Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 26 May 1998

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
Today's Headlines (details below) WEBMEISTER --Macromedia Introduces Flash Generator DEVELOPER’S TOOLBOX --Ligos Delivers Software-based LSX-MPEG Encoder 2.0 IN THE INFOGROOVE --Survey: Over-50s Surfing More --Infinite Technologies Combines Email and Voice Mail GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --NewTek Ships LightWave 3D 5.6, Enhanced Upgrade --MetaCreations Releases Infini-D 4.5 --MetaCreations Ships KAI’S SuperGOO --Viewpoint Releases LiveArt 98 3D Productivity Software --Guillemot Announces Maxi Gamer 3D2 Voodoo2 Card WEBSIGHTINGS --SoftwareVault.com Debuts Software Clearinghouse CONSUMER CHANNEL --Lumina Personal Color Copier Turns Color Printer Into Copier THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Project Cool Unveils JavaScript Zone DEALS --Teledesic, Motorola, Boeing, Matra Marconi Space to Partner on "Internet-in-the-Sky" GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Sega Unveils Dreamcast Console --Tantrum to Release Heart of Darkness --Ubi Soft Entertainment Announces New Titles --X-Files Stars Slated for Adventure Title --id, Rogue, Activision Announce QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero --Westwood Announces C&C Tiberian Sun --Sierra Unveils New Brand Strategy, Titles --Blizzard Newsbits DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Platinum Names Kunkel Director of Interactive Development HAPPENINGS --O'Reilly's to Host Perl Conference 2.0 in San Jose F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


Macromedia Introduces Flash Generator Now in public beta from Macromedia is Flash Generator, new server-based software that uses templates created in Flash 3 to create Web graphics on the fly with dynamic data. Flash Generator can output vector-based, binary Flash files as well as GIF and animated GIF files. Flash Generator is designed for data-driven sites with frequently changing graphical content, such as: Flash Generator uses JRun technology from Live Software to link dynamic data to Web graphics created in Flash 3 templates. JRun is a server-side application that extends Web servers and applications to support Java Servlets. For more information about Live Software's JRun product, visit the company's Web site at http://www.livesoftware.com or send email to info@livesoftware.com. The public beta of Flash Generator is now available for Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) on Windows NT, and Microsoft Personal Web Server(PWS) for Windows 95. The public beta of Flash Generator works with templates created in Flash 3 for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Flash Generator for Solaris will be available later this year. Flash Generator will be available this summer. To learn more, visit http://www.flash.com/generator. --------------------------------------------------


Ligos Delivers Software-based LSX-MPEG Encoder 2.0 Just out from Ligos Technology is the latest version of its software MPEG encoder. The $180 LSX-MPEG Encoder 2.0 for Windows utilizes Intel's MMX technology and Ligos' Lightspeed motion-estimation algorithm to provide what the company claims is the fastest software solution available for software-based MPEG-1/MPEG-2 encoding. The new encoder, said to be 70 percent faster than its predecessor, transcodes source input format (SIF) resolution video-only clips in real time -- 352x240 at 30 fps, on a 300MHz MMX Pentium II -- and reportedly encodes multiplexed video/audio files at five percent faster than any other encoder. New features include batch encoding, multiplexing, a preview function and enhanced predefined profiles. The software and a free downloadable demo are available at http://www.ligos.com. --------------------------------------------------


Survey: Over-50s Surfing More RelevantKnowledge, Inc., a provider of online marketing intelligence, recently announced the Top 25 Web Properties and Domains for the April 1998 reporting period. The company also revealed that for persons in the U.S. over 50 years old, significant increases in frequency and duration occurred during April. "This is evidence that the Web is becoming increasingly mainstream and is no longer just the domain of the technologically sophisticated or ‘early adopters,’" said RelevantKnowledge president Tim Cobb. "The 50+ age group, with a large amount of disposable income, is extremely attractive to advertisers. This age group is integrating the Internet into their lives as a way to stay informed and communicate, make purchases, as well as access information about investments." Females in this group broke their own frequency record and accessed the Web an