Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 16 March 1998

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
Today's Headlines (details below) WEBMEISTER --Astound Inc. Updates Astound, Dynamite --RandomNoise Coda 2.0 Beta Available for Download --3M Brings Post-it Notes to the Web --VRML Consortium Charts Roadmap for VRML Standard --Revnet Announces UnityMail Database-driven Email List Manager --Perl, XML Developers Collaborate DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --PRICE Debuts ForeSight Forecasting Tool for Developers IN THE INFOGROOVE --Senate Commerce Committee Okays Bills to Censor the Internet --centraal Unveils "Real Name" System to Replace Lengthy URLs --How Fast Is The Internet Going Right This Second? --Exchange Templates Extend Microsoft Exchange/Outlook --Mixed Signals Launches Internet/TV Convergence Production Facility GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Jazz Multimedia Undercuts Voodoo2 Competition --Macromedia Introduces Fireworks for Web Graphics --NewTek Announces Inspire 3D --Diamond Ships Monster 3D II --Live Picture Ships Live Picture Reality Studio --SGI Ships Cosmo Worlds 2.0 for Windows WEBSIGHTINGS --Market Guide Teams with InfoSpace to Provide Free Real-time Quotes --PBS Launches TechKnow Site for Kids THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Call for Exhibitors for Next 20 Years Tour --Firms Offer Web-based Training for Web Developers DEALS --Simutronics to Provide Planet Direct with Multi-player Games --Electronic Arts Signs WCW License GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Activision Ships Battlezone --Interplay Announces Caesars Palace Video Poker --Activision Announces Winners of Dark Reign Contest --Ubi Soft Sets Release Date for F1 Racing Simulation --Looking Glass Studios Announces Enhancements for Flight Unlimited II --Sony Ships PSX NBA Shoot Out '98 F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

Astound Inc. Updates Astound, Dynamite Astound Inc., a developer of business multimedia software tools, announces the availability of its Web and multimedia presentation software, Astound 5.0. The program uses drag-and-drop authoring to create presentations deliverable to audiences over the World Wide Web as well as through other traditional media. New features include a Microsoft Office 97-like interface, plus the ability to import PowerPoint 97 files. Also, Dynamite 1.1 is an upgrade to Astound's visual Dynamic HTML authoring tool. Output can be published with either JavaScript or Java controlled playback. Version 1.0 supported only Java control through the JUMP applet. Implementing JavaScript as a lightweight alternative is said to result in smaller pages that download faster without significant loss in playback performance or synchronization. Web site: http://www.astound.com -------------------------------------------------- RandomNoise Coda 2.0 Beta Available for Download RandomNoise announces that the beta of its Coda 2.0 is available for download. Coda is a Java-based authoring tool for creating dynamic, data-driven Web sites, intranets, presentations, and Web applications. It consists of a designer module (the Coda editor) and a back end application server (Coda Server). Features include: · full support for Javabeans on both the server and client · produces dynamic HTML that can talk directly to any SQL database · support for cascading style sheets and advanced text capabilities of any tool · integrated server side support via multi-threaded servlets, data-connection pooling, gateways to enterprise application servers, server-side beans API etc. General information on Coda 2.0 can be found at http://www.randomnoise.com. A beta version of Coda 2.0 (preview release 2) can be downloaded on the site for Win95/NT and Solaris. -------------------------------------------------- 3M Brings Post-it Notes to the Web 3M's new Post-it Software Notes for Internet Designers allows Web designers to create a virtual Post-it Note and "stick" it onto their Web page. The plug-in-based feature is designed to let marketers grab visitors' attention and keep them coming back, because they can be dragged from a Web site to the visitor's desktop, where they remain active and "hot," so users can click on an icon or URL and link back to the company's Web site. Designers can pre-set alarms on the note to remind visitors about news or upcoming events and promotions. The current version runs on Windows 32-bit environments (Windows 95 and Windows NT) and has the capacity to include a bitmap graphic and associate a URL with each note. 3M is currently working on version 2.0, which will accommodate animation and sound within notes; feature additional graphics capabilities including JPEG, GIF and TIFF; and provide designers with the ability to generate new notes specific to each individual Web visitor. Version 2.0 will be available this spring. Post-it Software Notes for Internet Designers is available at http://www.3M.com/Webnotes for a cost of $300 per Web site. For more information, send mailto:psndeveloper@mmm.com. -------------------------------------------------- VRML Consortium Charts Roadmap