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Monday, April 23, 2001

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Westlake on Alice Requirements, OS X, Demo
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Brad Oliver of Westlake Interactive has made a few Usenet posts recently regarding his work on the Carbonized version of American McGee's Alice. Last week, Aspyr Media released some preliminary system requirements for the game, though they could change before it's actually completed. The CPU demands (400 MHz G3 required, 500 MHz recommended) sparked some discussion on Usenet groups, and Oliver was there to calm gamer's fears of poor performance on their systems. He also notes they will likely be releasing a demo of the game once it is finished. Here is an excerpt from his statements:

I tried [Alice] yesterday on a
slot-loading strawberry iMac with 192M of RAM and built-in Rage128 and
it ran very well at the default settings for at least the first level (I
didn't try it much farther). I don't know what the CPU speed of that
particular machine is, but Mark A. thought it was a 400.

It might be a game where your personal preference will dictate what
framerate is acceptable. Since it's not a frame-intensive shooter like
Quake/Unreal, it may be that some people find playability on lower-end
machines acceptable for the majority of the time. The bulk of the game
involves puzzles and problem solving, with some melee combat every now
and then.

There should be a demo around the time it's released so you can make up
your mind about performance then.

Playing demo is probably the best way to find out if the game will be acceptable on your machine, though other Quake 3-based titles should be fairly good indicators of the performance of the game on your system.

Oliver also was able to offer some information on how his Carbonized app (not to be confused with the Cocoa version being worked on my OmniGroup) will run under OS X. He notes that, as he and many other programmers have discovered, running in full-screen mode can be problematic at this point:

It should work, but with reservations. Fullscreen OpenGL on OSX is
troublesome right now no matter how you cut it. It can be made to work,
but not easily or consistently. I added a great deal of code to
Centipede to get it to run fullscreen under 10, and even then there are
cases where it won't work exactly right. The same will likely be true
with other OpenGL games until some of issues with OSX are cleared up.

FWIW, you can run Alice in a window under 10 with no problems, aside
from some mouse issues.

It's still unknown at this point how Aspyr is going to package the Carbon and Cocoa versions of the application together. But it's great that Mac gamers will have the option of finally playing some A-list titles with this next-generation operating system. Stay tuned as Alice works through testing and should be ready for release in the next month or so. By then we hopefully will have solved the mystery as to why both a Carbon and a Cocoa version of Alice were developed simultaneously by different companies.

Westlake Interactive Web Site
Aspyr Media Web Site
American McGee's Alice Web Site
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
Rogue Entertainment
American McGee's Alice

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Apple Looks at AirPort Gaming6:00 AM
Dim3 Progress Update6:00 AM
OmniGroup Claims Alice Done, EF and FAKK2 Soon6:00 AM
Quake and Doom Released for OS X6:00 AM
Westlake on Alice Requirements, OS X, Demo6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 23, 2001 on one page

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Archives  News  Westlake on Alice Requirements, OS X, Demo