Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 19 Oct 98

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
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Today's Headlines (details below)

TODAY'S TOP STORY --Congress Passes Internet Censorship Legislation WEBMEISTER --Paralogic Launches Anexa for Online Microcommunities DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Adobe to Update Premiere 5.0 --Media Cleaner Upgrade Adds MPEG Export --Canopus Releases DV Camcorder Editor --Macromedia to Deliver Mac Player for Authorware 5 Attain IN THE INFOGROOVE --ITV -- It's Alive!(?) --Help Stop Spam GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Trinity/Cebas Release ProOpticSuite for 3DS MAX --NewTek Announces HyperVoxels 2.0 --Viewpoint Offers Free Halloween Interactive 3D Clipart --Guillemot Ships Maxi Gamer Phoenix AGP --Artel Delivers Boris FX for SOFTIMAGE DS WEBSIGHTINGS --Practising Law Institute Launches Online Video Programs --SonicNet FlashRadio Offers Visual Radio Station CONSUMER CHANNEL --RIAA Forces Delay of Diamond MP3 Music Player --Grolier Launches '99 Reference Suite --Hasbro Interactive Ships Tonka Workshop --Voyager Ships Betye Saar Digital Griot --Microsoft Offers Bonus Flight Simulator CD THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --O'Reilly Puts UML in a Nutshell GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Sneak Preview Available for Black Isle's Infinite Worlds --Monolith Releases Rage of Mages RPG --VR Baseball 2000 Features Messiah Tech --Multimedia 2000 Announces Java-based Online Strategy Game --Electronic Arts Ships Fighter Pilot --Interplay Offers New Redneck Rampage, Carmageddon Products --Psygnosis Releases Five-Pack Of 3D-Accelerated PC Games --Mindscape/Red Orb Release Prince of Persia Collection DIGERATI ILLUMINATI --Council Names THQ '98 Multimedia Company of the Year HAPPENINGS --New Minds Presents "Bits and Pieces," Todd Rundgren --Conference to Focus on Games Biz --Game Developer's Conference RoadTrip Approaching South SF --CNET Builder.com Live! New Orleans 98' F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


Congress Passes Internet Censorship Legislation Despite the efforts of civil liberties groups and calls from Internet users, Congress last week passed legislation restricting speech on the Internet. The new law will prohibit commercial Web site operators from offering material that is suitable for adults but considered "harmful to minors." The language, based on Representative Oxley's censorship bill (H.R. 3783), was added to the massive spending legislation that Congress approved Friday, October 16. According to the Center for Democracy and Technology, the bill will prove ineffective in protecting children online, since much offensive Internet material originates overseas. The Center goes on to state that, like Congress' last effort to regulate content on the Internet, which was struck down by the Supreme Court, this latest effort is unconstitutional. Its fate will be decided in the courts, where the Justice Department will once again be forced to waste taxpayer dollars defending a statute that its lawyers admitted in a letter to Congress last week poses "difficult constitutional issues." See CDT's constitutional analysis of H.R. 3783 at http://www.cdt.org/speech/constitutional.html --------------------------------------------------


Paralogic Launches Anexa for Online Microcommunities Paralogic is using the Java technology it refined in its chat software, Parachat, to branch out into Web development. The company is introducing the beta version of Anexa, an Internet service that creates online microcommunities (private or semi-private Web sites where select-interest groups can share information). Users can create a Web site by visiting Paralogic's site and filling in a few blanks. Shortly after the process is completed, a Web site catered to that individual's needs is created. The site will automatically include features such as Java-enabled chat rooms, message boards, etc. Also, administrative features will let the Web site creator change the color of the site, the ticker, and numerous other aspects of a site by filling in a blank. The beta site is http://www.paralogic.anexa.com --------------------------------------------------


