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Friday, April 11, 2003

Myth III 1.1 Released, Demo Coming Soon
7:56 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

MythDevelopers has released the long-awaited 1.1 patch for the real-time strategy game Myth III: The Wolf Age. The patch has been in the works for about a year and addresses a multitude of issues. There will also be a demo with the new version available within a few days, so that people will get a new chance to try this game out.

From MythDevelopers site:

The patch fixes over 40 game play and stability issues for both Macintosh and Windows based personal computers as well as bringing the bonus maps Pepper Heights and Tides Of Rhi'anon into the general release. Additional variations of the existing maps are also included with enhanced unit sets. Also added are the multiplayer game types Assassins, Stampede, and Balls On Parade which had been previously omitted. This patch also introduces the Fetch and Journeyman units into the Myth 3 World.

In the coming days, the Myth III Demo will be released which will feature unranked game play on the demo server. This is just to get people interested enough to get the full game using any means at their disposal.

The patch is available for download at our sister-site, Follow the link provided below to get to the download page.

MGF: Myth III Update 1.1

Click to enlarge
IMG Reviews World War II Online
1:48 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Strategy First's World War II Online, the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.

Here's a clip from the review:

History is constantly redefined by events happening both before and after the event, the popular lexicon of information (movies, television, video games) constantly serves to reshape the public's perception and interest into a phase of history. In recent years World War II has become a staple of the entertainment industry, countless movies, documentaries and games have been forged from the fires of this conflict, thus, historical accuracy is not something that can be used to gauge anything originated in our current cultural sphere. Cornered Rat Software, the creators of the latest Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game MMORPG to arrive on the Mac platform tends to sacrifice entertainment and gameplay for the mythical phantom of historical realism.
Be sure to check out the rest of the review.

IMG Review: World War II Online
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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Brad Oliver on Mac Halo Development
1:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Westlake Interactive programmer, Brad Oliver, who is the lead programmer who is working on the MacSoft port of Halo, has made some interesting posts in the MacAddict forum. Initially Oliver's posts were to squash an April Fool's joke that Halo screenshots of the Mac version were posted on the Internet on that day. The posts quickly turned to discussions about Halo's progress, demo, system requirements, and more. Here's a sample of some of the discussion.

Oliver on the current progress of Halo:

The latest PC builds are looking pretty good. The Mac port is lagging behind a bit, mainly because Mac Halo is going to likely be the first Mac game* to ship with vertex shader support. Halo uses the vertex shader path to literally draw every polygon, so that's currently an issue. I expect that once it's fully implemented, the Mac version will be very close in terms of development to the PC version. Since this is a simultaneous-development project, the onus of the work falls on the PC guys, and we sync in their code as they hit milestones. What that effectively means is that once our builds are "feature complete" we should soon be at a point where their development schedule will dictate ours.
Oliver on if there will be a demo of Halo:
Most of those decisions rest with Microsoft and the PC development team. I don't know if there will be a demo, and if a decision has been made on that, I may find out roughly the same time as the rest of the world, or perhaps a week earlier.
Oliver on when Halo might be released:
Ditto for the timeframe. I know roughly what the current status is, but I can't extrapolate from the builds I see to determine how much longer the PC development will take. Even if I could, I think I'd probably get into hot water by "leaking" information like that outside of the PR and marketing stuff that is officially going on. Last I'd heard (and this is public knowledge so far as I know) is that they're shooting for a late summer release. I suppose the real date will probably (as you might expect) depend on how the beta test goes and if they decide to tweak some aspect of the game (like the netplay) based on feedback during the beta. Although everyone is aware that the Mac and PC versions are "late" in the eyes of gamers who expected it a few years back, I do sense that they would rather get it right than rush it out the door and alienate gamers further. Hopefully that sense will become reality.
Oliver on the system requirements:
System requirements for the Mac are pretty up-in-the-air at the moment since the game isn't in a fully playable state. A few things do seem likely though: cards that support hardware vertex shaders will run Halo better than those that do not. There is a software fallback mode for cards that don't support vertex shaders, although I'm not sure yet how the performance specs will play out on those Macs, nor what CPU speeds will be recommended.
And finally, Oliver discusses whether Internet play will be cross-platform:
Of all the components in Halo, the netplay is the one that is most in flux. I'm reluctant to answer, because it could very well change by the time it ships. So bear this in mind: as of right now, it does not use DirectPlay. This could certainly change - they could tie into DirectPlay for a lobby and game-finding system, for example. Also, I'd check interviews with the Gearbox guys. It could be that they've stated somewhere that they're committed to cross-platform netplay. I haven't been keeping close tabs on those kinds of news blurbs.
Halo for the Macintosh is currently being ported to the Mac by Westlake Interactive and will be published by MacSoft when completed. We'll be sure to keep you posted on any further developments.

Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved
MacAddict Forum Post

Gettysburg for Mac OS X Released
1:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

By Design has released an OS X version of Gettysburg, their Mac-only war simulation. This civil war re-creation puts you in the middle of the action on July 1-3, 1863 with the Union fighting the Confederacy. One of the main features of Gettysburg is your ability to play on either side of the battle, or even switch between the two. Other features of the game include capturing enemy flags, realistic military rankings, and detailed graphics.

Here's a partial list of features from their Web page:

  • Regimental level conflict, command hundreds of unit!
  • Great new graphics, see hedge rows, streams, chateaux, and smoke clouds hang over the battlefield.
  • Skirmishers!
  • All the commanders down to the Division level are present.
  • Command your units as groups. You can move hundreds of units with a click of the mouse.
  • Capture enemies flags. Increase the pride of your troops when they carry back enemy flags from a melee.
  • Check out the Gettysburg page for much more, and be sure to download the demo available now to get a taste of how the game plays.

    By Design

    Feral Ships Championship Manager 4
    1:18 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Feral Interactive let IMG know this morning that they have begun shipping its best-selling soccer management game, Championship Manager 4. The game is available in the U.K. and other European countries.

    Feral had this to say about the latest CM4:

    The Windows launch ripped up the record book and became the fastest-selling PC game in the UK. Our distributors tell us the Mac version is not far off doing the same thing.

    CM4 is a special game for us and to celebrate its launch last year we
    offered some special bundle deals They seemed to go down pretty well,
    so we are repeating it this year with some great offers.

    Last but not least, the Mac Enhancement Pack for CM4 will be available
    very shortly. It will contain all the fixes to date and be equivalent
    to the latest patch for the Windows version.

    If you're a soccer fan, be sure to check out the Feral web site. A demo of CM4 is available on our sister site,

    Feral Interactive
    MGF: CM4 Demo

    Click to enlarge
    Master of Orion III Data Patch Released
    11:13 AM | Johan HansÚn | Comment on this story

    Quicksilver Software has released a data patch to their space strategy game Master of Orion III. The patch fixes several issues, including a well-known military artificial intelligence bug. They have posted a list of changes on the Infogrames forums.

    From the post:

    The changes made to MilitaryAI.txt are very similar to existing mods. If you find you like an existing mod of MilitaryAI.txt better, you should have no problem continuing to use it.

    We added four to the base ThisMeansWar trigger value in all the race definitions. (higher values in MeansWar in the race picks means you have a lower war trigger) This will reduce the number of sudden war declarations, and will also reduce the number of wars the AI has to deal with, which should make him stronger. One of the problems actually is that the AI is too aggressive in the sense that he is perfectly willing to try to fight many wars simultaneously. Part of what the MilitaryAI mods do is up the border setting so that one war is concentrated on above the others. This change will reduce the number of wars, helping that further. The trigger value is clamped in code between 1 and 8. The base was incorrectly set to 0, so everyone was ending up with a hair trigger, no matter what. We have essentially moved the base to 4. This was done after the beta testers saw the patch, so it may not be the optimal value, but it should improve things quite a bit.
    To read the full list of changes, head over to Infogrames forums. The patch consists of two .mob files that you have to put in the correct directory. Read the ReadMe included with the download for more information about that.

