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|MacUpdate Weekend Sale||:This weekend MacUpdate has slashed prices on Painter 12 and Painter Lite. Painter 12 retails for $429, but has been reduced by 54% to $199. Painter Lite has seen a 58% price cut from $69 to $29. Hurry, because these deals are only available until May 19th 2013.|
Aladdin Tuner 3.1.1, PowerTicker 2.01 updates
Aladdin has posted Aladdin Tuner 3.1.1, which fixes a compatibility issue with Mac OS 8.1 and PowerTicker 2.0.1 Sources Update, which updates files to correct issues with Currency conversions, and News items for Canadian stocks not appearing.
Dogfighter: Kent East Interview
Dogfighter.com has published an interview with Kent "Iceman" East, Community Events Manager at iEntertainment. Kent discusses the recent release of WarBirds 2.77 for the Mac and PC and what it means for the continued development of WarBirds III. "WB2.77 will be there for the 2D folks," says Kent, "but WBIII will be 3D only and will be receiving all the attention from the programmers."
Console: Sega to cut 300 jobs
Evening console news: Sega plans to cut 300 jobs over the next two weeks as it phases out its Dreamcast console; Take Two Interactive has delayed its release of an Austin Powers game for the Playstation 2 to 2002 in order to coincide with New Line Cinema's next movie in the blockbuster series; Tetratel has signed an agreement with Microsoft to include its EyeFX technology in Microsoft's X-Box gaming console, set for a U.S. and Asia release in Fall 2001; and Midway Sports Asylum's NBA Hoopz, which shipped last week for the Playstation, Dreamcast and GameBoy Color, will be released tomorrow for the Playstation 2.
Take Two earnings; possible Oni sequel?
Take Two Interactive, owner of Mac/PC publisher Gathering of Developers as well as popular brands Oni, Myth and Duke Nukem, today announced record net sales and net income for its first quarter ended January 31, 2001. Net sales for the quarter were $131 million, compared with $123 million for the same period a year ago, while Net income was $7.8 million, or $0.24 per fully diluted share, compared with $4.8 million or $0.20 per fully diluted share, for the same period a year ago. The company named Oni alongside Smuggler's Run and Midnight Club as newly established "brands", suggesting that the company plans to continue the series in the form of a sequel.
GA-RPG: BioFiles #4
GA-RPG has published the fourth edition of its BioFiles column by Bioware's James Ohlen on what the company did wrong in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Ohler uses an example of a gameplay situation in the company's next role-playing game, Neverwinter Nights, to illustrate how they could have better included linearity in the game's quests...
3DAP: Music in Action Games
3DActionPlanet discusses game music as they speak with several different Sound Directors in recent action games including Ritual Entertainment's Zak Belica (Heavy Metal: FAKK2) and Human Head Studios' Mike Larson (Rune). "...the main influence when creating music for Rune was Basil Poledouris' classic score for the movie Conan the Barbarian," recalls Larson. "The score is very epic and seems to fit the subject matter of Vikings perfectly."
Media 100 i 7.02 software update
Media 100 has posted Media 100 i 7.0.2 software, which includes v7.0.2 Update for Media 100 i, Media 100 Test Diagnostic Version 02.20.2001, and Version 5.0.2 Update for Cleaner 5, which was also separately released a few weeks ago. Version 7.0.2 Update provides support for all approved Power Macintosh G4 "Digital Audio" (5-slot) computers and provides compatibility with RealTimeFX hardware.
FPS Center: Carmack Q&A
FPS Center has published a brief Q&A with id Software's John Carmack on the performance of NVIDIA's new GeForce3 and how it compares to other current graphics card on the market. "I haven't evaluated other aspects like 2D and video playback, and cost is definitely a factor," says Carmack, "but from a pure 3D standpoint, it is just plain better at everything."
Tropico Character: Bishop
This week's Character Highlight for PopTop Software's building/strategy game for the Mac and PC, Tropico, is the Bishop. "These theological heavy-weights can make a lot of noise if you don't live the good life, but they can facilitate several policy changes to improve the opinions of your people if you work well with them."
