Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 17 Aug 98

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
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Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --SAQQARA Ships Catalog Manager for MS Site Server --Intermark Ships CoolCat HTML Editor --Inktomi, RealNetworks to Create Streaming Media Cache DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --SAMSUNG Releases COCKTAIL '98 Multimedia Authoring Software --Aladdin DropStuff Supports Zip/StuffIt Compression --LMSOFT Updates Presenter, Consumer-oriented Multimedia Authoring Tool IN THE INFOGROOVE --KOZ Provides Families with Online Sharing Forum --CoolMail Provides Phone Access to Email --SurfWatch: Over 24 Percent of Employee Time Online Non-Work Related WEBSIGHTINGS --The Sync Forms Free Speech Coalition to Fight CDA II --New Applet Posts Poetic Laments, Net-Wide CONSUMER CHANNEL --Media Concepts Releases Child Abduction Program --Interplay Releases Learn to Program BASIC THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Report: "Lazy" Interactivity Will Restore TV's Ascendancy --O'Reilly Releases Third Edition of "HTML: The Definitive Guide" --Study Says Major Sites Must Ramp Up Targeting to Fuel Revenue Growth DEALS --2015 to Develop Mission Pack for Ritual Entertainment's Sin GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Konami Releases PSX Baseball, RPG Titles --Wing Commander: Secret Ops Giveaway Set to Begin --Urban Assault Trial Version Descends Upon the Web --Gathering of Developers, Epic MegaGames Ship Jazz Jackrabbit 2 --Firms Announce Cable Modem Gaming Tournament DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Peter Watje Joins Kinetix HAPPENINGS --Change of Date for Big Game Hunters Summit F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

SAQQARA Ships Catalog Manager for MS Site Server Just out from SAQQARA Systems, Inc. is its Step Search Professional catalog management and publishing solution, designed for integration with Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition. The product takes advantage of Microsoft's COM and Active Server Page (ASP) architecture to provide developers and integrators a standard technology platform to build customized electronic commerce solutions that meet varying business requirements. Step Search Professional's extensible database design allows users to create new extended attributes without modifying the database directly. New attributes appear in the browser-based authoring Wizard automatically to prompt users for appropriate data entry. The Step Search parametric search technology is said to let users search and compare products online without receiving a "sorry, no match" result. Step Search Professional is priced at $10,000 per server. Demonstrations and evaluation downloads of the software are available at http://www.saqqara.com. -------------------------------------------------- Intermark Ships CoolCat HTML Editor Innovus Corporation subsidiary Intermark Corporation has just released CoolCat, an HTML editor that enhances Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe PageMill. Features include tag sets for every version of HTML, Cold Fusion, WebTV and JavaScript, plus pop-up property windows for links, font sizing and colors, horizontal rules and text formatting. The company also announced this month that it will begin selling electronic versions of two new Internet utility products; a Modem Utility that provides high-speed Internet connections, sharing of single-line connections between multiple computers without requiring a dedicated server, maximum security and usage tracking; A Web Caller Utility identifies and tracks who is visiting a Website, the browser used, and the type of system the visitor is using. The information gathered can be reviewed with the real-time graph window or by accessing the database. A visitor alert notifies the site manager when unauthorized/unwanted visitors are on the site. For more information, contact Intermark Corporation, 4600 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA, 92660, at 949-833-1220 or visit http://iMarkMall.com or http://Intermarkcorp.com. -------------------------------------------------- Inktomi, RealNetworks to Create Streaming Media Cache Streaming media king RealNetworks and Inktomi Corp., a developer of scalable Internet infrastructure software, plan to jointly develop, market and distribute what they claim to be the industry's first streaming media cache solution. The solution will reportedly enable network providers to deliver RealAudio and RealVideo files to consumers at higher speed and quality while simultaneously reducing network congestion. Streaming media is rapidly emerging as a dominant presence on the Web, with the number of media URLs nearly tripling in the last nine months. According to RealNetworks, more than 85 percent of those URLs use its RealAudio and/or RealVideo technology. Caching improves the accessibility and delivery of media clips, and mitigates the large traffic spikes typically caused when many users access breaking news events or popular new content. Running at the edges of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or enterprise network, the solution is designed to minimize impact on network performance while simultaneously insulating users from Internet congestion that can interfere with the delivery of streaming multimedia. Integration of RealNetworks' streaming tech with Inktomi's caching systems is accomplished using a set of integrated software plug-in components jointly developed by the two firms. RealNetworks can be found at http://www.real.com. --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

