Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News

22 December 1997

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send mailto:duberman@dnai.com

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Editor's note: This is the last edition of Spectrum for 1997. We wish you a happy, warm and safe holiday season, and we'll see you again on January 5, 1998.

- David Duberman

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Today's Headlines (details below)

TODAY'S TOP STORY

--Silicon Graphics, Microsoft to Combine 3D API Tech

WEBMEISTER

--Macromedia Announces Flash Asset Xtra for Director
--Aptex Updates SelectCast Ad Targeting System
--Interactive Java Buttons Spice Up Websites
--Submit It! Announces Link Partner Service

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

--Elektroson Announces CD-Recordable Suite
--MSP--DSP Extensions to MAX Graphical Programming Environment

IN THE INFOGROOVE

--EarthWeb Upgrades Moderator Online Meeting Software
--WebTV Plus: Sold Out
--Students Exchange Textbooks Online

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

--MetaCreations Announces Final Effects Complete
--Intergraph Announces VizFx Plug-In for After Effects
--Superscape VRT Brings Interactive, 3D Worlds to Jasmine Developers
--Puffin Designs Ships Commotion Update

WEBSIGHTINGS

--Catwoman Covers Avatars 97 Panel

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

--Call for Participation in sigKIDS at SIGGRAPH 98
--New Riders Offers 3DS MAX 2, LightWave Books
--Sneak Preview of Interactive Media Marketplace Online
--Bots Covered in New Online Columns

DEALS

--H+a, Mitsubishi Alliance Targets Asian and Japanese Interactive Consumer Market

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

--Eidos Releases Flight Unlimited II
--Valve Announces Worldcraft Support for QUAKE 2
--TEN Unveils Dark Sun Online 2.0
--Interplay Announces Redneck Rampage Expansion Pack
--Westwood Ships Hearts, Spades and Euchre
--Firaxis Announces Gettysburg! Demo, Contest
--Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone Launches Fighter Ace

NUMBEROLOGY

--Nimbus CD International Passes 1 Million DVD Unit Mark

HAPPENINGS

--Software Development '98 Set for SF February 9-13
--'98 Animation Conference to Run February 17-20 in Pasadena

F.Y.I.

--About Spectrum

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TODAY'S TOP STORY

Silicon Graphics, Microsoft to Combine 3D API Tech

For a while now, developers working on 3D applications have had to decide whether to support Direct3D, OpenGL or both. Within a few years, though, the issue will be moot. Silicon Graphics and Microsoft last week announced an agreement to jointly define, develop and deliver new graphics technologies as part of a project code-named "Fahrenheit."

The Fahrenheit project will create a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) for the Microsoft DirectX multimedia architecture on the Windows operating system and the Silicon Graphics UNIX-based platform.

Fahrenheit will incorporate Microsoft Direct3D and DirectDraw APIs with Silicon Graphics complementary technologies such as OpenGL, OpenGL Scene Graph and OpenGL Optimizer. Appropriate applications to implement the Fahrenheit architecture include Internet, games, business, digital content creation, CAD/CAM, medical and scientific applications.

The Fahrenheit project will produce the following three components:

· Fahrenheit low-level API will become the primary graphics API for both consumer and professional applications on Windows. The Fahrenheit low-level API will evolve from Direct3D, DirectDraw and OpenGL while providing full backward compatibility with applications and hardware device drivers written for Microsoft Direct3D and functional compatibility with Silicon Graphics' OpenGL technologies.

· Fahrenheit Scene Graph API will provide a higher level of programming abstraction for developers creating consumer and professional applications on both Windows and Silicon Graphics IRIX operating systems. This API will evolve from Silicon Graphics' current Scene Graph API.

· Fahrenheit Large Model Visualization Extensions will be based on the Silicon Graphics OpenGL Optimizer API and complementary DirectModel API from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft. They will operate in conjunction with the Scene Graph API. The Large Model Visualization API adds functionality such as multiresolution simplification to the Scene Graph API so developers can write applications that will interact with extremely large visual databases.