Adobe to Update Premiere 5.0 Expected by the end of October from Adobe Systems is Premiere 5.1, an update to the company's digital video editing solution. Improvements include: * compile-time improvements in Premiere 5.1 result in faster render times for both Preview and Export. * "smart" preview files from the Timeline can be exported from Premiere 5.1, enabling reduced final export times. * multi-threaded performance: transparency takes advantage of dual processors for faster compile times. * enhanced Timeline and Trim window performance that allows for faster, more precise edits * QuickTime 3.0 support - users can produce streaming audio for the Web with QuickTime 3.0 audio compression, which enables them to export Qdesign and Qualcomm audio formats, among others, from within Premiere 5.1. Users can also work natively in the DV format, with the ability to import .dv files from QuickTime into Premiere 5.1. In addition, core support in Premiere 5.1 will allow users to take advantage of the built-in effects of QuickTime 3.0, with the release of a QuickTime 3.0 effects plug-in from Adobe later this year. * Improved workflow, including DPS Perception support, preview to RAM, and the ability to define launch settings and report dropped frames while capturing Users who registered prior to October 1, 1998 will automatically be shipped the free update CD via mail. Users who have not registered prior to October 1 will have two options for obtaining the 5.1 update: 1. Go to http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/premiere/main.html where they can register and instantly download the free 5.1 update 2. Call 888-724-4507 to register current version and order the 5.1 update CD, paying $7.50 for shipping and handling -------------------------------------------------- Media Cleaner Upgrade Adds MPEG Export Just out from Terran Interactive is Media Cleaner Pro 3.1 with built-in MPEG export. The $399 Mac-only tool compresses digital media including video, audio and still images for delivery on CD-ROM, DVD, Kiosk, intranet and the World Wide Web. The upgrade offers the following new features: * HEURIS MPEG export engine provides developers basic control and templates to deliver MPEG-1. * support for QuickTime effects such as "Emboss," "Fire," and "Film Noise" * video Playback from RAM * royalty-free video clips For more information, visit http://www.terran.com. -------------------------------------------------- Canopus Releases DV Camcorder Editor Canopus Corporation introduces DVRaptor, said to be the first DV editing card to provide full-screen, full-motion video preview and seamless batch capture. DVRaptor is a DV and i.LINK PCI card with a software DV codec. The product lets users capture digital video and still images from DV camcorders directly to the hard disk. Users can capture, edit, and output without a loss in video quality. Feature include: * capture up to 180 minutes of video into one .AVI file, overcoming the 2GB file limit of .AVI * advanced DV deck control * batch capture * jog and shuttle controls when using a Microsoft Intellimouse * support for DV and DVCAM * scene detection automatically catalogs video content from tapes. Catalogs can be arranged and used in batch capture * capture still images with motion filtering * perform simple cut/paste editing functions, avoiding the rendering process DVRaptor will be available November 2 for a suggested retail price of $649 and includes Canopus Raptor Video and Raptor Navigator software, and full version of Ulead MediaStudio Pro 5.0. System requirements include a Pentium 200 MMX or above, Windows 95, 98 or NT, 32MB RAM, a video rated hard drive, and a VGA card that supports hardware DirectDraw overlay. For more information, contact Canopus at 408-954-4500 or visit http://www.canopuscorp.com. -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia to Deliver Mac Player for Authorware 5 Attain Macromedia's Authorware 5 Attain Player for the Apple Macintosh is scheduled to ship during Q1 '99. The Mac Player will be available in two versions: as an Authorware Web Player for delivering learning applications via the Web, and as a stand-alone runtime player for delivery on LANs and CD-ROMs. Authorware Attain is a rich-media authoring tool for Web and online learning. A component of Macromedia's Attain Enterprise Learning System, Authorware 5 Attain content can be embedded in Web pages created with Dreamweaver Attain, the visual HTML authoring tool for Web learning. In addition, the content can be tracked with Macromedia's Pathware 3 - Attain Essentials, a scalable learning management system. Macromedia is available on the Internet at http://www.macromedia.com. --------------------------------------------------


ITV -- It's Alive!(?) OpenTV Inc., a provider of operating system technology for digital interactive television, and EchoStar Communications Corp., whose DISH Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Network serves more than 1.5 million subscribers in the United States, last Wednesday announced a seven-year agreement to provide interactive television services in the U.S. This reportedly represents the first deployment of interactive TV services to the entire U.S. market via an alliance with a major, direct-to-home satellite provider. Under the terms of the agreement, EchoStar will license and deploy OpenTV's technology and software with EchoStar's digital set-top boxes, which will be available to EchoStar's DISH Network subscribers beginning in the summer of 1999. OpenTV has developed a varied list of partners, including 