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Wednesday, June 2, 2004

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America's Army 2.1 Released
8:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz

The Army has released the latest version of their popuplar online first-person shooter, America's Army: Special Forces 2.1. This latest release in the America's Army game series continues to focus on the critical, specialized role of the Army's Special Forces within the U.S. Army as they fight the Global War on Terrorism, but expands the scope to include Stryker vehicles, and the M136 AT4.

Here's more from the official press release:

New in this edition of America's Army is the implementation of the Karma Physics Engine. This new feature applies real life physics to all player characters in the game producing real-time unique animations for each character during gameplay. These unique animations are calculated using real life physics as well as many other factors including, the gun/bullet type used, the distance from a frag
grenade, the damage location on the body, etc..

AA:SF (SFAS) also includes the following new features and improvements:

New weapon available:
The M136 AT4 (the Army's primary light anti-tank weapon) is a recoilless rifle used primarily by Infantry Forces for engagement and defeat of light armor.

New Stryker Armored Vehicle:
This version of America's Army introduces the Army's new Interim Armored Vehicle, a.k.a. the Stryker. The Stryker vehicle is currently implemented as a stationary vehicle with a fully functioning .50 cal turret usable by the player. The Stryker turret zoom in/out keys are defaulted to the MouseWheelUp and MouseWheelDown keys, however they can be changed through the settings menu.

New RPG and AT4 3D Ironsights with Adjustable Range Settings:
Both the RPG-7 and the AT-4 have new adjustable 3D ironsights in this latest version of America's Army. These weapons both have the new functionality of 'adjustable range settings' based on the distance to target. The RPG/AT4 can be set to the following ranges: 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 meters.

New 'Tournament Mode':
This version of America's Army features new tournament mode features, which are accessible either via the command line or a GUI interface. These include an adjustable pre-match warm-up period with an in-game notification that the match is beginning. The time remaining until the
tournament start is also displayed on the score screen, as well as in-game reminders, and a final 10-second countdown.

New Tournament Squad Leader or Admin abilities:
- Restart the tournament when the tournament is over or during play
- Force the start of the tournament
- Force the start of the warm-up period
- Force the start of the tournament with a 10 second count down
- Mute a players on same team or whole team
- Place players on team
- Place players on specific fire teams in specific classes
- Set the Tournament start time

New Demo/Kiosk Mode:
New in this version of America's Army is a Demo/Kiosk mode. This 'Demo Mode' allows for the game to run demos either at the press of a button or after a customizable set time limit. This demo mode allows for the gameplay to be demonstrated without having internet connectivity. Player created demos can be used in this demo mode as well.

Two New Maps:
- SF Arctic
- SF Village

The Army has released the full version, which weighs in at an impressive 743 MB, as well as patch from 2.0.0 to 2.1 and 2.0.0a to 2.1. All are available for download from

America's Army 2.1 will be included in the upcoming Volume 2 of the MacGames DVD Subscription. Those of you with dial-up connections or who don't feel like download large files should consider a subscription to the MacGames DVD. A link with information on how to suscribe is available below.

U.S Army
Epic Games
America's Army: Special Forces 2.4
MGF: America's Army 2.1
MacGames DVD Subscription Information

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Aspyr Updates: Battlefield 1942 and Shrek 2 at FC
11:59 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Gamers eagerly anticipating some of Aspyr's latest games will be happy to hear their latest updates. Battlefield:1942, possibly one of the most anticipated fps games in recent memory is set for its June scheduled release, as it just reached final candidate status.

The game version of the recent movie hit, Shrek 2 has also reached final candidate status, and should be ready for release soon.

Also, RPGers waiting for the hit Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic has reached Alpha status, and appears to be moving along nicely in development. For more information on any of these games, follow the provided link below.

Aspyr's Game Status Page
Aspyr Media
Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
Shrek 2
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Buy Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
Buy Shrek 2
Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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New Battlefield 1942 Mac Screenshots
10:41 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr has sent along three new screenshots from the upcoming Mac version of Battlefield 1942. The game is currently in beta testing and is scheduled to be released sometime towards the end of this month. In the meantime, be sure to check out the three new screenshots, linked below.

IMG will be posting a hands-on preview of the game in the next few days. Be on the looking for it.

Aspyr Media
Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3
Buy Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition

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IMG Reviews Feral's Worms 3D
10:22 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG today has posted a review of Worms 3D, the hot new turn-based game from Feral Interactive. Here's a clip from the review:

Feral Interactive is never merely content to publish key titles ‘per se’ on the Mac platform! Whenever working with UK porting house Zonic, it is always the partnerships intention to provide Mac gamers with compelling "added value" as a reward for our patience. This release is no exception to that golden rule.

In the case of Worms 3D (alongside the development of XIII), a rare opportunity to improve the graphics arose. It was noticed that whilst playing Worms 3D that at high (or low) resolution the interface was blurred! The original Adobe Photoshop files, used during development, were leveraged to replace all the interface graphics and weapons that Feral had been given assets for. And to avoid alienating the Mac gaming community, the PC keyboard was appropriately replaced by a Mac version!

To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Worms 3D
Feral Interactive
Worms 3D
Buy Worms 3D

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Space Colony Goes Gold
8:59 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Apsyr Media has officially announced that their upcoming space park sim game Space Colony has reached Golden Master status and will be shipping on June 14.

