Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 14 Sep 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)

WEBMEISTER --Ulead Launches Free Online Service for Speeding Web Graphics --Product Manages Link Lists for Site Owners IN THE INFOGROOVE --Alis Offers Multilingual Browser --Service Offers $100 Internet Dial-Up Access for Life GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING --Live Picture Debuts Network Publishing --Matrox Announces PCI Version of Millennium G200 SD WEBSIGHTINGS --ClubEarth Helps Car Owners Neutralize Impact on Atmosphere --Northern Light Adds Realtime, Full-Text Indexed News THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER --Jupiter Defines "Utilivision" as Key Interactive Tactic for TV Industry --Spunky Spider Teaches Web Typography --DNS & BIND Third Edition Released --UNIX in a Nutshell Cracks a Half Million Copies in Print --Longitudinal Study to Document VR Market --Companies Sponsor 3D Character Design Contest for QUAKE II DEALS --Eidos Acquires Crystal Dynamics --Lucasarts, Activision Announce Distribution Partnership GAMES PEOPLE PLAY --Heart of Darkness Hits Retail --Sony Unleashes Spyro the Dragon --Square Soft Ships Cinematic RPG Parasite Eve --Sentinel Returns from Psygnosis Ready for Play --Microsoft Announces Combat Flight Simulator --Sierra Studios Announces Partners for Half-Life OEM Release --Lucas at Work on New X-Wing Title F.Y.I. --About Spectrum --------------------------------------------------


Ulead Launches Free Online Service for Speeding Web Graphics Ulead Systems has launched the Ulead Graphics Optimization Toolkit, a free online service designed to assist Web graphic designers in creating Web-ready images. The service provides users with access to features similar to those found in Ulead SmartSaver 3.0, Ulead's image optimization utility. The Graphics Optimization Toolkit employs an interactive, WYSIWYG interface for producing Web-friendly GIF, JPEG and PNG images. To use the service, users begin by uploading the image they wish to reduce and choosing from various presets. A Preview button enables balancing between quality and file size. Then, the image is saved and the result is a reduced-size version of the original, which, when published on a Web page, loads faster. The Graphics Optimization Toolkit can be found at http://www.Webutilities.com. -------------------------------------------------- Product Manages Link Lists for Site Owners Ottawa-based i/us Corporation has launched JumpList, its Web service designed for Web site owners and managers who need to build and maintain a categorized directory of links to either internal or external pages, or other Web-based resources, for site visitors. JumpList is suitable for categorizing collections of links to sites, pages, graphics, sound, video, text or other HTTP-accessible content. Applications range from users building their favorite lists of sound files or favorite Web sites on their home pages to companies building gateways to archived resources. The base requirement to add a JumpList to a Web site is the ability to simply add a single URL to any page on the customer site. Products like JumpList are part of an emerging new category called value-added Web services, according to Jakob Nielsen, Web design guru of Nielsen Norman Group (http://ww.nngroup.com). Web services manage activities and responsibilities that site owners dont want to take on themselves, due to time, technical competence or cost considerations. Examples of Web services include credit card payment authorization, discussion forums, guestbooks, banner management and hit counters. JumpList is being made available in two versions. A free, limited-functionality version lets users manage up to 100 of their links within a single category, while the $30/year version adds: * creation of up to 999 categories and subcategories * customizable user interface * email notification of visitor submitted or broken links * control of Hot, New and Top link prioritization * ability to disable freeware ad banner JumpList will display within versions 3 and higher of Netscape Navigator/Communicator or Internet Explorer. Because JumpList is a distributed service, customer link and configuration information resides on i/us servers, and customers are freed from having to download or manage any data at their location. The toll-free number in North America is 1-888-487-5510. International customers call 613-569-2949. Fax inquiries should be sent to 613-230-3684. The Web site is http://www.i-us.com or http://www.jumplist.com. --------------------------------------------------


