Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 27 October 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)

--Novell Releases GroupWise WebPublisher

--Free Tool Maintains Web Links

--Fujitsu WorldsAway Avatar Communities Expand Onto Internet

--Netpresenter to Ship Version 3.0 at Comdex Fall '97

--Free Chat System Released

--Kinetix Ships 3D Studio MAX R2

--Digimation Ships Shag: Fur, Plug-in for 3D Studio MAX

--Impulse, Inc. Announces New 3D Modeling Package

--Quantum3D Releases Voodoo-based High-end 3D Accelerator

--Xing Updates MPEG Encoder

--Online Bookseller Donates Profits to Charity

--Mixman Studio Lets Music Lovers Create Their Own Music

--Report Sees Two Markets for Chat: "Service" And "Social"

--Canadian College Announces School for Future Game Developers

--Microsoft Offers Free Tech Seminars for New England Biz Owners

--Call for Entries for Milia Awards '98

--Asymetrix Sells Jamba 2.0 to Interleaf

--Electronic Arts, Firaxis Ship Sid Meier's Gettysburg!

--Discovery Channel Multimedia Title Wins Gold Award For Excellence

--Microprose Releases Dark Earth

--Intel, Game Developers Announce PC-Based Arcade Games

--Acclaim Ships Combat Racing Game for N64

--E-PUB Launches UPROAR, Chat-Driven Multiplayer Service

--MetaCreations Announces Q3 Results

--Onsale Reports Record Revenues For Third Quarter, Announces Self-service Auctions

--3Dfx Announces Q3 Financial Results

--About Spectrum

 

WEBMEISTER

Novell Releases GroupWise WebPublisher

Novell, Inc. shipped its GroupWise WebPublisher, a Web document management solution that allows users to dynamically publish documents to the Internet and intranets.

GroupWise WebPublisher allows GroupWise users to leverage the document management features of GroupWise to publish documents to the Web similarly to assigning user access to documents within GroupWise. Documents reside in the GroupWise library and are published dynamically to the Web by a server process whenever they are requested by a user, via a search or a specific URL. Any changes the author makes, either to the content or the access privileges of the document, will be automatically reflected on the Web.

The program is available for free download from the Web at http://www.novell.com/groupwise. Free downloads will be available until April

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Free Tool Maintains Web Links

Australian developer Riada has just released its free Java-based Web tool, RiadaLinx. The product reportedly creates, maintains, validates, rates and displays links on your links page without the need to edit HTML code.

Using graphical symbols, RiadaLinx instantly communicates to site visitors which links are new, and which have been updated by their authors. When you need to change links, the design environment of RiadaLinx is said to make editing HTML or Java parameters a thing of the past.

RiadaLinx is free and displays links to the Riada Web site. To remove the links to the Riada Web site, RiadaLinx can be purchased for $22AUD (approx.

$16US). RiadaLinx's design environment requires Windows 95, 8 MB RAM and 3 MB free hard disk space.

Projects produced with RiadaLinx require a Java-enabled browser.

Additional information is available at http://www.riada.com/linx.html (US) http://www.riada.com.au/linx.html (Australia)

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IN THE INFOGROOVE

Fujitsu WorldsAway Avatar Communities Expand Onto the Internet

Fujitsu Software Corporation last week announced that its two established virtual worlds, Dreamscape and Pride! Universe, are now available on the Internet. Previously accessible only to CompuServe users, the "worlds" are based on WorldsAway software by Fujitsu and can now be used by anyone with an Internet connection and Web browser.

Dreamscape is a social world inhabited by graphical representations of real people, termed "avatars." Users have their own ceremonies, newspapers, holidays and economy.

"Dreamscape is a non-threatening, easy way to meet new people," said Ruth Zona, longtime user and well-known Dreamscape community member. "Newcomers are welcomed into conversations within minutes of entering the world ...

The graphical representation in the world allows you to be more expressive than text chat and deepens the level of interaction."

