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Friday, February 21, 2003

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Pangea Software Announces Billy Frontier
8:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone of Pangea Software today announced Billy Frontier, a new 3D game for the Macintosh. Slated for release in April, Billy Frontier is an arcade style game where you play Billy, a cowboy living on the planet New Texas.

Gunslingers have taken over the planet, and it is up to Billy to restore peace (while making a hefty profit, of course). Billy Frontier is actually many games in one, all of which involve arcade style gameplay. There are levels where you do a quickdraw duel with the gunslingers, while on some other levels you run through town and take part in a full-scale shootout. There is even a part where you need to outrun a herd of stampeding Kanga-Cows (half kangaroo, half cow creatures).

“This is the first time in quite a while that we have not done an action-adventure game,” said Brian Greenstone, President and CEO of Pangea Software, “This year we are focusing on developing smaller, arcade-style games which are really unique and fun, and Billy Frontier is the first of several that are planned.”
Billy Frontier will be available as a download only and will be priced at around $15. Additional information and screenshots are up on Pangea
Software's Billy Frontier web site.

Pangea Software
Billy Frontier

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MacSoft Releases Civilization III Map Editor
9:06 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacSoft has released the long-awaited Civilization III Map Editor called Civ3Edit. This Mac OS X only applications allows gamers who own Civilization III to create and edit their own Civ III maps.

After you download and unstuff the Civ3Edit application, place the Civ3Edit application in the same folder as your "Civilization III" application. The Civ 3 Editor will not work if it is not installed in the correct location.

Our sister site,, is hosting the file. If you're an IMG Pro subscriber, be sure to check your Hot Downloads page to grab it from your exclusive IMG Pro server.

IMG Review: Civilization III
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
IMG Pro: Hot Downloads
MGF: Civ3Edit 1.32f
Buy Civilization III

GameRanger Adds New Premium Service, Client Update
9:06 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Earlier today, Scott Kevill announced the release of GameRanger Premium, a new premium service for fans of the popular Mac online gaming service, GameRanger. Like IMG's IMG Pro, GameRanger platinum serves as an added bonus for hardcore GameRanger fans, adding many new benefits not accessible to the standard account, including a unique account name, more personalization, additional appearance options, the ability to host your own chat rooms, a Premium-only chat room, and having your name highlighted with bold and drop-shadow, with more features coming soon. Below is an excerpt from the official press release:

The new Premium Service leaves the existing free service unchanged, while offering a host of new benefits for Premium Members including a unique account name, many more profile personalization options, auto-reply away messages, appearance customization, personal chat rooms, and more. Premium Membership is available today to all GameRanger members for just $49.95 US per year.

"This Premium Service was designed for gamers based on the feedback I had received from them over the last three years, and they'll be very excited with the result," stated Scott Kevill, "and all for only the cost of a new Mac game per year."

In related news, the GameRanger client has been updated to conform with the new service. As always, opening the client will automatically install the necessary updates.

If you're interested in signing up to the new premium service, sign on to GameRanger and click on the "Get Premium!" link. The service costs $49.99 USD a year, and includes a 30 day money back guarantee. As noted, the free version of GameRanger will remain unchanged. More infortmation can be found at the link below.

GameRanger Premium

IMG Chats with Pangea's Brian Greenstone
2:07 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Brian Greenstone is at it again. The man who brought us memorable hit titles such as Nanosaur, Bugdom, and Otto Matic is working on two new games for release in 2003. One of them, Billy Frontier, was announced today. We chatted with Brian about Billy Frontier, his previous creations, and more.

Here's a clip from the interview:

IMG: So tell us a bit more about Billy Frontier. How'd you come up with the idea? What kind of game are you shooting for?

Greenstone: Actually, the initial idea was Scott Harper's. He had a game design and lost of art done when the project started. We took what he had and simplified it so that we could get it done in a short amount of time. The goal with this game was to make an arcade style shooting game that had the look and feel of an action-adventure game. There's no walking around and exploring in Billy Frontier, it's comprised of a bunch of small games that involve western themes: shooting, stampedes, etc.

