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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Aspyr Posts August Newsletter
8:20 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Aspyr Media recently published their August newsletter that includes a number of development and product updates on games such as Sim City 4: Rush Hour and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and more. In addition, the newsletter has information on "Game Nights" at several Apple stores around the country.

Here's a clip from the newsletter:

Our main internal development efforts going into August are on Simcity 4: Rush Hour and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Rush Hour is an expansion to the popular SimCity 4, and we've been working hard to make the game perform better and add a few Mac specific extras. For instance, we've added an easier way to turn on the original game's built-in 'windowed' mode, so you can play and still switch out to check your mail. In addition, you'll be able to select your favorite iTunes playlist to use as background music for Rush Hour.

We are also looking into bringing the SimCity 4 Lot Editor tool to the Mac, which would allow you to edit and create your own lots for use in SimCity 4 or Rush Hour. The Lot Editor lets you customize ground textures, place props, add buildings and change names for lots used in the game. Things look promising so far for the Mac Lot Editor, and if everything works out it will be released as a free download!

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is also getting our final development polish. This game has been an interesting technical challenge, as it uses several very advanced OpenGL features to achieve its spectacular graphics. We are relying on Apple's latest Mac OS X OpenGL technology to get the best performance possible on both nVidia and ATI video cards, and think gamers will be very impressed. Apple often includes enhancements to OpenGL in even minor OS X updates (like from 10.3.3 to 10.3.4), so it is a good idea to keep your version of OS X updated to get the best gameplay.

To check out the entire newsletter, be sure to follow the link below

Aspyr Media
Aspyr Newsletter

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IMG Store: Spider-Man 2 In Stock
11:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz

The IMG Store has begun shipping Aspyr's latest action game, Spider-Man 2: The Game. The game is available for $29.95.

Here's a bit more info on the game:

Spider-Man 2 The Game follows the same storyline as the blockbuster feature film, and places the gamer into the web-slinging, web-swinging world of the Manhattan metropolis. Gamers will visit locations and relive encounters taken directly from the film, from the Statue of Liberty to the Daily Bugle offices. It was only two years ago that shy Peter Parker discovered his super hero, alter ego Spider-Man. Now heís in a fight for his life and will have to use his skills and wits to survive a new, formidable foe. Spider-Man 2: The Game follows the crime-fighter as he battles the villainous, multi-tentacled Doc Ock.
For more information on the game and to place your order, please follow the link below.

Aspyr Media
Spider-Man 2: The Game
Buy Spider-Man 2: The Game

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Free Wingnuts For .Mac Subscribers
11:00 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple and Freeverse Software today announced that it is giving away the highly acclaimed game Wingnuts 1: Temporal Navigator to all .Mac customers. Freeverse also announced that .Mac customers will receive a 25% off coupon for their brand new title Airburst Extreme.

For more information, head over to the .Mac web site.

Strange Flavour
Airburst Extreme
Buy Airburst Extreme

Bioware Round Table Discusses Future Of Neverwinter Nights
10:04 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

As part of their two millionth community member celebrations, role-playing stalwarts Bioware have posted the first part of their roundtable discussion on the future of the D&D-inspired online adventure game Neverwinter Nights, and the future of online gaming in general.

The board, comprised of seven active NWN community members, looks at the long-term viability of adventure gaming in an online world dominated with first person shooters, the popularity of Nerverwinter Night's persistent worlds, and explore the reasons why NWN fans are so drawn to the multiplayer game:

Single player games are definitely fun, but they can't compare to gaming with real people on the other end. Multiplayer allows roleplaying scenarios to be incredibly complex and virtually anything can happen. There is yet an NPC that can converse with players as well as a fellow player.

Almost everybody on this planet has a friend, and given the choice of doing something by themselves such as seeing a movie, or taking your friend with you, most would enjoy taking their friend. However, those that don't know anyone online might feel more comfortable playing the game by themselves, which is unfortunate because they would be really missing out.

Definitely an interesting read for fans of the popular MMORPG. Click on the link below to check out the article for yourselves -

Bioware's Neverwinter Nights Round Table Discussion
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

IMG Poll: Plan on buying a new Mac?
10:02 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The latest IMG Poll asks if you plan on buying a new Macintosh in the next 12 months? And if so, which one? To cast your vote please follow the link below to IMG's poll page.