Microsoft and SGI will work together with other industry members including Intel, which will work with Microsoft and Silicon Graphics on the Fahrenheit low-level API to ensure maximum support of the Intel Pentium II processor.

Microsoft and Silicon Graphics engineers will begin development on Fahrenheit APIs and extensions immediately. They will deliver new APIs, DDKs and Software Development Kits (SDKs) in phases over the next two and a half years. Phase One will be the delivery of the Fahrenheit Scene Graph and Large Model Visualization in the first half of calendar year 1999 for Microsoft Windows and Silicon Graphics IRIX. Phase Two will be the delivery of the Fahrenheit low-level API in the first half of calendar year 2000 on Microsoft Windows only. For the Windows platform, Microsoft will be the direct source for licensing, certifying and distributing the SDKs and DDKs.

For the Silicon Graphics IRIX platform, Silicon Graphics will be the direct source for licensing, certifying and distributing the SDKs and DDKs.

For more information, visit http://www.sgi.com/fahrenheit/ or http://www.microsoft.com/directx/.

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WEBMEISTER

Macromedia Announces Flash Asset Xtra for Director

Macromedia announces the availability of the Flash Asset Xtra ($199), a new addition to Director that lets developers import vector-based graphics, animation, and text created in Flash into Director 6. Director developers can store Flash movies as cast members (the media element database of Director), and manipulate Flash movies directly within the score (the primary user interface for Director).

Vector-based Flash files are both compact and scalable to different screen resolutions offering increased flexibility to users. In addition, all elements in a Flash file are anti-aliased for smooth edges. Inside Director, Flash movies can be rendered direct-to-stage for maximum playback performance, or fully composited with other Director sprites for seamless visual integration.

The Flash Asset Xtra's editing interface offers developers control over primary properties such as position, scale, rotation, frame-rate and sound.

Advanced users of Director can control virtually every Flash movie property through Lingo, Director's scripting language.

For further information, visit

http://www.macromedia.com/software/xtras/essentials/flash.

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Aptex Updates SelectCast Ad Targeting System

San Diego-based Aptex Software today announced SelectCast 2.1, an ad targeting system said to deliver clickthrough rates of up to twice those of other targeting methods.

New enhancements also include an intelligent delivery system that increases response rates across a broader spectrum of advertisements in inventory.

Aptex says SelectCast is also now more robust, and easier to use with improved profile database access, maintenance and interfaces in addition to support for extremely large Web sites.

For more information, visit http://www.aptex.com

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Interactive Java Buttons Spice Up Websites

Here's a Java authoring tool you might want to check out. Web Button Wiz lets you create any number of button styles and behaviors. Button attributes include; color, depth, transparency, GIF or JPEG images, AU or WAV sounds, text color, border color--even drag and drop buttons. The tool is suitable for Website navigation, pop-up menus, rollover buttons, and special effects.

Home page:

http://www.formulagraphics.com/buttons/index.html

Download File:

http://www.formulagraphics.com/buttons/wbwsetup.zip

Run the app live in your browser here:

http://www.formulagraphics.com/buttons/run.html (requires Win95/NT4 and IE3+/NS3+)

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Submit It! Announces Link Partner Service

Submit It!, a provider of technology-based services for Web site marketers, has launched ClickTrade, a service that lets Website owners set up and run link partner programs.

According to a Georgia Tech survey, almost as many Internet users find out about Web sites from referring links on other Web sites as from search engines. Unlike rotating banner ads, links can be hand-picked by site owners and placed in context with related content, making them relevant, rather than distracting, to end users. ClickTrade lets marketers select the types of links used, supporting text-only links, buttons, banners, and enhanced links such as Java and Shockwave.

