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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

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Shadowbane Subscription, Patch Info
9:24 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Following yesterday's announcement regarding Shadowbane, the Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (MMORPG), shipping to retailers, more information has now been released about the title's subscription rates. In addition, an optimizing patch has also been posted for the game already, in anticipation of gamers beginning the online adventure this week.

For those curious about subscription information, it seems Shadowbane has fairly standard pricing scheme compared to most MMORPGs, though there are some discounts for buying months in advance. Here are the full details:

Monthly Plan $ 12.99 USD per Month
3 Month Plan $ 34.99 USD for 3 Months (a 10% discount!)
6 Month Plan $ 64.99 USD for 6 Months (a 20% discount!)
12 Month Plan $119.99 USD for 12 Months (a 30% discount and immediate access to the 3 Restricted Races!)
Keep in mind that when you purchase the $40 game, you will get 31 days of free play included in that price. You can also cancel at anytime for a refund, unless you choose the 12-month plan.

Wolfpack and Ubi Soft have also released a patch for Shadowbane which makes optimizations and bug-fixes to the game. While the ReadMe includes Mac-specific changes, the patch is only available from FTP sites for the PC version right now. Mac OS X users don't need to fret though, because Shadowbane contains an auto-updater which will grab and install the 8.8MB update on its own. Here are just a few of the changes in v1.0.1:

- A number of performance optimizations relating to group moves, building collision, and asset affiliation
- Imposed a range on group formation messages to eliminate the server trying to calculate paths over thousands of units for group members not local to the leader that calls formation
- The Patch client no longer spins at 100% CPU while doing nothing

- Fixed a bug where the Mac Patch Client would sometimes decide it needed to patch itself when it wasn't really necessary
- Fixed a leak with serverlogin messages
- Fixed a bug where the cursor wasn't getting hidden during fullscreen movie playback
- Players should now get booted from starting cities when they hit level 20
- Fixed a bug where the movie playback would stutter on the Mac Client
- Fixed a problem where Mac clients weren't reading DOS formatted config files correctly

Stay tuned for more from Shadowbane as it begins to reach the awaiting hands of players this week. Also be sure to look through Ubi Soft's informative FAQ, as it covers other pertinant topics such as video cards, etc.

IMG Preview: Shadowbane
Subscription Plan Information for Shadowbane
Shadowbane 1.0.1 ReadMe
Shadowbane PC 1.0.1 Patch Released
List of Supported/Tested Video Cards in Shadowbane
Wolfpack Studios

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IMG Reviews Logitech's Cordless Navigator Duo
11:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Logitech's Cordless Navigator Duo, a keyboard and mouse combo that is completely cordless.

Here's a clip from the review:

Apple's Pro Keyboard and Pro Mouse come free with every new desktop Mac, but are they really the right products for you? Have you ever wished that your mouse had more than one button, or that your keyboard could check your email with the simple press of a button? For those select few, the days of one button mice and over-simplistic keyboards are over, with the Cordless Navigator Duo ($79.99 USD) from Logitech: a complete keyboard and mouse replacement, made for the Mac user who will settle for nothing less than absolute control over his or her investment. Did I also mention its completely cordless?
To check out the rest of the review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Cordless Navigator Duo
Cordless Navigator Duo

Apple Announces WWDC Design Awards
9:25 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple is now accepting products from developers to be considered for its eighth annual Apple Design Awards. The winners will be announced at an Apple Design Awards ceremony during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The Apple Design Awards recognize innovation, advanced Mac OS X look and feel, use of Apple technologies in developers' Mac OS X-based products, and new, exciting, and high quality product entries to the Mac OS X market, including an all new Server Solution category.

Apple Design Award winners and runners-up will be chosen for each of the following categories:

  • Best Mac OS X Product
  • Best Mac OS X Student Product
  • Best Mac OS X User Experience
  • Best Mac OS X Technology Adoption
  • Best Mac OS X Use of Open Source
  • Best Mac OS X Server Solution
  • Most Innovative Mac OS X Product

    Prizes this year include a 17-inch PowerBook G4 and an Apple Cinema 23" HD Display! For more information, please visit the official WWDC web site linked below.


    Orbz OS X in Beta
    9:24 AM | Scott Turner | Comment on this story

    As reported at iDevGames, the new independent game developer 21-6 has just announced the first beta of their intriguing strategy/action/puzzle game, Orbz version 2.0. Supported by Garage Games, creator of the Torque engine and that engine's low-cost licensing to independent game developers, this new game will be released with native support for both OS X and Linux.

    The premise of Orbz seems simple, according to 21-6's website. By controlling an "Orb" with your mouse, you are to guide it to a number of star shaped items in an attempt to collect all of the star targets on a level. Of course, the game becomes interesting when you throw a number of other factors into the mix; not only can you play competitively against multiple players for the stars through multiplayer, but multiple quirky power-ups like "Curse of the Goober" provide powers that are as strange and entertaining as their name. Taking place over a number of widely varying levels from castles to frozen tundra, players should have hours of fun, both solo and against other humans.

    Grab the iDevGames link below, or head on over to 21-6's website and take a look at the game straight from the source.

    Orbz Information Page
    21-6's Website

    Apple Looks at Broderbund/TLC
    9:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Though some gamers may not admit (or remember) it, educational games have been around nearly as long as the game industry itself. While they may not be featured on the covers of the latest gaming publications, educational titles have been used for years to ease children into computer use as well as combining fun and learning. In acknowledgment of this, Apple has posted a feature focusing on Broderbund/TLC, known for creating some of the more popular educational titles in the industry.

