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Aspyr Launches GameAgent Digital Download Store


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#41 Tesseract

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

View PostTacohead, on September 26th 2008, 03:03 AM, said:

Are you saying this means NWN2 will now run on 24" iMacs with the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT and 10.5.5? I'll probably wait until I get another Mac anyways but if it's now compatible I might consider it (yes I know it would be slow as molasses).
Not right now. They'd have to release a patch to enable it. (Edit: or maybe not, I misread Brad's post. See below.)

#42 gbafan

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

View Postbobbob, on September 25th 2008, 09:36 AM, said:

Of course it should be implemented, and well. It's been done well by others for years. Aspyr's got their games on Steam to prove it. They just dropped the ball on their own share holders by screwing the pooch.
The really sad thing is that long ago the "GameAgent" store was going to be this great grandiose store for Mac gamers.  Now it's just a turn key store using the Digital River store front.  Slap an Aspyr logo on there and BOOM!, a new store with insanely restrictive DRM.
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#43 Brad Oliver

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 11:41 AM

View PostTacohead, on September 25th 2008, 10:03 AM, said:

Are you saying this means NWN2 will now run on 24" iMacs with the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT and 10.5.5? I'll probably wait until I get another Mac anyways but if it's now compatible I might consider it (yes I know it would be slow as molasses).

I'm not 100% sure, but I *believe* Nvidia fixed the bug in the 7300 driver in 10.5.5. I'd have to test it to be sure; I have a saved game that was used for reproduction when we submitted it to them but I haven't had the time to verify. And thinking about it now, I also don't have a Mac Pro with a 7300 any more so I'd have to get someone else to do it, or NVinject my way into a working card for the 2008 Mac Pro I currently have. I'm not sure if the NVinject process means it'll use the 10.5.5 drivers or an older version. It's moments like this that I wish Nvidia used EFI bytecode like ATI so their cards would work on both the new and old Mac Pros without having separate SKUs instead of writing 32 and 64-bit specific EFI code. ;) But I digress...

View PostTesseract, on September 25th 2008, 10:22 AM, said:

Not right now. They'd have to release a patch to enable it.

NWN2 was released after I left Aspyr last year so I'm not fully aware of how it ended up when it shipped. Did we actively lock out GeForce 7 cards so that the game won't launch on them? If so, yeah - we'd have to do a patch.
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#44 DaveyJJ

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 01:05 PM

I was tempted too but then saw the price.

Sorry, part of what I expect from a digital download service is at least $10 off per title as there is no printed manual, box, box art printing (or cover sheet), no duplication of media, no silk screening on the disc, no cost of gas/shipping from duplicator to distributor to store, no in-store sales promo/advertising costs, no bulky cardboard boxes, no foam peanut packaging, etc.

But given that the new 1701AD with editor is cheap, I may do the Boot Camp route for that one.

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#45 the Battle Cat

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:01 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on September 25th 2008, 08:36 AM, said:

From a technical standpoi...
Why spank my hinny and call me rufus!  There's one a them thar New York City A-spyr fellers now!  GET A ROPE!  Who's with me boys??  ::fires shots into the air::
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Brad, your old boss from Apple called me and said you'd want me set this up for you.  Something about a little drawing you made of him in your resignation letter.
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#46 DaveyJJ

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:00 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on September 25th 2008, 04:01 PM, said:

Why spank my hinny and call me rufus!  There's one a them thar New York City A-spyr fellers now!  GET A ROPE!  Who's with me boys??  ::fires shots into the air::

A Yankee!!! 'round these parts! Well, I'll be tied down and reckin' it's getting like bar-bee-que time!

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#47 dorkhero

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 03:48 PM

View Postgbafan, on September 25th 2008, 01:11 AM, said:

Excellent tip!  First I'd heard of it.  Sounds very good, DRM free ftw!

www.gog.com

Uh, looks like PC games to me. Yes, I know: Crossover, Parallels, Fusion, Bootcamp, etc.

If I had wanted that, I'd own a Dell or an HP, not a Mac!

#48 teflon

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:29 PM

View PostDaveyJJ, on September 25th 2008, 08:05 PM, said:

I was tempted too but then saw the price.

