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Thursday, March 6, 2003

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Shadowbane Goes Gold, Pre-Orders Begin
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Ubi Soft Entertainment and Wolfpack Studios announced today that their long-awaited Massively Multiplayer Online game Shadowbane has gone gold.

Four years in development, Shadowbane has been touted as revolutionary, and expectations are running high that this new release will re-define the MMORPG genre. From their press release:

Set in a dark fantasy world burning with strife and unrest, Shadowbane takes the MMO genre to new heights of possibility by offering gamers an unparalleled challenge. It combines immersive role-playing with deep strategic elements such as city management, army creation, siege warfare and economic development. Shadowbane is also the first MMO to offer a Dynamic World Model, in which players' actions and decisions permanently change the history, politics and landscape of the game.

Shadowbane Features:

  • Assume the role of a common citizen or become a hero. Raise and lead armies against rival and opposing empires. Become an accomplished diplomat or negotiator and lend your support to compelling struggles or causes. Recruit and train a tough crew of mercenaries and sell your skills to the richest kingdom. All of these choices evolve this epic game that combines true RPG elements with large scale RTS.

  • Follow an incredible story arc covering more than five thousand years of recorded history abound with legends, epics, and tragedies. Players can alter the story with their every action.

  • Interact with the Gods, Archons, and Heroes from legend, played by hired actors from Wolfpack Studios, who manipulate and interact within the existing framework of player established communities.
  • Minimum system requirements for the Mac version call for a 350 MHz G3 or higher, 128 MB RAM, 1 GB free hard drive space, OS X version 10.2, CD-ROM drive, internet access, and at least a ATI Rage 128 32 MB

    Both the PC and Mac versions of Shadowbane are expected to hit store shelves March 25th. The IMG Store is now taking pre-orders for Shadowbane for $39.95.

    Ubisoft: Shadowbane Goes Gold
    Wolfpack Studios

    Immersion Certifies 12 Force Feedback Peripherals for Mac
    2:26 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Immersion Corporation, developer of haptic and force feedback technologies, has released a list of force feedback peripherals supported under Mac OS X 10.2.3 and later. The following controllers have all been tested to work with a Mac, but there are other devices that use Immersion's TouchSense technology that may work also.

    • ACT LABS Force RS2 Wheel
    • Gravis Xterminator Force GamePad
    • Logitech Cordless RumblePad
    • Logitech Driving Force Wheel
    • Logitech Force 3D Joystick
    • Logitech MOMO Force Wheel
    • Logitech WingMan Formula Force GP Wheel
    • Logitech WingMan RumblePad
    • Logitech WingMan Strike Force 3D Joystick
    • Saitek Cyborg 3D Force Joystick
    • Saitek R440 Force Wheel
    • Thrustmaster Hotas Force Feedback Joystick
    Currently, the only games that support force feedback are F1 Championship 2000, NASCAR Racing 2002, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, but that list is expected to grow as developers learn to take advantage of the technology. For more information about Immersion and force feedback, read our feature article linked below.

    Press Release: Immersion Announces 12 Force Feedback Peripherals for Mac Platform
    Complete Immersion: Force Feedback on the Mac

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    IMG Previews Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
    1:44 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of Aspyr's upcoming golf game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003. Featuring stunning visuals and unique gameplay such as Career mode, PGA Tour 2003 is being ported to the Mac by Westlake Interactive.

    Here's a clip from the preview:

    Being a title of the sports persuasion, TW03 provides a number of options to customize gameplay as players see fit. The main bulk of the game can be found in the Play Golf mode, where players can pick from plenty of different game types, including Stroke Play, Match Play, Bloodsome, and Greensome. Skills Competition, my personal favorite, allows golfers to compete in events such as longest drive, closest to pin, trouble shots, and chipping contests.

    A mode that players of past Woods games have been asking for and has finally been included in this most recent version is the Career Mode. As its name suggests, Career Mode lets players create their own golfer and build him from the ground up, competing in various challenges and learning advanced shot techniques as they rack up money. A calendar helps players keep track of upcoming challenges.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the preview.

    IMG Preview: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
    Aspyr Media
    Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
    Buy Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003

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    Virtual Grand Prix 2 Demo Released
    8:57 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Virtual Programming has released a demo of their upcoming racing game, Virtual Grand Prix 2. Developed by AlasSoft, the Virtual Grand Prix 2 demo allows you to try out a single track, and is limited to MacOS 9 only. According to publisher, various features such as force feedback and networking are not included in the demo, but will be in the final version of the game, which is set to the released in late March.

