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Monday, April 25, 2005

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Postmortem on Myst IV: Revelation
7:48 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Game developer's site Gamasutra has posted a postmortem for the latest game in the Myst series, Myst IV: Revelation. For those unaware, a "postmortem" is a round up of the things that happened during the production of a game. They cover what went right and what went wrong with the making of the popular title.

The postmortem for Myst IV is interesting in that it uses multiple members of the production team and combines their points of view on different areas of the game production process.

According to the team, one of the things that "went right" was making the game cross-platform:

The first Myst was a Mac game and the fan base community was really dedicated to both the PC and Mac version. For this reason we decided to keep the same hybrid format that was used in Myst III. The OSX port was planned early in the project, and therefore the engineers developed the win32 engine with cross-platform in mind, which helped a lot for Macintosh version. Overall, the OSX port of Myst IV: Revelation went very well and took about six months to achieve. Once we made in-house tools to optimize the work-flow, the port went very quickly, and after only one month we were able to present an E3 demo. The hardest part was to have a good frame rate and make the effects work fine on the minimum requirement configuration. Through all of this, Apple gave us a tremendous amount of support. We used CodeWarrior as a compiler because we already used this compiler for other projects, but in retrospect, maybe we should have used the Xcode tools provided by Apple so as to be able to fully use their performance-oriented tools. - Eric Thiffeault, Mac Programmer
Head over to Gamasutra to read through the rest of the postmortem, and then head over to the IMG store to order the game!

Postmortem: Myst IV - Revelation
Myst IV Revelation
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Lego Star Wars Interview Released
10:29 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

Gamersinfo.net has released an interview of Jonathan Smith, the development director for Lego Star Wars. The interview features questions such as

GamersInfo.net: Did Lego have any say in how these new models were designed, both in terms of style and the bricks used, or were you only limited by your imagination?

Jonathan Smith: We were lucky enough to have fantastic support from the LEGO play materials design team, right from the start. We were eager to get their views on the work we were doing. And they were delighted with it all! They really appreciated what we were doing. In terms of our designs - yes, we had complete freedom; but of course we all aspired to create new models which would sit naturally alongside the "real" LEGO sets and characters.

GamersInfo.net: Episode 3 makes up approximately a third of this game, yet the film is obviously not yet released. How much access did you have to film footage and the screenplay when designing the levels and story for the Episode 3 portion of the game?

Jonathan Smith: We were privileged to have the most fantastic support from within the entire Lucasfilm organization. We worked initially from the visual script, with access to animatics and scenes as they were created; and we were particularly thrilled to view a full run-through of the entire movie, in production, at ILM, last year.

To view the rest of the interview, visit Gamersinfo.net through our links section.

Lego Star Wars Interview

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Apple Posts Sims 2 Trailer
8:10 AM | Franklin Pride | Comment on this story

Apple has recently released a trailer for Sims 2. This trailer features small snippets of what your characters will want: fortune, romance, knowledge, popularity, and more.

The trailer features the new character-building engine, which has been updated with dozens of outfits, various hairstyles, and a character model reacting to the items you put on them.

To view the new trailer for yourself, just visit the links section.

Sims 2 Trailer
Aspyr Media
The Sims 2
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Aspyr's Glenda Adams Interviewed
7:48 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Macologist has posted an interview with Glenda Adams, well known to Mac gamers as the Director of Development for Aspyr Media. The interview covers topics from Doom 3 to mod compatibilities with Aspyr titles, to the new Ageia Physics Processor, which Aspyr is listed as a "Featured Partner".

Glenda had this to say when asked on what system configurations Aspyr focused on when optimizing Doom 3:

We concentrated most of our benchmarking on low and mid-range machines. Since the majority of our end users would be playing on iMac G5's and lower end G5 desktops, we felt it was more important to gain spend on the low end than concentrate on getting a 45fps machine to run 60fps. It looks great in the benchmark shoot outs, but that doesn't help the end user trying to play on a 64mb FX5200. And the optimizations at the high end often don't translate to much performance gain on the low end.
Head over to Macologist to read the rest of the interview.

Interview with Aspyr's Glenda Adams
Aspyr Media

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WoW Sparks Debate and Anticipation
7:48 AM | Jesse Brauning | Comment on this story

The World of Warcraft forums have been buzzing with activity since the release of the patch that added the Honor System. Many players feel that lack of dishonor penalties in the current design of the Honor System does nothing but encourage the practice of griefing. Others complain about the recent lag caused by the increase in activity in popular PvP zones. Still others love everything that Blizzard is doing with the game.

Pretty much everyone is highly anticipating the next patch however, as Blizzard is releasing multiple battlegrounds and adding limited dishonor penalties, amid a host of other fixes. Here's some of the buzz from Blizzard:

...Battlegrounds will be ready for release next patch! Yes, that's right, I said next patch, and yes, I said Battlegrounds...plural! The implementation of Battlegrounds will draw players away from towns and into instanced environments designed for either small-scale or epic battles...
Make sure to check out the forums for a chance to get in on the action!

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Honor Q&A
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Mac Games News for Friday, April 22, 2005

IMG Reviews Vertical Mouse 24:51 PM
Garden Golf Released for Mac OS X12:53 PM
Aspyr Unveils New Stubbs Site, Trailer Added12:51 PM
Blizzard Gives Another Day12:51 PM
Black & White 2 Fan Mail7:13 AM
ControllerMate Released7:13 AM
Custer Flies The Friendly Skies7:13 AM
Violent Videogame Bill Ressurected in California7:13 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, April 22, 2005 on one page

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