SAMSUNG Releases COCKTAIL '98 Multimedia Authoring Software SAMSUNG America, Inc is introducing COCKTAIL '98, a new Windows-based multimedia authoring software for the business, home, and educational markets. With a MSRP of $129.99, the program lets users incorporate sound, photos, music, animations, text, and video into corporate presentations or personal greetings. The software lets users compile and edit multiple formatted files into a single presentation. An HTML editor enables the production of Web pages. For additional information, visit http://www.cocktail98.com -------------------------------------------------- Aladdin DropStuff Supports Zip/StuffIt Compression Aladdin Systems' new $20 DropStuff for Windows 1.0 provides compression and access tools that let Windows users communicate with Macintosh users via the Internet with. Features of Aladdin DropStuff and Aladdin Expander include: * Zip and StuffIt compression via a context menu and the DropStuff menus * translates Mac file info to Windows extension (.txt, .doc) for easy access to files * the ability to automatically attach StuffIt-compressed files to new outgoing email messages * Desktop shortcuts * the ability to expand segmented StuffIt files Aladdin Expander 2.0 freeware enables access to compression formats created on IBM-PCs, Macintosh compatibles, and Unix Systems, including Zip (.zip), StuffIt (.sit), ARJ (.arj), ARC (.arc), gzip (.gz), tar (.tar), uuencode (.uu), MacBinary (.bin), BinHex (.hqx), and MIME/Base 64 files. Check it out at http://www.aladdinsys.com/dropstuff/winindex.html -------------------------------------------------- LMSOFT Updates Presenter, Consumer-oriented Multimedia Authoring Tool LMSOFT last week announced LMSOFT Presenter 3.0, a multimedia authoring software tool designed to let users assemble elements such as video, animation, hypertext, images and sound into a presentation for personal or professional use. This major upgrade will cost $79 and will be available from LMSOFT starting September 15, 1998. New features include: * now a 32 bit program * now based on a linking principle vs. a page principle * improved linking capabilities making it easier to use (earlier versions were not as intuitive) * users are forced to give meaningful page names * users can go through firewalls and proxy servers to get Internet updates LMSOFT Presenter 3.0 is a 32-bit program for Windows 95 and NT. It comes with a collection of templates to help the user build their own presentations. The program also provides the user with functions to create sales presentations, interactive displays, electronic catalogues, educational software and training tools on CD-ROM. These presentations can be automatically updated on the Internet/intranet without a browser and are capable of receiving information from proxy servers and through firewalls. For more information, visit http://www.lmsoft.com or call (514) 948-1000. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