for VRML Standard The VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) Consortium last week revealed a technology roadmap for the VRML specification designed to drive the continued growth of 3D on the Internet. The Consortium has also elected a new Executive Committee, which will form task groups within the Consortium to lead the marketing and specification initiatives outlined in the roadmap. Core roadmap issues that will be addressed by Consortium task groups include: · use of VRML as a lightweight, integrated media format for page animation · improved download time for VRML files via compression and streaming · interoperability of VRML content between popular clients and between clients and authoring tools · use of VRML in enterprise computing and database applications. Find more info at http://www.vrml.org -------------------------------------------------- Revnet Announces UnityMail Database-driven Email List Manager Revnet Systems' new UnityMail is a commercial database-driven email list manager for Windows NT that can deliver focused email sorted dynamically by demographic attributes. It combines a customizable database (built-in or external ODBC-compliant) with visual form-building tools for capturing opt-in data from a Web-site, and database filtering tools to target personalized email to specific groups of subscribers. For more information, phone (205) 721-1420, or visit http://www.revnet.com. -------------------------------------------------- Perl, XML Developers Collaborate Leading Perl and XML (Extensible Markup Language) developers met recently at O'Reilly & Associates to plan a way for Perl, the popular Web programming language, and XML, the hottest Web mark-up technology, to work together. Attending the Perl/XML Summit were: · Larry Wall, creator of Perl, and senior developer, O'Reilly & Associates · Tim Bray, co-editor of the XML 1.0 specification and independent consultant · Dick Hardt, developer of Perl for Win 32, and Chief Technology Officer, ActiveState Tool Corp. · Tim O'Reilly, president and CEO, O'Reilly & Associates · Dale Dougherty, CEO, Songline Studios · Gina Blaber, director, Software Products Group, O'Reilly & Associates. One major goal resulted from the summit: to make Perl the scripting language of choice for processing XML. As Perl support for XML increases, it is expected, in turn, to make XML more accessible. "XML is currently perceived as powerful and important, but not particularly easy," explains Larry Wall. "This makes XML and Perl naturally complementary, since Perl is a language that makes easy things easy to do, and hard things possible." One of the summit group's first priorities is to get Perl working with Unicode (ISO 1046). Unicode enables code to be easily translated into other languages; XML requires Unicode. Larry Wall will lead the team working on this task. The group plans to release a Perl/XML spec in Q3, 1998. There will be a new Web site for XML, hosted by O'Reilly/Songline Studios with content from Tim Bray and Seybold Corporation. Larry Wall and Tim Bray are co-authoring an XML white paper, to be released this spring. Larry Wall and Dick Hardt will speak on Perl and XML at XML Developer's Day, a technical conference for XML developers in Seattle on March 27, 1998. A subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), XML is similar to HTML in that it uses tags. But XML communicates information about the structure of a document, rather than the look of it, as HTML does. That structural information is the key to a wide range of applications for which XML is already being used. XML is not proprietary, meaning a document's information and structure will function in a true cross-platform manner. XML was recently approved by W3C, the consortium of Web heavyweights, and is expected to have great impact on the rapid spread of electronic commerce. Perl, a cross-platform programming language, can run dynamic Web sites, databases, and CGI applications, perform system management tasks, and scan, extract information from, and print reports about text files. Widely available on the Internet since 1989, Perl's active developer community regularly contributes tools and extensions to Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), numerous online groups, and sites such as http://www.perl.com. --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

PRICE Debuts ForeSight Forecasting Tool for Developers PRICE Systems announces the availability of ForeSight, a new software solution for forecasting time, effort and costs for commercial and non-military government software projects. By incorporating projected data supplied by the developers (including size, schedules, staffing, labor effort, cost and quality), ForeSight measures all aspects of the development process the data and provides accurate project development scenarios. ForeSight, for Windows 95 and NT, is $975 per single-user license; bulk rate and site license pricing is also available. For more information, contact PRICE Systems, 700 East Gate Drive, Suite 200, Laurel, NJ 08054, tel. 800-43-PRICE or 609-866-6856; fax 609-866-6789; or via the Internet at either marketing@pricesystems.com or http://www.pricesystems.com. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Senate Commerce Committee Okays Bills to Censor the Internet Gadfly non-profit The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) reports that the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last week voted out of committee two bills that would limit freedom of expression on the Internet. The committee okayed--by voice vote both times--Sen. John McCain's bill to require schools and libraries with federally-subsidized Internet access to use software filters, and Sen. Dan Coats' bill to criminalize the publication of material 'harmful to minors' on the Internet. CDT opposes these bills because they violate the First Amendment by trying to impose a single national standard that would control what everyone on the Internet can see, think and say--just as the Communications Decency Act (CDA) did. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the CDA last year, and even the Commerce Committee staff admits that the same fate could befall the Coats bill. For a copy of the McCain bill, see http://www.cdt.org/speech/980210_mccain.html Find more on this story and get involved at http://www.cdt.org/ -------------------------------------------------- centraal Unveils "Real Name" System to Replace Lengthy URLs centraal corporation, based in Palo Alto, California, announces a new system for using familiar words and everyday language to find sites and topics on the Internet instead of using unintelligible URLs. The Internet naming service or "protocol" is called the real name system. According to a Reuters report on Yahoo! News, the service has a few glitches, such as responding to a search for Disney character Bambi with a porno site. The real name system is based upon distributed XML technology. A real name address is an object with properties. It allows additional attributes to be attached to an Internet address (e.g., an owner, a location, a language, etc.). To register a real name address at $40 per year, customers can visit the centraal BETA at http://www.realnames.com. -------------------------------------------------- How Fast Is The Internet Going Right This Second? The Internet Traffic Report can tell you. The site gives an independent, real-time measure of how well "traffic" is moving on the Internet highway city by city, country by country, and for the Internet as a whole. Checking the site can tell you if it's a good time to do a big download or search, and historical performance graphs show when traffic is usually down. The site can also be used to determine if it's your ISP that's performing badly, or if the whole Internet is bogged down. Some people even like to check the site just to confirm particularly hideous Internet performance. Get the update at http://www.internettrafficreport.com -------------------------------------------------- Exchange Templates Extend Microsoft Exchange/Outlook n software inc. announces the release of Exchange Templates ($49.95), a new extension to Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Outlook, and Windows Messaging for dealing with repetitive email tasks. Instead of creating and typing similar messages over and over, or cutting and pasting from other documents, the user selects a template from a menu, and with a click of a button creates a new reply, forward a message with special accompanying text, or quote preset text into a message you are creating. The product features programmatic control of template evaluation, which allows placeholders to be replaced with message properties such as sender's name or email, subject, or any other dynamically generated text. Templates are stored as messages in Outlook or Exchange folders, and can be provided as either plain text or RTF (Rich Text Format) messages. A free evaluation copy can be downloaded from http://www.nsoftware.com/ -------------------------------------------------- Mixed Signals Launches Internet/TV Convergence Production Facility Mixed Signals Technologies announces its new Internet/TV Convergence Production facility in Los Angeles. Mixed Signals provides services that enable broadcasters and advertisers to link TV content directly to the Internet, giving viewers access to related Internet content of the broadcasters' choice. The links, known as Interactive TV Crossover Links, are embedded into the broadcast signal by Mixed Signals Technologies with special encoding equipment. The viewer's Internet terminal, such as a WebTV Plus receiver or similar set top device, decodes the special link and displays a standardized translucent icon in the upper-right area of the screen. The viewer simply selects a button on his or her remote control, and can either go directly to the associated Web site while their TV broadcast is minimized and still viewable, or save the link and return to the associated site later. For more information, visit http://www.mixedsignals.com --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Jazz Multimedia Undercuts Voodoo2 Competition Jazz Multimedia claims it will not be undersold on its Voodoo2-based graphics accelerator. Jazz will sell the 12MB version