15 digital cable and satellite television operators, 24 set-top box manufacturers, four conditional access providers, seven chip-set vendors and dozens of content developers and service providers. During the first year of deployment, OpenTV's software platform will enable DISH Network to offer its subscribers a variety of enhanced television services. OpenTV's platform will enable services such as an interactive electronic program guide, e-mail and Internet access for television, weather forecasts on demand and a variety of e-commerce services, including home banking and music merchandising. DISH Network is located on the Internet at http://www.dishnetwork.com. Information about OpenTV is available at http://www.opentv.com. In a not-so-related story, American Interactive Media Inc. and New Tech Entertainment LLC will jointly develop and produce digital and interactive entertainment programming for initial distribution and migration to the Internet, broadcast, digital cable, satellite and other emerging technologies. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly produce a minimum of nine concepts focusing on entertainment related subjects. While the Internet will be the launching platform, the long-term focus of the venture will be on next-generation digital set-top strategies. All of the networks will feature video and audio streaming. The new networks (and their entertainment industry partners) currently in development include: "Crimebeat" in association with Grosso-Jacobson Productions; "Pop City," a network to be co-produced with dick clark productions; and "Romanceland," co-produced with Alan and Susan Wagner's Boardwalk Entertainment. Visit American Interactive Media 's Web site at http://www.aime-inc.com. -------------------------------------------------- Help Stop Spam According to Alan Schwartz, the top three things you can do to help stop spam are: 1. Keep your email address out of the public eye, or disguise it. 2. Use filters that recognize and eliminate spam before you have to read it. 3. Complain about spam and spammers to their Internet service providers, and support anti-spam legislation that prohibits any unsolicited bulk email. Schwartz and Simson Garfinkel are authors of "Stopping Spam" (softcover, 208 pages, 1-56592-388-X, $19.95), a new book from O'Reilly & Associates. The book will be available at local bookstores in mid-October, or can be ordered direct from the publishers at (800) 998-9938, or (707) 829-0515 email order@oreilly.com, or http://www.oreilly.com. --------------------------------------------------


Trinity/Cebas Release ProOpticSuite for 3DS MAX Now shipping from Trinity Animation is Pro Optics Suite ($495) for Kinetix's 3D Studio MAX. Developer Cebas GmbH of Eppelheim Germany combined enhancements to its original RealLensFlare Pro plug-in with the LumaObject radiosity-simulation system, the PyroCluster smoke and fog generator and more. The multi-threaded software offers a new preview feature that lets effects like glow, distance blur, highlights and lens flares appear with the scene, rendered in the selected viewport and interactively updated with the effect controls. Effects are built directly into the MAX main renderer, so Video Post is unnecessary. Highlights include: * Depth of Field can now produce "depth tinting," which allows (for example) landscapes to "blue out" at far distances just as in real life. Blur artifacts add the effect of bright areas forming geometric shapes in high blur - like the fade-in of a blurred chandelier close-up that opens many noir films. * The new spectral shader material allows for creation of pearlescent and CD-like materials. Fury material adds 4 new kinds of fractal noise, providing all new building blocks for complex materials. * Flares are now of two types, regular and environmental. Environmental flares are not camera effects but special scene effects - they occur in object space rather than the lens, and may be refracted through glass objects, tinted by smoke or fog, and stretched based on its speed. This effect is suitable for "energy" effects seen in sci-fi movies and TV shows. * Glows are gradient based, and can change based on distance from camera. Special glow and edge glow modes are provided for glowing only illuminated portions of an object, suitable for atmospheres on crescent-lit planets in space scenes. * Motion Blur offers motion blur reflections in scene mirror objects, not available elsewhere. * PyroCluster 1.5 produces smoke, fog, dust, and steam effects using standard Max lights to illuminate and cast shadows within the smoke effects. The new dense cloud shader creates cloud and volcanic plume effects. PyroCluster effects are also environmental, meaning that lights that shine through a smoke effect are tinted and dimmed correctly by the smoke. * LumaObject allows diffuse light (such as fluorescent light) and radiosity simulation. New version adds enhanced