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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Glenda Adams Joins Aspyr Media
10:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

In what might be one of the top stories of the year, Westlake today announced that company co-founder Glenda Adams will be leaving the porting company and will be joining Aspyr Media. Phil Sulak will be taking over as President of the company.

Here's more from the official PR:

"I'm very proud of my work at Westlake for the past six years. We built a strong company that has a proven track record of developing great games. It's hard for me to leave, but there were opportunities outside of Westlake I just couldn't pass up," said Glenda Adams.

In addition to naming Sulak as the new President, a new position of Chief Technology Officer has been created that will be filled by Ken Cobb, another of Westlake's founders.

"Glenda was a key contributor in helping to build Westlake into the Mac gaming powerhouse it is today, and she will be missed." said incoming president Phil Sulak. "Moving forward, our goal is to continue providing the Macintosh community with some of the best games available. We're very fortunate in that the top Mac game programmers in the industry are with Westlake."

Westlake will continue development on the full lineup of games it has under contract such as Halo and EverQuest, and has other exciting games to announce in the near future.

IMG got a chance to catch up with Glenda and we asked some questions about the big move to Aspyr.

IMG: Why are you leaving Westlake and joining Aspyr Media?

Glenda I've been programming Mac games for almost 15 years now, and I needed to find a way to move on to a different part of the business. With Westlake being a company purely involved with programming, unfortunately I couldn't stay here. Aspyr gave me an opportunity to still work with games, and in particular Mac games, without having to program anymore. Plus the opportunity to manage a larger development group and work at getting even more games to the Mac was appealing.

IMG: What will your role be at Aspyr?

Glenda I'll be the Director of PC and Mac Development. I'll be in charge of the internal and external development of all of Aspyr's PC & Mac titles. I'll do everything from building a programming staff to working with external companies like Westlake, Beenox, and i5works to develop the games Aspyr will publish. I'm excited about the chance to really manage the development in a first class way - I want our games to be well tested, well optimized, polished, and to ship as quickly as we can. The ability to do both the PC and Mac versions of some games (like Aspyr is already doing with Spy Hunter and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4) is very appealing- we should be able to ship more games that appear at the same time on the Mac and PC. And we'll have a much bigger say in how the games play cross platform multiplayer and share mods.

IMG: What's going to happen to Westlake?

Glenda Westlake will continue to do the games they have under contract and will be announcing several new games soon. Phil Sulak and Ken Cobb are going to take over most of my duties, with Phil being the President and Ken becoming CTO. Suellen will remain a partner and business coordinator for Westlake. I think Westlake still has the best group of Mac game programmers in the world, and some great internal technology, so the company should be able to keep doing high quality Mac games.

IMG: What's going to happen to the projects you are currently working on such as Everquest?

Glenda EverQuest is the only project I'm working on, and I working as hard as I can to ship it before my last day. If there is a little work left when I am gone, Brad Oliver will take over and finish EQ. He's been working with me on EQ for the last couple months.

IMG: Aspyr seems to be getting into all kinds of markets now (console, > handheld, PC). Do you think this will adversely affect their Mac presence?

Glenda One of the key things I talked to Aspyr about when I was discussing joining the company was the role the Mac market played in their future plans. I wanted to make sure Mac games were going to be their core market for a long time, and they will be. Aspyr has become one of the best publishers on the Mac, and that is integral part of their business. Obviously they want to diversify into some other markets, but they are doing it by growing the company, not by switching focus from the Mac. I think it's quite a commitment to the Mac market for them to start up their own internal development, and to hire someone like me with a lot of Mac experience to set that up.

The crew at IMG would like to wish Glenda all the best at her new job at Aspyr Media.

Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive

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Feral Updates on Total Immersion, Warrior Kings
12:52 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Our friends at U.K.-based Feral Interactive recently updated their web site with some new information on some of their shipping and upcoming products. For fans of the popular soccer sim Championship Manager 4, Feral has released an new Enhancement Pack. The pack fixes a number of issues with the game.

Feral has also posted an update on Total Immersion Racing as well as some new screenshots from the game:

Development on Total Immersion Racing is barrelling along - check out those very first Mac screenshots. As these shots show it's early days on the graphics, but there is already squabbling in the office to get on to the Mac with two steering wheels!
And finally, Feral gives readers an update on Warrior Kings, a 3D strategy game:
We have kept the pedigree of this game under fairly close wraps - but now it's time to start talking about it alot more... Check out our new homepage when it goes live later today with the original PC reviews as well as some new Mac screenshots from the latest version of the game, which is now nearing completion.
For more information and to check out the new screenshot of Total Immersion Racing, head over to the Feral web site.

Feral Interactive
Empire Interactive
Total Immersion Racing
Buy Total Immersion Racing

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IMG Previews Nascar Racing 2003
12:28 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a preview of Aspyr's upcoming racing sim, Nascar Racing 2003. The updated version of the popular racing game features improved graphics, enhanced AI, as well as all 2003 Nascar drivers, teams, sponsors and all 23 NASCAR tracks including the newly renovated Infineon Raceway and New Hampshire International Speedway.

Here's a clip from the preview:

NASCAR Racing 2003 doesn't just throw you in the middle of the race, though. Like its predecessor, the title features a number of tutorials which run the gamut from braking to cornering to the all-important pit stop. Along with these, NASCAR Racing 2003 also contains settings to decrease the game's ultra-realistic difficulty. You are able to reduce damage to your car, drive with a more "arcade" mode feel, and set the intelligence of the computerized opponents.