KOZ Provides Families with Online Sharing Forum Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based KOZ Inc.'s new Family Shoebox at http://www.familyshoebox.com provides families with publishing tools for sharing stories and collaborating online. Families can have home pages, threaded discussions, an interactive calendar, private and public publishing areas, and other ways of communicating with each other and with the world. Chat is coming son. No special knowledge or skill is required. Family members don't have to know HTML, FTP, or programming. Just copy and paste, scan or drop in a photo, and you're online. Best of all, the Family Shoebox is free. The Family Shoebox is a community-based publishing solution designed especially for families and the first channel offered on the http://www.koz.com destination site. The Shoebox's underlying database manages large amounts of information: text, graphics, photographs, and other media. The packaged templates ensure that users don't have to learn Web coding or bother with scripting languages, although experienced users can use HTML editors and other tools without limiting core functions. -------------------------------------------------- CoolMail Provides Phone Access to Email Planetary Motion's new, free CoolMail service lets users listen to email by phone. The service consolidates all email accounts and then provides access to messages from any or all of them with a phone call. Users can also send email by speaking into the phone. The service's automated attendant "reads" email to users using voice technology that converts text to speech. CoolMail was introduced in the Chicagoland area six weeks ago with plans to expand into other major markets in Q4 '98. The company has sinced moved up its timetable and is now offering CoolMail in New York, Boston, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Toronto. Get additional information at http://www.PlanetaryMotion.com or by calling 877-COOLMAIL (toll-free). To contact Planetary Motion, Inc., call (847) 835-6700. -------------------------------------------------- SurfWatch: Over 24 Percent of Employee Time Online Non-Work Related SurfWatch Software, a division of Spyglass Inc., last week announced the latest results from CheckNet, a free and confidential program that allows companies to assess the appropriateness of (i.e., spy on) Internet use in the workplace. The latest findings were based on data gathered in May, June and July: 24.45 percent of participating companies' employees' time online was not work related, up significantly from 18 percent in April. The top five categories accounting for the largest portions of the non-work surfing were: general news 5.48 percent sexually explicit 3.61 percent investment 3.01 percent entertainment 2.24 percent sports 1.87 percent "Internet access is a powerful workplace tool but, if used incorrectly, it can be a huge drain on corporate resources," said Theresa Marcroft, director of marketing for SurfWatch Software. "Based on today's CheckNet results, a company that spends $500,000 per year on Internet access could save nearly $125,000 simply by using Internet content management technologies. That's a significant savings, and doesn't even include employee salaries and legal liability exposure." SurfWatch released the first results from the CheckNet program on April 1, 1998. Those early results were significantly different from last week's: * in the last three months, "sexually explicit" sites took a back seat to "general news" sites as the category most often visited by employees in the latest study * visits to "general news" and "entertainment" sites increased significantly, perhaps reflecting a more relaxed office environment in the summer * visits to "sports" sites noticeably increased around such events as the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Goodwill Games, as well as the U.S. & British Open golf tournaments * visits to "job search" sites dropped significantly, perhaps reflecting less interest in job searching during the summer months To participate in CheckNet, businesses can visit http://www.surfwatch.com/checknet. --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

The Sync Forms Free Speech Coalition to Fight CDA II The Sync, a producer of Internet video programs, announces the formation of the Webcasters Coalition for Free Speech, and the premiere of the first interactive public service announcement (PSA) for viewing via Internet video. Coalition members besides The Sync include content aggregator Free Speech Internet Television (http://www.freespeech.org) and Webcasting technology provider Digital Bitcasting (http://www.bitcasting.com). The new PSA focuses on public education regarding the Communications Decency Act II and its effects on Internet access. Filmed on location at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, the PSA features Jennifer Ringley, the Web doyenne of the JenniCAM site, who explains that the U.S. Senate recently passed the Communications Decency Act II, a follow-up to previous legislation which places vague and ill-defined limitations and guidelines on Internet access, using the argument of child protection to impose new controls. Yet Ms. Ringley points out a glaring problem with this legislation that endangers free speech on the Internet: "It won't achieve its goals of protecting children online--only parents can do that." The PSA is hyperlinked to three non-profit organizations involved in maintaining free access to cyberspace: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org), the Center for Democracy and Technology (http://www.cdt.org), and the Electronic Privacy and Information Center (http://www.epic.org). The new PSA will be broadcast prior to shows on The Sync and will be made available at no charge to member companies of the Webcasters Coalition for Free Speech. The Sync Web site is http://www.thesync.com. For more information, mailto:info@thesync.com. -------------------------------------------------- New Applet Posts Poetic Laments, Net-Wide The Wellington, Florida based VOW.COM Network has developed a new interactive feature on its Web site which presents visitors with a series of words they are challenged to arrange into an erudite poem. If the artful string of words they assemble through a Java applet moves them sufficiently, they have the option of entering it into a poetry contest, which runs through September, with prizes redeemable at Amazon.com A quatrain from one of the early entries exemplifies this emerging electronic poetry genre: Baked and broiled, parched and fried, Heat makes you tired and stupid, Suitable for nothing more than Posting poetic laments, net-wide Express yourself at http://artandessence.com. --------------------------------------------------

