Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 18 May 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

Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --Macromedia Upgrades Director, Ships Flash 3 --Pictorius Releases Visual WebDev Framework --GoLive Systems Ships GoLive CyberStudio 3 Professional Edition --ActiveState PerlEx Speeds Perl Scripts IN THE INFOGROOVE --World's Smallest Browser to Target Smart Phone Market GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Kinetix Unveils 3D Studio VIZ R2 --DMI Announces Lucidity RT for 3DS VIZ R2 --Raindrop Geomagic Releases geomagic Wrap 2.0 --AlterVue Releases VR Charting App THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Mind-Matter Interaction: Right Around the Corner? --Web-Based Resource Provides Internet Usage Data --O'Reilly, DES Offer Web-Based Perl/CGI Courses DEALS --Macromedia Licenses Metrowerks Java Compiler --Diamond Multimedia to Acquire Micronics/Orchid --Activision Licenses Soldier of Fortune Name GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Sony Releases Gran Turismo for PlayStation --EA Announces E3 Lineup --Redneck Rampage Rides Again --Psygnosis Announces 3D Action Adventure, Drakan --KKND2: Krossfire Available NUMBEROLOGY --SoftQuad Reports Q1 Results; Begins Move Into Edutainment Market DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Donkey Kong Daddy Wins AIAS Hall of Fame Award --Top Game Developers Honored at CGDA Spotlight Awards --go2net Launches Tech Division, Licenses Tech to Lycos HAPPENINGS --E3 '98 To Showcase 1,600 New Interactive Entertainment Titles F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


Macromedia Upgrades Director, Ships Flash 3 Now available from Macromedia is Director 6.5, a $199 upgrade (for Director 6 users) to the company's multimedia authoring tool, adding these new features: · QuickTime 3 support and QTVR2 support - Import, rotate and mask QuickTime movies and, for the first time on Windows, composite QuickTime movies and sounds with native Director sprites. With QuickTime 3, direct-to-stage compositing is now supported on Windows 95/NT and Macintosh. Allows insertion of QTVR files while automatically providing basic navigation. Provides Lingo control of QTVR files for properties including pan, tilt, node, field-of-view and hotspot detection. · Save as Java - Allows developers to output Web banners and Web-based games as Java applets by automatically converting Director cast elements and Lingo scripts to native Java types. Minimizes applet size by delivering only the playback code needed, and supports inline Java code so custom Java code can be seamlessly integrated. · PowerPoint Import - Convert PowerPoint files to Director movies, and then use Director to add interactivity, transitions and animations. · Macromedia Flash support - Flash files can be imported to minimize the size of Director assets for CD-ROM and the Web. Flash vectors can be rotated, scaled, and composited real time. · Aftershock 2 and improved Shockwave - Generate HTML that auto-detects browser playback capability, and then delivers Shockwave movies, Java applets, or .GIF files to the client's machine. With the upgrade, Shockwave Director is faster at startup time and 40% smaller than in the original 6.0 release. In addition, Shockwave Director now includes support for integrated vector animations created in Macromedia Flash. · ActiveX Control support - Add any of the hundreds of available Active X/OCX controls, which let users embed elements like browsers, spreadsheets and UI widgets in Director. · Custom, Animated, Color Cursors - Create color-animated cursors that are real system cursors. Developers can use any bitmap source in their Director cast as an image in the cursor animation. · Sound Cue Points Support for Windows - Previously only offered on the Macintosh platform, enhanced support for cue points is now available to developers who create, edit or work with sound files. Director 6.5 recognizes and can control events from cue points in .WAV files. In the U.S. and Canada, the Director 6.5 upgrade can be purchased by calling (800) 457-1774 or online at http://www.macromedia.com Also, Macromedia Flash 3, a design tool for interactive vector graphics and animation on the Web, is now shipping for Windows and Macintosh for an estimated street price of $299 US. Flash 3 is also now part of the Design in Motion Suite, along with FreeHand 8 and Insta.HTML, for an estimated street price of $499 US. New features in Flash 3 include: · Vector and Bitmap Transparency lets users overlay transparent vector objects on bitmaps, and vary the attributes at any time. For example, set-top box developers can use this feature to create transparent program guides that overlay video. · Sprite Animation allows for creation of animated buttons, hierarchical and pop-up menus, checkboxes and puzzle games. · Shape Morphing lets Web designers morph any graphic across any number of key frames. · Bandwidth Profiling provides a graphical representation of how Flash movies are streaming at various Internet connection speeds. · Standalone Projectors enable delivery of Flash movies along with the Flash player in a single executable file. To learn