    Master of Orion III was recently released for Mac and is published by MacSoft. If you haven't bought it yet, you can order it from the IMG store today. For those of you that are having problems getting into the game, be sure to check out our Master of Orion III Beginner's Guide.

    Infogrames forums: Data Patch Available
    Master of Orion III Data Patch
    Quicksilver Software
    Master of Orion III
    IMG Feature: Master of Orion III Beginner's Guide - Part One
    IMG Feature: Master of Orion III Beginner's Guide - Part Two
    Buy Master of Orion III

    Click to enlarge
    The Third Reich UT mod: V1.2 update
    11:10 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

    The webpage for The Third Reich, a total conversion for Unreal Tournament, was recently updated with news on the upcoming 1.2 patch. For those unfamiliar with The Third Reich, it turns UT into a realistic World War II-themed game, with class-based team gameplay. The mod features some impressive models and textures that push the UT engine to its limits.

    The 1.2 patch will include a slew of new features, including:

    New Things:
    * Brand new player models and skins for all classes.
    * A completely redone scoreboard that displays everything from the number of TK's a player has to which class they are playing as.
    * New weapon skins for the M1918A2 BAR and Thompson M1A1.
    * An improved locational damage system that rewards well-placed shots to the chest and head.
    * In-game menu systems used to select team and class now have a new graphical scheme, historical class information and pictures.
    * Speech/Bot command menu is redone and similar to the UT2003 one.
    * Voices are now heard as "real-world" sounds.
    * Weapon firing and explosion sounds now have realistic distance effects applied to them so as to be heard by players from far away.
    * Two new maps.
    * Note: These menu images are previews. Renders will be replaced with will newer ones to show the new models and skins. They will also be made transparent.
    For more information on the Third Reich, or to check out some more screenshots of the coming update, follow the link provided below.

    The Third Reich
    Epic Games
    Westlake Interactive
    Unreal Tournament

    Apple Releases OS X 10.2.5
    7:56 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Late Thursday afternoon, Apple Computer, Inc. released their latest update to the OS X operating system, upgrading the Unix-based system software to version 10.2.5.

    The upgrade, which can be installed either through OS X's Software Update control panel, downloaded straight from the Apple Support website, or ordered on CD directly from Apple, provides additional reliability to many of OS X's technologies, including AirPort and Bluetooth technologies, FireWire support for a long list of external Firewire devices, and improved networking support in cross-platform environments.

    Along with improved support for a greater number of third-party hardware, perhaps the greatest news for Mac gamers is the updating and optimization of OS X's OpenGL implementation. Although information regarding the enhancements of the graphics software is scarce, unofficial reports from users who have installed the update report a dramatic improvement in frame rates on certain graphics cards. Also of note, there have been no reports yet of the system update "breaking" any existing game software, as was the case with some previous system software updates.

    Stay tuned to IMG as additional information regarding this latest upgrade gets uncovered. In the meantime, head over to the IMG forums and take part in the growing thread regarding the 10.2.5 upgrade.

    IMG Forums: 10.2.5 Is Out!
    Mac OS X Update 10.2.5:Information and Download
    Apple: About the Mac OS X 10.2.5 Update
    Order The 10.2.5 Upgrade CD

    Nvidia and Electronic Arts Team Up
    7:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    In what may well become a factor in the current competition between GPU manufacturers, Nvidia and Electronic Arts have formed an alliance. Though the recently released press release lays things out in the usual PR-speak, the meat of the agreement indicates that EA's games are going to lean towards Nvidia products in terms of optimization:

    Under terms outlined by their agreement, NVIDIA hardware will become the preferred PC graphics platform for EA's worldwide studios to give its developers the best solution for realizing their creative visions. EA development teams will use PCs powered by NVIDIA GPUs to create eye-popping 3D effects while allowing full compatibility across all PC gaming systems featuring NVIDIA hardware. NVIDIA and EA will also discuss opportunities to implement NVIDIA-specific features and special effects in several upcoming EA titles such as Madden NFL Football 2004 and others for the PC platform.
    Another factor in the deal awards exclusive rights for Nvidia to OEM bundled games on select EA titles, meaning only Nvidia and its system manufacturing pals will be able to bundle those select titles with their hardware. Current and future EA game boxes will also start sporting the caption "NVIDIA: The Way It's Meant to Be Played," a slogan introduced by a new Nvidia marketing campaign.

    EA is one of the biggest players in the market, and for Nvidia to have struck such a deal with them is quite remarkable. Take into account an earlier deal struck this year with IBM, and it's clear that Nvidia is taking some aggressive strides this year in order to assure its market position.

    Nvidia - NVIDIA and Electronic Arts Form Exclusive Strategic Alliance

    Click to enlarge
    ThinkTanks Movies Posted
    7:56 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Indie game developers BraveTree Productions have posted two new movies featuring their upcoming Atari-inspired tank combat game ThinkTanks.

    ThinkTanks, built using GarageGames's Torque gaming engine, puts players in control of one of three pink-brain controlled tanks. The object of the game is to roll around the Earth-inspired scenerey, blasting away opponents before they have a chance to destroy you. The game features both a single-player mode, in which users battle computer-controlled bots, and an online multiplayer mode, where players can duke it out with numerous players over the internet.

    The movies, which weigh in at around seven MB each, feature samples of fierce battles from two different areas of the game.

    As reported yesterday at IMG, BraveTree has announced that ThinkTanks will be released for the Mac first, and is currently planned for an April 21st release. Click on the links below for additional info.

    BraveTree Productions
    Buy ThinkTanks

    Click to enlarge
    Custer - Master of the Universe
    7:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    IMG's own Brad Custer has been and done a lot of things since he started this stint. He's gone to the races, used the Force, and even lived forever. This week, however, he becomes Master of the Universe(tm), devoting this week's desktop theme to Master of Orion III.

    The 3rd chapter in what is considered to be one of the most involved spacefaring strategy/management game series out there, MOO3 allows players to establish trade, build armadas, and govern entire galaxies, all in the quest to become the ruling power in the universe. Custer's latest captures that sentiment in a piece titled Control:

    Since my first exposure to this game back at E3 2001 via MacSoft, I've been wanting to do a desktop for this game. Last week I finally came across some artwork for it and I went to town or space as the case may be. ;) I had fun creating this week's wallpaper for Master of Orion III. I was quiet pleased with the end result and think it was definitely worth the wait. It's simply entitled "Control" and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.
    As always, the desktop comes in a range of sizes to suit all needs. Those interested in downloading can find it at Custer's Desktops.

    IMG - Custer's Desktops
    Quicksilver Software
    Master of Orion III
    Buy Master of Orion III

    Mac Games News for Thursday, April 10, 2003

    Freeverse Ships Legion in North America11:12 AM
    Mumbo Jumbo Ships Snowball Run10:57 AM
    Delta Tao Releases Eric's Ultimate Solitaire X Free Alpha8:51 AM
    Fourth Annual Moofie Awards Voting Open8:51 AM
    Freeverse & Apple Team Up For .Mac Giveaway8:51 AM
    Game's Domain Previews Republic8:51 AM
    Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets Ships8:51 AM
    MacPlay Announces Spring Fling 5$ Promo8:51 AM
    Pangea's Enigmo Enters Beta8:51 AM
    Shadowbane To Receive Server Upgrades8:51 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 10, 2003 on one page

    Recent Mac Games News

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    Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

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