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Thursday, December 1, 2005

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DropTeam Screenshots, HDR Info
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments and TBG Software recently released a new set of 58 screenshots for DropTeam, their upcoming real-time tactical Sci-Fi game focusing on mechanized combat in the far future. The screenshots show the advanced lighting and postprocessing effects used in the game, including High Dynamic Range rendering and full-scene glow. The use of these techniques allow for more realistic muzzle flashes, ion beams, and bright sunlight "glare".

DropTeam is a multiplayer capable, real-time, tactical simulation of armored ground combat in the far future. You’ll battle for control of objectives on a broad variety of planets ranging from verdant Earth-like worlds to desolate, radioactive wastelands. You will use Dropship to land fighting vehicles and other deployable assets like sensors, mines and automated turrets on planetary surfaces. You will take direct control of various types of armored fighting vehicles while also coordinating your team, including AI, other human players, artillery support and more. Vast, exotic landscapes rendered in real-time with detailed, accurate physics and ballistics systems and true line-of-sight provide realistic combat. There are no “hit points”, limited view distances, unrealistically short weapon ranges, or other gross simplifications that are typical of many other sci-fi games. DropTeam can be played online on a public server with up to 16 players, or it can be played privately with as few as 2 players, as well as single-player vs. AI opponents. AI opponents can also be mixed in with human players in order to make the teams any size you like.
High Dynamic Range rendering is an attempt to more realistically mimic the way the human eye deciphers brightness levels. Although current monitor technology is not capable of recreating the levels of brightness distinguishable by the human eye, HDR creates a close approximation using floating point operations, tone mapping, and light bloom effects.
For DropTeam, Pixel Shader 3.0 is not required for HDR to work. It runs even on low end NVidia 5200 cards and older Radeons (though it does hit performance on those older architectures, as ANY shaders do!)
DropTeam will be ship with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux versions, all of which will be fully compatible. The game is expected to reach release sometime next year.

To check out the screenshots and learn more about the game follow the links below.

DropTeam Screenshots
DropTeam Overview

Aspyr Adds CoD:Deluxe and Civ3:Complete Pages
9:37 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Aspyr has recently added new pages for both Civilization III: Complete and Call of Duty: Deluxe Edition to their site. As their titles suggest, both of these are compilation titles that include expansion packs, as well as the original titles, in complete packages.

The Civ III: Complete edition includes Civ III, Play the World, and Conquests, allowing players to once again take a stab at world domination. The CoD: Deluxe compilation includes both CoD and United Offensive, offering World War II shooting action across a number of battlefields as either part of the U.S., British, or Russian armies.

CoD: Deluxe is currently sitting at Final Candidate status. Civ III fans will have to wait a little longer, as Complete is currently in Alpha. Both titles currently bear a Dec 2005 release date at Aspyr's Project Status page.

Call of Duty Deluxe Edition
Aspyr Media
Civilization III: Complete
Buy Call of Duty Deluxe Edition
Buy Civilization III: Complete

D2X-XL (Descent 2) Available for Mac
9:37 AM | Eddie Park | 1 comment

Fans of the old-school 3D flying/shooting title Descent 2 may be interested in a mod in good standing known as D2X-XL. An upgrade to D2X, the Open GL modification of Descent 2, D2X-XL has recently added Mac OS X binaries, allowing Mac users to give it a try.

Although D2X-XL contains a lot of enhancements and new features, it is still fully backwards compatible to every other Descent 2 version. As many fixes restore features of the original Descent 2 that were missing in D2X (like availability of all cockpit views, or working mouse steering), it is even closer to them than D2X itself.
D2X-XL contains support for Descent 1 missions as well, though some patching must be done beforehand. In addition, an original copy of Descent 2 is also required for play.

Those who wish to download D2X-XL can do so at MacGameFiles. More info on the title itself can be found at its official site.

D2X-XL Site

Macgamestore Adds Gift Certificates
7:59 AM | Tuncer Deniz

What's better than to give the gift of Mac gaming. today added gift certificates to the store, allowing buyers to send gift certificates to fellow Mac gamers. To purchase a gift certificate you simply need to log into your account and purchase it via our simple and easy to use system.

Certificates are charged to the buyer's credit card instantly and the person receiving the gift certificate will receive an email with a valid code in seconds. Macgamestore offers certificates from $15 all the way up to $200.

For more information on gift certificates, follow the link below.

Macgamstore: Gift Certificates

MacGlide Updated
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

MacGlide, a GNU shared library for Mac computers that emulates 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics hardware, was recently updated to 0.11. The library makes it possible to run games originally made for 3Dfx/Glide by translating the function calls to OpenGL. The MacGlide beta works with games such as Tomb Raider 3, Carmageddon, and Deus Ex.