Alis Offers Multilingual Browser World Language Resources, Inc. (WLR), an online provider of language-related products, now offers Alis Technologies' Tango Browser V.3.1 on its Web site. Tango is a multilingual Internet browser that makes Web pages that have been developed in any of more than 90 languages readable in the user's preferred language. Languages supported include left-to-right languages such as English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, and right-to-left read languages such as Hebrew and Arabic, as well as ideographic languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Tango offers internationalized content. For instance, while the "What'sNew" quick-access button on the English interface leads to "What's New on Yahoo!", the same button on the Spanish interface, labeled "Novedades", instead takes users to a site of interest to Spanish-speaking users. In addition to providing multimedia capabilities and support for cookies, the browser supports frames as well as transaction security with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. Tango also includes an integrated mail program with address book and attachment capabilities. WLR offers three versions of the Tango Multilingual Browser: Tango Lite V. 3.1 (Arabic, French, English) is $19.95; the standard 90-language versions--Tango Browser V. 3.1 and Tango Browser Pro with Japanese Support V. 3.1--are priced at $59.95 and $84.95 respectively. Visit WLR's Web site at http://www.worldlanguage.com. -------------------------------------------------- Service Offers $100 Internet Dial-Up Access for Life This sounds like a good deal, but I'd take it with a grain of salt. netgenie announced last week the limited-time availability of its new premium One Fee Online Service, covering over 80 percent of the US population. The $99.95 first month of service fee includes a netgenie Welcome Kit, featuring a Quick-Connect PC CD-ROM with a multimedia Internet tutorial. Thereafter, service is reportedly free. The registration line is open 24/7 by calling 1-800-330-1270. For more information, visit http://www.netgenie.com or send mailto:marketing@netgenie.com. --------------------------------------------------


Live Picture Debuts Network Publishing Live Picture, Inc. recently debuted Network Publishing for distributing and printing image-rich color documents over networks. The system is designed to reduce the production cost of corporate documents and accelerate access to those documents by making them Web-ready for printing on demand anywhere the network reaches. At the heart of Network Publishing is the integration of the Live Picture Image Server with Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). Based on Flashpix, the resolution-on-demand imaging technology developed by Live Picture, Network Publishing allows for images to be rendered at the correct resolution to support any use of the document, including viewing, printing, or online publishing. In a separate announcement, Live Picture announced it has signed a Letter of Intent with Adobe to license Adobe's PDF technology. Live Picture is on the Web at http://www.livepicture.com. -------------------------------------------------- Matrox Announces PCI Version of Millennium G200 SD Montreal-based Matrox Graphics last week announced a PCI version of the Matrox Millennium G200 SD for 2D applications, 3D games and video playback. The card was previously available only in an AGP configuration. Fitted with 8 or 16MB of SDRAM, the Matrox Millennium G200 SD PCI will sell at $129 ESP for 8MB and $49 ESP for the 8MB SDRAM upgrade. The G200 SD PCI's quality and performance are attributed to the new MGA-G200 graphics chip, which integrates a 230 MHz RAMDAC, a 128-bit DualBus architecture and 3D rendering and setup engine. When equipped with 16 MB of SDRAM, applications can run 24-bit color at resolutions up to 1920 x 1200. Additionally, the memory can be used to run 3D applications at 1280 x 1024 in 32bpp double buffered with a 32-bit Z-buffer. Available multimedia add-ons include: digital flat panel monitor or TV out support, TV tuning and video editing, hardware DVD acceleration, and video conferencing. --------------------------------------------------


ClubEarth Helps Car Owners Neutralize Impact on Atmosphere Feeling guilty about the effects of your gas guzzler on the environment? Here's a way to spend a little dough and sleep easier at night. Over 40 percent of human-made CO2 emissions are from cars. The average car pumps more than 15,000 pounds (about 6.5 tons) of this colorless gas into the atmosphere each year. Carbon dioxide, however, is one of the most harmful of the greenhouse gases. As these gaseous molecules float in our atmosphere, they bounce the sun's radiation back to the earth--a process that results in increased temperatures around the earth and altered weather patterns. Though many people ignore it, driving the car to work contributes to global warming. Global warming is a tangible problem: This century