Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 8 Sep 98

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send duberman@dnai.com
New!!! Check out Spectrum on the Web at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum
Editorial short rant: AGP (advanced graphics port) motherboards have been available for about a year now, but software support has been a bit slower in coming. The original promise of AGP was freedom for 3D graphics cards from the shackles of limited onboard texture memory by yielding direct access to the relatively boundless amount of motherboard memory. In an attempt to determine the truth of this matter, and never one to back down from a technological challenge, I recently attempted to install two different AGP cards in my Win95/P2 system with Asus motherboard. The first card was an unreleased 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee (single-slot 2D/3D) solution from a company I'm consulting for. After installing the drivers and attempting to bring it up, I could never get past the dreaded blue screen of death. So I pulled that one out and plugged in the Matrox Millennium G200, a new AGP-only card that uses proprietary 3D silicon. It worked fine for 2D graphics, but I couldn't get any 3D games to recognize the Direct3D acceleration. There was some kind of conflict with USB, which isn't really supported by Win95. To make a long story tolerable, after installing two BIOS upgrades, a USB fix, and something called a PIIX4 fix, I still couldn't get either card to work correctly. At one point, a technician told me I needed a new motherboard, but after consulting with Asus, that turned out not to be the case. So I bit the bullet and installed Windows 98. I'd had the upgrade for a while, but since I was already using FAT32, didn't feel a compelling need to install it. Despite the horror stories I've been hearing, the updated OS installed flawlessly, keeping all my local/dial-up networking settings intact, and automatically resolved the conflicts between the USB and AGP ports/buses/whatever. I then tried out the G200 with several Direct3D games, and everything worked perfectly. Prejudiced though I may be against driving games, I found racing motorcycles across a 1024 x 768 3D desert terrain at a decent frame rate in Microsoft's Motocross Madness to be a memorable experience. I got the other card going with Unreal, which doesn't support D3D, but as the driver software isn't quite finished, it crashed a lot. I eventually discovered that Win95 OSR 2.1 might also have cured my system's ills, but by then it was too late. At this point, AGP seems to be little more than a way to free up a PCI slot for something else, as long as you've got the right system software. Anyway, Matrox's Millennium G200 is a terrific card, with a beautifully sharp display, support for true color at up to 1280 x 1024, fast Direct3D graphics, and a very reasonable street price--highly recommended. Now, if Matrox can just get that Voodoo emulation going ... - David Duberman --------------------------------------------------

Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER --Trellix Ships Version 2.0 --GoLive Unveils Web Publishing System --Seattle Lab Emurl 1.1 Upgrade Adds Support for WebSite Pro DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX --Motion Factory Releases Motivate 1.5 Upgrade --Macromedia Unveils Dreamweaver/Authorware 5 Attain --Promise Announces Motherboard With IDE RAID Ports IN THE INFOGROOVE --Big Network Provides Family Fun GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --MetaCreations Announces Painter 5.5 Web Edition --3D Studio MAX Plug-in Enables Realtime Previews --3Dfx Announces Next-Generation Voodoo API --Coryphaeus Announces New Features, Enhancement WEBSIGHTINGS --QuikLink Launches Shareware Industry Resource Site --VRML Biology Simulations Available on Web CONSUMER CHANNEL --Multimedia 2000 Ships Webster's DVD Encyclopedia THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --FVC.COM Launches Newsgroup to Discuss Next Generation Internet DEALS --Multigen, Paradigm Simulation to Merge GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Vivid Group Launches VR Soccer Game --Participate in Battlezone II Development --Microsoft Ships Urban Assault --Now Available: WC Secret Ops Part Deux --Berkeley Systems Ships HeadRush, Teen Trivia --989 Ships Wintel NFL GameDay '99 --Microsoft Releases Revenge of Arcade, Announces Pinball Arcade --Konami Kicks Off Soccer Game for N64, PlayStation, Game Boy --Flat Cat Announces Caesars Palace Titles --IMagic Announces Shadow Company --Blue Byte Acquires 3D Technology F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------

