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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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Divine Divinity Coming to OS X
8:51 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

German house e.p.i.c. interactive announced today they are working with Larian Studios to bring their award-winning role-playing game Divine Divinity to Mac OS X. Described as a cross between classic RPGs and more action-based games like Diablo or Dungeon Siege, Divine Divinity sports a huge singleplayer storyline (200+ hours), impressive 2D isometric graphics, and plenty of customizability for RPG fans out there.

Here's a description from the company's site:

Warrior, Wizard or Survivor? Which fate is yours? It's your decision, one that will influence the gameplay of Divine Divinity playable as an action based RPG or a classical RPG! According to prophecy, you are the chosen one. Only you have the strength, the courage and the magic to save the legendary lands of Rivellon from submission under the Lord of Chaos. Before you can take on the fight against Evil, you must journey far through a fantastic world torn apart by corruption, sinister plots and dark magic. Caution is vital! Whatever happens, the evil magicians of the black ring must not get hold of you!
The game will require OS X with a G3 333MHz or faster, at least 128MB of RAM, and a video card with 8MB of memory.

For more information on Divine Divinity, look at both the e.p.i.c. and the main game sites. Also stay tuned to more from IMG as the game gets closer to release in Q3 of this year.

Divine Divinity
e.p.i.c. Divine Divinity Page

IMG Interviews Aspyr's Amy Torres
1:24 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG's Michael Phillips recently had a chat with Aspyr's Director of PR & Marketing, the always-effervescent Amy "Pro Skater" Torres. Read on and discover what goes on inside one of the industry's number one game publisher.

Here's a clip from the interview:

Mike Phillips: First, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up at Aspyr Media.

Amy Torres: I'm a Leo, I enjoy long walks on the beach... Oh wait, you were looking for something else. ;-)

I started at Aspyr back in 1998. I thought this would be an internship until I figured out where I was headed. I had no idea that the Games Industry would suck me in. I was hired to handle PR and light writing duties. They lied. From the day I started to now, I've come in everyday and had a great time working with our team and with folks in the industry. There is never a dull moment.

Be sure to check out the rest of the interview.

IMG Interview: Aspyr's Amy Torres
Aspyr Media

Samurai: Strategy Board Game for the Mac
10:45 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

The independent game developer Klear Games has released their turn-based strategy board game Reiner Knizia's Samurai for both Mac and PC. Samurai is a computer adaptation of a classic board game with the same name, set in a pre-unifcation Japan.

From the official website:

When Samurai begins, Japan is in a state of political, social, and economic disunity. In the game, you assume the role of a warlord vying against your rivals to unify Japanese civilization under one central authority.

The civilization of feudal Japan is made up of three social castes - peasants, clergy, and nobles. As you play, you must obtain pledges of loyalty from representatives of the noble, clerical and peasant feudal castes who live in cities throughout Japan. You must court the allegiance of these social groups one city at a time by promising military protection, offering favors or resources to specific castes or sending merchant ships to encourage trade in the region.

Since the game isn't graphicly demanding, a G3 based computer with at least 128 MB with OS 8.6 or later is recommended. While OS X isn't supported, the game runs fine under Classic mode.

The game offers relaxed pace strategic gameplay and it is well worth to download the free trial version from the official website and try it out.

Reiner Knizia's Samurai
Klear Games

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X-Plane 6 Updated to 6.60 RC-1
8:51 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

The popular flight-simulator, X-Plane 6, was recently updated to version 6.60 RC-1. Besides plugin support to make X-Plane more configurable and controllable, there were other additions such as:

New Airport and NAVAID databases... the databse is updated and refined as always!

Scenery enhancement... in addition to the vector rivers, roads go cleverly around airports now.. no more roads crossing through runways!

"C" key to bring up sectional chart (you asked for it, you got it!)

FADEC failures now available! This is something the FAA wanted for the FAA-cert use... you get the benefit!

All failures now outputtable by UDP selection! For thos eof you building your own cockpits with multiple computers, you can now set failures from a different failure computer.

DME is now avail to carriers and frigates... get ready for those tricky ILS-DME's to the boat for a trap or hover-landing!

Beta prop option in plane-maker to get that beta-range in props just right. Again, an FAA need for certification.

World-Maker auto-grid option stays away from the env edges so the env edges are always perfect.

In Plane-Maker, put the new water gage in the supplementary folder on the panel of your water bomber... then skim the ocean to pick up water to drop on fires! This has been a frequent request.

World-Maker apt/nav search improved... it now finds apt and nav IDs of even non-standard length.

Support for more Mac-OS-X joysticks. This has been an ongoing effort as more sticks get supported by Apple's new OS in different ways, but this works with every stick we have tested!

In order to succesfully update to version 6.60, you must have 6.51 previously installed. Installation is just a matter of dropping the new files into your existing X-System folder.

