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Wednesday, December 6, 2000
AppleLinks Interviews MacSoft's Al Schilling
6:00 AM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story

AppleLinks recently sat down for a lengthy chat with Al Schilling, the product manager for MacSoft. The interview covers topics ranging from MacSoft's relationships with PC developers and the process of negotiating a contract to their recent shift to family and "value" titles. The Mac community often demands that titles be released as quickly as possible after a PC title has been finished -- simultaneously, if at all possible. However, this is not as easy as it seems. Schilling explains the hidden details behind a simultaneous release:

Bill: How difficult would it be to go into a place where you know they're developing a game you want and do a concurrent release, or do you prefer to wait and see...

Al: If they don't want to do absolute concurrent development, then we need to wait until they're somewhere in a first playable, where they're locking in the features. Otherwise what we've found is that we'll get six months into a game that they're, say, eight months into, and they keep sending us the code once a month, and then all of a sudden they'll say "You know what, we don't like the way this is going, so we're going to start over from here." Then we've got three or four months of development that's been wasted, and we simply can't afford to do that. People have the idea, I think, that software companies are just raking in money hand over fist, and that's just not the case. And as much as I would like to just throw as much money as possible into a product and have it come out the week after the PC version, it's just not possible. Until they get to the point where they have the features pretty much locked, and then start looking at it, and porting the code, so in the few months when they go final candidate, we can be almost caught up. And that works more for us right now.

Recently, MacSoft has focused on bringing family-oriented games such as Risk 2, Monopoly, Jeopardy, Links LS2000, and Wheel of Fortune to the Macintosh in order to satisfy the gaming needs of some 4 million iMac owners. For the more involved gamer, MacSoft is currently working on Vampire: The Masquerade, as well as putting the finishing touches on the sequel to Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear. Be sure and read the rest of the interview for more details.

Al Schilling Interview at AppleLinks

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