particle support, new particle light gradients, and all the light attenuation controls of any Max light. Particle support allows (for example) every spark in a spark shower to create light based on the particle color. For more, visit http://www.trinity3d.com/products or http://www.cebas.com. -------------------------------------------------- NewTek Announces HyperVoxels 2.0 NewTek's new HyperVoxels 2.0 is 3D graphics technology for the creation of sophisticated volumetric rendering effects. HyperVoxels is a sub-pixel volumetric rendering technology that ray traces continuous virtual surfaces that can be perturbed with various hyper-textures, or algorithmic textures that allow for detailed 3D surfaces. HyperVoxels surfaces and volumetrics are integrated with the LightWave 3D 5.6 rendering engine to support ray-traced reflections, refractions and shadows. Applications include organic effects such as fluids, smoke, pyroclastic effects, clouds, rocky surfaces, rusted materials, and other worldly phenomena. HyperVoxels 2.0's most significant new feature is a new internal Volumetric Rendering engine. Additional 2.0 features include: * interactive viewing of controls over volumetric texture settings * real-time animated previewing of volumetric textures in 2D window * multiple lighting models including Rayleigh, Beer, Constant, Diffuse and Self * customizable control of volumetric effects including volumetric shadows, render quality, and density * smooth and multiple object blending between attributes and HyperTextures * blending modes can be used to blend, affect or repel other objects * new smoothing modes can be used to tightly blend or loosen the distances between particles. Blending can also be turned off for discreet particle boundaries. * an improved fractal algorithm removes repetitive patterns and improves render quality. * Turbulence and Billowing effects give users more control over animated sequences. HyperVoxels 2.0 is available now for $249.00 (download version) and $269.00 (shipping version) directly from NewTek at http://www.newtek.com. -------------------------------------------------- Viewpoint Offers Free Halloween Interactive 3D Clipart 3D tools/content provider Viewpoint DataLabs offers its 3D Spooky Halloween Collection as a free gift to Windows 95, 98 and NT users. "If we can make Halloween a little more fun and gross, we'll be happy," said Ben Calica, director of desktop products for Viewpoint. Based on the company's LiveArt 98 technology, the pack includes 75 creepy objects and 13 styles that can be instantly applied to them (including three special bonus Halloween styles: Emanate, Grotto, and Vapor). Users can choose an object, rotate it up to 360 degrees, animate it, color it, change the background and change the image's lighting effects. Custom art styles include Pointillist, Neon, Newsie, Cartoon, basic line art, Crystal, and more. Get scary at http://www.viewpoint.com/liveart/3Dhalloween/index.html and http://www.3dhalloween.com. -------------------------------------------------- Guillemot Ships Maxi Gamer Phoenix AGP Guillemot is shipping the AGP version of the Maxi Gamer Phoenix graphics accelerator card. According to Guillemot, the card's use of local texturing makes it faster than other AGP cards that perform texturing from host memory. (Of course, the latter function is the purported raison d'etre behind AGP.) Thanks to its use of 3Dfx's Voodoo Banshee technology, the card combines 2D and 3D performance in a single 16 MB card with SGRAM. Bundled games include the Half Life Day One version, a special edition of Tonic Trouble and playable demo versions of Star Wars - Shadows of the Empire, Incoming, Hexen II, Redline Racer, S.C.A.R.S., Sub Culture and Star Wars - Jedi Knights. Both the Maxi Gamer Phoenix PCI and AGP 16MB retail for $89.99 (after $20 mail-in rebate). For more information, contact Guillemot at 1-877-484-5536 or visit http://www.guillemot.com. -------------------------------------------------- Artel Delivers Boris FX for SOFTIMAGE DS Artel Software Inc., creators of Boris FX and Boris AE 3D digital video editing (DVE) plug-in solutions for digital artists, last week released Boris FX for SOFTIMAGE DS. The new $1995 plug-in package adds 3D DVE and compositing technology to the SOFTIMAGE DS non-linear editing product developed by Softimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology. Features include analog-style 3D DVE with controls for curvilinear effects -- ripples, waves and bulges as well as a chroma keyer and page turn; shorter render times; Cube, Sphere, Cylinder, and Page Turn all render faster than 3D models imported to SOFTIMAGE DS from other modeling applications. For more information, refer to http://www.BorisFX.com. --------------------------------------------------


