Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News

17 November 1997

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/subscription inquiries, send mailto:duberman@dnai.com

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- David Duberman

 

Today's Headlines (details below)

--Foresight Software Enables Inserting Links in Others' Web Pages

--WindDance Launches WebChallenger Site Management Software

--Pictorius Ships iNet Developer 3.0 for Win 95/NT

--Eventstuff Launches Online Site Design Tool

--Brooklyn North Software Works Releases EPS-Email Postal Software

--Equilibrium Ships DeBabelizer Pro 4.5 for Windows

--Macmillan, Virtus to Co-publish Game Level Editors

--NovaStor Releases Free Backup Software

--Indigita Introduces DVDS Multimedia Tape Drive

--BoxTop Software Debuts ImageVice Color Reduction Tech

--Voyetra Introduces Digital Orchestrator Pro Digital Audio Sequencer

--ViaTech Updates Software Piracy Prevention Solution

--Agents Technologies Updates Copernic Search Agent for IE4

--Media Synergy Updates @loha @ home MM Email Client

--Digimation Releases Clay Studio Pro

--Hollywood Exploits Adobe After Effects

--TheTrip.com Previews Tool for Comparing Online Travel Prices

--GTE to Acquire Genuity

--Activision Ships Netstorm Real-time Action-Strategy Game

--Ubi Soft Ships Sub Culture

--Activision Unveils New Dark Reign Units, Buildings, Multi-player Maps, Tilesets

--Psygnosis Announces Multi-player WWII Air Combat Game

--Game Developer Forms Sculptured Software Studios

--Cavedog Unleashes Total Annihilation Demo on the Internet

--GT Interactive to Release PC Game Based on "War of the Worlds"

--Hasbro Revives Arcade Classic Frogger in 3D

--Print Mag Picks Top 10 Computer Games for the Holidays

--Live Picture Appoints John Ison VP Marketing

--Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to Host Startup Seminar

--About Spectrum

 

TODAY'S TOP STORY

Foresight Software Enables Inserting Links in Others' Web Pages

Just as the original World Wide Web was created by a small group of programmers making a tool for their own use, new Web tools for "the other half of hypertext" have been delivered for free public use by a tiny group of hypertext advocates.

Foresight Institute has set up a free Web site, http://crit.org , to enable Web users to engage in Critical Issues discussions. At this site, users can take advantage of the new technology:

* CritLink to add comment links anywhere in the text of any Web document.

For the first time, readers can "mark up" others' documents to agree, disagree, ask questions or make general comments.

* CritMap to display all of a Web document's links--both those made by the original author and reactions by others--in a graphical display.

Readers can see, on one screen, who has linked to a given Web page, and whether they agree or disagree.

* CritMail, a new version of Hypermail, which converts email discussions into Web documents where quoted text is linked to its original location.

For the first time, readers can easily see a quote as its author meant it to appear--in context.

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WEBMEISTER

WindDance Launches WebChallenger Site Management Software

WindDance Networks Corporation announces the release of WebChallenger, described as an integrated, comprehensive Web site administration and load-balancing solution. WebChallenger is an HTML-, Java-based software product that offers Web site management accessible through a standard browser interface.

Functions include content verification, Web site analysis and statistics, monitoring and alarm, server network analysis and protocol analysis, Web server identification, Web server performance, and load balancing between multiple Web servers across global networks. WebChallenger runs on a Windows NT 4.0 system with or without Web server.

WebChallenger is available in two versions: Standard and Distributed versions. Standard WebChallenger ($1,800) is designed for organizations with stand-alone Web servers. Distributed WebChallenger ($2,200) is designed for enterprise environments with multiple Web servers which require server load balancing and international re-directing of traffic for geographically dispersed Web servers.

WebChallenger software can be downloaded for evaluation purposes at the company Web site: http://www.WindDanceNet.com

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Pictorius Ships iNet Developer 3.0 for Win 95/NT

Pictorius Incorporated last week released iNet Developer 3.0 for Win 95/NT, its US$1,495 intranet site development tool. The program includes support for Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) enabling users to extend the power of iNet Developer using other languages such as: Visual J++, Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Delphi. Users now have the choice of using the integrated programming language included with iNet Developer, or any programming language that supports the creation of COM objects, to add custom functionality to any site.

iNet Developer's support for Design Time Controls (DTC) enables users to add a DTC to their Web page and have it work seamlessly with the iNet Developer site. DTCs are standard ActiveX controls that generate HTML code.

