Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 15 Jun 98

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
New!!! Check out Spectrum on the Web at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum
Editor's note: We will be taking a break next week to celebrate the advent of summer, so there will be no June 22 edition of Spectrum. We'll see you again June 29.

Today's Headlines (details below)

TODAY'S TOP STORY --Spectrum Establishes Web Presence on 3D Links Site WEBMEISTER --Lotus Offers Allure Java Applet Collection --AdKnowledge Ships Marketmatch Planner, Webvertising Planning Tool --Starlight Networks Launches Streaming Media Apps Manager --NetPromote Offers Free Web Promotion Center DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Interplay to License Messiah Character Engine IN THE INFOGROOVE --Parable, Comedy Central to Offer "South Park" Things --CNET to Uses Emblaze Multimedia Tech --Zing Entertains During World Wide Wait --Netscape to Include Flash Player with Browser --aVirt Ships aVirt Gateway Server 3.0 --Excite Unveils Online Auctions Service --Luminositi Releases SoftCam, Software-Only Camera for PC GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --New Technologies, Digimation Release daVinci3D 1.0 for 3DS MAX --Quantum3D Obsidian2 S/X Products to Hit Retail Shelves --DeMorgan Ships WebSpice Animations--35,000 3D GIF Anims --Matrox Drops G100 Price, Offers 16MB G200 Upgrade WEBSIGHTINGS --i/us Builds Independent Graphics Software Community CONSUMER CHANNEL --IK Multimedia Ships GrooveMaker+Dancity for Macintosh . THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Litwak Offers Multimedia Producer's Handbook --O'Reilly, DES Offer Web Publishing/Design Online Training DEALS --Spacetec Transfers 'Open Motion' Tech to New Firm --NBC to Acquire Equity Stake in CNET'S 'Snap!' Portal Service GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Descent: FreeSpace Arrives at Retail --CogniToy Announces MindRover Programmable Action-Strategy Game --Activision to Publish Five Games from Pandemic Studios --Knights And Merchants Demo Available NUMBEROLOGY --Ubi Soft Net Earnings Up 83.7% --Take-Two to File for Listing On NASDAQ DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Sierra Appoints Grenewetzki President HAPPENINGS --Jupiter Digital Kids '98: Creating Communities F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

TODAY'S TOP STORY

Spectrum Establishes Web Presence on 3D Links Site Have you ever wanted to search back issues of Spectrum for a story you noticed but didn't have time to read, or tell an associate about how to find this newsletter on the Web? We're pleased to announce that, thanks to the resourcefulness and hard work of Mark Van Buren of Ultimate 3D Links, Spectrum can now be found at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum. There you'll find the latest editions of Spectrum and Spectrum Reviews, a subscription form, and archives of back issues starting July 1997, when we went to a weekly format. Best of all, you can search all back issues for text strings, with Boolean options! While you're there, check out all the goodies on Ultimate 3D Links by clicking the link at the bottom of the Spectrum home page. Please drop by when you get a chance, and let us know what you think. And if you'd like to advertise on the site, space is available! Send mailto:duberman@dnai.com. --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

