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What's New

by Jason Whong

Happy New Year!

What were you doing when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 1998? Panicking about how soon the next milennium arrives? As a Macintosh owner, you won't need to panic 2 years from now, when the Year 2000 crisis kicks in. Thanks to the MacOS, you're immune, unless you're running an obscure DOS port of Quicken, or other arcane programs from many years back. Now, why doesn't Apple advertise this? There's still time for a "If you had built on us, you wouldn't have this Y2k problem" ad campaign. Ah, but I digress. Happy New Year.

Mars Rising Ships!

Mars Rising Logo

Mars Rising went out the door a few days ago, and the response has been fantastic! Downloads and registrations are brisk, and technical problems are at a minimum. If you're ready to quell the Martian insurrection, check out Mars Rising's web site today!

Here at the offices, we've been playing against each other over lunch (and even before and after lunch). This game really rocks in 2 player mode. Of course, 1 player mode is quite a challenge. Our neighbors downstairs are getting used to the incessant noise of Mars Rising sound effects each day.

New Escape Velocity follow-on

some ships, a space station, and a planetEV fans, your wishes have been granted. We're pleased to introduce Override (working title), the brainchild of Peter Cartwright. With around 300 new star systems to explore, a number of new alien civilizations to encounter, and a seriously developed plot, this game is sure to please. We're even working on a few improvements to the EV program itself!

No word on pricing yet, but registered owners of the Original Escape Velocity will be allowed to upgrade for a lower price. Check out our Sneak Peek at Override in this issue.

Cythera in beta

Guess who has to clean Hector's cage for announcing that Cythera would be "out by Year's end" in the last issue? Well, in my defense, I didn't say which year's end it would be released before, so I wasn't lying.

It's shaping up pretty nicely, and right now we're working on sweetening it for release. We want Cythera to have a large appeal, and we think it will be a great game.

Ambrosia Wins Steamed Crabby award!

Don Crabb, who can only be described as a cult of personality, decided to start his own awards, where he recognizes cool developers who enhance the Mac experience. Read his glowing recommendation, in which he calls us the "Mac Shareware Game Authority".

Janus, the server with two faces

Some of you are aware of our love affair with Silicon Graphics Internet servers. Our first web server was Thaumaturgist, a nice Indy WebForce server. Thaumaturgist was a nice machine, but if she went down, Ambrosia would be in serious trouble.

To make up for this, we've decided to buy some nifty new servers. Janus is a pair of SGI Origin 200s, connected with a really thick fiber-optic cable. If one goes down, the other one still has a fighting chance of serving your downloads (and accepting your registrations). Hector even likes it; he squawks "Me gusta los computadores de SGI muy mucho" whenever the subject comes up. It's well known that all African Grey Parrots named Hector speak Spanish.

What will become of our beloved thaumaturgist, which served us honorably for several years? Well, we're trying to work out a deal where she gets a new home on a network connected to a different Internet backbone, which happens to be right across the hall. The 'net is funny like that.

Oh, if you're into the study of ancient gods, Janus was a god with two faces. His new enemy is Zeus, who hurls lightning bolts at unuspecting servers.

Ambrosia defeats Epic Megagames in Bowling

Epic Megagames, the famous Windows Shareware company, went up against Ambrosia in a bowling tournament. Actually, it was just Producer Doug Gibson against Marketing guy Jason Whong. The competition was fierce, and Ambrosia came out on top...for one of the 2 games that someone kept score. It was a tie, to be settled in late December (the next time Jason was in Washington visiting his parents).

The first two games of the tiebreaker had scores so dismally low that Doug asked me not to print them. So we went for a third, and I beat him. I think I even had a turkey that game. More proof that Macs rule: the one-button mouse won't mess up your bowling game!

Does this mean we have a relationship with Epic? No. MacSoft is doing Unreal, not Ambrosia. It just means we can kick their hind quarters in bowling. Maybe even chess, too.

Ambrosia's new web and ftp mirror at betterbox.net

Looking for a way to speed up downloads? Sometimes, switching to a different site can make those files transfer more quickly. The nice folks at betterbox.net have set up an ftp mirror and a web mirror of our sites. If you think these sites are faster, please use them. Janus won't feel bad. Inceidentally, betterbox.net offers shell accounts, domain registration, web virtual hosting, multiuser role playing game hosting, web development, and a variety of other services.

Looking for a few more good mirrors

If you find yourself in the enviable position of having a nifty ftp machine with plenty of space on your own network with a high-speed Internet gateway, we need you! Our T-1 has been maxed out since we released Mars Rising; this is partially why we delayed the release of the 'Times, since we knew nobody would be able to get at it.

We need mirrors to assist us during release periods. With a good enough network of mirrors, we should be able to decrease the strain on our own network, and keep everyone happy. Interested people will host our software for about 1 or 2 weeks, after which, download demand should decrease. We'll even send you a license code (up to a $20 value!) for your troubles. Don't wait! Contact us today to reserve your spot.

Writer needed

The search and rescue team has failed; we have not heard from Michael Dortch for some time, and we'd really like to have a ramblings column. Perhaps Mr. Dortch was buried in a deluge of junk e-mail to his AOL account. Perhaps AOL never delivered any of our messages to him. If you're an industry insider (Henry Norr? Don Crabb? Andy I? Mac the Knife? Guy Kawasaki? John C. Dvorak?), and want to write columns for free, (or for free license codes), drop your future editor a note.
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