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Thursday, September 18, 2003

MacPlay To Publish JAMDAT Titles
10:25 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

MacPlay recently announced a multi-title agreement with JAMDAT Mobile Inc. The popular Mac company will be publishing the first three games in the agreement—Kasparov Chessmate, The Emperor's Mahjong, and Hard RockCasino—will be available during the fourth quarter of 2003.

Here's more from the official press release:

"The relationship with JAMDAT builds on our already strong presence in the Mac entertainment software market". said Mark Cottam, President of MacPlay. "JAMDAT produces top quality games that appeal to wide audiences and we are excited to bring them to Mac users."

"We're very pleased with the agreement with MacPlay," added Alexandre Taillefer, president of JAMDAT Canada . "MacPlay will introduce our already popular PC games to a large pool of Macintosh users starting this year for the Holiday selling season."

Kasparov Chessmate features the deep wisdom of renowned chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who offers useful hints to players of all skill levels. Gamers can tackle challenges based on historic matches, play against the computer or virtual opponents at the Kasparov Chess Club, select one of four game-length modes and track their personal game histories. In addition, players can switch between 2D and 3D views to get the best look at the action.

The Emperor's Mahjong is set in ancient China, where players participate in a quest for the six gems that will make them Emperor of China. Their goal is to master the five spheres of knowledge, as represented by mahjong boards with different themes, and win the corresponding gems. After they complete that task, they attend the Meeting of the 12 Emperors, where the final gem is up for grabs. The Emperor's Mahjong offers 72 different layouts, an editor that players can use to create their own layouts, 3 game modes, 3 difficulty levels, an online ranking system, and more.

Hard Rock Casino combines the hard-driving beat of rock music with the intensity of the most popular casino games. Players can select from tunes that span the '50s to the present day,as they go for big money in a variety of popular casino games. High-rollers gain access to rooms that feature greater stakes, and marvel as their clothing accessories change to reflect whether they are up or down in winnings.

Kasparov Chessmate and Hard Rock Casino offer multiplayer options that allow gamers to play against others over the Internet, and all three titles enable players to compare and track statistics, and review personal histories.

As a bonus, each game includes a Palm OS version Players can start a game on a computer, sync to the Palm version, and resume playing on his Palm at any time. When he wants to continue his in-progress game on his computer, he simply syncs the two versions again.

Each title will be available for $19.99 per game. We'll be sure to keep you posted on any further developments.


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IMG Reviews ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro
1:11 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

IMG has published the long awaited review of ATI's latest and greatest graphics card, the Radeon 9800 Pro. Since this editor is very tired and currently lacks a coherent train of thought, he will exercise economy of words. Here is an excerpt from the review:

The real meat of the Radeon 9800 Pro is found in the new ATI Displays control panel, which is used to control SMOOTHVISION, ATI's marketing term for full-scene anti-aliasing (both super-sample and multi-sample) and anisotropic filtering. Basically, full-scene anti-aliasing eliminates the stair-stepping effect and shimmering textures. The multi-sampling (MSAA) method is much more efficient than super-sampling (SSAA) and offers similar, if not equal, improvements to image quality. Anisotropic filtering increases the texture quality of polygons that lie at an oblique angle relative to the plane of the screen. When the two are combined, the resulting improvement to image quality in games is amazing.
The review contains benchmarks against the Radeon 8500 and 9000 Pro, as well as screenshots from various games demonstrating full-scene anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. Read the rest of the review to find out why this writer only slept for three hours.

IMG Review: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
Radeon 9800 Pro

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id's Tim Willits Talks Doom 3
11:04 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

PlanetQuake has posted an interview with id Software's Tim Willits, the lead designer of Doom 3 while at QuakeCon. The interview covers various aspects of the upcoming first-person shooter including the physics engine, level design, and more.

Here's a clip from the interview:

PQ: We've heard there's no railgun. Did you leave it out specifically to keep a more "Doom-like" experience?

