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Tuesday, August 19, 2003



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KnightShift Mac Bound
8:11 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Virtual Programming has recently announced its intention to bring KnightShift to the Mac. A porting deal struck between Virtual Programming, Zuxxez Entertainment and Reality Pump Studios, KnightShift is described as a combination RPG/RTS with stunning graphics:

KnightShift offers the best of conventional RPG and RTS games in a mystic world, full of fantasy and imagination. The player takes control over heroes, real or magic characters and leads them to victory and honour. Set in a living fully three dimensional game environment, KnightShift bewitches your Mac with breathtaking graphics and effects. The graphics engine provides visuals not seen before in a game. The unique combination of RTS and RPG elements in the single player campaigns, the hardcore gamer dedicated RPG mode for single and multiplayer matches and the unique humour of KnightShift brings real innovation into today's gaming world.
KnightShift has received positive remarks from various game-related sites, and Mirek Dymek, Project Leader at Reality Pump Studios, promises that it will have "the best graphics seen in a Mac games title." Those interested in more information, including screenshots and storylines, can find all at the official KnightShift site.

August 2003, 'VP annouce KnightShift for the Mac
KnightShift
Virtual Programming
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Unreal Tournament 2004 Q&A
10:12 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Unreal fansite UnrealOps recently got a chance to visit Epic and take a look at the next game in the Unreal series, Unreal Tournament 2004. While there, the folks at UnrealOps asked a number of reader questions to the team. The questions range from changes to skins and weapons to features of the vehicles in the game. Here's a snippet:

Funk-O-Potamous: I believe Mark Rein said that the translocator is going to be changed in an IRC chat a little while ago, can you tell us what the change is going to be?

Do you have any idea of how much the rebate will be for 2k3 owners and what they will need to show proof of purchase.

Will there be vehicles that can use more than o要e person in o要slaught? Such as o要e person being the gunner in the tank and the other the driver?

Will be able to parachute from aircraft in o要slaught?

Answer: The new Translocator in 2k4 is pretty kick ass. The first noticeable feature is that it has an extra charge bringing the total number to 6. It also recharges at a faster rate. Held over from 2k3 is the 'heavy feel' and the fact it is thrown pretty far. Unless you are uselessly spamming the Xloc than you should run out of throws. o要ce again it seems to be balanced.

There is talk from Atari that the game may ship at a retail price of o要ly $39.99. Add to that the mail-in rebate for UT2003 owners of $10 and you have a possible cost of $29.99 for o要e of most advanced games o要 the market. I think these things should put an end to the talk of the game being worth it or not.

Several vehicles have the ability to carry passengers for them to fight. The new 'Hummer type' vehicle called the Hellbender, is setup for 3 people. One driver, one side passenger and o要e gunner. The vehicle acts like the Warthog in Halo but looks and feel way cooler. The new tank has o要e driver but several people can fit o要 the sides of it. What ever you do though do go in front as you will get squashed something fierce. I will have some actual gameplay footage of these vehicles up very soon!

I am not able to answer this o要e as the new Bomber aircraft was not far enough along for us to use it in live gameplay.

To check out the full article, follow the link provided below.

UT2004 Q&A
Digital Extremes
MacSoft
Unreal Tournament 2003
Buy Unreal Tournament 2003


DOOM III Multiplayer In-Depth
8:11 AM | Zack Lipowski | Comment on this story

As the release of DOOM III approaches, we uncovered some details about its developing multiplayer gameplay. id has made public the fact that their main priority with the game is the single-player campaign, and that only recently did they admit to creating a multiplayer mode. The reason for the scaled-back multiplayer is due to id's desire to fashion a strong solo experience, and also because as we speak Raven Software is in development of Quake IV.

Now on to the multiplayer aspect. Before you even start a game you are given a plethora of options to tweak, including the number of frags, time limit, number of players, skill of computer bots, whether spectator mode is on and the length of warm-up periods. Compared to id's earlier effort, Quake III, there is nothing new or revolutionary in terms of match settings.