For more information, see < http://www.clicktrade.com/ >

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DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Elektroson Announces CD-Recordable Suite

Elektroson, Inc. announces the availability of CD-R Suite, a compilation of CD-R utilities. CD-R Suite enables users to copy CDs, record Web sites and mix custom audio CDs, and offers Internet functionality. The product will be commercially available Q1 '98 at SRP $129. In addition, time-lock versions of the applications in the suite can be downloaded from http://www.elektroson.com.

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MSP--DSP Extensions to MAX Graphical Programming Environment

Software developer David Zicarelli has formed a new company, Cycling '74 and announced the release of MSP, a set of extensions to Opcode's MAX 3.5 graphical programming environment. MSP consists of over 60 objects that synthesize, process, analyze and delay audio signals in real time on a Power PC Mac OS computer. The objects can be grabbed and grouped in a graphical manner to create custom applications that leverage the power of the MAX environment. MSP is useful for musicians, sound designers, educators and researchers. A free Runtime version is available that runs any application created with MSP. It includes the complete set of objects, tutorials, and a number of useful demos.

Using MSP will be a familiar experience to those who have used a patchable analog synthesizer. An oscillator is connected to a filter using patch cords and the sound instantly changes. The 60 objects cover synthesis, input/output, signal processing, sampling, math, control and signal analysis. C programmers can create their own objects to add to this basic collection. MAX 3.5 is required to create and edit MSP applications and is available from Opcode Systems at http://www.opcode.com.

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IN THE INFOGROOVE

EarthWeb Upgrades Moderator Online Meeting Software

EarthWeb announces the availability of Version 2.6 of its Java-based chat client-server product, in use on over 10,000 Websites. Now available in both Java and HTML formats, Moderator 2.6 allows access to clients using browsers that are not Java-enabled, including older versions of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer. With this enhancement, Windows 3.1 users can now participate in moderated chat sessions.

The addition of HTML also enables Moderator 2.6 to overcome Java security restrictions, communicating through firewalls that use proxy servers and allowing it to reach any workstation that can access standard Web pages.

For more information, contact Scott Samios at EarthWeb Inc., 3 Park Avenue, 38th Floor, New York, NY 10016, Telephone: 212-725-6550 URLs: http://www.earthWeb.com, http://moderator.earthWeb.com

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WebTV Plus: Sold Out

Jack Olmsted of Interactive Media informs us that Mitsubishi's WebTV Plus Internet appliance is sold out. The next-generation set-top box was delivered to consumer electronic dealers nationwide on December 4 and is now one of the most sought-after products of the Christmas selling season.

The VCR sized unit sells for $279.00 after a $100 mail in rebate from WebTV Networks, a recent subsidiary of Microsoft.

The WebTV Plus includes a 1.1 gigabyte hard disk drive, a 56Kbps modem using Rockwell K56flex technology and decodes Windows 98 Internet-encoded data streams, which will be broadcast through television signals early next year (key technology expected to solve the Internet bandwidth bottleneck).

The Good Guys, a specialty retailer with 76 stores on the West Coast ( http://www.thegoodguys.com/frame_home.html ), and Magnolia Hi-Fi, a 10-store chain in Washington and Oregon, were sold out of WebTV Plus appliances by Friday, December 12, and began collecting deposits for delivery by Christmas. As of Sunday, December 15, Magnolia Hi-Fi had 18 paid customers waiting for a shipment of 20 units anticipated to arrive by the middle of the week.

Comments from Mitsubishi, Microsoft, WebTV Networks, TV Broadcasters, retailers and consumers will be posted on the Future Media Message Board throughout the week. http://www.futuremedia.org/rtable.html. A WebTV Plus review is also posted on the message board.

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Students Exchange Textbooks Online

VL Communications Corp. announces a new way for college and university students to exchange books online. SaveOnBooks.com ( http://www.SaveOnBooks.com ) is a free service available to over 1,000 colleges and universities. The site provides students with a place to buy and sell books with students at their school. The site also contains related links, chat rooms, contests and prizes.