of Renegade 3D, without a game bundle, at MSRP $199.99 after a $30.00 mail-in rebate. There will not be an 8MB configuration of the Renegade 3D. Visit the company's Web site at http://www.jazzmm.com. -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia Introduces Fireworks for Web Graphics Macromedia last week introduced Fireworks for creating, optimizing and producing high-quality graphics for the Web. It incorporates such features as a visual export preview, control over compression and color palettes, automatic generation of button states and JavaScript rollovers, as well as text and effects which are editable all the time. The visual export preview window lets designers consult side-by-side views of a graphic while experimenting with different compression schemes and color palettes. To help designers balance image quality and bandwidth requirements, Fireworks displays file size and download time data, updating these dynamically as the user optimizes the graphic. Designers can also optimize and preview GIF animations in Fireworks, controlling properties such as frame rate and tempo. Compression settings can be saved as presets for use in subsequent export operations or in batch processes. Other features include the ability to "slice" an image for faster downloading, then export the component graphics plus the HTML table to re-assemble them in the viewer's browser. Fireworks provides a built-in "Image Map layer" to facilitate assignment of URL links, as well as a button generation feature which automatically produces up, down, rollover, and hit states for button graphics, along with the JavaScript code to control the button behavior. Color picking in Fireworks defaults to the Web-safe palette. One key Fireworks innovation is the concept of "Live Effects." These include Web-staple drop shadows, bevels, embosses, and glows. Live Effects are properties of the object to which they are assigned--if that object changes, the effect updates automatically. A text window provides control over kerning, scaling, and leading as well as the ability to attach text and even paragraphs to paths. Text, like any Fireworks object, is always editable. Fireworks provides the shape creation and path editing tools found in vector illustration applications such as Macromedia FreeHand, along with the ability to edit and composite bitmaps as in imaging applications. For example, artists can retouch images at a pixel level, clone them, and apply filters such as a Gaussian blur or an unsharp mask. They can brush with effects such as charcoal, pencil, and air brush, then precisely reshape those brush strokes using Bézier controls. Fireworks for Windows 95, Windows NT and Macintosh PowerPC will be available Summer 1998 for an estimated street price of US $299. A pre-release beta version of Fireworks is currently available for download at no charge at (http://www.getfireworks.com). -------------------------------------------------- NewTek Announces Inspire 3D NewTek, known for LightWave 3D and the Video Toaster, announces Inspire 3D, a 3D modeling, rendering and animation software tool aimed at new-media professionals, including graphic artists, multimedia developers and Web designers. The interactive, searchable multimedia tutorial included with Inspire 3D provides step-by-step and practical demonstrations and explanations that cover 3D tasks from building a sphere to creating life-like animations. Other features include: · workflow based on a Hollywood-tested production environment · compatibility with the tools that new-media professionals already use, including Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Freehand, Director and others · photo-real rendering engine with ray tracing for reflection, refraction and shadows · true time-based motion blur · MetaNURBS modeling technique for organic modeling · Booleans for combining objects in various ways · the ability to modify or animate a wide range of attributes in a scene, including light intensity, fog strength, camera zoom factor, motion blur length, color saturation and surface glow values · cel shader rendering tool for rendering 3D objects in a cartoon style · built-in compositing features for building layered images for print or animation, and for combining 3D elements with 2D images or multimedia · surfacing options for detailing models, including layering multiple textures · real-time views of solid models to position textures, set up lighting and visualize objects · a Bones feature for character animation and organic deformations of models · hundreds of license-free interactive 3D clip art items, including objects, images and fully animated scenes. Inspire 3D is due to begin volume shipments this month. It will carry a suggested retail price of $495 and will be available directly via the Internet, through catalog sales and at retail outlets such as CompUSA and Fry's. Inspire 3D runs on Windows 95, Windows NT and Power Macintosh platforms. Contact NewTek at 8200 IH-10 West, Suite 900, San Antonio, TX 78230. Phone (210)370-8000. FAX (210)370-8001. http://www.newtek.com. -------------------------------------------------- Diamond Ships Monster 3D II