X-Plane 6 Update
X-Plane 6
Laminar Research

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Redline Progress Update
8:51 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software recently updated the progress log on its upcoming racing game, Redline. Here is the forum post on Redline's progress:

New build - mostly minor changes and fixing glitches:

  • Nicer font rendering
  • Interface clean-up
  • Cleaned up Reggie Code
  • Replays now work for Time Trial mode
  • Internet World record is now displayed in Time Trial mode
  • Included a Draft document on how to create new car plug-ins
  • For those unfamiliar with the game, here's a bit more information about Redline:
    Most racing games leave you with the feeling that the authors have never dropped the clutch in a car more exciting than a Neon, and failed 9th grade physics to boot. Not so with Redline; the physics engine presents remarkable realism and control, even when using the keyboard to control your car as it screams across the pavement. Try that in a Neon!

    In addition to Redline's physics engine, the remarkable 3D engine presents a visual feast of polygons flying past at 200mph+ as you barrel down the race track. We don't want to give away too much at this time, but suffice it to say that we also have some interesting surprises in store for the avid racing fan.

    Redline is currently in development, and no firm release date has been set.

    Redline Progress Log
    Ambrosia Software

    PlayStation Emulator FlareStorm Updated
    8:51 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

    The Mac OS X PlayStation emulator, FlareStorm, was recently updated to version 1.2a2. The update fixes numerous bugs and adds better stability support. Here's a list of the fixes:

  • Fixed CPU bugs.
  • Fixed some GTE bugs.
  • Fixed the handler for 'Flat shading textured quadrangle'.
  • Fixed some full-screen mode bugs.
  • Changed the CD Utility's interface.
  • Fixed the CD-ROM image creator's bugs.
  • Fixed the plug-in manager to use default one when selected plug-in is not valid.
  • FlareStorm is still under development, and it should be noted that it requires the PSX Bios ROM to run.

    FlareStorm Update

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    Ambrosia Interview Discusses Windows Port
    8:51 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story recently got a chance to talk to Tom Anthony, a lead game tester at Ambrosia Software about their hit Space Shooter/RPG Escape Velocity: Nova. The article mainly focuses on the porting of Nova to the Windows platform, including the reason for the port and some other information related to the port.

    Here's a preview of the article:

    HA: What type of process do the Mac executable and essential files go through to become Windows compliant?

    TA: Chris Jacobson at Contraband is the lead programmer on the port, and he could probably give you quite a tale of trouble and tribulation on this. The Mac platform uses a method of file storage that allows for two 'forks', one is the 'data fork' and the other the 'resource fork', which is used for all of EV Nova's essential files. PC's have no method for storing resource forks, and so Contraband's president, Bill Heineman, developed a system that they now use to store this information. So each of the essential files has to be converted to this format.

    HA: Planning on adding anything new or different to the Windows version, or is Contraband Entertainment sticking to the game plan? What type of differences could users see between playing EV: Nova on their Mac and their PC?

    TA: Nope, this will be an out and out port of the Mac version, we are keeping the builds in synch with the current Mac build and intend to keep them as close as possible.

    Although not directly related to Mac gaming, it is certainly interesting to see the process of a Mac game being ported to Windows, instead of the other way around. For more information on EV: Nova, or to read the whole article, follow the links below.

    Ambrosia Interview
    Ambrosia Software
    Escape Velocity: Nova

    BombSquad Released for Mac
    8:51 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Mac gamers who have had to endure using PCs at one time or another are probably familiar with the infamous Minesweeper game that probably exists on about 99% of all Windows machines out there. Aiming at bringing the puzzle goodness to the Mac, Positive Spin Media has updated BombSquad, an Aquafied version of Minesweeper with a bit of a spin. The update, which brings the game up to version 1.1, adds some enhancements, including training modes and an online record book for registered users.

    Players can adjust the difficulty by increasing or decreasing both the number of bombs and the size of the field. In addition, a bit of time leeway has also been added:

    Something that always ticked me off about Minesweeper was how well it mirrored real life: one step on a mine and you were through. In an effort to "think different", I fixed this oversight. BombSquad gives you a period of time (I call it "Crunch Time") after triggering a bomb to rectify the situation by flagging another bomb. Find another bomb in ten seconds, and everything is OK; don't find it, and "Boom!" - game over.
    Screenshots and more info can be found at the official site. Those interested in downloading BombSquad can find it at MacGameFiles. The game requires Mac OS 10.1 or higher, and is sized at 220 K.

    MGF - BombSquad
    Positive Spin Media - BombSquad

    MacPlay Bringing 'High Roller & Power Chips'
    8:51 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    An observant forum visiter pointed out that Mac publisher MacPlay has updated their project status page with a mysterious new title called High Roller & Power Chips. The game/package is currently at Gold Master status, but there is no estimated release at the moment. There is also no link to a product page, nor any official statement about the mystery title, only speculations.

    Feel free to join the speculations on our forum, just follow the link provided below to get there. We've emailed MacPlay for more information and we'll post any more news regarding this mystery title soon.

    MacPlay Product Status Page
    High Roller & Power Chips discussion

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 18, 2003

    IMG Previews Legion12:16 PM
    Sims Superstar Q&A10:10 AM
    Online Space Combat Game Vendetta Updated9:50 AM
    Apple Previews EverQuest8:52 AM
    Championship Manager 4 Gold8:52 AM
    Freeverse Ships Board Games Deluxe Series 2.08:52 AM
    Killing Time Carbonized8:52 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 18, 2003 on one page

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