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

IMG Feature: Pangea's Greenstone Talks Billy Frontier
Pangea Software
Billy Frontier

IMG Store: Save 10 Percent, Prices Reduced
2:03 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games continues its 10th year celebration by offering a 10 percent discount on ALL orders placed through the IMG Store. From now until the end of February, you can save an additional 10 percent on all orders placed through the IMG Store.

Simply submit your order and we'll deduct 10 percent off the total when you enter your order. Save on how new games, MacGames CD and IMG Pro subscription, or even the MacGames DVD. To check out the IMG Store and the full list of offerings, be sure to click on the link below.

In addition, the IMG Store has lowered its prices on a few new games. Remember, these are prices before the 10 percent discount:

Star Trek: Elite Force Combo - Includes the original game plus the expansion pack. Both are carbonized for Mac OS X. Price: $14.95

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Clone Campaigns - The original game plus the expansion pack have dropped $10. Price: $29.00 and $19.00 respectively.

Custer Lets the Dogs Out
1:47 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Brad Custer, IMG's resident graphics guru, has released another high quality desktop available now at the Custer's Corner section of Inside Mac Games. This week's desktop is inspired by Aspyr Media's The Sims: Unleashed, the latest expansion pack for the gaming hit The Sims, titled simply "Unleashed". Here's a short description from the man himself:

Well, this week one of my loyal viewers gets another request filled with a desktop from The Sims: Unleashed. It's been pretty hard to obtain artwork for any Sims title so the pressure was on. Luckily, with the huge snow storm that hit the east coast, I had plenty of time. After using artwork obtained from my new source of Sims art, I was able to create this week's wallpaper. I simply entitled it "Unleashed" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it. :)
To download the desktop, simply click on the link provided below. The download is available in several different resolutions, ranging from 640x480 to 1920x1200 and almost everything in between.

Custer's Desktops
The Sims: Unleashed
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Buy The Sims: Unleashed

Microsoft Buys VirtualPC
11:14 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Microsoft recently made a somewhat shocking announcement when they announced they had acquired Virtual PC from Connectix. This acquisition includes both the Mac and PC versions of Virtual PC. Although many Mac users may think Microsoft is planning on killing off the Mac version, Microsoft says that the Mac version will continue to be developed by their Mac Business Unit.

Here's a snippet of the announcement:

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced it has acquired the virtual machine solutions of privately held Connectix Corp., a leading provider of virtualization software for Windows(R)- and Macintosh-based computing. By deploying supportable virtualization technology from Microsoft, customers can easily migrate to next-generation operating system platforms while leveraging investments in their existing applications. In addition, Microsoft's virtual machine solutions will enable companies to consolidate server resources, thereby reducing hardware capital expenditures and operating costs.

"Our customers told us they wanted a best-of-breed virtual machine solution that enables them to run their legacy Windows applications, even as they migrate to more modern operating system technology," said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group at Microsoft. "With this acquisition, we are committed to delivering this solution for our customers and providing the support they need both today and in the future."

"This agreement will enable advances in virtual machine technology and applications through expanded resources for research, development, professional support and services," said Roy K. McDonald, president and CEO of Connectix. "We look forward to working with Microsoft to provide a seamless product and support transition for our current customers and believe that Microsoft will produce the very best-in-class virtualization solutions on Windows and Macintosh platforms for a long time to come."

For more information on the buyout, follow the link provided below to read the full press release.

Microsoft buys Virtual PC

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New PC UT2003 Demo Mac-Compatible
8:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

While Epic has been quiet on the Mac client for Unreal Tournament 2003 since last month's Macworld Expo, a recent report on a new PC demo provides a hint towards its progress. In a quick note to PlanetUnreal, Epic's Steven Polge notes the new PC demo is network-compatible with the "upcoming Mac UT2003 demo."

This is good news not only in the confirmation that the Mac client is still well underway, but also that Epic is ensuring it stays up-to-date with its PC counterpart. As soon as more information becomes available from MacSoft on the Mac release, you can be sure it will be reported here.