DTCs are active only during design time and not at runtime. Only the HTML generated by the control is active during runtime. Pictorius includes a sample DTC called the Spline Path Control with iNet Developer 3.0. It lets users define a path on a page and select an item (image or text) to animate along that path each time the page is hit.

iNet Developer further improves its support of Dynamic HTML (DHTML) with support for Scriptlets, which let users use pre-packaged DHTML code objects on their iNet Developer Web pages. A Scriptlet is a program written in DHTML code, wrapped in a re-usable object. Scriptlets make re-using code easy and, because they are COM objects, can also be called by any programming language that supports COM.

Pictorius iNet Developer's support for data binding lets authors embed a data source on a page. Users can sort and filter the information like they would with a database program without contacting the server. This decreases server traffic and increases productivity for users as database record viewing and updating is faster. iNet Developer includes its own client-side data caching feature that provides functionality similar to data binding without a data binding Web server. It works with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Communicator when the host Web server does not support data binding.

A demonstration version is available for download from http://www.pictorius.com

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Eventstuff Launches Online Site Design Tool

A new do-it-yourself online Web development tool from Eventstuff, Inc.

targets two basic audiences: small businesses and personal events/family celebrations.

The cost is $40 for three months, all inclusive. The company offers a free three-day trial.

Eventstuff combines both Web site design and hosting into one seamless package. Point-and-click guides offer a range of colors, sounds, and images. The directions are self-explanatory, with online help and examples.

Eventstuff's automated system handles all the technicalities of creating, maintaining, and securing the web site.

Users can integrate their own sounds, images, and guestbooks, draw from different sources on the Web, and hyperlink to other sites. Because Eventstuff serves as the Internet Hosting Provider, users avoid Domain Name registration and dealing with the transfer of data files. Optional HTML tag support is available for advanced users.

For more information, visit http://Eventstuff.com

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Brooklyn North Software Works Releases EPS-Email Postal Software

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Brooklyn North Software Works, Inc., developer of Web page editor HTML Assistant Pro, introduces a new software application, EPS-Email Postal Software (US$199.95). Designed for Microsoft Windows 95/NT 4.0, EPS is used for creating and personalizing electronic mail address lists and managing large group emailings.

The program incorporates list creation and management tools, text editing and email support, and broad customization options. It integrates with existing contact management and database systems of any size.

EPS can create mailing lists from mailbox, plain text (including HTML), and binary files. The user can view, edit, and modify these lists within EPS and create customized mail event profiles that personalize key elements of a mailing. Lists created in EPS can also be exported as text files for use in spreadsheet, database, and other software applications.

"Our company needed a cost effective way to stay in contact with our growing number of customers and we wanted to personally address each of them," said Howard Harawitz, President. "Our customer lists were in a number of different database formats and of different sizes. We developed EPS to solve these problems. EPS enables any organization to maintain electronic customer contact simply, efficiently and inexpensively."

A 15-day full trial version of EPS is available for downloading at Brooklyn North's Web site http://www.brooknorth.com/eps.html

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DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Equilibrium Ships DeBabelizer Pro 4.5 for Windows

Sausalito, Calif.-based Equilibrium ships their latest upgrade DeBabelizer Pro version 4.5 for Windows 95 and Windows NT. New features include the ability to:

· run multiple batch processes consecutively

· outline or shave a one-pixel perimeter around an object on a solid background

· composite a batch of images or frames against another batch

· compare batches to identify pixel differences

· apply any image process to multiple frames

· sort and reorder batches

· track all the processes while running unattended batches with the new global log

· increase processing throughput by 40 percent when display mode is off

In addition to the over 100 currently supported file formats, DeBabelizer Pro 4.5 expanded to completely support PNG, EPSF, and now reads and writes Kodak's FlashPix format.

Find more info online at http://www.equilibrium.com

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Macmillan, Virtus to Co-publish Game Level Editors

Macmillan Digital Publishing USA (MDP) and Virtus Corporation announce their second co-publishing agreement. The latest agreement will bring id-authorized level editors for Hexen II and Quake II to the retail market.

Under the terms, MDP will market and distribute the level editors in more than 10,000 retail outlets, including traditional computer chains, mass consumer retailers and warehouse clubs.

Hexmaker for Hexen II, the first editor to be released under the co-publishing arrangement, is targeted for release in late November.