Diamond Multimedia Systems announces the first shipments of its 8MB Monster 3D II. Featuring 3Dfx Interactive's new Voodoo2 graphics chipset and a 3D game bundle, the 8MB Monster 3D II has an estimated retail price of $249.95. The company plans to ship a 12MB version in Q2 '98. First-generation Monster 3D customers who want to purchase a Monster 3D II can choose from two upgrade program options: a $50 upgrade rebate offer, where customers mail in a coupon with their Monster 3D proof-of-purchase; or a product exchange offer, allowing customers to return their original Monster 3D boards directly to Diamond and then purchase a Monster 3D II through Diamond Multimedia's Product Trade-in Program at http://www.diamondmm.com/products/promotions/trade-in/. Diamond also announced today a new online gaming site, "Diamond Underground." For info on 3D gaming hardware, patches, demos, software listings, contests and more, gamers can visit http://www.diamondmm/underground. -------------------------------------------------- Live Picture Ships Live Picture Reality Studio Live Picture, Inc. announces the commercial availability of Live Picture Reality Studio, a tool suite for building immersive Web sites. Web designers can use it to create sites where visitors can zoom in to examine images in greater detail (FlashPix), such as apparel in a virtual clothing store, or "handle" objects such as appliances inside a virtual kitchen (3D image objects), or explore a photorealistic panorama of a destination in a travel site (PhotoVista). To experience the Live Picture technology, viewers must download the new Live Picture Viewer-Java Version, a small applet. Also, the new Live Picture Viewer 3.0 plug-in augments the Live Picture Viewer-Java version by adding mixed-media types and high-resolution print capabilities. Download a trial version of Reality Studio and the Viewer plug-in from http://www.livepicture.com. -------------------------------------------------- SGI Ships Cosmo Worlds 2.0 for Windows Cosmo Software, a Silicon Graphics company, is shipping its VRML 2.0 Web authoring software, Cosmo Worlds 2.0, for Windows 95 and Windows NT. The $699 (street) product, previously available only for SGI machines, combines a native VRML 2.0 environment, 3D modeling, animation and an open architecture and plug-in development kit (PDK). Features include: · low-polygon 3D modeling · lighting and sound · appearance editing · navigation setting · keyframe animation · source-level editing · Java and JavaScript scripting · Performance optimizations · scene assembly · Web publishing For more information call (888) 912-6766 (91-COSMO) or visit the Web site at http://cosmo.sgi.com. --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

Market Guide Teams with InfoSpace to Provide Free Real-time Quotes Hammering another nail into the coffin of the antiquated practice of forcing thrifty investors to wait 15 minutes or more for stock market quotations, Market Guide announces the availability of free real-time stock quotes on its Internet site (http://www.marketguide.com). With this move, Market Guide joins the handful of Internet sites providing its users with this feature, which will undoubtedly become common practice in the future. Market Guide's free real-time quote service is made available in cooperation with InfoSpace, an Internet directory service. InfoSpace can be accessed at (http://www.infospace.com. -------------------------------------------------- PBS Launches TechKnow Site for Kids PBS TechKnow is a new Web site devoted to helping children become cyberliterate by teaching them how to make informed choices about the sites they visit. It reportedly promotes smart Web surfing by engaging youngsters in activities encouraging them to examine the sites and advertisements they encounter on the Web. Features include: * "Get Your Web License Here" enables children to become smart netizens by taking a "Rules of the Road" quiz. The successful completion of this ten-question test earns the child a printable certificate of completion and access to an online compilation of hot sites, graphics and sounds. * The "You Be the Judge" section demonstrates how content and design are crucial for making a great Web site. * The "Computers in My Future" essay and Web site design contest, in which youngsters will have a chance to win a trip to American Computer Experience (ACE) summer camps. The contest seeks essays of 200-250 words describing how computers will change the way they children will communicate, learn, work and play in the future. Contestants will incorporate their essays into Web sites of their own design, using resources found on the PBS TechKnow site. Ten grand prize winners will receive a one-week enrollment in any of ACE's camps at 21 colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as air transportation. The deadline for entries is April 15, 1998. Visit PBS TechKnow at http://www.pbs.org/kids/techknow/. --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Call for Exhibitors for Next 20 Years Tour A few exhibition slots remain for the Last Saturdays Next 20 Years industry series, scheduled for stops this spring and