Pride! Universe, managed by Pride Media, is a WorldsAway virtual world for the gay and lesbian community.

Learn more at http://www.worldsaway.com and http://www.pridemedia.com

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Netpresenter to Ship Version 3.0 at Comdex Fall '97

Netpresenter 3.0, scheduled to be released in November, is a "push" product that works in both client/server and intranet/Internet environments. It is designed for delivering customized information to networked desktop computers throughout an organization. The package consists of an Editor for designing information channels, and a variety of desktop media (screen saver, Web browser plug-in, television and desktop player) for viewing such channels. Depending on the network's capabilities it uses (combinations of) shared files, FTP, email, or Web technology to track and update content automatically.

New features include the use of "smart-screens" for easy text entry via Web forms, the ability to incorporate hyperlinks into presentations, the ability to schedule slides in a presentation (e.g. for commercials), the ability to nest presentations, and improved security.

Beta versions of the software can be downloaded from http://www.netpresenter.com in November.

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Free Chat System Released

London, England-based Nemesis Ltd. has released its 'Rabbit' Internet chat software. According to Nemesis, Rabbit is fast, secure, and so simple that even people with very limited computer skills can use it. For example, the program can be controlled by keyboard if the user is not competent with the mouse. To call other users, the user types in their email address, and if they are online, Rabbit will pop up and a serverless connection will be made.

"We could see that many people find it a struggle to communicate in real time over the net. For new users IRC is just too confusing," explained company spokesman Clive Cooper.

The Win95 program is a 200k download from http://www.whatpage.com/

Find Nemesis online at http://www.nemesis.ltd.uk/

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GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Kinetix Ships 3D Studio MAX R2

When it comes to accessible, professional-level 3D graphics applications for the Wintel platform, the two principal contenders for the top of the heap are Kinetix's 3D Studio MAX and Newtek's LightWave 3D. The latest blow in this exciting battle for supremacy was struck last week as Kinetix announced the availability of 3D Studio MAX R2, the next major release of the best-selling (35,000 installed base) 3D animation and modeling software. The program sports more than 1,000 new features and enhancements.

MAX now features support for every leading 3D graphics API, including OpenGL and Direct3D. The new release also incorporates advanced tools for compositing 3D graphics with video sequences and digital optical effects.

Other new features include:

· enhanced NURBS modeling designed for animators

· numerous rendering advances

· a new scripting language with full access to the 3D Studio MAX engine

· a new dynamics feature

· real-time Inverse Kinematics

· advanced particle systems

New features for game developers include the ability to assign interactive RGB data per vertex; numerous mesh modeling enhancements; the ability to manipulate UV mapping assignments directly; baycentric morphing; and support for Microsoft's Direct3D graphics API.

Also included with the 3D Studio MAX R2 application is the World Creating Toolkit, a CD featuring hundreds of models, images, maps, material libraries, scenes, and animations. The content offers users building blocks for creating 3D worlds of their own, and for seeing how other photorealistic scenes are constructed. Users of Character Studio Release 1.1 can also upgrade to a MAX R2 compatible version of the award-winning 3D character animation plug-in when they install the MAX R2 application. The new version, Character Studio 1.15, keeps each user's original authorization intact.

3D Studio MAX R2 software also will ship with more than 1,200 pages of printed documentation and tutorials, as well as a new online help capability based on Microsoft HTML Help. Users will be able to download documentation updates and tutorials when Microsoft completes its delivery of HTML Help.

3D Studio MAX R2 is currently priced at $3,495 U.S. for a single-user license. Upgrades from 3D Studio MAX Rel. 1.x are priced at $795 U.S., and upgrades from 3D Studio VIZ� are priced at $2,495 U.S. Users of 3D Studio DOS can upgrade to MAX R2 for $3,000 U.S.

For more information, call 415/547-2000 or visit http://www.ktx.com or www.ktx.com/worldsites/ which provides access to all international sites (Africa, Americas, A/P, Europe and Middle East).

