Deus Ex Demo Delay Details
10:35 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
We announced on Friday that the Mac demo for Deus Ex should be released today; however, as is often the case, delays do arise. Mark Adams, president of Westlake Interactive, has made a post to Usenet explaining why this demo is going to be delayed a small while. Here's his post:
The demo may be delayed a couple days, we had everything mostly ready to go and hit some snags doing the few changes to the scripts (some files were missing so we could build everything). We contacted Ion Storm to get the missing files late last week, but several of the staff there were out of town, so we haven't received the files yet. The good news is they all should be back today, so as soon as we get the files we'll be ready to go.So look for information on this demo very soon here and at our sister-site Macgamefiles.com. It's going to be a beast of a download (over 140MB), but those without the bandwidth can always wait for the next issue of IMG, which will have the demo and much, much more.
Deus Ex Preview
Deus Ex is of course the much-lauded work of Warren Spector and Ion Storm, a shooter/RPG hybrid from the creator of System Shock. For more information on this engrossing single-player experience, check out our detailed preview. Deus Ex is in stores now, brought to the Mac OS by Westlake and Asypr Media.
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Radeon Review at GameCenter
6:53 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Amid all the well-deserved hype over the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 and the scandal between Steve Jobs and ATI at the Macworld Expo earlier this month, many have written-off the Radeon, ATI's next big thing. Although the scandal was a temporary setback to ATI's plans, it by no means changed the fact that a card based on the Radeon chip will indeed make it to the Mac platform, in both AGP and PCI versions.
Gamecenter recently posted a review of this card, and found its performance and features to be a pleasant surprise - long condemned as an also-ran, ATI seems to have finally created a card that can not only run with the big boys of the PC world, but beat them to the finish line as well. With dozens of advanced features and unmatched visual quality, the Radeon was a solid performer in both Direct3D and OpenGL. Here's an excerpt from the review:
In the interest of full disclosure, we have to confess that as much as we try to be totally impartial before we test a product, it's not always possible. Case in point: the ATI representative who sent us our card also gave us what sounded like a verbal disclaimer. The Radeon, he told us, won't truly shine in low-res/low-color depth benchmarks; it's only competitive at high res and/or color. It's never good when a PR representative warns you about something, so--here's the confession--we cringed, we rolled our eyes, and we fully expected another typical ATI product: a nice SOHO card with sweet video performance, but with 3D acceleration that wouldn't touch current gaming cards. This is not the identical card that ATI will be bringing to the Mac OS; currently there are only plans to bring the midrange 32 MB card to our platform, albeit in both AGP and PCI varieties. However, 64 MB is overkill for all but the most demanding games.
For his part, the PR representative in question was telling the truth. The Radeon didn't stand much of a chance against other cards in low-res/low-color scenarios, although it nevertheless ran the benchmarks at playable frame rates. Once we cranked up the detail, however, the Radeon was suddenly giving the GeForce2 GTS a run for its money, and the Voodoo5 5500 couldn't keep up.
Radeon Review at Gamecenter
As you might have noticed from our Voodoo5 5500 preview, Mac users have recently received a reality check as to what frame rates we might expect from next-generation cards in our systems. The jury is still out as to whether the lower frame rates we experienced were due to ported game's, Apple's motherboard structure or the immature drivers of the card, but the end result was the same, regardless. However, we are very eager to see the Radeon in action, as the card itself has several built-in functions that are designed specifically to overcome the handicaps of bus bandwidth and CPU speed. Currently the Mac Radeon cards are expected in September, with AGP version shipping first, followed by PCI versions. Check out the review for more information.
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World Sports Cars Closer to Mac?
5:15 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Quite some time ago we brought you the news that World Sports Cars, a thrilling racing sim with astounding accuracy and visuals, might have a chance of coming to the Mac OS. Now our racing sleuth Pierre Racine has dropped another tidbit of information on us - in an interview with West Racing, the company developing this title, the possibility of a Mac OS version is mentioned directly.