Lotus Offers Allure Java Applet Collection Lotus Design International has announced the commercial release of Allure Java Applet Collection, with 24 multimedia special effect Java applets for Web pages. Effects employ video-like animations such as fade, spin, swirl, wipe, etc. Users can customize the applets by specifying parameters such as texts, images, colors and sounds. Prices range from US$20.00 for one applet to US$160.00 for 24 applets with one Web site license. Details can be found at http://lotus-Web.com/java/applet/collection.html -------------------------------------------------- AdKnowledge Ships Marketmatch Planner, Webvertising Planning Tool Now available from AdKnowledge is MarketMatch Planner, a new tool for researching and planning online media campaigns for ad agencies and advertisers. The MarketMatch suite includes three modules: Planner, Campaign Manager and Administrator. The Planner module features syndicated market research from research organizations MRI and Simmons, and improved Web media planning capabilities, such as enhanced searching capabilities to find sites that accept rich media, and the creation of buy worksheets that enable sharing media purchase information among workgroups. MarketMatch Planner is available on an annual subscription basis, starting at $7,900. For more information, call 800-286-6778, visit http://www.adknowledge.com or send mailto:info@adknowledge.com. -------------------------------------------------- Starlight Networks Launches Streaming Media Apps Manager Starlight Networks, Inc., last week introduced StarCenter, a streaming applications manager designed to let organizations maximize the value of media assets and accelerate and simplify the deployment of streaming media applications. The product works with a variety of streaming media engines, including Starlight's StarWorks and StarCast, Microsoft's NetShow, and RealNetworks' RealVideo and RealAudio. Features include: * brokers requests between application clients and media servers * selects the appropriate version of content to deliver based on available bandwidth * provides media clip management and authoring assistance to simplify and accelerate application creation * solves the problem of keeping content current, timely and consistent across multiple sites through automatic replication and archiving * reports usage, capturing valuable information that can be used for billing, understanding content popularity and individual user tracking * integrates with standard technologies, including Web servers, IP, ActiveX, Java and ODBC Currently in beta, StarCenter will be generally available this summer. Pricing is based on the number of media servers managed, and begins at $25,000. Starlight Networks is located at 205 Ravendale Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043. Phone: 650/967-2774. Fax: 650/967-0686. WWW: http://www.starlight.com. -------------------------------------------------- NetPromote Offers Free Web Promotion Center Search engine specialist NetPromote has just launched Promotion 101, a free online guide for site owners to learn how to increase search engine placement and traffic to their Web sites. Users can search through topics such as The Ultimate Top 20 Search Engine Placement Guide, said to help site owners achieve top-20 placement on the major engines. Promotion 101 also includes educational articles on Web site promotion such as "How to optimize Web pages" and free Web promotion tools such as META Tag Builder and NetPromote Free. NetPromote also offers META Tag Builder, where site owners can make META Tags by inputting Web site information and clicking a button. The META Tags are automatically created in the correct format to copy and paste in the top of a Web page. NetPromote: http://www.NetPromote.com/ Promotion 101: http://www.Promotion101.com META Tag Builder: http://www.MetaTagBuilder.com/ --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Interplay to License Messiah Character Engine Interplay Productions plans to license the "Messiah character engine." Shiny Entertainment, a subsidiary of Interplay Productions, is employing the engine in its next action release, Messiah, scheduled to release spring 1999. The formal name for this technology is Real-Time Tessellation and Deformation (RT-DAT). RT-DAT, created by Shiny lead programmer Michael "Saxs" Persson, "drives any 2D card to display the 3D images, and also takes maximum advantage of many 3D video cards," reportedly scaling rendering to obtain optimum performance an any system. Characters are animated with a blend of motion capture and traditional hand animation. Each character has a real skeleton held together with muscles. The skeletal animation system reduces the amount of memory used for the animations so motions seamlessly lead into one another. This truly breathes life into the characters. Contact Interplay at http://www.interplay.com. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Parable, Comedy Central to Offer "South Park" Things As part of an initiative to let entertainment firms protect and strategically distribute their brand properties to fans and audiences on the Internet, Parable (http://www.thingworld.com) announces a relationship with cable TV's Comedy Central to offer "South Park" Things. With "South Park" Things, Comedy Central provides online fans with collectible animations or content while also extending the brand of its cable network properties. Comedy Central plans to launch Things throughout the summer to coincide with the premiere of "Bob and Margaret" and the fifth season of "Dr. Katz Professional Therapist". South Park" Things are available at http://www.comedycentral.com. Comedy Central Things range from interactive "South Park" characters and games to expiring Kenny Things. Said a CC spokesman, "You can sample Comedy Central's humor in a Thing." Things, created with Parable's nifty application ThingMaker, are essentially animated buttons whose states change with mouse rollovers and clicks, with optional links to URLs and email addresses. For best results, a plug-in is required. Things can be collected and used offline with Parable's new ThingCollector or used as a screensaver with ThingScreenSaver. In a related story, Parable will provide Internet guide Lycos with a Lycos-branded searchable database ("ThingSearch") of over 500 general and branded Things. In a revenue-sharing arrangement that highlights this distribution model, Lycos will sell advertising in the form of banner ads targeted to