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Friday, January 14, 2005

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MWSF: IMG Chats With Ambrosia's Welch
7:50 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

IMG managed to snag some valuable time with Andrew Welch, President of Ambrosia Software at Macworld Expo San Francisco today. As most gamers are aware, Ambrosia is currently working on four different titles for release: GooBall, Redline, Darwinia, and El Ballo.

GooBall, as discussed in a previous article, has players take the roll of a ball of goo, maneuvering through a variety of fantastic worlds in an attempt to reach a series of goals. Easily the most approachable of the games coming out, some new info we dug up today includes the ability to post high scores online for competitive reasons as well as the fact that the game is very nearly complete, and is expected to be available in a few weeks.

Redline, which is currently several months away from release, looks like just another racer at first glance. What sets it apart is a number of items. One of the most notable of these is that a huge amount of work has gone into making this game playable via keyboard controls. Beta testers have contributed much input, and the control scheme has been tweaked so that each car has a different feel to it, even via keyboard controls. Welch stressed that he wants this one to be playable from a laptop, and it's remarkable how well the game controls even when using the simple arrangement of arrow keys.

Other notable features for Redline include a sophisticated engine, which boasts a different physics model for each individual wheel on a given car, smooth internet play (which has been tested between U.S. and European players), and the fact that both cars and tracks are included as plug-ins, meaning it should be simple for interested tinkerers to create and add their own vehicles and tracks. Some examples cited include a flying carpet and a Good Humor ice cream truck, each with its own handling and feel.

Darwinia, which is slated for a mid-February release, is a difficult title to describe. One of those "have to see it to appreciate it" titles, it's best described as an RTS with a retro-look that is nevertheless beautiful to behold. The premise of the story is that a computer system has gone out of control, and it's up to the player to retake the system, with the help of some AIs known as Darwinians.

The look of the game borrows heavily from old-school arcade games and the venerable movie Tron. Polygons are made obvious in the construction of environments and characters, with a sky made up of floating squares, triangular mountains, and digital seas. The animation is silky-smooth, however, and gives one the impression of actually being in a digital universe. Tron fans in particular should take note of one of the units, which looks a lot like a Recognizer.

Creation of units is done in a unique manner - the player must actually draw shapes on the screen. Draw a triangle and a combat squad appears, while a 3-sided square creates an engineer.

Last on the list is El Ballo. We weren't able to get much information on this title, as it's still in early development. What we did see consists of an extremely cartoony world that looks a little mad, as well as features that slant the game towards the adults-only crowd.

Unity Technologies
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software

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IMG Store: Vendetta Online In Stock
10:45 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Strategy First's Vendetta Online in now in stock at the IMG Store. It is available for only $29.95.

Vendetta Online is a 3-D massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in space. Pilot your spacecraft online alongside thousands of others and build your reputation as a military pilot, explorer, merchant, mercenary, pirate, and more. Join guilds and fly group missions against player and nonplayer opponents. Take part in largescale space battles between nations. Multiple flight models allow for joystick and mouse control. A fully real-time combat system brings an intense, immersive feel to interstellar warfare. Come explore the Vendetta Online galaxy!

To place your order for Vendetta Online, please follow the link below.

Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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MWSF: Freeverse Bringing X2 - The Threat to North America
9:46 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Freeverse has announced that it will be publishing the Mac version of X2 - The Threat in North America. Originally announced for the Mac back in April by Virtual Programming, the game allows the player to take on the role of a pilot indigenous to the X-Universe.

Here's more on the game:

The story begins with our soon-to-be hero and his companion attempting to steal a ship and after a failed, action packed escape attempt in a dense nebulae, he soon finds himself aboard a security ship, destined to live out his days on the cold, prison-mining world of Artur.

Trade your way through the space lanes and achieve mogul status. Fight your way through dozens of interlinked missions within an all-new storyline. Build your empire of stations and ships across the Universe. Think if your next move could be your last as the Universe reacts to your actions.

A first person space experience designed for todays gamers with sound and graphics to match. Discover new worlds and races, become a trader, bounty hunter, pirate, miner or a cunning combination of them all. The uneasy peace that befalls the Universe is about to be broken...

X2 - The Threat is currently scheduled to ship in March. For more information, please visit the Freeverse web site.

Virtual Programming
X2 - The Threat
Buy X2 - The Threat

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GarageGames Goes 2D with Tiger
7:53 AM | Mike Apps | Comment on this story

Garagegames, makers of the low-cost and powerful 3D Torque game engine, recently announced that their new 2D Torque product would support Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

The engine takes care of the brunt of the work for game designers wanting to make 2D games, allowing them to focus on art gameplay. Here's more info:

Torque 2D is all about rapid development for games. It takes care of the technology, and the developer can focus on gameplay and art. By extending the current Torque Game Engine platform, indie developers will have a powerful tool to compete in the exciting and growing arena of 2D gaming.

