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Monday, May 10, 2004

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KnightShift Enters Beta
8:02 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Virtual Programming sends word this morning that KnightShift, their upcoming fantasy game combining role-playing with real-time strategy elements, has entered into beta testing. The post gives an update on their development progress so far, as well as new screenshots from the title.

The dev team has recently integrated a major PC patch which adds many new features and addresses some concerns with the original game. Check out the post for a full run-down of what's new. Here's more from their status update:

There have been a few headaches with the use of the dialogues within the game, but they seem to have all been resolved now and it highlighted problems in the PC version, so at least the MacOS gamers won't be having those!

Most of the byte swapping issues have now been resolved so now the levels created between both PC and MacOS are now transparent when transferring them between machines (We have an Editor, in case anybody didn't know! )

Some time has been spent on optimizing to get the best performance. It also helped to detect the slow startup which was happening and which has now been corrected.

Still a few things on the to-do list, but progress is good and we are really excited about this game

Stay tuned to IMG for the latest on KnightShift as it moves through testing and towards release in the coming months.

KnightShift in Beta Testing
Virtual Programming
Buy KnightShift

IMG Previews Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
10:20 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Another day, another preview! Today IMG has posted a brand-spanking new preview of Tom Clancy's Splinter Celll. IMG's A.T. Stefansky took a recent beta of the game for a spin and has posted his findings in a hands-on preview.

Here's a clip:

Splinter Cell is a game of stealth and guile. Your skills with a pistol may be important to the mission at hand, but your foresight is absolutely critical. This is not a game where charging into a room with guns blazing away is rewarded. As a covert operative, your role is to be invisible, a ghost moving silently through forgotten passageways and swiftly striking from the shadows.
To check out the entire preview, please follow the link below.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is currently in beta and will be shipping in late May. You can pre-order the title at the IMG Store for $43.95 if you're a IMG Pro/MacGames DVD subscriber ($48.95 otherwise).

IMG Preview: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Aspyr Media
Splinter Cell
Buy Splinter Cell

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Aspyr Announces CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
9:03 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced it will be publishing the Macintosh version of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The port is being done by Christian Jensen of EPCConnect and is due for completion late this summer.

Here's a bit more info on the game:

A murdered woman…a slain police officer…a mysterious arson case. What do these crimes have in common? Enter the gritty world of CSI and search for the truth with Grissom, Catherine, and the entire Crime Scene Investigation team. Armed with high-powered forensic equipment and razor-sharp wits, delve deeply into the mysteries of 5 baffling crime scenes to reveal the truth. Don't just watch the action. Live it!

• Join the CSI Team: Become a full-fledged Crime Scene Investigator and join forces with Grissom, Catherine, and the entire CSI cast.
• Master the CSI Tools: Use an arsenal of forensic equipment, including fingerprint dusters, UV lights, casting kits, and much more to break down crime scenes with ultimate precision and skill.
• Crack the Crimes: Piece together the shocking truth behind 5 baffling crimes, using forensic skills, puzzle-solving prowess, and unflinching nerves.
• True CSI: Live the total CSI experience with real music, atmosphere, and locations from the primetime TV smash-hit CSI.

For more information on the game, head over to Aspyr's official web site.

Aspyr Media
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Buy CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

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Aspyr Ships Call of Duty
8:51 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media today announced that is has begun shipping Call of Duty, the award-winning first perspon shooter set in WW II. According to Aspyr, the game is expected in retail and online stores on May 14th.

Here's more from the official press release:

Call of Duty was brought to the Mac by Aspyr’s internal development team, Aspyr Studios, and is licensed by Activision, Inc. Originally developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty has received tremendous critical acclaim since its PC release in October 2003, having earned more than 50 Editors’ Choice awards and 70 Game of the Year honors. Both The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and the U.K.’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded Call of Duty the Overall Game of the Year. Gamespy echoed those sentiments, describing Call of Duty as “the best WWII shooter ever.”

Call of Duty thrusts players to the front lines of combat, delivering the cinematic intensity and chaos of battle, transporting gamers into a gripping, movie-like World War II combat experience. Gamers take the roles of ordinary soldiers, fighting together as a squad through multiple Allied perspectives, as American, British and Russian troops. Featuring scores of soldiers and incredible special effects, players take on the massive Nazi war machine through epic assaults across 24 devastating single player missions. Call of Duty also delivers heart-pounding team-based multiplayer action online for harrowing Axis versus Allies combat.

Call of Duty is rated "T" for Teen (TEEN – blood and violence) by the ESRB and is available for preorder at the IMG Store for $48.99 (or $44.99 for MacGames DVD/IMG Pro subscribers).

Aspyr Media
Call of Duty
Buy Call of Duty

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Vendetta Site Redesign
8:44 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Guild Software, makers of Vendetta, a MMORPG engine testing game, recently redesigned their website. For those not familiar with Vendetta, it’s a freely available space-based MMORPG, available for Mac/Linux/PC. Here's a full description :

The Vendetta Test is a multiplayer online space role-playing game, currently under production by Guild Software. Vendetta delivers a unique fast-paced space combat experience in a rich online world. Protect your home territory against enemy incursions, build your fortune by running goods through dangerous territory, or sell your servies as a mercenary. In an ever-expanding universe, opportunities wait around every corner.
For more information, or to try out the game, follow the links provided below.

