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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

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MacSoft Announces Zoo Tycoon 2
12:16 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 23 comments

MacSoft today announced it will be releasing a Macintosh version of Microsoft’s top-selling and award-winning Zoo Tycoon 2, the sequel to the popular zoo keeping simulation. Originally developed for the PC by Blue Fang Games, Zoo Tycoon 2 is scheduled for release in November 2005 at a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Zoo Tycoon 2 is a wildly fun game in which you build and operate your very own zoo.  Zoo Tycoon 2 cranks up the excitement with 3D first-person views that get you up close to the highly detailed giraffes, tigers, crocodiles, elephants, and more than 25 other types of animals in your zoo. And, you’ll be crafting even more creative zoos with a dazzling array of new building tools and objects, photo mode options, easy terrain altering options, rivers, a new zoom mode and 3D graphics that let you keep an even closer eye on the action.

Easy to start and easy to play, “Zoo Tycoon 2” gets players up close and interacting with the animals and zoo, with fun tutorials that allow players to enjoy the game right out of the box. Players are completely immersed into the zoo experience with new features including the Zoo Guest mode, where players can walk around and enjoy the game from a first-person point of view; and Zookeeper, which allows players to interact with their animals like never before. A brand new camera mode lets players take pictures of their favorite animals and share them online with friends. “Zoo Tycoon 2” also features a Zoopedia, filled with entertaining facts about the animals.
“’Zoo Tycoon 2’ gets you up close and lets you go wild building the zoo of your dreams,” said Al Schilling, General Manager of MacSoft. “The new construction tools take building a healthy zoo to a whole new creative level, and the Photo Safari allows you to capture and save each moment. It’s sure to tame seasoned veterans of the original award-winning ‘Zoo Tycoon’ or new players, regardless of their skill-level.”

Be sure to stay tuned to IMG for further information on Zoo Tycoon 2.

Zoo Tycoon 2
Buy Zoo Tycoon 2

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IMG Podcast Episode 3 Released
10:33 AM | Blake Buck | 1 comment

Today IMG released the third Episode of the Inside Mac Games Podcast, the official podcast of Mac gaming. Each week the IMG Podcast will be covering all the news in Mac gaming in one tight package. This week's show features Blake Buck, a writer for IMG, Justin Ficarrotta, author of Kill Monty, and William Miller, an artist for Freeverse Software.

On the show this week, the IMG podcast guys talk about the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade announcement, Civilization III: Complete and IV announcement, Black and White 2 announcement, the 2006 Walk of Game contest, Myst V Soundtrack released, and Peter Jackson's frustration with Lord of the Rings games. The show weighs in just over 25 minutes in length, and 12 megabytes large.

To download the podcast or view the shownotes, head over to the IMG Podcast page by clicking the link below.

IMG Podcast Episode 3
IMG Podcast Homepage

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Battlefield 1942 Mod Forgotten Hope Coming Soon
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Forgotten Hope, a mod for Battlefield 1942, was recently released for the PC with a Mac version to be released soon. The mod features over 250 new pieces of equipment including both land vehicles and aircraft, as well as many other gameplay additions.

The mod includes over 250 new pieces of authentic equipment (more than any other Second World War FPS), with tanks such as the mighty Russian IS-2 heavy tank and the diminutive Japanese Ha-Go light tank, aircraft from the rugged American P47 Thunderbolt to the antiquated British Fairey Swordfish biplane, warships such as the British Ark Royal aircraft carrier and the German Battleship Tirpitz and weapons including the powerful German Panzerfausts and the fearsome Russian PPSh-41 submachine gun.

New gameplay elements include a pilot class, which is now the only class equipped with a parachute, these can be found as pickup kits near most aircraft. There are also kits that contain deployable heavy machine guns, which can be setup anywhere on the map to create defensive strongpoints. Tank combat is greatly enhanced by a specially designed armour code, which determines how much armour anti-tank shells can penetrate, making it advantageous to outflank tanks to attack their weak rear armour. There are also towed anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, these can be driven to a hidden ambush point then deployed to surprise the enemy.
According to a post by Adam Ward on the Macologist website an issue with the installer is causing a delay in the release of the Mac version. For more information follow the links below.

