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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

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Blizzard Sends WoW Phase 3 Invites
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

With the third official beta phase of their massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft now underway, Blizzard has announced they are sending out another round of invitations for new testers. They remind those who submitted applications to ensure their junk mail filters aren't too overzealous and to be on the lookout for notices.

They also give hope for those who weren't selected in this round with a reminder about the impending open beta:

If you don’t hear from us for this phase, please note that there will be additional phases with more testers added in the weeks and months ahead. In addition to that, we will eventually be holding an Open Beta Test as well, during which many more people will have a chance to try out World of Warcraft prior to launch!
In related news, those looking to start up a fan site for the title now have access to a Blizzard-approved fan site kit. It includes a great amount of artwork and logos to help get a site started and looking professional, and can be downloaded now.

Blizzard has no official release date yet for World of Warcraft, but testing continues for both Mac OS X and Windows. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as the game heads towards a public release.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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IMG Store: Space Colony Now Available
1:44 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The IMG Store has begun shipping Aspyr's latest game, Space Colony. Building on the idea behind the wildly popular Sims’ series, Space Colony adds a new dimension to people simulation and building strategy games. Not only must you create a successful space colony by harvesting space resources and fending off manic aliens, but you also must baby-sit your team of outer space misfits. Players lead dysfunctional crews through a series of unique missions to build a functioning space colony.

Colonies begin very simply, with bio-domes, food synthesizers, ATM machines that dispense workers’ paychecks, recreation facilities or maintenance tools. As players move through the 24 levels, missions grow increasingly difficult – defending your stations from any number of crazed aliens, opening up tourist destinations to make your colony profitable, and, most importantly, keeping your crew under control so that they don’t kill one another.

The game is available for order through the IMG Store for $29.99

Aspyr Media
Space Colony
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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Enters Beta
1:24 PM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a realistic crime-solving simulation from Aspyr Media, has successfully reached beta status and is expected to ship sometime in July. The game will allow players to assume the role of a top criminologist, working alongside the cast of CBS's hit show CSI.

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!
For more information on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, you can visit the game's homepage at Aspyr's website.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Aspyr Media
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UT2004 Mod Air Buccaneers Updated
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Another creative modification for Unreal Tournament 2004 called Air Buccaneers has been recently updated. This total conversion brings the action of UT2004 off the ground and into the realm of hot air balloons and cannons.

The newest 4.1 version fixes a number of issues with the 4.0 release and is a recommended download for those who have played the mod. For more about Air Buccaneers, here's a clip from their site:

[Air Buccaneers] contains a new multiplayer game type with hot air balloons, cannons, airmines and various other pseudo ancient gadgets. The game is a compelling combination of graceful air ballet, fierce pirate-like action and 3D tactical manouvering. AirBuccaneers is targeted for novice 3D gamers, but offers plenty of challenge for veteran team players as well.

The game is designed for Internet/LAN multiplayer games but can be also practiced offline by using bots as opponents.

The game contains:

  • New multiplayer type containing intense and strategic hot air balloon fights
  • New player models, weapons, graphics and sounds to complete the unique atmosphere
  • Seven maps with different game types: HarbourRain (Domination), Harbour (Treasure Hunt), LakeInari (Team DeathMatch), Louhenkota (Moving Domination), OldForest (Team DeathMatch), Ruins (Team DeathMatch), Swamp (Treasure Hunt) and Tower (Domination)
  • Original and highly unique content with special thematic atmosphere
  • Genre mix (airwar, tactical vehicle ops and "sea" battles)
  • Simple control interface (action button, jump, walk, strafe, turn, throw weapon", F1 for stats)
  • The download for Air Buccaneers weighs in at nearly 170MB, so if you have the broadband to give the mod a try, head over to their site now.

    Air Buccaneers
    Digital Extremes
    Epic Games
    Unreal Tournament 2004
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    Shadowbane Patch Today; v3.0 Testing Soon
    7:56 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Players of Shadowbane should expect an update to the Live servers today during their restarts. The update, which has gone through successful testing, includes the following changes:

    • Experience gained per kill will be permanently increased
    • Fixed an issue where a player would die while running, causing their corpse not to stop it's motion until a person clicked respawn
    • The rate at which creatures (non-player characters) dodge attacks will be reduced
    • The amount of gold required to refine training points will be reduced
    • The level cap on Safeholds (on the mainland) will be increased to Level 49
    • PvP Kill Messages will now be broadcast to the guild of the individual who was victorious (example: Ashen Temper has killed Gimpli of Nurfed)
    • Fixed an issue with crashing while in flight Fixed a server crash
    In related news, further testing of the Secrets of Power 3.0 launch is underway, and will require the wiping of the test server on this upcoming Thursday. Following the wipe, version 2.75 will be added to the server, which will be followed by v3.0 in the next week or so.

    More details on the upcoming 3.0 patch can be found at the official Shadowbane site.

    Shadowbane News
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos

    Bannister Updates All Emulators
    7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

    Richard Bannister, creator and maintainer of numerous game system emulators, has recently released an update affecting all 25 of his programs. Some major tinkering under the hood of these has led to many improvements across the board.
    Here's a partial list of the changes:

    • Quick
    • Screenshot now saves files on the desktop.
    • Added the ability to pause emulation when the active user is switched.
    • Improved support for Macs with more than one monitor.
    • Separated Blitter module (see "Developer" above) and added some new Altivec blitter code for the most common effects. In most cases this is significantly faster on G4/G5 machines. (The old code is still available too for G3 users).
    • Further performance enhancements in OpenGL code.
    • (Emulator Enhancer) Support for network play in some emulators. This feature should be considered preliminary at this time.
    • (Emulator Enhancer) Added support for Reverb and EQ Audio Units. Thanks to Snes9x Custom for the idea.

    Bannister is hard at work on updating the base emulator shell behind these, and while the shell API won't be released for others to use for a while yet, he has released the source to his suite of blitters. Developers curious to get a look behind them can head over to Bannister's site now and download the open-sourced LPGL package. News

    Mac Games News for Monday, June 21, 2004

    One on One With Aspyr's Glenda Adams12:47 PM
    Freeverse to Showcase Bumpercar at NECC10:36 AM
    Take a Sneak Peak at Upcoming Mac Games10:27 AM
    Frozen Throne Tournament at Clan Tournament10:12 AM
    Aspyr Releases Call of Duty 1.4b2 Patch9:43 AM
    First World of Warcraft PvP Raid9:19 AM
    Warcraft III Ladders to be Updated9:19 AM
    Aspyr Ships James Bond 007: Nightfire9:14 AM
    Giga Designs Debuts 1.5 GHz Upgrade for G4 Cube9:14 AM
    Unreal Tournament v3236 Patch for Mac Released9:14 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 21, 2004 on one page

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