With NASCAR Racing 2003, you can also select a new adaptive AI level, which makes the computer players match your current skill level in the game. This is a particularly nice feature which lets you ramp up with the other drivers, rather than being dropped into a pack of experts.

For more, be sure to check out the entire preview.

IMG Preview: Nascar Racing 2003
Aspyr Media
Nascar Racing 2003
Buy Nascar Racing 2003

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Creepy Mines updated to 1.3
11:49 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Danlab Games, recently released the latest version of their Breakout-type shareware game, Creepy Mines. The latest version of the game fixes a door bug present in previous versions of the game, along with adding a level pass-code feature (saved game). For those unfamiliar with Creepy Mines, it's breakout, with a twist.
Here's Danlab's description of the game:

You must remove all of the diamonds from the playing area by hitting them with the ball. Creepy mines has some surprises for you: Ventilo, big paddles, Mootshik, dropdowns to catch with the paddle. A very addictive game.
For more information on the game, or to download the latest version, follow the provided link below.

DanLab Games

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Rockstar Announces Max Payne 2
9:38 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Rockstar Games recently announced Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne, the next installment in the Max Payne franchise. The game is being developed by Remedy Entertainment and is expected to be released for the PC this fall.

Here's more from the official press release:

When Max Payne debuted in July 2001 as an award-winning, best-selling PC game, it revolutionized the action genre with its cinematic combat sequences fueled by the groundbreaking use of slow motion and compulsive narrative-driven gameplay. Later that year, console audiences were equally impressed by the stylish, urban, revenge-driven story of a fugitive cop with nothing to lose and Max Payne went on to achieve "Greatest Hits" status on PlayStation®2 and "Platinum Hits" recognition on Xbox®. Now, the highly anticipated Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne for the PC will be unveiled to an extremely select audience by invitation only at this year's E3.
Of course there's no word yet on a Mac version, but we'll be sure to keep our eyes peeled.

Yahoo: Rockstar Games Announces Max Payne 2
Remedy Entertainment
Westlake Interactive
Max Payne
Buy Max Payne

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New Info on Halo for PC
9:23 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

GameSpy has been given the chance to play the PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved, currently being ported to the PC by GearBox Software. Their hands-on experience with this version of Bungie's highly acclaimed Xbox game ended up in two preview articles, one focusing on singleplayer and one on the multiplayer aspect of the game.

They have confirmed there will be some changes in the multiplayer game, such as the addition of six new maps and tweaks to the vehicles.

From the multiplayer preview:

On the topic of vehicles, two significant additions being made for Halo's multiplayer. The first is the Rocket Warthog, which is basically your standard M12 LRV Warthog with a mounted missile launcher in the back instead of the usual M41 chaingun. The other big change: you'll be able to fly the Covenant Banshee fighter in multiplayer, something you couldn't do on the Xbox.
There is much more to read about this game in the full previews, just follow the links provided below.

The PC version is feature-complete, according to the articles, and it is expected to be out by late summer for PC. The Mac version is being handled by Westlake Interactive and will hopefully be out just a short while after the PC version. The Macintosh version will be published by MacSoft.

Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved
GameSpy: Halo: Combat Evolved (PC): The Very First Look
GameSpy: Halo (PC) : Multiplayer Evolved

Logitech Announces Two New Joysticks
9:23 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

Peripheral manufacturer Logitech, Inc., which recently has been surging into the midrange joystick market, has introduced two new USB joysticks (all Mac-compatible) spanning the under-$100 range. Sporting a new look and conveniently placed buttons, the two new sticks will present a host of new options for gamers looking to battle on a budget.

Filling the midrange gap is Logitech's Extreme Digital 3D Pro. Sporting an imposing name, 12 buttons, a throttle, a twist-grip, and an eight-way hat switch, the Extreme Digital 3D Pro doesn't have the force-feedback wow-factor found in the Strike Force 3D, but compensates with a lower price tag.

For real penny-pinchers, Logitech offers their Wingman Attack 3 entry-level flight stick. Although it will cost less than the Extreme Digital 3D Pro, they'll have to eschew many of the other bells and whistles found in the above joystick: The Wingman Attack 3 has 11 buttons and a throttle to its name, meaning buyers will even have to part with the beloved hat switch.

Logitech is a peripheral manufacturer that sells a variety of Macintosh and PC devices from mice and keyboards to joysticks and speakers. Logitech is among the first Macintosh joystick manufacturers to support force-feedback technology in Mac OS X.

Logitech Announces Two New Joysticks

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WWIIOnline Update Fixed Mac Sound Issues
9:23 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Cornered Rat Software recently released a Mac-specific update to World War II Online, their MMOFPS title set during the WWII era. The update brings the Mac client up to version 1.8.8, and includes several fixes related to sound issues:

-[Mac Only] Added ability to use Open AL for sounds
-[Mac Only] Added preference to choose between Sound Manager and OpenAL in the Config App
CRS asks that those who try out the patch leave feedback in the community forums.

Those interested in downloading the patch or previous versions of WWII Online can find links at MacGameFiles.

MGF - WWII Online 1.8.8
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
WWII Online - News

Mac Games News for Monday, May 12, 2003

Aspyr to Publish Handheld and Console Games12:04 PM
Aspyr Ships Spearhead, IMG Preview Posted11:53 AM
UT2K3 Demo Reaches Over 400,000 Downloads11:24 AM
IMG Releases Konfabulator Desktop Widget11:14 AM
GarageGames Releases Marble Blast Gold9:17 AM
Diablo II 1.10 Patch Info8:43 AM
New Elite Force II Trailer Released8:43 AM
Republic Previews, Trailer8:43 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, May 12, 2003 on one page

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