Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News
7 Dec 98
Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send email@example.com
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Today's Headlines (details below)
--RealNetworks Ships RealSystem G2
--Java/Perl Tool Available as Open Source Software
--Superbase Announces Peer-to-Peer Internet Database
--Yesler Alive Available for DIY Multimedia Web Presentations
--Pacific Media WorX to Release Open Media Toolkit 1.40
IN THE INFOGROOVE
--Opera Updates Browser to 3.50
--WorldFlash Enhances Real-Time News Ticker
--Parable Changes Name to Thingworld.Com
--SplatMail Adds Expression, Mood to Email
--MetaCreations Ships Kai's Power Tools Version 5
--Quantum3D Ships Heavy Metal PC-IG Systems
--Ulead Updates Web Graphics Products
--Independent Study: LightWave 3D is Leading Hollywood Solution
--Credo Announces 3D Models, Life Forms Extension for trueSpace 4
--QED and IGST Announce MIPS-Based Set-Top Multimedia Platform
--Animated Programs Releases ToonTalk - Computer Programming for Kids
--Pilot Island PalmParrot Offers Digital Recording
--Modified Ships Interactive HipHop Products
--CE Software Releases QuicKeys, Windows Automation Tool
--Diamond Releases Monster Sound MX300 Audio Accelerator
THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER
--Nearly Half of Internet Users Say Internet Online Becoming a Necessity
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
--Looking Glass' Thief: The Dark Project Sneaks Into Stores
--Combat Flight Sim Mission Editor, Downloads Available
--id, Activision Deliver QUAKE II Net Pack, Other News
--Eidos Offers Assistance to Tomb Raiders
--Interplay Sports Announces Virtual Deep Sea Fishing
--Mindscape Offers Holiday Lineup
--Ubi Soft Ships S.C.A.R.S.
--Green Flag Drops on 3-D Ultra NASCAR Pinball
--E-LOAN Provides Nearly $4 Billion in Mortgages
--Northern Light Raises $9 Million in Equity Financing
--Grammies Considering Game Music Award
RealNetworks Ships RealSystem G2
RealSystem G2 has shipped as a final product for Windows. Mac and Unix versions
are expected Q1 1999. The new content-creation applications include:
1. RealProducer G2, which creates basic RealAudio and RealVideo, is available
for free download at http://www.real.com/products/tools/producer/index.html
2. RealProducer Plus G2 is available at
http://www.real.com/products/tools/producerplus/index.html. Features include:
* dynamically adjusts to congested network conditions
* allows content creators to specify data rates, Codec selection, and video
* allows a file to dynamically adjust its transfer rate to visitor's bandwidth
* enables users of RealPlayer 5.0 to receive content, even if they do not have
a G2 player
* includes scriptable commands for batch encoding single files or entire
* allows user to specify a capture device and perform multiple simultaneous
encoding sessions on a single machine
* can embed up to six target audience connection rates and a
backward-compatible stream in a single file
3. The free RealProducer G2 Authoring Kit contains tools for creating streaming
presentations using RealAudio, RealVideo, RealText, RealPix, and SMIL, for both
live and on-demand delivery. Available at:
Java/Perl Tool Available as Open Source Software
Java/Perl Lingo (JPL), software that enables programmers to use the use the
strengths of both Java and Perl in the same environment, is now freely
available as open source software. Until now, the tool was available only in
O'Reilly & Associates' Perl Resource Kit-UNIX Edition, a commercial product.
JPL was developed by Larry Wall, creator of Perl and senior software developer
at O'Reilly & Associates.
JPL's goal is to seamlessly unite the two popular languages in a way which lets
them complement each other's strengths. Java excels at helping computers across
a network or the Internet communicate and share data; Perl is used especially
for system administration and interactive Web sites. JPL enables programmers to
implement Java methods with Perl, and for Perl code to access Java via the Java
Native Interface (JNI). It includes a translator and build system for creating
The JPL tool and its source code are available as part of the latest
development release of Perl (version 5.005_54) and can be obtained at
http://www.perl.com/. Subscription information for the JPL mailing list is
available at http://www.perl.org/maillist.html/.
