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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

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Homeworld 2 Shipping
7:44 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In what is turning out to be a breathtaking month for media moguls Aspyr Media comes news that its 3D space-based adventure / real-time strategy game Homeworld 2 is now shipping, and should be on store shelves before the end of next week.

Homeworld 2 continues the epic space struggle of the exiled Hiigaran race against a new and embittered enemy who control the powers of the ancients; a race that threaten the Hiigaran from finally claiming their freedom. The space adventure is built around an innovating 3D engine that generates award-winning, cinematic-style graphics of the beauty of deep space, complete with giant asteroids, huge derelicts, and vast nebulae, while players can zoom into the tiniest of detail or zoom out to view their entire fleet, then rotate the entire universe around for a new perspective of any ensuing battle.

The gameplay of the sequel is greatly improved from the original version, allowing players unprecedented control over their battle fleets. The game, which features a plethora of new ships and game modes, sports both an impressive single player game experience and multiplayer support for up to six gamers either over the internet or LAN.

The new Mac title, which demands at the very least an 800 MHz G4 running OS X 10.2.8 and powered by a 32MB ATI Radeon 7500 or nVidia GeForce 2 or better, is currently in the process of being shipped out to stores worldwide, and should be available at local Mom-&-Pop corner software stores shortly. Players keen on getting the title as soon as possible should head over to the IMG Store, where pre-orders of the strategy title can be taken for $48.99 USD ($44.99 for MacGames DVD Subscribers).

If you're still not convinced, Aspyr Media's Glenda Adams confirmed right here in the pages of IMG that the publishing company is currently working on a demo for the strategy title, which should be available on IMG's sister site MacGameFiles very soon.

Aspyr Media Project Status Page
Aspyr Media
Homeworld 2
Buy Homeworld 2

Star Wars Giveaway Winner Announced
10:54 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

We're please to announce the winner of our Star Wars Giveaway. The contest, which ended late last week, involved uploading a picture of yourself or family in a Star Wars related theme.

Aspyr has gone through the few hundred entries that were submitted and have picked Roger Taylor of Washington, Utah as the winner. Roger, who is a big fan of the Star Wars series dressed up his three children in cool Star Wars outfits. Darryn, age 6 is dressed as a Jedi complete with a lightsaber. Daughter Cassidy, age 5 is dressed as a Jawa, and Bryce, age 8, is dressed as a clone trooper.

Bryce's costume was bought. Roger used Adobe After Effects to add in the Imperial Walkers. The photo itself was taken in Zion National Park.

Darryn's costume was made from scratch. The light saber was bought at WalMart and the light saber light was added with Adobe Photoshop.

Cassidy's costume was also made from scratch using a sewing machine. The Jawa's eyes were created by Roger using a simple loop circuit with door bell wire and a 6V battery connection.

Roger and family will be receiving as their prize Aspyr's complete Star Wars game collection including the just released Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. In addition, IMG will be supplying Roger a subscription to the MacGames DVD and a free copy of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD.

IMG would like to congratulate Roger and family and Aspyr Media for sponsoring this contest!

The Winning Picture!

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Torque 1.3 Released; New Mac Demo Coming
8:58 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

GarageGames' affable frontman Benjamin Bradley dropped us a line to inform us that the next version of the company's game creation engine is now available for download.

Torque 1.3, chock-a-block full of new game development goodness, includes the contributions of over seventeen community developers, and includes the following major feature changes:

  • The art path has been improved. We have an upgraded DTS exporter SDK, Maya plugins, and better error reporting code in-engine. The engine will also now accept a much broader variety of shapes in-game, allowing artists to preview their work more efficiently.
  • Enhanced precipitation system allows game developers to create dynamic storms and atmospheric effects, producing dramatic environments.
  • A new Particle editor has been created by Chris Weiland, making Torque one of the few game engines with real-time, artist-controllable particle creation capabilities.
  • Enhanced AudioEmitters from Ed Maurina and Desmond Fletcher help audio artists and programmers create a wider range of effects, and modify them more easily.
  • A new NetGraph, by Wes Beary, makes tracking and optimizing network traffic simpler than ever.
  • A number of internal engine enhancements, including Mac improvements for the editors and the core engine (with contributions from Paul Scott and David Wyand), and improved D3D support.
  • The new version of the game creation engine can be downloaded using the Release_1_3_0 tag from the company's proprietary Torque Engine CVS repository.

