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Old 06-01-2002, 12:06 AM   #1
ScribeJC
 
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Mac/Cube/X-Box Ports: What do they mean for a new patch?

This is just curiosity and speculation:

With these new ports on the way, what will the effect be on the possibility of a 1.04 patch?

Obviously they need pretty locked-down code to start porting as effeciently as possible. The Gamecube and X-Box versions need to be set in stone more than the Mac version -- no patches on consoles (Yet. X-box does have the HD).

I assume that an attempt will be made to make the Mac version compatable with the PC one -- something the Quake 3 engine is good at. I remember how many times the Mac version of Unreal Tournament played catchup with all the PC patches. It was all a lot of work.

Will LucasArts be willing to do this? Will they make it easy on themselves by locking down the PC version? Is BS forever?

Tune in next week...

-JC
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Old 06-01-2002, 12:11 AM   #2
SPY_jmr1
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AFAIK raven is doing none of the ports, they have all been outsourced to other 3rd party comp. then raven.

the mac ver. is the only one that seems to need to be synced with the win86 ver.

unless the xbox is intended to play with the win86 and mac ver.s does it matter that its the same thing?
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Old 06-01-2002, 12:29 AM   #3
ScribeJC
 
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Yes, LucasArts is not involved in any of the ports. Aspyr is doing the Mac version. I was just wondering if they need to assure the porters that the game isn't going to change any more as they start working.

What are the ramifications of differences in the games? Can the porter be contracted to duplicate the same experience as much as possible? Or will they be allowed to make adjustments as they see fit?

And, again, all I really care about is how any of this affects whether or not we'll have a 1.04 patch -- which I'd like to see.

-JC
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Old 06-01-2002, 03:13 AM   #4
Brad Oliver
 
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Hi there, Brad Oliver here. I work for Westlake Interactive and am doing the Mac port for Aspyr (the Mac publisher). I think I can answer a few of your questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by ScribeJC
I was just wondering if they need to assure the porters that the game isn't going to change any more as they start working.
We got the 1.03 code to start with. There's not usually any promises made towards getting a specific version. As a general rule, we usually pester the PC developer for the latest code as soon as realistically possible. We can't easily budget or plan for future patches, so we basically pray that the game is stable when we start the port and hope that we don't have to patch it much, just for our own sanity. I've already had to patch Mac Civ3 3 times, so I won't shed too many tears if it never sees another PC patch, for example.

Quote:
What are the ramifications of differences in the games? Can the porter be contracted to duplicate the same experience as much as possible? Or will they be allowed to make adjustments as they see fit?
It's to our advantage to duplicate things that are going to be desired or wanted, like cross-platform netplay. We usually try to match feature sets as close as possible. It's not normally anything requested of us by the PC developer, it's more a matter of meeting the demands of Mac users.

We usually can make adjustments to the game as needed. For Alice, we redid the videos using a higher-quality codec and in the correct aspect ratio, for example. For SW:Galactic Battlegrounds, we also used a higher quality codec. A minor thing, but since QuickTime (and thus Sorensen2) is prevalent on the Mac moreso than Windows, not a big deal. I recall that in the original Dark Forces, the Mac port supported some larger game resolutions and cutscene artwork than on the PC as a concession to a later ship date for the Mac.

Quote:
And, again, all I really care about is how any of this affects whether or not we'll have a 1.04 patch -- which I'd like to see.
I doubt the Mac port will have any effect on future PC development. We hardly ever interact with the PC developers anyway. The xbox and GameCube are pretty different beasts, but I think the burden usually falls on the console porting company there too.

Brad
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Old 06-01-2002, 03:48 AM   #5
ScribeJC
 
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WOW!
Awesome response straight from the dev's mouth. Thanks!

My final comment about how the Mac port might affect future PC development arises from the notion that they might avoid any further patching in order to make your job easier. From your accounts of past efforts it's obvious that the PC dev's don't take that into consideration very often -- if at all.

We're hoping for one more patch around here. If it happens, I hope it's quick and painless for you. You do a great job expanding the audience for these games. I have numerous Mac friends and I'm always happy to announce to them that that cool PC game (ie: Wolfenstein) they watched me play is coming out for their Apple.

And then there's my dirty little secret: Not only am I a cross-platform computer user, I'm originally a Mac user -- starting with a 512K "fat" Mac! There's an old Powermac 6500 sitting right next to this Pentium I'm typing on now (it's great for kid's software). Very soon I'm in the market for a G4 and Final Cut Pro 3 and I know all your games will run just dandy on it.

Thanks, again,

-JC
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Old 06-01-2002, 01:52 PM   #6
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Hey Brad! Howd you find this place? LOL you seem to follow me :-P Anyway, thanks for the reply. I've been a lone Mac user in the midst here :-)


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost

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Old 06-01-2002, 08:45 PM   #7
Brad Oliver
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ScribeJC
From your accounts of past efforts it's obvious that the PC dev's don't take that into consideration very often -- if at all.
Exactly. In my experience, the only time they'd take that into account would be if they did simultaneous development internally for all platforms, like Blizzard. In those cases, they tend to QA all the ports at one time for a simultaneous patch release for Mac and PC.

Brad
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