Practising Law Institute Launches Online Video Programs Practising Law Institute (PLI) today announced new MCLE-approved Web-based video programs and reference books on its "PLI Online" site (http://www.pli-online.org). The programs, for busy lawyers and legal professionals, are indexed so that attendees can move quickly to individual presentations by subject-matter experts or go to particular topics within each presentation. Bullets of the speakers' key points are synchronized with the video. We visited the site briefly, where you can access a sample program free (http://www.pli-online.org/sample.htm), and were impressed by the quality of the video, and the interesting content. -------------------------------------------------- SonicNet FlashRadio Offers Visual Radio Station If you miss or missed the '60s, here's another chance to get wild, pulsating visuals and more with your music. Macromedia's ShockRave and TCI Music's SonicNet last week debuted SonicNet FlashRadio, an Internet radio station that melds music tracks with animations produced with Macromedia's Flash technology. Get psychedelic at http://www.flashradio.com. --------------------------------------------------


RIAA Forces Delay of Diamond MP3 Music Player Diamond Multimedia Systems will temporarily delay shipment of the company's new portable music player, Rio PMP300. Judge Collins of the Central District Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Diamond Multimedia's Rio until a hearing on a Preliminary Injunction requested by the Recording Industry Association of America is held On Monday, October 26. As part of the TRO imposed, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is required to issue a bond in the amount of $500,000. In the event that Diamond Multimedia eventually prevails in court, the $500,000 from the RIAA will be used to compensate Diamond for any damages resulting from the delay. The RIAA filed an application for a Temporary Restraining Order on October 8, 1998 to halt shipment of Diamond Multimedia's Rio PMP300 portable music player. Diamond Multimedia filed its opposition to the TRO on Tuesday, October 13 and final papers were filed by the RIAA on Wednesday, October 14. (See related press releases and legal documents on the Diamond Multimedia Website http://www.diamondmm.com/rio). Diamond is scheduled to file its brief opposing the Preliminary Injunction by 3:00 PM on Tuesday, October 20 and the RIAA will respond on Thursday, October 22 by noon. -------------------------------------------------- Grolier Launches '99 Reference Suite Newly available from Grolier Interactive is a new family reference suite featuring the 1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition, the Hammond Atlas of the World CD-ROM, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Expanded Multimedia Edition Version 2, and the Wall Street Journal Almanac CD-ROM. The five-disc 1999 Grolier Multimedia Reference Suite CD-ROM Edition is expected to be street priced at $79.99. The encyclopedia's 58,000 articles (36,000 on disc and 22,000 online) are accompanied by 163 videos; 15,000 images; 1,200 maps; and 15 hours of sound. New for 1999, the encyclopedia's redesigned interface provides a larger viewing area and fast access to features, making searching easy and casual browsing more fun. For more information, consumers can call 203/797-3530 -------------------------------------------------- Hasbro Interactive Ships Tonka Workshop Tonka Workshop CD-ROM Playset ($39.95) for Windows 95/98 is Hasbro Interactive's first title in the interactive toy category. Kids ages 3 and up use six durable plastic tools contained in a key-top playset to build projects, play tool games and complete repair jobs around Tonka town. The child-sized hammer, saw, drill, sprayer, screwdriver and sander control 25 onscreen tools and fit atop most standard computer keyboards. Friendly Tonka Joe guides kids through activities and games in the Barn, Cellar, Storage Shed, Pickup Truck and Tree House. In the Barn, kids can build one of several creative projects like an airplane, a doghouse or a spaceship. The Cellar is a free-form building area where children are given a sheet of wood to work with and can create anything they want to, and in the Pickup Truck, kids drive out into the country to lend a hand in mending fences, bicycles, etc. For more information, visit http://www.hasbrointeractive.com. -------------------------------------------------- Voyager Ships Betye Saar Digital Griot New York Voyager has released Betye Saar Digital Griot, a $29.95 CD-ROM for PC and MAC. In the tradition of an African griot, or storyteller, artist Saar explores African-American history and life, provides a look at the creative process, and deconstructs racism through the transformation of negative stereotypes into positive images. Saar has explored the possibilities of new media to present 168 collage, assemblage, fabric and print, and installation pieces from over 30 years' work. With the creation of original art specifically for Digital Griot, she has