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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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Big Bang Board Games Goes Gold
8:44 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Legendary game designers Freeverse Software have announced that their Big Bang Board Games gaming suite has gone gold, and has been sent off to duplication.

The gaming collection, which includes Checkers, Chess, Reversi, Mancala, Backgammon, 4-in-a-Row and Tic-Tac-Toe, features online multiplayer gameplay, single-person gameplay against the computer AI, and even email gameplay. Built around the award-winning Big Bang Chess game engine, the titles feature tight integration with Apple's iApps suite of lifestyle applications:

All of the games feature tight integration with Apple's iApps to give users the most Mac-friendly gaming experience possible. These include...

  • iTunes - Play and manage your iTunes songs within the games.
  • Mail & Address Book - The games talk to your Mac's email program making it simple to send game turns to friends.
  • iChat - Your Buddy List appears in the game so its easy to invite a Buddy to a match.
  • iSight - Share pictures with your buddies from within the game!
  • GameSmith - Meet other players on the free GameSmith matching service.
  • The Big Bang Board Games collection, which require OS X 10.3, 20 MB of hard drive space, and an internet connection for online play, will be available for purchase for $24.95 from the IMG Store and retail stores in the coming weeks. Readers curious about the title can head over to the Freeverse website and download demos of some of the Big Bang titles through the link below -

    Big Bang Board Games
    Buy Big Bang Board Games

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    IMG Previews Vendetta Online
    11:24 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

    Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of Guild Software's upcoming space game, Vendeta Online. Here's a clip from the preview:

    To Guild Software's credit, they've created a hell of a lot of something out of nothing. Vendetta drops you into a 3D universe of hypergate jumps, protected trade routes, guild politics, ship customization and yes, space battles with plenty of lasers. Guild Software is clearly trying to give the space enthusiast exactly what they want. The result is that much of Vendetta as a game is not 'if', but 'when': when will some pirates surprise you; when will you smash the hyperjump button at the last possible second before destruction; when will you escape battle with a flaming wreck of a ship; when will you trick your ship out with that GIANT LASER. It's this sense of suspense and satisfaction that makes Vendetta fun.
    To check out the entire preview, please follow the link below.

    IMG Preview: Vendetta Online
    Guild Software
    Strategy First
    Vendetta Online

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    CSI At FC; True Crime: Streets Of L.A. Pushed (updated)
    9:23 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    A quick check into the Aspr Media project status page has revealed good and bad news regarding two of Aspyr's upcoming titles. The good news: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the mystery title based on the popular CBS television series, has been upgraded to Final Candidate. The bad: the release of the all-driving, all-fighting, all-shooting action title True Crime: Streets Of L.A. has been delayed 'til February.

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation immerses players in the gritty world of forensic science and violent crime on the streets of Las Vegas. Featuring the characters, tools, locations and music from the award-winning TV series, the title requires players to sleuth out and solve five individual crime scenes "using forensic skills, puzzle-solving prowess, and unflinching nerves."

    The title requires a 500 MHz G3 CPU, a 32MB VRAM-equipped 3D-accelerated graphics card, and OS X 10.2.8 or later. The sleuthing game is scheduled to hit store shelves by the end of November of this year wih an MSRP of $29.99.

    Out of the gritty streets of Las Vegas and into the gritty streets of Los Angeles - Aspyr's upcoming action title True Crime: Streets Of L.A. is proving to be a trickier project to complete than originally anticipated, and has seen its completion date pushed back until February of next year.

    The title, being ported to the Mac by San Dimas, California-based Trihedron LLC, puts players in control of Nick Kang, an undercover cop hell-bent on the destruction of the crime syndicates that rule the streets of Los Angeles. Players will have to beat driving missions, gunfights, and martial arts showdowns spreading across 240 square miles of Los Angeles landscape. The Grand Theft Auto-type game supports five different online multiplayer modes, a vast array of deadly weaponry, and sports over 80 different original tracks from such artists as Snoop Dogg and Westside Connection.

    This isn't the first setback for the Mac port of the Activision title. The game's release date was originally set for November of this year when the title was first announced in late summer, with the release date getting pushed back to January 2005 when the port reached the Alpha stage over two weeks ago. According to Glenda Adams, Director of PC and Mac development at Aspyr, the game's engine has proven to be a greater task to master than originally anticipated -

    We had hoped to get [the game] out for Christmas, but the 3D engine that powers the game is proving more complex that we anticipated, so we're spending extra engineering time on it to get it running well on the Mac. The True Crime Mac developer, Trihedron, was actually out at Apple a few weeks ago working with Apple engineers to get over some rough spots, so I think everything is going smoothly on it now.
    For more information on either of these upcoming titles, head over to Aspyr Media's mini-website through the links below -

    Update: Aspyr's Glenda Adams dropped us a line after this article was posted to inform us that the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is being ported by the team over at Critical Path Software. Thanks for the clarification.