WEBMEISTER

Trellix Ships Version 2.0 Trellix Corporation last week released Trellix 2.0, its desktop productivity application intended to let business professionals create, maintain and update content intended for the corporate intranet. New features include: * Tables - Users can create tables, lay out pages, enhance formatting and present data more clearly. The tables are optimized for and easily exported to HTML for use on a corporate intranet or Web server. Any text or image in a Trellix table can be linked to external information such as a Web site or an external file. * improved Word Import, with support for tables, embedded objects, links and fonts * OLE embedding for inclusion of data directly from OLE compliant applications such as Microsoft Word, Lotus 1-2-3 or Visio. * ease-of-use and ease-of-learning enhancements, such as a 13-step tutorial * map enhancements such as a live "You are here" indicator even when the document is viewed through a browser, plus drag-and-drop page creation and content integration * links can be created from more places, such as Map objects, and can be more precise, for example linking to other documents, or to link anchors at specific locations within a Trellix page Trellix 2.0 is available for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT at SRP US $249. URL: http://www.trellix.com -------------------------------------------------- GoLive Unveils Web Publishing System GoLive Systems newly announced GoLive Web Publishing System, an online content management system, is expected to be available during the fourth quarter of 1998, starting at $1,000. A client-server solution, the system is composed of three components: * GoLive CyberWriter is the editorial client software. Browser based, it lets users on various computing platforms enter content and update their Web sites. From a secure Internet connection, authorized users can type content for immediate or controlled posting on their sites. GoLive CyberWriter users can also access content stored in the GoLive CyberServer, such as images, for illustrating an online story. * GoLive CyberStudio is the design component. This "specially enabled" version of GoLive CyberStudio Web design and site management tool lets Power Mac-based Web designers create page templates and sites within the GoLive Web Publishing System. * GoLive CyberServer, the server component, runs on Linux, AIX, Sun Solaris, Windows 98, Windows NT, MacOS, and MacOS X Server. Driven by a multiplatform SQL database created for publishing applications, CyberServer can dynamically or statically publish Web sites. For more information, visit http://www.golive.com. -------------------------------------------------- Seattle Lab Emurl 1.1 Upgrade Adds Support for WebSite Pro Seattle Lab last week released version 1.1 of its Emurl Web-based email host, which allows users to access email with any Web browser. Emurl 1.1 supports O'Reilly and Associates' WebSite Professional Web server version 2. Emurl allows users to retrieve, read, reply to, forward, and delete their email, using any frame-compatible browser. Users can access Emurl from any computer running any operating system that supports browsers. Additional enhancements include: * a "delete all" button in the trash bin. Users can eliminate all discarded messages from the trash with one click. * word wrap for incoming messages. * global and user signatures Emurl costs $425 and has no user license restrictions. The upgrade to Emurl 1.1 is free to registered users. Free, fully featured evaluation copies can be downloaded from Seattle Lab's Website at http://www.seattlelab.com. --------------------------------------------------