added electronic media to her trademark mixed-media materials. Features include: * video footage of some of Saar's exhibitions stationed in museums around the world * narration by Betye Saar, Ronne Hartfield, director of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago, and Don Cosentino, Professor of Folklore at UCLA * Multi-level navigational functions Visit http://www.voyagerco.com -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Offers Bonus Flight Simulator CD Microsoft's Flight Simulator 98 is now available with a bonus free CD, "World of Flight," a multimedia exploration of aviation history. Users will be able to: * watch video clips * see more than 1,000 photos * hear 1,000 audio clips * explore more than 700 articles * take a guided tour of the world of flight * hear facts from aviation writer Gordon Baxter --------------------------------------------------


O'Reilly Puts UML in a Nutshell For the first time in the history of systems engineering, developers have a common language to help specify, construct, and document systems in the form of the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Created by leading software engineering experts Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, and Ivar Jacobson (now of Rational Software Corporation), and accepted as a standard by the Object Management Group (OMG) in 1997, the language is suited to supporting projects in modern languages like C++ and Java. O'Reilly's recent release, "UML In a Nutshell" (1-56592-448-7, 275 pages, $19.95) presents the UML, including its extension mechanisms and the Object Constraint Language (OCL), in a reference format. Introductory chapters also convey the purpose of the UML and show its value to projects and as a means for communication. Topics include: * the role of the UML in projects * the object-oriented paradigm and its relation to the UML * tutorial with realistic examples * an integrated approach to UML diagrams * class and object, use case, sequence, collaboration, statechart, activity, component, and deployment diagrams * extension mechanisms * the Object Constraint Language (OCL) Author Sinan Si Alhir maintains an informative Web site at: http://home.earthlink.net/~salhir/. Contact O'Reilly at http://www.oreilly.com --------------------------------------------------


Sneak Preview Available for Black Isle's Infinite Worlds Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game (RPG) division of Interplay Entertainment Corp., tells us the new six-level sneak preview of Infinite Worlds, formerly known as Mordor II, is now available for download at http://www.vbdesigns.com/infiniteworlds. It's a 47MB file, but is also available broken up into 2.4MB segments; the latter links didn't work when we tried them. Infinite Worlds is being developed by the Bellevue, Washington-based software company, VB Designs. The preview has received a facelift from the original version posted in March, including an updated 3D engine and a new user interface. The interface features a game screen twice the size of the old one, and the engine now supports fully animated 3D monsters in the dungeon. Black Isle Studios will release the full retail version of Infinite Worlds this winter. The final product will ship with client and server software, a complete fantasy dungeon adventure and editing tools for the player to edit and create their own worlds. Players will be able to design dungeons and play anytime they wish on the Internet. -------------------------------------------------- Monolith Releases Rage of Mages RPG An unexpected pleasure this past week was the arrival of Rage of Mages, a new $39.99 CD-ROM-based role-playing game from Monolith products. The company acquired the title from Russian developer Nival Entertainment. RoM features 3D terrain (seen from overhead), real-time lighting effects and detailed artwork. Gameplay elements include spell casting, character development, an emphasis on strategy (real-time tactical combat), 300 varieties of weapons and armor, and 25 branching missions. For those who prefer to play against other humans, the game's multiplayer aspect supports up to 16 players. The client-server system runs locally or on the Internet. Visit Monolith at http://www.lith.com. -------------------------------------------------- VR Baseball 2000 Features Messiah Tech One of the most talked-about new gaming technologies is under development by Interplay division Shiny Entertainment for its forthcoming game Messiah. Until that title ships, you can check out the current incarnation in VR Sports' new VR Baseball 2000 for Windows 95/98. The Direct3D graphics are designed to add detail to player models such as flexing muscles and stretching jerseys, as well as new player motions including motion collisions and richer stadium colors. Other features include: * download new stats, rosters and player ratings * challenge Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the