Here's IGN's brief run-down of the graphics and current weapons:

The first thing we noticed was that the game looks as good running in real time as it does in the screenshots. Bump-mapping on environment surfaces and on the characters themselves gives everything an undeniably sense of realism. Ragdoll physics also add to the illusion. Though the levels are fairly dark, the use of light is very effective. You can even find certain switches to turn lights on and off in particular areas.

Each player began the multiplayer matches armed with only a pistol. Carrying twelve shots, the pistol is fairly accurate but doesn't really do enough damage to take out skilled enemies armed with deadlier weapons.

For longer ranges you'll have the machine gun. Carrying sixty rounds, the machine gun unloads a massive stream of death at your opponents but, as with the shotgun, the new per-poly target system makes the weapon's kick more of a factor in accuracy than before. As always, shorter bursts are the way to go unless the enemy is right in front you. The 50-round plasma gun has been revamped and upgraded from the last game. Now it fires bright blue bolts that are as deadly as they are brilliant.

Finally there's my favorite: the rocket launcher. Holding five rockets at a time, the rocket launcher gives you a tremendous advantage over players in corners or up against walls.

Here are some of the unique aspects of DOOM III's multiplayer courtesy of HomeLan:
The Beserker power-up allows you to use your fists as a one-shot (one fist?) one kill weapon against your opponent. Your vision in the game becomes blurred while you have the Beserker power up and you hear yourself scream as well, which is rather bloodcurdling but very effective; it makes you sound like a banshee. The visual effect on your character as others see you is a set of red rings around your character.

Visually, Doom III looked very sharp. We couldnt find out what the hardware specs were on the demo machines, except that it was running at 640x480 resolution with no AA enabled. Despite this low resolution, Doom III is one of the best looking PC games we have ever seen, with very detailed character and weapons models, some incredibly realistic level textures and of course the Doom III lighting model, which makes dark spaces very dark indeed. You can even shut off light in certain areas in order to high from opponents.

The level itself was mostly of a sci-fi high tech metallic theme, as one might expect from Doom III but a small portion of the level had been converted into the demons den with orange and red light, bricks and lots of blood. Some of the level had some animation, such as what looked like a sci-fi reactor section that fired up and called the level to glow red while the reactor was going. Movement in the level felt a little slow but that may have been due to the crampness of the level itself

Rag doll physics was in evidence during the Doom III multiplayer demo, including objects like boxes and barrels that could be moved by weapons fire and a dead body hanging from the ceiling during one portion of the level that could also be moved by weapons fire.

GameSpot summed up their feelings about DOOM III's multiplayer:
Though it doesn't seem revolutionary at this point, Doom 3's deathmatch seems extremely playable. How well the game will support larger multiplayer sessions, especially at higher graphical settings, remains to be seen.
DOOM III was recently delayed until 2004, but Carmack himself has said he would greatly prefer not showing it at another E3. Both Linux and Mac version are being developed in-house and are expected to ship around the same time as their PC counterpart.

id Software
HomeLan's Impressions
IGN PC's Impressions
GameSpot's Impressions
Buy DOOM 3


Phelios Launches PTK for Game Dev
8:11 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Independent developer Phelios has recently released version 1.0 of PTK for both the Mac and PC. A game creation tool of sorts, PTK is described as a multiplatform 2D library built around OpenGL-accelerated hardware.

PTK is also described as easy to use, with only a working knowledge of C++ and a corresponding compiler being necessary to use it. Some currently published titles that use PTK include Helix, Drip Drop, and Snap.

The official PTK site contains more information, including system requirements, supported technologies, and a FAQ that features some Mac-specific Q&As. An evaluation copy can be ordered for $5, with corresponding license titles being priced depending on the quantity and usage.

PTK



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Feral Offers Warrior Kings Demo Help
8:11 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In response to the large amount of interest generated by the release of the Warrior Kings demo, Feral Interactive has decided to lend a bit of a helping hand to those currently enjoying the demo. The first comes in the form of a downloadable PDF that expounds on the various keyboard commands for the game. (Note: At the time this article was written, the PDF link seemed to be broken).