Superbase Announces Peer-to-Peer Internet Database
London-based Superbase Developers Plc. will launch in January 1999 Superbase
3.6i, its peer-to-peer Internet database. Designed for small- to medium-sized
enterprises and remote workers, the program lets users utilize any remote
workstation as a server for querying, processing, printing, and even running
applications, without the need for a centralized server.
As a client, users can access application programs, forms, queries, and
database files on any remote station using any of the supported communication
methods; LAN, WAN, Internet, modem, serial link, etc., one at a time or
Contact Superbase at http://www.superbase.com.
Yesler Alive Available for DIY Multimedia Web Presentations
Yesler Software, Inc., a Seattle, Washington-based Internet applications
company, last week released Yesler Alive 1.0. The $195 Web-based desktop
application is designed to let non-programmers create media-rich presentations
and reports and post them to the Web. Functionality includes recording audio
and video, synchronization of media with other data, and publishing it all to
the Web or network.
A free, downloadable 90-day evaluation version is available from
Pacific Media WorX to Release Open Media Toolkit 1.40
Pacific Media WorX will begin shipping version 1.40 of the Open Media Toolkit
2D and 3D cross-platform development framework on December 15. The new version
contains new features, upgrades, and performance enhancements said to
accelerate single platform or hybrid development times frames, and increase
As well, the release of version 1.40 resolves compatibility conflicts that
emerged with new upgrade releases of other engineering tools, such as Microsoft
VC++ 6.0 & Metrowerks Code Warrior 4.0. OMT is now compatible with these
recently released products.
New features and tool enhancements include:
* includes an upgraded release of the OMT MediaMeister which now allows the
import of complete 3D Studio MAX shapes, including texture coordinates,
materials, bounding spheres, etc., directly into a project
* smart real-time texture caching automatically unloads unused texture(s) from
VRam. If insufficient VRam is available to render a frame, OMT will downsample
the farthest polygon's textures to lower mipmap level.
* smart VRam support with DirectDraw. OMT is able to recover lost surfaces.
* support for mipmap at both at pixel or polygon level.
* integrated for Direct3D on Windows and Quickdraw Rave on Mac machines.
* support for force feedback devices
* object-oriented polygon-generating mechanism advancements for creating custom
* upgraded 3D card support
* smarter 3D card texture-mapping format support
* implemented 2D collision detection at pixel precision
* able to differentiate between pixel formats
* support for changing thread priority
* added support for DirectSound, looped sound, frequency, and volume, etc.
Change your threads at http://www.pacmedia.com.
Opera Updates Browser to 3.50
Opera Software's new Opera 3.50 Web browser offers the following features:
* reportedly the most complete CSS1 implementation of all commercial Web
browsers, enhanced by customization options for both users and Website
* support for the most compliant and most recent version of Java. As a stepping
stone to internal Java support, access to applets has been made possible by
supporting the plug-in from Sun Microsystems
* supports Transport Layer Security (TLS), the successor to Secure Socket Layer
* support for file upload, required for some Web-based email services. Also, an
offline browser mode, name completion, a turbo mode, the ability to turn off
tables, a new download window with multiple functionality, and wider plug-in
* users can implement their own toolbar icon designs
Opera has also launched PeopleLink, an instant messaging application and
For more information, email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
WorldFlash Enhances Real-Time News Ticker
WorldFlash Software last week released Version 1.5 of its WorldFlash news and
information ticker. The free (ad-supported) program delivers a low-bandwidth
customized stream of current news headlines, stocks, finance, sports, science,
health, lifestyle, high-tech, entertainment and more to individual desktops.
Version 1.5 highlights include:
* browse the headlines
* 20 new dynamically updated content sites
* stock ticker with programmable alerts
* sports ticker
* personal weather station
* email alert and screen system
* connection to major search engines
Parable Changes Name to Thingworld.Com
To better reflect its business emphasis on Thing-based technologies, tools and
services and its Web site, Parable officially adopted the name ThingWorld.com
(http://www.thingworld.com) last week. The announcement came amid various
milestones for the company, including partnerships with entertainment, music,
pro sports and consumer brand organizations, as well as with portal and
Things are dynamic multimedia experiences that can be animated scenes and
characters, puzzles, games, digital collectibles, point-of-purchase and
associates program buttons, digital kiosks and more.
