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Thursday, July 31, 2003

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Apple Offers .Mac Members Marble Blast
9:02 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple is now offering .Mac members a free copy GarageGames' popular arcade game, Marble Blast. In the game players race their marbles through moving platforms, dangerous hazards, sparkling treasures and power up enhancements in an effort to complete each course in record time.

Here's a description of the game from Apple's .Mac web site:

Players use creative power boosters like SuperBounce and Gyrocopter to race through an elevated course that includes moving platforms, slippery oil slicks, and whirling fans. Three levels of play, each with its own rich cartoon landscape, make this a great game for players of all ages and skill levels. Marble Blast gets an impressive 4-mice rating from MacWorld.
The 20 MB game is now available for download through .Mac. Other games from developers such as Freeverse Software and GameHouse are also available for .Mac users for free.

Marble Blast Gold
Buy Marble Blast Gold

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IMG Posts Hands-On Preview of Star Trek: Elite Force II
1:40 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a hands-on preview of Aspyr's Star Trek: Elite Force II (based on a recent Mac beta), the highly-anticipated sequel to the original first-person shooter. The full game is currently scheduled to ship within the next few months.

Here's a clip from the preview:

You may notice that “Voyager” has been dropped from the game’s title. This is because, with the exception of the first episode of the game, the action has moved on, first to Starfleet Academy on Earth, and then to the pride of the Federation, the one and only U.S.S. Enterprise-E. Here, Munro takes his orders from the man himself, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, voiced by Patrick Stewart and not some third-rate impersonator hack, thank goodness. And so the stage is set for another trek across the stars, one noticeably longer than its predecessor, I’m pleased to say.
The entire preview is available by following the link below. Also, don't forget that the IMG Store is currently taking pre-orders for Star Trek: Elite Force II.

IMG Preview: Star Trek: Elite Force II
Ritual Entertainment
Aspyr Media
Star Trek Elite Force II
Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

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WWIIOnline 1.9 Release, Minor Patch Soon
1:27 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

PlayNet recently released an update to their popular massive multiplayer online game, World War II Online. The update, deemed version 1.9, added a plethora of new features to the game, from new locations to new vehicles, as well as fixing a handful of bugs, both major and minor. While the full list of changes is far too long to include in this article, here is a small excerpt:

Vehicles: AFV
-Added new tank: H39 French light tank
-Armored cars audited for stability
-Fixed roll and yaw values for the Matilda to address shaking on some terrain tiles
-Audited Truck and Puller transmission to match historical speed data:
Morris 60kph
Laffly 66kph
SdKfz 50kph
Bedford 70kph
Opel 80kph
-Tweaked S-35 speeds, should now hit historic numbers
-Adjusted fuel loadouts on ALL ground vehicles to reflect historic values
-Changed Char and S35 turret rotation speed to match historical data (audit in progress not final do not report issues)
-Changed French mg drums to 150 rounds to match historical data
-Adjusted Flak 30 reload time from 7 seconds to 4.5 seconds
Yesterday, PlayNet identified a small bug associated with the latest patch of the game involving all armored vehicles becoming semi-impervious against bombs and satchels. They will be releasing a patch to fix this problem, as well as any other minor problems they have come across, sometime today or tomorrow.
Docdoom - We have identified a very small bug with armoured vehicles (all of them, it's global not vehicle specific) that is making them semi-impervious to non-penetrating weapons like bombs and satchels (things that are not designed to penetrate utilizing ballistic velocity as their 'entry permit' so to speak) and will be trying to patch that into the game today.

Whatever other small fixes and changes or improvements we can bundle into that same patch will also be included, although I don't know what those might be right at this minute.
For a full list of changes in 1.9, be sure to check out the PlayNet webpage, and stay tuned for the minor patch coming sometime soon.

PlayNet News
World War II Online

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New World of Warcraft Updates
1:26 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

New information of World of Warcraft, the upcoming MMORPG from Blizzard set in the Warcraft universe, has been added to the website. The updates includes two new entries to the World of Warcraft Beastiary, the Furlbog and the Harpy, and more information about the Night Elf capital Darnassus. The official news post:

The World of Warcraft Beastiary has been updated with Furbolg and Harpy entries. See animations for both creatures and hear how they sound, with the accompanying audio clips. We have also added some more information to the Kalidar region about the Night Elf capital of Darnassus.
Be sure to check out the World of Warcraft homepage for the latest additions and more. World of Warcraft is currently slated for a simultaneous Mac and PC release sometime later this year. Keep it here to IMG as we keep you posted on the game's progress.