Deathmatch Maker II, the first id-authorized level editor for Quake II, will follow the retail release of Quake II. Both level editors feature Virtus' 3D walk-through technology, initially available to the gaming community in Deathmatch Maker I.

More information can be found at http://www.hexmaker.com

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NovaStor Releases Free Backup Software

NovaStor has released BackupNet, a Windows 95/NT application said to make it simple, quick and inexpensive to backup data over the Internet, an intranet, or any TCP/IP network.

BackupNet's FastBIT incremental backup technology uses a binary selection process that allows the application to identify the actual changes that have occurred within individual files. By extracting and sending only the changes that have been made since the last transmission, backup time is significantly reduced. The company claims that, in many cases, BackupNet reduces the amount of data that must be backed up by 90 to 99 percent.

NovaStor is currently offering a two-user license version of BackupNet for free. (A $195 value) BackupNet is currently available in multiple quantities through the Internet as well as major distributors and resellers. The suggested list price for a 10-user BackupNet license is $495.

To learn more, visit http://www.novastor.com

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Indigita Introduces DVDS Multimedia Tape Drive

Irvine, Calif.-based Indigita Corp. introduces its new digital multimedia tape drive for computers this week at Comdex/Fall '97 in Las Vegas.

The iDT 2500 DVDS drive utilizes the DVDS format for recording and playback of digital video using industry-standard 4mm tape cartridges. It can record directly from satellite or other high-speed transmission and store over two hours of MPEG-2 broadcast-quality video or more than 6 gigabytes of data on one 4mm cartridge. Indigita's TapeTrax file management software for Windows 95/98, included with the drive, enables the user to drag and drop files from tape to disk and play video directly from tape.

Additional information can be found at http://www.indigita.com

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BoxTop Software Debuts ImageVice Color Reduction Tech

Starkville, Miss.-based BoxTop Software Inc. announces the availability of ImageVice, a Photoshop filter plug-in providing color reduction and compression capabilities for multimedia graphics for Macintosh, Windows 95 and Windows NT.

ImageVice color reduction technology uses a procedural method for removing space-variant system imperfection, neural modeling of the logarithmic response of the human visual system, and employs a new color mapping technique based on perceptual criteria for shape-form shading to produce files said to be up to 70 percent more compressible than those produced by all other methods.

Additional information and a free demo version of ImageVice can be obtained from http://www.boxtopsoft.com/

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Voyetra Introduces Digital Orchestrator Pro Digital Audio Sequencer

Voyetra Technologies has announced the $200 Digital Orchestrator Pro (DOPro), an improved version of DigitalOrchestrator Plus (DOP), a MIDI/digital audio sequencer for Windows.

The software allows digital audio to be edited and synchronized with MIDI tracks. Features include more than 1,000 tracks of MIDI & digital audio recording, music transcription which converts MIDI files into printable standard music notation, MIDI piano roll for editing with audible "scrubbing," digital audio editing with digital effects processing, and more.D0Pro also provides an enhanced interface, graphic controller editing, additional digital effects processing, step recording, track markers, support for Intel MMX processors and more.

A free demo of DOPro is available from Voyetra's Web site at http://www.voyetra.com

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ViaTech Updates Software Piracy Prevention Solution

Now shipping from Natick, Mass.-based ViaTech Inc. is VT Protect 5.0, the latest version of its software-based anti-piracy solution. The product is designed to streamline the licensing and piracy prevention process for software providers by creating a solution that is software-based, rather than utilizing a hardware key or "dongle."

VT Protect 5.0 contains the following enhancements:

· adaptive fingerprint technology provides a secure, node-locked licensing solution. Based upon developer requirements, a balanced level of flexible license compliance can be enacted. In addition, it addresses the problem of PC users manipulating the computer's internal time-clock to extend software licenses illegally by including a secure clock anti-tampering mechanism.

· interface with a browser-based look and feel, providing software developers with a familiar desktop environment

VT Protect is scheduled for shipment in December. Pricing will range between $800-$1,000 for administration tools and an initial 100 license keys. For more information, contact sales at 508/647-0465 or via mailto:sales@vtprotect.com

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IN THE INFOGROOVE

Agents Technologies Updates Copernic Search Agent for IE4

Agents Technologies Corp., a Quebec-based software developer, unveiled today the new version of its Web search agent, Copernic 1.1 for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.

