Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News
16 Nov 98
Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send email@example.com
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Today's Headlines (details below)
--Macromedia Announces Dreamweaver 2
--Pictorius announces iNet Developer Version 4.0
--Netscape Unveils Next Generation Browser Tech
--RAD's Miles Sound System Adds Support for Aureal's A3D
--Steinberg to Develop for BeOS
IN THE INFOGROOVE
--Jupiter Finds 42 Percent of Web Sites Fail At Customer Service
--Lincoln Beach Offers Black Hole Organizer, Free-Form Database Utility
--Productivity Works' pwTelephone Offers Telephone Access to the Internet
--JetFax Fax Machines Offer Paper-to-Email Capability
--Digimation Ships Bones Pro 2 for 3D Studio MAX
--TechImage Upgrades ArtiFace Facial Animation Tool
--BitJazz Ships Lossless Compression for Adobe Product Family
--Arriba Vista Search Engine Finds Clean Online Images
--Visual Environments Releases 3D Tree Library
--Cambridge SoundWorks High-Power Four-Channel PC Speaker System
--Webroot Software Releases Window Washer 2.15
--Panasonic Interactive Ships Fractions Pizza CD-ROM
--YAV Upgrades CyberMozart, PushBtnBach
THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER
--AIAS Announces Categories for Second Interactive Achievement Awards
--O'Reilly Publishes Java Servlet Programming Book
--International Web Page Awards Drawing Entries From Around the World
--Corel, Trellix Announce Licensing Agreement
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
--Activision Ships Ritual's First-Person Shooter Sin
--Shogo Launches with a Bang
--Mindscape Ships Blackstone Chronicles
--Blue Byte's The Settlers III to Hit by Thanksgiving
--Melbourne House Releases Dethkarz
--Interplay Releases Wizardry, Star Trek Compilations
--Half-Life Goes Gold
--Microsoft, Digital Anvil Preview PC Games
--Jane's WWII Fighters Goes Gold
--Cavedog Ships Total Annihilation Compilation
--CyberStrike 2 Goes Gold
--Yosemite Entertainment to License Unreal Engine
--Square Soft Releases Brave Fencer Musashi RPG
--Vivid Group Unveils Fullbody VR Basketball
--Trumbull Joins Microvision Board
--Engelbart to Speak at Stanford Symposium
--Game Developers Conference Announces '99 Speaker Roster
Macromedia Announces Dreamweaver 2
Scheduled for release in December is Macromedia's Dreamweaver 2, a new
release of its professional Web authoring environment. Version 2 adds new
features for efficient page design and production, site management, visual
authoring for dynamic publishing, and Roundtrip XML. Dreamweaver 2 is an
extensible Web development platform that is designed to work with custom
and commercial e-commerce, database, dynamic publishing and rich media
technologies. Macromedia also announced that Dreamweaver 2 is integrated
with solutions from such companies as BroadVision, Oracle Corporation, and
Dreamweaver 2 will be available standalone or in a Web Essentials bundle
with Fireworks, Macromedia's production tool for creating Web graphics.
For more information or to download a free 30-day trial version of
Dreamweaver, visit http://www.dreamweaver.com.
Pictorius announces iNet Developer Version 4.0
Pictorius claims its newly released iNet Developer Version 4.0 ($1,495 for
Windows) enables the development of Web applications that rival the
sophistication of a Java application but without the portability issues.
The browser rendering service has been rewritten to take advantage of new
techniques and technologies, reportedly doubling the speed at which pages
can be generated and increasing the complexity and capabilities of the user
interface that can be created. The ability to build client side components
has been enhanced with facilities like custom behaviors and event hooks,
which enables using and combining large scale Web components such as tree
controls, tabbed dialogs and intelligent forms not only feasible but easy.
New in version 4.0:
* Site import: A large number of projects start off with an existing Web
site. Version 4.0's import feature allows a whole site to be imported
without changing the actual HTML code itself.
* External HTML editor support: Gives a team of content creators the
ability to use their preferred HTML editors within the confines of iNet
Developer's secure, organized environment.
