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Wednesday, September 12, 2001

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Knights and Merchants Gold, Gorky News
9:49 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

While news from e.p.i.c. Interactive is rare, it is almost always good news. This small but feisty company has been working diligently to port a series of Amiga and PC games to the Mac OS, and now one of their titles is complete: the RTS/empire builder Knights and Merchants is ready for duplication. They also note that the port of the adventure game Gorky 17 has made significant progress after overcoming some very tall hurdles in their path.

Knights and Merchants is a "strategic economy simulation" set in the time of 1200 A.D. No Medieval fantasy game with dungeons and dragons, this title is more sim than RTS -- imagine Majesty with strict economic rules and no dragons or magic. You are responsible for building and maintaining the economy and quality of life for a small village, and eventually defending it against outside attackers with troops whom you can control.

According to the update, Knights and Merchants is "gold" and ready for duplication. While as with previous e.p.i.c. titles distribution may be a problem, they expect the game to ship September 19th. Meanwhile the port of TopWare's Gorky 17 (a sci-fi themed adventure game) has overcome some significant obstacles:

RPG/strategy mix GORKY 17 is finally coming along nicely. Here is a longer report on what is done and what still needs to be finished:

Conversion of the game data was among the toughest things with this project. One reason for this was that a Little Endian engine was required; the other was that the engine requires filemapping which is not available in Mac OS. These problems are now fixed (only some minor endian problems in the Load function need attention).
Gorkys 3D engine is running fine except for some colour problems as you can see from the screenshots below. The Zoom function also has a couple of minor problems. Porting of the engine was extremely difficult, because the original developers used a lot of Intel ASM routines. The remaining problems with the 3D engine are currently worked on and should be fixed within the next couple of days. The speed of the game is great even at this stage. On a 350 Mhz G3 it ran at the same speed as the PC version on a 700 Mhz machine.
The game logic seems to be working fine, but intense beta testing on this part is set to start this week. Sound and video playback is not yet implemented. The other remaining problem is memory usuage. The game currently requires a lot of memory, especially under MacOS 9 where you will need about 200 MB to start the game . These problems do not exist with the MacOS X version.

It seems that Gorky will also be the company's first Mac OS X-native title, which makes this port even more impressive -- it sounds more like a re-write than a mere port.

Visit the e.p.i.c. web site or our past articles for more information on these titles, and watch Mac-O-Rama (which has carried e.p.i.c. titles in the past) for Knights and Merchants later this month.

e.p.i.c. Interactive Web Site
e.p.i.c To Port Knights and Merchants
Gorky 17

Other Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 12, 2001

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IMG Feature: Radeon 8500 'In the Flesh'10:09 AM
Freeverse Update from NYC10:02 AM
STV: Elite Force .map Source Released9:58 AM
Cipher Engine Updated9:54 AM
A Chat with BioWare's Trent Oster9:50 AM
Knights and Merchants Gold, Gorky News9:49 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 12, 2001 on one page

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