CONSUMER CHANNEL

Media Concepts Releases Child Abduction Program S.K.I.P--Safe Kids - Informed Parents--developed with the Vanished Children's Alliance, takes a proactive approach to the issue of child abduction. The interactive, multimedia program presents dramatized scenarios in full-motion video, which guide the viewer to make correct decisions if put in a situation where an abduction might take place. the Created originally for the Santa Clara County Schools in California, the program currently works correctly only with the MPEG hardware in the Pansonic MK II laptop computer used in that school system. Developer Media Concepts plans to make it available for other platforms in the future, provided funding and/or sponsorship can be obtained. S.K.I.P. was designed to be utilized by children, teachers and parents. S.K.I.P., a NewMedia INVISION Awards Finalist, funded by Silicon Valley electronics companies, is being utilized by the Vanished Children's Alliance as a tool in their educational outreach program. The video for S.K.I.P. was shot in Betacam SP, mastered on Digital Betacam and digitized to full-screen, full-motion MPEG. Interactive delivery is programmed in Pascal, and requires only that the viewer is able to click a mouse or touch a touchscreen. Two tracks are provided, one for children and another for parents. Viewers track children in a set of scenarios (walking home from school, home alone, etc.) and click the mouse when they believe the child has done something to put him or her in danger. The program provides immediate feedback. By providing a realistic--as opposed to cartooned--delivery, children can learn to recognize real-world occurrences, without an intermediate layer of abstraction. Media Concepts has produced a 5 minute overview of the S.K.I.P. program. Contact Kristell Mazzuco at Media Concepts (408) 653-1845 for a VHS copy of the S.K.I.P. program. For more information on Vanished Children's Alliance contact Chris Wilder (408) 296-1113. -------------------------------------------------- Interplay Releases Learn to Program BASIC Interplay Productions, best known as a game developer/publisher, last week released its new title, Learn to Program BASIC, on CD-ROM for IBM and Mac computers. The program was developed to teach junior-high schoolers the fundamental steps of programming computers in a dynamic environment. Developed by Stepping Stone, a division of Presage Software, the title contains 10 half-hour lessons taught by an energetic, entertaining host and his sidekick. With over 50 interactive exercises, kids will learn the fundamental steps to programming through movies that teach by analogy. A glossary of BASIC terms as well as end-of-lesson reviews are integral components of the program. In addition to a manual, a workbook is included for students to use as they progress through the exercises. The workbook also includes quotes, tips, and insights about the world of programming from some of the gaming industry's leading programmers. Students will learn to edit and modify the code to many of the complete games included in the program, such as Tank, Concentration, Hangman, and Blockhead. Kids also unleash their creativity in the Freestyle area, where they can write their own BASIC programs which can be shared with friends through Interplay's dedicated Web site, or they may copy their work onto floppy disks. To help kids bring their own creations to life, dozens of art and sound files are contained on the CD-ROM, including animated characters from other Interplay games. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Report: "Lazy" Interactivity Will Restore TV's Ascendancy Interactive TV will reach 10 million viewers by 2002, but a new report from Forrester Research, Inc. concludes that television providers and interactivity vendors have completely misunderstood the promise of the new medium. For interactive television to succeed, programmers must embrace lazy interactivity -- an approach designed for short-attention-span TV viewers. "To succeed on TV, an interactive application needs to work for viewers who have a remote in one hand and a beer in the other," commented Josh Bernoff, principal analyst in Forrester's People & Technology Strategies service and author of "Lazy Interactive TV." "Our research revealed plenty of elaborate attempts at interactivity, but strangely, very few of the early players have recognized the commerce potential for quick-hit, one-button mini-applications that are most likely to attract TV viewers." Led by first-generation electronic program guides, lazy interactivity will eventually extend to commercials and other quick-hit applications like buy-the-CD on MTV and responding to talk show opinion polls. These applications will offer a