Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 13 Jul 98

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


--Comparison of Web.X and Web 98 WEBMEISTER --QuickTime 3 Authoring Tool Goes Beta --Totally Hip Releases WebPainter 3 --AuraLine Updates Multimedia Creation Kit --Splash! Launches ImageMapper DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Sonic Foundry Announces Sound Forge 4.5 --Microsoft Adds Streaming Media Tech to Windows --Steinberg Releases Cubase VST/24 4.0 --Terran Interactive Ships Media Cleaner Pro 3.0 --VBSurfer "X-Rays" Visual Basic Applications IN THE INFOGROOVE --BMT Launches FTP Control Client Software --Diamond, Nortel to Develop 1-Meg Modem --Microsoft, Netscape Browsers Neck-and-Neck on Win95 --Fujitsu Announces Flat-rate Pricing for Virtual World Services --JetFax Releases PaperMaster Document Organizer GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Adobe ImageReady 1.0 Now Shipping --MetaCreations Ships Kai's Power Show --TGS Ships Amapi 3D v4.0 --Sun Offers 3D API Comparison Tips WEBSIGHTINGS --MacCentral Launches Daily Mac News Service THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --O'Reilly Publishes Third Edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide DEALS --Broderbund Acquires Home Design Software from Autodesk GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Flat Cat's M.A.X.2 Hits Retail --Activision to Launch Ritual's Sin --Interplay Announces Mordor II RPG, Releases Strategy Collection F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


Comparison of Web.X and Web 98 by Howard Dyckoff (Editor's note: The following is a follow-up to Howard Dyckoff's report on Web 98, sent as a special edition to Spectrum subscribers last week.) The following chart summarizes the principal differences between the two events. Web.X is an outgrowth of the classic computer show, PC-Expo, which takes place in NYC during a week in June [not the best time to be in NYC]. It showcases vendors, and the audience is the corporate buyer. Web Development is an outgrowth of the popular Software Development series and, like its predecessor, has both East and West Coast venues each year. Its focus is the developer and is more into bits and bytes. The East Coast venue for Web 98 will be in Boston: Hynes Convention Center, September 22 - 26. Web.X / PC-Expo Web Development 98 Size 100,000 at Expo, but ~13,000, with more 'Net only 5-10% at Web.X attendees in conference technical sessions Expo Web.X was lost in the More vendors, all in hoopla of PC-Expo one place. Tutor- Fewer, more Several, at different ials introductory - 1 day skill levels only Breaks No coffee, beverages, Coffee and tea; box or snacks lunches After More vendors at Expo Few events, but for all hours meant more social attendees. Also, events and ritual/performances by hospitality suites SRL.com Conf. No - CD to come later No - Online "vault" notes for available notes Con- More, but huge crowds Few tests to deal with Conf. White, large [high Black, small [not large bag quality tote] enough for literature] Ses- Limited Web sessions, Great sessions for all sions also too far from developers, right in Expo, at a Marriott SF's Moscone Center half a mile away in Manhattan --------------------------------------------------