    Aspyr Media Project Status Page
    Aspyr Media
    True Crime: Streets of L.A.
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    Critical Path Software
    Buy True Crime: Streets of L.A.
    Buy CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    Giga Designs Reveals Upgrade for Mirror Drive Door Power Mac
    9:03 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

    Giga Designs announced the industry's first dual processor G4 upgrade for Mirror Drive Door (MDD) Power Macs. The upgrade will feature two Motorola 7455B processors running at 1.42 GHz, each connected to 2 MB of L3 cache. Giga Designs claims that the 80mm fan cooling the unit will allow the Power Mac's internal fan to run at a lower speed, resulting in quieter operation.

    Giga Designs expects the MDD upgrade to be available in November for a retail price of $699. The original MDD (2002), FireWire 800, and MDD 2003 will be able to accept this upgrade. Visit Giga Designs' website for more information.

    PR: Giga Designs Announces G4 Processor Upgrade for MDD Power Macs
    Giga Designs

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    Everquest Free for a Month
    8:45 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

    In order to get more players involved in the title, the game designers over at Sony Online Entertainment are offering for a limited time free 30-day trial keys for their popular MMORPG Everquest.

    Players interested in trying out the title, looking to start up a new EQ account, or who just want to have a tryout introduction to the fantasy world are welcome to register. While credit card details are required to activate the 30-day free subscription, nothing will be charged until the trial period is up, while the free accounts can be cancelled anytime. Players choosing to continue playing once the trial period is over will be required to download a patch that will allow characters built in the 30-day trial to carry over into the consistent online world.

    Here's what server administrator Hobart, from the EQ Mac forums, had to say:

    Most stores no longer carry the retail version of EQMac, so for a limited time SOE is giving out 30 day free trial keys.

    These keys are for anyone who wishes to start a NEW EQMac account or that just wants to give the game a try for a short time.

    Follow the link below to send off for your free month of Everquest and to download the client program.

    EQMac Retail Keys HERE!
    Sony Online
    Buy EverQuest

    Audio Overload 2.0 Beta Released
    8:45 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Shareware programmer and emulator designer Richard Bannister has recently released a beta for the second version of his video game music player Audio Overload.

    For console fans waxing nostalgic about the past, Audio Overload 2.0 is a music player of old video game and video console titles. Reading from game ROMs sitting on player's hard drives, Audio Overload will decode and play music files created for the Amstrad CPC/Spectrum ZX, Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Megadrive/Genesis, MSX, Nintendo NES, Atari XL/XE, Atari ST, Super Nintendo, and Sega Master System/Game Gear consoles. The software also supports early PC game music files.

    The beta version of Audio Overload 2.0 is available through Richard Bannister's software website. Grab yourselves a copy of the 980K application by clicking on the link below -

    Audio Overload 2 Beta

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    Upcoming Shadowbane: Throne of Oblivion Chat
    8:44 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

    Shadowbane players looking for more information on the upcoming expansion Throne of Oblivion may be interested in an upcoming event. Hosted by Stratics, the SB team will be live in an upcoming IRC chat, with the main focus being on the Throne expansion.

    The chat is scheduled to take place this Thursday, Oct28th, starting at 1pm PDT. Connection information is as follows:

    You can connect to one of Stratics's IRC servers through the use of your favorite IRC client, such as mIRC, ircle, xchat, or whichever you prefer. Connect to port 6668 or whichever server is closest to you:

    * port 6668, USA - Colorado
    * port 6668, USA - Colorado
    * port 6668, EU - Germany
    * 6668, USA - Atlanta

    A browser-based Java link is also available for those looking to participate.

    Shadowbane - Upcoming House of Commons
    Wolfpack Studios
    Shadowbane: The Rise of Chaos

    Mac Games News for Monday, October 25, 2004

    Aspyr Ships Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WW II10:43 AM
    IMG Feature: United to Create - Over the Edge Entertainment10:30 AM
    DOOM 3 Expansion Pack Announced9:10 AM
    Football Manager 2005 Interviews8:16 AM
    Next CreateMacGames Coding Challenge in Dec8:16 AM
    Nexuiz Promises Cross-platform Action for Free8:16 AM
    World of Warcraft Due Nov 22? [Update]8:16 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 25, 2004 on one page

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