    Here's a list of some of the game features:

  • State of the art OpenGL-based 3d engine
  • 16/24 bit output user-selectable
  • Real-time LOD reduction with distance for constant framerate
  • Real-time lighting f/x (lights, shadows, specularity, etc.)
  • Real-time translucency/reflection f/x
  • Advanced Sound f/x engine especially designed for VGP2
  • 'Pit-Radio' digitized speech for real-time interaction with the user during race
  • Highly advanced car dynamics model:
  • Developed using automotive (and not game-ish) industrial standards
  • Tested and approved by real open-wheeled (F.Ford, F.Arcobaleno and F.3000) car racers
  • Full setup available, including wings, gearbox, tyres, suspensions, differential, ballast, etc.
  • Combined with an 'arcade-mode' for inexperienced players and lot of fun
  • Advanced Opponents AI
  • Single race, Championship race and Multiplayer Network race mode (optional)
  • USB support for Force-Feedback devices (optional)
  • Custom, OpenGL-based UI frontend
  • 'FIA-like' look and feel
  • Original 16bit, 44.1kHz, stereo SoundTrack
  • Network support
  • An Apple Macintosh with a PowerPC
  • 64Mbytes of RAM
  • Accelerated 3d video card with at least 8Mbytes of graphics RAM
  • CD-ROM drive (any speed).
  • MacOS Classic operating system 8.x/9.x
  • MacOS X? 10.2 or better

    The demo is being hosted by our sister site, If you're an IMG Pro subscriber, you can download it off your private ftp server by following the Hot Downloads link below.

    Virtual Grand Prix 2
    MGF: Virtual Grand Prix 2 Demo (8.4 MB)
    IMG Pro: Hot Downloads

    Mega Man Quake 3 Mod Announced
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    A Total Conversion for Quake III based on Capcom's classic Mega Man series was recently announced. Entitled X-buster, the mod is intended to bring classic Mega Man gameplay into the Quake 3 engine, including a single player side-scrolling mode.

    Here's the team's official description of the mod:

    X-Buster can easily be described as a modification for the Quake 3 engine based on the ever popular series created by Capcom known as Mega Man. Taking the great characters from the series X-Buster will bring Capcom's creation into a new dimension, one I like to call the 3rd dimension.
    Here's a list of planned gameplay features:
    X-Buster will most likely have many gameplay modes, but these have yet to be discussed by the X-Buster team. Therefore an in-depth explanation of X-Buster operation is not available at this time. Here is what I can grant you will be in the mod.

    - Dashing
    - Double Jumps
    - Armor Upgrades
    - X-Buster
    - Maverick Buster (Bass's Buster in games such as Rockman & Forte)
    - Easter Eggs

    Although still in early development, the mod's website provides some developmental screen shots. Like most Quake 3 mods, Xbuster should be compatible with all versions of Quake 3. For more information, and to check out the screen shots, follow the below link.

    Xbuster Website
    Quake III Arena
    id Software

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    Neverwinter Nights Mac Tech Trial Coming Soon
    6:00 AM | Johan Hansιn | Comment on this story

    In a post on the BioWare forums, community manager Jay Watamaniuk says that things are looking good for the release of a tech trial for the Mac version of their role-playing game, Neverwinter Nights.

    Here's an extract from the post:

    I was talking with some folks today and we are gearing up for a technology trial pretty quick. There are a few bits and pieces we are waiting for and they are more of confirmation then something that needs a reworking. A few bugs popped up recently but nothing that would prevent the tech trial from going through. Should be damn quick.
    As mentioned later in the forum, a "tech trial" is a publicly downloadable sample of Neverwinter Nights that should be available for everyone to download. It seems to be something between a beta and a demo.

    Neverwinter Nights is currently being worked on by BioWare and will be published by MacSoft.

    Bioware Forum Thread
    Neverwinter Nights
    Buy Neverwinter Nights

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    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Beta First Impressions
    6:00 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Gamespot recently posted an in-depth look at the beta of the upcoming Warcraft III expansion, The Frozen Throne. The article covers a few of the new units, (mainly the undead ones) along with talking about one of the new neutral heroes, the Dark Ranger. Along with a look at these new units, it also talks about some the general changes to the game.

    Here’s a preview:

    Currently, the beta features a whopping nine maps: Bridge Too Near, Hail Stone, Ice Flow, Islands, Tanaris, Turtle Rock, Whirlwind, Stranglethorn Vale, and Wheel of Chaos. These are all fairly large maps (the first seven are four-on-four maps, the last two are six-on-six maps) that, for the most part, provide players with ample starting space to develop their initial base of operations. The Frozen Throne's maps feature much of the same scenery seen in the original Warcraft III, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the original game's colorful and detailed 3D scenery. However, the new maps do have notable new features, including the new tavern building, which lets you hire a neutral hero. We were able to commission the services of a few of these, including the dark ranger, a corrupted dark elf with the intriguing abilities of stealing life force from enemies, firing poisoned arrows that deal continuous damage over time, enhancing allied damage (an ability that actually causes any slain enemies to rise again as skeletons), and taking control of any non-hero enemy under level six with a powerful charm spell. These intriguing abilities obviously lend themselves well to undead players who are used to using skeletons as cannon fodder, but they work well with other sides too.
    To read the full article, follow the link provided below. Be sure to stay tuned to IMG for more information on The Frozen Throne Beta.

    Gamespot's Warcraft III:Frozen Throne Beta Impressions
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 5, 2003

    March Madness Sale: Fallout/Fallout 2 Bundle for $341:17 PM
    IMG Reviews Griffin's PowerMate12:48 PM
    Aspyr On Cross-Platform Publishing11:00 AM
    MacPlay Newsletter Released10:35 AM
    Gamespy Posts Second Q&A With Warren Spector6:00 AM
    GarageGames Revises Torque Engine Licensing Options6:00 AM
    The Sims Q&A at The Armchair Empire6:00 AM
    The Ur-Quan Masters Alpha Available6:00 AM
    X-Words Deluxe Updated6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 5, 2003 on one page

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