more, visit http://www.flash.com. -------------------------------------------------- Pictorius Releases Visual WebDev Framework Leveraging their visual programming language, Prograph, Canada-based Pictorius Incorporated announces Prograph Foundation Classes, its visual, data-driven, object-oriented Web application development framework. Integrated with the company's flagship product, Pictorius iNet Developer, Prograph Foundation Classes form a collection of Internet services that provide developers with a toolkit to build and deploy Web-enabled applications using a visual development environment. Pictorius iNet Developer is a team-based Web application development platform combining site management and page layout editors, with On-Demand HTML, browser-based site and content management features and the Prograph development environment. The platform is intended for design, development and maintenance of large, corporate Web sites and Web applications. Services included in the Prograph Foundation Classes are: * On-Demand HTML * Database management support * Browser rendering * Session-tracking and state management * Access control * Site Management * OS-interfaces (COM, Prograph) * Site Search * Site Navigation * Collaboration * Content management * Conditional publishing Prograph enables the creation of applications through the linking of icons into diagrams, which replaces traditional complex blocks of textual code. This reportedly improves software quality by reducing syntax errors, and increases programmer productivity by eliminating lengthy and tedious compile/link/debug cycles. For more information, visit http://www.pictorius.com. -------------------------------------------------- GoLive Systems Ships GoLive CyberStudio 3 Professional Edition GoLive Systems has just shipped GoLive CyberStudio 3 Professional Edition, the latest version of its Web publishing software for Macintosh. New features include: · WYSIWYG Cascading Style Sheets - let users precisely position and overlap layers, create and edit both external and internal style sheets, and view the effect of style sheet changes directly within the Layout mode. · Ready-to-Use JavaScript Actions - e.g., for creating buttons with mouse-over interactivity · Visual Design and Layout Control - group, align, and distribute objects on a Web page. · Advanced Site Management - automatically checks and update links when users move pages within their site. · Source Code Control - Web database lets users control how their HTML source code is produced and formatted. More info and a free 30-day trial version are available at http://www.golive.com. -------------------------------------------------- ActiveState PerlEx Speeds Perl Scripts ActiveState Tool Corp. has just released PerlEx, a plug-in for NT Web servers said to improve the performance of Perl scripts by up to 30 times. PerlEx runs on NT Web servers from O'Reilly & Associates, Microsoft and Netscape and executes existing Perl scripts without modification. PerlEx improves the speed and performance of Perl scripts in three ways: · compiles Perl scripts once and then stores them in memory, so that the scripts are not compiled again at each user request · enables persistent database connections so that a new connection is not required for each user request, reducing server load and response time · creates multiple interpreters which can execute scripts simultaneously, thus increasing Web server performance. Performance improvements are of twofold importance: · reduces the time it takes to return a page when a user interacts with a Web site · allows existing hardware resources to handle more requests in a given period of time PerlEx also extends the functionality of Perl scripts with a feature called Solar. Solar allows for the sharing of a single copy of data between multiple Perl interpreters and for synchronizing access to it. The product also allows Perl code to be embedded directly in HTML files, rather than having HTML embedded in Perl code. This feature is similar to Active Server Pages, or .asp files on Microsoft Internet Information Server. PerlEx sells for $395 US for a single machine license; multiple machine licenses are available at discounted rates. Find more at http://www.ActiveState.com/. --------------------------------------------------


World's Smallest Browser to Target Smart Phone Market Microware Systems Corporation, supplier of the OS-9 real-time operating system (RTOS), and STNC Ltd, supplier of smart phone solutions, announce that OS-9 will support STNC's HitchHiker smart phone platform. HitchHiker brings compact, efficient access to value-added services to the OS-9 operating system, providing an "out-of-the-box" solution for OEMs seeking to build information-enabled products, such as smart phones. HitchHiker allows these products to provide easy access to a wide range of value added services, delivered via HTML and the Internet. The partnership is said to provide a compact, Internet-enabling software solution, available on a wide ranges of CPUs including ARM, x86, 68000 and PowerPC processor families. HitchHiker for OS-9 includes a full TCP/IP stack, e-mail and WWW software, including tables, forms and both GIF and JPEG images. Find Microware at http://www.microware.com, and STNC at http://www.stnc.com. --------------------------------------------------