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Digimation Ships Shag: Fur, Plug-in for 3D Studio MAX

Louisiana-based Digimation, Inc. is now shipping their Shag: Fur Plug-in for 3D Studio MAX. The environment plug-in is used to add fur (and, to a small degree, long hair) to an object's surface. Since it does not create geometry for individual hairs, it is reportedly fast, and even though no real geometry is generated, fur can cast and receive shadows and highlights.

The software is designed to let users control exactly where the fur is applied, as well as the density, color, thickness, direction, leaning and bend of the hairs. Separate texture maps can be used for most of these options. For example, a texture map of a tiger skin can be used for fur color so that the fur hairs derive their color from the map image, while a separate map can be used to control where the hairs are thick and thin.

Almost all of these parameters are animatable, so subtle motion, growing and color changes are all possible.

Shag: Fur has an introductory price of $195 until December 31, 1997.

Starting January 1, 1998, the list price will be $295.

Visit Digimation on the Web at http://www.digimation.com , or phone 800-854-4496.

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Impulse, Inc. Announces New 3D Modeling Package

Impulse, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, developer of 3D rendering and animation program Imagine, last week announced the completion of ORGANICA, a new 3D modeling program that supports 3D object file formats such as Imagine, LightWave, and 3D Studio MAX.

The $299 program lets users build objects in a method based loosely on the Metaball concept, but with 25 different "magic blocks" that the user can put together, bend, taper, twist, shear, or re-size. The real-time perspective display reportedly makes the whole process both cool and fun.

The software runs in WIN95 or NT. A Macintosh version is scheduled for January. For more information on ORGANICA, call Larry Halvorson at 1-800-328-0184 / 1-612-425-0557; send mailto:larry@coolfun.com ; visit http://www.coolfun.com

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Quantum3D Releases Voodoo-based High-end 3D Accelerator

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Quantum3D, Inc. has begun shipping its new scaleable real-time 3D graphics accelerator, the Obsidian 100SB. Pricing starts at $795 MSRP.

Based on a scan-line-interleaved, 4- or 6-chip implementation of 3Dfx Interactive's Voodoo Graphics chipset, the Obsidian 100SB employs the chipset's "texture streaming" architecture reportedly to produce up to 2.4 gigabytes per second of dedicated graphics memory bandwidth. This is said to let the card deliver filtered texture fill rate performance of 90 Megapixels per second, with trilinear or bilinear texture filtering with per pixel LOD mip mapping, z-buffering, alpha blending, perspective correction and per pixel fog enabled.

According to the company, on Gemini Technology's OpenGVS Real World Benchmark Release 2.0, the Obsidian 100SB-4440, when coupled with a 300 MHz Intel Pentium II PC, delivers an average frame rate of 97.1 frames per second--approximately four times the performance delivered by the graphics boards based on the new Evans & Sutherland/Mitsubishi/VSIS 3Dpro/2mp chipset (score of 26.2), five times the performance of the Silicon Graphics O2 (score of 15.4), and almost twice the performance of the Real3D Pro 1000 model 1400 (score of 59.9). Additional information on the OpenGVS Real World Benchmark Release 2.0 can be found at ( http://www.opengvs.com ).

As an exclusive mode 3D accelerator, the 100SB's pass-though design operates transparently with popular 2D/VGA Windows accelerators. The card offers the option of adding an integrated 2D/VGA capability by means of "MGV"--a 2MB Windows accelerator daughter card which eliminates the need for a second 2D/VGA graphics board. Another new integration feature is SyncLock, which enables developers and integrators to synchronize video refresh across up to 13 displays for wide field of view 3D applications and immersive environments. It also features simultaneous RGB and NTSC/PAL "TV-out" output capability with support for both S-Video and composite formats.

Support for OpenGL, Linux and Digital Alpha AXP (for both Linux and Windows NT 4.0) will be available later this year. Pricing for the Obsidian 100SB starts at $795 for the 100SB-4400, aimed at game enthusiasts and cost-sensitive coin-op systems. The model 100-4440V, with four texture processors, companion MGV 2D/VGA daughtercard, and a total of 22MB has an MSRP of $1,895. The products will available starting the first half of November from Quantum3D and its authorized distributors, VARs and integrators.