QuickTime 3 Authoring Tool Goes Beta Lari Software Inc. last week unveiled a beta version of Electrifier Pro, its tool for streaming, interactive QuickTime 3 Web multimedia. The product is designed to let Web professionals integrate varied content, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files, GIFs, JPEGs, digitized audio, MIDI, video, 3D, virtual reality panoramas and QuickTime vector graphics, for delivery as streaming multimedia without requiring a special server. Electrifier Pro's interface lets users to drag in elements and apply modifiable actions and effects. It's said to eliminate the need for frame-by-frame construction of multimedia, and supports interactivity such as highlighting and URL hotspots; special effects such as emboss, blur and film noise; "No-Bandwidth" media like fire, clouds and ripples; and over 150 SMPTE TV-style transitions under 1K in size. Supported compression techniques for video and audio include Sorenson Video, QUALCOMM PureVoice and QDesign Music. Pre-order the Mac OS version of Electrifier Pro for an online price of $395, or sign up on the Lari site at http://www.electrifier.com to be notified when it ships. The Windows version of Electrifier Pro will ship after the Mac OS version. -------------------------------------------------- Totally Hip Releases WebPainter 3 Totally Hip Software Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the last Mac-only toolmaker holdouts, last week introduced its new WebPainter 3 animation and graphics software. "QuickTime 3's capabilities such as vector drawing, transitions and filtering effects, file translations and the QuickTime file format are leveraged in WebPainter 3," said a spokesperson. Other new features include auto-transitions and special effects, plus the ability to work with both bitmap and vector images using layers. The product also comes with over 1,000 royalty-free GIF animations. The $89.95 price includes QuickTime Pro (registration required), which normally costs $30. Educational pricing starts at $59.95. WebPainter 3 is available from Totally Hip's Software Order Desk (1-888-8THEHIP) or from the Company's Web site at http://www.totallyhip.com and through various online and traditional channels. -------------------------------------------------- AuraLine Updates Multimedia Creation Kit NEC Systems Laboratory's $50 AuraLine Multimedia Creation Kit is touted as a multimedia authoring environment that lets users add Java-enabled special effects, animation, sound and interactivity to their Web pages, then update their Web site without the need for plug-ins or Java scripting. In addition to new support for GIF animations as objects within Web-based presentations, the new Release 1.5 now gives users control over GIF animations, including the ability to: * extract, selectively edit and re-order individual images from a GIF animation * add sound effects synchronized to individual frames from an extracted GIF animation * add interactive special effects -- including rollover effects, text effects, transitions * save newly modified GIF animations as Java applets, ready for playback in an HTML page The product also features a revised and simplified FTP facility, a faster 1/100-second authoring mode, new support for text objects as hotspots, and a new entry window for matching the background color of a presentation to that of the HTML page from which it will play. Check it out at http://www.auraline.com. -------------------------------------------------- Splash! Launches ImageMapper Splash! ImageMapper is a new $15 program designed to let users graphically create and edit HTML image maps for inclusion in HTML pages. Time-limited demo versions of both Splash! ImageMapper and Splash! Web Author ($49.95) are available from http://www.gosplash.com/demo/. --------------------------------------------------


Sonic Foundry Announces Sound Forge 4.5 Madison, Wis.-based Sonic Foundry will shortly release the 4.5 version of its $499 Sound Forge product. The upgrade will incorporate expanded features and support for Windows Media Technologies, including Microsoft Windows NT Server NetShow Services (see related Microsoft story below). New features include a built-in batch converter for automated processing of multiple files, a spectrum analyzer function, and an advanced loop editing toolset with support for Sonic Foundry's ACID loop-based music creation product. The Sound Forge media-editing environment containing processes, tools, and effects for manipulating audio. Built from the ground up as a Windows platform product, it features DirectX plug-in compatibility and support for the new media streaming ASF (Active Streaming Format) for streaming Web audio + video productions. Demo versions will be available at http://www.sonicfoundry.com. -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Adds Streaming Media Tech to Windows Microsoft last week released enhanced streaming media technologies in its Windows operating system -- the Windows Media Player and Windows NT Server NetShow Services -- as well as Microsoft NetShow Theater Server. Additional information describing the new streaming media technologies is available at http://microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/onlinelaunch.asp. New