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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

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F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom Goes Gold
8:47 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

This morning IMG got in touch with GraphSim's Jeff Morgan to get the status of their upcoming flight combat sim, F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to Morgan, the game has just gone gold and is going off to the duplicators today. The game is expected to ship on October 4th.

Here are some of the features of the game:

• Beautiful and realistic satellite image-based terrain covering over 160,000
square miles of Iraq, Kuwait, Iran and the Persian Gulf.

• Realistic simulation of the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft flight dynamics and

• Realistic carrier operations including carrier launches and landing using
the Meatball and Instrument Landing System. Landing Signal Officer giving
you voice progress reports and instructions during your carrier landings.  

• Sophisticated enemy pilot and SAM site operator AI (artificial intelligence.)

• Beautiful atmospheric effects with the sun, clouds, fog and haze.

• Fully 3D cockpit with working instruments enhances the realistic feel.

• Use one of many preset armament loads for specialized missions or create
your own.

• Multiplayer via the internet or LAN.

For more on this title, be sure to check out IMG's extensive preview of the game.

The IMG Store is currently taking pre-orders for the game. It is available for pre-order for $39.95.

IMG Preview: F/A-18 Operaton Iraqi Freedom
F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom
Buy F/A-18 Operation Iraqi Freedom

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GraphSim To Publish X-Plane 8 For Mac & PC
8:55 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

GraphSim will be publishing X-Plane 8, the upcoming upgrade to the popular general aviation sim from Laminar Research. In a conversation with IMG this morning, GraphSim's Jeff Morgan said the game will be shipping for the Mac and PC in November.

Here's a bit more info on the game:

X-Plane is the most comprehensive and powerful flight simulator available for the personal computer. X-Plane simulates anything that flies: single-engine fixed wing props to multi-engine jets; gliders to dirigibles; helicopters to spacecraft to VTOLs such as the V-22 Osprey and AV8-B Harrier.

X-Plane has the most realistic flight model available for personal
computers. It comes with subsonic and supersonic flight dynamics,
simulating aircraft from the Bell 206 Jet-Ranger helicopter and Cessna 172
light plane to the supersonic SR-71.

X-Plane comes with 29 aircraft spanning the aviation industry (and history),
and several hundred more are freely downloadable from the internet.

We'll be posting more information on X-Plane 8 as it becomes available. In the meantime, head over to GraphSim's web site for more info on the game including 4 new screenshots.

Laminar Research
X-Plane 7
GraphSim: X-Plane 8
Buy X-Plane 7

Two Bioware Q&As Regarding Unreal 3 Engine
6:02 AM | Johan Hansιn | Comment on this story

With the recent announcement that the famous RPG creators at BioWare have licensed Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 for an upcoming title, speculations have run wild on what kind of game this will be. Now the internet magazines HomeLAN Fed and IGN have both been able to get a short chat with BioWare's joint CEOs Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka about the upcoming game.

Unfortunately not too much of the new title can be revealed at this time, but they do admit that it is another role-playing game, and that they are planning to develop an RPG layer for the Unreal Engine 3 that other developers will be able to license as well:

In terms of the engine itself, our plan is develop what we call the "RPG layer" on top of Unreal Engine 3. This is the part of the game code that drives the features that people are so fond of in our prior games: things like real-time lip-synched fully voiced conversation systems, integration of game world data to create a living, breathing world, and a great story. We've had some very preliminary discussions with Epic about this addition to the engine, and we think there might be an opportunity for people to license this RPG layer from us (since we're the owner of it) after they've licensed the Unreal Engine 3 from Epic. We think that the work that we're doing on this title can certainly expand people's perspectives on what a licensable game engine can do.
To read more about BioWare's plans and impressions of the Unreal Engine 3, as well as a short status update on their other titles currently in development, head over to the two interviews with the help of the links below.

Epic Games
IMG News - Bioware Licenses Unreal Engine 3
HomeLAN Fed - BioWare UnrealEngine3 Interview
IGN - BioWare's Unreal New RPG

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Islands Mini-golf Expansion Released
6:02 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

DanLabGames has released a free expansion pack for their shareware title Islands Mini Golf. Simply known as Islands Mini Golf Add-on #1, the expansion sports an Egyptian theme as well as other additions:

  • 18 new wacky holes
  • Egyptian theme
  • Online hi-scores
  • Original soundtrack
Those interested in the add-on must have a copy of the original Islands Mini Golf on hand. Download links and installation instructions can be found at the DanLabGames site.