I whole heartedly agree. This is the primary reason why I dont buy PC games exclusively through Steam (which I would if the prices were lower). I can find games over a year old for much less, I get the box, physical disk and manual, and with a liberal application of a no-CD crack, I dont even need to be on the internet (rest assured that I own all of these games, and only remove the requirement to have the CD in the drive).
So, the only way that a DDL system is gonna get me to plonk down cash is a)its only available there, b)its somehow cheaper than physical disks, and/or c)I want to support creators of great games which have been out for many years (Psychonauts it one such game that I purchased on Steam instead of from ebay).

We now come to the part where I speculate as to why the price isnt lower. I remember, back in the day, when there was first talk of Gamerhood. One of the touted features of this system would be Aspyr being able to both offer you a slightly cheaper game (because youre not paying for the physical stuff) and also get a bigger share of your money (because resellers dont take a cut). It would have been something worth supporting for sure in this form. However, the sticking point here is Digital River, which is taking a cut of the profits, and dictating the terms of sale.

All that Aspyr gets out of this deal is a very small amount of extra cash (I cant see more than one or two hundred people buying through this method if theyre well informed and sensible), whilst at the same time losing a lot of respect from the mac gaming community and the custom of new comers to the scene who buy from GA and have a bad time because of the restrictive DRM.
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#49 Robo-X

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:45 PM

I read about it and I think it's exactly what I wanted. Except two things. First it's not possible to set up billing address if you live outside USA in the support text it says it's possible to pay with paypal but how do I set up to bill my paypal account?

Second and I think this is a deal breaker for many is the activation of the game (3 activations). The game can be redownloaded for 2 years if you get the extanded download service for $5. It should be possible to handle it like steam does it. I buy the game and download it. If I want, it should be possible to burn the the game on DVD to backup and before being able to play it you will need an internet account to be able to connect to my account to authorize my copy.  

Too bad for me I guess. I haven't bought a mac game for almost 2 years because all games in Germany are handled by Ash Computer Systems which only sells games translated to german. I want to play the games in original language. Unfortunately I can only get PC games in english here. Guess I have to continue to boot into windows.

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#50 gbafan

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:50 PM

View Postdorkhero, on September 25th 2008, 02:48 PM, said:

Uh, looks like PC games to me. Yes, I know: Crossover, Parallels, Fusion, Bootcamp, etc.

If I had wanted that, I'd own a Dell or an HP, not a Mac!
Mac gaming isn't what it use to be, sad to say.  One of the afore mentioned solutions gives you the best of both worlds.
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#51 Tesseract

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:53 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on September 26th 2008, 03:41 AM, said:

NWN2 was released after I left Aspyr last year so I'm not fully aware of how it ended up when it shipped. Did we actively lock out GeForce 7 cards so that the game won't launch on them? If so, yeah - we'd have to do a patch.
Oh, sorry, I misread your post. So I guess we still don't know. :) It isn't locked out via an InsufficientRenderers plist key at least.

#52 dorkhero

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:44 PM

View Postgbafan, on September 25th 2008, 05:50 PM, said:

Mac gaming isn't what it use to be, sad to say.  One of the afore mentioned solutions gives you the best of both worlds.

I use Crossover and Darwine, which is now available for the Mac and a free open source program:

http://www.kronenberg.org/darwine/

#53 Janichsan

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 12:59 AM

View PostRobo-X, on September 26th 2008, 12:45 AM, said:

Too bad for me I guess. I haven't bought a mac game for almost 2 years because all games in Germany are handled by Ash Computer Systems which only sells games translated to german. I want to play the games in original language. Unfortunately I can only get PC games in english here. Guess I have to continue to boot into windows.
Amazon UK, pal. That's how I get my english versions of Mac games. ASH totally sucks (unnecessarily delayed releases of German versions of the software they sell, slow release of patches for the German versions, no support at all).

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#54 teflon

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 03:08 AM

yup, the only good points to the EU are the single currency (excluding the UK, cos we dont like the EU generally), easy travel within its borders (sure, loads of immigrants turned up for a while, but eventually they see that its too much hassle and theyre better off back home), and no import duty or extra costs within the EU, because it all counts as a single unified market (-ish).

aside from that, the constitution theyre trying to force on us is shambolic and shameful. The actual constitution fell apart, so they picked up the individual pieces and implemented them one by one, giving us the EU constitution in all but name.
I hate politicians who think they know what theyre doing (or maybe they realise that theyre slowly degrading the lives of everyone)
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#55 Robo-X

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:04 AM

View PostJanichsan, on September 26th 2008, 08:59 AM, said:

Amazon UK, pal. That's how I get my english versions of Mac games. ASH totally sucks (unnecessarily delayed releases of German versions of the software they sell, slow release of patches for the German versions, no support at all).