home run derby * smart camera for best viewing angle Batter up at http://www.vrsports.com. -------------------------------------------------- Multimedia 2000 Announces Java-based Online Strategy Game Multimedia 2000 Inc. has posted a free demo of Mystic Mayhem, the first Java game on the market from Mayhem Games, on its Website. Mystic Mayhem is a multiplayer online strategy game of magical combat. To download the free demo, users visit the Mystic Mayhem catalog page Multimedia 2000 Website at http://www.m-2k.com/catalog/page/mayhem.html. In Mystic Mayhem, each user takes the identity of a mighty Wizard who clashes with others in epic battle. Users create characters unique in not only in appearance, but in power and technique using the Mayhem Games Avatar Generator. During play, these icons are cast into graphical patterns on the screen to form any of thousands, even millions of possible spells, each delivering a unique impact against opponents on the battlefield. Multimedia 2000 will release Mystic Mayhem on CD-ROM in Fall, 1998 for Windows 95. It requires internet access. It will be available in consumer electronics and software retailers with a suggested retail price of $24.95, or by ordering directly from Multimedia 2000 at 206/622-5530 or http://www.m-2k.com. -------------------------------------------------- Electronic Arts Ships Fighter Pilot Electronic Arts has shipped Fighter Pilot for the PC. The $19.99 title is reportedly designed to look great without extra hardware or a souped-up system. No joystick is required, so armchair fighter jocks can play with just the mouse and keyboard. For gamers with all the toys, 3Dfx chipset-based acceleration makes Fighter Pilot's terrain and special effects look even better. Fighter Pilot was developed for Electronic Arts by Charybdis Enterprises, a development group based in Austin, Texas, and produced by Electronic Arts' producer Bryan Walker. The 3D graphics engine features lens flares, lighting effects and transparent smoke and lets players fly past fragments of an enemy's plane as it spirals into the ground and disintegrates. Players can fly four jet fighters: the F18; F22; F117 and the Russian Su35 in training missions and beginner gaming modes. Storyline-based missions require players to protect home base, escort a bomber or orchestrate an attack on enemy installations. Multiplayer mode supports up to eight players over a network, the Internet or via modem. More information is located at http://www.fighter-pilot.com. -------------------------------------------------- Interplay Offers New Redneck Rampage, Carmageddon Products Interplay has shipped the newest members of the Redneck and Carmageddon casualty list, Redneck Rampage-Possum Bayou and Carmageddon-High Octane. Bubba and Leonard are put to the test in Redneck Rampage - Possum Bayou as gamers fight aliens in Hickston, USA. Containing seven levels, players have the choice of using such weapons as crowbars, dynamite taped to a cross-bow, shotguns, an alien arm gun and more. Players can fight against Alien Hulk Guard, Turd Minions, Skinny 'ol Coots and Junkyard Dogs. In addition, Possum Bayou has multi-player capabilities. Carmegeddon - High Octane features a 14-track, 25-driver destruction derby that allows the player to crash, crumple, burn, skid and jump. In this 3D racing simulation drivers will be able to get out all their road rage by driving against maniac drivers as they earn bonus points for hitting pedestrians, barnyard animals and anything else that walks. Gamers can exchange credits on the move for damage repair and upgrade their car between levels. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- Psygnosis Releases Five-Pack Of 3D-Accelerated PC Games It's compilation time at game developer Psygnosis, which has released a bargain-priced 3D-accelerated five-pack of games for PC-CD ROM. The collection includes G-Police, Wipeout XL, Shadow Master, Shipwreckers and Formula 1 Championship Edition, plus a demo disk of forthcoming Psygnosis titles such as DRAKAN Order of the Flame. The collection will be available beginning October 23 at $39.99. Additional information can be found at http://www.psygnosis.com. -------------------------------------------------- Mindscape/Red Orb Release Prince of Persia Collection The Mindscape division of The Learning Company takes a giant step forward into Broderbund's past with the retail launch of Red Orb Entertainment's new Prince of Persia Collection Limited Edition for Wintel and Mac. The $19.95 collection includes Prince of Persia 1 and Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, plus a 12-minute "Making of Prince of Persia 3D" movie on CD. The Prince of Persia 3D Web site, located at http://www.pop3d.com, includes alpha screenshots and game features, as well as sweepstakes information and online entry forms. Product release is scheduled for the second half of 1999. --------------------------------------------------