DEVELOPER'S TOOLBOX

Motion Factory Releases Motivate 1.5 Upgrade The Motion Factory last week announced the availability of Motivate 1.5. New features include: * easier integration of the Motivate runtime engine with application code. * Motivate's C++ API has been streamlined and expanded, giving developers greater flexibility and more low-level access. * improved rendering and sound architectures, facilitating integration with proprietary or third-party technologies * The Motivate Runtime engine has been optimized for greater performance. Core functions like real-time motion synthesis and inverse kinematics are faster than in previous versions. * Multi-user enabled runtime: The Motivate 1.5 runtime engine now features the Motivate Server technology, enabling developers to create and deploy multi-user titles. A sample network implementation, based on TCP/IP, is provided with the Motivate SDK. * Improved support for industry-standard rendering & sound technologies, with additional rendering plug-ins for Direct3D and 3Dfx Voodoo2, as well as a sound plug-in for DirectSound. Source code for the plug-ins is also provided. The Motivate 1.5 upgrade is free to current customers and available now directly from The Motion Factory at http://www.motion-factory.com. -------------------------------------------------- Macromedia Unveils Dreamweaver/Authorware 5 Attain Macromedia, Inc.'s Interactive Learning Division (http://www.macromedia.com/learning) last week announced its visual HTML authoring tool designed for creating Web-based learning content. The US$799 product will be available this fall for Wintel architecture. A component of the Macromedia Attain Enterprise Learning System, the product is designed to create Web training content that is automatically integrated within an open enterprise learning system for tracking and reporting. Features include the Action Manager, which lets authors add multimedia interactivity to Web-native learning content. The Action Manager controls complex behaviors without any programming. To add media-rich learning to Dreamweaver Attain courses, authors can integrate modules created in Authorware 5 Attain (see below). With Knowledge Objects, authors can choose which type of interaction they want to create from a visual library of interaction types. Experienced authors can create their own Knowledge Object templates. Dreamweaver Attain's Knowledge Track feature can automatically track results to Pathware 3, Attain Enterprise Learning Essentials, and generate reports to measure results on training and drive business decisions. Pathware 3 is an enterprise-management system from Macromedia to centrally measure and report on student progress and performance. Dreamweaver Attain can be purchased online at http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaverattain/esddownload/. Also, Macromedia announced Authorware 5 Attain, the next generation of the authoring tool for Web and online learning. This new release of Authorware is said to deliver enhancements in rich-media support, authoring productivity, Web authoring and delivery, and student tracking and course management. New features include support for QuickTime 3.0, Flash animations, anti-aliased text, and new graphic effects through alpha channels. Used within an enterprise learning architecture or as a stand-alone product, Authorware 5 Attain for Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT 4.0 or higher will be available this fall for an estimated street price of US $2,699. It will be available for purchase online at http://www.macromedia.com/software/authorware/esddownload/. -------------------------------------------------- Promise Announces Motherboard With IDE RAID Ports Promise Technology, Inc. claims it has developed the first PC motherboard to employ IDE RAID technology, featuring speedier data transfers, data redundancy, and the ability to build huge "virtual" storage volumes composed of multiple UDMA or EIDE drives. Now computer users can employ RAID with IDE drives, saving hundreds of dollars in the process. The Checkered Flag FT440BX (MSRP $289) supports up to four 450MHz Pentium-II CPUs. It also features an AGP set slot for graphics, an Intel 440BX chipset, a complete suite of high-speed I/O ports, twoUSB ports, two standard UDMA/IDE/ATAPI ports, full set of PCI and ISA slots, power management, virus protection, and desktop management functions. The board adds two dedicated RAID ports that support RAID levels 0 (striping), 1 (mirroring), or 0+1 (a combination of both). The ports allow attaching two drives (minimum) up to four drives. The included FastBuild setup utility lets users auto-configure the RAID array or arrays. The FastCheck Windows GUI software offers array monitoring to identify arrays, identify failed drives, and guide the rebuild process for the user under RAID 1 or 0+1. URL: http://www.promise.com. --------------------------------------------------

IN THE INFOGROOVE

Big Network Provides Family Fun The Big Network announces MyPlace (http://myplace.bignetwork.com), a virtual family room on the Web designed to help families keep in touch in a fun, safe environment. Members can plan events using a shared calendar, discuss events in on their own message board, and chat in a private area. Other features include board games, action games, puzzles and discussions. "MyPlace is designed to help extended families stay together, even as societal forces are pulling family members to remote parts of the country and the globe. Other online community sites are trying to be all things to all people. We are focused on giving families an easy way to stay in touch, plan activities, and to provide a safe online neighborhood for games and activities." says Big Network co-founder Mike Sellers (designer of Meridian 59). The key is private, controlled access that ensures that family activities are private and protected. Each family receives a private URL for quick and direct access to their site. Like all Big Network features, MyPlace is free. Also, users can now add Big Network games to their own Websites. MyGames (http://mygames.bignetwork.com) lets personal Website builders embed Java-based games by cutting and pasting a few lines of HTML. --------------------------------------------------