IMG Poll

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IMG Reviews The Razer Viper Mouse
9:49 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Razer's latest gaming mouse, the Viper. The sleek mouse possesses on of the most advanced optical tracking system of any mouse to-date. This is a high-precision, extremely accurate input device that operates at anywhere between 25 to 150% more resolution than other optical mice.

Here's a clip from the review:

The Viper mouse obviously caters to the type of person who likes their computer experience given to them in blinding overdoses, as even the Viper's packaging screamed that it was far too cool to be looked at unless I was really serious about playing games. The mouse has a nice extended cord all wrapped up neatly in a plastic mold, and it also comes packed with a driver and settings software CD arranged in a nicely folded paper CD case. Inside each fold of the case are instructions for those who find the mouse too difficult to plug in or CD too hard too insert, but again, this mouse is aimed at a level of "extreme-ness" that is far beyond my comprehension.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Razer Viper

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Cliff Bleszinski Interview Reveals New Epic Franchise
9:04 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

PC gaming website Game Informer have posted a somewhat casual interview with one of the original developers of the Unreal franchise of first person shooters, Cliff Bleszinksi.

The one page interview delves into game development issues the gaming public aren't normally aware of, such as the friendly competition between rival developers Epic Games and id Software, the reasons for switching PC publishers, and the challenges of developing games for the next generation of PC and console platforms.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit, however, is the hint that Cliff and the Epic team are working on a completely new franchise, separate from the Unreal projects -

GI: Where do you think you would like to take Unreal that would be very different than it is right now?

Bleszinski: From my position Iím pretty busy working on a new franchise right now. And the amount of time I spend on Unreal is only a certain chunk of my day. You know, the guy whoís spearheading a lot of that stuff now is Steve Polge...

GI: So speaking of your new franchise, anything you can tease our readers with?

Bleszinski: Um, itís not Unreal. Ö Weíre not really ready to announce much about it, but itísÖ I like co-op.

GI: Co-op?

Bleszinski: Thatís all Iím saying.

GI: Is it even in the first person shooter genre?

Bleszinski: Probably not. Thatís all you get.

Interesting news indeed. Stay tuned to IMG as further news on this new franchise gets revealed, and have a gander at the interview by using the link below. And of course, if you haven't gotten your own copy of Unreal Tournament 2004 yet, then head on over to the IMG Store to get your hands on your own copy of the popular multiplayer shooter for $39.95 USD; $37.95 USD for MacGames CD/IMG Pro Subscribers.

Game Informer's Cliffy B. Interview
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

California Games Rating Bill Passes Senate
8:57 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

In a bit of interesting games legislation, has noted that bill AB 1793 has been passed by the Californian Senate, and now only needs an endorsement by Governor Arnold Schwarznegger in order to made into an official state law.

The bill states that video game retailers must clearly display game ratings, and that clear information on the ratings system be made readily available to consumers.

GI also notes that Democrat assembly member Leland Yee, a vocal proponent of video game regulation, has tried to portray the bill's progress as an uphill struggle, though GI has a different point of view:

Although Yee, in another bit of political point-scoring, presents the passing of the bill as a tooth and nail struggle against the videogame industry, the actual provisions of the document seem eminently sensible, and it would be hard to find many people in the industry who disagree with the assertion that parents need to become more aware of the content of videogames.
GI also makes note of Schwarznegger's own involvement in the games industry, having starred in a few games himself. More details on the bill can be found at GI's story.

GI - Game ratings bill passed by Californian senate

Test Your Brain With Brain Box
8:20 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Shareware programmer Richard Bannister has released a new OS X-friendly puzzle game called Brain Box.

The puzzle collection, which currently features three different brain teaser puzzles - Anagram, Memory, and Mines - was deigned as a simple and elegant lunchtime office distraction. Featuring five different difficulty levels, from "Beginner" to "Insane", the 500 Kb download is worth checking out as a quick and dirty alternative to the soul-sucking, finger-mashing first person shooters that are currently dominating the Mac game market.

Brain Box requires an OS X-equipped Mac, and a $10 registration fee for the full version of the game. Head over to Richard's website and grab your own copy of the shareware game -

Download Brain Box

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Freeverse's SimStapler Now Available9:10 AM
Aspyr Releases Space Colony Campaign9:03 AM
Apple Posts Madden 2005 Soundtrack to iTunes8:25 AM
Major World of Warcraft Beta Patch Released8:25 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 18, 2004 on one page

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