MWSF: Westlake Report
1:39 PM | Patrick Leyden | Comment on this story
We're wrapping up our final reports from MWSF, bringing you details and information from the show floor. No expo would be complete without an in-depth conversation with the friendly staff of Westlake Interactive, the premier Mac porting house and source of many A-list titles for Mac publishers.
Westlake Interactive released 14 titles in the year 2000. This was possible,
in part, due to the expanded staff at Westlake Interactive. The company now
consists of eight people, with seven developers and Suellen Adams running the
business side of the organization. Both Deus Ex and the Eddy Award Winning The
Sims exceeded expectations of sales. This success helped the Summer/Fall
time period in 2000 to be more successful for Westlake than the same period in
Currently on tap for 2000 are three titles: Tomb Raider Chronicles, Escape
from Monkey Island and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. Even though these projects
are in their infancy, Westlake expects to be able to deliver them within the
next three months. Announcements of additional titles for 2001 could come as
soon as next month. Westlake Interactive is also continuing their plan to
diversify their company by developing for unspecified game systems/consoles. Westlake president
Mark Adams said that "there's a pretty good likelihood that we'll do a PS2
game this year."
This does not mean that Westlake is turning away from the Mac games market.
In fact, the company is already thinking about Mac OS X and gaming. "We're
certainly optimistic about it," Adams replied when asked about how the latest builds of
MacOS X look from a game developer's perspective. At the moment, however,
the company is concentrating on MacOS 9 development and will release web
updates to allow titles to run natively in MacOS X when such updates are
Westlake has also worked with Creative Labs to bringing their EAX Environmental Audio
API to the Mac, a special simulated 3D sound processing method. Creative was taking pre-orders for their SoundBlaster
Live for Macintosh card at Macworld San Francisco, with an expected delivery date of 6
to 8 weeks. A special EAX-enabled version of "Deus Ex" will be bundled with
the SoundBlaster card. Mark Adams is also investigating releasing a patch
for Unreal Tournament to add EAX environmental audio effects and possibly
adding OpenAL or EAX support to the upcoming "Tomb Raider Chronicles" game as well.
On the topic of the multiplayer patch for "Deus Ex," Adams recently spoke
with the developers at Ion Storm, who made the game for the PC. The PC
version of the multiplayer patch is still in beta. As soon as it is complete
Westlake will be given the code to see what kind of effort would be needed
to bring multiplayer capability to Mac "Deus Ex." No decisions on the
subject can be made until Mark Adams and his team take a look at the code.
Overall, Mark and Suellen Adams indicate that they are encouraged by the
growth of the Mac games market of the past twelve months. While they admit
there are still challenges in order to sustain Mac gaming, they are hopeful
that the new hardware and software releases from Apple will further grow the
platform and help Mac gaming. If 2000 is any indication, 2001 will be a
stellar year for Mac gamers.
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