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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

MacSoft Announces Age of Empires III
9:03 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 34 comments

Destineer’s MacSoft unit today announced the Macintosh version of Microsoft Game Studios Age of Empires III. The sequel to MacSoft’s second best-selling title ever, and the latest release in the 18-million unit Age of Empires” series, Age of Empires III for Macintosh is scheduled to be available by the end of September, 2006 as a Universal Binary that can be operated natively either on Apple’s Intel-based or PowerPC Macintosh computers.

“Age of Empires III” picks up where “Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings®” left off, as players become one of eight European powers exploring, colonizing, and conquering the New World. Featuring amazing 3D graphics, remarkable Ageia® PhysX® technology, and an innovative Home City feature that lets players “level-up” their evolving home city to strengthen their economy, technology, and military, “Age of Empires III” for Macintosh sets many new standards for real-time strategy games.

Players command rifled infantry as they scatter soldiers and blast buildings with cannon fire. They direct cavalry through the plains, and navigate naval fleets to hold strategic waterways. They explore uncharted territories, grow a booming economy, and form strategic alliances with Native Americans as they stake their claim in the New World.

Destineer’s president, Peter Tamte, claims “this is the dawn of a new age for Macintosh users as we experience the ‘Age of Discovery’ in a new generation of the greatest real-time strategy games ever created.”
IMG has posted a brief first look preview of the game. Be sure to check it out by following the link below. Also look for an Age of Empires III week on IMG in the coming weeks with in-depth hands-on previews, interviews, contests, and more!

Age of Empires III is currently available for pre-order at for $49.95.

IMG First Look: Age of Empires III
Buy Age of Empires III

Click to enlarge
Macgamestore: X2 - The Threat Digital Download
6:12 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 12 comments

X2 - The Threat is now available at as a digital download for $29.95. The complete download is about 1 GB in size.

X2 The Threat - space simulation on the Mac taken to a new level. The ultimate test of combat, tactical, navigational and entrepreneurial skills, X2 The Threat is a space simulation of breathtaking depth and scope.

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.

For more on X2, follow the link below.

Buy X2 - The Threat

Click to enlarge
Destineer Opens New Studio
11:04 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Destineer, the parent company of MacSoft, today announced that it has chosen Raleigh, North Carolina as the location where it will open its next development studio. Destineer expects this location will grow to at least 100 engineers, artists, designers, QA staff, and management. Destineer’s Raleigh studio will initially develop commercial videogames and training simulations based on Destineer’s work with the US intelligence community.

The Raleigh area is already host to nearly a dozen videogame developers, including industry leaders Red Storm Entertainment and Epic Games.

“We believe Raleigh is quickly becoming a hub for videogame development,” according to Destineer’s president Peter Tamte. “We picked Raleigh as the location for this studio because it has a strong existing videogame development community, 3 of the nation’s top universities, and because, frankly, you can buy a gorgeous 4-bedroom house 15 minutes away from the office for about the same price as renting a 2-bedroom apartment on either coast. We think this will be helpful as we recruit experienced staff from other parts of the country.”

Destineer’s creative director, Juan Benito, who co-founded Red Storm Entertainment, will lead a core group of industry veterans who will begin operations at the studio on August 28. Destineer is looking to immediately fill positions in engineering, art, and design.

For more on Destineer, follow the link below.

Destineer Studios

TransGaming To Shut Out Mac Publishers?
10:29 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 36 comments

A recent article at The Mac Observer by Brad Cook sheds a bit more light on how TransGaming's Cider could cause a paradigm shift in the Mac gaming market. In case you missed the announcement last week, Cider is a new wrapping technology that allows Windows games to run on Intel Macs without the need for massive time-consuming ports.

According to the article, TransGaming has no plans to license Cider to companies such as Aspyr or MacSoft, instead dealing directly with PC publishers.

Here's a quote:

With such current Mac publishers as Aspyr and MacSoft typically spending months to bring games to the Mac, Mr. State said: "We imagine that they are re-evaluating their business models. Our technology does revolutionize how games are brought to the Mac, which we believe will result in a paradigm shift in the Mac game publishing landscape." He added that TransGaming has no plans to license Cider to other companies, but "we are always open to discussion."
The implications are far reaching and could have a dramatic impact on Mac gaming if Cider is used by publishers such as UbiSoft, Electronic Arts, and Activision, shutting out the Mac publishers such as Aspyr and MacSoft. One of the things that concerns us is that most PC publishers do not know the Mac games market, how to market to it, provide good technical support, etc.

