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Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Myth III Preview
11:14 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

CGO has written up a quick preview of the recently-announced Myth III: The Wolf Age. This is a good overview of what's known so far about that game (and the piece of Ritual that that split off to form the team). As you've probably heard, the game is actually a prequel to the first two in the series, though new features like full 3D units and terrain should enhance the gameplay that much more. However, the system requirements will jump substantially from the original game's minimum hardware specs.

Accompanying the preview are several slightly-silly "screen captures" supposedly of the game's development in progress; obviously whoever wrote the captions for these images has never seen the Myth II editors Fear and Loathing -- or Photoshop, or a Mac -- in action before.

Here's a clip explaining a little of the story's background:

Myth III is a prequel to the previous games. It actually takes place 1,000 years before Myth and sets up the universe. The game centers on the story of Connacht the Wolf—a hero so great that he heralds in a new age for the world, the Wolf Age. Connacht's allies are none other than the very Fallen Lords from Myth: the Fallen Lords, when they were still champions of the Light.
There should be nearly 30 levels included in the final version of Myth III, with both single- and multi-player maps ready. The Mac and PC versions are hopefully going to be released simultaneously, and the game will be published by Gathering of Developers. We'll be bringing you much more information as this game's extremely aggressive development cycle continues, so stay tuned. For more in-depth information on this upcoming title, read through our interview with the developers of the game.

IMG News: Myth III: The Wolf Age Announced
IMG Interview with Mumbo Jumbo
CGO Preview of Myth III

'Tranqulity' Released
2:56 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

A very curious hardware-accelerated puzzle game has arrived, known as Tranquility. With an odd, freeform approach to puzzle solving that is both interesting and vertigo-inducing, this game is also one of the market's few attempts at subscription-based gaming. Demo levels of the game are free, and change each day, but the full version of the game costs $9.89 a month, $49.89 for 6 months and $79.89 for a year's subscription, payable by credit card.

Here is a description of the game from their press release:

tranquility is a internet powered 3D computer game of hide and seek...

tranquility has no weapons to acquire, no enemies to pursue you, no fuel
supplies to monitor, no lives that are virtually won or lost. There are no
complex series of mazes to commit to memory or puzzles to hold you back
until solved. There are no time limits to tranquility.

tranquility is a totally new gaming experience. It offers a world rich with
sensory stimulation where everything moves, not just you.

Every tranquility player experiences personalized games created by the
TQworld servers. Game levels consist of beautiful geometric shapes moving
in intricate patterns. Game play involves floating around and through the
patterns, and using them to locate the special spinners that take you to
the next level and game. It's hypnotic, it's narcotic, play tranquility!

Tranquility appears to require OpenGL hardware acceleration; a demo is available on Be sure to post your comments in the user reviews.

TQWorld, Inc
Tranqulity 3.3 Demo (10 MB)

MacNN on Women in Gaming
2:41 PM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story

As the gaming world grows, so does the diversity of those who play the games. As various gaming statistics and surveys of the past few months have shown, women comprise an ever-larger part of the gaming audience, and are not restricted to card and trivia games. has put together an interview with several gamers who happen to be female discussing what it is like to be a pioneer in the male-dominated world of 'hardcore' gaming. Here is an excerpt that reveals a hidden advantage to countering the gaming gender bias: Ok, scenario: a teenage girl sees a CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League, a series of sponsored events offering large cash prizes) tournament at a Babbage's. There are several first-person shooter games going on and the air is full of testosterone and machismo. She knows she can compete well but has really never played against anyone in this kind of situation before. What does she face in being the only girl there and what would your advice to her be?

emmatheodd: Heh. I have a little experience being the only female in a gaggle of gaming males, given that I used to do Magic: the Gathering tournaments [yes, I'm a dork]. It's actually more an advantage than anything else. There are some guys who are just too busy picking their jaws up off the floor to accept that you might be able to kick their asses, and that gives you an edge.

For more questions and answers, be sure and read the rest of this piece. MacNN indicates this is the first part in a series, so there should be more to come in the near future.

Women in Gaming: Part 1 at MacNN

Click to enlarge
WWII Online Interview
1:00 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Blue's News pointed out this in-depth interview with Chris Sherland of Cornered Rat Software published by This detailed discussion of the upcoming massively-multiplayer online combat game World War II Online is accompanied by some quite impressive screen shots and features a wealth of information about this ambitious title. Not content to be a simple war sim, this online game will be an actual timeline-based realtime sim of the entire European theater of war from 1940 to 1945, on air, sea and land. It will also be cross-platform from the very start, so Mac gamers will not be left out in the cold.

The interview contains a lot of information important to those interested in this title, especially those who enjoy such WWII sims as Warbirds and Dawn of Aces. For those who haven't been following this game's long development (it is currently in early Beta testing) here is an excerpt that sums up the game and its goals:

pailhead: In closing Chris, is there anything you would like to pontificate on that was not talked about here, any comments or thoughts?

Chris: Well yes; WWIIOL represents a lot of new stuff, and a lot of old proven features all rolled into one game. There is so much to do in this game that it'll take a while for folks to get the big picture. Indeed, it's tough to get it across in a single interview. But what we are building is a game environment where players can customize their own gaming experience. From infantry combat, to commanding an entire country's recourses. From fighter jock to Sub captain, gaining ranks, increasing game feature access. Each single WWIIOL account will eventually support 27 different career paths in 9 different countries, giving the individual player a huge RPG layer to explore. Combine this with nail bitting sim-quality combat, and you're getting close to realizing how much WWIIOL will offer the MMOLG market.