SplatMail Adds Expression, Mood to Email
Boston-based Splatware's new SplatMail is a graphics add-on that augments email
with colorful, clip-art-like vector-graphics designs. The product, which
currently works only with Outlook mail, sends both the SplatNote and the
message like regular email, which can be viewed by other SplatMail users.
Recipients not running SplatMail see a standard email message.
SplatMail is available at http://www.splatmail.com for $29.95. A full
SplatMail can be downloaded on a 15-day trial basis.
MetaCreations Ships Kai's Power Tools Version 5
MetaCreations last week released a new version of Kai's Power Tools (KPT), a
set of 10 plug-in applications for use within Adobe Photoshop. The new version,
KPT 5 (US$199, upgrade $99), provides designers and illustrators, Web authors,
photographers, and digital artists with new powerful effects to enhance their
digital creative content. KPT 5 is suitable for creating Web buttons, banners
KPT 5 includes 10 new plug-in applications, divided into real-time 3D tools,
particle growth effects and professional blurs. The interface has been refined
to offer access to numerical values, real-time interactive previews of all
operations and user-customizable options.
New plug-in applications featured in KPT 5:
* KPT ShapeShifter creates shapes and objects with refracting glass edges, 3D
light sources on beveled metallic surfaces, soft, curved and lit Web buttons,
and text. Resulting elements carry their masks with them for compositing.
* KPT Orb-It explodes a source image into thousands of spheres with variations
in size, density, and realistic 3D lighting. Produce fields of bubbles,
raindrops, and giant lenses, text effects and distortions.
* KPT FiberOptix creates anything from furry text, to green shag carpet, pink
plastic silly string, and lush creeping vines. Every strand and fiber is a true
3D object. Masks are generated from the 3D data for compositing.
* KPT Blurrrr is a suite of nine filters including the classic zoom, spin, and
other blurs updated with real-time previews, pro-precision 64-bit color, and
128-bit math with new algorithms and variations.
* KPT Noize includes a large collection of noises for textures and painting
* KPT RadWarp warps the edges of an image to correct or create a camera effect
known as a "barrel distortion."
* KPT Smoothie cleans up "dirty" masks quickly.
* KPT FraxPlorer is a Fractal Explorer with real-time fly-throughs, larger
previews, a new infinite zoom tool and new fractal styles.
* KPT Frax4D lets users explore 3D and 4D fractals in 3D space. Create 3D
fractal sculpture and wrap with any environment maps (such as gold, silver or
* KPT FraxFlame creates ethereal fractals that look like natural phenomena.
Choose from a selection of different flame styles, then explore the fractals
and render them as images.
Check it out at http://www.metacreations.com.
Quantum3D Ships Heavy Metal PC-IG Systems
Quantum3D of Santa Clara, Calif. last week demonstrated Mercury and Cobalt, the
next generation of Heavy Metal PC-IG (PC Image Generation) 3D visual systems.
Incorporating antialiasing technology, Heavy Metal offers scaleable solutions,
ranging from selective edge to full scene, for up to sixteen synchronized
Scaleable antialiasing options include:
* Heavy Metal Iron - Software enabled selective edge antialiasing
* Heavy Metal Cobalt - Hardware assisted full scene edge antialiasing
* Heavy Metal Mercury - Hardware enabled full scene antialiasing
A single-channel Mercury system with dual Xeon processors, delivering 180
Megapixels of antialiased graphics, is introductory priced at $20,000.
Check your jaggies at http://www.quantum3d.com.
Ulead Updates Web Graphics Products
Ulead Systems announced last week new versions of its Web imaging utilities:
* Ulead SmartSaver Pro ($60) is an optimization tool for preparing images and
animations for the Web that supports GIF, JPEG, PNG and animation files. New
features include a new user interface, WYSIWYG image slicing, HTML map tags
support, improved optimization, enhanced batch commands, and new optimization
* Ulead GIF Animator 3 ($40) has added of a new palette building engine. Other
new features include more accurate color conversion when importing graphics
from different sources, greater cut and paste flexibility with layers, new
creativity options with built-in automatic sprite creation and new video
effects, and support for Adobe Photoshop plug-ins.