Creative delays SoundBlaster Live! further
Creative Labs Public Relations Manager Hector Marinez today told MacNN that the company's SoundBlaster Live! for the Mac, originally scheduled to ship by the end of 2000, has been delayed further in order to improve compatibility and functionality with some popular third-party software. The company is not willing to quote a revised estimated release date for the product, but does promise to keep us informed as such information becomes available.
Spiderweb's Geneforge, Fantasy RPG
Spiderweb Software has released new details on its upcoming fantasy role-playing game for the Mac and PC, Geneforge. The game's tentative release window is Winter 2001 to Spring 2002.
Tech: TI warns, 3Com cuts jobs, DSL rates up
Afternoon tech news: the cost of DSL service could go up in coming weeks as the providers continue to struggle to make ends meet and AOL considers raising its monthly dial-up fee; Microsoft is maintaining that it did not stifle competition, as the company argues in court today against a break up; Texas Instruments cut its first-quarter revenue outlook for the second time in five weeks blaming the current state of the US economy; amd 3Com has announced that it will cut 1,200 jobs, or 13 percent of its work force, because of the weak economy.
CGO: More Benchmarks Needed
Computer Games Online has re-printed an editorial from the most recent edition of Computer Games Magazine asserting that technical editors and those in the gaming press are placing too much emphasis on Quake III: Arena as a benchmarking tool. "Quake 3 is Not That Important" calls for game developers to make time during a game's development to include a benchmarking tool so that additional benchmarks are available to more accurately test hardware. Additionally, author Jason Cross defends his position in a forum thread at Shugashack. Thanks Blue's News.
Tweak3D: NVIDIA GeForce3 Guide
Tweak3D.net has published a nine-page guide to NVIDIA's new GeForce3 graphics card. The guide explains all of the product's advanced features such as per-pixel shading, programmable pixel shaders and vertex programming. "[Vertex programming] is almost like having a different graphics card for every game, doing what the game needs."
Q3:A Alliance 2.4
Alliance 2.4 is the latest release of the Capture the Flag / Deathmatch mod for Quake III: Arena. The new version makes a number of gameplay tweaks including the removal of "smart grenades" from the Grenade launcher, the removal of the Shredder from Instagib and a slightly reduced player head ratio which makes head shots more difficult to get. [134 MB -- full; 383KB -- update from 2.3; 15.6 MB -- update from 2.0]
FIDIM Int. releases InsectiSide 1.0
FIDIM Interactive today released a new $15 board game style shareware game for the Mac and PC, InsectiSide 1.0. The game lets players take turns killing bugs in an attempt to line up four dead bugs in a row and features one-player, two-player, and network games.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us
TechTV, The Register and Wired.com all discuss the recent spread of "All Your Base Are Belond to Us" mania. The hilarious Flash animation pokes fun at an awkward English translation of an old Genesis game called Zero Wing.
Evihcra.com launches with Myth, The Sims site
Evihcra.com (archive spelled backwards), a new interactive Internet game file archive network, debuted this past weekend. Created by the makers of the highly successful archive The Mill, the site thrives on user-submitted creations for games. The first two sites included on the network provide extras for the Myth series, including Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter, and The Sims. Future sites will provide extras for SiN, Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament and more.
SuperCard 3.6.3 fixes QuickTime conflict
SuperCard 3.6.3 is an update to IncWell's $100 HyperCard-like application development tool that fixes a bug that could cause the application to crash if QuickTime 4.1.2 and Mac OS 9 were installed.
Shadowbane Backstory: Age of Kings
Gathering of Developers has started a new feature exploring the backstory behind its upcoming massive multiplayer online role-playing game for the Mac and PC, Shadowbane. The first edition covers one of the game's four ages, The Age of Kings, with future editions planned to cover The Age of Days, The Age of Twilight, and The Unknown Future. In addition, three new screenshots and a desktop picture/wallpaper for the game have been released.
