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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Myst V: End of Ages Announced
8:17 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Cyan and publisher Ubisoft have announced the next in the continuing series of best-selling adventure games, Myst V: End of Ages. The "pre-announcement" made before the press release on the MystWorlds site contains precious few details about the game, though we do know they are targeting a release this fall.

While the title seems to suggest this could be the end of the Myst saga, the announcement describes it as "the culmination of all of the previous storylines."

There is also no specific mention of a Mac version, though it seems highly likely given the previous four main games have made it to the platform. Here's more from the posting:

Myst V: End of Ages will be a new pinnacle, continuing the beauty, drama, creativity and challenge which have been the hallmarks of all Myst titles. We look forward to sharing this new journey with you in Fall of 2005. And be sure to check back here for upcoming announcements and information about Myst V: End of Ages.

And discuss these and other exciting developments in the new Myst V forum.

Head over now to participate in the Myst V thread in their Ubisoft forum, or put your thoughts down in IMG's forums as well. You can be sure we'll keep you up-to-date on any new information about Myst V as it becomes available.

Special Announcement - Myst V: End of Ages
Myst V: End of Ages
Buy Myst V: End of Ages

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MWSF: MacSoft/Destineer Chat
2:55 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

We sat down with Al Schilling and Peter Tamte of MacSoft and Destineer to discuss current and future events. Armed with a Powerbook G4, the main focus of the discussion centered on Close Combat: First to Fight. A game built from the ground up, with its own original engine, First to Fight looks quite impressive, and contains a few pleasant surprises that should please Mac gamers.

As discussed yesterday, FtF is a first-person squad-based shooter. Featuring input from 40 active-duty Marines, the game is aiming simulate the combat seen by Marine fireteams as closely as possible. Many of the Marines consulted are fireteam leaders, some of them fresh from Iraq, and are also featured as characters in the game itself.

One of the points stressed by Tamte was the intangible known as the "will to fight." The Marines pointed out that the flow of combat often hinges on how to break this, causing disorganization in the enemy ranks. To take this into account, characters in the game, including enemies and friends, are given both morale and discipline scores. External factors will influence these scores, which in turn determine the behavior of any character at a given time.

Another factor being introduced is that, according to Marine fireteam leaders, actual orders are issued about 10-15% of the time during combat, and care was taken to simulate this in game. Rather than micromanaging your team every step of the way, your team members know their roles, moving in proper formations and taking up key positions depending on the situation. Watching the game unfold in an early level, we watched as Tamte led his fireteam through darkened backalleys, taking out enemies by allowing his team to take up proper positions while making forward progress without firing a single shot from his own rifle.

In the event that an order has to be given, basic instructions can be given to individuals or to the whole squad. The suppress command causes a teammate to lay down fire in a concentrated area, keeping any nearby enemies pinned down so the rest of the team can advance. Other orders include giving cover and holding a given position.

FtF isn't short in the graphics department either. The game boasts a variety of graphic goodies, including volumetric shadows, normal maps, and per-pixel specularity. The animation on the character models is quite detailed, and the backgrounds have a very definite presence. The view we were getting was made doubly impressive by the fact that it was running on a Powerbook G4, speced at around 1.4 Ghz with a Radeon 9700 Mobile, at a fairly steady 30fps with all the aforementioned graphic goodness turned on. Gamers with stronger graphics cards and/or processors should be able to expect even greater performance with this title.

Though we didn't get a chance to see multiplayer, Tamte assures us that there are a variety of modes, including both cooperative and competitive play. Both LAN and internet play are available, with cross-networking between PCs and Macs being good to go. Cooperative play will allow up to four players to take up various positions on a fireteam, while competitive play will feature a number of games featuring team vs. team combat situations.

This title continues to look very promising, and a simultaneous Mac/PC/Xbox release is currently planned to happen in March 2005.

Atomic Games
Close Combat: First to Fight
Buy Close Combat: First to Fight

MWSF: IMG Chats With Aspyr
2:34 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Following the first ever public showing of DOOM 3, IMG sat down with Aspyr's Glenda Adams to talk about some of the company's upcoming games. Adams told IMG that DOOM 3's system requirements have been lowered from 1.5 MHz G5 to a 1.5 MHz G4. This is indeed good news for those with high-end G4 Macs who were hoping to play the game.

Due to id Software's rather draconian restrictions, we won't be able to post any pictures or videos of the publlc DOOM 3 unveiling on IMG.

In other Aspyr news, Adams told us that the eagerly-anticipated sequel, The Sims 2, is up and running and should be released in May. By far the biggest project Aspyr has ever worked on, the company has 4 dedicated programmers working on getting the game done.

Another Aspyr title, Wideload's Stubbs The Zombie, is also coming along and should be released a bit later this year. Adams promised that the game will be released simultaneously on the Mac and PC. More details on the game will become available as the game gets closer to shipping.

And finally, Adams said that a multiplayer demo of Battlefield 1942 will be released early next week. Be sure to look for the announcement next week of its release on IMG.

Aspyr Media

MWSF: Freeverse Releases ToySight Gold Expansion Pack
12:50 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Mac game publisher Freeverse Software and developer Strange Flavour today announced the release of the ToySight Gold Expansion Pack. The pack features three totally new games including the separate demo release of the 3D networkable dogfighting game with camera or mouse control.