* The newly released $90 Ulead WebRazor Pro suite ($130 after December 31)
includes Ulead SmartSaver Pro, Ulead GIF Animator 3, Ulead COOL 3D 2.0, and
Ulead Photo Explorer 4.2. COOL 3D 2.0 lets users create 3D text and titles, and
Ulead Photo Explorer 4.2 is a thumbnail browser for keeping track of and
managing images and multimedia files.
Contact Ulead at http://www.Webutilities.com or call 310-297-5755.
Independent Study: LightWave 3D is Leading Hollywood Solution
In the recent 3D Tools and Applications Market Study, an independent research
study conducted by Jon Peddie Associates, NewTek's LightWave 3D is identified
as the leading 3D design and animation software in the Hollywood market.
According to the report, LightWave 3D accounts for 50% of the seats in the film
and video supplier market and 53% of the seats in the broadcast-animation
software suppliers market.
The $4,995 study is 390 pages, with an additional 206-page appendix detailing
the companies participating in the study. Contact Jon Peddie Associates at 4
Saint Gabrielle Ct., Tiburon, CA 94920-1619. Phone: 415-435-1775, fax:
415-435-1599, Website: http://www.jpa.com.
Credo Announces 3D Models, Life Forms Extension for trueSpace 4
Vancouver, BC-based Credo Interactive, a specialist in tools for 3D character
motion, last week announced PowerModels, its collection of ready-to-animate 3D
character models. The collection provides over 40 linked and constrained Life
Forms-ready models, including human characters and six insects. The characters
are also provided 3D Studio (3DS) and LightWave 3D (LWS) formats.
The PowerModels collection includes 24 multi-racial human characters from
Zygote Media Group, 13 human characters from Geo-Metricks, and 6 original
insects created by Credo Interactive.
Availability: January 4, 1999
Pricing: $249, $199 introductory price on orders processed before shipping date
Also, newly available from Credo is a Life Forms extension for trueSpace 4 from
Caligari. With import and export support for the Life Forms animation format,
the extension allows trueSpace 4 to share models and character motion with Life
Get animated at http://www.credo-interactive.com.
ExperTelligence's (http://www.ExperTelligence.com) WebData
(http://www.Webdata.com) is a database-only portal for the Internet, and its
WebData Network (http://www.Webdatanetwork.com) is a link exchange service
featuring a query-based banner ad exchange ... Online gaming service
Gametropolis (http://gametropolis.com), for casual gamers, emphasizes
non-violence, with multi-player and chatting capabilities within each game.
Current games include Mission Moon, cribbage, chess, Memory, HyperBlaster,
Stoplight, and BFL,a multi-player social-based football game ... i/us
Corporation's free JumpList2 (http://www.jumplist.com) service is designed for
Web site owners who need to build and maintain a categorized directory of links
to either internal or external pages, or other Web-based resources. It features
email notification of visitor-submitted or broken links.
Toys Through Time, a new multimedia site from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
at http://toys.eb.com, uses video, animation, photos, and illustrations to look
at the hit toys of the past 500 years ... The U.S Space Foundation's AstroZone
at http://www.spacefoundation.org features a variety of space-related
merchandise, including rocket lamps, Space News books, logo merchandise, and
Fisher space pens, used on all manned space flights ... Free to senders and
recipients, Macromedia's ShockRave FlashCards
(http://www.shockrave.com/flashcards) topics include Birthday, Love, Friends &
Family, and Daily Grind (work-related cards).