The software provides access to the major Internet search engines, including Alta Vista, Yahoo, Excite,HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, Magellan, Open Text, WebCrawler and DejaNews. After gathering information, it compiles results according to relevance and automatically eliminates duplicates.

Copernic1.1 for Internet Explorer 4.0 differs from the previous version in that it can replace Internet Explorer 4.0's default search window, making it accessible directly from the browser toolbar.

A trial version of Copernic 1.1 andCopernic 1.1 for Internet Explorer 4.0 can be downloaded from http://www.copernic.com

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AgentSoft Ships LiveAgent Pro Web Automation App

AgentSoft Ltd. announces the shipment of LiveAgent Pro, version 1.0, an application tool designed to let Internet/intranet users automate information extraction activities performed on the Web. The automation process is based on AgentSoft's Java-based intelligent agent technology.

LiveAgent Pro is a set of tools for recording, customizing, and replaying client-side, Web-browsing agents. These tools include a stand-alone HTTP proxy, implemented in Java, and a set of scripts, applets, and supplementary Java classes. The $199 program will include a number of predefined automation routines. It uses a record/replay paradigm for creating automation routines and then allows users to set variables for decisions or branching to be performed.

Features include:

· all agents are written in Java and JavaScript, ready to run

· direct creation of agents, trained through a browsing session

· full recording of browsing activity: typing, clicking, choosing items

· inclusion of changeable values (variables) in the agents

· multi-step agents (moving from page to page, gathering data)

· ability to build agents with conditional branching and looping capabilities

· ability to insert or edit branches in previously recorded agents

· ability for agents to recover from failed branches

· ability for agents to create reports of browsing activity (saving pages or parts of pages to user's disk, along with post processing capabilities)

· implementation of composite agents (parallel invocation of a group of agents)

AgentSoft's Web site is http://www.agentsoft.com

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Media Synergy Updates @loha @ home MM Email Client

Toronto-based Media Synergy announces @loha @ home version 2, a sequel to their multimedia email program. The $49.95 program is expected to ship at the end of November.

@loha @ home Version 2 lets users add animation, sound and graphics to their email. The latest version has increased content (over 2,000 different characters, backgrounds, sounds, borders, and special effects) and improved importing functionality.

Find Media Synergy on the Web at http://www.mediasynergy.com

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GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Digimation Releases Clay Studio Pro

Just out from Digimation is Clay Studio Pro, a $395 plug-in for 3D Studio MAX 1.2 and 2.0 that enables the relatively easy creation of organic models. Clay Studio Pro is a Metaballs/Metaspline modeler that you work with by creating Clay Spheres (metaballs) and/or Clay Splines (metasplines) interactively in a MAX viewport.

Features include:

· fast, interactive feedback while creating or adjusting Clay models

· shortcut control panels and commands which eliminate excessive navigation between the Create and Modify tabs

· all aspects of elements can be controlled with a right-click of the mouse

· unique "Sticky Mapping" algorithm that uses any MAX standard mapping type

· complete compatibility of the Clay Primitives with Digimation's Glider and Atomizer plug-ins

· global controls for quick adjustment of multiple primitives' properties

· advanced grouping functionality for branched models such as hands, octopi, etc.

· utility for converting standard MAX splines into Clay Splines

· ability to convert REM Infografica's MetaReyes 3 models into Clay Studio Pro models

Clay Studio Pro is available as an upgrade from either Clay Studio or MetaReyes 3.0 for only $195. For current owners, there is a free 2.0 patch available for download from http://www.digimatiion.com/download/max2patc.htm

A demo version of Clay Studio Pro for MAX 1.2 also available for download at http://www.digimation.com/download/max1demo.htm

For more information on Clay Studio, visit http://www.digimation.com/catalog/plugins.htm#claystudiopro

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Hollywood Exploits Adobe After Effects

Many special effects in the recently released "StarshipTroopers" were created with desktop computers using Adobe After Effects. Compositing and animation tools such as After Effects play increasingly important roles in major Hollywood films. Using After Effects, filmmakers can create content on both the Macintosh and Windows platform that has traditionally been produced using more expensive workstations.

After Effects combines resolution-independent compositing controls and sophisticated motion controls with advanced special effects capabilities.

Its integration with industry standard products such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator provides filmmakers with a complete design and compositing workflow solution.