has already been marked as the warmest in 600 years, and 1997 was the warmest year on record. In response to this, businesses and governments have begun the expensive process of developing complicated technologies --that may never be successful. However, there is at least one practical means to combat Global Warming that already exists and has already proven effective: planting trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide given off by cars and trucks, and replace it with the oxygen we need to breathe. Rather than investing its efforts into the high-tech industry, ClubEarth created a business planting trees. Members pay ClubEarth to plant enough trees each year to neutralize their vehicle's CO2 emissions. Twelve trees, for example, will be planted each year for the owner of one small car; fifty-two trees will be planted each year for the two-car family who uses their vehicles frequently. ClubEarth (at http://www.clubearthinternational.com) arranges long- term agreements with landowners who will guarantee to protect ClubEarth trees. Explains Andre Lassota, president of ClubEarth: "Because trees grow faster and absorb CO2 year round in tropical climates, most of our projects are and will be located in Central and South America, South Eastern Asia, and Africa. Our projects will bring back trees to the areas most damaged by deforestation process, restore a healthy ecosystem, and benefit all future generations in very positive ways." -------------------------------------------------- Northern Light Adds Realtime, Full-Text Indexed News Northern Light, LLC last week introduced Current News search, a real-time news service, to its business research service. The free service gives business professionals access to news spanning 11 areas: * business * computers and technology * economic reports * entertainment * press releases * politics * health and medicine * sports news * sports results * stock reports * weather conditions Users can narrow their search to any of the 11 areas. They can browse the day's headlines and stories, search the two-week news archive and sort results by relevance or date or limit the news to Today or the Last Two Hours. Information sources include Agence France Presse, AisaInfo, AP, BusinessWire, Canadian Corporate News, Compass Middle East News Service, Fednet Government News, Futures World News, M2, Macweek Online, ITAR/TASS, PC Week Online, PR Newswire, South American Business Information, UPI, Xinhua News Agency, Ziff-Davis Newswire, and others. Current News service is a full-text index of the stories. Users can search on any words that a story might contain and can use Northern Light's full range of syntax (e.g., searching for phrases, Boolean operators, wildcards) to find relevant news coverage. The full-text index is updated every two minutes. Contact Northern Light at http://www.nlsearch.com. -------------------------------------------------- THE DIALS & LEVERS OF POWER Jupiter Defines "Utilivision" as Key Interactive Tactic for TV Industry Contrary to industry assumptions that digital television will represent a breakthrough in interactive entertainment, Jupiter Communications last week advised clients to focus their next-generation television efforts on contextual and utility-driven information. The concept, called "utilivision," underscores consumers' desire for useful information within a manageable television experience. Jupiter's research supports consumers' preference for utility-driven supplemental information as the future of interactive television and presents a dismal outlook for entertainment-driven supplemental content. A Jupiter survey revealed that more than 37 percent of online consumers expressed an interest in receiving online content in support of news. Consumers also indicated that television viewing experiences that are less data intensive - such as movies, dramas, and sitcoms - merit less supplemental data, but still attract nearly 20 percent of respondents' interest in additional content for movies and less than 10 percent for sitcoms or dramas. "While leading broadcasters and cable properties are experimenting with supplemental content on the Web to drive traffic to their off-line programming," said Mark Mooradian, group director of Jupiter's Consumer Content Strategies, "they will need to prepare for a world where their broadcast medium assumes online qualities." Jupiter predicts that less than 20 percent of homes will be equipped with digital TV by 2006. Therefore, utility-driven features will remain standard-bearers of the online experience. The slow growth of the two media may hamper broadcasting, cable, and consumer electronics companies' plans to capitalize on new digital services. Jupiter also urged electronics companies not to mimic the PC in their quest to make television