Software BuyLine (http://www.softwarebuyline.com) offers a selection of more
than 30,000 software titles through a deal with Ingram-Micro ... Can't figure
out what to give? Online gift certificate store Giftpoint.com
(http://www.giftpoint.com) offers a variety of national and local gift
certificates from a large selection of companies ... MicroProse's Top Gun:
Hornet's Nest is now available for free multiplayer matchmaking on Microsoft's
MSN Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com) ... The Sync's "Meeks Unfiltered" is
weekly Internet-exclusive RealVideo talk show focusing on the bizarre world of
techno-politics. See host Brock N. Meeks get "insightful and iconoclastic" at
http://www.thesync.com ... The Green Travel Network (GTN) has just launched an
online Adventure Guide to the Caribbean at
QED and IGST Announce MIPS-Based Set-Top Multimedia Platform
QED, Inc., and IGST will make available a reference platform for
next-generation digital set-top boxes. The platform contains QED's MIPS RISC
microprocessor, the RM5231 and IGST's CyberPro5300, a multimedia processor that
integrates seven functions of the next generation of advanced digital TV set
top boxes in a single chip.
QED's RM5231 64-bit MIPS microprocessor, designed for embedded applications,
executes 325 Dhrystone2.1 MIPS and 500 MFLOPS of floating point operations in
parallel at 250MHz. Both the integer and floating point unit have high-speed
multiply-accumulate instructions that are the core of DSP code. This provides
designers with the flexibility of a general-purpose MIPS RISC microprocessor.
The seven major functions that the 5300 integrates include ZeroZ 3D/2D Graphics
Accelerator, CPU Bridge, NTSC/PAL TV encoder, Video Processor, Hardware Alpha
Blending, AC97 Audio Processor, and SoftModem support
Web Site: http://www.igst.com.
The world's largest consumer electronics company, Matsushita Electric
Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and its subsidiary, Matsushita Electronics
Corporation, have licensed Apple's FireWire technology for use in their
semiconductors, consumer products and other applications.
FireWire was invented by Apple in the early 1990s and was adopted by IEEE as a
standard (IEEE 1394) in 1995. FireWire has been adopted by major camcorder
manufacturers, such as Matsushita, for transferring digital video from digital
camcorders to other devices such as personal computers. The FireWire standard
is being adopted in other consumer multimedia devices, such as set-top boxes
and digital VCRs such as ReplayTV. In addition, FireWire is said to be poised
to become the next generation industry-standard for connecting personal
computers to high-speed peripherals such as printers, scanners and disk drives.
Also, the 1394 Trade Association has launched a new Web site featuring the
latest products and technology based on the powerful 1394 multimedia bus. The
new site is located at http://www.1394showcase.com and complements the
association's home site at http://www.1394ta.org
Launched at this year's Comdex, the new site features all of the ICs and
software technology introduced over the past two years from leaders in 1394
development, along with a range of computers and consumer electronics products
and systems from the U.S., Japan and Europe.
Animated Programs Releases ToonTalk - Computer Programming for Kids
According to Ken Kahn, its creator, ToonTalk is a new way of programming
computers - from the inside of an animated game-like world. The central idea is
that a user (typically a child) can master ToonTalk and create a range of
programs (including games) by understanding computational ideas in terms of
concrete analogs. The child learns to train robots, to give birds messages to
deliver, to load up trucks to construct new houses, to use animated tools to
manipulate things, and so on. In doing so, the child is really programming.
The user can automatically generate a Java applet of whatever she builds in
ToonTalk. ToonTalk also includes a tutorial game that teaches programming.
Narrated demos are included as well.
A free 30-day trial version is available for download. The product CD-ROM and
manual (in the form of 33 trading cards!) is available at the introductory
price of $49.95.
Visit http://www.toontalk.com for more information.
Pilot Island PalmParrot Offers Digital Recording
Jealous of the Windows CE palmtops' built-in digital audio? Fret no more: Pilot
Island Publishing's new $129 PalmParrot for 3Com PalmPilot and Palm III is a
snap-on sound card that provides digital recording and playback, wavetable
synthesis, DTMF auto dialing, and a simple voice recognition program. Smaller
than the PalmPilot modem, the unit runs on two AAA batteries, has a built-in
microphone, and includes a stereo headphone jack.
Visit at http://www.pilotisland.com.