* Browser Edit: Takes advantage of the unique On-Demand HTML service in
iNet Developer to generate update capable Web pages. This feature allows
remote content creators to update any page in a secure manner using only
their browsers without cumbersome plug-ins or large Java applets.
Find out more at http://www.pictorius.com.
Netscape Unveils Next Generation Browser Tech
Netscape last week unveiled its next generation technology -- code-named
NGT -- designed to form the foundation for its future client products. The
company claims NGT will enable the development of smaller, faster, modular
applications for a wide array of computing platforms, devices and
information appliances. At the core of NGT is a new browser engine and
technology that enables the rapid deployment of a single, standards-based
user interface that works across multiple computing platforms.
NGT's new layout engine will reportedly improve the efficiency of
displaying Web content while providing support for industry standards such
as HTML 4.0, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS1 and CSS2), Document Object Model
(DOM), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and XML. These standards are
supported in the NGT browser engine and development tools, and in
Netcenter, one of the Internet's fastest growing portal sites.
Additional information is available at http://home.netscape.com.
RAD's Miles Sound System Adds Support for Aureal's A3D
RAD Game Tools has added a high-level 3D audio API to its Miles Sound
System which includes support for Aureal's A3D positional audio. Game
developers using the new Miles Sound System version 5.0 can gain access to
A3D through the added functions in the API.
The new Miles 5.0 sound System includes support for other 3D audio APIs as
well as MP3 compression and an all-new digital sub-system. Miles also
includes DLS-1 MIDI support, providing advanced audio features for game
For information on Aureal, visit http://www.aureal.com
Steinberg to Develop for BeOS
Germany-based Steinberg Software and Hardware GmbH, announces development
of NUENDO for the BeOS. NUENDO is a new professional audio tool aimed at
music production, audio for film, video and interactive media markets.
Steinberg NUENDO combines VST (Virtual Studio Technology) with its realtime
effects, open PlugIn architecture and up to 256 tracks of digital audio
plus MIDI recording and editing. Audio processing is performed with
floating point accuracy, reportedly guaranteeing the highest possible
dynamic range. The processing can be done in real time, with the open
VST-plug-in architecture, or offline.
Hear it at http://www.us.steinberg.net.
Jupiter Finds 42 Percent of Web Sites Fail At Customer Service
Forty-two percent of the top-ranked Web sites either took longer than five
days to reply to customer e-mail inquiries, never replied, or were not
accessible by e-mail according to a new report from Jupiter Communications.
The report illustrates that Web sites are ignoring the opportunity to
communicate with existing and potential customers, discouraging brand
loyalty, and opting out of a user-initiated, one-to-one relationship by not
offering, delaying, or eliminating responses to e-mail.
The report focused on 125 sites in five categories: content, consumer
brands, travel, retail, and financial services. Most retail shopping sites
performed the best, with 54 percent responding in less than one day.
However, in some segments there is ample room for improvement. For example,
19 percent of the travel sites tested took at least three days or never
responded to Jupiter's inquiries.
Jupiter expects that 85 to 90 percent of sites within high-service
categories, such as travel, retail, and financial services, will be able to
respond to questions within one business day by the middle of 1999.
More information can be found at http://www.jup.com.
Lincoln Beach Offers Black Hole Organizer, Free-Form Database Utility
Lincoln Beach Software's new $24.95 Black Hole Organizer is a free-form
database utility that keeps notes in an interface laid out like a standard
e-mail program. Using the Black Hole "floater," text can be dragged and
dropped or cut and pasted to create new documents on the fly. Any number of
categories and sub-categories may be created to help keep data organized.
The program tracks creation date, date last modified, and reminder dates
can also be set.
For more information, contact Lincoln Beach Software, P.O. Box 1554,
Ballwin, MO 63022, tel. (314) 861-1500, or via the Internet at
http://www.lincolnbeach.com or email@example.com.
Productivity Works' pwTelephone Offers Telephone Access to the Internet
The Productivity Works, developers of the pwWebSpeak non-visual browser,
announces the availability of pwTelephone. Using standard components in the
PC such as a sound board and voice modem, the $550 Windows software turns
the computer into a telephone server, helping create multi-line and
Some application scenarios are:
* ISPs can offer value-added telephone access for personalized news, e-mail
access and response, or local resource and events information.