individual content areas of the Thing database. Things found in the database include interactive and collectible characters, experiences and games from Parable content partners. -------------------------------------------------- CNET to Uses Emblaze Multimedia Tech CNET: The Computer Network, will use GEO Interactive's Emblaze products to add streaming multimedia content to its Web sites. CNET is using two of GEO Interactive's Emblaze products: Creator and Video. The products do not require developers to use special server software nor end-users to download plug-ins. Emblaze Creator helps developers add streaming multimedia to the Internet, including animation, audio, video and interactivity. Emblaze Video provides video over 28.8 kilobyte-per-second modem connections, and is scaleable to intranet speeds. Find CNET at http://www.cnet.com. More information about GEO can be found at http://www.emblaze.com. -------------------------------------------------- Zing Entertains During World Wide Wait New Internet product Zing was selected by attendees at Variety Magazine's recent Interactive Marketing Summit last week as the Hottest New Idea on the Web. Created by Zing Network, Inc., Zing is a free, Internet-based application that delivers entertainment content during the "empty time" when Web surfers wait for Web pages to load. Scheduled to launch later this month, Zing is a downloadable player application that works with Web browsers to deliver user-selected images, animations, and sound during the time that users are waiting for Web pages to load. As soon as the downloaded page begins to display, Zing disappears. Automatically updated every time a user logs onto the Internet, Zing's content channels present multimedia entertainment spots ranging from music clips to language flashcards to famous and humorous quotes. Zing Network is developing the channels in partnership with major brands, including Rolling Stone Network, Universal Studios, Billboard, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Surfer Magazine, and Chronicle Books, and will continue to add new channels as the network develops. The beta version of Zing is currently available for download at http://www.zing.com. -------------------------------------------------- Netscape to Include Flash Player with Browser Still images and animations produced with vector graphics constitute an effective, low-bandwidth means of providing Internet surfers with dynamic, eye-catching content, but to date the technology hasn't been available as a standard feature of any Web browser. That's about to change, though as Netscape Communications Corporation last week agreed to include Macromedia's Flash technology with Netscape Communicator client software. As part of the agreement, Netscape has licensed Flash technology and will include the Flash player with every copy of its Netscape Navigator browser software. Flash will be integrated into the next maintenance release of Netscape Navigator, to be released this summer. Navigator users will experience Flash content -- including Web graphics, cartoons, illustrations, animated Web pages and more -- without having to download a separate plug-in. -------------------------------------------------- aVirt Ships aVirt Gateway Server 3.0 aVirt, LLC has released aVirt Gateway Server 3.0, a firewall and proxy software application that eliminates the need for multiple modems to connect a network to the Internet. aVirt Gateway Server lets multiple computers browse the Web, send and receive email, and use popular Internet applications through one secure server. It also uses client and server wizards to simplify the installation process. By funneling all Internet traffic through one machine, aVirt Gateway Server can secure a network, speed up Web pages, and decrease the total cost of ownership. Features include automatic client and server setup wizards, autodialing support, IP and NT-based security, Microsoft IIS support, pornography filtering through SmartFilter technology, an offline cache browser, and proxy to proxy channeling. Also, native support for a wide variety of protocols, including POP3, RealAudio, VDOLive, Microsoft Netshow, SOCKS4/5, UDP and TCP bridging, IRC, America Online, Compuserve, and NNTP. A fully functional 30-day trial version of aVirt Gateway Server 3.0 is available from the aVirt Website at http://www.avirt.com. -------------------------------------------------- Excite Unveils Online Auctions Service Yahoo! competitor Excite, Inc. last week unveiled its new Auction service for consumers. A new component of Excite Classifieds, the service lets Excite users bid online in real time for such merchandise as computers, collectibles, toys, stereo equipment and more. The auctions are available through Excite Classifieds on the front page of http://www.excite.com. For the next two months, the service will be free to users to place an auction ad,. In addition, during June all auction sellers and bidders will automatically be entered into a Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Pentium 166MMX notebook computer. -------------------------------------------------- Luminositi Releases SoftCam, Software-Only Camera for PC Startup Luminositi, Inc. has released SoftCam, a $49.95 software-only "camera" for Win95 PCs designed as a companion to Internet conferencing applications such as Microsoft's NetMeeting and White Pine's CU-SeeMe. SoftCam also works in conjunction with RealNetworks' RealEncoder, Web Camera products, and video email products. SoftCam allows the conference participant to dynamically stream video clips and images (BMP, GIF, and AVI) on demand. A user can import and mix personal media selections as backgrounds and foregrounds to create a blend of stored and live content for his conferencing partner to experience in real-time. SoftCam also offers a desktop viewer which allows the user to stream selected portions of his desktop as well. SoftCam Pro includes WaveMux, to stream sound effects into the conference and FloatIt, to mark the desktop with the user's choice of nonrectangular images. WaveMux, a virtual sound device, blends multiple input audio streams. Both SoftCam and WaveMux incorporate Luminositi's patent-pending MediaCortex technology to mix and manage system audio and video devices for real-time switching and blending of audio and video streams. A MediaCortex development kit is in the works for release in Q4, 1998. Get the scoop at http://www.luminositi.com. --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

