|Interview: GraphSim's Jeff Morgan|
September 9, 2002 | Tuncer Deniz
For the last year or so, GraphSim has been pretty quiet. After porting several titles to the Mac such as Red Faction and Summoner, the company virtually disappeared. So is GraphSim gone for good? Not by a long shot. As we found out in this interview, GraphSim has been busily working on a new game. Read on to find out what it is....
IMG: GraphSim has been a bit quiet of late with no recent announcements. Can you please tell us what's up at GraphSim?
Morgan: Well, that's true we have been slower with releases this year simply because we haven't found any titles that we are interested in porting. We are, however, very busy working on the next release of F/A-18 Hornet.
IMG: What can you tell us about the new F/A-18 Hornet?
Morgan: Well, if all goes well, we think that is will be ready for release around December of this year. The name of the final product is still in the works but internally we call it Target Iraq. So that should give you some ideas of the mission scope of the game.
IMG: Sounds very timely. Will it use the same F/A-18 engine from the previous games? Any enhancements you can talk about?
Morgan: Basically it will depart from the last few versions in that it will have much nicer graphics, completely new cockpit environment, and a new user interface. Complete with all new missions.
IMG: How long have you been working on this new F/A-18 Hornet game?
Morgan: Pretty much all of this year and most of last year. Trey Smith, who was lead programmer on the previous F/A-18 games, is the lead programmer on the new F/A-18 Hornet game as well.
IMG: Will the new game support Mac OS 9? Mac OS X? Are you also planning a Windows version?
Morgan: It will be for Mac OS X for sure and maybe Mac OS 9. And yes, we're also doing a Windows version. A PS2 version, later.
IMG: Is it safe to say you are out of the porting business? Do you still plan on distributing some of Feral's titles such as Black & White Creature Isle in the U.S.?
Morgan: Oh no, we will port and publish Mac games as good opportunities arise. But we are very conservative about it. For example, in the last 4 years we really have just done 2 deals, THQ for 2 titles and Interplay for 3. It's just this year we haven't found a deal that meets our requirements.
IMG: What's your take on the Mac games market these days?
Morgan: Stable. It seemed to slow a bit from last year but I think it has stablized. There is always room for triple AAA titles....and, of course, the Sims.
IMG: What kind of major challenges does a publisher such as yourself face, especially in the Mac games market?
Morgan: There are only so many titles that can make a reasonable return on the Mac. And there are five major publishers all chasing them. So if there are, let's say, 10 titles each year worth doing (profit wise) and each publisher wants to do 5...that's a challenge. And that's basically the situation in the Mac market today.
IMG: We've gotten lots of emails about Red Faction 2 and Summoner 2. Have you talked to THQ about porting those to the Mac?
Morgan: Yes, we made an offer to bring those to the Mac. But, apparently, Sony made a better one. They have decided to make both titles PS2 only.
IMG: When do you officially plan to announce the new F/A-18 Hornet game?
Morgan: We are staying a little mum on it until it reaches first playable. So a month or so from now would be a good guess.