    GarageGames has also let it be known that new Mac and Windows demos of the engine will soon be released, showing off the slew of the engine's new features. Stay tuned to IMG for further news on the game creation system.

    Torque Engine 1.3 Update

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    World Of Warcraft, Warcraft III Patches Released
    8:39 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Blizzard Entertainment officially released patches for two of their highly-popular titles yesterday.

    The World Of Warcraft 1.17 update, which was previously released as a beta version on the first of the month, includes over nine pages of gameplay tweaks and enhancements, including the opening of the much-publicised Deeprun Tram:

    The Gnomish Engineering Corps has been hard at work building a subway to connect the great cities of Ironforge and Stormwind City. Final work on this new mass transit system was completed recently, allowing us to announce the Grand Opening of the Deeprun Tram! Two trains make round trip runs between Stormwind City and Ironforge regularly, allowing quick and easy access to all your shopping and training needs. If you happen to miss a train, you only need to wait a few minutes for a new one to appear. We only ask that you be careful during your trip as the run out of the tunnel can be long and uneventful should you happen to fall off the tram during transit.
    The Warcraft III update, also bringing the current game version number up to 1.17, boasts a whole slew of bug fixes, map enhancements, and gameplay balance changes for both the Reign Of Chaos original game, and The Frozen Throne expansion pack. And while both updates are available through the links below, players interested in getting their hands on any of these three titles should head over to the IMG Store, where the Warcraft III titles can either be purchased separately or combined in the Warcraft III Battle Chest bundle, and where pre-orders for World of Warcraft are being taken:

    Warcraft III 1.17 Updates
    World Of Warcraft 1.17 Update
    World Of Warcraft 1.17 Update Feature List
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    World of Warcraft
    Buy WarCraft III
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy World of Warcraft

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    Dark Horizons: Lore Updated
    8:01 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    A new update to Max Gaming Technologies' Torque Engine-powered sci fi mech combat adventure Dark Horizons: Lore was released this weekend.

    The update, which includes new missions and new spawn code, and gameplay tweaks, like increased spawn times, visual enhancements, and the usual round of bug fixes, brings the game up to version 1.12. The developers have also released a patch with the same enhancements for the demo for players taking the game out for a whirl.

    The patches, which can be downloaded from the Max Gaming Technologies website through the links below, are available for both versions 1.10 and 1.11 of the game, depending on which version fans have installed. Be sure to download the appropriate patch and upgrade your version of the game right away.

    Dark Horizons: Lore 1.12 Full Game Patch
    Dark Horizons: Lore 1.12 Demo Patch
    Dark Horizons: Lore

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    GarageGames Distributes Gish Downloads
    7:45 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    For those that may have missed it the first time around, GarageGames is currently distributing Gish. Created by Chronic Logic LLC, Gish puts players in control of a ball of tar in a 2D side-scrolling title.

    Using his jello-like body GISH is able to adapt to his surroundings, becoming sticky to climb walls, slick to slide through tight cracks and heavy to break through walls, bad guys, and the like. By expanding his body at a rapid rate Gish is able to quickly project himself into the air and attach to almost anything in his path.
    Gish has garnered extensive praise from a variety of game publications, and is available for a variety of platforms. Those interested more information, including a demo and purchase info, can find it at both GarageGames and at Chronic Logic.