smarter. While there is strong online consumer interest in contextual information, the majority of consumers are willing to exert only minimal effort to receive added value from digital TV services. Jupiter asked online consumers what they were willing to do to obtain interactivity on the TV, and 39 percent cited that they would utilize a simple remote control function, while 26 percent felt they would do nothing to obtain the new features. Only 10 percent found that they would either "browse the Web" or "click on TV/Web links." "With PC prices falling quickly, Jupiter believes that the PC will continue to remain the dominant platform for Web access. However, its broad focus as a platform diminishes its suitability for the digital set-top task," said Ross Scott Rubin, group director of Jupiter's Web Technology Strategies. Rubin encourages consumer electronics companies to pursue devices that allow for "scalable interactivity" to accommodate consumers' acceptance of and comfort with interactivity. Rubin also said that several companies arm's-length embrace of Windows CE is evidence that consumer electronics and cable companies are wary of promoting software companies' agendas. Jupiter is currently conducting research that further investigates the value of adding Internet connectivity to different classes of consumer electronics products. More detailed research and analysis on the digital television industry can be found in Jupiter's book-length study TELEVISION INDUSTRY AND THE INTERNET, which is available for purchase. For more information, visit http://www.jup.com. -------------------------------------------------- Spunky Spider Teaches Web Typography Joe Sinclair would like us to know that his latest book, Typography on the Web, is now in the bookstores. It's the touching story of a young boy who becomes mentally deranged after being attacked by giant digital fonts from outer space. He regains his sanity after numerous Internet therapy sessions with Dr. Linda Tripp and goes on to become the famous director of the blockbuster remake of the movie Amazon Women on the Moon, with subtitles in five languages using only one Garamond condensed typeface. But success doesn't spoil him. He takes the money he makes on the movie and retires in a small Montana town, devoting himself to the preservation of old print biographies of Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg. The tale is compassionately narrated by a small tarantula named Spunky. This is a stirring story you won't want your friends and relatives to miss. Remember, only 104 shopping days till Christmas. Seriously, the book (AP Professional, ISBN: 012645545-7, $44.95) covers Cascading Style Sheets 1 (CSS 1) which enables layout and Bitstream's TrueDoc, which enables typesetting. The primary limitation is that only the 4.0 browsers can properly render such Web pages. The book also provides traditional typography and digital typography primers for those who missed the desktop publishing revolution and includes a variety of other relevant topics including: * a little on CSS 2 * Microsoft's font embedding * HTML typography * a little on DHTML typography * net-TV typography * a little on Java typography * cross-media typography * a primer on SGML and XML -------------------------------------------------- DNS & BIND Third Edition Released If you're using the Internet, you're already using DNS (Domain Name System)--even if you don't know it. The just-released third edition of the O'Reilly's "DNS & BIND" (482 pages, 1-56592-512-2, $32.95) discusses one of the Internet's fundamental building blocks: the distributed host information database that's responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and many other services. This new edition covers BIND 4.9, on which most commercial products are currently based, and BIND 8, which implements many important new features and will be the basis for the next generation of commercial name servers. Whenever a feature is available only in the 4.8.3, 4.9, or 8.1.2 versions, or if there is a difference in behavior of the versions, authors Paul Albitz & Cricket Liu note which version does what. It also covers topics like DNS security (greatly improved with BIND 8.1), asynchronous notification of changes to a zone, dynamic updates, and programming with Perl's Net::DNS module. Visit http://www.oreilly.com -------------------------------------------------- UNIX in a Nutshell Cracks a Half Million Copies in Print While Windows 98, antitrust actions, and all things Microsoft continue to dominate headlines, the UNIX operating system keeps quietly and ubiquitously driving Web hub servers and corporate networks. Despite prevailing wisdom heralding the demise of UNIX, the venerable operating system seems to be not only holding but actually gaining ground. It's in the