components of the Windows media technologies include: * Windows Media Player. A single player with the ability to play back most popular local and streamed multimedia file types, including ASF, MPEG, AVI, WAV, QuickTime, and RealAudio and RealVideo content (version 4.0 and earlier), eliminating the need for users to have multiple players installed on their PCs. * Windows NT Server NetShow Services. Streaming media service in Windows NT Server that offers integration with Microsoft and third-party business applications, and tools and developer APIs, at data rates ranging from 2.4 Kbps to 500 Kbps. * Microsoft NetShow Theater Server delivers broadcast-quality, MPEG 1 and MPEG 2, video on high-speed networks, at data rates ranging from 500 Kbps to 8 Mbps. The Windows Media Player is now available for download for users of the Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 operating systems at http://microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/download/. Versions for users of the Windows 3.1, MacOS and UNIX operating systems are scheduled to be available later this summer. NetShow Services are part of Windows NT Server. Customers with the Windows NT Server 4.0 operating system can now download the NetShow Services from http://microsoft.com/windows/downloads/contents/updates/ntnetshowservices/. NetShow Theater Server, a standalone product, has been released to manufacturing and is scheduled to be available through the retail channel early next month. NetShow Theater Server will be priced at approximately $2,499 per server, which includes five Client Access Licenses (CALs). Additional CALs will be sold in packs of five for approximately $499 and packs of 20 for approximately $1,799. -------------------------------------------------- Steinberg Releases Cubase VST/24 4.0 Shipping this month from music software developer/publisher Steinberg, on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms, is Cubase VST/24 4.0. The new version, which integrates native audio recording, editing and processing and MIDI sequencing technology, offers 96 tracks of 24 bit, 96kHz digital audio. With Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology (VST), recordings can be shaped with up to four bands of new EQ per channel for maximum dynamic range. The VST Mixer has been expanded with four plug-in inserts per channel, plus eight Aux sends for addressing up to eight effects or plug-ins in the Aux Effects rack. The master section offers bussing to the individual outputs of supported digital audio cards like the Korg 1212, Sonorus STUD I/O, Lexicon Studio, Yamaha DSP Factory etc. Other new features include: * internal resolution increased to 15360 pulses per quarter note (ppgn) for cutting of audio segments * Controller Editor for detailed editing of parameters * MIDI-Track mixer - drag & drop throughout the entire program for both audio parts and MIDI-events * scoring section includes enhanced layout options, symbol palettes, new ways of inputting lyrics, choice of notation styles, plus a variety of preferences to be set up in advance Sorry, they didn't give us a Web site address, but check with your Steinberg dealer for availability. -------------------------------------------------- Terran Interactive Ships Media Cleaner Pro 3.0 Terran Interactive, Inc. is now shipping Media Cleaner Pro 3.0 software, its $359 media optimization and compression tool for the Mac OS. The program lets content developers compress audio, video, and still images for CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, kiosks and the Web. Developers who purchase Media Cleaner 3.0 will receive a free license for QuickTime Pro. Version 3.0 reads a wide range of formats and outputs QuickTime, RealVideo, RealAudio, DV, AIFF, WAV, JPEG, GIF, and PICT files. New features include QuickTime 3 support, still-image processing and an improved interface. For more information, call Terran at 800-577-3443 / Int'l: 1+ (408) 356-7373 or visit http://www.terran.com. -------------------------------------------------- VBSurfer "X-Rays" Visual Basic Applications Canada-based INTEK Inc. last week introduced VBSurfer 1.0, a reference tool for Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 and 5.0 applications. VBSurfer breaks down VB source code and displays it in a hyperlinked structure that can be read and traversed with a Web browser. The code, in essence, becomes the equivalent of a flow chart, enabling diagnosis, and change. VBSurfer performs the following operations: * highlights VB reserved words, comments, line labels, constants, and strings with color and font style * creates HTML links on each subprogram call, GoTo, or GoSub statement to allow tracing program flow through source files * creates an index of child and parent subprograms (with HTML links) for each subprogram in the source code to allow trace up and trace down of program flow * creates a hyperlinked index of subprograms to quickly access a subprogram * adds documentation to describe subprograms that appear in the hyperlinked index and in the subprogram's page header Additional features are available when used with IE4. Download an evaluation copy at http://www.intek.qc.ca/vbsurfer. --------------------------------------------------