Kinetix Unveils 3D Studio VIZ R2 Kinetix, the multimedia division of Autodesk, last week announced 3D Studio VIZ R2. The new release of the software for 3D design, conceptualization and visualization features DWG Linking, a new capability for interactively sharing design data with AutoCAD Release 14 and ObjectARX applications. The program combines a subset of 3D Studio MAX's modeling, rendering and design-oriented animation features with tools for architects, engineers, and other professional designers. It will be available in late June for Windows NT/95-based PCs. DWG Linking lets designers create dynamic links between their 3D sessions and any number of AutoCAD .DWG files. Using 3D Studio VIZ R2 software, users can build on the 2D and 3D geometry from linked files, and export new geometry and materials developed in 3D Studio VIZ into new .DWG files. Because the links are dynamic, changes to the original .DWG files can automatically be updated in the corresponding VIZ file. Featuring ARX Object-level interoperability with many AutoCAD Release14 solutions, 3D Studio VIZ R2 is optimized for integration with AutoCAD. Other new features for AEC users include: · Ease-of-Use Scripts - designed to speed workflow without programming · New AEC "Smart" Objects - parameterized walls, stairs, railings, and trees; door and window objects are animatable. · Enhanced Asset Manager - browse hard drives for .MAX files, .DWG files, and bitmaps; drag files from the Asset Manager into the VIZ interface. · Spacing Tool - use spline or snap points to define a space and then set parameters for the total objects needed to fit, or the total space needed. · AEC-specific materials - includes new procedural brick map · Enhanced Rendering - includes selective raytracing, precise lighting, real-world cameras, analytical antialiasing, screen motion blur, Blinn rendering, and new shaders. · Panoramic Rendering - SmoothMove generate a full-spherical "rendering" from any point in their design so clients can look up and down and from side to side. · Integrated VRML Output Visit Kinetix on the Web at http://www.ktx.com, or contact the company at 800-879-4233. -------------------------------------------------- DMI Announces Lucidity RT for 3DS VIZ R2 Digital Media Interactive, Inc. (DMI) will release a version of Lucidity RT as a plug-in for 3D Studio VIZ R2 from Kinetix (see report above). The product is said to let architects create interactive visualizations of their projects that have detail and realism previously available in non-interactive formats, such as video fly-throughs or still images. Visit the company's Website at http://www.dmix.com. -------------------------------------------------- Raindrop Geomagic Releases geomagic Wrap 2.0 Raindrop Geomagic, Inc.'s new $3,495 geomagic Wrap version 2.0 automatically "wraps" an accurate meshed surface around arbitrary point cloud data, which is typically provided by a 3D scanner or digitizer. The resulting surface is triangulated and topologically consistent, without cracks or improper intersections. Features include: · Point Editing -- Edit large, sparse, or noisy data using select, crop, erase, sample and add tools. · Flexible Editing -- Use "push" to create holes and tunnels, use "relax" or "refine" to smooth surfaces, use "thicken" and "shell" to create thin walls, or use "fill" to create sharp edges and corners. · Model Compression -- Use "decimate" to compress a model down to as little as 5 percent of the original polygon count while retaining the model's original shape and detail. · Spline Creation -- create Spline curves by slicing a Wrap model. Free evaluation copies can be downloaded from http://www.geomagic.com. -------------------------------------------------- AlterVue Releases VR Charting App This week, AlterVue Systems will release VRCharts, a $200 Windows-based application of virtual reality (VR) software for business use. The product transforms data from spreadsheets and databases into multi-dimensional formats for presentation, forecasting and trend analysis. Users can move around and through charts, and view and present information from multiple perspectives. Completed charts are viewed with an integrated virtual reality viewer. They can be emailed, viewed on a PC or exported to a Web page. Those viewing a chart from a Web page will require a VRML-enabled browser. Find more at http://www.vrcharts.com. --------------------------------------------------