We're extremely eager to see how such an ambitious project will come together. Watch for Mac-specific news on this title soon, as it nears the end of its Beta-testing phase.

World War II Online
Chris Sherland Interview at Mindless Games
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

Harpoon 3 Updates, Tools
11:25 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Author Jesse Spears has released text resources, tools and source code for the tools to bring the Mac version of the strategy game Harpoon 3 up to date with the PC version. This game of naval combat makes up for its lack of flashy graphics with addictive gameplay and thrilling realism, and is considered a classic of the genre. Here is Jesse's notes on what he has released:

I've released some updated Text resource files for Harpoon3. This
brings it up to date with everything added in the final HarpoonII
release for PC (HII Admiral's Edition).

I've also released the Conversion Utility, and the source code...just
in case anyone needs them for some reason.

Source code junkies, dig in. Visit the Harpoon 3 web site for more information.

Harpoon 3 Web Site

IMG Talks with Brian Burke
11:10 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a new Q&A with NVIDIA's Brian Burke, discussing some of
the issues surrounding the newly-announced GeForce 2 MX chips. While Burke gives
the standard line for a few of the questions -- in some cases, he actually provides "boilerplate" answers literally copied and pasted from previous "interviews" he has conducted -- he does provide details on DVD support and notes that they are
going to fully support OS X. Here's a clip:

Can you give us any details on DVD support/playback? For instance, is Apple's player still used, just modified to support your hardware, or is there a new solution? Is the playback "true hardware" and not Apple's software/hardware method?

We worked with Apple to implement a hardware abstraction layer - a layer that removes the direct chip dependencies between the DVD player application and the underlying graphics architecture beneath it, which could be found in the previous version of the DVD playback utility provided by Apple.

This is of course a veiled reference to the previous Apple DVD player's built-in reliance upon ATI hardware, which shut 3dfx out of allowing DVD playback with their series of Mac cards; obviously NVIDIA found a way to be more persuasive. Be sure to check out the rest of the interview, and watch for more
exciting announcements as the Mac video card market heats up once again.

IMG Interviews NVIDIA's Brian Burke

New Red Faction Screens
10:50 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

XGR has posted fifteen 'semi-exclusive' screen shots of Volition's
upcoming FPS Red Faction. Though the Volition team has promised a Mac
version since very early in the game's development, you may recall the
announcment at Macworld that GraphSim will actually be publishing the Mac
version (along with Summoner, their other title). The new screen shots at XGR
look great as ever, though they seem to be from the Playstation 2 version of the
game, which will be released before the Mac/PC builds are ready. In case you're
wondering about some of the game's features, XGR has nicely summarized those as

  • Geo-Mod™ Engine - the only FPS with real-time, arbitrary geometry modification
  • Advanced physics simulation - supports falling geometry, particles and liquid
  • Land, sea and air vehicles to commandeer and control
  • A completely immersive and compelling storyline
  • Stealth and action driven objectives
  • Varied environments including natural settings unique to the genre
  • Dynamic, real-time lighting including lightmaps, object shadow casting and more
  • Advanced AI behavior in 20 dynamic 3D levels
  • Real-time skeletal deformation and interpolation for silky smooth animations
  • Location-based damage system
  • 2 player mode - split screen death match & Geo-Mod specific modes

You can bet we will be receiving more information on Red Faction as it nears
completion this Spring.

XGR Red Faction Screen Shots

Click to enlarge
First Marathon Texture Pack Released
10:40 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Marathon Open Source web site has been updated with word on their
first pack of replacement textures now available for download. In case you
missed it, it is now possible to replace the old low-rez textures in the
original with new, 24-bit beauties which should look great at higher resolutions.
Here's a clip from the page explaining more:

The first edition of the "Texture Replacement Pack" has thus been released. The pack includes hi-resolution, 24-bit textures that you will find much more applealing than Marathon's built-in low resolution, 8-bit textures. This initial release includes a much nicer set of Pfhor switches, terminals, and goo. In addition, the Jjaro terminal texture has been enhanced. All the textures released so far faithfully maintain the Marathon look. Future releases may utilize some bright Marathon 2-based door textures to replace the rather dull-looking door textures of the Infinity Water collection. Download the new hi-resolution graphics from the Texture Replacement Project page.
Any artists out there looking to contribute to the project should also check
out the page, as they're always looking for new talent to pitch in. This first
pack is pretty small (620k), so anyone should be able download and give it a whirl.

IMG News: Help Re-Texture Marathon
Download Texture Replacement Pack 1 (620k)
Marathon Open Source Web Site

Mac Games News for Monday, January 15, 2001

Apple Wraps Up Mac Gaming at Expo3:46 PM
SimsForMac Updates2:25 PM
Cro-Mag Rally 1.0.7 Patch2:06 PM
MWSF: Blizzard Report, Expansion Pack News1:48 PM
MWSF: Westlake Report1:39 PM
Status of DS9: The Fallen12:53 PM
MOO3 Interview, Dev Diary12:32 PM
Heroes III Demo Help10:32 AM
Bots in Rune?9:50 AM
Update on Deus Ex9:46 AM
Bungie Fanfest Aftermath9:32 AM
OS 9.1 Causes Glitches with Alpha Centauri9:26 AM
Mac Baldur Posts MacWorld Expo Report9:20 AM
Q3:A(ltivec) Status Check9:18 AM
More Radeon vs. GeForce2 MX Benchmarks9:14 AM
Myth III Details9:10 AM
Quake 3 1.17 vs. 1.27g Benchmarks8:41 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 15, 2001 on one page

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