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

MetaCreations Announces Painter 5.5 Web Edition When MetaCreations shipped Painter 5 last year with more features than you could learn and use in a lifetime, digital artists wondered what was next (never satisfied!). Now we know, as the company announces Painter 5.5 Web Edition, an upgrade to the paint and image-editing program, expected to be available for Mac/Wintel in Q4'98 at an average selling price of $299 (US). New features include image slicing, dynamic text editing, JavaScript rollover support, custom button creation and a built-in content library of more than 1,000 Web-ready images for stunning Web site graphics. Features in detail: * Image-Slicing: Divide Painter images with precision to create space-efficient graphics for the Web. Export each image slice at optimal settings and Painter automatically generates the necessary HTML code to display the complete "reconstructed" image in a browser. * Dynamic Text: Compose and control anti-aliased text with the new Dynamic Text tool. Position and edit text directly on an image or using the dialog box options. Select fonts, rotate, tilt, size, stretch, adjust spacing, adjust opacity and add special effects. Also add colors, pattern, gradations or weaves. * JavaScript rollovers: automatically generate the JavaScript code for adding interactivity to Web pages. * Client-side image mapping: Assign URLs to floating objects for client- or server-side image maps. * Custom Button Creation: Create custom buttons and bullets using Painter's Bevel World. * Batch functionality includes the ability to group-select buttons and apply lighting and surface textures. * Expandable Plug-in brushes: new Calligraphic and Web-safe brushes. * Seamless tiling for Web backgrounds: Quickly create Natural-Media backgrounds and tile them for a custom look on your Web page. * Standard Web-authoring support: Painter 5.5 Web Edition provides Web-safe colors, transparent GIFs, animated GIFs and more * Adobe Photoshop 5 layer compatibility Check it out at http://www.metacreations.com. -------------------------------------------------- 3D Studio MAX Plug-in Enables Realtime Previews Numerical Design Ltd.'s new MAXImmerse is a $199 plug-in said to let animators using 3D Studio MAX view and interact with scenes in real time. MAXImmerse is designed for 3D animators developing games, visualizations, and animation for film, television, video and Web sites. A free trial version of MAXImmerse is available for downloading and testing via NDL's Web site: http://www.ndl.com/studio.htm. -------------------------------------------------- 3Dfx Announces Next-Generation Voodoo API 3Dfx Interactive Inc. last week announced Glide 3.0, the next-generation version of its low-level interface for software control of its Voodoo family of 3D graphics chips for consumer entertainment. Glide can serve as the primary application program interface (API) or may work in conjunction with another API. Glide 3 is reportedly more streamlined than previous versions, making it easier to write complex games or applications. It is designed to support existing 3Dfx chips but is also created to take advantage of next-generation chips from 3Dfx. Glide 3 utilizes an important technique known as triangle strips and fans to achieve greater performance over past versions. A number of new key features include gamma table support for complete control over lighting brightness (including individual color brightness control), vertex layout support for complete control over individual vertices and an extension mechanism to allow developers to add additional functionality and optimizations. The Glide software developer's kit is available free of charge via the 3Dfx Website. The kit also includes Glide programming libraries, tools and sample code. Glide 3 and its software development kit are available for download immediately. Visit http://www.3dfx.com. -------------------------------------------------- Coryphaeus Announces New Features, Enhancement Coryphaeus Software, a provider of real-time 3D virtual prototyping and synthetic environment-generation software, last week announced an upgrade of its core product line of visual simulation solutions for Silicon Graphics' IRIX OS. New features in Designer's Workbench (DWB), a real-time visual simulation database-generation tool, include: * run-time animator now supports Windows NT playback capabilities * OpenGL API support * OpenGL and C code generation option * automatic polygon reduction * integrated bi-directional translation of 3D file formats, including OpenFlight, OBJ, Inventor, DXF and VRML 1.0 & 2.0 New features in EasyTerrain include: * OpenGL API support * integrated bi-directional translation Of 3D file formats, including OpenFlight, VRML, OBJ, Inventor And DXF * first release of TER (Terrain) APIs made public, allowing new terrain environment to be integrated into EZT New features in EasyScene include documented DIS support For more information, visit http://www.coryphaeus.com. --------------------------------------------------