Mind-Matter Interaction: Right Around the Corner? The nascent field of "mind-matter interaction" -- which may hold both short- and long-term promise for the scientific and engineering communities -- appears to be coming into its own. A gathering in Tucson, Arizona, earlier this month of 1,000-plus attendees at a "consciousness" conference; the impending release of a commercial mind-matter device; and increasing commercial and governmental interest in a technical Web project focused on building a "conscious chip" are all indications that the hard-to-believe convergence of psychokinesis and quantum-physics research is moving into the traditional empirical science and engineering space. According to a recent report by EE Times' Internet engineering editor Larry Lange, engineers, scientists and physicists working away in labs around the world think the convergence of psychokinesis ("mind over matter") and quantum physics holds the promise to change the face of science and engineering as the second millennium nears. Find the report at http://www.edtn.com. -------------------------------------------------- Web-Based Resource Provides Internet Usage Data International Communications, a provider of localization/translation and multilingual communications services, announces http://www.Headcount.com, a new site that gives statistics on Internet populations in various countries by rating and summarizing market research. Designed for corporate executives, product managers, marketing and sales professionals and Web producers, the data can be viewed by country, by language, and by region. Headcount.com's data is obtained from market research companies, and each report is rated according to a simple system consisting of three points, designated as different colored heads. -------------------------------------------------- O'Reilly, DES Offer Web-Based Perl/CGI Courses O'Reilly & Associates and Digital Education Systems (DES) have released "Learning Perl and CGI," the first course in their Web-based "Web Application Development Curriculum." The course is available to individuals who want to learn the popular Perl scripting language on their own, as well as to educators and trainers who wish to use "Learning Perl and CGI" as a component of classroom or distance learning courses. A full course description and registration information are at http://training.oreilly.com. "Learning Perl and CGI" is available to individuals at an introductory price of $149. To register for the course, go to training.oreilly.com or phone Michelle Koff of O'Reilly at 800/998-9938 (707/829-0515) or email training@oreilly.com. Educators and trainers can get more information on licensing "Learning Perl and CGI" and other O'Reilly/DES training courses by contacting Mike Willis (303-473-0807) or Joe Sinsheimer (303-573-1284). "Learning Perl and CGI" was developed by O'Reilly and DES in cooperation with Dr. James C. Brancheau, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and DigitalCreators, a pioneering online education development firm also based in Boulder. "Learning Perl and CGI" develops basic competency in the Perl programming language. The course focuses on using Perl to develop Web-based Internet and intranet applications. Topics of study include Perl for Unix, Perl for Win32, CGI standards, HTML forms, scalar and array variables, control structures, file I/O, regular expressions, user-defined functions, formatted I/O, and running systems processes. "Learning Perl and CGI" is the first in a series of ten DES/O'Reilly courses in the "Web Application Development Curriculum." All courses feature the following interactive technologies: · Online Labs--Students are asked to answer programming or conceptual questions periodically throughout the course, through server-based CGI technology. They get immediate feedback on whether their answers are correct or not, which promotes faster learning. · Virtual Notebook--Students use the online Notebook feature to keep their class notes on the server. At the end of the course they download their notebook for future reference. · Audio Teaching--Interspersed throughout the course are RealAudio clips of the professor describing what the student is about to learn. · Assessments--There are 16 learning units in "Learning Perl and CGI," each of which closes with an assessment. Individual students take the assessment and the answers are available on the server. Teachers and trainers can tailor the assessments to fit their virtual classroom needs and have students provide answers to the questions via email. O'Reilly's "Learning Perl" (ISBN: 1-56592-284-0, 302 pages, $29.95 US) is the course's core textbook. "Programming Perl" (ISBN: 1-56592-149-6, 670 pages, $39.95 US) and CGI "Programming on the World Wide Web" (ISBN: 1-56592-168-2, 450 pages, $32.95 US) are the supplemental texts. The course is served onto the Web by XOR, a leading Internet Service Provider offering three non-redundant T-3s with two T-1 backups. The course is designed to flow seamlessly over a 28.8 modem. --------------------------------------------------


