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Thursday, March 13, 2003

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WarBirds: Pacific Theater Open Beta Released
10:44 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The iEntertainment Network today announced the launch of WarBirds: Pacific Theater of Operations, the first new major WarBirds product since the release of WarBirds III three years ago. The company has released an open beta and expects to go live with the final product on March 20th, 2003. WarBirds, PTO, features all-new terrain, new airplanes, new flight models, new strategy, new graphic features, much more.

Here's more from the official press release:

The WarBirds, PTO takes the action to the Southern Philippines. The new water and island terrain is generated from 100-meter resolution satellite data, which allows stunning depictions of actual topography from the Pacific region.

WarBirds, PTO includes new Japanese fighter/bombers the B5N2 Kate, the D3A Val, and the G4M1 Betty as well as awesome new 3D cockpits from numerous German and US fighter/bombers. If that's not enough to get the excitement running through your veins, you can opt to roll in the world famous M4A3 Sherman take capture airfields in exciting tank battles!

Additionally, to gratify the high demands from today's more sophisticated gamers for high-level of immersion in their online game play, we have added a new strategic supply model. This new supply model provides the opportunity for players to experience more realistic battle conditions and allows them to employ more historical strategies, operations, and tactics.

The Mac beta weighs in at 68 MB and is available for download from the WarBirds: Pacific Theater of Operations web site.

iEntertainment Network
WarBirds: Pacific Theater of Operations

One on One With Glenda Adams
12:29 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted the 15th part in an ongoing conversation between old friends Glenda Adams, Mac gaming goddess and president of Westlake Interactive, and Tuncer Deniz, publisher and editor-in-chief of IMG.

Here an excerpt to whet your palate:

Tuncer: A lot of people seem to be skeptical of EverQuest for the Mac. It is, after all, a few years old. What do you think? Will EverQuest do well?

Glenda: I don't think it's 'old', as some people say. The original game came out several years ago, but what people play on the PC now (and what Mac players will play) bears little resemblance to the original EQ. Sony Online has done an amazing amount of work rewriting the game engine over the last few years, adding new content, new user interface, etc. I think that is why so many people still play it on the PC- it really is a very current game technologically, and probably has more polish and UI/game balance than any other MMORPG in the world.

It's almost like saying you don't watch a hit TV show in it's third year, because it's three years old. This isn't a static game that you play what was on the original CD and nothing ever changes.

For the full chat, follow the link below.

One on One With Glenda Adams

Phelios Releases Snap! as Freeware
12:25 PM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Game developer Phelios has released Snap!, a small puzzle game. The game itself looks like many others of the same kind; get the colored bricks to dissapear. The twist with snap is that you use a ball attached to an elastic string to destroy the bricks. It is also totally free, just download and play.

From Phelios' website:

SNAP! won't make you go to pieces. Why? Because SNAP! isn't the sound of your sanity cracking in half. Au contraire, it?s just a fun logic game, that's also quite relaxing if that makes sense. If not, how about this: because it's FREE. FREE FREE FREE FREE!

It's a way for us to say thank you to those who've supported us since our recent launch, by buying games.

So don't hesitate, head over to Phelios and download the game.

Phelios, Inc.

New Contraband Secrets, Screenshots
8:46 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

Recently Macintosh game porting company, Contraband Entertainment added two new titles to their product page. Code-named "Pizza Boy" and "Coconuts", they are being developed for Mac OS 9 and OS X, and are currently in "Early Development." Neither a release date nor a publisher has been revealed. As information on these two games continues to come out, we will keep you updated.

Also be sure to check out new concept art for another unknown Contraband title, as well as three new screenshots now available for their FPS/Horror game Abducted.

Contraband Entertainment
Contraband Product Page

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Deus Ex Sequel Information
8:46 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story recently got a chance to look at the upcoming sequel to Deus Ex, Deus Ex 2: The Invisible War. The article provides a look into some of the features that will be in the new game, along with providing some background to the story of the game. Like the original, Deus Ex 2 will be a non-linear first person shooter with some elements of exploration and character interaction that almost make it a role-playing game.

Here's a preview of the article:

The game takes place at different locations around the globe starting with the destruction of Chicago, and continuing to a dim 2030 vision of Seattle all trashed out and the Space Needle being the only landmark left as recognizable. (Seems to be a trend in post-apocalyptic scenes these days) You’ll also get to sample Antarctica, Cairo Egypt, and Trier Germany in your wanderings.

The affore-mentioned Bio-Mods system is what will replace the skills from the first game, and while we don’t know what they all mean, we saw icons right there on the HUD for things like eyes and skeleton, so we’ll use or imaginations and assume we will be able to upgrade our sight and strength as we go.

To read the full article and to take a look at some screenshots from the game, follow the link below. Although there have been no definitive announcements regarding a port of Deus Ex 2 for the Mac, given the popularity of the original, it's quite possible that it will make it to the platform.