This interview, posted by racing sim fansite High Gear, was actually conducted at this year's E3 but only hit the web recently. It is long, and quite involved, and contains a lot of details not relevant to Mac gamers - except for this excerpt, which Pierre spotted on page seven of the interview:
1F: OK, then if the OS isn't all that important to you. What would be the possibility of having WSC appear on the Mac and Linux platforms? On the Mac side of things, you have Steve Jobs trying to convince developers that the Mac is a viable gaming platform. Already a few software and hardware developers here at the Expo, have expressed interest in Apple's latest offerings. Whereas on the Linux side, you now have people wanting for games and simulations to appear on it as well. Uwe Schuerkamp's GPL Linux port petition shows that the demand is there. As you can tell from the screen shot, World Sports Cars is considered to be way ahead of the competition. The accuracy of the physics in this game is supposedly astounding - they don't just model the suspension, they model the actual deformation of the rubber on the tires and the individual springs for each wheel! While this is hardly a commitment to create a Mac OS version of this title, it is important to note that WSC's publisher is Empire Interactive, which has published several Mac titles in the past including the pinball sims Big Race USA and Pro Pinball: The Web. We'll keep investigating the possibility of a Mac version of this racing sim; with the Radeon, NVIDIA's GeForce 2 MX and the Voodoo5 5500 available on our platform by this Winter, all OpenGL ready, the Mac may just become a very attractive platform for high-end 3D games.
West Racing on Possible Mac Port
CW: I was sort of thinking about going cross-platform with this, but… [thinking] Hmm, you've really got me interested in this now. I agree that the Mac is finally turning into a machine that is beginning to attract some more developers. And now its getting the 3DFX and NVIDIA stuff as well… [pauses] But yeah, it looks like I will have to get an OpenGL version underway once we have everything finished. Then that will make life a little easier for doing Mac and Linux versions. It is something we would definitely like to do.
High Gear Interviews West Racing
MacNN Checks Out Cro-Mag Rally
3:24 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Mac news site MacNN has presented a short preview of Pangea Software's upcoming racing game, Cro-Mag Rally. More in the spirit of a Mario Kart console-style racer than a realistic racing sim, this game will pack all the gorgeous visuals and playability of Pangea's previous titles Nanosaur and Bugdom, along with the great sounds and special effects we have come to expect. However, to quote a certain bard out of context, "the play's the thing" - how will this game play, when the simulated rubber hits the road? Here is an excerpt:
Cro-Mag Rally is a kart-racing game exclusively for the Mac in the same vein as console classics such as Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing. The game features primitive, stone-age vehicles with very crude weapons that you wouldn't be surprised to find in a Flintstones movie. Cro-Mag Rally will include 9 tracks in the single-player, tournament mode as well as 3 or more tracks for the battle mode. Battle mode is the multiplayer element of the game where you can play with up to six people over a network or play split-screen on the same computer. The multiplayer games vary widely including Capture the Flag, Tag, Survival as well as other currently unnamed modes of competing against your friends and foes.Ah, yet another game we can't wait for. Cro-Mag Rally is due this November, if all goes as planned, and will require OpenGL hardware acceleration to run. For more information on this title, check out the rest of this preview, as well as IMG's own Cro-mag screen shots and an interview with Brian Greenstone of Pangea.
Cro-Mag Rally Screen Shots
Brian Greenstone Interview
Cro-Mac Racing Preview at MacNN
Voodoo5 Shipping Date
3:07 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
While browsing through the 3dfx messageboards, we noticed a thread from a fan concerned that the Voodoo5 5500s will actually ship. While they were initially announced as shipping in late July, it's looking more like mid-August before these cards will hit the shelves. Here's a response from 3dfx's Bryan Speece:
The Mac V5 5500 should reach store shelves before mid August.While Bryan throws down the gauntlet to ATI, our sources tell us their AGP Radeon could be out very soon; ATI will certainly be the first of the two to deliver an AGP card. We're very much looking forward to seeing both cards available for the Mac platform - forget the petty bickering, we want the SPEED.
3dfx Forum Thread
And as for shipping date: Anybody want to place a bet on the Radeon shipping first? - I'll cover any and all.
On the DS9 Demo
12:27 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Late last week a demo version of Simon and Schuster's upcoming third-person shooter Deep Space Nine: The Fallen was released for the PC. This game seems to have had a much 'quieter' development path than the Voyager-based Elite Force, but from our own experience of this title it is just as impressive.
PlanetUnreal has posted their first impressions of this demo, and they seem to be quite thrilled by it - many of the handicaps that have troubled third-person games in the past, such as a reliance on auto-aiming and poor visibility in tight quarters, seem to have been handled correctly. The reviewer was especially impressed by the fluid animations of the main character (Benjamin Sisko in this case, but you will also be able to play as Kira and Worf) which are provided by the new skeletal animation system that developers the Collective grafted onto the Unreal Tournament engine. Here's an excerpt with details:
As we've come to expect from any game sporting the Unreal engine, the visuals are quite impressive. One of the things that always impresses me are cool skyboxes, and both of the levels in the demo have great looking night-time skies. There are meteorites burning up in the planet's atmosphere, and once in a while there is even lightning coming blasting down from the heavens. Very cool.The final version of this game will feature three full-length solo missions, one for each main character (Sisko, Kira, Worf.) As you can see from the screen shots included with this preview as well as the many others posted around the net, this game makes impressive use of the Unreal Tournament engine, and we can't wait to see the final version. DS9: The Fallen is due for Mac and PC later this Fall. There is still no word on a Mac OS version of the demo of this game, but we've spoken to the Collective recently about this and we will bring you their reply.