Modified Ships Interactive HipHop Products
UK new media group Modified last week announced the following:
PC and Mac:
Immediate availability of frEQuency '99 CD-ROM
January release for Chillas 2001 CD-ROM
Chiller Killers on the PlayStation
CE Software Releases QuicKeys, Windows Automation Tool
Just out from CE Software is QuicKeys for Windows, new automation software for
Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0. The $50 program automatically performs such tasks as
opening programs, typing text, choosing from menus. It also automates longer
tasks that require several consecutive steps, such as compressing and sending
files via E-mail. It records the keystrokes and mouse-clicks involved in the
task, then plays the entire sequence back when the user presses the hot key or
clicks the toolbar button designated for that task.
Other features include:
* control of windows, volume, screen settings and an audio CD or DVD player via
hot keys or a toolbar
* a list of hot keys and sequences available via a mouse-click.
* three varieties of custom toolbars
* internet time-savers including automated Web surfing and one-step file
transfer via email
A free 30-day demo version is available from http://www.quickeys.com.
Diamond Releases Monster Sound MX300 Audio Accelerator
Diamond Multimedia Systems shipped its new $100 Monster Sound MX300 audio
accelerator to North American customers last week. Featuring Aureal
Semiconductor's Vortex 2 processor and A3D 2.0 positional 3D audio support, the
card also provides Dolby Digital support and interactive positional 3D audio
rendering technology. Other features include DLS-compatible 320-voice wavetable
synthesis and audio playback through headphones and two or four speakers.
Diamond's Web site address is http://www.diamondmm.com.
Nearly Half of Internet Users Say Internet Online Becoming a Necessity
Nearly half of Internet online users say the medium is now becoming just about
a necessity, and almost three-quarters use it to make better buying decisions,
according to a study released last week by America Online and marketing
research and consulting firm Roper Starch Worldwide.
The sample of 1,001 adult Americans who subscribe to online and Internet
services from home (+/-3% margin of error) reveals that more than
three-quarters (77%) of the online population believe that being online has
made their lives better and 8 in 10 say that it makes many activities easier
and more convenient.
Key findings include:
* 71% of the online consumer population has been online for under three years
and 29% has only been online for a year or less.
* Yet almost half (44%) already say the interactive medium is just about a
necessity to them and 77% believe it has made their lives better.
* When asked about 16 everyday activities, more than eight in ten respondents
said engaging in those activities online was either "much or somewhat easier"
than "the way they used to do it." Leading this list of activities deemed "much
easier" to do online were tracking stock portfolios and trading stocks.
* 71% of the online consumer population say they regularly or occasionally go
online to get information about products to buy, both on- and off-line.
* 87% say they regularly or occasionally go online to communicate with friends
and family and 94% say that the online medium makes communication with friends
and family much or somewhat easier than methods they used before.
* 80% of those using Internet and online services today have suggested to
friends and family that they get online.
* 79% of users said the computer would be considered the most important
invention of the 20th Century.
* Of those in the population who own a laptop computer, almost half (47%) take
it on vacation.
Looking Glass' Thief: The Dark Project Sneaks Into Stores
Thief: The Dark Project, a $50 first-person 3D action/adventure game from
developer Looking Glass Studios, has shipped to retailers. Published by Eidos
Interactive, Thief reportedly favors cunning and deception over an itchy
Utilizing the new Dark Engine, the game transports players into a
techno-fantasy world of intrigue, deception and combat. Assuming the role of a
master thief relying on stealth and cunning, the player embarks on a series of
adventures that are woven into a compelling story of seduction, betrayal, and
ultimate revenge. In order to survive, gamers must use sly, evasive maneuvers
to progress through a world where the shadows are your only allies, trust is
not an option, and confrontation usually results in death.
Look into the glass at http://www.lglass.com
Combat Flight Sim Mission Editor, Downloads Available
Microsoft last week announced the availability of a free downloadable Mission
Editor for Combat Flight Simulator, its new World War II air combat simulation
game. The Mission Editor is available for download at
Players must have Microsoft Excel 97. The editor lets players build their own
missions and campaigns by using an Excel spreadsheet that contains fields for
all the mission and campaign parameters. Players simply enter their desired
mission data into the spreadsheets, click a macro button, and the new mission
file is generated and ready to fly.