Mac Baldur's Gate II update
IMG received a note from Mumbo Jumbo's Mike Donges concerning the development of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn for the Mac. "The Macintosh version of Baldur's Gate 2 is coming along nicely," says Donges. "Chris Jacobson, the lead porting engineer, has been making great progress and we have already started functionality testing. I'm playing it today on my PowerBook G3 (no Titanium yet. grrr!), and it runs great." The company is looking for a few dedicated testers in the Irvine, CA area; all applicants must have "a few hundred hours of free time" and should contact Mike Donges at email@example.com for more information.
Weekly Halo update
Bungie Community Guy Matt Soell has provided his weekly update on the company's upcoming action title for the Mac, PC and X-Box, Halo. The update covers a number of different aspects of the game's development including alterations to weapons, game missions and enemy AI. "The AI is already much more intelligent than it used to be," explains Soell, "surrounding the player from multiple elevations, picking the best spot from which to fire at you, and generally making your life unpleasant."
Console: N64 Tony Hawk 2
Afternoon console news: After being cancelled last year, a Nintendo 64 version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is now back in development and expected for release later this year; Nintendo will unlock a secret shop in the Legend of Zelda Oracle series when playing either of the games on a GameBoy Advance system; and Grand Theft Auto 3 for the Playstation 2 is set for a September release.
Games: Pangea announces Otto Matic for Mac
games.macnn.com has information on the announcement of Pangea Software's next title, Otto Matic. In addition, the site has updated its Custer's Corner site with two new desktop pictures celebrating two adventure games from Presto Studios: The Journeyman Project Trilogy and Myst III: Exile. [updated]
OggVorbis b4 codec released
In conjunction with the launch of its new Xiph.org site, the creators of the open-source Ogg Vorbis audio codec have released beta 4 of the codec, which improves performance and quality. New versions of N2MP3 Professional and DropOgg are expected to be released in the near future that feature the new codec. Ogg Vorbis is similar to MP3, but uses tighter compression to create smaller files.
Pangea announces Otto Matic
Pangea Software has announced the development of its next title for the Mac, Otto Matic. The space-based 3D action/adventure game features "a robot named Otto Matic who goes from planet to planet battling aliens and preventing the humans from being abducted." The title, which follows Pangea's release of 3D kart racing game Cro-Mag Rally late last year, is expected to be completed in December and released shortly after that. IMG has published an interview with Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone discussing the game.
Macworld Tokyo draws 180,810
A total of 180,810 people attended Macworld Expo Tokyo last week. This is down from the 2000 Expo, which saw 182,688 attendees pass through its doors, although that expo ran for four days instead of this year's three. The 1999 Expo, which ran for three days, attracted 175,797 people. In contrast, 93,000 people attended Macworld San Francisco last month.
Custer's Corner: Presto Studios
Custer's Corner has been updated with two new desktop pictures celebrating adventure games created by Presto Studios: "You are Here" featuring the Journeyman Project trilogy and "Mysterious Age" featuring Myst III: Exile, which is scheduled for release on May 7.
Roundup: Carmack on GeForce3
Last Friday, id Software's John Carmack published his full thoughts on NVIDIA's new GeForce3 graphics card; Graphic Simulations Corporation posted an update on the development of the multiplayer patch for Baldur's Gate; Blizzard Entertainment informed its customers that its servers were under attack and could be the cause of poor connections to its Battle.net service as of late; and Targetware announced that immediate feedback to the Mac client for Target Korea, its upcoming massive multiplayer online flight sim, has been phenomenal.
*DAMN releases new Rogue Spear skins
*DAMN Gamer, the official Mac conversion studio of Rogue Spear mods and extras from Cocobolo's Mods and Shadow Opz, today announced the release of new skins for the Mac version of Rogue Spear. The skins, all created by Cocobolo, include fatigues and snipers as well as famous movie characters such as Trinity from sci-faction action film "The Matrix".