Guild Software
Vendetta Online

Norbyte Releases Bloxter
8:38 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Norbyte, a shareware game maker, has released their newest game, entitled Bloxter. A mix between Tetris and the classic Sega game columns, the game mixes puzzle goodness with a bit of arcade action. Here are the features of the game:

-Stunning 3D graphics.
-30 different boards, ranging from simple but fun designs to arcade-like boards with alien monsters and bonuses.
-Easy to learn (gameplay somewhat similar to games like Columns from Sega and Tetris from The Tetris Company).
-Hard to master, since every board requires different tactics and skills.
-Import/export highscores.
-OpenGL support
For more information, or to give the game a try, follow the link provided below.

Norbyte Releases Bloxter

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EV: Nova Updated to 1.0.8
8:37 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The latest version of Ambrosia's hit space shooter/RPG, Escape Velocity: Nova is now available. This newest patch not only makes fixes to the game engine itself, it also makes a number of changes to scenarios in the game. Here's a partial list of fixes:

Engine changes:

- fixed problem that would cause player to be ionized by faraway weapon
- fixed problem that would cause planetary defense ships to ignore
player's fighters
- fixed problem that would cause certain beams to do too much damage
- ionization is now applied to all ships within a weapon's blast radius
- fixed behavior of weap resource Flags2 field 0x0020 flag
- fixed behavior of govt resource ShipColor field
- fixed behavior of outfit window when buying multiple items with zero
- fixed problem that would cause a crash when refusing certain missions

To download the patch, head on over to Ambrosia's website, linked below.

EV: Nova Updated to 1.0.8
Ambrosia Software
Escape Velocity: Nova

Make-a-Wish Foundation - 'Ben's Game' Released
8:36 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Make-a-Wish Foundation, an organization that makes wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses, is currently sponsoring the development of a game. Being developed by Eric Johnston of LucasArts, Ben's Game, as the program is known, features Ben Duskin, a nine-year-old in remission from Leukemia who's wish is to design a computer game helpful to kids with cancer.

"The initial response was overwhelmingly pessimistic" said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director. "People told us this venture was nearly impossible without taking several years and literally millions of dollars." A hero stepped forward: Eric Johnston, and his employer LucasArts fully supported his efforts. Not only did Eric want to make Ben's wish a reality, he planned to involve Ben in every step of the process. For months, Ben and Eric have been meeting on a regular basis to make the game just as Ben envisioned it.
Ben's Game is currently in beta format, and is available for both the Mac and PC. Those interested in trying it out can download it from the official Ben's Game site.

Ben's Game - Make-a-Wish

SuperSpriteSurface - New 2D OpenGL Game Engine
8:36 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Beginning game developers interested in trying their hand at 2D may be interested in a project currently being developed by Tinrocket. Named SuperSpriteSurface, the tool is a game and animation kit for REALbasic developers. Using OpenGL 2D to take advantage of GPUs, SuperSprite's features include Collision Detection, an Animation Controller, and Multiple Sprite Types.

SuperSpriteTile offers similar functionality to the PaintTile event in the REALbasic SpriteSurface control: it lets you seamlessly tile small images, allowing you to create huge backdrops from a few source images. Because SuperSpriteTile is a SuperSprite subclass it may be transformed: moved, scaled & rotated, like any other SuperSprite object. You can also layer multiple SuperSpriteTile objects to create parallax scrolling effects!
Examples of SuperSprite at work can be seen at its official website. It currently supports Realbasic 5.x and higher, and interested users can run the unregistered program in demo mode to see its capabilities.

Tinrocket - SuperSpriteSurface

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Blizzard Releases Warcraft III 'Gold Rush' Map
8:36 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Blizzard, on a hot streak as far as releasing Warcraft III bonus maps, continued the trend with yet another bonus map. Entitled Gold Rush, the aptly named 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 map contains scads of Gold for the taking:

This land is shot with veins of gold, gleaming with the promise of wealth and power. Don't be lured into complacency. Expand early and often, or you cannot hope to achieve greatness.
To download the map, follow the links below.

Blizzard Hits Warcraft III 'Gold Rush' Map
Blizzard Entertainment
WarCraft III
Buy WarCraft III

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Myth World Cup '04
8:35 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Email this morning gives word the Myth World Cup '04 is upon us. A huge tournament for Myth 2 teams, the event promises to provide Myth fans with the chance to win up to $1,000. Here are the full details:

MWC time!
Good to see you all here! Don't hesitate to register your team for this year's mwc! The registration form is on the site. The registration will stay open for 20 days. We'll see if extended period is needed, but it will remain open 20 days for now. Go ahead and stop by at the forums if you have any questions. The forums, like the site, are pretty nicely done this year as you can see.

And yes, it's true what you heard about the 1000$ grand prize! Don't forget to check out the other prizes we have.

Now let's make this tournament a good one! Let the carnage begin!

For more information, or to register your team, follow the link provided below.

Myth World Cup '04
Bungie Studios
Myth II: Soulblighter

Mac Games News for Friday, May 7, 2004

C&C: Generals Giveaway Winners, New UT 2004 Giveaway2:11 PM
IMG Previews Black Hawk Down12:25 PM
Feral Friday: XIII Gold, Worms 3D Shipping Next Week9:54 AM
GameRanger 4.0 Released8:50 AM
Custer's Confidential Creation8:03 AM
Ford Racing 2 for OS X8:03 AM
Freeverse Mother's Day Sale8:03 AM
Fulcrum's Fall in Development8:03 AM
MacBroadcast LLC acquires MacRadio8:03 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 7, 2004 on one page

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