Some examples:

Using After Effects, production artists for "Starship Troopers" transformed 20 Starship Troopers into 400, composited thousands of alien bugs into live action scenes and added environmental elements like shadows, muzzle flashes, squirting blood and flying dust to makethe scenes look real.

"The Jackal" is somewhat of a landmark in digital visual effects work.

There are over 100 digital effects shots in the movie and virtually all of them, including the high-voltage subway chase scene with the hero pursuing the Jackal, were composited using After Effects.

"The effects themselves are not the kind of shots which elicit gasps of wonder from the audience," said Richard Patterson, digital effects supervisor at Illusion Arts studio. "In fact, the measure of the success of the shots may well be how unaware the audience is that any kind of special effects were required to produce the scenes."

The dragonfly scene depicted in the first two minutes of the summer blockbuster "Men in Black" was composited entirely in After Effects.

"We create multi-million dollar sequences for pennies, and we are able to do so because of After Effects," said Joe Conti of Autumn Light Entertainment." There was a tremendous amount of digital work done in 'Men and Black.' We created 3,600 frames of animation in a fraction of the time it would have taken using traditional post-production methods."

For more information, see Adobe's home page at http://www.adobe.com

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CONSUMER CHANNEL

TheTrip.com Previews Tool for Comparing Online Travel Prices

TheTrip.com ( http://www.thetrip.com ) last week launched a limited preview release of its Internet tool, IntelliTrip ( http://www.intellitrip.com ), a browser plug-in that enables users to query multiple online travel sites simultaneously, reportedly resulting in the lowest fares available and introducing "agent" technology to travel on the Internet. Full public release of IntelliTrip is scheduled for December 9.

Each time a query is done, IntelliTrip contacts up to five different travel sites and polls them for the best fares available on the search. The result is a listing of each site's response to the query.

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DEALS

GTE to Acquire Genuity

GTE Internetworking, a subsidiary of GTE Corp., will acquire Genuity Inc., a subsidiary of Bechtel Enterprises. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition will be completed through GTE Internetworking's affiliate, BBNCorporation. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by the end of the year.

GTE Internetworking has more than 1,000 Web hosting customers, including such sites as ZD.Net, Four11, LA Times, Boston Globe, Tribune Corporation, and NBC Interactive. The combination of GTE Internetworking with Genuity will reportedly provide an expanded global footprint with 12 fully networked data centers.

Genuity's Hopscotch technology is designed to help solve busy server problems, network congestion, and Internet latency. Its customers include CNET, CMP Publications, Inc., Excite, InterTel, and MCA/Universal.

For more information on Genuity, visit http://www.Genuity.net

The address for GTE Internetworking's home page is http://www.bbn.com

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GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Activision Ships Netstorm Real-time Action-Strategy Game

Just out from Activision is NetStorm, a new real-time action-strategy title developed by Titanic Entertainment specifically for Internet play. The game reportedly delivers action-packed challenge both over the Internet--without latency--and one-on-one against the computer. Based on their skill and strategic success, gamers are matched by the NetStorm server into games with up to seven other players with similar experience and power. As players successfully win battles, they graduate to more advanced levels of the game.

NetStorm's players are rulers of island fortresses in the sky striving to make their faction the most powerful in the mythical world of Nimbus.

Gamers battle each other by harnessing the energies of wind, rain, thunder and sun and launch offensive maneuvers to capture enemy High Priests.

Priests are then sacrificed by players to gain access to more powerful units and gradually advance to new levels of the game.

Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com

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Ubi Soft Ships Sub Culture

We've seen this game, and it's a doozie; watch for a review soon in Spectrum Reviews. Ubi Soft Entertainment announces the shipping of Sub Culture, a 3D underwater action/adventure with a politically correct twist.

Set in a graphically rich world beneath the sea, players assume the role of a miniature humanoid struggling to survive. Your mission? Survive life as a mercenary, bring peace between two feuding civilizations and ultimately save your subterranean world from human pollution.

Developed by Criterion Studios, Sub Culture features real-time 3D graphics, special effects, and accurate physics-based dynamics modeling resulting in a realistic underwater environment. The game was rendered using over 100,000 polygons and built on Criterion's proprietary Dive engine, an enhanced version of RenderWare, Criterion's generic 3D library.