Here's more from the press release:

About the three new games:

FlySight: The first ever camera-controlled, eight player rendezvous networked 3D fighter combat game with voice-controlled guns. Also playable as a single player game with four different bosses and increasing levels of difficulty. Download the demo at

AirHeads: Inflate your opponentís head and pop him before he bursts you!

Mars Lander: Carefully control the Mars Mission craft to fly between bases on Mars, perform rescue missions, and rendezvous.

ToySight Gold also utilizes the power of the G5 to enhance the original games in ToySight by adding extra features and effects.

ToySight Gold allows you to play most ToySight games using mouse and keyboard instead of a camera, which will keep you from looking silly when playing ToySight on transatlantic flights.

You can now change the screen frequency of ToySight Gold from NTSC to PAL mode when you output your Macís screen to a TV.

ToySight Gold is a $9.95 expansion pack to the original ToySight.


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MWSF: Mac Doom 3 Demos
11:43 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Aspyr has posted to the IMG forums that they will be demoing Doom 3 for the Mac today and tomorrow at the Macworld expo.

Here's the scoop on the demos as well as their tournaments in progress:

We just wanted to invite any IMGers out here to stop by Wednesday @ 1:00 pm and Thursday at 3:30, where Glenda Adams will be showing off Doom 3 for the first time ever on a HUGE plasma display in the game theater. It's quite a sight to behold.

We also have a tournament every day with great prizes. Tomorrow's (1/12) will be a Battlefield 1942 Secret Weapons 16 player tournament. Get here early to sign up. We're at booth 2510.

Also if you're looking to purchase a game or 4, we're giving out a Macworld special demo disc with every game.

Anyone in the San Francisco area who wants a first hand look at how the game runs should be sure to check it out.

IMG Forums: Doom 3 first look at Macworld
id Software
Aspyr Media
Buy DOOM 3

Ages of Ilathid Needs Developers
10:41 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The folks behind Ages of Ilathid have sent out a call looking for developers. A fan-made game based off the popular Myst series, the project is currently in need of 3D modelers, texture artists, composers, and progammers.

The Ilathid team is mostly made up of PC users, there are a handful of Mac users though. So I thought this would be a great opportunity for the Mac community to step up and show the world our artistic abilities and how our beloved platform is great for harnessing them.
Interested volunteers can post in the Recruitment section of Ilathid's forums for more information on how to contribute. The site also features a trailer and a picture gallery for those interested at taking a look at the current work-in-progress.

Ages of Ilathid

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MWSF: Black Hawk Down Expansion for Mac
9:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Aspyr sends word this morning they are bringing Team Sabre, the add-on pack for Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, to Mac OS X.

In addition to playing as a US Ranger, the game also now allows you to take control as a British SAS. Additionally, Team Sabre contains new weapons, vehicles, singleplayer campaigns and 30 multiplayer maps.

Team Sabre is expected out in March for a retail price of $20. Here are the preliminary system requirements from Aspyr:

Operating System: Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later
CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5 or later
CPU Speed: 1GHz or faster
Memory: 512MB
Hard Disk Space: 2.7GB free disk space
Video Card (ATI): Radeon 8500 or better
Video Card (NVidia): GeForce 2 or better
Video Memory (VRam): 64MB
Media Required: DVD Drive
requires Delta Force: Black Hawk Down to play
The expansion was originally published for the PC by Novalogic and developed by Ritual Entertainment, the makers of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 and SiN. Stay tuned to IMG for the latest as Team Sabre nears release.

Delta Force - Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre
Aspyr Media
Buy Delta Force: Black Hawk Down

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MWSF: Over the Edge Talks Gooball
8:17 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IMG had a chance to sit down with Denmark-based Over the Edge in Ambrosia's floor booth to take a look at their current title-in-development, Gooball. First impressions show a title with colorful graphics and a curious play mechanic. Rather than directly controlling the ball itself, players can actually move the world itself, tilting and rotating it, which in turn affects the movement of the ball. Ball controls themselves include the ability to jump and the ability to go soft and stick to any surface in the game.

The stick mechanic allows for a free-form playstyle, as any object appears to be fair game for sticking rights. In one level, cherubs clearly designed to be decorations were rotating widly in circles. With some deft maneuvering, it was actually possible to jump and stick to one of the flying tots, though the inevitable release saw Gooball flying off into the ether.

If the idea of cherubs doesn't give one an idea of the fantastic worlds created for this game, other environments include trips through canyon mesas, psychadelic worlds, and a particularly eye-catching display called Aztec Spacerace. Pixel shaders and impressive water effects are also part of the eye candy.

The shipping time for Gooball is currently planned for about a month from now. Initial impressions show it to be a very promising title, and this will certainly be one to watch for as the days count down to its release.

We'll have more information on this title as well as the other new titles coming from Ambrosia in the following days of MWSF.

Unity Technologies

Mac Games News for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

MWSF: Shaky Cam Video From Day One5:17 PM
MWSF: MacSoft Presents Close Combat: First to Fight5:07 PM
MWSF: IMG Posts Keynote Report4:43 PM
MWSF: Macworld Expo 2005 Picture Gallery - Day One1:35 PM
Blizzard Sells 600k Units of WoW1:32 PM
Marathon Freeware Released1:25 PM
Aspyr Swings Tiger Back to the Mac8:44 AM
Doomsday Engine Beta Released for OS X8:44 AM
European WoW Final Beta Starts8:44 AM
Feral Updates Chessmaster 90008:44 AM
Orbz 2 Preview8:44 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, January 11, 2005 on one page

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