    GarageGames - Gish

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    World of Warcraft Collector's Edition Info
    7:45 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    As they've done with past titles, Blizzard has recently confirmed that a Collector's Edition of the upcoming MMORPG World of Warcraft will be made available. The package will contain a number of goodies, including signed items and some in-game exclusives.

    The current list of contents is as follows:

    • The full game on both CD-ROM and DVD-ROM
    • 1-month subscription to World of Warcraft
    • The Art of World of Warcraft, 200+ page hardcover art book
    • World of Warcraft Behind-the-Scenes DVD
    • Exclusive in-game pet
    • Official soundtrack
    • Cloth map charting the continents of Kalimdor, Azeroth, Khaz Modan, and Lordaeron
    • Signed Collector’s Edition game manual
    • 10-Day Free Guest Pass – invite one of your friends to join the epic quest
    Blizzard adds that details regarding the availability of the Collector's Edition will be made available in the near future.

    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft

    Petition For Eve Online Mac Port
    7:44 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Fans of massively multiplayer online games will be pleased to know that they can participate in an online petition to get the massively multiplayer space strategy title EVE Online ported to the Mac platform.

    EVE Online is a persistent world multiplayer online game set in space. Players are charged with controlling spaceship pilots from one of five ancient human races in a race for fortune and adventure in an exciting, yet occasionally hostile galaxy. From the game's website:

    EVE is a world far away from mankind's original habitat, planet Earth. How far away, and where, no one knows. Humans got there through a natural wormhole, and gazing upon a sky never before seen, were completely unable to determine the whereabouts of this new world. From the system of New Eden, where the gate of EVE that once led to the old world lies, humans expanded in all directions at a great pace, exploring and colonizing.

    Then, seemingly out of the blue, the EVE gate collapsed in an apocalyptic catastrophe of a scale never before witnessed by the human race, ruining the New Eden system in the process. Thousands of small colonies were left in isolation to fend for themselves. For millennia they endured on the brink of extinction and only a handful survived.

    Of those surviving colonies, 5 were to rise up and become the major empires that hold between them the balance of power in the world of EVE today. These are: the Amarr Empire, the Gallente Federation, the Caldari State, the Minmatar Republic and the Jovian Empire, plus several small independent factions and states.

    For more than a century the five empires have lived together in relative peace. They've strived hard to maintain this peace, as each of them realizes only too well the grave consequences of a massive inter-stellar war. Recent technological breakthroughs in FTL travel, and the ensuing increase in space travellers, has shaken, but not broken the fragile peace - at least not yet.

    The game, which was originally released for Windows in early 2003, has recently seen a record-breaking evening of over 11,000 players logged in simultaneously to take part in the space adventure. And while jumping into an almost two-year-old persistent online game might seem a little daunting, the developers have assured new users that the game has been designed to treat all players alike, regardless of player's current experience or wealth level.

    While online petitions aren't usually taken too seriously, these developers have expressed interest in increasing the game's player roster and potential audience, and have looked into the possibilities of porting the game to either the OS X or Linux platforms. The developers are looking to the results of the petition to decide which path to take next, so make sure to put your John Hancock on the list if you want to see this exciting multiplayer game make it to our favorite platform.

    Click on the links below to read more about the game, sign the petition, and see exactly what the developers have to say about the situation:

    EVE Online
    Petition To Bring EVE Online To The Mac
    EVE Online Developer's Blog

    Mac Games News for Monday, September 20, 2004

    ATI Display Utilities 4.4 with OEM Support Released, More2:47 PM
    Aspyr Ships Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic11:29 AM
    IMG Posts Call of Duty: United Offensive First Look11:22 AM
    12,000 Further Warcraft III Accounts Closed8:01 AM
    Freeverse Ships Massive Assault in N.A.8:01 AM
    Next WoW Patch To Feature Public Transportation8:01 AM
    The Gamesome Mac Talks with MacSoft's Al Schilling8:01 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, September 20, 2004 on one page

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