Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 2 February 1998

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
Today's Headlines (details below) WEBMEISTER --Elemental Software debuts Drumbeat 2.0 with Interaction Builder --Quiz Studio Debuts Java Questionnaire Development Tool --Adobe Introduces Interactive PDF Web Forms --Sockem Introduces SockMail Java Mailing List Manager --Inspector Web Offers Free Reports for Non-Profits --Blue Squirrel Updates Grab-a-Site Offline Browser DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Quantum3D Updates Game Control Interface for LBE, Coin-op IN THE INFOGROOVE --Microsoft, QUALCOMM, Lotus Submit HTML Threading Proposal to W3C --RealNetworks Servers to Support Windows Media Player --Shack Attack! Internet Tool Package Launched GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Dynamic Realities Ships LightWave Plug-in Pack --Media 100 to Expand Windows NT Development --Excalibur to Deliver Advanced Digital Video Analysis Tech --Caligari Ships trueSpace Plug-in Bundle --VRML Becomes International Standard TECHNOTES --Texas Instruments Develops New ADSL Products CONSUMER CHANNEL --LEGO Announces "Intelligent Brick" --Tamagotchi Goes Jurassic with REX! Interactive Pet Dinosaur THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --AnimaTek Contest: Design a World, Win a Workstation GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Squish Pedestrians, Play Chess, Beta Test with Interplay --Psygnosis Prepares to Launch 3D Platformer Rascal --LEGO Island Named Top New Kids' Title for '97 --Konami Releases PSX/N64 Nagano Winter Olympics '98 NUMBEROLOGY --3Dfx Announces '97 Financial Results, Court Injunction Against Sega --Macromedia Reports Third Quarter Results DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --GAMECENTER.COM Announces '97 Awards Winners F.Y.I. --About Spectrum