New Technologies, Digimation Release daVinci3D 1.0 for 3DS MAX daVinci3D (US$595), just released by New Technologies, Inc., is a surface modeling plug-in for 3D Studio MAX R2, designed for modeling and animating organic shapes. Based on our brief (so far) experience with the software, we think it's pretty groovy. Based on a new approach to surface modeling called TEMS (triangular elastic membrane surfaces), the plug-in provides animators with the ability to: * create complex surfaces that have no gaps during animation * grab and manipulate points directly on the surface * have areas of high local refinement * apply texture maps with minimal distortion * define character and silhouette lines using curves directly on the surface TEMS is neither a set of NURBS surface patches nor a polygonal mesh, but is said, rather, to combine desirable properties of both. The surface is a network of curved triangular surface elements that can represent large areas of complex geometry, e.g. a complete face, by a single continuous surface. daVinci3D presents the user with a few, high-level surface controls: points, curves, and forces. Points and curves exist directly on the surface and can be placed anywhere the artist needs a character or silhouette line. The plug-in then uses an "energy-minimization" process to generate a surface that is optimally small and smooth (like a rubber sheet). Find more at http://www.digimation.com and http://www.davinci3d.com. -------------------------------------------------- Quantum3D Obsidian2 S/X Products to Hit Retail Shelves Santa Clara, Calif.-based Quantum3D has begun shipping its Obsidian2 S/X Consumer line of realtime 3D graphics accelerators. The four models include the S-12, and S-12 AGP each with 12MB of total on-board memory, and the X-16 and X-24 with 16 and 24MB of memory respectively. All of the S and X series products are PCI-based except for the S-12 AGP models. All of the Obsidian2 products also include simultaneous TV-out, providing gamers with the ability to play games on large screen PAL or NTSC monitors in either composite or S-video formats. The Obsidian2 models also employ a "VGA pass- through design" that ensures compatibility with all other popular 2D/3D primary windows accelerators. The X-series products, including the X-16 and X-24, utilize the Single Board Scan Line Interleaved (SBSLI) design, which combines two Voodoo2 graphics subsystems that operate in parallel to provide twice the fill rate performance of single Voodoo2-based graphics accelerators-without requiring dual graphics boards (and associated PCI slots) and inter-board SLI interconnection cabling assemblies. This reportedly lets the X-series models sustain 180 Megapixels-per-second of textured fill rate, with perspective- correct trilinear texture filtering with per-pixel level-of-detail mip mapping, z-buffering, alpha-blending, and per pixel fog enabled. Visit the company online at http://www.quantum3d.com. -------------------------------------------------- DeMorgan Ships WebSpice Animations--35,000 3D GIF Anims Sorry, Ginger's not here. DeMorgan Industries Corporation last week released WebSpice Animations, reportedly the largest original and royalty-free collection of "3D" GIF animations for use on the Internet. Each image in the collection was modeled in three dimensions, and then set in motion to create a series of images. Animations include buttons, arrows, objects, words with objects, and words. The suggested retail price of WebSpice Animations is $149, with an expected street price of $99. Additional information is available online at http://www.demorgan.com. -------------------------------------------------- Matrox Drops G100 Price, Offers 16MB G200 Upgrade Matrox recently lowered the estimated street price of its Productiva G100 to $88. The AGP display card is designed for business users and provides 8MB of SDRAM. Based on the new MGA-G100 chip, the card delivers 2D and 3D acceleration, plus a variety of multimedia upgrade paths. Also, the company recently announced the pricing for its new line of graphics accelerators outfitted with 16MB of memory. The Matrox Millennium G200 (8MB) and Matrox Mystique G200 (8MB) are both upgradeable to 16MB, providing performance enhancements for Windows 95/98/NT applications. The upgrade offering is designed for users requiring high performance for 3D games and 2D/3D applications like CAD, high-resolution true-color image editing and desktop publishing. The Matrox Millennium G200 8MB SGRAM upgrade will sell at $79 and the Matrox Mystique G200 8MB SDRAM upgrade will sell at $49 (ESP). This means a fully expanded 16MB Matrox Millennium G200 will cost $248 and a Matrox Mystique G200 will cost $218 (ESP). Find more at http://www.matrox.com/mga. --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