Here's the complete update list:

New Features:
- New rendering engine (more accurate than in 0.10.1) allows better quality on suitable graphics cards (ATI 7500 and later or similar NVidia cards). Also fixes some rendering glitches such as the haze in Falcon 4.0 (which didn't show up in 0.10.1). To get the higher quality rendering, you need a graphics card with at least 3 texture units, for example an ATI Radeon 7500. Smaller cards like NVidia GForce2mx or ATI Rage 128 will still use the simple rendering mode, and things will continue to look like in 0.10.1.
- Full Scene AntiAliasing (FSAA) for ATI chips (only in the Classic environment)
- Global texture smoothing and mipmapping
- Tweaked a code a little to gain more speed on slower systems
- Original 3dfx-splash animation is displayed when starting a game in order to achive a more authentic appearence.
- Better resource management

- Menu backgrounds in Carmageddon 2
- Fa/18 Korea looks better (but is still not playable).
- If the exact screen size isn't found, MacGLide tries to choose a slightly larger one.
- Tomb Raider 3: The in-game menu background now shows the current game scene in black & white.
- Objects in Carmageddon (and probably other games) don't loose their transparency anymore when the fog becomes thicker.
- Tomb Raider 1 Gold: Switching to the In-Game menu got a bit faster.
- Less white screen appearence during screen resolution changes
- Improved memory management hopefully fixes sudden exits in Falcon 4.0 that happended to some users when firing a rocket.
- Haze in Falcon 4.0 rendered correctly.
- Translucent Menu backgrounds in Tomb Raider 1 Gold.
- Translucent Lightnings in Tomb Raider 1 Gold.
- Fixed the multicolored skidmarks in Carmageddon (Splatpack).

To try out the MacGlide beta and learn more about the project follow the links below.

MacGlide 0.11

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Electronic Distribution On The Rise
7:53 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

With companies like Virtual Programming already providing downloadable formats for most of its games, and other alike in the industry, legal electronic distribution is replacing boxed copies of games. Recently, Running With Scissors announced the availability of Postal for download on the PC. Likewise, the developers of Darwinia has followed suit by providing that game as a download for the PC through Steam; the Mac version has always been a download version through Ambrosia Software.

TSR: Secondly, does your new agreement cover Darwinia only? Or will past and future Introversion titles be distributed on Steam as well?

IV: Currently it’s only Darwinia, but I wouldn’t rule out other Introversion games coming out on Steam. Let’s see how Darwinia does amongst Steam customers first…

The reasons for abandoning boxed retail copies for download stem from many issues, the main one being cost. The cost of making one boxed retail title is around four dollars, and includes paper, printing, ink, media disc, etc. This may not sound a lot, but if a company manufactures thousands of copies for release, the costs eventually add up. Of course there are other reasons including size of company, spread of broadband Internet or even widely banned games such as Postal that impact the decision to go distribute games online.

Yet with all the cost cutting, digital distribution isn't for everyone. There are still the gamers with dial-up Internet connection or similar speeds. Also, some don't trust buying commodities online and privacy concerns. For example, a few have complained about Virtual Programming's online verification of their games and asking for the administrator's password to install games. Additionally, gamers like boxed copies because the media disc provides a backup copy of the game, while digital download is on a prone to crash anytime hard drive. For now, digital distribution is another option to purchase games, but hasn't replaced boxed retail copies completely.

As a result of certain factors, game studios and other companies alike are beginning to look towards legal digital distribution of games and other media including movies, TV shows, and music as another way to get the product to the consumer.

Postal(PC) Available As Download
SteamReview - Darwinia As Download
Ambrosia Software
Introversion Software
Virtual Programming
Running With Scissors
Postal 2
Buy Postal 2

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New Beta PC Patch for UT2004
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Beyond Unreal recently offered a list of the current updates and fixes available in the upcoming PC patch for Unreal 2004. The patch will update the game from version 3355 to 3369. The list includes changes to gameplay, networking, and engine.

Here's the partial list:

General Gameplay:
- Fixed DriverLeft() not be called when driver dies in vehicle without vehicle being destroyed. This fixes the vehicle not resetting, and fixes effects like the engine sound not being turned off.
- Fixed some vehicle weapon effects staying around when bots stopped firing them.
- Fixed spider mine layer incorrectly reducing mine count when a fired spider mine immediately explodes.
- Fixed manta and raptor spinning sometimes when player enters
- SPMA camera explodes if it hits water.
- Don't allow SPMA camera view to go outside world.
- Invasion HUD radar uses the viewed pawn's rotation rather than the spectator's rotation.
- Fixed low gravity not working properly in second and successive rounds of onslaught.
- Moved announcements for assault energycore to ASOBJ_EnergyCore_Spawn, and made them editable by level designers.
- Fixed spawning multiple energycores in Assault.
- Can now throw linkgun with 1 ammo left.
- Fixed exploit where shieldgun could be used to protect against lava or slime volume damage.
- Fixed CTF Flags not returning exploit
- Fixed stats tracking when a player switches between a spectator and active player (or vice-versa)
A Mac version of the update will hopefully arrive sometime soon after the final PC version is released. For more information follow the links below.