The second comes from a general FAQ that answers various questions about the game, including ones about resource collecting, system performance, and unit usage:

Q : Which units are good for what?

A : Heavy infantry (men with spears for close quarters combat) are effective against Heavy cavalry.

Light infantry (men with bows and arrows for ranged attacks) are effective against Heavy infantry and Light cavalry.

Heavy cavalry (men on horse back with spears for close quarters combat) are effective against Light infantry and Heavy infantry if in flank or rear. Heavy cavalry are also good at destroying siege weaponry.

Light cavalry (men on horse back with bows and arrows for ranged attacks) are effective against Heavy infantry and Heavy cavalry.

Siege weapons such as mangonels, battering rams, bombards and trebuchets are the most effective at destroying buildings but are vulnerable to infantry and cavalry attack.

Also discussed are building rules, destinies, and comparison of version numbers between the Mac and PC.

Those who have yet to try the demo can download it at MacGameFiles. It's a bit large at 242 MB, but has received mostly positive user feedback to date.

Feral Interactive
MGF - Warrior Kings Demo
Warrior Kings
Buy Warrior Kings



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New Halo PC Interview
8:11 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

British gaming website ComputerAndVideoGames.com has just published a new interview with Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford regarding their work on the long-awaited PC port of Bungie Studio's Halo.

The interview delves into several interesting areas, including the working relaltionship between Bungie and Gearbox, the changes Gearbox has implemented into the game's design, and general game fan questions:

How did you feel when you knew you were going to be working on PC Halo?

Pitchford: It's really interesting, because we were talking with Microsoft about a few different things, and they said: "Hey, by the way, we're trying to do Halo on PC but we're having trouble finding the right people."

My first reaction was: "Are you kidding? Isn't that already being done? What's going on here, because I love Halo and I've been waiting for the PC version forever!" And my second reaction was: "That'd be awesome. It's a brilliant game."

Definitely an interesting read for anyone with even the slightest interest in checking out one the PC's most anticipated game. Over on our side of the fence, Westlake Interactive's Duane Johnson, Ken Cobb & Phil Sulak are keeping busy porting the fresh PC code over to our favorite platform for publishers MacSoft. With the PC version of the game due to be released in October, expectations are high that the Mac version won't be too far behind.

Click on the link below to check out the interview, and stay tuned to IMG as further information about the new game gets uncovered.

Halo PC Interview
Halo: Combat Evolved
MacSoft
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive



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21-6 Productions Updates Orbz 2.1
8:11 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Garage Games customers 21-6 Productions have recently released version 2.1 of their Torque Engine-powered golfing-type game Orbz.

According to the developers, the update "...is the culmination of all that the company has learned over the past few months about what makes games more appealing to a wider audience while continuing to support the Orbz community." The company has added additional support for lower-end video cards, incorporated a few bug fixes, and has even included additional game changes suggested by the community of Orbz fans spread across the game's three supported platforms.

"It's great to see so much enthusiasm from the Orbz community about the game", says Justin Mette President of 21-6. "We are excited to be answering that enthusiasm with an update to Orbz that responds to their top suggestions and that will hopefully continue to build upon and already thriving community."
Existing players and interested readers alike can check out the new version by downloading the 12-meg demo from their website listed below. The demo's installer will detect registered versions and transfer the registration over to the updated application.

Download Orbz 2.1
GarageGames
21-6 Productions
Orbz
Buy Orbz


Mac Games News for Monday, August 18, 2003

IMG Posts Splinter Cell First Look1:12 PM
Splinter Cell & Raven Shield Links11:25 AM
Splinter Cell and Raven Shield Announced on IMG Chat10:35 AM
Apple Ships The Power Mac G510:31 AM
Halo PC Impressions, Screens10:13 AM
Feline's Rocco Bowling on The Gamesome Mac9:31 AM
id's Carmack, Willits Talk DOOM III9:31 AM
Worms 3D Gameplay Movie Released9:31 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 18, 2003 on one page


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Friday, August 15, 2003
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