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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

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Combat Mission: Afrika Korps Q&A posted
7:11 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

GameGossip has posted a Q&A session with Martin van Balkom from Battlefront, discussing their upcoming strategy game Combat Mission: Afrika Korps. The game is the third title in the award-winning Combat Mission series.

Keeping the previous titles' impressive realism thanks to exhaustive historical and technical research, this latest installment of the series will take us to the often overlooked Mediterranean theatre of the Second World War, from the burning sands of Africa to the sunny hills of Italy.

Here's a snippet from the article:

Below the visual surface of the game lies an extremely detailed armor penetration, ballistics, small arms fire and line of sight model that we're very proud of - real life physics really. If an anti-tank projectile penetrates, bounces off, shatters, how much damage it does and so on - are all features tracked based on algorithms derived from the most recent real world information available. No hit points, no health bars. All uniforms, even each nation's voices, all vehicles and equipment are modelled in utmost detail, visually as well as in game (and battle) performance. Engine horsepower, ground pressure, turret pivot speeds, forward and reverse speeds on various surfaces, muzzle velocity, even the amount of high explosive materials contained in each type of projectile…
To read the full article, follow the link provided below.

Combat Mission: Afrika Korps is being developed for Macintosh computers and will run on OS 9 when it is done later this year. Unfortunately the game will not run under OS X, since the graphics engine's rendering system, Rave3D, is not supported in this OS.
Combat Mission: Afrika Korps
GameGossip: Combat Mission: Afrika Korps Q&A
Buy Combat Mission: Afrika Korps

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Activision Anthology Remix Comes To Mac & PC
2:27 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

80's console fans rejoice - Mac gaming developers MumboJumbo have just announced that they will be bringing Activision's retro throwback title Activision Anthology: Remix Edition to a screen near you.

Placing players in an 80's style teenager bedroom, complete with a wood paneled TV and an impressive 80's soundtrack, Activision Anthology: Remix Edition gives players access to over 75 top Atari 2600 titles, from Pitfall, Kaboom!, Barnstorming, Chopper Command, Freeway, Megamania, and many more.

The Mac and PC version includes an additional 30 Atari titles that are not available on the Playstation 2 version fo the game, and features an additional 15 gameplay modes, such as Ricochet, Cube and Swirl mode, for players wanting an additional challenge.

The game will also feature an impressive collection of "classic" 80's tunes from rockers such as Twisted Sister and Blondi, among others. Depending on where your taste in music lies, this may or may not be a selling point!

The Mac version of the game will retail for $29.99 USD. Click on the link below for additional information regarding the title, and a complete list of all the Atari games included in the title. While the PC version of the game is expected to be on store shelves for the beginning of October, MacPlay is currently taking pre-orders for the Mac version, which should be released soon after. Please note that currently on the information page, only the PC system requirements have been listed. The minimum Macintosh system requirements will be updated soon.

Activision Anthology: Remix Edition
Buy Activision Anthology: Remix Edition

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New Halo Interview With Phil Sulak
2:08 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

The good folks over at Halo.Bungie.Org have posted a very informative Q&A with Westlake Interactive president Phil Sulak regarding his company's port of MacSoft's upcoming first person shooter Halo.

The interview spans a range of new questions and topics not covered in any of the other Mac Halo interviews published to date, with the bulk of the questions centred around the difficulties Westlake encountered bringing the port over:

HBO: How challenging has it been to work on code that's passed through two sets of programmers (Bungie and Gearbox) before getting to you? Is it easier or harder than the typical game port, which only has one team in front of you?

PS: The fact that the code's been through multiple development houses really hasn't been that big of a factor. We actually see this all the time with Quake and Unreal engine-based games such as Jedi II, Medal of Honor, and Harry Potter.

The chief problem has been writing the Mac code simultaneously while Gearbox develops the PC version. Simultaneous development is always very, very difficult. In the past, we had problems with Unreal, Falcon 4.0, and a few other simultaneously-developed games. Halo has been no different. If you ask anyone at Westlake, they'll probably say that co-development is the single most difficult and costly thing to pull off with a port. That's why only a few groups do it (most notably Blizzard, though their Mac guys are "in house" which is quite different from being offsite like we are). Trying to modify PC code that's changing on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis is an extremely frustrating experience.

The thorough article is definitely worth a peak from anybody who's interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Halo port, as well as eager fans of the game who need something to tide them over to the game's release.

Click on the link below to get to the interview. As indicated in the article, Westlake is working on the final version of the PC code, and should make short work of moving the game from it's current Alpha stage to Final Candidate. Stay tuned to IMG as further news regarding this exciting title develops. Players interested in the game should also head over to the IMG Store and pre-order a copy of this long-awaited title.

Halo.Bungie.Org: New Phil Sulak Interview
Halo: Combat Evolved
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive

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IMG Reviews Nascar Racing 2003
10:28 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Nascar Racing 2003, the latest racing sim from Aspyr Media. Here's a clip from the review:

With NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, Aspyr Media is hoping to bring a little of this racing excitement to a Mac near you -- sans the life-threatening injuries. This is actually the second NASCAR title from the company to be released in the past year, and though it's run on the PC side has been almost uncontested, it's rumored to be the last in the series from original developer Papyrus.
Into racing games? Be sure to check out the entire review by following the link below.

IMG Review: Nascar Racing 2003
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Nascar Racing 2003
Buy Nascar Racing 2003

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e.p.i.c. interactive Ships Northland
10:13 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Funatics Software and e.p.i.c. interactive entertainment today announced that their latest real-time strategy game, Northland, has begun shipping.

Here's more from the official PR:

Northland, which only very recently has been 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. 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.