i/us Builds Independent Graphics Software Community i/us Corporation sells products on its Web site (CorelXARA 2.0, Xara 3D 2, Photoshop plug-ins etc.), but also hosts more than 80 computer graphics-related discussion forums moderated by 60 technical specialists. The site also provides directories for a variety of graphics-related services, such as free listings for graphic design firms. And the i/us Graphics Network lets graphics users contact others in real time using a Web-based messaging service. The site also hosts 16 content areas maintained by independent graphics and publishing experts, providing regularly updated tips, tutorials and industry commentary. Check out the graphics action at http://i-us.com. --------------------------------------------------

CONSUMER CHANNEL

IK Multimedia Ships GrooveMaker+Dancity for Macintosh . GrooveMaker+Dancity, just out from IK Multimedia for Mac and compatibles (previously available for Windows) is a combination of two products: the GrooveMaker software and the Dancity sample collection. Both are shipped together on two CD-ROMs at $69. The GrooveMaker is a groove generator based on a sample-layering engine with pre-grouped loop sample libraries called "songs." Users can play, mix and randomize grooves on the fly, with control over eight stereo loop tracks in real time. Features include separate volume and pan controls plus solo and mute buttons, as well as the ability to add samples and shift tempos. Find more info at http://www.groovemaker.com --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Litwak Offers Multimedia Producer's Handbook Silman-James Press/Los Angeles has just published Beverly Hills entertainment attorney Mark Litwak's new Litwak's Multimedia Producer's Handbook (334 pages, ISBN: 1-8795905-35-5, $29.95), designed as an abstract on legal issues to help producers and distributors of multimedia works navigate the electronic landscape to avoid legal and financial disaster. The book was written as a primer for independent producers and programmers who opt for the internet rather than such traditional media as television and film as the method to reach audiences. -------------------------------------------------- O'Reilly, DES Offer Web Publishing/Design Online Training O'Reilly & Associates and Digital Education Systems (DES) are creating a series of ten Web-based courses for Web developers. "Web Publishing and Design," the introductory course in the series, is now available. "Web Publishing and Design" is designed for the novice who wants to create a Web site from scratch. Course material is based on O'Reilly's HTML: The Definitive Guide. With the course's Online Lab, students can write and check their code as they learn. To complete the course, they design a working Web site. Topics in "Web Publishing and Design" include: - HTML tags, columns, rows, tables, and colors - Introduction to Web browser and plug-in software - Creating and manipulating images and multimedia - Mastering tables, style sheets, and frames - Understanding push/pull and interactive, multimedia content - Page and site design issues Find more information at http://training.oreilly.com. --------------------------------------------------