PlanetUnreal: New UT2003 Demo
Digital Extremes
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

Airburst Extreme Dev Diary
8:31 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

iDevGames is hosting a new developer diary section written by Aaron Fothergill of Strange Flavour in which he discusses work on Airburst Extreme. This sequel to the popular shareware game involves making the move to OpenGL, and Fothergill talks about this and more in the current diary:

We worked on the official game design over the Xmas holidays and Adam's already rendering up characters and sorting the animation for the cut scenes. The design outlines the primary sections of the game but has been left loose so that we can 'wing it' a little. Never write a game design and consider it inflexible. It's a guide that you can fall back on if you lose track, but you'll think up better gameplay elements while actually working on the game. The further you go away from the design, the more risk you are taking, but the closer you stick to the design document, the more untuned the game is likely to be. The actual balance is an exercise for the reader ;)
For more information, be sure to check out the rest of the diary. Also stay tuned for more information on Airburst Extreme as it becomes available.

Airburst Extreme Developer Diary
Strange Flavour

RHEM Demo Now Available
8:31 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Got Games Entertainment have just released Mac and PC demos for their Myst-inspired game RHEM.

Designed and created on a Mac by German-based developer Knut Müller, RHEM is a first-person adventure game featuring over 5000 rendered 3D images and over 15 minutes of Quicktime animation rendered with Bryce and put together with Macromedia Director.

The game, which has been described by IMG readers as "similar to Myst but the puzzles make a lot more sense", features a somewhat familiar storyline:

Featuring non-linear gameplay, non-violent story, and mind-bending puzzles, the player's adventure begins when a commandeered rail car arrives in the land of RHEM. The rail car roams the land of RHEM, allowing the player to discover the mysteries of this place little by little. The player soon learns that the only hope of escaping RHEM lies in the contents of a letter, consisting of four hidden fragments which must not only be found, but also put together.

Upon disembarking the rail car, and now in search of the letter, the player discovers the world of RHEM is one of twisting and turning canyons, staircases and tunnels, ladders and buildings, and revolving bridges. The game's developer, Knut Mueller, paid particular attention to creating an effective, yet unobtrusive interface and keeping the gameplay truly interactive. "In RHEM, we strove to maintain a seamless visual experience and emphasize the possibilities born from the player's own action," said Mueller, "And I believe we succeeded."

Got Games Entertainment, the North American publishers of the game, have announced that the five-cd adventure will be released in the US in the spring of 2003. The game's Mac system requirements are shockingly low - anyone with a 200 mhz PowerPC chip, running MacOS 8.5.1 onwards, Quicktime 4.0, and spoting 32 megs of RAM should be able to run this puppy. The game also supports OS X's Classic mode.

The demo, which weighs in at a healthy thirty megs, is available from our sister site,, and can be accessed through the links below.

MGF: RHEM Mac Demo

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Shadowbane Testers Talk
8:31 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Since the news broke Thursday morning about game publishers Ubi Soft dropping the Non-Disclosure Agreement governing the beta test of the upcoming MMORPG Shadowbane, hundreds of beta testers have been flooding the internet with previews, reviews, and editorials about the highly-anticipated game.

And, as you can imagine, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive; so much so, in fact, that Ubi Soft has even linked a few of them to their own website. Here's a taste of the raving:

It will earn the name "Shadowcrack". It is fun, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. Not only that, but you don't even have to be "hardcore" to play. I have played less then 10 hours a week in beta, and have had a blast. The easy level grind lets even casual players advance to the point where they can enjoy the finer points of the game just like the hardcore players. The hardcore players just get to spend more time enjoying the finer points. It's like an all-you-can-eat buffet. You all get access to the same stuff, but if you spend less time there or only get one plate you don?t get to try everything.
Hmmmmmm...... All-you-can-eat MMORPG buffet..... While some of the reviews are fairly opiniated, a number of the web snippets detail to great length gameplay issues including the combat system, the powers system, and the much-touted guild-based multiplayer environment.

Click on the link below to feast on the tasty morels of info from the mouths of the beta testers themselves.

Ubi Soft: Shadowbane Beta Testers Talk!
Wolfpack Studios

Mac Games News for Thursday, February 20, 2003

Star Trek Elite Force II Mac Officially Announced12:15 PM
Deus Ex II Interview, New Screenshots8:25 AM
Lineage: Episode 12 Released8:25 AM
Master of Orion III Mac Nears Completion8:25 AM
Shadowbane Drops NDA; Adds 20,000 Testers8:25 AM
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Interview At Gamespot8:25 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, February 20, 2003 on one page

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003
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