For more information, visit http://www.ubisoft.com

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Activision Unveils New Dark Reign Units, Buildings, Multi-player Maps, Tilesets

Activision has made available five new units, five new buildings, five new multiplayer maps and three new tilesets for use in its Dark Reign real-time strategy game. The new assets were created by Auran and are available for download from the Dark Reign web site

( http://www.activision.com/games/strategy/darkreign/index.shtml ).

In addition, Activision has posted for free download a Dark Reign playable demo, a Dark Reign patch, three new Dark Reign conversions, a Tactics Engine manual and an artificial intelligence editing manual. The newly released Dark Reign demo includes one training mission, one single player mission and one multiplayer mission that can be played over Activision's free online gaming service. The Dark Reign patch v. 1.1 improves multiplayer connectivity through software and server upgrades, adds an auto-updater for future patches, corrects the AI settings bug, improves the "hard" level of enemy AI and adds a brightness control. The conversions are new games utilizing the Dark Reign engine and include "King of the Hill," "Greed" and "Monolith." The manuals provide tips on how to utilize the game's construction kit, edit the artificial intelligence settings and create mission objectives.

Activision's Web site is located at http://www.activision.com

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Psygnosis Announces Multi-player WWII Air Combat Game

Foster City, Calif.-based Psygnosis is developing a new World War II air combat title called Wings of Destiny (working title).

Developed by General Simulations Incorporated--veterans of DID, a flight sim development studio--the game combines the flight models and realistic air combat of the WWII period with a fictitious war story. Wings of Destiny is scheduled for release Q2 1998 on PC CD-ROM.

Wings of Destiny's real-time 3D graphic environments include four digitally elevated maps which can be seen in 32 bits. Each map is approximately a 200-by-200 square-mile area representing key battle zones of the war. The map areas include France/England, Italy/Sicily/Malta, Belgium/Germany, and the beautiful, yet treacherous icy terrain of Norway.

There are four different aircraft to fly: the Supermarine Spitfire, the P51D Mustang and two Luftwaffe planes, the Messerschmitt 109and the messerschmitt 262. The flight models for each plane are accurately detailed down to the cockpit controls and the flight dynamics are true to each aircraft so that planes will follow their propeller pull unless properly corrected by rudder control.

Wings of Destiny's multi-player options include: eight player LAN (IPX), serial connection (player versus player), and TCP/IP multiplayer connection (death match style), and squadron versus squadron (via TCP/IP).

The game is optimized for 3D accelerated computers through Microsoft Direct 3D in addition to supporting a variety of APIs directly.

Current information is accessible at http://www.psygnosis.com

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Game Developer Forms Sculptured Software Studios

George Metos, 14-year veteran game developer, has announced the formation of Kodiak Interactive Software Studios, dba Sculptured Software Studios in Salt Lake City.

Metos founded the new company along with numerous creative, technical and managerial talent from the gaming industry. Team members have played roles in the development of NCAA Basketball, Star Wars, Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3, NHL Breakaway Hockey, Aces over the Pacific and NBA Jam Extreme.

The company will focus on the creation of original game designs for the Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation and the PC. The company is currently developing three original titles in the action, sports and strategy genres.

The first title, scheduled for shipment in the first half of 1998, is a PC-based action strategy game called Stratosphere. The second title is an off-road racing game entitled Baja, to be developed for PC and console formats. The final product is a sports title to be announced.

For further information, contact Kelly Halliday in the public relations department at 801/266-5400 or fax 801/266-5570.

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Cavedog Unleashes Total Annihilation Demo on the Internet

Total Annihilation, Cavedog Entertainment's real-time strategy game of which 250,000 units shipped in its first month of release, last week debuted its free downloadable demo on the Internet.

Said Chris Taylor, Total Annihilation designer and project lead, "...

Players who own the game can experience new levels of Total Annihilation ... with the first free new battle unit of the week from http://www.cavedog.com that works in single player skirmish plus multiplayer Internet and LAN combat."

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GT Interactive to Release PC Game Based on "War of the Worlds"

One hundred years after H.G. Wells' novel set the benchmark for science fiction in literature, GT Interactive Software Corp. plans to release an interactive version of The War of the Worlds for Windows 95. The title is a 3D real-time combat strategy game, featuring texture-mapped animated objects, dynamic lighting and non-linear game play.

Features include:

· no preset missions - all game play is completely non-linear and determined by the player

· realistic undulating terrain based on actual geography of Britain

· light-sourced environments, with both ambient and directional lighting

· dynamic particle system for realistic fire, smoke, fog and explosion effects

· network play for up to two players

GT Interactive is located at http://www.gtinteractive.com on the Web.

