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Monday, January 22, 2001
iDevGames Interviews Westlake, MacSoft
10:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two new interviews have been posted at Mac-centric developer site iDevGames: one with Mark Adams of Westlake Interactive, and the other with MacSoft's Brian Nesse. iDevGames is devoted to inspiring developers to make games for the Mac, so both chats discuss some of what goes on 'behind the scenes' of creating (or porting) a Macintosh game. The Q&A with Adams discusses his programming history, the staff at Westlake, and the how they go about porting a game to the Mac. Here's a clip about the infamous Unreal-patch syndrome:

You've been in the game development business for some time, and your list of titles is a "Who's Who" of Mac games. Looking back at your earlier work, how do you feel?

There are always little things you would have changed (more testing on some part of the game, a last minute code change you probably should have left out, etc), but for the most part I'm happy with how all my games turned out. There are some that just didn't turn out to be as fun as you hoped (like Klingon Honor Guard), but often that is because you start on the game before it is completely finished, and you are at the mercy of what the PC developers end up shipping. The biggest change I would have made to a past project would have been with Unreal. Knowing now all the patches and updates that came out for that game on the PC, I would have split the codebase early on and released two different updates – one for single player, which used the code that originally shipped and only contained Mac-specific fixes, and one for multi-player, which attempted to keep up with the rapidly changing PC net games. This way we wouldn't have left out Mac users who just wanted to play a good single player game, and didn't care about PC networking.

The other interview with Nesse covers MacSoft, the publisher of many Mac games which also ports some titles on its own. Many of their recent titles are aimed at the more 'casual' gamer in an attempt to better connect with the iMac crowd. Here he explains this change in more detail:
It must have been great for MacSoft to see Apple return to the consumer market with the iMac and iBook lines. However, some critics feel that the increase in iMac users doesn't necessary mean more gamers. What’s your impression on this?

Unfortunately this assessment appears to be a bit accurate. A large percentage of iMac buyers use it to access the Internet. It doesn't seem to be a "gamer's" machine. Most of today’s games are made for the avid or hardcode game player. I believe that iMac buyers generally fall into the category of "casual" game player. We are currently trying to expand our presence in this market.

Both interviews give a glimpse of how a game is brought to the Mac, so be sure to check them out if you're interested. If you're inclined to do a little programming yourself, wander around iDevGames to get some ideas and help from this excellent site.

iDevGames Interview with Brian Nesse
iDevGames Interview with Mark Adams

Other Mac Games News for Monday, January 22, 2001

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Another Cipher Q&A3:41 PM
• iDevGames Interviews Westlake, MacSoft10:18 AM
Michael Evans on Oni9:55 AM
Mac Halo in Jeopardy... Again?9:39 AM
Red Faction First Look8:33 AM
Apple to Offer BTO Sound Blaster?6:00 AM
G4/533 Review at XLR8YourMac6:00 AM
IMG Reviews Livin' Large6:00 AM
Rune Art Interview6:00 AM
Westlake Adds Two New Projects6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, January 22, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Friday, January 19, 2001

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Archives  News  iDevGames Interviews Westlake, MacSoft