BMT Launches FTP Control Client Software BMT Micro of Wilmington, North Carolina and Iceland-based TransSoft Ltd. have developed a new Windows-based File Transfer Protocol client (http://www.ftpcontrol.com). FTP Control combines automatic scripting, scheduling, and remote command-line utilities. "The idea behind the FTP Control client is to take the standard features of an FTP client, and build on that with several innovations and feature-set implementations," said Bjorn Gudmundsson, lead developer of the FTP Control project. The interface of FTP Control is modeled after Windows Explorer. FTP Control adds to this scripting capabilities, allowing file transfers to be automated. Combined with scheduling capabilities, file transfers can take place unattended. FTP Control's Scripting Wizard lets users generate code "on the fly" from a selection of commonly used commands. FTP Control lets Webmasters send commands to Web servers without having to telnet to the system, even servers running other operating systems like UNIX. It also comes with a utility to set read and write permissions on individual files and directories, a necessary step in setting up CGI scripts on a Web site. As an FTP client, it can reconnect to a site and resume an aborted download attempt if a modem connection is accidentally broken, preventing the need to start over from the beginning. It can also save the log-in settings of FTP sites when needed, storing them in a configurable settings notebook, and can link with Internet service providers to automatically start up and log in to an Internet account. FTP Control is available now for US$29 from the FTP Control Web site http://www.ftpcontrol.com) or via BMT Micro's toll free sales number (1-800-414-4268). -------------------------------------------------- Diamond, Nortel to Develop 1-Meg Modem Diamond Multimedia Systems and Northern Telecom (Nortel) plan to co-develop a PCI card using Nortel's 1-Meg (one megabit per second) Modem technology. The co-branded DSL (digital subscriber line) product will combine the functionality of a modem and an Ethernet card. The product is expected to be simple to deploy, as it requires no subscriber service call and no rewiring at the home or central office. Its "always-on" connection will reportedly be up to 17 times faster than a 56Kbps modem and allow the ability to use voice and fax while connected to the Internet. Diamond and Nortel intend to roll out the 1-Meg Modem product in the third quarter of 1998. Diamond also expects to build other consumer equipment using Nortel's 1-Meg modem technology later in the year. More information on Nortel's 1-Meg modem technology can be found at http://www.nortel.com/1megmodem. Diamond's Web site address is http://www.diamondmm.com. -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft, Netscape Browsers Neck-and-Neck on Win95 AdKnowledge, a provider of Web advertising products and services for advertising agencies and their clients, last week revealed new statistics for the month of June that show over the past six months Netscape Navigator's market share has declined 8.9 percent to 52.2 percent, while that of Microsoft Internet Explorer has risen 9.6 percent to 45.6 percent. Additionally, the statistics for June reveal that the split between Explorer users (51 percent) and Navigator users (49 percent) is almost equal on Windows 95. The company also reported 94 percent of online viewers are using version 3 or 4 of either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. This browser data was derived from a sample of nearly 10 million ads served by SmartBanner across more than 1,000 sites. AdKnowledge has headquarters in Palo Alto, California, maintains an office in New York, and can be reached via phone 650-842-6500 or on the Internet at http://www.adknowledge.com. -------------------------------------------------- Fujitsu Announces Flat-rate Pricing for Virtual World Services Fujitsu's WorldsAway division, a developer of virtual world communities, has changed the cost structure for accessing its virtual worlds, including Dreamscape, Hotel Silicon, and a soon-to-be-announced virtual world with corporate partners. The new pricing strategy offers members a single monthly price for unlimited usage. Until now, WorldsAway has priced its online access by the hour, with some rates up to $1.95 per hour. The new pricing strategy offers unlimited access to the leading virtual world Dreamscape for $19.95 per month. The newer virtual worlds are priced at $9.95 per month for unlimited access. "We believe that flat-rate pricing will ... encourage ... new members to try the worlds," said David Andrews, vice president of WorldsAway Products and Services Business Units. "Most people in our industry would be surprised to learn that our virtual world members spend an average of 58 minutes online per day, which compares favorably with America Online's average of 46 minutes." WorldsAway technology, for the development and management of virtual worlds inhabited by electronic avatars, is available to Web developers. The WorldsAway Products and Services Business Units is part of Fujitsu Systems Business of America (http://fsba.com), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd. of Tokyo (http://www.fujitsu.com). -------------------------------------------------- JetFax Releases PaperMaster Document Organizer JetFax, Inc.'s PaperMaster 98, a new edition of its $149 Windows software for storing and organizing scanned, faxed, emailed and Web-based documents and image files, adds the ability to store Windows-based items. The program employs the visual metaphor of a filing cabinet with drawers and folders to allow users to store and access items of all genres in a logical manner. In addition, it provides keyword searching, annotation abilities and a other tools to help bring order to an eclectic mix of information. In the original PaperMaster, word processing documents and other Windows-based files could be incorporated into the PaperMaster cabinet only by creating an image of the item that could not be edited or changed in any way. The new version lets documents be saved to the file cabinet in their native file formats. This allows documents to be retrieved directly from PaperMaster and manipulated as needed. Also new to PaperMaster 98 is a "publish" feature that allows users to duplicate their virtual file cabinets on a removable disk or CD-ROM. This makes it possible to transport entire libraries of files from one computer system to another and to share files with those who don't have PaperMaster installed on their computers. A built-in viewer permits secondary users to view files, documents and images in over 200 formats even if they don't have the original application on their PC. For more information, contact JetFax at (650) 324-0600, fax (650) 326-6003, or visit http://www.jetfax.com. --------------------------------------------------