Council Names THQ '98 Multimedia Company of the Year THQ Inc., a developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for PC CD-ROM and Nintendo and Sony video game consoles, has been named 1998 Multimedia Company of the Year by the Software Council of Southern California (SCSC). The Multimedia Company of the Year award is presented to a Southern California-based multimedia company that has experienced high-revenue growth, developed and marketed innovative products and has been in operation for more than three years. Past winners include Digital Domain (1997) and Disney Interactive (1996). The Software Council of Southern California is a non-profit, membership-only trade association, composed of software development, multimedia and Internet organizations, as well as those companies that provide support and services to those industries. Additional information about the Software Council of Southern California can be found at http://www.scsc.org. The THQ Web site is located at http://www.thq.com. --------------------------------------------------


New Minds Presents "Bits and Pieces," Todd Rundgren New Minds of San Francisco is bringing together leaders and visionaries in new media for a four-part lecture/performance series that explores how multimedia and the Internet are impacting the human condition. The following events are the last two in the series, and both take place at the Forum at the Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, with reception to follow at 111 Minna Street Gallery. When: Wednesday, October 21, 7:30 p.m. Who: Larry Harvey, Organizer of Burning Man Natalie Jeremijenko, Conceptual Artist & Engineer Paul Mlyniec, Visual Artist & Software Developer Bean (Tina Blaine), Music Interactivist Linda Jacobson (moderator), Virtual reality evangelist, co-founder of the non-profit Virtual Reality Education Foundation (VeRGe) When: Thursday, October 29, 7:30 p.m. Who: Todd Rundgren, International Musician and Interactive Artist For information and updates, check http://www.newminds.org or call 415.641.9000. -------------------------------------------------- Conference to Focus on Games Biz Miller Freeman's first GAMEXecutive conference will take place at the Fairmont Hotel, March 15-16, 1999 in San Jose, CA. The two-day trade conference is targeted at CEOs, strategists and executives in marketing, sales, distribution and finance, venture capitalists and others involved in the business side of the eight billion dollar game industry. GAMEXecutive, chaired by Omid Rahmat, features industry analysts presenting data and trends affecting interactive entertainment. The program is rounded out with seminars and panel discussions led by game market leaders and innovators, covering issues related to sales and marketing, the retail channel, finance, management and current law. Find out more at http://www.gamexecutive.com or by phoning (415) 905-2388. -------------------------------------------------- Game Developer's Conference RoadTrip Approaching South SF Miller Freeman's '98 Game Developer's Conference South San Francisco RoadTrip is coming up on 11/21-11/22. Register online at http://www.gdconf.com, where general conference info is also posted. Or register by phone at 415 905 2388. Also, check out http://www.gamasutra.com/ for game development news. -------------------------------------------------- CNET Builder.com Live! New Orleans 98' On December 7-9, the Big Easy will host CNET Builder.com Live!, with technical tips, tricks, strategies and optional tutorials for Web designers, developers, and producers. Optional tutorials will cover NetObjects Fusion, Allaire ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Photoshop techniques/Adobe Image Ready, XML, JavaScript, DHTML, and ASP. Get information and register at http://www.builder.com/live --------------------------------------------------


About Spectrum Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review. Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 1609 Addison St. #6, Berkeley, CA 94703. If you contact companies or organizations mentioned here, please tell them you saw the news in Spectrum. Thanks. -------------------------------------------------- Please send address changes (with old and new addresses), subscribe and unsubscribe requests etc. to the above address. If you use the Reply function, please do _not_ echo an entire issue of Spectrum with your message. -------------------------------------------------- Publisher's note: We are now accepting limited advertising. If you'd like to offer your company's products or services to Spectrum's elite audience of Internet and multimedia professionals, send an email query to duberman@dnai.com, or telephone 510-549-2894 during West Coast business hours. - David Duberman -------------------------------------------------- ┬ęCopyright 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.