|One on One with Glenda Adams (Part 10)|
July 26, 2002 | Tuncer Deniz
Having ported classics such as Air Combat, Links Pro, and Unreal Tournament, Glenda Adams is probably the most well known celebrity in Mac game development. One on One with Glenda Adams, a monthly feature at Inside Mac Games, is essentially a conversation between two old friends talking about various Mac game related topics. The impromptu conversation deals with topics such as the strength of the overall Mac market, OS X, Apple, and more.
Tuncer: Well, first off, what did you think of Macworld Expo?
Glenda: It had a different feeling for me that previous NY MacWorlds - I'm not sure if it was because MacSoft wasn't there, or because there wasn't any really new exciting hardware, but it just felt a bit 'quiet'. But it wasn't a bad show for us, just not as crazy as years past.
Tuncer: Jaguar is looking exceptionally good. What are your thoughts on Mac OS X 10.2? How will it benefit gamers?
Glenda: I think Jaguar will be a wonderful upgrade for gamers. It's going to make much of the system faster, and I wouldn't be surprised if people don't see better frame rates on some games simply by going from 10.1.x to 10.2. It also implements a whole bunch of new OpenGL technologies that are going to be absolutely essential for next generation games. Games like Halo and EverQuest are going have to have the 10.2 technology to even run on the Mac.
Tuncer: Speaking of Halo and EverQuest, those are two games that you folks signed up to convert to the Mac. First, let's talk about EQ. Can you give us a status update on it and how its coming along?
Glenda: So far EQ development has gone very well. We just hit the first major milestone, the render prototype. You can currently load up any zone in the world (including the three expansions) in solo mode and run around and see everything. The next step will be to start on the networking code.
Tuncer: One of the controversies surrounding the EQ announcement was the fact that Mac users won't be able to log into the PC servers. Can you explain why that decision was made?
Glenda: I can speak a bit about it (I believe Sony is going to put out some more info on this and other questions soon so that will be the official answer). There are a couple main reasons- the technical reason is the complexity of releasing simultaneous updates to both PC and Mac in a timely manner. It wouldn't be good for either Mac or PC users to have to wait for a major bug to be fixed while the other platform's patch is still being finished.
But the most important reason isn't technical, it has to do with playability. Imagine dumping thousands of Mac gamers with level 1 characters and no EQ experience into in-game servers with tens of thousands of PC players that are running around with level 50 characters. This wouldn't put Mac gamers on a very even playing field. Having a completely fresh server that hasn't been explored for Mac users I think is quite a plus- Mac gamers will have the chance to really be the most powerful characters on a server, without competing against players with a huge head-start.
I also believe there will be a much better sense of community as Mac gamers explore the world and learn all the nuances of EQ together. I think it's going to be a very cool experience.
Tuncer: The Sony rep we talked to at the show hinted that if EQ did well, we might see EQ 2 and Star Wars Galaxies coming to the Mac. Do you think those games will make it to the Mac?
Glenda: I think Sony is very committed to supporting the Mac market. They want to do it right, and they wouldn't go into a market if they didn't think their product wouldn't be successful. Obviously they'll be watching how EQ Mac does (both in development and sales) to decide about future titles, but this is not some sort of "buy EQ or you won't get Galaxies" ploy. There haven't been any firm talks about Galaxies or EQ2, but I certainly believe if EQ is well received on the Mac it will make bringing those games to the Mac that much easier.
Tuncer: Let's switch gears now over to Halo. Are you excited about doing the port? And will there be any new features?
Glenda: We're very excited. Halo is an incredible game, and we are really proud to be given the responsibility to making sure it is a top notch Mac game.
As far as new features, I know much of the development time over the coming months will be in adding a top of the line network game, and really expanding some of that functionality. I'm sure there will be some other changes here and there, to make it feel more like a Mac/PC game instead of a pure console game, like control schemes. Much of this work will be done by the PC developer, but we will have input on some of those decisions to make sure everything will work well on the Mac too.