* Businesses can provide product and availability information, or
customized management information from data warehousing applications.
* News services can provide summarized and personalized news based on their
existing PC and Web-based services, as well as more detailed information
from their general services.
* Hospitals and community organizations can give information on their
services, clinics, events, and activities. Animal shelters can provide
access to the list of pets currently available for adoption.
For more information, visit http://www.prodworks.com.
JetFax Fax Machines Offer Paper-to-Email Capability
JetFax, Inc.'s new M900e Series of "eFax Enabled" multifunction products
merge the functionality of fax machines, scanners, copiers and printers
with email capability, in one hardware peripheral. The systems allow the
user to send paper documents to any email address with the touch of one
button. No PC or fax server is required.
For more information, call (650) 324-0600, fax (650) 326-6003, visit
http://www.jetfax.com or http://www.efax.com.
Digimation Ships Bones Pro 2 for 3D Studio MAX
Digimation, Inc.'s new $495 Bones Pro 2 is a skeletal deformation system
for 3D Studio MAX R2 and higher. Designed for animating characters and
objects in near-real time, new features include the ability to
automatically add jiggle and wobble motion to characters based on their
motion, and the ability to perform bone and vertex-level editing directly
within the 3D Studio MAX viewports, plus increased speed in the viewport
Visit http://www.digimation.com/plugins/bonespro2/ for sample images.
TechImage Upgrades ArtiFace Facial Animation Tool
TechImage, Ltd. of Herzelia, Israel announces new enhancements to ArtiFace,
its $7,995 3D facial animation software. ArtiFace captures the facial
movements of a human actor in 2D video form, extracts 3D motion data using
image analysis techniques and transfers the movements to a 3D model.
ArtiFace 1.5 offers users increased automation and simplified workflow
cutting significant time off the production process
* facial movements, including the chin, mouth, eyes and eyebrows, are
captured automatically, eliminating the need for keyframing
* less stringent lighting requirements and reduced sensitivity to head
* improved capture technology lets animators duplicate delicate facial
motion such as eye blinking or secondary muscle movement
* exact lip-synching can be accomplished in any language, automatically
* support for Softimage|3D 3.8
Check the TechImage Web site at http://www.techimage.co.il.
BitJazz Ships Lossless Compression for Adobe Product Family
BitJazz Inc. is shipping PhotoJazz, a $99 Windows and Mac OS solution
enabling lossless compression. Designed initially for use with the Adobe
product family, the technology exploits a process BitJazz calls
'condensation.' Theoretically rooted in quantum thermodynamics and
information theory, condensation enables a lossless compression ratio
averaging 2.5 on Kodak's standard color test photos.
A demo version of PhotoJazz is available from http://www.bitjazz.com, as is
a free PhotoJazz file reader for Mac and Windows.
BitJazz is also shipping its cross-platform BitJazz Software Development
Kit (SDK), which lets developers include PhotoJazz support in their Windows
and Mac OS software.
For the SDK, under the basic developer license, developers can incorporate
interface in their software free of charge, and their users can read
PhotoJazz images free of charge. For more information on developer
licensing of Photojazz, send mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arriba Vista Search Engine Finds Clean Online Images
Arriba Soft Corporation announces the availability of Arriba Vista
(http://www.arribavista.com), a "pure" image search engine for finding
images and photographs on the Web. The free Web site lets users search for
images with pornography screened out.
Features include quick viewing of millions of thumbnails and direct access
to the specific page of the Web site where each visual is located. The
company's Personal Search Assistant lets users request free searches for
specific visual types with a 24 hour turnaround time. Arriba Vista also
helps users "surf" imagery on the Web for stimulating creativity through
its word dictionary of Word Pics. Also, digital images can automatically be
downloaded into the Arriba Express media management product by clicking a
button located on the Arriba Vista search results page.
For more information, visit http://www.arribasoft.com or phone 630-904-7150.
