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Monday, August 4, 2003

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MacSoft Announces Age of Mythology
9:47 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacSoft today announced that it will be publishing Microsoft Game Studios’ best-selling real-time strategy game, Age of Mythology, for Mac OS X. The game has been under development by Westlake Interactive since early 2003 and is scheduled to ship in October.

Here's more from the official PR:

Age of Mythology transports players to a time when heroes did battle with monsters of legend and the gods intervened in the affairs of mortal men. Age of Mythology was created by Ensemble Studios, the makers of Age of Empires(R), Age of Empires® The Rise of Rome Expansion, Age of Empires® II: The Age of Kings and Age of Empires II The Conquerors Expansion, which together have sold over 11 million units.
Harnessing the powers of Greek, Norse and Egyptian gods and more than 40 mythological creatures, such as Cyclopes and Minotaurs, "Age of Mythology" envelops players in a world where heroes battle mythological creatures and gods meddle in the lives of mortal men. Lush cinematic scenes take "Age of Mythology" players on an epic journey of heroism, action and excitement as they delve into an immense 3-D world that features realistic sunlight shimmering across beautiful oceans and verdant forests. Varied game modes and settings suit fans of all ages and experience levels.

Age of Mythology is brought to life through a revolutionary new 3D engine developed by Ensemble Studios. Al Schilling, MacSoft’s general manager, announces Age of Mythology for Macintosh by saying, “Age of Mythology is a great successor to Age of Kings. Age of Mythology is truly an epic journey of heroism in a very beautiful 3D world.”

For more information on Age of Mythology, check out the official Age of Mythology web site. IMG will keep you posted on any further developments.

Ensemble Studios
Age of Mythology
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IMG Chats With MacSoft's Al Schilling
3:59 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Following today's announcement of the popular realtime strategy title Age of Mythology coming to Mac, Inside Mac Games has posted a feature titled "MacSoft Talks Age of Mythology". Inside is an interview with Al Schiling of MacSoft (the Mac version's publisher) regarding the exciting news and much, much more. Here's a sneak peak of what's inside:

IMG: MacSoft just shipped Neverwinter Nights for the Macintosh. How do you feel about the release of NWN?

Al Schilling: Ecstatic and relieved. Neverwinter Nights is an incredible game and we're really happy that we've finally been able to get it into the hands of Mac users. As most of your readers are aware, while NWN was in development, MacSoft was going through some big changes. Thankfully, the team at Bioware really stuck with us throughout, and the development of NWN continued unabated while MacSoft was changing hands. Although the approval process caused me to lose a great deal of hair, I get a warm fuzzy feeling looking at the NWN Mac box now sitting on my desk. NWN is the greatest D&D experience ever available on the Mac platform. I think people are really going to fall in love with this game.

For more, be sure to check out the article. Age of Mythology is slated for a Mac release sometime in October. Stay tuned to IMG for more updates.

IMG Feature: MacSoft Talks Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology
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Freeverse Software Releases Solace 1.03
2:46 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Macintosh games publisher Freeverse Software has just released an update to their popular Axis & Allies inspired strategy game, Solace. The patch, deemed v1.03 adds a handful of new features, as well as fixes some troublesome bugs experienced with earlier builds. Here's a full list of changes from Macgamefiles:

  • Added a grey color chip for 100 units, making the chips now white(1), red(5), blue(25), grey(100)
  • Added the ability to move an arbitrary number of units from a stack. Simply type a number and then drag the army like normal.
  • Added the ability to switch between windowed and fullscreen mode (press Cmd+M)
  • Added "Quick AI Turns" option which has Solace skip many of the graphics during AI turns in order to speed up play
  • Added the option to turn off victory/defeat notice after battles
  • Fixed bug when you drag a unit onto another unit from the same county... this caused Solace to freeze
  • Sloops are now limited by the 12-dice rule when they play a hit & fade
  • Fixed typos in the PBEM final winners email
  • Fixed the "long pause" associated with skipping battles which are particularly large
  • Fixed freeze problem during port defense (was a manifestation of a deeper problem with the RNG)
  • Addressed an issue with certain off-beat LCD monitors
  • Fixed bug with multiplying units by removing single transports from a movement plan (this is no longer allowed)
  • Fixed problems with sleep/screensaver and Solace hanging
  • Fixed problem with MP3 playback code, which was causing random crashes when switching to and from GameSmith, and elsewhere
  • Fixed the ship being unplayable when removing an amphibious assault due to removing the loaded transports from a separate attack move bug
  • Solace on Mac OS X now stores all of its saved game files in the user's Documents directory, allowing Solace to be used across multiple accounts
  • If you have a copy of Solace, be sure to download the latest patch to make use of the new features, and if not, be sure to check out the new v1.03 demo. If you like it, you can pick up your own copy of Solace for only $19.95 at the Freeverse Store.