natural extension of viewers' point-and-click activities without demanding too much thought or effort. Several recent developments are accelerating the maturation of interactive TV. The promise of advanced functionality is being reinforced by the emergence of new consumer platforms, including Web TV and PCs with TV-tuner cards. Meanwhile, the adoption of Internet protocols for interactive content ensures a standard format for uniform delivery. The key to interactive TV's success, however, will be the arrival of digital cable, which provides a two-way connection with viewers. "After a lot of frustrating early attempts, all the elements are falling into place to deliver on the promise of interactivity," said Bernoff. "The major technology, content, and delivery players recently agreed on a standard -- ATVEF -- that builds on Internet protocols. When combined with the digital cable rollouts planned for the next several years, interactive content coded to the standard will start popping up in commercials, news and weather programming, sportscasts, and talk shows." With WebTV projecting 800,000 viewers by year-end and America Online developing its own TV service, the audience for interactive television is showing signs of real growth. However, WebTV's and AOL's early lead won't last. Digital cable rollouts scheduled to begin next year will make interactive TV available to the masses. By 2002, Forrester predicts that nearly all of the 6 million digital cable subscribers will click into interactive TV services. Forrester interviewed more than 50 television producers, advertising agencies, cable operators, and interactive product developers for its "Lazy Interactive TV" Report. Of the TV programmers interviewed, 25 percent believe that more than half of the programming in 2001 will have an interactive component. Additional information about Forrester Research can be found on the Web at http://www.forrester.com. -------------------------------------------------- O'Reilly Releases Third Edition of "HTML: The Definitive Guide" OReilly and Associates has just released the third edition of HTML: The Definitive Guide (608 pages, ISBN 1-56592-492-4, $32.95). The book has been updated to cover HTML version 4.0, Netscape 4.0, and Internet Explorer 4.0, plus all the common extensions. Authors Chuck Musciano & Bill Kennedy demonstrate how to: * use style sheets and layers to control a document's appearance * create tables, from simple to complex * use frames to coordinate sets of documents * design and build interactive forms and dynamic documents * insert images, sound files, video, Java applets, and JavaScript programs * learn about new features to support multiple languages * create useful links and searchable documents * use netscape extensions * design great forms Buy the Book -------------------------------------------------- Study Says Major Sites Must Ramp Up Targeting to Fuel Revenue Growth The growth of the Web advertising pie will be increasingly dependent on the successful introduction of real targeting, according to research released last week by Jupiter Communications. The research cites that the promise of highly targeted advertising is currently not being met, and failure to do so could severely hinder future growth rates of the medium. Jupiter's research found that the relatively high price of online ads compared with the price of ads in traditional media is theoretically justified by targetability and interactivity. Without real targeting, however, the potential of interactivity goes largely unrealized, as demonstrated by flattening click-through rates, which now hover around one percent. "The Web has long held this promise of being the ultimate one-to-one marketing vehicle, but currently sites are often unable to provide advertisers basic demographic data--age, sex, income--which is standard supporting evidence for charging higher CPMs in traditional media," said Evan Neufeld, practice manager of Online Advertising Strategies at Jupiter. "The current crop of deals between ad targeting technology vendors, and major Web sites and other tech players should serve to accelerate the development of targeting, but the time to move was yesterday." In spite of the relatively undeveloped state of targeting, and the accompanying lack of incentives to users to really interact with the Web as a medium, the report advises major marketers to start spending aggressively now, rather than risk losing market share and branding opportunity. In short, marketers must reckon with the Web as a dynamic consumer media platform, but must demand higher levels of targeting that will result in greater consumer interaction. For more information, visit http://www.jup.com/. --------------------------------------------------

