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Friday, March 2, 2001

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Summoner Dev Update, Media
9:30 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

As February passes into March, Mac gamers can begin to get excited about the new titles coming out this Spring. One we've been anxiously awaiting for the past year is Summoner, a 3D RPG originally released for the PS2 last fall by Volition and coming to the Mac and PC in the next month or so. The Mac version is being published by GraphSim, and we recently chatted with them about its status.

Apparently the Mac version is doing well, and should be heading into the first round of testing in the near future. No specifics are available yet, but this is very good news. Since the game has already been released and (presumably) all of the gameplay bugs have been caught, this testing should just find any Mac-specific issues in the game. GraphSim also reports they now have the artwork for the game's box and manual in hand. Stay tuned to IMG, as we'll keep you posted on the status of the Mac version as it moves towards completion.

In other Summoner porting news, a new developer diary for the game has been posted at PC.IGN. In this issue, Volition programmer Nick Lee discusses the various issues surrounding the radically different input devices for PC versus console games. A quick paragraph also talks about the Mac's one-button mouse, though this is seen as a much easier problem to solve than moving the game from a console gamepad to mouse/keyboard setup. Here's a clip:

Various status and options screens on the PS2 version used a “roving highlight” method of selection. The joystick directly controlled movement of the “highlight”, and the X button was used to select the highlighted option. This functionality is easily replaced in the PC version by using the “point-and-click” method of highlight and selection.

In fact, “point-and-click” provides so much more freedom to move between controls than the “roving highlight” method that we can now provide more options and information on screen at a time without becoming overwhelming. The in-game display not only shows the character’s portraits and hit point/ability point bars, but now has buttons for opening the various info screens as well as a user-configurable hot button panel for oft-used spells and skills. The automap from the PS2 version has been revamped as well, now sporting a split-screen mode allowing you to easily navigate around the massive levels. None of this would have been practical on the PSX2, where it was relatively difficult to move the focus of control around the screen.

While we're always anxious to get our hands on a title, it's great to hear Volition is putting so much thought into the Mac and PC versions of Summoner. It's usually easy to tell when a game has just been ported straight from a console, and it's good to know this won't be the case.

Finally, if you're hankering for more Summoner screenshots, RPG Vault has 16 new pics posted. They are all shots from Lenele, a large city in the game, but they were taken in a variety of different environments, so have a look.

Summoner Web Site
GraphSim Summoner Site
RPG Vault Summoner Screen Shots
PC IGN Summoner Dev Diary
Buy Summoner

Other Mac Games News for Friday, March 2, 2001

FLY! 2 Chat, Mac Details3:23 PM
Tropico Preview3:21 PM
Monsoon iM-700 Speakers Reviewed12:27 PM
Deus Ex Skins for Your Sims12:24 PM
• Summoner Dev Update, Media9:30 AM
Marathon: Rubicon Trailer Released9:00 AM
Sickware Demos Open Design of Target Korea8:58 AM
Mac Doom Legacy Programmer Q&A8:47 AM
Adventure at the Chateau d'Or Shipping Soon8:42 AM
Geneforge Officially Announced8:28 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 2, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Thursday, March 1, 2001

The State of Inside Mac Games2:44 PM
ZSculpt to Release Dark Castle Public Beta Tomorrow2:19 PM
Update on Westlake Projects1:27 PM
Master of Orion 3 Site Redesign12:07 PM
Zroids Released12:07 PM
Myst III Developer Diary11:28 AM
Ken Hoekstra on Elite Force Add-On10:59 AM
Troubleshooting Quake 3 1.27h10:21 AM
WaterRace Add-ons Released10:14 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 1, 2001 on one page

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