average of 9.9 days in April, 20 percent more often than in March. As a whole, persons aged 50 and older surfed 19 percent longer than all Web users combined and spent nearly one hour more on the Web in April compared to March. The top three sites overall were Yahoo!, Netscape and AOL. Contact RelevantKnowledge at http://www.relevantknowledge.com, or 1-888-4RK-0001. A methodology explanation is available at http://www.rkinc.com/Products/methodology.html. -------------------------------------------------- Infinite Technologies Combines Email and Voice Mail Infinite Technologies new messaging solution, Infinite Voice, lets users send and receive email messages using a touch-tone telephone. Both voice and email messages can be retrieved and responded to using the computer or telephone. Email functionality includes the ability to reply to, delete, and forward email messages to other users. Remote users can also forward email messages to a fax machine via the telephone interface for a printed copy. Infinite Voice is a Microsoft Windows compatible server application that integrates seamlessly with any IMAP4, POP3, SMTP, Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus cc:Mail, Lotus Notes or Connect2 based email system, or a mixed environment containing multiple protocols. License fees will start at $249 for a 10-user copy. Infinite Voice will be available on July 1, 1998. Fully functional 30-day trial versions will be available at http://www.InfiniteMail.com. Infinite Technologies can be reached by phone: 410-363-1097, email: Info@InfiniteMail.com, or fax: 410-363-3779. --------------------------------------------------


NewTek Ships LightWave 3D 5.6, Enhanced Upgrade NewTek has just begun LightWave 3D 5.6, an enhanced version of its 3D animation software. LightWave 3D 5.6 is available as a free upgrade to LightWave 3D 5.5 registered users via download from NewTek's web site at http://www.newtek.com or by calling 1-800- 847-6111for CDs and manuals. The most significant addition to the 5.6 version is the HyperVoxels rendering technology for the creation of organic effects and naturally flowing phenomena, from viscous fluids to detailed rocky surfaces. HyperVoxels is a sub-pixel volumetric rendering technology that ray-traces continuous virtual surfaces that can be perturbed with various hyper-textures or algorithmic textures. HyperVoxels surfaces are integrated with the LightWave 3D 5.6 rendering engine to support ray-traced reflections, refractions and shadows. Other enhancements include: LightWave 3D 5.6 is available now for Intel-based systems running Windows NT or 95, DEC Alpha running Windows NT, Power Macintosh, and Silicon Graphics. -------------------------------------------------- MetaCreations Releases Infini-D 4.5 MetaCreations Corporation last week released a new version of Infini-D, its 3D modeling and animation software. New features include a new scanline renderer for speedier rendering, rendering management tools and MetaStream 3D file format capabilities. The render-management tools, designed to streamline workflow and reduce waiting times, include a rendering queue, which lets users add, reorder and view statistics on jobs; "suspend" and "resume" options for rendering jobs underway; and a fault-tolerant rendering feature that ensures that all work is saved, regardless of the manner in which rendering is halted. Macintosh users have the option of rendering large jobs over a network, taking advantage of multiple machines to speed rendering times. Using the multi-resolution MetaStream file format, designers can convert new and existing models to compact files ready to be placed on Web sites and streamed over the Internet. Visitors to MetaStream-enhanced Web sites can see, manipulate and scale the 3D objects with the use of a free, Pentium-based 3D viewer plug-in available from http://www.metastream.com. MetaStream objects embed into Web sites via the use of standard HTML "embed" tags, and can be placed over backgrounds and images. MetaCreations also expects MetaStream technology to be of interest to game developers. Artists can convert imported or native 3D models into the multi-resolution format and then adjust resolution of the model, receiving greater control over file size and rendering times in the 3D environment. New particle effects include: Infini-D 4.5 also supports image map (UV) and procedural (UVW) texture coordinates within the program for more realistic texture mapping on deformed and vertex-edited objects. Additionally, Infini-D 4.5 offers cross-platform support of Adobe After-Effects-compatible plug-in filters, such as MetaCreations’ Final Effects Complete filters. Filters can be applied to individual objects, lights, or the entire scene. Infini-D 