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Monday, March 26, 2001

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Myst III Preview, Interview and OS X Plans
6:00 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Stephen Granade's Interactive Fiction has published a detailed preview of the upcoming Myst III: Exile, an adventure game which continues the stories and mythology of the Myst series. The preview features an interview with Susan Weyer, the PR Manager for Presto Studios, which is creating this third installment in the classic series. She discusses the inspirations and motivations behind this sequel, how it will differ from the previous titles in technology and content and how the arresting visuals we have seen so far were created.

Attempting to create the third piece of a legendary adventure series understandably put a great deal of pressure on Presto to create a game which lives up to -- and hopefully exceeds -- the expectations of Myst's vast fan base. Here's an excerpt on how they attempted to set this game apart without violating the core concepts of the Myst world:

In your opinion, what's the most different thing about Myst III compared to the first two games? And how do you do something different without alienating the fans of the earlier games?

The addition of the 360-degree panning feature will definitely stand out as a cool new addition to the gameplay. Being able to look all around you from any location, while movies and animations are playing, gives the player a tremendous amount of navigational freedom. More than they've ever had before.

But at the same time, I think we are most proud of the quality and variety of environments that we've accomplished in just under two years. Each Age in the game is completely different from the others; its materials, time of day, construction, etc. Of course, we've taken great steps to ensure that we don't alienate any fans of the earlier games. After all, they are our target audience. I think each player will be drawn to a specific Age, one that suits their personality, style, or aesthetic, and that by the end of the game, they will look back and say, "Wow, that one Age was truly fantastic!" Hopefully we've provided enough variety for everyone to have a favorite.

The interview also confirms that Myst III will be Carbonized for Mac OS X when it ships, which should delight the early adopters of this OS which may prove less than friendly for gaming in some respects. Here are the details:
How hard has it been to create a version of the game for Mac OS X?

Since Myst III: Exile was written with cross-platform issues in mind, the amount of code that is system specific was kept to a minimum. The Mac specific code was written to be "almost Carbon" friendly right from the start. There were some issues with mouse handling and full screen that required some non-Carbon coding but with the help of the engineers at Apple, it was really quite easy. It took just over a day to get everything working natively on OS X.

All of the Mac-based custom utilities used in the development of Myst III: Exile are Carbon 1.0.4, meaning that they run natively on System 8.1 - X.

The game itself is two apps, a non-Carbon System 8.1 - 9.1 version and a Carbon 1.2.5, Mac OS X app. (Will not run on < X) ... and a PC .exe, of course.

Chalk up one more Carbon game for this Spring. Be sure and read the rest of the preview for details on many other aspects of this sequel. Myst III is due in early April and will be a simultaneous release for Mac and PC, published by Activision.

Myst III: Exile Web Site
Preview: Myst III Exile
Myst III Preview, Interview at Interactive Fiction
Presto Studios
Myst III: Exile
Buy Myst III: Exile

Other Mac Games News for Monday, March 26, 2001

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New Downloads at Kid's Domain8:32 AM
Pillars of Garendall at Beta 28:28 AM
OmniGroup To Port Alice, FAKK2, Oni to OS X8:22 AM
• Myst III Preview, Interview and OS X Plans6:00 AM
Mythwarrior Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 26, 2001 on one page

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