DEALS

2015 to Develop Mission Pack for Ritual Entertainment's Sin Activision has signed a pact with developer 2015, Inc. to create the mission pack for Ritual Entertainment's Sin. The add-on will be designed and developed in conjunction with Ritual and will be published by Activision. The mission pack is expected to feature 13 new levels, a new storyline and new weapons and monsters. Sin, slated for release on Windows 95 and Windows NT this fall, is a first-person 3D shooter that features a character-driven story and multiplayer gameplay powered by an enhanced version of id software's QUAKE II engine. Ritual Entertainment can be found on the Web at http://www.ritual.com. Activision can be found at http://www.activision.com. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Konami Releases PSX Baseball, RPG Titles Konami of America says its new Bottom Of The 9TH '99 for Sony PlayStation offers improved 3D texture-mapped players; faster gameplay, arcade-style batter/pitcher interface; nine polygon body types; six playing modes; 16 rendered stadiums; multiple camera angles; and a real-time "play-by-play" announcer. In addition, the game includes the 1998 season-opening team rosters, incorporating all of the off-season trades and free agent signings. The six game modes include Training, Exhibition, Full Season, Scenario, Playoff and All-star. In the Scenario mode, the user can play a specific part of a dramatic game: for example, the score is tied, two outs, the bases are loaded and you're up with a full count in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Training mode allows gamers to hone pitching, fielding, batting and base-running skills. Also just out from Konami is Azure Dreams, an RPG in which users can control their own destiny. Features include a fully navigable 3D environment, different camera angles, magic spells such as fireballs and earthquakes, and a dungeon that resets its map each time the player enters. In an interesting application of the virtual pet concept, the player can collect monster eggs throughout the game and then hatch and grow them into demons that enable the player to explore higher levels of the tower. Players can also earn money to build workshops and other buildings, attracting inhabitants to create and evolve villages. Konami can be found on the Web at http://www.konami.com. -------------------------------------------------- Wing Commander: Secret Ops Giveaway Set to Begin ORIGIN's unprecedented Internet episodic release of the next Wing Commander game. Wing Commander: Secret Ops will be available the week of August 24 and is being distributed free of charge, except for standard Internet service provider fees, via weekly downloadable episodes. This is a unique event in the computer gaming industry, and judging from the game's popularity and the massive size of the initial downloads, one likely to cause major traffic jams on the 'Net. Players can download and tune in to the Secret Ops experience just like they would tune in to their favorite weekly television program. With Secret Ops, players can count on a new episode to download and play each Thursday for seven straight weeks. On the days prior to each download, new interactive fiction will be posted on the Secret Ops Web site (http://www.secretops.com), setting the stage for each playable episode. ORIGIN is making the first Secret Ops episode, including the Startup Kit, available on August 27 on the Secret Ops Web site and on other commercial Internet sites. Players will have a choice of initial downloads when the first episode becomes available on August 27: * Secret Ops Basic Startup Kit: The required startup kit consisting of the Secret Ops executable file, graphics, music and episode 1 (four missions). Approximate size: 63 MB * Secret Ops Speech Kit: An optional speech pack download (requires Basic Startup Kit) that includes in-flight comms and mission briefing audio. Approximate size: 51 MB * Secret Ops Full Startup Kit: The Basic Startup Kit and Speech Kit combined. Approximate size: 114 MB Episodes 2 through 7 will be approximately 1 MB each. The Internet episodic release of Secret Ops will be available for a limited time only. Secret Ops is a stand-alone game and does not require any previous Wing Commander game in order to play. -------------------------------------------------- Urban Assault Trial Version Descends Upon the Web The trial version of Microsoft's Urban Assault, a combination of real-time strategy and first-person action, is newly available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/games/urbanassault/home.htm The trial version contains six single-player levels, including two training mission levels. Each level exhibits a diverse sampling of vehicles, technology upgrades, and enemy adversaries found in the full retail version. In addition, two multiplayer levels are available for game play on the Internet Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com). The full retail version is expected to start rolling into stores mid-August, with full distribution by the end of the month. Urban Assault reportedly combines diverse action game play with strategic depth. From a first-person cockpit perspective, players can control 15 types of combat vehicles, from airplanes, helicopters and satellites to jeeps and tanks. Gamers can simultaneously command and deploy their entire army from an overhead transparent map as they manage resources and upgrade technologies. -------------------------------------------------- Gathering of Developers, Epic MegaGames Ship Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Gathering of Developers, a developer-driven computer and video game publishing company, last week shipped Jazz Jackrabbit 2 ($29.95), a 2D (!) side-scrolling, arcade-style game for Windows-based PCs. Jazz Jackrabbit 2 was co-developed by Epic MegaGames, a founding partner of The Gathering and the creator of the computer game Unreal, and Orange Games, a Netherlands-based development company. The Jazz Jackrabbit 2 CD-ROM includes the full version of the 1994 shareware hit Jazz Jackrabbit. In JJ 2, gamers jump into an animated world with the wacky green rabbit Jazz and his crazy brother Spaz, and take on dangerous turtles, bats and other enemies. The game centers on Jazz and his archenemy Devan Shell, who has stolen the wedding ring of Jazz's future wife, Eva Earlong. With the ring, Devan will be able to complete his top-secret time machine, go back in time and make sure Jazz is never born. And, without the ring, Jazz won't be able to marry Eva. Features: * players can fly, swim, and warp their way through over 30 levels * four-mode multiplayer gaming: two to four players on one screen; up to eight players on two screens via modem; up to 32 players on eight screens via LAN or the Internet. * over 12 weapons, most of which can be powered up * game editor lets players create their own levels. Contact Epic at http://www.epicgames.com. For more information on Gathering of Developers, visit http://www.godgames.com. -------------------------------------------------- Firms Announce Cable Modem Gaming Tournament Comcast Online Communications is teaming up with SegaSoft's HEAT.NET and Motorola to offer what they claim is the first-ever national high-speed cable modem gaming tournament. The national tournament will allow customers from Comcast@Home's six different markets around the country to compete for prizes in QUAKE II. The preliminary round of the tournament will take place from August 14, 1998 through September 18, 1998 with the final round taking place on September 26, 1998 in each of Comcast@Home's six cable modem markets around the country. The national gaming tournament will include participants from Comcast@Home's six different high-speed cable modem markets in Baltimore, Md.; Detroit, Mi.; Northern New Jersey; Orange County, Ca.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Sarasota, Fla. The tournament is also open to all gaming enthusiasts from outside of Comcast@Home's high-speed cable modem markets. Would-be participants can sign up for the tournament's preliminary round by visiting http://www.heat.net. For a full set of rules, visit http://www.ComcastOnline.com. --------------------------------------------------