WEBMEISTER

Elemental Software debuts Drumbeat 2.0 with Interaction Builder Carlsbad, Calif.-based Elemental Software has just debuted Drumbeat 2.0 Web authoring software, designed to let non-programming Web professionals create interactive, cross-browser compatible, database-driven Web sites without needing to write code. The Preview Edition of Drumbeat 2.0 is immediately available for download at no charge from the Elemental Software Web site at http://www.drumbeat.com. For any combination of design elements, Drumbeat determines a list of appropriate interactions. Users click on the desired interaction and the correct HTML and script are generated automatically. Types of interactions include DHTML filters and transition effects, media controllers and players, form validations, CSS style modifications, DHTML fly-ins and record set navigation. Drumbeat Design Elements - many of which come bundled with Drumbeat 2.0 - can generate pages that include ActiveX controls, Scriptlets, Java Applets, COM objects, JavaScript functions and DHTML tags. Users can build pages that include the entire suite of Microsoft Internet platform technologies including Active Server Pages, NetShow, Internet Explorer 4.0 data binding and multimedia effects, MTS transaction server, CDF channel creation and SiteServer without the need to write code. Other features include Data-Driven PageSets, which lets authors build database applications that create pages dynamically from popular servers such as the Microsoft Internet Information Server (US) and Netscape Information Management Servers. DataForm Wizard creates WYSIWYG-editable data management pages for search, view, update and delete. It generates server-side logic and record navigation.
Quiz Studio Debuts Java Questionnaire Development Tool Quiz Studio Inc. announces Quiz Studio, a Java software package that enables non-technical users to design and administer interactive tests and surveys on the Internet. The program is said to run on virtually any platform and allows users to complete question-and-answer documents online. Quiz Studio is designed to enable development of interactive multimedia tests for a variety of applications, including opinion polls, market research and training. Customers can create a test or survey with graphics, sound, animation and video and post it to a Web site or intranet within seconds. According to the company, the product can reduce the length of a traditional test by up to 80 percent with Elti's Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) technology (patent pending), which enables each test to adapt itself to the level of the test-taker and gauge his/her level with fewer questions. Quiz Studio's Dynamic On-line Grading (DOG -- patent pending) lets users compare their scores or answers in real time with those who have taken the same test. Other features include a graphic interface that allows users to create complex tests (e.g., drag and drop, item-matching, fill-in-the-blank, hot spots), and the ability to adapt the test to the profile of a single test taker or a group. Translation into any language can be effected in less than 24 hours. Quiz Studio is scalable and comes in three modules. The authoring module has a point-and-click interface, a fully customizable layout, and advanced question formats, including drag-and-drop item matching. The test administrator module can control who is taking the test and when it is made available to them. The respondent module has a user-friendly graphical interface and runs on virtually all computers due to its Java makeup. Quiz Studio will ship during Q1 '98. The price will range from $2000 to $20,000+, depending on the number of targeted respondents. For further info, contact Terry Levy of Quiz Studio, 617-573-5089, or info@quizstudio.com
Adobe Introduces Interactive PDF Web Forms Adobe Systems has extended the current forms functionality in Adobe Acrobat 3.0 software to include the ability to develop interactive Web-based forms in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Available now, the new capabilities are designed to help businesses create Web-based forms that can be integrated across database systems and will display and print exactly as intended. The Acrobat Forms Update incorporates JavaScript that enables customers to design forms that retain form intelligence. This means that Adobe PDF forms instantly verify data and make calculations dynamically as the form is filled in. Forms saved to a central database can be accessed and updated by many employees working on the same project, offering immediate sharing of project status and the ability to proactively track work-in-progress. Adobe PDF forms also support dynamic page templates within a single Adobe PDF file. This enables developers to create customized forms applications, catalogs, brochures and other publications that can be personalized and delivered on the fly to users' desktops. Additionally, customers can save partial or completed forms on local hard drives to be completed, printed or submitted later. Adobe PDF forms can be created from existing electronic or paper-based form. A new layout grid helps customers align fields, cut and paste fields, and multiple fields can be selected to edit their size, color and fonts. Customers can also embed PDF graphics directly into a form field. For example, users processing auto insurance claim forms or employee records can easily incorporate photographs within PDF forms. For more information, see http://www.adobe.com.
Sockem Introduces SockMail Java Mailing List Manager Sockem Software announces v1.0 of SockMail, a 100% Java client/server mailing list management system. The SockMail client, loaded from a Java-enabled browser, manipulates mailing lists stored on the SockMail server. An administrative version of the 85K SockMail client allows for password-protected access to manage mailing lists. Smaller versions of the client provide limited access for public users to add email addresses from Web sites. The SockMail server mails messages to lists while processing tasks from clients. The server is said to run on any platform with a fully functional Java Virtual Machine version 1.02 or later. SockMail v1.0 at the list price of $295 (U.S.) includes unlimited client licenses. Find more info at (http://www.sockem.com).
Inspector Web Offers Free Reports for Non-Profits Inspector Web is now offering its monthly report service free of charge to non-profit organizations. The site-monitoring service, developed by Greenpac Software Solutions, Ltd., offers a Web-based solution for finding: broken links; images that download slowly or have distorted picture quality; Server Side Include errors; missing FTP files; bad hosts; and corrupted files, among others. It also checks e-mail addresses. A single report ranges from US$19 for small sites to $69 for large sites; year-long monthly and weekly report packages are also available. As a special promotion, Inspector Web has made its monthly report service free to small and medium size (under 5,000 links) non-profit organizations. Get in touch at http://www.greenpac.com.
Blue Squirrel Updates Grab-a-Site Offline Browser Blue Squirrel has released Grab-a-Site 3.0, a major upgrade to the file-based offline browser that can download an entire Web site while retaining the original filenames and directory structure and making the Web pages themselves accessible. New features in version 3.0 include: · simplifies the process of locating and viewing downloaded Web pages by displaying all the Web pages in a tree structure that denotes links to objects higher in the tree · ability to reconstruct the server directory structure for each individual domain for mirroring purposes · filename collision detection and avoidance, including support for long filenames and 8.3 names · relative links allowing the tree or directory to be moved and/or copied to other drives and directories · filtering of downloaded content - inclusion and exclusion filtering based on domain, path, or filename · and many more Free trial versions of Grab-a-Site 3.0 can be downloaded from the Blue Squirrel Web site, http://www.bluesquirrel.com. Grab-a-Site carries a list price of $99.95, and current users of Grab-a-Site 2.x can purchase the upgrade for $19.95 by contacting Blue Squirrel at 1-800-403-0925 or 801-523-1063.