Contact Ross Smith of Quantum3D, Inc., 408-919-9999, or fax, 408-919-9980, or otis@quantum3d.com

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Xing Updates MPEG Encoder

San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Xing Technology Corp. has released the XingMPEG Encoder 2.1, with three new features: MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) re-encoding, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 layer 3 audio creation and QuickTime movie to MPEG video-only file conversion.

System MPEG re-encoding lets content creators convert existing MPEG video and audio clips into MPEG files with different bit rates or other properties such as video dimensions, frame rates and sampling rates. For example, high-data-rate MPEG files, such as those used for VideoCD, can now be re-encoded to lower bit rates to be later streamed through a 28.8Kbps modem line.

MPEG-1 layer 3 files can be created for the best audio quality at moderate- to high-bit rates (128-384 Kbps), and MPEG-2 layer 3 clips can be produced for the best audio quality at low-bit rates (less than 128 Kbps). The XingMPEG Encoder 2.1 is also equipped with built-in layer 3 audio playback.

Also, support for MMX technology reportedly provides double-speed encoding on a PC using a Pentium processor with MMX technology.

Find Xing Technology at http://www.xingtech.com

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WEBSIGHTINGS

Online Bookseller Donates Profits to Charity

Socially Responsible Books ( http://www.futuresights.com/srb/ ) is a new online bookstore in association with Internet bookstore Amazon.com. SRB sells the 100 best-selling books at Amazon.com. 97% of the books are discounted from 20-40% off of the list price, and 15% of the revenue goes to charity on 88% of the books, and 5% of the revenue goes to charity on the rest. 100% of SRB's proceeds are forwarded to a charity.

Each week a new charity is selected based on a formula derived by the Non-Profit Times (a watchdog organization monitoring the top 100 US charities) annual report on charities. Such charities as: AmeriCares Foundation, International Rescue Committee, National Mental Health Association, YWCA of the USA, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Association For New Americans will be showcased in the first two months.

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CONSUMER CHANNEL

Mixman Studio Lets Music Lovers Create Their Own Music

San Francisco-based Mixman Technologies announces the release of the $49.95 Mixman Studio, a new CD-ROM designed to turn a computer into a desktop music system. The software is said to replace pro audio gear like sequencers, keyboards and samplers with a consumer-friendly interface that enables musicians and enthusiasts to create professional-sounding music for CDs, tapes, video soundtracks, Web sites, parties, and much more.

The "virtual turntable" interface allows loading up to 16 musical elements at a time. Sounds are available from a number of sources including those bundled with Mixman Studio, add-on CD-ROMs in a variety of musical styles, major recording artists' enhanced CDs, any .wav file, or record sounds directly in Mixman Studio. A standard computer keyboard provides real-time control over tempo, volume, pitch and panning combined with Mixman's synchronization technologies.

A free demo is available for download at http://www.mixman.com

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THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

Report Sees Two Markets for Chat: "Service" And "Social"

"Service-related chat," a less-known by-product of the ever-popular "social chat," will have a profound effect on the competitive positioning of commerce sites and online marketers, according to a new study released last week by research firm Jupiter Communications. The $1,895 report, Revenue Prospects for Online Chat, created by Jupiter's Consumer Content Group, recommends that businesses should consider adding chat rooms to augment their Web site services with "publisher-to-user" communication, in addition to rooms where users talk amongst themselves. The report claims this type of communication will not only foster better client relationships, but also aid in marketing products, closing sales, competitive positioning, and building communities.

"While there is significant interest in social chat environments, the chat market is growing in different directions." said Kate Doyle, an analyst at Jupiter Communications and author of the report. "Social chat has a definite place as a value-add on niche-interest Web sites and large aggregators. However, this application is also becoming a great asset in terms of improving customer service and promoting cross-sell opportunities."

