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Thursday, October 14, 2004

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MacSoft Announces Rise of Nations Gold
9:16 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Back in June MacSoft announced it would be porting Rise of Nations to the Mac. Today the company announced that it will be including the Rise of Nations expansion pack along with the original as a "Gold" edition. The game is now in the final testing phase and scheduled to ship in November.

Rise of Nations is an historical real-time strategy (RTS) game which combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy (TBS) games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. The game allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might using everything from slingshots to cannons to stealth bombers, or they can corner the market on key commodities as they wheel and deal with a wide variety of nations.

The Thrones and Patriots expansion adds a barrage of new features to the original game. Thrones and Patriots introduces six new nations, four unique single-player campaigns, more than 20 original units, new wonders and new government types. Unlike other historical RTS games, the Rise of Nations franchise allows gamers to quickly play through eight historical periods of time from the Ancient Age to the Information Age.

Rise of Nations Gold is being ported to the Mac by Westlake Interactive. For more information, be sure to check out IMG's preview of the game, linked below.

IMG Preview: Rise of Nations Gold
Rise of Nations Gold
Buy Rise of Nations Gold

Brickshooter Updated
12:27 PM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

The highly addictive puzzle game BrickShooter has been updated for the Mac. This latest version brings "classic" BrickShooter gameplay back to the game, giving the title more variety. For those unfamiliar with the game, here's a description:

BrickShooter is a uniquely addictive challenging game for strategists of all levels from children to grand masters. BrickShooter is not just for people who can think and move fast. It’s for anyone who enjoys solving puzzles and taking their own sweet time doing them.
Here's a description of the new Classic Rules:
The field structure The game field is a square of a hundred cells. The game starts with some colored bricks arranged randomly in the field. Empty cells are black.Each side of the field has three layers of bricks. Any brick that can move will show an arrow when the mouse is over it. Clicking the mouse starts the brick moving through the field in the direction of its arrow. When the brick hits another brick it stops. A brick’s arrow stays even when the brick is stopped. If the obstacle is removed, the brick again moves in the direction of its arrow. A brick’s direction cannot be changed.

Removing the bricks The trick is to join three or more bricks of the same color vertically, horizontally or in an L-shape. When this happens they vanish and points are awarded.

For more information on the game, or to try it out for yourself, follow the links provided below.

BrickShooter Website

Descender Updated
8:38 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Champaign, Illinois-based Sloppy Disk Software has recently updated their Tetris take-off, Descender, to version 1.3.1.

The title updates the venerable Russian classic with 2-player. head to head battles, built-in worldwide high score tracking, a professionally-recorded surf-rock soundtrack, and fully-customizable soundtrack and background options. The latest version of the title addresses several bugs related to playing the game in full-screen mode, and provides better support for older version of the Mac OS operating system.

The full version of the shareware title, which runs in both Mac OS X and OS 8.6 and later, requires a $12 USD registration fee. A 15-day demo of the game can be downloaded from IMG's sister site MacGameFiles through the link below -

Download Descender

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Gordon Gives UT '99 OS X Update
7:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Ryan Gordon, known for his work on many Unreal-based Mac projects, has given a new update in his .plan file regarding an OS X version of the original Unreal Tournament released in 1999.

This shooter was extremely popular on the platform in the OS 9 days, and many Mac gamers still long to be able to play it on their OS X machines. While there is a Carbonized "preview" released available, there are difficulties in getting it to run well which Gordon is attempting to rectify.

In his latest status update, he notes problems with some of the memory handling functions the program is attempting to call in OS X. He also explains that while the more moderns incarnations of the Unreal engine only send a video card the deltas of what's new, the original Unreal Tournament sends all of the vertex data in each frame. Here's an interesting piece where Gordon ponders the possibility of reworking the game's architechture to get around the problem:

UT'99 would take quite a bit of reengineering to seperate out the data that never changes. Still I wonder if there's a speed boost in just forcibly shoving it all over the AGP bus every frame. I guess I could play around with fencing and keep enough vertex array space for 3 or 4 frames so that the card can be pulling from one while I fill others...