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Quantum3D Updates Game Control Interface for LBE, Coin-op Quantum3D has developed a second-generation Game Control Interface (GCI) for PC-based coin-op, kiosk, location-based entertainment and visual simulation applications. This new generation of GCI provides a subsystem designed to interface coin-op and industrial input/output control devices personal computers that run Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT and DOS. Compliant with the JAMMA standard for coin-op I/O, GCI is also a reference-level hardware peripheral in the current version of the Open Arcade Architecture (OAA) platform specification. More information on the OAA platform specification can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.openarcade.com. The GCI is designed to bridge the gap between traditional arcade style controls such as analog joysticks, steering wheels, buttons and coin-mechanisms and Intel architecture PCs. It allows both arcade and consumer game developers to design video games for "out-of-home" venues without worrying about the specific electrical, mechanical, and software aspects of coin-op I/O devices, reportedly increasing developer productivity and reducing publishers' time to market. This new GCI version features an improved form factor said to simplify PC integration, as well as enhanced hardware and software capabilities for improving system responsiveness while increasing the numbers and types of controls that may be supported concurrently. For developers, Quantum3D has developed a "GCI Developers Kit" (GDK), which supports development under MS-DOS, Windows 95, or Windows NT (available 2H98). The GDK includes a GCI with internal PC mounting cable assemblies and brackets, the GCI to JAMMA adapter, Direct Input and GCL driver software binaries, test programs, wiring harness design guide, and a Quantum3D Gameframe. For more info, contact Ross Smith of Quantum3D, Inc., 408-919-9999, or fax, 408-919-9980, or otis@quantum3d.com, or http://www.quantum3d.com.

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Microsoft, QUALCOMM, Lotus Submit HTML Threading Proposal to W3C Microsoft Corp., QUALCOMM Inc. and Lotus Development Corp. announce the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) acknowledgment of their HTML Threading Proposal that outlines how Extensible Markup Language (XML) can be used to enable data-rich features in HTML email applications. The three companies submitted their proposal to the W3C for consideration as an open standard. The specification is available for public review on the W3C Web site at http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/NOTE-HTMLThreading-0105. RealNetworks Servers to Support Windows Media Player RealNetworks' RealSystem 5.0 RealServers will soon interoperate with Microsoft's Windows Media Player. This allows Windows users to use the Windows Media Player to play audio, video and animation programming not previously available to them. The company claims it gives content producers using RealAudio and RealVideo content new audiences and consumers choices of how they would like to access RealVideo and RealAudio content. RealNetworks plans to deliver in 1998 the filter to enable support in the Windows Media Player. This will enable media streams from RealNetworks Servers to be played directly through the Windows Media Player. Web Authors will be able to integrate RealAudio and RealVideo with DHTML and Direct Animation with the Windows Media client. The Windows Media Player will ship with the upcoming Windows 98 and Windows NT 5. RealNetworks can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.real.com.
Shack Attack! Internet Tool Package Launched Keitgen & Partner, which specializes in the creation, maintenance and hosting of Web sites, offers what it claims to be a superior 'Net search solution in the form of a package of services. The first component is SiteShack, a search engine for Web sites said to differ from conventional search engines due to the structure of its search algorithm, which displays only those entries that truly fulfill the search criteria. · The search is based only on those keywords that are entered by the Webmasters of the individual sites. · Webmaster entries are registered in the database immediately and can be changed at any time in a matter of seconds (through a password). · Multiple Web site registration ("Search-Engine-Spamming") is automatically suppressed. · META-Tag programming is no longer necessary since no spiders are used (META-Tags = keywords for the search engine spiders). The entry of search engine symbols (e.g. quotation marks / "+" / "and") is also unnecessary · Search results are listed alphabetically. The offer is completed through SearchShack.com. This engine does a simultaneous search of up to six search engines which are determined by the user. MailShack.com enables searching for email addresses and sending electronic post cards. SubmitShack.com lets users register homepages or business sites to 150 search engines and link directories. The Internet addresses: http://www.siteshack.com http://www.mailshack.com http://www.submitshack.com http://www.searchshack.com

