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Friday, July 29, 2005

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Ask Feral Returns, Imperial Glory Announced
7:50 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 4 comments

IMG has posted Ask Feral - Volume 3. A few weeks ago we asked IMG readers to send in questions for Feral Interactive for a feature called Ask Feral. Feral took this occasion to announce that it will be bringing Imperial Glory to the Mac!

Here's a clip from the announcement:

Question: Your recent announcements have been great. I can't wait for Colin McRae Rally and Fable: the Lost Chapters. Anything else in the pipeline you can talk about? - Paul Asquini

Answer: Well, I'm glad you like our recent announcements. Fable: TLC and Colin McRae Rally are big favourites of the Feral team, so bringing them over to the Mac is very exciting. However, we do have another game in the works coming out later this year that we're thrilled about, it's called Imperial Glory and this is the first time that we have announced it. Imperial Glory is a military strategy game in the mould of Rome: Total War, with strong economic and diplomatic elements as well as vivid, 3D real-time battles on both land and at sea. Set in the Napoleonic era of the early 19th Century, the game charges you with leading one of the five great Imperial powers of the day – Austro-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia – in an attempt to become the one dominant Empire. You'll lead your troops across landscapes as varied as the green fields of England, icy wastes of Russia and the pyramids of Egypt to fulfil your goals. Along the way you will need to manage your empire as it undergoes industrialisation and important historical events, such as the battle of Waterloo. All in all there is a lot to look forward to with this game, especially for those who have been crying out for a comprehensive military RTS/management game on the Mac.

In addition to the Ask Feral feature, IMG has posted a first-look preview of Imperial Glory. To check out both articles, follow the links below.

IMG Feature: Ask Feral: Volume 3
IMG First Look: Imperial Glory
Feral Interactive
Imperial Glory
Buy Imperial Glory

Macgamestore: Last Days To Win A Free iPod
12:32 PM | Tuncer Deniz

Here's are some of the fantastic deals at this week.

1) Order any three or more games through, and get Aspyr's Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy for free (a $39.95 value). Simply add three games of your choice and Jedi Academy to your cart, then apply coupon code: jedi.

2) Here are the six new hot deals for this week:

Age of Mythology - $17.95 (was $19.95)
X2 - The Threat - $29.95 (was $34.95)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - $19.95 (was $29.95)
No One Lives Forever 2- $19.95 (was $29.95)
Return to Castle Wolfenstein - $17.95 (was $19.95)
Unreal Tournament 2004 - $34.95 (was $39.95)

3) and Aspyr Media are teaming up for a chance to win a brand new, free 60GB Color Photo iPod and a free Aspyr T-Shirt. Simply purchase any Aspyr game during the month of July, and you'll be entered into the drawing. On August 1st, the winner will be randomly picked and announced on Inside Mac Games and

You can increase your chances of winning by ordering more Aspyr titles. Each order which includes an aspyr game will be counted as one entry.

For more great deals, head over to

Custer Is A Tycoon
8:22 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

IMG's desktop guru Brad Custer has updated his section at IMG today with a new desktop from Railroad Tycoon 3 from MacSoft. Here's an excerpt from Brad's update with more on the game itself:

With our recent review of Railroad Tycoon 3 from MacSoft, my inbox has received more than one email for a desktop from the game. As always, I enjoy honoring all requests. In this feature I wanted to created an classic feel, but also show motion. So, with the help of MacSoft I was able to create this week's wallpaper.
Head over to Custer's Desktops to take a peek at his latest creation.

IMG: Custer's Desktops
Railroad Tycoon 3
Buy Railroad Tycoon 3

Battleground Europe Website Launched
8:20 AM | Blake Buck | 1 comment

Battleground Europe recently launched its official website. Battleground Europe is a first person PvP oriented MMOG set in World War II. The game features PC and Mac support, and is scheduled to be released August 15th. Here's some of the game's features:

Thousands of players sharing a single world- First person perspective in all game play
Huge game world measuring more than 350,000 square miles
Character advancement and career paths for rich RPG layer
Strategic systems driven by player missions and command
Growing list of 90+ historically accurate weapons including aircraft, tanks, anti-aircraft guns, trucks, rifles, machine guns and more!
Groundbreaking physics and damage modeling- Localized in English, French, German, Spanish & Italian
IMG will have more information on Battleground Europe as it becomes available. To visit the website, click the link below.

Battleground Europe Website Explores Bungie's History
8:20 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a short feature on the origins of some well known game companies, briefly discussed Bungie's history before the days of Halo and the Microsoft buyout.

One of life's little ironies is that Microsoft's ace in the hole started out as a fervent Macintosh supporter. Mac-first hits like Marathon and Myth are the stuff of legend nowadays, but funnily enough, you don't hear much about the company's debut title, a black-and-white piece of freeware called Gnop. (Spell it backward and you'll realize that Bungie's reputation for creativity was something it didn't earn right out of the starting gate.)
The article also discusses a time when Rockstar North's (Grand Theft Auto) most controversial title was Lemmings. For the entire trip down memory lane click on over to at the link below. Before They Were Famous
Bungie Studios

Finnish Researchers Working On Advanced Bullet Time
8:20 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

If you've ever wished you could use Neo style "bullet time" in Unreal Tournament or Halo, you'll be happy to know that some Finnish researchers are looking into implementing a workable version of the ubiquitous time distortion effect.