TW: Well, it's actually not necessarily Doom-like, but we felt that the game is more about being in the dark with guys jumping out at you. There aren't any of these huge areas where guys are a million miles away, because that isn't very scary. So for gameplay reasons we decided "no railgun."

PQ: That brings up another question. How do you plan on keeping the fear fresh? Obviously, you can't have the player scared for 20 solid hours, but...

TW: Well there are certain things you do that are very "game-y," to appeal to the gameplayers, and then there are also suspense areas where we have long areas of the game simply building up to something. So it's not simply "every room's going to have a monster in it, and the next room's going to have a monster," but we'll get that balanced and tweaked. We have scenes that play out that have action sequences, and scenes that are gross-out sequences, so hopefully we'll have enough variation with that. Scary movies aren't scary the whole time, but they do have some cool moments.

To check out the entire interview, head over to PlanetQuake.

id Software
PlanetQuake: The QuakeCon interview with Tim Willits
Buy DOOM 3

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UbiSoft Announces Shadowbane Expansion
10:25 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

UbiSoft has announced an upcoming expansion pack for their poular MMORPG Shadowbane, developed by Wolfpak Studios. The new expansion will expand the Shadowbane universe and adds new content to enhance the gaming experience.

New features:

  • New playable race, the Nephilim half-demons with bat-like wings, horns and the ability to mask their infernal nature.
  • More than 30 adventure areas for players to explore, engage, and challenge those who dare enter: Ruins, volcanic wastes, demons of all description, and corrupted natural creatures.
  • New classes include the Doomsayer and the Sentinel:

    The Doomsayer: A priest of Chaos whose power comes from the worship of the Dark Lords. They are able to use their powers of Chaos to inflict harm and weaken opponents. Doomsayers also posses a good repertoire of heals, debuffs, and pet spells.

    The Sentinel: Stout, holy warriors who devote their lives to holding Chaos at bay and cleansing the world of its presence. Their powers are a hybrid of the Crusader and the Templar – with anti-chaos powers such as dispells, debuffs, and demon-only blasts.

  • New Disciplines include the Darksworn and the Conjurer:

    The Darksworn: Underlings dedicated to the service of the Dark Lords, who are given in turn a battery of infernal powers.

    The Conjurer: Pet discipline used to summon Chaotic entities. These creatures are pet versions adapted from the new monster content added with the expansion pack.

  • Current players who purchase the expansion pack are immediately granted a sixth character slot to use at their discretion.

  • Graphical enhancements include new environmental effects which will add to the overall ambiance.
  • The expansion is targeted to be released for the holiday season for both Mac and PC users according to the product space a the official Shadowbane site. For more information about the expansion, feel free to visit the game space or the press release. You can easily find them with help of the links provided below.

    Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos Announced
    Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos
    Wolfpack Studios

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    World of Warcraft FAQ Updated
    10:25 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    The famous game developer Blizzard Entertainment has updated their Frequently Asked Questions section for their upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft, adding content about the newly announced playable races Undead and Gnome as well as new beta information and more.

    For those interested of the Gnomes, here's a snippet:

    The eccentric, often-brilliant Gnomes, known throughout the world for their obsession with developing radical new technologies and constructing mind-bending marvels of engineering, served the alliance well during the Second War. However, during the recent invasion of the Burning Legion, the Gnomes refused to send any personnel to aid their allies. Though Gnomish designs helped turn the tide against the Legion, the Dwarves and Humans were shocked by the Gnomes' decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.
    To get more information, head over to the World of Warcraft FAQ and catch up on the new races.

    World of Warcraft has already been announced for Mac, but no release date is announced for either the Mac or PC version. Stay tuned to IMG for more information about this game to be revealed.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    World of Warcraft FAQ
    Buy World of Warcraft

    Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 17, 2003

    IMG Reviews Altec Lansing VS41211:19 PM
    A Mac Tale in the Desert Still Possible?9:51 AM
    EverQuest Fan Faire9:31 AM
    IMG Store: Warrior Kings Ships6:00 AM
    Kelly Slater, Zoo Tycoon Expansion Go Gold6:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 17, 2003 on one page

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