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Dynamic Realities Ships LightWave Plug-in Pack Just out for LightWave 3D users on all platforms (PC, Alpha, Mac, Sun, & SGI) is Dynamic Realities' RealiTools, a utility pack of 16 plug-ins that offer a variety of features, listed below. 1) Soft Reflections - A shader that allows more realistic blending of shadows and can change a surface's reflectivity and transparency based on the brightness of the reflection. There is also a distance falloff option. 2) Shadow Blend - Designed to ease the frustrations of compositing, this plug-in eliminates the need for front-projection mapping for shadows in CGIs. 3) Lighter - lighting engines allows selective inclusion and exclusion of lights, phase shifting the light, and changing the contrast of the surface's terminator. You can also have a surface "transmit" light (i.e. paper). 4) Fresnel Shader - Controls for contrast and bias, surface modifications, and value limiting. As a bonus, you can create ink or pencil drawn effects, with varying width and shading. 5) Video Lines - Overlay horizontal or vertical lines on top of your image to create the "old TV" look. Set width, brightness, invert them, or soften the edges. 6) Video Noise - Add "static" to your image. Choose colored or grayscale, a coverage percentage, and even animate it. 7) Pencil Shader - adds custom lines over the top of an image for a result resembling hand-drawn artwork. Mix lined and regular objects in a scene, customize how sharply the lines fall off, where they fall on the surface, and even apply a custom, ambient color. 8) Brightness/Contrast - Apply a brightness and contrast pass to your image at render time. This effect can be keyed to a null object, thus it can be animated. 9) QTVR Panorama - Full 360-degree view of your scene. 10) Ortho-VU - Render isometric views of your scene. 11) Front/Top/Side View - Quickly render any view of your scene or object. 12) Layout Distance Tools - Accurately measure the distance between two objects, a light and an object, or an object and the camera. 13) Object Replacement - Change the object replacement order, speed, etc. 14) VistaPro Script Read/Write - Turn a VistaPro 4.0 camera motion into a LightWave motion file. 15) Parent to Object - Parent a bone to an object. 16) PointString - A plug-in for Modeler that lets you easily connect a series of points with two-point polygons. Useful for making lightning, hair, and more. Available for an estimated street price of $150 Intel/Mac, $250 DEC Alpha, and $750 for Sun/SGI versions. For more info, phone 800-944-5520 or visit http://www.dynamic-realities.com.
Media 100 to Expand Windows NT Development Media 100 last week outlined its strategy for developing multiple new digital video products using Windows NT as a computing platform. The company's overall strategy is focused on getting its first Windows NT products to market in fiscal year 1998, and then on extending its presence in nonlinear video editing into the market for content creation, which it currently estimates to be three times the size of the nonlinear video editing market served by the existing product line. Content creation encompasses the direct processing of effects, graphics, animation, and audio-for-video mixing in real time, in addition to real-time video editing. Media 100 plans to engineer new products in the area of effects and graphics processing in support of content creation, and compatibility with new, higher-quality digital video standards. The expanded NT road map features the development of new application software and new real-time processing enhancements for its PCI hardware, the Vincent digital video engine. These projects add to its Macintosh and NT projects already underway, including its previously-announced "Bobcat" project for NT, which comprises the Company's Vincent platform integrated with Macromedia's upcoming Final Cut application and Apple Computer's upcoming version 3.0 release of its QuickTime media layer supporting NT. The company says it will not drop its Mac development and support. Find more information at http://www.media100.com.
Excalibur to Deliver Advanced Digital Video Analysis Tech Excalibur Technologies announced a two-tiered strategy to deliver advanced video analysis technologies -- first to developers to build advanced video applications, and second, as a suite of applications to enable organizations and end users to rapidly analyze, index, retrieve, and manipulate analog and digital video assets in an intranet/Internet environment. The first tier of Excalibur's strategy focuses on launching its Video Analysis Engine (VAE), a software developers kit, to large integrators and OEMs. VAE is based on Excalibur's pattern-recognition and scene-change technologies, which the company expects to become a universal standard for application developers to analyze, index, and retrieve video in order to perform additional processing on the video or specific frames. Contact Excalibur in North America at 800/788-7758 or 703/761-3700, in the United Kingdom at 44-1344-893-444, via mailto:info@excalib.com or at http://www.excalib.com .
Caligari Ships trueSpace Plug-in Bundle Just out from Caligari Corporation, creator of Windows 3D graphics app trueSpace3, is pluSpack1 ($275 SRP, $99 introductory), a compilation of third-party plug-ins, plus a trueSpace 3.2 update. The new version provides DirectX object in/output for binary and ASCII formats and motion data, plus support for OpenGL. Plug-ins include: · Primal Particles, a particle system with controls for gravity and wind · Meshforge, a set of stackable, animatable object modifiers including bend, taper, twist, scale, and noise. · Wiggledy modifies polyhedral vertices, according to user-specified amount of "spikiness" Landmass is a fractal landscape generator. · Multiplex can be used to replicate an object many times, applying rotation, translation, and scaling factors to each new object. · Displacedatplace displacement mapper creates an object according to a height map. · Particulator is an "artistically-minded" scatter tool. · SuperObject creates superquadratic objects, supertoroids and superellipsoids. · Lightf/x creates groups of lights arranged in a pattern. · Squashnstretch squashes and stretches objects automatically. · Showmehideu causes all objects except the currently selected one to become invisible. · Stat! gives a list of all objects with # of polygons, etc. · Paintbox gives a textual representation for colors. · Coolmirror flips polyhedra at the vertex level · Material Generator randomizes procedural textures (granite, marble, and wood), and can also generate random materials (metal, glass, and plastic). Contact Caligari by telephone at 415/390-9600 or at http://www.caligari.com.
VRML Becomes International Standard The VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) Consortium announced that VRML has been approved as an International Standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The VRML97 specification, also known as ISO/IEC 14772, was published by ISO/IEC in December 1997 as a result of a close collaboration with the VRML Consortium. VRML 97 defines the complete functionality of the VRML Consortium's VRML 2.0 specification as International Standard ISO/IEC 14772-1. As an ISO/IEC standard, VRML has gained international endorsement and provides a guarantee of specification stability, which will reportedly promote content compatibility to drive the growth of 3D on the Internet. Adoption as an ISO/IEC standard also enables VRML to be referenced as the 3D component in other ISO/IEC standards - further widening the potential use of VRML-based technology. Information on the VRML Consortium is available at http://www.vrml.org.