Exclusive DS9: The Fallen Screen Shots
All the models included in the demo seem to be of very high quality, and I couldn't help but compare Captain Sisko's sheer number and quality of animations to Corvus of Heretic II fame. His swimming animations in particular are the best I've seen for any game. Definite kudos go out to the modelers and animators over at The Collective.
DS9 Demo Impressions at PlanetUnreal
Star Trek DS9: The Fallen
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Neverwinter Nights Update
12:04 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
The official site for Neverwinter Nights has been updated by Bioware producer Trent Oster. This update adds many notes on the team's current progress on this massive 3D RPG game, which is based on AD&D Third Edition rules. Here's a clip with notes about Apple offering the Bioware team some development hardware, to help the Mac OS version of NWN along:
There has been significant progress on the Mac and Linux ports of the game as well, with Apple lending us a hand in the form of a G4 with a spanky flat screen monitor. We all felt like cavemen seeing fire for the first time. =) On a final note, the Aurora toolset has been renamed yet again and is now known as the Neverwinter toolset. We've basically come full circle on this issue and it's been quite confusing for everyone involved, so from now on we will refer to the tools as the Neverwinter toolset.With many game developers and publishers complaining about a lack of support from Apple, it's good to hear that Bioware is getting some assistance. Neverwinter Nights is looking to be an RPG of unparalleled depth when it is released next year, and we want to be sure the Mac version stays on track!
This ambitious title will attempt to re-create the feel of traditional pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons, allowing you to adventure online as a party, or be the dungeon master and create your own dynamic maze to entrap the unwary. The DM toolset is one of the most impressive features of the game, allowing you to very complex 3D worlds with relative ease, in a tile-based design tool. You can then guide your friends through your new world over the internet, altering the dungeon dynamically to match their progress and prowess.
NWN is set to be released in the first half of 2001, though with a project of this size, no formal release dates can be determined. We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available. The Mac, PC and Linux versions of this game are due to be released at the same time, and will be fully network-compatible.
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More Elite Force Details
11:52 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
A couple of new goodies have been posted regarding Raven Software's upcoming shooter Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. A preview posted at GibWorld is based on the recent PC demo of the game, although they do a decent job of giving an overview of what the complete Elite Force game will be like. Here's an excerpt about the game's graphics:
Using the Quake III Arena engine, Raven were able to make Elite Force look simply fantastic. From Borg Cubes, to the recreation of many parts of the Voyager into a 3D environment, such as the bridge, holodeck, engine room, sickbay, hallways, jeffries tubes, and much more, which is created with amazing detail.The use of the Quake 3 engine also means a Mac version is very likely, though no publisher has been officially announced as of yet. If you're looking for more information on this game, be sure to take a look at GameSpy's 13 new screen shots. The high-res shots show off some single player action, and a few feature the multiplayer 'holomatch' mode.
We'll let you know if and when a Mac publisher is found, as this looks to be one of the first really amazing Trek-based titles to make it to market after so much mediocre shovelware.
GameSpy Elite Force Screen Shots
GibWorld Elite Force Preview
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Sims Creator Q&A
11:45 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Are you already addicted to The Sims, and obsessed with making your computerized life-forms do your bidding? Well then you might be interested in a quick interview ZDTV recently did with Sims creator Will Wright. The interview is posted partially as text, with the rest as a Realplayer video stream. Here's an excerpt from the transcript:
GSTV: Is there something first time players always do? Well, we sure haven't tried that yet - that sounds pretty twisted! Be sure to check out the Q&A if you're curious about the actual god of the Sims. We're told The Sims is selling well for Aspyr Media, after Westlake Interactive's quick work on their conversion of this game to the Mac OS.
ZDTV Will Wright Q&A
Wright: One of the most common things for people to do is put themselves in the game. They'll make their simulated family resemble their real family. They'll even recreate their house and their neighbors. And so then they'll have this really strange game about their life.