Forgotten Hope
Macologist Forum Topic
Aspyr Media
Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
Buy Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition

bsnes System Requirements Released
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | 24 comments

Richard Bannister recently discussed the likely system requirements for his soon to be released Mac OS X version of bsnes. A Super Nintendo emulator designed for accuracy rather than speed, bsnes makes some hefty hardware demands. Those wishing to test the Mac OS X version at full frame rate will need at least a 2.3 GHz G5.

bsnes has been developed for accuracy over speed. It uses a cycle exact hardware emulation, along the lines of that used by Nestopia, and it does not use any special hacks to improve emulation performance at the expense of accuracy. The net result is without question the most system heavy emulator ever to be released on this web site. Full frame rate in bsnes will require a G5 running at a minimum speed of 2.3GHz.

As such, it is with considerable reluctance that I have decided to make bsnes require the presence of a G5 chip to run. I know if I do not do this then the many who do not read documentation will contact me to whine about performance, or more likely rant about my inadequacy on review sites. Testing on the fastest production G4 system out there has shown that the emulator can just about scrape full speed but only rendering one frame in four, so you're not missing much. (Performance gain from frame skipping in bsnes is relatively speaking negligible).

The Mac version of bsnes should be available in the next few days. For more about the emulator, and a handful of screenshots from the Mac version, check out the links below.
Byuu's Homepage: bsnes News

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Blizzard In Trouble With Privacy Concerns
7:19 AM | Anthony Wang | 31 comments

Blizzard, the devloper of the World of WarCraft games has been accused of spying by Internet activists. The culprit in this accusation is known as The Warden, Blizzard's anti-cheat program. According to tests down by a software engineer, The Warden scans the names of open programs, text fields in open windows, among other things. In Blizzard's defense, employees and gamers alike have reminded everyone about Blizzard's stance on cheating and that their isn't a need for other programs to be running in the background while playing the game.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said that it was not acceptable simply to take Blizzard's word that it did nothing with the information it gathered. It added that the Blizzard could get away with using The Warden because information about it was buried in licence agreements that few people read...Some pointed out that it would be hard for Blizzard to gather more useful information than they already have given that most use a credit card to pay the monthly fee to keep playing the game.
A quick look at the Blizzard forum finds that a majority of the community population is backing Blizzard's anti-cheat program. Additionally, if you are concerned about your privacy, there is a program called The Govenor that lists all the programs that The Warden anti-cheat program scans.

Please follow the links below to read the article and to learn more information.

BBC: Warcraft game maker in spying row
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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A Legion Of Burning Crusade Previews
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

With Blizzard's recent announcement of The Burning Crusade, the expansion for World of Warcraft, the first flurry of previews has made its way to the web. Today we have five courtesy of, Gamespy, Gamepro, Gamebunny, and Atomicmpc. Several of the reviews also include information about upcoming content for the original World of Warcraft as well.


In an earlier panel about WoW lore and quest design Blizzard creative director Chris Metzen commented about how the blood elves are completely addicted to magic. This mana/drug addiction extends into both their abilities and some of their quests.
From Gamespy:
Draenor itself is a remarkable place, a shattered world filled with floating rocks and chasms that open into the emptiness of space. It also houses plenty of high spaces that are simply unreachable by running or even with an ordinary mount. That's why the expansion pack will be introducing elite flying mounts.
From Gamepro:
With the increased level cap, expect harder and grander instances--eventually leading to Illidan in the Black Temple and Medivh's Tower. The post-60 content will be centered in the murky Outlands continent, accessible through the Dark Portal.
From Gamebunny:
As you can gather from the freshly-released official screenshots, Sunstrider is painted in shining gold, red and orange colors. The architecture is reminiscent of ancient Middle Eastern fantasy with a touch of whimsy thrown in.
From Atomicmpc:
Players will also find new dungeons, including the Caverns of Time in Tanaris where players will be able to venture back in time and take part in battles from previous Warcraft games, and Medivh's Tower in Deadwind Pass.
To read the previews in their entirety follow the links below. WoW BC Preview
Gamespy: WoW BC Preview
Gamepro: WoW BC Preview
Gamebunny: WoW BC Preview
Atomicmpc: WoW BC Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Part Two Of's Glenda Adams Interview
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment has posted the second part of their in-depth interview with Aspyr's Glenda Adams. The interview focuses on some of the more technical aspects of the upcoming Stubbs The Zombie: Rebel Without A Pulse.