    Featured in the article are titles such as Reader Rabbit, a long-lived series that introduces kids to reading via phonics and other devices, and Liberty's Kids, which uses cartoon graphics to teach kids about the history of the American Revolution.

    Games based off of popular licenses such as the Powerpuff Girls are also featured:

    The evil Mojo Jojo has made clones of himself, and it'll take math, reading, logic and critical skills to help the Powerpuff Girls get the clones' memory chips and stop this threat to Townsville. You?ll clean up the messy letters left by the Gangreen Gang, play high altitude hopscotch to catch a Mojo Jojo clone, and solve a navigation puzzle to reach Mojo's lair. Win at a vocabulary game of matching the beginning, ending or middle of word sounds and you'll have a chance to defeat the Mojo Jojo himself. And then, once again, the day is saved, thanks to the Powerpuff Girls.
    Also included with the feature are links to several other companies that offer educational entertainment for the Mac platform. Those with mini-Mac gamers at home are definitely encouraged to give the article a lookover.

    Apple - Broderbund/TLC

    GtkRadiant Released for OS X
    9:24 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Fans of the Quake III engine should be happy to hear that an OS X version of GtkRadiant has recently been released. A level editing program, GtkRadiant supports several popular titles, including Quake III, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

    The OS X version of GtkRadiant, listed as version 1.3, is still very much an experimental release. The newsbyte at the Radiant homepage notes that the release was difficult to put out, due to lack of developer time:

    I want to thank all the people on the GtkRadiant OSX mailing list, and the fink developers for the help they provided, but I must say this one was very hard to pull out, mostly due to scarce OSX developers availability.
    They also note that, without more volunteer support, the development on the OS X version is likely to be abandoned.

    Those interested in trying out GtkRadiant can find download links and installation instructions at the Radiant site. Those interested in helping develop for it can find more information in the newsbyte.

    Radiant - Latest News
    Radiant - GtkRadiant
    Radiant FAQ - OS X Installation Instructions

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    Pompom Updates Mutant Storm, Website
    9:24 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Classic arcade game fans Pompom have just released an upgrade to their latest game, the Robotron-inspired psychedelic fragfest Mutant Storm.

    This latest update, version 1.2.2, includes modifications in gameplay to the game's scoring and bonus systems, and improved hardware support, including improved mouse control, and support for dual-stick enabled gamepads. The update also adds language selection, offering players the choice of English, French, Italian, Dutch, Danish, German or Slovenian translations.

    In a related move, Pompom has added an online high score viewing gallery to their website. Players can upload their high scores directly from the game and size up the international competition. And finally, Pompom has also opened a new message board for frustrated players to vent about the game's addictive gameplay.

    Click on the links to grab the upgrade, try out the demo, or check out the high score gallery.

    Download the Mutant Storm Demo
    IMG: Mutant Storm Preview
    IMG: Mutant Storm Review
    Mutant Storm
    Mutant Storm Online High Scores
    Buy Mutant Storm

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    More Warcraft 3 Expansion Testers Selected
    9:24 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Strategy game developers Blizzard Entertainment announced on Tuesday that they will be inviting another ten thousand players to join the beta test of their upcoming release; the highly-anticipated expansion pack Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

    In their official announcement, the game developers mention that they have been pleased with the results and the feedback that has been generated by the beta test to date, and are looking forward to testing the online game with the additional players.

    The newly chosen participants will be informed by Blizzard through email in the next few days. The lucky contestants will be joining the already twenty thousand-strong testing force putting the new game through its paces online.

    Stay tuned to IMG as further news on this new title develops.

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

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    Star Trek: Elite Force II Preview Posted
    9:24 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    GameSpot has posted a preview of Star Trek: Elite Force II, the upcoming First-Person Shooter (FPS) from Ritual Entertainment. The preview focuses on gameplay and storytelling and how the game's story connects to the previous game, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force.

    From the article:

    The original game had you assume the role of a top operative on the Hazard Team, an elite security force formed on the Voyager to deal with some of the extreme threats that ship faced while isolated in the Gamma quadrant. But at the end of the Voyager series, the ship did make it back to Federation space, and that's where you'll spend most of your time in Elite Force II. However, the first mission does correspond with the series finale of Voyager, and the Hazard Team must go on board the Borg sphere and neutralize it. After their return to Earth, the Voyager's crew gets reassigned to various posts throughout Starfleet, but an incident brings the Hazard Team to Picard's attention, and it's reassembled in time to deal with some dramatic new threats.
    To find out more about this promising title, head over to GameSpot and read the full preview. Don't forget to check out IMGs own first look at the game.

    Star Trek: Elite Force II is currently in development for PC and will be done by June and published by Activision. A Mac version of the game has already been announced and will be published by Aspyr Media. There is at the moment no estimated release date for the Mac version.

    IMG: First Look at Elite Force II
    Star Trek: Elite Force II Preview at GameSpot
    Ritual Entertainment
    Aspyr Media
    Star Trek Elite Force II
    Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 25, 2003

    IMG Store: Free Game Offers Updated12:57 PM
    Feral Interactive Job Openings11:10 AM
    Guild Software Reveals New Space MMORPG10:49 AM
    Vendetta Test Updated to 3.1.1510:46 AM
    Apeiron Coming to OS X9:07 AM
    Deus Ex: Invisible War Previewed9:07 AM
    Shadowbane Released, IMG Preview9:07 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 25, 2003 on one page

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    Monday, March 24, 2003
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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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