Visual Environments Releases 3D Tree Library
Visual Environments, Inc. announces the release of the 3dtrees model
library for Kinetix 3D Studio MAX and 3D Studio VIZ. The collection
contains trees commonly used on new construction projects. The models use
low face counts and sharp texture maps.
The 3dtrees model library is available at: http://www.3dtrees.com
Go to http://www.mmgco.com/adventive/ to sign up for Adventive.com, a free
newsletter with "Inside the Internet" information said to help readers to
adapt to the new world of the Internet on both personal and business levels
... Through November 29, learn the truth about spiders at Discovery Channel
Online (http://www.discovery.com) and the American Museum of Natural
History (www.amnh.org) ... The American Civil Liberties Union's new Website
at http://www.aclu.org/morality is aimed at provoking discussion over what
constitutes public "morality" in America. The collection includes an
interactive survey, links to special faxable letters to Congress and the
ACLU's new National Freedom Scorecard ... Tom Clancy's ruthless.com, the
second game of RedStorm's Power Plays series, is now available for free
multiplayer matchmaking on the MSN Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com) ...
Redtag Outlet (http://www.redtagoutlet.com) offers manufacturer and
retailer overstocks and close-outs, with free shipping and handling on all
Answer Dot Com offers President Clinton's Grand Jury video testimony in
CD-ROM format for $20 at <http://www.TheImpeachmentPapers.com> ...
Children's Software Revue (http://www.childrenssoftware.com) evaluates the
593 new children's software programs released this year for technical
design, ease of use, educational depth and entertainment value, and
recommends 24 of them ... PersonalKids (http://www.personalkids.com) sells
specialty gifts for babies and small children with an emphasis on
hard-to-find, personalized products ... Fact finder Information Please
(http://www.infoplease.com) is now a partner of Ask Jeeves
(http://www.ask.com), a provider of online question-answering navigation
products and services.
The ProLaunch Investing Center (http://www.ProLaunch.com), a new online
financial information center for members of JuxtaNet's ProLaunch service,
offers research and tools provided by the Thomson Investors Network
(http://www.thomsoninvest.net) ... New "Super Portal" GNET.COM
<http://www.gnet.com> offers centralized search engine tools and fifteen
feature channels, including reference and news centers ... Visitors to PBS'
digital TV Web site <http://www.pbs.org/digitaltv> can learn what digital
television is and how it works, see the educational uses of DTV and
understand what steps local PBS stations are taking to convert to digital
Wizards of the Coast invites gamers to check out Magic: The Experience
(http://www.wizards.com/magicthegathering.html) a Flash demo that takes
gamers on a trip through Magic: The Gathering, its amazingly successful
trading card game ... As your reward for reading this far (hello, anyone
there?), check out today's "The Dawn of Digital" summit meeting, to focus
on prospects for the digital TV transition, to be broadcast live on the
Internet from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET at
<http://www.cnbcdowjones.com/cahners> ... Ubi Soft's new online demo
version of S.C.A.R.S. (Super Computer Animal Racing Simulation), a 3D
racing/ strategic combat game, is available at http://www.ubisoft.com/ ...
Northern Light Technology has published a Special Edition on the global
financial crisis, available free at http://special.northernlight.com/.
Cambridge SoundWorks High-Power Four-Channel PC Speaker System
Creative Technology-owned Cambridge SoundWorks last week introduced the
FourPointSurround FPS2000 system, a high-power, high-output multimedia
speaker system. It consists of four satellite speakers with 2 1/2"
long-throw drivers, a powered subwoofer with long-throw woofer, and a
five-channel amplifier (25 watts RMS to the woofer, 7 watts RMS to each
satellite speaker). The system also includes a separate volume/fade volume
control and two 18" speaker stands for use with the rear speakers.
The suggested retail target price of FourPointSurround FPS2000 will be
under $200. It is expected to ship next quarter.
Webroot Software Releases Window Washer 2.15
We've run items about Big Brother-style "security" software, so it's only
fair that we tell you about Webroot Software's update of its Window Washer
2.15 privacy-protection software utility. The program automatically erases
stored information such as what documents have been recently used, what Web
sites have been visited, and what programs have been run, as well as
Cleanings can be configured to run in the background when Windows is
started or shut down, and at scheduled times. More information and a free
trial version can be found at: http://www.Webroot.com/.