summer at Chicago, Boston, New York and other major metropolitan areas. Impresario Bob Ayres seeks innovative demos that reflect leading edge technology and state of the art design. Some slots are available for individual cities as well. The Next 20 Years series is a seven-city US industry tour of celebrated futurists, technology luminaries and industry pundits on stage debating and predicting the next two decades in technology, commerce and lifestyle. It is also a private cocktail reception immediately following the discussion, featuring table top technology exhibitions and demos. If interested to have your company demo, call 415-242-0700 or send mailto:LastSat@aol.com. Visit http://www.next20years.com -------------------------------------------------- Firms Offer Web-based Training for Web Developers According to O'Reilly & Associates, as the World Wide Web is woven ever more tightly into the business practices of companies around the world, the shortage of skilled technical workers to develop Web sites and intranets is becoming critical. In response to this need, the technical publisher has teamed up with Digital Education Systems (DES) to produce training programs in Web development that are based on O'Reilly's books. The training programs can be accessed on the Web and through corporate intranets. The program offers the entry-level courses "Web Publishing and Design" and "Developing Web Applications." More advanced courses include "Developing Secure Commerce Applications," "Learning Perl and CGI," "Developing for Microsoft's Active Platforms," "Learning Java on the Web," and "Programming Perl with Databases." A demo version of the "Learning Perl and CGI" course is available at http://training.oreilly.com and http://www.digitalcreators.com/preview. For information on licensing the O'Reilly/DES training courses, contact Mike Willis (303-473-0807) or Joe Sinsheimer (303-780-9027). --------------------------------------------------

DEALS

Simutronics to Provide Planet Direct with Multi-player Games Under a new agreement, Planet Direct, a Web-based, online content service, will feature Simutronics games, giving members direct access to GemStone III, DragonRealms, Modus Operandi and CyberStrike. Planet Direct is available to more than 2 million subscribers through its relationships with 250 affiliated Internet service providers across the country. Contact Simutronics at http://simutronics.com, and Planet Direct at http://www.my.planetdirect.com. -------------------------------------------------- Electronic Arts Signs WCW License Electronic Arts (EA) has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with World Championship Wrestling Inc. (WCW) for the worldwide interactive rights to develop and distribute computer and video games based on the organization's wrestlers. EA plans to ship its first title under the five-year agreement in mid-calendar 1999. Financial terms of the deal were not released. The license gives Electronic Arts exclusive use of more the 100 WCW and New World Order (NWO) wrestlers, such as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall of the NWO and Sting, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Lex Luger of the WCW. It also permits the use of WCW announcers and other talent. WCW stars will be motion captured in EA's British Columbia studio and rendered into the game. World Championship Wrestling is reportedly the highest-rated program on basic cable television in the U.S. In addition, WCW matches are shown in more than 50 countries worldwide through TNT network television. More information can be found at http://www.ea.com. Check out WCW's Web site at http://www.WCWwrestling.com. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Activision Ships Battlezone Now shipping from game developer/publisher Activision is Battlezone, described as a first-person action-strategy game. In 1980, the original Battlezone arcade game introduced players to 3D gaming by putting them inside the cockpit of a tank in heated warfare. The new Battlezone gives players the power to command an army of units engaged in aggressive, up-close and personal warfare. Gamers can blow craters into the deformable 3D terrain with an arsenal of mines and mortars or rock their enemies with the megaton earthquake of the "Thumper." Featuring 3D radar, Battlezone thrusts players into the role of battlefield commanders where they gather resources, build factories, maneuver and place combat units, and plan and execute full-scale attacks, without leaving the first-person perspective. As the ground-level high commander, gamers take charge of more than 30 different vehicles, infantry and mobile assault turrets. Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com. -------------------------------------------------- Interplay Announces Caesars Palace Video Poker Interplay Productions announced last week the upcoming casino title, Caesars Palace VIP Series Video Poker Deluxe. The title is scheduled for release April 1998 on CD-ROM for Windows 95 based PCs and 100% compatibles. Caesars Palace It will feature solitaire play and standard casino machines: Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, and more, over 100 video poker games in all. These will be supplemented by several new video poker games, which play more like table poker, designed by poker guru David Sklansky. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- Activision Announces Winners of Dark Reign Contest Activision's Dark Reign Expansion: Rise of the Shadowhand has gone gold, and the company announced the winners of its Dark Reign Mission and Map Building Contest. University of South Alabama student Mark Major won best single-player mission, and graduate student, programmer and researcher Emmanuel Lagare was awarded best multi-player map. Both Major and Lagare's entries will be featured on the Dark Reign Expansion. Cash prizes for the winning entries were: $2,000 for best single-player mission and $1,000 for best multi-player map. The add-on to the real-time strategy game Dark Reign: The Future of War, the expansion pack features 14 single-player missions and four multi-player missions, over a dozen new units, and a multi-player cooperative mode. Up to eight Internet players can wage war against each other or against AI opponents. Additionally, the game's enhanced construction kit allows players to create their own multi-player campaigns. The Windows 95 title requires the purchaser to also own a copy of Dark Reign. -------------------------------------------------- Ubi Soft Sets Release Date for F1 Racing Simulation Ubi Soft Entertainment's racing title, F1 Racing Simulation, will be available from retailers beginning March 30. The game features 22 drivers and all 16 tracks from the 1996 FIA Formula One Grand Prix Championship. Created by Ubi Soft's development team in collaboration with F1 Renault engineers, the game is said to deliver the best and most realistic physics model of a racing car to date. F1 Racing Simulation offers over 12 ways to customize the vehicles to achieve maximum performance. Players can adjust the settings for car performance variables including wing downforce, suspension, settings, brake balance, wheel camber and gear ratios. The game is further enhanced by changing weather conditions and real life radio communications from the pit. F1 Racing Simulation is optimized for 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics accelerators. Other 4MB 3D-acceleration chipsets are supported through Direct 3D. For more information, call 514-490-0887 or visit http://www.ubisoft.com. -------------------------------------------------- Looking Glass Studios Announces Enhancements for Flight Unlimited II Looking Glass Studios, creators of the Flight Unlimited series of flight simulators, announce the late-March availability of enhancements for Flight Unlimited II. Additions to the flight sim will include a new plane, new adventures, an adventure builder kit and enhancement patch 1.04. These enhancements will be available on Looking Glass Web site located at http://www.lglass.com. The sixth plane available for Flight Unlimited II will be the Fokker DR.I Triplane. Flown during World War I, the Fokker is ideal for barnstorming and aerobatic maneuvers. Five new adventures will also be available from Looking Glass. Highlights of these missions include Foo Fighter, where the pilot and special agent Mox Fulder have to investigate possible extraterrestrial activities; and Dr. Yes, an adventure where pilots ferry British special agent Boston Flowers on a covert mission. Additionally, with the Adventure Builder Kit gamers can design their own missions with hoops courses, audio triggers and objects. Enhancement patch 1.04 adds water splash effects and moving ground objects, creating a dynamic environment on the ground as well as in the air. Artificial Intelligence refinements include improved performance of AI controlled planes and better communication through the Air Traffic Control system. Programmable force feedback joystick support is provided for Logitech Wingman Force, CH Force, and Microsoft Sidewinder Pro force feedback controllers. The patch also includes enhanced hardware accelerator support for Power VR and Riva. -------------------------------------------------- Sony Ships PSX NBA Shoot Out '98 Now available exclusively for the PlayStation game console is Sony Computer Entertainment America's NBA Shoot Out '98. Features include: · all 29 NBA Teams and complete player rosters (more than 350 NBA Players) · new Total Control Dunking and Icon Cutting · motion capture animations · large 3D polygonal players designed with the motion blending and "skinning" technique · New moves include: No look, off-the-dribble and crossovers passes; spin and back down moves; turnaround, leaner and fadeaway jumpers · management control: create, trade, release, sign and draft players · new NBA playbook · new surround sound and camera perspectives · up to 8 players can play with Multi tap adapter Visit http://www.playstation.com. --------------------------------------------------

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 -------------------------------------------------- ©Copyright 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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