Also last week, Microsoft posted free downloadable voice files for Combat
Flight Simulator at the above site. The new voice files let gamers hear
authentic pilot radio voices in their native languages. Microsoft employed
professional voice talent to record the original pilot dialog for Combat Flight
Sim -- German actors recorded dialog for the Luftwaffe, American actors for the
USAAF, and British for the RAF.
The game was initially shipped with all characters speaking English for the
version released in the United States, Canada and the U.K, and all characters
speaking German for the game's release in Germany. This was done so gamers
would be able to understand their wingmen calls. By popular request, today's
release of the new voice files allows English speaking users to hear Luftwaffe
pilots' radio chatter in German. In addition, voice files are being released in
Germany that allows gamers there to hear the English radio calls of the
American and British pilots.
id, Activision Deliver QUAKE II Net Pack, Other News
QUAKE II enthusiasts will be able to blast through id Software's favorite
gamer-created modifications and deathmatch levels with the new $14.99 QUAKE II
Net Pack #1: Extremities. The boxed collection compiles id's top all-time
favorite modifications and level maps from the Internet, including such fan
favorites as Rocket Arena 2, Action Quake 2, JailBreak, CAPTURE!, and Rail
Arena. Also included is a limited-edition QUAKE III Arena poster with screen
shots from the highly anticipated action-packed adventure.
In other Activision news, the company plans to release its upcoming X-MEN 3D
fighting game simultaneously on the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 game
consoles. Based on Marvel's worldly mutant franchise, the X-MEN title is
expected to ship in the fall of 1999. And Marvel's Spider-Man will bring action
and adventure to the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 when Activision releases
the first ever Spider-Man 3D game (date not disclosed).
Also, Activision is offering a free Sin update disc (v1.01) and an additional
bonus Deathmatch level to all gamers who e-mail their name and mailing address
to mailto:email@example.com. The company will confirm receipt of all
e-mails and contact consumers when the disc is mailed. This offer is only
available to U.S. customers.
Find more information at http://www.activision.com.
Eidos Offers Assistance to Tomb Raiders
Stuck in Tomb Raider III? It's the biggest Tomb Raider adventure yet, so don't
be embarrassed. Just log onto http://www.tombraider.com/tr3/fasttrack.html and
get on the fast track. Just don't expect Lara to return your calls, because
she's not real!
Interplay Sports Announces Virtual Deep Sea Fishing
If you're tired of hunting virtual deer and are ready to off some fake fish,
get a hook into Interplay Sports' newest title - Virtual Deep Sea Fishing.
Compatible with Windows 95/98, the title lets users host fishing clubs and
tournaments for multi-play with up to eight people via serial connection,
modem, IPX or TCP/IP.
Featuring real-time 3D environments, this game employs 18 different varieties
of the world's biggest game fish including Sharks, Marlins, Tuna and Tarpon, as
well as complete profiles of 13 exotic locations including Sydney, Kauai Island
and Cabo San Lucas, each with unique wave variation and weather conditions.
Players can also select from eight different types of boats, each with their
own characteristics, as well as 12 different types of bait.
In being sensitive to wildlife needs and desires, Virtual Deep Sea Fishing
offers the option of tag and release after landing a trophy. The game also
comes complete with tournament and world record tracking, in addition to a
photo gallery to store pictures of prized catches.
Developed by Taff System of South Korea, Virtual Deep Sea Fishing is scheduled
to ship during the first half of 1999.
Land the big one at http://www.interplay.com.
Mindscape Offers Holiday Lineup
New titles from Mindscape, which include Broderbund titles, are:
* Ages of Myst - full versions of Myst and Riven: The Sequel to Myst, plus a
hardcover clue-keeping journal and a 14-minute "Making of Riven" movie on CD.
* John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles - psychological thriller set in the
imaginary world of Blackstone, created by author John Saul in his serial novel
"The Blackstone Chronicles." The game takes place inside a 25-room asylum that
has recently been renovated after being abandoned for 40 years. Tortured
spirits from the asylum's grim past offer your only hope as you search
desperately for your missing family.
* People's General - superpowers wage high-tech warfare in the 21st century.
