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Friday, December 12, 2008

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Kivi's Underworld: Mac Development, Trailer, Review
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new interview, review, and game trailer for Soldak Entertainment's Kivi's Underworld are now available. First, a Tea Leaves interview revealed Steven Peeler's experience bringing the game to Mac users. Second, Gamers Daily News gave the game a score of 8 out of 10. Finally, Soldak has released a new trailer showcasing the game's action.

From Tea Leaves:

Can you speak a bit about your experience developing it for the Mac? Was this essentially a straight port?
Actually for Kiviís Underworld I had to do almost no extra work for the Mac version, because I had already ported our previous game, Depths of Peril.
I was hoping to eventually do a Mac port when we started Depths of Peril, so we planned ahead and used OpenGL and OpenAL. This ultimately made the Mac port (2 Ĺ years later) much easier. In mid March of this year (2008), I finally decided that it was a time to do a Mac version of Depths of Peril. It took about a week to finally decide this, order a Mac, and receive it. At that point in time, I had really never used a Mac before. Even with ramp up time on a completely new computer and OS, it took only a tad over 2 months from the day I received the Mac to when we were selling the Mac version of Depths of Peril. To me that shows how easy Macs are to use.

On the business side of things, has targeting the Mac proven to be a worthwhile decision as a publisher?
From the beginning I viewed porting to the Mac as a calculated risk. I was hoping that if Depths of Peril didnít pay back the hardware and development cost then at least the next game (Kiviís Underworld) would. Looking back at it though, it was a very wise decision. The Mac version of Depths of Peril is nearly 40% of our direct sales now and paid back all of its costs a while back. The Mac version of Kiviís Underworld on the other hand is actually outselling the Windows version so far. I donít suspect that this will last, but itís interesting. So yes, I would have to say it has been a worthwhile decision.

Any advice for other game developers considering adding OS X to their list of supported platforms?
For indie companies that are already using fairly portable engines, I would definitely say it is worthwhile to support the Mac. On the other hand, I donít need any more competition so stay far, far away! Seriously though, I know of many other small games companies that have had very good luck with the Mac. Of course, Blizzard still ships Mac versions of their games. Who can argue with a company that has 11 million subscribers? I am very curious how many of those are on the Mac.
From GDN:
There are tons of other cool things, like the graphics themselves, to keep you entertained though. The graphics have depth and are robust. At times I would zoom in just to check out some detail on something. This is what Iím coming to expect from Soldak though as Depths of Peril had some seriously intricate and lush environments as well. Itís almost as if they secretly pride themselves on cool environments that donít require a $3000 PC to be viewed properly.

Piles of power ups are in Kiviís Underworld as well. Youíll find them falling off of monsters, flying out of smashed barrels and lying about in generally useful places like at the bottoms of chests. Those are the places one would obviously look anyway. Weíre all well trained from the Zelda years of people hiding coins in jars on their front lawns, no matter how ridiculous that is. At least thereís logic to it in Kiviís Underworld.

Aside from the profuse amount of power ups there are also more than 20 different characters that you can play. Thereís a really cool feature in the game where when you buy skill points they apply to your game. So no matter which character youíre using, they have those skill points. Thereís no need to individually level up each and every character. The classes in the game will come as no shock to you Iím sure - warrior, rogue, priest, mage and various variations like scout, enchanter and more. This adds some spice and variety to the game so youíre not constantly just left clicking like mad. Each class has a different active and passive skill.
To view all the new Kivi's Underworld related information click on the links listed below.

Tea Leaves: Kivi's Underworld Mac Development
GDN: Kivi's Underworld Review
Kivi's Underworld Trailer
Soldak Entertainment
Kivi's Underworld

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