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GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

MetaCreations Announces Final Effects Complete

MetaCreations Corporation announces Final Effects Complete, a new production tool in the video special effects category for both Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh. Combining features from MetaCreations' Final Effects and Studio Effects together with 14 new filters, multiprocessor support and new controls, Final Effects Complete will offer 60 plug-in filters and transitions that generate Hollywood-style special effects.

The product will provide interactive control over compositing details for output to film, video, animation and CD-ROM using Adobe's After Effects post-production package. The heart of Final Effects Complete is its ability to generate 2D and 3D particle animations within After Effects. These particle filters will enable video editors to generate rain, snow, fire, smoke, ball action, explosions, distortions, jet trails, hair, liquid mercury distortions, spotlights, color transtitions and other video effects.

Some of the new filters that will be included in Final Effects Complete are:

· Simple Wire Removal-removes wires from images and objects in original video footage and blends background imagry over the wires

· Drizzle-creates circular distortions looking like raindrop ripples in a pond

· Hair-creates particles that stretch into filament-like hair growing on anything or anyone.

· Wide Time-creates a temporal blur on objects in motion, leaving stationary objects alone

· Cylinder-wraps images or movies on a virtual plane and rotated around other objects

· Mr. Smoothie-transforms images into flowing psychedelic patterns

· Light Rays-creates radiating streaks of light, great for casting light behind images or lettering.

The suggested retail price for Final Effects Complete will be US $1,195.00.

The product is expected to be available for Power Macintosh at the end of December '97 and in Q1 '98 for Windows 95/NT.

For more information, visit http://www.metacreations.com.

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Intergraph Announces VizFx Plug-In for After Effects

And while we're on the subject of add-ons for After Effects (see above item), Intergraph Computer Systems has announced Intergraph ViZfx AE, a new plug-in of special effects for the Windows NT version of Adobe's digital compositing, 2D animation and special-effects program. Scheduled to ship January 5, the $499 product features over 30 effects, including particle effects such as blasts, pulverize, and gravity.

ViZfx AE also offers enhancements to existing effects, such as high-speed acceleration of blur effects and enhanced parameter control of venetian blind effects.

For further information, phone 800-763-0242 or visit http://www.intergraph.com/ics

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Superscape VRT Brings Interactive, 3D Worlds to Jasmine Developers

Computer Associates International has announced an agreement with Superscape, Inc. that enables Jasmine developers to store and integrate virtual reality and interactive 3D components created in Superscape VRT as objects in the Jasmine database.

Superscape VRT is a suite of visual editing tools for the construction and exploration of 3D interactive Web pages and virtual reality worlds. When combined with other multimedia Jasmine objects such as voice, video and animation, VRT applications can serve a variety of uses.

Jasmine is an object solution for building business systems over Internet and client/server computing environments. It offers developers an object-oriented platform suited for dynamic multimedia applications, while delivering the integrity and practical data management required for mainstream business solutions.

For more information, visit http://www.superscape.com

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Puffin Designs Ships Commotion Update

Puffin Designs has shipped version 1.1 of its Commotion real-time paint and effects application for work with the moving picture. The update is free to owners of the Mac-based program.

New features include:

· field and frame painting support

· "natural" rotosplines

· motion blur on rotosplines

· increased file format support

· a revamped Super Clone Brush

· automatic dirt removal

A downloadable version 1.1 demo on the Website offers an expanded demo limit of 30 frames--http://www.puffindesigns.com/support/demo.html.

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WEBSIGHTINGS

Catwoman Covers Avatars 97 Panel

We were a bit disappointed by the Avatars 97 conference, held recently in San Francisco, but easily the best panel we attended was Ancient Rituals for a New Medium, moderated by game designer Mike Sellers. The panel came together to compare the spiritual involvement and personal meaning found in ancient games and rituals, but lacking in the construction of cyberspace.

Our friend Suzanne "Catwoman" Saunders agreed with us, and has written an extensive review of the panel, which you can find at http://www.nbma.com/cat/rituals/rituals.html.

