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Thursday, November 30, 2000
 

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WaterRace is Gold
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French Touch has announced that their long-awaited Mac-only powerboat racing game WaterRace has finally reached the golden master stage, and is currently in production. They expect the boxed versions of this title to ship in December. A 3D racer with thrilling speed and visuals, this title seems to have undergone a major transformation in the last few months before its release, as the list of new features they added to the game since we've last seen it is extensive.


Obviously French Touch received much useful feedback from the game's debut at Apple Expo Paris, because they went back to the drawing board and heavily augmented the game's features and details. Here is an excerpt from their press release which comments on what has changed in the last few months:

A lot of new features requested by the visitors of the Apple Expo Paris and
our Beta-Testers Team were added.


Moreover, we have completed the outstanding artificial intelligence, which
will lead computer opponents through the beautiful landscapes. It is a
really challenging AI, that players will not defeat from the beginning on.
In WaterRace, the AI is divided into "bots" (one per ship) and each bot has
its own "virtual input device" to control the ship. Therefore, the AI is
behaving exactly as normal human players do and cannot cheat!


Many new animated characters and wildlife have been added in the
environments. The level designers worked a lot to create a complete world
for each location, with a special atmosphere, unique 3D models, lighting
effects, animations and ambient sounds.


We've spent a huge amount of time tuning the very detailed physic engine of
the game to make sure each ship had a unique behavior and all the ships were
well balanced regarding performances.


The 3D engine has also been improved and now fully supports almost every 3D
video card on the Mac from the ATI Rage II to the ATI Radeon and the 3Dfx
Voodoo 5500 (provided you have the latest drivers of course).


A very important point about WaterRace is its ability to run correctly on a
lot of Macs contrary to most games that will be out for Christmas: it
requires a G3 with 6Mb of VRAM and that's it! It needs only 14Mb of memory
and 100Mb free space on the hard disk. Consequently, it runs beautifully on
almost all iMacs (even some Rev. A), iBooks and PowerBooks!

That detail alone makes this game remarkable -- a 3D racing game that runs in 14 MB of memory, when the latest shooters demand upwards of 128 MB for optimum performance.


French Touch notes that you can pre-order this game from their web site for the special price of $27.00 US (+ $5.00 international shipping); after the game ships it will be $34 a copy. There will be a demo version of the game released within a few days, after it undergoes final testing.


The French Touch and WaterRace web sites have also been redesigned, and now feature new screen shots and three QuickTime movies that reveal WaterRace in action.


After this deluge of information, the French Touch team disclosed some personal details about the development of this title, which has been a long, difficult road indeed:

French Touch is a independent team of European game developers with no prior
game development experience that was created 2 years ago. It has grown from
5 people at the beginning to 9 nowadays. Members of the team work on game
projects unpaid, during their free time and even more complicated, from
different locations (Switzerland, France, Spain...). because nobody would
ever finance a Mac only game project. So each of us had to manage 2 jobs at
the same time to complete the game: one for a living and one for the
pleasure.


It's true that there is a bunch of similar teams over the Internet, but it's
quite rare that this kind of project eventually ever comes to life, so we're
quite happy to have finished WaterRace. Let's hope people will appreciate
our work and that it will encourage other similar Mac only developments!

Congratulations to the French Touch team on the completion of this Mac-only title, a rarity even in the early days of the Mac OS. We can't wait to get our hands on the demo! Be sure and visit the updated WaterRace web site and soak in all that QuickTime and screen shot glory, and keep one eye on Macgamefiles.com for the arrival of the demo.

French Touch
New WaterRace Screen Shots
WaterRace Movie Trailers
WaterRace Web Site
French Touch
WaterRace


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