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Tuesday, March 11, 2003



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PlaneShift Coming to Mac [Update]
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

It seems to be a banner year for Mac massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Some recent digging has uncovered development of PlaneShift, a free, open-source MMORPG currently in the works for several platforms, including the Mac. While more information concerning this has yet to be unveiled, a post in the PlaneShift forums indicates that, while not public yet due to some speed issues, a Mac version is definitely in the works.

PlaneShift is an effort to create a quality MMORPG with free access to all:

The objective of the PlaneShift Team is to create a virtual fantasy world in which a player can start as a peasant in search of fame and become an hero. We will focus our efforts in the reproduction of a real world with politics, economy, many non-player-characters controlled by the server that will bring to life our world even without players connected!
Among PlaneShift's features are 12 races, unlimited professions, and hundreds of spells. Those interested in more information can find it at the official site.

Update: Since we ran our story, the person porting the game to the Mac left a comment seeking help from others in the Mac gaming community regarding performance issues. Here's what programmer Gregory Lightyear had to say:

I'm the Mac PlaneShift porter, and I'm the one working on the port of PlaneShift to MacOS/X.

I've updated the thread linked to by this article with further information on what the current state of PlaneShift on the Mac is.

Currently, I need more help from the community in solving performance problems under MacOS/X of the CrystalSpace rendering engine that PlaneShift uses for its client; if anyone would like to assist in this development effort, and has experience using Apple's GL implementation on NVidia and ATI hardware, please contact me at gblock@ctoforaday.com.

If you're a programmer with some OS X experience, feel free to contact the PlaneShift team.

PlaneShift Forums - Mac?
PlaneShift



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Medal of Honor Update Adds SMP, FSAA Support
5:02 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media has posted an update to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault which adds several new features and fixes a few bugs. Version 1.13 addresses the following issues:

  • Added Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP) support for dual CPU Macintosh computers. It is activated by typing "set r_smp 1" in the game console. A "vid_restart" is required to make it active.

  • Added Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) - this can be activated on ATI video cards by setting "r_ati_fsaa_samples" to 2 or 4. For NVIDIA cards, use the command "r_nv_fsaa_samples", with 2, 4, 5, 8 or 9 as the value. A "vid_restart" is required for NVIDIA cards. The higher the number the better the quality.

  • Replaced the Miles sound library with a newer version that is more compatible with dual CPU computers.

  • Implemented Texture Compression under 10.2.3 & later version of Mac OS X. The check box in the Video menu now works (it didn't do anything before).

  • Improved GameRanger on-line game matching support.

  • Fixed the bug that was preventing multiplayer servers from showing up in the GameSpy master server list.
  • To download the update, head over to MacGameFiles. If you're an IMG Pro subscriber, you can download the file from your Hot Downloads page.

    MGF - MOH:AA 1.13 Update (2.5 MB)
    Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
    Aspyr Media
    Westlake Interactive
    IMG Pro: Hot Downloads
    Buy Medal of Honor: Allied Assault



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    IMG Posts Uplink Preview
    12:46 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    IMG has posted a preview of Ambrosia's Uplink. In the game you play an Uplink Agent who makes a living by performing jobs for major corporations. Your tasks involve hacking into rival computer systems, stealing research data, sabotaging other companies, laundering money, erasing evidence, or framing innocent people.

    Here's a clip from the preview:

    The first thing that struck me about Uplink was its level of immersion. The first time you launch the program, you are taken through the initialization and registration process with the Uplink Corporation. The game exists within its own interface and operating system. As you entrench yourself within the reality of Uplink, you can play the stock market -- and influence that stock market, upgrade your computer, buy more hacking tools and even steal bank funds. Eventually, if your rating improves enough, you are presented with a plot filled with intrigue. You can play the story line or do your own thing. It's up to you. There's even a built-in IRC module (once you can afford to purchase it within the game). Yes, real Internet Relay Chat -- internet connection required. What's a game about hacking if you can't access IRC?
    Be sure to check out the rest of the preview.

    IMG Preview: Uplink
    Contraband Entertainment
    Ambrosia Software
    Uplink



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    Send In Your 'Ask Feral' Questions
    12:33 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    One of the more popular features on Inside Mac Games is the "Ask Aspyr" and "Ask MacPlay" question and answer column that is updated every few months on IMG. In it, IMG readers get to send in questions to a company for them to answer. Our friends at Feral Interactive have expressed their interest in taking questions from Mac gamers for a new feature entitled...what else..."Ask Feral".

    The concept is easy: send us your questions, and we'll submit the best of the best to Feral. We'll then post the answers on IMG at a later date.

    So, if you have a question for Feral, email your questions to tuncer@insidemacgames.com with the words Ask Feral in the Subject field. You can ask questions about their games, games you'd like to see from Feral, or even of specific persons at Feral.

    Feral Interactive



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    Blizzard Expands Frozen Throne Beta Test
    10:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Blizzard yesterday announced that they have expanded the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne beta test. The company will be selecting an additional 10,000 beta testers for their upcoming expansion pack to the best-selling strategy game, WarCraft III.