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Peter Watje Joins Kinetix One of the more familiar names in the 3D Studio MAX developer community, Peter Watje is now a member of the programming staff at Kinetix. If you use MAX, you're probably familiar with his suite of Surface Tools, published by Digimation, and with his vast array of free ("charityware") plug-ins on the popular 3DS sites. Peter received his BS in Computer Science at Washington University, and most recently worked at Sierra Online, where, as he puts it, he "animated 80% of the time, and coded plug-ins 20% of the time." --------------------------------------------------

HAPPENINGS

Change of Date for Big Game Hunters Summit The date for the Big Game Hunters Summit, a professional development think tank for senior game designers, artists and writers to be held at Canada's Banff Centre for the Arts (see Spectrum 3 August 1998), has been changed from August 22-25 to September 19-21. To register, contact the Office of the Registrar at (403) 762-6180 or by mailto:arts_info@banffcentre.ab.ca. For more detailed info, visit the Multimedia section of the Web site at http://.newWeb.banff.org. --------------------------------------------------

F.Y.I.

About Spectrum Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review. Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 1609 Addison St. #6, Berkeley, CA 94703. If you contact companies or organizations mentioned here, please tell them you saw the news in Spectrum. Thanks. -------------------------------------------------- Please send address changes (with old and new addresses), subscribe and unsubscribe requests etc. to the above address. If you use the Reply function, please do _not_ echo an entire issue of Spectrum with your message. -------------------------------------------------- Publisher's note: We are now accepting limited advertising. If you'd like to offer your company's products or services to Spectrum's elite audience of Internet and multimedia professionals, send an email query to duberman@dnai.com, or telephone 510-549-2894 during West Coast business hours. - David Duberman -------------------------------------------------- ┬ęCopyright 1998 Motion Blur Media. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any for-profit or revenue-generating venue in any form without written permission from the publisher.
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