About the game:

Save the Colony! Your staff are brawling, the Harvester Robot is chain sawing its way through the oxygen supply and small furry aliens have taken over the disco. This is home!

Each unique personality has a mind of its own so remember happy colonists make for productive colonists. Ignore them and they'll pick fights, argue, get depressed, and eventually go crazy. Nurture them and they will work hard for you, become friends and maybe even fall in love!

If you want more information about the game, you could read our preview, which you find linked below, or head over to Aspyr's mini-site for the game.

Aspyr Media
Space Colony
IMG Preview: Space Colony
Buy Space Colony

Adventure 'Inherit the Earth' for OS X
8:16 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. has recently released an OS X version of Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb. An adventure title strongly reminiscent of the Sierra titles of old, players take control of Rif of the Fox Tribe in a quest to prove himself innocent of a theft he did not commmit.

The night before the contest someone steals the wondrous Orb of Storms, an ancient relic of the Humans, and Rif is accused of being the thief. Rif is able to convince his accusers to give him a chance to find the real thief and recover the Orb. Two warriors are assigned to assist and guard Rif in his quest, Eeah of the Elk Tribe and Okk of the Boar Tribe. In addition Rhene is held hostage by the Boar King to ensure Rif does not try to escape.
Those interested in trying Inherit the Earth out can find a demo for download at Wyrmkeep's site, along with purchasing information.

Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb

Evil Genius Games Releases Celtic Mahjongg
8:16 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Evil Genius Games, makers of some interesting shareware games, have released a Mac version of their first game, entitled Rhiannon's Realm: Celtic Mahjong Solitaire. The game gives the classic game a celtic twist, giving it a completely new feel. Here's a full description of the game:

The first release by Evil Genius Games, Rhiannon's Realm is a Celtic take on the classic mahjong solitaire game. Tackle more than 65 challenging levels of stunning Celtic-themed artwork, to save the seasons of the year from an evil spell. Take your pick of 13 beautiful images to use as desktop wallpaper.
For more information, follow the link below to Evil Genius Games.

Evil Genius Games

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StarCraft Updated to 1.11b
8:16 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blizzard has once again released an update to Starcraft, the popular RTS that just won't quit. The patch, which brings SC up to 1.11b, doesn't contain any new game balances, but does address a few bugs, including some Mac-specific ones.

  • Fixed a bug that allowed SCV's to heal Marines.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Zerg to build without the need for creep.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed buildings to be stacked on top of each other.
  • Fixed a Mac bug that prevented StarEdit from running.
  • Fixed a Mac bug where background music stopped after the first piece.
Patches for both the original SC and the Brood War expansion can be found at Blizzard's site, sized at 5.8 MB and 5.9 MB, respectively. Those with Brood War need only to download the expansion patch.

StarCraft Patch Information
Blizzard Entertainment

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Updated World of Warcraft Mac Beta Specs
8:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Blizzard's Mac guru Rob Barris recently made a post to the World of Warcraft forums discussing the Mac requirements for the next version of this massively multiplayer online RPG's beta. In it, he notes the company has decided to move to OS X 10.3.4 as a minimum operating system, which will unfortunately require Jaguar 10.2.8 users to make an upgrade.

By requiring 10.3.4, Blizzard can now take advantage of new fixes and features, particularly "vertex buffer objects" (VBO). As IMG reported last week on a blog post by Aspyr's Brad Oliver, VBO is an OpenGL standard which should greatly help streamline upkeep of Mac and PC code-bases (or in Oliver's case, of porting code from the PC to the Mac).

After the next round of testing begins, we'll hopefully have more information on how the changes affect the game's performance on OS X. In addition, Barris noted in the forums the game will also need QuickTime 6.5.1 and they have updated the hardware requirements for optimal play:

-> QuickTime 6.5.1 - free update to QuickTime. This is needed for critical bug fixes that were done in the area of sound support.

The hardware requirements are not as strongly enforced, it is possible to run the game with less than these minimums though some machines will do better than others. The feedback we get from users with sub-minimum machines is likely to affect the final published min specs.

-> 512MB RAM or better
-> 64MB-VRAM GPU or better
-> 1GHz G4 or G5 processor or better

Lastly, in a separate thread, Barris also comments on adding more resolution options, with the possibility of supporting native widescreen resolutions down the road:
We expect to have a little more flexibility with display resolutions in an upcoming version. What was previously a hard coded list of resolutions has been upgraded to sense what the display and card can actually support. As you can imagine there has been no shortage of feedback on this topic.

Proper wide-screen support (16:9, 16:10 aspect ratios) is also something being considered for a future release.

Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as World of Warcraft moves through beta and towards release.

WoW Forum: Mac WoW system requirements (HW&SW)
WoW Forum: Mac Resolution Issues
IMG News: Mac OS X 10.3.4 Update to Help Games
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Alien Swarm, Mac Launcher Released9:49 AM
Closer Look at the Torque Engine9:49 AM
Mac Blades of Avernum Update9:49 AM
The Gamesome Mac Talks tranquility with TQworld9:49 AM
UT2004 Bonus Pack #2 Released9:49 AM
Virtual Grand Prix 2 Patched to v1.069:49 AM
X-Plane 7.41 Arrives9:49 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 1, 2004 on one page

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