MWSF: Westlake Talks Games
4:50 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Westlake Interactive might not have a booth on the Expo floor, but that doesn't in any way diminish their immense status in the Mac gaming community. We talked with Glenda and Suellen Adams about their many projects underway (currently nine), as well as their general thoughts on the Expo and Apple. The biggest and more exciting news of the moment was the fact they could announce their work on The Sims: Hot Date and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds.
Hot off his port of Age of Empires II and Civilization III, Brad "Strategy-Man" Oliver has been assigned to work on the Battlegrounds title. Apparently Brad is a huge Star Wars fan and was theatening to beat anyone down with his mock-lightsaber if they tried to take the port from him. It's hoped the port will be quick and in time for release mid-April.
While Westlake may not have received as many requests for Hot Date as Aspyr Media, Glenda did say they have consistently received eight to ten emails a day about the game. Phil Sulak is currently helping out Mark Krenek with the port. Because this third expansion is much more than just a collection of new objects for the game, it is rather complex. April is still the month they're shooting for, despite the extra levels of complexity.
As mentioned in our Aspyr report, Spider-Man is now in the final stages of release. All that is needed now is final approval from Marvel, who hold the license for the game. This is a common hold-up for franchise games like Spider-Man or the huge upcoming franchise Harry Potter. Speaking of the magical title, both Glenda and Suellen were proud of their quick work on the game, which runs great under Mac OS X.
Due to getting Harry Potter out, Undying took a back-seat for just a bit. Now Westlake plans to get back on the Undying train as soon as possible and try to get the game out by the end of February. The skeletal animation system is still causing some problems with the port, but the work on Harry Potter (also an Unreal Tournament-based game) should help speed things up.
While on the subject of Unreal Tournament, we did ask them about the possibility of Unreal 2 or the just-announced Unreal Tournament 2. It's still too early to say at this point, though both Glenda and Suellen seemed optimistic about such ports.
Max Payne is being worked on by ex-Apple employee Cary Farrier. While he's only had the huge title for a few weeks, good progress is already being made. They expect to hit First Playable in February with a release later this spring.
Work on Return to Castle Wolfenstein is finishing up, with Duane Johnson on the case. Graeme Devine was also on the floor and seemed very happy about the port. German gamers will be happy to know a Mac version is being made for them that complies with German law restricting the display of Nazi symbols.
After talk of games, Glenda gave a quick rundown on Mac OS X and OpenGL. For the most part, Westlake is very happy with Apple's current level of developer support. There are still things to work on with some 3D and HID Manager issues, but for the most part the direction is good and the future should bring even bigger things.
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