In the past, developers had two options for implementing bullet-time effects, and both have significant flaws: making the perception of all players slow down at the same time (a tecnique used by games like Perfect Dark), or making one player move very quickly. But researchers from the University of Turku are introducing a third, superior option: a local perception filter (LPF).

When it applies to online shooters like Unreal Tournament, the concept is simple: The LPF will allow one player to gain a strategic advantage over his foes by entering bullet time, but it won't interrupt the pacing of the game. This bullet time-endowed character will see events happen at a slower rate, but to his opponents, he'll still move at regular speed.

This new bullet time will make use of the ways programmers already adjust the speed of games to smooth out the effects of time delays.
In locally networked games, time delays can be as much as 10 milliseconds, while transatlantic games suffer a latency of around 60 milliseconds. However, the use of LPFs means players do not notice any time lag because events are ever so slightly slowed down until the game catches up with itself.

Using a test-bench game called MaxMaze Demonstrator, Smed and colleagues found that they could also artificially introduce delays of up to a few seconds, allowing one player to slow down their environment and gain a strategic advantage, while game-time appeared normal to their opponent.

Check out the Gamepro brief and the original New Scientist article at the links below.

Gamepro: Bullet Time
New Scientist: Matrix Style Bullet Time

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World Of Warcraft Helps Boost Vivendi Games Sales 76%
8:19 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Yesterday Vivendi Universal revealed its revenue reports for the second quarter and first half of 2005. As reported on Gamespot, the media conglomerate increased its second quarter sales by 8% and half year sales by 9%. More interestingly, its subsidiary Vivendi Universal Games reported an increase in sales of 76% during the second quarter in large part due to the success of Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

In what must be a welcome change of events, the company's long-suffering game division, VU Games, had both a boffo quarter and half-year. Primarily on sales of the online hit World of Warcraft, the division's Q2 sales increased by 76 percent to 125 million euros ($151.7 million).

First-half revenues were up 61 percent to 236 million euros ($286.4 million). In addition to WoW, the company called out Robots, SWAT 4, The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Half-Life 2, and Empire Earth II as peak performers.

"World of Warcraft successfully launched commercially in Europe, Korea, and China and continues to be the fastest-growing game in its category," the company said today. The game has landed "over 2 million customers via directly managed operations in North America, Europe, and Korea, and 1.5 million paying customers in China, in conjunction with local [Shanghai-based) partner The9."

For the full article go to the site below.

Gamespot: Vivendi Financials
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

CNET Previews Quake 4, Screenshots
8:07 AM | Anthony Wang | 4 comments

CNET is featuring a visual preview of the highly anticipated shooter, Quake 4. With Quake 4 screenshots so scarce right now, besides leaked ones, these are a real treat. The game is being created by id Software and Raven Software, creators of the other Quake games, DOOM, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein to name a few.

One of the first things you notice about Quake 4's Doom 3-derived engine is its ability to render lifelike facial expressions. Although, in fairness, for this sort of game there's really only one emotion to experience: terror.
To view the entire preview, follow the link below.

CNET: Quake 4 Visual Preview
Buy Quake 4

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EA Responds To The Sims 2 Accusations
8:06 AM | Anthony Wang | 1 comment

SPOnG is reporting that Electronics Arts has responded to Jack Thompson's accusations of The Sims 2. As reported by IMG earlier this week, anti-gaming advocate and attorney Jack Thompson had just finished his case against "Hot Coffee" modification in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and went straight to accuse The Sims 2 video game of having inappropriate sexual content. Here is a look at the response by Electronic Arts.

“This is nonsense,” said Jeff Brown, spokesman for EA. “Reasonable people understand there is nothing improper in the game. Reasonable people recognise what mods are. A consumer who chooses to use a mod does so without any kind of agreement with the company. There is no nudity. There is nothing improper or vulgar in the Sims 2.”
To read the full article follow the link below.

Spong: Article
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
Buy The Sims 2

Do Storylines Really Matter In Video Games?
8:05 AM | Anthony Wang | 9 comments

Gamasutra has posted a feature on stories in video games. The article discusses important factors in game stories that developers should pay attention to. Gamers are looking more and more for in-depth content like gameplay instead of how pretty a game looks. With all the news of upcoming game to movie announcements, the article also disccuses why games aren't movies.

The real substance of story, as McKee points out, is CONFLICT. Did I already say that? Good. I'm repeating myself on purpose. If you remember nothing else, remember this. Story is conflict.

This is no trivial point for game developers. This has huge implications for how we plan our productions cycles, and how story is best presented in the game. For one thing, the conflict is part of the structure, which means it needs to be planned from the beginning of the development process.

So, how does this conflict work through the course of the story? Glad you asked.