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New Tribes 2 Movie
11:19 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story
Tribes 2 fan site TribalWar has posted a 16-meg movie of the latest build of Dynamix's forthcoming team-based game. This movie is straight from the internal LAN of a match between Dynamix and Sierra teams. The in-game movie shows some impressive battles in the diverse environments of this game, where you will need to blend strategy with a touch of intuition and deadly accuracy. In addition to this, GA-Source has posted 2 new screen shots that should not be ignored by any fan of this game. They show off some impressive features that Dynamix is currently implementing in their game. Tribes 2 is currently Alpha, and is expected to be declared Beta very soon. Currently, there are still plans for a Mac OS version of this game, but work on this will only begin after the PC version has shipped.
Tribes 2 Shots at GA-Source
Tribes 2 Movie (16 MB)
Masters of Orion III Interview
11:11 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
On Friday we brought you news that the developers for Masters of Orion III: The Fifth X were interested in making a Mac version of this game, and are already pursuing a distribution deal. Though nothing has been announced officially as of yet, this is great news for fans of this turn-based strategy series.
Moo3.net has recently interviewed Rob Barris, a senior engineer at Quicksilver working on MOO3. Here's an excerpt:
What are your hopes for the future of MOO3? What is one idea that you would like to see in the game but will not be implemented ( because of technical concerns or otherwise )? Check out the rest of the Q&A for more about Barris, and the project in general. As we've noted, there has been no official announcement about a Mac MOO3 version, though we'll keep you posted if any new information becomes available. The game is still in the conceptual stages and should be out late next year.
We all recognize that there are a big number of people out there, that have pretty strong feelings about the MOO series and what they expect from the third installment ( even a short glance at the message boards on www.moo3.com make it clear ). So there is always this pressure not just to make things great, but make them accessible and not too far-out from the MOO universe that everyone knows. My hope would be that it becomes a game that is familiar to the fan base, and also attractive to the "New MOOers", with cool surprises for everybody.
MOO3.net Rob Barris Interview
Masters of Orion 3
IMG: Master of Orion 3 Coming to Mac?
Deus Ex 1.0.1 Update Released
11:05 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story
Aspyr Media has released an update to Deus Ex, bringing this shooter/RPG hybrid to version 1.0.1. The new udpate fixes many reported problems and includes some new troubleshooting tips.
The update includes the following fixes:
• Fixed a crash that would occur on Mac OS 8.1 when saving/loading games.The udpate is being hosted by our sister site, Macgamefiles.com.
Deus Ex 1.01 Patch
• Fixed a memory leak in the speech code, which should allow for longer play with fewer "out of memory" errors.
• Added an option to turn off "ambient" speech (enemies' cries in battle and InfoLink messages). This should help limit slowdowns when fighting several enemies or getting messages via the InfoLink. It will not impact speech in conversations with other characters.
Mac AvP Source Code Plans
11:05 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Last week, in a very bold move, Fox Interactive released the source code to the Gold PC version of Aliens versus Predator. This is a huge deal for programmers itching to get their hands dirty and see what makes this shooter tick. AvPNews recently posted Fox programmer Dave Stalker's update to his .plan file, which announced the news for the PC audience. Here's a clip:
Here's a little bit of news for y'all: after listening to your many heartfelt pleas and discussing the matter both internally at Fox and also with our Rebellion chums, I am outrageously happy to present to you the original, the best, the only...SOURCE CODE FOR AVP GOOOOOOLD!!!!!After seeing what impressive developments projects such the Marathon Open Source group have inspired, we can't wait to see what might be accomplished with the source of a recent game such as AvP.
Seriously, we really do want to help out the fans who want to play around in the AvP sandpit so take it with our blessings and go do fun things with it, I look forward to seeing what people get up to.
For those cynics who are frustrated by the long delay of the Mac version of this game, being ported by Logicware, Bill Heineman has posted to Usenet that there's no need to take the code and try to make a Mac build out of it. Here's an excerpt from his post:
Actually, we were DISCUSSING (This is NOT an announcement) about the ideaOne interesting side-effect of a source-code release might be that the DirectPlay emulation code Heineman has been working on could be released to the public, enabling others to use it for their Mac ports of PC games that use this proprietary networking code. Since this plan is anything but official, take this with a grain of salt -- we will let you know both when AvP will be released and if it will contain the source as soon as we can.
that we put the mac source on the Mac CD of AvP. Since the source to the pc
version was out, there really wasn't a reason not to do this.