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THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Call for Participation in sigKIDS at SIGGRAPH 98

sigKIDS is the special exhibit on computer graphics for K-12 teachers and students at the SIGGRAPH 98 International Conference in Orlando, FL, July 18-24, 1998.

sigKIDS explores a new future for kids through computer graphics and interactive techniques. Contribute to this world showcase of creations by, for and about kids. This hands-on exhibit will feature work in animation, art, science and education from throughout the year.

sigKIDS invites your participation at the conference. Deadline for proposals is January 14, 1998 (animation deadline: April 1st, 1998).

Inspire others by submitting your work. Get motivated - send mailto:sigkids-s98@siggraph.org for more information.

For more info, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s98/cfp/sigkids/

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New Riders Offers 3DS MAX 2, LightWave Books

On its way to a bookstore shelf near you as we speak is 3D Studio MAX 2 Fundamentals by Michael Todd Peterson (contributing author: Larry Minton) ($44.99; CD-ROM; 500pp; ISBN: 1-56205-839-8). The first book available on MAX 2 is written for the new user, teaching all the basics to get them up and running quickly. It includes step-by-step tutorials and illustrations.

Also just about out from New Riders is Dan Ablan's Inside Lightwave 3D ($55.00; CD-ROM; 768 pp; ISBN: 1-56205-799-5). Said to be the only comprehensive LightWave book available, Inside LightWave 3D is for the intermediate user who is looking to expand his or her knowledge of this powerful program. The book contains real-world examples, detailed exercises, step-by-step explanations, and hundreds of illustrations. Ablan (also author of LightWave Power Guide from New Riders) shares insider tips and tricks to help users produce professional, production-quality scenes and animations.

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Sneak Preview of Interactive Media Marketplace Online

If the idea of a new business-to-business network for buying and selling interactive products, projects, services and ideas interests you, check out http://www.i-VENTURE.COM. The site, which launches officially in January, also offers information about jobs, companies, venture capital, conferences and education in interactive media.

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Bots Covered in New Online Columns

BotSpot, an online clearinghouse for bot-related info, announces two new columns that provide coverage of recent developments in intelligent agent and bot technologies. Each week, the "Best of the Bots" column at http://www.botspot.com/best_of_the_bots/ takes a look at the "Bot of the Week" awardees, with analyses and demonstrations. The "Secret Agent Man" column at http://www.botspot.com/pcai/ gives readers a peek at the latest products, trends, and people in the world of intelligent agents.

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DEALS

H+a, Mitsubishi Alliance Targets Asian and Japanese Interactive Consumer Market

I. Hoffmann + Associates Inc. ("H+a") and Mitsubishi International Corporation ("MIC") last week signed an agreement that provides for a strategic alliance between the two companies. MIC has become an equity investor in H+a and will act as a key marketing partner in both Asian and Japanese markets. This is MIC's first investment in a Canadian digital content multimedia company.

Incorporated in 1992, H+a is one of Canada's largest developers and publishers of interactive software products with over 80 titles in its catalog. Product categories include the ABCD's line, Entertainment, Action Games, Special Interest, Art and Music, Kids, Reference, Education, the Learning Series and the Medical Series.

H+a's corporate Website is located at http://www.h-plus-a.com

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GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Eidos Releases Flight Unlimited II

Looking Glass Studios has made a name for itself with groundbreaking real-time 3D titles like Ultima Underworld and Flight Unlimited, which offered the most realistic scenery of any flight simulator to date. Just out for Win95 PCs is the developer's sequel to the latter title. Flight Unlimited II features over 11,000 square miles of satellite-mapped scenery of the San Francisco Bay Area, an advanced air traffic control system and five different civilian planes, including the de Havilland Beaver Seaplane, which offers sea landings and takeoffs. The title's detail level is such that players can fly via recognition of landscape features, roads, buildings and landmarks.

One of the few complaints about the original Flight Unlimited was that there were no other aircraft, but the skies aren't empty this time around.