DEALS

Spacetec Transfers 'Open Motion' Tech to New Firm Spacetec IMC Corporation, a provider of 3D input controllers and related software, plans to transfer its Open Motion technology to 3D OpenMotion, LLC. Spacetec's founder and former CEO, Dennis Gain, and Dr. Georges Grinstein, a 3D graphics and visualization proponent, will lead the new venture. Approximately four Spacetec employees and one consultant whose responsibilities related solely to the Open Motion technology will terminate their affiliation with Spacetec and accept employment with 3D OpenMotion, LLC. Spacetec has been developing an advanced level of 3D enabling software referred to as the "Open Motion" body of software technology. Open Motion is comprised of a platform and graphics independent Application Programmer's Interface [API] and related specific Software Development Kits ["SDKs"] said to allow faster and easier creation, storage, retrieval, editing and invoking of 3D motion and 3D interactive motion control capabilities. Dennis Gain, president of 3D OpenMotion, stated, "The Open Motion software technology, when complete, will make it easier and less expensive to incorporate sophisticated real-life 3D capabilities in everyday applications such as games, educational programs, business applications and the Internet. It also will make it easier for everyone to use 3D technology. Our new company will be dedicated to commercializing the Open Motion technology for the volume markets. This will benefit Spacetec by expanding the demand for its 3D controllers in the broader mass markets." -------------------------------------------------- NBC to Acquire Equity Stake in CNET'S 'Snap!' Portal Service NBC has agreed to purchase an equity stake in CNET, Inc.'s "Snap!" Internet portal service (http://www.snap.com) and will, together with CNET, operate the service as a joint venture. This marks the first entry of a major media company and broadcast network into the Internet directory and search services business. NBC will acquire a minority stake in Snap, along with the option to increase its ownership stake in Snap! to 60%. Additionally, NBC will purchase a 4.99% equity stake in CNET, the parent company of Snap. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Descent: FreeSpace Arrives at Retail Descent: FreeSpace The Great War, a space combat simulation from Interplay, has been shipped to retail. Developed by Volition Inc., an affiliate of the Descent and Descent II developer Parallax Software, Descent: FreeSpace is now available for Windows 95-based computers. The title is set in outer space and features big ships in addition to an "intelligent" universe with a branching mission structure. Multi-player support for up to 12 players via LAN or Internet is included. Players can also use Volition's free Internet-based game tracking, statistics and pilot ranking server, where they can be matched up with other FreeSpace players for net play. Descent: FreeSpace features real-time, in-game voice messaging, allowing players to taunt their opponents or strategize with their allies via a microphone and multi-play connection. Gamers can also design their own custom missions with the FreeSpace Mission Editor (FRED), which is included with the full retail version of the game. More information is available through at http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- CogniToy Announces MindRover Programmable Action-Strategy Game CogniToy of Acton, Massachusetts, is a new developer and publisher of computer games whose motto is "Intelligent Toys for Intelligent Minds." MindRover, the company's first game, set for release this fall, is a 3D action-strategy game in which players build and then program robotic 'rovers' to compete with others in a variety of challenges such as races, sports, mazes and battles. Players control how the robots react through a visual wiring system. Underlying the game are such technologies as a hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics engine, a physics simulation system, and an object-oriented programming language, ICE, which forms the foundation of the entire game. Check it out at http://www.cognitoy.com. -------------------------------------------------- Activision to Publish Five Games from Pandemic Studios Activision, Inc. will publish five new games from Pandemic Studios, Inc., a newly formed development company headed by former Activision veterans Josh Resnick and Andrew Goldman. Additionally, Activision has made an equity investment in the new company. The first two games to be developed by Pandemic will be the sequels to Activision's Battlezone and Dark Reign. Activision expects to release the first Pandemic title in summer 1999. Prior to founding Pandemic Studios, Resnick most recently served as a director of production at Activision. Additionally, Resnick was the director for Dark Reign, a popular real-time strategy game, and the producer for the combat-simulation hit MechWarrior 2. Resnick will serve as president of the newly formed company. While working at Activision, Goldman was the director for two critically acclaimed games -- Battlezone, a recent action-strategy title, and Spycraft: The Great Game, a Cold War espionage thriller starring former CIA director William Colby and former KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin. Goldman will serve as CEO of Pandemic. Pandemic Studios is located in Santa Monica, CA. For information about the company call 310.450.5199 or visit http://www.pandemicstudios.com. More information about Activision can be found at http://www.activision.com. -------------------------------------------------- Knights And Merchants Demo Available The preview demo of Knights and Merchants, the new economic simulation strategy game by German publisher TopWare Interactive, is now available for download on the Internet. The title is an attempt to fuse the elements of economic simulation with the tactical challenge of real-time strategy games. Strategic options in the battle mode are based on the command and control of entire troop formations, as opposed to isolated warriors. In the demo, 5 troop types allow the player to experience the battle mode. The full version will feature a total of 9 different fighters. Coming this August, would-be knights and merchants around the world can delve into the 20 single-player and 10 multi-player levels. Follow this link to download the demo version (11.6 MB): ftp://ftp.topware.com/demos/knights/english/k_d_v073.exe Or download the demo in 4 parts (< 3 MB each): ftp://ftp.topware.com/demos/knights/english/k_d_v073rar.exe ftp://ftp.topware.com/demos/knights/english/k_d_v073rar.r00 ftp://ftp.topware.com/demos/knights/english/k_d_v073rar.r01 ftp://ftp.topware.com/demos/knights/english/k_d_v073rar.r02 --------------------------------------------------