Devine Interview on Q3:TA
11:01 AM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story
The Corporation talked to id Software's game designer Graeme Devine at the recent Macworld Expo NY about the upcoming expansion pack, Quake 3: Team Arena. As you know already (if you have been following the news) this mission pack is much more focused on team play than the original release. As team matches often inspire players to group together in 'clans,' id Software is adding many features for clans to use; you will be able to upload your clan's icon and skins, among other things. Here are some of the details they were able to pry from Devine:
Oh, alright... here's something - you’ll be able to define your own clan, your own clanIn the second part of the interview he comments on how the community will reach out to Team Arena. While Quake 3 Arena will be the 'ultimate deathmatch' game, Team Arena will be the best team-based deathmatch game, targeted more for clans and CTF players than solo DM heroes. We have a feeling a few hundred thousand Unreal Tournament fans might beg to differ, of course.
colors. When you play on a map, your base will have your clan colors, your clan icon. All
the players on your team will have that icon on them, so that you’ll be able to easily
recognize who they are, whether you’re playing home or away, red or blue. We’ve made
some pretty big changes.
Graeme Devine Talks Team Arena
Rocket Arena UT Released
10:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Following last week's release of Rocket Arena for Quake 3 Arena, the corresponding team for the Unreal Tournament version of this classic mod have also posted their latest efforts. Version 1.40 is much improved over the 1.25 version, when was pulled months ago due to bugs. There are some known issues in this build, though in order to avoid the patch-a-day syndrome, they are waiting a few days before releasing version 1.41 to fix them.
Rocket Arena was originally developed for Quake, and gives players one on one or team vs team action. Each player spawns outfitted with all ammo, armor and weapons, making it a game of pure weapon skill (as opposed to collecting/guarding powerups). Here's a list of features from the web site:
Four new incredible maps for a total of ten maps. The UT RA team seems very open to suggestions and/or bugfixes, so head over to their web site for more. The full UMOD version of RA is under 15MB, but if you can't cut that, we'll be sure to have it on our next issue of IMG.
RA UT UMOD version (14.8MB)
A humongous amount of bug fixes that covers every bug that I know of. Please let me know of any that you find.
The RA:UT menu. It's a nifty new menu called "RA:UT" (of all things :) that appears next to the Mod menu, and appears ONLY when you're playing on a RA:UT server (so as not to bother you at other times)
New options. Instagib servers, bouncier rockets, spectators can be prevented from communicating to players.
Improved botplay. Although they still don't measure up to humans, they are better than they were before. If you think the bots suck and are no challenge to you, even on Godlike, then I suggest you go online and play it like it was originally intended to be played. :)
A new gametype: "Rocket Arena: Regular Maps". This allows you to play any map (only small DM and CTF maps are recommended) with the RocketArena style. Everyone will wait in one line to have a chance to play on the big map. No arenas are available here.
If you're a person that likes making voicepacks, you can make custom voicepacks for the RA:UT announcer voices. Best of all, it's clientside, and the server never needs to know about it.
A ton of stuff that I've forgotten because it's been so long since I implemented it. :)
Rocket Arena UT Web Site
FAKK2 for PC is Gold
10:40 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Stomped, one of our Gamecenter Alliance partners, has received word from Ritual's Mark Dochtermann that the PC version of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 has "gone gold" (which of course means that it is complete and ready for duplication) and could show up in stores later this week. The Mac version is currently being ported by Contraband Entertainment and the portability of the Quake 3 Arena engine should make this a relatively quick port. At last report they were approximately 2 weeks behind the PC version; Contraband should be receiving the final version of the code today, if they haven't already.
If you're wondering what FAKK2 is all about, several previews have surfaced lately which should give you more than enough details to get excited about. GameSlice has taken an extremely detailed look at both the game and Ritual Entertainment which is definitely worth reading. Here's a quick excerpt:
While F.A.K.K. 2 definitely has roots in the Tomb Raider over-the-shoulder play style, Ritual blended together a lot of different genres. For instance, they worked in a first-person shooter type of feel to the way the gamer controls the Julie Strain character -- Selecting, using and controlling the many weapons Julie can use is similar to the way weapons are handled in first-person shooters. For example, in a typical FPS, you control your movement with the keyboard and your viewpoint and weapon aiming with the mouse. Similarly, in F.A.K.K. 2, you control Julie with the keyboard and you control the direction she looks at and the aiming of the weapons in her hands with the mouse. Julie can even engage in dual-handed combat, where each weapon works independently.Be sure to read through the rest of the article, as it's full of behind-the-scenes action.
Another site, QuakeFiles recently visited Ritual and wrote up a quick preview talking about this game. Check it out if you get the chance. We've contacted Contraband about the status of the Mac version and will let you know once we hear anything. Watch IMG for our own Mac-specific preview of this title very soon - with more screen shots, of course.
Exclusive F.A.K.K.2 Screen Shots
QuakeFiles FAKK2 Preview
GameSlice FAKK2 Preview
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