WEBSIGHTINGS

QuikLink Launches Shareware Industry Resource Site QuikLink Interactive, Inc. launches SharewareDevelopers.com with discussion forums, plus user listings for tools, source code, controls, utilities, related sites and their own programs. The Shareware Soapbox section gives developers the opportunity to contribute their own articles for publication. The site also offers articles from members of the shareware community, free Web browser-based email with the @sharewaredevelopers.com email address, a software submission wizard, an online bookstore, an online tools and controls store, and more. Visit http://www.sharewaredevelopers.com -------------------------------------------------- VRML Biology Simulations Available on Web Dr. Tomaz Amon, director of AMNIM, a center for scientific visualization, is producing VRML cell biology animations and simulations. They are designed as a teaching aid for biology and medicine in high and secondary schools. You can see many of his VRML worlds on: http://verbena.fe.uni-lj.si/~tomaz/VRML/ or its mirror site: http://emile-21.com/VRML/ Send mailto:tomaz.amon@siol.net --------------------------------------------------

CONSUMER CHANNEL

Multimedia 2000 Ships Webster's DVD Encyclopedia Multimedia 2000, Inc. a Seattle-based developer and publisher, last week released Webster's International DVD Encyclopedia. The encyclopedia's thousands of areas of interest are accompanied with: * 10 million words * 12,000 photos * Two hours of MPEG videos and animations * 13 documentaries * More than 1,500 maps * Over 400 tables * More than 1,000 sound clips Special features including: The Cambridge University Press Natural History Dictionary, Fast Facts, Timelines, Biographies, Dictionaries, Foreign Phrase Guide, World Atlas, and others make Webster's the most valuable reference tool available. More information is available at http://www.m-2k.com/catalog. --------------------------------------------------

THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER

FVC.COM Launches Newsgroup to Discuss Next Generation Internet FVC.COM, a provider of Internet video applications, has launched a Web-based newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of issues surrounding the Next Generation Internet (NGI). The NGI is the new broadband Internet, being deployed by service providers and enterprises for the integrated delivery of voice, video and data applications. A key characteristic of the NGI is the ability to handle multimedia applications such as real-time interactive video, as well as stored and live video-on-demand. The newsgroup, located at http://www.fvc.com/newsgroup.phtml, is designed to provide a central information exchange for technology professionals who are implementing these leading-edge applications. The site utilizes standard newsgroup format, allowing contributors to post text messages directly to the site. The premier topics are "How is your organization using networked voice, video and data?" and "What are the challenges and opportunities for users, carriers and vendors who deploy these networks?" --------------------------------------------------

DEALS

Multigen, Paradigm Simulation to Merge MultiGen Inc. and Paradigm Simulation, Inc., both developers of realtime 3D software technology, have signed a definitive merger agreement in a move that will create MultiGen-Paradigm, Inc. Terms of the deal, expected to close within 30 days, were not disclosed. Both companies are privately held. "Visual simulation is experiencing two major trends - the growing demand for professional services and complete solutions among traditional simulation customers, and the ever-increasing popularity of simulation in new markets. This merger addresses both dynamics," said MultiGen CEO David Rolston, who will serve as president and CEO of MultiGen-Paradigm Inc. By combining realtime content creation, optimization and playback in a single, integrated product line, MultiGen-Paradigm hopes to drive the acceptance of realtime visualization in a wide variety of new markets, such as architectural design visualization, urban planning, training, and simulation-based acquisition. The merger will reportedly enable faster and more advanced innovations in realtime database generation and development of realtime visualization applications. Information about the two companies can be found on the Web at http://www.paradigmsim.com http://www.multigen.com. --------------------------------------------------