Adobe ImageReady 1.0 Now Shipping Adobe Systems last week announced the immediate availability of Adobe ImageReady 1.0 software for Windows and Macintosh, a new $199 tool for preparing images for the Internet. Based on Photoshop, ImageReady primarily adds the ability to optimize images for the Web. It supports the three major formats used on the Web--Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), and Portable Network Graphics (PNG)--and lets users preview images while adjusting compression settings to choose the best combination of file size and image quality. Other features include layer-based animation, which can be output in GIF format, and the ability to use the Actions palette to create a droplet--a small application that automatically processes all files dragged onto its icon For more information, see Adobe's home page at http://www.adobe.com. -------------------------------------------------- MetaCreations Ships Kai's Power Show Kai's Power Show 1.1 represents a bid by Carpinteria, Calif.-based MetaCreations to usurp at least part of the business presentation market from Microsoft's PowerPoint. Also billed as a home photo program, the new $49.95 title comes on a hybrid disc for Mac and Windows PCs. Kai's Power Show is mainly a slide show builder, with the ability to import PowerPoint slides, as well as images in TIFF, BMP, JPEG, FPX, PSD and PICT formats, plus videos/animations in AVI and QuickTime formats. Other features include the ability to sort images and videos, add special effects and transitions, create text slides and animated effects, and attach sound clips to files. Show also comes with a collection of corporate-style backgrounds and formatted text templates such as profit/loss statements and bullet-point text blocks. Incredibly enough, there're absolutely no Web capabilities--not even GIF animation output! Find out more at http://www.metacreations.com. -------------------------------------------------- TGS Ships Amapi 3D v4.0 TGS' upcoming Amapi 3D version 4.0 is an upgrade to the 3D NURBS modeler for PowerMac and Windows-based PCs. The new release will include TGS' ActiveStyles rendering technology, which supports fast Phong shading, selective photo-realistic ray tracing and "artistic" rendering choices (e.g., cartoon). 4.0 also adds support for creating 3D text, OpenGL rendering and acceleration, has enhancements to the user interface and includes WireShade, a new design mode that combines wireframes with flat shading to improve visual perception while creating models. Amapi 3D v4.0 is the first major release of the modeler since TGS acquired the creators of Amapi, Yonowat S.A., last year. The list price of Amapi 3D v4.0 is $349 (U.S.), with an upgrade price of $199 (U.S.) for users of previous versions of Amapi Studio and Amapi Workshop. Amapi 3D 4.0 for Windows will be available from TGS within 60 days. The Apple PowerMac version will be available within 90 days. Customers who purchase the current version of Amapi Studio will be offered the Amapi 3D v4.0 upgrade for free when it is available. For more information, visit http://www.tgs.com/Amapi or call (619) 457-5359. -------------------------------------------------- Sun Offers 3D API Comparison Tips We received the following from Sun Microsystems' publicist last week, and thought that readers planning to attend SIGGRAPH might want to print it out and bring it along: With SIGGRAPH just around the corner, many are wondering what exciting new technologies this year's show will offer. Obviously, 3D graphics technologies always make a big showing at SIGGRAPH and this year will be no exception. When you are making your way around SIGGRAPH, you will likely hear about several next-generation 3D APIs including Java 3D, Fahrenheit and Chrome. There are differing opinions about what features and capabilities will be most important to include in these APIs. Sun has discussed these issues with hundreds of 3D developers in creating its Java 3D technology and we thought we'd share their top five concerns so you are prepared to evaluate products at SIGGRAPH with their needs in mind. Here are some questions that we would encourage you to pose to companies that are marketing 3D graphics APIs: **How does the API support a network-centric computing architecture? In today's Internet-enabled computing environment, many developers have grown accustomed to being able to collaborate on 2D models and other images. They are now eager to collaborate on 3D models over the Internet. **Does the API provide cross-platform support? Developers want the flexibility and investment protection of cross-platform support. They want to be able to purchase the latest/greatest machine, from any vendor, and know that applications will be compatible. **When will the 3D API be available? Is it being used in real-world applications today? With the staggering proliferation of 3D technologies in applications today, developers are eager to start testing and actually using these next generation 3D development tools. **Is the API easy to learn and use? As more and more applications incorporate 3D capabilities, 3D APIs need to become easier to use. Instead of requiring 3D work to be done by experts, developers want to focus on their content, not the low-level rendering details for the particular machine they're on. **Where does the code for the API come from? Was it built on cumbersome legacy code or new, more streamlined technology? Developers have expressed interest in technology that is designed for the future, rather than one that is anchored to the past. Backward compatibility is generally a good thing, but there comes a time when the excess baggage of old APIs prevents a clean implementation of new technologies - then it's time to start from scratch. --------------------------------------------------


