Civilization 3 Network Compatibility Questioned
9:11 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive has been a busy poster to Usenet recently, helping out a number of fans with questions on a variety of topics. One of the most interesting topics to appear is the fact that network compatibility between Mac and PC versions of the upcoming title Civilization 3 is not guaranteed. Oliver is working on the Mac port for MacSoft, and he notes that it seems networking is still in the air at this point. As many Mac gamers are keenly aware, if a company chooses Microsoft's DirectPlay for their networking, it is virtually impossible (barring some very tricky reverse engineering) for the Mac and PC versions to play together nicely.
Oliver notes DirectPlay's ease of integration is its main appeal, though if they go with another option, compatibility could be possible. Here's a clip:
I've been pushing them to switch to Winsock, but In a later post he clarifies Winsock's attractiveness over other options like DirectPlay and even OpenPlay; if he can get the Civ3 team to use Winsock instead of DriecPlay, network compatibility would be trivial to port. Here is Brad's pro-Winsock argument:
they're on a tight schedule as well, and DirectPlay represents the
fastest way for them to get the netcode done since they already have it
written via the code they've used in SMAC. If things continue as-is,
it'll be a DirectPlay app.
Winsock is perfect because a) most PC developers are familiar with it, So while it doesn't look good for Mac gamers who want to strategize against their PC brethren in Civ 3, there is always a chance Firaxis could change their minds. Oliver suggest using the utmost care if Mac gamers do want to email their thoughts to the company, and we agree wholeheartedly that rude or nasty comments will accomplish little. Stay tuned to IMG as more on Civ 3's networking is revealed, as the game should be finished very soon for the PC.
Civilization 3 Web Site
b) it's simple to use, c) it ports very easily to the Mac and d) it's
dead-simple to get working under MacOS X unlike OP/NetSprocket. It
doesn't hurt also that Firaxis can get access to the Linux winsock
replacement code for SMAC. ;-)
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