TECHNOTES

Texas Instruments Develops New ADSL Products Texas Instruments has announced the development of chipset technology for Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology, a digital communications service that delivers significantly higher speeds over ordinary telephone lines than today's analog modems. TI claims its digital signal processing (DSP) technology and ADSL Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT) technology (developed by Amati Communications) will result in a chipset that enables equipment vendors to develop high-performance ADSL products. More information is located on the Web at http://www.ti.com.

CONSUMER CHANNEL

LEGO Announces "Intelligent Brick" The LEGO group unveiled a new generation of intelligent construction toys and learning tools for children. The products incorporate computer technology in a programmable building brick -- an innovation that will reportedly allow children to add "life," personality and behavior to their LEGO creations. Two new products -- LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System and LEGO TECHNIC CyberMaster -- are expected to be available in Q3 '98. Using a multimedia PC and special LEGO software, children can build robotic pets, vehicles and other creations, and then program them to behave on their own. For more information, see http//www.LEGO.com/computerlego.
Tamagotchi Goes Jurassic with REX! Interactive Pet Dinosaur With REX! Your Interactive Pet Dinosaur ($14.95), dino development is what it's all about. Feed him, love him and even discipline him, but be sure you don't neglect him or he'll become extinct. (More likely, it was a lack of female dinos, if you can go by this press release.) The 3D program for Win95 lets users play with a pet Tyrannosaurus Rex by picking an egg and watching it hatch. There's no coaxing or cajoling your virtual pet like with some other programs. Watch as your pet dinosaur grows and develops from cute infancy to roaring adulthood. Your interaction determines how your pet dinosaur behaves and responds so only you can make sure he stays healthy and happy. Own up to five different T-Rex pets -- each with its own personality! Expert Software can be found on the Web at http://www.expertsoftware.com.

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

AnimaTek Contest: Design a World, Win a Workstation San Francisco-based AnimaTek International is sponsoring its First Annual World Builder Design Competition. The contest recognizes excellence in landscape creation and design and is open to registered users of AnimaTek's World Builder 2.0 and 1.0 landscape generation programs. Submissions by June 19, 1998 are requested from multimedia and game developers, landscape designers, city planners and other graphic artists. First prize is a high-performance Windows NT Workstation. Second and third prizes are a professional PC video card and a high-end graphics tablet, respectively. Find entry forms and rules at http://www.animatek.com, or call 415/477-0610.