Panasonic Interactive Ships Fractions Pizza CD-ROM
New from Panasonic Interactive Media's new PanaKids software publishing
label for PC and Macintosh is the $30 Little Caesars Fractions Pizza, said
to be the only program of its kind that wholly focuses on the fundamentals
The title gives children delivery assignments that lead them to four
* Dukedom: In a medieval castle, the learner must acquire land for the
local king by mastering the fractions basic of distinguishing parts of the
* Amazing Mozart: Classical music sets the stage for a fast-paced game of
cat-and-mouse where children learn the concept of equivalent fractions.
* Triassic Park: Fractions greater than one is the fundamental skill
acquired during this Jurassic adventure at the Stone-Age shooting gallery.
* Studio 50: The final stop on the pizza delivery route, children become
contestants in a 1950's style Tic-Frac-Toe game show where they are taught
For additional information, call 1-888-PANAKID or visit
YAV Upgrades CyberMozart, PushBtnBach
The Netherlands-based YAV Interactive Media has upgrade two of its
algorithmic MIDI composition programs for Macintosh: CyberMozart 3.1, and
PushBtnBach 2.1. The upgrades add OS 8.5 and Appearance Manager
compatibility to both programs.
CyberMozart and PushBtnBach ($30 each) generate and play MIDI files in the
style of Mozart and Bach. YAV also announced a new offer that bundles the
two products for $50.
The following URLs provide additional information:
AIAS Announces Categories for Second Interactive Achievement Awards
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) will host its second
annual Interactive Achievement Awards in Los Angeles on May 13, 1999, the
first evening of the E3 Expo. The invitation-only event will take place at
the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Academy will present awards in 30 craft, online, computer and console
categories, an increase of four categories from 1998. The event will be
highlighted by the presentation of a single Game of the Year award. The
Academy will also present five individual crafts awards, for outstanding
achievement in art/graphics, interactive design, sound/music, software
engineering, and story or character development.
Nominations will open January 4. Nomination packets will be available
either directly from the Academy (310-441-2280), or through the Academy Web
site (http://www.interactive.org), after December 15.
O'Reilly Publishes Java Servlet Programming Book
"Java servlets have been quick to gain acceptance because, unlike many new
technologies that must first explain the problem they were created to
solve, servlets are a clear solution to [the need for] generating dynamic
Web content." says Jason Hunter, author of the just-released book "Java
Servlet Programming" (O'Reilly, $32.95) "Java servlets offer a fast,
powerful, portable replacement for CGI scripts."
The book covers writing effective servlets and includes over 100 examples
you can use as the basis of your own servlets. Find more at
International Web Page Awards Drawing Entries From Around the World
The International Web Page Awards, an international forum for Web page
designers and graphic artists, is drawing entries from around the world at
the rate of 20 per day. Chairman Edwin Fish says, "We've already received
more than 225 entries from over 15 countries. Of those, more than 150
entries, in 15 of 30 categories, have been received from traditional and
on-line agencies. Most gratifying of all were the numbers of entries we've
received from agencies, corporations and individuals in Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway,
the UK, the United States and Sweden."
The awards' 30 categories include advertising, arts, entertainment,
corporate, finance, education, health, news, personal Web pages,
religion/philosophy, science, sports and travel. Sites can also be entered
for audio qualities, graphic qualities, print/Zines and video qualities.
Closing date for entries is November 30. Entry fees are $85.00 per Web
site, per category. For further information, contact Ed Fish at
Corel, Trellix Announce Licensing Agreement
In a further blow against the empire, Corel Corporation and Trellix
Corporation have signed a worldwide licensing and marketing agreement under
which Trellix2.0 will be included in the next version of Corel's office
suite. The suite will be revealed today at Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas.
Trellix's software will add Web authoring and presentation capabilities to
Corel's word processor. Corel and Trellix will work to integrate the
technology so word processor documents can be imported, formatted within
Trellix 2.0 and then published to the Web. In addition, Trellix 2.0 can be
used independently to create Web-based presentations.