Northland's system requirements are as follows:

• 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

Northland for the Mac can be ordered directly from e.p.i.c's online shop for EUR 39,99.


DOOM 3 Deluge
9:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The DOOM 3 interview at Computer and Video Games we reported on earlier today seems to have opened the media floodgates, and there are now many new hands-on previews and interviews providing information on this next-gen shooter from id Software.

One of the most interesting new articles might be the singleplayer preview at GameSpot, written after getting a hands-on look at the game. They talk about the monsters and environments of the first few levels they were shown. Here's a clip:

What we've seen of Doom 3's single-player, so far, seems extremely impressive. Its graphics are nothing short of amazing, and the game sounds fantastic as well. What's more, while Doom 3 might have previously seemed like a rather straightforward shooter, it actually seems to have a number of interesting additional gameplay elements that directly affect the game. We earnestly hope that the rest of the single-player game can be as consistently atmospheric, good-looking, and as exciting as what we've seen so far.
Two other previews have been posted at GameSpy and GameArena, who have also talked to Tim Willits and Todd Hollenshead about the title. Fans should be sure to check out these articles as well for much more on the game.

GameSpot Singleplayer Preview of DOOM 3
GameSpy DOOM 3 Preview
GameArena DOOM 3 Preview
GameArena DOOM 3 Interview
id Software
Buy DOOM 3

Dominons 2 Coming to Mac
7:11 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Illwinter Design Group and Shrapnel Games have announced a partnership involving a sequel to Illwinter's underground strategy title Dominion. Titled Dominons 2: The Ascension Wars, the game incorporates fantasy turn-based strategy and leans heavily towards multiplayer.

Deep doesn't even begin to describe Dominions 2 gameplay yet the object of the game is fairly simple. You're a god, but you're not the supreme god, and well, you sure in Vahalla want to be the big cheese in the sky. So what's a god to do? Send in the Krishnas? Direct mailers? No, you raise up some armies and start kicking the other gods arses until you're king of the hill. Of course doing such entails more than sending a stack over to your opponent to call down the pain on his warriors' heads.
In keeping with the fantasy god theme, Dominions 2 will allow players to build armies, hire mercenaries, forge mystical items, assassinate enemy leaders, reanimate corpses, and so forth. The spellbook alone is touted as being 88 pages long.

Dominions 2 is currently being developed for Mac OS, Windows, Solaris, and Linux. Currently listed as being in late beta, Shrapnel expects this title to be released sometime around late October. Those interested in pre-ordering, screenshots or more information can find it at Shrapnel's site.

Shrapnel Games - Dominion 2: The Ascension Wars

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New WWIIOnline Beta Info
7:11 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The makers of the hit Massively Multiplayer Online FPS, World War II Online recently posted some info on an upcoming patch to the game. The patch, which the announcement claims is nearing completion, will include a number of new features, along with some new plane models. Here's a snippet from the announcement:

This week we have placed what we believe to be the final version of our plane damage audit into beta. The purpose of this audit is to give the air war of WWIIOL a more realistic feel. We have felt for some time, as many of you have, that the resiliency of aircraft to damage has been to high. This audit attempts to reconcile the historical reporting and the feel of the game with respect to damage levels for aircraft. The end results are that initial stages of damage to flight surfaces are more consistent with the historical anecdotal and non-anecdotal records. Planes will now have a greater level of fidelity in the onset of flight surface degradation while retaining appropriate catastrophic damage levels. In essence, you will have better “feel” about the condition of your aircraft and your ability to continue the fight before the onset of catastrophic damage, such as the loss of a wing. This is of paramount importance as we begin to introduce the visible portion of our damage model with future releases. Visible Damage for twin-engine aircraft is slated to be the first set of releases for this feature but is not expected for the release of v1.10.
For more information on World War II Online, or to read the full announcement, follow the link below.

New WWIIOnline Beta info
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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DOOM 3 Interview
7:11 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Computer and Video Games recently got an eyeful of Doom III, the highly anticipated upcoming FPS by id. While details have been somewhat slow in coming, C&VG has managed to dig up some backstory as well as other choice bits of data.

Listed in the feature is a sequence in Doom III, starting with a Marine getting separated from his squad inside a dimly lit space station:

The marine happened upon bloody corpses of spacestation workers, and various unpleasant creatures, like zombie commandoes and imps. But one gobsmackingly detailed creature deserves a special mention - a complete reimagining of the "Pinkie" of the original games, it's harder to imagine a more wondrously detailed, wonderfully hideous creature this side of Half-Life 2 (and one that's surely deserving of a less effeminate name than "Pinkie").
Also remarked on was the multiplayer aspect, which id acknowledges as not being the main focus of the game. Nevertheless, one of the features multiplayer will boast is the ability to utilize dynamic lighting effects, such as turning off a switch, waiting in the corner of a pitch black room, and fragging the next person who comes along to turn the lights back on.

As far as a release date goes, though nothing is set in stone, id notes that it doesn't plan on being done by the end of the year. However, they add that they'll be sure to let the public know once a date solidifies.

C&VG - Doom 3: id Speaks Out - New Screens!
id Software
Buy DOOM 3

Mac Games News for Monday, September 22, 2003

IMG Interviews Westlake Interactive's Brad Oliver12:14 PM
Aspyr Seeks Programmers for New Division11:07 AM
New Max Payne 2 Q&A, Content9:06 AM
New Frozen Throne Map7:52 AM
Sixtyforce 0.7.0 Update7:52 AM
The Gamesome Mac Talks with MacPlay7:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 22, 2003 on one page

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Friday, September 19, 2003
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