Social chat will add incrementally to publisher revenue over time and bring positive returns in overall site traffic, advertising and commerce. The audience, however, is not likely to grow significantly. Jupiter projects that social chat will be used by only 30 percent of the online population in 2002. In addition, sites that use chat as a primary content offering will have limited market potential since they lack either the traffic of the aggregator sites or the affinity group audiences of niche-oriented sites.

The report also notes that the chat market is still evolving, with instant messaging applications playing a large role in the common perception and usage of chat. Almost one-quarter of the online audience use these applications today; Jupiter predicts that this usage will grow dramatically in the next few years, surpassing that of chat rooms on Web sites.

From a technology standpoint, sites that require strict control over scheduling, administration and moderation will continue to rely on dedicated server solutions. However, outsourced chat is a viable solution for publishers that don't need to maintain integration with back-end systems or strict content moderation.

For more information or to order, call 1-800-773-4545, or 212-780-6060, or visit http://www.jup.com

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Canadian College Announces School for Future Game Developers

EBCI, a small private college on Canada's east coast, will launch its new Electronic Gaming Technology program this coming spring.

The school claims that the program, co-developed by gaming journalist and author Bill Kunkel, addresses many of the current needs within the gaming industry that aren't currently being met by educators.

Carl Weaver, president of Bethesda Software, states, "There is a critical need for professional training in this industry..." further, "DigiPen has a good idea, but the East Coast needs a serious group as well."

The two-year program, which offers courses ranging from level design to high-level AI programming, is intended to have students ready for the workforce immediately upon graduation.

Developers such as Raven Software, Bioware, Ritual Entertainment, and Monolith among others, already having leant their support in terms of advice, critique and feedback on the curriculum design.

Contact Andrew Sturgeon, EBCI; Voice: 506-855-8555 or 800-561-9390; mailto:andrew@ebci.ca ; Web: http://www.ebci.ca

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Microsoft Offers Free Tech Seminars for New England Biz Owners

Microsoft New England is launching a free seminar series for small- and medium-sized companies. The traveling seminar, "Windows on New England," will bring computer and networking experts together with business professionals to help answer questions on technologies that can have an impact on their success, such as electronic commerce and the Internet.

The seminar series begins in October and runs through June, 1998.

Attendees will learn the following:

· how to use technology to work smarter, faster, and more competitively.

· how easy--and essential--it is for business people to take advantage of the many technology tools available today.

· how to use the Internet as a reliable, secure and practical resource.

The seminar will be held at the following locations: Bedford, NH; Boston, Mass.; Burlington, Vt.; Hartford, Conn.; Ledyard, Conn.; Manchester, NH; Nashua, NH; New Haven, Conn.; Portland, Maine; Providence, RI; Springfield, Mass. and Worcester, Mass.

To find out more, call 800-550-4300 or visit http://www.microsoft.com/usa/newengland/events/

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Call for Entries for Milia Awards '98

Milia '98, The International Content Market For Interactive Media, recently announced the fourth edition of the Milia Awards. The Milia d'Or Awards will recognize the world's best interactive media achievements of 1997.

Until now the competition was limited to professionals attending Milia, but due to the burgeoning interactive market, the international competition is now open to all interactive and media publishers. This year several new games and online categories have been introduced in direct response to industry demands and the constant evolution of interactive content. A total of 14 Milia Awards, three grand prizes and one special award for best online game will be given during Milia '98 which runs from February 8-11, 1998 in Cannes, France.

The award categories are:

· games

· online sites

· infotainment titles

· action games

· online childrens

· children's titles

· adventure - role playing games

· online reference

· reference-education titles

· strategy games

· online art, culture & society

· art, culture & society titles

· simulation games

· online lifestyle & hobbies

· lifestyle & hobbies titles

· sports games

· online business- training

One Milia d'Or award will be attributed to the best product in each category mentioned above, as well as one special award for the best online game. Other awards include three grand prizes: best game, best online site and best infotainment title.