Digital Extremes
Epic Games
Unreal Tournament 2004
Beyond Unreal: UT 2004 PC Beta Patch
Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

Audio Overload Updated
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Earlier this week Richard Bannister announced an update of Audio Overlord to version 2.0b7. Overlord emulates the sound hardware of vintage console systems and computers to allow users to listen to authentic renditions of classic video game tunes.

Updates and bugfixes include:

-Added support for gzips nested inside other archives.
-Added support for NSFE files.
-Rewrote the VGM engine to support the latest files, needed for Project 2612.
-Numerous fixes to the S98 engine; sound quality should be much better now.
-NSF and GBS files no longer allow you to go two tracks beyond the end of the file.
-The SNDH engine no longer stops playback at the three minute mark.
-Fixed previous/next song highlighting in KSS driver.
-Blargg sent in FME-07 support for the NSF engine (Gimmick!).
-R. Belmont added support for various PC AdLib formats (.ROL, .SCI, and .IMF).
-R. Belmont added support for .VTX files (Spectrum).
-R. Belmont added support for ID666 tags in SPC files, and converted the code to use the Game_Music_Emu engine.
To download Audio Overlord and learn more about the program visit the sites listed below. Software
Audio Overlord 2.0b7

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Apple Previews RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
7:53 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Apple is now featuring RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 in its games section. The game is the first of its kind to come to the Mac and features stunning 3D graphics, revolutionary Coaster-cam, enhanced crowd scenes, and over 170 rides to choose from. In addition, design, build, and create your very own dream park with the "Sandbox" feature.

In addition, the Coaster Cam lets you experience any ride in your park from the point-of-view of a “peep,” which is how Frontier refers to your customers. “My favorite ride is the observation tower,” reveals Watts. “Although it’s about as un-extreme as you can get, I just love watching my parks from such a superb vantage point — it’s beautiful.”
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has just gone gold and should be in stores shortly.

Apple-RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Preview
Aspyr Media
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
Buy RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

Rock'n'Roll 2004: Return Of The King Released For OS X
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Independent game developer 300AD has announced the release of Rock 'n' Roll 2004: Return of the King, a 2D puzzle game with a 50's and 60's musical theme. The game offers 60 levels of "pure logic puzzle solving joy," colorful graphics, and a unique musical score.

From 300AD's website:

Yes, you were right - the King has never died. Now he rocks as ever. Get your boots ready to dance through 60 levels of pure fifties and sixties.

Grease up your hair and set your moves to collect and connect the classical rock'n'roll proprieties such as musical instruments, cocktails and many more.

There are loads of things to make your way a lot easier, there are loads of things that will make it a way more difficult than it seems at the first glimpse. It's up to you - you might be a rebel without a clue, you might be a cool daddy, hot chick or a rock'n'roll babe - which way you'll choose but still you have to prove you've got the brains!
Return of the King requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and 128 MB of RAM. A demo can be downloaded from The full version costs $12.95.

Check out the links below for more information.

Rock 'n' Roll 2004: Return of the King
Rock 'n' Roll 2004: Return of the King 1.0

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Sid Meier Interviewed
7:53 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Eurogamer has posted an interview with Sid Meier, Firaxis founder and creator of the Civilization series. The interview covers a broad range of topics including Firaxis' recent merger with Take Two Interactive, upcoming projects for the company, and discussion of the recently released Civilization IV.

From the interview:

"No," he says when we suggest Civilization as a franchise may have just about run its course. "At the moment we're happy to put it aside for a while and let people play it, and all the stuff we could think of went into the game [Civ IV], but history shows that it may come back again. It's been 15 years, so it's not like we bring it out every year or two, but we wait an appreciable amount of time. I don't know. Who knows what the world's going to look like in a few years? But the idea's rich enough, I think, to sustain any number of games."

Fans will be glad to hear that. And Meier really is a fan's man.

"Our fans are so vocal and enthusiastic that it would crush them if we didn't bring out another one," he says. "Soren was talking this morning to a representative of Civ Fanatics, and it's amazing the people that have latched onto this game as defining their lives. It would be unfair and cruel not to do another game if they really want one."

Aspyr Media is currently working on a Mac version of Civilization IV which should be released sometime next year. To read the entire interview click on the following link.

Eurogamer: Sid Meier Q&A
Civilization IV
Buy Civilization IV

Mac Games News for Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Apple Updates Hot Deals12:21 PM
IMG Feature: The MMO Lull12:17 PM
Hyboreal Games Formed7:49 AM
OMG Cup Judging Begins, Downloads Available7:49 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, November 30, 2005 on one page

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