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Wednesday, April 11, 2001

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'Elegant Chaos' Tips Hand on Mac Black and White?
12:24 PM | IMG News | Comment on this story

Ah, the subject of Mac Black and White -- no topic has fixated our forums in the past few weeks more frequently than the debate over the existence and/or status of a supposed Mac OS port of this recently-released title by UK developer Lionhead. From the moment this game was announced for the PC, Mac gamers have demanded a port of this unusual, innovative title; Lionhead themselves have remained maddeningly coy about the existence of such a port.

Late last summer, a provocative post on the Feral Interactive web site seemed to drop the hint that one of their future projects may be Black and White; as they are also a UK company, this made them seem a likely candidate. At this time several news sources (including IMG) learned of the existence of plans for the port but were unfortunately asked to keep things quiet; thus Mac Black and White became one of the worst-kept secrets in Mac gaming history.

In December of last year, Feral's development partner Elegant Chaos tipped off observant readers with yet another clue that a "monochrome" title was in development. Yes, we know that monochrome could mean any single color, and that black and white are not technically colors, but the gist of their message was clear. At that time we again asked both Feral and EC if they were willing to officially announce the existence of a Mac port of Black and White; again they declined to do so. Elegant Chaos previously worked with Feral on the Mac ports of Championship Manager 00/01 and Sim Theme Park (published in the US by Aspyr Media).

Now it seems that Elegant Chaos has finally tipped their hand with a slyly-worded post to their news page. While (once again) they do not mention the title in question by name, you'd have to be pretty obtuse to miss this one. The author of the Mac Black and White Unofficial Homepage posted in our forums with news of this statement, just added to the EC news page:

In answer to all the questions I've been getting about you know what (and you know who you are)... yes it is happening. Once an official announcement has been made I will probably try to do some sort of development diary to keep people up to date with my progress.

One thing I would like to say at this stage - don't be unrealistic about time expectations, and don't read too much into the date of my original post - these deals often take a long time to get going! Although I have had the code for a while, and I have been doing quite a lot of preparatory work, I have also been waiting for the goalposts to stop moving. Probably more relevant is the fact that it's a big, complicated project - which will take time to do right.

It's gonna be a cracker...

From what we've been led to understand about the internal workings of Black and White, this one may indeed be a "cracker" of a port; the game depends heavily on Microsoft technologies for graphics and networking. The PC version will also most likely be patched several times in the future, so those goalposts may remain mobile for some time. At this point any estimate of a release date is pure speculation, and should be treated as such. As for a potential publisher for this title, it is painfully obvious that signs point towards a common partner of both Feral and Elegant Chaos in the past -- US Mac publisher Aspyr Media is a likely candidate. At this time none of the three companies seem to be commenting on these revelations, so all of this information is considered to be rumor or speculation at this point. For more information about the game itself, visit the Lionhead web site or the official game site.

Elegant Chaos News Page
Mac Black and White Unofficial Homepage
Mac B&W Forum Post
Black and White (Official Site)
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

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• 'Elegant Chaos' Tips Hand on Mac Black and White?12:24 PM
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View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, April 11, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 10, 2001

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