The deadline for submitting entries is November 30, 1997.

Works will be chosen on the basis of originality, creativity, quality of interactivity, navigation, graphic design, sound quality, technical mastery and innovation.

Contact Sophie Boutin / Milia Events Manager Tel: 33 (01) 41 90 44 74; Fax: 33 (01) 41 90 44 70 Email: sophie_boutin@midem-paris.ccmail.compuserve.com URL: http://www.reedmidem.milia.com

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DEALS

Asymetrix Sells Jamba 2.0 to Interleaf

Asymetrix Learning Systems, Inc. has sold Jamba 2.0 to Interleaf Inc.

Asymetrix has retained rights to the Jamba 2.0 technology for use in its online learning products.

Jamba 2.0 is said to be designed for Web content creators who want to add functionality and interactivity to static HTML pages. Jamba offers a non-programming environment using a point & click interface that creates Java applets that run across all major Web browsers. Jamba applets do not require the browser to first download and install plug-ins before the applet can be viewed.

Information about Interleaf products is available from Interleaf Direct at 800/955-5323 or on the Web at http://www.interleaf.com

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GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Electronic Arts, Firaxis Ship Sid Meier's Gettysburg!

Electronic Arts announces the shipment of Sid Meier's Gettysburg!, a real-time action strategy game from renowned game designer Sid Meier. The game was developed by Meier's Baltimore-based design house, Firaxis Games.

The new title is Firaxis Games' first product since the development company was established by Meier, Jeff Briggs and Brian Reynolds in June 1996. It's also Meier's first completely new game design since the release of Civilization. The Civilization series has sold more than two million units worldwide.

Players command Union or Confederate troops in a variety of scenarios, both historic and speculative, making split-second strategic decisions. Players can compete against each other or play cooperative and team games via Internet, LAN, serial cable or modem. Voice-over-data technology allows voice chat in multiplayer modes. Internet multiplayer support is also available through Mplayer.

A random scenario generator provides replayability in action campaigns of any size, from small skirmishes to full-blown battles. Players can also edit scenario files to create their own custom scenarios. Other features include rolling 3D terrain, multiple zoom views, scrolling, rotateable maps and stereo music and sound effects.

Players can access the Sid Meier's Gettysburg! Web site at two different locations: http://www.gettysburg.ea.com and http://www.firaxis.com

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Discovery Channel Multimedia Title Wins Gold Award For Excellence

Byzantine: The Betrayal is a new six-disk adventure game that takes players on a dangerous quest through exotic Istanbul, Turkey to uncover an antiquities smuggling ring. The title was recently honored with the 1997 International EMMA Awards' Gold Award for Excellence in Frankfurt, Germany.

The game also received the award for Best Entertainment Title-Adult, and Best Adventure/Fantasy Game.

Developed by Stormfront Studios for Discovery Channel Multimedia, distributed by Interplay Productions, the title is available at an estimated street price of $49.95 for Win95 CD-ROM, optimized for Intel MMX technology.

Byzantine: The Betrayal is the first CD-ROM title in Discovery's Planet Explorer entertainment line. Through CD-ROM, online, television and retail components, the Planet Explorer line seeks to let people explore and experience real-world adventure in the world's most fascinating places.

For further information, call (800) 762-2189 or visit http://shopping.discovery.com

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Microprose Releases Dark Earth

MicroProse, Inc. has shipped the real-time Windows 95 CD-ROM game Dark Earth to retail stores. In Dark Earth, players adventure across a 24th-century Earth enshrouded in darkness with the fate of the world and their own lives hanging in the balance. Created by European developer Kalisto Entertainment, the game lets players control the destiny of mankind with each real-time character interaction and combat move they make within an evolving environment said to be visually stunning.

Challenges include interaction with more than 100 3D characters in 250 pre-rendered animated scenes, plus combat and time pressure. The player's mood will affect the outcome of encounters with other Dark Earth characters.