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Hasbro Revives Arcade Classic Frogger in 3D

FROGGER, the 1980s hit video game originally developed by KONAMI Co., Ltd.

in Tokyo, returns to the gaming scene in full force this month in Hasbro Interactive's all-new 3D FROGGER for the PC and the PlayStation game console.

Gamers will explore various levels of play in nine different immersive, 3D environments - FROGGER "worlds," leaping through highway traffic, hopping furiously from the mad lawnmower, or maneuvering through the alligator-infested swamp. The multi-frog race mode delivers split-screen action for up to four players on the PlayStation game console or on a PC.

For more information on FROGGER, check out http://www.frogger.com.

For more information on Hasbro Interactive, visit http://www.hasbro.com

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Print Mag Picks Top 10 Computer Games for the Holidays

This year, experts predict a record 24 million computer games will be sold during the upcoming holiday shopping season, totaling nearly $672 million in revenue. They also project a record volume of online gaming activity.

This end-of-year sales surge is no surprise, since historically, 40 percent of all computer games are sold during the fourth quarter. But one thing is different this holiday season: a record number of game titles will be released--more than 400 games in all.

Computer Gaming World, a paper-based computer gaming publication, has released its picks for the top 10 computer games for the holidays in the various standard categories:

· Jedi Knight, LucasArts; Action, Windows 95 CD-ROM

· Fallout, Interplay; Role-Playing, Windows 95, Macintosh CD-ROM

· Longbow 2, Origin; Simulation, Windows 95 CD-ROM, $59.95

· NBA Live 98, Electronic Arts; Sports, Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.95

· Panzer General II, SSI/Mindscape; War Game, Windows 95 CD-ROM, $59.95

· Myth, Bungie; Strategy, Windows 95, Macintosh CD-ROM, $49.99

· You Don't Know Jack III, Puzzle, Berkeley/CUC; Windows 95, Macintosh CD-ROM, $29.99

· Age of Empires, Microsoft; Strategy, Windows 95, NT CD-ROM, $54.95

· Blade Runner, Westwood/Virgin; Adventure, Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.95

· CART Precision Racing, Microsoft; Sports Simulation, Windows 95, DOS CD-ROM, $54.95

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DIGERATI ILLUMINATI

Live Picture Appoints John Ison VP Marketing

Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Live Picture Corp., a provider of solutions for delivering high-resolution images over the Internet, announces that John Ison has joined the company as vice president of marketing. Ison is responsible for building brand awareness and market presence for Live Picture products and technologies worldwide, and for expanding the company's reach into new application areas and vertical markets. He also oversees product strategy, product management, marketing communications, and developer partnerships.

Ison joins Live Picture from Newfire, Inc., where he served as president and CEO. Prior to joining Newfire in 1996, he directed the Product Management group of Kinetix, the multimedia business unit of Autodesk, Inc.

Prior to joining Autodesk, Ison did marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., where he was a founding member of Silicon Studio and helped double the company's revenues in the film, video, and broadcast market in a single year.

Live Picture is on the Web at http://www.livepicture.com.

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HAPPENINGS

Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to Host Startup Seminar

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), dedicated to the advancement and recognition of individuals in all facets of the interactive industry, is hosting a panel discussion, "Starting, Financing and Operating an Interactive Entertainment Business," at Disney Online, in North Hollywood, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. on November 18.

Professionals representing the fields of accounting, law, venture capital, marketing and public relations plus a successful software entrepreneur will share their experience and expertise with new media start-ups. Participants include Philip Cross, co-chairman of Coopers & Lybrand's Media & Entertainment Group, who will also serve as moderator; Mary Sullivan, partner in the law firm of Katz, Golden & Fishman, LLP; Jonathan Funk, general partner Media Technology Ventures; Pat Garvey, Vice President of Marketing at NovaLogic, Inc.; Rachel McCallister, partner in KillerApp Communications; and Ted Price, president of Insomniac Games.

For information or to RSVP, contact Steve Buxbaum, AIAS, (310) 441-2280 or sbuxbaum@interactive.org.

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F.Y.I.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review.

Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 1609 Addison St. #6, Berkeley, CA 94703.

If you contact companies or organizations mentioned here, please tell them you saw the news in Spectrum. Thanks.

 

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