If you havenít been paying close attention you might think that Only Mortal is the name of a new first-person shooter, perhaps one with a horror theme. But actually itís a free OS X utility that players can use to find servers for playing games like Quake III and Return to Castle Wolfenstein on. The good news is, the authors are working on a new version for release soon, and theyíve given me a sneek peek.
What It Does, What It Will DoIf you play Quake II, Quake III, or Return to Castle Wolfenstein, you may already have tried Only Mortal 1.0. It lets you browse lists the thousands of servers online that host multiplayer games; when you find a game in progress that you like the looks of, you simply double-click on it to run the game and connect to that server. Aside from the snazzy Mac-like interface, it gives you the freedom to browse servers for all of the supported games before youíve even decided which game to play. Meanwhile you can also run other programs, such as IRC or instant messaging. Itís not a bad way to gather some friends together online and find a decent server to play on.
So what can you expect from Only Mortal 2.0? For starters, support for some new games. Being a fan of both Unreal Tournament and Elite Force, I was pleased to see them make an appearance, as well as Quake 1 and QuakeWorld. The authors are also working on adding SiN and Jedi Knight 2 to the list, and at least one other title that they donít want to talk about yet. To encourage game developers to support Only Mortal in future, they are releasing an SDK to make it as easy as possible for new games to be supported.
Besides the support for new games, my favorite feature is the new option to filter the server lists. You can filter based on map name, mod name, or game type, and if you prefer you can skip over servers that are either completely full or empty of players. You can even search for a particular player by name! And once you find a server you like to play on, you will be able to add it to a list of favorites to help you return to it another day.
Mike and Billy Davis (who are not actually related, by the way) have released many revisions to Only Mortal 1.0. Version 2.0 has a new auto-update feature that lets the program patch itself automatically when support for a new game or a new feature becomes available. Features that the authors are considering adding in future include integrated IRC chat, and possibly even audio conversations over the internet (voice over IP.)
ConclusionIf you play a game that Only Mortal supports, and you run OS X, then you should probably try out this useful, free utility for tracking multiplayer game servers. Only Mortal 2.0 looks to be even more compelling, especially because of the new games supported and the filtering features. Keep an eye on this one!