Deus Ex 2 Preview
Ion Storm
Deus Ex 2: Invisible War

DripDrop Released for OS X
8:46 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

Busy shareware company Phelios has updated their website, now offering DripDrop for Mac OS X. Billed as a hybrid between Bejeweled and Tetris, DripDrop is actually three puzzle games in one and is sure to hook some eager Mac fans.

Here's an excerpt from Phelios's website with more of a description:

Call the plumber, quick! There's a leak somewhere, hear it? DRIP DROP DRIP DROP! Oh, actually it's DRIP DROP, a new game collection of 3 falling object puzzles: Wipe out your foe with FLOOD and cast him away with waves; In game 2, hurry because you have a need to FEED! The animals are hungry! In the third game, overpower your opponent. - just make him cry with CLASSIC and play this falling object puzzle until the wee hours of the night.
If you're still unsure if this game is for you, head on over to Phelios' website and download a free demo. The full version of DripDrop can be purchased for $10. The developers have also mentioned the possibility of network play in the future, but no definite word is available on that as of yet.

Phelios's Website

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Republic: The Revolution First Look
8:46 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In case you missed the word at the end of February, porting house Feral Interactive will be bringing the upcoming political RPG Republic: The Revolution to the Mac.

Based in the fictional Republic of Novistrana, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build up a political faction powerful enough to oust the President, starting with a single supporter and little to no resources. Then, slowly, you start building your revolutionary faction through the use of persuasion, political, financial, or otherwise.

PC gaming website Gamespot has recently posted a preview of the game, based on a sit-down session with Elixir Studios game designer Demis Hassabis. The three-page preview examines in great detail the gameplay aspect of this unique game, explains how the designers mixed the RPG/action/god game gametypes into a single title, and foretells of the game's progress in the next few months:

Republic has come a long way since last year's E3, and it has been feature-complete since Christmas. There are 35 people at Elixir working to finish up the content, polish up the interface, and improve the game's stability in time for the beta milestone coming in a few weeks... Over the last few years, we've seen Republic grow from little more than an impressive graphics engine into a strategy game that promises deep, open-ended gameplay and a cool, conspiracy-laden premise. The revolution will be upon us soon.
Fans of political intrigue, manipulation, and brute force alike should check out the article:

Gamespot: Republic Preview
Republic: The Revolution
Feral Interactive
Buy Republic: The Revolution

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Neverwinter Nights Postmortem
8:46 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Gaming design resource center has recently published another of their excellent postmortems, this time for Neverwinter Nights, the upcoming 3D role-playing game from Bioware and MacSoft.

Neverwinter Nights (NWN) was supposed to be the best multiplayer Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) role-playing game (RPG) ever made. Not only were we going to tell a story of our own creation, but we were going to enable others to tell their stories, on their own servers. Dungeon Masters (DMs) could log in to a server and help (or hinder) players to their heart's content. Designers could translate their D&D modules from pen and paper via a toolset that we provided for them. It sounded pretty cool to us -- then we realized that we had the task of making it! It really started to sink in when other developers where telling us that they couldn't wait to play it and that they were glad that they weren't developing it.
In the article (which requires free registration on their site), game designers Mike Brockington and Scott Greig take a long, hard, and often technical look at the making of the exciting new project. Rather than focus game design and gameplay issues, the article focuses on the more technical intricacies of running a complex game through a computer, networking issues involved in programming the game's client / server software, and the complications created when designing software for multiple platforms:
At the start of the project, we stated that we were going to implement the game on four different platforms: the PC, Macintosh, Linux and BeOS. This was theoretically possible because we managed to isolate the machine-independent libraries from the machine-dependent ones. Everything seemed fine. However, as the project progressed, we encountered numerous issues.

The programmer who worked on the porting to other operating systems was the only programmer on the project who was comfortable looking at code anywhere in the code base, and rapidly became the go-to guy when you needed a "little something" done in the code.

We also had a horrible time getting driver support for some of the other operating systems. This tended to stall development until the graphics team could help by working around the driver problem, or we waited until the driver support was finally ready.

Last, but not least, we had problems with the toolset component of the project. The Aurora Toolset was built in Borland C++ Builder, based on the fact that we heard all sorts of rumors of a Linux and Macintosh version of Builder... The Macintosh version of Builder vanished into the land of vaporware, and we were left holding the bag.

As always, the postmortem makes for a very interesting read both to fans of the game, and anybody interested in or involved with game design and software programming. The Mac version of Neverwinter Nights is expected out soon, with a technical test being released in the very near future. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest.

Gamasutra: Neverwinter Nights Postmortem
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 12, 2003

IMG Review's Logitech's Elite Keyboard11:40 AM
Master of Orion III Goes Gold, Shipping March 25th11:17 AM
Escape Velocity: Nova Updated to 1.0411:10 AM
Updated Virtual Grand Prix 2 Demo Released10:29 AM
Dungeon Siege At Final Candidate9:17 AM
Mac Gamers: Important Macintosh Game Survey!9:16 AM
Super GameHouse Collection Ships8:56 AM
Cold War - Still Planned for Mac8:54 AM
There Coming to the Mac?8:54 AM
Westlake Announces New Project8:54 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 12, 2003 on one page

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