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Monday, August 11, 2003

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Westlake on Age of Mythology Status
9:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Last week MacSoft announced they would be bringing the critically acclaimed Age of Mythology to the Mac, courtesy of porting house Westlake Interactive. This lastest installment of the Age of Empires series, previously dubbed "Renee" on their status list, is considered in the Alpha phase of development, though a news post from Westlake regarding the game brings even more info on where it stands currently.

The update gives a quick overview of the game's features, an explanation of how they came up with "Renee," and a quote from the lead programmer.

AoM for Mac's lead programmer Ken Cobb had this to say about the game: "AoM is a very large game, but the code is well done and the port has been fairly smooth from the start. Right now, all features are implemented and working, except for networking (which I'm doing now), and seems to be very stable and non-buggy, especially for this stage of development. The Editor is built into the game and is fully functional right now. I can even load 3rd-party "scenarios" and maps developed for the PC version."
For more information on MacSoft's announcement, make sure you check out IMG's interview with Al Schilling. Stay tuned to IMG for the lastest on the status of Age of Mythology as the game gets further into development.

Westlake News on Age of Mythology
MacSoft Talks Age of Mythology
Ensemble Studios
Age of Mythology
Buy Age of Mythology

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Radeon 9800 Pro Driver Update Adds FSAA, AF
2:29 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

As promised, ATI has released a driver update for the Radeon 9800 Pro, their flagship 3D graphics accelerator. Version 1.1 exposes multi-sample full scene anti-aliasing (MSAA) and anisotropic filtering (AF), two features that can greatly improve the graphics quality in many 3D games. MSAA, super sampling anti-aliasing, and AF can now be enabled in any game. The ATI Displays control panel allows you to set and save unique profiles for each application.

Before installing the driver update, it is recommended that you read the included documentation: the release notes and user's guide. The release notes list several games that have compatibility issues with MSAA and AF. The user's guide introduces and explains the new features of the driver update. For more in-depth information about the Radeon 9800 Pro, please read IMG's Technology Overview.

Download Radeon 9800 Pro v1.1 Drivers (6.5 MB)
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro v1.1 Driver Release Notes
IMG Feature: Radeon 9800 Pro Technology Overview
Radeon 9800 Pro

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IMG Reviews Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
12:58 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of Aspyr's recently-released golf simulation, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003. Tiger Woods 2003 is the latest professional golf game to hit the Mac. Brought to the Mac by the graces of both Aspyr and Westlake Interactive, TW brings a host of pro golfers, courses, and styles of play to the computer, giving even the most unskilled real life golfer a chance at greatness.

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

IMG Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Electronic Arts
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
Buy Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003

Escape Velocity and EV:Override Released for OS X
10:51 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software today announced the re-release of their classic space games Escape Velocity and sequel EV: Override, for Mac OS X. They are now native for Mac OS X and Windows and free for registered EV Nova customers.

Here's more from the official PR:

Ported by Ambrosia, w00tWare and Michael Judkins, the re-releases run through the improved game engine of EV: Nova; you can now join the rebellion on Mac OS X or battle the Voinians on Windows, all the while benefit from the advances, additions and refinements of Nova's engine.

Lovingly hand-crafted by programmer Matt Burch, Escape Velocity offers a rich and open-ended environment that evolves as you play. Over a hundred worlds occupy the galaxy, each with its own technology, alliances, and commodities. As you earn credits and gain fame, Confederation peace keepers and Rebel patriots struggle for power, leaving you in the middle.

EV: Override is Ambrosia's huge follow up to the classic Escape Velocity. With an immersive story and universe created by Peter Cartwright, a new conflict begins to unfold. Override features a universe five times the size of the original game, and a slew of populated worlds within. Winning critical battles can change the face of the universe, or, if you're happy with the existing balance of power, you can make a living as a humble trader. Just watch out for those pesky renegades, who want nothing more than to swipe the precious cargo from your holds. Additionally, the game contains stunning new graphics and sound, over 250 new missions, a multitude of human and alien governments, and all the excitement of the original EV game.

These releases require a registered version of Nova to use, but being drag & drop they are simpler to install than a cloaking device! The great news is they are free, making registering Nova now an even better deal than before, 3 epic titles for the price of one! All the credits you save should go towards that first laser cannon!!

To download the game, head over to the Ambrosia web site.

Ambrosia Software
Escape Velocity
Escape Velocity: Override

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Blizzard Talks World of Warcraft
10:42 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

RPG Vault recently got a chance to sit down and chat with Blizzard's Mark Kern about their upcoming MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The interview covers the developmental process of creating the game, along with insight on what the gameplay will be like.

Here's a snippet from the interview:

RPGVault: Looking back to the inception of the project, how well did you understand the magnitude and the complexity of the task? And what were the kinds of things that took you by surprise?

Mark Kern: We understood that it was going to be a big project, bigger than anything we had done before. But, I don't think anything can prepare you for just how complicated these games are to make. You are creating a whole world, with hundreds of quests, thousands of items and miles of terrain that must be packed with cool things to do.

I think we planned as well as we could, and some things came easier to us than others. I think the biggest challenge we faced was the sheer amount of design that had to be done. We had to quickly staff up spawning teams, questing teams and have specialist designers for classes, items and dungeons.

To check out the full interview, head on over to RPG Vault, linked below. Be sure to stay tuned to IMG for more info on World of Warcraft as it continues development.

Blizzard Talks World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Graeme Devine Departs from id
9:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new report on Gamasutra has revealed that programmer and Mac guru Graeme Devine has left id Software. Devine has been instrumental in much of the Mac work and updates to Quake III: Arena, and while it seems his departure to Ensemble Studios (creators of the Age of Empires series) will certainly be a blow for Mac users, it seems the transition was made amicably by all parties involved.

There's no word yet on if or how this might affect the development of DOOM III for OS X, but we would remind readers that id's John Carmack has also worked closely with Apple in the past, and we still fully expect someone at either id or perhaps a partner like The Omni Group to pick up the slack. We also wish the best to Devine in his new role at Ensemble and look forward to hearing more about his future projects.

Gamasutra Report on Graeme Devine (reg. required)
id Software
Ensemble Studios

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Aspyr: EF2, X2, Kelly Slater at Final Candidate
9:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a quick update to their project list, Aspyr Media now shows Star Trek: Elite Force II, X2: Wolverine's Revenge, and Kelly Slater Pro Surfer all as being in the Final Candidate stage. This means that when approval is set for the game, they will be shipped off to duplication.

Also in the queue for the company is Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, which is already in duplication and should be hitting store shelves very soon.

Slightly further back in development are Law & Order: Dead On The Money and Indiana Jones and the Emporer's Tomb, both of which are Alpha. Lastly, James Bond: 007 Nightfire is now listed as First Playable and should be ready some time next month. For all the latest on these titles, be sure to have a look through Aspyr's site.

Ritual Entertainment
Aspyr Media
Star Trek Elite Force II
Buy Star Trek Elite Force II

Mac Games News for Friday, August 8, 2003

America's Army, Revolution 7.1 Issed Fixed, Patch Posted3:31 PM
IMG Posts Another War Review2:30 PM
M-Audio Announces Transit USB Audio Device11:09 AM
Custer's Desktops: Tony Hawk 410:11 AM
GameSpy Previews Unreal Tournament 20049:18 AM
Full Throttle Sequel Pulled9:16 AM
Medal of Honor Pacific Assault Announced for PC9:16 AM
PSP Teams Up with Feral9:16 AM
Sennheiser Aims New Headsets at Gamers9:16 AM
Warrior Kings Demo Released9:16 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 8, 2003 on one page

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