Summoner Dev Update, Media
9:30 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
As February passes into March, Mac gamers can begin to get excited about the new titles coming out this Spring. One we've been anxiously awaiting for the past year is Summoner, a 3D RPG originally released for the PS2 last fall by Volition and coming to the Mac and PC in the next month or so. The Mac version is being published by GraphSim, and we recently chatted with them about its status.
Apparently the Mac version is doing well, and should be heading into the first round of testing in the near future. No specifics are available yet, but this is very good news. Since the game has already been released and (presumably) all of the gameplay bugs have been caught, this testing should just find any Mac-specific issues in the game. GraphSim also reports they now have the artwork for the game's box and manual in hand. Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll keep you posted on the status of the Mac version as it moves towards completion.
In other Summoner porting news, a new developer diary for the game has been posted at PC.IGN. In this issue, Volition programmer Nick Lee discusses the various issues surrounding the radically different input devices for PC versus console games. A quick paragraph also talks about the Mac's one-button mouse, though this is seen as a much easier problem to solve than moving the game from a console gamepad to mouse/keyboard setup. Here's a clip:
Various status and options screens on the PS2 version used a “roving highlight” method of selection. The joystick directly controlled movement of the “highlight”, and the X button was used to select the highlighted option. This functionality is easily replaced in the PC version by using the “point-and-click” method of highlight and selection. While we're always anxious to get our hands on a title, it's great to hear Volition is putting so much thought into the Mac and PC versions of Summoner. It's usually easy to tell when a game has just been ported straight from a console, and it's good to know this won't be the case.
In fact, “point-and-click” provides so much more freedom to move between controls than the “roving highlight” method that we can now provide more options and information on screen at a time without becoming overwhelming. The in-game display not only shows the character’s portraits and hit point/ability point bars, but now has buttons for opening the various info screens as well as a user-configurable hot button panel for oft-used spells and skills. The automap from the PS2 version has been revamped as well, now sporting a split-screen mode allowing you to easily navigate around the massive levels. None of this would have been practical on the PSX2, where it was relatively difficult to move the focus of control around the screen.
Summoner Web Site
Finally, if you're hankering for more Summoner screenshots, RPG Vault has 16 new pics posted. They are all shots from Lenele, a large city in the game, but they were taken in a variety of different environments, so have a look.
GraphSim Summoner Site
RPG Vault Summoner Screen Shots
PC IGN Summoner Dev Diary
GraphSim (add to watch list)
Volition (add to watch list)
Summoner (add to watch list)
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