4.5 for Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh is available on a hybrid CD at SRP US$899. Call 1-800-846-0111 for more information. -------------------------------------------------- MetaCreations Ships KAI’S SuperGOO It's always fun to mess up your friends' and relatives' faces, especially when they won't need plastic surgery afterward. Thanks to today's plethora of cheap color scanners and a new product from MetaCreations Corp., you can have a blast doing just that. Kai’s SuperGOO is "Kai’s Power GOO on steroids," according to a MetaCreations spokesperson. New features include real-time zoom-in, zoom-out and pan; an increased number of brushes and more. The interface is divided into two rooms--Fusion and GOO. The Fusion Room comes with a selection of male and female features: nose, eyes, lips, hair, and accessories such as hats and glasses. When the user enters the Fusion Room, a randomly generated photo-realistic face appears and from there users can mix and match facial features from among hundreds of components. Buttons let users stretch facial features, move parts of the face, rotate the face, or make individual features larger or smaller. The Fusion Room also lets users generate random faces. The GOO room opens with Abraham Lincoln’s picture, ready for GOOing action. Or, import a face created in Fusion and begin playing with nine different brushes and "GOO" effects. SuperGOO can import images from a variety of sources, such as images from 35mm film transferred to CD-ROM or diskette, digital cameras, scanners, capture devices, video recorders or the World Wide Web. The $50 program is available on a hybrid CD-ROM for both Windows 95/NT and Power Macintosh/Mac. Also, MetaCreations is offering the original Kai’s Power GOO at a new lower MSRP of $24.95. Web server: http://www.metacreations.com. -------------------------------------------------- Viewpoint Releases LiveArt 98 3D Productivity Software Last week, Viewpoint DataLabs shipped LiveArt 98, a nifty "personal illustration" program that leverages both the company's extensive library of 3D models and the LiveStyles graphics technology Viewpoint acquired when it bought San Francisco-based ThinkFish. LiveStyles lets LiveArt render objects interactively in hand-drawn-like artistic styles, including pencil sketch, charcoal, cartoon, watercolor and pointillism Controls include a key-word searchable database and pull-down menu of artistic styles. A toolbar lets users adjust rotation and positioning, as well as details such as color, line width, lighting and background. LiveArt works within Office 97 applications and supports the Office 97 toolbars for image treatments such as sizing, word wrap and drop shadows. Users can export images for loading into graphics applications such as Adobe Photoshop. LiveArt 98, with 4,000 3D objects and 35 artistic styles, is priced at $99.95 and is available at http://www.viewpoint.com/liveart, or by calling LiveArt Sales at (888) 535-6468 or (801) 229-3330. -------------------------------------------------- Guillemot Announces Maxi Gamer 3D2 Voodoo2 Card Guillemot International last week announced the arrival of Maxi Gamer 3D2. The 3D accelerator card uses the recently introduced Voodoo2 technology from 3Dfx Interactive to render 3D graphics up to three times faster than accelerators based on the original Voodoo technology. Processing 50 billion operations per second, the Maxi Gamer 3D2 uses three 64-bit on-board processors and 12 MB RAM, working alongside existing SVGA video cards to create 3D worlds at up to1024 x 768 pixel screen resolution. The Voodoo2 chipset contains two texture processing units that simultaneously apply multiple textures to each triangle for single-pass, single-cycle rendering of effects such as trilinear filtering, sophisticated lighting, spotlights and detail texturing. The $259 card supports current 3D APIs including Glide, Microsoft Direct3D, and OpenGL. For more information, visit http://www.guillemot.com. --------------------------------------------------


SoftwareVault.com Debuts Software Clearinghouse If you're looking for a particular program, you might want to check out SoftwareVault.com, a new Web site and search engine. But you should know what you're looking for, because the site lacks a keyword search feature. All operating systems (Windows 95, 98, NT and 3.x, Macintosh, DOS, OS/2, Unix and Linux) are represented, and Net surfers can browse over a range of applications. Programs designated for specific settings--corporate, non-profit, home office, student, and hobby--as well as those meant for certain age groups, are available. In addition, SoftwareVault.com features enthusiastic reviews by Michael E. Callahan, a technology writer known as "Dr. File Finder." Oddly enough, the reviews don't contain download links to the titles. For software developers, the site features a members-only Authors' Lounge for the exchange of ideas and resources. Find more at http://www.softwarevault.com. --------------------------------------------------