Macromedia Licenses Metrowerks Java Compiler Metrowerks, Inc. has licensed its CodeWarrior Java compiler for Mac and Windows to Macromedia for integration into their multimedia authoring tool products, including Director. Java source code generated in Director will be compiled into Java bytecode by the CodeWarrior Java compiler. This is intended to provide multimedia developers and Web authors with a more efficient tool to create new Internet and hybrid CD+Internet applications. Said Kevin Ellis, senior product manager of Macromedia's Director Product Line, "We chose to integrate the CodeWarrior Java compiler with Director 6.5 ... because of CodeWarrior's superior performance characteristics." For more information, visit http://www.metrowerks.com. -------------------------------------------------- Diamond Multimedia to Acquire Micronics/Orchid Diamond Multimedia Systems and Micronics Computers have entered into a definitive agreement for Diamond to acquire Micronics at a price of $2.45 per share in cash, or approximately $31.6 million. Diamond Multimedia expects to initiate a cash tender offer this week and intends to complete the transaction in June 1998, subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions. The offer has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The acquisition of Micronics will enable Diamond's entry into the multimedia systems board business and support the consolidation of Voodoo2-based computer gaming boards. Diamond's acquisition of Micronics comprises two strategic initiatives: · Diamond intends to leverage Micronics' existing motherboard business through Diamond's worldwide procurement, sales and customer support infrastructure, including the sale of Micronics' Twister LX, Redstone and Helios motherboards which support the Pentium II, up to dual 400 MHz processors, the accelerated graphics port (AGP) and front side bus speeds up to 100 MHz. · Diamond intends to combine Micronics' motherboard expertise and engineering team with Diamond's multimedia and communications expertise to develop integrated multimedia systems boards for the sub-$1,000 PC market and the emerging set-top, media center and Internet appliance market. -------------------------------------------------- Activision Licenses Soldier of Fortune Name Activision has acquired the worldwide license from NNP, Inc. to the Soldier of Fortune Magazine name and logo. Under the agreement, Activision will develop and publish interactive games based on the property. The first Soldier of Fortune title will be a 3D action shooter developed by Activision subsidiary Raven Software utilizing id Software's QUAKE II engine. As mercenaries for hire, players will embark on insurgent operations in political hot spots around the world. Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com. --------------------------------------------------


Sony Releases Gran Turismo for PlayStation Sony Computer Entertainment America touts its new PlayStation-exclusive title Gran Turismo as the world's most advanced racing game, and from the details, it sounds as though this may not be far from the truth. Players can choose from more than 150 "real" cars from manufacturers such as Acura, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Dodge, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and TVR. Each car is based on its own unique set of specifications to create a physics model, allowing game players to "feel" the difference in the handling and driving characteristics of their car. Players can start off with an arcade-style game against a friend in two-player mode, or match skills against six virtual opponents. In simulation mode, players can buy a variety of cars, race them and win money to customize their car with more than 200 different upgrade components. They can also qualify for three different licenses where players take a series of tests designed to refine and/or teach them new driving skills. Earning licenses allows the players to qualify for more advanced races where the prize purses are greater. Find more at http://www.playstation.com. -------------------------------------------------- EA Announces E3 Lineup Electronic Arts last week announced a lineup of 16 new computer and video games for PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and PC to be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Show on May 28, in Atlanta. The new titles are from five of its interactive brands: EA SPORTS, Electronic Arts (EA), Maxis, Bullfrog and ORIGIN Systems. The games are listed below, with brief descriptions focusing on new features: · Madden NFL 99 - polygon graphics, design sessions with John Madden and NFL players, improved artificial intelligence. · Tiger Woods 99 - PGA TOUR golf courses such as Pebble Beach Golf Links, nine PGA TOUR players (including Tiger) and Internet functionality for multiplayer competition. · World Cup 98 - from the makers of the FIFA Soccer series, includes all 32 teams and 10 World Cup stadiums, with eight bonus teams. · NASCAR 99 - new cars, teams and drivers plus enhanced sights; new engine sounds and TV-style commentary from Bob Jenkins and Benny Parsons; crew chief communication to the driver. · NCAA Football 99 - new 3D polygon engine; bowl licenses: Rose Bowl, Fed-Ex Orange Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl. · NHL 99 - enhanced puck physics, aggressive gameplay on the market, new coaching strategies, beginner mode. · Triple Play 99 - beginner mode, "action" cameras, all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums represented in photo-realistic detail, and "living sound". · Small Soldiers - 3D action, control the toy soldier characters from the film as you direct attacks, set traps and deploy troops in order to defeat opposing forces and achieve mission objectives. · L.A.P.D. 2100 AD - assault vehicle can transform into a walker or hovercraft, equipped with advanced weapons that include plasma missiles, volcano mines