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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Aspyr News: Project Updates, Universal Binaries
6:03 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In the company's latest newsletter Aspyr Media discusses the progress of the eagerly awaited Quake 4 and Civilization 4. Q4 is in final testing and "looking very good." Civ 4 is still in early development but progressing.

On the Intel Mac front Aspyr was happy to announce the upcoming release of Universal versions of some of their popular titles including the graphics intensive shooter Doom 3. Early testing of Doom 3 on an Intel iMac has resulted in "some great performance." Other games scheduled to receive Intel optimized versions include The Sims 2, Quake 4, and Knights of the Old Republic.

The newsletter also discusses current and upcoming refinements to Aspyr's support for their many game offerings. The company has been hard at work in the creation of a new and improved Aspyr Technical Support.

Here are some of the new features:

- Fully functional knowledge base that our users can now use to search out issues and answers

- Users can now create their own individual accounts so they can log and track tickets that they submit to Technical Support

- New Aspyr Support interface
Finally, the newsletter features the latest Meet Aspyr Q&A, this time interviewing Andrew Cook.
ASPYR: What has been your favorite work experience at Aspyr?

ANDY: Doing the TCRs on Stubbs was awesome. Not only did I meet a bunch of fantastic people, but I felt like I actually did something really important on the game. I got to learn a lot about the industry as well. I’ve been avidly playing games since I was 6 years old and to get a job at a company that makes them is a dream come true.

The entire newsletter can be found at the site listed below.

Aspyr January Newsletter
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV
id Software
The Sims 2
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Buy Quake 4
Buy Civilization IV
Buy DOOM 3
Buy The Sims 2
Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

IMG Previews Enigmo 2
12:28 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a hands-on preview of Enigmo 2, the upcoming sequel to the popular puzzle game by Pangea Software. Here's a clip from the preview:

In 2003, Brian Greenstone's Pangea Software released Enigmo, a casual puzzle game featuring liquids. The new game was a big departure for the independent game developers who had specialized in 3D action/adventure games since their inception in 1987. With titles like Otto Matic, Cro-Mag Rally, and the highly-popular Nanosaur and Bugdom franchises as their bread and butter, moving to more casual games must have been a huge risk for the maverick developers. However, Greenstone and co. took to the task with their regular aplomb, adapting their 3D engine and applying the same amount of effort, ingenuity, and polish as in all their other projects.
To check out the full preview, follow the link below.

IMG Preview: Enigmo 2

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha Update
8:46 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Ambrosia updated the progress log on the upcoming game SketchFighter 4000 Alpha.

This release was mostly bug fixes, however this release also adds a map editor which will allow you to create custom made maps.

Beta 4 changes:

• Only submits net times better than ones you've had before.
• Clicking the highscore URL now launches a browser to the page.
• Universal binary!
• Window title click activation fixed (again)
• Problems with super weapons selected in menu fixed.
• Mouse hidden until moved when playing in window mode.
• Wave fix on small frozen objects.
• Super pellets now bounce in hard mode.
• You can nolonger downgrade to lower level weapons if you get them in the wrong order.
• More event handeling to avoid spinning beach ball cursor.
• 2P pickups vs. super weapons fixed.
• New version display fixed.
• Various little tweaks and fixes.
You can keep up to date with all of the latest changes to this game using the link below.

Ambrosia's Sketchfighter progress log
Ambrosia Software

New UT2004, Doom 3, Halo Benchmarks On Intel Macs
6:03 AM | Anthony Wang | 9 comments

Barefeats has updated its Intel Mac versus PowerPC benchmarks to include Unreal Tournament 2004, Doom 3, and Halo games. On every game benchmark test, the iMac Intel Core Duo either tied or bested its PowerPC predecessors including the top of the line PowerMac G5, still using PowerPC architecture.

We're impressed with Apple's decision to include the X1600 graphics processor with 12 pixel pipelines. You might wonder why we compared it to systems with GPUs that had no more than 4 pixel pipes. For starters, we had no choice when it comes to previous iMac systems. As for the Power Macs, we chose the standard GPU with which they ship or shipped.

It's also important to note that, at least in the case of 3D games, we used 1024x768, which is a resolution that should not tax the graphics processor. In this article the emphasis is on CPU speed. In the case of Doom 3, we only specified "Medium" and turned off Dynamic Shadows.

UT2004 tends to be CPU bound at 1024x768 especially when running botmatches -- which simulate actual game play. For example, we put a Radeon 9800 Pro (8 pipes) in the same G5/2.0GHz Power Mac we used in the graphs above. It produced the same frame rate (61 fps) as the Radeon 9600 XT. When we installed the Radeon X800 XT (16 pipes), we got the same frame rate.

Click on the links below to view the benchmarks and to learn more information.

Barefeats: iMac (Intel) Core Dual 2.0Ghz versus Others

Click to enlarge
Bugdom 2 Updated to 3.0.1
6:03 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Pangea Software updated its arcade adventure game, Bugdom 2 to version 3.0.1. This latest version fixes video and adds more key control customization. Earlier this month, Pangea released version 3.0 adding Universal Binary support for the newly released Intel Macs.

• Fixed some minor issues with video mode options. Updated all of the dialogs in the game, and the Input Config dialog is now accessible from the Settings dialog.
Click on the links below to download the update and to learn more about Bugdom 2.

MGF: Bugdom 2 Updater 3.0.1
Pangea Software
Bugdom 2
Buy Bugdom 2

Big Fish Games Releases Two New OS X Games
6:03 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Seattle-based Big Fish Games, which recently purchased Funpause, has announced the release of two new Mac OS X games: Mystery Case Files: Huntsville and Mahjong Towers Eternity. MCF:H is a puzzle game set in a city overwhelmed by crime. Players must find hidden clues in various crime scenes in order to catch criminals. MTE is the third generation of Mah Jong games developed by Big Fish. It features a unique community system that enables players to compare rankings with thousands of others, and share user created layouts for others to beat.

A free demo version of both games is available for download at the Big Fish Games Mac website listed below. Full versions of each game are available for $19.95.

Big Fish Games Mac Collection
Big Fish Games

Mac Games News for Monday, January 30, 2006

IMG Reviews Gangland1:30 PM
Phelios Releases Bunny Bunny11:00 AM
Freeverse Heroes Of Might And Magic V Interviews7:52 AM
Freeware Oolite updated as Universal Binary7:52 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic V For PC Delayed?7:52 AM
Mystery Island II Updated to 1.6.87:52 AM
NYT World of Warcraft Interview7:52 AM
TeamSpeex Universal Binary Released7:52 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 30, 2006 on one page

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