February 23, 2019
Archives  Features  Interview: MacPlay's Chris Jacobson  

Interview: MacPlay's Chris Jacobson
June 12, 2001 | IMG Staff

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IMG: Will BG2 have multiplayer support upon release?

C.J. Yes.

IMG: Will BG2 have cross-platform multiplayer support, or will BG2 be Mac-to-Mac only? If not, why?

C.J. Multiplayer will be Mac-to-Mac only, since PC BG2 relies upon DirectPlay. Contrary to popular belief, there is no implementation of DirectPlay on the Mac that is complete enough to support games. The well known "Burger DirectPlay" developed for AvP is extremely tailored to AvP and is in no way a complete port of DirectPlay.

IMG: How much benefit will owners of high-end cards (Radeon, GeForce3) see with 3D acceleration turned on?

C.J. Baldur's Gate is really a 2D game, so the 3D acceleration isn't truly 3D, except for some of the spell effects. For the most part, it uses the 2D features of OpenGL to achieve faster drawing and special effects. This is sort of what MacOS X does to achieve all it's translucent drawing and such without sucking down processor speed - it uses hardware accelerated video (I suspect it is really just using OpenGL!) to draw accelerated 2D graphics.

IMG: Will BG2 be optimized for G4s/Altivec, or will you shoot for the lowest common denominator (ie, iMac)?

C.J. Optimizing for Altivec is only an option in a few games, and doesn't always produce the results that were worth the extra time to make the game run better only G4s (which don't need the speed boosts of optimizations as much as iMacs and G3s do). It can give a boost to doing some kinds of 3D math (for example, a sample application I made while toying with Altivec can do vertex-matrix multiplication roughly 8x faster in AltiVec than non-Altivec), but OpenGL can handle that work for you (and is already optimized for Altivec, and in some cases with Hardware T&L, may let the video card handle it). For the most part Altivec is meant for data-heavy applications where it has to do extreme number crunching... I haven't heard of a game to date that employs Altivec, and I don't expect to, since all 3D games now use OpenGL on the Mac.

IMG: Are you also personally working on Icewind Dale, due this fall for the Mac?

C.J. Yes - I should be starting on it soon after BG2 ships.

Related Links
Baldur's Gate II



Archives  Features  Interview: MacPlay's Chris Jacobson