Worg: This is Aspyr's first game. It's accepted that Wideload originated and did the bulk of development for Stubbs, but Aspyr's role seems to be passed over, or treated solely as publisher and porter of the game to PC and Mac. How much and what kinds of input did Aspyr have in the creative as well as technical aspects of Stubbs?

Glenda: Wideload had a very concrete vision of what they wanted to create in the game, but they were open to some of our feedback on things that could be done to enhance gameplay. We were very involved in the game, from production and testing of gameplay to creating and marketing the soundtrack CD. I think the soundtrack CD is one of the coolest things we've done for the game, and it was driven completely by in-house Aspyr. Aspyr development also implemented much of the game's UI on the Xbox and of course we handled all of the PC & Mac versions.

The interview can be found at the link listed below. Stubbs Interview
Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
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Apple Features Stubbs
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple's games site recently featured the upcoming undead epic Stubbs The Zombie. Brought to unlife by the folks at Wideload and Aspyr, Stubbs follows the exploits of one zombie as he quests for brains and revenge. Apple's feature includes commentary from Wideload's Matt Soell about the game's focus on humor.

“As soon as you say ‘The hero of our story is a brain-eating zombie,’ seriousness goes right out the window,” Soell adds. “We were trying to make people smile, not meditate on their existential angst. So we went for the giggles.”

Of course, Soell gives much credit for the game’s inspiration to George Romero’s zombie films. “Setting our story in Pennsylvania was my little tip of the hat to him,” the writer reveals. “There’s a little bit of Peter Jackson’s ‘Dead Alive’ in the game, and a little bit of ‘Return of the Living Dead’, and maybe some ‘28 Days Later’ sprinkled on top.

Check out Apple's site at the link below to read more.

Apple: Stubbs The Zombie Feature
Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
Buy Stubbs the Zombie

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Burning Crusade Q&A
7:19 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Boomtown has posted a Blizzard produced FAQ for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade. The FAQ answers a number of questions and gives some hints as to the kind of new content players can expect.

Will there be new dungeons and battlegrounds included in the expansion?

We do have plans to add dungeons and battlegrounds with the expansion, though the exact number has not yet been determined. One upcoming dungeon that we’re excited about is Karazhan, which is located within Medivh’s tower. Because Medivh has played such a central role in Warcraft lore, we think that a lot of longtime players will be especially interested in seeing what Karazhan contains. As an example of a battleground that will be included in the expansion, we plan on making some of the battles from the past accessible through the Caverns of Time. We’ll provide more details as we get closer to implementing this content
For the full list of questions and answers follow the link below.

Boomtown: Blizzard FAQ
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
Buy World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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Aspyr Announces Call of Duty Deluxe Edition
7:19 AM | Andy Largent | 16 comments

Aspyr sends word this morning that they are going to publish Call of Duty Deluxe Edition for Mac OS X this December. The title will give those players who haven't yet experienced this WWII-based shooter a chance to check out both the original and its United Offensive expansion pack.

Here's more from the Aspyr press release:

In war, no one fights alone. Looking through the eyes of American, British and Russian soldiers, Call of Duty Deluxe thrusts players alongside their squadmates into authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields. Experience the cinematic intensity of World War II’s epic battles including D-Day, the Russian Charge at Stalingrad and the Battle for Berlin.
Stay tuned for more information on Call of Duty Deluxe Edition soon from IMG.

Aspyr Media
Buy Call of Duty Deluxe Edition
Buy Call of Duty: United Offensive

Mac Games News for Monday, October 31, 2005

IMG Reviews El Ballo12:23 PM
Apple Store Special Deals11:37 AM
Fairies Released7:51 AM
Games that Scared Developers7:51 AM
Gold Farming On Life's Values7:51 AM
Halloween WarCraft III Bonus Map7:51 AM
IGN Reviews Civ IV7:51 AM
Interviews with Sid Meier, Civ IV Team7:51 AM
MMORPG Dofus Now Free7:51 AM
Stubbs the Zombie Commercials7:51 AM
Walk of Game Voting Ends Today7:51 AM
Wolfire Software Interview7:51 AM
WoW Expansion Preview7:51 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 31, 2005 on one page

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