Islands Mini-Golf ADD-ON #1
Islands Mini-Golf

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OS X SkyFighters Flight Sim Preview Available
6:02 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

DonsGames have released a Cocoa version of its popular flying game, Skyfighters 1945. According to the developers this version is a near complete rewrite of the code from the previous classic versions. Several additions include more realistic flight from the planes, better smoke and cloud effects and a new mission builder. The mission builder allows players to create new worlds for people to fly within, with everything from building locations to start positions customizable.

Here's a rundown from the main site:

New in this program are better flying aircraft, better looking clouds and smoke effects, larger textures, new worlds, and the w/MB part. What does "w/MB" stand for? "with Mission Builder". This new incarnation of SF1945 is designed around a Mission Builder, allowing you to design and create your own missions. Starting with a toolkit of worlds, objects, and aircraft, you can easily set the world to use, add objects like buildings, ground vehicles, targets, set where each aircraft begins the mission, and finally set up the victory conditions for your mission. Trade missions you create with other users of OSX SkyFighters 1945 wMB. Check the top of the right hand column of this page for featured user created missions.
The free 8MB demo version is available at and a more detailed description is available at the link below.

OSX Skyfighters 1945 Preview
MGF: OSX Skyfighters Preview Download
Pre-Order SkyFighters

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UT2004 TC 'Frag-Ops' for Mac Version 2.1 Coming
6:02 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

Version 2.1 of the popular total conversion for Unreal Tournament 2004, Frag Ops has been previewed, just over a week after version 2.0 was uploaded. This total conversion is a semi-realistic modern warfare mod that allows players to drive vehicles such as Humvees and construct buildings such as sniper towers. The developers of this comprehensive mod have received several requests from fans of the mod and are said to be addressing them in version 2.1 which is due for release very soon.

The features that people have requested from version 2.0 are listed below:

The most notable requests were the ability to reclaim objects already built or deployed, a way to restore health of players that survive a wave, more feedback when achieving upgrades (as well as being able to apply them to buildables/vehicles already deployed), bigger, more vehicular maps, and of course more deployables! We will be addressing all of this and then some with the next version, which will see the return of RoundStats and introduce its partner PlayerStats, improved sniper balance with scoped breathing/AP breath holding, and an experimental weapon sway system aimed at improving weapon feel.
More information is available at the link below on the main Frag Ops site.

Frag Ops
Unreal Tournament 2004
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

Microsoft Bringing Mac Games To Japan
6:02 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

According to a report on the Wired News website, Mac gamers in Japan will soon see a plethora of new Mac games hit the market, thanks to Apple's longtime competitor Microsoft.

One week before the annual Tokyo Game Show, the Japanese head office of the computer software behemoth announced that it is planning on translating and marketing a whole series of popular Mac games, under the Microsoft Mac Games Collection. The first game released under the new moniker was MacSoft's completely-Japanese version of Halo for Mac.

Although Japan is the Macintosh's second largest market, gaming isn't very popular with the country's Mac fans. While dozens of Mac game titles are available for Japanese consumers in certain circles, most of them are in English, or have very little Japanese localisation features - some menu items may appear in Japanese, but the games are still largely played in English - which doesn't appeal to the Japanese market.

Microsoft's plan is to change all that, by completely translating and localising every aspect of a hand-picked selection of popular titles, then optimizing them to run on most Powerbooks and iBooks. While the company has not divulged which, or how many titles will be released under the new label, Microsoft representatives have indicated that the list of games will grow to a significant amount.

Thanks to IMG reader Chad Wadsworth for the heads up on this story.

Wired News

Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Star Wars Giveaway Winner Announced10:54 AM
Torque 1.3 Released; New Mac Demo Coming8:58 AM
World Of Warcraft, Warcraft III Patches Released8:39 AM
Dark Horizons: Lore Updated8:01 AM
GarageGames Distributes Gish Downloads7:45 AM
World of Warcraft Collector's Edition Info7:45 AM
Homeworld 2 Shipping7:44 AM
Petition For Eve Online Mac Port7:44 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 21, 2004 on one page

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