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Thursday, October 4, 2001

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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
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.
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:
Winsock is perfect because a) most PC developers are familiar with it,
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. ;-)
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
Firaxis Games
Civilization III
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Other Mac Games News for Thursday, October 4, 2001

Baldur's Gate Fan Fiction Winner Chosen4:42 PM
ATI Responds to ROM Update Feedback11:54 AM
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Exclusive World of Warcraft Shots Posted11:45 AM
EV: Nova Status Check9:15 AM
Eylau, Tactical Warsim Released9:12 AM
• Civilization 3 Network Compatibility Questioned9:11 AM
Myst 3 Patch, OS X App Available9:06 AM
Age of Empires II Preorders Begin9:04 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, October 4, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Wednesday, October 3, 2001

One on One with Mark Adams, Part 312:17 PM
Fly! II Available at IMG Store11:25 AM
Master of Orion 3 Image Gallery11:21 AM
Mac Red Faction Progress Update10:48 AM
Sims: Hot Date Preview10:31 AM
Quake III: Gold Listed at Apple9:51 AM
Tropico Demo Released9:23 AM
Black Isle Studios Interview9:14 AM
Geneforge Beta Testers Needed8:50 AM
More on SMAC for OS X8:37 AM
New Halo Screenshot8:29 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, October 3, 2001 on one page

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