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Wednesday, October 18, 2000

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FAKK2 Final, Meggs Leaving
9:53 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

In a recent post to Usenet, Contraband Entertainment's Andrew Meggs notes that the Mac version of Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2 is complete and in duplication. He also gives notice that this was his last full project for the porting company. Here's his post:

As I type this, a bunch of guys in Tennessee are stamping out copies of
the final version of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 for MacOS, which, according
to the reviewer quotes on the box in front of me, is "the best looking
Quake III game yet" featuring "moves Lara Croft hasn't done in four
games" and "a personality that is unmatched in the genre". :)

U.S. residents can expect Julie and friends to be waiting for them in
the fairly near future wherever Mac games are sold, as Gathering of
Developers has been astonishingly quick with that whole distribution
thing in the past. European versions of the game will follow soon,
pending availability of an international installer for Game Sprockets

This marks the end of my official tenure at Contraband Enterainment,
although I'll be floating around for the next few weeks in case a patch
is needed or there are any issues in bringing the multiplayer expansion
pack over to the Mac version. About all I can say at this point is that
I remain committed to platform independent game development, and that
you guys haven't heard the last from me, just the last for a while from
my contrabandent.com email addresses.

We wish the best for Andrew in the future, and hope that he stays active in the Mac community. FAKK2 is a much-lauded third-person action/adventure game and should be a terrific addition to any gamer's collection. It has garnered great reviews on the PC side with great graphics and an 'unusual' plot and setting.. We've contacted Gathering of Developers, and will let you know if any other release date details are revealed.

Contraband Entertainment Web Site
Gathering of Developers
Gathering of Developers
Ritual Entertainment
Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2

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IMG Publishes Radeon AGP Review
3:04 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you've been wondering why our news was so light today it's because our Senior News Editor, Michael Eilers, had been hard at work on our Radeon Mac Edition AGP review. Overall Michael gives the Radeon card high marks. Here's a little snippet from the review:

The Radeon is quite simply a world-class performer that is right up there with the very fastest cards for any platform. While the Mac platform, bound by our CPU and operating system, may not see the 100+ fps rates the PC world enjoys, there is currently no card that will run more games faster on your system.

The weaknesses of the Radeon at this point are few, but they may be deal-breakers for some. The lack of promised FSAA support is a big disappointment, and we will have to aggressively re-evaluate this card once ATI and Apple make this feature possible. However the two ATI techs I spoke with in the course of writing this review assured me that this will be sooner, not later.
For the rest of Michael's extensive review of this awesome new card be sure to check his complete review.

ATI Radeon AGP Review
Radeon AGP

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Mac DS9 Delay
11:56 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Simon and Schuster has dropped us a quick note regarding the progress of their Trek-based release Deep Space Nine: The Fallen. It seems both the Mac and PC versions of this title will be slightly delayed, with the version for our OS trailing the PC by approximately a month. Here is the update:

NEW YORK, October 18, 2000 -- Simon & Schuster Interactive announced today that its highly anticipated Unreal Tournament powered CD-ROM game title "Star Trek Deep Space Nine(TM): The Fallen will now be shipping for the PC (Windows(R) 2000, 98, 95) on November 13. The Mac version of The Fallen is scheduled to ship one month later in mid-December. The reason for the delay for the PC version is to allow for tweaking of gameplay and debugging by the developer, The Collective. Development of the Mac version of The Fallen is presently underway and it is expected to arrive at retail before Christmas.

Douglas Hare of The Collective commented on this very short delay. "We're taking the extra time to give The Fallen the spit and polish it deserves. It'll be worth the wait."

More information on Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen can be found at www.ds9thefallen.com. Fans can also chat about the game and discuss the development of The Fallen with The Collective.

Ah yes, one more game to be found under the Christmas tree. Watch for more details on this game in the next few weeks.

Deep Space Nine: The Fallen
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

MacNN Adds Games
11:07 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

MacNN has officially opened a new section of their site dedicated to games on the Mac. It is headed up by former MGL editor Trevor Covert and promises daily news and features. To help their opening, they have posted two new articles that might be of interest. The first is an interview with Michel Kripalani, CEO of Presto Studios, the company behind the upcoming sequel Myst III: Exile. It's a long chat covering many aspects of the game. Here's a clip about Exile's status:

How complete is the game at this point in development?

