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Friday, September 12, 2003

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Northland Demo Due Today
9:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

A demo of e.p.i.c. Interactive's strategy game, Northland, is scheduled to be released sometime today on Northland, which recently was published for the PC, tells the story of Bjarni the Viking. The story begins where the plot of "Cultures 2 - The Gates of Asgard" ended.

Here's a bit more info on the game's plot and features:

After perilous adventures our four heroes defeated the Midgard serpent and thus saved the world. A great celebration began and everyone was happy and content.

But only a very short time later the peace was disturbed by a call for help from their friend Hatschi. Hatschi's homeland was plagued by mysterious monstrous serpent creatures, which spread chaos and destruction through the country. Without hesitation Bjarni and Crya hurried to help him and stumbled right into a new adventure, in which the sly god Loki will play an important role...

Northland features:
• Stand-alone Adventure Strategy game.
• Single player campaign with 8 missions including several sub missions.
• The exciting plots tells the story of Viking God Loki who tried to take revenge on Godfather Odin for his banishment from Asgard to Earth. For that he abuses our four human heroes with his intrigues and traps.
• 8 additional free single player missions (non campaign).
• 3 difficulty levels to make the game fun for everybody from beginners to experts.
• Special effects like weather effects, fog, ghost units etc.
• Based on the enhanced technology of "Cultures 2 - The Gates of Asgard"; enhanced AI.

Macintosh System Requirements
• Min.: G3/350 Mhz, MacOS X or MacOS 9.x, 192 MB (OSX 128 MB) RAM
• Rec.: G4/700, MacOS 10.2.x, 256 MB RAM

Be sure to stay tuned to IMG as well be posting links to the demo as soon as it becomes available.


Ambrosia Unveils New Online Store
10:30 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Ambrosia Software, publishers of extremely popular shareware games such as Escape Velocity: Nova and Uplink have unveiled a new and improved online store that allows users to get their license codes within seconds once they pay.

Here's more from the official PR:

Ambrosia has spent the last year researching techniques to not only clone monkeys, but also to teach them to process orders, and even touch type at almost 120 words per minute!! We are now proud to unveil the fruits of our labour, a new monkey-powered online store, delivering instant license codes!

Ambrosia's friendly trained monkeys will process your online orders so
fast you'd think that your invoice and license codes have been emailed
to you automatically. The brainchild of Ambrosia's el Presidente,
Andrew Welch, the store includes a revamped, easy to use interface,
enabling you to get those products into your shopping basket with ease.

In addition, if you have lost your license codes to any Ambrosia
products you've purchased, we've trained another breed of monkeys to
use our database to look them up for you instantly. We're able to
achieve this blinding speed by feeding our simian friends with a
specially concocted blend of caffeine, ephedrine, and banana leaves.

To check out the new online store, please follow the link below.

Ambrosia Software
Ambrosia's Store

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IGN Posts New Warren Spector Q&A
9:42 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Following yesterday's article regarding a hands-on preview of the highly-anticipated sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War, we thought you might want to know that fellow gaming website IGN has also posted a new Q&A article with Ion Storm's Studio Director Warren Spector.

Despite the increased internet publicity regarding the upcoming release of Spector's latest project, the four page interview with one of the gaming industry's illustrious forefathers hardly touches on the new game, choosing instead to focus on game development issues, innovation in gaming, and Warren's outlook on the future:

IGN: Deus Ex is known for its open-ended gameplay where the player makes the majority of decisions. Do you feel that games in general should head this direction, or is there still room for tight, scripted gameplay?

WS:You know, when I talk about game design and game development, I tend to get a bit soapboxy. I get up on my soapbox and I start preaching. And that's often mistaken for, "Warren thinks all games should be like this." And I don't believe that.