To read the entire feature, follow the link below.

Gamasutra: Article

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New Anti-Cheat Program For Raven Shield
8:03 AM | Anthony Wang | 2 comments

In addition to a new battle league that they are working on, Mac Gaming League presents iGuard, the first and only true anti-cheat program designed specifically for the Macintosh version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield. It was developed by fellow gamers, Drew and Bryan (a.k.a Revelation). With the availability of iGuard for Raven Shield and the lack of Punkbuster support in many popular Mac titles, it is a stepping stone towards Mac Gaming League's goal to provide a cheat-free enviorment in all Mac games. Regardless, they have a zero tolerance stance on cheaters. The Mac Gaming League will be unveiled shortly, but until then you can have a look around and spread the word.

From the MGL forums:

Please don't mind the mess...A lot of buttons and rules are all screwed up. We decided to go ahead with the launch by releasing the new RvS Anti-Cheat "iGuard".
iGuard is required for all MGL Raven Shield games. The server and client will need to install the anti-cheat program to function properly. There is an auto installer, so you don't have to move around files manually and risk messing up your game.

To download iGuard or to learn more information, follow the links below.

Aspyr Media
Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
Buy Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

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Rise of Legends Development Diary #2
7:58 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Gamespot has posted the developer diary for the upcoming game, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. The diary follows the nation Vinci inventor Giacomo has been forced to lead in one the single player campaigns that will be in the game.

The moment Giacomo takes power, Carlini is beside him to guide Giacomo through the perils of ruling a nation. Carlini is the first character from the story that will join up with Giacomo and be available for you to use during battles.
To read the full developer diary, follow the link below.

Gamespot: Development Diary #2
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

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Shadowbane Development Update
7:51 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

The Shadowbane Development page has been updated to provide more information on the upcoming August content patch. Developed by Ubi Soft, Shadowbane is a popular MMORPG available for the Mac and PC.

Here is a look at what to expect in the new patch:

Chat System Improvements - Various chat system improvements will be implemented to include a new Global and Class-Specific chat channels; note that you must belong to that Class to be able to access the Chat Channel (for example, a Ranger can only view and talk on the Ranger Channel). With this update, modifications have been made to the ignore list so it will now persist as well as a minor update to the death messages so they will be broadcast worldwide (note that this feature is easy to turn on and off).

Loreplay Server - A new server will be brought online that will contain limits on what Races and Classes can join a Guild Charter and only allowing guilds of the same Guild Charter Type to swear fealty to each other (meaning a High Court can only swear fealty to other High Courts). Furthermore, restrictions will be in place only allowing Nation Members to group together and disallowing the casting of peaceful powers on members of different Guild Charter Types (For example, a member of a Noble House can only cast peaceful powers on individuals in their Nation or in another Nation that is based on a Noble House guild charter). This server will not be brought online with the August Content Patch but will begin evaluation in the testing environment in the weeks after the August Patch is placed on the game servers.

Global Group Invitations - A new text command that will allow Group Leaders to invite someone to their group even if they are on the other side of the game world.

Passwall for Thieves - The Passwall Power will be made available to the Thief Class via the Black Mask Discipline.

The Black Market - Denizens of Sea Dog's Rest have banded together and created an underground market. This market will contain various armor and weapons for sale that will contain magical properties that can be crafted without resources. Note that these items will have a specific set of enchantments and there will be a very limited number of items.

Working Inns - Players will be able to pay an innkeeper and log out and back in at that location.

Revamped Default Interface Layout - Made minor adjustments to the default layout for when a new character is started.

Class Balancing - The Crusader and Sentinel Classes will receive some attention during this patch.

For more information, follow the links below.

Wolfpack Studios
Shadowbane Development Update

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Dofus Beta Launched
7:51 AM | Blake Buck | 2 comments

Ankama Studio recently released a free Mac compatible beta of its new game, Dofus. Dofus is a cartoon-inspired MMORPG with a unique fantasy setting and a 'tactics-style' battle system. While the Mac client is all flash based, the game features rich animated graphics and a small download size.

Even though the game is still in beta form, and was launched a little over a week ago, Dofus already has a large following. And while the Dofus beta remains free, future pricing options are unknown at this time. IMG will have more on Dofus as it develops.

To sign up for an account and download, click the link below.

Dofus Website

Mac Games News for Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tiger Woods Goes Gold, IMG Preview10:27 AM
Hellgate: London Interview, Mac Version Mentioned7:33 AM
Interview with Andy Keane of AGEIA7:32 AM
Diablo on Speed7:31 AM
Stubbs the Zombie Soundtrack Coming Soon7:31 AM
Apple Posts Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 Feature7:30 AM
Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection Available For Preorder7:29 AM
Take Two, Rockstar Sued By 85 Year Old Grandmother7:28 AM
Gamespy Previews Fable: The Lost Chapters7:27 AM
Neverwinter Nights Community Expansion Pack Updated To 1.527:27 AM
PlayMyth Will Stay7:25 AM
New World War II Online Game Announced7:23 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, July 28, 2005 on one page

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