numbers. UNIX sales climbed a higher-than-expected 20 percent this past year. O'Reilly & Associates' "UNIX In a Nutshell" marked a milestone last month, surpassing 500,000 copies in print plus six years on the Publishers Weekly computer book bestseller list. This title has achieved staying power seldom seen among computer books. "UNIX is not sexy or hot or new, but our book remains a bestseller," observes Tim O'Reilly. -------------------------------------------------- Longitudinal Study to Document VR Market The first multi-year market study on the Visual Simulation and Virtual Reality industry is about to be launched by analyst CyberEdge Information Services. A follow-up to last year's research, "The Market for Visual Simulation/Virtual Reality Systems, Second Edition" will build on the work done last year by extending the breadth and depth of the study population, and by providing the trend data in this exploding market. Last year's study, still available, showed that significant growth and business opportunities exist in the virtual reality industry. "The Market for Visual Simulation/Virtual Reality Systems, First Edition" is the first statistically valid study ever done on this technology. It is the result of methodical research, including interviews with industry leaders, and surveys of existing data. It looked at the size of the market in 1997 and projected the growth anticipated in 1998. The study was completed in November of 1997. That report found that the 1997 marketplace was valued at approximately US$480 million, and would approach 1 billion dollars in 1998. The second edition will build on that body of research, to plot the course of the market through the end of the century. Expanding its reach to Europe and Asia, "The Market for Visual Simulation/Virtual Reality, Second Edition" will be conducted through interviews with developers and users of visual simulation and virtual reality equipment, systems, and software. The US$1,475 report will be issued before the end of the year. Contact CEIS at #1 Gate Six Road, Suite G, Sausalito, CA 94965 USA, +1 415 331-EDGE (3343), FAX: +1 415 331-3643, mailto:research@cyberedge.com, http://www.cyberedge.com. -------------------------------------------------- Companies Sponsor 3D Character Design Contest for QUAKE II Chaos! Comics, Blockbuster, Macromedia, iDot, Canopus, and Kinetix are joining forces to offer 3D artists a chance to design their own versions of Chaos! Comics' stable of characters in conjunction with QUAKE II, id Software's popular PC/CD-ROM Game, distributed by Activision. The basic idea behind the contest is for users to create a Chaos! character 3D-player plug-in model for use in Quake II. Contestants can create 3D versions of such Chaos! Characters as Evil Ernie, Lady Death, Chastity, and Homicide. Once created, the models can be dropped into Quake II, and actually become characters within the game environment. Visit the http://www.chaoscomics.com to get a look at the stable of Chaos! characters and to obtain contest rules and instructions. --------------------------------------------------


Eidos Acquires Crystal Dynamics Eidos Interactive Inc., publisher of the "Tomb Raider" and "Fighting Force" franchises, has acquired Menlo Park, Calif.-based Crystal Dynamics, publishers of the game franchises "GEX" and "Legacy of Kain." The acquisition is said to be worth $47.5 million. Crystal Dynamics was formed in 1994 to create games for the now-defunct 3DO videogame console, but has since moved on to other platforms. Crystal Dynamics will continue to develop its own entertainment software brands, with an unchanged product-release schedule: "The Unholy War" and "Akuji the Heartless" will both ship before the holidays in the fourth quarter of 1998; and both "Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver" and "GEX 3" will ship on schedule in the first quarter of 1999. Furthermore, the Crystal Dynamics studio and staff will continue operations without change. More information on the two companies can be found on the Internet at http://www.eidosinteractive.com and http://www.crystald.com. -------------------------------------------------- Lucasarts, Activision Announce Distribution Partnership LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC and Activision, Inc. have entered into an exclusive publishing and distribution partnership in the United Kingdom and 45 additional countries including those in Scandinavia, Central Europe, the Middle East and certain African countries. The two-year deal grants Activision the rights to distribute all upcoming LucasArts PC and PlayStation games in these territories. -------------------------------------------------- GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Heart of Darkness Hits Retail Interplay division Tantrum Productions