Based on the Panzer General II engine, the wargame features a sleek new
interface, 16-bit game maps and next-generation weaponry such as M1A3 and T-99
Battle Tanks, enhanced Comanche and Werewolf attack helicopters, and Crusader
* Chessmaster 6000 - new tutorials from chess coach Bruce Pandolfini and new
annotated games from Josh Waitzkin, International Master and subject of
"Searching for Bobby Fischer." Earn a rating by challenging any of 64 "human"
or 30 grandmaster personalities.
* Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - pits the Ultramarines against the Chaos
Marines in turn-based tactical action that spans the galaxy. Create and
customize your Space Marine squad, choosing from 32 different soldiers
including Terminators, Assault Troopers, and Devastators. Command Predator
tanks, Rhino APCs, Land Speeders, and Dreadnoughts.
Get hammered at http://www.mindscape.com.
Ubi Soft Ships S.C.A.R.S.
Developed by UK-based Vivid Image, Ubi Soft's S.C.A.R.S. is now available for
PC CD-ROM, N64 and Sony PlayStation. The year is 3000 A.D., and the
supercomputers that now rule the Earth have created nine mean racing machines,
modeled after the most savage beasts in the animal kingdom. The Lion LK, Tiger
Shark, Rhino Roadster, Cheetah V12 and other members of this menacing menagerie
are poised to attack, each with its own armor and weapons.
Players face such decisions as: Take the numerous alternative routes to
recharge your vehicle or stick to the main thoroughfares? Go for the time bomb,
the boomerang, the turbo boost or another weapon or pickup? Which enemies
should be blown away at first sight, and which should you challenge to
Green Flag Drops on 3-D Ultra NASCAR Pinball
NASCAR racing meets bumper-to-bumper with pinball as Sierra Attractions
releases 3-D Ultra NASCAR Pinball for Windows, the fourth 3-D Ultra Pinball
title developed by Dynamix Inc. The $30 title includes four NASCAR drivers -
Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte, four racetracks,
actual NASCAR video footage and three double-wide 3D rendered pinball tables.
The 10 different modes of play include Chase the Flag, Accident Hurry-up,
Collect the Oil Drums, Super Ramp, Redline, Collect the Tires, Catch the Flag,
Avoid the Black Flag and Get that Car Otta (sic) Here.
A Macintosh version will be available in January. A strategy guide, playing
tips and other information are available at http://www.nascarpinball.com.
E-LOAN Provides Nearly $4 Billion in Mortgages
Online mortgage broker E-LOAN announced last week its total online volume
mortgage origination of $3.975 billion worth of residential mortgage loans
projected in 1998. Earlier this year, Killen Associates predicted that online
loan volume would top out at $10 billion for the year.
Get mortgaged at http://www.eloan.com/.
Northern Light Raises $9 Million in Equity Financing
Northern Light Technology LLC, (http://www.nlsearch.com/), the developer of the
first research engine, has raised $9 million in the first closing of its new
round of equity financing. The investment was led by investors associated with
Prime Consulting Group, of Holden, Massachusetts. Credit Suisse First Boston
Corporation acted as placement agent for the financing. Northern Light's
research engine combines a Web search engine with access to over 5,000 premium
full-text sources previously available only to users of expensive online
services like LEXIS-NEXIS, Dow Jones Interactive and Dialog.
Grammies Considering Game Music Award
As a first step toward a potential game music Grammy Award, the National
Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences last week held a summit with a dozen
game industry music professionals. The San Francisco meeting, titled "Working
Group on Game Music Awards and Membership," was intended to lay the groundwork
for a game music study committee, a Recording Academy symposium on the
interactive arts, and possibly also a panel presentation at GDC.
The Grammy campaign's architect was Chance Thomas, a senior music producer at
Sierra On-Line's Yosemite Entertainment division and composer of the
forthcoming Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire. His proposal is an award for Best
Original Soundtrack from an Interactive Game.
Your editor's somewhat cynical take on this is that since the Grammies do
little more than celebrate corporate mediocrity, I can't help wondering why
someone as creative as Thomas is putting so much energy into such a mission.
But hey, if that's what he wants, more power to him.
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