There's also a part of me that says, hey, we've got a LOT more RAM than we did in 1999...I wonder if I could just cache the whole map, models, and animations in AGP memory and be done with it. That'd be wild.

While there is still no definitive release date for a stable Mac version of the title, these are the first details we've heard on its development in some time. Stay tuned to IMG for any new information that may arise.

Ryan Gordon's .plan file
Epic Games
Westlake Interactive
Unreal Tournament

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Bad Mojo Scurries Back To The Mac
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Break out the insecticide and call the exterminator - Got Game Entertainment, publishers of the Myst-inspired graphical adventure games RHEM and Alida, have announced that they're bringing the bug-infested, graphical adventure game Bad Mojo back to the Mac.

Originally hatched in 1996 under the gleeful gaze of publishers Pulse Entertainment, Bad Mojo tells the quirky, Kafka-esque story of mad scientist and entomologist Roger Samms, who, one morning, wakes up to find that he's been temporarily turned into... a cockroach. Players are entrusted with navigating the reborn insect back to safety along a path of discovery across the giant obstacle course that has become his own apartment building.

Widely praised and honored with numerous awards at its original release, the cult classic roach game features a poignant story told through unforgettable visuals, numerous puzzles, and the natural intrigue of seeing the world, or at least a crummy tenement, from a third person, or rather, third insect's point of view.

The new version of the game is being revamped in order to take advantage of today's new computing technology. According to Howard Horowitz, President of Got Game Entertainment:

Through a series of events almost as unique as the game, Got Game had the good fortune to rediscover this cult classic. Working with the original developers, we are updating the technology and adding special bonus features for an even fresher roach game.
Bad Mojo is currently scheduled to be unleashed to the public as a hybrid Mac/PC title this November. Check out the publisher's website by clicking on the link below, and stay tuned to IMG as we bring you more news regarding the icky new adventure.

Bad Mojo

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New Bad Mojo Interview
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

The computer game fanatics over at Adventure Gamers have posted an interesting new interview with Alex Louie, producer of both the original and the new, updated release of the 1996 graphical adventure game Bad Mojo.

In the two-page interview, Alex speaks on the origins of Spin Entertainment, the popularity and acclaim received by the tongue-in-cheek title, and the challenges faced by the developers while creating the game - day, Dan Meblin, the lead 3D lead animator, looks in there and says “Ohh god, I have to get in [the cockroach tank] and clean out all that crud and dead roaches. How am I going to do this?” ‘Cause the second you open the tank, they are all just going to come scurrying out! I can’t remember how they figured this out. But they stuck the aquarium in the lunchroom icebox. The roaches would crawl into their little huts that were in the tank. Then they would kind of slow down. I guess we basically froze them for a couple of seconds. They took all the stuff out, washed the tank and then put the hut back in and the roaches came out. I could NOT look into that tank.
As announced earlier today, adventure game publishers Got Game Entertainment are re-releasing the highly regarded title in November of this year. For more information, check out the publisher's website by navigating through the links below -

Bad Mojo Interview
Bad Mojo

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Carball 2.1 Released
6:00 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

The soccer-themed Unreal Tournament 2004 modification Carball has recently been updated to version 2.1.

Rather than running around and fragging everything in sight, the objective of Carball is to score more points than your opponents by using your vehicle to shoot a giant soccer ball into the opponent's net. Points are subtracted if players score on their own goal, and points are awarded randomly if players score goals in any of the random goals lying around the field. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the match wins.

Version 2.1 comes with five custom-made maps, and features a number of gameplay tweaks over the previous version of the modification. Carball requires a full install of Unreal Tournament 2004 to play.

Players interested in taking the mod out for a whirl can download the appropriate file through the link below -

Download Carball
Unreal Tournament 2004
Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

Mac Games News for Wednesday, October 13, 2004

IMG Reviews Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell11:14 AM
Aspyr And IMG Announce Travis Pastrana Jersey Giveaway11:01 AM
Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons Goes Gold8:54 AM
Men Of Valor Coming In December7:52 AM
Spider-Man 2 Q&A: the Game Audio Director7:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, October 13, 2004 on one page

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