Find Corel's Web site at http://www.corel.com, and visit Trellix at
http://www.trellix.com or call (781) 788-9400.
Activision Ships Ritual's First-Person Shooter Sin
Set in a dark, gritty future, Activision's new first-person shooter Sin
transports players to an anarchistic world where rampant crime has
devastated the community and a sinister biochemist, Elexis Sinclaire, has
become the new crime lord. In the role of Colonel John R. Blade, players
battle their way through vast and complex levels of unholy terror as they
investigate the source of a DNA-altering drug that is flooding the streets
Sin features a character-driven story and multiplayer gameplay powered by
an enhanced version of the QUAKE II engine. Armed with an arsenal of
advanced weaponry including sniper rifles and remote control detonation
devices, players advance through 38 levels where every decision affects
subsequent missions. Gamers walk, run, swim and drive through six distinct
game worlds as they attempt to restore order to the city. Players can
battle either one-on-one or up to 31 opponents in 14 intense deathmatch levels.
Developer Ritual Entertainment, which created QUAKE Mission Pack #1:
Scourge of Armagon, can be found on the Web at http://www.ritual.com.
Find Activision at http://www.activision.com.
Shogo Launches with a Bang
Monolith Productions' new Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, the
anime-influenced first-person shooter, has shipped over 100,000 units. The
title gives gamers two styles of first-person combat: on foot and in
control of a 30-foot MCA (mobile combat armor) battle suit. Action can be
viewed from both first-and third-person perspectives, and both play modes
feature their own exclusive weapon sets. As protagonist Sanjiro Makabe,
players will experience an epic battle between terrorists and
megacorporations, packed with high-tech weaponry, futuristic robot combat
and the human-interest storylines typical of the anime genre.
Shogo features the LithTech Engine, proprietary software that Monolith will
be licensing to other publishers.
Additional information can be found at http://www.lith.com and
Mindscape Ships Blackstone Chronicles
The Learning Company, Inc.'s Mindscape division last week shipped an
adventure game that expands the storyline of the "Blackstone Chronicles"
book series. Released under the Red Orb label, John Saul's Blackstone
Chronicles: An Adventure in Terror is based upon the Blackstone book
series, expanding the original story while standing alone to appeal to
users who have not read the books. Legend Entertainment Company developed
the game for Mindscape.
Like the book series, the setting for John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles: An
Adventure in Terror is the fictional New England town of Blackstone, which
has been haunted for generations by a mysterious evil spirit. The game
takes place inside a 25-room asylum that has recently been renovated after
being abandoned for more than 40 years. Gameplay involves exploration and
puzzle-solving to reach the core of the asylum and uncover its evil secrets.
More information is available at http://www.mindscapegames.com.
Blue Byte's The Settlers III to Hit by Thanksgiving
Blue Byte Software's upcoming real-time strategy game, The Settlers III,
has gone gold, and is on schedule to hit store shelves November 20, 1998.
The god sim offers real-time, strategic simulation of prosperity, tactics,
combat and growth. Players can control the full cycle of a civilization's
evolution, from the initial planning and building of its infrastructure, to
the conflict of race against race in the quest to expand power and domination.
New features include higher resolution graphics, new units, new buildings,
and playable with over 10 players via the Internet and LAN.
An interactive slideshow is available at http://www.settlers3.com.
Melbourne House Releases Dethkarz
Aussie publisher Melbourne House's new Dethkarz is a 3D combat racing game
set in the 25th century. Played out over 12 race tracks including Red
Planet, Metro City and the Grand Keys, Dethkarz lets racers select from 13
fusion-powered and customizable cars, armed with devastating plasma
artillery. Selling points are said to include 3D acceleration and an
accurate physics engine. A championship mode that unlocks new classes of
cars as player's progress. There's also an in-built Internet ladder where
Dethracers from around the world can compete by downloading others' ghost
laps and uploading their own times.
Download a demo version from http://www.dethkarz.com/.
