|Brian Greenstone Talks Nanosaur 2|
October 22, 2003 | Tuncer Deniz
One of our favorite Mac celebrities we like to talk to often is Pangea's Brian Greenstone. Responsible for dozens of Mac shareware and commercial games, Greenstone is working on what could be his most important project yet: Nanosaur 2. IMG recently chatted with Greenstone to talk about his latest project, the new Power Mac G5, and more.
IMG: You recently announced on IMG that you were working on Nanosuar 2. Can you tell us a bit about this new project?
Greenstone: Nanosaur 2 is a continuation of the original Nanosaur story. The short version is that the eggs have been stolen and you've got to travel to offworld planets and retrieve them. This time you're a pteradactyl, so it's basically a flying-shooter game. We're really upping the ante on the artwork for this one, and the system requirements will be much steeper than any of our previous games. But the environments are going to look amazing!
IMG: What kind of environments do you envision?
Greenstone: Well, the plan is to have 3 basic planets which the levels will all be built from. There will be some traditional jungle-looking stuff, but then there will also be more alien-looking stuff. Very high detail in the scenes. In the current version we're looking at 30,000 triangles per frame, which is quite an increase from say Bugdom 2 which only had around 9,000 triangles per frame.
IMG: The original Nanosaur was incredibly popular and is still being played by many, despite the fact that's it a classic application. Do you still get registrations for it? Why was it so popular in its time?
Greenstone: Yes, we still sell around 70 copies per month which is amazing considering that the game is like 5 1/2 years old. I think it is so popular simply because it's a good looking game with scary sound effects and simple action-oriented gameplay. You don't have to get too involved in the game to enjoy it.
IMG: Are you planning on releasing Nanosaur 2 as shareware?
Greenstone: The line between commercial and shareware is pretty blurred these days. There will be a retail box with a CD, but then we'll also have the game available for download. Whether that classifies as shareware anymore I really don't know, but yes, we'll have both versions.
IMG: Enigmo was a surprise hit for Pangea. It was simple graphics wise, but the gameplay was what really made it enjoyable. Are you planning on doing more puzzle games in the future?
Greenstone: Yes, I already know what Enigmo 2 will be, and all I can say right now is that it'll be something totally different than Enigmo 1. It won't have anything to do with bouncing water droplets. However, people shouldn't hold their breath for it because the plan is to finish up Nanosaur 2 by around MWSF, then do another secret project, and then do Enigmo 2 after that. So, that might not happen until the end of 2004.
IMG: I understand you are the proud new owner of a Power Mac G5 Dual 2 Gig. What's it like? What's impressed you about it? Any downsides?
Greenstone: The G5 running Panther is a beautiful thing. With full optimizations turned on, I can recompile any of our games in less than 15 seconds! With optimizations off, I can recompile in about 8 seconds. That just blows me away! And the G5 is nice and quiet. It's pretty cool when I start a compile because a few more fans power up and the G5 sounds like a jet fighter preparing for take off! Then it goes quiet when the compile is done. It's a totally sweet machine.
IMG: I recently got a chance to play around with Mac OS X Panther and was amazed at how fast the finder was and the launching of apps seemed very speedy. Do your games run faster under Panther (vs Jaguar)?
Greenstone: Nope, the games run pretty much the same speed. There's nothing new in Panther's version of OpenGL that has any real effect on our games.
IMG: So when can we expect to see Nanosaur 2?
Greenstone: We hope to be beta around Macworld in January. Target window is to ship it before February.
IMG: And finally, what's the last good movie you saw?
Greenstone: Hehe.... hmm.... "good".... wow... there haven't been too many of those. Probably Two Towers, but that was like a year ago.