World of Warcraft Beastiary
Kalidar Region Information
World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
Buy World of Warcraft

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A Look at Contraband's Abducted Engine
11:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A site called has posted an interesting article on Contraband's Abducted engine. The feature (which many be overly technical for some) discusses some of the real-time lighting and shadow technology as well as shader system in the engine. It also includes details on engine design and gameplay.

Here's a clip from the feature:

The Abducted Engine officially began development in late 2001. At the outset the goals were fairly clear for the engine: take the next step in graphics and gameplay. Contraband intended to relicense the technology, as well as use it in a number of in-house projects, so modability was important. The basic features of the engine are as follows: real-time lighting and shadows, with per pixel specular highlights. The engine has a number of other features like a shader system, but those really are the core things.

The purpose of this and other following articles will be to discuss and present some of the techniques that the Abducted engine uses to do it's thing, including engine design, graphics, and gameplay.

The article also includes a number of Abducted screenshots and links to movies. To check out the rest of this article, be sure to follow the link below.

A Look at Contrand's Adbucted Engine
Contraband Entertainment

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Apple Features Europa Universalis II/Another War
10:08 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a new feature on two of MacPlay's recent releases, Europa Universalis II, the risk-style stragegy game, and Another War, an RPG set in the World War II era. The article includes an overview of both titles as well as hints and tips for both games.

Here's a clip from the feature:

Europa Universalis II takes the big picture view. Covering the years 1492 to 1792, the game puts you in charge of a fledgling nation that you try to lead to world superpower. You build your military and economy, colonize unclaimed territories, send explorers to bring back news of the New World, and engage in diplomacy with other nations. Along the way, you may meet such real-life leaders as Napoleon and Genghis Khan.

You can select from one of nine different scenarios, including: the Grand Campaign, which lasts the full 300 years; American Dream, in which you guide the United States through the Revolutionary War; and the Age of Exploration, where you establish colonies in the late 1400s. Each scenario features a variety of side missions you can undertake to secure extra victory points as well as real historical events that affect the balance of the game.

To check out the entire article, please follow the link below.

Apple: Europa Universalis II/Another War Feature
Virtual Programming
Paradox Interactive
Europa Universalis II
Another War
Buy Europa Universalis II
Buy Another War

3D Stress Ball Feedback Wanted
9:05 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

Recently on the IMG forums, "Mal" from Can Do Games unveiled a new 3D Shockwave game for the Mac called 3D Stress Ball. Also, Mal explained that Can Do Games would appreciate any feedback from Mac players to polish the game's performace. In 3D Stress Ball you control 1 of 3 types of balls (more to come) that include a soccer ball, 8 ball and fantasy ball. You must manuever your ball through cleverly designed levels picking up all the silver keys to unlock the teleporter to the next stage. Levels get progressively harder, featuring multi-tierd platforms and a constantly swaying camera, and many stages require deft use of the jump ability your ball has.

3D Stress Ball uses the Havok Engine to create a "realistic physical gameplay environment." Players can use the included game editor to create levels of their own, which can then be posted on Can Do Games' forums. The game is in its early stages, so look for more updates to come.

Can Do Games
3D Stress Ball
IMG Forum Discussion

Puzzle Pirates Coming to OS X
9:05 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates, a new massive multiplayer online role-playing game with a swashbuckling theme, has just reached the public beta state, and the developers have brought exciting news to Mac gamers. According to their recently added FAQ, a Mac OS X version of the game's client is already in the works, and should be available soon.

Q. What platform is Yohoho! for?

Puzzle Pirates runs in Java 1.4 on Windows (XP, 2000, ME, 98), Linux and, coming soon, Mac OSX.

We are developing Yohoho! in Java on Linux. For the curious, Yohoho!'s server is also written in Java, and runs on Linux. We are planning to release our game toolkit as open source software, sometime after we launch the game and get everything shipshape.

IMG's Matt Diamond has also started a new thread in our Forums for discussion on the upcoming game. Be sure to check out the Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates homepage and the forum thread for more details, and stay tuned as we keep you up to date on the game's progress.

Puzzle Pirates FAQ (Mac OS X Details)
IMG Forum: Puzzle Pirates (MMORPG) coming to Mac
Puzzle Pirates

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Ragnorok Clone for OS X?2:14 PM
Snood 3.0 Mac Announcement2:13 PM
Descender for Mac OS X Released11:51 AM
Blizzard Updates WC3:FT Tournament Page6:51 AM
Exult 1.1 Beta 1 Released6:51 AM
More Indiana Jones Info, Screenshots6:51 AM
Myth II 1.4.1 Final Beta Update6:51 AM
OBE Needs OS X Developers for Cipher Engine6:51 AM
OpenGL 1.5 Announced6:51 AM
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 Goes Gold6:51 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 30, 2003 on one page

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