Interplay Releases Wizardry, Star Trek Compilations
Interplay Entertainment Corp. last week released a compilation of the
Wizardry role-playing game (RPG) titles under license from SirTech, Inc.
on CD-ROM for Windows 95/98-based computers. The Ultimate Wizardry
Archives includes all seven previously released computer game titles
(Wizardry I - Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord through Wizardry VII -
Crusaders of the Dark Savant), as well as the enhanced version of Wizardry
Gold. Complete information is available on the official Ultimate Wizardry
Archives Web site at http://www.interplay.com/wizardry.
Interplay also released STAR TREK: Federation Compilation, with three STAR
Adventures: STAR TREK: 25th Anniversary, STAR TREK: Judgement Rights and
STAR TREK: Starfleet Academy Cadet Briefing. The first two are graphical
adventures, while the third is a space combat simulator.
For more information, visit http://www.interplay.com.
Half-Life Goes Gold
Sierra Studios' Half-Life, one of the most anticipated games for the
holiday season, has gone gold and will be in stores before Thanksgiving
weekend. Developed by Valve Software, the game is a first-person 3D action
More information about Valve is available at http://www.valvesoftware.com.
Microsoft, Digital Anvil Preview PC Games
Digital Anvil last week unveiled its PC games lineup. Founder/CEO Chris
Roberts of "Wing Commander" fame announced:
* "Conquest," a real-time strategy game in which players fight for galactic
domination in a space 3-D environment
* "Loose Cannon," a character-based combat simulation game that blends
vehicular and foot-based action in a crime-infested world
* "Starlancer," a futuristic combat simulation game said to combine the
action of a first-person space shooter with the drama and intrigue of a
classic air combat movie
Due in stores beginning in late summer 1999, Digital Anvil's games will be
published and marketed by Microsoft.
Find more at http://www.microsoft.com/games/da/
Jane's WWII Fighters Goes Gold
Jane's WWII Fighters has gone gold and is expected in retail stores this
week. The title features dogfighting with seven fighters, using real
tactics and maneuvers. Refer to detailed information from Jane's or consult
real WWII fighter aces on the virtues and pitfalls of each plane. Players
can use large flight formations and cloud cover for a tactical advantage
and test their skill at the controls of vintage aircraft as they dodge
enemy fire. Other features include a branching campaign, detailed mission
editor and 8-player multiplayer suppport, plus a new 3D engine.
Cavedog Ships Total Annihilation Compilation
GT Interactive-owned Cavedog Entertainment just released Total Annihilation
Commander Pack, which includes its real-time strategy (RTS) game Total
Annihilation, two expansion packs - Total Annihilation: The Core
Contingency and Total Annihilation: Battle Tactics, as well as a 288-page
strategy guide published by GW Press, titled Total Annihilation: Exclusive
Features include more than 245 3D articulated battle units, such as tanks,
Kbots, bomber planes and battleships; 175 missions; more than 90
multiplayer maps; 12 3D worlds; multiplayer capabilities; and an original
music score featuring a 95-piece symphony orchestra and concert choir.
Details are available online at http://www.totalannihilation.com.
CyberStrike 2 Goes Gold
CyberStrike 2, a 3D action game from Simutronics, has mastered and will be
arriving in stores on November 18. Published by 989 Studios, CyberStrike 2
features 50 single-player missions and the ability to battle it out over
the Internet. A multiplayer version of will debut November 24, although
owners of the retail version will be able to play online upon purchase.
More information can be found at http://www.cyberstrike2.net.
Yosemite Entertainment to License Unreal Engine
Sierra-owned Yosemite Entertainment will use Epic MegaGames'
(http://www.epicgames.com) Unreal engine in upcoming 3D titles, beginning
with the recently announced Navy SEALS tactical simulation game. The
squad-based 3D tactical simulation will let players take on the role of
team commander, choosing the team, equipping each member, selecting gear
appropriate to each mission, and issuing orders. The title is due for
release in mid-2000
Find more at http://www.navyseals.com.
Square Soft Releases Brave Fencer Musashi RPG
Square Soft newest title, Brave Fencer Musashi for PlayStation, combines
platform-style action, puzzles and role playing elements. The title is the
fourth and last of four to be marketed and distributed during 1998 in North
America under the recently-formed Square Electronic Arts joint venture
between Square Soft and Electronic Arts.