    Here's more from the announcement:

    We are extremely pleased with the results and feedback that the beta test is generating and would like to offer the opportunity for even more players to experience all the new features that the Frozen Throne has to offer. Those who signed up for the Beta Test will now have another chance to participate in and play-test the Beta as we proceed into the next phase of our testing process. These additional participants can expect to receive an e-mail from us confirming their participation in the next few days. We would like to once again thank everyone who applied, and we ask that you please continue to visit http://www.blizzard.com/war3x for more information on the game. We look forward to seeing all the new faces on Battle.net.
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is currently slated for worldwide release in the summer of 2003.

    IMG Review: Warcraft III
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne



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    Uplink, Redline Progress Updates
    10:15 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    Ambrosia Software recently updated the progress logs for two of their upcoming games, Redline and Uplink. For those unfamiliar with the games, Redline is an all-new racing game being developed by Ambrosia that features impress graphics, a realistic physics engine, and net play. Uplink, on the other hand, places players in the role of hacker who makes a living by hacking into the computer systems of corporations, the government, etc. The Redline progress update notes some of the new multi-player features that have been implemented:

    Whats new today?

    -Player names on license plates in network
    -Dynamic adjustment of net packet rate for a lower bandwidth footprint
    -Global Internet lap times record list via Reggie 2.0

    The uplink update notes that video card driver issues have come up, but also makes this positive note:
    The beta testers are busy enjoying Uplink. It's a pretty straightforward conversion, and few bugs are being reported.
    For more information on either game, or to read check out the full progress logs, follow the links provided below.

    Redline Progress
    Uplink Progress
    Contraband Entertainment
    Ambrosia Software
    Uplink
    Redline



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    Quake III Level Editor Seeks OS X Developers
    8:49 AM | Johan Hansťn | Comment on this story

    Radiant has posted an update on the status on their level editor for Quake III engine based games, GtkRadiant. While new development versions of the Linux and the Windows editor has been released, they beg for help to get a Mac version out the door:

    We are still working on the OSX release. Mostly on the setup stuff. We desperately need OSX developers to help us though. There has been very low OSX developer activity on the GtkRadiant-macos list, and that has prevented us from putting out a setup for the OSX version so far. So if you have some free time and OSX knowledge (specially in the packaging area), please give us a hand.
    GtkRadiant is a level editor that supports the following games and modifications: Quake III Arena, Quake III: Team Arena, Quake III Arena modifications, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Soldier Of Fortune II, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force.

    Radiant Website
    id Software
    Quake III Arena
    Activision



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    Republic & B&W 2 Preview, Graeme Devine Talks at Gamespy
    8:46 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    In a flurry of activity over last weekend's Game Developer's Conference 2003, PC gaming website Gamespy has posted three articles that are of interest to Mac gamers.

    First off, Gamespy takes a look at Elixir Studio's upcoming strategy / RPG hybrid Republic: The Revolution. The detailed two-page preview gives a brief rundown what to expect of the game, including a sample of the gameplay:

    The place is the fictional Eastern European country of Novistrana, and your character has quite an axe to grind with the country's president. It seems that 20 years ago, he had your parents incarcerated, which placed him pretty high on your schvit list. Your goal: to have him removed from power, be it by military coup, forced resignation, or people's revolution.

    The game takes place over three living, breathing areas, each of which has hundreds of unique characters going about their daily lives, blissfully unaware of the machinations at hand. Unaware, that is, until you get involved. You'll start out in a small town as the head of a new faction with exactly one member, and will try to drum up enough support to take your cause to a larger city, and eventually to Novistrana's capital. Hassabis took us through some of the early town portions of the game to show us how you'll get started on your quest, and some of the activities you'll engage in along the way.

    As previously reported at IMG, Mac game publishers Feral Interactive will be bringing the game to the Mac platform with the help of Mac game porters Zonic soon after the game's PC release. Stay tuned to IMG as more news on this exciting political thriller develops.

    Also previewed at Gamespy this week is the highly-anticipated god-game sequel Black & White 2. Game designer Peter Molyneux himself steered the article's writer through the paces of the game:

    Molyneux said that the game is being developed in two parts. The gameplay elements are being created using the old game engine, while the new world and new engine are being created separately. On the gameplay side, the team is working on new mechanics on how to build towns and villages. Whole new building sets are being created with lots of different style buildings, roads and spires. The game even allows you to build walls in any shape you want to protect your city from attack. However, walls won't protect you forever. Creatures can knock them down, or the hand of god can use boulders to bust holes in them for soldiers to march through.
    Finally, Gamespy writer John Keefer got to sit down and chew the fat with id Software's Mac-loving programmer Graeme Devine about his personal experiences at this year's conference:
    GameSpy: What is the most interesting thing you have seen or heard at GDC this year?
    Devine: I think it had to be the Lifetime Achievement Award given at last night's awards ceremony (it went to Gunpei Yokoi, the creator of the Game Boy). To see Yuji Naga of TEAMSONIC at Sega get up and present the award and say that the guy he was giving the award to was a competitor, but one who always made him strive to be better - that was especially cool. And then to see Yokoi's son and wife come all the way from Japan to accept the award (Yokoi died in 1997). I'm glad I was on stage next so that I could see it up close.
    All three articles make for an interesting read. Click on the links below for access.