Pilots will find themselves sharing airspace with over 450 aircraft, ranging from commercial jetliners to military jet fighters. What's more, they can take a virtual ride on any of these!

Find more info at http://www.lglass.com.

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Valve Announces Worldcraft Support for QUAKE 2

Kirkland, Wash.-based game developer Valve announces version 1.6 of the Worldcraft level editor. The new release lets add-on developers create levels for id Software's recently released Quake 2, as well as Activision's Hexen 2.

Worldcraft 1.6 support for Quake 2 and Hexen 2 includes:

· FGD files - Worldcraft 1.6 contains FGD files for Hexen 2 and Quake 2.

Worldcraft uses FGD files to expose game entities, such as monsters, paths, and objects, to level developers.

· Exporters - Worldcraft 1.6 has the necessary export support to create map files appropriate to each of the games.

The new editor also provides support for new features unique to Quake 2, such as its new transparency modes, per brush radiosity settings, and the ability to export textures to a separate WAL file.

The next major release of Worldcraft will be the 2.0 release included with Half-Life, Valve's first-person action game, due to be published by Sierra On-Line in Q1 1998. In addition to all the functionality of release 1.6, Worldcraft 2.0 will include vertex merging and scaling, which lets users merge faces on an object or scale an object around a specific vertex; the path corners tool, which enables specifying a complex path for an entity within the game; and entity reports, which help users see the relationships between groups of entities (like buttons, switches and doors). Worldcraft 2.0 will also let users take advantage of features native to the Half-Life engine, including artificial DSP sound, 24-bit color palettes and libraries of prefabricated objects.

More information is available at http://www.valvesoftware.com.

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TEN Unveils Dark Sun Online 2.0

Total Entertainment Network (TEN) announces the availability of version 2.0 of AD&D Dark Sun Online: Crimson Sands (DSO 2.0), an online-only role-playing game. According to the company, the significant changes in DSO 2.0 focus on providing players with daring missions and exciting experiences instead of mundane errands. The new DSO 2.0 also includes enhancements such as:

· the world becoming dark at night so that only races with 'infravision' can see well

· the ability for players to use a world map to navigate and travel long-distances

· an orientation area

For more information, go to http://www.ten.net/games/darksunonline

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Interplay Announces Redneck Rampage Expansion Pack

The hillbillies of Hickston are on the loose again, and hell hath no fury like a Redneck on vacation! Interplay Productions announces the release of the irreverent, chock-full-o'-chickens expansion pack, Redneck Rampage: Suckin' Grits on Route 66. Taking a vacation from kicking alien butt and touring sites talked about only at truck stops, Leonard and Bubba hit the road in this new official expansion pack for Redneck Rampage. The boys make their encore appearance this week at retail stores throughout North America.

Throughout the 12 new levels, gamers will be treated to such awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world as "The World's Smelliest Flea Market," "Big Bertha's Truck Haven and Shooting Range" and "The House of Ill Repute." Requiring the original Redneck Rampage game, gamers can pick off aliens with standard Redneck weaponry: crowbars, dynamite, ripsaw blades, double-barreled shotguns and teat blasters. Making their encore appearance with the boys is the Skinny Old Coot, Turd Minions, Vixens, Alien Hulk Guards and Sheriff Hobbs.

More information is available at http://www.interplay.com.

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Westwood Ships Hearts, Spades and Euchre

Westwood Studios announced that "Hearts, Spades and Euchre," the first title in its Games People Play product line, is now available at software retail outlets.

Hearts, Spades and Euchre features solo and local area network play, as well as the ability to play against people from around the world on Westwood's free online gaming service, Westwood Online. Players' scores are tracked automatically and ranked against others in the "Top 100 Hall of Fame" on the Westwood Internet Tournament System. In addition, Westwood Online will host tournaments for all Games People Play titles, with prizes available. Ranking and reserved nicknames are also supported on local area networks, which makes it easy to set office tournaments.