Musashi, the game's main character, runs, jumps, and fights as he learns
new moves in a polygon-based world. The game features a variety of
platform-style running and jumping action, with comical enemies and bosses
to battle, plus real voice-overs and a dynamic environment that changes
from day to night.
More information can be found at http://www.squaresoft.com.
Vivid Group Unveils Fullbody VR Basketball
Toronto's Vivid Group Inc. last week unveiled Full Court Slam, a new,
immersive, full body Virtual Reality Basketball Simulator, that puts the
player's live video image on the court and into the game. It is an
interactive full court one-on-one challenge against a computer generated
opponent. The attraction is the latest in the company's series of patented
Gesture Extreme (GX) products designed for public entertainment venues.
Artificial intelligence and video gesture control technology allows the
participant intricate manipulation of the virtual basketball. Players can
dribble down the court and choose from set shots, jump shots, hooks, and
the airborne slam dunk. However, the computer-generated opponent uses
artificial intelligence to block shots and steal the ball, so timing and
moves are important.
More information is available via http://www.vividgroup.com.
Trumbull Joins Microvision Board
Seattle-based Microvision, Inc., developer of Virtual Retinal Display (VRD)
technology, announced that visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull will
join the company's board of directors. A filmmaker, innovator and
entrepreneur, Trumbull, 56, is currently the president and CEO of
Entertainment Design Workshop (EDW) of Sheffield, Mass., a developer of
advanced digital techniques for the production of feature films, 3D films,
attractions and new forms of interactive and location-based entertainment.
Trumbull's career in the entertainment business spans 30 years. His list of
feature film projects includes visual effects work on "2001: A Space
Odyssey," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Blade Runner" and "Star
Trek: The Motion Picture." In addition, Trumbull holds 15 patents,
including one for the first entertainment simulator ride and another for
the Showscan process for high-speed 70mm cinematography.
"Microvision is redefining the visual interface in a way that will truly
deliver on the promise of virtual reality -- a lightweight head-mounted
display with high-resolution 3D color imagery at a competitive price,"
Additional information can be found at http://www.mvis.com.
Engelbart to Speak at Stanford Symposium
Thirty years ago at a San Francisco computer conference, Doug Engelbart and
a small team of researchers from the Stanford Research Institute
revolutionized the computing world with an extraordinary demonstration of
how we could work with computers. That presentation brought together for
the first time: the computer mouse, graphical user interface, display
editing and integrated text and graphics, hyper-documents, and two-way
video-conferencing with shared workspaces.
How did that historic event affect us and what does the future hold for
man's interaction with the computer?
On Wednesday, December 9, Stanford University Libraries and the Institute
for the Future will present Engelbart's Unfinished Revolution, a day-long,
public symposium that will bring together Engelbart and members of his
historic team, along with other computer visionaries, to consider the
impact of Engelbart's work, examine the challenges facing us today, and to
speculate about what the next three decades will reveal. The event will
also introduce the work of the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford
Confirmed speakers include: Doug Engelbart, Stewart Brand, Eric Drexler,
Alan Kay, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Ted Nelson, Howard Rheingold, Paul
Saffo, Terry Winograd, and Andy van Dam.
Tickets: $20 general admission ($10 students --Limit of two tickets per
Stanford Ticket Office: 650-723-ARTS
Information and background: http://unrev.stanford.edu
Game Developers Conference Announces '99 Speaker Roster
The 13th Annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) announces an industry
line-up of more than 250 speakers for the 1999 conference at the San Jose
Convention Center, March 15-19. The speakers at GDC '99, representing
several countries, cross numerous genres and platforms and will discourse
on all aspects of interactive game development. Featured on the impressive
roster of GDC '99 speakers are: Brian Hook of id software; Louis Castle of
Westwood Studios; Brenda Laurel of Purple Moon; Syd Mead of Oblagon, Inc.;
Andrew Glassner of Microsoft Research; Brian Fargo of Interplay
Entertainment; Andy Gavin of Naughty Dog and others.
For a complete list of the over 250 sessions and speakers at the 1999 GDC,
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