last week released Heart of Darkness, the long-awaited Amazing Studio creation. This cinema style action/adventure is available for the Sony PlayStation console and Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0/5.0 based PCs. In their joint venture with Infogrames Multimedia, Tantrum/Interplay is publishing Heart of Darkness in North America and Infogrames has published the title in Europe. "We treated the development of Heart of Darkness like the development of an animated movie from beginning to end," stated Frederic Savoir, co-founding member of Amazing Studio. The title marks the first PlayStation title ever to be entirely done in 16 million colors. As Andy, a young loner afraid of the dark, gamers begin the Heart of Darkness experience on the receiving end of a verbal lashing from an angry teacher. Andy's narrow escape from punishment place him at the side of his best friend, a dog named Whisky. It isn't long before Whisky disappears and Andy is faced with the biggest challenge of his life. He must climb, swing, twist, swim, and shoot through a fantastic and mysterious world of darkness to rescue Whisky and bring him home. Visit http://www.heartofdarkness.com and http://www.interplay.com. -------------------------------------------------- Sony Unleashes Spyro the Dragon Just out for PlayStation is Spyro the Dragon, a character-based, action adventure title created in partnership with Sony, Universal Interactive Studios and Universal City-based developer Insomniac Games. Spyro the Dragon lets players glide, fly, roll, jump, charge, flame and frolic through more than 30 fantasy worlds as the titular character embarks to save his dragon species by defeating Gnasty Gnorc and his team of wizards and evil beasts. Players collect treasures, recover stolen family jewels, discover hidden kingdoms and enjoy zany enemies and antics. Stocked with more than 80 different types of dragons - all with their own special names - Spyro the Dragon must outmaneuver and outwit his many opponents to prove his valor as the supreme hero of the day. Visit http://www.playstation.com -------------------------------------------------- Square Soft Ships Cinematic RPG Parasite Eve Square Soft last week announced the availability of its new cinematic role playing game (RPG) Parasite Eve. Developed through the collaborative efforts of the Final Fantasy VII development team and digital artists from the Hollywood film industry, Parasite Eve for the PlayStation game console, Parasite Eve is the first of four titles to be marketed and distributed this Fall in North America under the recently-formed Square Electronic Arts L.L.C. joint venture. With elements of action, exploration, horror and adventure, Parasite Eve employs the same graphic format used in Final Fantasy VII to integrate computer-generated (CG) full motion video (FMV) sequences with detailed gameplay environments. Based on the best-selling science fiction novel of the same name by H. Sena, Parasite Eve puts the player in the role of New York City cop, Aya Brea. Armed with an arsenal of customizable weapons and armor, players are pitted against evil microscopic mitochondria and the mutated monsters they create. Spanning over a time period of six days, the tale begins the night before Christmas in New York City, where mitochondria begin a revolution by taking over different life forms, including human bodies. Throughout the game, Aya does battle with various mutated monsters, including sewer rats, giant worms, crabs and an awakened mitochondria lifeform who calls herself "Eve." Confrontations and battles take place throughout New York City at landmarks such as Central Park, Chinatown and the Chrysler Building as Aya and her allies attempt to stop Eve from ridding Manhattan, and eventually the earth, of all living creatures. The game's "Active Time Battle" system blends real-time and turn-based 3D polygon battles. While waiting for the Active Time (AT) meter to fill, players are challenged with the task of maneuvering throughout the battlefield to dodge enemy attacks. Once the AT meter is full they are once again on the offensive and ready to do battle against numerous monsters. More information can be found at http://www.squaresoft.com. -------------------------------------------------- Sentinel Returns from Psygnosis Ready for Play Amidst rumors of its purchase from Sony by Eidos Interactive, which just acquired Crystal Dynamics (see Deals story, above), Psygnosis has published Sentinel Returns, including a score by John "Halloween" Carpenter. Sentinel Returns is available for both PC and PlayStation game console in August, for an estimated retail price of $49.95. The original Sentinel, a 1980s strategy game by Geoff Crammond, became an instant classic, with an elegantly simple design, sparse yet chilling