Lumina Personal Color Copier Turns Color Printer Into Copier With scanners rapidly becoming commodity items, it takes technological ingenuity like this to find a new way to market them. Lumina Office Products' new $249 Personal Color Copier (PCC) turns printers into copiers with a single cable. Without connecting to a computer, the product can serve as an independent color copier with scanning functionality. When working with a PC, the bundled software package adds Optical Character Recognition (OCR), photo editing and manipulation capabilities. Its flat bed enables the Lumina PCC to scan text documents and color photos measuring up to 8.5 by 14 inches. Users can make up to 99 copies at one time with print speeds as fast as six pages per minute and resolutions of 300 dots per inch. Other features include scaling, which allows for reductions to 50 percent, and enlargements up to 195 percent. PCC is compatible with HP DeskJet, HP LaserJet, Epson Stylus, Epson Inkjet, Lexmark ColorJet and Canon BubbleJet printers. The unit weighs 12 pounds and measures 5.7 by 11.4 by 16.5 inches. For more information, visit http://www.luminapcc.com. --------------------------------------------------


Project Cool Unveils JavaScript Zone Project Cool, Inc. last week released its new JavaScript Zone, targeted at non-programmers. It also launched new discussion lists for JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets and Macromedia Flash. The JavaScript Zone in Project Cool's Developer Zone http://www.projectcool.com/developer/ enables scripting novices to add interactivity to their Web pages. The zone includes: As with its DHTML mailing list, users can participate by subscribing to the new lists in Project Cool's Peoplesphere http://www.projectcool.com/peoplesphere. --------------------------------------------------


Teledesic, Motorola, Boeing, Matra Marconi Space to Partner on "Internet-in-the-Sky" Teledesic LLC and Motorola will become partners in the further development and deployment of Teledesic's global, broadband "Internet-in-the-Sky" satellite communications system. The Boeing Company and Matra Marconi Space, a Europe-based satellite manufacturer, will round out the team of founding industrial partners. Motorola will be the prime contractor for the global technology team that will build the telecommunications network. Teledesic and its partners claim the network will provide affordable, worldwide, "fiber-like" access to telecommunications services, such as linking enterprise computing networks, broadband Internet access, videoconferencing and other digital data needs. Service is expected to begin in 2003. Initially backed by cell-phone mogul Craig McCaw and Bill Gates, Teledesic will provide two-way, broadband network connections through service partners in countries worldwide. The private company is based in Kirkland, Wash., a suburb of Seattle. --------------------------------------------------


Editor's note: It's E3 time once again, and we've got lots of news for your perusal. If you're dying to know more about what's happening in Atlanta this week, check out http://www.e3.net/. -------------------------------------------------- Sega Unveils Dreamcast Console With its Saturn console pretty much moribund, Sega of America's parent company, Sega Enterprises, Ltd., last week revealed Dreamcast, its new video game machine. The unit is schedule to launch November 20, 1998, in Japan and in the fall of 1999 in North America. Features include 128-bit performance from a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) central processor, an independent 3D graphics engine and a dedicated 3D sound chip, plus standard networking features for multiplayer gaming. Polygon counts are said to top three million per second, and 3D graphics effects include human movement, fog, water effects, and light and shading. Another feature is the Visual Memory System (VMS), a memory card as well as a small portable game card with built-in LCD screen. Sega's partners include: Sega of America's Web site is located at http://www.sega.com. -------------------------------------------------- Tantrum to Release Heart of Darkness Interplay division Tantrum will release the long-awaited (over three years) Amazing Studios creation, Heart of Darkness, for Sony PlayStation and Windows PCs in Q3 '98. The PlayStation version will be exhibited at E3 this week in Atlanta. As a young boy named Andy, gamers will