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Vivid Group Launches VR Soccer Game Toronto-based Vivid Group last week launched Soccer Zero-G, designed for use in public venues. To play, two teams of two to three players stand in front of a video camera and giant video screen. The players appear in real time on the same virtual playing field. They "run" around the field by simply leaning in the direction they wish to travel. Their interactive video touch lets them propel the virtual balls towards the net. A six-player game set up takes less than a 14' X 14' area, with configuration and layout adaptable to location parameters. The simplest setup consists of two video cameras on top of large-screen TVs facing a chromakey blue back wall. Players don't need to wear, touch or hold anything, as gesture-control information is read and analyzed from the video signal itself. For further information: http://www.vividgroup.com -------------------------------------------------- Participate in Battlezone II Development If you're a fan of Activision's excellent real-time first-person strategy game Battlezone, here's a chance to provide the Battlezone II development team at Pandemic Studios with feedback on game design questions. To be included in Pandemic's database of Battlezone players whom they will be emailing from time to time with questions about their opinions, preferences, and playing styles, send email with the word HITTEAM in the subject line at mailto:Battlezone2@pandemicstudios.com. Respond ASAP as they will only be taking participants for a limited time. -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Ships Urban Assault In an attempt to appease real-time strategy gamers who crave more first-person action, Microsoft has just released Urban Assault. The 3D-accelerated title, developed by Germany-based Terratools Computer Graphics Simulations, gives players cockpit control over 15 types of combat vehicles, including airplanes, 'copters, satellites, jeeps and tanks. Gamers fight against five distinct alien species with varying strengths and weaknesses, and 35 types of enemy vehicles, including biplanes and zeppelins. Other features include: * overhead transparent map * building and resource management, including squadron management for organizing platoons and setting aggressiveness * varied cityscape environment with 100 destructible building types * non-linear game-path tree with over 40 levels * support for force feedback * Internet play for up to four players Check out the action at http://www.microsoft.com/games/urbanassault/ -------------------------------------------------- Now Available: WC Secret Ops Part Deux The next episode of Wing Commander: Secret Ops is available for downloading at http://www.secretops.com for the latest. The file size of Episode 2 is approximately 500 KB. -------------------------------------------------- Berkeley Systems Ships HeadRush, Teen Trivia For younger trivia fans who can't relate to the crusty '70s-era subject matter of the You Don't Know Jack series, Sierra division Berkeley Systems has just shipped HeadRush. The $30 Mac/Wintel game includes over 550 questions covering topic areas from South Park to Shakespeare and the X-Files to X-Men. The developers cranked up the animation and sound effects, introducing each question with a humorous cartoon segue, and adding fake ads for "sponsors" like Puppy Farm and Humpy Cola. Players can "Bite Their Neighbor" and force another player to answer a question correctly or have their player icon chomped. Three can play at one time on a single keyboard. BS also announced it will ship After Dark Games this fall, a set of 11 games featuring characters from the company's immortal screen-saver series. -------------------------------------------------- 989 Ships Wintel NFL GameDay '99 Sony makes its move into the PC software biz as subsidiary 989 Studios ships NFL GameDay '99 for Windows-based PCs. The title, previously available for PlayStation, features 3D polygonal motion-captured graphics, stadium models based on actual blueprints, and commentary from sportscasters Dick Enberg and Phil Simms. Also: * free-floating 3D TV-type presentation * three playing styles: simulation, arcade and "total control" * three difficulty levels * supports Direct3D and 3Dfx Voodoo Visit 989 on the Web at http://www.989studios.com. -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Releases Revenge of Arcade, Announces Pinball Arcade Now shipping from Microsoft is Revenge of Arcade, which includes Ms. Pac-Man, Xevious, Rally-X, Mappy and Motos. Players can increase the number of lives for Ms. Pac-Man, pump up the enemy intelligence in Xevious or increase the bonus levels in Rally-X. Scheduled for early-November availability, Microsoft Pinball Arcade combines seven licensed pinball table games that represent the evolution of pinball around the globe. The collection brings the history of arcade pinball games to the PC, representing each decade from 1930 to 1990, including Baffle Ball (1932), one of the first pinball prototypes; Humpty Dumpty (1947), the first pinball game with flippers; Haunted House (1982), the first triple-decker table; as well as Knock Out, Slick Chick, Spirit of 76 and Cue Ball