I wish it was so simple. Play.com works aslo but the problem with Amazon.co.uk and other uk based shoops is that UK prices are usually higher than in the rest of europe.

ASH games sucks and as soon as I see one game I stay away even if the game is on sale.

To teflons off topic rant. There is no other alternative. Do you really think EUs current constitution work where every country (27!) have a veto right and can veto all regulations if there is some agreement that didn't suit the country? It has happened in the past, Spains EU blockade when EU wanted to cut down fishing quotes a few years back.

Politicians might be stupid but unfortunately regular people (generally speaking not talking about you teflon) are even more stupid. Because either they don't go vote and even worse don't know how EU works but are the first ones to blame politicians and EU for everything wrong doing.

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#56 dr.zeissler

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:15 AM

View PostBrad Oliver, on September 25th 2008, 11:41 AM, said:

I'm not 100% sure, but I *believe* Nvidia fixed the bug in the 7300 driver in 10.5.5. I'd have to test it to be sure; I have a saved game that was used for reproduction when we submitted it to them but I haven't had the time to verify. And thinking about it now, I also don't have a Mac Pro with a 7300 any more so I'd have to get someone else to do it, or NVinject my way into a working card for the 2008 Mac Pro I currently have. I'm not sure if the NVinject process means it'll use the 10.5.5 drivers or an older version. It's moments like this that I wish Nvidia used EFI bytecode like ATI so their cards would work on both the new and old Mac Pros without having separate SKUs instead of writing 32 and 64-bit specific EFI code. ;) But I digress...
NWN2 was released after I left Aspyr last year so I'm not fully aware of how it ended up when it shipped. Did we actively lock out GeForce 7 cards so that the game won't launch on them? If so, yeah - we'd have to do a patch.

are you sure that it was right to go back to aspyr ?
you as "insider" should know more about future plans, but i don't expect you telling us what aspyr will do in the future (feral is watching you!)
but, if you change to widows or console fix your old stuff.

1. sw kotor runs terrible at intel with ati 2600
2. indiana jones does not install at leopard (no ub)
3. sw jedi outcast (remove the cd-check, to play with mba)
4. sw jedi academy (remove the cd-ceck, to play with mba)
5. Stubbs runs terrible on intel (no UB)
6. CallOfDuty 1 runs bad on intel (no UB)
7. Fakk2 (no UB)
8. DeusEx (no OSX, no UB)
9. TomRaider Series (no UB, sometimes no OSX)
10. return of the king (no UB)

As you see there is enough to do for the mac community !

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#57 Vallen

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:21 AM

[quote name='teflon' date='September 25th 2008, 11:11 AM' post='358747']
I dont think they ever promised anything. All they  ever said was that they were looking into it.
Eventually we got the final response which is that the engine is too different from the Q3 engine (as in 90% different) to make a UB a quick and easy exercise. end quote]

From the Aspyr newsletter, "Having completed a thorough test of all our
older games on Intel Macs, we'll now move to some of the other titles.
Some of the games most likely to have Universal updates are Rollercoaster
Tycoon 3, SimCity(tm) 4, Call of Duty(tm), and Command & Conquer(tm)
Generals. Exact details will be announced soon."  

Perhaps I misspoke by stating that they promised the UB update, but they certainly didn't advertise that the thing was a no go.  Maybe the pending sales of COD Deluxe might of had something to do with the lack of details surrounding the COD UB update.

Back to support in general as it refs the above newsletter, it never made sense to me that Aspyr didnt publish a compatibility list of games for rosetta, instead they left it up to 3rd party sites and end users to list which ones worked or not.  I don't think it is a lot to ask that a company mentions which games work when they are still clearly available for sale but are horribly broken either by the intel switch or later by leopard (All games ported by transgaming during the powerpc era).  What is disingenuous to me is that COD Deluxe was released after the intel switch announcement and less than a month before the actual switch in Jan 2006.  The game is still available for sale to this day.

As for whether it was down to tech issues or a biz decision not to have a COD UB update, that I don't know, but I did hear straight from Glenda Adams on this site from a podcast that it was "too old" as she chuckled.  Support is support either it is there or it is not, if it isn't there, then state it, you owe that to paying customers.