    Download Solace v1.03

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    Tim Sweeney Q&A at UnrealOps
    1:49 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    The folks at UnrealOps recently received the opportunity to sit down with Epic Games; own Tim Sweeney in an exclusive interview regarding all things Unreal. In it, Sweeney expresses his opinions on various subjects, including his experiences working on the original Unreal, where the video game industry will be in 5 years, and much more. Below is just a sneak peak of what's inside:

    The Unreal Universe is a pretty big place now. Did you ever imagine it would be this big?

    We started o­n Unreal 1 back when the only major first person shooters that had been released were Wolfenstein and the original DOOM, and the project's scope was very open-ended then. Things hadn't been so narrowly defined then as there are now, with the tendency of people to say "this game is a single-player FPS, that game is a tactical multiplayer FPS". My original thinking on Unreal was that it would be a sort of massive multiplayer action game, with online levels linked via portals and forming part of an ever-growing world expanding both through our efforts and the community's, much more open-ended than games like (at the time) Ultima online.

    When we released the game, the aspects of it that caught o­n (the single-player experience, plus deathmatch and bots) gained so much momentum that we never thought about that further. The single-player experience went off in the Unreal 2 direction, and the multiplayer with the Unreal Tournament series. The approach we ended up with was certainly the right business and creative decision given Epic's strengths and limitations, but I can't help but wonder what could have happened if we'd gone the other direction.

    For more insights and info, be sure to read the full interview.

    Epic's Tim Sweeney Interview
    Unreal Tournament 2003
    Epic Games
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2003

    Strange Adventures In Infinite Space Released
    9:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Digital Eel has released the Mac OS9 and Mac OS X versions of Strange Adventures In Infinite Space and is available through the Digibuy e-commerce system for $15.

    So what is Strange Adventures in Infinite Space? Here's a description from their web site:

    Sail the high sea of stars in your own deep space exploration vessel. Explore exotic star systems; seek out new technologies, artifacts and lifeforms; boldly blow up stuff where no one has has blown up stuff before!

    SAIS is different every time it is played. Stars, planets, black holes, nebula mass, alien patrols, items, lifeforms and other encounters are randomized for each new Strange Adventure.

    A CD-ROM version of Mac SAIS will be released by Cheapass Games and Digital Eel in September, possibly as a hybrid Mac/PC disk. To purchase and download the game, head over to the Digibuy web site. And for more information on the game, check out Digital Eel's web site, where a Mac beta demo is available for download.

    Digitial Eel
    Digital Buy

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    Virtual Programming Announces Horse Racing Manager
    9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Virtual Programming today announced they will be publishing Horse Racing Manager for the Macintosh. Due later this year, the game allows players to enjoy the sport of kings as an owner, breeder, trainer, jockey, or gambler.

    Here's more from the official press release:

    Depending on which role players choose to assume, the game will play very differently. As an owner, for example, players will have to concern themselves with finances and staffing, while breeders will spend their time seeking the right horses to produce future champions with.

    Horse Racing Manager lets you enjoy the sport of kings at all levels. Choose whether to play the game as an owner, breeder, trainer, jockey or punter. Each activity will require specific know-how that you will be able to acquire with each play.

    As an owner, you will have to keep an eye on your finances and optimise the working time of your staff as well as your own.