For more on this interesting article, follow the link below.

TMO Reports - TransGaming Talks Cider

Marathon: Rubicon X Released
9:03 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Marathon: Rubicon X, a free cross platform first person shooter which continues the story of Bungie's Marathon trilogy, is now available for download. A complete overhaul of the original Marathon: Rubicon, Rubicon X features all new high-res artwork, new and updated maps, and more.

Who are we?

The original Rubicon was made by many people, but two made the lion's share:

Chris Lund - most of the maps, weapons, items, and enemy sprites, as well as creating most of the non-Bungie sounds you'll hear in the game.

D. Scott Brown - most of the textures, terminal and chapter graphics, and this website. He also wrote most of the story.

Almost everything for the Rubicon X overhaul was done by Chris, except for texture set 1 and a few textures in other sets. He's the guy you should thank.

To download M:RX and learn more about the project click on the link below.

Marathon: Rubicon X
Marathon: Rubicon

Parallels to Improve 3D Support
9:03 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

In a recent Macworld article, Parallels spokesman Ben Rudolph revealed that future plans for Parallels Desktop for Mac would include "fast 3D graphics support" as well as support for Windows Vista. Parallels Desktop allows users to run Windows XP, and other PC operating systems, at the same time as OS X through use of virtualization technology.

Rudolph also discussed the entrance of VMWare into the Mac market and the end of Virtual PC:

Monday saw two substantial news items of note to Mac users who want or need to run Windows and other X86-compatible operating systems on their Intel Macs. First, established enterprise virtualization technology developer VMWare announced plans to support the Mac, and Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit said it won’t develop its once-popular PC emulator Virtual PC to run on Intel-based Macs.

Both of these developments, said Parallel spokesman Ben Rudolph, point to Parallels’ dominant position as a virtual machine developer for Mac OS X.

“While we’re glad that VMWare is endorsing the Apple market and foresaw their entry as part of their focus on enterprise-class software and building products for highly technical users like software developers and testers, we believe that Desktop’s unmatched ease of use, consumer-focused feature set, as well as our strong backing from Apple and great retail presence in the Apple Stores, Staples, Office Depot and more, will keep us the number one choice for Apple users who want to run Windows on their Macs,” said Rudolph in a statement.

The rest of the article and more information about Parallels Desktop can be found at the links below.

Parallels Desktop For Mac

Eschalon: Book 1 Interview
9:03 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

RPG Vault has posted a new interview with Basilisk Games about Eschalon: Book 1, their upcoming turn based RPG which the company hopes will recapture the fun of role playing classics from the past. Thomas Riegsecker, the game's lead developer, discusses a variety of Eschalon's features including skills, character creation, and the combat system.

Jonric: What kind of combat system will Eschalon: Book I have in terms of the aspects it emphasizes and the type of play experience it will provide? Aside from fighting, will you have any puzzles or mini-games?

Thomas Riegsecker: Book I's combat is turn-based, but the duration of a turn is governed by your character's Speed attribute. As it increases, the time it takes to cast a spell or swing a sword decreases, allowing you perform more turns in the same span of time than a slower opponent would be able to. So, in some ways, the game can play out with a very action-like feel, but at its core, it is still turn-based and strategy-centric.

Early on, simple battles might be won by just clicking away on your opponent, but eventually, you'll have to approach combat with a lot more thought to be successful. With traditional melee combat, bows and thrown weapons, offensive and defensive spells, and factors to consider such as range, line of sight and visibility, combat offers considerable opportunity for strategy.

No mini games... just the traditional assortment of puzzles, traps and riddles to figure out. :)

To read the rest of the interview, and check out some screenshots of the game, click on the link below.

RPG Vault: Eschalon Book 1 Interivew
Eschalon: Book 1
Basilisk Games

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 8, 2006

IMG Reviews Legion Arena2:49 PM
Macgamestore & Virtual Programming Sign Distribution Deal12:21 PM
Neverwinter Nights Beta Patch Released10:57 AM
Apple Adds ATI X1900 XT to Online Store6:38 AM
Microsoft Drops VirtualPC for Mac6:38 AM
VMWare Virtualization For Mac OS X6:38 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 8, 2006 on one page

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