Wizard. -------------------------------------------------- Konami Kicks Off Soccer Game for N64, PlayStation, Game Boy Konami of America announces the shipping of three new Konami Sports Series titles, the next-generation versions of its International Superstar Soccer. The original game, which sold over a million units worldwide, was created exclusively for the Nintendo 64 and recently won an Academy Award for Best Console Sports Game of 1997. The game was enhanced for 1998 and is being released in three different versions: International Superstar Soccer '98 for the N64, International Superstar Soccer Pro '98 for the Sony PlayStation and International Superstar Soccer for the Game Boy. The Nintendo 64 version features "head tracking" elements, allowing the player's eyes and head to follow the actual ball movement on screen. It also features precise player movement with variable speed due to 3D analog joystick control. Other features new to both console versions include multiple camera angles; motion-capture technology providing more than 17,000 player animations; and play-by-play with Tony Gubba, BBC soccer announcer. -------------------------------------------------- Flat Cat Announces Caesars Palace Titles Interplay Productions division Flat Cat will release two new gambling titles this fall. Caesars Palace II for the PlayStation lets gambling enthusiasts try their hand at eight casino favorites: Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, Video Poker, Keno, Mini-Baccarat and Poker Challenge for up to four players. Novice players can access the on-screen help and tutorials, with coaching and advice from the pros to maximize the odds of winning. The more seasoned player will appreciate the statistical analysis feature, allowing them to analyze and chart their gambling performance and gaming history for each saved game. There are also four levels of high-roller status that the player may achieve, which then allow him/her to play additional tables at higher stakes. Caesars Palace Slots for IBM and compatible systems gives players the opportunity to play with over 100 slot machines, from basic three reel, three payline style machine to the new "Australian" style machine with five reels and seven paylines. The Slot Machine Constructor Kit lets players create and share their own style of slot machine, choosing from a library of icons, sound files and different coin denominations to construct themed slot machines. Players can build upon samples included with the game or create variations by importing their own artwork and sound files, and send their slot machine creations to friends via email. More information is available at http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- IMagic Announces Shadow Company Scheduled for release in early spring 1999 is Interactive Magic's Shadow Company. A real-time, strategy/combat game, the title features 3D mercenaries operating within a detailed 3D-terrain environment. Players begin by assembling a team of mercenaries by choosing from diverse characters. Each team member has a different background and is supported by a detailed dossier. Characters in Shadow Company display unique personality traits that contribute, or detract, from their combat effectiveness. The game environment uses textures sampled from real world objects. Players can roam through the countryside using the free-floating camera. Look down on a compound from far away or zoom in close. Dynamic light sourcing enhances the glow of street lamps and city lights. Physics modeling lets armored vehicles gain and lose momentum as they travel over rolling terrain, and tanks recoil when they fire. Bullet trajectories are affected by wind direction. When a mercenary throws a grenade, it arcs realistically and bounces when it lands. Contact Interactive Magic at http://www.imagicgames.com. -------------------------------------------------- Blue Byte Acquires 3D Technology Blue Byte Software will acquire exclusive rights to Myrun, a new 3D engine developed by game developer KAiNAi. Erik Simon, head of development for Blue Byte in Mülheim, describes the features of the KAiNAi engine: "The Myrun 3D engine is capable of adapting to different computer configurations by smoothly varying the accuracy of detail in 3D objects. In this way, the running speed on a P233 and a P400 are nearly identical--only the detail accuracy differs." In Q4'99, Blue Byte will publish Grimh, a Myrun-based game the company vaguely describes as containing "action and strategy elements, but combined in a unique way." Also, Blue Byte will publish god game The Settlers III in Q4'98. A DVD version, with higher resolution for the animated intro and cut-scenes, will follow at the turn of the year. --------------------------------------------------

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. -------------------------------------------------- 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 -------------------------------------------------- ©Copyright 1998 Motion Blur Media. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any for-profit or revenue-generating venue in any form without written permission from the publisher.
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