COD 2 came out well after the intel switch mid 2006, I still do not see how this game is too old to support, and it sounds like you agree with me.  If Apple broke drivers and the like, how about a statement from Aspyr that they are fixing this or not, rather than leave it up to end users in forums who are out 50 bucks plus, and have no idea why their Mac Pro or MacBook pro with Nvidia hardware can't play this game properly.

As for COD4, well I, like many have two choices, buy the PC version and get full support in a crappy OS, or take another gamble on Aspyr that my current Mac, its OS, and future video cards will be supported beyond Snow leopard which will probably break all sorts of stuff.  

I like many Mac users, with our smaller overall game libraries and in my case reduced time to play games, sometimes don't get around to playing a game to completion till several months or perhaps even a few years after we have purchased it, so we like stuff to work for while.  Purchase habits will have to change if we know a game is going to have a limited supported life.  I am just happy I can still play OIDS on my Mac Pro.

#58 Brad Oliver

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:34 AM

View Postdr.zeissler, on September 26th 2008, 03:15 AM, said:

are you sure that it was right to go back to aspyr ?
you as "insider" should know more about future plans, but i don't expect you telling us what aspyr will do in the future (feral is watching you!)
but, if you change to widows or console fix your old stuff.

1. sw kotor runs terrible at intel with ati 2600
2. indiana jones does not install at leopard (no ub)
3. sw jedi outcast (remove the cd-check, to play with mba)
4. sw jedi academy (remove the cd-ceck, to play with mba)
5. Stubbs runs terrible on intel (no UB)
6. CallOfDuty 1 runs bad on intel (no UB)
7. Fakk2 (no UB)
8. DeusEx (no OSX, no UB)
9. TomRaider Series (no UB, sometimes no OSX)
10. return of the king (no UB)

As you see there is enough to do for the mac community !

One thing I think we've always fought with is finding a moment to catch our breath and go back to do updates. I have some hope that I'll get time to do some UB updates in the near future when my schedule loosens up a bit. (I also have to fix a few bugs in the Jedi UBs.) I love doing them, and my personal preference is to do the games I've worked on myself first, to give you a rough idea of my own priorities, as those simply go a lot quicker. I think one or two of the above we may no longer have rights to as well, but I couldn't tell you specifically if that's true for any given title -- or if that would prevent a free UB patch.

Of the list above, I'm note entirely sure it's fair to equate "fixing" our old games with adding UBs and removing CD checks, but I can certainly see the desire. Someone else mentioned KotOR's UB ran poorly but that's the first I think I've read of nailing it specifically to the ATI 2600 (which was released after our UB patch last year). As for FAKK2, we didn't do that one and don't have the code but it sure would be easy to make a UB since it's based on the same Quake 3 variant of Alice. Since MacPlay did that one, I think it's unfortunately lost to time now.
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#59 teflon

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 05:41 AM

View PostRobo-X, on September 26th 2008, 11:04 AM, said:

I wish it was so simple. Play.com works aslo but the problem with Amazon.co.uk and other uk based shoops is that UK prices are usually higher than in the rest of europe.
well, you could buy from france.

Quote

To teflons off topic rant. There is no other alternative. Do you really think EUs current constitution work where every country (27!) have a veto right and can veto all regulations if there is some agreement that didn't suit the country? It has happened in the past, Spains EU blockade when EU wanted to cut down fishing quotes a few years back.
yup, some things the EU needs to be able to force through. However, the constitution has been point blank blocked by two public referendums in France and the Netherlands. If it had gone to a public vote (as if our right through the entire EU) in more countries it would have been blocked further. As it is, many countries that approved it didnt have a referendum, and once it was blocked in france, many countries cancelled a referendum in order to save face over an incredibly broken piece of drivel.

In the wake of this, though, many parts of the constitution have been taken from it and passed within the EU parliament making them law. Piece by piece, the constitution is being implemented in an incredibly underhand manoeuvre which the european public has no way of stopping.