Several key features of Torque 2D:

• Sprites - (static and animated)
• Tiles - (static, animated, dynamic, script-executable, unlimited layers, import from popular formats, fully scrollable)
• Collision - (swept-poly collision, highly optimized, returns rich info: contact points, normals, time of impact, etc, collision with individual tiles)
• Physics - (full rigid-body dynamics: linear and angular velocity, mass, inertia, friction, torque, etc)
• Complete C++ Source

"Our excitement with the new Apple OS X platform is compounded by our excitement for Torque 2D," said Jay Moore, GarageGames Evangelist. "Indie game developers will now be able to enter into a tool and game development suite with a consistent and integrated knowledge base sharing core functionality like scripting, networking, platform support and more."

For more information, follow the link provided below.

GarageGames Goes 2D with Tiger

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Wolfpack Launches 'Wrath' Shadowbane Server
7:52 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Ubi Soft and Wolfpack Studios have announced that their new Shadowbane world, Wrath, is coming online. This is the first new Shadowbane world to come online since Damnation and Entropy last year.

The new server will be using the new rules set from the recently announced Throne of Oblivion expansion. There are some new rules that are directly related to the new server coming online:

Curiosity and debate have raged in the community over the ruleset for the new server. First and foremost, Wrath will exist as a "clean" server: we will not allow any migration to it. In compensation for the fresh start, Wrath will offer accelerated Structure and Hireling upgrade times that mirror rates on the Test Server.  Furthermore, the server will have a slight, permanent experience bonus, leading to faster leveling.  Wrath will otherwise follow the same guidelines and principles as the other North American production servers.
Head over to Ubi Soft's website for more information on the new Wrath world for Shadowbane.

Shadowbane: Wrath Cometh!
Wolfpack Studios

Worms 4 Announced for PC
7:51 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

UK publishers Codemasters has announced that they have received the PAL publishing rights to the latest installment in the popular Worms franchise, Worms 4: Mayhem. The latest installment comes in time for the 10th anniversary celebration of Worms, a game that started out in 2D form on computer desktops around the world. The addictive turn-based gameplay, the wacky weapons, and the great worm voices made each installment more popular than the last. Recently, Worms entered a new dimension with Worms 3D, released for the Mac, PC, and consoles.

Worms 4: Mayhem continues in the 3D vein, and intends to improve on the previous model with more open arenas, and some unique weapons options.

And for the first time in any Worms game, you can let your imagination run riot and create your own weapons! Using a genius device, called Weapons Factory, you’ll be able to create your own weapon and enjoy the freedom to annihilate your opponents in your own unique way. You want to make Exploding Chickens or Toilet Bombs? You got it.

The worms’ armoury of brilliantly conceived classic weapons return and is built on with even more devilish devices. Plus, prepare to cause chaos and humiliate your enemy with a host of new weapons that create new strategies and gameplay possibilities including the Poison Arrow, Sentry Gun, Tail Nail and the Bovine Blitz, which unleashes a bombing raid of cows.

Although Worms 4 has not been announced for the Macintosh, Feral Interactive brought Worms 3D to the Mac faithful. Hopefully someone will step up to the challenge, and when they do, IMG will be there with the report.

Codemasters: Worms 4: Mayhem!
Worms 4: Mayhem Press Release

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Custer Offers SIMulating Desktop
7:50 AM | IMG Staff | Comment on this story

IMG's desktop-guru Brad Custer has released another new stylish desktop. This week's theme this time revolves around Aspyr's sure-fire hit The Sims 2, which is currently slated for a May 2005 release. Custer explains that this desktop was created in response to the high demand for another desktop for the game:

The Sims 2 from Aspyr Media is still a few months away from completion, but that doesn't stop my inbox from filling up with requests for it. I decided to start this year off with my second desktop dedicated to the highly anticipated sequel.
Custer's desktops come in various sizes by clicking on the link below.

IMG: Custer's Desktops
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
Buy The Sims 2

Mac Games News for Thursday, January 13, 2005

Aspyr Announces Star Wars Battlefront for OS X8:25 AM
IFTD Selling Classic Logicware Titles8:25 AM
Myst V 'Finale' Confirmed for the Mac8:25 AM
The Sims 2 Interview8:25 AM
X-Plane 8 Creator Interviewed8:25 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, January 13, 2005 on one page

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
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