    As a trainer, you will have to prepare your horses according to the goals you will have set for the season, bearing in mind each horse's characteristics and your financial constraints. Your ultimate goal as a trainer will be to improve their overall characteristics to their maximum capacity.

    As a breeder, you will seek and hopefully find the right matches for reproduction; you will also be in charge of the weekly report on each of your horses.

    As a gambler, you will be able to visit the most famous racetracks and follow the greatest races, live. You will have to use all your gambling skills to increase your initial capital and avoid bankruptcy.

    As a jockey, you will have to show your talents as a competitor and strategist in real time. Take into account your horse, the competitors, the racetrack, the weather conditions in order to have a chance to win. Become a solo expert and then come face the other players in a LAN or on the internet, either in the racing or in the betting mode.

    For more information on Horse Racing Manager, head over to the Virtual Programming web site.

    Virtual Programming
    Horse Racing Manager
    Buy Horse Racing Manager

    Targetware Open Beta Begins
    9:02 AM | Tim Morgan | Comment on this story

    Sickware, creators of the much-anticipated Targetware engine, has announced the commencement of their open-beta period. For a limited time, players can enjoy playing Targetware mods free of charge through their servers. The two mods available at this point are Target Korea and Target Rabaul, with Target Flanders expected sometime in the future.

    The Targetware project is a community-based flight simulation development project. Using Sickware's provided tools (some of which are currently available for download), players can design theaters in which to battle and wage war, or they can participate in combat within theaters others have designed. Both mods available for beta testing realistically simulate the aerial wars over Rabaul in 1943 and Korea in the early 1950's. Should they desire it, Target Rabaul promises pilots of piston-engine aircraft the option of unprecedented control over their powerplants, a feature unique among Macintosh flight simulators. In addition, a massively-multiplayer system of strategy has been implemented, ensuring that players' victories are not without purpose.

    The Targetware engine beta requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later. Both the Target Korea and Target Rabaul mods are available to download from within the engine. The open beta period will be free, but upon its termination, a $10-per-month fee will be required for access to Targetware and its mods.

    Target Korea
    Target Rabaul
    Download Targetware (7.2 MB)
    Interview: Target Rabaul's Micah Bly

    The Gamesome Mac Kicks off uDevGame 2003
    9:02 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

    On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg welcome back Carlos Camacho, Editor-in-Chief of iDevGames, to kick off uDevGame 2003.

    The independent Mac game development contest sponsored by iDevGames, uDevGame has awarded over $19,000 worth of prizes and sparked the release of 60 new Mac games since its launch in 2001. One measure of the phenomenal success of uDevGame is the 100% completion rate for contest entries in past years:

    More important than the material prizes offered, uDevGame gives independent Mac game developers a chance to succeed. Everyone who enters, regardless of skill or placement, has finished a game. That is no small feat, and will carry any developer a long way.
    Sean and Omaha will also offer Mac gaming news, reviews, and commentary, and together with their guest will take questions live from listeners in The Gamesome Mac's chat room and give away several games to celebrate the start of uDevGame 2003.

    The Gamesome Mac can be heard live on MacRadio from 6 to 8 pm Pacific Time, 9 to 11 pm Eastern (Tuesday from 0100 to 0300 UTC), and on demand thereafter. You can tune in at The Gamesome Mac's web page, where you'll also find archives of past broadcasts, including last year's uDevGame 2002 awards ceremony. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required.

    The Gamesome Mac
    uDevGame 2003

    Mac Games News for Friday, August 1, 2003

    Jedi Academy Previewed2:31 PM
    Tiger Woods 2004 Q&A at CVG2:31 PM
    MacSoft Ships Neverwinter Nights12:10 PM
    MacSoft Releases Dungeon Siege Update11:51 AM
    Aspyr Announces X2, IMG Preview Posted11:30 AM
    Freeverse Issues Latest Newsletter10:26 AM
    john calhoun Releases Glider Pro For Free10:12 AM
    Custer's Desktops: James Bond 007: NightFire9:55 AM
    Myth TFL, Wolf Age Updates for OS X9:20 AM
    Aspyr July Newsletter Released9:05 AM
    Warcraft III 1.12 Patch9:05 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 1, 2003 on one page

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