The Sims .zip Utility
Sam Kington has made available a utility for "Macifying" downloaded .zip files for The Sims. The utility, which performs entirely online by using either a local or remote .zip file, converts standard Zip files into Zip files that "will not be heinously munched by Mac converters." Mac users of The Sims have been forced to deal with such a problem due to the Mac's shortening of file names longer than 31 characters which can result in some files, whose names are identical through the first 31 characters, to be deleted without warning.
MonkeyByte.com's "Monkey Mog"
MonkeyByte.com has announced that it has purchased a 1965 Mercedes Benz Uni-Mog to be used as the company's unique vehicle for transportation and meetings at trade shows and other events. The "Monkey Mog", as it is known, is currently under renovation and will make its debut at the Game Developers Conference from March 22-25 in San Jose, CA. Pictures of the vehicle are available at MonkeyByte.com's web site.
Adobe posts Photshop 6.0.1 maintenance update
Greg Struve notes that Adobe has posted Photoshop 6.0.1, an update that improves the usability of the painting tool brush picker, allows correct import of image clipping paths in EPS and TIFF files, allows paths exported to Illustrator to retains path scaling, and other improvements. [link pulled at Adobe's request]
PowerLogix introduces G4 iMac upgrades
PowerLogix today introduced its new line of iForce G4 upgrades for first-generation, 233-333 MHz iMacs. The iForce G4 is available in four configurations: 400 MHz/512KB cache ($380), 400/1MB ($400), 450/1MB ($580), and 500/1MB ($700).
Adobe announces After Effects 5.0
Adobe today announced After Effects 5.0, a major revision to its professional visual effects application for video. After Effects 5.0 features a new 3D compositing environment, new vector paint tools, the ability to animate layers hierarchically, making enhancements, and more. Two versions are available, Standard, for $650, and Production Bundle, for $1,500, which adds additional keying, motion control, and distortion tools, audio effects, 3D channel effects, 16-bit per channel color, and network rendering. Upgrades are $200 and $300, respectively. The software will ship in the second quarter of 2001, with French, German, and Japanese versions being targeted for the third quarter. Adobe also announced that it has acquired the plug-in technology from Cycore Cult Effects and Atomic Power Evolution, which are incorporated into After Effects 5.0. [updated]
PowerPC 750 vs. 750cx: differences explained
Following the uproar created last week by the revelation that Apple is offering different 500 MHz iMac configurations to North American and International customers, we have published an article that explains the differences between the PowerPC 750 and 750cx.
Weekend: iMac delay, GraphicConverter 4.0.4
Apple revs Cube, iMac software bundles
With the latest Power Mac G4 Cube update, Apple has improved the computer's software bundle, adding iTunes, AppleWorks 6, Cro-Mag Rally, Bugdom, and Nanosaur. New iMacs also gain the addition of iTunes and Cro-Mag Rally.
Using DiscBurn with third-party drives
Tyler Rosewood has put together a page with information detailing how to get Apple's DiscBurn 1.0 to function with an iTunes 1.1-supported third-party CD-RW.
RealCADD 2.5 improves affordable CAD app
Eric Pousse has released RealCADD 2.5, a $75 vector based CAD application. New to this version are tools to constrain lines or add text with lines, vectorial textures, and high resolution printing. (More Mac/CAD news and information at Architosh.)
AID 3.1.6 fixes bug with auction manager
AID 3.1.6 is the latest version of the $30 auction management software, fixing a bug that caused email addresses and user names to not be obtained correctly.
Swedish Illustrator 9.0.2 update on CD
Petter Flink reports receiving the Swedish version of the Illustrator 9.0.2 update on CD, although that localized update is not yet available for download from Adobe's site.
Microsoft faces claims of false advertising
Microsoft is facing new charges from the FTC that allege the company's "Can your Palm do that?" PocketPC ads are false and deceptive. The FTC argues that some of the features touted by Microsoft are only available to buyers who pay extra for wireless service, and that Microsoft only told consumers this in small print at the bottom of the ad. Both Microsoft and HP, whose device is pictured in the ads, are negotiating to settle the claims. Microsoft today will also present its opening arguments to an appeals court in an effort to prevent a break-up of the company.
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