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Wednesday, January 23, 2002

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Mac Torque Release Coming Soon
11:12 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

IMG recently received new information from David Chait, programmer on the Mac branch of the Torque engine from GarageGames. As noted earlier in today's news, impressive new things are coming out of this modified Tribes 2 engine, and many of them could well be Mac-compatible.

In his correspondence, Chait notes that while he hasn't been in contact with the Trakers team yet, there is nothing preventing them from adding Mac support. With other Torque projects, a simple recompile has been all that is needed to get the Mac client up and running.

He does warn, though, that the point where any of the Torque teams diverge from the main source code tree might spell trouble for a Mac version. Here's his explanation:

But that comes with a caveat: it is in the hands of the teams to stay in sync with changes that occur in the main CVS tree. If, for instance, I make a change that fixes a crash issue, and they don't keep up to date, they'll still have the issue. In some sense, teams need to be thinking about this from day one, and not trying to "re-merge" at some stop-points along the way... It also means that a team's whole approach to modifying the codebase should be to do so [in a way that is] as non-intrusive to the current code files as possible, as it will be that much easier to stay in sync.
When it comes to the general state of the Mac Torque release, Chait is very optimistic. It seems his changes of late have been to add special new ATI features (Truform, etc) which will extend to the PC side of the code as well. He expects a Mac release to follow one last round of testing being done now. Here are some more details on his work:
Now, for the answer to your key question: Mac Torque is due out imminently. We decided to hold off releasing it as I had gotten a huge amount of new code in the beginning of the Macworld week (to try and tune it for ATI), and we wanted the testers to have a chance to really get into it (and many of them were at Macworld, so...). I've been in a code-frozen state for about a week, not wanting to fix even teeny issues as they're non-critical for first release, and we've been more working on the doc so that the average Mac developer should be able to quickly download and build the code, and run the demo.

There will always be work to be done—that's the fun of an ever-evolving engine. But I'm pretty happy with how far the Mac code has come, seeing as it is a side project and not a full-time job. Especially cool is the cross-platform CFM app, which runs perfectly well on both OS 9 and OS X. OS X in particular will want and need the most future work—performance definitely needs further tuning, as OS X has its own whole host of issues that can cut down your speed pretty quickly, and we're seeing large framerate drops (which other Mac developers have noted at times).

It's great to hear they're finally ready to get Mac Torque out to would-be Mac game developers for both Mac OS 9 and X. Congratulations to David and the rest of the GarageGames team for all of their hard work so far. This year should see some teams beginning to show off the results of their efforts with this new engine. For more information on Torque (formerly the V12 engine), be sure to read through IMG's interview with GarageGames' Tim Gift.

IMG Interview: GarageGames' Tim Gift
IMG News: Trakers: Bid for Glory Revealed

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Archives  News  Mac Torque Release Coming Soon