and infernos. · Moto Racer 2 - 40 motorcycle tracks that players can customize, a choice of bikes to race on, improved graphics and enhanced multiplayer racing. · Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit - multiple licensed supercars based on real-life counterparts, downloadable cars, dashboard views, multiplayer capabilities and 3D graphics · Road Rash 3D - four gnarly biker gangs, 3D world with miles of interconnected roads, and a multi-artist soundtrack · Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - discovery, exploration, building and conquest in sci-fi story, support for up to seven players, map and unit editor. · SimCity 3000 - bustling traffic, pedestrians and 3D rendered buildings, challenge of balancing advice and demands from advisors, neighboring cities and Citizen Petitioners. Join SimCity.com, a virtual online nation. · Populous: The Beginning - "god" sim, 3D planet view or the richly detailed ground view with 360-degree rotating axis and curved horizon landscapes, multiplayer support · Ultima: Ascension - new 3D engine, social interaction, magical spell effects. -------------------------------------------------- Redneck Rampage Rides Again Get out your banjos, city folk! Interplay Productions is raisin' another ruckus, this time with the release of Redneck Rampage Rides Again, the latest hoot in the Redneck Rampage family with new weapons, ornery new characters and sometimes scatological spoofs on Americana. Developed by Xatrix Entertainment, Redneck Rampage Rides Again shipped to retail last week for PC CD-ROM computers. Redneck Rampage Rides Again supports up to six players through 14 levels of mayhem, madness and everything redneck, including a toe-tappin' redneck soundtrack by Mojo Nixon. -------------------------------------------------- Psygnosis Announces 3D Action Adventure, Drakan Psygnosis will unveil its first U.S.-produced PC CD-ROM title, DRAKAN (working title) at E3 in Atlanta (Booth No. 6432, West Hall - May 28-30). DRAKAN is a 3D action-adventure that combines story, adventure, battles and a right-hand dragon within 3D environments. The game is planned for release in January 1999. Developed for Psygnosis by Surreal Software (Seattle, WA), DRAKAN reportedly lets players explore vast, unrestricted worlds with seamless transitions from indoor to outdoor environments. Played from a third person perspective, the title combines two styles of combat and exploration: ground-based and aerial.. More Information on DRAKAN can be found at http://www.psygnosis.com/drakan/. -------------------------------------------------- KKND2: Krossfire Available Melbourne House has just released the first of three mini demos for its upcoming game KKND2: Krossfire, the sequel to the real-time strategy game KKND. Official demo release dates for the demos are: · Series 9 (10MB) - May 14 · Evolved - June 15 · Survivors - July 14 Find it at http://www.melbournehouse.com/kknd2/downloads.html The release date for the final KKND2 release has been set for August. --------------------------------------------------


SoftQuad Reports Q1 Results; Begins Move Into Edutainment Market SoftQuad International Inc. last week announced consolidated results for the first quarter of 1998. For the three months ended March 31, 1998, the company recorded sales of $4.0 million, which represents a 26% decrease from the $5.4 million achieved in the comparable period last year. In accordance with Canadian GAAP, the net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 1998, amounted to $1.8 million or 13 cents per share, as compared to a net loss of $14.8 million or $1.13 per share for the comparable quarter last year. Under U.S. GAAP, the net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 1998, was $1.6 million or 12 cents per share, as compared to a net loss of $8.8 million or 67 cents per share for the comparable quarter last year. The company chalked the loss up to restructuring efforts undertaken last year. During the quarter, the company's SoftQuad Inc. subsidiary entered into an alliance with Htmlscript Corporation of San Diego, makers of the Miva Engine and Mivascript (Htmlscript 3.0). SoftQuad will license the Miva Engine and Mivascript for use in the HoTMetaL Application Server. Shortly after the quarter closed, the company announced a joint venture with NewKidCo LLC, a children's video game company developing software titles for young children on "next generation" console systems, including the PlayStation from Sony. In exchange for a cash payment, SoftQuad subsidiary Alpha Software Corporation will own a majority interest in the joint venture. The joint venture's first titles, "Elmo's Magical Number Tour" and "Elmo's Magical Letter Tour," are being co-developed with Children's Television Workshop and will feature various Sesame Street characters. Find SoftQuad at http://www.softquad.com/. --------------------------------------------------