    Gamespy: Republic Preview
    Gamespy: Black & White 2 Preview
    Gamespy: Graeme Devine Interview
    Feral Interactive
    Elixir
    Republic: The Revolution
    Buy Republic: The Revolution



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    Worms Blast Released, CM4 Just Around The Corner
    8:44 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    European Mac game publisher Feral Interactive hs quietly updated their website with news on several of the games in their roster.

    First off, the Snood-style family game Worms Blast has been released. The game features sixty levels of side-by-side multiplayer puzzle action, as two worms tackle multicolored blocks with their own personal bazookas. The game, which requires a minimum 233 mhz G3 processor, runs in both OS 9.1 and OS X 10.1.3, and is sure to please the whole family. The game can be ordered through the Feral website and the IMG store (at a lower price). If you're curious about the title, head on over to IMG sister site MacGameFiles to check out the demo.

    Next on the list of updates, racing fans will be pleased to hear that Feral's upcoming Total Immersion Racing is on track for a late summer / early fall release:

    Well we couldn't just leave it at F1... It may be that the petrol heads have taken over the asylum but that's good news for those of you with a taste for speed, a liking for blood feuds and a visceral desire to win. Because we've found you the perfect game: Total Immersion Racing. Dare we say this is Racing Evolved? Probably not.

    Total Immersion Racing gives you the thrill of GT Sports Cars and the challenge of AI drivers who have personalities and emotions.These guys remember your actions on the track, can and do bear grudges and act on their feelings. It's on schedule for late Q2/early Q3 and remember - always think and drive, you know it makes sense.

    Finally, in news that is sure to make soccer fans happy, Feral has announced that the full version of the football management sim Championship Manager 4 will be released Friday, April 4th. If you're curious about this long-awaited title, head on over to MacGameFiles to check out the recently-released demo beta.

    MGF: Worms Blast Demo
    MGF: Championship Manager 4 Beta Demo
    Feral Interactive



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    New Myth 2/3 Updates
    6:00 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

    The MythDevelopers recently posted an update on their website for both Myth II and Myth III. Beta 5 for the carbonized Myth II fixes OSS problems, as well as minor OS X performance tweaks. The team is currently fixing bugs for Myth 3, most notably the chat bug. MythDevelopers are also working on unit balancing for Myth III.

    Here's an excerpt from an announcement on their website in regards to the popular Myth file hosting site, MythMaps:

    MythDev has pulled the plug on MythMaps.com. Because we're providing the hosting for The Mill's ftp server, there was little reason to have redundant files available on what amounted to the same mirror space. The MythMaps.com domain name will be pointing to the Mill within the next few days. All of the files that were on MythMaps.com that were not on The Mill will not be transferred. We'll look at ways to get some of these files available to you shortly.
    The Myth II Carbon update is available now on their website, and MythDevelopers urge players to update as soon as possible to keep uniformity. The update for Myth III is expected "soon."

    MythDevelopers
    Myth II: Soulblighter
    Bungie Studios
    MacSoft



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    Apple Previews Shadowbane
    6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Following up on the recent announcement of UbiSoft's MMORPG Shadowbane going gold master, Apple has posted a preview taking a closer look at the game. Several years in the making, Shadowbane aims to take player conflicts to a new level, supporting the ability for towns and cities to lay siege to one another.

    The preview, which features some interesting screenshots and miscellaneous background information, also includes quotes from several development team members regarding gameplay. Also made note of is the NPC factor, which will be used to keep the general story in line:

    As you wander the world, you may meet non-player characters (NPCs) who are actually actors hired by Ubi Soft to nudge Aerynth?s history in certain directions. These NPCs could be high-level members of established classes or even gods that descend from the heavens to unleash supernatural events. The players? responses to the NPCs will dictate future events; Ubi Soft says they have the next five years? worth of stories planned out but won?t divulge any details, of course.
    In addition, Mac system requirements and a rundown of the various races and classes are also included. Those interested in the full read can find the preview at Apple's site. The game is available for pre-order from IMG's store and should ship on March 25.

    Apple - Shadowbane Preview
    Ubisoft
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane
    Pre-order Shadowbane


    Mac Games News for Monday, March 10, 2003

    IMG Store: SimCity 4 Available for Pre-Order1:05 PM
    IMG Posts SimsMania Feature1:03 PM
    Sorcery PDA Coming To Mac OS X8:21 AM
    Freecraft Updated7:49 AM
    Deus Ex: Invisible War Impressions6:00 AM
    Master of Orion III Postmortem6:00 AM
    New ATI Graphics Cards for PC6:00 AM
    No One Lives Forever 2 Future Plans6:00 AM
    NVIDIA Unveils New GeForce FX Cards6:00 AM
    Virtual Grand Prix 2, Player Manager Demo6:00 AM
    World War II Online Q&A6:00 AM
     
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 10, 2003 on one page


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    Friday, March 7, 2003
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