Find the MicroProse Web site at http://www.microprose.com

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Intel, Game Developers Announce PC-Based Arcade Games

Intel Corp. and four game developers last week debuted arcade games based on Intel's Open Arcade Architecture and Pentium II processors. Players can score soccer goals, drive race cars, pilot high-performance aircraft and engage in multiplayer action games on the new systems, the first of which are now shipping to arcade operators.

More than 80 companies have joined the Open Arcade Architecture Forum ( http://www.openarcade.com ), which Intel and other industry members formed this summer to help bring PC-based arcade systems to market. Recent members of the Open Arcade Architecture Forum include Acclaim, Gremlin, Microsoft, and Sega Gameworks.

Hanaho/Kalisto, Inner Workings, Interactive Light/Immersia, and Location Based Entertainment (LBE) Systems are among the first companies to demonstrate and offer arcade games based on the Pentium II processor.

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Acclaim Ships Combat Racing Game for N64

Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. has shipped its Nintendo 64 game Extreme-G to retail outlets nationwide at SRP $69.99. The game lets up to four players command one of eight heavily armed futuristic bikes and challenges them to maneuver through gravity-defying, roller coaster-like race tracks.

Special effects enabled by the advanced graphic capabilities of the Nintendo 64 system includes racers showered by sparks and hunted by lava, all while eluding falling boulders, bridge-outs, sandstorms and the wrath of other racers.

Weapons include:

* Excel Cannon - fires one ringed bullet from either side of the bike, covering a bigger area and creating a higher damage potential.

* Napalm Rocket - a heat-seeking rocket that does 100% damage to opponent's shield.

* Mortar Rocket - missile launched from the top of the bike, landing in a large fireball and damaging all bikes in its range.

* Laser Limpet-Mines - fires from the sides of the bike and attaches to both walls. A beam then crosses the track, causing any bike that interrupts the beam to detonate the mines.

* Static Pulse - fires a blue plasma bolt that disrupts the opponent's electrical system

Visit Acclaim's Web site at http://www.acclaimnation.com

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E-PUB Launches UPROAR, Chat-Driven Multiplayer Service

E-Pub, Inc. ( http://www.e-pub.com ) has launched UPROAR ( http://www.uproar.com ), a suite of free-to-play games. Supported by advertising and licensing revenue, the service is comprised of CBS SportsLine Team Trivia Cosmo's Conundrum, Puzzle A-Go-Go and Trivia Blitz, UPROAR provides a unique and engaging entertainment experience for every level of play.

Additionally, UPROAR offers the UPROAR store, downloadable game demos, links to uproarious sites, and "The Daily Spew," a witty and sometimes caustic survey question. Members have already cast their votes for "Who had the better makeup, Alice Cooper or Gene Simmons?" (Simmons 58%, Cooper 42%); "When kinky sex happens to boring people (re: Marv Albert), wanna watch?" (53% no thanks, 47% dig up the dirt); and "Who's more likely to release the next Sgt. Pepper's: the Spice Girls or Hanson?" (64% Hanson, 36% Spice Girls).

UPROAR members must register to win cash and prizes, allowing advertisers to target campaigns by gender, state, parental status, etc. Advertisements are integrated directly into the context of each game, generating ad impressions measured in minutes, not seconds. Additionally, whether advertisers choose a standard banner or a fully animated, sound-enhanced interstitial, they will only pay for those targeted members who visit their Web site.

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NUMBEROLOGY

MetaCreations Announces Q3 Results

Carpinteria, Calif.-based MetaCreations Corp. (Nasdaq:MCRE) last Thursday reported that net income for the third quarter of 1997 increased 29 percent to $3,605,000, or 15 cents per share, compared with net income of $2,785,000, or 12 cents per share, for the third quarter of 1996.

MetaCreations also announced that revenues for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1997, were $21 million, up 16 percent from $18.2 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1996.

The third-quarter earnings report represents the first consolidated results of MetaCreations for a full quarter. MetaCreations was formed on May 29, 1997, as a result of the merger and pooling of MetaTools Inc. and Fractal Design Corp., and the earlier acquisitions of Specular International and Real Time Geometry.