M.K. It's pretty far along. We're scheduled to be done in spring, so we've got all of the various ages up and running in different levels of completion in terms of graphics. The nice thing about having the technology done is that we're sort of able to put together the nodes and link them together and we can look at everything individually. I don't know how to give you a percentage in terms of saying "we're this far done", but obviously -- the script, the story, the puzzles -- everything has been designed. Pretty much all of the conceptual artwork [has been done]. Most all of the worlds are modeled and textured and we're at the point where we're kind of doing a lot of video compositing and we're getting a lot of final renders and we're really starting to put it together now in the engine.

Read through the rest of the chat if you're looking for info on this third in the amazing Myst series. The other new article is a Q&A session with Ritual's Mark Dochtermann about FAKK2.

And be sure to browse through the new MacNN site. It's always good news for Mac gamers to have another online resource available to them.

MacNN FAKK2 Interview
MacNN Myst 3 Interview
MacNN Games Site

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Tropico Q&A
9:59 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GamesMania has posted a quick Q&A with Phil Steinemeyer of PopTop about his work on the upcoming dictator-sim game Tropico. The title is a great twist on the sim genre, placing the player in totalitarian control of a third-world tropical island. The people must follow you either out of love, or fear -- it's up to you. The company is using a modified version of the Railroad Tycoon II engine to make both Mac and PC versions of the game in-house. Here's a clip from the interview that mentions how the Mac build is progressing:

GM: How long after the PC version is released will the Mac version be available?

PS: Probably 4-6 weeks. The versions cross-compile and the Mac version should go pretty quick, but we want to test the Mac version thoroughly, and optimize a few things for the Mac, and due to deadline pressures for the larger selling PC version, the Mac version will be a few weeks behind.

He also notes they are nearly 70% complete and are still set for a release next March (for the PC version, at least). Check out the interview, and then head over to the PopTop web site for more info.

GamesManie Tropico Interview
PopTop Web Site
PopTop Software
Buy Tropico

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The Fallen Interview
9:56 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

GameSpot UK has posted the second half of their interview with The Collective's Doug Hare about the upcoming Star Trek title, Deep Space Nine: The Fallen. Unlike Elite Force (the other Trek game in the works) The Fallen uses the Unreal Tournament engine, is set in the third person and allows you to play as three of the main characters from the series. Kira, Sisko and Worf will all have unique gamestyles and should make the game more fun to play through a second or third time.

The chat with Hare reveals some of the game's new characters, expands on the Star Trek license and explains why there won't be any multiplayer capabilities. Here's a clip:

GSUK: What balance will there be between combat and the puzzle solving/adventure elements of the game?

Doug Hare: The emphasis is definitely on combat and navigational challenges so I think it would probably be something like a 70/30 split.

The adventure elements should help the game appeal to players turned off by the mindless and constant fighting found in many shooters. The Fallen should be out for Mac and PC later this year from Simon and Schuster.

GameSpot UK The Fallen Interview
Simon & Schuster
The Collective
DS9: The Fallen
Buy DS9: The Fallen

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Mac Baldur Interviews Duane Johnson
8:34 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Mac Baldur recently caught up with Duane Johnson, the programmer responsible for the upcoming Baldur's Gate multiplayer patch and the Mac port of the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack. Duane previously worked with GraphSim on the Descent 3 port, and was recently brought on to help with the inordinate amount of work that can go into a port such as Baldur's Gate. Duane was kind enough to break away from his coding to give Mac Baldur an update on his progress. Here's a clip:

MB: How is Tales of the Sword Coast coming along? What has been the most challenging aspect of porting TotSC?

DJ: It's up & running. The "worst" aspect has been merging hundreds of changes that BioWare made to the base of Baldur's code with the hundreds of changes Rosetta made for the Mac port.

He also notes the multiplayer patch is being hindered by Microsoft's DirectPlay API, but should be out by the end of November. Visit Mac Baldur to read the rest of this short-but-sweet interview. Also check out IMG's own review of the game and beginners' guide if you want some great info on Baldur's Gate.

IMG Baldur's Gate Beginners' Guide
IMG Review of Baldur's Gate
Mac Baldur Interview with Duane Johnson
Baldur's Gate

Mac Games News for Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Alien Legion Preview4:18 PM
Mega Minesweeper 1.5b1 Released12:54 PM
Mac Baldur Moves to Dedicated Domain12:05 PM
Red Faction Preview, Employment Opportunities11:56 AM
Europa Universalis Coming to Mac11:43 AM
New Tropico Character11:13 AM
Mac glDuke 0.10 Released10:32 AM
Elite Force OS X Info10:27 AM
WW II Online Details10:11 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, October 17, 2000 on one page

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