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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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Blizzard on Simultaneous Development
8:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Apple has posted a Developer's Connection article featuring Blizzard, a game company known to Mac gamers as one of the few still doing simultaneous development for both Mac and PC. The focus of the article is about that development process, including what tools are used and the advantages gained.

One of the key advantages, mentioned by lead software engineer Rob Barris, is that simultaneous development allows bugs to be found more quickly, as the same game is being run on a number of different processors and compilers. He also mentions the competitive aspect:

Having two teams working together but on different platforms can get competitive, and the competition helps keep us sharp. At the same time, so much is discovered in optimization that benefits both platforms, that the result is a better product for our users, no matter what platform they’re on. With the graphical features and program needs of games continuing to rise, we really benefit from our simultaneous development approach, and it helps us stay on top of our market.
Other topics discussed include the use of XCode Tools and the advantages of programming in OS X.

Simultaneous Development: Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Robert Duffy Talks Doom 3 Settings
10:32 AM | Chris Stein | Comment on this story

Robert Duffy, a programmer working on the upcoming first person shooter DOOM 3, has made an update in his .plan file detailing some of the technical aspects involved in the development of Doom 3. The update contains information on the hardware needed to play the game at different texture settings, and also describes the software and hardware used in development of Doom 3, as well as detailing the amount of VRAM needed for each texture setting.
Heres more from the update

To put things in perspective, most production levels in DOOM 3 contain more media assets than all of Quake 3: Arena. When we started working on the memory foot print, our goal was a 256MB system. In most cases loading up an area of the game on a 256MB system works fine, the problems arise when you start to transition from one area to the next ( successive map loads ). Memory fragmentation starts to really work against us and it ultimately made it just not feasible for a reasonable play experience to support 256MB.

Two basic options make up the quality levels, sound diversity and image fidelity.

Sound diversity is effectively how many sounds we support per sound shader for a given "sound". There may be for instance, 7 different "bullet striking the wall" sounds for a given bullet. In low quality, we only use one sound for this vs randomly choosing between one of the seven available. When we started on memory optimization, most levels used between 80 and 100 megabytes of sound data. We made the choice to move to .OGG for quite a few sounds which effectively removed the problem for us.

Image fidelity is dependent on what quality level we load the textures at.

DOOM 3 recently went gold and is due for an August release on the PC, with a Mac release to be following shortly. You can read the rest of the update at the link below.

Robert Duffy's .plan file
id Software
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IMG Store: 10 Percent Off All Orders Returns
9:53 AM | IMG News

After getting a few angry emails from readers that couldn't take advantage of the 10 percent off sale this past weekend at the IMG Store, "The Man" has decided to bring the 10 percent off all orders sale until the end of this month, or Sunday 12:01 AM Pacific.

Here's what "The Man" had to say:

"The time has come to bring back the 10 percent off sale! We must stand united, we must fight the fight, we must offer great deals once again! I am "The Man" and I approve this message."
The IMG Store is now offering 10 percent off all orders placed through the IMG Store. Simply submit your order and you'll automatically get 10 percent off everything available through the IMG Store.

Save on hot new games, MacGames DVD and IMG Pro subscription, and more. To check out the IMG Store and the full list of offerings, be sure to click on the link below.

IMG Store

RPG Minions of Mirth for OS X
8:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

A reader recently pointed us to an indie RPG currently in development by Prairie Games. Titled Minions of Mirth, this game is described as a massively single-player RPG, and includes a variety of features, including a full weather system, hundreds of spells, and day/night cycles.

Some other features are as follows:

  • 15 character careers, 3 character archetypes, with multiclassing and many skills!
  • 8 playable character races.
  • 16 incredible zones to explore.
  • Epic battles rage across the land, fight on either side for profit and/or glory!
  • Alignment system for playing either a good or evil character.
  • Immersive first person gameplay!
  • Quests with a wide range of difficulty and triggered world events!
  • Dynamically generated bounties for you to hunt!
Mirth also presents its engine and source code for those interested in modding. More info, including movies and screenshots, can be found at Prarie Games' site.

Minions of Mirth

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Feral Releases Enemy Engaged Guide
8:21 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Following up on feedback after the release of a demo for Enemy Engaged, Feral Interactive has posted a strategy guide for players who have been scratching their heads over the finer points of the game. The guide is in HTML format and can be downloaded from their site.

One frequent and very reasonable request has been for more information on how to play the game. So in order to help you get off the ground and the best out of the game, we are making available a strategy guide that takes you through everything you need to know from helicopter basics, through campaign objectives to the best tactics when attacking a Hokum head on! We await further feedback...
Enemy Engaged is a helicopter combat title that features a variety of campaigns and two copters to choose from. Those interested in trying out the demo can find it at Feral's site.

Enemy Engaged more info for demo
Feral Interactive
Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs. Hokum
Buy Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs. Hokum

Mac Games News for Monday, July 26, 2004

Marathon Scenario 'Eternal' Released12:05 PM
Spider-Man 2 Headed To Mac9:52 AM
IMG Interviews Aspyr's Ted Staloch9:20 AM
Apple Posts Homeworld 2 Trailer7:36 AM
Blizzard Chronicles World of Warcraft PvP Battles7:36 AM
OpenGLide Update Fixes Falcon 4 Issues7:36 AM
SkyFighters 1945 Comes to OS X7:36 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, July 26, 2004 on one page

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