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Squish Pedestrians, Play Chess, Beta Test with Interplay Just out from Irvine, Calif.-based Interplay are two slightly different types of games. First, for aggressive drivers, there's the Carmageddon Splat Pack, an add-on for the infamous racing game, developed by Sci Ltd. Besides adding 3Dfx support, Splat Pack features 15 new vehicles with realistic chassis suspension. There are also nine new 3D environments with 20 new race courses, plus secret areas with special power-ups. As with any add-on, Splat Pack requires the original game to run. On a more refined level, Interplay has just released U.S.C.F. Chess, endorsed by the United States Chess Federation. The organization will give players an official national ranking, which can then be used to compete in a tournament. The game's artificial intelligence is rated at 2500 (Grandmaster level), and has eight skill levels, from novice to Grandmaster. Other features include an extensive library of famouse games, over 200 tutorial exercises, and the ability to play in 2D or 3D. Board/piece styles include Egyption, Gothic, Staunton and a simulated newspaper city. And the player can choose a personality style for the engine from Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer, Tal and more. Also, Interplay has just launched its beta-tester program for real-time strategy game M.A.X.2: Mechanized Assault & Exploration. Over 10,000 interested applicants responded to Interplay's open invitation to beta-test M.A.X.2, sequel to M.A.X. At this time, gamers may still apply to be M.A.X.2 beta-testers. Additional information on the program can be found at http://www.interplay.com/max2/index.html. Interplay's home on the Web is http://www.interplay.com.
Psygnosis Prepares to Launch 3D Platformer Rascal Never seen a Psygnosis TV ad? You're about to, thank to the marketing campaign that will accompany the March 17 launch of Rascal, a 3D platform game designed by Travellers Tales. The title features 60 frames-per-second gameplay, a new mischievous Jim Henson Creature Workshop-created character, and "attention-grabbing" special effects including real time light sourcing and environmental texture mapping. To reach young gamers and their parents, Psygnosis' four-month marketing program includes ad placement in network cable programming (Nikelodeon and Disney channels) as well as national network and spot TV, including key children's programming such as Fox Kids and WB Kids. Visit the company at http://www.psygnosis.com.
LEGO Island Named Top New Kids' Title for '97 PC Data has ranked LEGO Island the top-selling new kids' software title for 1997, based on dollar sales at retail of all children's software released in 1997. Created and published by software publisher Mindscape under an agreement with The LEGO Group, the action fantasy adventure and build game became a best-seller in its first week, according to Computer Retail Week (11/17/97). LEGO Island has also received critical acclaim. Family PC magazine's family testers named it the top-rated virtual toy in the December issue. Family Life gave it the "Critic's Choice" award; Home PC's kid testers gave LEGO Island their "Reviewer's Choice" stamp of approval; and Dr. Toy listed the product as one of her top picks of 1997. Players explore LEGO Island's 3D environment through the eyes of a LEGO character -- building vehicles, racing cars and water jets, riding bikes, and meeting island residents. The game's ultimate challenge comes when the Brickster, a bad guy, escapes from jail and proceeds to deconstruct the island. To stop him, players must use imagination and problem solving to help the police catch him.
Konami Releases PSX/N64 Nagano Winter Olympics '98 Konami of America announces the shipping of Nagano Winter Olympics '98, a licensed product of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games for Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The 3D title features the major winter sporting events with texture-mapped, polygonal athletes. Games featured include Alpine Skiing Downhill, Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom, Speed Skating 500m, Curling, Free Style Aerial, Ski Jump 120m, Bobsled, Luge, Snow Board Giant Slalom, Snowboard Half Pipe, Ski Jump 90m and Speed Skating 5000m. Each event is modeled exactly after the real Nagano competition. Konami can be found on the Web at http://www.konami.com.

