberts, Rich "K'Dah" Fields, and Damion "Ubiq" Scubert. Below is a brief bio of each of the new team members from the news article:

    Joe Ybarra joined the Shadowbane Team as the new Executive Producer. His primary responsibilities include acting as a liaison between the various publishing partners, and both scheduling and managing the project through the final phases of development and release.

    Jason "Illyar" Greathouse signed on at Wolfpack as the Build Manager. He is responsible for executing and maintaining Client and Server builds for the Shadowbane beta. Jason distributes these builds to each of the Shadowbane publishing partners.

    Sara "Lietgardis" Jensen is a new member of the Shadowbane Design Team. Her primary tasks including verifying and updating various statistical data, primarily related to game balancing.

    Ben Roberts is a new part of the Quality Assurance Team. He will be assisting in the testing of game balance relating to the City Sieging system of Shadowbane, including such areas as city building, city management, and siege warfare.

    Rick "K'Dah" Fields is the latest Shadowbane fan turn developer for Wolfpack Studios, who joins the team as a World Integrator. His primary duties include data integration at the highest level: data relating to configuration and placement of worlds, continents, and adventure zones.

    Damion "Ubiq" Schubert also joined the Wolfpack Studios design team for Shadowbane as well. As a Senior Designer, Damion will assist in the areas of game balance and design, and will also be focused on the design needs of the Shadowbane game service after it goes live.

    For more information, be sure to check out the Shadowbane website.

    Wolfpack Studios

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 15, 2003

    IMG Store: Pre-order Tiger Woods PGA Tour 20031:36 PM
    IMG Previews Payback1:32 PM
    GtkRadiant coming to Mac OS X9:18 AM
    Hearts of Iron Coming to the Mac9:18 AM
    Rage Hard Forum Opens9:18 AM
    WarCraft III Expansion Info9:18 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 15, 2003 on one page

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