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Monday, September 22, 2003

The Gamesome Mac Talks with MacPlay
7:52 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

On tonight's broadcast of The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio program, hosts Sean Smith and Omaha Sternberg talk with the ever-articulate Henry Price, Director of Sales at MacPlay.

MacPlay recently shipped the eagerly-awaited Aliens vs Predator 2, and is soon to release another sequel, No One Lives Forever 2. This year, the publisher also entered into important distribution deals with Virtual Programming, Pangea Software, and GameHouse.

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 a couple of great MacPlay games.

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. QuickTime 5 or 6 and a 28 kbps or faster Internet connection are required.

The Gamesome Mac

IMG Interviews Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver
12:14 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Almost a year ago, IMG got a chance to sit down and have a conversation with Westlake Interactive’s multi-talented Brad Oliver about his work, his passions, and his pet peeves. Inside Mac Games recently had a chance to sit down with him a second time, and talk about a myriad of other topics, including life at Westlake, Apple's new G5 computers, and some of the tricks of programming for the Mac. Here's a sample:

IMG: I’m assuming that, as is the case with multi-threaded applications, special code will need to be written for programs to take advantage of the G5’s 64-bit architecture. Is that something that programmers will automatically include in game code as they port the game, or is that up to the software publishers to determine whether or not to add G5 support?

Brad: It'll really depend. The main benefit from having a 64-bit architecture comes when you need to move around and access large amounts of memory. And by large, I mean much larger than most games today need. So I think it'll be a while before we see a need to include 64-bit code in the games themselves. I'm told that the OS that ships on these boxes includes 64-bit optimized routines for essential stuff, like the system calls for moving memory around, allocating memory and the like. Beyond that, I'm hard-pressed to think of a way to enhance an existing game with special 64-bit code.

Be sure to click on the link below to check out the interview.

IMG Feature: IMG Pays Another Visit With Brad Oliver
Westlake Interactive

Aspyr Seeks Programmers for New Division
11:07 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media, in their ongoing expansion, has decided to move some of their previously outsourced porting work in-house. Under the guidance of former Westlake Interactive president Glenda Adams, Aspyr is looking to build up their own department of expert Mac programmers.

You may recall Aspyr's move into the music and DVD space earlier this year. With this new announcment, Aspyr is promising to remember it's Mac roots. Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Currently, Aspyr contracts out Mac game programming to several top developers such as Westlake Interactive, i5works and Beenox. As part of the company's expansion, they are building their own internal development team to take over some of these duties.

According to Glenda Adams, Aspyr's director of PC and Mac development, applicants for the programming positions should have experience programming games in C/C++, or have a specialization in OpenGL, Mac OS X optimization and debugging, or sound. Familiarity with DirectX and Windows APIs are a plus, since the development group's efforts will be focused on porting games from Windows to Mac.

"We want to ship even more Mac games next year, and to do that we need to expand our development efforts. By building a top notch internal Mac game development group we will be able to bring more of the best games to the Mac," said Adams.

Qualified applicants should email their resume to

If you think you might have what it takes, be sure to get your resume in now. For more recent information from Aspyr, be sure to check out IMG's recently posted "Ask Aspyr" article.

Aspyr Media
IMG Feature: Ask Aspyr - Volume 3

Click to enlarge
New Max Payne 2 Q&A, Content
9:06 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

PC gaming mega-site has posted a new Q&A with Remedy Entertainment's Petri Järvilehto, lead designer for his company's much-discussed sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.

The brief, four-question interview deals mainly with the game's physics implementation, but is of interest to fans of the game as well as aspiring game developers:

GS: How have you implemented Havok physics into the game? From what we've seen, the main use of Havok in Max Payne 2 seems to be for rag-doll death animations, which we've seen for gun kills as well as for grenades and Molotov cocktails. Is this just for visual effect, or does it play a role in the actual gameplay?

PJ: Sure, the rag dolls can be really impressive, so it's no wonder if those are the first thing that you spot. However, we've also been able to bring a huge number of other things into the physical simulation. For example, all of our dynamic objects are included into the simulation, so stuff like boxes, ladders, barrels, paint cans, pool balls, glass bottles, and so on all behave physically correct. Player interaction is also included in simulation, so bullets pass impact on to the objects in a realistic fashion, running into objects makes them move away, and you can do things like balance on top of objects, which is pretty cool in a third-person game.

The physics do have a role in the gameplay as well. For example, when you're in combat situations, taking cover behind barrels or boxes can be a good idea, but pretty soon you'll realize how the enemy bullet impacts start to topple the pile of boxes you're hiding behind. Or if a bad guy is hidden behind a wall divider, you can throw a grenade next to it and send his cover flying through the air. All weapons are also inside the physical simulation.

Gamespot has also posted exclusive new media for the upcoming game, whose PC version is expected to be released before the end of the year. At the bottom of the article, readers will find links to two short Quicktime movies demonstrating the new game's improved gameplay.

Although a Mac version of the game has yet to be officially announced, expectations are high that a Mac port of the game will be gracing our screens within a few months of the PC version's release. Stay tuned to IMG to see how this new title plays out.

Gamespot's New Max Payne 2 Q&A
Remedy Entertainment
Max Payne 2

Sixtyforce 0.7.0 Update
7:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Gerrit Goossen's freeware N64 emulator Sixtyforce has recently been bumped a version. Now listed at version 0.7.0, the latest update comes with the following fixes:

- Fixed a situation where you could get endless error dialogs
- Fixed a problem that caused sixtyforce to crash when an emulated game crashed
- Fixed many bugs in the cpu core
- Fixed a bug with the code cache that prevented a number of games from running
- Fixed a bug that caused freeze states to load incorrectly
- Fixed a bug that caused keyboard controls to not respond in fullscreen mode on OS9
Fixes to plugins, including glN64 and Mupen HLE RSP, have also been included. Those interested in downloading Sixtyforce can find it at MacGameFiles for a modest 184K download.

MGF - Sixtyforce 0.7.0

Click to enlarge
New Frozen Throne Map
7:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blizzard has recently made available a new map for the ever-popular Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne RTS expansion. Taking a 180 from Ice Forge, their previous effort, this latest map goes by the name of Hellfire and takes place in the decidedly warmer environment of the Orc homeland:

Shattered beyond repair by powerful magics, the Orc homeland is a landscape of broken dreams and despair. Only those with an iron will can overcome the armies of Hellfire.
Hellfire is designated as a small 2vs2 map using the Outland tileset. Those interested in grabbing the 127K file can find it at Blizzard's - Frozen Throne Bonus Maps
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

Mac Games News for Friday, September 19, 2003

IMG Posts Ask Aspyr - Volume 310:31 AM
Apple Features Aspyr's Law & Order Game9:40 AM
Logitech Announces Bluetooth Devices9:40 AM
New Galactica A.D. Tourney and Update9:40 AM
Phelios Releases Doulber Gold9:40 AM
Simon & Schuster To Sell Video Game Unit9:40 AM
World of Warcraft Cities Revealed9:40 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, September 19, 2003 on one page

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Thursday, September 18, 2003
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