NUMBEROLOGY

3Dfx Announces '97 Financial Results, Court Injunction Against Sega San Jose, Calif.-based 3Dfx Interactive released last week financial results for both the fourth quarter of 1997, which ended on December 31, 1997, and for the full 1997 fiscal year. Total revenues for the fourth quarter rose to $22,296,000, an increase from total revenues of $10,018,000 for the third quarter of fiscal 1997 and $4,503,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1996. Net income for the fourth quarter was $2,074,000, or $.15 per share. This compares with a net loss of $3,598,000 or a loss of $.36 per share in the fourth quarter of 1996. The fourth quarter of 1997 marks the company's first profitable quarter since its inception in 1994. Total revenues for the full 1997 fiscal year were $44,069,000, including $1,817,000 in development contract revenues. Total revenue figures for the comparable period in fiscal year 1996 are not meaningful because the company was still in the product development stage during the first two quarters, and revenues for that year only commenced in the third quarter. Net loss for fiscal 1997 was $1,714,000, or a loss of $.15 per share. Net loss for fiscal 1996 was $14,751,000, or a loss of $1.52 per share. Also, 3Dfx announced last week that on January 9, the Superior Court for Santa Clara County entered an injunction ordering Sega to return to 3Dfx Interactive, and prohibiting Sega from using or disclosing, 3Dfx Interactive trade secrets and confidential information which had been shared with Sega. 3Dfx Interactive filed suit against Sega Enterprises, Ltd. and Sega of America, as well as NEC Corporation and VideoLogic Group, Plc. for claims arising out of Sega's termination of the agreement to use 3Dfx's chipset in Sega's next generation video game console. The company's Web site is accessible at http://www.3dfx.com.
Macromedia Reports Third Quarter Results Macromedia reported financial results for the third quarter ended December 31, 1997. Third quarter revenues were $26,579,000, compared with $28,104,000 for the same quarter a year ago. Excluding charges related to the acquisition of Solis, Inc., net income for the quarter was $407,000, or $0.01 per share. Including acquisition-related charges, the net loss for the quarter totaled $7,251,000, or $0.19 per share, compared with a net loss of $2,359,000, or $0.06 per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 1997. "We are making solid progress as we transform Macromedia to a webcentric company," said Rob Burgess, president and CEO of Macromedia. Gross profit for the quarter increased to $23,816,000, or 89.6 percent of revenue, compared to $22,542,000, or 80.2 percent of revenue, for the same quarter last year. The increase was due to lower cost of revenues, which declined 50 percent from the same period a year ago to $2,763,000. The increase in gross profit was offset by a 5 percent percent decline in revenue, as the planned new version of FreeHand will occur in Q4 this year as opposed to Q3 last year. Compared to a year ago, Windows and cross-platform product revenues increased 38 percent during the quarter, representing 58 percent of total revenue. International sales represented 56 percent of total revenue during the third quarter of fiscal 1998.

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

GAMECENTER.COM Announces '97 Awards Winners GAMECENTER.COM (http://www.gamecenter.com), CNET's online resource for gaming news, reviews, features and downloads, last announced the winners of its second annual GAMECENTER Awards. Taking home top honors as Game of the Year is Microsoft's Age of Empires, a real-time strategy game. The 1997 GAMECENTER.COM award categories and winners are as follows: · Best Action Game - Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (LucasArts) · Best Adventure Game - Dark Earth (MicroProse) · Best Arcade Game - Lose Your Marbles (SegaSoft) · Best Console Games - Nintendo 64 - Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo) - Sony Playstation - Final Fantasy VII (Squaresoft) - Sega Saturn - Virtual On (Sega of America) · Best Macintosh Game - Fallout (Interplay) · Best Online Game - Ultima Online (Origin) · Best Role-Playing Game - Diablo (Blizzard) · Best Science-Fiction Simulation Game - X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (LucasArts) · Best Simulation Game - Longbow 2 (Electronic Arts) · Best Sports Game - FIFA: Road to the World Cup '98 (EA Sports) · Best Strategy/War Game - Age of Empires (Microsoft) · Game of the Year - Age of Empires (Microsoft) "Most of our staff was literally addicted to Age of Empires," according to Alice Hill, GAMECENTER's editor. "We see a lot of exciting games come and go, but Age of Empires is still killing our productivity. We consider that the mark of a great game. Not a perfect game -- you can argue the minute merits of any title -- but any game capable of obsessing an entire staff of gaming editors for months on end is simply the winner." (We heartily concur--watch for a review in an upcoming Spectrum Reviews - ed.) The feature piece is located at http://www.gamecenter.com/Features/Exclusives/Awards97.

F.Y.I.

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