The week in games

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Every week MacCentral tries to bring readers Mac game news and info alongside our other headlines and reports. But every so often there are stories that don't make it into our daily coverage, so we offer this weekly retrospective as a way of staying up to date with what's happening in the Mac game market.

Dragon Alpha to be released for OS X on Dec. 1

Dracosoft has announced that its "classic role-playing game" Dragon Alpha will be released on December 1. The new game is being released as US$25 shareware for Mac OS X. In Dragon Alpha, you assume the role of a hero that must rid his world of dragons. The game is plug-in driven, and the company will release various plug-ins following the game's introduction.

Former MumboJumbo associate offers "Some ugly but honest truths"

Up until a few weeks ago, Andrew Meggs was lead programmer at the Irvine, Calif.-based offices of MumboJumbo Games, the development studio behind the creation of Myth III: The Wolf Age. Myth III is the long-awaited sequel to the Myth series first created by Bungie Software, and it's headed to the Mac courtesy of MacSoft. There have been rumors circulating for weeks now that the MumboJumbo Games Irvine team was disbanded, and Meggs has confirmed them in a post to the Web site discussion boards entitled Some ugly but honest truths. In his commentary, Meggs offers a curt explanation of why the studio was closed, and how that's left future Myth III-related development.

Game Developers Conference 2002 goes live

The 2002 Game Developers Conference (GDC) Web site is now live with information about next year's event, which happens March 21-23, 2002 in San Jose, Calif. The annual event draws game developers from around the world for several days of conferences, seminars, and talking with vendors who provide the tools and services used by pros in the game making business.

Geneforge RPG coming December

Spiderweb Software chief Jeff Vogel recently provided a status update about the company's forthcoming fantasy/science fiction-based role playing game, Geneforge. Vogel said that Geneforge will be released for the Macintosh -- first, mind you -- in December. "For people in the mood for something different, it's definitely worth a look. It's a fantasy game with heavy science fiction elements, a unique system, and an elaborate plot with lots of role-playing," said Vogel. Visit the Web site for recently updated information about Geneforge, as well as Spiderweb's about-to-wrap-up November sale.

Harpoon 3 PDFs, update released

Jesse Spears -- pretty much a permanent fixture in this weekly feature -- has released another new update to Harpoon 3, the naval warfare tactical simulator. A new OS X patch is available, and two new PDF files have been released -- one of a tutorial for the game, the other for the documentation itself.

Maya used for popular GameCube launch title

Alias|Wavefront noted this past week that Maya, its pro 3D animation package, was instrumental in the development of Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II, one of the most popular titles to launch with the Nintendo GameCube. The GameCube was released in North America this past week. Maya has been available for the Mac since this past September. Factor 5, the development studio behind the game, noted that Maya was used by three modelers and seven animators to help make Imperial and Rebel ships, as well as the mighty Death Star.

Sacrifice hits beta, pre-order special available

A couple of weeks ago we brought you news from MacPlay that Sacrifice -- a real time strategy game -- is on target for an early December release. MacPlay noted this week that Sacrifice has reached its Beta milestone -- it's still on track for an early December introduction. Folks who place a pre-order for the game now at US$49.99 get the Sacrifice Official Strategy Guide for free -- it's an almost $20 value.

Spider-Man hits beta

Westlake Interactive and Aspyr Media both announced last week that the forthcoming 3D action game Spider-Man has hit its beta milestone and is on track for a release soon. The game is based on the same engine created for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which Westlake indicated is making for a smooth transition.

X-Plane 6.0.6 released

Laminar Research has released a new version of X-Plane, the sophisticated flight simulator for Mac and PC. The new version sports flight model improvements, visual enhancements, and other changes.

Elsewhere on the Web has posted a review of Myst III: Exile, the graphical adventure/puzzle game from Ubi Soft and Presto Studios. Inside Mac Games has posted a preview of Survivor: The Interactive Game, soon to be released for the Mac by MacSoft. has posted a review of Age of Empires 2, the first release from Bold Games. Apple's Web site sports a new game-related piece on simulation games.

Closer to home

Partly because this was a holiday week in the United States and partly also because this reporter was on vacation, MacCentral had very little Mac game news of its own -- but that's not to say we were entirely without game-related headlines. A few of these go back to the week before, too, since we were without a Week In Games review last week. Blizzard released Mac OS X-native versions of StarCraft and Brood War; MacSoft announced that Survivor: The Interactive Game will come to Mac in December; Aspyr has announced plans to publish a Mac version of the Harry Potter video game originally published for the PC by EA Games; MacSoft announced the release of Vampire: The Masquerade -- Redemption. There's more, too -- visit our News Archive page for details.

As always, we encourage you to drop us a line if you have ideas for ways we can improve our games-related coverage on MacCentral, or if you have a product or service you'd like Mac gamers to know about.

This story, "The week in games" was originally published by PCWorld.

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