Human Head Studios’ Tim Gerritsen
that a new expansion pack for his company’s game Rune will be released later this spring. A Macintosh version is planned and should follow the PC version fairly closely.
Rune: Halls of Valhalla is what Gerritsen calls a “hybrid package.” For Rune owners, it is an expansion pack that adds new maps, characters, and game play modes to the original game, which featured a detailed single-player storyline. If you don’t own Rune, it will work also, providing players with multiplayer-specific action.
Rune itself is a third-person action game published by
Gathering of Developers. Built using the Unreal Tournament engine, the game was converted to the Mac by none other than
Westlake Interactive, and according to Gerritsen, Westlake will be managing the port of Halls of Valhalla, too. Rune for Mac was released in December of 2000.
The new expansion pack includes all the characters from the original game, plus 15 new ones, including the Dwarf, Swashbuckler, Mongol Warrior, Syrian Warrior, two different Roman Gladiators, and others.
New maps populate the Halls of Valhalla expansion pack as well — a total of 33 new maps, including seven winners of a recent Rune map-making contest. The maps are distributed in all gameplay modes.
New gameplay modes are also included in Rune: Halls of Valhalla. The game now includes an Arena mode that sports 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 matches and a new HeadBall game where teams compete to take trophies and toss them into goals for points. “The team at the end of the game with the most points wins, but it’s not that simple,” explained Gerritsen. “You simply have to see it to believe it.”
Gerritsen noted that Human Head Studios has also improved Rune’s netcode in the new expansion pack, to enable more smooth play in high-ping situations.
There are other new details, too, but Gerritsen seems to content to keep some news under his hat to build suspense leading up to the product’s release. Gerritsen also talked about a patch to improve the original game’s netcode and combat — no word is yet available on whether that patch will be released for the Mac.
Rune: Halls of Valhalla carries a suggested retail price of US$19.99. It will ship for the PC in April, with the Macintosh version expected “a few weeks later.” The Mac version will be sold via online Mac outlets, according to Gerritsen.