Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 16 Nov 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
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Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --Macromedia Announces Dreamweaver 2 --Pictorius announces iNet Developer Version 4.0 --Netscape Unveils Next Generation Browser Tech DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --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 GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --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 WEBSIGHTINGS --Web Bits CONSUMER CHANNEL --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 DEALS --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 DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Trumbull Joins Microvision Board HAPPENINGS --Engelbart to Speak at Stanford Symposium --Game Developers Conference Announces '99 Speaker Roster F.Y.I. --About Spectrum ___________________________________________________

WEBMEISTER

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 RealNetworks. 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. ___________________________________________________

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

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 developers. 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. ___________________________________________________

IN THE INFOGROOVE

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 info@lincolnbeach.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 extensible solutions. 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. ___________________________________________________

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

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 playback. 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 New features: * 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 movement * 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 the PhotoJazz 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:license@bitjazz.com. ___________________________________________________ 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 ___________________________________________________

WEBSIGHTINGS

Web Bits 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 items. 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 broadcasting. 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/. ___________________________________________________

CONSUMER CHANNEL

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 browser "cookies." 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 of fractions. The title gives children delivery assignments that lead them to four destinations: * Dukedom: In a medieval castle, the learner must acquire land for the local king by mastering the fractions basic of distinguishing parts of the whole. * 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 estimation. For additional information, call 1-888-PANAKID or visit http://www.panakids.com. ___________________________________________________ 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: http://www.yav.com/docs/CyberMoz.html http://www.yav.com/docs/PBBach.html ___________________________________________________

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

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 http://java.oreilly.com ___________________________________________________ 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 http://www.Webpageawards.com. ___________________________________________________

DEALS

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. ___________________________________________________

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

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 of Freeport. 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 http://www.shogo-mad.com. ___________________________________________________ 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. RRP: $39.99. 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 TREK 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 shooter. 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 Strategy Guide. 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. ___________________________________________________

DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

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," Trumbull said. Additional information can be found at http://www.mvis.com. ___________________________________________________

HAPPENINGS

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 University Library. 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 valid ID) 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, see: http://www.gdconf.com/ ___________________________________________________

F.Y.I.

About Spectrum Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review. Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 2233 Jefferson Ave., 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 mailto:duberman@dnai.com, or telephone 510-549-2894 during West Coast business hours. - David Duberman -------------------------------------------------- (c)Copyright 1998 Motion Blur Media. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any for-profit or revenue-generating venue in any form without written permission from the publisher.
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