climb, swing, twist, swim and shoot their way through a mystical world filled with mazes, beasts and evil enemies in search of Andy's best friend, a devoted dog called Whisky. You can find images from the game at Amazing Studios' Website, http://www.heartofdarkness.com. -------------------------------------------------- Ubi Soft Entertainment Announces New Titles Without any ado whatsoever: Rayman 2 - In a 3D environment, Rayman escapes an intergalactic zoo and needs the powers of his still-imprisoned friends to open the doors to Great Power. Nintendo 64, PC CD-ROM, Q4-1998 and PlayStation, Q1-1999. Tonic Trouble - Ed the Space Shaker dodges cartoon-like animated hazards including killer vegetables, hot flying toast and a village of CD worshippers in his 3D adventure. Nintendo 64, PC CD-ROM, PC DVD. Q4-1998. Buck Bumble - Buck Bumble the Cyborg Bee battles evil alien mutant insectoids in 20 3D environments. Nintendo 64, Multiplayer. Q3-1998. SCARS - combines future cars with big guns - nine tracks, unique environments and alternative routes. Nintendo 64 Multiplayer, PlayStation 2 Players, PC CD-ROM, 8 players via network. Q4-1998. F1 Racing the Sequel - adds speed, new stats, new drivers and realistic crashes. Nintendo 64, PlayStation and PC CD-ROM, Q4-1998. Shadow Gunner - 3D shooting/fighting battlemech game, third person perspectivem three mega-stages, each with different arenas. PlayStation, Q3-1998. All Star Tennis '99 - physics engine, motion capture data. N64 and PlayStation. Q4-1998. Hype: The Time Quest - battle through time to face the evil Black Knight. 3D fantasy journey where you can walk, run, jump, fly on a dragon and cast spells. Gameplay includes tournament challenges, fighting, puzzle-solving, role-playing. Nintendo 64, Multiplayer and PC CD-ROM, Q1-1999. PC Titles: Red Line Racer - arcade-style motorcycle racing game, physics engine, 3D graphics, 10 tracks in six environments. Support for force feedback joysticks. Q4-1998. Speed Busters - arcade, championship, multiplayer and online racing - battle five other cars and earn cash for faster cars by blowing through radar readers. Q4-1998. Laura's Happy Home - First title in the Playmobil Girl's World line. Help Laura solve problems for her family and untangle riddles. Decorate Laura's house by changing the color of the furniture and wallpaper and travel with her to Fairyland.. Q1-1999. Alex Builds His Farm - First title from Playmobil Kid's PC line. Kids meet animals and build a hen house, barn and stables. Q1-1999. Chaos (code name) - 3D action and strategy - missions span landscapes, buildings and vehicles. Q3-1998. D. Jump - As a wooden puppet in an Ancient Egyptian alter-reality, player explores 20 worlds, uses emotions to force actions such as self-explosions. Q4-1998. -------------------------------------------------- X-Files Stars Slated for Adventure Title David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, the stars of FOX series "The X-Files," star as FBI agents Mulder and Scully in Fox Interactive's live-action adventure game, THE X-FILES, expected in June for Windows 95 and Power Macintosh. Developed in cooperation with TV series' creator, Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions, the game lets users get involved in a new X-Files case. Assisted by Mulder and Scully, players examine evidence, interview witnesses and piece together facts. To create the game, developer HyperBole Studios of Seattle, Washington used its VirtualCinema 3.0 technology, a multi-platform engine that supports full-screen video, simultaneous video and audio playback, graphics effects, animation and intelligent hot spots. Check out Fox Interactive on the Internet at http://www.foxinteractive.com. -------------------------------------------------- id, Rogue, Activision Announce QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero id Software has teamed up with Rogue Entertainment to develop QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero, a mission pack expected this summer from distributor Activision. The same creative team created QUAKE Mission Pack No. 2: Dissolution of Eternity. The new title offers five new hubs with 15 additional levels. New power-ups provide means to survive and throttle the new enemies that have emerged from the Stroggs' bio-vats. Find more about id Software at http://www.idsoftware.com. Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com. -------------------------------------------------- Westwood Announces C&C Tiberian Sun Expected this fall from Westwood Studios is Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun, the third installment in the 10-million-selling C&C universe. The title features an all-new game engine and improved controls, plus Westwood's MegaVoxel technology, used to create a battlefield with dynamic 3D terrain, realistic physics and a reactive environment. Explosions leave craters. Lakes and rivers freeze. Ion storms cripple high-tech weapons. Forest fires rage out of control, and winds carry poison gas clouds. Players can travel under, over, or on the terrain as they employ new weapons, including the Devil's Tongue, Hunter-Seeker Drones, Jump-Jet Infantry, Disruptors, Stealth Generators, genetically engineered cyborgs, the Firestorm Defense and many more. Contact Westwood at 702/228-4040 or visit http://www.westwood.com. -------------------------------------------------- Sierra Unveils New Brand Strategy, Titles Entertainment and productivity software company Sierra, a member of the Cendant Software group, last week announced a new consumer brand strategy, which streamlines efforts to reach a variety of target audiences. The new brand architecture focuses on Sierra as a master brand and six Sierra sub-brands. The new sub-brands are: Sierra Attractions brings together development teams from Berkeley Systems, Sierra and Dynamix to create titles for casual entertainment users. Categories include trivia, puzzle, arcade, card, board, casino, and TV game shows. Sierra FX is anchored by titles designed and developed by Yosemite Entertainment, targeted at intermediate players. Current products include Police Quest: SWAT 2, Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, the Babylon 5 space combat simulation game and the massively multiplayer online game The Realm. Upcoming products include titles recreating the world of beloved fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth and the exploits of the Navy SEALs, as detailed in the best-selling books by adventurer Richard Marcinko. Sierra Home encompasses home productivity categories including: cooking, travel, home publishing, genealogy, home design and gardening. Products include: the Print Artist series, the MasterCook series, USA 98: Streets & Destinations, Generations Deluxe, Sierra CompleteHome and our home design series, and the Sierra Land Designer series. Sierra Sports includes developers Papyrus (NASCAR Racing series, CART Racing) and Front Page Sports (Football, Baseball, Trophy Bass, Skiing). Upcoming titles include: Grand Prix Legends, NASCAR Racing 3, Baseball Pro, Football Pro 99 and Golf Pro 99 among others. Sierra Studios has, in addition to Sierra Northwest, based at Sierra Studios' home offices in Bellevue, Washington, three satellite development groups: Impressions Software in Boston and London, England, and Pyrotechnix in Cincinnati. Sierra Studios is also partnered with key independent developers, including Valve and Relic Entertainment. Sierra Studios' current six title line-up includes Valve's Half-Life, Homeworld, the debut release from Relic Entertainment; King's Quest: Mask Eternity, Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, Pyrotechnix's Return to Krondor and Impressions' Caesar III (see report in Spectrum, 20 April 1998). Dynamix, a Sierra company, specializes in simulation and action games. Current titles include the Red Baron 2 WWI flight simulation, Pro Pilot civilian flight simulation, Cyberstorm 2 tactical sim, and the upcoming Starsiege Universe action games. Following are some of the titles in development, along with expected release dates: YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Volume 4 - November 1998 - four new question types, appearances by all five hosts from the entire JACK series, and surprises. After Dark Game Pack - November 1998 - collection of games based on the pop culture icons of the best-selling screen saver. HeadRush - August 1998 - pop culture trivia game for teens Don't Touch That Dial - October 1998 - nostalgic trivia CD-ROM game - name products behind commercial phrases, slogans and jingles or test how well you know the rise and fall of your favorite products. 3D Ultra Mini Golf Deluxe - August - adds nine new holes, including a '50s monster movie and a castle haunted by a banshee, plus multiplayer over LAN, modem or Internet. Hoyle Classic Board Games - October - Fourteen oldies including Battling Ships, Pachisi, Mancalla and Placer Racer, plus Internet play. Print Artist Craft Factory - June - a children's home publishing product that allows children to create board games, coloring books, masks, stickers and more. Print Artist Card Maker -- October - lets users create greeting cards in 2D and 3D, party favors and other crafts. MasterCook 5.0 - Fall 1998 - search for recipes, scale ingredients, learn food preparation techniques and plan meals. Sierra Home Architect 2.0 - Fall 1998 - walk through a 3D design, includes 3D models, brand name appliances, fixtures and wallpaper. Starsiege: Tribes -- November - multiplayer 3D action shooter with squad-level, goal-oriented game play. Player will be part of a "tribe" consisting of multiple players connecting over the Internet or a LAN. -------------------------------------------------- Blizzard Newsbits We always appreciate hearing from Susan Wooley at Blizzard Entertainment. Her communiqués are invariably honest, straightforward and mostly free of hype. To wit: After much internal discussion, Blizzard Entertainment has decided to stop development of Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Following an intensive review of the game, the company determined that given the game's current status and the rapidly changing technology of the industry, it would not be possible to complete development of the game within a reasonable time frame [and with adequate quality of game play]. And: In an effort to protect our brand and to ensure the quality of products purchased by customers, Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Micro Star Software in connection with the sale and distribution of Stellar Forces, an unauthorized Starcraft add-on product. Blizzard believes that by using Starcraft's campaign editor for commercial purposes, Micro Star has violated the end user license agreement and is in breach of contract. Stellar Forces meets neither Blizzard's standards nor our customers' expectations. As gamers ourselves, we feel obligated to prevent the sale of unauthorized add-on products that do not add value to the Starcraft experience. Finally, some E3-related announcements: * According to preliminary sales number from PC Data, Starcraft not only debuted as the number-one selling game for the month of April, but also outsold all other PC products at retail. * Blizzard will be releasing a new custom map every Friday afternoon for Starcraft fans. The maps are Blizzard created and will be available for download from http://www.blizzard.com. * Later this year, Blizzard will be releasing Starcraft: Brood Wars, the official expansion set for Starcraft complete with all-new scenarios, campaigns, units, tile sets, cinematics and multiplayer maps. Blizzard has also granted exclusive licenses to Aztec New Media and WizardWorks to release third-party authorized add-ons for the game. These are the only two companies authorized to release add-on disks. * Nintendo has acquired the exclusive console rights to Starcraft. The Nintendo 64 version, which will be co-branded by Nintendo and Blizzard, is scheduled for release next year. * Battle.net remains the largest on-line gaming service in the world. To date, we have more than 2 million registered users. We currently have more than 700,000 active users who have used the service in the past 90 days. About 175,000 games of Starcraft and Diablo are played over Battle.net each day. * The release of the Macintosh version of Starcraft is slated for release later this summer. --------------------------------------------------


Platinum Names Kunkel Director of Interactive Development Platinum Studios has signed interactive industry veteran Bill Kunkel as director of interactive development. At the same time, Platinum Studios has promoted Paul Benjamin to director of creative affairs from his previous position as manager of creative affairs. In his new position, Kunkel will oversee development of all current and future interactive releases from Platinum Studios’ library of over 1,000 comic book properties. Kunkel has worked in the electronic games industry as a journalist, game designer and consultant since 1978. "As a former comic book writer and full-time comics and film fan who’s spent the last 20 years in the interactive entertainment arena, the opportunity to work with a company like Platinum and an individual like Scott is pure serendipity," said Kunkel. Formed in May, 1997 in Beverly Hills, Platinum Studios is the U.S. entertainment arm of the 25-year-old European comic book literary rights company Platinum Studios. In addition to developing original entertainment properties, the Beverly Hills operation will mine the company's library of more than 1,000 comic book works to franchise film, television, multimedia, licensing and merchandising activities. --------------------------------------------------


O'Reilly's to Host Perl Conference 2.0 in San Jose O'Reilly & Associates is presenting the Perl Conference 2.0 from August 17-20, 1998 at The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. Perl Conference 2.0 features two days of tutorial sessions followed by a two-day conference led by Perl developers. Conference features include: Full program and registration information is at: http://conference.perl.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.