MetaCreations reported net revenues of $53 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1997, compared with $47 million in pooled results for the first nine months of 1996. Net income on a pro forma basis before acquisition charges for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1997, would have been $4,859,000, or 20 cents per share, compared with net income of $4,820,000, or 21 cents per share, for the first nine months of 1996.

MetaCreations reported a net loss of $9,181,000, or 40 cents per share, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1997, including acquisition and merger charges of $16.2 million in the second quarter of 1997.

The company's headquarters is located in Santa Barbara County at 6303 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, Calif. 93013; telephone 805/566-6200; fax 805/566-6365.

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Onsale Reports Record Revenues For Third Quarter, Announces Self-service Auctions

Online auction house Onsale, Inc. announced financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 1997.

Gross merchandise sales for the quarter were $32.3 million, up 32 percent sequentially from $24.5 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 1997.

The company also announced revenues of $25.1 million for the quarter, a 35 percent increase compared to $18.6 million for the previous quarter. Net loss for the quarter was ($583,000), or ($0.03) per share, compared to net loss of ($226,000), or ($0.01) per share, for the second quarter of 1997.

For the third quarter ended September 30, 1996, gross merchandise sales were $9.2 million, revenues were $3.6 million, net income was $106,000, or $0.01 per share.

For the nine-month period ended September 30, 1997, gross merchandise sales were $74.8 million with $55.9 million in revenues and a net loss of ($757,000), or ($.05) per share. For the same period in 1996, gross merchandise sales were $16.3 million with $6.0 million in revenues and net income of $221,000 or $0.01 per share.

At September 30, 1997, ONSALE had 321,000 registered bidders, an increase of 30 percent over the second quarter of 1997. These registered bidders placed 497,000 bids during the quarter resulting in over 150,000 orders. Of these orders, 69 percent were to repeat customers.

CEO Jerry Kaplan said, "During the third quarter, ONSALE achieved several important milestones including our two-millionth bid, the acceptance of paid advertising on our Web site and the completion of our largest transaction to date--an $18,000 'Net server."

ONSALE, Inc. also announced the launch of The ONSALE Exchange, which allows small businesses and individuals to sell merchandise over the Web using ONSALE's auction management system. The Exchange homepage is currently featuring a pre-launch Sweepstakes where $10,000 in cash and prizes will be given away. It will begin accepting auction postings October 31 and will begin accepting bids November 3. Through the month of November, the service will be free. Starting in December, ONSALE will collect a small fee on each transaction.

Onsale's Web site is located at http://www.onsale.com

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3Dfx Announces Q3 Financial Results

San Jose, Calif.-based 3Dfx Interactive, Inc. (Nasdaq: TDFX), maker of the Voodoo family of 3D accelerator chipsets, released last week financial results for both the third quarter of 1997 which ended on September 30, 1997, as well as for the first nine months of 1997.

Total revenues for the third quarter rose to $10,018,000, an increase from total revenues of $6,507,000 for the second quarter and $1,887,000 for the third quarter of 1996. Total revenues in the second quarter of 1997 included development contract revenues of $1,067,000. Net loss for the third quarter was $872,000, or $.07 per share. 12,454,000 shares were used in the per share calculation. This compares with a net loss per share of $.41 in the third quarter of 1996, when 10,121,000 shares were used in the per share calculation.

Net revenues for the first nine months of 1997 were $21,772,000, including $1,817,000 in development contract revenues. Net revenue figures for the first nine months of 1996 are not meaningful because the Company was still in the product development stage during the first two quarters, and revenues for that year only commenced in the third quarter. Net loss for the first nine months of 1997 was $3,787,000, or a loss of $.31 per share, based upon 12,059,000 shares used in the per share calculation. Net loss for the first nine months of 1996 was $11,152,000, or a loss of $1.14 per share, based upon 9,823,000 shares used in the per share calculation.

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F.Y.I.

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