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Thursday, May 6, 2004

Apple Bites into Worms 3D
7:47 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Apple's Games section has posted a new preview of Worms 3D, the new invertebrate action strategy game from Feral. The article gives an overview of this game, detailing its singleplayer and online features, as well as running down the wide variety of weapons and utilities in the title.

In addition, the piece also quotes original developers Team 17 about creating this latest generation of Worms game. Here's a sampling:

Fleshing out the single-player side of the game, which was not as robust as the multi-player action in previous Worms installments, was tricky, Kilburn says. “We always wanted to make the game’s AI mimic human players as accurately as possible,” he acknowledges. “The deforming landscape made this tricky, because the AI had to calculate where it could go every time a new turn started. Our AI coder spent countless hours tweaking the computer-controlled teams, in addition to noting and ironing out any problems found after several years of 2D play.”

Gamers looking for multi-player action can find that too, of course, by setting up a LAN session or heading to GameRanger to take on opponents from all over the world. Two to four teams can participate on the same landscape, which you can randomly generate by modifying such variables as the number of objects and the distance between land masses. You can also modify other settings, such as the frequency of crate drops, or use the Wormpot feature to randomly set up one of more than 10,000 different types of games.

Worms 3D is available now for pre-order from the IMG store for the new price of just $29.95.

Apple Games: Worms 3D
Feral Interactive
Worms 3D
Buy Worms 3D

Subscribe to MacGames DVD, Get IMG Pro For FREE!
11:07 AM | Tuncer Deniz

Inside Mac Games is please to announce a new bundle offer featuring the MacGames DVD and IMG Pro. Subscribe today to the MacGames DVD subscription for two years, and get IMG Pro for two years for free!. That's a savings of $39.90 off the regular IMG Pro subscription price of $19.95 per year. Plus, when you subscribe to both the MacGames DVD and IMG Pro for 2 years, you can get FOUR of the following free games:

• Max Payne
• Myth III
• Tropico
• Master of Orion III
• Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
• Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
• Return to Castle Wolfenstein
• Nascar Racing 2003
• Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force II
• Freedom Force
• Baldur's Gate II

IMG Pro is a subscriber version of the Inside Mac Games website that allows you to turn off all advertisements, customize the homepage, features a choice of themes, and a new QuickSearch feature, and download demos at blazing speeds.

The MacGames DVD Subscription is an exciting new DVD subscription service featuring the best in Macintosh game demos, shareware, updates, add-ons, trailers, cheaters, and much more. That's almost 4.7 gigs worth of Mac gaming on every DVD!

Inside Mac Games
MacGames DVD Subscription

ATI Announces, Ships Radeon X800 VPU
10:35 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

Breaking with the tradition of "paper" releases, ATI announced and began shipping graphics cards based on their latest and greatest chipset, the Radeon X800. ATI's theme for this launch revolves around HD, or or high definition gaming — Smoothvision HD, Smartshader HD, Hyper HD and Videoshader HD have all been improved upon. To start, ATI shrank the physical size of the chip to 0.13 microns, which decreases power consumption and allows the part to be clocked higher. The number of pixel pipelines and vertex processing units have been doubled to 16 and 6, respectively, resulting in the highest fill rate of any graphics card. ATI has also added a new method of anti-aliasing, called temporal anti-aliasing, which uses programmable sample patterns to achieve even better image quality than before.

ATI's flagship card, the Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition ($499), features 16 pixel pipelines, a 520 MHz core clock, and 256 MB of 560 MHz (1.12 GHz effective) GDDR3 high-speed memory. The Radeon X800 Pro has 12 pixel pipelines and has slightly slower core (400 MHz) and memory (900 MHz) clock rates, but is priced at $399.

Early reviews agree that it is faster in many of the benchmarks than NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 Ultra, but how they perform in next generation games (DOOM 3, Half-Life 2) remains to be seen.

ATI has not officially announced any Mac products based on the Radeon X800 chip, but history indicates that there is a very good possibility Mac gamers may be seeing such a product in the coming months.

For more information on the Radeon X800 and its new technologies, visit the links below.

PR: ATI revolutionizes PC gaming with introduction of RADEON™ X800
Radeon X800 Real-Time Demos
FiringSquad X800 Pro/X800 XT Review
Beyond 3D X800 Pro/X800 XT Review
Tech Report X800 Pro/X800 XT Review

Freeverse Releases BumperCar Demo
8:58 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Parents out there may be interested to hear that Freeverse Software has released a demo of their new web browser for kids, BumperCar. The award-winning web browser features a full set of parental controls, from being able to control what websites can be viewed, to controlling settings like Java and JavaScript.

The idea is that the browser provides a safer web experience for kids. Here's the full announcement of the demo:

We've just released a 30 day trial for our new children's web browser, BumperCar. The demo is not crippled in any way, but will overlay the word "Trial" upon all browser windows. Also, this demo does not include any of the full version's bundled games.

The download clocks in at 14.51 MB, and is available for OS X 10.2.8 or 10.3.X. BumperCar is available for order from the Freeverse Store or is available from fine Mac software retailers everywhere.

For more information, or to give BumperCar a try, follow the links provided below.

Freeverse Releases BumperCar Demo

ATI Displays Utility, 10.2.8 Radeon Drivers Updated
7:47 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

ATI released a minor update to the ATI Displays Utility for their retail Radeon graphics cards yesterday. Version 4.2.5 of the control panel fixes installer and permissions issues, and incorrect errors reported against the kernel extension ATITVOut.kext.

Continuing their support of Jaguar users, ATI also updated their Radeon drivers for Mac OS X 10.2.8. Low resolution performance has been improved in Quake 3: Arena and Unreal Tournament 2003, FSAA issues have been resolved in Halo, BloodRayne, and X2: Wolverine's Revenge. Issues in formZ (slow performance) and Strata 3DPro (corruption) have also been fixed.

Before installing these updates, make sure to read the included documentation.

ATI Displays Utility 4.2.5 (5.9 MB)
May 2004 Radeon Update for 10.2.8

Click to enlarge
Shadowbane Subscribers Appreciation 'Gifts'
7:47 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

As a sign of appreciation to their paying subscribers, Wolfpack Studios and Ubisoft have launched Gifts of Appreciation across all servers in their MMORPG Shadowbane. The gifts, which can be found in the player's bank account, are magical artifacts which allow the player to transform into a different shape. The power of the artifact is divided up into four tiers, and what tier the player gets depends upon how long subscription he or she has paid for.

From the official Shadowbane site:

There are four tiers of gifts that will appear throughout the worlds, and they each perform different transformations.  The gift levels are determined by the amount of time a player has subscribed to the game.

To use the gifts, open up your bank account, place the gift in your inventory. Once you activate or 'use' the gift it will turn into a ring. Once this ring is equipped, a new power will appear in your power window that will allow you to transform into something special.

For more information of the Gifts of Appreciation campaign, including information on different artifacts, follow the link provided below.

Wolfpack Studios
Chronicle of Strife: Gifts of Appreciation

Mac Games News for Wednesday, May 5, 2004

IMG Posts Knights of the Old Republic First Look10:37 AM
IMG Store: Dominions II, X-Plane, Worms 3D, Call of Duty9:40 AM
Mac Homeworld 1 Development Update8:44 AM
Nascar Racing 2003 Updated8:44 AM
'Team G5' Mac WC3, UT2004 Clan7:50 AM
Battle for Wesnoth Updated to v0.767:50 AM
Medal of Honor: HitP Mod Teasers7:50 AM
Vendetta Patch Update Details7:50 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, May 5, 2004 on one page

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Tuesday, May 4, 2004
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