Donkey Kong Daddy Wins AIAS Hall of Fame Award The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has awarded Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of many famous video game characters including Mario and Donkey Kong, its first Hall of Fame award. Mr. Miyamoto will receive the award at an E3 awards ceremony. "I am very honored," said Miyamoto. "I would like to receive this award on behalf of all the people who worked with me to introduce these great games, and I would like to share this joy with them. We are proud to be a part of this very exciting industry." In 1977, Miyamoto was hired as a Nintendo staff artist. In 1981 he created Donkey Kong for the arcade, followed by the first Super Mario game in 1985. More info on AIAS is available at http://www.interactive.org/. -------------------------------------------------- Top Game Developers Honored at CGDA Spotlight Awards Last week's Computer Game Developers' Association's (CGDA) Spotlight Awards honored fellow developers for their creative achievements. Games were nominated based on outstanding technical and creative excellence in the interactive entertainment industry. The Spotlight winners are as follows: · Best Educational or Children's Game: Mindscape for LEGO Island · Best Puzzle/Classic Game: Hasbro Interactive Frogger · Coolest New Hardware We All Have to Own: 3DFX for Voodoo 2 · Best Use of Graphics: Id Software for Quake II · Best Use of Audio: Sony Computer Entertainment America for PaRappa the Rapper · Best Soundtrack: Westwood for Blade Runner · Best Action Game: Id Software for Quake II · Best Adventure or Role-Playing Game: Square Soft LA for Final Fantasy VII · Best Strategy/War Game: Bungie Software for Myth: The Fallen Lord · Best Flight or Combat Simulator: Origin Systems for Longbow 2 · Best Sports Game: Origin for The Need for Speed 2 · Best Online Game: Id Software for Quake II · Most Innovative Game Design: Sony for PaRappa the Rapper · Annual Achievement Award for Game Design and Development: Microsoft for Age of Empires · PCI Award: McGraw-Hill Ryerson for My City · Best of Show: Microsoft for Age of Empires · Lifetime Achievement Award: Dani Bunten Berry For more information, visit http://www.cgda.org. -------------------------------------------------- go2net Launches Tech Division, Licenses Tech to Lycos go2net, Inc. last week launched a new software- and technology-development division called go2net Labs. This announcement coincides with the launch of Lycos Games (http://playsite.lycos.com), a new Java-based multiplayer games and chat offering powered by go2net Labs technology. Lycos Games features classic card and board games from Checkers and Chess to Hearts and Spades. According to an upcoming report from Forrester Research - Entertainment and Technology Strategies Service, the forecast for revenues from online games centers is approximately $2 billion by the year 2002. go2net Labs is currently working on developing version 3.0 of the games technology, as well as adding games to the existing version 2.0. Michael Bayne, Director of go2net Labs and Vice President of Software Development for go2net, said, "For many of the major sites who are focused on building community and keeping users on-site, a multiplayer games and chat environment is the perfect addition." Find more at http://www.go2net.com. --------------------------------------------------


E3 '98 To Showcase 1,600 New Interactive Entertainment Titles This month's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) (hmm, doesn't that make two "Expo"s?), to be held from May 28 to 30 in Atlanta will offer attendees a look at more than 1,600 new PC games, video games, and edutainment and educational titles, according to the results of a survey of E3Expo 1998 exhibitors. E3Expo 1998 will cover 534,000 net square feet of exhibit and meeting room space at the Georgia World Congress Center and will be home to 440 exhibitors. Over 30,000 industry professionals are expected to attend the trade show. The survey found the following: · More than half of new titles to be shown at E3Expo have a multi-player component. · Sixty percent of the new PC games will feature 3D graphics. · Exhibitors will showcase hundreds of new third and fourth generation console titles (for 32-bit and 64-bit "next generation" consoles), which demonstrate developers' increased ability to take advantage of each system's advanced capabilities. · Over 100 new titles have been designed exclusively for play on the Internet. · Exhibitors will show titles in more than 12 categories: Action, Adventure, Children's Puzzle/Family Entertainment, Creativity, Driving/Racing, Education, Edutainment, Girl's Software, Reference/Special Interest, Role-playing, Simulation, Sports, and Strategy. · E3Expo exhibitors most often list Action, Adventure, Strategy, Edutainment, and Sports as the categories containing their hottest new titles. · About 30 percent of the titles at E3Expo will have an educational or learning component. · Almost 30 percent of the new titles will be available for more than one platform. · Seventy-five percent of exhibitors list people 18 and older as their most important demographic target group. Wow--you mean, games aren't just for kids? Who'da thunk it? For more information, please visit the E3Expo Web site located at http://www.e3expo.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 -------------------------------------------------- ©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.