landscape, and the slow tension of a psychological thriller. Rather than being an object in the game universe, the player is a presence that moves through the landscapes by transferring to different bodies. Alternately absorbing and expending energy, the player seeks to gain control of each level by rising to its highest point in an effort to reach to the final, ultimate battle against the nightmare that is the Sentinel. At each level, the player must also avoid the invisible yet deadly, energy-draining beams of the opposition. Sentinel Returns is produced by No Name Games, and developed by Hookstone, a UK production studio. The 3D graphic redesign uses texturing, animation and lighting techniques to create four eerie and themed play environments; Earth, Air, Fire and Water -- as well as a final, "terrifying" level called the Void. Information on Psygnosis can be found on the Web at http://www.psygnosis.com. -------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Announces Combat Flight Simulator Microsoft's very first entertainment title, back in the mid-'80s, was Flight Simulator, which it bought from pioneer sim developer Sublogic. Now, over a decade later, the venerable title gets violent. Combat Flight Simulator will start appearing on store shelves on November 5, for an anticipated street price of $55. The World War II historical air combat simulation game includes eight aircraft, each with its own flight model and all featuring detailed cockpits. Players experience real-world navigation, based upon historical information and atlas data. CFS allows each PC aviator to choose from a variety of aerial combat scenarios. Options include historical missions and campaigns, Free Flight and Quick Combat. To view a Combat Flight Sim AVI movie, listen to a collection of voice clips and sounds from the game, read a Q&A with the development team, or get additional information, visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs/. -------------------------------------------------- Sierra Studios Announces Partners for Half-Life OEM Release Sierra Studios is shipping Half-Life: Day One to several hardware manufacturers to include with their products in fourth quarter bundles. Half-Life: Day One is an abridged (250 MB) version of Valve's much-ballyhooed first-person action game. Half-Life, which is being developed by Valve, sparked interest from a variety of potential OEM partners after being named "Best PC Game" and "Best Action Game" at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The full title is due to hit retail in late October. The OEM deals will begin Fall 1998 for Half-Life: Day One. Confirmed partners in the program include: * Diamond Multimedia, bundling Half-Life: Day One with their Monster Sound MX300 sound card * Guillemot International, bundling Half-Life: Day One with their Maxi Gamer Phoenix Voodoo Banshee Board * ThrustMaster, bundling Half-Life: Day One with their Frag Master Joystick Founded in 1996, Valve develops games software. Based in Kirkland, Washington, the company consists of more than 25 artists, game designers, and programmers. More information about Valve is available through the company's Web site at http://www.valvesoftware.com. -------------------------------------------------- Lucas at Work on New X-Wing Title Fans of LucasArts' X-Wing space combat series will be pleased to know that George & company plan to publish Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance in Q1 '99. Developed by Totally Games, which produced the previous X-Wing titles as well as Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe and other flight combat games, X-Wing Alliance presents a story-driven collection of single and multiplayer missions that use an enlarged scale of action, resulting in battles that include twice as many craft and objects. Missions can occur in up to four sectors of activity and battles can be waged within the same planetary group, solar system, or locations scattered throughout the galaxy. Players can hyperwarp to different sectors during a mission. They can pilot the X-wing, A-wing, B-wing, Y-wing, Z-95, as well as the Millennium Falcon and Corellian transport ships. While aboard the Falcon and transports, players can man the quad laser cannon turrets that Han Solo and Luke Skywalker used to fight attacking TIE fighters in the original Star Wars movie. Players must successfully complete two training missions in order to qualify for Rebel Alliance pilot status, navigating an obstacle-strewn race course while shooting at randomly placed targets. The title will support 3D acceleration as well as advanced interface devices such as force feedback and rudder pedals. Visit http://www.lucasarts.com. --------------------------------------------------


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.