View Postdr.zeissler, on September 26th 2008, 11:15 AM, said:

2. indiana jones does not install at leopard (no ub) - ported by transgaming. I doubt theyd be interested in updating it
3. sw jedi outcast (remove the cd-check, to play with mba) - there are ways around this which I cant talk about
5. Stubbs runs terrible on intel (no UB) - would require a massive rewrite of the entire engine, just like Halo did.
6. CallOfDuty 1 runs bad on intel (no UB) - ditto
8. DeusEx (no OSX, no UB) - the original publisher and developers went bust, as such its impossible to get the rights for this
9. TomRaider Series (no UB, sometimes no OSX) - very old games and the last instalment didnt sell well.
those are a few of the reasons. A few of those games are lost to the vestiges of time, which is sad. Deus Ex, though, is being ported to the UT2004 engine (request a link if you want it). A few of those games either a)didnt sell well, or b)would require a total rewrite of the engine to bring up to date. Were lucky that Brad is dedicated enough to give up his own free time in order to bring the Star Wars games across. Without him the situation would be much worse than it currently is.

View PostVallen, on September 26th 2008, 11:21 AM, said:

Perhaps I misspoke by stating that they promised the UB update, but they certainly didn't advertise that the thing was a no go.  Maybe the pending sales of COD Deluxe might of had something to do with the lack of details surrounding the COD UB update.
Exactly. They didnt promise it, they just said it was a likely candidate because of its popularity. However, upon evaluating the amount of work needed to get it up and running on intel machines, it ended up needing a near total rewrite of the port. As with Halo from macsoft, the only way this would have happened is if sales continued to be very strong or they could afford to spend the time re-porting the game and expansion.

as for Glenda's chuckle. I cant remember the exact inflexion, but what I took from it is what I said above. To go back and rewrite a game from the ground up is more than I would expect. The fact that Brad has done it a few times, Gordon Ryan has done it, and that Feral are very slowly doing it is completely above and beyond. They deserve the highest praise for this exceptional support.

Quote

Back to support in general as it refs the above newsletter, it never made sense to me that Aspyr didnt publish a compatibility list of games for rosetta
I agree.

Quote

COD 2 came out well after the intel switch mid 2006, I still do not see how this game is too old to support, and it sounds like you agree with me.  If Apple broke drivers and the like, how about a statement from Aspyr that they are fixing this or not, rather than leave it up to end users in forums who are out 50 bucks plus, and have no idea why their Mac Pro or MacBook pro with Nvidia hardware can't play this game properly.
I agree here too. The state of CoD2 is absolutely diabolical and there is no excuse for it at all.
It is entirely possible that CoD4 will suffer the same fate as it has been outsourced to the same company, because they are familiar with the engine.
Its also vaguely plausible that through porting CoD4, they will be able to bring CoD2 up to speed at the same time. Though I doubt that very much.

As for windows, the only reason why you dont see anywhere near the same number of breakages and lack of support is because theyve been using Windows XP for the last 7 years, and that took the underlying structure from Windows 2000 and Windows NT. When 2000 and XP were released, there were a lot of breaks between that and windows 98 games. Many wouldnt run, and lesser games weren't as well supported.
Since then we saw the release of Windows XP 64-bit, which broke a number of smaller games, larger more recent games getting patches
Also Vista broke a lot of things too.

However, through the last 8 years, there hasnt been a single point where the developers would have had to rewrite their entire game from the ground up to accommodate a completely different OS (9->X), nor have they had to rewrite for a totally new CPU architecture (PPC->x86). In every instance of breakage, they have simply created a quick patch to work around the issues. You simply cannot compare a stagnant platform with one that shifts constantly.
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#60 dr.zeissler

dr.zeissler

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 06:01 AM

View PostBrad Oliver, on September 26th 2008, 04:34 AM, said:

One thing I think we've always fought with is finding a moment to catch our breath and go back to do updates. I have some hope that I'll get time to do some UB updates in the near future when my schedule loosens up a bit. (I also have to fix a few bugs in the Jedi UBs.) I love doing them, and my personal preference is to do the games I've worked on myself first, to give you a rough idea of my own priorities, as those simply go a lot quicker. I think one or two of the above we may no longer have rights to as well, but I couldn't tell you specifically if that's true for any given title -- or if that would prevent a free UB patch.

Of the list above, I'm note entirely sure it's fair to equate "fixing" our old games with adding UBs and removing CD checks, but I can certainly see the desire. Someone else mentioned KotOR's UB ran poorly but that's the first I think I've read of nailing it specifically to the ATI 2600 (which was released after our UB patch last year). As for FAKK2, we didn't do that one and don't have the code but it sure would be easy to make a UB since it's based on the same Quake 3 variant of Alice. Since MacPlay did that one, I think it's unfortunately lost to time now.

thx for that statement bred.
i really appreciate that.

Doc
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