For more information, contact Westwood at 702/228-4040 or visit http://www.westwood.com.

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Firaxis Announces Gettysburg! Demo, Contest

Firaxis Games, the creator of Sid Meier's Gettysburg!, is offering a chance for gamers to charge into battle side by side with the master game designer himself, Sid Meier. By downloading the new Sid Meier's Gettysburg! demo from the Internet, players can give the innovative real-time action strategy computer game a test run and automatically enter a contest to fight alongside Meier and fellow Firaxis designer Brian Reynolds. Contest winners will receive a copy of the game signed by Meier.

Players can download the demo from http://www.firaxis.com. It contains three complete scenarios of climactic battles including McPherson's Hill, Will's Woods and Barlow's Knoll as well as tutorials. Multiplayer options (head to head, team play and cooperative) are included for up to eight players over the Internet and LAN, two players via modem.

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Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone Launches Fighter Ace

Fighter Ace, a massively multiplayer WWII aerial combat game developed by Boulder, CO-based VR-1, launched last week on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone. Fighter Ace can support more than 100 players in the same flight arena, and features 16 different combat aircraft from the US, Great Britain, Germany and Russia; realistic terrain and sound effects; variable difficulty settings; and free-for-all, team play and private games. As the first "premium" game on The Zone, Fighter Ace costs $1.95/day or $19.95/month to play.

Players can register for the Zone at: http://www.zone.com

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NUMBEROLOGY

Nimbus CD International Passes 1 Million DVD Unit Mark

Charlottesville, Virg.-based Nimbus CD International, Inc. says it has passed the 1 million unit mark in the replication of DVD products. The company has manufactured a combined total of more than 1.1 million commercial DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs since the launch in April.

Lyndon J. Faulkner, chairman and CEO of Nimbus said, "The interest and demand for DVDs, both ROM and video, is clearly increasing at a healthy rate. We've filled more than 400 customer orders with production runs of various sizes This production benchmark is a positive barometer, we feel, of the long-term opportunities for this business." The vast majority of the discs were, of course, DVD-Video format, but the company expects the DVD-ROM market to grow quickly.

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HAPPENINGS

Software Development '98 Set for SF February 9-13

Miller Freeman's Software Development Conference & Show Group (SDCG) announced the coming Software Development '98 Conference, running February 9-13 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

This year the conference features two technology forums for attendees:

· The Visionary Series, where pundits such as James Gosling (father of Java) and Bjarne Stroustrup (creator of C) will present insights on the technologies that drive the software industries

· The Technical Forum, where attendees will hear from technical representatives of Sun, Netscape and Microsoft

For more info, visit http://www.sd98.com.

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'98 Animation Conference to Run February 17-20 in Pasadena

In February, digital animators and artists from all over the world will gather in Pasadena for a week-long series of technical classes, exhibits and screenings designed to meet the exploding demand for digital animation.

As part of this second annual World Animation Celebration, The New Animation Technology Conference & Exposition, produced by Miller Freeman's Entertainment Technology Trade Show Group, will open February 17, 1998, 8:00 a.m., and run through February 20, at the Pasadena Civic Center and the Pasadena Hilton.

Keynote addresses will be open sessions from luminaries of the animation industry. Dr. Ed Catmull, co-founder, executive vice-president and chief technical officer, Pixar Animation Studios, will present "The Changing Face of Animation," on Thursday, Feb. 19, 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Artist Iain McCaig will present "Creature and Character Design: From Concept to Creation" on Friday, Feb. 20, 8:15 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

The conference will feature four days of over 72 technical classes taught by industry experts and over 60 exhibits from digital animation companies.

Technical classes, ranging from novice to expert, will be taught by digital animators and artists from studios including Digital Domain, BlueSky/VIFX, Cinesite, DreamWorks SKG, Klasky Csupo, Pixar, and Warner Bros.

For registration and information, call 800-789-2223 or visit http://www.etshows.com.

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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.

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- David Duberman

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(c)Copyright 1997 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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