NUMBEROLOGY

Ubi Soft Net Earnings Up 83.7% French game developer/publisher Ubi Soft Entertainment announced that their annual net earnings of FRF 29.1 million as of March 31,1998, are up 83.7% from 1997. The increase is due to international expansion and increased production capacity. Some of this year's titles include Rayman, POD, F1 Racing Simulation, Tonic Trouble, Valdo, F1 Pole Position 64, Redline Racer and Riven. The company anticipates significant growth for 1998/1999 as a result of the development of over 30 new expected titles such as Rayman 2, Rayman Dictations, Tim 7 Anglais, Tonic Trouble, the three Playmobil adventures, D-Jump and Speed Busters. -------------------------------------------------- Take-Two to File for Listing On NASDAQ Game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. plans to file to list its common stock on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol TTWO when it releases its 10-QSB for the quarter ended April 30. The company expects to make this filing no later than June 16, 1998. The company's Common Stock is currently traded on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market under the symbol TTWO. Management believes the company currently meets the criteria for listing on the National Market System, however, there can be no assurance that NASDAQ will accept the company's common stock for listing. --------------------------------------------------

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Sierra Appoints Grenewetzki President Sierra On-Line, Inc., a member of the Cendant Software group, last week announced the appointment of ex-Mindscape exec David Grenewetzki as president of Sierra. Grenewetzki comes to Sierra from his post as senior vice president, product development and technology, for Palladium Interactive Inc. where he was responsible for the company's line of children's and humorous products. He also served as a member of Palladium's Board of Directors. Previously, Grenewetzki served as executive vice president of product development at Accolade Inc., broadening its franchise strategy in proprietary sports and action titles as well as being involved in setting top level policy for the company. --------------------------------------------------

HAPPENINGS

Jupiter Digital Kids '98: Creating Communities June 23-24, Jupiter Communications will host its Digital Kids '98: Creating Communities conference at the ANA Hotel, San Francisco. The conference will cover strategic, creative, and business issues involved in constructing Web communities for kids. Panels will explore the movement of child- and family-oriented software, games, and educational content online, including: Demographic Segmentation: Kids Talking in their Own Communities, The School-Kid-Family Connection, From TV to Film to the Web & Back Again, Constructing a Business for the Digital Kid, Retailers & Programmers Follow the Programmers Online, Creating the Next Oz, and more. Keynote speakers include Jake Winebaum, chairman, Buena Vista Internet Group; David Britt, president and CEO, Children's Television Workshop; Paul Levitz, publisher, DC Comics; and Richard Wolpert, president, Disney Online. Sessions include panelists Michela English, president, Discovery Enterprises Worldwide; Christina Ferrari, managing editor, Teen People; Rick Thompson, vice president, hardware, Microsoft; Garry Myers, CEO, Highlights for Children; Jupiter analysts; and others. For more information, call Diana Garelik at 212-780-6060 ext.193 or visit Jupiter's Web site at http://www.jup.com/conference/kids/. --------------------------------------------------

F.Y.I.

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