I'll be honest with you. Most of the games I want to play are like this. My friend and colleague Doug Church, and other folks from Looking Glass, and folks at Ion Storm, and some people at Origin, and I have been screaming for ten years for a kind of game that is richer and more compelling and more player-driven than most games. And we were screaming into the wind, and no one was listening. "Oh, that's not mass market." "Oh, we don't want to do that. We just want to make shooters." And over the last couple of years, it's been great. Deus Ex wins a lot of awards, gets a lot of praise, and sells better than anything I've been associated with. Okay, that's pretty good.

Grand Theft Auto 3. GTA 3. Holy cow. [GTA 3] takes that sandbox, freeform gameplay model and just takes it to a whole new level, and all of the sudden, "Hey, maybe this is mass market. Hmm." Knights of the Old Republic. Knights of the Old Republic is almost stunningly Deus Ex-like. It's like Deus Ex meets Ultima in the Star Wars universe. It's really cool, you know? All of the sudden, you look at the sales charts and hey, what's the best-selling Xbox game out there? Hmm… All of the sudden, it's like people are waking up, and that's really gratifying. So I think there are a lot more people who see the possibilities, players that see the possibilities, and they want this type of gameplay. So I think you're going to see more of it, and that's great. Do I think all games should be like that? No.

Deus Ex fans and anyone else who's enjoyed Warren's work should check out the article. The PC and Xbox versions of the sequel are expected to be available for the Xmas season, and many of us here at IMG expect to be seeing a Mac version hit our retail channels eventually. Stay tunes to IMG as more news gets revealed.

Warren Spector Q&A

IGN's Q&A with Warren Spector
Ion Storm
Deus Ex 2: Invisible War

iDevGames Posts New Shareware Postmortem
9:42 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

iDevGames has posted a postmortem on Radical Rebound. Written by the author of the game itself, the postmortem approaches things from a first-time perspective, outlining the creation of a shareware title from a newcomer's standpoint.

As with many first games, my own project wasn't so worthy of public distribution, but the process proved to be a great learning experience. I was really amazed at how enjoyable game programming was — much better than game playing! My mind was constantly filled with thoughts on how to add to my games; moving sprites, creating power-ups, and adding polish. The first days of programming are really fantastic and you will find yourself thinking of algorithms to solve various problems all day long. I recommend that all gamers or application developers spend 15 days of game programming!
The piece also goes into the development history, including dealing with user feedback, tools used, and version progress. Aspiring shareware game authors in particular should find the article informative.

iDevGames - Radical Rebound Postmortem

Worms3D Hands-on
9:42 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Computer and Video Games recently got their hands on the latest build of Worms 3D, and have posted their impressions online. A warfare strategy title involving worms, Worms 3D is the latest incarnation in the Worms series and is the first inclusive title to make the jump to 3D.

While Worms 3D seems to maintain most of the weapons and gameplay aspects of its predecessors, C&VG notes that one of the more impressive additions, thanks to the new 3D aspect, is that of a first-person perspective. Not only does this allow for easier targeting, but it also allows one to follow a fired projectile, which in turn allows for the viewing of a worm's subsequent demise.

Also noted is the adaptation of certain attacks to 3D:

Surprisingly, something like the Air Strike attack, which we thought would suffer from the change of dimension, actually works really well, and the 3D graphics engine also allows for the rather nice introduction of an aeroplane gracefully gliding over the battlefield and dropping its payload onto the ground below.
The write-up also discusses some current issues and is accompanied by a host of screenshots. A Mac version has been confirmed by Team 17, though a release date has yet to be announced.

C&VG - Hands on: Worms 3D
Feral Interactive
Worms 3D
Buy Worms 3D

Mac Games News for Thursday, September 11, 2003

IMG Posts Shadowbane Review3:23 PM
Freeverse Outlines Fall Line-Up11:12 AM
Apple Features NOLF 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way10:09 AM
Deus Ex: Invisible War Hands-On Posted10:09 AM
MacPlay Newsletter Released8:31 AM
New PC Halo Q&A Posted8:31 AM
Peter Tamte Talks Mac Halo8:31 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, September 11, 2003 on one page

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
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