MacCentral Launches Daily Mac News Service The free MacCentral (http://www.maccentral.com) newsletter is an HTML-mail newsletter dedicated to Mac news on the Web. --------------------------------------------------


O'Reilly Publishes Third Edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide David Flanagan's JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (800 pages, ISBN# 1-56592-392-8, $39.95) provides a description of the core JavaScript language and its client-side framework, with examples that show how to handle common tasks. The book's reference section covers core and client-side JavaScript functions, objects, methods, properties, constructors, and event handlers. This third edition describes the latest version of the language, JavaScript 1.2, as supported by Netscape Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 4. The book also covers JavaScript 1.1, which is the first industry-standard version known as ECMAScript. Find more at http://www.oreilly.com. --------------------------------------------------


Broderbund Acquires Home Design Software from Autodesk Broderbund Software, Inc. last week acquired the Picture This Home! and Designer's Vision product lines from Autodesk, Inc. Broderbund will acquire rights to the software titles, technology, and personnel associated with the business. The consumer-oriented line includes software for floor planning, decorating, budgeting, and shopping. Users can create a multiple-level floor plan and then use features like color-matching technology and the ability to view and change photo-realistic room settings complete with specific pieces of brand-name furniture with actual fabrics, wall coverings, and more. In addition to the purchase of the software lines, approximately 45 current Autodesk employees will join Broderbund to continue development and expansion of the products under the Broderbund name. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase. Additional terms were not disclosed. Broderbund's Web site is located at http://www.broderbund.com. --------------------------------------------------


Flat Cat's M.A.X.2 Hits Retail Interplay Productions division Flat Cat's first release, the real-time strategy game M.A.X.2: Mechanized Assault & Exploration, includes multiplayer gameplay via Interplay's new, free Internet matching service. New features in the Windows-based sequel to M.A.X. include access to MAX2.net, a dedicated Internet server, where players can chat, view opponent records/ping times as well as play the game. Game statistics will also be kept on the server, allowing players to match themselves against others of equal skill. Variable view technology lets players to rotate the map from a standard top down view to a 60-degree isometric display. Parallax scrolling creates 3D terrain where units on higher ground appear larger than units on lower ground, giving the player the feel of soaring above the terrain. Advanced gameplay options include spy cams, line-of-sight, waypoint commands, plus several new automatic functions such as intelligent auto-move and auto-fire controls. An expanded set of upgrade options and research abilities plus a complete scenario editor are also included. Additional information can be found at http://www.interplay.com/max2/index.html. -------------------------------------------------- Activision to Launch Ritual's Sin Activision, Inc. will launch Ritual Entertainment's Sin demo on Sunday, July 26, with three promotions. The demo, with two single-player and two multiplayer levels, will debut simultaneously at noon PDT on Activision's Web site (http://www.activision.com), Ritual Entertainment's Web site (http://www.ritual.com) and on CNET's Gamecenter. Players who download the Sin demo from the Activision Web site between July 26 and August 30 can enter a random drawing to win a Micron computer system, as well as 3Dfx Voodoo cards and Sinday T-shirts. Additionally, Ritual and Activision will host a Cyberathlete Professional League (http://cpl.cyberathlete.com) Sin LAN competition. The tourney will take place at the Infomart in Dallas, Texas, on July 26 beginning at 1 p.m. following the four-day CPL event, which will run from July 23 - 26. Sin features a character-driven story and multiplayer gameplay powered by an enhanced version of id Software's Quake II engine. The game features six game world regions populated by barbaric mutated killers, plus a wise-cracking side kick who provides the player with tactical information, gives warnings, hacks security systems, provides mission briefings and delivers firepower backup. -------------------------------------------------- Interplay Announces Mordor II RPG, Releases Strategy Collection >From Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game (RPG) division of Interplay Productions comes Mordor II, which is in joint development with the Bellevue, Washington-based VB Designs, and will be available for Windows 95 CD-ROM for release in winter 1998. The fantasy role-playing game provides both single-player and Internet-based multiplayer experience. The Mordor II gamer can run a Mordor server and be his/her own online or off-line "dungeon master." This feature reportedly offers RPGers access to the Mordor universe without the added expense of monthly online fees of such games as Ultima Online. Planned customization tools include a map generation tool, a quest scripting language, a monster editor and more. The primary narrative of Mordor II will focus on the player venturing into the depths beneath the city on a quest to identify the deadly force behind a recent massacre, recover the city's stolen magic and to bring perpetrators to justice. Deadly monsters, spells and traps await those who dare to enter. Also, Interplay last week released Ultimate Strategy Archives (USA), a collection of eight more-or-less classic strategy games. The box set, released for Windows 95- and MS-DOS-based PCs, has an estimated street value of $34.95. Ultimate Strategy Archives consists of the following titles: * Sid Meier's Civilization * Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon Deluxe * Heroes of Might and Magic * Jagged Alliance Deadly Games * M.A.X. Mechanized Assault & Exploration * Conquest of the New World Deluxe * Dark Colony * X-Com More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. --------------------------------------------------


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